Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Girl

Hello!  Today I have a little girl's birthday card to share with you today.  It was very simple and easy to make since I used a K & Co dimensional sticker for the main focal point.  I simply put a piece of designer paper onto a pink card base and then cut a white backdrop using a Spellbinder's Nestabilitie.  I inked the edges of the white panel to make it pop more.  I then cut a narrow strip of card stock to run down the middle of the card and covered it with pink organza ribbon and a bow.  The beautiful sparkly heart embellies ,which every little girl loves, was already on the sticker.
 I've never met a little girl who does not like pink and lots of sparkle!
Have a great day! Amy

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Vacation - The Gateway Arch

Hello!  So sorry I haven't posted or commented on your blogs much lately, but I just returned from a much needed romantic eight day road trip with my husband.  We visited four cities:  St. Louis, Memphis, Nashville, and Louisville, and of course I will spend weeks sharing pictures and stories of all our adventures!  

On our first day of vacation, we drove from north central Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri.  It was quite chilly when we left, and there was still snow on the ground.  About eight and half hours later, we arrived to temperatures in the seventies and saw lush green grass, and flowering trees and bulbs.  Needless to say, I was in heaven!  When we got out of our car, I just lifted my arms to the heavens and soaked in the warm air and sunshine.  How good it felt to feel warm again after such a long, hard, cold winter.

Our main goal of this vacation was to spend more time in Tennessee.  We seemed to constantly drive through this beautiful state to get somewhere else, and we always thought it would be nice to actually spend some time there.  When I started researching all the places to visit in Tennessee I realized we could never see everything in one week, so we decided to visit the western side first, and then the eastern side on a second visit.  Well the first place I wanted to see was Memphis, but to get to Memphis we had to drive through St. Louis, Missouri; and since that was more than half way there, we decided to spend the night there, and visit a few attractions while we were there also.

  I had driven past the St. Louis Arches many times in my life, but didn't know anything about them.  So when my husband asked what I'd like to do in St. Louis,  I replied that I'd like to learn more about the arches.  So off we went!
It was a bit overcast when we arrived, but the sun broke through later in our visit and my husband got this beautiful picture:
 I loved the architecture of these arches.  They are quite magnificent to see standing beneath them instead of just the view from a car window on the expressway.  One really gets the scale in perspective.  Did you know the arches are taller than the Statue of Liberty?  I certainly did not.  Way up at the very top of the arches are some small windows.  Can you see them in the picture below?  There is a tram that you can take up to the top to get some wonderful views of the city below.
 This is the doorway to our tram.  When the door opens, there is a tiny little pod that looks like something from outer space inside.  It seats five SMALL people.  We had three average/small adults in our pod, and two children and we were touching knees inside. The ride costs about $10.00 for an adult and last four minutes.  Once your on top, you may stay as long as you like.  I wasn't allowed to take pictures once inside the pod, so if you want to see pictures of what the inside looked like, there a nice picture HERE.
 To get to the tram you have to go underneath the arches.  Underground is a museum where you learn all about the history of the arches and Lewis and Clark's adventures, two gift shops, and an IMAX theatre.
 The observation room at the top of the arches measures about six feet high and seven feet wide.  It is quite narrow and on a windy day the Arch will gently sway from side to side.  I didn't feel any swaying while I was up there, and even though I'm afraid of heights, I felt no fear and felt very safe and comfortable.  Here is the view of the Mississippi river from the top of the Arch:
 The windows are very tiny and you have to lay down on your stomach to look through the windows.
 This is the city's old courthouse which is now a museum.  Although we briefly walked through this building, we didn't  explore it much because we didn't have enough time.  We hope to go back there someday and see everything we missed.
 There was a Cubs/Cardinals game that afternoon and the city was flooded with excited fans.  Although I am not a sports fan, I thought their stadium was very pretty.
 We really were impressed with St. Louis, and thought it was a very nice, clean city and now we want to go back there and explore it further.  Since it's only eight hours away,  were hoping we  could back for a four day weekend and spend more time at the old courthouse and perhaps visit the World Fair Grounds.

 The old courthouse faces the river and the Gateway Arch.  This is me standing in-between them both.  Look at that GRASS!  Oh, the joy of no more snow and ice!
 The pillars on the courthouse frame the arches beautifully provided the perfect background for a photo!
 Inside the courthouse are some beautiful old spiral staircases like this one:
 The interior of the courthouse dome.  Oh, how I wish we had more time to walk around this beautiful work of art!
 In front of the courthouse is a town square with a lovely fountain.  The water is dyed red for the St. Louis Cardinals.
 The view from the town square:
 Normally when we travel, I like to cut costs by staying in inexpensive hotels because we are only there to sleep and shower, and are usually up at the crack of dawn to explore the area.  So I was so pleasantly surprised by this amazing Hyatt hotel in Chesterfield.  I paid only $14.95 to stay here, thanks to Hotels.com which gives you one free night for every ten hotels booked, and it was probably one of the best hotels I ever stayed in.  We loved this walk in shower and really enjoyed using it on our romantic getaway!
 The decor of the room was very modern and chic, which is becoming more and more of my style as I grow older.  I use to love anything vintage or antique, but I find as I age my tastes are becoming more modern;  which I hear is very normal, but I live in a house built in the late 1800's, so it's kinda creating a problem for me right now.  How do I balance my new love for anything modern when I live in a house over a hundred years old?
 Such interesting lighting:
 I loved this sectional and would love to have it in my own house.  The screen separating the sleeping area from the living area was so neat too!
 To see flowers and colors again was pure bliss!  I think I inhaled the scent of every flower I passed!

 And of course I had to take my shoes off and walk barefoot through the grass.  Oh, to feel the warm earth and soft ground beneath my toes again!  Life!  I love it!
 There was a beautiful large shopping mall within walking distance of our hotel, so we popped in for a bit.  I thought it so strange, yet lovely, that there was this beautiful Merry-Go-Round inside the mall.  I had never seen that before.  I live fairly close to the Mall of America where there is a full amusement park inside, but I'd never seen carnival rides inside malls before.  However, on our road trip we went to three malls total, and every one had a Merry-Go-Round inside.  It must be the norm in that part of the United States!
Well that concludes today's post of the Gateway Arch.  On my next travel post, I'll share pictures and stories of our visit to the St. Louis Botanical Gardens.  Till then…….

Have a great day!  Amy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fashion Over Fifty: Spring Florals

Hello!  Spring very briefly made it to Wisconsin (since then we got another snowfall and are currently back in the 20's and 30's)  so I took advantage of it by wearing this semi-spring outfit.  It was still too chilly to go without a coat, so I wore my quilted blush jacket last seen HERE to keep me warm.  I carried a mustard yellow purse.
 After years of only being able to visit a Francesca's store in Chicago or Minneapolis, one has finally come to my local mall.  Needless to say, I spent a small fortune there, and this was one of the pretty clothing items I purchased.  It is a sheer top with a beautiful vintage floral print.  I wore a pink tank top underneath.
 I wore light blue skinny jeans by MNG,  to keep the outfit from looking too feminine.  I completed the glam look with pink heels from Payless.   I usually don't buy shoes from Payless, but these were so cute I couldn't resist.  Plus, because the color is so trendy, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them and not get much use out of them, so to Pay Less made a lot more sense!
 I wore a layer of opal and pink pearls  mixed with a chain for jewelry.  It was a challenge to decide whether to even wear jewelry with this blouse, and also to find something that complimented it and not clashed with it, but I did.

 My Payless shoes! I love the fun color and the heel!

It may not look or feel like Spring quite yet, but I'm still going to dress like it!

Have a great day!  Amy

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lets Sail Away!

Hello!  I have a sweet CAS card to show you today.   I picked up this scenic stamp at a local fabric and crafts store because I thought it would make really quick, easy, masculine cards which I am always in need of.

The image is by Stampendous and is called 'Sailboat Bay'.  The sentiment is by Kolette Hall.

I simply stamped the image with Stazon ink onto watercolor paper and then watercolored it using watercolor pencils.  I added a sentiment below the image, and rounded the corners of my main panel, and wa-la the card is done.  Love.  Don't you just wish you could be on one of those sailboats right now?  I do!

Have a great day!  Amy.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Picturing You!

Hello!  I pulled out my retired Stampin Up! set 'All in the Family' and 'All in the Family' accessories to make this fun CAS card.  I used Spellbinder's Nestabilities to create the camera and film strip.   The sentiment is from another retired SU! set.  I popped up the balloons and present on dimensionals, and added Crystal Effects to make them shiny.

 The images were colored with Copics, and I added an adhesive crystal heart for embellishment.
Have a great day!  Amy

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fashion Over Fifty: Wearing Metallic and Denim on Denim

Hello!  This week's Fashion Over Fifty post covers two new trends right now:  metallics, and wearing denim on denim.  I have to admit, metallics have always scared me a bit.  Although I like to look well dressed, I don't want to  stand out, and metallics always seem a little 'flashy' for my taste.  But I did want to jump on the metallic trend a little bit, so I did it in small doses:  metallic shoes!  I also have a metallic jacket that my husband bought for me last year.  Funny how my unfashionable husband was a year ahead of the trends and didn't even know it.   I have to admit, when I first opened his present, I was a bit mortified.  I didn't want to hurt the guys feelings, I mean, he rarely buys me clothing so I didn't want to discourage him, but I thought "Could I really ever wear this?".   The jacket hung in my closet for awhile, but eventually I figured out how to style it (thanks Pinterest!), and I not only wore it, but I grew to like it.  Now every time I put it on, a smile comes across my husband face and he says 'Ooooh, your wearing my jacket.'.  Thank goodness, I didn't return it.  It makes him happy to see me wear it.

Besides metallics, wearing denim on denim,  the big no-no for years, is now fashionable.  There are really no rules anymore for wearing denim head to toe.  I like to wear different shades or colors of denim to break it up a bit, but I've seen lots of pictures with people wearing the same shade of denim from head to toe.  

Pictured below I am wearing a pullover denim shirt from Old Navy and pin stripe denim ankle skinny jeans from a.n.a.  I love this outfit because it screams 'Spring', yet is still warm enough for the cooler temperatures.
 I wore this outfit to church (I did not have to sing on our worship team that day, so I felt I could dress a bit more casual), and I also recently wore it shopping with a friend.  There I am pictured below with all my goodies.  My friend thought it was so funny that I bought so much in one day, but I reassured that I don't do this all the time,  I just rarely have time to go and spend an entire day at a mall so I need to take advantage of it.  That excuse didn't last long when the salesperson at Famous Footwear said 'hello' and remembered me from a previous visit.   Ooops!   Well, I don't often have the luxury of spending an entire DAY at the mall, but I do like to pop into my favorite shoe store between shifts a lot!   What can I say, they are the type of store that constantly gets new items in weekly!
 Here is the metallic jacket my husband bought for me.
 Here is a close up of the pin stripe in my skinny jeans.   I love these jeans!  The narrow vertical stripe makes your legs look skinnier, and they add a lot more interest to an otherwise bland outfit.
 These were my one of my new purchases I made when shopping with my friend.  They are metallic silver shoes by Madden Girl.  I got them at Younkers.  They are so comfortable.  I love how I can integrate the metallic trend as a fifty something woman, in a way that works for me:  flat, comfortable loafers!
 I bought this statement necklace on the same shopping day with my friend.  I bought it from a little jewelry boutique called 'Icing'.  The bracelet is old, I think I bought it from a craft store.  I love how big jewelry like this can take a casual outfit up a notch, don't you?  One minute, I look like an old housewife, and all I have to do is add a glamorous statement necklace, and wa-la, I'm ready to face the world!
Have a great and fashionable day!  Amy

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cool Cat

Hello!  I have a fun little CAS card to show you today.  The image and sentiment is from retired Stampin Up! 'Cool Cat'.  I love images that I don't have to color.  It's not that I don't enjoy coloring, but it is very time consuming and sometimes overwhelming, and I like to just stamp and create some days.  

This was such an easy card to make.  I simply stamped the image and sentiment on a small white panel and added some enamel dots for interest.  I then mounted it on a black panel and then again on dotted designer paper.  A black card base was used for the background.

Have a great day!  Amy