Happy Birthday Nancy!!!

Happy Friday!! Today I´m sharing a special post with you. A fellow DT member, the ever so lovely Nancy has a very special birthday and I am joining her birthday celebration linky party with this card.

This linky party is organized by Stamping with Loll! Thanks for the heads up Loll and Monika!! And now to the birthday girl herself:

Dear Nancy!! With this card I am wishing you lots of happiness, laughter, health and many, many amazing moments to come! You have a special place in my heart as you love stencils at least as much as I do. You know I love your artworks so much. I am so honoted and happy to be able to congratulate you this way. Have the happiest of day and I hope you get spoiled by your loved ones (hope you can party abit despite the pandemic circumstances..). Sending you lots of love,
xxx, Sanna

This card was done using lovely STAMPlorations products, well, because Nancy is a DT colleague at STAMPlorations, so she´d be expecting nothing less, I assume ;-). Also do read Loll´s blog post, because there will be many more people joining in on her celebration – you could even join in yourself (read more on Loll´s blog!!)

It´s a strange time to have a special birthday (I know, because I just had mine), so I think this linky party, organized by Loll, is a fabulous idea!! Thanks for organizing this, Loll!

All the best,
Sanna

Supplies:

Bernstein Castle

Hello everyone! This post is something out of my regular posting scheme, but I was thinking, that it might me of interest to like-minded, crafty individuals, so I am putting this up! Travels.. one of my other passions. Seeing and going places, experiencing new things!

Be prepared for a VERY photo heavy and very LONG post. So if this is not your thing (travel stories), feel free to leave this post out :). Due to Covid19 this summer 2020 has been so very different. Travels have been different! I would have loved to fly somewhere and dip my toes into the sea. But then we reconsidered and decided to stay in Austria. And what a blessing that desicion turned out to be! Meet Burg Bernstein (The Bernstein Castle), our vacation location this summer.

Burg Bernstein (The Bernstein Castle) is about an hours drive away from Vienna in the province of Burgenland. This – above – are the first impressions you get when entering the castle. Impressive, isn´t it!!

The Castle is a small family owned hotel with nine lovingly restored rooms. Parts of the castle date back to the 11th century. Each generation living there has left some changes in building´s structure so today you can see a mixture of different architectural styles. The Almásy family – the current owners – bought the castle in the year 1892. It is, by the way, thru that, the birthplace of László Almásy, who´s adventures were turned into the movie „The English Patient“.

There are nine lovingly renovated guest rooms that you can choose from – each with it´s very own and unique character. They are equipped with original furniture , while the bathrooms were changed to suit modern taste. There are no TVs or telephones in the rooms, but you will be surrounded by beautiful nature, clean air and the peace and quiet of the countryside. Believe me, it will be all you need. And when the day comes, that you need to leave, you will be very relaxed and find yourself missing this place already!

The castle is a perfect place for everybody who is looking for peace and quiet and relaxation. The place offers an amazing view over Styria and Lower Austria and has stunning, restorated rooms. On clear days you can see the Riegersburg castle in Styria and even further to the Carinthian alps approx. 150 km away.

You know how you go to a museum and you an only look but not touch nor sit on an old chair. That is different here! You sleep in the old beds, live in the restored, old rooms and use all the old furniture. The castle has no electric heating. It´s done with wood and the old ovens. Also the cakes, the breakfast and the meals you are served are prepared on a wood stove! Alone the smell of old furniture, wood stove cooked foods and meals in candle light immediately give you another mind set and feeling very much apart from the busy everyday life.

Above you can see their stunning breakfast and dining room. Because of Covid19 regulations the long table was not on use. Instead there were smaller table groups placed on safe distance form other guests, to make the stay not only pleasant, but also SAFE. The room booking includes breakfast that will fulfill all your wishes. If you decide to eat outside of the castle, you will miss out in my opinion, but the breakfast alone will leave you amazed!

On our second evening we ate at the castle. Wood stove prepared oriental chicken in candle light. The food was just delicious. And then a variation of home made cakes as dessert (I forgot to take pictures..!). What an ending for an evening!

There are events held on the castle on regular basis and as we had been visiting, we had the opportunity to enjoy a pop-up kitchen served by Gerda Stocker (more about her here, but only in German). She cooks with local and saisonal products (and typical local dishes) and combines wild herbs, wild flowers and wild fuits/berries to her dishes. She has her own „Gasthaus“ she is running, just in case you are interested on visiting.

The Almasy family really does great work in making you feel comfortable during your stay. You can take walks and just relax in the castle itself, walk around the castle (inside and outside) and discover the beautiful garden with old plants as well as interesting corners inside the castle. The fire place room and library invite to sit and relax in the evening and they also have a „ball room“ where weddings or other festivities can be held. You are free to walk and discover everything and if you are interested on learning more about the castle, do take their guided tour. And do try their wines! These can also be purchased at the premises, by the way.

So we did all of this. Ate cake (which was delicious!), tried the wines (recommend it!) and ate and relaxed and discovered the beautiful premises. Only the weather was not so much on our side, so we didn´t go hiking. But you can do that in the area too.

Also, Bernstein itself has a wonderful nature swimming pond, not far away from the castle. Had the weather been nicer, we would have gone for a swim. Now, we just instead booked ourselves a table at Kantine48 – the restaurant by the pond. Food is delicious, but if you want to go eat there, make sure you book a table in advance to make sure you get one.

The region also has lots of thermal baths to offer, so you will have all kinds of possibilities to spend time, while in the area. The Almasy family has put up quite an impressive list of activies for you to discover – do read more on their website. Also, when booking, do contact them directly to get the best information and service, you won´t regret it.

Another place worth visiting is the „Felsenmuseum“ (a minin museum), just a few minutes walk away from the castle. It is a privately founded and funded museum around noble serpentine mills, but offers a vide variety of rarities of precious stones from Austria’s mountains are presented to mineral lovers in rock showcases. But also unique items made by local noble serpentine mills from the previous century can be seen in this exhibition.

The exhibition also shows the creation and extraction of amber, the trade on the amber roads, as well as antique jewelry and ornaments. The most valuable precious serpentine sculptures – created by the sculptor and museum founder Otto Potsch – can be also be seen in this unique exhibition. We visited and were truly impressed by this exhibition! While in Bernstein, make sure you pay a visit.

Last, but not least, the Zotter chocolate factory is about an hours drive away from the castle and we did the full tour. And it was great (if you like chocolate)! So much chocolate to taste & so much to see, lean and experience. Make sure you book the tour while there. We did the Schoko & Aperitif-tour and it was the best choice! Something salty for startes and then the sweet tasting tour thru the premises. What a day!

Just in case that was not enough activities for you to discover, the Almasy family has put up a nice list of possibilites and ideas (incl. contact data) for your stay. That sould help you find even more to do during your stay. But also just take your time in the castle, enjoy the surroundings and a glass of their wine and just relax and take it all in. We had more planned in the beginning, but in the end we mostly just enjoyed the time together in these amazing surroundings and just took time off from the busy everyday.

It was an amazing vacation and I am sure we will revisit some day. It truly left an impression on us!

Have a great week everyone!
xxx, Sanna

News Flash!

Hi there, I´ve been keeping a secret and am now finally able to tell you about it. Do you remember Studio Tekturek? It´s a Polish paper company that has fabulous designs and colours and I was a fan of them from day one. And now…ta dah… after a break, they are making a comeback! I could not be happier to see them come back & I CANNOT WAIT!!!

And the good news?! I´ve been chosen a member of their design team until end of January 2021!! Wohoo!!!! I am over the moon happy about this new crafty journey!

And this is the fabulous team I am lucky to be part of:

Keep an eye on Studio Tekturek, their social media sites and the girls pages!! This is going to be such an amazing journey!!!

Happy scrapping,
xxx, Sanna

Art display wall at home

Hello everyone and happy Saturday!! Today I´d like to share a DIY art wall with you all. See, I have been collecting art done by my crafty friends for a while now and finally had so much together, that I could decorate a whole staircase wall section with them.

Here is what it now looks like:

This staircase wall is the one leading to my studio upstairs and it took my husband and me a whole Saturday to get it done.

I´ve framed the art pieces (if they weren´t on a frame yet!) into IKEA shadow frames. I love the depth this type of frames create around the picture/art piece.

Most of the art is by my very talented and lovely crafty friend Tina Walker. I love what se does!!! And then there are pieces by Tracy Albrechtson Krueger, Maria Potapovich and Louise Nelson. Some, even, are by me. And a few of them were a result of a collaboration of some kind. Oh, and there is a mask from the Amazon in the middle of it all as I find that it perfectly goes with the rest of the art pieces. Our visit there last summer has left an impression – I truly was in awe of the beauty of the rainforest. I think a piece of my heart stayed there…

Anyway, this wall is very special and what better way to get inspired on one´s way to the studio than to pass a art collection like this!!

Here you can see the arrangement from the front, sorry for the bad lighting here, it was a little bit later and darker when I took the last photos.

This art wall makes me soooo happy! Have you displayed art on your walls? Is it by yourself or do you collect art pieces by your crafty friends, like I did? I´d love to see how you display the art!!

Happy crafting,
xxx, Sanna

Let me introduce myself – The Wild Hare Kits

Hi there, everyone! Today marks the beginning of my The Wild Hare Kits design team member journey and we start with a Q & A round today. So I hope to give you some insight on who I am as a scrapper and papercrafter by answering the following questions:

I think I have never introduced myself properly here on my blog, so about time to change that!!! Here are some infos on the „crafty me“:

1. What is the one thing people don´t know about you?
Hmmm… I´m a night owl and very often stay up too late and always regret it early in the morning, when the alarm clock goes off and I have a really hard time forcing myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m…..

2. How did you get into crafting?
I have been crafting basically all my life. The interests have changed over the years, but crafting has always been a part of me as long as I can remember. Papercrafts have been there all along and I´ve always done fotoalbums, but discovered the term „scrapbooking“ itself back when my children were small and I wanted to do their baby-albums. Finally I had a word for what I was doing and I have been even more „hooked“ ever since 🙂

3. What is something you are excited about in the paper crafting world right now?
Oh, the variety of products available for sure. When I started there were only so little possibilities, now there is practically everything available from paper to mixed media products and everything in between.

4. What is your favourite tool for crafting?
That would have to be stencils and stamps. I have way too many and I still find I could use a few more in my stash *lol*

5. What are your favourite patterns?
Graphical patterns, faux watercolor look on paper, black and white simple grafic patterns.

6. How many complete albums do you have?
Oh, I´d have to take a quess, because I´ve done quite a few over the years that I´ve given away as presents too. So there are plenty – if I count all the minibooks I´ve made there are for sure more than 50 even..? Honestly, I´ve lost count 🙂

7. What is your favourite type of embellishment?
I love using word&phrase stickers and ephemera as well as flair and tiny embellishments like stars for texture. These are followed by various mixed media products.

8. What brand do you keep finding yourself going back to?
This is an ongoing and ever changing list of companies. American Crafts, Pink Paislee, Crate Paper, Carta Bella, Pink Fresh Studio, Heidi Swapp and then there are some fab European manufacturers I like alot too. But I also decide based on colours and patterns alot, rather than look for a specific brand.

9. What is your best tip for getting in the zone and being productive in crafting?
I find good music always inspiring, also going thru and printing my photos usually gives me plenty of ideas and inspiration. The photo and the story behind it gives me the inspiration and thru the story of the photo I get a feeling for what type of product and colours/design I want to go for/work with.

10. Who inspires you?
Fellow crafters and my crafty friends. Depending on if it´s cardmaking, mixed media or scrapbooking, there are different people I admire and who inspire me. I´m a huge fan of many crafty peeps in the community and I stalk follow many of them thru my social media sites ;-). No, but seriously, there are so many talented people out there, how could one not be inspired by them?

11. Is there a new type of craft you want to try, but haven´t yet?
I haven´t tried paint pouring yet, but it is definitely on my to-do-list and I also want to give TN´s a try!! And pottery, jewellery making and black & white photography (mainly portraits) really interests me too.

12. What do you hope to see in the future for paper crafting?
I have been scrapping for a long time now and I always find it very sad when a company closes their doors/goes out of business. We need the versatility as there are so many types of crafters out there. Also I miss the magazines and the books. It´s so easy to find inspiration in social media, but flipping thru a real magazine and a book just has something special to it and cannot always be replaced by a site that might not be loading properly when the connection is bad, for example. And then there is the product. Who of us does not love new products? It´s such an important part of our hobby. I hope it stays versatile and innovative also in the future so that we can have plenty of fun in our craft rooms :).

And here are some bonus answers:

Home: Austria, Europe
Favorite color: blue on clothes, in crafting yellow, pink, aqua, lime green, black and white
Favorite way to create: in my craft room with nice music on and lots of light and plenty of time
Favorite vacation: anywhere, where I haven´t been yet, favorably somewhere by the sea OR in a city with lots to see
Something I´m looking forward to: I am very excited about this design team year and lots of scrappy time, gaining new crafty friends & planning our next vacation for 2020.
Favorite quote: Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know the crafty me a bit better! Next up will be some unboxing activities here on my blog, so be sure to come back tomorrow!! Also, layouts and scrappy fun will be coming up throughout the month with my August Wild Hare Kit, so stay tuned!! 🙂

Happy scrapping,
xxx, Sanna