Thursday 31 October 2013

A trifle spooky!!

When your granddaughter asks you save the trifle carton you just have to think of a reason to use it - don't you? 
Of course it being Halloween it just had to be a lantern - only thing is where to start? Fortunately it was Tim to the rescue! I had taken my set of Mini Halloween away with me intending to make 'something' with my gd so out they came! Unfortunately gd then disappeared off to a party so I ended up doing most of this on my own! 
The finished lantern hanging above her bed
 I stamped the cat and the skeleton onto card, cut round them and coloured the backs black. The tree was drawn onto black card. I cut an extra piece on the bottom of each to poke through slits in black card that fitted the top of the carton. This then became the bottom and I added a battery operated tea light. I cut spiky shapes from the black card and put it around the base. Ribbon and some black knitting thread made the spidery top. Not bad for an hour and a half's work and she was delighted!
From this
to this
The plus is there's still one trifle left...
so excuse me!………

I would like to enter in the following challenges(even though I'm getting in by the skin of my teeth)

The Artistic Stamper - Alter something
Ali-craft Monthly Challenge 5 - Halloween
Tando Creative Challenge - Spook It

Thanks for looking, Chris

Thursday 24 October 2013

Italy journal - cities 6 and 7 (and stop press)

In between appointments I have managed to complete the final two cities on our trip. Both visits involved early starts - leaving the hotel at 7 in the morning - but both so worth it!
Rome was our 6th city and the driver wanted to beat the rush hour! He didn't quite make it but it was interesting watching the Italian way of driving from our front seat view! Every one felt sorry for us I think as we had been on the back seat for three trips and strangely when we got on the seat was empty! 
We had a guided tour by coach and walking which gave us a good insight into what was best to see.

Rome was just fascinating in every way and we threw our coins into the Trevi Fountain to ensure our return!
The next day we left our hotel as we were going back up to Verona ready for our return home the next day. However, a trip to Assisi was first. The weather began to change as we got nearer to the city and by the time we got there we had the worst rain of the holiday. We went into the first church we came to and I was absolutely gob-smacked - no photos allowed but the memory will live forever!
The rain did eventually stop and before we went to the Cathedral of St Francis we had a coffee only to come out and find the place enshrouded in mist!
Again a beautiful place and not time to do it justice.
Here are the photos that didn't make it into the journal


I still have more pages to fill with more random pictures but not for now, we are going away with our grandchildren for a few days.

Now for the Stop press item - we are going back next Spring to Rome and Florence ( and hope to get another day in Assisi)Yay!!!
A bit of an adventure - we are flying to Rome then catching a train there and back to Florence so we can have a few days there too!
Thanks for looking, Chris

Wednesday 23 October 2013


Wednesday again and time for a snoop at the work desks of the World! Julia hosts this whirlwind trip on her blog here, where all will be explained! 
I took this photo this afternoon but as you will see there is a list on there of things to bring for a workshop that I'm attending this weekend up in Sedburgh! So far only one thing on the list! One of the things is "bring some paper - possibly your own design" Eeeeeek!! So as soon as I'd taken the photo I set to and had a go! I'll hopefully show these next week! For now this is what you get…
Some evidence of intentions(tags and bit box) and some of tasks completed - I 'found' my Kling-on stamp mounts at last so have been mounting stamps.

So that's it for this week, hope to get around to some desks in between appointments (just like buses - none for ages then two come together except in my case it's about 10!)

Oh! and if you're interested my Italian journal posts are before this one.

Thanks for looking, Chris 

Italy journal - 3 for 1

I'm trying to move on with my little journal as I'm now feeling the need for a change but know if I don't do it now I may never finish it - I'm sure you know what I mean! A little bit like our journey around central Italy - rushed but enough in there to remind me of our lovely time!
I loved Florence, but then I knew I would, I had seen photos that two of my boys took when they had their trips while at uni and have just been waiting for my chance! 
We stopped off for a few hours while on our way to hotel number two! Not nearly enough time and always knew that we would plan a longer trip!

The next day a slightly later start and we went off to San Gimignano - a fascinating place with 14(I think) towers. The car park was at the bottom of a steep hill but the views from the top before we entered the city walls were amazing! The city itself branches off just one main street but down each one there were treasures to see! 
 We then went off to Siena - a stunning city because of it's red brick buildings. The central square(which is actually shell shaped)- the Piazza del Campo is used for the famous horse races each summer and the town has flags everywhere representing the different neighbourhoods. There is also a connection with Romulus and Remus so lots of pictures and statues around.

So, two more cities left, I'm hoping to show you these soon.
Here are some photos that didn't get in the journal.
Crowds  at the Ponto Vecchio

On the way to see the David statue
       San Gimignano


Thanks for looking, Chris

Monday 21 October 2013

Italy journal -Venice

Oh! Venice - I loved you but I don't think I'll be back! Those of you that know me well know that I am not a water baby so boat trips are not my favourite thing!! Of course, getting to Venice from a coach park requires a boat journey, then there's the pre-booked gondola(thanks to hubby!)and then the boat journey back to the coach park! That all sounds ok, the water(apparently) isn't that deep and friends had assured me that it was always like a mill pond! Huh!! Our tour manager (lovely David) said on the way in to Venice on the first boat trip said he'd never seen it that choppy in all his times to Venice! THEN…..our tour guide, a local Venetian said that they were expecting an exceptionally high tide and seemed to be rushing us to the gondola station…..we were one of the last three gondolas to go out! Six of us set off in ours and got to the first bridge, the gondolier tipped us over on to one side to get the front of the gondola under the bridge and then on to the other side to get himself under. I couldn't believe it when we went out on to the Grand Canal with big boats passing very close! I will tell you no more except to say hubby filmed my reaction at one point to show the family!!! Getting back to the gondola station was a big relief but….I DID IT!!! Me - a gondola - Yay!! 

Yes, the grey hair bottom left is mine!!(probably gain a few more during the trip!)

Venice is certainly beautiful, I loved the views down the narrow lanes, the crumbly buildings, the bridges, the canals(except while I was on one!)the shops and St Marks Square - which floods so much that they put up walkways when it's high tide(aqua alta)! Here are some photos in no particular order!

Two very grand looking gondolas
I missed this but hubby took a photo 
A shop that makes masks
Love the texture here 

A staircase built just to show that the family were important
A fascinating place!
Thanks for looking, Chris

Friday 18 October 2013

Italy - fair Verona!

Ok - not so fair as it rained most of the time! I really loved this city - lots of little courtyards to look at - including the courtyard that holds Juliet's balcony - except that I was dismayed to find it was a 20th century addition for tourists to see. It did have a romantic feel to it though as there were love notes stuck to the wall in the corner and lots of locks hooked onto a railing! If you have ever seen a film called 'Letters to Juliet' you get a few good views of Verona and the surrounding countryside.
This was the best shot of the balcony as there were loads of people around with umbrellas

I am making a bit of progress with completing my journal - here are the balcony pages
The main square was slightly spoilt by a lot of market stalls, at least that's what I thought at first - then I found some little treats!
We had time to wander around the side streets and came across these bikes casually leant against an old well
Something you wouldn't see at home!
We enjoyed our lunch but wish we'd seen this place first!
This quiet square features this fantastic stairway

The Roman arena which is now used for concerts. There were preparations for one on the day we went which we watched a little of on tv at night.
The painting on the wall looked a little worn but beautiful all the same.
I had a little attempt at some little water colours - not brilliant but I just loved the arches.

Thanks for looking, tales of Venice next!