Saturday, October 31, 2009

Colors of Italy...

I just love the colors in this photo. They are so vibrant and alive. Our last day in Florence we went to the Mercato and spent time visiting each of the different stalls. There were amazing buckets of olives in every shape and color. Fruits and vegetables of all types...but do not touch any of them or you will get yelled at as they think they (the vendor) should select them for you.
There were cured meats of all shapes and sizes. Hams, prosciuttos, salamis, and many that I have no idea what they were. This photo just makes me think it should be our cover shot for this year's Christmas cards. LOL

And then there was Andrea...the happy, smiling and helpful deli counter Italian who spoke a tiny bit of English. We had eaten some salami at one of our dinners earlier in the week and asked if he knew what it was. Our lucky day! It was Finocchiona and made special in Florence. The salami is infused with fennel (which we both love!) so it has a slight licorice taste and is delicious. Well, Andrea honored our request for some picnic items for our train ride and packaged our items perfectly. We bought Finocchiona sliced just right, Pecorino cheese, some soft dark bread and the extra special item...pear chutney to dip our Pecorino cheese into. Very YUMMY!!!

We boarded the train in Florence and headed to Cinque Terra which was our next location. Along the way we enjoyed our little picnic and the amazing views while zipping along. We found the trains to be quite accommodating and easy to use.
To sum up our stay in Florence...thank goodness we went in the off tourist season since there were hundreds of people in their tour groups. It was quite crowded to say the least. After hours it did settle down and one could walk the streets much more easily.
Ciao Florence. Boun giorno Cinque Terra will be the next post.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Florence sights...

Welcome to Florence Italy. This is where my adventures began last month when my husband and I went on Holiday vacation. As any of you who travel know the flights are extremely long and crowded. Lots of delays and virtually no sleep so that when you arrive at your destination you are so tired you just cannot even think straight. Fortunately for me my husband is a wonderful organizer and planner and therefore he gets us where we need to be with me just blindly following along. I am usually in such a daze and all wonder-eyed at the sights and sounds that I have absolutely no clue what I am doing or where I am going. I have such a child-like wonder at seeing everything. Traveling for me is incredibly mind expanding.

The Duomo in photo at the top is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and is the centerpiece of Florence. Neptune's fountain is in the Piazza della Signoria and while we were there was being repaired from damage done by someone. Florence is easily managed on foot and we did a lot of walking. Of course we visited Michelangelo's "David" who resides in the Accademia museum. Absolutely no photos are permitted of this most amazing statue. We also enjoyed the Uffizi and the Cappelle Medicee museums.

I just love the tiny little Smart cars. Of course we now have them here in the States but in Italy they make such better sense as the cobblestoned streets and alleys are all so very narrow and crowded.

Oh the famous Ponte Vecchio which means "Old Bridge". It crosses the Arno river and is lined with jewelry shops. This view we took from inside the Uffizi so you can see some glass glare. Our weather was perfect and we had an amazing time in Florence.

I shall share some food favorites and a special spot in a future post. For now we shall say Ciao to Florence.
I would love to hear of your travels to Italy and what your favorite thing might have been.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Comfort Dolls...

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday.
I feel extra good today as I am mailing out some Comfort Dolls to Pat Winter who so generously organizes and distributes these to womens shelters all over the country. Check out her blog: for more information on how you can support this very worthwhile cause.
I merely took a vintage fabric panel and stitched and stuffed these little angels into "comfort dolls". They each have Swarovski sparkle eyes which I like to think shows us all that we can have a "twinkle" in our eyes even when our situation seems the bleakest. And each doll has a heart button to remind us that we all have heart.
I will find comfort just knowing that each recipient will hopefully have a smile and know they are thought about and wished the strength and courage to improve their lives.
Today I shall spend time with some dear friends as we have lunch together and share lots of laughter.
Life is all about the caring and compassion for everyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's good to be home...

Oh it is so good to be home. Dear Hubby and I are safely home after spending 20 days away. I am still recovering from exhaustion but today finally feel like I will survive. This is the only photo of me that I do not look as weary as I felt every day. This was early in the day before the grind of museums or hill towns got me drop dead worn out.
Our destination was Italy...Florence, Cinque Terra, Pisa, Tuscany, Umbria and Rome. In the next few weeks I shall tell more in detail. As for now we had beautiful weather with only one morning that rain drenched us and shortened our plans. We had excellent travel with planes, trains and automobiles. DH plans everything so well that we really were well prepared for this trip.
As you can see from this photo we ate our way through Italy. This was homemade granola (muesli is what they call it...I prefer granola as it sounds so much better to me) with some strawberry yogurt. I have lots of photos of food that we enjoyed which I shall share along the way.
My goal was to find bead shops in Italy for my new jewelry line "Adorn Me!". Well that proved to be very difficult however I did manage to find a couple and will share these adventures as well.
As for now, I am catching up on tons of laundry, reacquainting myself with our beloved aging fur-child kitty and enjoying friends who are all too willing to listen to our travel tales. This entire trip was a no techno gadget time for us so you can imagine how much I missed reading all of your blogs and now I am catching up on those too.
"There is no place like home" and it is so good to be back in my beautiful cozy familiar home. I am extremely grateful for the trip of a life time and the experiences and memories it allowed me.
Now it is time to get into the studio and get to making jewelry.