Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's a Winter Wonderland out there!

Snowy pictures from Dublin, Ireland:

Outside the house first thing this morning

Snowy trees

Mr Miaow Miaow Junior, the outdoors cat, all snuggled in his Kitty Krate with lots of food

And talking of Winter Wonderland's, can I ask you, if you haven't already, to vote for me in Winter Wonderland competition - just click the radio button beside my name, Celine Blacow, and then click VOTE - that's it, simples! - voting ends on Tuesday so get voting now! Thanks to everyone who's already voted for me, cheers!

Winter Wonderland - entry into Winter Wonderland competition

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beautiful Soap Wedding Favours - coming in January 2011

I'm so happy to announce that we will be introducing beautiful soap wedding favours into our range from January 2011. 

These will be handcrafted using wonderfully luxurious goatsmilk & glycerine soap which will include added Sweet Almond Oil which is cold pressed from the kernels of sweet almond fruit and is one of the most popular oils for use in cosmetics. The oil is rich in plant sterols, essential fatty acids and is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2 & B6 which combine to make a highly beneficial oil for use in skin care products. To this, I add an Ecocert skin conditioning agent to further enhance the fantastic skin feel of our luxury soaps.

Glycerine soap has long been used for dry skin conditions as it is a humectant which means it draws moisture into your skin.

We are offering these soaps in a choice of fragrances and colours, to match your wedding theme.  We're more than happy to discuss, with the happy couple, their personal favourite fragrances and colours and produce soapy wedding favours that will not only enhance the whole celebratory day, but will allow your guests to remember your fantastic day by taking home a memento that is not only beautiful, but practical too!

Below are samples of the soaps we'll be introducing from January 2011.

Each soap is €2.50 (approximately £2.10), and weighs approximately 85g.  This price includes a choice of ribbon colour and organza gift bag to match your wedding colour scheme.  The minimum order is for 45 soaps but larger orders can be accommodated - your order must be placed a minimum of 8 weeks prior to the requested delivery date.

Beautiful pure goatsmilk soap presented in luxury organza bags with personalised Wedding Day labels

We can personalise your labels to include the couples names and their wedding date

Close up of soap details - soaps will come in a variety of these three designs

Contact us at if you would like to discuss your requirements and you can check out all our other Soaperstar products at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sheer Luxury Organza Christmas Gift Bags

During the weekend, I uploaded images of our two new Christmas Gift bags - Festive Orange Spice & Christmas Glisten - to the website.  I thought you might like to hear about them. 

They comprise of one luxury handcrafted goatsmilk & glycerine soap, one Sheer Luxury Body Butter and one Sheer Luxury Body Polish sugar scrub, all beautifully presented in a colour co-ordinated organza gift bag with satin ribbon ties.

Festive Orange Spice is a strong, rich dark and spicy orange and cinnamon blend, very cosy and heartwarming. It is a very traditionally Christmassy fragrance blend that works really well for bath and body products; a perfect Wintery scent that will leave your skin beautifully fragranced.

Christmas Glisten is a cosy blend of festive fruits, wine and sweet warm spices. It is a beautiful Christmassy blend, softly spiced with a warm fruity background, that leaves your skin beautifully fragranced.

Product Descriptions (so you know what you're buying!):
Luxury Handcrafted Goatsmilk & Glycerine Soap - with added Shea Butter & our Ecocert skin conditioner, this soap will leave your skin wonderfully clean, soft and beautifully fragranced; coloured using natural mica, this soap softly glistens.

Sheer Luxury Body Polish - a new addition to the Sheer Luxury range, this sugar scrub is crammed full of exotic Macadamia Butter & Coconut Oil along with unrefined golden brown sugar crystals to help remove any dead and dry skin, leaving your skin feeling soft, glowing and beautifully moisturised. This is designed to wash off in the shower after use. Best followed by our Sheer Luxury Body Butter.

Instructions for use: After showering (using your luxury handcrafted soap), scoop out a handful of the scrub and, using circular motions, gently scrub any dry skin from your body. Don't use on the face or any tender areas including broken skin. Suitable for use up to 2 - 3 times a week.

Sheer Luxury Body Butter - with luxury Shea Butter, Coconut Oil & Rice Bran Oil, this whipped body butter is a deeply intensive moisturiser made with 100% of our pure quality oils and butters; you need only a small amount to have the softest skin ever. The butters and oils are specifically chosen for their ability to condition, soften and protect your skin.

Instructions for Use: Apply all over the body (avoiding the facial area) and allow 10 minutes prior to dressing, to allow the product to soak completely into your skin; can also be used a hand/cutical cream. A little goes a long way.

Note: None of these products are designed for use on your face, so please ensure you avoid this area. Do not use on broken skin. Our Body Polish may leave the bottom of your shower/bath slippery so please exercise caution. Avoid getting any water into your body polish jar in use/storage as this can affect the effectiveness of the scrub.  

Minimum Weights/Capacity: Soap 120g, Body Butter 100mls, Body Polish 200mls

You can purchase these fabulous gift bags exclusively online for only €23 (excl. P+P) - just click this Christmassy link!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Berry - Cut Pictures

So, I promised you cut pictures of my first HP soap which I've decided to call Winter Berry.  It's a blend of berry, ginger and cinnamon fragrance - really lovely.  It's coloured with Grape POP mica too (it's more purple than the picture shows).  It's made with Sweet Almond Oil, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and Castor Oil with added silk. 

Winter Berry:

I'd love to hear your comments about this!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I broke my HP cherry... well, my berry really

I had it in my mind to make a cold process soap today.  I worked out a nice recipe with Sweet Almond Oil, Cocoa Butter, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil and Castor Oil (for the bubble factor!).  It was a lovely blend, nicely balanced between hardness, conditioning, bubbles etc etc.  I worked it all out on Soap Calc (for those who read this but don't make soap, Soap Calc is a calculator that helps you work out the correct amounts of oils/butters to use with the correct amount of lye so that you get full saponification - the chemical reaction between the fats and the lye that makes soap ... end of chemistry lesson!). 

Then I thought, I wanted to do something maybe pink or purple and maybe a berry fragrance but it's nearly Christmas so maybe something with a bit of spice too? So I raided my cupboard and found some Forest Fruits fragrance oil and blended this with a Ginger Spice fragrance oil - hubs, as usual, smelt it and agreed it was lovely and thought it rather a masculine blend (I suspect that was more the "out of bottle" fragrance rather than the "in use" fragrance, however). 

So, I got to work .. weighed out my hard oils and melted them, added to my fluid oils.  I decided to use some Titanium Dioxide to make the base soap whiter so mixed a little with some of the oils and added the mix back into my oils.  I weighed out my fragrance blend and added that to the oils too.  I'd made up my lye with my added silk and it was cooling in the sink, coming to the right temperature for me.  I put some Raspberry and Grape POP micas into two seperate cups and put them in front of me so they'd be close at hand when I was ready to go.

I put everything together on the work top and checked my stick blender was working ... and then got to work, pouring the lye water into the oils and stick blending to a light trace.  I mixed a third of this base batter into the pink, and another third into the purple and mixed them both carefully.  Then I did a nice in the pot swirl and poured everything into my new silicone mould.  All jolly fine, I was happy (wish I'd used more colour but I'll know better next time). 

I carried the mould carefully upstairs to the spare bedroom aka the soapy studio and thought, as I was walking downstairs "oh, this'll be really nice with the cocoa butter in it".  And then thought, "hang on, what cocoa butter??".  ARGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, I forget the cocoa butter!!! I never even weighed it out, I just totally forget it!!! Damn!

So what now? Well, as ever, after complaining a lot and feeling very rubbish and moaning at myself, I jumped on the net and asked on my favourite soaping forum "what do I do now?".  The answer was, if it's not fully set, melt the cocoa butter and stick blend it in.  Ugh, I'll lose my swirls.  If it was too hard, I could hot process it.  Now, seeing as I bought a crockpot (or slow cooker, which is the same thing) last weekend I thought, why not.  It's like the God of Soap was telling me to do it, go and try hot process. 

So I went and got the soap, turned the crockpot on and scooped all the soap into the bowl.  Yes I lost the swirls but I was doing something new so that'd make up for them.  So I let the soap cook as I went to melt the cocoa butter.  I also mixed a little extra grape POP mica in a cup with a little extra Sweet Almond Oil and a tinch extra of the Ginger Spice fragrance oil because, when I had mixed everything in the crockpot, it was a rather grey sludge and I wanted to try and keep at least some of the berry effect going. 

So it cooked; I left it for about an hour, stirring a little in between.  I tested the soap for zap about half way through - it's a very good way of learning what zap feels it! Boy, it did zap on me.  I cooked it a while longer and tested again - about 50 minutes in, it was pretty well cooked through, but I left it for another 5 minutes, just in case.  I then took it off the heat and added my purple fragrant oil mix and mixed it fully through the grey sludge of hot soap.  It was a really nice purple colour now and smelt fabulous - like hot spicy jam or something!  With the help of hubs, I glopped it in the mould (there's not much else you can do with HP soap, it's not as fluid as CP, glopping in the only choice really). 

So, here is my first hot process soap sitting in my new Crafters Choice silicone mould (yay no lining!!) .. I'll post cut pictures tomorrow to show you how it worked out.  Oh and I believe you're supposed to put a lid on and weigh it down which helps to compress any air bubbles out and makes for a smoother soap but I didn't have a lid and couldn't find anything to put on top that fit the aperture exactly ... so I didn't!

Hope you like it - more pics tomorrow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Minted Swan

Last Friday, I decided to make a new cold process soap.  I wanted this for some presents and wanted a totally essential oil based soap too.  I also wanted to try out my new Olive Pomace oil that a friend of mine kindly brought back from the UK for me (he was paid in soap, of course!) and I wanted to do some type of swirl pattern in it.  I mostly make glycerine soaps and I love love love doing swirls with them (it's my "thing") so I thought it was high time I tried a cold process swirl too. 

I used a blend of Olive Pomace, Coconut, Palm (from a sustainable source of course) and Castor oils, added pure silk into the lye water and some water based titanium dioxide as I wanted a nice white colour in the swirl too.  I melted the coconut and palm and then added them to my liquid oils.  I mixed up some green liquid colour in a cup, and some green mica in another cup.  Measured out my essential oil blend of Peppermint, Spearmint, Eucalyptus and Rosemary and kept that close by on the work surface. 

I blended the lye water into the oils and stick blended until I reached trace.  However, I was somewhat worried that I needed to keep the batter more fluid to allow me to do an In The Pot (or ITP) swirl.  I poured a third of the batter into the cup with the green colour, a third into the green mica and left a third in my original bowl.  I mixed up both the colours and then poured them, from a height, into the white soap base.. gave one or two turns of the spatula in the bowl and then poured it into the waiting mould.

At the end of the bowl, however, there were some bits that seemed to look a little curdled - like the way your milk goes in tea if it's a little off.  Not all of it, just some.  I was worried then that I hadn't stick blended it sufficiently well to have the lye fully incorporated.  I tried to do a dusting of mica on the top but that didn't work out so well (a little clumpy if truth be told). 

So I left it in the mould and popped it in the fridge (I always do).  I got online and asked the experts on the various forums I'm on about the curdling.  After much whining by me (I'm a little OCD when things go wrong because I have to dissect what happened into tiny little bits so I can fully understand WHY so it won't happen again).  The advice given to me was leave it for a week and see.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that patience is not one of my virtues.. in fact, if I found a store that stocks it, I'd probably still not buy any! The thoughts of leaving it for a full week drove me nuts!

So, I poked and prodded at it the rest of the day (you knew I would didn't you?!) and then left it alone.  Next day I decided I'd take it out of the mould and, at least, it stayed whole.  That's a good thing.  Then, later on, I got all curious again and went and cut it in half! I did a zap test and ZING, ZAP! Eeeekkk the thing nearly electrocuted me! I thought it was a goner.  Went and reported my dead tongue to the forum regulars and they said, again, LEAVE IT ALONE AND STOP MESSSING WITH IT.  Ok, ok.. I'll leave it.. grumble, grumble, grumble.

So, now I decided I hated it anyway cos it obviously hated me and so I left it.  Fine, sit in the corner for all I care.  I hate you now cos you hate me.  Fine.  And so it sat, under a piece of kitchen paper .. lonely, zinging and zapping away.  Even though it hated me, I still thought it smelt pretty good. 

So, I left it.  For a week.  A week is a long time in my head, I forget lots of things in a week.  I forgot the ugly soap.  But, tonight, I remembered.  And I checked on it.  And it had grown into a swan!

I did a zap test, no zing, no zap, I still had a tongue.  I took it downstairs and made my husband (who was quite happily relaxing in his armchair watching TV) get up and look at it, made him do a zap test (yeah, that's love, a man who'll taste your soap to see if it electrocutes him!) and nothing, no zing, no zap.  He did it three times, I did it twice.  I was all excited, it was Christmas come early.  So he cut it for me ... and then I took over cos he made some pretty crooked slices of soap! And I cut it nicely into eight and tidied it up a bit (he'd done something odd when he took the blade away from the soap and it had taken tiny chunks away with it... men!).  And I looked at it.. and it was, indeed, beautiful! What a soap! What a save! My lovely Minted Swan. 

I present her beauty to you:

Soaping tornado!

I hope you like my Minted Swan as much as I do!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter Wonderland Soap Making Competition - Vote for Celine Blacow!

Yay, voting has started for the Winter Wonderland Soap Making Competition! Supported by the competition requested soap makers internationally to produce a handmade soap specially made to represent the theme of Winter Wonderland. 

I did a blog post about my submission late in October - it was an adventure to make the soap itself, a real cold process adventure.  My submission is pictured below:

The colours were chosen with help from the Facebook fans who said blue/white/silver when asked what colour is a Winter Wonderland.  The fragrance is called Artic Air and is described as having top notes of eucalyptus, spearmint, wild rose and dew fresh ferns leading to snow pines, blue jasmine magnolia and white lilies finishing with a base of white musk, balsam and sandalwood.  It's a beautifully fresh and clean fragrance, like taking that first intake of breath on a snowy Winter day. 

Please can I ask you to vote for my soap - just click on, on the right hand side menu bar, choose Celine Blacow and click VOTE! Only one vote per person, please make your vote for me! Voting ends on 30 November.

I would like to note my thanks to Betty Miller from Magic and Anne-Marie from Brambleberry for this wonderful competition. 

Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote .. for me!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soaperstar - Made in Ireland Feature in No. 1 Magazine!

The weather is blowing a gale outside, the rain is lashing against the windows, it's pitch black and yet I'm smiling! Why? Because an envelope dropped through the door this morning with a copy of the November issue of No. 1 magazine who featured Soaperstar's fabulous new Sheer Luxury Lip Butters in their Made in Ireland article. 

It's great to have a mention in nationwide press and have our products listed as one of their "Must Have's".  No. 1 magazine is published in Cork and is billed as Ireland's No. 1 health and beauty magazine. 

If you'd like to purchase our Sheer Luxury Lip Butters or any of our products, please check out our online store at - fabulous new Christmas Gift Bags on sale now!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christmas Gift Bags from Soaperstar

Well, it's exactly 7 weeks to Christmas today! Eeeeekkkkkk.. I hear you scream! Yep, 7 weeks.  Not long at all... but we've put some small gift bags on our site today to help you sort out some of the present buying woes and, the best thing is, you can buy from the comfort of your own armchair!

If you have friends or family living anywhere in the EU, we're more than happy to send their gift directly to them - we can even include a small Christmas gift card with the present (you just need to email me with what you'd like me to write on the card).  Just order via the website, use your friends/family address as the delivery addresss and drop me an email to say it should be sent as a gift and the message you want to send and let me take care of the rest. 

Also, these are the perfect size for gifts for your kids teachers, for stocking fillers, for your work collegues, your girlfriends, your Mum in Law, your Dad or brother.... for everyone in fact!  A perfect size, two luxury goatsmilk & glycerine soaps made in Ireland, at only €10 per gift bag (excluding P+P).

We've put together a great selection (over 10 different combinations to choose from) so you're sure to find one (or more) that suits.  What a great gift - handcrafted luxury goatsmil & glycerine soaps, made in Ireland, all for only €10!

The gift bags you can buy are:

Think Pink Gift Bag
contains one My Sweet Love and one Velvet Heart

My Sweet Love - with added Golden Jojoba Oil, this fragrance is a fresh, floral bouquet with fruity accents reminiscent of sweet raspberries based on a warm wood-musk foundation; coloured with stunning raspberry pink and white swirls - a sheer fruity floral beauty

Velvet Heart - with added Apricot Kernel Oil; this fragrance is a beautifully soft, romantic blend of Red Roses, Sweet Violets and soft White Musk; coloured using natural micas to create the softest, most romantic glistening pinks which play beautifully against the pure white of the goatsmilk soap

Only 6 in stock

Fleur Frais Gift Bag
contains one Lazy Summer Sunday and one Aqua Haven

Lazy Summer Sunday - with added Organic Unrefined Nilotica Shea Butter; this fragrance has a heart of jasmine, orange blossom, lilac & rose, supported by a woody base of cedarwood, patchouli, vanilla & musk; coloured with deep tones of blue and purple natural mica

Aqua Haven - with added Golden Jojoba Oil; this fragrance is a heady mix of marine scents with a soft woody, citrus & sea salt; coloured using a mix of blues, greens, aqua turquoise and white with a sizzle of shimmering mica to represent the crash of sea spray from salt water waves

Only 3 in stock

Symphonie de Jardin Gift Bag
contains one Lavender Champagne and one Rain Shower

Lavender Champagne - with added Apricot Kernel Oil, this fragrance is a blend of uplifting citrusy lemon against a background of calming, soothing French Lavender; subtly coloured to reflect the citrus lavender with a touch of glistening natural mica

Rain Shower - with added Avocado Butter, this fragrance is a fresh aquatic blend of lily of the valley, gardenia, raindrops, mist & clean green countryside; coloured with a blend of soft turquoise with cool green and pure creamy white and a hint of glisten through the use of natural mica

Only 6 in stock

Island Cocktail Gift Bag
contains one Pineapple Beach and one Mango Island

Pineapple Beach - added pure Organic Coconut Oil, this is fragranced with a delicious, fresh, sweet & juicy pineapple scent; coloured using a blend of two different natural glistening micas

Mango Island - with added Mango Butter and fragranced with the sweet exotic tropical fragrance of Mango; coloured with tones of yellow & orange with white goatsmilk swirls and a luxury glisten from the natural mica

Only 6 in stock

Glitterti Gift Bag
contains one Orange Blush and one Good as Gold

Orange Blush - added Apricot Kernel Oil, fragranced with a fresh cologne, blending perfumed bergamot and sweet orange blossom with delicate cottony florals on a base of precious powdery musks; coloured using stunning bronzed swirls created using a blend of orangey bronze coloured natural mica alongside bright orange and white goatsmilk swirls

Good as Gold - with added Golden Jojoba Oil, this is a sweet, floral, nectarine and juicy mandarin complimented by peach and plum on a creamy vanilla base; coloured using a stunning golden natural mica alongside orange and white goatsmilk swirls

Only 4 in stock

Spots & Dots Gift Bag
contains one Oriental Crush and one Hawaiian Blossom

Oriental Crush - with added pure Coconut Oil, fragranced with a blend of zesty lime & mandarin, leading to a base of basil with warm accords of precious woods & amber; coloured with glistening brightly coloured spots of glycerine soap in shades of lime green and mandarin

Hawaiian Blossom - with added Mango Butter, fragranced with the sweet exotic tropical scent of frangipani, a native Hawaiian flower; coloured with tones of yellow glycerine and white goatsmilk soaps, with added natural mica to give a glittery sheen

Only 5 in stock

Blue Moon Gift Bag
Specially designed for the man in your life and contains one Midas Touch and one Mister Blue Genes

Midas Touch - with added Apricot Kernel Oil, fragranced with a lush green woody citrus blend of sandalwood, cedarwood and tobacco leaf and deeply coloured with black and two different types of golden natural mica to give it a gold rush feel

Mister Blue Genes - with added Golden Jojoba Oil, fragranced with a stunning blend of apple and mandarin, within a heart of exotic jasmine and violet, ending on a deep musk base - the fragrance is has fresh notes from the fruit, a mild floral heart followed within a deep musky base; coloured with the deepest blue mica to create lustrous blue swirls mingling with black and white swirls

Only 3 in stock

Gentleman's Club Gift Bag
An alternative gift bag for the man in your life & contains one Indian Rainforest and one Mister Blue Genes

Indian Rainforest - with added Apricot Kernel Oil, deeply fragranced with a wonderful blend of cedarwood, giving a warm woody masculine base, alongside the deep earthy scent of patchouli, a fragrance element used in many commercial aftershaves for men; coloured using two different natural micas, a deep forest green and a lighter green gold, alongside the white goatsmilk - giving an impression of dark deep Indian Rainforest

Mister Blue Genes - with added Golden Jojoba Oil, fragranced with a stunning blend of apple and mandarin, within a heart of exotic jasmine and violet, ending on a deep musk base – the fragrance has fresh notes from the fruit, a mild floral heart followed within a deep musky base; coloured with the deepest blue mica to create lustrous blue swirls mingling with black and white swirls

Only 4 in stock

Champagne Cocktail Gift Bag
contains one Lavender Champagne and one Hawaiian Blossom

Lavender Champagne - with added Apricot Kernel Oil, this fragrance is a blend of uplifting citrusy lemon against a background of calming, soothing French Lavender; subtly coloured to reflect the citrus lavender with a touch of glistening natural mica

Hawaiian Blossom - with added Mango Butter, fragranced with the sweet exotic tropical scent of frangipani, a native Hawaiian flower; coloured with tones of yellow glycerine and white goatsmilk soaps, with added natural mica to give a glittery sheen

Only 1 in stock

Blushing Blossom Gift Bag
contains one Orange Blush and one Hawaiian Blossom

Orange Blush - with added Apricot Kernel Oil, fragranced with a fresh cologne, blending perfumed bergamot and sweet orange blossom with delicate cottony florals on a base of precious powdery musks; coloured using stunning bronzed swirls created using a blend of orangey bronze coloured natural mica alongside bright orange and white goatsmilk swirls

Hawaiian Blossom - with added Mango Butter, fragranced with the sweet exotic tropical scent of frangipani, a native Hawaiian flower; coloured with tones of yellow glycerine and white goatsmilk soaps, with added natural mica to give a glittery sheen

Only 1 in stock

All of these soap duos are presented in a purple glossy paper gift bag and purple quality tissue paper and are only €10 each (excluding P+P) - a total bargain!!!

Check them out at our online store and, once these are gone, they're gone because we need to make way for new designs/fragrances and stock in 2011. 

Keep an eye out for two larger gift bags coming soon - Festive Orange Spice & Christmas Glisten with luxury soaps and matching Sheer Luxury Body Butters and our new Sheer Luxury Body Polish which hasn't even been released yet! Plus we're going to be giving you a special offer on our Sheer Luxury Lip Butters in free gift bags too!!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Happy Pressie Shopping!

Having an online handmade Christmas

I am not a shopper at heart.  I can't stand crowds and queueing up at registers, the hustle and bustle of too many people crammed in one store, desperately trying to get THE Christmas present, you know the one.. that one that makes people think you are the best person in the world! I treat shopping like some commando operation - plan what you want, get in there, get it, get the hell outta there! And then go and have coffee.. maybe cake.

So, given I'm slightly lazy at heart and don't get anywhere near enough time to sit in my very comfy armchair, plus given my already discussed shopping grrrrrrrrrrr's, I decided two things this year ... 1) I'm doing it online baby and 2) It's all going to be handmade.  Well, seriously, how could I not buy handmade seeing as I make my own handmade items. 

So, already I've bought some lovely candles and I'm going to be making a few things myself too for gifts.  I mentioned on Facebook last night that my ever loving hubby had bought me some soap and other wonderfully fragranced items - well he did click the Pay Now button (yep, I make soap, I buy soap... I am an addict).  Then one of my Facebook friends, Claire, said it was a great idea but she wouldn't have a clue where to buy handmade items so I thought... I'll show her! So, here's my first post about some handmade goodies you can buy this Christmas!

Etsy is a huge international website dedicated to handcrafters of all sorts - the majority are American which is fine except the delivery charges can mount up a little when ordering from the other side of the world, plus Irish people may have to pay customs charges.  However, there's a whole Etsy Ireland team and I've decided to feature them today - after all, in this economy, why not buy local.

So, here are my choices for some fabulous handmade Irishmade Christmas gifts:

Kyanite Earrings by AMOR based in Dublin - Kyanite is a shimmery stone with most unusual properties, it is also highly sought after for both healing and meditation purposes as it is considered to be very powerful energetically and metaphysically.

Mother & Daughter Aprons by A Room in The Cottage based in Kildare - I love the idea of these! What a cute gift for someone - I remember helping my Mum to cook years ago and I think it's such a lovely bonding experience to cook with your mother.

Grá Wrapper Paper by Placed - Grá (pronounced graw) means love in Irish; I thought this would a lovely wrapping for gifts for your Irish friends who live abroad

Peacock Clutch Bag from BagNoir from Dublin - oh I adore this! It's a beautifully embroidered peacock feathers on pure dupion silk topped off with an antique gold purse frame

Cupcake Scarf by BeeLicious based in Cork - how cute is this?! For those friends of yours who are cupcake crazy (and who isn't to be fair)

Photographic Print by Paul Beattie based in Coleraine - amazing images in black and white and colour

Christmas Ornament by Rainbow Stained Glass based in Mayo - handmade, stunning

Amazonite Bracelet by Balanced from Dublin - fantastic aqua blue green Amazonite chip beads and dark brown wood rondelles strung onto memory wire to create this beautiful wrap bracelet which fits all sizes - this is on SALE too!

Red Berries Christmas Ornament by AMI Designs in Belfast - this Christmas ornament was made to look like the bright red holly berries and is made from handwrapped cherry red glass pearls on memory wire and secured with red ribbon

These are just some of the fabulous gifts you can find online - I've seen a few I really want to get for myself (yes, the pressies for yourself are just as important!!!)
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