Thursday, November 27, 2008

strike a pose.

cipolla's first photo shoot!

yes, one where i'm not snapping the shots
and the camera is larger then a pack of gum!
why talk when there's pictures waiting! ...

cipolla reversible cowls

cipolla plaid scarves

cipolla flannel forest scarves


Monday, October 20, 2008

softest!, coziest!, snuggliest! [that's a word, right?]

i've finally taken photos of my new line of brushed cotton scarves. these were so popular at the puces pop market in montreal earlier this month that i returned home out of stock and had to busy myself in the workshop to get a collection ready for the shop.

they are finally here! photographed, listed, and available in a variety of colours. these really are the softest comfiest material you could want to have snuggled around your neck.

this scarf will become your new favourite item of clothing,
and your best friend on a chilly day waiting for the bus ;)

they are a large square shape - so that they can be folded, draped, twisted and slung in various trendy ways. a great unisex piece, and the perfect combination of style and warmth.

vic and i are already addicted to ours... running to the corner for a coffee is a happy excuse to wear it.

anyhow... back to the machines...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

puces pop 08!

we're in montreal this weekend for the puces pop marketplace!
saturday & sunday, 11am to 7pm
St Michel Church Hall, 105 St Viateur Ouest

i've been busy sewing up some fresh goods,
especially new fall & winter scarves...
come find our table and mention this post,
we'll be happy to hand you a free sewn fresh daily pin ;)

happy weekend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

drumroll please...

cipolla's newsletter draw has come to an end!
four lucky subscribers have been pulled from the hat and will soon be hearing of their fate...

of course, thank-you to all our lovely subscribers!
you'll be seeing the new issue of sewn fresh daily within a week or so, announcing the winners as well as loads of other fun info.

ciao for now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

only three more sleeps...

a bonanza of cipolla goodies is on the way!

in just three days i'll be pulling a few lucky names out of the proverbial hat... four sewn fresh daily subscribers will win some fab cipolla loot! [including scarves, bags, hankies... and more!] there will be one grand prize worth over $100 retail, as well as three smaller prizes.

if you aren't already on cipolla's mailing list, what's the delay?!
i'll be drawing names on September 29th at noon... so if you're keen to compete, get your subscribe email sent before then ;)

to join the mailing list and receive cipolla's newsletter
(sent out every few months)
simply email

all will be announced in the fall issue,
good luck to all you lovely cipolline!

♥ m.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

the first bunch.

i'm pretty sure that there's nothing better then crunching into a carrot freshly picked from your own garden. once washed, they didn't last twenty minutes on the kitchen table.

now i'm staring with lust at the onions... willing them to grow wide enough to justify finally picking one. they must be the slowest growing veggies. seriously, i think they like it - smirking to themselves when i walk by.

okay... enough embarassing garden babble... back to the machine ;)

happy labour day!
♥ m.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


i am beyond smitten. past obsessed. i'd call it a complete consumption. i've never been happier to be sewing until 2am. for the first three days i went to bed still smiling and hearing the hum. i woke-up dreaming we were streaming through long lines of thick stitches through layers of stiff canvas...
[insert heavenly choral sound here]
so it's been over one week since i brought home my baby. my frustration level has never been this low. i'm kicking and cursing only occasionally. it's true! needless to say, the workshop is both a happier and more productive place. i can't wait to dig into my pile of winter scarves. i'm hoping this year will be much less stress crazy. but then, that wouldn't really be cipolla... ah well.

fresh off the new machine, a batch of pencil/gadget cases just in time for back-to-schoolers. listed in the shop today.

happy weekend.
♥ m.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

cipolla's got a new look!

after months of countless doodles and doubts, i'm finally happy with a new look for cipolla.

we've got a new logo, new packaging and tags, a new shop addy []... and of course, new items!

... now if only i could find the time to get our website up and running.
- but for now, we of course love and adore our fabulous Etsy shop ;)

let me know what you think of our new onion!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

the comfiest hobo

for months i've been staring longingly at the stacks of beautiful japanese fabrics on my workshop shelves, waiting for a break in the pile of to-be-sewns beside the machines...
this week the moment finally arrived. i was at last able to let my hands, scissors & needles go crazy on some beautiful cotton damask prints. and what fun i had!... making a flurry of gorgeous soft and comfy hobo bags in a delicious assortment of colours...

this is a new cipolla design [one i've been carrying around with me for six months to test out - and i love it!]. it's the ultimate hobo bag... large and cushy... convenient and stylish bubble shape... complete with zipper closure, two roomy pockets and a key clip.

these bags, and more, listed in the shop this week.

back to the machine for me...
there's always more fab fabrics waiting on the shelves...
♥ m.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

accessory necessities...

lately i've been sneaking away from the sewing machine to take some time in the sunny backyard and finally have some fun with the assortment of findings I've collected over the past year or so...

new in the shop this month, we've got a nice mix of hair clips and other unique and lovely accessories.

glass owl earring studs - $5.75

fresh leaf hair clips - $5.00

as with all cipolla items, these pieces are handmade in small batches with love and care. they feature unique and/or vintage parts that i find while taking a break from sewing to indulge myself in a little shopping. and they're not just for girls! i've been working on some pins / tie clips... like this compass pin.

directional brooch or tie pin - $5.00

more to come, including cuff links and perhaps some jewellery.
though for now, back to the machine...
♥ m.

Friday, June 13, 2008

one year and counting...

for those of you who haven't been to the shop lately, now's a great time to drop by and peruse the "aisles"... we're having sales all month in honour of our shop's one-year anniversary!
a big, huge thank-you to all our etsy customers
- it has been a fabulous, fun year!

♥ m.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

nel giardino...

my facination with container gardening is stronger then ever this year... from lettuce and cayennes to zucchini and spinach.

and while it's so muggy here in toronto that i begin to wilt after just a quick walk to the cornerstore, the garden is holding up well... the cipolle are six inches and counting!

♥ m.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the new girl.

i found this most fabulous old dress form on ebay (yes, i was finally lured to the dark side... but i swear it is just a quick flirtation, I won't make it a habit). as soon as i saw it i was convinced it was exactly what the workshop needed. it's looking so mechanical and uninspiring here these days... we needed some character.

the seller just happened to be in toronto too, so within a few days she had arrived... lovely and inspiring in the workshop window. she's made of wood and cast iron, with a papier mache neck and an old hand sewn cover - great details that make me feel a little connected to previous owner(s) who seem to have loved her much. and she really helps to bring out the amazing victorian details in the room... somehow the molding seems brighter, the stained glass glows. ha! i'm such a sap.

(fyi... the fab purse she's wearing now is a newer cipolla hobo design in the amazing new echino fabrics... you'll see them in the shop in the coming week or so).


Monday, May 12, 2008

setting up shop.

im reporting back from the first days of the move. i was so excited about the new space for the cipolla workshop that i couldn't resist a little doodling of what i'd soon be setting up.

here's what it actually looked like that first afternoon...

oh the workshop it will be! i am often catching myself standing in the doorway... staring though to the window at the end of the room... smiling in a sort of day-dreamy way. the plants are loving it too.

i'm gradually un-packing more and more, adding shelves and such, neurotically organizing bits into containers and baskets... hopefully to be done within the next week or so. in the meantime i better put what's there to use, the shop is beginning to look a little empty these days...


Monday, April 28, 2008

packing up.

we're moving house!
and that means cipolla is moving too (to a bigger and sunnier workshop, hooray). so i'm cleaning, purging, and packing us all up... fun! (and i'm not being sarcastic, i really do love the purging and packing part).

for any interested cipollini - this means that all online purchases made this week will not ship out until monday (may 5th), when i've had time to settle in and find everything!

thank-you for your patience.
♥ m.

Monday, April 21, 2008

we're back!

my hands are back from vacation and my machine is back from the shop (apparently i over work it...).

ahh yes, that familiar mess surrounds me... doodles and to-do lists taking over the worktable, pins and fabric scraps under my feet, bits of thread on my pjs... the workshop is busy again!

as for our vacation this past week... whether i'm in algonquin park or at the beach, i always seem to spend half of my vacation taking photos of the local creatures. on this trip i was particularily obsessed with the birds.

this sleepy seagull was especially adorable.

why not, amuse yourself with a few more of my faves while i get back to work...

♥ m.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

hanky love.

we're having a happy hanky sale at cipolla!

hankies in the etsy shop are on sale for as low as $7.50 each.
I'm making room for new hankies in the coming months,
so now's a great time to snatch up a bargain!

handkerchiefs are indespensible little tools - not just for sneezes, but for spills, hot coffee cups, funky pocket squares, and more.

they make fab gifts - pretty and practical, and eco-friendly too :)

chocolate cream trio - $22.50

vintage prints duo - $15.00

asian scenic hanky - $7.50

cipolla hankies are made from prewashed, 100% cotton. they are two ply, sewn carefully and topstitched for extra durability. washer and dryer safe. and damn cute!

hooray for hankies!
♥ m.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

good eats.

waffles are one of my favourite things to make on a weekend day at home. i like to make a plate of them and snack while we putter around the house.

then we throw leftovers in the fridge and pop them in the toaster for a quick breakfast or snack during the week. easy and delish workshop fuel ;)

i like an eggy batter and milk chocolate chips - edges of the chocolate will get crunchy while inside it's melty and goey... seriously good eats.

back to work.
♥ m.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

etsy fraud squad.

well, yesterday was quite the day here in the workshop. in the morning i found out that a new online "shop" had appeared, claiming to be a collective working with designers to sell handmade handbags. funny thing was - the bags were Cipolla's bags! images and descriptions taken right from my etsy shop (as well as from two other etsy shops). after i got over the initial disbelief - it was so weird to see everything arranged in a shop, even using the cipolla name, and me having no idea - i became horrified, nightmares of being associated with a scam that was at best collecting handmade prices and shipping out factory knock-offs & at worst taking the money and running. yikes.

i found out about this from a fellow victim who had been alerted to the shop through google alerts (i hesitate to give google even more promotion, but i have to say yay! for this service). immediately i emailed every contact addy i could find - but surprise surprise, they didn't work. i then emailed the host service, a marketplace similar to etsy without the handmade focus, and waited for a response.

but as i attempted to get back to work i couldn't stop thinking about it. i was worried for sure, but i was even feeling a little scared - i'm not very internet or e-commerce savvy - i felt a little helpless, not knowing what to expect or what i could ultimately do. the fellow seller who had also been used said she felt violated, and i think that's actually a good description. then i thought - i should post this in the etsy forums! i rarely go into the forums these days, but when you need advice or support, it seems that fellow etsians always come through. what harm could it do? i posted the issue and went back to the sewing machine for a half hour.

when i returned the thread was like 25 pages long! people expressing outrage, support, and best of all - doing detective work and sending off emails of disgust. by mid-day staff from the host service had found the thread and - though they never did answer my original email from the morning - promised to look into it immediately. etsy staff jumped right in too! and it was fabulous to know they had our back even though this was something happening outside of etsy. man, did the three of us feel the love! by the afternoon i had been contacted by the CEO of the host service and by the evening the "shop" was no more. i hope we caught it in time, before anyone had made any "purchases".

sometimes i forget that etsy is more then just a network of artists and shops - it can be a family. seriously, i'm not usually one to get too involved in the forums and i've never even been in the chat rooms, but it was amazing to read and feel the genuine concern and real efforts to help that poured out from everyone who posted yesterday. so thank-you all, you rock!

all in all it was a surprising, horrifying, frustrating, informative, and ultimately victorious and uplifting day.

not bad for a random wednesday in the workshop ;)
♥ m.

oh, and through it all, i even got my work done!

a new batch of favourite bags was finally finished and will be posted in the shop over the next few days.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

opera shoes.

this december my family pooled resources and floored me on xmas morning with two tickets to the opera - fabulous, ridiculously expensive seats and a classic italian work: tosca. over the past year i have been daydreaming aloud about going to a show (after all, i pass the opera company building almost every time i take the tram). of course, it was one of those things that i didn't expect to make happen any time soon - so when i opened the gift i was so surprised i actually teared up (which of course just made my brothers' smiles even bigger as they watched).

so as i waited for the months to pass (the performance was in february), i prepared. i treated myself to new moisturizer and lip gloss at the pharmacy (so indulgent, i know!)... oh, and another round of black hair dye too. i had a great dress that i bought in the fall... but i dragged vic out for a few hours of shoe shopping. i wanted to really make it a big deal... i even wore nylons! and then a few days before the show i resolved to make myself a new bag - i often feel like the cobbler who's kids don't have shoes, so it was a fun change in the workshop.

i made myself this purse and wallet (below) from a fabulous plush velvety silvery remnant that i picked up at a local fabric shop months ago. i made a few extras for the shop too, so go check them out if you're a fellow fan of silver-grey goodness.

i wore a simple black 1950's inspired sweater dress, and my shoes made me happy with their fab little cut-outs and just the right amount of toe cleavage. vic was in black as well, wearing the silver poppy tie that i bought her from fellow etsian toybreaker (favourite!). we were sharp and shimmery in our fab black and silver splendor, and the cutest little femme/butch stereotype couple you ever did see! we were feeling so indulgent we even splurged on surprisingly delicious coffee and cookies at intermission. all in all it was a most fabulous night.

much love to the famiglia.
♥ m.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

i ♥ emma.

a couple of weeks ago i stumbled upon fellow etsy shop emmaklingbeil and fell in love with many of her paintings.
never being one to resist an impulse buy, i bought my favourite one heart strings (above) right away and impatiently waited for it to arrive.

and the wait was worth it. opening the package was like opening one of those great xmas gifts that you knew was under the tree - unwrapping slowly, savoring each new peek of it before you tear another strip off.

her paintings are moody and lovable. they're creepy and cute, gloomy and fantastical (hmm... this is sounding exactly like how vic describes me...) - they make me grin and imagine things. and many of them, like this one, have a fabulous little frame and shadow painted around the edge that i just adore.

this has got to be my favourite etsy purchase to date!
i am so happy with it, i can't say enough about it. i already have my eye on another one. and at under $60 for an original piece, what more can i say?

so go on and check out her shop!

♥ m.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


yes it's true, i'm finally getting to work on a new batch of bags for the shop. this weekend i finished a few with my tree applique. this one is my favourite of the bunch - i love the blue/grey and caramel colour combo, and the soft corduroy combined with the sharp embroidery. yum.

keep watch this week - as i finish more bags, i'll be listing them in the shop. i'm determined to get to some swallows, and sea creatures...

♥ m.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

balcony inspiration.

i've been having trouble these last few months finding time to sit down and draw up some new appliques. batches of zombies, crows, and trees are keeping my fingers busy.

one thing i've been meaning to do for a while is a little homage to the squirrels who hound our back balcony, feasting on the scraps vic's always putting out for them and keeping me company while i take my coffee breaks in the kitchen. they're so cute they almost make me forget how they tore up my garden each morning this past summer.

a few mornings ago i snagged a pic of this little guy.

he definitely made my morning - looking so content with his food find, depite the cold and horribly windy day it was. i took a few minutes to plan a new squirrely inspired item. i had a few yards of a fabulous cashmere blend on the workshop shelves, leftover from my batch of december scarves, it was a dark chocolately brown that seemed perfect.

the result was a cute and cozy new scarf, available in my etsy shop.

back to the machine!
♥ m.