Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Segovia, Part 3

Hola, peeps!  Ree and I are back from Amsterdam and we had a good trip.  But you don't get to see pics from there until I run out of Spain pics, so I think I'm set for blog posts for like a month.  And THEN we'll be off to Germany around Memorial Day!  (Yes, I know my life is awesome!)

Ok, so when I left off, we'd had breakfast at a cafe and had commenced wandering about Segovia; now we've reached the Roman aqueduct.

Um, I don't think the Romans had bright orange construction equipment.  OOH!  Sudden image in my head of a Roman centurion with one of those mohawk-y horsehair helmets wearing a bright orange vest working on the side of the road.  Or like one dude working and 8 guys off to the side "supervising" like they do for road destruction in America.

I crack myself up.

Statue in the aqueduct.  The aqueduct dates back to the first or second century (the records of its construction are lost) and the amazing thing is it was built with no mortar.

And also it's tall.

Every time I see an archy design like this I say "Look, it's a Roman aqueduct!" and Lee's like,  "No honey, that's a bridge for a train."  Which just makes me laugh, because I know there are no Roman aqueducts in America.

I climbed the stairs to the top of the hill next to the aqueduct and thus got this follow-the-leader pic of my three posse members.

Then I found another cool wall to photograph.

There's Lee pretending he knows historical stuff about the town, or something.  He looks like he's lecturing, right?

I'm not sure why, but I find this picture interesting.

And of course I like these perspective shots.

Look, my coat brightened up!  Bwahaaaa!  Mom asked if I was embarrassed by how bright it is, and the answer is no, I was more concerned about how it would play into overall color combos for scrapbooking purposes.  I don't mind being a human highlighter if it means Lee doesn't lose me at the airport.

I *almost* got the crane totally out of this shot, and what's left I'm sure Lee can Photoshop.

Ya know, we have rather a lot of pics of Bennet doing odd things.

But he can pretend to be normal too.  (For the record:  normal is overrated.  And probably fictitious.)

Another pic I just like...I like the vibrant blue sky, the dark green trees, and all the texture on the stones.  Remember what I said about no mortar?  The parts that have been repaired in modern times DO have mortar, but the Romans didn't need it because they were that good at engineering.  Mortar?  We don't need no stinking mortar!

One more awesomely interesting looking street sign and that's it for today.  You comment, I post more pics.  OLE!

I'm off to the gym.  I need it...Dutch syrup waffles are totally addictive and I'm pretty sure the secret ingredient is crack.  And lots of sugar.  But I want to not buy new and bigger clothes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Segovia, Part 2

I'm baaaaack!  This week has been a little hairy (and I'm not just talking about the dogs).  But here I am again, with more Spain pictures, and this weekend we're taking off for Amsterdam so I'll have TONS more pictures to share.  Better get crackin'.

I think Lee took this one of the city rooftops.  Kinda cool.

I think our hotel was just up the steps behind this statue.  I could be making that up though, we've got a picture of the front of the hotel later on in the pics.

Pretty building...dunno if it's a church?  There are lots of churches in Spain.

Here's the sphinx in front of the maybe-church.

Now, how come random American buildings don't have coats of arms on their outside walls?  'Cause that would be cool.

Hey, I know those people!  And I swear, that jacket is SO MUCH brighter in person than it's showing up in the pics.  That might be a good thing though because when we were actually taking the pictures I was wondering if I was going to look like a neon light next to everyone else.

Recognize those people?  : )

Ok, I mentioned last time about how so many of the buildings in Segovia had textured walls, so here's the first of many many wall texture photos.  That, and the street signs are pretty cool.

Missy liked the crown on top of this light fixture.

I liked the shape of that pale blue building, the wrought iron, and all the flowers in the window.  And you can kinda see how narrow the streets are.

More wrought iron.

And texture!  I saw a sneak peek of some new Stampin' Up! goodies and they're bringing out a new stamp set of quatrefoil designs that's kinda similar to this.  It shall be mine!

Ooh sorry, that one's a bit dark, but you can still see the cool pattern on the wall.

Toldja I took lots of wall pictures.  Yeah, you can definitely tell I'm a tourist, taking pics of everything!

Ok, last wall texture shot and last pic for today.  I've got some cool aqueduct shots next time, so you know the drill--leave me a comment, I post more pictures!  : D

Friday, April 12, 2013

Segovia, Part 1

You guys realize that you're encouraging bad behavior, right?  I whine, you comment?  Though I do feel better knowing I'm not talking to myself on here.  I talk to myself enough in person :D

So, on to more Segovia pictures!  After we arrived at the train station, we took a cab to get to our hotel in the heart of the tourist quarter.  I think it must be the old section of the city because it's an absolute maze of narrow twisty streets so what looks like eight blocks on a map is really only like three regular city blocks.

See, you just don't get city street views like this in America.  More's the pity, because in comparison to Europe, I think America is starting to look kinda boring.

Because I like taking pictures of statues.

And there's the whole building with the statue heads on it.  A lot of the buildings in Segovia had textured patterns on their faces, I've got LOTS of pics of that coming up but today's post is just the pics we took the evening that we arrived in town.  Because I like to draw out the picture sharing as much as possible : )

This is the cathedral on Plaza Mayor.  Later on in the trip, Lee toured the inside of it with Missy and Bennet...since I was still not 100% when we arrived, I was resting in our hotel room.  Hate it when I don't feel well enough to keep up with everyone else, but at least my getting sick the week before we left for Spain didn't keep me from going on the trip.

Photo bomb!

Hmm, I think these uploaded out of order, but that's okay since most of them are just pictures of us in front of the cathedral.

See that?  That is a happy Christy with her sweetie pie!  And dude, I swear, that coat is *much* brighter in person.

Bennet took this one, I kinda like that the background is a bit off kilter.  Hey, the same could be said about me and Lee...

I think Lee took this artsy shot with the bicycles, and I quite like it.  Not sure exactly why, but I just love this one.  What do you think?

One last cathedral pic.  That first night, we ended up going to an Italian restaurant, and it is hilarious to order Italian food in Spain when the waitress doesn't really speak English and Bennet is the only one who kinda speaks Spanish.  The menu was kind of Span-talian, some hybrid of Spanish and Italian.  The food was good though, and Lee kinda poked fun at me for ordering caprese again but hello I could eat my own body weight in tomatoes and mozzarella.  YUM.

You know the deal, peeps:  you comment, I post more pics!  Bwahahahaaa!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Rain in Spain

Wow, no one cares about my progress on Eilonwy?  I won't tell her, I don't want to hurt her feelings.  Anyway, Ree and I got back from Spain last night and even though I told Mom I wasn't going to blog until tomorrow, I've got a couple of pics today.  We flew into Madrid on Thursday and met up with Bennet and Missy when their plane arrived a couple hours later, and then the four of us braved the Spanish transit system to hop a train to the town of Segovia.  I admit, I don't know a whole lot about Spain (hello, I took French in school) so I didn't have a clue what to expect there, but as soon as we exited the train station, we saw this:

Hey, the rain in Spain really *does* stay mainly in the plain.  We only got rained on once during our trip, though you can tell it had recently rained at the train station.  The rainbow really was that vibrant, though my jacket is really much brighter teal than it looks in the photo.  Funny conversation between Lee and me before we left:

Me:  Which jacket should I take with me, the teal one or the navy blue one?

Lee:  Which one's warmer?

Me:  They're both warm.

Lee:  The teal one, then.  It'll make you easier to find when you wander off.

Me:  Y'know, that was the first thing I thought of when Mom sent it to me!

It worked too, Lee will tell you all kinds of only sort of true stories about me wandering off and how he found me by that jacket.

We were making double rainbow jokes before we realized it really WAS a double rainbow.

Hey look, it's Missy and Bennet!  We haven't gotten to hang out in person in a year and a half.  Hooray!

I wished we'd realized at the time we were taking the pics that there are some unfortunately placed poles and signs behind us.

Yeah, like the parking sign growing out of my noggin.

So, on our camera alone, we took over 350 pictures in four days.  I'll slowly be working on getting them posted here, though I am considering going on a strike till someone says SOMETHING back to me.  Because I'm like that.

But for now, I'm off to make dinner for my sweetie pie.  Peace out, yo!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Eilonwy, Part 6

No fooling, it's time for another cross stitch update.  Oddly enough, last time there was an Eilonwy update, I was not feeling well, and I've been battling some kind of crud since last Thursday.  But let's not let that distract us from some stitching progress.  Here's what Eilonwy will eventually look like:

She's so pretty :)  And here's what my stitched version looks like thus far:

Check it out, she's got half a face!  I kind of debated whether or not I wanted to stitch her eyes because they've got a zillion color changes in a small area, but I figured that if it's slightly creepy to have her staring at me with eyes, it's a zillion times more creeptastic to have her staring at me with an empty eye socket.  So I stitched her eyes.  Here's a closer look:

Yep, I stitched like the wind last month.  I totally finished one page and I've got a really good head start on the next one, which is 95% of her face.  I did 8,714 stitches in March for a total of 43,364 finished, which means I'm over 1/3 of the way done.  I've done more stitches on this single project than any of the others; the next closest one is The Quarry and it's 10,000 stitches behind.  However, if I added Miranda's stitch count to Rain Blossoms, those two might come out ahead (Rain Blossoms took over Miranda's spot in the rotation).  Anyway, I'm sad to be putting this one away for a few months because I want to finish her face, not least because that right eyeball looks really creepy hanging out there in space all by its lonesome.

Ok, so probably at least 90% of the symbols on Scarlet Quince projects are blended colors (two different floss colors in the needle at the same time) and sometimes the blends are kinda weird.  For example, there's one in the window that's a blend of a very dark green and a very pale peach, but once you stitch in everything, it kinda works.  However, when I got to Eilonwy's face, there was a blend that just stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

The pattern called for a blend of peach (darker than the surrounding colors) and light aqua, and it looked so weird I checked the pattern three times and then looked up the colors online to make sure I wasn't reading it wrong.  Then I did two strands of the blend (see above) and just really, really hated it.  I could see having some blue or aqua blend on her face because the window is blue, it's probably reflecting on her skin, and I figured that Eilonwy has one of those super-pale complexions that almost looks bluish, like Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.  But that aqua-peach thing just was NOT working for me, so after much deliberation, I frogged it and decided to change the colors.  Then I had to agonize over what to change it to, and I eventually went with a paler peach and a lighter blue color that I think blends in better (see the closeup picture where her eyes are stitched in to compare it to the above pic).  These patterns are so huge and detailed though that it took me a while to decide for sure that I was going to change it, but in the end I figured that weird aqua would bug me like crazy if I went with that, and I stitched in enough of her face that I think I'm happy with what I chose.  I'll be really looking forward to her next spot in the rotation when she gets the rest of her face!

Ok, I've been up for about an hour now which means it's time to take a nap.  I sure better be well by Thursday, we're leaving for Spain that morning.  Ole!