On my recent trip to France, I was shown to the mother of all craft shops and a true crafter’s paradise. It goes by the name of Cultura, and stocks all sorts of things you’d need for a massive variety of crafts from painting and sewing to scrap-booking and card making.
Last weekend, my boyfriend and I took a much needed break from the daily grind to go on a mini road trip. We started in Turin, Italy, drove through the Alps (literally, via the Mont Blanc tunnel!) into Bourgogne in France (more specifically, the Cluny and Macon areas) and back again for a night in Valle d’Aosta, in the mountains.
Freshly back from an invigorating short break in Italy and France (which I’ll post about soon), I’d like to share a trio of items completed before I left, commissioned by one of my repeat customers – the lovely Marilu Vella.
A little while ago, I was commissioned to come up with some embroidered wall art to celebrate the birth of a little baby girl. Equipped with a photo of her adorable nursery for reference (where it would finally be displayed), I started out with spray painting a vintage wooden frame white, in order to match the decor.
2012 is the first full year in which I’ve worked full-time. Whereas I felt the change quite dramatically, particularly because it left me with less time to work on The Secret Rose, I cannot go so far as to say I dislike it. I find my job as editor of a local publication, despite being stressful at times, satisfying, and even though I could do without the hassles it sometimes entails, I do enjoy co-ordinating fashion shoots, feature writing, meeting interesting people & learning new things.
A trip to Dubai
In March, my dad and I travelled to Dubai to visit my brother Ryan for his birthday. Ryan and I have always been close, and since he works as an air steward for Emirates and is based there, I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like. It was nice to experience his world for a little while and get a taste of life in Dubai, and I’m really looking forward to our ‘siblings holiday’ in Thailand in 2013!
After putting it off for as long as I could, and two failed tests, April 2012 saw me getting my driving license. I have since been a menace on Maltese roads and loving it. It’s so great to finally be able to have the freedom to zip around at my leisure and transport bulkier things (which I seem to accumulate) with ease.
Participating in the promo video for V18, alongside Maria of Babettopolis, was certainly a highlight, and I was very flattered to be asked. Setting up our pretend atelier was fun, and the result was great. Now that Valletta has been declared European Capital of Culture for 2018, I’m excited to see what happens next!
Everyone who knows me knows how I feel about London, so it’s no surprise I fit in another short visit in summer 2012. Air fare is cheap and my boyfriend and I have the added bonus of being able to stay with a sweet couple who are friends of ours, so its just the ticket when I feel the need to get my creative juices flowing again.
After the previous year’s summer being overshadowed by my MA dissertation, I was determined to make the most of this one, and I did! Having my own car meant I was able to go to the beach and other events whenever I liked. Besides this, I swam, snorkled and paraglided my way to a great summer indeed.
Despite my perceived ladylike persona, I have never been one to have many ‘girlfriends’ with which to have ‘girly time’ in the past. In recent years though, I’ve been lucky enough to bond with a number of lovely like-minded ladies whose company I really enjoy. 2012 saw a sweet birthday picnic which I was really touched by, as well as a fancy high-tea at Palazzo Parisio among other girly get-togethers. Roll on our festive luncheon, for which I really must decide what dessert I’m making!
Despite my main endeavour being crafts and embroidery, I have always loved playing around in the kitchen, especially when it comes to sweet treats. Even though this year’s been a very busy one on both VIDA and The Secret Rose fronts, I’m happy I still managed to find some time to bake. When I have my own home and kitchen (which, fingers crossed, I’ll be writing about in next year’s yearly round-up) I look forward to many baking adventures indeed!
Me, a model?
Having worked as a stylist and shoot coordinator for three years now, I had gotten used to that hat. For this reason, it was quite interesting to get out of my element and model for a shoot for Hey-Birdie Pie – a friend’s vintage venture – along with a couple of other glamorous girls. It took some getting used to, but I warmed up to it in the end, and have since even been involved in another – the results of which have yet to be made public, so shh!
|© Elaine Bugeja|
Having worked with Maria from Babettopolis on a wedding dress in the past, this year had us working together again on a pretty jacket with custom embroidery. The result is one I’m very proud of, and if I can help it, it certainly won’t be the last time I collaborate with this talented lady.
December saw the staging of dance production The Death of Snow White, for which I collaborated with costume designer Luke to design and carry out custom embroidery on the title character’s costumes. It was exhilarating seeing them on stage, and I’m still in the process of collecting photos. Once I do, I promise a full post dedicated to that!
|© Charles Paul Azzopardi|
I took part in the summer and Christmas editions of Patches in 2012, with the latter being the most successful, both in terms of market sales and custom orders, in the Secret Rose’s journey thus far. Besides market success, I was also *very* excited to have my first celebrity customer in the form of Dame Helen Mirren – jeweller to the stars, anyone? Here’s hoping it just gets better in 2013!
Happy New Year everyone!
Petals – as far as the eye could see!
True to form, the assortment of items I have prepared for the next edition of Patches all possess that little girly element I feel pervades the majority of my work, with a few new techniques and touches here and there. I’ve recently been experimenting with sightly more structural pieces which, above all else, require a great deal of patience and a very steady hand.
The reward comes when the item is finished. When in pieces, I may start to doubt my initial idea and hurried sketch, but I generally ignore this feeling and abide by the mantra I can’t judge it until its finished. In these cases especially, I feel it serves me well – they came together beautifully.