Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tomato... and friends

This summer holiday I decided to sow some tomato seeds. They grew pretty fast. Then I got some basil plants to keep them company and before I knew it I had tomatoes. The basil grew way too fast and crazy and so I made lots of pots of basil tea and the tomatoes I never got to see beyond their little green stage. Instead we made a fish stew with the basil and the tomatoes we used there, well... I guess they serve as inspiration for the little green ones. I wonder how they are doing these days.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Get your tools...

A day trip to the markets in Sabugal. My favorite stalls were those selling tools and traps and pots and all sorts of farm and working implements. It gets very cold here and there is a very big fireplace culture both of warmth and cooking. The cast iron pots are used for cooking soups and stews in the open fire and vary in size. Then there are the bellows to get the fire started, woven palm fans used to get the coals started on a bbq and little brooms to sweep ashes and other bits around the house. Bird traps, rat traps, sickles, bells, horseshoes, seed planters, funnels... so many interesting things.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hello... linen.

Linen thread.
Linen thread used to crochet a border around a loom woven linen fabric.
Coarse loom woven linen used to make bags to store and sell seeds.

Fine hand embroidered linen curtains.

Yesterday I found out a little about linen. The linen plant is relatively easy to grow but the process of transformation from harvest to a finished product is very complex and labour intensive. There are few people working linen the traditional way but I have been told there is a town nearby where I might still find old looms weaving linen among other things. I will need to find the time to check this out. In case you are wondering the linen in the photos is from a small country town from the interior of Portugal called Meimão. Linen is no longer produced here but there are still the remains of cloths from years gone by that can be used still today to create beautiful things. I am hoping I can get some to make a cushion cover... this will be one of my next project.

Esquilo Handmade is the continuation of Esquilo Handbags. Over the last year I started making more than just bags and so it made more sense to make this transition. If you used to follow my last blog then please follow this one from now :-). Here I will continue to post about the things I make and things that I like... I hope you like them too.