30 November 2010

Winter is coming...

...So I wish to remember the summer with a colourful photo :-).

29 November 2010

Il Ricamo, 10 March 1907 added!


Today I managed to add photos of a new (that is old, very old) issue of "Il Ricamo" magazine... It's issue No 10, dating 10 March 1907. Unfortunately the issue was in almost desperate conditions and 4 pages were missing; well, actually only two of them would be interesting for embroiderers as the last two pages are of advertisement (that is funny and interestingin itself somethims, anyway it's not a great loss). Luckily the big sheet of additional patterns was there, as well as a nice page of cross-stitch monogram.
This issue can now be downloaded from this page of Italian Needlecrafts.

28 November 2010

Old and new photos

I don't like winter in Milano...The sky remains dark and grey for months, making it difficult to take  photos at home.
And as I'm rather busy with my mother's health problems, I haven't yet found the time to edit and upload the photos of some ancient issues of "Il Ricamo" that are quite interesting as they contain some lovely patterns, such as this collection of "M"s...
I took these photos a few days ago when there were a couple of hours of sunlight, but managed to upload them on my pc only today!
Now it seems we can't expect good weather for some time, but I hope I will catch up as  I would like to add issues more frequently than I'm doing now, I'm going on so slowly!

But today I also played with more modern images, that is photos I took last year while on holiday... An ancient wall in Pompei made of square bricks became with  little elaboration a sort of snake's skin, like this!


As in this period I have so little time to stitch or weave, I find it easier to work at images or smaller works! Things I can work on a few minutes at a time, and save them...(And put them on Etsy if the result is good, or delete them or leave on my computer when I don't like them).
I wish to start a new weaving soon, but warpingthe loom  requires a bit of uninterrupted time, and it's so difficult these days. Anyway I think that all the works on images  somehow will also be useful for weaving too, sooner or later...It's all about experience, I suppose; nothing goes lost!

22 November 2010

Medieval Tiles


I love geometric patterns. I'm always interested to see how they appear again and again through time and different cultures, and I find them a good source of inspiration for embroideries or crafts.

Medieval tiles are a good source of small and simple geometric patterns, and I have a couple of books about them. Unfortunately I'm not aware of anything about Italian tiles; I usually take photos wherever I go (I love to take photos of small details! Of architecture, indoor decorations, etc.) but I couldn't find any book about this subject.
The best book I found is a small booklet, "Medieval Tiles" by Hans van Lemmen, published by Shire Library.
It only has 40 pages, but it's really stuffed with information and very good colour photos.

It contains historical and technical explanations about tilemaking, and it's really surprising to see that some models are still manufactured now, many centuries after their invention.
The Table of Contents lists the following chapters:

-The medieval tile industry
-Relief and line-impressed tiles
-Mosaic tiles
-Two-colour tiles
-The legacy of medieval tiles
-Further reading
-Places to visit

Illustrations are in every page and the level of detail  and quality of print are very good; many drawings could be used for decorations and embroideries!

14 November 2010

Remembrance rose

The weather has been awful for weeks here in Milano (and in Italy in general); it's always grey and cloudy and I keep postponing the work I'm doing of ancient magazines digitizing, from day to day, as there is never enough light to take photos...
But  few days ago one of my roses produced a last bloom, right on Remebrance Day...And I don't know whether it's just a strange coincidence, but the rose is a Harkness Remembrance ! Maybe it's been selected to bloom until very late in the year, I don't know.
I took a photo of it, as I guess this will be my last rose for 2010!
True that my balcony offers conditions that are far from ideal for roses (just few hours of light and a lot of shade), but I have two Harkness roses and they both seem to live well with those poor conditions. On the contrary, I have two other  roses by David Austin, and they positively seem to frown at me... It's obvious that if they could talk, they would say "We shouldn't be here!" (in a very offended tone) . Oh, well...
Speaking of living in the wrong place, this is Minu, the cat who lives under my bed!
Children often believe that under their beds there are monsters, or nightmares, hiding.... Well, under my bed there lives a cat.

Minu was about six months old when my daughter chose her at a cat shelter, one year ago... She had been kept for some months in a small cage in the dark, and in spite of all our cares she hasn't yet got used to a normal life (and probably  never will). She spends practically all the day under my bed (where I took this photo; my undr-bed space was already very crowded ! ;-)) or if she can't go there, she stays under my children's wardrobe, which is an even narrower place.
My impression is that she's afraid of daylight and looks for dark spaces; she only comes out of her hiding place  in the evening and during the night...And she's  scared by people and other animals (even the small zebra finches we keep in another room); only my daughter and I  have managed to gain a bit of confidence from her; my son remains a scary presence for her...
I'm sorry for her, but I must say it's an advantage she isn't an intrusive cat, or it would be a big problems with my weavings and embroideries... And I guess she is happy too, although it's difficult to say (she's a cat, after all :-))