Mother’s Day Surprise

Hello from London,

where I was reminded since weeks that this Sunday will be mother’s day! Coincidentally, weeks ago, I had booked a flight home to see my family this weekend. Thus, I was faced with the challenge to come up with a nice mother’s day gift. Looking at my handcrafting of the last weeks, I thought my mother would like the mimosa stitching. Combined with some yellow fabric and an old pillowcase I made a little tablecloth.

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A bit skew-whiff but not to bad I think. Well, I think my mother liked it. Especially, as she enlightened me, that in Germany mother’s day is not until mid-may :-) We made the «english mother’s day» perfect by baking a cake and having a nice afternoon tea (thus actually I am writing this from Hagenbach in Germany :-) ).

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Happy premature mother’s day!

Knitting and Crochet in the Last Days of Winter

Hi from Zurich! The weather lately has been CRAZY. After an early Spring that lasted for weeks, we had a weekend of snowy hailstorm! hailstormI must admit that those conditions put me in a mood of knitting and crochet. Therefore I have finished my circular crochet pillow that I made with leftover of wool. All the different colors at the last circles were a mix of two colors in order to make a thicker thread. The effect was to get a retro piece of handwork. 2014-03-24 09.04.24One side was entirely on orange wool. It was faster to make it because I used the double crochet. Here I show how I made it. circle crochet 1After this pillow I had a lot of ideas to experiment knitting and crochet on the same piece. I then made an elf-like hat for my little boy. It turned out to seem more as a radish then an elf by the way… ;-)2014-03-26 08.24.47Watching all my wool there on the window and in the big box, I am slightly sad now that the winter is almost finishing… Hopefully, some new ideas will surely come with the warm seasons!

Enjoy last knitting,

Ale

Inspiration from the Far East and Precision of an Art Restorer: Rossana from Lausanne

Hi from Zurich!

Last weekend I went to visit a friend in Lausanne who is from the Italian Canton of Tessin, Rossana: 100% Swiss artist.

She is into craft a lot and recently she was experimenting with tissues and needlecraft. Here I show her new sewing artifacts that look amazing! Probably because of her previous experience as art restorer, she has a care for details and a precision that look already …so professional!

Here the interview, that it was in Italian, I hope that nothing will be lost in translation… ;-)

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Ale: Which are your passions Rossana?

Rossa: Everything that makes me feel good, like cooking new and exotic things and sewing, even if it is very little time that I have started with that. I like also to go to the cinema, gardening when the seasons allow me. And I am constantly looking for new ideas for the house.

Ale: Beside from sewing, are you doing some other crafty activities?

Rossa: Yes, I am following a course of watercolors. I am having fun discovering the several combinations of this medium.

Ale: Your fabrics are very colorful and the combinations very unusual. My compliments! Where do you find your fabrics?

Rossa: here in the Canton Vaud I go to  da Modesa (Lausanne) or to Les Perles (Morges). (f.y.i. there is a Modesa shop also in Zürich).

Ale: What does characterize your style?

Rossa: ah ah, it is too early to speak about style…  But I like everything simple and linear with a special touch. I’m still missing my style, but maybe one day, chissà…. I’m sensitive to the essential Scandinavian design, to the liberty fabrics so “british” and to the elegance of the Japanese couture.

Ale: Mmm…I looks like you already have a style! I saw you made a watercolor tools case and a small telephone case, besides the very simple but detailed pillow. So, I am curious: Which are your next projects?

Rossa: I would like to start to sew a dress or accessorizes for the house… A big challange! Affaire à suivre :-)

Ale: How did you get close to the needlecraft?

Rossa: When I was a girl I was strangely really clumsy with the needleworks. Though I had grandmas around me very skillful with knitting equipment and needles, I was not so interested in sewing. One day I blew the dust off my sewing machine in a moment of need. Until then I had only used it to repair cloths and make linings. I was looking for a watercolors tolls case but I couldn’t find it. Then I told to myself: what if I made it with my hands? It started like that… :-)

Ale: Thanks Rossana for the interview. I hope soon to have you again as a contributor for a tutorial or a new artifact. Good luck and keep crafting!

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♥Contributor: Rossana from Lausanne♥

She is a chef librarian in Lausanne. She has experience as an art restorer in Italy and Switzerland. She lives with the french boyfriend in a cosy apartment with a balcony full of plants. Besides her sewing artifacts, she also uses fimo, felt fabric and wool.

Interview and photos from Ale.

Keep tuned,

Ale

Knitting on the Way

Hello everybody,
This week I was traveling a lot, thus it was not easy to fit in some handcrafting…

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However, I always have my knitting stuff with me, thus I thought I give you a short tutorial on hand knitting …

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In short: 1. start with one loop, 2. do a line of loops, 3. make a circle out of the line of loops, 4. overlay the last and the first loop, 5. connect them with a loop, 6. start with the second line of loops always connected to one of the previous ones, 7. go round, and round, and round again… It is really easy and fast, just try!!!

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You end up with a knitted tunnel. Depending on how big or small you make your loops the tunnel be tighter or broader. Once you have a reasonable long knitted tunnel you can make a hat out of it or a scarf or a skirt, or what ever you can think of… Not sure what my brown-red tunnel will end up as. I will keep you posted on that :-)
Happy knitting!

Shopping Bag With Paperboats

Hi from Zürich!

This is my first public sewing handwork for our website. I am a bit nervous because I wanted my first one to be special and nice. In order to avoid risks…I did something simple, both in the design and in the graphic, I made a shopping bag!

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I designed and sewed the very yesterday! I really liked the Idea to draw some paperboats. In the beginning I wanted to print them as in a professional fabric. But it is something dedicated to a family friend so I just opted for a personal design with a quote.

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I didn’t have time to wash it, but I hope you will appreciate the fact that I show it right after making it. The quote is from the great philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and it took my attention as soon as I saw it in the google quotes.

Hope to have given some inspiration… happy sun day!

keep creative,

Ale

Inspired by Nature: Mimosa

Hello everybody,

Today was the first day of spring in London!!! Together with my boyfriend, we cleaned up our little yard, sowed a lot of flowers and vegetables and even had lunch outside in the sun. How nice to spent the whole day outside!

Already during my runs in the last weeks I could feel that spring was just hiding around the corner. I could see the first trees blooming and mad an amazing discovery: London is full of mimosa trees!

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I always associated these trees with Italy or south France and was delighted to find them here in my neighborhood. Every morning when I run they make me smile and give me a little vacation feeling. And they inspired me to my latest handcraft piece… I made a little embroidery according a picture of a little mimosa branch I brought from one of my runs.

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In the Internet you can find different pages that translate photos into stitching-patterns (http://www.cross-stitch.szm.com/). I personally like this one best: http://www.pic2pat.com. It allows you to also choose the resolution and the number of colors you want to use. It is really easy and fun. I am already looking forward to get inspired for my next embroidery by the flowers we just sowed today.

Happy stitching!

Made in Italy : Strassara

Hi from Zürich!

…but just back from Italy, where I was for a long week.

Being in my home town I couldn’t miss to make a tour in the biggest warehouse of fabrics, wool and buttons that I know, that in our dialect is called “Strassara” and it means place of rags.

There is not a lot to say, eccept that it is really amazing how many deals I can make there. Every time. Amazing.

It is not just the price of the things, It is something about the attitude of the salespersons, who own the warehouse from the 80′. it is something in their venetian countryside way of selling that is both naif and street-smart. Like the self made placard where is written to bring your own scissors because their ones disappear.

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This time I just bought a 4 kilos of wools in 4 different colors (Ok, it is not the best quality but the colors look great!) and a piece of white hard fabric, so simple but so difficult to find, as the same owner said to me!

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Once it happened that I took a bunch of buttons from the box and I was spurred on to take them as much as I wanted without paying by the owners. It is not about generosity, it is about get rid of them because they have so many things for so long time.

If you think that in Zürich they will make you pay every piece even in a cheap flea market… Is it maybe this a countryside attitude that is common everywhere?

Keep creative,

Ale