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Self Taught Bead Artist

Friday, 9 March 2012

La Mia Italia

Hello!! Long time, no posting. Sorry about that. See, I got back from Europe about 2 weeks ago... :D

Yep, that's right. EUROPE. :D I spent 6 weeks over there and it was absolutely fabulous! I have a new appreciation for Winter now. Man it was cold! But I saw snow for the first time, and now I can legitimately attest that every snowflake is indeed different, and wonderfully magically AMAZING. :D

I went to 9 different countries while I was away, and who knows how many cities. Ready? Here's the list:
-Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburugh, up north near the Loch Ness and all the places up there)
-England (Exeter, Bath, Statford-upon-avon, Stonehenge, London)
-France (Paris, Lyon, Nice)
-Switzerland (Lucerne)
-Spain (Barcelona)
-Italy (Pisa, Florence, Rome, Venice)
-Austria (Vienna)
-Czech Republic (Prague)
-Germany (Munich, Berlin)
-The Netherlands (Amsterdamn)

Wow, 10 different countries! :D

                                                            Stonehenge, England

The March EBW challenge theme is "destinations:" pick a place you'd like to go and bead about it. WELL.  I had a great many choices didn't I? Most of the places I went to I'd love to go to again one day. What do I choose? Orignially I wasn't going to enter the challenge, as I thought I wouldn't be back in time to make something, but I was desperate to bead so I did anyway. :P

Scotland was my favourite place, definately. But I didn't really know what I could do for Scotland. I wanted lots of iconic things in my bracelet, and I couldn't think of that many that I could do for Scotland in such a limited time. So that was out.

I really enjoyed Vienna; I love Mozart you see. So I started planning a cuff that would have the Austrian flag around the outside and images of musical notes and stars (Mozart wrote "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" when he was 5, hence the stars), and have white beaded snow swirling around, perhaps an Ice skate as well (I went ice skating in Vienna). So I started beading the flag: Red, white, leave the last colour (red again) for when I line the piece. But then half way through doing the white I decided that I didn't want to do Vienna anymore...

Italy! Thank goodness the flags were similar. I looked through my european coin collection and found a 2 euro cent coin. I'd thrown a 2 euro cent coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Apparently if you threw one coin in it means you'll come back to Rome; two means you'll fall in love, and three means you'll fall for an Italian. So I put the coin on the bracelet, to represent the one (or perhaps two... :P) coin I threw in. I'd like to go back to Rome.

But then I couldn't think of very many things that were exclusive to Rome that I could put on the bracelet. I could put a cross, but there were churches all over Italy. I could put a pizza, but that's more of a "whole of Italy" thing as well. So then my sister came up with the suggestion: why not just make it about the whole of Italy?

Thankyou, dear wonderful sister! :D So it became the whole of Italy. I made a slice of pizza and a venitian mask from polymer clay and put them on, I sewed a cross on, I stitched a ring of blue around the coin (to represent the water in the Trevi fountain), the coin is there too (to represent the coin I threw in the fountain, and also Italy's currency: the Euro), "ITALIA" is beaded on there, and the background is white to represent the snow that was there when I went, and that I'd like to go back in Winter again (I LOVE snow :D ) one day. And around the border: the Italian flag, finished with the edging.

               (Funnily enough, the ring I'm also wearing in this photo I bought in Italy (Florence))

 It's backed with suede and closes with a toggle clasp.

So there you have it! "La Mia Italia": my Italy. :D

Please vote for your favourite "Destinations" challenge entry between the 9th and 15th of March here (mine is number 32 if you'd like to know). :) It's the 3rd largest amount of entries for a challenge so far!

Back to work now :D


  1. I totally love the pizza slice! What a great piece of art to commemorate your journey! Thanks for sharing on the EBEG wall.

  2. WOW talk about a trip of a life time! I'm so envious of you. I bet you had a wonderful time visiting all of those places. Your bracelet is very Italy great job incorporating your favorite things about Italy.

  3. Thanks everyone! And yes Therese, my trip was AWESOME :D

  4. So what was better Munich or Berlin ( I'm half German that's why the curious Q!:)) But what a trip!
    I see you are on etsy - you have a look in your shop right now! :)

  5. Hmmm, that's a hard one... Probably Berlin, as we had more time there, and there was more to do there. Oh an also we went to an Ice Hockey game that the Berlin Bears were playing it, and that was fantastic! But I did really like Munich too. Just something about the smaller towns... And we did see the glockenspeil while we were there, which was pretty cool!

    Thanks for looking at my shop (and commenting on this blog)! Much appreciated :D

  6. what a great cuff! And keepsake!

  7. Hey, you completely forgot the Scandinavian countries!! Northern Norway in midnight sun... So beautiful it hurts... Or the very northern tip of Denmark, where two oceans collide... The archipelago with cliffs polished by iceages and little beautiful villages with red boathouses starting north of my hometown Göteborg and continuing all the way around Norway and ending... well at the Russian border I guess... That's how far I have gone. Northern Finnlands almost endless pine forests and bogs with golden cloudberries and herds of reindeer... The orchidmeadows and fossiliferous cliffs of Gotland...
    Yes we do have cities as well. Stockholm is beautiful, water surrounding all the different parts of the city. Göteborg (Gothenburg)is a great place to meet people and enjoy beautiful parks. In Oslo you can take the subway to the ski-tracks and have Pakistani or Tamil dinner on the way back. København (Copenhagen) has a more European flavor - but nicer people and great little micro breweries.
    (No, I don't work for the tourist industry. And one day I will travel down under.)