Friday, September 30, 2011

Leaving Copenhagen-a City of Canals

This is the school building directly across from our hotel...I loved watching the ivy get redder and redder over the past week. The sun finally came out and so did the green awnings.I never realized that Copenhagen is a city of canals. We really enjoyed our canal tour...isn't that an amazing church spire?
the new opera house...
getting dark as the day grows older and clouds denser.
Finally, leaving Denmark ...that's Jutland taken from the airplane! On to Hannover, Germany.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Visit to Sweden

We took a day trip to Sweden! I just loved the idea of taking a half-hour train ride to another country!

We first went to Lund-to see the historic university there (yes, that was DH's choice and you can see how delighted he was.)
Wandering about-into museums and churches- we saw this absolutely wonderful floor! Double wedding ring anybody? I'm thinking of giving drafting this a try.

Now I have seen lots of half-timbered buildings-in England, Denmark, France and Germany but this is the first time I have ever seen a half-timbered brick building! Brilliant!
Then it was on to Malmo...but it was getting late and cold so we just looked at the wonderful red and white lighthouse from afar. (Its right in the center-behind me! :)
And its back to Copenhagen. This was taken on the bridge through the not very clean train window.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Historic Sewing from Copenhagen

We had a little computer problem at our hotel...they suddently changed networks and after that no one could get on-line! Fixed for now...

One of the highlights of our visit to the Open Air Museum in Copenhagen was the Lace Making School. A farmer's wife opened the school to teach her skills and of course, for the extra income.
I had never seen leather used on the bobbin lace pillows...I wonder if it simply made it easier to move the bobbins about...any ideas, anyone?

Do you see that half globe in the upper left of the picture...that is a glass globe filled with water and hung in front of the candle-apparently it diffused the candle light better! (You can see some more hung on the wall-waiting for the students to arrive and use them :)

In the pantry of the same house, little lace-like doilies covered the shelves...but look closer-they're cut from newspapers!
At the same museum, there is also a restored 1930s co-op store with shelves filled with bolts of fabric, a sewing machine for sale on the top shelf, and
in another cabinet, different sewing trims and do dads!
Fun stuff, huh?! Just outside the shop, in the hall is a pay telephone (you put the money in the box next to the phone-on the honor system). So, if you just had to tell to your friend about the lovely new cottons the shop just got in...well, you could!
The Copenhagen Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet) is definitely worth a visit - lots of old farm houses from all over Denmark and southern Sweden (Scania) have been reassembled just as they were-including the gardens and any out buildings. The wells and ingenious methods for pumping the water are all reproduced. Lots of old farm tools too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung

The amateur cracksman is A.J. Raffles…perhaps you’ve heard of him? He’s rather the antithesis of Sherlock Holmes: Raffles is the gentleman thief. (His connection with Sherlock Holmes is really quite close-E.W. Hornung was the brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.)

Published in 1899, these are the first tales of the adventures of Raffles and his school friend and assistant, Bunny Manders. They simply are gentlemen without adequate means to support themselves who resort to burglary to make ends meet. Bunny has run through his inheritance and Raffles is a well known cricket player but as a gentleman he’s, of course, an amateur player. They take only enough for their needs although Raffles does dream of the “big haul” which will allow him to retire in comfort. Bunny is never very sure about burglary at all.

I enjoyed this series of short stories-each chapter is a separate tale. I suggest skipping Chapter 2-racist comments abound. The only real point of the story is to show that Raffles will never leave Bunny in the lurch.

Many Raffles movies have been made over the years. Most of them have little relationship to the actual tales except for the 1976 British Yorkshire Television mini-series, “Raffles”. (The 1940 “Raffles” starring David Niven is however charming!)

Beautifully read by Kristin Hughes, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf., e-Pub, or Kindle format here.

I thought you might like this: the author “reading” the opening of The Amateur Cracksman. Clever, isn’t it?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello from Copenhagen

Hello from Copenhagen! We arrived Saturday night and were met at the airport by our son who had arrived earlier that morning. We checked into our hotel and then were off to meet friends for dinner.

Yesterday we went to the Workers Museum which was very interesting. Besides the informative placards, the period rooms and the shopping street were fascinating.
Here's a photo from a 1950s workers apartment...pretty cool!

After that we went to the Rosenborg Castle and saw the Crown Jewels-or at least a selection of them. Fantastic. There was an absolutely gorgeous natural pearl necklace (you know what I mean-the pearls weren't perfectly round)-each pearl must have been the size of "jawbreaker" candy! And the diamond necklace-oh boy, the square cut diamonds were almost as big!

Three crowns were displayed but one was absolutely incredible with little figures and dolphins in ivory.

Besides the treasury, we also made a tour of the rooms of the castle. The most interesting-an all mirrored "closet". Fantastic!

Then we met friends again for dinner, including the bride and groom-to-be. They're off for a pre-wedding "honeymoon" to Amsterdam and will be back in time for the wedding on Saturday.
We're planning lots of interesting trips around we just went to the City Museum and saw the archaeological excavation of the first castle in Copenhagen-the ruins under the Christianborg Palace. Built by Bishop Absalon, the founder of Copenhagen in 1167, we really enjoyed tracing the old castle/city walls.

LOL! I took the little camera because it fits in my jacket pocket but alas no batteries! I've just fixed the problem and will have photos later this week!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: What Katy Did At School by Susan Coolidge + covers over the years

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

What Katy Did At School by Susan Coolidge

(This cover is from 1966...more covers below :)

This delightful 1872 novel for young adults (girls really) is the second book in the adventures of Katy Carr.

The first, called What Katy Did, is I think the earliest example of the later oft used plot device of a young girl falling and becoming bedridden with a back injury. How many later books used that same device? (Pollyanna,(1913) of course, but lots more.) These poor girls did something they were told not to but ended up better people for their trials-more obedient too! It makes me wonder how many boys fell out of trees and ended up bedridden for months or even years, never sure they would walk again.

This story is quite different. What Katy Did at School begins in a most unusual way-it is taken for granted that we have read the first book. I was a bit at sea at first as to who was who. Dr. Philip Carr (Papa) is widowed with 6 children: Katy, Clover, Elsie, Dorry, Joanna called Johnnie, and Phil. (It took me a while to realize Johnnie was a girl! :)

By chapter 2 we’re well on our way into the heart of the tale-Katy and Clover are going off to boarding school for one year. It takes them 3 days of traveling to get from Ohio to their New England school. While we don’t hear too much about their actual studies, this book gives an interesting peak at educational attitudes in the mid 19th century.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the girls’ school friends and I especially liked their games and the account of the fads that came and went. We also get some decorating tips!

“They went in. (Room) No. 5 was precisely like (their room) No. 6, in shape, size and furniture; but Rose had unpacked her trunk and decorated the room with odds and ends of all sorts. The table was covered with books and boxes; colored lithographs were pinned on the walls; a huge blue rosette ornamented the head-board of the bed; the blinds were tied together with pink ribbon; over the top of the window was a festoon of hemlock boughs, fresh and spicy. The effect was fantastic, but cheery; and Katy and Clover exclaimed, with one voice, ‘How pretty!’ “

Prettily read by Karen Savage, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf, e-Pub, or Kindle format here.

This book has been quite popular for a very long time. I thought it would be fun to share some of the cover art that has graced this book over the years.LOL! I particularly like the covers that look contemporary to the date of their publication…”Groovy, Katy, groovy!”


1939 (Gotta love that short skirt!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick

You may not have read many or even any short stories or novels by Philip K. Dick but I’m sure you’re familiar with his work. Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and this year’s Adjustment Bureau are just some of the films based on his stories.

The Variable Man is a very early story by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1953. (Interestingly, science fiction stories, usually first published in magazines, have entered into the public domain much sooner than other novels.)

The year is 2136 and Terrans are locked into their own solar system by the aging Centaurus Empire. On Earth, life is very well regulated and based on statistical prediction. Terrans are gearing up for a war against the Centaurus Empire-they’re just waiting for the statistical prediction that they will win. Security Commissioner Reinhart keeps a close on the predictions…he’d like nothing better than to give the go ahead for war. Peter Sherikov of Military Design is working on a new, fantastic weapon-one capable of reaching Centaurus faster than light speed but he’s having trouble wiring the control module. (He would love to be able to use the technology for faster than light speed travel rather than as a weapon but the last time it was tried-it exploded-hence the weapon.)

The year is 1913 and Tom Cole, a general traveling fix-it man, is sharpening a knife for the lady in the green house in exchange for a hot meal. Suddenly he and his cart and his two horses are picked up in what he can only call a “tornado”. When he lands-he’s no longer outside-he’s in the middle of a building and people in white coats-lab coats-are all staring at him. (He doesn’t know it yet but a research bubble from 2136 had gone back to 1913 in preparation for the start of WWI and had caught him when it was summarily brought back to 2136.)

Is Tom Cole, general fix-it man, the man to help Terrans break out of the hold of the Centaurus Empire and fill the galaxy or is he the statistical variable that makes prediction impossible?

As usual with Philip K. Dick, his prescience is where the fun really is. Here are two quotes to think about: “Nobody fixes things. When they break you throw them away.” And: “Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there are too many fields.”

Wonderfully read by Gregg Margarite, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf. e-Pub or Kindle format here.

Here's the original cover of Space Science Fiction, September 1953 in which "The Variable Man" appeared.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jelly Roll quilting progressing and a new mystery quilt started

Thanks for everyone's input on quilting straight lines on the rectangles...I love it! I've started doing the pebbling inside the rectangles and I'm very pleased with the look, even though my pebbling isn't perfect! :)I've embroidered the first block for this year's LQS Redwork Club Mystery Quilt-the theme is butterflies and I've designed all the blocks (with inspirational help from vintage designs.)
The blocks will look like they're set on point but actually the set of the quilt is straight. Fun, huh?

I'm linking to Sarah's Can I get a Whoop Whoop so hop on over and see some great work!