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Ireland’s Tree of Life or Crann Beathadh

Irelands Tree of Life or Crann Beathadh

Ireland is an ancient land.  Ireland was inhabited long before we had Newgrange in Co Meath.   Newgrange was built more than 5,500 years ago and it is older than the pyramids in Egypt.

Later when the Celts came to Ireland from other parts of Europe in 500BC until about 400AD, they became the most dominant pagan group and they left behind enough evidence of their deep reverence of nature for us to understand today.  We know that Trees were an important part of Irish Celtic beliefs and culture, so it is no surprise that the Celtic Tree of Life represented how the forces of nature came together to create harmony and balance. It protected wildlife, gave food and shelter. The elders would sit in the shade of the tree and make important decisions, appoint chieftains and hold gatherings. It was common for the tribe to plant a single tree upon clearing a site for settlement.

 These deciduous trees represented death in the winter when they shed their leaves and re birth in the spring with new life. It was as if the tree became the channel between the will of nature or the divine and the mortals who lived there.

The large species were worshiped, especially the Oak and the Ash which are native Irish trees. The Ancients in Ireland believed and it is easy to see, that these tall strong trees extended their branches and leaves to the skies and heavens and their roots strong and deep extended down into the earth. They believed that the deep roots and high branches of the tree connected both the upper and under worlds to the earths plane.  Through this connection the Gods of both worlds could connect and communicate with the people and the people in turn could communicate with their loved ones who had passed.

The Celts believed they came from the trees and so regarded trees as living magical beings. Trees guarded the land and were a doorway into the spirit world.  They were also associated with positive energy.

Cutting down one of these trees was seen as a great crime and often an act committed by tribal enemies.

Although 1500 years and more have passed since the Celtic reign ended, a lot of Celtic history remains with many artifacts and landmarks still prevalent across the country today. This heritage we treasure.

Agnes h design.ie

Our Tree of life is available at Brown Thomas Stores, Grafton St, Dublin.

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My “Homage to Eileen Gray” (Updated)

My “Homage to Eileen Gray” in Irish linen

I am delighted to tell you that my “Homage to Eileen Gray” in Irish linen is being launched  this week end at a wonderful shop in Nassau St, Dublin, called “House of Ireland”. so hop down and have a look if you can. The Collection consists of table runners and napkins, in colours of sand and white,  which is very contemporary  and are great together.  I am thrilled how everyone has loved it so far.

I would like to thank Mrs Galligan, Mary, Marieanne, Pádraic and all the staff at House of Ireland.

If you are far away from Ireland you can view them online at http://www.AgnesHDesign.com

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My “Homage to Eileen Gray” in Irish linen

My “Homage to Eileen Gray” in Irish linen

I am delighted to tell you that my “Homage to Eileen Gray” in Irish linen is being launched  this week end at a wonderful shop in Nassau St, Dublin, called “House of Ireland”. so hop down and have a look if you can. The Collection consists of table runners and napkins, in colours of sand and white,  which is very contemporary  and are great together.  I am thrilled how everyone has loved it so far.

I would like to thank Mrs Galligan, Mary, Marieanne, Pádraic and all the staff at House of Ireland.

If you are far away from Ireland you can view them online at http://www.AgnesHDesign.com

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Cookery & Cures of Old Kilkenny. Ireland

Cookery & Cures of Old Kilkenny. Ireland

Photo shows; Ballaghtobin House 1778 Kilkenny, Ireland. Furse bushes and linen from- Agnes H Design.

I came across this recipe in an old book I have had for years. It draws from the past…..and is
a collection of cures and recipes dating back for generations, from hand written diaries and manuscripts collected from the very old houses and castles along the Nore valley, in Co Kilkenny and the book is designed and laid out by Susan Mosse and Susan Taylor.
The earliest Kilkenny recipe goes back as far as the 14th century and is taken from a book called “The Red Book of Ossory, translated by Canon C Adrian, Empey of Kells.
This little book is a lovely piece of Irish heritage, giving great insight into the social history through the generations in Ireland.

The recipe I want to share with you is;

How to wash fine lace or linen;

It reads;
Take a gallon of furse blossom and burn them to ashes. Then boil six quarts of soft water. This when fine, use in washing with suds as occasion may require and the linen etc will not only be exceedingly white but has done with half the soap and little trouble.

Would you take a chance and use this recipe on your white linen?

How did they even think of burning yellow furse ?
and why would you add ashes to the washing?
Is there a science behind it ?
Hope you enjoyed reading and let me know if you have any ideas on the above?
Kindest Regards,
Agnes H

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New Designs for Spring /Summer and “Busy Bees”

We have been “busy bees” here in Wexford, Ireland in the past few months and as a result ….

We have a lot of new tabletop designs in fine Irish linen, including runners and tablecloths  for Spring /Summer about to hit our web site http://www.AgnesHDesign.com in the next week. The reaction so far has been terrific! so we are delighted with that.

We hope you like them too. In cool blues and pale pink, they are perfect for the summer wedding, all fine dining,  a  St Valentine romantic dinner for two, not to mention dining alfresco. 

Some of our designs depict the very traditional Irish boat called the “Galway Hooker” named, not for reasons that spring to mind! But because it was used to hook fish long before the introduction of fishing nets. (Sorry to kill that other thought!) 

Its shape and design has given inspiration to many modern sailing vessels built in America  in recent years as it is a master in rough seas.

Other designs depict our trad cottage here in Ireland and my favourite is the pink abstract flower on pink  Irish linen.. this is sooo.. nice.!

There is one more ( not shown here) that I am working on and am very excited about. I will keep you posted when it is finished.

Don’t forget to drop by our web site to see our great offers! at..

http://www.AgnesHDesign.com

Let me know what you think?

Image

 

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Christmas Past and Present

Christmas table
Christmas table

I love this time of year and it brings back so many happy memories from my childhood ……………..

Dad taking the list for Santa,

Roaring fires and the lights on the Christmas tree and feeling warm and cosy and safe.

Mrs Roche a wonderful wonderful woman who was always there for us, Who taught me to sew and knit . Who minded the family and loved us all.

My dad putting up the Christmas tree and that the lights to his dismay! Always seemed to be in a  tangle  in the box.

Mam making the most delicious cakes maybe 14 or more, beautifully iced and giving them as gifts and of course one extra for the raffle.

To putting on your Sunday best and raiding the warm cooked ham after coming from church on Christmas eve.

Mam taking a lovely Irish linen table cloth and setting a beautiful table and then cooking the  most gorgeous food

Mam and dad delaying Christmas dinner until I arrived home from work.

Watching  TV with mam and listening to “Bing” sing “White Christmas”

Dad making hot ports.

Uncle Andy trying to make us laugh during prayers, with Holy Mary Mother of God.- Going to school is only a cod!  and mam saying behave with a “Look”

Now I take a lovely Irish linen tablecloth and dress the table and prepare for Santas arrival.

Roaring fires, the lights on the tree, with my family and friends and all are warm  cosy and safe

How lucky we are!

Have  safe and Happy Christmas.

x Agnes

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“Unsung Heroes”

http://www.wexfordopera.com/

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Wexford, where I live, is a small “Viking” town  on the South East coast of  Ireland. It has a small population and people are friendly. We boast the most wonderful quay side and board walk with miles of water and magical sunrises. When the sun shines, there is nowhere else to be!

We have just come to the end of the 62 nd  Wexford Festival Opera and it all began with Dr Tom Walsh  a few friends and a gramophone recital in 1951 see ; http://www.wexfordfestivalopera.com  and has been running every year in October and November, setting itself apart by introducing audiences to neglected or forgotten operas in our magnificent new opera house.

Over the years we have heard the most beautiful voices and seen many famous faces.  We all put on our “glad rags” to listen to as much music as we can, visit all the antique and art exhibitions. The local restaurants put in the effort and dress their tables with nice Irish linen designed and made locally by Agnes H Design.ie! and serve great food, the shopkeepers dress their windows, the pubs too join in and have great live music and competitions and we wish it will never end . But  for me the real heroes of the opera festivals are  the 350 strong volunteers who day and night give up their time to help out! The person who takes your coat or shows you to your  seat or calls a taxi. For the most part they go unnoticed, they don’t get the applause or the standing ovations and some may even think they are paid (which they are not) Some of my friends are part of that team and they are so dedicated it is amazing and are there purely out of love for the festival. So hats off to the band of Volunteers!They do a great job!

So….. if you love music or you just want to experience opera for the first time, come and visit Wexford and enjoy the fun or as the festival would say ” A great experience”.

Regards,

Agnes

from, infotabletop at AgnesH Design.ie