Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last day cleaning?

This morning I received 2 unexpected mails while cooking for tonight.
One was from Preciosa Ornela...amazing neon seed beads!


The other one was, well, one thing I didn't thought I would receive.
Remember my necklace beeh chosen by Nina Design as one of the Bead Soup winners?
Seems like after so many months my little price arrived...


So much generosity from our amazing hostess Lori Anderson, who provided basically everything except the silver Nina Design pendant. Thank you!
The post label says it was sent on april 1st...seriously! Do post office make last day of the year cleaning???! If so, I would love to have my necklace back!

In the meanwhile, here are some better shots of the necklace been published on Jewelry Affaire.
I am so proud!

First shot of the article!

The before shots
I guess we can close this year properly now.
I wish a sparkling new year to everybody!

Monday, December 30, 2013

A leopard cannot change its spots

Came back a few days ago to Italy, and imagine what was the first thing I did...
Of course. I bought beads.
I saw some amazing prices over at Laserbeads shop and decide to buy some stash.
It might be a boost for my creativity and an invitation to my fingers to get back at work after such a long pause.

I also bought a cd from ebay this morning, one which was impossible to find around and reminds me of happy moments in my past. I was so excited and happy to find it - and it was cheap as well.

I might receive them both around my birthday, so I thought it was a plausible excuse for me to spend some money. Not too much.
After all, a leopard cannot change its spots.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

EBW Christmas

Christmas is almost there, but there is still plenty of time to make new decorations for your tree - and for yourself.
I'd like to show you what my fellow beadweavers (and myself) have to offer!
From me, you know I have a fixation with stars, so maybe you'll like my little penguin tutorial


you can have it on your tree or on your keys, it will bring a happy atmosphere! Also check his "friend" Santa here!

You can't miss this snowflake decoration tutorial from Crystalstargems


white, sparkly, and a bit edgy with its spike pendant.

Then let's have some gold with these cute bells and a pudding from Beadflowers,


who offers an amazing ebook to make these cuties.

Let's move to packaging with this gorgeous beaded box from Amethyst Ravenstar


I think the box alone is a wonderful present, perfect  to put your preciouses in a special place, or can be used as central piece on your Christmas table.

Let's talk about outfits. You should really wear something red on Christmas, especially if it is as festive as this amazing piece from Maewa


or this from Beauty Glamour Luba


Complete the look with some easy but beautiful earrings from Olga Terranova's tut


which you could also make as gift for your besties.
Did you get any good idea???
I hope so!
Check all the amazing items under EBW on Etsy to see more beauties!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Closed doors

Things always take their own paths despite our plannings.
From my experience, it is so true that when a door closes, another one (sometimes more interesting) opens up

Source: Pinterest
But what is very true is also that

Source: Pinterest
Sometimes we are afraid to accelerate the process of "opening the new door" because we know what we are leaving, but not what we'll find. But then, how many times do we have regrets for having wasted so much time for nothing?!

I usually try not to regret anything because every experience, even the crappiest one, teaches you something.
So I take everything as a lesson, wether good or not, it doesn't really matter, it is something that made me grow up. But it is really hard sometimes to avoid looking back and wishing things went in a different way.

I am more determined than ever now and I won't let anything stop me.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Published and lost

This will be long and boring, but I had patience enough and deserve to steam off a little.
Let me start by saying how deeply I respect the work of anybody and that I am always extremely polite when addressing people, no matter what. I know what it means to work in customers care, and I would never be a nasty, angry, rude customer.

Last June I was contacted by a magazine to publish my Red Lady necklace in an article related to the amazing Bead Soup.


I was so happy! Couldn't believe it!
I didn't want to part from my necklace, but I was going to leave in a couple of days and didn't have time to take proper pictures as they wanted. So I sent it.
I didn't receive any news from them for almost 2 months, as they went on vacation in august. I was kind of resigned that my necklace was lost, but nope: it had arrived safely!
The magazine was due on 5th october and I couldn't wait to receive my copy.
I was sent an e-mail that I had actually been published (yeah!!!) and I was going to receive a copy and my necklace in my hands within a couple of weeks.

Weeks passed by and no sign of any package behind my door.
I wrote to the magazine and was answered, after 6 days, that the necklace had been sent to my address...I look at it and it says n.16 instead of 14...
What? SERIOUSLY??!?!?

Rules are you need to write down your address almost everywhere, on the box, envelope, on a card tied to the piece of jewelry. No way I could have written 16 in any of these places.

Also, it was too late to go nextdoor (that's where n.16 was) and ask to people if they could pay attention to any mail they would receive with my name on. It was already lost or going back to the magazine.
Well, after one more month I can say it never went back to the magazine.

The nasty thing is, the mail wasn't trackable since day one, when it still was in the USA. Tracking number didn't work - I don't know why, they didn't know why.
They left me with promises of sorting things out for me, but they obviously didn't.

How should I feel now???
Devastated. Especially because the raw materials were a precious gift from what has become a dear friend.
So I only have 2 pics of the magazine, my BF took them yesterday night with his phone so you need quite a lot of imagination....



Looks gorgeous and can't wait to have in my hands.
It's a bittersweet triumph for me.
I am thankful for being published but I am so sad now. And I miss my beads so much.

Monday, December 9, 2013

EBW december challenge: "Out of this World"

This month we have a very sci-fi challenge from the Etsy Beadweavers Team.

Out of this World:
"In this theme, I ask you to be inspired by things that are “out of this world”. Whether you choose to explore elements of science fiction/fantasy or real world celestial bodies, the only requirement is that you let your imagination run wild and “aim for the stars”.


Extremely cool, right?!!
Go on our team blog and cast your vote, you have time to think about it and spread the word until the 16th as usual!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hi from Austria

Just a super quick hello from Innsbruck, Austria.
I am so happy to be here, I am already working as au-pair and will start German school the 16th.
They say school never ends, and it is so true, school has indeed started so many times for me again and again!
It's nice to have a new challenge to face but also a bit scary.

The view from where I live now is breathtaking, you can see the whole city and you have white mountains behind you, and the wood on the other side.


So different.

I am taking a sabbatic period from beads, I wouldn't have the time anyway, but I did bring some of my pieces with me so the shop is still running, and who knows - maybe I'll sell something.
Wish me luck guys!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time to go

In less than 5 hours I need to be up and get ready to go, take a cab to the train station with 2 very heavy bags and resist the urge to sleep.
In 12 hours from now I'll be in Austria, trying to fight my mind thinking "what the hell am I doing here?!?!?!" and trying to understand my new duties and definitely also new ways of communication.
My new little cousin baptism will be held there this saturday, that means some relatives I rarely see will be there and I will feel less alone.
I feel lucky to start this adventure somewhere relatively near and with people I love living there. Not that easy to start over again and again. But it is a bit exciting to have such a chance.
I can take only some light earrings and bracelets along with me so my shop will be pretty empty for the next month, I hope to solve this problem after Xmas.
Wish me luck - and some sleep too... :)



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dinner with the author

I had the nicest experience yesterday as I got to meet an author I love: Hugh Howey.
He is a really nice person and I contacted him on Facebook the minute I discovered he was going to spend some time here in Milan. He accepted to meet me for dinner.

Yes, I did it. I forgot to bring a camera! Crappy phone pic.
We had a relaxed conversation over sushi and can I say I really needed to meet somebody so open minded when I am struggling with weird life choices and all. Such an interesting guy.

I thought it was going to be a once in a lifetime occasion to meet a writer you love, since most of them are...ehm...dead or too old or simply too famous to care. I am definitely going to read his other books after the Wool saga, and I warmly suggest you do the same! You won't regret it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Babies and au pairs

I came back to Milan yesterday after an amazing week in Austria, where I met my new little cousin!

this is Thomas!
A lovely little boy whom I have cuddled the whole time, so sweet and lively! He's only 40 days old but so funny. So I had a good reason to desert my beads.

I was also looking for a family to join as au pair and at the very last minute I found one, it's only for a couple of months but I hope I'll manage to find a new job soon - and of course to enjoy this experience and learn a decent german!
This puts me in an unpleasant position with my shop and beads. I will carry all finished items with me, but I am not sure I'll be able to make new things for a while. I'll be super busy trying to adjust to my new life but, being a temporary job, I can't move all my stuff with me.
Perhaps I'll find new inspirations!
Wish me luck!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Excuses

Breaking my beading lamp was maybe the first big excuse I have for not beading lately.
Knitting is the second, especially since I have a tight deadline for a present.
I am also neglecting reading for the same reasons, but whenever I can choose between a book or beads, lately I have been choosing books.
Add a bad laryngitis with some very hard nights spent coughing and a visit from my dad here in Milan, and you'll have a perfect bunch of excuses for not doing what I am supposed to.

from Pinterest
I guess also not having many sales is a big demotivator and all the emails and chat I am forced to answer for my next life project are sucking up my time as well.

In the end of it all, there is just a big lack of self discipline and time organization.
My mind keeps telling me "cut me some slack!" as if I had all the time in the world to do everything. But I haven't.
Today I am done with my antibiotic and got almost all of my voice back, so I am going to go out for a walk - enough excuses!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The "nothing to wear" syndrome

You know when you open your closet, full of clothes of any kind, and still you got nothing to wear?
It also happens with beads.
You might have plenty, but still you feel if you had some more of a different kind, you would be so much more creative and could do amazing things.

Add a very gloomy weather which makes it so hard to take pictures, and you get why I haven't beaded much.
But I made a couple of easy-peasy things to keep myself working.
One is this nice bracelet


found this on so many websites, I wanted to try it and I thought the bicolor beads from Eozy would be perfect.


If only I had had more jump rings of the perfect size, I would have made a necklace too.
I also used the lilac glass beads from the same shop and I love them so much, both color and size are perfect for my flower donuts


This time I started with earrings, but I feel I would love an entire necklace like the Bridal Flower Wreath I made for the EBW challenge in June.
Just need to find the perfect color of crystal bicones to match.
That's all for today, I'm going back to beading!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tiffany

This color is so popular now, I felt compelled to make a pair of my can tab earrings using my last delica purchase


which also perfectly matched my favorite summer nail polish.
The result is delicate yet sparkly in a subtle way.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beady morning

I am so happy that I can finally talk about an amazing opportunity I had.
At the end of summer I was contacted by a jewelry supply website, Eozy, proposing to try some of their products. Unfortunately the materials I selected (mostly beads, of course) arrived a couple of days after I had already left for Milan, so I just received them this morning and can finally make something with them!


What I have been thinking since the first moment I saw those bicolor seed beads was to make a chunky peyote/crochet rope and possibly some kumihimo.
I think I'll start stringing right away!
Stay tuned to discover what I will do with this treasure!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Back on the saddle

After a long pause I feel recharged enough to start beading again.
I hope to be more productive even though embroidering and knitting and studying are taking a considerable part of my days...so I started with something old and safe, which is always a good way to ignite inspiration


I usually don't even consider blue, but this shade is so beautiful, plus the AB finish on the crystals and the confetti polish gives them a festive twist.
Maybe too much :D

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cross stitch from the outer space

I can finally show you why I haven't been beading much lately.
This


is the reason. It took me 2 weeks!
It is a little gift for my BF who turns 30 today!
We are both Star Wars big fans and are going to have a SW marathon today.
He still hasn't seen it...
The pattern is from Iotacons.com, please check this amazing website 'cause you'll find all the best series cross stitched!
I just had to invent a couple of charachters and to modify Jabba from another pattern.
Hope the BF will like it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Beaded locket

Some weeks ago I bought an amazing pattern from Chloe Menage of Pinkhot.
It's a beaded locket!
These last days I finally had some time to make one



This is for my BF so I used grey and stole from a fellow beader the idea of putting a guitar on it (an old earring I had).
The pattern is so easy you ask yourself "why didn't I had this idea!" and it's really fast, but gives great satisfaction. The picture is trapped inside a beaded frame and the closure, for which I had so many fears, actually works without any struggle.
I am happy and definitely will make more!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Agate chips

I finally got back to beading something.
I have had so many occasions to buy beading material and was so excited and unpatient to use it, but as usual life had a different idea.
Without further ado, here are my new babies


which style you have obviously seen before, but I am now looking for new shapes and options on the bottom.


So, inspired from some crystal jewelry I had pinned, I tried to use some agate chips I had bought for a necklace.


Despite the weird shape, I love them.
Hope this juice will continue to flow and I'll get to use some stash pretty soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

EBW October challenge: The Art of Geometry

Haven't been much around lately, but I couldn't miss the appointment with the Etsy Beadweavers team monthly challenge.
The October theme is "The Art of Geometry":

 "Artists have used geometry for centuries to create aesthetically pleasing works, whether it was a matter of determining proportions or using geometric shapes to create abstract designs. This challenge is an opportunity to participate in this grand artistic tradition. Geometry's concern with shape, size, area, and volume make it a resonant field for many forms of beadweaving, most notably those techniques for creating geometric shapes and structures out of beads.
Think broadly with your interpretation of this challenge theme - consider probing geometric issues of two- or three-dimensional beadwork, play with lines, angles, and shapes. Experiment with symmetry, explore the possibilities of repetition with tessellations, work with the geometric forms found in nature, or draw inspiration from classic works of art such as Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man."


Vote for your favorite until October 15th on our team blog!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mini cards

I just received (way ahead of time!) the minicards I had ordered from Moo, using a wonderful promotion from the Etsy Italia Team.



I had tried the regular cards from Moo before, but these cute little babies are soo beautiful and different!


Here's a little discount code I received for a new client:


Enjoy!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ramen!

A couple of days ago I finally found out a place in Milan with an amazing ramen.
It was my first ever.


I was expecting a different taste but was really happy anyway.
My BF and I also tasted for the first time some more japanese delicacies


Cold soba noodles, daifuku and another sweet made with beans and rice. They have a weird texture!
After this rich dinner and another wedding yesterday, I am ready to go back to diet and gym and running.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New tutorial for Twin Beads earrings

Yesterday I received a request for a tutorial to make this can tab earrings, which features Preciosa Ornela Twin beads.


I love these earrings. They have a different shape and make me think I should experiment more with these amazing beads.
The tutorial is ready and you can find it here. Hope to receive good feedback!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One more wedding

It's been a while!
Looks like attending the wedding of some friends is not that simple as it might seem.
There are a lot of appointments you don't want to miss: the bachelorette party, the pre-wedding-video making, the serenade the night before, plus preparing handmade pranks.

I changed my accessories at the very last moment so I didn't wear the golden cuff I had prepared, instead I put on a pair of matching can tab earrings and received many compliments


also forced my BF to wear a matching tie!
I had made this guys for another occasion but suddendly remembered them while I was already with one foot out of the door, on my way to the church.


I have to admit these are the first can tab earrings I own. They couldn't have been any other color!
Remember you can find the tutorial here!

Friday, August 30, 2013

A new capricho

Capricho means whim in spanish and it's really close to the italian word, which is "capriccio".
As you may know it is also a beautiful cuff made by Alex Unicornio, who shared the pattern on her blog.
It was on every beader's blog some time ago and I joined this madness making a rainbow version.
This week I decided to make another one in gold


I'm going to attend a wedding in a couple of weeks, I have a dark orange long dress and I suddenly pictured myself wearing a big, bold golden cuff to match my purse.
So I made this.


I didn't remember how easy and fast it was to make one.
I used cheap crystals (there are way too many!), but made a netted base with amazing silky metallic amber color Preciosa Ornela seed beads, and used size 15/0 Toho rainbow smoky topaz seed beads between the crystals to give some contrast.
I can't wait to wear it!
I need ideas for the earrings now!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cute and cuddly, boys. Cute and cuddly!

Thinking about ice and cold really helps when it comes to such hot days.
So here is my new buddy, directly from the South Pole:



I've had him and a lot of other charachters in my mind for such a long time, and I hope little by little to write tutorials for all of them.
Here is the link to the tutorial.
He might give Santa some company...

P.S. a speciale thanks to my dear Ile for testing the tut!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

My muse

Just a very quick post to show you my muse. Mommy.

Mom & I this morning
I think she really has been my muse lately, since the last really nice pieces I have beaded were for her.
Designing something for an older person with another vision of what is beautiful really stimulated me.
She has a style I don't always approve, and not that I am supposed to; we have completely opposite tastes, but somehow, sometimes, we just click.
We are both capricorn - so you can understand how hard it is to get along, especially since I can detect any kind of lie or excuse from her. And I am not an easy-sweet tempered daughter...

Thanks for bearing me mommy !!!
I love you!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chain maille

Let's start with the fact that I don't even know which is the right way to spell this diabolic technique, which I had sworn never to deal with.
Then I thought I might make myself a bracelet to use all the charms I was collecting...
So the madness started.

The tiny Trullo charm is the first
I am pleased with the result, even though it would be much better to use thicker and smaller jump rings for this design to make it "tighter".
I was pleased that it started to become easier after a while to detect the right connections...hope this rings will hold.
My camera batteries abandoned me right now, so better pics will come.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Alberobello

Today is a bank holiday in Italy, called Ferragosto.
It's usually spent on the beach, but since the weather is not fit for that and also, it's quite stressing to face the crowd of people trying to get a spot...my family and I visited a town near Bari, Alberobello.
It's a very famous place because it has the highest concentration of trulli, special buildings very common all over Apulia.


Nowadays they are mainly used as shops for turists or they are renovated to become "summer villas", since they are insulated due to their particular construction - so no need of AC! They are so cool inside!

See??! Even the church is a trullo!



Each one has a special symbol on the roof with a specific meaning, mostly of good fortune and prosperity.



I got a trullo silver charm to add to my collection and got some ideas for future works.
Hope everyone had a nice Ferragosto!

P.S. If you are curious to see more of the region I live, take a look at my Pinterest board!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

EBW challenge Sea Adventures

This month couldn't have a more proper theme for the Etsy Beadweavers challenge:

"...thinking of hot summer days, vacations, and traveling by the sea or under the sea, whatever inspires you..."


Amazing creations ready to be admired one by one and voted until the 15th, as usual, on our team blog.
Don't waste time!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Another piece with Gaea giveaway

I used another amazing piece - a pendant - from the giveaway I won from Gaea.
You can see the first necklace I made with the beads here.
This  time I used this beautiful blue pendant and, as usual, I started with the oh-let's-keep-it-simple attitude and finished in the opposite way


I used some beautiful Czech glass beads from Maya Honey shop and added some beaded beads made with Picasso turquoise Superduo


completing with size 6 gold seed beads and some bronze delicas.


Now I have 1 more pendant from Gaea ... going to use it soon.