Thursday, October 30, 2014

Malaga, Spain

Inside The Malaga Cathedral:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Barcelona on Monday Market Day

Busy market in Barcelona, open Mondays through Saturdays.  Maureen and I were there Monday morning and we purchased marzipan candies for her cake decorations.  One of her varied careers was a restaurant and tea shop owner, so she knows the business of making foods look enticing.  She purchased watermelon and strawberry marzipan.  Little baby bottles, all sorts of fruits, animal and bird shapes were available.

Nuts all around, not including the people.

Look at these fish!  Fresh.

Pretty fruits for a quick breakfast. 

 Now off to the Celebrity Equinox for the sail back to Florida.  Buenos diaz. 

Friday, October 24, 2014


October 24-26, 2014: Barcelona

My to do list on my second trip to this marvelous city (first trip was in 2007, so things have changed).

1) After checking into the Royal Ramblas Hotel and a quick shower, go to the Picasso Museum in the Gothic Quarter.  The Gothic Cathedral was built from 1298 to 1450 on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Hercules, with stained glass from the Middle Ages. Would like to visit the museum again on a guided tour in a few days.  From this site:
Barcelona's Gothic Quarter (Barri Gótic) dates from medieval times, featuring narrow winding roads and impressively haunting architecture. On the streets, passersby find gems tucked away in the little nooks and crannies - trendy restaurants, chic bars and thumping clubs. The area's proximity to La Rambla also contributes to its popularity among the young, nightlife-loving crowd. Meeting with friends in one of the several placas (plazas) before heading to dinner or a club is customary among the locals, and you would be wise to follow suit as it is here that the most interesting people-watching takes place.   
Because the roads here are narrow and cobbled, most are closed to regular traffic and are more or less pedestrian walkways. Metro stops Jaume I, Drassanes and Liceu are all near or within this district and there is access from La Rambla as well. It's easy to get lost in the maze of alleys, but there's no need to worry - the maps are detailed and people are always willing to give directions. 
2) Visit textile museum opposite Picasso museum and go to textile shop for buttons.  In the Gothic Quarter there is a museum shop opposite the Picasso museum that has buttons also.  This may seem like a silly thing to do, but important to me to make this stop as I can perhaps pick up a few souvenirs to take home.

3) Walk La Rambla, a one mile walk from our hotel, the Royal Ramblas, to the port.  That is walk La Rambla from Place de Cataluma to the port, top to bottom, several times.  On this street, or street mall, one can buy anything from a canary, a monkey, a bunny or a turtle, a newspaper...just about anything!

It is said that on La Rambla, one is both the actor and the audience.

4) Go inside the food market. Oh, my! Lobster, octopus, eels, spices, confections or anything you might imagine in the way of edibles.  In 2007 I purchased beautiful marzipan candies, but alas, no pictures from then.  These pictures were from that trip, but I shall likely see this again.

5) Rest.  For the next few days, make sure these sites are visited and join in with this walking tour or one similar to it.



  • Pablo Picasso walking tour of Barcelona
  • Guided walk highlighting the places visited by Picasso in Barcelona
  • Includes entry to the Picasso Museum, Barcelona’s most popular museum
  • Professional guide

What You Can Expect

Barcelona Walking Tour: Picasso and Picasso Museum
Barcelona Walking Tour: Picasso and Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973) developed his famous painting style while living in Barcelona and spent many years of his life here. This tour will explore the man and the city he loved so much.

Your Picasso Walking Tour includes a guided visit to the Picasso Museum which honors his talent and is Barcelona's most visited museum. Your tour will end at the museum and you are welcome to spend additional time here at your leisure.

Some of the places you may visit during this Barcelona Walking Tour include:

  • Quatre Gats Cafe  (Les Quatre Gats is famous for being the site of Picasso's first exhibition. He was also known to drink there regularly.)
  • Frisos del Col legi d'Arquitectes
  • Sala Parés
  • Escudellers Blancs
  • Carrer Avinyó
  • Carrer de la Plata
  • Porxos d'En Xifre
  • Llotja de Mar
  • La Ribera Quarter
  • Museu Picasso
6) Visit again the famous park where Gaudi has many architectural pieces

7) Again see the Temple de la Sagrada Familia in the heart of the city (also an Antoni Gaudi structure).  This church, constructed in multi-spirals for the sanctuary, was begun over 100 years ago and still stands not quite half complete.

8) Eat lots of tasty gelato!

If these sites are seen and Spanish foods tasted, I'll be a happy tourist.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Off to Scrabble while Transatlantic

Today I put up a new blog picture header from the view out my study window.  Fallish, autumnal colors and a pretty ash tree quickly losing its leaves.  The time to hunker down is coming closer.

But for the next few weeks, I will be in Spain and then across the ocean back to the Americas, landing in Ft. Lauderdale in mid November.  I will be checking in and posting pictures from Barcelona and the Canary Islands, along with a few pictures of Scrabble tournament play while aboard the Celebrity Equinox.

For now, I leave you with this picture of a cosmos seed that was planted in May and has grown and topped up at five feet, two inches.  An amazing feat since most of the cosmos plants were well under three feet in height.  We will be saving the seeds for next spring from this yellow mother plant to see if the new plants from this giant will reproduce tall plants also.

And the usual size of our cosmos plants:

(September, 2014)
Happy Fall and see you in a few days.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crafting with the Lutherans

Tomorrow and Saturday the church ladies (and a few men helpers) will be involved in the





Friday hours are 9 AM to 2 PM      Saturday hours are 9 AM to 2 PM
Bazaar proceeds benefit ALC Women’s Ministries and local service organizations

Here are the knitted items I've knitted over the past couple of years and will donate to the bazaar to perhaps bring in a few dollars for the American Lutheran Church ministries:

The Elowen shawl on Ravelry:

and the Wilhelmina Shawlette on Ravelry, including a few color coordinated accessories:

This week I finished knitting the Norwegian Shawl by Sivia Harding, with yarn from Louet Gem merino fiber. This project took four weeks to knit.  There were very few problems in crafting this lace shawl; it was well written and the yarn was very well behaved. Generally, I wear shawls with the spined upper edge at the neck and the longer pieces wrapped around and, so the finished dimensions of 62 inches in length (29 inches in depth) will give adequate coverage to the neck, shoulder and front area.

Joining in with Fiber Arts Friday, Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia and Yarn Along for sharing.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Le Chat Noir on Wood, No Less

Toulouse Lautrec and his cat image is iconic. So I thought it would be a good crafting image for our upcoming church bazaar. You can read more about Lautrec here, if you are so inclined. But if you don't care to go into it, his life could be summarized by saying he was a talented artist who died at a young age from syphilis and alcoholism, and was most known for painting people at their labor.
Le Chat Noir (French pronunciation: ​[lə ʃa nwaʁ]; French for "The Black Cat") was a nineteenth-century entertainment establishment, in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris, opening November of 1881.  Lautrec, being one who liked a drink and the risque night life, apparently frequented this place.  So he painted the establishment a piece of graphic art.  And it is still famous.

From here:

In 1881 the artist-cum-entrepreneur Rodolphe Salis opened a new cabaret called the Chat Noir (“black cat”) at the foot of Montmartre’s hill. The name called to mind Edgar Allen Poe’s perverse and haunting tale by the same title, French folktales, and the poetry of Charles Baudelaire. The black cat—a nocturnal creature that is mysterious, seductive, playful, and independent—became a symbol not only for the Chat Noir itself, but for all of Montmartre. The Chat Noir became a gathering spot for avant-garde artists, poets, musicians, and writers, who used the cabaret as an artistic laboratory to recite poems, sing songs, and exhibit paintings.
Several years ago I saw the Lautrec exhibit at the Denver Museum of Art and picked up a few trinkets with his more famous pictures affixed to hand mirrors, etc.  But the cat poster has always held my interest.

So here are a few pieces for sale for the church coffers.  Maybe someone else likes Chat Noir also. Price?  Maybe five bucks. Heck, the hooks and thermometers cost that much!

Of course, I had to make one key ring holder with flowers.

Hope they sell.  Then I won't have to make cookies for the next church fund raiser.  Maybe.