June 28, 2013

Walk to work // front doors

There are lots of really pretty houses and cottages on my way to work, with pretty front porches and gardens. This time of the year they are at their best with all the greens and colourful flowers. I love the front doors that people use here in England, they are made of wood and painted in all sort of colours; a big difference from the boring, and mainly brown, aluminium security doors we have in Italy. And people here care about how their house looks like, not just the inside for them to love, but also the outside for everybody else to enjoy.
So “front doors” was last week’s theme for my daily photos. It felt a bit awkward shooting somebody’s house, a bit like an invasion of privacy. But then I thought that these houses are on a main street, their gardens are well maintained probably not just for the pleasure of the owner and I have seen people entering my own front garden just to smell the flowers. And the awkwardness melted away.  And shooting these houses became natural and something to look forward to every morning.
All my daily favourite photos from my walks are on instagram, tagged with #walktowork (click here to follow).
Click on the icon on the right side bar, under the ‘my projects’ section, or just click here to check all my previous #walktowork posts.

June 26, 2013

Pick of the month: June // Summer 'must-haves'

1. In-shower Body Moisturizer from Nivea / 2. Lumea IPL Hair Removal from Philips / 3. Organic Children SPF25 Sun Lotion from John Lewis/ 4. Wayside Hat by Element from Two Seasons/ 5. Cold drinks in a free jug from Schweppes / 6. Little Bird by Jools Trilby Straw Hat from Mothercare / 7. Miami Geometric Print Picnic Blanket from Matalan / 8. Red Geranium Plant in Terracotta Pot from Tesco / 9. Roxy Chill Out Beach Bag from Surfdome.

Summer is here, or at least it is according to the calendar. We have been hoping for some warm weather for months now, and so far we have only had very few chances to enjoy some sunshine. But despite the greyness and cold-ish breeze, we are fully prepared and when the summer will come, we will just make the most of it…we will walk barefoot, we will have picnics in the park, we will be wearing shorts and keep our skin protected. Now let’s all root for summer to arrive!

June 24, 2013


We are officially into summer this week. And although it's now cold and grey again, we were able to go around in shorts. This is you this week, enjoying your bare legs and feet.
This week you:
  • Discovered the toilet paper rolls in our bathroom and tried many times to unroll one. But I didn't let you and you didn't mind...just started to look for something else to do.
  • Made me sing 'il caffe della peppina' hundreds of times during breakfast when preparing and drinking my morning coffee. I sang it so many times for you that I found myself singing it even when I was alone.
  • Refused to wear a jumper one day even if it was not that warm. And every time we manage to put it on, you manage to take it off easily.
  • Asked to brush your teeth every time we went for a nappy change. And pretended to read the label on your toothpaste. Not sure how well you are actually cleaning your teeth, but the toothpaste must have a good flavour.
  • Learned to play the harmonica and you were happily surprised the first time that happened and kept laughing after every sound you were able to make.
  • Made us clap our hands every time you accomplished something, a puzzle, a drawing, and sometimes after every spoonful of food you ate.
  • Played with our keys and tried to open every possible door or lock. But your favourite has been opening the car door. We spent half hour one afternoon outside our house, locking and unlocking our car.
  • Refused to get dressed on Friday. And tried on five different outfits before I forced you to wear one. And you didn't like it, but soon forgot about it and got distracted by something else.
  • Tried to put your clothes on with no success and lots of frustration. But you succeed in the end with a pair of shorts and applauded to yourself with delight.
And what a better picture to celebrate the summer than this beautifully captured first bath on Gandula's blog.
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

June 21, 2013

Walk to work // yellow

Still loving taking pictures during my short walk to work. Last week's chosen theme has been yellow. Due to the lack of sunshine, and being really fed up with greys, I focused on shooting my favourite colour of all times. And while searching for the right subjects, I fell in love with an amazing, and very expensive, yellow bycicle!
All my daily favourite photos from my walks are on instagram, tagged with #walktowork (click here to follow).
Click on the icon on the right side bar, under the ‘my projects’ section, or just click here to check all my previous #walktowork posts.

June 19, 2013

5" x 5" series

It all started a few months ago, on a day I was feeling not so positive and needed to boost up my mood. I had paper with me and a red highlighter. I started to draw squares and to write and draw stuff in them. And so it began, my 5”x5” series. I started to experiment with different types of paper; watercolour, Bristol, ruled and cartridge, and different pen and pencils; highlighters, markers, fine liners, watercolours. And I liked the idea of building up a portfolio. I started to search online for the perfect folder, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. The size of the cards is actually the same of a CD player, but the sleeves mostly available are those with a paper backing and a v cut on the front; and really don’t like those. So I ended up buying a bunch of plastic sleeves with flaps and hole punches, and to keep them together I made my own cover. I used two thick cardboards and cut them slightly bigger than the cards. I then used some scrap fabric which I glued on the two cards and some heavy gold paper to finish the inside. I covered the fabric with a thin coat of clear gesso and, once dried, I used a black permanent marker to write on it. I didn’t like how the back cover had turned out, so I had to make some adjustments. I painted the back with some red acrylics, waited for it to dry and then wrote on it again. I then hole punched the two covers and used two ring binders to hold everything together. I love it! 
Front and back covers
Red fineliner 0.5 on bristol paper and watercolour on watercolour paper
Red highlighter and black permanent marker on ruled paper
Blue higlighter on 4" blank paper
Red fineliner 0.5 on bristol paper (5"x3")
Lino cut ink print 
I am having so much fun drawing/writing in these 5" squares that I am planning to experiment a lot more with these and to expand the collection. And also thinking of framing some of these cards using a square black or white frame. 

June 17, 2013


We are almost half way through this project and still looking forward to each and every week! Yesterday was Father's Day, and to do a bit of celebration I've chosen a portrait of Olivia and her dad for today's post.  They are so alike, and please notice the almost matching t-shirts!
Playing with sugar sachets @ Costa
This week you:

  • Saw your old toys when we were putting them away, and didn't want to let them go. So now, you have a mobile hanging from your bed and a musical night light!
  • Loved watching Barbapapa' on the italian tv and asked for it saying the word baba'. So cute, but a bit confusing at first as we didn't know if you meant papa', pappa or Peppa pig!
  • Kept doing puzzles before bedtime, and you getting so good at them we decided to buy some more :)
  • Had two playdates with the little S and J, and you do like playing with them.
  • Wiped you face and legs everytime we had a nappy change.
  • Missed Father's Day party at nursery because you fell asleep 15 minutes before the start! oh well, it will be for next year.
  • Stayed home on Monday and Tuesday because of a virus. We went to see the doctor and you were so good you let her do everything she needed to without complaining (only a bit!).
  • Learned to blow your nose and use a tissue. You looked very grown up until you started using the same tissue to clean the table...
And a lovely welcome to little Hawkin from Patchworkcactus from last week's posts, and congratulation to  the whole family!
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.

All my previous posts can be found here.

June 14, 2013

Walk to work // shadows

I am still having lots of fun taking pictures during my short walk to work. Last week I picked up a theme for my daily photos and only shot shadows. It has been a very sunny week, and considering that it doesn’t happen that often, capturing those lights has been an interesting way of recording the amazing weather we had.
I have created an icon on the right side bar, under the ‘my projects’ section. You can click on it to check my ‘walk to work’ related posts (or you can just click here).
I have also been uploading my daily favourite photos from my walk on instagram, tagged with #walktowork (click here to follow).

Note: I have been using thisonline tool for creating collages for the blog. It has its limitations, i.e. max no of photos, crops images to fit, but it is simple to use, and ideal if you don’t have access to any photo editing software.

June 12, 2013

Handmade concertina book

I have been pretty much obsessed with notebooks, diaries, and paper in all forms all my life. But only recently I rediscovered the pleasure of making my own pads. I always had the feeling that everything I make is not as precious as something I buy. I know it doesn’t sound right, but the reason is that whatever I make, I can make it again if I screw up. And that gives me a sense of freedom, makes me more adventurous, makes me experiment more with my tools.
As part of an online mini-class I’m doing on quick sketching (here), I have made a small concertina book using some scrap materials I had handy (cardboard and some Fabriano watercolour paper). The book is very tiny (5x8cm), meaning is not daunting to take it out of my bag and start sketching on it and it can be easily carried in my pocket. And it is the perfect size for quick sketches and notes.
The design I’ve chosen is very minimal, a black cover with no frills…it is a very low key pad. I have used two elastic bands to keep it folded as they can also be used for holding pencils and keep the pages of the book flat while drawing. It’s the perfect tool to go with my handmade watercolours box, my short 2B pencil and my Sakura Koi water brush.

June 10, 2013


We are almost half way through this project and I'm still loving every week. This week there has been a lot of playing in the garden thanks to the kind weather we have been having.
This is you running around the garden with mama's watercolours and brush

This week you:
  • Turned 18 month old and for the first time since you were born it felt like time is really flying by. These past 6 months have gone so quickly and you have made so many progress in growing up...we had to wave goodbye to the baby phase, you are a toddler now!
  • Got your first scooter to celebrate your 18 month birthday. We were going to wait for you to turn 2, but then you tried your friend's scooter and loved it, and we loved it too :)
  • Learned to do small puzzles by yourself. You got upset every time we tried to help you, but then you got frustrated if you were not able to put the pieces together...we can't win!
  • Had a temperature again over the weekend, and we really don't know what's happening now. Is it because of teething? We'll find out this week when we go to see the doctor.
Happy 18 month birthday baby girl! We have come a long way and we love you more and more.

From last week's posts I've chosen these two beautiful pictures of Pebble and Rocky from Octavia and Vicky. What a joyful and relaxing feeling!
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.

All my previous posts can be found here.

June 05, 2013

Soft cake with jam

This recipe is extremely easy to do, you can do no wrong! It comes from a famous italian cooking program called 'Cotto e mangiato' (meaning cooked and eaten). It was my cousin who gave it to me, and she's no cook believe me! You can choose any jam you like to garnish; I used a berries and cherries preserve which is one of my favourite. There is a lot of butter in this cake, so it is a bit heavy to have it for breakfast, but it goes very well with an afternoon tea. One thing I would change from the original recipe is the amount of sugar, 100g are more than enough especially if you are using a very sweet jam.
We all liked this cake, and by the time it was cooled down completely there was only half left!
Happy baking :)

June 03, 2013


This week you:

  • Have been very good, for the first part of the week.You ate a lot, slept a lot, played a lot and laughed tons!
  • Had a temperature on Thursday evening and have been very grumpy, but didn't loose your appetite or your sleep. And you got to spent the whole of Friday with mama.
  • Insisted on playing with mama's make-up bag and pretended to put make up on everyone's face. I'm sure I didn't teach you that, but I guess your observational skills are something I have not taken enough into consideration.

My favourite from last week is the gorgeous smile of Lily from Sass and Spice riding the sling. It feels magic!  
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.

All my previous posts can be found here.
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