The weather on Monday was ark-appropriate: for ark-appropriate read insanely wet, wild and windy. So, I was in need of something cheering to take my mind off the incessant rain and the ubiquitous grey mist. And I found just the thing when I called into the Irish Design Shop’s branch in the RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy) and bought an Ursula Celano notebook which has an utterly charming cover a bit of which you see in the image above.
I mentioned Ursula Celano before when I did a pre-Christmas post on the main branch of The Irish Design shop last year. At the time I don’t recall seeing this particular notebook called – Girls on Bikes. The girls incidentally are riding their bikes around Dublin’s College Green; the building you see is now owned by the Bank of Ireland but was once home to the Irish Parliament (1739 – 1801). I like so much about the notebook: I like the bright effervescent cover (there’s an image on the front and the back) which evokes a Dublin swathed in sunshine – if only; I like that an Irish craft bookbinder makes the notebook; and I like that it has 120 blank pages made from recycled paper just waiting to be filled. I plan to take it on my forthcoming trip to Italy along with some pencils and I am hoping the sketching deities can wave a magic wand so that my scratchings on paper could approximate, at least a little, to whatever I try to draw.
But more that anything I love what the notebook symbolizes (for me that is). Let me explain. The Irish economy has these past few years been tottering about like a fashion week attendee on vertiginous heels – with of course the attendant danger that it could at any time topple over. Thankfully this hasn’t happened and hopefully the economy is now in the slow lane to recovery. So the notebook acts (for me) as symbol for the many people out there, like Ursula Celano, in this economically challenged isle who had faith in our future and showed that faith by starting a business in fiscally difficult times. No business could survive on hope and faith alone but Ursula Celano has a excellent range of giftware (aprons, tea towels, notebooks, cards, bags …) ‘inspired by Ireland and designed in Dublin’ at affordable prices so I think it’s fair set to suceed.
This notebook costs €10. The web address for Ursula Celano is http://www.ursulacelano.com