I first came across Catarina’s wonderful ‘Bijuteria Botânica’ (Botanical Jewellery) on Instagram (@MyJewelKat) a few months ago, and ever since I’ve been completely enchanted by the way she manages to do something that, well… honestly, I had never dreamed was possible.

As you wish

Have you ever collected seashells on the seashore? Or, perhaps picked up a particularly perfect pinecone? And brought your treasures home with you to decorate your house with a touch of the natural world?

Maybe, you even collected a somewhat less robust bounty, like a bunch of wildflowers for instance, and took them home and arranged them nicely in a vase so that they brought a smile to your face - for a few days at least.

It really is great to bring the outside in and to make nature part of your day to day life. However, you may have also noticed on your walks that there are some things in nature's repertoire that are just so delicate, tiny and ephemeral that their fleeting beauty would be unlikely to make it through your front door (without either being lost or losing its ‘joie de vivre’).

I’m talking about a constellation of tiny daisies, for example, that would almost fall apart in your hand once plucked from the ground. Another good example would be dandelion seeds. Before blowing on one of these fabulous florets and making a wish, you may have stopped and reflected on just how beautiful these ‘parachute shaped’ seeds actually are. If you look closely, there really are just so many beautiful ‘little things’ like this around, and it may very well have made you wish - as you let out a big puff sending the dandelion seeds sailing away on the wind - that there was some way of holding onto all this delicate and transient beauty.

Well, this is exactly what Catarina has managed to do. And not only that. She's made it so you can take this little bit of nature’s magic - and wear it every day.

Nothing in nature blooms all year round. Be patient with yourself.

Catarina is originally from Braga, but I was delighted to find out that she lives in Carvoeiro which meant that I could actually go and meet her.

Her workshop turned out to be at her house where she lives with her husband Tómas and their adorable and energetic four year old boy called Mikey. Catarina has lived in Carvoeiro since 2008 and is what she calls ‘multi-passionate’, as she also teaches dance and is a qualified personal trainer as well. She’s enjoyed making jewellery since she was young and started MyJewelKat in 2014.

However, this was all more of a hobby and something she just liked to have fun and experiment with in her free time. It was only in 2020, with the pandemic stopping most of her dance work, that she had an idea that sent this latent passion into full bloom.

Bloom where you are planted

In an effort to stay sane with a four year old, the family would go for walks where Mikey would enjoy picking a few wildflowers that they found. Not wanting them to go to waste, Catarina showed me how she learnt to bring along a box of sand in which she immediately places the more delicate flowers. Once she gets them home safely, she then presses the flowers (I was amused to discover) between the pages of The Portugal News - with some fairly chunky books placed on top.

About 3 weeks later, once they had dried, she started to wonder if there was a way of incorporating all these beautiful dried flowers into her jewellery. It's quite a fiddly process, but she learnt how to carefully cover them in a clear resin. This requires quite a bit of patience, but slowly but surely, drop by drop, petal by petal, she manages to preserve, well.. just about anything pretty she finds in nature, usually choosing to trap these delicate little things in a beautiful pair of earrings, bracelet, necklace or ring - where they can’t escape.

The ‘nature of her work’ means that, in the same way that no two snowflakes are ever alike - every single piece of jewellery she makes is unique and has its own story.


Catarina grows a lot of her flowers herself in what she calls her ‘jungle garden’. But they still like to go exploring and one of her favourite plants to work with are ferns that she finds when they go to Monchique. She just needs the tiniest pieces, but they do look wonderful.

If a flower is too big, she often breaks it up into what she calls ‘flower confetti’. She then uses these beautiful bits and pieces to create lovely patterns - or even to spell out the initials of the person for whom she's making the piece.

“We are like butterflies that flutter for a day and think it’s forever.”

She also (very occasionally) finds bugs that have recently passed away and manages to preserve them as well. She’s made a pendant of a little bee eternally buzzing away in it’s ‘forever garden’, as well as a lovely butterfly wing necklace.

Preserve your precious memories

She also accepts requests. People send her flowers and little bits and pieces that have a special place in their heart (and even the bouquets from their weddings) and she finds a way to incorporate them into her jewellery and sends them back.

Packed with love

Catarina really is very sweet and takes a huge amount of care in the packaging. It’s all plastic-free and she showed me excitedly the cute little bags, the special stamps, the handwritten note and the lovely little paintings that her jewellery comes wrapped in. She laughed and said how people tend to fall so in love with the packaging that they often forget about the present.

If you would like to find out more, then please follow her on Instagram @myjewelkat. I know she would appreciate it.

Jewel Kat