Sunday 21 December 2014

Favourite Things

Published 24/11/2013 | 01:00

Upcycled and bespoke

The next time you pick up a plastic spoon with your takeaway coffee, think about starting a collection – just look what the makers of this wonderful plastic-spoon mirror did with theirs.

For more ideas on reviving unwanted items, simply drop into the Big Upcycle Market at Stillorgan Park Hotel in Dublin tomorrow.

The market brings together more than two dozen Irish firms that have worked their creative magic to upcycle a whiskey barrel into cufflinks, floppy discs into boxes and newspapers into flowers, to mention but a few of the weird and wonderful projects.

Go along and see for yourself. Admission is €3, children free. See theup cyclemovement.com.

Upcycling will also be a feature of the Irish Craft Fair, which runs from 11am to 5.30pm today and tomorrow at Ranelagh Multi-denominational School in Dublin 6.

You'll find everything from handmade jewellery and silk scarves to ceramics, felting, toys, clothes and candles. Product prices start at €5 and admission is free.

See facebook.com/ CreativeCollectiveIreland.

Past Present

Opulent parties, smoky jazz clubs and exquisite style – no wonder jeweller Rita Brennan went back to 1920s Chicago to seek inspiration for her new vintage collection.

The second-generation jeweller spent a summer in the Windy City and was captivated by it and its rich history.

The result is 'Chicago', a sterling-silver marcasite collection that features bracelets, ear-rings, brooches and necklaces with beautiful Art Deco lines.

Prices range from €33 to €585.

See chicagojewellery.ie.

Tripping The Light fantastic

Anything that brings a little light into these dark winter evenings is welcome, but Derry is poised to do something extraordinary as it prepares to end a fantastic year as the UK's City of Culture.

For four days, from November 28 to December 1, the spectacular light festival 'Lumiere' will transform familiar city landmarks into a magical nocturnal landscape. Neon balloon dogs, a fire garden and a dreamworld created by Derry schoolchildren are some of the lightworks in store. See lumiere-festival.com.

The secret life of plants

Did you know that plants have been known to eat meat to survive?

You can always depend on the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin to surprise. And in a guided walk entitled 'Against the Odds', Felicity Gaffney will explain how plants can change and survive in often extremely challenging situations.

Join her tomorrow at 2.30pm to see some examples of the incredible plant adaptations on view in the glasshouses. Then on Thursday at 8pm, the Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner will be speaking at the visitor centre.

It's worth keeping an eye on the Botanic Gardens' calendar because it has some great events coming up, including eco Christmas crafts for children on November 30, and Christmas flower arranging on December 4.

For more information, see botanicgardens.ie.

Global Village

We can't escape the distinctly festive hue that is creeping in. But one thing that is very welcome this year is the trend towards keeping Yuletide local.

So hats off to the Sandycove and Glasthule Traders in Dublin, who have come up with a packed programme to show villages can have global appeal.

The free festivities kick off today with the turning on of the Christmas lights and a winter fashion show.

Music for the masses

Music is good for the soul and the community – and a lot of other things.

So thank heavens for the Musical Youth Foundation, which has been trying to bring a musical education to as many Irish children as possible since 2009.

To celebrate the charity's fourth birthday, The Barley Mob and The Bionic Rats will play at The Button Factory in Dublin this Friday.

Funds are needed to operate the foundation's 10 music education programmes, which benefit more than 100 children.

Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets, €10, from musical youthfoundation.org/store and the usual outlets.

Irish Independent

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