Monday, July 11, 2011

Delivering Liberty

Good morning, everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start... Recently, I was lucky enough to win the chart "Delivering Liberty" in a giveaway from Sandra at Homespun Elegance and, guess what? I loved it so much, I already finished it. Don't you love this funky sheep. He reminds me a bit of those judges who wear those long wigs--does anyone else see the resemblance?

This is stitched on 32 ct. putty Belfast linen using DMC, WDW, Nina's, and Sampler Threads (although I substituted several of the suggested over-dyeds for similar shades I already had in my collection.) To complete the piece, I added some black French-knot "seeds" to the watermelon and sewed on two coconut button "wheels." I didn't have the little flag charm that was featured on the chart, so I simply added another gold star in its place. I wonder if there will be any watermelon left by the time Mr. Sheep arrives at his destination with that black crow hitching a ride? So, here is my framed piece (which fit perfectly into a ready-made 5" X 7" frame!), all ready for the next 4th of July!

I told you I was a fan of the Homespun Elegance "Delivering" series. Just look at all these other cute designs that I've collected through the years. So far I've only stitched "Delivering Posies," but I know all of them will eventually wind up in my finishes pile. Thank you, Sandra, for sharing your talent with us and for sending me such a great addition to my Homespun Elegance chart collection.

Now for my next travel report on the fourth stop on our European adventure: the magical Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
The Alhambra

Our trip from the airport to our hotel in Granada's medieval El Albaicin district was one that I'll never forget. Because we are a family of five, we had to split into two groups and take two taxis. Thank goodness my two younger sons both speak Spanish because the taxi drivers certainly didn't speak English! I felt like I was in some sort of wild action/adventure movie as the taxis sped through the steep, narrow, curving, and very dimly lit streets of the old Moorish quarter to our hotel. Honestly, those streets could barely hold one car, they were so narrow. When a car came through, any pedestrians had to flatten their bodies against the buildings to avoid being hit! Add in the fact that we arrived at nearly midnight and you can see why it was such an unforgettable ride...
One of the very narrow, steep streets
in the Moorish section of Granada.

Although Granada has many other sights and things of historical interest, we only had one day there so we, of course, spent it touring The Alhambra. When we arrived, we were first treated to a tour of The Generalife which was used as a summer palace and a place of rest for Muslim royalty back in the 14th century.
We saw beautiful gardens...

ancient buildings with lovely fountains...

breathtaking views of the countryside near Granada...

and even lovelier panoramas.

The interior views were just as spectacular.

The next stop was the Palace of Charles V who ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1516 to 1556.
The Palace of Charles V.

The highlight of The Alhambra visit was The Palacios Nazaries. Although, the colors have faded through the years, you can still see the amazing architecture of 14th century Moorish rulers. It was the most stunning and unusual collection of buildings I've ever seen...

The throne room the Sala de Embajadores, Hall of the Ambassadors.

Hall of the Abencerrajes at the Palacios Nazaries

The stunning Granada countryside
as seen through the palace windows.

The ceilings at The Alhambra have held up the best through the centuries.

Some of the intricate scroll-work, honeycomb-like
architecture, and mosaic work at the Palacios Nazaries.

Our final stop at The Alhambra was The Alcazaba--the fortress that protected the entire complex.
A Moorish arch led to The Alcazaba.
The Alcazaba is the oldest portion of The Alhambra
complex which fell to Spanish rule in 1492
ending seven centuries of Muslim rule.

Some of the ruins of The Alcazaba.

The view from the top of the Torre de la Vella at The Alcazaba.
The Sierra Nevada mountains loom in the distance.

If you ask any of us what our favorite moment on our trip was, I think we would each respond that it was the evening meal we shared at Restaurante Ruta Del Azafran. As we gazed up at The Alhambra and watched the skies change from bright blue to an almost haunted-looking shade of midnight we truly felt the magic of The Alhambra that others have described. The meal was one of the finest on our trip and I doubt that we'll ever have such a memorable vista by which to dine...

The view of the Alhambra when we sat down to eat about 8 PM.

The sun begins to fade.

Dusk descends and the lights flicker on.

I think we could have happily stayed here all night
just gazing up at this hauntingly beautiful sight.

Just a few of the steep, winding steps we climbed
after dinner for even better views of The Alhambra.

So that ends the tour for today. Hope you enjoyed your armchair traveler's view of Granada and The Alhambra. Next stop will be Ronda, one of the most famous "white towns" in Spain.

I was so touched to receive this beautiful handmade card, bird chart, and ribbons and floss (in my favorite blues!) from an email friend in England. June wanted to thank me for encouraging her to start her own blog. I'm delighted to introduce her new blog, Butterfly Wings to you. Please drop in and say "hello"--she is doing a wonderful job on her new venture and her stitching, gardens, and stitching room are just beautiful. And, guess what? June is offering her very first giveaway! Thank you for your kindness, June--I just adore this little hummingbird card and your other goodies sure put a smile on my face :)

Most of you know that I love to bake and make sweet concoctions, but now that we're empty nesters I've cut way back on that particular hobby. I really miss it and so was thrilled to make a new and fattening treat for the 4th of July weekend when we had some extra mouths to feed. All I can say about this Peanut Butter Pie is wow!! Decadent, delicious, delectable, delightful, divine!! Let's put it this way--a small piece goes a very long way... I sent my youngest son this photo in a blatant attempt to lure him home. Looks like it worked--he'll be coming for a quick visit this weekend...

And finally, the winner of my giveaway for the "Watermelon Garden chart is:

Congratulations, Theresa--I hope you'll enjoy stitching this as much as I did and that you'll pass it on once you are finished. Thanks to all who was nice to see some new commenters among my very loyal regulars! I hope you'll continue to visit.

Thanks for dropping by today...hope you aren't too bored with my travel photos. Don't worry, I'm not turning this into a travel blog; it's just that I want to have a way to share my photos with my non-stitching family and friends. Your wonderful comments are much appreciated--thank you all! Bye for now...


Annie said...

You are really the queen of winning giveaways! The sheep is just the cutest. Homespun Elegance designs are always irresistible.

That pie looks delicious! I guess the empty nester thing is good for the waistline though!

Margaret said...

Beautiful finish -- that was fast! Love it! Love seeing the pics of your trip. That is definitely a spectacular view you had at your dinner that evening. Wow! That dessert you baked looks delicious too!

Lisa V said...

Hi Carol,
I too love the Delivering charts from HE, I have just put some down on my wishlist, they are all soo cute. I love your framed finish.
I have just become a follower of June's new blog, she has some wonderful things on there already.

Gabi said...

What a cute finish. LOVE it. That sheep does indeed look rather official. Cute never the less.
Love also all your vacation pics. Even my husband enjoyed them. After seeing your pics from Alhambra, I'm sure we want to visit that next year too. SO gorgeous.

wendy111 said...

Love the sheep, I can see what you mean about him looking very judge-like. Love all your holiday photos, this is somewhere I want to go one day. Look forward to seeing the next set of holiday photos

Teresa said...

Love your little delivering libery. I see the judge too. I will hop on over and tell June hello.
Enjoy the travel pics.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitces

Shpinelka said...

I'm a big fan of the Homespun Elegance. Love the sheep. So cute :-))
Thank you for pictures!

Mouse said...

lovely sheepie finish :) love your holiday photos and been to your friends blog and said hello :) have a few homespun charts myself but not as many as you ... take care and happy stitching :) love mouse xxx

Mary said...

Your latest HE finish is great, Carol. How lucky for you that it fits perfectly into the frame. I thought the same about the "judge." How funny is that?

I also have quite a collection of the "Delivering" series. All I need to do now is stitch them!

Beautiful travel pics once again. Your vacation was truly the trip of a lifetime.
Thanks for sharing.

Oh, the PIE......I hope you all enjoyed every last bite!

Can't wait to see your next stitching and/or baking creation!

BrendaS said...

Carol --
LOVE your cute little Liberty finish! You already have a head start on next year's decorating:)))

I am so enjoying your travel photos and reading about your adventures. Thanks so much for sharing.

gracie said...

I am really enjoying "our" vacation....thank you for taking me along. Meet you at the next stop!

passionfruitprincess said...

Very cute finish! Looks great framed.
Again, Your travel pictures are lovely. No way, I am not bored with
your beautiful pictures.
And the pie looks yummy!
Take care!

Sandhya said...

Hi Carol,

I visited your blog for the first time today,it is so beautiful, I love your writing style and the finished pieces are breathtakingly beautiful.
I have only recently started cross stitching and find that it is addictive.
I find your blog and your work very inspiring and I am sure I will visit often.
I also loved the pictures of your holiday in Europe and the write ups were great too :)

Warm regards
Sandhya, Netherlands

Dani - tkdchick said...

Nice little finish!

Wow what amazing travel pictures I really would jump at the chance to discover Europe!!!

That pie is making me drool!

Lois said...

What a cute finish Carol and I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful pictures from your trip. So many wonderful memories you all will have.

Lainey said...

Oh Carol I love your sheepy finish. As you know I fell in love with those charts when I stitched Delivering Fleurs earlier this year. I;m hoping to stitch Delivering Winter soon.
June has signed up to join in the next Exchange I;m organising. A lovely lady with a craft room to die
Really enjoyed my trip to Spain, the photos are beautiful.

Ranae said...

I love the Homespun finish. I am a fan too of the series. Your trip looks like it was a fabulously wonderful delight.

Theresa said...

Oh my!!!! Is that my name at the end?! I'm soooo excited!!!!!! Thank you!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!!

I love all your traveling photos!!! The details on those buildings are just amazing!!!!! Thanks for sharing~

Edit said...

Your new finish is the loveliest Carol! I did not know this series has so many charts. I do not have any, but maybe one day... :)

Thank you for sharing your photos of Alhambra with us! It brought back memories when we visited Granada. We were there in December two years ago and we had lunch outside, without wearing a coat, in the sunshine. It was wonderful. The Alhambra is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, although being there in December, we saw it without flowers. But I loved all those details, the little gardens, the views...

And Albaicin is a lovely part of Granada with its white houses. But I also remember how narrow the streets were and we always had to stand very close to the wall when a car was passing.

As it was December, they were preparing for Christmas and in town (more or less around the place from where you took the night photos) we bought Christmas cakes made by nuns, in a convent. They were really delicious.

Have a lovely week,

valerie said...

Well, I just gained 5 pounds just looking at your pie! Mmmm...looks yum...almost like mudpie. I love mudpie!

Congrats on your cute finish!

I love the photos of Granada. The views, old architecture, gardens. Lovely! Makes me want to go and visit!

Nancy M said...

Your personal details on your finished piece are awesome! Your vacation pictures are priceless. Love the ones from the restaurant as the sun was setting. So very pretty! Trip of a lifetime, I'm sure.

Annette said...

hihi ... I love that funny sheep!!!
yes I see the resemblance..;)
Those are leallu funne charts for Delivering... hope you can stitch them all.!!! your house will look so great with them standing!!

WOW!!! I enjoy it so much that you take us with you on the trip!!! Love all the pic's. So great how you made the pic's at dinner and it gets darker and darker... beautifull...
Can't till teh next trip..

What a beautifull gift you got from June.. i will hop over ...

mmmmmm yummie that looks great... I cabn imagine you son is coming home when he saw that :)
Congratz Theresa!!!

Have a great week!!!

Mary said...

Judge Sheepie is just too cute. Thanks for sharing your travel photos - it looks an amazing place.

Ellen said...

Love your framed Liberty, beautiful stitching!

Thank you for sharing your travel photos, must visit Spain one day.

That dessert looks yummy!

Myra said...

Delivering Liberty is just precious Carol. I love that it fits into a standard frame and the colors you chose are perfect. I really enjoy all the gorgeous vacation pictures - truly a once in a lifetime experience I am sure. That peanut butter pie looks scrumptious - my husband would love it.

Bekca said...

I'm really enjoying all of your travel posts, you've taken some beautiful pictures. Congrats on the latest finish and you're right, that pie looks very yummy! Best wishes and happy stitching.

Cindy's Stitching said...

The sheep is cute. You really got some beautiful pictures on your trip. Its amazing some of the sights. I feel like I went with you. Thank you for sharing. The peanut butter pie looks yummo.

Catherine said...

Delivering Liberty is so cute and that frame looks perfect!

Your trip certainly took you to some magical places. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us.

I am so going to make that pie!! YUMMY!!!

♥ Nia said...

Hope your week is off to a great start too! :D
Congrats on your finish!! :)
Beautiful pictures from Alhambra! Thank you for sharing with us :)
Ohhhh! I want a piece of that pie :p LOL

Julie said...

I'm way vwhind on blog reading recently, it's been lovely reading your news and seeing pics of your recent trip.

I hope you had lovely 4th July celebrations, that lovely pie wouldn't have lasted long here i dont think, no wonder your son is coming home for a visit!

Superb stitching of your 4th July pieces, the pillow is a stunning finish

The story of your hubby and the boys and the water melon saying did make me giggle

take care, love Julie x

Sally said...

Wow your holiday photos are wonderful! It looks gorgeous there.

Cute HE finish!

Barb said...

I just found your blog and really enjoyed it. Nice pieces. I loved seeing the pictures of your trip.

Meari said...

Peanut Butter Pie! It looks sooooo scrumptious. I'm going to try that recipe -- and it's from one of my favorite recipe sites :)

Congrats on your sheep finish. It turned out adorable. I like how you share the details of what you stitched with, the embellishments you used, and the changes you made.

You've gotten some wonderful mail packages lately. Lucky girl!

I enjoyed taking another "arm-chair vacation" with you. What wonderful scenics and architecture. I've probably said this already... I'm green with envy!

marly said...

Hello Carol! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog - I'm so glad you did because now I found yours! It will take me a while to read all the prior posts but it looks to be well worth the time. Love the travel photos, too. I'm also finding other new blogs to read from your list. Jackpot!!

Melanie said...

Gurrrrrl, you are an enabler extraordinaire because now I *have* to go put some of those Delivering charts on my 123stitch wish list! *AND* I might have to make the pie too. STOP BEING SO FABULOUS! It's costing me money. And room in my pants. lol

Ooo, related. How much do I love Franken Frames? I did an order with them after you posted that link and that place is great. And dangerous. I see many many many framed pieces in my future. *evil grin*

Kathy said...

Love, love, love your HE finish. Perfect.
Thank you for sharing your travel photos. Beautiful shots of a trip to remember.

Teresa said...

Hi, I have awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award. You can visit my blog for instructions.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Elia said...

Your holiday photos are wonderful!
Granada is so beautiful.

That pie looks delicious! mmmhhhh
and the stiching is so nice..


have a good day,hugs


Siobhán said...

Congratulations on the finish, Carol! It is just adorable. LOL at the resemblance between the be-wigged judges and so on.

Your Spain photos are amazing! I loved seeing the pics of the streets--I can't imagine driving through them. Beautiful!

Thanks for the link to the recipe--i've bookmarked it! We love peanut butter.

barbara said...

Spain looks magnificent! I've never been there. Stunning!

And your sheep from Delivering Liberty DOES look like a be-wigged judge! LOL!! I also love this series and yet the only one I've stitched is Delivering Posies (which I actually stitched twice!). I bought Delivering Needlework earlier this year. :)

Congratulations to the happy winner of the Ewe and I chart, and to you on your lovely mail. :)

Nima said...

lovely to see your beautful travel pictures...thank you for sharing it...i have no chance to visit that it was a treat to my ees and soul...beautiful place.

thank you for introducing your stitcing friend june..her blog is beautiful

Christine said...

What a perfect post! A darling XS in 'Delivering Liberty' followed by pics of Spain that make me envious and then a pie with peanut butter! Job well done!

Valerie said...

What a great finish, Carol! I did not realize that Homespun Elegance has the "Delivering" serie...I will hve to check it out!

What wonderful pics of Granada...just breathtaking!

Pumpkin said...

Gee, that didn't take you long to stitch that one! LOL! So cute :o)

Another amazing day! I can't tell you how much I enjoy looking at these pictures. How I would love to visit these places.

That was very sweet of June :o)

How dare you show that peanut butter pie to me at this hour! I need to go to bed but I'm drooling all over my keyboard ;o)

Kay said...

Another beautiful finish! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos!

Solstitches said...

Ah the memories! The Alhambra is stunningly beautiful. I have my travel guide book and look at it from time to time. I have enjoyed ALL of your pictures and am especially looking forward to the ones of Seville as we plan to go there next year.
I think you've seen a lot more of Spain than I have!
Lovely 4th July finish and the peanut butter dessert looks so yummy.

Robin Wylde said...

Carol, what a wonderful entry! Thank you for leaving the link in my blog. I loved seeing the Alhambra through your eyes, and may I say you really did your homework when it came to its history! I'm so glad you liked it, it was a beautiful entry to read (and see the beautiful photos!).
Have a good week, Robin.