Italian Love

Anne and I both love visiting Italy, we love everything about it, the history, the architecture, the food! So I was somewhat jealous when Anne had a two day trip to Traviso which is just outside Venice to stock up on haberdashery supplies.

This isn’t as extravagant as it sounds, if you are clever you can pick up very cheap flights. You can also hop a train and be in the heart of Venice in about 25 minutes.

Traviso has it’s own waterways and daily fish markets. It’s not crowded like Venice can be and has about 6 haberdashery shops which is heaven for any sewing enthusiast.

If you do take a trip into Venice we have a few tips that can keep your costs down. The main squares and tourist routes often house the most expensive cafes and restaurants, yet just a street or corner away and the price drops dramatically. Another tip is to stand to drink your coffee, this can cost up to a quarter of the price when sitting down at a table.  Ask locals where they go out to eat and you can find hidden gems, the food is usually more authentic, cheaper and much more tasty.

As part of my honeymoon I visited Venice and it’s been an enduring love ever since, the charm of watching the boats bobbing by never lessens. Even the police, the ambulance, the rubbish men they all travel by boat. Although I did find the side effect was the perpetual feeling of motion even when I was back on solid ground.

The Elegance Of Chandeliers

I absolutely adore Chandeliers, the way they hang from the ceiling, the way they glint as light hits them, the way they can ooze elegance into a room which previously had none. The larger and grander the better, at least that’s true when I see them hanging in country houses etc. Of course most of us aren’t lucky enough to own a home worthy of a handmade or antique beauty, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate them. One of my favourite places to visit and see Chandeliers is Venice. But I am not talking about the crowded squares of San Marco or the usual tourist routes. To really appreciate Venice you have to walk away from your guide books and explore the hidden areas, the shops that only locals frequent. There are many antique/junk shops hiding down small alleys.

In one shop I saw the largest Chandelier I have ever seen, of course it’s hard to depict scale in a photo, but believe me it was huge!

In another shop stood a large workbench with glass drops set out ready to mend broken chandeliers. The street was very dark, which made it hard to take photos, but the shop plus street was like looking into a past that most of us have forgotten, the real artists Venice.

Of course you can buy chandeliers in any country in the world. Modern ones are usually wired for electric lights, which means they can be used daily. Have any of you purchased a bit of grandure and hung a chandelier in your home?

In London there is a beautiful tea room called Le Chandelier which aside from wonderful food also sells beautiful chandeliers.

Or perhaps scour the antique shops near you and buy up antique chandelier drops, I have seen these made into beautiful Christmas decorations, or pendants to hang in a window, the possibilities are endless. We have made some of our favourites into jewellery here.


A Venetian Paper Dream

I’ve just come back from a short break in Venice, I’ve been before and the draw of the beautiful artwork, amazing architecture and to die for paper called me back. This time I stayed in a small town called Treviso, it has it’s own city walls and canals, and even though it is not technically in Venice, it’s beautiful in it’s own right.

Once again I couldn’t resist the many paper creations. In an earlier post I showed you how I used this to renovate some pine furniture. My favourite shop was hidden down one of the smaller canals, where the window is full with all manner of items made with this stunning paper.

I had to remind myself to rein in the spending though, as prices in Venice seem to have leapt since I last visited and this paper was now 9 Euros a sheet!

My latest project involving this indulgence was turning an old box file into a wall cupboard. It was an ebay purchase and thankfully made of wood. After sanding and treating the front and sides much like I had previous projects I glued on an old wooden ruler, two old keys, a paint brush and some buttons. It sounds a bit odd but I love the finished product and it is now proudly hung upon the wall.

Finally inspired by the key I hung on the cupboard I thought I would hunt you all out some of my favourite key inspired jewellery.

The first necklace is called The Bus Ride by Counting Stiches and can be bought on Etsy.

Next is called Peep Show and is sold by Secret Jewellz also on Etsy.

Finally a couple of our own creations which embrace our love of keys