Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Contents of a swap

This year I finally got to participate in the "Flat Swap' and I must say I was a bit nervous. I'm not an expert at swaps, and it also felt a bit weird to have to be the one picking someone to be your partner.

I soon forgot I was the one organizing it, and set off to make, wrap and send. I do take the flat part very seriously, because if the measurements are not correct, the "letter" becomes a package, and the price, a massive pain in the wallet.

My partner proposed the guidelines from last years swap (a letter, something handmade, a quote, something I own, and something edible).

And then I chose flowers as the theme.






Some of the parcels from the swap have been arriving, and some are here if you want to take a look.

I'm still waiting for others to send me some pictures so I can put them on the blog's FB page.

Wishing you a lovely week ahead,
Giova


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

100 days of Persuasion

What?? One hundred days of what??? If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen the images below, if not, well here they are.

It started as a challenge, and I really had no clue what I was doing. On a whim I picked the hashtag (you need one), and I thought easy peasy, I'll just finish embroidering the handkerchief I started more than a year ago. Hahahaha!!

Can you imagine seeing 100 pictures of the same handkerchief??

Well, I can't! And so, I embarked on making things that related to sentences, places, objects that appeared in the book. (Persuasion by Jane Austen).

A sort of visual album, my own version of certain things and moments that occur in the book. I have been either making things, as you can see, but I have also managed to make my life easier by finding everyday images that can relate to certain passages or places in the book.

Daunting? Difficult? Perhaps both, but it has been good for me to force myself to imagine things I could make, and also to get me away from so much blue. I do miss my blue though!

Nurse Rooke, for example, appears for a tiny instance, but I immediately thought of her (above), so I set out to make her. I learned to make these particular dolls from Julie Arkell, and you can see the others I made here, here and here.

Fortunately there are many instances where LOVE is mentioned, so that one is a bit easy. This one became a brooch, and it is for sale here.

Now all I have left, are 73 more to do. To be honest, I don't know how much more I can squeeze my brain to come up with, but I'll be more than happy if I reach the 50 mark.

Wishing you a lovely and very creative week,
Giova





Monday, May 9, 2016

Things that make me happy

This week feels like summer, and obviously my inner hibernating bear has woken up. Everything all of a sudden makes sense. I am from 'south of the equator," after all. Here are recent pictures of things that make me happy.

 Colorful paper garlands.

Blue skies and tulips by my desk.

 Wilted tulips also fascinate me.

Road trips show me a world outside my own very limited 'world.' And the views are always stunning!

 Giant thread spools of colorful thread and yarn. What a sight!

And Paris! Always Paris. Even if only for two days. Glorious baguettes, croissants, and Ispahan!!

Wishing you a warm and colorful week ahead,
Giova

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Flat Swap 2016

And what exactly is a flat swap, you say? Well, it is exactly an exchange of parcels with a complete stranger.  I chose the name-  "flat swap" because I wanted to send things that fitted in the post office's slot, and still be considered as a "letter." It started as a project, and you can see it here.
What exactly are those parcels about? They are all about bringing "spring cheer" to the recipient.

There are no guidelines this year. You will put together as many parcels as your heart desires, making sure that you and your partner are on the same wave length.

These are the guidelines from previous years: here and here.

And here I mention some swaps I was a part of.

All I need is for you to send me an email saying you want to participate. If this is your first time, then please tell me a bit of yourself so I can make sure I find a good partner for you. If this is not your first time I probably remember, but you can still give me hints.

You have until Saturday May 8th to sign up and 10 days to gather and make and mail your parcel.

If you have any questions I'm here --- giovabrusa@gmail.com

If you have Instagram, then make sure to use #theflatswap2016 so we can all see what your parcels look like. You can get inspired from last year here.

---As with the previous years, these exchanges are a wonderful opportunity to cheer someone up, so make sure you are really thinking of what you are giving instead of what you'll be receiving, and it is not about buying things, but creating them.---

Some ideas: letter, favorite recipe, poem, souvenir from your city, pick a color and make that the theme, or make spring the theme, add things from your collections such as; fabrics, buttons, stamps, postcards, old paper, make something; coasters, needle case, pouch, notebook. As they say;"the sky is the limit." Have fun putting it together, that is the best part in my opinion.

Wishing you a colorful, and warm spring,
Giova


Friday, April 29, 2016

I wish...

-I wish I wouldn't neglect this blog so much
-I wish I had more hands to do all that I want to do
-I wish the day had more hours so I wouldn't feel guilty when I didn't do what I was supposed to do
-I wish I didn't have to wake up... some days


-I wish tele-transportation was possible so I could see my mother and sister when I wanted
-I wish spring lasted longer than winter, and summer longer than spring
-I wish I could read one book per day
-I wish I could run a marathon (just kidding)


-I wish I could eat lots of cake without having an upset stomach later
-I wish I lived nearer a place where I could see the sunset everyday
-I wish my hair would stop falling once and for all
-And I wish I would get a grip and stop wishing for impossible things

Two more things:
1- If you are interested in participating in the world famous "Flat Swap" with a spring twist let me know?? A simple yes will do for now. I just want to know if it is worth organizing or not.

2- Have you heard of the beautiful and super amazing "Encyclopedia of Inspiration" launched by Uppercase? There is still time to pre-order with a discount.

All the best, all my love (wherever you are),
Giova


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Off to the fair

"Sometimes what you're most afraid of doing is the very thing that will you set you free."
- I don't know where I got this from

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."
-Maya Angelou

Even if I grew up making little things to sell at school or in front of my mother's shop I never had a table at a fair. I had always thought about it, but I was always too scared to put myself "out there." 


At the beginning of this year I told myself I would just do it and not think too much. Just do it, the thoughts can come up later. And then the timing wasn't right (when is it ever?).  I had only 15 days to make things as I had been traveling quite a lot, and I can never really find the time or energy to make things when I'm out and about. 

Of course many thoughts came and went like; Will I sell? Will people like what I do? Would people even notice the table?

Many things happened those two days, mostly in mind. The reality is always very different from what we imagined. I did sell. The people that approached my table did like what I do. And yes some people noticed my table.

The fair was the wrong fair for me and my work, it ended up being very different from what I had perceived the year before, but that has even made me more excited to find another fair that is actually better suited for me and my work. I think the first step is always the hardest, but once you're "out there" you simply are, and there is no turning back.

I have added this embroidered tree to my Etsy shop, and will be adding a few more things this week.

If you have ever thought of having a table at a fair or market, I really can't recommend it enough. Find the strength, do what you love and show it.

Lots of love, and happy spring,
Giova

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

A visit to Lithuania had been in order for a while now. My father travels there often and had invited me on several occasions but there was always something that prevented me to go, until now. We stayed in Vilnius but I really wanted to see the Hill of Crosses for myself. It is a 2 and a half hours train ride and then 15 minutes by car from the station.

"The Hill of Crosses is a place of Catholic pilgrimage that is believed started in 1831. The uprisings of 1831 and 1863 led families to place crosses here as a symbol for missing family members. It was bulldozed by the Soviet Union several times between 1963 and 1973. This place has come to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism despite the threats it faced throughout history." The hill remains under nobody's jurisdiction, therefore people are free to build/bring crosses, images, rosaries, scapulars as they see fit.









I'm still thinking about this place, as it has a very strong energy, unlike cemeteries or churches, which are usually more on the peaceful or comforting side.

I do know how it feels to have a family member missing. My father was kidnapped in 1996, fortunately for us he was returned 6 months later. But for those 6 months nothing made sense, there is a certain feeling of desolation and despair that accompanies you for every wakeful moment. Every breath or bite of food you take requires an enormous effort. The uncertainty of it all  bites you second by second, leaving nothing but despair, and that is what I think I felt here in this place.

I'm glad I got to see it, especially with my father next to me.

I wish you a beautiful and peaceful month of March,
Giova
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