Tuesday, August 31, 2010

As Promised - Although late...

The kids started school yesterday and I am trying to find dig up my old routine.  For those of you not wanting to wade through all the pictures from our castle weekend, I'll post my crafty pictures first.

I finally finished a ancient WIP - when I started this I told my oldests DD "I'll probably have this done in time for you to go to college - she is senior this year.. Sorry, somehow the photo gods won't let me rotate that pic - the fabric is for the finishing.

I am not sure whether I should sew on all the embellishments before I finish it or aftewards... any advice?

Next I finished up an ornie for Olivia ( I bought it in Hawaii, and it was intended for last year... ahem, so I am on the hook for 2 ornies for each  kid this year - thus I have decided to stitch all my Christmas stuff now to be sure its all done, remember I am Miss Superslowstitcher)

I also finished something for my PIC - it was her birthday about a week ago.  Now, I finished it with plenty of time... did I get it in the mail in a timely manner ?? No...  Michelle - this is to let you know that your package wasn't mailed anywhere near your birthday, but its on its way.  When she gets it I will post pictures.

I have also been doing some quilting and knitting, but will post those when I actually get done rather than show a WIP.

Anyway, I am terribly late in posting about all the castles we visited down in Bavaria.  These were the castles that crazy King Ludwig II built -  they are absolutely beautiful, but he was bankrupting the his kingdom building these.  He died young under suspicious circumstances.  After being declared incompetent to rule, he drowned while out on a lake with his psychiatrist who also drowned. King L. did know how to swim fairly well.  He built 3 fabulous castles, two of which never actually were completed.  He lived in one ( Linderhof), staid at another castle for 10 days and never did get to live in the third... what a pitty.  King Crazy also never entertained, never married nor had a mistress - generally was a loner... kinda a Michael Jackson of the time.    Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures of the inside of the castles, but imagine lots of guilding, carving, silk covering the walls, incredible chandeliers made with crystal or totally made out of Meissen Porcelain ( stunning) So without further ado - the castles of King Ludwig with plenty of Steckers mingling about...

Neuschwanstein - the castle that inspired Disney's Cinderella Castle

Front View

Interior courtyard

Olivia & Rob in the entry archway

Behind the castle

This is soooo boring

Better smile - this is for Facebook

This is Ludwig's parent's castle Hohenschwangau - taken from Newschwanstein castle 

Land of fairytales...

Hohenschwangau close up

Olivia in the garden

Cobblestones everywhere

These photos are from Linderhof - the only actual completed castle where the king lived.  This is a  homage to Versailles and the Sun King.  There are statues and paintings of him everywhere inside.

Linderhof - a small version of Versailles & the only castle the King lived in

Linderhof from the back

Some are having a good time, some are not....

Linderhof gardens

What was the lonely, looney king doing with all this fabulous landscaping??

A great view of the grounds

Get away from me - this is for Facebook!!
The next castle Herrenchiemsee, was supposed to be a replica of Versailles but even grander.  Only the middle portion was completed - although in inside sports some unfinished areas ( only wood floors with brick walls....)  It was pretty cool to see on side totally decked out and the other in an unfinished state.  Now this castle had rooms that were exact copies of rooms in Versailles, and these rooms were for show only, and were never used by anyone.  Yes, the king was a bit crazy...
Off to the last castle - Herrenchiemsee

This castle was a copy of Versailles
One of the two fabulous water plays

A close-up of the dragon

Mom, take a picture...

Like it was made yesterday

More fountains - in the background - a place to pull the king's ship close to the castle

Can we go now???

One last look...

Overall we had a wonderful weekend, and at least some of us enjoyed those fabulous castles.  

A few photos of other sights.

Olivia and her new boarfriend

Olivia taking her visit to an abbey seriously

What is vacation without some serious ice cream
Adam checking out the silver lady... and her little dog too

While we were down in that region, I convinced my husband to stop by this shop which is well know for its fantastic hand dyed yarn and impossible to get ahold of - see the sign in window.... perfect timing

Hand dyed yarn Mecca

Did I go overboard??

My kind of yummmm
I wish everyone a wonderful week and Labor Day weekend.  We are headed to the real Versailles as well as Normandy for the holiday weekend.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Still Here

Sorry for going AWOL on the blog - lots of things have been going on here.  First I got sucked into a book so completely that the family went hungry, any needlework got neglected, the laundry piled up.... you get the idea.

I really enjoyed this book thoroughly, although it deals with the end of the world as we know it, and sort of leaves you hanging at the end.  It is supposed to be a trilogy with another installment coming out in 2011 and in 2012,  and I am really looking forward to reading more.  

My niece from the US was here for 9 days and we were busy being tourist during the day, and she was busy being a 16 year-old in Europe at night.  She is a really nice, intelligent girl, but teens will be teens and she partied hard.  I told her that if her hard partying ways got back to my very protective brother I would post some very incriminating pictures of her on facebook...

I have had a bit of the blahs, where I am staring at my stitching rather than doing any of it.... my very dearest friend for three decades ( before she just went silent without explanation for several years, not responding to e-mails - there is more to that story, but I will spare you the agony, suffice it to say I did some suffering and wailing), her younger sister  suddenly passed away.  It was such a shock, and has made me reevaluate my cold shoulder attitude towards her ( she lives here in Germany).  I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about our time together - from ages 13 - 16.  We had so much fun together, and I spent a great deal of time over at her house.  I really can imagine how they must be feeling, and I am so sad for them.  

Speaking of friends, I have another friend who really has me in a funk.  I considered her a very close friend for about 8 years, but ever since I moved she has made no real effort to keep in touch -  most of it is initiated by me.  I have called and e-mailed,  but she has not bothered to answer my last e-mail.  She most certainly never calls.  It makes you doubt  yourself and the friendship you thought you had.  It's a bummer.  

I did manage to finish "The Evil Serpent Sampler" by EftH.  I decided to fill the peacock eyes with eyelets instead of cross stitches.  I choose my own HDF colors and stitched it on a piece of random 40 ct Zweigart fabric.  It was a fun & quick stitch.

I also made a pair of jammie shorts for Olivia.  She loves them, and I have to take them off of her to wash them.  Its quite gratifying to have someone really like what you made for them.  I really liked the gnome fabric, its very happy.

We also went on a trip to Bavaria and Austria.  Our main objective was to visit the fabulous castles that King Ludwig of Bavaria built.  We saw Neuschwanstein ( the Cinderella castle), Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee Castle.  The last two were smaller replicas of Versailles because the king was quite enamoured with King Louis XIV.   I will cover those in a seperate post - so many pictures.

We also went up to the top of the Zugspitze - the tallest mountain in Germany.  I have a problem with heights so it was a bit stressful for me, but the whole thing was amazing.  We took the cog train up quite a ways.  At the end station  we got off, saw the glacier and did some sledding on the ice.  Since my kids have grown up in Texas, they were hesitant to go sledding until I went down first... so, without further ado here is the Zugspitze.

Taken from the parking lot of the cog train.  The Zugspitze is the peak right by the cloud.

Olivia & Mia reading up on the Zugspitze while riding the cog train

The boys on the train

Checking out the sledding slope - glacier ice ahead.

Its fun going down, but its a long way up

The peak is getting covered by a cloud

On the gondola ride up - NOT looking out the window

Ditto for Alex - see how close the face of the mountain is?

The view down - its a loooong way down

The actual peak - see those crazies out there??

Enjoying some coffee & hot chocolate at 9800 feet

Going down

Looking back
It was a fun trip overall, we had decent weather with only one day of rain.  Speaking of weather, it has cooled off tremendously with lots and lots of rain.  We do have 4 days of sun ahead of us, and I am looking forward to it.  I know all of you suffering from the hot, hot summer in the States would love to have some cool weather and rain, so I won't complain.  I will try and get to the castles tomorrow, if not on Friday - they were fantastic.  

Take care until then.