Here we are nearing the end of February! Doesn't it seem like 2016 just started? I promised I'd have photos of my Argentina trip posted by the end of February and I hate to break a promise so, if you are interested, they're further down. I took more than 500 photos on our trip (don't worry, I'm not going to show you all of them!), so I've had to divide them up into three parts. This post contains the photos from the various neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. Part Two will contain the downtown area of Buenos Aires and our day trip to Uruguay (you didn't know I traveled there, too, did you?!). And in Part Three, I will share my Patagonia photos--by far, my favorite part of our South American adventure!
I know many of you only stop in to see anything stitching related so I'll fill you in on that part of my life to begin with. First of all, I want to thank you for your wonderful comments on my Flower Shop finish in my previous post. I worried about changing the flower shop sign so much, but I think you all feel that it was well worth the effort--especially since I plan on displaying The Flower Shop and The Bakery together.
My first two Christmas ornaments are finished for this year and Mr. January is this sweet Homespun Elegance design called "Sampler Snowman." Before I began the stitching, I was very uncertain about the suggested thread for the alphabet, but since I had some of the Caron "Fiesta" thread in my stash, I gave it a try. And just look how it turned out--what a fun looking finish! Yes, all those colors for the alphabet are on just one skein of thread--can you believe it? I sort of picked and chose what portions to use and tried to scatter the colors so there weren't clumps of just orange letters or just blue or brown. I'm really pleased with the final look.
I'm not sure what fabric it is stitched on--just a piece of mystery linen (32 ct.) from my stash. I kept the finish very simple because of the busyness of the design. After auditioning fabric after fabric, I finally hit upon this blue and gold star strewn piece to use for the backing. And after applying a simple gold cording, I had my January finish! What do you think?
|Homespun Elegance "Sampler Snowman" finish|
For my February ornament, I chose a Notforgotten Farm design called "Parson Brown." Just look at that cute snowman--don't you love him? So pudgy and huggable looking... To make this ornament-sized, I stitched it "over one" on 28 ct. vintage Country Mocha linen and omitted the bottom of the chart that said, "Parson Brown, 1847." Most of the colors were changed so they would show up on this particular linen. I actually only used the suggested colors for the black stitches and the color of the hat.
To finish this one up, I found a dotted fabric in a perfect shade of rust to match the snowman's hat and added a simple gold ric-rac around the entire ornament. Five rusty bells hanging from the bottom of the ornament completed the finish which is displayed by my little snowman helper. So, two ornaments down--ten to go!
|Notforgotten Farm's "Parson Brown" finish|
Here is a closer look so you can see the finish a bit better:
Hmmm... two snowmen as monthly ornaments so far. Are you sensing a theme? Yep--I've decided I'll be doing a snowman a month this year. I noticed I had so, so many of the chubby white guys just begging me to stitch them, so I plan to stitch 12 of them throughout the year. Which one will be next? Stay tuned...
I recently received a darling stitched Valentine surprise from my friend, Gabi (no blog), in Germany. Isn't this beautiful? Gabi and I share a love of Prairie Schooler designs so she chose this pretty design from the PS "From the Heart" chart. It was one I had never stitched so I was very happy to receive it and promptly added it to my bowl of February pillows. Thank you so very much, Gabi--your finish is lovely and you are so sweet to think of me!
|Valentine's Day gift from Gabi|
And speaking of Valentine's Day gifts... look at this cheerful bouquet of yellow roses my husband brought home for me. They certainly brightened up my kitchen during this gray month of February...
|I love yellow roses more than any other color--after 38 years of marriage, my husband knows me well!|
So, that ends the stitching portion of this post. Feel free to skip to the end of my travel photos--I really won't be offended :) But, if you, like me know absolutely nothing about Argentina, you may find these just a bit interesting and learn something new about South America...
"Argentina??!! Why??!!" That was my first reaction when my youngest son told us he would be studying abroad for a semester in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires. And when my husband suggested going to visit him there, I had very mixed feelings. Argentina had never been on my "must visit" list like New Zealand and Peru (Machu Pichu) are! For one thing, it was so, so far away and, secondly, I was suffering with a severe bone bruise on the top of my left foot and honestly couldn't imagine doing all the walking. But, that was in September, two months before we would actually depart, so we took a leap of faith and booked our plane and hotel reservations. Thankfully, my foot was pretty much healed by the time we left for South America in late November.
Following a two hour plane ride from Pittsburgh to Atlanta and an exhausting ten hour overnight flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires, we landed, and after going through customs and collecting our luggage, we spotted our youngest son waiting for us. Oh, what a wonderful sight--he was just grinning from ear to ear, as were we when we hugged him. And just look at what he brought with him to greet us--alfajores! Argentinians love their sweets and these little cookies filled with dulce de leche are a staple there. So delicate and melt-in-your mouth tasty! The secret ingredient in the cookie part? Lots and lots of corn starch--who would have thought?
|Alfajores--such a sweet treat!|
After traveling to our apartment (more about that later) and unpacking, we headed off (somewhat groggily) to the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires for the famous Sunday flea market which is held each week. This is the oldest part of the city and is now famous for its artists and galleries.
|San Telmo flea market|
|Don't you love the greenery on the balconies?|
The flea market was filled with booth after booth of finely crafted items. Some of my favorites were:
|Tiny tot-sized tennies|
And look!! We even spotted "Santa" doing some flea market shopping in preparation for his December visits! Do you think that is Mrs. Claus in front of him?
|Was Santa picking up some stocking stuffers?|
That evening, after a quick nap, we headed off for another of the many Buenos Aires neighborhoods: Puerto Madero. If I had to describe this area, the word I would use would be "trendy." Lots of loft living, interesting sculptures, a fabulous bridge... This is the neighborhood my son said he would choose to live in if he resided in Buenos Aires full time. A significant portion of it lies on the riverbanks of the Río de la Plata (River of Silver).
One of the highlights of Puerto Madero is the beautiful Puente de la Mujer (Women's Bridge) designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava.
|Puerto Madero riverfront|
It is a rotating footbridge in which the middle section rotates from the white concrete pylon. This allows ships to pass through as they navigate the river.
|Puente de la Mujer|
Giant cranes like this one line the riverfront of Puerto Madero; a kind of industrial art.
|Massive cranes were once used to unload cargo from ships|
I wish we could have seen this neighborhood in the daytime, but our time was limited and Buenos Aires is the second largest metropolitan area in all of South America!
|Ships docked in the river are used for parties and as museums|
Over the next few days we visited many parts of Buenos Aires. One of the most colorful neighborhoods is La Boca--home of the famous soccer team, the Boca Juniors. The touristy area is bright and noisy, but the surrounding area is poorer and not the safest place to visit. When our tour guide was advising us not to go there at night, I noticed my youngest son looking a bit sheepish--yes, he had already been there at night ("Don't worry, mom--I was with friends!"). Just one of the reasons why I worry about him!
|Argentina is so proud of its Boca Juniors soccer team|
|Probably the most colorful street I've ever seen!|
|Notice the characters hanging out on the balconies|
|That guy looks a bit disgusted with all of the tourists!|
|Look! It's the "Pope" giving a blessing!|
We had hoped to see some of the famous Buenos Aires tango dancers on the streets, but had to settle for this painted mural...
|Tango is huge in Argentina!|
|The Boca neighborhood is a painter's dream!|
Our apartment for three days was located in the beautiful Recoleta neighborhood. This is a lovely residential, more affluent area filled with streets that look like they could be in a Paris neighborhood. Such pretty architecture... We rented our apartment through airbnb and had an excellent experience. The place we rented had three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry, and two baths--all for $270 per night. It was much cheaper than paying for hotel rooms for all of us and we were able to spread out and truly relax--we even did our laundry before we headed down to Patagonia!
|Our apartment was on the third floor|
|Recoleta has many parks and green spaces|
|The Jacaranda trees were in bloom in November--lucky us!|
|A Recoleta street--very European looking|
The most famous attraction in Recoleta is the La Recoleta Cemetery. Now, I have always loved cemeteries and this one was a real treat. I wish we could have spent a longer time there just exploring each little street of this "city of the dead." Set on 14 acres of land with over 4500 above ground vaults, it would take days and days to truly explore the whole thing...
|200+ year old ficus tree "El Gran Gomero" at the Recoleta Cemetery entrance|
|It is so big that wooden beams and little statues help support the limbs!|
|Entrance to Recoleta Cemetery: Requiescant In Pace|
|A miniature city of the dead|
|Some vaults were in excellent shape|
|Others had fallen into disrepair|
|So many intricately carved sculptures|
|This mother and child particularly touched my heart|
|The most famous resident of La Recoleta Cemetery: Eva Perón|
Whew! This post took me over five hours to put together--am I crazy? I hope some of you are still with me--thanks for hanging in there! I'll be back in March for Part Two: Uruguay and the city center of Buenos Aires. Hopefully, I'll have some new stitching to show you, too! I've been working a lot of hours and my sister and brother-in-law will be visiting for three days this weekend so I won't be getting much stitching time--but I can always hope! Until then, take care, my friends, and enjoy what's left of February. Thank you, as always, for your supportive comments and emails--they mean so very much to me! Bye for now...