Monday, February 28, 2011

Itchy Hands.

I have itchy hands.

No I don’t have poison ivy or hoof and mouth disease or eczema. Or actually, I should say-- I have bored hands. The only things I have made with my hands since I’ve gotten to Dublin are scones. They weren’t even that good because the baking powder/baking soda difference here is significantly blurred. I’ll post a picture of the two later so you can see what I mean.

It’s been 6 months since I started my last quilt. Two months since I made my last tutu. My last gluten free snack was the beginning of January. My last small sewing project was late January. My last dog bandanas were early December! I haven't made a pie since Christmas.

And I can’t tell you how many unfinished projects I have waiting at home for me that are killing me just sitting in a box! I have yard after yard of fabric and so many cute patterns! But I’m here without my machine or rotary cutter or sewing scissors or even any decent thread. 

I'm regretting my decision not to bring my knitting or crocheting needles with me. I really wanted them on the plane but I'm not sure if they would have let me board.

I’m dying to make another quilt and I would love to make one like this log cabin quilt..

Or if I suddenly became artistic and had an extra kitchen aid mixer like Pioneer Woman Who has an extra one of these anyway?! Not only do they last forever so multiples are unnecessary but also they are also super expensive!

Basically I'm dying without something productive to do.  I guess that's why I'm so fond of this blog. It give me an outlet to produce something, albeit nothing tangible. I wish I could consistently post every day but somehow the hours get away from me. I'm going to try harder, but be warned, life as a working girl (no, not that kind) in Dublin might be a little less exciting than the field-trip-taking-student.

I can't wait to get home and fix my machine and make something! But for now I'll have to live vestigially though the various crafter/bloggers that are occupying my "Bookmark Bar" including; Wise Craft,  So You Think You're Crafty, Make It Perfect, Bits of Everything and a blog that sounds like my mom named it - Crap I've Made.

Also interesting note on Irish politics. The main party in Ireland, Fianna Fail (Feen-ah Foil) lost 70 seats in the Irish parliament, called Dail Eireann (DOY-ill Ear-ann), to the second in command party Fine Gael (finna gale). There are only 160 seats, or members in the parliament so this is a HUGE deal as it is the first time in Irelands history Fianna Fail hasn't had the majority!

The Irish voting system is fascinating so I'll write a whole post on how they function later. It is much too complicated to be explaining after midnight...

Wexford Trip and Something Little to Think About..

This weekend we went on adventure to Wexford Town, Co. Wexford. It was about 2 hours south of Dublin right on the coast. It boasts the fact that it is the hometown of John Barry who is credited with establishing the US Navy. It was a really cute town with so many pubs and bakeries and shops!

 This pub was a pub, an off-license (a packie) AND AN UNDERTAKER! As my dad said "That's called an integrated business model."
 Favorite song!
 Also in a little bakery we ate in I found these...
They looked a lot like an "O'Henry Bar" so I bought one and guess what it basically was-- an "O'Henry Bar!" I thought the creation of a chewy oat base with a chocolate topping was an invention of Nana's but it turns out it wasn't!

It also had a disproportionate number of places named Doyle's!

There was also another place named Flanagan's!

Overall it was a great trip! I was bummed I didn't get to see Hook Head Lighthouse because it was too far away but hopefully I'll get the chance before we leave!

Today we had a field trip to Kilmanhaim Goal, which is the largest unoccupied jail in Europe! I'll post about it tomorrow.

I also found this article really interesting, again thanks Real Simple. A "God Box," kind of like a Worry Box but not quite.. Inside the God Box.

I can't believe it's the last day of February. Only 8 more weeks, SO weird! I miss & love you all!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quote of the Day!

"When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time -- the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes -- when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever -- there comes another day, and another specifically missing part."
--John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Northern Ireland Trip: Day 3 Co Louth and Drogheda

The next morning we all had a pretty slow start. Two full days of touring with 40 people made us all really tired and nearly all of us slept on the bus. We were heading to Co. Louth to see a ring fort that had beautiful views! These ring forts are very very old and their uses are debated on. Some believe they were lookouts to see invaders or maybe they served a more ceremonial purpose.

On our way back to Dublin we stopped at Drogheda. It is the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne and also has a famous relic of St Oliver's. St. Oliver Plunkett was the last Catholic martyr in Drogheda and they have his head on display in the church!

 Kind of a bad picture but that's his head!

 Home alone anyone?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Northern Ireland Trip: Day 2- Derry, Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

I am sorry for the incredible delay in blogging about last weekend! It is only Wednesday but this week has felt a month long with all the assignments I've had to do.

Anyway, last Friday we departed from Belfast at 9 in the morning to go see the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. This is literally a rope bridge that connects the coast of Balintoy, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland to the small island of Carrick. It was originally used as a connector for fishermen to get to the salmon fisheries on the little island. Today it is only used as a tourist attraction, as the salmon in those waters are now a protected species. The bridge can hold up to 10 tons and was completly reconstructed in 2008 so it is completly safe, however, the national trust (the ones who maintain the bridge) recommend only 8 people on it at a time. And even though it was pretty windy the bridge doesn't shake and it is a pretty short walk, about 20 meters.

After we left Balinatoy we started for The Giant's Causeway that is also in Co. Antrim. The Giant's Causeway is supposed to have been created by underwater volcanoes and things like that but I prefer the Irish version..

Legend has it that the Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to find a princess to marry. He does and brings her home with him. A Scottish giant did not appreciate this so he went across the Causeway to fight Fionn and take the princess back. When they heard about this, his princess wife Oonagh laid a blanket over him so he could pretend that he was actually their baby son. When Benandonner saw the size of the 'infant', he assumed the alleged father, Fionn, must be gigantic indeed. Therefore, Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in case he was followed by Fionn.

We spent about 2 hours at the Giants Causeway, exploring and eating our lunch. It started to rain towards the end so we were happy to get back on to the warm bus. We made our way to Derry, to the hostel we were staying in that night. As soon as we dropped our things off in the hostel we had to start on our walking tour of the city because it was starting to get dark. Our tour guide Rory was a native of Derry and grew up during the worst of the troubles and had some crazy stories.

Our tour guide Rory.
 The Protestants paint the curbs the colors of the English flag.
 Red hand of Ulster.
 English flag flying over the only really protestant area in Derry.

 Example of a Catholic mural like the ones in Belfast.

 The rest of the night was really fun. We went to a pub that had live Irish music and that was in an area that I felt way safer in. Some people had a little too much fun and we all were thankful that we didn't have to be back on the bus until 11AM the next day!