Sunday, 29 August 2010
Tomorrow we have the wedding of our nephew Ryan and his bride Diane in a Church in Fivemiletown and then our Reception is in Corrick House - a beautiful old house adapted as a hotel and venue for weddings.
Some hotels around here still permit the hosts to provide their own home made goodies for the evening refreshments....I got to know that this was the case and made these cup cakes to add to the spread. They are simple 'butter sandwich' mixture made in muffin cases and then iced and decorated.....but being for a wedding I covered card with this wrapping paper and cut out the hearts and added half a cocktail stick to the back - the mechanics are covered with yet another tiny heart just to keep them neat and tidy. Then I made two larger hearts and stamped their intials in this great font on plain card and pop dotted these to the large hearts and attached them to the box. Fun things. Normally I would put these all in a treasured basket with a handle which makes for easier handling but not wanting to lose sight of this basket I decided to cover a box with the same wrapping paper and then I don't have to worry about losing my basket which I use so much for taking goodies to church.
Friday, 27 August 2010
When hanging out the washing (yes folks in the U.S. we hang out our washing year round) I spied this beauty looking for sustenance from the flowers on my blouse. Wish I could have lifted it and placed it on some blossom. Ran for the camera, turned it on to find I needed to change the batteries....what a time to run out of energy...doesn't that always happen when time is limited! Anyhow after an hour the rain came - took the washing in - then the sun came out and fooled me into thinking it was going to be good for the rest of the day...no....on came the rain and so the washing had to come in again...so it is in permanently now....one of those changeable days hereabouts.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Our weather has been glorious for the past two days and we've taken advantage of it today and packed a picnic and headed off. We drove through the Glenelly Valley and it was looking great today..the photo of the little tumbledown cottage was on the roadside.....into Strabane and over to Stranolar and Ballybofey (I digress here to say that I did visit McElhinney's - this is a high fashion shop where I just looked and didn't buy) and then on to Donegal Town. There I visited Magee's shop - it is a long established business and they have been involved in manufacturing Irish woollen tweed for a long number of years. They also sell garments made from this exclusive fabric.....they are high class and beautifully constructed. It is such a popular place for visitors from abroad. On the picture of the town you will see this shop on the right hand side. I did buy two items here....in their outlet department - a pair of woollen charcoal grey trousers. Also a cotton blouse in a similar fabric to Liberty. Both items were greatly reduced. I'm also showing you a photo of Donegal Bay and you can take a pleasant boat trip around the bay (sorry the photo is a bit dark). Then we went to Rossnowlagh which has a very long beach...cars are allowed to park on parts of it and families were enjoying the great weather. This is somewhere we used to take our children years ago and families are still swimming, surfing and making sandcastles....it's great to see so many children having fun in the fresh air.
Just posting a picture of a card which had to be Irish through and through and had to have all the elements you see here. The shamrock was made with Spellbinders hearts in green felt and I added a strip for the stem. It had to have a fiddle and this one was cut out of a book and had a layer of glossy accents...the little Irish cottage at the bottom was from - I think - an Inkadinkadoo set called 'Winter'. The 'church window' was embossed with a stencil from A Touch of Grace. I was out of my comfort zone doing this card...I found it very hard to put all of this on the front - it's not exactly CAS, is it? LOL !!. Sorry the photo is not so good. The first picture is the box lid....the shamrocks in the hankie are a freebie from Waltzingmouse Stamps and I had printed them out on vellum and coloured with Copics.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Hello everyone! I do apologise for my lack of posting because of an overwhelming amount of orders for cards. This is due to the fact that some folks know I am about to take a break from card orders so I'm working on cards for occasions up to the 31st October! In the last 3 weeks I have had 41 orders - one of the orders was for 10 cards and alongside this I have other calligraphy items to work on for other customers....and try to keep food on the table and the house sort of clean! My other half likes to get away for a day every week usually and this week we went to see our re-furbished City Hall in Belfast. I include a few photos. Sorry I can't as yet post any photos of cards as the recipients haven't received them!
Pictures - top down....
The front of the City Hall.
The coat of arms of Belfast as depicted on the sumptious carpet.
A replica of the Titanic which was built, as you know, in Belfast.
The massive Banqueting Hall here with the carpet down but it can be magically rolled away under the stage.
This is a little glimpse of the plasterwork around the dome. In all the rooms there is the most wonderful plasterwork and the choice of colours surrounding it are stunningly beautiful and so right for this kind of building. There is Greek and Italian marble aplenty. I had visited before and this time I also really enjoyed speaking to so many foreign visitors to our Province. I spoke to Australians, Italians, Dutch, Germans and of course Americans. Some of these folk were just visiting as part of a cruise but it was so good to hear all the different languages. Ten years ago you wouldn't have seen a 'tourist' in these parts and it is great to welcome visitors and make them feel they are appreciated.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
We had some business in Larne today, this town is on the County Antrim coast and you can take a ferry to Scotland from here...to Cairnryan...quite a short journey really but an expensive one!
We then went further along the coast to Carnfunnog Country Park where there are acres of grounds to walk in and a wonderful activity centre for children with a miniature railway. A great place to let off steam.
The weather wasn't too bad - we had two light showers of short duration and you could see them coming in from the sea. This photo shows a ferry off to Scotland and it's very rainy in the distance.
Now, it is suppertime (mean that little nightcap one has before bed, not our 'dinner') and it's time to make a nice cup of tea.
Here are some more images of this wonderful property....The first photo was taken around the lake, second is the view from the Temple of the Winds...a separate 'little' building situated on a rise above the main property and the stiff walk uphill is so worth the view when you reach the top. Third the building itself. Then some special blue hydrangeas....and to finish water lillies....what usually catches my eye is different textures together...the tall spiky reeds...the feathery greenery...the round leaves of the water lilies - so many shapes...when I taught calligraphy I had an album of photos and I tried to get the students to 'see' all these wonderful things as an aid to observation.
Last week we watched the weather forecast very closely and chose Thursday as the best day so we headed off to the County Down coast to a National Trust property called Mount Stewart (given that my surname is Stewart I must say I wish there had been a relationship to this family LOL!). It is a beautiful house with magnificent gardens and beautiful walks. We have vowed that we will return in the Springtime when the rhodedendrons are in full bloom. There was a feast of plants and trees to admire - hope I don't bore you with these photos. In the last photo you will see the Mountains of Mourne in the distance, made famous by the Percy French song 'Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea'.