my grandfather

on rare sunny winter days in viana, my grandfather gets out of the house to take in vitamin D.

feliz natal

For all those friends who are far away and those who stay close by, 
for he who is always close to heart, 
for my family on the other side of the Atlantic and my family in the city by the sea,  
I wish you all a very wonderful and warm Christmas.  

shop local

Just like last year, my family is doing a secret santa: the names are raffeled out and everyone exchanges one gift with someone else, but it's a secret, so no one knows who they are going to receive a gift from. 
Last night I set off to buy the gift and my first and only stop was A Vida Portuguesa, where a spent a quite a bit of time photographing this beautiful shop and trying out Carla's Canon (thank you so much!). 

My grandma has one of these picnic baskets (a very old one) and of course, I'm hoping she'll hand it down to me. There was a time I was into basket making and I even had a local craftsman teach me how to make them Though this interest didn't last long, I still have the basket I made.
The gift I bought is in one of these photos!  

our so-called tree

In the spirit of the season, we have finished our Christmas "tree": made from real wood, from some real tree; decorated with colorful lights, origami stars (# 88 on my list), candles and a very up-to-date Nativity scene with Mary, Jesus, Joseph and their cat and dog, because if they lived today, they would most certainly be a middle class suburban family.


Trying to get into the Christmas spirit, I leave you with Zezito and his Christmas tree back in 1954. Our "tree" here at home is almost finished, just need to put up some more stars and color the nativity scene.
I'm spending this weekend making notebooks, pins and embroider stuff to sell nest weekend here

things that lie around

I took these last Christmas at my uncle's house and picked them up from the lab yesterday. He has one of those houses filled with stuff that is just perfect to capture on film: random objects that lie around that can easily create interesting still-life compositions. These photos actually look much better printed than they do digitalized: I printed them in fiber mate paper that has a nice soft touch to it. 

I want to fly south

winter is kicking in and I can't help but think of summer... ah... how I miss summer. So this season, no pretty winter pictures with people in heavy coats and bare trees. I WANT heat and between a hot shower and blankets, remembering is the next best thing! so there!

"os ferreira" ready to hang

The Ferreira Family is ready to be hung up! This was my first personalized embroidery work for someone very special. Mary's mom turned 60 last week and this was one of her many gifts. Mary and I talked it through about what small details would characterize each family member, like her sister's ponytails, her mom's apron, the knee patches on her brother's pants and Mary's bruised knees. I'm sure they'll choose a nice spot to hang it up. As for me, I really enjoyed do this, embroidery is so relaxing, even when the threads get all tangled up. This is my way of slowing down. 
... and I'm almost finished these 3 good looking siblings.

about life, love and the earth's hemispheres

sometimes envy is the only thing you got: 
in Lisbon is't raining, it's cold and I hate it;
in Brasil it's sunny and hot and Pedro is bathing in the warm waters and tanning himself silly. 
Life isn't always fair...

I'd make a great farmer

Last year, at around this season, I loaded my Diana with 35mm color film and went to sell vegetables with my grandmother to the local market. This is something I LOVE doing: I tried to sell chestnuts, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, spinach, flowers and other products that my parents and my grandparents grow in their fields. I engaged with everyone that passed by and even cut a deal with another local vendor: cherry tomatoes in exchange for persimmons! I made around 15€, enough to pay for my bus ticket back to Lisbon, not bad. 

But the best part was hanging out with my grandma. Isn't she sweet!

we shall all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately (Benjamin Franklin)

Sala de Aljubarrota do Museu de Alberto Sampaio
Tomorrow is the big day. I have just finished putting together the powerpoint presentation of my master's thesis in museum studies. I just hope I can hang in there or I am sure they will hang me in the end! 

[The whole thing was too easy....]

my cross-processed summer

So here they are, some of the Diana photos I picked up yesterday. It was a slide film so I had it cross-processed. I know that you can do this with a simple click of a button on any image software, or even Pedro's phone, but the sensation of not knowing how the photos will appear, waiting patiently for them and being amazed at the effects that you have no control over, is the best thing about using Diana!

I should have already finished reading my thesis... but I haven't.
I should be sitting at my desk preparing for next Tuesday's presentation... but I'm not.
I think I'll head out for just a bit to pick up the 2 Diana film's I had developed... I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it.

forecast for today

Sad and grey morning with rain.

Hopefully at around lunchtime it will look like this.

And I'm sure the sun will be out in the afternoon!

os ferreira

A little sneak peek at what I have been working on these last few days. It's slowly being embroidered so it can be just perfect for her 60th birthday. So Mary, tell what you think of it so far?

3 corpetes, 1 avental, 7 fronhas, 1 lençol, 3 camisas do enxoval...

A new header and a classic Portuguese cinema scene to welcome it.
I like her checkered skirt, striped socks and polka dot apron.


After I was born my parents always thought that their second child would be a boy. So they bought blue baby clothing. Then my sister Helena was born. And then they were absolutely sure their third child would definitely be a boy. Then my sister Luisa was born. And after this, they gave up: three is in fact a crowd even though we always wanted a brother. 

I live with a rock star

Not many people can say they share the same house with a rock star, but I can! Though it sometimes is quite an inconvenience with all the paparazzi camping at our door step... but you learn to live with it. Joana is the lead singer of a major international rock band The Exception and she has an amazing deep voice: very energetic, tough around the edges and sweet whenever necessary. They'll be performing tonight at Bacalhoeiro and I'm going to put on my dancing shoes...

photo lab

Tonight is photo lab night. Last week I developed 3 rolls of black and white film. The rolls are from last year, can you imagine? 

ready to hang up

Now all I have to do is choose a place to hang them up and bribe Pedro with a massage or pastries for him to  do the things guys do around the house.   

helena in the corner: the wall hanging

After being almost a year away from my needles and threads, I've finally been actively working on some embroidery projects. It's very relaxing and it keeps me away from horrible monsters like my thesis. 
I enjoy the idea of picking out a photo from the old family albums, drawing them out and selecting the right one to embroid. And, I particularly like how the very fine wool yarn goes great with old linen. As for the hoop, I was waiting for my package of metal embroidery hoops I bought on ebay: for some reason, no shop sell them here in Lisbon, nor have shop owners ever heard of metal hoops. 



I still don't own a bike, but when I do, it must be a red one. This one is going into a wooden frame.