Wednesday, 27 July 2011

They’re Changing Guard At Buckingham Palace……..

And we missed it because we were inside having a good old nosey around.

It was definitely a novel and interesting day, novel because I got to travel on the tube in rush hour......…deep joy!
I’ll never know how people can do that day in and day out and if I never have to do it again it will be a day too soon if you ask me. It was hot and dirty and I sent most of my journey home standing up and staring into the armpit of a man who had definitely had a hard day by the smell of things but hey ho, I can’t let a little thing like that spoil what was a wonderful day out.

We decided to set out early because we weren’t really sure how far it was from the station and I met my cousin Jane on Stratford station where we needed to change trains. Twenty minutes later we were taking a gentle stroll through Green Park

and had our first glimpse of Buckingham Palace………not my fist ever glimpse you understand, just the first glimpse of the day.

We were quite early for our allotted entrance to the Queens Gallery so we decided to find a café close by and have a quick coffee and croissant before heading back to see the magnificent collection of paintings by the Dutch artists.
Here’s a couple of the paintings that really caught my eye.

The Four Eldest Children of The King and Queen of Bohemia painted by Gerrit van Honthorst

Sorry the picture is not that great but although we were allowed to take photos in here we were not allowed to use flash and I think I had the camera on the wrong setting.
Now what struck me in this picture was the fine complections on the children’s faces, the folds in the White dress and most of all the dirt under the toenails of the eldest daughter.

Next was this
A Rough Dog by George Stubbs, painted in 1790.

I think the background of this looks a little childlike but the dog itself is amazing. You almost feel you could burry your fingers in its coat.

Our next stop was at the Royal Mews where we saw some of the carriages used for state occasions, including the Glass coach that Lady Diana Spencer rode to St Paul's Cathedral in

and the Gold State Coach

Aparently it requires a window above some hidden doors to be removed and central heating pipes altered when the coach is need and takes two days to get it out.

From here we went a had a spot of lunch and then joined the enormous queue to see the State Rooms and ‘That Dress’. Mind you, I have to say the staff there had it all so well organised and there were plenty around to point you in the right direction and offer extra information that wasn’t already on the audio tour we were listening to.

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos here but the rooms as you can imagine were magnificent with wonderful treasures everywhere you looked.

We finally entered the Ballroom and there it was, Kate’s wedding dress in all its glory. It was truly breathtakingly beautiful.

We sat for a while and watched a film showing how the dress was made and all the detail that had gone into it.
Apparently they had cut tiny motifs from six different types of lace and hand stitched them on to very line tulle (on close inspection you couldn’t see a single stitch) to make a one off unique lace especially for the dress.

The Dress

They even stitched the same motif on her shoes which were beautiful but I was surprise how high the heels were.

The Shoes

In the same cabinet as the shoes were her diamond earrings,

The Earings

the tiara that was loaned to her by the Queen

The Tiara

and also a silk replica of her pretty bouquet.

The Bouquet

In the next room we were treated to a close up view of the magnificent 8 tiered cake made with 17 cakes in total. Having decorated cakes myself in the past I can really appreciate the work that had gone into this because there were 900 sugar flowers and leaves decorating the cake and the lattice scallops hanging from some of the layers were so fine and delicate. You could even see where William and Kate had made their first cut.
You can see it here in detail

The Cake

Once we had finished out tour of the State Rooms I had a nice Iced Coffee and a Strawberry and Cream Scone on the terrace before we had a walk along one side of the gardens and the lake.

One thing struck me here, the distinct lack of flowers but I guess with all those garden parties they have they need the space but it still would have been nice to see some colour there.

All in all it was a really good day and the great thing is that if you get your tickets stamped they are valid for a year and you can go back as many times as you like free of charge to see the other exerbitions they put on, so although our tickets cost £31, I think it was well worth it.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Puss Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been……..WOYWW (#111)

I’ve been up to London to visit the Queen.
That’s exactly where I am as you read this because today myself and my cousin Jane are up in London playing at being tourists and we have tickets to tour the Buckingham Palace state rooms and see at close quarters Kate’s wedding dress and the Queens collection of Faberge eggs. We are also going to the Queens gallery where there’s an exerbition of the Dutch painters and then on to see the Royal Mews, so we have a full day ahead of us.

Now, I have a rather lovely WOYWW to share with you this week because my desk is covered with all the goodies that were in the amazing blog candy that I was lucky enough to win when Brenda was celebrating her 500th post on her blog.

Thanks so much Brenda, you’ve been so generous and I can’t wait to get started with those new sets of stamps and all the other goodies too!

Also on my desk but a little earlier in the week was another exploding box.

This one was made as a gift box for a bracelet that I made as a birthday present so it was quite a bit smaller than the others that I’ve made.

Julia is hosting our blog hop as usual so don’t forget to stop by her blog over at The Stamping Ground and join in the fun, but be warned, it’s very addictive!

Thanks for stopping by and until we meet again……….
Happy Crafting!
How silly am I feeling.
I only went and posted this on Tuesday, thinking it was Wednesday and was wondering what had happened to Julia when there was no post from her to add my link I know why, Lol!
All I can do is put it down to excitement about my day out and I can at least tell you now that Kate's wedding dress is absolutely amazing, as is the cake. Well worth a visit if you get a chance this summer.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wednesday’s child is full of wow (#111)

But not today because Wednesdays are the day we all visit The Stamping Ground for a taste of What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Because I’ve been away for a few days (see previous post) I’ve been catching up on a few cards for a friend who asks me to make all her cards for her, so my desk this morning has the makings of an Anniversary card that I was half way through………. and the usual mess that I always seem to work in.

Here’s the finished card, made using the beautiful Basic Gray Cappella papers.

I just love the colour range in this collection.
My card is decorated with a covered chipboard heart, handmade paper roses and some tiny gemstones for a touch of added glitz.

Next I made a birthday card using the July template from Kathy’s Waffle Sketch File

More Basic Gray papers for this one but this time they are from my ‘Marrakech’ pad that’s been hanging around for what seems like a life time.

I’m trying to use it all up but I’m not quite there yet….will be soon though and then I will have an excuse to go out and buy another new pad. (as if I need an excuse. Lol!)

Also this week I can also show you another couple of those boxes that I’ve been making, seeing as I now know my dear friend Sharon has received hers.

The original was in an old edition of Craft Stamper and it was made using using the beautiful Wrought Iron Gate stamp from Paper Artsy. You can see the first one I made at the end of this post Here

I’ve used papers printed from the Glenda Waterworth Artylicious ‘Butterfly Bliss’ CD to decorate the box and filled all the little drawers with jewelry findings and the centre tube with beads and I’ve made some beaded charms to decorate the five tags.

Click on the pictures for a better look.

And here’s a glimpse of the third box, this one is for my friend Nicki in Switzerland.

It’s basically the same as Sharon’s but Nicki’s is filled with sewing things and the centre tube with buttons.

So that’s about all there is to show you for now.

I’m not sure if there’ll be much to show you next week as I’m going to see the new Harry Potter film tomorrow and I’m at a big family party at the weekend.
It seems that I don’t do anything or go anywhere for ages and then it all comes along together , not that I’m complaining but hopefully there’ll be a least some small thing to share come next Wednesday, so until then………..

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Flower Power

Hi all, it’s been a week or more since I last posted but that doesn’t mean that I’ve not been busy, just that I was making things that I couldn’t show you just yet.

I’ve also been out and about, first on a day trip to the Hampton Court Flower Show which was spectacular but silly me forgot to take my camera with me.
The show gardens were amazing and so was the flower marquee but unfortunately because of the rain it was packed solid with people trying to avoid the showers. Still, it didn’t spoil the day and I saw lots of beautiful and strange plants.

This Mauve and White Clematis ‘Florida Sieboldii’ caught my eye first because of it’s really large flower heads.

What made it really unusual was the fact that as the White petals fall off you're left with a sweet little Mauve flower because the centre is still intacted, so you get two for the price of one.

The other very unusual flower that caught my attention was this odd looking one.

It’s a Tacca Chantrieri, also known as a ‘Bat Flower’…………very strange!

I was visiting even more gardens last week because I went on a four day break down to Ferndown, in Dorset to visit my aunt.
We had a day out at Compton Acers, near Sandbanks, which has lots of themed gardens to walk round and it's well worth a visit if you’re ever in that neck of the woods.
I won’t bore you with all my photos because I took loads (think I was making up for not having it with me the week before, Lol!) but here are a couple of the Italian Garden and the Woodland walk to give you a taster.

Now then, onto my main reason for visiting this afternoon and the card I’ve made for this week’s challenge over at the The Daring Cardmaker’s.

Can’t say I’ve ever heard of Pinterest before but Nat would like us to find a picture on the site and use it as inspiration for a card.

I picked out this one and tried to use the same colours.

Patterned Papers
Artylicious Peacock Summer Party

Rubber Stamps
Papermania - Hampstead

Other Equipment
Craft Creations – Embossed Hammer Card Stock
Craftworks Cards – Greeting
Martha Stewart – Brownstone Ink
Promarker Permanent Ink Pens

Stashrganza Ribbon
Brown Lace
Blue Gems

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Oh What A Night (late December back in 63) and WOYWW (#108)

Now can you guess where I went yesterday?

Yep, to see ‘The Jersey Boys’ in London.

I have to say it’s the best show I’ve seen in ages which is borne out by the fact that the lady I was sitting next to in the stalls was watching her fourth performance and Ryan Molloy who played Frankie Valli had the most amazing voice. It’s well worth a visit if you get the chance and I can promise you an evening of well know songs to sing along to. We finished our evening off with a nice Italian meal before heading home on the tube so all in all we had a fab afternoon and evening.

Then just to finish the day off well I turned on my computer to find a lovely message on my blog from Brenda (Butlers Abroad) telling me that I was the lucky winner of her gorgeous blog candy that she was giving away in celebration of her 500th post so how fab was that and what a great end to my day.
Thanks so much Brenda.

Now then, on to What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, the weekly blog hop hosted by Julia, over at the Stamping Ground and on my desk today you can still see what I was working on the day before yesterday.

I really seem to have become hooked on stepper cards at the moment and with my new Hougie board they are so quick and simple to do but look like you’ve spent ages making them.

The two you can see are both the same but done in different colours and I also made this Lavender one which my friend Susan asked me to make for her mum’s birthday.

There’s not much else on interest, just the Promarkers used to colour the Butterflies and a few ink pads and other pariphanailia that I seem to accumulate on the desk when I’m working. I often wonder if I had a bigger desk to work on would it still get cluttered as much but I think we all know the answer to that one don’t we, Lol!

Here’s another stepper card, a wedding one this time, using a Digital Stamp Boutique digi stamp as the main image and I’ve coloured it with my Promarkers again.

I also have something else to show you.
Do you remember a couple of weeks ago I showed you this gorgeous box designed by Alix Waterhouse and was a project in Craft Stamper,

well I’ve finally finished mine.

Just a few differences in that I stamped my own backgrounds instead of using patterned papers and I made all my own little boxes. I just need to find something to fill them all with now!

Hope you all have a great week, see you next time.