All posts filed under: Travel Stories

Germany at last.

Our first morning in Krefeld was met with bright sunshine. I woke and looked out the window and along the tree lined street were trees in pure spring green, magnolias were on every block and the centuries old dwellings are of immense proportions. I had a relaxed breakfast on the verandah overlooking the gardens and pinched myself at my good fortune.  Gone was the niggling insecurity  of “why am I here” that rears its head sometimes as a Tutor on the road. As an explanation for my comments I’ve  had two months travel so far. Three  countries and hundreds of  people to interact with and instruct and personal space is snatched in small parcels of time. Later in the morning, Lisa and I decided to walk to a local park we saw on the map Claudia gave us and after a small interaction with a couple of workmen over the road, we were pointed in the right direction. How many times did we smile, how many times did we tell each other how lucky we …

For dedicated quilters, going to Asilomar is like a week long creative party.

I met the most interesting man at lunch. He had the cutest round glasses and of course I told him so… then we had a conversation about glasses.

It was great to visit with him, we talked about the psychology of creativity. Those little surprises are precious. He mentioned that some people live their creativity, it affects everything they do. I never looked at it that way.

Living the life folks. – The journey of the traveling Grandma.

Day 24 of 89 on the road. The day began early. Very early. Check the weight of the luggage, I am so sick of lifting luggage, my arms ache, but I had to do it again, no one else is there to do if for me.   Scoot down to the lobby and wait for the shuttle to the airport. I didn’t have any coffee in the system so I thought I did pretty darn well. The lobby was full even at that time of the day and as I walked to the exit, I made sure I had the right amount of cash for a tip to the guy who took my luggage down. There’s nothing worse that trying to find a tip in front of the recipient. I left a $5 tip for the maid in the room yesterday. Jaya (aged 5) wondered what it was for and I explained that it was a ‘kindness donation’ because the lady worked hard to clean my room and look after me so nicely.  She looked …

From sketch to stretch.

I don’t have much time home in my studio so I need to work through the new ideas that have taken shape during the past year of travel. I do a number of drawings in my sketch book as I travel, mainly on the plane to be honest. This is one I did when I was in Tuscany a few years ago. The narrow, tall buildings hung precariously onto top of the sculptured hills. So I decided to do something with the drawings this year. “Have you been to Tuscany?”  came about. I drew it first. Then I began stitching free motion with the sewing machine. The important thing in this image s to stitch the background quite intensively and you can see in this image how the quilt begins to shrink as the quilting is done. But hours of experience tells me all will be flat once the stitching is complete. OK, there are lots of tips and tricks to go through to get the quilt to this stage… but you could leave the …

Images of Guatemala – No 2.

  Images of Guatemala. I’ve met this lady on a previous trip, she features in the Destination Craft Show on PBS. She sits in the square near the church and for a small fee ill demonstrate how to wrap the head gear. The red hand woven strip is about 10 feet long and the colored part on the end sits on the outside of the weave. It’s fascinating to watch her do it. I saw a number of older women with this head attire, but mostly they just wore a cloth or ribbon covering.     The cemetery in Chichicastenango. Away from the town center of Chichicastenango, Guatemala, on a hill that is rarely touched by tourists, one of the most colorful cemeteries in the world is hidden in plain sight. Steeped in Mayan tradition, the vibrant rainbow of pigments celebrates the afterlife, and can symbolize different family roles, like a color-coded clue to the puzzle of the dead. Featuring rows upon rows of painted crosses and tall mausoleums, the Chichicastenango Cemetery is a perfect …

The colors of Antigua Guatemala.

Down cobblestone streets full of color and noise. The temperature is in the high 70’s and the air is clean. The streets are full of people, I’m sad to see so many children working on the street selling things. My Pollyanna persona hopes that they go to school later or earlier in the day.  Many women still wear traditional dress, and the color combination is astounding. I learn so much about color from just observing. There is often music in the air and the smell of coffee emanating from the little boutique  shops is tantalizing. That said I’m not diminishing the fact that the wages are very low here and for many people life is hard. I hope you don’t mind my perspective of what I see.         Just walking, fountains and feathers. The beautiful Chicken buses. The local market. Huipils.   A huge warehouse full of surprises. I visit it every day to see what new goodies have arrived from the countryside.       And then there are the churches.