Author Archive

Feb 26

Bursting with History – The V&A Shop

Situated just off the main Victoria and Albert Museum is one of London’s hidden gems – the V&A Shop.  This elaborate shop is home to over 2,000 products, all carefully chosen to magnify the rich culture that the museum has to offer.  The museums long reputation for exhibiting decorative artwork from around the globe is echoed in the products on offer in the V&A Shop.

The V&A Shop

The range of products on offer would have any shopper in a tizz!  The V&A Shop caters to people in search of products that reflect the artistic influences of the museum itself such as one-off vintage pieces, exclusive commissions and products that are already part of design history.

The V&A Shop is aimed at a wide target market, including pockets big and small! And customers will not only walk away with an individual buy, but they can feel safe in the knowledge that every penny they spent will go back into the Victoria and Albert Museum. So don’t be afraid to splash out on a David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor print or a pair of handmade peacock slippers, as you will be helping the Victoria and Albert museum to maintain its position as the worlds leading museum of art and design.

When you’re finished buying up all the highly sought after jewellery, including our very own collections, why not enjoy a coffee in their beautiful cafe! Soak in the historic Victorian architecture while fixing on your very own artysmarty brooch that you’ve just bought!

The V&A Cafe

One of the exclusive commissions from Arty Smarty


For more information contact: +44 (0)20 7942 2696

V&A Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 2RL

or visit their website:        V&A

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Feb 14

Discover Rua, the cutest little lifestyle store this side of the Liffey!

Looking for individual products in a friendly atmosphere? Well search no more and get yourself down to Rua on Capel Street. This cute little “lifestyle store” prides itself on creating a relaxed atmosphere where one can browse unique products that range from handmade home ware to beautiful delicate jewellery.

Owners Cara and James believe their years of retail experience have given them a priceless knowledge of what their customers really want. Their passion for “lifestyle” retail is evident throughout their quirky store. This friendly couple have managed to create a beautiful space that offers customers the chance to purchase something that will not be found on the high street!

Rua is also the only Irish and European store in collaboration with esteemed New York based designer Thomas Paul. His artistic collection of household and fashion items are a great addition to the Capel street store.

Thomas Paul for Rua

Not keen on keeping their eye for individual designs a secret, Rua also holds “Chalk Paint”  workshops, which shows you how to take a drab lifeless piece of furniture and transform it into an individual art work!

Rua is the only stockist in Dublin City Centre of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. No need for sanding or priming, just open and you’re ready to go!


Some of the results from the Chalk Paint Workshops

Workshop Wonders!

Rua really has a lot to offer to customers on the hunt for something different to the unoriginal blur of products on the high street! Its collection of jewellery is one to be admired! They only choose the highest quality handmade pieces for their store.

Some quality pieces available at Rua (*wink *wink)

For more info on Rua you can visit

51 Capel Street, Dublin 1

or Call: (01) 874 8051

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10.30 – 18.00

But if Sundays are the only day you can make it down, give them a call and they’d be more than happy to open up for you! – Now that’s service!






Jan 23


Available on the player from 22nd January 2014




Nov 28

Christmas is coming….

Lots of events in the run up to Christmas that we’ll be heading along too.  Just to give you a bit of a run down in case you need some last minute bits for gifts;

Saturday 30th November – we have the annual Merrion Square Market that takes place in the Irish Architectural Archive run by the girls at the ever wonderful Irish Design Shop.  Loads of different locations this year, food, pop-up cafe, Christmas fair and a load of other things that run right up until Christmas.   We’ll be there with some special pieces and some regulars too!

13th / 14th / 15th December – the annual Christmas Cracker run by the effervescent Dublin Flea and hosted by Block T in Smithfield.  It runs for 3 days from 11am – 6pm.  Was great old craic last year and there are some amazing handmade beauties and bargains.   It’s really a nice way to do your Christmas jobs.


We are going to have some new and one-off pieces for both the markets.  I managed to get my hands on some old crystal chandelier pieces at the Flea market a few months ago and I’ve re-invented them into some delicate gold filled chain necklaces.  The crystal has real heritage and they go with any ensemble you choose to throw together!




Nov 11

Christmas Offers….


Hi Everyone!  I know, it’s a terrible thing to mention on the 11th of November but we just want to keep you up to date with shipping for Christmas.  So, the last dates for shipping for the UK and Ireland are the 13th of December, any orders after that date will be processed in the New Year.  Last dates for International shipping and U.S. is the 6th of December.  It’s not all bad though, we going to offer all of you lovely peeps free shipping from now until those dates, just enter #freechristmasship at the checkout!  Booo yaa!

Nov 07

Artysmarty at Design Week

With Irish Design Week kicking off this week, we at artysmarty, decided to keep you updated with our favourite events of the week.  The festival is based on events submitted by anyone involved in design so there’s a fabulous mix of talks, exhibitions, clinics, debates, launches etc… you get the drill. So, whether you want to pack in the whole week, or even use your lunchtime hour, there’ll be something to suit design and craft fan.

On Tuesday evening, we went along to a launch and talk entitled ‘Textile Architecture’ at the Royal Institute of the Architects in Ireland on Merrion Square.  The event marked a collaboration which saw Printblock, Dublin’s textile print collective creating a series of site specific prints for the magnificent Merrion Square headquarters of the RIAI.

Before the official opening, we were greeted to a series of fascinating and informing talks on the subject of from several speakers including our favourite Olga Tiernan from Printblock and Trish Belford, co-founder of the Tactility Factory, an innovative concrete textile company based in Belfast.

Afterwards, while sipping a glass of wine,  we got to explore the entire Georgian building, of which nearly every room was draped with beautiful screen prints from the core members of Printblock.  The show is open until the 18th of November and well worth a visit.

Olga Tiernan Diamond Print

We’ll be legging it out of the studio every evening this week to catch some of the wonderful events, we will, of course, keep you updated.

If you want to have a gander yourself, a full list of design week events can be found on their website


Oct 03

Top Drawer London 15-17th September



An exciting time was had by one and all at this years Top Drawer 2013 in the London Olympia.  We were exhibiting there for the second time, getting amongst the peeps, meeting new buyers and makers.  Also, had a great time checking out new products!


Sep 02

Jam Art Factory

Following on in our series of Irish Shops We Love, today we’re featuring Jam Art Factory, a gallery and design shop which aims to promote up and coming Irish based artists and designers.  Their aim is to give students around Ireland the chance to showcase their work as well as working with established artists resulting in an exciting blend.

Tell us a bit about the shop

We are a gallery and design shop on Patrick Street and have recently opened a new premises on Crown Alley, Temple Bar.  We specialize in selling Irish based art and design. We try to have a diverse range of stock from ceramics, paintings,  jewellery, photography, t-shirts and whole load of other pieces. A lot of the work we stock have a quirky and contemporary edge to them. We’ve been open for two years now and long may it continue! What inspired you to open your outlet and how long have you been up and running? We opened the shop two years ago to try showcase the talent the our little island has to offer. Ireland seems to be a hub of design activity over the last few years. I think the influence of a lot of different cultures and ideas from different nationalities living in Dublin and the Irish themselves has had a great effect. Also the locations we opened up in are very busy with tourists so we wanted to offer them something different than they usual leprechaun inspired souvenirs to bring home. However, in saying that, our customer base is around 50/50 with Irish and tourists. What’s your favorite part of having your own shop?  Describe a typical day for us My favourite part of having my own shop being able to pick and choose my favourite pieces of design and being able to put them all in one place. Working in the two shops day in, day out is made a whole lot easier when you are surrounded by beautifully crafted pieces. Also, there is an immense sense of pride in seeing it grow. Have you spotted any trends for SS2014 you can let us in on?  Trends I’ve noticed for SS2014?  Em, in jewellery design I’ve noticed a lot of up and coming designers using industrial inspired designs mixed with geometric shapes and maybe a strong neon colour mixed in for contrast. It’s really effective and eye catching. How can we find you?   You can find us at:Jam Art Factory Web Site Jam Art Factory on Facebook Jam Art Factory on Twitter and Instagram: jam_art_factory

Sep 02

Irish Design Shop

Here at the artysmarty studio, we’re always talking and thinking about how much we love Irish craft and design.  Why just talk about it when we can write about it?  Thus began our new feature of ‘Irish Shops we Love’.  Over the next few months we are going to feature all of the amazing Irish shops that you may or may not know about, hopefully will visit for yourself and give you the opportunity to have a nosey about from the relative laziness of your desk!  First beautiful shop is the Irish Design Shop.Founded in 2008 by jewellers Clare Grennan and Laura Caffrey, Irish Design Shop stocks the best of Irish design including ceramics, woodwork, textiles, jewellery and furniture. Being makers themselves, they saw a need for a fresh approach to selling Irish craft which promoted handmade techniques and the makers behind the products.  In addition to the shop section of their site, they run features on makers around the country through articles and videos. In December 2008, they opened a pop up shop in the city centre (In Powerscourt Townhouse). Seeing the advantages of having a physical presence, gave them the initiative to look for a premises where they could operate their business from on a long-term basis. Tell us a bit about the shop.   Irish Design Shop was created by Clare Grennan and Laura Caffrey to showcase the best of craft and design made in Ireland. The products have a focus on craftsmanship and design that embraces traditional skills as well as a contemporary aesthetic. What inspired you to open your outlet and how long have you been up and running?   Having sold our own jewellery for several years at markets and fairs, and not being able to find a suitable outlet to sell our work, we were inspired us to set up our own shop. With the aim to create a suitable outlet for not only our own work but the work of other talented makers we knew were creating great work around the country. What’s your favorite part of having your own shop?  Describe a typical day for us! Our favorite part of the new shop is the layout and feel. We worked very closely with Sticks ff who built all of the fittings for the shop to create the warm, clean feel of the shop, using minimal colours and fuss to really showcase the products themselves. Have you spotted any trends for SS2014 you can let us in on?   We don’t necessarily follow trends in Irish Design Shop, but veer towards colourful, well crafted objects which are timeless. How can we find you?   You can find us at our new shop : 41 Drury Street, Dublin 2, or at our gallery shop in the RHA Gallery: Ely Place, Dublin 2, or on-line at :


Aug 30

Love Vintage

Continuing on with our special ‘we love Irish shops’ theme this week we’re going to take a bit of time to get to know, Love Vintage! Tell us a bit about the shop. Love Vintage is literally the love of my life! I, Carolanne Joyce, am on my 13th shop in this lifetime. This one is the most joyful; its ethos is re-use, spread the joy, get all those treasured pieces out of the attic and into the light of my shop Love Vintage!! I also sell new and oid and books. What inspired you to open your outlet and how long have you been up and running? I adore things like vintage tea party, birdsong, Taschen books and our best seller, foraging !!!  We are all getting back to simpler times beside the most joyous book birdsong are artysmary’s bird brooches. Artysmarty brings such creativity into the shop and of course it sells like mad !!!! What’s your favorite part of having your own shop?  Describe a typical day for us! The shop is in a continuous state of change and excitement, re inventing itself to please all the diverse customers who love, like me, Connemara.  To travel through the mountains and breathe the still gentle energy of Connemara is bliss itself. I try to reflect that in my shop and what I choose to put in it, the artysmarty collection sits beautifully beside scarves vintage bags…gloves…clip on earrings and so many more unusual pieces from all over the world.  A feast for the eyes. That what Love Vintage is!  I love being able to choose mind blowing things that’s why I love having my own shop!  I am on my fourth year now yephee !!!! Have you spotted any trends for SS2014 you can let us in on? The trend towards seeing our surroundings in a new way has led to an increased interest in nature. Hence birds, owls, foxs, etc. are selling in lots of forms; brooches, books, necklaces [and of course the foraging theme is the next big thing. (TELL NO ONE !!!!). How can we find you? Check us out on Facebook : Love Vintage on Facebook Come to Clifden, Connemara we are on Market Street. Phone me for opening times; Carolanne +353 (0)85 1515 879.