Monday, August 20, 2012

Out and About at the Summer Festivals and Fairs

Wow! Has it really been over a month since the last blog post? Thanks for hanging in there and being patient. All apologies for keeping you waiting.

A lot has been going on this past month for all Irish crafters, artists and musicians up, down and across the country, what with all the summer festivals, heritage week events and annual county and agricultural fairs. CelticMoon Craft was no exception to this, as we were at two big annual festivals this month, both of which were very enjoyable, meeting lots of great people and making new friends at each event.

First up was the 34th annual O'Carolan's Harp and Traditional Music Festival, which takes place in the beautiful village of Keadue, in Co. Roscommon. It was a weekend long festival, including music recitals and harp competitions with harpists and harp music enthusiasts from all over the world, and included in a parade through the main street of Keadue village, on Sunday, the 5th of August. 

This was our first time there, and I have to say how delighted we were with the whole feel and vibe and friendliness, not to mention the beauty of this little village, that is perhaps best known and most associated with the beautiful music of 18th century harpist, composer and bard Turlough O'Carolan, where the town commemorates and celebrates his life and work each summer.

Here are a few photos taken on the day:

The CelticMoon Craft stall nearly finished being set up,
with all eyes watching and waiting for the parade to begin
down Keadue's main thoroughfare.

Absolutely adorable, aren't they?

Keadue's very own Hell's Angels - all lovely fellas, too.

One of the many fun floats that were showcased along Keadue's main street.

In keeping with the theme of the O'Carolan Harp Festival, here's one
of the plaques we showcased and sold that day.
The word 'Eire' at the top means 'Ireland' in Irish.
The painted harp designs include multi-coloured seed beads throughout.

One of the many variations of the 'Cead Mile Failte' plaques we design.
In Irish, 'Cead Mile Failte' means 'a hundred thousand welcomes.'

A specially made plaque for a special day in Keadue,
as well as two additional ones made for Co. Roscommon.

Any county or town name can be specially made to order.
Just e-mail us with your specific requests.

A warm thank you to our good friend Bridget, who came to Keadue for the parade and spent some time with us - it was lovely seeing you and chatting with you. And one more 'hi' to a new friend, Sue, who was our 'next door neighbour' that day, craft table-wise, with her beautifully knitted treasures, which, by the way, also happens to be the name of her stall at the Mulvey Indoor Market in Carrick-on-Shannon.

After Keadue, two days later, we set up amongst all the brilliant array of crafters, vendors, food stalls (including the delicious creperie tent that was set up next to our stall) and musicians for our first time at the Siamsa Sraide Festival, (which, translated from Irish, means 'fun in the street,' something that was quite literally the case during this great annual summer festival, which took place in Swinford, Co. Mayo). Definitely looking forward to next year's festival! Our special thanks to Brid O'Connell, secretary and organiser extraordinaire of the Siamsa Sraide.

Here are a couple of photos taken on that very warm and sunny day in Swinford:

Getting the stall set up in the early morning at the start of a very
enjoyable and successful day.
And a perfect place to set up shop, believe me,
especially considering the creperie next door to our stall! Yum!

A view from one of the three main streets where the Siamsa Sraide was held.
CelticMoon Craft was on the right hand side of this street.

Here's a closer look at some of the new Celtic crosses we've been working on,
including this purple one, with the multi-coloured beadwork embedded on all sides., 

One of my own personal favourites, above,
because of the multi-coloured beadwork inside the cross at the top.

Each cross is unique, but all with that CelticMoon Craft touch.

One of the slightly smaller green, this time.

If any of these catches your fancy and you'd like to buy one (they're always popular at Christmas time, as I know from past Christmas crafts fairs, so they sell out fairly quickly in and around November and December), but you'd like a different colour combination, just e-mail us. We can paint different colours for the main background other than the blue, purple or green ones, as shown here - this is just a sample of what we offer in terms of colour combinations and designs. Do you have a favourite?

Another version of the beaded claddagh design; this one in traditional shades of green.

Special Requests

After the Siamsa Sraide festival, I was asked by a lovely woman who was there that day, who had already purchased a kitchen plaque at the festival earlier, to do a specially commissioned kitchen plaque as a gift for her daughter and son-in-law - 'something different,' as she told me, for their new home and kitchen. 

Here's the finished plaque. What do you think?

Any name - even a special pet name or unusual nickname - can be
specially made to order.

Your kitchen will thank you for bringing a touch of the Irish to it.


The adventure continues...

After all the excitement of the past few months since starting up CelticMoon Craft - both the business itself and the blog - coming up in the next few months will be all the annual Christmas fairs and winter markets that we do every year, beginning in mid-November and continuing on throughout the Christmas shopping season. The Christmas fairs are always a joy to be a part of, and we look forward to them every year. Once we get booking confirmations on the upcoming crafts fairs and winter markets we'll be at, I will post the details here, so watch this space.

I hope your summer has been a good one, and that the weather has been kind to you, wherever you're reading this from. Ireland's weather this summer has been very changeable , sometimes with all four seasons in one week, but with one major and noticeable difference from all summers I can remember: it's been quite humid, alternating between unseasonably warm and very, very wet - even for Ireland. 

As I'm more of a fan of the autumn myself, I'm very much looking forward to the cooler, crisper, light jacket-wearing weather. How about you?

Thanks to all of you for being patient, once again, in waiting for me to get this blog post out to you. I promise to not leave it so long till the next one. Sometimes, though, time just seems to fly by - as did this entire summer it seems! 

Slan go foill, mo chairde.