What a wonderful time we had on our last doll making cruise. And, our pre-cruise shopping day in New York City was really special.
We started at Mood. We were really excited to see one of the Project Runway stars from last season. Naturally, we all had to have our picture taken with him. This is Liz, who is almost as avid a viewer as I am.
Yes. We all shopped here at Mood. This photo is of the ones who lastest the longest. I was taking the photo and Dorice, on the far right, was holding my bag. We also said "Thank you, Mood" as we left.
We walked down 37th street, shopped at MJ Trimmings, City Beads, Toho Beads, Tinsel Trading and ended up at The City Quilter. I had taught at The City Quilter several years ago and was thrilled to see that have expanded. A wonderful shop right in the heart of the city. After this last stop we climbed onto our coach, tired and happy.
The next day, February 24, we boarded RCI's Explorer of the Seas at Port Liberty, New Jersey and sailed off into the Atlantic. We had 2 1/2 days at sea so were able to get started on our two projects. Anne Hesse and I were the teachers and this photo shows half the group busily working away on Laurelin, my doll. We had one of the conference rooms and were able to spread out and keep our stuff here for all 9 days of the cruise. We were given a key so everything was secure and we could work as often as we wanted. RCI treated us royally.
Our first stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico. We had a special event here. My friend, Celeste Solis has a wonderful studio and opened it up for us. She had an amazing array of food and drinks for us, plus a fun project for us to work on. In her studio she had the supplies in darling containers with her signature "inspiration" doll sitting on top. Inside were the supplies we needed for finish the project, which is a fun pin cushion/scissor pull.
Celeste's studio is a reflection of her. Bright, sunny, fun. We have all decided that we need to come to Puerto Rico to do a weeks worth of classes in her studio. We had as much fun shopping as we did making our project.
Her daughter has a catering business next door to Celeste's studio and that is where we ate, and ate, and ate. The food was incredible. I forgot to take photo's there. Silly me.
We also got to meet several doll makers from Puerto Rico while at Celeste's. We had the best time seeing what they create. It was a truly fun evening of sharing and getting to know doll makers in this beautiful island.
Before I forget, if you want to see larger images, click on the photo's and it will enlarge them for you.
We hated to leave Celeste's, but at 9pm we had to head back to the ship. Our next stop was St. Thomas, then Samana, Dominican Republic and finally Haiti. One evening our travel agent, Barbara Roby, had arranged a Champagne Party. This was held in "The Chamber", which used to be a strange medieval club for teenagers. It is now a nice club used for private parties, and dancing later at night. Our party was before dinner.
During one of the more formal nights we arranged to have a group photo taken on the stairs in our dining room. It is hard getting 21 ladies in line, but nearly all of us made it onto the stairs on Saturday night.
Why elf hats? The theme of the cruise this year was based on The Hobbit. One night we had Bilbo's Bazaar where anyone who wanted brought things to sell. We also had a challenge that was Hobbit related, but more on that another time.
Our final night was the Challenge judging, and a group photo with the dolls made on the cruise. We all hated to part the next day so we had a wonderful evening of talking, sharing and promising to keep in touch. The next morning we arrived back at Port Liberty, New Jersey. It was thrilling to see the Statue of Liberty as we came into the harbor. You had a bit of a feel of what many of our families felt when they immigrated to America.
It is fun going places and being with friends, but always exciting coming home.