Category: life

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

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!

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.


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.

November at the air Embroidery Club


Ler em português
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!


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!

Anita no Trabalho

Sketching in beautiful and picturesque #Prague

Decisions, decisions. Where shall we go next? #Prague

Hoje é dia de editar mais um episódio da #anitanotrabalho, o #podcast sobre empreendedorismo no feminino. Todos os episódios disponíveis em

#knitting a new #shawl with #linen I brought from Barcelona. Much to my surprise, I'm loving working with it. I expected it to be hard and difficult to work with - it's not. Can't wait to get back to it, because #neverenoughshawls

#embroidery takes me to that place of calm and wonder. Playing with colors, shapes and textures in this way feels exactly like that: play. So glad this is also work. Join the #airembroideryclub or learn how to embroider: Http://

Ler em inglês
Este é o título do podcast que criei, juntamente com a Eliana Soares, e que já vai no seu quinto episódio. Mas é também um pouco o meu estado nestas últimas semanas, entre o curso de formação de formadores que estive a fazer (e que adorei) e os vários feriados, que apesar de maravilhosos nos sobrecarregam os dias de trabalho.

Nesses tais dias de descanso fiz coisas maravilhosas, como ir a Praga, onde revi um primo que não via há… hmmm… demasiados anos; e encontrar nos voos de ida e volta um casal que conheci em Macau, tinha eu nove, dez anos. Tantos anos a viver praticamente ao lado uns dos outros e vamos encontrar-nos noutro país!

Em Praga andámos e andámos e andámos por todo o lado, o meu conta-passos regalou-se com tantas estrelinhas que me pôde atribuir, e eu regalei os olhos pela arquitectura da cidade. A promessa de mau tempo não foi cumprida, e acabámos por ter uns dias bons, quentes e de sol. Praga é como eu imagino que seriam muitas cidades alemãs antes da guerra, elegante e charmosa com o seu rio cheio de consoantes e poucas vogais, o Vltava.

Nos dias em que não passeio (que são quase todos, vá!), tenho-me dividido entre trabalho para clientes, trabalho para potenciais clientes, Clube de Bordado, tricot e muita Anita no Trabalho. Estou a adorar este projecto, esta sensação de não fazer a menor ideia se estou a fazer bem, mas fazer à mesma. Estou a gostar de ter este espaço de reflexão sobre o empreendedorismo no feminino, dos seus desafios e alegrias, e estou a gostar de perceber, pelo feedback que vamos recebendo, que esta é uma temática que precisa de ser discutida. (Por falar nisso, ontem publicámos o episódio número 5, o primeiro com uma convidada.)

E por falar em bordado, e em workshops, e agora que terminei o meu curso de formação de formadores, estou a planificar uma oferta mais estruturada e completa de cursos e workshops de bordado e tricot para o próximo Outono. (Enquanto o Outono não chega, o curso online e gratuito de bordado está disponível aqui.)

Votos de um bom fim-de-semana a todos!


“Anita no Trabalho” is the title of the podcast I co-created and co-host with Eliana Soares. It translates as “Anita at work”, and alludes to several different childhood memories of our generation, while at the same time hinting at the balance between work and personal life. This podcast is now in its fifth episode and has been filling my life both with quite the workload and a lot of pleasure – because through it I’ve been connecting with wonderful people (starting with my co-host and going on with guests and listeners who get in touch).

“Anita no Trabalho” has also been my mood lately: I attended an intensive course to train trainers (I don’t know if there’s an equivalent for this course in other countries, but basically we are taught how to teach) and this course took a large chunk of my time. June is also a month with several bank holidays, and this time around they fell conveniently on a Friday (Portugal National Day on June 10th) and on the following Monday (Lisbon’s Municipal Holiday, Saint Anthony). These breaks are absolutely wonderful, but they also mean that the remaining work days are busier than they should.

During those rest days, we flew to Prague, where I met a cousin I hadn’t seen for… hmmm… ahem… too long. And on our flight there, and on the flight back!, I saw a couple I first met when I was a kid, almost thirty years ago. Amazing how you can live almost next door to someone and never cross paths – and meet your neighbor in the least expected place!

Prague is a very walkable city (at least in the Summer, I can only imagine how unwalkable it must be in sub-zero temperatures). My fitbit held its own party on my wrist with all the record-breaking step count I logged during those days. We were promised bad weather and had wonderful weather instead, which meant that we could walk and enjoy the beautiful architecture everywhere. Prague is how I imagine many German cities were before the war: charming, majestic and elegant, with its consonant-rich river, the Vltava.

In all the other days, I’ve been dividing my time between client work, work for potential clients, the Embroidery Club, knitting and lots and lots of podcast work. I’m throughly enjoying this project, the feeling that we have no idea of what we’re doing, but doing it anyway. I love the fact that we are creating a space to think about what it means to be a female entrepreneur in our country these days. And it’s wonderful to connect with our listeners, and realize that this was something that was necessary and is striking a chord. (By the way, episode 5 just dropped, and it’s the first with a guest!)

Speaking of embroidery, and workshops, and my training as a trainer, I’m currently designing new, more structured and comprehensive embroidery and knitting courses and workshops for next Fall.(And until the leaves turn, you can still learn how to embroider with the free, fun and fantastic embroidery e-course.)

Have a great weekend!

The “Lisbon Series”, a series of embroideries at the air Embroidery Club

Just now, in my neighborhood. #Lisbon #lisboa

Necessity is the mother of invention: I couldn't see through this fabric so this is what I came up with. Not the most convenient #embroidery choice but it appears to be working! #airembroideryclub #airembroideryecourse

This is what my #embroidery project for the #airembroideryclub looks like after stitching for a while. It's weird, but appears to be working.

Ler em português

Who knew (I didn’t) that these sketches I’ve been filling my sketchbook with would become a series? I didn’t see it coming, but I’m glad I noticed a trend in my embroidery projects and decided to act on it.

Last January at the air Embroidery Club we stitched a sketch I made (and adapted for embroidery) just outside my studio. It’s not a fancy monument, or one of our beautiful city’s ex-libris. Quite the contrary: it’s a simple, everyday life scene, one depicting what makes living here such a pleasure. It was made right outside of my studio: we have a little square with a garden, two kiosks (I know, we’re spoiled!) with a few tables and chairs for people to have their “bica” (espresso) and read the paper. Read more

No jornal Expresso


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

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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.


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.

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?


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!



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



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!



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 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!).



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



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



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



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.



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 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



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.)



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.

On last week’s essay, plus sketches and embroidery

Ler em português

Today I’m staring at this blank page and I don’t know where to start. Maybe with a thank you: thank you for all your comments on last week’s essay. The discussion was a bit scattered between blog post, facebook posts, emails you sent me, even phone calls you made to tell me your stories of success, assertiveness, leadership and likability. It feels like the discussion hit a nerve.

Everyone – and I mean everyone who wrote me, called me or left a comment – had a similar, personal story to tell. Either of being considered aggressive or arrogant when speaking their minds, or of toning down an opinion with the fear of coming across as disagreeable.

It feels like this isn’t an isolated event, or that it only happens every now and then. It feels like it’s a fact of life: if you speak your mind, you won’t be liked by your colleagues, either male or female.

So here it is: we are part of this problem when we judge women harshly, when we expect women to behave in a certain way. When we say that a female candidate for a leadership position does not have the right profile for it. Does she not? Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t, but we have to ask ourselves what we would do if that same candidate was male. Would we think the same?

(As a side note: we will be having presidential elections soon and I would like to see a woman in office. Will it happen this time around? I have my doubts. When discussing this with others, I’ve heard often that our female candidates don’t have the profile for it. Do they not? Or do they lack the “right” gender?)

Anyway, we still have a long way to go and it’s our job (men and women) to work towards equality. (If you haven’t yet, read the book.)

#sketching in action in #Toledo #Spain (photo by @romeiro_p )

#tbt to a few weeks ago in #Toledo, #Spain

I’ve been carving our time before meetings, while waiting for the bus, between projects, to go out on the street and make a quick sketch. I love sketching, but for some reason I’m not sure I understand, I have to make a conscious effort to get my sketchbook out and do what I love. Isn’t it funny, resisting what makes us feel happy and accomplished?

So instead of grandiose plans of masterpieces, now I aim for quick sketches. It doesn’t take much: just leave the studio 10 minutes before I would have to in order to be on time, and then spend those extra minutes sketching something. No pressure. This, alone, has made me sketch more in the last few weeks than in the years before.

How about you? Do you sketch? I like sharing my sketches over on Instagram, and seeing everyone’s sketches, too, so if you want to connect over there, do let me know your Instagram username.

You’ve heard me talk (more than once, ahem…) about the air embroidery e-course. The template I used to teach the different stitches is a holiday wreath, so if you’re looking for a holiday project for the weeks ahead, do register for the free course (and invite your friends to do the same, too!) and receive that template free, as part of the learning materials.

(If a holiday wreath isn’t your thing, you can get an alternate embroidery template of a sketch inspired by my hometown of Lisbon.)

Have a great week – happy stitching!


Hoje olho para esta página em branco e nem sei por onde começar. Talvez com um agradecimento: obrigada por todos os mails, comentários e até telefonemas sobre o post da semana passada acerca de sucesso, assertividade, liderança e “gostabilidade” no feminino. Pelo que entendo, não sou a única pessoa a ter sido tocada pelo assunto.

Todos vocês que deixaram um comentário, me escreveram um mail ou até me ligaram têm uma história pessoal para me contar. As histórias, todas diferentes, são também todas iguais: foram consideradas como agressivas ou arrogantes ao dar uma opinião, ou suavizaram-na – ou até mesmo a calaram – por medo de parecer desagradável.

Sinto que não são eventos isolados que acontecem muito de vez em quando. Na verdade, parece até ser um facto da vida que se por acaso uma mulher falar firmemente sobre a sua opinião poderá baixar na estima dos colegas que a rodeiam, homens ou mulheres.

Por isso, também nós, mulheres, somos parte deste problema quando julgamos as mulheres de forma mais áspera, quando esperamos que as mulheres se comportem de uma determinada forma. Ou quando dizemos que uma candidata a uma posição de liderança não tem perfil para esse lugar. Será que não? Talvez sim, talvez não, mas temos de parar um instante e perguntar-nos com muita honestidade, que diríamos se fosse um candidato com um perfil semelhante? Pensaríamos a mesma coisa?

(Abro um parêntesis para vos dizer que, com eleições presidenciais à porta, gostaria muito de ter uma Presidente da República. Será que acontece desta vez? Duvido. Aliás, ao discutir este assunto com outras pessoas à minha volta, já ouvi várias vezes a resposta de que “não têm perfil”. Será que não? Ou simplesmente são do género “errado”?)

Enfim, ainda temos um longo caminho pela frente e é responsabilidade de todos, homens e mulheres, trabalhar para a igualdade de género. (Se ainda não o fez, leia o livro.)

As I was sketching, a little girl approached me and immediately asked if she could watch. She then started to entertain the best conversation with me, told me about the mushrooms the tree in her school's yard has, how she is a grown up and is now in first

Earlier today, before the meeting that took me to this side of the town. #Lisboa #Lisbon

Tenho andado a esforçar-me por criar pedacinhos de tempo antes de reuniões, ou de voltar para casa, para sair à rua e fazer um desenho. Adoro desenhar, adoro desenho de observação, mas por uma qualquer razão que não sei bem se entendo, tenho de fazer um esforço consciente para agarrar no bloco de desenhos e fazer algo que adoro. Não é bizarro? Resistirmos tanto ao que nos traz felicidade e uma sensação de realização?

Em vez de planos grandiosos de obras primas, agora esforço-me por fazer desenhos rápidos. A logística não é complicada: basta sair com dez minutos de tempo para os gastar a desenhar num sítio qualquer, sem pressão. Só com esta estratégia tenho feito mais desenhos nas últimas semanas que nos últimos anos.

E o meu caríssimo leitor? Desenha? Gosto de partilhar os meus desenhos no Instagram, e adoro ver os desenhos de todos, por isso se assim desejar podemos “encontrar-nos” lá. (Não se esqueça de me dar o seu username no Instagram para poder ver os seus desenhos!)

Já aqui mencionei (mais que uma vez, aham…) o curso de bordado. A receita que escolhi para ensinar os diferentes pontos é bem apropriada agora para a época das festas, pois é uma coroa de Natal. Se tiver interesse e quiser experimentar, inscreva-se no curso (e convide os seus amigos também a inscrever-se!) e receberá a receita gratuitamente, como parte dos materiais pedagógicos.

(Se não tiver vontade de bordar uma coroa de Natal, há uma receita alternativa, com um desenho baseado numa ilustração minha de Lisboa.)

Votos de boa semana e bons bordados!

“Leaning in” a bit, every day

Tudo pronto para o #workshop de #tricot de amanhã, com a melhor vista de #Lisboa . Até amanhã!

Ler em português

I’m reading Sheryl Sandberg and Nelly Scovell’s wonderful, mind-opening book “Lean in”. If you’ve never heard of it, it is about women and leadership, and the imbalance at the top level, and women’s responsibility in maintaining – and changing – the status quo.

As soon as I started reading it, I got hooked. I have recommended it to friends and mentioned it to everyone around me, it should be compulsory reading to everyone, women and men alike. There are so many interesting points in that book, but today I’m going to address only one: the question of being assertive and wanting to be liked.

The authors quote a study made in the US where a group of people was divided in two parts. Then, one of these groups received the profile and list of abilities of a person named “Heidi”. The other group received the exact same profile, but instead of “Heidi”, this fictional person was called “Howard”. Remember: Howard and Heidi have the exact same profile. What have scientists discovered? Both men and women believe “Howard” to be a great colleague, a nice person, a good leader. “Heidi”, on the other hand, is perceived as aggressive, arrogant, not nice (and by “not nice”, imagine “bitchy”, and so on). But can you see what is essential here? It’s that both men and women perceive “Heidi” to be disagreeable, while “Howard” would be a great colleague.

This means that we, women, are not innocent victims of this double standard: we are part of the problem!

We are conditioned to be soft, gentle, nurturing, adorable since we are young girls. We are conditioned to be quiet, blend in, tone down what we are certain about, obviously never mention our victories (which makes us believe these victories aren’t that great anyway). Speaking about our accomplishments makes us come across as arrogant, aggressive, and it sounds like we’re bragging.

When I read this, my heart jumped with the scare it got: I am part of this group! I am so afraid of not being liked that I do shut up often when I know I’m right. I shut up because I don’t want to come across as too critical, too assertive, too aggressive, as it may bother the people around me. Silly? Of course it is! But it is also very real.

Take what happened the other day, when I went shopping for circular knitting needles for my knitting workshop students. I always like to provide my students with the best quality materials, even if a little more expensive than basic ones. I invest in good circular needles, and a wonderfully soft merino wool. I believe that when we start learning a new activity with good quality materials, we are more likely to have pleasure using them and more likely to take to it and keep doing what we just learned.

I was at the haberdasher’s and asked for the circular needles in the size I wanted, and the shop lady, very kindly, brought some needles of a brand I don’t like. I have bought those needles in the past, tried them, and I don’t like them. I know that stitches get caught in the joints between the cable and the needles, and that’s the kind of barrier a first time knitter (or any knitter) does not need. So I asked her if she had any other brands.

At this point, the lady tried to convince me that this brand was fantastic, it had had problems in the past but they had been fixed, that “shoppers buy them often”, that “no one has ever complained” about the needles. And she tried her best to persuade me to get those needles, she was “sure” I would like them. I asked if she would give them to me, and that way I would try them one more time, but I would not purchase something I already I didn’t like.

(In the very same manner I have been presented with all sorts of acrylics for knitting with arguments like “ladies purchase these often”, and “there’s no better yarn when knitting for babies” – I’ve heard all of this many, many times, and it’s hard to keep explaining that no, thank you, acrylic is made of oil and it feels like I’m knitting with plastic bags. Onward.)

The shop lady was so persistent she put me in the position to say no many times, each time a firmer no than before. In my head, a little voice started telling me that I was being stubborn, maybe the lady knew something I didn’t, why not give it a try? In reality, this voice was nothing more than the fear of not being “likable” making up excuses to make me say yes, even knowing that I was right to say no in the first place.

I kept my “nos” and added a smile to them, not knowing that that is one of the strategies Sheryl Sandberg suggests to make a firm position feel “nicer”.

I left the shop with the feeling of having just accomplished a small win: a tiny light in this dark ocean that is the fear of not being liked. And this is something I – and we – have to transport to other parts of my life, not only when I’m in the center of the question (“I’m afraid of what people may think”) as well as when we perceive other women’s actions (“that … sounds so arrogant/aggressive/bitchy”). We have to take risks and state our positions in a firm way, and we have to be gentler towards other women who are doing just that, either in leadership roles or not.

Now I’m curious to know what you think about this. Gentlemen who read this, what say you? Does this sound alien to you? Or familiar? What about you, ladies, do you feel this? Or maybe not at all? Please share your thoughts (by commenting below, by email, anyway you prefer.)

About knitting workshops: I have two spots for November 28th, an extra date I just opened. Who wants to come? (sign up by email to info [at] airdesignstudio [dot] com)



Ontem, no #workshop de #tricot. É uma alegria poder partilhar este vício convosco!

Quem já sabia a meia e a liga, aprendeu o tricot circular.

Estou a ler um livro maravilhoso que se chama “Lean in”, escrito por Sheryl Sandberg e Nell Scovell. Para quem ainda não ouviu falar, este livro fala sobre a liderança no feminino, sobre a desigualdade de género que existe ao nível da liderança no tecido empresarial (norte-americano e não só) e sobre a responsabilidade que as próprias mulheres têm em relação a esse panorama.

Comecei a lê-lo e é muito, muito difícil pousá-lo. Já o recomendei a amigas, já falei dele a toda a gente que me rodeia porque me parece uma leitura absolutamente essencial a todos, mulheres e homens. Há tanta coisa importante neste livro, mas hoje vou falar de uma: a questão da assertividade (necessária para liderar) e a vontade que muitas de nós, mulheres, temos de sermos “gostáveis”.

As autoras falam de um estudo feito nos EUA em que o perfil de um candidato é distribuído a dois grupos diferentes. O nome que consta num dos perfis é feminino, Heidi; no outro, masculino, Howard. Mas no perfil em si nem sequer tocam.

E o que descobriram os cientistas? Que tanto as mulheres como os homens interrogados acham que este “Howard” seria uma pessoa simpática, bom colega, bom líder. Já a “Heidi” – que tem exactamente o mesmo perfil! – é vista como ambiciosa, desagradável, agressiva e mais não sei quantas coisas que fazem dela uma péssima líder para a equipa.

Mas notam o essencial? É que tanto as mulheres como os homens deste estudo têm esta percepção!

Ou seja, nós mulheres não somos vítimas indefesas e impotentes; nós contribuímos para o problema, nós somos parte do problema.

Estamos tão condicionadas para sermos suaves, gentis, adoráveis; desde pequenas que nos é transmitida a mensagem de que para sermos “gostáveis” temos de refrear o nosso entusiasmo, calar as nossas certezas, evidentemente nunca mencionar as nossas vitórias e conquistas, pois aí não só seremos desagradáveis como também convencidas e gabarolas.

Ao ler isto, o meu coração saltou com o susto: eu faço parte deste grupo, tenho medo que não gostem de mim, e sim, calo-me muitas vezes, quando sei que tenho razão, com medo de ser demasiado crítica, agressiva e que possa vir a incomodar alguém com o que penso. Parvoíce? Claro que é! Mas é algo muito real e profundo.

Ainda noutro dia fui fazer a volta das retrosarias da Baixa. Ia comprar pares de agulhas circulares para as minhas alunas dos workshops de tricot. Faço questão de providenciar materiais de primeira qualidade às minhas alunas: as agulhas circulares que compro são sempre boas, ainda que mais caras; e a lã que disponibilizo é uma merino muito suave. A minha convicção é que começando com bons materiais, seja em que área for, os resultados vão ser melhores e vai haver uma maior vontade de voltar a tricotar (ou pintar, ou desenhar, ou outra coisa qualquer).

Estava eu na retrosaria e pedi as agulhas circulares no tamanho adequado e a senhora traz-me, simpaticamente, um par de agulhas de uma marca que eu já sei que não é boa. Já comprei agulhas daquelas e sei que as malhas se prendem na ligação entre a agulha em si e o cabo plástico. Para além de que o cabo, em si, não é suave, é até bastante rijo. Por isso perguntei-lhe se tinha outra marca que não aquela.

Ao que a senhora que me atendia tratou de me convencer de que aquela marca era fantástica, que tinha de facto tido problemas, mas que já não tinha, que “as senhoras levavam muito”, que “as senhoras não se queixam”. E tentou convencer-me a levar as agulhas para experimentar. Perguntei-lhe se mas oferecia, que assim levaria, mas que não iria comprar algo que já sabia não gostar.

(Da mesma forma já me tentaram impingir toda a sorte de fios acrílicos para tricotar, que “as senhoras levam muito” e que “para bebé não há melhor”. É ignorar, gente, é ignorar. Confiem em vocês porque os fios acrílicos que nos tentam impingir são feitos com petróleo, tal como o plástico, e alguns, a tricotar, até fazem “cri cri”, como se de um saco de mercearia se tratasse. Mas adiante.)

A senhora foi tão insistente que me obrigou a dizer que não várias vezes, cada vez com mais firmeza. Dentro de mim, alguma coisa se arrepiava e me dizia que eu estava a ser teimosa, que a senhora lá devia saber, porque não experimentar? Na verdade, essa voz não era mais que o medo de não agradar e que estava a arranjar desculpas para eu ceder, mesmo sabendo que eu tinha razão.

Não cedi. Aos meus “nãos”, ditos com firmeza, adicionei um sorriso, sem saber que também a autora do livro sugere o sorriso como ferramenta para suavizar uma resposta firme.

Saí de lá com a sensação de ter conquistado uma pequena vitória, uma luzinha neste oceano do pânico de não agradar. E isto é algo que temos, todos!, de transportar para outras áreas da vida, não só quando somos nós no centro (“tenho medo que achem que sou má”) como quando observamos outras mulheres (“aquela … tem aquele ar convencido/agressivo/arrogante”). Temos de arriscar mais a partilhar as nossas opiniões, com firmeza; e temos de ser mais compassivos e compassivas ao observar outras mulheres, em posições de liderança, ou não.

Confesso que estou curiosa por saber a vossa opinião. Por isso, cavalheiros que me lêem, que me dizem? Parece-vos um texto praticamente alienígena? Ou familiar? E as senhoras? Sentem isto? Ou não? Quero saber tudo (por comentário, mail, como quiserem).

Ainda sobre workshops de tricot: tenho duas vagas para uma data extra, 28 de Novembro. Quem quer vir? (inscrições por mail para info [at] airdesignstudio [ponto] com)

Thank you, Universe

Her #abbrigate #baby blanket is well loved.

Ler em português

I always imagined that one day when I got pregnant I would go crazy knitting, embroidering and sewing things for the baby. When that day came, though, nothing like that happened, quite the contrary: I was so scared of possibly “jinxing it” – at the same time hoping that everything would be fine – that I made nothing for my babies (I was pregnant with twins). Nothing.

Except for this: abbrigate* embroidered baby blankets, one for each of them. My Prince and I wrote a few verses dedicated to each of our babies and I proceeded to embroider them on matching fabrics, in order to make matching blankets. I had made baby blankets for friends, friends of friends, I had made them for so many babies I could not not make one for my own babies.

And so I did.

Her blanket has gotten a lot of love and I never miss a chance to use it. Somedays it works as a bed cover, somedays it comes along on our strolls and covers her, serves as picnic blanket, you name it. Each stitch of each word has in its fibers all the wishes a mother has for her beloved daughter: to live a long, happy, healthy life.

Last Sunday I caught this little hand resting near the embroidered verses. The hand’s – and blanket’s – owner slept her much deserved beauty sleep, after walking what felt like a marathon (and falling down a couple of times, oh the perils of learning to walk!). As I was taking this picture, I thanked the Universe for having her in my life, and I kindly asked the Universe to take care of her brother for me. He never had the chance to use his blanket.

Sempre imaginei que um dia quando estivesse grávida me iria encantar fazer quinhentas e vinte e três mil peças para bebés, casaquinhos, mantas, botinhas, enfim. Quando o dia de estar grávida chegou, nada disso aconteceu. Pelo contrário: tinha tanto medo que alguma coisa acontecesse, ao mesmo tempo que desejava profundamente que tudo corresse bem, que nunca tricotei nem cosi nada para os meus bebés.

Excepto isto: mantinhas bordadas abbrigate* para cada um deles, com um versinho feito à sua medida. Já as tinha feito para os filhos dos amigos, dos amigos dos amigos, já as tinha feito para tantos bebés que não podia deixar de fazer para os meus.

E fiz.

Não perco uma oportunidade de pôr a mantinha da Alice a uso. Há dias em que está na cama dela, outros em que vai no carrinho para todo o lado. Foi feita com todos os desejos que uma mãe tem para a vida da sua filha: que tenha uma vida boa, longa, saudável, que seja muito feliz.

Este Domingo apanhei esta mão pousada na manta, enquanto a respectiva dona dormia o sono dos justos, após uma longa caminhada (e vários tombos). Enquanto a fotografava, agradeci ao Universo tê-la comigo, e pedi-lhe – ao Universo – que tomasse conta do irmão, que nunca teve oportunidade de usar a mantinha dele.


Someone is probably bungee jumping as I type. #Macau #rrgoeast #macautower

During our trip to Asia I tried to draw as much as possible on my #sketchbook. Not a lot is possible when there are so many things to revisit, see, do, but sometimes it's wonderful to just slow down and appreciate the panorama. #Macau #macautower #rrgoeas

Here it is! It's October's project for the #airembroideryclub, based on a #sketch made from my friend @mar_photography_impressions 's balcony in #Macau. You can see the first bridge on the left and #macautower on the right. Join the club to stitch this pr


Ler em português

It’s hard to believe that it’s October already. Time flies and all those clichés about it being like sand escaping our fingers… well, they’re true. We’re three months away from the end of 2015, Summer arrived, been and went (at least that’s what the calendar says). Were it not for the Embroidery Club‘s projects, I wouldn’t even notice that it was October already. (Well, the Embroidery Club and taxes, really, because VAT happens every three months).

But it’s not about taxes I want to write about today. It’s October’s air Embroidery Club project. Every time I look at this embroidery I recall how much I enjoyed my trip back to Macau last April. It was so, so good! It was so good to go back, this time around with my husband and daughter, and also my parents, and revisit the three different zones where we lived when we were there, eat the delicacies I learned to love, remember episodes of my life as a teenager. I’m sure Alice will recall nothing of this trip, but to me it was so important to have her there with me.

One evening, seating on my friend Inês’s balcony, I made a sketch of the view, similar to the one we had in our second home there. While I sketched, light turned to dusk and then to darkness, quickly as it usually does in the tropics, and that’s how I retained this image. Months later, I thought about turning this sketch into an embroidery and sharing it with the members of the Embroidery Club. The most striking image was the lights coming on in the buildings in the horizon, the air turning slightly cooler, but still heavy with humidity. That’s what I recalled when stitching it, revisiting the landscape of my youth populated with new elements that pay testimony to the growth Macau has witnessed.

Embroidery gives me the time to think, to remember, to feel again, and that is very, very good.


So happy that my work requires me to step away from the computer. #airembroideryclub #embroidery #illustration


The back of the #embroidery I finished earlier today, based on a #sketch I made from my friend @mar_photography_impressions 's balcony in #macau, when we visited last spring. It's October's project for the #airembroideryclub and you can stitch it too if y

Seems fitting to be working on my #airembroideryclub project while listening to @marieforleo and @elizabeth_gilbert_writer talk about #bigmagic. Can't wait to read it! #embroidery #embroideryisforeveryone

É difícil acreditar que já estamos em Outubro. O tempo passa por mim a voar, e todos os clichés sobre o tempo ser como areia a escapar-se por entre os dedos são, ou parecem ser, verdadeiros. Estamos a três meses do fim do ano, o Verão chegou, esteve e já se foi (pelo menos no calendário), e não fossem os projectos do Clube de Bordado se calhar nem dava conta que tinha chegado um novo mês (bom, os projectos do Clube de Bordado e o calendário dos impostos, vá, que isso também é um desagradável lembrete de que há que preencher a declaração de IVA e também fazer o respectivo pagamento).

Mas hoje não é sobre impostos que quero falar, mas sim do projecto de Outubro do Clube de Bordado. Cada vez que olho para este bordado me lembro de como gostei, mesmo!, de voltar a visitar Macau em Abril passado. Que bom, que bom que foi! Foi tão bom voltar a Macau, desta vez com o marido e a filhota, e também os pais, e rever os prédios onde vivi, os lugares aonde ia, as iguarias que lá aprendi a apreciar. Foi bom rever amigos, ver como vivem neste Macau que tem mais vinte anos do que quando de lá saí. Foi uma viagem realmente emocionante para mim, e apesar de saber que a Alice de nada se vai lembrar, foi emocionante levá-la comigo neste regresso.

Um dia, sentada na varanda da casa da minha amiga Inês, que generosamente nos recebeu, fiz um desenho da vista linda da Baía da Praia Grande, uma vista muito parecida com aquela que tínhamos na segunda casa em que morámos quando lá vivemos. Enquanto desenhava, a noite tropical caiu em menos de nada, chegou o lusco-fusco e as luzes começaram a acender-se.

Meses mais tarde, pensei em converter esse desenho num bordado e partilhá-lo com os membros do Clube, e só me lembrava dessa atmosfera de noite a cair, luzes a acender, o ar um pouco menos quente, mas ainda carregado de humidade. E foi disso que me lembrei enquanto ia bordando a paisagem, uma paisagem da minha juventude, revisitada e cheia de elementos novos, que testemunham o grande crescimento de que Macau foi palco.

O bordado dá-me tempo para pensar, para relembrar, para voltar a sentir, e isso é muito bom.