Monday, December 3, 2012

Snow brings beautiful time

A little of this and a little of that...the summer was jam packed with 5000km put on the motorhome and tons of fishing. Sigh. It really is the best life!  Fall is time for school and getting the bus sorted out and then BAM. An early snowfall has put us into the depths of winter a wee bit too soon for my taste. But Hubs installed a mini fireplace in my art room, I got some MORE stuff purged and put away and I have been doing things here and there that make me really happy. This card took some time with all the layers of stickles needing to dry before I could continue on but I love the simplicity of it and the bright sparkle. Kaisercraft wooden cupcake shape, some cardstock cut to match, tiny flowers, rhinestones and whole lot of stickles. Done and done.
So while the snow could have held off for a bit's also welcome because it helps me settle down and create things as I go about my day. And doesn't a little glue and paper make every day better? Yes. Yes it does.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Summer is poking its head around the corner...

Can you smell it? The whiff of oil as Hubs pulls my convertible out of storage in the garage. Can you hear it? The birds going crazy in the trees behind the house. The sun is shining {most days} and I have said good-bye to socks {woo hoo!}. But I also say good-bye to free time in May and June as sports take over! But that is ok, it's such a riot to be out with the kids, running around and having FUN. It's weird but I have been scrapbooking more lately...which explains the 2 posts in one week! LOL
I did this layout a while ago and it was the first time trying the Sew Stampers. Have you seen these?

 We R Memory Keepers has always been a favourite of mine. I use their beautiful leather D-ring albums. They come in the most delicious colours! Quite a bit ago they came out with the Sew was these little roller things that pierced a pattern on your paper so you could sew things onto your pages with stitching floss. A really cute tool but I didn't buy it because I stitch freehand on my layouts most times and didn't feel the need to spend the extra money. Then the Sew STAMPERS came out. Well bestill my heart. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread!!!  My review...a big 4.5 stars for sure! I love that I can press as hard {or not} as I want giving the option of tons of different looks. I love all the different stitches. I love the light weight handle. It is just love all the way around! The only snag I have had {and why I took away half a star} is the teal star stitch that I bought doesn't work very well. It sticks and then drags on the page, completely ruining the look. But a quick e-mail to the company will solve that, I will keep you posted. Head on down to the Scrapbook Studio and pick these little babies up. Cards, layouts, whatever. Stitch away!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Just a quickie!

Wow...don't blog for a while and they change the whole look of the website! LOL A few quickie points before some Pinterest and bedtime:

* Had a fabulous time at Camp Croppin' 2012! It just gets better every year. I was super flattered to win the journaling prize and we once again wore as much green as we could during the 7th inning stretch. Rider pride!

*Art room is still a work in progress. Like I have said before, it is not all matchy matchy gorgeous but it is functional. Hubs bought me a little electric fireplace {complete with mantle!} and I can't wait to get it set up.

*What are you doing for National Scrapbooking Day? I hope I can squeeze in a visit to the Scrapbook Studio! They are having an all night pj party that has my name written all over it. That weekend is ridiculously busy so I don't know if it will happen but one can always hope right?

*I have fallen in LOVE with Canvas Corp {even more than I already was} and their kraft coloured items. Little paper bags, envelopes, canvases, etc. All sizes. All amazing!

*I have created several layouts lately that I am super happy with! And after all is said and done isn't that what it's all about?
Don't forget about the call for Winter coming up in the next couple of months for Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine! There are specific people I am reminding here...ALICE...TRACY...LOL Jackie and Katharina want to see your lovely work! And it really is my favourite part of the magazine...seeing those "first time published" stamps beside the name. It gives me a thrill and reminds me how wonderful it was to see it beside my own name!

So take care, have fun and maybe this rain will give way to gorgeous flowers and glorious sunshine so I can drive my Triumph. Here's hoping! xo

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Birthdays, Birds and Being Happy

A sweet little card for a summer birthday. Love love LOVE the soft blue! So many things to get ready for this month...and a messy art room does not help things. LOL I hope you find peace and joy this week. And maybe some time to go for a run in this glorious sunshine! xo

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Counting down the days until Camp Croppin' 2012

So there is this girl I know. Her name is Megan. She has a passion for helping people in their very hardest, lowest moments. Has your child ever spent time in the hospital? I don't mean "Did a superman off the back of the couch, crashed into their brother who fell backwards over the ottoman, then they both did a header into the sewing chest and now there is a trip to emergency with 3 stitches recorded in the scrapbook" kind of time. I mean time. Time that took them away from the family. Time that took you away from the family. Time that hurt you emotionally as a parent and financially as the head of your household. Time that altered your child's outlook on life and forever changed that beautiful, childlike way they took in their world. Time that will never be forgotten because it was the most difficult thing your family had to hold together through. Other events pale in comparison to Camp Croppin' for a large variety of reasons. But for me, the main reason I attend this event is that every year a huge amount of supplies and money goes to sustain the Alberta Children's Hospital Therapeutic Scrapbooking Program. And to me, as a Mum and an artist there is no better gift to give than a creative outlet during a time that doesn't feel very creative. That is why every year I pack my suitcase (full of adhesive and paper of course), book my hotel room months in advance, buy my plane ticket, gas up the van or cram myself into Barb Riley's Honda, and make my way to Camp Croppin' where I get to laugh with friends, old and new. Where I get to meet the best in the industry and try not to get all star struck. Where I get to help families I don't know in my own small way by donating, cheering, making and running. And believe me, you do RUN. LOL Back and forth all weekend long from the classrooms to the main hall, Starbucks to the make n' takes, Scrapbooker's Paradise to Staples. Anyone who says it's "Just another scrapbooking event" has never heard Megan's welcome speech, passionately thanking us all for being there and there is never a dry eye in the house when she reminds us why we are there and what we are supporting.

This year the girls from Saskatchewan will not be strong in numbers but we are strong in spirit! Be prepared to see a lot of green again and we will come armed with our best layouts (all proceeds of the entry fees are donated don't forget!) to give everyone a run for their money. What's Camp Croppin' without some friendly smack talk amongst friends? LOL We also may or may not be planning to invade the Cheesecake Factory, bring the leftovers back to our room and devil that security guard at the hotel for the third year in a row. But you didn't hear that from me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mama's Pep Talk. Because you need one right now.

This is technically a scrapbooking blog but sometimes we just need to step back from the art to deal with life's other issues. I had a wonderful phone call from a friend today and while we went about our morning chores we chatted How hard it is. How great it is. How good we are at it. How much we suck at it. Just life. And being on the phone kept us from roaring at our kids which is always a bonus. A little Facebook after I hung up and I came across a beautiful blog and this entry and happened to hop over to a different friend's blog and she had blogged about the same website. So if that isn't a God Moment, I honestly don't know what is. This friend blogged that reading that post made her feel less successful as a mother and that made me gasp because she is a wonderful person. I love being around her. She is honest and fun, her smile lights up a room and she is absolutely without pretenses. You can talk to her and not feel judged. My only regret in our fairly new friendship is that we live in different provinces and I wish our Facebook time was actual face time. But maybe that will come in the future. So if you have a minute, go and read that post. It really is a beautiful post, full of hope and promise for the future. A post that defines what we all want deep in our hearts. But I do have some points of my own to make.

1. I absolutely agree with number 1! However, sometimes you are doing that praying while driving a screaming toddler to the drugstore because you ran out of Baby Advil. You are praying while in line at the grocery store because if that person behind you hits the back of your legs with their cart one more time you will go postal. You may pray at work because right at that second you are eternally grateful that you have a clean shirt on and there is no screaming baby hanging off your arm. My most intense prayer of the day is after my kids go to bed and I check on them a couple hours later, praying over their beds for health and happiness the next day. Even though I love them, I am happy they are asleep and not asking me what is that? How is that made? Why can't I eat it?

2. This point is wonderful and I really DO see beauty all around me. But I also see the 2 cups of peanut butter that just got smeared into my kitchen rug, the milk puddle on the floor, the smashed Christmas ornament that never made it back into the box and the dirty little boy who is wiping his face on my suede pillow shams. I can see the beauty in all things, but I am also realistic in knowing how long that beauty takes to clean up. That doesn't make me ungrateful.

3. Only amateurs hurry? Really? Honey, if you think I am an amateur you need to take another look at my resume. Do I strive for calm and to be 10 minutes early for things? Absolutely. It's my ideal. But do things tend to spiral a bit out of control at times and do I need to rush to set things straight? Um, HECK YES! Trying to be the kind of person featured in a TV movie of the week is tough work. Having it all and doing it all is hectic and stressful. The only thing we can do is recognize when it is getting a little too overwhelming and take a step back from the race. Take a breath, regroup and dive back in. Sometimes if I don't rush, stuff doesn't get done and there are things I do consider "emergencies" and that is OK. As long as life doesn't turn into one long, giant emergency I think you are doing just fine.

4. Number 4 is true to a point. When you are feeling stressed it really does help to stop and be grateful for a moment. The kids are fighting but they aren't in the hospital. Supper is going to be so late but we have food on our table. I have to work late but I have a job to go to that supports my family. There is a silver lining to everything. As long as we see the silver lining more often than the ugly, ungrateful stress monster than we are coming out on top.

5. I speak strong words all the time. And sometimes those strong words are NO! DON'T and ABSOLUTELY NOT! I encourage my children in all they do and speak to them as equals and individuals but when I need to exert my authority, they know it. Because I am Mama. And if I don't speak these strong words, my children will not be strong individuals. They will be whining, self righteous brats who don't know how to be respectful members of society. As long as you are balancing the soft words of wisdom and play with the strong words of guidance and teaching you are doing a good job.

6. I completely agree with #6 but you need to take it in context. A "daily ceremony" need not be a grand, lengthy affair. It can simply be helping to pack your child's backpack in the morning. A kind word as you all brush your teeth. A kiss on the head before getting on the bus. Consistency really IS key but it doesn't have to be an all encompassing schedule of every minute of your lives. Just because you don't have every minute planned doesn't mean you are a bad parent.

7. In theory, #7 is very wise. Especially when {on occasion} drawing closer to that child is asking them if they need a time out in the grocery store? Because that is how I roll. Anyone who knows me knows that I cherish my little bambinos. They are my world. But I parent out in the world exactly how I parent at home. No need to yell and scream and be obnoxious. But if someone needs to be reminded of the rules when we are out, drawing them close and quietly reminding them of the unpleasant things that will happen if they don't shape up is extremely valuable. Don't get me wrong, if a child is having emotional issues and is acting out because of them they need to be dealt with gently. Knowing that they are safe in the embrace of a parent who cares. And you know your children well enough to know the difference.

8. Number 8 is hands down my philosophy of life. Can't do enough huggin'! From tall to small they all need Mama Lovin'.

9. I have a lot of priorities in my life. If I were to ignore some of them...this juggling act I call life would tumble. Things unseen are important, but not the most important. Acknowledge the unseen but not at the expense of what is right in front of your face.

10. Number 10 is a wonderful idea. And I strive to be lighthearted every day. But sometimes a bad day can turn your mood and the only thing that can help is to just go to bed and greet the sun on a new day. You are not a horrible person if don't find the humour in every single situation. I didn't find it very humorous spending $300 to replace our upstairs toilet because of daily floods only to find a toothbrush, a wad of disinfecting wipes and a pair of huge nail clippers were the cause of all our toilet issues. Yup, not funny at all. No, I didn't yell at my kids about it but I also didn't laugh hysterically. Things happen and all you can do is try not to lose your head over them. Laugh with your kids, laugh with your spouse, laugh at yourself. But also know when it's OK to not be grinning.

The post was from this website written by an Author, wife and mother. It really is a wonderful place to be inspired but don't for one second think that because she writes, home schools and says "don't yell at your kids" that you are less of a mother. That you are less of a woman.

I am tired of the pressure we women put on each other to be the best, do the most and look amazing while doing all that. I might make something cute for my sons' classes for Halloween but that doesn't mean my shirt is clean when I do it. Or that my hair is brushed. Or that I haven't yelled at my 3 year old to STOP licking the spoon because I have to keep getting a new one. It doesn't mean I am judging you that you didn't make something. And if someone is in fact judging someone else for doing or are not doing things as the case may be, you need only remember that one day, they will be judged too. And He doesn't really care if they make fluffy souffle. So stop with the worry. Have fun in your life! Have fun with your kids and your husband! And when you have a bad day, sit down right in amongst the mess, have a cup of coffee and call a friend. Because she might be having that kind of day too.