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    What a year it's been!

    Oh  my!  2020 – what a year.  We won’t forget this one for a while.  Here’s some of my thoughts on the year and a great idea for you to make yourself to brighten up Christmas!

    This has certainly been one of the most challenging years of my life – and there  have been a few! We’ve been through illness, loss, redundancy, relocation, financial stress like so many people over the years but this pandemic has a different feel.

    What’s changed for me?

    So I got to thinking about how I had changed through 2020 and I’ve noticed a few significant things.  Maybe you can resonate with these thoughts.

    I notice I’m more appreciative of the little things in life.  A text from my daughters, a phone call with my grandbabies, 40 minutes Zoom contact with some friends, shopping in my local supermarket when its very quiet, talking with my sister in America, a quiet cup of tea in the few minutes when I might be alone in the house – rare these days,  and so many more small things that I hadn’t really noticed before have become super important in my life.

    And my garden – oh how grateful I was for my garden during the spring and summer.  We did great tidying up work and added a few bits and pieces here and there.  Just being able to be outside most of the time was wonderful.  I have to say I’ve found this second lockdown much harder – maybe the time of year and the weather etc.

    Buying Irish! – the only way to go.

    Another really important thing for me is that I now shop almost exclusively in Irish shops – on line obviously! We’ve always been big supporters of Irish businesses ( as you can see from our own business) however it’s become a real priority now to buy Irish and to shop with small Irish businesses. It’s amazing what you can find when you have a good look.  The talent in this country is amazing and the work is high quality and beautiful – so why would we be sending our money overseas?

    Keeping Busy!

    Craft work of all sorts has always been really  important to me and this year has been no exception.  I love to sew and make everything I can - this year it’s been masks for all the family.  I’ve also taken up watercolour painting.  What a joy!

    As I grew up I remember my mum always saying my sister was the ‘artistic’ one  - meaning she was the daughter who could paint a picture! (My sister is my BFF so there’s no hard feelings!)  My mum was always wonderfully proud of my ability to sew, knit and do every other kind of craft but in her eyes art was painting and I was never good at that. 

    However I’ve discovered a little talent for watercolours.  Just a little – it will take a while to develop but I’m loving it.  Being my own worst critic is what I’m best at so we’ll see.  I might share some art pieces with you as we go!

    Christmas is coming

    And with Christmas in mind I’ve been making my Christmas presents – now I can’t tell you what they are because that would spoil the surprise but that will come after Christmas!! It’s been joy and a lot of hard work. Let’s hope they go down well.

    In the meantime I’m making decorations for the shop!  We love The Design Loft to look great every year and this year it’s down to me!  I’ve been making large baubles to hang in the windows.  Here’s a link to the YouTube video I used. It’s really easy and you’ll love it.

    The picture is of my first attempt!

    If you’re not sure where to buy your Styrofoam balls here’s a couple of Irish shops where you can buy these:

     

    I'd love to see how this works out for you - let me know in the comments down below if you give this a try, or if you have any other ideas for decorations I could try! 

    So as we plummet towards Christmas with so much uncertainty remember this too will pass.  We will be together again and we will be able to be out and about.  In the meantime stay home and stay safe and help keep each other safe.

    Keep in touch! :)

    Take care