Category: Embroidery Club

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.

Blooming jacarandas and embroidery, a love affair


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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

Ler em português

…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!

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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.

Fall is here

ec-setembro-stop-motion

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Many things have been happening and I feel hopelessly behind on sharing them with you. But. I just finished putting this tiny stop motion of this month’s embroidery project over at the air Embroidery Club and I thought I’d share it here with you.

Hope you like it. If you’d like to join the Club (and get a fresh embroidery design to stitch at your own pace every first day of the month), do so here. Thank you!

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Este Verão foi pleno de acontecimentos e trabalhos (não só projectos, como cadilhos) e sei que estou muitíssimo atrasada em termos de documentação dos mesmos. Nem sei por onde começar, na verdade.

Portanto, não começando, partilho aqui convosco esta pequena animação do bordado de Setembro de 2016 do Clube de Bordado air. Calha bem, porque ainda por cima hoje é dia de equinócio e o Outono chega.

Para quem quiser saber mais sobre o Clube ou mesmo inscrever-se, basta ir aqui. Obrigada!

Try the air Embroidery Club – free!

airembroideryclub-making-of-Fevereiro
An animated view of the making of our February 2016 project at the air Embroidery Club.

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Hi everyone, this week I decided to shake things up a bit here.

To be very transparent, I’ve been working hard to grow the air Embroidery Club. This is a project I truly, deeply believe in, because it not only challenges me to learn and create new things (and, hopefully, other members, too), it creates a lovely community where experiences and techniques are shared and new friendships are forged.

At its inception, I thought that the Club would be a good way to share with others what I’m passionate about: the power of creating beauty around you with your own hands; slowing down and carving time to be with one’s own thoughts; the enjoyment of the process and the gratification given by the final product. And mostly: taking care of yourself and your well-being through beauty and calm.

But now, two and half years later, I see that it’s so much more than that: it’s about sharing inspiration and experiences; it’s about feeling empowered to try new (to us) techniques, to connecting dots in a new way. It’s about meaningful connection in this online world.

Because I would like to share this with all of you, I want to invite you to join the air Embroidery Club free for the first month. At the end of the first month, you get to decide whether you join for six months (60€+VAT) or twelve months (100€+VAT) or not. How about that?

Start your free trial today.

P.S. Above you can see last February’s embroidery in the making.

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Olá, olá! Esta semana trago-vos algo de diferente… deixem-me explicar. 🙂

Para ser transparente convosco, tenho feito grandes esforços no intuito de fazer crescer o Clube de Bordado air. Este é um projecto em que acredito, porque não só me leva a experimentar e aprender coisas novas (e aos outros membros, espero, também), como também cria uma comunidade onde a partilha de várias experiências e técnicas nos enriquece a todos.

No início, pensei que o Clube seria uma boa forma de partilhar as minhas paixões convosco, a saber: o poder de criar beleza à nossa volta, com as nossas próprias mãos; abrandar o ritmo frenético dos nossos dias para, com um bordado nas mãos, nos sentarmos com agulha, fio e os nossos pensamentos; a alegria do processo e a gratificação de chegar ao produto final. Mas sobretudo, o poder de cuidarmos do nosso bem-estar através de intencionalmente criar beleza e calma à nossa volta.

Dois anos e meio volvidos, noto que o Clube traz muito mais que isso: traz partilha de experiências, de técnicas e de conhecimentos; traz uma sensação de satisfação ao experimentarmos coisas que antes não pensávamos poder fazer, relacionando diferentes elementos de formas novas para nós. Mas, sobretudo, o Clube promove um ambiente de amizade entre os membros, unidos pela sua paixão comum.

Quero poder partilhar isto com todos vocês, e por isso faço aqui o convite para se juntarem ao Clube de Bordado air de forma gratuita durante o primeiro mês. No final do primeiro mês, poderá decidir se quer aderir durante seis meses (60€+IVA) ou doze meses (100€+IVA), ou não. Que tal?

Experimente o Clube de Bordado grátis no primeiro mês!

P.S. Acima, uma animação com o “making of” do bordado de Fevereiro passado.  

From sketch to embroidery: the process

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Earlier today, #asketchaday in #Lisboa

If there’s something I like seeing in an artist’s work is the behind the scenes process. I love seeing the making of a finished piece, because it not only adds layers of meaning to a finished piece, it also unveils the steps, the doubts, the leaps, from inception to finished object.

And because I love seeing the steps, I also share the steps behind my own projects. And here, today, you can see how a sketch I made will become March’s embroidery at the air Embroidery Club.

When I start thinking about a suitable design for the air Embroidery Club, I look for a story that can be told in a small area, that of the embroidery hoop. Not all sketches are suitable, as some of them tell only a small part of a story (maybe a tiny detail, too little to make sense in an embroidered piece). So I browse my sketchbooks looking for candidates.

This month, I picked a sketch I made a few weeks ago in a beautiful place near my studio, the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. From here you get to see a beautiful panorama of my city, with the castle and the river in the background. When I made the sketch, I quickly captured some visitors that came and went, and even a naughty pigeon who wanted to be part of the group.

When I start embroidering the sketch, I make decisions about which strokes are important and which are “noise” when it comes to embroidery. Some of the pen strokes that help understand the context of the scene become “noise” when embroidered. I remove those strokes to get a “cleaner” embroidery template.

I share the process, the doubts and the leaps over on my Instagram account. Until I get to the finished piece, which I photograph and add to the final pdf embroidery template active members of the air Embroidery Club receive.

The final embroidered pieces become different things: this one is being worked on a cushion cover from ikea I’m filling with embroidered sketches of Lisbon. It will become a Lisbon-themed cushion. (I have several embroidered pieces waiting to see the light of day, maybe being shown in an art show and sold to new, loving homes, but this one will become a one-off mosaic of Lisbon scenes.)

You can see the final piece when I finish it on Instagram , Facebook, or directly in your inbox on March 1, when you joing the air Embroidery Club.

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Some useful info and links:

  • We have two new knitting workshop dates: February 27 (this Saturday) and March 5 (next Saturday). There are a few spots left so please join us if you are here in Lisbon. More info here.
  • I’ve been asked if there will be knitting workshops in week days: I’m more than happy to organize for groups of 4 people. Let me know in the comments or by e-mail.
  • I love sharing bits of my days over on Instagram and Facebook.
  • If you want to learn embroidery, sign up for my free embroidery e-course. If you wish to get a fresh embroidery template every month, and join a group of really nice and supportive people, join the air Embroidery Club today.

That’s all for today! Have a great weekend – and happy stitching!

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Committing another #Lisbon sketch to fabric. #asketchaday

Se há coisa que gosto de ver no trabalho dos artistas é o “making of”, o processo por detrás do produto acabado. Gosto, mas gosto mesmo. Porque quando vemos o produto acabado, vemos uma coisa terminada. Intuímos o trabalho que ali está, mas sem certezas. Achamos que a versão final foi sempre linda e perfeita, imaculada. No fundo, concentramo-nos no objecto final, e não no processo que o viu nascer. E eu adoro o processo, isto porque passo tanto tempo no processo, que se não o amasse seria certamente mais infeliz.

É por isso que gosto de ir partilhando o percurso entre a génese de uma ideia e o objecto final. E aqui, hoje, mostro-vos o desenho inicial, que estou de momento a bordar e a preparar para ser o projecto de Março no Clube de Bordado air.

Quando penso num projecto para o Clube de Bordado, penso em algo que possa ser representado numa dimensão pequena, e que no fundo conte uma história dentro da área do bastidor. Nem todos os desenhos servem esse propósito. Daqui, vou espreitar os desenhos que tenho nos meus caderninhos, ver quais se poderiam adequar.

Este mês, fui buscar um desenho que fiz há umas semanas no miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, uma perspectiva da vista e dos visitantes que se foram acercando para a observar. Ao bordar, vou percebendo que elementos posso retirar do desenho: a verdade é que há vários traços que ajudam a contar uma história no desenho, mas que no bordado só adicionam “ruído”. Esses detalhes saem.

À medida que vou bordando, vou registando o processo e partilhando fotos, dúvidas e reflexões na minha conta no Instagram. Até que chegamos ao produto final, que fotografo para constar na receita de bordado, em pdf, que os membros activos do Clube recebem.

Quanto aos bordados finais, esses, têm fins diferentes. Este que aqui vêem está a ser feito numa fronha de almofada de sofá que comprei no ikea, que estou a encher de desenhos lisboetas. Em vez de ir parar a um tecido solto, que depois acaba por ficar guardado no armário (tenho tantos à espera de uma exposição, ou de serem vendidos para irem para novas casas), estas fronhas ficam sentadas no meu sofá, onde as posso ver todos os dias.

Quanto ao bordado final – vejam no Instagram, Facebook, ou juntem-se ao Clube de Bordado para receberem a respectiva receita, muitas mais fotos do processo e instruções passo-a-passo no próximo dia 1.

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Algumas informações úteis:

  • Temos duas novas datas de workshop de tricot: dias 27 de Fevereiro (depois de amanhã) e 5 de Março. Ainda há vagas! Mais informações e inscrições aqui.
  • Perguntaram-me por workshops de tricot durante a semana: até ao momento ainda não houve, mas poderá vir a haver. Se houver interesse, digam-me por favor nos comentários ou por e-mail.
  • Gosto muito de partilhar fotos dos bastidores dos trabalhos e do meu dia-a-dia no Instagram. Encontram-me aqui. Ou aqui, no Facebook.
  • Se quiserem aprender a bordar, podem fazê-lo no meu curso de bordado gratuito. Se quiserem receber uma receita de bordado por mês, todos os meses, e aderir a um grupo muito fofinho de gente que borda por esse mundo fora, façam-se membros do Clube.

E é tudo por hoje! Bom fim-de-semana para todos!

Climbing a volcano, conquering a dream, finishing a project

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making of air Embroidery Club Feb 2016 - 02

making of air Embroidery Club Feb 2016 - 04

A few days ago, I was waiting for a client’s response and had a few minutes for a pause. I grabbed the knitting I have in my studio – a pair of socks – and added a few more rows. Not much, really, but as I moved from one section of the sock to the next, I looked at what I had accomplished and felt a sense of wonder, and surprise. The sock was much longer than I remembered it to be, which was specially impressive given that I work on it only when I have a few moments to spare. Read more

2015 in embroidery

My last post was a roundup in pictures of my year of 2015. Today’s post is another kind of roundup: it’s 2015 in embroidery. These were the projects I created for the air Embroidery Club. Most come from sketches on my sketchbook, some are observation sketches, some are patterns borne out of doodles. But they were all ways for me to learn and experiment new techniques. If you’re curious about the Club, click here. If you want to learn how to embroider (free!), register here.

 

air Embroidery Club - Jan-2015

This sketch was made during a trip to Mexico, where VW Beetles are a common presence. Mexico was a treat for the senses, with all its colors and spices.

 

air Embroidery Club - Feb-2015

This embroidery was made on a typical “chita de Alcobaça”, and it is based on a sketch inspired by my hometown of Lisbon, Portugal.

 

 

air Embroidery Club - Mar-2015

This floral design was made to remind me that Spring was just around the corner. And it came early, as soon as I started embroidering this project.

 

air Embroidery Club - Apr-2015

An animated view of the process to complete April 2015's air Embroidery Club project.
An animated view of the process to complete April 2015’s air Embroidery Club project.

This was one of my favorite projects to date: although challenging (working with metallic floss took some trial and error), it was very fulfilling to both my mind and my senses, as it created a delightful texture on the fabric.

 

air Embroidery Club - May-2015

In May, I tried to create a deep, full texture with very few elements: one color, one stitch, one element repeated. I loved how this project turned out.

 

air Embroidery Club - Jun-2015

 

In June, I repurposed a tunic that was bound for the recycling bin.

 

air Embroidery Club - Jul-2015

 

In July I dreamed of childhood summers, with endless days at the beach, playing with the waves and building sand castles.

 

air Embroidery Club - Aug-2015

In August, I embroidered a sketch made in Sortelha, Portugal, one of the historical villages along the border with Spain.

 

air Embroidery Club - Sep-2015

 

In September, I played a bit with cross stitch and other filling stitches in this door I sketched a few years ago in Casco Viejo, Panama.

 

air Embroidery Club - Oct-2015

 

In October, my embroidery took me back to the sunset on my friend’s balcony back in Macau, where I spent my teenage years and revisited in April 2015.

 

air Embroidery Club - Nov-2015

 

November’s project was based on a sketch I made right outside my studio.

 

air Embroidery Club - Dec-2015

You know how there is “comfort food”? Well, this was my “comfort embroidery”, to be shared with members of the air Embroidery Club in the month of December.