Archive for ‘Travel’

August 21, 2012

Textile Tuesday::kNitting in Norway

by heatherkp

Traveling back to Norway I want to share with you some of the beautiful knit wear and knitting shops I saw in my travels.  A very special stop was made to a  wonderful yarn shop called Garnloftet Helle which was closed for the summer but we had a private “showing”.  This shop is owned by the super talented aunt of my new sister in law!  The Norwegians are known for their talent for knitting, with their cold climate it’s almost a necessity to learn to knit yourself warm clothes for the winter! 

A very special lace knitting pattern that was expertly translated from Japanese into Norwegian by the owner of the shop.  She did so by repeatedly watching a video of the pattern until she had it down.  She teaches a class for this pattern and we got a brief lesson of our own and I’ll be trying this pattern out over the winter.  I’m not sure I have the skills needed since I will have to train myself to knit continental  to master this pattern but I’m determined to try!

In addition to yarn, patterns and classes there were quite a few knitted gifts ready to buy, like these candle jar covers, fingerless gloves (below), several styles of felted “pot holders” and garments such as sweaters and scarves available for purchase.

Above and below are two beautiful examples of traditional Fair Isle knitting.  Boy would I have loved to spend a day here with some more in depth lessons but my mom and I had our guys with us who were quite patient but not enough for a day there!  We discovered yarn in quite a few other shops in Kristiansand although we didn’t visit any other dedicated knitting shops.  What I loved was that there were sections of many shops that carried a small to medium selection of yarns, patterns and ready to wear knit items.  I found these sections in a couple “gift shops” and a children’s store.  I love the idea of incorporating this creative hobby into everyday gift giving!

Spectacular stuff, don’t you think?  It really inspired me to knit this winter but having just moved to a tropical climate I won’t be knitting too much from wool for myself.  I have a big yarn stash that needs to be knit and maybe one day I’ll learn to knit like a Norwegian!

August 17, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Fjords and Highlands

by heatherkp

We took a LONG day journey to visit the mid-west coast of Norway and were hoping to get to hike to the top of Preikestolen– or Pulpit Rock but in the end the weather didn’t cooperate with us so we took a ferry ride instead.  This was not a disappointment though, just a different perspective on this beautiful area of Norway!  The fun thing about this adventure was that there were a ton of bridges and tunnels and 9 of us caravaned in 3 cars.

We stopped in a couple spots to check out local sites including Tronasen, check out this fun video of the crazy narrow switchback road we took to the top!  At the bottom we came to this bridge, which is the oldest suspension bridge in Norway, built in 1844.

Next we continued North towards Stravanger  where we caught a ferry along Lysefjord after feasting on a fabulous picnic on the banks of the North Sea.  There are several ferries that run along this Fjord, some for locals who are traveling just to their home or work destination and some ferries travel the length of the Fjord ending in Lysebotn while offering local tourist information along the way.  This ferry was about 2 1/2 hours long and the day was partly rainy/cloudy so it made for some spectacular and dramatic views!

Towards the end of the ferry ride we were very lucky to spot these seals lounging along the rocky shore.  Once the ride was over we embarked on another windy and steep drive up to the “Highlands”.

That’s what I’m calling it because the terrain was very elevated, there wasn’t much vegetation and there were many sheep, rock cairns, lakes, residual snow, thatched or living roof’s and several rainbows along this stretch.  It was what I imagine the highlands of Ireland or Scotland to be like. 

As we started to come down from the highlands there was more and more vegetation, especially evergreens such as spruce and pines.  There were also many more signs of life, more houses, a few small shops and villages where tourists come to get away in the summer but it was still quite unpopulated (there are only 5 million people in Norway!).

I was delighted to see some of the traditional architecture such as this wooden food storage house called a Stabbur, where food was stored to keep the mice away!  The return route home took us through the lakes and mountains smack down the center of Norway East of the Stravanger area through a couple towns like Rysstad (the picture below was taken there) and Evje both popular vacation/camping spots for the summer in Norway.It was about a 12 hour day and we covered a lot of ground but I assure you it was one of the most memorable days of my life!  I am so grateful to my brother, his wife and her mother who helped to plan this day so we could experience Norway’s splendid range of beauty!

August 3, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Wedding Bells in Norway

by heatherkp

Okay, so I’m sure you noticed I recently went to Norway and the whole purpose of this trip was for my brothers wedding!  He married a beautiful and sweet Norwegian woman who I am thrilled to have as my sister in law.  I was apprehensive about going to Norway because I’d heard not much more about it than how EXPENSIVE it is and that it’s a socialist country.  Well, being in the midst of a move and trying to re-launch 2 businesses in Charleston I was enthusiastic but a bit concerned (about the expenses not the politics!).

We arrived a few days before the wedding and we got straight to work transforming the Christiansholm Fort into the vision my brother and sister in law had for their reception!  The whole family got involved with decorations, preparations and set up…from ironing over 30 tablecloths to hanging over 100 paper lanterns and setting 80 something place settings!  It was a family affair and a great way to begin to know one another.

Lanterns are assembled and table scape items are grouped to be arranged.

I promise I did more than boss everyone around and take pictures! B & I hung all the lanterns as a team.

My dad puts his Navy ironing skills to work!

My mom meticulously arranges all the place setting keys (I loved this idea)!

Susanne’s Aunt created this piece for guest to sign (in addition to the guest book).

I made these magnets which were favors (not a great picture…).

Lots of special details from both sides of the family became a part of the day!

After about 8 hours of set up work (over 2 days) with at least 12 people involved, every last detail had been beautifully arranged.  My brother and sister in law put so much of themselves into this production.  Since my brother is a sound engineer there were musical themed objects everywhere, my favorite being the menus aka place settings and being in a Scandinavian country there were plenty of hearts!

Finally on Saturday the weather was perfect and the wedding was at this incredible Church called Oddernes kirke, which is over 950 years old.

A couple family members wore traditional Norwegian folk costumes called Bundas.  This costume is typical for the Stavanger area (where Kristiansand is located).  I didn’t take very many photo’s during the wedding (the only time of the entire trip I can say this!), partly because I just wanted to be there and really be present and partly because I was nervous about getting up to do this Apache Blessing,  which apparently I aced (I hate speaking in public but need to do it more!).

My brother walks with his bride down the isle in one hand and his very own Norwegian bible in the other!

Man was my husband drooling when he saw they were riding away in this beauty!  He has an old 68’s Cadillac Coupe DeVille in very bad need of restoration, this one gave him inspiration…or heartburn (not really sure which)!

Over at the fort guests were greeted with Champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres while the couple and family had photo’s taken.

I obviously didn’t take this shot but the best man and talented photographer Guy Jackson grabbed my camera for this and a few other shots, thanks Guy!

Here he is along with the bride, groom and bride’s gorgeous sister and maid of honor!

Back inside the fort the Toastmasters prepare the guests for a few cultural traditions which included the many speeches (toasts) given by family and friends.  In this case the toastmasters were friends of the couple and served as translators and “MC’s” for the event.  They did an amazing job!

One of the traditions taken care of by the toastmaster is opening all the cards & gifts and displaying them as well as writing it all down!  I love this, makes it so much easier for the bride and groom and you don’t have to worry about gifts “walking away”!

We ate Reindeer for our entree!  It was delicious, similar to venison but also roast beef (a cross between the two maybe?).

The bride and groom kissed, a lot and toasts were made and cake was eaten and then we danced to the funky beats of the talented DJ Musa of Denver, CO USA!


I needn’t have been concerned in the least about this trip because Norway and my brother’s wedding were such an incredible experience and my sister in law’s family are truly special people.  This was one of the best trips of my lifetime and I know I’ll be back to Norway someday!  Finally, I wish my brother and his new bride a lifetime together filled with abundance, love and delight!

 

PS. If you would like to see more photo’s taken by the professional photographer she also did an amazing job!

July 29, 2012

Walking Weekend::1 Day in Amsterdam

by heatherkp

Boy did we walk in Amsterdam.  We had a limited amount of time there and we had plans to stop at a few spots but mostly we just wanted to walk along the canals and see what we could see!

In 6 hours we covered a lot of ground from Central station past the national monument, the flower market, Vondelpark and to the Van Gogh museum.  Here is roughly the route we took which was about a 45 min walk back to the Central station at the end of our day.

Along the way we did some window shopping (I will post next week some of the great designs I saw in the shops), admired the incredible dutch architecture, meandered along the canals (Singel,Herengracht, Keizersgracht & Prinsengracht), had an ice cream and were thoroughly exhausted by days end.  Here are some of the sites along our path.

This was nuts, doesn’t every church have a head shop below/behind it?  Only in Amsterdam!

Watch out for the bikes!  They will run you over and these kind are used to haul shopping bags, children or whatever!

I love that this lady had her bike decorated with flowers:)

Check out this mode of transport!

And I swear this guy turned around just so he could have his picture taken.  Love those yellow pants:)

The traditional dutch architecture was really something, I especially loved the dark facades with the curved gables and the intricate masonry!

One of the happiest accidents on our walking tour was coming across the flower market.  I was sad not to be able to bring home any plants or bulbs, unfortunately tulips just don’t grow well in my tropical climate.  I enjoyed seeing all the lovely blooms and bulbs though.

This is the view of the back side of the market along the Singel canal.

Our final destination (before walking back to the central station) was the Van Gogh museum.  This was certainly a highlight for me. I didn’t get any shots inside (I’m sure I would have been promptly escorted out if I had!).  This rock display outside the museum was very fun.

I was so glad to have purchased tickets online before we went because the line was very long!  This is true for most of the museums in the city, if you go, I strongly suggest you buy your tickets beforehand.

This was the main square where the National Monument is and it reminded me very much of Venice.  There were a lot of people milling around (and a few mimes) as well as a fashion show (it was the beginning of fashion week).

I’d love to return to Amsterdam and have a bit more time to explore.  We barely scratched the surface but it was a wonderful day!

July 9, 2012

On the move Monday

by heatherkp

As you read this we are in the midst of taking off for a big trip to Norway via Amsterdam for my Brother’s wedding!  It’s been quite an adventure planning and packing for an international trip while in the midst of living with most of our belongings in storage, not to mention the upcoming move when we return (and all the necessary things we have had to take care of ahead of time to have things lined up upon our return).

So I’m trying to go light on the packing for this trip which is a bit tough since I have a wedding and there will be cool temperatures.  I’m only checking one bag and taking 1 carry on.  I’ve been referencing several sources for packing info, like the site One Bag which shares ideas for creating a “Master packing list”‘ that you always use for travel but you don’t always take everything on the list.  I really like this idea, it makes a lot of sense and I will be putting together a list for my travels starting with this trip to Norway. I also found quite a few helpful tips such as folding, rolling and bundling on the Real Simple website, which recently featured packing in one if it’s magazine issues. I did incorporate a few new tips, such as covering the bottom and top of my stuff with plastic bags (which prevents wrinkling a bit) and using lots of pouches and ziplock bags (not new but totally necessary).

We have one day in Amsterdam on our way to Norway so we plan to take in the canal sites, maybe a bike or boat ride, the Van Gogh museum and whatever else we have time to enjoy such as a meal or two, people watching and lots of photography!! In Norway we will be staying in Kristiansand with my sister in law’s family.  We will travel to hike fiords, take in the sites in town, maybe go to the cannon museum, take a boat ride to a small island and enjoy getting to know the new side of our family!  We will be eating fantastic fish (except for my husband who may loose weight on this trip since he eats nothing from the water) and reindeer will be served at the wedding!

We can’t wait.  We are just about packed up now and will be leaving in a couple hours.  I won’t be around much over the next couple weeks but when I get back there will be loads of pictures and bits from our trip to share as well as the ongoing (soon to be completed) moving process.  See ya soon.

 

PS Pardon any errors, wrote this quickly and distractedly!!

July 7, 2012

Silent Saturday::Packing Time

by heatherkp

Countdown to Norway!!

 

February 17, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Mary Jo’s Fabric

by heatherkp

This place is huge and has an amazing selection!  It’s a bit south of Charlotte and I went on my most recent trip while visiting a friend.  I’ve seen a lot of textile stores but this one impressed my by the sheer volume and selection!  There were your typical calico’s, suiting fabrics, upholstery, patterns, etc…but there were some jem’s hidden in those rolls!

They also had a wonderful selection of bridal and evening wear laces and silks at pretty reasonable prices.

We (a fellow textile design friend and I) totally loved one particular line of printed upholstery textiles by Spanish company Textiles Vilber.  They were whimsical, large in scale, funky, fun, bright and playful as well as well designed!  As we walked by the US textile upholstery manufactures designs we just wondered why we can’t design better, more original designs here domestically?

Circus

Mock Crewel

Grafiti

Tarot Cards

Frogs

Snakes

And Paper Dolls! Oh My!

Trim

Buttons…

And a whole lot of NEON!

Mary Jo’s is worth a trip if you are in the area and I spotted the infamous lady in the store, her reputation precedes her!  She certainly knows how to run a fabric shop!

January 20, 2012

Friday Field Trip::Ocean~River~Mountain~Marsh

by heatherkp

Since the new year we have had amazing times exploring different areas of our new state.  South Carolina is truly beautiful with a vast variety of landscapes to explore.  We started the new year at Caesars Head mountain where we had this incredible sunset view from the back porch and we spent the days hiking and exploring the many, many local waterfalls.

After the new year we returned to our own little ocean retreat at Pawleys where I am in the habit of taking daily walks when the weather permits.  Several times a week we also try to catch the sunset over at a boat ramp on the Waccamaw River, it’s quite a spectacular spot don’t you think?

And most recently we went last weekend to the middle of the state (well not quite but we were west of the coast) to Givhans Ferry State park.  We took a couple nights and stayed in the cabins right along the Edisto River and had some great campfires, hiking and a canoe ride.  Luckily we didn’t spy any Aligators!

It’s been a fantastic beginning of 2012 and I can’t wait to explore more of our new state!

November 7, 2011

Moving Monday::1 Week to Go!

by heatherkp

We are really in the final days before moving now!  I can’t believe I began writing about this move 6 weeks ago (or maybe a bit more?).  This has been a really bittersweet time with the prospects of the future ahead and making our dreams come true but also saying goodbye to two members of our family household that we will miss more than we can say.  Both Tai and Leo were our kitties for 17 and 16yrs (respectively) and they were both Maryland kitties with us from the beginning of my husband and I’s relationship.  Maybe it is fitting that we have left them here but they will always be in our hearts and their sweet spirits will live on with us forever.  We are working through some health problems with our youngest kitty, Sachi but she will be coming with us and she is our Savannah kitty so she’s going back to her low country roots.  Thank you  everyone who has offered kind and supportive words of love in this difficult past couple weeks!

We are ready to move forward and we are buckling down to the tasks ahead for the week.  We will pack the remaining items that we will not need in the next few months into boxes and have sorted out those things we will need to come with us in luggage and bins for short term use while we are in our temporary housing for a few months.  Since we will be in this transitional period packing has been that much more challenging, trying to figure out what we will over a 3-4 month period!

This week our agenda includes canceling our utilities, notifying important people and companies of our address change, packing, cleaning and saying goodbyes to friends and family!

It has been a truly spectacular fall here in Maryland and I will miss the rolling hills, fall color and yes I will even miss the snow a little, but it made a sneak appearance for us last weekend as we were packing.  I can say I’m truly getting excited now!  This year began with a focus on finding Clarity and I’ve truly found it by allowing myself to try new things, face my fears and live more boldly.  We created this change in our lives by setting our intentions to live a more fulfilling life and the challenges that have been thrown at us will make us that much stronger! These words by Mary Anne Radmacher sum up how I am living life going forward.

It has been a truly spectacular fall here in Maryland and I will miss the rolling hills, fall color and yes I will even miss the snow a little, but it made a sneak appearance for us last week.

One week from today we will be in South Carolina, just a few minute drive from the beach!  We will be unpacking all our belongings into storage and settling in to a new routine.

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September 11, 2011

Silent Sunday::Reflecting on the River

by heatherkp

Something kind of like this…

…no doubt getting quite muddy but enjoying camping, friends, fires, cool nights, hopefully a canoe ride down the river and reflecting a bit upon that tragedy we all encountered 10 years ago today.  Bless this beautiful country!