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Friday, October 11, 2019

Photos from my travels...

This post is photo-heavy, so if you're not into looking at vacation photos, you may want to just move on.

We left for New York City on August 29, arriving there early enough to get to our room and then find our way to Chelsea (a neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan) where we attended our granddaughter's play, which she wrote and directed. Her play had been selected to be part of a city-wide arts festival. The play was wonderful and we were so proud of her accomplishment!  We also attended "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway with Jeff Daniels playing the part of Atticus Finch. It was an amazing production!

While in NYC, we toured Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We learned lots of interesting facts about immigration to the U.S. and how it helped build this nation into what it is today.

From NYC we headed to Heidelberg, Germany. We spent just one night there and then boarded a train to Paris.


 This is a spice stand in a market in Paris. Aren't those spices beautiful? I was tempted to buy some, but I eventually talked myself out of it when I realized I had a month of traveling ahead of me and only so much room in my luggage.


This, of course, is the Eiffel Tower. It really is an amazing structure!


And a view of Paris and the River Seine from the top of the Eiffel Tower.


One of the fun ideas that the French have put into practice regarding the Eiffel Tower is to illuminate thousands of twinkling lights every evening from 10:00 - 10:05 pm and 11:00 - 11:05 pm. We were fortunate enough to see this happen twice, and it's actually really uplifting. When that huge tower twinkles, you just feel like all is right with the world!

I know this picture doesn't do it justice AT ALL, but I was just too excited to hit the "video" button on my phone. All I could manage was a blurry photo. Click HERE for a short video I found on YouTube that will give you an idea of what I am talking about.















We visited Sainte-Chapelle where the stained glass windows took our breath away. They are so numerous and so incredibly beautiful. There simply are no words to adequately describe them.

While in Paris we also visited the Rodin Museum, the Louvre, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the Arch de Triomphe, the Montmarte neighborhood and other sites too numerous to mention.


After Paris, we headed back to Heidelberg where we spent a few days with family. Then we hopped onto a train and headed for Prague, Czech Republic. The photo above is of the Old Town Square where some of the buildings were constructed in the 14th century. I'm not sure why there was a Polar Bear milling about, but it certainly added to the festive atmosphere.


Also adding to the festive atmosphere were the street performers. This guy was incredible. He did a long routine on this hoop, never touching the ground with any part of his body. I don't know how he managed it, but I think the muscles you see rippling in his back had something to do with it.

We visited many parts of Prague, including the Jewish Quarter (visiting the oldest Synagogue and the cemetery there), the Charles Bridge, the John Lennon Wall, the Communist Museum and Wenceslas Square, to name a few.

From Prague, we once again hopped on a train to Krakow, Poland. On my bucket list was a visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camp Memorial sites. These are the most notorious WWII camps where more than a million people were put to death.


I know you cannot see the wrought-iron words that stretch across the entrance to Auschwitz, but it says, "Arbeit macht frei." This translates to "Work makes you free." Of course, we all know now that was just a ruse to calm the fears of those who entered here. My heart was so heavy during this tour, but it was something I felt I needed to experience.


This is the "street" that separated the women's barracks from the men's at Birkenau. The only reason the barracks were made of brick is that this was originally an army base in Poland, which was taken over by Hitler to use as a concentration camp.

We also visited the Jewish Quarter and Oskar Schindler's factory in Krakow where he saved the lives of more than 1,000 concentration camp prisoners. This was a much more uplifting museum experience.

We LOVED Krakow, by the way, and would highly recommend that you visit this charming city if ever you are in Poland. The old buildings are still intact (it was not bombed during WWII), the people are friendly and it's still affordable.


The night before we left Krakow, we found a crocheted butterfly ornament and a hand-written note on the doorknob of our room. The note says, "Dear guests, Crochet ornaments are typical for old Krakow and Poland itself. Our grandmothers used to decorate their houses with them, creating a warm atmosphere and a place we still go back to in our memories. Thank you for choosing Tango House and giving us the opportunity to meet such wonderful guests like yourselves. We hope this little gift will remind you of your time in Krakow and will make you want to come back to this charming city which we are privileged to call our home. Tango House Team"

That little gift and kind note brought tears to my eyes!


After Krakow, we once again boarded a train and headed to Vienna, Austria. We saw so many wonderful things in Vienna. The city is old, beautiful and filled with history. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we started each day by heading there. We toured the Hofburg and Schönbrunn Palaces, watched the Lipizzaner horses practicing at the Spanish Riding School, attended a string quartet/organ concert in a very old and beautiful church and also toured the famous Vienna Opera House.


This is a photo of the ceiling in one of the salons at the Opera House. It was so beautiful!

One of the neat things that the Opera House does is, once a month, they project a live performance on a screen outside the building so that all Viennese and visitors can enjoy whatever happens to be performed on stage that evening. We were able to watch a live ballet on the screen on the very same day we had toured the building. What a treat!

When our time in Vienna was up, we headed back to Heidelberg for a few days and then home. It was such a memorable trip. I just wish I had a video tape of everything we saw and experienced so that I wouldn't forget a single moment.

Thank you for bearing with me through this litany of our adventures. And please remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.
Cheryl

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

First Halloween card of 2019...


After returning home from a month in Europe (I'll share some photos in another post), I finally had some time to get started on my Halloween cards.

My sister let me use her multi-aperture frame die to cut a few frames when I visited her last summer. I cut one in purple and several in white. I kept all of the aperture cut-outs to use, so on this card I took some of the white ones and colored them with my alcohol markers.



I used an assortment of die-cuts, stickers, sequins and a spider web border punch to decorate my card.  I also added some sparkle to my witch hat and dress and to the spider's body with a Wink of Stella pen. Can you also see that I added a little bit of definition to the witch's broom with a white colored pencil?


I used several stamps on the inside of my card, popping up the "Happy Halloween."




















I think you can see in the photo on the right how the "Happy Halloween" is on foam squares.

It has taken more than a week for me to sort of get back into the groove of crafting.  There has been lots of catching up to do--laundry, grocery shopping, yard work, etc.

I've also had some catching up to do at the thrift shop where I volunteer, but I think I am beginning to get things under control.

I hope you are have a beautiful autumn (or spring, depending on where you are). Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Cheryl

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Let's Craft and Create Challenge #152: Colors of Fall...

Oh, those rich colors of Fall: red, yellow, orange and brown. Use some or all of these colors on your next entry in Let's Craft and Create's October challenge.

I decided to pull out my Brushos and have a little play with them to create some CS in just the right colors. I lightly sprayed a full sheet of watercolor paper with some water and then sprinkled on red, yellow, orange and brown Brusho crystals. To get them to spread their rich tones, I sprayed a bit more water. Then came the hard part--waiting for my paper to dry!

Here's the card that resulted:


To create this card, I first created and printed the sentiment with my computer. Then I used a variety of dies to cut my leaves, vines and acorns from different areas of my Brusho paper.


I added some gold Perfect Pearls to the tops of my acorns, burnishing it well with my fingers. It adds such a nice sheen! Finally, I added a few fall-colored sequins and my card front was done.


The inside of my card is quite simple with another computer-generated sentiment.

This card was fun to make. Well, mostly it was fun to play with those Brushos. I just love seeing the way the crystals blossom into such intense colors on the paper.

Now it's your turn. Pull out some paper, paints, markers, ink crystals or other supplies in some gorgeous Fall colors and have a little play. I can't wait to see what you'll post on Let's Craft and Create.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.
Cheryl

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Reworked birthday card...

This card was either one that my sister gave me from the stack of supplies she bought from a former cardmaker or it came from the thrift store. I'm not sure which, as I got some half-finished cards from both sources.


I was able to salvage most of this card--even the card base. I simply added a few sequins and some Wink of Stella to "It's Your Day."


I liked the way the banners were at different heights. It gave the front of the card lots of dimension.


















Here you can see the Wink of Stella on the sentiment phrase.
















The inside of the card was blank, so I needed to finish it off.  To mirror the polka-dotted scalloped border on the front of the card, I cut some scalloped borders to edge my sentiment panel. The sentiment is a Woodware stamp.

The red, white and black color combo on this card makes it very dramatic. I'll have to find just the right person to give this one to!

Do you ever remake cards--either your own or cards from others? Do you enjoy it as much as making them from scratch?

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.
Cheryl


Friday, September 27, 2019

Super simple Christmas card...


This card was so simply designed and so quick to make, it was almost sinful! Especially given the glittery goodness of it.

I cut my panel of gray/white glitter CS to fit my dark gray card base. Then I used an unbranded die to cut out the little forest scene.

I cut the "Merry Christmas" three times and glued them in a stack before adhering them to the card front. The only other embellishment was the line of  clear gems. Easy, peasy!


On the inside I heat-embossed a sentiment with silver embossing powder on a white panel.

I think this card has a masculine feel to it, even with all the glitter. What do you think?

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.
Cheryl


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thanksgiving cards in fall colors...


I cut this unbranded tree die and the leaves out of some Brusho-colored watercolor paper.  After creating a "field" of DSP on my sentiment panel, I adhered my tree and the leaves that had obviously fallen from it. lol

My sentiment was created on the computer. It takes me such a long time to decide on what fonts I want to use when I do this. I'm almost as slow at doing this as I am at picking out the DSP I want to use. Sheesh! I wish I was a little more decisive when it comes to cardmaking!


Here's another card with a leafy branch (also unbranded) and a few Nuvo Drops dotted around it. When I went to find something to add some interest to the bottom of my card, I ran across the embossed sticker type paper ribbon. Isn't it pretty? I need to keep it out so I remember to use it on other cards.


The insides of both cards are simply a computer-generated sentiment panel.

 As you read this, I am still traveling but will be home soon. I hope I'll have a few good stories to share with you. I usually keep a journal when we travel, so IF (and that's a big IF) I keep up with my journaling, I should have a written record to draw from.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.
Cheryl


Friday, September 20, 2019

Mother's Day in September?

Well, not exactly. I made these cards last Spring and have never shared them.


These two cards were made to be sold at the thrift store where I volunteer. The store had actually given me a few pre-made card blanks, and these were two of them.

I added the Spellbinders oval, the little butterflies (Recollections punch) and the little berry branch (unbranded). The letters for "MOM" are from an unbranded set, as well. I put Nuvo Drops on all the tips of the branches.


Here's how the cards open up. I left the blank space for the giver to write a note and sign their name, without it being seen when the card is closed.

I find that making cards for the thrift store to sell is a lot of fun. I'm not so invested in personalizing them, so they come together more quickly. I also feel more relaxed in picking out the embellishments. I recommend finding somewhere you can donate a few cards for a good cause.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.
Cheryl