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Hello and welcome to my blog. Here I will be showcasing all my design team work, general crafting and digital scrap booking.I hope you enjoy seeing my creations and listening to my ramblings. If you leave a comment I'll know you've been and be able to visit you in return. I read and appreciate all comments which are left - good or bad! Thank you for taking the time to visit me. Pop back soon. Carol xx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Italian Adventure

Good morning all.

Gradually getting caught up with everything and everyone after my trip to Italy. Looks like we won't be moving until March...the sellers are buying a new house which won't be ready until next year and when asked to name a date we said either November or if not it would have to wait until we got back from New Zealand at the end of February so that obviously suits them too. This gives us plenty of time to get organised!! (Famous last words!)

Mark and I had a lovely time in Italy, he was good company and it seems we're very alike! Thought I'd share some of the 400+ photos I took with you.

 First stop was Pompeii, our hotel was set down a little side street and within easy reach of everywhere. We arrived about lunchtime in beautiful sunshine and after checking in and changing into shorts we set off exploring and to get some lunch. We ended up booking a trip up Vesuvius for 3pm...unfortunately the taxi bus didn't leave until 3.45pm and by the time we got to the top the cloud had come down...you couldn't see in front of your face!!

Day two we headed for the Pompeii ruins via the exit/entrance nearest the hotel rather than the main entrance. We spent about five hours exploring....a storm was brewing over Vesuvius and the thunder rolling in the background really added to the atmosphere! The storm did catch up with us and we had to take shelter for about half an hour until it abated. Loved the cobbled streets and the beautiful trees.

Day three we took the local train down to Sorrento, we had a lovely afternoon and evening here sunbathing and exploring and ended with a meal looking out over the bay to Vesuvius as the sun set. Will definitely come back here for a holiday.

Day four and it was time to say goodbye to Pompeii. We caught the local train to Naples then managed to book onto the high speed train to Rome...according to the signs we were travelling at 300km per hour! Our room was ready when we arrived so we checked in and set off to get some lunch. The guest house was again well situated to see all the sights and in a very safe area opposite the main bank of Italy building. We found the Colosseum after lunch but the queues were horrendous so we carried on and spent the afternoon looking around the Roman Forum. We both enjoyed this and there were some wonderful views of the city from the upper parts. Loved the beautiful trees here too.

Day five we set off early for the Colosseum as our Forum tickets included entry here too. We both loved the Colosseum from the outside but were both totally underwhelmed by the inside....too many people, too many selfies and too many selfie sticks....and if you didn't already own one, Rome was the place to be to buy one!! We exited quickly and walked on via the Trevi Fountain (unfortunately undergoing some repair work though still visible) to the Pantheon. Again very busy but worth seeing. After a siesta we set off in the evening to the Spanish Steps which were mobbed, so we climbed them and walked along the top to witness the most beautiful sunset over the Basilica and Vatican City. We walked for miles! Loved all the little excavated places dotted around...you never knew what you were going to come across next!

Day six and we headed for St Peter's Square, the Basilica and Vatican City. Had a lovely walk there via the Fuomi Fountain, the river and the Castle. Loved the square and Basilica...there was a huge queue to get in but it was very civilised and took less than an hour to get through. We stopped for a snack outside the Vatican and were well and truly ripped off!! By the time we'd eaten though the queue to get in was very short so we joined it. As the Sistine Chapel was due to close early we decided to head straight there, not realising you had to walk right round the museum to get there...another very underwhelming experience in our books. Too many people, too many selfies...just one long conveyor belt of people. A quick walk around the gardens where you weren't allowed on the grass and we left feeling we'd been ripped off.

Day seven and it was goodbye Rome and hello Venice. Mark fell in love at first sight. We had to wait for our room to be ready but found a lovely little tapas bar not far away and had a lovely lunch sitting in the sunshine. Later in the day we set off for the Rialto Bridge and St Mark's Square and enjoyed the evening just roaming around finding a lovely place not far from the hotel to eat.

Day eight and it was much cooler when we set off on a boat trip to the islands. Glass blowing on Murano, a nice mooch about Burano and finally a stop at Torticello. The evening was quite cold and windy so we ended up eating in the restaurant next door to the hotel....oh dear Fawlty Towers didn't have a look in! Food and prices weren't too bad but the service was diabolical...we did have a good laugh with the Americans on the table next to us though! Love the quirky little coloured houses on Burano.

Day nine and we had planned to spend it at the Lido but the weather had other ideas so we set off for a mooch about as Mark wanted to buy some masks. We finally found some in a little back water at half the price and still the genuine article so he ended up happy. After a lazy afternoon packing and reading we set off out for the evening. We ended back in the same place as the first night and enjoyed a lovely meal, then Mark would drag me back to St Mark's Square....I'm glad he did, it was quite magical at night with all the crowds gone and the restaurants all with their live music playing outside.

An early taxi boat back to the airport on Friday morning and we landed in Edinburgh about 1pm to beautiful sunshine. Mark had a very quick turn around...he flew out to Barcelona with his Aunty at 6.30am on Saturday morning...though guess who had to do the washing in double quick time!!

If you're still with me...I hope you've enjoyed my little Italian Adventure and I'll be back tomorrow with a card.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Altered Coffee Jar

Good afternoon all.

My turn today to show a tutorial over on the ARTplorations blog, this month I'm showing how I turned a humble coffee jar into this Christmas candle holder.

Challenges entered:
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - anything goes
Altered Eclectics - anything goes
Country View Challenges - add some texture
Where the HeART is - anything goes/stencils

Sunday, 4 October 2015

HLS Christmas Challenge October "Poinsettia"

Good evening all.

My third post for today...you can find my Stencil Sunday post here and my Christmas Card Club post here.

Another month has passed and it's time once again for a new Christmas challenge at Happy Little Stampers. The theme this month is:

Here is my card:

Stamp is a magazine freebie from Penny Black. I stamped and heat embossed with white EP three times and layered with foam pads. Sentiment from HLS Mixed Christmas Sentiments set. Dies from Spellbinders. Embossing folder from Crafts Too. I finished the centre of the poinsettia with gold stickles. 

Love red, green and white for Christmas!

Do pop over to the challenge blog to see the inspiration from the rest of the team, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. 

Challenges entered:
CHNC Extra - anything Christmas goes
Christmas Stampin' all Year Round - favourite Christmas combo or lots of layers
Suzy Bee's Bloomin' Challenge - anything goes with embossing
Alphabet Challenge - Q is for quick and simple

Stencil Sunday October Challenge

Good afternoon all.

This is my second of three posts today...you can find my Christmas Card Club post here.

Another month gone by and it's time once again to inspire you for our October mixed media Stencil Sunday challenge at STAMPlorations. It was great to see so many entries in September. I have an ATC to share with you today.

Using the Bubbles stencil I coloured the bubbles with grape gelatos then used textured gel over the whole of the stencil. Once dry I inked the background with various distress inks and polished it up with a dry cloth. Grunge stamp is from the Mixed Media Grunge set and I used archival ink. The sentiments were stamped onto waste card and die cut with Spellbinders labels dies and inked with the same DI then attached with a brad. I added a few sequins to finish.

Challenges entered:
That Craft Place - mixed media anything goes
We Love 2 Create - anything mixed media/creative goes
Hop to Stop - purple (2nd entry)

Christmas Card Club "Robins"

Good morning all.

A busy day on my blog today, this is the first of three posts...like buses none for ages then they all come along at once!!

Mark and I had a great time in Italy, lots of walking and talking...I need a rest now! Washing is under control, kitchen was gutted yesterday but I need to have a quick general clean round the rest of the house....and the cupboards are bare!! Yesterday morning was spent in Edinburgh with Lora at a University Open Day...it was so warm in the lecture theatres I kept nodding off!!

Two weeks have flown by again and Sylvie has set a theme of "Robins" for us Christmas Card Club gals.

Another special done and dusted...think that is my Mum and siblings all sorted now. Topper from Wild Rose Studios; dies from Spellbinders; papers from Papermania; sentiment from LOTV; border punch from Tonic. Bow, brad, gems and stickles from my stash.

There is a robin on there...holding the envelope, although I almost chopped him off!! Apologies Sylvie this was the only one I could find.

If you'd like to see what the other girls have made you'll find the links in my side bar.

Challenges entered:
CHNC - all wrapped up (clothes and parcel)
CHNC Extra - anything Christmas goes
Aud Sentiments - Christmas + sentiment
Crimbo Crackers - someone special (this will go to one of my siblings)
A Snowflakes Promise - anything goes

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Eclectic Ellapu "For a Cause"

Good morning all.

Last day in Venice today as we fly home tomorrow.

A new month again so time for a new challenge at Eclectic Ellapu. Becca has given the Pink Team the topic "For a Cause". She is hosting a special blog hop "The Hop to Stop".
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this hop is designed to raise awareness about domestic violence, an issue that impacts 1 in 4 women, and the resources that are available to assist victims of domestic violence.
Any type of papercraft/mixed media art project is welcome, as long as it *features* the color purple (domestic violence awareness color).

There are lots of prizes to be won from some fabulous sponsors, so pop over and have a look.

I decided to join in the blog hop and have made something purple. Thankfully I have no first hand experience of domestic violence but am happy to support and raise awareness of the cause.

Using one of the Crazy Birds from Tim Holz stamped and die cut from gelli plate waste. Backing paper from my stash. Happy die from Whimsy Stamps...die cut three times and stacked. Mat dies from Wplus9. Googly eyes and sequins from my stash.

Do pop over to the challenge blog and see what my team mates have made. It would be lovely to see you joining in too or alternatively you may like to join the Purple Team with their Halloween/Horror/Dark challenge.

Challenges entered:

Friday, 25 September 2015

Golden Oldie

Good morning all.

A scheduled post for you today so I can pop over to Erika's with a Golden Oldie. Sharing some knitting today...another find whilst sorting out the loft last week.

This was my all time favourite matinee coat, I just love the lacy pattern...the boys had it in white, Gary's had lemon trim and Mark's had blue. Very delicate in 3 ply wool the picot edge is crocheted. It knitted up very quickly as the back and fronts are all one piece. Lora wore this one on her christening day so it obviously didn't take me long to knit as we didn't know she was going to be a girl in advance!

Enjoy your weekend whatever you're up to. We're off to Rome tomorrow...looking forward to seeing the sights.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Happy Little Stampers - Blog Hop

Good evening all.

A day spent mainly washing, ironing, sorting clothes out and cooking! Have managed a little essential crafting but more to do before I leave for Italy.

My second post today...if you'd like to see my card for the Christmas Card Club click here.

Welcome to Happy Little Stampers first release blog hop. We hope you like what you see. We have four new sets of stamps and to celebrate we are having a blog hop with prizes.

How to win?
Comment on the HLS blog and then continue to our designers. You must comment on all the blogs in the hop to be eligible for prizes.
Grand Prize
One lucky commenter (selected randomly) will win the whole issue! This is four sets of stamps with a value of AUD$69
Minor Prizes
Four lucky commenters (selected randomly) will win a gift certificate to the HLS store!
The blog hop will last for a week giving you enough time to hop through and check out what the designers have been creating.
You should have come here from Carol's blog. If you get lost, don't despair...just start back at the Happy Little Stampers blog.

My card has been created using Mixed Christmas Sentiments

Using several of the sentiments I lined them up on a large acrylic block then stamped and heat embossed with white EP. I then used three shades of DI to ink the card (shabby shutters, lime citron and evergreen bough). Christmas tree die from Spellbinders. Mat die from Wplus9. Sequins and gems from my stash.
I hope I have inspired you today with my card. The other designers and I have had so much fun playing with these stamps! Next you need to hop on over to Susan's blog.

Challenges entered:
CHNC Extra - anything Christmas goes
Sparkles Christmas - oh Christmas tree
Christmas at Sweet Stampin' - festive decor
A Snowflakes Promise - anything goes
Allsorts - sparkle
Sweet Stampin' - emboss it

Christmas Card Club "Embossing"

Good morning all.

What a beautiful day we had yesterday, hubby managed a good deal of tidying up in the garden! I think we've all but bottomed the loft if the boys would go through their stuff and get rid of the rubbish. I need to go through the Christmas stuff and get rid of what I don't use anymore but we still don't know whether we're moving before Christmas yet.

Madly trying to get ahead with some crafting as younger son has asked me to accompany him to Italy this week...we booked everything yesterday and leave on Wednesday for Naples (staying in Pompeii) for 3 nights, then taking the train to Rome for 3 nights before flying to Venice for 3 nights. He was supposed to be driving himself around France but car trouble meant he had to abandon his plans at the last minute. Looking forward to some mother and son bonding (and no doubt a little arguing lol) and some sunshine.

Onto today's make...another two weeks have flown by and it's time for the Christmas Card Club girls to show what we've been up to. Margaret set us the challenge of "Embossing" this time.

Another of my specials out of the way...I'm using the same basic layout for all of them this year. Papers are from Papermania; dies from Spellbinders; image from Penny Black, coloured with promarkers...I think this is my favourite Christmas stamp and one of the first I ever bought; sentiment from LOTV. I heat embossed the image and embossed the circular die cut with the I Believe folder from Die'sire. Card is finished with some stickles, a bow and some gems from my stash.

If you'd like to see what the rest of the girls made you'll find their links in my side bar.

Challenges entered:
CHNC Extra - anything Christmas goes
CHNC - something beginning with P (penguins)
52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown - for a man (this is for my nephew)
Jingle Belles - stashing through the snow (papers are at least two years old)
A Snowflakes Promise - anything goes
Alphabet Challenge - P is for pelican, peacock or other bird
Penny Black Saturday - 3 or more papers

I'll be back this evening with a blog hop for HLS.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Golden Oldie

Good morning all.

A mixed bunch of weather here yesterday...dry and fine for most of the day but turning to heavy rain showers about teatime. We spent our day trying to sort some of the many boxes stored in the loft...we didn't make a lot of headway, although we ended with plenty of mess! I did make a few finds I'd forgotten about including today's oldie.

Erika has been running a Golden Oldie Friday feature for some time now...it's fun to share crafting makes that maybe haven't been blogged before or re-visit some of your earlier blogging endeavours. Today I have a cross stitch wall hanging from 1992 or thereabouts!

Made to commemorate the birth of no 2 son...I'd totally forgotten of it's existence! It is a little grubby now as I obviously didn't spray it with anything when I made it...I'm wondering whether I can open up one end and remove the card board stiffener then gently wash it...don't want to ruin it completely though!

For those who asked yesterday what Hypopressive was here is a link...it explains better than I could!!

It's a long weekend here so kids are off school today and Monday, we had contemplated going away but I think we need to crack on with the loft then start de-cluttering the rest of the house...that could be fun - NOT! This is what we have bought..a converted mill set in about 3 acres of land. Don't know yet when the sale will go through, hopefully we'll hear today.

Have a fun weekend whatever you're up to.