May, 2012

A By Esme workshop

by esme workshop at Garbi

by esme workshop at Garbi

Last week I had the pleasure of introducing some simple repurposing principles and techniques to the high school students at GARBI in Barcelona. These guys now have to choose their path in life so the workshop was actually meant to find the leader, the thinker, the doer, the artist,  the whatever… in every group. The idea was that those roles would spur naturally within the groups.

The day started with a very inspiring talk by Guillem Diaz (in my opinion “the catalan Ken Robinson”) about making of your passion your career. Then a little story about repurposing and without further ado they were thrown into making an object out of all of these items that are normally called “rubbish” (old cans, hard plastic bottles, old t-shirts, old magazines…etc whatever they had brought)

The next hour was spent in the designing and the making of an object. I was going from table to table answering questions and maybe advising of a simpler way of making things but mostly just overseeing what was going on since I didn’t want to influence their ideas. Guillem and Diana were taking care of the group organizing and seeing how the groups had naturally taken shape.

It was obvious which groups were doing well and which weren’t doing so well. Some groups were just a compound of individuals and some others were a team working together, and it seemed to me that there was one group that was genuinely having fun! Needless to say that the object that came out of that group was the coolest!!

Many groups achieved very good objects and I think most of them must have gone home a bit inspired by the workshop. There were a lot of questions afterwards and personally I felt great I had done my little bit for these young people who have right in front of them that BIG question about life… WHAT IS IT THAT I WANT TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE

If you want to see the video here’s the link:

the sound is not good at all and the camera gets dropped right in the middle but is still interesting to see the outcome at the end.

and that is that.

May, 2012

And there was light!

I finally finished it! and once is ON is just so Spectacular!

It took quite a while but it was so worth it! It is made of all hard plastic bottles I could get my hands on… bleach, shampoos, fabric softeners, milk, etc…

It lits now the space of my first exhibition here in Spain.  So if you find yourself near Granollers (Barcelona) make your way to the “espai Tranquil” in Barbany, info below:

by esme exhibition at barbany

April, 2012

Sant Jordi! A red rose for you! made of plastic bags…of course!

Red rose made of plastic bags REcycle!Today is Sant Jordi in Barcelona. It is one of the marked days in our calendar and we celebrate it BIG. Every catalan person in the world today is celebrating it one way or another.

Basically the tradition today is to give your loved one either a book or a rose. If you’re a girl you get the rose and if you’re a guy you get the book! The book is to commemorate “literature day” since both Cervantes and Shakespeare died on the 23d april 1616 (Yes both the same day of the same year. Freaky). The Rose represents the blood shed by the Dragon that Saint George allegedly killed (Saint George = Sant Jordi). Also Sant Jordi is the patron saint of the city of Barcelona.

For many years I have been away and not been able to see Barcelona today….The streets are covered by little stalls selling red roses or books, writers do sit down in prominent areas to sign a copy of their books and EVERYONE is outside walking, meandering,  choosing books here, buying roses there, kissing, laughing and enjoying the day. So in a while I’ll be off to mingle in all that!

But before I wanted to share this ROSE I made with plastic bags….of course! with all of you. Have an AWESOME Sant Jordi! Especially dedicated to all of those Barcelona people who live abroad and wish they were here today!

April, 2012

Something new… for me!

I have started a new project… still unfinished but so thrilled of how it is looking so far! I will be sharing it soon… but at the moment here’s some of the elements I have used:

a new projectpink and goldplastic butterfly

March, 2012

Mr pink plastic

so, there’s a million and one thing you can do with plastic bags! EXCEPT binning them! Please reuse or send them to me! I’l put them to good use….

March, 2012

shining through

The afternoon light shining through my colourful curtain in my studio.

March, 2012

By esme party flags!

Last sunday we had a party for my daughter and I was in charge of the decorating…..

June, 2010

Byesme on Go2natural fair!

If you are in South Africa, you should come next weekend to the Go2natural fair, where you will find many interesting and natural products and, of course, my bags!

What: Go 2 natural
When: 19&20 June, from 9am to 4pm
Where: Giba George, near Marianhill, KZN

Come and say hi, I’d love to meet you all! 🙂

June, 2010

We’re on TV!!!


By esme will be on TV next tuesday (june 15th)!!! I have been interviewed for the program “Españoles en el mundo“, which shows Spanish people living abroad.
It will be a good opportunity to see my workshop, where all of the  Byesme bags are made. And of course, if you are curious, get to know my house and my family!

It is amazing how things become real when they appear on TV… the University where I studied, ESDI, already published a note about it!

I’ll be posting the interview as soon as it appears online!

June, 2010

ban on plastic bags in California

Have you heard?
California is banning the use of single-use plastic bags!
People in California: now you need our fabric classic bags more than ever!

April, 2010

Custom bag for Mireia

Here’s this pink tote bag specially made for Mireia, a lawyer and most importantly a mom of 2 lovely kids from Barcelona.

Mireia asked for a pink tote bag, and she totally trusted me on chosing the fabrics and plastic bags. We are really happy because it has been our first customized bag, and we are sure it is not going to be the last one.

March, 2010


I love South African food, and the best part (besides the taste) are the names of its dishes being so FUN

Today I had to make BOBOTIE (pronounced boobooty)  since at my daughter’s school they are celebrating South Africa and they all had to take a typically southafrican dish. I believe bobotie is common to Cape Town but I learned to cook it while living in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. The recipie below is from the Kaapse Tafel restaurant in Cape Town. I’ve had it for many years and it’s tried and tested and it always comes out delicious.


  • 1kg of steak mince
  • 1 large onion
  • olive oil
  • 1 thick slice of stale bread without the crust (White bread)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 table spoon of apricot jam
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 2 table spoons of seedless raisins
  • 15 blanched almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fress ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 lemon leaves (or bay leaves for a poor substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • milk


  1. Lightly fry chopped onion in oil till golden. Add chopped garlic. Add grated ginger. Take off the fire.
  2. Soak bread in half a cup of milk, crumble with fork. Add to the mince, mix well.
  3. Place pot on stove. Add a little oil if the onion has absorbed it all. Put meat and all other ingredients except the rest of the milk, the lemon leaves and the eggs.
  4. Mix like mad to avoid lumps. Cook until soft and cooked through, to the stage when meat is getting brown and not pink.
  5. I suggest you use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat mixture to a baking dish about 5 cm high as you will have to add on. Make sure you taste at this stage to correct seasonings. You can addmore of any ingredients at this stage.
  6. You will probably have some residual gravy in the pot. Reduce it by gently cooking without lid and add to the baking dish.
  7. Now beat the two eggs. Add 1 cup of milk plus what is left of the milk in which the bread had been soaked. Total should not exceed one and a half cups. Mix well. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Check that there is not too much water in the baking dish containing the meat. The meat should not be dry but there shouldn’t be any gravy at the bottom.
  9. Pour milk and egg mixture after beating till well mixed onto the bobotie mixture. Place lemon leaves on top
  10. Bake uncovered in moderate oven (180º-190ºC) for 30 to 40 min. Till the egg mixture has become set.

Normally served with yellow rice.

July, 2009

My dad’s bycicle

My dad’s bicycle is the coolest in town.
My dad is good at making steel shapes and combining scrap pieces.
He makes really beautiful statues and objects for our friends when they get married.
Once he got given an old bicycle from this people in the big white house.
My dad did a good job for them.
The bicycle was not very nice but my dad worked on it and put a little fish on the side
and then a little hawaian girl he had found on the tarmac.
He says the hawaian girl was too precious to be forgotten on the side on of the road, so he has put it on the front of his bicycle so she can see the world we live in.

July, 2009


I have no money and I am cold.
I want things, nice things.
Colorful beautiful things.
I don’t want to be rich but I want the things.
My house is not made of bricks. The two sides are made of steel sheets.
My mom painted a big six in blue, as our house is the 6th house of our street.
The other sides are made of cardboard and other things I do not know what they are.
The roof is cool, it is a transparent piece of thick plastic, and we can see the stars at night, and we don’t need lights during the day. We are lucky to have this.
My mom uses all sorts of different things to make things we need.
My mom makes really beautiful things.
My mom is the best.