Blog in Italiano · Life in Malta · Textile jewellery · Wooden crafts

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The best way to know when we work on a new project or we’ve just made a new item and shared on our social media or we want to tell you a story from Sicily or Malta is to SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter! Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails 😉 I usually find some time once a month to recap our new activities, such as new necklaces of a different color or print pattern.

During July for example, I created a new collection of crochet bangles and my uncle finished the very last Miniature nativity set in shell and olive wood he managed to make. I would also like to share with you pictures of the product process and coupon codes to thank you for your interest and time. I think it is a way to keep in touch and get back from you, too! So, what are you waiting for? SUBSCRIBE

 Il modo migliore per sapere quando lavoriamo ad un nuovo progetto o abbiamo appena realizzato un nuovo articolo e condiviso sui nostri social media o vogliamo raccontarvi una storia dalla Sicilia o da Malta, è quello di ISCRIVERTI alla nostra newsletter! Non preoccuparti, non ti bombarderò di email  😉 Di solito trovo un po’ di tempo una volta al mese per ricapitolare le nostre nuove attivitĂ .

Questa giostrina con pesci in legno rustico è un’affascinante decorazione nautica da appendere, intagliata e dipinta a mano. La trovi su: coral.shopping/store/mediterraneanart

Durante il mese di luglio, per esempio, ho creato una nuova collezione di braccialetti all’uncinetto e mio zio ha consegnato gli ultimi Presepi in miniatura fatti a mano in guscio di noce e ulivo che è riuscito a fare. Vorrei condividere con te le immagini del nostri lavori in corso d’opera e i coupon sconto per ringraziarti del tuo interesse per noi. Penso che sia un modo per tenersi in contatto, sentiti libera di scrivermi e fare due chiacchere. Allora, cosa stai aspettando? ISCRIVITI

Wooden crafts

Discover the island vibes

Wooden crafts

How a gecko, butterflies, fish and sperm whales can make positive vibes at home

We experience the home not only as a comfortable retreat but as a place to enjoy ourselves and meet safely with friends and family, in person or remotely. Our domestic space is an extension of our mind, and surrounding ourselves with objects that have meaning and value is relevant, especially in uncertain times like these. It was the stimulus that my uncle Salvatore had, even before the pandemic, when he decided to focus his creativity on making original Mediterranean-style home decorations.
Working at his stand in tourist seaside areas, he listened to those customers who asked him for something more than the classic souvenir they found in all the shops. Something unique could remind them of the nature they had touched during their holidays and the contact with the island they had managed to establish. That’s why the collection of hand-painted animals was born. To evoke and remember in time the colors and smells of nature and Sicily. Each fish, gecko, or butterfly that my uncle works on is an individual creation. Read on to discover some of his treasures!

Hand-painted wooden decoration for desk, shelf, wall. Made of wood, cut and smoothed, it has been painted by hand with acrylic colors and then with protective varnish.
The gecko is a very common reptile in temperate climate areas and has several peculiarities that distinguish it: the ability to adapt and change colors, its legs manage to adhere to various types of surfaces and still the equipment of the voice instead of a hiss which allows it to communicate with each other. It is harmless but above all useful, in fact it feeds on insects, for its intervention it is appreciated in homes. For many cultures it represents adaptability, regeneration, strength and survival skills. It is also a symbol of eternal friendship.
mediterraneanartmt.etsy.com
Sperm whale made of wood cut and smoothed, hand painted with acrylic colors and then with protective varnish. Unique piece is very special thanks to the copper tail, obtained from scraps of other processes. Eyes are made from a nail and a leather disk.
On the back a string of twine will allow you to hang it in the direction you like most.
coral.shopping/store/mediterraneanart
This rustic fish wind chime is a charming hanging nautical decoration carved and painted by hand. It is made of natural driftwood, painted fir and knotted cotton rope. Colorful and easy to hang on, it can be placed indoors and outdoors in a decorative way.
It looks like a bunch of fish caught by the village fisherman.
Our wooden fish is a beautiful accent piece that will personalize your home dĂŠcor. The rope is macrame braided, while each fish is handmade by the shabby chic technique. It will amaze your relatives and guests, too. This decorative driftwood fish is a simple, yet thoughtful gift idea for any occasion.
mediterraneanartmt.etsy.com
These one-offs painted butterflies are colorful spring and summer decorations, carved and painted by hand. Easily place them indoor and outdoor in a decorative way. You can hang our fir wood butterfly as a beautiful accent piece that will personalize your home dĂŠcor or your nursery. We did not screw a hanger behind it. We rather leave it to you to choose the way you most like to hang it. But you will find a triangle hook and nail in the envelope to be ready to hang it!
www.mediterraneanartmt.etsy.com

Wooden crafts

Hello summer!

Wooden crafts

Driftwood fish wall hanging coastal home accent

coral.shopping/store/mediterraneanart

This wooden skeleton fish is a marine style mobile decoration, carved and hand-painted. The head and tail are made of reclaimed fir, while the driftwood bones have been found at the beach. Furthermore, wooden beads or seeds are inserted between the bones. Resistant to heat and sun, it can be placed inside and outside the house and last over time.

www.mediterraneanartmt.etsy.com

Each piece differs from the other based on the availability of the available recycled materials. We collect twigs of wood sparingly. Looting the beach is not part of my philosophy, but reducing waste and plastic in our homes. Other recycled materials present in this decoration are leather discs, cut and pierced one by one.

coral.shopping/store/mediterraneanart

In addition to the fishbone, the characterizing element of this mobile and practical ornament is the tail, which comes in three shapes. The colours we choose are pastel or bright acrylics such as orange or red, scratched to give a shabby effect. By adding some shells and the net you can recreate a coastal shabby environment. Visit my Pinterest board to browse some ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/mediterraneanart/mediterranean-art-home-decor/

www.mediterraneanartmt.etsy.com

Personalize and liven up your family environment. Each mobile fish is unique and will amaze your relatives and guests as well. This decorative wooden fish is an original gift idea for any occasion. In our shop on ETSY MediterraneanArtMT you only find unique items whose small imperfections, such as a few drops of paint, testify to the entire artisan process carried out at home and by a single person. All our treasures are securely wrapped in envelopes made by hand with the coated magazine paper and decorated with raffia ribbon.

My online artisan adventure begins here

Follow us on social media and keep reading my blog to get to know me!

Wooden crafts

Spring home decor

Life in Malta · Wooden crafts

A sustainable handmade local gift shop in Malta

coral.shopping/store/mediterraneanart

We founded Mediterranean Art intending to collect beach and unused materials to give them new life. Inspired by the colourful and bright island lifestyle, we are shared between Sicily and Malta, in the heart of the Mediterranean. Most home accents are made from reclaimed wood or driftwood. Our best handwork is the coastal style home decor, designed to look old and weathered. We use non-toxic paint. Our one of kind crafts enhances your living spaces bringing sea breeze and scent of our beaches and green fields.

hanging fishbone
wall hanging home accent
cactus door stopper
Fish towel hook

The synergy between wood and textiles comes from our family. My mum and my grandma have been tailors for all their life, so I have always been surrounded by fabrics and creativity.

We love making women jewellery and accessories from scraps and upcycled textiles. I design comfy scarf necklaces for ladies who want to be bold, enjoying colours and softness. Our jewellery pieces show personality and joy, changing a basic outfit in their fashion style.

Each item is handmade by me or my uncle with all care and attention deserved. We always come up with new ideas, so you will surely find something new in our shop.

Follow us on social media for looking behind the scenes:

Facebook  Pinterest  Instagram

Wooden crafts

Miniature nativity set in shell and olive wood handmade in Sicily

At MediterraneanArt we made available for shipping few nativity sets made of walnut shells and sliced olive wood picked locally (Messina) from our and friends fields.

My uncle Salvatore collects and picks during sunny afternoons branches cut for pruning and selects which walnuts are the best for his project. That is why every listed item is unique, I enjoy making many pictures of it. It depends on the walnut shell shape and sliced wood. About the whole process, the first step is the cleaning and smoothing the inner part of a shell, then brushing and varnishing to harden it. The second step is choosing what the best slice matching with the shape of the walnut, later cut accordingly to be stuck together. Once dry, my uncle glues the Holy Family in a circular shape, keeping Baby Jesus at the centre. All statues are stainless silver metal. I usually ship it safely and nicely using a thick paper box made by myself to fit the specific nativity. Please find purchasing details on the item page.

Give it not for Christmas only, is a unique gift for an extra-special family or person. When an item is handmade, it has meaning and value. Gift it saying you know the name of the craftsman who made it. Salvatore works hard making beauties with organic and recycled material, dedicating on his projects his experience and love. Visiting Sicily, everyone may notice in each house a nativity scene, bigger or smaller. It is our tradition.

When an item is handmade, it has meaning and value

Italy is worldwide known for Christianism. Nativity art has been crafted in Naples and later in Palermo. The first crib has been carved by Andrea Mancino back to 1494 in a town called Termini Imerese, inside the church Maria Santissima dell’Annunziata. Following are some reference links:

https://presepiando.wordpress.com/il-presepe-siciliano/

https://beniambientalieculturaliimeresi.wordpress.com/lo-scrigno-dei-tesori-artistici/il-presepe-marmoreo-di-andrea-mancino/

https://www.tempostretto.it/news/tradizioni-natalizie-origini-primo-presepe-siciliano-1494-termini-imerese.html

About the team and Etsy shop

My uncle and I come from a Sicilian village far from touristic routes, lived by local resident only. Back in 2013, we both did not have a stable job. I decided to open an online shop on Etsy. I can consider myself lucky to learn a lot from him. All started when he gave me some fabric yarns purchased in a craft fair. Since October 2012, I have not stopped knitting and sewing fabric jewellery. It really works on self-esteem and makes me proud of my abilities. I am passionate about craftsmanship. Now I live in Malta working as a librarian while I keep helping my uncle managing our shop. I strongly believe in a sustainable environment and in human being, supporting handmade and small business.
My uncle’s crafts are principally made of local or traceable wood and driftwood, getting inspired by the Mediterranean and the Aeolian Islands, so close to our coastline.

Read our latest Facebook and Instagram posts, shop at mediterraneanartcrafts.com

How a gecko, butterflies, fish and sperm whales can make positive vibes at home

We experience the home not only as a comfortable retreat but as a place to enjoy ourselves and meet safely with friends and family, in person or remotely. Our domestic space is an extension of our mind, and surrounding ourselves with objects that have meaning and value is relevant, especially in uncertain times like these.… Continue reading How a gecko, butterflies, fish and sperm whales can make positive vibes at home

Textile jewellery · Wooden crafts

Buying and selling on Etsy

I opened our Etsy shop already seven years ago, it was the beginning of March 2013. It was not a decision taken in a few days but an idea born during the Christmas market after talking to my uncle’s daughter, who is a jewellery designer. She was the first introducing me into the Etsy world. Starting from reading the “Seller handbook” and make research how to write a good description and title, I tried several times how to make clear and nice pictures using my uncle’s camera and very important, studying British English and American English after 12 years, when I studied it at school.

ABOUT US

My uncle makes cute and colourful home and outdoor decorations and ethnic jewellery. He is the maker of our family. Where we come from (North East of Sicily coast) has never been proper tourism, are mostly relatives coming from Northern Italy or heirs from abroad during summer peak months and the only chance to sell is standing on the promenade where folks walk at night having an ice cream or a drink. I have also thought that it is a hard task working long hours while uploading and downloading boxes, standing at a stall for a very short period of the year. And this summer would be even complicated because of the breakdown. I still cannot figure out this. Back in 2013, I was unemployed so I had all time possible to learn new skills I trusted I would be found useful for future jobs. Looking at what is happening all around us I am happy to still keep open and manage our Etsy shop. it is my daily aim of improving it and get sales to compensate my uncle missed earnings.

SELLING HANDMADE CRAFTS

Our first sale arrived four months later. They were two doorstops to be shipped to the US. After the enthusiasm I had a sort of panic attack, asking myself what kind of packaging would be best and how to ship, not forgetting the receipt. Opting for a simple gift wrap and bubble envelope, I went then to the post office. For a long time I hoped for a reply from the buyer but it never arrived. In all these seven years I must admit the most exciting moment of this business is not the famous “cha-ching” (sound of purchase) but reading the message or the review of a buyer who is happy and says: <<keep up the good work>>. Reviews boost me and confirm I am on the right way.

It is hard trying to sell online if you are never done this before. First of all, everyone should know laws, digital and marketing skills. If you do it without any help and little money is much harder. Having and manage time is another requirement too, even for those who have digital skills. My obsessions are the views of listings, especially when in a full month I have zero views. I struggle to find the right keywords for both Italian and English, but English is more time consuming and attempts. Photography is as well a critic moment since I do not live in a large apartment and have a lot of natural light. There are just specific timings of the day when I can shoot, making my best to get clear and nice pictures. It has been in the last two years I took this business seriously, studying and reading digital and content marketing in my spare time, following group chats on social media and experimenting myself.   

In the meantime, I built up a collection of fabric yarn necklaces which I started making and selling first in Sicilian open-air markets and later in Malta. In this small country I also finally got a job as Assistant Librarian after several years after reading a master degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Moving to Malta has enabled me to think in English rather than use a translator any time. I believe that otherwise, I would not be able to support buyers from the US first, then Australia, Canada, Japan, Hawai, Thailand, Singapore, Israel among the countries I shipped handmade items with a vivid joy of my uncle.

Starting this business has changed my interests.

Ten years ago I was not used to read fashion magazines, I was not keen on psychology and communications techniques. Since I manage this virtual space including this blog, I realize that interests expanded. Today I mostly read essays than fiction but this might be influenced by my main job as academic librarian. I must confess digital marketing is fascinating and transferable in each field.

CHOOSING WITH AWARENESS

Why Etsy and not a different marketplace, maybe are you asking dear reader.

Because I liked the way of thinking and approach passing through the website. It was the first marketplace to admit of causing pollution because of emissions due to deliveries and trying to support sustainability planting new trees. It is a specific platform where you find marvelous gift ideas and lovely vintage items. There is so much great design and art that you are never tired of browsing.

Links below might be useful for those of you who want to learn more:

https://help.etsy.com/hc/articles/115013196707

https://help.etsy.com/hc/articles/115015521108

https://help.etsy.com/hc/articles/115015410208

Wooden crafts

Heart and butterfly olive wood keyring handmade in Sicily

Find us on Etsy: www.mediterraneanartmt.etsy.com and coral.shopping/store/mediterraneanart

Olive trees grow across all the Mediterranean countries and their particular shape make them recognizable even from those who have not much knowledge about tree species. They have twisted branches and large trunks and some are old, it is amazing overlooking a field of olive trees.

I would like to say something about symbolism and history of this kind of tree, called in the proper way “Olea europaea”. It was known and used from the Greek and Roman period. Olive oil was a luxury good well traded while during Olympics athletes and later in the Roman empire valorous men were given on their head an olive round branch as a symbol of glory. The sacrality of the olive branch is also documented in the Bible and it is important for both Hebrews and Christians as an expression of peace and fraternity.

But this marvellous and beautiful tree has many other healthy features: its bark can be used in wood-burning oven releasing delicious smell on baked food, its leaves can be boiled for herbal teas which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Olive oil is full of vitamin E and can be used for improving hair and skin. 

And that is not all. Olive wood has been used since Middle ages in arts and decorative furniture from artisans making pulpits and statues in churches, columns and decorations in private villas, toys, plates, cutlery, trays and more other stuff. It has been used in various ways because of the beautiful pattern of its inner lines it has and a good consistency when carving it and what a smell it makes! 

It is largely used in Italy in almost all center and south regions, Sicily included. 

Whoever holds an olive wooden craft has love and respect for nature

If this one chooses to buy an artisan piece has the awareness  

and respect the work and talent of that man or woman who made it.

My uncle, who has always been a great lover of this wood, creates simple animal-shaped keychains using pieces of the olive tree from the annual tree pruning. With the same template that he uses to make magnets of fir wood, he cut out the shape of the keyring with the reciprocating saw, which he then models with sandpaper. With the drill, he affixes a small hole on each keyring to be able to insert later a cotton thread that weaves and knots or a semi-rigid steel cable and a stainless steel ring. To have an even smoother final effect and a vivid colour, it buffers them with oil which reduces water absorption. They are almost all unique pieces all handmade by himself only and really practical, solid and long-lasting. Mine is a dolphin that I use every day to open the front door from the last three years already. Its shape makes it easily recognizable when I look for it in my bag, especially when I don’t look into it.

Would you like to browse more? Visit our shop mediterraneanart