Monday 27 August 2012

Crafty weekend in {Ireland}

I'm not the best when an early start is required, but last Friday was a fun early start. Off for a few days with Lin Brown to take a class with Anna Dabrowska in cork, Ireland. Mark stumbled across Anna's site when we were considering exhibiting at Scraptastic a few months back, and then, a few weeks later, Lin heard about Anna teaching in Ireland, and asked me if I wanted to go. Without thinking I said yes and we booked.

So glad we did. Not only did we get to hop on a few buses and see a bit of the countryside, but we also stayed in a great, nicely priced hotel, and of course did some shopping, and topped it all off with 2 awesome classes with Anna.

Breakfast table
I don't really want to sound like a hotel advert, but I seem to be getting fussy when it comes to hotels, and this one ticked all the boxes and more.

Crazy toilet door...same inside and out!
Crazy toilet decor
Modern, kind of quirky with some fun decor ideas (yes the loos were weird, but fabulous compared to the portaloos as V Festival last weekend!) Comfortable, great, reasonably priced food. So, I can recommend the Cork international airport hotel which is directly across from the airport, and only a 5 min walk across the car park to get to it. There is a shuttle bus service too if your bags are too many to carry.

All checked in and we headed off to Cork to suss out the town centre. Not only did we find a super coffee shop with a huge selection of tea, hot chocolate and coffee. As it was a bit wet and cold out, we opted for the hot choc option, and it was amazing!

Another lovely sight was this display of bottles collaboratively made, painted and displayed, these guys gave me their flyer, but i must have left it in the hotel. They said there was a video on YouTube showing how to make them. It was fantastic to see!

Our taxi driver suggested we take a look at the undercover food market, called the English Market. The fish displays were stunning, and I felt a bit sorry for leaving Mark at home who has been trying to get beautiful fresh fish to smoke for a few weeks, he would have been sorted here. Several amazing fishmongers to choose from. When we were in Weymouth last week, he planned to get some on the last morning to bring back to smoke, but we were told by local fishermen they had been prevented for going out to fish during the Olympics for security reasons, and so all the fish for weymouth at that time was coming in from London!

The next day we took the bus to Kinsale, and it was a beautiful coastal spot. Again, slightly dodgy weather, but it did improve as the day wore on, and the streets were so colourful and fun to explore, plus lots of fab art galleries, so we were happy bunnies.

We had amazing, and not expensive food the whole trip, nothing fancy schmancy, but fresh, well presented and very tasty! Here again in Kinsale we found a tea shop with amazing cake and huge cups of tea.

I think we will both be making trips back with family in the future!

So to the class itself. Lin and I were first to arrive and we immediately were rewarded with a goodie bag for being early! A great start.

Anna launched into class and kept the pace galloping along at breakneck speed, demoing each step and giving us what seemed like half the necessary time to get it all done, somehow, we managed to almost complete each stage by the next demo, and before we knew it the class was over. Here are a couple of the pieces she had on display.

I love how she can do OTT crazy loaded with bellies and colour, or minimalist and a splash of colour. It really is my cup of tea and I took to the process like a duck to water. I was in heaven!

Her style is very unique, but uses all the products you probably have in your stash. In effect she builds a grungy base from 12x12, adds strips of card for texture, then photos, washi tape, and finally flowers or other embellishments. We learned how to develop the structure of the peice with colour, positioning and stamped, embossed images as a resist, and how to place bellies and and add colour to many other elements.

This was my project from the first class, a picture of Miss 18 doing one of her trout pouts -I find this kind of pic on my iPad regularly. Kids eh.

This class was a bit 'flat' in the embellishment department compared to the next one which is mega lumpy.

It was a great intro to colour, sprays and structure of a layout. Not being a scrap booker, I did find the hardest bit was getting the photo in the right place onto the other layers. I never work with photos, but I get why people do!

This second class I used a picture of Ella also practising the Essex faved-by-teens trout pout. Again, found it on the iPad. Do they think I won't check my photo file?

The close ups show you the height involved here. It really was interesting getting everything to stay stuck and of course lots of the elements wer soggy from the spray too.

And here you can see a bit better the detail in some of the edges- punched layered and distressed.

So I'm itching to have a go at more of this concept, I have loads and loads of bellies that will work nicely.

If you get a chance to go to one of Anna's classes you must. If not in Ireland again next weekend, then try scraptastic in Belgium this October or check out her upcoming schedule!



Helen said...

Well done for blogging so soon - it was fun following on twitter but these pics are great and Cork (and Kinsale) look fab places to go. The class projects are stunning.

Anonymous said...

I'm delighted you enjoyed your time in my home country - I'm a Dubliner, but there's no denying it, Cork IS very cool. Love your creations, they make me want to take a class with Anna even more.

Kath Stewart said...

looks like you both had a fab fun your much colour and texture..hugs kath xxx

Scrap Recup said...

I want to do these in France ! Why Tim Holtz and Co or you Leandra, don't come never in your country ! :-(

Kathyk said...

Looks like a glorious time was had by all - love the look of your projects


Tracey-B said...

I have been following Anna for a while now and would love to take one of her classes, I looked at Ireland but was chicken to go alone! Hopefully she'll come to England (how about Essex?) soon. Loved your tweets and the layouts you've done, very jealous...and inspired!

yoursartfully said...

Crikey Missus, you got your blogging skates on fast!!! Great review of a fun, creative and inspirational weekend. Oh, and the company wasn't bad either!!!

L. x

finnella03 said...

Thank you for sharing, hopefully Yours Artfully tells her side of the story too! So will we have spray on PA paints soon?

Inkypinkycraft said...

some amazing inspiration and the pieces you made are amazing!!! must pluck up the courage to try this....may take some time! your pieces are fab!
trace x

Words and Pictures said...

Your pieces look absolutely amazing... I've been admiring Anna's work from afar for awhile, so I'm very envious that you got up close and personal! Can't wait to see what else you come up with - so inspirational! And fab photos of Cork too, btw...
Alison x

Lin said...

looks like you girls had a ball and your work is brilliant!!! lovely vibrant colours but still grungy,,i am soooo envious would have loved to have done this class:( hopefully she will come to the UK soon...i second finnella03 when are we going to see some sprays at PA!!

ipad 3 cover said...

super cute!

finnabair said...

Thank you so much for this amazing weekend together and all the inspiration I got from you :)
I'm honored to read all the kind words:) Thank you so much!