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My lovely therapist told me to start painting again. I obliged, if only once since he asked me. I can understand how art is very therapeutic, it really works. Mind soothing, even. Concentrate on the paper and the colours and shut up all the noise in your head.

Mr D and I went to the store and bought all the materials and as you can see a bottle of wine as well. I just dabbed some watercolour on paper one night. Creating something can be a dirty process, in fact, it almost always is. Especially if you are messing about with paint and paper.  As the watercolour wouldn't dry I left it. The next morning I picked up the pencils and lines started appearing as I motioned it over the previous night's coloured shapes, no real thought given. A bit like apparitions, directly from my subconscious. A suspicious looking rabbit, a vomiting cat and some random faces is what came out of it. Feel free to interpret them as you want, because I have no idea.

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Easter in Edinburgh – 1st day

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My friends and I took the opportunity to take a short vacation up in Scotland, more specifically in Edinburgh, because of the 4 day long weekend. I'd been there before in the early noughties for Hogmanay and it was very different to see the city in the sun, as opposed to covered under a layer of snow.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, its Gothic charm and history is very appealing to my aesthetic sensibilities. Although we got there at lunch time on the Friday we still managed to walk around and explore a great bit.

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As a lot of walking was going to happen the most sensible thing to do is to wear sensible shoes I can actually walk on. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to road test the Shoeps shoe lace replacement, by Gumbies. The laces on these Converse were getting a bit manky so I just binned them and put the Shoeps on them. They did really well, after walking for miles they didn't snap and are really comfortable. Now I want to have all the colours so I can make a Shoeps rainbow on my shoes! What else did I wear? Easy: Dress - Yumi (second hand), Cardigan - Fat Face (not a brand I usually shop at but I had to pick it up one time at the airport when I realized I had put my cardi in the checked baggage, d'oh!), Shoes - Converse All Star (found brand new with tags in a charity shop in Lisbon, aeons ago), Long Sleeve tee - Primark

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As always, I have lots of material to show you. Will be posting over the next few weeks, hopefully. Have you ever been to Edinburgh too?

Made in Portugal – Shoes Closet

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As you know and seen before, I like showing quality items that are currently being made and designed in Portugal. Well, this last visit I had a very pleasant surprise: Shoes Closet! I didn't know the brand and wasn't at all aware of its existence but was drawn in very quickly when I accidentally wandered in to their concept store at Embaixada (a sort of mini luxe shopping mall with new brands and designers in the Principe Real area).

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I was attracted by the shoes and then by how nice everyone was. I spoke to the sales manager Gisele and she showed me the collections and explained the inspiration behind them. I was even shown a sneak peek of some boots that weren't yet on the shelves. I was given permission to take photos and rearrange the shelves if necessary. They were all so nice and the shoes so amazing I decided I would do a blog post just dedicated to the brand. That's what you get for being so nice!!! (unlike other people but that's another story).

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The brand not only prides itself on the craftsmanship that's a staple of Portuguese shoe making but also on our cultural and historical roots, using traditional fabrics and patterns in some of the collections. The fabric you see is called chita, a word rooted in the sanskrit chintz, as it was brought back from India in the 17th Century to Portugal, where a local version started being produced.

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Buying a pair of shoes here is buying something unique and very Portuguese. You can't buy them on the internet just yet but according to the website, that option will be available very soon.

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