Category: abbrigate*

Thank you, Universe

Her #abbrigate #baby blanket is well loved.

Ler em português

I always imagined that one day when I got pregnant I would go crazy knitting, embroidering and sewing things for the baby. When that day came, though, nothing like that happened, quite the contrary: I was so scared of possibly “jinxing it” – at the same time hoping that everything would be fine – that I made nothing for my babies (I was pregnant with twins). Nothing.

Except for this: abbrigate* embroidered baby blankets, one for each of them. My Prince and I wrote a few verses dedicated to each of our babies and I proceeded to embroider them on matching fabrics, in order to make matching blankets. I had made baby blankets for friends, friends of friends, I had made them for so many babies I could not not make one for my own babies.

And so I did.

Her blanket has gotten a lot of love and I never miss a chance to use it. Somedays it works as a bed cover, somedays it comes along on our strolls and covers her, serves as picnic blanket, you name it. Each stitch of each word has in its fibers all the wishes a mother has for her beloved daughter: to live a long, happy, healthy life.

Last Sunday I caught this little hand resting near the embroidered verses. The hand’s – and blanket’s – owner slept her much deserved beauty sleep, after walking what felt like a marathon (and falling down a couple of times, oh the perils of learning to walk!). As I was taking this picture, I thanked the Universe for having her in my life, and I kindly asked the Universe to take care of her brother for me. He never had the chance to use his blanket.

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Sempre imaginei que um dia quando estivesse grávida me iria encantar fazer quinhentas e vinte e três mil peças para bebés, casaquinhos, mantas, botinhas, enfim. Quando o dia de estar grávida chegou, nada disso aconteceu. Pelo contrário: tinha tanto medo que alguma coisa acontecesse, ao mesmo tempo que desejava profundamente que tudo corresse bem, que nunca tricotei nem cosi nada para os meus bebés.

Excepto isto: mantinhas bordadas abbrigate* para cada um deles, com um versinho feito à sua medida. Já as tinha feito para os filhos dos amigos, dos amigos dos amigos, já as tinha feito para tantos bebés que não podia deixar de fazer para os meus.

E fiz.

Não perco uma oportunidade de pôr a mantinha da Alice a uso. Há dias em que está na cama dela, outros em que vai no carrinho para todo o lado. Foi feita com todos os desejos que uma mãe tem para a vida da sua filha: que tenha uma vida boa, longa, saudável, que seja muito feliz.

Este Domingo apanhei esta mão pousada na manta, enquanto a respectiva dona dormia o sono dos justos, após uma longa caminhada (e vários tombos). Enquanto a fotografava, agradeci ao Universo tê-la comigo, e pedi-lhe – ao Universo – que tomasse conta do irmão, que nunca teve oportunidade de usar a mantinha dele.

Embroidered blanket for Baby H

embroidered abbrigate* baby blanket by Ana Isabel Ramos

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2014 has been a year full of challenges. It has also been a year full of joy: many friends have welcomed their babies, and new babies are always a reason to celebrate.

This blanket was a commission from a dear friend, who requested a specific poem by Sophia de Mello Breyner. They didn’t want to find out the baby’s gender in advance, so we went for a gender neutral fabric combination. I loved working on this blanket and how it turned out. And this time around I had a little model with me to photograph it before sending it off to its new home in Switzerland.

The details: cotton floss on cotton fabric, with cotton flannel batting. Hand embroidered and machine sewn by me.

Loved working on this piece and I hope dear Baby H. will love it too.

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2014 tem sido um ano cheio de desafios. Mas também tem sido um ano cheio de alegrias, com vários amigos a terem bebés.

Esta mantinha foi encomendada por uma amiga. Como não sabia o sexo do bebé, optámos por um tecido amarelo combinado com um padrão africano. O texto é um poema lindo de Sophia de Mello Breyner, a pedido da futura mamã. Gostei muito de trabalhar esta manta e espero que o bebé H. goste muito dela.

Antes de a enviar para a sua nova casa na Suíça, aproveitei a minha modelo favorita para tirar umas fotografias. (Estão a sentir como escorre aqui tanta baba de mãe?)

Detalhes: fio de algodão bordado em algodão, com recheio em flanela de algodão.

Espero que o seu novo proprietário goste tanto da manta quanto eu gostei de a fazer!

abbrigate*

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Once upon a time, back when I lived in Argentina and met my knitting group, a friend and I partnered to create abbrigate*. It was a lot of fun to bring to life the idea of making a business out of a passion, name it, create a brand and its personality. I remember fondly how much fun we had mixing sight, smell and taste when we were coming up with names for our chosen colors (rain!, raspberry!, cotton candy!).

With our transfer to Panama, in May of 2010, and running abbrigate* on my own, context changed dramatically: from a four season country, where knitted garments were a necessity in winter, to a two season, tropical country, where the weather was either warm or warmer, the only thing that was cold, or colder, in Panama was air conditioning. That’s where I saw a need: to protect babies with blankets, embroidered with love messages.

abbrigate* took off, and soon I was embroidering baby blankets for the many babies born during our time there. I loved combining local kuna patterned fabrics with solids, plus the very portuguese love messages reminiscent of the northern Portugal tradition of embroidered “lovers’ handkerchiefs”.

In 2013, time came to move again, to Lisbon, our hometown. Many changes ensued: I found a fantastic studio space in a beautiful Lisbon neighborhood, I restructured and streamlined my design and illustration services (and launched the Embroidery Club!) and today I am ready to share with you that abbrigate* has moved from its previous blogger-hosted home to my virtual home at air design and illustration studio. There’s still a lot of tweaking in the works (plus an online store in the near future!), and your suggestions are all welcome.

Until then, you can do like my friend J. and mail me your special commission, or like my friend R., who received her two blankets for her twins, who are expected any day now.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I know I will: it’s my birthday tomorrow, yay!

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Era uma vez, há uns anos atrás na Argentina, uma amiga tricoteira e eu juntámos as nossas agulhas para criar a marca abbrigate*. Dar-lhe vida, personalidade e uma imagem foi uma experiência fantástica. Lembro-me com carinho de uma tarde em que misturámos olfacto, paladar e visão para baptizarmos as cores escolhidas para as nossas peças: chuva!, framboesa!, algodão doce! (mnham…!)

Com a mudança para o Panamá, em Maio de 2010, e já sozinha no projecto abbrigate*, o contexto mudou totalmente: de um país onde havia inverno e lãs, passámos a um país com duas estações (seca e húmida) e absolutamente nenhuma necessidade de roupa quente. A única coisa fria, quase polar, era a fúria dos ares condicionados. Foi aí que encontrei o meu nicho: proteger os bebés do frio artificial com mantinhas bordadas à mão.

E foi assim que esta marca cresceu, a par do baby boom panamenho, misturando os tecidos dos kuna com as mensagens de amor reminiscentes da tradição portuguesa dos lenços dos namorados.

Em 2013 mudámo-nos de novo, desta feita para Lisboa. Veio um espaço de atelier novo, num bairro lisboeta lindo; restruturei a minha oferta de serviços de design e ilustração (e lancei o Clube de Bordado!) e hoje quero partilhar convosco que o site abbrigate* acabou de mudar-se da sua antiga casa na plataforma blogger para esta nova casa, no âmbito do air design and illustration studio. Ainda há muitos detalhes para melhorar (e prevejo uma loja online num futuro próximo!), por isso agradeço todas os comentários e sugestões.

Enquanto não há loja online, podem fazer como a minha amiga J., que encomendou por mail esta mantinha para uma amiga especial; ou como a minha amiga R., que recebeu as suas duas mantas para os gémeos que estão quase a chegar!

Bom fim-de-semana a todos! O meu vai ser especial, já que faço anos amanhã. Viva!

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Blankets for the twins

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These two abbrigate* blankets have flown away to their new home in Sweden, waiting in anticipation for the twins’ arrival. I can’t wait to meet you, Sweeties!

Both blankets are made with cotton, and have cotton flannel as batting. The hand embroidery plays with the patterns; on the reverse side, a message for my dear friend R.’s soon-to-be-born babies.

I can’t wait to see the twins wrapped in their new blankets!

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Estas duas mantas bordadas abbrigate* já voaram até à Suécia e estão ansiosamente à espera do nascimento dos seus donos, os gémeos filhos da minha amiga R. Ambas as mantas são de algodão, com recheio de flanela de algodão, bordadas à mão.

Estou ansiosa por ver os gémeos embrulhados nas suas mantinhas!

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Lia’s embroidered blanket

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Lia’s embroidered blanket was a commission from a friend and long time customer of abbrigate*. (Thank you, J.!)

It is made of a beautiful african fabric I bought back when I went to Cape Verde, in March 2013, a solid cotton from Panama and flannel batting. This was the first time I worked with african patterns, and I loved the experience.

The message to baby Lia was embroidered on the solid face, leaving the busier one with some “secret”, tactile messages to be discovered with its use.

Welcome, baby Lia!

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A manta da Lia foi uma encomenda especial de uma amiga, que também já é cliente assídua da abbrigate*. (Obrigada, J.!)

Com recheio de flanela de algodão, foi a primeira vez que trabalhei com um padrão africano, que aqui combinei com um algodão sólido que trouxe do Panamá. A mensagem foi bordada neste lado, deixando do lado mais “ocupado” algumas mensagens “secretas”, tácteis, para a Lia e os seus pais.

Sê bem-vinda, Lia! Espero que gostes da tua mantinha.

My grandmother taught me to knit

This post is part of Tara Mohr’s Grandmother Power action.It is a very personal post about how my maternal grandmother impacted my life in ways I never anticipated. If you feel inspired to do so, share your own Grandmother Power story in your blog. Press the button below to learn more.

My maternal grandmother taught me to knit. This may seem trivial information, but it isn’t. Let me tell you why this impacted my life in more ways that I expected.

I was very young, maybe seven. I attended primary school in the afternoon, and spent my mornings at home. At that time, my grandmother was widowed, and sometimes came to spend a few weeks with us. She was the kind of person who could not be still, even when she was. She crocheted, knitted and I’m sure if I were to be meeting her today I would learn a lot of other things about her.
I can’t recall if I asked her to teach me how to knit; maybe she just wanted to occupy a seven year old who liked to run and play outdoors. One day she taught me the basic purl stitch, the very first step for those of us who knit with the yarn around the neck. I remember a pink scarf, full of holes and uneven rows.
The seed was there. My grandmother went on knitting for her grandchildren – eleven of us – until she died, at age 93, the same day my first niece celebrated her first birthday. It was a bittersweet day. Two years later, I moved from my home in Lisbon, Portugal to my new hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina. After one week, I fell ill and spent more than two weeks in the hospital, in a country where I knew no one. Looking back, it’s no surprise that I fell into a depression after coming home. After the natural high of finally leaving the hospital, along came the massive low Janine Shepherd mentions on her great TED talk.
It took me six months to get back to work and another four months until I decided to restart to knit, after a hiatus of 25 years, no less. Knitting became my passport to integration in my new hometown: through this craft and the beginning of Ravelry, the virtual knitting and crocheting community, I met many wonderful friends, with many different backgrounds. Our differences were greater than our similarities, but knitting bonded us together.
abbrigate*, my business of handmade items for babies (and grown-ups too), was borne out of the love for knitting. My crafting skills have improved so dramatically that I ventured out of the strict sense of knitting and purling and embraced new techniques. These skills have over flown into my illustration work, too, where I search for the tactile nature of fabric and include it in my pieces.
My seven year old me could not have known the impact of the lesson my grandmother taught me: that tradition is a common ground where everything else is different; that community, like a sweater, is built stitch by stitch, step by step, by sitting together and sharing thoughts; that growth can be hidden in the smallest details of our lives.
When I knit, I think of my grandmother, who was sweet, always had a nice word to say, a piece of popia (a cinnamon and lemon biscuit from Alentejo) to feed our mid-afternoon appetites and often gave me a thousand escudos “for ice cream”, as she used to say. With that money, at that time, I could buy at least five ice creams.
Maybe she didn’t know it, but she gave me a treasure.

Baby R’s blanket

Baby R.'s abbrigate* blanket

Baby R.'s abbrigate* blanket

Baby R.'s abbrigate* blanket

Baby R.'s abbrigate* blanket

This blanket was a very special commission, as a group of friends came together to celebrate the arrival of a new baby and surprise her expecting parents. The text was embroidered in three different languages, reflecting their international backgrounds and life abroad. 

It was so much fun to be a part of this project and to create this blanket with the wonderful briefing put together by my dear clients. Thank you, dears F. and M.!

It is made of cotton fabric embroidered with cotton floss, with cotton flannel as batting. 

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Esta manta foi uma encomenda especial para celebrar a chegada de um bebé muito internacional. O texto, bordado a fio de algodão, está em três línguas diferentes e reflecte os patrimónios dos pais, que foram surpreendidos pela prenda. 

Obrigada às queridas F. e M., cujo fantástico briefing deixou espaço para o meu trabalho. 

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To order a baby blanket for you, send us an e-mail or see which ones are currently available.

Para encomendar uma manta, mande-nos um mail ou veja as mantas actualmente disponíveis.



More photos here. 

Mais fotografias aqui.

Baby R.'s abbrigate* blanket


Evie’s blanket

Evie blanket

Evie blanket

Evie blanket

This blanket is now far, far north keeping little Evie warm. It is made of embroidered cotton kuna patterned fabric, cotton on the reverse and polar fiber as batting, for warmth.

Esta manta já voou em direcção ao norte e protege a pequena Evie dos rigores do Inverno setentrional. É feita com um tecido de algodão com padrão kuna, bordado a fio de algodão. O reverso é de algodão e  forro é de fibra polar.

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To order a baby blanket for you, send us an e-mail or see which ones are currently available.

Para encomendar uma manta, mande-nos um mail ou veja as mantas actualmente disponíveis.

"Monitos"

Monito baby blanket

Monito baby blanket

Monito baby blanket

Monito baby blanket

The “Monitos” baby blanket flew to Chile, where next Winter it will be warming a newborn baby. It is made of kuna patterned cotton with a polar fiber batting. 

Esta mantita ya voló hasta Chile, donde espera su nuevo dueño para el próximo Invierno. Esta hecha con telas de algodón con patrón kuna y tiene relleno de fibra polar.

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To order a baby blanket for you, send us an e-mail or see which ones are currently available.

Para encargar una mantita, escríbenos un mail o consulta las mantas actualmente disponibles.

Embroidering

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These last few days I’ve been embroidering a lot. I find immense pleasure in it, the detail of those small stitches, the possibility of being terribly perfectionist (which I am) and that not being a problem. The beauty of not having to be a perfectionist and the result still being visually pleasant.

Done! A third one is already flying south. It will be a surprise! #babyblanket #embroidery #abbrigate

Done! #babyblanket #embroidery #heart #abbrigate

The photos above show two of the three blankets I made these last few days for abbrigate*. Each of them is a labor of love, dedicated to the sweet beginnings in people’s lives.

Unrelated, or maybe not: there is an upcoming trip to Orlando and San Francisco. Any tips? Fabric, yarn and art supplies stores you recommend?

Aprender por correspondência

Há uns meses atrás tive a sorte e o privilégio de ser escolhida como “cobaia” para um e-curso, chamado Media Moxie, que versava sobre como contactar a imprensa, dado por uma Relações Públicas exclusivamente dedicada a negócios independentes (olá abbrigate*).

Brigitte Lyons, a nossa fantástica professora, explicou-nos como eram as redacções, tanto da imprensa escrita como da rádio e da televisão. Depois levou-nos, passo a passo, até à escrita do pitch, o e-mail que é enviado ao repórter responsável pela secção na qual queremos que o nosso produto figure. Quando chegámos ao fim do curso, escrever esse texto foi, realmente, a coisa mais simples.

Cheguei então à conclusão que o método se aplica a muitas outras coisas, como por exemplo, e dentro da minha actividade profissional, a contactar potenciais clientes. Desde então que leio com atenção a newsletter que envia, e confesso que já senti que estava a escrever exclusivamente para mim e para um problema que estava a ter naquele momento (sim, ela é fantástica; e não, os meus problemas não são originais).

Esta semana, Brigitte Lyons organizou uma conversa telefónica com uma outra figura importante do mundo da motivação e negócios no feminino, de seu nome Tara Sophia Mohr. O tema da conversa era como recuperar a “voz”. Brigitte convidou os assinantes da sua newsletter a assistir, através de conferência telefónica. E eu assisti.

Aqui neste computador éramos duas (olá C!). Ouvimos atentamente e tirámos  notas. No final, apesar do pouco tempo para trocar impressões, notámos que  o bichinho ficou.

Todos sabemos que existe um fosso gigantesco entre o empreendedorismo norte-americano e o seu congénere português: enquanto que no lado americano se acredita genuinamente que cada indivíduo tem um talento especial e único, na cultura empresarial portuguesa isso não acontece.

Muito interessante na conversa foi como Tara Sophia Mohr partilhou o processo para voltar a escrever, depois de um longo hiato de sete anos. Conta ela que acredita terem sido a educação e o peso da academia os responsáveis por essa paralisação; conta também que só quando percebeu que não devia escrever para os outros, mas sim para si própria, que descobriu o seu potencial – e, paradoxalmente, a forma de ajudar os outros. Interessante, não é?

(Editado para adicionar o link para a gravação da conferência.)

Celebrating Side Projects and Entrepreneurship

Polka dots, always. #embroidery

Hi everyone! As you can see, needles are unstoppable here in the studio and there are always new products coming up.

I just wanted to share a link with you: sometime ago, I was asked to contribute with an article to the blog “On the Side Project”. Here, entrepreneurs share the stories of how they started their side projects and how their ideas progressed with time and effort.

In the article I wrote, I told the story of abbrigate*’s inception, as well as how I started the zine I write and publish monthly, called “We’re in Panama!”.

You may read the article here and check out the latest issue of my zine here.

I would love to hear from you: how did you start your own side projects? If you haven´t (yet), do you have a dream you still want to make real?