Monday, 30 May 2011

Monday Moodboard

1. sesideco  2. EarthLab  3. KajaDesign  4. BHBKidstyle

Today our car will have a check up, to be sure that it has all that is required to stay on the roads, which means hours of waiting *sigh*.
Have a great Monday everyone!

You can make the mosaic with the fun gadgets of bighugelabs.

Feature your fellow EuropeanStreetTeam mates by making a mosaic. You can add your link here so that others can see it!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Devaluation of Handmade

Somebody asked us recently what ‘handmade’ meant to us and why, in our opinion, handmade is now much more popular than ten years ago, for instance.

I would like to share here with you some of my thoughts in the matter.
To begin with, ‘handmade’, means for me simply, made by hand. Beautifully or sloppily, uniquely or mass produced –by hand- , creatively or copied, all is possible.
Although we all use the term handmade as a synonymous for exclusively made, we all know that is not that, per se. The hilarious site Regretsy is a good source for horrors made by hand. From dried orange peel posing for earrings to ‘artistically’ put together clothing that won’t stand wearing, let alone washing, there are masses of stuff made by hand that could have better remained unmade.
So, in order to continue to use the term handmade as a term to express quality, we need to be more specific, handmade alone is not enough.

Ten years ago, or thirty, the situation was not much different, in my opinion. At that time, there were exclusive shops offering beautifully handmade items and we were all being pestered with itchy hand knits.
What has changed? What has changed is that with the onset of internet, Etsy and similar sites have made possible to sell handmade wares without the need to peddling them to shops or fairs.
Anybody with a modest camera and basic computer knowledge can offer his/her products to a world wide audience.
And in the strength of Etsy, its availability, resides also its weakness. Everybody can put up stuff for sale. And while Etsy has been a life saver for us, I notice by myself that I don’t browse as much on Etsy as I used to do.
There is an amazing amount of talent on Etsy. Gorgeous items, true art. But to discover them, one has to wade through a still bigger sea of items that are made by hand, but without involvement of the mind, or the soul.

I know that I may sound elitist, or snobbish, but I dream of an ‘Etsy-Deluxe’, so to speak, a curated Etsy for only hand-well-made items. Items that are original and durable, items made without cutting corners, items with artistic and esthetic value.
The term handmade has devaluated by its success, and a new word –or a new approach- is needed.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the matter.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Our Creative Space...

Again, we have been busy like bees. I started to crochet this bag with jute string and cotton. Extremely difficult to crochet that hard string. In the end, Estella took it over and finished it.

The bag will last a life time or two, though!

During its long life the owner will feel the need to wash the lining, so we made a removable lining fastened with buttons.

The lining is a lovely vintage hand embroidered piece, with very fine details.

Is she cute...or is she cute?

I also started an other endless  bag project. The technical inspiration comes from the book Manipulating Fabric, by Colette Wolff, THE BOOK for all kind of fabric manipulations destined to obtain a 3D effect, like shirring, smocking, pleating and tucking. The book contains no finished projects, only black an white photographs and grafics of samples, it is a text book, in fact, but wonderfully well written, clear and fascinating.
More than one life time would be needed to make something out of every sample, even one sample could inspire you to a life time of projects!

This is called italian contoured smocking and consists in folding fabric in horzontal and vertical rows to create ruffled effects. I made a proof on a piece of linen woven in basket wave, to avoid the stipling of the fabric.

This is how it looks after basting the rows.

And this is how it looks after pulling the threads.

For the bag, first I made a patchwork of hand dyed fabrics. Then I discovered that I hadn't enough iron on smocking dots to stipple the fabric. I didn't want to wait weeks for the sheets of dots to arrive (no such thing where we live), so I decided to baste waste canvas to the fabric to guide the lines. It works, albeit is difficult to see.

This is all I have to show after two days of hard work!

See more creative spaces at Our Creative Spaces.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Monday Moodboard

1. syko  2. ArtedeumDeco  3. BHBKidstyle  4. ChoochMagooz

Still in the mood of houses and building them :)
Have a great Monday everyone!

You can make the mosaic with the fun gadgets of bighugelabs.

Feature your fellow EuropeanStreetTeam mates by making a mosaic. You can add your link here so that others can see it!

Saturday, 21 May 2011


After 3 hard working days, the mission is accomplished and the terrace is finished!

I'm sure our friends will enjoy their large roof terrace during many happy summers.
I am back home and soon you'll see our regular creativity :)

Friday, 20 May 2011


Slowly work is coming to an end and the result is in sight!

Tomorrow the final touches and I can get home.

In the mean time I have finished my own project, the top will be crochetted by mum to become a bag.

Tomorrow you'll see the finished result of the roof!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Some kind of Creative Space

No job goes unfinished in our household, so the roof, with some delays, is now becoming pretty with tiles and paint. I went alone today and they started with the tiles. The guys just left, yes on 10p.m., and tomorrow morning they will continue.

The last peek before it got too dark to take pictures.

And a roof terrace should have a nice view, here it is....

Between running up and down to check the workers, I am working on a second crazy daisy bag, no tv or internet does do wonders in production :)

To be continued...

Monday, 16 May 2011

Monday Moodboard

1. happeemonkee  2. FiligreeCreations  3. Baymut  4. ZsBcreations

Spring is in the air and with Spring also another fresh start will begin today. From now on I will be taking over the task to host the Monday Moodboards from FleurFatale.
You can make the mosaic with the fun gadgets of bighugelabs.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Our Creative Space...

Remember the huge thread mess of two weeks ago? It wasn't made by us but came from lots of lot's with vintage thread and unfinished embroideries. After many years of being all over the world neglected, I have organized them in a useful rainbow.

It took me quite some hours, but now it will save us time when searching for a color. I made these little cards to wrap the threads around them, they are made of our old business cards instead of throwing them away they got useful for this project.

In the mean time, mum has finished the wrap and now is crochetting around it to finish it, it is becoming gorgeous!

See more creative spaces at Our Creative Spaces.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Dawanda Lovebook

A few weeks ago we have been contacted by Dawanda for a feature. The Lovebook is a press release of hand picked items from Dawanda, and we are thrilled to be included. The Lovebook will be sent to journalists and press contacts across Europe and in the US,  who use it to select products to publish in magazines and newspapers, so exciting!

Our Pearl and Shell Rose ring looks pretty in this pink outfit, and we will get a printed version of the book as well, so cool!

You can find the ring on Dawanda and Etsy, and if you want to take a closer look at the Lovebook you can find that here.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Nothing Goes As Planned

We learned that again, as the roof terrace didn't go as planned at all. This is the latest state of it and it will stay like this for another week as we came back home so that it all can dry. We will be going back next week to finish it off but in the mean time we have been able to catch up work and errands at home.

On the way back we saw a few huge nests of Storks. The fun thing is that little birds take advantage of the safe and high place and make nests on the side of the big nest, partly already isolated, very smart.

And these ladies were chatting and wished us a safe journey :)

We are now back home, catching our breath and organizing our new supplies which we purchased in Izmir and finishing orders of the past 10 days!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Progress and the Journey Continues

So while the workers are working (with lots of pushes from our side as they were blaming the weather and other things to not work) mum continued to knit. Here is her progress...

And here is the progress of the terrace. It now has to dry for 3 days. While waiting for it to dry we went to Izmir today, to stock up supplies, as Izmir is closer from where we were then our own home.

Soon after arrival we went to find the flea market which is on every Sunday, but usually we do not go on Sunday to Izmir as then most of the shops are closed. So we didn't miss this oppurtunity. On our way we went through the 'bird market'. With mostly chickens, but also chicks, goose and pidgeons.

The flea market, although fun, didn't carry many treasures, mostly old clothes and plenty of rubbish. It was messy and it was raining but between the mudd and mess we did find some lovelyness.

Here a guy was repairing old footballs by stitching them up and filling them with air, I doubt that they can handle a good play but still a cute way of recycling we thought.

Home made honey.

Gorgeous metal baskets, we do not know what their actual purpose is.

After the flea market we went to the only supplier which is open on Sunday's, to safe some time for tomorrow as we will have to do all the rest of the shopping and the travelling back to our friends house tomorrow. We did some good shopping! Today is May the 1st, Worker's day, so there were some demonstrations and to avoid an uncontrolable crowd there were a huge amount of police men, dressed up for the worst senario's. Well people left and we walked by a line of cops, all sitting like little boys in a row, drinking their tea :) You can actually see the 'tea guy' handing them out the tea, as you can see the tray is closed all around accept for a little window so that the tea doesn't get cold till they arrive at their destination, which was in this case some mucho macho police men.

Tomorrow we will continue our shop-till-you-drop getaway before we go back to finish the roof terrace and can go home, soon. To be continued...