Tuesday, 23 September 2014


This past weekend, we went on a little drive with my parents and visited Dobbies garden centre in Lisburn... you know, for a look around, and for some succulent soil. No big deal.

Well, then I spotted three little chickens who were the very last of the flock, and a sign saying they were reduced. I thought they were the loveliest, healthiest looking chickens I had ever seen, and they were so tame, so I started to panic. What if someone who didn't really WANT chickens bought them... what if they didn't look after them properly (??), or what if they...horror... ate them for their dinner (eek!)??. We spoke to the lovely lady who had been looking after them, and she told us they were the very last ones, had been there for a while (they're about six months old) and that they wouldn't be getting any more after this. Left on the shelf, so to speak.

At that point, I knew we were biting the bullet and taking them home. We have had a chicken house sitting in our garden for three years, and it's never been the 'right time'. We're always working, are away from home a lot on business trips etc etc, so we've always had an excuse not to! Well, I said BOO! to excuses and brought them home in boot of the car and got them settled in on Saturday afternoon.

So far, they're very easy to look after, and are laying eggs like pro's already. And they're DELICIOUS. I've never had an egg this fresh (a warm egg lifted from the straw bed is a thing of beauty) and it's so good.

So... meet the newest additions to Bell Farm (it's getting that way, right?)... Henrietta (the brown one), Brigitte (the white one) and Helga (the black/grey one). Such good girls.

Hope your week is good so far!
Abigail x

p.s. I never got that succulent soil...

Friday, 1 August 2014

'Natural' colour...

Abstract Flamingo - Vergil Kanne
source unknown (please let me know if you know who this lovely image belongs to)
Kelly Wearstler
Paul Juno 
original source unknown (let me know if you know who this belongs to!)

It's so fascinating when people say they like 'natural' colours, and identify colours like "grey, beige, taupe, stone, cream, white" etc

Have you ever seen anything so incredible as the COLOUR actually found in nature?

Where do you think 'colours' come from? I guess most people think that someone in a paint manufacturer years and years ago, or someone at pantone 'invented' them somehow. Right?
It's easy to see from these few images that there are no new colours under the sun... they are all pre-existing, for us to draw from, and be inspired by.

I absolutely adore looking at photographs of nature, with these extreme, amazing, fresh, vibrant, bold and unique colours, and combinations. They have nothing (and everything) to do with us, but I am so excited to draw from them when we design.

Here are five images I recently pinned to our 'Palette' board on Pinterest... it's hard to imagine they're real and 'natural', isn't it? Maybe we need to re-evaluate our thoughts on what 'natural' colour means.

How amazing to live in a world with colour like this?! And how amazing we get to bring this colour in to homes for a living.

Abigail x

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

abigail*ryan Irish Linen Landscape Collection...

We're so excited to have launched this beautiful collection of Irish Linen plains at the weekend... we've been so inspired by the beautiful colour palette in Ireland for years now, and always incorporate amazing colour combinations we see in nature in to our patterned designs... 

So (!) we thought it was time to add some beautiful plains to our range of fabric yardage - many of which are designed to pair beautifully with our prints, and some of which are just awesome stand alone colours, and so inherently 'Irish', we just couldn't remove them from our plans.

At the heart of this collection is it's Heritage. Woven and dyed in Northern Ireland by a family firm who have milled linens for over 150 years, we're incredibly proud of and in love with these cloths. Brights, Neutrals and interesting, workable shades that will look incredible in the home, all with the most stunning texture, flow, slub and weight... this is fabric to live with, that will live with you and just give and give. Irish linen has a remarkable heritage, and, as a young Irish brand, with a studio in an old linen mill (Conway Mill), we're so excited to be full circle and presenting this gorgeous collection to the public and our clients... we've used Irish Linen to back our cushions and make our Heirloom Quilts since we first started abigail*ryan, so we're delighted to be able to extend it's footing in our collection.

We hope you love our presentation for this range as much as we do... we've paired some of our original photos and inspiration for the palette with the fabric swatches so you can be transported to Ireland with us!

... most of our colour names are quite self-explanatory (though we hope deliciously evocative!), but we thought you might like some translation for the three Gaelic words we included...

Anfa (AHN-FAH) - Irish for Tempest or Storm...
Caschoill (CASH-ILL) - Irish for Scrub or Bush...
Farraige (FAH-RI-GUH) - Irish for Sea...

Don't these gorgeous colours and words make you want to visit Ireland right now?! ;)

Come see us!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Suki Tea, Belfast - "Tea as it should be"...

On Friday we visited the office HQ of Belfast brand Suki Tea, who are actually just down the road from our studio in Conway Mill, situated in Twin Spires...

We met with the lovely Gill, who was kind enough to talk us through their beautiful selection of tea's and tell us a bit about the brand, process and ethos. The smell from the tea was absolutely incredible as we walked in, and we had fun making our selection. We were looking for some tea for our clients, and finally settled on Earl Grey Blue Flower, which, in addition to being absolutely beautiful to look at (those vibrant blue flowers, wow!), tastes beautiful. So smooth and much more delicate and rounded that your average Earl Grey, which Gill explained was because of the large size of the leaf they use... we also picked up some Indian Spiced Chai (for infusing in milk), Mango Tango (on Gill's personal recommendation) and Apple Loves Mint, too. Can't wait to try them all!

As a little bit of back-ground to Suki Tea...

"Belfast’s Boutique Blender, Suki Tea, first set up in 2005 by business partners Annie and Oscar, has become a strong contender in the UK’s Loose Leaf tea market. Launched with the aim to provide their customers with the finest loose leaf tea, herbal infusions and fruit blends from around the world; the pair made ethical sourcing their priority whilst delivering a quality and fresh product. Winners of over 21 Great Taste Awards and multiple industry awards Suki Tea truly is ‘Tea as it should be’.

We're sure our clients will love the Earl Grey Blue Flower, and we're just delighted to be able to work with a local brand who is as passionate about quality as we are!

A big thanks to Gill for showing us the range, and if you're new to Suki Tea, be sure to check out their website and treat yourself to some DELICIOUSLY good tea, or visit them at the weekly St. Georges Market where they keep a stall...

...I think I'll go now and put the kettle on. Suki Tea, of course! ;)


Wednesday, 25 June 2014


We spent a lovely day on Sunday down in Dundrum (County Down) visiting some friends who have just set up home there... we went for a wee dander around Dundrum Castle, and it's ruins, and then down to the beach. Such a nice time!

We are just obsessed with the incredible colours found in nature, noticing the particular palette which is instantly recognisable as 'Ireland' and which contains such a rich variety of diverse and interesting natural neutrals, always contrasted with the brightest of brights... so, so beautiful. And so much for us to look at!

I took far too many pictures... hope you enjoy them!


Saturday, 21 June 2014

*SUMMER SOLSTICE - Outdoor Dining Linens Special!*

There's something so lovely about Summer, when the days get long, hot and hazy and we all pile outdoors to light BBQ's,  to eat salads, or sandwiches, catching any hint of rays we can during the work week. Lounging in the sun all weekend when we can. Long may it last!

At chez a*r, we love setting the table outside beautifully... our coloured floral linens, brightly coloured glasses and stripey straws all layered together, a bunch of country-style flowers - making that little bit of effort - and taking our meal outside. Have a riot of colour!

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of Summer, and to mark the day, we prepared a feast. Roast chicken, charcoal grilled summer vegetables on the barbecue and juicy raspberries. A celebration it was!

We want to spread the love and are running a variety of Summer Promotions on our LINENS for *outdoor dining*...

THIS WEEK - buy a box set of four napkins, and we will give you a tea-towel for FREE - buy a box set of eight napkins, we will give you two tea-towels for FREE! The designs are of your choice...

... so, next weekend, you'll be able to throw an out-door dining feast that looks just like ours, thoroughly bright and cheerful - 'abigail*ryan' style.

Enjoy some beautiful out-door dining on us! Get Shopping and get outside!!