Saturday, June 30, 2018

Cruisin' - Installment 4, St. Lucia

Our excursion on this day was a bus tour through residential areas up the mountain, views of The Pitons and more, lunch at the beautiful mountaintop Ladera Resort, then a catamaran cruise around Marigot Bay. It was a long day, but wonderful!

Our first stop, though merely for picture taking (we didn't exit the bus), was the historic Victorian mansion, Government House. The current government house was completed in 1895 after being destroyed in 1817, then abandoned in 1865. Since the island gained independence in 1979, Government House is the residence of the Governor-General. As you can see by the massive gates, you can't just waltz right in. Visitors must make reservations and only during set days and times. And pay admission.

Later, we stopped at the top above the fishing village of Soufriere, Montserrat with the twin peaks of The Pitons in the background. Pictures don't do it justice. The greens are so vivid, the water is so sparklingly gorgeous and the all buildings are painted such fun and vibrant colors.

Fresh fruits, coconuts, and handmade jewelry and other handmade items were available for purchase, along with water and the local Piton beer, which was good.

The Ladera Resort sits high on a cliff 1000 feet above the sea with a view between The Pitons. Beautiful!! Check out their website for more pictures of the actual suites, the restaurant, pools, and gorgeous grounds.

We were treated to lunch at the resort restaurant, Dasheene (I'm sure a selling opportunity for them; I heard more than one person say how much they would love to stay there sometime so it apparently worked).  Also, they are very proud to have hosted Oprah, Harrison Ford and Denzel Washington as guests of the resort. The food was very good. I had the Cajun Poulet with Chocolate Cake and their made-on-site coconut ice cream for dessert.

The grounds around the resort are beautiful. The gazebo was a neat little spot to sit and enjoy the beauty all around, which, ironically, you can't see from this shot of the gazebo. LOL

From the koi pond; you can see the roof of the gazebo and more of the lovely grounds.

Bird of Paradise

Allamanda Flower

I believe this is a Calabash tree, the national tree of St. Lucia. The fruit is not edible on these trees, however, there is also a Black Calabash tree with similar fruit that IS edible. Don't get them confused!

Spider Lily. Isn't it interesting? 

 Lily pads in the Koi pond
 Koi fish

 Gorgeous centerpiece with anthurium, red ginger and greenery

After the resort tour and lunch, we got back on the buses and headed to the Soufriere docks to board the catamaran for the second half of our excursion.

Marigot Bay Coastal Cruise, one of the crewmen on the catamaran


Lots more cats and other boats on the bay.

Crewmen anchoring us at the beach for some snorkeling, swimming, or just enjoying the gorgeous weather. While others got off the boat for some water sports, we didn't venture off this time. Instead, we stayed aboard and enjoyed (can you guess?) rum punch (of course!).

Living cliff side in the Caribbean would be so hard to take, wouldn't it?

After a long day of excursions, we were ready for more cocktails and another game of Yahtzee to relax and unwind.

While we enjoyed our game, we watched the lifeboat drills. Cool.

So another day of cruising in the books. We're on the back end of our vacation now with just a couple of days left in the gorgeous Caribbean. Final installment coming soon!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day pop-up box card

Today's share is this pop up box card I made for the hubs. Long-time followers will know my hubby is an avid fisherman. There are actually very few fishing themed craft products on the market in the grand scheme of things, so it's hard to come up with a new design each time I want to make him a card. I know many papercrafters/cardmakers struggle to come up with masculine designs, and if you want a specific theme, it's not always easy. This time, however, I had an idea and it turned out great. Hubs loves it, and that's what counts.

I used ten stamp sets and six die sets from four different companies (see product list below for links)! The papers are all by Carta Bella from The Great Outdoors 6x6 paper pad. I made a sleeve to hold it closed while in the envelope just using a strip of paper, nothing special for that.

Here is the whole card opened up. I added what I thought were tons of elements to fill it up, but there could actually be more if you wanted. Not just the little fisherman in his boat, but lots of water plants, fish, clouds, wood pilings, and if you look closely in the back there is even a pesky pelican! Where hubsy fishes, there are pelicans that always try to steal his fish and it drives him nuts. Hahaha!!!

I colored the outfit of the fisherman in colors that hubby wears and made sure he has a rainbow trout on the end of his line. Also, since he decided to go with a super short summer haircut, this guy looks like he really could be my hubby. *snicker*

On each of the flaps, I added a punny fishing/water phrase, plus the one above the fisherman of course.

Here you can see a little better how much "stuff" I stuck inside. These really are fun to make and the recipient is always amazed at your crafty genius! I've left a link below to a template with measurements, score lines, etc. that you can print and save for future reference if you'd like to try making one. And you really should. They are not at all difficult to make. You can do it!

Needless to say, hubby loved his card and still has it sitting out to look at all the fun little goodies inside. It makes me happy to know he enjoys my crafty projects as much as I enjoy making them. I hope you'll try this technique. And if you'd like to share, you can post a picture of your finished work on the Scrapendipity Studio FB Fan page! Hope to see you there!

Product List:
Pop up box card template, includes measurements and score lines (save and print)
My Favorite Things, Ocean Fun stamps (I'm hooked on you)
My Favorite Things, Owl My Love stamps and dies (clouds)
My Favorite Things, Mermazing stamps and dies (plants, mini fish)
My Favorite Things, Beach Buds stamps and dies (plants, fish, pelican, You're fintastic)
My Favorite Things, Gill Friends stamps and dies (plants)
My Favorite Things, Otterly Love You stamps and dies (jumping fish)
My Creative Time, Greatest Handyman stamps (Happy Father's Day)
My Creative Time, Find Joy in the Little Things stamps (fisherman in boat, To a reel great guy)
Lawn Fawn, Float my Boat stamps (You float my boat)
Lawn Fawn, Stitched Wave Borders dies
Paper Smooches, Surf and Turf stamps (wood pilings)
Carta Bella, The Great Outdoors 6x6 paper pad
Copic markers, clear acetate strips, glossy accents adhesive

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Cruisin' - Installment 3, St. Kitts

Our excursion this day was the Circle Island Train Tour on the "last railway in the West Indies" along the coast of St. Kitts. It was a pleasant ride, made even more enjoyable by the rum drinks served along the way. LOL They make their own rum here, 180 proof, and serve rum punch everywhere you go. The rum is less expensive than the juice they add so they use a lot of rum! I'll save you the time of googling and tell you right now that 180 proof is 90% alcohol if you didn't already know this. Tasty!

There is still devastation to be seen from Hurricane Irma that has yet to be rebuilt or cleaned up. Sadly, some of the agricultural areas, such as sugarcane plantations, have been abandoned completely.

We did see lots of banana plantations however. This is how they protect the bananas from birds when the bunches begin to ripen. You can see these blue bags over every bunch on every tree! 

The railway took us across the volcanic slopes of Mount Liamuiga, crossing several steel girder bridges. From the train we could see the beautiful beaches and nearby islands of Nevis, St. Barths, St. Maarten and others.

At the end of the line, we transferred to a bus that took us to our catamaran where we were treated to a coastal sail past Brimstone Hill and small fishing villages with Mount Liamuiga and other volcanoes in the background. And, what do you know, they served us even more rum punch. It was a beautiful day and the water was perfect. Though I did not have a hat and ultimately sunburned my head. Haha!

View of St. Kitts from our cabin balcony after our shore excursions. It was a really magical day. Can I interest anyone in another rum punch!??

Thanks for visiting! I'll save St. Lucia for the next installment.