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The Princess and the Pea

 

A customer, while buying a piece of my fairy tales collection, asked me how comes that I never painted the Princess and the Pea. It made me curious, so I decided to make it my next subject.
It occurred to me that I knew the story but I had never read it, so I documented myself. And well, the story is very short and tells nothing more than we commonly know: a royal family testing if the princess is a real one by hiding a pea under tones of matrasses.

 

The Princess and the Pea post 3

 

My first reaction was laughing: I told myself that the princess most likely didn’t have kids, or she would have slept even with a huge rock right under the pillow. And then: I don’t have much to complain about men, but still, I’ve been wondering how comes that the royal family celebrates finding a real princess, and no one asks her if she is ok with marrying the prince. Everyone is questioning is she’s good enough for him, but not if HE is good enough for her.

 

I mean, the guy seems awful: one of those typical boys who are rich because their dad is, showing off all the time and still having mama handling each and every serious matter. The princess should at least ask to get to know him during breakfast before taking a decision! Or even better: she should just excuse herself and refuse, because she definitely doesn’t want to have such a nosy and mean mother-in-law. How did she even dare inviting her to stay overnight and then making her sleep impossible?

 

The Princess and the Pea post 2

 

And then I put the story down, and got second toughs. I realised that yes – the story is cut short and is lacking some end – but that this is not the only part missing. Maybe the prince should be a bit more prudent. How comes that the princess is wandering out alone, at night, and shows up in such terrible conditions? I am telling you, and this makes much more sense than the original version: it wasn’t the fault of the pea, it was the hangover!

And since the royals are so superficial, they probably deserve everything that is coming…

 

The Princess and the Pea post 1

 

Ok, yes, that’s for the funny part. Still, let’s be honest, no one cares about the prince: we love the story because the princess gets to have a colourful bed with a pile of matrasses. We love the bed, we love the softness, we love the fabrics. It’s all about sleep and fashion. Back to our girly princess plans, without filters.

 

This explains my other version of the story: the princess is deeply sleeping and lets her beautiful hair falling down along a surrealistic high bed. There is no room, there is no roof – like in a famous kids’ song we love to sing in Italy. What’s better than falling asleep while looking at the stars? They even shine a bit, just like Rapunzels’ hair

 

The Princess and the Pea post 4

 

So which version do you like better: the classic sophisticated beauty, the woman with a strong will, the princess with a dark past, or the careless sleeper?

 

Ideas for a Snow White Birthday Party

 

Ideas for a Snow White Birthday Party cover

 

Organizing a birthday in the Pinterest era is definitely a lot easier than before. I’ve been using the platform for more than two years now, and I think it is still the most efficient resource for craft and inspiration.

 

Since Pinterest has enabled secret boards I can even group ideas without being ‘discovered’ by fans and friends – and that’s great!

One of my secret boards, for instance, is called ‘Birthdays’ and it is full of snacks, games, and decorative tips. I know it might be interesting for you, so I though that maybe I could share the ideas I already implemented, what do you say?

 

Snow White Costume

 

I’ve already shown you how I dressed my Prince (here is the tutorial for a quick DIY cape), and that’s how our little Snow White looked like – but with red shoes, of course!

I like to keep costumes as simple as possible, so I picked a blue shirt, added a big silk bow to a red headband and sew a simple yellow skirt. For the skirt I used this tutorial by Dana which I had tested before – unfortunately satin is a bit slippery and it took me more time than usual to make it.

 

Ideas for a Snow White Birthday tablecloth

 

Actually, I like to keep everything simple, not only costumes! That’s why our main decorations were… ten kilos of red apples!

For the big table I was able to use a beautiful dwarfs tablecloth I found at a market in Italy last summer, and this time I didn’t make the mistake I made at my son’s birthday in October: filling up the table with tons of food. I was useless and unpractical because the kids had no place for crafting or playing, and the food was way too much.

 

As party favours I crocheted some cute apple keyrings, that we wrapped together with some ‘Witch Poison’ (a sparkling drink). There were also some cute mini birds hanging at the windows, and the kids were allowed to adopt one of them before leaving… for the crochet patterns, please see the list below.

 

Ideas for a Snow White Birthday favours

 

Here are some other beautiful ideas I collected: the main themes I followed were flowers and red apples. Of course, I didn’t manage to make all of it! If you organize a Snow White birthday in the colder months, I would recommend to look also for mushrooms and squirrels.

 

Ideas for a Snow White Birthday

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this post will be helpful to you just like all this blogs were helpful to me.

Have fun and ‘see’ you next week!
 

Kleiner Donner and Emmy Unicorn

 

A quick post today (I’m busy updating photos and listing in the Etsy shop!) to introduce you to another nice crochet pattern I tested.

 

Kleiner Donner and Emmy Unicorn 2

 

I found it via Pinterest and got to Kristel Droog’s page on Ravelry – have a look, she has really a lot of cute projects! The basic pattern – Horse Piem – is for sale (totally worth it), while you can get for free the instructions to turn it into a Zebra or a Unicorn.

 

Kleiner Donner and Emmy Unicorn cover

 

As you can see from the pictures I made Emmy for my daughter, while for my boy I turned the basic horse into one of the main characters of Yakari, a French cartoon really popular here in Germany.

 

Kleiner Donner and Emmy Unicorn 1

 

To not make anyone jealous I had to make the two horses at the same time, and it took me a little longer than a week. Totally worth it!

 

Kleiner Donner and Emmy Unicorn 3

 

Looking for more crochet patterns? Here’s what you can find on Mammabook:

…nice, I’m starting to have quite a list! 😉

 

Summer Necklaces

 

When I was a child my favourite toys were all sorts of mini worlds that I could wear or put in my pockets. I felt like I had magic powers, being able to turn an open book, a piece of garden, or a simple shoe box into a dollhouse with my tiny objects and dolls. I always had a little secret with me hidden somewhere. There is no wonder I love to paint miniatures.

 

Summer Necklaces 2

 

This is maybe the reason why, when summer came, I though it would be funny to turn my favourite subjects into even smaller things, and make them wearable.

I painted even smaller homes, smaller dragons, smaller dolls. I like them so much.

 

Summer Necklaces 1

 

Summer Necklaces 3

 

Summer Necklaces cover

 

And talking about pendants, a nice customer even asked me for a wearable version of the Little Prince. Very poetic, isn’t it?

 

Summer Necklaces 4

 

Summer Necklaces 5

 

The prince has his fox friend on the back, while the other pendants show their original colour: some stones are naturally dotted, some gray, some beige. One way or another, they all tell a story… even when turned around.

 

Ps: while taking my pictures outside, I found out that an artist is living in the Ancient Graveyard! I’ll let you know if I ever meet him…

 

Summer Necklaces 6

 

Indoor Fairy Garden

 

I’ve been craving a long time for a Fairy Garden.

I paint and sell so many fairy houses, but somehow it was never my turn to make my own miniature garden… until now!

 

Indoor Fairy Garden cover 2

 

Sometimes we just need some little, weird stuff to be happy!

 

Indoor Fairy Garden 5

 

After months of research I finally found the right pot: low, wide enough, and very simple. I don’t know much about plants, so I just bought what I liked without worrying too much. I am curious to see how it will work out, if I will need to replace something or if I am lucky and everything survives. I am mostly worried about the Bonsai, because I guess it needs not much water, while the plants around it do…

 

Indoor Fairy Garden 3
 
Indoor Fairy Garden 1

 

Of course, the house is one of my artworks. It waited so long in the shop, and it was about time for it to find a place to stay. It is a bit sad when things are left unsold, and believe me, it is really not about the money. I feel like what I do it’s just part of the story of the object, and somehow it feels like this story is unnaturally paused when too many months pass and nothing happens…

 

Indoor Fairy Garden 4

 

How do you like it? It is such a simple and inspiring composition to make! And it seems to fit everywhere I place it. Its main location at the moment is on our big table, under a blue picture of the desert. I like it there, because the kids say ‘good morning’ to the fairies, and it puts us in such a good mood…

 

Indoor Fairy Garden 2

 

I’ll let you know how my little experiment goes. And, by the way, I also bough all the plants I mentioned in my spring resolution list, and placed them on the kids’ balcony: now we have strawberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, and sunflowers! Maybe I am starting a new carrier as a gardener?!

 
Indoor Fairy Garden cover 1

 

DIY easy & elegant Cape

 

I like to organise my kids’ birthdays a lot in advance. This gives me the time to collect ideas, find the right things and even make some gift-costume-decoration by myself without stress.

 

DIY cape cover

 

The theme of my daughter’s first birthday party at home – she’s turning four today, but we still have a few days before the celebration – will be Snow White. We could have picked another princess, of course, but Sophie has short dark hairs, and mum found a beautiful tablecloth with small dwarfs last summer, so…

 

DIY cape 1

 

I always try to make a birthday a happy event for both my kids. That’s why my son also got a little gift today, and that’s why he will also have the chance to dress up at the party. Since I had plenty of time, and I was lucky, and I even felt brave this year, I bought a beautiful yellow fabric left over and tried to make Snow White’s skirt, and a cape for my little prince.

 

What I didn’t consider was that I do not know much about fabric and that, though this yellow satin (is it satin?!) really looks amazing, that *** thing would move and slide and change shape while I was trying to cut it. Somehow I succeed in making the skirt, but I really didn’t feel like going through the cutting process again to make my son’s cape.

 

Of course, I HAD to make it. And I found a really nice way to make my life less complicated… that’s how.

 

How to make a cape

 

First of all, fold the side of the fabric (it does not really matter if the shape is perfectly squared) IRON it well and sew it, like this you won’t need to serge that terribly sliding fabric. Repeat for all four sides.

 

DIY cape 3

 

Now knot two of the angles. This procedure is so COOL because it helps you to shape, shorten up, and change the size of your cape as you like with no effort at all. Play around, choose the right solution for you.

 

DIY cape 2

 

Now get one of these super cool buttons with a chain and fix it on the two sides, over the knots. Like this your prince will be able to open and close his cape. It looks really professional! If you can’t find the buttons, you can just make your own by fixing (and hiding) some rope or chain under one of the buttons.

 

Well, that’s it! My model Dino seems to like it a lot. We’ll see what my son will say…

 

A (new) Header for MammaDilettante

 

A couple of years ago I proudly showed you here on Mammabook the header I designed for a blog I love: MammaDilettante. And I was so happy to know, once Giovanna decided to move her blog here to WordPress, that she wanted to have ME again drawing her new header.

 

MammaDilettante nuovo banner

 

Our guidelines were the same as the last time: red and blue for Cagliari, the beautiful city in the south of Sardinia that I showed you here, and a lot of buildings, one on the other, all different, sometimes broken, all intensively alive, like only Italian cities can be. The laudry is hanging everywhere upon the small streets, because family is such a big part of our culture, and a big part of Giovanna’s life. Her blog is a fascinating journal about motherhood and life, and her dreams of writing. That’s why the other detail we HAD to keep were the words – actually, HER words of the book she’s working on – flying and filling up the sky.

I really love to play around with Photoshop, but for me drawing is, and always will be, a manual thing. I take a pencil and draw some lines, and then draw something smaller, and smaller. I add a detail here and there, and that’s something I feel couldn’t do with a computer. Coloring is different: either I take my pencils, and maybe a little watercolour, and work on every single detail for hours to obtain a really colourful panorama, or – if I want to go more ‘essential’ – I split my image on the screen, distribute it over ten layers and look for the perfect combination. I love to try shadows and add lights in a few seconds, change shade, move spots. I have the feeling that I can really find the best possible equilibrium.

 

A (new) header for MammaDilettante 1

 

Now MammaDilettante has her new, very personal header, and that’s a great feeling. You should go and visit her. Especially the Italian public should.

Even better, for me, is comparing the old and the new artwork, and see how far I got just by learning alone…

In Giovanna’s dreams there’s a book, and I wish her all the best – she deserves it. In mine there’s a job I always wanted to do. And my next step would be learning from a professional… I think I am old enough to go my way this time. Wish me good luck. And we’ll see what will fill up my sky.

 

Ps: I will contact the winners of the Giveaway this evening, your Paper Toys are coming!

 

Paper Toys Giveaway

My kids are responsible of most of the ideas that come into my mind, they’re truly a endless source of inspiration. I must thank them for the Paper Toys, too.

 

Paper Toys Giveaway

 

To keep my little ones busy on a boring rainy afternoon I drew a little monster and gave each of them an envelope with a door on it, and told them to draw the furniture of the little monster’s house.

 

Paper Toys 3

 

We colored and cut paper objects and friends, put them inside the ‘house’ and took them out whenever and wherever we wanted to…

 

Paper Toys cover

 

The kids has so much fun with it that I though it might be a good idea to draw some sets to play with. A sort of paper version of the Story Stones, even more creative, that could be printed out every time, as needed.

 

Paper Toys 2

 

I have thousand of sets in mind; so far I drew three of them: the Monsters House (of course), the Gnome Home, and a Space Kit for little adventures. They all need just a colored envelope to live in.

We tested them for over a month, and I sent it also to some friends who really liked them. I am also planning on using the gnome set at my daughter’s birthday, in two weeks, for her Snow White party…

 

We love them, and we hope you will share our enthusiasm!

You will be able to find the Paper Toys in my Etsy shop for a fair price soon, but in the meantime, why not trying winning them? Just leave me a comment to this post telling me which set you prefer, and next Tuesday I’ll pick three winners, one for each set. The winners will receive their favourite set via email.

 

Paper Toys 1

Good luck!

 

Crocheted Unicorns

After speding a whole winter trying to crochet a star cover for my son, I finally decided to give myself a break from the project – I’m SO bored! – and went back crocheting Amigurumi.

 

Crocheted Unicors cover

 

Thanks to my daughter’s birthday decorations and the huge amount of birthdays we have to attend in this period (remember my spring resolutions?), I had the chance to test a lot of cute quick patterns that may be interesting for you, too.

 

Crocheted Unicors 2

 

Today’s project is taken from Ahooka Amigurumi – save this blog, Ophelie makes a lot of cool stuff! – and, well, I didn’t make any changes to it. With her pattern you may make simple horses, flying horses, unicorns and, for the joy of my mini girl, flying unicorns!

 

Crocheted Unicors 3

 

I just don’t know why, but I stitched my wings the other way around, somehow it makes more sense to me… probably because I imagine them flying.

 

Crocheted Unicors 4

 

Even if what I make is a gift we always make sure it is well cuddled and met the whole family before giving it, because we like amigurumi to be happy ones. So we had big party with dolls, horses and pirates… (yes, you’ve seen the purple doll before, and the pirate was a variation I made on the same pattern, I love how it came out!)

 

You can find the original unicorn pattern HERE. Enjoy!