Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Super Size Please

 


It's been a while but I have a crafty share today!

My DT project for The Cutting Cafe has been super sized because that's what Regina asked us to create for the 21st blog post. I'm always saying how versatile these templates....cutting files are and now you can see for yourself. The team has an amazing line up for you tomorrow on TCC's blog. If you leave a comment on the post you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE Sets of your choice.

I used the cutting file, Fun with Dress Forms, and it's a fabulous file to play with. I used a dp from a paper collection by Pink Paislee that I love, London Market. I created a bodice top with lace by Webster's Pages and tied a tulle bow around the waist. Prima bling pearls add some flair and I added a small rose from the bling pack to the tulle bow. Fancy pink trim by WP's elevates the look and says "tonight is all about fun." 


I realize you can't see how large it is but the photo below will help with the scale. 


I made a pocket letter for a pal of mine in England but since this post is going live before she receives it I am not showing the finished letter just the dress form. The page protectors that are used in making pl's measure 11.5" tall so you can see that it is actually taller than that. When I increased the height I also increased the width to 3.5" and I did that with my Silhouette Cameo however you can change the size of any file with your computer and print it out as a PDF file.


The Cutting Cafe


I can't wait to see what my pal thinks about her fancy dress form on this pocket letter. She's very girly and I think this will be right up her alley. Don't forget to visit The Cutting Cafe's blog for more inspiration and start super sizing those files today.

Have a great day, wherever you are!
Lisa xx  



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Part 5, 30th Anniversary Trip

Southern Rockies in Colorado


The last two stops on our trip were Ouray, Colorado (Little Switzerland) and Santa Fe, New Mexico. We fell in love with both places! I'll walk you through our visit with photos so let's get started. By the way, Ouray is pronounced u-ray as folks will quickly point out. :)





The drive from Moab, Utah to Ouray, Colorado was incredible with gorgeous vistas everywhere you looked. I'll always remember it and we experienced a first which is explained by the photo below.

Cows, say what???


We saw the signs first that said CATTLE and then more that said OPEN RANGE and then we actually saw the cows. Thankfully we had a truck in front of us who helped "gently" nudge a stubborn mama and her baby who were in the middle of the road. It was a bit stressful because you never knew where they were going to pop up and they were often on the road or shoulder (side of the road for Katrin).

Mother cow grazing (not a great photo but you can see how big they are)

While the mothers didn't move too swiftly the calves certainly did and spooked easily. It slowed us down but when you see the terrain you realize why fencing is not an option.

Thankfully we made it safely and arrived at our destination.

Somehow we always seem to make it to an Irish Pub :)


4th of July was the following Monday and I know this had to be a fun place to celebrate the holiday.


I'm a sucker for rooftop restaurants or cafe's, there's something wonderful about eating outside.

The Blue Pear
( a nice store where I found a few treasures *wink wink* )

Love the shutters too!

I walked past this store window and it drew me inside...so happy it did.

 The store is owned by a lady from Ft. Worth, Texas and she along with her daughter bring the life and character to it. If you find yourself in Ouray be sure to drop by the Rockin' P Ranch store. These are incredible women and they make you feel right at home.

The owner's daughter was busy decorating and she needed some help putting a strand of pearls on this caribou. She asked my hubby if he'd help her and being the southern gentleman he is he obliged. 

Antler Chandelier

Two full floors to explore plus another side building and it was full of items made by over 100 artisans representing all 50 states in America. I had a great time exploring this awesome place!

This is the store, Rockin P Ranch, and I wish I'd taken a photo of the owner. What a remarkable lady, she pulled me in close and started telling me the story of her life and immediately I knew I'd met a kindred spirit. You can ask my hubby but this kind of thing happens to me a lot and I always appreciate the confidence people put in me. One thing we need to do is make time for others, you never know when something extraordinary will happen. 

Ouray is nestled in the mountains and it's such a pretty city.

Love the name :)


It started raining shortly after we left Ouray and it was the first rain we experienced in nearly two weeks. You realize how much you miss moisture when you don't have it. 

Scenes from our drive in southwest Colorado  







We arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico around midnight after a long day that started very early at Arches National Park. We were completely exhausted and slept in which was a luxury. Santa Fe was the perfect place to end our "tourist" part of the trip and it's a city we plan to visit again next year when we travel to California in May. I love Santa Fe and I love the people of Santa Fe!!! 

State Capitol

Instead of a round dome the building itself is round.

Being the artsy city that Santa Fe is there are several art pieces to admire on the capitol grounds.

The base was inscribed with various Indian tribes on it.


LOVE her!!!

Beautiful flowers and berries were also on the grounds.






This building kinda reminded me of the Alamo mission with the arch at the top. 

You'll find art everywhere!

This is an example of modern Adobe construction.

Santa Fe is a mix of old and new Adobe construction and bright colors can be found everywhere. 

How fun are these pillars!!!

Several methods of transportation are available in downtown Santa Fe. This guy even functions as a tour guide. :)

or you can ride the Silver bus or perhaps the trolley


The downtown area offers several opportunities for outdoor shopping.


Although I was interested in the doors

(this one is so cool)

that were colorful and said "Come In"

On the square in downtown Santa Fe

Right in the heart of the downtown area is a park, these people know how to live

 and they know how to eat...

Let me tell you about Tabla De Los Santos Restaurant
***this is a MUST read section***
It was sheer serendipity that brought us to this door, we found a restaurant that earned not one but two James Beard awards (culinary folks will understand what this means) and we made our way there. Well, when we arrived it was extremely small and a two year old boy had apparently had enough and was screaming his head off (his father was clearly not happy with him) and they brushed past us on our way in. I tend to get claustrophobic in small places and this place was simply TOO small, TOO noisy and TOO hot (as in NO air conditioning). I walked back outside and looked across the street and on the opposite corner was Tabla. I crossed the street, looked at the menu posted on the wall outside and that was that. 

Oh my what a contrast....quiet, clean and I loved the mission feel of this restaurant.
We decided this was a vast improvement and then our waiter came out.....and we knew we'd made the right decision. Yeah Marco, I'm talking about you. Hands down, the best waiter we've ever had and that is saying a lot because we travel frequently and eat out often. Marco has such a wonderful soul and he clearly loved working at Tabla. His love for the food inspired us to order not one but two appetizers. Yep, I said two lol. In our defense Santa Fe was our last "tourist" stop, we both caught a nasty cold early in our trip and we were on the mend and our appetites had returned so we indulged. It was another great decision and my mouth is watering thinking about it....I always have to have chips and salsa and what better place to get real salsa, right? It was great, truly great, but the star was the HOUSE MADE GUACAMOLE DIP which deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. Mercy was it ever good!!!

Here's the description which I copied and pasted here from their online menu.

House Made Guacamole Dip
Layers of guacamole, roasted red chile corn, organic heirloom cherry tomatoes
and jack cheese, served with crisp corn tortilla chips

Now I told you we are foodies so just bear with me...

The guacamole is like but-tah that melts on your tongue, it's light and airy and everything guacamole should be but then...oh yes, they put it on a bed of red chile corn, tomatoes and Monterrey Jack cheese that is blended together and creates the perfect bed for the guac to rest on. When you dip your chip (home made and awesome by the way) in this heavenly concoction the clouds disappear and the sun shines so brightly and ..... okay I'm getting a little carried away but it is absolutely divine. 

Then lunch arrives......and I nearly went into a food coma.

My plate

Hubby's plate

I am a vegetarian (yes I know it means lousy hunter lol) so I am always on the look out for a meal that takes me to another culinary level besides the usual fare out there for vegetarians. Now I'm not vegan as I love eggs and cheese.......seriously you can not cut out the best things in life....just my opinion. :) Okay, back to my plate...here's what I ordered off the lunch menu.

Enchiladas
Choice of seasoned beef, chicken or cheese and onion, red or green chile,
pinto beans and calabacitas

When I cut into the cheese and onion enchilada with my fork it was super tender and then I tasted it...all I can say is that Tabla did what few restaurants have ever done.....they took me to a new culinary level. It deserves the James Beard award and their farm to fresh approach leaves your taste buds wanting more. The full experience was rounded out by the exceptional staff and I simply can't say enough about Tabla De Los Santos Restaurant located on 210 Don Gaspar Avenue in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. If you find yourself in the area it's a must stop!

{I needed to see that plate again}
Nom Nom

My husband ordered the Secreto Signature Burger and he absolutely loved it. Here's what is in it-

Secreto Signature Burger 
House made sweet tomato jam, cheddar & jack cheese, applewood bacon,
egg over easy, house made pickle

{Did I forget to mention the bacon, shame on me}

Here's what he had to say about it, "BEST burger ever and the tomato jam elevates it to a new level." The house made pickle was a star as well and the side of German Potato Salad was authentic and delicious.


 I know because I nabbed some of my hubby's and then Marco brought me out a cup of my own. I told you he was a great waiter! 


After our wonderful lunch we explored more of the downtown area.



(commonly known as St. Francis Cathedral)

I love to visit Catholic churches even though I am not Catholic. Most of my father's family is Catholic but my mother's family are Baptist and I think she influenced that decision. Either way, I enjoy visiting them because they are absolutely beautiful and I appreciate the beauty in each church.   

First up is

As patron saints go, St. Francis is my favorite.

The Cathedral was elevated to a Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

Basilica means a church of particular importance in Rome and abroad.

Outer courtyard


A statue of St. Francis welcomes visitors in the outer courtyard.

Sanctuary

There are stained glass windows in the upper bay of the cathedral.


The lower bay windows depict the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.

The round stained glass window is exquisite and I wish I could've taken a better photo. The afternoon sun washed the colors out unfortunately.

Years ago I took classes to learn how to make stained glass and I've made several pieces throughout the years including stained glass windows for my living room and dining room. I know how much work, dedication and time it takes to create just one window much less twelve and of this size. Each one is from France and you can view all twelve windows by searching for the images on Google. I'm only sharing four here but I hope you'll check them out for yourself. They are truly spectacular!

I hope you can see how they are framed on the inside and outside with beautiful tile work.



Last photo of the St. Francis Cathedral is the beautiful baptismal font...

it reminded me of the day my husband became a godfather to our beautiful niece, Blair.


Another must see is The Loretto Chapel which is a former Roman Catholic church. 

I love the Gothic architecture, inside and out, of this beautiful church.

There was a small admission price, $3.00 per person, to view the chapel and its very unique structure.

It's home to The Miraculous Staircase and some believe that St. Joseph himself built the staircase.  The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. I saw that with my own eyes and my husband is an engineer and he was impressed as well. More mystery surrounds this staircase like the fact that there are no nails involved in the construction, only wooden pegs, and other types of construction materials....not to mention the number of stair risers in relation to the height of the choir loft. Fortunately when we were there there was a gentleman who knew the history of the chapel and the staircase and I was taking furious notes. Have I ever mentioned that I was a home school teacher for 14 years? I'm always interested in learning something new and history is a particular love of mine.


You could not enter this area but I hope you can tell by this photo how beautiful the alter area is.
The angels are magnificent and very large, such detail went into creating this church. I can see why it is still used as a wedding chapel and museum.

At the back of the church.

 
Choir loft and another gorgeous medallion stained glass window.

The Loretto Chapel

Hollyhocks were everywhere on the grounds.


After touring these two magnificent churches we hit a few shops and galleries. Santa Fe is home to numerous art galleries and if you need artistic inspiration that is the place to go.

Here are few scenes for our afternoon stroll.

One of the things I like to do on a trip is buy something for my garden. This magical store was a gardener's play place and the owner was so sweet. Did I mention how awesome it smelled? I purchased a hummingbird wind chime for our new deck so I'll always remember this place. :)



I love Indian jewelry and it took all of my willpower to stay out of this store. ;)

I love how the trumpet vine flowers along the streets of Santa Fe would spill over adobe walls. 
Such a pretty sight!


While I could share more photos I hope this gives you a good snapshot of how special Ouray, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico are. The people of both really touched us and although a nasty cold derailed our original plans to travel to Wyoming and see two additional national parks we were happy to change course and end our 30th Anniversary Trip on this note. We'll remember it forever and look forward to going back to some of these spots when the opportunity presents itself. 

I'm going to create a travel album to commemorate this trip and I'm searching for inspiration now so I can start it soon. You'll see additional pictures and more facts about the parks / cities / roadways and highways traveled on this remarkable trip. 

If you want to see my previous four post simply scroll down or begin with Part 1 here
Thanks for looking!
Lisa xx







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