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Perks of the job

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!!!


Practice what you preach

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 My mantra to them is “you must update your blog regularly otherwise it will be out of date and a bad reflection on your company”.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!!!

Painting the town red

I originally come from a scenic little town in the north west of Ireland called Buncrana. After living away for a long time and travelling far & wide my family and I moved back here a few years ago. The town has changed a bit since I last lived here but fundamentally a lot is the same, the heart of the place is still there and thankfully there is a strong community which is why we felt it was the right place to bring up children.

A few months ago I was approached by the Chamber of Commerce in Buncrana to oversee the rebrand of the group and the image of business within the town. If you look at advertising and marketing for small towns it generally is quite bland and doesn’t really sell the place to you. I wanted to create something that showed the town in a fresher and more contemporary way and I also did NOT want to use standard stock photography. I worked alongside the very talented photographers Martha McCulloch and Harry Kerr from The Memory Factory and in August we spent 2 days capturing the retail essence of our little town. It actually was an eye opener because we spotted lots of little details that we had never seen before – it’s amazing when you live somewhere you never actually look at it properly. We drafted in a few models who happily cavorted round and didn’t moan once, even when it rained. I’m so pleased with the results and the images will be incorporated into other materials to get the maximum use out of them.

It’s Christmas already :-) (not really)

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.

It’s all in the (magical) detail

Look, look, look, look, look! Oh bless, have you ever seen such beautiful portraits of brand new babies? You will see this and many more little pieces of beauty at the website of Paula O’Hara Photography. Lots of photographers take shots of minute details but somehow Paula seems to capture an extra bit of magic in her shots, something unique. I wish I had thought of having photos like this done when my little girl was born…how precious to have something like this.

Paula makes everything and everyone in her photos look like they’ve come straight out of a glossy magazine (her background is in design) and isn’t that the reason someone goes to a professional photographer in the first place? They have a secret dream that they will be transformed by the magic of that photographer into something more than they are. An extra touch of glamour. And in these shots, whether they are commercial or personal, she achieves that magical result. When I was getting married I used to browse through Bridal magazines and instead of planning my wedding I would end up drooling over the beautiful photography. And that is how Paula makes these people look in their wedding pictures…like beautiful magazine features…what more could you ask for? Every girls’ dream really!


Summer is well underway in beautiful Inishowen and we are lapping up the long warm days and evenings. I absolutely don’t realise what a beautiful part of the world I live in until the sun appears and then I see it in all its glory. I used to work in busy cities where the summers were exciting and buzzing but nothing on earth beats the magical beauty of the Inishowen waves on a hot day and the chance to share that with your children. I must be getting more spiritual in my old age because the buzz of the city would most definitely have been my preference a few years ago! Anyway, to draw myself out of my reverie – apologies for not posting for a while but it is the usual excuse – not enough hours in the day. I guess maybe that’s a good sign in these times of recession. Mari and I did the latest photoshoot for Irish Quilt & Craft magazine a few weeks ago and it has now gone on the shelves of all good bookstores in Ireland, UK, US, Australia and NZ! I will post some pics of the spreads shortly. Also we will soon be doing a shoot with another great client of mine which is the fabulous chic-hens (divine hen houses and custom built loveliness). The thing I love about these clients is that they are up for trying out new ideas and taking a chance. How refreshing to work with people like that.

Anyway….boy I am on a bit of a ramble today…I found the most gorgeous online Dutch store called nooosugar – not sure of the reason for the name but its a good one. Everything is designed by Anja Bas Backer and her partner and then hand produced in Morocco. The colours are beautiful and everything looks like a little piece of treasure. I would LOVE to get some of the cushions for my conservatory which I am currently designing/decorating. These colours would knock anybody’s socks off and the leather stools are just gorgeous. Perfect things for a chill out space. One problem though, no time to chill out, mmm will have to work on that one!

Dream Job

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.

Welcome Dear Reader!

This is the blog of Ruby Rose Creative Services. As the name suggests we provide numerous creative services ranging from Web and Graphic Design to hand crafted and custom designed artwork. Check out our website at