DIY-spiration: Pastries, Sweets, and Desserts!

Traveling throughout Italy and Europe has introduced me to remarkable art, breathtaking views, and…. delicious sweets and desserts! For me, a big part of experiencing new cultures is trying different types of food, and I have a special fondness for all things sugary and sweet. Mmmm….Desserts have always been an inspiration for me, maybe because I love them so much!  My cat macaron plush and mooncake charm are some of my favorite tutorials 🙂

For me, desserts aren’t just guilty pleasures; their delicate forms and compositions are truly works of art. From cute, fluffy creampuffs to elaborately layered tarts, the pastries in Europe are both delectable and a beauty to behold. I wanted to share with you guys my own mini “recipe book” of dessert DIYs, but of course the ingredients will be fabric and cotton stuffing!

brioche instructions

Brioche with a cappuccino is one of my breakfast favorites! I had this particularly amazing Nutella and white chocolate cream combination at a bar in Rome. Soft, buttery pastry combined with rich sweetness of the creams…. Well, I think it would make an adorable and tasty looking plushie 🙂

strawberry and pistacchio tart intsructions

One of my favorite parts of Paris was the amazing and decadent selection of pastries, and I only regret I could not eat more! This strawberry tart had a crisp base layered with pistachio (also apologies for the misspelling in the picture!), a light custard cream, and juicy, fresh strawberries. The beautiful colors and diverse textures would make it a beautiful DIY project.

upside down apple cake instructions

I made this upside-down apple cake in my Italian cooking class. The base was layered with lemon zest and the apples were stewed in homemade caramel. To mimic the layers of the cake and also to minimize sewing, I would suggest building up the fabric by layering and glueing!

Of course, all of these DIY projects are pretty hypothetical, since I don’t have access to sewing supplies. However, I just wanted to share the cuteness and happiness these pastries brought me, and I will definitely post the actual creations when I make them! Let me know which one looks the tastiest to you 🙂

 

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DIY-spiration: Art

Every once and a while, I see something so beautifully made that it absolutely takes my breath away… And then I came to Europe, and at this point I can pretty much no longer breathe. These past few weeks have been like a walk through my art history textbook. Before studying abroad, I had an idea of what art was (or as much as I could glean from high school art history class), but now I feel as though I am living in a world where beautiful works are a given and art is a part of life.

This past weekend I took a trip to Paris and hit three museums – the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, and Musee l’Orangerie. I felt as though I embarked on a journey that took me through the change and growth of art throughout human history. Even though I know hundreds of thousands of people have traipsed through these same museums and have gawked at the same paintings, I still felt like the works were speaking to me individually. It was an incredible experience and gave me beautiful ideas for creating and sewing. I wanted to share some of my favorite works with you guys 🙂

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Monet’s waterlilies were a calm pool of nature in the middle of my tourist-attraction filled day. It made me want to embroider delicate flower and blossoms while sitting in a lovely Italian garden!

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Though I’m usually not a huge fan of portraiture, Renoir’s paintings made me stop because of the detailing of the clothing! Probably not the best reason for appreciating fine art, but I was struck by how the dresses were airy and light yet substantial at the same time. Maybe that’s the power of impressionism! I know the next dress I make will have to be modeled after one of these paintings.

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And my all time favorite work of the day was Canova’s Cupid and Psyche. It honestly gave me no specific DIY inspiration, but it fill me with a feeling of overwhelming tenderness and love ❤

What I felt most as I explored these museums was the love of the artists and the strength behind their works. Whether it was tranquility, desperation, love, or sadness, each work invoked such deep feelings. I think we all have an urge to create, to share something unique with those around us. I can only hope that anything I make is able to convey even a fraction of what I saw in these great works of art!

DIY-spiration: Chocolate, Chocolate

Whenever I create a sewing/DIY project, I always begin with a theme in mind. Sometimes, its complex and serious; I want to express certain emotions, capture a certain moment, or design something for a specific person. Other times, it’s a little more lighthearted – cats, a , or… chocolate! chocobeer

During a recent trip to Siena, we stumbled on a little chocolate-themed shop. But it was more than just a store of chocolate bars and bonbons; there were also a variety of chocolate gadgets just full of DIY inspiration! And what really struck me was the passion behind the inspiration. Clearly, the shop owner simply loved chocolate and wanted to share his passion with the world. dessert decors signs

What I love about sewing and DIY in general is that you can use it to express your love for anything at all. No matter how simple, any idea can be transformed into a creative project, as long as it makes you feel excited. If there could be a whole shop filled with creations centered only a chocolate, then aren’t the possibilities endless?chocoroll box

Ciao, tutti!

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I’m super excited to announce that I’m out of the country and studying abroad in Italy for the next 10 weeks! But while this is pretty great for me, my posting schedule is likely to be a bit random because my sewing machine is sadly not the most convenient travel buddy. It’s going to be a bit harder for me to design DIY projects, but I’ll continue to post sewing/DIY advice along with inspiration. And there is so much inspiration in Florence! I am bursting with ideas for future projects inspired by the street art, Renaissance buildings, and local fashion, and I can’t wait to share them with you guys when I get back to my sewing supplies!

Meanwhile, if you would like to follow my bounce around Italy and read my non-DIY posts (I’d be flattered!), you can check out my travel blog vorreiunpanino.wordpress.com.