Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Happy Birthday Joanna

OK I know it's a bit early as my sister's birthday isn't until Saturday but seeing as my birthday went on for an extended period I thought we'd start early for hers, especially as I won't see her for her actual birthday.  So to celebrate we went out for an early dinner at La Boheme in Lymm.  We were looking for somewhere nice to eat somewhere about half way between where we both live and found this gem.
It was a great menu and we weren't disappointed, the food was fabulous and the service was professional, friendly and fun.  So for all those foodies here's what I had:

A kir royale to start

The taster plate

For a starter
Gratin De Fruits De Mer Maison
Fresh king scallops, king prawns tails & mussels, bound in a leek & dill mornay, topped with bread-crumbs & oven baked until gratinated

For main
Magret Aux Deux Saveurs
Gressingham duck breast roasted to pink, served on miette potatoes flavoured with Savoy cabbage, oregano, parsley, white onion marmalade & sun-dried tomatoes, dressed with a tangy green peppercorn & orange sauce

For dessert
Strawberry Trio
Strawberry soup. strawberry ice cream in a sweet pastry basket and a mini mille feuille
We were good and shared the pudding!

We went for dinner early which was great as I had some bits I had to do once I got home.  So whilst I had my craft stuff out I made this card for the challenge at:
The Pink Elephant - colour challenge - pink and black
I've left it without  message so that it can be used for any occassion.

I hope you've had a lovely evening.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A mini scream

Just one of those days where the internet decided not to be my friend.  So a mini grrrrr as it meant I didn't get as much done as I wanted to today.  So a deep breath and at the end of the day, paper and glue of course.  Although I did have some good news via the internet today.  I was included in an article titled 101 Lovely Craft Blogs 
 over at dotcomgiftshop :)
So here's what I made tonight.  Firstly inspired by the challenges at:
Papertake Weekly - stitches - I added some faux stitching to my card - I'm still trying to make friends with my sewing machine
My Time to Craft - zig zags - I just love the zig zags on this paper

This cute and rather bright birdie was inspired by the challenge at:

Last but by no means least is a card inspired by the Tuesday Trigger over at Moxie Fab World.  This weeks trigger was a beautiful vase of flowers and included the colours, pink, turquiose,green and orange - just my cup of tea and perfect for the paper from Stampin' Up I've had out.

So that's it for today.  Not as exciting as Italy but I've got a few things to look forward to this week :)

Monday, 28 June 2010

Brain needs restarting!

It was obviously a great holiday as I've feel that I left half of my brain in Italy.  So it's been a busy day but I'm back in the swing of things now, although I've still got more to catch up on.
So what's better after a busy day other than a little crafting.  This card was inspired by the challenge at:
2 Sketches 4 You - sketch challenge
This Basic Grey Kioshi 6 x 6 paper pad is going a long way and I love the way it gives so many looks.

This card was inspired by the challenge at:
Stamp With Fun - birthday
Again I've used the Basic Grey Kioshi 6 x 6 paper pad and a Papertrey Ink stamp

So I'm off to bed to try to get up raring to go in the morning.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Sunny Sunday

So I'm back off holiday and straight back to work!  It's good that I love my job.  So I set off at 6:30 in the morning to get to Coleman's Craft Warehouse for the 2nd day of their Summer Spectacular.  They had some great offers which meant as well as demoing all day I did manage to pick up a couple of new sets of Nestabilities!

Whilst I was at Coleman's Sara was down at Ideal World/Create & Craft launching a brand new kit from 3 Birds.  It's called Overstuffed and trust me it really is - there's card blanks, some patterned and some plain, envelopes, stickers, bling, paper flowers and the most amazing rub-offs.  There's also a set of paper flowers on the show and the most amazing die cut chipboard set - lots of it is glittered and foiled and it's all self adhesive and yes it really does stick.  I'd done some samples a few weeks ago but still had some (well loads) bits left so I made a couple of cards when I got in.

This first one is inspired by challenges at:
Daring Cardmakers - ice and snow.  There's icy snow on Santa's hat.
Twisted sketches - sketch 13 with the twist of a flourish - so I went for a glittery flourish

This second card was inspired by the challenge at:
Clean & Simple - sketch challenge
I love pink and turquoise together.


Saturday, 26 June 2010

Home Sweet Home

After a small delay we made it back home in the afternoon.  After packing my demo bag for tomorrow and catching up with a few things, I decided to make a couple of cards before Steve got back from cricket.

This one was inspired by the challenge at:
Sweet Stampin Challenge - colour challenge - brown, blue and green
Isn't that sheep so cute.  He's from a set of Penny Black clear stamps and just makes me smile.

This card was inspired by the challenge at:
Allsorts - embossing
I used some pre-embossed card that I'm loving using at the moment.
The elphants are from a Woodware clear stamp set and have been stamped onto the base card and then again onto lovely Basic Grey Koishi paper, before being cut out and layered onto the stamped base images.

Now I'm home and got a full craft room of stash I'm almost overwhelmed, so instead I just used some of the stuff I'd had in my holiday crafting box!
Have a great weekend.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Back to Rome

After packing up at the house and returning the car (goodbye Mr Multipla!) we had an uneventful trip back to Rome and checked back in to the lovely Hotel Marghera.  As we wanted to get over to the Vatican City we decided to go on an open topped bus tour.  It's a lovely way to see a city that has so much to take in and it stops you spending too much in the shops too.  I've already bought a new dress and 2 pairs of shoes this holiday.

Anna & I on the bus listening in to the city guide - you get to learn lots.

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Square

Inside the Basilica.  It's truly opulent - too much for my liking.  I find it hard to see a church with so much money  then see so much poverty in the world, it just doesn't add up in my head.

One of the Swiss Guards

Gwyneth out on our balcony at the hotel

My last supper in Rome - gorgeous taglietelle with porcini mushrooms.  I definitely chose best that night with aubergine parmigiana to start with and this pasta to follow.  It's a good job I share my food.

For dessert I went for Tiramisu which our very funny waiter brought 3 spoons for - 1 for me, 1 for Anna and a large spoon for himself!  Not that we were sharing our dessert any further than the two of us.

Goodnight Rome.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Lazy Day

As it was our last day in Cortona a lazy day by the pool was called for.  The weather was perfect as the little bit of cloud that drifted across the sky always came just before I was about to melt.  I did venture into the pool today.  Mainly because I had a full blown Ginger moment and dropped my stepper in the pool.  I went in after it but as the water was too deep I couldn't get it.  However there's a pool scooper so I used that instead (why didn't I see that before getting in the pool) and rescued said stepper but I think this time I've soaked it once too often and this was it's last chance and now it's gone to stepper heaven!  I have another one at home, so I will be back stepping soon.
Once in the pool it was lovely and I managed to get in again later and do some swimming.  We then enjoyed our last dinner at the house of Spaghetti Carbonara before some last minute card making.

A perfect view

Proof I was in the pool - don't you love the self-timer on your camera

My drowned stepper :( !!

A lot of the cards that I've made this week have been from a Stampin' Up kit I bought last year.  I love the bright colours.  This first card is inspired by the challenge at:
ABC Challenge - X is for Xtra dimension - I made my flower 3D overlapping layers of felt with paper flowers.

Here's a little gift tag for this weeks challenge at:
Meljen's Designs - bookmarks or tags
I love the slight Moroccan feel this card has - I think it's the colours and the geometric patterns.

This little hippo is for the challenge at:
CRAFT challenge - black, lime and lilac.  They're definitely in there.  Apologies for the turquoise ribbon but as I was on holiday with limited supplies please can I be forgiven :)

One of the things I took away with me was a Basic Grey card kit.  It was lovely but me being me I don't think I made one without some kind of alteration!  For this one I added the ribbon and the rub on. 

This card was not only inspired by the card above but I used the sheet I'd taken the die cuts out of to make my own template to make the bird, it's wing and the shape it's sitting on.  This in turn was inspired by the challenge at:
Cute Card Thursday - reuse, renew and recycle

Then finally in preparation to our trip to Rome here's a super scooter card, inspired by the challenge at:
Charisma Cards - for the boys

So I'm all packed up as we leave Cortona in the morning to go back to Rome.  I'll be sad to leave this lovely house but hope I'll get to visit again one day.
Happy Days

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Bathing, baking and a BBQ

Yeah - the sun is shining which meant the morning down by the pool.  Reading my book (I love meaningless chic lit), listening to my i-pod and lying down by the pool was totally relaxing.  After lunch it was time for some baking as we were off out later in the evening and were taking dessert with us.  So we cobbled together a fruit tart, chocolate brownies and a special bread and butter pudding, with cherries.
Gwyneth found our way to Il Pino and to Pete and Jen's for a fabulous evening around the BBQ.  We had an array of kebabs and salads and a great gnocchi recipe, before we displayed our puds.  We didn't take much home so they must have been good.
Apparently I amused Sonya with my stepping on the spot.  I aim to do 6,000 steps a day and had a few to catch up on.  Most people who know me just take this on board these days.  A fabulous evening in great company.

Our tart - it looked even better once it was cooked.  Do you like my crimping?

David manning the BBQ.

The girls under the great pergola at Jen's

The view from Il Pino

No time for crafting today but I'm definitely not complaining as it was a fabulous day.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Another train adventure today - we went off to Florence or as the Italians call it Firenze.  You need to know these things or you'll never find Florence!
We're glad we did find it as it's a beautiful city and we enjoyed our day there exploring the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, the statue of David, the Fountain of Neptune and the Ponte Vecchio.  There's so much more to see and it's definitely a city that's on my must go back to list.
You get glimpses of the Duomo from all over the city and can't help but be drawn towards it.  For me the inside doesn't live up to the outside but I'm still glad I went in.

Can you imagine if it was this beautiful on the inside.

Michelangelo's David - well the replica that sits in Piazza della Signoria

Ponte Vecchio

Il Porcellino (Italian "piglet") is the local Florentine nickname for the bronze fountain of a boar.  You have to put a coin in his mouth and let it drop into the grating below for good luck and rub his snout (which is why it's so shiny) to ensure a return to Florence.

Ice cream - the way only the Italians can do it!

So after a day in Florence a relaxing evening of crafting was in order.  This first card was inspired by the challenge at:
Everybody art challenge - pink and green - and in my case a little bit of orange

This one was inspired by the challenge at:
Papertake Weekly - sketch challenge

This little one was inspired by the challenge at:
A Spoonful of Sugar - Good luck/Best wishes
I love making little best wishes cards just to send to friends to make them smile 

Lastly if a little unseasonal this one is for the challenge at:
My Time to Craft - Yuletide in June
I try to keep my Christmas cards quite simple as I make quite a few.

Let's hope this bit of Christmas doesn't scare away the sun.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Rainy days and Mondays

We know it's wall to wall sunshine at home but here in Italy it's still raining but is that stopping us?  No - we're on holiday and an adventure to Cortona was in order for today.  So out with the macs and up the hill (in the car - once we'd got it working!).  Mini adventures have been with us this last day or so mainly in the line of flat batteries - Gwyneth's in her phone and her charger at home, similarly with Anna and her camera and last but not least the car.  Luckily the last one was fixed and we were mobile again.  The Multipla is not growing on me but Cortana and the surrounding area is.

Due to the hills in Cortona they have escalators in the street!

The view from Cortona - made me laugh!

Starter at lunchtime - how do the Italians make cheese and tomato so appealling

Even the coffee is happy!

The view later in the afternoon :)

Then back to the house and some crafting.  This first card was inspired by the challenge at:
Colour Create Challenge - picture inspiration challenge
I chose to pick the colouts purple and green from the mad hatter image.  I've also added a little bit of bling.

This second card was inspired by the challenge at:
Crafty Angels - my favourite stamp - this little stamp from an American Crafts set is one of my favourites and makes lovely simple cards.  Just what you need with limited supplies.  Crafting on holiday has it's challenges.

Let's hope we've seen the last of the rain for a few days.

Stat counter

View My Stats