Monday, January 31, 2011

... a cup of tea...??...

Already the last of the month...
This means... today's my sister's birthday!
And because it is her birthday
I decided to dedicate this post to her
and to our shared memories of growing up together as sisters.
The first thing I always think of when going down that particular memory lane, are our tea parties.
We used to celebrate doll's birthdays almost every day of the week just so we could have a tea party.
Some times, if we had behaved real good,
our mom would even participate
by supplying cookies or a cake
(that she would always bake from scratch).
Some other times we would send written invitations to the kids of the neighborhood and they would came and bring birthdays gifts for our dolls as well.
Then we all would have a birthday/tea party, with lots of singing and fun!
Maybe these childhood memories can explain the thing I have for tea
cups and tea sets.
Though in a very modest scale I do love to collect them and have a few, from miniatures and play toys to real ones.
At the left, just a few samples of my collection.
This knitted/felted coffee with cream cup
was made by me
after a Martha Stewart's tutorial.

The cup bellow is the only survivor  from my mom's real Chinese tea set (at the left),
with a woman's face at the bottom of the cup...
When you're drinking your tea and almost finishing it...
... this Chinese lady's face will show up at the bottom.
It's really neat and really precious to me.

And for last but not least,
a BD gift for my sister...
 ... this precious pic from our travel from Portugal to Mozambique,
on board of cruiser ship "Principe Perfeito",
around January/February 1964.
Because my mom was travelling alone with us kids
(to join my father in Africa),
we all would eat at the children's dining room.

In the picture:
my very pregnant mom
(Rui is the brother she was pregnant with),
my older brother, my sister (the baby) and me,
all very well behaved 
because there never was horsing around with my mom!

Happy Birthday to you

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sharing some reflexions and feelings

Today I thought posting a brief heads-up 
since I was not able to post in more then a week.
It was a busy week, new job related, and I wasn't able to sew
or do anything else crafts related.
The cravings however were huge,
and this morning I've been sewing and sewing,
working on a new hexagon table runner.

I thought I would share a little bit how I feel
about the new job experience.
 I think I've told you that this is a part-time job,
8 hours per day, 2 days per week,
as an over-the-phone interpreter.
As some of you might recall I am originally from Portugal,
so my language target for interpretation is Portuguese.
is situated in Europe,
the most western country in Europe.
Like Great Britain and Spain,
 Portugal was once a big colonial empire.

The Portuguese colonies would go
from South America (Brazil),
to Africa (Guine-Bissau, S. Tome e Principe, Cabo Verde, Angola e Mozambique),
Indonesia East Timor),
China (Macau)
and India (Goa, Damao e Diu).
It's understandable why Brazilians speak Portuguese, right?, as all of the former Portuguese colonies speak Portuguese also.

 The Portuguese language,
which derived from Latin and is classified as a "romanica language"
(along with French, Italian and Spanish), 
gave birth to all those Portuguese speaking branches all over the world, which have different accents, regionalisms and influences that absolutely differ from the original European Portuguese Language.
If I was able to spike your curiosity about this beautiful European country of mine, you can check out here for more information.
Coming back to my new job thoughts/reflexions...
Since the employer does not make the distinction
between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese,
both Portuguese and Brazilian languages are interpreted
either by Portuguese or Brazilian Interpreters,
And sometimes it's not that easy,
not only the accent is so much different as also
there are conceptual and cultural differences in both languages.

 Well... to put it all on one word: it's a very stressful job!

Very demanding and stressful,
since one doesn't know what about the next call will be,
and it can be about anything.

Literally anything:
medical, insurance, emergency services, legal, technical, federal or state services, court, legal...
... and one has to be ready
to quickly remember specific terminology types,
to be able to deliver a good, accurate rendition,
to be able to remember different customer services protocols
and so on and so on...
Overall... it's a field far away
from my professional special education background,
most customer service related,
with some nice and others not so nice CS representatives.
It's really demanding and stressful.
Will I keep on?
I can't honestly answer that question yet,
but it definitely leaves me with a nostalgic feeling on my soul,
from my days of teaching, and the contact with people in presence,
 real presence,
not just voices over the phone.

I hope to meet you all here again shortly.
Till then, you all take care.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Yellow Hexagon Table Center

I want to start posting in 2011 
by hoping all of you are having a pretty good New Year!

New Year resolutions..?, sure! Don't we all...?
But I've learned quite a while ago
I need to take one step at a time, and that's what I've been doing.
I did finish my latest project,
another hexagon table center.
This one's a bit different
from the ones I had made for Christmas gifts.
I have just been playing with whatever I can do with hexies,
experimenting new finishings, backgrounds, backings, 
colors, final composition and so on.

For the runners and table centers backings I have been using felt, for the simple reason it gives it a good, sturdy and "clean" finish,
and plus felt backing it's just perfect for a table.
Also I've been using applique stitches
to secure and at the same time quilt the top to the backing.

It's snowing again today
and believe me,
it's not very normal here in East Tennessee to have this much snow and this often, specially so early in Winter.
The beauty of it is only overcome by the hazard it brings,
our area is not as well equipped
for this kind of weather

as for instance the area where my son lives, in Canada.

I've also been busy getting ready for my new job,
lots of studying and updating on specific industry terminology in both languages (English and Portuguese).
As you might remember,
 I took an over-the-phone interpreter job
and will start working next weekend.
I have been on training and will finish it early coming week.
Still feel a bit nervous and anxious,
it's definitely a completely different professional field from my special education teaching career,
but hopefully everything will be alright.

And for today this will be it.
I'll see you all soon!