Handmade from Zürich: En Soie

En Soie, French way to say “in Silk”, it is one of those family handmade business of Zürich that can make us proud.

en soie textile

In 1970 Margrit and Walter Meier took over a Swiss textile distributor that after four years was leaded by the daughter-in-law Monique that in 1984 renamed the brand as “En Soie” drawing two little dancing rabbits as a symbol of the Silkhouse.

And it still a family business, where Monique together with the multitalented daughters Anna, Sophie can be seen in the old town of Zürich in their historical shop of Strehlgasse 26. But they also have a boutique in Los Angeles where probably you could see the other daughter Eleonore, in 3333 Sunset Blvd.

en soie sisters

Both stores carry the full En Soie range: fashion apparel, accessories, bags, jewellery, shoes, ceramics, works of art and a cook-book.

en soie shop zürich

It is well known for its colorful fabrics and scarves and its special aesthetic taste for handprinted and embroidered cloches.

en soie scarves

Every item is handmade either in Switzerland or in India, where Anna plans to open a further store.

I like this Rose Flamingos Wallet (89$) .en soie wallet

Or this white Hip Bag (110$) very practical and Zürich style.

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It is of course a special treat to buy one of those pieces, but bloggers say that it is worth it…

Happy day,

Ale

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Discovering the crafty side of my friends: Kinga from Zurich

Hi from London,

this week with an interview with one of my crafty friends from Zurich, Kinga.

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Maybe as background for those who read this blog, neither know Ale nor me and wonder, what this Zurich-London thing is all about… Well, I also lived in Zurich until not too long ago and my crafty side somehow unfolded when I met Ale. When I moved to London, Ale and me thought, a blog would be a good idea to keep the mutual crafty inspiration alive and motivate each for crafty projects. Thus, even being located in London now, parts of my crafty heart still beat in Zurich.

But back to Kinga! I know her since a while, we worked together and became friend over the last years. But only recently, I discovered her crafty side, when she shared the following picture of a wall she decorated in her new flat with me.

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I was really impressed and asked her if I could post her artwork on this blog. In the following you can read I little interview I did with her:

 Kinga, what is your favorite crafty technique?

My grandmother was great in knitting and tatting, I always admired effects she could achieve. However, these were so time consuming and I currently enjoy myself with simple crafting techniques. For me best projects include just paper, glue or paint :-)

And where do you get your inspiration from?

Sometimes I like to browse through house decor or crafty blogs. My favorite are: http://www.alvhemmakleri.se and http://www.mrkate.com. Although I find these inspiring, for me it starts from a need i.e. broken lamp, home decoration…

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Would you say that all your projects have a common style or do you like to try different things?

It is difficult to say, but I think my projects can be though of as urban and modern.

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Thanks Kinga for sharing. I am really curious about your future projects.

Keep us posted!!!

Jip & Janneke X-stitch frames

Hello everybody,

Here in Zurich the summer is starting! Yesterday the Wipkingen (District 4) community playground was full of mums and children and I guess that somebody was already swimming! I know that’s not a great news for Londoners ;-)

And here I am coming as well with my ended project of Jip & Janneke X-stitch frames! The second I’ve made it is very Zurich style… here all the children learn to go with the scooter just after walking….

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And here it is how I framed these X-stitch pictures and hanged them on the top of the bed of my little boy.

jj01p.s. the cloud is from Rossana, who is also one of our contributors.

Happy sunny day!

Ale

Topping Things Off

This week was all about bringing things to an end… First of all, I accomplished the Windermere marathon for which I was training since the beginning of the year. Here you see me cooling off my legs in the lake.

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It was sooo beautiful to run around the Windermere lake, but now I am soooo happy that is done :-)

This week was also about traveling (to Switzerland once again and to the north of Britain). Thus, I used the time on the train, the plane, at the airport and the station to finish a book that was accompanying me since almost 6 month (John Irvine: In one person) and I finished two crafty projects, which you know from earlier posts.

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I was hard working crocheting to finish the second oven cloth from the post of the 21st of April.

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And I finished the hand knitting project from the post of the 16th of march. It resulted in a nice cap.

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Now my fingers and legs hurt and I am looking forward to a deep sleep. And even more I am looking forward to wake up again tomorrow morning, full of energy for new crafty projects :-)

Gift Wrapping

Hi again from London!

Thanks Ale for your compliments on my apartment and the nice summary of our common weekend!!! I will make up for your snapshots of my place next time I visit you in Zürich. Then our readers can also get an impression of your crafty home.

In this post I want to concentrate on gift wrapping. During our stroll over the old spitalfields market I got presents for three friends who’s birthday was recently. Thus, my project for tonight is to wrap three nice little gifts. Here my material collection:
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And that is the result. Sorry for the bad picture quality. It got quiet late… I think I am pretty much satisfied. Can you see the common topic in all three wrappings?

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Here also a collection of crafty wrapping ideas I found in the internet.
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Happy gift wrapping and giving!

At Home with Antje!

Hi! I am just back from London, where I was X-stitching under the Big Ben (and yes, the “g” is missing for whom doesn’t already know it!).

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The crowded and eclectic city of London has a lot of corners to discover and a big amount of crafty magazines and books which made me really astonished and a bit lost… I didn’t manage to decide which book for sewing to buy! Ok, next time… ;-)

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But the most interesting corner was Antje’s apartment: a tiny flat of a three floors building with backyard and plants in perfect London style. Vintage pots, mugs and a traditional colander.

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A wide assortment of vegetables inside and outside…where the cats and squirrels are easily passing by…

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A big pencil made modern still life and a designer vintage seat.

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Books and musics and all the memories of the travels.

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In perfect scientist style, a blackboard in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. Oh Antje! we liked so much this crafty-nerds association! ;-P

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And I couldn’t miss to read at night the collections of crafty books.

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While we were packing to go the airport, we couldn’t smile at the thinking of the nice weekend in the crowded busy r’n’r city of London: the night walk by the Thames, the Sunday visit at the old spitalfields market , the japanese delicatessen, the Apéro at the canal, the hamburger and friendship, the little rain, the running, the brunches and the way back.

I think, to be tired of London is very easy (like the book of Tom Jones says). But when you are back to the silent tram of Zurich and you watch at the tidy streets and people, you know that life comes always along with some mess and mess is regenerating afterwords.

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We wait you in Zurich Antje,

Keep crafting.

Ale

 

CLOUD Part 3: Recycling T-shirts for Baby Pants

Hi from Zürich,

Yes in few days we will fly to London! And reunite the group! :-D

It has been so fast this period of posting, it feels like something natural to me, now. I am all exited about reading the next one of Antje on Sunday evening… And then I am all about creativity on everyday of my life, finding inspiration for the next post, and experimenting crafty things so intensively like never before…

By the way, it is cloudy even today in Zurich… But I assure you, it should be cloudy only today, and probably never again for the coming months. ;-)

I therefor propose my last piece of the “trilogy” CLOUDS: a pants for babies or kids made from 2 T-shirt, one orange and one  white restyled with painted clouds.

clouds pants 1I normally don’t use patterns, and I try to improvise watching attentively a pair of pants that I find in some websites, like ETSY for exemple, or PINTEREST, which are always sources of inspiration.

clouds 8 clouds 11

As you can see, first I paint the clouds and then the sky with a yellow color.

It is nice to use the T-shirt (jersey cotton) for this kind of pants because they are enough elastic for wearing it with comfort.

I sewed a lot in the last period… And experimented the textile colors with bodys or fabrics for Kids. I’ll make some research about some patters and try new things in the next weeks.

Happy crafting!

And see you in/from London ;-)

Ale