Creating Postcards

Creative morning! Woke up with the idea to must do a new postcard for our guests this sumeer. Since we are going to have the new vacation rentals in a different house in Pizzo's centro storico, we need neutral cards. 

Palazzo Pizzo's new guest postcard  

Palazzo Pizzo's new guest postcard  


I used different tools. On my smart phone I used the app 'Pic Collage' but then turned to my computer where I have better resolution photos and used 'Publisher'. Funnily, I then emailed the result in JPEG format to myself, opened it on my phone and edited (exposure, contrast, and crop to a postcard format). For my previous postcards I have used also the free software 'PicMonkey' at  

Playing with style and layout ... 

Playing with style and layout ... 

maybe we need business cards as well

maybe we need business cards as well


I don't think our guests will use these postcards, write on the back and mail them. But maybe someone use one as a bookmark or just take one or two home as a souvenir. Maybe they stick them in their photo album, or share it with their friends. Then my mission would be accomplished :-)

BTW, my new postcard is based on my oil painting which is based on a photograph of a beach, most likely between Pizzo and Tropea. 


This blog exists because I love to be creative.

However, lately, I have not been so creative in writing blog posts. My apologies. And thank you to all of you for still sticking with me.

For those who want to know - and maybe the new reader, I will explain, the reason(s) why I was reluctant to blog:
Lack of idea
  • After having finished 99% of our renovation and decoration project, there is not much left to report about the palazzo.
  • Also not living in Italy permanently, does not provide me with many new stories from the village life in the beautyful South.
  • There are so many blogs around these days, that good new stuff that hasn't been explored inside out by others is difficult to find.
  • When I write I want to deliver quality, well researched things. I try not to just briefly touch a fashionable topic.
  • When I press the publish button, it's because I have to tell something. Something that worth to be printed. Something that is entertaining and keeps readers coming back.
Lack of time
  • As I said above, I aim for quality. And that needs time. But nowadays, you need to be faster and faster if you don't want to be the last writing about a subject.
Lack of motivation
  • I started this blog in December 2006, so I am in my 7th year of blogging!! Mmmhhh, is it the seven-year-itch !!??
  • People seem to follow more and more other (faster) social networks, like facebook, like twitter, pinterest, tmblr .... than blogs. Maybe.

I was even tempted to sign up for a blog e-course with Holly Becker at Decor8.

As I said, this blog exists, because I love to be creative. Actually, I need to be crative! It enriches my life. Although, for a couple of weeks I have not been writing, I have been creative elsewhere:

I am into photography since some months. I know now how to use my digital camera in the manual mode. I learned that prime lenses are giving better results than standard zoom lenses, and that the body is less important than the lens. Over the past days I played around with the free trial version of Adobe Lightroom. I learned how to improve photos in the post process. And, very important, how to insert a copyright into the metadata of a photo - or even better, into a whole batch of photos.

On top of photography, I did some weekly painting. First with a maestro artist who helped us students when stuck. After a year or so, I gave up to paint with him since I was not able to paint without him anymore. Slowly, I started to paint again, just by myself, and with a group of ladies who use different media and techniques.

Over the time I realized, how photography and painting are inspiring and complementing each other. I grew with both. I also came across many artists. Some I heard before, but most were new to me, especially the photographers. Very Inspiring!

I am always curious about an artist's life and where famous artists got their inspiration from! Often from each other!

The other night, I looked up my favorite post-impressionists on my iphone... for hours...The next morning I woke up, sleepy though,  I finally knew what to paint on my pink canvas.

In one session I almost finished the painting. Now, just some glazing (shadows) is missing. I posted it on FB and my friends liked it. I got compliments from art connoisseurs, form art buyers and even a successful artist friend. If I continue to be productive like this, I will be able to participate in the exhibition of my art group at the end of this year. - The only problem is, that the exhibition's target is to sell paintings. - Ha ha, I am not sure, if I can separate from that bird?!

oil on canvas (40 x 50 cm) by me

For future inspiration, I always collect photos and art work in files on my personal computer, ipad and iphone. But today I had an idea. Why not share my inspiration on my blog? I will have a new label "inspiring art" and feature painters and photographers I like. Here we go, same purpose of blogging as before, filing my inspiration online (and finding them in cyberspace always)!

And so, after photography and painting for many months, I am happily back to writing again.
What a connection!

Waiting for Summer

Before lunch at Palazzo Pizzo (oil on canvas)

This is a very cold February, and the snow has even reached Southern Italy. This is less fun than in more Northern parts of Europe. In the South, the houses are not as well prepared for cold winters. Furhter more, heating costs are very high in Italy. So it happens sometimes in winter, that outside in the sunshine it is warmer than inside the homes.

So, let's think some warm thoughts.

When I look at my newly finished painting (above), I think of summertime in Pizzo. I enjoyed last summer very much, especially the aperitivo "Aperol Spritz" between beach and lunch. I had to paint it in oil on canvas. The view is the one from our kitchen or dining table.

I love rooms with sea view (who does not?). One artist, who's artwork I admire a lot, is Henri Matisse. He actually painted a few rooms with sea view. It is facinating how he captured the atmosphere inside and outside the room.

And that's why I will add this book to my collection. It's all about Matisse' rooms with a view:

Italian Beach Painting

Beach at Tropea in Oil on Canvas, 40cm x 40 cm (painted by me)

my inspiration, a photo by Italian photographer Marco Cristofori (via imagestate)

While Angelo is painting walls and ceilings, I am painting the beach in Calabria.
The beach shown above is at Tropea and the view is from above. It is quite a famous spot to take pictures. There are many on the intern if you google "Tropea beach" images. 

The motif I have chosen, however shows the Calabrian beach life best: colourful umbrellas, white sands and turquoise sea. And I wanted to try out water, colour and pattern. It was easier than I thought. If I would have known that my second oil painting turns out so nice, I would have painted on a bigger canvas. Now I have to do a second beach scene to hang a pair somewhere in our "beach palazzo".

Tropea is just about 30 minutes drive from Pizzo. But Pizzo's beaches are nice too. You even have the same perspective when you watch the beach at the Marina from the upper piazza.

In April, although there will be not many umbrellas on the beach, probably none, I will take some photographs that I could use as original for a painting. - Or I just use the second photo that Marco Cristofori did only a moment earlier:

Funny, if these people would know that they are not only eternalized on photo, but now also in oil ?!
Okay, one of the bigger guys I changed into a singorina... freedom of artist - and no royalties to pay to the photographer. My teacher and maestro also added a doggie since he felt something was missing in the lower left. Thanks to him, my painting looks so decent! 

Some Surprises Revealed

CC, my husband, had the chance to check out the house and the latest news in and around Pizzo for three whole days! Last night he sent me some pictures that were a surprise, since Angelo never reported about some work he had done. I think he had so much fun being creative and experimentalizing, he didn't want to wait for any approval. See the results here :

A ceiling like a "gelato al limone" or "sunny side up"

It is my son's room. Let's see if he likes it...

Actually, you do not look all the times up, you rather see the room like above.

A pinkish two tones ceiling in the entrance - love that!

Angelo is working on restoring that stucco rosette by replacing some missing peaces.
I asked him to leave the bit of background like it is now (with some yellow, ochre colour). 

Here the maestro in person coming down the stairway he has just coloured.
The stairs look that way as we have to replace the old marble steps that were a lot broken.

Another surprise: a framed mirror for 20 Euro.
And it looks good! Was not ordered or found by me, but it can stay!

I knew that Angelo had found some fresci below the ceiling paint in the living room.
But I did not yet see the result after scratching away all the excess paint.

Awesome ! Like it !
Not sure what the plan is for the rusty beams.
The whole in the ceiling is for some chimney or stove.

Last surprise: a "neat" chandelier in our bedroom...
This mail from CC had the comment: "If you do not like it, it can be removed".
My answer: "yes, please, remove to guest bedroom until we find better solution".

Wow, so many new pictures. Actually it was not all done in three days. Angelo was hiding this from us! Cheeky ! However, he announced that he had chosen a different colour for our son's room. I knew that that will be a surprise. But did not expect so many others. Well, we have so many rooms, why not some surprises... I think Angelo had great fun to bring in his own ideas without waiting for my "pro-and-cons-naa-hesitating-maybe-not-decision-making-process". Vero, Angelo?