27 lug 2010

Animals...

I love to take pictures of animals. Whether it's my dog, my mom's, cats, donkeys, horses, butterflies, gooses, worms, ants or birds. Here are some of my faves, taken in the last few months! Hope you like them as much as I do!










21 lug 2010

A cooking mini tutorial: making tomato sauce

I've wanted to post a tutorial for a long time but I have always felt a little intimidated. It's not for an ungoddess to teach something, right? However, as I have spent the last two weeks making this, I decided to devote my very first tutorial to the making of tomato sauce. Plus, I am Italian and my country is the place where you can eat the best "spaghetti al pomodoro".
Just follow the numbers, it's really easy!


1. pick or buy some very ripe tomatoes, they should squeeze a little when touched;

2. cut them in halves or quarters (it depends on the size of tomatoes) and put them in a strainer to drain (just a couple of minutes or you will loose some salsa);

3. put them in a very big pot and add, only if you wish, onion, basil, salt and pepper. Let them boil at least for 10 minutes (boiling time it's up to you, it depends on how you like your salsa, I usually let mine boil from 20 to 40 minutes). Put them aside and let them cool for an hour;


4-5-6. put them in a food mixer (I dont' know the English name for the one I used in the pictures) and reduce them to a sauce. If you plan to use your salsa immediately then you're done, enjoy your pasta! If you wish to preserve it for the winter, keep on reading;


7. prepare the bottles, they should be clean and dry (we have recycled beer bottles for a year);

8. put the sauce in the bottles, filling up to the 2/3 of the bottle collar;

9. cork them as beer bottles are (we have a tool made specifically for this) and put them in a very big pot. Cover them with water and let them boil for 20/25 minutes (to sterilize them). Let them cool in the same pot, it usually takes 12 hours;


10. prepare some nice and fun labels... I know, this is the fun part!!!!

11. store them in a cool and dry place. They should keep from 6 months to 1 year;

12. enjoy your salsa on your pasta or wherever you wish!!!

I hope this mini tutorial was clear and I excuse myself if some words were not correct... I am not an English mother tongue and do my best to write correctly.
If some of you have other ways of making salsa, I would love to read your recipes... so, don't be shy and say hello!!!!

19 lug 2010

Pattern Challenge: Popover Sundress


Last month I decided to take part in the Pattern Challenge hosted by Sarah of Come and See the Seitz and, after some reflections and procrastination, today I finally finished my first garment.
I have wanted to make baby clothing for some time and, as I don't have any children, I took the chance to make this cute little sundress for a friend's daughter. Her name is Emma and her favourite colour is pink, hence my fabric choice. I love the sweet little details you can sew on a baby dress, all the ribbons, small buttons, little animals... your imagination can really run free!!!!


I used the Popover Sundress over on BurdaStyle and I must admit that while reading the instructions for the first time I felt a lot intimidated but the actual process was fairly easy and very accessible to a novice seamstress. I had some problems in sewing the bias ties on the curves for the arms but in the end it took me no more than two hours.




I used some satin cotton thrifted on my beloved market stall in Avola where I purchased like 3mt for 2€... the yoke was made with some scraps, the button came from my boyfriend's mom stash and the ribbon came from the lovely Alli of One Pearl Button. You all know that recycled items can give life to great things but everytime I make something like this I am delighted and shocked by what you can make with next to nothing!
I hope that sweet little and terrible Emma will like it!

16 lug 2010

A package all the way from California.....


Last month I took part to the Christmas in July International Gift Exchange, hosted by the super talentend Linda of Craftaholic Anonymous and today I received my package, all the way from California.
Needless to say, I love the headband and hairclip, I can't wait to wear them to the next beach party...




Thanks Heather for your loving thought and the gorgeous creations you sent me and thanks Linda for this wonderful idea!!!!!
Please excuse my hair and t-shirt but I just got back from the beach and was so excited to share that I didn't even thought of changing for the pictures!!!!



If you wish to see what all the other ladies made, there's a linky party!!!!!

I hope the package I sent over to Magda in Portugal will be arriving very soon....

p.s. Natasha... I will be posting my wedding outfit attire very soon... I just need to iron the dress!!!!

15 lug 2010

Wedding Attire


On Friday night, boyfriend and I flew to my hometown to attend one of my best friend's wedding. As we have known each other for 23 years, he chose me as his witness (in Italy there are no bridesmaids or groomsmen, the couple chooses from one to three witnesses that after the celebration will have to sign the marriage act granting the truth of the union). I needed the perfect outfit. I needed to be elegant while understated, so that the bride would be the only center of the attention.


I chose a vintage handsewn dress that was my boyfriend's mom. She wore it in the same occasion some decades ago. The dress is gorgeous, it is made of the softest and wrinkle-free silk I have ever seen and I loved the fact that it was blue, my favourite colour. I needed to buy shoes to go with it and I was lucky enough to find a teal satin silk pair that match perfectly the colour of some flowers on the dress. The only problem at that point was the bag. I know that you don't need your bag to match the shoes but I loved that colour too much not to repeat it in my bag. The only thing to do was... making the bag!!!!!


I went fabric hunting with my boyfriend's mom anf found a silk cady in the very same colour!!!! I used a pattern from an old book and after a few hours of ironing, steaming, sewing and sweating, I had my bag ready to go!!!! I was so proud of my little work!!!


I really have to say that this time my crafty skills really saved me from hours and hours of shopping, looking for the perfect bag in this heat... moreover, I was proud of being there, right next to my best friends wearing something that represented me fully: a handmade dress and bag.

I had to use Picnik on these pictures... the sun is so high today that the colours were too sparkling... but if you wish to see the exact colours, the following picture wasn't picnicked...


06 lug 2010

Let me introduce you to...

I know I promised projects and pictures but I spent the last week showing around a friend of mine that came to visit from Rome and, when she left, mostly at the seaside... the sun is so hot and the heat is so unbereable... the only way to win it is going to the beach... I really have to say that this is not a bad fact after all.... However, apart from my long afternoons on the sand, I really want to introduce you to my newest friend: the goose named Giosuè!!!


A few months ago a friend of mine had a baby and a couple of weeks ago they decided to throw a party in his honour and I didn't want to show up barehanded nor I wanted to buy something. My friend is like the most green-sustainable-ecoconscious-fairtrade person that I know (she even lives without a tv, she made one with a box and she puts her head inside to make her baby laugh) and I knew that she would appreciate something hand-made and completely rcycled.
So, whenever I need to make something for babies I head to The Long Thread which has the most awesome tutorials!!! I chose Lucy Goosey but I decided to name it after the baby, so... Giosuè the Goose!
I used some heavy striped cotton (the remains of the dogbeds I made for my mom in March), some blue and white cotton (the remains of a tablecloth I made last year) and some red cotton (from my boyfriend's mom stash). I then embroidered his name with stem stitch and, as the red cotton was starting to fray, I used blanket stitch to prevent it.
I am so so so happy with the final result, I really do think this is the best thing I ever made and even the goose seemed to be happy hiding in the most charming corners of my garden...