Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring in Amsterdam

Spring has arrived, like it does every year. Even if you have seen it all before the previous year, it feels like somehow you missed it all, and say to yourself; "was this here before? was it this beautiful?"

It probably was that beautiful the year before, nature always is magnificent, it is our memories that are a bit strange. It holds on to certain things and releases some others, and sometimes we don't even have a choice in the ones we keep or release. We remember the beauty in general, but not all the details. I think that is how we manage to see it all as if it were brand new each time (at least that is how it happens to me).

Spring in Holland is truly a spectacle not to be missed. Every time someone asks me about the best time to visit Holland, I say, "SPRING!!!". It really shows off, and makes up for all those many dreary grey days.

All the parks in the city are in full bloom. Or a 20 minute drive away if you want to enjoy the tulips in the fields.

A daffodil field with a hyacinth one in the back (the purples ones). The scent is quite incredible, and a bit too much, but I love standing there, breathing it all in, hoping it lasts me a while.

A mini-tulip field just outside my home. This is the best part of living here, you wake up one day, and tadaaa these beauties are out, which btw, weren't here last year.

Our first picnic of the year. Lifting our shirts to expose our bellies is a must.




These are the last few days left for the cherry blossoms at the Amsterdamse Bos. The wind is taking them away, little by little, and even that is a beauty to witness. It is like the softest and most beautiful rain. They will go away, and they will come back again, pretending it is their first time blooming. Next year I will pretend all over again.

Todays is the last day to enter the GIVEAWAY.

Have a beautiful weekend ahead,
Giova


Monday, April 20, 2015

A very Blue weekend - the Indigo kind

I have been to mini-indigo heaven and back this past weekend. As you have probably seen by my Instagram feed or even here on the blog, I tend to gravitate towards the blues (also the music), but in this case the indigo kind of blue. I have loved indigo since a very young age, mostly in the form of jeans, because I refused to wear nothing else and I also happen to come from a jean lovers family.

Amsterdam Demin Days is an event for "denim lovers." With a few workshops on its schedule given by Blue Print,  I thought I'd join in the fun. You can see my result of the katazome ("or stencil dyeing technique that uses a Japanese paste-resist surface design") workshop here.

Mostly I was inspired by the visible mending, and the few boro pieces that were on display, but most all, I just loved all that blue together everywhere.







I did join the Sashiko workshop (this is my second attempt), but I can honestly say that it is not the craft for me. It is too precise and you have to follow a certain pattern. If you have seen my work, there is nothing precise about, and I also avoid patterns and repetition at all costs.

Please don't forget there is a GIVEAWAY going on.

I wish you a very beautiful day,
Giova.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Celebrating 3 years plus a giveaway

I think a celebration of sorts is in order. It is not every day that you find yourself celebrating 3 years in the "blogging" world. First I must admit the past year has been an on and off, love/hate relationship with this blog. But aren't all relationships like that?? Don't they all have their ups and downs, happy and sad days? Rewarding and not so rewarding?

It is no different with this blog. Sometimes I like it, even love it. I feel ideas, and words pouring out of me like an open faucet, at other times, I'm as dry and bitter as the driest desert -which btw is the Atacama desert in Chile (according to wikipedia).

But all in all, I like it more than I do not. So I keep at it, not as much as I did before, but I still do it because I like sharing my thoughts and my images, and also because every once in a blue moon I get an email or a letter from an unknown person telling me how much they like what I do, and that has meant the world to me.

Since I couldn't participate in my swap (even numbers), and I was really wanting to swap, I thought I would go ahead and make one for an unknown person. The packages shown here are the guidelines from the swap, and probably a bit more :) and the colors chosen for the packaging are my favorite at the moment.

If you want a chance to win this, without having to send one in return, all you have to do is;

1. Leave a comment telling me which is your favorite post from this blog, and why you liked it.

2. And also what you would like to see more of, in this blog.

3. Follow if you like, not obligatory (as I usually don't like it when they make me follow a bunch of things). Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.

*Open to everyone, everywhere
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!!

Good luck, and have a beautiful day,
Giova

Monday, April 13, 2015

Miscellaneous - A stationery store in Amsterdam

Being that April is the National letter writing month, I thought I show you a very lovely store I found yesterday.

But first let me tell you how I ended up here. On saturday, I received a letter from a pen pal asking me where I had found the paper from my last letter. I had bought it in London, but went looking on the internet on where to find it. I tried buying it online (as a present for her) but because it is a Japanese company the shipping was extremely expensive.  Hooray for the internet, and expensive shipping rates (if it would've been cheap, I would've never venture out in search of this store).

It is filled with treasures every where you look. Writing paper, cards, scissors, washi-tape, pens, even beautiful gardening tools.

I really loved how all the plants and cacti added to the ambience giving it a cozy feel. usually paper stores are only about paper.





They have all the popular brands like; Rifle Paper and Midori, but also the not so popular ones like; Postalco (which is what I was looking for), but also many others I've never heard about.

If you live here:
Miscellaneous is located at De Clercqstraat 130
and they are open Wed to Sun
If you don't live here you can always order online. Open 24 hours, wink, wink!

Hopefully you enjoyed this mini tour and it inspired you to get some nice paper out to write some lovely letters.
All the best,
Giova

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mend, darn, repair

I've been itching to learn how to darn since last year. My alter ego, who is hanging from a very appropriate spot in my living room is a constant reminder of that, so when this past saturday I entered a yarn store, and lo' and behold Tom of Holland was there, and my knees were all shaky, I thought; "now or never." I mean, if an encounter with the king of darning won't persuade you, who will??

I love, LOVE imperfection, rough around the edges,  a wabi-sabi sort of view, and most of all fabrics with holes, tears and mending.

It is a fascination that I have, that hopefully doesn't have any roots in my childhood, or maybe it does (like most things), but I really don't want to know.

 I don't know how to darn, and I don't want to watch any how to's videos, I just want to learn as I go.

Some months ago my father called me to say that his "precious" sweaters had been under attack, and I was very insistent that he brought them over to me, and not to the trash.  Moths love cashmere, and so they were enamored with this sweater in particular. Which I am too. I'm hoping my father doesn't want it back.

The good thing is that not much is needed to repair a sweater, only a bit of knowledge (which right now, I don't even have a bit). The mushroom and wool on the left are for some socks that also need mending.

These are my first attempts. The sweater has soooo many holes, that I think I will be able to graduate with honors when I'm done repairing it.

I have started a new board on Pinterest with the exact same title as this post. Before I used to put all of those darns, under the embroidery board, but it really isn't embroidery, it is more like weaving.  Maybe you remember how my attempts at weaving went?  It is here, in case you don't.

For more darning inspiration head over to this amazing blog.

Next week is this blog's 3rd birthday and what better way to celebrate than a giveaway. So I hope you tune in.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Giova

Monday, April 6, 2015

Write on Challenge

Just so you don't get all confused, this blog hasn't gone back in time to Valentine's day. I am cutting a bunch of hearts to sew together, but they are for a different matter.

What matter is that? you ask.

Well, a few days ago I read on Instagram about a challenge to write 30 letters in 30 days, and I was, WHAT!!!! I need to do that, but where will I get 30 people to write to.

Instagram and Facebook of course. I asked who wanted to receive a letter from me, and almost 30 people answered.

As you may or may not know April is National Letter Writing month. You can read all about the campaign here, and I think there is still time to order your free kit to get you started. They also recently started a lovely blog filled with wonderful inspiration in all things related to the art of letter writing.

Maybe you'll feel the need to send 30 letters out, or maybe just one or five. Any number is perfectly wonderful. Just a tiny grain to keep the art alive, is enough.

Confession: I'm actually not writing a letter per day. I have written more than one per day, but I have plenty of good excuses, for instance; I work from our dining table, and it can't possibly be a mess for a month, when I write letters, I also make things to send, like the garlands above, I do take my time to write, and decorate the envelope, and finally I have kids on vacation at the moment.

So, there will be days when  I'll write 1 or 3 letters and there will be days when I won't be able to write anything at all.

I do hope you find a little time this month to send out a letter. If you need ideas on what to include with your letter, you can check out The Flat Project.

All the best,
Giova

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A workshop with Janet Bolton

I think I've mentioned before that one of the wonderful things about doing a workshop is the people you meet there. You not only learn from the teacher, but also from your classmates who have embarked in the same journey as you; to find inspiration, learn and get rid of all those ideas that need to come out.

This is the perfect moment for all of that, and much more. To talk about artists you love and learn about the ones you have never heard before. To show off your stash of fabric, and eat a biscuit or two (ok, maybe 10, or 20).

So without  further ado, I'll show you some of the beautiful work that was created during the workshop.

The pictures - above and below- are from my friend Ingrid. I was so, so, lucky to be sitting next to her and to share a bit more than just the love of fabric. Sitting next to her was an eye opener. Her work I find truly beautiful, and very inspiring.


The picture above- made by Rose- also blew me away. Everything about it; colors, placement, the subject matter, fabric chosen, and those tiny fishes. So beautiful I actually stared at it for the longest time. Thank you Rose for allowing me to take a picture.

A view of the class and all of our messes. What is up with those pops of cobalt blue??

Unfortunately I can't show you more work from my classmates. A little incident with someone in the group, made me rethink my curious attitude towards everyone's work. It is the first time that something like this has happened, as every time people have been very kind and open with their work.

So it blew me off a bit, but my thoughts are always: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." But I also don't think you should be carrying your battle everywhere you go, and making everyone a part of it.

I hope you LOVE the work above as much as I did.
I send you all the best wishes for a happy Easter, may you find yourself surrounded by family and friends, and lots of chocolate eggs.
Lots of love,
Giova
P:S: Just FYI, I never take pictures without permission, ever. The incident above is someone who didn't want me to see their work. I say this because a lot of people have been asking me if it is because the person didn't want me to take a picture of their work.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...