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African colour behind the porcelain

Dust and fragments of clay, the remnants of hard work, lie sprinkled across the marble tiles. Fine sculptured pieces line the room, with buckets of paint filling the room with a pungent aroma. The wooden table forms the epicentre of the studio, serving as the platform for the starting part of the work. This studio has, for the best part of a decade, been the arena for the creation of almost 100 ceramic works. The artist, Noreen Ramsay has spent long years perfecting her craft. A quick glance across the patio to her studio adjacent to her Cratloe home will normally show a dim bulb, as she toils away through the night.Having grown up in the heartland of Zambia, she developed a love of imagery and creativity. Having trained in medicine, her  burst of creativity took over, in a career-defining turning point of her life.“I think it did influence it because I was outdoors a lot,” she said. “In Africa, …

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Seasonal style from head to toe

WITH the Christmas party season about to get into full swing, it’s time to revive the winter wardrobe by injecting some key essentials for the festivities ahead.From family gatherings to New Year’s Eve parties, a staff night out to a girls’ night on the tiles, you will need a different style for each occasion.For a classy yet respectable look for the annual staff get together, you can’t go wrong with an elegant LBD (little black dress) but for the Christmas season why not jazz it up and go for a festive colour, be it red, green or gold. You can glam up the look with patterned or printed tights, like outfit 1.Remember, for work Christmas parties never go too much above the knee or show too much cleavage to avoid any unwanted and uncomfortable attention.This season, no matter what the occasion, gold is a 24-carat investment. It ensures you sparkle, whether you choose to go golden in your heels, accessories …

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Shopping on a budget

IT’S not always easy to kit out the whole family with new clothes, especially in current economic climate and with yet another tough budget on the way. The expectation of having to be dressed from head to toe in new clothes for Christmas can be stressful for many families, so I have decided to put some tips together so you can get the most out of your well-earned cash this season.Having a great wardrobe on a budget take a little time and effort, together with know-how. The first step is to educate yourself on the current trends and looks of the season. Check out online fashion sites and fashion TV shows. Look through current magazines and pick up free look books available in most boutiques and high-street stores. Many high-street shops stock items that have been designed around couture looks. At a fraction of the price, these great pieces will inject some seasonal trends to your wardrobe.Take advantage of existing …

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Irish fashion legend Vonnie remembered

Vonnie Reynolds, one of Ireland’s great fashion designers, who hit the world stage, sadly died recently in Maryland US. In the 1970s and 1980s, Vonnie rose to prominence with her ‘once-off’ fashion clothing from her Bunratty Cottage design centre under the shadow of the famous castle. It was a romantic setting, which suited this famous Irish designer, who helped to put Bunratty Castle on the international stage. Many people in Clare and surrounding regions will remember this warm, friendly and creative woman. Vonnie was unique, talented, unconventional and her designs attracted women such as Vanessa Redgrave, Katherine Hepburn, Diana Ross and many other famous women. Two of her ball gowns were worn at President Regan’s inaugural ball. Her designs were purchased by the J Paul Getty family in San Francisco, and UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick. Her clothes have been considered collectors’ pieces and have always been valued for their timeless quality. Irish women, who wanted something special, something wearable and …

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Ennis BTEI delivers first third level course

STUDENTS of a supervisory management programme featured prominently in the annual award of certificates in Ennis Adult and Community Education Centre.The programme was at Level 6 of the Further Education & Training Awards Council of Ireland (FETAC), meaning that the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) delivered at the Clonroad Business Park centre was given the green light to run a third-level course for the first time.The BTEI is one of several programmes delivered across the county by Clare Adult and Community Education Service run by the county vocational education committee.Mike Ryan, county BTEI co-ordinator, explained how it was possible to run the new course after FETAC approved the tutorial team recruited for it, along with the proposed course content developed by his staff.Also presented on the occasion were certificates for courses conducted at the centre by Clare Adult Basic Education Service (CABES), another wing of the overall county service. The head of the county service, Aobhán Haverty, pointed to the …

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Nuremberg international war crimes tribunal

THE Second World War international war crimes tribunal was held in Nuremburg for two main reasons. The Court of Justice building was big enough and was one of the few such buildings to survive the massive Allied bombing during the war. Nuremburg had a special place in the history of pre-war Germany because in many ways, it was the ceremonial birthplace of the Nazi Party. From 1929 onwards, all their annual rallies were held there, with attendances reaching half a million. The three major allied powers, United States, USSR and Britain had begun planning for the trials of Nazi war criminals as early as 1942. England had actually wanted the Nazi leaders shot immediately after they were captured and identified but the other countries wanted a trial. France was also given a place on the tribunal and they then agreed on the format of punishment. They were very specific in their charges because it could have been argued there had …

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Have yourself a gluten- free Christmas

Clare coeliacs are invited to attend a festive Christmas Lunch and Food Fair on Sunday, December 9, from 12.30pm-4.30pm in the Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Limerick.Organised by the Limerick Coeliac Support Group, the fair is an opportunity for coeliacs, family and friends to come together to sample, taste and enjoy a range of festive food.  Tasty mince pies, chocolate, biscuit brownie samples and a goodie bag will be provided free of charge thanks to the generosity of sponsors. A large number of gluten-free food manufacturers will provide coeliac members with information on gluten-free foods with the option to sample and/or buy products on the day.Any one who wishes to attend the Christmas Lunch and fair, should contact Mariea on 086 7351527 or Noelle on 086 4046177 before November 23. Places are limited so early booking is advisable. Alternatively, coeliacs, family and friends are welcome to attend the Food Fair separately. Register to attend the fair separately by ringing 086 7351527/086 …

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