Tuesday, July 31, 2007

shop update

the last batch of summer bags for this season and a couple of items more, available here

(e para quem estiver no Porto este próximo sábado, passem pela Feira de Artesanato Urbano no Parque da Cidade onde irão estar peças minhas na companhia da Winkiemoon e da Catrela)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

comfort reading

when I'm not feeling so good, I always turn to my pile of comfort reading. You know, those books that not matter how many times you've read them, they always make you forget everything else. And it always feels good to read them again. These are just a few of mine ... which ones are yours ?

Friday, July 27, 2007

one in ten

Pocket bag #111, made for the one in ten auction for Eireann's mom. Please don't forget to check the site on August 19th, there are so many beautiful handmade items being auctioned.

Materials: linen, wool and japanese cotton fabrics

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

42 granny squares later ...

Yeah, it's finally done. Can't believe I've worked on this blanket since March, it feels like forever. It was the perfect project for those nights I'd be watching my favorite tv series or movies. The beauty of crochet for me is that it can be done quite absent mindedly, and it's hard to get it wrong, quite differently from knitting or sewing. So here it is, my granny square blanket/afghan finally finished.

(the total number of squares is 42, and final dimensions are 160 cm x 130 cm)

definitely looks good over the bedroom cabinet

detail of how the squares were joined (using the single crochet method). The front looks smooth and seamless

detail of the back, where you can see the join ridges. I actually like this side better

and folded

and you'll probably think I'm crazy, but I'm already thinking about the next one. It won't be another granny or ripple (which, by the way, is not finished yet) but something altogether more simple. That's for another post soon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

doll quilt swap

It was another quiet weekend, busy with crafts and reading mostly. I did finish the doll quilt for the swap, and I think it actually turned out not too bad. Hopefully my surprise partner will forgive my lateness and my beginner's quilting techniques.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

bathtub playing

(these were taken a couple of weeks before Sushi got sick, they loved to play in the bathtub together)

Saturday, July 21, 2007


no, I didn't stay up all night reading (although that was the original plan, but I gave up after the first 100 pages), but I've just finished it now, so I'm anxious to discuss it with someone (girls, are you done yet ?). No spoilers, I promised, but I'd just like to say one thing (sorry guys, took that comment out, since it seems a lot of people understood what I meant). And if they do it right, it's going to be a pretty fantastic movie.

Friday, July 20, 2007

thank you

hey guys ... thank you so much for all your support and kind words. A. and I really appreciate them. Sushi was our first cat, my first pet ever, and very special in so many ways.

I'd like to say just one more thing about her illness, because I feel it's important. She was diagnosed with FELV when she was just a kitten, about 3 months old, and most likely transmitted from her mom, so we knew that she would probably not last as much as other cats. FELV cats usually live around 4 to 5 years, and Sushi was just 3.5 years old when she was taken, but I've heard of FELV cats that have survived much longer so it's never a certainty.

She was such a happy cat and so strong however (much stronger than Amélie, who by the way tested negative to both FELV and FIV, much to our relief) that I always thought she's be with us forever. I'll never understand how some vets suggest that FELV cat owners should put them to sleep as soon as they're diagnosed, even if they're not showing any signs of illness. So if you're ever in that situation, please think twice before taking that advice, that's all I'm asking.

The house feels too empty right now, and it will take time before the pain goes away, but slowly, very slowly we're trying to resume our lives back to normal.

Because I like to share with you both the good and the bad, now it's time for something good. Let's start with a few sweet treats. Anna and I agreed to do a food swap a few weeks ago, and her lovely package came some days ago.

I'm looking forward to try that apple and cranberry jam, and the honey which looks delicious too (maybe on some pancakes this weekend ?)

And I'd like to let you know about the auction that Eireann is organizing to help cover her mom's hospital bills, who recently survived (much against the odds) a cerebral aneurysm. I'm contributing with a couple of items, so please stay tuned and check the auction which is happening on August 19th.

(and of course, tonight is HP night, so I'm guessing no sleep later on)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

still very worried

hello, all ... Sushi would like to thank everyone for the comments and get well wishes on the last post. Unfortunately the outlook is looking very poor right now. She was so anemic on Tuesday that she had to get a blood transfusion - thankfully she and Amélie were a match - and seemed to get a bit better after that, but she's still not eating unless we feed her with a syringe, and has developed liquid in her lungs. After discussing it with A. we decided to bring her back home last night. She has been staying at the vet's since Monday and put on IV, but was looking so uncomfortable and stressed that we thought it best if she could come home at least for the night. She did somewhat better last night, ate a bit more and even tried to get up a couple of times, but her breathing is so hard that we're worried she might not make it for much longer. The last alternative is to feed her through nose intubation but we're afraid she might not survive the anesthesia so we decided not to force that on her for now.
A. took her back to the vet this morning to get her medication and run some blood tests, let's see how that goes.
I know that putting her to sleep is something we might have to consider soon, since the last thing we want is for her to suffer in constant pain, but I really can't contemplate that decision right now. Anyway, that was the update. Sorry about the long worrisome post, but I just needed to write it down. No crafts or anything else this week (and if you've been expecting to receive mail from me recently, sorry but I didn't have time to pass by the post office yet), but the photo above is of the quilt top I sew together last weekend for the doll quilt swap.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Apart from the baking and a lovely dinner with friends (obrigada A + J + G) we had a very quiet weekend, worried sick about Sushi, who has been feeling very poorly these last days. She's quite anemic, a bit feverish, and has refused to eat anything since last week, so we're quite at a loss about what to do.

We've taken her to the vet almost everyday, but the medication doesn't seem to be having any effect so far. She's FELV positive, which makes us even more concerned, but the tests results haven't returned yet, so we're hoping that later today we'll have some news.

She likes the granny blanket, it seems, so I obliged and crocheted a few more squares. It's almost, almost done now, just a couple more to go and it will be finished. Soon, I hope.
And Sushi, when you get better you can have the blanket all to yourself (oh, and I won't even let Amélie share it, I promise)

chocolate & zucchini

A recent post by Anna reminded me of a recipe I've meaning to try for quite sometime now. It's the chocolate & zucchini cake of course, and although you can find a lot of recipes for this online, I wanted to try the one by Clotilde Dusolier, from the famous blog with the same name and one of my favorite food blogs all round (recipe can be found here)
The fact that it's zucchini season and that my in-laws brought us a huge shipment from their farm last week might have had something to do with this sudden urge.

Anyway, the recipe is quite easy and preparations were made in no time ...

We didn't have chocolate chips in the house though, so we had to improvise

Doesn't look quite so good, right ? But let me assure you that the final result is worth it

Hummm, what do you think now ? It was bitter enough for A. and sweet enough for me, so basically it was perfect. And a bit crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, like all chocolate cakes should be. And no, you definitely can't taste the zucchini anywhere.

And I showed you the dessert first, but here's a shot of lunch too: fresh tagliatelle with spinach, dried sun tomatoes and feta cheese, one of my pasta favorites.

Friday, July 06, 2007

serger machine suggestions, anyone ?

summer is finally here, and with the temperatures rising so fast I'm planning to sew a few summer tops and dresses for myself. Getting a serger machine (máquina corte e cose, em português) is something I've meaning to do for sometime now, and especially if I start making more clothing it will be a good investment. I know nothing about serger machines, though, so maybe some of you could give me advice ?

I've had some brilliant advice from Tany already (whose blog I found by doing some google searching on this subject, and ended up reading her invaluable posts here and here) and after making a couple of calls to local stores I'm now undecided between this Singer model , the Bernina 800DL and this Pfaff. I've read that Babylock seems to be one of the best brands but unfortunately I don't think I can get them in Portugal (and I'm not sure I like the price that much either).
So, if any of you has any experience about serger machines, and these models in particular, could you please let me know ? I'm planning on going to test both these machines tomorrow (the Bernina will be a bit more difficult), and I'll let you know what I decide later on.

The photos above are of recently (and not so recently, actually) finished items that I hadn't posted before. From top to bottom:

:: bags and pouch, available now at Anthrop
:: crochet needle case, a custom order
:: several bookcovers, custom orders
:: bookcover and pouch matching set, another custom order

Thursday, July 05, 2007

sunny day list

Jane has been talking about rainy day movies (I've added a couple of those to my to-be-seen list, how come I never watched Easter Parade or The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ?), but what I've been compiling is my sunny day list (you know, when it's so hot that you can't bear to go outside) or the next batch of bbc period series. This summer will be all about costume dramas around here...

on more series I've been watching:
* dexter : loved it, which was kind of unexpected
* studio 60 on the sunset strip : still watching it, but it's been quite unappealing so far (how I miss the west wing !)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

pocket bag (#110)

available at the shop now, along with the last of the #69 summer bags and a few bookcovers that returned from a shop yesterday.