Category: Portugal

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 “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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.

My story in Uppercase magazine

Uppercase magazine+#knitting = two of my favorite things. I'm really happy to share that I have an article about why I love to teach how to knit over on page 101. Thanks for the invitation, Janine! @uppercasemag #uppercasereader #uppercaselove

Read in English É sempre especial quando acontece chegar no correio o nosso exemplar da nossa revista favorita. E é mais especial ainda quando, como se deu neste número, tem um artigo escrito por mim. Já não é a primeira vez que contribuo para a Uppercase; já apareceram os meus bordados, já escrevi sobre outros, sobre o Clube de Bordado, sobre como o tricot me ajudou na integração quando fui para a Argentina.

Desta vez o tema também é tricot, e também me toca no coração: conto porque é que gosto de ensinar a tricotar. E isto até parece combinado para vos falar do workshop de tricot que vai acontecer no próximo Sábado, já no dia 17. (Ainda se podem inscrever, mandem-me um mail.)

Mas não foi combinado, foi pura coincidência.

É verdade, gosto mesmo de ensinar as pessoas a tricotar. Gosto da metamorfose subtil que se opera nas quatro horas de workshop, desde a insegurança inicial até ao processo alquímico que se dá na sala quando as malhas começam a sair e as voltas crescem debaixo das agulhas. Gosto de ver o entusiasmo das pessoas que, da concentração absoluta no que as mãos estão a fazer, passam – sem notar – a “fazer malha” sem olhar, enquanto conversam. E adoro quando dão conta disso, quando de repente se apercebem que conseguem fazer algo que não sabiam se iriam conseguir. É muito bom! Por isso, terei todo o gosto de receber quem quiser vir aprender este Sábado (há mais datas marcadas, esta é apenas a primeira), aqui com a melhor vista sobre Lisboa.

De resto, também na fotografia, o xaile que estou a tricotar para o meu Príncipe, que andava sempre a “roubar” os meus. Este é mesmo, mesmo para ti (mas pode acontecer que eu to roube a ti…). Detalhes da receita, fio e agulhas aqui no ravelry.

E finalmente: o curso de bordado já está online. É completamente gratuito e as inscrições fazem-se aqui.   


Thanks to @uppercasemag for having me in your Fall issue. Check out my story on page 101 about why I love to teach how to knit. #knitting #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram #uppercaselove #uppercasereader

The feeling is always special, when my favorite magazine gets to my doorstep. This issue, though, is even more special: this time around, there is a story by me on page 101 of Uppercase Magazine. It’s not my first time contributing, but it’s always exciting to see my name in print. My embroideries have been featured, I’ve written about others, I’ve shared the Embroidery Club, I wrote about how knitting helped me integrating when I moved to Argentina.

This time around, the topic is knitting, too. I reflect on why I love to teach people how to knit. And this may sound like a build up to this Saturday’s knitting workshop, but it isn’t. (You can still sign up by e-mail.)

It’s the truth: I love to teach people how to knit. I love the subtle metamorphosis happening between the moment students arrive, in the morning, feeling a bit insecure and the moment they leave. In the middle, there’s an alchemic process that happens: that moment when stitches start to happen and rows start growing under the needles. I love the enthusiasm, the full concentration on what hands are doing, and the moment people realize that they have learned how to knit and purl, for now they can even manage to keep a conversation while knitting. It’s amazing when students realize that they could, indeed, learn something they weren’t sure they would be able to.

That’s why I’m looking forward to having you this Saturday here with me, learning, stitching and enjoying the best view over Lisbon.

Also pictured, the shawl I’m knitting for my Prince, who used to “lift” my shawls from my drawer. This one is really, really for you (borrowing your shawl may or may not happen in the future; I’m not saying that it will, but I’m not denying it either. 😉 ). Pattern, needle and yarn details on ravelry.

One last thing: the air embroidery e-course is now live. You can register here, free.

While away

Seven weeks.

Celebrating the year of the horse (my year!) with #embroidery for the #airembroideryclub

Walking in #lisboa #lisbon

Urban beach in #Lisbon. Gostei da praia do jardim do Torel #lisboa

Summer in the city #lisboa #lisbon

July's #airembroideryclub project in progress. A stitch here, a stitch there while the baby sleeps. #embroidery

#Summer solstice, allegedly.

O Zêzere e a Beira, coisa mailinda. #portugal #p3top #summer

Summer in #portugal

Thus ends our week at the beach. #summer #portugal

In green, satin stitch on the left, backstitch on the right. For the #airembroideryclub #embroidery #illustration

Foggy summit #monchique #portugal

#faro #portugal

Fim de verão na ilha de #faro #portugal #p3top

Many things happened while I was away. This, first of all. And after the shock of such abrupt and unexpected change, things started to slowly go back to a new normal.

Summer was spent between diapers, embroidery, ice cream, fun weekend escapes and a bit of traveling too. We went north and south and touristed around the country. Our baby dipped her toes in the ocean and smelled the sea breeze.

We had fun.

Now it’s time to ease back into work mode. There’s a new knitting workshop date announced (October 11th, here in Lisbon); the Embroidery Club is one year old and growing (come join the fun!); and I have some fun illustration work to share with you soon.

Thanks for being there.


Muito se passou enquanto estive ausente. O nascimento dos meus gémeos, em primeiro lugar, e a perda do meu bebé. E depois do (enorme) choque, a vida, como só ela sabe, começou logo o seu processo de regresso a um novo normal.

O Verão foi passado entre fraldas, bordado, gelado (finalmente sem diabetes!), escapadas de fim-de-semana e curtas, curtíssimas férias. Passeámos pelo norte e sul do país, ficam a faltar as ilhas. A nossa bebé molhou os pés no oceano, porque nunca é cedo demais para lhe incutir a nossa identidade atlântica.

Foi bom.

Agora está na hora de voltar ao trabalho: há nova data de workshop de tricot; o Clube de Bordado já fez um ano e continua a crescer (vamos?); em breve partilharei novos trabalhos de ilustração.

Obrigada por estarem aí.

October’s zine in progress


October marks the seventh month-versary of our move back to Lisbon. It’s hard to think back objectively on the time that has passed: was it long ago? Or yesterday? It feels like it was yesterday, on the one hand; but, then again, so many things happened.

We traveled in March, received our sea-shipped furniture in May, felt at home in August. It’s October, Autumn is here; I’m now feeling the desire to cozy up indoors with my knitting needles – or pencil and paper! – and just enjoy work with a cup of tea.

Last week I showed you my studio and today I’m sharing a bit of the process of working on my zine.

I usually start by folding a sheet of paper in four, just like the zine. I jot down some ideas and start to write and distribute copy on the different “pages” to set pace and tone. Then I imagine what I’d like to use as illustration and start sketching!

When I’m happy with the sketch, I grab my favorite pen – or brush – and start inking.

This is where I am today as I’m writing to you. I’m documenting the process over on Instagram. You can check out my feedair_billy is my username – or search the hashtag #airingfromlisbon.

One of the changes I implemented over the summer was to change the accessibility of the zine. Although it is still free, current issues are only available to email subscribers.  It is thanks to you and your help spreading the word that I can keep illustrating, embroidering and knitting.

Speaking of which, tomorrow we will be meeting here in the studio for the first knitting workshop. I’m planning to add a new date for November. Want to join us? Let me know!

Have a great weekend!


Outubro marca o sétimo mesiversário da nossa mudança para Lisboa. É difícil pensar de forma objectiva sobre o tempo que passou: passou rápido? Depressa? Por um lado, parece que chegámos ontem mesmo; por outro, aconteceram tantas coisas entretanto…

Chegámos em Março, recebemos a mudança, que veio por mar, em Maio. Em Agosto sentimo-nos finalmente em casa. Agora que o Outono chegou a Lisboa, sinto vontade de voltar para o interior, beber um chá e sentar-me a desenhar, bordar ou tricotar.

Há dias mostrei-vos um pouco do meu atelier; hoje mostro-vos um pouco do meu trabalho. De momento, estou a trabalhar na edição de Outubro da minha zine, “airing from Lisbon”. Normalmente começo por dobrar uma folha em quatro, tal como a zine se apresenta, e anoto ideias. Vou mudando o texto de umas “páginas” para as outras até chegar à versão que mais me agrada, e depois passo aos esboços.

O passo seguinte é fazer a ilustração numa folha nova, primeiro a lápis e depois – como vêem acima – a caneta.

E é neste ponto que me encontro actualmente. Se quiserem acompanhar o processo, estou a documentá-lo com mais detalhe no Instagram: air_billy é o meu nome e estas imagens estão todas identificadas com a hashtag #airingfromlisbon.

Uma das mudanças implementadas durante o Verão foi no que diz respeito à acessibilidade da zine. Apesar de ser ainda gratuita, só está acessível aos leitores da newsletter. Se ainda não assina, basta clicar aqui! É graças ao vosso apoio que eu posso continuar a fazer o que gosto: ilustrações, bordado e tricot.

Por falar em tricot, amanhã é o nosso workshop! Em breve haverá nova data para Novembro – quem quer vir?

Bom fim-de-semana!


In my (work in progress) studio


Summer is now gone, and the changing season marks the passing of time. I realize it has been three whole months since I moved into the studio. It’s far from being complete: there are still boxes to unpack and we (my studio mate and I) aren’t sure yet about the current layout.

One of the things I learnt during the business course I took during the summer was that (insert project name here) is never “finished”. Everything is always a work in progress, an experiment: and that’s fine. It’s the way it is supposed to be.

air-studio-cover the world with embroidery

So take a tour of my (still in progress) studio. One of my dreams is to cover the world with embroidered illustrations (I have allies to help me with this cause!). I’m starting with my studio walls, and one by one, it’s getting there.


Some of the books you see here have been in storage for the past six years. It has worked like a time capsule: some of them are still updated; some are very, very dated – and that’s wonderful, too. The world has changed so much during the last six years, especially when it comes to the internet and working online (which I do).


And then there’s the offline world, where human interaction preferably involves some tea, good conversation and needles in our hands.

If you’re in Lisbon next Saturday, October 5th, join us for a beginners knitting workshop. There will be knitting and purling, talking and fixing of dropped stitches, casting on and off, tea over the most beautiful view of the city.

I can’t wait to get to know you, teach you to knit and show you my studio!



Com o Verão para trás e o Outono já presente, sinto a passagem do tempo e concluo, com surpresa, que já lá vão três meses desde que me instalei aqui no atelier. Passaram a voar; não fosse a chuva a cair, as folhas amarelas e o fresquinho lá fora, nem dava conta.

Apesar dos três meses volvidos desde que aqui me instalei, ainda nada é “definitivo”: há caixotes ainda por desfazer e novas disposições dos móveis para testar. Por mim, tudo bem: uma das coisas que aprendi no meu curso de negócios, este Verão, foi que o segredo é “experimentar”. Nunca nada está terminado, e ainda bem.


Mostro-vos alguns pedaços do meu espaço: as ilustrações bordadas, com que um dia sonho cobrir o mundo inteiro (já tenho aliados!); os livros redescobertos após seis anos de arrecadação funcionaram como uma cápsula do tempo. Alguns continuam actuais; outros, incrivelmente datados. O mundo mudou tanto nestes últimos anos, especialmente no que toca à internet e à hiperconectividade em que agora todos vivemos.

E depois há o mundo real, onde a interacção entre pessoas é, para mim, um grande tesouro; e inclui, se possível, chá, boa conversa e agulhas nas mãos.

Se estiveres em Lisboa no próximo Sábado, dia 5 de Outubro, vem aprender a tricotar comigo, aqui no meu atelier. Vamos montar malhas, fazer liga e meia, conversar e beber chá, deixar cair malhas, aprender a apanhá-las, olhar para a vista mais bonita sobre Lisboa e rematar todos os pontos.

Estou desejosa de te ter aqui connosco, no meu atelier!

Fall is here (and that’s good news)


There is a certain end-of-summer nostalgia around me, a feeling of longing for the unending days and late sunsets that come with the season. Now that autumn is approaching fast – evidenced by cooler evenings and the leaves on the floor, I have to say that I’m actually looking forward to cooler weather.

There’s a reason for it: my last winter was between June and September 2009, back when I was living in Argentina. When we moved to Panama, in May 2010, we skipped the cold season altogether – there’s no such thing as winter in that corner of the world.

For the knitter in me, knitting without getting sweaty hands and being able to wear the garments I make is a pleasure I can anticipate and look forward to.

I went through my yarn stash – a large collection because of my lack of knitting the past three years – and started to imagine all the things I’m going to knit with those lovely, yummy balls of yarn. A few days ago, after a long absence, I reorganized my projects, favorites and queue on Ravelry, the knitting and crocheting social network. (I’m billyramos over there, if you want to connect!)

But my point here is – drum roll please – I finally feel there is emotional room in my mind to think about knitting and having pleasure in planning and organizing the projects ahead of me. What this means for me is that I am finally settling in and feeling at home in my new home in Lisbon. I found a place to keep all my favorite things, I created a new routine for my family and I and now, gradually, I am being able to add new ideas and projects in my life.

Thinking about knitting, yarn, needles and projects, in the pleasure I find in those simple things, working my needles while wrapped in a blanket, chatting with friends or watching a movie while my hands move and a garment grows below them… these things have a special meaning for me: they tell me that I am here, rooting myself firmly in this new soil, surrounded by my space, family and friends old and new.

Knitting helped me in this exact way when I was living in Argentina: through this simple craft I met many different people who later became my friends. No wonder I’m so happy about looking forward to knitting, considering all the things that come attached to it!

So, dear summer, you don’t need to leave in a hurry, ok? But whenever you feel like you must travel south, I will have my needles ready!

Anyone wants to join me? I’m thinking about organizing knitting workshops – if you’re interested, signup to receive the news first.


Ao meu redor começa a haver uma certa nostalgia de fim de Verão, dos dias longos e luminosos. Mas eu, confesso-vos aqui, estou numa excitação que só vista.

Conto-vos: o meu último Inverno foi entre Junho e Setembro de 2009, ainda na Argentina. No Inverno seguinte já vivíamos no Panamá. E as visitas fugazes a terras frias, essas não entram nesta contabilidade, porque só têm a parte divertida, não o dia-a-dia.

E então é isto: para esta tricotadeira que vocês aqui lêem, poder tricotar sem ter as mãos a suar e poder usar as peças de roupa que fiz é todo um prazer que sinto já por antecipação.

Já olhei para a minha bonita reserva de lãs (coleccionadas, e pouco tricotadas, durante os últimos anos) e já me pus a imaginar que vou fazer com cada novelo. Ontem, num repente que não sentia há meses – anos? – estive a organizar os meus projectos no Ravelry.

Mas o mais importante de tudo isto, e é a esse ponto que quero chegar, é que já tenho disponibilidade mental para estas coisas, o que significa que finalmente ultrapassei a fase de me instalar na nova cidade (Lisboa, por sinal), encontrar lugar para as coisas lá em casa, estabelecer algumas rotinas e, pouco a pouco, ir introduzindo novidades.

Pensar no tricot, nas lãs, nas agulhas e projectos, no prazer que me dá tricotar, nos serões embrulhada em mantas, com o fio à volta do pescoço, a dar dois dedos (ou três ou quatro) de conversa enquanto as mãos se mexem e fazem malha… tudo isto tem um significado especial para mim: estou cá, finalmente, instalada. Estou a viver o meu espaço e rodeada das minhas pessoas, e também a conhecer novas “minhas pessoas”, que continuarão a ser minhas quando me for embora.

Já na Argentina o tricot foi o verdadeiro motor e pretexto da minha integração; não admira, portanto, que esteja tão feliz por aqui poder tricotar.

O Verão não precisa de ir a correr embora, ok? Mas quando for… cá estarei, de agulhas em riste e casaquinhos prontos!

Alguém quer vir tricotar comigo? Estou a pensar organizar um workshop; se estiverem interessados, assinem aqui a newsletter para receberem as datas assim que estiverem disponíveis.

“Que tristeza de país”

Post wildfire view, by Rui Lúcio Carvalho
(Image credits | Imagem: Rui Lúcio Carvalho)

On Wednesday, the sad news of the death of another firefighter (the sixth, this summer) left me even angrier than I was before. Last week, we had several fires on the Portuguese territory, many of them threatening urban areas and burning down centuries of forest.

I don’t watch TV, so I read the news on newspapers and social media. On newspapers, I read some people’s opinions; on social media, I read everyone’s comments.

And you know what? I am appalled with comments on social media. Commenters complain about “this sorry country we have”; I can imagine them virtually shrugging shoulders and brushing responsibilities off their respective shoulders. It’s so easy to make exceptions out of ourselves and point fingers at an abstract “them”. But, please, let’s innovate on this.

It’s no doubt sad that so many fires have been blazing down homes and trees; it’s impossibly sad that many have lost their lives to fire.

But the saddest, saddest thing of all is to keep doing exactly what we have always done and expect a different result.

Saying that Portugal is a sorry country because we have wildfires shows a terrible lack of information; at this very moment, there are fires all over the world. Think about the Yosemite National Park in California, on fire as I type. It makes me sad to think about the amazing giant sequoias, many more than a thousand years old, at risk of burning down.

We can always point our collective finger to the criminals who set fire to woods, on purpose. But what about the other fires? The ones caused by our neglectful behavior? By leaving trash behind us, or throwing cigarette butts out of our rolled down windows? Why can’t we seem to face the fact that global warming creates the conditions for a fire to exponentially spread? Why aren’t we brave enough to demand our politicians design and put into practice a prevention plan, not a contingency one?

(Why do we tend to forget about wildfires near the elections? Is it because they are not during summer?)

When are we going to have the courage to demand that the army watches forests and supports firefighters on the field? When will we be brave to demand that the unemployed, receiving a state unemployment subsidy, actually work for the state and preventively clean the woods?

Let’s all stop shrugging shoulders and start acting decisively: firefighters in Portugal (and elsewhere?) are in need of manpower and equipment; let’s learn and share information about endemic species and respective resistances to flames; let’s use the next electoral period (coming late September in Portugal) as leverage to demand prevention plans; and let’s all do our part in reducing carbon emissions and therefore fight climate change – public transit or car pooling, anyone?

There’s a lot that can be done. What concrete action will you take today?

(This post was first published here on September 2nd, 2013)


Como não vejo televisão, informo-me através da imprensa escrita e das redes sociais. Na imprensa escrita leio a opinião de alguns; nas redes sociais, as opiniões de todos.

Pasmo com os comentadores nas redes sociais. Queixam-se da “tristeza de país em que vivemos”, do fatídico “país que merecemos” e indigno-me com estas respostas já lidas e relidas cinquenta mil vezes. Por favor: inovem.

Não é triste: é tristíssimo que sejam já cinco os bombeiros mortos este ano. É tristíssimo vermos hectares e hectares de floresta ardida. É horrível saber que as chamas ameaçam parques naturais e zonas urbanizadas. Qualquer morte é demais; qualquer desalojado pelo fogo era dispensável.

Mas triste, também, é fazermos exactamente o que sempre fizermos e querermos um resultado diferente.

Dizermos que este é um país triste porque tem incêndios florestais demonstra uma imensa falta de informação: neste momento lavram inúmeros incêndios por esse mundo fora, nomeadamente em países desenvolvidos (vejam o incêndio no Parque Nacional de Yosemite, na Califórnia, onde vivem sequóias gigantes com milhares de anos).

Não há dúvida de que há incendiários por esse mundo fora; mas e os outros fogos? Os que são causados por negligência? Os que são potenciados pelos clima extremo, e este pelo fenómeno do aquecimento global?

Até quando vamos encolher os ombros e falar da tristeza do país sem fazer absolutamente nada para mudar a situação? Até quando vamos continuar a atirar beatas pela janela do carro? A deixar lixo atrás de nós? A não exigir dos nossos políticos um plano real de combate aos incêndios?

(Por que será que na altura das eleições nunca nos lembramos de tal coisa? Será porque são fora do Verão?)

Quando é que vamos ter a coragem de exigir que o exército vigie as florestas e acompanhe os bombeiros no combate às chamas? Quando é que vamos ter a coragem de ocupar os desempregados que recebem subsídio de desemprego, pelo menos em tempo parcial, na limpeza preventiva das matas?

Paremos de encolher os ombros e ajamos decididamente: os bombeiros precisam de meios e de pessoal; conheçamos a floresta e informemo-nos sobre as espécies endémicas e as suas resistências ao fogo; utilizemos as próximas eleições para exigir planos preventivos, não de contingência; façamos a nossa parte para diminuir a produção de carbono (por exemplo, deixar o carro em casa ou partilhar boleias).

Há muito, muito que todos podemos fazer. Que acção concreta vão tomar hoje?

(Este texto foi publicado no no dia 2 de Setembro de 2013.)

“airing from Lisbon”, issue 35, is here!

"airing from Lisbon", issue 35, is here

Issue 35 of “airing from Lisbon” is here! Download the zine here to read (and see) all about settling in.

These have been a very busy few months. We have received our furniture in a little over two months – which was much faster than our move from Buenos Aires to Panama, which took five months!

Still, moving from a large apartment to a smaller one means a lot of extra work, being very selective about what to keep and what to give away. We have been very busy and my muscles are all sore! But we are very happy to be here and I am mostly looking forward to having my home and my studio ready.

Download and read the zine, tweet and instagram it. Don’t forget to tag it #airingfromLisbon. And visit the zine’s facebook page to get the latest updates.

If you haven’t yet, make sure to sign up for my newsletter, where I share behind the scenes stories and photos, special subscriber discounts and exclusive content I don’t share anywhere else.

See you next month!

Lotaria à Portuguesa: making of


I love reading about other artists’ creative processes and thought it might be fun to share mine with you.

The project at hand was a call for entries organized by Santa Casa, the entity responsible for the portuguese lottery. They currently have a very specific public – male, over 55 – and one of the goals of this competition is to broaden their target audience, with a strong focus on the female public.

The theme was “Portugalidade”, which would translate as “Portugality”, and my idea was to focus on embroidery, an important art form throughout Portugal, with many specific regional techniques. Because Portugal is such a small country, this diversity is an important part of local identities, making embroidery even more special. I also wanted to focus on other icons of our identity, steering away from the usual themes of the sea and the maritime discoveries. I looked into embroidered icons and symbols of our natural and cultural heritage to create this illustration.


After brainstorming, I came up with the concept and some first rough sketches.


Four hours later, I had my tight sketch, ready to be transferred onto fabric.


03_transfering sketch to fabric
My low-tech approach to transferring a design involves a window and some scotch tape. I am so lucky to have been shown this wonderful blue fabric marker before starting this project: it is easy to use and easier to remove than what I used before (a pencil). Thank you, J!


04_embroidery in progress
Embroidery started!
I like to stand up and embroider near the window and, at this point, my legs and my right thumb were already a bit sore. It was excellent exercise, though!


05_embroidery in progress
Good progress here! We are a bit over halfway, which means about ten hours embroidering.
Next: the incredibly detailed bird…


07_almost done

09_last stitch close up
Mission “Bird”: accomplished! The very last stitch completes the red carnation and marks twenty hours of embroidery work.



Here is the final piece!


Lotaria à Portuguesa
My finished lottery ticket!


This is the completed piece and, by the way, did you notice the choice of colors? Darker and lighter shades of blue are the tones more often used in azulejos, a traditional technique and artistic heritage left by the Arabic presence in the Iberian Peninsula, many centuries ago. Azulejos are very close to our national identity, too. The only color exception in this illustration is the red carnation, the main symbol of our democracy.

On December 15th I will find out if my entry was chosen as one of the twenty finalists. Help me gain visibility by clicking on this link and liking it on facebook, sharing it on twitter, google+ and pinterest.

I’m crossing my fingers until the date the finalists are announced. I hope to make that list, but if I don’t, I had a wonderful time coming up with this illustration and embroidering it.

Editorial illustration for

Fly London

I was invited to write a weekly post at, a blog about being portuguese and the different ways we perceive our country, in and abroad. This is my third post, but the first (of many, I hope) with an illustration by me. It talks about how many portuguese brands market themselves by hiding their portuguese origins, and that the problem arises from the erroneous perception portuguese consumers have that if it is ours is probably not good enough and “what is good comes from abroad”.

These are a pair of the four sandals I own from Fly London, a portuguese brand with wonderful design, materials and construction – and because it is summer year-round here, I get to wear them every single day. I love them!