Monday, November 28, 2011

Almost there

Reluctantly I took a weekend away from crafting to paint my living room. I've been putting this off for a long time because it's a big job and I think I was worried about my colour choice. It certainly was a lot of work, but I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.

Called embellished blue, it's a lot like Tiffany blue - which is a trademarked colour if you can believe it. I picked the green for the dining room and kitchen (in the background) to complement the blue. They're bright and surely not for the colour shy, but I love how cheery the main floor looks now.

Just one more room to go - a small bathroom - and then the whole house is painted! I did it all myself, except for the two-storey foyer and stairs. I'm an accident prone painter likely to fall off a stepping stool (and have), so I left that to a professional with a sturdy ladder. My best painting oopsy was in the living room when I stepped in the paint tray and then had to hop on one foot to the sink. Even at the time I thought it was funny. But not so much later when the dog stepped in the tray and then onto the carpet.

Little kitties

This cute print of kittens playing with yarn turned up in the sale bin at a recent visit to my favourite fabric shop. How could I resist? I made this lined drawstring pouch, thanks to a tutorial my crafty friend Tara found. The pouch came together easily and quickly. I can see myself making this again as a good use for fat quarters.

I lined it with another vintage-looking fabric with small playing kittens in blue, then made the ties with the same pattern in pink. For a sweet little detail, I stitched on a few teeny crocheted flowers.

Christmas is coming

This necklace was made as a last minute addition to a parcel my mom was sending to relatives in the Netherlands. I started with nifty lampwork beads with an irregular shape. I put a crystal and metal spacer around the focal beads, then a blend of teal beads between.

Pizza, espresso, gelato and fabric

I recently enjoyed three glorious weeks in Italy, the first two relaxing in Tuscany and then a more hectic week in Rome. Of course we managed to fit in a bit of crafty shopping between all the sight-seeing, eating and eating. We did a lot of eating.

A bit of research before the trip pointed us to a big old fabric shop in Rome. It did not disappoint! Fabric was stacked wall to wall, floor to ceiling. And there was room after room after room. It was overwhelming.

I picked up a few half-metres of sweet little prints. Just getting the fabric was a whole procedure. I told the woman what I wanted and, not speaking much English, she wrote down the price and amount for me. She cut each piece, asking first, then carefully counting the fabric and writing up a list of what I got. She gave the fabric to another woman and the receipt to the cashier. Only after paying could I actually touch the fabric.

While in Tuscany we stumbled on a fabric shop in Lucca, a great old walled town. The owner didn't speak much English and was super excited to have a chance to chat with us. It was especially fun when he was trying to tell us about the animal prints he sold out. He stretched his arms out, and leaned down to mime a dachshund. I got this cute sheep print on heavy cotton. The fabric was 2.8 metres wide! I figured just half a metre would be more than enough.

He cut the fabric, neatly folded it and then wrapped it up in special waxed paper with his shop's name. How lovely. I was hesitant to unwrap it when I got home. But I had a project in mind - make drawstring bags to fill with some Tuscan goodies for my friends. I bought olive oil soap that smells amazing and panforte, a traditional Tuscan fruit cake, in San Gimignano - the scenic old town just minutes from our villa.

The trip was just wonderful and I'll be reminded of Italy when I see the fabric. Amazingly I spotted the fabric shop in Rome while we were on one of those hop-on, hop-off buses. Talk about a keen crafting radar!