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Happy holidays!

23 Dec

Happy Christmas and New Year © Lisette van de Graaf

Although my posting has been patchy these last months, I did not want to miss the opportunity to wish you Happy Holidays, as well as thank you for your visits, comments, following and support over the past year.

And what better to do that with, than with a collage of the 4 different cards I designed and hand-made for this year’s holidays, which family and friends will be receiving in their letterbox these days…

Dear (blog) friends, have a wonderful Christmas and may 2014 bring you all (and me too) happiness, love, good health, inspiration, fun projects and many other blessings! See you next year!


BCN Handmade: GEBRAT

25 Sep

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

See this lovely, smiley girl? Her name is Greta Serra, and she was referred to me by one of you, dear readers (thanks, Heather)! Turns out she weaves, by hand, absolutely gorgeous fabrics, with lots of texture and interesting twists and turns (or whatever they are called in weaver’s terminology). And then she uses those wonderful pieces of textile beauty, and turns them into very pretty handbags. Clever stick, isn’t she? Yep, that’s what I thought too, and so I decided she had to be mine. Mine to share with you in today’s BCN Handmade: GEBRAT… enjoy!

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

In Greta’s own words: I’m from Barcelona, I was born here. And although I have not always lived in this city, this to me means “origin” and “adult” and “warmth” and “asphalt”.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

My favourite place in Barcelona is my home, and after that Koy Shunka; I have not gone yet but I’m pretty sure I would like to go often and eat well.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

First I started (and finished) studying philosophy. Then I felt the need to do something creative and disciplined with my hands, so I’ve been learning from different teachers and schools, especially techniques related to the textile world.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

Knowing these techniques has allowed me to mix them and so I can weave textiles, then cut and sew them according to my own patterns, and combine with leather or other materials. Now I’m pretty focused on clothing accessories, but I also create tapestries and in the past I was quite focused on clothing. From my point of view it is not as important to define what you do (whether bags or clothes or decorations) but how you use your tools.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

I will not say everything inspires me, firstly because this statement adds nothing to the world, and secondly because it is simply not true. I am inspired by other people’s daily life, the imagery of rural life and the materials I work with, linen, wool, leather, fur.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

Weaving on the loom is without doubt one of the most satisfying parts of my process. The textures appear “rapidly” in front of your eyes and your mind starts to imagine those textures converted into an object, often three-dimensional.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

I dream to continue  doing what I love all my life. I also dream of losing my fears / laziness and that my work will always keep evolving. I have hope that all of us – myself included – start to value everyday objects. All the things we have decided to surround ourselves with have the power to influence our identity and actions, for better or for worse.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

Thanks Greta, for inviting me to your studio (a corner in her boyfriend’s office) in Sant Cugat, and for showing me the lovely notebooks you make by hand (above), transmitting me your enthusiasm for your craft, and showing me your beautiful pieces of work!

If you’d like to know more about GEBRAT and/or Greta Serra, then please have a look at the GEBRAT websiteblog, and Facebook page.

Gorgeous textiles, woven by Greta Serra - BCN Handmade

Messages in crochet

29 May
Manodesanta a crochet art exhibit at Miscelanea, Barcelona

Manodesanta @ Miscelanea

Last Sunday, while out on a stroll, I popped in to Miscelanea and found a delightful exhibit. Messages in crochet by Marial Soy, showcasing technique, irony and things to say.

I loved seeing such and old school craft form in a completely new guise, and just had to share it with you.

Manodesanta a crochet art exhibit at Miscelanea, Barcelona

Old school, new art

The messages on each piece made me chuckle, and some pieces I thought were really cool. But more than anything, I was delighted to see the humble crochet taking centre stage in one of Barcelona’s hip and happening art galleries.

Manodesanta a crochet art exhibit at Miscelanea, Barcelona

Fly Return

If you’re in town, then head over to Miscelanea on the double, for it is on until this Sunday. If you’re not, too bad! Maybe there is something along these lines happening where you are? If so, please let me know – I’ll happily share it with all of you, my dear blog friends.

Miscelanea is on Carrer de la Guardia 10, 08001 Barcelona. I’m going to keep an eye out for more work by Marial Soy, for I really like the stuff she creates. Check out her website to see what I mean…

Manodesanta a crochet art exhibit at Miscelanea, Barcelona


New arrival in Barri Gòtic

17 Apr

Barcelona Cute Suite presents: [eli urpi] shop

Carrer Montsió 11

Remember [eli urpí]? That sweet designer who makes pretty hats and recently launched a clothes range? Well, she is on a roll, and has opened s hop, which is a new arrival in Barri Gòtic!

Tucked into one of the narrow pedestrian streets in this part of Barcelona, [eli urpí] now works from a corner location on Carrer Montsió 11, which is both her atelier and shop.

Barcelona Cute Suite presents: [eli urpi] shop

Fluffs, bows, flowers and more

Reflecting the style of both the hat and clothes collections, stepping inside the [eli urpí] shop is like traveling back in time to an era when dressing implied elegance and femininity.

On weekdays and Saturdays you will be able to find Elisabet at work on a new handmade hat or head piece, or adding the finishing touches to one of her garments while seated at her vintage table.

Barcelona Cute Suite presents: [eli urpi] shop

Atelier + shop in one

Be sure to pop in and admire her handiwork first-hand if you’re in town, and by all means give in to your sudden urge to buy that pretty hat, or dress or necklace… If you are not able to visit in person, you can buy pieces from the [eli urpí] collections from the online shop.

For news and updates, refer to the [eli urpí] blog and Facebook page. Happy shopping!

BCN Handmade – Vuerich B.

4 Apr
Barcelona Cute Suite Vuerich B. Handmade glasses

Brothers Baptiste + Gianni Vuerich

When I learned of the existence of the fabulous Vuerich B. glasses a little while ago, I immediately got in touch with their creators to ask if they would like to be featured in the handmade section of this blog. To my delight, brothers Baptiste and Gianni said yes, and so a few weeks ago I went out to their studio, where they showed me parts of the process of the making of… I’m delighted to share with you today: BCN Handmade – Vuerich B.

Barcelona Cute Suite Vuerich B. Handmade glasses

Ready for shaping :: 2

It was a delight to meet the brothers. They make an excellent team – one designing the different styles, the other using his carpentry skills to make them. And seeing how a broken, discarded skateboard is converted into a pair of super cool glasses was great fun. In the slideshow that follows you can see (most of) these steps, and afterwards, in their own words, Baptiste and Gianni tell us a little about themselves…

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Where are you from?

Baptiste + Gianni: we are brothers and we are from Belgium.

What does Barcelona mean to you?

A multicultural place with a sea view, a source of inspiration.

Favourite spot?

Any street at night, as long as I have my skateboard.

Favourite restaurant?

The Big Fish.


Gianni: cabinetmaker, restorer of furniture; carpentry (specialised in house manufacturing and wooden staircases).

Baptiste: skateboarder and industrial designer.

How did you get here?

By chance and the desire to get to know a different culture.

What inspires you?

Writers, nature.

When / how does inspiration strike?

Getting to work, from the material.

What do you find satisfying about the making process?

The experiments.

Dreams, hopes?

An endless journey on a zeppelin equipped with a workshop and a terrace.

Barcelona Cute Suite Vuerich B. Handmade glasses

Ready to sell

Vuerich B. also make glasses and sunglasses from plywood and either stain them or add gorgeous veneers in different kinds of wood. (But you probably knew that already, if you saw last week’s post!) These will be added to their website shortly.  Curious about their glasses? Check out their website for the different styles, and their Facebook page for all the latest news. You can buy Vuerich B. glasses from their online shop, here, as well as selected shops around the globe.

Thanks Baptiste and Gianni, for welcoming me into your workshop and offering a behind-the-scenes view of how your glasses are hand-produced, one by one!

The view from here

27 Mar
Barcelona Cute Suite - Vuerich B new handmade recycled wood glasses

Plywood sunnies :: 2

Last week I visited the guys from Vuerich B. at their workshop to shoot some images for a BCN Handmade post (I will post it next week, so watch this space!) and they showed me their most recent creations. As Spring is here to stay, and Summer not that far ahead, I thought it was time to show you the view from here, glasses and shades that will make you stand out in a crowd they are so cool.

Barcelona Cute Suite - Vuerich B new handmade recycled wood glasses

Recycled sunnies :: 2

As you might recall from an earlier post about Vuerich B., their frames are hand-crafted from recycled skateboards. But now they have added a new range that is made from plywood to which they have added stained, or just varnished natural veneers in various wood-types.

Barcelona Cute Suite - Vuerich B new handmade recycled wood glasses

Plywood specs :: 2

Good looking, aren’t they?

Barcelona Cute Suite - Vuerich B new handmade recycled wood glasses

Recycled sunnies

These  Vuerich B. beauties are available both as sunglasses or as prescription frames and available in selected shops around the globe, or online, here.

Barcelona Cute Suite - Vuerich B new handmade recycled wood glasses

Plywood specs

Just remember that the recycled styles are one-off pieces and sell out quickly, and to check for the Vuerich B. logo, which you can find on the side of the arms.

Barcelona Cute Suite - Vuerich B new handmade recycled wood glasses

Check out the logo!

I’m about ready to check out the view from here. How about you? Have you chosen a pair that you like yet? For more info, check out the Vuerich B. website, and for the latest news, their Facebook page. If you can’t get a pair (or two) where you live, then head over to their online shop and whip out your credit card. Happy shopping!

Barcelona Cute Suite - Vuerich B new handmade recycled wood glasses

Plywood sunnies

BCN Handmade – Musa bamba

27 Feb
Musa Bamba handmade in Barcelona

Pleated circle

Some time ago, just after I had posted about La Fortune, I was contacted by Rose Alves. She was selling her handmade bags at La Fortune, would I be interested in featuring her on the blog? You know I would be interested, so I quickly got in touch with Rose and an email exchange ensued to arrange a photo shoot. It took place a few weeks ago, and I am delighted to share with you today: BCN Handmade – Musa Bamba.

Musa Bamba handmade in Barcelona

Rose Mari Alves

The very friendly Rose has a studio and showroom set up in her home in the Eixample Dreta district of Barcelona, where sunlight streams in the French windows on most days of the year. She had moved recently and indicated that things weren’t quite as she wanted them to be yet, although they looked just fine to me. We chatted and she explained how, using a technique called “fuxico” she makes her very pretty necklaces and handbags, which range from small, simple styles, to medium ones and much larger ones, many of which are adjustable with several snap buttons to allow them to transform into different shapes and sizes. Very clever!

Her Musa Bamba bags and jewellery are her main project, but on the side Rose also scours flea markets for cool vintage or antique clothes and shoes, which she perks up with a bit of TLC, either adding appliqués, adjusting their patterns or simply mending what needs fixing. These she sells under the brandname Musa B. But that is not all, for does more! But I think it’s time we allowed Rose to tell us in her own words…  check out what she has to say after the page break, following a slideshow of images taken during our shoot.

Continue reading

Petal power – [eliurpí]’s new collections

26 Feb
Eli Urpi SS13 collection

Petal power

You may remember Eli Urpí from my visit last year to her home, where she makes incredibly beautiful hats and headdresses… Well this young designer has created a new collection of hats for this Spring/Summer season and added a small collection of clothes to go with them! Please allow me to present: *drumroll* Petal power – [eliurpí]’s new collections!

The head pieces that [eliurpí] creates continue to be handcrafted in her home studio, while the garments are made in small ateliers in the Barcelona metropolitan area.

Eli Urpi SS13 collection

It’s a flower thing

Both collections have a profusion of floral elements in common, resulting in a range of clothes and head pieces which complement each other perfectly and create a charming, delicate and romantic style that is so characteristic of [eliurpí].


Be sure to check out the [eliurpí] website for a full overview of the collections and the Facebook page for the latest news from this sweet designer. You’ll find a list of stockiest on the website, but if you are abroad (as many of you, dear readers, are) then you can shop for these delightful items in the online boutique. Happy shopping! It’s pretty chilly right now, but before you know it, Spring will be here and you’ll want to work your petal power!

Photos by N.Umpiérrez for Eli Urpí.

Into the wild – new pieces by Marc Sparfel

22 Feb
Wooden sculptures by Marc Sparfel

Handsome longhorn

Hurray it’s Friday! How have you enjoyed this week, dedicated to tough cookies and modern day heroines? To wrap it up, I am taking you into the wild, for I have new pieces by Marc Sparfel to show you that are wildly wonderful. You may remember Marc Sparfel – from this earlier blogpost – the French sculptor who uses discarded pieces of wood (and bits of furniture) to create his works of art.

Marc Sparfel has created a new collection of animal-like sculptures (which I love) by using parts of chairs and other pieces of furniture. At times these animals are quite recognizable, at others they are wholly imagined, and could almost be prehistoric…

… see what I mean (above)? I really like these sculptures that Marc Sparfel has created, and hope you do too. Which is your favorite? Mine are the bulls…

Wooden sculptures by Marc Sparfel

Blue moo

All these wonderful creatures are available from Vail International Gallery. For more information and updates, please check out Marc Sparfel’s website. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

PS: Next week I’ll be going all delicate and pretty on you… don’t miss it!

All images by of Lisa Von Saalfeld for Marc Sparfel.

Amato Sole’s new shop

21 Feb
Amato Sole Furniture design

It’s all in the details

Remember Amato Sole? The lovely creative duo have moved their shop to the delightful neighborhood of Gràcia to a great space on Carrer Perill 39. The opening was in December, so it was high time I showed you Amato Sole’s new shop!

Beautifully styled, Amato Sole is chock-a-block with their furniture designs, but also with elements that are waiting to be reused and meanwhile serve a decorative purpose. And in order to prettify things even more, items from their own personal collections of tableware, candles and a profusion of plants are dotted around the space.

Amato Sole Furniture design

Tasteful styling :: 2

Lighting also plays an important role, and many of the lights are Ramón’s own creations, while others are gorgeous vintage examples. Upstairs a small space is also open to the public and displays yet more furniture and lighting elements that Amato Sole have created, and offers a nice overview of what is below on the ground floor.

If you find yourself in Gràcia, do pay Amato Sole a visit. I think you’ll be enchanted by what’s on offer, which is desirable for any tough cookie and sweet delicate flower, as well as the whole range of lads and ladies in between. For more information check out the Amato Sole website and to keep up to date, keep an eye out for their Facebook page. Amato Sole is open from Wed-Sat from 5 pm – 8.30 pm. You’ll know when you get there by their sign as well as the touches of green on their façade, tucked into the recycled potato bags that they have become famous for.

Amato Sole Furniture design

Touches of green

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