Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's My Blogging Anniversary!

Actually, it occurred to me the other day that three bloggy occasions worth noting have happened just recently:

1. My followers count reached and then surpassed 25.  I had intended to have a giveaway when I reached that milestone number of 25 but that moment sort of snuck up on me and I was totally unprepared.

2. I wrote my 100th blog post, another milestone of sorts for which I might have done a giveaway but once again I was not prepared.

3. Today, September 29th, marks exactly one year since I started this blog!

So with all of that in mind, it is definitely time for a giveaway!  I decided to put together a small collection of embellishments which include some of my favourite things - buttons, brads, diecuts and journaling cards.  Included are also a few of my crocheted flowers, thanks to Jen, who let me confiscate some from her birthday gift so that I wouldn't have to sit and crochet more.  Thanks Jen!

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blog and leaves such lovely comments.  I appreciate you all.

If you'd like to be included in the random draw just leave a comment on this post by Sunday night.  The giveaway is open to everyone, no matter where you live.  I'll draw one lucky winner on Monday, October 3rd.

Have a great day!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shimelle's Sketch of the Week

I played along with Shimelle's Sketch of the Week again this week.  The sketch is very linear, very simple, and I have to admit that initially there were no waves of inspiration washing over me.  I wasn't sure what I'd do for that fancy tag shape and that scattered confetti was really throwing me off.  I wavered a couple of days on whether I'd give it a try and finally went along with my new scrapping philosophy - JUST SCRAP IT!

The layout features our cats, Tabby and Stripo, modeling the goofy St. Patrick's Day hats that Matthew bought for them.  Who doesn't love an animal wearing a hat?  They weren't too thrilled about the whole thing but luckily stayed still long enough that we could get a couple of pictures.

After searching through all my diecuts and journaling tags and not finding anything appropriate, I finally put my Cricut and the Storybook cartridge to use to cut the fancy tag that's under the title.  I layered up two different sized tags and then added some stitching around the inside to give it definition.  Jen gave me the five square metal studs - possibly more leftovers from one of her Studio Calico kits.  They were just what I needed as a base for my "confetti" clusters.  I then punched yellow and grey dots with a very tiny hole punch and added these randomly around the studs.  Voila!  Confetti clusters accomplished.

I stayed very true to the original sketch:

This layout may not have begun easily for me, but to sort of quote my latest scrapbooking heroine, Shimelle, "I quite like the result."

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Me from A to Z

Melissa Mann did a blog post like this a couple of days ago.  I've always enjoyed this sort of thing so I thought I'd also share a bit about myself with this fun list.

Here goes...

A. Age: 49
B. Bed size: Double
C. Chore that you hate: Just one? Top of the list would be washing my laminate floors
D. Dogs: No thanks, I'm definitely a cat person.
E. Essential start to your day: A glass of cranberry juice with ice, 2 calcium pills, a vitamin and checking my email.
F. Favourite Colour: Greens, like celery and apple
G. Gold or Silver: I'm not much of a jewellery person but, gold I guess, because it matches my wedding band
H. Height: 5'6"
I. Instruments you play: I can clap my hands - does that count? Sadly, I can't even whistle
J. Job Title: Hmmm....domestic engineer....yes, domestic engineer sounds good! ;-)
K. Kids: 2 big ones - Matt (21) and Chris (19)
L. Live: In beautiful Alberta, Canada
M. Mother's Name: Deborah Patricia
N. Nicknames: None
O. Overnight Hospital Stays: Just two, when I gave birth to my kids
P. Pet Peeves: Self-centered people and anyone who cheats while playing a game
Q. Quote from a Movie: "Luckyyyyy!" (Napoleon Dynamite)
R. Right or Left Handed: Right
S. Siblings: 1 sister and 1 brother, both younger than me
T. Tea or Coffee: Tea definitely! I keep a variety on hand and love the process of choosing one, preparing it and then sitting down to enjoy it
U. Underwear: Always  LOL
V. Vegetable you hate: Broccoli - vile weed!
W. What makes you run late: Nothing but an unforseen catastrophe! The thought of being late for anything goes against every fibre of my being and I do everything in my power to be not only on time but early.  It probably drives my family nuts.
X. X-Rays you've had: Dental and my right foot
Y. Yummy food that you make: Baked goods.  I'm not much of a cook but I like to bake.
Z. Zoo Animal: Flamingos

...and those are some very random facts about me!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Returning to my Love of Cross-Stitching

I'd forgotten how much I love doing cross-stitch!  It had been years and years since I'd done any projects but, seeing Jen work on her redwork sampler this summer sparked my interest again.  I'd always wanted to do a sampler and found a pattern in a magazine of Jen's.  Recently our Scrappy Tuesdays have been renamed Crafty Tuesdays and we've both been happily stitching away while we sit and chat.  I had thought to work on my sampler exclusively on Crafty Tuedays but that just isn't realistically part of my personality!  Once I get going on a project I want to finish it as soon as possible so I worked on my stitching at home too and finished up this Harvest Sampler in a few weeks.

Now all that's left is to have it framed and hang it in our living room.  I started working on my next project this past Tuesday.  It is the same Little House pattern that Jen is currently doing.

I decided to stitch it on 28-count Monaco cloth instead of 14-count Aida.  It's my first time using anything other than Aida cloth. I really like the way it looks but working with this fabric requires a bit more concentration to count the threads.

I only made a bit of progress on it and had to backtrack twice when I discovered I'd made mistakes. I know I'll get used to it with time.  I'm so happy to be back doing a hobby that gives me so much enjoyment and especially to be able to have that common interest with my sister.  How lucky are we?

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shimelle's Sketch of the Week

This past week I played along with Shimelle Laine's Sketch to Scrapbook Page.  I love that Shimelle includes a video where we can see her create her page.  Watching these has totally inspired me to be less uptight in my scrapping, after all, nobody will really know if elements on my pages are not cut 100% straight or don't line up perfectly!  I find I am much more relaxed while creating pages now and I seem to be completing more of them lately because of that.

Shimelle has also reminded me of the importance of getting our stories onto our pages!  I used to be really good at this when I first started scrapping and then somehow over time I began thinking more just about the design of the page and the products I was using and less about journaling.  It's time to change that!

This week's sketch was ideal for a couple of photos taken of Matthew during our trip to Jasper this summer.  He was totally in his element, immersed in nature, and I'm glad to have finally documented his love of the outdoors.

I used a wide variety of papers - MME, Crate Paper, Cosmo Cricket and Basic Grey - and lots of little leftovers which Jen gave me from her recent Studio Calico kits.  She always says that she feels bad just handing me scraps but they turned out to be perfect for this layout - bicycles, maps and trees - just what I needed to complement the theme of this page!

You can find Shimelle's latest Sketch to Scrapbook Page here, and this is the sketch that goes along with it:

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crate Paper's Fabulous Farmhouse!

There were so many great products released at the last CHA show but, I have such a large stash of supplies now that I seriously need to make a dent in, so I knew I had to enforce some sort of limit on myself for when all the new stuff started showing up in the scrapbooking stores.

I decided to buy just one paper line and the one that spoke to me was Crate Paper's Farmhouse.  I absolutely love the gardening theme and rich colours of the papers and the matching buttons and fancy brads are to die for.  It's seriously good stuff in my opinion!

As luck sometimes goes, my parents came for a visit a couple of weeks ago and my father, ever generous as he is, gave me a nice monetary gift to use for scrapbooking supplies.  To take that luck one step further, the very next evening I received an email from my LSS announcing that CP's Farmhouse line had finally arrived in the store.  You can imagine my excitement!  The next morning I was at the store just after it opened and got the paper collection pack, chipboard diecuts, buttons and brads.  It's all as wonderful as I knew it would be.

Farmhouse was perfect for scrapping this photo of Matthew at his community garden plot.  He's an avid gardener so one of the best discoveries he made when we moved here last year was that the church across the street from our condo complex has a community garden which he was able to join.

I used this great sketch from Sketch Savvy:

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Anniversary Inspiration

I've been inspired to create a couple of layouts this past week, one of which I'll share today.  I've had a great picture of Chris sitting in my "to be scrapped" photo box for over a year but I could never figure out how I wanted to scrap it for the simple reason that he's wearing a lavender shirt and purple is just not my thing when it comes to scrapbooking.  Then three small things occurred to make the scrappy stars align and I finally had a vision.

1. Jen and I had a discussion about the photo since she's got a copy of it sitting with her to-be-scrapped photos and she doesn't know what to do with it either!  We decided that using a gold palette would probably be the best compliment to the shirt.

2. Shimelle Laine  posted a great Scrapbook Starting Point and I knew this was the perfect direction to take in regards to the design of the layout.

3. Richard and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary and he gave me Purdy's chocolates wrapped in paper that absolutely confirmed the perfect colour pallette for the photo.  (The wrapping is wrinkly in the photo because I opened the box to eat a chocolate before I'd even set foot out of bed yesterday morning and then re-wrapped the box to take the photo.  Yes, chocoholic I am!)

So with all of this newfound inspiration I got to work yesterday and created this layout of Chris using my favourite grad photo of him.

I'm glad to finally have this moment in Chris' life documented and now it just remains to be seen what Jen eventually does with the photo! ;-)

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 on the 10th - Things I Did This Summer

Hard to believe it's already time for another 10 Things list!  This past month has just flown by for me.  Although we've been enjoying a heat wave here recently, I know the cooler weather will be on its way very soon.  So, with that in mind I thought it would be a good time to recap some of the things I did this summer by way of photos.

1. Visited the Muttart Conservatory where we enjoyed seeing a variety of beautiful flowers and plants.

2. Helped Matt with his community garden plot and enjoyed eating his "crops". 

3. Went geocaching with Richard and had many adventures along the way.

4. Took a walk through history at Fort Edmonton Park with Jen & Rob.

5. Did yet more organizing of my scrapping area (one of the things I really enjoy about this hobby) and finished a layout or two in the process.

6. Played Aggravation with Jen & Rob...lots of fun and lots of laughs!

7. Enjoyed seeing our backyard garden bloom throughout the this is our first year in this house we didn't know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised with the lovely garden of perennials that the previous owner planted.

8. Took a trip to Jasper and saw the amazing scenery and wildlife.

9. Spent time in the backyard - relaxing, reading and playing backgammon.

10. Spent my Scrappy Tuesdays at Jen's place completing this beautiful shadow box which now hangs proudly in my home. (Based on a tutorial by Christine Middlecamp)

If you'd like to read some more fun and interesting 10 Things lists, just hop on over to Shimelle's blog and you'll find plenty more linked up there.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Very Cherry

When we bought this townhouse last year we were happy to discover that there were three trees in our backyard.  It's a tiny outdoor space that we have now compared to the huge yard we had back in Quebec, but we love it and feel so fortunate that we ended up with three trees when some of the units have none at all.  It turns out one of these trees is an Evan's Sour Cherry. 

By summer's end we had a tree full of these!  Perfect-looking cherries, red and juicy and bursting with tart flavour.  Too tart for my tastes to eat them just as-is but I figured they could be baked into something delicious.

Apple-cherry crisp...which was good...but at this point in time the cherries were still a bit too tart...

We waited a couple more weeks, then yesterday we picked the tree clean and I made this...

And for a cherry pie lover like me, it was pure heaven.  The cherries had ripened more and were perfectly tart.  The crust was flaky.  HEAVEN! And now I can't wait until this time next year when the tree will be full once again with ripe red fruit!

Until next time...
Susan :-)