Back From Another Trip

July 27, 2012

Last weekend we went to Seattle to visit a friend from college and his new wife.  They were married last fall and we couldn’t make it because of my pregnancy.  We decided to use the tickets for a long weekend there instead.  While I’m very disappointed that we missed the wedding, in many ways this was better.  We were able to stay with them and had lots of time together, and plenty of time to get to know our friend’s wife.

Seattle is a beautiful city.  I read a lot of blogs of Seattle based crafters who blog about the city, and it did not disappoint.  I was surprised by how hilly it is.  Very much like San Francisco, but with more water if that is possible.  It also rained so I feel like I got the true Seattle experience.  We also made it out to Tacoma to visit a friend from DC who is now a West Coaster.

leaving tacoma

coffee!!breakfast of champions

ferry to bainbridge island



that looks good

We went to Pike Place Market, saw Nordstrom’s Flagship Store, walked around Green Lake, took a ferry over to Bainbridge Island, bought some yarn (!), went to a beer tasting, saw a salmon ladder, hung out and ate!  I even had some time to relax and knit.  I’m working on Color Affection and am so close to being done!

It was a really great trip.  It does my heart good to see another of our college friends happily married!

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June 7, 2011




I am on my way home from a wonderful yet exhausting trip to Greece.   It is a beautiful country and we barely scratched the surface with stops in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.  I prepared for this trip not as much as I should have.  We did very little research and had just a vague plan of what we wanted to do.  That part worked out well.  We saw our “must see” things and then played everything else by ear.  The part I should have done more preparation for was the physical aspect.  I am a walker and a hiker, but if I’m going to a national park to hike, I put in some extra work at the gym.  I should have prepared for this like a national park trip.  Everything was either up or down.  Very little was flat.  I was not prepared.  I got around,  but not as comfortably as I would have liked.

The trip was a wonderful mix of busy and relaxing.  We did a lot of walking and sightseeing, but also took breaks at sidewalk caf©s and gelatin stands.  We also had 3 days of relaxing on the beach.

This was a great time of year to go.  It us still early in the season, not too hot and not too crowded.  I can’t imagine doing this trip in July or August.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much.  Today, 6 cruise ships are due in Santorini. We only had to deal with 2, but there were 4 in port in Mykonos and it makes for a lit more people.

We are about 5 and a half hours into our 28 trip home but I am looking forward to my furry babies, shower and bed.  Fingers crossed, prayers said for a safe trip home.

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My London Haul

February 16, 2010

Last week I went to London with Bill. He was going for work and I went for pleasure!! It’s the first time I’ve been able to tag along on a work trip and I was super excited about it! Of course the first research I did on London related to yarn and fabric.

I had a couple of splurges. The first being at Liberty of London. Their cotton fabric is beautiful and I was surprised to see they had silk too. I bought a meter of silk to make myself a scarf. Then I bought some cotton for myself and for my mom. The fabric was pricey thanks to the crappy exchange rate, but I was told that if I wanted to buy a dress of their fabric, it would cost me more than 500 GBP which is WAY more than I spent. Interestingly enough, I did see a blouse made of the fabric of the red rose fabric, and it cost 95 GBP, again, much more than I spent for 3 meters. That made me feel better about my splurge.

My second purchase was at the Swarovski Crystallized store where they sold…yes, Swarovski crystal beads. They also had necklaces and bracelets that you could buy (for $$$). I fell in love with two pieces (this necklace and this bracelet) and bought some of the components to make the jewelry myself. It won’t be exact, but close enough. This did lead to buyer’s remorse but I felt better when I got home and found that I could not get the components in the US, even on the internet.

My third purchase was at iKnit. Cute store with great yarn. A lot of it available in the US, but I was able to find some great organic wool from Cornwall. It’s from Blacker Designs and not widely carried in the US. My goal for my yarn purchase was to get something I couldn’t find at home and I’m very happy with the Blacker Designs yarn. It’s a DK weight which I think is more practical for me living in Northern California. I also fell in love with some Hand Maiden Fine Yarn (dyed in Canada). But the color reminded me of London with the blues and greys, and I don’t have anything like it.

That was the bulk of my shopping. Bill bought me a silk scarf as a Valentine’s Day gift. (Actually, he told me he would get me one as a gift but I picked it out and bought it while he was at work.) I was enthralled with all the British women and their scarves. Silk scarves, pashminas, winter scarves… they wore them all so stylishly. I bought my scarf at Liberty of London, and they showed me how to wear it and I love it.

Let me tell you a little about Liberty of London. It’s a high end department store in this distinctive building in a big shopping district. They sell all brands of clothing, including pieces made from their fabric, and they sell their fabric as well as yarn and other haberdashery. I love that some of the department stores have haberdashery departments. I also went into John Lewis, another department store, and they had decorator weight fabrics available! They also had every type of Rowan Yarn in every color, as well as a few other brands. I showed amazing self restraint and didn’t buy any yarn, but I did buy some fabric for bedroom curtains. They had beautiful fabrics. I’ve been looking for bedroom curtains but I have a very specific color scheme in mind and I was very excited to find the perfect material. It’s decorator weight but it’s machine washable which is hard to find.

While I did spend a bit of money, I also did quite a bit of window shopping. New spring clothing was out and I really enjoyed looking at the styles and construction. It gave me some ideas.

So that’s my London trip for the crafty perspective. I did a ton of sight-seeing, but that will be a second post.

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Sunny Beach, Wild Ponies, Hungry Mosquitoes, Oh My!

July 29, 2008

Bill and I spent a near perfect weekend camping in Assateague. The only “bad” thing was mosquitoes who enjoyed a Christmas in July Buffet, courtesy of yours truly. Despite, what I thought was, a healthy coating of bug spray, I got a bunch of mosquito bites. Huge bites. But I digress.

The weather was fabulous, in the 80s. It was sunny and breezy. Truly we couldn’t have ordered better weather. Assateague is a very cool place. We were on the national park side (there’s a state park as well). It’s an island with bayside camping (that’s where we were) as well as ocean side camping (popular, hard to get spots). Wild ponies inhabit the island, but as yiou can see, they aren’t really scared of people. They are wild so I kept my distance. They are also smart, knowing where to go (and when) to get fresh water. Three of them were huddled around the fresh water pump and people would come to fill up their water bottles and the ponies would get fresh water.

Bill was surprised when I suggested a camping weekend. You may not know this about me, but I am not really into roughing it and am pretty high maintenance. But I thought this would be fun and relaxing, hence my suggesting the outing. It was unbelievable relaxing. There was no rush, no schedule. We sat by the fire waiting for dinner to cook. When it was done, it was done. And then we sat and read until it was too dark and then we lit our LCD lantern and read a little more. The stars were unbelievable. And in the far distance, you could see the glow in the sky of Ocean City. I even slept pretty well too, though I may investigate a thicker air mattress.

We spent the day at the beach, reading under our umbrella. The water was cold. We went all the way in on Friday and were having fun until a wave threw us down and deposited a ton of sand on us. A ton of sand. Saturday we just got our feet wet. The waves were strong and we were on a beach without lifeguards so I played it cautious. Plus, I did not want a repeat of the sand incident. People, I am talking a ton of sand. I was picking sand off my scalp all day…

As for the camping facilities, they were great. Very nice, pretty private sites. Some with amazing views. The washing and lavatory facilities were clean and well maintained. We really couldn’t have asked for anything more.

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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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