Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beads Beads BEADS!

Today was such a great day!  Even though it was raining and cold -- We went to the bazaar and found beads!  Near the spice bazaar are streets lined with buildings called "Hans".  They are merchants that carry similar products grouped together doing and selling what they do -- For example there is an electronics han that sells nothing but cell phones and accessories, another just yarns and others that sell beads.  Really just about anything you could name can be found in this area. 
Today, we were 6.  We walked around following our leader, Sharon.  Sharon is an American who has been living in Istanbul for more than 18 years.  She loves teaching us about the city and showing us the most fantastic places.  Today was delightful. 

Our friend!  She shares everything with us and she makes everything so interesting!  Thank you Sharon from the bottom of our hearts!  In the background is the "Yeni Camii" ("The New Mosque" that was built several hundred years ago!)

Sharon looking at the necklaces that Brenda found - 10 for 10 TL -- Great buy!

The "Bead Tree" - most of these beads are the "Evil Eye" design.  Very popular here in Turkey!

Close to everything you see in this picture are seed beads and Swarovski Crystal beads.  Charlotte is always ready to "go" --  love that about her!

Brenda picking out her necklaces!  She has so much fun with jewelry! Sandy was helping her -- to make sure she didn't buy two of the same!  Such fun they are! 

This guy is sorting beads.  You could hear them fall into the tubs surrounding him.

This is only part of a wall of WOODEN BEADS!  I don't know why but I just love wooden beads!  Every color and size you could imagine.  I am not kidding!

One interesting thing I saw today was in the first han we went into.  It was a five story building with three of them underground.  Upon entering, you could hear birds singing.  Actucally it sounded like one of those fake birds.  To my amazement, they were real.  Cages were attached to the walls, up high so they were hard to notice.  I counted 8 birds in 7 cages.  It was really neat.  I asked about the birds and why they had them and the guy said "We like them."  I did too!
Even in the rain -- it was a wonderful day!  Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday in Ortakoy

I have had to adjust to not having Shana here with me in Istanbul.  We have been here pretty much all the time together.  She has been here more without me, than I without her.  She is my running buddy -- and I miss her. 
Thursday, I got up having no real plan for the day.  I had a Turkish lesson at 2:30, so really involving anyone else would not have been fair.  So I decided to "get my big girl panties on" and go to the pazaar in Ulus, alone!  I called a taxi, he picked me up --  with my little cart, I went to the pazaar.  A pazaar is a "local" bazaar.  They have everything and anything.  I went looking for sheets -- I am fixing up my guest bedroom. 
As you can see from the picture, they know how to string rope.  Even though I was there around 11:00 there was still people setting up.   They have everything -- female products to tennis shoes, jeans to leather coats and of course fresh produce.  This is particularly nice location.  It's under the bridge and the site is on sloped concrete.  Fairly smooth, meaning that there are very few obstacles to trip over.  The booth in front is nothing but shelled nuts and not a pecan in the bunch.  They don't have them here.  The first couple of months we were here, we looked everywhere we went.  I couldn't believe that it was anything but a miscommunication.  The next picture really should have an explanation, but I just don't have one.  Amateur taxidermy is very popular here.  
Louie, posted some pictures of something similar a while back.  He was in  Southern Turkey and apparently one of the large goats there had wheels on the feet.  LOL!  This is the first I have seen in Istanbul.  These were sitting in the entrance.  I was concerned about taking a picture because someone considers this "their art".  What got me was the "wolf" thing with the chicken in it's mouth.  I don't know what you would do with these -- do people really put them in their homes?
After finishing at the pazaar, I decided to walk down to the little village near this market.  It was farther than I thought but I was not sorry.  The weather was perfect!  I
ended up walking in the little jewelry bazaar near the mosque.  I never really knew that this area was here.  I had heard of people going to Ortakoy to shop but I didn't know -- for what. 
I really needed to find my apricot contribution for Project 64: out of the Box.   As  I walked toward the sea wall, I was getting pretty disappointed that I just wasn't seeing anything.  It really isn't my favorite color.  I can't wear it so I am not "tuned in" to it so to speak.  Then I looked up and saw this fishing boat.  It was apricot!  I began shooting pics, moving around and suddenly I saw in my view finder the mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge in the background.  I was getting looks from the fishermen -- they weren't sure they liked me taking so many pictures. 

This is the Mecidiye Mosque, it was built in 1855.  It is, I believe, the prettiest mosque that I have seen in Istanbul.  The Bosphorus Bridge (or "first bridge" because it is first when entering the Bosphorus.)  It was the first bridge to connect the European side and the Asian side of Turkiye.  It is also know as the Ataturk Bridge and was dedicated On October 29, 1973, the 50th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. There is a second bridge and both are bumper to bumper -- most of everyday.    
Enough about that.  Monday is Valentine's Day, also, my 30th anniversary of being married to Terry.  I have put a special heart for you to see.  This is from the tiles that were uncovered on the porch a an affluent citizen of Ephesus.  The motifs were almost in perfect condition.  I really hope you enjoy seeing it and the day!  I love you! (Seni Seviyorum!)
Thanks for stopping by --

Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Istanbul Modern

Yesterday, two of my friends and I went to see "Body Worlds".  An exhibit here in Istanbul that presents the human body from the inside out.  I was a little skittish about attending and not really motivated to go on my own.  But, so many people had seen it and were encouraging me that it was great.  So when Sema and Charlotte asked me to go, I thought I should.  As it turned out, it was fascinating.  Seeing how the muscles of the body are stretched and used was very enlightening for this squeamish type.  Here are just a few pictures I captured from the Internet.  There are many more, so go and check them out.  Just do the google for "Body Worlds" images. (some are pretty graphic)

These are real bodies that have gone through a "Plasination" process that in some cases can take as many as three years.  In the exhibit they showed the effects of smoking on the body and how it contributed to advanced aging.  Also, fetus development at weekly intervals.   Capillaries and arteries were also shown.  I was so surprised at the denseness of the circulatory system.  The focus of the exhibit was health and that the body is a remarkable instrument.  It can be fine tuned and rescued.  At the end of the show, near the exit was a clear box that had a hole the size of a cigarette package.  I was amazed at how many packs there was in there. 

Before we went to the exhibit, we had lunch at the main building of Istanbul Modern.  They have a beautiful terrace and the view was fascinating.  I stood there and took a few shots, dreaming of coming back there in the evening.  If I could have a "do over" for my "Project 64:. . ." gray submission, I would use the close up birds.  It was as if they were dancing for us. 

The birds are so fascinating to watch -- I still sometimes catch myself thinking "I can't believe I am in Istanbul!"  This was never on my radar and I would have probably never come here on my own.  I had to many preconceived ideas about what it would be like.  I now know, I am as safe as one of these birds. . .

Thank you for stopping by . . . Sheryl

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Another Sunday

It was beautiful day in Instanbul.  Terry and I started out by listening to our Pastor back home -- I loved watching the video of the song service and seeing everyone.  Having to pull myself away to finish getting ready to leave for church.  Jumping into a taxi, heading to Taxsim -- the traffic was horrible.  We got to church just in time --!   Today being the first Sunday of the month, they had a lunch fellowship.  Sounds wonderful and it always is, however, to get to where we have lunch is up five flights of stairs!  I have to rest at 3 and I really do appreciate AIR!  After lunch, I went out on the balcony and took a few pics. 
This is typical housing in Istanbul.  I am facing the North, looking toward the direction of our house.  That is the Bosporus, South of the first bridge. 

The view of the mouth of the Bosporus -- This is such a fascinating place!
 After lunch after descending from the "Upper Room" we hit the street to see this guy playing the guitar.  He has a huge crowd and looked very intense.  He was playing a style of "Spanish Guitar" --

We stopped to check it out -- he had a big crowd -- Even Terry was getting out his cell phone to snap a picture.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing when I got close enough to take a few pictures --

Now that is talent!
Yes, he was on a unicycle!  He did such a fantastic job.  Really, we see street performers all the time here but this guy was the best. 
Terry and I ended up the afternoon with a movie -- "Tron" -- it was the only one offered in English so that narrows down the selection process.  I liked it, very allegorical.  Just another movie to prove that there is nothing new under the sun! 
Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Flip Flop Socks

1. A regular pair of "Haynes her Way" socks

 Last summer, my friend Josiah Stowe had a great idea of wearing socks with his flip flops.  His socks were all scrunched up between his toes and while professing to the world that this was comfortable, it looked suspiciously "not".  I am a flip flop wearer.  It is always a sad day when the weather gets so cold that I have to put on real shoes.  Here in Istanbul, before entering your house or really any house, you remove your shoes.  At first I was determined not to really embrace this tradition.  It seemed unreasonable and a strange thing to do.  I did become a believer after thinking about Turkish toilets and seeing where someone had actually spit on the sidewalk.  These are the natural hazards of living in a large city.
At home, I actually prefer to wear flip flops instead of my  slippers.  This was a problem because my feet would stay so cold.  Trying Josiah's way didn't work out for me.  However, I was inspired to try this idea.  It worked and now I have warm feet in my favorite inside flip flops.

1.  For your first pair, I recommend that you use an old pair.  I know some people get real attached to things and I wouldn't want you to ruin your favorite pair.

2.  A straight pin on each side.

2.   Place socks on your feet and use a straight pin to determine the length of your slit.  I happen to have very short toes but everyone is different.  (Take that into consideration if you want to make a pair for a gift.)    You want this to mark where the center of your toes meets your foot.
3.   Now, you want to make a slit from the front to the back.  I used a disappearing ink pen to mark before I cut. 
4.   Turn the sock inside out.  Pin the slit as illustrated.  Round off the top corners.  If you don't it will make 90 degree corners and that looks very wrong. 

5.   Start sewing, using matching thread, (I used black so you could see what I was doing.)  Slip
stitch catching both sides of the sock.  You want to keep this as thin as possible to keep from adding bulk.  Be sure and secure the ends very well.

5.  Sewing using a slip stitch.
There you have it -- Flip Flop Socks!  We are going to some friends house for dinner tonight.  I have a black pair of socks that will go with my outfit -- I think I'll make me a pair.  Of course, I will take my inside flip flops along!
  Please let me know if you try this -- send me a link so I can see yours! 

Thank you for coming by -- Sheryl

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gray -- Project 64: Out of the box

The window faces the main street in our area.  It belongs to a restaurant called "Big Chefs".  The exterior of the place is always decorated for the holidays and the window boxes are always full.  It was a sunny afternoon walking home and I saw the gray brick with the sunlit geraniums.  Be sure and check out the photos at Project 64: Out of the Box. 

Been Missing Chocolate Syrup

Terry and I eat out a lot!  We actually make the decision on where we will eat sometimes based on desert.   We really like Tiramisu.  In the United Sates, most restaurants put chocolate syrup over the top.  Anyone who knows me very well knows I have to ask for extra.  Here they have some very wonderful versions of this desert, however, no syrup!  So we started ordering it to go, trying several brands of syrup available here.  None would satisfy,  just didn't compare to the little brown can that you used to sneak a swig of every now and then.  So, I decided to do "the google" -- and there it was, the recipe for Hershey's Chocolate Syrup!  I couldn't believe it!  Even the brownie recipe was there.  Especially, for all my friends snowed in making snow ice cream -- here ya go!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Photos in the Header

Terry thought that I ought to give some kind of explanation for the photos I used in the header for this blog.  They are all photos that I took on a trip several years ago.  Except for sharpening, they are pretty much straight-out-of-the-camera.

Starting at 12 oclock --
     Eiffel Tower - Paris, France
     Church Door - York, England
     Notre Dom Chapel - Paris, France
     London Eye - London, England
     Opera House - Paris, France
     Gate Lamp at Buckingham Palace - London, England
     "Giverny" Claude Monet's Garden - Giverny, France
     Stairway, Ashford Castle - Mayo, Ireland

I hope to be posting more pics from more trips very soon -- especially from Turkiye -- 
Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl