Sunday, 27 February 2011

Of drinking tea when outside it's raining.

Again on rituals.

When I was a girl in trouble, I couldn't avoid to think that global warming was responsible for all my pains.

With temperatures reaching up the 40s and very high humidity levels, the city of Florence is an unbearable environment during summertime. It is not human-friendly at all: the very polluted air tends to stay completely still; waiting for the bus, you get a lobster-red tan; walking down the street, feet slide off the sabot. Moreover, you stop being clear-headed.

And that was the situation while I was sweating in front of my pc – which was breathing like a horse after the race -, since I had to write a long dissertation.

I couldn't think – and worst, I couldn't have a comforting cup of tea. It was really too hot. At that very time, I got it: tea makes me think more wisely. Tea makes me a better person! Briefly, I discovered I couldn't focus without having a cup of tea.

How to replace tea? Ice-cream? It ends too fast. Beer? It makes me drunk. Coffee? I don't sleep at night.

I gave up. I felt like I couldn't enjoy anything. My essay would have been pointless.

Then it happened. I was feeling slightly better, as if my mind was suddenly back from a long journey. The light filtering from the blinds stopped burning and hurting the eyes. It became kind of
dark gray, but it was still daylight. It took me a while to understand the unexpected phenomenon.

Clouds were arriving, and with them a delicate, hot, sticky wind began to blow.

It eventually rained. At the beginning, it was this sort of lazy rain. Then suddenly it became a heavy, noisy, cooling shower. Saint, enormous water drops!

I didn't have time to think, I turned on the gas machine and made the water boil. The dog woke up - do they actually sleep?! - and went outside just to crash down under the table on the balcony.

My sister popped up in the kitchen and looked at me as I was mad, and she was probably right. I was acting as if struggling against time. I had already opened the windows and the doors to refresh the house and let the things inside enjoy the great moment as well.

I prepared two cups of tea, following the rigorous suggestions coming from an english woman once I met in Rome. I won't discuss this since - as with coffee - it seems each one of us thinks of his/her recipe as the best in the world.

I reached the dog outside and sit down on the table, from where I could see the surrounding landscape. The southern hills had already disappeared from sight. Nonetheless, all the gardens around the vicinities were visible. The trees seemed to rise and say to the sky they were very grateful.

The stupid, annoying birds had stopped singing – what a relief! Even the traffic had slowed down. There was an unreal silence for a working day afternoon.

I felt cheerful. I toasted to the miracle drinking my never-been-so-good tea. My sister came outside and I gave her the other cup of tea. She joined me on the table, the feet on the chair. She looked astonished at that surreal view and peacefully drank the tea, smiling at the inner force of the moment itself.

It stopped raining in about a hour. My sister and I felt reborn. We took with us the dog and we went down through the neighborhood's gardens.

That year – it's never happened again, so far –, the swallows were still with us. Generally they go away after spring, but I have no idea why and where do they go. So, we were walking and the swallows started flying around, above us, up and down, always very close but never touching us, zipping through without any fear.

We came to the conclusion that we were walking in the middle of their banquet, but that flying dance was simply magic to us.

The following days, it rained often, and then we had the most rainy autumn I can remember. My sister and I kept on having our tea time in the balcony. Since then, I adopted the ritual of drinking tea when outside is raining, a ritual concerning hot air, rain and tea.

And it has still the power to make me feel better, every time.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The shop and I.

Italian version below/ Segue versione in italiano

Coming from a family of artisans and then perhaps just coming from Florence, Italy, shops are to me a natural environment.
Florence is one of the most beauty-full place I've ever visited, and that is well known. But the real tissue of the city is made out of its "botteghe".  Independently from how many changes may have occurred, Florence is still its shops and the people who work there as well.
I don't pretend that a foreigner can experience what I'm talking about, but I'm sure that the same thing happens in a lot of places. So I assume you get it.

The shops, possibly the old, broken, dark ones, which are often closed or with the note: back in one hour, are to me places of the heart and friendly landmarks when walking around the city.

Although it can't be the same, this is the reason why I decided for an etsy shop.

I had in fact to close my own shop because I was moving to Dublin. After one year, I was missing my life so much that I drew a a portrait of the artist as a young woman, otherwise known as: the shop and I.

Portrait of the artist as a young woman, and the shop behind.

Some time later, together with a friend of mine, I was making a graphic novel. As location, a tiny little shop in Dublin. A girl. A life of stories good to be written.
When our creepy-fantasy (SIC) story started becoming identical to mine, I decided to quit drawing.

The demo of our creepy-fantasy comic book

When I realized I was daydreaming of my own life instead of daydreaming about Angelina Jolie's, I decided to upgrade the experience here in Dublin. So I was back to crafting, and after a while, in my own shy way, I opened my virtual shop.

I've no regrets, I'm happy to be here. But I miss crafting and having my own lab where to go every day, only to come out when there's no one else left. I miss walking in the deserted city center heading to my car, while the restaurants are busy, and the noises come only from inside the houses rather than from the streets, and it seems the word is upside down.

So now I'm a virtual florentine, a virtual crafter and a virtual seller. I craft therefore I am.


Venendo da una famiglia di artigiani o forse anche solo venendo da Firenze, i negozi sono il mio ambiente naturale.

Firenze e' uno dei posti più' traboccanti bellezza che abbia mia visitato, e questo e' risaputo.
Ma il vero tessuto della città e' fatto delle sue botteghe.
Indipendentemente da quanti cambiamenti possano essere avvenuti, Firenze e' ancora i suoi negozi e la gente che ci lavora.

Non pretendo che uno straniero possa viversi l'esprerienza di cui parlo, ma sono sicura che la stessa cosa accada un po' ovunque. E quindi do per assunto che la si capisca.

I negozi, quelli possibilmente vecchi, tutti rotti e bui, quelli che son spesso chiusi o con un cartello che dice: torno in un'ora, per me sono luoghi del cuore e amichevoli punti di riferimento quando cammino per la città.

Anche se non potra' essere lo stesso, e' per questa ragione che mi sono decisa per un negozio su Etsy.

Ho dovuto infatti chiudere il mio negozio perché mi stavo trasferendo a Dublino.
Dopo un anno, mi mancava così tanto la mia vita che ho disegnato un Ritratto dell'Artista da Giovane, altrimenti noto come: il negozio ed Io.

(Immagine. Ritratto dell'artista da giovane e il negozio dietro)

Qualche tempo dopo, assieme ad una mia amica, stavo facendo un fumetto. Come scenario, un piccolo negozietto a Dublino. Una ragazza. Una vita di storie buone da scrivere. 
Quando la nostra storia di fantasy-de paura (SIC) ha cominciato a diventare identica alla mia, ho deciso di smettere di disegnare.

(Immagine. La demo del nostro fumetto fantasy-de paura)

Quando ho realizzato soprattutto che stavo sognando ad occhi aperti la mia stessa vita piuttosto che quella di Angelina Jolie, ho deciso per un salto di qualità della mia esperienza dublinese. Così sono tornata a fare artigianato e, dopo un po', alla mia maniera ritrosa, ho aperto un negozio virtuale.

Non ho certo rimpianti, sono felice qui. Mi manca pero' il lavoro manuale ed avere il mio laboratorio dove andare tutti i giorni per uscire solo quando non e' rimasto piu' nessuno.
Mi manca camminare per il centro deserto tornando alla macchina, mentre i ristoranti sono già pieni e i rumori vengono solo da dentro le case, piuttosto che dalle strade, e sembra che il mondo si sia capovolto.

Quindi ora sono una fiorentina virtuale, un'artigiana virtuale e una commessa virtuale.
Faccio, quindi sono.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Clusters of beads.

Italian version below/ Segue versione in italiano

 My model wearing one of my totally Hand Made Beads Colliers 

This is a hand crafted, hand made and hand painted necklace. Can you believe it?

The beads, tied up in clusters of three and separated by a knot, are colored in antique white and decorated with a naive fantasy of red flowers, pink shadows and a points of yellow. 

On one side, on top of the necklace, you can see one of these handmade beads colored with complementary colors. It acts as fastener. To close up the collier, you have just to insert that bead in the big rope eyelet you can see at the other extreme of the necklace.

I mounted the item with a fluffy white rope. I previously dyed the rope in order to minimize the difference between the dazzling white of the rope itself and the light beige of the beads. 

As we've already seen, rope is a spring trend in the mysterious fashion word. 

The handmade beads are lacquered with a gloss varnish so that the necklace is completely water proof and moreover it is suitable for those who have metal allergies. And that's an additional good news!

Since hand made, the marbles can differ in diameter. These differences as well as the tiny imprecisions add a reliable trait of unicity to this piece of costume jewelry. 

The collier is approximately 45 cm long.

What else? Good shopping!

The fashion aphorism: "When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure", Peter Marshall.


Grappoli di perline

La mia modella indossa uno dei miei girocolli fatti completamente a mano.

Questa e' una collana modellata, montata e dipinta interamente a mano! Ci potete credere?

Le palline, legate in grappoli di tre e separate da un nodo, sono dipinte di bianco antico e da una fantasia naife di fiori rossi ombreggiati di rosa con punte di giallo.

Considerazione. Il motivo flower power disegnato a mano.

Su un lato, in cima alla collana, potete vedere una di queste palline fate a mano colorata con i colori complementari. Fa da chiusura. Per allacciare la collana, dovete solo infilare quella pallina nel grande occhiello che potete vedere all'altro estremo della collana.

Considerazione. La corda può' essere fantastica.

Ho montato il pezzo con della cordicella bianca morbidosa. Ho precedentemente tinto la corda per minimizzare la differenza cromatica tra l'abbacinante bianco della corda e il beige delle palline.

Come abbiamo già' visto, la corda e' un trend di questa primavera nel misterioso mondo della moda.

Considerazione. I grappoli sono deliziosi.

Poiche' fatte a mano, le palline possono differire di diametro. Queste differenze, come anche le minuscole imprecisioni, aggiungono un attendibile tratto di unicità' a questo  modello di bigiotteria. 

Considerazione. Diverso e' speciale.

Il girocollo e' circa 45 cm.

Cos'altro? Fate buono shopping!

L'aforisma modaiolo: " Quando desideriamo una vita senza difficolta', ricordaci  che le querce crescono forti in venti contrari e che i diamanti si formano sotto pressione", Peter Marshall.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

NY fashion week and spring trends

Magazines such as ElleHarper's Bazaar or Glamour cover the most important events of fashion. 
After reading rather different NY fashion week reports, I'm going to share with you some hints to help you guess the most wearable Spring 2011fashion trends. Follow the rules!

Walk-tall Stilettos, stripy sandals. Thanks to God, wedge heeled platform shoes (in white, neutral palettes).

Perfectly sized handheld bags. Preppy (striped) totes.
Neutral Palettes. Neon colors. The new combos are bright and colorful as citrusy orange and poppy pink. Stand alone: honeysuckle, red, orange, yellow, pastel green. Mixed up: red, true-blue, violet, orange. 

Loose dressing, flowing silhouettes. Asian tunics and vestes paired with cropped pants. Kimono-style wrapping for chinese and japanese prints. Menswear-like tailored suits in monocromo with loose or futuristic cuts. 

Costume Jewelry:
Not very much, the only hint is a rich pendant necklace. Medium sized, chain. What a boredom!

Tribal patterns, leopard prints, animal shapes, jungle themes, the unfailing peacock feathers.

Rubrick's cube inspired colored bold blocks. Optical geometries. Floral, especially watercolor blooms that has been told "would look great as wallpaper".

Definitely the 70's: retro bohemian, new bohemian. Eclectic chic. Urban Warrior. Punk reminiscence. Re-edited classic.

Chambray, a blue fabric lighter than denim. Lace and lingerie inspired. According to Elle report, <Lace was everywhere, but the message was more daring than "doily">. Sheer layers.

Never again without: Stripes

Petals, sequined garments, bows (to draw the blouse neckline)

Back in town: 
The jumpsuit.

Refinements and details:
White and natural ropes. Crafty embellishments

Ever appropriate:
Updated trench with stand up collars. Cobalt, royal, slate, navy on classic cuts.

Less-in-more. All-in-one.

Monday, 21 February 2011

What is a Treasury?

According to Etsy, Treasuries are ever-changing, member-curated shopping galleries. 

Treasury looks exactly as the collection of items you may see entering their website home

When a Treasury is particularly cool can be chosen by Etsy editors and be on the first page for a while. 
And that is probably the best form of advertising you can buy

Of course, for a chance to have your collection featured on Etsy's home page, you have to follow some rules

I see Treasuries as another form of crafting, since most of them are notably beautiful.

For those who loves Etsy and join its community, Treasuries are a pleasant way to interact with the others and with the platform. Not only they offer visibility to featured sellers and to the curator, they make them meet each other. 

Nevertheless, everyone who sign in can arrange a Treasury List and I think you should do that once in a while. It's very funny. You can think of your treasury as your own wish list.