Eerie Art

We decided to try a something new today and we created theses spooky bat pictures!!!!!


Some people were inspired to do their own Halloween art and these two witches were the result………





La vita è bella

La vita e bélla translates as “Life is beautiful”

This month we learned all about Italy, we have learned about the food they eat, the language they speak, we learned about the Vatican in Rome and about the waterways of Venice, we watched a video of an Italian chef cooking up a delicious traditional Italian meal, we listened to some of the most inspiring opera music, we watched U2’s Bono singing with Pavarotti. We learned that some of us here in Airdnua have family members who live in Italy and what their experience is. We talked about films like “The Godfather” and what we know about the Italian mafia. We also explored the amazing artists and sculptors of Italy and learned a little about the Renaissance. We watched a ten minute video on the Sistine Chapel, we were all impressed with the amount of detail Michelangelo managed to include in this amazing project that he undertook. We

As always for our  “Leisure, Arts & Culture” month we ended with a day of celebration …..Italian style!!!!!!!!

We decorated the canteen with the, now obligatory flags, we attempted pay homage to Michelangelo by  creating our own Sistine Chapel by hanging some pictures on the ceiling, we would have drawn them  hand ourselves but unfortunately we didn’t have time 🙂 !!!!!!!!

We tried to use some of the Italian language that we had learned………ciao, grazie and prego!

For our tea break we were treated to Bruschetta

Mairead and Carmel hit the kitchen first thing this morning and toasted some delicious bread while mixing a bowl of freshly cut basil, cherry tomatoes finely chopped red onion, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. This was then spooned on top of the toast and served.

We lit some candles and played some traditional Italian folk music and some instrumental music while we ate.



We often have lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese for lunch here in Airdnua but for this special day we wanted to try something new. We asked our Chef if he could whip up a Spaghetti Carbonara and it was really delicious. It was served with parmesan cheese and again we played our traditional Italian music.



It was a lovely day and we all really enjoyed ourselves.

Our French Celebration

The month of July in Airdnua was dedicated to France!!!!!!!!!


We started off the day with a delicious French themed tea break, we had French cheeses served with crackers and grapes.

A lot of us got the opportunity to try a type of cheese that we had never eaten before.


We followed with a French classic at lunchtime…….. Beef Bourguignon.

We learned that this is similar to  our own Beef Stew, it originated in Burgundy and it cooked using red wine and  garlic, onions and a bouquet garni.

Everyone really enjoyed it and we all showed our gratitude to our chef Barnardo by clearing our plates!!!!!!

The art group decorated the canteen with some French style pictures and flag and it made look very festive.

We also played some traditional French music such as

  • La Mer
  • La Vie En Rose
  • Sous Le Ciel De Paris
  • La Boheme
  • Le Sud

The music really added to the overall effect. We were able to imagine ourselves sitting in a French café on the River Seine 🙂


Feeling arty?


We decided to make a thank you card for our fabulous Yoga Instructor, Helen. She’s such a pleasure to work with and we’re so grateful to have her working with us. We wanted to make a card that a lot of people could contribute to so we came up with this design and it allowed several people to draw small piece around the main message. We were very pleased with the finished product and felt that it really showed Helen that we appreciate her.


We’re still working on our tree of prints {finger prints that is 😉 } and we’re hoping to have it ready to give our lovely Literacy Instructor Catherine before she finished up for the summer break to show her how appreciative we are. Again, we thought it was a lovely way to have lots of people contribute to the making of the card by using everyone’s finger prints to symbolize the blossoms on the tree. We’ll post a picture when it’s complete!



Hi My name is Maureen and I’m in the sewing group in Airdnua. I’ve just finished a lovely cat bag (see my photo).

When I started sewing I used to get very frustrated because I could not even tread a needle, but with some help I can do it now.

I wanted to make a cat bag to show my daughter and I’m delighted to say I have finished my bag and it’s lovely. I know it was hard sometimes I ripped it out more times to get it right, but now I can say it’s perfect. I’ve also just finished a new filling for my cushion and I’m taking it home to my place today.


So what I want to say is don’t give up if you think you can’t sew,

if I can do it anyone can. Just remember to bring your glasses into the class

I have to say goodbye to my sewing pals because I’m leaving to go to Guirtin next week. While I like Airdnua I have been here a long time and Guirtin is nearer to me so I’m happy about that, but I am going to  miss you all, bye for now.

Out & About

My name is Kathleen, I’ve been attending Airdnua for a number of years now and I really enjoy it.

Since last year, I’ve been going to a training centre called Castleview which is near Charlestown shopping centre in Finglas, to do art from 10:00 – 12:30pm on a Tuesday. We have done ‘etching’ which is like the black and white illustrations in a novel. They were in an exhibition in the National Art Gallery, Nassau Street for a few weeks. The staff in the gallery framed the pictures we all did. Then this year we did a picture on the important events of 1916 – this was such an important time in Irish history and I enjoyed using it as inspiration. I did a drawing with pencils of the GPO as this was a very important location in the events of the Rising.

The real GPO in Dublin


A new teacher has started with us now he is called Joe and he’s into very modern art at the moment. He put a dustbin on the desk and two old coffee tins and asked us to draw an outline of them. It’s something I’ve never done and I didn’t think it was very pretty to look at. I prefer the Italian Renaissance art.We’re also going to do some fish on transparent laminated paper. We’re doing the picture of the fish on both sides so that it can hung on the glass in the centre and admired from both sides.

I used to do Boot Camp on a Wednesday, it’s a group made up of some Castleview trainees and some Participants in Airdnua. The Boot Camp has been changed this year to a Tuesday. It doesn’t make sense for me to come back to Airdnua after the art so now I stay in Castleview for the day. In between Art & Boot Camp I join in with their smoking cessation and their relaxation sessions.


I enjoy meeting new people and having a chat. The staff in Castleview are lovely and there’s some familiar faces there too!

I love exercise and really enjoy Boot Camp. In my family we were always encouraged to do exercise, it lifts my mood. They say you shouldn’t be sitting all day to so it’s good to be active.

(I hope you enjoy the picture I chose for the image at the front of this blog post. Its a place in Argentina called Rosario.)

Feeling a bit crafty???

Check out our lanterns,we made with our VEC Art Instructor Aine Ivors. It was a messy job but loads of fun.


We had long sticks of willow and tied them together to get our tepee shape.

We used a special paper that didn’t tear too easy. We sponged on loads and loads of PVA glue……when I say loads I mean LOADS!!!!! We wrapped the paper carefully and tightly around the frame. We had to wait to let it dry before we could decorate our lanterns with colourful cut outs of tissue paper.




Twit Twoo!!!!

Fun Facts

Owls are stereotyped for their hooting calls, but a number of species don’t hoot at all.

Eagle owls are among the largest winged hunters on the planet and combine their size with incredible ferocity.

Owls are often referred to as “birds of prey,” but these nocturnal hunting birds share no relation to hawks, eagles, or falcons, which are known as diurnal birds of prey

A large part of what makes owls such effective hunters is their ability to hear exceptionally well, while remaining silent themselves.

Check out this website, really interesting reading;



We decided to do our own version of some owls for brightening up our outdoor area.





Shelter from the cold!





Hi everyone, today i am going to tell you about building our Bird Houses.

We try to let nothing go to waste in Airdnua, after we made our upcycled garden benches, there were some left over odds and ends of pallets.

First we broke up the old wooden pallets and made them into long strips of wood. Then we sanded them down to make them smooth. Then we cut them into different sizes.

1 For the base

2 For the sides.

3 For the roof.

Then we screwed them together,




Finally we painted them with loads of different beautiful, bright colours and we’re very proud of them!