miscellaneousPosted by Anne Wed, May 11, 2016 18:22:01
In April I was fortunate to have had a touring holiday in Portugal. Arraiolas one of the small towns near Lisbon was particularly interesting. It is famous for its rug production which dates back to the seventeenth century or even earlier.
What fascinated me was that these large rugs were, and still are produced by hand. They use naturally dyed wool and hand stitch onto canvas creating wonderful patterns.
I visited a museum where they have on display a wonderful array of large rugs. In one of the rooms a woman was busy making a small rug. I was amazed to see that she used an embroidery stitch with a needle to create the intricate patterns. After watching her carefully I discovered she was using a long arm cross stitch. I took a close up photo and hope you can see the stitches.
It is incredible that these large rugs, more like carpets, are made in this way. The method is so labour intensive but the final result is fantastic.
miscellaneousPosted by Anne Tue, May 26, 2015 18:02:14
I have just returned from a cruise on the “Hidden Waterways of Germany” - an interesting trip visiting many old towns and cities in the north of the country, ending up in the Dutch City of Amsterdam.
Of special interest was the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam where the Potsdam Conference between the victorious leaders (Truman, Stalin and Churchill) was held in July 1945 at the end of World War II.
The visit to the picturesque towns in the Hartz Mountains was fascinating . This is an area steeped in European folklore where every crag is supposedly hiding a giant, goblin or gnome. Witches are still feared today. The Brothers Grimm used many of the local stories as inspiration for their fantasy tales.
The cruise finished in Holland sailing across the Ijsselmeer (formerly known as the Ziderzee) which was quite choppy. The Dutch towns were very pretty but one needed to have eyes in the back of one’s head to avoid the multitude of bicycles which came at you from all sides, especially in Amsterdam. I was told that there were 880,000+, and I can believe this.
miscellaneousPosted by Anne Sun, May 11, 2014 16:39:46
May started with a 10 day trip to Iceland a beautiful and unique island situated just below the Artic Circle where the adjacent North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are drifting apart at the rate of I" a year. Consequently there is considerable volcanic action across the central part of the island.
I saw splendid snow covered volcanoes; magnificent waterfalls; glaciers and glacial lakes; lava fields; hot springs and geysers; picturesque fjords and warm lagoons which people use in all weathers.
Iceland has a lot to offer as a holiday destination and lots of inspiration for a creative artist.