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Monthly Archives: November 2012

I am totally & utterly excited about the old tradition (which is now in vogue)  of Revamping/Upcycling items of clothing instead of buying brand new items. It brings us back to the era where people would turn something old and much loved into something new. Atelier is the french word for work-shop and Ireland is bursting with amazing such Atelier’s where again creative and inspiring people can bring an age old craft back to the 21st century.

I am living in Greystones, Co Wicklow, Ireland and I am spoilt for choice for the amount of stores that cater for upcycling and tailoring your new vision for your clothing item or to better phrase it….. COUTURE!! One such establishment is The Goddess Room  an absolutely amazing place where your thoughts can be brought to life. A must see if you want something vintage or just want something altered to become a new piece! ‘Our design and couture skills are put at your disposal together with magnificent laces and hand beaded and decorated fabrics and  garments from some of the richest periods in history.’

The Garden of Unicorn  – Creative Style with a Conscience! An amazing thoughtfulness to clothing and fabrics, ‘Unicorn garments are made from natural materials only and are always lined with silk or fine organic cotton batiste.  All cotton used is certified organic (GOTS certification) and the collection is made to the highest standards in small family run ateliers in Ireland and Poland’

Sophie Rieu founded Unicorn Design in May 2003 and her Unicorn designerwear label in 2005.  Originally from France, she works from her studio and boutique: the Garden of Unicorn in Greystones, offering a made to measure service and retailing her own collections. Sophie also prides prides herself on attention to detail and on the consistency of her strong ethical policies. 

Another way you can have it all and look your best but still caring about the world in which we live!


It is beginning to look a lot like a Claire Lewis Christmas….

This year I am getting married on New Years Eve, so I started the ball rolling in my family to cut out the stressful gift buying for lots and lots of people, sticking to a budget and buying just for the kids! I used to get in a flap about gift buying and I noticed so many of those I bought for used to not use the gift anyway – so a pointless exercise both financially and environmentally. I would prefer to cook them a nice meal or spend some time with them or even a give them a big hug 🙂

In the process I have suggested the following ideas to focus on what Christmas is ‘really’ about: Spending quality time with friends and family sharing good times and good food and savouring the buzz and excitement in the air.

  • I have picked out a charity and have put a pot labelled Christmas Charity Fund in aid of  –The Simon Community, a charity for the homeless. Any funds collected here will be donated to this charity. It may be a small seemingly insignificant amount but every penny helps a charity.
  • I have also suggested a family day out either a trip to the woods bringing mince pies and a flask of mulled wine for the adults and some hot chocolate for the kids. You can also do the most amazing festive treasure hunt – kids will remember this day out better than any amount of gifts they receive as time and excitement is so much more memorable than material items.
  • For gifts at Christmas why not suggest each person writes up a Wish List containing a wide variety of items the person needs rather than a gift they don’t need and will never use.
  • Home made Cards are a favourite in my home and they mean so much more as thought and effort is given in abundance. Here is a great blog I found to give you some inspiration.
  • Making gifts such as sweet or savoury favourites is a great idea and Nigella Lawson is always hot at Christmas!
  • Giving the gift of BOOKS goes further than just the festive season. For young and old books can bring people away to another place and lift their spirits. Books for kids are a must at Christmas they really are a wonderful gift – your local book store is not just a place stacked full of books but the smell and atmosphere is something special.
  • A log fire, a wool blanket and Christmas music
  • A walk in the city soaking up the atmosphere
  • The simple pleasure of wishing someone the gift of a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR, my wishes for you all!

I love entertaining and yes I do have a collection of paper napkins for quick and easy use – truth be told I hate using them, but when I pull out my beautiful cloth napkins I am instantly smiling. I can revert back to a particular meal by the napkins I was using. I must admit I am a sucker for detail but I just love a beautiful cloth napkin.

Just think of the prospects if we all reverted back to using the cloth superior!!?? Lots of environmental benefits and the cloth kind are far more useful.

Here is a fun blog that teaches you how to make a cloth napkin in 5 different ways, Chez Beeper Bebe.