Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Niagara Falls

It was my birthday this month and my lovely hubby surprised me by taking me away to Niagara Falls, Canada for a couple of days.  Our hairy baby Dexter was put into boarding so we could have a break from him and him from us and off we set last Monday morning.  As most of the world knows the US has been suffering from an unbearably heat wave.  We arrived in the afternoon in Canada with the temperatures in the mid 90’sF and after checking into our hotel, which was amazing, we walked down to the falls and gladly got relief from the spray coming off the falls.  I think everyone else had the same idea as it was packed.

Our hotel was a tower which was built in the 60’s as one of the first modern Observation towers of the falls.  It looks like a really tall airport control tower.  It was interesting being in Canada as it’s very similar to Britain, as in the queen is on the money, they seem to have more of our food brands we’re use to and the people are very laid back.

We got to go on the Maid of the Mist.  We decided against wearing the rain macs as it would’ve been like wearing a portable greenhouse.  We did get soaking wet but it was a welcome thing and we pretty much immediately dried off in the incredible heat. 

On my actual birthday we had a meal at the hotel restaurant which was on the 26th floor overlooking the falls.  We had the best seat in the place and the food was amazing.  Go to the Pinnacle at the Tower Hotel

We took lots of photos all of which are below.DSC03548


Left: The view from our hotel room                                    Right: The short walk down to the falls



                   Left: The American Falls                                                       Right: The Horseshoe Falls




Left: Hubby

                         Right: Me












DSC03565DSC03568DSC03570Left: Us getting wet in the spray.       Middle:  The Tower Hotel where we stayed.           Right: The Falls



Left: Sunset over Canada             Middle: The Streets below                        Right: On the Maid of the Mist


Left: American Falls                                Middle: Horseshoe Falls                       Right: The Bridal Veil Fall










Left: Over the edge                              Middle: My birthday drink           Right: Our table in the restaurant.









Left: The big Tower                                         Middle: The incline Railway                           Right: The falls lit up.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Over on my Etsy Shop I will be soon listing some items that will be hugely discounted to free up more space in my studio. Phone cases, purses, and Dexter Doggy Bags will be in the mix.

Apologies for not writing of late, but we have come to the decision to move back to England at the end of the summer, so lots of decision making and planning has been going on which makes your head spin when you normally move and even more so when it's an international move!

So please visit my shop soon, as I need room to pack!

Below some items already reduced!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Etsy Beagle Blog Giveaway

There is a chance to win a beautiful handmade necklace on the Etsy Beagle Blog. Its really simple to enter, just visit the blog, look at the entries that were made by Etsy Beagle Members and vote for your favourite. Spirrel Monkey has an entry, her Spring into Summer Coin Purse. The competition runs from today (25th May) to Saturday at Midnight (28th).

Visit the blog today by clicking here.

Spring into Summer blog collage

Monday, May 23, 2011

Garage Sales Vs Car Boot Sale

This weekend I went to my first American Garage sale with my hardcore Garage Sale Hunter friend. She already had a list of the local sales in the area and we cruised around a nice looking neighbourhood looking for open garage doors and a pile of household goods on the driveway. When we spot one we park at the bottom of drive and jump out. My friend is half way up the drive before I’ve even shut the car door. A few other cars arrive as well, they all stop and the passengers quickly jump out and almost run up the drive way.

My friend and I were mooching about looking at the various items of this house’s past, things that they are willing to sell for a mere buck or two. The other people that have just arrived just start grabbing things, they aren’t even looking at what it actually is, picking up anything. They then pay and load up their truck, off to the next house and a repeat of the same grab and dash scene. It’s like a drive by, suburbia style. I won’t be surprised if in a few years time there will be drive-thru garage sales, it seems to be the American tradition of don’t get out the car and interact if you can help it.

My friend tells me that she goes to these every weekend, this time of year is the busiest, as everyone has a spring clean and de-clutters. She tells me that some sales have items that haven’t even been used, they still have tags on or are boxed. The consumer society is never more evident than at Sales like this. But if you’re a buyer and a frugal person you can easily furnish a house with good quality, often new pieces and find toys and clothes for kids that have barely been used. I do wonder if the recent downturn in the economy has increased the number of garage sales in recent times especially in more middle class areas.

Back home before we left for America we did a Car Boot (trunk) Sale to get rid of the things we couldn’t take with us. It was the first time I had done it as a seller and it was quite an experience.

The differences of a Car Boot to a Garage sale is quite self explanatory, one is done out of your own house and people come to you, the other is done out of the back of your car on trestle tables in the middle of a boggy field several miles from your home.

Just like at the garage sales, where people can’t wait to see what you’ve got and run up your driveway, at a car boot you have only just pulled the handbrake up and people are opening your boot already. It’s like the zombie apocalypse, but instead of crowds grabbing at your flesh they are dipping their hands into the back of your car and pulling things out, asking do you have any phones. No sod off and wait, you have to shoo them away like naughty children.

So you stay there in a field till a) you’ve sold most of your stuff b) the crowds are thinning c) if someone tries to haggle with you one more time about that drill set that is already next to nothing in price, you’ll stuff it where the sun don’t shine, so you leave as to not get arrested.

So I suppose they both have their good points, Garage sales you can just put some junk outside your house and sit there, not too much hassle. Or you have to load up the car with junk and tables. Car boots can be fun because they feel like a fair, you get to have a bacon sarnie and an ice cream from the burger van.

I would love to take my friend to the local car boot in my town back home, to see what she makes of it. Both experiences though definitely give you a real hit of either Americana or British eccentricity.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Fabrics Have Arrived!

I ordered a bundle of scrap fabric before I went to Florida and they arrived just before I went. I was so pleased with it as there are some gorgeous pieces which I can use for a variety of items I make.

Here are some Purses that were recently made, I'm also using the small pieces of scrap fabric to cover buttons, my new favourite thing!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Road Trip Washington-Florida

We left Washington at lunchtime on the Sunday and continued on our way towards Florida aiming to get to our overnight stop just north of Raleigh NC. We immediately hit traffic and once again had to find an alternative route. The journey was pretty uneventful but due to the traffic we didn’t reach our destination till gone dark. Our host (fellow Brit) told us that the storms that past yesterday came within 5 miles of his house, and the next day once we left his place a few miles down the road we went past the damage it caused. Even further down the road in a town called Dunn we saw even more damage. I’ve not seen any real Tornado damage in real life before and we were shocked by how trees were snapped in half, steel poles bent in half, shredded bits of people’s houses and billboards, unbelievable.

The drive was long and hot. The views were mostly of trees and creeks. But we made great progress and managed to get to our hotel in Florida just before sunset. We were shattered and hungry and went straight across the road to a restaurant for a big juicy steak!

Below are some photos of the time there.



Above: Damage from the Tornado









Above: Kennedy Space Centre and Daytona Beach