Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fergeal's Wonderful Weekend! Part 2

I just found out while we were in the Bushmill's distillery that my name should be spelled Feargal and that it means Golden One....very appropriate I think. I found out also that i like a drop of whiskey...and a drop was all I got!!

We went on to the Giant's Causeway, somewhere I have always wanted to go...and we weren't disappointed. Here is proof!! I wuz there!!

They held on to me really tightly...I found out why later!!!

I think we saw some signs of the Giants.

Pretty scary!! I was really interested in the story of the Giants...this is what Wikepedia says..... remember Fionn is our grandson..this is another story about his namesake.

Legend has it that the Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. One version of the legend tells that Fionn fell asleep before he got to Scotland. When he did not arrive, the much larger Benandonner crossed the bridge looking for him. To protect Fionn, his wife Oonagh laid a blanket over him so he could pretend that he was actually their baby son. In a variation, Fionn fled after seeing Benandonner's great bulk, and asked his wife to disguise him as the baby. In both versions, 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.

Another variation is that Oonagh painted a rock shaped like a steak and gave it to Benandonner, whilst giving the baby (Fionn) a normal steak. When Benandonner saw that the baby was able to eat it so easily, he ran away, tearing up the causeway.

The "causeway" legend corresponds with geological history in as much as there are similar basalt formations (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at the site of Fingal's Cave on the isle of Staffa in Scotland.

Oh man! we just couldn't stop taking photos. It was so funny when we heard a voice behind us say...."would you mind doing that again...I have never seen anything like that!!" So I was held up again in front of that wonderful view and he took my photo. I couldn't believe that he had never seen a leprechaun before. We are all over the place but you got to know where to look.

The bus driver told us a leprechaun story.... a woman went into a garden centre and asked for a leprechaun ( she really meant a garden gnome I think!) well the man behind the counter dashed to the door and ran outside. He came back a few minutes later and said "darn it they have all gone, there were 5 of them out there last time I looked!!"

We sure are slippery customers!

Isn't this amazing, I bet Brendan would enjoy coming here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fergal's wonderful weekend, part 1.

Oh my! I had SUCH a good time in Northern Ireland. I just never knew anything about the North of my Ireland. I expected it to be cold, being in the north and all...but in fact we had better weather than they did down south. It didn't rain at all the important times.

So what should I tell you about...
well firstly the food was delicious, just like me. Just look at the colours!

The room was plenty big enough for the three of us, 'her' and Toastie and me. You can just see Toastie peeping out of 'her' rucksack, 'she' always gives him plenty of air.

Well as you know i am a tatter but I decided to broaden my horizons and learn something new. First I tried to join the Guild, they asked if I was a good luck charm...huh!!

After that I laid low for a bit and just watched.

'Her' friend Carmel was doing something really interesting on a sort of roller. It looked fun so she let me take a peek.

Ok! I have gotta explain this one to you. First of all how to pronounce Youghal, it's Yawl. It's a seaside town in East Cork. This is what Lacefairy has to say about the lace:-

Of all the varieties of Irish lace that are known, Youghal lace is justly regarded as the most beautiful. It is at the same time the most difficult to make as it is worked stitch by stitch without any foundation. The Youghal lace industry had its birth in 1847, the Irish famine year. Mother Margret Smyth, a nun in the presentation, convent of County Cork, horror stricken at the sight of starting women and children around her, conceived the idea of starting some employment which might provide them with bread. But of what that employment should consist of perplexed mother Smyth. It so happens that one day, searching in out of the way nooks and corners, she chanced to light upon a scrap of rare old Italian lace. The moment of inspiration had come. Here was work which might yield bread for the poor hungry girls and children. That lovely scrap should be made to give up the secret of its construction. Setting to work, she picked the lace to pieces, unraveling it unraveling the thread, until at last she fully grasped all the details of the delicate and intricate pattern. Mother Smiths difficulties were however, by no means at an end. Her self imposed task was an arduous one; but at last, after many attempts and repeated disappointments she succeeded in establishing a school for lace which is now of European reputation.

It's a very difficult lace to make...I think as it has no foundation material to work on. That green stuff that you see does not become part of the lace. the stitches are worked on top of it.

Next I went to see what Jackie was working on....they were all doing a butterfly...'she' was doing a Carrickmacross mat...but she is so slow!!

Jackie was doing Tambour Lace and she let me have a go! She uses a hook and very fine thread. Can you see the Swallowtail Butterfly that she is copying. The net is stretched over a frame the Tambour like a drum and the hook draws the thread through the net to make a chain stitch.

See!!! aren't I the educated Leprechaun!!

Danny at Hector

Danny had a fine time at Hector though he was a little naughty. We realized he was missing from the table and finally found him in the vending area. I guess the bins of thread looked a lot like a playground ball pit.

Here he is checking out some of the silent auctions.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brendan stopped in for a visit! Whoo hoo!

I forgot to share that Brendan made a brief appearance at Shuttlebirds. I was so relieved to see him. My heart was absolutely broken when I thought I had lost him forever. I apologized for the mix up in Vietnam, he said it was quite alright as he was thinking of going off to explore on his own anyway. I asked "B" if he was ready to come home, but when he heard that I was homeless and wandering around for the summer, he decided to continue his explorations. Well, that IS what navigators/voyagers do best. As a leprechaun mother I am sad not to have him for the summer. But I cannot begrudge him his heart's desire. I am hoping that he will decide to join us in Alaska. I am even prepared to make him mittens and a nice warm jacket.
He was hopping around my Shuttlebirds slide show 2 posts back. If you would like to see Brendan for yourself, go see if you can find him.

If any of you see Brendan out there on one of his journeys do please let me know! I think he is off to visit his Lep cousins but who knows? He is extremely resourceful and moves around rather quickly. My guess is he will be haunting tatting events and the like. He is a tatting leprechaun after all.

B gave me this photo of himself while we visited together at Shuttlebirds:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting Ready to Travel

Danny is excited about his upcoming trip to New York. He wonders if any of his cousins will be there.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

William Found What He Was Looking For

William is back from his trip. He was away for a few days. He realized it was almost St. Patrick's Day and he couldn't find his pot of gold. He looked everywhere for it and it was no where to be found. So he took off and was chasing down all the rainbows he could find. We had one over our garage ......

He ran outside and went to the end of the rainbow, but there was no pot of gold.

So he went to the other end of the rainbow. Still no pot of gold :(

But he was not going to give up. He found another rainbow and went to the end of this rainbow and he found what he was looking for, his pot of gold.......

Here is a closer view of William's Pot of Gold.

William hopes everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day!!

(For the pot I used Jane Eborall's Basket pattern, minus the handle. I love this little tatted basket.)

I also wanted to share a picture of William laying around in a field of Shamrocks. William got into my tatting again and took all my tatted Shamrocks and layed down in the middle of them all. LOL!