31 March 2011

Etsy Italia Team Spring catalogue

The season has changed, and Fernanda, better known for her shop, Nanofactory , of Etsy Italia Team   has produced another marvellous catalogue for our shops, 30 pages full of photos!


Click on the photo to see the Spring 2011 catalogue...She's made a very professional-looking job! I'm happy to have been included!

22 March 2011

Spring!

DSCN4301

Winter is over, at last! It left with a huge storm that swept away almost all the blooms from trees, but a few ones were late in blooming and today they recovered...

The weather is sunny, and I even managed to take a photo of Minu a moment she was out of her hiding places...

Minublog

And today there was a nice surprise! The postman delivered a book I bought on the English eBay (sent several weeks ago! The postal service is becoming slower and slower, I remember when I could get mail from England in less than one week... It rarely happens now).
It' s a book written in 1770...Or better, a modern edition of a book written back then (an original one would be well beyond my possibilities)! The book is title "Art of the embroiderer" by Charles Germain de Saint-Aubain, and is actually the modern translation in English (annotated and extended with colour plates and additional explanations) of  "L'art du brodeur" , which is totally included as a fac-simile in the English book.

This English modern version can still be found  easily (and affordably) on Ebay or Abebooks...My copy was an ex-library one, as can be seen from  many stamps on the book
(oh, why should a university library discard such an interesting book, I wonder?)
The interesting thing about this book, and what makes it very different from many other ancient embroidery books, which are essentially a collection of patterns, is that the author was not just a common writer or illustrator... He came from a family of professional embroiderers, and he himself was the embroidery designer at the court of King Louis XV. Surely he knew embroidery perfectly, and his book is focused on the descriptions of techniques and  materials, rather than being a  collection of his patterns (that are unfortunately limited only to  a few examples).

It's a rare thing, to find such descriptions written  by people who actually belonged to the time, and knew things that have gone lost by now (for example, who knows or would imagine today that to restore colour to faded gold embroidery, one could expose it to smoke from burning feathers?)
The original French version , being a fac-simile, uses an old-fashioned  font and sometimes is a bit puzzling (as it uses the "long s" character, the one that is made almost like an "f", as can be seen from the word "dessinateur" in the photo showing the French title), but otherwise is clearly written and perfectly understandable today too...
It looks like a very interesting read!

(Italian text)
L'Inverno e' finito finalmente! Se ne e' andato con un enorme temporale che ha spazzato via i fiori dagli alberi, ma alcuni erano in ritardo con la fioritura e oggi hanno recuperato ...
----------  (foto)
C'e' il sole, e sono perfino riuscita a fare una foto a Minu in un moment in cui era fuori dai suoi nascondigli...
---------- (foto)
E oggi c'e' stata una bella sorpresa! Il postino mi ha consegnato un libro che ho comprato sull'Ebay inglese (spedito diverse settimane fa! Le Poste stanno diventando sempre piu' lente, mi ricordo di quando ricevevo la posta dall' Inghilterra in meno di una settimana... Succede di rado adesso).
E' un libro scritto nel 1770... O meglio, l'edizione moderna di un libro scritto allora (un originale del '700 sarebbe ben oltre le mie possibilita'!). Il titolo e' "Art of the embroiderer","L'arte del ricamatore" di Charles Germain de Saint-Aubain e in realta' e' la moderna traduzione in inglese (annotata ed espansa con tavole a colori e spiegazioni aggiuntive) di  "L'art du brodeur", che e' inclusa totalmente come fac-simile nel libro inglese.
---------- (foto)
Questa versione moderna inglese si puo' ancora trovare facilmente (e a prezzi abbordabili) su Ebay o Abebooks... La mia viene da una biblioteca, come mostrano i vari timbri presenti sul libro.
--------- (foto)

(oh, ma perche' una libreria universitaria deve eliminare libri come questo, mi chiedo?)

La cosa interessante di questo libro, e quella che lo rende diverso dai molti altri libri di ricamo antichi  che sono essenzialmente collezioni di disegni, e' che l'autore non era soltanto un comune scrittore o illustratore... Proveniva da una famiglia di ricamatori professionisti ed era il disegnatore di ricami alla corte del re Luigi XV.
Sicuramente conosceva il ricamo alla perfezione, e il suo libro e' incentrato sulla descrizione di tecniche e materiali, piuttosto che essere una collezione dei suoi disegni (che sono, purtroppo, limitati solo ad alcuni esempi)
------- (foto)
 E' una cosa rara trovare descrizioni simili scritte da persone che appartenevano all'epoca, e conoscevano cose che ormai sono andate dimenticate (per esempio, chi potrebbe immaginare oggi che per ridonare  colore ai ricami in oro sbiaditi, li si esponesse al fumo ottenuto bruciando delle piume?).
La versione originale francese , essendo un facsimile,  usa un font ormai antiquato che risulta talvolta un po' strano (perche' usa la "s lunga", quella che sembra una "f", come si puo' vedere dalla parola "Dessinateur" nella foto che mostra il titolo originale) ma per il resto e' scritta in modo molto chiaro e perfettamente comprensibile anche oggi...
Sembra una lettura molto interessante!

17 March 2011

Happy Birthday Italy!


Today it's the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification ...Google celebrated it with  this cheerful image.
And as celebrations make me feel like introducing some improvements  in my blog, from now on I'll also post  my entries in Italian too, so that Italian readers will be happier (or my readers  from the Italian Yahoo group).

BTW, Ireland too got a very nice Google image to celebrate St. Patrick's day !
Oggi è il centocinquantesimo anniversario dell'Unità d'Italia...Google l'ha festeggiato con questa allegra immagine.
(vedi sopra)
E siccome i festeggiamenti mi hanno fato venire voglia di migliorare il mio blog, ho deciso che d'ora in poi scriverò i miei post anche in italiano, per fare contenti i lettori italiani (o quelli che mi leggono appartenenti al gruppo Italian di Yahoo).
A proposito, anche l'Irlanda ha avuto una bella immagine da Google per festeggiare il Giorno di San Patrizio!

16 March 2011

Fukushima, Japan

About one year ago, I wrote this post about Chernobyl... I wish it weren't still so  relevant today.
I'm following the news about Fukushima, and things seem to get worser and worser.
It's like looking at a  slow-motion Chernobyl...All the world's best experts are at work there, yet they can't make a difference.
There will be a time for judgements of responsibility and faults, but it can't be now.
Now, let's  pray or send  positive thoughts to those who are working to stop the nuclear disaster at Fukushima... They are getting high doses of radiations and even if the "acceptable" dose has been hastily increased by 2.5 times to allow them to work longer, this won't preserve them from the consequences of radiations.
Next month it will be Chernobyl's 25th anniversary, let's hope it remains a single event.

In the meanwhile, many Etsy sellers are offering some of their items to collect money  for Japan relief projects, as damages from earthquake and tsunami have been devastating...
I offered one of my scarves, the whole price of it will be sent to the American Red Cross for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief.
If you wish, you can go to Etsy and search for items associated with these initiative, just search for items tagged with "Japan aid" or "Japan relief" and you'll find plenty of beautiful  items at any price... It could be  an occasion  to buy something nice and help Japanese people at the same time. I usually don't spam people about Etsy, but I think this time the situation is really bad, even if Japan is not a poor nation, it needs all the possible help.

Of course you can also make a donation directly to the Red Cross, or any other organization you know (but beware of never-heard-of associations that might have been just created in order to scam people! You can bet there are lots of them on the internet, trying to get as much money as possible...Just trust serious organization you already know).

13 March 2011

My haunted loom

I learned from one of the Yahoo groups I'm a member of, that Native American weavers never leave the loom without a new warp for more than 4 days... The longer a loom is left empty, the more difficult it becomes  to get back to work, as the loom will get haunted by spirits and ghosts who will torment the weaver...


There is some truth  in this belief! Indeed  it's true that the more a loom is left empty, the more I tend to postpone starting a new work... This time I think I left some months to pass, and the result is that weaving is taking forever... Every kind of negative thought and event seemed to conspire against me, and a couple of scarves that I should (and could!)  have woven in a day or two  are taking me the whole winter!
But now at last  I'm fighting spirits off my loom, and even if these days I have very little time to dedicate to weaving, I'm proceeding rather fast...
And this time I'll prepare a new warp right before finishing these scarves, so that I can immediately rewarp my loom as soon as I finish and cut the handwoven! (Spirits and ghosts won't be left any space in my loom this time! :-) )

Earthquake in Japan

These days videon on TV never stop being shocking and heartbreaking;  my thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people and their immense tragedy...