We hope this post gives you lots of gift ideas for your loved ones, and maybe a little treat for yourself too. We both live in Belfast, Northern Ireland and have focused on Irish products and businesses that we believe make good quality gifts. There are so many amazing artists, craftspersons and businesses out there it was really hard to pick our favourites but here is the first instalment. Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below or let us know via MÁTHAIR Instagram or Facebook.
Christmas is coming and we're getting all excited!
Love Cheryl & Lyndsey
So27skincare is a local skincare brand from Derry that formulates and manufactures high end skincare products without a high end price tag. These beautifully blended products use only the highest quality, ethically sourced, natural and organic ingredients to create skincare results to improve the appearance, texture and condition of the user's skin. The company believes in complete transparency and excludes parabens and known carcinogenic ingredients from its formulations. The owner and botanical alchemist (I'm calling her that because I think her range is so wonderful) Deborah Lamberton is also a mother and we hope to feature her in more detail on Máthair very soon.
Note from Lyndsey: I can highly recommend the Rewind Cleanser, it's made from Apricot, Safflower and Hemp Seed Oil. I've used it for the last 3 months and it's the best cleanser I've found, doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped of all it's goodness, very moisturising and it's £16.50 for 100ml - worth every penny. Plus, it comes in a beautiful glass bottle that is easily recycled and looks beautifully sitting in my bathroom. I can't wait to try more products from So27.
Picasso’s Penthouse Tattoo and Art Studio
Marty Rice is an artist and tattooist based in Belfast. Marty was originally a graffiti artist and this stylistic trait is still evident in his work. Graduating from Belfast Art College with a BA/HONS in fine art and painting, Marty’s work took a change of direction and mainly featured children captured in a candid way, focussing on moments from everyday life.
Note from Cheryl: I received an original painting from Marty, which was purchased as a commission and this is one of the reasons, I’m choosing him as one of my local artists. Marty’s style is perfectly suited to reflect the way in which a child lives with no responsibilities, worries or stress. He uses a union of vivid colour to compliment his own unique style. Marty’s work also reflects children’s dreams and nightmares, painting forgotten moments from a child’s perspective.
His current work is large almost cubism style, local landscapes created in his own individual style. Marty’s paintings range from the surreal and unsettling to quirky and funny. Marty is without a doubt an artist worth checking out.
All prints are £55 framed & signed limited edition, and an extra £5 for postage.
Payments via PayPal can be made to email@example.com
To find out more about Marty’s Art you can contact him:
I S L E
ISLE was established by two Northern Irish sisters: One sister living in Tokyo London [Geraldine] One sister living in Belfast [Helen]
The themes within the collections reflect their surroundings in Ireland - a country that is famous for its natural beauty and tradition of storytelling. The pared-back, simple aesthetic has been influenced by time spent in Japan - a country with a deep appreciation of simplicity within design and a respect for quality materials and craftsmanship. Each piece is handmade and beautifully presented in high quality gift packaging.
Note from Lyndsey - ISLE jewellery would make a very special gift this Christmas, I have a few pieces on my wish list. The craftsmanship involved in making this jewellery is impeccable, they will last a lifetime and more. ISLE jewellery will become heirlooms, beautiful objects to pass onto your children.
Emily Frances Art
Emily Frances is a local artist and designer who creates custom pixie hats, amigurumi and hand painted decorations using oils on wood. Emily’s beautiful crafts are made to order, and her paintings are one of a kind. Her art is inspired by nature and Irish folklore.
Note from Cheryl: I have chosen Emily as one of my shop local artists as I recently commissioned this talented lady three pixie hats and was blown away by the quality and professionalism produced by her. Even though she is just beginning her artists journey, Emily’s handmade eclectic range stands out from the crowd. Whether it’s a beautifully hand painted wooden decoration or a magical pixie hat, Emily really takes the time to listen to her customers wishes and her standard of work is second to none. So, if you’re looking for something that little bit different and you are a fan of Folklore, Emily has a lovely range of enchanting pieces to choose from.
For more information on products and prices please contact Emily on the Instagram link below:
Belfast based designer Deborah Toner has a background in Architecture. She uses her architectural drawing skills to create beautiful embroidered pieces for the home. All machine stitched on locally woven Irish Linen.
Originally inspired by buildings and landmarks of Belfast, Deborah began to draw a range of images, which she then machine embroidered to form her first collection. A Belfast Skyline, the City Hall, the Albert Clock, Samson and Goliath - the iconic twin gantry cranes of the shipyards are just a few of the subjects adorning a range of gift and homeware products.
Moving a little further afield Deborah began to draw Scrabo Tower, the Giant's Causeway and Dundrum Bay to name a few.
Deborah's work has expanded further to now include other cities. In the midst of all the drawing and stitching she also finds the time to offer a bespoke Architectural Embroidery service. She has embroidered maps and cityscapes from all around the world as well as individual houses and streetscapes for her growing customer base.
Note from Lyndsey: Locally made Irish Linen pieces, woven, dyed and finished here in Northern Ireland. All pieces are made to order with your choice of linen and thread colour from the website. Deborah makes beautiful products that make unique gifts, trust me if you give someone one of her pieces you'll be in the good books for a very long time!
Note from Lyndsey - 'Envelope yourself in one of our handwoven blankets or drape a throw over your bed or sofa', Mourne Textiles has a rich history that you can read all about on their website. They've worked with amazing designers like Sybil Connolly, the renowned fashion designer from Dublin. They make hand woven objects to be coveted, stunning design coupled with impeccable craftsmanship. I've recently purchased a baby blanket for my little one who should be arriving any day now, I can't wait to wrap them up in the 'wild' spun merino wool from Donegal. I intend to keep this blanket and pass it onto my children, it's a family investment, a beautiful one at that.
Jemma Millen Ceramics
Jemma is a hand building ceramicist who graduated with a First class honours degree in Fine & Applied Arts from the University of Ulster, Belfast. Her studio is based in Crumlin, Co. Antrim. Creating ceramics influenced by her natural surroundings and events in her life, she applies traditional hand building techniques to craft unique, sculptural forms using clay. Jemma’s work has been chosen to take part in the 137th Royal Ulster Academy of Arts annual exhibition. The exhibition will run from the 19th October 2018 to 6th January 2019, and will take place in the Ulster Museum
Note from Cheryl: Jemma’s decorations are all made from Ming Porcelain and fired to 1300ºC, this makes the porcelain beautifully translucent, Christmas Tree lights enchantedly glow through them. I have chosen Jemma as one of my local artists due to having been an avid fan of her pieces for a few years. In the past I have shopped at Space Craft and Jemma’s art has always caught my eye resulting in lovely unique gifts for friends and family.
To purchase Jemma's work at:
Or in Belfast at Space CRAFT, A7 Fountain Centre, College Street, BT1 6ET facebook.com/spacecraftNI
That's it for now, we'll be sharing more of our favourite local gift ideas with you later in the week xxx