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Discount coupon

So even though the Spring Sale is over, I think I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like a bit of a bargain, so maybe this will be of interest to you. Using the coupon code HAPPYCHOICE2020 you can get yourself a 10% discount in my Etsy store on the item (or items) of your choice. Just add in the code at checkout to benefit. As the code suggests, it is valid for 2020, so keep it safe somewhere, just in case!

Go for it >>> HAPPYCHOICE2020

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 >>>

Felt Dala horse

felt dala horse
Many of us have become aware over the past couple of months, either through personal observation or via the media coverage, that the period of lockdown seems to have had a positive effect on our environment. Animals have been leaving their natural habitats to venture into city centres, no longer clogged up with traffic and pollution — and have provided a spectacle that very few of us have ever seen before, and are unlikely to ever see again. We have seen levels of pollution drop (though I fear only temporarily) and for those attuned to these changes, the air will have seemed sweeter and the skies much clearer.

Whether it has something to do with the current coronavirus problem and the changes mentioned above, that I can’t say, but certainly I have been feeling a need to simplify my life and remove some of the ‘sophistication’. I’ve been looking for greater contact with the ‘basics’, doing away with empty ambitions which only take me further from my roots and the people and things I love most.

Sadly, I can’t just retire to the woods and ignore all my connections with modern society — but I can concentrate more time on those creative activities which soothe my soul. Strangely enough, technology features quite importantly in these activities, because it has given me a way to connect with family and friends and to admire and be inspired by the creativity of people around the world.

So using this new world as a starting point, I will be applying myself to newly found handcrafts — and honing my skills in old favourites. Here’s hoping that there will be occasions to share them with new and old friends both virtually, and in person.

Dala horse sewing kitAvailable on Etsy

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.

Palm Sunday 2020


A beautiful day, but a very subdued Palm Sunday for those who usually celebrate. No religious celebrations for the community and in the UK, Queen Elizabeth made a public speech from her quarantine quarters in Windsor Castle — a special occasion and something that she hasn’t done in many years.

But there seems to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel — at least for some of the northern regions of Italy, where new cases of coronavirus have been a few less, and the death rate not quite so high — which means that there is hope that we can soon move into the next phase and begin to ‘live’ with the virus instead of just hiding from it.

It’s that time of year

Got a very pleasant surprise when I opened up my mail this evening – I discovered that some kind soul had bought one of my calendars! Just want to say many thanks indeed to whoever you are and wherever you are! I hope the calendar gives you as much pleasure as it did for me to create the images inside it! If you are interested in a calendar for this year, click on the image to be taken to Red Bubble which handles the print-on-demand calendar sales.

The surprise came at the end of a pretty exhausting day – hubby went off on the motorbike for a long ride mid-morning leaving me here to nurse my ribs and try to do some overdue web work. It is pretty uncomfortable to sit in front of the computer right now, but I managed to make some headway and hope to find some time to get in a bit of crafting next week – and maybe some more of that homemade bread.

My Christmas Swapper, Ruth of Nice Day Designs in Ireland tells me that my parcel reached her and that she was pleased with the bits and pieces I sent. Now I can look forward to her ‘donation’ soon which she tells me will soon be sent off to me.

Anyway – ’nuff said …
Night everyone!

Order your calendars now!

Now is the perfect time to get in your orders for our beautiful calendars before the rush sets in and the postal system gets clogged up!

Our calendars are available through Red Bubble and whilst you are looking at our calendars on Red Bubble, you might also like to check out our cards. Click on the calendar image to be taken to Red Bubble.

Grunge Christmas cards

grunge-leone
Have gone in for grunge in a big way with the collection of 5 Christmas cards created using recycled paper and prints from my original lino cuts. Each iconic image of a Venetian landmark has been treated with a distressed effect to give the finished image a weathered and old, grungy feel to it. They make a change from the usual images if someone is looking for something a bit different. Every card is different for the simple reason that each of them is printed by hand.

As usual, please be aware that the colour reproduction on the site is not perfect so the photographs are intended as a guideline only.

Day for toting

houses-tote02Well this is only half the story… the bottom half in fact! One of my recent shopping adventures produced this fun fabric in very dark grey with fun stylized houses printed all over it. I knew I wanted to use it for something a little unusual, but just needed to think about it for a short while before true inspiration hit me.

And what emerged? A big, fun and very roomy tote bag with exceptionally long handles to pass across your shoulders leaving all hands free to deal with stroppy kids and/or wayward shopping carts. I even added a rigid fabric covered base (recycled card) so that you can safely carry that ready cooked lasagne over to ma-in-law’s when you want to make a good impression! Then remove the base and voil√†…a pure cotton, eco-friendly bag to roll up and tuck into your handbag for those surprise shopping sprees which seem to affect us women so often!

ps. Got to use one of my gorgeous little embroidered “handmade” labels for the first time. Unable to find anything locally, I’m afraid these were sourced in Germany from what is fast becoming one of my favourite ribbon suppliers.

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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