The One with the American Crafts 2014-2015 Design Team Blog Hop!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

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Hey there! Today is the American Crafts 2014-2015 Design Team Blog Hop and I hope you'll be inspired to craft as you make your way through the 6 blogs of the design team members - we each have a fun project to share using American Crafts supplies!
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LOVE HER by Paige Evans

Description: I was inspired by the nail & string art I've seen popping up on Pinterest lately and thought I'd give it a go using baker's twine and brads with the new Shimelle line!

Journaling says: Ain't no :)

How to: Trace a heart onto white cardstock with a pencil then mark the center top and center bottom points. Mark every 1.5" or down both sides. Pierce a brad through each pencil dot. Wrap baker's twine around the brads - I didn't have a rhyme or reason for the method to my madness, I kinda wish I did though because it's a bit of a hot mess. Oh well. Wrap the top layer color of twine around the heart to define the edge. Punch a rainbow of patterned papers into 1" circles then trim them in half. Adhere the semi circles around the heart again to define the edge. Notice I kept my brads and papers in a rainbow order for a fun look. Add a pair of photos to the right and stitch a Thickers title below. Add matching colored embellishments (such as die cuts, rub ons, wood veneer, layered chipboard, stickers, and more) around the rainbow heart then drop spray mist around the layout to finish.

Supplies: Cardstock, patterned paper, brads, die cuts, stickers, wood veneer, cork, layered chipboard, rub ons, circle punch, baker's twine, Thickers, adhesive: American Crafts; Spray mist: Studio Calico; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark
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What's a hop without a giveaway??? Leave a comment on this post by Saturday September 6th 2014 and tell me WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AMERICAN CRAFTS PRODUCT? I'll randomly select a winner to receive these fun brand new, never used, never opened (well, except the #summer die cuts are loose!) American Crafts goodies! I'll update this post with the winner so be sure to check back on Saturday.
Here is the full hop list in case you get a little lost, or want to open up every blog in a new window right now. Make sure you go through the entire hop, leave a comment on each blog, then visit the American Crafts blog to win a fantastic prize!


Next on the hop is Ashley Horton!


Have a wonderful and fun-filled day! 
With love, from the 2014-2015 American Crafts Design Team!

UPDATED WITH THE WINNER!

Congrats Jess! Thanks for your sweet comment! Email me at paigetaylorevans at gmail dot com with your address and your prize will go out next week!
Thanks everyone!!!!

The One with Noble Paiges: Goodnight June by Sarah Jio


Saturday, August 30, 2014


Hello and welcome to the 4th Noble Paiges online book club discussion - today we're going to talk about GOODNIGHT JUNE by Sarah Jio. Honestly, this is probably the cutest book I've ever read. Left me so happy and full and wanting to visit a local bookstore in Seattle :) And because of it I have a new-found drive to instill the love of reading in my children and have ordered Goodnight Moon and can't wait for it to get here and read it to Fox & Jane!

Synopsis: June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown - and steps into the pages of American literature and a mystery she must choose whether or not to solve.

QUESTIONS (please note there are major spoilers if you haven't read the book yet!):
1. Did you read Goodnight Moon as a child? Did you like the way it was worked into this book?
I have read Goodnight Moon, but not for decades and I don't have a copy of it! But after reading this book I purchased it and I can't wait to flip through it page by page and read it to Fox and Jane and hopefully make it one of their favorite books. I think Sarah Jio is so clever and creative for the way she weaved an entire story around this children's book!

2. Were you surprised that June was JP and ended up being Ruby's daughter?
I was completely and totally surprised! Caught me off guard and while big reveals like that usually don't sit well with me I found this one to be charming and the perfect fit. It all made sense :)

3. There is a strong emphasis on the importance of reading, especially when it is instilled in children. Did you read a lot as a child? How do you get your child interested in books or reading?
Yes I read a lot as a child - my dad used to read us books before we went to bed like The Hobbit and LOTR series, and we had a couple of shelves filled with kids books that we could sift through and read while eating our morning bowl of cereal. My dad always read during breakfast so we, naturally wanting to be like him, read during our breakfast. Fox and Jane both seem to love reading on their own and I hope to read Harry Potter to them in a couple of years.

4. Economics come into play a lot throughout the book—June used to be a banker that shut small businesses down, now she's struggling to keep one afloat. What did you think of her turnaround?
I'm not sure if her complete turnaround was completely believable, but I'd like to think it is!

5. Have you ever seen You've Got Mail? This book reminds me of that movie and makes me want to watch that movie, and/or turn this book into a movie! I always like to add a bit of pop culture into the questions - if you were to cast June Andersen and Gavin for a movie who would you choose?
I'd pick Julia Roberts as June and Benedict Cumberbatch as Gavin :)

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Kelsey Noble has another set of fun and thoughtful questions about GOODNIGHT JUNE by Sarah Jio on her blog!
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Our next Noble Paiges book: THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS by Cristina Henríquez!
Synopsis: A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American. Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better. When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core. Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.

Our next Noble Paiges discussion of THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS by Cristina Henríquez will be on Saturday October 18th 2014 - over a whole month to read so mark your calendars and see you then! And make sure to visit Kelsey's blog for the other half of the discussion!

The One with American Crafts August 2014 Layouts


Friday, August 29, 2014

It's the last month of monthly American Crafts layouts! But don't fret, I'll still have about 4 layouts a month to make for American Crafts, they'll all just be made specifically for the AC blog and then I'll share them here too :)
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PERFECT SWEET CUTE by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: The Oh Darling collection by Crate Paper is one of my favorites because there are so many different kinds of embellishments - chipboard, wood veneer, stickers, die cuts, vellum, jewels, ribbon bows, paper bows, and more! It's super easy to put a layout together with so many coordinating pieces.

JOURNALING SAYS: Well you really are quite adorable little girl Jane! So fun to watch you grow!

HOW TO: Die cut the 11 Hearts by Lori Whitlock (Design ID #37852) from aqua ombre paper then back each heart with a patterned paper using foam dots to create dimension. Tuck three photos under the hearts. Embellish to your heart's delight, adhering colors on like colors. Journal with a gray pen on the lightest heart. Easy peasy! 

SUPPLIES: Patterned paper, chipboard, wood veneer, stickers, die cuts, vellum, jewels, ribbon bow, paper bow: Crate Paper; Adhesive, pen: American Crafts; Die cut machine: Silhouette Cameo by QuicKutz; Hearts cut file: 11 Hearts by Lori Whitlock (Design ID #37852)
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YOU 2 by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: I received the new Shimelle collection in the mail on Tuesday and by Wednesday had created a couple of layouts! Loving the colors and all the fun embellishments!

JOURNALING SAYS: Well aren't you two so stinkin' adorable! Here you are on a boat on Königssee in Berchetsgaden, Germany having the time of your lives!

HOW TO: Punch hearts from all of the 6x6 patterned papers in the Shimelle line then adhere them across a cream patterned paper layout. Trim off the left edge and replace it with robin's egg blue cardstock; stitch over the paper seam. Layer a photo overlays, die cuts, a picture, layered chipboard "2", "you" mini alphabet stickers, cork heart, chipboard photo corners, and more as shown on the bottom right corner. Add a trio of wood veneer hearts down the top left corner. Journal next to the wood veneer hearts using a black pen then stamp the date in black ink below.

SUPPLIES: Cardstock, patterned paper, heart punch, cork heart, wood veneer hearts, chipboard (layered "2", photo corners), mini alphabet stickers, photo overlays, die cuts, adhesive, pen, roller date stamp: American Crafts; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark; Ink: StazOn
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Whelp! It's been a fun 5 years or so of monthly posts! Times they are a-changin' :)
There's an American Crafts blog hop scheduled for Sunday so I'll be back soon with more scrappiness!

The One with Studio Calico POET SOCIETY Layouts!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The POET SOCIETY kits are now available at Studio Calico!

There needs to be more hours in the day so I can scrap for hours and hours and hours after the kids go to bed :) I guess I could do that now, but I need sleep or I'm a grouch! ANYWAY! I made 4 layouts this month using the versatile, colorful, and fun POET SOCIETY kits and add ons (DICKINSON, ALCOTT, WHITMAN) and here they are:
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MOTHERS DAY 2014 by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: I was asked to make a start-to-finish video showing how to make one of my POET SOCIETY main kit only layouts so I created that layout first using one of my favorite techniques: rolling paper!

JOURNALING SAYS: Being your mother is the best and most rewarding job in the entire world. Yes there are tough moments and things get hard, but at the end of the day your smiling faces and sweet dispositions make me look forward to another day. I love you two more than anything!

HOW TO: Trim all the patterned papers from the POET SOCIETY main kit into 1" strips then roll them into paper tubes. Find the center of aquamarine cardstock, adhere the photo to the middle, then loosely place the rolled paper tubes in a frame around the photo, trimming as needed. Draw pencil marks where the edges of the tubes are, remove the paper tubes, then place super sticky adhesive around the photo. Add the paper tubes. Sew two lines with white thread around the frame about 1/4" apart. Add stickers and printed labels on the top left and bottom right corners of the frame as well as jewels and a printed word. Stamp the date with black ink on the bottom right corner. Tuck an envelope behind the photo then apply a rub on to it. Use the digital Alex & Ben alphabet to make a title.
Die cut the title from white cardstock, then adhere the letters under the photo. Trim the wooden holed tag, add a green ribbon bow at the top, then adhere it inside the frame along with the year on top. Journal around the frame with a white pen.

VIDEO: Watch and see how this layout came to be:

SUPPLIES: Scrapbook kit: POET SOCIETY by Studio Calico; Cardstock, adhesive: American Crafts; Label printable: Hello Forever for Studio Calico; Year, word, and tab printable: LifeLovePaper for Studio Calico; Round sentiment printable: In a Creative Bubble for Studio Calico; Roller date stamp: Kesi'Art; Ink: StazOn; White pen: Uniball Signo; Die cut machine: Silhouette Cameo by QuicKutz; Alphabet: Alex & Ben Alpha Set by Studio Calico

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CLICK by Paige Evans
DESCRIPTION: I had the opportunity to design another background cut file for Studio Calico this month! On this layout I used the Petals Background Cut File.
JOURNALING SAYS: The world's cutest girl eating an apple in her dad's arms on a boat in the middle of Königssee in Berchetsgaden, Austria.

HOW TO: Die cut the 8.5 x 11" petals background cut file from the top of the grey cardstock included in the POET SOCIETY main kit. In a new Silhouette Studio file, enlarge just one of the petals and repeat it into two rows. Die cut the petals from each of the patterned papers in the POET SOCIETY main kit. Straight stitch down the center of each petal then use the petals to back the cardstock with foam dots for dimension. Add jewels between the petals. Layer watercolor printables and two photos across the bottom center of the layout. Turn a digital "click" digital stamp into a cut file then die cut it from black cardstock; adhere it across the top watercolor printable for the title then stamp the date next to it in black ink. Apply two flower rub ons beside the photos. Journal with a white pen below the photos. Trim the painted holed wooden tag in half and tuck the halves under the photos.

SUPPLIES: Scrapbook kit: POET SOCIETY by Studio Calico; Cardstock, adhesive: American Crafts; White pen: Uniball Signo; Roller date stamp: Kesi'Art; Ink: StazOn; Watercolor printables: LifeLovePaper for Studio Calico and In a Creative Bubble for Studio Calico; "click" digital stamp: Poet Society Project Life Kit Stamps; Petals background cut file: Paige Evans for Studio Calico; Die cut machine: Silhouette Cameo by QuicKutz; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark

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BABY JANE by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: I think I'll always love banners and how they can make a layout come together in about 15 minutes! And with a whole packet of lovely tags in the DICKINSON add on, a banner layout was a must :)

JOURNALING SAYS: We couldn't love you more! You are absolutely perfect!

HOW TO: Watercolor across the top of the gold dot paper in the DICKINSON add on and let it dry. Layer and overlap the Crate Paper "Notes & Things" tags from the DICKINSON add on as well as a pair of photos in a slight curve over the watercoloring then stitch across the tops to keep everything in place. Adhere three chipboard flowers in a triangle around the edges of the layout and trim the excess; stitch over the flowers. Add jewels, a few printed labels, a bit of stamping, tiny word stickers, and more embellishments to finish.

SUPPLIES: Scrapbook kit: DICKINSON and POET SOCIETY by Studio Calico; Adhesive: American Crafts; Watercolors: Mister Huey's; Colored ink: Color Theory by Studio Calico; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark; Tab and labels printables: Hello Forever for Studio Calico; Sentiment banner printable: In a Creative Bubble for Studio Calico

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A PINT OF THANKS AND A QUART OF GRATITUDE by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: I do love a big, watercolored title! When I saw this sentiment stamp in the Card Add On 2 I knew I had to use it on a layout as the main focal point:


JOURNALING SAYS: Easter Sunday photos with Fox and Jane.

HOW TO: Turn the "a pint of thanks and a quart of gratitude" digital stamp from the Card Add On 2 set into a cut file then die cut it from white cardstock - leave everything on the sticky mat, watercolor over it, then let it dry completely before removing the title. I find that the cardstock distorts less if it's stuck flat while drying. One of these days I'll use actual watercolor paper :) On a white cardstock layout, place the words across the front and stitch them in place. Trim the tearaway tab from the bottom of a patterned paper in half and adhere it at the top and bottom center. Place a photo on the right side along with a tag and little embellishments. Sprinkle pastel-colored embellishments from all of the kits (POET SOCIETYDICKINSONALCOTT, and WHITMAN) on matching colored areas to finish. Journal on a label sticker with a gray pen and stamp the date in gray below.

SUPPLIES: Scrapbook kits: POET SOCIETYDICKINSONALCOTT, and WHITMAN by Studio Calico; Cardstock, adhesive, pen: American Crafts; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark; Roller date stamp: Kesi'Art; Ink: StazOn; Colored ink: Color Theory by Studio Calico; Watercolors: Mister Huey's; Round sentiment printable: In a Creative Bubble for Studio Calico; Die cut machine: Silhouette Cameo by QuicKutz; Sentiment cut file: Card Add On 2 Stamp Set by Studio Calico

This year is flying by! The next reveal is in a month on September 27th!

The One with Studio Calico POET SOCIETY Sneaks!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It is so incredibly serendipitous that the September 2014 Studio Calico kits are called POET SOCIETY, right after the tragic death of Robin Williams. Such a great man, I love his movies so much. These kits are planned and named months in advance - it was simply MEANT TO BE. I completely fell in love with these kits and only wish I had about 12 more hours in every day to "kill my kits" because I have so much stuff leftover!! Studio Calico subscribers will have first dibs on the POET SOCIETY kits and add ons. Here are my sneaks to get you excited!

MOTHERS DAY 2014 - this will be a start-to-finish how to video featured on Thursday! Using the POET SOCIETY main kit only and a rolled paper technique that I'm so fond of :)
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CLICK - my other POET SOCIETY main kit only layout using the flower background cut file I designed exclusively for September Studio Calico kits!
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BABY JANE - using mostly the DICKINSON add on and the banner technique :)
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A PINT OF THANKS AND A QUART OF GRATITUDE - I love turning the digital stamps into cut files. Here I chose a stamp from the Card Add On Stamp 2, turned it into a cut file, watercolored it, and made it the focus. More detailed how to coming in the reveal! Using a combination of all of the kits: POET SOCIETY, DICKINSON, ALCOTT, and WHITMAN.
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The reveal goes up soon - I'll be back then to share these layouts in full!

The One with the Society 52 MONOCHROMATIC Layout


Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Society 52 is, well, like it says on their picture, "a freaking awesome weekly challenge feed for scrappers"! Started by Maggie Massey and Sarah Bargo, it's been so fun to see this group grow exponentially since the launch only a couple months ago. And I'm thrilled to be participating in this week's challenge: monochromatic!
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LOVE by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: I've made a monochromatic pink layout and a monochromatic mint layout, so I wanted to use a different color and decided on sunshine yellow!

JOURNALING SAYS: Just seconds after I decided to trim and give you bangs on a whim. You're adorable!

HOW TO: Use a ruler and pencil to draw lines leading to a point on a piece of scratch cardstock then trim out every other section. Place the trimmed cardstock over light yellow cardstock then spray it with yellow mist. Backstitch with different shades of yellow floss between each section. Add two photos to the epicenter. Fill in the light yellow sections with all kinds of yellow embellishments like stickers, die cuts, badges, chipboard, cabochons, sequinsenamel dots, buttons, and more. Journal on a label and tuck it under the photo. Swoop a dimensional sticker title below the photos.

SUPPLIES: Cardstock, stickers, brads, die cuts, chipboard, adhesive, pen: American Crafts; Floss: DMC; Enamel dotsspray mistbuttonssequinscabochons: Studio Calico
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On Thursdays there's a twist! Such as adding a color, technique, element. My lips are sealed for this week's twist until it's announced though :)

The One with Schloss Fantaisie, Germany


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yesterday morning we drove a short 45 minutes away to check out the Schloss Fantaisie and Gardens near Bayreuth, Germany. Bye bye Netzaberg!
When we're driving through Germany I always have to keep my camera on, within arm's reach, and ready to snap pictures - these little Bavarian villages come and go in the blink of an eye but must be captured because they're so cute!
"Fantaisie" was the name given by Elisabeth Friederike Sophie (1732-1780) to her summer residence in Donndorf, five kilometers west of Bayreuth. Here the Bayreuth princess who became the Duchess von Württemberg on her marriage created a refuge that reflected her own personal tastes.
There was already an aristocratic property in Donndorf in the Middle Ages, but there are few records from this time. From the 16th century on, Donndorf was the seat of the Lords of Lüchau, high-ranking officials in the service of the Bayreuth margraves, who built a simple Renaissance palace in an attractive rural setting. On the death of Friedrich Ludwig von Lüchau in 1757, the fief returned to Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth (1711-1763). In 1761 the margrave began to build a palace on the plateau above the steep cliff. The north-facing, three-winged complex was probably designed by the Bayreuth court building inspector Rudolf Heinrich Richter (1700-1771).
Here we are on Saturday August 23rd 2014 in front of the Schloss Fantaisie!
On the death of the margrave, the Donndorf property passed to Friederike Sophie, only daughter of Friedrich and his wife Wilhelmine von Bayreuth, who died in 1758. She began extending the palace for use as a summer residence, and by the end of 1763 had already started on the interior. The most magnificent of the rooms was the internal link marquetry cabinet completed by the Spindler brothers in 1765, one of the finest examples of the Bayreuth rococo style.
The name "Fantaisie" for the palace and garden first appears in records in 1770. At this time Friederike Sophie, supported by her uncle Frederick the Great, had achieved full personal and financial independence from the court. The duchess regularly spent the summer months in Fantaisie with her court, but resided in the Old Palace in Bayreuth in the winter. After her death in 1780 the complex fell into disrepair.
It was not until 1793 that Fantaisie was used again as a summer residence, after it had come into the possession of Duchess Dorothee Sophie von Württemberg (1736-1798), née Princess von Brandenburg-Schwedt, who had fled Montbéliard during the war that was raging in the Rhineland. Between 1793 and 1795, Dorothee Sophie had numerous repairs and alterations made. She had the Spindler Cabinet restored and created the internal White Hall with the elegant stucco-work decoration that has remained to this day (we didn't go on the interior tour). After Dorothee Sophie returned to the Stuttgart court in 1795, Fantaisie Palace and Park became the summer residence of her son Alexander I von Württemberg (1771-1833). The complex became neglected when the duke entered the service of the Russians in 1806 to take part in the wars against Napoleon.
Fantaisie Palace and Park came into its own once again under Duke Alexander II von Württemberg (1804-1881), a grandson of Dorothee Sophie, who inherited the complex in 1833. In 1850 he embarked on the rebuilding of the palace in its present form. On the garden side the central building and corner projections were each raised by one story and two tower-like buildings were added on the court side. The façade was redesigned in the Florentine style of the late Schinkel school.
After the death of Duke Alexander in 1881, the property passed through several hands and was finally acquired in 1929 by Edmund Fürst von Wrede. The palace was upgraded to meet modern standards and the park was reserved for private use. In 1937 the National Socialist federation of teachers installed the "Reich School Donndorf-Bayreuth" in the building, which resulted in the loss of much of the original building substance.
After the palace had been used by the American occupying forces from 1945 to 1948 as a sanatorium and had subsequently again served a variety of purposes, it was acquired in 1961 by the Bavarian Palace Department. After comprehensive restoration of the palace under the direction of the Bayreuth building authority from 1994 to 1998, the Fantaisie Palace Garden Museum was opened in summer 2000.
We enjoyed walking around the grounds and letting Fox and Jane run around to their heart's content.
The backside of the palace.
Very French!
Yeah, I could live here :)
The park officially opened at 9am and the water fountains came to life!
Got a short video of the spouting water.
Jane, then Jane and Fox in a nook.
There was a spiral of grass in front of the fountains. 
Fox enjoyed running around and around and around in the spiral.
Waterfalls. | Random obelisk statue in the middle of the woods. 
Looking down to a lake.
Growing grapes?
What palace is complete without a labyrinth?

Which way, which way?
Lovely, green park.
Plaque carved into the rock.
Jane meandering. | Chris trying to use an app on his phone to translate.
It's crazy how dark it gets in the forest!
Down at the lake, looking up at the palace.
These geese and ducks followed us all along the edge of the lake.
Little island in the middle of the lake - I'd love to know what the mini house is for!
Reminds me of Washington.
And this is where we turned around - this looks like a hike which we were not prepared for!
Walking back to the car, it turned into a beautiful day with clear blue skies!
Touring palaces and grounds is one of my favorite activities!
Paige Taylor Evans © // Quinn Creatives DESIGN