Thursday, December 27, 2012

Latest beadwork

2012 Christmas decoration
My decorations this year have been based on this one that mum did from a pattern given to her by a friend.I have ended up making at least eight of these balls over the past three months for my beaded journal project work. I decided this year that my aim was to do some beadwork of any kind every month so these and the variations have been done since october with at least three a month. I finished off with doing a simple netted ball with star intersections for my friends mum for christmas. After completing the last ball yesterday (Boxing Day) I have realised that I do not have one of this design for myself. Mum got the pattern from a friend and I have adapted it to fit various sized balls. So only two more to make (one for me and one for Erin to take home).

On the christmas front it has been a busy few days since I finished work and I ended up with all the family (there are only 7 of us) here for breakfast and lunch as mum had no water. It was a lovely day and most of the family napped the afternoon away. I visited Stephanie and parents in the afternoon. Boxing Day was a visit to family friends and a leftover lunch - yummy as lots of different dishes from our lunch.
Today I caught up with another friend Sonia and I made her a ball for christmas in June similar to my Febraury BJP piece. She loved it and it was blue so that was great.

Off to Auckland for the weekend to collect my niece, Erin from the plane, then Mary Poppins in the afternoon and a catchup with my cousin sometime saturday night or sunday lunch. A trip up the Sky Tower is also on the agenda.
Happy New year to all and I hope to be a better blogger next year.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Still Stitching.

Several pieces of stitching have been done since the opunake retreat. I nearly finished all the flowers on my latvian piece and only have the borders to do. managed to get the finishing instructions for our linen biscornu and have the night class group onto that over the next weeks.
I have started one of the ANG auction pieces which is fun and mum has also started a piece as well.
Made several patchwork things for the guild christmas party and nearly have my door prize sorted. Next thing to do is my gift as well as secret santa gift for school. My institute box is nearly finished so only needs wrapping and labelling (tonights job which is running late).
I am hoping to put the pictures of the night class ornaments that have been stitched and one was finised with a lovely tassel and candycane cord by Fiona who has not done any of these things. I am so proud of her.
Scissor keeps made in class.
Add caption

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekend Retreat and Stitching

Well the holiday break has come and gone and some stitching has happened. I spent one weekend in Auckland with Stephanie which was a nice break away. This weekend just gone was our annual embroidery retreat held in Opunake. For the first time the weather was shocking and it meant that we could not go for a walk.
Our project this year was another one from the Stitch Magazine (England). It is a number of years old and one that has been on the wishlist for a while. It involves spray paint, leaves, blackwork and being creative which was difficult for a couple of our members. Only six of us were staying and we had no visitors from the Opunake Guild (either the weather or project put them off)

My 15 sided biscornu nearly there.
latvian work has nearly all the flowers stitched - outlines and boxes to come

inventive spray paint with leaves.
 I decided to do mine on a piece of linen that I had with me - I was intending to spend the weekend finishing projects. I will turn it either into a notebook holder or a pocket for my clamps. You can see it in the centre of the photo above.
It was a good weekend and I loved all the stitching so hopefully next weekend as a holiday weekend will provide some more opportunity to stitch.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Creative Stitchers Challenge

Our creative stitchers challenge for the next two years is a round robin challenge with a shape of your choice. The first swap has taken place and I have had Mary's piece which is a tree with an oak leaf shape. Here are a few of the thoughts about this leaf.

Mary Garlick – oak leaf shape, September 2012
I decided to use some silk paper I had made as it reminded me of the new spring leaves. I couched the edge but when I cut out the shape it was too flimsy for a detached leaf so I have quilted the leaf onto the background fabric. A small ladybird reminds me of them during the spring growth in the garden. This picture is upside down so it hangs on Mary's tree at the bottom. For a change I have not used any beads on this piece of work.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

WOW What a weekend

Just home from the PA's conference which was held in Nelson. This is a well renown artistic, creative, winery and orchard area of the country and home to the World of Wearable art show and museum. It was a great conference and time to catch up with friends from the past and make some new ones. I loved the session on Office products and have found a couple of things that I can use so will be trying them out over the next couple of weeks. Our thursday night dinner was a blast from the past with an 80's theme and I have seen Daisy's pictures so fortunately I am only in a couple. Nice one of the SWAT group with protestors. Discovered a new artist Brian Strong but after a big walk uphill to his studio we discovered it was closed.
Dining out was fun as Stephanie (who travelled down down for the weekend) and I tried the thinnest pizza with great toppings and wonderful eye candy tossing the dough in the kitchen, to the Thai with her friend and the Saturday market where lots of taste testing, as well as purchasing (aside from the chilli oil and great pancakes) it was a fun foodie weekend. Tried to go to one of the many cafes for brunch on Sunday but it was closed.
Had a wait at the airport but that was fine as we used the Koru lounge which was nice and relaxing - both of us on the Ipads and sending messages to each other as well. My flight home was the quickest layover ever - in one door and back in the queue to go out the next door. Definitely think this could be a place I could visit again so thanks to Ros and Alicia for organising a great long weekend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Changing Rooms

I decided to move my bedroom around to see if I liked it as I am thinking of changing one wall to a feature wallpaper. my bed and dresser have changed sides so the room is larger on one side with the bed quite close to the window now. After a week still not certain that I like living in it as I dont know which side of the bed to get out of.
It does make the Room feel larger in some respects but I think I prefer the previous arrangement. Perhaps I will just wallpaper the Guest bedroom instead - so it will be off to the wallpaper shop at the weekend maybe.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two more beaded objects

I have not been well this week so have been home for a couple of days and finished two beaded decorations. The first is from a class I took last year helping people read a pattern from bead and button. The second is from a class that I have taken just recently. This is the third one of these I have made this year - called Tania's Feathers. It was a really fun class and the ladies enjoyed it. Hopefully they will all go on and do some of their own variations.
Also nearly finished the cover of my album from conference. I will post photos of that piece later in the week.
Tania's Feathers red with silver.
B&B Pattern completed from 2011.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

April BJP

Mostly beaded but a bit more of stitching to do.
Been doing the beading on my pocket piece of embroidery. This is a project that I started last year with a local member of our guild, Lee. I did the embroidery part but it got put away so decided that for April I would get the beading one for this project. This is a photo with most of the work done. I am just fiddling with it now before I see it up.

Spent two hours today trying to order something on the internet with a voucher. If anyone uses spreets it seems to be a torturous project to use their vouchers. Hopefully I will get some feedback from the company.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New inspiration

Guess what came home with mum and dad on Sunday. Most exciting present for a while and think will be a big time spender. Lots of fun talking with Judy about uses and my bead magazine will be coming out shortly on it so will let you know how that goes.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Busy Week

The week since I have been home has been really busy and it does not look like easing up any until after the holidays. I arrived home rested and with the precious for Stephanie so delivered it and received lunch with her mum and dad in return. My ladies arrived for class so we had a catch up before two of them were off to Australia for a craft and shopping marathon.

Not much had happened on the school front but I managed to not have a desk weighed under with paperwork – Ina had put it all in a box for me. Took most of the first couple of days to clear it and the emails which I had tried to keep up with.

The weekend was nice and on Saturday had our creative stitchers group meeting with a catered morning tea and lunch. It was delightful and the ladies have asked for it again. I have nearly finished my piece for the guild extensions exhibition so just the finishing to do and then I can give it to Maree for display in Christchurch in July.
Power and protection pieces but not certain if I will put all into the exhibiton.
I went to Marilyn’s for tea and to watch the first all blacks game for 2012. Conrad smith scored the last try so we were excited about that. It was a good game and the next two games against the Irish should be good.

Sunday was a fine day so the washing got hung out and I found time to start digging the potatoes. Last year I only had little ones but this year I have dug this small section of the garden and already dug a whole bucket full. This will keep me going for at least a month. I was most impressed with them and it will be nice to have some large potatoes to bake whole.

My bucket of potatoes
This week we have chicks at the flicks so it will be a fun night as seeing a preview movie is always good.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

All over

Just sitting in the Eva lounge at SFO and wondering where the week has gone. Been to alameda but only got some of the shopping so will have to order it later. Went to Quinn's Lighthouse for lunch and it was a beautiful place- sat on terrace and watched the marina go by. Mj hoping to persuade Ewan to go there one day. Also visited Fitzgerald's and had a nice lunch at a local cafe as well as seeing some amazing furniture. Annoyed did not have my camera as it was beautiful fabric. Mum got a cute piece for Marilyn to bring home.
Today got all packed and went to McCarthy's graduation party to say congrats to Kelly for graduating from St Ignatius school. They have their senior lockin tonight which is really weird as it makes the party circuit hard.
Will be nice to get home but not looking forward to the cold as it has been warm here everyday. Today was worst day as lots of fog and cold as well. Tired so hoping to sleep well on plane.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Days out and about

The last couple of days have been out and about (shopping in other words). Tuesday Alex dropped mum and I off at stonestown where we shopped for Marilyn's wallet with no success. No Chicos but we did get See's Candies and a few other bits. We caught the muni into town and went to Westfield Shopping plaza. Found Michael Kors, Vera Bradley and Chicos so did some buying up large. Another muni trip and to the bead shop where we did a quick listing and buying. Mj was waiting for us for the trip home so that wasn't too bad. Mexican from down the road with a margarita chaser.

Wednesday Alex came for breakfast and we went off into town for his blood test. Lunch was a treat at ghiaderelli square and ice creams. On the way home we stopped at a little needlepoint shop with a cute range of threads and canvases. Nice lady to talk to the home along the beach road, hoping to stop for a walk but road was closed for sand drifts. When family all got home we went down to the market with mj's sisters. Nice food to buy for dinner and a stop at "A Grape in the Fog" for a glass of wine and talk. Back home and dinner on for all the family. Back to the hotel after watching another giants game which they lost to d'backs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Relaxing before the party season

Had a long sleep after the flight and don't feel very rested yet. Nice breakfast at the hotel and they had a pancake making machine. Push the button and out they pop. Was yummy. Just reading the paper before the walk to Ewan's and then who knows what will happen this afternoon.

Got picked up partway so then went into town to the flower market to get leis for the kids. Had lunch at Pedro's Tavern by AT&T Park. Nice shrimp tacos and margaritas. Ewan home with Erin so nice to catch up with finally. Alex also out of bed after senior lockin which is when all the graduating clas stay the night in the school with lots of activities going on; dancing, bull riding, movies, hypnotist, etc. he said it was loads of fun and the photos are cute.

Sat; an amazing day with a huge ceremony for 309 graduates. Met up with family afterwards for photos then onto the part venue where more family. Caught up with some past friends and met some of the new family members including brides and babies. Afterwards went with Mj to whites for more drinks and socializing. A good night.

Sunday: up early to breakfast as off to the river today. Erin, Ewan and us are going to the new house so that will be nice. About two hours north so over bay bridge then Richmond bridge and to guernville. the house is very modern great living space as you walk in plus two bed/baths. Master suite is amazing and closet is almost as big as mine. More rooms downstairs and over the garage is a studio apartment. Alex thinks that this would be his. Town close so went for a drive to the coast and saw the seals on the beach. Caught up with pat and Brian at Rio Nida for drinks and also Johnny and Katie with baby Willy. Back for BBQ on deck and sipping wine then to bed. Fresh air makes me tired.

Monday: great sleep in and woke to find Ewan made the river breakfast as he now calls it. Croissant with cheese, ham, scrambles and toasted in oven. Very nice with coffee. He went off to golf with Pat and Brian so we walked into town. Nice walk 20 mins I suppose and stopped and shopped. Got my posters to hang. Ewan picked us up and took us to the golf club for lunch with boys plus Mike and Diane (Pat's
brother). back home and more relaxing on the deck before drive back into the city for a new week.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Things are Finished

I forgot to post the picture of the Xmas decoration that I swapped last month. The person I swapped with was Ina from the Netherlands and she did not have any preference for colour or design so I was free to play with my stitching. I really enjoyed this little decoration and think I will make a few more for Christmas presents.
Decoration sent to Ina for Swap=Bot

This photo is the coathanger and dishcloth that I made/ finished for the recent Arts Festival for Woman's Instittute. I got a first for my coathanger but nothting for the dishcloth which I am currently using.

My next finish and Beaded Journal Project finish is my bracelet from a kit by Carol Wilcox Wells entitled whirling pinwheels. It was my challenge to finish it in april before we went to Hawaii but I have now finished it in time for San Francisco. This is My March piece for 2012 so I am only two months behind but keeping stitching and beading on lots of other things.

The finished bracelet.

detail of the pinwheels which i loved doing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day 2012

Today is the national day of remembrance and it was a lovely day. I watched the Gallipoli ceremony on TV this afternoon while mum and dad came for afternoon tea. Dad walked all the way which considering one week ago he was in hospital is amazing. Tomorrow they are off to get a heart monitor and then another week and a specialist appointment.

News also that Peter and Sue from Melbourne will be visiting next week so that will be nice as it is several years since I have seen them and even more since Marilyn has seen them.

School has started well with an increase in our roll again and it is unbelievable as we do not know where all the students are coming from. We have full classes and hope that these new students settle in well. With more students we have more staff and hopefully we will not need any more until next year.
Here are some photos from Hawaii.
The beach babes at Waikiki

All the girls at dinner

Peral harbour and Arizona Memorial

At the top of Diamond Head. Great effort everyone.

The buddhist temple was a pleasant stop for a walk around.
Hope you enjoy them all.
Stitching: i have made two mug rugs for embroidery guild but neither are beaded so the only beading has been beads for my march bracelet. three more beads to go before it is completed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

more family fun

Things have been happening since Saturday. Sunday we hired cars and had a great day driving around the island and although the kids were not allowed to go surfing they did get onto a beach. Tried out the local supermarket for lunch and they had an awesome selection of food items. We drove around some of the neighborhoods looking at the houses and found a holiday home idea for our family. A floor for every family, built down the hillside. Mj and mum thought that was a great idea.

Monday we went over to the Hanauma Bay so the kids could go snorkeling and swimming. It was cloudy when we got there but the sun came out and the clouds kept washing away.Cathy and I walked along to the end of the beach and while walking along could see the fish in the shallows. It was amazing and lots of different ones. Some were quite big. Walked back and got the rest of the adults to come and have a look as well.

When we got back to the hotel Marilyn, Cathy and most of the kids went off to the Ala Moana shopping Centre and did their thing. We met up with Ewan and Mj at the pool bar and the boys (Ewan, dad and Alex) went to the airport to get terry who was flying in from the Augusta Masters tournament.

Mum, MJ and I went off to a little restaurant for dinner and had a great night. The wine was almost dearer than the food but it was fun and we stayed until they just about bought out the vacuum cleaners.

Tuesday was the big exciting day. Marilyn and all the kids were off at 5am to go to the Big Island to see the lava park and volcanoes. It was a wet day for them but they evidently enjoyed it.

The remainder had a leisurely breakfast at the Peets coffee, Ewan and Terry organized a car, dad and I went to the post office to post all the cards and then the shopping began. Ewan drove mum and I to the needlepoint, etc shop which was really nice. We then got a taxi to the Ala Moana Centre and did the shopping thing. Found a few things to try on but nothing really grabbed me. Mum got a nice black silk/wool top for winter and I got a spatula. Caught the bus back to the hotel where we met up with the family. Cathy and I went to the gym for an hour – go me. Back up and to the pool bar after a refreshing shower. Dinner at IL Lupino just across from the Sheraton. I had the lobster risotto which was nice. Another expensive dinner but not my turn.

Everyone still asleep this morning, just seen Mj who has lost Ewan but did buy me a coffee so that was okay.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

To the top

Busy day two. Got up early and took dad to gym so put him on the treadmill for ten then onto the bike for ten. He did well. Went to breakfast then to the apple store with Ewan and the guy made it work again yeah. Wandered along the shops with mum and Marilyn tried on numerous togs but either need boobs four inches higher or a longer body. Got into international market and did some serious non clothes shopping which was fun.
Lunch at the rum fire in the hotel and then onto the activity portion of the day. Taxis to Diamond Head Park and start the walk up. Mum and dad got all but to the top. I did the last bit twice as Marilyn went up with Ewan but not to the top. Back to hotel and it's happy hour.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Well I am off again on another holiday. This time the family (extended) are all meeting at the beach. Most of our joint holidays are at a beach or have swimming involved. This time the beach is in Hawaii and we are at Waikiki. I will not be trying the surfing although I am sure the children will. Alice has got a week of events planned so we should get to see several of the main attractions, do some shopping (Sarah and Alice are ready to shop) and even do the beach thing. Stephanie has been so she has been giving me some advice on some of the things to see and do. Marilyn and thought we were flying business class – that is what is says on our itinerary but Stephanie checked my booking and it says economy. Thought I did not pay enough. Oh well business class will have to wait a month or so.

Alice is devastated that she is not flying business class as the last two trips she has had to Ewan’s have been in the business or premium economy which is great but she is not paying for it.

We are flying on Air Pacific so that is another airline to add to the list. I am wondering about lists at the moment and have seen on another blog 101 things in 1001 days. It sounds like a great thing to do but at the moment I can’t even think of one thing to do.

Having a fun evening with Stephanie as she is house minding for the long weekend while her sister is at her mum’s for Easter. We sat up just like we were still on holiday, planning the next excursion.

School has been really busy and this week rushed through with non-stop happenings. We had the annual Shakespeare Festival competition at our school and it was exciting to see all these students from other schools coming into our venue. It makes a change as we usually have to travel to New Plymouth to events. Relay 4 life was a wonderful time although we were ankle deep in the mud. All the kids really enjoyed themselves and I was very proud of myself as I walked a total of three hours which was good. There is a great report on our school blog I raised over $70 myself so that was above the target set for each person. Our final total donation will be known at the start of next term.

Dad and Rusty Barrett at Rusty's recent 80th birthday.

My prize winning exhibit at the North Taranaki Institute Arts Festival on 26 March.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Arts Festival for Institute

I went up to the arts festival today to check out my entries. I did quite well with my Christmas stocking beating mums which was fun as both of us thought her sequined one would win. Also got a piece of gold work into nationals (funny thing was I only finished it last night and wasn't even going to put it in). My dish cloth I crocheted did not rate but at least I can use it. My cushion was not rated but at least it made an entry and my coathanger came first as well. I was quite pleased as it was a project that had been hanging around for a while.
I will put some photos up tomorrow.
My coathanger and dishcloth

Mounted goldwork style piece done in copper threads.
Most amazing - Mum came home with the silver tray for me as I had the best in show. My name will be on their once - hers is on the tray six times.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Giveaways on blogs

Linda Kittmer has the most wonderful blog of beads, fabric and art journalling. she is offering this dvd as a blog giveaway if you post  a comment on her blog. go and have a look.

Just been to embroidery guild meeting and the pulled thread cushion decoration that members are making is fabulous. I would love to be doing it but I will post a picture of someone's when finished. I have finished the first panel of my four sided bag so here is a snap shot. It needs a little paint in the hair styles and to do the eyes but I did not have any black thread at the meeting.
My geisha (little fat ladies) first side of the bag.
I will be doing some blog hopping this week as part of swap-bot so I will post some exciting links I hope. It makes it fun to explore new and different blogs. Something I found today was eyelash beading. google it and see what happens.
have fun this week in beads,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Busy weeks

Life has been exceptionally busy for the past couple of weeks but I have been inspired to take part in a couple of swap-bot exchanges. Lots of fun I did a tea-bag swap, fabric swap and am currently doing a blog and christmas decoration swap. It is loads of fun to get envelopes in the mail and new tea to try. I find that this time of the year is best for me to swap but I want to try and do at least one every month this year. I have my christmas decoration to make this weekend and I am looking forward to cutting out all the leaves for the christmas wreath.
my two ideas for my christmas decoration.

I am busy stitching on thefelt  wall hanging for Neil and Cathy but do not think I will finish it before we go to Hawaii. only three weeks to go and six days on the beach. Stitching is continuing on my 15 sided biscornu for night class and I am managing to keep up while trying to learn the new stitch programme that I purchased for my computer. This weekend I would love to complete the instructions for "D's the Letter" but I will be at embroidery weekend for saturday then as part of the Relay 4 Life team for our school from 5pm on Saturday to Sunday afternoon.
I will post a picture of D's the letter when i get home as i do not have a copy at school.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

More finishes

Finished my cushion. This is made from a silk material from J R Fitzgerald and Co, San Francisco and is a fully lined cover. It took me a number of goes to get it to work but only the inner seam to hand stitch. I was impressed with myself and unfortunately could not get the beaded fringe sewn on with the machine so hand stitched it later. I am really pleased with the use of the fabric and it looks quite neat.

Been stitching on my 15 sided biscornu so I have two squares completely finished and about 7 partly done which leaves 6 to go. Also have to get stitching on pieces for the Arts Festival and will have a little corn sack to make this week for the mice to come out of. I have also been writing my story about the village store so I hope it will be all right to put into the competition.

Went for a bike ride this morning and got nearly all the way to the school but ran out of puff. On the way home I pedalled more of the distance rather than letting the gradient and bike do the work so I was happy with that. Went out for a nice lunch and catch-up with friend Shellie and had the most delicious lemon slice at the Shakee Pear at the Stratford Pioneer Village. A great cafe and really busy today for sunday lunch.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

May 2011 BJP done

 May 2011 BJP piece completed. This project had stalled after april's but inpiration was gained from our recent creative stitchers meeting where we talked about the theme "Power and Protection". We then constructed a felt image of the protecting eye used in many belief systems. My next piece will be the :Power piece and then comes the evil eye.

Below are the five months of this project done so far starting with egyptian eye (january), precious eyes (February 2011), jealous eyes (March 2011), red eye (April 2011) and Protection (May 2011).
Five months completed.
I feel strange that i am still naming these as the months but that helps me keep the project in line. My book is filling with all the thoughts that revolve around each so i am hoping it will be a nice table cetnre piece at the end. These pieces will go to Christchurch in July for the Extensions exhibition at the ANZEG conference.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February finishes

2011 Guild Retreat project finished.
Our embroidery guild have a retreat every year at Opunake and we usually do a project for the weekend. Last year's project was taken from the Stitch magazine and we used the transfer paints on chiffon. This was really fun to stitch and most have finished it with one person doing two - a dawn and a dusk picture. I painted my canvas black to make the dawn setting pop of the screen.

2011- Lee's pomegranate scissor keeper.
My other finish this week is a pomegranate scissor keeper from one of our guild meetings. Lee designed this delightful keeper and I finally managed to put it together. I was not happy with the way the beads sat in the centre so added more. I have put it on a thread cutter for my travels. These are handy for the plane journeys planned this year.
I have also finished the sample ball for the Tania's Feathers class and will take a photo soon. Still doing ATC's for the BJP 2011 and have another three planned out ready to bead.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Two months done

Janaury BJP for 2012
 I have decided that for 2012 BJP I will make a beaded item each month. Every year I spend the first 4 to 4 months making christmas balls for presents and classes. The january ball was made at Oakura beach from my own design and using quite a lot of reverse stitching (it now needs a name and I won't be teaching this pattern at all but may do a simpler one).

Febraury Ball for BJP - Tania's feathers
February's ball is a combination of patterns and I have called it Tania's feathers as it is a variation on the Tania pattern that I have. You can see the Honeycomb pattern with the feathers trim in the background. I am currently making another one as this will be a class so that I can teach my pupils the ribbed stitch which is lovely.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Home a week

Well I have been home a whole week and it feels as if it was a lifetime ago. School is back in earnest with full days and lunch at school (I have a new lunch bag courtesy of Macy's) so that was fun.
This weekend Dad and I went to the beach to see mum who has been there for the week. It was nice weather and I took some stitching but ended up making a ball for my sister in law Cathy and trying out a new pattern today. Not certain if I will make another one or even teach it but it was fun using some different colours. have to think about how the bottom will be finished.

Purl Soho - nice shop lower manhattan
Just thought I would put a couple of pictures from new york on here for all to see. We went to the 9/11 memorial site - very security conscious and long way to walk but it will be incredible when all the new buildings are finished.

Stephanie with new World Trade Centre Tower 1 being built.
From the Empire state down to WTC Plaza
Empire State, WTC from Rockefeller Centre.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Holiday was wicked

Today was our last day so we decided to visit a section of the city called Canal Street as we had to find the Bose shop for friends of stephanie's. Purl Soho was also down this area, so we managed to call in there also. Got two skeins of wool for her. Had a real Italian lunch which was a delight. Bought a pile of presents today, shopping with a vengance today. Bused uptown to Macy's for shopping and bought a Macy's lunch bag, very cute. Onto NHL shop via HBO and more last minute gifts. Back to dead sea scrolls exhibition, which was a nice reflective end to our holiday.
Back to the hotel and commencement of the packing saga. Mostly done and downstairs to happy hour where we spent time talking to a couple from Pennsylvania. Out at 7pm to go to the Gershwin Theatre to see "Wicked". It was fabulous and a fitting end to our holiday. Back to Times Square, visit to Walgrens to get last minute chocolates and pack the bags. Last night sleep and up in the morning to have the last breakfast and airport transfer in the morning.
Thanks Stephanie for a great holiday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day three New York City

Blog notes
16 Jan: mum and Dad wedding anniversary. Went early and did washing. Tried porridge for brekkie but not nice. Booked tickets to wicked for Wednesday. Caught bus to water taxi and to Battery Park to visit 9/11 Memorial. Really cold day today.
Walked along wall street - cut off from traffic then water taxi back to pier 88. Bus M50 to Madison ave and walked up to 71 to Laduree shop. Bought macaroons to take home. On bus to carriage ride talking to ladies about a Sotheby's exhibition. Needlework samplers.
Carriage ride fun but cold, wandered to display centre afterwards, then bus on 6th/m42 to times square.
Did Madame tussauds nice but not crowded. Just photo op things rather than displays.
17 Jan; today was a wet day so we had decided to visit the museums. Got to the metropolitan museum of art and straight in as not too many there. Wandered the Egyptian section and was suitably amazed at the range of artifacts. Found ourselves having a restorative cup of tea and then into the impressionists and other paintings. So nice we like the same paintings. Contact with Ewan so we walked up to the Guggenheim museum and met him for lunch. Went to Lexington grill and had pastrami on rye with a snapper. Nice!!
Around the Guggenheim and was strangest artwork we have seen this trip. Back to the mma for a view if the 9/11 quilt and then hotel for a rest before hockey. More on that tomorrow.
Only one day to go and we will nearly be home.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New York disaster

Lost my iPod with all blog updates that u had not posted but can say that rest of time in Paris was great. Did lots more walking and we seemed to find metro stations with the furtherest interchanges possible. Musee d'Orsay was fabulous on Wednesday morning and saw heaps of new paintings that had not been on my radar before. Train trip back was food until we got to Ashford.
Here are some photos of Paris to keep you happy as they are of us with the Eiffel tower.

Monday, January 9, 2012

1500 steps and counting

A broken night with a txt and then a false fire alarm meant that the first night in Paris was fun. Up and finding a patisserie for breakfast, then to the Trocadero for Eiffel Tower visit. Cloud meant we caught the bus to the place de la Concorde instead and did the Tuilieres Gardens. Great walk through and into the pyramid-shades of da Vinci code. Queue time was about 20 minutes and then off to find the treasures which were amazing. Looked for Vermeer's Lacemaker and all there was was the mark on the wall.
Once we left and onto the bus again via notre Dame and champ de elysses. Photos then hotel for recharge of all batteries and back on the metro fort Notre Dame. Great photos and dusk bought more shots. Metro again and back to the Arc de Triomphe to climb to the top with a sustenance stop at McDonalds. Macaroons and more steps bought us back to the hotel after a full day of marvels and wonders.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sacre Coeur and Eiffel tower

A most wonderful day as we travelled on Eurostar to Paris for three days. The train no sooner left Ashford than we seemed to be in the tunnel and on our way. France seemed much drier than England but our arrival in Paris was just after our quick lunch. A taxi to our hotel, check in, txt to Melissa and a cuppa while we waited for her. At 2pm we met in the foyer and went off exploring.
A decision to walk to the Montmartre and Sacre Coeur found us looking at all the artists and their works in the square. We both purchased a watercolour to take home. The basilica was fabulous and our first sight of the Eiffel tower was the realization that we were here!!!!
We caught the Metro to Trocadero and it was dusk so the tower was well lit. Many photo angles later we had crossed the Seine and were standing underneath. Wandering around it was time for Melissa to leave us and we parted. Such a pleasure to see her. Stephanie and I then wandered our way along the Seine, crossed and found a metro station to return us to the hotel. Dinner was at a local Lebanese which was nice. Back to the hotel and the sound of trains to send us to sleep. A great day in gay Paree!!!!

The Ritz and Kettering

7 Jan: today is the Ritz. Most fabulous start to the day with getting up in time to say bye to Peter. Breakfast with Jane and then off to catch another train. Nice trip down with an interesting seat companion - part of Kettering 6 football followers. Almost compelled me to follow him to reading. Got to Charing Cross and met the girls. Wandered along to Twinings shop and then it was time to walk to the Ritz. Met Dawn so went in. Tried out the powder room and checked our coats into the cloakroom. Very refined and seated by frock coated gentlemen. Service was delightful. Tried silver needle tea then plain green tea, both which were nice. Sandwiches kept coming as did offers of cakes and scones. Most delightful conversation with some serious bloopers by whole party. Afterwards a walk around Fortnum and Mason's then onto Leicester Square. Decided no food was needed so had food for the soul instead and went to see "The Artist" which was the most amazing movie. Most expensive train home to Chartham and then to pack one bag between us for tomorrow's trip to Paris.
Many thanks to Stephanie for a great afternoon and lovely to catch up with Dawn again.
6 Jan: John Collett's birthday today. David foster came in for coffee this morning and it was wonderful to see him, just like the year's had not gone by. Dinner with all the family which was nice. Also got a we look at Jenny's granddaughter Emily.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Relaxing before the Ritz

I have been very spoilt for the last couple of days while staying with my cousin Jane and family in Kettering. Jenny, Jane and I went out for coffee yesterday which became lunch and then a drive around the pictureskew villages around Kettering. Tried to get a photo of Boughton House but not a great shot but did get the windymills by Burton Latimer as well as the biggest warehouse I have ever seen.
Eleanor Cross at Geddington

Jenny and Jane at Warkton
We did try to have another cuppa at the various tea shops in the villages but we were not very successful. 
Jane and David

Jenny and baby Emily

Thursday evening we met up with Ben and fiance Alyssa for dinner at Frank and Benny's a chain restaurant which was quite nice.
Ben and Alyssa
Peter, Jane, Toby, John and Jenny

Friday cousin David came for a visit before he started work and he is looking well, just slightly older like all of us. I then went over to Jenny and John's for the day so we had good times sitting and talking, a couple of walks up to the post office and then a look at all Jenny's cards. She has done some beautiful cross stitched cards which are just amazing. She is also doing some papercraft cards and these are great. She is very clever and enjoying her retirement. Jane, Peter and Toby came for tea which was nice.