quinta-feira, 29 de dezembro de 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello my dear friends!

This will most likely be my last post in 2011, as the end creeps up on us so fast (and my holidays sneak away so fast too, *sob*). I will try to show you later on my Christmas presents--just a sneak peek here.

First, and above all, let me tell you how WONDERFUL you have all been cheering me on through bad times and good times, and in a way nursing me back to health. These have been 2 complicated, rough years healthwise and it has been fantastic to read your blogs, visit your gorgeous homes, gasp at your fantastic crafts and ideas and find new friends while sharing the little things I started creating again. Your messages have been truly appreciated and if sometimes I don't reply right away I always try to do so at some time.

I want to THANK EACH and EVERYONE of you for being here for me and hope to have many more wonderful days spent with you in 2012, which definitely will be a good one--no more treatments and total recovery, yeahhhh!!!! Just check-ups every 6 months :-)

This year has brought me new friends.

I was lucky enough to have met personally one of them, Carla of Simply by Carla who is an amazing quilter and patchworker--have to take pictures of the fabulous sewing / crafts bag she gave me for Christmas! It looks like a jigsaw puzzle but she says it's not as difficult as it looks. Right. As if I believed her :-)

Then there's Marjo of Marjo's Cosy Corner, a sister in arms as she had to go through the same ordeal I did this year. From knowing what the other one was going through I believe we were able to give each other some comfort and strength--I know she did / does to me!--and I'm truly glad we met this way. Hopefully we'll be able to meet personally in the near future, as Belgium is not so far away from Portugal!

Even though distance is a bit of a problem for meeting personally, there are other fantastic people who are always here to leave a kind word and share a smile--Meredith, Marilyn, Carol, MemeRose, Crissi, (hmmm... what is it with the M's and C's?!) Valeria, Susan, Jo...among so many others! (Please make sure you visit them too, you'll love their work!)

I wish you all and each one a Happy, Wonderful New Year full of joy and love and above all health--and hope to meet you here again soon :)

You're the best!

terça-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2011

At last!

Hello, my dear friends! 

Bringing you a llittle bit of the Portuguese holiday spirit...

Amoreiras Shopping Center, probably the loveliest this year
A visit downtown Lisbon, that brought back fond memories of younger years...
The amazing Elevador de Santa Justa, connecting 2 streets downtown Lisbon

Detail of the XIX century elevator (and you can actually go up there!)

Burned down in 1988, the Armazéns do Chiado has a long tradition of merchandising (this was a trading area as far back as the XII century). When it was rebuilt after the fire they managed to preserve the front of the building, dating from the XVIII century, after the earthquake.

The arcades by the Terreiro do Paço

Terreiro do Paço, a.k.a. Praça do Comércio with the statue of D.José

The bridge connecting Lisbon and Almada

Two friends who finally met! Carla and I drooling over gorgeous fabrics :-) (we're sure the girl in the store thought we were nuts, asking her to take a picture of the 2 of us in front of all that fabric ;-) )

And I got to meet Pedro too :)

Christmas wouldn't be the same without a Nativity scene (next year I'll put up my grandmother's)

Sparkle and red berries scattered around the house

And some wonderful scents perfuming the entire place, with Marjo's tulip peeking from behind :)
So... who's coming over next for a visit? ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful last week of the year 2011

segunda-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2011

Crochet purse handles tutorial

Hello my friends!

Some of you may know I have a Pinterest profile--it's hard not to get addicted to that place! I've discovered so many gorgeous things to craft, so many talented people... but above all, I've been creating a sort of "box of favourite crafts" I can get back to when I get the time and the opportunity to try something new.

On my dwellings I found this image of crochet purse handles, and a link to the blog with the tutorial.

The blog is Roberta Crochet & Cia and the tutorial is written in Portuguese... so when I saw someone asking for a translation (sorry, I can't find the original request!) I offered to do so.

Here's my translation, hope it's clear enough (it really is very simple!)

Crochet purse handles

Step 1

Make a chain 140 stitches long (approximately 90 cm long) and make 4 rows of sc (single crochet). Slip stitch the top and bottom rows together to form a tube. Join both ends of the tube, to form a circle. Reinforce these stitches to make sure they don’t come apart.

Step 2

Make a chain 35 stitches long (approximately 20cm) and make 8 rows of sc. Form a roll around the tube you made in step 1 and slip stitch it together, top and bottom row of your crochet strip.

Step 3

Chain 3;
Row  1: 3 sc;
Row 2: 4 sc;  
Row 3: 5 sc;  
Rows  4 to 16: 6 sc;
Row 17: 5 sc;  
Row 18: 4 sc;  
Row 19: 3 sc;

You can make it wider or longer if you’d like; work with crab stitch or single crochet around it to finish off . Make 2 to secure the purse handles onto the purse itself.

Please refer to Roberta's blog to see all images, I only added one for each step here but she has a step by step tutorial with more images. Thank you Roberta, for your very clear tutorial!

Hope this is useful! 

Have a wonderful week :)

segunda-feira, 21 de novembro de 2011

A flower from Belgium :)

Hello my dear friends!

This has been a crazy busy time for me... a lot of stuff going on at work, and recently I've started a round of training courses for my colleagues that will last until mid December. It's kind of amazing to think that only 2 or 3 months ago I was home resting and now I hardly have any time for myself... 

I thought I'd post a short note from my hotel room before I do a bit of knitting (does that sound silly...?) and go to sleep to get ready for tomorrow's classes. A post promised long ago, with a picture I've wanted to share of a WIP finished a while back (to make things worse my camera decided to go AWOL again and is nowhere to be found... so this one was taken with my cell phone camera, sorry it's not the best quality!)

This shawl was made with 100% laceweight linen (natural color), with the half circle shawl pattern and I have to confess I'm truly happy with it. Though this yarn is really different from the one shown in the pattern, it turned out really nice and light and pretty (promise I'll show it off better as soon as I find the missing camera!)

But what makes the biggest statement is the crochet flower I adapted from Marjo's lovely gift--found a button in my sewing box that looked like it had been waiting all its like to be used here, added a pin to the back et voilá! A beautiful flower brooch that adds the perfect touch here.

See... I have managed to keep up with my crafts! And there are a lot more to share, as soon as I have a bit of time... and a decent camera :( Until then, back to my needles and yarn to finish off a couple of Christmas presents.

Miss you all! Have a wonderful week :)

domingo, 30 de outubro de 2011

Hello, my lovelies!

I've been a bit away from here... but not completely! In between striving to learn some new skills and getting reacquainted with work schedules and replanning "silly stuff" like grocery shopping (which can be fun if you have the time to do it off of rush hours and at your own pace but is completely annoying when everyone else is trying to do it at the same time as you) I'm still managing to maintain some sanity... with some yarn around my fingers :) Hopping on over to check out what you're doing, leaving a comment or two here and there and staying in touch by mail and phone with Marjo and Carla...

Not much time for nice pictures, yet... but let me tell you I've finished off a few WIP's, yeaaay!!! The one I'll be sporting tomorrow (and hopely getting a pretty picture of) is a shawlette where I've pinned one of Marjo's beautiful flowers   and let me tell you, it looks wonderful, if I may say so myself. 

Right now I'm finishing this cowl and about to move on to the hat--I'm not really a hat / beanie type of person but I'll give it a try, the colors are so yummy!

 Tempting, this little sweater, isn't it? I've been trying to control mysel... making a few things for Christmas gifts  and not all for myself lol!

And before I take off... for those of you who are granny squares fans... here's a great easy and fun idea--it would look awesome with a black turtleneck under it! A total of 6 granny squares, 2 large ones for the front and back and 2 smaller ones for each sleave.

(All of these are patterns by Katia, made with their yarn Darling and are in their Fall / Winter magazines)

I'll be back soon, hopefully with pictures of my own work :)

Oh... and by the way, hop on over to visit Marjo's Cosy Corner, she's feeling a bit under the weather and at the hospital right now and needing a lot of good wishes!


quarta-feira, 12 de outubro de 2011

Still here!

Hello, everyone!

Just dropping in to say hello...

Hope everything is alright with you!

I've been working a lot, trying to get back into the swing of things... and saving just a itsy bitty time to peek into your blogs and leave a message or two and hooking just a tiny bit...

...and off I go again! 

(Don't give up on me, please! I'll be back as soon as I'm settled again!)

Have a wonderful week :)

terça-feira, 4 de outubro de 2011

Thank you, Marjo and Sam!

Two lovely ladies have nominated me for awards--Sam, for the Versatile Blogger Award

and Marjo has tagged me too...

Well, first of all, thank you, my dears, for this honor! I am very proud to have been nominated by you both :) 

Apparently I'm supposed to say a few things about myself--let's see if I can come up with somethings that you may not know about me, but some are probably not news.

1. My heart is split between the 3 continents I've lived in: 
  • Africa, where I was born, in Angola; 

  • America, where I lived in the USA for a total of 8 years (St.Paul, MN, and Brunswick, ME), as a child and during college years and where I love to go back everytime I get a chance;

  • Europe, Portugal, where my family is from and where I currently live 

But I guess I could add the other 2 continents, as my great grandfather was Goese (Asia)

...and I've always dreamt of going "down under"...

2. Yes, you've guessed it. I LOVE the

3. I was always the quietest, most dilligent student who would barely be noticed except for when test results came back--and then I used to be among the top 2 or 3. Here, too, I was split between 2 special loves (science and arts) though I also loved languages... So I guess it comes as no surprise that I studied Biology and Archaeology, Statistics and computer science, as well as English, French and Italian (a wee bit forgotten!) A bit of a Jack of all trades and master at none, I guess...

4. I have worked as secretary, lab assistant in a museum of art, Italian tutor, Biology teacher, coordinator of the administrative area in a lab (blood tests etc), seller, marketing project manager, IT project manager...among others and not necessarily in this order. I am currently working for the government and setting my heart (or maybe not lol) on learning how to program with C# and SQL... still feeling quite lost!

5. My true love are crafts, though. I love all crafts of all kinds and have tried many of them--crochet, knitting, cross stitch, petit point, arraiolos

(I made this rug many years ago, though this picture isn't mine), macramé, oil painting, acrylic painting, sewing... I started as a child by dressing up my dolls in fabric and crochet dresses

and I spent a lot of time drawing paper dolls and designing their attires!

6. I have survived breast cancer twice now. The first time was 10 years ago, when I was 37. This 2nd time came as a shock, I thought I had beaten the "Beast" for good and it came back. I was lucky enough to have detected it soon enough that everything could be controlled through surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. Now I know I'll fight it for the rest of my life, making sure it doesn't catch me off guard. Ever. I am not letting it win over me.

7. I am a cat person. This is my little girl, Pantera, who is almost 14 now

and is sitting next to me on the sofa, right now, checking out what I'm writing about her but looking at the window because the birds are going wild outside, as the sun sets. She's a part of the family, of course! Even if she isn't in this picture...

All the rest... well, you can read about it somewhere in here or ask me!

Now... I'm supposed to nominate some people for these awards too... so here are some of the blogs I can't live without :)  Some of these people have become Friends over time, but they also bring inspiration, love and gorgeous things into Blogland and I really can't tell which award is more adequate for each, so I'm nominating them for both (I hope that's OK!)
  1. Carla at Simply by Carla
  2. Marjo at Marjo's Cosy Corner
  3. Meredith at Mereknits
  4. Marilyn at Room on the Left
  5. MeMe Rose (I'm not sure if I she wants me to write her name here :) )
  6. Alice at Crochet with Raymond
  7. Tammy at T's Daily Treasures
  8. Mia at Mias Landiv
  9. Annette at My Rose Valley
  10. Jacquie at Bunny Mummy
  11. Paula at Paula's Homemade Life
  12. Ana at Mãos de Sapo e Pés de Pato
  13. Carol at Beads and Birds
  14. Annette at Petunia Pill
  15. BumbleBri at Live.Laugh.Love.Create
There are many more wonderful blogs and people I'd love to nominate... maybe I'll create my own award for that :)

I'm sure you agree with me if you know them--make sure you pay them a visit, if you don't :)


sexta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2011

Just popping in to say hello!

Hello my dear readers!

I'm back... working...

...or rather from before 9 to around 6...

Wouldn't it be fun if it were like this? (well... or maybe not... lol)

The truth is, I've been away for too long... and am not used to this routine anymore! So instead of this...


...I am now stuck with learning this...

...on my own and it seems like it's going to take...
...to get there!

Please don't give up on me... I hope to have a little time to pop in this weekend, even though I will be going with the guys to the 

Thinking of you, Marjo, and all the girls and boys who have to fight this battle!


PS - thank you so much for your Award, Sam, I promise I'll get back to it soon!!!

quinta-feira, 22 de setembro de 2011

Guincho or Cornwall?

Hello! I hope you are all doing well :)

We all have a special place we dream of going someday... right? 

Let me tell you a (not really) secret... this is the place I've been dreaming of.

It's Cornwall, in the UK.

Maybe motivated by the countless romances I read of King Arthur and his Knights, Lady Morgan and the druids, the mists and the centuries old trees... I've been dreaming of this for a long time.

We do have some places that call out for me just as much--Guincho, near Sintra (not so far from Lisbon)

It even has the mists hoovering over it most of the time, with the sun shining through 

Or Porto Covo, further south...

When I started to make my Japanese Flower Scarf I noticed the color pattern resembled so much these colors I love in these places.  (Yes, it turned out to be a flower scarf instead of the granny square version... It was so much nicer!) 

The deep blue of the ocean, the teal / turquoise of the closer waters, the sand, the grass and even the darker stone cliffs

So that was the name I gave my scarf: the Cornwall scarf, but it could easily be the Guincho scarf as well

Over my bed cover... hmmm... can you tell how much I love these colors?! :)

This yarn is so wonderful to crochet with a 2 mm hook. 
It creates random patterns as the you go through the various shades in the yarn... And it becomes faster to make!  The Japanese flowers are wonderfully easy and nice to make! I even got to read while making them, a new, wonderfull book written by my dear junior high school friend Maria Cristina Becho, called "Cantos da Casa" (Corners of Home). 

I am not a fast crochetter.

 I work slowly, but this flower is so agreable  to make and the color changes are so pleasing to the eye that I made it in less than a week--that's amazing for me! The flowers are small, about the size of my palm, so I made a total of 54 flowers for this shawl, 12, 13, 14 and 15 flowers in each row.

This is me, modelling it over my t-shirt as it's still way too warm to wear anything else... and my favourite pin holding it in the front. 

I can't wait for it to get cooler to start wearing it!

Another project completed before I go back to work... I'm happy!

What are you working on? Any new ideas or patterns? I need to start something else now :)



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