Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I have returned from my vacation in Tuscany!  It was an amazing two weeks with lots of history, pasta, cheese and of course, red wine.  We spent a TON of time walking and exploring the old towns and cities, viewing art galleries, and driving the incredible roads.  Florence (Firenze in Italian) is amazing - I could spend more time there, learning about the city.  My parents were amazing - it is so much fun to hang out with them. My mom is a great tour guide, and my dad took to driving in Italy like a native!!

I have not yet had time to upload my photos (and some of my memory cards I mistakenly packed in my suitcase which has not yet made it to Canada), but once I get my suitcase back I will upload a few of them.  I have been told my suitcase never left Florence, though I cannot blame it - it was hard to leave!

I was inspired by the window shopping I did in the various towns - Italians are very stylish!!  I love the little shops that have original and unique fashions.  I did a lot of sketching, and dreaming up outfits - my sketch book went with me everywhere, and I was once asked when we stopped for lunch if I was a designer!  (I took that as a huge compliment as it was in Prato, the textile capital of Italy where they manufacture textiles for the main fashion houses).  Staying true to my RTW Fast, I only bought myself a sweater from a market in Lucca as it was unusually cold even for this time of year.  My suitcase was delayed in getting to me when I arrived as well, and while I had a change of clothes in my carry-on, I desperately needed another layer!

My travel wardrobe worked relatively well, though I packed too much.  Things I was glad I had included a pair of slip on running shoes in black (oh how cold the floors are in Tuscan villas!!!), wool socks (I wish I brought more), my black riding boots that lace up the back took me all through Tuscany and made me feel as stylish as the local women, my black skinny pants that are styled like jeans but really are dressier than jeans - I wore these a ton!!  I could have done without my knit pants (for some reason I just feel like I'm wearing pyjamas when I have them on and just didn't feel comfortable in them when we were out touring), even though I wore them a few times.  I didn't wear the short sleeved tee shirts I threw in at the last minute - the forecast SAID it was going to be warmer, and I packed them in case it was.

Things I noticed fashion-wise, EVERYONE is wearing low heeled boots with skinny pants, whether they be jeans, stretch twill coloured pants or leggings.  Boots were for sale everywhere, in every price range, and in brown, black, tan, grey and red.   I think I may have even seen a green pair!  Studs were also big in the footwear.  Women and men always had a scarf, and the puffy coat is a HUGE fashion item this winter (maybe every winter there!).  Chunky sweaters were also something everyone seemed to be wearing, and could be found in almost every shop.  Green, from a bright emerald to a dark forest green was everywhere in the shop windows, shown in leggings, sweaters, stretch twill skinny pants, and skirts.

While I haven't been sewing, I have been knitting up a storm!  I took three pairs of socks with me to work on.  I finished two  pairs while I was away, and the third is almost done.  Though I must confess, two pairs were already works in progress.

I have not yet had time to get to the sewing machine since I returned (I'm still fighting jetlag so my evenings are really unproductive and I usually end up going to bed at 9 pm!), though I am busily planning my next SWAP/wardrobe projects.  I hope to have a couple of sewing days next week.  My plan is to get a few more "work" pieces done, and maybe a pair of jeans.  Though I may end up sewing for university daughter #2, who has recently come to understand the value of a mother who sews, and needs some new clothes even worse than I do!  :)

Hopefully I can share some photos with you soon!!  Off to find an espresso...