Thursday, March 26, 2015

An easter garland DYI with Urban jungle bloggers

I'm so happy to be back for the easter edition of Urban Jungle Bloggers. It was exactly a year ago that I joined for the first time, you can see it here, and what made me realize how a year had gone by, was to be able to see how much my plants have grown since then. You can see the one below is the tiny one I placed as Judith's place setting.

For this edition I wanted to do something very easy to make. If you follow this blog you probably know I'm a "bit" drawn to garlands. And of course this time my plant takes center stage, as well as the mini-chicks and my favorite chocolate of all.

These garlands, which you can make in no time, look perfect as a back drop for your easter brunch, as a craft idea for the children to make on easter day, or just make a few and send them to your pen pals.

And don't forget to bring out the chocolate eggs while you're doing this.


What you'll need is:

  • old book pages
  • scissors
  • washi-tape
  • watercolors
  • string



And then:
-Simply cut the shape of an egg, as many times as you want, and paint in your favorite spring colors, with your preferred patterns. 
-I made them all the same size, but of course you can make them any size.
-Once they have dried, simply attach them to the string with a long piece of washi-tape, on the back part.
-Voilà, nothing more, nothing less! Easter egg decorating the easy way.

I do hope you get in the mood for making garlands and eating lots, and lots of chocolate eggs!!

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series with the idea to get some green into our homes. Every month Judith and Igor invite bloggers to share ideas for creating an urban jungle through styling challenges, DIYs, green tips and tricks. Every month there is a different theme on the topic.
You can follow and get more inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook.


Have a lovely weekend ahead,
Giova

Monday, March 23, 2015

Opening drawers

While in London last week, (or what is 2 weeks ago already?), I was lucky enough to stay at my friend's place. She says she is a "charityaholic" but I think it has to do more with a very well trained eye, and superb taste to find the things she has been able to find.

Inspiration is apparently everywhere you look (so "they" say). I find it much easier to reach when you happen to have a friend that lets you go through her drawers and explore. They also have to look as beautiful and exquisitely curated as the ones below. Not just any drawer will make the cut, mine for example, don't even come the tiniest bit close to these.

I know part of looking through a drawer is also the experience of it, of being able to move things to see what more is in there. I can assure you it was very exhilarating. In the meantime just looking through will do, right?






This piece and the piece below is part of her work, which just like her drawers is absolutely beautiful.



I think I can officially declare myself a nosy parker, a closeted one that is, because I won't ever go through anyone's drawers unauthorized, but in my mind that would be the thing I would think of most. I'm so, so happy I got the chance to see my friend's house and her collections.

I think that is one of the reasons I started my Crafty series, so I can see where and how people lived, their collections and sensibilities.

Here's hoping I get to open many more drawers to see beautiful things, and wishing you a bright and lovely day,
Giova.
P.S: Thank you C. for letting me open your drawers!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

West Dean College … once again

I visited West Dean College last year for this workshop, and I was completely enchanted.  This is one of those places where you go once, and for some reason, (I can think of many) you keep thinking and thinking about it. There is a certain energy to the place that will pull you back.

Back in September (2014) I booked my place on a workshop (more about that next week), something I usually never do because I can never seem to think so far ahead, and planning things make me nervous. But I did it, and since then I could only think of two things: one, "please, please, don't let me get sick by that time,"and two, "when will march arrive?"

As time does have the ability of creeping up on you, the moment to go back did arrive rather quickly. 

Here are some views of West Dean, mostly how the weather just adds to its charm, and how beautiful I find it to be.

The view from the entrance.

A close-up.

The grounds were filled with snow drops and…

Crocuses.

The view from my room... lucky I had one this time around.

The view from the entrance, now with arch, at sunset.

Sunset, but really it is most spectacular in person.

At dusk.

A foggy day. There is something about fog that I find incredibly beautiful.

The colors and sounds are so different. So still.

Last picture before departing.

Needless to say, I feel so grateful and incredibly happy to have been able to be there once again. Also quite refreshed and inspired. I'll show you next week what I worked on, and what some of my talented workshop friends did as well!

I've actually been so inspired by the colors, as well as the workshop, which was just the most eye opening workshop I've ever been to, that I made some brooches and necklaces with West Dean in mind. They are here if you want to take a look, the brooches are a bit different to what I normally do, but I really like how they turned out.

Have a lovely and creative weekend ahead,
Giova

Monday, March 16, 2015

Jessie Chorley's Shop

Last week I spent a few days at West Dean College and some other days in London. It was the perfect getaway with the weather cooperating every single day. 

I wanted to start this week by showing you the beautiful shop of Jessie Chorley. I finally had the chance to visit her magical store, which is a lot like her work, filled with the most delicate details everywhere you look. This is one of those places where you can easily spend the afternoon rummaging around, so if you are planning a trip to London make sure to add this shop to your list.









I met Jessie a bit more than 2 years ago when I did a workshop with her, you can read all about it here.
I hope you liked the glimpse of her store, it is a really inspiring store.  Just in case you live really far away, she also has a lovely online store.

Jessie's shop is located at 158a Columbia Road
Times: Thu-Fri from 12 to 6
Sat- from 12 to 4:30
Sun- from 9-4:30

See you back on thursday with more inspiration from my trip.
Have a great week ahead,
Giova

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Flat Swap 2015

I still can't believe it has been a year since the first flat swap. Exactly one year ago today! For some reason I've been thinking about the swap (not knowing it had been a year) and how nice it would be to make and receive a nice little package. With spring and a color combination in mind, you can arrange for a special delivery to someone you don't know. Sounds nice doesn't it? Maybe this post will inspire you?

So lets get on with the nitty gritty. A few things have changed, so read on.

Here are some ideas, but feel free to change or add as you wish (with your partners consent).
  • a letter - long, short, it is up to you, but I think this is such an important part of any swap, it makes it more personal, not just the exchange of gifts
  • something handmade - whatever you make, your craft, a special thing you made that you want to share
  • something you own, but don't need- the point is sharing and thinking about the color combination your partner chose, and putting a smile on your partners face.
  • a wish or a favorite quote - get creative, don't just write something on an ugly piece of paper
  • something edible - tea, chocolate, candy


Things to take into consideration:
1. Send me an email (giovabrusa@gmail.com) or leave a comment below saying that Yayyyy you want to join!

2. Let me know about your preferred color combination, and your blog or IG, or FB (anything where I can see your work).

3. You'll be paired, that way you can discuss how many things you'll be sending, exchange addresses, etc..

4. I reserve the right  NOT to add you to the list - sorry about this, but last time some people joined only because they wanted "things" and didn't make any the effort in what they sent out. I think it defeats the whole purpose of the swap.

5. The swap will close in a week (March 10th), and I'll be sending you an email with your partner's name and email on the 12 of march.

6. You have 2 weeks to prepare your package, so the deadline for sending it out is March 26. No excuses please!

7. Join the swap to see what everyone is sending at #theflatswap2015 on IG or add your pictures to my FB page here

8. Everyone around the world is welcome (except in the case of #4), but if for economic reasons you prefer someone closer to you, let me know in the email

**THIS SWAP IS NOW CLOSED
I really hope you decide to join the second edition of "the flat swap."
Have a lovely day,
Giova.


Monday, February 23, 2015

How's that for irony?

Not too long ago, in fact only 2 posts ago, I mentioned a little book called "The Art of Stillness," and how I craved being able to stay still. Well as luck would have it, I just spent one week and one day "going nowhere,"and being very, very still. Literally not even moving an inch at times, others only five steps (between the bed and the bathroom). I'm not exactly sure this is what I had in mind when I pictured "stillness" and silence, but hey, it is what it is! You can't go asking for things and then changing your mind about it right in the middle of it, just because you didn't like how things turned out.

Not exactly sure the book mentions being sick and still at the same time. I think it has more to do with stillness of mind,  more than anything else. Don't they say; "if life throws you lemons, then…. something, something. That is exactly what I did. Nothing, nothing and nothing. It wasn't easy, I don't do "nothing" easily. There is always something that needs to be done, finished, cleaned, picked up. I didn't even read, watch T.V, looked at the computer or phone. I just stared long enough into things, until they changed a bit.

The thing is, if you're sick your body pretty much dictates what needs to be done, and you better listen. Nobody likes to get sick, and nobody likes to feel like a useless sack of rocks, but it might be the only chance you get to sit still. I got my chance (a very weird one). Basically this has been a very interesting week for me, even if I've done absolutely nothing at all, and even if the only 2 things I can show you are a view from my bed, and my actual bed.

Enough of illnesses and stillness and nothingness. I promise this is the last time I mention any of those words. Now onto more exciting things, whatever those may be.

Wishing you an exciting week ahead,
Giova

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love and Brownies

"Sure," you'll say. 
"Why not?" I would say.
"What do brownies have to do with love?" you'll say.
"Everything!" I would say.

There is chocolate for one thing, the baking part and love you put in counts as 10 things. Then the way you wrap it, also with love, counts as other 10 things. Voilà!! You have a total of 21 things, that is a lot in my opinion. So you see? Brownies and love do go well together.


 If maybe you still don't agree, perhaps you can do any of these things:

  1. Hold hands
  2. Watch a very romantic movie
  3. Have a pic-nic in the living room, if it is warm where you are, have it at the park
  4. Bake something (check)
  5. Write a love letter
  6. Cut out paper hearts- glitter optional (check)
  7. Give a book of poems (Love poems)
  8. Better yet write a love poem, or haiku, something
  9. Buy or make- heart shape cookies, pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, etc...
  10. Say, I LOVE YOU to as many people as you can. Not randomly, because you're going to get the "weird eye."

The recipe for the brownies shown, which is the only recipe  I've ever used, so maybe you shouldn't trust me, because I haven't tried others, but then again, these really are amazing brownies, that's what everyone says.

Oh, yeah! The recipe is from Green and Black's, but I don't put cherries in it. Very easy to make and so yummy.

I really hope you can find the time to be a little romantic (anytime of the year certainly), but I do love Valentine's day, because if you're not romantic on that day, when there is a reminder in every corner, then when will you be?

How do you spell love? asked Piglet
You don't spell it, you feel it, answered Pooh

Sending you lots of love,
Giova
P.S: I recently added some of my favorite things here. Perhaps you would like to join this wonderful project? I hope you do. Let me know if you do?
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