Thursday, November 11, 2010

Newly-discovered vegetable-carving skills...

Hi there! I know it's been days since Halloween (and given the Christmas decorations popping up in malls and stores, it'd be more appropriate for me to share Christmas pictures!), but I just have to show you the jack-o-lantern that the boy carved ALL BY HIMSELF this year. The boy has skills (and not just of the "my generation uses the internet for everything" kind, lol)*.

You can really tell that the demographics of our neighbourhood are changing ... some years, we had 200+ trick or treaters at our door; this year, the doorbell rang maybe 15 times, for a total of about 40 kids.

Since I still haven't taken the time to teach myself stitching in Adobe Photoshop Elements, all I can share with you right now is a one-pager I made the other night ... I was having a really hard time getting creative, so I ended up using a sketch from Scrapbooks Etc. magazine and a page kit pack from Colorbok to put this one together. Then I ran out of steam, so I got the creative juices running for nothing, really, since I just went right to bed.

Today is Rememberance Day ... and while it's not a stat holiday in Ontario, I get the day off. I'm hoping to catch up on some housework, do some scrapbooking, sew on the boy's name bar to his hockey jerseys (running late on that chore!), run out and do a bit of Christmas shopping, and make something for dinner that takes more than 30 minutes to cook ... oh, and teach myself how to stitch using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Not sure I'll get it all done, but I'll give it my best shot!

*refers to the boy's comments on my previous post :o)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Outside my window this morning ....

There are two things wrong with this picture; (a) it's 7:15 a.m. and it's still dark outside, and (b) it's October 31 and there is snow on the ground!!! Yup, my little piece of the world had its first snow of the season last night. We were having a cold, rainy day when Mother Nature thought to herself, hey what the heck - let's inject a bit of fun into Nathalie's driving tonight: let's throw some thick, wet snow in the sky and on the roads .... !Well, I hope that for the sake of the trick or treaters tonight, this stuff will have melted off today. It's supposed to be sunny and 4C, so I have high hopes.

In case you're wondering why I haven't posted in over a week and in case you're thinking I'm back to neglecting my blog - that actually isn't the case; my poor computer caught a virus and was out of commission for almost a week while the husband was valiantly nursing it back to health. This one was a doozy, and it also ended up infecting the husband's computer, and he has lost years of archived data ... I'm really grateful that he managed to save my picture files, since I haven't backed them up in a very long time (note to self: back up picture files regularly).

So I did go shopping last weekend with sister M, although we spent less than 5 minutes inside Michaels - we made a valiant effort, but the lines at the cashes were so very long, we knew we wouldn't have the time to make a purchase. That would be because we had just spent almost 2 hours in Winners, doing a very good job of spending each other's money ("You have GOT to buy that dress/those shoes/that coat/those gloves/that scarf/that sweater/fill in the blank, it looks ADORABLE on you...!"). Actually I am pretty pleased with my purchases, which included a new short winter coat in charcoal gray, with the most adorable ruffles ... a scarf and gloves to match of course ... and a gray knit Calvin Klein dress, which looks great with tights and my new (from the previous weekend) gray suede boots. I am having a thing with gray this season, seems that's the only colour I'm attracted to!

Speaking of gray/grey, does anyone know which spelling is correct? Is it an American/Canadian thing?

I did go back to Michaels this weekend, to, um, check it out more thoroughly. It has a fantastic scrapbooking section, actually I would say that it's probably got more scrapbooking stuff than any of the other types of crafts. I picked up a few sheets of paper (lord knows I don't have enough paper already, lol...!), and a "few" embellishments, and then I wandered over to the knitting aisle and got inspired. I picked up a pattern, some wool and a crochet hook and re-discovered the joys of crochet by making myself a scarf yesterday afternoon.

So while I haven't done any scrapbooking yet this weekend, I did something creative which is almost as good.

Other than that, life is good. The girl is rocking 2nd year, and the boy seems to be adjusting well to high school. My Sens aren't doing so good, but the boy's team is undefeated to date (3 wins, 1 tie). I made a work-related decision regarding my career path that I'd been resisting making, and actually had a better week this week than I've had in a long time.

I'll make efforts to share something scrappy soon, I promise; but first, I have to learn how to stitch scans together using Adobe Photoshop Elements, because I was using ArcSoft before and that software didn't survive the illness that plagued my computer. So if anyone has links to a tutorial or any special hints ... feel free to leave me a comment & throw me a lifeline!

Ciao for now!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy News in my In-Box...

I have two email addresses - one for work (that my blackberry is also attached to) and a personal one, that I've had for many years. Most friends use my work email address, so mostly my personal one is junk mail, scrapbooking newsletters, racy jokes that the husband has the good judgement not to send to my work address (lol), and during minor hockey season, the boy's hockey-related stuff.

I don't usually get overly excited by the scrapbooking-related mass-mailing stuff that usually lands in my personal email in-box, but this morning there was a lovely surprise ... my weekly email from Michaels (the craft supply store) announced that the new store that's been under construction less than 5 minutes from my house is opening tomorrow morning! Yay! Scrapbooking supplies in close proximity!
And, earlier this week the new Winners/Home Sense store (next to the new Michaels) opened up. Winners and Michaels are my two favorite stores. Happy dance!
My sister M and I are going to check out the new Winners tomorrow morning, and with any luck, I'll be able to convince her to spend some time in Michaels too :o) And, all this happy shopping stuff just might distract me a bit from a big work-related decision that I need to finalize this weekend. Sigh.
Well, TGIF - happy Friday everyone!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Well hi there ....

Um, wow. What can I say? It's been a busy two months! We spent whatever time we could at the trailer, which meant that our weekdays and weeknights were pretty full with work and all of the housework, errands, etc. that usually fill our weekends. Alas, we closed up the trailer last weekend ... our seven-month wait begins again.

And so fall is here, bringing all those fall-ish things with it ... chilly mornings, colourful leaves (first on the trees, then on the lawn!), the start of a new school year (first year of high school for the boy; second year of university for the girl), hockey (for the boy and for the Senators, hopefully the boy's season will get off to a better start than the Sens'!!), and of course, our annual hunt camp Thanksgiving.

We actually managed to pack lots of activity into Thanksgiving weekend. I was off work on Friday and so the husband and I drove up to the trailer and wrapped it up for the winter, after which we brought the little boat to our friends' place on Sand Lake, where we enjoyed what is likely to be the last cruise of the year ... the lake was choppy but it wasn't too cold and the views were amazing:

On Saturday, after getting most of the Thanksgiving cooking out of the way, I finally rekindled my relationship with scrapbooking. I had cleaned up my scrap room earlier in the week (funny how things just kept piling on the desk, couch and floor even though I hadn't scrapped since May!), and the husband surprised me by bringing cable in through the wall and hooking up the small flat screen TV from the trailer. So I had a clean desk and the Sens-Leafs game for inspiration. I shook the dust off a partway-completed layout and finished it up. With the exception of one card made in July, that's the first scrapping I've done in almost 5 months!! So, ya, I'm a bit rusty... I haven't scanned the result of my efforts yet, but I'll try to post soon I promise.

On Sunday I had an early-morning date with a turkey ... had that baby buttered up and nicely herbed and in the oven by 6 a.m. We were on the road by 11, two teenagers and one dog wedged into the back seat of the truck and the aroma of turkey driving us all crazy (for different reasons of course - the vegetarian girl and the rest of us just don't feel the same about turkey!). We had another great hunt camp Thanksgiving with our good friends (I think we've had this tradition for about 8 or 9 years now). Every year has its special memory ... well this year we actually started a forest fire when we left the campfire unattended to eat dinner, which isn't really a good thing, but the good thing is that we caught it in time, and were able to put it out. In all the excitement, I never thought to capture it on film.

I did capture a few moments though, including our turkey dinner inside the hunt camp:

And our beautiful girls (the one in the middle's mine. Did I mention she's 19 now? 19? Wow.):

And the boy shooting his gun ... don't worry people, he knows what he's doing. He got near-perfect marks on the tests when he went for his gun license and his hunting license last winter. Whenever I see this picture, I feel a bit wistful ... as my Dad would have just loved to see this:

And last but not least, here's what I look like when I've had a couple of glasses of wine, lol (ouch):So now that our weekends at the lake are officially over for the season, life gets back to 'normal' (whatever that is...). Weekends are now all about hockey practice, laundry, groceries, house cleaning (um, a bit of that, anyway), and visiting my mother-in-law. On the one hand I'll miss the relaxation at the trailer, but on the other hand, maybe now I'll have some time to scrap! I promise to try and keep the blog up, too, not just with drive-by updates but with some evidence that I am still a scrapper!

Monday, August 9, 2010


That's the sound of summer flying by. August??? Really??? Not sure how that happened.

Today was my first day back at work after 3 weeks of vay-cay. Say it with me people - UGH. Double-, triple-, mega-ugh. Work kind of sucks. Vay-cay was good though. And for the most part, it was un-plugged. I gave the blackberry a rest, and the internet too. Heck, most days I didn't even listen to the news!

The girl and I did a girls' trip to Montreal - stayed at the Queen E, explored Old Montreal, went shopping on St-Denis, ate at a couple of French bistros, as well as at a Greek restaurant on Avenue du Parc (which, it turns out, is no longer as much of a Greektown as it once was).

They boy, the husband and I visited relatives in New Hampshire and made a quick detour on our way home so the boy could do this:

Yup, that's the boy walking into the Atlantic Ocean. He got to check an item off his bucket list (he's way too young to have a bucket list - but I guess if you start it early, you have a better chance of getting it all done!). Hampton Beach was kind of cool, in a kitschy, tacky American Atlantic seacoast kind of way (boardwalk, arcade, etc.). But for his first visit to a real ocean beach, I think the boy was pretty satisifed (here he is taking in the sight - boy in red t-shirt whose Mom kind of unsuccessfully cropped out the garbage cans in the foreground, lol).

And for good measure, here's a picture of me, too:

Well, a picture of my nose and chin, anyway :o)

When I wasn't hanging out in Montreal or scarfing down a clam roll at the seashore, I was hanging out at our trailer. Reading a bunch of books, kayaking, swimming, boating, drinking, campfire-ing ... hanging out with the husband, and with friends. Do I wish I was right there, right now? Well yes I do. But hey, until I win big at Lotto Max, I'm going to have to fit a bit of work in, in between all the fun parts of life. Bless my hubby's heart, he took one look at me when I got home tonight and whisked me out for dinner and a glass of wine. Maybe if I look that pitiful every night when I get home from work, I may never have to cook again, lol!!!

Unfortunately what I didn't do during vacation is scrap. I guess I'm taking a summer break from scrapping. While I can't share any of my scrappies with you, I am going to point you in the direction of my sister D ... who surprised me with a link to her gallery at ... click here. Yes, that's little old me in the picture, doing one of my favorite things - scrapbook shopping!!! While you're there, take a few minutes to browse her gallery ... I just love her style ... her stuff just blows me away. It is so rich, and textured, and vintage-ey, and totally classy. I am an impatient scrapbooker; I go for the clean, simple look only because I'm too lazy to try my hand at any cool techniques. But Sister D - she rocks the techniques.

Hope you all enjoy what's left of the summer ... don't let me bum you out ... just because my vay-cay is over doesn't mean summer is too ... I'm sure the beautiful weather will last well into September, and I for one intend to make every weekend between now and then a vacation!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Wow, I really have been a neglectful blogger, haven't I. So sorry not to be around much anymore. Please don't give up on me - I'm sure I'll get back in the beat of things eventually. But for now, since there's really no scrapping going on, there's not much to post. And, it's summer, which means my spare time is spent at the lake, or wishing I was at the lake:

Seriously - we've been spending lots of time up there. I've gotten my turnaround time between coming home from work and pulling out of the driveway for the lake to about 20 minutes ... all I need to do is throw some clothes in a bag and grab a few things from the fridge.
I've got a long weekend coming up, and then two weeks before summer vacation. I'm really looking forward to the break from work. I'm not enjoying my job much these days, and it's not just because I wish I was at the trailer. Oh well, this too shall pass.
In other news ...
The boy is done school. He was Master of Ceremonies at his Grade 8 grad last week. Pictures to come ... haven't uploaded them yet. High school in September! Wow!
The girl is taking a summer class at university ... she was thinking she might pick English as a minor, but now she's thinking maybe French. She did amazing in her first year, by the way ... A+'s and A's.
In the ongoing saga of whether to buy a 2nd boat or not, happy to report that the husband bought a 14 foot aluminum with a 9.9 motor yesterday. Because having just one boat is like having just one pair of shoes. It's do-able, but it isn't much fun.
I survived my week at Ivey School of Business - surprisingly, despite my questionable attitude about whether I really needed this training, I learned a lot and actually feel like I understand the raison d'etre of my department a bit better. And I didn't gain any weight despite the amazing food served buffet-style.
Speaking of weight, I've started going back to Weight Watchers just to keep an eye on things, and sister M has been tagging along ... she's done great, lost 10 pounds already, which pretty much dries up my source of amazing hand-me-downs ... guess she won't be giving away any more of her clothes :o(
Speaking of sister M, she is working in China this week, interpreting for the Governor General's husband ... that's kind of cool!

Wishing you all a happy Canada Day ... I hope you were able to make the holiday into a 4-day weekend (I did!) ... and that you have lots of fun. Thanks for dropping by (and for not entirely giving up on me).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Long Weekend, Short Week!

Just a quick note to say HI! We had a great weekend at the trailer, it was like a mini-vacation. The husband came home Friday night with two brand new kayaks strapped to the roof of his truck ... because we can never really have enough stuff, ya know? Seriously though, we've been thinking of getting kayaks ever since we rented a cottage that came with some last summer, and now that we have a trailer to keep all our stuff at (lol), there wasn't much to stop us from getting some (other than common sense and love of money).

So I haven't actually tried out my new kayak yet, but the boy and his friend took them out for a couple of spins on the weekend. My weekend was a wee bit busy doing a bit more cleaning up and some entertaining, but all in all it was lots of fun ... and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the summer.
I have to run off to work now, and I'll pretty much be running for the rest of the week as I get ready for "school" next week.
Have a great day!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Time flies ....

Time sure flies by when you're busy! I can't believe it's been over two months since my last post. Well, okay, I can sort of believe it; it's not like I've completely forgotten my blog, I do think of it once in a while, and the husband often asks when I'm going to update it. I've been so busy with work, I just don't have any energy left over for the fun stuff when I get home.

It's not that I've had nothing to say, because there have been a few news-worthy items to share in the last few weeks. But there have been few pictures and absolutely no scrapbooking-related items to share. I haven't scrapped since late Feb or early March ... :o(
So here are some of our news-worthy items, in no particular order ...
  • The boy's hockey team won the league championships

  • The girl finished her first year of university with nothing but A+'s and A's

  • The boy sang in a choir competition (including a solo) and they tied for 3rd place

  • It's finally trailer season again!

  • I've bought at least 3 new pairs of shoes (What. Shoes are newsworthy!!)

  • The boy swam in Big Rideau Lake last Sunday. Yes, he is nuts.

  • The girl won a small scholarship from AHEPA (Greek community association)

  • The dog turned 2 on May 18th

  • I have a new niece - Katelyn Ashley, born on March 2nd

  • The husband decided to buy a small fishing boat. Then he decided not to. Then he decided to buy one. Then he decided not to. Not sure where this is going to lead, but apparently one boat isn't enough :o)

It looks like the weather will be beautiful this weekend - finally! We are looking forward to spending some time at the lake. In between boat rides, campfires, walks and glasses of wine, I'll be reading financial analysis texts and case studies in preparation for a one week, 13-hour days course at University of Western Ontario that I'll be attending in a week or so. I'm not convinced this is something I actually need or will use but all the executives in my department have to take it. Last time I took anything remotely relevant in school was grade 11 math and economics. Somehow I don't think my languages, literature and history background is going to be very helpful. Eeek, to say the least.

So I'll try to get back into my good habits and post more often here. Hopefully, I'll have some scrappy stuff to share. But between work and summer season at the lake, I seriously doubt there will be any heavy-duty scrapbooking sessions for some time. That's ok ... so long as we're making memories, I can capture them when the weather turns cold!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Top o' the morning to you. May the luck o' the Irish smile upon you today! So I'm wearing green today - are you? I commented to someone at the office that I was going to wear green today because I didn't want to get pinched, and she had no idea what I was talking about ... does anybody else do the "pinch people who aren't wearing green on St. Patrick's Day" thing, or is that some weird northeastern Quebec cultural thing I grew up with and assumed was universal?

Anyhow, sorry for the long absence from the blog ... the leprechaun says it all ... no time to blog or scrap! Hope to get back to regular programming soon!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 6 - Ella's Six Weeks of Sketches

It's the 6th and final week for the Ella Sketch challenge ... I've done all 6 sketches, although only 5 of them were on time. I'm sad to see this challenge end, because it did motivate me to scrap at least once a week, and because the sketches were good and stretched my creativity a bit. You can see the Week 6 sketch here, and here is my take on it:

While I was scanning it, I realized the pictures are from 2009, not 2008 ... lol ... gotta hate it when that happens! I'll fix it before I put it in an album.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS - Wasn't yesterday a great Olympic day for Canadian women? Wow, gotta love that "women's 2-man bobsleigh" sport - have you seen the calves on those women??? - and the results, gold and silver for Canada! Oh, and it was a good Olympic day for "men's ice hockey" too - what a great win over the Russians. I sure hope the men's team makes it to the gold medal game, and I've got my fingers crossed for the women's hockey team tonight!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Catch-Up Post

I wish every Saturday could be like yesterday. I had a lovely day, unhindered by anything domestic (other than a couple of loads of laundry). First the husband and I took the dog through a long walk in the snowy woods, including a pit stop for a small campfire, hot coffee and a snack; then, I spent a couple of hours scrapbooking; then, I lay down on the couch in my scraproom, read a bit and had a half hour nap; then I took a long steamy shower; then I took the boy to hockey; then we had a nice family dinner; and then the husband and I went on a "date" to Walmart (puppy needed a new pillow) topped off with coffee at Starbucks. Then I came home and went to bed. Aaaaaahhhh ...

So, Olympic fever hasn't hit our household as hard as it has hit some, although I did find myself watching curling the other night (until I realized I know nothing about this sport and was actually kind of bored). I am, however, looking forward to catching some of the "men's ice hockey" tonight (I love how they call it "ice hockey" - I mean really - is there any other kind of hockey worth mentioning? And as the girl would say, we don't call it "grass soccer" do we?). Canada plays U.S., should be a good game. Seems I lucked out when I was in Zellers the other day, they were pouring hundreds of those red Olympic mitts into a big bin and I thought what the heck, I'll buy myself a pair ... turns out you can't find these babies anywhere now:

Yes, I am a dork, wearing my new red Olympic mittens at the office. Turns out, by the way, that it's pretty darn near impossible to type or even click the mouse wearing these things. But they are nice and warm.

So that picture is over a week old for sure ... because last week, my assistant and I went on an organizational blitz and my desk is now clean(er) and populated with colour-coded files (red - program action items; blue - management action items; green - manager bilats; black - meeting files; burgundy - working files). That plus an evergreen To-Do Log and a new way of using Outlook seem to be keeping my head above water. I still miss deadlines, but I can now predict missing them in advance, lol!!!

In other news, I found some really cute additions for my scraproom at Winners a couple of weeks ago. One is a small tiered stand - I think it was originally meant for jewelry - which I now keep on my desk with pretty embellishments in it, for inspiration:

The other one is a also meant for jewelry I think - it's a dress form. I got this idea from a scrap mag I recently bought. I'm going to tie all of my ribbon bits to it and keep it handy; it'll be both a room decoration, hopefully sometimes an inspiration, and a storage option for those shorter, leftover bits of ribbon that rarely get used:

I don't think I've ever posted that framed 12x12 layout here ... I was waiting til I was done the 2nd, matching one (which I haven't started yet). I intend to put the two up on the wall in my scraproom.

So thanks for stopping by ... I have to run, it's time to wake up the husband, write out the grocery list and start my day. Busy one today, including a visit to my mother-in-law's and a visit from out-of-town friends this afternoon.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ella's Six Weeks of Sketches - Week 5

Got it done just under the wire - thanks to the husband who reminded me I had to scrapbook tonight, and hustled me upstairs after dinner so I could get it done. Yup, he's a keeper. You can see the sketch here.

I deviated from the sketch a bit ... I had intended on sticking to it but in the end the journaling block looked better bottom right, while the title block looked better top left. Sometimes you just have to listen to what you're layout's telling you, know what I mean?

Yes, that's me in the pictures ... blushing bride, almost 22 years ago ... Sorry about the wonky scan, the title block is a bit thick (I built it up from a cute felt coaster I bought at Michaels ... I bought a pack of them, actually. Funny story, I had a glass of wine sitting on the coaster while I was putting together this layout and all of a sudden it struck me, the coaster was the perfect base for my title block ... !)

Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 4 (and 3) - Ella's Six Weeks of Sketches

Yay, I got the sketch-inspired layout done on time this week! It's all about managing priorities, isn't it ... I felt pretty rotten about not getting Week 3 done on time so promised myself I would find some time to scrap this week. You can see the sketch here ... and here's the result:

The scan really doesn't do it justice, it's much nicer in real life, lol ... So you may find it hard to see a link between the sketch and my layout but here's what happened ... first I flipped the sketch upside down ... then I stretched it out over two 8.5x11 pages ... then I added a 3rd 3.5x3.5 square picture ... and then it took on a life of its own, the title and journaling just went where my eye told me they belonged. I love how this sketch inspired me to crop my pictures (I realized I hadn't been doing much of that at all lately) and how as a result, I was able to fit four pictures on a layout and still have lots of white space. Cause white space is all cool and trendy right now in the scrapbook world, you know.

I was really disappointed about not getting the Week 3 layout done on time, especially since I had the pictures picked out and the layout all done inside my head (isn't that always the way ... there are so many more layouts in my head than in my actual albums, lol!). Not one to waste inspiration, I went ahead and did that Week 3 layout anyway, and here's the result:

Again, I just stretched the sketch across two 8.5x11 pages. Simple, fast ... zoom it was done (lol). Hmn, colourful too. For both these layouts, I did some major stash usage ... the patterned paper in the first one is at least 5 years old (All My Memories - Herbanella line ... remember those?) and there's a combination of Junkitz, Basic Grey and Daisy D's patterned paper on the 2nd one (weird combo, eh). And I would like to point out that there are NO FLOWERS anywhere on these layouts, which is like a breakthrough or something for me.

So thanks for looking ... before signing off, just a bit of this and that:

(1) Humble apologies to Toronto Maple Leaf fans everywhere. You know why.

(2) The boy's hockey team made it all the way to the Championship finals ... they lost, but it was a close game til the last few minutes and it was an extremely exciting hockey weekend overall (my voice survived, surprisingly; but my cow bell is tired).

(3) When I left work today, it was light out. I had to double check my watch to make sure I wasn't leaving early. Yay!

(4) Only 14 weeks left til the trailer park opens. Woo-hoo!

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Too Busy to Play!!!

How sad is that. I wasn't able to set aside any time for scrapping this week. Which means I did not get to play with Ella's Week 3 Sketch before the Thursday midnight deadline. Which means I will get one less chance to win the Cricut. Cr*p.

On the bright side, I may have time to scrap a bit this morning ... I'm off work today! The boy is in a hockey tournament and he has a game at 3:00, so I decided to take the full day off. Well technically, anyway, since I've already put in about an hour of work this morning via my home computer catching up on emails etc. They played the first game last night, and they won 2-0, and the boy scored a goal. Got to use my cow bell. Fun times!
And my Senators are having fun times too. You almost don't have to be a hockey fan these days to know about their awesome 11-game winning streak. Which, the boy and I agree, will go to 12 since their next game is against the Make Beliefs (sorry to all you Maple Leaf fans. I respect you and all but, seriously, we're hot and you're not!).

Anyhow, thought I'd just do a quick "drive by post" to let y'all know that I am still alive, even though I seem to have only two speeds these days - full speed working, or at a complete stop nodding off on the couch.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 2 - Ella's Six Weeks of Sketches

You can view the sketch inspiration here. Here's my take on it ... note the right hand page of this two-pager is inspired from the sketch! Except I didn't trim down the pictures for 8.5x11, and I flipped the arrangement top to bottom. And I didn't really put the title and journaling in the same place. But that's what sketches are all about, right? They're a starting point - you should never feel like you have to stay 100% true to the sketch (but you can if you want to). Lol.

Thanks for looking!

Edit to add: I really need to give partial credit to the husband for this one; he had supper ready to go on the table when I got home last night, and shooed me upstairs right after (no dishes for me!) so I could "get that contest thing done early". Awwwwwwwww...thanks hun!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Get Way Into the Game ...

Have you ever seen that lottery ticket/gambling thing commercial for Pro-Line Sports, with the catchy phrase "Get Way Into the Game"? Well I was just having my usual early-morning-gotta-feed-the-dog-might-as-well-surf-the-net session today, and I stumbled upon a website called "Scrapbook Update". After clicking around the site a bit, I thought to myself, "Wow - this is mecca for those scrapbookers who get Way Into the Game!". I mean, they have scrapbook industry job listings ... links to media stories about scrapbook manufacturers and their ugly legal battles with each other ... breaking news (breaking news!) relating to scrapbooking ... and stuff that regular scrapbookers like me might care about, like sneak peeks of some Craft and Hobby Association 2010 (CHA) releases.

A person with nothing but time on their hands could spend all day on this site learning all there is to know about current trends in scrapbooking, who's suing who, what designers are working where, how social media impacts on the scrapbooking industry, what K&Company's latest releases are, what the weather's like in Anaheim today (for those of you not in the know ... the CHA convention is going on in Anaheim, California right now) ... whew. Yet another reason why I need to quit my day job.

Then again, based on what I learned this morning about hot scrapbook trends at CHA, I better not quit my day job, because my scrapbook style really doesn't line up that well:

1. It's all about die cutting. (Uh, a $500 die cut machine with dies that cost over $50 each is not in my future, immediate or otherwise! Unless they mean those die-cuts I have somewhere in my stash from when I started scrapbooking 10 years ago? Uh, no, they probably don't mean those.)

2. We're going green. (Folks - give me a break; I'm still trying to go acid- and lignin-free here! Now I gotta worry about the impact of my little hobby on the environment, too? My cutting and pasting has to have a social conscience?)

3. We're going patriotic. (As in, American. As in, Buy Local. So yeah, that one doesn't really apply to a Canadian scrapbooker! I could limit myself to Canadian products but then my pages would all start looking alike and I would need to find pictures to match patterened paper with mounties and beavers on it ... I kid you not, such a thing exists ... oh wait, given the stereotypes, I think it's probably made in America!)

4. It's all about stamping. (I know what these evil scrapbook industry leaders are trying to do. They're trying to get me to spend even more money than I already do, on a related obsession - stamps. You're not gonna get me, evil leaders. I may have bought a few acrylic stamps over the last few months, but I'm really lame at actually using them - so there!)

5. Paper is reborn as digital. (Two part response here. (A) I suck at anything computer-related, nuff said. (B) A big part of the attraction to scrapbooking, for me, is the cutting, the pasting, the owning inches and inches of scrapbook paper. Please, evil leaders, don't take this away from me!!)
So as you can see, I had waaaay to much time on my hands this morning. But that's a good thing. It's nice to slow down and smell the coffee, so to speak. After all it's Sunday already, the weekend's half over, there's still laundry to be done, sons to be picked up from sleepovers, mothers-in-law to be visited, hockey practices to be attended, beef stews to be made, and according to the weather man (hey, I surf the web in a multi-tasking kind of way - lots of windows open at once, you know), there might be some freezing rain this afternoon. In the meantime, it's time to wake up the husband, and see if he feels up to taking the dog for a walk in the woods. We'll have lots of stuff to talk about today. I can tell him all about the breaking news on Scrapbook Update! (Uh-you know I'm kidding, right honey?).
Have a great Sunday, everyone.
PS: The winners of the week 1 sketch are posted on the Ella Blog. I'm not one of 'em, but I had lots of fun playing and fully intend to participate in week 2! Which reminds me, I need to fit some scrapping time in today!
PSS: I don't know what the heck is going on with Blogger, but I'm having a hard time inserting spaces between some of my paragraphs. So if you're wondering what those dots are between paragraphs, they're my half-assed way of solving the problem (note comment above about sucking at anything computer-related). :o)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Did It!!

I used the Week 1 sketch from Ella's Six Weeks of Sketches challenge to create a layout! You can read more about this challenge on the Ella blog, and you can see the layouts on Flickr. The real news here is that I actually carved out some time to scrap - yay!

The sketch:

My layout:

Can't wait to see the Week 2 sketch. Fun!

Ah, what a busy week so far. Back to back meetings, missed deadlines, hastily gulped lunches - yikes. Hope your week is better than mine!

Thanks for stopping by. If you have a minute, leave me a comment - say hi! I'd love to know you're visiting. :o)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rough Week?

First full week of work in a while ... and boy, it was a busy one. Which is good, because it went by fast. In the back of my mind I've got a weekly countdown thing going on ... how many weeks til we can start using the trailer ... (17 - ouch). So every week that comes to a close is a good thing! And if work can make it go faster, even better! (How do you like my lame attempt at thinking of work in positive way?).

I won't go as far to say that my week drove me to drink, but I will tell you that the cranberry martini was a very welcome sight when I got home last night. I'm not a hard liquor drinker, and I had just one, but I will admit to enjoying it immensely!
I haven't done any scrapbooking in days - I haven't even gone into the scraproom to say hi to my stuff!!! When catching up with the Ella site this morning, I ran across a six-week sketch challenge on their blog. There will be one sketch posted each week and if you comment on the post and link to your layout, you are entered for a grand prize giveaway! No idea what the grand prize is, no matter though, for me the prize will simply be to scrap!! So ... wish me luck. I'm not usually too good at keeping up with these kinds of scrap challenges.
I think we will start our weekend with a nice long walk through the woods (it's so mild out, for a change!) and then it'll be the usual routine ... laundry, hockey practice, groceries, visit my mother in law, hockey game ... I'm sure the weekend will go by VERY QUICKLY. But not before I find an hour to scrap!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for coming by!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time flies...

...when you're having fun!

I can't believe how quickly the last few days have gone by. I can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow :o( Well at least I have one little glimmer of excitement relating to going back to work; I "shopped" in my sister M's closet yesterday so I have some new stuff to wear! Still, not enough incentive to make me actually look forward to going back! Sorry for stating the obvious, but a life of leisure beats work hands down.

On Monday the husband, the dog and I went snowshoeing. Wow, I can't believe how great modern snowshoes are! I grew up snowshoeing on this type of snowshoe:

And I seem to recall that walking on these, let alone actually strapping them on, was frustrating and painful. And since they're made out of rawhide, I suppose the dog would end up eating them anyway! But our new showshoes rock:

And dressing for the weather rocks too:

The husband and I have a little off-trail spot in the back woods where we like to stop for a campfire and a snack. It's always fun to try and find it again, and to dig out our log-seats and fire pit.

Even though the new snowshoes rock, it turns out they still require the use of muscles. As does taking down Christmas decorations, which is what I did on Monday afternoon. As a result, I spent Monday evening nodding off on the couch ... all in all, a typical evening for me!

Yesterday, along with shopping in sister M's closet, we went out for lunch and a movie. We saw It's Complicated, with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin ... it was a cute movie, I had a few belly laughs. It's not an academy award winner but it's a great pick-me-up kind of movie. Last night the boy and I watched the World Juniors gold medal game on tv ... a heartbreaking loss for Canada, but what an exciting game!

Not sure what today will bring. I want to spend some time scrapping, but first I might take a run out to Michaels to buy more refill pages, posts and albums. I'm already feeling the last-day-of-vacay blues and it would be a real bummer to ruin my last day off by feeling blue so I have to find a way to shake that off and fast!

I'll leave you with the last layout in my scan stash ... if I want to share anything with you in the near future, I'll have to get scrapping!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010 everybody! Hope you had fun ringing in the new year. We had a few friends over for dinner on New Year's Eve. The husband and I took a few minutes out of our busy dinner prep time for a photo shoot - though most of the pics are on his blackberry and this kissy one is the only one on my camera. Yes, that's a very festive shirt he's wearing :o) On New Year's Day, we went to visit our friends who live out in the country and spent the afternoon/evening playing euchre (and drinking...and eating....). A very nice start to the year.

So I've been having some thoughts about New Year's resolutions, and decided to revisit the ones I made last year. Here's the entry from my January 2, 2009 blog post: "This year I will put a greater focus on my health. I will eat well, I will be active, I will take care of my body and soul (and hopefully in the process lose a dress size or maybe even two). I would just love to lose 20 pounds between now and bathingsuit season (and firm up the jigglies that will surely be there even if 20 pounds are lost)."

I must say, I had great success with last year's resolution to get my weight gain under control. I lost almost 40 pounds in the first 6 months of the year, and have managed to maintain my weight loss since then (ok, ok, I put on a couple of pounds over Christmas, but that is to be expected, and it WILL come off over the next couple of weeks)! Not to toot my own horn or anything, but going from a size 14 to a size 6 has been a helluva (helluvan?) accomplishment. Not sure I can top that resolution this year.

But I do have a few priorities that I want to focus on this year. One is, of course, continuing to maintain the weight loss. Another is resolving my work/career issues (long story, but in a nutshell, I am seeking greater worklife balance and am considering my options including the possibility of moving down a level or two - a challenge when the powers that be expect me to move onwards and upwards). And even if I don't exercise any options and decide to stay in the same job, I need to look forward to going to work again, and to find a better balance, a way to spend more time doing the things I love with the ones I love...I want to take full advantage of our new trailer and boat; I want to scrapbook more often - there is so much creativity inside me crying to get out; I want to go on more dates with my husband; I want to stay connected with my kids; I want to connect more often with my sisters; I want to have more spa dates and dinners out with my girlfriends. I don't want to come home every night feeling drained and wanting only to lie on the couch and watch tv.

So ... between loads of laundry today I snuck a little bit of "me time" in. I spent some time in the scraproom, but didn't actually get a lot of scrapbooking done. I spent most of my time putting loose layouts into albums ... man, that is one dreadful job when you put it off for months on end! I ran out of extra posts AND albums, lol. There is a trip to Michaels in my very near future. Here's a layout I did the other day:

Because I worked between Christmas and New Year's, I decided to take a few days off next week - so while many of you are dreading going back to work tomorrow after a week or two break, I don't have to face work until Thursday! :o) I plan on taking down the Christmas decorations, scrapbooking, an outing with sister M, and maybe a haircut and/or spa appointment. A great start on this year's resolutions, eh?