Friday, December 14, 2012

As the Year Winds Down...

...those of us who have been following Shimelle's monthly challenge "& Now For Something Completely Different" over at UK Scrappers must face the reality that IT'S ALMOST OVER!  Boo hoo!  I discovered this monthly challenge back in May and have followed it faithfully ever since.  It certainly does get you scrapping outside of your comfort zone.  Most months when I initially look at the instructions I wonder if I'll be able to produce a page that I'll like and I'm happy to say that every time I love the finished result and the fact that it is something completely different.

Shimelle recently posted the supply lists for the final two challenges and before I get to work on those I thought I'd share the layouts I did for the challenges from July to October which hadn't yet made it to my blog.

July

Thanks to Shimelle I finally found a way to use some of that awesome ViewMaster paper!  And, I finally started to scrap some of the photos from our trip to Jasper in the summer of 2011. 


August

This challenge presented the perfect opportunity to use several photos on one page and it worked perfectly for capturing the memory of our visit to the Muttart Conservatory in 2011.


September

We were fortunate to see so many wonderful animals when we visited Jasper.  I took lots of photos but could never figure out how to get them all onto one scrapbook page.  Once again, Shimelle to the rescue!    


October

I love the simplicity of this page.   Richard and I have been geocaching since 2007 and this page tells the story of our two most successful travel bugs which we released with missions to go to the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben.  Much to our surprise they actually made it!   


Yes, I'll be sorry to see these challenges end but I'm grateful that they inspired me to get some pages done.  Thank you, Shimelle!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Last Night I Dreamed...

…that I was running across the top of a snowbank.  I was an adult, walking down the street with my sister, in front of the apartment building on Hubert Street where we lived as kids.  “Wouldn’t you just love to throw yourself onto that snowbank?” I asked Jen, thinking how nice it would feel to sink into all that white snow.  I tested the snow with my foot, not expecting to find what I did.  “It’s solid!” I said.  And suddenly, there we were – me and my sis, kids again - on top of the snowbank, running full-force with the excitement and wild abandonment that children have, the coldness of the day all around us, running, running, then finally sliding down the end of the bank.  Wheeeeee!  It’s amazing how a dream can take us back to a particular time and place, to the feeling of a certain moment in our life.  Last night I was a kid again…

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...

We have snow here in Edmonton and lots of it!  We woke up to a snowy day and it's still coming down - a wet, heavy snow perfect for snowmen and snowballs if you happen to be a kid or one of those happy-go-lucky grown-up people.  So with my backyard looking like this right now...



...I thought it would be the perfect time to show you this summery layout that I finished a while back.  I used a sketch from Kristine Davidson's amazing sketch eBook.


What a difference a few months makes but that's part of why Canada is such a great place to live - four unique seasons, each to be experienced and embraced for what it is and what it has to offer.  Let it snow!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Here I Am...

Yes, I'm back giving this blog another try.  We'll see how it goes.  In the three and a half months that I took a break from blogging I did a lot of knitting, a lot of reading and finished many layouts - 20 in all - which is quite a number for me.  I plan on eventually getting them all onto the blog, but for today seeing how it is Halloween and also my youngest son's birthday, I thought I'd show you a page I did about him.

Since the month of May I have faithfully followed Shimelle's &Now For Something Completely Different challenge over at UK Scrappers.  These monthly challenges have been so inspirational in getting me to use photos that I had previously had no clue how to scrap.  The perfect example is these photos of Chris that I took way back in 2008.  At that time he loved to be goofy and get right in your face when trying to take his picture.  I always loved the silliness of these photos and when I look at them I remember this moment so vividly.  It was great to finally get the memory onto a scrapbook page.


Happy Birthday, Chris!

And to everybody else have a safe and fun Halloween!  Best day of the year according to Chris.



Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hiatus

A funny thing happened recently.  I picked up two new followers on my blog.  It had been a long, long time since I'd had a new follower and I thought to myself, "Oh you poor things - signing on to see what I'm up to and there's absolutely nothing going on with this blog lately!" 

Because I've discovered that for whatever reason, when I'm not thinking about having to get a decent photo of my projects or what I'm going to write, I actually accomplish a lot more scrapbooking.  I've recently completed 11 layouts and I'm making good headway on finishing up my vacation album from the trip I took to Alberta in July of 2010 before we moved here.

So, for the moment I think I'll take a break from blogging and just focus on having fun scrapbooking and I'll make a decision at some point on whether I want to have a blog at all.  I started this blog with a post titled "To Blog or Not to Blog" and maybe for me the answer is "not to".  We'll see...

I'll leave you for now with this lovely photo that I scrapped recently taken in a wooded area where we lived back in Quebec.


Wishing everyone a safe and happy summer!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In My Garden...

It hasn't felt much like summer here lately...well, technically it isn't actually summer yet, but it hasn't even felt like we're getting close to it with the cooler temps and rain we've been having.  But I woke up to a warm and sunny day today and when I looked out my living room window I saw this...


A beautiful iris in full bloom and many more just about to burst open!  I love irises and this is a sure sign that, yes, summer is on the way...sometime soon I hope!
 
Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pretty Cards

Jen and I have been missing all the scrappy fun we had while working on projects like the Embellished Paper Doily and our parents' anniversary album.  When we got together this past Tuesday we decided to do something about it.  We both had card kits in our stash so decided to devote the day to working on those.

The card kit I used was put together at my LSS and given to me by my aunt when she came to Alberta recently to visit my mother. 







I replaced the ribbon in the kit with twine, only because I have a lot of trouble tying a nice bow with ribbon, and I added some gems for extra dimension.  The finished cards have a lovely, delicate feel to them and were so much fun to create that I plan on using these designs for future cards.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

There's No Place Like Home...

...once you find it!  Back in November of 2010 Richard and I made the trip from Montreal to Edmonton to look for a place to live for our upcoming move to western Canada.  It was certainly one of the busiest and most stressful weeks of our life together.

There were many ups and downs and just two days before we were scheduled to return to Montreal, the condo which we had found and hoped would become our home, didn't meet our expectations during inspection and we were back at square one.  I resigned myself to postponing our move out west until springtime and returning to Edmonton then to continue our search.

Richard never lost faith that we would find a home during that trip.   We kept looking and as fate would have it, the very next afternoon we visited a condo and knew that it was perfect for us.  Within six hours we had it inspected and reached a deal with the seller.  It was hard to believe the way events unfolded so quickly during those final hours but we felt that it was all meant to be as we had found the place where we felt we truly belonged.

Jen took a photo of us one morning as we sat at the computer reviewing properties and making our plan for the day.


I used a sketch from Christine Davidson's ebook "Creating with Sketches".

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, May 25, 2012

"On The Go"

I recently came across another challenge series which Shimelle Laine is hosting at UKScrappers called "& now for something completely different".  On the 10th of each month she posts a list of supplies which will be needed to create a scrapbook page and then on the 20th she posts a 20-step tutorial of how to create that page.  The link to the current challenge can be found here.

I was intrigued by this month's challenge since it uses a photo strip and Shimelle provides a link to a very cool online tool which you can use to create one from your own photos.  I had several photos of my little nephew Thomas' first real steps and I thought that displaying them in photo strip format would be perfect.

The layout was very quick and easy to put together since I just had to follow the step-by-step instructions.  I deviated from the plan a bit by not using a plain cardstock background as was suggested, but I felt that this one worked better for my page. 


I really like the finished result and I'm happy to have this milestone in Thomas' life documented - he's been walking for well over a year now so it was time to do something with these photos!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Coldplay...Capturing the Concert

In our twenty-seven years together Richard and I had only been to one music concert together but this past Christmas he surprised me with a pair of tickets to see Coldplay, one of my favourite bands, and one that I really wished to see live.  April 17th finally rolled around and we were off to see the show.  It was thoroughly enjoyable and definitely did not disappoint!

Each person was given a wristband as they entered the stadium.  We didn't know what to expect of these but they turned out to be one of the amazing parts of the show.  At various times throughout the night the wristbands, which contained tiny lights inside, lit up and flashed creating a sea of various-coloured glowing lights in the stadium.  It truly made for a special atmosphere and made you feel like you were part of the show.

Since I'm a rule-follower and our tickets clearly stated that we were not allowed to take photos of the show, I left my good camera at home fearing that it might be confiscated.  I so wanted to be able to capture a moment of the evening that I threw caution to the wind and "smuggled" in my tiny digital camera.  ;-)  I figured I'd risk losing that one for the chance to take a photo even though I knew the quality wouldn't be as good.  As it turns out nobody seemed to care that I was using a camera and I was able to get a few blurry shots.  It sort of made me wish that I'd risked bringing my good camera but even though my photos are less-than-perfect they are still my souvenir of the night and I love them!

I wanted to create a scrapbook page that reflected the atmosphere of the show and recorded all of the little details so that I would remember it all in the future.  I decided to use black cardstock for the background and brightly coloured patterned papers which would remind me of all those glowing wristband lights in the crowd, and I chose a sketch which uses chevrons because their sharp points remind me of the lasers that were used.


The only problem was how to include all the details of how the show unfolded.  I finally came up with the idea of taking an online concert review and printing it onto a fold-out leaflet.  It sits beside the two photos with a paperclip to keep it closed but can be unfolded to read all the details.

 
This is the sketch I used from Creative Scrappers:


Seeing Coldplay live was a dream come true for me.  I know people say we should Dream Big...but I say dream small and more of your dreams come true!  LOL

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Knit One, Purl One, then Knit Some More...

I recently fell into that knitting vortex, the one that's hard to escape from once you've been sucked in.  I hadn't meant to start knitting again.  In fact, I had spent a few days totally organizing my scrapping space, putting away the piles of paper and embellishments that I had acquired from Jen over the past couple of months.  I had photos and paper laid out on my work table ready to be scrapped.  And then, before I could get to work on scrapping, I decided to take a trip to the thrift store.

I found a nice ball of yarn for a really good price and that was the beginning of the knitting.  I couldn't resist the urge to make something.  So I knit.  I made a nice pair of mittens to give to charity next winter...


It had been quite a while since I'd knit anything and my hands and one finger in particular were sore but I knit through the pain and kept going!  LOL  I went over to Jen's for one of our weekly crafty days and she gave me two balls of really great yarn called Bravo Jacquard Color.  This amazing yarn is dyed in such a way that it knits up into a beautiful striped pattern.  The knitting had to continue and I made two more pairs of mittens, one which I gave to Jen for a friend's daughter, and this pair (that still needs a bit of final seaming) which will be donated to charity....isn't that pattern great?

I also made a hat which I decorated with a crocheted flower.  When I showed it to Jen yesterday she told me that I had to put a photo of it on my blog so here it is...


And the knitting continues...there are mitts to match the hat pictured above and a second hat currently in progress to which I'll be adding a cute flower...I'm not sure how long this will last but I'm also getting the itch to make another pair of socks for myself and have borrowed three knitting books from the library.

So much to create, so little time.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Project 365 - Weeks 15 to 19

In addition to some spring cleaning and cross-stitching, I've been completing layouts for my Project 365 albums and making quite a bit of progress on it.  The first album is filled, the second is started and I'm beginning to see the halfway point looming there just in the distance.  It feels like I've finally got the knack for doing these pages and I've enjoyed reneging on my self-imposed rule of keeping everything flat by adding just that little bit of texture and interest in the form of mini brads.  What a rebel I am!

Week 15 using two sketches by Julie Bonner.



Week 16 based on a Sketch Inspiration sketch.



Week 17 using a great sketch from Creative Scrappers



Week 18 using a sketch designed by Julie Bonner for Let's Scrap.



Week 19 based on sketches from Inspired Blueprints (no longer active).


 

And that's a little glimpse of what's been going on in my scrappy world.  Project 365 was the perfect thing to work on while my mind was heavily preoccupied dealing with the aftermath of my mother's stroke.  These pages didn't demand a lot of creative energy and I had the satisfaction of making some headway with this long outstanding project.  Dare I dream of actually finishing it this year?  Maybe...

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Outside My Window...

It's springtime so one might think I've got spring blossoms and chirping birds outside my window this morning.  No.  We've got SNOW!  And lots of it...


It's a perfect day to stay inside and luckily I have nowhere that I need to be today.  Scrapping is the word of the day for me.  I've been steadily working through layouts for my Project 365 albums and have several weeks' worth that I need to blog about soon.

Hope the weather's nice in your corner of the world!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking for a Bit of "Normal"...

I'm trying to get back to some sort of routine and thought a blog post might be a good step toward that goal.

Last week we learned that, sadly, due to the extent of damage caused by the stroke, my mother will not be able to return home and will need to be placed into long-term care...a conclusion that we had basically reached on our own after watching her progress over the previous two weeks...but having the news delivered to us from across a table by a team of medical professionals made it totally real and finite.  This has been a difficult and trying time on so many levels.  I'm doing my best to adjust to this new reality and to support my mother the best I can. 

With today being St. Patrick's Day and my mother coming from Irish heritage, I decided to make her a card which I'll give to her later today when we visit.  It felt good to get back to my scraproom to create something and I hope to do more of the same this coming week.



Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's Been a Long Week...

...a really long week.  Last Thursday evening my mother suffered a stroke.  The days since then have passed by very slowly as we've been waiting and watching her progress day by day.  She is slowly but steadily on the road to recovery but it will be a long road to travel until she's ready to go home again.

I am so glad to be living here in Alberta now so that I can do my part to help in all of this as Jen and Rob also deal with the very sad loss of Rob's father - a man who I'd only met a few times but who was obviously very kind and loving, had a great sense of humour and was well-loved by his family.

It's been a long week.

Susan

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #6

I'm back again with the latest layout I've done for Miss Smith's Just One Sketch class.  This time the goal was to keep things simple, paring down the elements of our sketch and using minimal embellishments so that the focus of the page becomes the photo itself.  This was easy for me as I tend to be a minimalist scrapbooker anyway, although maybe not THIS minimal.


I added some machine stitching through the title and the paper strip at the bottom of the page to give a hint of texture and kept the paint splattering to a minimum.  Keeping things this simple meant that I had the layout done in record time but I don't think I'd make many pages like this. It seems too bare - even for me.

I used the upside-down version of the Creative Scrappers sketch I chose for the class, placing the photo even further in the top corner.


It's Family Day here in Alberta today.  We had a light dusting of snow yesterday so everything looks white and clean.  The sun is shining brightly and it's fairly warm - a perfect day for everyone who's going outside for activities.  We took advantage of it and went for a good walk this morning and Jen and Rob are coming over this afternoon to play Aggravation - our way of celebrating family today. 
  
Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #5

I'm back again today with my latest assignment from Miss Smith's "Just One Sketch" class.  The challenge this time - to invert our colours.  In other words, instead of reaching for those same colours which are our favourites and which we're always drawn to, try to use what we wouldn't normally choose. 

As I tend to go for pale backgrounds and muted paper tones, I figured that using black cardstock and primary colours would certainly qualify as being the opposite of that.  I had been wanting to try a black background anyway, since I'd seen it done in Shimelle's "Pretty Paper Party" class so this was the perfect opportunity.  But what photo to use?  I automatically associate nighttime with the colour black so felt that I needed a picture that somehow related to night.  As luck would have it, I took a photo at Christmas that fit the bill perfectly.

Perhaps a little bit of a story introduction is needed before showing you the finished page.  Neither of Jen's daughters is ever very enthusiastic about having their photo taken, but Diane in particular will do whatever she can to hide herself when she sees a camera come out.  After having Christmas dinner at Jen's, we were all sitting in the living room talking.  I realized that nobody had taken any photos throughout the day so decided to grab my camera and snap a few candid shots before the evening was over.

As soon as I pointed the camera in Diane's direction, she grabbed the throw blanket which her parents had given her as a gift, and put it over her head.  I laughed and continued to take photos of everyone else.  Days later when I was reviewing the photos on my computer I noticed that in the darkness of the windows you could clearly see my reflection snapping a shot and beside me was the ghostly white figure of Diane!  I found it so amusing that it made me laugh out loud.  I had hoped that it would show up more clearly in the printed photo but you have to really know where to look to see her, hence the yellow arrow on my page.  It still makes me chuckle when I look at the photo and I'm happy to have been able to capture the story so I'll remember it.


Below you can see the reflection of myself and the "ghost".  Such a funny girl, she is!



I have to thank Jen for the scraps of MME's On The Bright Side which she gave me this past week.  They were just what I needed for this layout.  I swear I could create pages my entire lifetime with the leftovers she tosses my way! ;-)

This time around I decided to use a mirror image of the original Creative Scrappers sketch that I chose for the class.  I also changed the position of the title, moving it to the top of the page, as I wanted it to be an introduction to the photo.


Miss Smith's class has been so inspiring to me.  This layout is totally different from what I normally do - the black background, bright primary colours, journaling in white - but it's proof that we can create something that's not our usual style, and still love it, all the while expanding our scrapbooking horizons.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #4

Yes, I totally skipped over assignment #3!  I swear I never did stuff like that in real school.  ;-)  But in this case, the assignment involved mirror image and possibly doing two pages for which I had no ideas at all so I decided not to do it and just move onto the next one.

The fourth prompt is all about colour or more specifically using just one colour to create a monochromatic layout.  I knew right away that I had the perfect photo to use - a picture of a slice of cherry pie that I baked last summer using cherries from the tree in our tiny backyard.  I got busy pulling out red and cream papers and even found one with a cherry print.


I used the sketch in its original orientation and this time included the circle element because it reminded me of a pie.  I added some hand-stitching for texture and couldn't resist using those cherry brads which Jen had given me a couple of years ago.  Finally they found the perfect home!

Once again, here's the Creative Scrappers sketch I chose to use for the class:



Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #2

I spent yesterday afternoon down in my scrapping room and finished my second layout for Miss Smith's Just One Sketch class.   The idea this time around was to rotate the sketch to achieve a different look.

I really had fun working on this page and used some of those fun papers from the American Crafts Amy Tangerine line.  I pulled out my sewing machine to add some stitching and I'm finally enjoying the randomness of the paint splattering process.  I discovered that an eye-dropper works well if you want to add some bigger splotches of paint here and there.

If I ever figure out where the "good" light is in this house I will be a happy camper.  After several attempts in various spots, I finally just had to prop it up on the shelf in my kitchen.  This just might end up being my new way to photograph scrapbook pages.


This is the Creative Scrappers sketch which I'm using for the class, rotated 180 degrees.  I opted out of adding the embellishment cluster in the corner of the page. I like the way my photo is framed by three small clusters and felt that the paint spatters at the bottom looked fine on their own just as is.



This class has been a very good motivator for me to get some scrapbooking done.  Now if I could just motivate myself to re-organize all my albums like I should be doing, I could start putting some of my pages where they belong!

I hope to be back very soon with my next assignment from the class.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Project 365 - Week 14

Yes, I have made a little bit more progress on this project from 2010!  As part of my effort to accomplish certain things this year by setting small, doable goals, I have set aside two days each month for working on Project 365.  This past Monday was one of those days and I finished the two pages for Week 14.  These pages do tend to go together quickly since I am limited to using only flat embellishments so there's none of my usual agonizing over product selection.

Jen gave me the leftovers from the Basic Grey Oxford paper pack that she recently won from BG, and these papers were a great match for my photos.

Here are the pages I put together.  The large banner strip that runs across the bottom of the pages does actually line up properly but my photography and collaging skills really do leave something to be desired!


I used my two new Fiskars cloud punches for the first time. I have drooled over these punches for so long!   I couldn't find them locally and had trouble justifying the cost of buying them online and paying full price for them plus a hefty shipping fee. Recently my mother was given a small inheritance from a relative overseas and she generously shared a portion of it with myself, my sister and my brother. This seemed like the perfect time to buy myself a gift of the cloud punches and not worry about the cost of them since this was unexpected money. Thanks, Mom! I am so happy to have them and I know they will get much use.

I used this fun sketch from Sketch Savvy:


Until next time...
Susan :-)