Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Winter nesting is almost over--(the demise of my Sacred Yarn Room) and a SURPRISE for you!

This has been an incredibly busy winter
                          for my nimble little fingers....

 while the snowflakes
were flying around outside
and the bitter winds were blowing...

snug and warm
inside my craft room,
I was busy creating my own little

almost 60 
of these little "Woodland" nests
 have traveled to their new homes
all over the
some of them even traveled
to Africa~
 in between 
working full time, our cruise travels,
and my busy, busy life...

I managed to pull off one of my most intense
winter nesting sessions
to date~

but --
not without consequences--
"Sacred Yarn Room"
is in shambles,
there is hardly a path 
and I cannot find anything....
(it has never been this bad!!)
in a few weeks,
my plan is to totally blow this room up---
and start all over~
trust me.. 
it's the only option left!
But --
there is some good news to come
from all this madness--
a little surprise
for you all....
as if by magic,
a few extra "Woodland" nests
were created
as a little Spring surprise 
for some of you--
for the first time ever
you may purchase one of my nests
without having to wait upwards of a year
for your turn.
Five little nests
are now listed in my ETSY shop
for your purchase.
 this is my Welcome to Spring
(next year's waiting list is forming now-
you mail email me if you wish to be
added to the list

A few little notes from me--
The "Grow your Blog" party is still going strong --- over 300 people are visiting that party post every day-- and then branching out to visit those of you who are part of the party---(that's over 9000 visits a month --- your blogs will continue to grow!!)
I'm still trying to visit your blogs as well -- it is a very slow process for me..... like you, I am meeting some lovely folks in my blog visiting.  I would like to introduce you to a wonderful travel blog that I have fallen in love with--A Bit About Britain. 
Mike hosts an incredible travelogue that takes you to interesting places in Great Britain.  He shares photos, history, and his own thoughts on the many places that he has traveled in and around Britain.  If you are at all interested in British history or travel, you will love meeting Mike and his wonderful blog. We have future plans to do some traveling there -- so for me, it is especially interesting.

While we were on our own travels, a cruise to the Caribbean--
I read some great books that I wanted to share with you.  A few months ago I told you about my reading book one of the Century Trilogy written by Ken Follett.  While on this cruise, I read the second book in the series ---"Winter of the World".  
 I truly am loving this series -- the only issue for me is that these are huge books (!!) -- and I am a bit of a slow reader -- so this was the only book that I was able to read for the entire 3 week trip.  Interestingly enough... I saw at least 8 or 9 other folks on our cruise ship reading this same book.  (They actually had the book version, I was reading the kindle version).  
I love to listen to audiobooks when we are on cruises -- I listen while I knit.  The Amber Keeper was my audiobook choice for this trip and I loved every single minute of this book.  I've always been somewhat fascinated with early Russian history and this book was just a wonderful "read" for me.

One last note about nesting--- the Shabby Chic nests are in process now.  So instead of stringing spring colored yarns all over this room--- there are bits of lace and white yarns everywhere, (on top of the mess of spring colored yarns!!) (oh it's bad, it's so bad in this room!!)  I will share photos of those nests after they are completed... 

This vintage bridal headband
was one of my most treasured purchases
from the flea market last year...
some of the beaded embellishments
are being used in the design of this year's
Shabby Chic nests~
they are

And lastly --- I am working on the next installment of the "Traveling Gaspese" photo journal --- I am taking you to beautiful
 Isle d'Orleans next...and after that,... we are heading due EAST for the most incredible scenery ever as we truly begin our trek around the Gaspe Penninsula.  I hope you will join me for this "once in a lifetime" trip...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Traveling Gaspesie--a photo journey (We begin our travels in Quebec City)

Our travels to the beautiful Gaspe' Peninsula in Canada's Quebec province was absolutely the journey of a lifetime.  No amount research and planning could have prepared me for the unparalleled beauty that we found in that amazing place. You are invited to follow along with me as I share photos and narration of our adventures along the way. By the time we have completed this photo journey,you will feel as though you have truly been there as well~ 

 September 14-18, 2014
Quebec City
From my journal--
"we began our journey in this place
that we have visited often and love so well..."

Historic Quebec City is the only fortified city in North America.
A UNESCO Heritage site --
the city is famous for it's well preserved architectural treasures.
This beautiful place is a living history book --
every garden, building, and street corner
is it's own chapter.  
Come along with us as we walk the streets of this 
incredible city.
 Be sure to put your best walking shoes on
you don't drive in Quebec City!!
The only way to venture onto these cobblestone streets
is to WALK!

Quebec City, 
one of the oldest cities in North America
has origins that date back to the 16th century.

  around every corner are tiny little streets~
this  is one of our favorites--

Near Place d'Armes and close to Ste-Anne street, la Rue du Trésor is absolutely charming. Here you will be delighted by the craftsmanship's and paintings of all kinds.
 The French charm of Québec is reflected in this outdoor art gallery.
It is a beautiful and unique place to see and stroll.

the scenery in and around Quebec city 
is visually stunning.  
Artists are drawn to this magical place 
to paint and sketch~

one of our most favorite bakeries
From my journal--
"ohhh my favorite raisin pastries-
I am truly in heaven!"

 there is no way that you can stay on your diet
when you are visiting Quebec City--
I don't think I even made it through the first day!
the only saving grace for me 
was that 
we must have walked about 5-6 miles a day
around the city every day!

around every corner is an incredible
opportunity for photos!

you can wander for hours and hours --
finding cute little outdoor cafes
tucked into tiny little spaces...
(I love how they furnish blankets for your cool weather
outdoor seating) 

 cute little shops everywhere
selling maple syrup and maple flavored
candies and cookies...
I loved this beautiful display --
but this is not where you should buy your maple syrup--
hang on a bit longer here and I will show you where to buy it
at a great price! 

Quebec City is known for incredible restaurants--
every time we visit here we find new favorites! 
Cafe Saint Malo
 was our favorite from this trip
(The Gardener loved the mussels!) 
Quebec City is divided into an upper and lower town
You can access the lower town by walking down a series of steps
or ride the funicular.
this lovely area is located in the lower town

From my journal--
"the streets are always so festive
and the feel of the city is so very European--
it is almost like we are walking around in France"
more views of the beautiful streets~

From my journal--
"by night--
the city is pure magic"
the ancient fortress wall
is beautifully accented in the darkness of the city

one of the most famous and enduring symbols of the city~
the famous (and beautiful)
Le Chateau Frontenac
can be seen from almost every vantage point
as you walk around the town

these stairs separate the upper city
from the lower city
From my journal--
"my heart beats faster, just to walk down the stairs to the city below
because I know what lies along the narrow streets and around
all the corners.  Sometimes, I feel as though the city
has secrets to share with us ." 

no matter what time of year--
the streets are decorated with festive lighting
and the shops windows are decorated
with beautiful displays

Marche' du Vieux-Port
one of our most favorite places in the city
THIS is the place to purchase your maple syrup souvenirs--
the prices here are more in line with what 
the "locals" pay

the local market is simply an amazing place to visit~
you can buy fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables 
as well as dozens of local specialties,
 from Île d’Orléans-- blackcurrant wine to ciders, honeys, cheeses, sausages,
 chocolates, and, of course, 
maple-syrup products.
 we walked around for the longest time--
just taking photos!
Go early if you want to casually walk and enjoy the scenery--
this market starts to get very crowded by mid morning!
Quebec City is home to many beautiful
churches and cathedrals --
many of them dating back to the
17th and 18th century
From my journal--
"all over the city you can hear
the sound of church bells ringing.
I try to stop and listen--
I want to remember..."
every night we walked the city--
for hours and hours,
just ambling up and down the cobblestone streets~
 around every corner
you hear the"clip clop" of the horses~
carriage rides around the city
are a romantic and pleasurable way to
view the city at night
one of my most favorite night time views~
we must have walked up and down this street a dozen time
and every time I felt the need to just stop
and take it all in
the Le Chateau Frontenac 
stands high above the city--
with the St.Lawrence River in the background~
 sometimes when you walk around the city--
you need to look UP
to see the displays and decorations~

beautiful flower filled window boxes,
hanging planters filled with blooms and vines~
 I gave my hiking boots a good workout
for sure on this trip!

Painted murals can be found all over the city--
this one is the largest and most famous~

Place- Royale
one of the most beautiful and historic areas
in the old city

 you can wander past the historic period buildings
 along the cobblestone streets,
 enjoying the area's boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants

Locals bestow Place-Royale as the spiritual and historical heart of Vieux Quebec,
 for this spot is not only the birthplace of French Civilization in North America
 but also one of the continent’s oldest settlements. 
 That history resonates, as this site has the largest surviving ensemble
 of 17th and 18th century buildings in 
North America.
Dominating the plaza is the oldest church in Quebec, 

 another one of my most favorite places in the city
From my journal--
"I am mesmerized by this beautiful church,
and so humbled to stand in such a place,
knowing the history that belongs to here~"

 just a few more reasons to totally blow your diet
when you come to town
From my journal--
"oh heavens, I already know
I've gained 5 pounds in this town!"

is it any wonder that we probably took
at least 1000 photos 
in the few days
that we spent in this amazing place??

we've been here several times
and are quite familiar with the city--
I snapped this photo of the Gardener
giving directions to the tourists!
little did I know that it would be one of the last photos 
of this magnificent museum
The Muse du Fort
is one of the cities most prized cherished possessions.
one day while we were having lunch, 
we heard bells, and sirens, and alarms of all kinds.
When we stepped outside the restaurant to see what was going on--
we discovered that the roof of this museum had caught fire
badly damaging this wonderful museum.
A terrible tragedy for the city as priceless
and irreplaceable displays were
badly damaged. 

no visit to Quebec City would be complete
without spending some serious time walking around the grounds
of the beautiful
Le Chateau Frontenac
a visit inside the hotel will
bring you to some lovely restaurants
and fun little shops
the view at night
is simply breathtaking

So-- do you feel as though you have truly visited Quebec City?  Even though I have filled this post with "way too many photos"--- trust me -- there is so much more of the city that I have not even shared!  But -- we must move on!! On my next post I will take you just a short distance outside of the city --- we are working our way due east as far as we can go -- to the place where the Saint Lawrence meets the Atlantic and beyond~~
 Just about 15 miles downstream from Quebec City, the St. Lawrence River splits and the land between is Orleans Island, or Ile d'Orleans.  This rural island of immaculate farms and pastures is 22 miles long and 6 miles wide. In a lazy afternoon you can drive around the entire island-- and we did.  I'm taking you there on our next photo journey~

A note about the photos and the journey-- 
All of the photos were taken with our Iphone cameras.  We did not plan it that way-- but it made the picture taking so easy....
Sorting through the photos to compile this incredible photo journey is no easy task.  In fact -- it is a huge task.  In the three weeks that we traveled, we took over 5000 photos.  I am reliving this incredible journey as I edit the photos for these posts.  Understandable -- this is taking some time.  I'll be back in a couple of weeks with the next post -- and on and on -- until we reach the end of this journey.  On the last post -- I will provide all the details of our itinerary including our daily mileage, hotels,activities-- even our favorite restaurants. It may take us until late spring or early summer to reach the completion -- but hang with me if you can and it will be an amazing journey for you, I promise.