Saturday, 10 December 2011

Neon Blue.


Handmade short necklace made out of enchained blue crystals and enamel charms. The matching dangle earrings are included.
The enamel charms and neon blue crystals are chained up with brass headpins. As fastener, there is a brass round clasp.
The necklace is approximately 15.7 inches, but can be made longer or shorter upon request. For the thickness, you may consider the crystals are 10 mm diameter and slightly oval.
This is a classic kitsch jewel made even more vivacious by the enamel charms. It suits both teen girls and women.
Being a chain of crystals, the necklace is luminous and as light as a feather (as well as the earrings).
Colors are very impressive...Especially neon blue, which is totally glam!
The enamel charms are nicely colored too. From the left, you meet: bird, apple, bird, owl, bird, bunny, bird. The bird-shaped charm is also used in both the earrings.

The aphorism: "Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury", Coco Chanel.

***

Girocollo fatto a mano, realizzato con cristalli blu neon e ciondoli smaltati. Gli orecchini sono inclusi nel prezzo.
I ciondoli smaltati e i cristalli blu neon sono infilati usando chiodini e maglie d'ottone. Come chiusura un moschettone rotondo, sempre di ottone.
La collana è circa 40 centimetri, ma può essere modificata su richiesta. Per lo spessore, potete considerare che i cristalli sono 10 mm di diametro e leggermente ovali.
Questo girocollo è un classico della bigiotteria kitsch, reso ancora più vivace dai piccoli ciondoli smaltati.
Essendo una catena di cristalli, la collana e' luminosa e leggera come una piuma (e così anche gli orecchini).
I colori sono davvero incredibili. Soprattutto il blu neon, che è totalmente glamour.
Anche i ciondoli smaltati sono colorati in modo allegro. Da sinistra la sequenza è: uccellino, mela, uccellino, gufo, uccellino, coniglietto, uccellino. Il ciondolo a forma di uccellino è usato anche in entrambi gli orecchini.

L'aforismo modaiolo: "Il lusso dev'essere comodo, altrimenti non è lusso", Coco Chanel.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Tangerine Tango, the color of the year 2012

Last year was the energizing honeysuckle, a reddish pink.



This year is Tangerine Tango, a lively shade of orange.

Leatrice Eiseman, color specialist and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, states about Tangerine Tango: "Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy."
It may remember also some tone of stony coral.


People's reaction has been fun since Tangerine Tango is a very strong nuance. Someone is actually terrified by the idea to wear it! I personally like it, both used just in details


and everywhere!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Diana Debord



You definitely must see her etsy shop and website. Very impressive works - she calls them "decadent"- by a young photographer from Novara, Piedmont, Italy. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Battle of the Battle of Anghiari, Leonardo's Lost Masterpiece.

Sunday it should have started the ultimate research for the lost Leonardo's fresco The Battle of Anghiari (1505) in the Hall of Five Hundred (Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy). Instead, it started yesterday, and with some new rules. From now, also the Opificio delle Pietre Dure is involved.

Hardly wanted both by the City Council of Florence and the sponsor National Geographic - and obviously allowed by the Italian Minister of Culture -, the entire operation was suspended by the Soprintendenza at the very last minute. There were in fact concerns about possible damages to the fresco by Vasari.
From 1563, The Battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana (known also as The Battle of Scannagallo) by Vasari covers the east wall, where the The Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo was. In order to perform further investigations, with some sort of endoscope, it is necessary to hole the more recent masterpiece.


Who and why believes there's a Leonardo hidden behind the wall? In the first place Maurizio Seracini (University of California, San Diego), an Italian engineer and expert in high-technology art analysis. He believes it because of the chronicles by Vasari himself and because of a clue he would have left (painting a green flag with the words Cerca trova - seek and ye shall find - on top of another mural in the hall).


There's indeed a precedent: when Vasari was ordered to restyle the Santa Maria Novella church, where the Trinità of Masaccio was, he didn't destroy it, he just covered it.
In the past years, Seracini has already found out that Vasari had built another wall in front of the wall where the fresco of Leonardo da Vinci should have been. He found a gap of a few centimeters between the two walls.




Who doesn't believe it? For instance, the historian Tomaso Montanari, professor at the prestigious University Federico II di Napoli. He declared that the "hunt" for The Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo "is just propaganda". He praised the responsible for the suspension, Cecilia Frosinini, director of the department of Opificio delle Pietre Dure which deals with mural paintings.
Frosinini, who yesterday quitted, claims no scientific report has been provided during the meetings preceding the start of the investigation and states: "It's an ethic question, since my mission is to protect the works of art, and here it is about an invasive intervention on the painting" (the one by Vasari).


Updates.

On December 5, a group of scholars, intellectuals and representatives of the association "Italia Nostra" presented a complaint about the risks of the research for The Battle of Anghiari to the Public Prosecutor Quattrocchi.

On December 7, Carabinieri visited Palazzo Vecchio questioning the technicians at work on The Battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana (or of Scannagallo) by Vasari, which supposedly covers the lost fresco and through which a endoscopic microprobe was passed.

During the past days, the equipe found particulate on the hidden wall. It could be egg, which once was used to set the sinopias.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Montrose House, Dublin.

Gosh! Ireland always amuses me with a number of tales! This is not about faeries though, it's about radio and broadcasting.

What I've learned recently is that there is a bound between the Montrose property in Donnybrook, Dublin, first headquarter of the state broadcaster RTÉ (radio and TV) and the wireless radio inventor, Guglielmo Marconi.

At the end of the XVIII century, the Jamesons, a threesome of scottish brothers, settled down in Dublin and funded the well-known distillery. Montrose House was built in 1836 for John Jameson, who named it after the Walter Scott's A legend of Montrose. That much he loved his fellow countryman's work. While John and William stayed in Dublin, Andrew decided to go west, and funded a distillery on his own. He married Margaret Millar in Dublin and then left.

Margaret and Andrew's daughter, Anne, grew up at Daphne Castle, close to Enniscorthy, county Wexford. When she reached her twenties, she went to Italy to study music and, in Bologna, fell in love with Giuseppe Marconi, a rich Italian landowner (aged almost the double of hers). After some melodrama, they eventually got married. After one year their first son was born, Alfonso. After nine years, in 1874, their second son was born, Guglielmo.

Although grown up in Bologna, Italy, Guglielmo came to Ireland very often with his elder brother and mother.
Especially mother Anne has been a fundamental character of his story. In Italy, the young Guglielmo Marconi couldn't find any institutional support for his experiments, so she encouraged and funded him herself. Then she brought him to London, where others were interested in his discoveries.

While, unfortunately, Daphne Castle has gone, Montrose House is still there as landmark, and symbol for the curious paths of world history.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Online Fundrising. The Italian Kickstarter.

Dear daydreamers, I hope to inspire your greater ambitions.

This morning, I found out that Etsy has now its own page on Kickstarter.

If you don't know jet, Kickstarter wants be the "new way to fund and follow creativity". It's a collaborative fund-rising platform. The idea is not new - there're already many ways for funding online, more or less sustainable and effective. But numbers count especially in "crowd-funding" and, being well known, Kickstarter works pretty well.

Actually the news catches my attention because just a few days ago I read that the "Italian Kickstarter" was born. It is weirdly called Eppela.com - some guys from the city of Lucca made it out. Useful, I thought, since a community-based system has to be as close as possible to its users.
Then speaking your own language can be a real advantage when you're trying to rise money.

So, Italians creatives, no more excuses!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Loopy Loop: the Ultimate Knitted Necklace



I find knitted necklaces very impressive and glamourous! The one above come from Ixela, an italian etsy shop. The owner, Ale, is an architect who lives in Turin, Italy and this is just one of her lovely creations.
She introduces the Knitted Scarf Necklace this way:

Funky, unique and colorful, “Loopy Loop” is the right accessory to add to your wardrobe... not quite jewelry but not quite a cowl... somewhere between a necklace and a long infinity scarf, as you wrap it around your neck to get it all close and cozy.
This "Loopy Loop" is made by five knitted circular cords with different colors and different lenght, all decorated with several felt balls and yarn wrappings... you can leave them long, or wrap them around your neck, for warmth in the chilly mornings and evenings... wear them all togheter or match just two or three of them to fit your suit and your mood!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The rational side of Fashion (Philosophy and Fashion)

After my fairytale-style reflection on vogue, I felt guilty of not giving any space to some major propositions on fashion. The ones made by philosophers.

So, I listened to a variety of pop-sophia conferences just to discover it'd have been better to read directly Wikipedia, and that's sad enough. I found out not only Philosophers are ten million years late but neither have understood their zeitgeist. Possibly because they're old and their only ambition is to eventually retire. Don't even try to say "no". I know you. Now I feel sad and old, me too. Anyway, there are some interesting things all the wise people say. Let's do a list!

Etymology, at first, teaches that the Italian word "moda", directly from latin "modus"  - meaning "way, manner, practice, attitude, temperance, rule, time, rhythm, melody, tone, discretion, likes"  - was used for the first time in its contemporary meaning of "fashion" in the barely Italian La carrozza da nolo, ovvero del vestire alla moda by abbot Agostino Lampugnani in 1645.
All those ancient meanings are useful to draw a line of concepts and trace back what's fashion and how it works. Philosophers use etymology to give interpretations.

But the phenomenon comes before the word which defines it. Not today, maybe, but sure at that time.

So history helps out. Of course here we're skipping all the part about neanderthal fur and sadness. Clothes are useful. However, already in the XV century, the rich Italian people were suffering because they could just distinguish themselves from the poor people: they could afford the expensive fabrics and colors and tailors they needed to have elaborate clothes, while the poor people couldn't, and therefore used to wear shabby chic gray and natural palette dresses, badly cut and sewed worst. Like in Mad Max.
Working fabric was such a crappy job that the first strike in western history had indeed been held by the Ciompi in Florence (whose job recalls the tortures of Dante's Inferno). At that time and worldwide, fabric was the big deal, as google stock-option nowadays; wearing the most sophisticated output of such an industry was a sign of distinction. But that distinction between poor and rich was not enough.

It was the time of the Italian Renaissance, the victory of a new cultural model that enhances individuality. When Savonarola tried to stop the tendency, poor and rich people together burn him alive at Piazza Signoria, where still today there is, as a memorial, just a circle on the ground.
We still hate him now.

Well, given the situation, the "jet set" chose to distinguish themselves not just from the poor people - fashion meaning "You don't even look at me, I clearly belong to another class" -, but also each one from the other - fashion mening "Look at me, I'm totally different".


And that's why the concept of "fashion" is double-faced: on the one hand it uniforms, it has to make everyone feel confortable in his/her own social group; on the other it distinguishes, it has to make each one stand out. That's also why no one really understands fashion, people get burned and we allow farmers to decide what we wear.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Cashmere Necklaces


I have one of these necklaces and I love it so much! My hint: the longer, the better. This is how the author, Aliquid, introduces her latest listing:

The soft and fine mohair rings micro-scarf is a special necklace that warms your neck and embellishes your look. Enjoy to wear the neclace in a lot of different ways. The necklace catch is handmade with a raku ceramic button. You can fasten it in any of the necklace rings, trying every time a different way.
The necklace is a textile jewel and can be washed with neutral soap. It is a perfect soft, fluffy and warming gift.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Multistrand Necklace (mostly black)


In my shop on Etsy I collect some of these awesome multistrand necklaces made out of various patterns of beads randomly embellished by luxurious elements. The only thing I regret (with respect to an actual shop) is that I'd like to customize them, because they may wear very differently and...Whatever!

It's fun to play with all the components until they agree to work together and become a balanced jewel. Here "balanced" is a key word: at the very heart of kitsch costume jewelry there's the idea of creating something truly astonishing from ordinary materials (well, perhaps this is at the very heart of everything), but if you go too far beyond, you may quickly slide into ugliness. 

In my opinion, kitsch is basically detournmant, couldn't exist by itself. For instance, this is a multistrand scaled necklace, but the traditional sense of the scale is overturned: it does not bring any order, at least it enhances the differences.

What makes this jewelry special isn't just the fact it is handmade, but the fact it is a well hidden paradox. That's the reason why it can be so cheerful, and why I don't just make it, I wear it myself very often. 




Wednesday, 9 November 2011

From Holland with Love



Carla lives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has her virtual shop of handmade accessories, paintings and paper art on Etsy. The red felt flower above is her new listing...fancy, isn't it?
I just came back from Holland, with a kilogram of tulip bulbs and definitely too many books of my favorite Dutch writer...
Weather blessed my trip and the autumn beauty made me feel lucky. Why do I always come back?!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Jack-o'-Lantern

As I'm in Ireland, my inner crafter couldn't help trying to carve a pumpkin on Halloween...

And this was the awkward result!


My friends and I had gone very early to the local market ...'Cause we had great plans for the day!

In fact, while the pumpkins were socializing


and having a good time together...


- especially mine. It was so joyful! -,


we struggled in the kitchen


cooking a lot


since there is only one rule in having fun with food


and that would be: don't waste the food.

Later, although made slightly heavier by the ravioli and the conserve, we also went to the park, so Pumpkins could meet some old, weird friends of theirs...You know, they were running out of time. 


At midnight, we were back home. The pumpkins had a great Halloween and we as well. 


After the others have gone, Pumpkin and I spent the rest of the night together near a cosy fireplace.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A brand new Swedish shop in Florence. Welcome to Maria Maruschka!


I have been in Florence for a while recently, and that's why I know that the inauguration of the first Italian shop of the Swedish brand and factory Maria Maruschka took place yesterday.


While the city is undertaking an effort to transform itself into a more plausible Capital of Renaissance's Arts, as well as a cosiest place to live for its numerous international citizens, it was a happy surprise to see that also the magnificent San Frediano neighborhood, traditionally inhabited by artists and crafters, is slowly coming back to life, after years of roadworks and all kinds of endless repairs.

I can't say if as a cause or as a consequence, but a lot of interesting realities are popping up in there.
They are all worth to be discovered of course, while the one I liked the most is the Swedish boutique, probably because it has been established in a well known, traditional “fondo”: at the 13/red of via Santa Monaca, just off via d'Ardiglione.

If you don't know yet this small, lively group of tiny streets connecting the two southern quarters of the old city, I highly recommend at least a visit. Anyway, via Santa Monaca is the last section of the street which connects Piazza Santo Spirito to Piazza del Carmine, and the main entrance of the new shop faces exactly the church of Santa Monica- whose name's wrong transliteration is the reason of the weird appellation of the street (“S. Monaca” means literally “Saint Nun”).

The old space has been completely renewed, but without unacceptable compromises with respect to the original structure. Starting from the pre-existing layout, typical of the traditional “bottega” (shop, work-lab and stock room), the “fondo” has been collapsed into a single spacious showroom.
In order to do that, the architect had to partially remove a wall, but has also gently used its remaining parts to arrange the fitting cabins.
Details are even more gracious, such as the ancient river stones, which have been restored and, where possible, left exposed. So, basically, the place is now finally luminous and consequently the exposition of the goods more enjoyable.

The owner is a wonderful Swedish woman in her thirties, who, being partner of an italian guy and now mother of a super-blonde, little mediterranean viking, decided to move to Florence. She is one of the many foreign entrepreneurs who have chosen our town to start a new life, and there's nothing that makes me more proud as florentine.
She's going to offer you a mysterious Swedish candy “to break the ice” and I'm sure you'll love to chat with her while browsing the Maruschka autumn/winter collection.

The fancy clothes she sells are the output of a very contemporary and winning philosophy: organic row matters, hand made quality, unique design. You'll be enchanted by the sophisticated, versatile cuts and by the way they wear perfectly any size and build.
The shop offers also some refined pieces of costume jewelry and a small selection of accessories I personally found quite classy.


As a whole, her shop has conquered me, and I know it will conquer you as well.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Fertility Tree.

It is called "The Fertility Tree" and it is a work of art preserved in Massa Marittima, a little town in Tuscany, Italy. 

Dating back to 1265, the fresco illustrates a tree from whose boughs are pending off, as giant fruits, many phalli, very realistically drawn. Waiting for the tree's fruits to fall, a small crowd of women; two of them seem to fight for one of the twenty-five phalli. Last but not least, five black eagles are flying over them.


The unusual profane theme is commonly thought to symbolize ancient rituals and local beliefs; besides, the image is painted on the huge wall towering over the Abundance Fountains.

If so, it would be unexpected its survival to Christian iconography. Someone there would have definitely confounded things sacred and profane!

For other historians, in fact, the women'd be witches - and they are not waiting for the phalli to fall but hanging up them, freshly cut off; the eagles'd be instead symbols for the Sacred Roman Empire. 

The fresco would be a warning against the possibility of Ghibellini - the emperor party, in medieval Italy - getting the power. And this would have naturally opened the doors of Caos, subverted the rules of society and let the nearby Lunigiana well known witches be governors of our poor lives.

If so, the fresco would be the first political manifesto and a precise accusation of heresy addressed to the Ghibellini by the Guelfi - the Pope party, in medieval Italy.

Although the inauguration is coinciding with the reopening, works are still in progress, since the situation is very delicate and another wall has to be restored. 

The peculiar work of art will be newly open to the public from August 7. If you're traveling throughout Italy next weeks, I really recommend you to drop by and then let me know which explanation of the fresco do you think it's correct!

***brief update***

Well, well, well. That's why Italy sometimes freaks me out.

This is an update to the Fertility Tree post. I just want to make sure you're aware of the mysterious case of castration some proud citizens have recently claimed.

Have some crucial elements gone missing? This is what the spoke-man of a group named "Massa Comune", Gabriele Galeotti, stated to the Public Prosecutor Office.
More precisely, it seems there are less testicles than before.

....

Discovered in 1999, soon hidden for a long restauration, eventually reopened to the public a few days ago, the weird fresco doesn't stop shocking. Or, as you may see, it' summer.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Retro Chic Topaz Necklace


I've being thinking for a while about a brand new item for the summer and that's what came out 



Basically a opera length necklace made out of pure light, perfect for your tan!




Technically, the Retro Link Chain Necklace is one of my classy beaded link chain made out of brass and faceted topaz crystal, some round (8 mm) and some slightly oval (10mm).

The chain is approximately 50 cm long (19.7 inches), and it's closed up by a round, brass lacquered metal clasp.This necklace is still the outcome of a 1940's inspired, laborious work. 

As a result, the shining topaz crystals seem actually to float. 

If you'd like to find out more informations and photos about my retro chic link chains, please just give a look at 

http://elettrarossa.blogspot.com/2011/03/long-beaded-link-chain-necklaces.html

Monday, 18 July 2011

Christmas in July

"Christmas in July" it's an informal event on Etsy which helps online sellers to be competitive with seasonal sales.



It seems in fact it's not easy to sell anything during summertime, so Etsy shops come out with incredible promotions, as far as I could see from a fair 10% up to the crazy 40%.


So, technically, this is the right moment to do some shopping on line. 



Bright Green Necklace
My shop and I decided for a 20% discount on all items, while it stays active the 10% off I previously offered.

I think it's the occasion to buy what you've always wanted but considered too expansive.

Have a nice day surfing the web!

Report from the Exchange Art+Craft Market

On July 9, a friend of mine and I went to the Exchange Dublin Art+Craft Market for our very first time. We brought his street art paintings and my jewelry.

It has been a long day, since we'd never had an actual market-day beforehand.
We had a lot of fun though!

Incredibly, we also manage to sell something...Well, not that much...but I now owe a beer to him.

At the beginning there was very few people, although outside was taking place the food market. Fortunately, the early boredom was soon compensated by many friends who managed to drop by...Thank you, guys!

The environment was cozy, very informal, open and free under many aspects.

Entering the room, you'd have met the Jeweler and the Artist chatting and drinking tea on the sofa. Then you'd have browsed the stall of the Girl who sells Conserves and Drawings and the stall of the Two Women, who were offering super-cute newborn shoes, hats, ponchos.

These two stalls were both under a wall decorated with pictures of the Exchange crew and the visual effect was great.

Eventually, against two huge windows, you'd have seen Red Hair carving her croquet hooks, My Friend and I having fun with the camera, and a Couple of Girls with their totally crazy stuff - from the book covers made out of Reader Digest issues to the cool jewels made out of vintage items.

Later in the afternoon, two Other Girls joined the market - they sold books.

I was feeling too shy for asking their names. As a newbie, I thought they all perfectly know each others - and that makes me more shy than ever. But in the end, chatting briefly with one of the Couple of Girls, I was surprised to find out it was their very first time as well.

I probably misunderstood the entire situation, as usual!

Well well well, it doesn't matter!

It was definitely a good experience!

Stay tuned

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Small supplies for crafters

Dublin city. Summertime. Almost a year has being passed from the moment I saw them and decided to buy them. 

I made out of those funny, nice and completely useless (cute=useless) supplies my charm bracelets and earrings.
But I think things have to change a little - at least once in a year! - and therefore I'm now selling them for the same prices I got as a crafter. 
I've never sold supplies, so I don't know exactly the online market prices and quantities for this stuff. I've just compared them to the ones in the other Etsy shops. Eventually, I think the price/quantity rationale I wrote down listing them is quite cheap and balanced. Give me a shout if I'm wrong.



Unfortunately, the postage costs are more expansive than the items themselves, but I've tried to leave the total balance within the range I was telling you about above.



So, what can I say in occasion of such an important anniversary?

After almost a year back to costume jewelry, mostly as a hobby and mostly on line, I've often heard that costume jewelry is out, dead, unsellable. 

This cruel sentence has also been the reason why sometimes markets refuse to rent me a stall, since it seems they are overwhelmed by obsessive jewelers who want to sell their handmade, unique products despite of common sense. As me, by the way.


This gray attitude against jewelry makes me only more happy of any sale, of course. There's more satisfaction in selling unsellable stuff than fancy stuff everybody wants, don't you think?!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Italian Charm Bracelet

There's new stuff in my etsy shop!





What you see above is a statement chain bracelet decorated with ivory crystal pearls and embellished by round faceted indigo, purple, topaz and olive green crystals slightly different in size (6, 8, 10 mm diameter).

Another ode to a calm excess, this beautiful bracelet is a unique Italian fashion jewel and it is thought to be definitely visible.

My handmade charm bracelets are made out of a smooth oval brass chain and flat headpins. They have a elegant round clasp, of a brass lacquered ultralight metal. 

Each bracelet is approximately 22 cm long (8.7 inches), but I can make it shorter or longer upon request.

This kind of jewelry is not for shy people!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Au Claire de la Lune

Au Claire de la Lune is a French song my father used to sing for us, as lullaby

Au clair de la lune

Mon ami Pierrot

Prête-moi ta plume

Pour écrire un mot

Ma chandelle est morte

Je n'ai plus de feu

Ouvre-moi ta porte

Pour l'amour de Dieu


That memory inspired the Pierrot necklace.


I asked a friend of mine to be my model.


It came out she was perfectly in the mood. Fairy tale.




Stay tuned!