Saturday, 18 April 2015

FNSI on a Cruise Ship

Hello from the cruise ship MSC Opera, currently sailing around the base of Greece towards Italy.

I managed to join in briefly for FNSI with Wendy & the crew yesterday. Unfortunately the cruise internet service is satellite based & very slow so I can't post pics or even a link to Wendy's blog for you.

I will share pics as soon as I can. If you would like to see what everyone else got up to you can find Wendy's blog, Sugarlane Designs, in my blog roll on the left hand side of my blog. Please visit as I'm sure there was some amazing stuff done!

I hope you all have an awesome weekend.

Cheers, Tracy.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A quiet afternoon in Bellagio

Today we left Lucca and took the (slightly complicated) drive to Belaggio. We are staying in a lovely hotel called Il Perlo Panorama which overlooks Lake Como and has the Swiss Alps as a backdrop.

We spent the afternoon relaxing on the terrace in the beautiful warm sunshine. I had warm champagne (we don't have a bar fridge here) & did some of my cross stitch. An almost perfect afternoon (yes, cold champers would have made it perfect).

I have quite a few photos to share with you from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which we visited yesterday, but will have to post them another time as my phone is playing up a little tonight.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hello from Pompei

After our Vatican tour we also checked out the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Collosseum and Palatine Hill/Roman Forum before heading out of Rome. We hired a car & the drive to Pompei was a little scary since they drive on the opposite side of the road here and often seem to ignore any road rules. But we made it.

Today we visited the historical ruins of Pompei. In 79 AD the city, a bustling coastal business centre of approx 20,000 people, was destroyed by an eruption of Mt Vesuvius. The city and it's occupants were covered in 6m of pumice stones then 3m of burning volcanic ash. They are not really sure how many perished as 20% of the ruins remain unexcavated and they have only found the remains of 4-5,000 people.

The ruins are amazing. Some of the buildings and vineyards/gardens have been restored but you can still see a fair bit of the original clay brick work and areas of original marble and fresco decoration.

Carved rock column

Fresco work on an exterior wall of the Roman Bath

Marble tiles in one of the amphitheatres used for plays

Fresco artwork on the roof of the Men's change room at the Roman Bath

Remaining fresco on the wall of the Men's hot bath room in the Roman Bath

Fresco and decoration in the Women's change room at the Roman Baths - the women's area was smaller with less amenities than the men's

Original fresco preserved on the first floor of an upper class residence

The Main Square - the white areas of the columns are original marble, the brick areas are parts that have been restored

Artefacts that have been collected over the course of the excavation

A carved table base - not sure what material it's carved from

Again, the craftsmanship of these preserved items is amazing and the site itself is fascinating. Well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.

Cheers, Tracy

Sunday, 5 April 2015

More from the Vatican

Have decided there's no point trying to go back to sleep now. Miss M has been awake since 4:30am local time (more than 2 hrs ago) & is showing absolutely no sign of going back to sleep!

Here are a few more pics from our trip to the Vatican yesterday. There was lots of mosaic pictures and patterns. Plenty of inspiration for future projects here!

I loved this pattern which was inlaid in a windowsill

This is a mosaic replica in St Peter's Basilica of one of the paintings in the Vatican museum. You would never guess it's not a real painting.

There was also lots of carved woodwork, particularly in the window settings.

The marble inset floor tiles and motifs were also all handmade.

And of course the amazing paintings were an incredible feat of patience and hard work. We couldn't take photos in the Sistine Chapel but apparently it took Michael Angelo 4 years to paint the full ceiling.

And finally, a picture of the Vatican itself. They were setting up for the Pope's Easter Address today.

I hope you've enjoyed these pics. Will post more photos of crafts as we come across them on our trip.

Happy Easter everyone!!

Cheers, Tracy

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Hello from Rome!

We are on our first family holiday to Europe & arrived in Rome yesterday. This morning we did a tour of the Vatican and I couldn't wait to share some of my pics. The craftsmanship of the building & artworks was just amazing.

16th Century tapestry

Close-up of 16th Century tapestry
The tapestries were huge and all hand-woven using cottons, silks and wools. They were amazing.

I have more to share, including marble floors and mosaics, but am having a few issues with blogger so will post them later.