Penpalling & Letters

Sunday, 20 March 2011

"Cantinho das Artes e Lojinha da Inês" and Contest!

And here we have a new post featuring "The person behind the letter-writer". Penpalling & Letters special guest of today is Inês! Listen to her carefully because she will not only tell us about her amazing abilities and penpalling experiences. Inês has prepared a wonderful surprise for all Penpalling & Letters readers as well!

- Hello Inês! Welcome to Penpalling & Letters! It is such a delight you are participating in The person behind the letter-writer! We are really interested in hearing about your experiences regarding the world of letters and, of course, about your handcrafts!
Inês, would you like to present yourself and tell us about your experiences?

Hello! I am so happy and excited to be here participating in Penpalling & Letters! My name is Inês, a 29 year-old married girl from Portugal. I studied Journalism and I am working full time as a secretary at the moment. In my free time I love being creative!
As most of you can guess I am into penpalling for a long time now; sadly, not so much nowadays due to the lack of time, but it will always be one of my passions. I can affirm I have made true friends through letter writing! I started when I was sixteen. At that time my older sister was corresponding with a few people and I followed her steps. I found my first penpals in magazines and FBs (Friendship Books). Later, I found penpals on the Internet. The main purpose back then was to practice my English skills and talk about my favourite boyband at the time: "Boyzone"!
I also like postcards and I am registered in "Postcrossing". I love travelling through postcards, and especially seeing where my penpals live! I love swapping stuff, too, because it is a cheap way to get new things for my hobbies. I almost never use everything I buy, and soon I lose interest and want new stuff! I swap paper, ribbons, thread, fabric, tissues... almost everything you can imagine to do crafts!

- Inês, what do you like to create with your own hands? Could you tell us about some of the creations you usually work in?

I like to try everything! I started with paper crafts, then I got interested in cross-stitching and sewing, as well as decoupage. However, my biggest passion is cross-stitching! I love creating baby stuff like cloths or bibs and also small gifts like bookmarks, scented bags...

- How did you get started into handcrafts? What made you take the decision to start working on handmade stuff?

I have always liked to create things myself. When I was fourteen, I learned cross-stitching at school, at the "Handcrafts" subject. I don't remember if I stitched something in the period between 1995 and 2009, year in which my nephew was born. My mum had the idea of working on a handmade gift for my nephew (I stitched and she sewed): it was a little bag to put the dirty clothes of the baby when being born and while staying at the maternity. After this first work, many new ideas came to real, especially bibs. I, then, started a blog to show my work and some orders showed up! I also have always liked to make handmade cards for birthdays, Christmas, other special occasions... instead of buying them.

- How and where do you get the necessary inspiration to make every item?

Anywhere! Sometimes I am sitting in the train on my way home and suddenly I get a new idea. I also surf a lot on the Internet, especially on handcraft blogs.

- Which kind of materials do you use in your creations?

In cross-stitching/sewing I mainly use fabrics and threads. For paper crafts I use cardboard, every piece of cute paper I get, colourful papers, ribbons, applications, stickers... everything cute you can think of!

- Do you imagine the item you are about to start working in in your head or do you work on the item "improvising", you advance as inspiration and ideas come to your mind?

Most of the time I imagine everything in my head before starting to work. But it can happen I change some little details when I am already working on it because I notice it will turn out better.

- How long have you been working into handmade stuff by now?

As I said, I have always liked to make handmade stuff, but I do it more seriously for the last two years.

- How much time do you spend in every handmade item until it is finished?

It depends much on the item itself! I can create a row of handmade cards in a single afternoon while a cross-stitched item always takes longer. For example, a bib can take two or three days to be finished. It depends on the day of the week (I work more and faster during weekends), the complexity of the item...

- Would you like to present us your little corners in the web, Inês?

Yes, of course! "Cantinho das Artes da Inês" (Inês' Handcrafts Corner) is the blog where I show my work. It is a relaxed, casual meeting place with other people around the handcrafts world. I hope to be an inspiration to someone out there! I have a different blog, a kind of an online shop where I show the items I make with the intention of selling them: "Lojinha da Inês" (Inês' Little Shop).

- How were "Cantinho das Artes da Inês" and "Lojinha da Inês" born? When did you think about starting your own sites online?

My blogs were born quite at the same time that my passion for cross-stitching revived, so about two years ago. Meanwhile I changed to another server (Blogger) but the essence of the blogs is exactly the same. I used to visit other people's blogs and see their work, so I decided to have my own blog, too.

- Which kind of stuff is it possible to find when visiting "Cantinho das Artes da Inês" or "Lojinha da Inês"?

Well, I have a special passion for baby stuff, like bibs and cloths, so you will find many of these. I also like to create little items, like bookmarks for example.

- Which are the favourite items of your customers?

Baby stuff has been the most successful until now, specially bibs. I have noticed that customers love to order stuff with the baby's name on it.

- Will you be working on new designs and new items in the future?

Hopefully yes! I have some ideas, but time has not allowed me to make them true, yet, as I have a full time job which does not leave all the free time I would wish.

- Inês, would you create a specific design and item upon request and concrete wishes of a customer?

I'd definitely try, and hopefully it would turn out well!

- Could you explain us how purchasing, payment and shipping work in "Lojinha da Inês"?

I rarely have items ready for sale. People contact me to ask for the possibility of ordering an item. We agree everything by email and when the order is ready I send a picture. Customers have to pay through bank transfer and I send the item/s by registered mail. I charge some money due to postal expenses (depending on the weight of the package and the destination).

- Is it possible to find "Cantinho das Artes da Inês" or "Lojinha da Inês" in Facebook, Twitter or any social network?

You can find "Lojinha da Inês" in Facebook through the following e-mail address: lojinhadaines[at]yahoo[dot]com

- What is the aim of "Cantinho das Artes da Inês" and "Lojinha da Inês"?

The aim of my blogs is to show other people my work, share ideas, thoughts, doubts, everything related to this little and exciting world of handcrafts!

- Are there some thoughts, wishes or ideas you would like to share with us, Inês?

First, I want to thank Bea for this opportunity to talk about this passion of mine for handcrafts here. My wish would be to turn this hobby into a serious business, but it is a very difficult and risky thing to do in nowadays economic scenery. Everyone needs an escape for the stressful lives we are living and this is mine. It definitely helps and makes me happy!

And now, let's talk about the contest that Inês, and her blogs "Cantinho das Artes da Inês" (Inês' Handcrafts Corner) and "Lojinha da Inês" (Inês' Little Shop) have prepared for the Penpalling & Letters readers.

By participating in this contest you can win a beautiful cross-stitched bookmark, a cute cross-stitched keyring and a surprise basket with goodies offered by Inês! You can see part of the prize in the pic below.

How to take part in this contest?

1. Leave a comment in this interview and tell us (remember to leave a way to contact you):

- What do you think of this interview to Inês?
- Which items do you like the most in "Cantinho das Artes da Inês" (Inês' Handcrafts Corner) and "Lojinha da Inês" (Inês' Little Shop)?

Bear in mind that you should participate with a name/nickname. Any "anonymous" won't be taken into account. You can sign with a Blogger, Twitter, Facebook... account. Or at least, leave your name and tell us you are in Facebook, Twitter, any social network, website... If we cannot find you anywhere, we are really sorry but your participation won't be taken in. Sorry!

Please, notice that to participate in this contest, your reply has to be written here, in this same interview. Comments in any other place around the net won't be taken into account. Also, only one entry per person is allowed, so chances to get the prize are the same to everyone.

Taking part in this contest organized by Inês is very easy! Everybody is welcome to enter and if you feel like it, tell your pals and friends as well. It is a wonderful chance to win some cute handmade stuff made with love and care by Inês! Deadline will be the 10th April, 2011, at 00:00 GMT+1 Time Zone. The winner will be announced shortly after.

Good luck everybody and hope you enjoyed Inês' visit!

Inês, many thanks for participating in The person behind the letter-writer! It was such a big pleasure to work together with you to present this nice interview and contest to the readers! You know you are always welcome to Penpalling & Letters whenever you wish to be back!

If you would like to read more posts from "The person behind the letter-writer" section keep an eye on the links you can find at: The person behind the letter-writer.

If you are interested in being featured in "The person behind the letter-writer" because you have a cute shop, you are crafty and would like to present your creations, you have an ability and would like to tell us about it... contact me at: penpallingandletters[at]gmail[dot]com and we will work it out!


  1. Nice post Inês!

  2. 1. I liked the fact that Inês is a very down-to-earth person, who just simply love arts & crafts! She makes the beautiful crafts because she has a very organic and simple love for making beautiful things, and this interview really captured this, and showed us a very wonderful Inês!

    2. The Item I love most in Cantinho das Artes da Inês is the very cute 'Trocos' change box! :'D Simplemente lo mejor en todo el mundo! :D
    The item I love the most in Lojinha da Inês are the adorable 'Babetes personalizados'! Even though I don't have a baby, I think they're just so cute!! :D

    You can send me a message on facebook at, or on twitter at

  3. 1. I'm just really glad about how this interview shows that crafts are not boring and that you (in this case Inês) can make people happy with selfmade gifts.

    2. I love the bookmarks and Hello Kitty items. I also noticed some really pretty Christmas cards.

  4. Hi,

    1 I like it because now someone is telling the word that handcraft and selfmade presents are so sweet and worth to buy.

    2 I like the Trocos box and the bookmarks, they are wonderfull.

  5. Muitos Parabens!
    Adorei tudo, em especialmente a caixa de trocos dá sempre muito jeito.:)

  6. I like the interview and I love her handcraft. Wish I was creative enough to do something like that ... keep up the good work :)

  7. What a lovely interview with Ines.I have always said that handmade items make better gifts then a store bought item.Ines is very crafty and does beautiful work.She is so right when she says that penpalling becomes a part of someones life.Some of the greatest friends I have are due to penpalling.Wonderful work Ines!My fave item would have to be the cat item,although all the items are beautiful!My email address is in case you want to contact me

  8. I loved this interview, because its a real person doing these items. Another person, like me, doing what she loves and sharing it with others. I love the baby items...even "personalized" items sold in stores, somehow lose the "personal" part when your "Louis Bib" is one of 100's on the same rack. Amanda Snow

  9. Sandra Bäckman fd Stark (Facebook)28 March 2011 at 22:07

    I loved the interview, mostly because she is a person like me, who loves to create and does it really beautiful (Well I dont know if I do but Inez does)
    I wish I could have the guts to show stuff like this or even sell. She is roll model for any of us, sharing her passion like this.

    Oh I adore the Mickey mouse set :-)

  10. I think this interview was awesome. I really want to be penpals with Ines if shes interested.
    My favorite craft is the box where you put coins or change in, thats cute as well as the bookmarks because i read a lot and never have enough

    You can contact me at or

  11. crafting has always been my passion but i cant seem to get anything work! This interview has again inspired me to try and try because its really good to see the outcome of things you made with your heart :)

    i love the coin box craft product. i love to keep coins and change so this will surely be good for me :)

    Angelie Oro
    punkme15 at gmail dot com

  12. I loved this interview because I also love to do cross stitch and this inspired me alot. And i also love the fact that you can make gifts more personal and you don't need to buy expensive gifts homemade gifts are so much better:)

    I have to say that the bookmark was my favorite I guess because I read a lot

    You can contact me at:


  13. Hazel Walkden (facebook)5 April 2011 at 22:55

    Wow what a creative lady Ines is - I really enjoyed reading all about her and her work. I enjoy cross stitch too and penpalling. I wish her every success with her little shop too!

    Best wishes

  14. I loved the interview, esp. as it was made with one of my longest and dearest friends-Ines from Portugal. She has always told me about her passion for crafts, but I could only see all her amazing works when she started her blogs and when she created Facebook page about it. She is very talented and also very patient-I know this kind of work takes lots of free time and effort; but I'm happy and proud to say I was already spoilt by her last Christmas when she sent me most gorgeous hand-made and cross-stiched card. :)

    I love anything she does for babies, but generally I love butterflies, so I'd love to get such a wonderful gift! :)