Sunday, July 31, 2011

Edinburgh in the evening sun

A very small (less than postcard) sized water color I painted today about the layers of my favourite town and its dimensions. Here is a little video about the levels which can be rather puzzling if you try to walk along with the 2D-infos of your map. Even Google Street View jumps from the bridge at this spot!

Monday, July 25, 2011

By the way...

I do think that dogs have a sense of humor. The dog did that again and again.
You can hear my dh laughing. Here's the VIDEO.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

For all those...

... who are interested to read more about our trip to Scotland: Here is the beginning of pages that I will complete by and by. Some pages are added each day, if possible. The pictures may load a bit slowly, sorry. Please have tea in the meantime.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Textiles on a Journey

Scotland is the country of cold winds, I realized this very soon and started feeling cold, then, when the sun came out, I got out of my jacket hastily. We were walking for hours to see all the fascinating places in Edinburgh, so we got warm again, then back into freezing shadows -- constant changes, I guess this is what they call a stimulating climate. At night I had the problem of my cover being way too warm.
This became my sleeping cover

Naturally I felt attracted by shops with wool things in their display. One of them is more a museum than a shop, it is a workshop with sales departments, the weaving mill. I found a beautiful rug, containing 70% wool, for 20 GBP, approx. 27$. The wool is mostly from Australia or Eastern Europe.
In this museum, you could see tartan weaving looms at work, have your ancestor research being made and your coat of arms embroidered if you wish...
Bone tools from
2000 years ago
Then, there is another museum in Edinburgh that I could have spent days and days in. It is the National Museum of Scotland on Chamber Street, just a few walking minutes away from the Royal Mile. It is a wonderful modern building, more built around the expositions than expositions having been put into it. It has many lovely perspectives inside, and you don't get lost because all the rooms have different shapes, so you know exactly: "now I'm in the tower part" or wherever.
A collection of scraps from
early 20th century

(something for Jude!)
In the early history part, you can see stone and bone tools for weaving and sewing (among all the other crafts). There are also things from the 19th and 20th century: Fabric printing patterns like this paisley and red "Turkish" samples; looms, wheels and very refined knitting.
I just mentioned the textile things. But there is so much more. The whole of the museum is so full of issues related to Scotland and its history. I was deeply impressed by the Pictic stone carvings and the skills of early craftsmen and -women.
Back home, I realized how much I got trained by climate and walking. I'm in the shape of my life, and I miss the clear, windy climate of Scotland. It is so much healthier than what we have here. Scotland, we'll be back some other time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What happened to the Quilts?

Well, this is a quilting and embroidery blog, gals, isn't it? So what happened? We walked through Leith near Edinburg where we had our B&B place, when I saw this:
Haven't made a single stitch, friends.

Jolly Times in Sandy Bells and Royal Oak

This is a pub in Edinburgh, Scotland, where we spent many hours. Every day, there is live music at night, half 10, and on Saturday & Sunday in the afternoon. It is messy, it is dark, hot and steaming when it is a rainy day. As you may know the habit from all over GB, the pints are filled up to the edge, you pick them at the counter and offer the local spirits a sip before you can reach your seat. People who play instruments just come round to join, sometimes playing together for the first time; sometimes people who give concerts later come and just have fun with others.
They put a violin in my hands! Help! This is the
first time I ever touched such an instrument.

This was not my idea, but it felt good.
Anyone who will not spoil the session can join, they even passed the guitar over to me, sometimes the session goes a bit jazzy when Freddy has his Grapelli hour. He is well able to play the traditional violin, he just thinks it is too boring.
We listened to a man with Scottish small pipes, sorry for the dark pictures, and it is just a snippet, as an appetizer.
Here is another video from the same place, but taken by someone else. Sorry, my camera wasn't really made for taking videos.

What the Driver said

What is in the black waters of Loch Ness? The driver of our bus is a very skeptical man, and from the start, he had not believed in the legend. First, he read about the Irish monk Columba who reported his sightings of "sea horses" in  the year 565. Then, our driver had an opportunity to talk to an eye witness who used to go fishing to a remote and hard-to-reach loch which is almost as deep as Ness. He said he had seen such phenomena and -- as our driver said -- he was not the kind of person to lie to you; our driver looked straight into his eyes when he spoke.
Another person who was familiar with the story: A marine biologist who made sonar research. He said that there was something definitely "but we don't know what it is. Sometimes it is gone completely".
Recently, someone promised a 1 Million £ reward for evidence which means that nobody shares his knowledge any more.

Guess where we were

Yes you guessed right. This is Loch Ness.
We spent most of the time in Edinburgh. This picture was taken on a day trip to the Highlands.
I will make galleries out of my photo collection, but not tonight; we just returned, it is almost midnight, and we had a flight through bad weather that rocked us a lot.
We saw most places by walking! From our B&B, we took the bus to the center of Edinburgh, then walked and walked.
No, we did not take this taxi, just one from the airport to our bed & breakfast and one on the way back today. This country was the right choice for our trip! We enjoyed every moment of it.
J: Flying to Scotland and back with me