Wednesday, November 28, 2012


One man´s trash is another woman´s treasure. And so it was that all of these beautiful things came to be mine. Among the loot were 2 patchwork quilts which I need to repair because some of the fabrics are torn. It will be a fun job.

It is getting super cold outside (and inside), temperatures will drop to -3 and they say it will snow at 1000 meter altitudes and above over the next few days. Uuuuu... that should be fun. I am not particularly fond of the cold but I have never lived in a place where it snows, and even though it will not snow here, our town is at the bottom of a valley, I am sure it will somewhere near. Today the small pond at our place and the water in a bucket that had been left outside overnight had iced over.

I am continuing to work on scarves on the loom, but I can barely stand it in the studio. Today my breath was foggy! I have a gas heater, which is dangerously close, to keep me warm and I fear the whole right side of my body where it is nearest will roast or develop some long term damage. An alternative winter workspace is needed. The studio is just too holly to practically and inexpensively make and keep warm. This should not come as a surprise, it used to be a barn to keep animals and farm stuff, the walls are made of stone and the floor concrete. Perfect in Summer.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Very talented friends: Jorge Vaz Gomes

Photography: Jorge Vaz Gomes

I have been meaning to do this for quite sometime. I am getting a little tired of showing you my stuff all the time and considering I have some very talented friends it is a very good opportunity to share with you their work. This is the first of a series, we have to start somewhere, where you will see many outstanding talents. 

This Summer my very special friend Jorge Vaz Gomes came to visit me and the studio. He is a wonderful and very talented photographer. He describes himself as "... a photography and video plastic artist." I am glad he did not miss the opportunity to take some photos during his visit. These are just two of the photos he took. The first is of yours truly working away on a patchwork quilt and the other of the beautiful stonework window and the garden outside.

Today is the official launch of Jorge´s online portfolio and you can have a look at his brilliant work here, Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finally my first...

This week I finished my jacket. I wove it in 4 parts. The back and front were woven in one piece followed by the hood and the 2 sleeves. I was supposed to have made 2 pockets but in the end I ran out of warp, not due to a miscalculation but because I forgot I had decided to leave less than the recommended 20cm between each of the woven pieces. I think it looks great like this but the pockets will come in handy and so I will weave them separately when I get the chance. I had to make some unforeseen alterations because the original instructions were for a jacket made with much thicker wool but I think that considering that it was my first jacket and that the instructions were in French, it turned out pretty good. I need to thank my super helpful translators, Roni and Rui.

If you like this jacket and would like to have one made you can get in touch with me. Now I am getting on with weaving more scarves so that I can have them ready for sale as soon as possible, because if you live anywhere near this side of the world you must be feeling the cold by now. We sure are. Brrrrr.

This week I also finally managed to post a friend a small selection of wild aromatic plants I collected and dried during spring and summer to infuse and make "tea". I have a nice selection including St. John´s Wort, Pennyroyal, Heather, Linden, Lemongrass and Lemon Verbena.

I finally got around to visiting our town´s cemetery.

And I also at long last got to see Angelina bake her famous wood fired bread, which is absolutely delicious.

Today I realised after seeing the sun set on my way home that we don´t get to see it from our town. This is quite sad and even sadder to forget that the sun sets at all just because you have not seen it do so in a long time.

And so it seems it was a week for many firsts and finales, which as it turns out were actually the same.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rainy day, mushroom pillow...

Mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms. Some can kill you, some smell like aniseed and are excellent to make sweets. I have been exploring the countryside and am amazed by the variety of mushrooms. The other day I saw some that looked like fried eggs "sunny side up" and others that were tiny and looked like nests with eggs inside them. Amazing really.

There are also chestnuts to collect to roast or boil with aniseed and Irish strawberries to pick and get drunk on, straight off the tree.

I am making a hooded jacket on the loom and it is coming along nicely. But today it was so cold that it hurt to touch everything in the studio. As it turns out the studio is like a massive fridge. Great in Summer but not so great right now.

A book was given to me as a gift to help me learn how to sew. It will come in very handy. I also just realised that all the Heather that is still abloom all around our place is excellent to make tea and so I got busy collecting and preparing to dry it.

So many things to do.