Inspiration Story – The Mustard Weave

Milan left us with some very clear interior design and fashion trends for 2017. Mustard yellow, or spicy mustard, is one of them. Growing up with a mother that hated this color, it took this long for it to come into my life, but now I love it! I use it as an accent colour here and there, it works great brightening up as well as a in a full takeover. It’s in my house, and in my closet. Not surprisingly, mustard yellow is also the Pantone of winter fall 17/18 in the world of fashion.

Related image

 

I was dying to make a Mustard weave for a few weeks but it took me a while to get to the right design. I did not want something really perfect and structured, but I still wanted geometry. Most of the interior decoration I saw in this colour had very clean lines, it was very sleek and for me this colour is the essence of nature. It’s the sun when it sets, it’s the colour of many fruits and vegetables, It’s a sauce, it’s round and bumpy, it’s grainy… not cold ad square. That’s why my weave had be very organic to represent that.

The mustard weave is available in Etsy and Carousell and you can also order and customise it

 

Muted yellow always reminded me nature, or of the fallen leaves. Autumn is my favorite season of the year. I love the slowing down after the summer and sinking into a mellow and more introspective mood. The air turns cold outside and then inside it’s time to cuddle under a blanker and welcome the winter season. The days get shorter and it’s like you are ready to go to your cave and hibernate. It’s a soothing colour but it’s also lively like the sun and and crisp like the wind brings this colour everywhere.

Image result for fallen leaves yellow

IMG_7634.JPG

 

If you don’t have a mustard piece  in your wardrobe yet, or you are not convinced, have a look at this selection I made in Pinterest. You will be surprised with how versatile this colour is. Besides being a warm colour mellow colour, It can be part of a fresh look combined with lighter shades of blue and florals. I wear it with Jeans, black and white tops, navy, dark green, dark brown, leopard and any shade of teal/turquoise. My lovely boyfriend (now husband!) the Troglodyte even got some mustard socks this Christmas.

Mustard is a very bold addition to your house as well.  I love to use bright colours to meke a statement over a monochrome look. That’s I did with my Chinese console below and a tassel, and that’s what I was after with this weave.  I have always been a fan of furniture design, more specifically Scandinavian design, and geometry, monochrome and accent statement colours is one of their specialties. Add baby pink or navy to your mustard pieces to see the effect go beyond black and white.

IMG_7575

I love this color chair.  I have one I want to reupholster.  Maybe this could be my pop of color.

 

I really wanted tassels (rya, fringe) in this piece, but I wanted them to be minimal. I wanted weave tight but in an organic way. That’s why the shapes are uneven and I chose a piece of distressed wood to hold it.  My only problem is that I love a little sparkle everywhere, so shimmery sequins had to be introduced. I take that little joy as creative licence. So we have creme, ivory and off white instead of pure white, black with shiny bits and of course, mustard yellow. And here we are. The result, in detail.


I think the Mustard weave would look amazing in a space like this. With a touch of geometry but also organic. White, greys and black, with an accent in cobalt green even better. The colour of the chair is SO pretty, it might just be my next colour inspiration! Now I just have to find yarn that shade.

Until then,

XoXo.

Image result for mustard trend milan design

Mustard and Cobalt (my next subject) accents on monochrome as seen in houzz.sg

 

Curb Appeal Ideas from Jacksonville, Florida | HGTV

 

Advertisements

Inspiration Story – Fisherman collection

This is the inspiration story behind my hand woven tapestries from the Fisherman Collection that you can find in Carousell (only in Singapore) and Etsy. When I decided that I will start to sell my weaves I had to get a little detached from them, but I’m still very fond of them of course.

This posts help me get over it  and record some nice memories of my times by the coast in Ireland, where the inspiration came from.

fisherman2

Detail of Fisherman II

 

The Fisherman collection was born with the intention to make 3 pieces that will hang side by side. The shape of the composition was inspired by this piece I found on Pinterest, but it actually took its own path while in the making. As usual.

So this is the inspiration… (with a very high quality studio photo)

7540a479e5ad11b69625aec4fbde8547

And this is the end result… (taken on my guest bedroom with my phone… I promise to take some better photos soon)

 

Behind the scenes

This project started right after my first weaving workshop at Hili Studio. Before I even finished my first piece I was already thinking of what to make next. This time it had to be something more practical than the first one, something you would hang in you living room.

 

I have a navy sofa so I decided it will have to include highlights of navy. It will be structured and intricate. Geometrical but at the same time rough like the tools the fisherman uses. The ropes and the nets inspired the yarn selection.

Fisherman II int he loom with my drawings of the composition on my notebook

 

 

Firsherman III on the loom, about to be closed.

 

 

Fisherman I – Testing the placement of the merino roving piece

 

A fisherman life

The Irish coastline is raw, wild, brutal, and incredibly beautiful. It makes you feel very small and powerless, and it makes you admire A LOT the people that go out there every day. Fishermen, coastal guards, and casual swimmers. The water is 12 degrees all year round and the blow of the winds is merciless.

Image result for irish fisherman

 

Related image

The ropes and nets of fishing boats inspired me to chose the colors and textures of this weave. But I wanted to keep it neutral, and only add the dark navy of the sea in the middle of grays beige and browns.The fringes had to look a bit like the mustaches of seasoned Irish fisherman and the knots a bit like the famous fishermen cable knit jumpers you can see all over the country. (Don’t miss Steve McQueen rocking a cable knit jumper below)

Related image

Image result for irish fisherman

Related image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve McQueen rocking a cable knit sweater.

 

Dunmore East – Ireland

This is the beautiful town of Dunmore East. In Ireland they love to show you only photos of the one sunny day they had the entire year, so it’s hard to find one to show the roughness I’m talking about.

Image result for port dunmore

Related image

Dunmore East Fisherman Harbour

Last time I was around here, My Lovely Boyfriend (now Fiance!) The Troglodyte, decided to go for a swim at 6am to make the most of the jet-lag. It was August. I was wearing winter clothes.

‘Irish men a rough and tough’ I thought. ‘This is where they learn to swim!’ – My sunny Spanish suburban swimming pool, seemed like a very indulging place all of a sudden. I used to roast myself for three and a half months a year, 18 years of my life.

But in Ireland when the sun comes out the magic happens. It does happen often, It’s just that it doesn’t last for long. The place just glitters when the rays of light reach the wet fields. You lie down on the grass, and see the 50 shades of green that make this the Emerald Isle.

It’s so incredibly beautiful that it makes you cry. It looks a bit like this but it doesn’t do justice.

Image result for ireland sun rain

Then the breeze blows the smell of the sea and brushes the bushes on top of the cliffs. The seagulls scream and you hear the gust of the next wind blow coming to you, and bringing those dark clouds in the background. Rain again. And it goes on like this.

Image result for ireland sun rain

Ireland is very, very windy. The clouds more so fast it’s mind blowing. When it rains, forget about an umbrella. A long coat with a hood and wellington boots are your best friend.

 

The Fisherman Collection weaves

This collection has 3 pieces, the two big pieces of the sides are 25x56cm, and the central piece is 17x66cm. They can be purchased separately although they were designed to be displayed together.

They are made of merino wool roving, cotton cord yarn in grey, merino grey wool, shimmery navy acrylic yarn, beige wool with small golden sequin, cotton beige yarn, and fine melange roving yarn in cream with brown and blue strings. They hang on raw twigs from Singapore trees.

You can buy them in Carousell (only in Singapore) and Etsy
For made to order drop me a note to sparrowebites@gmail.com

Afriend of mine came home and told me Fisherman I looked like the face of Popeye the sailor. I take that as compliment. Mission accomplished!

Until next time! XoXo

The Real Popeye (AKA Ron Everett) - http://www.realpopeye.com | Photographer: Ian Horne - http://www.flickr.com/photos/essexdiver/

Inspiration Story – The Beach Collection

When I started this blog I wrote a declaration of intentions. It included a mention about me publishing mood boards of things I find inspiring, but it never really happened.

I probably didn’t have a compelling reason to publish one. Since I started weaving this has changed. This old habit of mine has taken a new purpose. So here I come mood board on steroids.

This is the inspiration story behind my hand woven tapestries from the Beach Collection that you can find in Carousell (only in Singapore) and Etsy. It includes the images and videos that gave shape to my weaves but also the stories that they evoked. Enjoy!

Behind the scenes

img_4343.jpg

It all started in my first weaving workshop at Hili Studio. I  kept some purplish yarn from that day because it reminded me of the curly jellyfish tentacles I saw in Johanna Basford’s book Lost Ocean.

I think jellyfish are fascinating creatures. The one thing I wanted all the tapestries of this collection to have in common is some reminiscence of them.
This mesmerizing footage of a Portuguese man-of-war is from National Geographic. It’s worth checking the entire article but just this video will give you an idea of how mesmerizing I find them. The Portuguese Man-of-war is feared and terrible. It’s sting described as hot knives, but it’s actually not a jellyfish. It’s combination of 4 creatures although commonly refereed to as a jellyfish because its similar shape. Out of all real jellyfish, the most deadly one is the Box Jellyfish.

 

The Beach Collection mostly reflects my love for the seaside

The sights, textures, the sensations and my own experiences and memories inspired these 4 pieces. First I made Il Bagnio (the bath) then Jellyfish,  Waves, and finally Sand (that’s still in the loom as you can see).

 

Il Bagnio (The bath) – A cherished memory

Growing up, the first bath of the season was a moment of anticipation. It was like a ritual. First walking down the streets in Marbella from my family’s old apartment to the beach. Then running as fast as we could on the burning sand to reach the safe zone, the part that’s wet and cool.

img_6085

The freezing cold water of the first bath was always a shock. In shades of green with shimmering baby sardines here and there. The foam and the smell of fish. The occasional piece of fisherman nets and ropes from the boats that get washed to the beach. The white skin of the winter exposed for the first time to the sun. Sand everywhere. Wet, dry.

That’s what I tried to summarize in the weave. Green and white meets with shades of beige. It’s a sharp and quick moment, the lines are mostly straight and It’s a small weave with a small fringe of tassels or ryas.

The choice of Italian for the name is simple because I did some of the weaving listening to Pavarotti sing La Donna e Mobile from Rigoletto.  If you have never seen this please don’t miss it, and look into his eyes!

White sand beach in Thailand. Now I go here more than to Marbella. It’s just closer to SG.

I was never a Yankee Candle fan until they gifted me this one. Now my house smells of beach

Drone View, Aerial View, Sea, Ocean, Wave, Beach, Shore

Green waves, white crests, dry sand, wet sand.

 

Inspiration behind Jellyfish

If you don’t go under the sea you miss half, if not more, of the beauty of it. The creatures that inhabit the under water are just mind blowing. The tropical corals, the fish, the non fish, the plants… they all have shapes that are round and very organic. Which I love. But there are also dangers out there.

img_6149

Many years ago I was snorkeling in Nusa Penida near Bali, taking a break from diving with the mantas. I took my suit off and jumped to the water. The currents in the Bali area are unpredictable and very strong. In a matter of seconds I was surrounded by small pinkish jellyfish. I swam to the nearest boat (not mine) fearing for m life and getting at the same time small little  stings ALL OVER my body. Including my face. It felt a bit like Marlin in that scene from Finding Nemo. I missed the last dive of the day obviously.

Image result for marlin nemo jellyfish'

 

These Jellyfish were tiny but they can be some of the deadliest creatures on the planet. It’s no surprise they have a tendency to depict Aliens with shapes that resemble a jellyfish. They are creepy, lets be honest.

This guy below could be in any alien science fiction movie. The ones in the middle are actually from the movie Arrival. And who doesn’t remember the box jellyfish from the movie Seven Pounds? Scary. Fascinating but scary stuff.

Image result for amazing jellyfish
Related image

Image result for seven pounds jellyfish
Nature is beautiful and cruel. Jellyfish are really vulnerable physically so they have to defend themselves with strong neurotoxin. If you want to find out more about Jellyfish have a look at this article from howstuffworks.com. They are incredible creatures of imposible shapes and colors so they make great artistic inspiration. Just got to google images and type Amazing Jellyfish.

I wanted this Jellyfish weave to be long and thin and to hang from a piece of coral I found on the beach. So that it will be like a jellyfish and it will also have a jellyfish in the centre. What I didn’t want is to go full on with the colors, I wanted it to be very neutral. I imagined this weave hanging on the outside wall of a white beach house with a porch on stilts. Next to a mobile made of drift wood and coral pieces. Like those American movies.

Box Jellyfish Seven Pounds

Aliens anybody?

Image result for portuguese man of war

The lovely and deadly Portuguese man of war by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Fascinating stuff!

Image result for amazing jellyfish

Tentacles with little feathers. How beautiful is that!

Related image

Lake of the harmless jellyfish in Kakaban, Indonesia

Inspiration behind Waves

The sea has always fascinated as scared me at the same time. It was not until I did snorkeling for the first time that I lost part of my fear. It was the not knowing what goes on under the water, not being able to see, that drove it.

Truth to be said waves scare me. I love looking at the see from a hill or a cliff  (I’m not scared of heights) or from the comfort of a bed or a sofa, but I will never go into the water if the waves are high or strong. Call me chicken.

img_6062

Waves – Part of the Beach Collection. Available on Etsy and Carousell

 

The wildness of big waves inspired the shapes of the tapestry. I found myself staring at them and losing track of time in two recent occasions. In Tramore in Ireland (hometown of My Lovely Boyfriend The Troglodyte) and in Gansbaai in South Africa, a spot for whale watching.

Image result for tramore waves

High tide in Tramore Beach

Image result for gansbaai whalesong lodge

View from our room in Whalesong Lodge, De Kelders, Gansbaai, South Africa.

I wanted to make the waves in the weave a little softer. Not like the rough Atlantic or cold Antarctic sea. The colors of the tropical beaches and corals in South East Asia inspired the selection of greens and blues and the softening for this tapestry.

Beautiful shot of green waves

Probably a retouched photo of some mushroom but did the job.

Thailand beaches

 

Inspiration behind Sand

Shaped and carved by the currents, smothered by the constant flow of water or wind. Ever changing, solid and fluid at the same time. I think sand is really beautiful in whatever form it takes. I love when it makes swirly patters with different colors or when it’s shaped in waves or ripples.

img_6347

The inspiration for this one is very straightforward, but it was not so easy to execute. Choosing the colors and the shapes to make a harmonious but intricate combination, one that traps the eyes, took hours or work. But it might be my best piece so far.

I kept the tassels long and the tapestry short because it resembles more of a jellyfish like that. Curly tentacles all the way in this Beach Collection!

Oil paining of sand waves

Related image

Sand waves when the tide goes low

Beige and reddish sand mixing

Finally the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA is one of my biggest inspirations. Also one biggest regrets in life. The fact that as a teenager I decided not to go down the canyon because it was too much exercise kills me… Jesus! what was I thinking!

I hope I have the chance to go back again some day because I think it’s one of the wonders of Earth. The shapes, colors and textures. They all inspired the Sands weave too.

Image result for antelope canyon

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed the first Inspiration story post.
Coming up next, the inspiration for Fisherman takes us to the south or Ireland.

Until then,

XoXo.

 

About passion and changing career paths. The weaving diaries – Chapter I

Yesterday I opened my Sparrowebites Etsy shop. I have made a good amount of weaves since I took my first course a few months ago to it seemed it was the time. I have a notebook full of notes for future projects and a basket full of yarn. Of course a thriving Weaving Pinterest album too. But am I ready for this? Where is this going?

weaving2.jpg

After a 13 year career in marketing I became a Yoga instructor, and now I consider myself an aspiring weaver. One doesn’t replace the other. I’m all of the above. They might seem random and disconnected paths but they are not.

Nevertheless I think some explanation is needed to understand how I got here.

It’s all about passion. OK that’s not new, so here comes the breakthrough:

Passion doesn’t have to be one thing, and It doesn’t have to be THE only thing you do. Passion is a feeling, and feelings change overtime.

We hear all the time that for a career path one should find that thing they are passionate about and follow it. It seems to be the current mantra. The truth is that only 3% of people doing that succeed (according to research by 80,000 hours.org )

Being good at your job doesn’t mean that’s the thing you are most passionate about. It’s a job, it needs to cover the basics of not hating it, and pay the bills. This TED talk was a real eye opener for me.

 

Powerful, isn’t it? This gave me reassurance that what I’m doing,  to explore and experiment, keep trying different things while I take a break from corporate etc. That’s healthy and necessary. And that I can be a multidisciplinary professional.

From a marketing perspective going many different ways made me feel a bit insecure. It’s called positioning. It’s easier to say: this is what I do and why I do it well. But is that it? Wait a moment. I’m not a product, that’s why I always found it very difficult to apply that to myself. The concept of personal brand probably comes from here.

That’s probably how I ended up with this website that seems a bit of a mess but in reality it’s about me and the various aspects that define me. The communication, the branding, the aesthetics, the mindfulness, the wellness, the helping others and the creativity.

A person is the combination of many sides and skills. I agree It’s just easier to make an impact when you focus on just one, but that’s also reducing your chances of success. Launching the weaving shop might give me another avenue, but this time, for the first time, it really feels like jumping into a pool blindfolded.

You can’t really see how deep it is, so it’s hard to predict if you are going to end up going in the water with a graceful dive, or an embarrassing belly flop.

It’s just because it’s unknown territory for me. That’s it. End of the fear. Passion is the feeling that made want to start this and that’s why I decided to go ahead whether people like my weaves or not. Like I did with the blog, and with the Yoga before.

What happens next, I don’t really know. I believe it in. I love it! and only time can tell if I succeed or not to make it my main source of income or just one more (or just a time pass :-). I will definitely give it my best ideas, my creativity, my structuring, hard work and my analytic skills.

If you look at celebrities for example, there are many that are known for one talent only and then keep the others low, on purpose or not. Very honestly (and without sounding arrogant) I would not want to define myself like that. Simply because I think I’m good at many things, and most importantly because I think I have the ability of becoming good at whatever I put myself into.

I secretly always wanted to be a journalist in Glamour magazine and try different things to just write about them and tell others. That’s how this blog started. I could always say that weaving is part of my experimenting phase, and something to write about, but I look at my work and I feel really proud! I think it’s pretty and that’s the whole point. I hope others find my weaves pretty too!

Until next time!
XoXo

img_6068

Jellyfish – Beach Collection. Available in Etsy