15 Oct 2012

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...

...lend me your ears.

I wanted to write a slightly different post.  One unrelated to makeup (per se).  A little about me, and a little about some people I know... please do read on, you might discover a link to a Person Of Interest!

I have been writing this blog now for nearly a year - I started back in November and I started out writing "whenever I could" about "whatever I wanted".  I saw it as an extension of my freelance makeup artist business.  I am a bit of a product junkie, so why not give my tuppence-worth on reviews of bits and pieces I would buy and try.  Somewhere along the line, I decided to focus a little more on the blog, and to try commit to a post a day, Monday to Friday, with a break at weekends.

One of the weddings I worked on... 
So what have I been up to for the last little while?  September and October have been by far my busiest time this year, far more so than the summer for bridals this year.  They have been awash with weddings, debs makeup, private tutorials, trials.  Lots of fun but a whole lot of hard work;  on the other hand I've been fortunate enough to meet with some really lovely people in the last few months in particular.

Academy Plaza Wedding Fair 2012
I've done a wedding fair at the Academy Plaza Hotel- the first I've attended ever.  It was a moderate success, and although sadly undersubscribed, I met some great suppliers, did some networking, and had a chance to meet with some lovely people with whom I have tentative bookings for 2013 and 2014.  I am the official makeup artist for this hotel, and it's a great opportunity to explore.

DFF 2012
Prior to that, I was involved with LA Makeup Academy as part of the creative (makeup) team behind the DFF festival, which was a whole lot of exhausting, long-days, creative fun :-)

Over the summer I proofed and edited a great book, written by a friend of mine (see "Romans" section below!)  I took some time off to deal with medical-related stuff.  I had a wonderful relaxing Bohemian time, filled with learning to grow some plants and vegetables (and kill some others), and visiting places I'd never been to before, and do a lot of house-related overhaul work - not so exciting, but much needed.

I've given the blog a major style overhaul, and although I have to find time to finish this activity, I believe it is starting to look better overall.  I have comments disabled on my blog, because sadly I just don't have the time to reply, and I'd rather not risk annoying readers who take the time to comment by my lack of response, but I do get a reasonable amount of email into my mailbox, and these I try try try to answer (I don't manage to get to all of them, but I give it a decent go!)  I've done some updates to the front end of the website and the back-end stuff (hosting etc) has all changed too  (it doesn't hurt that I have a background in IT and am reasonably used to this stuff, and it most certainly doesn't hurt that I have an other half who has amazing patience for CSS, when I get cross with it and throw my hat at irritating cross-browser niggles).

I plan to run another makeup bootcamp course in the near future, the others that I ran were a resounding success, but time is the factor here - hopefully before Christmas, but if not, then afterwards.

Recently, I've had to go back (financial needs' must!) to full-time employment so makeup jobs have been done evenings and weekends (I literally haven't had a single minute off in several months, something that has to stop... I'm exhausted!)

The reality is, I struggle sometimes, with inspiration.  With tiredness.  With finding time to do only (or sometimes "even") five posts a week, when I work fulltime 9-5 (actually, 7:30 - 4), and do freelance jobs outside of these hours, and all of the attendant "stuff" that goes with freelance;  trying to find time to network, trying to come up with ideas for PR & marketing, trying to run bootcamp and individual one-on-one classes, trying to keep brushes and kit clean and sterilised (a never-ending job!), trying to keep up with the business side of the business.

This is not a whinging post - far from it.  I was struggling to find an idea for tomorrow's post, and the title came to me, and I liked the notion, and so I thought I'd run with it.

So - on to the title of this post: Friends, Romans and Countrymen:   No (wo)man is an island, and I've been fortunate to have friends and family who have supported my little blog's efforts in the last year.  People who have been kind enough to read sometimes, always or occasionally.  People who give me their feedback and comments and support.  People with whom I've been connected in the past, or work with currently.  And people who are friends of those people, or married to those people, or somehow or other connected to those people, who have their own businesses vaguely related to makeup, or beauty, or style, or health, or plain old fantasy.  Because it's all fantasy, really.

Note: this is in no particular order, and it just refers to blogs, or Facebook pages, of people who are, like me, just trying to make their way in the world on a freelance basis, or an "indie" basis, or some basis that steps outside the box of the 9-5.  It doesn't even start to give a nod to those who quietly in the background inspire me and give feedback and critiques, those who don't have their own businesses - to you, many many thanks.  To the others: here's your nod!


Nails/Shellac/Spray Tan:  Alison, a friend of mine, also Dublin-based, who runs AR Beauty and whose Facebook page is here.

Photography:  An old school-pal of mine, Sinéad, who is an accomplished (wedding and otherwise!) photographer.  Her Facebook page is here.

Hair/Style/Nails:  Sarah, a good friend of mine, who frequently travels to weddings with me to do hairstyling when there are too many faces and heads for just me!  She is studying towards a course in Fashion Styling at present, and together with her sister Amy, runs this blog.

Dia de los Muertos, 2011 ;-)
Food!  Mexican food, more specifically.  Hugo runs an authentic Mexican restaurant in Dublin called Café Azteca.  He runs frequent cookery courses which are so so so much fun and highly recommended - you learn about Mexico, about the origin of the food and the etymology of the names of the food, you make the stuff then you eat it, and you get to meet some fun people, all in a cozy setting in the centre of Dublin.  Visit his Facebook page here.

Cassandra in the Mirror
Author:  Well, she's not quite a Roman, but Piera Sarasini is all-Italian, part-magic woman, part-author, part-translator... she's written an amazing fictional book called Cassandra in the Mirror.  The Facebook page is here (it contains all of the details about how you can download a softcopy version or buy a hardcopy to be posted out to you).  Of course I'm biased (I was the editor for the endeavour), but it's a great story and I recommend you take a look if you like fantasy/fairy stories/mythological fiction.

Italian Food:  Also not Roman, but most certainly Italian, these are dear friends of mine who run an amazing Italian restaurant called Espresso, in Waterford.  The Facebook page is here.  The sister restaurant of Espresso, also an Italian restaurant, called La Palma has its Facebook page here.  I may be slightly biased, but the two of these places hold many great memories and some of the most amazing food you'll eat outside Italy.


Nails:  My cousin, Vicki, who has just started out doing nail art and gel nails under the name La Belle Nails.  She's based in Waterford and her Facebook page is here.  She runs great deals, frequent competitions and is highly recommended.

Car Hire:  Relations of mine who run The Limo Company, based out of Waterford but who serve all around the South and East of the country.  The website is here.

Wedding Singer: Caroline, a lady with the most beautiful soprano voice, who has a website here, and who is also based out of Waterford.

Vintage & Pre-loved Clothing & Accessories: This is run by my aunt, also out of Waterford.  With decades of experience in retail buying, this lady just knows style.  She has opened up her own business called Closet Treasures and her Facebook page is here.

Reflexology:  The wife of a good friend of mine, who won't mind me placing her in the "countrymen" category I'm sure - a Drogheda-based reflexologist whose Facebook page is here.

And that's pretty much it.  An update post with a little more information about me, without giving too much away (I'm a bit private, and I thought long and hard before posting this) and a shout out to some people I know, trying to make their way, doing their thing, which isn't easy these days...


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