Happy Holidays!

24 dec. 2008

I just jumped in to wish you Happy Holidays! and to thank you for your stroll with my flying umbrellas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries and crafting and stay tuned, I will post soon about the last projects on which I worked very hard in Santa's atelier :)

Enjoy the white, if it's snowing, the sun if it's shining, the sound of the rain if it's pouring, the breeze if it's windy, the warmth of your home, the love of your family and friends, the green of the nature, the blossom of the flowers, the music, the books. Be good, be kind with yourself and with everything that surrounds you. Be happy!

(images by victoria molovata)

Santa is busy ... two new bags

17 dec. 2008

I have finished these two beauties last week and haven't posted about them, because I was busy with other things and another excuse is that I was waiting for the sun to shine, as daylight is the most perfect for my meticulousness in taking pictures :) But as in Murphy's rules, I think I could have waited until spring for sunshine, so I have decided today to try making some pics of the last two bags I made.

The first one, classic with a vintage drop, is more solid and could be perfect for this foggy weather outside. I have added a bit of 'volume' to it, comparing to previous ones, which were kind of flat. Also I have played a little bit with two pockets inside and tried to make it safer, by adding a zipper.

The second one, a summer bag, is lighter and more playful. I really like the pattern and the way the upper margins curl up on the handles.

Now back to work, Santa is busy with other sewing projects :)

(images by victoria molovata)

Flea Markets and Their Treasures

15 dec. 2008

It is always a pleasure for me going to flea markets. Since I came to Berlin and I have found about them, I have another way of spending time on Sundays. I know about Mauerpark since last spring and it is so much joy going there, not only that you can find nice things with less money, buy them or just look at them, but also the atmosphere is relaxing, although people are very busy with their treasure searches. Mostly youths, crazy dressed up, laughing or enjoying delicious cakes with Glühwein and listening some live jazz music.. It is not only a flea market, where sometimes you really can make good deals, but also a nice place to spend spare time and meet new people. You can find all the 'pleasures' of a shopping-mall, only that it is more natural, more close to our simple lives. And in those lazy Sunday afternoons a little rest on the grass is just well deserved. The park itself is not arranged at all (as most of the parks in Berlin, which for me are similar to little forests) and this makes it to be wild and un-urban.

Most of the things sold at a flea market are old, very old, used and maybe for some of you will seem odd and useless. But for me they are not. I always was attracted to things that are old; I remember very often I want to reuse a lot of old clothes from my mom, because I love their fabrics, their prints, their colors. I don't know exactly how to explain this feeling, but I find sometimes that used clothes or decorations, pottery (you can call them second-third-etc-hand) are more valuable than the new ones, by simple fact that they already have a history behind.
It is always a surprise when you hunt through those many boxes of old things. They are like treasure coffers: you never know what it is inside, until you open them.

And these are my findings for yesterday... A bunch of colorful thread spools for my sewing projects and two ceramic vases. The white-gray one is for a dry lavender bouquet and the turquoise vase I will use it for pencils and brushes, until the spring comes with its gorgeous peonies.

And for a drop of curiosity, here is a slideshow where you can virtually take a stroll through this place:

(images by victoria molovata)

Buy and Sell Handmade!

5 dec. 2008

Why? A simple answer would be: 'Why not?' and a more complex one is 'Because it is fun, you support the handmade communities in your country or in the world, you support the small businesses which need some encouragement to flourish and because you always find nice unique things made with a lot of passion and soul'.

I have decided to write about this, as a contribution to Holly's (decor8) today's post, although I have been having this idea on my mind for a long time. I am still learning about these wonderful communities and maybe someday I will be part of one of them.

First one that I want to mention is (in a alphabetical order :P, to not upset anyone) Breslo, the Romanian Community of the Handmade Crafters. I was very happy to find that this kind of community exists in Romania (and it has also an online marketplace), not only because Romania is half of my homeland, but also because there are a lot of creative people who make beautiful pieces of art.

Check out also the Breslo blog!

Next on my list is DaWanda. I met a part of the DaWanda team and some of the members of the DaWanda community at the decor8 & DaWanda workshop in September. A group of young people who decided to start this amazing work in Europe. Right now they have only three branches: the main one is in Germany, and the other two are in France and The United Kingdom. I have found out earlier from Holly's interview with DaWanda (take a look, it is very interesting), that they are going to spread it out :)

Check out also the DaWanda blog!

And a more known one is Etsy, originating from USA. I have found about Etsy and its big community through some blogs, where I have discovered a lot of nice art work, from clothing and accessories to photography and fine art and lots more.

Check out also the Etsy blog!

Another interesting place where you can buy handmade, and not only, is the recently launched Ebay's World of Good. Their pledge: "WorldofGood.com by eBay is the world’s first online marketplace to convene thousands of People Positive and Eco Positive sellers and products all in one place, empowering you to shop in ways that align with your personal values. Respected, independent organizations verify the positive impact every product has on people and the planet. Our goal is to ensure that every choice you make here is a good one".

Since I have a lot of space on the sidebar of my blog, I will fill it up with the badges of these marketplaces, and every time you are curious to find what is going on in the handmade world, feel free to click on them.

I didn't want this post to cover only the business side of the handmade scene, but also to encourage the handmade work in general: making something for you and for your family or friends. I believe that each of us is an artist in his/her own way, and everything you create will be always beautiful and will give you a lot of joy and satisfaction.

Enjoy handmade!

Going out in Berlin... to a sewing cafe

4 dec. 2008

Yes, you read it right. Going out to a sewing cafe in Berlin. Isn't that cool? You take your stack of fabrics, your desire to create something that no one has in the city, or your need to learn something new and to get some help in this world of sewing. Jump on your bike, as I did today, and ride towards Kreuzberg, until you will get on the Wrangelstrasse 80, and just turn you head to the left and you will discover this glass vitrine of a small atelier, as I like to call it. Actually it is a cafe, very similar to an Internet cafe, but instead of computers you will find there sewing machines.

The name of this special place is Linkle, and it even has a website, linkle. It was founded by Linda Eilers, a young lady from The Netherlands. There, she was teaching sewing classes, before moving to Berlin, a city known by its diverse cultural scene and the numerous artists and crafters. The Linkle cafe is opened from Tuesday to Saturday, from 1 to 8(10) pm and sometimes on Sundays too.

So, here is my short visual visit to Linda's cafe:

A wide opened vitrine, like a theater stage where the actors are young ladies who are playing with fabrics.

Some images of the welcoming atmosphere from this atelier.

And Linda, sewing a cute pinafore for a friend.

Clara, one of Linda's apprentices, tailoring a suit for an upcoming party. I was very surprised to hear from her that she also attended the decor8 & DaWanda workshop in September. She told me what I have missed there, the Siebdruck, a printing technique, and also told me about the Siebdruck Neukölln, a place where she had printed a very nice scarf.

Linda, helping Clara with some tips and tricks in her tailoring.

I really enjoyed going there and I hope I will go again, not just as a visitor. The atmosphere was very calm, with some radio music in the background; everyone was working on their project, not being disturbed by my unexpected appearance or by my flashy-blitzy camera...

(images by victoria molovata)

A snowy day with fairy tales

3 dec. 2008

Maybe this post is too feminine for some of you, but I just can not hide this beautiful and delicate art work that I admire very much.

I don't know how much attention you pay to post cards, or cards in general, but I often spend a lot of time in the cards department of a stationery shop, especially when I discover some interesting cards. That happened a while ago, when I saw some beautiful, delicate little cards with fairies. They where sitting so quiet and in the same time so playful... each of them taking care of some objects, dreams, thoughts, seasons, flowers, ages... I find them tender and graceful, little creatures that being so small can find a place everywhere to snug themselves comfortably, in our homes, our minds, our dreams, our pockets, our shoes, by the windows, in the trees and especialy they love very much to sleep on a petal or under a stamen.

Then I was very curious who made those beautiful paintings, and I have found that the artist behind them is Gaëlle Boissonnard, a french artist. I wanted to find more about her and did a little research on Internet, but I was very surprised to discover that she doesn't have a website, a blog or another source where we can read more about her and her work. Maybe she is just as her little creatures, quiet and kind of invisible. Although, I have discovered a small biography (in french) at the Jarjille, a young publishing house in Saint-Etiene, from where I have found that she was born in 1969 and after studying fine arts at the University of Saint-Etiene, she is devoted to paintings and ceramics. Since 2001 she collaborates with Editions Correspondence, editing her paintings in different forms: postcards, calendars, boxes, bags and other objects. Also she has published her first book entitled "Passerelles".

Here are some sources where you can admire and order some of her works or read an interview with her. Sorry, they are in German or French, but I am sure that if you are interested you will find a way to understand.

(collage by victoria molovata with images from geschenke.die-begeistern.de)

A gift idea - your personal book

1 dec. 2008

Books, books, books... I think all of us have special feelings for books. Some of us, the majority, read them; others are impressed by the great pictures in them; the little ones color their pages; others feel some magical sensibility by touching the various textures or smelling their old pages... And maybe others just love to have books, and that's all.

Very often, when it comes to thinking of a gift for somebody or just for yourself, a book turns out to be a good idea. There are so many books to choose from: different categories, styles, languages, thicknesses, sizes, colors, etc. But sometimes you want something more special or more personalized and here it comes this solution, which I have found yesterday by jumping from link to link.

It is about Blurb. "Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the joy of books – reading them, making them, sharing them, and selling them". You don't have to be graduated in some specific subject, or think that you are not as important as an author of a book, or to be stopped by some impediments such that it costs too much or you have to know somebody at a printing house. Through Blurb, it seems to be very easy. Just some steps to follow...

First, you need to download the BookSmart™, free bookmaking software (requires to register as a member of Blurb) and then you are free to design your own book. I am just playing with it, and I find it very intuitive and it has many options:
  • full-color or black-white books;
  • different sizes (square, standard portrait, standard landscape, large format landscape);
  • various layouts (portofolio, photo books, wedding, cookbooks, journal, poetry, etc. or just simply a blank one);
  • you can add photos from different sources (your computer, the GroupBook projects or photo sites such as flickr or picasa);
  • you can choose from predefined themes and backgrounds or make them by yourself;
After you have finished with this big step, the following are more easier: you can order your book (or as many as you like) or if you feel like spreading out in the world your talents in writing or photography or other talents that you have, you can make small money and sell your books through Blurb BookStore. All details about pricing and shipping are given also on the website.

And a selection of some books:

I hope you have found my post interesting and now you can have another option when you want to make a nice surprise to somebody special or just to give yourself a small gift, by having your personal book.

And if you are curious to know what blurb means, this description I have found on Wikipedia. "A blurb is a short summary or some words of praise accompanying a creative work, usually referring to the words on the back of the book but also commonly seen on DVD and video cases, web portals and news websites."

(images from blurb)