Sunday, February 22, 2009

a better day

Sitges is a beach town south of Barcelona; it has a reputation for being a gay hangout but there seems to be a really nice mix of families, and all variations of couples and singles. And it has the beautiful northern Spanish architecture and decoration. The weather today was superb -- look at the color of the sky in these photos! And it was warm enough for shirt-sleeves until about 6 pm.

This is a building I loved, with the traditional ironwork and red geraniums: And here's a picture for the Friday Block party crowd to show that those HSTs are just everywhere!
More cool architecture -- wouldn't it be great to have this circular sunroom?
It's Carnival here, and today was the big parade. (last night was party-in-the-streets until 3 am night). There were lots of children in costume, and a few families, like this swarm of bees:
And some clowns -- isn't that little boy a doll?
And finally, this guy, who was happy to pose for photos:
In addition to a teapot which I think my room should have but it doesn't, I think they should provide small sewing machines for quilters who go through withdrawal after a few days. More updates when I have WiFi again!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

my trip to Barcelona

no pictures and no quilting in this post -- just an update on my travels so far...
We left San Francisco right on time at about 8 p.m.  About 10 minutes after take-off came an announcement: "are there any medical doctors on this plane?"  and a few minutes later: "is there anyone who speaks Turkish on the plane?"  and that was followed by the announcement that someone was seriously ill and we had to go back. But -- you can't just go back and land a 747 with a full load of fuel, so first we had to fly around for nearly an hour and dump fuel; then we had to wait another hour while the paramedics did their job and the plane was refueled, and then the gyroscope had to be adjusted...  so we got back in the air 2-1/2 hours late.

The flight was great, except the part where I flip my footrest down and it hit the little tray with my full glass of wine and tipped it all into my lap. Thankfully that was only an hour or so into the flight so it had hours to dry... sort of. My jeans have the distinct odor of sauvignon blanc now, and I'm going to have to do something about it!

Of course by the time I got to London I had missed my connection, but British Air was very "proactive" about the whole thing and had already booked me on the next flight and made sure my luggage came along. Finally arrived in Barcelona around 9 and the tourist kiosk was closed so I decided to just catch a cab to the hotel in Sitges -- a little beach town about 30km south of Barcelona.  However, it's a town of narrow little streets and my cab driver (who spoke no English) was totally baffled about how to get to the hotel. After driving around and wasting about 20 euros and asking lots of people (all tourists) where the hotel was, he gave up and basically kicked me out of the cab. He was talking non-stop in Spanish but that didn't help much!  After first walking way too far in the wrong direction I finally made it to the right place.  Here I am, it's almost midnight local time, and the wireless is free! Things have to go more smoothly from here, right?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

where was I?

Look what I did! I bought this yarn in New Zealand in November and the sweater is done already! It's a yummy alpaca-merino wool blend in Rare Essentials Astrakhan and the pattern was super easy to do. This is the first sweater I've knit in about 35 years. I put all different pewter buttons on it, although I didn't do a good job of photographing them. (now I just need to learn to sew the seams more neatly, and block things...)

I've been sewing a little bit, too. This is a block for a monthly swap -- this month's request was for "circles". I had no clue, so I just started messing around with batiks, and added a little stitching, and then some beads... and it got mailed off today.
I also mailed off my 4 Seasons Quilt Swap -- monochromatic version -- but I won't show a photo yet.

And, there's been a little progress with those Amish houses I won a few months ago. They now have trees and a road, and I need to sew them all together and think about a border. I might need to rearrange a few blocks again. It won't be the first time!
Here's a picture of one of the visitors we had a few nights ago, in between rainstorms. There were several of them right outside the dining room's French doors, where I sew. Bucky was inside and didn't seem bothered by them at all. (if another cat wanders by the door, he goes ballistic, though)
And last but not least -- week 7 of the the Friday Block Party. This is called "Lucky Stars" and it was another doozy. (Kathleen, do you recognize the fabric from the EBHQ swap table?)
I'm leaving for Europe on Friday for a week. I decided to drag the laptop along this time, so I may have some photos to post along the way. I always get annoyed at the high prices for internet connections when I'm traveling -- but it's for work this time so I won't care so much.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

What do you think?

The blocks above are going to be for a swap, and I'm trying to decide how to arrange them -- actually I'm just playing with them over and over because I'm too lazy to go and trim them all! They're all the same blocks but the photos were taken at different times so only the one in the upper right is "real" color, and that's the arrangement I'm leaning towards. Comments?

And here is this week's creation for the Friday Block Party -- it's called Wyoming Trails, and it was a pain to make!