30 January 2010

A lot of days later...

I've been variously busy and could not dedicate much time to binding, so only two journals were made...

Unrfortunately the weather is cloudy as usual, so there's no hope to take a decent photo of them... I've put them on sale with the least horrible I could take, but I really must decide and buy a better camera...
Yesterday I was in big media center and saw a few nice ones...But as I was there to buy a computer, I didn't feel like spending additional money for a camera.. It seems to me I'm always buying computers! Well, actually that was the fifth PC in five years...Not all for me of course!! But with two children growing up and dividing their time between my home and the one of their father, the need in computers grows as well as of course "it's impossible" to stay without it...Well, that should be debatable, but I feel I'm not the best example, as I have a desktop and a laptop and one of the two is always in use! 
By the way, that was my son's pc for his father's home... I guess soon there will also be "my daughter's pc for her father's home" too (6th pc...I hope no sooner than next year)...And then probably it will be time to change my own, which is not in perfect conditions and also gave me big problems in the past....And then all the cycle will start again!
Ah, well, maybe I should have bought the camera all the same, as it seems I will never end buying computers...

21 January 2010


These days I've gone back to some journal covers I had started a while ago, and left unfinished... I pasted all the inner sides, and now I have boards for making several journals.

I chose some beautiful papers to make them... I love Florentine papers  but  couldn't resist even to modern and very colourful patterns... I had gone to buy a couple of sheets, and came back with a selection of different papers! Different in size and texture...Florentine paper comes in relatively  small and quite expensive sheets..But it's beautifully printed and has gold in it, so I suppose the printing process is more difficult and justify the cost... In any case I find it well worth the price. Some the other papers are very smooth and easy to work with, others has a sort of thin-lined texture that makes it more complicate to work with as they tend to form bubbles when glue is applied... In any case the result seems good with all of them, now that glue is dry!
Today I've been rather busy and I could only punch holes in the covers, but I hope to be able to stitch at least some of the journals...I've got all the paper ready, and actually those stacks of Fabriano paper are becoming a part of my room  forniture...

11 January 2010


At last I've found the drawing I lost a couple of weeks ago! ( I'm horribly untidy, I know! Things get lost and surface again as if they lived a life of their own...It's funny how they seem to get out of hiding places when I'm not looking for them) .
Anyway, now that it's back, before it disappeared again I scanned it, watermarked it (thanks to PicMarkr ), transformed it into a .pdf (thanks to PDF Converter Online ... I love not to have to install anything else on my PC!) , but I wasn't able to load here the PDF, so I had to use the .jpg... But at last, here it is! (To save, click on the photo to get the large version and click on the mouse right button)

I copied it from a 15th century marble decoration in Santa Croce , Florence... I want to try to use it as pattern for an embroidery, and maybe someone else will find some application for it!

06 January 2010

Digitizing project

This was already a last year's resolution, but New Years resolutions seem to turn quickly into failures, so this time  the approach will be different...
I have a lot of old embroidery magazines. Very old issues of "Il Ricamo Illustrato", dating from the 1920s...

At the time, those magazines were printed on a huge-format sheet of paper, then folded many times, so they needed no staples  nor binding of any sort.
This is an example of the following page... (BTW who might have wanted to embroider that huge spider, I wonder?)

The other page is twice as large, and it will be rather  difficult to take a photo of it...(I took these two with my telephone so the quality is low, but with my camera all the drawings are perfectly visible)
Unfortunately, the paper used was the same of newspaper, and it self-destroys rather quickly... If I don't do anything, they'll soon be beyond recovery, some of the issues are already literally falling into pieces.
And it would be a pity if they were lost! Many of the drawings could still be used today, and in any case the issues provide a very interesting insight on the tastes of the time; fashion, style.
These magazines are out of copyright, which means they can be freely shared on the net...And I intend to take photos of all the pages and make them available to anyone who could be interested (they should be hosted  by TuttoRicamo ).
I'll write updates of this project on these pages, so check periodically if you are interested!

04 January 2010

Post-Christmas sweet...

I'm sharing the recipe  a sweet that is not too fattening! (this is the beginning of a new year, full  of resolutions of losing weight... ;-)).
I love this one:


(for 4 servings)

  • 3 lemons
  • 3 eggs
  • 120 g sugar (or 5 tablespoons)
  • 20g cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon, scarce)
  • 20g butter (a small piece; optional)
  • a pinch of salt
 Wash the lemons well, cut them in half  and squeeze all their juice in a cup, then grate a part of the surface peel.
Break and separate eggs, putting yolks in a saucepan and albumens in a bowl.
Add the sugar, the cornstarch and the grated peel to the yolks and mix well.
Then add 0,2 liters of water (6.76 US fluid ounces, says the conversion tool, but I'm sure no such precision is required)  and the juice of the two lemons to the saucepan contents, and cook slowly, stirring to prevent  it from sticking to the saucepan. When it starts boiling, take it off the fire, add the butter (still stirring) and place the saucepan into a container with cold water, in order to cool it down rather quickly.

Take the bowl with the albumens, add the pinch of salt and whip them well, until they are stiff, then add them to the content of the saucepan (that in the meanwhile will be cool) stirring slowly until they are mixed perfectly.
Transfer the mousse into single portion cups, and put them in the refrigerator; they must stay in the refrigerator for at least one hour  to be ready.

Among desserts, this is a  light one! The butter can also be skipped and (given the small quantity that should be used) the difference is practically unnoticeable...
I'll try to add a photo next time I do it!

01 January 2010

Inlay weaving

I wove my latest scarf to participate to a competition of the Etsy Italia Team... The theme was "White and red", and I decided to weave a white scarf with a red heart inlaid in it.
Inlay is a technique that requires the use of an additional weft to weave the pattern (in this case a heart).
I started by fixing  a drawing of a heart outline to the warp with some pins... The sheet was fixed only at the base and remained "floating" as the reed had to be free to beat the weft.

On each row, I first passed the red yarn  in the part delimited by the outline, then the shuttle with the white yarn and then beat both yarns with the reed as usual....
I went on and the pattern slowly took shape...

At some point, the top of the heart divides in two shapes, so I had to use an additional bobbin (I took one of my tapestry bobbins for this) to go on...

ANd I went on with the two independent bobbins and the shuttle...

...Until the shape was complete!

The rest of the scarf was all white. When it was finished, I embroidered the outline of  the heart, so that it would be neater...
Here is the scarf, finished just in time for the challenge!