Saturday 30 April 2011

Birthday celebrations ....

... this is a very brief note to say that we have all had a superb day.  In the morning we all walked (yes, I know that's daft in this heat) to Phoenix Shopping Mall - and I'll up date you on that later.  This is to share with you the wonderful tea that the hotel organised for Jonathan.  I had mentioned to the girls earlier in the week that Jonathan had his birthday today.  They suggested a special tea and we have been spoilt!!

We had tea in the Points of View lounge at the top of the hotel.  The views from here are simply magnificent and I'll share a few.  But I must say how wonderful all the staff have been to us - a delicious cream fruitcake and canapes - all on the house!!  We have been treated so well.

Jonathan was even given a present - so thoughtful!!  And useful - a new tie.

You don't often get a chance to see us all together - it was such a lovely birthday tea!

Just before we left the lounge we went back out onto the terrace - the sun was setting and both Jonathan and I took the opportunity to take some more photos - and I'm really pleased with my sunset over Mumbai!

And it's not over yet.  Tonight we're having dinner in the hotel - we are all going in our lovely new Indian style clothes - and with luck I'll get some more photos of us all later and will share them soon.   I can't believe how quickly our time in Mumbai has gone past - only two more full days.  And we're going to make the most of them.

That's all for now.  Don't forget that tomorrow sees the new St Luke's Charity Card Challenge and CR84FN challenge - both are really fun!!

Happy Birthday ...

... to my darling husband Jonathan.  I'm so glad that Kathryn and I have been able to come to India to spend some time with Jonathan - it means that we're able to celebrate his birthday with him today!! 

I love these wonderful banner stamps from Waltzing Mouse Stamps - so I decided to use them again for Jonathan's card - time to celebrate.  And the colour inspiration is from this week's CR84FN challenge - I do like the fresh, zingy colours!  I cut the banners by hand this time and used a zig-zag to cut the big banner!  Easy!

Stamps:  Waltzing Mouse - Vintage Banners, Bitty Banners; Hobby Arts - Happy Birthday (GR1853C)
Inks: Distress - Barn Door, Tumbled Glass
Accessories:  Cosmic Shimmer - Aqua Lagoon; Card from stash

That's all for today.  Don't forget tomorrow is the new CR84FN challenge - so check in to see what we have in store for you.

Friday 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding .....

...  I have to come clean and say that I haven't made anything special for the Royal Wedding.  Bad me :)  Truthfully, I ran out of time before we came away on holiday.  But I though I ought to just post a quick congratulations note - after all we don't get too many royal weddings - although I think there's going to be another one later this year!

Even here in Mumbai there's some interest in the wedding.  Certainly, the young ladies on reception are all very keen to watch the wedding.  And I suppose Kathryn and I will watch a bit too.

Anyway, I'd like to be part of the huge number of people to wish William and Catherine the very happiest of days and for a happy, healthy life together.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Got a cold ....

... strange as that might sound.  I started with a sore throat about four days ago, and at first it wasn't much of anything.  But yesterday I felt truly awful - and there's nothing worse than being ill away from home comforts.  And it's why I didn't post anything apart from my scheduled blog yesterday.

I had a long lie in and went for a late breakfast.  Then I did a bit of blogging and finally took Kathryn to the pool for her daily play - she had such a good time.  I spent a bit of time in the water and out in the sun, but had to give up and go back to bed for the afternoon.  I slept and Kathryn played on the Internet - thank goodness for Stardoll!!!

And today's been pretty well more of the same.  I still feel a bit rough, but I think things are improving now.  I'm sure I've got the cold because it's so hot and humid outside, yet deliciously cool inside!!!  Also air-conditioning really does make the atmosphere really dry.  Still all things being equal - I should be out and about tomorrow.  I can't believe how quickly our time here has gone by - we've only got four more full days in Mumbai.

While Kathryn was swimming today I took some photos of the views from the pool balcony.  From here we can see across to the hotel's Roof Terrace Garden - which we've not yet explored.  We did try when we first arrived, but were told that it was locked up for now.  Strange, as it's really lovely.

We can also see a new fly-over that's being built by the hotel.  Apparently it was started in 2009 but it doesn't look anywhere near finished.  It's the Lalbaug Flyover; it starts in Byculla and finishes at Bharatmata Junction - just by the hotel.  I'm told that normally these flyover projects are finished quite quickly.  I don't think the hotel will be too keen for this one to be finished - it passes by exactly at the level of the Roof Terrace Garden!!

There is a huge amount of construction taking place in Mumbai - it's amazing to see the men at work - they don't have the same safety regulations that we have in the UK.  Much of the scaffolding is made from bamboo!!!  It can be quite scary to watch!!

I'm going to have a restful afternoon reading my book - I've started another Stephen King novel - Desperation - and it's looking good.

Tomorrow I fully intend to get out of the hotel and do a bit more sight-seeing - I want to take some photos of the Victoria Terminus - another UNESCO World Heritage Site.  See you soon.

Say it with flowers ....

... that's the theme for April's challenge at St Luke's Charity Card Challenge.  This is a monthly challenge and we're coming towards the end of the month, but there's still time to play along with us so I've made another card to share with you.  For the colour inspiration I've used this week's colours from CR84FN - they're lovely.

I'm having a love affair with Cosmic Shimmer Mist sprays at the moment - I love the effect you get when you use them.  And I've used them a lot on this card.

I sprayed the base card with Aqua Lagoon for a lovely soft shimmer.   I sprayed the pearl mist onto a piece of white card and then stamped the flower image over it.  This was coloured using distress inks.  If you click on the picture you should be able to see that the shimmer effect shows through the ink.  I cut out the flowers using my new Labels 18 die.  The sentiment label was cut out using the lovely Fancy Tags dies.

Stamps:  Flowers (Dawn Bibby - I think);  Waltzing Mouse - Sweethearts
Inks:  Versafine - Onyx Black; Distress - Barn Door, Crushed Olive
Spellbinders:  Labels 18 (S4-310) # 5, Fancy Tags Two (S5-030)
Accessories:  Card adn ribbon from stash

Do take part in this challenge - you'll be supporting such a worthwhile cause, especially if you send the card you made to St Luke's for them to sell and raise funds.  If you do send your card to St Luke's, please make sure you put a stamp on the parcel and don't use the Freepost address (we were given it in error!)  Sorry for any inconvenince.   I look forward to seeing your creations.  That's all for now.  Back again soon.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Congratulations ....

.... are sent today to my Uncle who has been promoted.  I am so pleased for him that I thought he deserved a special card to let him know.

I really like the clean and simple look, and it works perfectly with this magnificent image.  It's another that I got off Microsoft clip art.  I've had it for a while but couldn't decide what to do with it.  However, I felt it was perfect for Ian.  I found a lovely piece of rainbow vellum in my stash and cut out a backing mat to coordinate with the image.  And I stamped the sentiment to match the vellum.  Simple!!

Image:  Microsoft - clip art
Stamp:  Hero Arts - "C"
Inks:  Kaleidacolour - Blue Breeze, Fresh Greens

I'm keeping this one brief.  Once again, thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog.  Bye for now.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Shopping ....

... that's what Kathryn and I have done today - to be fair most of it was window shopping!!!  We started off early - always best to be out before it gets too hot.

I took Kathryn to the cinema to see Rio (in 3D) at the local PVR cinema at High Street Phoenix.  It was so cheap - 100 Rupees each - that's about £1.50 each - and we were in an air-conditioned cinema with the most amazing soft and comfortable seats.  I highly recommend the movie - it's bright, vibrant, funny, sad and happy - typical kids' movie - but good.   The one thing that is really strange about movies in India is that we don't have trailer before the main feature starts - no!!  About halfway through the movie it suddenly stops and we have adverts and a break to get popcorn and drinks!  Different strokes :)

After the film we decided to explore High Street Phoenix - it's a huge shopping centre with lots of very expensive European designer shops - Hugo Boss, Clarins, Chanel, Burberry - to name only a few, along side other slightly less expensive shops - Lush, Hamley's, The Body Shop, M & S - and some super local shops - Fabindia, Ashmina and Eco Corner.

I went into two very exclusive Indian dress shops, I can't remember the name of one, but it was just beautiful - the most magnificent saris and dresses. The other was Satya Paul - a big designer in India - check out his website - there are some stunning saris there.  I've linked directly to the women's wear section - I could spend hours looking at them!!  In the shop was a pink jewel encrusted wedding outfit - no picture on the web as it's exclusive to the shop - and it was stunning!!   It made me wish I that I was slim and rich :)))

I went into Ashmina and got myself a beautiful navy top - for wearing over trousers.  It's most plain, but has the most wonderful jewelled and embroidered detail at the neck.  And after that I went into a local stationery shop and bought some hand-made papers for making cards - they're lovely and you'll have to wait and see what I make with them.

And this afternoon has been great - Kathryn has been in the pool messing around and I've read my book - bliss!!

Out of order ...

... I've managed to get our India adventures out of order - but it doesn't really matter.  I told you yesterday about our Saturday outing to Chor Bazaar and the Hanging Gardens.

So today I'll tell you about Good Friday, which was our 10th wedding anniversary (and I showed you the card that I made for Jonathan).  Now I happened to mention to one of the young ladies at Reception on Thursday 21st that Friday was a special day for us.  She remembered it.  And on Friday morning at breakfast we were given a super cake.  All the staff gathered round, lit a candle on the cake and wished us a very happy day - and many more happy years to come!  It was such a lovely surprise and it tasted wonderful :)

Good Friday is a Bank holiday in Mumbai (not sure about the rest of India, it seems that regions pick their own holidays), anyway, as a result, it meant that Jonathan was able to spend the day with us.  So Jonathan took us out to Bandra.

We left the hotel reasonably early and headed towards the railway station.  Jonathan thought that we'd get a better understanding and feel for India by using the train.  He was absolutely right - it's quite an experience, but it's been done now.  No need to do it again!!

After we left Bandra station we headed up some stairs to an overhead walkway.   A great idea - superb views - but mostly it meant we didn't have to try and cross the roads!!  Always a bit hairy!  Jonathan thought we were heading towards one of the main shopping roads, but we took a wrong turn and ended up a bit lost.  So we took a "put-put" - a tiny three-wheeled taxi - and decided to have a look at some churches in the area.

St Andrew's Church (left) was built in 1575 by Portuguese Jesuits - it's an amazingly beautiful church.  And, at the time of our visit, was in use for Easter services, so we were unable to go inside.  However, we were able to walk around the Church grounds and look at the graveyard.  On the gravestones the names were a mixture of Indian and Portuguese.  It was really strange.

Next we walked along the promenade.  We took a number of photos on the way.  At first the shore line was rather nice (still lots of rubbish about, but relatively tidy).  There were boats in the sea and some people were walking about on the rocks.

However, further down the walk we reached an area of slum housing (which you can see in the photo).  By this time, it also became quite obvious that the water pools were not just water.  In fact in many places they were open toilets.  I think this is the first time that we really became aware of the serious poverty here in India.  These people have nothing.  They made their homes out of what they found on the shoreline and, like the men in this photo, they bathed in the sea.  There were people washing their clothes in the sea too - and leaving them to dry on the rocks.  We all found it quite shocking.

Finally, we walked up quite a steep hill (remember it was really, really hot) to reach the magnificent Mount Mary Church (left).  Again, there had been a morning service and it looked like it was going to be busy all day.  In front of the Church are a number of stalls from which local people buy candles to burn.  The Church that stands on the site is relatively new, but there has been a church in the area for hundreds of years.

In front of the Church there is a Statue of Mary which has been housed in a special shrine.  We climbed to the top - the views from here would once have been quite spectacular and, in many ways, they still are.

Many people had already been to the Shrine and placed candles there to burn and prayed to the Statue.  The place had a calm, quiet feeling to it.

After spending some time here, we walked further into Bandra - a really lovely place.  There were many very nice apartment blocks in the area and some houses too.  Bandra has become very popular with the rich and upcoming people - apparently Bandra is the place to be seen!

On the main shopping road there were some wonderful jewellery and fashion shops, but sadly (for me) by that time we were in a taxi on our way back to the hotel.   I think Jonathan was quite pleased that we were in the taxi.  It was a fascinating visit and an eye-opening one too.  I think after this visit we are all very aware of just how lucky we are in the West.

Here's Kathryn just after we got back to the hotel.  The ladies on reception (Customer Services) are always dressed in the most gorgeous clothes.  And on Friday they were in red and looked stunning, so I had to take a photo.

That's all for now.  I think I've brought us up to date.  Yesterday was a very lazy day - spent in the hotel.  Not sure what we're going to do today - but I'll be back soon.

Monday 25 April 2011

Easter card ...

.... to share with you.  I made this for my son's Grandmother - it's quite a simple card and used one of my favourite sets - but a stamp in the set that I've not used before.

A textured cream card base onto which I mounted an orange flower mat.  I punched the border using Martha Stewart punches.  The centre piece was cut using a pendant die and the Easter egg is one of the designs from the Nestie Eggs - it's lovely.  I painted it with a pale orange to match the backing paper.  I think Ben's gran will like it.

Stamps:  Waltzing Mouse - Nestie Eggs
Spellbinders:  Nested Eggs (S4-264) #3; Fleur de Lis Pendant (S4-204)
Accessories:  Martha Stewart - Pansy Around the Page punches; H2Os - Dreamsicle; Paper and card from stash

That's all for today.  Take care.

Adventures continue ....

...  yesterday morning I told you, very briefly, that we'd been to Chor Bazaar on Saturday!  We set off quite early in the day, to try and avoid the worst of the heat and humidity.  We were dropped off in an area that is much poorer than the one we're staying in.  I know that there are some slums very near the hotel, but we don't see them too much. However, going to the market meant that we were in an area of considerable poverty.

There's an amazing and somewhat eclectic selection of goods obtainable at the Bazaar.  In one area there's furniture; in another bits of old cars - tyres, bumpers, all sorts; fabric; vegetables; spices; meat - living and dead; just about anything you could desire.  I got some fabulous shots of different types of stalls - here's a few to try and convey the sense of noise, colour and excitement.

One of the many bangle stalls on the market - so bright and cheerful!

We spent a couple of hours walking around taking photos and talking to the local people.  Some, as can be seen above, were happy for us to take their photos, but others were really not keen.  By 11.00am it was really very hot and the market smells were becoming extremely pungent!  Kathryn was beginning to find it rather difficult to cope with.  While we were approached a couple of times by people asking for money, it wasn't that common, but Kathryn didn't like it at all.  So we decided to head back to the hotel and some cool air.

After a restful time at the pool, we decided to go out again.  It was cooler and Jonathan decided he wanted to get some sunset shots over the beach.  We got a taxi to the Hanging Gardens - a park at the top of Malabar Hill.  I think the taxi driver took us by a somewhat circular route, but we got there eventually.  It's an amazing place - so much greenery in such a hot and dry place!  We had a lovely time walking around and taking photos of the flowers - some familiar like Bizzy Lizzies and other less so.

We crossed the road to Kamala Nehru Park - which is a super place where lots of people go to play.  It's very popular with families, and we spoke to lots of different people.  Many of them wanted to take photos of us (although I can't see why anyone would want a photo of me!) and they were more than happy to have us take photos of them too.  

We found the kids playground - swings, slides, climbing frames - it was such fun!!  We didn't get to the beach for Jonathan to take any photos - but we did have a super day!  After a much quicker return taxi trip to the hotel, we went out to a local restaurant, which we've nick-named "The Tornado" - the fans go at full blast, for a super tea.  A lovely vegetarian meal which was tasty, filling and reasonably cheap.

That's all for now.  It's now 10.30am (Mumbai time) and Kathryn is keen to visit the pool.  Today I've decided not to swim or sunbathe.  I'm simply going to take my book down with me and read while Kathryn swims.  I'll post again later today - with some pictures of our trip to Colaba on Sunday.

Sunday 24 April 2011

CR84FN25 ....

..... welcome to this week's colour challenge at CR84FN.  Such bright, fresh and sort of patriotic colours here - red, aqua and white.

I love these colour - they really zing!!  They're crisp, fresh and gorgeous and the pictures are courtesy of Martha Stewart.  I love the simplicity of the jelly bean bags in the inspiration photos, so decided to make a really clean and simple card this time.

The base card is pearlescent white.  I stamped the image using Versafine black ink directly onto the card, I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to make sure that it was positioned centrally, and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder.  Fortunately it worked first time!!  Embossing the image gives a slightly raised outline, which makes it a little easier to paint (and make sure the paint stays where it's meant too!).  I used Twinkling H2Os to colour the image.  I decided not to include a sentiment, as I think the card can be used for lots of different occasions - thanks, congrats, well done - I work it out when I use it!!

Stamp: Michael Powell - Pot of Hearts
Inks: Versafine - Black Onyx
H2Os:  Mediterranean Blue, Spiced Pumpkin

I got this stamp from a TV programme - can't remember whether it was Create and Craft or QVC.  It was part of a set of four stamps - based on cross stitch designs by Michael Powell - check out his site - there are some lovely designs to stitch.

Now for more inspiration - check out the Design Team's blogs:
Silke Ledlow- Guest Designer 

Have fun with these colours - I did!!  I look forward to seeing your creations soon.  And it's time to say au revoir to Silke and thanks for sharing your inspiration as our Guest Designer for April.   That's all from me too - see you soon.

Happy Easter ....

... this is going to be very brief as we're up early (it's 6.30am Mumbai time) getting ready to go out with the Mumbai Camera group.  A group of Indians who are as obsessed, sorry, that should be keen, as Jonathan to take photos!!

We've had a fantastic couple of days and I've got lots of photos and stories to share with you, but not enough time to get it up now.  So I'll do a post later today.  In the meantime two photos to show a bit of what we did yesterday.

In the morning we went to Chor Bazzar - which used to be known as the Thieves' Market.  It's in an area that has a large Muslim community, so I had to be careful about photos as most of the women and some of the men really don't like us taking photos of them.  It's now a huge food market for the local people - it was full of noise, excitement, people, colour and the most amazing array of fruit, vegetables and spices!!  Wonderful place.

In the evening (somewhat cooler than the morning) we went to what's known at the Hanging Gardens - a place where there's lots of greenery.  It was fabulous.  It also seems to be the place that locals go with their families, as there were loads of people about taking photos of the sights!  Which happened to include us!!!!  Everyone was so friendly.

And shortly we're off to Sasson Docks in Colaba (it's supposed to be the tourist part of Mumbai).  Apparently there's another lovely garden down there.  And hopefully we'll get some super photos to share with you.  And we'll be back in time for breakfast at the hotel - which finishes at 10.45am.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter!  Don't forget - we have a new CR84FN challenge starting today!!  Have fun and catch up with you all later.

Friday 22 April 2011

Anniversary ....

... today is our 10th Wedding Anniversary - the time has simply flown by and I am as happy now as I was on my Wedding day - may be even happier!!  This is not a new card, I made it for a couple of challenges in January - Butterfly wings - but as I made it for this very special occasion, I thought it was time to share it with you again.

All the details can be found on the link above.  I don't quite know what we're going to be doing today, but as I'm already in India - I think I can safely say it's going to be interesting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...