Sunday, May 24, 2015

I'm home!!

I got home from the stitching retreat in Italy this past Wednesday night, and I think I'm finally getting back into the proper time zone! It was an absolutely amazing trip, and I'm really happy that I made myself stray so far from my comfort zone, traveling outside of the US by myself by plane, train and automobile.

The retreat was held by Isobel Argante of The Primitive Hare, in a B&B in Citta di Castello; the 20 of us had the entire place to ourselves for the week. Niky of Nikyscreations Primitives attended and held a finishing class, and Maja Szilagyi of The Snowflower Diaries came as well; all are wonderful designers and terrifically friendly women. Here are the class pieces we stitched (Florence by The Primitive Hare, and the smaller piece by Nikyscreations):

I didn't get around to finishing either one yet, but someday I will...

Here are some pictures of Isi's display:

The quilt shown above was really pretty; I'd love to do something like that in the future.

Here are some pictures of my stitching spot while there:

Between the wind and the mosquitoes here in Wisconsin, I don't stitch outside; it's a shame, because it was heavenly! And here is a picture of Peppa, the B&B's resident pig, who shared our spot:

Her skin is so thick that scratching her with my shoe was much more effective than using my hands!

One of our day trips was to Casa Cenina, which is an online needlework shop. They don't have a store front at their warehouse, but they were kind enough to let us shop from the warehouse floor. I saw some great charts from designers I wasn't familiar with; I might have bought a few...

Their mascot was a gorgeous kitty named, appropriately enough, Aida:

One entire day was spent on a trip to Florence, which was beautiful. On the way home, however, a bit of a mishap with the battery on the bus (SOS indeed!):

Fortunately, a very handsome police officer stopped to check on us:

He might have gotten more than he bargained for, as a bus full of tired women can become quite loud! I call the picture above "When stitchers get together...", or "What happens in Italy, stays in Italy".  :)

When the retreat was over, I headed to Rome for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the Coliseum and nearby sights were closed on the morning I had booked a tour, so I didn't get to see much of them:

On my last night in Italy, I had Spaghetti alla Bolognese and tiramisu on the balcony overlooking Rome:

Finally, on the LONG flight home, I watched five movies (three cheers for free seat-back entertainment centers!!) and stitched this little Mill Hill owlet, Violet:

I made some great friends during the trip; Jane, Vicki and Jayne from the UK, who took this lone Midwesterner under their wings and made the trip so much more fun than it would have been without them!

For those in the US, Happy Memorial Day, and to everyone, have a great stitchy week!


  1. Wow, what a fabulous life experience you had and memories you made! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    Robin in Virginia

  2. Wow what a fabulous trip! Lovely photos it sounded like a really great time!

  3. Glad you had a great time.
    It looks beautiful.
    Can't wait to see what goodies you purchased. ;)

  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip! Looking forward to more pics!

  5. Hi
    I'm very happy for your beautiful travel.
    I know Casa Cenina it is my favourite on line shop.
    I live in the North of Italy near Milan so I buy on line .
    Big hugs ciao Giovanna

  6. How absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing photos of your trip.

  7. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Your photos brought back memories from a trip I took to Italy many years ago when my husband and I were posted to Germany. Thanks for sharing!

    Oh and I love that little owl!