Thursday, 24 April 2008

New die cutter

Well I am in lurve with my new die cutter. I have treated myself to the lovely Pink & Black Big Shot and what a beast it is. Haven't had a play yet as I ran out of time. Well I had to re organise my stash cupboard so I could put it away. So wish it could be always out and ready for use but there we go. I am planning to have a flipping good play with it next Monday though when I have lots more time.

Today I also managed to finally get my hands on my holiday related stash that I ordered from America. I was finding it very hard to find specific Paris related items, so placed an order with Scrap Your Trip. Took advantage and got some lovely Disney bits too. Not seen any of them here so I'm happy. Only downside I ended up with a customs charge on this order meaning that I didn't save as much as I could have done. Oh well. I rarely order from the US now so it's not so bad. (I guess lol.)

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Metro with a difference

When we spent the day in Paris we had a 40 minute journey from Disneyland Paris via the RER train to get us to central Paris and the first of our stops. At the station at Marne-La- Vallee, Chessy, there are a number of different types of trains. As well as Eurostar they get the TGV trains, RER and one that caught my eye a double decker train that runs on the Metro lines. There are actually 2 stations at Marne-La-Vallee all within the same building but different stairways and platforms. Only noticed that this time as we intended to use the service. Lol.

We bought an all day ticket for each of us and set off. Trains to Paris run every 10 mins so the service is fab. We sat on our first train (a regular single decker train) with just a few people on but it wasn't long before it started to fill up. The next thing that happened was such a surprise to the girls that is was fun to watch them. A man got on with a trolley with his sound system on and an accordian round his neck. He played a few songs which most people ignored but not my 2. They loved it and couldn't stop looking at him. I think they were very disappointed when he got off a few stops on. The beggar boy that appeared next alarmed them. They have never seen anything as open as that before.
Our first stop was at Chatelet les Halles and when we got off the train the maze of tunnels we found was amazing. How the heck were we going to find the train home if we had to come back to this station was my only thought. ! Andy has travelled on the Metro before when he's had to spend time working in Paris, but only from Gard du Nord and only a few stops on, even he was amazed by this station. We had to stop and look at the map to work out where we wanted to be then slowly made our way there. It seemed ages before we were at street level.

We had a short walk to the Seine and then round the outside of Notre Dame Cathedral. Last time I saw Notre Dame was in 1993 and it was dirty and under scaffolding undergoing cleaning. Now it is very much cleaner and looking what can only be described as beautiful. One of the front doors was open and a queue of people streamed from it. As the queue died down another group joined it. So we never got to go inside this time but I would love to go back and see inside it as the outside is only half the story.

After spending time there we walked along to the Metro station at St Michel - Notre Dame and caught a train to get us to the Eiffel Tower. I got really excited at this as we caught one of the double decker trains. Really it is a 3 level train. You get on the train and have a choice of going left and being on that level or right and going either downstairs or upstairs. We went down thinking that we'd go up next time. Alas it wasn't to be it was out only experience of this type of train. DH thought I was nuts when I took a photo of one as it was in the station but I had to scrap such a rare moment. How many double decker trains do we have at home?????? Exactly.

Seeing the Eiffel Tower up close was better than I thought. I hate high things, but more so if I am up on it looking down. I absolutely love all the skyscrapers in New York though and have been up high on a couple of them. I don't think I could have gone even to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower though. Too open and too much ground to see. (I hate walking along the pier over the sea in Brighton, have to walk along each plank and walk in a very wobbly fashion lol.)

This was so huge and so graceful in a way I loved looking at it, walked right through it and took so many pictures of it from all angles. I'd only seen it from the Troccadero viewpoint before and although you see it you don't fully appreciate it I don't think. Andy tried a trick shot of one of the girls holding the tower in her hand. Hope that turns out good so I can use it. The queues were enormous here at 3 on the 4 entrances to it. 2 lifts and 2 stairs, so again we wouldn't have had the time to go up the tower. (phew!)

We walked to the Arc De Triomphe as it wasn't that far. When we arrived we walked round to the Champs Elysee and stood watching the traffic round the Arch. We saw no accidents but plenty of near misses. The funniest thing that made DH laugh was when the Airport bus came from a side road and just drove straight out. He never stopped for anyone and it worked perfectly. The girls laughed at the wedding car and a following friends car that went round and round beeping it's horn and then went off down another road only to return again a few moments later. They were celebrating and having fun. We tried to find the way into the middle to see the Arc close up but found our way to McDonalds instead.

Take a tip from me Never go to McD's on the Champs Elysee at lunch time. 1. it is huge, 2. full of people and 3, absolutely nowhere to sit down!! It took us a while to get a seat and only then because I was about to split us up on 2 tables that a group of eaten eaters got up to go.

We decided not to bother trying to get to the Arc De Triomphe after lunch (DH had tried before but thought you had to pay anyway. ????) So instead we went back to the Metro and headed for Montemartre (Anvers) and to see Sacre Coeur the Basilica. We braved the steps and all the people sitting everywhere to the top. The view over Paris is amazing yet there are no distinguishing landmarks really save one. (The building with the gold roof - Hotel des Invalides). As it started to spit with rain we decided to go in to the Basilica. Again the outside was really beautiful and inside was no disappointment wither. It was absolutely quiet save for the perpetual prayers taking place at the far end on the Basilica.

All around the building are statues to the saints and everyone had vast numbers of candles people had lit, ranging from small nightlights to larger candles. We followed all round the outer edge and even DH was impressed by the building. The art work inside was fab and unlike British churches it was so warm in there. My Mum is a regular church goer so when we saw a little glass floral cross in the shop for 5 euros we had to get it for her. She'll love it I know. (Beats the fridge magnet she was getting lol.)

So with our last sight seen we decided to head back to Marne-La-Vallee. DH wanted to take us back into the mayhem of the Champs Elysee to pick up our train but I found an easier way for us to go. We got back to the Metro at Anvers and caught the train to the end of that line at Nation and from there we picked up the train to Disneyland. Rachie has always managed to sleep anywhere anytime, and she was no different in Paris. Still she is only 8 and did a fair bit of walking.

Mind you when we got back to Disneyland did we head back to the hotel? No we flipping didn't, we went into the park for a couple of hours. Lol.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Photos of Paris

As I have to wait for my photos from the holiday, I thought I'd share with you the four big tourist attractions we visited whilst we spent a day in Paris. They are of course Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe and Sacre Coeur. All were amazing to see irl. To walk right through the centre of the Eiffel Tower though was the best thing for me.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Challenge LO

Yay I can get the pics to load today. I had visions of having to start all over again.

This LO is one I did for the monthly challenge on CD. As with the card challenge only a couple of us have entered. This was a recipe to follow and the original was by Mel (as in Jill and Mel - or Mel and Jill - lol) from ATDML. The only thing with mine was the flash on the photo showed up and I haven't got round to taking a new photo yet.

C/S from Papermania, Papers and sticky alphabet from Doodlebug, Memory Mates buttons - strawberries and flower, and flower Imaginisce - for peeps sake.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Almost forgot

My 'bliss' card that I made for the CD challenge won a prize (posted here earlier). I have a lovely 6" Archaic pad on its way to me. It's such a shame that only myself and one other lady entered the competition but thre we go.

Hey it's holiday time

Well almost anyway. We are soon off to see the Disney gang. Not Florida this time but a short hop away to Paris. Haven't been there since 2001 so hopefully there will be lots of new to see. The new studio park for one thing. Okay we have done the same rides in Florida before but this time they will have a French accent.

Managed to get the little pop up Paris map today. Little does DH realise that I am planning to scrap it once we've been Lol. Might have to make it a removeable item though just in case he decides towhisk me off on that romantic weekend one day. Hmmm.

I was trying to upload some of the snowy photos from yesterday but they don't seem to want to load atm. Awkward things. Anyway, I will see you soon and will (hopefully) share some of the many photos we are bound to take.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Meet Dottie

This image of Dottie looks like a stamp, but it isn't. It's a Digital Download created by my very talented friend Lou (aka Louly in blogland) and is a special for the forum members at Charmed Cards and Crafts for our latest challenge. Isn't she fun!.
Part of my scanned card disappeared again but the challenge was to 1. Use scallops, 2. Use buttons, and 3. Use dry embossing. Well as you can see I have all 3 things on my card (phew).
Why not pop along to Charmed Cards for a browse through the store and grab a few little downloads too.