Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany - Tips and Money Savers in Bavaria

I decided to focus most of this post on travel tips.  Information on creating this layout in Studio J can be found at the end.  During my trip planning, I had to navigate a lot of information in German.  Luckily since then, many websites are now in English and if not Google chrome will do an automatic translation.

School in Ireland ran until the end of June, but the kids had no school the 1st week of June.  We decided after much discussion to explore Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  This required flying out of Dublin to Salzburg, Austria and back through Basel, Switzerland.  This was booked on Ryanair, but after scheduling our whole trip, including non-refundable hotel in Salzburg, we were notified that Ryanair would not be flying to Salzburg.  I booked an Aer Lingus flight to Munich, Germany for the day before.

We decided that we would spend that night in Hohenschwangau, Germany and see the amazing Neuschwanstein castle.  Germany offers money saving regional day tickets which work on all regional train, bus and subway travel after 9am on weekdays, midnight on weekends/holidays.  The one for Bavaria was €28 for 2-5 people, the price now varies depending on how many are travelling.  This was great as the pass covered the S-bahn from the airport to the train station, the trains from Munich to Füssen and the bus from Füssen and the Hohenschwangau.  Even those travelling on expensive Eurail passes had to pay extra for the bus.  I also bought a pass for the following day as the Salzburg train station is part of the Bavaria train network.

We arrived in Hohenschwangau shortly before 2:30pm, grabbed a some quick bratwurst and beer and checked into our hotel.  Tours for the Neuschwanstein castle can fill up fast.  I had decided to purchase the 14 day palace pass  (included Neuschwanstein and many other places in Bavaria, but not Hohenschwangau) for €36 (currently €40).  This also allowed us to take the next tour.  We walked up the castle, though you can also go up by bus and horse drawn carriage.  I purchased the palace pass and we were put on the next English tour.  

The tour was great and it is the only way to see the castle.  Our guide was American.  After the tour, we walked to Marie's bridge (Marienbrücke) where you can take the best pictures.  Unfortunately, as you can see from the picture, that side had scaffolding due to a multi-year renovation project.  We started to hear thunder and on our way down the hill, the skies opened up and we were drenched.  Near the bottom of the hill we found the Hotel Müller and decided to eat in their restaurant.     

The next morning we headed up to Hohenschwangau Castle.  We didn't take a tour; we just explored the courtyards and exterior.  We then took the bus to the Tegelbergbahn to ride the summer luge.  The Bavaria regional day ticket that we would be using to get to Salzburg, could also be used on this bus.  For the luge, we bought 6 adult tickets (€10.50) and 6 kids tickets (€9.50) so we had 3 rides each for a total of €20. Current prices and other information can be found here.  There was also a playground here with some free and coin operated rides as well as a canteen.  The luge was great fun. We were only there a little longer than an hour before taking the bus back. 

We grabbed a quick lunch, gathered our stuff from the hotel and took the bus to Füssen for our train. I had a bit of time at the station and managed to find a grocery store to pick up a few things for our trip.  During the half hour stop in the massive Munich Hbf train station, we picked up dinner to eat on the train to Salzburg. The train from Munich to Salzburg was direct but the whole train doesn’t go that far.  Everyone on our set of cars had to get up and move to the other half.  In Salzburg, we stayed at the Best Western Hotel Imlauer which was an easy walk from the train station.  

Created in: Studio J

Kit: Mischief
Pattern: Reflections: Front and Center—In the Middle/Sidebar—Main Frame™
Kit Mix: 1
Photos: 1 horizontal, 4 horizontal
Colours: Topiary, Cranberry, Grey Wool, Outdoor Denim, Buttercup, Colonial White
• Creating your own argyle B&T paper
• Customizing kit by adding different colours
Notes: This layout was based instructions provided for a Close To My Heart Regional Celebration for consultants.  However, I made change to colours and photo orientation to suite my photos.  Buttercup and Grey Wool are not current colours, so if you choose my colours, you will have to substitute canary and slate.  The argyle pattern was created with a lot of journaling boxes and dashes.  Studio J now has an easy stitching option under embellishments.

Let me know if you have any travel or creative questions.

Friday, 15 August 2014

August Cross Canada Blog Hop - Picture My Life Cards

Welcome to our August Blog Hop featuring alternative ways to use your Picture My Life cards.  To purchase any of the items seen in our blog hop today, contact your local consultant to place an order.  My customers (or if you don't have a consultant) can purchase from my website or by contacting me

We hope that you will take the time to leave comments on our posts, as we love to get feedback from our viewers....whether it was something that you really liked or some new technique that was used that you would like to learn how to leaving us comments, we get to hear what you like, and what you want to see. Thank you… now on to our hop! 

If you have just hopped onto my blog, you can start here as this is a circular hop, and I am the beginning.  If you started elsewhere, then you came from Kristine of @ home with Studio K and you are in the right place! 

Close To My Heart now carries thirteen different Picture My Life Scrapbooking Kits.   One of the new kits is Z2018 Chalk It Up

Like all Picture My Life Kits, it includes: 

  • 44 – 4" × 6" Cards (2 each of 22 designs)
  • 78 – 3" × 4" Cards (3 each of 26 designs)
  • 1 – 12" × 12" Designed Cover Sheet
  • 10 – 12" × 12" Memory Protectors™(various designs) 

This kit is great for scrapbooking school memories.  I usually use the cards with the various pocket pages as well as on traditional pages as design elements and as journaling cards.    They can also be used outside of scrapbooking in many other uses.  The 4X3 work perfectly for gift tags.  

One gift I like to make is the layered cookie mix in a jar.  Some of the cards in this kit make great tags for the jar.


The card on the left would be perfect for a gift for a special teacher.  The one on the right would be great for a cookie making date with your child after a good report card.  Both of these cards have been mounted on Desert Sand cardstock.  The recipe to complete the cookies is attached to the back of the tag and the tag is attached with hemp.

Your next stop on the Cross Canada Hop is Deanne of My Little Piece of the Puzzle.  If you get lost along the way, you can head to Michelle's Blog, My Creations with Michelle, as she has the complete blog list. 

Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you to get creative using some of the designs, products and techniques seen along the way. We hope you will join us again next month when we will be featuring our favourite new products. So mark September 15th on your calendars and hop along with us.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Team Brae-er August Blog Hop - New Products

Welcome to our August Team Brae-er Blog Hop featuring new products.  Since August is the first month of the Annual Inspirations Idea Book, we decided to feature some of our favourite new products.  To purchase any of the items seen in our blog hop today, kindly contact your local consultant to place an order.  For my customers or if you do not have a consultant, and see something you would like, you may order from my website or contact me.
We hope that you will take the time to leave comments on our posts, as we really love feedback from our blog viewers....whether it was something that you really liked or some new technique that was used that you would like to learn how to leaving us comments, we get to hear what you like, and what you want to see. Thank you… now on to our hop!  
If you have just hopped onto my blog, you can start here as this is a circular hop, but if you want to follow our team's blogs, then please start at the beginning and join Brae at the Brae-er.  If you came from Michelle at The Right Hugh then you are in the right place! 

One of my favourite products in the new Annual Inspirations if the G1089 Seaside Workshops on the Go Scrapbooking Kit.  I love these kits because they are great value, this one contains over $45 in products for $32.95.  It has all the cardstock, paper, stamps and embellishments to create two 2-page layouts with a lot left over. I'm still scrapbooking our family cruise and this workshop kit was great for our stop in Grand Turk.  I've only made the first layout so far and I still have a little journalling and finishing touches to complete. 

The layout shown uses Z1906 Cricut Artbooking Collection. However if you don't want to use cricut cuts, there are instructions for an alternative layout.

Your next stop on the Team Brae-er Hop is Jan at More Than a Little Ink.   If you get lost along the way, you can head to Brae's blog at the Brae-er, as she has the complete blog list.

Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope you enjoyed some of our favourite new products and that we inspired you to get creative with some of designs, products and techniques seen along the way. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Annual Inspirations - New Product Blog Hop

I'm joining other Close To My Heart Consultants to celebrate the release of Annual Inspirations, the brand new annual Idea Book from Close To My Heart.  If you follow the link, you will also have the option to download the .pdf  One great thing about the new annual format is that customers and consultants alike get to see the Stamp of the Month for the whole year.  I decided to make a card using the August Stamp of the Month S1408 What a Hoot.

I used the new ShinHan Touch Twin Markers to colour in the owl. The paper and cardstock came from the new X7192B Seaside Paper Packet and I embellished with Z1853 Aqua Dots and Z679 Liquid Glass.  I usually buy the Workshops on the Go Kit for their great value.  G1089 Seaside Scrapbooking Kit includes the Aqua Dots used in this card.   Exclusive Inks used were 44751 Archival Black, Z2118 Desert Sand and Z2164 Sorbet.  The pattern used was 9042 Make It From Your Heart Volume 2, Pattern 25.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge

This card is based on the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #66. This is my first time entering the challenge.  

For this card I used some of my favourite new products from the Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations: X7192 Seaside Paper Packet, and the stamp set D1627 Your Own Kind of Wonderful.  I also used several of the ShinHan Touch Twin markers that CTMH carries to colour in the butterfly.


Other products I used were: 44751 Archival Black, Z2128 Hollyhock and Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks, 1246 Hollyhock and X5762 Lagoon Cardstock, Z679 Liquid Glass and Z1327 Blue and Green Sparkles (retired)