Indigo & Cloth for The Crafted |
living local

Introducing The Crafted

I’m really excited to share that I’m collaborating on a great new project, The Crafted.

Indigo & Cloth for The Crafted |

Created by the brilliant Brian Kenny (founder of Minicorp), The Crafted focuses on crafted products and their makers. Brian, a creator himself, shares my passion for great design and championing Irish craft and creativity.

Indigo & Cloth for The Crafted |

My first contribution was a sweet gig – photographing Indigo & Cloth. Head on over for more pics and Brian’s love-letter to the gorgeous Dublin design store. 

Bull Wall, Dublin |
living local

A Sunday stroll on the Bull Wall

Have you ever walked the Bull Wall? After living in Ringsend for two years, I only started going a little while ago. I couldn’t believe it dates back to 1820! It’s a brilliant place to go to when you need to clear some cobwebs and feel the wind on your face. 

Bull Wall, Dublin |

I love standing there taking in the mad, wild sea on one side and the quiet, calm one on the other.

Bull Wall, Dublin | Bull Wall, Dublin |

Bull Wall, Dublin |

We took Ethan there yesterday. He expected it to look a bit like an actual wall so was initially unimpressed, but the frequent ferocious splashing and abundance of sea debris soon won him over. He left with the taste of the sea on his lips and pockets filled with sandy stones and shells.

All pics processed using the VSCO iOS app.

Youth and Young Manhood |
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Moodboard: Youth & Young Manhood

Can’t stop checking out this brilliant Pinterest board from my friend Eleanor. 

Youth and Young Manhood | The fuzzier the shot, the more it tugs at the heart-strings; it’s like the messy carelessness of the pictures are a metaphor for that time in your life – a time of fun yet angsty summers, listening to the same albums on repeat for hours, fumbling kisses, and, of course, lots of and lots of posing. 

Youth and Young Manhood | Youth and Young Manhood |

Check it out in all its glorious beauty here

Sweet desk accessories |
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Sweet Desk Accessories

It’s usually around September that my stationery fetish goes into overdrive. I don’t know if it’s the new job, working from home more, or just how feckin’ cute these finds are, but I’m feeling a bit of a desk update. 

Above: I love wearing lots of rings, but instantly want to shed them all once I start typing. One (or two or three…) of these porcelain ring cones would come in super handy. From $22, Paper & Clay.

Sweet desk accessories |

Above: I’m not sure I could bring myself to actually post anything off in these dotted envelopes. €5.50 for six, Bl-Ij.
Sweet desk accessories |

Above: The chunky lines and hue of this phone dock make it feel kind of 80s, which contrasts nicely with the sleek lines of an iPhone. $50, Brika

Colouring books for grown-ups |
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My Favourite New Way to Chill: Colouring Books

Colouring books for adults (distinctly different from adult colouring books, just so we’re clear), have become hugely popular in the last year or two – check out how many of the best-selling books on Amazon right now are colouring books for grown-ups. For Christmas, Ben gifted me Lost Ocean, a beautiful “inky adventure” hand-drawn by Scottish illustrator Johanna Brasford, and I’ve become pretty hooked. 

Colouring books for grown-ups |

Continue Reading

Colour crush: Pink and Green |
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Colour Crush: Pink and Green

It’s probably total sacrilege to say this when it’s still January: but doesn’t it feel kind of, well, spring-like out there at times? Maybe that’s why I’ve been pinning this wonderfully fresh colour combo. Pastel pink is going to be popping up a lot this spring, thanks to the “warm, embracing” Rose Quartz, one of two colours that Pantone named as it’s Colour of the Year. The green works best if it’s a lush botanical; cacti, rubber plants, ferns, air plants.  Continue Reading

Links for getting girls into coding
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How to Get More Girls Coding

One of the things I’m becoming more and more fiercely passionate about – and honestly, one of the reasons behind my recent leap  – is my firm belief that the tech industry needs more women. More than ever, more parts of our lives are powered by technology, yet women aren’t equally represented in the companies that create this tech.

Here’s a sobering stat, from this recent brilliant piece by two women working in the industry: While the tech industry is growing exponentially (and boasts some of the highest paying jobs around), women currently only make up 30% of the tech workforce. Rebekah and Shaina go on to say:

“Until we have equal representation from women and minorities in our workforce, the products and digital experiences we design will never be as strong, inclusive, or accessible as they could be.”

These days, I’m as happy to be a tech-loving gadget hoarder as I am to be someone who wears neon pink nail polish and sparkly socks, but it wasn’t always the case. It took me a long time to realise that this is who I was; I was never in any way overtly discouraged – but I just honestly never felt that world was for me and it didn’t occur to me to do science or anything computer-related in college. Very little seemed aimed at me or relevant to my experiences. I would have thought that things would have changed a lot since I was teenager, but some insane stats sadly prove otherwise:

  •  According to Google, fewer  than 1% of girls study Computer Science.
  • The interest is there, but it gets conditioned out. In the US, 74% of girls express interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths in middle school (11- to 13-year-olds) – but by high school, only 0.3% of girls plan to major in Computer Science. 
  • Just 14% of executive positions in tech companies are held by women.

Empowering women to create the technology that will change the world is so important. There needs to be more women’s voices in these conversations. With that in mind, I’m sharing some useful links aimed at helping girls get into coding – maybe you have a little sister who you know would just rock at this; maybe you have a Lego-loving daughter who knows her way around the iPad better than you do; maybe you have a fun and creative younger cousin who will need a website to showcase her work someday. It can be an intimidating space for anyone, and there are a ton of not-so-subtle stereotypes out there preventing young girls and teens from becoming programmers. Luckily, there are also some wonderful encouraging resources too. Here are just a few. 

Links for getting girls into coding

Google’s Made with Code project: “Computer Science can make the world more beautiful, more usable, more safe, more kind, more innovative, more healthy, and more funny, but we need to help more girls find relevant ways to interact with it.” Just pick a project you like the look of, and dive in. Pic above: Google.

Rails Girls: Learn sketching, prototyping and basic programming. They ran free workshops in Dublin and Galway in 2015, so follow them for info on this year’s events.

Scratch: Designed especially for ages 8 to 16, with Scratch you can create interactive, shareable stories, games and animations.

Thimble by Mozilla: Create and publish web pages while learning HTML, CSS and JavaScript with this cool online code editor. The Homework Excuse Generator brought the LOLs.

CoderDojo: An amazing collection of free, volunteer-led programming clubs. I’ve heard they book up super quickly, but there are clubs all over the country. Their video (featuring Sheryl Sandberg, Jessica Alba, and Malala) is pretty inspiring.  Love their Hour of Code concept too. 

Jewelbots: A Kickstarter project, these open-source programmable friendship bracelets help teach girls the basics of coding as a way to do loads of fun things (such as lighting up when you have a message from your BFF or alerting you when your lift is on the way).

Like learning a language, coding needs to be meaningful and motivating, which is why sites and projects that speak directly to girls are so important. 

Links for getting girls into coding

Teaching more girls how to code is not the only answer and certainly doesn’t guarantee more women in leadership and decision-making positions in the tech world. But it’s definitely a good place to start.

Pic above.

Inspiring reads on taking risks |
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Link Love: Taking Risks

“I live just about as much during the day as a trapeze performer does when he is on the bars — it’s catch the right bar at the right minute, or into the net you go” – Willa Cather

Keeping on the theme from earlier in the week, I thought I would share some links to videos and reads about taking risks and getting just a little uncomfortable (in a good way) that I have found inspiring and motivating. Continue Reading

Notes on Transformation |

If I lose myself I lose it all

Transformation is my word of 2016. There are a lot things I want to learn, places I want to go, new ways I want to grow and I want to be open to the transformation that that will bring.

But, of course, I still want to stay myself. 

The last few weeks have been a scary time of growth. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone; I really wanted that. And at times, when I feel overwhelmed and under-skilled in this new role, I forget how well, uncomfortable that feels. How uneasy. It ratchets up my imposter syndrome to the max. It makes me question every single decision.

And then something will happen and I will be able to help, to contribute, to offer something useful. I’ll realise that a) I have learned so much in the past six weeks that I’m actually well equipped to help and b) that years worth of completely different experience helped me get there.

As my new boss reminds me – I was hired for me. They could have hired a specialist in the field. They could have hired someone with tons of experience doing this exact thing. But for very deliberate, specific reasons, I’m the one that’s here. And if I remind myself of that, it empowers me to use my lack of knowledge. To get used to that space where things are unknown.

Surprisingly, it can be a beautiful thing. It frees you up to ask a lot of silly questions. To re-examine things. To not have the weight of legacy systems holding you back. To, as Claire said to me just last week, “revel in the freedom of being able to create your own rules.”

And that comes from both allowing transformation to happen and staying completely and utterly myself. (And yes, that does mean continuing to use Beyonce lyrics as blog post titles.)

Illustration by Amalia Andrade.