Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sweet - CSI Case No. 64

It's hard to believe that I've stuck with doing the CSI challenges for as long as I have.  I'm at nine weeks and counting and still enjoying this weekly bit of scrapbooking that I do.  This past week's colour palette had Basic Grey's Origin line written all over it.

Jen called me, all excited because this would be the perfect opportunity for me to finally use some of that paper which I've been hoarding since it was first released in 2009!  I went through all my paper drawers (I sort my paper into drawers by colour) and pulled out all the Origins papers but when it came down to creating my layout I only ended up using one small black strip with flowers on it.  Proof once again of my inability to scrap in paper lines.  I've got to mix it up!

Here's my finished page.  I used a sketch from Kristine Davidson's newest eBook "Creating with Sketches Vol. 2".  Lots of inspiration to be found there.

Those chocolates look great and they were delicious.  Sure wish I had a box now and wasn't just drooling over a photo!  

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Sad Discovery

We've had some beautiful warm, sunny days here recently and the snow is beginning to melt.  If you read my last post you'll know that we had a visitor to our backyard this past weekend - a lovely hawk who, in the process of swooping down to catch a bird in our tree, crashed into our window and then spent the better part of an hour recovering before flying away.  That was our interpretation of the events based on what we'd seen, but unknown to us it may not have been the entire truth and perhaps there was more to the story than we realized.

I looked out my window this morning and saw this:

And this poor bird lying lifeless in the snow puts a whole new spin on how events may have unfolded.  Was the hawk actually successful in catching his lunch after all but dropped it into the snow?  Was it actually the hawk who hit the window or was it this waxwing who, in a panic to escape the hawk or just the general commotion, got confused and flew into the window?  Or maybe it was both of them.  I guess we'll never know but it shifts my sympathy a little bit from the hawk and more toward this little creature.   

I looked back through the photos I took on Saturday to see if there were any clues as to what might have happened and I noticed something...

...that hole in front of the hawk.  Why did we not notice that and wonder what it was?  It seems obvious that the hawk knew exactly what was there - his lunch.  And now I'm thinking that maybe the hawk wasn't injured at all.  Maybe he just hung around for a while wondering what happened to his catch or trying to figure out how he could get it back.  Maybe he just gave up after a while and that's when he flew off.  Sad for the waxwing but that's nature at work I suppose.  I can't help but wonder if anyone missed him that day.  Or maybe it doesn't work that way in the bird world...

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Brown Hawk Down

We had a bit of nature excitement happening in our backyard this afternoon.  A flock of Cedar Waxwings had landed in our mountain ash tree to munch on the berries.  They are beautiful birds and for some unknown reason it seems a rare thing that we get birds visiting our backyard so we were really enjoying all the activity. 

Suddenly there was a flurry of motion and we heard something hit our window. We looked down and saw this hawk standing in the snow.  He must have swooped down in hopes of catching some cedar waxwing lunch but things went a bit awry.

The poor creature was stunned by the impact and stood there for a few minutes before flying up onto our fence to recover from the collision.  The waxwings were long gone by this time.  

He slowly made his way along the fence, hopping a few feet at a time and after about half an hour made the short flight up into the tree.  We were starting to worry about him and wondered what we would do if he was still sitting there at the end of the afternoon.  He stayed in the tree for a while grooming himself then finally flew off.

It had taken him a full 45 minutes to recover.  It was a real treat to see such a beautiful bird up close like that, although I didn't like the circumstances that let that happen.  We were relieved to see him flying and on his way again and happy that this little drama had a good ending.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Stitching - CSI Case No. 63

There was another fun challenge on CSI this past week which I enthusiastically tackled once again.  One of the journaling prompts was to document a hobby.  As luck would have it, Jen had taken a photo of me a while back during one of our days of cross-stitching and she gave it to me so I could use it for my page.

Finally I had the perfect opportunity to use a sheet of paper which I have been saving from Crate Paper's Farmhouse line.  I love this brown sheet with its cross-stitch pattern and I couldn't resist doing some actual cross-stitch in the corners following the printed design.

I used this sketch by Jenny Evans:

The project that I was working on when the photo was taken has been completed but it still needs to be framed.  The upside of doing cross-stitch is that the supplies are very inexpensive.  The downside is that it costs a small fortune to have the finished work framed nicely.  Maybe one day...

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, March 18, 2013

New in the Shop

Jen and I broke with tradition today and had a Crafty Monday!  Lots of laughs as usual, a nice lunch out and a few hours creating some lovely embellishments for our Etsy shop, inspired by a circular layered embellishment that Jen recently made for one of her scrapbook pages. 
We used her idea and designed these - delicate and dimensional, slightly layered circles with butterflies and hearts in a variety of colours. 

The one thing that sometimes bothers me about store-bought embellishments is that while you may love the actual embellishment itself, you don't always necessarily like the word or sentiment that the manufacturer has used.  So, we decided to do something about this.  Our embellishments look like this...a little bit naked...

....and come with a set of 20 words, typed with my vintage typewriter, so the scrapbooker can choose what is appropriate for their project and then simply attach the word banner of their choice with a glue dot or their preferred adhesive.  And since only 4 of the banners will be used to add the finishing touch to the embellishments, there will be plenty left over to use on other projects! 

I love the idea of having this flexibility and choice!  We've put one pack of these lovelies in the shop and will be adding more soon.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, March 15, 2013

And the Winner Is...

A quick post tonight to announce the winner of my Etsy giveaway.  I employed the low-tech, quick and simple method of choosing a winner - 4 names written on slips of paper, mixed up in a bowl and then one randomly picked by hand.
And the name that was drawn was...

Congratulations Sian!

Email me your address at and I'll have your embellishment pack and crochet flowers in the mail at the beginning of next week.  Thanks to everyone who took a peek at the shop and participated in the giveaway.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Bro - CSI Case No. 62

Yesterday's Crafty Tuesday with Jen was spent solving another case from the CSI challenge site.  We haven't worked on actual scrapbook pages together since 2011 when we collaborated on our parents' 50th wedding anniversary album.  It was quite enjoyable and we plan on doing it more often in the future.  Onto the case...

What a great colour combination!  Very inspiring and since it was the second week of the month we were also given a very inspiring sketch to use.  This sketch really spoke to my style of scrapping and seeing that grid design brought out the old quilter in me.  I immediately decided to form the grid with squares of patterned paper with hand stitching around each block.  I grabbed a photo of my brother that I'd been holding onto for close to three years now and here's what I came up with.

I've wanted to use that "polaroid effect" for a long time now and this was the perfect photo to try it out on.  I've included lots of little details on my page to represent my brother - typewriters, camera, film strip, musical note and the number "3" because he was the third child in our family.  Once again I pulled out my absolute favourite set of Thickers for the title.  It's slim pickins' now and I had to use my very last "7" for an "L".  This might have been the last title I'm able to squeeze out of this set.  What a sad, sad day.  ;-)

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Etsy...a New Adventure & a Giveaway

Jen and I haven't been blogging about our Crafty Tuesdays lately but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy.  We've been having lots of fun working on a new project and it all began like this...

A few months back I received an email from a woman who had stumbled upon this blog post of mine when she was searching the internet for a knitting journal.  She asked if I might make one for her to purchase and I happily agreed.  That was the catalyst that sparked a new adventure for Jen and I.  We had sometimes talked about how much fun it would be to have an Etsy shop together, so over the past few months we've spent our Crafty Tuesdays working on projects and setting up our new shop...

Knit One Scrap Too
Hand Knit Items & Original Papercrafted Creations

We're filling our shop with journals, papercrafted items, scrapbooking embellishments and knitted things and to celebrate this new endeavour we're each having a giveaway!  You could be the lucky winner of the following 2 items if I draw your name:

Embellishment pack featuring die cuts, punched shapes, crocheted flowers, twine, buttons and brads


 a set of 6 hand crocheted flowers

In order to be eligible for the draw simply visit our Etsy shop Knit One Scrap Too, have a look around and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me which item caught your eye.  It's as simple as that!  The giveaway is open to everyone no matter where you live.  I'll draw a name this coming Friday, March 15th so be sure to check back then to see if you're the winner.

And to increase your chances of winning be sure to visit Jen's blog to enter her giveaway too.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Leaf Hunt - CSI Case No. 61

I've been sleuthing again this week, solving another case from CSI.  These challenges are really helping me to catch up on all those photos that have been sitting here, some for a couple of years, waiting to be scrapped and added to my albums.  This week's palette did not disappoint and as soon as I saw it I knew exactly what  I was going to do with it.

This time it's a photo of Jen, taken in October 2010 when we were still living in Quebec and she and Rob came for a visit.  Autumn colours in the east are quite different than the west.  Here in Alberta you don't get the beautiful, brilliant reds and oranges and Jen was determined to bring a little bit of that back home with her. One day we took a drive to the neighborhood where we grew up to have a look at some familiar landmarks and reminisce a bit.  We searched for colourful trees and Jen started her hunt for the perfect leaf.

In creating this page I was once again faced with the dreaded "missing letter" dilemma.  This set of black Thickers I've used on the page is absolutely my all-time favourite and I reach for it often.  I've used it so much that by now I'm not even particular about whether I'm using uppercase or lowercase letters as long as I find the letters I need!  My chosen title, "Leaf Hunt", was very short so I thought I'd be okay but wouldn't you know it - there were no L's left!  I pondered what to do for a few minutes and finally found the solution - turn a "7" upside down and you've got a cool "L".  Problem solved and I really like the way it looks.

I used this great sketch from Pagemaps:

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Storytelling Sunday...Alice

It’s Storytelling Sunday over at From High in the Sky.  And since Sian’s storytelling theme for this year is Pick Your Precious, I thought I might join in from time to time.  I certainly have a few precious things around here and that made me think of Alice.

For as long as I can remember Alice sat on a table or shelf in our house.  As a little girl I thought Alice looked so lovely sitting there in her blue dress with her blonde hair, engrossed in reading her book.  I imagined myself as Alice because I too had blonde hair and I loved to read (although I rarely wore dresses).  But the best thing about Alice was that if you looked closely you could actually see what was on the open pages of her book – a drawing of a walrus and these words:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,

And that’s where it ended.  I had no idea what this piece of writing was, no idea that it was a snippet of a poem by Lewis Carroll but I always wished that I could turn the page and keep reading.  Now, looking at it, I know that the last line of that final stanza on the page is missing – “We can begin to feed”.  I have no recollection of whether or not I could sense that that last rhyming bit was not there but I really wanted to know what came next.

Alice always remained my favourite of all my mother’s Royal Doulton figurines.  Looking at her as an adult brought back the memory of how I felt about her as a child and I was always intrigued that so many words could fit on such a tiny page! 

And then one day a couple of years ago my mother came to visit me and brought Alice with her.  She said she knew how much I had loved her when I was little and that I could keep her now.  I was thrilled but in some ways having Alice is also a bittersweet thing because it reminds me of the passage of time.  It makes me think of the fact that my mother's life is winding down because she's started to pass on those things that were precious to her for so many years.

Still, I’m happy to see Alice sitting on my dresser although I have to admit that when I look at her book the words are so small that I can barely read them anymore – even with my glasses - another reminder of how much time has passed since I fell in love with Alice.  Oh, and I still wonder why that last line is missing…

And that’s my story of one of my precious things.  There are lots more stories about lots of precious things linked up on Sian’s blog, so go and have a look...

Until next time...
Susan :-)