Friday, 29 February 2008

Red Bull

The red bull extreme sports tour came to town and we had a great view of the massive jumps they built from our hotel but also from the bar on the last run down to the village. These guys are completely crazy!

The closest I'm ever getting is the starting gate.

And here's Gina taking part in the skiddoo pushing championship!!


Tonight was also the last night that 3 of the guys were with us as they'd flown Saturday to Saturday. So of course we had to go out for dinner and a great night was had all round with plenty of wine flowing and the evening being finished off with a bizarre drinking vessel, which is a local tradition. It was brought to the table with a flame and then you had to cover 2 holes to drink the hot liquid! The things you have to do on holiday!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Lunch and Apres Ski

We had a great lunch today at Chalet Etoile on the mountain. It's a proper restaurant with a great reputation, that didn't disappoint. Nearly everyone was there, just Rob didn't make it as he wasn't feeling too well. So here's the role call:

Nick, Rich, Dunc, Steve, Pam and Tracey.

Mike, Lynne, Guy, Anne, Gina and Steve.

As for apres ski, this is the bit that I'm not so good at. After skiing all day I need my sleep. Although I did manage a few drinks and lots of laughs tonight.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Happy Birthday Nick

Today we celebrated the birthday of our new friend Nick. All 14 of us went to Lino's for pizza where the staff helped us give him a great night, including a cake, shots, a Lino's cap and even getting him to help clear the plates!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Zermatt

Today I skied over to Zermatt, Switzerland with Guy, Lynne and Rob. Rob had skied over from Zermatt on Sunday and had to take his skis back. So we set off with an extra set of boot, skis and poles. All was well until Rob realised he'd picked up the wrong skis! Luckily (or unluckily for Duncan) they belonged to someone in our group.

But we did get to Zermatt and what a quaint place it is. There are no cars there, only electric powered little vehicles - like mini milk floats and the occasional horse drawn vehicle.


It's a proper chocolate box town, with lots of chalet looking buildings.



Me, the other side of the Matterhorn.




Monday, 25 February 2008

Sun, skiing and summits

What a cracking first day on the slopes. With the sun shining and great snow conditions (pretty amazing as there's been no snow here for several weeks) we had a brilliant day.

Here I am ready to go - I know I look like an extreme skier but I'm not really. The helmet came about after coming back from France a couple of years ago with 3 stitches in my head.

Just having a quick break with the Matterhorn in the background.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Welcome to Cervinia

Today we flew out to Cervinia, Italy for a weeks skiing holiday. I went and collected my skis and poles so I'd be ready to get on the slopes in the morning. Why do they have to put the ski hire shop at the tope of so many steps!!
So all that was left was to enjoy a glass of wine in the sunshine. What a great start to the holiday.


Thursday, 21 February 2008

Spring is Sprung

I love this time of year. The flowers starting to bloom, although it seems to get earlier every year. This week I've seen a crocus (well I think it's a crocus!) and some snowdrops (although in a blonde moment I managed to call them snowbells!).

Found at the side of the road on my walk into town the other day. There really is beauty everywhere if only we look for it.



Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Frosty White

I can't believe how white it was with frost this morning. The whole landscape looked as though it had been painted white and sprinkled with a dusting of glitter. With the sun out and blue skies it was a beautiful morning. A great way to start the day and feel happy with life.


Monday, 18 February 2008

Beautiful Cards

No I'm not blowing my own trumpet. Beautiful Cards issue 21 is out and availabe in the shops. Here's some of the cards and tags that can be found in it. I'm far too lazy to type out my items used lists in full, so if there's anything you want to know have a peep in Beautiful Cards or leave me a comment and I'll get back to you.

This first card includes the rolling penny technique, so the little car spins up and down the slot.

This one is using twinkling H2O's on acetate - you need a special spray which you can get from http://onceuponastamp.co.uk/ - thanks Rob and Gord xx Oh and the wonderful fairy stamp is from http://www.laviniastamps.co.uk/ . Aren't their stamps gorgeous, thank you to Tracey and Kevin x

Engagement card. The background was made in Word and printed off.

Doodlebug and Easter a match made in heaven.

Sorry about the bad photo quality of this one - I must have had the shakes! I do love stamping and this card is made with 2 different stamps and used the masking technique.

A matching tag.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Stitches

It was the UK trade show this week, commonly know as Stitches. I got to meet Jayne Nestorenko. Jaynes a fab stamper and a lovely lady too. I'm looking forward to meeting her again soon and Jayne, they are fab!! I also got to meet Traci Cornelius. She's a bit bonkers and has pink hair! I guess that's why we got on so well together. Her work is gorgeous too.


Saturday, 16 February 2008

Happy Birthday Lyzzy

Today is the birthday of my lovely friend Lyzzy. I hope you are having a fabulous day - visit her here - http://www.lyzzydee.blogspot.com/ to see what she's been up to on her special day. The rest of your present will be in the post soon(ish!). As Lyzzy is a Slimming World girl like myself (don't read my blog for earlier in the week as I've been a bad girl!) I decided to send her a chocolate themed card - looks good and is syn free.


Sorry the photo isn't great but the light here at the minute is pretty poor.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Envelopes

A friend of mine needed some 6"x6" envelopes, so me and my trustry enveloper have come to the rescue. All you need is some patterned or plain paper measuring 24.5cm x 24.5cm, your enveloper, some sticky stuff (I used a Stix2 tape pen) and some envelope gum, et voila!!

Pretty patterns

A little bit of pearlescent

Some florals

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Lots of Love

Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you have told your loved ones how much you love them and they have told you too. We're pretty low key on these occassions but I was happily surprised by this lovely card and a rather nice bottle of rioja. But look at the bag it came in - how gorgeous is that - I think this boy knows me pretty well!

Pretty bag and good wine - what more could a girl ask for?

Delightful felt flower tag. Is it wrong to get excited over the packaging!

A little more love. We've been invited to my other half's, brother's wedding. Here's the acceptance card, that I made and we sent. I used the Love CD and matching stamp set from Crafter's Companion. It's brilliant as it has everything to match. The card is made from using the backing papers and an insert, along with some silver paper. The hearts are stamped onto shrink plastic, coloured in with Sakura Stardust gelpens and then shrunk using a heat gun. You get an intense glitter effect as the ink shrinks but the glitter particles don't.

Here's the matching insert. This was so easy as I used the built in verse writer which already has wording for invites, acceptance, everything you need for wedding stationery.

Of course, the envelope had to match too.


Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Amazing Curry

Another night, another house! So as always I'm updating my blog the day after. On Tuesday night I stayed over at my friend Kamala's house. I've only know her since January but she is a wee treasure and makes the most amazing curry, well amazing everything. It's all made from scratch, the kidney bean curry, the semolina side dish (a bit like cous cous), the chapatis and the yoghurt. As it was a last minute decision for me to stay this was their normal curry not a gentler version for me. I thought I would have to overload on the yoghurt but the curry was so flavourful rather than hot, I didn't have too much yoghurt and loved every mouthful.

Sorry it's not a great photo but I didn't have my camera with me but refused to miss an opportunity, so used the one on my phone.


Thank you for letting me stay Kam, I'll definitely be back. My lunch was great too.
And as I seem to be bed hopping this week, I thought I'd count the number of different places I'll stay this year. So far I'm up to 9 - not bad seeing as it's only February!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Fat Buddha

No, I'm not being rude. It's the name of a eastern restaurant in Durham. I went to see my lovely friend Debbie and her gorgeous boys, but we left her hubby in charge of the boys and sneaked out for dinner and it was totally delicious. It's a beautifully decorated restaurant. I'll try and get some pictures of the catwalk and beaded lampshades next time I go (next Friday!). In the meantime here's a few Buddha's


Here's what we had to eat:

Starter
Fat Buddha Deluxe Platter
Filo King Prawn, Vegetable Spring Roll,
Duck Samosa & Satay Chicken

Second Course
Thai Tom Yam Prawn Soup

Main Course
Monkfish Fillet coat w/Tang Yang Sauce
Mango Duckling
Egg fried rice
Ramen

Dessert
Me - Lemon and lime cheesecake
Debbie - some kind of banana dessert - I couldn't look, I don't like bananas! But she tells me it was very nice.

Thank you for letting me stay - your sofa is very comfy.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Bonkers Conkers

I was recently lucky to be interviewed by DoCrafts Sian Melonie for their Under the Spotlight feature. One of the questions was "What’s the best gift anyone’s given you?" and my answer was "A conker on a beautiful ribbon." So here's a photo of my beautiful conker, sent to me by wonderful nutty friend Jaffers.

As I'm not sure how long the interview will stay on the DoCrafts website I thought I'd record it here:


UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

'do crafts' Sian Melonie puts freelance designer Claire Hamer Under the Spotlight.To not being tidy, to adoring all things bling...read on to find out what inspires Claire.


When and how did you get into crafting?
I needed a 60th birthday card for my Dad and couldn’t find anything suitable in the shops, so I decided to make him one. I was hooked!

What do you enjoy most about papercrafts?
I love trying new things and I’m always excited about new products.


What would you say your preferred style is?
This is always changing from very simple, to altered, to textured and many things in between.
When was the last time you crafted?
Today of course!

What gets you inspired?
Anything and everything. Music, d├ęcor, fashion, lettering and craft supplies.

If you were given £500, what would you spend it on?
I think I’d have to spend some of it on storage. I’m never tidy. I would also have a spending spree, with stamps at the top of my list.

How much do you spend on kit and supplies each month?
I daren’t think about it, especially with all the essentials like glue.

What have been some of your favourite projects you’ve created?
A gorgeous tag book for my sisters birthday, in zesty oranges and the wedding invitations and place settings for my sister-in-law, it was great to be part of the wedding.

Is there are a particular craft/ or craft trend you would like to pursue?
I’d love to do some jewellery making.

Where would you like to be in ten years time?
I’d love to own a great big studio where I could run workshops and have an organised workspace.

Do you have a nickname?
Yes most of my crafting friends know me as Ginger or MGC (Mad Ginger Claire)!

Favourite product?
Self adhesive stones - I love a bit of bling and all those colours.

Favourite accessory?
Jewellery, especially anything homemade.

Favourite Quote?
Only dull women have immaculate houses.

Favourite technique?
Rubber stamping. I love all the different ways you can use them and all the different effects you get.

What can't you live without?
Friends and family.

What can you live without?
Mean people.

Your basic essentials?
Trimmer, scissors, adhesive, white card.

Your biggest bug bear?
People who don’t appreciate handmade cards and gifts.

Who makes you smile?
Peter Kay.

Describe your perfect lost weekend.
A weekend away with my crafting buddies, with nothing to do but card make and scrapbook, with the odd glass of wine.

What’s the best gift anyone’s given you?
A conker on a beautiful ribbon.

Ideal way to spend a Sunday?
Crafting with someone else cooking me a Sunday lunch.

On what would you spend your last £10?
Anything sparkly.

What's top on your wish list?
Adhesive gems, so I never run out.

Who is your style role model? Why do you like his/ her style?
Anna Davenport, I love the way she works with colour.

Proudest moment?
Watching my sister graduate.

Your top tip?
Use the markings on your cutting mat when your sticking things together to get them lined up.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

2 Sisters and a Dog

Jo, Ginny (the cute one) and I had a great couple of hours at Loggerheads Country Park, just outside Mold, this afternoon. For a day that started out foggy, it turned out to be gorgeous. It was sunny and bright and not too cold, just the right weather for a walk in the woods.

The action shot
It's worth the hike up the steps to see such a beautiful view, and no I on't mean me and the dog!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Nutters at Nutters

Last night we went on a great night out with some friends to Nutters Restaurant http://www.nuttersrestaurant.co.uk/ . Pure bliss. It can only be described as an experiance. The building is beautiful, the service is wonderful and the food is to die for. We talked Anne into joining us in having the Gourmet Menu "A six course 'Suprise' Gourmet Menu cooked for all the occupants of your table using only the freshest produce, this menu allows you to sample some of Nutters Specialities". You tell them of any dislikes or allergies and then wait to be delighted. Here's our menu (this changes daily and even during the evening for different tables):

Canapes
Duck and vegetable parcel
&
Spicy salmon fishcake
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Soup
Creamy Mussel and Tomato Broth with Coriander Flakes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Starter
Goosnargh Duck Leg Confit with a Port and Shallot Reduction
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2nd Fish
Roast Fillet of Black Bream served with a Courgette and Salsa Verde Salad
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Main Course
Pan Roast Fillet of Tabley Brook Beef Topped with a Sunblushed Tomato and
Tarragon Hollandaise served with a Black Pudding and Spring Onion Potato Cake
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Desserts
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Orange Creme Brulee
Raspberry Cheesecake
Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream
Bread and Butter Pudding
Or
A Selection of Nutters Local and Regional Cheeses
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Filter Coffee & Petit Fours
Fluffy Marshmallow
Battenburg
Chocolate Tart


The big news of the evening was the Steve ate courgettes (he hates courgettes) and Ann ate chocolate (she's given up chocolate for lent). She claimed it was rum and raisin ice cream - so what were the big lumps of chocolate brownie!!
Both us girlies went for dessert - heaven on a plate

The boys went for cheese (there were grapes in the little bowl before they got munched), although I had a taste. The cheeses start at the top of the plate very mild and as you move round the plate clockwise they get stronger, but everyone delicious.

The plate and the little coffee cup are so well designed, with the delightful petit fours.

And Gareth college is on Sunday not Saturday!!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Wedding Invites

No, not me! The daughter of some lovely friends I dance with is getting married so they wanted some ideas for Wedding Invites. Some of these aren't completely finished, just bits a pieces for a pick and mix selection. She fancies quite simple and embossed hearts. They're off in the post, so we'll see what she things.


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Lemons and cherries

It must be Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday. So although I'm back being good and following Slimming World I decided not to go without and treat myself to a couple of pancakes. They're one of my favourite foods and so easy too. I did however make the right choice for my toppings - lemon and Splenda and for the sooper dooper ones, fresh cherries and Muller light vanilla yoghurt. Totally delicious and not too many syns.

In the frying pan - just Fry Light - no oil.

Healthy toppings

So worth the syns - delicious

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