Sunday, May 30, 2010

Honey, I'm home!

I can't wait to tell you all the amazing things we did and saw during our 6 days in London. Here are the small samples of our trip...out of 2000 photos (credit: Stephanie and David).
We didn't expect to visit the train station until we went to the British Library which is only a block away from the station. Here's David pushing the cart into the wall at platform 9 3/4 just like Harry Potter. It was a riot as we posed for the photo.
  
Some funny moments during our trip...David took great joy in taking most unflattering photos of Stephanie. He is showing off his "good" work through his candid camera.                                      Stephanie's many snap shots of the London Eye. It took about two hours to get these continuous shots of the London Eye. As the night darkened, Dr. John and I had to go inside the nearby subway to keep warm...just so she can have these amazing photos.
We saw the changing of the guards at the Buckingham Palace just like all the tourists.
 The Queen was too busy to make a speech that day and didn't greet us in person :(
Our first day,we went to the  The British Museum (All the museum admissions are FREE!)
My children show their "respect" for the Egyptian displays...
The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court is an amazing room and architecture wonder.
And our trip will not be complete without seeing the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. The security was super tight, my attempt of "heist" was not successful.
Stephanie did an amazing job taking this London Tower Bridge photo!! The sky was so BEAUTIFUL that it almost looked unreal! We were lucky to have all fantastic weather every day. I didn't see the London rain or fog..... something I don't mind missing.
And of course, we had to see the London Eye and go up for the ride.
It was a 30 min. ride and what a view! The Houses of Parliament (Neo-Gothic landmark) is in the background of our photo looking down from the London Eye.
The night shot of Big Ben was also amazing, isn't it?
My other highlight is to meet my Hero Arts Hostess Sista Cathy. She is just as lovely and sweet as I thought. Her voice was lovely and calm and can be like rapid fire as she got quite excited as we talked. We had so much fun chatting over everything, from HA's new Artist Proof catalog to our stamping /daily life.
We even took the Tube from our hotel to get to Harrods and had a light lunch together at the nearby Starbucks. I didn't take the coffee sleeves there as they are exactly the same here in North America.
Our DHs have a great bonding time chatting over their wives' obssession/addiction hobby...and gave each other needed support and encouragement.
We made it to Harrods together and had a blast shopping and looking over the most expensive handbags and eletronics. This picture was taken by Cathy. For more excitement of our visit, see Video (Part 1) and Video (Part 2)
 And if you think that was an amazing trip already, wait till you hear the ending.... Upon our check-in at Heathrow Airport, returning to Toronto, we were pleasantly surprised to be informed that we got a free upgrade to take four spots in the First Classs cabin with Air India!!! How AWESOME is that!?


As you can see in these three photos of Dr. John, he was smiling from cheek to cheek, even the children said that he looked like a KID!! 

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers for my family trip. I sincerely thank you and I honestly think The God Almighty is really looking out for us!!!  

PS: I will post some more inspirational photos later this month as there were so many food, flower and happy photos that I want to share with you. I will announce the winner for the Travel Stamp set giveaway on June 1 and some more exciting news to share.


  

Friday, May 28, 2010

More purse cards... and a little tutorial.

I'm sharing this purse card that I made for Tuesday Trigger from a few weeks ago. I didn't think it was good enough to post because the proportions were not quite right and the colors were off with the TT. But...I changed my mind and decided to share it after all. Maybe you can find a little bit of beauty in it. Yes?
 I used the versatile SRM Stickers for the handles and added the pleats (which took me forever!). For the purse handles on this one, I glued two pieces of the diecuts in between the pleats and the top part of the purse. It was very straightforward to make.
Many of you requested to see see a tutorial...well, here it is! You start out with a piece of card stock, fold it in half and trim both sides and make sure they are symmertrical. My method is very primitive. So if I can make it you can too!
Here's how it looked...I used the corner punch to round up the bottom corners.
This is how I made the flap this time. I used a circle cutout and fold it over the top.
Then I poked two holes on top and strung the stiff rickrack through the holes. I stapled the card from the inside to keep the rickrack in place. I kept the straps simple this time. I also added the stamped butterfly, gems, buttons (for the finished look)...that's it! I hope you are not disappointed with the tutorial. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'll be happy to show you the ropes :)
I made this for Cathy as she gave me this girlfriend stamp a while ago. It's only fitting to make a card with that message as I will be seeing her for the 1st time soon! Here are the Canadian goodies that I will be bringing to Cathy -Canadian coffee, Canadian maple syrup, Canadian spice, a Canadian thermometer with the our national symbol the maple leaf, and a locally made spoon holder for her kitchen.
When you read this, I will be meeting Cathy in London today. Yes, today!
HELLO GIRLFRIEND!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Food From My Kitchen :)

Won-Ton Soup with Romaine Lettuce
I am a self-taught cook. I have taken cooking lessons a few times, but mostly I learn as I go. I also taught a few cooking lessons myself. When Stephanie and David were in elementary school, I offered my cooking lessons in a silent auction to rasie money for their school. I would put a menu and had the place setting on display for parents to bid on a cooking lesson for four.
Shanghi Style Noodles
 It proved to be such a success that I decided to give more cooking lessons after. I am comfortable giving Asian cooking lessons because of my heritage background.
Ma-Pou Tofu with Mushrooms.
 I have also given my cooking as an end of the year thank-you gift to my children't music teachers. I would go to their homes (with all my supplies and food) and cook a meal for them as they entertained specials guests of their choice. Of course, my kids' teachers LOVE me (and my kids too)!
And oh...with a subscription to "Bon Appetit" , I consider myself well-equipted with the knowledge of the latest food trends and cooking tips/techniques. With a hungry appetite, how can one NOT be a foodie?
Stir Fry Eggplant with sweet/sour Sauce
That wraps up a few of the dishes that are the usual fare in my house. I will share Western-style dishes in the near future. Finally, here are little video clips of "little Gordon" (aka the @#^& Gordon Ramsey Part 1 and Part 2). I personally love the Part 2 and I feel like Gordon every time we eat out when we get a lousy service...I wish I could be like Gordon (LOL)! Enjoy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ahoy Matey!!

I don't think I've ever made this many manly cards. So here's a post of all my recent ones. They are for all ages! This will be great for Father's Day or a birthday.
Love the fern on vellum. It looks so much more realistic and fine
And last but not least is a doodle from Treehouse called Friendship Bloom
I have been wanting to make a sailboat card so here it is!
I'm most proud of the "waves" I made with the Hero Arts border stamp. I highlighted them with a shiny gel pen.
That border stamp is so under used. I must think of more creative ways to use it!
Last but not least is this colorful one. It was fun to play with this Hero Arts "Just a Note" stationary set.
My next post will be a food post to keep your hunger "satisfied". Until my return, ta ta for now!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Around The World Challenge #4


This will be officially THE last post before my trip to London. We are not leaving till this evening, so I still have a few minute to post. After my packing, I made this card before bed last night in about half hour. I didn't want to miss Vicky's Clips-n-Cuts's Around the World Challenge, especially it's London!!
 Since I don't have the right stamps or images, this is my attempt from the inspiration. I think it's great for grads. Don't you think?
I must confess this London trip is giving me a lot of travel anxiety like never before. I am generally a laid-back and relaxed person. But this morning's Air India crash (in India) makes me worried a bit...you see, we changed our flights from British Airways to Air India due to British Airways's strike! And then there's the ongoing volcano situation.....I hope we have a safe trip. Thank you, my blog friends, you must be tired of me rambling about this trip. In fact, I bet you want me to leave now SAFELY! Well thank you, I like that :) ciao!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

To Market, To Market...to get INSPIRATION!

I LOVE going to the markets....it has everything that I want to see.The market is all about food, outdoor displays, crafts...in fact, this is the reason I love spring and summer! I live near the rich farming country in Southern Ontario. Here we have Mennonite poeple (similar to the Amish in Pennsylvania) whose livelihood heavily depends on the thriving business of the farmer's market.
I went to the market to get a few locally made gifts before my trip. Here are a few snap shots.

Are you inspired by these owls and butterflies?
And how about these cute wire outdoor decorations? I was glad that I got the permission to take photos so I took as many as I could.
What about these ADORABLE mushrooms? I think they would look so welcoming in the entrance/foyer!
Don't these images remind you of the leaf prints on your cards or stamps that you have!? I am definitely inspired!
How about these TREE images..? The sun clock looks so gorgeous!
MORE butterflies here....gorgeous shine and colors!
I did get a few pottery items here... so many to choose from.
Yes, markets are all about food, folks....
....and FUN! Since I am inspired by all the fruit and vegetables at the market, here's my fruity card.
I'm brimming with excitement that I will be off to the UK to meet my Hero Arts Hostess sista -Cathy Andronicou!! I will be hugging her on your behalf (those of you from HA Flickr Group) and please keep my family's travel in your prayers. THAT volcano is worrying me... I am sure Cathy will share our meet should it take place on May 28. She will tell you how "horrible" I am in person (LOL) and that I'm not what you all think. Here's my latest "glamour shot" (don't laugh) that was taken by my daughter Stephanie a few days ago.
So if Cathy shares our photos, you should not be shocked how terribly  gracefully I have aged since my last photo. I will miss you, blog friends!! I have a few fun and "yummy" (hint, hint) posts that will get published while I'm away so don't go far!