30 de jul de 2010

Summer holidays

We (as in me, my husband and our crazy dogs) will go enjoy our summer holidays at my parent's summer house in Algarve.
Here are some pictures to show you what this region where I've spent all my holidays since I was born means to me. I just wish these photos were mine, they are really nice, right?

(Image by Angelo Stramasso @Olhares)


(Image by Fernando Salgueiro @Olhares)



(Image by Joana Duarte @Olhares)



(Image by Luis Filipe Costa @Olhares)



(Image by Nuno Abreu @Olhares)



(Image by José Barreiro @Olhares)



(Image by Fernando Oliveira @Olhares)


(Image by Cristina Matos @Olhares)



(Image by Atilio Francisco Pinho @Olhares)

I don't think I'll have internet access, so no posting during the next fortnight. But I'll be back with lots of photos and hopefully some sewing done. Yes, even surrounded by all this beauty, I think I'll be taking my sewing machine and some projects with me :)

26 de jul de 2010

Pick yourself up and try again

I have been reading some posts lately about quilting without obbligation and expressing ourselves instead of losing ourselves trying to meet other people's expectations and likes and dislikes.
I have always thought of myself as a very independent, confident and strong person, with enough self-knowledge and self-esteem to not cave under other people's points of view. I stand by me, even if noone else does (which is not the case because if there is someone who believes even more in myself that I do that person is my husband).
But everyone makes mistakes, everyone has regrets, everyone changes their minds. I'm not perfect, and I'm no exception.
Having said that, meet my "ugly quilt", the one quilt that has been unfinished for some time because from the begining I was not 100% sure of it. I chose colours outside my comfort zone and I didn't exactly plan a pattern, instead I just followed along someone else's instructions. (A quick note is due here: I was making this quilt in my quilting class with someone whose opinions and knowledge I deeply respect. I was not forced into anything, it was all my doing, and I didn't share with her my doubts about this project. I understand now that I was inexperienced and didn't know what I wanted or what I liked and I take full responsability for this project's unsuccess).


This was supposed to be a lap quilt for me and the colours are in harmony with my living room decoration. But the fabrics don't go well together, the pattern is too busy and I has this sort of "old lady" feel to it. I hate it! I don't like anything about it.
But I'm not giving up so easily. Thankfully, I hadn't pieced it yet and I still have some of the fabrics, so it's time to start over. I'm taking this with me on my summer holidays and the seam ripper will be my best friend. When I return from holidays I will think of another way to piece it, a way that I will love.

I have learned my lesson. Don't be too hard on yourselves, don't expect to love everything you make. If you are having second thoughts about something, if you are not enjoying the process of making it, take a break, think it through and if that's the case start over. It's good to take inspiration and learn from other people, but at the end of the day we have to be the ones who live with our decisions. So I choose to listen to my heart.
I'll keep you posted!

25 de jul de 2010

Rotina / routine

Sinto uma rotina a instalar-se.
Na 6ª feira à tarde, visto que saio do emprego às 13h, dedico-me a preparar os projectos do fim de semana, incluindo escolher tecidos, designs, etc. Se tenho alguma coisa para levantar ou mandar por correio é também a altura que me dá mais jeito fazê-lo.
No sábado à tarde costuro. No domingo à tarde também. Dependendo do projecto, sábado é dia de o fazer e domingo é dia de o terminar e fotografar.
Durante os dias que se seguem não tenho tempo para costurar, a não ser ao serão, o que só faço se tiver algum tipo de prazo a cumprir, porque de facto prefiro ter luz natural.
E na 6ª seguinte o ciclo repete-se.

I feel a routine settling in.
On friday afternoon, given that I leave work at 1 p.m., I prepare the weekend's projects, including choosing fabrics, designs, etc. If I have something to pick up at the post office or send someone, it's also the ideal time for doing so.
On saturday afternoon I sew. On sunday afternoon too. Depending on the project, saturday is when I'm actually sewing it and sunday I finish and photograph it.
During the week I don't have time to sew except in the evening, which I don't like doing because I rather have sunlight instead of artificial light. Unless I have a deadline to meet.
And when friday comes, it all starts again.

A giveaway search engine

It has come to my attention that there is a website called the Giveaway Scout, which is like a search engine that you can subscribe if you want to be told about giveaways that are happening. Isn't it cool? And even though I don't have giveaways usually (I'm hoping to have another one soon) my blog has been added. I feel very... "professional" right now. ahahaha!!!

24 de jul de 2010

"Open Sesame!"

I've been a good girl and cleaned my fabric cabinet, folded all the fabrics nicely and put them back sorted by boy colours and girl colours and prints and solids. Now I feel like saying: "Open Sesame!"
(I also feel like buying more fabric because I don't think I have that much...)



My birthday gifts


The two books that I had asked for and a third one that was a pleasant surprise. It's title could be translated to "Fashion Patterns step by step" and it's about tailloring. It differs from the traditional sewing books, that have beautiful pictures and cute little projects. As you can see from the interior pages, it's mostly theoritical, but it's very useful because it explains the proportions, how to draw patterns, etc. It's very professional!





(One funny thing: the book is written in spanish but also translated into italian and portuguese. My sister-in-law didn't notice this, but she didn't worry because she knows I speak spanish. Only after giving it to me did she realise it was also in portuguese!)






The patterns that I had ordered from Sew Mama Sew and that had arrived some time ago, but that only now I was allowed to open.

And Eva, whom y'all already know!


Besides Eva, my parents also bought me buttons and gave me money to order some fabrics. I bought these in the Sew Mama Sew sale.




So now I have books to learn from, patterns to cut from, a model always at my service and fabrics to turn into clothes!

I had other presents, but these were the sewing related ones. One last surprise was in store for me, also from my sister-in-law:



In her last semester at the arts university she learnt how to make books, or just the book cover if one wants to put in a book they already have. And she made this one (in blue, of course) just for me! I tell you: it's perfect!!! She meant it as a notebook for my sewing lessons or for taking notes while making stuff, but it's so precious that I feel like I would have to be careful with my handwriting so I won't ruin it. I love handmade gifts and this was just an amazing surprise!

21 de jul de 2010

Happy birthday...


(Image from here)

To me! Just to let you know that I'm turning 28 today, so I expect some nice comments below :)
The last year has been a crazy ride, with some ups but also some really downs, and I'm trying to be at peace with that. I hope this new year of my life brings me that peace. If I may so, I think I deserve it :)

20 de jul de 2010

Lately...

Julho é o mês dos aniversários das amigas (e o meu, já amanhã!).
July is my friend's (and mine, tomorrow!) birthday month.

Fiz um porta-chaves para a minha colega Catarina, que andava com as chaves do escritório metidas num mosquetão de plástico que me causava arrepios.
I made a key-chain for Catarina, my co-worker, because she carried the office keys in a plastic kind of hook that gave me the creeps.





Fiz mais uma capa para proteger livros para a minha amiga Débora, que foi das primeiras pessoas a quem, precisamente há um ano, ofereci uma prenda feita à mão. Adoro as cores deste tecido, é tão... girlie girl!!! Como ela tem um filhote pequeno, só tem tempo para ler à hora de almoço, no jardim ao pé do emprego. Assim ninguém tem de saber o que ela anda a ler!!!
I made another one of my book covers for my friend Débora, who was one of the first people to ever receive a handmade gift by me, precisely one year ago. I love the colours of this fabric, it's so... girlie girl!!! She has a young son, so the only the time she has to read is at lunchtime, in the garden near her workplace. This way noone has to know what she is reading!!!



E, apesar de o aniversário da minha amiga Vanessa ter sido em Dezembro e de já nessa altura ela me ter "encomendado" um porta-comandos para pendurar no braço do sofá, só agora é que o terminei e lho ofereci. Ela tinha-me deixado à vontade em relação ao modelo, apenas tinha indicado as medidas do sofá e as cores da sala (as mesmas que a minha sala: laranja, castanho, creme). Mas eu ainda não tinha resolvido o problema de como prender o porta-comandos dentro do sofá, porque aquele que eu tenho possui um peso, que equilibra o peso dos comandos, mas não sabia onde comprar um peso. Dei tantas voltas à cabeça... considerei areia... dois cubinhos de chumbo em cada ponta... eu sei lá! Depois, de repente, tive um "aha moment": velcro, daqueles de colar!!! Cola-se uma tira ao porta-comandos, cola-se a outra no próprio braço do sofá, do lado de dentro, escondida pela almofada. Só depois de ter resolvido esse problema é que me senti com pica para comprar os tecidos e conceber o modelo. A partir daí foi canja, fiz tudo numa tarde! Gostava de ter tirado mais fotos do processo (tenho algumas, que posso publicar em breve), mas pelo menos aqui fica o produto final. Talvez não dê para ver muito bem, mas na parte do tecido com as flores há três bolsas para os comandos.
And, even though my friend Vanessa's birthday was in December and she "requested" back then a remote-control holder to hang on her couch, only now did I finish it and gave it to her. She had given me a green light about the design, she only gave me the couch measurements and told me her living room colours (the same as mine: orange, brown, beige). But I hadn't figured out the problem of how to keep the piece in place, hanging on the couch arm, because the remote-control holder I have has a metal bar in it that weighs enough to balance the remotes's own weight. I thought and thought... I considered sand... two small pieces of led in each corner... I don't know what else! Then, out of the blue, I had an "aha moment": velcro, the type that you can stick (not sew) to the fabric!!! One strip gets "glued" to the remote-control holder, the other one goes in the couch's arm, in the inside, concealed by the couch's seat. Only after solving this problema did I feel motivated to buy the fabrics and imagine the design. From that moment one, it was a piece of cake, I made it in one single afternoon! I wish I had taken more photos of the process (I have more, which I can post soon), but at least I leave you with the final product. Maybe you can't really tell, but in the flowers fabric there are three pockets for the remotes.

16 de jul de 2010

A pillowcase swap and a quilt-along

Head over to That's Sew Mandy! if you are interested in a easy-peasy pillowcase swap.

And to Blue is Bleu if you want to participate in Audrie's fabulous new quilt-along.


I'll be in on both, or so I hope!!!

15 de jul de 2010

Upgrade

Então decidi dar outra vez mais uns retoques no blog. Agora tenho um slideshow do Flickr, mudei os botões de sítio, criei o meu próprio botão (estou tão orgulhosa por ter conseguido fazer isto) e acrescentei ainda mais links de blogs que gosto de visitar. Alguém notou a diferença? Não sei, mas eu gosto do meu blog e pronto.
Só não estou a achar piada nenhuma às fotos que teimam em desaparecer sem motivo aparente. Qual é a panca???

So I decided to do some little improvements on my blog again. Now I have a Flickr photo slideshow, I put the blog's buttons further down and created my own (I'm so proud for being able to do that) and I've added more interesting links to the list of blogs I like to visit. Did anyone notice the difference? I don't know, but I like my blog and that's it.
I'm just not finding it funny that some photos keep disappearing for no good reason. What's up with that???

14 de jul de 2010

It's official

I hate Picasa, Flickr and Blogger. I hate that my photos disappear and then I put them again (which is hard work given that some are on my laptop, others are on my computer at the office, others are from the Internet)... only to see them all disappear again!!! How frustrating is THAT? And of course they don't disappear all at the same time. One day it's 2 or 3, then the next day it's a different set... Urghhhh!!!

Do your blog's photos keep mysteriously disappearing...?

Oh Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore!

In the beggining...





And then...







And now...






13 de jul de 2010

In theory...

My current favourite band, Muse, and my beloved Twilight Series belong together. But just in theory... I don't think I like this music that much :(

10 de jul de 2010

1º Encontro de Patchwork em Portugal



Está a ser organizado pela Dotquilts, a loja onde costumo comprar tecidos e frequentar aulas de patchwork. É uma iniciativa muito gira e com fins solidários, portanto fiquei imediatamente entusiasmada e pretendo participar. Mais informações aqui. (As inscrições são até dia 30 de Julho, portanto despachem-se!).
Organized by Dotquilts, the shop where I usually buy fabrics and go to classes, the First Patchwork in Portugal Meeting will be a fun event for charity purposes. I am very excited to be participating. More info here (in portuguese).
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