Sunday, March 28, 2010

Picture Stories

For those of you who know me and visit me from time to time, you have probably noticed that my blog has had a little makeover~~~

I would like to thank my new and dear friend Karen for her patient and dedicated assistance in the making of this new blog design for me. Karen was so wonderful to work with, she listened to my desires and she worked so very hard to make this the blog of my dreams. Thank you dearest Karen for all that you have done for me.
In the making of my new header, I needed to choose 10 pictures. ONLY 10 - how could I choose? I spent hours and hours and hours going through my picture files, because I wanted the pictures in the header to represent the person that I am; my love for travel, my creations, my passions, and the things that mean the most to me.
Now that the decisions have been made (whew - that was so hard!) - I wanted to share with you the stories behind the pictures that I choose. In doing so, perhaps you will get to know me a little better~~~~

This photo was taken in Venice, Italy on what was one of the most memorable trips of my life. My husband and I are standing in front of the famous Bridge of Sighs. Venice is the most favorite city of my travels. Our days there were filled with the most picturesque discoveries.
Here is an excerpt from my travel journal dated September 21, 2007
" Venice fills your senses with all that it has to offer - the canals, the people, the churches, there is so much history here. St. Marks square with the bell tower and the cathedral--- and the pigeons! With a single startle or cough, literally thousands of pigeons will take flight - it is an amazing sight.
The sounds of Venice, the bells, I will remember their chimes forever. They resonate throughout the city and there are hundreds of church bells that we hear every day. The streets, really just narrow alleyways - all lead to a canal eventually.
We have been lost in Venice now for many days and we have treasured every minute of this journey. This I know to be so true - when you leave Venice, you take a part of it with you forever - because it fills your soul."

Well, you all recognize this little picture I am sure. The beginnings of the little cabled blanket that I toiled over for such a long time. My journey through the creation of this little treasure was made even more special because so many of you helped me to make a choice as to how to decorate it for "little baby no name." This little baby blanket will always be one of my most treasured creations.

Here we have the "Sacred Yarn Room". This is the place of my creations and sometimes - my naps. Often this room is a holy mess, but it is still my very special place. Even though it may appear disorganized - rest assured that I know where every skein of yarn, every bit of lace, every little button and every little applique is safely tucked away. This room is mine - all mine!

This picture was taken on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey two summers ago. Here I am sitting on the beach showing off the "Cape May diamonds" that I have just found. Really, just an ordinary picture, I know - but it represents such a very special time and travels that we spent with our dearest friends, Bob and Jan.
Cape May was a beautiful little place - we visited in the fall and all the lovely homes were decorated with colorful fall flowers. We spend so much time just strolling around and just genuinely enjoying the time that we spent with our friends.
I think that he will allow me to share this - our dear friend Bob is a cancer survivor. He has been through Hell and back in his journey for survival. Through his experiences, (and my own in just being his dear, dear friend), I have come to realize that it is the little things in life that are the most precious. Like time spent with friends. This trip was a memorable and treasured time in my life.

Just a bowl of flea market junk - right? Oh no!!! This is the beginnings of what will be my next storybook blanket. Carefully chosen on last years visit to the Springfield flea market with my dear flea market buddies, Hubert and Kim. We LOVE to go junkin' - we think about it and talk about it all the time (at work). The countdown has already begun for our much anticipated trip this May.
This picture represents the part of me that loves all things old, and used and tarnished and worn. Oh -the stories that my flea market treasures could tell. These are the source of my inspirations and my creations. This passion was past on to me from my Mother - my parents home was a virtual flea market! Believe me, I know - because after they both passed away, my sisters and I spent 2 years cleaning their home out! We found treasures that had not seen the light of day for years!

Cinque Terre, Italy. Just seeing this picture again, and remembering my being there - makes me emotional.
For many years, there was a picture of the Cinque Terre region of Italy, hanging over the computer in my Sacred Yarn Room. The picture had been torn out of a travel magazine, and I had sort of always said -"You know, I would really love to go there."
The magazine picture was actually taken from the vantage point where I am standing in the above picture. Seeing that picture torn from the magazine, I was mesmerized by the colorful houses and by that fact that they were set into the cliffs beside the sea. I really did want to go there. I longed to go there - so much, that for me it became a dream that I was afraid could not be fulfilled.
When we traveled to the Mediterranean on a cruise in 2007, one of our stops was in Livorno, Italy. From this port, most people travel to the beautiful city of Florence - but we didn't. We had prearranged for a private driver to take us to Cinque Terre, about a 3 hour drive from our port of call. Here is an excerpt from my travel journal dated October 5, 2007---
"this picturesque Cinque Terre region is made up of 5 very small villages that are built into the steep cliffs that lie along the mountainous coastal area of Italy. This entire region is a Unesco World Heritage protected site and is one of the most beautiful areas in all the world. There are no cars in this little place, as there are no roads. To traverse between the villages you must either travel by train or by foot. The trains travel through tunnels built into the mountains and the foot paths lie along the coast line and are only for those who are adventurous - of course we choose to walk!
Our journey began in the town of Riomaggiore which is like a watercolor painting that has come to life. The sun washed colors of the houses, in their shades of pinks, and blues, and yellows and greens - they typify the character and flavor of this entire region. The coral colored tiled roofs, terraced among the cliffs, this area has remained unchanged for centuries. The people here lead a simple life - they make their living from the land or the sea. Evidence that this was a fishing village was all around us - the brightly colored boats and white washed fishing nets - these were as much a part of the beautiful scenery as were the palette of colorful houses.
And we journeyed on through the five villages---
Just a short distance from Mannarola, I turned and looked back upon that little village as it lay nestled between the cliffs. When I realized that this was the picture that I had been keeping close to my heart for such a long time, I had a minor little melt down - (ok - a major melt down!) Dan took that picture again - the one in my dreams - with one little difference - this time I am in the picture.
My tears were for many reasons, but mainly because I realized how lucky that I am to have the opportunity to be able to live out my dreams, and to see this long cherished dream come true. This was a special moment for me - the best in the entire trip - and I will never, ever forget how I felt in that moment of time. Sometimes, dreams really do come true.
post script - that's me in the picture after my really, really big cry!

This picture of beautiful straw flowers is special to me because the flowers are housed in a pot that is nestled into an antique chair that belonged to my mother. This chair sat outside at their winter Florida home - it is rusty and worn - and to me it is priceless. Every summer I plant flowers and sit the pot inside this rusty chair. Always, always, I am rewarded with beautiful flowers and memories.

These little knitted birds nests have become a special part of me. (In fact I am going to be knitting these for the next SEVERAL weeks!) I cannot even say for sure how they came to be - I do not have a pattern, did not even see one that I tried to recreate - I just thought one day- I would like to try to knit a birds nest. The rest, as they say, is history---

These buttons belonged to my Mother. Because of her passion for collecting buttons, I now have more buttons than any one person could ever use in 12 lifetimes~~~ and I love them all. They are used in my creations, and in displays throughout the Sacred Yarn Room. They are beautiful and precious.

And this is my Maddy girl - I love her more than my breath~~~
There is one more picture to describe - that of the pretty pink sweet peas at the top of this posting. That picture did not make the cut of the elite 10 for the header. No particular reason other than - I could only pick 10. I love this picture of my Mother's sweet peas.
My Mother always nurtured a huge patch of these in her flower bed - their blooms every spring were magnificent. She always told me that her plants came from the garden of her grandmother and that those plants came from her grandmother's mother. Sweet pea lineage. Before my Mother passed away she told me, "be sure to take the sweet peas before you sell this house." And I did - and they bloom every spring in my flower bed at the back of my house. The tradition continues.
So now you know the reasons behind my picture choices and the stories that they tell about me. But isn't that what pictures do?


Tami said...

What a pleasure to go on a journey of memories with the story about your Mom's Sweetpeas. Brings back memories of Peonies growning on the side of my grandmothers house!

Shelly said...

Hi Sweet Vicki,

You always seem to bring me to tears, or smile from Ear to Ear!

What a lovely selection of photos and memories! Thank you for letting me know a bit more about WHO you are and your life. I truly feel blessed!

I love what you had to say about enjoying the "little things in life." I'm a firm believer in that, as well as "don't sweat the small stuff,,,,,,,,and it's ALL small stuff!" Use the good china, carpe diem and dream!

And dream You have and look at those dreams and wishes that came true!

Your mother was a saver, and although my mom was a child of the depression (and immigration) she like NEW things. We have had a sign in the shop I work at (Joyworks) that says. "My Grandmother used it, my mom threw it out and I bought it." I'm the saver,,,,as was my dear "Oma." (Dutch)

Love all the pics in your new header! You are a special lady and I'm glad I've gotten to know you a bit in "Blogland!"

Hugs ,,,,,and as we say "Pieces" which is short for "Love you to Pieces."

Gorgeous and thanks for sharing a bit more about YOU!


Fearless Nester said...

I loved this post and learning more about you and all the reasons why you chose the images you did. It adds so much to know the story behind a particular image. Enjoyed reading your journal entries too. And that knitted nest is wonderful. I so love sweetpeas too and how special to have them still from your mother's garden. You have such a beautiful blog. ~Lili

Shelly said...


I did a little post tonight on my blog about YOU, your talents, your new pics! Wanted to share with my followers and readers because I meet a lot of people in blogland,,,and I've really enjoyed connecting with you! Wanted others to as well!


Karen said...

Thanks for your blog describing the stories behind the photos. I learned so much about you and your interests. Seeing the picture of the little bird nest reminded me how special I feel that I've got one right on the book shelf next to my bed. I get to look at it each morning upon waking and enjoy how cute it is!
Happy Blogging...

Jo said...

I just love you new blog and the 10 photos in the header are all beautiful. I know how hard it is to pick 10 photos out of 100's (or 1000's)!! I loved the photo of Cinque Terre, Italy - sadly I have never been but that is the sort of place I would love to visit.

My mother wasn't one for collecting things - far too practical!!! So we won't find any surprises in her house when she packs up!!

But I do love buttons and found so wonderful hand made ones (very expensive) that I didn't buy as I didn't know what I would use them for - perhaps one day when I have a grand daughter.

Dorthe said...

Dear Vicki,
Thanks for sharing all your memories, belonging to your header photoes.
It is such a lovely travel with you,and you looks so pretty,and happy . I love your mothers buttons, what a richness, and I am so happy ,that I will be the lucky owner of one of your special nests,
Have a sunny monday, sweet Vicki.
Love and hugs, Dorthe

Lisa said...

Wow! Love this post!! I'm an Italian girl at heart and used to live not far from Cape May, too--what a small world!

Nella said...

Vicki, I absolutely hate your blog! I spend so much time reading it everyday, that I don't get my work done! It's all your fault! Hahahahaha!!
Through all your trips that you have written about, I don't see anything about South Africa! You wanna come visit us?! I live in Gordons Bay, Cape Town.
All your work that you do is so beautiful - especially the little blankets! They are gorgeous. And I love your websites new look. Keep it up!

T's Daily Treasures said...

This was better than any magazine article. I so enjoyed learning more about you and the reasons for the pictures in your heading. It truly is beautiful and even made more special by the memories. How wonderful that you keep a journal to take you back to those special times. Cinque Terre is absolutely gorgeous and I can certainly understand why you would be emotional when you thought it was only a pipedream. I love your bits and pieces of this and that and everything in between, your sacred yarn room is a sight for sore eyes. Thanks for sharing a bit of you and your life. Wishing you a most wonderful week! :) Tammy

Lululiz said...

Definite thumbs up for the new header. I love it, it says so much about you straight away. I am so glad you wrote a little bit about each and every photo as well. Its great to get to know you.

Snugglebug Blessings said...

I love all the enchanting stories behind each pic. The buttons are such a work of art as well as your beautiful birds nest. The travel pics take me to places that I have never been and am so glad you are kind enough to share your experiences and thoughts and how you came to be at these places. Truly amazing. God bless, Cathy

Deb said...

Hi Vicki ~ what a wonderful post! I loved hearing all about each picture in your new banner. And I love the header so much! Now I know why each picture is there. Thanks for sharing the stories.

SilverCrow said...

Thanks for sharing your happy life. Such a wonderful pleasure during tough times. Found you thru Shelly!

Pretty Things said...

I love Venice -- I ran away from a bad marriage and lived there for three months in my early twenties!

Whimsey Creations said...

I really enjoyed your story of the pictures - each one was so special and you must be a very special person to share their stories with us. I very much enjoyed your blog and will be coming back. I MUST have one of your knitted nests!

myriamkreativ said...

Hi Vicki,
I love the photo of you at the beach. One can right see that you must be a very sympathetic person. But what about the abrictos???? You forget them! Shame on you lol.
If you want me too I try to figure it out and send you the recipe translated in english, should I? They are really good and it is so easy to do, I did it with the kids in less than half an hour. I fear when I send you some they will be stone muffins when they reach you - and as you like to travel ... by the way do you know Germany??? One has to have plans! I see for a latte soon Hugs my dear freind Myriam

carol said...

Just absolutely love your pictures , I had a sewing room that looks very much like your knitting room and enjoyed if so much . looking forward to getting my birds nest!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

What wonderful photos and memories! Hubby and I were married in Venice so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Dorthe said...

Hi sweet Vicki,
just to wish you a happy easter, dear friend, hope you are going to have some lovely dayes, maybe with family?
Sending you hugs, and love,

Anonymous said...

Oh, V! I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing these precious moments of your life with us! You are such a blessing to so many! XOXO C

myriamkreativ said...

Hi Vicki,
I think the english name ist Apricot pudding muffins. If you can`t find a recipe I will translate the one I have for you. Hugs to you Myriam

Flor Larios Art said...

Beautiful post...loove all the photos specially the one in Italy with all the colorful houses on the back!

Anonymous said...

i think your blog is absolutely beautiful and your knitting wonderful!!