Tuesday, 31 August 2010

In between

Time to take a breath between events....

Last week saw the 4th Annual Chance Visit to Germany (4 trips in 5 years so not quite annual but near enough) which was fantastic for us - lots of tiny feet (well 6 anyway) filling my flat with plenty of jumping, skipping, bouncing and running (and sand but that is another story). 

It was exhausting just to watch them.

I won't fill this post with all the details after the last four posts which were rather heavy on travel photos but suffice to say, there will be layouts from this 4th trip featuring some of the gorgeous photos we managed to capture along the way.

Here is the only photo we managed to get with all of us together - so rare to get but I will treasure it all the more...

And the good news is that I did actually manage to produce a whole layout while they were here - Libby and I had a mini-crop, just the two of us in my room, while the boys were upstairs playing poker. It was fun. We stroke our stash, looked at recent purchases, had Twilight, New Moon and Pride & Prejudice going in the background and challenged each other to break into the new Scrapagogo August kit and work on the same Page Maps sketch.

Ta daaaaaa

And then, because we thought the guys were going to be much later than they actually were, we started another one which I managed to get finished yesterday

Again, ta daaaaaa

This weekend sees the wedding of my BIL and his sweet fiancée and then next week will bring my mum over for a few days so I am making the most of this calm to try to make another layout or two this evening.

What have you been up to?

Monday, 23 August 2010

All the Fun of the Fair (or Installment 4)

Warning! Photo heavy posts following including excessive use of the Hipstamatic (we've been having lots of fun!)

Now where were we? Ah yes, here...

Another summer tradition is Cranger Kirmes (Cranger fun fair) which is the second largest fun fair in the country - only the infamous Munich Oktoberfest is larger.

We like to go, eat some unhealthy fairground food, have a few rides, stuff ourselves with candy floss (well Ted does, anyway) and people watch. The latter being the most important part of the fair. There are some great sights with Ruhrpott life at it best on show. Those of you who know will understand! Cranger is in deepest, darkest Ruhrgebiet representing the area at its best as well as its (sometimes) worst. It grounds you. It makes you realise where you live. It reminds you of the roots of this area. It reminds you that this is Schalke land. We love it!

This year's Cranger seemed a little more quiet than usual but it was still great and we kept up the traditions like troopers even though we limited ourselves to only three rides (well, I'm not getting any younger...)

And so this concludes the Smith/Hausmann Summer Tour 2010. Thanks for looking!

What did you do this summer?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Ooo Arrr Me Hearties (or Installment 3)

Warning! Photo heavy posts following including excessive use of the Hipstamatic (we've been having lots of fun!)

And so continues the saga of the Smith/Hausmann Summer 2010 travels...

Each time Ted comes, I try to give him a trip to somewhere a bit more special (we have done Berlin, Amsterdam and Cologne previously) so on Saturday we drove north to Hamburg which is a city I have wanted to visit for a long time. 

For those of you who don't know much about it, it's Europe's third largest port and Germany's second city with 1.7 million people. It has more millionaires than anywhere else in Germany and is a very beautiful city even though it was very seriously damaged during the war.

We managed to fit in a lot into our just over 24 hours, taking in 
  • harbour tour which was very impressive with all the seemingly millions of containers, the ship building/repair docks, the newly developed symphony hall area and Speicherstadt
  • the Rathaus
  • the city centre including all the canals, bridges and pretty corners
  • St Nikolai Chuch which is a memorial against war. It was seriously destroyed during the British bombing raids (Operation Gomorra) in 1943 and now you can go to the top of the bell tower and look down at the surviving walls of the church which have been preserved as a reminder
  • St Michel's Church 
  • a open double decker bus city tour covering all the main sights of the city
  • the Reeperbahn which is the infamous party mile and red light area. Suffice to say, Ted's eyes were wide!

The City Hall/Council House (Rathaus) which was really stunning.

Speicherstadt down in the dock area - these are the largest continuous dock warehouses in the world

St Nikolai Church

One of the local specialties (due to the Reeperbahn, there is a LOT of partying going on there!)

All in all, a great weekend and even though we didn't manage any of the museums, we certainly got a good idea of the top sights of the city. Somewhere to go back to sometime in the future.

One last installment to come...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Behind The Wheel (or Installment 2)

Warning! Photo heavy posts following including excessive use of the Hipstamatic (we've been having lots of fun!)

Now where were we? Ah yes, we had been doing some of the Industry Culture Route - some of which was more successful than others!

With a quiet day ahead of us, it was decided that Ted should have an early driving lesson on the company car park (private land) and I should have a "it's scary to see him behind the wheel" moment.

Although his parking needs a bit of work!

Ted works really had during his time here, going off to work every day and being the post/copy/dog's body for all and sundry and so I really try to make sure it's balanced with some fun.

So what did I think he would totally and utterly enjoy on his precious Sunday evening? Of course, a trip to the cinema where I forced him to watch Twilight: Eclipse!!!!

*sigh* Jacob *sigh*

Did he enjoy it? Like I care!!!! I did and that 's all that matters! (but I really appreciated that he did actually agree to come along!

The following weekend, I arranged for him to have a day off work making a long weekend and we kicked it off at Zeche Zollverein which is a UNESCO heritage site and includes many protected bauhaus style buildings from the times it was a working mine, a cokery, two museums and many other event locations built in or around the buildings. It's an incredible area and you really need a whole day to take it all in. 

This is the main shaft head building which is such a typical symbol of the Ruhr area and is a really famous landmark.

We visited both museums - the Ruhr Museum and the Red Dot Design Museum, the panorama point, the cokery and wandered around all day. This was the second time I've been there and it's changed a lot in the meantime. I love it and you can learn so much and experience a little of what it all used to be!

A very cool day out.

Stay tuned for more of the Smith/Hausmann adventures...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Teenager in the house (or installment 1)

Warning! Photo heavy posts following including excessive use of the Hipstamatic (we've been having lots of fun!)

I've had busy times around here the last few weeks which has interrupted my creative endeavours.

So for the next couple of posts, I will showcase some of the highlights of the last few weeks. And anyway, I've got nothing scrappy to share - the only thing I have managed is two layouts that were magazine commissions so I can't share those anyway and I forgot to take sneak peek photos!

So, on we go with installment 1...

My {no longer such a} baby brother is visiting...

... as he has the last three summers to earn some pocket money, practice his German and enjoy some local sightseeing.

This has taken up the last few weekends on my side and means that the time has not really been available for my usual weekend activity of either doing nothing at all or scrapbooking!

But we've had a lot of fun and seen some new sights along the way.

Duisburg - well this would have been more exciting if the sight we had gone to see had actually been built.

Who could resist Magic Mountain/Tiger Turtle - yes, it really is called that! This ...

** Photo from internet

is what we were hoping to see.

We appear to have been about 4 months too early - but this is where it WOULD have been and this is what we got  ...

The next weekend was more successful adding another few points to our Industry Culture Route repertoire (I have talked about the route many times before and I am trying to work through all or at least most of the sights on the route - Ted and I have managed a total of 9 out of 25 "anchor points" and 2 out of 15 "panorama points" so far)!

It started off taking in the Lindenbrauerei which is a light art collection housed in an old brewery which was really interesting. Each artist chose the area or room they wanted to house their installation and so the space was as much the art as the lights themselves.

We were not allowed to take photos of the pieces but Ted snuck in this one at the very beginning.

There was also a sort of pinhole camera structure with an opening to the sky which then beamed and projected the image of the sky down into the building - this photo is the hole in the ceiling and I love the fact it looks so mysterious.

Next up was Maximillian Park with the largest elephant in the world which has been build on top one of the old mining buildings. Maximillian the Elephant was more impressive on the outside than the inside but we had some silly fun going around it and around the park it's in.

The park included a butterfly house which I was surprised to realise that I had never done before...

Are you excited to see what other adventures we've had? Watch this space for more!


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