Welcome to my blog. My name is Nicola and I am an architect with a background in visual merchandising. Launched in August 2016 this blog focuses on eclectic home accessories and aims to  provide home interior and style inspiration. I am also passionate about promoting small independent businesses. To contact me please drop a line to hello@heyshed.co.uk 


5 of our favourite artists and printmakers

5 of our favourite artists and printmakers

Flax Fox

Flax Fox was created in 2010 by Danielle Morgan, who is a self taught artist and illustrator. Her work is influenced and inspired by our local architecture and her quirky illustrations are instantly recognisable featuring Belfast and Northern Ireland landmarks. My favourite is the Palm House in Botanic Garden!  She also works on commissions was and was asked to create a sketch of Hillsborough for the new shop,  In Klover, which they sell as an exclusive tea towel. She has most recently produced a new print in a different style called Midnight Fox as featured in the title picture above, which is a signed, limited edition of 10 which is printed in gold dust on a lovely dark blue paper.

Not only does she have prints but also a range in teatowels, bone china mugs, eco shoppers and T-shirts all featuring her loose illustrative style which make excellent souvenirs or as a reminder of a special place close to your heart. She rarely stops, whether it’s chatting to customers at St. Georges Market, working on a bespoke commission in her studio, or sketching, making and creating. All this while juggling two little boys.

 You can catch her friendly face on her stall in St George’s market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Alternatively click here for her website.

Dollybirds Art

Eimear is based in Belfast and comes from a creative background with her Dad and younger sister both being artists and her older sister is half of Oscar and Oscar, an architectural practice in Belfast. She specialised in painting but also studied print making and loves both the speed of printing and the longer process of painting. Mainly specialising in birds she has been commissioned by the National Trust to create a series of coastal birds. Most recently she has expanded to paint a Monstera leaf print for Best Buds pop up store in Bullit Hotel in central Belfast and will further expand her offerings to include lino printed homewares which will be available for Christmas gifts. Her last batch of teatowels she printed sold out almost instantly!

I love her realistic delicate bird paintings, which feature local birds, as I grew up by the sea looking at all of them on the beach and in our garden but my favourite would be her Paridae print of  the 3 birds (I actually bought this one recently for our spare room) which to me, has a slightly oriental feel to it.

Some of her prints are available in Avoca or you can purchase them from here website here


Carl Boyce

Maybe it’s the architect in me but I find these prints really striking. I found them one day out for lunch in Holywood in The Yard Gallery which is the only place they are available. The diagrammatic prints are like blueprints for the each building or sculpture and feature the local sights in and around Belfast.

Carl grew up travelling round Europe with his parents, his mum is still a travel writer and his Dad has a keen eye for photography so he got to see amazing sights at an early age which founded his appreciation for the built environment. He studied architecture which further fuelled his passion for the lines and angles of objects we are surrounded by and his favourite building being the Jewish Museum by Daniel Liebeskind. I’ve visited it too and know exactly where Carl is coming from when he told me it defines architecture and is all about the visual senses. Its takes the visitor on a journey, however uncomfortable some areas may make you feel it definitely does its job of evoking the senses.

Carl uses simple lines to create orderly, proportioned prints which may seem straightforward but are the dissection of many photos and sketches broken down to create the pure lines. My favourites (I have 2) are the Big Fish and the iconic yellow crane. His work is available to buy online here or pop into Holywood to The Yard Gallery and while you’re there try out there fab café!

Aly Harte

Aly is an artist, blogger educator and busy mama based in Belfast who trained locally at University of Ulster. Her work is inspired by placing importance on the everyday and she creates her pierces using oil paint with oil bars to create texture all finished with a touch of graphite pencil to produce her signature style. She has more than 80 prints on her online store which she believes a e a great way of making her work very affordable, but my favourite ones are her series of drinks which look great as a set. Take your pick from red wine, gin and tonic, mojito and cocktail. She also has a two pack of a glass of prosecco and a pint of Guinness for the perfect engagement present. As well as prints, Aly has original paintings for sale, takes on commissions and is currently making online tutorials with a view to running group sessions having taught art classes for the past 11 years.

Everyday objects, colours and scenes can be seen throughout Aly’s paintings and recently featured in The Fall Series 3!The stag print below is one of her latest prints to launch and the last one sold out in 24 hours so if you like it get yours quickly! Click here for the link to her online store. Also if you don't follow her on Instagram you need to, her Insta stories are great and show what a down to earth person she is and of course keep you up to date with her work!

Ciaran Monaghan

Ciaran is an artist, illustrator & graphic designer, living and working in Belfast.  His  travel prints have a vintage feel to them and were inspired by old travel posters. Graphic and bold in style, he plans to expand the range to include at least one piece from every county in Ireland  which I can’t wait to see. His other work include travel posters to fictional lands such as Batman’s, Gotham City, Superman’s Metropolis and Harry Potters Hogwarts,  pop culture prints and movie related posters all done in his signature style. With all that variety there should be something for everyone in this portfolio! 

Most recently he has been recreating his digital work using stencils, pray paints and acrylics and his work has sold around the world with his prints hanging in homes as far away as Canada, USA, South America and Australia.

To check out his online shop click here or you can visit him at the Victoria Square Art Fayre on Sat and Sun 17th and 18th December while last minute Christmas Shopping!

Hope you enjoyed my roundup of local art, until next time...



SHED's top picks at the RDS National Crafts and Design Fair 2016

SHED's top picks at the RDS National Crafts and Design Fair 2016

Retail Night- Belfast Design Week 2016

Retail Night- Belfast Design Week 2016