Monday, January 31, 2011

A Little Bit of Sweetness...

I finally got into scrappy mode yesterday - went through all of my paper and did a lot of reorganizing.  It's good to do this every once in a while just to refamiliarize myself with what's sitting in those storage drawers!  Then I actually did a layout.  This cute photo of Thomas, taken many months ago, was just begging to be paired with some of Fancy Pants Designs "Happy Together" line of paper.

I used sketch #67 from Let's Capture These Sketches.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Welcome to the Knitting Corner...

hee hee...I couldn't resist saying that!  Yes, here I am again with yet another blog post about my knitting endeavours.  I've been busy turning that lovely alpaca into this - a lovely pair of warm mittens and an even lovelier scarf!

Jen felt that wool like this deserved so much more than to just be knit into a plain garter stitch scarf. We needed to do this wool justice by knitting some sort of pattern.  So she found this interesting but simple square pattern and in our infinite "dorkiness" we decided that we must knit matching scarves (to go along with our matching purses and matching knitting totes!)  No wonder certain members of our families tease us and call us "losers", "lame" and "pathetic"!  The only thing I can say in our defense is that Jen is knitting 30 stitches on size 10 needles and I knit 25 stitches on size 10.5 needles.  Not the same scarf at all! ;-)

I've had so much fun lately creating things with yarn but it's time to put my knitting needles aside for a while and focus on some scrapping!  Living so close to a fantastic scrapbooking store now, I've made several trips down there recently and treated myself to a few things - hard to resist when the store is having a 30% off sale on everything!  It really is paradise compared to what was available to me in Quebec.  Now it's time to start using up some of my ever-growing stash because I'm seriously starting to feel like a hoarder!

And having said that, I'm off to reorganize all my paper...

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Lovely Alpaca...

Who knew that this funny-looking creature could produce a wool so wonderful and soft?  Not me!

Jen and I went to a nice little wool shop in downtown Edmonton yesterday (courtesy of Rob being our chauffeur) and had a good time oohing and aahing over all the beautiful yarn from different parts of the world.  As a novice knitter it was slightly overwhelming to me to be surrounded by all the colours and textures of such unique wool, but Jen finally decided that in order to celebrate our newfound passion for knitting, we NEEDED to have some Peruvian Alpaca wool so that we could knit ourselves scarves.  I was treated to three skeins of this lovely stuff!

This wool is totally natural and undyed and is unbelievably soft.  You can feel its warmth when you hold it in your hands and I know it will make a lovely scarf.  As the saleswoman at the shop said to us, "Knitting with quality yarn is not just knitting - it's an experience".  I feel so fortunate to have a sister who shares the same interests as me and even luckier to be living so close to her now!

Lately this blog seems to be more about the "other assorted scraps of my life" and not so much about "my paper passion" but as I write this my work table is a total mess with things I've pulled out to do a layout of little Thomas.  I hope to post something scrappy very soon.

It's an absolutely beautiful day here in Edmonton today - bright, sunny and warm - a welcomed change from the cold snap we've just been through and perfect weather for the weekend.  I hope all of you have a great one!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Funky Cool Stripes

There's only one thing better than turning a strand of yarn into a totally useful wearable item, and that is - turning all those leftover bits of yarn into totally funky cool useful wearable items like this:

I haven't decided yet whether I'm quite funky or cool enough to wear these stripes myself so I think these might go into the box of things to be given to charity.  I know there's someone out there somewhere who would be happy to have these.  And speaking of charity, check out this great supply of yarn that Jen gave me from her stash.  This'll keep me busy for a while knitting things to be donated.  Thanks, Jen!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dorks, indeed...

I just finished looking at this blog post that Jen did which includes a LO showcasing the two of us wearing fashionable lime green Rohit construction hats.  What a laugh that was!  I also did a layout using this photo months ago but had yet to post it to my blog so I figured this would be the perfect time.  I always enjoy seeing how the two of us can take the exact same photo and turn it into something totally different. 

I was a little bit kinder in my title and only referred to us as "silly", but I think Jen really got it right when she called us "DORKS".  Indeed.  ;-)

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quick & Easy Card

I needed a card to send to my niece, Sarah, so turned to this edition of Paper Crafts Card Creations magazine for inspiration...
I found this cute card on page 17...

and used it as inspiration to create this card using some scraps of Sassafras Lass and My Mind's Eye papers that I had lying around.  I used my Cuttlebug to emboss the front of the card and rubbed a white ink pad over the design to make it stand out a bit more.  A felt flower, a red button and a piece of twine finished it off perfectly. 

Quick and simple and finished in about half an hour!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meet Dear Jane...

Long before I ever discovered scrapbooking I was a quilter.  I made baby quilts, quilts for my kids, quilts for our bed, quilts for gifts, quilts for charity...but making a quilt is a huge undertaking.  I think that's what I love about scrapbooking - you can produce a finished result in a relatively short period of time.  Making a quilt is a long process no matter the size of the quilt.  In fact, I currently have 10 quilting projects sitting in various stages of completion waiting to be finished.  One of these is my Dear Jane quilt.

I learned about Dear Jane back in the 90's when I discovered the book "Dear Jane, The Two Hundred Twenty-Five patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt" by Brenda Papadakis.  Dear Jane has a large following of quilters from around the world, each making their own version of the original quilt.  If you'd like to read more about this you can visit the official Dear Jane website.

I started my Dear Jane quilt in 1998.  It is made from 169 square blocks each measuring 4-1/2 inches, 52 pieced border triangles, 56 solid border trianges and 4 kite-shaped sections for the corners.  Each pieced block/triangle/corner is unique, uses a different fabric and consists of as few as 2 pieces or as many as 74.  The total number of pieces in the entire quilt top is 5183.  I sewed it entirely by hand.  This was to be the ultimate quilt I would make.

I started quilting it but then, with just four rows completed, I put it aside in 2007 when I went back to work for two years and didn't have as much time for my hobbies.   Dear Jane has sat folded inside a pillowcase on the top shelf of a closet since then.  After so many years of not working on this quilt, it seemed a daunting task to get into again.

Then a couple of days ago, I was looking at quilting websites and came across this little motto that another Janiac (Janiac = a person who is a maniac about making a Dear Jane quilt) had come up with - "One Thread Each Day".  Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the prospect of completing such a huge project so we tend to put it aside for another day...and another day...and we don't accomplish anything.  But, if we strive to sew just one length of thread each day, before we know it those individual threads add up and we're on our way to finishing.

So, with the motivation of those four words - one thread each day - I took my quilt down from the closet shelf and am gathering my quilting supplies together so that I can sew a daily length of thread and get this project done.  Thirteen rows of thirteen blocks, thirteen pieced triangles for each border, all started thirteen years ago.  Lucky thirteen.  This will be the year I finish this quilt. 

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Whoever said that Edmonton doesn't get much snow wasn't telling the truth... ;-)

It's a blustery, snowy, busy day here today.  We woke up to a lot of snow and it's been falling steadily all day.

We were happy to see a crew clearing the sidewalks and walkways of our condo complex bright and early this morning but have since learned from a neighbour that that is all we can expect in the snow removal department.  Calling a plow in to clear the parking spaces and road which goes through the complex is expensive and since (apparently) Edmonton doesn't usually get this much snow it's been deemed unnecessary by our condo board.  So we've been shovelling and helping neighbours push their stuck cars and wondering how on earth we're going to get out of here with our small car when we need to.  If there's anything that I will end up missing from Montreal, I think it will probably be the fast, efficient and thorough way that snow removal is done there!

Since we're smack dab in the middle of a snowstorm, I thought it might be fun to think warm, summery thoughts by posting a layout I did for my vacation album of my trip out here to visit Jen last July.

I used papers from Echo Park's Summertime line and this sketch from Scrap A Little! Sketches:

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Yes, I'm still knitting...

I don't know what the reason is - whether it's moving to Alberta where we're definitely finding it colder than Montreal was, or the relaxation that comes from the rhythmic knitting of stitches, or the fact that my brain loves to count stitches as I make them, or the feeling of satisfaction I get from creating something totally useful from a strand of fibre,  but whatever the reason, I am totally enjoying knitting these days.  Here's my latest creation -

I love this hat!!  I've never been a hat person but living here has changed that and this hat is totally my style - plain and simple and it fits my head perfectly.  I had to knit it on straight needles because I don't know how to knit on a circular needle yet and don't even own one, so that means I had to finish it by sewing a seam up the back.  It wouldn't definitely be nicer without the seam but I'll never see that at the back of my head anyway so I'll just pretend it's not there!  ;-)

My next goal is to figure out how to adjust this pattern to make one that will fit Richard.  Matthew has even asked me if I can make one for him.  Gee, if I dedicated this much time to scrapping I might have finished my layouts for Week 10 of Project 365! 

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Warm Mittens & New Year Greetings

I wiggle my left hand,
I wiggle my right,
inside of my mittens,
so warm and so tight!

I made these mittens!  I have had so much fun making mitts since Jen taught me how a couple of weeks ago.  It feels like such an accomplishment to be able to knit something other than a scarf.  Now I have mittens in pink, mittens in green, mittens in get the idea...I'm on mitten-knitting overdrive the past couple of weeks but I'd better slow down because a person only needs so many pairs of mitts.  It's time to start making some to give to charity.

The end of 2010 saw us settled into our new home in Edmonton, Alberta. :-)  It was an extremely busy year for us with the sale of our house in Quebec, moving to an apartment for six months, searching for a new home in Edmonton and planning and executing the move out here.  I did enough packing and unpacking in one year to last me the rest of my life!  I was happy to see the busyness (is that even a word? it looks strange!) of 2010 come to an end and especially happy to take the last daily photo for my Project 365 on December 31st!  I've updated my Project 365 blog and hope to be able to motivate myself to get working on scrapping these photos soon.

I wish all of you happiness, health and lots of time for scrapping and being creative!

Until next time...
Susan :-)