Whether you have lots of time on your hands and really want to make an impression or there’s one extra special person you want to spoil rotten, here are some eye-catching ideas for gift wrapping this season.


Make your own paper

Sheet music, newspaper, maps, even fabric can be photocopied and made into unique custome wrapping paper and finished with a twist.


Layer and silhouette

Gifts are wrapped with layers of contrasting tissue paper, a love-heart or pine tree profile is cut out of the upper layer and folded back to reveal the colour beneath.


Colour code

Why not use a different colour for each member of the family? Then there’s no need for gift tags and there’s an added element of fun for each person picking their gifts from under the tree!



Another clever alternative to traditional gift tags, use your recipient’s initial to mark their gifts. Letters can be bought from most craft shops or printed and cut out from card.



So cute against contrasting paper, either use the doilies as they are, or dye them by dipping in diluted food colouring. Lightly glue them to the outside of the wrapped gift and secure with twine.


Think outside the box…

Use your imagination, and whatever you can find around the house! Spruce up brown paper with ribbon and twine, wrap with contrasting left-over wool, use buttons and cut-outs to decorate. The sky’s the limit!


When times are a little difficult, or when you’re being threatened by a global apocalypse (as foretold by a Mayan calendar) you tend to look back to when things were simpler, easier, more charming and carefree.


Nostalgia is so hot right now… Sales of gardening and DIY equipment are up, everyone who’s anyone with a patch of ground is putting in raised beds and veggies. Ladies in the know (and a few enlightened gentlemen) are learning how to knit and sew. We’re harking back to a ‘make do and mend’ attitude connected to war-time rationing and saving of buttons and string that most of us, let’s face it, never went through in the first place.


But there is something so comforting and familiar about nostalgia. So get those rose-coloured glasses firmly on and remember that Christmas when you got a Wendy House (best ever!!!), a Rubik’s cube or a Lolo Ball. Sit back in a comfy chair by the fire with your knitting and enjoy a Babycham. Let the old times roll!



Kilkenny Design Centre hosts an art exhibition with a difference this autumn. Warm textures, bright colours and delicious imagery combine to create Bright Harvest – a witty celebration of nature and food in Kilkenny. Local artists have created pieces especially for this show which launches on Thursday, 25th October at 11am, tying in with the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival.

Mary Morahan from Mooncoin has been felting for the last two years, since she learned from Helena, a worker with the Camphill Community. Mary starts with sheep’s wool, which she cards herself, then layers, rolls and felts to create her own canvas. She then takes coloured wool and adds it to the canvas with a felting needle, creating a picture entirely from her imagination. “The big felted pieces take up to six weeks and small ones can go quickly. I love it.”


Facilitated by Julia Cooke and Cathy Dineen, The Umbrella Group is made up of several different art groups from the Kilkenny Mental Health Services.  The artists recycle fabrics and materials that have been abandoned and discarded, making them into something new through the processes of dying, cutting and crochet. Old jumpers, hospital blankets, wool and fabric strips – once seen as having no value or relevance – are all transformed into something vibrant and humorous.


All profits from the exhibition will go directly to the artists and the Mother of Fair Love School.

pumpkin-competition… and win from a selection of delicious Hampers.

Throughout this weekend (as part of the Savour Kilkenny Festival), we will have a pumpkin on display at the Kilkenny Design Foodhall.
To enter the competition simply drop by and fill out the entry ticketincluding your pumpkin weight guess and your contact details, easy!

What you can win…..

Teatime Hamper, chosen from our Harvest Hamper range

Teatime Hamper ?16.95
Bakers Delight ?24.50
Jam Stack (3) ?9.95
The Chocoholic Hamper ?12.95
Chutney Stack ?9.95
Chutney Bowl ?9.95

Good Luck!

The First Communion and Confirmation season has started again across the country. This is a big occasion for families with children receiving these sacraments. The spiritual preparations coupled with preparing the family celebration can make this a busy time.

If you are thinking of having a gathering of friends and family at home you can take the pressure off having to prepare all the food yourself.

Mothers-Day-KilkennyMothers Day as we see it, is the ?official? day of the year when our mammys