história primária

A sneak peek into História Primária.

the story about the book

about a month ago he calls me:
"...you know how Mary is always saying I should publish my stories? Well, her birthday is coming up and I want to surprise her with a printed book of my short stories. Can you illustrate the cover?"


about a week and a half ago she calls me:
"... you know how I'm always telling Alex that he should publish his short stories? Well, his birthday is coming up and I want to surprise him with a printed book with his stories. Can you illustrate the stories and mount the book?

I said yes to both... but they don't know it!!

the mess

I know I've been away, but I have a great excuse for it. I'll be posting it tomorrow... can't wait!

PS: to my flat-mates: I'm sorry about the mess. I'll cook a nice dinner to compensate for it!! 

Las manas

It's obvious: I enjoy transforming photos into embroidery projects!
Las manas was inspired by this pretty photo of me and my sisters.


Here it is: the Apple Tree Shop and the Apple Tree Etsy Shop!
It's been a busy week cause, even though I have done a lot of reading on how to run a blog/shop, there's so much involved! But, I'm having so much fun with the whole thing! Of course friends and readers are being truly wonderful and supportive, encouraging me to go ahead. Very thankful to everyone!  
Since the beginning, I've had a conflicting dilemma about what I would be doing: embroidery, pins, photography, book biding, drawings... I've decided to explore a bit a each and see how things work out. I've started with some pins and embroidery hoops and hope to be posting new items in the shop on a regular basis. I've got so many ideas!! So please... I need your feedback! 

And because virtual inaugurations are so boring (no food or drinks), with every purchase from today to the 23rd of April, I'll be placing a special surprise in every order! 

PS: # 48 - start my own business (this counts as a business, right?!)

sleeping beauty

...at 1:13 am

Susette en Paris



I've got butterflies in my belly....
There is still so much to do before tomorrow!

the process

step #1 Choose a photograph from one of my favorite books: Paris, mon amour (bought in Paris, of course)

step #2 Draw the pretty lady 

step #3 Embroid her with my favorite yarns on hand dyed linen.  

# 101 dye textiles

On our trip to Lazarim, my eye caught trees covered in with lichens (a fungus). This post immediately came to mind and we stopped the car to pick up a bag full. Two days later the lichens were tossed into a pan and boiled for about an hour, after which I stained the water, put a piece of white linen and boiled slowly for about  another hour. It led out a strong earthy smell. I did this rather instinctively, without a mordant and without much knowledge of textile dyeing techniques, so the piece of linen came out in a raw beige color. 

before and after
What I'm really looking for is a way to dye linen in greys and blues! I bought some potassium ferricyanide crystals or Prussian Blue, (it's the blue in the cyanotype process), but I haven't found much information on it's ability to dye textiles. I think I'll just do the same: toss it in a pot and see what comes out!

open for business

Item # 48 on my list is to start my own business. The idea was to do something else aside from my day job that would spark the crafty/photography side of me. 
For the last few months, I've been spending most of my afternoons surrounded by linen cloths, threads, ink pens, photographs... trying to discover and explore what I most enjoy doing and find myself enjoying different things. At first, I thought I should sort everything out and choose what I most enjoy: I ended up not being able to cut off anything. This was right around the time I learned the meaning of the awful word procrastination...  
But since I now consider this month of March, the month of CHANGE.... I'm going to cut the crap of being shy and insecure and start sharing with the world, cause difficult times call for resourceful and creative ideas: I'm going to open an online SHOP!! Hurray!!
Coming soon... March 23!!


Everyday I walk the same path to work, the same streets and views. I used to say "good morning" to the traffic police officer that kindly would stop the cars so I could cross the street. He doesn't work there anymore. I now say hello to a very kind indian shop owner that is hanging out his shop items at the same time I start descending the Rua do Monte Olivete. 
When I get to Praça das Flores, first, I always look up (nice trees that let in the bright sun) and then I look around... usually at the same people... that, for some particular reason, are already sitting around doing whatever it is they do. 
I repeat the whole thing in the afternoon, on my way back home. It felt good for a while, but now I'm a bit tried of it. 

welcome march

March started messy, chaotic and with a lot of change: new bedroom and new flat-mates/friends, which means more forks and knives!! Welcome!!
Change always feels good. (and there is more change on the way....)

Final note: 
Hi Joana, hope you are having a great time at your new place!

to stay or not to stay, that is the question

buy or don't buy a one way ticket out of here??

# 2 carnival in lazarim

This year we escaped the imported Portuguese carnival parades and spent Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras) in Lazarim, a small village near Lamego, where Entrudo is still celebrated in an authentic and traditional way. Men and women disguise themselves by putting on locally hand carved wooden masks and parading through the village after which follows the reading of a will in the village's main square. The will is written in  rimming verses that publicly scorn and curse the young boys and girls of Lazarim. Here are some acceptable verses from this year's readings:
Andas sempre a pregar que das raparigas não tens medo,
piroca tu não tens, nem sabes dar uso ao dedo
Os 23mm não te saiem do pensamento,
por isso, se eu fosse burro deixava-te o meu instrumento
Vamos deixar esta menina que nos deixou à toua,
vamos agora tirar as peneiras à Ana Rita de Lisboa. 

Benvinda Ana Rita ao nosso testamento, 
Queres alguma da terra, ou é o nosso presentimento?

E a ti menina Ana Rita o que te havemos de deixar?
Deixamos-te o rabo do burro para o teu poderes descansar. 

The whole ritual ends with a delicious feast of bean stew and cornflour soup made by the women and served to everyone who participated and came to visit. 

PS: this was on my list!!

# 84 make a snowman

My childhood in a country with plenty of snow in the winter made me an expert on snowball throwing and snowman making. I hadn't made a snowman since I was about 12 years old. Last weekend, with Pedro's help, I checked off yet another item off my list

Covão d'Ametade

When arrived at Covão d'Ametade at around midnight and it was snowing... very nice. Now, to answer your question: YES, we camped in the snow. It felt great spending the weekend in the outdoors, hiking, sleeping with six layers of clothes, not bathing and drinking hot instant soup. 

Covão d'Ametade

Almost one year later and we are returning to Covão for yet another (hopefully) great weekend in the snow... camping of course.

to be haunted...

... is to return to the chair on which I sat for weeks and weeks writing my thesis and reread the whole thing, AGAIN. But, this time round, it doesn't feel as hard. Though I am proud to say that soon I will be checking another item off my list: # 18 publish an essay. To be honest, I didn't think I was ever going to accomplish this one. 

PS: If the chair had been this one in the photo, I would have never finished those 138 pages of museum delicatenesses... 

Spent the weekend with the whole family. 
Helena came back to civilization for 2 weeks and will return to nowhere land next Friday.
Luisa settled down in Coimbra where we will be dinning next Monday.
As for me, I'm trying to rearrange all our stuff in one big room... never has change been so unpleasant!