Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Backfrom the Baltic

Well, here we are back in harness, putting WoW together, catching up with emails and getting the grub in.

We had a wonderful holiday and I take back all I said about cruises. I thought we would be bored but we loved all of it and, after three consecutive days of excursions, we were just so glad to have a day at sea to rest.

Such a good way of seeing the world. I loved Stockholm and Tallin, could happily move to Copenhagen or Lubeck and found Russia interesting but not my favourite.  I had so wanted to see the Hermitage but it was, understandably, not a very long tour and we only saw Western Art. I love the Impressionists but I had so hoped for icons. So St Petersburg was not exactly a dissapoinment, but not as expected. We did love the ceiling in the Hermitage and were very taken by a friendly russian cat who lives at the Peter and Paul fortress. He looked very well fed and we wondered if his name was Killmouseski.

I did lots of sketchbook stuff but it was harder than Australia to find natural colouring materials. You may remember that I challenged myself not to take any art stuff. This is my front page. I did find a bit of mascara was useful sometimes to darken things down and I went on a shipboard class to make paper flowers and so gained some crepe paper which leaked dye beautifully. I also found that I am rubbish at making paper flowers.

The page below shows Copenhagen - a lovely city. Had to use a teabag to colour the pages. Thank goodness for the little pogo printer. I used it such a lot. I know that if I don't do most of the book on holiday it just won't get done at home.

Thes next two pages are also Copenhagen. We had a lovely meal of salted herring, sitting by a canal in the sun and sharing a table with some very jolly Danes. I was pleased with the little folder that the hotel key came in as I was able to make a fastener from a needle threader in my complimentary sewing kit. This held one of those cape gooseberry things that the ship used a lot to decorate puddings - a sweet momento. I couldn't buy glue anywhere and was forced to purchase a puncture repair kit at a bike hire place.

You can also see a house, under renovation, wrapped in lace-printed plastic. Now there's a thought.

This page (below) incorporated a pop up map bought in Denmark. Sadly I didn't find it easier to fold than the usual kind.

This is an Estonian town called Tallin. It was just wonderful with old walls, old towers, decorative gates and doors. Must do some more sketching. It even had balalaika players in the old square. They were very good.

I was very pleased to get a view of the bridge that goes from Denmark to Sweden (I think it is called the Oresund bridge) from the plane as we landed and also from the ship, as we sailed. Pure fluke to get two different types of  vessel in the shot. I couldn't see a body, though, in either pic.

I am sure to have lots more stuff to bore you with but it's time to see what we might eat for tea. Ooh I did love not having to cook.


Maggi said...

Very ingenious ways to work your sketchbook. I think they had probably removed the body by the time you got there.

vintagerockchick said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip - loved the sketchbook 'challenge'. And for the Pogo reminder, I bought one ages ago and never use it - I'm off to find it now! Gill x

liniecat said...

Yes love the natural colourings idea............very lateral thinking but such wonderful results and a smashing momento to look back on.
paper flowers are so old hast anyway............lol
sounds to have been great for you btoh!

Julie said...

Welcome home Maggie. We just got back from our cruise to the Baltic today too. I loved Tallinn but our visit to St Petersburg was on a very wet day and it didn't thrill me either. I like the work you've done in your sketchbook and it will be a lovely reminder of your time away. I ade a start on a couple of collages while I was away but succumbed to a virus so didn't have much energy to spare.

Heather said...

Sounds like a marvellous cruise and your sketchbook looks wonderful. You have been very innovative with the colouring agents and other additions. So clever and a brilliant holiday memento.
Hope Smudge isn't jealous that you made friends with that handsome Russian cat.

Robin Mac said...

Lovely sketchbook and s uch fascinating places - you could never be boring! Welcome home.

Fibrenell said...

Just love your sketchbook pages - your ingenuity amazes me. Brightened up my morning reading this!

Sandra Wyman said...

Love the sketchbook pages - but the cat is tortoiseshell and therefore almost certainly a her!

Aussie Jo said...

What an interesting trip Maggie. Funnily enough I was teaching the children an estonian spinning song today!!

Stitchety Grub said...

I love your ingenuity too - and have filed the info away in case on my travels I have need of glue - to raid a bike repair kit - Brilliant haha! very cool! Britt in Australia

Ann said...

You have brought back some lovely memories of all the places you mentioned.I went on that cruise two years ago with Royal Caribbean.I was surprised by St. Petersburg as I felt it lacked something.Not my favourite place but glad I experienced it.This year we visited (on the same ship) Norway fjords,Shetland and Faroes isles and Iceland.Trip of a lifetime.
I have some of your books which I adore reading and 'am in 3rd yr.of Art degree with a helpless love of all things textile!

Unknown said...

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Wabbit said...

I've got sketchbook envy! While I have plenty of sketchbooks, my pages aren't as interesting as your pages are! Do you make your own sketchbooks by the way?

Wouldn't it be funny to find that you and Julie had been on the same cruise? But then it would be a pity you hadn't met.

Kekoa Pika said...

Thanks for sharing this one. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks again! Seems like you really had a whole lot of fun.