Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tu lips or not tu lips, is that the question?

Sometimes you just have to stop and see that you are surrounded. Tulips change from closed green buds to pink champagne blossoms. A poster is finally framed and hung on a wall trapping dust and small bits of fiber behind the glass. A purse wanders and wonders to be and by whom it will be held. From one hand to another.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Esquilo Handbags now has a catalogue for your delights.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ideas from the barn

I have finally finished my bag/coat hangers. Down south my cousin has an amazing farm where I sometimes go to, mainly loiter, eat oranges till I feel like exploding and throw the peels on the dirt. In one of the barns hiding in the dark and dust I saw tools hanging from cut off bits of branches and straight away I thought they would make for great coat hangers. So I found some branches lying around from olive trees that had been pruned and off and to sawing I went. For weeks they caught rain and then a little sunshine and slowly I peeled off the outter softer layer of bark. When they dried out completely I varnished them. Today, finally they are keeping our coats up in the air, barnstyle.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cat boy girl dove

This boy and girl live in separate windows of the same book shop. They are in the window of the Livraria da Câmara Municipal in Avenida da Républica nº 21 Lisboa. I fell in love with this couple and then walked away realising later that I knew nothing about them. Nothing that a little bit of investigative work can´t fix... and so the phone calls began...first to the bookshop where a lovely man told me that they were nothing important, just "two children", but that he thought they belonged to the Museu da Cidade. So I called the Museu da Cidade and there an even kinder lady, after many call transfers and an accidental hangup, looked into the database and told me all I need to know. The artist is a lady, Maria Gabriela Cordeiro Veloso, who practised during the New State and was active during the mid 20th century. Now if only I knew more about her...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bag Mobile...

A little blurry...or maybe it is just my eyes. This week I made a little bag mobile for want of a better way to display them. And a special gift came my way from the lovely lady at Viúva Lamego, Isabel, a tile she says was painted by...drum roll... Maria Keil.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Work has begun... and these are 2 bags in progress using embroideries from Viana do Castelo, with typical heart and garland motif. They are so "Viva la revolucíon".

But what is this heart thing? The , a chambered muscular organ that pumps blood and maintains it flowing through the circulatory system. Some believe it is the seat of our emotions, others that it is our spiritual centre. As a symbol this ideograph represents the abstract idea, LOVE. In Unicode the heart symbol is U+2665 and for those mathematically inclined a heart-shaped figure is called a cardioid. Cupid or Amor, as we like to call him, lends us the ´love arrow pierced’ heart symbol. Today it is commonly used to represent the pleasure and pain sides of love, adorn high school books, oldschool sailor arms and anything that moves on Valentine´s day.

But lets face it, Valentine´s day is not just a day for lovers, and in Chicago, year 1929, Al “Scarface” Capone kills 6 members of George “Bugs” Moran´s gang in what was later termed the “Valentine Day Massacre”, putting an end to the Irish gangster´s carreer. The same year Milton Glaser is born, considered one of America´s great designers of the second half of the 20th century. Glaser in 1976 designs a famous icon, “I NY”. And so, because he knows, I leave you with Mr. Glaser beneath showing us a little truth by Iris Murdoch about LOVE...really.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Workers

More pics and some happy workers sharing our space... meetings, bag orders, all sorts of things.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting closer in good The Company

Well... no more photos can be taken today but the space is almost, almost, complete. Tomorrow I´ll take some more pics and... let the work begin. Today I varnished some nice old doors for my mezzanine storage and they came up treat. What a difference a little scraping, a bit of elbow grease and a lick of varnish can make.

And, because it is better late than never, i´d like to introduce who i´ll be sharing space with... keeping me company will be "The Company". "The Company" are Bruno Gomes and Damian Irizarry, who I´m sure are and will get up to no good. They promiss to keep me posted.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Inside the studio: 1

The "unit" as I have come to call it is an amazing piece of shelving design. Every shelf, top & bottom, sliding door, side bit, top bit, long and short bit come as a separate unit. Then with a little imagination and a lot of patience you piece it all together like a puzzle with no solution. In the mail we received a surprise calendar from the city of Warsaw, Poland, with images from the Street Art Doping Festival. The month of February is spot on. The studio space is almost complete and by the end of this week if any of you are wandering around LX Factory in Alcântara, head up to the 4th floor of the main building. You will find me in front of COWORKLISBOA and next to Caco´s hairdressing Salon. Come in for a chat and a cup of tea!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sneak peek

Looking inside out...the new studio space is coming along nicely, tomorrow I´ll show you the inside.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

In Secrets

Picture source: Popular Science, Oct 1934
This article would have come in handy earlier this week. I feel so sneaky when I am taking pictures without asking permission. I normally ask but this time I couldn´t possibly face hearing a "NO!". And its not even like the pictures are amazing or of something secret, if it must be known they were taken at the storeroom of the Viúva Lamego shop in Largo do Intendente...and really it was so much more amazing than these pictures show, room after room of dusty tiles in boxes stacked on shelves that covered walls from floor to ceeling...a special room containing those which are no longer produced and one-offs put aside for restauration projects which included some of Maria Keil´s mural heart nearly stopped, I wanted to eat them. And it should be no secret that i am setting up a new space where I can work, making purses, designing and dreaming which I seem to do better than anything else. Will keep you posted and if you are Lisboa please do feel free do drop by and say Olá.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oh Secla... so sad

Secla founded in 1947 was once Portugal´s largest producer of utility and decorative earthenware, having closed its doors forever sometime last year. Last saturday I found these at the markets to add to my small collection. My favourite piece is my new bedside Jambe man, he is really getting into it. Sadly his feet were once broken off from the rest of his body, but someone had the care to mend him back together even if really badly. Sometimes things break and if we care for them enough or they are special enough to us we stick them back together. We have been mending objects for thousands of years.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mexican Eye Candy

The Pastelaria Mexicana is one of my favourite cafes in Lisboa. The cafe dates back to the 40s but was totally remodelled in 1962 and boy did they do a great job. I am actually now curious to have seen the previous decor. As with anything the details are what stand the test of time and this space has so much to give. From the glass aviary with tree trunk to the stained glass cactus feature, the warm walls and angled ceiling. The clientelled mostly looked like they were regulars from since when the place opened and I would be happy if I could say that 50 years from now I could be that old lady. No tequila in sight and no Chico´s Tacos either, instead a tile wall mural created by Querubim Lapa to delight old friends, new friends, lovers and x-lovers.

Where: Avenida Guerra Junqueiro, 30c, Lisboa
Near: Praça de Londres

Long overdue P.S. (made known to me 31-10-2011, published now 23-1-2012)
It was brought to my attention that the Architect responsible for this wonderful cafe is Jorge Ferreira Chaves. The panel to which I refer above was born from the Architect's intention to include on that section of wall a strongly coloured surface to contrast with the other more subtle tones. The space has for the last 15 years been in the process of classification by the IGESPAR but is now facing the risk of being declassified due to objections posed by the current tenants.

I strongly recommend you read more about this very important and influential Portuguese Architect. Here is a link written in English:
and two links written in Portuguese: