Wednesday, 29 February 2012

D. I. Y. Free Tutorial for No Firing Clay Pin Brooches

Carrie's last comment to my previous post makes me think.

I post here my instructions for creating these funny pin brooches! You can do it yourself  (D.I.Y) or purchase it in my shop and pretend you made it :)

As you're going to see, it's just a question of being patient! I call it


I flat and shape some no-firing clay (argilla senza cottura) using cookie cutters.

Once dried, I make them black using a simple acrylic painting. First one side, then the other.

Once dried, I draw a very simple, comic-book-style illustration, following the lines suggested by the tile's borders.

Once dried, I fill the sketches with the colors I like the most (acrylic painting as well).

Once dried, I lacquer twice the pieces with a thin layer of gloss varnish. This is meant to fix the colors, make them more luminous and the brooch water resistant.

Once dried, I finally glue the brooch pin backs and wait for them…yes, to dry.


In order to draw in such a small surface, I alternate painting brushes and wood sticks. If you are not confident with zen attitude, you should use ink pencils instead of acrylic painting. It will work anyway, possibly even better.


I used all recycled materials, moreover stuff you can have at home and child-safe (the same used in elementary schools for creative activities). And if you don't, you should be able to buy it everywhere you are under different brands.

Then, being in Ireland, I purchased the safety pin backs from a dubliner and etsian seller, Visual Basics.

The idea is that my brooches are not just D.I.Y. accessories, but also fair trade products :D


Monday, 27 February 2012

Forthcoming Gadgets Part 1. Funny Brooches

As I told you, I'm working on some new stuff. They are not that refined as my fashion jewelry, but definitely funny, as gadgets should be. 

Well, funny...Maybe it's just me...I've got vey much fun making them! 

To stay fair, I purchased the brooch pin backs from the dubliner etsian Visual Basics.

So, at least, let's say they are totally D.I.Y!

Soon in my etsy shop!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Worst Desktop Ever

...Just a hint. You guess the rest.

If there was a contest for well-organized workstations, I'll probably lose. In my defence, I don't have a proper desktop...But the truth is that I love my chaos as much as my housemates hate me.

I try to be the less intrusive I can, but in about five minutes I spread myself out. Moreover, when I'm crafting, there isn't something like an "end". There is just the moment I realize maybe it's time to clean up my mess.

These days I'm working on some new gadgets. I found myself mumbling about it...let's say: if my desktop reflected my way of thinking, it would be more à la Jean Jacques Rousseau than à la Immanuel Kant...

Friday, 17 February 2012

Free Cards on

This morning I was reading the girls' blogs and thanks to Dianthusa I had a pleasant shopping experience.

She wrote she had fifty cards free of charge visiting the website She seemed very satisfied, so I tried it out. And incredibly, it actually worked. And fast. I must say the platform is very user friendly, good for internet-challenged people as I am. The result looked very pretty on screen.

I've purchased the cards and paid just the postal rate. Fair enough, about three pounds VAT included.


Positive note: I was delighted I was eventually able to use my paypal account, which I thought of as completely useless. At least the websites where I happen to buy do not accept it.

Curiosity: It's an old-style viral promotion. After purchasing, they give you a link and offer you a discount if a friend of yours come to them "brought by you". As in gyms and social networks (though explicitly said).

Etsians: the initiative works great for those who have an etsy shop, since you can upload images directly from your etsy page (as with craftcult). But the promotion is open to anybody.

Suggestion: You can use it also with more creativity than I did. I chose pictures from my shop - easy going -, but I could have printed mignon tarots! Illustrators are warned :)

Have a nice day!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Illustrators. Jessica's Broken Voices.

After Desi Cloe and Mademoiselle Glamour, here we are with another Italian talented designer, Jessica Angiulli. Leave behind pastel colors though, and get ready to join a darker atmosphere.

Jessica is a graphic designer who lives and works in Milan. She sells illustration prints and jewelry made out of her portfolio at Vocisconnesse - the "broken voices" of the title. 

In the shop announcement, she introduce herself this way:

My creations are usually based on symbolic themes (inspired by magic, myth, fairytales, trees, dream,, and reality too...), weird subjects as well as subtle feelings and more...And I like to express a poetical and "grotesque" feeling of reality.

You can find her works also at Diramazioni, the etsy collaborative shop which Vocisconnesse shares with graphic designer TryfarDiramazioni sells again illustration prints and artworks, but also photos and handmade journals. 

On Etsy, Vocisconnesse is both a MIT and a Time Travelers team member. The first team promotes Italian artists' and artisans' work. The second is mostly a group of steampunk, neo-victorian, gothic or funky retro artists, and, of course, vintage admirers.

If I intrigued you, consider Diramazioni is also a website and a blog.

Then you may follow Vocisconnesse on twitter.

Have a nice day!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

ADA Lab, Vicenza. Italian Steampunk Perspectives on D.I.Y.

I'm glad to introduce you ADA Lab, the first Italian steampunk infolab, freshly sprouted in Vicenza, Italy.

ADA Lab is the right place for all of us interested in underground culture and D.I.Y, geeks, bio-vegan food addicted, and, of course, for those who can't help spotting literary quotations.
In fact, the name ADA is a tribute to Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer ever. Ada, daughter of Lord Byron, writer herself and mathematician, has been an icon of steampunk literature since the novel The Difference Engine by Gibson and Sterling was published. 
A myth which couldn't be more feminine, recently renewed thanks to the webcomics 2D Goggles by Sydney Padua

Due to the libertarian inspiration of the whole project, A.D.A. is also an open-end acronymous you can collaborate to (un)define.

ADA Lab is a public space. It recalls a hacklab, whereas the point is not just sharing I.T. know-how, but sharing itself. It's kind of a community center open to anyone. Possibly, a think-tank. The initiative is addressed to those who were waiting for a chance to come out of their isolation and take action against the boredom of practicing degrowth on their own. In order to do that, ADA Lab has an open (liberty) hall.
ADA Lab is a Bio-Veg Bed and Breakfast. The B&B also provides hospitality to the artists, crafters and geeks who cooperate on short term events, exhibitions, campaigns - or, more generally, share ADA Lab's experimental approach.

ADA Lab is a genius idea and a concentrate of suggestions. A fistful of words won't be enough to describe the philosophy behind such an ambitious project. Moreover, the idea is exactly the opposite: it's up to you what ADA is going to be… 

Just a last note. ADA Lab is remarkable as a building itself. The place has been totally restored and transformed into a "steam house" (second quotation, Jules Verne). 
A visit is mandatory if you're passing nearby. Fortunately, ADA Lab is easy to reach being strategically located close to the city center of Vicenza, the central station, and the Vicenza-Ovest highway exit. 

ADA Lab made its opening during New Year's eve. At present, it's already holding two weekly happenings: the electro-pop happy-hour on Thursday and the freevegan dinner on Friday.

I suggest you to pop in, see how the newborn community run the place and get involved.