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easter – chocolate and stones

easter, chocolate, gift, stone
Easter Baby
I was born on Easter Sunday in 1963 so it the Easter Bunny that brought me along. The bunny must have been on some protein drinks programme  because my poor petite mother gave birth to a   bonny lad weighing in at  10Ibs 8ounces……a premier Easter egg if I may say so myself  with lots of surprises in the inside! I am still working out what they are !….Liam the other half of MYSTONES on the other hand is  more of a slim line egg with a dark side …he actually likes  dark chocolate !  Anyway …….Easter is coming and all that chocolate is threating …….what is all is about…..so much chocolate !  I don’t  eat as much chocolate as I did …I am 24 and a bit  now …..well in my head I am ……I will always be tempted by the a chocolate Easter Bunny but maybe one of the things that I am taken by now is a gift that has some deeper meaning, some permanent meaning
Easter Gift that is close to nature, and so Liam and I developed the MYSTONES Stones of the Spirits…… We wanted to honour our ancient religious heritage …..we want to off If If you would like to give religious gift at Easter….we wanted to represent some Irish Celtic signs on stones that would be lovely to give as gifts  alongside the Easter Bunny
So MYSTONES has a variety of Easter Gift Stones …..We have beautiful  a  Celtic Cross stone  and individual  stones engraved with the  uplifting text of   PEACE, LOVE, HOPE,  There is something about have a memory/token of Easter be it a sign of the Resurrection , hope, optimism  that we can l lovely to  keep,,,,so a stone  as a  token of this time to remind us when times are difficult ……for those who travel their life journey in the  Christian Churches  we have includes this extraordinary sense of Love and Peace that is Easter in the MYSTONES collection
 So lets enjoy the chocolate and let’s give a gift of a stone from Ireland to represent some say the jagged corners of life, the stone edges that represent the challenges and let’s face it …the suffering that life may present us with ….lets give a stone to represent the truth of the beauty and edginess that is  life. Easter in many traditions can represent the power of faith and commitment ……We wanted  the   MYSTONES collection to open gifts that can represent goodness and peace.
Now for Heavens sake ……let’s not get so heavy.! MYSTONES are also light! in more ways that one !! We have some witty stones ….YOU ROCK, I’M CUTE, LUCKY ME, LUCKY YOU, stones that fit in one’s pocket …stones for your bag can that be taken out when the time is right to have a private a public giggle !! I have a stone in my bag with the text REMEMBRANCE engraved …..it’s my way of remembering my lovely Dad.  I like the ancient Irish tradition of leaving a stone at a shrine so I leave a MYSTONE at  special places  from a  cemetery  or in my wardrobe ….my car…on my piano ……I see the stone reminding me of a person, or an occasion or feeling ….I like to hold the stone ….and yes I don’t know why …but it does….it does comfort me ……or bringing  up a lovely memory ….so Easter is the Bunny, the Easter Lily, and a lovely special MYSTONE…Feel .,,,,,Touch and Enjoy
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Corporate Gifts – the art of giving

corporate gift art giving

Corporate Gifts – the art of giving

Shouldn’t a corporate gift should not be corporate at all ! I mean gifts are from people and to people…brands don’t give gifts and  people are not brands ! We  in MSTONES like to think that we extend our personal passions in gift form to our clients and customers . A “corporate”  gift reflects the passions of a set of people that come together through the art of giving to connect to people. So maybe we need to lost the word corporate and say it as it as ” a gift from us ” That is exactly what MYSTONES are doing!  A stone is a stone but a stone has it’s own character and feel just like we as people have as individuals ….a stone can be held, felt and yet can be silent and always there …..and hopefully we as people want to be supportive professionals like the stones MYSTONES are…strong…. Irish, sincere and unique and maybe a bit edge and funny as well!
There is something special about a gift that comes from Irish soil, handled by Irish hands, design created by Irish artists, Irish citizen that pack your stone……that’s a traditional Irish process of taking something from nature, honouring it’s origins from nature, linking it to our Celtic past with many of our designs originating from this special time in our past and passing this special natural gift to friends, colleagues and clients. That’s the true meaning of a corporate gift ! ….at least that’s our philosophy and ethos. We think it is not necessarily about putting a logo on something that will identify your passions and message to the world.

Corporate Logos

look great in certain contexts but we ask our clients to reflect on what other possibilities  for a message would they consider on a stone. Keep it simple…… Some of our  conversations with clients have come up with words that reflect a feeling behind   the partnership that they have with their clients for example one client were brave enough to put the word  Beauty engraved on a stone which their clients just loved at a professional and personal level. It is a supplier dealing with a fashion brand. Beauty made sense! It was real !  Another organisation distributed stones with the word  Love engraved……they were brave ..but their clients were those who were just experienced a breaveremet.  Let’s keep our ” corporate ” gifts as meaningful gifts that a CEO or HR or whoever gives them is offering them as memorable meaningful or fun gifts that enhance the live of the giver and the receiver.

 

It is not about showing a logo or giving an object that everyone wonders what to do with it !  but instead creating a gift  that will give meaning and pleasure to folks be  clients or employees. We can all do better we think with the concept of the art of giving. Can we be more imaginative, more daring with our choice of corporate gifts. Behind every corporate gift there is imagination, creativity, beliefs , interests. Tell us what they are and MYSTONES will explore possibilities for your company to extend gifts that your clients will want to share outside the corporate context !  Because we bring our lives home with us after work so to can we bring our reactions to lovely gifts home with us. Doesn’t that really mean that the gifting is about gifts for life ……not just gifts for part of the day…part of one’s life !

Engraved Irish Stone

Consider a beautiful Irish natural engraved stone  for your clients that can be placed in a person’s pocket or bag to remind them of who you are, what kind of values and experience you offer or the humour that you shared with them ……they will remember you …..Consider one word …on special word  that really captures your company’s  imagination ….we can help…..the art of giving
Our stone has been around for millions of years …it symbolises strength, longevity….it is the perfect foundation to carry your message…..hold, feel and enjoy MYSTONES……
To enquire about your corporate gifts please contact us here or feel free to email us……ask@mystones.ie
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Saint Patrick’s Day – March 17 2016

leprechaun, shamrock

Saint Patrick’s Day, also known as Paddy’s Day or Patrick’s Day depending on where you are is a bit of a big day for us Irish.

Saint Patrick is Ireland’s National Saint or Patron Saint and we celebrate this on the 17th March, which is the date of his death.  We have a public holiday or bank holiday here in Ireland and the entire island celebrates this day.

Our National Saint’s day has been adopted around the world as a day of celebration, not just amongst our diaspora of which there are many but also by large portions of our Diaspora’s communities.

This is a great thing to see, the reach of our little island.

A few facts (or legends) about our man in green:

Sometime in the 5th Century a young man aged 16 was captured in Wales by marauding Irish (our bad!) and taken back to Ireland where he (Patrick) was forced to work as a shepherd.

Patrick escaped his captors after six years and fled back to Great Britain where he became a cleric and returned to Ireland and started to preach Christianity to the pagan locals (us!).

Patrick used the native shamrock plant to explain Christian principles to the pagan natives, thus started the tradition of wearing shamrock or exchanging gifts of shamrock on this day. So now the humble shamrock is the unofficial symbol of all things Irish.

Begorrah!

Saint Patrick is supposed to have fasted on top of a Mayo mountain Croagh Patrick (“The Reek”) for 40 days and now every year it is the site of a pilgrimage.  Regardless of your beliefs this pilgrimage or mountain walk is amazing and should be done for the views alone. I have done this many times, even on the pilgrimage day (last Sunday in July). I did not however do the traditional hardcore version of the pilgrimage which is carried out barefoot.

Green Day – Today

Today,  our national day is a big deal and people the world over flock to Irish stores to buy traditional irish gifts or gag/funny gifts to celebrate the day. Large shamrocks, leprechaun hats, and Guinness are in big demand on this day.

People come out on the streets to watch their local parades which range from the rather large New York parade to the more modest 98 foot long parade in Hot Spings, AR.

Funnily enough the first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade took place in Boston in 1737, in Ireland we did not have our first Paddy’s Day Parade until 1975!

Parade’s are not a very Irish thing and we celebrated in our way, where mass was definitely involved but followed by less sombre activities……..hic!

So wherever you are and whatever you find yourself doing we hope you enjoy March 17th.

Begorrah!

We have noticed that the more people enjoy March 17th the less they enjoy March 18th.

#InternationalHangoverDay

So for some creative irish gift ideas why not have a look here

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Leap year day 2016 – free day!

yolo stone magnet, leap year day 2016

Leap Year 2016

So we made it through Valentine’s day…… I hope it was great or bearable for you depending on your own particular relationship with that day!

So now what does the rest of this short month of February have in store for us?

It is a leap year this year so we all get one extra day, February 29th 2016.

I don’t know what today’s people think about the most well know tradition associated with leap year days.

The 29th February tradition is that every leap year day women propose marriage to men.

Do you think it is outdated/sexist/cute or if you have even heard of it?

I do imagine that there will be some apprehensive lads out there that day. Now, whether they are waiting desperately to be asked or will be avoiding all contact on that day is the question!

 

Leap Day customs & traditions.

The Irish take on this tradition is that St Brigid agreed with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.

Which was nice of them!

Many countries called the leap day “Bachelor’s Day” for a man was expected to pay a penalty if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. This penalty was usually paid in money or clothes, lots of pairs of gloves usually, so that the unfortunate dejected lady would not suffer the indignation of showing off her bare finger.

The leap year is something that happens due to our orbit around the sun and the inconvenient fact that it takes 365 and a quarter days to complete one full orbit. This means that every 4 years we have a day extra. There was a more convoluted way of handling this extra time but then when Caesar came to power approx 2,000 years ago he ordered that a better way be found. Since that time we have had a regular pattern of leap years, the last leap year was 2012 and the next leap day will be the 29th February 2020. Simple!

Free day!

I have always regarded leap days as a gift of extra time and so I generally try to make that day a bit special, make the most of this little solar quirk. This usually involves not working and heading off somewhere.

Any plans to mark your “Free” day?

Take a leap!

It is becoming more and more common for people to call leap days as “take a leap” day.

This is a day when people do something adventurous (for them), so whether this means taking up a zumba class, learning French or starting a new career this is the day they “take the leap”.

Great sentiment!

YOLO

 

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IRISH MAMMIES – mother’s day

unique mothers day gift ideas

Hello,

Someone mentioned Mother’s day yesterday and it was my usual panicked response of “ohhh, what day is that?”…..hoping that the answer would be a date in the future!

Mother’s day is early this year……6th March……remember that lads and lassies…..06th March 2016!

So after the initial relief that I did not miss it my next thought is what to get my mother.

I am fortunate to have a great and healthy mammy, god bless her!

Flowers are always a good idea, aren’t they?

It is always good to have a look and see what else is out there, if like me it has been flowers for a good few years now it may be a good idea to mix it up a little!

So, unique mother’s day gift ideas are always good to have.

What would we do without them!

Irish Mammies are the best…..all knowing, long-suffering and full of wisdom……

 

“if you fall off that wall and break your legs, don’t come running to me”

“where are you going looking like that?”

“you will not………while you are under this roof!”

 

So, whatever you do, don’t forget the 06th March and do whatever you need to do to let your own mammy know that she is loved…..and all that effort has resulted in a nice person who remembers their mammy!

If you are looking for some unique mother’s day gift ideas, why not chose from our Irish made gifts that mammy would appreciate.

Why not send her love or grá or some of our quirky magnets.

love – grá

I don’t want to get any of ye out there in trouble, if your mother likes flowers then get her flowers but if you feel that she might like something different instead of/to go with her flowers then go with that!

Now….whatever you do don’t forget the 06th March!

“or else………(insert wooden spoon threat here)”

 

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Our Story – inspired by the Blarney Stone

THE MYSTONES STORY AND HARP STONE, unique irish stone gifts

Our story explained….a little!

MYSTONES is made up of Martin from Cork and Liam from Mayo (Hon Mayo!).

Martin studied music and then taught music and produced events.

Liam studied zoology and then was a pet relocator (yes, that’s a real job).

When people ask what we do at MYSTONES we say we engrave Irish stone with designs and messages (very well too by the way!) but this is technically incorrect. There is no proper term yet for what we do to stone. It’s true, we googled it.

Serendipity was also googled, as this has a lot to do with why we don’t know the name for what we do. We need to go back a little…

MYSTONES – the idea!

The idea for MYSTONES originated within view of the famous blarney stone and this is where work began.

We wanted to create a true keepsake for all those who traveled so far to experience our little island. We wanted people to take away with them a little piece of here but with our special touch. We just didn’t know what that special touch was yet.

In our search we stumbled upon a new method of engraving stone. The immense heat of the laser beam melts the surface of the stone and beautiful, dark crystals form on the surface. This is something that you probably have not seen before, we certainly hadn’t. We don’t engrave into the stone and take away, we add to the stone.

We add sparkle!

Inspiration

Our inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere but usually starts at our love of our Celtic roots, the natural world and being human. We always want to have a bit of craic along the way too so we feel MYSTONES reflects all of this.

We are proud to be Irish, we are proud to be carrying on the ancient Irish tradition of using stone as a symbol of
the spirit, of hope and of fun!

Slán!

Liam & Martin

our story

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new month and new office – enterprise

RUBICON CENTER BUILDING

Happy Monday Folks!

Well we survived our first Showcase at the RDS. It was an excellent event; the response to MYSTONES was fantastic. We got great feedback and lots of interest which we are delighted about.

We moved into a new office on Friday in the Rubicon Center, CIT Campus, Cork, www.rubiconcenter.ie

This is Ireland’s leading innovation hub, geared to help start up business and so it is a great opportunity for any young company.

We are very excited here at MYSTONES to be part of this center as there is great support and mentoring available for young business.

Local Enterprise Office

I would also like to thank the LEO (Local Enterprise Office) for all of their help and support, especially the LEO Cork City which is our local branch.

For all of you start up’s out there the LEO is a great support system and should be engaged with if you want to give your start up the best opportunity.

There is a great mentoring system which can be used to help you with all aspects of setting up and running your own business.

Starting up and then running your own business can be very overwhelming, there are so many factors to consider, so many new faculties to master.  Just because you have started your own business unfortunately does not mean that you are now a master of marketing, accounting, social media, business forecasting,  planning…the list does go on!

Personally, I found that trying to preempt the implications of all decisions further down the line to be very stressful and this often resulted in delayed decision making.

The mentoring support offered by the LEO’s mean that you can talk to seasoned professionals and they will help you take the guess work out of much of your decision making.

They provide focus, which is great!

 

So if you are a new start up or are considering taking the plunge then I would recommend getting in touch with your local enterprise office and starting the conversation.

Good luck in all your future endeavours!

 

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January Highlight – SHOWCASE at the RDS

irish stone wall made from MYSTONES engraved irish gift stone

Oh January!

We hope that all your January’s are being gentle on you, it can be a long month…..

We here at MYSTONES  are working away getting ready for Showcase 2016 at the RDS ,  24-27th January.

Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo®

Explore the best of Ireland’s creativity from over 450 exhibitors including leading Irish designers and manufacturers and the very best emerging home grown creative talent.

It is both flattering and daunting to be exhibiting alongside the most creative and innovative of Ireland’s design and craft professionals.

If you are visiting the RDS for the trade show then come up and say hello.

We are in Stand F90 in the balcony, we get the good views!

Toodles!

 

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Christmas Gift List and Showcase Ireland @RDS

Hello,

I hope everyone out there is doing well? How are all the Christmas preparations going? Getting through the list of gifts to buy I hope.

We here at MYSTONES are in festive mood but are already looking ahead to our next event. We will be at the Showcase Ireland exhibition in January 24-27 in the RDS. We will be in the gift section. This is exciting as we get to introduce MYSTONES to a host of retailers and buyers. It should be a good and busy few days as it is a very popular trade fair.

Fell free to say hello if you are at the show.

Anyway, better go and continue with our preparations.

Slán!

 

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new site – hope you like it

We have been slaving away here at MYSTONES, we hope you can the result of some of our efforts.

We have been working with a great product photographer to get some amazing shots of our stones.

We then worked with great techhie guys to get a new site to show off our new pics.

There is lots more work to be done both on and off the site so check back every now and again to see what we have been up to.

Christmas is coming also so there is that present list to get working on. Order soon to ensure your irish made engraved stone or wooden gift is delivered in plenty of time for Christmas.

Anway, better go and do stuff.

Toodles!

 

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getting out there

Thanks very much to those folks who suggested setting up a FaceBook Page. It is “a must have”  we know ! We are so busy here these days …..lots of ideas are emerging for organizations and companies who would like a specially  commissioned stone and box either as gifts for their staff or corporate gifts for clients. We will design a gift box that immediately identifies with stone with the organization…

Special thanks also to those schools who have ordered stones as gifts for their sixth year students. Schools can have the initials of the school engraved on the stone or a key word or wish that their students carry with them as they start the next part of their journey …..some students are buying them as gifts for their friends as good luck gifts !
Our recent lovely weather in Ireland really allows the stones to glisten under the sunlight ! The crystals just gleam under the sun’s rays !
If anyone has ideas for a stone …no matter how mad or off the wall it is …do please  feel free to contact us ! Ideas come from all sorts of places so please drop us a line.
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eclipse

That was an amazing eclipse last week! We took MY STONES  outside to see how they would react in this special light and they look so  amazing !! The crystals in the Irish stone really make the stone come alive in the light ……It reinforced for us how special our stones of remembrance are to those who have lost someone …..Thanks to those who have supported us ….we are so delighted that these Irish Stones are now being enjoyed by folks throughout the globe !