Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall in Italy

We’ve been gone for the last few weeks.  This was a long in coming trip to Italy.  The tale goes back to 2001.  My sister, brother, their spouses and we were scheduled to go to Italy.  Our departure dates were September 11, 12 and 13.  Needless to say when 9/11 happened everything changed.  We have FINALLY made the trip and had an amazing time.

We started off in Rome.  The sights were so numerous and overwhelming.   I’m sure that even a year in Rome would barely scratch the surface.

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Ruins in the Jewish Getto section.
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The old city wall in Rome.

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A view of St. Peter's from the river.

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On our way to tour the Vatican and St. Peter's.
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The ceilings along the route were spectacular.
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Inside of St. Peter's with a stunning mosaic floor. 

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The Colosseum
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Inside of the Colosseum.

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Dome of Pantheon
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The Pantheon
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Markers outside of a home in the cobblestones.  It makes one pause and remember some horrible times.
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The Borghese Museum
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This is how we felt after days of walking Rome!!!
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Traffic entering Vatican we were told, "the laws are simply suggestions"!!!  I now believe that.  I'll never complain about traffic in Los Angeles again.
From Rome it was on to Florence via the fast train.  Florence appeared to be a much easier city to navigate – much smaller too, but fabulous for it’s art.

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The Duomo in Florence.
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View of the Duomo at sunset from the rooftop bar of the hotel.
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David at the Academia
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The Uffizi Gallery - a must see if you visit.
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The Ponte Vecchio - filled with gold merchants now.
We visited Cinque Terre and Pisa as well.

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One of the five picturesque villages of Cinque Terre
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The villages are accessible via boat.
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We had lunch in this village...Everyday seemed to be laundry day in Italy.
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Colorful doorway.
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Charming stairs with the pots.
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Pisa Duomo and Tower.
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The beautiful white Carrera marble from the area.
Of course there was food, and food and more food to enjoy.  Every single meal was incredible.  We were able to tour the Centrale Mercado and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Everything innards.
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Parma Hams
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Believe it or not, this is an amazing taste on crostinis.
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Too many choices!!!
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We definitely ate our share of Gelato there.
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It was a wonderful trip, but it was nice to get home and away from the crowds and unimaginable traffic.  I must say that I was in awe of the ability of the drivers to park.  I can’t see myself getting into this spot.   I would have loved seeing him pull into it.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend Stitching

With an unscheduled Saturday I was able to take some time for myself and do a little stitching. 
I was a month behind on my Soul Searching blocks so I caught up first with my September color of ORANGE.


Then I went ahead and did my October block of darks.


There are now nine of them and I believe that this is where I will stop.  It is big enough as it is and three more colors will put it over the top.


As well, I made my newest letter in the mini alphabet blocks.


There is a new book coming out in the quilt world and I am super excited about it.  It is written by Wendy Sheppard.  Most of you will be familiar with the name because she is a prolific quilter and has had her work in magazines around the world.  I have followed Wendy for years and I must say that she is an incredible machine quilter using her home machine.  The book is available for preorder here and will soon be available at Amazon.  Meanwhile you can read more about it here.  Good luck with it, Wendy.  A blog hop is coming soon.

Wendy's Book

This is my birthday week and my husband brought me a flower..  He definitely put a smile on my face.


A few of the children and grandchildren joined us for breakfast after church this morning.  It is always an adventure going out to eat with a large crowd.  These are happy, pancake filled tummy smiles. ;-)


The days seem to be finally cooling off a bit for us.  As well, the daylight hours seem to be shortening.  I guess autumn is arriving.  Where did summer go?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Finally Friday

For some reason I have been a day off all week long.  It is strange how that can happen and I have no idea why.  Oh well.  The weekend is almost upon us. 

October is a crazy month of birthdays in our family.  As well as two very dear friends, we have six grandchildren, our daughter, my SIL and myself.  It is a month of celebrating. 

One thing I love to do is to make pillowcases to wrap their birthday gifts.  I try to think of something that the children will enjoy.  Recently, Sue has been making pillowcases and had a giveaway for some Alexander Henry baseball fabric that she was using.  I was lucky enough to have been chosen as one of the recipients of some of it and she added some red baseball fabric to go with it.  It made the perfect wrapping for one of our grandsons.

There was enough left over for a couple more pillowcases so I also did one in blue for another grandson.  Soccer is another sport for an October grandson's birthday gift.  These are so much fun to make.  Check over at Sue’s and see her pretty ones.

A little Halloween sewing has also been in the works this week.  Our son requested a fire hydrant costume for their 2 year old.  This was a challenge!  I hope to get a picture of it being worn as I am sure it will look better than a picture. 


They dress up as a family for their local city street party.  Mom and Dad are going as dog catchers and the other two children are going as dogs.  I embroidered the shirts for the dog catchers.


One last completion this week was the binding on the memory quilts.  Now they are ready to go to their new home.


I received two really nice batiks from Beth as her winner in her See You in September giveaway.  These are so pretty and will go well in my continuing NY Beauty blocks.  Thanks, Beth.


We have a fairly quiet weekend ahead.  Last weekend was crazy with soccer games, horse show, and an open house so it will be a welcomed change.   

Friday, October 3, 2014

A, B, C…..

I had to jump on the wagon of the little letters QAL at Temecula Quilt Co.  I have loved all of the ones that I have seen so far and they go up so quickly.  ( I'll be changing that "B"- thanks to Sharon for spotting the error.)


The fabrics I am using are from a bundle from Sew Me A Song (super fast service).  I won a gift certificate from my Orange Peel quilt that was a QAL at Quilty Habit.  This is what I selected and I love the colors.


Although one would never know that it is fall here as our temps have been hovering around 100* this week, I felt that I should do a bit of fall quilting.  Maple leaves seemed appropriate and I saw a cute pattern that worked up quickly.  It will make a nice fall table topper as it is 36" square.  I'll be linking this project up with Linky Tuesday.

The garden has provided a few interesting sights this week.  First I came across a preying mantis.  I think he/she was trying to stay cool and out of the sun.


Then I got a kick out of this crazy Gerber daisy.  It looks like it is a twin, but it reminds me of an angry owl or chicken.  Winking smile