Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Blog #67 - Massa, Italy

Summary of content:

A village up in the hills above Massa
Front door to Giulia & Mario's summer house built in 1604
Farewell to Giulia
Some of Giulia's exquisite dolls
To read the complete blog, choose Blog #67

Blog #66 - Baveno & Lake Maggoire, Italy

Summary of content:

Beautiful Baveno accommodation
Fascinating St. Giulio's Isle
Beautiful island garden & home
Gorgeous guest cottage at Giulia's - Massa
To read the complete blog, choose Blog #66 -

Blog #65 - Fili Senza Tempo - Italy - September 2017

Summary of content:

The needlework show venue :
Castello di Levizzano Ragone
My exhibition site
Other needlework designers exhibition sites.
This is Niky's site -
Lake Maggoire with Niky

To read the complete blog : visit my website and choose, Blog #65 -

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Blog #64 - Preparations for Fili Senza Tempo

Saturday, 2 September 2017

I leave for Italy tomorrow!   What's not done now - won't get done!!

For the last couple of weeks
I’ve been creating kits
for my design,
"Hem Your Blessings Poche” -
that is, choosing various
coloured linens
and cutting the fabric
to the size required,
choosing appropriate
Silk Pearl
overdyed) thread colours
for the linen fabric colour,
choosing the appropriate
Coton Perle #12 thread
for the colour
of the linen fabric
special silk thread colour

and winding ball after ball of the Perle cotton onto cards,

 and then choosing & cutting colour co-ordinated printed cotton fabrics
to be used for creating the internal pockets & bias binding edge of the pouch. 
And finally, folding all items neatly and tying all together
and placing everything into cellophane bags.  

In all, created just over 30 packs.
Below is a pic of some of these finished packs in blue/green tonings.

And too, a pic of fabrics and threads being prepared for ‘Josephine’s Fob’ packs.


Time is marching on  -  and so will have to leave off
and continue this when I get back home.
Saturday, 30 September -

Arrived back in NZ from Italy on Wednesday, the 20th of September.
But will go back to Sunday, the 3rd of September. 
This is the date that I flew from Napier to Auckland, a few hours layover
(as I don’t like to be rushed) and then I left New Zealand -
flying Emirates from Auckland to Dubai (17 hours).
Ah - so lovely

to put my feet up
after all the
busyness of preparations
and packing,
enjoy a complimentary
glass of champagne
& a delicious dinner
(more champagne)
and a peaceful sleep.

A layover of 5½ hours at Dubai and then a 6½ hour flight to Bologna, Italy

to be met by a chauffeur provided by Emirates
and taken to my hotel located in the centre of the city.

A long tiring trip.

During the flight when I wasn’t sleeping,
(and at other spare times during my time away)
stitched alphabet letters.
Stitching of this series is taking longer than I had anticipated. 

I guess it is because each design is so similar
(it’s not so must fun stitching a design over and over) -  and so many to do!

I wasn’t able to stay at the same hotel
as the one Elizabeth & I
had previously stayed at
due to it being renovated,
but stayed at a sister hotel
just a couple of streets away from it
and the central city square - Piazza Maggiore. 

Wandered to a little restaurant in the square 
for dinner that evening. 

Next morning I explored the city on foot
(retracing my 2015 steps).
Wandered up and down all the shopping streets  -
found the absolutely fabulous fabric shop that Elizabeth & I had found last time

(Valli : all Italian manufactured fabrics over 100 Euros a metre),

revisited the ancient communal city water well,
twin towers (built by two families competing against one another,
one tower having to be stopped due to its lean) 

and revisited the town hall which houses
the most glorious pieces of needlework, lace & art. 
The photos of the needlework and lace pictured below
I actually took on my last trip in 2015.

It wasn’t until this trip that I saw the sign - no photography! 


 On my walking tour I discovered what is behind 
those beautiful big doors of the buildings.

A marbled entrance / lobby,

from which stairs and walkways lead

to all living apartments for lots of families

and these apartments

surround an enclosed  garden.


In the photo you can see the garden through the grilled gate.
Really lovely.

 After lunch I toured the city via the ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ bus
sitting next to two husband and wife couples from Hamilton!
Small world, isn’t it?! 

At 3pm, Flavio (the driver of a private tour company) picked me up from my hotel
and drove me to my next hotel, Hotel Guerro, at Castelvetro di Modena
which is about a 45 minute drive from Bologna. 
On arrival discovered they only served breakfasts at the hotel
and there were no eating places nearby. 
After the receptionist and I struggled to understand one another
-  neither of us spoke each others language -
managed to ascertain that all restaurants
were across the road at the top of the hill
in the old walled town that could be seen in the distance.
And so - off I went, wondering all the time, “Am I going in the right direction?”
I went across the road and then across the bridge,

round the corner,
down the street for quite some ways,
past the gift shop  (which was closed by this time)
round that corner,
up the hilly street,

past lots of houses,
and more houses,
to the first set of steps.
Up the steps,
across the road,
up more steps,
past the carpark
(no cars allowed in the town),
up the residential street,

to a small square and tiny quaint cobblestone streets
in which there were several restaurants.
Chose one that served a delicious pasta with a glass of red wine.
By the time I had finished my meal it was very dark.
A little bit unnerving walking back to the hotel on my own.
At least it was down, down, down and not up, up up!
More next time   .....