Tag Archives: flowers

Etsy Love – Mapanò

27 Feb


Next up in my Etsy Love series is Alessandra from Mapanò who sells fabric flowers, home decor, and accessories for adults and babies.  Alessandra’s shop has a lovely, light air to it thanks to the gentle colours and softness of the fabrics used in her beautiful fabric flowers.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop.

My name is Alessandra and I live near Turin, in Italy.  I’m mom of two daughters (3 years and 8 months), wife, front office manager in a hotel and… a creative!  Mapanò is my shop on Etsy. What’s Mapanò?  MA, for MAMMA in Italian (mom in English);  PA, for PAPA’ in Italian (dad in English); NO, for NONNO in Italian (grandfather in English).  Mapanò is a project that includes ideas and skills of all three!  A beautiful way to live my family and build something unique with people I love!  My creations are unique pieces meticulously designed and handmade!  My inspiration? “To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong”!

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.

My favorite pieces from Mapanò are some wall decors made with fabric flowers, beads and lace.  These are my favorite because they are like hanging bouquets and are perfect for making any part of the home precious with a little touch of shabby chic design. I used one of them to decorate my daughter’s nursery and she loves these flowers like a little princess!

I also love my necklaces because every day I use the same kind of creations and they really make part of my style and my look. I don’t use elegant clothes and usually I put on a pair of jeans with a blouse or a shirt. My necklaces are perfect for a casual style like mine, because they have a little touch of elegance in the fabric flower but also the practicableness of jersey. Simple and cool!

3. What is the biggest milestone you have achieved so far whilst selling on Etsy?

Unfortunately the startup phase is still running, so I haven’t had a lot of sales, but my personal success is to be really satisfied about my job and I think that people get positively surprised seeing my latest creations. They are unique!

4. What are your future plans for your shop and crafting in general?

For the future, we are preparing some very nice projects completely different from what you seen until today. Lamps created from wood trunks or original curtain hold backs, for instance, are two very interesting projects that put together the electrical skills of my husband and love of my father for iron and wood.

5. And finally let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mapano
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mapanò/115077835271835
Twitter: @MapanoGeninatti
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mapano

Thanks for answering my questions Alessandra.  Your shop is truly adorable and you have done well to get some sales at this early stage (it took me months to get a sale from someone who wasn’t a friend or family member)!  I wish you all the best with expanding your shop and look forward to seeing your new creations.

My Cross Stitch Journey

31 Jan

After months of frantically knitting scarves for Christmas I have finally retired my knitting needles and refocused my energies on cross stitch!

Cross stitch has been a passion of mine since I tried my first DMC kit almost four years ago – it was an anemone (flower) which after months of stitching I framed and gave to my grandparents as an anniversary gift.

I soon realised that I had developed an appetite for cross stitch and would need to find another pattern to complete.  However, I needed a bigger challenge and decided to look at more complex designs.  This was when I started my next DMC pattern to create a cushion (pictured below).

A close up of my cross stitch flower cushion

This took me almost a year to complete and I was so proud (but also sad) that I had finally finished it!

This became another stepping stone for me because I then decided that I wanted to create my own patterns from scratch so that I could offer people something which was truly unique.  Having studied illustration at college, I had a portfolio full of potential pictures.  My main inspiration has always been nature and colour so it was easy to choose my first image – a vibrant watercolour painting of a Heliconia.

Heliconia Wall Hanging

I had never realised before how much time and effort went into creating a pattern from scratch before!  It’s not just a case of getting the software and loading up an image.  A pattern needs to flow together in sections of colour as opposed to individual crosses dotted all over the place (which would be very frustrating to stitch)!  You also have to think about how many different colours you want in your pattern.  More colours will create a more realistic image, however it will be more costly and time-consuming.

 
I love the vibrant colours of my Heliconia design, however the pattern doesn’t do the finished piece justice!  The pattern is available in my Etsy shop here and you can clearly see the difference when compared to the image above. Since finishing the Heliconia, I have created another pattern – this time of a tree, and am currently in the process of stitching it up.  Natural forms seem to lend themselves well to the medium of cross stitch – the unified crosses and flowing, natural lines contradict each other nicely. 
 
My latest endeavours came about by trying to combine cross stitch with another hobby of mine – jewellery making.  Using tiny 28 count aida fabric I was able to create frame earrings holding minute designs.  My first pair of cross stitch earrings contain a cute and simple daisy pattern. 
 

Cross Stitch Daisy Earrings

 These earrings are perfect for customisation.  As long as the desired image is small and simple enough, there are endless possibilities to what could be stitched into these frames.  I’ve created two more designs with hearts for Valentine’s Day:

Cross Stitch Heart Arrow Earrings

 
 

Cross Stitch Heart Earrings

I’m currently looking at more ways that cross stitch can be applied to create interesting items and I’ve just finished stitching a QR code which only seems to work when scanned from a very specific angle, so I might have to work on that one!
 
I love a new project so if you would like to request a custom order (pattern or finished piece)  just get in touch – details are on the Contact Page.