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.
I had a spend when on the island of Murano.
My purchase had to be shipped home -
it was too large for my suitcase!
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,
and wonderful tour guide, Monique.
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.