OH and myself spent last weekend in London.....an internet hotel bargain to celebrate his birthday....we spent Saturday afternoon immersed in the V & A museum.....
before a wander up Oxford Street to look at the shops.....and an evening spent eating and drinking too much with my brother.
our hotel booking included free tickets for a river cruise.......so a freezing cold morning saw us hopping on the boat at Westminster Pier for what turned out to be a fascinating journey which began next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
opposite the London Eye
apparently....on most days the London Eye makes its owners up to a quarter of a million pounds......not bad for an attraction that was only meant to be temporary......for the millenium year.....and why Londoners call it 'the wheel of fortune'!!
Blackfriars Bridge carries trains into London......next to it the series of columns that supported the original bridge still stand.....the original bridge itself was too weak to support modern trains.
The Millenium footbridge was built especially for the millenium.......opened by the Queen in June 2000....it was closed by the police a few hours later......as it was swaying so much......it took a further 5 million pounds to make it secure....it is known in London as the 'wibbly wobbly bridge'.....personally I think it still sways.....and one walk across it was plenty for me!!
Southwark Bridge is a pretty little bridge.....but if you look closely you'll see that it's people free.....apparently this is the norm....it's so hard to find that if you find yourself on it......you're probably lost!!
As you approach Tower Bridge you can see The Shard on the left.....the tallest structure in Europe.....87 storeys of glass....I won't be going to the top!!
But we had some real luck as we approached Tower Bridge.....it opened up to let a sailing vessel through.....the first time I've ever seen it open....though apparently the record is 48 times in one day.
On a whim we decided to get off at the Tower of London and pay it a visit....OH had never been there....and it's a few years since I have.....more of that later.
For DD1 it began some time ago....with the weeks,days,hours and minutes counting down on her phone.....but for me it begins today.....because 4 weeks today we will be half way across the world in San Francisco. The excitement in our house is now tangible.....DD1 has planned for 3 years to spend a 'big birthday' in Hawaii.....her friend will be having a birthday in SF.....and they asked us to go with them.....how could we possibly refuse such an invitation. A friend said to me "it's not a holiday....it's an adventure" That is exactly how we are looking at it.....we intend to spend every minute of everyday in San Francisco and Los Angeles exploring and discovering.....the girls intend to do the same in Hawaii....but OH and myself have decided that a bit of relaxation with cocktails and Hawaiian sunsets sounds quite good to us.
The 'paperwork' is all done......the guide books have been poured over.....excursions planned or booked.....all that remains is to keep a lid on the excitement.....and decide what to pack!!
I rarely make a scrapbook page before I choose the photos....I tend to build the page around the photos.....but I took a kit to the Bloggers Weekend last year.....and built up the basics of a double page layout.....I did have using some photos from our holiday last year in mind....but it's only this week I finally put it all together!
I love the arrow die that someone at the Bloggers weekend had.....and used it all over these pages.
I also loved the trike tour round the island....after the first 5 minutes of fear!
I hadn't intended b + w photos on this page....the printer [for reasons unknown to me] made a unilateral decision to print them like this......I was going to reprint in colour.....but decided it was a waste of ink and that b + w did at least go fairly well with the papers!! I added a few tickets to the pages.....and will probably tuck some of the brochures/timetables etc. into the back of the page protectors.
of the christmas cards made with the leftover Graphic 45 christmas pads.....I feel very virtuous to have completely used up the pads rather than putting them back in my stash.....as well as having got some cards stashed away ready.......and,of course, it means I can buy more papers next christmas without feeling so guilty!!
two green and red based ones.....with the addition of some grungy flowers
and two turquoise and gold ones......with punched stars and trees
Last weekend OH and his sister arranged to visit some relatives in Essex while I went to the Creative Craft Show at Tiptree......I enjoyed the show and bought a few essentials......but I was going to be there all day.....and there wasn't an enormous amount of exhibitors....so it meant I had a chance to do something I never have time to do when I go to the big London shows. I took a couple of 'make and take' workshops.
I loved this one where we made a 'layered seascape'
The little kit we were given contained a pattern to work from......the mount....and all the fabric and thread needed.
The real problem with this workshop was that it was only 1 hour and none of us had anywhere near finished at the end......even though we all felt rushed.....it was a shame because the teacher was very good.....and I'm sure all of us would have been happy to pay more for a 2 hour session.
I decided to finish it the day after I came home as I didn't want to forget the layering and folding techniques!!
There was quilting and embroidery on the original....but I added some beads as well.
I think I'll be making more of these little pictures.....I just need to find a frame for this one now.
The lovely Sian organised another bloggers postcard exchange......this time a Valentine edition......send a postcard of something you love to 6 bloggers [addresses supplied by Sian]....and receive postcards yourself from 6 different bloggers. Its fun and enjoyable and not to be missed. I bought postcards at the 'Ladybird by Design' exhibition......I loved the exhibition....and loved Ladybird books as a child.....and posted them off.
And over the past week or so I've received 5 cards from around the globe......2 from England [thank you Katie and Karen]....1 from Scotland [thank you Sonja].....1 from Australia [thank you Lizzy]....and 1 from the USA [thank you Liz]. And I loved that Lizzy in Australia watches the 'Foyles War' drama series that was filmed in my town......how's that for a small world.
Thanks to Sian for organising it....and looking forward to the next one!
“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open.”
When Sarah Hamilton heard this said by a shopkeeper who'd recently had to close her gallery she decided to start a campaign to encourage people to buy from independent sellers and to understand just how important each sale is......and so began the 'Just a card' campaign.
At the time I read about this campaign Sian announced her next 'pile of postcards' exchange.....where all the participants exchange 6 postcards with other bloggers from around the world....and I visited the 'Ladybird by Design' exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill......a wonderful exhibition to celebrate 100 years of Ladybird books......a real taste of nostalgia for anyone in the UK who was a child in the 60s/70s/80s
and like so many galleries the De La Warr has a little gift shop......and in there I bought some postcards especially made for the exhibition.....ready to send round the world.
Do you try and buy from independent sellers and galleries....even if it is 'just a card'?
My aim this year is to try and finish off all my [many] part used kits and paper pads....card making is great for this.....as scraps are often perfect. I had some oddments left from a small Craftwork Cards kit and have managed to use it all up on these few cards.
I don't usually do decoupage......a bit too fiddly and restricting for me.....but every now and then there's a 'freebie' pack on a mag that I buy.....I often pass them onto a friend......but I thought this set was rather cute.....and perfect with Valentine's Day coming up. The photos don't really show just how raised some parts of the cards are.
With this year's intention of using up part used pads and kits in mind.......I sorted through my stash to find some part used pads with red and blue papers.
The sentiments and little glittery hearts came from the decoupage sheets
and the hearts were the only part that actually needed cutting out!!