Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hats off to Spring! AIWC lunch in Geneva, Switzerland

I am a member of the English speaking AIWC—American International Women's Club—in Geneva, Switzerland. It's a wonderful organization and not just for Americans, with nearly 500 members  and 54 nationalities represented, it truly is international. There's always something going on at the club—charitable activities, arts and crafts, cooking, language classes, sports, special events, etc.—there's no shortage of things to do.

Recently, we had a special 'Hats off to Spring!' themed luncheon. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a hat lover extraordinaire, so this was THE perfect event for me to attend. Although there were some bare heads in the crowd, it was a such a marvelous millinery display I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.

The location was perfect for dressing up. The restaurant in the Parc de Eaux-Vives set the tone. By the way, if you're visiting Geneva and looking for an exceptional summer outdoor dining experience this is one of the best. There is a spectacular view out over the lake from the back terrace and the food is outstanding.

My friend, Nada, looked so chic with her fascinator.

I don't know this member by name, but I loved the contrast between her white outfit and bright, blue accessories.

Ruth looked especially fetching in navy blue.

This spring themed hat would probably have taken the prize if we'd been awarding them.

This hat and its wearer were stunning.

And here's yours truly, wearing a hat from my favorite desinger, Zabo, in Carouge, Switzerland. I added the black flower pin.

This last photo has nothing to do with hats, I know, but I just had to share with you one of my favorite handbags (it's on the small side so I rarely have the chance to carry it and show it off). I snapped it up at my favorite overstock shop for about €4 a few years back.

I'm linking up with the lovely Patti's Not Dead Yet Style Visible Monday #155 on this post.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day card

A very happy Mother's Day to all mothers celebrating this weekend. This is a card I whipped up for my Grandmother.

 Again, as mentioned in previous posts, I'm trying to use up some of my older supplies. I've used one of the scenes and some of the papers from docrafts A4 Decoupage Pack Art Deco Train (PMA 169801) on this card. Dining outside is always a sign of Spring to me; I thought this a perfect image for Mother's Day.

I used Bernard MT condensed font for my sentiment and kept embellishments simple for easy mailing back to the States. The 3D effect on this card is stunning in real life, unfortunately, as is always the case with 3D, a photograph doesn't do it justice.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, docrafts A4 Decoupage Pack Art Deco Train (PMA 169801), Paper Touch Scrap Dots Pad
Dies—Die-namics rectangle stack
Embellishments—wooden flower, button, gem
Font—Bernard MT condensed

I'm linking up with: Brown Sugar challenge #145—Layers, Chocolate, Coffee & Cards Challenge #90—Spring has Sprung, Crafty Catz challenge #278—CAS, Frosted Designs Friday Challenge—All About Mom, Lunagirl Moonbeams challenge—Mother, Sister Act Card Challenge #105—Always Anything Goes, and Scrapbooker Phd. challenge #23—Mother's Day (optional flowers)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Nautical theme male birthday card

As I mentioned in a recent post, I'm trying to use up more of the supplies that I have and not  buy more. I confess, the longer something sits in my crafting room without me using it, the less likely I am to use it at all.

This really doesn't make sense. Something doesn't have to be new to be nice. I think we're all just so inundated with seeing new, that we forgot our old and retired supplies were once new, too. We loved them when we bought them, why not now?

Like this perfectly nice docrafts Ahoy There! mini decoupage medley pack used on this card. I wanted to make a card for my brother's birthday and was digging around in my stash when I came across it. Frankly, I had forgotten I had it (I'm sure you can relate). I think it turned out quite nice and am glad I was finally able to put it to good use.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, patterened paper, docrafts Ahoy There! mini decoupage medley PMA 169053
Dies—Crafts Too step card die, Nellies label dies MFD 066
Embellishments—twine, vintage buttons, gems
Font—Candy Round BTN

I'm linking up with: Shopping Our Stash challenge #200—Big, Bold and Beautiful, Crafting From the Heart challenge #58—Always Anything Goes, Craft Your Passion challenge #260—Always Anything Goes and Not Just Cards challenge #18—Anything Goes.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Paperesse Style—My 'Hair'story of going gray (or embracing my natural highlights)

I'm SICK of coloring my hair. I'm tired of the expense, the time, the mess and ruined pillowcases. Haircolor and I have been having a hot and heavy affair the last 30 years and it isn't doing anything for me anymore. I'm ready to end it.

I realize this choice isn't for everyone. I'm a firm believer in every woman looking the way she chooses, that makes her feel good (forget all that age appropriate crap, that wear this not that advice, wear what you freakin' want...but I digress), so if you want to color your hair, fine, but, if you don't want to color your hair, that's fine, too. A woman can have gray hair and still be an attractive, funky, vivacious, sexy woman (even if haircolor advertisers do their very best to convince women otherwise).

There's a whole gray revolution going on (which is kind of silly when you think about it, why should being natural require a revolution?). There's even a great website by that name—Revolution Gray—whose motto is  'It's not just a hair color, it's a lifestyle'. If you think you might want to enlist, consider the read Going Gray by Anne Kreamer. Her research into gray hair and how people (okay, men) react to it might surprise you.

Here's my own little visual gray hairstory—er, history—on embracing my natural highlights.

One day I was walking in Geneva and saw a short haired woman, about my own age, with salt and pepper hair. She exuded confidence. She was so chic and pretty, I wanted her look, that look, but lacked the courage to stop coloring. The seed had been planted. In 2010, when my hairstory begins, I was my preferred red.

Summer 2010

In 2011 curiosity got the better of me. My natural hair color and I hadn't seen one another in so many years I didn't know what she looked like anymore. I decided we should meet up.

Summer 2011

In 2012 I caved in to others' opinions and colored it back to red.

Spring 2012

By early 2014, I was fed up once again and was back to my natural color.

Spring 2014

Popular and vocal opinion won out once more in the summer of 2014. Only this time, I decided to make a major change and went blonde. I started to have reactions to the chemicals in the decoloration process and my hair was thinning at an alarming rate. A haircut and color was four times my normal monthly haircut price. My pocketbook was in a state of shock. Even if my hair hadn't revolted, my bank balance eventually would have, I stopped.

Summer 2014

After this blonde, I briefly colored it red again, but hated it. I just couldn't bring myself to do it anymore.Which brings me to the end of this little hairstory, and the present day. I'm once again back to my natural hair color, I've got pretty patterned pillowcases on my bed...and it feels so good!

I'm rockin' my gray and if it makes me look 'older', so what? I am older. Does it make me look fifty? So what, I am fifty.

Curious for more? There's more gray inspiration to be found on Pinterest and my own board here.

I'm linking up with Not Dead Yet Style's Visibile Monday on this post.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Foire Internationale de Lyon, France

My husband and I have a thing for French foires. A foire is sort of like an American fair, but without the rides, cooking competitions and livestock. A French foire has exhibitors showing and selling their products—food, wine, clothing, furniture, etcetera—with restaurants and food stalls offering you an energetic boost should you get tired. You can see the Rochexpo Foire de la Haute-Savoie Mont-Blanc we attended last year here.

Our recent visit to Lyon coincided with the last day of the Foire Inernationale de Lyon. It's held in a large exhibition space on the outskirts of Lyon; it took us a bus, a metro and two tram rides to get there, but it was worth it.

This vendor had a colorful stall. The olives looked delicious.

The foire's name is certainly correct—it is international; there were exhibitors from all over the world.

There were some very interesting cocktails on offer at this stand. Hmmm...I admit I was tempted to ask what the punch was like, but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

This gentleman was making small pieces of pottery that he gave away for free. Larger items were for sale.

Say cheese! Wine and cheese vendors are a must at every foire. This one was no exception. This Beaufort cheese is very good, by the way.

An then there's foire food...those things I'd never eat at home. For some reason, a sausage sandwich and a cold beer just hits the spot at a foire,

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Suit"-able for a male birthday card

I'm trying to be a frugal and use up the supplies I already have. Not only is it good for my pocketbook, but also my space, as I'm just about at maximum supply storage capacity in my office.

I used the docrafts Heritage Press City Gent decoupage pack (an oldie, but a goodie) to create this 3D birthday card for my father-in-law, who does not speak English. I think a suit really doesn't need much explanation.

To add a little something to it, I hung a watch face charm from the breast pocket. He usually doesn't say much about my cards, but this one he really liked and laughed when he saw it. Just goes to show, that sometimes the most simple cards give the most pleasure.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, docrafts A4 Decoupage Pack Heritage Press City Gent PMA 169094
Embellishments—ribbon, charm, jump rings

I'm linking up with: Crafting Musketeers challenge #24—It's a Man's World, QKR Stampede challenge #136—Guy Cards, Simply Papercrafts challenge #3—Lots of Layers, and Through the Craft Room Door challenge—Anything Goes.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Victorian boot with daisies Mother's Day card

This Mother's Day card is made with a digital stamp from Meljens Designs.

I dressed up the buttons with little pearls and attached a shoe charm to the twine tied on the side. I used Honey Script font for the sentiment.

Our postal regulations have changed here in France and anything over 3cms (just about an inch) in thickness going abroad (in my case, back to the States) requires filling out a long customs form and paying significantly more in price. I've kept this card reasonably flat that it might go along with a box of chocolates, keeping the entire package under 3cms. Luckily, my favorite Merci chocolates come in a thin box.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Kirby Teesdale Studio paper pack
Digital Stamp—Meljens Designs Victorian Shoe Daisies digital stamp
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Artemio circles and scalloped circles
Embellishments—twine, pearls, shoe charm
Font—Honey Script

I'm linking up with: Suzy Bee's Challenge #76—Anything Goes with a die or punch, Chocolate, Coffee and Cards challenge #89—Use a die-cut, Craft for the Craic April challenge—Use a die-cut or Easter theme, Digitally Sweet Challenge #133—Anything Goes, Simply Papercraft challenge #2—Anything Goes/Steampunk, Crafty Gals Corner challenge #15—Vintage, Digi Chooseday—Pearls & Gems.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Men's Spring floral wear—as seen in the Printemps, Lyon, France

So what do you think? Any chance your fella will be wearing one of these outfits?

 My husband and I were in Lyon a week ago, visiting his family. Of course, we had to do some window shopping. I don't really buy in Lyon, but I do like to look, like these windows in the Printemps department store (yes, the same one as in Paris).

I thought these male floral outfits were wonderful (my husband less so, I believe his comment was, "Hmphfff"), although I doubt we'll see many men wearing them.

And just across from Printemps is this floral boutique, who always has a great display. They match the windows right now.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Upgrading a card kit - dress form vintage look birthday card - and what to do with leftover flower wires

Card kits are a great way for beginning cardmakers to learn the craft, but once you're more advanced you might want to consider 'upgrading' them a bit, as I've done with this digital corset card kit from Paper Creator. It's a great kit, I liked the decoupage focal image, papers and sentiment, but I wanted to gussy it up just a bit.

I added my own vintage sheet music as a background paper and changed the design. I dressed it up with flowers, die cut foliage, pearls and some cute wooden embellishments.

If you've ever asked yourself, 'What can I do with the wire stems I've cut from paper flowers?" here's your answer. See the little green swirls in my card? Those are left over wires twirled around a quilling tool (or a toothpick would work).

Supply List
Paper—Paper Creator Corsett 6x6 card kit, vintage sheet music, cardstock
Dies—Die-namics rectangle stack, Spellbinders Shapeabilities foliage, Nellie's corner MFD027
Embellishments—flowers, flower wires, wooden lock and key, pearls

I'm linking up with: Crafty Calendar Challenge April—Add a sentiment, Open Minded Crafting Challenge #34—Recycle something, Crafty Catz #274—Two or more patterened papers,  Simply Create Too challenge #83—No digis or stamped images and 4 Crafty Chicks challenge #241—Use die cuts.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Easter weekend and a Bad Hare day card

Happy Easter weekend to you! It's a long weekend for us here as both Friday and Monday are holidays and considered part of the Easter weekend. This Meljen's Design digital stamp just cracks me up. It's cute AND funny and perfect for a guy Easter card. I sent this one to my cousin.

Unfortunately, Meljen's is no longer selling digital stamps (phooey), but she had a 50% off sale last month and I stocked up on quite a few goodies. The paper is also digital—Delicious digital paper pack from Sassy Designs.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Delicious digital paper pack
Digital Stamp—Meljen's Designs Bad Hare Day
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Die-Namics square and rectangle stax
Embellishments—buttons, twine

I'm linking up with: Crafty Catz challenge #273—Anything Goes, Creative Corner challenge—Animal Fun, Jo's Scrap Shack challenge #82—Anything Goes, Aloha Friday challenge #44—Easter, Sister Act Card challenge #100—Anything Goes, Wags 'n Whiskers #151—Buttons, ABC challenge—G is for Go Digital, 4 Crafty Chicks challenge #240—Easter, The Crafters Cafe challenge #110—Easter, and Simply Create Too challenge #82—Anything Goes.