Friday, 13 July 2012

May Day in Cowdale

Although it's been a while now, we spent May Day Bank Holiday weekend in a lovely little cottage in Cowdale, in the Peak District.  We found the cottage through Sykes Cottages but it really was a super 'find'.  'The Loft' was the top floor of a converted farm building in the grounds of Cowdale Hall which is home to the Morten family.  We were made to feel very welcome when we arrived and the cottage had been prepared with tea, coffee, milk and biscuits and all the lights and fire switched on to make us immediately feel comfortable and at home.

Double bedroom at The Loft

Twin bedroom at The Loft

The cottage had two bedrooms (a twin and a double) and was decorated in light neutral colours.  The lovely L-shaped sofa and footstool has to be about the most comfortable thing I've ever sat on and was wonderful to chill out on after walking the Derbyshire dales.  The kitchen was well equipped with everything we could possibly need and although it was May the weather was particularly cold, but this we didn't notice inside the cottage as the mini heaters and electric stove more than kept us warm.

Lovely comfy sofa at The Loft

Onsite there is also a small caravan area (5 van site) and there are also stable facilities where locals keep their horses.  At night we enjoyed the short 20 - 30 minute walk around the outskirts of the farm, talking to the horses and just being one with nature.  On a couple of occasions we stood and watched the rabbits hopping across the fields.  You only have to cross the road from Cowdale Hall to also reach one of the many local public footpaths.  We ventured a short distance on this walk but the weather wasn't great and being a little ill, we returned to the comfort of the cottage.

Horses at Cowdale Hall

Circular walk around the farm

Midshires Way - nr Cowdale

Midshires Way, nr Cowdale

Midshires Way, nr Cowdale

On Sunday we headed of to Buxton Country Park and then later along the Monsal Trail.  Can you believe that it even began to snow while we were at Buxton, but hey, that's British weather for you!  However, by the afternoon the sun came out and it warmed up a little.  The Monsal Trail runs from Buxton to Bakewell and is popular with walkers and cyclists.  We entered the trail at King Sterndale and walked a fair way, taking in the scenery, stopping for photographs and walking through many of the long tunnels that line the route.  We even stopped to watch some rather brave souls who were abseiling off the bridge at Millers Dale.

Me and 'S' at Buxton Country Park

The Monsal Trail

King Sterndale Cottages along The Monsal Trail

One of the tunnels along the Monsal Trail

Arnold having a dip in the river along the Monsal Trail

Monday we'd planned to stop off at Bakewell before heading home but as we got closer the traffic was so horrendous we decided to give it a miss.  Our next port of call was to be Dovedale.  We made a slight detour to our usual journey home but it was certainly worth it.  Despite the fact that the rain at some points was torrential, we zipped up our waterproofs and headed off to find the 'Stepping Stones'.  Even on a day like this the area was still very busy and I'd love to return maybe on a week day to see it a little quieter.  However, it didn't detract though from the beautiful surroundings.

Stepping Stones at Dovedale


We decided to make our way across the Stepping Stones which all seemed fine in theory until we realised that 'P' had absolutely no chance of walking Arnold across them!  The kids and myself precariously made our way across the rather wet and slippery stones and waited on the other side while 'P' struggled across carrying Arnold in a rather ungraceful fashion.  We later watched another potential stone walker give up on the idea after his German Shepherd refused to budge and I'm thinking the carrying idea was not exactly feasible :).

'P' and Arnold at Dovedale

We walked some way following the river and then eventually decided to do a u-turn and head back as we thought that the route we were on would take too long to come full circle and we needed to get home.  We decided to give the stones a miss on the way back and headed straight for the bridge.  On the last stretch we were dive bombed by swallows, obviously flying low looking for insects after the heavy rain.

All in all another very relaxing weekend that we all enjoyed.  Cowdale was just so quiet and away from it all we can't wait to return.

Sweet Little Donkey

Well I don't know what it's like where you are but after a brief bout of sunshine yesterday we're back to the normal British weather today of damp and murk.  And to make matters work I was really hoping to have my new car today but unfortunately it's been delayed until next week.

My pen-friend in Austria has recently had a new addition to her family, a beautiful baby daughter, Caitlyn Siobahn.  Even though I don't write to her now as often as I ought to and tend to converse more on Facebook, I thought it would be nice to send a card as a welcome to their new arrival.

I decided to go for a different card layout again but tried to keep the embellishments as 2D as possible due to the card having to fly airmail.  I've used Meljen Designs 'Sweet Little Donkey' which I've shaded in cool greys and pink using Promarkers. 

I've used my Nellie Snellen Scalloped circle die for the digi stamp and my Marianne swirl cutter.  The ribbon, gems and pearls were from my stash. The gingham backing paper was from the Back to Basics set by Dovecraft and the pink card is from Papermania.

The lovely circle sentiment was a freebie from Netty's Cards and has been attached using sticky pads.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Thanks for stopping by! x

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A sunny morning surprise

'A' dashed upstairs this morning while she was getting ready for school.  "Where's your phone.....quick...I need it....quick".  I asked her what she wanted it for and she replied, "There's a fox in next door's garden and he's playing with Arnold's yellow bone toy".  She dashed off downstairs to snap it with my phone and shouted to me to come look.  I got to the kitchen just in time to see him tossing the toy in the air, when next thing another rather pointed nose appeared from under the shrubbery.  There were two of them!  They were quite small so I'm assuming they were only cubs.  The first visitor seemed to be aware that we were watching him and kept glancing towards us in the window.  Visitor number two also decided that Arnold's toy looked enticing, picked it up and they both ran off over the other side of the garden.  What a fabulous start to a sunny (yes, for once, sunny) morning :).

Not the greatest pics I'm afraid as they were with my phone but 'A' shot a bit of video too which I may upload later if it's clear.



Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Summer Butterflies

Today's card was inspired by the sketch over at Totally Gorjuss.  I decided to go with a summer theme using strawberry pink, aqua and cream.

The papers were Spring Jubilee by Pink Paislee and I've used my Martha Stewart scalloped edge punch and Nestabilities die.  The butterfly was created using a Marianne die in my Cuttlebug.  Mini pearls from my stash were used to embellish the card edge and butterfly.  The sentiment was found online but sorry I can't remember where now.

I would like to enter this creation in the following challenges:

Thanks for stopping by! x

An ending and beginning

An Ending

Yesterday was our final session with the school choir club.  As always, we finished the year off with the usual choir club party complete with a lovely selection of cakes, sweets, crisps and all the things that kids love! After a bit of a sing-a-long the children who wished to, volunteered to sing solo's on stage in front of us all. The choir party is always popular and they really look forward to it after the hard work they've put in throughout the year to prepare for the Summer concert.  Both Jo and I were given some lovely thank you gifts which is very kind and we really appreciate.  This year we seem to have amassed a plentiful supply of chocolate so looks like I'm going to have to run even more over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, on the flip side of all the fun and food, we have to say goodbye to our year 6's, some of which have been with us since year 3.  Obviously, we'll be really sad to see them go but they're ready to move on as were our own daughter's last year.  We wish them the best of luck at High School and hope they continue singing and all thing 'music'.

A Beginning

It's hard to believe that it's been two and half months already since we performed our ladies choir concert 'Film Fantasia'.  After a committee meeting last week we began rehearsals again last night for a new concert.  I have to say that I found the work on last years songs particularly hard, not only writing and re-writing harmonies but also painstakingly teaching the songs note by note to the ladies.  I think this had a lot to do with the pressure from our business at the time along with home, life etc.... So this time we decided that in addition to some new selections we would re-use some of our old material as over the years we've sang some wonderful songs and it's such a shame not to resurrect them.

We finally went with a theme of musicals and asked the choir for suggestions regarding their favourite song choices.  Some were VERY popular so we've made sure that these have been included along with some less used numbers and some new ones to keep things fresh.

First rehearsal went very well indeed last night (despite me being on 'piano duty') with two songs learnt in full in 3 parts.  We have a couple of new members two which is always nice and only helps to enrich the overall sound.  Here's hoping that next week's rehearsal goes even better, it's always so much easier to teach the parts when I can wave my arms around rather than hammer the piano keys :).

Monday, 2 July 2012

Magic of Oz - A few creations

For those of you who don't follow my craft blog, I thought I'd just post a few pictures of my recent addiction.  I'm absolutely loving the 'Magic of Oz' papercraft collection from Graphic 45 and have made several cards recently for family and friends using their stamps, die cuts and papers.  I'm sure there'll be many more to follow :)


You can find more details on how I made the cards over at my sister site 'Twinkle Twit Crafts'.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Emerald Oz Birthday Card

Another one from the super Graphic 45 collection 'Magic of Oz' but this time as a birthday card for my lovely friend Jo.  I thought it was about time I had a go at a different card layout from the normal square or rectangular design.  I cut the front of the square card blank in half and then placed two scalloped circle die cuts overhanging the edge.  The inside of the card was then covered with matching 'Oz' paper and the coordinating  reverse side was used on the front of the card.

The white scalloped circle was stamped with 'Dororthy', 'Toto, and the 'Yellow Brick Road' and then coloured with Pro-markers.  I think next time I would stamp the Yellow Brick Road then add Dorothy and Toto as separate die cuts over the top as unfortunately the brick road was visible through Dorothy's shoes and legs!! Fatal error!

I've then used my Marianne Creatables 'swirl' and also a leaf die from the same collection to create the finishing touches.  The heart was from a selection at Hobbycraft and paper roses were purchased from 'Flowers4Crafts' on Ebay.  The remaining paper flowers were by Petaloo and were purchased on our recent trip to Crafters Cove in Llangollen :).

I am entering this creations in the following challenges:

Thanks for stopping by! x