Wednesday 30 November 2011

We've got snow .....


.... we woke up this morning to snow - about 2" of the stuff covering the rooftops, the cars, the sidewalks and verges; but the roads were reasonably clear!  And, boy, was it cold!!!  Temperatures of 32F (0C) but taking into account the wind chill factor it felt more like 26F (-3C).  Having spent most of yesterday in our room, I decided that we would go for a walk this morning.  A beautiful dry, sunny, clear, crisp and cold winter morning - just fabulous.  Kathryn was wrapped up nice and warm, in my scarf, and had fun playing in the snow.  She was going to make a snow angel, but settled on running in the snow and throwing snowballs at me!!

After our walk Kathryn decided that she wanted to go to the pool, so it was back to the hotel and to the pool.  Kath had such fun - I enjoyed watching her!!!

And now I have another card to share with you - I've made another for this week's Less is More - LIM43 where Mandi and Chrissie would like us to Bling it up!!!  Obviously, I don't have much in the way of crafting goodies here with me, but I was able to play with my new stash and I've made a Christmas card for this year's collection. 

I stamped the two large circles onto some scrap white card and carefully cut them out (wish I'd had my punches here) and attached them to the card with dimensional tape.  Then I stamped a few more snowflakes onto the card base.  I coloured a couple of the stamped images and added chunky glitter to others.  I got these lovely turquoise jewel flourishes in Jo-Ann (I may have to go back and get some more) and added some behind the sentiment stamp.  A simple Christmas card.  I took a close-up of the stamped images so that you can see the sparkle from the glitter!

Stamps:  Fiskars - Winter Wonderland
Inks:  Memento - Tuxedo Black; Memento Pens - Summer Sky, Bahama Blue
Accessories:  Heidi Grace - Aqua Rhinestone Stickers; Martha Stewart - Crystal (coarse glitter), white card

Kathryn and I are going to have a quiet afternoon, may be try to nap, as this evening we're all going into Downtown Detroit to see the hockey match.  Detroit Red Wings are playing Tampa Bay Lightening at Joe Louis Stadium.  Now, we have watched some ice-hockey matches in Deeside, but I think this is going to be rather different :)))))  We're really looking forward to it.

Before I go, I must say hello and welcome to Arielle Gordon who has become my latest follower - so pleased that you've decided to join me.  And that's all for now.  Do drop by tomorrow for the start of the new St Luke's Charity Card Challenge - it's a goodie!!  See you.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

It's raining, it's pouring .....

... the old man is snoring - well that's how the nursery rhyme goes, and it's a perfect description of the weather here in Novi.  It started raining yesterday evening and hasn't stopped since!!! 

Last night we walked over to Bar Louie at Twelve Mile Crossing @ Fountain Walk.  It was wet and cold, and I wished I had an umbrella.  However, it was worth the walk - dinner was delicious. 

And today we woke to yet more rain and the forecast is for the rain to continue all day and for snow to start falling this evening.  There are currently flood watches out in parts of the Michigan area and then this evening this becomes a storm forecast for the snow, with about 1" - 2" of snow to settle.  But it looks like it'll be reasonably clear tomorrow.  So we get to experience the start of a Michigan winter, but we'll be back in the UK before winter arrives in force :)

We decided to stay indoors today and Kathryn has spent the morning in the swimming pool. It's not huge, but it's big enough for Kath, especially as she's on her own.  Kathryn had lots of fun - swimming up and down and playing too - she tried to do handstands!!  And then she sat in the hot pool and really enjoyed that - mind you should have seen her face when she went back in the pool!!!!

So Kathryn had lots of fun this morning and this afternoon I think she's going to play with her new Monster High Doll and read her books.  Oh yes, she'll probably watch some TV too.

This week the Less is More - LIM43 challenge is to use:

A bit of

I didn't think I'd be able to join in with any challenges while in the US, but yesterday's shopping trip has meant that I can play.  Yippee!!!   I started with a plain white card blank and used my new peacock feather stamp which I coloured with two shades of Memento pen (yes!!!)  and stamped directly onto the card.  Next I used the darker of the two colours to ink up a simple sentiment.  As I didn't have my stamp-a-ma-jig I had to position the sentiment by eye - it's pretty good.  To comply with the challenge requirements I added a few gems.  That's it - a clean and simple sympathy card to add to my stash when I get home.

Stamps:  Stampendous - Peacock Feather; Inkadinkadoo - sentiment
Inks:  Memento Markers - Paris Dusk, Bahama Blue
Accessories:  Mambi Stones - Blues/greens, Card blank

That's all for now.  I'm off to get us some lunch and let Kathryn have a play on the laptop.  I hope to be able to check out the rest of the submissions to Less is More later this week.  See you soon.

CAS-ual Fridays .....

.... this is another in my series of scheduled posts.  The card I'm sharing was made for the current CAS-ual Fridays - CFC29 challenge, and because last week was Thanksgiving, the challenge is running for two weeks.

I like this sketch - there are so many possibilities.  I've gone for a very simple look on my card.  I've used two types of Coredination card - Gemstone card and Whitewash card - both have the same base colour.  I used the Gemstone card to make a mat and then cut a smaller piece of the Whitewash card.  I found a lovely damask style embossing folder and used this on the Whitewash card - it looks like velvet flocked paper!  I added a very simple sentiment.  This is a birthday card for my stash.

Stamps:  Penny Black - Sentiments
Inks:  Stazon - Jet Black
Cuttlebug:  Textile Texture Folder
Accessories:  Coredinations card - Gemstone and Whitewash

That's all for now.  Do check back on 1st December - I've a post scheduled for the start of the December St Luke's Charity Card Challenge - it's a lovely one!!!  See you soon.

Monday 28 November 2011

Local towns .....

 Warning - this is a photo heavy post!!

.... it's been a really fun holiday weekend here in Novi.  We've been incredibly lucky with the weather here - it's much warmer than normal and I think everyone has been enjoying it.  On Thursday we drove around looking at various locations that we might like to live, and decided that we should go back on Saturday to see what they're like when open.

Saturday - our first stop today was Barnes & Noble Livonia at Haggerty Road.  Jonathan is back at work today and I needed to get some books, and craft magazines, to last me the week.  Originally I had planned to hire a car so that Kathryn and I could get about this week, but I left my licence at home!!! Doh!  So, we had a great time checking out the books; I got a couple of books plus several crafting magazines.

Then we headed back towards Plymouth.  It really is a very pretty town and there are lots of shops in the town centre.  The people we spoke to were really friendly and Jonathan was even recognised in the Cozy Cafe (a place that could become a firm favourite) when we stopped for pie and coffee!!  We also took the opportunity to have a look at some of the residential areas around Plymouth - and we really like it. 

Next we headed towards Northville; we took a bit of a scenic route, but the road system is reasonably easy to negotiate and we got there safely.  We found another really friendly town, and another place that I think we could happily settle.  I think Northville is a bit bigger than Plymouth - there are certainly a few more shops in the centre.  We spent a good hour or more walking around the shops and taking photos.  Here are a few photos of Northville.

These ladies were out carol singing and were kind enough to allow us to take their photo, of course we had to have Kathryn in the picture too.  The ladies were both so kind, and one told us that her Mum originally came from New Malden in Surrey! 

In front of one of the coffee shops we found these fab teddies sitting in chairs out the front!  I couldn't resist a picture!!

As we walked around the town we came across the sign above - the place didn't look open and I was read to walk on, but Jonathan walked up to the door and said, "It's open!"  and we went in.  It's a fantastic craft shop full of wonderful goodies, I actually squealed when I walked in :)  It's really big and has such a lot of wonderful products, I could have spent a fortune.  So you will be amazed to learn that I walked out without buying another.  Really!!!  But hopefully in the New Year it will become my local craft shop, not that I base the decision on where we live on the availability of craft shops ;))))))))

One thing that I have noticed, is that parking is free in most of the towns.  And when we returned to our car we saw this mural on the back wall of the local theatre.

Sunday - today was going to be another day out, but Jonathan had done so much driving and we've been really busy, that we decided to have a quiet day.  And the weather helped with the decision.  It was much colder and really, really wet!  We went over the road to Emagine - the cinema opposite Jonathan's hotel.  It has 18 screens and is huge!  We settled on Hugo - a really lovely film set in the 1930s about an orphan, Hugo, who lives in the walls of a railway station and winds the clocks.  Hugo is also restoring an automaton which has a mystery attached.  It's a really beautiful family film - we had a great time.  After a super dinner in the local Mexican restaurant we headed back to the hotel.

And that brings me up to date.  At the time of writing this post it is 8.45am, Jonathan has gone to work.  Kathryn and I will be going to the local Mall(s) - they are close enough to walk - which is good.  Kathryn wants to visit Toys 'R' Us and I want to pop into Michael's (again).  I think that it's best we do the walk over today as it's dry and sunny, but cold.  And the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday is RAIN!!  Lots of it, with the possibility of some snow showers. 

I'm really enjoying being here and think that we could be very happy living here too.  Hopefully we find out soon about our move!  That's all for now.

Sending birthday greetings ....

... hi all - this is another of my scheduled posts.  I'm sharing another birthday card made using the layout from the current Clean & Simple Stamping - FTL167 and colours from a previous CR84FN challenge - the bright, zingy colours from CR84FN34.

This birthday card is for Anne - another of the St Luke's Design Team.  Anne - Happy Birthday - have a super day!!   It's really weird - all our birthdays are in November/December and June!!  It's been so dull and grey, that I had to make a bright, cheerful card (that's why I went back to these lovely CR84FN colours).

I started off by stamping the single agapanthus flower randomly on the base card.  I used my nestie to cut the base mat in pale yellow pearly card, and I threaded pink and yellow ribbon through the holes - I like this effect.  The agapanthus cluster was stamped in deep pink onto plain white card, and I used the out-of-the box technique to cut it out with my circle nestie, and then attached it to the yellow mat.  I stamped the Flowerfly onto white card and painted with my aqua brush, adding some sparkle once I'd cut it out.  Before attaching the butterfly, I made some pink wire antennae!  Finally, I stamped the sentiment onto plain card and used a Fancy Tag to cut it out, added a bit colour to define the label. 

Stamps:  Stampendous - Agapanthus Bloom, Agapanthus Cluster, Flowerfly; Docrafts - Whisper Words
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Melon Mambo, Pretty in Pink, Daffodil Delight, Pink Pirouette
Spellbinders:  Beaded Circles (S4-292) #4, Standard Circles Sm (S4-116) #6, Fancy Tags Two (S5-030)
Accessories:  Ribbon, card and wire from stash

That's all for now.  See you soon.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Be good .....

... another of my scheduled posts, while I'm visiting Detroit.  At the time of writing the forecast for today is a temperature of 8°C (average 5°C) with a good chance of rain - but who knows what it's actually going to be like!!!

It's week two of the CR84FN43 challenge with our lovely colours of green, tan and brown.  I really like these rich colours.  The inspiration photos are courtesy of Beccarillo Photography.

This time I've made a Christmas card - still working towards that 150 cards that I need!  I started off with the big Santa image from Around Christmas time.  I stamped it, cut it out with my nesties and then coloured it.  I used Promarkers fro the hat, a Sakura stardust pen for the bell, glitter for the hat trim and flock for the beard!  It was such fun and I ended up covered in glitter and flock.  I cut some mats in brown, tan and dark green.  Before attaching to the card base I stamped some pine cones in Versamark, heat embossed with clear powder to give a tone-on-tone look.  I attached the coloured Santa image to a mat cut from the pearly tan card.  Finally I added a couple of pine cones that I'd stamped onto the brown card.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Around Christmastime, Festive Foliage
Inks:  Memento - Tuxedo Black; Versamark
Spellbinders:  Pinking Circles Lg (S4-170) # 5, Standard Circles Lg (S4-114) #5
Promarkers:  Lush Green, Emerald
Accessories:  Glitter, Sakura Stardust Pen, Flock and card from stash

For more inspiration - check out the CR84FN blog to see what Mackie, our Guest Designer and the rest of the team have for you. 

That's all for now.  Catch you soon.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Having such fun ....

warning - photo heavy post!!!

...  here in Novi, Michigan.  On Thursday I said that it was cold - well it was then, but now it's quite warm.  The TV weather guys are so pleased to let us know that we are experiencing unusually warm, dry and sunny weather.  And today it's been wonderful - 15C, light winds and sun - so warm that Kathryn ended up taking off her winter coat!!  So a quick update on what we've been up to.

Thursday - Thanksgiving - was quite cold and rather grey.  As it was a holiday we decided to simply drive around the area to get a feeling for different places.  Much to our surprise (and pleasure) we found that Starbucks had decided to open, so we were able to stop for regular hot coffee!!  We drove around Walled Lake which is really pretty.  Then we followed the road and ended up in Birmingham where we stopped for coffee and took some photos.  Then it was back to the car and looking around, we stopped in Ferndale where I saw a super little shop called The Twisted Shamrock but obviously we weren't able to go in.

Then it was back into the car and this time we headed to Plymouth, an area that Jonathan had already seen and liked; he was right - it's a lovely town and one where I think we could be happy living.  Plymouth has a small town feel with a proper town centre!!

These Christmas trees are in Kellogg Park, Plymouth - and the ones above have all been decorated to remember people who have died.  They are really lovely - with photos of the people who've passed on and messages from their families and friends.  It's a lovely way to remember people.

Friday - today we headed into downtown Detroit.  Jonathan followed the sat-nav instructions and we arrived in the cultural area in good time.  The roads were much busier than yesterday.  And the weather was much better today too - bright blue skies, brilliant sunshine and light winds.  Just gorgeous.

Detroit is an amazing mixture of stunningly gorgeous 1920s/1930s buildings, brand new buildings and buildings left to fall into ruin.  The theatres are great and at some point I'd love to visit them.  We walked along Woodward and saw the remnants of the Thanksgiving Day parade being cleared up and then we reached the river front and saw the magnificent GM building.  We walked up and down the riverfront and took lots of photos - across the river we could see, and hear, Windsor (a Canadian city).  Another place to visit in due course.  We walked for ages.  It was lovely.

Instead of returning on the Interstate, we came back to Novi on the Grand River Road - a diagonal road straight from the centre of Detroit through some of the poorer areas, out to Novi.  We saw quite a lot of very deprived areas and some really lovely places too.

When we got back to Novi, we found that some of the stores were actually opening on Thanksgiving - something I really didn't expect.  I was delighted to find out that Michael's opened at 4.00pm and so we all went over.  I was like a kid in a sweet shop!!!!!  I could have spent a small fortune, but I was really restrained and only got a few bits - Spellbinder dies, cuttlebug folders and some Martha Stewart glitters - I did quite well.  But I want to go back later this week.

That's all for now.  Jonathan and Kathryn both want to get on the computer, so I'd better come to a close now.  Don't forget to drop back soon - it's time for the new challenge at CR84FN.  See you soon.

Friday 25 November 2011

Butterfly birthday ....

... this is a scheduled post, sharing a card for the current Ribbon Reel - RR15 challenge.  The theme is to use butterflies on your card - as well as the colours from the inspiration photo and, of course, a ribbon or lace.

This is a birthday card for a fellow member of the St Luke's Design Team - I've made this one for Lynne - it's her birthday today!  Lynne - have a very Happy Birthday - and all the best for the coming year.

In my stash of slightly neglected stamps, I found this gorgeous Butterfly collage and used that as the basis for the card.  I stamped it in Versamark and heat embossed with clear powder, then I added several shades (taken from the inspiration photo) blending them carefully.  I stamped the image again in black Versafine, embossed  and then cut out the two butterflies.  I coloured them both with Distress inks.  I removed the embossing powder from the main image by ironing it between sheets of paper and then used my nesties to cut a rectangle.  The backing mat was cut from some lovely old gold linen finish card.  I attached the lace and ribbon to the card and added the main image and birthday greeting, but it still needed something.  So I stamped another butterfly onto some vellum, heat embossed the image and then coloured it in on the reverse using Prismacolour pencils - I echoed the colours from the butterflies in the main image.

Stamps:  Inkadinkadoo - Butterfly Collage; Waltzingmouse - Say It Loud, Say It Loud -Winter; Butterfly stamp (don't know company)
Inks:  Distress - Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Tumbled Glass, Broken China; Memento - Tuxedo Black; Stampin' Up! - Tempting Turquoise
Spellbinders: Fleur de Lis Rectangles (S4-317) #4, Rectangles Lg (S4-132) ~5
Accessories:  Prismacolour Pencils, lace, ribbon, embossing powder and card from stash

Above is a close of the main image and the pretty vellum butterfly!

Today is known as "Black Friday" in the US - don't know why they call it that - but it's a day of sales and shopping.  I'm not sure whether we'll be getting to the shops today - Jonathan's not keen on sales - but I'm hoping to get to a Michael's store and get some crafty stash to bring home. 

That's all for now.  I have a post scheduled for Sunday - my latest card for CR84FN43.  See you soon.

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