Thursday, October 23, 2014

De Schoolmeester - Paper Mill in Holland

For the love of paper don't ask me why I didn't know of this place before, seriously don't. I only found about it last week when Lynne (whom I've never met) ask me on FB, if I knew were to find "zaansch bord." Of course I didn't, but loving all sorts of adventures and errands that take me "to infinity and beyond" I found myself here. 

This is seriously the most incredible place I've visited in a long time, and even if you're not crazy about paper (I couldn't think why, but OK), this place is worth the 20 mins ride from Amsterdam (by car), just to see a mill from 1692 (restored) and still running and making beautiful paper.

De Shoolmeester is the only paper mill here in Holland (there used to be 60)!! The paper they make is guaranteed that it is made from cotton, flax and water from the ditch and it air dried. Though he does not guaranteed the same colors because they vary through batches.

This mill belongs to "De Zaansche Molen" a windmill society who in 1920 rescued this and 19 other mills in the area.

**Beware there are many pictures, and not in order of how paper is made!!














I think I need to go back. I need to walk slower when I'm there, and I'm also missing some colors that for some reason I forget to buy (wink).

De Schoolmeester is locate at Guispad 3, 1551 SX Westzaan
It is open M-F from 10 to 4 and they charge 3.50euros
You can order paper by email: deschoolmeester@hetnet.nl
They ship all over the world!!

Thank you Lynne, for showing me the way!

Wishing you a weekend filled with wonderful adventures,
Giova

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meeting Nathalie Lété at Villa Augustus

It is good to be back (but more on that at the bottom of this page**)!

This past saturday after reading here that one of my favorite illustrators/designers would be visiting Villa Augustus for a book launch and book signing  I got in the car (with my 13 year old) and headed to Dordrecht.

I've been one time before to Villa Augustus (see here) and couldn't wait to be back. Thankfully both times I've been there the weather has been just perfect, making this place even more magical.

I think having Nathalie Lété here to open room number 24 which has been converted into a gallery called Herfst (Autumn) was the perfect choice, and fit for this exhibition. Don't you agree?







It was so pretty that day. The food from the restaurant super delicious, and the conversations with my son too funny. I'm so happy I get to enjoy days like this one, and share them with him.

***so as I was saying… it is good to be back. sorry for taking longer, my kids are on vacation and that always interferes with my blogging enthusiasm (wink), but here is the news which in reality are not really news because it has been going on for awhile -the fact that we need to move because we can not afford Amsterdam anymore, the problem to the news is that we still don't know where to go or when to actually leave. it can pretty much happen any day. the day i wrote the post, it seemed that we would leave in december to stay at my mom's for sometime- for now i'm pretty much ignoring the uncertainty and going day to day (as i should) and i'm trying not to worry too much (trying).

I wish you a colorful week ahead filled with lots of inspiring moments,
Giova

Monday, October 6, 2014

Temporarily out of service

I have some very big news to announce, but  I'm still trying to digest them myself. I'm also trying to figure out which is the best way to say these particular news.

In my experience the best way to say something, is just saying it. I think a week will give me plenty of time to wrap myself around this imminent reality.

In the mean time I'll be trying to finish some things that I started awhile ago and enjoying this wonderful city.

Oh, 2014… you keep surprising me at every turn, you keep punching me in the stomach until there is no breath left!! (Fortunately the punching is not continuos).  So many things that I still need to learn! Oh, well…

One more piece of the puzzle will be placed in this rather enigmatic patchwork quilt that is my life.
For now I'll put my head out to grasp some air… until next week.

Hoping all is well on your end,
all the best,
Giova

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Street art in Cali - Colombia

One of the things I was not expecting from my trip home, was to find so much and so nice street art everywhere, albeit most of it was quite difficult to get to, but I managed somehow to catch these ones below. It has been awhile since I last posted pictures of street art. For some unknown reason it has stopped calling my attention, until now.

Unfortunately taking your iPhone out of your bag or pocket is a no, no in this part of the world, so I had to stop quickly for the pictures and I didn't manage to catch any names.

There were lots of resonating themes, mostly animals and a lot of social protest or inconformity towards the government (I couldn't get pictures of those), but I guess it is like that throughout the world. No one is ever happy with what they have.





I finally finished reading the book I mentioned in the last post and now I'm reading this one (after that strong subject matter i needed a much lighter one).  And for the first time ever I'm listening to an audio book. I haven't made up my mind if I like listening to books or not, it feels not right for some reason, but I do love her so much and all the books I've read from her, that I will keep on listening!

I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead,
Giova


Monday, September 29, 2014

Paper biennale in Rijswijk

I've mentioned a couple of times how great the paper love e-course was, right? One of the nicest things about it,  is a FB group with all the attendees. Lots of sharing, inspiration and a chance to see everyone's work.

Well, someone mentioned this exhibition and it seemed like a wonderful thing not to miss. Off I went (45 mins away from Amsterdam) to a town I've never heard off before.

It was simply amazing to be able to appreciate the bigger scale pieces, many of them mind blowing (in the sense of, how, how??).  It is paper after all, which I always tend to think of fragile. 

The museum is quite small, with a very beautiful old building on one side and a modern part on the other. Unfortunately it only has 2 big rooms (first 2 pictures) and I was left wanting to see much more than I did. 


Wade Kavanaugh & Stephen B. Nguyen
Richard Schipps
Andrée-Anne Dupuis-Bourret

Close up of the above piece - Little envelopes. Magnificent!!

Katrin Paul
I must say sorry as I forgot to write the name of each piece, but on the other hand I didn't forget the name of the artists (pheeww).

I hope you have a very creative week ahead. I plan on finishing this book that I have been postponing for such a long time (very heavy subject matter), but I love this author and can't recommend him enough.

All the best,
Giova

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Crafty Series #13 - Alexia Cohen

I met Alexia while studying in New York. She is an incredible jeweler and I've always admired her unique pieces and her beautiful approach towards the art of jewelry making. 

Originally from Venezuela, she studied in Boston but now lives in Brooklyn. While I was in New York this summer I got to spend some time with her in her studio. She is also the jeweler technician at Pratt Institute, and that place is looking fabulous thanks to her! 

We also had the chance to spend an afternoon indigo dying everything we could think of and eating her amazing food because she is a great cook too, but I guess that is something for another post! 

Here is a little inside look at her craft...

Her jeweler's bench
Melting gold for wedding bands
A sample of her amazing pieces!
Recreating nature in copper: sugar cane and cacao fruit - these are musical instruments btw


 1. First crafty memory

It came as a revelation while visiting grandma for a summer; I made a weaved bracelet with beads.

2. Favorite craft you've ever made

There are so many but if I had to choose it would be a brooch that I made as part of a teacher's project to her students and they suggested we participate in it as well. Two separate objects that become one and go together but can be worn apart too.

3. Favorite material to work with

Silver is always a favorite because its the whitest metal and its soft and malleable. But recently concrete is becoming a favorite because of the contrast it gives me, the various grays and it opaqueness.

4. Inspiring words you like

Contrast...Texture...Patterns

5. Favorite color

Green always. Lately all navy blue...

6. Tea or coffee

Tea! Coffee gives me a headache

7. Mountains or the beach

The beach is my favorite, but the caribbean beaches- not the New York beaches. In New York I'd rather go to the mountains; although the mountains in Venezuela are amazing!

8. Where do you find inspiration?

The human form. In nature. Geometry in nature...

9. What do you collect?

New and antique metal smithing tools.

10. What would you like to make that you haven't done?

My own jeweler's bench!


You can find her pieces on etsy and you should also check out her website to see all of her wonderful work!

It was a pleasure hanging out with her as it always is. She inspires me a lot and I admire her greatly. I can also say I'm the proud owner of a pair of earrings and a necklace of her creation that I love....

I hope you've enjoyed it! Wishing you a very crafty weekend!

Giannina.




Monday, September 22, 2014

I saw an angel the other day

The other day as I was having my coffee I glanced at my neighbor's house and saw on her wall, what appeared to be an angel. I still don't know what it was exactly. A painting or sculpture? In any case, it is quite far, and yes I need glasses. But I'm plenty sure it was an angel.

I immediately proceeded to make one for me. I think every house needs an angel. Whether it be one with a pink dress or not, that is entirely up to you. I knew two things, it had to have wings (obviously) and a heart necklace (for certain).

Then came the problem of the face. I played around with pieces of thread to see how it looked better (this was taught to me by Julie Arkell). Of course the dolls I learned to make at her workshops, and they have become quite fascinating to make, as I had never made dolls before in my life, and find that every time I start to make one like this one or this one, it often reveals itself slowly to me.

 Should it have earrings and a halo wannabe, more like a disco dancing bandana?

I guess yes to both!!  I'm not entirely sure she will keep her smile, as I'm not too fond of it. It looks like that Nike symbol-logo thingy. Then again I think she is trying to tell me; "Just do it."

She looks pretty happy to me and who doesn't want a happy angel around??

Now I think I need one of those necklaces.
Some new things are up on the Etsy shop if you care to have a look.

Happy making, and if you see an angel, well… make one!
Giova
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