Month: January 2019

Looking back at 2018 and forward to 2019

I like to end the year with a roundup of what I did in the previous 12 months. On the one hand, I need to feel that time didn’t escape through my fingers; on the other, I love to go back and relive the moments and reflect on the growth that has happened in the meantime.

2018 was the first year I truly felt that if I worked towards my goals every day, even if for a shorter time than I would have wanted, I could achieve them.

Working in a creative field means – at least for me – that there’s a lot of action that does not immediately translate in results. Several pitches for articles and illustrations may or may not result in an article in a magazine. And that’s ok, albeit slightly (very!) frustrating.

So 2018 was a new experience for me, most specially with running. 2018 was the year I turned 40 and I set out to become fitter at the end of it than I was at 30. To achieve that, I decided to train for a 10k race per month, always improving my time.

I “ran” my first 10k in March, 3 months post-partum. It was actually good that I took 1 hour and 18 minutes to finish the circuit, because it could only get better from that point. To my dismay, though, it wasn’t until September that I actually started to make serious progress on my time. In August, I decided it was about time I made my running schedule work and actually followed through with it. Having two young kids at home, having time to go running isn’t always easy. But I couldn’t wait until I had the opportunity, so I decided to create it for myself. I started running once during the week, in the early morning before everyone else is awake; then once during the weekend, when daddy is home with the kids. And I found out that it is consistency more than frequency that leads to results. In September I completed my first 10k without walking; in October I was able to take 10 minutes off my September time (the circuit, with less inclination, helped); in December I finished at 1 hour and 4 minutes. I know there is a lot of room for improvement, but I am incredibly proud of this achievement.

But that’s not all! I feel fitter, more agile and generally have more energy. And I have found that my running deeply impacts my yoga practice, not only in my ability to focus, but also in increased flexibility and ease of recovery after an effort. 

I can say that my running goal of 2018 was smashed with more than the expected success. 

Next goal: keep training to complete a 10k in 60 minutes (or less!). 



The air Embroidery Club was one of the projects I needed to tweak. As much as I love the idea of receiving one fresh project per month and stitching it at the same time as the other members do, I came to the conclusion that for many of the members this wasn’t the case. Members would often tell me they were “late”, or had a backlog of patterns to stitch, and I don’t think we need a hobby to put more pressure on our daily activities and give us the feeling that we aren’t doing enough. So I changed the Club to a new model, one that I hope will be better both for the members and for me. You can read more about the Club and join (it’s free!) right here

Next goal: In 2019, I want to foster our community at the air Embroidery Club. Our “meeting room” is our facebook group, and I want to make it more dynamic and create more opportunities for interaction among members.


Another embroidery-related goal for 2018 was to start selling embroidery originals. Errr… I didn’t get to that yet, I suppose my insecurities get a front seat whenever I consider that option. I may give it a try this year, though. Right now, many of them are up on a show over at Companhia das Agulhas craft store, here in Lisbon. 


One of my goals for 2018 was to finally publish my first pro knitting pattern. I had it written, tested and tech edited… and also stuck inside a drawer so that no one would see it. November came and I thought I’d be forever annoyed if I let my insecurities get the best of me and not publish a pattern that was a labor of love. So I rolled up my sleeves, designed the layout, exported the PDF and published the pattern on ravelry. I’m proud of this pattern, I’m proud of the lovely team of test knitters who were so kind to test it for me, and also for the lovely Madeleine, who tech edited the pattern and whose sharp eye was essential to bring more clarity to the instructions. 

Next goal: I have so many ideas for more sweaters and so few hours in the day to work on them all. But! I want to commit to publishing another sweater pattern this year. I will keep you posted on that!

Now, on to 2019! 

Above I have mentioned how I want to build on my 2018 goals and get to new places with them. But below there will be a few goals I want to mention, too:

Less plastic: I want to go on with the “de-plastification” process I’ve been implementing here at home. We started by replacing our regular toothbrushes with bamboo ones (we have both bam&boo and babu and they’re similar in quality and in price). I swapped some personal hygiene products, like shampoo, toothpaste and body lotion to ones that do not come in plastic bottles (I love Saponina’s products but fortunately there are more and more options available).*

We use reusable shopping bags but there’s still the occasional plastic bag and I want to be more careful about that, too, and passing that habit on to my kids. 

Do you have any tips on how to use less plastic in our daily lives? Please let me know!

I want to make more art in my life: I miss the fun of sketching, painting and experimenting with art supplies. I want to bring more of that playfulness into my life, along with knitting and embroidery. Also, I will be doing the Artist’s Way again.

Overall, I want to embrace more challenges, take on jobs where I can learn new things, new techniques and new ways of telling stories. Because telling stories is what I do.


How about you? What are your goals? Happy 2019!

*Just to be clear: these are not affiliate links and I do not get paid to mention them. I’m sharing these brands with you because I like them! #notanad

The air Embroidery Club has changed

Leaves bring us texture, volume, pattern and repetition. Which, in a way, is a wonderful metaphor for the confidence that everything will be alright.


ler em português

As of September 2018, the air Embroidery Club has changed. From a monthly subscription Club, it has changed into a new model, one that I hope you will want to join and enjoy.


How was the air Embroidery Club until now and why is it going to change?

Up until now, members purchased a six- or twelve-month subscription to the Club and received a fresh embroidery pdf file template in their e-mail inboxes every first day of the month.

All members, current or former, received an invitation to participate in our private facebook group. [Note that to belong to the facebook group a member needs to have a facebook account. Also note that it is not necessary to belong to the private facebook group to sign up for the Club.]

In the course of the five years of the Club’s life, I came to notice that members often felt like they couldn’t keep up and that one embroidery template a month was simply too much. I always tried to make members comfortable about taking it easy with embroidery, and that the point of it was to de-stress us, not to leave us feeling like we couldn’t keep up, and so I came to the conclusion that something needed to change.


How is the Club going to change?

My goal with this change is to eliminate the feeling of being behind when a new pattern arrives and the previous one hasn’t been concluded. As of September 2018, members no longer pay a subscription to join the Club; instead, prospective members request to join the Club, gain access to the Club’s web page (filled with resources), our private facebook group, and access a pool of embroidery templates they can purchase at their own pace, at any time of the month they wish.

In the “old” Club, members got one template a month; in the “new” Club, members can choose one or many templates from the pool, so you’ll have more options and more control over what you decide to stitch. 🙂

Oh, and there are 60 templates (and counting) available – I’m uploading them gradually as it is a lot of work!


Who can request to join the Club?

No changes here! Anyone with an interest in embroidery, either beginner or a more seasoned stitcher is welcome to join. There’s a place for everyone.

Stitchers who take the free, online, air embroidery e-course will also be presented with the option to join the Club, if they so wish.


What are the benefits of joining the Club?

Joining the air Embroidery Club will bring you together with a community of like-minded makers from around the world. It will also give you access to a pool of embroidery templates in pdf file format (so far, 60 different templates, and counting) you can purchase at your own pace and convenience, as they are available on-line 24/7. This large pool of embroidery templates is only available to members, who are encouraged to join the conversation in our private facebook group as well as to share pictures on social media with the hashtag #airembroideryclub


What does this change look like to current members of the Club?

Current members of the Club will stop receiving an embroidery template every first day of the month. Instead, they will be directed to the Club’s web page, where all available templates will be accessible for purchase for a lower price than in the former membership format. This means you will be able to add more embroidery templates to your library at a better price.

Remember that all the templates you received while a member are yours to keep! Please download them if you haven’t before. You don’t need to purchase them again and you can embroider them as many times as you like.


Have questions? Let me know.

If you still have questions, do let me know. I will do my best to respond to everyone and you will be helping me create an FAQ page. 🙂



“Raindrops keep falling on my head…” errr, excuse me, hand.


Em Setembro de 2018, o Clube de Bordado air mudou!

Até agora, os membros compravam uma assinatura de seis ou de doze meses para o Clube e recebiam uma receita de bordado em PDF nas suas caixas de correio electrónico, no primeiro dia de cada mês.

Todos os membros, com assinatura activa ou não, recebiam um convite para aderirem ao nosso grupo privado de facebook. [Nota que para pertencer ao grupo no facebook é necessário ter uma conta de facebook. Nota também que não é necessário pertencer ao grupo de facebook para pertencer ao Clube de Bordado.]

No decurso dos cinco anos com que o Clube já conta, notei que muitas vezes os membros sentiam que não conseguiam acompanhar o ritmo de uma receita por mês. Sempre me esforcei por acalmar essa ansiedade, pois o meu objectivo com o bordado era combater o stresse, e não criar mais! Então percebi que algo teria de mudar.


Como é que o Clube vai mudar? 

O meu objectivo com esta mudança é eliminar a sensação de “não conseguir acompanhar o ritmo” quando uma nova receita chega e ainda não terminámos a anterior. A partir de Setembro de 2018, os membros não vão precisar de comprar uma assinatura para o Clube. Em vez disso, quem tiver vontade de se juntar, poderá requerer acesso ao Clube. Uma vez no Clube, os membros terão acesso à página do Clube (onde estão todos os recursos como tutoriais em PDF, vídeos, etc), receberão também um convite para se juntarem ao nosso grupo privado de facebook, e acederão a um amplo conjunto de receitas de bordado que cada membro poderá comprar ao seu próprio ritmo, e em qualquer altura do mês.

No Clube “antigo”, cada membro recebia uma receita por mês; no “novo” Clube, os membros poderão escolher uma ou muitas receitas de entre as que estão disponíveis, o que vos dá maior capacidade de decisão relativamente ao que querem bordar.

Ah! E tenho, até ao momento, 60 receitas disponíveis que estou a carregar no site de forma gradual – é muito trabalho, uf! 🙂


Quem pode pedir para aderir ao Clube? 

Neste ponto não há mudanças! Quem tiver interesse por bordado, seja principiante ou mais avançado, poderá pedir acesso e será muito bem-vindo. Há lugar para todos.

Os bordadeiros que fazem o curso de bordado air, online e gratuito, também serão convidados a requerer o acesso, se for da sua vontade.
Quais os benefícios de aderir ao Clube? 

O Clube de Bordado junta pessoas que, um pouco por todo o mundo e tal como tu, gostam de fazer nascer coisas com as suas mãos. Ser membro do Clube também te dá acesso a um conjunto de 60 (até ao momento!) receitas de bordado que poderás adquirir ao teu ritmo, se e quando quiseres, já que estão disponíveis online 24 horas por dia, 7 dias por semana. Estas receitas só estão disponíveis para membros do Clube! Não se encontram à venda em mais nenhum lugar. Os membros são convidados a participar nas conversas no nosso grupo privado de facebook e a partilhar as fotografias dos seus bordados nas redes sociais com a hashtag #airembroideryclub
E de que forma é que o Clube vai mudar para os actuais membros? 

Os membros actuais do Clube irão deixar de receber uma receita nova no primeiro dia de cada mês. Em vez disso, os membros poderão aceder à página do Clube no meu site, onde poderão aceder às receitas, às instruções passo-a-passo e outras ferramentas. As receitas terão um valor mais apelativo que na versão anterior do Clube, o que significa que poderás controlar que receitas comprar para ires completando a tua colecção.

Todas as receitas que recebeste enquanto membro são tuas, não precisas de as comprar. Por favor faz o respectivo download, se não fizeste até agora, e lembra-te que as podes bordar quantas vezes quiseres.

Ficaste com dúvidas? Conta-me tudo!

Se ficaste com dúvidas, por favor coloca-mas. Basta responderes a este e-mail ou dirigires-te ao grupo de facebook e eu farei os possíveis por responder com a máxima brevidade. Além disso, as tuas dúvidas ajudar-me-ão a criar uma página de FAQ. 🙂

Muito obrigada por seres parte do Clube!  

Bom bordado!