Friday, July 22, 2016

Christmas in July with Kerri Bradford Studio

Can you believe Christmas is less than 6 months away!? Time is flying! To celebrate the halfway mark, the Kerri Bradford Studio design team has been decking the halls and getting into the spirit of Christmas this past week!
 photo Christmas Tags 2 by Paige Evans.jpg
To make these tags I used an assortment of festive images from the OH WHAT FUN and BETTER NOT POUT sets:

Sometimes I moved the words around to better fit on the tag space, but most of the time I just centered them and then die cut them from white cardstock. I also cut some plain white cardstock tags to back the tags once I finished decorating them. I backed all of the die cuts with patterned paper first and then worked on each card one at a time to embellish. The last step was tying ribbon through the holes. Quick and easy and they'll be so fun to add to presents! photo Christmas Tags 3 by Paige Evans.jpg
I used the last Christmas collection by BasicGrey - Juniper Berry, to make these gift tags, plus American Crafts ribbons.
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You know I mostly make layouts so it was really fun to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit and make something different!
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These will be so fun to add to presents or to tuck into a small acrylic box and wrap with more ribbon to give as a gift!
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I totally was humming Christmas tunes as I was crafting these. It happens!
 photo Christmas Tags 4 by Paige Evans.jpg
156 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Take Me Away Collection + Giveaway!

My second scrapbooking collection with Pink Paislee called TAKE ME AWAY has started shipping - look for it in stores any day now!!

Want to win a TAKE ME AWAY goodie box?! Leave a comment on this post and tell me what product you're most excited about from this collection! I will randomly select a winner and update this post with the winner in one week (Wednesday July 27th 2016). Open worldwide, please only one comment per person. I will also be doing a giveaway on my instagram (@paigetaylorevans) so be sure to check that out as well! Thank you and good luck!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cologne, Germany

On our drive home from the Netherlands we were set to pass right by Cologne, so we decided to stop and check it out. Cologne, or Köln in German, is home to Germany's greatest Gothic cathedral and that was our first stop after parking. The cathedral, the most ambitious building project north of France in the 13th century, was stalled in the Middle Ages and not finished until 1880. Even though most of it was built in the 19th century, it's still technically a Gothic church rather than "Neo-Gothic" because it was finished according to its original plans.
The church was begun in 1248 and was first inaugurated in 1322.
Inside the 140 foot ceiling towers above. Stained glass, enough to cover three football fields, fills the church with light. 
The windows at the east of the church are medieval originals, while those along the nave are from the 19th century when that portion of the church was finished.
Out in front of the church on the Roncalli Platz is a Roman arch. It was the north gate of the Roman city and dates from A.D. 50. 
Leaving the square we circled around to take in the whole grandeur of the Dom.
Just behind the cathedral is the Roman-Germanic Museum. You can see it's prize piece for free by peeking through the large front windows. An intact mosaic floor that was once the dining room for a rich Roman merchant is preserved in its original position as what was then street level (the museum was actually built around this).
Then we continued down towards the river. On the right is a statue honoring Kaiser Wilhelm II who paid for the Hohenzollernbrücke (below).
The Hohenzollernbrücke is the busiest railway bridge in the world with 30 trains an hour all day long crossing it. It's a classic Industrial Age design from around 1900. While it was destroyed during WWII, it was rebuilt in the original style.
Just upstream from the bridge is the cutest row of houses in the whole city on the Fish Market Square. The tower of Great St. Martin Church looms above.
I shared a photo of these adorable houses on my instagram and was so happy to see that A Beautiful Mess regrammed it!
Cool manhole cover. 
During WWII, bombs destroyed 95 percent of Cologne. It was mostly rebuilt in a modern style.
Despite the destruction during the war, somehow the City Hall survived. The tower dates from the 15th century and symbolized strong civic power against the power of the church bishops while the Renaissance porch in front is the only historic facade that was left standing after the war.
The carvings on the facade stress civic independence and feature scenes from the Bible, like Daniel in the lions' den and Samson fighting lions.
Rick Steves said the City Hall is often busy with wedding parties, and not only did we see some confetti leftover from a previous wedding, we saw another wedding just finishing up!
Then we made our way to Hohe Strasse, the city's busy pedestrian shopping street. The street thrived during the Middle Ages when Köln was a major player in the Hanseatic League of northern European merchant towns. The street was rebuilt after its complete destruction during the war and was the first pedestrian shopping area in Germany.
The best part of the street? A Lego store! 
Ever wonder why men's fragrance is called cologne, or more properly Eau de Cologne? Because it was invented right here in Cologne! The first company to make it was 4711, named after the address that the company was housed in. 
Our very own bottle of cologne from Cologne. 
The Evans family in Cologne, Germany on Tuesday July 12th 2016.
After a fun stop, we made the excessively long drive home. Autobahn construction is no joke right now, just sayin'. #stau
We love home! Home sweet home!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Scheveningen, Netherlands

The main reason for us wanting to visit Scheveningen: the Kurhaus! A fancy 4 star hotel aligning the promenade.
It was a perfect and warm sunny day for the beach... except for the gale force winds causing the beach to turn into a sandstorm from Dune!
We braved the beach anyway.

Eventually we made our way to the pier. Scheveningen is like the Dutch Coney Island with the double decker pier dominating the scene. Shops are on the bottom level with a boardwalk on top.
Cafe in the pier.

At the end of the pier we found a little playground and the kids got some of their wiggles out.
Then we finally - FINALLY! - satiated our craving for some legit fries. There's a backstory there, but I'll keep it between me and Chris :) They were delicious and the homemade curry ketchup was fantastic.
Flowers in front of the Kurhaus. 
The Kurhaus was built in 1885 as a concert hall and hotel. Eventually it fell into disrepair and was barely saved from demolition in 1975 by being listed as a historic building. It was completely renovated and reopened in 1979 as a hotel.
The Evans family in the middle of a sandstorm on the beach in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on Monday July 11th 2016.
The last stop of this adventure was halfway home: Cologne, Germany.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Delft, Netherlands

After a fun morning in Rotterdam, we made the short drive to Delft. 
Love, love, love!

Delft is a city with a rich history and a wealthy past. Its look today was defined in 1536, when lightning struck the spire of the New Church, starting a fire that destroyed two-thirds of the town. While all the buildings that ring the Market Square have cellars dating from before the fire, what you see above ground made of brick was built after 1536. 
The Evans family in Delft, the Netherlands on Monday July 11th 2016.
I love Dutch canals.
The giant, Gothic New Church boldly presides over the town and the square. Inside are buried the beloved Dutch ruler William I of Orange and the Dutch royalty that succeeded him. 

Just down from the church on the square is a tribute to Delft's printing heritage. A Bible hangs on the corner recalling the first printed Dutch Bible that was printed here in 1477.
The square has never really been renovated so everything is charmingly intact.

Eventually we left the Markt square and explored the nearby streets. Along the Oude Delft Canal is the headquarters of the Water Authority with a fancy facade covered in the colorful coats of arms from various 17th century Water Authority directors. 
Just behind the Prinsenhof is an old herb-garden-turned-park that holds a statue honoring William, considered the founder of the Netherlands.
Delft has a 400 year tradition of porcelain. The only color that could survive the extremely hot fire of the Chinese porcelain technique they used was blue, so blue and white is the color of the famous Delftware porcelain.
The tower of the Old Church peeking above the Prinsenhof complex. Leaning Tower of Delft I tell ya!
Could this street be any cuter? #chandlerbing

One of the highlights of the day? Stumbling upon a pet store! I want this bunny!!!!
Delft details:

Darling doors of Delft. 

We walked to the east end of town to check out the Oostport. The gate was built around 1400 and it is the only remaining city gate in the city. 
Want to know what it is now? Someone's house! Coolest. House. Ever.
More uber charming alleys.

Back on the square to hunt down a magnet.

When in the Netherlands, take pictures of your kids in huge clogs.
As we were walking back to the car, we got "barged."
Next recap: Scheveningen!