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Q & A/ Grete from cartonBois

December 16, 2012

Hello lovelies! Did you miss me? Well, those of you who didn’t, sure missed the Q&A section of the blog. I know you love it, I read your emails, don’t worry. You will be very pleased to hear I have been a very busy bee surfing the Internet and scouring Etsy in search of original, talented, wonderful Italians, making their own products and designs. Something I think you will find especially interesting in the season of giving. In case you have a special someone, but you don’t have a special gift for them, stay tuned these next ten days!!

Today I bring you a short interview with Grete from cotonBois. Check out her store and website! Btw, in case anyone is thinking about a Christmas gift for me, I am in love with this necklace!

WHO? I’m a 26 years old girl, I’ve just finished my studies in engineering-architecture, trying to figure out what to do next and I’m currently working in a engineering firm.

Post teal earrings - square earrings, neon jewelry, burned designs

WHAT? While I was finishing my studies I crushed into Etsy looking for a laptop bag, and it was love at first sight! I started browsing the site and decided that I wanted to make something too. I was a very crafty child but I lost the habit of making things as I grew up, focusing more on studying theoretic stuff. I chose to start making earrings, because I just love them, and I started making them with finnboard because I was using that material for architectural models. I didn’t have a precise style at the beginning, but after making some pieces I noted a common geometrical and primitive style in them, I liked it, so I decided to stuck with it. I think this tribal style is really spontaneous to me, because I don’t have a formal training in jewelry design, I just work with simple geometry and colors.

Twister orange necklace - with blue leather, tornado necklace

INSPIRATION? It comes to me in many ways. I browse internet a lot, and of course some of mine previous studies in the architecture helps me too. But I want to share here a funny though that I had in the past week: the correlation between boredom and creativity. It happened to me to attend to a very boring lesson, after some minutes I just couldn’t focus on the teacher, my mind started to imagine tens of new items. I sketched them down instead of taking notes. I think I will attend many boring lessons in the future if that will keep bring me new great ideas. Anyway when I create a new products I usually start with sketching my ideas, then I pass experimenting with the materials (usually changing completely the original idea), I arrive to a prototype, and refining the prototype I come to the final piece.

Ombre green earrings - eco friendly jewelry, stripes shades jewelry

FAVORITE? Choosing a favorite piece in my shop is very difficult for me, but I choose the ombre emerald necklace, I love it because it is simple but eye-catching at the same time. It also the most popular item in my shop and people always give me positive comments about it.

ombre emerald necklace - arrows necklace, green shadows


we’re on pinterest now!

October 29, 2012

heya guys! i know it’s been aaaaaages, but i’ve been kinda busy (i’ll tell you all about that very soon), so i decided to make it up to you by setting up a pinterest account. i know, i know, welcome to the 21st century, right?? well, in case you’re interested in some serious eye candy straight from italy, here we are!! if there are any of you out there pinning, let me know, so i can add you and then steal your inspiration!!

Medieval village, Anghiri, Tuscany 

image source

they draw & travel

September 9, 2012

Roma, Italia

Well, this map of Rome pretty much sums it up for me!

Rome by Simone Capano

Q & A / Manuel from AnnaLouVintage

August 30, 2012

I figured it would be a great idea to kick off the autumn season with a great little interview with Manuel that’s been in the making for quite some time now. As some of you might remember, I already featured his store before on the blog, when I fell in love with this ship model and I thought “hey, he might be willing to answer a couple of questions!” and what do you know – he was! Enjoy!

Who? The name is Manuel. I live in Italy, have a degree with honors in economics and work for a research and consultancy company in Venice.


What? I love keeping busy in my spare time and I have a lot of interests. Like going to vintage markets: “Il mercatino dell’antiquariato” in Piazzola sul Brenta for example is one of the biggest and most famous in our country. But I like also smaller and more intimate vintage markets, and there are quite a few here in the North of Italy.

il_570xN.365866487_pvv9[1]  I have collected many things for me and finally in September 2011 I got an inspiration: in a second hand shop I was looking at all these beautiful dusty items. I didn’t need them but I thought that they’d look great in somebody else’s home so I decided to buy them to display them into a vintage shop. And then the “AnnaLouVintage adventure” started. I am very happy I got that inspiration! I shipped my items all over the world (Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, America) and I am always proud cause I know I can make somebody’s house look a little more special.

The name AnnaLouVintageis a tribute to Anna, my grandmother, the only one of my grandparent that I met still alive: from her and her old farm house in the country derives my passion for everything old.

Inspiration?  Home for me has always been a special place to decorate and make as comfortable as possible, adding a quirky touch when possible.

I like finding unique and eclectic treasures. In my house I create several little corners with the finds I keep for me and enjoy watching them, imaging the stories behind those objects and I getting inspiration from them. I especially love rustic items or industrial ones. My favorite materials for vintage are paper, wood and metal, the colors brown, cream and black.

But as I said, I always try to add that eclectic object to make the composition more interesting and funny. 

I absolutely adore antique books (I have a big collection at home, some dating back to the 1840) binoculars, fans, suitcases and vintage deers. Also vintage alligators, there have been quite a few in my shop!

Favorite?  This is a very hard question. Excluding those I have sold (sigh), I think my favorite item in my shop at the moment is this vintage brass alligator ashtray. As I mentioned, I love quirky items and I think this one is one of the most quirky ashtrays I have found so far!
And then I have a partiality for alligators, so… 🙂


it’s been a while…

August 30, 2012


but I’m back!! the summer break is over, and it’s high time I restart this blog! I hope you have been enjoying the Q&A section, because I plan to continue it, as well as the Etsy column! Like always, all comments, questions and suggestions are welcome!

You know where to find me!

Olympic special / Spotlight on Italy / Days 7&8

August 5, 2012

Days 7 and 8 were packed with excitement with the athletics competition starting and the swimming part ending, but still a bit slow for Team Italy.

Day 7 ended with a bronze medal in the (can you believe it?) Men’s team sabre event (yep, fencing again) and day 8 saw Jessica Rossi with a nice big chunk of gold around her neck after dominating the women’s trap event in the shooting department. Once again, Azzurri prove that they are a great force when it comes to sports, and that they are well worth watching at these Olympics.

Olympic special / Spotlight on Italy / Day 6

August 3, 2012

Day 6 started and ended as well as anyone could have hoped with Team Italy taking one gold and one silver medal, making the total number of medals so far- 11.

The women’s fencing team proved they’re absolutely untouchable by claiming another gold in the women’s team foil event, in front of the Russians and Koreans. Once again, Le Azzurrine become heroines of their team.

The boys weren’t too far behind, especially the rowers, Alessio Santori and Romano Battisti, taking the silver medal after chasing down the experienced Slovenian pair Luka Spik and Iztok Cop, who came in third, and losing only to the amazing Kiwis. A most exciting rowing finals in the men’s double sculls, I hope you didn’t miss it.

The athletics competition starts today, and I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for any new records and medals for the Italian team. Go Italy!

What about you? Who is your favorite in the Games?