Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Slow but steady.

In the absence of a suitable weaving space it has been a no weave start to the year, with a possible 3 month wait still ahead. This can be an extremely frustrating but not a completely negative nor unproductive time.

I managed to finish a quilt that I started many years ago. It was sent as a gift and I have been told that it was very well received by a very happy toddler. Many years of joy. Hopefully the antique white linen used within the pattern will hold up to what I imagine will be some extreme use.

Spring and Summer are always the most demanding seasons on the farm. Not having the space to weave means that I can concentrate on sowing, planting, harvesting and transforming as well as making things "pretty" around the place.

We have among other things:
-many tomatoes to make delicious salads with chioggia beetroot, tarragon and basil.
-an abundance of melons, more melons and watermelons.
-beetroot and cracked black pepper flavoured kombucha as well as other flavours like hibiscus and lavender.
-chickpeas to make all the hummus imaginable.
-a happy well mulched smaller and more decorative garden.
-red onions on their way out and more brown ones to come.
-beans and more beans including some very special Japanese representatives.
-a freshly lime washed house with all the blue oxide trimmings and the obligatory "evil eye".
-fermented cabbage that is beyond delicious.
-corn, corn and more corn that will feed Murça the pig for months to come and which we have also ground to eat when the weather cools down.

So far so good. 

I leave you with Richard Brautigan.

"Karma Repair Kit: Items 1- 4

1. Get enough food to eat,
and eat it.
2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
and sleep there.
3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise
until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
and listen to it.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Esquilo Handmade & Casa Mãe, Lagos

I am very happy to announce that you can now find Esquilo Handmade scarves for sale at the Casa Mãe Loja in Lagos. Casa Mãe recently opened its doors. It is more than just a Hotel, also offering seasonal fine dining, bar, farm-to-table café, contemporary Portuguese design concept store and more with other exciting activities to come in the future. It is a showcase of Portuguese design with just about everything there found, from notebooks and pencils to toiletries being a bespoke design. If you are in Lagos, and not staying at Casa Mãe, I strongly recommend you drop by and enjoy a wander around.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Two of a kind

Once again the loom was set up to weave two scarves and the result are very different pieces that share the warp but not the weft. I played around with the density and one scarf, as a result of being less dense, is also lighter and softer. 

There is no lack of inspiration around me:
our everyday view;
my childhood beach;
holding a balloon at the local fair;

By Mary Oliver
"I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It's like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
       full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story."

With time it becomes easier for me to read the whole story.

Monday, October 31, 2016


It is not the first time that I take to my bag of leftovers and tie short bits of wool together to make a new length of yarn. This time around I found it very therapeutic. Somehow the process reflected more or less my state of mind and it was soothing to re-connect and make use of otherwise seemingly useless bits of colored wool. As the scarf grew so my mind settled somewhat and recomposed itself enough so that I could concentrate on more than just the task at hand. The result, off the loom, are two scarves with the same warp but two vastly different wefts.

The change of season is very welcome, Autumn will bring much needed focus and awareness. I find that the month of October and the beginning of the seasonal sleep, is for me quite the opposite of what could be, by some, considered the approach of dormancy. This season brings no more nor less transition than any another. But for me, it is always a new beginning, a chance to look forward and to reap what the summer has left for me to reflect on and fill me with, both physically and spiritually.

Nature, continues to surprise me with its "I do my thing" way of being. A walk on the hill reveals that nature does not cease to contemplate, it just goes and does. The Carob tree, my new favorite tree, has dropped its pods and has flowers ready for the next. Anyone who has ever entered into the understory of a carob tree knows how extremely beautiful and comforting these trees are. The wild thyme that looked all but dead and dry a few weeks ago begins to show its first tiny green leaves.

Some weeding in the old veggie patch reveals that here there is also much life. The yellow caterpillar is that of the black swallowtail butterfly. The chrysanthemums, after one year of sleeping have also revealed what until now had remained a mystery, a bouquet of pink flowers. The tobacco plant is taller than I am and has giant leaves.

From the unknown underground I have tubers and roots, sweet potatoes and equally sweet carrots. I won´t go hungry, this much is true. 

Happy All Hallow´s eve.