Creativity Corner Vive La Différence

Vive La Différence – A Library

February 10, 2014

Happy new week. It’s Vive la Différence Monday. Always a highlight in the calendar.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Jillian of Jillian in Italy. ” My name is Jillian. In Italy they pronounce it Gee-lee-Aan.  Sometimes to make everyone’s life easier I just introduce myself as Giulianna”. Born and raised in Canada, Jillian now lives in Lago Maggiore, Northern Italy, with her husband and 3 children.

For new readers:

The concept: each month I will invite one blogger. They will create and showcase one image/vignette. There are 20 themes and 20 objects for my guest to choose from. They choose 1 theme and up to 3 objects. I will then create an image/vignette based on their choice. Everyone has free reign on how to create the image. It can be simple photography, a drawing, a collage, a hand-painted image, a styled table top… the choice is yours! The fun part is that you, my readers, will see 2 versions inspired by the same subject matter. There is no right or wrong. There’s just ‘different’.

Jillian chose the theme: A Library with the objects: Books and Fabrics  Here is Jillian’s Vignette.

Many thanks to Tina for inviting me to take part in her Vive La Différence series.  I really love the whole concept of two people creatively interpreting words on their own and then coming together to see each others results.  I’ve absolutely loved reading all the posts in this series.

When Tina sent me the list of words and themes I was immediately drawn to book, fabric and library.  All three of these words represent something very important in my life and the combination of the three together really inspired me.  I chose the word book because ever since I was a little girl I have been an avid reader and especially now in this ultra technological world that we live in reading gives me a much needed escape to another time, place or culture.  I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but I’ll admit that I usually do (I’m just naturally drawn to bright and beautiful book covers!).  I chose fabric because I love sewing and collecting materials and textiles from around the world. I tend to be drawn to brightly coloured and patterned cottons and love to mix them together in various projects.  I then chose the theme library because I wanted to portray my dream library.  This image represents my own little personal library that I can enjoy at home.  I love to imagine what a large library would be like if it was filled with shelves of lovely colourful books, large vases of fresh flowers and comfortable sofas in which to sink into and spend hours reading my favorite classics.  Throw in a cupcake stand and I’d call it absolute heaven.


Vive la Différence - a library

To my regular readers it won’t come as a surprise that I love books and dream of a dedicated library at home!

I love books and magazines in equal measures but am also a big sketchbook fan. God knows I have a mini library of those! Since I’ve started blogging I hardly sketch as I’m always out and about snapping pics for you guys. I’m determined to start sketching again so it’s apt to feature an imaginary sketchbook library, dedicated entirely to the art of sketching and drawing.

In my imaginary library I’ll invite little people to draw and sketch while young, fresh and uninhibited. There will be teaching on hand and no doubt they’ll come up with some masterpieces that puts us adults to shame. All drawings and sketches can then be collated into a printed book format for them to take away and hopefully continue in their own homes, cities and countries. The library will be open to all children from anywhere in the world and entry and participation will be free.

Here you see a collection of some of my sketchbooks and notebooks. Some are covered in fabrics, others in leather or special card. The mini coloured pencils used to accompany me on my travels and were extremely useful for small pattern designs. The elastic neon fabric ribbons were bought in France, as were the fabric animal patches (representing children). The feather represents a feather pen for ink drawings and everything is sitting on the massive Charles Harper book which will be part of the library to inspire the children. The background is a section of an Audrey Hepburn painting which would adorn the walls of the library. It’s a fun and colourful place, full of creativity and inspiration. 

Vive la Différence - a library

Thank you Jillian for showing us your dream library and playing along. Maybe one day we can visit each others libraries in real life:-) I hope the weather in Northern Italy is better than what we’re experiencing here in the UK.

VLD will be returning again on 10th March! So long folks and thank you for your continuous support of this series.

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  • Reply Igor February 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Two playful and colourful interpretations:-) Comes as a good balance to my monochromatic Scandi post today:-)

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Hahaha. Touché:-)) No wonder you had to visit the Colourliving blog today:-)

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Igor, I loved your monochromatic Scandi post. Very refreshing.

  • Reply Catherine@farmhousehome February 10, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I love libraries as well and am a regular visitor to many local libraries to borrow cooking, travel and any latest books I may want to check out before buying. A few years ago I used to delight in covering hardback notebooks with fabric and giving them to people as gifts. I love all the bright, colourful fabrics you’ve chosen Jillian. Tina, your children’s library sounds fantastic, how insightful for them to be able to look back on this printed book of sketches as adults. Btw I think we have the same Audrey Hepburn pic! Much love. xx

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Giving fabric-covered hardcover books as gifts is such a great idea!

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      I know you often visit libraries to check out books, what a good thing to do!

      I’m in awe of you guys covering hardbacks with fabric and giving as gifts.. such a nice idea!

      I know from a friend of mine who is an architect that his mother encouraged his drawings and sketches from a young age. I think it’s so important to support them when young. When I first met Tony Buzan (Mind maps) at a talk, he told us how on a visit to the art department in elementary school he witnessed a teacher asking the very young kids to draw airplane. When the teacher critiqued one boys drawing, who hadn’t included wings, the teacher said: surely a plane has got wings!!! That’s exactly when kids first start noticing the ‘lack of’…. and loose their inhibitions and ability to be themselves, whatever that may be.

      Hahaha. Love my Audrey Hepburn pic… Thanks Catherine. Greetings to Charlie xx

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily February 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Such a great series on your rather fabulous blog Tina xx

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Aww, you’re too sweet and thank you for your kind words x

  • Reply Jillian In Italy February 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Love your image and description of your imaginary library Tina! Sounds like my kind of place. Thanks again for having me. Greetings from a very rainy and grey Italy!

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you Jill. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you here and thank you for taking part and bringing lots of colour/patterns and a peaceful scene to this rather cold and wet weather we’re having. Sorry to hear the weather isn’t any better in Italy x

  • Reply Giova Brusa February 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Lovely interpretations you both!! And I’m drooling over those sketch books, and Charles Harper is an absolute favorite here in my home!!
    And Jillian; very Japanese of you covering the books with cool covers 😉

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Giova, you know how much I love anything Japanese! And yes, Charles Harper is also very popular in this house as well.

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Aren’t the covered books just great? I also love the sereneness of them and yes, very Japanese:-)

      I have such a weakness for sketchbooks but it’s getting harder and harder to find interesting ones. Everybody does them now but I fond most aren’t exciting.
      LOVE my Charles Harper TOME… it’s so big and heavy and it inspires me over and over again! Thanks Giova x

  • Reply Jocelyn Casey February 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I love this series more and more every time I read it. Jillian, your vignette is simply beautiful and matches your story very well. I too love books and always wanted to be a teacher so I could read to children. I feel that dream is still alive within me somewhere 😉 Tina, as always you amaze me with your level of creativity and way with words. Look out for an email from me today. Well done ladies and thank you again for showing us a different way….all my best to you and your families.

    Jocelyn xx

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Jocelyn! And I agree about Tina being super creative!

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Hahaha. Oh, didn’t know you wanted to be a teacher and read to children…you know, I’ve learned that everything I dream about now or in the past can still be part of my life.. even if not exactly in the format I first imagined. I think you get my meaning:-))

      Thank you love. Yes, have seen email and will answer shortly!

      Thank you Jocelyn xx

  • Reply un23 ilaria February 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    what a colorful idea! I love the fabrics to cover the books, It could be perfect for my recipes’ books in the kitchen … love this series, Tina and once again both versions are awesome! Have you both a wonderful evening Ilaria

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Ilaria… Ha, I feel a project coming on for your recipe books:-) I once did a bookbinding course and couldn’t believe how hard but oh so satisfying it is…thank you, glad you enjoy the series. Happy Monday:-)

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Grazie mille Ilaria. And if you ever cover your cookbooks send me a photo please!

  • Reply Gudy Herder February 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Oh, what a surprise! You both chose quite a similar angle when shooting.
    Jillian, that image is so you! Can’t get any more colorful and happier!
    Tina, did you cover your notebooks with leather or were they bought like this?

    Keep on going this series. It is wonderful! xx

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks Gudy. A bright bookshelf like this helps keep the mood happy on these grey and rainy days…

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Hahaha, direct as always (and very much appreciated:-)
      Am I taking from your comment that you’re a little disappointed that both versions are similar? Of course, you know that I only finish my final execution after I’ve seen my guest’s entry!
      I didn’t have an Adam and Eve moment:-) except I was going to cover all my books in fabric/newspaper with fabric ribbons (that’s how I usually
      wrap presents) I felt the wrapping would make it even more similar, so was greatful for my wonderful stash of props (sketchbooks)

      Gosh, I wish I could cover books in leather… it’s quite involved and so I’ve never attempted it. AND if I were to manage to cover the leather notebook ones you see in my Vignette (the mustard yellow is from Prada and the olive green from Louis Vuitton) I’d be extremely chuffed:-) Haha.

      C’mon, at least give me some credit for my wonderful collection:-)
      Thank you Gudy and PLEASE always keep me on my toes… love it xx

  • Reply Deepa February 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I love books so this post makes me very happy!
    My dream library is totally ripped off from Beauty and the Beast: just walls and walls of books as far as the eye can see.
    I can also settle for Anthony Hopkins’ library in Meet Joe Black: in a Manhattan penthouse, all sexy leather and wood paneling and Brad Pitt lurking in the shadows 🙂
    Great job Jill and Tina!

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Deepa, you crack me up. I still think I’d choose the cupcakes over Brad Pitt though…

    • Reply tina February 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Hahaha, Jill…. really? Well, guess what? Deepa can have Brad and you the cupcakes (I’m generous like that).

      Oh, if we’re talking libraries, Deepa, one of my favourites is Karl Lagerfeld’s one in Paris….I mean, I wouldn’t have to get rid of over 100 books each year to make space for new ones……:-)

      • Reply Deepa February 11, 2014 at 10:39 am

        Have you seen Karl Lagerfeld’s bodyguard? If he is ever assigned to the Kaiser’s library, then it would become a dream(y) library indeed!

        • Reply tina February 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm

          Hahahahaha, now I have …… drool…… hahahahahaha…..

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey February 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Great that the VLD series keeps on giving!

    Wow. Both quite vivid images. Playful and colourful. Too much for me personally… but in the right context they work wonderfully.

    Thanks Jillian & Tina 🙂 x

    • Reply tina February 11, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Vivid, colourful, material rich….. playful and fun.
      Yes, I can see that this would be a little too much for you, but then, have you thought about covering all your books in grey fabric?

      Hahaha. Thanks Gerard xx

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Yeah, I think my husband finds it a bit too much sometimes as well (poor guy!).

  • Reply Judith February 12, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Another wonderful edition of the VLD series! I love how you both imagined a library so close to your own style. I imagine Jillian’s home to be just like that: colorful, bright with lots of pattern & Japanese fabrics, flowers and lots of books for hours of reading while eating cupcakes. And your free creative library for the little ones, is such a nice idea, Tina! You should make it reality!! And thanks for introducing me to Charles Harper’s work. I feel so uneducated, because I had never heard from him before, his illustrations seem familiar though. Thank you Jillian & Tina!

    • Reply tina February 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Jillian’s life sounds quite idyllic…..:-)

      Pleasure. I’m sure you’ve seen many of his illustrations before but hadn’t known the name. Just before CH died, Todd Oldham who was a great fan, put together this massive Book with a lot of unseen and unpublished illustrations. It is breathtaking and maybe you can put it on your wish list…
      I’ll think about the free library for little people:-)
      Thank you Judith! x

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      I’m so excited to have you visit my home in a few months! I’ll definitely make sure to have lots of fresh flowers and cupcakes for your arrival!

  • Reply Alison Sye February 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you, Tina, for introducing me to lovely Jillian. Her idea of bliss, is mine also. And those tulips are absolutely beautiful.
    Love the ‘animal children’ in yours, Tina, I have a bit of a soft spot for pink flamingoes (or is the plural flamingo?).
    Hope you’re having a good week.

    • Reply tina February 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Glad you met Jillian…

      Haha, I also have a soft spot for Flamingos (think that’s the plural).

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Alison, always nice to hear from people with similar ideas of bliss and beauty! And yes, those tulips really brightened up our house! Now off to google “the plural of flamingo”…

  • Reply Mel February 14, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Oh what a wonderful and noble topic! I dream of a big library wall also.. I think books are some of the most beautiful decorative pieces and they give you such pleasure. Jillian you’re right that it’s so needed in this high-tech world and I’m rediscovering the feeling of paper in my hands after downloading books on the kindle for a while… What a lovely dream you have Tina, I hope you realise it one day and hope to see some of those sketches inside too! Great images girls M xx

    • Reply tina February 18, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks Mel.
      You’re so right…”I think books are some of the most beautiful decorative pieces and they give you such pleasure.” I couldn’t agree more with you!

      I’m so glad you’re reading actual books again. To me, there’s no contest and yet having something on Kindle is very useful and practical.

      Yes, maybe one day.
      Thanks Mel x

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Until now I have never tried reading on a Kindle. I’m sure it’s handy (especially when traveling) but I just love the feel of paper and the simple act of turning a page. I actually think I’m more old fashioned than my 92 year old grandmother…

  • Reply Nicola February 16, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Wonderful bright colours in Gillian’s library, looks like a colourful read;) And love the sketchbook ideas, a really great comparison xx

    • Reply tina February 18, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks Nicola x

  • Reply Doris February 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Oh another fabulous VLD. You are both so talented and brilliant. I love books of any kind so being able to see 2 distinctly different vignettes on the same topic was inspiring. Jillians was fresh and reminded me of spring, Tina’s was more earthy in tone and wonderful. I understand about your need for sketching Tina, I’ve been waking up every morning at 6 am to sketch for 10 minutes which means I start the day happy. It’s been wonderful. xD

    • Reply Jillian In Italy February 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      I’d love to be motivated enough to wake up at 6am every morning to sketch or do something creative. I think it must be the perfect start to your day. Thanks for your kind words Dora.

  • Reply tina February 18, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    LOVE that you’re getting up every morning at 6am to sketch and to set off your day ‘happy’.. what a fantastic way to start the day and a little like keeping a journal a la “The Artist’s way”

    I think I need Spring:-)

    Thanks Doris x

  • Reply Jillian In Italy February 20, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Oh I remember The Artist’s Way! I followed that book in the mid-90s during a creative crisis in my life. I should dig that out again…

  • Reply Holly February 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Both interpretations are so joyful! It’s hard not to feel smiley reading this post 🙂

    Tina, I love your kid-sketching-library idea. I hope you will realize it one day. There is so much we can learn from children. And to offer any child the opportunity to express their creativity is a really noble thing, something that will benefit them one way or another.

    And I’m happy to meet Gee-lee-Aan! Always some interesting people to find out about with VLDs.

    Thank you both for contributing to my smiles for today 🙂


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