Winter Wreath-Making...

Ryan and I spent a blissful day last week foraging in the woods near our home for beautiful natural elements to incorporate in to our Winter wreath designs... it was such a beautiful, crisp and clear day, it really blew the cobwebs away and you could see how much was still growing vigorously in this mild weather we've been enjoying! There's nothing like being outside amongst things that are growing to make me feel grateful, grounded, and festive. Ryan beautifully captured the gorgeous day we got for it and looking at these shots makes me so happy - I had such a good time...

We piled our spoils in to the car, along with a few bits I had bought for the job from the wholesaler, and took them up to our studio where we set about crafting our wreaths. Such a simple and beautiful way to celebrate the season, focus on what matters (family, creativity, growth, nature, happiness!) and let the things you've foraged inform your designs... I really like to let the branches, twigs, seed pods speak for themselves in the most part... it seems only right sometimes to bring the outdoors in, in a minimally tamed and contrived way. We had a lovely time creating these wreaths, and we hope you enjoy this little insight in to our day, well spent.

This will be our final post of 2015, and we are sending our warmest festive wishes out to all our friends, colleagues and followers and want to say thank you for your support this year. We hope you all have your halls decked, mulled wine simmering and gifts wrapped, and spend these last few days of the year reflecting on what's been, and what will be coming next... I know we will be!

Merry Christmas, and lots of love from us!

Abigail & Ryan 

p.s. We are delighted to announce that these stunning wreaths will be available from petal studio this year!



NEW YORK - Skinny Skinny Urban Garden...

We stumbled across the delightful flagship store of all-natural Organic Skin and Body Care brand, Skinny Skinny, after busing it to Williamsburg for the artists & fleas market... we were walking around and enjoying all the gorgeous stores and galleries, and wandered in to this beautiful space which is part plant & urban garden store, and part apothecary, stocked with the Skinny Skinny own-brand line of gorgeous skin care products. 

I was missing our two pooches terribly (and was accosting dogs all over Brooklyn to ease my withdrawals), so was incredibly excited to see a beautiful resident pup, who belongs to the owner and Skinny Skinny founder, Clara! 

In addition to shooting the gorgeous store, I got my snuggle fix with Clara's beautiful dog, Haley, so I was one happy lady. I absolutely loved the mix of plants, planters, interesting ceramics, gorgeous terrariums and skin care goods at the Urban Garden store, and it really lived up to the tag-line "where art and nature blend seamlessly".

As a little bit of background about Clara, and her Skinny Skinny brand, which was founded over a decade ago:

"With a strong artistic and academic background, Clara immediately took to the craft of blending chemistry with nature. She combined Ayurvedic practices with her training as an esthetician, and and her experience as an aromatherapist ensured a high standard for complex scent blends. Initially fuelled by a serious lack of truly effective skincare products, Clara experimented with a variety of ingredients, perfecting her recipes over time."

Clara has an incredibly impressive stockist list, so make sure to check if there's a store near you that carries her gorgeous line. 

One of the things we loved most about Brooklyn was stumbling across all these independent, unique, and niche stores that were really thriving and totally nailing it on all levels! It was an exciting and invigorating experience, and one that made us feel truly motivated about returning home to Northern Ireland and connecting even more with other small businesses and brands, and by helping them along with our styling and photography services, hopefully capture some of that buzz, success and excitement that we felt in New York and Brooklyn and bring some of it to our home shores.

Make sure to stop by Skinny Skinny Urban Garden store if you're lucky enough to find yourself wandering down Grand Street in Williamsburg! Let me know, so we can come too, okay? ;)

Annie Sloan - Painters in Residence: Floral Coral...

For our second project as Painters in Residence for Annie Sloan, we knew we wanted to have a go using her famous Chalk Paint®, mixed, to create our own custom colours. Inspired by many of Annie's books where she sings the praises of the paints unique ability to mix well together (due, in no small part to the mainly pure colour pigments, and very little black used in her mixes) and keep their vibrancy and punch...

We knew we wanted Pink... we're always pleased if we achieve neon... and we wanted something unabashedly SPRINGTIME!

SO- we took this little Victorian chest of drawers that I've had for years - it's quite petite, but has lovely clean lines that we felt could take the bold colour we were striving for - and we started mixing. Starting with a base of Pure White, we added Scandinavian Pink, Emperor's Silk, Barcelona Orange, and a touch of English Yellow, we mixed until we felt we had achieved a really great neon coral colour... and something quite different to anything already in the Chalk Paint® pallette. We also wanted a really flat smooth finish with this one, as that's our personal taste for paint finishes (and because this will probably end up back in our house) so we used Annie's new Flat Finish brush, which is really great and certainly delivers a smoother finish than the original brushes...

I then wanted to create a really exuberant Spring display with flowers so I styled it with gorgeous potted Spring Hyacinths, Primula, Narcissus and also added my favourite cut early spring flower, Hellbore, some eucalyptus and finally, straw for a little rustic edge (my chickens lost some bedding that week!). This was a really fun one to style, and I'm always in my element when tinkering with plants and flowers!

The fruit basket is a beautiful new season piece from Marks & Spencer, and I just love it. They're nailing their home range right now! The big bowl I have seems to be sold out online, but it's still in some stores... here is the range it's from. SO GOOD.

As always, check out Annie's blog to keep on top of new Painters in Residence releases. Can't wait to share the next project with you.

Let us know what you think, and if you have any questions about this project feel free to ask them below...





We spent a lovely day on Sunday down in Dundrum (County Down) visiting some friends who have just set up home there... we went for a wee dander around Dundrum Castle, and it's ruins, and then down to the beach. Such a nice time!

We are just obsessed with the incredible colours found in nature, noticing the particular palette, which is instantly recognisable as 'Ireland', and that contains such a rich variety of diverse and interesting natural neutrals, always contrasted with the brightest of brights... so, so beautiful. And so much for us to look at!

I took far too many pictures... hope you enjoy them!