Friday, September 30, 2011

finding my way back to normal... or not! :)

Hello my friends-
Before leaving, Terry still squeezed in some time to teach me the basics of Felting. She also gave me her opinion on some quilts I was planning. This Dahlia was part of a hand-stitching class I had taught a few years back. And we were so happy to see it transform, in a matter of hours, into a beautiful quilt top for Victoria's Basics, before her departure.

Backlighting makes this Dahlia look like stained glass!
Thanks Diana for the wonderful tip of using my walking foot for machine applique.
It really worked!
I continued working on it some more this week, and started machine quilting it yesterday. It's been such a joy working to work on, and I think she is going to be a beautiful addition to someone's life in New York City.

Farmer's wife blocks are still getting happily hand-stitched around here. I seem to have found a groove that works. I mark a few blocks in advance and store them in between the corresponding pages of my book. This way when I have a chance, I stitch! :)
 This week I worked on quite a few teeny weeny half-square triangles. Most of these were made 'on the go' or in the car. These made Camelot's HST feel 'normal' size in comparison, and so I resolved to spend some time this weekend to mark some more to continue Camelot.

 We had lovely birthday celebrations this weekend. In my family we passed a bylaw long time ago, that birthdays are 3 day celebrations. And for the last few days the boys and I have been having fun planning a little birthday school-party for their friends this morning. There was cake, there were treat-bags, there was jelly and loads of fun!

Used a little of Terry's Block printed fabric for a centre.
The best souvenir of our wonderful visit!

My little stash of FW's  keeps growing: 26! Only 75 more to go.
-but that green pinboard is not very flattering!

 I was finishing this block this morning, while waiting for the boys to finish school, when we received the sad news of our great-aunt Sophia's passing away. She made me feel so special and welcomed when I first moved to Cyprus. Always insisting I sit next to her at family functions 'so she could practice her English'- and after a while she invariably would switch to French, and so forced me to practice my elemental french from school. In later years she would encourage me to speak greek and would patiently wait for me to find the right words to say. She had been an illustrious teacher, loving mother, aunt and grandmother to us all. A Kyria (lady) in the real sense of the word. She is the last of that generation to leave us. We will miss you, Yayia Fifi. May your memory be Eternal!

And last but not least, a very warm Thank you to Wendy; your emails made my day! :)

wishing you all a wonderful weekend and even though ours will be a sober one, I hope there will plenty of time for stitching.

Oh I nearly forgot!
These are the two Farmer's Wife blocks that I couldn't upload last week!

Looking forward to visiting Kathinca, Marga and Nadine and seeing for their FW blocks are progressing.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Taste of Cyprus with Terry

Hello everyone,
Sorry i have been so absent, but hubby has been gone on a looooong business trip and it's been challenging to keep things rolling along smoothly. But All is Well--- I did it! (yeay for me!) And the Boys had a marvelous time. Hubby will be home tomorrow morning; in time for us to start birthday celebrations for our youngest who will be turning 5! The trick in the last weeks was for me to remember stay calm, stitch like a mad-woman when things started getting hairy--not lose my cool and keep those little active (chatty!) little  (sorry, Mama, we are BIG!!!) boys engaged and to keep the routine going. Imagine, we had homework for the first time; and everything that could go wrong did! LOL What do you expect with a 4 and a 5 year old being asked to sit still and finish these tasks... oh the drama... and me just having flashbacks of homework horrors of my past and envisioning a bleak tormenting endless homework sessions in the future... It ended well. And they were so proud to take their completed work to school. And I actually finished my first of Terry's Spiral Blocks ( a.k.a. Delicious Vertigo!) If you can't beat them, Stitch- 1-2-3 Breathe 1-2-3 Stitch!

It's about 14" across
 and I need to tweak a bit with the template for the block to lay a bit more flat.
But oh so enjoyable to make!

Terry is back from Alsace this week and I have been enjoying her company and friendship again. Oh my, it sounds like Alsace was incredible and her trip to the Museum of Printed Textiles in Mulhouse France an amazing experience.

Terry will be sharing all about it on her blog soon. I was fascinated as she was explaining the process to me and all she did at the workshop. Another stop we need to plan for in our 'someday soon' quilter's european tour! :)

Today I took Terry for a "taste of Cyprus": through the Troodos mountains to Paphos and back to Nicosia via Limassol taking the scenic route.

In Paphos we visited the House of Dionysios and I got to take some pictures of the mosaic floors, I had been wanting to share with you for quite some time. Talk about Antique designs!
Isn't it amazing?
Clamshells with a twist!

Even my Farmer's Wife blocks got in on the action, :)

Blogger is being a royal pain. So (stitch 123-breathe-123...) I will try to upload these unto Flickr if you want to see my other 2 blocks for this week. And Please, forgive me if I haven't answered your comments and emails. I think I have a virus that is not letting me see my gmail. But help is arriving tomorrow!
Looking forward to visiting Kathinca, Marga and Nadine and seeing for their FW blocks are progressing.

I wish you a lovely weekend, with plenty of stitching and fun times,
Valentina ( and Terry!  she's waving! :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

hello friends!

I wasn't sure I'd be able to post at all, but here is a really quick one to share this week's progress on Farmer's Wife.


It's been busy, but I look forward to slowing down this weekend. I need to recharge my batteries and look forward to a bit of hand-quiling.

Sending you my love,

Friday, September 9, 2011

Going 'round with Terry

It has been such a delight to share these last few days with Terry: there has been sharing, there has been laughing, there certainly has been stitching, and there has been plenty of adventure.

Terry, it's so wonderful having you around!

Tomorrow she leaves for her next chapter in this long trip of hers, but we already have so many plans for her return in two weeks time.
And so before you even ask: yes, I confess. I am weak and fickle and I can't wait to start making Terry's Spiral circle block, tonight. I have been trying so hard to resist, but when I saw it yesterday, close up and personal--- swoon! You will be happy to know, that I resisted for almost 24 hours... One more Project, V?! Okay, so who needs sleep. :)

The boys have started school and Terry has been a great help with them, telling them all about Billabongs, Cockatoos, Galah, Goannas and Kangaroos, while I tried to get that breakfast into them. 

Famagusta Gate in Old Nicosia
This morning we went for a walk in Old Nicosia, and we had a fabulous time. Even for me, there is always new things to discover.

A traditional door in Old Nicosia.
This building, like many in the old town, is patiently awaiting
 loving renovation.

The highlight was our visit to the House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios  An ethnological museum from the time of the Ottomans.

 taking a breather in the coolness of the inner courtyard
The tv room
The house dates from 1793, and houses some spectacular needlework. Terry and I were in awe of the intricacy of the work. And here are some examples we would like to share.

The lady of the house would have been dressed like this
the collar

the sleeves

And these lace jasmine blossoms edging the head dress-
talk about impossibly delicate...

Laced garments part of an ancient dowry

and a quilt

It was an incredible experience, impossible to forget. Thanks Terry!

I know it is late in the day, and I hope Kathinca, Marga and Nadine don't mind, but I did manage to make another 4 Farmer's Wife blocks this week. This brings me to my first dozen, and that means only 99 more to go! :) 
I have been enjoying them so much and look forward to next week's harvest.
Have a lovely weekend, and thanks for your visits. I am so looking forward to some 'me' time next week when I am planning some serious catching up time with you, my dear blogfriends! See you soon!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a little more of Prague

I just love Mucha's famous Art Nouveau prints 

Not a lot of stitching going on around here, and I am missing it. But I hope to do something about that this afternoon.

The boys are happy about having started school yesterday. And I am very excited preparing for the arrival of Terry from Australia tomorrow morning. She's on her way to Alsace to the great European Patchwork Meeting in France, and is taking a little breather with me, in Cyprus, before continuing her journey. And as you can imagine, I am so excited in having the opportunity of meeting another Blog friend.  (because as you well know, I dream of meeting all of you! :) up close and personal, stitching together and enjoying our friendships...)

And maybe we could meet in Prague...  :)

Old Prague from the Charles bridge tower
Let me show you some more pictures.
Want to come along for a stroll? :)

Looking up will taking a stroll down Pariska (Paris) Avenue 

Enjoying the Vltava river and the views of the Castle on the hill

 the details... oh the details!

And I still have a few more to share. 
Until then I hope you enjoy your stitching!

Friday, September 2, 2011

If only...

... we could have had a few more days in Prague... 

Prague is beautiful, unassumingly elegant, and leaves you feeling like a better- more cultured version of yourself. We enjoyed our walks, went to concerts, sat and enjoyed ourselves in idyllic cafe's and my camera never stopped: every corner turned, and another "Ah!-sigh-click!"--- 

For someone who had always described herself as a bit of a Bohemian at heart, to actually find myself in the geographical centre of Bohemia, was something else. :)
Imagine, I even have a street I could easily call my own...

I promise I will share more pictures in the days to come. 

It was lovely to spend time as a couple, and it was hard for both of us to tear ourselves away and get back to reality.  But we were missing the boys and promised ourselves to be back soon, with them, and stay longer. Four days just wasn't enough.

Getting back from Cloud Nine did not grace us with a soft landing. This week has been a crazy whirlwind: from having be rudely re-introduced to the stresses everyday drama, while attempting to make the best out of the last week of summer holiday, to wrapping our heads around the fact that September is here, and school starts next week. But somehow things always fall into place. And there is a sense of comfort knowing soon we will be enjoying our new routines. Life goes on, too quickly. And this coming school year is promising to bring some big changes to our little family. So maybe we are reluctant as parents, of seeing our boys growing up so fast. Maybe we are realizing that our parents need us more and more. Maybe it is knowing that we need to make time as a couple to be able to face all these challenges together. Focusing on what's important, being grateful for what we have, taking risks that might make a difference in the future and holding on to each other. And actively refusing to be suck into the negativity and unnecessary drama of others. I am taking a stance against stress! Beware---I have got sharp needles and I know how to use them! :)

Speaking of which, I have a few things to share:
I decided to take Camelot half-square triangles with me to Prague. It has been slow progress, but I am liking the results.

I also can report on a Dear Jane block: I have fallen a bit behind, but have found my way back to it, already making templates for the next few blocks.

It has been fun doing progress report with Kathinca and Marga on Fridays. With their encouragement and inspiration ( you should see their blocks: wow!) I actually managed 4 blocks this week for the Farmer's Wife Quilt-along. They are both such accomplished stitchers and are moving so swiftly, it leaves me wanting more! :)

And I am so happy to tell you that Nadine has joined us, from her extended get-away in Spain, this fall. We both decided that this was the project we had been saving our shirtings for, and so far, it seems a good decision. 

Gotta run. But promise myself to breathe in deeply, and smile. Life is too short, and up to us to make it beautiful.  sigh...


My Patchwork Family Through Adoption

A Bit of Africa and China
Came knocking on our door
And in a home where there was longing
Now empty rooms no more

Like a Quilt of Many Colours
Our Family stitched together into One
God's Love and Grace for us Abundant
In the Miracle of our Sons

Written by Valentina