Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saying Goodbye

After 13 days of constant interaction, it was time to say goodbye to those who had become like family to us. The wonderful ladies from Budapest said their fair wells to Ireland today with hugs and tears.

Last evening was spent with a fantastic evening at Gabi's and the traditional Irish BBQ, in the rain. Songs and gifts were exchanged with invites to return to Budapest any time. There is a plan in the works for another adventure next summer. Should be amazing!

These are the girls. Marta, Ester, Betty & Sophie, Silvia, Gabi, Bea, Elizabeth, Kata and Boro. All happy with their gifts of Irish native wool. It will be interesting to see what becomes of it.

Unknown to us, while we were planning gifts for them, they we're doing the same. Wine, honey, marmalade, marzipan, cookies, paprika, of course, lovely traditional cookies that are beautifully iced and a photo album with pictures of us on our wonderful holiday taken by Ester. They are so thoughtful and generous as well as wonderful crafts people. A sisterhood was formed.
Szerelem az Ön számára

Friday, August 26, 2011


I just took a trip to Budapest for a week with Feltmakers Ireland. There we 6 of us that were able to take the trip. We did an exchange with a lovely group of Hungarian felt makers as well. We were invited to come and participate in the National Festival of Traditional Craft held at the Castle.
Their group (12) are currently visiting Ireland and exploring our short, but thriving felting techniques and communities. Saturday, they will take part in Ireland's National Heritage week, by doing demos of traditional Hungarian felt making. It should be fantastic.

They are a great, fun loving group that adapt well to our cooler climate. After leaving weather in the 40's C, they arrived to the mid teens. Burrr!!!

Here is a brief overview of the week.

Arrival was late Tuesday night, finally falling into bed around midnight. The next day was beautiful and warm. Off to the St. Gellart Thermal Spa and Swimming Pool. Yes, It was Great. Basecoat of the tan begins now.

Next we did a sight seeing tour lead by Judit. A lovely woman who has immense knowledge of Buda and Pest. Great with English as she is an English teacher.

This is the Buda castle that overlooks the Danube River. There were hundreds of traditional craft vendors that all over the grounds. The link is for the festival from last year. Have a look at the video portion. It's really good.

Wednesday evening we went to the castle ground to help erect the 3 yurts and 2 tents that were in the area that the demonstrations were to be held. Dinner was afterwords around the yurts. Starts around 9:30. Roll into bed around midnight. I was sensing a pattern here.

As felt makers, we decided to do a group project together. While we were not together until last week, we decided to to Celtic and Hungarian knots. Each square was to be a certain size with ropes, so that it could be tied together when we came together. These are mostly the Irish knots with more being added later in the week. I'll take a photo on the completed piece tomorrow.

Thursday morning was the first day of the festival and we got to work right away cutting prefelt (half felted wool) for the prayer rug. The rug was being done in one of the main squares as a demo for people to participate in if they wanted to.

Rolled up and ready to begin felting. Heavy, wet and full of unprocessed wool. (Poop) We made felt along with a translator up at the yurts for the rest of the day. Had a lovely dinner after the festival and got to bed around the same time.

Friday was spent at the castle and in the evening was a fashion show of traditional costumes, reworks on traditional and felt pieces. Absolutely beautiful and what a setting.

Saturday was the big 25th anniversary party. Millions of people flocked to the castle and river to watch the spectacular fireworks show. The bands at the castle before and after were amazing. Meat by the cartloads and beer a plenty! What a party was had by all.

Sunday was the final day and take down. We had an amazing breakfast at the yurts of shared traditional foods. Salmon, cheeses, fatback, breads, jams, paprika spreads and whiskey of course. Not sure which side that was, but there it was.

Sunday morning was museum time. The Museum of Applied Arts and the Museum of Ethnography were beautiful. Breathtaking architecture in each one. No minimalism here.

Traditional eggs. Can't wait to have my lessons from Gabi in the spring.

Bit of scenery along the river. This church is at the north end of the castle. Amazing tile roofs.

Sunday evening we went to visit Bea. She's a dentist by occupation and "just plays" with felt. Talk about feeling inadequate! Her stuff is fab. Piles and piles of every different type. Wow.

Monday, we were treated to a trip to lake Balaton. It's huge and picturesque. The six were accompanied by several of the ladies and their families. It was really a great day to talk and get to know them better.
Tuesday, we went to Boro and Oto's for breakie and off to the market for paprika and the last souvenirs. What a finish and what a trip. Thanks to everyone for all the hospitality and great planning.