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13 posts from November 2008

November 30, 2008

more from paris ...

It's snowing in Paris.  (And it's so pretty! Hoping it stays through the morning so I can take a few pics.)

D and I were just standing at our hotel room window, watching the Eiffel Tower "sparkle" (which it does every hour on the hour).  When it stopped sparkling we noticed the snow blowing over the French flag flying below our window.  Ah ... so pretty.  Winter is my favorite time in Europe.

A photo doesn't capture the sparkle as well ... but I tried.  *smile*

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Today was a busy day, but fun.  We spent the afternoon and evening shooting a market in the modern section of Paris: La Defense.  When you see pics of Paris, they're rarely from this area (and for good reason, I guess).  I mean, when you have so many old, beautiful things to see, most folks would want to see that, not modern skyscrapers that look like they could be in any big city.  But ... if you've seen a lot of Paris, it's worth a stop.  Definitely not what you think of when you think "Paris."  At least not for me.  *smile*

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This is Le Grand Arch in La Defense ... the Christmas market we went to today was right below it.  (Le Grand Arch is on the Champs d'Elysees further down from the Arc de Triomphe.  They're all in a pretty little line - "all" being the Arc du Carousel near the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and Le Grand Arch.  *smile*

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The market was a bit different, being in a modern setting when most markets I've been to in Europe seem to be in older sections of the cities.  But still nice ... and SUCH good food.  

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Tartiflette is one of our favorites: potatoes, ham, creme fraiche, and a bit of Swiss cheese.  I know at least a couple of people that don't eat potatoes.  This is one of those things that make me think they are CRAZY.  *laugh*  

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And this was my "oh man, this is cool" item of the market.  That's cheese ... and a heating element above it.  She's scraping the heated, melty bits of cheese into a baguette filled with cured ham.  SO yummy.  Gah.  I'm hungry all over again now.  

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After the market we went to the Champs d'Elysees and stopped in at a few favorites spots.  One being Laduree.  We picked up macarons to go and have just finished a nice little snack of cookies and champagne.  Gotta' love Paris.

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One last shot of the Tower I took tonight ...

Hope you guys are having a great weekend too!  Tomorrow we're headed back to Germany!  Talk to you soon!

Siggy

November 29, 2008

bonjour ...

*photo heavy post ahead*

After spending the afternoon at the Marche de Noel in Metz, we got into Paris yesterday evening.  I typed that and thought "really, it was ONLY last night that we got here!?"  It feels like we've done so much.  I'll catch ya' up on photos from Metz soon, but I was really excited to share a few things from today ...

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I have a few more "to do's" as far as shoots go, but I also have time to take in the sights.  So I always like to check out what else is in the area I'm gonna' be in.   

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Stumbled across a small market this morning.  I love markets. (And cheese.)  *laugh*  

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And look what else we found: Le Temple of Scrap!  Is that a fun name for a scrap store or what?  It was HUGE.  Wound back into little rooms, etc.  Mostly American products, but a few French companies too.  What struck me most about the store was the number of men shopping.  Not just in with their wives, but in on their own shopping.  There were just as many men as women (and it was fairly busy).  

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Walking to our next destination we ran across this place ... l'Art du Papier.
  

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And look what was inside.  Do you see them?  Past the oragami window display?  Stamps.  Which ... is "Tampon" in French.  Seriously.  Oh ... and I learned in Le Temple du Scrap that clear stamps are, wait for it ... crystal tampons.  Fancy.  *laugh*  

While most of the stuff in the scrap store had been from the US, these stamps: all French.  It was SO cool.  And the woodblocks had the coolest grooved designs.  It's the little things.  *wink*  

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There was also a LOT of paper in the shop.  Not all this big, but all pretty.  So much eye candy!

And then we saw this place: Marie Papier ...

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We have a theory about Paris: that different segments of retail operations stay in the same neighborhoods.  So, for instance, why we were finding all the paper places in one little neighborhood.  I know it works the same for cooking supplies - go to Les Halles and you'll find tons of restaurant supply stores and ingredient spots.  But ... I've never read anything to PROVE this, but it sure seems to be the case.  But seriously ... I was giddy to walk down one street and find all these pretties!    

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Later in the day, we cut through the Louvre courtyard to get to ... 

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One of the coolest art supply stores I've ever been in.  (I love to look at art supplies.)  And it's across from the Louvre.  I mean, seriously, an art supply store that you can see the Louvre from it's windows?  Gah.  *laugh*    

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This doesn't even scratch the surface of the colored pencils they carry ... 

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A few brushes ... they must have 1000's. 

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Upstairs are rooms filled with canvases and all sorts of papers ...  

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This is behind the counter.  I love that the pigments and paints are in pretty canbinets.  It reminds me of an old chemist's room or pharmacy (the shop is over 100 years old - always selling art supplies - can you imagine the folks that have been through it's doors!?)  

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Drawer upon drawer of pastels ...  

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I *love* pastels ...  

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The Louvre across the street ...  

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And Nikola was on the bridge painting.  I get a real kick out of this guy's work.  He sits in this spot and does watercolors of the buildings nearby.  They're lovely.  We've been buying them from him, well, since a small painting was 5E and a large 25E - years.  (The small ones are 10E now and the large 60E - at least today.)  *wink*   He spends part of the winter in Venice, so I was surprised (but happy) we got to see him.

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The towers and spires of Notre Dame and St. Sulpice ...  

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La Madeleine church.  A couple of famous composers were organists here (Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré) and Chopin's funeral was here.

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One of the window's at Fauchon ... 

*whew*

That was a lotta' pics (and it was tough to narrow 'em down to just those - so many pretty papers and art supplies)!  *laugh*  If you're stll with me, a few random tidbits ...

  • I'd nearly forgotten how much I love the public transit system here.  The car has been, as usual, parked the entire time and we've walked or used the Metro to get everywhere.  It's a great way to get around.
  • The light in Paris is lovely. I'm starting to believe it's impossible to take a bad photo (hope I haven't jinxed myself by saying that).
  • Fanta Citron is the best drink ever (and Europe has better Diet Coke than the US).
  • No matter how many times you see the Eiffel Tower, it's always cool.
  • I love Paris.

Which makes me realize that I've yet to post a pic of it ... *gasp*

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Not sure what's up with the blue EU flag-ness ... but there ya' have it!  And on that note, I'm calling it a night!  We're in Paris for one more night and then it's back to Germany!  Talk to you soon!

Siggy  

November 28, 2008

happy thanksgiving ...

share your spark fridays will return in two weeks.  *smile*  In the meantime,  I'm gonna' use the ol' blog here as a travel journal to keep in touch with my Mom who worries when I travel (and so my cell phone bill isn't astronomical when I get home. *smile*) and share a few photos ... enjoy!

*****

"Happy Thanksgiving .. and welcome to Frankfurt."  That's how our turkey day kicked off yesterday with an early morning arrival.  A few hours later we were checked into a hotel in the area we used to live in. The Christmas decorations are up (not on yet, but up) and there's a dusting of snow. 

Tidbits from the day ...

  • The hotel let us check in early.  (Same hotel Michelle!  Trick is letting DAVE try to check in.  And we were two hours early, not 20 minutes!  So much for procedure!)
  • We ate at Happy Tummy.  "Happy Tummy" is the name we gave to the Asia Imbiss (basically a cart in a parking lot with a guy that makes really yummy Chinese food).  The guy that owns it questioned Dave - "Where have you been?  I haven't seen you in so long."  *laugh*  (Emily - you'll have to tell John that Dave said Happy Tummy made him miss John.  "Things that make me miss John #236."  *wink*  And it was GOOD. 
  • We stopped into Kaufland (kinda' like a German version of Wal-Mart) to look at the rows of Christmas chocolates.  We also bought a bottle of wine for later.
  • I miss buying good wine for $2 a bottle.

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This one makes me laugh.  (By the way ... "cool American" is cool ranch.)  Dave, who just leaned over to see what I was writing adds ... "I thought they were just special for me!"  *laugh*

  • Dave is silly.
  • I'd forgotten how green it was in Germany.  Even in winter.  Even with a dusting of snow.

In the afternoon we went to the Christmas market in the oldest town in Germany: Trier ...

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Porta Nigra and Christmas lights ... 

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When we lived here, going to the market in Trier on Thanksgiving night was our Thanksgiving Day tradition. So it was pretty cool that it worked out to do that again ...

  • We had our first hot chocolate, gluwein (hot spiced wine), and chocolate covered banana of the market season.
  • We had pommes (french fries) from the Patat Haus.  I maintain that these fries are the best in the world.  (Must have them with mayo.)
  • The atmosphere is just as cool as ever 
  • I love the decorations.

Despite how dark it is in the last photos, it was only about 5:30 when we left.  The jet lag was catching up and we were beat by the time we got back to the hotel.  So tired that we did NOT go to our favorite restaurant for potato soup (I know this will shock everyone).  Not only did we not go there for soup, we didn't even eat dinner.  We crashed.  No dinner at all.  Not even a late night Doner.  Has to be the LEAST amount of food we've ever had on Thanksgiving ever.  *laugh*

Today we're heading into France for the weekend for markets in Metz and Paris - then it's back to Germany!

And with that I'm heading downstairs to breakfast.  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  Talk to you soon!

Siggy
 

November 26, 2008

on our way ...

I'm passing time at JFK airport ... It's been an uneventful travel day so far. Just what I look for from air travel. No delays. No getting stuck on the runway. And no crashing. At least not yet. Hope to post photos along the way. Internet was spotty last time, so I'll hope for better this trip. Talk to ya' soon!

November 24, 2008

starting to get excited ...

It's T-minus 40 hours or so until I'm on a plane headed back to Germany and France ... and I'm starting to get excited. 

With my eyes still giving me trouble, the worry portion of the pre-trip goings-ons had kinda' been overshadowing the "wheeee, I'm going someplace cool" portion of the before-the-trip ritual.  (A giant to-do list is also interfering.)  But this afternoon I started making a list of some things I wanted to look for, making lists of shots to try to get, and anticipating some of the good things I miss about living there.  And I got a little excited. 

Off to finish the laundry so I can try to get most of the packing done tonight ...

Siggy

November 21, 2008

share your spark fridays ...

I don't know about you guys, but I sure am happy it's Friday!  I haven't been posting much (or crafting much) this week.  I'm having some vision issues that have made it a little tougher than normal to be crafty and photo it - which is no fun - but here's hoping it's nearly run it's course!  So, without further ado ... welcome to another edition of share your spark fridays!

Last week these creative ladies shared their spark by making a tag ...

Heather
Emily
Amanda
Shannon
Tinla
Glenda
Deb (and here)
Lori

Be sure to check 'em out!  Makes me want to make more tags!

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For this week's spark, I wanted to challenge you guys to do something REALLY simple.  The holidays are coming up, everyone's bustling about with a million and one things on their list of to-do's, so what better time for a challenge that's easy peasy simple ...

Design a card using letters ...

What could be easier than a simple design, maybe even just one word like I did, using stickers, die cuts, even stamped letters?!  Here's what I made ...

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When I was in Seattle recently for the A Muse get together, I saw a design similiar to this one at Impress in Tukwila (great stamp store!) and my mind starting going!  I loved how they had used letter stickers for the focal point of the card.  So that's what I did and added a wee stamped holly leaf and some bling for good measure.  *smile*  It's REALLY simple, but also a really fun, clean effect, don't you think?

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I made this in minutes.  Seriously.  Minutes.  And that's important this time of year when I feel like I'll never get it all done.  *smile*

Now it's your turn!  I can't wait to see how you guys use letters as the focal point in your card designs!  And don't forget to share your spark by leaving a comment on this post with a link to what you create!

Siggy

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a*muse stamps used ...
holly from peace and cheer set

ink ...
memento bamboo leaves

embellishment ...
making memories fa la la shimmer stickers ("joy")
a*muse micro dots twinkle stickers

 

November 17, 2008

noel ...

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When I met my friend Deb Friday night at a crop, she basically said that after all my giddiness over the Slice, that she couldn't believe all I'd said in Frday's post was that I'd made the tag with it.  *laugh*  Then I proceeded to spend the whole crop giggling over what I'd cut out with it.  Again.  So for those of you who have been spared from listening to me singing it's praises - the new Slice is awesome.  I love it.  It does happy things.  Oh yeah ... and I made this card using it. *laugh*  

Seriously.  Ridiculously.  Easy.

And no, I have no affiliation with Making Memories.  Other than the one where they take all my money.  *grin*

No, it's not taking the place of my beloved stamps.  I mean, come on, nothing can do that.  But it's still a fun addition to my card making arsenal. 

Happy Monday!

Siggy

November 14, 2008

share your spark fridays ...

I'm back!  Again.  *laugh*  All the traveling this month has really put a damper on my crafty blogging.  But I'm home for the next two weeks and hoping to get back to my normal crafty ways!  I've had a lot of fun on the road, but it's good to be home and good to be crafty again!  So without further ado ... welcome to another edition of share your spark fridays

I want to thank everyone who played along last time by using numbers in their creations!

Rachel
Amanda
Nicole (and here)
Pat

Be sure to check out their creations - so cute!

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Since we've turned a corner and are barrelling towards the holidays, I thought a holiday gift giving related spark was in order! 

Create a tag!

How easy peasy is that?!  Here's what I made ...

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When Christmas rolls around, I'll add a name to it and onto a present it will go!  The best bit is that this one took me no time at all - which is a really good thing this time of year.  And while I will be stamping tags too, this one was all die cut using Stampin Up paper and that new gizmo from Making Memories - the Slice.  (Not to mention a bit of A Muse ribbon to top it all off!)

Now it's your turn!  I'm really looking forward to seeing what kind of tags you guys make this week!  And don't forget to share your spark by leaving a comment on this post with a link to what you create!

 Siggy

November 11, 2008

home sweet home ...

I got back from Seattle last night.  I love it there - such a great town. And this time I was there for a very special reason: A Muse!  If you've been reading the A Muse blog, you'll know that nearly all the A Muse team was together for a busy weekend of fun (oh, and some work too).  *wink*

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My first full day in Seattle was RAINY.  And after trips to the airport, lunch, and a brief walk through Pike Place Market for Starbuck's, I went to Trophy Cupcakes with Michelle and Geeta


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And we catch up with some of the team at a Mexican Restuarant later that night ...  Lyndsay, Geeta, Michelle, Glenda, and Tisha.

 

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Quite a few of us spent Friday in a Copic Certification class ... Novell, Joyce, and Glenda


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The Cupcake Social back at the new A Muse shop.


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Saturday was filled with lots and lots of information and that night we ALL had dinner together downtown. 



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Sunday morning was spent at A Muse HQ and that afternoon and evening I did a little sightseeing with Lyndsay, Tisha, Michelle, and Jennifer.

And if you want to see a few more photos from the weekend, I've put an album up on the right hand side!

It was a great weekend and it went by REALLY fast!   So many laughs, SO many cameras, and not a lot of sleep. Looking forward to seeing these ladies again sometime soon!

Siggy  

November 05, 2008

greetings from seattle ...

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Got in ahead of what appears to be a "November soaking" according to the weather guy I'm watching on the news. Which makes me really happy I got out to take a few skyline photos tonight while it was pretty and clear!

Stopped into the new A Muse shop today ... the new building is lovely.  It looks so different from back in April.  I didn't take any pics at the shop today, but I'm sure I will before the end of the weekend.  =)

Well, I'm whipped, so I'm callin' it a night!  I'll check in again soon!

Siggy 

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Hi! I'm Heather, and welcome to my blog! I stamp, I travel, I make stuff, I cook, I take tons of photos - and you'll find a little of all of that here!


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