Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

Scuse me. Wasn't it just August yesterday? How in the world can it be the end of October??? Ok, rant over. Yes, time is flying by, but I have to admit I love this time of year and I love Halloween. I used to love it more when I could eat chocolate (I need to dedicate a whole post to my chocolate problem - but for now, suffice it to say, I cannot eat this food of the Gods anymore). But I digress...oh yes, Halloween. Tomorrow is the big day. Preparations were ongoing all weekend - ds decided on being that guy from Scream, with the mask that has actual blood-looking stuff oozing down, can't wait to see how that turns out! Pumpkins are carved. Treats are purchased. Store-bought brownies are all ready for ds' school party tomorrow (lol - I gave up on homemade a long time ago!!!). All is well with the world.

I'd like to share with you (also known as, "I'd like to show off") my scrappy Halloween creations. Here are a few Halloween cards I made for the United Way craft sale:

The patterned paper is from Tim Coffey's Halloween paper photo mat pad (by K&Company), and the embellishments were in my stash ... bat-shaped and spider-shaped punches from my punch swap days, various stickers and sticker letters, rub-ons, and dimensional paint.

I also made several altered notebooks for the sale:

And here is my piece de resistance - I altered a coffee can, a prima flower tube, a night-light and a memo pad and created this Halloween gift basket (complete with candy, chocolates and skeleton-shaped lollipops) as a raffle prize for the United Way sale. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

And speaking of the United Way sale we held, where we sold art, baked goods, used books, crafts, used cd's and dvd's, we managed to raise over $1,400 for the charitable campaign. Cool!!! While I only sold a few cards (all the more for me, I say), all my altered notebooks sold, and there were plenty of raffle tickets sold for the basket too.

Long post - but not over yet. Just to update you all on goings-on ... dd won three awards last week - one for highest mark in Grade 10 French, one for highest mark in Grade 10 Nutrition, and one for overall average in Grade 10 of over 90%. We are very proud!! Ds won his first hockey game 6-1, but lost his second game 1-5. Also, ds has been chosen by his teacher to participate in peer mediation training, so he can help resolve conflicts between students at his school. Once again - we are very proud!!! Work is still NUTS, and I'm not currently seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. We've picked the granite for our new kitchen counters, as well as the undermount sink and the faucet. Should be installed in about 10 days. Waiting for a call from the hardwood guy to confirm what day next week they'll start on the stairs. Have to decide on a tile/design for the kitchen backsplash. Busy but fun!!!

And last but not least, I was so pleased to hear that Robyn's guy finally proposed to her ... they are now officially engaged! Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness together!!!

Well, dh just came home and surprised me with a Starbucks latte. All really is well with the world!!! Happy Halloween, everyone!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Busy Gal!!!

Hi there, sorry about not updating lately ... but I'm a busy gal these days!!! The lines between work and home have been kind of blurry since the weekend, leaving not too much time for scrapping and blogging. On top of that we are in the midst of picking granite etc. for our kitchen (keeps us busy, but definintely a happy thing!). Tonight will be busy as well, as we are attending an awards ceremony at dd's school, where they are recognizing students who demonstrated excellence last year (including dd of course). Tomorrow night I am hoping to hook up with some scrappy friends for an hour or two. So, scrapping and blogging will need to wait until the weekend (which hopefully will be somewhat less busy ... but starts with 6 a.m. hockey practice on Saturday!!!). So **waving hi** to everyone for now, catch up with you on the weekend!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Retail Therapy

In the beginning, I scrap-shopped because I actually needed tools and supplies in order to create my first tentative pages. Somewhere along the way, I started to scrap-shop in order to obtain just the right thing for the layout I had already built in my head. Eventually, I scrap-shopped just for the thrill of owning a new tool, or a new line of paper. And finally, I scrap-shopped - despite having enough stuff to open my own shop - as a form of retail therapy. A little scrap purchase went a long way to making me forget my troubles.

Today, I indulged in a little bit of retail therapy. Goodness knows (given my recent shopping expeditions) I certainly didn't need anything. But having learned that my local scrap store is closing up shop after 7 years in business - and going out with a 40% off everything sale - I actually scrap-shopped to make me feel better about not being able to scrap-shop in my neighborhood anymore (how sick is that, lol?). It was kind of sad, but gosh, 40% off is a pretty good deal. I suspect before long the deals might get even better, but the good stock may be gone by then.

Anyhow, along with a little bit of Christmas shopping (which I cannot describe because the recipient may be reading this blog, he he he), I came home with a very reasonable amount of stuff:

I stocked up on my all time favorite glue dots - Glue Dots Brand. These come in perforated sheets, and are actually a lot less messy to use than the kind that come in rolls. But that's pretty much where the practical shopping ended. The rest was all fun stuff.

I purchased:

....some flowers - Prima (purples and oranges), Bazzill Bling (a goldish orange), and Keepsake Memory (black, white and gray) - couldn't find a website for that last one.

....some Bo-Bunny rulers ... which I would never have purchased unless they were on sale. I mean, a ruler's a ruler, and dollar-store ones work just fine. But these were cute. And at 40% off, only a couple of bucks.

....some really neat journaling punch-outs by Luxe called "To Die For Jotters" - Floral 1, Ornate 1, Dots, Arrows.

....some gorgeous 2-sided patterned paper by Luxe (Pashmina line) and the die cut alphabet that goes with it.

....some Halloween-y (or fall-y) patterned paper by Daisy D. I already have some buttons and flowers to match this paper. The lines are "SisBoom" and "ShowOffs" but I can't find these on the DaisyD website, weird eh?

....some K&Company patterned paper mats and stickers in a Christmassy theme (Peppermint by Brenda Walton) - I have delusions of making my own Christmas cards this year I think. Couldn't find this line on the K&Co website. Perhaps these companies are producing new stuff faster than they can actually post it!

....some Chip Chatter (tall) in tan colour, by Pressed Petals.

....some yellow Felt Border by Queen&Co.

....a giant "N" by Making Memories that I will alter and display in my scrap room a la Ali Edwards.

And as an added treat, just as I was getting my purchases rung up at the cash so I could go meet dh for coffee, I got to see Barb, who was on her way in for a little retail therapy of her own. Hope you founds lots of cool stuff, Barb!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nothing to blog about - Part Deux

Well I have nothing scrappy to blog about, really. Other than, I just found out that the scrapbook store closest to me is closing its doors after 7 years in business. Wow. On the upside - big sale starting tomorrow. On the downside - it's Michaels or a 30 minute drive to the east end for me from now on. Guess my scrap spending will decrease as a result ... which is not an entirely bad thing!

The other day when I was all "oh poor me, I'm so uncreative and have nothing scrappy to blog about", my friend Barb was kind enough to send me a random list of scrappy fill-in-the-blanks to inspire me. Thanks, Barb! So here goes:

1. I've been scrapping for 7 years.

2. I use hermafix squares to adhere photos to my pages.

3. My favourite embellishment is flowers.

4. I have too much/many eyelets in my scrap stash.

5. When I scrap, I listen to relaxation/spa music.

6. The last crop I went to was 13 months ago.

7. I bought MM Clears Flowers and MM paper snowflakes the last time I was at the LSS.

8. My favourite pen for journalling is Creative Memories fine point pens.

9. I was inspired by my very own re-energized creative muse when creating my most recent page.

10. The last time I scraplifted a page was not that long ago, and the original
was done by someone who got published in a magazine, whose layout I cut out for future inspiration.

11. My favourite paper manufacturer is Basic Grey.
12. I love the colours pink and brown together.

13. My camera is a Canon Powershot A460.

14. The last photos I took were of ds at the hunt camp on Thanksgiving.

15. Buttons look good on flowers.

16. My favourite way of doing titles is mixed media - rub-ons plus chipboard plus stickers, various styles.

17. I used inkpads for distressing.

18. The last scrap mag I read was the latest Simple Scrapbooks.

19. I've stopped buying tools at the LSS.

20. My all-time favourite scrapbook page is about _______. I can't answer that. I have tons of pages I love, that would be like asking me to pick a favorite kid!!

Ok, let's see ... I'm tagging Robyn and Mellisa!

Hmn, it's almost happy hour - gotta go! Happy Friday Night, everyone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just Do It!

Hey - those folks at Nike know what they're talking about. Sometimes, you've gotta Just Do It! Last night, after my woe-is-me post about being overworked and overwhelmed and undercreative, I dragged my butt up the stairs intending to hide from the world under my bedcovers. Seriously, that was the plan. But the darkened door of my scrap room kind of, sort of called out to me. I tentatively went in there and turned on the light. I thought hey, I can go to bed right now and feel sorry for myself - or, I could sit down at this desk, pick a set of pictures, and Just Do It.

I think that I had an amazing scrapping breakthrough last night. Usually, I agonize over patterned paper and embellishment choices. I sketch my layout and then I re-sketch it. I know where everything is going to go before I glue it down. I worry about whether colours match just right. I worry about using some cool embellishment that I might want to use on a better layout in the future. But last night, I just said, "what the H-E-L-L". Just. Do. It.

The resulting layout is certainly not the best one I've ever done. But it's by far, not the worst! And I had such fun doing it. I felt ... liberated. In about an hour, I finished a layout that I would normally have spent a couple of hours on, over a period of a few days. So, ta-da, here is my creation:

It's Snow Fun

Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: SEI Holiday Hoopla (fab flakes) and Basic Grey Blitzen (sugar plum)
Black ink: Color Box
Ribbon: American Crafts Elements
Red star buttons and white snowflake button: Not sure, but I think they were Dress It Up
Chipboard letters (large): Chip Chatter - Tall by Pressed Petals
Chipboard letters (small): Fontastics by Queen and Company (chillin')
Foam snowflake: not sure, got it in a winter swap a gazillion years ago
Paper snowflakes: Making Memories
Gem brads: Making Memories

Just fyi, the background cardstock is a pale blue. It looks white on the scan. But I want to point out that it's pale blue because that is some out-of-the-box thinking for me ... I normally would have played it safe and paired those patterned papers with white.

I still made it to bed before 10:00 pm, feeling quite a bit better about myself than I did earlier in the evening. It always amazes me how good scrapbooking makes me feel. I know I've spent thousands in tools and supplies (see how brave I am? see how sure I am that dh does not read this blog? lol) - but can you imagine how much money I'd have to spend on therapy if I didn't have scrapbooking?

So, next time you're sitting at your scrap desk, I challenge you to Just Do It. Don't agonize over it. Just have fun with it!!!

PS - a big thank you to everyone for their kind and encouraging words ... I don't often get the blah-y blues ... but it's nice to have friends who "pick me up" when I do!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nothing to blog about?

Ugh. I am suffering from bloggers' block. This is supposed to be a scrappy blog, but I have nothing scrappy to blog about. I am feeling a bit under the weather, overworked and not all that creative. I have decided to resort to a point form brain dump:

-Work: too much of it
-New Boss: so far, so good
-United Way Cardmaking: stalled
-Motherhood: an equal part mix of pride, fear and frustration
-Home Improvements: confused visions of granite, stainless steel and hardwood stairs floating in my head
-Home Maintenance: ironing piled up, dust bunnies planning coup d'etat
-Fitness: Gym? Jim who?
-Diet: Bad-For-You Food: 10. Willpower: 0. It's a shut-out.
-Weather: not allowed to complain since apparently I like fall
-Christmas: Oh. My. God.

Ok, that last thought REALLY scared me. I think I am going to go hide under my covers now. Perhaps I will wake up tomorrow full of energy, creativity and enthusiasm, so that I can simultaneously tackle departmental reorganizations, dust bunnies, card making, wrinkly shirts, homework help, discussions about potential university majors, decisions about granite colours, healthy eating, and a Martha Stewart Christmas, while increasing the resistance level on the elliptical trainer.

Oops, looks like I'm already asleep and dreaming!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hockey Update

I was looking through digital and printed pictures this weekend and realized I have quite a few layouts to do to bring ds' hockey album up to date. That's the problem with scrapping whatever pictures happen to catch my fancy; sometimes, I'm uninspired by a certain kind of picture and then months (years) go by and they remain un-scrapped. So this weekend I "forced" myself to get inspired by a set of printed pictures, and thus began catching up on ds' hockey album. Here is the result:

End Of Year Hockey Party

Cardstock: Bazzill and Unknown
Patterned Paper: Unknown
Stickers: Scrappin'Sports
Rub-on alphas: Mini-marks by American Crafts (fonts: Fred and Ned Jr)
Metal word (party): Making Memories (I think!)

This one definitely goes into the "Simple Scrapbooking" category. Actually, I can't quite figure out if it's done yet. Should I fill in the white spot on the right-hand page with some of the orange pp? Should I fill in the space on the left-hand page, above and below the sticker and "end of", perhaps with a zigzaggy rub-on? If you have an opinion, pls post a comment and let me know. I'm not 100% on this one and would love your help.

And in honour of updating (somewhat) the hockey album, I thought I'd also update you on how the hockey season is going for ds so far. Sadly, he didn't get into the level he was hoping for. After the initial disappointment though, he did realize that rather than being one of the weaker players on the team, he would actually be one of the stronger ones. Then, he met the coach, who is everything a minor house league hockey coach should be - encouraging, kind-hearted, inclusive, and focussed on giving the boys a positive and enriching hockey experience this year. And, he met the team. A bunch of boys who love to play hockey but who aren't that focussed on the competitive aspect of it. So now, he's very happy with where he's ended up. He has hit the ice smiling for every practice so far, and he's actually giving more of himself out there than he did during the try-outs. Go figure.

As for me, I am still resisting the irresistible allure of minor house league hockey team management. It's been quite the internal battle though. No one has stepped up for the role. We have on-ice helpers, a team trainer, a treasurer, someone to do up the gamesheets, and someone to work the time clock. But, no one seems to want the glamorous manager job. I feel **so** guilty but dh is helping me stick to my guns by giving me the occasional pep talk. And I've been self-helping too. So far so good!!

And finally, an update on my Sens ... they are off to a great start! Undefeated in exhibition games and 6 wins, 1 loss in regular season. Looks like my boy Ray will be back in nets this week, having tested out his repaired wrist with the Binghamton Sens this weekend. Next game is Thursday against the Canadiens - the only bad news is, I'll have to choose once again between hockey and Grey's Anatomy! Last week fate chose for me - the power went out at the beginning of the 2nd period. So I spent the rest of the evening cuddled up beside ds, sharing his portable radio earbuds, listening to the game by candlelight. Sometimes things have a way of working themselves out!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I've been tagged!

My scrappy/bloggy friend Robyn put up a list of 10 things she'd splurge on and 10 things she wouldn't on her blog, and has tagged (challenged) me to do the same. So here goes!

10 Things That Are Splurge-Worthy

1. Shoes (and more shoes)
2. Haircut and colour (I'm with Robyn on that one!)
3. Scrapbooking magazines (they must be splurge-worthy, since they're so expensive and I keep buying them anyway!)
4. Starbucks and Second Cup lattes (though I usually make dh splurge for them, lol)
5. Pants that fit my derriere AND my waist (I'd pay big bucks for that miracle)
6. A tailor to fix clothes that don't fit my derriere AND my waist (my new favorite thing)
7. Tickets to a Senators game (anyone want to splurge on me??)
8. A new granite kitchen counter (drool....)
9. The right shade of lipstick (oops Robyn, I pay full price for my Cover Girl!)
10. Even more shoes (no explanation needed, right?)

10 Things That Aren't Splurge-Worthy

1. Designer clothes (why pay for a name?)
2. Two sinks in the bathroom (it's just an extra sink to clean)
3. Gift bags from anywhere other than the dollar store (for crying out loud, it's a BAG, why pay $4.95...)
4. Scrapbooking embellishments that cost $9.99 or more with only 3 or 4 units in the package
5. Fur coats (warmth is good, having red paint thrown on you by fanatics is bad)
6. Anything fancier than a latte at Starbucks (it's all chemicals anyway)
7. Sports cars (unless you're 23 and your name is Gwee-do)
8. Exercise videos (face it, you won't use 'em)
9. Really expensive wine (there's some very decent stuff for under $20 a bottle)
10. Anything that doesn't make my heart sing!

OK ... I'm tagging ... Marlene and stefferqc (although with getting ready to go pick up her daughter in China, this gal may have other fish to fry!).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Almost Mainstream

I remember quite clearly the day I discovered scrapbooking. It was August 2000, and a co-worker who had returned from spousal relocation leave in Florida tried to describe this thing called "scrap booking" to me. Apparently it was all the rage in Florida - the main topic of conversation between Moms at the playground. My coworker explained how she went to this home party - kind of like a tupperware party - and spent hundreds of dollars and tools and supplies which she had yet to start using.

I had heard about scrapbooking in the traditional sense of the word - literally, pasting scraps such as cards, newspaper clippings, etc. in a book with blank pages - but this new twist of decorated pages containing pictures and journaling piqued my curiosity. I decided to do some internet research. Strangely enough, I did not stumble onto the Creative Memories website (CM was, in 2000, quite likely the industry leader when it came to scrapbooking). Through my research I found out that a local camera store (Black's) sold some limited scrapbooking supplies, so I headed over and bought myself some very cutesy patterned paper, some shaped scissors, and a few sheets of stickers. And thus, an artiste was born. Lol!

I can remember how proud I was of my first page. I shudder with shame when I think of it now. Firstly, nobody had told me anything about acid-free lignin-free scrapbooking, so believe it or not, I built my first page directly onto a magnetic photo album page. I used a template to crop my photos into shapes like stars. I achieved ultimate sticker sneeze. I wrote my title in marker and put little dots on the ends of each letter. But man, I was pleased and proud. And hooked. I went on to create quite a few magnetic album-sized layouts. When I learned what a no-no this was, I rebuilt the layouts onto 8.5x11 cardstock and bought myself a bona fide photo safe scrapbook.

And now I am about to do something I have never done before. I am going to share that first layout (well, its rebuilt version) on the internet. I replaced the handwritten title with some stickers when I rebuilt it, but you get the idea:

Yes, it is cringe-worthy. But hey. Not everyone hits the scrapping ground running. I have no plans to redo this layout a third time. The style of the layout is a cherished memory in and of itself.

I spent the first few months of my scrapbooking "career" alternating between scrapping recent photos, and organizing years of very messy photos and negatives. I've often been asked what the hardest part of starting scrapbooking was - was it learning the techniques? Coming up with journaling? Design? Nope. It was actually two things: (1) searching through my kitchen, bedroom, hall closet, etc. for stray envelopes of developed pictures that had never made it into albums, and trying to figure out how old the baby in the picture is or worse, which baby the picture was of; and (2), having to endure the strange looks I got from people - friends, family, co-workers, strangers at cocktail parties - when I attempted to describe this new hobby of mine.

I'm not quite sure when scrapbooking became mainstream. I do however remember when it became mainstream to me. One evening, a year or two after I started scrapbooking, dh decided to take the kids and I to a Chinese buffet (pretty rare occurrence, we don't tend to eat out much). We drove to a place not too far from our house and dh, who usually parks right by the door of any establishment he is going to, actually parked quite a ways down the strip mall. I thought this was strange but when I got out of the car, I understood. I was standing in front of a bona fide scrapbook store. Oh. My. Goodness. And the rest is history.

Now when I tell people I scrapbook, they don't ask me what that is. Some do however comment that they would never have guessed I was a scrapbooker. I'm not quite sure what they think a scrapbooker looks like - but apparently, not like me! So despite the fact that scrapbooking is now mainstream, I still seem to be living a double life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Black and White

First, a profound thought. I found out something interesting about trees the other day. Dh told me that you could plant two identical trees in two different spots - one windy, one not windy. The tree that grows in the windy spot is going to grow faster, thicker and stronger than the tree that is in a sheltered spot. I think perhaps it works this way with some humans too. Barbara's comment on my blog post from yesterday got me thinking about this - she said I seemed like a very strong woman. I have certainly never thought of myself that way, and actually, I don't think I was born that way. But I think that with all the wind that's been blowing my way these last few years, I've managed to grow stronger rather than snap. It's good to know that no one will be using me as firewood anytime soon!

Ok, now for the fun stuff. I had the most ideal, fun afternoon on Thanksgiving Monday. I rotated between my ironing board, the Sens-New Jersey hockey game on tv, and my scrap room. It's probably a given that all of you can really understand why the scrapbooking part was fun. Some of you may even understand why the hockey part was fun (especially considering the extra bonus of a 4-2 win - my Sens are so far undefeated!). Most of you are likely wondering why the heck the ironing part was fun. Well let me tell you, when I can get all of my ironing done in one fell swoop and it doesn't sit there looming at me all week, I am one happy gal, and I can enjoy all of the other fun stuff guilt-free.

I have been busy creating cards lately, with the odd All About Me layout thrown in, but yesterday what I really wanted to do was get back to scrapbooking basics - layouts for our chronological family albums. I also really wanted to dig into some of my paper stash. A few months ago I attended a friend's wedding, and her wedding colours were black and white - very chic. So next time I was shopping and I saw some gorgeous black and white papers by Rouge de Garance and Luxe Designs, I knew they were coming home with me. Yesterday, I finally got to use them. Both of these layouts feature pictures taken at the aforementioned wedding.

A Reluctant Charmer

Cardstock - Bazzill
Patterened Paper - Cupidon No. 6 by Rouge de Garance
Flowers: Prima, Bazzill, K& Co, $ Store
Leaves: Garage sale find
Gem Brads: Making Memories
Other Brads: Unknown (could be Bazzill, could be MM)
Parentheses Brads: Around the Block
Rub-on title: Bohemia Transfer Titles by My Mind's Eye
Rub-on alphas: Mini-marks (ned jr.) by American Crafts

The Fab 4

Cardstock: Unknown
Patterned Paper: Classic Black by Luxe Designs
Pink Flower: Bazzill
Clear Flowers: Clears by Making Memories
Pearl Spray: Unknown - cut them off a decorated baptism candle!!
Pewter Flower: Making Memories
Pewter Photo Corner: $ Store
Pewter Brads: Making Memories
Pink Word Tabs: Tailored Tabs by Scrapworks
Ghost Letters (fab): Heidi Swapp
The Number 4: Thickers
Rub-on alphas: Mini-marks by American Crafts

It felt so good to be creating layouts again! And not only did I get to use up some old stash, but I also got to use brand new stash ... those transparent flowers are my most recent purchase, last Friday night to be exact. Fun. Very Fun. And cool. Very cool.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (And for my American readers, if any ... no, you haven't slept away the last seven weeks or so, this is Canadian Thanksgiving, always in advance of yours, second Monday of October).

Have you thought about what you are thankful for this year? I have. We celebrated yesterday, and we have a yearly tradition of going around the table as we start the meal, stating what we are most thankful for. We started this tradition when our daughter was very little. Those of you who know her know how sweet she is. But, she's had her moments over the years. One year, when she was about 4 or so, she was in a major cranky mood on Thanksgiving day and when we went around the table, she said "I'm not thankful for NOTHIN'", which really didn't go over well with us and resulted in what was probably her first and only time out. She wasn't allowed back to the table until she found something to be thankful for. The memory is fading now (too bad I wasn't a scrapbooker back then) but I think she came back the table professing gratitude for her goldfish. Lol!

As for me, well, the last couple of years were kind of rough, and there were times when I did find it hard to think of something to be thankful for (but being me, I always managed to find something). So I guess the first thing I am thankful for this year is that I got through the hard times in the last couple of years and am a better, stronger person as a result. I am thankful that I was able to care for my mother and father during their illnesses. I am thankful for the memories I have of my sister, my mother, my father-in-law and my father. I am thankful for the influence they had on me, for the things I learned from each of them. I am thankful for my husband, my daughter, my son, for the joy, comfort, humour, love and pride they bring to my life. I am thankful for my sisters and my brother, with whom I've grown closer (as always, something good came from something bad). I am thankful for our health, which is so very precious. I am thankful for my friends, who like me are very busy juggling a hundred things on a daily basis, but who make time for me nonetheless. I am thankful for my job, which over the years has taken a life of its own and has become a career. I am thankful for the instructor in a leadership course that I took last June, who helped me realize that I actually deserve to be where I'm at and whose words still help me feel confident on a daily basis.

On the lighter side, I am thankful for shoes (especially my new purple suede ones), lipstick, my new really gorgeous office, my hairdresser Rita, and the fact that I have found my girl gene again after a few years of neglect.

And last, but not necessarily least, I am thankful for scrapbooking. It's a hobby that melts away the stress of daily life. It's a creative outlet which makes me happy. It's a way of preserving memories past, present and future. It's brought a richness and fulness to my life that is hard to explain.

With any luck, I'll find some time over the next few days to capture all of these thoughts in a scrapbook layout, so that years from now, if I find my memories of Thanksgiving 2007 fading, total recall will be only as far away as the shelf in my living room.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

On our way ...

That's what I look like this morning - Sleepy the Dwarf. Minus the dwarf part. And the goofy shoes. I was up until 2:00 a.m. getting ready for today's Thanksgiving-at-the-Hunt-Camp yearly event!!! I got a late start - had a full day, a late dinner, drove dd's friend home, and by about 9:15 I was chopping, sauteeing, mixing, boiling, "prep"ing a variety of things including stuffing (my father-in-law's special recipe), brussel sprouts in sour cream and cheese (hope our friends' kids like brussel sprouts!), honeyed carrots, and apples stuffed with brown sugar, cinnamon and oats, which hopefully will cook well wrapped in foil on the wood-burning stove. While I was doing all this, I also finished the laundry (total of 6 loads yesterday!), put new sheets on the beds, got all the non-food stuff ready for packing, etc. I also made a very lame attempt at making sucre-a-la-creme (after dd's attempt failed and we ended up with caramel). Well this morning it would appear my attempt failed as well, mine was worse than caramel, it was liquid goop with funny looking parts in it!

I was up at 7:00 this morning to finish getting ready. I am almost done packing everything up, and soon we will head out for our annual Thanksgiving celebration with our good friends at a hunt camp with no running water and no electricity. We look forward to this all year - can't wait! To all those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today, have a good one - eat well, be merry, give thanks for all the good in your life. I know I will!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

i LOVE scrap supplies ...

Sometimes I wonder what I like better - scrapbooking, or shopping for supplies and organizing (and re-organizing) them. Not even sure why I even bother to shop anymore, since I probably have enough supplies to open my own store. How liberating to be able to say this, knowing full well that dh doesn't read my blog ... he he he!

Owning new scrap stuff just makes me happy. It just does! And everybody deserves a little happiness, right?

Well I was doubly happy this week. Not only did I buy a few new things at the lss last night, but I also received in the mail, earlier this week, my Queen & Co. goodies from Nic Howard. I - who never wins anything - won a draw over at Nic's blog. How cool. For those of you who don't "know" Nic, she's an awesome scrapbooker from New Zealand, as well as scrapbook author and teacher. As a matter of fact, she is coming to teach in Toronto in a few days, and my friend Barb will be going to meet her. How cool is that? Anyhow, many thanks to Nic for these awesome goodies:

Happy to report that I was a good little girl while shopping last night. Probably has something to do with the fact that I only had 30 minutes or so before my hair appointment in the same strip mall (and I would like to add that it is complete coincidence that my hairdresser is so conveniently located near the lss. Not at all planned that way. Lol). I only bought enough to get one stamp on my card (well, two, since it was double stamp Friday). Among other things, I purchased these cool clear flowers by MM:

As well as these neat paper snowflakes with crystal gems, also by MM:

Heads up to my sister D, I am sharing the bounty - you're getting half of each package in the mail, ma soeur. xoxox

Ok - 'nough blogging, and back to laundry! I have tons to do today, including getting ready for our hunt camp Thanksgiving tomorrow. Ciao!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The only constant is change ...

If there's one thing I've learned about life, it's that just when you go and feel all comfy and secure, something changes and you either adapt, or things don't go so well. And once you adapt, and get all comfy and secure, something changes again.

I've been through lots of changes at work in the last couple of years, most good, some bad. And there are major changes about to happen again, not the least of which is my boss' retirement and with it, a New Boss. New Bosses can be scary things until you get to know them. And sometimes, New Bosses can be even scarier things once you get to know them. So wish me luck, eh.

In order to properly bid Outgoing Boss goodbye, I offered my scrappy talents to my colleagues and proposed to make a small scrapbook (a glorified card, really) that she could remember us by. Out of respect for my colleagues' privacy I won't post all the pages, but here is the cover and the first couple of pages. There are 8 of us, and in each picture, one of us is holding up a different word ... which spells out "Dear (Outgoing Boss) We Will Miss You Very Much!". One of my cheesiest ideas yet, but we gave it to her today and she seemed very pleased.

I used a mini-album and patterned papers which came in a kit that I purchased at Costco almost a year ago. It was an awesome value, tons of stuff for under $20. I prettied up the cover by using puffy paint which I purchased last time I scrapshopped with my sister D (we have the worse luck scrapshopping together, whether in her town or mine, the stores are always closed! But we are resourceful and managed to find stuff in an art store last time around). I also used prima flowers, Bazzill sticker letters, Creative Memories hexagon punch, and Tim Holtz distressing ink. You can't really tell from these pictures but the whole thing has a kind of a shabby shic look.

The whole thing came together quickly and easily; the hardest (and longest) part was fitting picture taking into my schedule.

Oh, and if you're wondering what those Chinese symbols are at the beginning of this post ... they are the Chinese symbols for danger and opportunity, which together, form the Chinese symbol for change. Very fitting to what is going on in my life right now, I think!

A Change of Seasons

Despite the lovely weather we've been having lately, I have heard a number of people grumbling about the end of summer and the imminent arrival of fall (and winter). And while I will miss those lazy evenings bbq'ing and drinking on the deck in the heat of summer, I must admit I am looking forward to some lazy evenings bbq'ing and drinking on the deck in the crisp fall air, as well as those lazy evenings bbq'ing and drinking on the deck bundled up in our parkas (do you see a certain pattern emerging here?).

I am definitely in the minority when it comes to favourite seasons. Almost everyone I ask says "summer". But I have always LOVED autumn. That first glimpse of school supplies displayed at the mall ... the promise of fresh new notebooks and pencils ... the excitement of buying a few new pieces of clothing to make the transition between seasons ... the chill in the air ... the return of the sweater ... the symphony of colours which begins so slowly and insidiously until one day - BANG! It's fall.

We do plenty of outdoor family activities in the fall. We love taking walks through the woods, picnic and bottle of wine in tow. We especially love our new yearly tradition of spending Thanksgiving Day at our friends' hunt camp. Through the years I've documented some of our adventures in our scrapbooks. The other day I was inspired to scrap a page documenting how I feel about my favourite season (another layout for my Book of Me!):

You all can mourn the end of summer if you want; as for me, I am celebrating the arrival of fall!