Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Emerald Isle


                                                                                         Southern Ireland CPaul 2011
They say that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but it seems a shame for us non-Gaelics to only embrace this wonderful culture once every 365 days. Ages ago I was lucky enough to visit this magical country as a student, (friends, backpack and train pass in tow), and more recently again, (no backpack but Mother in Law in tow-- a long story) Once again, I fell in love with the breathtaking landscape, delightful people and fascinating history. Unfortunately with no immediate travels to Ireland on the horizon, but St Patrick's Day fast approaching, I thought I'd celebrate the Emerald Isle with some Irish inspired ideas here at home! 

Ireland in a Jar  

Guinness Chocolate & Bailey's White Chocolate Truffles

Paper and Lace Jewelry


Ireland in a Jar

Your own little bit of Ireland under glass


A few years ago I made these Irish themed terrariums and I thought I'd give them another go. These are fun to make or give as a gift. A bit of green brightens up March days.

You'll Need:
Large clear jar or container
Small pebbles for drainage
Potting soil
Craft or real moss 
Small scale plants- clover if available 
Oven bake clay (not model Magic!)*
Paints- I found the "enamel" acrylics seemed to work better
Any accessories of your choice- small rocks, twigs, miniature bridges, celtic design costume jewelry
neon glow sticks if desired
Printable labels

* When I made these a while back, I formed the little cottages out of model magic which looked cute at the time but the next day due to the moist environment- especially with the lid on, completely melted into a puddle of a marshmallow-like substance! Live and learn- this year I used oven baked clay!
Form the clay into desired objects. I googled Irish cottages images for inspiration- since many are centuries old they are charmingly imperfect so no need to be too exact.
I also made a tiny bridge and base for my celtic cross which I  found on sale in the jewelry section of my craft store. I used a toothpick to add quick details and texture.
Bake according to directions and paint. You can add a thatched roof by hot gluing raffia or moss.
 I then painted a quick wash of brown over the raffia for truer color and added some quick greenery.
Using pebbles and hot glue "build" a stone wall or two- this takes a little patience. Mine repeatedly fell apart once glue cooled so I made extras. 
 I chose lidded jar from the craft store and an inexpensive cookie jar from Walmart

 Place rocks in bottom of jar for drainage, cover with potting soil and moss and add small scale plants. After calling every nursery in a twenty mile radius I found it was too early in the
season to find shamrocks so I may add some later. I added some silk flowers for color
create your Irish landscape with your accessories


 I added glow sticks for a lucky rainbow
create your Irish landscape with accessories
tie on a blessing, place jar  in appropriate sunlight for the plants you've chosen and display or give away


I'm so thrilled this project was featured in


  the lovely Ivy and Elephants What's it Wednesday 

 the delightful Rooted in Thyme Simple & Sweet Fridays

the charming A Delightsome Life  Home and Garden Thursdays
     
and  the fabulous The Cozy Little House's  Tweak it Tuesday

 

Pop over and visit!


Wish I was Here

Don't worry I won't bore anyone with a lengthy slideshow, but here are a few of my favorite pics of some of my favorite places in the emerald isle.
Kylemore Abbey Connemara

local pub: wonderful Irish breakfast but I accidentally ate blood pudding!

Kilronan Castle grounds in classic Irish weather

An Irish Cat
Clouds over Yeats Country

May the Road rise to meet you---
cliffs of Moher


horseback riding Kilarney National Park
 admiring the view
Blarney Castle Grounds
Photos Christina Paul 
(CPaul2011)

Find more pics and St Patrick's ideas and recipes (from myself and others) on my Pinterest boards  the emerald isle and slainte St Patricks day



Guinness Chocolate 

Bailey's White Chocolate Truffles

banner images from Graphics fairy

It's a drink- it's a dessert!

Though beer or stout, admittedly is not my first drink of choice, after visiting the guinness factory in Dublin, I have a new appreciation for the beverage, especially when blended into a dark chocolate truffle confection and dusted with cocoa!
And since one sweet treat is never enough, why not pair it with another classic Irish favorite combined with white chocolate into a Baileys Cream sweet truffle treat.
Slainte'


Guiness bottles through the years, Guinness factory Dublin, Ireland
CPaul2011

There are oodles of Guinness and Baileys recipes from savory fondue and stews to cakes and candies but I adapted the guinness truffles from the guinness storehouse.
and the delectable Bailey's White truffle recipe from group recipes.

Prepare truffle mixtures according to recipes 
*I substituted semi-sweet and white chocolate bagged chips for more expensive bar chocolate and a less pricey Irish Cream for the Baileys but feel free to splurge if desired

 You can top the Guinness truffles with a mini pretzel for a classic pub taste combo and add mini Guinness labels

instead of rolling the white truffles into ball shapes- I poured the truffle mixture into some mini glass coffee cups for a take on Irish coffee and dusted with cocoa


Lace and Paper Jewelry
Considering green is one of my favorite colors, it's surprising I don't have many green items in my wardrobe- An admittedly difficult color to wear, the hue usually seems to make me appear slightly seasick. So when March 17th arrives I have to scramble in my closet for anything emerald, sage, celery or citron. An easy solution: Whimsical "jewelry" with a touch of green, incorporating beautiful celtic patterns, vintage images and lace which Ireland is so famous for. No this won't rival the gorgeous handcrafted jewelry you can find overseas - but it's fun to make or give and the price is right.

You'll Need:
Jewelry findings
  &
for the necklace
Scrap or small section of wide lace trim
Modge Podge
Wax paper
for the brooches
a printable or design 
 (from our printable page or your own- I added my monogram but any saying or design will work)
Diamond Glaze or any liquid crystal finish (several companies make this)
Blank Card or card stock

Lace Choker

There are many wonderful lace jewelry tutorials online. I made this simple one using Modge Podge but thinned white glue or fabric stiffener can be used for similar results.
Trim a small section of lace to create bib for necklace in pleasing pattern
I dyed mine in some green food coloring for 10 minutes for a very subtle green and let dry
if desired weave some thin green ribbon through openings 
I snipped a few cuts along the top border of lace to allow for a slight curve when worn around the neck
I trimmed the ribbon and glued the ends into loops to atatch to choker

Paint both sides with Modge Podge, brushing away clumps or bubbles and allow to dry on wax paper. If desired add some dots of sparkly puffy paint. Dry thoroughly

Paper Brooches

A gift and card in one- give someone the Luck of the Irish to wear.


Print design to desired size and leaving a generous border, glue to cardstock or heavy paper.
Create a "frame" around image with metallic puffy paint and let dry. Despite a fine art degree, I have yet to master puffy painting-Thankfully I could trim the less than perfect border once dry.
Fill in surface area with Diamond Glaze and allow to dry to a clear hard finish, removing any bubbles as they form. As usual, I made a few extra to allow for "oopses"

a vintage image gets a lace accent
Cut out carefully and attach pin back. Pop onto a lapel or pin to decorative card stock if desired.
You could also add small loop and wear as a pendant.

The classic Celtic frames are from Dover Publishing and
the fun vintage image is from the Graphics Fairy


Pennywise Fun Tips

Not into hitting the pubs this March 17th? 
Pop in a fun chick flick featuring shots of fabulous Irish landscapes and a cute love story


For Kids:
 Sneak a few drops of green food coloring wherever you can safely- in the milk carton, their scrambled eggs, water bottles- and blame it on the leprechauns

Have kids design a leprechaun trap out of an old shoe box using a few coins as bait- take the bait but leave a sweet treat in it's place

Wishing Everyone the Luck of the Irish all through the Year!




56 comments:

  1. Hello,

    What a wonderful post.
    Ireland is the first destination
    on my travel list! I would love
    to visit.

    Thanks for sharing your trip
    with us as well as the treats and lace.

    Bear Hugs,
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Carolyn!
      I wish I could travel more-Ireland was such a delightful place to visit-
      Hope you get to cross it off your list soon! :)
      Cheers!

      Delete
  2. Hi Christina--what a fab post, your Ireland in a jar is such a cute idea! Loved all the pics...I've only been to Dublin, would love to visit the Irish countryside some time, it looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Happy Pink Saturday!! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lorraine!
      Thanks so much! That's funny - I wish I had had a bit sidemore time in Dublin but the country was beautiful -even if the weather was a bit uncooperative-
      So glad you liked the jars!
      Thanks for Hosting Pink Saturday! You have the most wonderful followers!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  3. My goodness! I love these ideas. My mom would love Ireland in a jar.
    Thanks for the great ideas, and your photos of Ireland are making me want to go visit.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks so much Jenny!
      So glad you liked the ideas- the jars are fun and easy to make- let me know if you make one for your mom!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  4. Oh! Oh! Oh! I don't know which idea want to attempt first! Everything is just perfection! thanks so much for stopping by Riverside Studios this lovely Pink Saturday. Have a Pink Week.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much LaVerne and so glad you visited!
      Love your site!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  5. Hi Christina, Oh I just loved your post of Ireland and all the steps for the treats and the jar art. Just awesome!! I am half Irish and my grandfather was from Dublin. I have not been to visit yet, but so hope to one day. You have inspired me with your beautiful pics. Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you for stopping by and your new following. I am following here now too.
    Have a great week. Hugs, Celestina Marie

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  6. Thanks so much Celestina Marie!
    So glad you enjoyed the projects and pics!-Do you still have relatives in Dublin? What a wonderful place!
    Thanks also for following Pennywise- and I just love your site!
    Cheers

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  7. Beautiful!! A trip to Ireland is on my bucket list.

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    1. Thanks so much Linda!
      I know my bucket list keeps getting longer and longer :)
      Cheers!

      Delete
  8. Hello Christina,
    You are spoiling us with your fab post! So much to see, to ooh and ahh over! I love your mini terrariums! I think it is such a creative project! They look so lovely! As well as your lace jewelry! Great projects! And your pictures of Ireland are amazing! I have never been. I have been to England 6 times, but not to Ireland or Scotland yet. Hopefully next trip!
    I can hear your love of Ireland in your post!
    Hugs,
    Terri

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    Replies
    1. Hi Terri!
      Wow England 6 times- I'm jealous! I Love all things British too!
      Thanks so much for your kind words! So glad you enjoyed the projects!
      Cheers

      Delete
  9. I love the little scenes in the jars. How precious! I just love mini scenes. :) Turning something into a miniature just makes them so much more intimate.

    toddlindsey.com

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    1. Thanks Lindsey!
      I agree completely - I love creating miniature worlds and vignettes- I guess I never outgrow my dollhouse :)

      Delete
    2. Lovely creations! (via Graphics Fairy)

      Delete
  10. What a wonderful tribute to Ireland. How lucky you've been twice! I love the terrariums- such a fun idea to do for St Paddy's Day. Love all the photos of Ireland, too. Happy Tuesday! Michelle

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Michelle!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and Happy Tuesday!

      Delete
  11. What a fun and informative post! I adore those pictures! I have spent a lot of time in England but have not had the chance for Ireland. I found you on Show and Share Wednesday's!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Chandra!
      Lucky you! I'm so jealous of any one who gets to spend time in England!
      Thanks for visiting from Show and Share!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  12. Dear Christina,
    What a wonderful post!! I love every bit of it. I am glad you did it ahead of time too.
    Ireland is the most lovable, magical and beautiful place with darling, fun people who help to make it a special place.
    Thank you, going to share this post...
    Ruthie from: http://www.ladybstimefortea.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Ruthie!
      I couldn't agree more about Ireland!- So glad you enjoyed the post!- I was worried it was a bit early- but I wanted to include it before the Easter rush LOL-
      So happy you stopped by
      Cheers!

      Delete
  13. I am definitely going to make Ireland in a jar, and some of the other goodies too. As soon as I read your blog title & description I knew I would be a 'follower'! Love your blog.

    The pictures of Ireland are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kathy!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and am thrilled you'll be following!
      Let me know how the jars turn out! I might rework mine as soon as I can find shamrocks :)
      Cheers!

      Delete
  14. Christina, I'll be featuring this wonderful post tomorrow at Simple & Sweet Fridays.

    Jody

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jody!
      Thank You! I'm so delighted! Yours is one of my all time favorite blogs, so to be featured is really a thrill!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  15. I love Ireland in a jar! Well... I love Ireland anyway I can get it! Great post, great pictures ~ *sigh* makes you long for another trip to the ole sod. :))))))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melody!
      I fell the same way about ireland- LOL-
      Thanks so much for stopping by-Hope you get to go back soon!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  16. What a cute project! I love that movie! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Sherry!
      And Thanks for Hosting!

      Delete
  17. Awesome read with lots of info and beautiful pics. I'd like the Ireland in a jar all year round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much-
      and you're right- they definitely are great for all year round- I just usually can't keep plants alive that long-:(

      Delete
  18. Love your terrariums. I've just discovered (and become a little obsessed with) them myself. Had never considered making ornaments, yours look great

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!
      I love terrariums too-I'm trying to learn more about caring for them-
      might try some different themes :)

      Delete
  19. What? This is a completely awesome post! Awesome! That rainbow in the terrarium is something else! Just love it. and the cottages? I've been going to make some fairy gardens but didn't want to put out the money for that "fairy garden stuff" but the little cottage and bridge look easy to do and I have some of that polymer clay, too. I would love to have you link this to What to do Weekends Party. This is the perfect weekend project, I think. Take care, Linda
    http://www.craftsalamode.com/2013/02/what-to-do-weekends-8.html

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  20. Thanks so much Linda!
    So glad you liked the project! I popped over to your lovely blog and linked up (and started following)! I agree some of those fairy accessories can be pricey- I bought the polymer clay (the store brand- much cheaper) at a craft store-and I saw pebbles and glow sticks at my dollar tree. You'll have no problem making the accessories with your creativity! :)
    Not sure if you've seen any earlier posts but you might like the mini garden inhttp://pennywiseblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-secret-garden-tea.html or my popsicle stick elf door inhttp://pennywiseblog.blogspot.com/2012_11_01_archive.html!
    Thanks again! and thanks for hosting What to do weekends!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love your "Ireland in a Jar"! So creative and a wonderful tutorial. Looks like so much fun to do and what a pay off! Really fantastic post. Happy to be a new follower.
    melinda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and thrilled you're a new follower!
      The Jars are easy and lots of fun to make- even for me and I don't have the greenest of thumbs :)
      Cheers!

      Delete
  22. Visiting from Rooted in Thyme, your cloth background caught my eye, I've just started using a cloth on a frame for backgrounds that looks very similar. Then I enjoyed reading all the way back to Valentines. Great projects as well as great pictures. Following your blog now.
    Joy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Joy!
      I'm relatively new at blogging so I've been trying different backgrounds to see what works or doesn't-- Love the framed fabric idea! I'll pop over to your blog! I just draped an inexpensive light burlap for this one- I had a white board but wanted something with some texture for certain photos
      So glad you stopped by and so glad you're following!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  23. Wow, Christina - this is a marvelous idea! Love it. I am part Irish and I have always dreamed of this beautiful landscape - Dad instilled in us children a love for the country and the people. My siblings would love this! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    I will be featuring your post in this week's party,
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kathy!
      How lucky you are to have links to that beautiful country!
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the project and thrilled to be featured in your party!
      Thanks for hosting!
      Cheers!
      Christina


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  25. I am a wee part Irish too my lassie lol I would Love to go to Ireland some day! In my dreams lol After I win the lottery, I will take you along too!

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    1. Thanks Sandy!
      Haha- I'll get my bags packed! :)

      Delete
  26. I just love your ireland in a jar, its amazing! and while Ive never been to the emerald isle, your phots have me wanting to maybe go sometime. Its sooo green and lovely, especailly that photo of yeats country with the cloud hanging low. just beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting!
      So glad you enjoyed the photos!-
      unfortunately most were taken when it was a bit rainy- but it's still a remarkably beautiful place
      Cheers!

      Delete
  27. Hi Christina,
    I love your Irish jars. Very cute ideas and would make wonderful gifts. Your photos of the Irish countryside are just wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing with this wee bit o' Irish gal and Happy St. Patrick's Day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks so much Sandi,
    So glad you enjoyed the post- especially with you being a wee bit Irish :)
    Thanks too for hosting the lovely party- your blog is delightful!
    Cheers
    and a
    Happy St. Patrick's day

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love your pics of Ireland! We were there several years ago and it truly is a magical place. Your jars were charming too! Thanks for following, your newest follower, Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Laura,
      So glad you liked the post- Love your blog and so delighted your following Pennywise!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  30. After 54 comments, I do not want to be repetitive, but I enjoyed the photos and this most thoughtful post, which would have taken me days to finish, if I wrote it! Ireland is a magical place, it seems. Hava a good week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much - :)
      you're so right, Ireland is truly magical-
      So happy to have you visit and glad you enjoyed the pics!
      Cheers!

      Delete

Love to hear your comments and suggestions!