"Whatever your hands find to do, verily do it with all your might" Ecclesiastes 9-10

Monday, February 25, 2008

NORWAY (3)



THE LIFE BEFORE...



The visit of the museum ended with a looong walk ouside, where you can see the cabins where people used to live before. That walk was so beautiful and May Britt was such a good and clever guide....





It was like living in winter wonderland... Look at this cute, small cabin : you could imagine Snowwhite coming to welcome you... :>)









Then came the first bridge... It's not a secret : I'm VERY afraid of heights, and I can't easily balance my body (I heard that most tall people are feeling the same ?)... "Butter legs" my grandmother used to say :>)

But what do you do, when a good friend is telling you : "come on ! You can do it ! I'm with you !" ? ? ? Well, you just do it !




That's what I could see under myself.... when I dared opening my eyes. You should have heard that noise of ice and water !





Among many cabins , May Britt wanted to show me this one, where her father and his family used to live, and I could imagine how hard life was at that time, and how courageous people had been...



But there was also a second bridge ! It was very impressive, but my "cruel teaser" - as I named her - told me to be confident : "this one is easier !" she said... HA !

Only when we reached the end , did she tell me it was a hanging bridge ! I didn't realize that, as I crossed it eyes half closed, step by step, two fingers on the railing (as if this could have prevented me from falling ! LOL LOL), but I knew I had felt something "moving" ! :>) Fortunately, I couldn't see through the planks : they were covered with ice and snow...



I can still recall, thinking to myself : "OMG, this is where I'm gonna die ! Nobody will find me here !...Well, at least I'll die in Norway !"


But I did it ! This may seem ridiculous, but I felt it was a big victory on myself.



THANKS, my dear friend ! I wouldn't have done it without you....




DEEP IN THE FOREST...


One evening, IRENE - from the local quilt shop - and her husband, invited us to go and visit their own cabin in the forest... Two hours drive, crossing a magical landscape, with the snow, the trees, traces of mooses, the night falling, always going deeper and deeper in the forest, I felt like in Fairyland, eyes wide open (this time!), filling my heart and head with the beauty of nature....


And there we were. Like in the middle of nowhere, we discovered that jewel in the snow. Look at the snow on the roof... it had even reached the windows !




The dog was having much fun, playing in the snow. You will also notice that we are not dressed as in North Pole. The reason is simple : when the temperature is falling very low (we had minus 22°C), the air is so pure and very dry, and it was not windy... just magical !



Sweet Irene, happy inside her beautiful cabin (look how cosy and cute it is)... She is so nice, and always smiling. I'm feeling so grateful to these new friends, for their hospitality and kindness. They opened their home and heart to me, without even knowing me a week before.



Have you ever been deeeeeep in a Norwegian forest to eat PIZZA ??? Well, I did ! It was delicious and so unexpected !


I still have a lot to report - feel free to skip it, if boring - (this is kind of my personnal "Trip Journal" , as well. :>)


Next time I'll tell you about some very special quilting friends.... But I think it's enough for now....


SAYING FOR TODAY
It's good to give a friend a meal, or a night's lodging, and it's even better to be hospitable to his own meaning and thoughts, and give courage to a companion.
It's good to treat a friend like you would do for a painting,
which you are willing to bring
into the advantage of a good light...

Ralph Waldo Emerson

:>)

Friday, February 15, 2008

FUN MAIL - FUN MAIL - FUN STORY - FRIENDSHIP .........

What do you do when a new blogger posts a comment on your blog ? ---> You visit hers, of course ! Well, that's what I did a few months ago, when Christine ("Liberty Star Farm") came to my blog...

What do you do when a secret partner is assigned to you for a swap ? ---> You visit her blog, of course ! But do you often think that another blogger could do the same towards you ? Do you imagine that YOU are someone's secret partner, and that she's trying to know you better in order to please you as much as she can ? Well, that's what Christine did.

With time, comments became emails, sharing about our families, projects, ideas, and a new, precious friendship was born... I never knew I was her secret partner (she's a good teaser ! :>) and when I marvelled on beautiful blue Lemoyne stars she was handpiecing for a 4 Seasons Winter swap quilt, she told me : "I'll send these to you, and I'll make another quilt for my secret partner !". Can you imagine that ?

So I knew I would get these lovely stars on my return from Norway... Little did I imagine the rest of the story.

LOOKIE !
When Henri, the postman, rang my door, he was VERY excited because there was a note for him on the box ... :>)


Carefully wrapped, the stars were the first package I found inside the box... Aren't they beautiful ? I'm going to piece them on point, with crispy white squares in between. This is going to be such a lovely, special quilt ...


Sharing emails with a friend means sharing about your life, your projects, and I had told Christine about our kitchen remodelling in blue and cream tones.... Not only did she send me 7 cutie patterns to stitch on kitchen towels ---> she sent the 7 towels as well, AND two wonderful hand knitted dish clothes (these are so soft and nice that I'll be afraid to use them...)

Then came other fun surprises : charms, notecards, soap, hankies, a beautiful "Home Sweet Home" redwork stitchery pattern, and a Bow Tie templates set (how, on earth, did she know I love that one ???) HAPPY DANCE ! ... Not to speak about a very moving letter that brought tears to my eyes.
There was a last, a mysterious package at the bottom of the box, with a label "Open this one last !"... And look what was inside : MY Winter Quilt Swap ! So she NEVER told me I was her secret partner ! (and, of course, I never guessed, I'm so naïve :>)

Look how beautiful these are together !


THANK YOU SOOO MUCH, CHRISTINE, MY FRIEND
FOR THESE WONDERFUL SURPRISES.


I've got many friends through Blogland, among whom are some
VERY special ones AND good teasers,
with Darlene, and May Britt, YOU make the trio, sweetie !


VERY HEARTFULLY AND GRATEFULLY
:>)


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NORWAY (2) : SHOW & TELL / WORKSHOP / MUSEUM

So we went to the Thursday quilt reunion, to meet May Britt's friends for a beautiful Show And Tell... Such friendly and talented ladies ! I was in awe. I can 't show all photos, but hereunder are two examples with a gorgeous handpieced, handquilted Baltimore Album, and a stunning Lemoyne Stars quilt (my favourite)...



Friday and the whole weekend were devoted to a very special workshop : "Japanese inspiration", given by a very talented local quilter. Although it was given in Norwegian, I enjoyed it VERY much, thanks to May Britt and Irene - my local guardian angels - who cared for me, helped me so much, and translated everything. I was always "one train too late" HeeHee - but I managed, and I'm very proud of the final result... Now we still have to applique a lot of cute designs, then add a lot of stitchery, etc... but the "hardest" part is done, to me.





Poor May Britt, running from her quilt to mine, busy, busy bee.... You can see her beautiful own version on her blog, here.
A big, stunning surprise was : "THE BLUE HOUR", as Norwegian people call it, oh so beautiful, at sunset when the sky becomes and remains turquoise blue, it was magical, unforgettable...


Aaaah, here is the visit to the Norwegian Forest Museum.....

with so many interesting animals to see and a wonderful documentation on people's life, working in the forests...




I was amazed to see how Norwegian people are respectful of their traditions and history, and how talented and skillful, and courageous these men and women have been and still are....
The best was yet to come with an adventurous long walk in the snow... but that's for tomorrow ! :>)
THANKS for reading me, friends!




Saturday, February 9, 2008

HELLOOOOO ! I ' M BACK ...

I know, I know, I've been laaaaaazy :>) and I let May Britt keep you aware about this wonderful trip... but it was sooooo good ! I'm sure you'll forgive me, won't you ?


























so now it's my turn to tell you about my trip to "Norway Wonderland" and believe me, I'll need several posts


Let's start with the beginning. .. The last thing I saw from Belgium was a beautiful crazy quilt in browns, greens and beiges, when the plane took off, and after a short, safe flight, the first thing I saw from Norway was thousands of pine trees and snow everywhere. It was so beautiful ! I crossed the airport, heart beating strong, my head full of "what if ?", and then I saw her ... We had agreed for a green vest for her and a red scarf for me, but we recognized at once and the connection - you know that "special feeling" that tells you "this is going to be wonderful" - was immediate.... The two hours drive from the aiport to Elverum seemed like 10 minutes to us, and we chatted and chatted like good old friends.


Have you ever met Norwegian angels ?

Well, I met some very special ones. Here is the first one :






May Britt



My very special angel,

caring for everything,

so sweet and generous,

so strong and organized,

giving me the precious feelings of

confidence and security,

showing me the paths

to so many unexpected outside discoveries
and also to so many inner possibilities...


Our first stop was at "Lille Stasjon" , the local quilt shop (and what a quilt shop !), where two other angels ,Irene and Laïla , were waiting or us.



I'm sure that many among you are used to beautiful quilt shops, but I wasn't and , my-oh-my what a shop ! To me it was "Alibaba's Cavern" :>) I was in quilter's paradise.... And such a warm welcome : big hugs, laughs, coffee, yummy cookies, everybody speaking English and smiling to me, while May Britt was leading me everywhere through the shop, introducing me to everyone (I think even some customers knew who I was, HeeHee)...



Then it was time to go to May Britt's home.


Where Frieda was waiting for us, of course...




Norwegian hospitality is not only a word, it's a real way of living . Let me tell you that May Britt's home is the best quilters hotel in Elverum : all wooden, so cosy, warm and well decorated. quilts, quilts, quilts, everywhere ! I was shown my beautiful bedroom, which actually is Lena's (May Britt's beautiful, smiling daughter) - while my dear friend was already busy, preparing our yummy dinner : Norwegian meatballs (hmmmmmmm)...



Not to forget.... the sewing room ! (Oooh how I dived into it !)


Then it was time for our first evening out : quilt meeting with Elverum quilters ! But that will be for tomorrow, I think.. :>)



SAYING FOR TODAY :


A friend 's house is a place where you feel

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