31 December 2009
Happy New Year to all my dedicated followers. I've so enjoyed launching my blog this year and promise to keep it up on a regular basis in 2010 (although probably not every day). I have taken on a full time job in a bit of a different direction which is very exciting and I'm looking forward to the new challenge. NenaghGal , however, will definitely continue on to fuel all my creative passions - introduce you to creative craftspeople and entrepreneurs, travel spots in Ireland and other places (when I get out of the country:) - favourite things from magazines and much much more.
You can also follow me on Twitter and please don't be shy - if you have a product you'd like me to consider for a post - email me photos or your website link. As many people know, I'm only too happy to feature products that I love and appreciate.
29 December 2009
The new issue of Ur Dream Home magazine is now out and the piece I wrote about a castle in Co. Limerick graces the cover. As with most stories I cover, I always love visiting a property in person and this place was a particular treat. The homeowner was delightful and informative and he and his partner really put their heart and soul into building their own little kingdom down a quiet boreen in Limerick.
The castle is nestled in a woody hillside about 20km outside of Limerick down a very narrow country road - adding to the wonderful mystique and charm of the place.
Around the outside of the building is a beautifully landscaped garden with a moat running around the house to conveniently channel watershed from the hillside.
Recycled railway ties are used not only as a fortified wall at the entrance but also to create paths and other retaining walls. Many materials used throughout the property were found on the property such as the all the stones for all the beautiful stonework found both outside and inside.
Simple plantings and plenty of lawn create and inviting outdoor room to enjoy in the summer months and dry days throughout the year.
The castle has many traditional features but is equipped with many modern conveniences - forget the stereotypical damp and cold. This castle is toasty warm inside thanks to its underfloor heating, fireplaces and stoves.
Stainless steel skirting boards are an unexpected modern detail as is the frosted glass door that retracts into the wall and leads into the kitchen.
In the music room, the lime kiln that was part of the original property creates an impressive focal point for the fireplace.
The kitchen/family room is a impressively large space and oh so cosy. It's a great room for entertaining with an open modern kitchen, fireplace and French doors that open to the extensive outdoor area when the weather allows.
Each bedroom has an en suite bathroom and many have wonderful mosaic detailing.
Climb to the top off the turret and the door opens to a massive roof deck where the family hosts barbeque's and can enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
So are you yearning for a castle of your own yet? Well, in case you are.....this castle is on the market. Contact either of the two auctioneers to schedule a viewing.
John Giltinane & Associates
Adare, Co. Limerick
Tel: 061-605046 - http://www.adareproperties.com/
O'Donovan & Associates
The Key House
Newcastlewest. Co. Limerick
Tel: 069-62713 or http://www.odonovan.ie/
For more details about the property and to see more photographs - pick up the new issue of ur dream home today!
25 December 2009
24 December 2009
Happy Christmas Eve everyone - I apologise that I've neglected NenaghGal of late - I've taken on a full time job (thankfully) and the blog has been put on the back burner but I promise I won't abandon it all together as I do love doing it and satisfies all my creative needs. So I just wanted to take this opportunity to catch up with you all and wish you a very merry Christmas. I'm also thinking of you for 2010 - hoping that this recession will indeed turn the corner and we will all feel a bit of relief - much health, happiness and prosperity.
The January issue of Country Homes & Interiors is already out on new stands and it has loads of ideas for decorating around Christmas time and in fact throughout the winter chill. Yummy plaids, thick throws and plush rugs - can't wait to get back from work today, wrap up the last pressies, curl up by the fire (well actually our new stove) with a nice glass of wine and relax. It will be an early rise with Miss Sophia anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa.
This simple ornament idea can be achieved so easily - if you don't have the ornaments, even just tying the plaid ribbon to the tree would work. To find a real tree that looks like this....well, I think that would be a bit more difficult.
I thought this buffet set up was great - love the plaid lampshades - what about using some old remnants or even a worn blanket to achieve this look?
10 December 2009
I'm always inspired by people who get busy during the Christmas season making wonderful things....and I do my best. This week I've been busy baking up a storm - my daughter's 9th birthday was on Tuesday and I made everything for 16 mad children ages 5-12 who ran at the food like it was their last meal on earth. My daughter is a bit of a chocoholic so on the menu for goodies was a Devil's Food Cake with devilish creamy chocolate icing (we are now having the remainder over ice cream), Brownies, Gingerbread Women and Trees and Nachos which are a rarity in Ireland as it's such an American thing but they love it. Of course, I never had anytime to take detailed photos of anything I baked which is a shame and now there are only a few crumbs left!!!
Fellow blogger and a former colleague of mine at House Beautiful - Eddie Ross is one creative soul. His latest post has his wonderful ornament wreath and I thought I'd share it with you. Years ago, I bought a box of vintage ornaments at a flea market in Atlanta and embarked on a similar wreath project - it looked pretty good but in time got damaged so the remaining ornaments now sit in a silver bowl on our entry way table. Do check out his blog - he's a true inspiration and is busy all over the US doing demonstrations, decorating celebrity homes and much much more.
Through my Twitter network, I connected with Sew Recycled. These lovely bunting kits are great for birthdays and even Christmas decorations. Check out her blog for more lovely handmade goodies including charming needle cases - great stocking fillers. You can buy them all through Etsy.
Not sure where I found this now but for a candy inspired handmade tree - thought this was good for inspiration. Pretty simple to do - buy a foam cone shape from a local floral supply shop and simply hot glue the candies on! Obviously cannot be edible but really sweet for decorating a table or corner of a room.
And for simple outdoor decorating... I loved this idea of lighting the bay trees and putting apples around their bases. Big outdoor lanterns shed great light and add to the festive welcome in the dark winter hours.
I'm starting a fulltime job next week and while I will continue blogging, it will not be as frequent but know that my heart is still in it and will use my weekends to bank some posts to fulfill the creative side of me and keep all my loyal followers happy.
04 December 2009
As I said in yesterday's post, I do love having fresh flowers and greenery about the house at Christmas time. I came across this great piece on garlands in the December issue of Homes & Gardens magazine and thought I'd share them with you. (Photographs by Debi Treloar and styling by Miranda Watchorn).
This reminds me of some of the elaborate garlands you might see back in the states...it helps to have some columns out front to wind them around - but just beautiful!
Love this mantle! Especially that it's not all greens and reds - the eucalyptus will make the room smell wonderful.
A charming way to decorate a wall sconce or chandelier. The heather is in bloom in my garden right now so it would be perfect to weave into my wreath for the front door and my pyracantha is laden with red berries on my front wall so that will make a great base for it. Sorry birdies ....will have to take some of the berries from you.
Don't think I'll be quite this bold on my Christmas table but it sure is beautiful. I'll have to take some inspiration from this - I've got loads of pine cones and fruit and greens so I'll whip something up out of these to make my table feel festive.
A beautiful banister like this is just perfection with this delightful garland. I love how it feels like everything has been dusted with snow or a light frost. Must think of some new way to embellish my faux garlands for the banister this year.
03 December 2009
In the December issue of Country Homes & Interiors magazine there is a lovely feature Be Inspired by Old and New (Photographs by Lucinda Symons, Styling by Sally Wortley and Holly Bruce). The editors have encouraged their readers to take inspiration from both the past and the present when decorating your home for Christmas this year. I generally find the piece so inviting and cosy and it reminds me of how my family celebrated Christmas's back in America but also in England when my grandparents were still alive. We seldom bought new decorations for the house but relied on our older traditions of using the things we had accumulated over the years or going to nature for decorations. I find that in my own home, I try hard to keep those traditions alive but also as we have a relatively new home we are adding decorations each year.
Our first Christmas in Ireland we purchased these lovely white trees that are electrified with white lights and they sit in our two big cobalt blue flower pots out in front of the house. They look simple and magical at night. The next year we found great faux pine garlands that we hang along the banister and along the mantle and believe it or not we actually bought a faux tree - I know, for those of you that know me, this seems very out of character as I've always loved a fresh tree but I actually enjoy it more because it doesn't dry out and drop needles everywhere, we can keep it up a bit longer and frankly it's pretty handy - it just lives up in the attic 11 months out of the year and then reappears for a month. Now I do make lots of fresh bouquets and a fresh wreath for the front door and fill our hanging baskets with greenery.
Sometimes I find it's the simple touches that make a room at Christmas time.
Our daughter is more and more into Christmas every year. This year she's written Sana four letters - one from her, one from our dog Sugar, (who needs a new bed), one asking him to help the people in Ireland who were affected by floods and another to Santa asking him to help the people starving in Africa. I'm so proud that she can think beyond her own needs and is reaching out in spirit to those less fortunate. I'm also delighted that by constantly reiterating that Santa only brings one big present (and maybe a surprise...plus our stockings, and yes Sugar has one too) that we haven't had to make any adjustments in the recession - and believe me, she appreciates that one present so much more.
As usual though, I feel Christmas has snuck up behind me quickly and I only yesterday ordered some gifts from Amazon in the UK but they won't be here until later in the month....just can't let myself do priority shipping - it adds €70 to the cost! So, a few people, and they know who they are, will be getting an extra part of their gift after Christmas.
Otherwise we are done......I'm hoping to cook up homemade gifts for all my wonderful neighbours and do some baking for my daughter's birthday next Tuesday but other than that I don't have any major cooking until Christmas Day when we are having my mother in law along with two brother in laws, my nephew and sister in law and her mother - I'm delighted as I love a full house on Christmas.