Sunday, 26 December 2010

I definitely had a White Christmas!

Well what does one expect when one is spending Christmas at a ski resort high in the Norwegian mountains!!!

Mind you after the shenanigans we had getting here it was a blessing to see the gorgeous Dr Holms hotel in Geilo last Tuesday evening!!

With the bad weather we'd had on the weekend of the 18th 19th, we were worried about actually getting out of the UK on the evening of Monday 20th.... and despite being assured by the lovely lady at Norwegian Air Services that the flight was running and on time when I called at 2pm, by the time we arrived at Gatwicj at 3:45, we saw the dreaded word CANCELLED against our flight.... yes we weren't going anywhere that evening so we headed back to the house we had locked up only a couple of hours before and got on the PC and rebooked everything! We were lucky to get offered a flight early the next morning from Stansted, so grabbed it - and then went and prepared what Roger called the "Umbrella syndrome" - he got the snow chains on the car and I booked everything else...

So 4am on Tuesday saw us heading for Stanstead - on snowchains, which thankfully we were able to remove once clear of our own road! Once on the main A21/ M25/ M11 we were fine and we hit the airport at 5:45am and handed the car over to the valet parkers and headed into chaos!!!

Our flight was showing on the boards but with no details of where to check in or anything against it.... so we found a convenient spot - and waited.......and waited.... Finally - Roger gave up and went to look for something for breakfast and no sooner had he vanished into the crowds, than the announcement came over the tannoy (at 6:45) to go to the furthest  check in desks and what looked like half the airport started charging towards the desks.... Rog came rushing back and we shoved the laden trolley after the crowds..... We finally got into a queue of sorts, at the nominated desks, and indeed there were 2 desks with Norwegian boards above them - but no - one to check in the passengers....

So we waited....... and we waited...... and we waited......finally at 7:30, someone appeared and even then spent another 10 minutes chatting to his colleague on the upper level. What was annoying was the fact that although there was no check in happening, the tannoy kept calling people to the unmanned desks so people were obviously thinking that they were late and kept trying to push into the queue. Anyway - after an hour of waiting check in finally started at 7:45 (remember the flight was supposed to take of at 8:20)......and we finally hit the desk at 8:15 to  be allocated seats right at the back of the plane....

Then we had a mad rush through security and onto the wee train to take us to the gate (we didn't have to as there were dozens of people in the queue behind us but try telling that to a stressy husband!) where we sat for another eon waiting to board! We finally took off at 10:20, and were very grateful that we had allowed ourselves a cushion of 4 hours to catch the train up to the mountains!. We landed safely in Bergen and having grabbed our luggage, jumped into a taxi for the station.....

Roger had managed to nip to the Duty Free in Stansted to buy the celebratory champers for our wedding anniversary on the 22nd, and the big day... and he put the bagg with the precious bubbly in the boot with the bags.... only to see it go flying when the driver pulled one of the bags out at the station..... we watched £25 worth of vintage Veuve Cliquot pour over the cobblestone.....Fortunately the second bottle survived!

We stashed the bags in left luggage and nipped out to get some lunch.before heading back for the train...... check out these super comfy seats - eat your heart out SouthEastern railways!!!!!!

`Anyway - 3 hours later we were met at the station by the hotel minibus to take us up to the hotel! We checked in - and headed straight for dinner
The big event in Scandinavia is always Christmas Eve... the shops and skilifts all shut early to allow everyone to get home for the Julefest. We had the most sumptous hot and cold buffet  with loads of choice of cold meats and seafood and the traditional meal of roast pork and lots of lovely desserts including rice pudding (YUM!!!). After dinner - we got a visit from a certain person with one of his friends....

Santa sat in the lobby dishing out presents to the younger guests - I was able to get up close and personal with his reindeer who was very tame and didn't seem to mind being pawed, petted and photographed by all and sundry!

See those Antlers??? They tell you that this is a lady reindeer as the males shed their antlers in the winter - proof positive that Santa relies on a team of ladies to get him round all those houses on Christmas Eve without getting lost!!!

Anyway - we had noticed in the ballroom that the Christmas tree had been moved into the centre of the dancefloor, ready for the traditional dancing and singing round the tree. Here are some of the dancers, and notice the beautiful national costumes which a lot of our fellow guests were wearing..... lots of them - and every single one was different!

Anyway - we finished our drinks and headed to bed....unfortunately not to wake up to presents as they had to be left in England..... can't wait until we get home to whether I made the nice list this year!!

Merry Christmas and happy new year to you all!

Friday, 17 December 2010

How to make the Christmas Tree Advent Calndar...

Following several requests.....

The basic instructions for the Christmas tree advent calendar are on my other blog... complete with a link to the template for the twist box "crackers"

Scrapaholic at Large

Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Advent Calendar Christmas Tree

As many of you know, there was a Cyber crop on UK Scrappers last weekend, and one of the challenges was to take a mystery kit and create a WOW project using just the kit (and the packaging it came in) and a very limited range of extras. However, due to the crummy weather delaying the post and some of the ordered kits, the mystery kit wasn't included in the points totals or voted on until everyone had a chance to submit their entries.

Anyway, cutting to the chase, the galleries opened last night - and I can at last share my creation with you! I'm actually a bit cross as I rushed to finish and upload this by the original deadline, so the finishing touches and the photographs aren't too good.

First of all - I made the 25 little crackers using my (contraband) SU candy wrapper sizzix die and whisper white and basic black cardstock, held together with sticky strip. These contain an assortment of sweets and chocolates. Then having worked out how to make the pyramid shape I needed - I satrted cutting up the pizza box the kit arrived in to make the tree and the base.

The cardboard was painted using black acrylic paint, then sprayed with a mica mist to add some sparkle, before being assembled. and decorated using chipboard snowflakes, patterned papers and bling along with some snowflakes (cut with another piece of SU contraband - the snowflake punch) cut from mica misted whisper white cardstock

The crackers were decorated with patterned papers from the kit and the tags were punched from card and paper using my trusty SU circle punches. Finally the filled and labelled crackers were all popped onto the shelves of the tree

At the moment it is proudly displayed as part of my Christmas decorations but come putting away time,  I will probably remake the tree using foamcore board, and taking a bit more time as the whole tree is very usable for next year.

If you would like to check out how I am doing in the voting, you can find my entry in the Fairies gallery along with those from the 16 other Christmas Fairies who entered!

Hope you enjoyed this

Monday, 6 December 2010

The Origami Christmas Tree

Quite a few of my readers have asked me about the instructions for the origami tree I featured as part of the blog hop yesterday.

I spend hours on youtube looking for various origami projects which I can use to feature the gorgeous Designer Series papers Stampi' Up! produce, and I stumbled over this one last week. It looks really complicated, but in fact its really really simple - just 5 squares of DSP and a touch of glue.

Unfortunately, I didn't make a note of the address, and now I can't find it again (isn't that just typical??) but if you give me until the end of the week, I will knock up a photo tutorial for it (I have scrapbook club and a visitor this week so don't have time right now.

Watch this space!

The morning after.....

Remind me that its not really a good idea to mix a cyber crop on UKS with preparing for a blog hop... I was buzzing with ideas which hit me at the last minute so I ended up with not doing as much as I would have liked for both events. Add into the mix a hubby panicking about his trip to the US this week (don't worry dear - as long as you can take off from Heathrow you will be fine - Washington DC and New York know how to deal with heavy snow!) and a stroppy teenager with cabin fever....... and shall we just say I'm glad its just me and my dog this morning!!

I thought I'd share one of the cyber crop challenges I completed with you today!

This one was a 3 part challenge - On Friday evening we were challenged to produce 3 decorated trees, on Saturday a 3 word title, and then yesterday we were challenged to produce a layout with our trees and title - and here's what I came up with. Its not as skew whiff in real life - the page bowed in the middle as I was trying to take a picture. I used the Christmas Suite colours and the Jolly Holiday papers again - and I'm really chuffed with the result!

Hubby? Well as far as I know - he made it to Washington around 1 am this morning!

As ever - if I can help with any of your last minute Christmas crafting - please let me know!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Welcome to the Tartan Stampers Blog Hop!

Good morning everyone and welcome to the first ever Tartan Stampers Team Blog Hop! With most of us being snowed in, we've been getting on with some Christmas crafting - and thought we'd like to share some ideas with you.

You may have started here or joined me from Fiona's blog (wasn't her project just gorgeous? I NEED me one of those frame thingys!) and there are 10 blogs for you to visit today!

As always - if you are inspired by what you see here - please get in touch as we can still get orders to you before Christmas. There's a link to the online catalogue on the right and if you would like to order any of the items I used - you can get hold of me on 07973 969153 or vai email at Orders placed by the end of today are usually here by next Thursday......

Anyway - let's move on to my own offerings!

Some of you may be aware that there is a cybercrop on UKScappers this weekend - and here is a card I created for one of the challenges on Friday night (Mrs - moi?) I had a lot of scraps of the Jolly Holiday papers left over from Convention swaps and I used some of them to create this gorgeous little origami Christmas tree - I used the Christmas suite colours of Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive and Very Vanilla for the card and the greeting comes from the Occasional Greetings set. The envelope was stamped with Delightful Decorations (using the masking technique) and the strings added with a marker pen!

I love having place names on the table for Christmas lunch (as we normally have 10 or more for lunch and I am usually busy serving up - it helps if all they have to do is find their own seats! This was last year's effort which I unearthed whilst tidying up......

And here are this year's - bigger, better and more 3 dimensional with a wee Christmas chocolate for eating with coffee after lunch hidden in the mini cracker! Again the Christmas Suite Colours, with Jolly Holiday papers and Delightful Decorations stamp set!

 Here is one of my table decorations.....

I found instructions for this (not so) little origami Christmas tree on Youtube - and had to give it a go!! Again the Jolly Holiday papers are in evidence

Finally I'd like to share a project I did at one of Natalie's (link will follow) Stampin' Days in Crawley. This fab concertina folder filled with 6 Christmas cards was made using half of a Christmas Jingle Simply Scrappin' kit and a spool of Old Olive grosgrain ribbon. Here's the outside of it all closed up.....

Open it up and here are the 6 cards  we made to go inside... aren't they lovely? (and there's still a load of the papers and stickers left over!)

Anyway - that's all from me - if you have enjoyed having a peek - please leave a comment.

Now - pop over and see what our uber-talented Sharon has got for you today - her blog is always a treat to visit!!

Merry Christmas!