Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ready for the new

I bet everyone is getting ready for the new year right now - as the radio is saying, we don't know if there's going to be another one, according to Maya predictions, LOL.
Lately I've been knitting instead of beading (though I just received a custom order ^^): my Mom & I have been making tones of these



as Xmas gifts.
I have so much wool I never use! But one of my new year's proposition is to knit more, possibly with some concrete result!

He approves


Happy New Year to all of you, and as my beloved David Coverdale always says:
"Be Safe, Be Happy, and don't let anybody make you afraid".

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This is what happens...

...when you work too much and have little fun.
It took me a whole month to figure out how to combine the 2 things: my first crochet-rope and my beaded dolls, patiently waiting for me in my bead box.
This is the result:



I'm always inspired by Dia de los muertos, and I like the chunky, kitsch result!



Now I have to figure out what to do with the remaining skull beads (and the ones from last year too).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crochet rope

My first attempt with crocheted ropes...



...which will become a new necklace involving some other beaded dolls!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lions, Tigers and Bears, OH MY !

The poll for the Etsy Beadweavers September challenge is open, it took me 1 second to vote since I already had a favourite piece in mind!
Here are all the entries:



Loved this theme so much! Would have liked to make a bigger piece for the challenge, but it seems like you never have enough time when you really like a theme.

I'm planning to bead more and to make some rule in this house (do I sound serious????). I'm neglecting not only my beads, but also the house and every other thing I like.
So next week I'm going to sign up in my old gym and start kick-boxing again, hoping that will make me feel better about a lot of things that are going wrong lately. Punching something is always a great remedy for almost anything!

I'm also very happy 'cause I've just discovered there's a yoga center right in front of my house and it's really cheap too! I'm going to have a trial day next tuesday.
I find the combination of yoga and an aggressive sport to be perfect to heal everything that has gone bad during the day: you learn both how to relax and to boost yourself out.

Have fun with the challenge and don't forget you have time to vote until 15th of September!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Road to Oz

I remember watching "Return to Oz" movie when I was a little girl, it scared me so much!
I had never watched the original Oz movie (shame!) and didn't really understand all the yellow brick road thing. Then I read the book, and decided I needed to watch the gorgeous Judie Garland, and I started to love the wonderful world of Oz!
So even though I didn't have the time to make what I had in my mind, I really wanted to partecipate in this month's competition:



I decided Toto was "my animal": it's because of him if Dorothy's been carried away with the whole house!
This little button seemed perfect, and I love beaded dolls very much, so it came out naturally.



Please remember go on EBW website from 9 to 15 September to marvel at the beauties you will find there!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chains and competitions

Summer vacations are over and I didn't even had the time to realize it!
Been working non-stop for 2weeks and I hardly had the time to bead.
But I do had the time to go to the library, and saw the latest issue of Beadwork magazine...I fell in love with Cristie Prince's Chain of Jewels Necklace.
I went back to the library 3 times and finally decided to buy it.
Now I'm super busy making it:



It's a thread(and time)-eater project, but the result is so beautiful that you might want to make one in each color of your stash.
I will surely make a silver one as soon as I have the time to go and buy some new beads!

Meanwhile I'm working on the piece for Etsy Beadweavers September challenge, the theme is "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!"
Just starting my brick road, hope to finish it on time!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rondelles, anyone?

On vacation from 2 days, yesterday I went to the usual thursday market to buy beads.
I also burnt my back cause I was so eager to find them, I totally forgot to put my sun screen on - and that's something I've never forgotten since I was a child.
I found a lot of new colors and sizes of rondelles!



If anyone needs rondelles of these sizes, feel free to contact me!
I'm going to make some more Honeycomb bangles for my mom and myself, with the right size of beads this time!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Her own necklace

Some days ago I fell in love with Marcia De Coster's "very own necklace", so I tried to make something similar and asked her permission to post the picture



Yeah, VERY different result but I love it and hope to have the time to wear it soon!
I'm working at some sporting club receptions right now, so I have to wear their polo shirt and don't really feel like wearing any jewelry, but as soon as I'll slow down a bit I'm going to put on all my latest creations!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Finally, the honeycomb bangle

After my last moving I pledged not to buy beads until I have enough money and space for them, so I'm using my stash for everything. This means I can't always make what I want because my beads are not the right size or shape.
That's why I tried several times to make the Honeycomb bangle by Cynthia Rutledge with miserable failures as results.
Then I found some small rondelles I bought this winter and decided to give it a try, modifyng the scheme a bit.
Here's the result:



I'm happy I managed to make it! I didn't know there was a free pdf with explanation on how to use smaller rondelles.
But the tutorial was easy to adjust.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My precious!

Don't you ever feel like Smeagol in the LOTR movies...you buy a lot of beads (or crystals, like in my case)and never use them.
Every time you have an idea you take them up, look at them and feel like you're wasting them on such a simple project. They're so beautiful! Sparkling!bright colors!
So you think your precious deserves a better project. My precioussss!



Ok, let's get serious. After collecting a lot of crystal bicones in different shades of color, and after looking at them with pride and joy every time I had a project in my mind, I finally took the courage to use them!
I so had to make this.
A rainbow capricho:



I know, nothing new. I have been looking at it for almost a year and finally I made one for me only!



And for the record, even though I'm pretty sure everybody knows that, you can find the original tutorial on Unicornio website.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ikea beads

Sometimes your eyes just need some rest from those tiny, naughty beads.
But that doesn't mean you can't keep on beading...
I made this pitaya bead with Pyssla beads from Ikea:



I had this huge jar of beads (a friend of mine was throwing it away!)and didn't know what to do, so I started experimenting...



I'm trying to make some sort of beach bag with these peyote triangles, and will make some more pitayas to decorate my balcony - and maybe recycle them on my next Xmas tree!
So if you want something different try them!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Earrings!

Lately I made a lot of earrings. I think it's because the temperature is rising and I can't help but imagining myself on a beach, with a colorful bikini and a pair of even more colorful (possibly matching) earrings.
Started with the tab earrings



and couldn't resist to make some stars in the same colors



and then tried a purple color combo


but this metallic violet is impossible to catch with the camera.


I tried and tried, but the picture is very far from the sparkly metallic finish they have in person.

I have so many half-finished works that I feel ashamed every time I open my bead boxes and look at them...first of all there are other 2 beaded stars which are waiting to become SOMETHING.
We'll see...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

EBW June Challenge - Heal the World: LET'S VOTE!

Here is the mosaic:



You know what to do!
From June 9th to June 15th, 2011 you can choose your favourite and vote for it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Heal the world

Finally I started beading again after a long break!
This month's EBW challenge was so interesting I couldn't avoid to partecipate!
The theme was "Heal the world" and, being a Michael Jackson huge fan, I really wanted to make something. There was a lot of choice...

Since this is something we deal everyday with, I chose the recycling/reusing theme.
What if we indulged ourselves with, let's say, a coke only if we take the pledge to re-use the bottle for another purpose? What if, in our everyday life, we tried to produce less garbage not only by buying loose stuff (food, water, cleaning liquids) but also by reusing everything we can several times?

Sounds stupid but I don't see many people doing it.
So I used a simple item, can tabs, to make this:



Can tabs are washable and versatile, there are thousands of ways to use them!



Thay also give a silver-y sparkle to the finished piece.

Do you know how many things you can make with tabs? Just look on youtube for tutorials and you'll be amazed! And take a look at this gorgeous website!

I also amde a pair of red earrings Bollywood inspired



That's all for today!
Can't wait to see all the entries for the challenge!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pavlova

I love baking cakes.
Waking up in the morning and seeing a beautiful "ciambella" waitig on the table for you is the best beginning for a day.
But to bake a perfect cake, it's necessary to have a good relationship with your oven.
And here come the problems.
In this new house I'm still tring to understand it, the heat seems lower than it should be.
So I decided to make something easy and fresh - not that I need any sweets after Easter: I came back home with a lot of chocolate eggs (yeas, I still get chocolate eggs at 28!) and 5 boxes full of cookies made by aunt Annarita...

I was curios to try a recipe I had found on one of my favourite blogs, Jul's kitchen.
So I chose the pavlova:



It's not "good looking" like the one on the blog, but it tastes terrific!
It's soft and sweet and then you get the slightly sour taste from whipped cream and strawberries.



Please visit Jul's blog and try some recipes, you won't be disappointed!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are you superstitious?

I am. Just a little.
I think most Italians are.
We "touch iron" if an ambulance is passing by - it's our way to "knock on wood"; we change our way if a black cat crosses the street; almost everybody has a "santino" (card with a saint reproduction) in their car and they possibly have a red horn as keyring.
I love red horns. I've always had one. I remember bringing a big horn with me at every school trip.
I've lost it in one of my many movings, but last year when my BF and I moved together, his aunt sent this:



Red horns are tipical of the Naples area, especially since some places in that region are famous for coral production and they have gorgeous items.
My mom always brings me something whenever she goes there, last thing was this keyring:



This is Pulcinella, a local mask, on a red horn.
The best amulet, anyway, should be this:



It's a mixture of all the possible amulets together: a hunchback holding a horse shoe in one hand and "making horns" with the other hand (it's like a rock and roll gesture, but without the thumb and is used to protect from bad luck), mounted on a red horn.

Ok, of course all this stuff is just for fun. Nobody really believes it, it's just a mixture of old superstitions! But it's always nice to have an amulet.

Talking about horns...these are the last earrings I made:



And this is a pendant for myself, still have to figure out the necklace



And remember: horns must always be gifted!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring swap - my surprise

I'm late, I know, but I spent these last days in total chaos and travelling.
So it's really time to show what I received for the EBW Spring Swap...I don't like posting pics of myself, but I think I owe it to my swap partner!



Thanks a lot Sue!!!
Please visit her shop Crystal Wonders on etsy, her pieces are amazing!



I'm really enjoying this gift, especially since my latest favourite eye shadow is a bold orange.



I'm also very proud that my "swap-receiver" Ruthie was happy with the necklace I made for her, jump to her supercute blog to see pics - and maybe stop for one of her many giveaways!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April giveaways

Easter has just passed but there are are still a lot of surprises: 2 wonderful giveaways!

The first is at MAKUstudio which is celebrating its 1000 etsy sales...congratulations by the way!
They make wonderful raku pieces of art.



Go to their shop and see yourself!

The second is from Lark Jewelry & Beading, giving away 14 books - some of them signed - which everybody would want to own.



I said FOURTEEN!!!

I'm usually too lazy to partecipate, but these are really amazing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

EBW Spring Swap

A couple of months ago the Etsy beadweavers Team organized a Spring Swap.
Now the time has come to show you the result:



It was a cute idea: we challenged ourselves to make something for a person with different tastes and preferences.

It's useful to stop and think about what others might actually want to wear.

We can make amazing pieces of jewelry but sometimes people just want something to put on with a t-shirt and jeans.
A lot of people love beads but don't wear them because they don't have a suitable occasion.
I think it's up to us to make them feel like it's always ok to wear beads and there's always something perfect for any occasion - That's what I learned!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The grey city

I once read on a blog I love that every Japanese city has an adjective which defines it, known to everybody.
In Italy it's more or less the same.
Rome is "chaotic".
It's funny 'cause most of the people who say that have never been to Rome. But it's reknown. Full of people, full of cars, traffic is crazy and people don't walk: they almost run.
Venice is "romantic". It's THE city for lovers. I've never understood why, because yes: it's beautiful and has a singular architecture, it's almost dreamy at night.
But I don't find it romantic. It's humid, uncomfortable and it's also falling to pieces due to the nonexistant maintanance.

And Milan...well, Milan is just GREY.

Everything here is grey: weather, buildings, even people. After living here a couple of months you find your skin is becoming paler and paler, with a greyish nuance.
That's why many people are "tan-aholic" (is that a word??)and get sunlamp almost every week.
It's not like the sun is never shining here, of course there are wonderful periods (like this week) when the temperature is high without being annoying and you can take a walk...into the city. Yeah there's more or less only one big park, it's beautiful but you might get out from there with a hundred bites of mosquitos.

Living here is especialy difficult for people coming from seaside cities in the south of Italy (like me) where it is perfectly normal to get out from the office at 2 pm and go directly to the beach to have lunch with your family and enjoy the rest of the day. This happens from may to september, depending on the temperature.



In my hometown it's not conceivable that you stay home and don't go to the beach if the sun is shining. Even with a whirlwind (which we are pretty accostumed to).Even if it's 42° C outside.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring...is it around the corner???

It's that time again...time to vote your favorite piece of beaded art on the Etsy beadweavers blog.
Here are the entries:



All amazing as usual!

I don't know about you, but here in Italy we just had 3 days of heat with an incredible rise of the temperature - up to 30° C!
It seems more summer than spring around the corner...
But (of course) rain is coming in a few days.
I'm going to enjoy the sun as much as possible on my little balcony...pretending I don't have a million boxes to unpack.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nostalgia

"A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past. The condition of being homesick."
That's the definition of nostalgia.
Can a person be homesick when she hasn't left her home yet?
Yes.
I am. Right now.
I'm in the final phase of packing after a couple of weeks spent in Milan - you might imagine I'm moving with the whole furniture, since packing is requiring so much time,but actually I'm not: it's just a couple of armchairs and a big bookshelf. And a big, huge, amount of stuff.
Tomorrow morning people will come and bring all my stuff to Milan in a new (temporary) little apartment, and looking at empty shelves and drawers is making me nostalgic.
This has been the first house I've shared with my BF and we have a lot of funny memories here, mostly due to the lack of space and the constant presence of boxes and beads everywhere.
This little house has been so comfy and heartwarming, and this city has welcomed me back after 3 years and given me so much joy. I'll miss it a lot.

Positive thinking: our new house has a balcony with access to the garden. It's hidden from everyone's eyes but still it's reached by the sun, so I'm planning nice evenings on my Ikea armchair sipping tea and reading. Or beading.
I'm also thinking about planting some flowers and herbs, hoping my famous green thumb won't let them die.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Leopard bow

Yesterday night I was watching a movie, when internet let me down.
And wouldn't come back. Which makes me think about my next post...
So I started beading and this is the result:



I've been wanting to experiment a leopard pattern for a while, but while making the bow I realized it's much easier if you "improvise".
These bows are so nice, you can also use one on a shirt as a tie or as brooche.
Maybe it would be wiser to list them as they are and let people tell me how to customize them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marcia De Coster Disco Squares Bracelet

Between my calls to get electricity into the new house and some more packing, I managed to finish this gorgeous bracelet



It's Marcia De Coster's Disco Squares Bracelet



I used random beads in my stash but I really love the result. It makes me feel spring is really coming after all!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Elegant 1800

I just come back from Rovigo, a city 1/2 hour from Padua, where I saw a wonderful exhibition called "L'ottocento elegante" - The elegant 1800.



It was a display of (mainly) feminine portraits with many references to Moroccan and Japanese influences typical of that period.



Being addicted to period costumes, I really enjoyed it.



A good choice of paintings, divided into different themes, one for each room.



It was a pity I couldn't see another exhibition in a city nearby, with an amazing display of Fortuny's clothes.
I hope I'll manage to go before moving to Milan.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan



I've been really speachless these days watching pictures like this and constantly reading the news.
Yesterday my laptod just died out of the blue, when I needed it the most to organize the moving and receive documents for the new house, not to mention I need to find a job quickly to pay for it. My boyfriend and I had issues with 2 real estate agencies so we're now so messed up and will spend more money than we actually have because of incompetent and untrustworthy people. You can say I'm pissed off, sad and angry.

And then I watch these photos and remember that at least I have a house, more than one - and I realize how stupid I am to complain.

I've always been dreaming of visiting Japan and was near to actually doing it a couple of times, but jobs and money made me postpone it.
The beauty of this country, of its language, traditions and the big heart of its people have always attracted me so much that I can't stop thinking about the danger it's involved in.

If you want to give a hand you can find useful links here or you can even buy handmade on Etsy choosing from some sellers that decided to donate some of their creations to this cause - you can find them here.
I hope to join this group very soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

EBW March Challenge - Fashion Through the Ages

This month I didn't have time to partecipate to the EBW challenge - I tried though.
The theme is amazing, "Fashion Through the Ages" and here is the mosaic:



I wanted to choose the 20's or 30's and I see they're a lot of people's favorite periods ^_^
I was even thinking about making a beaded cloche, or a headband. I started a couple of projects, but had to stop to go to Milan and see houses (won't talk about that again, promise) and to pack all my stuff.
Half of my beads have been already packed, which is pretty sad since the moving has been postponed for a couple of weeks.
I'm now trying to make something nice for the Spring swap and to think about next challenge, but I'm not sure I'll be able to partecipate again.

Meanwhile don't waste your time: go to Etsy Beadweavers blog and vote for your favorite, you have time until the 15th!