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?
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!
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!
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.
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?
Above, the beautiful Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, where we saw “Cenerentola” by Gioacchino Rossini.
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!
Some of us travel in style… 🙂
After ten years, it was wonderful to go back to Hong Kong. So much has changed, and yet so much still feels like home.
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 is full jacaranda season here in Lisbon. We celebrated Alice’s first birthday, and remembered our baby boy with a fundraiser.
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.
On Alice’s first birthday, we visited the Lisbon Oceanarium (it’s a must visit, everyone!).
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.
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.
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.
In September we took some time off and visited a few places in Portugal.
A week by the sea, in the south, to recharge our batteries.
A power weekend in Alentejo, in the Alqueva region, to take a break from the city.
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 http://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!
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.
(You can purchase this illustration at the shop – or by sending me an email.)
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.
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.
Your photos of the vibrant colored leaves are gorgeous!
May 2016 bring love and joy to all.
Thank you, Laura! Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2016, too!