Category: embroidery

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. 🙂

 

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“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!
Ana

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! 🙂

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


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!

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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!

Regresso à “escola”

It's taking shape. #knitting for little ones is fun and gratifying because the reward comes with far less stitches compared to knitting for adults. Happy Sunday!

Read in English

Desde há umas semanas que me despeço de manhã da minha filhota com a explicação de que “a mãe vai para a escola”. Na verdade, não se chama escola, nem são aulas, não sou estudante nem faço parte de uma turma; vou antes à formação, assisto a sessões, sou formanda e pertenço a um grupo. As diferenças existem, sim, mas para mim – que há muito não me sentava a aprender num ambiente mais formal (ainda que não seja académico) – existe um paralelismo. E estou muito satisfeita por estar a aprender tantas coisas novas.

Estou a fazer o curso de formação pedagógica inicial, também conhecido por curso de formação de formadores. Andava com vontade de aprender mais sobre as técnicas de ensinar a adultos, para as poder aplicar aos cursos e workshops que dou e poder melhorá-los. Queria aprender a dar-lhes mais estrutura, a escolher as partes mais interessantes da narrativa, ganhar mais técnicas didácticas. E é precisamente isso que temos estado a trabalhar, num ambiente muito bom, com um grupo muito heterogéneo. Estou a adorar a experiência.

E perdoem-me por estar já de olhos postos no Outono! É que já estou a planear todas as alterações que pretendo fazer aos workshops de tricot! E já estou a planear workshops de bordado, e provavelmente também de desenho. Por isso vos pergunto: que mais gostariam vocês de aprender, presencialmente e também online? Contem-me tudo! Deixem um comentário, mandem-me um mail, falem-me no facebook, como preferirem. Obrigada!

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P.S. Está no ar o terceiro episódio da Anita no Trabalho!

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Ready to start a new design for the #airembroideryclub's June project. Join now or learn to embroider on my website https://www.airdesignstudio.com

It’s now been a few days that I tell my baby, “have a great day, sweetie, mommy is going to school”. It’s not technically school: I’m studying to become a certified trainer. I’m learning a lot, so much so that my head is full of ideas on how to better design my courses and workshops.

I know most of us can only think of the season ahead of us, of summer and relaxing in the sun. I, however, am thinking about the changes and improvements I want to make to the knitting workshops I already host and to the embroidery e-course I already have. I’m developing more modules and thinking about how I can apply the strategies and techniques I’m learning to better teach my students – and am looking forward to sharing these new, enhanced courses and workshops next Autumn with you.

So, tell me: what would you like to learn next? Either here or online? Let me know via comments, email, facebook messages, so that I can offer what you need. Thank you!

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