Wednesday, 25 November 2015


My cousin reached this age today and of course I made her a birthday card, which happened to coincide with Less Is More's current challenge - Numbers ....so I'm linking up again.

The figures were hand cut from card with the help of an alphabet stencil O
 and I fashioned a 4 with an L.....are you with me?
A leafy background panel was stamped and heat embossed with clear EP then the figures were mounted with sticky fixers.  Liquid Pearls and a few faux pearls were added for texture and interest.
Stamps used are by Cardio, Inkylicious, Hero Arts.
Inks - VersaColor

The insert was decorated and job's a good 'un.
 This was a quick card as I realized on Monday, after a hectic weekend that I needed to get one made and in the post pronto.
  Also linking to
Creative Corner Challenge - Happy Birthday

Hope your week will be better than mine...I've three night shifts to look forward to!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Peace On Earth

It's been a long while since I linked to Less Is More's weekly challenge as paper crafting, due to lack of mojo and a renewed interest in crochet, has taken a back seat this year.  But, as I am currently in the process of churning out xmas cards I thought I'd have a bash at the current One-Layer Santa theme.
Here's what I did.
I cannot take the credit for this idea as I was inspired by a similar design I saw somewhere or other, on the web or in my local craft shop.  I cut a rectangular aperture and moon mask from paper and used my Ink Dusters to colour an ombre effect inside the rectangle then over stamped with magazine freebies, a gift from friend Sue.  

I have spent much of the day watching the horrifying atrocities perpetrated in Paris last night and as I was photographing my card it occurred to me that Peace on Earth,
 would have been a more appropriate sentiment.

As our thoughts go to the victims in Paris I'm sure I am not the only one thinking
'how long before this happens in my country?'

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Autumnal Adventure

You may remember I recently spoke of an impending adventure.  This came about as I was invited to lunch with a friend who has property in Portugal.  We got  chatting and I mentioned I would love a static caravan in Vendée, France, but imagined they were beyond my means.  Well, before you could say bonnet de douche she'd googled a website and I learned that a 'used mobile home' was within reach.
The very next week I received an email from Brittany Ferries offering half price sailings this autumn, it seemed like a sign.... and so a few weeks later I was boarding a ferry bound for Le Havre, feeling somewhat apprehensive as I was travelling alone.

I'd decided to stay in Le Havre for a night as I arrived at 5pm and didn't fancy a long drive down to Vendée in the dark.  I'd heard of airbnb and asked a work colleague how she'd found it.... all good apparently and so was my stay with Virginie, a delightful woman, the epitome of French chic, who lived in the neighboorhood of Sainte Adresse.  I was soon introduced to her 13yr old son and the cat, Eclipse.
After a comfortable night, genial conversation (in French and English) and a continental breakfast I was on my way to Vendée.  My first challenge was the Pont de Normandie (I've got a thing about high bridges) but I was so concerned about the journey itself that I managed to traverse it without getting into a flap. 

Image result for pont de normandie
source google

After a six hour drive with no real traffic to speak of, except the Nantes peripherique, I arrived at Apremont, where I'd arranged to stay for a couple of nights in order to view some static caravans on a local site that
I'd viewed online.  I stayed in a gite which was organized by a company selling 'mobile homes' (as they prefer to call them) and had the place to myself.

The next day a representative gave me a tour of the Parc and I viewed several 'homes'

Unfortunately, although I was almost tempted by the one above not enough boxes were ticked for me, for various reasons and I was concerned that the Parc, lovely as it is, was not French enough, as the majority of owners were British.  Having decided not to purchase on this occasion I was still keen to see the local area, I have visited Vendée several times now but was not familiar with this district.

First up was the local village Apremont, situated on the rocky cliff side of the River Vie in the north of Vendée about an hour south of Nantes.  Towering over the village are the remains of the Chateau d'Apremont built in 1534 and a nearby water tower offers superb panoramic views of the valley and surrounding area.

Next on the agenda was the nearby lovely seaside town of St Gilles Croix de Vie, home of the Beneteau boat building company.

It was a beautiful day,  surfers were riding the considerable Atlantic coast waves and couples everywhere were strolling along the seafront hand in hand.  Never ( with the possible exception of Circular Quay) have I felt more like a Bridget Jones sad singleton!  However,  I buried these negative thoughts and concentrated on enjoying the ambience of this lovely coastal town.



After a LOT of walking...I'm talking blisters here, I returned to my car and with dismay saw the same vehicle as earlier, parked next to me with the same very sad-looking dog chained to it.  I felt so sorry for this poor animal but there was little I could do.  It did have food, water and a blanket but had obviously been chained up for hours.

Back at the gite I packed my bags in preparation for a swift departure the next day and got an early night before my long drive north.

I was on the road by 9am and took a different route back to Le Havre as I was stopping off en route in Normandie to meet a French man I hadn't seen for thirty six years!
I'd had a holiday romance with him when we were teenagers which resulted with me staying with his family for a week in the late 70's.  I tracked him down last year after booking a trip to Vendée which evoked many happy memories... we've been in touch ever since.
  We'd agreed to meet in front of the church at Louviers at 1030 the next day and it was with some trepidation that I found myself outside L'eglise de Notre Dame the following morning.

source interweb

He was nowhere to be seen so I went inside hoping the serene atmosphere would calm my nerves, and photographed these handsome chaps to pass the time.

At 1030, the church bells rang and I stepped outside expecting to see him... but he was not there. 
 Surely he wouldn't stand me up?   I waited a couple of minutes before wondering if he was somewhere else and set off around the other side of the church...where I saw him waiting.

The next three and a half hours were just... lovely!
We sat by the river catching up on the last three decades and then went for lunch.  It was quite testing for me as he doesn't speak English, but he seemed to understand my deplorable French.  I did take some pictures but he is a very private person so I am not happy to post them here...but, I was not disappointed and I don't think he was either!

Too soon it was time to say our goodbyes as I had a ferry to catch and before long I was back at Le Havre, feeling loath to return to Blighty after such a brilliant trip.
 I haven't given up on the caravan idea though and plan to return to Vendée next summer to continue the search....wish me luck!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

October Scavenger Hunt

I'm late again with last month's picture prompts...but I've got a valid excuse...I've been away.
......Although that would possibly give me more time to take pictures?  
Anyway here are my October snaps with a few taken on my trip.

October's List

Should I buy this caravan or not?


 A Bailey's coffee with squirty cream....mmmmmmm




My friend Samyo's delicious apple pie served up in her cosy 'shed'...the evening got very messy after this.


 I think this brand is familiar the world over.  I took this picture to remind me why I never usually eat this shit. (it was very convenient on this occasion)
 Look at that bun! It would probably glow in the dark.


It rarely does these days, with the exception of a few friends, relatives and those infernal cold-callers.  Most people now text me.


.....was special.


Looking down from the castle ruins to the village of Apremont, France



 corn plants in this field


..... away from it's vehicle and now gracing my back garden

Whatever you want

Guess where I've been ?

Many thanks as always to Greenthumb for organizing the Hunt.
Pop on over to her her blog to see other interpretations and the list for November.