~an adventure in music~and a little fashion~

Do you love music?
This is where I post my music. One of my great loves in life. It's something I cannot be without. Carnival is my place to post what I'm listening to. It's really a blog for me, as I have rather eclectic taste in music and don't really expect many others to be right there with me! However, I do love when someone does find something that speaks to them, as has happened. Now that makes me so happy!
And please do take a peek there, just there above, where it says 'Music and Me' to see why I do.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Winter Winds.

Now that the previously enjoyed Christmas music has suddenly lost it's luster, (funny that, isn't it?) we've been enjoying a number of new albums that have done much to lift our spirits as the winter winds continue to blow, without any hope of snow.

Mumford and Sons has been my musical tipple of choice of late, and a more uplifting bunch of songs I couldn't hope to have found. These chaps are from West London, and their music takes what I love about folk music and cranks it up, filling it up til it's bursting with an enthusiasm and fervor that almost rivals the likes of Arcade Fire. It is heartfelt, and lovely, and perfectly put on their bioThey create a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the might of Kings Of Leon, and their incredible energy draws us in quickly to their circle of songs, to the warmth of their stories, and to their magical community of misty-eyed men.

Misty-eyed men... sigh...

Call me an old romantic why don't you.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Let The White Stuff In.

So, while out in the madness of the Christmas shops this afternoon, I found myself in an outdoors clothing shop and I unexpectedly came across a new clothing label I'd never heard of. It seemed an odd place to have had these particular clothes, in amongst the likes of Ripcurl and Roxy (which I am partial to on occasion), but I came straight home and googled them. I think White Stuff is UK based, given the prices are in GBP, but there's not much else info on their site.

I love this sweet dress. It's called the 'Happy Culture' dress, and I think I love it a tiny bit more than the 'Sleepy Hollow' dress. But only a tiny bit.

And the skirts, oh my. Yes, I am a skirt girl, through and through. Skirts and dresses. And how to make a choice.

So, the Wishing On A Star skirt?

Or the Tranquility skirt?

And don't get me started on the knitwear!

How sweet is this tank top?

Yes, skirts,  and dresses and knitwear. I think I'll be back after Christmas to spend some money on myself. Kit myself out for the new year!

Yes, that sounds like a plan.

Monday, 7 December 2009

A Magical Man.

For the last three years, once Christmas starts to roll around, there is only one album I want to hear. Sufjan Stevens is one of those artists who, every time I find myself re-listening to his music, I am literally stopped in my tracks. He amazes me every time.

There is a magical quality to his music which I love, and a purity that just seeps under my skin. I cannot think of anyone else who creates music like this.

But it is also, at times, tongue in cheek, and often humorous with song titles such as 'They Are Night Zombies! They Are Neighbors! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhhh!'

In 2006 he released Songs for Christmas, a 5 cd box set of Christmas Carols and original compositions recorded between 2001 and 2006. And it is this that has made Christmas for me over the last three years.
A stunning collection that I am still getting to know, even after repeated listenings.

And once I start listening to it I find myself getting my Sufjan Crush all over again and I cannot stop listening to his other music too.

Until the kids ask me to stop...

My poor, long suffering friends on Facebook have been quietly putting up with my Christmas Countdown with Sufjan' that I've been doing each day since the 1st of December. A song a day. My kind of advent countdown!

I wanted to include a favourite song here, but it's been incredibly difficult to choose just one. But I think, given the time of year I will share one with you from the above album.

This was recorded in Dublin a few years back. I remember it well because I didn't get tickets to it and was sorely peeved about that! I heard after it was amazing.

And I love that they are all wearing wings!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Yellow Bird Project.

How about this for a perfect blend of music and fashion? Believe it or not I first came across this on a pop up ad on Facebook of all things. A Bon Iver designed t-shirt? How could I not click on it! And I am very glad I did.
The Yellow Bird Project is a Montreal based non-profit charity project that invites bands to design t-shirts, the proceeds of which go to a charity of their choice.

For Bon Iver t-shirt: details and info here.

For Clap Your Hands Say Yeah t-shirt: details and info here.

For My Brightest Diamond t-shirt: details and info here.

For Laura Veirs t-shirt: details and info here.

For Ra Ra Riot t-shirt: details and info here.

And as you would expect, they are pretty cool designs aren't they? And guess which one is on my wishlist?
And if I was buying Christmas presents for my entire family this year, they'd all be getting one of these!

Do check out Yellow Bird Project for more bands and designs. And it gets better: they also do an Indie Rock Coloring Book for adults, with designs by the likes of Rilo Kiley, The National, and The Shins.

'Intended for bearded hipsters and the women who abide them...' 

Sounds right up my street, then! 

Saturday, 21 November 2009


Another music post. I know. But I guess I've been doing more listening than looking lately, and this particular gem is something that just keeps on growing the more you listen to it.

Chequerboard is John Lambert, an Irish musician who divides his time between Dublin, and Sligo, and there is something both soothing and uplifting about his music that means you can have it on loop for a whole day and at no point do you feel you've overdone it.

In the words of The Ticket magazine: Chequerboard is the nomme de guerre of Irish musician & visual artist John Lambert who blends classically tinged acoustic guitar music with glitchy electronica. His delicate, detailed and emotionally charged instrumental music has been capturing the imagination of critics and the public alike since the release of his celebrated ‘Penny Black’ album. (***** 5 stars, The Ticket)

Here's one of his suitably atmospheric video's that perfectly captures his sound, which has been described as soundscapes. Do give it time, it's a slow build.

Check out a series of article on John here on NME's website. And you can hear some of his music over on his myspace here.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Cold Water. Damien Rice.

A personal message.

This is for you.

My heart is broken for you...

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Great Lake Swimmers.

It's Saturday morning.

Everyone seems well here in the moth house.

At last...

So, here's the new video from Great Lake Swimmers who we've been listening to on this grey morning.

Happy weekend!

Friday, 6 November 2009

I Heart....

This blog!!

Liebemarlene, Vintage Look Book. I discovered this gorgeous blog a while back and bookmarked it where it promptly got lost in my overcrowded 'bookshelf' of bookmarked blogs (phew!), and i just rediscovered it and am totally smitten! 

Do take a peek!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Grizzly Bear.

Something for the weekend.

Hope you have a lovely one!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Iron & Wine.

This is who I'm listening to today. Another firm favourite of mine.

This video was directed by Sam Beam of Iron & Wine himself.

I love how simple it is, yet so evocative, and so beautiful.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Well, my lovely friend Lisa sent me an email this evening with a long list of links to ModCloth. They describe themselves as selling Mod Retro Indie Clothing & Vintage Clothes.

We like the same things. Yes we do. And I am totally smitten!.

And Lisa, I'm gonna have to fight you for this divine dress! Even the name... 'Soda Fountain Dress in Ginger'. Mmmm...

They have a huge array of dresses, with a mix of new and vintage pieces, with even the new pieces having a timeless look to them.

Yes, I do love my dresses. Think I need me some new ones though!

And with prices that won't break the bank, it's hard to find fault.

I think there'll be a few more posts from this site as I haven't even begun to check out the swimwear... or the cardies....

Friday, 9 October 2009

Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros

So, something fun now. This I am enjoying immensely at the moment, and hope you do too!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Dark Was The Night.

So, I have been immersing myself in a lot of new music lately. I tend to get a bit obsessive about it and listen to things on loop, so I try to get a few at a time so I have enough to not get tired of them!

One thing I have been listening to a lot is a double compilation album called 'Dark Was The Night'. An incredible collection of some of the most important musicians of today, and including a whole list of my personal favourites.

For a fairly well rounded review of the album, check this review over on Pitchfork, my favourite online music magazine. (I might just forgive Mr. Plagenhoef his slight slight on Bon Iver ahem!)

So, at the risk of boring you and giving the impression I am limited in my listening, I won't be posting either of the two divine songs by Justin Vernon/Bon Iver! Instead I thought I'd share this stunninly beautiful heartbreaker with you.

It's a song by Grizzly Bear, and performed by Grizzly Bear with Feist.


If you are interested, you can check out some more of these songs on youtube here.

Monday, 7 September 2009

An Uncommon Man.

I totally love this man.

Justin Vernon also known as Bon Iver. His album 'For Emma, forever ago...' is still, nearly two years later, on my daily playlist. I think it's probably one of three or four album's that I never get tired listening to. Definitely one of my Desert Island Discs.

How many men can write a song about falling in love at the local blood bank, and make it a totally romantic experience?

If you haven't heard him before, do check out that very song, 'Blood Bank' from his new EP, along with a couple of songs from the 'For Emma...' album over here.

I think the reason his music gets under my skin the way it does is because it is so heartfelt. Here's a guy who is not just writing clever songs because he can. You can tell he's giving us a bit of his very fiber when he writes these beautiful songs.

And I love that his blog and his flickr is just full of his family and friends. So sweet. And you can feel it in his music.

All that love!

Edit: As I've been going through yet another obsessive-listening-on-repeat phase of his work, I was inspired to write to Mr. Vernon and tell him just how much I love his music. So I wrote him a note the other night... and he wrote back....

How amazing and sweet is that?

I can't stop smiling!

Friday, 4 September 2009


A gorgeous fashion photoshoot in this months Country Living magazine caught my eye the other day. It included items from a number of my favourite clothing people like Odd Molly, Marilyn Moore and Toast and was of course all put together in such a gorgeous way so as to convince you that if you wore these clothes you would look just like the willowy, svelte model in the pictures.... sigh.

Anyway, these pictures are not from that article, but from the website of a new-to-me brand called Saltwater that I discovered while perusing the pages.

I just love this romantic look.

They are a British company based in London and Cornwall, (how perfect!) and this is their Spring/Summer collection from this year.

In their words: This spring we have been inspired by the American deep south, with beautiful fine china prints, water colour dragonflies, soft cottons and indigo-dyed linens.

Oh I just love this!

My only complaint is that they don't put prices on their website...grr... pet hate and all that. So I can only go on the prices that were shown in the above mentioned photoshoot. Let's just say it's out of my wallet capacity!

Still, it is a look that has thrift store/charity shop written all over it and would be very easy to recreate quite cheaply.

I'll be keeping an eye on this site as I wait to see their Autumn/ Winter collection.

Soon I hope.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The Leisure Society ~ The Last of the Melting Snow.

This little song has been on my playlist for the last twenty four hours since I discovered The Leisure Society recently.

I'm loving it.

A lot of the music I've been listening to lately is American, and when I first heard this I particularly enjoyed their distinctly English sound. They've been compared to Fleet Foxes, and I can see why. But with a twist of English tea.

The Last of the Melting Snow.

And it also has the nicest collection of the best sort of wooly jumpers I've seen in a long time!

You'll be seeing more from these people here, definitely.


A New Beginning.

Poor, neglected ~Carnival~.

I can't believe I haven't posted here all summer.

There is a number of reasons. We had a lot going on here between house renovations and family members visiting from afar, and all that aside from the usual summer holiday stuff that just took over.

So, I've decided to add a new slant to ~Carnival~. Something that will mean I'll be posting a lot more frequently here. I realised that one thing that doesn't get a look-in on my various blogs is actually something that is huge in my life. Music.

So it seemed to me that this was the perfect place to share some of the incredible music that is out there now.

Frocks and Songs. Mmm. My favourite combination!

I hope you like the new improved ~Carnival~!

Love, Ciara x

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Mucha Dress.

Last week was a week of celebrations in our house which I posted about on Milkmoon.

This feels very indulgent, but since there was a lot of interest about my wedding dress, and thank you for that, I thought you might like to see this most wonderful dress of mine. And it seemed that Carnival was a more appropriate place to show it!

It was designed by me, made by my Mum, and based on the paintings by one of my favourite painters, Alphonse Mucha, whose romantic women seemed to me to be the perfect model for a wedding ideal. 
The bodice was velvet and the dress was cotton with a satin band. Mum dyed the velvet and cotton to get the exact shade I had in mind. The Moon detail was appliqued on and the stars were beaded, and on the satin band on the hem were embroidered and beaded spirals.

As I said in the comments on the original Milkmoon post, I've worn it to my own wedding twice (to the same dear man!), but I think it would take a miracle to fit me into it again!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Whole Grain Baby.

I can't remember where I first came across Whole Grain Baby, but I was reminded of just how gorgeous the clothes are when Varenia left some very sweet comments here. Check out these delightful clothes for little ones!

This ruffled top is just after my own heart. I'd wear it myself any day.

I can't decide if I love the fabrics, or the retro designs best. Both remind me of my own childhood.

And I know it's probably a bit girly and flowery, but I could just see this adorable coat on Ed. Though not sure if he'd agree!

Do also take a moment to peep into Varenia's beautiful  blog about her gorgeous family. It truly is a heartwarming place.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Sweetness in a Bonnet.

I have a thing for old-fashioned baby hats, and last weekend as I walked through the farmers market in Greystones I spotted these little gems. There is a very nice lady called Elaine who has a stall where she sells her handknits. And at €5 I just couldn't resist them. She said they were knit up from her mothers pattern which she modified. 

It was this blue one that caught my eye as it reminded me so much of this precious keepsake

And I have a certain tiny new person in mind for this sweet yellow one, (hope you're not reading just yet Tali!)

(Sorry the picture quality is a bit dodgy.)

So, if you are interested and in the Greystones area in the next couple of weeks, Elaine will be giving knitting workshops in the Meridian Centre from 16th May to 6th June, (€5).

Friday, 8 May 2009

What Edmund Wore Today.

He lays out his clothes every night. 

He loves his t-shirts. But not this one so much anymore. It's too babyish. What a shame because it's one of my favourites. 
Still, at least Billy will get to wear it!

T-shirt: Smafolk. Via Nordic Kids.
Jeans: H&M
Boots: Next

This is what happens when I ask him can I take his picture...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Orla Kiely.

I have to admit it has taken me a while to 'get' the whole Orla Kiely thing. I always liked her designs, but wasn't as besotted as so many others were. 


I am falling over myself at her new range of dresses for spring. I just adore the whole retro thing she is doing. It's so appealing to me. In a childhood-summer-memories sort of a way.

So check out this diverse selection of dresses. I just can't decide...


I think I may just have to do another post on her soon!

Thursday, 30 April 2009

National Swap Party!

Thanks so much to my friend Nina for the heads up about this Saturday's National Swap Party!
It's taking place all over the country and is organised as part of Ethical Fashion Week.

Find out more info over at Fashion Evolution where they have a list of the different venues it's taking place. The nearest one to here, for local readers, is in The Fabric Gallery in Bray.

They also have tips for hosting your own!

Also, check out their  list of events happening throughout the fashion week from April 25th- May 2nd. 

Monday, 27 April 2009

What We Wore To The Fair.

We had a lovely Sunday afternoon at the Vintage Fair in Dun Laoghaire. The style was incredible! People were dressed in the most fabulous outfits from various different eras. It was so crowded tht it was almost impossible to take photos of any of them. So here's a peek at what some of our little family wore. The ones that allowed themselves to be photographed!

I'll have to post a separate photo of the little shirt Billy is wearing in this pic. It was generously given to me by a dear friend who's mother made it by hand for her first son/grandson. He's now 30 and his grandmother is no longer with us, but I love how her love was stitched into the tiny stitches in this sweet little shirt. I am honored to have it.

This is Finn-style. She got a great sense for combining colour and pattern! And the best part is that it's exactly how I would do it. And did in the past!

This is a rare picture of Ru. He's got his own thing going in the last year. Before that he would have worn anything that was thrown at him! I love to see him find what he likes.

And finally, here's a picture of my outfit, as taken by Finn!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Have You Been Bitten?

Sorry about the break here. I suppose it's my own fault having too many blogs! Every so often life gets hectic and something's got to give. 

Anyway, back to business. And I thought I'd start with something a bit fun! For all you Mother's that have been bitten... 

This gem which is available here at CafePress and was sent to me by Lisa. Thank you!

Sometimes a little bit of escapism and fun is a good remedy for the daily grind! Oh to be 17 again... sigh...

Saturday, 28 March 2009

La Boheme.

One of my favourite Etsy shops for browsing is La Boheme, a lovely little place in  gorgeous La Rochelle on the west coast of France. If you ever fancy a city break for a weekend it's perfect. Or you can head out to the island of  Ile de Re for some fab French camping. If you can bear to fly with them, Ryanair fly into the heart of La Rochelle. 
I only wish I had known of this little treasure box when I was there.

Isabelle has a wonderful array of clothes, accessories and jewellry, and at great prices too.
I do love those dresses that make you think of sultry foreign films where the local beauty is beautiful no matter how lowly her wardrobe is, and she always gets the right man in the end.

I do think the artful yet rustic settings of Isabelle's photos add to the attraction, don't you?

I was delighted to see that Isabelle is now blogging too. You can take a peek here!