Sunday, 30 May 2010

PACMAN'S Ups & Downs

One day not so long ago I had a friend who was sad: she said she was having a bad time and feeling rather down and dejected. So I was inspired to make this pouch, that could express happiness and optimism on one side, and discouragement and worry on the other. It happens to everyone I suppose. There are YES days, and NO days. But remember, you won't ever be stuck "down there" for long, if your outlook is positive.

Pacman used to be my favourite electronic game when I was a little girl. I remembered that because a few days ago it was Pacman's anniversary and Google had it on the frontispiece. So instead of making a smiley-face/sad-face pouch as I had planned, I made a smiley-pacman pouch. So I also got to embroider the dots (they actually turned out to look more like chicken nuggets), and the little blue munchy monsters chasing Pacman.

This is another one of my typical iPouches, or cellphone carrier pouches. Made with 99% recycled materials, from leftover scraps, and old clothes, and vintage fabrics my mother-in-law gave me from her own mother's old closets. I like the inside of the pouch to be a little surprise, so I usually play on colour contrast. In this case, the lining is made of the same fabric as the shoulder strap.

So guess what: cheer up, and continue playing the game!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

SPOT THE FABRIC contest: LabSpace pouch GIVEAWAY

WIN the SAKURA pouch by LabSpace

The HOTTEST, most "hearted" item of my Etsy shop!
Don't miss this unique giveaway. It's easy.
Just spot the fabric... tell me... and then hope luck is on your side.

La creazione più "cuorata" del mio Etsy-negozio. Non perdere questa occasione. E' facilissimo.
Individua la stoffa... comunicamelo... e incrocia le dita.

As some you perhaps already know, my little pouches and clutches are made with 99% recycled bits of material, left over from my sewing activities. This gave me an idea for a fun game: it's like a Treasure Hunt. Take a good look at this Fairy Princess outfit from my Etsy Shop:

Come alcuni di voi forse gia' sapete, le mie borsette sono create al 99% con pezzi di stoffa riciclata, avanzata da altri miei progetti di cucito. Da questo e' scaturita l'idea di un gioco divertente, una sorta di Caccia al Tesoro. Date un'occhiata a questo vestitino Fairy Princess (Principessa Fata) del mio negozio Etsy:

and tell me which of my bags you think has recycled some of the leftover fabric from this dress.
e dimmi quali tra le mie borsette, secondo te, contengono pezzetti di stoffa avanzata dalla lavorazione di questo vestito.


1. Go to my Etsy Shop by clicking right HERE, and look at each item one by one so that you can see it enlarged and better spot the fabric we are looking for.
Vai al mio Etsy Shop cliccando QUI, guardati ogni articolo aiutandoti anche con le foto ingrandite e trova la stoffa che stiamo cercando.

2. Make a note of the name of each pouch you think bears traces of this material. (If you like an item particularly, please give it a heart, that is always greatly appreciated. Of course if you cannot resist and wish to purchase it, feel free, I will not be upset at all, and you will naturally still be entitled to win the Sakura Pouch).
Annota il nome di ogni borsetta che secondo te contiene frammenti di questa stoffa. (Se un articolo ti piace particolarmente, un cuoricino e' sempre gradito. Naturalmente se non puoi resistere ad un acquisto, nessun problema, non mi dispiaccio mica, anzi, e non sarai escluso dai candidati alla vincita per il Sakura Pouch).

3. Come back to this blogpost and post your entry in the Comments:
a) the list of pouches you think are made with pieces of the green fabric from the Fairy Princess dress;
b) an email address where I can contact you if you win (use [at] and [dot] instead of the usual symbols to avoid spam, e.g. lucky[at]winner[dot]com instead of lucky@winner.com)
Ritorna a questo articolo e pubblica il tuo commento, che deve contenere:
a) l'elenco delle borsette che secondo te contengono frammenti di stoffa verde come nel vestito di Fairy Princess;
b) l'indirizzo di posta elettronica dove posso contattarti se sarai il vincitore del giveaway (usa [at] e [dot] invece dei normali simboli per evitare di ricevere spam, ad esempio e.g. lucky[at]winner[dot]com invece che lucky@winner.com)

4. You get extra entries if you
subscribe to my Blog (click on follow top right of this page) or blog about this giveaway
follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/_LabSpace_ or tweet about this giveaway
become my Facebook Fan http://www.facebook.com/pages/LabSpace/395589553823?v=wall or post this news and link to your FB wall
put my shop in your Etsy favourites http://www.labspace.etsy.com
so please also mention that in your comment.
Avrai punti aggiuntivi se ti iscrivi al mio Blog (o se blogghi su questo giveaway), mi segui su Twitter (o Tweeti di questo giveaway), diventi il mio fan su Facebook (o pubblichi la notizia ed il link di questo giveaway) e/o aggiungi il mio negozio tra i tuoi favoriti Etsy, quindi segnalami tutte le azioni che avrai intrapreso.

5. Entries deadline: Tuesday 22nd June 2010, 18:00 Roman time (=GMT+1hour). Winner will be announced Friday 25th June 2010.
Il concorso e' aperto fino al martedi 22 giugno 2010, ore 18 italiane. Il vincitore sara annunciato il venerdi 25 giugno 2010.

ANYONE can enter this contest (the only condition is that your answer must be posted in the comments of this blogpost), so spread the word and tell all your friends about it. Blog about it, Tweet it, FaceBook it, email the news to whom you wish, and anything else you can think of which may not have occurred to me as I write.

CHIUNQUE puo' prendere parte a questo gioco (basta che pubblichi la sua risposta nei commenti di questo blogpost). Passate parola e ditelo a tutti i vostri amici, tramite Blog, Twitter, FaceBook, email, e qualsiasi altra forma di comunicazione vi venisse in mente.

Good luck, and have fun!
In bocca al lupo, e buon divertimento!
You don't know how to post a comment on a blog: click HERE
You're new to Etsy and need help with registering? (all you need is a nickname and password--- no hassles) click HERE
Non sai come si commenta su un blog? clicca QUI
Sei nuovo su Etsy e non sai come registrarti? (servono soltanto un nickname ed una password--- nulla piu') clicca QUI

Monday, 17 May 2010


Thank you everyone for your wonderful participation. You can see all the challenge entries again here.

It was excruciatingly difficult to pick the winner. We had several rounds of family voting and discussion, there were many favourites, we each had arguments to support our views, and in the end I was so torn as to want to chicken out and put everything out for a general team vote! But since it is my prerogative to have the last word, well, a choice had to be made.

WELL DONE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. And good luck for next week's Team Challenge, theme to be chosen by FluxPlay.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Betsy's incrediblest Murano Drop Earrings

On the 1st of May I was the happy happy winner of Betsy's PERFECT BREAKFAST GIVEAWAY. We all submitted pictures of our favourite breakfast food, or drink, or setting. I chose our family Sunday Brunch, which you can see here (if you're at all curious).

I was happy and surprised when Betsy wrote me to announce that I had won. I got to chose which colour of Murano glass I preferred, so of course I went over to Betsy's Etsy shop to take a better look. That's when I started to get excited. The colours were all so beautiful, it was quite difficult to chose. I went for the blue, because they looked like giant drops of water. Then I forgot all about them... until a yellow envelope arrived in the post.

It was such a beautiful package, wrapped with such care, and lovely details: the little square thank you card and bonus coupon, the soft burgundy ribbon. A joy to unpack. But then came the moment of absolute awe.

The earrings slid out, attached to yet another beautiful card. And they were just... LUMINOUS: two large drops of pure, blue light.

They were only mine for half an hour, though. Guess what happened? Well, one of my daughters came home from school, and the lovely lovely blue Murano Drops are now on her ears. I guess they were meant for her, because they are the very same colour as her eyes.

(left-side picture: my daughter) (right-side picture: me)

Epilogue #1: good thing that my daughters lend each other their possessions, so that they can take turns wearing the water-blue Betsy drops.

Epilogue #2: since Betsy also sends out discount coupons with her items, I thought, well, might as well treat myself to my very own pair of Murano drops. Green, of course. Can you guess what happened to them?

My other, green-eyed, daughter came home from school and exclaimed: "Wow, precisely my eye colour!" What could I do, I ask you? I guess I will have to be borrowing them. Unless I buy another pair, and HIDE them carefully, out of sight. Or get a red pair, perhaps.

Thursday, 13 May 2010



clockwise, from top left:
1. Transparent Blue Goccia Earrings by Betsy3
2. Kokeshi Ring by Wakamesalada
3. Elephant Soft Toy by Thumblycraft
4. Ring by Kosmika

Come see all our other wonderful finds for you right here on our Etsy Italia Team blog.

Monday, 10 May 2010


I am very happy and proud to have won last week's Team Challenge, as proposed by DonauLuft, where the theme was WATTLE--- anything grid-like, braided, wattled,... basket work ...

You can have a look at all the lovely entries by clicking here.

The new theme this week is:
I am interested in seeing "throwaway" elements turn into something beautiful because we make something of them, instead of throwing them out.

Please send me TWO photos: one of your materials BEFORE you begin crafting, and then AFTER your creation is complete,

so that we can see the transformation between the potentially reject elements and the magic you have performed! Send me your two photographs in convo, with a very brief description if you wish to explain anything about your idea or process (keep it short, please!).

Deadline: Monday 17th May, 19:00 (GMT+1hour)

Winner will be announced at 22:00 that same evening.

I look forward to seeing your entries and wish you lots of inspiration and fun.



Kaja recycled a duvet cover from the DDR, to make this lovely girly summer dress.

2.BOOKMARKS by Nancy van den Boom (Netherlands)

Nancy made bookmarks by recycling an old painting she was no longer fond of, and decorating them with an old earring. (They were sold very shortly after being listed!)


BacaCara purchased the broken sterling chain with beads at a flea-market. She used the undamaged sections of the chain to make these earrings.

4.ECO-FRIENDLY NEWS GIFT BAG by CloudberryLand (Finland)

Ioulia made this funky gift bag using an old Norwegian newspaper.

5.POLKA-DOT LOTUS EARRINGS by RelyDesign (Italy)

RelyDesign crafted this pretty pair of flower-shaped earrings by recycling paper. The paper flower is protected and made durable with glue and varnish. Isn't that so clever?


Joik created this magical blue tunic by re-using old yarn. The main yarn is from a thrift shop, and the lighter blue parts in hem and collar are from her granny's yarn basket.

7.SILVER-BRASS-HOOPS by DonauLuft (Austria)

DonauLuft thought up this very original way of re-purposing the brass-ball endings of worn-out guitar strings. Now that's what I call hoops with a melody to them! Read more about how DonauLuft crafted these astounding hoops on her blog.

8.PINK STAR BROOCH by P8Accessories (Germany)
P8 used a star-shaped, plastic linen-yarn spool and a great amount of fantasy to make this very imaginative decorative brooch. You can find more pictures and a detailed description of the process on her blog.

FluxPlay reversed the "recycle at home" concept, recycling into homes reclaimed fragments of tin, thus creating a terrace of exquisite, happy miniature homes.

10.NEW EARRINGS by KirschBits (Germany)
KirschBits crafted these wonderfully delicate new earrings, using the intricate spiral wires of an old pair that was too heavy to wear and that came apart. More detailed information here on her blog.

11.PURPLE FLOWER BROOCH by Alatvian (Latvia)

When the decorative flower on the candle holder that Alatvian received as a gift some time ago came off, she cut some caked glue, sewed on a brooch pin and... voilà! There's a new creation for you. Something with taste, and no waste!

12.SAKURA PENDANT by LucieTales (France)

Lucie started with a piece of aluminum offset sheet which she handformed using 2 techniques: raising and repousse. The sakura flower was then sewn on top of a little cushion made from an antique unbleached linen bed sheet. The center of the flower is part of an old metal snap button. All the other materials are vintage.
You can visit LucieTale's blog here for further information on her crafting.

13.RING-HOLDER CASE by Kosmika (Italy)
Kosmika crafted this jazzy ring holder-case using leftover fabric from the crafting of pot-holder, and the extra tryout antenna she made as part of a ladybird costume for a friend's daughter.

14. PEACOCK BROOCH by KnittingCate (Italy)

KnittingCate crafted this colourful peacock brooch by recycling the pop-tabs from soft drink cans. Would you ever have been able to guess, without the "before" picture?

15.BIB NECKLACE by FlorigamiGirl (France)

Flori used tiny strips of felt that she usually gives to the local playgroup for making collages. The strips were rolled up, sewn to a backing of vintage French linen covered with felt, and finished off with a grosgrain ribbon.

16.SUMMER FLOWER NECKLACE by BijouxDelloStregatto (Italy)
BijouxDelloStregatto recuperated the metal flower from a vintage 70's-80's belt, worked other turquoise beads into the piece and created this totally unique necklace.

FleurFatale made these exquisite leather flowers by recycling leather from bags found at the thriftmarket. What a transformation! Read more here, on her blog.

18.BOOKMARKS by MatkirschPhotos (Germany)
MatkirschPhotos made these bookmarks by recycling some very old photos he took years ago with his point and shoot camera. Special announcement: he will be giving away these bookmarks for free to the first person who convos him!

19.DRESS by PieceUnique (France)
PieceUnique, who actually specializes in textile creations made from recycled materials, crafted this very hip-trendy woman's dress (size 40) from 5 second hand T-shirts dress using some old clothes.

20.ECOLOGICAL BROOCH PIN by DreamsCorner (Italy)
This wonderfully delicate flower brooch was thus made by DreamsCorner: the bottom of a plastic bottle was cut out and then seared around the edges with a lighter, the edges and petals then painted using old nail varnish, whilst the centre of the flower is decorated with various small elements (buttons, beads, etc.) and the flower then attached to the pin with hot glue.

21.FELTED LETTER "Y" by Viltalakim (Netherlands)
This wondrous letter Y (alas, not for sale!) was created by Viltalakim by patiently piecing tiny bits of cut off felt together. I wonder who will be the lucky recipient of this colorful masterpiece.
Well, if you are curious too, have a look here.



I am very pleased at the abundance and variety of ideas that have come up in this challenge.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all participants for their entries.

I already know it will be very difficult for me to name the most interesting piece this evening, so I'll be following Nancy's van den Boom's example and calling a Family Council after dinner before announcing the Winner.

And the winner was.... click here.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Sebnem from Shebbo Design (Istanbul, Turkey) has recently launched a series of interviews on her blog, under the name "Travelling Around Europe". I was very honoured and fortunate to be selected by Sebnem to be her interviewee number 3 in this fun series, and was thus able to share details about my life and work, and to hand out some personal tips about Italy!
Click here to read my interview.
Sebnem has a beautiful Etsy Shop full of unique, one of a kind and very original handpainted


and porcelain

Click here to have a better look at her Etsy shop.

Read more "Travelling Around Europe" interviews by Sebnem by going here.
So far Sebnem has been to Greece and Malta. Keep checking out her blog, as the list will grow longer yet.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

the colours of ITALY

On this oh so desperately grey and rainy day I would like to share with you this wonderful collection of items, so tastefully selected by my friend ScaccoAlleRegine (meaning "CheckmateToTheQueens").
Please click here to browse the full-fledged Treasury in all its glory!
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