ROAD TRIP TO WASHINGTON DC (part 1)

Last week we took a trip to Washington DC with the kids to meet with our US distributors and discuss all our new releases for 2011 & I will be posting a few photos of the exciting new designs we have in store for you in the next few weeks.
Thank you to Vanessa, Alan, and John for accommodating all of us, it was great to meet everyone!
We stayed in Alexandria, Virginia on the other side of the Potomac River from DC. Its a beautiful historic port founded in 1749 with grand examples of America’s colonial heritage on every corner, and just a short metro ride to the capital. The cobbled streets are filled with colourful restored 18th/19th century homes, churches, restaurants and an abundance of boutiques and antique dealers.

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love the art deco period and I couldn’t resist taking a shot of the “Flying Fish” (below left) or the inside of the ice cream store we visited. It was as if we had walked back in time. All the polished chrome and sleek lines – so beautiful!!

I took this photo while waiting for the kids to choose their favourite ice cream flavour! The brightly painted windows and doors really brighten up the street and the mood of passersby

Whilst walking along King Street we discovered Paper Source, a real treat for paper lovers like me. The store was filled with exquisite papers, stationery, cards and calendars and I love their window display ready for Halloween.

We even spotted some of our cards in the store. Check out one of our apostrophe designs in the Sympathy section below. It still gives me a buzz to see my cards out there on the shelves.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

We celebrated thanksgiving yesterday with friends, family and fun. A colourful Autumnal walk followed by too much food & wine and a bowling tournament on the Wii. My team finished in 4th (out of 4). So glad I have today to recover!

If you are celebrating today here are a couple of ideas for your table. The “squash” goose is a great way to present your napkins and the cranberry candles below add colour and fragrance to your table. I found both of these ideas at www.cateringspecialist.com/blog

These turkey tealight holders are so cute and available at www.beau-coup.com

Finally I love these colourful paper pumpkins, from www.talkcraftytome.com. I had a go at making the ones in the top left with my kids and they worked well. If I have the time to source orange chinese lanterns I would like to try those next year. These ideas could easily be adapted for christmas decorations too.
Relax, Enjoy and Give Thanks
xoxo

THE SEVEN PRINCESSES OF KENSINGTON

McCormick-McAdams/VisitLondonImages.com

Hello Everyone. I’ve just got back from a trip to London to attend the Henries awards evening. Our Apostrophes range was nominated but sadly we didn’t win. We were pipped at the post by The Really Good Card Co. Not too upset as I love their range “The Bright Side” and we had a wonderful time.
The highlight of my trip was the magical Enchanted Palace exhibit at Kensington Palace. Its everything a girl dreams of – princesses, fairytales and fashion all rolled into one!
Our hotel overlooked Hyde Park and Kensington Palace (above) home to many princesses from Queen Victoria to Princess Diana. The weather was too gorgeous to be inside so we strolled around the Park.
Sat a while in the deckchairs that are dotted around the pond and soaked up the Autumn sun, and watched the regal swans bathe.
Kensington Palace is undergoing extensive renovations at the moment and so to hide the building works a magical exhibit combining art, fashion, performance and sound has been set up by Wildworks – a Cornish theatre company – in collaboration with some incredible art and fashion designers. The enchanted palace is a beautiful mysterious place where the visitor is guided through the state rooms searching for the seven princesses who lived, loved and shed tears there – fairy tales don’t always end happily ever after!
As you enter the palace this message is written on the wall.
We were given a map and set off to find the clues in each room that would help us discover the identity of the princesses. Victoria and Diana’s were my favourite rooms but I won’t give away too much more. The exhibits will change slightly, but the enchanted palace will be open until 2012. I am certainly planning to visit again.

Photo by: Richard Lea-Hair/newsteam.co.uk
In the Room of the Dancing Princesses a white lace Bruce Oldfield gown worn by Princess Diana is displayed among a birch tree forest. In another display case is a dress with red shoes representing Princess Margaret. A copy of the tiara she wore at her wedding is suspended above it.

Image credit: Historic Royal Palaces


In the Room of a sleeping princess, William Tempest’s flying origami dress is suspended from the ceiling. When you look closely its made up of hundreds of delicate origami birds. It represents Queen Victoria’s wedding dress and can be found in her former bedroom which is set up to re-create the day in 1837 when she awoke to learn that she was Queen of England.

Photo: Getty Images
This dress which is inspired by the rebellious Princess Charlotte who fled the palace rather than be forced to marry one she did not love is the creation of Dame Vivienne Westwood. If you get the chance the Enchanted Palace is definately worth a visit.

CANADA WITH A CAPITAL “C”

Colourful, Creative and Cultural is how I would describe OTTAWA our Nation’s capital. I’ve lived in Canada for 8 years now and only got around to visiting Ottawa this weekend!! Worth the wait though. Old buildings, great architecture, lots of art, markets, and did I say old buildings. Everything I miss from home.
This piece of art was right in our hotel, a mural of grass, real living grass.

Below is a view of parliament hill taken as we made our way across the bridge to Gatineau, QC
The leaves are just beginning to turn.

One of my favourite buildings in the city. I love the colours the grey on the red brick, and the ornate windows.

This is a shot of the ceiling of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Ottawa’s streets are filled with sculptures and these two were my favourite. Above is entitled “JOY” and below is the huge spider we found outside the Art Gallery.
A little imposing at first but friendly when you get to know her.

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