Sunday, 22 January 2017

WILD [my word of the year 2017]

Hi everyone!
Yes, I'm still alive!
Very very busy at the moment, but full of strenght and ready to start the new year with good energy!

In these first days of 2017 I dedicated part of my free time to find my word of the year 2017.
A lot of people in the world are doing it and I find it very inspirational for my daily life, my job and my creative journey.

I followed the (free!) course by Susannah Conway
It's a 5 days path, full of ideas and good advices to find the right word.
To be honest, I was so busy (for my jobs) that I needed 10 days to complete the course. At day 3 I started to feel a bit confused, because a big amount of words was rolling here and there in my brain.

But at day 4... an epiphany! 
I was 100% sure about my word for 2017.

My word of the year 2017 is WILD!

I started to brainstorm in the last pages of my Moleskine journal the meaning of "wild" (to me, of course). 

journaling about word of the year

I wrote in italian, but I'd like to translate something for you.

WILD means:
- to be close to nature, animals and plants
- to be in contact with instinct and inner energies
- to live a simple and basic life
- to live respecting nature's rules and the cicle of seasons
- courage
- defense of territory
- to explore
- to take care of the nest
- to avoid all is artefact and empty social convention
- to take care of the herd
- cold, hot, hunger, dirt
- green, brown, blue
- freedom
- to roar, to howl, to purr
- to go hunting
- to leave footprints

Oh, it's so inspiring and full of meaning to me!!!
There's in this list something in common to being a little fox, but something more, too!

And now?
How to bring the word of the year into real life?
The first thing I've done is this little painted pebble:

working around your word of the year - wild - painted pebble

I've decorated it with a black marker and nail polish in different colours (+ transparent to finish the surface).
Now it's into my wallet, among coins.
I use coins everyday, expecially to buy fresh bread (you know, I'm italian).
So I'm sure to have a lot of opportunities to see this little pebble and my word! I think it's a good idea to remember it during busy day, when you start to be a bit "disconnected".

I'd like to find other creative ways to have my word with me. Are you interested? I could write a post about them (next week).

In the meantime you can look for the hashtag #woty2017 to discover something about other people' word of the year and their ways to make them live into their daily life.

I'd like to know if you have a word of the year for 2017 or not. 
Share it with me in the comments!
Any suggestions for my next post?

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Christmas ornaments for introverts

I know, the title sounds a bit crazy, but it reflects some of my thoughts of this period. 

In my (rare) spare time I'm dedicating myself to get my shop ready for Christmas and so I've worked on new photos of my handmade ornaments (and also prepared a coupon code to have them with a 15% discount).

decorative stars for christmas home decor
My ornaments
They are little and simple ornaments. Totally my style!
Some are made of cornastarch clay (stars and snowflakes) painted by me in white. Some others are made of recycled materials. My favourite are the felt embroidered stars.

They are different but all of them are rustic, nature inspired, traditional and small.
But, the most important thing, they are not too much eye-catching.
And so I said in my mind: "Hey, they are for people like me! These ornaments are for introverts!".

cornstarch clay ornaments with snowflakes

What about Christmas if you are introvert?

I'm not a very "Christmas person". Oh, no, I'm not the Grinch, I'm only and introvert girl! Proud of my introversion.

You can hear introverts saying that:
  • They don't like the wastefulness and the confusion of Christmas time
  • They don't feel great at crowded parties (even when only close family is involved)
  • They don't like to go out and spend entire afternoons looking for the right gift
  • They don't like bulky home decoration which steal part of their living space

I know that, probably, introvert people during Christmas time like better to:
  • spend a full afternoon at home, on the sofa, watching a good Xmas movie
  • cooking alone Xmas dishes for very "private" christmas lunches / dinners
  • avoid too much noisy things (like those Santa's puppets mechanically saying "OhOhOh")
  • enjoy some time of rest at home, dedicating themselves to hobbies and quiet activities
  • buy gifts on-line and not in real shops after hours and hours of wandering in crowded shopping centers
  • decorate their nest with gentle and not too much eye-catching ornaments

And it's probably because I'm introvert that I like to make all the little and "kind" Christmas ornaments you can find in my shop.

They don't occupy too much living space. 
They don't make noise or bling-blings of any kinds. 
You can buy them on-line if you want to offer a little gift to someone special (a very selected one, I presume).
They are perfect for a quiet, resting, loner and silent Christmas time in our precious cave, ehm, nest! :)

painted ornaments for christmas

What do you think?
Does my post sound odd, annoyng, Grinch-style? 
Is there something familiar for you in the introvert Christmas I depicted in this post?
(wait, are you introvert or extrovert? a free test for you) 

fabric bows for christmas

Study the topic a bit more with this posts I found recently: 

Monday, 8 August 2016

Summer sewing in black & white: skirt and t-shirt

Hi, lovely readers!
How is your summer going?

Mine is full of trips, time with friends, work, books, beach and good food.
I'm not very creative in this period, but I've probably understood where the problem is hidden (multitasking is not always a good thing!) and I'm going to do some good planning to reconnect myself to my self-expression path.

Despite this not-very-creative mood, I made some new clothes for me. 
Summer is the best season for diy clothes, in my opinion. 
Easy t-shirts, or skirts, are very easy to sew and they help your wardrobe staying full of options during the hot season, when the pile close to washing machines can reach huge dimensions.

I made a skirt and a t-shirt!
They both are black and white (+stripes!). It's not a combo I used to like in the past, but something was calling me while I was looking for fabrics into my boxes.

The skirt (very easy pencil skirt)

handmade skirt

Something about this skirt:

  • I've bought the fabric more than two years ago and left unused, because I loved it so much that I was terrified to waste it (also because the piece was very small).
    It's a strong but lightweight and soft knitted cotton fabric, printed with different motivs of black and white zigzag stripes.
  • I've drawn the desing by myself following my body's shape and measurements. It's a very easy pencil skirt finished with an elastic on the waist:

elastic waist of a skirt

The t-shirt (stripes + flowers again!)

diy clothes

simple design for diy t-shirt

Something about this t-shirt:
  • Yes, the fabric it's the same of the stripes+flowers t-shirt I made last year (still loved and worne) but in black+white+sand and not in blue. I have a big piece of it, so I will probably sew something else in the future.
  • Design by me!
    I used a (bought) t-shirt that it's very confortable on me and used as a pattern.
    I added some bands on the sleeves because these details help handmade clothes to look less handmade (yes!).
    I'm not 100% satisfied by the neck line. It's always the part of the process that gives my troubles.

Future projects

I'd like to go on sewing in August.
It's to start something new, so in my plans there are:
  • Culottes! I've collected a lot of inspirations, tips, patterns and tutorial for culottes making in a Pinterest board. Something like this or this will be great!
  • A top with draped neck line following this tutorial. I hope it will help me in go over my problems with neck lines. I like this kind of neck line very much, too!
  • Leggins or easy pants in stretch/kintted fabric.

I'll share with you the finished projects, of course!

Do you practice easy summer sewing like me?
Share your work! I'm always looking for new inspirations!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Blog makeover - new about page

In my last post about this blog's makeover I wrote that I've made some changes around the pages, rearranging them, offering new contents and giving them a better look.
But, honestly, something wasn't so good in them, expecially in the "about" page.

Last sunday I was travelling by bus to work (art exibition "Museo della follia" in Catania) and I was looking at Pinterest on my smartphone, when I saw an interesting pin with this title: "How to write an epic about page for you blog".

If you click it you'll be in the collective mill blog to read the whole article!
So good and full of right considerations and suggestions!

I decided to make some changes in my about page following what the author said in that article and see what happens :)

What I did

Here's a screenshot of the upper parts of my about page before (on the left) and after (on the right):

write a new about page by madamerenard

There's a big difference!
At first glance they're different only in their look, but the most consistent work I've done is on the content.

I've completely reorganized it and divided into four sections:

  • eco-friendly sewing + rural life + creativity
    It's important to start with your blog's topics at first. People need to know if your blog is for them or not, before going on exploring.
    I've understood that starting from their needs and curiosities is better than starting from you and your story. It's a  way to capture interested people, but also to be helpful and clear to readers at their first visit.
  • where to start
    The idea is to be helpful to your readers. They don't know you so much, so offering them some directions to follow is very good.
    I've linked some blog posts I'm proud of, some I think can be useful to my readers, some other to get some informations about me.
    I think I'm going to change them here and there, to get up-to-date directions.
  • my story
    Of course, interested readers would like something about you and your story. They would probably be curious about who you are in "real" life.
    Without being too rambling, I've tried to tell something about my story, my job, my other passions. There's a real person behind the blog!
  • let's be friends!
    We live in a very social world. Interaction is what we look for when we write our blog posts (nobody starts a blog to act a monologue).
    So I left some ways to connect with me.

I've done a good job, I think.
Some banners, illustrations and photo help in offering a lovely view to the readers; I imagine them like people who are going in a new place for the first time: visitors need something beautiful, cozy and well organized to feel like at home
I've used the colors of my palette (lilac + dusty blue + some black accents) and picmonkey to make photo collages.

What I didn't

There only one thing inside that article that gave me difficulties: the suggestion "Show Them Why You’re Unique".  Uhm, well, coff coff, I'm not so sure!
What I need is some work on personal branding!
I know that I sew, I like nature, I'm doing my best to save the world, but, honestly, are these things making me unique?
I don't know.

I hope this post could be helpful to ther bloggers.
Visit my new about page and let me know what you think!
And, to help me in solving my problems with uniqueness, answer this question: where (or how) did you find your uniqueness?

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

5 new (to me) amazing zines to read

More than three years have gone from my last post about zines! 
Can you believe it?
I was addicted to zines reading in the past and, though I still love this kind of self-expression form, I haven't bought (and reviewed) one in years.

I was surfing Etsy some days ago and I had the idea to look for some zines that appeal to me (you know, I need something to read this summer, expecially because I've recently discovered that I love to read near the sea).

I found a lot of new (to me) zines I like. 

Five of them are amazing, in my opinion, for their topic, or the style, or the quality of the illustrations.
I haven't bought them yet, because I'm still doing some researches, but I decided to tell you something about them, just to spread the zine love :)

These zines are about some of my favourite topics:
  • plants
  • cats
  • being a woman
  • being an introvert
Want to know something more? I'm introducing them to you!

1. Winter wild, a zine about plants life in winter, by Kriski

share the zine love!

I love the topic, but most of all, the style of drawing and lettering. So tidy and organized, but funny and modern.
The colours too are lovely, among my favourites!
And it's a big zine: 20 pages to look and read!

Kristyna Baczynsky, the author, says in the description: this book is a blend of writing, research, drawings and comics about ten different plant specimens; all drawn in detail for identification. An illustrated selection of historical, scientific and mythological facts.

It sounds good!

2. Self love zine, by LollieWorley

share the zine love!

First of all, you can download it in .pdf, if you like!
Very good! Expecially for people who don't like to waste paper and like eco-friendly solutions like these.

The topic is amazing: self-love, a thing a lot of people need to work on.
Inside it has a cut&paste style I really like: it gives to the zine a handmade look, very well arranged here.

3. Illustrated women in history, by Apalelandscape

share the zine love!

The one with the most professional look in this selection.
It looks so well organized and rich in text! It's more similar to a printed book than to a zine, but I appreciate it the same, because I like to read other women's stories and to be inspired by them!
21 biographies of talented women inside!
And (shame on me!) I know only a few of them.

4. Cat state of mind, by Nathalie Moore

share the zine love!

I love cats! Not only mine, all cats!
And I also do my best, here and then, to draw their lovely faces and tails and paws, but I'm not so good in cats' drawing! -___- 
(I go on and go on filling my Moleskine with flowers!)

So it's very interesting for me that in this zine there are 20 pages of doodles about cats' world to be inspired byAnd the title is quite funny for all people who know cats and do their best to read into their mysterious minds.

The author is Nathalie Moore (click to go on her blog).

5. Creativity for introverts, by BusyWeekends

share the zine love!

This one is part of a serie of zines dedicated to creativity into the life of introvert people (like me). You can start from here or from other zines of the serie.
Great idea + cut&paste style I love + very interesting topic.

Don't you think they are lovely?

All these zines have english text.
I'd really like to found interesting zines in italian, too, but I haven't found nothing remarkable yet. Zine making is not common in Italy, probably because we have been too busy in making different kinds of art for centuries, ahaha :)

Let me know in the comments if you know italian good zines
if you have zines to suggest me (you know what I like to read: crafts, books, nature, art, eco-friendly life, travelling, growing as a woman).

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Using Instagram to tell about my creative process

I've recently discovered Instagram (yes, a bit late, eheh) and immediately felt in love! It's my favourite social media and I find myself posting 1-2 photos everyday (only because I hold me to post 3 or 4 or 5).
I like that it's easy to use, quick (for busy people, too!) and with a strong sense of community inside.

You can find my profile under silvia_triv, if you like to interact or take a glance (or click on the black button on your right).

What kind of things I post?

To be honest, I've started to use Instagram to tell something about my job of tourist guide in Sicily
I write about it in a dedicated blog (mostly in italian with translations in english) and I use other on-line tools to spread the world with my joy and satisfaction about my job (a Pinterest board dedicated to Sicily, for exemple) and also to help tourists in some ways.
I decided to open an Instagram account as a support, but soon I started to post something else, here and there.

Now I use to post photos about:
  • me in action (there's also a tag used by me and other tourist guides: #touristguideinaction) and the beautiful places when I work (a big privilege!)
  • something about my life in Italy and Sicily: food, landscape, traditions, nature, events...
  • my life close to nature and country
  • my crafty life: materials, tools, my busy hands at the sewing machine, finished projects, parts of the creative process.
The last one is the best part of my being on Instagram.

As an artisan I think it's very important to tell people about your creative process. My customers are not buying products that are born in lifeless factories; there are very busy hands and a person behind handmade items.

People want to know who you are, how you work, what kind of materials you use, the values hidden in your small business / work ...

And (so much more important)... it's funny!

I can let my followers look at my prewashed fabrics drying on my balcony's cords (always prewash your fabrics!!!):

They can browse into my thread spools, so colorful:

I can show them how I use my handmade paper patterns to draw the cut line on fabrics...
... or my hands during a very hard step of bag making (inner zippers!!!) ...
... the finished items ...
... or even the 100% recycled packages I usually arrange (I do my best for the planet, you know!)...

Isn't it great?
Love it!

I'm a 100% Instagram enthusiast!

If you like, you can click on the images of this post to give them an earth or to follow me or to leave a comment. All these things will be really appreciated!

If you want to join this "creative process posting", take photos of you at work, or of your materials / supplies, don't forget the most interesting steps of your work and add one of the tags I use: #creativeprocess , #behindthescenes , #inthestudio (all of them, or the one you like best).

Do you post on Instagram to tell about your creative/artistic process?
Do you think it's important in some ways?
What are your favourite things to post on Instagram? 
Let me know! I'm sure I can improve my Instagram experience thanks to your comments!
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