Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's a dog!

Yes, it is REALLY a dog. Not a piggy, not a "mini-cow", but an English bulldog called Rhimma. She belongs to my friend Marcia and loves going to my house in Rio - she even knows the way. She's really sweet...

(The title of this blog was suggested by David, her proud papa...)

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 12:08 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Latest necklace pics - The Amalfi

(PS... I am reposting this entry as to include the necklace name... Andrea, 26th Nov'08)

Well, I could not wait to post the pics of my latest necklace (called Amalfi, teal green seas, to remember our trip to that town some years ago). I made it on Sunday, and people are liking it, which makes me very happy indeed...

I used here:

- 3 big Murano beads;
- 2 silver Czech Fire crystals;
- 10 round Amazonite beads;
- 8 oval Czech crystal beads;
- Silver plated Bali beads as spacers;
- Small irregular silver Czech beads instead of metal beads;
- Tiny silver balls and small crystal beads near the clasp;
- 1 silver S clasp.

In detail:

You can see the little seed beads and the two silver Czech Fire crystals. The seed beads are very irregular, but I like their asymmetry somehow.

I am right now in a "green" phase, since my colour tastes are always changing. Every time, every season, I may have a different favourite new colour. And the "queen" right now wears green.

The Amazonite beads have a gorgeous teal shade and a pretty, pigmented texture. These and the Muranos I bought in a lovely jewellery shop in Rio.

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 11:37 PM 0 comments


OK! Time to show a bit of what I've been doing lately! The necklaces, as mentioned on my previous post.

My 2 first necklaces were made of plastic beads, during my course. I learnt how to bead with nylon, and how to make pins and assemble a necklace only using metal chains. I also learnt a basic knot using a cotton thread for a more casual look.

Here they are:

Used nylon on this one...

On this one, I put beads to
gether with eye pins and links, no thread.

So, these were my first ones! They look very unprofessional though, due to the quality of the beads (plastic, training purposes!), the fact that they were my first ones, and also the extremely poor quality of the pics themselves. If I don't have my tripod with me, I am at a loss, I must say. Also, having Mark to help me is essential, no?

To another one now... This one was remade from an existing necklace: not using all the beads, not following its original design (and bad finishing, by the way!), and adding completely new beads. That means I recycled a necklace that my Mother had and never used it. There are some nice Murano beads on that one, as well as wood, metal and crystals. No plastic! I liked the results and so did Mom...

Redesigned and recycled.

On my friend Marcia.

Unfortunately, this time I had to use the mobile camera, which is a very low res. This is because I had some problems trying to open the battery compartment on my camera and ended up by locking it up, d'oh... But it gives an idea.

Another one is an Antica Murrina pendant, also belonging to my Mom. The only thing I did here was to add some metal and black Murano beads and a gold-plated S-clasp. I reused the ribbon that came with it and shortened it a bit. My Mother has threaded the beads for me, so, I just redesigned it, no hands-on:

You can see the beads (Murano and gold-plated tubes) and new clasp.

I have also remounted a big Tibetan necklace for my Mom, that was completely broken. That took quite a long while, I must say, mostly because of the tiny chips of turquoise and jade. Could not get any decent pictures though, they were all completely out of focus. Again, the lack of a tripod (and probably old age too) is to blame. Hhhhmmmm...

Anyway, this was a long, long post.

(Tomorrow, I will publish the pictures of my newest necklace, that I made last Sunday.)

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:19 PM 0 comments

Back from Rio!

I am finally back from Rio, where I stayed 2 months, ie, since Aug'29th. I arrived last Wednesday and, since then, I am feeling a bit down - but it's always like this when I come back from my home town. I miss it lots!

By the way, Rio is still pretty and the weather was quite gorgeous - the way I love: not too cold, not too hot, just mild, breezy and perfect.

News in brief:

- Diet - I am on a diet since, dunno, July maybe? And all is working and going well. My Dietician is great, dr. Mary, here in Blackrock Clinic, I love her.

- Gym - along with the diet, I am going to the gym, here in Dublin and also while I was in Rio. That helped me loads too. I mean, helps me (present tense). However, since I came back, I did not go yet. Ha ha...

- Weird stuff (aka, "shit happens") - the day after I came back, I went to my local Post Office and when I left, I fell on the floor, face down. Yeah, I kissed the ground. Literally. The only thing I saw was people coming to help. Two lovely ladies brought me to their shop, where they helped me cleaning my face (blood everywhere) and gave me sweets. It seems I fainted, and it happened again inside the shop. Well, I cannot remember much, but it's true that I was a bit dizzy (as quite usually nowadays) and did not have breakfast, so... I am lucky that I did not break any teeth or nose though. Well, I am bruised - but even that is starting to clear up now.

- Jewellery - yes! That is great! I made a very basic jewellery course while in Rio, in a shop where I used to buy my own necklaces and stuff before! It was very good, and I was loving it. Well, I still am loving it because I've been making some nice necklaces and buying some beads and findings out of eBay lately. Next step will be a more detailed, advanced course if I can or perhaps a good book. I am super-interested in the materials that can be used and mixed: gemstones, glass, crystal, wood, porcelain and so on. No plastic though. I love the weight of real stones and glass instead. Wires and threads are also interesting me deeply right now! Anyway, will post some pictures of what I've done later tonight - or more certainly, tomorrow.

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 8:42 PM 0 comments

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Back from Rio

I am back from Rio since last Sunday, the 22nd. I miss it lots of course. I had a nice flight back, ate some ice lollies and had a nice chat with some guys I met in the plane. It was OK. I also listened to lots of J-Pop songs while watching the films that were on. Yes. You got it, at the same time. Just reading the subtitles and listening to Japanese songs, which sounds a bit weird. But hey... Life is too short, right?

As Mark blogged about today already, we are fascinated with our new domestic appliances. It was a hard day though. but the house is (almost) spotless now. And we are very, very tired!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 7:24 PM 0 comments

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Back to the Gym!

Today I went back to the gym, after 4 days at home! Feeling much better! I did 12.6km in the bike and 2.5 in the threadmills! Very happy with it, it's quite a challenge, but I am loving it!

I took the picture below 2 days ago, in the library here, and used a color pencil effect from an old version of Paint Shop. I like the colours of the background, with the books and pictures in the wall...

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 5:06 AM 3 comments

Thursday, March 22, 2007

News from Rio...

Long time no posts, I know, but I am sort of taking a rest from computers in general, just relaxing and taking it easy.

Mark went back to Dublin on Sunday but we have been talking everyday of course. I miss him lots, and wish he were still here, but it's only 5 weeks now until I come back!

Only problem is I got an infection (caused by the so-called rotavirus), and was forced to stay home since Monday night. I am taking antibiotics and today, for the 1st time, I felt better and started eating like a human being. Until yesterday my diet consisted of 1 banana and 1 apple every meal, which is bleahhh... Really. But today I had a little grilled fillet steak with broccoli and mashed potatoes.

I missed the gym for 3 days but tomorrow I will be back, unless I relapse, which is very unlikely. So, I have not much to report since Mark's departure.

Apart from that I've been talking to my Mom and Maria and it's always a laugh because they are nuts! Maria is such a character, with all her folklorical stories of crazy ghosts and werewolves and she really tells it with such a vivid body language and emphasis that I almost die of manic, compulsive laughing... And mind you, these are things that "happened to me", she says, very seriously. Like the ghost in the banana-tree: "Do you know ghosts love banana trees??", she asked me, and then started to recount the episode... I will not relate it here since it's something to be heard directly from the source! But I have lots of fun with these 2 ladies here!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 11:54 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In Rio!

Yes! We are in Rio, finally! We arrived on Feb 25th. Mark will come back to Dublin next week, I think on the 18th, and I will stay until April 20th!

What have we been doing? Well, I am going to the local gym here, just across the road from my Mom's house, and I am loving it, although somehow it seems harder than the one in Dublin. Well... They made an evaluation today and I am kinda depressed, because I need to do something about my general form asap, and so on... At the same time, I am also excited, needless to say. It's gonna be though, but I am up to it. Plus, the staff are great and are always watching what you are doing and helping you with the machines. That's very good.

We have been as well to nice places like Academia da Cachaça, which Mark loves, and the new high-tech mall here in Leblon, the Shopping Leblon, which offers great shops and fantastic architecture. Unfortunately we are not allowed to take pictures inside. That is a bit ridiculous, of course, but at least the security guys are very polite.

And what else? Meeting friends and going places, all very relaxing... I will try and tell more about it these days, in short little blogs - if laziness allows me!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 10:16 PM 0 comments

Sunday, February 26, 2006

In Rio!

I am in Rio now! The trip was fine, we arrived last Monday and everything was OK. During this time (6 days now), I was able to treat a root canal in one of my teeth. It was great. I actually enjoy going to the dentist. Well, sort of...

Anyways, it was so good that I even managed to sleep during the treatment. And it only took 4 or 5 hours (maybe less) in total.

We have been to nice restaurants as well. The one I liked the most so far was the Quadrucci, here in Leblon. It's a fancy Italian restaurant. The highlights were the Oz cocktail (Absolut vodka + strawberries + passion fruit + grapes) and also Mark's brownie with curry and chocolate sauce! That's an unexpected combination, but so adorable! Who could tell curry would go so well with chocolate?! It's amazing, very aromatic and exceptionally tasty. The Oz cocktail was my choice. I had only one drink and a bit of a hangover the next day. But it was worth it. Thing is I am not a drinker. So, only one meagre 1/2 pint will already make me a bit dizzy. But it was nice.

Now, I am expecting that the Quadrucci people will, one day, release some curry truffles! That would be great, think about it... I know it sounds weird, but chocolate + curry are a heavenly mix.

What else? I do love Rio! However... There are two things I really hate about it:

1 - The heat - TOO HOT!!!! Make it 40 degrees (Celsius, of course). I cannot stand it. That's why I stay home most of the time or, when required, leave after the Sun sets. Like a vampire. After I came to live in Ireland, I got used to the cold. Even nowadays, it's less and less cold over there, unfortunately. But my ideal temperature is now 5 to 10-11 degrees. I also feel the heat more after starting my MS treatment, ie, the Beta-Interferon injections. So, it's very hard on me. But the important thing is to be at home with my Mom and Maria, really!

2 - Cockroaches - I am scared to death of them. And in Summer they go crazy here. They fly, they are big and brown and scary. Well, I've almost been attacked by one last week, here at home. Miriam, Adriano, my Mom and Maria saw it. Mark just saw when I threw myself on the floor (he was in the kitchen at the time), trying to make an escape from the abominable insect. I could swear it was staring at me, ready to make a move, and my first thought was to throw myself on the floor to somehow avoid the confrontation. It worked, they killed the monster, but also had a fright when I started screaming and was suddenly lying and crawling on the floor. Well, I hit my elbows, but I am fine now! The little monster was quite round. Adriano says it was a bit like a "hunchback" cock-roach, not your normal average mid-sized, oval-shaped beast. Ugly, ugly, scary, scary.

And the list of abominable Rio things ends here. I love all the rest! It's great being here...

We've been to Miriam and Adriano's house last night and Mark took some pictures of the local band, which was on the streets playing carnival music and dancing. Lots of kids there too, with funny costumes. Noisy, but nonetheless quite interesting and very peaceful. In spite of all problems, Rio still is a wonderful place. The restaurants, landscape, great shops, everything makes it a great city to be part of.

Well, I am going now! Mark is leaving to the shops with Maria, and my Mom and I are staying at home now. I will rest a bit and then wake up again and read some Murakami. This time, I am reading the "Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World". As usual, amazing. Surreal. Beautiful. And funny. It seems this book has inspired the plot of "Haibane Renmei", an amazing anime series.

See you later!


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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 2:04 PM 1 comments

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Travelling to Rio Tomorrow

We are going to Rio tomorrow, to spend my Birthday! It will be great! I am really missing it. It's one year already, since we've been there last. I am looking forward to drink lots of coconut water - my favourite drink, which I cannot have here since there are no fresh coconuts around!

We packed today. Lots of things to bring! And tons of Hello Kitty mascots and netsuke! I have an obscene amount of them and sometimes I buy it (or win it) in duplicate. So, I am bringing these to give away as pressies. My Mother and Maria love them, although my Mom prefers the mascots because they have no little bells, so she doesn't make a noise while carrying it!

Mark says he will build myself a database so I can store pictures and descriptions of my Kitties. It's funny how I am so "old" but really enjoy these "childish" things. Maybe they make me feel younger? I don't know, but sometimes I wonder if I should really love them that much, or if I don't look silly or something! Well, everybody has a childish side, no? I cannot deny it. And I don't want to lose it either, I admit. I think it's healthy, I don't know...

Then, we'll be departing tomorrow and back on the 8th of March! We will spend Carnival there too, although for us it doesn't matter. I expect to watch some movies, mostly Spielberg's "Munich". I also hope to watch some "Desperate Housewives" episodes while there. And we are bringing Miyazaki's "Howl's Moving Castle" so we can watch it with Miriam and Adriano (and my Mom, of course).

These are the news. And, talking about "childish" things, a little memento of childhood here...

This is "meself" and "me Mom", when I was 4 or 5 years-old - something like that. I look like a brat there, but believe me, I was not.

Well, I will try and blog while in Rio - if we manage to get that damn broadband installed. Hopefully...


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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:50 PM 0 comments

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Time...

This is how Christmas in Rio looks like. The huge laser Christmas tree floating in the Lagoon, changing lights and patterns at every minute. I love it, and miss it so much!
We are heading to Ballina today, where we'll stay until Tuesday. Then back to Dun Laoghaire. I have lots of things to blog about, but not much time right now. So, I wish you a super lovely Christmas, full of light just like the tree on the Lagoon! And see you next week!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:45 AM 1 comments

Friday, July 23, 2004

Back to Ireland

It's been a long time since my last blog. As expected, I did not post anything while I was in Rio. We had a great time there, and this time I was completely relaxed, not worrying too much, about anything!

I need to tell about all the things we saw and did in those 2 weeks, skipping of course the travel in our way in! That was a nightmare! But at least we got all the suitcases and very quickly this time. But it was horrendous. At least this time Mark was with me. When it happened last year, I was travelling alone. They even put me at the Sheraton, with a wonderful bedroom, flip-flops and a fluffy bathrobe. But all I could do was crying, so stressed I was...

I was sick when we were there, as usual with a cough/cold. It seems this cough will never go away. And also, the bruise/burn in my tummy became very nasty and I needed to go to a Dermatologist there. She said it almost got necrosed! And prescribed me some topic antibiotic, which has improved things since the very first day. Well, not completely healed yet, but almost there.

We came back to Ireland on Saturday, arrived here last Sunday. All very tiring, but I happened to meet a lovely girl in the plane, Cristiane. She is a Brazilian living in Bristol, and we had a very nice chat. It was great. I will email her this weekend.

I was not very well this week and have been to my GP yesterday. It's the fatigue caused by my condition, and besides I was also quite dizzy and a bit nauseous today. So, I did not go to the office today, nor the day before yesterday. I expect to be back on Monday, as soon as I am recovered.

Mark is renting a car this weekend and tomorrow we'll go to a Serono training in the City Centre. They are releasing a new injector that hopefully will make these injections easier and, who knows, not as sore.

Now, it's time to go and read a bit, after a nice shower with lots of lemony shampoos and my new Molton Brown shower gel. Is there anything better than lots of lemony, citrussy, fresh bath stuff when it's Summer?? I love it, I feel very invigorated with these green scents... And I finally managed to get a bottle of "Hierbas de Ibiza" today, so, I am all fresh and comfy now...

Good Night now!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:50 PM 0 comments

Friday, July 02, 2004

Itekimasu!!! (Or... "I'm Off!!!")


I didn't post anything these days, because I was sick (again!). Yes, on Tuesday and also yesterday, but now I just don't want to talk about it!

Today is the first day of my Hols! Mark is still working though, for officially his vacations start on Monday.

I am here trying to make a pancake, I know I am a lousy cook, but I will give it a try. I forgot to ask Mark if I need to stir the mixture (he prepared it yesterday, so it's just taking it off the fridge) and, in those 10 minutes where the pan is heating, when exactly do I need to add the butter! Ah well, I will try anyways.

We are leaving home at 16h30 to go the airport! Cannot wait to get to Rio! Bringing some more manga and also "Big Fish" to read in the plane! Great!

And I want to spread the news about a new manga that's being released this week by Tokyopop: "Princess Ai". It seems quite interesting and it's also been co-written by Courtney Love. The artwork is very cool, as everything you can expect from Tokyopop. If you are interested, please check this link for a preview (it contains the very first chapter of the book for your appreciation):

I personally liked the graphics VERY much. And will certainly add it to my Amazon Wish List, he he!

Well... Now back to the pancakes. I messed it up. It was too big and it broke when I turned it up. But it was great, really. Horrible, but tasty. And finally, the 2nd pancake was burnt because I forgot to add more butter to the pan. Living and learning. Now I know, and the next time it will not be as bad, I am sure!

Well, talk to you now when I get to Rio! Sayonara!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 11:10 AM 0 comments