A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Off the cuff

Irish designer Vikki Shorten of VSL Jewelry will see her jewellery – which has been given the celebrity stamp of approval by the Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie, Britney Spears and X Factor’s Tulisa Contostavlos, who wore VSL cuffs on the semi-final of the reality TV talent show. The standout pieces in the VSL collection are undoubtedly the cuffs and glittering gloves, which range in price from €350 to €650, but Shorten also designs a range of stacking bracelets at €60 each, as well as sterling silver studs to complement the glittering gemstones in the main collection. This glove costs €650. The range is currently available in the hotel shops in the Dylan and the Four Seasons in Dublin, as well as from

Rosemary MacCabe

Riding the art wave

When artist Pauline Bewick met Ireland’s leading female surfer Easkey Britton, she unleashed a hidden talent for illustration in the Donegal-based sportswoman. Britton now designs the posters for the Wet ‘n’ Wild surf weekends which have been running for the past 10 years, gathering “water women” from all over the country.

You can see some of her artwork on Emerald Surfwear, the Irish website set up by surfers, chartered surveyor Trevor Whelan and solicitor Alan Casey and now owned by them and six other Irish wave riders. A lifestyle brand selling both men’s and women’s clothing, Emerald’s Irish focus sets it apart from the big global brands that dominate the market.

Typical are their T-shirts and hoodies with photographic images of Irish waves. See

Deirdre McQuillan

Word on the street: Scouse Brow

What it means:You’re in your local bistro when in walks – or totters – a goddess in vertiginous heels, with short skirt, big hair and Tango tan. Perched proudly atop each heavily shaded eyelid is what looks like a giant caterpillar. This is the Scouse Brow. To achieve it, pluck the brows until almost invisible, then draw back on using a thick, dark eyebrow pencil – the thicker and darker the better.

Where it comes from: Scouse Brow originated on – what else? – Desperate Scousewives. Some laughed and called it tacky. But the Scouse Brow would soon spread from Liverpool to take over the world, just as the Beatles did 50 years ago. Scouse Brow can now be spotted on many celebrities. Even Kate Middleton has been seen with what looked suspiciously like one.

How to say it: “Eh, Liam, I don’t think Scouse Brow would suit you – you need two separate eyebrows.”

Kevin Courtney

Superior brewing skills

There are very few Saturdays that aren’t improved by the presence of some freshly brewed coffee – so to learn that you’ve been brewing your coffee all wrong is a shock. This knowledge is shared with me on a Saturday afternoon, in a room upstairs from 3FE, Third Floor Espresso cafe on Dublin’s Grand Canal Street. I’ve paid €25 for a four-hour course in brewing – using a standard cafetière as well as various fancy home-brew techniques and gadgets. The class includes lunch, all the coffee you can drink, and a bag to bring home. Top tips? Measure your coffee and, for the love of all things caffeinated, use a timer. Who knew home-brewing could be so complicated? Now, my coffee brewing is second to none and my morning cuppa is the best I’ve made. See

Rosemary Mac Cabe

Beethoven at the NCH

Wonders await at the National Concert Hall on Sunday February 26th, when pianist Finghin Collins performs the first of two Sunday afternoon concerts featuring Beethoven’s majestic piano concerti cycle under conductor Alexander Briger with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. In the aptly named programme The Power and the Glory, Collins will play the Piano Concerto No 2 in B flat and the Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor – an exciting opportunity to see how the form developed through Beethoven’s art. The programme also includes the Leonora Overture, No 3. The concert begins at 3.30pm. See

Eileen Battersby

Baby massage

You’re never too young to learn the art of relaxation, according to Baby Massage Dundrum. Using specific strokes and techniques to stimulate, soothe and calm your infant, baby massage can help relieve problems such as wind, colic, constipation and reflux. It can also improve your baby’s sleep patterns and assist in recovery from post-natal depression.

Each class ends with a cuppa and cake, giving parents the opportunity to chat and swap advice. The 90-minute class is taught over five weeks, and the next starts on February 27th. You can claim up to €100 back on the cost of the classes on selected policies from VHI, Quinn and Aviva. See or tel: 086-8504530.

Emma Somers

Harriet's in the house

Harrriet’s House in the Blackrock Shopping Centre, in Co Dublin currently stocks some really smart Italian-made leather bags, the kind you can hack without fear of reprisal because of their mid-price range. The very voguey Thatcher-inspired snakeskin-printed style pictured (€129), comes in six colours. Another pared-back Celine-inspired tote comes in some of this season’s most delicate pastel shades, including soft duck egg blue, sugar pink and taupe. This style costs €195.

Tel: 01-2884822.

Alanna Gallagher