Thursday 31 October 2013

A Teddy Bear snow angel

Aw, this cute little LOTV image reminds me so much of Parsnip, lying down in the Playground making snow angels:
I used:

- A5 white card blank

- LOTV pre-coloured image from the 'Furry Christmas' art pad, just trimmed down to fit behind the frame

- the red frame was a freebie with a recent order from 'Dies to Die For'. I've had a little scout to find out more and it's called 'Joy Photo Card Frame' and seems to be a new die from MFT/Die-namics. They also do a landscape one with 'Merry' as the word, both dies are 4" x 5.25", the link above will take you right there. I reckon you could carefully slice the letters off and have a very nice plain frame too for all sorts of uses.

- the white and red starry paper is from Fizzy Moon's 'Festive Fun' paper pack

- matt red mirri card

- red ribbon with silver holly leaves on to cover the join in the paper, am sure this came from Germany a couple of years ago

- I didn't add any sparkle, for some reason I liked the plainness of the image as it is

It's Halloween of course, and this year I haven't made any Halloween cards at all - shame on me. I guess we're less 'into it' here in the UK. But, no doubt this evening we'll have up to a couple of hours worth of little visitors at the door so we'll at least be putting out some Halloween decorations and a lit pumpkin - with the box of treats to hand :)


Wednesday 30 October 2013

One day..................

....................I'll be brave enough to make a totally 'white on white' card. This actually started off with those intentions but then I got side tracked :)
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- silky matt red mirri card

- white backing card embossed with Crafts-Too 'Lattice' embossing folder

- Memory Box 'Glowing Candles' die, cut once in white and then again in sparkly silver sticky backed paper. The silver pieces were then painstakingly peeled apart to fill in the gaps  in the white die - I'll never learn about saving time!

- the oval was cut with a Nestie from the Floral Ovals die set. This set is so popular right now, I keep seeing it pop all over Blogland, and rightly so as it's lovely

- the sentiment is Craftwork cards, popped onto a silver sparkly oval and then onto a scalloped matt red mirri oval - both punched with my usual SU punches

- some red and silver Josy Rose nail heads to finish off

The 'white on white' will happen soon I promise :) If only 'cos this place seems to be overflowing with white snippets - mind you, I reckon WOW will be murder to photograph, this one was bad enough.

Another one for the Christmas card box - I peeked at them yesterday and realised that a lot of recent ones still need inserts though. So that's gonna be one mind-numbingly exciting session here ASAP.


Tuesday 29 October 2013

'Angels calling'

That's the name of the backing paper I used for this card. But, having read the lyrics to the hymn, which is 'Hark, I hear the angels calling' I don't think it's actually a Christmas hymn. However, Magnolia produced this lovely soft and slightly shabby looking backing paper for their  'A Christmas Story' range so who am I to get picky over the fine print:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square cream card blank

- Image is  from LOTV's 'Christmas Angels' art pad - pre-coloured, die cut with a Nesties circle die. That particular LOTV art pad is a real beauty 

- backing paper by Magnolia, 'Angels calling' from the 'A Christmas Story' range

- SU 'Soft Suede' plain backing card, behind the patterned paper and also used to die cut a scalloped circle using a Nestie die - and the brown does look softer in real life :)

- the holly flourishes were fun, I wanted those to pick out the holly in the angel's head dress but a frantic search here revealed that I had not one teensy little scrap of dark green card (I'd used it all up on my snippets card yesterday) - so out came a 'Holly' coloured Pro Marker. I coloured a scrap of white card, then let it dry thoroughly before die cutting it - the flourish is quite delicate and it struck me as easier than risking wrecking the little swirls, even though potentially wasteful in terms of Pro Marker ink I guess. The die I used is Cheery Lyn's 'Holly Flourish' and I ran the flourishes through the Xyron to add the sticky backing

- no sentiment again, really wanted the image and  backing paper to speak (or even sing) for themselves. Not even one sign of ribbon or a bow, for the same reason - but I did add three brown pearls in each corner :)

This card was made especially for a challenge I try to enter each week, Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Card Challenge and this week's theme is 'music'.

And am also linking this into Hazel's monthly challenge too, where it's always anything goes.


Monday 28 October 2013

Pixies Snippets Playground - Week 96

Wow, another busy week in the Playground with 54 entries and so many fabulous snippets ideas from you all.

Here's my little offering for this week, by chance all the snippets were still lying on my desk from when I ran away on holiday:
I used:

- A6 champagne pearlescent card with the corners already shaped, had these card blanks for ages - probably from practically when I began card making in earnest

- snippet of matt gold card to die cut the tree using Nesties Pennants set, and also to punch the pot using SU's large oval punch with the base then cut flat

- little snippets of SU 'Real Red' plus more little snippets of dark green card stock for the poinsettias. The dies I used are adorable, made by All Occasions dies the set is called 'Small Poinsettia'. Sizes range from 23mm, 29mm and 38mm in diameter and I used all three sizes. Really sweet little flowers, perfect for Christmas wreaths and small embellishments on cards especially and I love how the petals flick up so well  - bought from Joanna Sheen

- the pot looked a bit bare so I used the teeniest left over green snippet to die cut a little holly sprig using part of Cheery Lyn's 'Holly Flourish' die

- matt gold Josy Rose nail heads in the centres of the flowers

- no sentiment 'cos there wasn't room without throwing it out of balance, IMHO

A very quick scamper through some picks of the week, and this week seemed to be the toughest yet - each entry was absolutely beautiful of course so these are snippets ideas that caught my eye and might give you inspiration.
I love this card made by Carol L - gorgeous colours, fab flower and such a clever way to use thick ribbon which wouldn't be easy to tie in a bow.
Lynn used a great sketch to make this really cute card, and the papers and colouring are perfectly matched.
A stunning card from Kim, look how well the additional die cute go with the HM image - and the row of buttons along the bottom edge is a brilliant touch. one to remember for sure.
What a stunning Autumn card from Nessa - love the different leaves and the fluffy twine is a great finishing touch.
Wahoo, what a great card from Eve - a super way to use snippets, I love this!
This box, made by Sharon, is absolutely amazing! It's an 'origami box' and I do have it already bookmarked to try - here's a tutorial link. Looks such fun and Sharon did a great job.

And last but not least, Viv really has whipped up my enthusiasm to have a serious try at making some white on white cards - these two are stunning! I know that I have more white snippets then any others here too :)

Sorry it was a quick scamper, I truly could have mentioned many, many more but then this would be a marathon again as it was back in the days when I used to link every single card in the Playground write-up. There is soooo much inspiration from you lovely girlies - thank you for playing along and I hope you too find inspiration from one another.

OK, it's time for the draw for that Penny Black stamp called 'You Make Me Bob' (am sure that really ought to be Bop though!

And the winner is:
Well done Carol, not only a pick of the week but also a prize win. You did comment that the hedgies were 'stinkin' cute' (our Brenda used that expression this week too and we're off to drag her back to the UK!) so I guess you might be doing a happy dance now :) Can you please drop me an email to remind me of your snail mail address and I'll post the stamp off to you this coming week. My email is

At the same time, I'll be posting the moldable stamps to Hazel and the Grand Merry Christmas die to Cornelia - once the forecast storm passes. Apparently we're due to be hit quite hard - Len is tying the Playground swings up as I type :)

And for this coming week there was (as so often, but not always) a clue in the snippets card I made. It's a poinsettia die set the same as the one I used, plus a darling Lawn Fawn stamp called 'Winter Bunny', which Carol L sent me for the toy box a little while back :) This is getting to be like the 'Carol L Show' this week :)
We're back to normal closing time in the Playground again! The Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 2nd November and the gates will open again at midnight UK time on the Saturday as usual. Maximum of three entries and please say 'No thank you' in a comment if you wish to still play but not be the winner of the prize this week, as shown above. In fact, you might want to play for only one part of the prize - both items do constitute one prize but if there's only one thing you'd use please do say in a comment and I'd just draw again for the second item as well.

Mr Linky is below - do please let me know if you have any problems linking, I can sort it out for you quite quickly and am always happy to do so.

Have a lovely week!

Di (and Parsnip who is fully recovered from the partying!)

Sunday 27 October 2013

Rudolph Day - October 2013

It's here again, our chance to make a card each month for Rudolph Day over at Sarn's. It's been three weeks since I made a card, and I did so enjoy getting back into the craft room to play - if only for a short time. Why is it that, when you only have a short time to play, ideas seem to come thick and fast, then other times when you do have time to spare, the walls tend to end up being stared at a lot?
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank, with the corners rounded

- image is from LOTV's 'Christmas Angels' art pad - pre-coloured and just tickled with some Glamour Dust - I adore this pad, every image is really lovely

- all patterned papers are also LOTV, from the 'Frosty Christmas' paper pad

- white card stock to back one of the papers and the image, after trimming to size and running a 'Blue Pearl' Pro Marker round the edge

- white spotted organza ribbon from my ribbon box

- star charm tied onto the ribbon bow with iridescent cord

- sentiment by Craftwork Cards, popped onto an oval which was punched using SU's large oval punch and then coloured with the 'Blue Pearl' Pro Marker

This card is also for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Card Challenge for October, where it's always 'anything goes'.

And I'm also entering this into Sparkle Creations Christmas Card Challenge # 48 where the theme is to use a bow or bows.

Hope you remembered to change your clocks if you live in the UK :) Sigh, it's dark so early once we do that. And quelle surprise yesterday when I trotted out to the supermarket - Christmas goodies on display everywhere I looked!


Saturday 26 October 2013

Another Fabulous Shoe

Oh, I do so love the Katy Sue 'Fabulous Shoes' CD at the Newbury craft show back in the Summer.

Made this card a few weeks ago and forgot all about it- all the elements go together so well, images, backgrounds and embellishments - and am sure I've only scratched the surface of what other extras there are:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- all elements, even the plain mauve backing paper, were printed from the CD - mostly as I'd forgotten all about the little trick of just swiping round the edges of plain card with a Pro Marker if you don't have matching plain card or paper. That would save quite a bit on ink I expect

- I thought the card was fine to leave without a sentiment as the background is already quite busy

All unpacked here, a mountain of laundry to do but that will be done bit by bit over the coming few days. There's not actually any pressure for sarongs, shorts etc to be turned round quickly here in the UK right now :(

My next challenge is to actually venture into the craft room (yippeeeee) to make my Rudolph Day card to join in the fun over at Sarn's. There's a lovely Memory Box die on offer, kindly donated by ScrappyMo. I already have the same die and it's one of my very favourite ones for Christmas time too, why not give it a whirl?

Do remember that the Playground is open for a day longer this week :) I hope to do the write-up on Sunday morning ready for a new week beginning at midnight the same day.

Have a super weekend, I think we might be busy tying stuff down in the garden judging by the forecast for 'gale force winds' on Monday :(


Friday 25 October 2013

Friday Feast - Sausage and Apple Bake with Mash

Whilst I do love travelling and 'foreign' muck as Kath would say food, I also get a huge hankering for good old British cooking by the end of a foreign holiday. This dish will certainly be on the menu again for this coming week! I strongly recommend it - absolutely scrummy!

Sausage and Apple Bake with Mash

Serves 4

1 Braeburn apple, core removed, cut into wedges
1 leek, cut into 1cm slices
150g cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 tsp fennel seeds
6 sprigs fresh thyme
pinch crushed chillies
8 thick pork sausages
250ml white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
mashed potato, to serve
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

Place the apples, leeks and cherry tomatoes in a roasting dish then scatter over the fennel seeds, thyme and crushed chillies and season.

Place the sausages on top then pour over the wine.

Finally, drizzle over the oil.

Roast for 40 minutes until the sausages are golden brown, cooked through and no pink meat remains. Serve with mashed potato.
Things I do: Not a lot really, although as it was for two of us  I did think that just two sausages each wasn't gonna tick all the boxes so I used three each (frozen Richmond Thick Irish sausages in fact) with the rest of the ingredients exactly as in the recipe. And no extra vegetables apart from creamy mashed potato 'cos of the leeks and tomatoes in the recipe.

Quick, simple and really yummy!

By the time this posts, we'll be tucked up in our own bed, recovering from the looooooong and very tiring trip back home. Quick edit: We got home safe and sound and I'm already in my PJ's and ready to hop into bed, less than an hour after getting into the house! That has to be the fastest shower on record  - 14 trips I think we've made to Thailand and it seems to get harder not easier :( For some reason the room is swaying right now, I think it's from the flights - no time as yet to go hunting in the Playground for any leftover cocktails mixed up in buckets so we can't blame those! 


Thursday 24 October 2013

A last post before I leave for the Playground

...........and check to see what's been going on there. My fear is that Parsnip will still be comatose and unable to 'snitch' though :( This Anon email arrived the other day - I kid you not!

Hi Miss,

Erm Parsnip  might be sleeping oft more than just a angover.
It might have been wot wos being mixed up in the bucket behind the shed for the  um forthcoming party.
Snot my fault.
A.     I told im not to drink from the bucket.
B.      I told him not to snort it up through a straw.
Think he must ave cos he wos found laters  laid on his back surrounded by  a pile of straws. He wos muttering about seeing spiders , bats, bugs and goblins crawling outta the walls but I explained that wos just cos it was dat time of the year and he sighed  (appily I swear) turned over and passed out like. Dat wos Friday!


Sigh, I knew we ought to have brought him with us :(

It's lunchtime here on Wednesday as I type and we're all packed bar the last minute stuff - which is a great idea 'cos we did it right after be breakfast and still have the rest of the day and evening to play with, wahoo!!

This was my 'Five a Day' fruit at breakfast this morning:
My choices vary from day to day, this morning I just had two types of melon, pineapple and a slice of the delicious fruit on the left Any guesses? I bet at least Kate and Sam will know from their Far East jollies - it's called 'Dragonfruit' and is delicious. One variety even comes with deep purple flesh and little black seeds, the more common one has white flesh - as shown.
These days most large supermarkets in the UK sell Dragonfruit but at one time they were the sort of thing that a check-out person would look at in bewilderment :) Cost about £1 each at home, here they're 'cheap as chips' of course. Yummy too!

So my leetle Playmates - I guess I won't be on line until Friday sometime, last party here, long journey, time changes and the jet lag will wipe me out for sure :(

But I thought you might like to see a little new friend. Earlier today a quite young Nok Kaew came and sat on our balcony for well over half an hour, all puffed up and singing his heart out. For ages we didn't dare move to get cameras lest he flew away. Eventually I got a few average piccies, but this one taken from the rocking chair I was sitting in tickles me most:
'The Birdman of Samui' (aka Len) only went and found a little plastic 'nibbles' dish that we bought here and crumbled up one of our bedtime Hershey's chocolates for the little fella! I can't say that he was overly impressed although he did take one piece and then spent ages vigorously cleaning his beak :)

Each evening the hotel 'turn down' service leaves us this on our bed (Len's side):
A glass dish with two Hersheys chocolates in and a single long stemmed red rose. What tickles us most is that often they then carefully place the TV remote control alongside :)

And this will be us at tomorrow morning - look closely between the palm trees and you'll see our 8:45 am plane from today, just taken off for Bangkok:
Yup, it had been raining but now the sky is bright blue again.

I hope you enjoyed just a little peek at Thailand over the past couple of weeks :) See you soon!!


Wednesday 23 October 2013

Panic Birthday card

I was so involved with 'pre-teacher' training stuff that I almost missed a little chap's Birthday a few weeks ago - thank goodness for LOTV 'pre-coloured' images - phew:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- backing paper from DCWV's 'Juniper Berry' stack

- SU card stock to pick out the colours in the backing paper - I used 'Night of Navy' and 'Pool Party'

- pre-coloured LOTV Cute Square, die cut with a circle die - it's off the page so I could centre the image within the die more. Backed with a hand cut 'Night of Navy' circle

- a 'belly band' (I still grin at that description Elizabeth!) across the card using both SU colours, the top one was punched using a Martha Stewart edge punch called 'Lattice Edge'

- Britannia dies letter set for the name 'Joe' - I do have a love/hate relationship with these letters though - just in case you're wondering about ever buying them, even though they're a good deal cheaper than most others and do cut really well. For a start they aren't in perfect alphabetical order across the die set (must get round to marking the backs with each letter using a permanent marker) but no way would you want to separate them. It's very tricky to differentiate between some of the letters, EVEN once die cut. The letters are just too fancy and scrolled for my liking - trust me, I sat with an F and a J here for flipping ages before deciding which was actually the J - even though it still looks rather like an F to me :(

- the number 8 also was die cut using a Britannia dies set and mounted onto a circle of card

Then I dropped everything and ran for the post box. I didn't even stop to properly brush my hair, just hoped I didn't meet anyone I know :) Which reminds me of a friend going back MANY years. She was very blonde with fair eyelashes - and wouldn't even open the front door to anyone without having applied her mascara :) 


Monday 21 October 2013

The day that the rain came down

And very welcome it was too if I'm honest :)

The other morning I woke up to a very watery sunrise:
A sign that the rainy season is on its way here - clouds on the horizon, moving in from Koh Phangan. But still so calm and very beautiful. Just the birds chirping to welcome another day.

We since had some rain, so refreshing and cooling, along with very sunny times too.

Earlier today we took another trip into Nathon, so much better than Chaweng where we went the other day - that place is a bit like 'Blackpool in a hot-tub'. I didn't take a single photo and after 14 trips to Thailand we finally decided that Chaweng is off the list for even a day visit :)

Today the rain really came down and, intrepid little explorers we are, that didn't stop our plans to go and say goodbye to Nathon until next time. We had huge hotel umbrellas but were scampering along in thin clothes as it was still so hot, managed to get totally soaked, 'plodged' through puddles up to our ankles and generally had a blast!

Ended up in our favourite bar overlooking the Port and I found that Hilda Ogden had been there already - photo taken more for UK friends:
Whilst sitting drying off over a beer and just watching the world go by a religious procession suddenly appeared. Not a good photo but do bear in mind I was wet, trying to scamper along the very uneven pavement without breaking my ankle yet AGAIN (once had to be flown home as a stretcher case from Tenerife and spent months in a wheelchair) and just did what I could:
A bit like a ceremonial barge, made of teak and being hauled by what seemed like about 60 people with very long ropes.

We then weebled our way through the back streets to the appointed place where our lovely taxi diver was waiting and this is just a little glimpse of a local dress shop - Armani NOT:
So, that for now is what we've been up to on 'teacher training'. And where are we right this minute? Here of course - on our lovely balcony and debating where to eat tonight:
That's only about a third of our balcony - if you ever, ever venture to Thailand then come here - Hansar Samui Resort and Spa, Bophut, Koh Samui. It's fabulous :) This is the bed - I lose Len in the night and have to check he's still there! :)
And this is the bath:
OK, it takes some getting used to having a bath in the middle of the room, but it's optional whether you use it- the huge walk-in shower is big enough for a Playground party :)

And this all happened because just ONE WEEK before we came, our normal place we stay at also in Bophut emailed to say 'tough luck we'll be closed for building work'. It's called The Waterfront, is in fact English owned by quite a pretentious couple and has outgrown its boots to the extent that even returning guests of a few years standing were dropped in favour of profit margins so they could extend their tiny swimming pool to a slightly larger one in time for more money when the high season arrives at Christmas :( Without walking up and down with a placard outside the place, I can only say it's best to strike them off your wish list. With our flights all booked we were in a real pickle - but I would now always recommend The Hansar well above them, they look like amateurs by comparison - just a shame we had the trauma to find out! Sorry for the rant, it was 'take it or leave it, tough luck' and so very unprofessional :(

But hey, didn't they do us a HUGE favour?!


Sunday 20 October 2013

Pixies Snippets Playground - Week 95

My snippets card for this week was brought on holiday for Len - he laughed out loud when he opened it the other day so I guess that makes it a hit:
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank

- snippets of SU 'Real Red' card

- a snippet of brown dotty paper which I found tucked inside the LOTV 'Country Gent' paper pad

- Penny Black stamp called 'You Make Me Bob', coloured with Pro Markers and some black musical peel off stickers added

- sentiment was printed using straightforward word processing

- black Josy Rose nail heads

As it's 'Anything Goes' over at Penny Black and More this month, I'd like to link in this card. Totally unplanned and just a happy coincidence, I'm missing playing in some of my favourite challenges right now.

And a scamper through some of this week's cards from the Playground:
My first pick this week is Kay's lovely floral card. What really jumped out at me is the way she took the flowers down the curved edge, and also hand cut the edges of flowers which had been stamped underneath, directly onto the card. A super idea!
I love this card made by Elizabeth, especially as she really should be packing to move house right now but is still hopping into the Playground :) Love the great background, topped with the star burst sunrise and then the scarecrow etc. in the foreground.
A super card by Sue J who really went to town and used up loads of snippets to make the patchwork background. It all tones beautifully together - if I tried that you'd think a couple of dogs had been fighting in the snippets folder!
This Halloween card by Mary H is such fun - and a lot of work, and snippets went into making it.
You really do need to see this fabulous Autumn Wreath/Garland, made by Karen P, it's gorgeous. For a better look do click on the link, plus Karen gave us some tips and hints as to how she made it.
And our Sam squeezed in under the gates with this fabulous album for her friend Kim who was visiting, to put her holiday memories in. Tons of snippets used and it's lovely Sam!

We have two new playmates this week, yay!
First of all we were joined by Sharon (Hudson) who brought a terrific card with an acetate 'bow front'. One to try once I'm back home for sure!
AJ (ArtJypsy) also found her way into the Playground with this lovely card shown above. Great use of snippets, I don't know how you found us but you're very welcome!

Hope you come back and play often girls :)

The winner of the Memory Box 'Grand Merry Christmas' die is:

I know that lots of you already have this fabulous die, which cut down the odds a bit :) But, Cornelia was drawn straight away by Mr Random and from her comment my guess is that she'll be a happy bunny! Well done Cornelia, can you please drop me an email with your snail mail address in and I'll post the die off to you once we're back home (

Our little prize for this week is the Penny Black 'You Make Me Bob' stamp, another one the same as I used today:

We're not quite back to normal closing time in the Playground as I'll be back home next weekend but will be severely jet lagged 'cos it always hits me hard. I propose to keep the Playground open for a day longer to give me time to recover so the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Sunday 27th October. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the Sunday. Maximum of three entries and please say 'No thank you' in a comment if you wish to still play but not be the winner of the prize this week, as shown above.

Mr Linky is below - do please let me know if you have any problems linking, I can sort it out for you quite quickly and am always happy to do so.

Have a lovely week!

Di (and a twitch from Parsnip, who is sleeping off a hangover for some unknown reason, no doubt he'll 'snitch' on you when I get home)


Saturday 19 October 2013

Spooked me a bit

When we went out for Len's Birthday meal the other evening, word had travelled that it was a 'special day' to the local restaurant we really love - just a few minutes stroll from the hotel here. Talk about not having any secrets :)

We were led to a lovely candlelit table, overlooking the sea and immediately I could smell jasmine. The tablecloth had been scattered with jasmine flowers :)

But then came the really spooky part, one of the waiters appeared with a frangipani flower, tucked it in my hair and said 'Madam should wear a flower in her hair'. Had he been peeking at this blog? Did he know that my profile picture has been the subject of a few comments?

NOPE 'cos no-one here knows about the blog - it was pure intuition/coincidence or just good PR. I was too stunned to take a piccie of the lovely table but Len did whip out his camera and take this photo:
Sometimes things that happen do leave me with the shivers - and this was one such time :)

It's 'write up the Playground day' here and the gates re-open at midnight UK time :)


Friday 18 October 2013

Barbie fest

Yesterday our eldest Grand daughter Mia was six years old :) Wahoo, how did that happen so soon?

Both she and her little sister Olivia (Livi), who has a Birthday not long after Mia's, absolutely adore Barbie in any way, shape or form. I'm sure they'll grow out of it but for this Birthday I made their cards based on Barbie images:

I used:

- 6" x 6" scalloped square white card blanks

- plainish backing papers from Prima's 'Firefly' paper stack

- now the Barbie images. I found a website offering free Barbie screensavers and managed to copy and tweak a couple of sample images. It just shows what can be found if you search hard enough. These were backed with snippets of toning card at a jaunty angle, die cut using a Nesties scalloped rectangular die

- all the letters and numbers were die cut using Britannia dies - am still unhappy with those individual letters but did trim some of the swirls down - the V looked like the letter N and for goodness sakes, who leaves the letter A hanging in the air at the right hand side? But that how it was - I cut it twice in disbelief. Better designed single letter dies are now on my Christmas wish list :)

- and as little girls like all things sparkly, and Mia and Livi are no exception, I added lots of sparkly stickers bought from Accessorize many moons ago

The cards also had another meaning as Mia's Birthday gift from us is Barbie and her horse and Livi's is the winged horse and chariot.

So far so good - but these had to go all the way to Germany and the parcels, although quite light were mahooooosive. Len reckoned that the box containing Livi's gift was almost as big as she is. After checking Parcel Post rates online I went and lay down in a darkened room - Livi's parcel alone was going to cost UK £54 to send  - sheesh! I could almost have hopped on a cheap flight and taken it in person.

But, after more online searching I found a much better option - Interparcel Limited to the rescue. Both parcels went for almost half what it was going to cost for just the one, a courier (from UPS) collected them from home on the appointed day and within my requested time slot - and they arrived within a few days. Result!

Hope you had a Happy Birthday Mia!


Wednesday 16 October 2013

Butterfly whisper and chocolate cake

Sitting in the craft room the other week, I spied a snippet of pink 'spider's web' in pink, grabbed another little piece of black 'spider's web' and this was born:
I used:

- 5" x 6" white linen card blank - a funny size but this card might well need a box anyhow

- black and pink 'spider's web' ribbon

- a lovely pink gauze jewelled butterfly embellishment, bought years ago - possibly from Lakeland Limited when they sold card making goodies

- sentiment by Hero Arts called 'Handwritten Happy Birthday' - very bravely  (for me) stamped in black Ranger Archival Ink without the aid of a safety net stamp positioner, once the card was almost finished

- a little mix of black pearls and pink gems at two corners plus one little pink one over the letter 'i'

Quite quick and easy, once I backed the inside of the front of the card to hide where the 'spider's web' ribbon was stuck down :)

Len had a lovely Birthday and thanks you all for your kind wishes. At 4pm yesterday this was brought to our room:
A delicious chocolate cake - which took the two-legged mouse completely by surprise. In fact it took me by surprise too when the Guest Relations Manager got me to one side at breakfast, said that they knew it was Len's birthday from his passport registration and what would be a good time to deliver a little Birthday cake to the room for him. Yummy!! And what a lovely and totally unsolicited gesture :) Another big tick in the box.


Monday 14 October 2013

Would you like a little trip out?

Today we tootled off to Nathon, a place I like much more than Chaweng on Koh Samui. We're staying at Bophut, which has lots of shops but not the variety you find in Nathon. Chaweng deserves a visit for sure but it's much more touristy as well as more expensive.

We left the hotel mid-morning after waving goobye to these little guys:
They're the most common bird here, called Nok Kaews (pronounced Knock You's) - very cheeky and amusing to watch. I guess they're close to our own blackbirds in the UK.

We wandered along the road in front of the hotel:
And then came across another very common sight here - 'Spirit Houses'.
The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits which could cause problems for the people if not appeased. The shrines often include images of people and animals and offerings are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. More elaborate installations include an altar for this purpose. You'll find them all over South East Asia and I truly would love one for home - but no way would the luggage allowance cope :(

We then went into Nathon and spotted this building up a side street, not sure if it's some sort of temple, not one I'm familiar with as Thai 'Wats' are much less scarey:
Then we had a good couple of hours wandering and bartering before doing as one should do when it's very hot and sticky:
Len, bless him, with an ice cold beer. He's a terror, always puts on a silly smiles for photos and I was threatening him at the time!
Yours truly complete with the 'lampshade' as Mary Mac called it :) And not a single slick of makeup - it's so hot it just slides off!

And what did we buy? Clothes mainly - these are a couple of dresses for me as I travelled very light 'cos all the shops at home already have their Winter stuff in now and Dumbo wasn't as well prepared as she thought :(
Jazzy huh? Swingy, light and very cool - ticks all the boxes.

That's it for today - tomorrow (15th) is Lens' Birthday so I need to wrap the gift I dragged all the way from the UK and write his card before we shower and go for an evening meal. It's a hard life, but someone has to do it :)