Friday, 27 September 2013

Rhodes Town

One of our last visits on Rhodes was to Rhodes Town, the largest inhabited medieval city in Europe. Such is it's architectural significance that it was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. It really is the most extraordinary city and despite its age bustles like any modern city does. We love to wander around all the back streets; despite the maze of narrow roads it is very difficulty to get lost. One of the most significant roads is the Street of the Knights. It dates back to the Middle Ages where several ancient inns were found, each was for the tongue which a particular knight spoke e.g French , German, Greek etc. The road is still completely cobbled and you really can imagine those feet which have walked before you hundreds of years ago.
At the top of the street is the Castle of the Grand Masters' and from there is is possible to get an idea of how safe the city walls must have been due to their sheer size and thickness.

There are plenty of shops in the streets and lots of great cafes to sit and enjoy the atmosphere.

We found a perfect place in the shade to sit and eat our picnic.
We also found that we were honoured to share an obviously favourite resting spot with this little sweetie
Who woke up and came and said hello
We also walked around to the Harbour to see which of the giant cruise liners were in dock

It's hard to miss the Queen Elizabeth, she dwarfed everything in sight.

I would put Rhodes Town on my bucket list of must see places,  it really is the most  incredible city.
The emblem of Rhodes is the deer and although there are few remaining on the island now I decided to use the reindeer version to inspire my card for today's card challenge; I also included a hint of blue inspired by those gorgeous blue skies we saw.

The image is from Nicecrane Designs from one of my favourite of the Christmas ACEO background sheets called "Adorable Christmas"  They are a perfect size for using on 5" X 5" cards. They would also make fab gifts tags, which is another of my planned projects.

I have been playing with several of these images and I will share some other cards I made with them over the coming weeks. The sheet is available here
Below is a close up of the great image I used; you can nearly hear those sleigh bells can't you!
I used my lovely new snowflake embossing plate and some MB snowflake die cuts. Behind the image is a great Joy craft die.The new sweet snowman is a retired Sizzix die I managed to get from the USA. I used them to layer up a nearly white on white background. I just added a little TH  Broken China distress ink to give a touch of blue. The sentiment is  LOTV stamped onto Kraft card and the sweet reindeer charm is from my jewellery stash. There are also 2 pale blue pearls in the corners.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes
Bearly Mine Anything goes
Rhedd and Rosie Something for the men
Country View Crafts Layers 
Natalie and Amy Embossing
Whimsy Cards Masculine
Party Time Tuesdays Anything goes
Christmas at Sweet Stampin Santa
Make it Monday Linky party #159
Die Cut Divas celebrate
Oldie but a Goodie Dies/punches my Memory box die is from last Christmas and the red brad is at least 3 years old!

We are really looking forward to the weekend as my best friend and her Hb are celebrating their silver wedding anniversary with a meal and tea party afterwards on Sunday. The weather is still beautiful here and tomorrow we hope to get out for a walk to see the glorious colours which the trees are showing off at the moment. I have also spotted that the conkers are starting to fall ;0) Something else is back this evening...yes Strictly Come Dancing..woop woop, it really is the countdown to Christmas now (89 days for those of us who like to know ;0)

Enjoy your weekend and I hope you find a little time for some creativity too. Thanks for visiting.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The lost city of Ancient Kamiros

During our holiday to Rhodes we also made a visit to Ancient Kamiros where there are the ruins of the old city dating  from 2-3 BC. It had in fact been rebuilt on this site after a devastating earth quake in 226BC.  Kamiros was an important city on Rhodes in antiquity, together with Lindos and Ialysos. The city was built with a superb vantage point overlooking the sea and high up.
This photo is taken on the steps of the main street, what a view to look at. The coast of Turkey is visible opposite.

At the North West edge are the remains of the Fountain Square and a sanctuary dedicated to the gods and heroes of Kamiros
Some of the pillars have inscriptions in ancient Greek.
The ruins of the houses are arranged on the slopes of the hill, either side of the "high Street"
At the top of the town was the acropolis, little of this remains. However there are still parts of the cistern which provided water visible and the stoa, which would have been a covered walkway.
We found a shaded spot to eat our picnic lunch, how about this for a picnic with a view

 I wanted to make a GD card for Nicecrane for today's card. All this antiquity inspired me to made a vintage card.

I used one of the pre coloured Vintage Cute Babies Cards set. Although these are not strictly Christmas images I wanted to get some more of my Christmas card stash made and I thought these were  perfect. They are available to buy here Also is you would like to see some more lovely DT cards do pop over to the Nicecrane Blog here there is a very cute Freebie over there at the moment!

They are perfect to re size as I wanted to use my favourite Spellbinder floral oval dies to cut it out. I also wanted to use Kraft paper and found that this went through my printer perfectly. I used the top left image for my card.

And a close of of that gorgeous Vintage image.

I  made some handmade paper using Distress Ink on Kraft paper which I embossed with a snowflake pattern, this is just visible under the focal image. I also used some fun holly paper from my stash. The holly and Santa's sleigh die cuts are Cheery Lynn. I cut the sleigh using gold mirror card which is soo difficult to photograph.  I added a snowflake charm from my jewellery stash and some red pearls as holly berries. The ribbon is from last year.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Winter Wonderland The holly and the ivy
A Creative Romance Dies/punches
Crafty Ribbons anything goes with ribbon
Make it Monday Linky party #159
Woopsi Daisy Ribbons and bows
Bearly Mine anything goes
Papertake Weekly Stetchie I have used Sketch #51
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Oldie but a Goodie Dies/punches my floral Oval die was one of my first buys in December last year.
Simon Says Stamp Celebrate my Spellbinders Oval dies are available in their web site shop
Country View Crafts layers
Natalie and Amy embossing you can see my embossed handmade paper behind the focal. I used a snowflake design.

I would also like to give a shout out the Ribbon Girls who are having another generous giveaway here

We are now officially in autumn but there still seems to be some lovely sunshine about. I even managed to cut the lawn when I got home this afternoon. Downton Abbey is back on our screens too ;0) This morning I returned to my silversmithing class and we have some interesting projects lined up to make. The first one is to make a metal orchid out of copper and I have been sawing out the pieces today. Enjoy your week and Keep Crafting. Thanks as always for all your kind visits and a really warm welcome to my newest followers.

Someone else has been enjoying the sunshine, I spotted my sweet Billy flat out late this afternoon high up on our kitchen roof....bless

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 20 September 2013

Finding some shade in the Butterfly Valley

The first few days of our holiday were really scorching, it reached 36c on the Thursday. My Hb and I like hot weather but even for us this was a little too hot. We decided to hire a car and head up to the Butterfly Valley which is 5km from Theologos. This place is just a perfect spot to visit and the 1.5km steep walk uphill to the view point is really worth it. In addition to the wonder of the butterflies (which are actually a variety of the Panaxia moth) there are lizards, freshwater crabs and beautiful foliage to see in the dappled shade.
This is near to the entrance and as you walk into the valley you become aware that there are literally millions of butterflies inside.
They are on every surface
tree trunks
even under the walkways and bridges.
The water flowing through the valley really cools everything down and is delightful to hear
and in the rockpools which it forms are lots of freshwater crabs

and of course where you find water and butterflies you will always find..

We made our way up the steep climb to the wonderful view point where the valley opens up again.
We sat in the shade of a tree and absorbed this wonderful view. After resting our legs we then made our way back down.

Now I will share a photo which I took about a month ago in my kitchen. My Hb called me as he was so shocked to see what was on the ceiling...
 I zoomed in and was so amazed to see this....I am sure it is the same variety.
Do you think it had flown all the way from Rhodes to remind us to pay them a visit ;0) 

My card for today just has to be butterfly inspired doesn't it. This is a card I made for a commission as a get well card. 

It features one of the first LOTV stamps I ever bought, Dandelion Clock Girl and it is still one of my favourites. 
Here she is in close up

I coloured her with my Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils. I made my sky with pastel chalk and a cloud die template. I also coloured the grass. I added some bling to her wings and dandelions with glamour dust. The pretty border is a Martha Stewart punch as are all the butterflies I punched out of glitter card. I even found a little dragonfly charm. The tags are also LOTV.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
I love Promarkers anything goes
Divas by Design anything goes
The ABC challenge V for very cute
Cute Card Thursdays fairies
Simon says stamp celebrate the small and large Monarch butterfly punches are both for sale in the shop
Country View Crafts Layers
 Crafts to Challenge you Texture, twist 2, add something shiney My textures are the punched border, the embossed backing paper and round, embossed die cuts and the Baker's twine. The shiney additions are the glamour dust and the glitter card I have used for the butterflies
Crafty Cardmakers things with wings
Tuesday Throwdown Things with wings
Oldie but a Goodie Dies\punches my round dies are from last Christmas and my MS punches are at least 2 yrs old now!
Sparkles Monthly challenge Fairies and/or butterflies

The sunshine seems to be making a come back for the weekend but there is a definite autumnal feel in the air and the nights really are drawing in. We're off to see my darling daughter and our SIL today and I will be able to hug that baby bump too. Enjoy the weekend and thanks as always for visiting me here.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 19 September 2013

From summer to autumn in a day

Hello everyone, I'm back from a fantastic week away on the sunny island of Rhodes where the late summer sun is still blazing away. This was the view we woke up to every morning. We could sip our morning cup of tea on our balcony and gaze out to the blue Aegean sea.

We left temperatures there in the 30s to find the high of today at home is going to be..gulp..16c. At least at the moment the sun has broken through and I am able to get some of my mountains of washing dried outside. Seriously though it is great to be back, there is no place like home and I am looking forward to autumn, it is such a pretty season, the colours are glorious.

We spent alternate days on the beach and sightseeing. I am such a fidget that I could never spend a whole week lying on the beach. I do love the beach though and I have a fascination for watching the waves rolling in. Our beach were we stay has a narrow part where we like to lie on our sun loungers and the waves almost tickle your toes.

On our beach days I regularly took a stroll, there are not really shells to find but there is always some form of wildlife to spot

Hello Mr Crab

There are so many fishes to see; all sizes and shapes. The funniest are the plaice which lie flat on the sea floor and watch you. They shuffle further into the sand if they think you have spotted them. The sea is so clear and warm, it is like swimming in an aquarium. I like to snorkel to see the bigger fish further out and I found my Hb had taken a couple of snaps.

After a lazy day on the beach it was time to shower and head out to our favourite cliff top restaurant. There we could watch the sun go down, whilst enjoying a cool glass of Mythos.

Just bliss. I will try to sort through the many photos I have taken and I will be back soon with a return visit to the wonderful butterfly valley as well as a visit to Rhodes town and ancient Kamiros.

Today's card challenge is inspired by all the blue skies, sea and sunshine we enjoyed. It is a tag and wrapping paper set I made for my Hb.

 Here is the tag in close up

For the tag I used TH Distress inks to create the background and then added a Marianne die cut butterfly. The tags are LOTV and the other leaf die cuts are also Marianne. I added pastel chalk to the Memory box cloud.
For the paper I used TH distress inks for the Whimsy Vintage seed packets stamp set.

The sentiment on the paper says it all

I would like to enter my tag and/or paper into the following challenges;

Simon says Stamp celebrate there is also a hop over there. The products that I have used here which are available in there shop are Tim Holtz distress inks ( I have used vintage photo for the sentiment above and several colours in my tag, the Marshmallow cloud die by Memory Box is also available over there.
Artistic Inspiration anything goes
Divas by Design anything goes
Whimsy Stamps Challenge masculine
Make it Monday Linky party #158
Charizma Card challenges favourite colour combo this blue and green is one of my all time faves and I use it a lot!
A Creative Romance dies/punches
Oldie but a Goodie dies/punches my butterfly and leaf dies are all more than 6 months old
Crafty Cardmakers Winged things
Sparkle Monthly Challenge Fairies and/or butterflies

I hope everyone is well and keeping busy? Time is flying by as my darling grandbaby is due in now less than 50 days, not long now. And for those of you who, like me, count down the days; it's only 97 days til Christmas....LOLOLOL!

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x