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Weaving tips — making knots

weavingWhether you have purchased my little weaving kit, or are just doing your own thing, at some point you will probably need to join 2 threads together. This little video clip illustrates a very simple and neat way to do that. You can leave the 2 ‘tails’ a little longer if you wish and then neatly weave them into the back of your work when you’ve finished — or otherwise you can trust in the strength of this knotting method and snip off the little ‘tails’ whilst the work is still in progress.

The kit for this mountain inspired weaving is available in my Etsy store at the following address:
DIY twig weaving kit

DIY arty bag for kids or adults


I have really enjoyed doing a trial run for this carrying case as it brings back fond memories of when my daughter was small. She had one of these for those occasions when either we went visiting ‘adults’ or when we went to a restaurant where she preferred to doodle rather than eat. I reckon this idea saved a lot of restaurant tablecloths from getting scribbled on!

This sewing project is a bit more complex than most of the kits I have produced — it takes a bit more skill, though a novice stitcher will probably cope well enough if they take it slowly, one step at a time. If there is some help to hand, all the better.

Basically the kit consists of all the elements needed to produce a simple carrying case for some paper, some coloured pens and a few pencils. Of course, for the painter or sketcher, the spaces will be useful for the appropriate tools. All the pieces of printed cotton fabric and felt are pre-cut and labelled — you’ll find a zip for the pencil case; some yarn for the tassel, and if you ask at the time of purchase — either a cross-stitch chart or a set of felt letters to personalise the bag with the name of your choice.

For more details follow this link >>>

Some of the other colour choices as you can see in the gallery below.

Mamma Cool

As something a bit different, I have created this sweet little Afro-theme ornament. I just love her beaded dreadlocks and bright multi-strand bead necklace.

I have prepared about a dozen kits for anyone who might be interested in a simple sewing and crafting project. All the textiles used are original African printed cotton fabrics which have been recycled for these kits. Personally I associate black people with a vibrant and colourful cultural background, so I hope I have managed to capture this in this little doll.

Click to find listing on Etsy

Christmas elf & Miss Pumpkin


Might seem totally out of season right now, but oddly enough, these little kits are proving to be popular during this moment of ‘closure’ and uncertainty. Quite a few people have been turning to creative activities as a source of calm — even those who wouldn’t normally pick up a needle and thread, have taken on simple projects as an escape from distressing news and an uncertain future.
These little kits are ok for young stitchers too — maybe with a little help from someone more experienced, so if you want to know more, follow the link to my Etsy page for pricing details of the kit contents.

Click for Miss Pumpkin kit details >>>
Click for Christmas elf kit details >>>

Specs’ keepers renewed

The biggest surprise of the past couple of weeks has been the interest in my specs’ keepers. They are one of those accessories which disappear off the scene for awhile, and then for no apparent reason — return. And that’s what’s happened, and I have found myself stringing beads for hours on end for this seemingly simple creation.

Not that they are difficult to make, but when you no longer have nimble fingers, can be very fiddly and a source of great frustration, plus the occasional cuss, especially when — as happened to me today — all the beads fly off the thread into every corner of the room. Would you believe I have just found a dozen beads caught up in my hair too!

So for those who are looking to keep their goggles to hand, back in my Etsy store, as of today, a couple of new summery colours, and as usual, the possibility to contact me with your own colour choice. Use the personalisation box on the listing page to let me know.

Here’s the link to follow >>>

Coffee pot sewing kit

At long last I have managed to add a couple more of these sewing kits to my Etsy store. This particular kit has been surprisingly popular — partly because of its simplicity that even a beginner can handle quite confidently, but also because of the mix of different elements and methods required to complete it.

Anyway, for those of you looking for a fun project — maybe even as a gift for someone — here’s the link to the Etsy listing…

Coffee cup project >>>

Red rose of San Marco


A special day in Venice today — not only is it the day that Italians celebrate their Liberation at the end of WW2, but it is also the day for loved ones — a day to present your love with a red rose — ‘la festa di San Marco’ when under normal circumstances the city would be alive with courting couples walking the streets and when one of them at least would usually be holding or wearing a red rose bud.

This year, 2020, is a bit different since we are all living under a cloud of restrictions in an effort to stop any further spread of the coronavirus which has wreaked so much damage (and continues to do so) around the world, leaving thousands of lost lives in its wake — there will be no celebrations for either the Liberation nor loved ones.

So here is my offering — a red rose for you to stitch. Not an easy pattern, but the time it will take to complete it will undoubtedly remind you of these difficult times. Pick up your pattern and colour chart from the download link below.

DIY emergency mask kit


Whilst my previous post giving details of the DIY mask template and tutorial download has been extremely popular, several people have shown interest in finding the materials for making the masks. It goes without saying that if you have some scraps at home to improvise your mask — old shirts for instance — that would be more than acceptable as a possible source of fabric, but on the other hand, you might prefer something a bit more interesting to cover your face with without having to purchase yards of elastic and textiles!

With that in mind, I have created kits for those of you who have no access to textile stores or haberdashers. Each kit contains material for two masks (minimum purchase), including the necessary elastic — and a copy of the template and tutorial. Easy to make either by hand or with a sewing machine. The cost shown for the listing (minimum purchase 2 pieces) also covers shipping to Europe and the USA. In the gallery below you can see all the fabrics available for the masks — all in printed cotton whilst the plain lining fabric (not shown) is naturally dyed and boiled cotton. Hover the images to see colour details or click for enlargement.

If you would prefer to purchase 2 ready-made masks, follow this link to my Etsy page. The same colour choices are available as in this dropdown list. Shipping times (free to EU and USA) will be lengthened by two days to allow for the production of your chosen masks.
Click here for Etsy >>>

Choose colours from dropdown list :
Elastic colour :

I must stress that these masks are NOT to be considered medical standard, but only for community use such as for shopping and social distancing in general.

Number of kits/masks available per fabric pattern:

  • Red & white check (3 kits)
  • Blue on blue floral (3 kits)
  • Grey with beige climber (3 kits)
  • Green paisley (2 kits)
  • Orange with random dots (1 only)
  • Light orange (3 kits)
  • Oriental fan (4 kits)
  • Navy with novelty fish (4 kits)
  • Pink Tyrol (1 only)
  • Green with white dots (2 kits)
  • Coral with black seedheads (3 kits)

DIY emergency mask template [English & Italian]

For the moment I don’t have a photo to post, but will get one organised soon.
Just thought it might be useful to have immediate access to this mask pattern and tutorial so that you can supply your friends and family with community masks as requested by numerous local authorities at the present time.

They are NOT medical masks, but are in keeping with local community activities such as shopping and recreation where it is important to keep our OWN droplet emissions from spreading when we cough or sneeze.

Feel free to download for your own needs. In the pdf file you will find a template and instructions to make the mask — including tips for down sizing for children.

Mask kit available for those who would like to make their own but have little or no access to the necessary materials for doing so. Click here for details

Versione italiana

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Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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You can find me and my various creative activities through this set of links.