Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Presidents of Ireland

I'm not sure if any of you outside of Ireland are aware, I'm not sure if you'd even care too much, but last Friday, the ninth President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, was inaugurated in Dublin Castle. It was a good day. I wanted to post this up before his inauguration, sort of like a farewell to President Mary McAleese, but life got in the way. Oh well.

I mentioned Gaisce in my first ever blog post and want to return to that topic today. Although I'm now going for my Silver Gaisce Award, I already received my Gold one early last year and my Bronze in 2003. I'm going for the Silver Award so that I can have the set and get some recognition for all the extracurricular stuff I do. It works out well!

Achieving the Gold Gaisce Award is kinda a big deal in Ireland. It's at least a two year commitment, and it took me four years to get all my activities done! You have to complete four parts in order to gain the Gaisce Award.

Physical Activity

Personal Skill

Community Volunteering


For my Award, my physical activity was swimming, my personal skill was juggling (which was by far my favourite), my community volunteering was Society work in my University and my adventure was cotton picking in Roxborough, QLD, AU. Yes, cotton picking! And it was so fun!! I won't go into details right now though, maybe at another time.

I came home from my four month backpacking trip around Australia and New Zealand and immediately fell into finishing off my application for my Gold Award, which included a very extensive portfolio full of narratives and pictures and colour. And in April of the next year, I was standing in Dublin Castle waiting for my name to be called. It. Was. Awesome. I walked up on stage, shook President McAleese's hand, she asked about the cotton picking and then photos were taken.

I know it really doesn't seem like much, but it meant a lot to me. I put so much effort into my Gaisce Award, the ceremony made it all feel worthwhile and important. And I was in Dublin Castle, hanging out with the President!

I'm one yoga class away from achieving my Silver Gaisce Award, which is also quite exciting! The ceremony for Silver Awards is much smaller. It'll be held in my University (without the President of Ireland) next semester. It will be a very special day for me because I'll have achieved three Gaisce Awards over 9 years of activity in my society and University.

It's my birthday next week. I'll be 25, yay!

Hope you are all enjoying the week!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Painting Nice Things

So everyone loves blackboard paint, right?
Well, I know I do!

I went through a bit of a painting phase at the end of October and made some nice things:

I painted LOADS of glass jars with blackboard paint, the idea being that when I buy something in plastic packaging, I immediately pour the contents into a nice glass jar and write on the blackboard label. It makes my kitchen cupboards so much more interesting! I've been wanting to debrand my home for a while now and this is just one step towards that.

A rusty old bread tin became a button tin using the same blue paint that was used for my baking shelves and more blackboard paint.The blackboard paint actually didn't work well with the tin, so I can't really use it with chalk, but the tin is magnetic so I just added some pretty French word magnets!

Using that blue paint again, and more magnets, I made this notice board type thing. I really love this! It was made using the lid to a biscuit tin and I hot-glued a ribbon on the sides so that it could hang. I plan to make more of these after Christmas, when biscuit and sweet tins are in abundance.

Little projects like these are what I love!

I'm moving into a lovely one-bedroom flat with amazing views of the Corrib river this weekend. I'm excited to have a new space to work with and make my own. And that view... Wow! I'll write more about this when I move in properly and decorate a bit.

Happy November everyone!!
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