Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A few days in Ireland

Very, very, very early on Friday morning Leandra and I left Stansted airport, heading over to Cork, Ireland for a few days. The weather forecast wasn't that great and we went prepared with brollies but really under estimated how chilly and wet it would be on our arrival. Did we let a small detail like the weather spoil our weekend???? Of course not, we are definitely resourceful girls!!! So, after purchasing a new coat, I was all set to explore the beautiful city of Cork. It really is lovely there and I'm sure it would have been even more stunning had the sun been shining but it has left a big enough impression on me to want to return soon with my lovely hubby Mark.

We found an amazing little tea room, which kind of doubled up as a little antique shop, where we had the world's best hot chocolate. Leandra sampled the Amaretto and I had the white chocolate. We were of course just expecting a mug but look at what we got....this jug held three cup fulls and I hate to admit that we both managed to drink all of it.....it really was delicious!

There are lots of tiny little streets to explore in Cork with loads of fabulous little shops, bars and restaurants. We stumbled across this amazing display of flowers called Plasticum Botanicus which were all made from plastic bottles and then spray painted.

After a long day of travelling, sight seeing and shopping we were feeling in need of a little drinky poo and something to eat and found a great bar playing fabulous Irish music, we loved it, they even had a small boy do a stint if Irish dancing!! So after a couple of drinks and me spilling the remains of a vodka and coke over Leandra, we head back to our hotel which in itself was a fun experience. The hotel was right at the airport and we decided to stay there as it was where the classes were to be held. I am so glad we did stay there, it's a fab hotel themed around aircraft. You could have your breakfast in an aeroplane cabin

or there was a small cinema with first class seats for you to sit in whilst watching a film, sadly my photo of this is rubbish but I'm sure you get my drift.

Day two we headed out to Kinsale, another very picturesque town with wonderful shops, restaurants and art galleries. I really fell in love with more than one painting in an art gallery and could easily have come home with a couple of them.....sadly, a bit out of my price range but they will be etched into my memory for a long time!

Such a beautiful place......

After walking what felt like a marathon and climbing a mountain (it was a bit hilly in Kinsale) another cuppa was definitely required and we found another gem of a tea room that had only been open for a week. I wish I could remember the name of the tea room but if you are in Kinsale, it is located on Main Street. They served the best homemade cakes along with giant cups of tea....perfect for weary tourists!

Even if you are not hungry and thirsty, you have to go here and buy a drink, just so that you can use their bathroom. Now obviously, I didn't take a picture of said bathroom, kind of wish I had, it was amazing!!! So beautifully and tastefully decorated, I loved it!

Sunday morning finally arrived and I was beyond excited about taking a class with Anna Dabrowska who is also known as Finnabair or Finn for short. I have admired her work for the past six months or so and really couldn't miss the opportunity to take a class with her. She is uber talented with such a unique style and yet every piece she creates is different from the previous one. Each piece simply captivates you, you can't stop looking at all the layers and detail of her work........just amazing!!!

This is the piece that she was working on during our class for her demonstrations.

This is my creation from our morning class. I'm not used to working with photographs in my work, so this was quite a different exercise for me. I used a shot of a small antique store in Venice which I absolutely fell in love with.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of embellishments loaded onto the piece, in Finn's eyes, the more....the better!!!

This is close up shot of the far left corner.

I had thoroughly enjoyed the morning class but my, oh my!!!! the second class was out of this world. It was really fast paced but WOW doesn't come close to describing this.

There is a ton of metal embellishments, Prima flowers, buttons, chipboard, paper....you name it and it's on there. All in place and glued down before colouring. We used dry pigments that were then saturated with water to disperse them as well as mica sprays to colour our artwork. I found a jar of burgundy dry pigments and thought that I would use burgundy and gold. I was thinking that it would be warm and rich. You can imagine the near heart failure moment I had when I sprayed the pigments with water and they turned fuchsia pink!!!! I had loved my piece so much and now it was PINK!!!! Having taken a deep breath, I added some navy blue.....another idiot moment.....now I've got PURPLE!!! My worst nightmare......PINK & PURPLE together!!! After much drying and spraying of black, it started to calm down but by then I had run out of time. I purchased an orange, olive green and turquoise paint from the lovely Rosary at Cork Art Supplies (the host for this event) and took them back to the hotel room. Did a little bit of painting to hide some of the pink and started to like it again. I had it in my head that I would tone it down when I got home with some Treasure Gold rub on stuff but actually, all I did when I got home was wet the pink again and lifted some of it off and added a little bit of green and blue, I left the rest as it was....after all, this is my class sample and I can make many more if I want to. After sleeping on it and looking at it this morning, I think I love it after all!!

If you haven't seen Finn's work, you should really pop on over to her blog, I promised you that you will be inspired and amazed by her work.


snazzyoriginal said...

Wonderful pieces, I find her method of doing all the fixing then all the colouring afterwards sooo scary, but you have just illustrated that it's not the end of the world if you get the shades wrong, you just add another colouruntil you like it better! Wish I could have gone on these fabulous workshops and made such amazing artwork. Thanks for sharing xx

Sarah Dunkley said...

Beautiful! Love it! X

Kathyk said...

Glorious projects - you must have had an absolute ball!


CraftyLoops said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. It looks like you had a wonderful time in my wee country, lol. Well, Im way up North and its a 7hr drive to Cork....but still, lol. It looks like you had a fabulous time and your piece of artwork is stunning. Lee x

ellen vargo said...

What an amazing trip! Ireland AND Anna?! Perfection! I think I would've had heart failure with your "pink and purple" moment - but you definitely managed to rescue it - looks amazing! Jack and I want to visit Ireland one day - you've just given us one more reason... thanks!

Ellen xxx

Helen said...

The class sounds even more amazing reading about it in more than 140 characters!! I love your project even before you "rescued" it... Great photos.

Rainbow Lady said...

Well sorry Lin but I would have loved all the pink and purple... as Leandra will tell you lol . It looks a fabulous piece of artwork though... superb. Glad you had a good time xx Ireland is great x

Scrapthat said...

Oh MY! Look at all those lovely layers of colors you achieved...all because your piece turned pink...and then purple! I dare say if you had meant to do that it probably never would have come out that way! LOL I love it it's AWESOME!

Lottie said...

Utterly stunning - love all the textures and layers

Kathy Eddy said...

Would love to take this class. What beautiful work!

Lin said...

oh lin you did make me giggle with the pink and the purple i can just imagine...you girls must have had an absolute ball!!! your first piece is so Lin but different..if you know what i mean and the second one is well...absolutely gorgeous !! love love love and more you clever girl!!!

Linda Cain said...

Gorgeous gorgeous work...would give my right arm, well maybe I should give a leg, to take a class with Anna! She is brilliant!!!


annemarks said...

I'm super envious of you, the workshop looks and sounds incredible. Your work is wonderful - Anne :)

Linda Cain said...

I just had to come back and drool a little bit more...simply at a loss for words...love it all!


Daniele said...

wow what fabbie pages now thats what I call scrapbooking done to perfection, off to have a peek at hher blog
hugs and best wishes

TAM said...

Simply amazing pieces of work - sounds like you and Leandra had great fun

finnella03 said...

Love it Lin, please will you bring them to the next class you do so we can see them in the flesh as they look stunning on the screen. Guess with all that metal work they looked strange on the airport x-ray machine!


The Crafty Chick said...

Oh the second sample looks completely different, you have got so many more colours showing up. I love it too!! Glad you found out about the class, it's deffo a 2012 highlight for me! thanks for asking me to come!
Leandra xx

Brenda Brown said...

OMG these look just amazing. What stunning pieces Lin. I hope to see them irl one day.glad you both had such a fabulous time.
Hugs Brenda xox

butterfly said...

Glorious piece of work... I can completely understand your pink panic, but what you've ended up with actually has such a gorgeous depth of colour variation that perhaps it was a blessing in disguise! Finn's work is amazing... but makes for expensive layouts, I would think!!
Alison x

Scropine28 said...

I love the Finnabair's scrap, What a wonderful occasion to do a class with her !
C'est très beau, j'adore.