Thursday, 30 October 2008

Folkloristic embroidery

I've already blogged twice today, so why not make it three?!
This is a pillow I made some years ago when I lived in Sweden and was a member of Täcklebo Broderiakademi (The embroidery academy - an association that in short promotes embroidery as an artform). I took an evening course at Smålands Museum together with some members of my local association and I don't want to get into too much into detail because I don't even know some of the words in English but we were to embroider pillows inspired by an exhibition of local folk art. Anyway, this is what came out of it for me! :)
It's an angel blowing in a trumpet (although my husband claims it looks like a huge joint) embroidered on wool using linnen thread and glass beads. It actually took part in an exhibition at the beautiful arts center Virserum Konsthall about female handicrafts (textilsommar).

Wanna win

I just found some more of those lovely giveaways! Click on the pictures for more information!

Blomsterverkstad is giving away a beautiful quilt from Klinta Kryddor & Grönt...


...and Nästet is giving away these cool pot-holders from Korpi & Gordon that would look really nice in my kitchen!


I'm also hoping to win this Christmas stamp that Kreativ (365) is giving away!

My "Måmå"

Inspired by Glorias post here, I just wanted to show you these two photos of my grandmother. I'm not at all as good as Gloria to tell a story so I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves only adding that she is one of my greatest inpirations when it comes to sewing, embroidering and in general being creative. For example she's the one who made the cross-stitched month embroidery to the right. But I'll tell you more about her creative work another time!

She was a housewife who never stopped studying. Among many other things she knew the names (in Swedish and latin) of thousands of flowers, herbs, moss, minerals, mushrooms etc., all the constellations of the northern hemisphere and had very strong opinions on environmental issues like forestry which is very important where I come from. So you can understand she was for many reasons a hero to me growing up! :)

This picture is taken in 1979 and shows me and my granny ("Måmå" as I pronounce the Swedish word for grandmother in my dialect..) trying to play the piano while my little brother does his best to sabotage. The song is most likely something by Alice Tegnér. My Måmå is dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, not at all the typical flowery old lady-dress! We're in the basement of my grandparent's house where they had a room each to do their respective creative work. In the lower right corner is an unfinished embroidery from her series of embroideries depicting scenes from "the Lord of the Rings", one of my grandmother's favourite books . I don't have any photos of her "lord of the ring"- embroideries so I'll have to show you that another time, it certainly one of her masterpieces!

This photo is taken in 1952 and shows my grandma, one of my uncles and my mum (don't we look alike?!) Because of the job my grandfather had, they moved around quite a lot so I'm not sure where it's taken but they always made sure to stay in the countryside so they could be close to the nature and to have a big garden to grow vegetables and fruit. She was practically a part of the "green wave" (gröna vågen), the environmentalist movement before it even started in Sweden!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Wanna win

I'm participating in two Swedish and one Italian giveaways/candies. Click on the pictures for more info.

A cute necklace from Skapasaker

A colander from Casual living, giveaway from Designtjejen.

A secret candy by Fiorella

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Budgie love


When our blond, Swedish budgie Lina (to the right) tragically was left alone in January we got her this Italiano-Romagnolo. She completely fell for Tony and follows him everywhere. To make him stay really close she places her "foot" on top of his until he plays the tough guy and tries to get away. But most often, like right now, he stays by her side and sings her sweet love songs..:)

Monday, 27 October 2008

Country Christmas


Excuse my ignorance but before moving to Italy I had never heard of country painting and crafting before. Country is a big part of my life, but then I'm talking about the music genre. In Sweden I used to sing in a country group, Bellis Alba, if you're curious to listen to my voice you can do that here! Back to crafting though... last Friday I took a three hour Christmas decorations course at the local crafts store and I made these country painted wooden Christmas tree decorations. It's kind of weird but everyone agrees that they came out quite Swedish looking even though I let my instructor decide on the colours and she showed me how to make the snowflake pattern... When I came home I laquered (is that the word??) with normal glue mixed with a little water.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Baby quilt part 1

So, I'm calling this post "part 1" hoping that there'll be more parts to this story and that I'll actually be able to finish this project. What speaks against it is that it's my first ever quilt, I get really bored by cutting fabrics, I'm not very precise when I saw and generally I'm better at starting projects than ending them. But - I've chosen to make simle square pieces and letting the fabrics speak for themselves, I know where to go if I need help and I have until late february to get it done so... let me show you some pictures of what I've done so far:


I've done what I think is the most fun part, embroidered 20 8x8 cm squares to make the quilt more personal. I've used different techniques but they are all embroidered on raw linnen with cotton thread. The sewing basket was a gift from my grandmother about 10 years ago and she made the inside lined with pockets all around the side.


I found some patterns in old embroidery books, some from other people's blogs and some from my grandmother's old embroideries (I'll tell you more about her some time, she was, among other things, fantastic at inventing her own cross-stitch patterns or altering other's). I tried to choose somewhat meaningful motives like typical Swedish flowers, people on a beach since I live in a a city famous for it's beaches and a family going for a walk but other motives I just chose because they were cute... :) . The photo looks a bit blurred but if you click on it you see it much better. Wish me luck for part 2! :)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

My grocery shopping adventure...


My weekend project was to pimp up my grocery bag. I'm one of the very few in this super chic town that brings my own environmentaly friendly cotton bag to the local supermarket so why not make it a little more "elegant". My inspiration was, as you can see, the Feeling Stitchy banner and it was a nice little project that I really can recommend. I wanted to include the letter "i" to have an excuse to use a button so the text is "faccio la spesa" = "I'm grocery shopping" = "jag handlar mat". The name tag hides the logo of the company where my dad works. Sorry about the photo quality though... using the flash the photo becomes too bright and without flash it always ends up a bit blurry.












Oh, just have to tell you what happened to me yesterday when I went out to use my new shopping bag for the first time. I live in a town where people are extremely friendly or totally crazy and most ofte
n both. :) It's most of the time really nice because wherever you are someone strikes up a conversation with you like in line at the supermarket, at the newspaper stand (once a sweet old gentleman gave me quite explicit marriage advice a Wednesday morning when I was buying the paper :)) or on the train. The downside is that lots of tourists come here to party in the summertime so as you can understand an almost blond girl like me is considered an open prey. Anyway, my small excursion took about 40 minutes during which 3 men approached me in 3 very different ways:

1. I first went to the post office, took a number and sat down to wait. For once it was pretty empty but already after not more than 30 seconds an impatient 40-something old man came over to ask me which button I pressed to get a number. It turned out that we had pressed the same button (there are 7 to choose from depending on what your errand is) so obviously we had someting in common and we talked for a few minutes about general post office matters before it was my turn. All in all a nice conversation.

2. 20 metres from the supermarket a smiling young african man came up to me asking me if he could talk to me while he was waiting for a friend. I thought maybe he wants to sell something or talk about some religion so I said sorry but I have to go. He wouldn't give up and asked me if I spoke English (I said I do but he obviously didn't or at least didn't listen to me since he continued in Italian...) and if he could ask me something. Sure, I replied, thinking he maybe needed directions or something. Then he turned to a man behind me and said that the man was the friend he was waiting for but since the guy showed no sign of recognizing him he turned to me and said he just wanted to get to know me better. When I answered that, look, I'm married and obviously pregnant so thanks but no thanks, he turned around so quickly that that super fast woman in Heroes couldn't have done it faster...

3. The third guy was a street musician that had overheard most of my interaction with guy no.2. He sat by the door to the supermarket playing the guitar and seemed like he was waiting to comment on what just happened but by then I just wanted to get on with my errands (yes, I'm Swedish...;)) so I quickly went to enter... just to have the sliding doors close in front of me! And so the guy started to sing about me, the doors, my situation etc. just like in a scen from "Something about Mary" or "Gilmore Girls"! It seemed like minutes before the doors opened again and by then I was a little stressed out. I felt somewhat guilty 'cause he seemed really nice so I gave him a big smile and entered, but after having finished my shopping I escaped through the other door... If, by some weird one-in-a-billion coincidence, that guy happens to read this blog - sorry!

Last, but not least, some photos my photographer friend took when we went hiking in the nearby mountains last weekend:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Tävlingar

Wanna winHär är några trevliga tävlingar jag deltar i just nu. Klicka på bilderna för mer info!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Kakhi


Isn't this a beautiful fruit? And it's delicious too! :) In Sweden I've never heard about kakhis (hope I'm spelling it right...?) but here in Italy it's definately an important part of my autumn diet! Anyway, the name is quite fitting for a crafts blog... ;)

Monday, 20 October 2008

Vinicio Capossela

Happy Fabrics


This weekend I took my time to wash some of the fabrics I inherited from my grandma
and when I had finished hanging them the sun lit up my bedroom balcony and gave me this colourful picture! :)

Friday, 17 October 2008

Candy Giveaway...?

Just read a post on Roberta Filava's blog about the words Candy and Giveaway which seem to be popular words in the world of crafts blogs. It's all a bit new to me and I'm not sure I've understood everything but of course I had to give it a go when I saw these super cute things!


A Mrs. Goodbee Dollhouse from Little Window Shoppe, Roberta Filava's colourful felt birds and houses and Retro Elephant's cool beautycases. Click on the pict
ures for more info about the giveaways and candy.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Mamma Mia!

Yesterday I went with a friend to see Mamma Mia! at the cinema around the corner (ladies night - 3 euros...), finally, I might add, 'cause it seems like everyone else saw it months ago. There were a lot of things I loved about the film; I'm a big fan of ABBA's music so I had to bite my tongue not to sing along, the actors/singers and in particular Meryl Streep were really good, the general atmosphere was so nice and the colours were wonderful! The blue ocean, the white houses, the Josef Frank fabrics and - don't you just love the turquoise/light blue bedroom with red and white accents?!! The simple, folkloristic and vintage feeling is just adorable! I tried to achieve something like that in our bedrom when we lived in Sweden and although it didn't turn out perfect in anyway (trying to recreate that kind of environment in a 70's bungalow isn't all that easy...;)) there were some things I was really pleased with that I brought with me to Italy.

1. In the back one of two pillowcases I embroidered, middle a pillowcase made from a cotton fabric my mum has woven and in the foreground a pillowcase I found at a fleemarket
2. A huge bedspread my mother-in-law made from old leftover or used yarn
3. A Swedish brides chest I sponge stained with soured milk (filmjölk) mixed with powdered pigments

4. Another of my mum's carpets, this one's partly made from old jeans

I also had this canapé (at least I think that's the word for it..? hung over the bed. It's made from a hand woven vintage sheet and I've used a cotton thread intended for weaving for the embroideries. Once I had put together the pattern it was a pretty monotonous job to actually do but very calming and so nice to see the red slowly filling the white background!

Monday, 13 October 2008

At Home

Just wanted to show you some of the favourite things I have in my home...

1. A 70's pencil mug my mum wanted to throw away placed in one of my pimped-up Billy bookshelves
2. Love this old chair!
3. My dad's motto - nothing's impossible - volere potere - du kan om du vill - in a frame on my decoupaged, crackelé painted old cd shelf

4. Another pencil mug; a tin can dressed in a Panduro Hobby paper
5. Our wonderful iron chandelier, handmade from Dalarna, Sweden
6. Some of my favourite photos and pictures overlooking an otherwise boring corridor
7. One of many carpets my mum's made
8. Isn't it a great idea, cats on a mousepad! My colourful one's from Accessorize.
9. A Swedish "spice rack" my granddad got in the 40's. Love the bottom left compartment intended for fruit!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

An old craft...


Since I've been crafting for 25 years or so but only blogging for a couple of days, here's a traditional Swedish "festpinne" (party stick..?) I made in december '06. This is how me and my my crafting friends made our:



First we carved off the bark of our 2m long spruce tree sticks.

Then we painted them with a mix of "filmjölk" (soured milk) and powdered colour pigments.

And then the fun part of decorating it with old fabrics, ribbons and spruce tree branches. The wonderful book "Svensk Slöjdkonst" by Uuve Snidare gave us a lot of inspiration!










I used mine for our wedding procession in January '07.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Angelo


To start off this crafts blog a picture of my latest project; an angel I made for my sister-in-law who's decorating their new appartment in Roma. I read somewhere that putting an angel in house is supposed to bring happiness and serenety to it's new inhabitants, so I decided to make one for my first visit there. I didn't know but apparently she already got all kinds of portafortune/lucky charms since their last appartment was said to be haunted. I guess a house built in the 17th century that survived numerous wars and famines most likely has ghosts in it, if any...
Anyway, if it works or not, my angel was most welcome and is now ovelooking a Trastevere street from a bookshelf in their living room! :)

I made the angel from a Panduro Hobby pattern but changed the fabric for the skirt to a cotton/linnen one since I really don't like synthetic fabrics. I also made the black details in dark brown and used glass beads instead of the plastic ones.

Hej! Ciao! Hi!

I'm Swedish, live in Italy and the language that unites my friends is English so... I'm a bit confused about what language to use in this, my first, blog... Well, I guess it won't matter that much since my intention is to share my crafts ideas and to get inspired by others... Just bare with me if I tend to use all three languages at once, and none of them correctly ;)
Anyway:
Välkomna!
Benvenuti!
Welcome!
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