Sunday, April 19, 2015

A New Project: A Portuguese "Arraiolos" Rug

I'm starting a new project that is a new "Arraiolos" rug. It will be the 4th rug I will make. 

This project started in a very funny way, as an American lady contacted me, because she had seen some "Arraiolos" rugs in my blog. She needed some help to be confident how the stitches should be made. She needed help from someone who was experienced in making the rugs and also spoke English.

As a result of our contact we have decided to embark on the same project (to create identical rugs). I have sent to her the materials required for this design, because at least the wool must be a very specific type and quality. 

We chose a classical design that is called "Good Fountain" and was inspired from the Portuguese tiles manufactured after the 17th century. 

The dimensions of the rug are 165 cm x 115 cm.

Here is a photo of the rug and the pallette of colours we have chosen:

"Fonte Boa" (Good Fountain)

Here is a detail from a part of the railway station of Santarém (my nearest town), showing some of those typical tiles.

Here are some old photos from the rugs I have previously made, myself. The design of this last one was created by me.

Here you can see how the back of the rugs should look like.

I hope I can show some progress soon.
Until then...

Friday, December 26, 2014


Even though I haven't posted since February, because I haven't been doing any handwork (due to too much work and a mended heart, which makes me feel tired all the time), I didn't want to pass this time of year, without wishing you all much health and Happiness to all.

May 2015 bring each one of you everything you wish!

P.S. Having a graphic designer as a husband, allows us to personalize our Christmas Cards. Don't our girls look fabulous?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A bit of progress

We are having a beautiful weekend, after having been hit by yet another storm, and being surrounded by floods.

My poncho is now getting some form, even though I didn't have much time to work on it, as I had a very busy week.

I hope it will be ready to be worn at some time still this Winter. It looks very blue in this photo, although it is green.

Here is a photo of my sofa companions when I am knitting. 

In order to keep me company,  they have to be cosy -  they don't "work" without having good conditions.

 I hope you all have a very good week and until next time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What a harsh Winter!

Yet another Atlantic storm - this one is called "Stephanie" and is starting to hit Portugal, along with all the other countries of Western Europe, such as the British Isles. I hope this huge storm is the last one and from now on we can have just a "normal" Winter.

Here at home the girls made themselves very cozy on this very wintery Sunday, as you can see...


... as I try to knit a bit.

At the moment I am knitting the second rectangle for my poncho, so that I can put both parts together and assess the right size for both parts.


I also have been stiching a bit on my M. Quertier (1799) from a Scarlet Letter chart. Just instead of stitching in black, I am doing in colour as you can see from the photo


I like to have different WIPs on, so that I don't get borred in working only on one thing... well to tell the truth I have several cross stitch WIPs on... I'm sure I'm not alone there!

Tomorrow another working week begins and let's see what I can do in the handwork front and if I will have any updates to show you next week.

Until then I wish you a very good week and a milder Winter.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Portuguese knitting

Since last September I have been working full time, although in this school year I am not teaching, but representing the Ministry of Education in our local council in the Commission of Protection for Children and Young People at Risk. It is emotionally demanding, but it is something that really touches my heart. I was already in the Commission at the time of my heart attack, followed by the heart operation. Now I get easily very tired, but I am coping with it.

For all I said I have not been cross stitching as it strains me more, but have been doing some knitting, as I always need to have some handwork ongoing to relax.

This photo shows how we, Portuguese, knit. We work with the thread either around our necks or hanging from a pin.

I have already knitted a baby's coat for the baby of a friend of ours, but unfortunately I didn´t  take any photos.

I also knitted 2 scarves for me and asked my girls to model them, so that I could show them to you.

My baby Josephine didn´t mind at all, but Georgina says modelling it's not her thing...



Now I'm knitting a poncho, made out of 2 rectangles.

 I will show you how it turns out when finished.

Until then, I wish you all the best and if you come by, please, leave a comment.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I hope you are all having an awesome August and the ones on holidays, are really enjoying it. 

 My cross stitching is still pretty much on the side, as Robert and I have been decorating and I also have been sewing. 

 After a lot of debate we decided to adopt a new baby dog, not to fill in Robin's place, but to make the household whole again. Georgina was still feeling a lot to be on her own, especially when we had to go out. I also needed more nice and healthy confusion at home.

 Josephine was adopted from an association of volunteers that don't even have a shelter, but they do their best to protect, feed, take to vets and find adopters for the animals, that are abandoned in their town

 Josephine's mother was abandoned either when she was pregnant or after with her babies. They were found by a volunteer in a park by a chapel: mum, 2 brothers and her. As she didn't have much contact with humans, she is rather a very timid and fearful girl. But Georgina adopted her as soon as she set her eyes on the baby and feels very protective and "motherly" towards Josephine. 

Here are some of the photos of our family new addition.

The last photo is from Josephine with her mum and brothers. 
She is the one on the right and she must take after her dad, as she doesn´t look like her mum at all. She's thin and long-legged. 

 Soon I will post more and this time I will show some progress of my projects. I wish you all a nice Sunday and week.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Greetings

I wish you all a very pleasant Easter and I would like to thank all for your warming words. I'm still not over the loss of my robin, but life has to go on and he always have a warm place in my heart.

 Still no needlework progresses to show you, but as I'm about to start my holidays, I'm hoping the need to stitch will grow again. For the moment I'm feeling very tired.  

 Have a great day!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Robin left us!

Since my last post, ages ago, my life has been chaotic, as I went back to work. Time to time my heart complains with all the stress and tiredness, but in the whole it is coping very well.

So, my stitching is on hold for the moment and I have nothing new to show you.

My 2013 hasn't started in the best way, because right in the first weekend of the year Robert got so sick to the point of almost having to go under surgery again. Fortunately treatment and constant care prevented that.

Last Saturday robin vomited a few times and looked poorly and in pain and I noticed I could have shingles. Robert stayed home with Robin and friends took me to emergency, as everywhere else was closed, being a Saturday. After 4 hours in the waiting room I was eventually examined  by the doctor and he confirmed I had shingles. Then I rushed home to take robin to the vet with Robert.

Since then and until Wednesday of afternoon it was sheer hell. Although he had saline drips, to keep him hydrated, intravenous painkillers and antibiotic, etc., Robin didn't sleep even for a minute and was in constant pain and suffering intermittant convulsions so requiring our constant vigilance and comfort. As you can image the pain caused by my shingles and sometimes high fever was completely put aside.

Then by Wednesday afternoon the vet took him over to give him a light anaesthetic so he could sleep for a few hours without feeling the pain. Later in the day when robin started to wake up he started to cry and yelp out as he had done previously. Before placing him in an induced comma the vet made some tests and confirmed his early suspicions that the kidneys had failed along with other complications.

On Thursday afternoon, Valentine's Day, robin passed away peacefully in his induced sleep.

I had the honour of sharing my life with Robin for 12 years and all the blessings, love and happy times he gave me.

Rest in peace my little one!
Forget me not...

                                                         (Portrait painted by "daddy")

Friday, October 12, 2012

Castelo Branco embroidery; Map of England... and of course Robin

I have begun my "sort of" Castelo Branco embroidery. I say "sort of" as I have never been taught how to do it properly - all I know is the result of my researches.

I'm pleased with it, but it has been difficult to work on a fixed frame. I like to work with the fabric in my hand and turn it around when needed. Like this I can't and had to figure out how to embroider the different stitches having the fabric always in the same position. Here you can see how the ladies embroider Castelo Branco.

My husband and I adapted his table easel to make stand for the frame. It looks quite good, don't you think?

I am using the natural silk threads that are used for this embroidery and they are beautifully smooth and the colours are very nice.

These are the silks I am using.

During Summer I also made some progress in my map of England. This is how it looks like now.

Today is Robin's birthday - 12-years-old! He was a Christmas present from a friend. It seems unbelievable that he has shared my life for the last 12 years.

This is his latest photo, grabbing 2 new bones - his own and his sister's Georgina.

Georgina is 4-years-old and we adopted her from a shelter. She had been put together with her sister in a bin, when she was around 3 months old. She is my shadow - every step I make she is right behind me... but she always follows "daddy" any time of day or night as long as he heads to the kitchen! 

I hope you come for a visit and leave a comment.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An update after all these months without posting

For many and various reasons - health, motivation, lack of time, ... I have not posted in many, many months.

So, here goes a first update of these months in what hand work is concerned:

1) I was very lucky to have been one of the three winners of the Side-tracked Give-a-way made by Robin of Crafting with the Stitch Witch.

2) I entered an embroidery competition recently.

3) Finaly some pics of the work I have recently begun - another try of the traditional Portuguese Castelo Branco embroidery. So far I am still in the preparation phase, but will start stitching most probably tomorrow and in my next post I expect to have photos to show you of some embroidery done.

This is another WIP to add to my growing collection!

In my next post, besides more photos of the progress of this work, I will show you photos of the progress I made in other WIPs.

I hope you come and visit my blog again and leave a comment.

Have a wonderful time... and until my next post.

Monday, February 13, 2012

DH Art Exhibition

My post today is not about cross stitch, but about something I am very proud of - the first solo art exhibition of DH Robert.

The exhibition opened last Saturday and will be held until the 10th March at the local council gallery.

In this past year he has been concentrating more on his painting and this exhibition includes most of that recent work.

As you can imagine I feel very happy for him and very proud, and so I felt like sharing with you some photos of the exhibition and of his paintings.

In the middle of the room there are some more panels with his watercolours, but of those I don't have any pics.

Here is also a link of a short film made and published in You Tube by an on-line newspaper:

Have a very good Valentine's Day and a wonderful week.