Monday, June 15, 2009

Small Macch' For Here


Located a couple of blocks away from my place in Venice, Groundwork is a tiny coffeeshop where I often head, Benjy in tow, for a macchiato (which they call a "macch'"). I sip it on their mini terrace, with a book or paper and sometimes, one of their delicious chocolate cookies.
Old coffee tins, silver coffee pots and ancient items such as rusty scales are displayed around the place, and they also collect funny coffee-themed comics cut out of newspapers.

And now it's time for a design challenge:
Groundwork also sells big burlap bags. I can sense these have a great design potential for the home - bringing some recycling/eco-style spirit into my home... What would you do with them?

38 comments:

tracyjacks said...

those tins are great! love your blog :)xxx

eatlivetravelwrite said...

Oh I love these too - my mum used to collect old tine!

amuse me said...

Sounds like a perfect way to spend a morning or late afternoon. Cool tins. As far as the burlap bags? Depending on their size, I think they would make a great way to wrap a present. I'm always looking for a different way to wrap something instead of traditional paper. If you do something with the bags, please post your results. :) M

A World in a PAN said...

Cover your ottoman - in lieu of a kilim?

Mary-Laure said...

AMUSE ME - the burlap bags are huge so it would have to be a very big present - say, a desktop computer or something.
I do like your idea of using alternative gift wraps. I often use pages from magazines/newspapers, or scraps of fabric.

WORLD IN A PAN - I like that idea... It may be difficult to make, no?...

Bitterbetty said...

cut them into strips and braid a lovely doormat?
Use them in thrifted frames as mats for other artwork...

I used one and made a handbag... but I also used red veleveteen as a contrast.

xxoo,bb

Somerbridge said...

Do you have a large wall in your place? The bag could make a dramatic wall hanging. Cut the front off the bag off and sew the top and bottom over wooden dowels.

J Elaine said...

The first thing that came to mind was a hammock or a picnic blanket(burlap underneath cotton or linen). The other idea is a patchwork window covering for those times that Benjy sees 'intruders' in 'his' garden.

Mary-Laure said...

BITTERBETTY, SOMERBRIDGE and J ELAINE - I am in love with your ideas. As it happens, I don't have a door mat so I might make one with those bags.
J ELAINE, if I bring a few to Paris, could you make me a picnic blanket?
Do you want me to bring a couple for you?

Rebecca said...

Sounds like a nice place!

I have one idea for burlap bags: I bet you could use them to make outdoor pillows, if you have a bench or swing or patio furniture...

But that might just be crazy. :)

Mary-Laure said...

REBECCA - actually, that was my original idea, but I wanted to see if fellow bloggers might come up with other suggestions.

Kwana said...

Such cool pics. Love the burlap bags. I love the wall hanging idea.

J Elaine said...

I think the idea of outdoor pillows is a good one. A picnic pillow to sit on and read. You could put it in the basket on the bicycle with Benjy and find a nice place in the shade.

Hey, what about little burlap sacs for storing shoes and ballet pointes?

Sammi said...

Sounds like an awesome place. The best cafe's are the one's that don't mind you having your dog in tow.

Beth said...

My first thought would be to make something with them but I can’t sew to save my sorry soul. Still, I‘d be tempted to buy one – they appeal to me. I’d figure out what to do with it once I brought it home. A decorative item?

Love the tins - I have a collection at the cottage.

littlebird said...

lovin those vintage coffee tins, they look great on the simple white shelf,

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

Oh, lovely old tins! Can't wait to see what you create with your burlap...

Anna said...

I love those old coffee tins!

miss cavendish said...

Love the vintage tins.

As for the bags, you could take a nondescript flower pot (a large one), pop it in the bag, and cinch with a pretty red ribbon for a paper-bag waist. Of course, you'd have a pretty flower in it . . . !

Roxana said...

lovely terrace...

i would go for something like ottoman cover, yes. but they would also look great by the window. i know you will show us pics of what they become, can't wait :-)

Mary-Laure said...

J ELAINE - I need to get a basket for Zooey.

BETH - I can't sew either and so with I could!

MISS CAVENDISH - yes, the pretty flowers would contrast beautifully with the rough burlap.

ROXANA - I'll make sure to post an update...

Joyce said...

I love the vintage tins. I too have some coffee bags I'm holding onto to make something with- what I'm not sure. Some times I think it would be fun to make some pillows or cover a seat cushion. I have seen purse too. Keep us posted what you come up with.

Rina said...

Mary Laure, sabes que me encantan los cafecitos, y este se ve espectacular, sobretodo me encantan esas viejas latas que tienen. Nada tan increible que sentarse a disfrutar de un rico cafe con un buen libro, con eso soy feliz!

Chrisy said...

oh honey...you could anything with them that you would use fabric for!....tho burlap can be a bit scratchy can't it...but wouldn't they look fabulous...sort of incongruous as upholstery on some classic chairs...and I'd have a look on etsy and see what people are doing...

Sam said...

That sounds like heaven to me...particularly the chocolate cookie and paper part! As for that Burlap...well why not cushions? Several people here have suggested that...I think it's a terrific idea!

Marci said...

Si es material lavable, quizas podrian servir como individuales para el desayuno¿¿¿

jane said...

can´t wait to see your creations!:)

Solange said...

Sounds like a great place. Nice, love old tin jars, they make a place look interesting.

Mary-Laure said...

RINA - si, un cafe y un libro... Pero tambien me da mucha alegria tomar un cafe con una amiga, mientras charlamos.

CHRISY - the scratchy factor is exactly what I'm concerned about.

SAM - yes, the cushions was the first idea I had. I wanted to see if other people had some good/better ideas, hence the design challenge.

MARCI - me encanta tu idea, gracias!

Joanna said...

I think we should meet at Groundwork for our next coffee date. I get their soy latte, yum. I haven't been to the Venice location--I'm actually rarely in Venice--but I would welcome a change of pace. :-)

Bri said...

I've seen people use them to cover outdoor tables - looks pretty cute!

Mary-Laure said...

JOANNA - where do you usually go? We should definitely get together some time to chat.

muralimanohar said...

Oh, you can't sew? I was going to suggest trying out a few of the options that Maya makes over on Maya*made! http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5806647 I was so totally going to hit up my local coffee shop and get some bags to make something like that..until I was given a metre of burlap, and felt it...my skin started crawling, sigh.

Maybe you can swap with her...send her a bag, and she makes you something in return? :p

muchlove said...

I love the sight of old tins.

Mary-Laure said...

MURALIMANOHAR - thanks for the link, I'll make sure to check it out.
Yeah, burlap isn't your most skin friendly fabric.

Joanna said...

I've been to the Groundworks on Main in Santa Monica. It's really tiny, though, so it wouldn't be an ideal place to meet. We could do the Venice location or if you're so inclined, Huckleberry on Wilshire (which I mentioned on my blog). Doesn't it look amazing?

Mary-Laure said...

JOANNA - yes, I'm really longing to go to Huckleberry after I saw your post!

artycho said...

I've got a big bunch of those bags at home awaiting for transformation...my project is to use them as emroidery screens.