Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Project 365 - Week 12

I'm chugging away here with Project 365 and finished up the layouts for Week 12 a couple of days ago.  I'm trying to take full advantage of the fact that I'm currently feeling motivated to work on this thing!  But, I have to say that these layouts are a challenge and not exactly fun, due to my self-imposed rule of keeping them flat.  It's hard to embellish when you can't reach for buttons, brads, flowers, etc!  I'm trying to keep in mind that the important thing here is documenting this year of my life as opposed to using "pretty things".

For Week 12 I did something a bit different and took photos of some of my favourite things - and on top of that I cheated and took all of the photos on the same day so that I then had a six day break from taking daily pictures!  

And here are the sketches that I used - the first from The Scrappiest and the second from Inspired Blueprints.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Project 365 Resurrected

Once again I'm trying to make a bit of progress on the project which I started at the beginning of 2010 - Project 365.  In 2010 I took a photo every day, well almost every day - sometimes I cheated and had to play catch-up a bit.  It was like work taking those photos but at the end of the year I was happy that I had stuck with it.  2010 was a year of many changes for our family and I'm glad to have it all documented in photos.  Now the only task lying before me is to do layouts for each week.

Because there will be so many pages in my three Project 365 albums, I wanted the layouts to lie very flat.  I imposed certain rules on myself to accomplish this - no buttons or brads, no bumpy embellishments, minimal stitching, etc.  As it turns out, this has made working on the layouts quite boring!  LOL  But, every once in a while I manage to get motivated and make a little bit of progress.

Last week I finished the layouts for Week #11.

I used these two sketches from Creative Scrappers as inspiration:

Since I now know how to assign labels to my blog posts, I decided to delete the separate Project 365 blog which I had created and just post all my layouts on this blog.  Here are the other weeks which I had posted previously.  I apologize for not being able to give credit for the sketches that I used for these layouts, but so much time has passed since I finished them that I can't remember what I used.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Hopefully I'll stay motivated and make more headway on this project because at the rate I've been going so far it'll be years before it's done! 

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Doily Delight!

The long-awaited moment of assembling all of our doilies into their window boxes finally arrived today for Jen and I.  After putting in over 30 hours making the sixteen doilies, we were a bit nervous about how it would all come together in the end.  After agonizing a bit over which type of adhesive to use, we got to work and everything went quite smoothly.  The finished product is beautiful and was well worth the time we invested in making it.

We are so grateful that Christine Middlecamp was generous enough to share her ideas and post such a great tutorial on her blog.  I'm still trying to decide where to hang my shadow box but it will probably end up in my downstairs hallway so that I can look at it more often and will see it when I'm sitting in the livingroom. 

Although I loved working on this project every week with Jen, it really was labour-intensive so it feels like a good time to take a bit of a break and do something a bit simpler.  Cross-stitch!  It's been years since I've done any cross-stitching and I'm really looking forward to starting a sampler, something that I've always wanted to make.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Doilies are Done!

As usually happens when Jen and I skip a week of getting together, as we did last week while I was in Jasper, we make up for it by getting together TWICE the next week!  Yesterday and today saw us finishing up the last of our Embellished Paper Doilies.  Yay!

What an experience in creativity this has been.  Although we were lucky enough to have many of the actual products that Christine Middlecamp used in her tutorial, it was quite the challenge improvising in those instances when we didn't, and I'm really proud of what we were able to accomplish.  I've also gained a new appreciation for products that I would never have imagined using such as transparencies and glittery things.

Here are my final three creations:

And although I thoroughly enjoyed making my doilies, I'm also happy to see them finished and look forward to the final step of putting them together in their window box. 

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011


We are back from a short vacation in beautiful Jasper, Alberta, and Matthew, being the nature-lover that he is, was keen to come along with us on this trip.  I loved my trip to Banff last summer with Jen and Rob but the wildlife was a bit disappointing, two elk (and a chipmunk!) being the only animals that we saw.  Jasper, on the other hand, did not disappoint.

There were lots of animals as we travelled along the road and we stopped like all the other tourists to take pictures.  At other times we found quiet spots to just sit and enjoy the beauty of the scenery and an animal would come walking into view.  They were amazing to watch.

For me the most exciting thing was when we saw a bald eagle.  We had pulled into a stop area to stand and enjoy the view.  Matthew noticed something in a nearby tree and thought at first that it was a bee hive.  When he looked again he realized it was an eagle!  Richard had wandered further off with the camera so we had to try to quietly call him back to get a photo.  He just managed to get a shot from the distance before a biker started up his motorcycle to leave the rest area and the bird flew away.

Although we saw signs posted which warned of the danger of bears in the area, we didn't encounter any during our travels or walks.  This was the closest we got to a bear as we walked around downtown Jasper.  Luckily for me, Matthew is always game to pose for a silly photo.

We also drove into British Columbia one afternoon just so we can now say we've been to BC.   I'm not sure why this was such a thrill for us, but it was!  LOL  Matthew did the running-from-one-spot-to-the-other thing saying, "Now I'm in Alberta, now I'm in BC, now I'm in Alberta, now I'm in BC".  He may be 21 but he's a kid at heart and always a joker.  We drove about 60km into BC and the difference in the humidity compared to Alberta was unbelievable.  It was raining and the air had the same wet, heavy feel to it that we were used to in Quebec.  We just stood there breathing it in, remembering how it had been in Quebec and thinking about how different Alberta is.

In short we enjoyed three days of spectacular views and awesome wildlife which reminded us how fortunate we are to live in this amazing country called Canada.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10 Things - Creative Hobbies

I discovered the "10 Things" idea through Shimelle Laine's blog.  It orginates from her online course Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers and although I didn't take the course, I thought it would be fun to play along just the same since I'm a bigtime list-maker.  It's simple and the "rules" go like this:

"Ten Things on the 10th: Participants will share something totally of their own creation - but always ten things. Some will share ten photos, ten crafty ideas, ten sources of inspiration, ten recipes, ten things in a collection... always ten things and always on the tenth of the month."

I gave it some thought and since crafting of one type or another has been part of my life for such a long time, I decided to make a chronological list of 10 Creative Hobbies that I've had so far in my lifetime.

1) Macrame - My first attempt at doing anything really crafty around 12 years of age.  I borrowed a book from the public library and with a very limited budget bought a spool of really cheap jute and some brown wooden beads with the notion of making a plant holder to suspend from the ceiling.  In the end I may have succeeded in making myself an itchy bracelet and that was the end of my foray into the world of macrame.

2) Embroidery - My grandmother had lots of embroidered tablecloths which inspired me.   As a young teenager she taught me different stitches and gave me iron-on pattern transfers that were her's from long ago.  I accumulated a nice collection of my own patterns but as I'd given up embroidery for other things many years ago, I finally donated them to charity last year before we moved across the country.

3) Knitting - My mother is an accomplished knitter but knitting was never something that I was very interested in until recently.  As a teenager I managed to knit myself a simple scarf  and I actually succeeded in making a knit Santa Claus ornament for our Christmas tree.  It's only since moving close to Jen that my interest in knitting has been renewed and we're even going to attempt to knit socks this fall.

4) Crochet - Granny Squares!  The easiest thing to crochet.  Brainless work and so much fun to make but eventually you end up with way too many crocheted blankets in your home!  I also crocheted fancy doilies but have no idea where they are now.

5) Cross-Stitch - The problem here was that I created lots of finished pieces but never had them framed because of the cost.  I eventually realized there was no point in doing this anymore.  The only piece I ever had framed was made for Matthew's nursery before he was born.  It's been packed away for the past 18 years and when I took it out to photograph the other day I sadly discovered that the bottom part of the fabric has become spotted and discoloured.  Maybe it has something to do with the insect that crawled out of the empty cocoon I found in the box?  :-(  

6) Country Crafts - I wasn't sure what to call this category but I spent many years using sewing, embroidery and cross-stitch skills to make all sorts of things but mostly lots of handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations.  My family all own little pieces of evidence of the time I put into this hobby!  I owned quite a collection of books which I just recently donated to charity.

7) Quilting - "Let's Make a Patchwork Quilt" was the book I found in the sale bin at Coles which started a fifteen-year passion for making quilts.  Again my family all own pieces of this hobby of mine and my linen closet houses a shelf full of quilts too.  With age, my eyes aren't what they used to be and quilting is not as easy as it once was.  I vowed to work on my Dear Jane quilt, my ultimate quilt, and finish it this year but after three weeks my back was letting me know that I need a proper quilting frame if I'm ever to complete it.  I currently own 10 quilts that are sitting in various states waiting to be finished.  Someday maybe...

8) Candlemaking - I enjoyed making candles for a brief period of time but knew quickly that this wasn't going to be a long-term hobby for me.  Still, it was fun choosing scents and colours and I've kept all of my supplies in case candlemaking ever calls my name again.

9) Decorative Painting - Lots of technique to learn and a really steady hand is needed! Another passing hobby for me but I'm happy to have created some really nice things in the process. 

10) Scrapbooking - and this is where I am today.  Enjoying this great hobby that let's me create a finished product in a short period of time, is not hard on my eyes or my back, requires minimal knowledge of special techniques and let's me capture memories of my life in the process!  What more could I ask for?

If you'd like to read more 10 Things on the 10th posts, visit Shimelle's blog where you'll find links to more.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's Doily Day Once Again...

Another day of making Embellished Paper Doilies using the tutorial on Christine Middlecamp's blog.  Lots of little details, especially on the first one Jen and I tackled, and it seemed to take forever to finish.  We weren't sure we'd even have time to complete the second one but it moved along quicker so we ended our scrappy day with two more beautiful doilies to add to our project.

Loads of layers on this one and it is so wonderfully three-dimensional in person thanks to lots of foam core pop dots! 

For this next one we were lucky enough to have the Girls Paperie ornate frame which Christine used on her original project.   I love the fancy look of this doily and the gold embossing which we did on the circle underneath the butterfly.  Very lovely!

Only three more doilies left to make and then we can assemble everything in its window box which means that I really need to start thinking about where I'm going to display this in my house so I can admire it all the time!

Until next time...
Susan :-)