Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Christmas Mini

Hello, everyone.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas filled with love and loved ones.  I also hope Santa was good to you by bringing you lots of goodies.

Here are some pictures of my newest creation.  This is yet another book I've finished for a paying customer...yay!  

This chipboard album says Ho Ho Ho.  

Front side of the first " H ".  That small green Christmas tree actually lights up when you press the little red button on the base of the tree.  I love that! 

Back side of the first " H ".

Front side of the first " O ".

Back side of the first " O ".

Front side of the second " H ".

Back side of the second " H ".

Front side of the second " O ".  This page has a pocket into which is inserted a double-sided tag for pictures.

 Back side of the second " O ".    Another tag in a pocket.

Front side of the third " H ".  One more tag and pocket.

Back side of the third "H ".

Front side of the third " O ".  Yet another double-sided tag inserted into a pocket on this page.

Back side of the third " O".  This is my favorite page.  When you move the spinner arrows, the red cardstock opens up to allow for more pictures and journaling on both sides.  I tri-folded the cardstock and held each side in place with spinners then tied them down in the middle by using eyelets and ribbon.

 Here is the front last page.   I neglected to take a picture of the back page but it's covered in a lovely red textured, patterned paper with red foil accents.

So that's my newest mini.  I sure hope my customer will like it and that you enjoyed seeing the pictures of it.

Thanks for looking.  :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St. Augustine, Florida

During our vacation last week, we took a little day trip to the historical part of St. Augustine which is about a 2 hour drive northeast of Orlando.  I had no idea what to expect but once we'd gotten there I was not to be disappointed.  What a lovely place St. Augustine is not to mention the history it boasts.  It is the oldest city in the US, established in 1565.  This was right up my alley.  I love to take Logan to places where he can learn something and still have fun but not feel like he is learning.  Sneaky, I know. 

We took one of those jump on/jump off tram tours around town but didn't really have enough time to enjoy all that was available for us to explore.

In the town square there was a lovely gazebo which I couldn't resist making Logan get up on.  I love this kind of small town stuff.  
Here is my cousin, Maddy.  She's Josh's sister.  She and Uncle Ken were with us this day.  Sadly, Josh had school so he wasn't able to come with us. 
Here is a view of the draw bridge. 

I found this building interesting once I read the plaque on the front of it.  Below is a picture of what was inscribed on the plaque. 
Notice the year.  That's right.  According to the tram tour guide, Spain didn't recognize us until 10 yrs ago. 
This is a view of one of the many quaint streets in St. Augustine.  It's lined with adorable shops on either side.  It was very hard to resist going into each one of them.
This is the opposite view of the same street. 
Does this building remind you of New Orleans?  It should.  It's done in the same style as the French Quarter in New Orleans which is really constructed in Spanish design.  The original French Quarter in New Orleans burned down so the Spanish rebuilt it in their style. 
Here we see the fort.  It was too late in the day by the time we arrived here to take a tour of it so I only have outside shots of it.

Forgive the bars of the tram blocking part of the picture but you can clearly see how large this oak tree is.  It's terribly old, I forget how old the guide said it was but aside from it's immense size what's most amazing about it is...look at the next picture.
There is a palm tree growing right out of the center of it.  See it right there in the middle between the thinner limbs?  Quite amazing, right?

Next we have one of the reasons St. Augustine makes the list of prettiest cities in which to live.  Look at this tree-lined street.  I love how the sun light caught in my lens.  The opposite side of the street was equally beautiful but the tram was bumpy so my one picture of it is blurry. 
Another view of the draw bridge.  This was taken from the hill where the fort sits.  We actually got to see the bridge as it was raised to allow for a passing boat.  Silly me forgot to take a picture of it in the up position.
You can see the lighthouse in the background.  That is an oddity in it's own way.  It's painted blue.  Not many lighthouses are painted blue.  It was way off in the distance but that new zoom lens Jim bought me brought it up nice and close.  Thank you, Jim!
Here are my boys at sunset.  What a pretty background. 
This is the jail house.  We took a tour of this which was delivered by a man in full period character.  We were taken inside and put into the actual cells.  I was very glad when the tour was over.  The cells gave me the creeps.
The actual gallows where hangings took place.  Not surprisingly, more people died of diseases in the prison than they did at the gallows.
Jim was selected from our tour group to demonstrate how a prisoner was put on display for his crimes.  Back in the day, this cage would have been suspended in the air for all to see and throw spoiled food at.  Notice the tour guide.  Can't you just hear his accent? Of course, he was acting the part but it was hilarious.
Scarlet O'Hara's restaurant.  Rhett also has his own somewhere in town but we didn't get to see it. 
What a grand building this is but alas, time was running short so again, only facade pictures.
This building is to the right of the Alcazar hotel pictured above. 
I hope you are enjoyed this picture tour of lovely St. Augustine. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pool, anyone?

So here we are at our resort in Orlando.  It was such a lovely day we decided to spend it by the pool.  I don't usually go out in the sun but it was too nice out not to enjoy the day with my boys. 
This is the view of one of the pools in our time share resort.  We prefer this pool and we usually hang out under that most left cabana partially hidden behind that palm tree.  There is usually a waterfall running from that giant rock in the center but for some reason that day it wasn't on.
Here is a slightly more to the right view.  You can see it goes way back.   Behind the giant rock are 2 secluded hot tubs.  Way down on the right side, there is a kiddy pool.
This is the pool on the other side of the cabanas where we usually sit.  People with small children like this pool because of it's shallow depth in the forefront of the picture.  That fountain spurting up is a big hit with the little ones.   
Can you tell he's happy to be there?  Look at that smile!
Boys playing frisbee. 
And, of course, no vacation is complete without a cannonball!
And yet again.

A little night swimming, too.  It was a bit cool but that didn't stop us.  The pool is heated and if we got cold there were always the hot tubs waiting to warm us up.  Ahhhh....vacation!!!
Hope you enjoyed.  There's more to come!

Big Kitty Adventure

Hi, everyone.

I'm back!  We were on vacation last week in Florida.  We took our usual annual trip to Florida after Thanksgiving but it almost didn't happen.  We weren't going to go on vacation this year due to the uncertainly of Jim's job since Verizon and the union haven't been able to come to an agreement.  I didn't even book it until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving but it was like the stars aligned and made it possible for us to go this year.  Everything fell into place with airfares and car rental rates being affordable so we took advantage and enjoyed ourselves during a much needed vacation.

We flew into Tampa and spent a day and half there visiting with family.  My uncle took us to a place he knew I would love.  It's called Big Cat Rescue and I was not disappointed.  They have 110 big cats there.  We took a guided walking tour and we able to see a nice sampling of the wonderful creatures who have been rescued from horrible conditions and now live out a happy and safe life there.

Don't let the pictures deceive you.  At first I thought they were all kept in what appeared to be small, round enclosures but they all have good sized enclosures, each with multiple "rooms".  That's the way the guide explained it to us as she pointed out how each enclosure allows the cats to move from room to room so they are not stuck in one little area.  Most of the cats are separated but they can see each other and they certainly communicate because we heard many sounds, the most identifiable of which was the roar from a huge male lion.  We heard him on the other side of the park.  Unfortunately, when we got to his enclosure, he was lying down way in the back of his enclosure so I didn't get any good pictures of him.  But trust me, he was enormous. 

Look at the coat on this beauty.
I just love how she's looking right at me here.    
This black beauty was actually the first cat we saw upon entering the facility.  He was just sitting there as if to greet us as we came thru the door.  He is gorgeous.  The picture does not do him justice.  His coat was lustrous and he is simply majestic.  You can see his spots here but they were ever so much more evident in person.
This Serval was one of 5 that were rescued from a basement here in NYC.  Sadly, they are kept as pets because of their small size.  Unfortunately, 1 died but the remaining 4 are there in sunny Florida and are all healthy again.
Now to my favorite.  I simply love white tigers.  Unfortunately, due to all the inbreeding, they suffer from all kinds of deformities.  They are amazing, though.  This lovely girl rolled over and lied belly up on her back while our tour group stood around and listened to the guide.  I was wishing I could rub that belly.   Oh, this was also the same enclosure where that big ole male lion lives.  They share this large space but he knows to stay away from her.  The guide told us, she's whacked him a time or 2 with her huge paw and he's learned to keep his distance.  That just cracked me up.  You can see the giant ball in the back ground and the cardboard tube on the left of the white tiger.  The guide called those enrichment items.  Each cat has toys and they all get to play.
Talk about a big mouth, huh?  Look at that!  His mouth was larger than a human head.  I caught this big boy yawning.  Guess we weren't that interesting to him.
 And here we have another big boy.  This pretty male was in the mood to parade in front of us.  He was within 4 feet of me and I was in awe of him.  What a feeling it was to be that close to such an awesome animal.
And this was something I'd never seen.  A rare, white Serval.  My house cat, Dusty, is bigger than this sweety.   Due to their rareness, he has been neutered to prevent the temptation from people breaking in and stealing him for the purposes of breeding and then selling the offspring.
Here are Jim, my uncle Ken, Logan and my cousin, Josh, upon exiting the facility.  We had a great time and I'm glad my visit fee went to taking care of these rescued cats.  Each one of these animals had a story as to how it came to be there and it hurt my heart to hear them.  I'm glad they are safe and well cared for now.  Thank you to the Big Cat Rescue and volunteers for all the work they do. 
 I hope you enjoyed these pics.  I'll be back with more from our trip.  Have a great day!  Thanks for visiting.