February ed il sole

2483The sun beams on my face as I write.  When the winter sun passes directly by my desk in the afternoon, he blinds me with the warmest goodness.  It has been a while since he showed his face around here…that Mr. ‘Low in the Sky’.  When he decides to shine, the whole world lights up with him.  The birds sing and whistle so loud, the people flock to the fields to work, my gatto lazily splays in the grass, and some, like me, choose to walk until they can no longer feel their feet.  Grazie, Mr. Sun, for all your energy, what a glorious Spring-like beginning to February.  Any chance of you coming back again tomorrow?!

A special visit

If you follow me on Facebook, you have already heard about the special visit I had here in Italy.  Peggy, from Golden Rabbit Enamelware, traveled to Tuscany!  This was not the first time that I have been blessed with a drop in by the lovely Peggy…five years ago she and her husband took a round trip train ride from Rome just to pop in for lunch.  Thankfully, this time we had a little more time together to chat about all the new things on the horizon (including the Laura Fair Charleston Collection hitting stores very soon!)

Charleston Green

She was joined by her husband and another fellow Golden Rabbit artist, Barbara Gullett, and her husband.  So the six of us wandered around Cortona together.  I should clarify, the men sat at the bar drinking caffè and watching the world saunter by while the women cruised Via Nazionale for treasures to take back home.  We convened for a traditional lunch at one of our favorite spots.  When I say traditional, I mean total Italian style…we sat down a little before 1:00 pm and I think we left the table 3 hours later.  That left us a small amount of time to stop by our house for a quick tour.  Unbeknownst to me, Peggy snapped this photo as we were leaving the house.

Laura leaving

We then headed down to the frantoio for a little peek at the olive oil making process and for them to buy some oil.  (I will have more on that subject later, as we have been spending a good amount of time out in the fields picking this year.)  And then just like that, they were off into the sunset…

Sunset

 

Postcard from Ischia

Ischia Postcard

As you all know, I spend time in Italy and that means that I must spend my time also in Italian.  Although there are some English speakers around, the language of my every days is my second one.  You might remember I even wrote about it here.  Since that time, I have to say that while I will never master the language, my off days are very few and far between.  A couple of weeks ago, my language knowledge was really put to the test.  I spent a weekend with 15 beautiful Italian girls on a journey to the island of Ischia.  Yes, I was the only non Italian in the bunch…and it was intimidating at first, I admit, but it was one of the best things I have ever done.

Ischia is known to be a ‘spa’ destination dating back to the ancient Greeks.  Located off the coast of the city of Naples, it is a bit in the shadow of its sister island, Capri, but so inviting as it is much wilder and off the beaten path.  The island has volcanic origins and because of this, the waters are known to have wonderful healing properties.  We stayed in a spa resort near the town of Forio on the bay of Citara.

resort

Despite the waters calling to us, our group was determined to see all the sites as well as relax.  With the assistance of our trusty driver, the local bus system, and our two feet, we climbed and wound along the steep ancient roads covering most of the island in three days.  Of course we took time for leisurely lunches full of Neapolitan pizza, fresh fish, and handmade pasta.  One of the best things about traveling around Italy is the tradition of the pensione.  This is where a hotel offers a full day of breakfast, lunch and dinner, or just breakfast and dinner included in the price of your room.  So each night after touring we returned to the resort and this allowed us the time to relax with a little night swimming in the salty, mineral-rich waters.  Then after a quick clean up, we enjoyed a 4 course meal in the hotel’s dining room.

Sant'angelo

Ok…now that I have bored you with a travelogue…here is the best part.  I was really touched by this lush island, the lapping sea, the colors of the boats, the whitewashed Greekness of the architecture stacked one on top of another.  You know where I am going with this…I think I see a new Ischia-inspired collection in my future.

Update

Laura Fair Mosaic 2015It has been way too long…for a post here and most importantly, an update of the old Laura Fair website!  I did not want to change too much of the original style, as it was all me, but it needed a little bit of polishing.  You will find that I have streamlined it a bit and added some more recent images.  If you visit the product page, you will get an idea of the range of products within the Laura Fair brand.  If you visit the blog page, you will see that I have now integrated the blog within the site.  (No more laurafair.blogspot.com, so change your bookmarks!)  Lastly, if you visit the contact page, you can see how many different ways to drown yourself in Laura Fair social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), whatever suits your fancy.  Oh…and there is a little secret connection for those of you thinking of traveling to Italy.

I, of course, would love to hear what you think about the changes…and any suggestions you have are welcome!  Thank you all for following me on my journey, for cheering me on, and liking the Laura Fair products.  I would not be able to do this without your support, my family and friends!  Un bacio grande.

Spring into Summer

I think I may have gone a little overboard on the pillows?  Then again…in my world, we all could use at least one more pillow.  Especially me after the last month or so of specialness.

We cruised right through Spring and my favorite month of May.  It was a wonderful time full of flowers, celebrations, family fun including a visit from my father and Suzanne, a quick trip to the Piedmont, many many visitors, and glasses of wine.  My highlight…an epic day where I saw snow on the Alps, had a cappuccino amongst the Piedmont vines, the Ligurian Riviera coastline welcomed with sea breezes and fried calamari, and the rolling hills of Tuscany brought me back home.  Next time, (and there will be a next time, I hope soon) I will choose to linger a little more.  After all…it is Summer now, right?