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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Happiest of New Years to you!



You must get out the Bubbly.



And celebrate.





Celebrate because you are alive. 


Happy New Year.


My gratitude to you, my dear friends, who grace my blog with your visits.  


Gina




Sunday, December 29, 2013

Better than Chocolates?



Better than Cookies, better than Candy.



Dried  Kumquats.






They're not easy to find.  

Of course the Piazza Walter in Bolzano, Italy has them.
The vendors of the Piazza have everything, no matter what time of year, Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall.  

The Piazza is named after Walther von der Vogelweide (1178-1238), one of the great German poets and storytellers of the Middle Ages. 
The Südtyrol region passed from Austria to Italy in 1919.  To this day both Italian and German is spoken. 

Bolzano is just over the Alps.  Getting there is very easy.  It's about a 2 hour drive from Innsbruck, Austria on the well maintained super highway, the Brenner Pass.  You can also take the train which is an unforgettable experience.  

Warning, most likely you will be driving on an Austrian Autobahn.  You must have a special sticker attached to your windshield.  They are available at any gas station and cost 8.50 Euros.  The permit is good for 10 days.  
(The fine is 120 Euros) 





Continuing from the Piazza, to the Lauber Gasse, you will find Bolzano's Medieval shopping Arcades.

 This is where the people meet.   






 Here and there remnants of beautiful and early frescoes can be seen inside the arches.  





If shopping is not your favorite pastime then admiring Belle Epoch architecture, visiting one of the more than 200 castles in the area or taking the funicular to high alpine meadows and continuing in a narrow gauge wooden rail car to charming villages is as easy as one, two, three. 

If you are a wine aficionado than this is the place to test your palate.  Hundreds of vintners grow their favorite grapes in the region.  






Sooner or later you will have to take a break for lunch.
So many interesting Restaurants to chose from.  Or you can have a Würstel right in the middle of the square and people watch, one of my most favorite pastimes.   






A basket of an assortment of fine breads, along with a glass of local wine, is always brought to your table, pronto. Shopping under the Arcades in the Lauber Gasse is serious business and soon requires a little nourishment.





There is beauty everywhere.  Most likely unnoticed unless you're walking with your head in the clouds.  






Has anyone else noticed this beautiful angel.  






The Bolzano and Alto Adige regions are known for their  fine wines.  Christmas is a special time to visit Bolzano and its famous Christkindl Markt.   But so is Springtime, when the valleys are a white puff of pear and apple blossoms.  Then there is wine tasting in the Fall and cross country skiing in Winter. 

 More than 20 major Museums are to be found in and near Bolzano.

A must visit is the Museum of Archeology to see the excellent installation of Ötsy, the 5,300 year old Neolithic Man.  The glacier mummy was found by two hikers on October 31, 2011 in the Ötztal Alps. Locals call him "Frozen Fritz".   

http://www.iceman.it/en/oetzi-the-iceman

I was thinking of you.  Maybe Bolzano will be in your near future. 

Gina   

Friday, December 27, 2013

We're back!




And what a great trip it was...
The BEST ever!



Christmas Eve Dinner in Rothenburg ob der Tauber at the most fabulous Hotel Herrnschlösschen. 

Yes, I missed you, it's true.

Gina  



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Reminder



Do you remember where you put the paints?
You said you would do it. 



Do you remember where you put the glass balls? 





You did say that this IS the year you would paint them.






Just in case you have forgotten how it's done, here is a clue.

http://ginaceramics.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-all-time-most-visited-blog-posts.html







Or you can glue on paper and add a few colored dots.  








If you can't find glass balls, plastic balls will do. 







And while you're painting, paint a few extra to give as gifts.


I would paint a few for you but I'm heading for Paris. 

Have a lovely remainder of the week
my dear Friends.

Gina 


      

Monday, December 9, 2013

It Snowed.



It snowed a lot. 
Pond is frozen, not much room left for Ducks and Geese.































More Snow Predicted. 

Have a great week my dear Friends. 

Gina




Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Thousand sheep had disappeared




Lucky for the Owner 



All Thousand found their way into one of our pastures. 





Yesterday morning was very cold.  It was still dark.  The sheep were covered with snow when I found them. 
It was minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, that is minus 30 degrees Celsius.   





Their thick coats kept them warm. 






 I didn't want to get too close.  I didn't know if they had their big Australian sheepdogs with them.  The big ram already had his eyes one me even though it was still quite dark.  






The sheep were only a field away from our house.  We had gone for a walk with the dogs the day before and left one of the gates open.  They found the opening, and thank goodness, not the frozen pond.  






Later in the morning the sheep were moved to our northern pasture where they have more feed and will, in a couple of days, be loaded up into trucks and taken to the Desert Country where they will winter over.  





Now everyone is happy. The sheep are safe.  The Farmer is relieved and I'm back in my warm house.  

Have a warm and cozy remainder of the week my dear Friends. 

Gina 


Monday, December 2, 2013

The best way to get into the Christmas Spirit



Is to sit down with a cup of tea, or a glass of mulled wine,
assemble oranges, cloves and a knitting needle. 




And make a few Pomanders.





They add just the right festive touch.





 Nothing, except maybe a fresh Christmas tree, says welcome more than the scent of oranges studded with cloves.  





A simple plate with a few candles and pomanders make for an instant centerpiece. 





A few simply painted wooden hearts add to the merriment.  
Yes, don't be shy, paint them yourself.  All you need are a few wooden hearts and acrylic paints.





While the paint is still wet why not add a few circles and dots to clear glass Christmas balls. 





Or glue on paper scraps.  





Toss a few golden acorns (remember, you made them last week) into the melange and you're set for Christmas.  


Have a great week my dear Friends,

Gina 





Saturday, November 30, 2013

We're going to Italy



But not together




It came out of my kiln this morning. 
It will soon be on it's way to Panicale, Umbria in Italy. 





Mr G and I will leave a few weeks later, and arrive about the same time as the tile, only the tile is going to Umbria and we are going to Bolzano in the Alto Adige, Italy.





Where the Market place will be aglow with the smells, sounds and sights of the Christkindl  Markt.  






And more Christmas Markets to visit in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Linz and Regensburg and many sights along the "Romantic Strasse"  and the "Castle Road."  

And a little side trip to Berching. 
Have you heard of Berching?  I will show you pictures when I return.  It's a very special place.  



The House Tile?


Most likely, I will never see again. 

Have a great week my dear Friends.

Gina   




Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving



Happy Thanksgiving.









First out, Cranberry Sauce with whole oranges and Cherry Likör.





Candied Sweet Potatoes.





The perfect yeast rolls.






Duck a l'Orange,
not turkey.






Wishing you and yours a most wonderful Day. 

The End,

Gina