I'm now back from a wonderful couple of weeks in Croatia, feeling refreshed and raring to go (anyone know of a way to bottle this feeling for the forthcoming months?). Before I share some of the things we got up to I wanted to say thank you to Katy, Hazel and Kirsty for their guest posts which were very popular.
Have you been to Croatia? If not, I recommend it. I was struck so often by the beauty of the country, both the natural and the built.
We moved about quite a bit, basing ourselves in Dubrovnik, Split and then Zadar. We visited several islands, my favourite being Mljet which is full of small coves on the coast line that it is like having your own private island for a few hours. The Plitvice National Park is well worth a visit. The main attraction is 16 lakes, linked by a series of waterfalls. You can walk around and through them - I actually couldn't believe the colour of the water.
I was amazed by the variety of ice cream flavours on offer (I may have tried a few!) and the sheer number of steps that you have to climb to get to some places.
Perhaps it was the heat out there but I did something I never thought I would do. I bought a hat! Now, this may not sound a lot but I honestly cannot remember the last time I freely wore a hat, let alone bought one. What do you think?
Of course, I couldn't resist taking some snaps of the handmade crafts that I came across. The first is traditional crochet and lace from the region being sold in a small market. You could watch the ladies at work while they weren't selling. The second is hand painted silk scarves, a bargain at about £15 a time. We also watched a lady create gorgeous little bottles and earrings by blowing glass but sadly didn't get any photos.
I secretly wanted to find a fabric store to look in and almost lost hope until we stumbled across two in Zadar. They were full of Italian fabrics, mainly beautiful wools and a good range of silks. There was no way I would be walking out of them without purchasing a few items.
I picked up four wools, all reasonably thick. I'll probably make a series of winter skirts from these.
Next up is a beautiful thick purple cotton that is screaming out to become a dress. The red with white stars is a lightweight silk. The last one is a light blue with white spots, the blue is hard to photo correctly and I have no idea what fibre it is - I can feel my first burn test coming up!
What about you? Have you found some good fabrics while on holiday?