Saturday, October 10, 2015

Norwegian Fjord Cruise (Part 2)

Dear Yes,Virginia... friends/followers.
It's Dr. John again. Today's post will be about our second port-of-call: Flam, pronounced "flome". Flam is situated in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord - Norway's longest (200km/120 miles) and deepest (1600m/5280ft) fjord.

Our original excursion was "Norway in a Nutshell" which Rick Steves describes as follows: With
the Nutshell, you'll delve into two offshoots of the Sognefjord, which make an upside-down "U" route: the Aurlandsfjord and the Naeroyfjord. This trip brings you right back to where you started 6.5 hours earlier--after cruising Norway's narrowest fjord, riding a bus along an impossibly twisty and waterfall-lined road, taking the train across the mountainous spine of the country, then dropping back down to sea level on yet another super-scenic train.

Unfortunately, just prior to our arrival, there was a bus fire in one of the tunnels, closing the one and only road available for this excursion. So it was cancelled! A big disappointment. I guess that is just part of the travel experience-no matter how meticulously you plan, sometimes things are out of our control. Fortunately, we were able to book another excursion at the last minute to the Stegastein Viewpoint instead.
So, on with the tour.

The Flam Railway Museum, located in the old train station, has exhibits about the history of the train that connects Flam to the main line up above.

Views form Stegastein Viewpoint, overlooking Aurlandsfjord.

Looking down on the town of Aurland.

One of many waterfalls.

The viewing platform.

Aurland again.

Salmon swimming upstream according to our tour guide (use your imagination).

Sailing away from Flam.

Above, multiple views of Sognefjord, as we head out back to the North Sea.
Hope you enjoyed this amazing scenery.
Our next stop is Geirangerfjord.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Virginia's Monthly Stamp Study #13

Hello friends!
Recently I was super inspired by one stamp set and made a few cards with it. I thought that
this would make a good Stamp Study series. So, here it is!
 Full Bloom Cling Stamp by Penny Black

As a child, I was poor at art and never thought that I could manage to do anything awesome in that regard. After all, I was a German major in college and languages were my strength. I learned English when I was in Grade 7 and now it is the language I use 95% of the time.

After my son was born, I discovered "stamping" and it has been a big part of my life since. Today's feature really shows how far I have come. WAY back, I probably could only do brush marker stamping: namely, brush the marker onto the stamps and stamp...done. There is nothing wrong with that and it is still a good tried and true method. But with all the latest tools and the skills I have acquired over the years, I've found out that there are so many more interesting ways to approach a simple stamp.
 With a little bit of creativity and imagination, a stamp can do so much!

This first card is a artsy fartsy one and I quite am proud of it!
Card #1 "Cherish the Season"
cherish the season
With the help of MISTI, I could stamp, clear-emboss and create a colorful watercolor background by smooshing the distress inks. I then silver-embossed the sentiment, added a doily, silver thread and sequins.

Card #2 "Wishing you Merry and Bright"
Merry and Bright
This one was done pretty much in the same manner as Card #1. I simply added gold embossing paste (using a partial stencil). Again, I could not have done this without MISTI.

Card #3 "Especially for you at Christmas"
especially for you
I loved creating this one! I used part of the stamp to do it in a creative way.  By using part of the stamp, you will be surprised what you can come up with. I embossed it in gold for that extra shine after stamping. Basically you are creating your very own design paper.

Card #4 "May your life be filled with LOVE"
love joy peace
 The fun thing about this card is alternating the colors as you go. I don't think all leaves have to be green. It's definitely good to break the rule! I also love the dotty Liquid Pearl Accent.
If you are into floral images, this Christmas Full Bloom is really a fabulous one to have!
 I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do. I hope to continue to do the stamp study every month.
If you do love the feature or love to see how I made any of these cards with a video,
you've gotta let me know :)

Dr. John's Norwegian Cruise (Part 2) is next!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

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