Monday, December 28, 2009


Did you hear that? Zooooom ... that's the sound of the last few days just whipping by! I go back to work tomorrow ... ugh. Only for 2.5 days, though, and then I'm off til Jan 7.

I spent some time in the scraproom on Boxing Day, and I hope to spend some more in there today. In only a couple of hours, I managed to create 3 single layouts and 1 double; I think that's a record. Good thing I'm becoming adept at speed scrapping, given how little time I have to spend on it!

I'm only going to share a couple of those layouts today ... that way if I go into another dry spell, I'll still have some layouts to share here (because after all, it's a scrapbooking blog - that's my story and I'm stickin' to it).

Puppy's First Christmas:
There's a mix of old and new on this layout - new = K&Co Christmas-themed patterned paper (a vintage-y pad). Old = Pebbles Inc. Real Life stickers that have been in my stash, like, for-ev-er. It just dawned on me that I forgot to put the date on this layout. Ooops. Will have to add a 2008 somewhere!

Daddy's Best Girls:

Those are daddy's sweet girls ... It's pretty rare that I use only one product line on a layout - I usually like to mix it up. This one, however, is done entirely with scraps of the Making Memories Sabrina collection. I have lots of leftovers of this one, I did a baby gift album for one of my staff using this a while back. I'm not sure whether this one is done, or whether it needs something at the top. Opinions?

And speaking of sweet girls, a big shout-out goes to one of my faithful blog readers, Samantha, who posted a comment yesterday saying I don't look old enough to have an 18 year old daughter ... Samantha is now my new best friend, lol ... seriously though - thank you. It does a 43-year old chick good to hear such a lovely compliment!

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Boxing Day!

Aaaahhhhhh ... we're finally on the "right" side of Christmas, lol. Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas despite the stress, the commercialism, the hours and hours of work. But I always do a little happy dance (ok, maybe just inside my head) when I finish cleaning up after Christmas dinner, the guests are gone and I can finally slip into some jammies and relax. And speaking of jammies ... look at the cute ones sister D gave me for Christmas:

The writing on the front says "Actually, scrapbooking is the best medicine". :o) Excuse the really dorky pose, though. Not used to being on the front side of the camera I guess?!

Other than that jammie picture, we only took one other picture yesterday. Guess I was too busy to spend any time behind the camera. But at the end of the day, once everyone was gone, I remembered the camera and managed to get one shot of the kids (and Rufus the bear) in front of the tree:

I wish I had done this every year. It would be so neat to have a yearly picture of the kids in front of the tree (and to do a layout with them to show how they've grown). Not too late to start though!

So all in all, we had a pretty nice Christmas ... from Christmas Eve at my sister M's house, to Christmas Day with the husband's family here. I was spoiled by the husband even though we weren't supposed to "do" presents for each other. Got some Sens stuff, and spa gift card, and movie & dinner certificate, and lots of other stuff too... And the kids gave me great gifts too - a nutcraker from the boy (now I only need one more to complete my collection!) and a Sens teddy bear and bubble bath from the girl (and I'll be using that bubble bath later today, that's for sure!).

I got a few things for the husband too, even though we weren't "doing". One of the things I got him are these rubber things you put on your boots with metal thingies in them to help you walk when it's freezing rain (can't remember what they're called in English but in French they're 'crampons'). Those are coming in pretty handy this morning ... our part of the world is covered in sheer ice, and the husband is out there right now walking the dog with his new rubber thingies on his boots :o)

The husband has suggested I spend the rest of the day scrapbooking ... uh, yeah, ok, I think I can handle that! :o)

Happy Boxing Day everyone. Hope yours is spent relaxing ... but if your thing is hitting the boxing day sales, then I hope you get what you set out to buy, and that your car AND your body stay upright despite all the ice out there!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I think I'm gonna make it .....

I'm sure I'll remember something I've forgotten to do and might start panicking anytime soon, but so far, I actually think I'm going to make it to Christmas. House is decorated. Presents are bought and 75% wrapped. Menu is planned and I'm going to the groceries today. Baking is ongoing (it goes out the door as quickly as I bake it .... so more baking required!). Contrary to last year, I made it to Canada Post in time to have parcels sent regular postage and delivered before Christmas Eve (although according to the tracking system, one was picked up from the post office and one wasn't ... which is weird since they were both sent to Sister D as my brother was likely to be out of town by the time his parcel got there).

I put ribbon on 26 boxes of chocolates, made 9 packages of biscotti complete with Christmas ornament decorated with scrapbook supplies, and packaged up some biscotti for my boss in a really cute Martha Stewart cookie box. I wrote out 36 Christmas cards for each staff member.

I'm off work til Tuesday so I celebrated the start of my mini-vacation last night with a two-hour bath (involving two glasses of wine and a book) and then the husband and I headed out for a late-night coffee with our friends Carrie and Aki. We made efforts to stay out of the girl's way last night as she was having her friends over for drinks and munchies. This is what I found on the counter this morning ... which is fine since none of them were driving.

To me this was just a reminder of how things change over the years ... I remember when the girl having friends over meant pink lemonade and me doing crafts with them ... lol. Well, another couple of years and things will change again; we'll probably have drinks with them instead of giving them space!

There's a fine, gentle snow falling outside this morning. It really does look like Christmas out there. Plans for today include groceries, baking, wrapping and visiting my godson to deliver his Christmas present. Plans for tomorrow include cleaning the house, doing some advance food preparation for Christmas dinner, and spending Christmas Eve at sister M's. We are hosting my brother in law's family as well as my mother in law on Christmas Day. I am going to buy the biggest fresh turkey in Kanata today, so that we have plenty of turkey leftovers.

I'm working between Christmas and New Year's, but I'm taking the first 3 days in January off and other than taking down the Christmas decorations, I hope to do nothing but walk with the dog and the husband in the woods and scrap. You know, the dog really does have a good life ... I don't see her running around shopping, baking and wrapping ... nope, this is what she gets to do all day long:

Boy, she sure has a tough life ... :o)

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope Santa is good to you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Going to be a White Christmas (not a blue one)

First storm of the season is upon us ... the wind is howling ... the snow is falling. I sure wish I could stay home and do Christmassy things today, like baking and wrapping. Ok, so maybe I've only bought 3 or 4 things so far, but I could totally wrap them. :o)

I managed to get the house all decorated last week, including switching to Christmas dishes. As I rummaged around in the basement I came across 3 boxes covered in Christmas paper ... 3 boxes that I haven't opened in 3 years. They contain my mother's old Christmas tree ornaments ... some of which she had since the 1940's. I remember how magical these ornaments looked on the tree. When I was young, I never saw the tree being trimmed - I always woke up one morning to a beautiful, magical tree in the living room. Those ornaments are so old now, even my mother wasn't putting them on her tree anymore ... she nestled them all so carefully in these 3 boxes though. When I took the boxes my intent was that each of my sisters and I would take one box, and we still have to do that. Although these would never withstand shipping or even going on an airplane so sister D's box will have to wait until someone tackles the 15 hour drive to my home town.

So I had myself a good cry, and I decided to capture the memory while the ornaments were still intact. I took pictures of them so carefully nestled in their boxes, and then I chose 3 to hang on my tree. See the big pink ball (I used to fantasize these were gumballs, lol) and the bird perched on the tree limb?

See the pretty blown glass "copper" teapot?

Please don't think of this as a sad post though. I don't have the Christmas blues. I may have shed some tears when I came across the ornaments - sometimes missing Mom hits me like a big wave - but there is a lot more to smile about than to cry about. Mom loved Christmas and made it such a magical time for us. When I decorate my house, and bake cookies, and wrap presents, I carry on a tradition that was passed on to me, if not explicitly, then by osmosis ... I just took it all in every year growing up and knew that I wanted to recreate Christmas magic for my own family some day. I used to really go overboard in the early years ... I've joked that I thought I was Martha Stewart, but in truth I think I thought I was my mother.

For a couple of years after my sister C passed away (on Christmas Day) I just couldn't put my heart into Christmas. In the end that kind of pressed the reset button for me where Christmas is concerned, and brought a bit of sanity back to the holiday. I'm reconciled now to the fact that I won't ever be able to do all my mother did - hey, I'll be happy if I make one kind of cookie this year, I'll never pressure myself again to make dozens each of at least a dozen different kinds. I'll do Christmas my own way, incorporating some new traditions with the old. And hopefully when my kids grow up (yes, I am denying that one of them already is grown up) they will have fond memories of their childhood Christmases and while they won't feel pressure to do things exactly the way I did them, they'll pick and choose the things that make them feel warm and fuzzy, and add new things to make Christmas all their own.

Whew, sucky post. But these thoughts were in my head and I needed to get them down somewhere. You know they'll end up on a scrapbook page someday ... oooh, in my new Christmas Decoration album!

To all of you who may have to go out in a winter storm today ... be safe and good luck! To those of you lucky enough to stay home ... have a cup of hot cocoa by the tree for me!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Makes me smile ...

It's just a tiny 2-foot tree set on a table in the corner of my dining room, but whenever I see it / think about it, I smile. Which is a good thing. It's a Sens tree. I gathered up all the Senators ornaments the husband got for me and the kids last year and concentrated them all on one tree. Lol. Anyhow, I can use all the smiles I can get right now ... dreading going back to work after a week+ away. I can just imagine what's waiting for me there. Ugh. :oO

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like ... my old self!

Whatever it is/was - and I don't think it is/was shingles, I never got a rash - it's starting to get better. Guess what I really needed was rest. Haven't done much of anything this week, and it has paid off. I'm starting to feel like my old self again.

I did spend some time in the scrap room, though not as much as I would have liked. The couch was just too attractive, lol. But here's what my desk looks like:

Which, for me, is pretty messy. And here's some of the stuff I made:

The Christmas album is filled with layouts featuring some of my favorite Christmas decorations over the years. It's a work in progress - there are still some blank pages and plenty of stuff I haven't documented yet. I added a couple of pages this week but I actually got the album done a couple of weeks ago. I got on a roll making Christmas cards too.

My absolutely favorite creation of the whole entire year I think are those Christmas trees above - made them yesterday using foam cones from Michaels, 1/2"x4" strips of paper (mostly from the Making Memories Fa La La line), straight pins, and some gold tree decorations I bought at Home Outfitters. I really like how these turned out and they're now on my fireplace mantel.

The boy and I started putting up Christmas decorations last night - we got the Christmas village done. Today we'll do the tree and the rest of the decorations. I bought some of those new-fangled LED lights for the tree this year, to replace all those old strings of lights I've been using for years. Supposedly the LED lights save you money; not sure about that, considering how expensive they are, you probably have to use them for 30 years to come into any kind of savings!

Well, that's about it for now. Thanks for stopping by!