domenica 21 giugno 2015

Ready to restart

Hello!
I'm here again after more than two months of no blogging!
I'm fine! The reason why I've abandoned this lovely (to me) place is that I worked a lot. I had two jobs as a teacher in two different schools and I've been quite busy. I've also spent a lot of free time with family and friends and worked on some issues at home. A very busy and happy time.

But summer is here, I haven't a job now and I'm ready to restart sewing and blogging (and drawing, writing, taking photos... all things that are part of my creative journey).

Yesterday I took some snapshots of my sewing table covered by the new things I'm working on: some crochet+fabric bags and purses.

making handmade bags and purses

They all will be in cream and made of a mix of crocheted cotton and fabric parts.
During her last visit here in Sicily, AuntFran help me in finish some crocheted bag's bottom and other things (like this bracelet) and now I'm adding the fabric to it.

I've bought some supplies in a local shop and I received that beautiful paper bag by the famous brand Gutermann. It had different vintage images of seamstresses at work on both sides. So lovely!


I liked so much those images that I've glued them on two blank pages of my Moleskine.


I've completed a bag last week, too!
It's for mum! 


She crocheted the whole bag (love those flowers!) and gave it to me to add a fabric lining.
I decided to sew a recessed zipper to make the bag safer:

diy recessed zipper

This is one of the way recessed zippers can be fixed into a bag. I can say it's not difficult at all, now that I've tested it, so I think I'm going to add this kind of closures to all my next bags, eh eh!

I have a lot of things to tell you about new supplies I received and about my sewing projects for summer. But this is not the time for it! I'm studying some historical notes about the village of Savoca, Sicily, because I have to work as tourist guide there next week!

See you soon!!!

domenica 19 aprile 2015

Sicilian spring


Sicilian sunny spring is here!
Mount Etna is still covered by snow and smoking, but the sky is blue blue blue and the fields are green and yellow.
So many yellow flowers everywhere!


They are the home of tiny snails sometimes!

Animals are happy and needs some snuggles.


Others give birth to their children, because spring is the time for love and new families.

April is probably my favourite month.
I'm happy to be and april girl. I'm turning 38 the next week (on wednesdey) and I hope the day will be sunny and warm.

I work at school as a teacher everyday. I teach italian, history and geography (+ legislation of tourism some afternoons).
I'm busy and often tired, so I'm neglecting a bit this blog and my creative journey (my list of things to try is growing, waiting for some free time).
But I'm still taking pictures to document my life.

I reach my school by feet and I'm noticing here and there some wild flowers I like. They are very small but strong. Some of them look like orchids.


My life is full of beautiful things and today I can't resist in show you some of them.

Happy Sunday!!!

mercoledì 8 aprile 2015

Tutorial: make a soft keychain! (embroidered or not)

sewing tutorial for beginners - DIY keychain

If you liked my soft+embroidered keychains, you probably would like to make one for yourself instead of buying it.
So I decided to collect in a (sort of) tutorial all the photos I've taken while making the blue deer keychain.

It's a super easy and short project:
- you don't have to use an embroidered front panel if you can't embroidery: you can simply sew together two squares of fabric of your choice
- you can make these keychains even if you don't own a sewing machine: you can sew by hands, it will take short time because they are very small
This projects is for beginners, too! You don't need complex sewing skills, but only a few basic notions!

Make with me a soft stuffed keychain!

WHAT DO YOU NEED


- two fabric squares (one of them is embroidered, if you want) - cm 6,5 x 6,5 (approx. in. 2.5x2.5)
- scissors
- sewing thread
- cord (mine is recycled) - cm 8 long (approx. in. 3.5)
- pins and needles
- stuffing fibers (I use polyfill, synthetic)
- fliseline or other kinds of fusible interfacing (optional)

OPTIONAL: STRENGHTEN YOUR FABRIC WITH FLISELINE


If your fabric is lightweight, my suggestion is to strenghten it by ironing on the back a thin sheet of fliseline. It will help also your embroidery to stay in its place. I usually do it for all the embroidery projects I want to sew.
This is an optional step. You can jump it if your fabric is strong enough.

ARRANGE THE CORD
Fold the cord in two and fix the extremities with some hand-stitches.


Then place it on the half point of the top side and fix with a little seam near the perimeter.



SEW THE KEYCHAIN
Place your fabric squares, fix with pins and sew.


Don't forget to leave a little segment open!


My suggestion is to make rounded corners: they come out better when you stuff squares or rectangles.

Drawing a sewing line can help in making a precise seam, expecially when the thing you are sewing is small.


Be carefull! Don't sew the cord!

TURN INSIDE OUT AND STUFF



The cord, hidden inside, will help you in turning the square inside out. 
A scissor or a pen is helpful for pushing out the corners and the sides. 
When the shape satisfies you, stuff the square with a good amount of stuffing fibers.

CLOSE THE HOLE


With some invisible stitches, made by hands, close the hole.
Invisible stitches are not difficult; they are called "blind stitches", too.
You can find lot of tutorials on line: here a good one!

This is how your stuffed square will look:



FINAL TOUCHES
Add a metallic ring and your keys! :)
Your keychain is finished!

sewing tutorials

And now that you know how to make a stuffed keychain... dont' stop!
You can make others for you friends and relatives (or buy mine in my shop).

sewing tutorial for beginners: embroidered soft keychain

Let me know if this tutorial is useful! Your feedback is important to me.
If you have realized a stuffed keychain following my instructions, leave a link in the comments, so I can see it! :)

martedì 7 aprile 2015

Easter in bloom

Hope you've enjoyed Easter like me!
I had sun, deep blue sky, warm wind, tasty food, family time (oh, the kids!!!) , some good news (a little cousin is on the road) and flowers everywhere!

I've started to take snaps of the flowers we have in our garden on saturday (the sky was cloudy, so perfect for good photography!) and haven't stopped yet.

This is a little selection of my favourite.


[purple tulips! what a surprise!]


[the elegance of calla lilies (we have 20 of them) + the rustic simplicity of wild hyacinths]


[yellow daffodils on our balcony... they smell so good!]


[the big red tulip]

Of course we are sorrounded by a lot of species of little wild flowers, too! 
I can enjoy their company while walking to work everyday.

I love this season for the flowers!
I can remember my dad picking up a big bunch of fresh flowers of our garden every saturday for mum in spring. A sweet memory.

mercoledì 1 aprile 2015

5 Pinterest boards to follow: Making toys

It's April!!! :)
April is my month! 
I'll turn 38 at the end of this month. 
I'm very happy to be an april girl, because I love this period of the year and particularly these 30 days of spring, warm air, bees, flowers and butterflies!

April is often the month when we celebrate Easter, like it's happening this year. And Easter is very good to make some bunnies for home decor or to give as a gift. If you have some free time for sewing, you can try to make a simple soft bunny using my template and following my photographic "how to".

But if you're looking for other inspirations about toys making, I'm collecting in this post 5 Pinterest boards about this subject.
Not only sewing projects, but also toys made of paper, wood, wool and other materials. 
I love the idea to make toys by myself, both sewn and crocheted.
Since I'm mad for Pinterest, I have my board about DIY toys: you can find it here.



5 amazing Pinterest boards about making toys

1) Plush and doll, by Valentina Debbi
A very cute collection of stuffed and soft carachters to be inspired by.

2) Necessary cuteness (love this title!), by Sharon Rohloff
Super cute animals to love and take care of (Sharon's creatures included).

3) Recycled DIY toys, by Mammabook
An amazing parade of recycled projects to make with (or for) your kids. Cheap and funny!

4) Paper dolls, by Barb Braddy Henderson
Do you like paper dolls? This board is for you (and me, too!)

5) Craft Ideas softies, by Ihanna
Cats, bunnies, owls and... so much more!

giovedì 26 marzo 2015

Little embroidery projects: keychains!

I like little embroidery projects.
Something I can finish in less than one hour, watching tv after dinner or taking advantage of some little free time among my daily activities.
They please me and help me in staying creative also in busy periods of my life (I've recently found two new jobs).

You've probably noticed that my favourite themes for my embroidery projects are animals and plants, little landscapes with flowers and butterflies I draw by myself on the fabric. But I also like to work with simple cross stitch patterns, expecially when they are for animals' silhouettes.

You can find all these things in the new embroidered keychains I've added to my shop. All are slightly stuffed and have some upcycled materials in them.
Three are squared and have cross stitch animals (a fox, a pink rabbit, a deer) with a contrasting fabric on the back.
Three are circular, made of synthetic felt, with animals (hedgehog!) and plants, 100% made by hands (no sewin machine involved).

embroidered keychains with animals

embroidered landscape on felt keychains

Making them was very funny!
I don't remember how the idea to make embroidered keychains came to me. One day I started to make them, following a sort of creative instinct.

They make a little pile of eye candies on my desk now! :)


Here is a collage with all my embroidered keychains together:


Do you like them?

mercoledì 4 marzo 2015

5 Pinterest boards to follow: modern rustic style

Since my madness for Pinterest is growing day after day, I decided to share with you some amazing boards to follow. 
Beauty and great ideas are things you can't hide, you have to show them to other people!

I've grouped the boards I like into some themes and today I'm suggesting you 5 of them about modern rustic style.

It's a style I really like, I feel like it's for me.
It speaks about nature, simple life and pleasures, animal and plants, life outdoor, wood and natural materials and textures, pale colours with some bright accents now and then, minimalist decorations, love for traditional shapes.
I think it's my style.
Modern rustic is not country, shabby or retro. It's all about a simple rural life  and about enjoying the simple things Mother Nature offers us.

I'm collecting inspirations about this style in my Pinterest board "Rustic+romantic":

modern rustic inspirations on pinterest

If you like this style and you are finding some inspirations to give it a space in your life, take a glance to the following 5 boards.

Rustic, love it by Sara Pacciarella
Beautiful images about outdoor living, gardening, cottages, rustic home decor.

Rustic modern by Danielle Colding
Inpirations about modern rustic interior design. Love this minimal and rustic living room!

Go outside by Jenny Frith
All about spending time outdoor, in the wild nature, and enjoying it! This board remembers me how much I miss camping and other adventures I was used to in the past.

Adèle By Adreamofleaves
This board is about a woman who loves modern rustic style and uses it in her life. Clothes, jewels, furniture and more.

Modern botanics journal by Modern botanics 
Botanic inspirations for a minimalistic design.

If you have boards like these to share with me, please, leave me the link in the comments.
I'm constantly looking for some modern rustic eye candies to look at! :)