North Coast Love...

A few weeks ago, we were treated to the most epic day up on the North Coast, exploring some secret spots and amazing coastlines. Our guide was the ever awesome Mike, one half of the Bearded Candle Makers and he was kind enough to show us, along with our pooches, Angus & Hamish, some of the most beautiful places we've ever been lucky enough to go in Northern Ireland (or otherwise)...

Having not had a car for very long, we've not explored all that much of this beautiful island... so, if you want to see some incredible hidden beaches, coastlines and scenery? Ask a surfer and rock climber who's made it his mission to seek out these stunning spots! He'll be the best guide (and company!) you could ask for.

The day started out as a perfect Autumn morning, crisp, cool and super misty. The photo's I've shared - just a very small selection of what I shot - track the day as it unfolded... going from misty and moody, to breath-taking sunshine and light moving across rock faces and gleaming cerulean waters. We marvelled all day at how lucky we were to get this stunning day out exploring... it was insanely magical.

We started near Ballycastle - ate fish and chips on the harbour walls, went up the road further to Ballintoy Harbour and Dunluce Castle and then chased the sunset home. It was a pretty perfect day, all in all.

Huge thanks to our fantastic guide Mike - it was the best roadtrip EVER! We had a really fab day with you - Let's go back soon! :)

Shooting for Story Horse - 'Chilly Days Out & Cosy Nights In' Campaign...

A few months back, we were approached to shoot the AW15 campaign for lovely local brand, Story Horse! The head designer, Olive, told us about the beautiful new collection she had designed in collaboration with her partner, Wendy, and we couldn't wait to see the beautiful range of raincoats, wellington boots, knitwear, luggage, umbrella's and toiletries they had designed!

The shoot location was to be Rowallane Gardens, near Saintfield, and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon ahead of the shoot date location scouting in the beautiful wooded areas and around the majestic lake... it was so beautiful. We couldn't wait to get started...

As a little bit of background to the brand Story Horse - which is currently exclusively available through their beautiful website - it roots took hold in the stories, landscapes and colours of Northern Ireland... specifically, Belfast Lough, over which the Story Horse studios look... 

The creative minds behind the brand wanted to take these ideas, motifs, feelings and invitations to adventure, to customers around the world, and so, set out to create a beautifully curated collection of patterns, designs and products that would inspire the women who wear them. The beautiful raincoats, boots, brollies and over-night bags are a call to action... get outside, have some adventures, and look great while doing it!

I love the warm autumnal, but contemporary, colour-palette of this collection... lots of ochre paired with grey, deep aubergine and burgundy paired with fuchsia pink and pops of green and blue. So lovely, and something for everyone..! 

I don't know about you, but I'm sold, you know ;)

We really enjoyed shooting this story - both on location in Rowallane (despite the downpours!), and also in our studio where we created more product shots. All the products are really beautiful, and we are thoroughly enjoying using our 'Wherever I Wander Umbrella' on rainy days!

HUGE thanks to Story Horse for asking us to shoot for you - we hope everyone likes the campaign, and thank you to the team we worked with on the day... we hope everyone will support this gorgeous new collection!

Our model Sarah was absolutely fantastic... I've never shot a model with such a high success rate and who knew her angles so well - I barely lost a shot! Such an absolute star and a pleasure to work with! :)

The team:

Photography: abigail*ryan (that's us!) / Model : Sarah Ennis from Style Academy / Hair: Lynette Murray Hair / Makeup: Ashley Morhej / PR: Victoria & Kaz at Weber Shandwick UK




Local Loves - Seaforde Butterfly Garden...

A few weeks ago, we had a precious day off with no plans and decided to go for a wee drive 'down, down to County Down' to visit Seaforde Butterfly Garden... of course, this meant it was one of the stormiest, rainiest days of the year so far (we have the best luck!), and a walk around the beautiful Labyrinth maze was seriously out of the question, but we took shelter in the hot houses and spent the afternoon marvelling at all the beautiful Butterflies, Birds and Terrapins that the staff at Seaforde Gardens care for...

So much lush, beautiful colour, and we could have watched the delicate little (and not so little!) butterflies sip on their sugar water and eat their fruit tea for hours!

A fab day out for the family in Northern Ireland, and we can't wait to go back to see the Peacocks guarding the Maze! My camera hand is itching already!

Very sadly, butterfly numbers are declining massively, and, as an important (and beautiful) part of our local fauna, we can all do our part to help reduce this decline. This article has some more info on how we can help:

NEW YORK - ABC Carpet & Home...

Brace yourself, this is a long one...

After we had whiled away a few hours in Chelsea Market, we ventured outside, and the blizzard had thankfully subsided a bit - we thought the market was going to be bigger than it was so hadn't planned something else for afterwards (we were wi-fi-less, thanks to 02 and no international data bundles, so we couldn't even google-map it) - but we just started wandering and adventuring! No bad thing.

A friendly local in a store en route sent us on our way in a good direction, headed for Fifth Avenue, which wasn't really too far... and we couldn't believe our luck when we stumbled upon ABC Carpet & Home, which was top of our list for checking out what was what and who was who in the NYC interiors and home scene. Ahh, it was so lovely! Quite different to what I expected (a lot more bohemian, and less slick, maybe?), but really fab and an amazingly conceived concept store. All five floors of it. Yum.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the in-house florist ABC Blooms, at work, and seeing all their gorgeous arrangements peppered throughout the store. I especially loved the installations where they had shone neon pink light on the plants - it was such a gorgeous pop of colour and created amazing contrast within the merchandised sections.

So much beautiful colour, texture, layering and curation going on... a fantastic place to while away the hours and discover new brands, designers and artist's creations...

On the ground floor, we were greeted with a very bohemian, feminine, delicate and layered-up vibe - lots of small items, grouped, casually scattered (seemingly) with sage bundles, pretty messes of ribbon, incense, beautiful fragrance brands and Astier de Villatte pieces peppered through and grouped with little hand thrown and pinched ceramic pieces... confetti... glitter... faux flowers petals... really incredible how many tiny little curations you could find in every corner. A feast for the eyes, and something quite different, from what we saw, for the NY interiors scene!

On the mezzanine level, there is the deepak centre, where they hold seminars and talks - the day we arrived in NYC, Joe Cross had been there, and we were so sorry to miss that one, as we have been so inspired by his work and it's really changed the way we eat. There's also a lovely boudoir area, where they sell silk jammies and negligee's etc for the stylish ladies of NY... and then there is the work station of abc blooms. I had a lovely chat with the head florist, and really loved the beautiful undone arrangements that she creates for around the store, and for sale, so casual and special. Aren't those little blue flowers incredible? She told me the name of them, and that they are Japanese, but I can't recall- I think I wrote it down but can't find it - any help would be greatly appreciated. It's SO rare to find a truly bright blue flower, they were quite breathtaking!

(You will see a theme developing in these posts, with my lust for NY florist's and their stunning stores!)... 

The basement had an incredible array of ceramics, glassware (arranged in colour and hue order, be still my heart!), linens and gifts... and I spent a lot of time drooling and taking a million pictures. I was incredibly restrained and didn't buy anything - Ryan's lucky I wasn't 100% when I visited this store, or else I might have done some serious damage - but the fine pastel coloured thrown ceramic bowls really tugged at my heart-strings... aren't they gorgeous? What you can't tell from the photo is how HUGE they were... almost the size of a torso... so incredibly beautiful. One day I'll go back for one of them, and take extra luggage especially.

The upper floors are furniture, and interior design led... with concessions for bedding and linen brands - from the well-known, to the less well known - there are racks of fabrics, and incredible ranges of very expensive and stylish furniture. We sat for a good wee while, resting our weary feet, in a few very comfy sofa's, imagining how quickly we could become accustomed to being very well-to-do wealthy new yorkers living on the upper east side... ;)

All in all, a really gorgeous store, and one I'm so happy to have visited. It's one thing experiencing something online, through social media shares, and another to actually visit a place... touch the beautiful products, drink in the lovely scent in the air, and appreciate all the hard work the Visual Merchandising team have gone to in order to create such an interesting and layered shopping experience. A must do for NY-goers!

Abigail x