Friday, 30 May 2014

Nutcrackers, Snowmen, a bit of Tartan and a Cute Baby

Happy Weekend !   I hope you've got something nice planned to do over the next couple of days.  Me ? I'm still recovering from jet lag and getting used to the much colder and damper climate here at home brrrrr.......

Today I'm sharing pix of a quilting project I completed in time to take with me to the USA.  I created it as a gift to take to our lovely Cousin Isa who is a huge fan of Nutcrackers and all things Christmas.  As she lives in Las Vegas, she's unlikely to need a warm and snuggly quilt during most of the year, but it will be useful in the Winter I hope, when it can get quite chilly despite being in the middle of the desert.  I collected together lots of pieces of Nutcracker and Christmas themed fabrics, plus a couple of tartan-style fabrics as she was born and raised in Scotland until she married. 

Here's the finished quilt (displayed by my trusty quilt holder !)

I backed the quilt with nice soft red fleece for added cuddle factor.

Here's a close up shot of the fabric

Now for the cute baby. 

Whilst we were staying in Laughlin, NV during our vacation, we took a drive across into Arizona, into the black hills to an old mining town called Oatman.  The mines were deserted many years ago after the gold rush ended and the burros/donkeys they had used to haul loads were turned loose into the hills.  They've since continued to breed and wander around the town freely as they are protected.

As we drove slowly along, we noticed this sweet baby curled up on the edge of the road and as we got nearer I noticed it had something stuck to it's forehead, so got up close to see what it said.....

and it was... STOP do not feed me burro food I'm just a baby.   Huge Awwwwww.... moment !  All the little shops in town sold bags of burro food for $1 and I suppose people were offering some to the baby but it's too young to eat it yet so this was the best way to make sure it was safe.

Here's a couple more pix from our visit to Oatman

It was a fun day out, worth a visit if you happen to find yourself in this part of Arizona.

I'll share more of my vacation pix in posts over the coming days.  Hope you've enjoyed this sneak peek into my adventures.

Thanks for dropping by, hope to see you again soon.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Something Old, Something New, Nothing Borrowed, Something Blue....

Morning Bloggers - I bet you're thinking my Blog Posts are like Number 33 Buses, don't see one for ages, then two come along at once Ha Ha !

Well, today I'm sharing with you the first card I've created in about two months, I can't believe it's been that long since I made one, where did the time fly to ?  If you've read yesterday's missive then I guess you'll know that I've been away from my crafting stash for quite some time.  It was so nice to be reunited with it and get busy again.

This is my DT card for this week's Cute Card Thursday Challenge which has the theme 'Blues and Hues'.  This week our lovely prize Sponsor is The Stamping Boutique.

I thought I'd try something new for this card and dug out the chalk pencils I'd bought but not had time to play with - just to challenge myself a bit as it's been a while since I've used pencils to colour with rather than pens.  It's the first time I've use chalk pencils as I generally use Polychromos or Prismacolour, I think I need to practice more, but it was good to try something new. 

The cute Lili of the Valley stamp is the 'Old' in my post heading, I haven't inked up this lovely in waaay too long.  I've had the plain oval and scalloped oval nesties almost as long as I've been card making and I created the rose embellishments using silicone moulds and air dry clay and finally coloured using ProMarkers, all of which have been in my stash for a long time.

As for the 'New' in my design, I used a Tattered Lace rose die which was a free gift with a new TL magazine and the papers were magazine freebies only recently acquired.  The postcard images were stamped using a set of stamps from Little Claire. which I recently bought, so are also new.   The tiny heart garland die cut was made using a Penny Black die, which is also a new item in my stash.

Final touches were some Stardust Stickles added to parcels, headband and her 'deeley Boppers' and just a little Platinum Stickles on the roses.  I used a Waco Pearlmaker Pen to add some texture to the image layer and create a few faux pearls on the background.

Do check out the fabulous creations from the rest of the DT over on the CCT Blog if you have the time, well worth a visit for some great inspiration.

Thanks for taking to the time to check out my project today, once again apologies for the lack of posts from me in the past few weeks.  Hope you've enjoyed your visit and do come back real soon !

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Where Have I Been and What Have I Been Doing ?

Hi there Bloggers, I do apologise for the fact that my Blog has been so quiet in recent weeks.  Thank you so much if you've dropped by to see what I've been doing despite the lack of posts.  I hope to be back in the swing of things during the next few days, get some crafting time and sharing my projects with you.

So, where have I been and what have I been doing ?  Well.... I've been away from home and my stash for a few weeks, visiting family and friends in the UK and, very excitingly, in the USA.  We spent just over a month in and around Las Vegas, which is where quite a few of our family members live and work.  We also had a family wedding whilst we were there with the ceremony held in The Chapel of the Flowers and wedding dinner at the Bellagio Hotel which was all lovely.

I got to spend some time with my lovely pal Nicola, we met some years ago and discovered we have a connection from way back in the 1960's !  Her Dad and my Hubby worked together way back then.  We met via friends of friends and after chatting discovered our connection - it really is a very small World.  She is a Massage Therapist, Reiki Master and teaches Qi Gong and all sorts of other lovely things.  I had a couple of treatments on her amazing crystal healing mat which was wonderful and we got lots of time for chatting and catching up over some yummy herbal tea and healthy nibbles sitting out in her delightful back yard.  She very generously gave me a very interesting book filled with recipes for healthy and healing smoothies, I can't wait to try some of them.

One of the highlights of the trip was to see the 'Big Boy' steam train (biggest train ever built)  arriving in Vegas during it's journey to Cheyanne Wyoming to be renovated.  Standing out in the desert, beside the rail tracks watching for the headlights of the Big Boy as the sun went down, then feeling the ground start to vibrate as the train got nearer and then the thunderous noise as it went by on the rails about a couple of metres from where we were standing,  was such an exciting experience !  My Hubby who is a steam train fan was overjoyed that our trip coincided with this momentous occasion !  The following morning we were able to get up close to the Big Boy and the two huge engines that were pushing and pulling it on it's journey.  Down at the Union Pacific yard in the Downtown area of Vegas the Big Boy was parked up in the sidings allowing visitors and enthusiasts to get up close, discuss the renovation to be done with Union Pacific staff and get lots of photographs for the scrapbook !

Apart from enjoying time with family, lapping up the wonderful dry heat - it got up as high as 109 deg F a couple of days... lovely - we also went to Rod Stewart's concert in the Coliseum theatre inside Ceasar's Palace Hotel, which was fabulous.  Rod is such a great showman and it was fun singing along (and dancing) to all his well known songs.  We were back again at the Coliseum a few days later to see Shania Twain's concert, which again was great fun.

During a short visit to Laughlin which is still in the state of Nevada, south of Las Vegas alongside the Colorado River and like a mini Vegas from years ago, much quieter and more relaxed.  Staying in the Golden Nugget Hotel, we dined at the Bubba Gumps Restaurant there, delicious seafood and cocktails for me, sitting on the patio overhanging the Colorado River watching the river traffic, just great. 

In the 'Claim Jumpers Restaurant' in the hotel on another evening we did attempt to eat a slice of 'The Tallest Cake' - a rich chocolate layer cake around 12 inches tall, six or seven layers sandwiched with chocolate buttercream, covered with chocolate fondant and dotted with walnut 'gold nuggets' around the outside (had to be done didn't it !).  We ordered one slice and two spoons but only managed to eat half of it between us, so the rest went home with us in a box and was enjoyed all over again a couple of days later !

We also drove across into Arizona, up into the black hills to visit a little old mining town called Oatman where the wild Burros wander around the town and visitors can buy bags of food to feed to them.  So quaint and well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in that part of the world.  After leaving there were drove quite a way along part of the original 'Historic'  Route 66 before getting back to the Colorado and following the river back to Laughlin. 

I have lots of photos, will share a few with you in the coming weeks' posts, don't wish to bore you !  

Eventually, the time for goodbyes came and we were very sad to leave everyone and the fabulous weather there, we had such a great time.   Good to be home safe and sound, despite the weather - it's raining here now after a reasonably dry but cool start to the day. 

Hope you're having a great day, I will have a project to share with you very soon.