Happy Halloween to You!

{Read in Italian...}

happy Halloween to you!
I'm having a strong cold, so I'm staying at home tonight. What a pity: I really wanted to celebrate Halloween, at least with a nice dinner!

I guess I'll just edit some pictures for something I'm going to post tomorrow, before I leave for the weekend.

Have a nice night, enjoy your treats ;)

New Header for Kilara Creation

{Read in Italian...}

I'm very happy and proud to show you my second commission!
This time it's a header, for Francesca's blog: Kilara Creation.
New Header for Kilara Creation
Francesca creates beautiful jewelry with beads. Her blog was one of the very first that I started following when, five months ago, my blogging adventure begun.

Francesca wanted something fresh, drawn by me, that could express her love for all of the beads she works with (round, biconic, delica) and her beautiful cat, Cocca. As for the colors, she chose liliac and mint. After she approved my draft and color palette, my work begun and after a few days we reached the point where we were both satisfied.
Color palette chosen for Kilara Creation. Source: Design Seeds
Now Kilara Creation also has one of my polka-dotted background patterns, those that I shared with you some days ago. She's still working on the look of her blog, but I think that, little by little, she's creating a more definite personality for her creative space.

I want to thank Francesca again for the trust she gave me: I'm quite proud of my work and very happy because I created something for her!

Fall inspiration & Tales of the Lost Earring

{Read in Italian...}

Today I wanted to show you a couple of earrings that I really love and wear often.
Fall inspiration & Tales of the Lost Earring
The first pair is made of glazed ceramic and semiprecious stone beads, a tiny swarovski and silvery bead caps. While making them I was thinking about the beautiful colors and shapes of oak acorns...
Fall inspiration & Tales of the Lost Earring
This pair is smaller: wearable everyday, it can easily match any fall outfit. Another pair of glazed ceramic beads, a couple of champagne swarovski and bronze, leafy bead cups.

An hour ago these earrings caused me a little trouble: before shooting these photos I put them in my pencil case, then moved to the kitchen to have a coffee... When I came back, one of them was missing!
I looked for it everywhere, in the end I feared that my kitten had swallowed it... fear that seemed to come true when Bailey went to the bathroom to puke (sorry...)!
I was almost on my way to the vet, totally terrified, when I had a sort of... let's say, inspiration...
I looked again inside my pencil case and there it was, shiny and safe.
At least I think that I can partially be excused, since my waking this morning hasn't been very pleasant: I woke up to the loud sound of sirens, like it happens in my town when the river Bacchiglione (which caused a lot of trouble in my region in 2011) is about to overflow, and I live right next to it. I don't know why, since the weather is nice and sunny today, probably it was a test...

Anyway, have a nice Monday... less messy than mine, hopefully!

Polka-dotted Patterns (freebie)

{Read in Italian...}

polka-dotted patterns freebie
After my latest post, I wanted to share with you some basic polka-dotted patterns.
These are very tiny images (lightweight also), but once you set them as background in your blog template, they'll do their job.


If you wish to use them, it would be nice if you let me know with a comment, so I can see your work! Also, I would appreciate if you started following my blog, but of course this is not mandatory ;)

How to choose a good Background for your Blog #2

{Read in Italian...}
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Back to talk about the background of our blog!
I'm so sorry, I know that I'm late, but do you remember what we talked about in the previous post? We saw which pros and cons we have by choosing either a solid color or a pattern. Today we'll see what to do and, more important, what NOT to do, depending on your choice.

“I love minimalism, so I choose a solid color. What should I avoid?”

DO NOT USE 'RGB' COLORS
Many years ago there were several restrictions about web safe colors, those that any browser would recognize: that's why websites from the Ninties had those bright, annoying colors, because at the time those hues were OK for most of the monitors!
Designers didn't have the possibility to choose freely like today. Now be grateful for the powerful means we got today and try to use them at their best! Nobody could ever find really pleasant these colors:
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
They're too bright, they cause eye distress, but, more importantly, they look "old". So, try to avoid them at any cost! Look, for instance, how these colors are more suitable for a background:
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Of course, you can choose more vivid hues if your blog topics require it (maybe because you're a manly man)... but never choose those hues, never!
Keep this rule in mind not just for backgrounds: you shouldn't use RGB colors at all in your design, especially for your text.

“Meh, solid colors are boring! I want a nice pattern: what should I avoid?”

Previously we said that we should avoid distracting patterns and to have them right under your content. We also said that your file shouldn't be heavy, or your background may load after everything else. Let's see what else not to do.

DO NOT USE COPYRIGHTED IMAGES WITHOUT PERMISSION
This one is clear, right?! Not everything on Google is there so we can take it for free and use it without asking, or paying. Maybe someone created that image for work and we must respect that.
Obviously, if we create by ourselves our images or we have someone who makes them for us we're 100% safe, also gifting our blog with something unique. If this is not possible, always check the terms, respecting them. If we intend to use content that is not for free, just pay for it, without cheating.

DO NOT USE REPEATING PICTURES
This mistake is quite common for "non-professional" websites, and it isn't elegant really.
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
This background is far from being pretty...
If you want to show your pictures, why not making a nice gallery instead? Noone will appreciate your picture if it is just a destracting, poor background...
Or, you can make an image take the whole browser window, without repeating itself. Next time we'll see how!

DO NOT USE AN ELEMENT THAT, REPEATING, DOESN'T FORM A GOOD PATTERN
I'll try to explain this with a couple of examples. Take for instance these simple polka dots (not very pretty, but good to understand). When we use this little image as a background on our blog template, it will repeat itself horizontally and vertically, until it covers the whole browser window area (this is usually automatic, unless you edited your CSS).
To give our eye the illusion of continuity, anyway, this image must be cut properly!
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
If our pattern element has a tiny border (even the tiniest), this will repeat itself as well, forming rows and columns of squares. This doesn't look so good...
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Another mistake we can commonly see with patterned backgrounds is the use of an element whose borders just "won't fit". This image may look OK, but the dots on the border repeat too closely when we form the pattern. So what?
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Cutting by half the dots on the border, the resulting pattern will be correct!
This is just an example, but I hope that the logic beyond this is clear enough. What ends on the right must form a coherent element with what starts on the left; same thing for top and bottom.
These problems we've seen might look less evident if you're using a small device or a low resolution, but anyone with a big sized monitor will notice them, so pay attention! Sometimes the solution is easy to apply, sometimes it is less evident and you'll need to try and try again to fix your pattern.
Sometimes it is just impossible to fix because the starting element can't work as a pattern, so change it!

That's all for today. We've seen that:
  • if we choose a solid color, we should avoid 'RGB' colors (too bright and tied to old Web);
  • if we choose a pattern, don't have a picture that repeats without forming a seamless pattern;
  • always respect copyrights!

More:
1. General rules.
3. How to use a full-sized image as background.
4. Implementation.

Do you like polka-dotted backgrounds? You can find some of them created by me here.

DIY Cat Carrier Cover

{Read in Italian...}

Yesterday I wanted to show you my shopping at Abilmente. So many things to create jewelry... but not just that!
Do you remember that cute polka-dotted felt? I've been looking for it for one specific purpose and, once I returned home, I created what I wanted: a cover for the cat carrier of my little Bailey.
DIY cat carrier cover
When we took Bailey from her town, poor thing, she was so scared. To calm her down, I tried to put my shawl around the carrier she was in. It worked like a charm: soon Bailey felt more confident, starting to search my hand to be cuddled.
So, why not making a nice cover for this purpose?
I'm a very, very poor tailor, so I made it simple.
DIY cat carrier cover
Felt cloth does not require to be stuffed and I didn't have to make any hem. I just bought one meter of this cloth (extremely cheap), then I cut the excess off and, with a cutter, I created the split for the carrier handle.
Couldn't be easier!
DIY cat carrier cover
Now I also have a nice polka dot felt remnant, that I can use for another project, as soon as I get the right inspiration...

Abilmente: my second time

{Read in Italian...}

Abilmente is one of the most famous Italian events for people who love handmade crafts: there is plenty of workshops and, of course, shopping areas! I'm lucky because I live in Vicenza, the city that hosts this event, and this is my second time there.
Visiting Abilmente is both physically and mentally challenging: you need to be aware of the fact that there are thousands of visitors, so the place is overcrowded and it's hard to get to what you want to see...
Anyway, my shopping has been... let's say quite generous! I've been saving money all summer long for this, and now I have my stocks replenished in order to open my first shop on Etsy.

The first time I went to Abilmente I was a total newbie who could roughly hold a round-nose plier. I was literally flashed by all of those beautiful things, ending up with a lot of beads and pearls and almost zero basic material to assemble them!
This time my shopping needed to be more "realistic" and, in a way, to be complementary to my previous one: I focused on chains...
Abilmente: my second time
 Thread, rivets, eyelets, clasps...
Abilmente: my second time
Earring posts and settings...
Abilmente: my second time
 Polymer clay tools...
Abilmente: my second time
 I also bought something for packaging...
Abilmente: my second time
Notice the ink pads: same colors of my blog!
 Then, of course, I had to indulge myself with some fanciful things, like vials..
Abilmente: my second time
Charms...
Abilmente: my second time
These stunning warm taupe-hued pearls, that I bought at a ridiculously low price...
Abilmente: my second time
Some magnets and this polka-dotted felt...
Abilmente: my second time
With this felt I've already done something, very easy, yet very useful. Let's say that it's a present.
What am I talking about? You'll find out soon...

That's all! Well... almost... :P
What about you: did you ever neglect basic stuff because you were distracted by fanciful things?

DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick

DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
{Read in Italian...}

I don't know if it's just me, but time runs so fast during fall. So here we are, in the middle of October: time to get ready for Halloween!
Despite many people dislike this event (especially in Italy, where Halloween is seen as a foreign celebration, somehow kitsch) , I feel very attached to it. Halloween can give us the opportunity to express a lot of creativity with decoration, jewelry and, of course, cooking!

Today I'll share with you a little tutorial to create a candlestick in the shape of a pumpkin, using polymer clay. To decorate it, I used some strass, very cheap stuff  for nail art that you can find in any drugstore/dollar store.








YOU'LL NEED:
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
  • orange polymer clay
  • a candle
  • nail strass, black and colored (i used dark green ones)
  • tweezers
  • glue

PROCEDURE:
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
Soften the clay with your hands, then form a ball.
Put it on a paper sheet, then press the bottom of the candle against the top of the clay, in order to create the hole to insert the candle once the candlestick is ready.
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
Now we'll create the pumpkin shape. I used a ball tool (one that I NEVER use with food, just for polymer clay!), but if you don't have it, you could use the bottom of your tweezers.
Refine details with your fingers if needed and check the hole: if it became too wide during the process you have to narrow it, or the candle will slip off (dangerous!).
Bake your candlestick in a preheated oven (about 260 °F) for 30 minutes. When it cools off, we'll be ready for decoration.
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
Let's put some drops of glue on a piece of paper.
With your tweezers, take a black strass and dip its back in the glue.
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
Apply then on the pumpkin and repeat for every 'bump'.
Do the same thing with colored strass, under the black ones; then again, black strass.
Once the glue is dry, we're done!
DIY 'Pumpkin' Candlestick
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial.
See ya!

My Web & Blog Design for Bocconcini Canini

{Read in Italian...}
Bocconcini Canini
Today I'm so proud to show you my first web design order for Chiara and her new, original activity: Bocconcini Canini.
Chiara cooks dog snacks, employing carefully selected biological ingredients (sometimes even self-producted); her vet then checks and approves every single recipe.
Curious? You can check her brand new website and blog!
Sorry, no English version at the moment: right now Chiara's activity is addressed to Italian customers only.
commissione sito + blog: Bocconcini Canini
My work did not consist in just creating her web spaces: I totally revamped the brand identity of Bocconcini Canini, from its logo to the texts, photo editing and graphics with Photoshop and Illustrator.
Chiara asked me two things: she wanted liliac for her logo and, overall, a vintage, Fifties mood.
What do you think, did I make it?
commissione sito + blog: Bocconcini Canini

'Sparkly Potion' Necklaces

{Read in Italian...}

When I make jewelry, I often find myself very fascinated by small vials.
With a couple of them, I tried to make some necklaces, as little amulets carrying a tiny, sparkly potion.
sparkly potion necklaces
The first one is golden, with white and crystal accents. It could be a glamour potion...
sparkly potion necklaces
The second one is more romantic, with its liliac and silver hues.

So, what do you think? Will they work?...

Meet Bailey

{Read in Italian...}

Some days ago, this little girl stepped into our home and our life.
meet Bailey
This summer my bf asked me if I wanted to adopt a kitten: I was so happy, yet very uncertain. I've been suffering from allergies since I was born and keepig a cat in our flat, without a garden, was risky for my health.
Nevertheless, I love cats with all my heart: words cannot describe the happiness I feel with them.
meet Bailey
A comfy nap inside Daddy's hoodie...
So, what to do? After searching for long weeks we found her, a little Siberian kitty.
Siberian cats are considered hypoallergenic, since they produce way less FelD1 than average cats. FelD1 is a protein found in cats' saliva and it is considered the main responsible for cat allergy.
Last month my bf and I went to meet her, her mommy, her siblings and her owners (a nice family, they've been so kind with us!). I spent an our in this closed room, with five kittens and their mother, without having asthma or skin irritation. We decided to come back and take Bailey with us as soon as she was weaned.
meet Bailey
Exploring the terrace!
Now Bailey has become a member of our little family. She looks happy: she's a curious little thing, although she also loves to purr while we hold her. When we sleep she wants to stay with us, on our feet, and shee sleeps all night long.
She's so cute to take your breath, when she moves her small white paws over her head we litteraly melt!
meet Bailey
I just adore her white mittens...
After five days I'm still feeling good, no allergies at all. That's amazing....
I hope that you like Bailey, my blog has already adopted her as its mascot: did you notice who's peepin' out from the right side of my header? :)
posso presentarvi Bailey?
Still sleeping?! Wakey wakey!
If you suffer from my same allergy problems but you love cats and would love to have one, I'd suggest you to attempt a stress test with Siberian cats: nobody can guarantee you that they're totally fine for your immune system, but chances to have a reaction are way lower than trying with a non-Siberian cat. Also keep in mind that females produce less FelD1 than males on average. Look around for more information!
Instead, for those who don't suffer from cat allergy, it would be great to adopt a cat from a refuge: there are so many of them, and they all seek for a someone to love them!! 
I will always support refuges as I can, donating food and some money.
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