Friday, October 31, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Five years ago:
...........I was 35 years old, here's my last DL picture (I know it's a crummy picture but see my short hair?)
...........I had a newborn baby. Our youngest was just 2 months old (thus the pudgy face in the above picture...!
...........I was on mat leave, but both my husband and I were in a very difficult working environment, it was in a lot of ways a toxic working situation organizationally and relationally.
...........We left said employer, it was not a happy exit - in fact pretty ugly; then we were asked to come on staff with our church working as Youth Pastors with students. It was a renewed calling that we both love and threw ourselves into passionately - as we serve God and kids and families we love.
............I became an SU Demo and built a wealth of great relationships and a chance to express my creativity
............I started posting cards on Splitcoast in June of 2007 after my husband's cancer treatment. Life's too short to wonder if you are *creative enough*. I just wanted to enjoy creating!
..........JulieHRR asked me to be a part of the Dirty Dozen Design Team and my creative world grew a happy garden! I built some wonderful friendships in the sisterhood of the DD
.........In the time span of 3 years I became very ill and had to have 2 surgeries and a month of recovery; the next year my husband was diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer, but it was treatable and he had chemotherapy, about 6 weeks of isolation and is in remission! Then last spring my husband tore his quad muscle tendon separating his knee joint from his quad muscle, this meant surgery, 1 week in the hospital and then 6 weeks with no weight on his RIGHT leg (no lifting it, driving etc...guess who became the family chauffeur?).
It's been quite a five years. Some wonderful beautiful things that I'm incredibly grateful for...some rather painful ones I would not have chosen. A lot of people dread turning 40. In fact my husband asked me on Tuesday morning how it felt to be on my last day of my 30's. I replied "well, 39 wasn't always so good to me, so I'm ready for the 4's!"
Beth (MyPrecious) had a great post on her blog of 40 things she wanted to do before she was 40. Well, I wasn't that organized, but I have been thinking about that idea and I think I'd like to make a list of 40 things I'd like to do now that I'm 40.
Here are some (not 40 things yet) that I've come up with:
1. Build and continue to discover deeper depths in my walk with Christ. God has a lot of work to do in me in the year ahead, a lot of places of healing, a lot of places of deepening. I have always desired to be fully His, and I think He's taking me to places in these next month's that are making that more real. I think for me...these are years ahead of rebuilding.
2. See my children thrive in their growing up years...help them become more of themselves, more of who God is calling them to be.
3. Love my husband - deeper, wiser, with a more sacrificial heart. Time is so precious. We've learned that in so many ways in 5 years. I don't want to take it - or him for granted.
4. Carve out more space for me that includes stillness, silence, places of restoration from our busy world.
5. Healthier patterns...I'm not gettin' any younger! So, healthier eating, and more exercise and to finally lose ALL those baby pounds!
Well, that's a start! What about you? If you look back on the last 5 years of your life, what are some common themes? What about your next 5 years...who are you becoming and who do you want to be? There's a great song by Switchfoot called "This is Your Life" that I love. Some of the lyrics are:
This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be?
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose.
Don't close your eyes
The idea for me is that you don't get a second chance, don't miss it because this is it, are you who you want to be? That really challenges me.
OK...enough preaching. Here IS a creative project I haven't shown you yet...I am privelaged to be a part of the Product Review Team over at Splitcoast and we review different products each month. Yesterday another review was unveiled for JustRite stamps of their new line of creative products. The review is HERE: and the creative projects by the team are really great and are HERE:
Here is one of mine projects using the Baking Ensemble from Just Rite. I created a sleeve for a mini Banana Bread loaf so it could be given as a gift. We really love Banana bread at our house (especially with Chocolate Chips :)) Whenever bananas are getting a little brown I throw them in the freezer for future banana bread.
The sleeve is 3 inches wide and 11 inches in length. I scored the sections in order to make a little *tote* for my bread. I wrapped the bread in waxed paper (I'd also wrap it in saran wrap too for giving to someone). I added ribbon around the bread and fed it though the word window hole in the top of my tote so my bread won't fall out.
I used the outside rim of the Just Rite Baking Ensemble stamp on my circle stamper to decorate the sections of the tote and added marker.
I LOVE the tag, it's my favourite part. I stamped the sugar label a second time on Kraft and trimmed it out, and added it on top, then I gave the spilled sugar some crystal effects and Dazzling Diamonds to make it more real. So CUTE! Some embellishments and it's a really cute gift!
Ok....nuff' for now. I still have lots to show you hopefully this week. And some exciting news too!
Recipe: Stamps: Just Rite Baking Ensemble Ink: Chocolate Chip, Real Red Paper: Real Red, Kraft, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White Accessories: Just Rite Round Circle Stamper, Striped Ribbon, Chocolate Chip Grossgrain, Gold Cording, Brads, Word Window Punch, Dazzling Diamonds, Scallop Circle Punch, SW Marker
Monday, October 27, 2008
12 hours later.....
Sunday, October 26, 2008
In March of this year when I was on the Dirty Dozen Design Team over at Splitcoast the theme for the month was the Daily Grind, coffee related...office related creations. I designed a special ensemble for our Administrative Assistant at that time Amy. One of the pieces in the ensemble was a Personalized Stationery set. I really loved that piece, and in fact of all the things I designed in my six months on the Dirty Dozen it remains one of my favourite creations. If you're a Fan Club Member you can see the whole ensemble here: and the Stationery Set pictures here and here and here. If not....it might be enough to entice you to join...well worth EVERY penny, you receive access to all the DD galleries in the past! Here is a link if you want to check it out.
So, 7 months later, I finally created a Stationery Set for me. I'll pretend it's in honor of turning 40 this week! This set is something that is very me. It's useful, it's beautiful, it's GREEN, and chocolate, it has a simple elegance...all things I appreciate! Above you'll see the folder closed up...all it's wonderful potential inside :)
These are made with the JustRite selection of stamps and fonts. They are FABULOUS! And they works perfectly for something like this where you want to make it very personal.
The stationery folder is a 12 x 12 sheet of either naturals Ivory - or confetti, I can't remember anymore! A 3/4 inch piece is cut off on the right hand side for the file folder tab, and 2 1/4 inches folded up for the inside flaps. I also added extra creases in the middle of the center-fold to give it greater depth when closed (much like a real file folder). I added brads to the outside of the folder strategically placed to give reinforcement to the top inner pocket. Satin ribbon is attached to the back of the folder with sticky strip and hangs loosely but then can tie in a pretty bow to hold the folder together. Very clean design.
Inside, I created 2 pockets for the 3 x 3 cards and envelopes. The top left pocket is 3 1/4 wide, and about 2 1/2 inches long, with a pocket depth of 1/2 inch. I punched the scallop circle out so you can see more of the 3 x 3 cards (cute :)). The lower right pocket is just attached to the flap with some sticky strip and 2 brads and holds the 3 x 3 envelopes.
The cards are just simply monogramed and given classic details, a little rich ribbon and some piercing. I also used an Olive SW Marker on parts of Browns monograms to give them extra color. I added a little more text to the 4 1/4 cards, and also used the outside ring of the monogram stamp to create a background on the chocolate layer. The small 3 x 3 cards also have Crystal Effects on the Monogram to give it a pretty shine.
The stationery (oh my I LOVE this part). I took resume paper with a rich texture, cut it in half to make 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 sheets, and rounded the top corners. Then I stamped the monogram in the center and then masked off a section about an inch long and sponged Kiwi Kiss ink over it. Then I took my Rectangle Stamper and the tiny Brayton Font and used my Stamp-a-majig to align the *from the desk of * words on each side of the monogram.
I so look forward to using it...and re-plenishing it when I use it up. All so easy with these tools!
Thanks for stopping by today!
Recipe: Stamps: JustRite Monogram Font Brayton, JustRite Harmony Classic Stamps
Paper: Confetti Natural, Kiwi Kiss, Chocolate Chip, Vanilla, Kiwi Kiss DSP, Chocolate Chip DSP
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Kiwi Kiss
Accessories: Harmony Rectangle Stampers, Harmony Classic Circle Stamper II, Scallop Circle and Edge Punch, Corner Rounder Punch, Scorit, Gold Brads, Chocolate Satin Ribbon, Chocolate Grosgrain Ribbon, Kiwi Satin Ribbon, Sticky Strip, Dimensionals, Piercer, Crystal Effects, Sponge, Stamp-a-Majig
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Recipes: Sample One: Designer Christmas Cottage Stamps: Home for Christmas Ink: Brown Stazon Paper: Pink Pirouette, Chocolate Chip DSP, Ski Slope DSP, Watercolor Paper Accessories: Aqua Painter, Reinkers, SW Markers, Felt Fusion Too, Taffeta Ribbon, Dimensionals, Mono Multi, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Scorit
Sample Two: Designer Wreath Stamps: Flourishes Siberian Iris and Lilac sets Ink: Brown Stazon Paper: Very Vanilla, Watercolor, Kiwi Kiss Accessories: Reinkers, Aqua Painter, Piercing Template, Chocolate Satin Ribbon, Mono Multi, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Oval Punch, Gold Cording, 1/16th punch
Monday, October 20, 2008
Recipe: Stamps; Crazy for Cupcakes Ink: Basic Black, Riding Hood Red Paper: Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip, Bella Rose DSP, Whisper White Accessories: Wide RHR Striped Grossgrain, Scallop Circle Punch, Circle Punch, Piercer, Dimensionals, Chuiky Glitter, White Beads, SW Marker, Scallop Edge Punch
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So, it was a 3 Kleenex ceremony for me. Really it's so powerful and touching to see these 2 and their hearts for each other, and their hearts for serving God together. They are just remarkable people, and we've felt very blessed to be a part of their lives. They leave in a few weeks to go to Scotland for a year to serve at a ministry there (what a first year of marriage hey?). I'll miss them so much! So I bawled like a baby! It was such a beautiful wedding! They looked beautiful and so very happy.
All that to say, my heart really wanted to create something special for these two students that would commemerate this day...and their faith in God and their future with such hope....
So, I made this framed piece of art for them. I started by stamping all of these leaves on watercolor paper with VersaMark and embossing with Gold EP. Then I took many hours and watercolored each of them in fall colors.
I really like a font that my husband has on his Mac so he printed a template of the words I wanted, and then painstakingly cut out the letters on paper and traced out all the larger words (the smaller words are handwritten). This really took a while and you have to be patient to then go back and re-sketch the letters to get it all to look right. The verse is from 2 Corinthians 9:15 and reads "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift"
I added a wash of More Mustard and Ruby Red on the main layer of watercolor paper....though the wash is really washed out by the pictures.
Then I colored in my letters using my Aqua Painter and SW Markers, then added the leaves with adhesive in a layout I thought would be most pleasing. The project probably took me about 10 - 12 hours, and I really love how it turned out.
I also made a matching card using the same leaf technique. I used my Coluzzle to cut out the ovals in the 2 main layers, sponged and stamped the leaves on the Mustard layer, and added retired DP underneath with the Mr. & Mrs. stamped on it. I like how the & in both the card and artwork have that same flourished feel.
More of the leaves close up.
Recipe: Stamps: With Gratitude, Together Forever Ink: VersaMark (Card: More Mustard) Paper: Watercolor (Card: Bravo Burgundy, More Mustard, Retired DP), Accessories: Aqua Painter, SW Markers, Reinkers, Gold EP, (Card: Gold Brads, Chocolate Satin Ribbon, Gold Pen, Burgundy SW Marker, Dimensionals, Colluzzle Oval Cutter, Sponge)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Love that pic :)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
1. I have a keen sense of smell - that can be both good and bad! (ha ha) My brother and Sister-in-Law went to Texas last week and he called me and asked "Want anything from the States?"...it was so random, and he'd be fundamentally lost in a Craft Store so I couldn't tell him anything stamping related. But he persistently said, "Didn't you like something at Williams-Sonoma?" (I honestly think this was my SIL remembering this). I said "Oh yeah! They have wonderful pine smelling pump soap!" ....so look what they brought me! Seriously, it's so yummy and warm smelling that I'm not sharing it with my family. If I could make a scratch and sniff blog post I would so you could share in it's wonderfulness. And look at the cute holder!!
I love the smell of pine. And along with the theme of pine.....
2. Somewhat under protest we bought this 2 days ago.
All my life I grew up with an artificial Christmas Tree that was - well, frankly, ugly. You know the one where the branches look maimed and you stick them into holes in the pole...ewww, it ends up looking like a skinny plastic green monster. As a child - outside of the presents underneath it I wasn't ever a big fan of it. I always begged to have a REAL tree. So I said to myself that one day when I could choose - we have real trees in our home. And for the 14 years we've been married we have, I love the look, that you never know what you'll be getting each year...and the PINE smell :) I'm not a big fan of the daily watering and vacuuming of the needles however . But see then last year my parents bought a NEW artificial tree, pre-lit too...and it was actually so pretty! It looked like a real tree! So I gave in. They were at Costco and my husband bought one. My compromise is that we'll have a pine wreath for the smell.
3. We took our kids to a CFL (Canadian Football League) football game last weekend. For 2 of the kids (oldest and youngest) it was their first professional live game. They had SO much fun. Especially our daughter! She LOVED all of it. Our 5 year old also said in awe "It's SO BIG!" (The stadium holds 60 000 fans I believe and we were up pretty high). We had a great night - even if I'm not a huge football fan. Here's a funny pic of my daughter and I there. She took it with her arms out in front of us. She really doesn't have a double chin...so funny. Even funnier...I'm wearing her hat....her vest....and her shoes. Talk about reverse parenting!
4. I have been on a cleaning/organizing binge lately. I have cleaned my bathroom and kitchen from top to bottom and organized all my cupboards. Seriously, I was appalled by how much outdated...STUFF we had. Medicines, ingredients, things that said "refrigerate after opening" that I never noticed (oops!). In 14 years of marriage you accumulate a lot of stuff. I am now beginning to realize what I really need, what I really use and have TOSSED the rest! I had bags of garbage for the curb from these ventures. It feels so good to have clean cupboards again, very freeing! :) ...so much more stuff to go...like my desk and craft cupboard.
5. I made Thai Chicken Drumsticks for supper last night. We got a new spice packet sample in the mail, isn't that random? All you add is vegetable oil, lemon juice and soy sauce. Marinate, and bake or grill. It was good too. I love Thai food. It's my very favourite ethnic food. They have recipes for Pad Thai (my personal favourite Thai food), and some other yummy things too! I'll be buying this.
6. I read in both my boys' classrooms this week. It's Read-In-Week here, focusing on Literacy and guest readers in the classroom. In our Kindergartner's class I read Elliott Gets Stuck and in our 4th Grader's class I read 2 chapters of Prince Caspian. :) I really LOVE to read, and so do the kids. Today is "Bear Book and Blanket Day" at their school. They can come to school in their PJ's bring a stuffed animal and a book, and we have they all gather in the gym to read. It's SO cute. This is a silly picture of them getting ready for PJ Day. One has a stuffed Shark ...the other a stuffed Penguin.
7. And last but not least, I am turning 40 in exactly 20 days!
Now I'm supposed to Tag 7 other bloggers, ok, well I won't have 7 but you'll all enjoy these....some are new to blogging so go give them a visit!
- My fun and talented friend Betty Wright at Stamping to the Wright
- Julie's new blog at The Write Stuff...who I know was tagged recently too, but you can go and visit her :)
- A blog I just discovered the other day Leanne's Wee Inklings
- Someone so sweet who often makes kind comments on my blog Shannon over at Hoppy Creations
- And just to give her an extra nudge because I know that Joan also tagged her at the same time as me....you know who you are Jerri....:) My dear friend, ultra-talented DD Team-mate Jerri Kay at A Touch of Grace
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday was my monthly 11 for 11 Club and I taught the girls a bunch of Punch/Thanksgiving style cards with Autumn themes etc. Thanksgiving for us here in Canada is ....Monday, October the 13th!
Here is a look at all 4 projects.
Project One: All Dressed Turkey!
This sample idea was in the most recent edition of the magazine that SU demonstrators receive each month. I just loved the cute little turkey and knew I could achieve my own version of it with the supplies I had. He is made from various punches.
I've listed the punches I used to make him here:
Sorry...the writing is so small.... From top l - r punches needed:
1 " Circle Punch (More Mustard), 1 3/8" Circle Punch (Close to Cocoa), 3/4 " Square Punch (Basic Black), 1 1/4" strip (Basic Black), Partial Scallop (More Mustard), Patterned Paper Scallop Circle x 3 (in different or the same colors).
To make the folds for the Turkey Tailfeathers, first take a scalloped circle and punch out from your choice of patterned paper (here I've used the Level One Hostess Pack of paper). Count out 5 bumps and fold down toward you (you decide how you want to use the sides of pattern).
Unfold and then take the first folded side scalloped section and fold in toward the center line (like paper airplane sides). Then you have a petal type image. You could use this for a folded flower on your cards too. Do this 3 times for the Turkey Tailfeathers.
Then take your 3 sections and piece them together for the tail feathers and adhere on your card where you'd like it to be, (upper center in this case).
For the feet and beak I used a partial Scalloped Circle in Mustard (you just don't need a whole circle) and cut out the feet (one scallop bump in the middle and 2 halves on each side) and beak (one scallop bump cut upwards in a triangle shape). I added More Mustard with my Stampin' Write Marker on the beak because my daughter told me it didn't stand out enough otherwise! :) At almost 12, she's getting a very good eye of a designer!
Layer over top the smaller circle for the head attached to the larger circle for the body with Dimensionals. Put together your 3/4 inch square and strip for the dapper hat. Add eyes with the SW Marker.
The sentiment I thought was kind of cute...from Fun and Fast Notes, it says "All Spruced Up" hee hee. Not for long...soon he'll be DRESSED up! Inside and out! Yum, I love stuffing! We're responsible for dessert this year. I might make a Chocolate Pecan Pie....another YUM!
I think these would be really cute used as Thanksgiving place cards too.
Sample Two: Autumn Blooms
My upline showed us this style of card last month, so I recreated it in autumn colors. For the stamped image you start here with inking up your Upsy Daisy flower stamp in Summer Sun. Then take your Sponge daubers inked in Tangerine Tango, and Riding Hood Red and dauber then directly on the stamp (already inked with Summer Sun). Huff on it to give it more moisture, then stamp on the paper. This gives you that gorgeous variation of color. I also used the daubers to give some sponged color to the edges of the main image piece. The punches are layered together to give a different look to the sentiment.
Sample Three: Grateful Blooms
I love the fall feel to the new Haiku papers, and love the Eastern Blooms style. Here the vine image is stamped toward the center from each corner in Mustard on Vanilla. The two blooms are stamped in Saffron and Mustard from each end of the 3 Bloom stamp and cut out. The background is created with one of the stamps from the set in Saffron.
The sentiment is from By Definition and the ribbon is added with a knot for a nice simple feel.
I didn't do this in the class (but would have if I would have thought of it), but later I added some Microbeads on the flower centers with some 2 Way glue. I think it gives it some pretty texture.
And last but not least....I totally cased this cutie patootie spider from CaseGJ over at Splitcoast. Seriously I think it was brilliant. She has a really nice gallery of creative 3D things too. I'll be honest, I'm not much of a Halloween person...but these I just couldn't resist, and they fit in our theme. I've simplified parts of mine here for the class. Scallop Punches for bodies, and the Photo Corner Punch in 2 colors for the legs, 1/8 " punch for eyes and nose, SW Marker for the pupils. In the middle are Peppermint Patties :) NO stamping! ....a great way to use up scraps... they would be cute classroom treats too.
Thanks for popping by!
Recipes: All Dressed Turkey Stamps: Fun and Fast Notes Paper: Always Artichoke, Whisper White, Close to Cocoa, More Mustard, Prints DSP Ink: Basic Black Accessories: Punches (see above + Word Window), Brad, Chocolate GG Ribbon, Dimensionals
Autumn Blooms: Stamps: Upsy Daisy, Canvas Paper: Summer Sun, Tangerine Tango, Riding Hood Red, Whisper White Ink: Summer Sun, Tangerine Tango, Riding Hood Red, VersaMark (on the Canvas Bk), Accessories: Scalloped Square, Oval, Square Punches Sponge Daubers, Rhinestone Brads, Riding Hood Red Taffeta Ribbon
Eastern Blooms: Eastern Blooms Paper: So Saffron, Very Vanilla, More Mustard, Haiku DSP Ink: So Saffron, More Mustard, Old Olive Accessories: Olive GG Ribbon, Key Tab Punch, Brads, Piercer, Microbeads, 2 Way Glue
Spidey Senses: Stamps: NONE Paper: Basic Black, Lovely Lilac, Real Red, Whisper White Accessories: Scallop Punch, 1/8 " Circle Punch, Photo Corner Punch, SW Marker, 2 Way Glue, Peppermint Patties