Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A couple of finishes, Argentina memories, and a fond farewell...

March is half over and I am just now writing my first post for the month! Oh, what busy, busy days I've been having with lots of changes in my life and more just waiting on the horizon. The biggest change is my dear boss of many, many years retired at the beginning of March. She had been my boss at the library since I returned to work (after taking a ten year "vacation" to raise my three sons) exactly twenty years ago this month. I've tried not to cry, but her leaving has definitely changed things and caused me to rethink my own plans for retirement. It seems so strange to go into work and not see her each day--she was such a role model and inspiration for all of us younger librarians. "Younger," you ask? Yes, even though I am 61 and most of my fellow librarians are a bit older, my boss was well into her 80s! Amazing--and I hope I'm lucky enough to have half her energy when I'm her age. 

Anyway, the busy part of my life lately has revolved around the retirement party for my boss which I'm hosting at my house on Saturday for 21 people. Yikes!! I'll tell you, if you want to de-clutter and organize, all you have to do is mark a big party on the calendar--one that is held at your home! I can't tell you how many things I've cleaned out--the pantry, drawers, bookshelves... So many boxes and bags of items have been tossed, re-purposed, or given to charity. I'm making it sound like I'm some sort of hoarder, aren't I? No, my home was very clean to begin with, but I've really pared down and gotten rid of a lot of unnecessary "things." And what a great feeling! I look around me now and just smile at the things that remain as they are the things that bring me joy. I'm not finished by any means; I still have to sort my closets and the attic, but those can be done after the party.

In between all of the party planning, shopping, cleaning, etc. I've managed a couple of small finishes to share with you today.  The first is my next snowman-themed ornament and oh, what a cutie it is. For March, I stitched a freebie from Casa Mia in Italia which you can find right here (along with many other sweet designs). I used 40 ct. raw Newcastle for this piece and a mixture of overdyeds and DMC threads. I did make a few changes to the design--gave the snowman a "carrot" nose and a "charcoal" mouth, changed the size and shape of the buttons on the girls jacket, and sprinkled snowflakes throughout the little scene. If you'd like to know what specific colors I used, just email me (email address is in my profile).

After I had already finished attaching the red and white checked accent fabric and lace and turned it right side out to begin the stuffing process, I notice that the poor snowman had no buttons! Yes, I had forgotten all about adding them as you can see in the photo above. I tried to sew on beads, but it was just impossible given the small opening I had left for stuffing purposes. So, I did the next best thing--carefully glued the black beads in place. I am now wondering about the black checked bow--should I change it to a red checked one? I think the black gives it a more playful look, but, as usual I am second guessing myself.  Thoughts, anyone?

And because I've had enough winter and in celebration of the fantastically warm March we've had this year (it's felt more like early May!), I stitched a spring design. Most of you will recognize this as "Season of Hope" by Little House Needleworks. For this piece, I used 28 ct. cream evenweave and the suggested DMC colors stitched "over one." And in looking at it on my computer screen, I see I left off one stitch in that tiny purple flower hanging under the lettering. There is supposed to be a center--oops!! Oh well, too late now--I've already framed it!

This is the same frame that I used for the Season of Plenty that I stitched in 2011 and I plan on stitching the other two seasons and simply switching them out throughout the year.  I already stitched the summer design in a larger format, but plan on re-stitching it to fit this frame. I just love this framed finish and now have it sitting on my newly reorganized bookshelf in my family room.

In other stitching news, I received a truly lovely belated birthday gift from my friend, Valerie, in San Francisco. Just look at this beauty designed by Hands On Design! It is impeccably stitched and I just love the finishing and the tiny buttons. What a special gift, my friend--I'll treasure it! Valerie also included some pretty overdyed threads and some finishing fabrics.  Thank you so very much, my sweet friend...

Thank you all for your nice comments on my Argentina photos that I posted last time. Are you ready for Part 2? Remember when I told you I was dividing the photos into 3 parts? Well, I lied--after going through them again, I had to divide them into 4 parts. There were just too many to try to condense into three posts and, since my blog acts a bit like a stitching and travel diary for me, I want to include as many as I need so I can look back at this and remember our 2015 Argentina trip when I am old(er) and gray(er)...

So, on to Buenos Aires: Part 2...  One of the most iconic sights in the city is this beautiful pink mansion: La Casa Rosada which is the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina. Unlike the White House here in the U.S, though, the President of Argentina does not live there. La Casa Rosada sits on the eastern end of one of the main squares in the city, Plaza de Mayo.

La Casa Rosada

We arrived in Buenos Aires on a very historic day: November 22, 2015--the day of the Argentinian Presidential elections.  There was a huge police presence and, although a bit disconcerting, we never felt unsafe. Big buses like this one filled with federal police could be seen near the Plaza de Mayo. I found it so interesting that voting is compulsory for people between the ages of 18 and 70 in Argentina--I wonder how they monitor that? The election results were very close and potentially life-changing as it marked a big turn in government for the people of Argentina. The new president is Mauricio Macri and the honking of car horns and celebrating by his supporters went on long into our first night.

My youngest son actually had an article published online about the election called "A Right Turn in Argentina" which you can read  here.  With the change in leadership, the U.S. is hoping for warmer relations with Argentina. 

The police were everywhere due to the presidential election

Ever since the May 25th, 1810 revolution that led to independence from Spain, the Plaza de Mayo has been the center of most of the political rallies, protests, and activities in Buenos Aires.

Plaza de Mayo: the political hub of Buenos Aires

Here is a close-up of the May Pyramid which celebrates the May 25, 1810 independence day.

The Pirámide de Mayo: The May Pyramid

I loved this photo of my guys following our guide, Beatrice, across the brick pathway at the Plaza de Mayo.

Following our guide on the Plaza de Mayo

Did you notice those white painted things on the brick pathways? This was so, so interesting to me. They represent the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" whose children were "disappeared" in the so-called "Dirty War" military dictatorship of 1976-1983. Close to 30,000 children (young adults who were considered enemies of the dictator and his government) were taken and are presumed dead. This is a better photo (borrowed from the internet) of the symbol--a white kerchief similar to what the mothers wore as they walked in protest each week. I can't imagine that during the same time period (less than 40 years ago) that I was graduating from college, getting married, and having my first child, so many mothers in Argentina were having to deal with such a thing...

The white kerchief: symbol of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

I wanted to see the church where  Pope Francis (then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) served until he was elevated to Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013 so we asked our guide to give us a tour of Catedral Metroplitana de Buenos Aires. The site of the church overlooks the Plaza de Mayo and the foundation was first set in 1580. Through the years, the church has been rebuilt several times.

Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires

The guide told us that Pope Francis (then Cardinal Bergoglio) often spoke from this lecturn. I am not Catholic, but I admire the current Pope so much. I love his humility and compassion--he really seems to connect with people of all religions and inspires me to live my life in a kinder, simpler, more selfless manner.

The current Pope often spoke from this spot when he was a Cardinal.

I wish we could have spent more time at the church--there was so much to see...

Beautiful tile floors in the Cathedral

I'm not sure what this room is called, but the artwork was exceptional.

Side rooms filled with stunning paintings and sculptures

The Mausoleum of General José de San Martín is housed within the cathedral. He is Argentina's most revered hero having led the charge for Argentina's independence from Spain in the early 19th century.

Mausoleum of General José de San Martín

The mausoleum is guarded at all times. On our way out of the church we passed this group of soldiers on their way for the "changing of the guard." They are dressed in the uniforms of San Martin's army.

Soldiers on their way to guard San Martín's mausoleum

Can you name the famous woman featured on the Ministry of Health Building? Why, it's Argentina's Eva Perón, of course! Here, she is giving a fiery speech. On the other side of the building is another 10-story image of her in a smiling, more relaxed pose.

The Ministry of Health Building

I had to practically drag my guys kicking and screaming to tour the Teatro Colón, the world-famous opera house in Buenos Aires. Now, I am no opera fan (apologies to those of you who are), but when you have a chance to see the third-ranked opera house in the world (according to National Geographic Magazine), you take it! Oh, what a glorious building--I can just picture the men and women in all their finery mingling in the grand entrance hall below.

Grand entrance hall at Teatro Colón

The sculptures were breathtaking--can you spot the little angel?

Italian marble, French stained glass, and Venetian mosaics abound in the Hall of Busts.

And the ceilings--oh, my!

And another...

But, this was my favorite...

Ethereal looking angels playing musical instruments

Here is a closer look:

Lots of gilding in this room!

Here is the main 2487 seat concert hall. My photos just don't do it justice. The world-renowned tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, once said about the theater: “…it has a very big defect, its acoustic is simply perfect. Imagine what that means for a singer: if one makes a mistake, it is noticed immediately …”

The rich scarlet and gold decor is stunning

Note the trompe l'oeil "curtains" in the balconies and main stage. Our guide told us this helps with the acoustics.

Balconies at Teatro Colón

Here is a close-up of the trompe l'oeil curtain on the main stage.

Painted "curtains" help with the acoustics

And there was yet another gorgeous painted ceiling in the cupola of the main concert haul by Raul Soldi. Titled the "allegorical ceiling" it features 16 painted fabrics which were glued to the dome. Musicians and actors fill the scenes.

The allegorical ceiling in the cupola of the Teatro Colón

But this was my favorite--some chess-playing gentlemen:

Chess, anyone?

And a final shot of one of the lavish waiting rooms where opera goers went during intermission and to "see and be seen."  It looks like a palace, doesn't it? It must have been quite the place to be back in the day!

The Golden Hall

Final thoughts on Buenos Aires... When my youngest son first arrived in the city of Buenos Aires last September he told me, "Mom, I don't think you'll like it here--there is so much graffiti and you really have to watch where you walk because people don't clean up after their dogs." "Yuk," I thought to myself. As I told you in my last post, I was truly hesitant about making this trip at all. But, in the end I'm so glad I did. It opened my eyes to a part of the world that I knew nothing about. Yes, there was graffiti--but there was also beautiful street art like this painted facade. As in any city, there is the good and the bad. I choose to remember the good...

So, that wraps up Part 2. Next time in Part 3, I'll take you to Uruguay where we spent a wonderful day exploring an old Portuguese settlement.  Right now, I really have to concentrate on the final preparations for my boss's retirement party on Saturday--so much still to do, so little time. I'm a very nervous entertainer--I worry way too much. But, I'm just so honored to be able to help my boss celebrate her long career and continue our enduring friendship. I'm trying my best to  remember that wonderful saying "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."  (But, it's still hard to say that final "goodbye!).  Thank you all for visiting! Bye for now...

Wishing you a joyous spring!


Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, I thoroughly enjoyed your photo journey of Argentina this morning. I look forward to parts 3 and 4. What an adorable snowman ornament you created in March. I like the black and white checked bow. Your spring piece looks good in the red frame. Enjoy the upcoming party for you boss! Thinking of you!

Barb said...

Cute pieces. Great job on them. Love the scenery pictures.

Heartland Stitcher said...

Hi Carol, Love your snowman ornament. The black checked bow looks fine with this ornament. I like the size of your framed LH Season of Hope. Again, such beautiful pictures of Argentina. What a special opportunity. It sure looks clean everywhere you visited. Hopefully it is someones "job" to pick up the dog poop! Ha. Wow retirement at 80! I am sure your party will be spectacular. Enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

Judy, Heartland stitcher

Shelly said...

Love your pictures of Argentina, just beautiful! How nice it would be to have a nice relationship with a boss, lol. Your finish is very nice, as always. Looking forward to pictures of Uruguay.

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol - good to hear from you! Again, so many wonderful photos from Argentina - it's such a surprising place - I never knew much about it before reading your posts! Amazingly colourful and busy! Your stitching, as always is sublime. I love it all, and your finishes are so impressive. I hope the party goes well, and that you and your family are all ok. Will be thinking of you!
Much love,

Brigitte said...

Great new stitching that you show here. This little snowman picture with the girl is so pretty and you finished it in a very lovely way. And why not have a black and white checkered bow. Looks very nice. I also long to stich something spring-like as spring isn't here yet, it is snowing right now and everything is white again outside. But I pulled out my Sanctuary and will start to stitch the spring part on it. Your little spring design looks so nice, I think I have that one too somewhere, have to look for it.

I know, having guests or traveling for a while is the best motivation for some de-cluttering. And I'm with you about how you feel once you get rid or a lot unwanted and unneeded things. It's like having lost weight. My time for doing this will come when spring is here - then I will feel the urge to renew everything. And I'll start de-cluttering and re-organizing things.

Sorry to hear that your boss has retired. That's a pity when they are such wonderful people you can easily work with. And you never know who comes after them ...

Thank you so much for sharing all the great pictures from Buenos Aires and the thoughts you had when taking them. That church is wonderful and although I'm not catholic either I always visit the old churches when I am in a bigger city. And I always light a candle in the memory of my Grandma and my Mom who I have seen doing this from my early childhood. And I would have visited the theatre as well. Oh my, how wonderful it is, so special. And I would really love to listen to an opera in such a theatre. Thanks again, Carol.

Elizabeth Ann said...

Good morning Carol!
Enjoyed your vacation pictures so much, beautiful artwork and buildings. I know you and your guest will enjoy your farewell party Saturday night! I know your boss will be so pleased with all your efforts to make such a special night for her. I can hardly wait to see pictures of the food! Love your little snowman, I think a little red bow would be sweet. Enjoy your week dear friend....

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
your stitching is wonderful as always. The little snowman with the little girl are very cute. Thank you for the link.
Your sampler looks great.

Danke für das Zeigen der nächsten Bilder und Erinnerungen von eurer Argentinien Reise. Die Bilder sind einfach fantastisch.
Deine Gäste werden die Party zu Ehren deines Chefs alle genießen.

Have a nice time, Manuela

butterfly said...

Love your header and the Christmas stitching is beautiful I think I will be stitching this one for myself love it.
Also love the Spring design , you always find such pretty charts.

Beautiful Birthday gift , love the colours.

I have been sorting this week , DH is happy , dustbins are full ha.

Beautiful photos those ceilings are amazing .

Sorry your boss is leaving , it is upsetting but you still have a lovely friend .
Your party will be wonderful please show some photos .

Time moves on , and always lots of changes in life some good and some not so good.
But we have to embrace every new change in life .

Have a wonderful Saturday hugs.

Tricia T said...

I'm sorry about your boss retiring. The gal that trained my daughter at the library - who was someone she just loved - retired two weeks ago. It was really hard for my daughter, especially as she was promoted to that gal's spot on her recommendation. My daughter would rather have had her trainer rather than having her trainer's hours!! {Hugs} I'm sure the party will be lovely, though!!

Gorgeous pictures of your trip. So many pieces of history!!


marly said...

Oh my. That cathedral and opera house are breathtaking! You could spend an entire day in each. I am embarrassed to admit I don't know anything about the dirty war and the missing children. Tragic. And....I don't have an answer to your bow question! Enjoy the party!

Vickie said...

That adorable freebie is just precious. Who would have known my next house was in Buenos Aires? The pink mansion of course! ;)
What a good friend you are to host that super party. Here is a little library related story for you. Madeleine got the call for the interview after many, many months of waiting. She has an interview tomorrow after school to be a library page. :D

Pam in Virginia said...

Thank you for sharing your stunning photographs again. But the story of the white kerchief is so disturbing. I'm 70 and must admit I do not remember hearing of that 40 years ago. I read Steven's article and will be watching to see what our national news programs report from Argentina in the coming years. It was interesting to read he is at George Washington - my daughter received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from GW in 1992 and 94. As for your stitching - the snowman and sled are cute, cute, cute. I'd leave the black bow just as it is!

Julie said...

I hope your much loved friend enjoys her retirement and you all have a fabulous party to celebrate her time working with you.
Such pretty finishes as always.
Your trip looks amazing, such an array of snapshots you got to remember the wonderful time.

Jan Doling said...

Carol, I really enjoyed reading part 2 of your Argentinian adventure and looking forward to parts 3 and 4. I adore that little snowman design, I am going to print it off and have a go at that soon. I have stitched the seasons designs, I done mine all in one long bellpull but I love them framed individually. Good luck with your entertaining, what a fantastic lady to have continued working all this time, I can understand how much she will be missed. xx

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Your snowman and spring finishes are really pretty. I like the black-and-white checked bow. The Hands On Design flower pillow that was gifted to you is really lovely, too! Your Argentina photos (and captions!) were very interesting and informative. Looking forward to reading Parts 3 and 4! I know the party for your boss will be just wonderful. Isn't it great to declutter once in a while? I've been doing a little and should do way more. Maybe I should plan a big party?!

Kate said...

Carol, I like the black bow. I loved all the pieces that you shared with us and appreciate the link. Your travelogue is wonderful!!
Enjoy the retirement party.

Gillie said...

I like the bow too. Thank you for the tour, i think we only regret it when we DONT go to places. Carol, I cannot imagine you decluttering, lol, your house is beautiful! Have a wonderful time and relax! The party will be lovely!

Barbi said...

Beautiful finishes Carol! And I just loved the tour. I could hear your voice in my head as you were my tour guide thru the streets and church. Wonderful post!

Michèle said...

Oh ! Carol ! How lovely your stitches are ! And the photos you share with us from Buenos Aires ! Gorgious places ! The opera is just wonderful ! Thank you for this visit ♥
Don't worry ! Your party will be perfect for your boss. It will be a very sweet souvenir to all. Friendship does it well.
Amitiés de France

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Carol, thank you for a beautiful excursion! Looking forward to the third part!

Barb said...

Thank you Carol for sharing all the beautiful photos. the Church and the Opera house were both amazing!!
Good luck with the party. When I retired , I spilled loads of tears. Your boss is very old to have still been working. She must be a special lady. I do admire her. We wanted to retire much younger so we could move to Washington. It was a good decision for us. Hope your husband is doing well, I assume so as you did not mention any problems.

Linda said...

Gorgeous stitching and finishing as always Carol. I love your vacation pics and am looking forward to part 3.


Jackie said...

My former boss turned really good friend retired last year. We'd spent the last 9 years sitting right next to each other and discussing everything. Even though we still see each other - it's not every day! I'm sure the party is going to be a success! You'll have to tell us all about it.

I love the black bow!

Funny how things show up in a photo when you've checked and double checked in real life.

I'm so enjoying your series on your trip! SO glad you got to the Opera house - it is amazing!

priscilla said...

Such adorable finishes Carol ! I had to go save that snowman chart .. its adorable! As always your finishing is perfect!
Hope everything goes well for your bosses retirement party ..
Thanks for showing us your fabulous trip .. I am loving seeing the photos and reading about it!

Mini said...

Hi Carol, Its a rare thing to hear these days that you miss your boss and found her inspirational. She must be a wonderful lady as are you.
Good luck with the party, I'm sure it will be a success.
Beautiful stitching and lovely gift from Valerie.
Awesome pics from Argentina.

Jennifer said...

What marvelous pictures from Argentina and what lovely stitching you have done. I agree with your comments about the pope, we could certainly use more of his kindness agenda everyday! I hope the party goes well - how great to be able to help her celebrate and I hope the new boss is as good to you (even if very different) as this one has been - 20 years is sure special.

Mavi. said...

Hi Carol, I hope this party for your boss a success. I love your photos Argentina, help you put yourself in the place.
I can not wait to retire and I will in September just when she turns 60.
A kiss.

Preeti said...

Your finished projects are so beautiful, Carol!!:) Lovely gift from your friend !! I enjoyed seeing the pics of your vacation. That's a big party you are having at home. My house gets thoroughly cleaned as well when someone is coming for dinner or party and quite often they are first time visitors in the new flat we shifted two years back so I end up cleaning all the rooms. I have been reducing lot of stuff at home, easier to maintain less.

Annie said...

Such a cute snow scene! I love how you make those subtle changes to the designs and they always enhance the original. The black bow looks fine. I wouldn't change a thing.

Beautiful frame to house those nice seasonal LHN's. I never think to do something that way for rotating pieces.

That is so kind of you to throw the party for your boss. You've taken on a big chore there, but I suspect you love every minute of it. Who would go that much effort if they didn't! I'm sure the team will have a wonderful time.

You really made good use of the camera to show those great highlights of your trip. When you retire from the library, you can do travelogues as a second career!

Sherri said...

Such a cute ornament with the black check bow. I wouldn't change it. I've used black and white bows and ribbons with my Easter decorating this year. I like the look, I think it give it a little pop. Your framed piece looks great as well. You have stitched two more pieces than me as I have not lifted my needle in couple of months.

I'm sure the retirement party will go well. Change is hard and the older I get, the less I like it. When a fellow coworker leaves, it leaves a void in the workplace.

The picture walk of Argentina is lovely! Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

I love the ornament just as it is, I think the black and white bow adds a touch of contrast, a red and white one would be too "samey".
The spring finish is beautiful, and no-one will notice the missing stitch except you.
The gift from your friend is absolutely stunning

Cindy said...

I truly enjoyed your travel pics. Loved the opera house! I'm sure your boss is going to love the party you are doing for her and everyone will have a great time. That's what you need to remember when you get nervous ab out it all. (I do the same thing:) Have a great time!

Gabi said...

And again a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. The pics of Argentina are great.
Love your stitching, always perfect!!!
Have a great time at the party, I am sure your boss will enjoy and have a great time.
Warm greetings from Germany

Sandra die Puppenhexe said...

Dear Cat , oh I like your long posts, it's always like reading an entire chapter eiens book . It 's so much fun to listen to you . I can well imagine that it has been a big change is that your boss in retirement. I wish you a wonderful time after all these years of work . Your embroidery is again beautifully especially your processing , awesome .
I greet you cordially
Your Sandra

Ann at Beadlework. said...

What an amazing lady working into her eighties, she must have loved her work.
I'm sure that working in a library has changed a lot in recent years due to technology - I know that over here the role of libraries is very different nowadays.
Your gift from Valerie is very neat, so crisp looking. Enjoy the upcoming party.

C Reeder PhxAz said...

Such magnificent architecture. Thanks for taking all these photos and sharing. So appreciated. Your party will be wonderful !

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos from your trip. Yes I remembered hearing about that terrible time in Argentina. There was a great movie made starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. I would recommend a viewing.

Love your finishes. The snowman one is perfect. Don't change a thing! Lovely gift from Valerie too.

I can't believe your boss is in her eighties. Well done to her and I know you will miss her dearly. I'm sure your party for her will go spendidly. Have fun!

Irmeli said...

You have made so beautiful finishes, I love both of them. And you also received so wonderful gift.
Thank you for lovely holiday photos, it's really nice to travel with you and it's exciting to wait your next part.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carol !
I'm sure your party'll be great. Very best wishes to your friend!!

Your finishes are so pretty as always and thanks for the beautiful pictures. It must have been a very interesting trip.

Solstitches said...

What a fabulous post Carol. I have really enjoyed the pictures of your trip to Argentina.
It sounds as though big changes are afoot at work. It must have been very hard to say goodbye to someone you had worked with for so long.
I think she deserves her retirement though if she worked well into her eighties!
As always your stitching and finishing have inspired me.
I'm not in the mood to stitch for Christmas but must make a note of that dear little freebie design. So sweet.
Love your framed and finished LHN and what a lovely belated birthday package.
Happy stitching,

Jennifer Janney said...

I just love your Joyeoux Noel and the beatiful sunflower. Your pictures of Buenos Aires are just stunning. What kind of camera did you use? You should come along with me to Italy in May and be my photographer. I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

Sheryl S. said...

Wonderful photos Carol and pretty stitching, the snowman design is lovely and your pics of Argentina very interesting. Gorgeous Opera house and the Cathedral also. Hope your emotive party goes well, I imagine there will be a lot of tears all round and don´t forget some pics for us.

diamondc said...

Carol: What fantastic pictures so beautiful.
I am Catholic and have goose bumps knowing I was able to view a place Pope Francis has spoken wow.
I am in love with your Season Of Hope what a beautiful frame perfect.
Joyeux Noel is positively adorable, I love the bow it is a perfect color match for the snowman's hat and buttons.
The pillow from Valerie is beautiful and the coordinating fabric is perfect.


Cindy's Stitching said...

Love the snowman piece. finished perfectly. black bow looks great. the pictures are just beautiful. the chuch is gorgeous. stained glass windows are my favorite. lots of beautiful sights. so glad you went on the trip. good luck with the party, I thought you had the party already. it's good you did a lot of your spring cleaning.

Margaret said...

I really enjoyed your post. First off, sorry that your boss is retiring. She must be an amazing woman -- still going strong in her 80s! Wow! Good luck with the party! Love your finishes, and the present from Valerie is gorgeous! And Argentina! So interesting! Loved seeing the cathedral where the Pope used to preach. How wonderful! I loved that pic of your three boys following your guide -- so great! All the history behind your pictures -- it's all so interesting! Eve Perron! And to be in the city when those elections were happening! I follow a knitwear designer on instagram, and she was posting about the excitement surrounding the elections. Amazing! Anyway, hope the retirement party goes well, and that work is ok now without the retiree.

Justine said...

What an interesting trip you had Carol! Thanks for sharing some of your photographs and information about Buenos Aires. I had never heard of the "dirty war" and all those missing children, how truly awful. To see the church where Pope Francis preached must have been exciting, he is a very special Pope and I think reaches out to many people, Catholic and otherwise.
Your stitching and finishing is perfect as always, don't change the bow at all!
Lovely gifts from Valerie, the colour scheme for her stitched piece is gorgeous!
Good luck for the party on Saturday and thanks for the decluttering tip.

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

Pope Francis is an inspiration to many although, Pope John Paul was a fabulous humanitarian as well. Pope Francis appeals to the press so he gets more coverage and exposure for his political stands that are in line with the press in many instances. But he is a great man and as being Catholic he is my leader for my church here on earth and a man that stands as representative of what I hope to gain someday after this life. The little alcove that you shown is a prayer shrine and it appears that the icon was the Infant Jesus of Prague, with the Annunciation painted behind it. Beautiful Cathedral and one I appreciate your sharing with us :)
I adore you sweet stitching and I think you cannot improve on your finished ornament in any way! Always perfect and spectacular!
I have so enjoyed viewing your photos shared and can't wait for the next installments.
I admire your boss and I understand what having her retire means to you. I have a fabulous colleague myself that is 76 and I dread when she retires. I try to emulate her in all things and always say: I want to grow up to be just like you. Have a spectacular party this weekend!

Penny said...

Sometimes growing older sounds a little scary and then you hear about a lady like your boss. She does sound like quite a lady. And I'm sure the party will be amazing! Your stitching and finishing are beautiful, Carol! And I wouldn't change a thing about your snowman finish! I think that is interesting that voting is compulsory. And I love the picture of your sons and the guide. :) I've never heard of the "Dirty War" - how horrible. I'm just in awe of all the spectacular places you visited -wow! Very much looking forward to the next installment. :)

Anne said...

Hellooooo!! Wow, it's so nice to read and catch up on my lovely friend's lives. I see you went to Argentina! How amazing! I looove the photos especially of the glass and tiles of the cathedral. As for decluttering, it's something I desperately need to do as I want to feel that great relief you did!! Your stitching is impeccable as usual. I'm starting to get the itch to stitch back after it taking a very long hiatus! Valerie's gift is so beautiful! I love that design and she finished it perfectly. It's always hard dealing with changes at work. It's nice to go into work and expect how things operate or expect to see a familiar friendly face. When it's gone, it always feels different. I hope that you will continue to keep in touch with your boss!! Hugs!

valerie said...

Carol, I am sure the retirement party for your boss went off without a hitch and with lots of reminiscing. I can't wait to hear how it went. I am so glad that you like the pillow! I remembered you like sunflowers and it called to me. It helped me relax in those months after my dad passed away. Stitching brought me the most solace. I still owe you an emai. I love your Joyeux Noel finish and I hope you kept the little black bow. It really does pop! And your framed Spring finish is a perfect addition to your decorations! I really enjoyed your photo walk of Argentina. So many interesting pictures and history. Argentina has been on my bucket list for years!

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Lovely stitching. I think that I wouldn't change the black and white bow on the snowman design.
An interesting selection of photographs from your Argentinian holiday. I enjoyed seeing them.

Wanda said...

Hi Carol, Beautiful cross stitched pieces. I love the little girl and snowman(and love the black and white bow!)I really like the LHN seasonal stitches that you have done and the frame is beautiful.
Today is the day you are having the party for your boss. It really is bittersweet to not be working with someone who has meant so much to you. I know the party will be beautiful and you will wonder why you fretted so much but I do the same thing and then say,'why did I worry so much' but continue to do it the next time - we are funny creatures!
I really enjoyed the continuation of our trip to Argentina. Thanks for sharing your son's article. What an incredible experience and opportunity this has been for him.
Thanks as always for the pleasure of your beautiful blog.

Andrea said...

Carol, I'm sure the party is going to be a success. Such a special thing to do for your boss whom I'm sure is a great friend to you already. I don't think I will still be working at 80, I'd love to retire tomorrow if I could!
Beautiful stitching. I like the black check bow. The frame is just perfect for those LHN designs.
Wonderful photos from your trip. It is so good that you include so much information too. It's a pleasure to read.
Have a good weekend ... and enjoy!

Giovi's Creations said...

Love your finishes, Carol, so cute and delicate. About your last changes, they're part of our lives and growth process...there are people that form part of our own history... And that's so good!:) ...we're travelling with you in each post! :)

Maggee said...

Another wonderful post Carol! Your stitched pieces are so perfect, as always! I will visit Casa Mia after this. And the pillow from Valerie makes me want to re-look those designs by HOD! They just have to be seen up close and personal! What a wonderful belated birthday gift! As before, the pictures from your trip are so wonderful. Argentina is going to be doing some changing... great article from your son! Buenos Aires looks like a great place... I am glad there was more 'good' to see on your visit! Thanks for sharing it all with us! Hugs!

Angela said...

Lovely finishes and Buenos Aires looks gorgeous!

Lillie said...

Your party for your boss will be fantastic and I am very sure in the mist of cleaning you could have found things close to your heart too.
What a fantastic write-up and a fabulous journey you had Carol. Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos.

Your stitching is lovely as always. Happy Easter !

Lumiruusu said...

The LHN piece is very pretty and you have found a perfect frame to it.Winter / Christmas ornemnt is cute too. The opera pictures are all stunning ...the opera really have been a important part of High class social life at the days gone by.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Carol your latest finishes are wonderful and I'm definitely going to look for that snowman pattern. I'd love to get your colors so I'll e-mail you. I was thrilled to read that your boss was in her 80s and just now retiring. I am going to be 70 on my next birthday and though arthritis is a permanent resident in my body I still love the work that I do (part-time) at a Methodist mission. I've been trying to pare down at my house as well but I get so wrapped up in who gave something to me and if their feelings will be hurt if I no longer have it that I sometimes get stymied! But closets and drawers are a little more organized after I took 10 bags to charity! blessings, marlene

Michelle said...

A lovely post - stunning photos xx

Weronika said...

Thank You for this amazing post! I felt like I've been there thanks to You. It was a wonderful trip. You've visited so many beautiful places! Amazing!

passionfruitprincess said...

What a beautiful post, Carol! I love the Argentina pictures! Thank you for sharing! Hope all went well with your party. I am impressed that your boss worked for so many years. Good for her, that she was healthy enough for that. Oh, I love you little girl and snowman! Such a cute design, I pinned that a while ago. Now I will pin your finish for reference.
Have a wonderful week!

Ana Paula.

Kaisievic said...

Carol, wonderful post - I so enjoyed the trip to Buenos Aires with you, another place to add to my ever growing travel wish list! Wonderful, wonderful photos. Gorgeous stitching on your Christmas piece and I like the black gingham bow. Very sweet present from Valerie, too. Now, to go back and read Part 1 of your Argentina trip. Good luck with the party, I am sure that you will do your boss proud.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous finishes ♥

Annette said...

That snowmen with cute girl is CUTE!!
It founded a lovely place in your home... beautifull finish as always!
Lovely Spring piece!!
It's very pretty in that frame
Ow My..... Those Buenos Aires pic's are so beautifull........
You must have had the best time ever
Really awesome pictures..
That really beautifull grafitti... that I like too
You will have lovely memories of it!!