la grotta gigante & birthday presents when you have no cash

grotta gigante - giant cave grotta gigante - giant cave grotta gigante - giant cave

Sunday we went to one of Trieste’s ‘famous’ tourist attractions, the Giant Cave. It isn’t the biggest cave in the world but it is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the biggest cave which tourists can visit. So it is the biggest one you will ever see, unless you are a speleologist. It is 100 metres high and around 130 metres wide. This requires walking down 500 stairs on the one side and bit of a wander near the bottom and a climb up 500 stairs on the other side so not for the rather unfit. The tour was lead by a specialist. There are lots of science centres in Trieste so I don’t think they have them in short supply.

A visit to the cave was part of Tim’s birthday present. His birthday was a few weeks back and though I wanted to give him a massive expensive present as a symbol of appreciation (isn’t that always the way) I just didn’t have the money. It isn’t a new idea but I made him a sort of mixed ‘box of adventures’. Inside was a notebook that I had got in trade for some photographs, some money for earphones that he was after (so he could have a soundtrack for his adventures) and some ‘adventure vouchers’. Using vouchers meant that I could spread the cost while still showing how much I care. Other vouchers include things like ‘a date night somewhere new’, ‘an adventurous read’, ‘prints of some instagram adventures’ as well as things that don’t cost money like going on a hike.

They key with this type of present is making sure you act on them. As the giver I would say it is my responsibility. Put the vouchers up on the fridge or somewhere you will see them so you will be reminded to use them and not just make it a crappy present.

Have you ever given vouchers for a birthday? Or would you? I’d love to hear your ideas

On a side note don’t you love the graphic for cave on the signs?


happy friday

happy friday spring yellow What a lovely week.  On Saturday I went on a Lomography course where I learned how to develop film with coffee.  The picture above is from that.  The focusing is a bit harder with the Lomo cameras but they are fun anyway.  I thought the blurry blossoms were appropriately symbolic of the non-existent spring we are having in England.

I also turned a bit older.  I want to say thank you to all the lovely ladies who offered me some great advice. I am hatching some plans (all sitting in my brain still) to put some of that advice into action!

For my birthday I had the days off and had a lovely day with Tim.  He bought me a Wacom Bamboo.  I’ve been mostly playing with writing on it (see above and Wednesday’s bonus post), but will be using it for photo editing). Plus the rest of the week has been half days while the boss has been on holiday.  It always feels decadent leaving the office early don’t you think?

I’m afraid I don’t have any links for you this week.  Why don’t you share some with me – what did I miss this week?

Have a lovely weekend.

movie making | how to make crafty envelopes

I made some crafty envelopes for the birthday invites I made.  They are really easy and a great way to reuse a magazine that you have lovingly read cover to cover.  I did have the template wrong to start. Basically you want to measure out the shape of the item to be posted, duplicate that, leave space for a flap at the top and add a cm border around.  For extra measure I added some cool tape to hold it all together (this one is from Heart Zeena).

Stay tuned this week.  For my birthday I have asked some lovely bloggers to give me some advice for the last year of my 20s and there are some wise words for any age.

inkifi birthday invites

dala invites inkifi-film-squares-mycreative inkifi instagram photos It is my birthday next week and I thought I’d invite some friends around for lunch.  Rather than just send a facebook invite though I decided to send an actual invite to the occasion.  I tried to draw something but I wasn’t really feeling it.  I’d come across Inkifi on pinterest at some point and thought that it would be simple but fun to just hand write invites on a the back of a print.  Inkifi are focussed on printing instagram images but as the scans of the film photos I have taken aren’t high resolution I thought I would do some of those too.  They are easily  uploaded from the computer although you can also link directly to your Instagram account (though can’t vouch for the ease of that path).  The top two pictures show film photos and the last one are some instagram snaps.

I printed a bunch of copies of my dala horse photo for the invites but you could easily do a selection of photos too.  Everyone (who I have got around to actually giving their invites to*) has loved them.  Because they are a little “piece of art” they have a longer lifespan then a ‘normal’ invite too.  These could also be used as a great budget friendly save the date option which you could do yourself with some instagram snaps.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with the print quality of not particularly high resolution images as well as an accurate colour print.

* note to self: work on posting out invites before my birthday next year!

p.s. this is not a sponsored post. I just thought I’d share.