Thursday, August 31, 2006

everyday tunic

when summer started I had all these plans for sewing a ton of my own clothes. Especially since getting this and this japanese sewing books. Their designs are so simple and yet at the same time so elegant and beautiful that I've been wanting to make almost every item. Unfortunately, time has been passing way too quickly, and before I knew it summer is almost over. So I've been rushing to get a few things finished so I can actually wear them before it gets too cold (well, with this hot weather we've been having it seems I'll have more time than I had thought), and this was one of them. I actually made it long sleeved so it's also appropriate for fall or cooler summer nights. The fabric is one from this pile and the design is based on this pattern. I love it, so stay tuned for a couple more of these soon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

anita & tomás

Most of last week's WIP has been finished, including these new softies, whom I've named Tomás and Anita. I love making softies, I truly do. It never ceases to amaze me how creative you can get when making a softie, especially in the littlest details. These weren't supposed to turn out exactly like this, but there you go ... when I'm cutting their outfits I invariably end up with something a bit different from what I had planned.

The rest of the WIP were these pouches, needle cases and a few bookcovers. All of these and a couple of bags are now on their way to this shop.

♥ manda's nap mat
♥ sally's wall pockets

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

marie claire idées

As most of you probably noticed, the new issue of Marie Claire idées is out, and I have to say I'm L-O-V-I-N-G it.
This was already my favourite crafts magazine, but even so it's always hard to get an entire magazine just right, if you know what I mean. Some features I usually love, others are so-so, and then others are just not my style. But this issue .. well, this issue hits the spot, and it's not only because it's the fall edition.

Just a few of my favourites here:
floral fabric frames * cute bag set *

* using books for decoration ? *

* fall fashion (the purple boots, I love them) *

* halloween *

* and of course, quilting *


piu piu

(pouch #30)

Friday, August 25, 2006

(thinking of winter)

I know that summer is not over yet, and fall (my favourite season) is still to come .. but having these already planned and booked makes me just so happy. (anyone else wants to join us ?)

wip friday

* a softie couple * a new blouse for me *
* a special order * batch of pouches *
* needle cases * bookcovers *

a lot of WIP this week, hopefully everything will be finished by Monday ....

more craft works in progress

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

breakfast reading

* Nuevo estilo - for some reason, I'm addicted to interior design magazines. This one caught my eye because it had an article about painting your house and the effect of wall colors.
* Love of Quilting - thanks, Amanda, for being so generous :)
* Country Living (UK ed.) - the first issue I've ever bought. It makes me want to move to the countryside and be a farmer. Ok, maybe not a farmer but definitely any of the women featured in the 2006 rural enterprise women awards stories. Such great stories, especially the one about 7 year old Molly Capel, who makes softies and quilts, and already has her own company - amazing, isn't it ?
* Boden catalogue - can't get enough of this catalogue. I've already ordered this tank top (couldn't resist, I'm such a tank top girl !) but every time I browse it I find something else I want to get.

* from the Country Living issue: I love, love this lampshade. It's by Helen Rawlinson and her designer lampshades are amazing.
* from the Boden catalogue: T., did you notice this was shot inside the Pastéis de Belém ?

Monday, August 21, 2006

a pencil case

what a nice weekend ... warm but not too hot... lounging, playing and having nice catch up conversations by our friends' swimming pool ... perfect :) summer is coming to a end, I didn't get much time at the beach this year, but strangely I don't miss that as much as I used to. The house move really messed up our summer plans this year. It keeps getting postponed, so no definite plans can be made until then, but right now it's looking like mid or third week of September, which means we'll probably take that week of vacation in early October.
it was also a very crafty weekend. Not many items finished, but a lot of fabrics cut, stitched, sewn and ready to be made into something by the end of this week.

this is a much, much delayed order, but now that it's done I'm quite happy about how it turned out. I had a really difficult time with this one, especially with the pattern. The order was for a pencil case - a wide pencil case - a special gift for someone who uses a lot of pens everyday, and it had to have giraffes and the recipient's name. When I accepted the order I had no idea about how I was going to do it (typical of me !), so it took me weeks to figure it out. In the end, the simpler the better.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

souvenir shopping in Lisbon

this month has been a very busy one regarding gimme your stuff swaps. I always say that I won't do more swaps, since my available time is limited as it is, but I find it hard to say "no" when all manner of wonderful parcels keep showing up at my house. For this latest round I had to do some souvenir shopping, and let me tell you it was not an easy task. If you've ever been a tourist in Lisbon, you'll know that the more traditional souvenir shops are around the Baixa/Restauradores/Av. da Liberdade areas (at least, those were the first that came to my mind when I first went shopping for these). I must confess that I had never bought souvenirs from around here before, although I am like any other tourist when I travel abroad and I just love souvenir shops - especially in castles and the heritage kind, and of course museum shops - I always h-a-v-e to get something, even if it's only a fridge magnet for my growing collection or a few nice postcards. Anyway, I tried a couple of the more traditional and bigger souvenir shops but couldn't find any items I really liked. I didn't have time to check the museums, but I remembered that T. had pointed out a really nice shop during one of our recent shopping trips downtown. I finally had the time to go check it out during the weekend, and found what I was looking for.

The shop sells all sorts of handmade Portuguese crafts, including pottery, painted tiles, embroidered handbags and needle cases, children's toys, among other things. Then right across the street I noticed another interesting shop, where I got a really nice notebook (yes, one more ., a girl can never have too many, right ?) and fell in love with these soaps (not quite the same that I sometimes find at the supermarket) and these boxes. It's definitely worth going there, so if you're a tourist around these parts or are looking for some unique gifts, go take a look ...

Santos Ofícios Artesanato
Rua da Madalena, 87

Nós por cá
Rua da Madalena, 76/78


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

the new blogger

so I was reading about the features of the new Blogger yesterday and I must say it was about time. When I switched from Live Journal to Blogger a year ago, it was because LJ wasn't flexible enough for my purposes. With Blogger I was able to create a new blog in seconds and change my template and layout how I wanted it (although I hate going through that template code !). But I miss the "friends" functionality from LJ, and the ability to lock posts that I might not want to share in public. One of the most exhasperating features in Blogger is the "republishing" thing every time I change the template .. isn't that annoying ? Especially when the percentage doesn't change and it keeps getting stuck. Or when your photos don't upload no matter what you do, or why can't we have categories like Typepad does. Recently I had considered changing to another blogging site, but now I think I might wait to see if these new features are going to be worth it. I'm especially excited about the dynamic pages (no more republishing) and the labels/categories (finally !) feature. I wasn't one of the lucky people chosen to beta test the new Blogger, but I'm happy to wait patiently for now, since it seems that not everything is working as it should yet...

Monday, August 14, 2006

on notebooks ♥

I've always had this thing for notebooks. I'm very particular about them, and I have a special fondness for those with blank thick pages. I sort of collect them, not intentionally of course, but I always find it hard to resist buying a new nice blank notebook. For work, I usually use medium sized ones (A5), but for my crafts notes I carry around a smaller one in my handbag all the time...
A couple of my favourite ones are these two. They're italian, and I just love this particular design. The blue is my current "in-use" one and you can see how scruffy it's looking... I brought it from Florence a couple of years back and it's now full of notes, drawings, ideas and whatever else I can think of that is worth writing down. The yellow one is still brand new, also from Florence (brought by a colleague who recently went there), and I haven't had the courage to start using it yet.
For some reason, it is quite hard to find nice blank page notebooks around here (they're usually lined, or the paper is too thin), but recently I found these design sketch books that quickly became a favourite.

I'm going to start using one of these soon to replace the blue notebook that it's almost used up, so I decided it was high time to make something out of these fabric scraps. I was feeling a little guilty I hadn't made anything with them yet, and I've been wanting to make something zakka-like and with some crewel embroidery too for a while now, so this was the perfect project. The crewel designs are from here, and now that Blair has received her surprise I can show these off.


weekend mementos

* rafael, 4 weeks old (ao colo da tia babada) *
* wrapping packages to go (more gimme your stuff) *
* sunday afternoon chocolate chip muffins (baked by A.) *


Friday, August 11, 2006

baby document holders / porta documentos

no wip friday today, instead a couple of finished items for a change...
a much belated gift, and another for our newborn nephew Rafael, who was born a couple of weeks ago. We're driving down to the Algarve to finally meet him this weekend, but I promise not to bore you with (too many) photos afterwards (ok, just a couple, maybe ;)
Have a great weekend, everyone !

(the embroidery designs are from this book)