Category: Blog

New knitting pattern: Mardi Cardi

Once upon a time, I started writing my morning pages, a daily journalling ritual inspired by the book “The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron. A few months later, on rereading my journal entries, I came to the conclusion that I mentioned knitting a lot, and that there was a big surge of knitting creativity inside of me. I started putting to paper a few designs I had in my head and started working on a new cardigan. Slowly, diligently, I began “3D printing” it the old-fashioned way, with knitting needles and yarn.

I finished it, wrote its instructions, had it tech edited and test knitted… and then life happened, I got scared, put my cardigan’s pattern away while exhausted by pregnancy and taking care of a newborn.

At the beginning of 2018, I set the goal of finally publishing this pattern. As scared as I felt of sharing it with the world, I felt more shame of having put so much effort, care and love into a project and not finally setting it free.

So I rolled up my sleeves and finished what I needed to finish: designing the layout of the pattern (I’m a graphic designer, and you know how it goes: “casa de ferreiro, espeto de pau”, as we say in Portuguese), publishing the PDF and setting up a ravelry shop.

I did all that, trying to keep my balance on the bouncy rope of fear of publishing and the shame of not publishing it. And voilà.

The pattern is available in English, on sale on my ravelry shop.

Some features of this cardigan, from its ravelry page:

This is a loose-fitting cardigan with a body that is worked back and forth; starting with the right-front panel, then back panel and finally the left-front panel, all worked in one piece. Sleeves are worked in the round, picking up stitches from the armholes. The overlapping front panels give the garment a drapey front, which can be fastened with a pin (or buttons as per the instructions given in the pattern).

The yarn used is Trianon by Lopo Xavier, a shop located in the beautiful city of Porto, Portugal, that carries its own yarns. It is a light fingering, pure wool yarn that comes in a large assortment of colors and is available online.

Please press here if your interest is piqued or you want to learn more about my Mardi Cardi. Hope you like it!

A personalizar roupa ao vivo, na C&A de Telheiras

 

O meu posto de trabalho na C&A de Telheiras

Em meados de Agosto, fui contactada para participar num evento em que era necessário um ou uma bordadora para fazer personalização de roupa. Ora nunca tinha participado em eventos deste género, e deu aquele friozinho na barriga… e  respondi. E ainda bem que o fiz, pois veio a ser um evento giríssimo para celebrar o primeiro aniversário da loja C&A de Telheiras.

 

Estive lá dois dos quatro dias do evento. Para além da personalização de roupa, havia maquilhagem (e a Sofia arrasou!), havia uma roulote com chás deliciosos e lindos ramos de flores para os maiores clientes da loja naqueles dias. (Nos dias em que não participei, houve animação infantil, e certamente mais coisas que agora não recordo.)

 

 

O primeiro dia, uma quinta-feira, foi um dia com menos movimento. Aproveitei para bordar peças de exposição, para além das dos clientes. Foi uma diversão olhar para as peças da loja e pensar que volta lhes poderia dar, que detalhe lhe poderia acrescentar que jogasse com o que já existia.

 

No segundo dia, sexta, não houve descanso! Bordei peça atrás de peça, roupa de criança, de jovem e de adultos. Bordei nomes, figuras, até um TGV e um arco e uma flecha! Foi uma alegria, para mim, poder dar largas à imaginação ao mesmo tempo que tentava corresponder às expectativas dos clientes.

Para mim, foi a primeira vez que trabalhei num evento destes, numa loja como a C&A (e espero que seja a primeira de muitas!). Gostei muito de conhecer o pessoal da loja e de trabalhar de forma próxima com toda a equipa. Gostei também de conhecer as outras pessoas que, tal como eu, estavam ali no âmbito do evento do aniversário. E a querida Sofia ainda me maquilhou nos dois dias, até parecia uma estrela da fotonovela!

Deixo-vos aqui algumas fotografias das peças de roupa que personalizei. (Podem ver mais exemplos nas minhas “Stories” no Instagram!)

P.S. Em Novembro, irei dar um workshop na Companhia das Agulhas sobre personalização de roupa. Inscrevam-se! 🙂

Goals 2018: an update

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When I reviewed my year of 2017 and set goals for 2018, one of the goals was to run a 10k per month. I ran my first on March 4th and my second just yesterday. My first run was exactly 3 months and 7 days after I gave birth to my baby daughter, so it was quite the challenge. The circuit was all flat, but the day was incredibly windy, and the last 3k were right against the wind. It was tough, I was almost the last person to arrive, but I did complete the length and that little souvenir medal participants are given at the end? It tasted like gold.

A post shared by Ana Isabel Ramos (@air_billy) on

During the month I trained a bit, but not as consistently as I would have liked. My baby is still small and I’m still breastfeeding, which means that I spend a lot of time sitting with her latched onto me. I did take many (many!) brisk walks pushing her stroller, which is quite an exercise in itself, given Lisbon’s hilly nature and difficult, albeit pretty, sidewalks.

Fast forward to yesterday, my second 10k of the year. I started with more confidence and a goal to run for a longer time than I did in March. I had researched the circuit and had seen that it had more ups and downs than the first and was expecting that extra difficulty. I ran the first uphill stretch, started struggling on the second… and found the focus of my training for the next month on the third. 😉

As for the other 2018 goals:

    • I haven’t made any progress on releasing my knitting pattern (yet). Will put it on my to do list right now.
    • In order to grow my Embroidery Club, I started being more intentional in using Instagram Stories to share more of the behind-the-scenes progress. I also joined a business mastermind with my Embroidery Club as focus.
    • As for selling embroidery originahttp://www.airdesignstudio.com/embroidery-club/ls… not there yet. I feel insecure about it. Is that something you would be interested in?

How about you? Did you set goals for 2018?

In love with fly stitch

I’m in love with fly stitch. I know. An embroidery stitch. And yet, I’m in love with it. I’ve previously been in love with other stitches (hello, stem stitch, don’t be jealous). My current obsession, however, is fly stitch.

And you may be asking yourself, what is so special about fly stitch that it merits such an obsession? Oh, I’m so glad you asked!

Fly stitch is one of those stitches that takes little effort to make and its results are wow. I feel that crafts in general, and embroidery is a good example, there are two vectors: on one side, you have the effort put into making a specific thing, say, a stitch; on the other side, you have its result. Sometimes the effort into achieving something is much larger and weighs much heavier than its final result; sometimes, both are equivalent and balanced. And then there are some stitches that are very simple to make and yet create a stunning and surprising result. I think fly stitch falls into the latter category.

But that’s not all. Fly stitch is a very versatile stitch: by varying one or more of its elements, or by changing alignment between stitches, the results are completely different. See what I mean in the examples shown here:

Above you can see February 2018’s project for the air Embroidery Club. Made exclusively with fly stitches, I carefully align stitches but use different stitch lengths. The result is completely different from the one below:

And a close up:

In the snowflakes example above (January 2018’s air Embroidery Club project), I use a curve as a guide for my stitches, and the result is completely different from before, much more organic in its character. It’s no coincidence then that this stitch should be used to embroider plants:

But fly stitch’s versatility does not end here. Just take a look at the example below. Can you spot it there?

This is August 2015’s project for the air Embroidery Club. The yellow weeds on the lower part of the embroidery are made with fly stitch. I crammed several “vvv” together, varied the arms’ angle and, voilà, a completely different looking stitch.

Now you know why I love fly stitch. How about you? Any favorite stitches?

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Resources:

I have several step-by-step tutorials in the Vault, fly stitch included. Subscribe to my newsletter to gain access.

If you’re interested in dipping your toes in embroidery and learn five basic stitches, you can do so in my free embroidery e-course. (If you’re a more seasoned embroiderer, you may find value in several tips and tricks I share in the lessons.) Sign up today for the free embroidery e-course and start your lessons next Monday.

The air Embroidery Club is my paid online community. Members of the Club receive a fresh embroidery pattern every 1st of the month. We then gather over on our facebook group to exchange ideas and experiences. Members gain lifetime access to all the resources. You can read more here and sign up for six months or twelve months.

Happy stitching!

Looking back at 2017 and looking forward at 2018

I’ve been writing this post in my head for the last few weeks, mostly while nursing my baby girl, who was born on November 25th. As you can imagine, her safe arrival was the highlight of 2017, without a doubt. And so have been the last few weeks, spent in a state of loving hibernation, my heart a constant explosion of joy whenever I am with her and her older sister. After my previous experience, this post-partum period has been exceptionally smooth and joyful.

After this introduction, which could be called “the cherry on top”, let’s get to the muffin, shall we? 2017 was a pretty good year.

January 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
February 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
March 2017 at the air Embroidery Club

Work: In 2017, I had plenty of work to keep me busy. I taught knitting classes at Companhia das Agulhas. This is something I really enjoy, because I meet lots of interesting people. People of all ages come to my classes and everyone has an interesting story to share. Knitting is always more than only knitting: it’s a connection to elders in the family, it’s a therapy, it’s companionship. And those are the stories I like to discover and bring to the table while teaching stitches, increases, decreases.

I also worked at a tech company, AGORA Systems, as a documentation specialist. I organized, created standards and produced documentation for their software, while being integrated in the development team. I learned a lot as I settled in a team where all members were men, mostly younger than me, working within the agile methodology.

At the same time, I freelanced for several clients. I created designs and illustrations for different companies, in different countries. I had a lot of fun creating smartphone ad campaigns with my friend and colleague Joana Paz.

I created twelve new embroidery patterns for the air Embroidery Club, twelve designs that make me happy and proud, and showcase, at least to me, the progress I made during the year. The Club grew as new members joined. Apart from my human babies, the air Embroidery Club is my non-human baby, my creative baby. Seeing it grow and creating community is one of my biggest work-related joys.

Anita no Trabalho, the podcast my friend Eliana and I host together, is also one of my biggest work-related joys. We started the podcast almost two years ago by recording our own conversations about female entrepreneurship. There are several of such podcasts in English, but we knew none in Portuguese, and we wanted to fill that void. It has grown in audience and in scope, and we now have regular conversations with people we both admire about the issues that matter to us. We found out, via comments and feedback from the audience, that these issues matter to our listeners, too, and we couldn’t be happier about the space we have created, where we share experiences and grow together.

April 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
May 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
June 2017 at the air Embroidery Club

For fun: I sketched. My commute to work took one hour, of which 24 minutes were spent in the train. Those 24 minutes became my slice of time for doing things just because. I brought my knitting or my embroidery along for some time, and then I started sketching my fellow commuters. These sketches became one of the most fun exercises I have ever done, mostly because I was doing them just for the sake of it. Not because I was going to use them for a project, but just because I could. And doing things because I can, well, that’s the best.

July 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
August 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
September 2017 at the air Embroidery Club

Personal: I healthily gestated my baby girl and practiced yoga up to two days before giving birth. This pregnancy went by smoothly and diabetes-free. After my first pregnancy, I decided that if I were to be pregnant again, I would be determined to live it with joy, not fear of something going wrong. And so I did. Not that I didn’t know of all the things that could, indeed, go wrong, but because I decided to do so. Yoga and keeping a normal life were a big part of it; stopping work when I decided I should slow down and enjoy the last weeks of my pregnancy was also important. Having an older kid who needed care certainly helped, too.

During the year, I had lots of wonderful moments with family and friends. Our summer vacation took us on a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmö, Sweden. This trip included a reunion with my dear friend Rebecca, whom I hadn’t seen for… twenty years, maybe?. We enjoyed a lovely Summer day in her hometown, walking by the sea and sightseeing, all these with three young children who seemed to have a lot of fun playing with one another, even if they didn’t speak a common language. When we returned to Portugal, we spent the next two weeks at the beach with family and friends from abroad.

In September, to celebrate my mom’s birthday, the whole family spent a weekend hiking the Passadiços do Paiva. It’s an 8km walkway along the river Paiva, from which one can see a landscape otherwise inaccessible. Gorgeous, and very much worth the visit if you can.

I think that, as we grow older, it gets harder to meet new people and make new friends. However, I have found crafts to be a great catalyst for new friendships, and this year was no exception: I met new people to whom I feel connected and who energize me.

What I lost, and it came quite as a shock to me, to be honest, was my knitting mojo. This surprised me to no end: as soon as I got pregnant, I felt absolutely no desire to knit. I felt even a bit sick. No morning sickness, fortunately, but knitting sickness – oh yes. I kept teaching my knitting classes, as that thankfully didn’t make me sick; but I did not pick up the needles on my ongoing projects for several months. I crocheted a little blanket for my baby, though. My knitting mojo started to creep back in as my second trimester came to a close and Fall started to appear on the calendar. My eldest kid requested I made her and her sister matching sweaters, and I complied, and thus returned my knitting mojo. I’m now looking forward to making new (matching?) sweaters for me and the girls.

October 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
November 2017 at the air Embroidery Club
December 2017 at the air Embroidery Club

Speaking of looking forward, 2018 is the year I turn 40. So far, every new decade has been better than the previous one. This has been true for the last two decades and I want it to be true for as long as I live. My 30s did bring me a fair bit of sadness, but all in all I feel like I grew and learnt that what matters is how I face adversity, and not let myself believe that I am at the mercy of fate. I know I cannot control what happens to me (the death of my son being the most obvious example of that), but I can choose how I want to live a life that contains not only joy, but also frustration, sadness and loss. And I chose then, and choose now, to live a happy life, not because only happy things happen to me, but because I choose to live that way despite of the bad things that happen to me and around me. This has been the major lesson I learnt during my 30s, and it is priceless.

So, to celebrate the year I turn 40, I decided I wouldn’t restrict celebrations to just one day (my birthday). I want to celebrate year round – and why? Again, because I can. I gave it a lot of thought and decided that I am going to run (or walk, if that is the case) a 10k race every month this year, starting on March 4th. I will be three months and a bit post-partum, so I’m being gentle with my goal setting. I want to complete each new 10k I run in less time than the previous one. I’m not setting a specific time goal, but I want to know that I will be improving with each month of training and experience.

In the year I turn 40, I also want to finally release the knitting pattern I designed. It is written, tech edited and tested by lovely knitters. The only thing missing: layout, exporting the pdf and releasing it on ravelry. I hope setting this goal and sharing it with you will keep me accountable and help me achieve it.

Another goal of mine is to grow the air Embroidery Club. It has been running for four years now and it has grown, but not as steadily as I would like. This year, I want to introduce a few changes that will make it easier for members to join and have an overall better experience.

I also want to start selling some of the embroidered originals I have. These were made with love and care, and I think it’s time for them to find joy in new homes.

How about you? Did you make a recap of your 2017? Did you set goals for 2018? Please share in the comments, or send me an e-mail.

Happy stitching, and happy 2018!

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This post is part of a series of essays I intend to write and publish, with the goal of (re)creating, even if only for myself, the sense of space we once used to have in blogs. If you want to follow along, you can check back this space or read posts directly in your e-mail inbox. Read the first personal essay here.

The beginnings, a personal essay

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a project I would like to embrace. I love writing, and expressing my thoughts and feelings through words, and blogging was – once upon a time – a wonderful outlet for that. It hasn’t been, not for a while, a wonderful place for that, and I would like that to change. For me, I mean.

I remember vividly the evening I created my first blog and wrote my first post. It was end of October, probably the 30th, back in 2006. It was my last night in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before returning to Lisbon. I had been there for two months, visiting my then-boyfriend, now-husband. I had decided I would be moving there, but needed to come to Lisbon to close up shop (and properly move there). That night, I was alone at home, as he had a business trip to Santiago de Chile he could not reschedule, and I took the leap of creating a blog at blogger. (Remember blogger?)

I named my blog “Entre Lisboa e Buenos Aires” (which translates as “Between Lisbon and Buenos Aires”), which was a good description of how I felt: on the one hand, I loved my hometown of Lisbon; on the other, my future seemed to live in that beautiful, Latin American city.

Those first few years of blogging were like a honeymoon, if there’s such a thing when it comes to writing and sharing thoughts with an unknown audience. I had my eyes peeled for everything, and found a way to write about the little things I noticed here and there. In April 2007, I moved to Argentina, and I didn’t have to be very creative in noticing those small things, because everything was new to me. Buenos Aires was love at first sight, with all its beauty and all its flaws of a gigantic city (the greater Buenos Aires has more inhabitants than the whole country of Portugal, just to give a sense of scale).

I wrote in Portuguese, my mother tongue, a language I love. It has subtleties – like many other languages, I suppose – and it felt good to be able to explore and play with those nuances while, at the same time, presenting my new reality living in the “South Cone”. I discovered new tastes (hello ceviche! And sushi, that was the moment I fell in love with you), looked at streets, buildings and corners with the eyes of a foreigner who actually had the time to be there permanently.

But those first months weren’t all pink and rosy. I fell ill and underwent several surgeries, and the weight of the distance made itself very evident. It took me a while to get better after the experience, but eventually I did.

Blogs, at that time, were journals people used to express themselves and their creativity. Comments were one of the ways readers connected to the author, and a way to create community. Reading blogs and interacting with other bloggers made me want to create more; to experiment more; to strive to be less “perfect” and more “daring”. I rediscovered knitting and I experimented with different illustration techniques. I took painting classes and went back to studying German, a language I absolutely love. I made friends with new people, both in Buenos Aires and in the online world.

Blogs then became a powerful platform and blogging suddenly became a business. And although I get it – lots of people were reading blogs and many of us were writing blogs, which takes up a lot of time and if you can monetize it, then why not – that evolution also saddened me. Blogs lost that fresh, spontaneous feeling they had and posts became ways to sell things.

More or less at the same time, I moved from Argentina to Panama, and that was a tough change for me. Looking back, I think I wasn’t as comfortable sharing feelings and thoughts as I was before, not only because blogging now had a more commercial and practical purpose (mostly sell things, or create brand awareness), but also because I didn’t have the same love affair with Panama I lived earlier with Buenos Aires. Instagram also came to be around that time, and that platform – at least in its infancy – seemed to have the freshness to visually express myself. Those were the days when the only picture format was square and posts were chronological. (Oh, Instagram, what have you done to yourself? But that’s a conversation for another post.)

In 2013, I moved back to Lisbon, Portugal, after six years in Latin America. I was happy to come home, after being abroad and far away. But coming back wasn’t easy, or at least as easy as one would expect when going back to your home country. Because everything is different now: friends and clients have moved on, created new routines while we were away; the city itself had changed. And, once again, we had to start anew.

That Summer, I took a business and marketing online course (Tara Gentile’s then-called “10 Thousand Feet” course, which I highly recommend) that changed a lot in the way I worked, found new clients and created new business opportunities for myself. It also fundamentally changed the way I approached blogging: it was now a way to intentionally connect with my audience, create awareness and sell my products and services, and I started delivering my posts both on my website and via e-mail.

Writing to sell my products and services was both fantastic and also gut-wrenching, in the sense that it created a chasm between what I needed to write and what I felt like spontaneously writing. I tried filling that void writing as much as possible from my experience, or from my heart, one could say; but I always missed that freshness of the first years.

Fast forward to today: after long pauses, I’ve been craving that spontaneity that blogs offered in their infancy, the connection with the audience and the sense of community it created. I’ve been finding them in other platforms, such as through Anita no Trabalho, the podcast I co-created and co-host with my friend and podcast partner Eliana; through Instagram, where I’ve been meeting wonderful new people; or even through embroidery, via my free online embroidery e-course and my paid air Embroidery Club.

And that’s where we are today: craving this space for expression, in a world that has no time to read anything longer than three lines (let alone the many paragraphs above).

This post is the first, I hope, of a series of essays I intend to write and publish, with the goal of (re)creating, even if only for myself, that sense of space. If you want to follow along, you can check back this space or read posts directly in your e-mail inbox.

Featured in Stitch-Illo!

This is a story about delayed gratification. A year and half ago, maybe, I don’t recall anymore, I wrote an essay to submit to Uppercase magazine, of which I am a huge fan, when Janine posted a call for entries for the volume “S” of her Encyclopedia of Inspiration. “S” standing for “stitch” and “stitched illustration”. I wrote it with my heart (as I usually do everything) and added some pictures of my embroidered illustrations. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Life happened – both to me and, obviously, to Janine – and it took a while to receive a lovely surprise in my e-mail inbox: my submission had been accepted into “Stitch-Illo”! I was so happy about it, it made me feel like the luckiest person alive. I love Janine’s impeccable work and I know how carefully she curates anything she decides to include in any of her publications. That made me even happier. I simply couldn’t wait to see the book in my hands, and was delighted to learn that as a featured artist I would receive two copies that were to arrive by mail.

So I waited. I started seeing the reactions on Instagram: artists who had received their copies; people who had purchased their copies. I saw delicious photos and videos. As for me? I had an empty mailbox.

Months later, I received a notification from Customs (wait, what?) saying I had a volume that needed to be processed. I gathered it could only be my much-awaited copies of Stitch-Illo and presented the documentation that was asked. The books were given as gifts by the publisher, and I presented evidence of that instead of a receipt of purchase; still, “there are no gifts for Customs. We need an invoice.” was the response I received.

Janine and her team were amazing, sending me documentation (and support!). Several weeks later, I received the message that they were “appreciating the documentation” and one day, weeks later, I had my doorbell ring. Mr. Armindo, our much esteemed postman, arrived with a volume. He was very apologetic because he had to charge me with Customs taxes and fees, but I simply didn’t care: I finally had “Stitch-Illo” in my hands! And I wasn’t disappointed, not at all.

“Stitch-Illo” is a wonderful collection of artwork from different corners of the world. In common, the resurgence of needlework as a means of expression. As I browse through its pages and read the stories of all these different artists from around the world, I can’t help but wonder how much technology has both allowed this work to happen and to be shared, while also pushing it away from the digital back to the analog.

It’s amazing – and reassuring – to see such diversity within the same few basic stitches: each artist produces such different work, while at the same time using the same familiar stitches. It is reassuring, to me, because it reinforces this idea that expressive artwork does not need to be incredibly sophisticated. And if I do what I am compelled to do, instead of replicating what I saw someone else making, my work will have something unique and special about it.

Thank you, Janine, for putting together this wonderful book. I’m reading other people’s stories and admiring their meaningful art and thinking that this book, to me, feels like home.

Learn more about Stitch-Illo over at the Uppercase website.

Blooming jacarandas and embroidery, a love affair


Ler em português

Now that jacaranda season is almost over here in Lisbon, and Summer is just around the corner, I would like to share a bit of the background behind this month’s air Embroidery Club project, its inspiration and motivation.

To me, blooming jacarandas bring many memories, some of them fond; some of them sweet – and sour.

When I lived in Argentina, Buenos Aires came into full jacaranda bloom during the month of November. It was the best month: winter was over but the scorching heat of summer wasn’t quite there yet. Many large avenues, lined with jacarandas, became beautiful and violet, in this very special and electric hue.

Lisbon is much smaller than Buenos Aires, but its avenues are lined with many trees, and many of them become violet at this time of the year. Jacaranda blooms have such a beautiful, vivid color, one could almost be fooled into thinking that they would last forever. Alas, they can disappear in just one day, if the wind blows stronger.

Three years ago, as I expected my twins to be born, had them, had my beautiful baby girl with me and mourned the loss of my son, nature – and blooming jacarandas – kept reminding me that life was still beautiful, despite the loss, that I just had to look around and appreciate the beauty to know that I could – and had to – go on.

So every year as I start to see jacarandas lose their leaves and become filled with little, vibrantly colored flowers, I can’t help but think of where I was a few years ago, and where I am now, letting myself feel the wave of loss again, as well as the wave of never ending love for life, my family and friends, and for the beauty of nature, which we cannot even for one second take for granted.

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Agora que a temporada dos jacarandás está mesmo no seu fim, aqui por Lisboa, e o verão está mesmo, mesmo à porta, gostaria de partilhar convosco um pouco sobre a história por trás do projecto deste mês do Clube de Bordado air.

Os jacarandás em flor trazem-me muitas memórias, algumas delas muito queridas, outras, um pouco agridoces.

Quando vivia na Argentina, Buenos Aires entrava numa quase febre violeta durante o mês de Novembro. Para mim, o melhor mês do ano: o inverno já tinha acabado e o calor sufocante do verão ainda não chegara. Muitas das grandes avenidas da cidade, cheias de grandes jacarandás frondosos, entravam numa vibração violeta quase eléctrica.

Lisboa é uma cidade muito mais pequena que Buenos Aires, mas também tem muitas das suas artérias enfeitadas de jacarandás, que nesta altura do ano se tornam ainda mais bonitos, com as suas flores luminosas. A cor é de tal forma viva que uma pessoa quase podia imaginar que vai lá ficar para sempre. Mas não, as flores de jacarandá vão-se de um dia para o outro.

Há três anos, quando esperava o nascimento dos meus gémeos, os tive, trouxe a minha bebé para casa e chorava a morte do meu filho, a natureza – e os jacarandás em flor – ajudaram-me a manter a minha alegria de viver. E que, apesar da perda, me bastaria olhar à minha volta para apreciar a beleza da natureza. E isso deu-me forças para continuar.

Cada ano que passa, à medida que vejo os jacarandás a perderem as suas folhas e a substituí-las por uma mancha lilás, não posso evitar pensar nas esperanças e sonhos de há uns anos atrás, na perda e no caminho que percorri até aos dias de hoje. Olho e agradeço a família e os amigos, que sempre me apoiaram, e aprecio também a beleza da natureza, do nosso planeta tão lindo e complexo, que temos de cuidar nós, todos os dias, sem nunca delegar essa tarefa em ninguém.

Craving some quiet time

Hello, hello, dear all. I cannot quite fathom how this happened: it’s May, already. Mid-May, to be more accurate. Weeks and months have flown by and I have been trying to hold on to the fleeting moments of life. My toddler will be three years old in just under two weeks and seeing her grow is the best reminder that life goes fast, so we better pause and live it.

I’ve worked a lot the past few months, and stitching our monthly air Embroidery Club projects (and preparing them for the lovely members) has been the best way I can find of looking around and enjoying the change of the seasons. I’ve been very inspired by nature lately – it could be season, although you wouldn’t know that it is Spring by looking outside the window today. It’s pouring, windy, and there’s a thunderstorm happening at the same time.

I miss writing as much as I miss sharing my thoughts with you, and hearing your thoughts, and having a conversation. And I miss making more art, sketching sketching sketching. But someday I will feel the pull again to make time for art.

In the meantime, I sit down and stitch one more stitch, just one more, and leave you with a bit of a preview of our May project. If you want to join us, you can do so here.

Many hugs. I’m off to record two episodes of Anita no Trabalho.

Peace

Getting into the holiday mood. Happy December, everyone! #lisboa #lisbon

"Peace" - it's the first of the month, so there's a new #embroidery in #airembroideryclub members' inboxes. After these few crazy months, and in this holiday season, I wanted to turn the noise down and retreat. I was surprised to see that I went for just

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…and so 2016 has come to an end. We are now less than two weeks away from 2017, and I have to say this year has officially flown by me. Just yesterday it was Easter break, and we were in Florence climbing the Duomo stairs, and now it’s Winter again.

This was a good, busy year. Work has kept me elsewhere (you can follow me on Instagram, where I still post regularly), entertained with many new challenges, but some things remain the same: my knitting, my embroidery, my beautiful city of Lisbon.

This was the year I launched my podcast with my friend Eliana about female entrepreneurship, Anita no Trabalho. We’re very proud of it.

I started working at two new places; after the adjustment period, I’m now loving the different challenges they bring around. Through these two projects, I have met many new people, some of them I now call friends.

I’ve been dragging my feet on releasing my first (well, second) knitwear design pattern – insecurity, mostly. It will be coming in January, I’m promising myself, because no one is more let down when I procrastinate on sharing my creative projects with the world than myself. So. There. Now I said it.

In the meantime, I wish you all happy holidays. This year I’m very much delighted by the coincidence of the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas. And to everyone, even those not celebrating, I wish much peace, love and embroidery (or knitting).

See you in 2017! (or sooner on Instagram)

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E eis que sem saber ler nem escrever chegamos ao fim do ano de 2016. Este ano voou. Ainda ontem estávamos a subir as escadas do Duomo, em Florença, nas férias da Páscoa. E agora já é inverno outra vez.

Este foi um ano bom, muito ocupado. Tenho estado muito entretida com projectos de trabalho longe do blog (podem seguir-me no Instagram, onde vou partilhando imagens com mais frequência), novos desafios, mas há coisas que continuam sempre iguais: o tricot, o bordado, a minha querida cidade de Lisboa.

2016 foi o ano em que a minha querida Eliana e eu lançámos o podcast Anita no Trabalho, um podcast em português sobre empreendedorismo no feminino. Penso que falo por ambas quando digo que temos muito orgulho neste projecto.

Comecei a trabalhar em dois lugares diferentes, e após um período de adaptação, estou a adorar os novos desafios. Através destes dois projectos, conheci várias pessoas novas, algumas das quais hoje já considero amigas.

Tenho estado a adiar o lançamento da minha primeira (vá, segunda) receita de tricot. É do meu casaco cinzento que já usei tantas e tantas vezes (aliás, tenho vestido neste preciso momento. Sempre que se trata de um projecto criativo meu, tenho tendência a arrastar os pés… insegurança, claro. Mas vou aqui e agora fazer um pacto comigo mesmo: sai em Janeiro de 2017!

E por agora desejo a todos Boas Festas! Este ano, a primeira noite do Hanukkah calha precisamente na véspera de Natal. De alguma forma, esta coincidência faz-me sentir mais próxima de quem celebra coisas diferentes das minhas, e faz-me acreditar que a paz e a convivência em harmonia são possíveis (não há a menor relação causa-efeito entre a coincidência e a paz no mundo, mas deixem-me sonhar à vontade). A todos vocês, quer celebrem uma festa este fim-de-semana, ou não, desejo paz, amor e muito bordado (e tricot).

Até 2017! (ou mais cedo, no Instagram)

November at the air Embroidery Club

ec-novembro-stop-motion

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The last few weeks have been busy, busy. I took on two new jobs: one, teaching knitting in Companhia das Agulhas, here in Lisbon (I also have my knitting workshops in the studio – check the new dates for this season); and the other, as a documentation specialist in a software company.

I’ve been incredibly busy, but also happy to feel that my skills are being challenged in different ways. On the one hand, I’ve been learning a lot about how to talk about knitting. It’s much easier to teach by showing than by talking about it, and yet there is so much that needs to be transmitted to the person who is learning that it is, indeed, necessary to find a way to talk about it. I feel that I have learned a lot about talking about knitting in a way that is easier to understand to a beginner – and this, of course, is thanks to my students, who have posed the most interesting questions, showing me the way to become a better teacher.

My other new job as a documentation specialist is very much a job as a “translator”, in the sense that I try to convert a mostly tech language into a more broadly understood language. It’s been fun, and challenging, and eye-opening, too.

November was also the month we had the Web Summit happen here in Lisbon, for the first time. It was amazing, stimulating, a wonderful learning opportunity. Eliana and I compiled our thoughts in the latest Anita no Trabalho podcast episode (in Portuguese only, sorry!)

In the meantime, November is here, almost gone, and today I was finally able to put together a fun stop motion animation of this month’s air Embroidery Club project. Hope you like it!

(Even if my posts and emails have been erratic, I keep posting updates to Instagram, if you’d like to connect.)

Hugs and happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate!

*

Estas últimas semanas têm passado a correr. Esta ilusão do tempo que foge é precipitada por uma causa: ter começado a trabalhar em dois novos projectos. Um, como formadora de tricot na Companhia das Agulhas, perto da Gulbenkian (paralelamente aos meus workshops de tricot aqui no atelier, cuja página foi actualizada com novas datas). Sinto que tenho aprendido todo um mundo sobre como falar e ensinar a tricotar. Isto, porque sobre tricot é mais fácil demonstrar do que teorizar – e no entanto, para quem aprende, é necessário estabelecer uma estrutura, ainda que pequena, de conhecimento teórico sobre malha.

O outro projecto a que me dediquei é um novo desafio para mim. Estou a trabalhar numa empresa de software como especialista de documentação, que é uma forma de dizer que compilo e transformo a documentação técnica em documentação compreensível por todos. Tem sido uma experiência muito boa.

Em Novembro, tivemos também aqui a Web Summit em Lisboa. A Eliana e eu trocámos as nossas impressões num episódio especial do nosso podcast Anita no Trabalho.

E hoje finalmente consegui preparar um vídeo do making of do bordado de Novembro do Clube de Bordado air. Espero que gostem!

(É verdade que os meus posts e emails têm sido raros – mas continuo a partilhar imagens no Instagram, se quiserem acompanhar!)

Até breve!

October at the air Embroidery Club

October at the air Embroidery Club

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Hi everyone!

October is here! Last Saturday, members of the air Embroidery Club received the template for this project in their inboxes. I took lots of pictures of the process wanting to make a stop motion animation to show you all a bit more about it.

You may notice that the colors are not those I usually go for when planning a new embroidery. Well, even the floss is different, as I used linen instead of the usual pearl cotton no. 8 from DMC.

There’s a story to this, as you may imagine! Last April, I visited All You Knit is Love in Barcelona. This is a local yarn shop ran by two really nice people. While shopping, I talked and talked (and talked) to one of the owners, who was helpful and knowledgeable and introduced me to the idea of knitting with linen. Curious? Meet Purlwise, their exclusive line of linen for knitting.

I bought myself two skeins of Purlwise linen, along with two skeins of Knitwise (their 100% alpaca yarn). And came home to Lisbon. I started knitting a cardigan for my daughter while hoping the yarn would be enough – and as you may guess, it wasn’t.

So I went on to order more yarn. I waited (impatiently) for the mail to arrive and when it did… it had a few goodies for me! Two mini skeins of Purlwise linen in these beautiful colors you see here.

I loved stitching with these. This yarn has four strands; I picked two apart and used them double. While I was stitching, I watched all the videos the ladies over at Clube do Bordado made – and adopted many of their techniques. I’m now a huge fan of theirs! (Clube do Bordado is a collective of women artists from Brazil who express themselves through embroidery. They publish video tutorials periodically and they’re great fun to watch.)

This project encases many things for me: new materials (linen instead of cotton), new friendships (thanks Jen for sending these mini skeins!), new techniques (thank you, ladies at Clube do Bordado!), new colors in my palette. In a nutshell, it means new, renewal, opening myself to what is new in life.

And for many of you the arrival of Fall may mean less sunlight, or colder weather. But to me? It means new beginnings, a renewal, a sort of going back indoors, and inwards, and having time to being with myself and finding out where I want to go.

Hope you have a wonderful Fall – or Spring, if you’re down south! Hope you’ll want to embrace something new and join us over at the air Embroidery Club.

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Purlwise linen mini skeins - love them!

Purlwise linen mini skeins ready to start stitching!

Olá a todos! (e eu que pensava que vinha aqui ao site partilhar um pequeno vídeo do “making of” do projecto de Outubro no Clube de Bordado air – vai daí escrevo um testamento…)

Outubro já cá está! No Sábado passado, os membros do Clube de Bordado air receberam o seu projecto deste mês. Enquanto o preparava, tirei muuuuitas fotografias, para poder fazer uma pequena animação a documentar o processo.

Em primeiro lugar, os leitores mais atentos poderão notar que há algo de diferente neste projecto! A começar pelas cores, que não são as que habitualmente uso nos meus bordados. Nem mesmo o fio é o mesmo: em vez do Cotton Perlé da DMC usei um linho especial que uma nova amiga me ofereceu.

Claro que há uma história por trás, como já devem imaginar… e nem vou esperar mais um instante para vo-la contar. Em Abril passado, visitei a loja de fios para tricot All You Knit is Love, em Barcelona. Para além da loja ser linda, os donos são ainda mais encantadores. No local estava um deles, com quem falei (e falei) e que me tentou a experimentar tricotar com linho. Mostrou-me a game de linhos que têm, chamada Purlwise, com uma gama de cores muito ampla.

Trouxe duas meadas de Purlwise, bem como duas meadas de Knitwise (um fio 100% alpaca). Assim que cheguei, comecei logo um casaco em alpaca para a minha filha, enquanto torcia os dedos para que o fio fosse suficiente – não foi, claro.

Daí que tive de encomendar mais alpaca, para ser enviada pelo correio, e procedi a montar guarda à minha caixa de correio, qual perdigueiro. No dia em que chegou, foi com muita alegria que descobri duas mini meadas de Purlwise dentro da encomenda, nestas cores lindas que aqui vêem.

Foi um prazer bordar com este fio. Composto por 4 fios mais finos, separei-os dois a dois e usei-os dobrados. Enquanto bordava, vi avidamente os vídeos das meninas di Clube do Bordado – e adoptei algumas das suas técnicas. Fiquei fã!! (O Clube do Bordado é um colectivo de artistas brasileiras que usam o bordado como meio de expressão. Publicam vídeos com lições passo-a-passo de várias técnicas de bordado, que para além de pedagógicos são também muito divertidos.)

Este projecto representa para mim o abraçar de várias coisas novas na minha vida: novos materiais (linho, em vez do habitual fio de algodão que costumo usar), novas técnicas (obrigada, meninas do Clube de Bordado), novas cores na minha paleta. Resumindo, este projecto representa algo de novo, de renovação, de fazer espaço, dentro de mim, para o que há de novo na minha vida.

E se para muitos de vocês a chegada do Outono pode significar menos luz solar, ou mais frio, para mim o Outono é um novo início, um regresso a um tempo mais introspectivo em que posso decidir que quero experimentar de novo na minha vida.

Espero que tenham um excelente Outono – ou Primavera, se estiverem no Sul! Se quiserem abraçar um novo desafio, espero-vos no  Clube de Bordado air.