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Archive: November 2011

Feeling Bored but Benevolent? Challenge yourself with Mencap and make a difference!


15 November 2011

 

Gloria Steinem is well-known for saying, ‘It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than to watch it accumulate.’  As many who have fundraised for Mencap, the voice of learning disability in Northern Ireland, can testify to, fundraising is one of the most gratifying activities imaginable but often enthusiastic supporters find it difficult to know where to start.  However, in trying economic times, it is vital to remember that no event is too big or too small, too advanced or too simple – from abseiling challenges to marathons and beard-growing contests to wacky races - charities like Mencap are highlighting the benefits of fundraising activities to their supporters as well as showcasing how integral funds raised are applied in local communities. 
Mencap Challenges provide unique opportunities for people to raise funds for a local charity whilst experiencing amazing personal achievements and fun activities such as treks, marathons, extreme sports and sponsored walks.  The funds raised from these fantastic challenges allow Mencap to continue their vital work supporting children and adults living with a learning disability, here in Northern Ireland.
The benefits of the overseas challenges are threefold - firstly, they raise money for charity, so there is a sense of ‘giving back’.  Secondly, challenges like these allow people to go to different places and do amazing things, that due to life commitments, they may not have previously been able to do.  Plus Mencap organises group trips so there is a sense of teamwork, shared life experience and achievement for those who take the plunge.  Finally, as many of the challenges involve an element of fitness, the third reason the challenges are so popular is the health benefit.  Signing up for a five day desert trek or a 26.2 mile marathon takes some training — but the upside is that participants feel fitter and happier while the charity also benefits. 
For thrill seekers in search of an exhilarating way to help others, Mencap's flagship challenge for 2012, Cycle Vietnam Cambodia (18th-29th Oct 2012) runs from Vietnamese Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, through the rice-paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta into Cambodia.  Participants will pedal through the rolling hills of this friendly country towards one of the most impressive sights in Southeast Asia, the Royal Temples of Angkor Wat.  Fascinating insights into the region’s cultures, ancient and modern, are a real highlight of this challenge, perfect for those in search of the challenge of a lifetime.  Mencap provides accommodation, food, transport, medics, guides and moral support, only asking participants to pay a registration fee and raise a minimum sponsorship.  
In Northern Ireland there are 33,000 people with a learning disability and numbers are increasing every week.  They are among the most disadvantaged groups in society and are routinely excluded from fully integrating in their communities.  Mencap Northern Ireland has an extensive portfolio of advice, information and services and provides much needed support as well as campaigning for equal rights in society.
There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve a world where people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland have the same rights, experiences and opportunities as everyone else and that is why funds raised through challenges like these are vital.
  
For more information on the wide range of challenges and fundraising opportunities available with Mencap, please call Justine on 02890691351 or log onto http://www.facebook.com/mencapchallengesni  
Ends// 

 

Gloria Steinem is well-known for saying, ‘It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than to watch it accumulate.’  As many who have fundraised for Mencap, the voice of learning disability in Northern Ireland, can testify to, fundraising is one of the most gratifying activities imaginable but often enthusiastic supporters find it difficult to know where to start.  However, in trying economic times, it is vital to remember that no event is too big or too small, too advanced or too simple – from abseiling challenges to marathons and beard-growing contests to wacky races - charities like Mencap are highlighting the benefits of fundraising activities to their supporters as well as showcasing how integral funds raised are applied in local communities. 

Mencap Challenges provide unique opportunities for people to raise funds for a local charity whilst experiencing amazing personal achievements and fun activities such as treks, marathons, extreme sports and sponsored walks.  The funds raised from these fantastic challenges allow Mencap to continue their vital work supporting children and adults living with a learning disability, here in Northern Ireland.

The benefits of the overseas challenges are threefold - firstly, they raise money for charity, so there is a sense of ‘giving back’.  Secondly, challenges like these allow people to go to different places and do amazing things, that due to life commitments, they may not have previously been able to do.  Plus Mencap organises group trips so there is a sense of teamwork, shared life experience and achievement for those who take the plunge.  Finally, as many of the challenges involve an element of fitness, the third reason the challenges are so popular is the health benefit.  Signing up for a five day desert trek or a 26.2 mile marathon takes some training — but the upside is that participants feel fitter and happier while the charity also benefits. 

For thrill seekers in search of an exhilarating way to help others, Mencap's flagship challenge for 2012, Cycle Vietnam Cambodia (18th-29th Oct 2012) runs from Vietnamese Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, through the rice-paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta into Cambodia.  Participants will pedal through the rolling hills of this friendly country towards one of the most impressive sights in Southeast Asia, the Royal Temples of Angkor Wat.  Fascinating insights into the region’s cultures, ancient and modern, are a real highlight of this challenge, perfect for those in search of the challenge of a lifetime.  Mencap provides accommodation, food, transport, medics, guides and moral support, only asking participants to pay a registration fee and raise a minimum sponsorship.  

In Northern Ireland there are 33,000 people with a learning disability and numbers are increasing every week.  They are among the most disadvantaged groups in society and are routinely excluded from fully integrating in their communities.  Mencap Northern Ireland has an extensive portfolio of advice, information and services and provides much needed support as well as campaigning for equal rights in society.

There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve a world where people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland have the same rights, experiences and opportunities as everyone else and that is why funds raised through challenges like these are vital.

For more information on the wide range of challenges and fundraising opportunities available with Mencap, please call Justine on 02890691351 or log onto http://www.facebook.com/mencapchallengesni 

 

 

Mexican Moustaches make for a moreish mark down


30 November 2011

With the facial hair growing campaign ‘Movember’ in full swing this month whereby males raise money and awareness in support of men’s health issues, it seems bushy upper lips are taking over everywhere, and local Mexican food chain Boojum has joined the fun side of the now-annual phenomenon by agreeing to treat the ‘Mo Bro’ supporters of Belfast to a bulging Burrito for only £3 on 30th November.   Boojum is inviting both male and female supporters to wear the chain’s handy cut-out Mexican style moustaches, which are available by signing up to the Boojum Movember campaign on Facebook, to benefit from the discount. But although Boojum knows the diners of Belfast love a good giggle, there is method in the madness, as the popular Mexican fast food restaurant will be giving all the proceeds from the day to Movember.

 

Movember is a worldwide phenomenon which sees men growing and grooming their upper lip hair in the month of November, in order to raise awareness, talkability and funds for health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, and this seemingly jovial activity highlights a serious issue that affects many lives, yet is often ignored in conversation. 

 

Husband and wife team, John and Karen Blisard, opened the first Boojum in December 2007.  After moving from America to Ireland and searching unsuccessfully to find a satisfactory Mexican restaurant, the American husband and Northern Irish wife took the plunge to open their own.  Boojum is now a cult culinary experience for many and the restaurant owners masterminded the Movember campaign to encourage its fanatical fans to think about a few important issues which may not normally crop up in normal tea time chat.

 

John feels passionately about the campaign, explaining, “When my wife and I first opened Boojum, we never even dreamed that our favourite food could become so popular!  We have so many loyal fans, for whom we are truly grateful, and we feel privileged that we are able to connect with them on really important issues such as the Movember campaign.  Everyone is affected by cancer in some way, whether it is a family member or a friend, so it is a topic that is really personal to a lot of our regular customers and we are grateful that, together, we are able to raise what money we can for such a worthy cause.  Plus, it’s not every day you get to stick a fake moustache on for dinner, so we hope our fans will enjoy channelling their inner Mexican!”

 

The Movember Campaign will take place on the 30th November at Boojum stores on Chichester Street and Botanic Avenue.  To take part visit facebook.com/boojumbelfast and sign up to receive a PDF moustache.  Wear this to the store and pick up your favourite burrito for only £3.  


THERE'S MAGIC & SPARKLE ON THE LISBURN ROAD AS SWAROVSKI FRAMES ARRIVE IN EK EYEWEAR


28 November 2011

Glitz, glamour and sparkle are in the forefront of the mind in the lead up to Christmas so there’s no better time than now to announce that the fabulous exclusive Swarovski Eyewear collection, including optical frames and sunglasses, is now available in Belfast from EK Eyewear on the Lisburn Road.

Swarovski’s faceted crystal has become a guarantee of unique brilliance and a promise of ultimate sophistication. Swarovski jewellery, bags and accessories have brought the magic of glittering Swarovski to the international fashion scene, and the addition of glasses and eyewear is the perfect complement to these stylish lines.  According to Nathalie Colin, artistic director at Swarovski, 'they constitute a fashion statement in their own right'.

The optical collection is soon to become the latest in must-have accessories with even greater femininity and elegance. It marks a continuation of the glasses theme and infuses its pieces. 'Unlike sunglasses, where a touch of whimsy and exuberance are permissible, optical glasses demand more sobriety. But that need not limit our creativity – quite the contrary. It was exciting to adapt our language and help women to take in hand an accessory that some still see as an encumbrance rather than a chance to express their personality', continues Nathalie Colin.

“We’re delighted to be the exclusive stockists in Belfast of what is an incredibly exclusive brand', exclaims Eavan Kennedy of EK Eyewear. 'The Swarovski range is just stunning and with a diverse selection of styles and colours; classic black, chic tortoiseshell, bold red, and sophisticated touches of mauve, there will be something to suit every woman and a set of frames would definitely be the perfect gift on a glittering wishlist this Christmas.' Swarovski has refreshed its approach with this collection by discreetly imparting the quintessence of its universe and opting for subtle reminders of its roots rather than a more opulent use of crystal. Swarovski’s distinctive identity is present throughout, as the iconic Swanflower motif, coloured crystals and of course the facets which adorn the frames and arms, recall the precision and finesse of cut crystal.

EK Eyewear will offer an evening of sparkle and style as it hosts a special event on Wed 30 Nov at 4-8pm to launch the Swarovski collection where guests can enjoy sipping on Champagne whilst taking in the new stunning Swarovski range. For more information on the collection or the event call the store on 028 9066 2020.

EXHIBITION OF UNSEEN WORKS ON SHOW AT BELFAST GALLERY


25 November 2011

An exhibition featuring thirty unseen works by one of Ireland’s greatest living artists opened yesterday (Thursday 24 November) in Belfast gallery, James Wray & Co, James Street South.

The artist is Hector McDonnell, one of the most respected painters working in Ireland today.  His works have been exhibited all over the world and regularly sell for thousands of pounds. 

He is the youngest son of the Earl and Countess of Antrim, grew up in Glenarm Castle and was educated at Eton and Oxford.  Not your stereotypical down-at-heel artisan seeking out a living from his artistic talent.

Alan Wray, director of James Wray & Co gallery said:  “The pieces we have in this exhibition are very exciting.  I have never seen Hector paint as well as he is at this time and I have known his work for many years.

‘This exhibition features beautiful scenes from Italy, Spain, New York, Ireland, to name a few, showing colourful kitchens bursting with food and life, moody streetscapes, wonderfully realised snapshots of cafes, bars, featuring characters which draw you in and make you question their role within the work.’

Hector lives part-time in New York, a city he first visited in 1985, where he keeps a loft apartment and studio from which he produces hauntingly atmospheric paintings of the iconic city in all its guises.

Hector McDonnell said:  ‘My inspiration for my New York paintings comes from the sheer intensity of life there, in part its endless contradictions, in part its vital force.’

The artist was greatly affected by the terrible events on September 11th 2001.

‘It would take a great deal to express my feelings in words about that time and the several return visits I made over the subsequent weeks.  It aroused a sense of deep horror and a feeling that we were witnesses to something that, in some way we could not define and that was of enormous significance to our world's future’, said Hector.

But it is in the minutiae of life, family and everyday existence where the artist is most at home.

‘It’s personal experiences, things that move me that make me want to paint.  To try and convey my feelings, in that moment with some paint and a brush is the continual challenge I set myself.  I am always touched by the poetry of everyday life.’

Hector is also a keen traveller and has painted in Tibet, India, China and Rwanda, resulting in a series of etchings and facsimile sketchbooks which document his exotic travels.    

He has exhibited widely in Europe; Munich, Brussels, London, Stuttgart, Vienna, Paris, Stockholm and Madrid.  In 1979, he won one of Germany's most illustrious art prizes, the ‘Darmstadter Kunstpreis’ which resulted in a major museum exhibition at the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, featuring over 200 of his paintings, drawings and etchings.  In December 2003, a major retrospective exhibition took place at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.   

His latest exhibition at the James Wray & Co gallery, James Street South in Belfast takes place from the 24 November for one month.

You can contact the gallery on + 44 2890 313013 or log onto www.jameswray.ie for further details.

 

 

ABSOLUT MODE EDITION - Reflecting The Many Faces of Fashion


22 November 2011

Global brand ABSOLUT vodka is continuing its innovative position within the fashion industry with the release of the latest limited edition bottle – ABSOLUT MODE.  New for Autumn 2011, the redesign of the iconic ABSOLUT bottle reflects the world of fashion through twelve facets wrapped with a band in midnight blue silk cloth with text embroidery.   Inspired by the timeless fashion photographies that became popular after World War II, and the experimental films of the sixties for beauty giants L’Oreal and Elizabeth Arden, the bottle reflects the faces of fashion surrounding it. 

Globally acclaimed stylist Katie Grand was inspired by the bottle to create beautiful imagery for the international advertising campaign, and locally stylistas including designer Una Rodden and FASHIONWEEK director Cathy Martin have been raving about the bottles. Said Una: “Elegant, sophisticated and different, the ABSOLUT Mode bottle is surely going to be popular with the fashionistas of Northern Ireland.  I love the fact that you can now match your drink to your favourite party outfit and it will look as fabulous as you!  A definite must-have purchase for any ABSOLUT and fashion lover alike.” and then Cathy Martin added: “As part of the campaign, fashionistas are invited to visit www.absolut.com/mode for a digital styling service and the chance to be an online stylist to create a unique ABSOLUT mode look.”

The new bottle is the latest in a long line of ABSOLUT fashion collaborations and earlier limited edition bottles such as ABSOLUT DISCO, ABSOLUT ROCK, and last year’s ABSOLUT GLIMMER, have all been immense successes.  Since being first bottled 30 years ago, ABSOLUT has been driven by creativity. The Swedish vodka brand’s commitment to the arts has always been based on mutual inspiration, and the creative nature of the brand has attracted some of the leading artists of our time to develop their own personal interpretations of ABSOLUT. 

ABSOLUT MODE is available as a 700ml (RRP £13.99) bottle.  For further information on ABSOLUT MODE visit www.facebook.com/absolutvodkani

Feeling Bored but Benevolent? Challenge yourself with Mencap and make a difference!


15 November 2011

 

Gloria Steinem is well-known for saying, ‘It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than to watch it accumulate.’  As many who have fundraised for Mencap, the voice of learning disability in Northern Ireland, can testify to, fundraising is one of the most gratifying activities imaginable but often enthusiastic supporters find it difficult to know where to start.  However, in trying economic times, it is vital to remember that no event is too big or too small, too advanced or too simple – from abseiling challenges to marathons and beard-growing contests to wacky races - charities like Mencap are highlighting the benefits of fundraising activities to their supporters as well as showcasing how integral funds raised are applied in local communities. 
Mencap Challenges provide unique opportunities for people to raise funds for a local charity whilst experiencing amazing personal achievements and fun activities such as treks, marathons, extreme sports and sponsored walks.  The funds raised from these fantastic challenges allow Mencap to continue their vital work supporting children and adults living with a learning disability, here in Northern Ireland.
The benefits of the overseas challenges are threefold - firstly, they raise money for charity, so there is a sense of ‘giving back’.  Secondly, challenges like these allow people to go to different places and do amazing things, that due to life commitments, they may not have previously been able to do.  Plus Mencap organises group trips so there is a sense of teamwork, shared life experience and achievement for those who take the plunge.  Finally, as many of the challenges involve an element of fitness, the third reason the challenges are so popular is the health benefit.  Signing up for a five day desert trek or a 26.2 mile marathon takes some training — but the upside is that participants feel fitter and happier while the charity also benefits. 
For thrill seekers in search of an exhilarating way to help others, Mencap's flagship challenge for 2012, Cycle Vietnam Cambodia (18th-29th Oct 2012) runs from Vietnamese Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, through the rice-paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta into Cambodia.  Participants will pedal through the rolling hills of this friendly country towards one of the most impressive sights in Southeast Asia, the Royal Temples of Angkor Wat.  Fascinating insights into the region’s cultures, ancient and modern, are a real highlight of this challenge, perfect for those in search of the challenge of a lifetime.  Mencap provides accommodation, food, transport, medics, guides and moral support, only asking participants to pay a registration fee and raise a minimum sponsorship.  
In Northern Ireland there are 33,000 people with a learning disability and numbers are increasing every week.  They are among the most disadvantaged groups in society and are routinely excluded from fully integrating in their communities.  Mencap Northern Ireland has an extensive portfolio of advice, information and services and provides much needed support as well as campaigning for equal rights in society.
There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve a world where people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland have the same rights, experiences and opportunities as everyone else and that is why funds raised through challenges like these are vital.
  
For more information on the wide range of challenges and fundraising opportunities available with Mencap, please call Justine on 02890691351 or log onto www.facebook.com/mencapchallengesni  
Ends// 

 

Gloria Steinem is well-known for saying, ‘It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than to watch it accumulate.’  As many who have fundraised for Mencap, the voice of learning disability in Northern Ireland, can testify to, fundraising is one of the most gratifying activities imaginable but often enthusiastic supporters find it difficult to know where to start.  However, in trying economic times, it is vital to remember that no event is too big or too small, too advanced or too simple – from abseiling challenges to marathons and beard-growing contests to wacky races - charities like Mencap are highlighting the benefits of fundraising activities to their supporters as well as showcasing how integral funds raised are applied in local communities. 

 

Mencap Challenges provide unique opportunities for people to raise funds for a local charity whilst experiencing amazing personal achievements and fun activities such as treks, marathons, extreme sports and sponsored walks.  The funds raised from these fantastic challenges allow Mencap to continue their vital work supporting children and adults living with a learning disability, here in Northern Ireland.

 

The benefits of the overseas challenges are threefold - firstly, they raise money for charity, so there is a sense of ‘giving back’.  Secondly, challenges like these allow people to go to different places and do amazing things, that due to life commitments, they may not have previously been able to do.  Plus Mencap organises group trips so there is a sense of teamwork, shared life experience and achievement for those who take the plunge.  Finally, as many of the challenges involve an element of fitness, the third reason the challenges are so popular is the health benefit.  Signing up for a five day desert trek or a 26.2 mile marathon takes some training — but the upside is that participants feel fitter and happier while the charity also benefits. 

 

For thrill seekers in search of an exhilarating way to help others, Mencap's flagship challenge for 2012, Cycle Vietnam Cambodia (18th-29th Oct 2012) runs from Vietnamese Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, through the rice-paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta into Cambodia.  Participants will pedal through the rolling hills of this friendly country towards one of the most impressive sights in Southeast Asia, the Royal Temples of Angkor Wat.  Fascinating insights into the region’s cultures, ancient and modern, are a real highlight of this challenge, perfect for those in search of the challenge of a lifetime.  Mencap provides accommodation, food, transport, medics, guides and moral support, only asking participants to pay a registration fee and raise a minimum sponsorship.  

 

In Northern Ireland there are 33,000 people with a learning disability and numbers are increasing every week.  They are among the most disadvantaged groups in society and are routinely excluded from fully integrating in their communities.  Mencap Northern Ireland has an extensive portfolio of advice, information and services and provides much needed support as well as campaigning for equal rights in society.

 

There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve a world where people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland have the same rights, experiences and opportunities as everyone else and that is why funds raised through challenges like these are vital.

 

For more information on the wide range of challenges and fundraising opportunities available with Mencap, please call Justine on 02890691351 or log onto www.facebook.com/mencapchallengesni  

 

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS FOR NORTHERN IRISH COMPANY


10 November 2011

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS FOR NORTHERN IRISH COMPANY

 

Busy online doggie accessory company Urbanpup.com, which is based in Bangor, County Down, is enjoying the sweet smell of success as its latest online dog themed gift, Urban Pup Dog Perfume, is added to its online store.

 

The Northern Irish company, which began trading in 2008, was set up by Denis Kelly, a dog lover who felt there was room in the market for a quality accessory supplier for pets, specifically small dogs. 

 

Denis, Managing Director of Urbanpup.com said:  “I’ve always loved dogs and after making a huge career and life change in 2007, I decided I would use my passion for dogs, sales and new media to embark on a whole new chapter of my life. And so Urbanpup.com was created.”

 

“Urban Pup’s unrivalled online offering includes clothing, jewellery, carrying cases, matching t-shirts for owner and dog, collars, leads and a myriad of other dog accessories which satisfy the growing demand for dog accessories and the growing trend for dog owners to adorn their pet with stylish accessories. From stylish coats and pretty dresses to stunning lead & collar sets, each piece of clothing has been personally selected based on its design, quality and overall fashion appeal," added Denis.

 

“Our ranges are mostly for small dogs such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Bichon Frise, Shihtzu and Mini Schnauzers, to name a few; and we usually have something to suit every dog owner’s taste.”, added Denis.

 

The new range of dog perfumes joins a host of other quality gifts and accessories available at the online store.

 

“Our brand new range of perfumes comes in six beautiful fragrances; Candy Floss, Sweet Jasmine, Summer Garden, French Lavender, Fleurs de Jardin and Wildwood – each with its own unique bouquet.   

 

“The perfumes are designed not to overpower a dog’s senses, nor to necessarily mask a natural dog smell, but they merely add a subtle hint of fragrance to dogs’ coats and simultaneously provide the soothing benefits of aromatherapy to the dog’s skin.

 

“The ingredients are all totally natural, as all fragrances are made from pure essential oils and the essence of various flowers.  No chemicals have been used or added during the manufacturing process and the pH of each fragrance has been adjusted to suit a dog’s skin.”, said Denis.

 

Most of the company’s online orders come from England, Scotland and Wales, but also from the Republic of Ireland, America, France, Italy and Spain.

 

“Almost 50% of our sales come from Great Britain, with the rest of the world making up our other customers.  All of our orders are dispatched from our global warehouse operation in Bangor. 

 

“At the minute we do relatively little business in our home markets of Northern and southern Ireland, something we plan to change with the launch of our new perfume ranges for dogs. We’d love to do more business at home and we know people love their dogs here!”

 

Urbanpup.com products have been featured in various television programmes such as This Morning, the Alan Titchmarsh Show and Jamie Oliver’s recent show in America. The company is also the official dog clothier for ‘Bruiser’ the dog in the West End musical Legally Blonde as well as the supplier of Toto the dog’s beautiful emerald crystal collar in the Andrew Lloyd Weber version of the hit musical The Wizard of Oz. 

 

“We frequently get calls from TV producers asking for fun items of clothing for dog features they’re doing.  They want the clothing or accessories to look great, but more than that – they want the price point to be reasonable enough that it won’t put their viewers off.”, said Denis.

 

“Quality and price point are always front of mind when adding new or updated items to the Urban Pup online store. We know times are difficult for most of us so we always make sure the price point for items is reasonable and that the quality remains high.”, he added.

 

To see the latest ranges of Urban Pup perfumes and other dog themed accessories log onto www.urbanpup.com.

Let's Get Wasted - Students turning Trash into Treasure


08 November 2011

The Department of the Environment's Rethink Waste campaign is sponsoring an innovative programme of free ‘Rethink - Revamp - Restyle’ workshops for students across Northern Ireland. The award-winning Fashion Souk is set to deliver the series of free workshops to raise recycling awareness amongst 18 - 25 year olds, and the students get to take their completed works home after the workshops, so they benefit in a practical way by restyling furniture for their homes.  Following the success of the first series of workshops that took place at the start of 2011, this batch of creative classes entitled ‘Let’s Get Wasted’ will take place in the North West from 14 November - 07 December and in Belfast on 21, 24 and 25 November, ending with a showcase event ‘Rethink Waste Meets the Fashion Souk’ on 26 November.  This free, family friendly finale will take place at Spires Mall, Belfast from 

9.30-15.30 and will offer guests FREE revamping workshops, a reduce waste catwalk show, market stalls, live music & waste minimisation makeovers, just in time for Christmas!

The Department of the Environment's Rethink Waste campaign is sponsoring an innovative programme of free ‘Rethink - Revamp - Restyle’ workshops for students across Northern Ireland. The award-winning Fashion Souk is set to deliver the series of free workshops to raise recycling awareness amongst 18 - 25 year olds, and the students get to take their completed works home after the workshops, so they benefit in a practical way by restyling furniture for their homes.  Following the success of the first series of workshops that took place at the start of 2011, this batch of creative classes entitled ‘Let’s Get Wasted’ will take place in the North West from 14 November - 07 December and in Belfast on 21, 24 and 25 November, ending with a showcase event ‘Rethink Waste Meets the Fashion Souk’ on 26 November.  This free, family friendly finale will take place at Spires Mall, Belfast from 
9.30-15.30 and will offer guests FREE revamping workshops, a reduce waste catwalk show, market stalls, live music & waste minimisation makeovers, just in time for Christmas!
 
Upcycled furniture is becoming increasingly current, not only because of the growing popularity in shabby chic interiors, but also because the recession has led young people to seek out alternative methods to furnish their home.  Not only are vintage items often better quality with interesting design features, revamping items helps reduce waste to landfill and sets the trend for smarter shopping.   Additionally, with Christmas coming up the ‘Rethink Waste Meets the Fashion Souk’ event will teach participants how to make seasonal decorations and water bottle or wine holders from discarded materials and unwanted festive jumpers into cushions. 
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said, “The Rethink, Revamp, Restyle workshops are an inspiring, innovative and fun way to communicate and demonstrate the benefits of upcycled furniture. Reusing an item of furniture saves the energy associated with manufacturing a new one, which has an enormous and positive impact on reducing CO2 emissions. 10 million items of furniture are thrown away in the UK every year, 3 million of these items could be easily reused; more could be repaired. I would encourage students to attend these workshops and discover how furniture upcycling can help reduce waste sent to landfill.”  
The student furniture and textiles workshops will demonstrate that, instead of blowing your budget to buy brand new furniture and clothes, with imagination and a little know-how you can restyle discarded furniture and soft furnishings and transform you oldest favourite T shirts, jumpers and skirts into something new, allowing them to live on in another form. Reusing and revamping will not only add personality to a dreary student flat, but will also save money.  All workshops are completely free of charge and once furniture and textiles are restyled and recycled, students are invited to take home their works of art to use themselves!
Creator and organiser Alyson McElroy said: “The reuse ethos is at the heart of everything we do.  This programme of student focused workshops is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how easy it is to breathe new life into unwanted items and thus divert waste from our ever decreasing landfill sites. We provide materials for each workshop and participants will take home the furniture and textiles they have repurposed. Our facilitators will cover everything including how to revamp old-fashioned tables and chairs to transforming jumpers into scatter cushions & wine holders. It is usually said one person’s trash is another one’s treasure, but we want students to recognise the treasure in their trash and inspire them to get creative, find new ways they can make waste work for their pockets and the environment.”
 
Free Belfast workshops and showcase event will take place from 19 - 26 Nov (European Week for Waste Reduction) and from 7 November to 7 December across Coleraine, Derry (showcase event on 19 November), Ballymena, Ballymoney, Magherafelt, Limavady, Strabane and Newtownabbey.  Log on to www.rethinkrevamprestyle.com to register for a workshop at a college campus near you.  Let’s Get Wasted is sponsored by the Department of the Environment’s Rethink Waste campaign.
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For further information, pictures or interviews with Alyson McElroy, please contact Emma Shannon at CMPR on 02890324437 or emma@cathymartinpr.com.  For more information on the workshops visit www.rethinkrevamprestyle.com
Notes to editors:
Local dates listed below, please mention relevant dates of starter workshop were appropriate (in most cases the second workshop will take place exactly one week later): 
Northern Regional College, Trostan Ave, Ballymena Mon 14 Nov 12.00-14.30
Northern Regional College, Farm Lodge, Ballymena Mon 14 Nov 16.30-19.00
Northern Regional College, Ballymoney Thurs 17 Nov 12.00-14.30
Northern Regional College, Coleraine Wed 30 Nov 12.00-14.30
Northern Regional College, Magherafelt Fri 18 Nov 12.00-14.30
Northern Regional College, Newtownabbey Tues 29 Nov 12.00-14.30
North West Regional College, Derry Wed 16 Nov 19.00-21.00
North West Regional College, Limavady Tues 15 Nov 16.30-19.00
North West Regional College, Strabane Wed 16 Nov 14.00- 16.30
University of Ulster, Magee Campus, Derry Tues 15 Nov 12.00-14.30
University of Ulster, Coleraine Wed 30 Nov 16.30-19.00
Ballynafeigh Community Centre, Ormeau Road, Belfast 21, 24 & 25 Nov 19.00-21.00The Department of the Environment's Rethink Waste campaign is sponsoring an innovative programme of free ‘Rethink - Revamp - Restyle’ workshops for students across Northern Ireland. The award-winning Fashion Souk is set to deliver the series of free workshops to raise recycling awareness amongst 18 - 25 year olds, and the students get to take their completed works home after the workshops, so they benefit in a practical way by restyling furniture for their homes.  Following the success of the first series of workshops that took place at the start of 2011, this batch of creative classes entitled ‘Let’s Get Wasted’ will take place in the North West from 14 November - 07 December and in Belfast on 21, 24 and 25 November, ending with a showcase event ‘Rethink Waste Meets the Fashion Souk’ on 26 November.  This free, family friendly finale will take place at Spires Mall, Belfast from 9.30-15.30 and will offer guests FREE revamping workshops, a reduce waste catwalk show, market stalls, live music & waste minimisation makeovers, just in time for Christmas!

Upcycled furniture is becoming increasingly current, not only because of the growing popularity in shabby chic interiors, but also because the recession has led young people to seek out alternative methods to furnish their home.  Not only are vintage items often better quality with interesting design features, revamping items helps reduce waste to landfill and sets the trend for smarter shopping.   Additionally, with Christmas coming up the ‘Rethink Waste Meets the Fashion Souk’ event will teach participants how to make seasonal decorations and water bottle or wine holders from discarded materials and unwanted festive jumpers into cushions. 

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said, “The Rethink, Revamp, Restyle workshops are an inspiring, innovative and fun way to communicate and demonstrate the benefits of upcycled furniture. Reusing an item of furniture saves the energy associated with manufacturing a new one, which has an enormous and positive impact on reducing CO2 emissions. 10 million items of furniture are thrown away in the UK every year, 3 million of these items could be easily reused; more could be repaired. I would encourage students to attend these workshops and discover how furniture upcycling can help reduce waste sent to landfill.”  

The student furniture and textiles workshops will demonstrate that, instead of blowing your budget to buy brand new furniture and clothes, with imagination and a little know-how you can restyle discarded furniture and soft furnishings and transform you oldest favourite T shirts, jumpers and skirts into something new, allowing them to live on in another form. Reusing and revamping will not only add personality to a dreary student flat, but will also save money.  All workshops are completely free of charge and once furniture and textiles are restyled and recycled, students are invited to take home their works of art to use themselves!

Creator and organiser Alyson McElroy said: “The reuse ethos is at the heart of everything we do.  This programme of student focused workshops is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how easy it is to breathe new life into unwanted items and thus divert waste from our ever decreasing landfill sites. We provide materials for each workshop and participants will take home the furniture and textiles they have repurposed. Our facilitators will cover everything including how to revamp old-fashioned tables and chairs to transforming jumpers into scatter cushions & wine holders. It is usually said one person’s trash is another one’s treasure, but we want students to recognise the treasure in their trash and inspire them to get creative, find new ways they can make waste work for their pockets and the environment.”

Free Belfast workshops and showcase event will take place from 19 - 26 Nov (European Week for Waste Reduction) and from 7 November to 7 December across Coleraine, Derry (showcase event on 19 November), Ballymena, Ballymoney, Magherafelt, Limavady, Strabane and Newtownabbey.  Log on to www.rethinkrevamprestyle.com to register for a workshop at a college campus near you.  Let’s Get Wasted is sponsored by the Department of the Environment’s Rethink Waste campaign.

Local dates listed below:

Northern Regional College, Trostan Ave, Ballymena Mon 14 Nov 12.00-14.30

Northern Regional College, Farm Lodge, Ballymena Mon 14 Nov 16.30-19.00

Northern Regional College, Ballymoney Thurs 17 Nov 12.00-14.30

Northern Regional College, Coleraine Wed 30 Nov 12.00-14.30

Northern Regional College, Magherafelt Fri 18 Nov 12.00-14.30

Northern Regional College, Newtownabbey Tues 29 Nov 12.00-14.30

North West Regional College, Derry Wed 16 Nov 19.00-21.00

North West Regional College, Limavady Tues 15 Nov 16.30-19.00

North West Regional College, Strabane Wed 16 Nov 14.00- 16.30

University of Ulster, Magee Campus, Derry Tues 15 Nov 12.00-14.30

University of Ulster, Coleraine Wed 30 Nov 16.30-19.00

 

Ballynafeigh Community Centre, Ormeau Road, Belfast 21, 24 & 25 Nov 19.00-21.00

 

 

SPARKLING SEASONAL STYLE: Appletiser StyleFIX Set To Take Centre Stage This Autumn


03 November 2011

Blandchardstown beauties are set to take away all the new season’s top tips this November as the Appletiser StyleFIX road show rolls into town on Saturday 05 November 2011. The fashion and beauty tour exploded onto Ireland’s style scene last year with an all-Ireland runway show giving fashionable females a fabulous free style fix.  Proving just as popular throughout 2011, Appletiser has once again teamed up with Ireland’s top shopping destinations and is concluding the StyleFIX tour in Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin, this Winter.   


Audience members at the event will enjoy high-impact fashion shows throughout the afternoon showcasing a whole host of the newest season’s trends on the catwalk. With a range of stylish stores, from Argento to Swarovski, French Connection to River Island, Republic and Zara, plus many more, there will be something to suit every style and budget.  Autumn/Winter 2011 will see the seventies trend continuing and the StyleFIX crew will be teaming high waisted trousers with elegant blouses for an effortless runway look.  For a fashion forward twist, stylists will be adding fur, leather harness accessories and a few cuff bracelets to bring the looks bang into the new season.  Shoppers in the Blanchardstown Centre can expect to see some classy sheer maxi dresses and pleated options, the perfect inspiration for those looking ahead to the party season. 


Those attending will also be able to sample delicious complimentary Appletiser while receiving free advice and mini make overs from the centre’s make up artists. There will also be hair professionals involved from the centre, so plenty of opportunity for ladies to get the professional look for a night out or the afternoon in town.


Stylist and show organiser Cathy Martin says fashionistas will have a lot to mull over while shopping.  “The Autumn/Winter season is now in full swing and the season’s trends will be easy to pick up in stores in the Blanchardstown Centre.  The StyleFIX shows will give a chance for shoppers to see the new looks together, get ideas on what will work for them and pick up their favourite looks for the rest of the season.  Colours will be rich; think burgundies, spice colours, warm rust, rich greens and creams.  Match these shades with mannish shapes, tweeds and flat shoes for an up to date, powerful look.  If you are after one statement piece to update your look, I would recommend a Peter Pan collar or a cocoon coat to stand out this season with style.” 


Denise Farrell, Brand Manager for Appletiser said: “Appletiser is a unique sparkling drink, made from 100% fruit juice and has no added sugars or colours.   It is the perfect drink for ladies on the go looking for a delicious and healthy thirst quencher and an easy, tasty, way of squeezing in one of their five a day.  The green Appletiser bottle will complement the rich wintery tones on trend and is the perfect party tipple as we find ourselves at one Christmas gathering after another.”

 

Mercy Prendergast, Marketing Manager of Blanchardstown shopping centre, said:  “As a centre, we are thrilled to be involved in the Appletiser StyleFIX roadshow this year. We pride ourselves on having a wide range of stores that reach a wide audience from young, tall, petite, curvy, those on a budget and those who want to flash their cash, so the shows will have someone for everyone.  2011 has been a tough year for the retail industry, so we are delighted to be able to offer this free fashion event to show that looking super chic for the festive season doesn’t have to cost the earth.”


The Blanchardstown Centre, located conveniently in West Dublin, is home to a whole host of fashion and lifestyle retailers making it a great site for this Appletiser StyleFIX event.   Ireland’s largest shopping centre and premier destination for shopping and leisure, the Blanchardstown Centre is the perfect location for a Saturday afternoon event as young and old, families and couples all frequent the popular shopping centre.  The autumnal trends promise something to suit every age and body type and a free sparkling Appletiser is the perfect thirst quencher for anyone partaking in a hard day’s shopping trip.   

   
The Appletiser StyleFIX tour visited Cork, Dublin, Sligo and Belfast earlier in the year, and concludes the 2011 tour at Blanchardstown Centre. Look out for other Appletiser events on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AppletiserIreland

INSTANT IMAGE OVERHAUL


02 November 2011

One thing which is constantly on women’s minds, whether through conscious thought, flashy advertising or subliminal messaging from those oh-so-clever fashion brands, is image.

 

Constantly bombarded with the opinions of style Gurus and glossy magazines who tell women what to wear or what the season’s must-be-seen-in colour is can be confusing; some so-called experts even suggest forgoing sense and recommending that women wear a garment whether or not their body shape can take it, just to be on trend.

 

However, Belfast woman, Lynn McInnes, creator of an online resource for women, called The Image Mistress feels that women’s individuality should be celebrated.

 

“Remember that your image is all about YOU and embraces everything about you including your size, shape, budget, colours, lifestyle and above all, personality. 

 

“By perfecting your image you can not only look and feel great but you can also create so many positive and lasting impressions.

 

“People like Lady Kate Middleton, Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker all embrace their own unique sense of style and are admired for it. 

 

“I’m not saying women have to dress like a princess or movie star, all I’m suggesting is that you experiment and perfect your clothes, make-up and hair according to what individually suits YOU.

 

“That’s what makes www.theimagemistress.com such a useful tool for women – it gives multi-layered options all tailored to the specific needs of the person.”, said Lynn.

 

Lynn created The Image Mistress which is an online personal styling consultation tool to cater for those women who want more practical advice tailored to their own specific needs which is easy to use and great value.

 

Lynn continued:  “Theimagemistress.com helps women explore the four main areas that make up their appearance; Clothes, Hair, Make-up and the colours they wear.

 

“Via an online questionnaire, which can be filled in during a lunch break, sitting on your sofa or once the kids have gone to bed, The Image Mistress then sends you a personalised style consultation brief which includes links to online clothing and beauty outlets where women can actually purchase the products being recommended to them.

 

“The Image Mistress simply helps women look and feel their most stylish.”

 

The website has already been supported by brands such as Banana Republic, Long Tall Sally, Urban Outfitters, Jigsaw, SimplyBe and many more.

 

“The brands that have come on board so far are testament to the different types of women who use our website and we have more joining us all the time.

 

“By signing up, women are getting access to brands all in one place that they would have to walk miles along the high street and boutiques to find. And with our fortnightly email updates coming through our ladies will always be on trend according to what suits them.

 

“Our users appreciate our fresh approach and we will continue to support them with straight talking fashion tips and advice that makes sense for their own unique sense of image.”, said Lynn.

 

A personalised online consultation with Image Mistress usually takes approximately 10 minutes and there are three options; Free and Fabulous, which is totally free, Image Magic, which costs £10 or Super Stylish which costs £30.  To find out more about The Image Mistress log onto www.theimagemistress.com.

Beauty and the Beast - Sara O'Neill redefines beauty in her first solo exhibition


01 November 2011

 

Leading fashion stylist and artist, Sara O’Neill, is launching a body of fashion illustrations in an exposition titled 'La Belle et La Bete', her first solo exhibition.  Inspired by fashion, music, film and literature, the collection of pictures is a celebration of the aesthetically challenged men in these industries and the beautiful women that loved them.
Taking place from 19.30 - 21.30 on Thursday 10 November 2011 at Frame of Mine Gallery, Ormeau Road, the show will comprise of approximately fifteen detailed pencil drawings and mixed-media pieces, inspired by Sara’s work in the fashion industry.
Those attending the event can expect to see a range of intricate pieces, many with writing incorporated to give an illustrative feel.  The theme of doomed love, questions surrounding beauty, and tempestuous relationships will dominate; Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot, Pete Doherty and Kate Moss and Woody Allen and his many women will all make an appearance.  A complimentary drink of Carnaby Brown will provide sustenance for art lovers while they study the stimulating show.
Ecstatic about her first solo exhibition, Sara said, “Having worked in the fashion industry for a decade, I am used to being surrounded by beautiful women.  But what fascinates me is how and why a man is deemed ‘attractive’.   These iconic men are charismatic, passionate and talented, but they are not conventionally handsome.  I find them much more interesting to draw, all the lines, wrinkles and imperfections make for a much more interesting picture. ”
Since graduating from the University of Ulster with a BA Hons in Fashion and Textiles in 2004, Sara has established herself as one of Northern Ireland’s leading fashion stylists.  Her work regularly appears in magazines, TV, fashion shows and major ad campaigns.  'La Belle et La Bete' takes place on Thursday 10 November 2011 at Frame of Mine Gallery, Ormeau Road.  All drawings are A3 and will be sold at a price range of £265-285.  For more information on Sara visit www.saras-designs.co.uk. 
Ends//

Leading fashion stylist and artist, Sara O’Neill, is launching a body of fashion illustrations in an exposition titled 'La Belle et La Bete', her first solo exhibition.  Inspired by fashion, music, film and literature, the collection of pictures is a celebration of the aesthetically challenged men in these industries and the beautiful women that loved them.

Taking place from 19.30 - 21.30 on Thursday 10 November 2011 at Frame of Mine Gallery, Ormeau Road, the show will comprise of approximately fifteen detailed pencil drawings and mixed-media pieces, inspired by Sara’s work in the fashion industry.

Those attending the event can expect to see a range of intricate pieces, many with writing incorporated to give an illustrative feel.  The theme of doomed love, questions surrounding beauty, and tempestuous relationships will dominate; Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot, Pete Doherty and Kate Moss and Woody Allen and his many women will all make an appearance.  A complimentary drink of Carnaby Brown will provide sustenance for art lovers while they study the stimulating show.

Ecstatic about her first solo exhibition, Sara said, “Having worked in the fashion industry for a decade, I am used to being surrounded by beautiful women.  But what fascinates me is how and why a man is deemed ‘attractive’.   These iconic men are charismatic, passionate and talented, but they are not conventionally handsome.  I find them much more interesting to draw, all the lines, wrinkles and imperfections make for a much more interesting picture. ”

Since graduating from the University of Ulster with a BA Hons in Fashion and Textiles in 2004, Sara has established herself as one of Northern Ireland’s leading fashion stylists.  Her work regularly appears in magazines, TV, fashion shows and major ad campaigns.  'La Belle et La Bete' takes place on Thursday 10 November 2011 at Frame of Mine Gallery, Ormeau Road.  All drawings are A3 and will be sold at a price range of £265-285.  For more information on Sara visit www.saras-designs.co.uk. 

 

 

 

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