Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give Me Liberty...

There were so many things to see and do in London. Our first day we devoted to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland and taking Colt to see Father Christmas. There was a fairly long line, but the weather was beautiful and Colt was in good spirits, so we had a good time.

Not entirely sure about the big man in the red suit, but Mom says it's okay. After that we headed off to Harrod's. Self daughter said "Hey Mom, look over there!" I saw hoards of people in the street. I questioned "Oh, is that Occupy London?" "No Mom, that's the line to get into Harrod's!" More about Occupy later, but let me tell you...there were more folks occupying Harrod's than the Occupy London movement. The next day in London we did more traditional sight seeing.
We are walking across the London Bridge, and that my friends is a picture of the Tower Bridge...the one everyone thinks is the London Bridge of falling down fame. What? You don't see it? Me neither...too foggy that morning. We carried on along the Thames on the Queen's Walk.
There was an amazing skyline shot of a highrise...isn't the light around it interesting?
Moving on...we come to St. Paul's Cathedral. Elegantly beautiful!
Tom in front of the Firefighter's Memorial trying to act like I'm not taking his picture!

And as you round the Cathedral, there they are. Really? The stock exchange is a few blocks down and they are camping there. The gathering was considerably smaller than our Occupy Portland...well, I am not going to expound on how I feel about the Occupy movement, but I will say I fail to see any positive in what they are doing.
Here is the obligatory shot in front of a British telephone booth. Tom is even kind of smiling!
Tralfagar Square and the National Gallery...would have been great to go in, but more sights to see so we enjoyed the beautiful statues and fountains on the move to our next stop.
Westminster Abbey and Big Ben...moving on...
We strolled along beautiful St. James Park. Oh hey...what's that with the gates of gold???
Buckingham Palace. I wonder if Prince William and Kate were there?
The palace guards were not wearing the Beefeater hats and they were too far away to mess with, much to Tom's dismay! We headed out of the palace and what do you know? We were really close to Hyde park where we started the day before! We did alot of walking, which was really good for us. We walked towards Picadilly Circus and stopped for lunch at TGIFridays. After refueling we walked along the shops. This is a sewing blog, right? It occurred to me that I have not put into words my Liberty experience. Amazing!!!
I had not yet found Liberty. The kids went into the Gap because they were having a killer sale on kid's hoodies and Tom and I went outside for some air. I saw a woman walk by with a Liberty bag and I got excited! We had to be close. I mentioned it to Sara when they came out and we started down the block. We started to cross the next street when Sara looked back and saw it slightly up the street we were crossing. Screech!!! I hit the brakes and made a U-turn right in the middle of the road! Liberty is a beautiful old store with wood staircases with ornate carved bannisters. It reminded me of shopping with my Grandmother as a child (not that any American department stores are as old or elegant as Liberty, but it gave me the same feel) Haberdashery is on the 3rd floor and the lift could only hold 4 people, but of course I said "See ya" and bound up the stairs! I passed through the room of yarns and fiber supplies (thought of you Gaylen!) and then I was there! Liberty heaven! The fabric department was small and tasteful and I loved looking at each bolt, considering it for the journey home with me. Now I have shopped many times at the orgy that is Fabric Depot or the Mill End, but this was a different experience. I carefully selected a bolt of the softest cotton  in the world with turquoise and blue flowers. I have a couple of blouses in mind for this fabric, but you can be sure I will muslin the hell out of the pattern before I cut into this special fabric! I also picked up a remnant of the peacock print that matched the pincushion and button jar of the same fabric. Tom asked me why I didn't go crazy in there and buy everything in sight? That wasn't what the experience was about for me. I wanted one special piece (well, I did buy two pieces) that I could make a garment out of to remind me of our time in London.The Peacock fabric will make something for my sewing room. 
After fondling the fabric and Sara buying some yarn to knit a hat, we explored the other floors. Beautiful designer clothes! A beautiful Vivienne Westwood wool coat that Sara and I both coveted! Stella McCartney...yes, please. I especially loved the designer vintage section. I got to really examine some vintage Chanel jackets up touch them and check out the seam finishes. There were vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases and shoes, glorious shoes! Sara remarked that she was surprised at all the other cool things at Liberty, as in all my ravings I forgot to mention that it was much more than a fabric store! 
Tom risked life and limb to take this picture of me outside Liberty...he is standing in the street to get the full shot of the store name...if you've ever been to London, you know that is love. Hurry Honey, snap the picture and get out of the street!
Anyway, that is the short version of our London escapades and my Liberty experience. In sewing news, my mojo has returned and I am finishing up the things I started before vacation. There is a game bag repair to be done and the Pippa dress is pinned to Valentine. I have Thursday off, so maybe I can finish it before this weekends IAFF Christmas party. I cut out the snakeskin knit yesterday and have several other garments in the planning process. I took advantage of BMV's Cyber Monday sale, so a bunch of new inspiration is heading my way...I'm thinking capes...more on that to come. One of the dogs down here has horrible gas...time to turn on the Scentsy!


gMarie said...

wow! What a fun trip. I love the fabric - can't wait to see what treasure it becomes. I have one piece of liberty that I bought from Emma One Sock. g

erinkg said...

Mill End (Milwaukie) has one bolt (maybe two) of liberty fabric in the fancy cotton section by the silks. It's not my favorite print, so I haven't purchased any, but you should check it out next time you go.

Great pics, BTW. I hope to visit London some day.

Maryissewfast said...

Hey G! Miss you girl! Thanks Erin...I will have to look for the Liberty next time I go to Mill End. I usually hit Milwaukie since it is the closest. :)

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What a wonderful, whirlwind day! Can't wait to see what you make out of your fabulous souvenir.