About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

Click the header image to see most current posts.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve and Blue Ridge Mountains

Good morning,

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve.

Road trips in winter can be as enjoyable as those in the summer.  That is the view as we were entering the Blue Ridge Mountains.
It is fun to live where we can see the ocean and mountains within a few hours.

 We enjoy spending time in the Great Smoky Mountains, but will go straight through this trip.

 Tennessee!  Only two more states to Ohio.

All the best,

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Horse Travel or Traveling Horses

Good morning,

We were following two horses going down the road....

Ok, the truck in which they were riding was going down the road.  We watched this view of the horses for awhile in traffic.  I felt I had gotten to know them well enough to take a picture so I could remember them in years to come.  ;)

All the best,

Monday, December 29, 2014

On the Road Again

Good morning,

We love road trips and find ourselves taking them at all times of the year to get to and from Port Canaveral and Freedom of the Seas.  So, here we go again! 

This time we are on our way North to Ohio.  Above is a load of logs before the saw mill...
...and here's another load after the saw mill.

All the best,


Sunday, December 28, 2014

What Are You Doing New Years?

 Good morning,

Have you made your New Years plans yet?  I'm sure you have.  When we are at home, we celebrate quietly in front of the TV.  When at sea, it is quite the opposite!
 This is where we were last year. 
 We were aboard Freedom of the Seas celebrating with another 5,000 + people!
 We sang in the New Year...
...as the orchestra played...
...and the balloons dropped.

What a fabulous place to celebrate the New Year! 


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Needlework Update - December, 2014

Good morning,

What a busy month it has been since the last Needlework Update!  We've traveled, we've enjoyed Christmas, much too much good food....  I hope you've had a great month, too.

Above is a custom order sweater in Berry Pink that has already been delivered and is now living happily in Texas.  I've made a number of pink items recently.  It's such a happy color!  I have a similar Aran/Off White Cables and Lace Sweater available in the shop at this writing.
This was certainly the month for hats!
I've had a fantastic time designing and making Nordic Intarsia technique hats.
Some have been spoken for and...
...delivered, but...
...there are several more available in the shop.
 This is a very special little hat that is only three inches high.  It was made to fit a friend's snowman. Hopefully, it won't keep him so warm that he melts!
To restock the shop, I made two more chemo caps in different...
...shades of pink.
The cowl scarf above and the one below...
...were also special orders and have been delivered.
I also "baked" some zero calorie cupcakes...
...that are pretty enough to eat, but don't eat them!
 This set is available in the shop all wrapped to make a great hostess gift. 
One set of luggage identifiers was produced this month.
And, finally, for something different, a soft emerald green sparkle dog coat - size small.  It will also fit cats.  This yarn is so very soft and cuddly.  So cute!

That's what flowed off the knitting needles and crochet hooks this month.  I love seeing what you are making and baking, too!

Thanks so much for your encouragement.  We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.  ;)

All the very best,

Hand Crafted Original and Traditional Designs

Friday, December 26, 2014

Birthday on Board

Good morning,

Earlier this month we celebrated my birthday aboard Freedom of the Seas

This beautiful birthday message was presented by the staff in Portofino Restaurant at the end of a lovely dinner with My Honey.
I had ordered my regular ice cream with berries for dessert and was surprised to also receive the beautiful birthday message plate as our favorite servers in our favorite restaurant sang "Happy Birthday" to me.
Earlier in the day we spotted this rainbow as we had breakfast in the dining room.
It was rainy with choppy seas...
 ...but this gorgeous rainbow appeared to start a beautiful day.

Thanks to My Honey and to all of our friends on board Freedom of the Seas for making my day so very special. 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Blessed and Merry Christmas

Good morning,

We are traveling to make it home in time for Christmas so I am posting this in advance. 

We hope you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas with your family and friends.

The image of Santa was taken when he arrived by way of the flying bridge over the Royal Promenade aboard Freedom of the Seas just a few days ago.  Children of all ages were delighted!

All the very best,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Giant Decorations!

Good morning,

One of the most beautiful places to be during the Christmas Holidays is on board a Royal Caribbean ship. 

The giant ornaments above are in the forward open elevator area of Freedom of the Seas.  You can get a concept of size by comparing the ornaments to the doors and the elevator shaft on the right that cover three floors. 



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Arrival of an Old Friend: Majesty of the Seas

Good morning,

While in Nassau, Bahamas, aboard Freedom of the Seas we watched our old friend, Majesty of the Seas arrive.
We spent six years on this beautiful old ship.  She is now the oldest in the fleet.  I was always so impressed when we had royalty as God Mothers of the ships.  The God Mother of Majesty of the Seas is Queen Sonya of Norway. 
There is something else very special about this ship, too.  Her captain is Captain Karin, one of the two female captains in the RCCL fleet.
Hello Sweet Majesty.  It is so good to see you here on this beautiful morning in Nassau.


Monday, December 22, 2014

All Four Propeller Blades Out of the Water

Good morning,

This is the second day we were in Nassau, Bahamas, for the removal of four propeller blades from the Fixi POD of Freedom of the Seas.  These blades were being removed because of damaged bearings.  Had the blades remained on the ship, they could have caused damage to the Fixi POD itself.  The blades will be returned to the ship next month in dry dock after the bearings have been replaced. 

In the meantime, the ship has two Azi PODS that will provide plenty of power to get the ship where it needs to go. 
When I arrived on the back deck of Freedom to take these pictures at about 8 AM, this giant crane was in the process of bringing up the last of the four propeller blades.
This is such an unusual event that some of the ship's engineers also documented the action as the Miami Divers and crane operators were raising the propeller.
On the truck is one of the three propeller blades already out of the water.
Waves from the Chief Engineer and some of his engineers.  ;)
 This interesting pattern is made by the blue mooring lines, the yellow oil boom, and the orange crane hook being lowered into the water to bring up that last propeller blade.
 These two propeller blades are on the dock ready to be loaded on the truck.
The divers worked through the night so first three blades were brought up during the night before I got here to get these images.
 Still watching...
 Still waiting...
 ...while the divers are hard at work beneath the water.
 And, there it is!
 This is the fourth and last propeller blade being pulled from the water.

 It turned slowly as it was pulled up.

 Each of these blades weighs two tons.

 Huge!  I certainly had the best spot to get pictures!
 The crane operator skillfully lowered the blade onto the truck.
 The blades will be transported by ferry to Freeport, Bahamas, where they will be reinstalled on Freedom of the Seas after bearing repairs are made.
 Guests from the ship were also fascinated with the action and stopped the Chief Engineer to ask questions.
 While the workers loaded the blades, the Chief Engineer spent a few minutes explaining the process to these guests.

That's the end of my series of images of the propeller blade removal.  It was a very unusual event and I'm so glad I was able to get pictures of it as it happened. 

I hope you've enjoyed all of the pictures. 

All the best,