My Other Pages

To make it easier to read about our trip to Ireland, I have made a page that is just for that. There is a tab above for Ireland Trip 2014 or click on the Home tab to read my other posts. I have also created a new page for My Weight Loss Journey if you are interested in that, click on the tab above.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ireland #8 Muckross Estate

Remember to click on the pictures to see them larger.

Up and out fairly early to visit the 
Muckross Estate.
I saw this sign  on our way into Muckross Estate.
They sure are serious about that closing time.
Can you imagine having to call and pay to get out
if you run too late?!?!

Muckross House is huge!
Can you imagine living in a place this size?
We took a tour of the house and had a lovely girl as our guide.
Unfortunately, pictures aren't permitted inside the house, 
so I have nothing to show you, but believe me it is 
quite amazing.
This 65 room mansion was built in 1843,
in the 1850s a huge amount of time and money was spent
refurbishing and remodeling for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1861.
More than 3 years were spent on the preparation for the visit.
The queen spent 2 nights at Muckross House.
The Herbert family had a very elite social standing and were
counting on this visit to elevate their standing even more.
A knighthood was expected to be given to Mr. Herbert.
This never happened as just a short time after this visit,
Queen Victoria lost her husband and with his death
she went into mourning and apparently was never the same.
She withdrew and hence the knighthood never happened.
The Herberts lost much of their social standing as well as their 
financial stability.
The house was later sold to Arthur Guinness, who in turn sold it to
 William Bowers Bourn who made it a wedding gift to his beloved daughter
Maud and her husband.
After Maud's death at an fairly young age, 
the entire estate was gifted to 
The Republic of Ireland 
and it became the first national park of Ireland.

A beautiful view of the lake.

I thought this tree was pretty amazing, I have no idea how old
it is, but it is obviously very old and quite dramatic.

The gardens at Muckross are amazing,
had to have some pictures taken there.
Group shot of the "Celtic Adventurers"

Michael and Jane

Ed and Roxie
Unfortunately, the picture of Dave and me didn't turn out.

Can you imagine having a garden like this?
Just gorgeous.
(More about the flowers below.)
Then we were off to the Abbey and Cemetery.
The Abbey was built in 1448 by the Franciscans,
it has a violent history and was damaged
and reconstructed many times.  
The Friars were subjected to persecution and raids by marauding groups
The abbey is mostly roofless, and is a ruin, but it is
 fairly well preserved.
The Abbey from afar.
View from the cemetery.
Inside, the architecture is beautiful!

 There is a square courtyard with is surrounded by this vaulted cloister

There is a huge Yew in the courtyard that is 
as old as the abbey itself and is said to be the oldest living thing in 
Ireland, being over 500 yrs old.

There are loads of Celtic crosses in the cemetery at the Abbey.
Here are just a few 

Ed found some possible family and that was pretty exciting.
There is also a famous Gaelic poet named 
Geoffrey O'Donoghue
buried in this cemetery

Flowers of the Day

Muckross has some of the most beautiful hydrangeas I've ever seen
They have many different colors and many shades of each color as well.



There are long borders of hydrangea bushes 
with so many different colors that are all gorgeous!

They also have other types of flowers in their gardens.

It seemed that the red roses were just so saturated 
that I couldn't get a good defined picture of them.

I think that's enough for this post.
Thanks for stopping by and sticking with me till the end.
Next, the rest of our time at Muckross and Killarney.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Eureka! Stamps Challenge - Add Some Bling

It's Monday, so that means it's time for another 
Eureka! Stamps Challenge.
This weeks challenge is
"Add Some Bling"
I chose to use
"Lg Filagree Heart" (#24601) and
"Happy Anniversary" (#9004) both from
I stamped the heart and the sentiment onto
black card stock with VersaMark Ink 
and heat embossed them with 
white embossing powder.
I then trimmed them out, adhered them to some 
light purple vellum and cut around them leaving a
little border.
I then adhered them to the card base.
For the "bling" I added pearl accents in a
coordinating color.
I hope you'll pop over the 
and check out all the particulars 
about the challenge.

I'm sad to announce that this will be my last 
challenge as a design team member,
I started on the QKR Stampede design team in 
October of 2010.
Since then I have been a member of sister companies
Eureka! Stamps,
QKR Stampede 
Biblical Impressions
Design Teams.
But the time has come for me to resign from the team.
Please continue to follow my blog as I have lots of fun things
coming along the way.
There will be scrapbooking, more about Ireland,
Silhouette projects and, of course stamping.
I'm hoping to try some new techniques
and I'll still be doing guest tutorials on 

Thanks for stopping by today,
I hope you'll come again soon and 
see what I'm up to.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ireland #7 The Ring of Kerry

I want to note that if you click on the pictures you can see them larger.

Next we were off to
The Ring of Kerry.
We planned our day here a little differently than the
average tourists.
We decided this time to take a northern route, so
we took a ferry to
Valentia Island
The tour buses couldn't go there so we didn't have to deal
with them.  The Ring of Kerry is a very popular tourist
destination as it is just beautiful.
BUT it can be very crowded, not so when you travel it the
way we did.  My hubby is so smart to plan it this way.

Our first stop on Valentia was at a little coffee shop in 
where we all indulged
in something tasty.
One of our (Dave's and mine) favorite treats are the meringues.
These were so good!
This shop had them with fresh berries and cream.
Pure Heaven!
Once we were done with our goodies
(the others had scones, croissants, and cakes)
we were off to explore this little town.
We found a delightful shop.

Out front there was this wagon filled with flowers.

My pictures aren't as good as Dave's, but you can see 
what a lovely building/shop this is, so colorful!
Dave took LOTS of pictures of this one!

I thought these windows were lovely, 
a little too modern for Dave, but beautiful just the same.

On the way out of this little town, I saw this sign and just loved it.
Had to take a picture to remember it.
And we were off for more adventuring.
Is this just gorgeous or what?

 These next few pictures were what we saw as we drove around
 the island.

We were headed to a light house.
The light house was nice, but not fantastic.
The scenery in the area though was gorgeous!
The drive around this area was quite treacherous,
but Dave drove it like a pro as the rest of us took in the scenery
and the flowers along the road side.
(More about those flowers below.)
A little more driving on the crazy roads and we came
 upon the most incredible sights at 
Fogher Cliff, it was gorgeous,
but it got even better!
We all decided to take the 1 mile long loop hike up and around the hilltop.  
We were so happy that we did, as it was more amazing than we could have
imagined.  The views were unbelievable

 Gotta have my selfies!

Words can't describe how gorgeous these views were.
I can't even explain the immensity of what we were seeing.
It was clear enough for us to see for miles in 
all directions, and the farther around the loop we
hiked, the more amazing it was.

This is the rock I brought home from 
The Ring of Kerry and the hike at Fogher Cliff.
I chose it, not for it's beauty, but because this is what
is indigenous to that area.
Some of you may not know that I have fibromyalgia, 
so hiking, and sometimes just walking any distance is
difficult for me.
I was worried when I saw that it was a 1 mile hike up and 
around this loop, but I wanted so badly to do it.
So I did, Dave was patient with me when I had to go slow or 
stop for a minute and I made it with no problem.
I was so happy and proud that I did so well.
So, I took another selfie.  LOL!

Then we were off to Port Maghee
A lovely little fishing village across the bay from 
Valentia Island where we had lunch at 
The Bridge Bar.
Even the bars have these lovely windows!
Dave and I both had the special of the day,
Bangers and Mash,
which is sausage (pork and leek with onion gravy) and potatoes, 
boy were they good!
I do love the food in Ireland!
Then we were off to see more sights.
As we drove we saw some signs that said
"The Most Beautiful Cliffs On The Ring Of Kerry"
So that's where we went.  
How could we not see the most beautiful cliffs?
It was quite a walk out to them, but it was well worth it.
On the way out to the cliffs was this little display.
Unfortunately, the birds on top are not real and we didn't 
have the chance to see any of the birds indigenous to the cliffs, 
other than some common sea gulls, which I can see daily around
the Buffalo area, where I live.
I found these huts quite interesting.

Skellig Michael, mentioned on this plaque,
is an island that was inhabited by monks as
far back as the 6th century.
We would love to visit on our next trip.
Here are a few pictures of the cliffs,
they are beautiful as well as treacherous and a bit scary.

It was very, very windy up here.
One funny thing was that Roxie and I were walking along and we
heard a sound almost like music.
It was kind of a haunting whistling sound and we
wondered if it was the wind in the caves.
Suddenly we realized that it wasn't the caves or the rocks or the
cliffs at all. It was my cane!
When I walk any distance, especially if I'm tired,
I use a cane as I become a bit unsteady at times.
My cane is aluminum and hollow, there are holes down the 
side of it, to adjust the height.
The wind was blowing through the holes in my cane
producing the haunting whistling music that we were hearing.
Boy did we feel silly when we figured it out!
See those 2 tiny islands way out along the horizon?
One is Skellig Michael (or Great Skellig), the other is Little Skellig
Can you imagine the monks building a monastery out there
around the 6th century?

Flowers of the Day
The flowers today start with a couple beautiful roses from 
Knightstown when we first got onto Valentia Island.
 I thought the color was just gorgeous!

And these flowers below were from that same town.
They weren't quite as bright as they appear in this picture,
but they were lovely.
While we were driving along we saw these orange flowers
growing wild along the side of the road.
They are just beautiful,
I don't feel I ever really captured their beauty.
They are called Montbretia
(scientific name 
Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora  and 
Irish name Fealeastram dearg please don't ask me how to say this
Irish name!)

I was hoping to find a field of these beautiful flowers,
but we never did.  I just love them!
We also saw a lot of Fuchsia
growing wild along the roads in
County Kerry and they were gorgeous.
The only thing that rivaled these flowers was the hydrangea.

And the day still wasn't over.
We went on to Killarny for dinner.
We ate at Mac's Restaurant and had a lovely meal.
For me it was 
"Mac's Cottage Pie"
Much like a Shepard's Pie
with meat and gravy covered with potatoes
and cheese.  It was delicious!!
Then we went on to hear some Irish music at Murphy's Pub.
Now I'm not much for the bar scene and it was very crowded
but I have to say I did enjoy the music.
We didn't stay long, and that was fine for me.
It had been a long day and we were all on the tired side.
I've never put a video into a post before, so I hope this works.
If not my apologies.
This isn't the best video, but it gives you a little idea
of the music in the pubs.
Keeping my fingers crossed that it works.

The music in Irish Pubs is interesting.
Players don't perform on a stage of any kind most of the time.
They just walk in and sit down at a table,
customers will sit around them 
and they play and drink beers.
Very informal, very friendly and very entertaining.

Thanks for stopping by and making it to the end of this long post.
It was quite a day filled with wonderful sights and memories.

Next I'll tell you about
Muckross Estate.