We arrived in Dublin this afternoon and successfully navigated to our hotel in the downtown Temple Bar district

Beautiful primary colors at dusk – Temple Bar, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

with only a few snafus. The architecture mixes some incredible contemporary buildings alongside beautiful historic brick ones, all brightened with overflowing flower baskets. The sweeping span of the Samuel Beckett Bridge over the River Liffee contrasts with beautiful scrolling designs on the streetlights. Lots of design inspiration!

We walked to a lively pub for a late Irish lunch and traditional live music. Another wonderful meal after a jet-lag break with an amazing duo performing both contemporary ballads and jaunty Irish jigs. Tomorrow we start at the Book of Kells Museum!

I grew up steeped in the pride of our Irish heritage, although that’s only one part of the complex mix of ancestry that makes me American.  My paternal great-grandfather emigrated from Lisburn, Northern Ireland (near Belfast) at the turn of the century.  I also have a maternal great-grandmother from outside the Dublin area.  I’m finally going to visit the Emerald Isle this summer, to both follow some of my ancestral threads and to explore the rich culture of textiles.

Our first stop will be Dublin, particularly to see the famous Book of Kells at Trinity College.  If you haven’t seen pictures of this amazing illustrated manuscript, the whole book is now available to view online in excellent resolution at http://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v

Here is a sample from on of the pages the is completely pictorial.  The elaborate Celtic knots must have been painstakingly drawn… so complex and beautiful!

Book of Kells from Folio 292r

I’ll be adding photos and posts about the sights, experiences, and of course textiles I come across during my trip, so check back!

My husband, Randy Erickson, and Christina Fairley Erickson

My dear friends, I’ve decided to take a break for a little while from blogging. After working hard last week in my new class, then getting the “Salsa!” exhibition installed at the Mighty Tieton Warehouse Gallery, I’ve looked around at my priorities and have realized that I need to spend more time with my family and with making my own artwork, rather than being on the computer so much. I’ve loved sharing with you and will be continuing to read (and comment) on my favorite blogs. Thanks for all the support and encouragement you’ve provided for me.

Warmly,

Christina Fairley Erickson