Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures - in stitch and otherwise! And I hope that you will leave a comment so that I know you have visited.

Thursday 30 October 2014

A surprise in the post

A few days ago I found this lovely pumpkin postcard in my post box sent to me by Sheila from Sheila's Quilt World. Isn't it lovely! And a recipe to try too. Thank you very much Sheila, it has pride of place on my desk at the moment.

If you have not yet signed up for Sheila's Christmas postcard swap then you still have time - pay her a visit here to find out all about it and also to see the cutest pig postcard that she has received from a young man!

I have a couple of finishes to show you. First of all I have lined and finished off my hexagon table topper.

Also my Gail Pan Christmas stitchery is now a mini quilt all ready for display in December.

Hope you have a finish or two this week.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Rome part two

I am amazed at how many of you have waded through my photographs of Rome - thank you and for all your lovely comments.

Part two is all about the other side of the Tiber - St Peters, the Vatican and Castel Sant'Angelo.

We were amazed at the crowds queuing up to get into the Vatican museums - 3 or 4 deep and at least a km long. Fortunately I had booked on line so we walked straight to the head of the queue and in through all the airline style security.

It is impossible to see everything in the museums in one day, not least because not all the galleries are open all the time. Endless tour groups process through and you either have to go with them or stand well clear. Some of the galleries were so packed that it was impossible to do anything but shuffle through with the rest of the crowd.

The first gallery we visited was the Gregorian Egyptian Museum which has many amazing statues and carvings. But by now I was a bit out-statued so I homed in on anything with a bit of colour! This Sarcofago of Hetepheres was beautiful.

Philip photographed the back of it and managed to get me in too!

Gorgeous beads and amulets.

The Lady of the Vatican, below, is fragments of a linen shroud on which the portrait of a lady has been painted. It was found in the Egyptian city of Antinoe and dates from the 3rd century AD. Although the information says that it was one of six all found at the same time there is no indication of where the other five might be other than that this one was donated to the Vatican.

This sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro (Mr Tomato?) is called the Sphere within a Sphere. If you go online you can find some much better photographs taken from the other side but we did not go into the courtyard.

This handsome chap stands in the Round Room, part of the Pio-Clementine Museum.

An intricate Roman mosaic.

We passed slowly through the galleries of Tapestries and Maps both of which would have been fascinating had we not had to move with the crowd. Likewise the series of Papal apartments which were decorated by Raphael.
It was a relief to get to the Collection of Contemporary Art which the tour groups seemed to bypass!
A large gallery is devoted to works by Matisse - this beautiful cope

and some larger works.

There were paintings by Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, van Gogh and many others.

I particularly liked this three-dimensional cross by Francesco Somaini.

Having seen pictures of this piece made from recycled aluminum cans and bottle tops by El Anatsui I was not prepared for it being so big! It measures 200cms by 200cms which to us quilters is about 6' square.

It is called 'Then, The Flashes of Spirit' and I am so pleased to have seen it in the flesh!

Next we went into the Sistine Chapel - no photographs and silence please!. While we were in there it made Philip's day to see footballer Frank Lampard. Here he is walking down to St Peters with girlfriend Christine Bleakley.

Again, St Peters was very crowded but I managed to get a few photographs.

This Monument to the Royal Stuarts near to one of the entrances is a memorial to the last three Royal Stuarts, recognized as Kings of England, Scotland and Ireland by the Jacobites but who lived their lives in exile. They are buried in the crypt of St Peters.

St Peters square.

 Nearby is the Castel Sant'Angelo. This is the one that Tosca jumped off!
Built originally by Hadrian as a mausoleum, over the centuries different layers were added to it until it became the huge castle it is today. It was given it's current name in AD 590 after the Pope had a vision of the Archangel Michael.

From the very top terrace there are super views all over Rome.

Here to the right of the picture you can see the raised walkway linking the castle to the Vatican. The Popes used the walkway to escape to the castle when trouble threatened.

The 18th century bronze statue of St Michael on the very top.

So after three days of hard walking we came to the end of our visit and three lovely days in brilliant sunshine.

Thank you for taking the time to look at these pictures.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Rome part one

As promised, here are some pictures from our recent visit to Rome. Apologies for the skewed ones!

Just around the corner from our hotel was the church of Santa Maria Maggiore which was built in the 5th century. This is one of it's domes and there were beautiful mosaics in the apse and elsewhere in this huge church.

This beautiful goldwork embroidery on the vestments of Pio V caught my eye as did this beautiful tassel.

We spent our first day traveling round on an open top bus and hopping on and off where we felt like it. First stop was the Coliseum and here is the Arch of Constantine which stands to the side of it.

A detail of the top of the arch.

The Palatine Hill is to one side of the Coliseum.

This is the Palazzo Senatorio on the Capitoline Hill with the bronze (copy) of Marcus Aurelius in front of it.

The original was cast in the second century AD.

From behind the Palazzo there is a splendid view of the Forum.

This famous statue of Romulus and Remus is to the left of the Palazzo.

Also on the Capitoline hill is the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli and these two singers were practising Panis Angelicus and it was lovely to sit and listen.

It also gave an opportunity to look at the beautiful ceiling.

Piazza Venezia.

Guarding the Eternal Flame and tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Vittorio Emanuele Monument.

A glimpse of the Pantheon built in AD 125

and the inside of it's magnificent dome.

Roof top gardens

Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona

Castel Sant'Angelo across the Tiber.

Tucked away down a back street near our hotel was the church of Santa Prassede where we found these beautiful mosaics.

A tiny side chapel had it's walls and ceiling completely covered

and there were more in the apse.

Thank you for taking the time to look at these pictures - next up St Peter's and the Vatican.