In the last week of Monchique, Julia prompted the idea of a pop up shop – the more I play with the patterns and photos I took whilst out there, the more I think it would be great fun and an opportunity to learn to do a crafty, shop and workshop space. I also stumbled over this very beautiful flat interior picture above in my photo collection – unfortunately the shop which we could possibly get along the main staircase alleyway in Monchique will most certainly not offer such picturesque interior opportunities. Let me label the idea as a-bit-far-fetched for now, but be assured to be updated if anything more specific comes of it.
In the process of completing all unfinished blog posts: I finally completed the Lisbon Craft Shop Map of the Alfama district. Especially the colourful, simple tiles of the Artesanatos de Portugal shop are worth a stop. Wish I had picked some up when I had the chance! This map is part of the gems of Lisbon Crafts blogpost.
Having made tile pattern earrings (top picture) I thought about what other kind of jewellery could be made. The answer is lots! Whether necklaces, buckles, rings or wrist bands… all that needs to be found for making nice jewellery is a good looking metal base (plate with loop or base with ring) to attach the tile pattern stickers from Moo, which I already got, or new pattern materials (half size) to which people would pay 8-20 EUR for the objects. (I am playing with the idea of organising a pop up shop in high season in one of the empty shops along the main staircase in Monchique to sell these objects alongside with postcards, nicely printed tea towel, coasters and of course the walking maps of Monchique.)
Everyone who has been with me to a beach or forest, they know – I like picking interesting things up to take home as a memento for this particular place, whether that’s a piece of chalk from the seven sisters or shells from Croatia. But rather than these objects sitting somewhere in a draw taking up space, I like to make things from it…. As so, with the Eucalyptus seed pots earrings below – these were picked up when Veronika, Janki and I tried to find the tree walk of Monchique, when we walked straight up a mountain along a path that had been cut by the machines that are used to harvest the Eucalyptus trees.
They smell good but lose ‘evil’ Eucalyptus seeds. In London however, in this climate I would think there is little chance of a Eucalyptus tree growing and taking over entire hill sides taking over the habitat of other trees and stealing all their nutrition as it was the case in the Serra de Monchique.
Having taken heaps of photographs in Monchique and Lisbon of tiled facades but not done anything with it whilst I was in Portugal, apart from making some into postcards. I used Moo’s 30% off deal to get stickers made from all these pictures I took to make the patterns more tangible for drawing, pattern making or whatever else I could not think of at the time of making this little sticker booklet. So, with thicker card on the back and flat ear studs to glue to, I made these nice ‘Aluzejos de Portugal’ earrings to be given away as a Christmas present. Who will be the lucky person?!
Pedro took us to his ‘barn’ where he distills to give him feedback on how he can improve the Medronho experience. From looking at the process there are 5 natural season experiences, all of which include sitting in a breath taking nature on a terrace with rustic furniture and a fire to heat the chourico as a snack or have some barbecued sardines. There are a few tricky situations which need to be thought about when taking a group of tourists from Monchique to the valley with the distillary – it’s a 20 minutes ride which only to some extent can be filled with talking about the road, the nature and the history of the valley. Once there, (the arrival should always be during daytime), the beauty and the house in itself take care of conversation. In the different seasons, visitors can be taken to view or pick the Medronho berries at the near by plantation at the top of the mountain, or can see the fermentation process or in fact actually help with a batch of Medronho.