Showing posts with label crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crafts. Show all posts

Friday, March 7, 2014

Some Crafts are Better than Others

I got myself involved in yet another swap, this time from Do what you love. It seemed like a perfect idea at that time and quite a simple thing to do. A stitched postcard with the theme "create." So why not, right?  Well, it happened that I encountered a crafters block. All of a sudden it became the most daunting task, and I quickly became frustrated with the whole thing. 

Don't ask me why, this simple task became a not so simple one. My only thought is that I rarely work with a proposed theme, and my brain went into standoff mode. 

My first attempt seemed very much like what my friend Ute has sent me in the past. The only difference  is that her cards look so much nicer than the one above. I mean really, really nice!  I dropped the idea midway as you can see.

Then I thought about a collage. Cut a few things, paste some others and stitch something because that was what I was supposed to do. Instead this minestrone soup of God knows what turns out and stares at me. Is this what you can come up with? Seriously?? Are you in 5th grade? It looked horrendous, ridiculous, plain ugly, a cliche, predictable. Well, I could tell you what I told my sister, but I won't.

So I took a few breathes, counted to 100, and then proceeded to start again.

See the thing is that we all have different tastes, and that is one of the things that make this world so interesting. There is something for everyone. You might or might not like my final postcard (maybe my postcard partner will be... what??), and that is really fine with me (OK maybe not really fine). The important part is that I needed to like what I had done and be able to look at it and say, "that is definitely ME!!! And yes it is!!

One swap down, 2 more to go, and since we are on the subject I really hope you decide to join me for some swapping fun here on this blog o' mine. The sign-in closes this sunday (march 9), and all the details are here.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Giova

Friday, February 14, 2014

#14 - A wall with hearts





"Goodbye," said the fox.
"Here is my secret. It's quite simple:
one can only see clearly with the heart.
What is essential is invisible to the eye."
                   -The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

I guess this is the end of a month of hearts and love. 
I LOVED every second of this little project and I hope you did too.
I was going to write another list but thought the above excerpt from the Little Prince was the perfect ending to the project.

I wish you a VERY HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY and lots and lots of love!!
Giova

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Year of Paper Crafts

Time does go by so fast. It has taken me this week to realize that the year is almost over. I've done a round up of my favorite crafts of the year. Some which were quite popular, others which were not but I loved how they turn out.

I liked "sending tea" because of how a simple thing can make a gift look so much better, and I just love doilies.

The accordion envelope using paper bags was one of the most popular posts of the year. I really liked how they turned out.

Again doilies, only this time I enjoyed adding words and neon paint. They also make excellent gifts and they look great anywhere.

If I had to pick a favorite between all the strings I've made this year, this one would be it. I like this string a lot!

The crafts using old books was also really nice to create. I had never tried to destroy an old book before, but it turned out I really could!

Last but not least, the nesting envelopes where a "cool" project where I not only got the chance to make many envelopes but figure out how they could actually fit and look together.

Do you have a favorite craft of the year?? Doesn't have to be from this blog, I would love to know.

Have a wonderful Monday.
Giova.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Polymer Clay Ornaments

Today you can find me over at Paul & Paula with a very simple and quick DIY. Take a look.

Have a wonderful day.
Giova

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Christmas String of Paper

I love strings of paper. I love making them and giving them away. If you've been a follower of this blog you probably have seen some versions. They are here,  here and here, if you haven't seen them before. Basically a string for each season, and all that was missing was the Christmas string.

This is the easiest and quickest craft (perfect for this time of the year).

What you'll need:


  • any type of paper - I've used old book pages, carta varese, japanese paper
  • Christmas stamps
  • hole punchers
  • thread and glue dots if you're not using the sewing machine
Arrange the cut outs however you like them, there is no wrong way of course. Glue or sew them.

Wrap them nicely and give them away. They are perfect to include with your Christmas card as they don't add any more weight or make the envelope bulky.

Wishing you a great start of the week, and of the month (of course).
Giova

Friday, November 22, 2013

DIY - 12 Gift wrapping ideas

Plans change all the time. That is why I don't like making any. Take for example these boxes of matches that I bought for the purpose of creating an advent calendar. They were just sitting there (practically annoying me).

So to stop their impertinence, I decided to wrap them up, using materials that I always have in my house.

Kraft Paper: It is my favorite paper to wrap things with. Top: I used a wax seal, rubber stamps, and a few stickers to make it look like a parcel. Bottom: Is just a simple pom-pom using two colors of yarn. I make my pom-poms using a fork, much quicker than the round cardboard thingy. Left: is just a doily cut in half with a sticker, and some words from a book, then I used glitter.

Beautiful Paper and Found Objects: I usually leave my nice paper for other tasks, it is just to precious to use it as gift wrapping. But it looks beautiful doesn't it?? These are all "carta varese" and I've simply added things I've found in the woods, my neighborhood, and my button collection.

Printer Paper ( i.e. any plain white paper): I can bet that if you don't have any other papers in your house this you'll have. Why not personalize each one? Top: I made little balls using crepe paper and drew the letter with the glue. Bottom: I used some snowflake rubber stamps and simply tied the letters with twine. Left: I used a glitter and glue pen with a letter stencil.

Old Books Paper: Since I have plenty of old book pages lying around, (more ideas for your old book pages here). I simple wrapped them and decorated the tops making trees of scraps of paper. The right one I've used images found in magazines.

I hope you find it inspiring and not in the need to purchase wrapping paper.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the other 12 boxes!! Any ideas??

Have a great weekend.
Giova.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Creative Mess

I can't seem to keep my messes to a minimum, just as I'm incapable of multi-tasking (and I mention this because again this week I was supposed to do somethings for the blog and I just kept embroidering).

Whenever I'm doing things, be it paper crafts, writing letters or embroidering I'm quite unable to keep the mess to a particular area. How about you? Can you keep it contained and to a minimum?

In this case it seems it is contained to the sofa (the entire sofa to be clear), but the reality of my house is very different. Oh, to be able to multi-task (clean the house while embroidering, or make this months post while embroidering).

I like how creative people work, and the little messes they make (that was the main reason for my crafty series). The pictures below are from the workshop in France, aren't this contained messes incredible?




Don't forget that there is still time to enter the last giveaway - with some of my very favorite things- with many little presents that you can either keep for yourself or give them away to your friends (Christmas is coming really soon).

I wish you a most wonderful weekend.
Giova

Friday, October 18, 2013

Notebook Keeper or Journal Maker?

I have so many notebooks that I sometimes forget what exactly goes in which one. I've had one ever since I can remember. Memories of Hello Kitty notebook's come to mind, as well as any plain notebook lying in our house.

I've always thought that notebooks are the cheapest therapy you can get anywhere, and I've just loved every single one.

The leather one (the only leather one I own) is where I write the funny things my children say. The apple one, I kept adding for the longest time, from 2007 to 2011. I thought it was endless. The other little ones are just "grateful" or "thankful" notebooks.  I always have a lot of thanking to do.

The pink one is for washi-tape collages, the green one is "blog notes," the flowery one is my summer 2012 one, followed by my address and stamps book, the chevron one is new (I'll think of something pretty soon).

These two are from my first trip to Japan in 2008. When I travel I keep every little paper, wrapping, ticket, cards, etc...

I like looking at them. I never just forget a notebook. I've lost quite a bunch of them, so the ones that I still have, I do cherish.

 My summer 2012. It was a pretty awesome summer!  The whole notebook got filled pretty quickly.

I felt compelled to embroider the gauze when my little one broke his finger in Italy. It seemed like the right thing to do with that gauze.

I used to write much more. I'm blaming this blog for the lack of writing. When I was a teenager I needed to vent a lot (which teenager doesn't?) and keeping a journal was the best thing in the world.

Now I don't need to vent that often (I have my husband's ears for that), that's why they're there right? But I still keep at least three around, and when I can't find one, it is not a good day!

My favorite? Format 15x20 no lines, thick paper. It needs to be able to withstand a lot of "stuff."

Recently I've found the ones I bought at Atelier Giannini & Kuwata to be of exceptional quality. So if you're ever in Florence make sure to stop by their shop.

Are you a notebook keeper? If so, which is the best notebook you've ever found?

Have a great weekend.
Giova


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DIY - Make Coasters With Fall Leaves

I was seriously thinking about not doing any crafts with leaves. Guess what? I just couldn't keep myself from not doing one.

I mean, have you looked out of your window and seen all those amazing leaves just turning bright and making a beautiful mess of yellow? My sister would probably answer no to this question, but she does live in Miami after all.


I went in a fabric store this past monday and when I saw this wool/tweed stuff, I thought; "Wouldn't that make a nice leaf?"




This is what you'll need:

  • fabric for the leaves, for the front and back part
  • thin felt for the middle
  • leaves that you've picked up on your walks, they are free!!
  • thread, needle, pins, scissors
  • pencil and paper
Trace your chosen leaf. Cut the template. Pin it to your fabric of choice. Cut the leaf, and stitch to the top fabric.

Cut the felt and back fabric to fit your front. Iron the back fabric to cover the felt, and then stitch the coaster using any stitch you like. I used the blanket stitch and back stitch. For really amazing sources on stitches go here or here.

Then just marvel at your hard work (ahem!) and don't forget to include one on your next letter to your pen pal. Maybe add a tea bag or two?

Or maybe just give them all to a friend who invited you to their house for dinner? OK, you get my drift. Just make some and give it away, because handmade presents are the best, don't you agree?

Have a great day and as Dottie Angel says;"Do feel a little crafty at least twice a day."
Giova

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

To Craft or not to Craft?

This past sunday I had to ask myself this question. Then I proceeded to ask the same question on Instagram. Many answered with craft. Others said go out now and craft later. Which is what I did because here where I live, the beautiful days are few and far in between.

I was doing some rubber stamps when my husband said; "Do you want to stay in?" And this is a question that is also asked very few times and quite far in between. Oh, to be able to stay in with the blissful silence of an empty place for a few hours.

But the sound and sights of the beautiful forest was what I really needed.

And boy was it magical and inspiring. The only thing missing were the gnomes. But I'm pretty certain they were somewhere around.

 Dark mushrooms in a dark place, with the rays of the sun just coming in.

 We walked, and walked, and looked and looked.

 We also sat on a bench, and stared at the big KLM plane flying to who knows where.

And then discovered more varieties of mushrooms.

This one is a coral mushroom, I think.

Beautiful, tiny things were every where. Every stone, leaf, or an abandoned shell is another chance to stop and take a look. I didn't miss my crafting time. I think I spend too much of my time crafting and I need to go out, just to breathe a different type of air.

I guess it is pretty obvious what I did when I got back.

So tell me, if you are not too busy crafting, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set time for crafting, or do you simply go with the flow, taking advantage when inspiration strikes?

Have a lovely day.
Giova

Friday, September 27, 2013

DIY - Felt Hanging Frame

I was in need of a frame the other day, and I made this one in 5 minutes, mind you I'm not an expert with the sewing machine, so if you are, it will only take you 2.

I wanted a place where I could see the beautiful things that have been given to me. I don't like things in drawers, except of course what really should be in them. The pretty things should be out where you can see them.

The blue fabric one was made by my son when he was 7. The insect and heart were made by my sweet friend Jone. The flower in the black circle was done by the wonderful Syd. The ceramic one is a present from my dear Puk, made by Liebe. The jumping hare is by our teacher Jessie. And the fox? That one I bought, and I've no idea who made it.

You will need:

  • Thick felt in the size you want your frame
  • Bias binding (mine was bought at La Droguerie)
  • a thick needle to attach the string
  • a piece of thread 
  • sewing machine (makes this much faster), otherwise you can do it by hand, I think.

Then simply use pins to attach the bias binding and sew it to the felt.

If you can do it perfectly, good for you.  Mine is not, because I missed a spot with the machine, but I like it anyway, or I pretend I do.

Then just pass your thread through the felt (the length depends on you), and tie with small knots.

Hang where you are able to see your little brooches or whatever else you wish to hang on your frame.

Wasn't that easy? I usually like easy projects that you can actually do, and feel like you've accomplished something extraordinary, when in fact it was just a simple thing, but it made all the difference.

I hope you find time this weekend to craft and have fun!
Giova
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