Monday, 28 April 2014

Etsy finds- inspiration

This is some of the stuff that is inspiring me at the minute: amazing handmade fabrics, ethnic style and aesthetic, incredibly rich colours and surprising mixes. It's making me miss traveling too and I regret not having bought more materials when I was in Guatemala and South East Asia last year...I can't wait to depart again (with an empty suitcase this time) and to get my hands on these beauties. Till then, I'm going to have to make-do with what I have, which is not little ;-)

Shop ethnic at mine on Etsy, a community of handmade artists and creators.

Have a good week!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mothers day 25% off and a video that might make you cry on 'the most difficult job in the world'

Just a quick one to let you know you can get anything in my shop with a 25 % off discount till mothers day entering the coupon code MOTHERSDAY at check out.
is she into 'classic with a twist' home decor?
have you a trendy mum?
do you buy presents for yourself like I do?
love African motives? 

Now, to celebrate all the hardworking, multitasking and basically amazing mothers, mums, moms and of course, grandmothers around the world, here's a video that'll warm your cockles :-)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Pallet furniture

Hi all!

So this is my very first piece of handmade (by moi) furniture.

Whoever said it was easy, made in a couple of hours, your man could do it with his eyes closed etc. was not exactly wrong but it was an understatement.

It took me a few months to actually complete the job and it required an infinite amount of patience (oooooommmmmm!) but it was so rewarding and I'm so very happy!


This are the before and after pics; as you can see, it was a much needed transformation.

We didn't want to start changing the decor in a place that wasn't ours and that we didn't know whether we were going to remain at but we couldn't stand the ever growing amount of cables anymore. Also, I needed an extra little project to survive the short but incredibly boring winter months, so this is how I did it.

Pallets. Not as easy to find as people advertise it. Luckily (but only after I'd already cut 2 with tremendous effort) we were given 2 in great condition and things went smoothly after that.

This thingy, I broke it. Won't say more about it. 

Safety goggles, swimming goggles, who cares? Safety comes first
Proper workin' it, baby!

First draft
7,000 layers of paint
Mummy's little helper...not!
Tah dah!!!
Here's a link for other interesting pallet projects, I'm sure to get my hands dirty again sometime (not so) soon ;-), maybe next winter when/if we start doing up our own space...

What are your favourite handmade furniture making ideas? Any tips for me? :-)

Some of my favourite comments when I posted pictures of 'my pallets' were things like...'sure it wasn't a man who made it, otherwise it wouldn't be finished' or this photo doing the rounds on facebook (that I can't find) that goes like 'if your man says he'll do it, he'll do it; no need to remind him every six months'...

Cheers to the 'can do attitude' ladies! 

Have a good week!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Bazart 2014

An initiative taken by a young creative father to promote the arts and crafts in this part of Sicily.

An effort to recycle, re-use and involve children and adults alike in creating a new, cleaner and craftier city (or world, if you like).

A gathering of artists and artisans, activists and like-minded individuals to point out our mistakes as citizens and try to reinvent our lifestyle.

A mix of mostly-free workshops (the sharing of knowledge and skills like homemade soap making or Bach flower remedies), traditional song singing or African dancing lessons, recycled toy making for children, DJ's, live traditional music with a strong African influence and strange instruments and lots of really talented artisans showcasing their one-of-a-kind items, together with a vegetarian local food stall and some simple drinks at the Bar(zart)

 The use of an unused community space against an incredibly beautiful backdrop of a mountainous landscape in the old historic part of Ragusa, called Ibla.

The efforts of a university student group to make everyone aware of the lack of public spaces for youngsters to be in and their signature gathering to present a project to the authorities.

Child entertainers, art exhibitions, friendly people and a sense of community...

All this sounds good to you?

Then why on earth, in a city with a population of about 70,000 people, we only had a maximum of 50 people at any given time, coming to check out the (free!!) event?

Why on earth does this city look deserted when you walk about the gorgeous historic center? (and why is the shopping center full on Sunday evening, why?)

Why on earth does this city not offer more facilities to the tourists checking out what their citizens seem to not appreciate at all?

So many questions, so little time. I really don't understand it here. All I know is there's so much to learn about supporting this kind of initiatives that only benefit the locals and they need it so much...what a disappointment...

By the way, I had a stall at the event and I only made enough in 5 days to cover the rent, which wasn't expensive at all. So did the rest of the artisans.

On the plus side, I have two potential stockists for the near future and a lot of left over material in the shop, go check it out.

 AND, we had a really good time dancing to the drums and the wicked bands :-)
Nautical knot bracelets

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Barbeques, old friends and acrobatics.

So barbeque season has started.

Days are getting longer, nights are getting warmer. Not sure how I'll get any work done once we get into the full swing of things; and by this I mean when people start dropping over 3 times a week in herds, 'cause they don't do stuff half-way here...

Thursday afternoon, 10 people for lunch (just some of the ones that weren't working).

Our chef is cooking 4 different dishes and dips to accompany the traditional sicilian sausage in a tiny kitchen while someone else is at the barbeque...braised radicchio with red wine sauce, white onion with orange sauce, the popular tzatziki and an Italian variation to the Argentine chimichurri, all delicious!

We didn't manage to take pictures of the food fast enough I'm afraid, it literally flew off the table...

After lunch, of course, it was coffee time...

One of our guests of honor, the incredibly talented Mr.Circuscyr delighted us with an amazing coffee and orange frappĂ©, which is just one of his many talents. 

When he's not making coffee or balancing on anything he can put his hands on, he's either traveling to another picturesque city on his van or training on his cyr wheel, and that's when he's not being offered to do the opening act at the Donostia-San Sebastian film festival and  not being able to make it, ouch!

You should be able to catch him live on the streets of Montpellier these days, soon in Paris and around the summer months (whenever that is) in the UK.

The other guest of honor and also visiting for a few days was Giorgio, another free-spirited, creative minded individual.

His gifts include songwriting, guitar playing and singing amongst other things and you should be able to see him live with his band on the bars of Barcelona and around.

Whenever I listen to any of their no swing-no manouche rhytms, I just wanna dance. And that's what I do (well, not while I'm typing...)
So, to finish off an 8 hour lunch in the truest Italo-creative style, a few songs around the table and a happy customer ready to take a cat-nap.
If you want your guests to go off in style, don't forget to give them some lemons straight from the tree ;-)

Homemade limoncello coming do you make yours?