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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

John's Birthday

Hello fellow bloggers,

Last Monday it was John's birthday, and he won't mind me telling you that he was 65 y.o., which means he is now officially an O.A.P. (Old Aged Pensioner).  Oh dear, where is that baby-faced, skinny young man I married just on 40 years ago. Mind you, while he is no longer skinny, he is by no means a 'Roly-Poly', just a cuddly bunny.

That's enough embarrassment for him.....This is the card I made for him before we went to New Zealand, then hid it so well, I had to think very hard about where it was when we came back....who should be the O.A.P. I can hear you all saying.

I loved this stamp as soon as I saw it on the Penny Black site & had intended ordering it from my local shop, when John walked into our office, saw the image on the screen, and said "you have to buy that one". Well, what does a girl do when her fella tells her to spend money???? 

The stamp arrived in the middle of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, so I used the bunting paper, my most regal border punch, and red, white and blue cardstock. I also added a touch of gold.

It is basically a very simple card, and didn't take very long to make at all.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges -
      Papertake Weekly - 'Make Your Own' (my own sentiment)
      Raise The Bar - 'Red, White and Blue'
      Truly, Madly, Crafty  - 'Animals'
      The Perfect Sentiment - 'Anything Goes'
      Ruby's Rainbow - 'Cute Animals'
      Divas By Design - 'Anything Goes'

Stamp - Penny Black 'London Calling'
Coloured with Promarkers
Cardstock - House of Paper, Bazzill
Paper - We R Memory Keepers 'Pennant Doodle', gold from my stash
Die - Spellbinder 'Scalloped Ovals'
Punch - Martha Stewart 'Iron Fence'
Sentiment - computer generated, font 'Beautiful ES'

Until next time, thanks for looking,
Jennifer. x

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Scarlette's 2nd Birthday

Hello Fellow Crafters,

Last Saturday, our beautiful little Granddaughter, Scarlette (in London) celebrated her 2nd birthday. It seems  like just a few months ago we received the wonderful phone call announcing her safe arrival. She is a 'girlie' girl, so Grandma made her a 'girlie' card.

The image is 'Abbie' by Connie Fong (Sweet Pea Stamps) - so utterly cute, isn't she, and I coloured her with my Promarkers.

Inside the easel card, showing the pocket and tag, on which Grandma and Grandpa wrote their birthday greetings.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges -
  I love Promarkers - 'Sparkle'
 ABC Challenge - 'T for Two by Two' (No. 2, 2 butterflies, 2 balloons, 2 die cut, & glittered hearts).
 An Oldie But A Goodie - 'Flower Power' (I've had the Spellbinder Heart Dies 3-4 years).
 Papertake Weekly - 'All Things Girlie'
 J. & C. Creations - 'Anything Goes'
 Paper Pretties - 'Bling It On'
 Paper Crafting Journey - 'Pearls and Swirls'

Stamped image - Sweet Pea Stamps -'Abbie' by Connie Fong
Colouring - Promarkers
Sentiment - computer generated 'Balsam'
Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - First Edition 'Spring Feast'; Prima 'Meadow Lark' Collection; Forever Friends 'New Arrival'
Dies - Spellbinder Scalloped Hearts; Marianne leaves and flourishes; Cheery Lynn butterfly, & light deco
          border; Cuttlebug corners
Punches - Martha Stewart; Carl
Pearls - Kaisercraft
Stickles - Ranger 'Star Dust'
Flowers, charm, chain, brad - assorted brands from my stash

Thank you for looking...until next time,
Jennifer x

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Catching Up

Hello fellow crafters,

After a 7 week break, I am finally able to get back into my blogging. I didn't realise how much I would miss everything; contact with new friends, entering challenges, and a sense of 'belonging' to a wonderfully talented worldwide 'family'.

So much has happened since my last post, I hardly know where to begin. I guess it should be with the main reason for the break, my health. 2 ultrasounds showed that I had a large kidney stone, that would most likely require surgery. However, the CT scan (being 3D) diagnosed a large, unusual, but benign growth attached to the outer rear wall of my kidney. It will not at this stage require treatment, but will have to be monitored regularly.

The 2nd problem has been with me since childhood, and rears its ugly head now and then. I have a poorly functioning liver, requiring previous surgery, and at one stage, about 10 years ago, my Drs were mentioning the word "transplant" if my blood tests (4 per day, for 10 days) deteriorated much further. I have to have at least annual blood tests, and about 3 months ago my levels started rising again, so tests have become fortnightly. I had another test the morning after we returned home from New Zealand, last Friday, but don't know the results yet.

The 3rd  problem is in the "ladies only department", and despite the fact that my Dr. marked the referral to a consultant "Semi-Urgent", I have had to wait 3 months for an appointment, on 2nd August.

Our 40th wedding anniversary party was a wonderful night to remember, and worth all the stressful preparation. I will show some photos soon, as I did not get many on my camera, but friends have taken some good ones.

New Zealand is a beautiful country, and the people were incredibly friendly and helpful. We hope to go back again next year. We only saw the North Island, but didn't have enough time to stop and relax. In 8 days of driving, we covered 2,860 kms! We may take up rally driving with that record. At least we have a better idea of what is on offer, and will be able to plan accordingly.

This is one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Just hours after arriving in NZ, I went on the Auckland Tower Skywalk. The walkway is 1 metre wide, open mesh, and about 4-5 metres from the wall of the Tower, attached by steel girders. It is 192 metres, or 629.92 feet above the ground, with NO handrails! The views are truly awesome. That white object beside the base of the multi-storey bank building is a bus.
Although John enjoys flying, he preferred to remain on ground level. I had booked my walk several months ago, and it appeared that I would be the only walker, but as I was preparing to be suited/harnessed, a lady from the UK, and an Australian family turned up & asked if they could do the walk that afternoon. The wind was bitterly cold, but it was pure magic watching the sun set on one side of the Tower, and watching the FULL moon rise on the other. I can't wait until I can repeat the experience. It was worth every cent!

We visited the famous geysers and boiling mud pools in Rotorua, and enjoyed an evening of Maori cultural entertainment with a traditional hangi feast. This is the largest geyser, in its early stage of its cycle of building up pressure. It was a spectacular sight and sound when it erupted for us about 1 hour later!
On the morning of our 40th anniversary, we enjoyed a dawn buffet breakfast cruise around beautiful Lake Rotorua, on the Lakeland Queen, an exact replica of a Mississippi paddle steamerWatching the sunrise over the lake was glorious, even if it was bitterly cold while waiting to board. The breakfast was yummy too, and with so much to choose, I think the steamer was a little lower in the water when we finished.
Still on the subject of food, I almost fainted when I was presented with this dessert, simply called 'Chocolate and Raspberry Cake' on the menu. It should have been called Delicious Death By .......... The main meal was incredible too! A huge melt-in-the-mouth sirloin steak, with enough various, and totally delicious salads, for 2 more meals by themselves. Needless to say, I couldn't finish both main or dessert. All of this was prepared, cooked AND served by a lovely young lady, Dawn. John and I both wanted to just lie on the floor and groan when we finished. You would expect this to be in a top city restaurant, but it was a pub lunch at the Mangatera Hotel in a small town, Dannevirke, between Wellington and Napier.

On our last day, we explored the beautiful Waitomo Glowworm Caves, south of Hamilton. What a magical experience!

Cape Reinga is a very spiritual place for the Maori people. It is the northern-most tip of New Zealand. This photo clearly shows the turbulence created when 2 seas meet. On the right is the Pacific Ocean, and on the left is the Tasman Sea. The shape of the turbulence virtually mirrors the shape of the tip of the peninsular. Breathtakingly amazing!

This has been a long post, hasn't it...sorry, but it was difficult to condense a fabulous holiday into a few photos.

I am trying to catch up on all your gorgeous creations while I have been absent.

Until next time,
Jennifer. x