31 October 2010

Bought on Etsy: Angel decoration by Gufobardo

Gufobardo is the name of Stefania Morgante's shop on Etsy , she makes very original and colourful drawings with unusual characters, and I love her style! I bought this laminated angel decoration from her.. My intention was to keep it as a Christmas decoration, but it was so lovely that I decided to hang it near my pc, where I can look at it and shake it a little to the little jingle bell sound... The jingle bell itself is very peculiar, as it's original from Tibet, and looks very different from the light, cheap ones that can be found usually here or on the internet. This is heavier and makes a lovely sound...and it's said to bring joy and peace! At least for the moment, I can assure it works :-)

29 October 2010

Castles in the air SAL

I too am participating to the Castale in the Air SAL by Papillon Creations ! I discovered it when it was already advanced, and took forever to choose the colours (as part of the colours must be chosen by each stitcher! No two works will look the same), so I'm still in the beginning...But here is my version:

I'm still doing the central part, "The Formal Garden", and will post my progress here. (This photo is a bit blurred because it's not a photo, it's a scan... And the embroidery isn't flat enough to be scanned properly. I'll do better next time).
I chose the "specialty stitches" version (the alternative was cross-stitch only), which actually has _a lot_ of  different stitches in it! I decided to use an evenweave linen (Sotema 20L col. 38), that's a 38 count so stitches are tiny and I'm working with only one thread of floss...I hope I won't regret my choice in the future! Maybe it's too high-count, it isn't easy to stitch in the evening... But as I've started this way I can only go on :-), as I refuse to re--start it again.
Now I want to catch up with the SAL ...I'm still at part 1 and the No.16 has just been issued!

24 October 2010

Bought on Etsy: "Miss Birch" by Virginia Lee

A couple of days ago I received a lovely print I bought on Etsy from Virginia Lee ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/virginialeeart ).
I love prints because they are an affordable way to collect  works from many artists whose originals would be too expensive... In this case the original is a pencil drawing that must have required many hours of work!
The title is "Miss Birch" and it's easy to understand why: the drawing  shows a birch represented in human (female) form, with the peeling bark becoming a dress... A very graceful figure that is both human and vegetable. It's not "too" treeish, I mean arms are real arms and not boughs, only the way she keeps them is strangely angled and suggest boughs, and the fingers that slowly turn into twigs make one guess  that she is a tree...And also her hair composed by leaves gets mixes with foliage of the trees around. The result is very fascinating and almost "believable".
I love it! And from real it looks a lot better than on Etsy photos (which is not surprising, as  for obvious reasons prints are usually shown with low-definition photos). I just publish here (with permission) a small photo of Miss Birch's face as she is so beautiful...Now I must find a frame that can look as good as this work!

Virginia Lee has also illustrated several children  books... I already had on my (long) list-of-books-to-buy "The frog bride", but the business card I received along the print showed an image taken from "Persephone" and from what I saw (both on the card and on Virginia Lee's own site, http://www.virginialee.co.uk/ ) I decided to add that one too to my (now longer) list of future purchases!

19 October 2010

My latest item

It's this neckwarmer... I had woven two, and a longer scarf, with the same yarn! It's much better from real actually, as I couldn't manage to get the right sparkling of the metallic thread in my photos (I think it's camera's fault; probably they are  misinterpreted as "defects" of the image and the camera tries to correct them - too successfully!).

07 October 2010

Raphael: Cartoons and tapestries for the Sistine Chapel

It is the title of an exhibition currently going on at the V&A Museum in London.

Of course I wish I could visit it, but in this period it's really impossible for me to go to London...In addition the exhibition will end in a few weeks, so I have no hope to see it from real.
But at least I could buy the catalogue! It's available in most on-line bookstores, and definitely worth buying, so I ordered mine and received it a couple of days ago. (I'm publishing a couple of inside photos, small enough to ensure copyright protection, but large enough to see some example pages!)

The exhibition brings together the tapestry designs ( the Cartoons) that Raphael made in 1515-16 for Pope Leo X, with the actual woven tapestries.

The Cartoons  were never returned from Brussel after  tapestries were woven, as traditionally cartoons became property of the weavers' workshop that had woven tapestries from them. They have been on display at the V&A since 1865. The tapestries, instead were obviously sent to Rome, and although they were originally meant for the Sistine Chapel , they are now on display at the Vatican Museums.
I saw these tapestries last year, and again one  in June as it was hosted in a tapestry exhibiton in Mantua, but I've never seen all of them with their cartoons, and it must be  very interesting to see them in the same place!
Well, the book too is very interesting. It's packed full of images, and the text is the way one would expect from a V&A book, absolutely complete and very well documented (a long bibliography completes the last few pages).

The only improvement that could be suggested would be a bigger size, as the format is not large and some of the photos are really small. But a larger size would have meant also a higher price (which is very affordable  at £14.99 -even less, £10.0 when bought from the V&A site- which is very good for a hardback book with more than a hundred colour photos) so I understand the choice made by the publisher.
Anyway there are also many full-page photos, and  many details are shown large enough to appreciate the weaving. There are also photos showing the back (interesting to see how the original yarns were discoloured by light; on the back some colours are definitely different) and enlarged images of damaged threads.

For more information, visit the V&A page of this exhibition and the V&A bookshop