I’m just back from a wonderful holiday in Marbella and feel refreshed, relaxed and renewed! That won’t last long We stayed in a beautiful place, a bit off the beaten track and the weather was just amazing. However, one big disappointment for me was the standard of the beaches in the local area. What a let down. Our nearest beach had dirty grey sand, was very grubby and in dire need of some TLC. Thankfully we had 5 pools in our complex so the beach didn’t have to be a factor, but coming from the wilds of Donegal we do like our little bit of sand walking (especially when the sun’s shining, blimey we don’t get much of that in this neck of the woods). Just before I left for my hols I was working on a website for a wonderful place call The Red Door. Now if you want to see spectacular views and beaches, you should go see this place! We did the photography on the hottest day that Inishowen has seen in a long time and the photographer was in a helicopter to do the aerial shots.
People sat outside having Afternoon Tea and glasses of chilled white wine whilst admiring the vast views of the sea and golden beaches. I’m telling you – it beat Marbella hands down! The restaurant is amazing, the accommodation is luxurious and the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. You can tell that I like the place! Anyway, it was a joy to work on and a beautiful place to photograph. Marbella beaches? Naw, give me Inishowen any day of the week.
When I was living in London I remember watching a documentary about a girl who had emigrated to New York, spent 10 years there and then went back to her hometown in Scotland to set up a design studio. It showed her walking along the beach with her dog, splashing about happily and she admitted that she had never imagined she would be fortunate enough to be in this position. A great life and a job she loved. I watched it at a time when I was commuting 2 hours each way morning and night. I had a job that I loved and financially I could do pretty much anything I wanted. But when I watched that documentary I thought “I want to be on that beach, splashing in the waves”. Growing up in a beautiful seaside town in Donegal I didn’t appreciate what I had when I had it. Faraway hills looked greener etc etc. But after over 14 years of living away from it all I realised the time had come to go back.
I’m working on a tourism project at the moment promoting the local area and am fortunate enough to have photographers providing beautiful images for the project. When I look at these photos I realise what an amazing place I live in and how much I missed this when I was away from it. Recession or no recession, Donegal is the place to be! I was on the beach the other day and it suddenly occurred to me that my life is now very similar to that girl in the documentary. Funny how things work out. So I just splashed a bit more in the waves and enjoyed every minute of it.
Photographs courtesy of Danny Bradley (top photo) and David Porter (above) of Buncrana Camera Club.
I really love when I meet a client who knows exactly what they want and they are good at communicating this need. This makes a designer’s job so much easier. Within minutes of meeting Mary Margaret Grant of Westbrook House I knew that she would be great to work with as she has so much experience in the tourism industry and she had a clear idea of what she’s looking for in her website and branding. She also understood that to maximise the beauty of her property and business that customised photography was a must. And boy was it worth it. Mary Margaret and Willie Grant own a very beautiful Georgian house in Buncrana, Inishowen which they run as a 4* B&B. The photos on the site show you the lovely interiors and gardens of the house but to experience their great hospitality though you’ll have to visit it for yourselves. I asked Mary Margaret if I could put a few excerpts from her guest books onto the site but there are so many fantastic comments that it would take me a year to put them on. And well deserved they are too.
Published February 16, 2011
Graphic Design , Photography
One of the wonderful things about working as a designer is the variety. You just don’t know from one week to the next who you will be working for and the type of businesses you will be involved with. I relish that variety as it keeps things fresh but the other positive side of it is that you meet such talented and interesting people. One of these is a woman I met in October last year called Anna Doherty. She has a lot of experience in business and marketing and last year started up another venture called “Anna’s Natural Sauces”. These are exactly as the name suggests, totally natural cooking sauces that are handmade by Anna.
I had the pleasure of working on the branding of Anna’s new business and also designing the labeling for her first 5 sauces. It was a really enjoyable experience as Anna’s visual taste is very similar to mine so we blended well. The photoshoot was art directed by me and shot by Mari of letspose photography in November. Anna’s house is perfect for this type of photography, the colours, lighting and props worked well.
I used pattern and vibrant colours as backgrounds to the labels as it suited the homespun, eclectic effect that I wanted to achieve. I really like the labels and I think the designs and photography will lend themselves well to other medium also. Oh – and one of the best perks of the job – we got to eat the gorgeous food that was cooked on the day of the shoot…..hey, it’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it!!!
I am bowing my head in shame…. :-/
I work with people all the time who I help to develop their social media marketing including setting up their blogs. My mantra to them is “you must update your blog regularly otherwise it will be out of date and a bad reflection on your company”.
And what did I do? I didn’t update my blog for almost 2 months!! Yes folks, practice what you preach is the lesson learnt this month
Anyway. I’ve been up to my eyes with lovely projects for the past few months (not to mention being up to my neck in snow for almost a month) and I have loads to blog about. But today I wanted to mention a great group that I am working for. They are called Donegal Designer Makers and I’ve just set up their website along with their full social media package (which is not yet linked to the site but will be soon).
I really like working with this group as they have great passion for what they do and of course their work is outstanding. Check out the website and I’ll post a few photos from the photoshoot in the next few days – breathtaking pieces. Promise I’ll be back soon xxx!!!
Published September 25, 2010
Graphic Design , Photography
At Ruby Rose Creative we are rather partial to a bit of Christmas festivity but it comes rather early in the design world as all Christmas advertising and designing tends to be done in the summer and early autumn. Whilst everyone else is contemplating moth balling their t-shirts and tentatively checking out last years woolies we are setting up Christmas trees and hanging baubles whilst the sun shines outside (this can be rather cumbersome, trying to make a shiny hot day look like winter, and an Irish winter at that). One of the Christmas projects that I have been involved in is the holiday edition of Irish Quilt & Craft magazine (cover pictured above). It was fun to do and looks really good. When it hits the shelves in the early Winter in the US everyone will be getting into the festive spirit. The one thing that always amazes me is that although I have been involved in doing Christmas projects in July for many, many years, it still doesn’t inspire me to do my Christmas shopping on time…I am a bit of a ‘lets sprint around the shopping centre in the last week and get stressed’ kind of christmas shopper. Oh well, there’s still a few months left, maybe I’ll do it early this year.
Published July 30, 2010
Published May 11, 2010
Craft , Interiors , Photography
I love design, pattern and quilt fabrics. So when Gaye Grant of Irish Quilt and Craft Magazine asked me to come and meet her to discuss elements of her magazine it was like letting a child loose in Hamley’s toy shop. Gaye is an established quilter who runs a very successful business called The Fennel Shed in Buncrana, Co Donegal. A few years ago she was producing a little information newsletter for her quilting contacts, the interest in her quilt projects grew and grew and, hey presto, she ended up editing a fully blown magazine which now is being distributed throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe, the US and Australia….blimey! I am currently involved in doing the styling and art direction of some of the main shots that are being used in the magazine. I have taken on Mari from letspose photography to do the pics and we are doing our second shoot next week. I will post some of the new shots when we do them but these are just a few from the last issue.
Published April 16, 2010