My Stamping Corner

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Glory of Fall!

Hello to my stamping friends out there in blog land!  It's been a long, fun summer with little or no stamping going on in this house. We've been busy with the four grandchildren that live nearby and having so much fun with all of them! :) 

My husband and I just got back from a long weekend in northern Michigan witnessing the glorious colors of Fall.  It was breathtakingly beautiful!  Below are some photos of our 'color tour'......

I took far too many photos! Even with all of the rain and grey skies we endured over these four days, we still got some gorgeous sunny moments and breathtaking views. 

The one below is from the balcony of our hotel room. We've stayed at this Holiday Inn Express in Petoskey before and knew that the 'valley view' had a potential for being super - it did not dissapoint us!! 

Before we left for this little mini vacation, I even ventured into my stamping area to make a birthday card for my dear friend and neighbor. I'm still having difficulty putting a card together for some strange reason, but I think this one turned out okay.  What do you think?

I used a new Memory Box die - Honeyblossom Sprig along with the Spellbinders Labels Twenty. I am totally in LOVE with the MB dies!! I just recently discovered them and have to really restrain myself when 'window shopping' at all the GORGEOUS dies available! There are so many of them and each one presents a new possibilitiy. Don't get me wrong - I still go back to my Spellbinders dies for most every card I make though.

The basic card was started using Kraft cardstock then a sort of dark bronze cardstock that came in some assortment from SU! from the past. the paper is from Basic Grey: Oxford Collection-Lacrosse.  The border die is Martha Stewart - Doily Lace Edge punch. I used Tim Holtz's Antique Linen Distress Ink to shade around the edges of the dies. The sentiment is from another old SU! set (I use this particular stamp a lot!) and the paper is SU! Very Vanilla. Added a little Stickles Gold and some gold Swarovski jewels, and finished off with some ribbon from my stash!

Well, that's it for now and with any luck I'll be back again soon to show you another card.

If you're in a place that has changing seasons, I hope you enjoy this beautiful Fall weather and the glorious colors of Autumn!!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

No stamping, but a trip to Italy!

Hello again!! I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything. I haven't done any stamping, scrapping, card making, sewing or anything crafty in months. Every now and then I think about doing a card, but it's been so long now that I'm not even sure I can remember how to color with my Copics! I've even had the dreaded thought of getting rid of everything (eek!!). Yeah....I squelched that idea pretty quick. I will get back to it eventually.

In the meantime though, I have been keeping busy in other ways! I babysit for my 15 month old grandson - two to three days a week. He's so curious, so much fun and at that age where he wants your attention all the time - really keeps me busy!!  Both my husband and I just adore him and treasure the fact that we're able to spend so much time with him and create such a great bond! And of course ocassionally we also have the other three grandkids too (12, 10 and 7) - we call them "the big 3"!!  We are so blessed to have all of our children and most of our grandchildren living nearby. Our oldest grandaughter (who is 25 now!!) lives in Chicago now. We aren't close in proximity, but we're close in heart and talk to her often. 
We also just had a two-week vacation recently to ITALY!  It was sooooo wonderful. We've talked about doing a trip like this for so many years.....we finally decided we better do it before we CAN'T anymore!  It took a lot of pre-planning with my husband doing a lot of on-line research. We spent the first week on our own - we rented a car and drove the Amalfi coast, stopping when the mood hit us and staying in small towns along the coast. It was just spectacular in every way!! It's hard to put into words the beauty of our surroundings and the serenity that I felt while on this part of our trip. The photo below might give you some idea of some of the glorious views we saw all along the coast. Views like this one were frequent!

One of many spectacular views along the Amalfi coast!

View from our hotel room in Positano

One of our stops along the way was a town called Positano. It is more or less a "vertical" town with winding roads and steep seemingly endless steps. It is believed that the town was founded in the 9th century. Sumptuous villas, watchtowers, steep winding roads, the Mediterranean architecture, and one of the largest beaches along the Amalfi coast bring tourists to this wonderful spot! Apparently, from what I've read since being there, artists and celebrities from around the world chose this spot as their preferred holiday spot since early in the 20th century. I can see why. It is glorious!!

Gardens of our hotel
We also spent a couple of days in Sorrento. What a surprise this place was to us! Sorrento overlooks the Bay of Naples and is an extremely popular tourist spot. Within the bustle of this town, we discovered the Antiche Mura Hotel - a positive OASIS in this busy little town! With the best location, only a block from the Piazza Tasso in the center of town, it felt more like you were in a secluded garden resort. Lovely, clean, large, quiet rooms and service to match made this a wonderful retreat! Sorrento offered lots of shopping and tourist attractions plus the best food we had during our entire two week trip to Italy!

Valley of the Mills in Sorrento

Directly adjacent to our hotel was a deep ravine called "Valley of the Mills". (Once at home, I discovered more about this on the internet: The name Valley of the Mills, derives from the existence of a mill - functioning since the beginning of the '900's - used for grinding wheat. Attached to the mill, rose a sawmill which furnished chaff to the Sorrentine cabinet makers. Everything is completed by a public wash-house used by the women.) It's quite a sight to see. I read that along the old ramps cut into the rock, entering through a gulley near the Stragazzi car park and, wearing waders, one can stroll along the wild valley floor, looking at the ruins.

Our second week in Italy, we hooked up with a fully-escorted tour group. We've never done anything like that before, so we weren't sure how we would like it. It turned out to be fantastic and we were able to see and do so much more in a short period of time than we would've been able to see/do on our own! We toured historical sights and ancient ruins of Rome, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican is a "must see" if you go to Rome! We got to see Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. In Florence, we toured the Duomo Cathedral, the Accademia, and Santa Croce which house some of the greatest artistic treasures of the world. Michelangelo's statue of David (at the Accademia) was a thrill to see! Our tour guide here was so wonderful in his telling of Michelangelo, his work, his pain and struggles - you could 'feel' his passion and that of Michelangelo as well. Venice had a charm all its own: the gondolas making their way through the canals, Piazza San Marco, Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Basilica, the Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal. 

Our tour director, Nicholas, was wonderful - very informative, friendly, helpful and made us all feel very comfortable to let him handle all of the details! Our accommodations were always top-notch with great locations and service. And the guides that we had in Rome, Florence and Venice were all so unbelievably knowledgable and passionate about their country, its people, history, art and architecture.....we learned so much from them! I would definitely recommend traveling this way and will surely do it again!

Our Globus Tour Group at the Vatican

There were about 35 or 36 people in our group and we traveled by large bus between cities.Our group was made up of several couples around our own ages (that is....seniors, but still feeling like we aren't!), two younger couples, and three families - one with two teenage girls, one with a teenage girl a teenage boy and his girlfriend, and one family that consisted of the older mom and dad plus their four grown children (all there without their spouses except for the youngest one - his wife of one year came along too). Most of the people were from the U.S.- New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan. There were also a couple from Toronto, Canada; a couple from Turkey; and a family from Tokyo. A very diverse group and after a very short time together, we all became very friendly and had a lot of fun together!  By the end of the week, we hated to leave our tour group "family", and most of all we really hated to leave Italy!!

SS United States 1952
My husband and I literally have been talking about another trip to Europe for over 45 years!!  We met coming back from Europe - he was 20, I was 18. I had been in England with relatives for a couple of months; he was traveling around Europe, mostly hitch-hiking. We met on the SS United States, which was a luxury passenger liner built in 1952, during the heydey of oceanliners, for the United States Lines designed to capture the trans-Atlantic speed record. (The ship operated in transatlantic passenger service until 1969; since 1996 she has been docked at Pier 82 on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.) After a long-distance courtship (traveling back and forth between Philadelphia and Michigan!), we were married about a year and a half later!  We've taken other trips but none to Europe so this was a long time coming.

We had such a GREAT time on this trip that we're already planning another one - hopefully in two years. Now we just have to figure out where to go!! There are just so many places to see!

Hope you're having a great day!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine Candy!

Oh it really February? It continues to amaze me how quickly time goes by these days. I haven't done any stamping for much too long, but I'm confident that I WILL get my mojo back and WILL stamp again!
I just got some really cute digital images that I can't wait to color up so that should spur me on.

Prairie Fairy is giving away some yummy Valentine's Day Candy! Click here for all the details.

Okay, so....what do I love?  Yikes - there are so many! I love my husband - we've been married for 45 years and he still starts my heart! I love my children - they've grown up to be such wonderful, kind, caring and generous people - I love being around them. And my grandchildren - all of them are so special, each in their own way. I love my girlfriends - they've been so supportive over the years. I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, kissing my hubby, snuggling with him on a cold winter night, playing with my 11 month old grandson and hearing his giggles, watching my 25 year old grandaughter grow into a really nice woman on her own, a good book, coloring an image and seeing it come to life then transferring it into a special card for someone I love. I'm sure I could go on and on, but I'll end it there.

Hope to see you soon with an actual card I've made!! 

Have a wonderful week and hug someone you love!