Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Blog #63 - I'm Off Again Soon

Monday,  21 August 2017
Those of you who have been my friend for a long time and have been reading my blogs
for years know that I was very blessed and fortunate to travel throughout Italy
for four weeks with my Auckland friend, Elizabeth Darrah,
and then going to stay with my awesome Italian designer friend, Giulia of GPA Designs and then travelling to Belgium to meet up with other needlework designer friends, Monique and Gigi, and to exhibit at a needlework show in that beautiful country.
I loved the trip!  And the country of Italy!! 
I was so impressed by the beautiful architecture and statues
as well as the magnificent scenery.
Each area of the country had it's own unique features -
so much so that I couldn't say which area I loved the most.
  However, have to say that I almost became a statistic in that country.

I was so impressed by the huge doors.

Looked up the street in Rome  (Nationale Street) to see if there was any traffic -
none, and so stepped out onto the road
as I couldn't get all of the doors into my photo above into the camera frame -
but I had looked the wrong way and stepped out in front of a bus.
Didn't realise it until I felt my dress swishing around my legs and wondered why!
Many of you wrote before and after my trip requesting I write all about our experiences and I truly planned to do this.
I faithfully kept a daily diary and took lots and lots of photos -
but when I got home there were so many tasks to catch up on that my wonderful experiences on a daily basis never did get written.
 However, I did touch on them in Blog #44
and I have recorded a summary - 10 pages - of my awesome time.
If you would like to look at this, it can be read on my website in PDF form - www.barberryrow.com/blog/blog.home.html
The title of the blog is -  Italy 2015
Below are a few pics that are not included in that write-up -
Beautiful shops in Florence!

In the shop above, hand-stitched samplers were hanging on the walls.
Worked by the shop owners grandmother and aunty.
Elizabeth just had to buy from one of the exclusive
(ring the bell for admittance) jewellery shops
located on the Vecchio Bridge -
and it was SO hot we had to have a fruit juice and gelato!
Treated ourselves or rather, indulged ourselves,
with a special afternoon tea at one of the cafes/gelato shops
located in the San Marco Square, Venice.
&  Murano
I had a spend when on the island of Murano.
My purchase had to be shipped home -
it was too large for my suitcase!
With Giulia
at Di Porto Venere,
before being taken by her and Mario to the walled town of Lucca
& to historical Pisa.
At the needlework show in Belgium - my site
and delightful Gigi.
And at quaint Bruges,
with my other delightful friend
and wonderful tour guide, Monique.
I am now preparing to return to Italy.
Tania - the organiser - and designer friend, Niky of Niky's Creations
invited me when I visited Fili senza tempo in Formigine during my last trip to Italy
to participate in their needlework show.
I was not able to do it last year.
I feel very privileged to have been asked
and, as I am to be their guest,
overwhelmed that almost all my expenses are being paid.
I'm SO excited !!

Here is a photo of the 2015 show poster
and me outside the venue -
This year the show is to be held at a different location to the 2015 show.

Still in an historic castle, but this time at a castle built in the late 900's
near Castelvetro de Modena - about 45 minutes from the city of Bologna.
Below is a pic of the advertisement.  Doesn't it look fabulous?!
I truly am blessed.
For those of you who have known me most of my life
will know that for me to be travelling overseas to a foreign country
- especially on my own -
is something I never thought would ever have happened
or that I ever dreamt of doing.
I was always such a timid, shy person.
I can still remember the words Pat Carson
(of 'Designs by Gloria & Pat')
spoke to me when she came to stay with us in 1994
and I had organised a special evening for her at Manuel's, Taupo.
I was so anxious, nervous and worried about having to introduce her.
She said, "You're a scared little bunny, aren't you?"
If my grandmother were alive today,
I do hope that she would be pleased and proud
of the person I have become
and of what I have done with the inheritance that she left to me.
She was such a confident, entrepreneurial lady.
More news in my next blog.

Blog #62 - Sampler Gathering 2017

Wednesday,  9 August 2017

As I wrote in my 2015 Sampler Gathering blog - a wonderful few days for sampler lovers
to get together with other sampler lovers to enjoy a shared interest
and to stitch their choice of one of three projects being taught.
Fabulous Venue   :   Fabulous Food   :   Fabulous Samplers
Awesome Tutors   :  Interesting Lectures
Mid afternoon of Thursday the 3rd of August Keith and I travelled to Taupo
and while Keith unloaded all the crates containing stock from the car
I began dressing the tables with props and cloths
and sorting out in my mind where and how I would set up the displays.
Layout of the room was quite different this year
due to a larger number of class attendees
which necessitated more teaching tables and less room for me.
However, it wasn't a concern as managed with several single tables
rather than a connected row of tables,
which in some ways was easier to display,
as able to create a theme for each table. 
Here are a few pics -
Several ladies allowed me to display their 'Family Quaker Sampler' -
our 2016 mystery sampler project - which I have written about before.
Sadly I messed up when I took the photo of Dorothy's lovely sampler.
(Didn't focus it properly).
My sincere apologies, Dorothy.
It truly is a lovely piece of work.
Below is a pic of the samplers by Fiona (Hamilton) and Sharon (Napier).
Each sampler is so different and therefore each one unique
and meaningful for each needleworker.
In addition to the choice of layout
and content of each sampler
and the choice of motifs,
it's amazing the difference
that the fabric and thread choices have also made. 
Both samplers shown above have been stitched with Sampler Threads
by 'The Gentle Art'.
Fiona's sampler (greens - Green With Envy)
has been stitched over two fabric threads
and Sharon's (turquoise/teals - Mediterranean Seas)
has been stitched over one fabric thread.
One of the many highlights during the weekend
was the lecture by Priscilla Lowry of Auckland,
who for seventeen years was the director of the Schuster Gallery in London,
has a degree in Medieval History from London University
and for many years has been a lecturer in all aspects of the history of silk,
art and medieval history in both the UK and NZ,
and who regularly holds exhibitions of her work.
There was a parade of exquisite hand-made jackets made by Priscilla.
Pictured is my friend, Joy, modelling one of Priscilla's beautiful pieces.
The jacket went home with her!
I especially love the Sunday mornings of this special weekend  -
"Show and Tell"
All sorts of samplers are shown.
Antiques   :   Reproductions   :   Own Designs
Truly stunning.
Next Sampler Gathering is to held in 2019.
Plan to be there.
I assure you that you will have a wonderful time!