Italian sketches

Every time we get to go on holiday I always make big plans on things I’m going to do, especially related to sketching outdoors. Every time I pack my bag with too many colours, pens, sketchbook, and all I can think I might need. And promptly, most of them remain unused and never see the light. This time, I took advantage of the fact that we were travelling just with hand luggage and took with me only the basics: my tiny  homemade watercolour box, my tiny concertina book, one water brush, a pencil and a gel pen. And it worked. The weather hasn’t been great and the time I had to sit and draw was very limited. I only managed to do two very quick sketches, one in Rome, while waiting for the tram, and one in Pisa, while waiting for my girlfriends. Talking about killing time while waiting…

This view

We have been waking up to this view for the past two days. It is so familiar to me and yet I’m amazed every time I look at it.

We are loving the sunshine and the long walks along the seaside. The peacefulness of the empty beaches and the magnificent colours of the sunset. Italy if we could trust you, we would move back straight away. For now we will just enjoy our holiday time here.

Last week in pictures

Last week we were in Central Italy, visiting family. As we live in a different country and don’t see them often, we try to go back every now and then for a quick visit. This time we had a special occasion to celebrate and decided to make it into a mini vacation. Little we knew that we would all catch a cold, as soon as we’d land, and someone would even get high temperature and a yeast infection. But despite these minor shortfalls, we had a great time. The weather was still warm for daily walks, our usual breakfast place was still in business and as good as ever, Olivia played a lot with the dog and loved having her grandparents and aunty around (not so much her little cousin!).
We do miss Italy, a lot, and every time we go back there, it’s harder to leave, even more now than my little is growing up. Dreaming of going back one day and living in a nice house in the countryside or by the sea. In the meantime we treasure out time spent there and collect photos over photos.

Italy we love you!

Summer skies // Italian holiday // Part 1

Skies // Calabria //Italy
Lots of summer skies from our holiday in southern Italy. Most of the above were taken from the terrazza of my parents house. They live in an apartment on the 4th floor of a building very close to the beach and the view is amazing. You can see the entire Gulf of Squillace, and on a clear day you can easily spot the farthest southern end. I will never have enough of this view and it is one of the things I miss the most. 

Our trip to Italy in photos

We spent the week between the end of April and beginning of May visiting my family in Calabria, Southern Italy. We had a fabulous time, the weather was great and it didn’t rain once…that’s all we needed after a very long and cold winter here in London. We had long walks on the beach, celebrated my birthday, ate lots of ice creams and pizza, went out for breakfast and had some alone time while my parents were enjoying themselves looking after Olivia. It was very refreshing, and made us realise once more how hard it is being just us here, with no family around. 
We are so looking forward to the next summer holiday!

A few holiday’s sketches

Rimessa barche – fine lungomare lato Corace

Quadrivio Nalini

Golfo di Squillace

Tetti – Catanzaro Lido zona Corace

We spent the past week in Catanzaro Lido (Southern Italy), my hometown. The weather was great, sunny and warm, but not too much you get sunburned and your watercolours dry while still on the brush!
Because we went visiting my family, we had baby sitters for my little Miss O basically all day long and that gave me the chance to go out by myself and do some en-plain-air sketching. I had planned to bring with me an A4 Moleskine watercolour pad I bought a few years ago with the plan to fill it in with sketches of my hometown. However, the pressure I felt when thinking about the size and the commitment required made me decided to bring my usual large moleskine pad. It was a good choice, but now I feel I’ve gained enough confidence to bring my larger pad next time. I was hoping to be able to draw a bit more, but feel quite happy with the overall results. All drawings and watercolours were done on location, with only a few touches added later on.  

Up in the snowy mountains

Aschi Alto – Abruzzo, Italy
We went visiting my in-laws back in February this year. They live in central Italy, up on the mountains and it snows a lot during winter. This sketch was done on location, during one of our afternoon car trips. We pulled the car over the side of the road (we only saw one car driving on the same road that afternoon!). It was cold outside, so I stayed in the car. Shame about the electricity lines, which I love in general; they came out too big, but I didn’t really have a flat surface to keep my sketchbook steady.

The 52 project: week 7

We spent the week in Italy, visiting my in-laws. It was cold and snowy for most part, but we had some sunshine and a clear sky towards the end. Little Miss O had a great time playing with her grandparents, the dog and her little cousin. As we spent a lot of time together, we took lots of pictures, both with the camera and the phones, and it was difficult to choose just one that would represent the week. Here is a bunch of  this week photos.

Reading time

Out for a walk

Painting with mama

On the snow with papa
This week you:

Insisted on brushing your teeth every time we went in the bathroom.
Refused to dress up for the Carnival parade. And fell asleep as soon as the parade started.
Had a temperature one night and made us watch two episodes of ‘In the night garden’ at 1am.
Asked to go and play with the dog, hundreds of times during the day.
Note: I’m publishing this post on Monday this week as we flew back to England on Sunday.

Christmas Holidays wrap up

It was awesome! We spent the holidays in Italy visiting our families. We were up on the mountains until Boxing Day and down to the beach until the Epiphany. We had snow, Miss O met her first cousin, we exchanged presents, we had cappuccino and cornetto for breakfast (almost everyday!), we walked on the beach, we went skateboarding, we enjoyed the sunshine and the warm weather, we loved have family around, we had our first sleep through the night (pure bliss!), we had lots of good food, we went to the local market, we had ice cream. WE.HAD.A.REALLY.GOOD.TIME.

This week in pictures

So like everyone else on the blog sphere, from time to time I will be sharing a summary of my life through pictures. I take most of my pictures using my phone, it’s always with me and it doesn’t require much effort. The only phone app I sometime use is Instagram. I do love Instagram and its filters, the vintage feel is quite cool and you can easily turn uninteresting pictures in more appealing ones. My Instagram pictures are posted on twitter as soon as I take them, I usually give it some thoughts before shooting, trying to catch more interesting subjects. The phone camera is for everything else, including videos, and the pics stay on my phone until needed.
This week I’m sharing both Instagram and phone photos.
The Instagram topic for this week is the beach! We are having an unbearable heat wave and spending most of the day at the sea.
The rest of the time is spent having fun watching Miss O doing new things…like standing up holding on furniture and trying to climb out of her cot…so much fun!
The photo layout has been edited using a free iPhone app called “photosplit”….it does what I need and it’s easy to use. Shame about the app tag on the final layout.