Penpalling & Letters

Monday, 10 October 2011

The magical world of Lovelia!

Welcome one more time to "The person behind the letter-writer"! Ana Isabel from "Lovelia" is Penpalling & Letters special guest this time! She is going to introduce us to her lovely Lovelia world and dear readers! make sure you don't miss the wonderful surprise she has prepared for you all!

- Hello Ana Isabel! Welcome to Penpalling & Letters! Thanks for visiting and participating in The person behind the letter-writer! We are really looking forward to hear about your experiences in design and "Lovelia"! Would you like to present yourself and tell us about your experiences?

Hello everybody! I am so happy to participate in "Penpalling & Letters"! My name is Ana Isabel as you already know and I am a 27 year-old girl from Spain. I studied Illustration and Design and besides drawing I also love creating things handmade.
When I was a child I used to write letters to my friends, specially in summer. We always had to tell a lot of adventures and sometimes we were not in the same city, then this was a pretty fun way to keep in touch. I remember I had a folder with stationery to write letters, and when I had to write a letter I would choose one of those to send to my friends. I love these cute sheets. I still have some of them!
I also love postcards, specially if they show a nice illustration or something curious. I started collecting postcards when I was in Art School. I could find postcards with different photos and drawings and, almost without realizing, I got myself a lot of postcards so I decided to classify them and start my collection. I also have lovingly postcards that I received from my family and friends on special occasions, birthdays, Christmas... Sometimes I take my box and I get to read them, as they bring to me nice memories.
I love all this kind of stuff related to penpalling. I have a lot of glitter-pens and I used to draw with them in the letters to my friends. I also love to collect stickers, I have a box full of them. I also like to collect clothing labels. When I purchase clothes, if the label is nice, I include it in my collection, and I have also a lot of labels that my friends have given to me.

Wemba de Ladybug

- Ana Isabel, would you like to present us Lovelia? Why did you choose this original, sweet name, "Lovelia"?

Lovelia is the name of my trademark to create things handmade with my cute characters (purses, cushions, bookplates, brooches...). The reason why I chose this name is curious. Lobelia, with "b" is a beautiful plant with tiny flowers between blue and purple (a very beautiful and unusual colour in flowers) and since I was a child they have always fascinated me as they are like taken out of a fairy tale. Then, when I had to choose a name to define what I do, I thought this name is perfect to describe my little world of fantasy and illusion, but I decided to change the "b" to "v" so to bring the word "Love" for what it represents as well as the affection and love I put into each of my creations.

Xima the Hedgehog

- How was "Lovelia" born? When did the first thought to create this cute world appear in your mind?

Lovelia began just over two years ago. I wanted to make a Valentine's present for my boyfriend and since I was looking for something original, I decided to buy felt to experiment. The truth is that I liked working with this material so much that without realizing it, I had got myself a few yards of different felt colours! One day the idea to bring the characters I have designed on paper to felt came to life and this is how the idea of creating the first coin purse came up. To me it is like if my drawings have come to life! Having never handled a sewing machine before, it seemed difficult at first. But since my mother is a great expert, I was taught to use it quickly. My mother has helped me a lot when starting this project!

Yared the Crab

- Would you like to present us the "Lovelia" family, Ana Isabel?

Of course! The Lovelia family are several funny and cute characters of different species as they are a ladybug, Wemba, a couple of raccoons, Dunoki and Puchina, a monkey, Sambi, a frog, Phine and many more! Little by litlle the family continues to grow! You can visit the Lovelia family both in the "Lovelia Etsy Shop" and in the "Lovelia Blog" to find out how all the members look like.

Phine the Frog

- Which kind of materials do you use to bring to life the Lovelia characters?

To make my creations I use different materials as they are paper, card, beads, wood... but, perhaps, the most widely used and the most comfortable I feel with is felt. I use it in most of my creations and I love the warm and welcoming effect that it gives!

The RainbOWLs

- Where did you get the inspiration to create the "Lovelia" family? How do you inspire yourself, especially in every new creation which joins the "Lovelia" world?

I have always enjoyed creating illustrations with a touch tender child, and animals have always seemed very tender to me. So, to create the characters I inspire on my own style of drawing.

Dunoki the Raccoon

- When you work on a new Lovelia creation, do you imagine the item in your mind before it comes to reality or do you work on an initial idea and then you build it as inspiration comes to you and the feelings about the new member/creation of the Lovelia family develop?

I always imagine the item first. When I visualize the idea, I pick my pencils and start doing different sketches to give expression to it on paper, and it ends up taking shape. Sometimes you feel that the idea flows more easily and sometimes you have to give it more time to get the final result. Once that I have come to a final design on paper, I can start to create my item in a different material.

Pacha the Spider

- How long have you been working into handmade stuff by now, Ana Isabel?

It is true that since I was a little girl I have always loved to create handmade things. However, I can not give an exactly date about when I got started. I would say that it did not happen in a more steady way, at least, until I decided to create the Lovelia world.

Luru the Koala

- How much time does it take to have a new member of the Lovelia family between us? Do you mature the idea for a long time before it becomes a reality?

It all depends on the time of the year. There are seasons during which I have more orders. For example before Christmas, therefore, during those days I use most of my time to prepare shipments and stock items that I already have for sale. Once that those busy days are gone I have more time to devote to my future creations.

Sambi the Monkey

- How much time do you need to build any of the items we can see in your shop?

It depends on the details of each character, but the average time to build a purse coin would be around two hours and around an hour to build a brooch. To make the mobiles I need some more time as each mobile takes about three hours to be done.

- Among all the Lovelia creations, do you have a favourite?

I could not settle on one as they are like my children, so be sure each of them means something special to me!

- Which little creature of the Lovelia family is the favourite among your customers?

I could say that Wemba the Ladybug, Puchina the Raccoon and Pacha the Spider seem to be the most popular ones for now.

Trick or Treat

- Which items are the most popular among your customers? Which ones are the most requested?

Purses and bookplates. The most requested ones are purses of the characters I named before and the Rainbowl's bookplates are very successful as well.

- Can we expect new Lovelia creations in the near future as well as new items?

Yeah! I am currently working on new Lovelia creations and I hope that I will surprise you all! Hopefully you can enjoy them soon!

Pink RainbOWL

- If a customer suggests a specific item or gives you some hints about a new design, would you be willing to work on it?

Of course! I love to create custom items. Sometimes customers request me a different animal or ask me to customize any of the ones which already belong to the Lovelia family. It is special and a lot of fun to make something different by exchanging ideas with the costumer.

Blullaby - Rain Cloud

- Could you explain us how purchasing, payment and shipping work in Lovelia?

Purchasing is really easy and fun in Lovelia. You just need an account on Etsy; it is free and easy to create. Once you have created your account you have to enter my shop: "Lovelia Etsy Shop", and add to a cart everything you want to purchase. Afterwards, make the payment to my PayPal account through your Paypal or credit card. Finally, once I have received the payment I will be shipping your order within two days via postal mail.

Lovelia Calendar

- During all this time you have been managing Lovelia, have you ever experienced any anecdote or situation you would like to share with us?

Yes, I have a lot of funny anecdotes to share. One of them happened recently: It was about a girl who bought one of my creations as a gift for a friend of herself. This girl asked me if I could send the gift directly to her friend's postal address as a surprise but she didn't leave a note saying who was the sender. So when her friend received the gift, she contacted me through Facebook and asked me: "Who are you? Why did you send me this purse?" The girl's friend could understand nothing, but finally I could explain to her that I had sent it in behalf of a friend of hers, and she finally contacted her friend to thank her for the lovely detail.

Xima the Hedgehog Wood Brooch

- Can we find Lovelia in any website online (i.e. Facebook, Twitter)?

Yes, you can find Lovelia on my "Etsy Shop", on "Lovelia Blog" and on "Facebook".

- Which creature of the Lovelia family fully represents the essence of your work and designing experience in your opinion?

I don't think that only one of the creatures represents the essence, I think it is a mix, all of them together are Lovelia. But, certainly, the common factor is that all of my creations are made to be colourful, always with a lot of colour, and a touch of fun. I think that it is important to add these feelings into our lives.

Wemba the Ladybug Earrings

- Are there some thoughts or ideas you would like to share with us, Ana Isabel?

I would like to recommend everybody to try to do things handmade. It is fun, develops your creativity and makes you feel really well! I would also like to thank Bea for this interview in Penpalling & Letters and her interest in my creations and work!

Ana Isabel, thank you very much for this lovely interview and for introducing us to the Lovelia world and how everything came to life! It was a pleasure to work together with you on this interview and hope that you decide to visit us in P&L any time soon!

And now it is time to talk about the contest that Ana Isabel and her Lovelia world through the "Lovelia Blog" and the "Lovelia Etsy Shop" have prepared for all of you!

By participating in this contest you can win eight bookplates and eight addresslabels designed and offered by Ana Isabel and her cute Lovelia world! You can see part of the prize in the pictures below.

Lovelia Addresslabels
Lovelia Bookplates
RainbOWLs Bookplates

How to take part in Lovelia's contest?

1. Visit the "Lovelia Etsy Shop" or the "Lovelia Blog" and tell us which item(s)/members of the Lovelia family you like the most. Come back to this interview and leave a comment below together with a way to contact you.

2. For an extra entry be/become a follower of the "Lovelia Blog" (notice that to be a follower you don't need to have a Blog of your own but an accessible Blogger profile. Also, if you are already a follower you are in) and let us know about it. Make sure you leave a way to contact you as well.

3. Tell/link/twitter about this giveaway on your Blog/Personal Website/Twitter for another extra entry and again leave a comment in this post. Make sure you provide the link to your Blog/Website/Twitter post together with your comment as well as your contact data.

4. Join "Lovelia Facebook Page" (if you have already joined you are in) for a third extra entry and leave your Facebook name or the e-mail you are using in Facebook here and, of course, a way to contact you.

Bear in mind that you should participate with a name/nickname in this contest. Any "anonymous" won't be taken into account. You can sign up with a Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, G+... account. Or at least, leave your name and tell us you are in Facebook, G+, Twitter or any social network, website... If we cannot find you anywhere, we are really sorry but your participation won't be taken in. Sorry!

Please, notice that to participate in this contest, your reply has to be written here, in this same interview. Comments in any other place around the net won't be taken into account for participation.

Taking part in this contest organized by Ana Isabel and her Lovelia world is very easy! Everybody is welcome to enter and if you feel like it, tell your pals and friends as well. It is a wonderful chance to win some cute handmade stuff made with love, care and fun by Ana Isabel! Deadline will be the 31st October, 2011, at 00:00 GMT+1 Time Zone, yes, that is Halloween! The winner will be announced shortly after.

Lots of good luck to everybody and keep enjoying the magical Lovelia world!

If you would like to read more posts from "The person behind the letter-writer" section keep an eye on the links you can find at: The person behind the letter-writer.

If you are interested in being featured in "The person behind the letter-writer" because you have a cute shop, you are crafty and would like to present your creations, you have an ability and would like to tell us about it... contact me at: penpallingandletters[at]gmail[dot]com and we will work it out!

Friday, 7 October 2011


It is time to visit some amazing place in the world again in the frame of Travelling around the World sharing Cultural Heritage, Folklore and Background. The land we are visiting today is encircled by different seas: the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. Also, the Sea of Marmara is located in the northwest. Terms associated to this country are the Anatolian Peninsula, the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits, Mount Ararat, Lake Van or the Cappadocia.

Hello Sibel and welcome to Penpalling & Letters! Thanks for taking part in our trips around the world! Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself and your penpalling activity?

Hello P&L readers! My name is Sibel and I am a teacher of English in her thirties. :) I come from Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, where I am living and working. Being creative and productive mean a lot to me. I am always serious and hardworking, not only at work but also in my personal life. I am addicted to discovering and learning new things. I believe rules and principles must be always in our all circles for the sake of people and the world as well.
I have been into penpalling just for two years as I lost my childhood contacts long ago! Thanks to Facebook I am into it again. :) When I was in secondary school, my English teacher led me to have penfriends. I like stickers, stationery, magnets, postcards, actually all cute stuff in penpalling! :) I am into postcards as well. My first pals sent me such nice postcards that I remembered my childhood hobby and started to collect them now. As a result I started to swap postcards which show city views only. I collect magnets as well.

And now it is time to share my home made Baklava recipe with you all!

Ingredients for the dough:

- One tea spoon of salt
- One spoon of vinegar
- One spoon of yoghourt
- Flour as needed
- Between sheets, 250g walnuts roughly chopped
- Onto the dough, one glass of mixed olive oil and butter (boiled at 100ºC)

Ingredients for the syrup:

- Two glasses of sugar
- Two and a half glasses of water
- One tea spoon of lemon juice

And now, the directions to do the home made Baklava:

1. Mix salt, vinegar, yoghourt and flour in the bowl.

2. Leave the dough to rest in a bowl for half an hour.

3. Then, roll out the dough by twenty sheets filo pastry which must be as thin as a paper is.

4. Lay ten sheets of filo pastry, one at a time into the tray.

5. In a clean bowl put the chopped nuts and spread the mixture over the pastry in the tray.

6. Layer up the ten remaining sheets on top of the nut mixture.

7. Using a sharp knife, cut this dough into small diamond-shaped pieces.

8. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and add olive oil into it. Boil this mixture at 100ºC. When you drop it onto the dough, the dough must had been boiled for some time, too.

9. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

10. Place the baklava in the pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 150ºC and cook for an additional half hour to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is slightly puffed and golden on top. Do not allow the top to burn. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

11. For the syrup, heat the sugar, water in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has melted and a syrup is formed. Then, add lemon juice just before turning off the owen.

12. Pour the syrup into the baklava slowly and leave the baklava to cool.

And the tasty Baklava is done! After so much hard work, it is time to enjoy it!

Thanks for participating in Penpalling & Letters, Sibel! Let's try your recipe in our homes to taste your home made Baklava! Whenever you feel like participating again let me know!

If you are interested in reading more articles featuring characteristics of our homelands don't forget to check: Travelling around the World sharing Cultural Heritage, Folklore and Background.

I am always looking for people who would like to take part in this section of the Blog: Travelling around the World. If you would like to write about any aspects of your homeland don't hesitate to contact me at: penpallingandletters[at]gmail[dot]com and we will work on it!