Thursday, October 2, 2014

Street art in Cali - Colombia

One of the things I was not expecting from my trip home, was to find so much and so nice street art everywhere, albeit most of it was quite difficult to get to, but I managed somehow to catch these ones below. It has been awhile since I last posted pictures of street art. For some unknown reason it has stopped calling my attention, until now.

Unfortunately taking your iPhone out of your bag or pocket is a no, no in this part of the world, so I had to stop quickly for the pictures and I didn't manage to catch any names.

There were lots of resonating themes, mostly animals and a lot of social protest or inconformity towards the government (I couldn't get pictures of those), but I guess it is like that throughout the world. No one is ever happy with what they have.





I finally finished reading the book I mentioned in the last post and now I'm reading this one (after that strong subject matter i needed a much lighter one).  And for the first time ever I'm listening to an audio book. I haven't made up my mind if I like listening to books or not, it feels not right for some reason, but I do love her so much and all the books I've read from her, that I will keep on listening!

I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead,
Giova


Monday, September 29, 2014

Paper biennale in Rijswijk

I've mentioned a couple of times how great the paper love e-course was, right? One of the nicest things about it,  is a FB group with all the attendees. Lots of sharing, inspiration and a chance to see everyone's work.

Well, someone mentioned this exhibition and it seemed like a wonderful thing not to miss. Off I went (45 mins away from Amsterdam) to a town I've never heard off before.

It was simply amazing to be able to appreciate the bigger scale pieces, many of them mind blowing (in the sense of, how, how??).  It is paper after all, which I always tend to think of fragile. 

The museum is quite small, with a very beautiful old building on one side and a modern part on the other. Unfortunately it only has 2 big rooms (first 2 pictures) and I was left wanting to see much more than I did. 


Wade Kavanaugh & Stephen B. Nguyen
Richard Schipps
Andrée-Anne Dupuis-Bourret

Close up of the above piece - Little envelopes. Magnificent!!

Katrin Paul
I must say sorry as I forgot to write the name of each piece, but on the other hand I didn't forget the name of the artists (pheeww).

I hope you have a very creative week ahead. I plan on finishing this book that I have been postponing for such a long time (very heavy subject matter), but I love this author and can't recommend him enough.

All the best,
Giova

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Crafty Series #13 - Alexia Cohen

I met Alexia while studying in New York. She is an incredible jeweler and I've always admired her unique pieces and her beautiful approach towards the art of jewelry making. 

Originally from Venezuela, she studied in Boston but now lives in Brooklyn. While I was in New York this summer I got to spend some time with her in her studio. She is also the jeweler technician at Pratt Institute, and that place is looking fabulous thanks to her! 

We also had the chance to spend an afternoon indigo dying everything we could think of and eating her amazing food because she is a great cook too, but I guess that is something for another post! 

Here is a little inside look at her craft...

Her jeweler's bench
Melting gold for wedding bands
A sample of her amazing pieces!
Recreating nature in copper: sugar cane and cacao fruit - these are musical instruments btw


 1. First crafty memory

It came as a revelation while visiting grandma for a summer; I made a weaved bracelet with beads.

2. Favorite craft you've ever made

There are so many but if I had to choose it would be a brooch that I made as part of a teacher's project to her students and they suggested we participate in it as well. Two separate objects that become one and go together but can be worn apart too.

3. Favorite material to work with

Silver is always a favorite because its the whitest metal and its soft and malleable. But recently concrete is becoming a favorite because of the contrast it gives me, the various grays and it opaqueness.

4. Inspiring words you like

Contrast...Texture...Patterns

5. Favorite color

Green always. Lately all navy blue...

6. Tea or coffee

Tea! Coffee gives me a headache

7. Mountains or the beach

The beach is my favorite, but the caribbean beaches- not the New York beaches. In New York I'd rather go to the mountains; although the mountains in Venezuela are amazing!

8. Where do you find inspiration?

The human form. In nature. Geometry in nature...

9. What do you collect?

New and antique metal smithing tools.

10. What would you like to make that you haven't done?

My own jeweler's bench!


You can find her pieces on etsy and you should also check out her website to see all of her wonderful work!

It was a pleasure hanging out with her as it always is. She inspires me a lot and I admire her greatly. I can also say I'm the proud owner of a pair of earrings and a necklace of her creation that I love....

I hope you've enjoyed it! Wishing you a very crafty weekend!

Giannina.




Monday, September 22, 2014

I saw an angel the other day

The other day as I was having my coffee I glanced at my neighbor's house and saw on her wall, what appeared to be an angel. I still don't know what it was exactly. A painting or sculpture? In any case, it is quite far, and yes I need glasses. But I'm plenty sure it was an angel.

I immediately proceeded to make one for me. I think every house needs an angel. Whether it be one with a pink dress or not, that is entirely up to you. I knew two things, it had to have wings (obviously) and a heart necklace (for certain).

Then came the problem of the face. I played around with pieces of thread to see how it looked better (this was taught to me by Julie Arkell). Of course the dolls I learned to make at her workshops, and they have become quite fascinating to make, as I had never made dolls before in my life, and find that every time I start to make one like this one or this one, it often reveals itself slowly to me.

 Should it have earrings and a halo wannabe, more like a disco dancing bandana?

I guess yes to both!!  I'm not entirely sure she will keep her smile, as I'm not too fond of it. It looks like that Nike symbol-logo thingy. Then again I think she is trying to tell me; "Just do it."

She looks pretty happy to me and who doesn't want a happy angel around??

Now I think I need one of those necklaces.
Some new things are up on the Etsy shop if you care to have a look.

Happy making, and if you see an angel, well… make one!
Giova

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Whale watching off the pacific coast in Colombia

We went to the pacific coast to see the whales and we did!! But if you're scrolling down to see a national geographic sort of picture of the tail of a whale then you are in for a disappointment. I was too busy being excited and mesmerized by their presence that I completely forgot to take the camera out.

We didn't see the tail, but we saw a beautiful face coming out of the water, and also a big (enormous) flipper sort of waving hello, and we also heard their loud and incredible sound. And many whales swimming along with their babies. All in all, it was pretty spectacular, magical, breathtaking and so worth everything that meant getting to this part of Colombia. I would do it again in a heart beat.

By the way, the humpback whales arrive in Colombia every year in July to have their babies (calves), and leave in October.

The view from my bed. Who needs television?? There are no walls or doors on the hut, just a bed with a mosquito net.

And a scorpion, not too far from my bed. I had to zoom the bejesus out of it, so it is quite pixilated. Ok, where is the Ritz now?

The only proof that I actually saw whales. My memory still has them picture perfect, I hope I can remember them forever. Some people travel all the way here and actually don't get to see the whales at all, so I think we were pretty lucky.

 Pelican island, is just what the name implies.

Be careful not to step on the little turtle or the thousand of hermit crabs (i don't have a picture of them), but they were really lots and lots.

O.K this is it for the second and final part of this trip. It would have been pretty cool to have a picture of the enormous flipper though, I guess you can't have them all.

Wishing you a happy weekend full of adventures,
Giova


Monday, September 15, 2014

How to make a scraps of fabrics garland

I think it is not a secret that I absolutely love garlands (in fact I'm a bit obsessed with them, always have), and I really like coming up with new ideas to make them.

Recently I've been thinking about a present I needed to make and thought of this garland which I'm sharing with you today (a garland born out of necessity). I'm also selling them on my Etsy shop just in case you don't feel like making any. (wink, wink).

Either way, I would also like to touch (lightly) on a subject that I find a bit frustrating; I don't mind a bit sharing my ideas, also that you make these or the other things that I've made for the blog to share with friends or family, is the reason why I share my ideas in the first place. But from this to actually find someone selling the exact same things on Etsy is quite annoying, frustrating, maddening … In the end people will do whatever they want, and I think this is a battle I will never win. I just needed to get  that out of my chest (sort of)!! ok, pheewww!!!

These are quite easy to make once you decide on the fabrics and colors you'll choose, which is always the hardest part for me.

What you'll need:

  • 7 pieces of fabric
  • 2 ribbons or lace
  • 1 piece of thick thread
  • button, safety pin and charm
  • threads in your favorite colors - I used 2 different ones per garland
  • a favorite word, and some glue

How to:

-Cut a 65 cms piece of thread and start from the lower part.
-Attach a charm so it gives weight to the string.
-Embroider the first piece of fabric directly to the piece of thread so it won't allow any sliding or
 moving. Each piece of fabric measures 1x1 or 1x2 cms (aprox).
-Glue your favorite word to the first piece.
-Leave between 3 or 4 cms of space between each piece.
-I embroidered a word on the next piece, but you can omit this part
-Then add a piece of lace
-Followed by another piece of fabric, then 2 bias bindings, then a ribbon, and 2 other pieces of fabric
- I attached a button and a safety pin
-The final piece is a piece of old paper with a type written word

There is not a right or wrong way of doing this, which ever way you prefer to place or add things, will look great (I think). I simply followed the same pattern in all the garlands as I didn't want to think too much.

So what do you think? Do you think my friend will like the one I made for her? I surely hope so.

These end up being really light and would be perfect as snail  mail gifts. Even if I say so myself, I think they are quite happy garlands.

I wish you a very creative week ahead,
Giova

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pasa y Sientate

I usually don't go store searching in my city, but as it happened, this beautiful and colorful store (that I've heard so many good things from my sister) was next to an ice-cream place that I was visiting with some friends.

I couldn't waste the opportunity to have a look and meet the lovely owner. Everything in the store is either made by her or her mother with so much love, that you can't stop looking. We almost didn't leave!

From the biggest details as in the animal papier mache masks to the cutest mouse in a box of matches, everything is filled with detail and craftsmanship.

If you don't happen to have any girls (like me) you are going to wish (for an instant that is) that you had them, so you can buy their clothes and crowns, necklaces and teddy bears here.



If you ever find yourself in Cali and more precisely in the barrio el Peñon, I suggest you stop by so you can fill your suitcase with lots of colorful gifts.

If on the other hand you happen to live there I suggest you run to the store and start ordering your favors for your next party (we Colombians take our parties very seriously).

Pasa y Sientate can be found here for all opening hours and other very cute ideas!!

Have a very relaxing and crafty weekend,
Giova
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