Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Old ISMAKI sketch

I decided to make a card using an old ISMAKI sketch (I made this on the weekend, before the new ISMAKI sketch came out)
The girl is coloured with distress inks used as paints (still Kim's influence), and I decided she looked like a cute hippy, so I chose psychedelic papers.

I hope you like her

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

ISMAKI challenge 22/06 Kianel

This week's ISMAKI sketch was set by Kianel and the option was cardboard.
I was inspired by the lovely Kim Piggott this week, and coloured/painted my Magnolia stamp with Distress Inks (thanks for showing me how Kim).
The option was cardboard, so I added the Tattered Angels Glimmer Chip in the corner.
Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Lake District Holiday - Day 6

4 July 2009 Thursday

Another cloudy, cool day, perfect for walking.
We decided to do a walk by a lake, and we chose the Windermere Ferry walk – 6 miles.
We started the walk from the car park, and walked along the road to the ferry, where Dave looked over a wall and saw a swan and her signets on the grass. Great spot Dave!

The walk entered the National Trust Park and went along a wide path that ran next to lake Windermere.
After a couple of miles of gentle flat walking we headed up the hill, into the forest. The path was laid with stones from over 100 years ago. It was so peaceful and quiet.

The path wound along through the forest (flatter now we had reached the level they wanted to) , and we loved every minute of it. It was everything a forest walk should be! I had found a write-up about the walk, and it told us there was a little path off to the left (that most people miss), that leads out onto some rocks, and stunning views over Windermere.
We found the path (after a few other paths that weren’t right LOL), and were rewarded with a breathtaking view for our lunch.

After lunch we went back into the forest, and started a long descent. At the bottom we walked along an old moss covered dry stone wall. Then we left the forest, which was not expected. We walked beside the wall, which enclosed fields of sheep. Out in the sun it soon warmed up. This was rolling hills rather than steep walking and quite pleasant. The sheep all had lambs which are always fun to watch.
As we rounded a corner of the wall we could see a magnificent tree that had fallen over, perhaps in strong wind? It was a sad sight.

The path headed back into the forest, and preceded to go up and down (with more down than up), until a final steep decent brought us to the folly above the car park.
Finally we went down the Victorian stairs to our car.

We caught the small car ferry across the lake (sadly it sounded more exciting than the journey actually was), and headed back up to Ambleside. Once there we headed up a narrow, steep road to see where it went (as you do, if you are Dave). It wound up the fell to an Inn above. We parked and looked around, but the wind had picked up, and the temperature had dropped, so it was not pleasant up there. We headed back home to pack, as the next day we drove home.

It was such a wonderful holiday we plan to go back later in the year! Now that we know my knee can handle the fell walking, and the distances we will try some more ambitious walks.

Friday, 19 June 2009

ISMAKI challenge 15/06 Isa

Here are my entries for this week's ISMAKI challenge. The sketch was created by lovely Isabelle, and the option is distressed background paper. Great sketch Isa, thank you!

I couldn't decide whether to do a Christmas card or a birthday type card, so I did both.
I hope you like them, and thanks for any comments you leave, I really do appreciate them

Friday, 12 June 2009

Lake District Holiday - Day 5

3 June 2009 – Wednesday

I have loads of pictures for today, as it was a really exciting day for us.
The cold front had come in overnight, so the weather was cooler, only reaching 18C as the high, and cloudy in the morning. This is much better weather for walking.
First we went into town to a deli to have sandwiches made up for our lunch (I chose a yummy bacon and brie with cranberry jelly and salad on a poppy seed roll, Dave chose ham salad on a sesame seed roll).
Then we headed for Hard Nott Pass, which is a very scary mountain pass.
The road is more of a country lane, only wide enough for one car in most places, but runs in both directions. Like in most places in the UK, where the roads are narrow and scary, they have created regular passing places, which are just a scrape on the side of the road that one vehicle can move 2 wheels onto, so the other vehicle can (just) pass. You need to drive very slowly and carefully along there.
Not only is the road narrow, but also very windy and of course rising steeply up and down the two passes. Hard Knott pass itself is 393m high, and the road rises very steeply in the last section (it is very windy there too). It is more like a white knuckle ride than a road! Hence why everyone likes to go up there...
The road leading to the pass was about 4 miles of excitement.
Once on top of the pass we parked the car, donned our hiking boots and decided which fell rising above us to climb. We chose the nearest, Hard Knott Fell. From the road, it rises another 200m almost straight up. We could not see a path up, so we just went for it. It is very steep, and there are a lot of rocks, so we went scrambling up the rocks and through the grass tufts. Here are some views as we climbed.

Our route up the fell.

It was scary for me, as I hate heights, and as we were on the side of the fell, looking down meant looking down all the way to the bottom. I climbed using my hands and feet to keep my body angled towards the fell so I wouldn’t over balance. Dave seemed unaffected by the heights.
I must say, I was very scared, but found it exhilarating, and we climbed quickly.
It was not very far to the top, using such a direct route!
Once we reached the top it was amazing. The views in all directions were stunning, especially the view down the valley below Hard Nott Pass, which is amazing from the pass itself, but even better from the fell above it.

At the top it was wide and easy to walk around and enjoy. We found a large rock to sit down and enjoy our lunch. In front was the full length of the valley with it’s amazing views (see photo above), to the right were the Scafell Pike range of fells – the highest mountains in England. Behind us was the valley we had climbed out of by car to reach the pass. To the left, and nearer, was Harter Fell (one for another time).

I did not want to go back the way we had come up, as it was bad enough to climb up, but down would have been too scary for me, so we looked for a gentler way down, and soon found a trail leading down the side of the fell, on a much gentler route, right to our car!

We headed back home and decided to do an afternoon walk near Ambleside. We parked at the bottom of the hill (at our apartment), and walked up Loughrigg fell behind the house.
It was an easy climb, and the views of both Ambleside and Lake Windermere were breathtaking.
On the way back down the fell

Tonight we had our Thai dinner (that we booked on Saturday night), and then went to the local cinema (in the converted church hall), and watched the newly released Terminator Salvation movie.
The walk home through the park in the twilight was a bit creepy though....

It was such a great day.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Lake District Holiday - Day 4

2 June 2009 – Tuesday

It was hot again – 26C, but cloudier today. The forecast said there is cold front heading this way tomorrow, so we will do more walking when it is cooler.
Instead we decided to head to the west coast. We drove down to the main coastal road on what is meant to be an A road, but being Cumbria, it was narrow, windy and steep in places. It makes driving more interesting though!
We drove up the coast to Ravenglass, which was a quiet little seaside village. There was a signpost for a Roman Bath, so we went off in search of it. We found a narrow gauge railway, and had a look around there, then continued looking for the Roman Bath. A lovely path took us away from the village, past a caravan park and along a logger track. Unfortunately we never found the Roman Bath, the signs dried up and there was just forest!
We gave up and headed back to the car and drove up to Whitehaven with the intention of having lunch there. We were disappointed to discover Whitehaven is a dirty, horrible place, and we quickly changed our minds about eating there. We headed back down the coast to St Bees (yes Mom, where you started your Coast to Coast hike). We found a little tea room overlooking the beach and had our lunch. I chose waffles with ice-cream…

After lunch we drove across to Cockermouth, then on to Keswick, and back down to Ambleside.

It was a relaxed day...

For dinner we went to a Chinese restaurant in Ambleside.

ISMAKI challenge 08/06 Elisa

This week's ISMAKI challenge is a fun sketch from Elisa. The option was "tags".
I decided to make a Christmas card again, as there is no harm in stocking up early on cards for Christmas (sorry Sally...)
I used Basic Grey papers and stamps, with Distress inks.
Thank you for any comments you leave, I really do appreciate them.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Lake District Holiday - Day 3

1 June 2009 - Monday

Another hot and sunny day, it got up to 26C. This is very warm weather for the UK this time of year - the average is around 18C!
We went for another walk, off to Grizedale forest this time. We did a lovely 3.5 mile (5.6 km) walk through the forest (and over a hill), seeing the great and bizarre sculptures and art in the forest created by artists. You can see more information on Grizedale here, and pictures of the sculptures here.
It was lovely – mostly in the forest shade (so not too hot). It was also quiet and peaceful after yesterday’s chaos on Catbells. Schools are back after last week’s mid-term break.

We had our lunch in the forest and then headed back to the car to drive south through the rest of the forest.
Once out, we headed up along Lake Windermere, to Windermere town, where we stopped and had an ice-cream whilst walking through the town.
We then went back to our lovely apartment, but parked at the bottom of the hill, just inside the gates, and walked into Ambleside to look at the shops.
Finally we went up to our apartment to prepare dinner.
Another lovely, relaxing day.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Lake District Holiday - Day 2

31 May 2009 – Sunday

Our first full day in the Lakes.

The day was hot and sunny, reaching around 25C, and we decided to go and walk Catbells, which is a circular fell walk. When we got there we had a bit of a struggle to find parking, as it is just any spot that is off the road! As the roads are narrow, there are not many spots to park. We eventually found a good spot off the road, and in very deep shade (which was needed). It was also only about ½ mile from the start of Catbells, which was handy.

We headed off walking up Catbells. Wow – the scenery was so stunning! The walk ascended quite quickly, and the views became better and better as we went up. The walk was lovely, and at 4 miles (6.4km), not too far, but very steep (up and down) in places. Catbells ascends 1150ft (350m).
We reached the top, and stopped to take in the view and have our lunch. We then went down the other side (steep again), and walked along the lake front in a lovely cool forest.
The only downside was the amount of people up Catbells, as it was a lovely weekend (weather wise) it was like a train station both going up and once up there! The forest was very quiet though – I am not sure where everyone else went, but we were glad they went elsewhere.

Dave on the way up, that is Derwent Water behind him, which we walked next to when we went back down. You can just see a bit of the path behind and below him.

The first picture shows the view off to the opposite side to the water.
The second shows Derwent Water and the path back down into the forest.

I am happy to say my knee did magnificently – I had no pain or problems at all.

On our way home in the car, we stopped at a little dairy farm and had an ice-cream (made on the premises). Then we went into Kendal and walked around the main shopping square. We did not stay long, as most of the shops were closed (it was Sunday).

We headed back to the apartment, relaxed for a while, and then walked into town to have dinner at an Italian Vegetarian restaurant.
Fianlly we went back to the apartment for an early night (too much fresh air!)

Friday, 5 June 2009

Lake District Holiday

Today we got back from our holiday in the Lake District and I thought you might like to hear what we got up to, and see some pictures. We had a wonderful time and we were lucky to have glorious weather.

I will post one day at a time (as I write it up).

I hope you enjoy it.

30 May 2009 - Saturday

The day had finally arrived, we were off on holiday! It was great weather, hot and sunny. That warm I was in shorts for the first time in about 3 years...

The drive up the Lake District took about 4 1/2 hours (we live about 20 miles west of London). When we got there, we were in for a treat, our apartment was amazing! It was accessed by electric gates, then a long, winding, steep road (the house is set in 10 acres of land). The house itself is a grade II listed building, formally the Ambleside Vicarage. It is set above Ambleside, with amazing views over the town. The house has been divided into 10 luxuary aparments.

Our apartment was up the grand staircase to the 2nd floor, in the turrets (hence the strange shaped lounge).

It was amazing, with luxurious furnishing and all the mod cons. It also had some lovely touches from the owners, such as sandwiches in the fridge, a bottle of wine and a box of shortbread biscuits. On our bed were bales of towels, slippers and bathrobes for our use, all monogrammed with the name of the apartment.
There was one double bedroom and a small box room that took a very small single (or in our case, our empty suitcases!) We had a basin and power shower in our room and a full bathroom (shower over bath) next door.

The lounge/dining room was spacious, with a few steps leading down to a lovely fitted kitchen.

Dave in the lounge, and looking down to the kitchen. For better pictures of the inside of the apartment, see here.

After unpacking we drove down the long driveway to just inside the gates (down on the same level as the town) where there is a small car park for guests to use when they walk into town.

The town is over a quaint bridge and just the other side of a lovely little park.

In town we went exploring to find out what was available. As a major tourist area, there were loads of restaurants and settled on a small Bistro which was very quaint with great service and food.

After a leisurely dinner we headed back across to our car (it is light until after 10pm in Cunbria this time of year), we went up to the apartment and after some TV went off to bed.
I will post the next day soon...

I won!

I won! I am so excited - the card I made below won last week's ISMAKI challenge!
Have a look at the link here