Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh yeah!

Did you see, I figured out how to make this blog widdddder. Yea me! it bugged me that my screen was so wide and the blog column was so narrow. It also bugged me that when I was making a new post the screen was wider than the actual blog post, it was hard to line up pictures and captions. So of my pictures were to wide. Now I need to figure out how to get the titles and the blog roll to not be that peachy colour. I changed the other colours can't figure this one.

That's all I've got to say. I'll just share some pictures. Summertime flowers and poplar tree fuzz on the pond, sunsets, Canada Day fireworks. Disney's Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter birthday party decorations.

Captions versus story

Ali Edward's had a great post today. She says that she has a mini album filled with pictures and embellishments. But what's missing is the words. She says:
More and more these days I don't want to make something unless I feel like it's meaningful. We each have our own definition of what's meaningful in our scrapbooks and paper crafting projects. I want the words I add to be of substance, to say something beyond "I love you." I'm finding myself waiting for the "right" words rather than just getting some simple words of love written down and adhered. The less I scrapbook, the more I feel this way.
Wow, I'm jiving with Ali's thoughts more and more. I don't like making pages with a random word "beautiful" or "cherish" what does that mean? I know that pictures speak a thousand words, but they don't tell the whole story. They don't tell the before or after. They don't tell what you are feeling. How this connects to something else in your life. I don't come close to journaling like Ali E or Cathy Z. I don't have the insightful, thought provoking, deep down kind of writing. But I do like to tell the story and share my thoughts and feelings. I believe that my girls will cherish these stories. I'm finding that I am putting less embellishments on the page to make room for all the words I want to add.

After completing the last 2 rounds of LOAD (layout a day challenge) I was struggling. I was running out of stories to tell (couldn't think of another one off the top of my head, each day). I had the time and the pictures to use. It was hard to come up with a big story each day to document. I know I don't have to scrapbook that way, but I just don't enjoy gluing a picture and sticking a bunch of pretty embellishments down. That is why I've started an 'art journal' (as mentioned in the previous post), this is my place to play. I should start journaling some stories in preparation for October's LOAD. I should also remember to start adding more hidden journaling.

I think that Ali's philosophy of tell your story is more the path I'm heading down. Not just writing captions. Captions can be a bit more than the obvious "having fun opening presents" but sometimes really don't tell much more than that.

I guess what I'm realizing is that I don't want to use up pictures just for the sake of getting them scrapbooked.

Anyway, here's a recent layout I did for the Sharing Memories Scrapbooking summer challenge.
I used a swinging/gated page protector. There are 2 outside pages that are each 6x12.
A fun ice cream store that we stop at on holidays ever year! In Okanagan Falls BC.
The inside is a 6x12 then 12x12 then 6x12 layouts for a total of 24". This was perfect because I had pictures of the outside of the building that when lined up were more than 12" long. The building is painted with fun bear scenes. These pictures are from various years (probably about the last 4) at Tickleberries also at the Windmill and Gelato in Osoyoos.
I left the back unfinished. I had 2 group shots from recent years and adhered them. As the next 4 shots come in over the years I will add them. *note to self* remember to take a group shot in August to add when you get home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Style and story telling

What is your style? What is my style/ My style is a bit of everything. If you check out my Flickr gallery you'll see I done everything from clean and simple to paint to glitter. I love Ali Edwards, Cathy Zielske, Stacy Julian, May Flaum, style. They are all different and I love to incorporate them all. I enjoy Donna Downey's artistic style. I have come to realize though that I really like the story + photos philosophy. I have tons of 'stuff' but I'm starting to like less and less stuff on pages. I love all the cool techniques but don't like to take the time to do them on layouts. My solution is that I'm starting an art journal, inspired by Donna's inspiration Wednesday videos. This way I can have fun, play and get messy but not do it on my pages.

On an episode of Paperclipping Roundtable they were talking about how to incorporate vintage style onto your pages. Ali commented that her style is more documentation. She is the one who really has When she said the word documentation it really struck a cord with me. That's what I'm doing now, documenting my life. Telling our stories. Yes I do love to bling it up, but I don't spend alot of time on style anymore. First I focus on putting the photos and the story down on the page, then I add some embellishments.

I'm enjoying telling our everyday stories. For events I'm trying to focus on deeper stories and traditions. Versus the 'good time was had by all' kind of captions. I love Ali's Week in the Life series and Daily December. I did a 30 Days Hath September album in a Stacy J class almost 2 years ago. Looking back at it now it is so cool to see what was happening in our lives, the bits of memorabilia that are tucked into it. I've also used a tally sheet to keep track of things we do in May. Inspired by Stacy's Everyday May album, that I didn't keep up with. I made a tally sheet of how many loads of laundry I did, dishwasher, kilometers driven, jugs of milk bought. I have yet to do anything with these but I will document my tallies on a page.

Speaking of everyday story telling Cathy is re-running her Me: the Abridged Version (MeTAV for short) this was an amazing class!! I am taking it again because I wanted to do more entries but didn't do double pages. This time I'd like to do an all digital album and get it printed by Shutterfly, I think that would be cool. I bought Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life book which is what Cathy's class is based on. I loved the random blathering of things that were in this book. What a glimpse into this lady's life. Random things from today and her childhood, things she loved and things that bug her. An eclectic collection of snippets of life.

Anyway, don't know if the last two posts have made any sense, but they are just some random rambling thoughts I've had.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scrapbooking Freedom

Stacy Julian had a great blog post today (well, she always has great blog posts) about obtaining the rights to her 2 FABULOUSLY wonderful books. Loved them, love her. These books and her Library of Memories class is what changed my entire thinking about scrapbooking. My advice and philosophy is:

Let it go! Relax! It's a hobby! Enjoy yourself! No stress!

As Stacy said in her post, 12,000 pictures are not valuable. This is true. We cherish the few pictures we have of our past and while we do wish we had more so that we could see the whole picture I think that if we did have more we wouldn't treasure them. If you have tens of thousands of pictures and your kids start taking tens of thousands of pictures (they may start in childhood which means they may have 100,000 pictures one day) who's going to want all these?? Who's going to keep, value or enjoy these?? NO ONE!

I don't obsessively back up my photos. Why? Probably because I don't see each and every one of them as valuable. I also figure that if my computer crashes or my house burns down, and my computer and scrapbooks, photo albums are gone there will still be plenty of pictures out there for me to retrieve. I have pictures (and layouts) on
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Costco.ca
  • very few on Shutterfly
  • extra prints of mine and originals of their own at Grandma's, Auntie's and other family/friends
  • my Blog
  • BPS class galleries
  • negatives (old)
  • cd's (old)
  • flash drives (new)

So I just feel that if something did happen to my photos that there would be enough out there that I could start over or recover them. Currently I don't need, want or print all tens of thousands of photos so why if something happened would I want to recover all of them. II don't need (nor do I backup) every single photo. I love photography and taking pictures of flowers, trees, sky, fruit, etc. If I want I want I print some and enjoy them. But do I really need a back up of them? Why? Same with pictures of my girls. If they spend the afternoon slip'n sliding and I take 100 photos, of course I delete most of them. But I will keep 20 or so on my computer. Then I"ll print (by uploading to Costco, which archives also) a few to scrapbook. I will leave all 20 on my computer, but I will only back up the few (as in 2-6) that I printed. Plus one day f my computer does crash, I won't have to upload all 20 backed up slip'n slide photos, just a few.

I guess that is part of my carefree attitude.

I don't expect my girls to take dozens of 12x12 albums, mini books and other picture related things that I have made. I do expect themm to go through them and keep their favourites and treasure them. My Baba crochets and knits. I have some afaghans and doilies that she's made for me. So does everyone else in the family. So when she passes I'm sure we won't keep every single thing that she has in her home that she has made. This was her hobby, she enjoyed, we've taken the small part of it that we want. But no one wants to, or can, keep it all. Just as scrapbooking is my hobby and I don't expect anyone to keep everything I've made.

I think you just need to scrap the pictures and the stories that you have time for. Enjoy the process and don't worry about what isn't done. Scrapbooking chronologically quite often means that you scrapbook summer vacation, back to school, Halloween, Christmas, Easter. Usually the pictures are the same each year with wonderful "we opened presents" kind of stories. I love that now I am saving some of these photos for years and will one day make a layout of my girls' Halloween costumes spanning 6 years. This to me is far more exciting than 6 separate layouts of what costume they wore this year.

I don't worry about if I have scrapped Christmas 2001, 02, 03.....I just find the stories I want to tell. And use the pictures that I love. Then I add some embellishments as icing on the cake.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our sweet Ava cat

This is our Ava. We got her and her sister Bella in December 2005 when they were 6 weeks old. On Friday June 18 I took her to the vet because she was puking up some liquid stuff. I thought it wouldn't be wise to wait until Monday. He checked her out and took blood. He couldn't figure out what was wrong since she is an indoor cat, no temperature. She went downhill all weekend still not eating or drinking at all. Took her in Monday morning. He was going to put her on an IV and x-ray her.
Late that day I talked to the vet and he said that she was going downhill and didn't think she was going to make it. Around 7:30 he called and said she had died.
I didn't tell the girls that night because it was to close to bedtime. So Tuesday after school I told them and they were sad, crying that they didn't want her to die. Broke my heart. Friday we went and picked up her body to take to the farm so we could bury her. Which brought on more tears.

Always reaching up to tap our arms while we were eating. She didn't want food, just attention. She did like yogurt - alot. I could open a container and she'd be right there waiting to lick out my container or bowl.
Our water cat. Always layed by the tub while someone was having a bath. Loved to sit in the sink and watch the water drip.

So pretty, soft and fluffy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Scrap-A-Thon

Noreen over at Sharing Memories Scrapbooking is hosting a Summer Scrap-A-Thon.

Here's what Noreen posted about the challenge:

Here's Why...
Last year I made the naive assumption that I would have lots of time during those lazy days of summer to scrap and work on projects that I had been putting off throughout the rest of the year. Oh, I was so wrong! Other lovely opportunities beckoned and projects got put on the back burner. By the time fall rolled around I had only completed 2 pages and none of the larger projects I had wanted to devote time to. Sound familiar?

Here's What...
So THIS year, I have a plan to help me and you get TWELVE layouts done this summer. That's ten more than I did last summer! We'll do one layout per week, and we'll take a break on the weeks that have a long weekend so you can still enjoy lots of those lazy days of summer as well! Sound good?

Here's How...
Each Monday starting June 21st (except for August 2 and September 6) we will posting a challenge, idea or prompt for you to create a layout with. Once you finish your take on the challenge, take a photo of your layout and post it in our Flickr gallery. If you post you are already a winner because you got another layout done, but you'll also be eligible for the prize draws! Easy, eh?

Oh yeah...and each week we'll also have inspiration to share from our design team as well as new tutorials and techniques. We'll also give you a hint at what's to come by telling you what kind of photos to pull for the next challenge.
Here's what's in it for you...

  • get 12 layouts done!
  • share your work with others and be part of a like-minded group!
  • win great prizes!
  • have your layout showcased on our site!
  • have a tone of fun!

Here's what to do now...

  1. Follow our blog postings by becoming a friend on the right-handed sidebar. That way you won't miss the new challenge each week!
  2. If you don't already have one, create your own free Flickr account, then become part of our SMS Summer Scrap-a-thong 2010 group
  3. Grab our blog button from the sidebar and post it on your own blog. Invite your readers to join us!
  4. Finally, pick out a few of your favourite pictures from LAST summer and you'll be ready to go!

So there is all the info. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy June! and a giveaway link

April 18, almost 30C, hot!
The girls ran through the sprinkler! May long weekend a wicked snow storm. June 1 finally into frost free days, bought some bedding plants and tomatoes last weekend. Hopefully summer is on it's way. Hummingbird feeder is out, just not so patiently waiting. Mom has spotted a few already. Slept with quite a few windows open the other night and the furnace didn't kick in! The maple trees are finally starting to leaf out. They are always so late and then lose their leaves the beginning of September.

Shayna reading outside yesterday. The day before she was lying under the trampoline. She's such a bookworm, like me.
Final piano recital. Kira graduated from Music for Young Children, receiving a medal engraved with her name and the year. We had the most phenomenal piano teacher, who is retiring and moving on to new things. I think Kira was kinda ready to be done anyway.

I've been busy doing LOAD again in May, my 4th time. I did do a layout everyday but...one day I didn't get it uploaded because our Internet was down because of the snow storm on May long weekend! Signed up for some summer BPS classes. May's Camp Scrap. Tami's Kidding Around, to do with the girls. Claudine's @ Home with Claudine.
Kira's new flip flops. We are almost wearing the same size!!! She's only 9, I can't take all this growing up.

May 31st brought year end for our company. Now to get the year wrapped up and the books taken off to the accountant. Gotta pay Revenue Canada or they get angry.
Noreen, at Sharing Memories Scrapbooking is doing a giveaway. Check it out.
My scrap space was also posted on her site.
Why is the create new post section a different size than my actual blog? So when I try to get pictures and text all lined up it comes out wrong because they are not the same?! Grr! Even clicking preview in the edit mode is another different version. Also why is the blog part of the blog so skinny?Trying to get this right before the girls come through the door, any second now.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's in Your Purse?

Today Stacy Julian had a blog post about "What's in Your Purse?" I admit if I had read this 5 years ago I would have thought 'who cares?' don't you have birthdays and Christmas and Easter and vacation pages to be doing? Now....I love these types of pages. These are some of the things I wonder about my grandma. This is just one of many many purses I own. In my green purse (from Sears) is my green Tommy Hilfiger wallet (from Winner's) my wallet had a super crisp, brand new $10 bill and a really shiny penny. It also has my 4 main cards: debit, personal Mastercard, company gold Mastercard, Costco card. A small calendar, pen, nail file. Keys and cell phone (which is never turned on). Sunglasses. The little black Mary Kay case holds: spare key, retractable measuring tape, nail clippers, ponytail holder, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, lip glosses, lipsticks. Weight Watchers weigh in booklet. Orange mini album with inspirational messages to help me think twice about ordering bad food when I'm out. So that's what is in my purse. What about you?
I ordered 2 shirts from Cafe Press.ca. I think it's cool that I got part of the saying reflected in the camera lens. I also got a yellow shirt with the definition of a photographer on the back and the word photographer on the front. I thought that 'the f stops here' was really cute. It would bring up alot of questions. This one (I have a colorful personality) I could totally see Ms Stacy wearing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coming up...

April 19-25 I'm doing Ali Edward's A Week In A Life. I've done a 30 Days Hath September album in Stacy Julian's Have More FUN! class 18 months ago. It was alot to keep up with. HEY! I just realized that was my first attempt at a LOAD (layout a day). I didn't have the pictures completed each day since I can't print at home or in my hometown. I did do the pages and just adhere the pictures after.

Then I've signed up for Lain Ehmann's The Multitasking Mom's Telesummit April 26-30. I agree with Lain that there are tons of cool conferences out there, but most of us cannot get to them. Lain also started a new blog 30 Minute Martha.

Noreen got the latest layouts posted over at Sharing Memories Scrapbooking. I had lots of fun using the products she sent me. I love butterflies and am so glad they are trendy right now. They were hard to find before where owls and other such things were popular.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter & a class

I've been buying bunches of fresh flowers whenever i get into the city. they just brighten up the house since the dirty snow and brown grass is outside. I always love to take pictures of them. Right now I'm sitting on my bed at 6pm and the sun is full on in here, bright and hot. All the bedrooms in our house fast west but ours is the furthest north and the sun can't reach this far around the house before it sets in the winter. Just my daughters' room furthest south gets a bit of winter sun. It's bright out until 9pm now! And bright when we get up in the morning! LOVE the sunshine. So excited that we gain light for another 3 months! The sun gives me energy and fuels me. So I'm slowly coming out of hibernation. Shayna went for the first bike ride of the season last weekend, with rubber boots and mitts on of course.

I also started a new BPS class, Picture Spring. Registration is open until April 7. It's 30 days of email prompts. I was a little worried that it would be all about going outdoors and well, our spring is not here yet. If those types of prompts appear I'll just improvise or save them for spring really does arrive here.

The girls dyed eggs last night. Got a flat of 5 dozen at Costco. The oldest is studying the Ukraine in social studies and I lined up a local lady to come into their classroom and help make Ukraine Eggs (Pysanky). The girls did them a few years ago with this lady. Makes Baba happy that the girls are carrying on a bit of their heritage. The Ukrainian eggs are so much better because they take so long to do one egg. Versus just dip, dip, dip...mom are there more eggs to dye?

Happy Easter everyone! I can't wait until morning the girls have been whispering and scheming a surprise for Terence and I, can't wait to see what they've cooked up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Merry March-mas

In like a lamb...out like a lion!
Merry Christmas? Merry March-mas? No it's spring time in northern Alberta!
Sunday it started snowing, it hasn't stopped and it will continue for a few more days. We haven't had snow since the beginning of January. Our neighbours yard was completely free of snow. Ours was half gone. Snowfall warning in effect. On the plus side it's only -9C and it's light out until 8pm! The Christmas lights are still up and plugged in - I'm flicking them on tonight.

Alot of the blogs I'm reading are talking about flowers blooming and trees budding. Real spring. Sigh. At least it won't last long. It's not like when we get snow in October and we know that it will last for six or seven more months. In about 9 weeks we will be able to buying bedding plants and plant gardens.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Layered Jello Squares

Whenever I make these Jello Squares people are so impressed and always ask for the recipe. They are a bit time consuming. No worse than a large batch of cookies, every ten minutes it's time for another layer. Kids and adults love them.

6 envelopes of Knox Gelatin
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
4 boxes of Jello

Jello layer: mix 1 envelope of gelatin with 1/4 cup cold water. Then add 1 package of jello and 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Do this for each layer (I do it as each layer is ready so it doesn't set up).

Milk layer: mix 2 envelopes of gelatin with 1/2 cup cold water. Add 1 can of Eagle Brand milk and 1 cup of boiling water. (add a bit more than 1 cup of water or else there won't be quite enough to make 3 layers of white.)

Pour first layer of jello into 9x12" pan. Put it level into the freezer. Keep in for about 10 minutes or until firm.

Pour 1 cup of milk mixture into pan, put back into freezer. Repeat with 2nd jello color and 2nd layer of milk, then 3rd layer of jello and milk, then a 4th layer of jello on top. Putting the pan back into the freezer for about 10 minutes for each layer.

It will be ready to serve almost immediately if needed since all the layers will be set. Cut into squares of use cookie cutters.

Two layers of each red and green look good at Christmas. Red and pinks for Valentines. Choose your jello colours/flavors to suit your mood or theme!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Here's a mosaic of the 28 layouts I did for February 2010's Layout A Day. I used Big Huge Labs to do this.

Here's the 31 layouts I did in May 2009
My first attempt in February 2009:
Pretty cool to see them all together. That's 87 layouts done in 3 months of the past year.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Design Team items and other scrappy goodness

Noreen posted my contribution to Sharing Memories Scrapbooking design team assignment (yikes that was a month ago already). I had fun using the calendars. I printed them out small so I could get a whole year on the page. The 'all the days of my life' comes from being a Days of Our Lives soap fan! I got my newest items that I need to get playing with, now that I'm back from holidays.

I am proud to say that I finished my 3rd installment of LayOut A Day challenge last month. This is my thrid time completing this challenge. Can't wait to do it again in May! The 28 layouts are posted in my Flickr gallery.

Ali Edward's is dong A Week In The Life April 19-25. Can't wait to do this. Love Ali and her philosphy on scrapbooking photos + words.

My niece had her first birthday last month. I did a photo shoot of her in her birthday shirt and tutu. So so many great pictures. She's the last baby between my sister and I. That makes 4 granddaughters for my mom and dad. The good news is that my sister in law is expecting in September - around my birthday. Yeah! Another baby for me!

MIA with a good reason

I'm back! Our family was gone to Cuba for 10 days! We went for a wedding of a friend. There were 60 in the group. We enjoyed a break from the snow (which is getting close to gone now) and enjoyed the fun in the sun!

Good bye snow!
We flew 6 hours from Calgary to Varadero. But our journey started north of that, the day before with a first flight.
Running on the beach...what could be better in the winter?
Got to go in a pool with dolphins. She kissed each of us and we then had a family shot taken with her. SO ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!

Today is St Patrick's Day. We won't have much of a celebration tonight, as Wednesday is our night we are not home. Kira has piano, then I work Weight Watchers. Anyway, last year I told the girls to leave the kitchen and I made a green feast. We had green waffles, milk for them green tea for me, cupcakes and icing. Here's the layout I made.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do you display your pictures?

A thread on the LOM message board got me thinking. Someone asked if you display pictures you've taken in your home? My answer YES! That's all I have in my home. I love photos, not art and I love the hunt for my next favourite photos. I took pictures, of my pictures to share. I have more that I need to hang up downstairs, that were once upstairs. I would love to have more displayed. Where? I don't know I'm running out of wall space! Anyhoo, enjoy and be inpsired. I have 2 new frames that are going above the chair in the living room. I wanted to still frame a few Disneyland pictures for the girls' rooms. I want to use a curtain rod and lcips to hang up some scrap layouts in my scrap area.

Living room: 3 scenery pictures above my couch. The annual picture of my girls, below a sofa table with lots of framed pictures. Underneath are my Library of Memories albums (plus a few others). End table has an easel with my latest layouts on it (lots right now since I'm doing LOAD), a new mini book I just made and a digital photo frame (my sister just got me for my birthday). The bench sits under the window, it houses my pre-LOM scrapbooks, mini books and photo album scrapbooks.

Newly renovated bathroom. I fell in love with this shelf and bought it a few years ago, but wasn't sure where I wanted to put it. The shelf holds 4 photos, then I framed 3 flower photos above it. It makes the perfect spot to hang towels. The family actually hooks their towels up, versus folding them over a towel bar. The other photo is above the toilet.

The view from my kitchen counter. Of course the fridge has to have photos on it too.

A bunny in my daughter's room. Yes he's sticking his tongue out. A 'Mom' frame in my room.

In between the dining area and kitchen. My favourite spot in the whole world (that I've been too). Lac Beauvert, Jasper National Park

The 'gallery' in my office (yes one picture is crooked, but I'll get to fixing it, eventually)

I'm still working on getting my posts here, formatted the way I want. It still seems a little wonky. What I see when composing my post is not exactly what I see once I publish, after I've played around trying to get the pictures perfect and spaced just right.