This year has been a remarkable one for Rick and I. We had an amazing European holiday, we have cried and prayed as we've had friends and family go through major health challenges, we've celebrated with family as new lives are being knit in their mother's womb, and we've each had great years (so far!) career wise. I am thrilled to report that Rick was recently promoted to the detective's office at the cop shop. I am so proud of him. He's a fabulous man and well deserving of the position.
In other news, I wanted to share a layout I completed a while back (published in the Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine for an article on Stickers). This is my super cute nephew Jason two summers ago (man, how time flies!). Layout features Chatterbox and Scenic Route Patterned papers, 7gypsies stickers and Fontworks stamps.
I'm back from a wonderful weekend in Phoenix for Sparkle Bella. (You can see my Sparkle Bella class above on the left side). As usually when the Bella teachers meet up, we laughed, played and encouraged each other all weekend long. I really love those girls. I had already typed up a wonderful (and long) recap of the weekend which I lost when my Internet ran into problems. So this write up won't be too long, as I have to go make supper. But I wanted to thank a few special people for going above and beyond this weekend:
Diane: the owner of Melrose Vintage (they're working on a website) my favorite home decor store in all of Phoenix who hosted a wonderful meet & greet reception for the Bella attendees and a few other industry gals who live in the area but wouldn't be coming to Sparkle Bella. (For some gorgeous photos of Melrose Vintage check out Kim's post here.)
Marti: The owner of Scrapbooks Etc., the fabulous store who hosted Sparkle Bella. Thanks for your belief in our event!
All the attendees: Thanks for your enthusiasm, willingness to experiment, and kindness that you showed to each of us as instructors. You spoiled us, and gosh - darn, it felt nice!!!
To Teresa, Kim and Marilyn: It was a delight and honor to teach with you again (or for the first time Marilyn). Here's to doing it again!
As usual, when the Bellas get together we do some serious shopping and gift giving. Here's a quick list of what I brought home with me (much of which is in the photo above):
a new doll head (THANKS Kim!)
a beautiful pink barn star (from Melrose Vintage) which will probably be finding a home in my studio someday soon.
some yummy Tropical Bath gel and lotion (thanks Kim!)
Here's our info from May 22. Sorry it's taken so long to be posted. After this post, we will only owe one more for May 23, which was our castle day trip. Enjoy!
Today was going to be a casual day as we were planning to see some more of the city.After sleeping in we headed to the metro and road it to the highest point in Paris to see Sacre Coeur, a beautiful church overlooking the city of Paris.What we did not realize was that the trek from the platform where the metro let us off and the street level was up many, many flights of stairs. When we got off it and started to walk up the stairs, we were expecting the typical 2-3 levels which are somewhat normal at the stations. However, this staircase was never ending! The word exhausting comes to mind.A stroll through the narrow streets and a visit to some of the local shops brought us to the Funicular (a trolley bus on rails that goes up the side of hills). This however was closed, so up we trudged again.Over 300 steps and we reached the church.We visited the church, enjoyed the view and had our lunch, before starting off on a walking tour of the area.This area is known for all the artists in the area, and there were a lot of them set up on the streets and in the main square, painting their pictures and trying to rope tourists into getting their portrait done.We were doing fairly well following the walking directions until we gave it up and just headed back down the other side of the hill.A few pastry, clothing and stationary shops later and we were back on level ground standing in the heart of the under belly of Paris.There was the famous Moulin Rouge with its red windmill on top, and stretching the other way down the street was Paris’ red light district.There were no red lights, but the clientele here mostly looked like there were night dwellers.
We headed back to the hotel to drop off some of our purchases and then we headed out once again.It was getting on in the afternoon and we wanted to hit one more spot, so we went to Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie.When we went to buy our tickets to get into the church and the museum we were told that we would not have enough time to go to both, so we opted for just the church.What a rip off!The place was tiny and under construction.The main items to see were all covered up and we were done the visit in ten minutes.We went back to the woman who sold us the tickets and asked for the entrance to the Conciergerie as well, but we wanted the special combined rate.She told us no, that she would not do that.We had to buy both tickets at the same time to get the special price.Carolyn told her that she was the one who would not sell us the tickets originally, telling us we did not have the time, it was not our fault.All she would do is tell us to go to the other building and ask there.We got the same run around there, they wanted full fair to enter because we did not have the combined ticket.Needless to say we did not go in.
What to do now, we decided we would take the site seeing tour bus around the city.It was 5:45 and we walked over to Notre Dame to catch the bus.A check of the time revealed its tour ended at 6:00 each day, so that was not going to work.Let’s climb the Notre Dame tower because we still had 1 ¾ hours to enter it.Closed 15 minutes before we got there.They had new hours that we did not know about.Well our luck was running out so Carolyn thought it would be a great idea to walk to the Eiffel Tower.I thought it seemed like a long way, but we decided we could always hop on the metro if it got too long.We looked at the map and began the scenic walk along the river.After a while we got to wondering where we were on the map, a long hard look at not finding our cross streets brought us to the realization that we were heading the wrong way.About face!Back to Notre Dame we go to catch the nearest RER train station, because we felt our feet needed the break now.
It’s a good thing we walked, because at train speed, it still took over ten minutes to get there.We did the tourist thing and went to the top of the tower, the very top.In the elevator we encountered a woman who I thought was going to go crazy.She was definitely afraid of heights and claustrophobic to boot.She literally had to be pushed onto the lift by her son, she then began to tremble and moan as she covered her eyes.Then the moaning got louder as her son and husband tried to calm her and her granddaughter told her not to cry.This 10 X 10 space, 500 feet in the air was not the place I wanted to have to deal with a hysterical woman.We made it without any further incident and the view was amazing and surprisingly it was not very windy.Before leaving we went down to the second level and bought some food.It was stamped with today’s date, however, the bread I’m sure was about a week old and Carolyn’s chicken left her more than dissatisfied.
At the base of the tower we were greeted by the military, carrying machine guns (I assume they were there to stop any attacks on the Tower).We went across the street to the park to watch the Tower light up one last time and twinkle.We found a nice spot on the grass and set up our camera.Just when we thought things were going right for us, the tour buses began to show up and parked directly in our view. Eventually the pulled away and we enjoyed one last time the lighting of the tower. Even though the day seemed like a total wash, it was actually pretty good.