Month: January 2016

No jornal Expresso

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air-Principe Real no Expresso-do desenho ao bordado-1

Ler em português
A few weeks ago (last year?!), I was featured in an article that came out in Jornal Expresso’s magazine. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this newspaper, this is the most important national weekly, one that is regarded as being the source of good quality information, opinion and culture. This post could end right here – and maybe I should act all cool and professional about this! – but this was such an amazing experience I thought it would be fun to share more of how the interview was like for me. It was my first time being interviewed for a national newspaper, and it still feels very exciting today.

Back in August I was approached by a friend who put me in touch with a journalist who was looking for people who like sketching on the streets. The journalist was writing a guide of cool places to draw in both Lisbon and Porto, and – of course! – I said I’d be delighted to talk to her.

We fixed an appointment and got together just outside my studio, in a garden filled with old trees. It was a beautiful summer morning, just perfect to be out on the street, sketching. When the photographer arrived, they asked if I could choose a spot and start sketching, and the photographer took lots of pictures while I was standing, sketching, holding sketchbook just so so that he could capture both the view and the sketch. It was a lot of fun, but let me tell you – I now have a newfound appreciation for photographic models!

When the sketch was ready and the photographer had all the pictures he would need, the journalist, Katya, and I started a conversation. I know it was an interview and of course Katya wanted to gather information for the article she was writing, but I have to tell you that she was so nice and easy going that it felt much more like a conversation with a friend than an interview for an article running on a national newspaper.

In the end, the images featured were not of the sketch I made. But all in all this was a lovely morning and a wonderful experience for me. How exciting is it to be mentioned in a national newspaper? Very exciting, I have to say!

(Read the article in Portuguese: cover, page 1, page 2.)

The sketch I made for this interview, pictured above, became a project for the air Embroidery ClubLearn more and join here.

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air-Principe Real no Expresso-1

air-Principe Real no Expresso-do desenho ao bordado-2

Há umas semanas atrás (hmmm… no ano passado, já?), o meu trabalho foi mencionado num artigo na revista E do jornal Expresso. Este post poderia ficar por aqui – e se calhar até deveria manter uma pose algo distante e muito profissional, mas a verdade é que foi uma experiência tão gira que achei que seria interessante partilhá-la aqui. Foi a primeira vez que o meu trabalho foi mencionado num jornal tão importante, e como tal ainda hoje fico muito contente de cada vez que penso nisso.

No Verão passado, em Agosto, fui abordada por um amigo que me pôs em contacto com uma jornalista, a Katya Delimbeuf, que estava a escrever um roteiro de desenho, em Lisboa e no Porto, para a revista do Expresso. Perguntaram-me se estaria disponível para conversar e desenhar – e claro que estava! Combinámos encontro aqui na praça mesmo em frente ao atelier e foi numa manhã de verão que nos encontrámos. Quando o fotógrafo chegou, pediram-me que desenhasse uma vista à minha escolha, e eu assim fiz. O fotógrafo captou então algumas imagens, pedindo-me alguma “ajuda” para conseguir fazer composições em que aparecessem a vista e o desenho da vista, no meu caderno. Foi uma experiência nova e muito gira para mim, que me fez ganhar uma nova apreciação por quem trabalha como modelo fotográfico (não é fácil!).

Quando o desenho ficou pronto e o fotógrafo entendeu que tinha todo o material de que precisava, passámos então à entrevista. Bem sei que a Katya precisava de recolher informação para escrever o seu artigo, mas pôs-me tão à vontade que mais pareceu uma conversa entre amigas!

No artigo final, as fotografias não são dos meus desenhos, mas ainda assim esta foi uma experiência muito gira! Oxalá se repita…

(Ler o artigo: capa, primeira página, segunda página.)

O desenho que fiz para esta entrevista, no topo, transformou-se em bordado para o Clube de Bordado air. Para saber mais e aderir, clique aqui.

mosaico

When my grandma taught me to knit, three decades ago, she couldn’t have guessed how important it would become in my life. I remember knitting scarves full of dropped stitches, and telling grandma: “I can knit with my eyes closed!” Knitting was something I did with my grandmother, and when we moved from the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal, to live in Macau, South of China, I didn’t pick up the needles again. Adolescence struck, along with the 90s, and knitting faded to the background, giving way to checked shirts and Doc Martens boots.

It wasn’t until my late twenties, when I was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that I thought about knitting again. With some basics from my mom and a yarn shop near my apartment, soon I was using knitting needles again. Ravelry, a social network for knitters and crocheters, had been just launched, and through it I met people and made new friends.

I have moved twice since those days, and I still treasure knitting as a way to improve my well-being. Sharing that joy is what led me to start teaching others how to knit. We gather in small groups, on Saturday mornings, between yarn and needles, talking all things stitches.

Students arrive early in the morning, a bit nervous and shy. Some apologize in advance, believing they might not be able to learn; they feel it must be difficult to turn a single thread into a solid piece of fabric.

We start by winding the yarn and casting on, allowing our hands, not our minds, to learn the gestures. We wrap the yarn around our fingers and behind the neck, as our grandmothers did, and we start purling. Stitch by stitch, we work through the row. When purling becomes easy, we go on to knitting, then ribbing. Amid childhood memories of a grandmother or aunt who made booties or a scarf, a small miracle happens: with a pair of sticks and a bit of thread, fabric starts to grow out of the needles. That is the point of no return, when students realize they, too, can make something out of nothing.

Being part of this small miracle brings a sense of community to everyone in the room. We now have a common thread that connects us, one that is defined by slowing down and taking the time to make things with our own two hands. We become partners in a slow process, one that allows time for thought, movement and creativity. Knitting becomes a “passport”, one that shows us new worlds.

Last Saturday, January 9th, was one of those days. We shared a morning learning, connecting, recovering childhood memories and remembering those who knitted around us when we were just kids.

There will be another workshop on January 30th, and I hope you’ll want to join us and be part of the magic. (More info + sign up here.)

(This essay was first published in issue 27 of Uppercase Magazine. If you don’t know about Uppercase yet, it is a wonderful quarterly magazine dedicated to all things creative and curious. Do check it out and consider subscribing to it!)

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Quando a minha avó materna me ensinou a tricotar, há três décadas, não poderia imaginar a importância que iria ter, mais tarde, na minha vida. Lembro-me de tricotar cachecóis intermináveis em liga, cheios de malhas caídas, e anunciar, feliz e orgulhosa, que já sabia tricotar de olhos fechados! A malha era algo que fazia com a minha avó, e quando nos mudámos dos arredores de Lisboa para a nossa nova vida em Macau, não voltei a pegar nas agulhas. Veio a adolescência, chegaram os anos 90, e o grunge, as camisas aos quadrados e as botas Doc Martens ocuparam o panorama. O tricot, esse, perdeu-se na penumbra da memória.

Só na segunda metade dos meus vintes, já a viver em Buenos Aires, na Argentina, é que voltei a pensar no assunto. Com umas lições da minha mãe e uma loja de lãs perto de casa, passado pouco tempo estava a tricotar. Nessa altura surgiu também o Ravelry, uma rede social de tricot e crochet, que me permitiu conhecer mais pessoas e fazer amigos na minha nova cidade.

Desde então já me mudei duas vezes, e continuo a considerar o tricot como uma excelente forma de promover o meu bem-estar. Partilhar a alegria que o tricot me traz foi o que me levou a organizar workshops de tricot e a ensinar pessoas a tricotar. Juntamo-nos em pequenos grupos, ao Sábado de manhã, e entre lã e agulhas se passa o tempo.

Os alunos chegam cedo, por vezes nervosos, um pouco envergonhados. Alguns começam por pedir desculpa, pensam que provavelmente não irão conseguir aprender; muitos acreditam que transformar um simples fio em tecido deve ser demasiado complicado para aprender.

Começamos por dobar as meadas em novelos, e depois montar as malhas. São as mãos, e não o intelecto, que têm que aprender o movimento. Depois passamos o fio à volta do pescoço, tal como faziam as nossas avós, e começamos a aprender a fazer liga. Malha a malha, avançamos pela agulha até chegar ao final da carreira. Quando a liga se torna fácil, passamos à meia, e daí ao canelado. Entre memórias da avó ou da tia que tricotava (ou, no meu caso, dos relatos do avô que fazia as suas próprias meias), acontece um pequeno milagre: com apenas um par de agulhas e um fio começa a crescer tecido debaixo das agulhas. E esse é ponto sem retorno, o ponto em que os alunos se apercebem de que também eles podem criar algo a partir do nada.

Ser parte deste pequeno milagre traz uma sensação de comunhão, de partilha de algo especial como todos os que ali estamos. Temos um fio que nos liga uns aos outros e que se define por conscientemente abrandarmos e nos deleitarmos com o prazer de podermos criar novos projectos com as nossas próprias mãos. Tornamo-nos parceiros num processo lento, que pelas suas características nos permite abrandar, ter tempo para pensar, para deixar a mente deambular, para criar. O tricot transforma-se num “passaporte” que nos abre novos mundos.

O Sábado passado foi um desses dias especiais em que houve workshop aqui no atelier. Começámos a manhã a aprender, a trocar experiências e memórias das nossas infâncias, daqueles que à nossa volta faziam malha. A hora de almoço chegou sem repararmos, e não fossem as barrigas a dar horas se calhar ainda lá estávamos… 🙂

No próximo dia 30 de Janeiro vai haver novo workshop. Espero que se queiram juntar a nós! (Mais informações e inscrições aqui.)

(Uma versão deste post foi publicada no número 27 (do Outono de 2015) da revista Uppercase. Se ainda não conhece esta revista, não hesite em visitar o site! É uma revista trimestral canadiana dedicada a tudo o que é criativo. Vale mesmo a pena! Visite o site da Uppercase.)

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.

 

2015 in pictures

2015, to me, personally, was better than the year before. It brought me peace and the joy of watching my daughter grow, while at the same time I saw friends and family suffer with their own losses. It also brought me a few professional challenges, which were great ways to learn new things.

I suppose a year is a long time when both wonderful and awful things can happen, so I want to focus on the good and celebrate what was positive this past year. And in my heart I hug all those who lost loved ones and saw their lives shift in unexpected ways.

So… shall we start?

January

We went to London! We visited family and friends who lived there and walked those beautiful streets, looking at brick houses and cute doors. We had amazing weather and almost no rain. In January! In London!

January 2015 - we went to London!  January 2015 - we went to London!

 

February

We went skiing in the Pyrenees in February. We went to a lovely, small, family-friendly ski station. When we got there, there was no snow in sight. But that first night we got an amazing snow fall and lots of powder the next days. We never get snow in Lisbon, so for me every time I see little flakes falling I feel like a kid again. And skiing is a great way to play with snow!

February 2015 - we went skiing February 2015 - we went skiing

 

March

The arrival of Spring brought me a new sense of creativity. After several months recovering from labor and grief while learning to be a new mom, this Spring brought me a new sense of creative energy, in which I reveled. I started a few new embroidery projects that may or may not see the light of day. They still served the purpose of getting my creative gears in motion.

March 2015 - Spring! March 2015 - new beginnings!

 

April

This was such an eventful month! We went to the Opera, we celebrated Dad’s 70th birthday, we traveled East to visit the city where I spent my teenage years, Macau. We spent a few days in Dubai on our way to Hong Kong and this was one of my favorite trips in a long time, because I got to revisit places that are special to me in the company of my husband and daughter. We joked that these were the “no sleep vacation” because there was so much to see and do, and a little someone we know absolutely didn’t want to nap in her stroller. I could almost hear her thinking, why would she close her eyes with so many new things to see? Can’t really blame her, now can I?

April 2015 - at the Opera April 2015 - at the Opera April 2015 - at the Opera

Above, the beautiful Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, where we saw “Cenerentola” by Gioacchino Rossini.

 

April 2015 - Old Dubai April 2015 - Old Dubai April 2015 - DubaiApril 2015 - Dubai

We had a three day stop over in Dubai to ease jetlag and visit a new country. I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated!

 

This is how she does it.

Some of us travel in style… 🙂

 

April 2015 - Hong Kong April 2015 - Hong Kong April 2015 - Hong Kong April 2015 - Hong Kong April 2015 - Hong Kong April 2015 - Hong Kong

After ten years, it was wonderful to go back to Hong Kong. So much has changed, and yet so much still feels like home.

 

April 2015 - Macau April 2015 - Macau

Yes, Hong Kong has changed, but what about Macau? Macau changed even more, or maybe those changes are more apparent because it is a smaller territory. Several years of wealth have brought radical changes to Macau. Sometimes I had to make an effort to picture what stood there ten years ago. It was an emotional trip and one of my favorites in the last few years. I loved visiting so, so, so much. (Also, not pictured, the food. Oh, the food.)

 

May

May is full jacaranda season here in Lisbon. We celebrated Alice’s first birthday, and remembered our baby boy with a fundraiser.

May 2015 - Jacaranda seasonMay 2015 - Baby Blanket: finished!

After many months not knitting (or feeling like creating), this blanket was a kind of barometer of my recovery after the loss of my son, and its completion, a milestone.

 

May 2015 - First Birthday

On Alice’s first birthday, we visited the Lisbon Oceanarium (it’s a must visit, everyone!).

 

June

The fundraiser ran from May 22nd to June 21st. It was a very important time for me, not only because I felt like I was turning a page in my grief and my life, but also because I could feel how so many of you wanted to show your support. Understandably, the fundraiser occupied my mind for most of the month. Other than that, I had lots and lots of cherries, because there are no cherries like those from the Gardunha region; and we attended a yoga retreat, which felt like a very welcome summer break to reconnect.

June 2015 - cherry season! June 2015 - yoga retreat

 

July

On July 2nd, we visited the Portuguese Red Nose Foundation headquarters to symbolically deliver the (huge!) donation we raised, thanks to all of you. Together, we raised over 7000€, which was well above our goal of 2000€. My feeling of gratitude is immense. I feel a lot of joy thinking that more visits to children’s wards across the country were possible because of this collective donation.

July 2015 - Red Nose Foundation

 

August

We took a weekend off and visited Barcelona in the summer. We were lucky enough to be there in time for the Festa de Gràcia, where we “visited” Japan and other exotic places just by walking the streets of the Gràcia neighborhood.

August 2015 - Fiestas de Gràcia, Barcelona August 2015 - Fiestas de Gràcia, Barcelona August 2015 - Fiestas de Gràcia, Barcelona

 

September

In September we took some time off and visited a few places in Portugal.

September 2015 - taking time off September 2015 - taking time off

September 2015 - taking time off

A week by the sea, in the south, to recharge our batteries.

 

September 2015 - taking time off September 2015 - taking time off September 2015 - taking time off September 2015 - taking time off September 2015 - taking time off

A power weekend in Alentejo, in the Alqueva region, to take a break from the city.

 

October

In October I launched the free, fun and fantastic air embroidery e-course. It was a lot of fun to create and share the tips and tricks I learned by trial and error. (You, too, can learn how to embroider, and it’s easy! Register here and feel free to share the link https://www.airdesignstudio.com/embroidery-e-course/ with your friends.)

Dave Matthews Band kicked off their european tour in Lisbon, and we were there to see the show. It was a four hour musical marathon!

 

October 2015 - air embroidery e-course is live! October 2015 - air embroidery e-course is live! October 2015 - Dave Matthews live in Lisbon

 

November

As the weather turned grey outside, I turned to warm and comforting colors indoors. Baking, embroidery, knitting and sketching and playing with colors make up for the seasonal lack of vitamin D.

November 2015 November 2015 November 2015 November 2015

(You can purchase this illustration at the shop – or by sending me an email.)

 

December

We took some time off in the Fall to rest a bit before the end of the year. We visited the mountains and had a wonderful time breathing in the fresh air.

December 2015 - trekking in Fall Wonderland November 2015 - visiting Portugal November 2015 - it's Fall and I love it November 2015 - it's Fall and I love it

 

Hoje na revista do @jornalexpresso, um roteiro de desenho em #Lisboa e #Porto. Obrigada à Katya Delimbeuf!

And last, but not least: my work was featured in an article about where to draw in Lisbon and Porto, in the Portuguese weekly Expresso!

Previously: 2013 in pictures.