I, I, I. Just to let you know there are many, many mentions of 'I' in this section! My lovely grandad used to say “mind the I, I, I” and he was right but on this occasion I am going for it! This is a little bit about me, my story so far. I was born in Dublin, one of twins. My twin sister is older than me and likes to remind me of that occasionally! She is amazing and I am immensely proud of her. At the moment, she is currently working on a selection of card designs for The Pear in Paper, I will keep you updated. Dublin was a great place to grow up, I seemed to spend much of my time cycling around on a green bike or on the cross-bar of someone’s BMX. It was busy, all hustle and bustle, the double decker bus-stop was outside our front gate. I loved it.
Then, the family moved to Sligo and we swapped the city for the foot of the Ox Mountains. Polar opposites. So, picturesque and so tranquil. Again, I seemed to spend much of my time cycling around on my green bike or tromping through fields while wearing wellies. I loved it.
Both environments gave me very different outlooks on life.
I met my soul mate, my now husband, just out of school and we decided to settle down quite quickly. I went to college to study environmental management and absolutely loved it. This combined with my love for art was my calling. With my husband being from Donegal, we decided to settle down here and here we still are, three amazing kids and a dog later.
When the youngest headed to school, I decided it was time to pursue my dream. To set up a workshop where I would spend all day creating and painting with not a care in the world. I could open all the windows and doors and let the air breeze through. It didn’t quite work out that way. It was a dream but I had to fight for it! Starting up my own business was not as straight forward as I imagined. But, I stayed focused and kept my eye on the prize. Almost three years later, I have set up a small but, steadily growing, sustainable business. My highlight was when, in 2016, I restored a treadle based letterpress (affectionately named Florrie) and today we are inseparable, we are a great team, a force to be reckoned with. She prints with such precision and grace. Every day, the smell of ink, the whizz of the fly wheel, the ding of the bell as the rollers ink the plate are little reminders of why I love what I do and why we all should fight for our dreams. Florrie, the letterpress platen was built in 1872 and uses no motor or electricity, I love that I can make a living with this 145-year-old machine. Who knew?
I have many loves. My family and friends. Get togethers, where every one is eating good food and all chatting together about nothing in particular but, it means everything.
I love to go walking. Walking allows me to catch up on nature, to see the changing seasons, to look at leaves and lichen on stone walls.
I love to run, I love to row and have recently began to kayak.
I love music. My day is full of music. We are a music family, with my husband being a rock drummer on his days off, you can imagine the variety of musical inspiration going on here! My dad encouraged me to love all types of music. I love to listen to Woody Guthrie to Ella Fitzgerald to TOTO to George Michael to Haim to Gavin James. I love all music. I am currently excited about tickets I have to see Hall & Oates in a few weeks! Oh yes! I can't wait. Sundays are for music and baking with the kids.
I love interior design, a lot. It can keep me awake at night. I did go on to study this and thought about this at one point as a career but the pull of the letterpress was too strong.
I love genealogy and can spend quite some time tracing roots! I got as far back as 1640 on my mother’s side but there is always more searching that can be done. It is a real passion for me and I love it.
Sometimes I stop, and realise that all these experiences have undoubtedly, led me to where I am today, it was a given. My city life made me see industry, how things move at a fast pace. The need for invention. The country life allowed me to see things differently, to understand how to be slow with deliberate execution. Both places evoked my love for nature and the fragility of the precious environment around us. I am reminded of the people I love, who are no longer here with me and my desperate wanting to hold onto something of that time. In a sense, by being a letterpress woman, I am holding on to the past, looking after our future, our environment, encouraging people not to forget. All these reasons make me strive to make The Pear in Paper a success.
Thank you for reading, it was quite lengthy!