miércoles, 10 de noviembre de 2010

I Love Italy

I had the most amazing time in Italy last September and eventhough my time over there flew incredibly fast, what I experienced was so wonderful. This time I mainly enjoyed the Veneto Province and was able to visit again one of my favourite cities ever: Venece.......and I had such a fun time there!
This is me enjoying a Spritz Apperol at St. Mark's Square. The first picture above this one is of one of the most beautiful churches I have ever visited: The Church of Saint Anthony of Padova where you can kneel infront of His remains if you are devoted to Him. I am and it was such an honor. The church has this Medieval-Venetian style that blows your mind! If you happen to be at Padova someday, don't hesitate on visiting this church and the whole monastery. It is gorgeous!
This is one of the canals of romantci Vicenza.......oh, what a City and what a promise! It is not as big and wide as Padova, but it still has the feeling of a city, which I like very much. Below is a picture of the City taken from Monte Berico, where the church of the Patroness Virgin of Veneto, la Madonna di Monte Berico, is. Another gorgeous church!

So, the end of my summer was mainly the promise of another life change for me. I am so very, very excited!!

Soon more postings!


domingo, 29 de agosto de 2010


What a month! Time flew and spent most of it setting myself up for a long trip. Kind of a leap of faith thing that I am so glad I did.
Among the many things I did was being able to finish three projects: two knitting ones and a crochet one. Above is a picture of one of them taken from Interweave's Fall 2009 issue: the "Berry and Bramble Cardigan" knitted for my mom.

The second project was finishing my "Wild Aster" project taken by the "Cottage Lace Cardigan" from Interweave's Weekend 2009 issue. I started it while living in Toronto and finished it in Mexico. I named it Wild Aster because during last year's fall season I got to know that flower in Canada. I liked knitting this project and I only took time to finish it solely because I was too busy knitting other things. The Noro yarn gives it such a lovely feel and texture. I love it.
The third project is a crochet one, Julia Vaconsin's "Big Bow Cardigan" that I enjoyed working on although the instructions given at Interweave's Crochet issue Winter 2008 were not entirely correct and basically I had to crochet it with a measuring tape next to me. I liked the results and was happy to see that it fitted well on me because I was worried it wouldn't!
I like its design. Sort of a combo between cute and fashionable.

So after a very tiring and long trip back and forth from Italy to Mexico I am looking forward to finishing more delayed projects........and starting new ones!
I hope to be back in Italy someday. Don't know where destiny will be taking me next.

Thanks for reading!

jueves, 29 de julio de 2010

A Great Month!

July was for me one of the best months of the year (and of so many other years). First, finally my dream of a new loom came true and I got one from my favourite brand and of my favourite size: a Colonial V2 floor loom from Leclerc. My congratulations to the company in Quebec, they provide the best of services! Here is Dolce posing infront of it. Oh, life is sweet!

Here is a picture of my mother and I celebrating our "Saint Day" (July 22nd) at a favourite italian place. My Mother looks wonderful, she is so special!

Here is a picture of my 12th project.........yes, I am bad. I have been trying to finish previous projects and have just started two more instead......anyway, two of the twelve are almost done, so I'll post about them very soon! :D

This other project is for my Mother and I am enjoying it a lot......still, if anyone is knitting it (featured on Interweave's Knits Fall 2009 issue) take note about a mistake I found on the "Berry-in-a-Box" pattern: Row 6 should read "dec5" instead of "dec4"

Happy Knitting You all and Thanks for stopping by!

lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

Canadian Experience.

So here I am ready to share with you part of an experience I had during the last semester of 2009 in Canada, specifically in Toronto. It is the recall of a few months only and I would not be so silly as to narrow down a canadian experience to just the one I had in Toronto, which is only a city in such a great nation. About the reasons why I am writing about it until today it is because I am now faced with new decisions that require me to chose for now between Canada and Mexico, but also because I owe it to my friends who supported me.

To make a brief introduction of the reasons that prompted me to seek Canadian Residency I can just say that I wanted to feel safer, but more than this to have a greater chance to go further in my career, that is as a fashion and textile designer. The journey that started in january 2005 and ended in september 2008 between the canadian visa authorities, my lawyer inToronto, the mexican authorities and I was a very suffered one that I only endured because the prize was "to high". You cannot imagine the great excitement I felt when I picked up my Candian Permanent Resident Visa at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City: a lifetime dream had come true.

Then, the preparations for the move, saying goodbye to family and friends, to colleagues, to my job, my home, my car..........it was all worth it, a new life awaited me and it was what I had prepared for all my life.
I won't say that I had placed all my apples in a basket called "Canada", because experience has taught me not to bet all in just one number, time would only tell, the only thing that surprised me is that such time came to fast and it happened in late November of 2009, months after I landed in Canada.

The first experiences were amazing, for me all of the new experiences I was going through seemed exciting, and they were so in every sense of the word. My welcome to Canada was just great, all doors would open, my visa was the key. Then things started to change, where it hurt the most: in the two things that prompted me to leave my country: safety and higher professional opportunities.
Toronto is not the safe city you think it is. I lived in Yorkville, one of the most expensive areas in the city, in a building with 24 hour concierge service where Maseratti's and Porsches were parked in the garage. I could see the Four Season's Hotel from my window and when the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) was on film stars hanged around the area with its high-end boutiques, bars and restaurants. But in the evening it was unpleasant to walk around the corner, as me and my dog saw everything from drug dealing to prostitution, from many homeless people to filthy streets. We lived in a building where drug dealing and call girls from Eastern Europe were our next door neighbors. Don't get me wrong, I live in a major city, Mexico City, and these things don't scare me, but when you are living in an expensive area surrounded by the above, well it is not pleasant, also because back home my neighborhood was a lot safer and cleaner.
So feeling safe was no longer part of the deal I made, I was willing to accept such new reality as long as the second, and most important reason of the two: job opportunities, would still be there. This is where I received the hardest slap called "Canadian Experience", meaning if you have never worked for a canadian employer in your field in Canada then you don't have it and so, you will never have access to the kind of job opportunities you are used to in your home country unless you get your first canadian experience at a job where the requirements (and wages) are low and far below your expectations: Starbuck's, Subway..........this was not part of the bargain, I immigrated as a professional skilled worker, and the mountain of documents to give proof to the Canadian Visa authorities of my abilities (proof of education, letters from my employers, etc, etc) I did not provide to end up serving sandwiches and coffee. Underneath such "canadian experience" lies a truth: racism. An ugly word that so many immigrants in Canada live with.
The above is the reality most people who immigrate don't talk about and you feel betrayed, and you start feeling worthless, frustrated and depressed. The initial excitement washed out just like the chilling autumn wind that hit my face like nails in every corner. Then you start missing everything you left, from the most dear to you to the most insignificant. "Forget Mexico" some canadian friends would say, but how could I when life where I came from was so good. I then had to make a balance and take important decisions before it was to late, that is, before I would have to forget about who I was, a textile designer with 16 years of experience. I became a keen observer of everything I would see in Toronto, I was no longer surprised to see that the ones wearing the nicest clothes were almost entirely caucasian, or that whenever spanish was spoken it was because I passed by a cleaning guy who was wiping windows in a building. It would feel awkard when they would greet me in english, as I do not represent the mexican or latino ideology most non-mexicans have, seems like I am "to tall, to white, or to educated" for a mexican. I am Mexico too!
One saturday afternoon a friend from Australia who was also having a hard time finding a decent job made me a question; we were planning on going to yet another job fair. "Where is your move right now?" she asked, "It has not left Mexico yet" I replied. My move included all of my furniture and the things I could not part with. She asked "Can you stop it?", and suddenly I understood what she was talking about. She had left Sidney, quit her job, sold her house, her car and given up on everything for Toronto, Canada. She lived close by to my appartment, and because her flat was not big enough, she was paying for storage. After almost a year, she still could not find a job that would value her many years of experience. Many times we would end up talking with nostalgia about the many things we missed from our hometowns, it was painful. The next sunday I took a decision and it was the best I ever took: I needed to close that first chapter with Canada and go back to Mexico. I did so sometime after, with five overweighted bags, my dog, and seven kilos less of flesh. To see the coloured roofs of houses from the plane illuminated by the afternoon sun, the city that is MY city, in a country where my ancestors from Europe set in roots and taught me to love and feel proud of, brought tears to my eyes. I now love my country even more, with all of it, its good and bad side, because it is mine. So now I am setting in roots again in Mexico and watering those that I did not dare to cut. I am excited about life again and grateful for the whole experience of being again at home, in my house, in my city, in my country.

I will go back to Canada, but do not know when exactly and it will be for short periods only with a different plan. Only time will tell, as it always does, perhaps in the end Canada will be my country of destination, but right now its not time. To anyone thinking of immigrating to Canada feeling that it is the new frontier, just do not fret into burning all of the bridges with your homeland, especially if you have an okay life, because in these troubled times, of so many uncertainties an okay life that you live everyday is better than a mirage.

A few days after I arrived back home, I went to look for a magazine at my local newstand. The owner saw me and with a smile asked me "Where were you?, I missed you", I looked at him, someone with whom for years I hardly exchanged anything more than five words. "I lost my way for a little while but I am back", I replied. He said "Good, here is your favourite magazine, I remember".

How wonderful is the feeling of belonging to a place.

Thanks for reading.

domingo, 31 de enero de 2010

End of January.

So January is almost over........the first month of the year gone and I am a bit behind my "New Years Resolutions".....well, at least the most important things are covered: trying to stay optimistic and healthy. The rest can wait!

So to celebrate the first month of 2010 (keeping optimistic!) I ran to take advantage of the great sales of the season and decided to get some new kitchen appliances: a new mixer, ice-cream maker and meat grinder all from Kitchen Aid. Yes! I am so happy and can't wait to start using them.
I say, are ice creams expensive where you live? This is the reason why I decided to get myself one: I don't like to be ripped off just because I enjoy having ice cream from time to time. One of my favourites has always been Pistaccio ice cream, and here in Mexico a one scoop of such flavor is half the worth of 500grams of ham. Is this right? I don't think so. So I already went to the market and got my pistaccios to make some ice cream.
Have you ever tried making ice cream by hand? I have, a chocolate flavor, but I nearly ruined my hands.....well at least it turned out fine. My second attempt was after trying a flan recipe from a friend: she told me to mix milk, two eggs and an excessive amount of mango to make up a flan, of course it was a mess and so I added some more cream and eggs and ended up enjoying mango ice cream for more than a week.......but that was it: I needed the ice cream maker, so I will wait until the sun decides to shine out again........my Kitchen Aid mixer's color? (you guessed right Zia) citron. :)

So now about my other passion besides cooking: knitting. I am almost about to finish a pullover that started many months ago, I think by April. Shame on me! but I have many reasons why it has taken me so long to finish it: I moved to Canada, then there was something about this pullover that I did not like: the "gatherings" at the front which in my knitting ended up being holes. I am a few rounds away from finishing this "Gathered Pullover" from Interweave Knits (hurrah!) and hope that when I try it on for the first time those holes won't bother me. Anyway.....it has been so cold in Mexico City that I could use another sweater!

Happy Knitting to you all!

sábado, 16 de enero de 2010


I wish you the very best for this New Year!
It is funny, there is always so much to do during the holidays and suddenly everything is over and we are now at mid-january. Time flies!

So, unless you are living in the southern hemisphere, I hope the winter has not been to bad for you. I am currently in Mexico but have to say that the low temperatures of 5oC or lower during the early hours of the day are horrible to take especially when it is rare to have heating in houses in my country. After having a very cold weekend last week I was happy to enjoy a bit of sunshine today and actually see a butterfly (picture above) in the garden. There's been lots of rain, combined with low temperatures. These past days though no rain but a lot of wind.......february is around the corner!

So after a busy season and cleaning my house out of any 'Xmas decorations, I decided to pick up again a project that has been waiting its turn for a while. Everything was going smooth until a horrible mistake showed up:

so now I am unraveling each stitch down to almost 20 rows.........so before I end up being frustrated and keeping it for another year (yes, I should be ashamed), in the meantime I started knitting the sleeves of the "Gathered Pullover" from Interweave magazine that is also waiting to be finished:
so far it is enjoyable.........I am still not that used to knitting with double pointed needles.

Since my last post it has been a bit of a rollercoaster period for me. Don't you hate it when something that was going well suddenly changes and you are then left with the frustrating sensation that you lost your time? I am thankful for the lesson but now I am just sad because I got a bit hurt. C'est la vie!

Well, even if knitting gets a bit frustrating it never hurts! :)

A big embrace to you all!

miércoles, 6 de enero de 2010

Felicidades! Auguri! Congratulations!

I wish you all the very best for 2010. Let's hope that this new year brings all of you, my friends and readers, a lot more sense of hope in these times of turbulence and uncertainty. May God and/or Life, gives you time to appreciate all the goodness that surrounds you.
Yesterday I received a letter from a good friend, in it he wrote something that I would love to share with you: "make the most of the time we have been given, by taking time for those we love......think about life's blessings. Take a short breath before plunging back into a hectic life. Then try to make this a habit. While at a red light, while stuck in the longest line at the grocery store....."

2009 was a very good year for me, I think it ended in the most unexpected and wonderful way as I have too many blessings to thank for. Among the greatest blessings are that I am alive, healthy and surrounded by the love of my family and friends. Another one has to do with Canada and its open doors for me; next, that the experiences I had in Toronto taught me great lessons about who I am and what I want in my life (the best experience any human being deserves to have!); then realize that I love my country, Mexico, and my city, Mexico DF, more than ever; and last but not least, that life keeps on surprising me with wonderful things and a gift that has to do with love and Italy suddenly appeared at my door.

Here is one of my favourite pictures of 2009: my wonderful brother with my darling nephew and me taken on Christmas Day.

I loved Christmas and did two things I love: knit and cook. Yes!
I think Christmas is the best time to do both things, especially since I like knitting gifts and treating family and friends with all I can cook........This last Christmas I almost finished a cardigan that I started in Canada (soon to be posted about here) and regarding cooking there were "French Fingers" cookies (mom loves them), Pandoro and chocolate truffles. For the Christmas lunch (Pranzo di Natale) my mom and I prepared a pumpkin soup, gamberi al burro with tarta salata di 5 formaggi (shrimp and cheese pie), cooked ham with roasted apple pudding and sweet potato pudding, together with artichoke salad, and for a nice finish, a New York style cheesecake with blueberry sauce.........thank God everything came out nice, tasty and healthy.
Anyone wanting the recipes, feel free to say so!

The last picture is a cute one. Being pigs special in our family because of what my grandfather built with them, an important pig's ranch, I found these little ceramic ones at my grandad's homeland these past december. The little wooden shed with a corn basket for them was a special addition to our Presepio.

Until next time!