Available for Commissions!

Hi folks just popping in today to let you know I’m open for commissions on my Art Instagram: @deankealydesign! You can message me there, or on my Facebook page (also @deankealydesign) or send me an email: deankealy.design@gmail.com I’m also available for logo designs and more!

June 2020 Update!

Well hello there, and welcome back to the blog — Yes I disappeared for what? 3 weeks, or thereabouts?

To be truthful with you, I ran out of ideas. Running a blog on a regular basis can be difficult, especially when you throw in a full time job into the mix, as well as a global pandemic that makes life a little different than normal!

My last post was of my dresser makeover, and after that the ideas, they just stopped flowing. I had so many ideas for the month of May, and I did most of the things I made on my list, but when it came to making my list for June, I literally sat staring at the page in my notebook designated for blog post ideas. I got two blog post ideas, one was this one you’re reading right now (I know, great right? 🙄), and the. other was something to do with my new iPad, how I’m using it, my favourite apps, etc, but this isn’t a tech blog, and I don’t know if you guys would be interested in something like that— let me know! After that, my ideas ran dry…

June isn’t usually a busy month for me on a normal basis, but throw in a pandemic into the mix, and June is just pure dud. Apart from going to work, I’ve been drawing and practicing on my iPad with Procreate, making art for some friends and family, as well as getting a commission to make a logo for an up and coming local business. I’m very much all about keeping my art stuff separate to this blog, but if you’d like to read about my art stuff here, again, let me know, and maybe I’ll make a blog post every now and again with some updates as to what I’m working on and anything else art related I might be doing!

July is just around the corner, and Ireland is slowly starting to return to some ‘normality’ if it can be called that. July is also the month for “Plastic-Free July” which is where more awareness is made about how much plastic we use, and how we can replace/use less plastic! Last year I made a series of blog posts on the topic and I’d love to revisit it again this year, so if you’ve any ideas let me know, or have any questions about how to use less plastic leave comment with your question.

As usual, you can follow me on social media to keep up with all my antics—my Instagram handle is @dean.kealy and I post there a lot more frequently than I do here, so make sure you are following me there if you want more me! 🙂

Until then, I’ll see you next week soon! 😉

DIY Dresser Makeover! (+VLOG)

Last weekend I set myself a little project. It was my first weekend off since returning to work, so I wanted to make the most of my time even though I’d had the guts of 8 weeks off to do whatever I wanted…

The main reason for this is because I’d actually ordered the items I needed for this makeover on Amazon 2 weeks previous to returning to work, but of course because the way things are in the world, online deliveries are taking a little bit longer than usual.

I got the dresser about a month ago, after trading it with a neighbour for my older dresser (it came up in conversation that I was looking for what they had and vice versa, so we swapped), which was over 5 foot wide with six drawers in it, but it was just too wide for my room. As much as I loved my new dresser, it was preowned, so it had a few blemishes and scratches on it, so it was in need of some TLC. I got the idea when I got message off my cousin suggesting that I should paint it black and put some gold handles on it! I instantly loved the idea and hopped onto Amazon to see what I could find.

V33 110807 Easy Furniture Paint, Carbon Black Satin, 500ml https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KST827G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tau_A3oYEb9FXF76X

Finding the black paint was no issue— I got a tub of ‘carbon black’ furniture paint in a satin finish which is just what I wanted. My room is very industrial/rustic in style, so this was the perfect choice, as I have plenty of other black coloured items in my room for it to match with. When it came to looking for some gold handles to replace the old ones on the dresser, this wasn’t as easy. The few that I saw on Amazon were either really expensive and/or there wasn’t enough of them. I needed 10 handles in total, and handles seem to either only come in packs of 6, 10 or 12, which made it difficult as it narrowed down my selection. After a bit of looking around on Amazon, the site finally made a suggestion, like they sometimes do if they see you’re looking for particular items, and it suggested these white handles with an abstract floral skull design on it and I fell in love with them straight away. What was even better was it was a 10 pack, and it was super cheap too— £8.99 for 10 handles, with free shipping!

Kaizen Casa Cabinet Knobs Round Skull Skeleton Head Drawer Dresser Handles Kitchen Cabinet Round Pulls Hardware https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07TJJC2CZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tau_z6oYEbH3KS3VH

All that was left to do was wait for the items to arrive, which was last Thursday, if I’m not mistaken, and then I set to work on the dresser on the Saturday. It wasn’t too difficult of a job. The hardest part was sanding it down. I’m not sure what it was coated in previously, but it wasn’t that thick, but it was a bit shiny, so I needed quite a gritty sandpaper to get a good grip of removing it. Once the sanding was done, the drawers and old handles were removed, and the surfaces wiped down, I got to painting.

I think I’m about halfway at the point of this picture >.<

I didn’t have a primer to hand, and it was suggested that maybe I should prime it first, so what I did was first painted a thin enough layer of the paint onto the dresser and let that dry before then going in with the main coats of paint.

And voila, one complete makeover of a dresser! I absolutely love how it turned out, and it was so easy to do—I’m creative, but not the handiest when it comes to things like this—and it wasn’t too expensive either. It all came to a total of €30 give or take a euro or two, once you throw in the sandpaper, brushes, etc, which I either had in my shed, or picked up cheap in a local shop which sells anything and everything at really good prices.

That’s it for this week! Have you done any DIY’s or makeovers recently? Le me know in the comments, and I’ll see you all next week 🙂


The Corona Chronicles: The Final Countdown

Welcome back to the blog! Today I am writing probably one of my last Corona Chronicles posts, because while lockdown might not be over, I am going back to work as of this coming Monday…

Continue reading The Corona Chronicles: The Final Countdown

The Corona Chronicles Part 4: One Month Later…

It’s been the guts of a month since my last blog post, and well I haven’t really been doing much, because y’know… lock down and all that jazz. My intention was to chime in here on a weekly basis, but when the first week came around, I really didn’t have a whole lot to say, then week 2 came around, and week 3… same thing! Now here we are on April 25th and well I do have a few things to say.

In my last post I mentioned the country was in lock down until April 12th. If you’re one of my non-Irish readers, you may not know that we are now in lock down until May 5th. It was a massive gut punch, as we thought we were near the end of this only to find out no, that’s not the case, and to be honest, who knows, this could go further than May 5th.

A lot of concerts and events have either been cancelled or postponed until next year. I myself, have had one concert moved to the same date next year, and I’m still waiting to find out about the other…

My job is still classed as a non-essential service, therefore I am still out of work until told otherwise, as are a lot of other people. But I do have friends and family who are working in essential services, and I salute them for their hard work and for keeping their respective services operational for the country.

So, what have I been up to? Well after my last post, I only went and ordered myself a Nintendo Switch Lite (which are apparently now gold dust, along with the main Switch console due to the factory being shut in Japan), and the new Animal Crossing game. It’s really enjoyable but quite time consuming as it operates on real-time, so there are certain tasks that after you complete, you have to wait until the next day to take affect, etc.

In the last few days I got myself into a bit of a rut, and yesterday evening it all came to a head after I got a massive headache, and felt quite unwell (no, it’s not Corona–just too many take-away’s and junk food). I decided to get myself up early this morning, clean start, no more junk food or alcohol (well, to the amount I had previously been consuming during lock down). I also decided I was going to participate in the 5 km run that my cousin tagged me in for a really good cause. So after a light bit of breakfast and my iced coffee, I took myself out and did my bit. I did remain within the 2 km distance that we’ve been recommended to stay within, and I also ended up doing a fast paced walk for the majority of it, because to be honest, I nearly killed myself trying to jog/run– but I feel so much better now, and I’m going to keep up the clean eating, and try and exercise when I can. Never thought I’d say this, but I miss the gym ha ha…

So that’s basically what I’ve been at for the past month. I’ve also been trying to post quite consistently on my Instagram, so if you’re not already, I recommend you do that, as I’m quite active over there, and I interact a lot!

https://www.instagram.com/dean.kealy/ ( or just search @dean.kealy )

 

The Corona Chronicles Part 2: Stay Safe

It’s been three days since I last popped in here on the blog to update you guys. As of today, I am officially part of what I am calling the ‘temporarily unemployed club’.

Time for me to keep myself isolated/quarantined, as I have been working with the general public since this all began, so I probably am better off not working, so I don’t continue to risk putting not only myself, but others who might be around me in danger.

I have a plan for the time I am not in work. I want to take advantage of this free time to work on some art (Polly if you’re reading this I’m working on your project), I’ll have more time to keep in touch with you guys here on the blog, and I’ll probably get up to a few other bits around the house too (I want to declutter/spring-clean my bedroom). Initially I think I’m going to try and keep a similar schedule to what I have been in work, so and started at whatever I’m working on by 9am, quick coffee break for 10-20 mins around 11am, lunch 1-2pm, and then finish up at around 6pm, have some dinner and then relax for the evening–seems do-able, right?

One of the main things I intend to do is try and share as much positive news and images etc. as I can. I’ll probably be sharing most of them on my Dean Kealy Blog Facebook page, as that’s where I find there seems to be the most negativity, but I’ll also be sharing stuff to my Instagram Stories too– so make sure you’re following both those if you want to keep up!

Things have gotten a little stricter here in Ireland, but we haven’t gone into as much of a lockdown as the UK have. Basically all non-essential business have been asked to close, my job included, but it’s not a complete lockdown, and hopefully if people are smart enough, it won’t come to one, but we can only hope that it won’t come to that.

Have you been made part of the ‘temporarily unemployed club’? What are you doing to keep yourself occupied? Drop a comment! Just because we need to self-isolate, doesn’t mean we can’t chat here! 🙂

The Corona Chronicles: Isolation

The infamous virus seems to have taken over everything in the media these days… it really seems there’s nothing else being spoken about– I haven’t heard a weather forecast in about 2 weeks!

I popped in here on the blog for the first time in about 2 months there on Tuesday to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, even though it was one of the strangest St. Patrick’s Day Ireland has ever had as all the pubs and clubs were shut, so we weren’t able to celebrate it to the usual extent in which we always do.

I read an article from the local paper, The Meath Chronicle earlier, and it really summed up what it’s like in my town at the minute–and will probably sound very similar to what’s going on where you are in the world too…

We’ve all been told to social distance and to self isolate, keep children at home, and for those with underlying issues to stay indoors too. It really is a difficult time, as we all have to basically rewrite who we are as social butterfly’s as become hermits. There are some who will thrive, who’ve been basically doing this their entire lives but there are others who will struggle, myself and my friends included, as we try not gather in large groups, whether it be to watch some sports or meet your local writer’s group, pop down to the local cafe with our pals and have our fortnightly coffee and a catch-up, no going out on a Friday/Saturday night, to help after a stressful work week, which is also no longer an issue for the majority.

In all that gloominess though, there has been a surge in outside activities–going for walks on the beach, the park, hiking–just remember to keep your social distance and for goodness sake keep away from the playgrounds!

I’ve noticed that even though we’ve to keep our distance, this virus has really brought everyone together as a community. The internet and other media is full of people trying to keep each other’s spirits alive amidst the dark days. Hashtags are a plenty, creativity is at an all time high, and our spirits are slowly but surely being lifted.

Some bit of good news before I pop off, pollution would appear to be dropping, which is great. The only good thing to come from this virus, (if you can call it a good thing) is that because so many places have shut, that the production levels have dropped, meaning that pollution has dropped too! Click here to read more about it!

That’s all I have for now. I know a lot of people are bored with this damn virus keeping everyone cooped up, so I’m going to try and pop in here a bit more and keep you guys entertained in some form or other. My fingers have been itching all week since my last post to get typing again, so if there’s any topics or anything you’d like to hear my opinion on, feel free to let me know and I’ll see what I can do! 🙂

 

 

Book Review: The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

travellingcatchroniclesSometimes you have to leave behind everything you know to find the place you truly belong…
Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he’s going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru’s old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There’s even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.
But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won’t say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break…

Welcome to my first book review of 2020! I intend to up my reading game this year, so hopefully I’ll have a few more reviews this year than I have had in the last while…

This book broke my heart, ladies and gentlemen. It was one of those books where I probably shouldn’t have read it when I did… I started reading it back in November, and then life just got in the way and I put it down. Then in December, a few days before Christmas, my dog Bing passed away unexpectedly. So when I picked this back up last week to finish it off, its safe to say my emotions were very raw.

The book is told from the perspective of Nana the cat, and how he is found by the human Satoru, and how he takes him in after finding him injured, making sure he gets better and feeding him his crunchies. It is a very innocent story, and seeing everything from a cat’s perspective really makes you think about how we as humans act, and how we interact with animals, and what they think of us.

Every second chapter in the book is a flashback/prequel to the upcoming chapter, and looks back at Satoru’s childhood. Each of these chapters gives us insight into the people we’re going to meet in the following chapter so we can get a better perspective of why we’re there and what’s happening/going to happen.

I love that we’re not immediately told why we’re going on this little adventure with Nana and Satoru–we’re very much left to our own imaginations as to why Satoru is visiting all these old friends and asking if they would take Nana into their home.

The last twenty pages really got me though. It was like a penny dropped, and all of a sudden knew why, and it really is heartbreaking, because as you’re reading, it is still through little Nana’s perspective and he can’t understand why… just have some tissues ready…

Overall The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a beautiful read, and I 100% recommend it for any animal lover! (maybe just don’t read it too close to having lost one… )


Have you read this book before? I’d love to know you’re thoughts, and if you haven’t read it yet, would you be interested in reading? Let’s chat in the comments 🙂

The 100 Happy Days Challenge // Dean Kealy Blog

When I look back at 2019, all I can see is a shitty 12 months. It had some positive moments, and some wins, but overall, it was a terrible year! I want to try and be a bit more positive in 2020.

How? Yesterday I was watching YouTube, like I do most days, and I came across a video from one of the channels I’m subscribed to, Kelsey Impicciche, called “a letter to my past and future self…” . (If I’m honest, I wouldn’t recommend it be one of the first videos by her that you watch because it’s a very personal one, so if you do watch that video I would ask that you watch some of her other content before jumping to conclusions). In this video she mentions the 100 Happy Days Challenge, and this really struck a chord with me. I vaguely remember an old friend of mine participating in it a few years ago, so I had some idea of how it worked, but decided to further investigate to better my knowledge.

logo3
image via 100 Happy Days website

Upon going to the website, the main piece of text that stood out to me was the following:

People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:
– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;

It was the “Be in a better mood every day” that solidified it for me. I’ve been trying to have a more positive attitude to things as of the start of the New Year (yes I realise we’re only a few days in) and I really hope this can help me to be at least a little happier in myself everyday.

I’m going to be participating, starting tomorrow Monday January 6th 2020, and I’ll be using Instagram to mark my progress, so make sure you follow me there (@dean.kealy). Don’t be surprised though if I don’t share something everyday as the guidelines say you can keep it private if you so wish, it’s not a competition. I might even do a weekly round-up post to keep those of you who just read the blog up to date, but definitely go follow me on Instagram!

What do you think of the 100 Happy Days Challenge?

Are you going to join in on the challenge?

See you in the next blog post (or tomorrow on Instagram!) 😉