Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Crafts

Even with the chaos of the season, I try to do SOMETHING "crafty" each year, especially if I am hosting either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. In the past I have cross-stitched placecards and created a tiny "forest" of Christmas trees for the table.This year, since I am having dinner on the 24th, I made reindeer placecard holders - inspired by some metal reindeer from Chapter's catalog - unfortunately they were sold out :( so I made our own:
As well, I am making gift tags this year. Each one will have a tiny wooden reindeer (can you see that reindeers are my favorite theme?) attached that can be used next year to decorate the recipient's tree. I bought the "raw" wooden reindeer at our scrapbooking store. Hubby drilled holes in them for their hangers, and I stained, sanded and varnished each one (each step shown below).

Lots of fun to do, especially while watching some seasonal movie favorites!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cards for 2006

This year, I made two styles of Christmas cards. One version is for friends and family, the second, a specific design especially for my Star Wars buddies.

Here's the family version (which were made in October, but I can finally unveil here as they are now in the mail). I tried a brand new technique with this one, using markers to "paint" the rubber stamp thereby getting multi-colored images. I also used non-Christmas paper which was double-sided:

Here's the inside (click for a larger view):

Here's a card I just thought up and made yesterday. I did a Star Wars "snowglobe" using two sheets of plastic page protectors sandwiching some fake snow inside...they can be really shaken up!

I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I did making them!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Calm and Curiosity

I don't know why, but it seems to me that layouts of our furry friends are so much easier than other layouts I struggle to complete.... is it because they are so photogenic? Entertaining? Or are they simply doing what I would dearly love to do: take time to relax, napping whenever the mood hits, perhaps staring out into the unknown with wonder...

Whatever it is, here are two more layouts of our cats, Dakotah and Sheba; doing what cats do best, I guess.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Custom artwork for my new office...

In a few weeks, I'll be moving to a brand new office (literally brand new floor constructed just for our program), so I wanted to create something special for the wall. After a trip to Michael's last week where I picked up a 16 X 20 black frame for just $8, I decided I wanted to do a collage of scrapbooking papers and photos.

I used various Basic Grey papers and inked all the edges. On top of this, I printed off some of my favorite photos of my daughter, hubby and fuzzballs. Each one is matted in Bazzil Raven cardstock. It's kind of hard to see in the photo, but some are also mounted on foam to raise them up for varying heights in the collage.

I can hardly wait to hang this in my brand new office!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tag....I'm It!

Sofia tagged me!

Heh, this is the first time I've been tagged, so here I go:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. DQ ice cream jockey - luckily for my waist, for just a short time
2. Physician's Secretary, then worked my way up to
3. Hospital Manager, then worked my way up to
4. Medical Computer Geek, which is as far "up" as I want to go

Four movies I have watched over & over
1. Star Wars - all six
2. Lord of the Rings - all six (err....three - they're only as LONG as six)
3. Pirates of the Caribbean 1 & 2
4. A Christmas Story (a traditional event every holiday season)
Oh crap, that totals 12 movies....I could have stopped at number 1.

Four places I have lived -
Actually I have always lived in the same city, so:
1. My parent's house
2. An apartment down the street
3. A side-by-side a bit farther down the street
4. Our current house just a bit further still down the street
(You think I'm kidding, don't you? Well, I'm not. I've ventured far and away from my first home; a whole 2 miles...)

Four TV shows I like to watch...
1. Amazing Race - the best reality show out there. Really. Emmy says so too.
2. House - I don't get enough grumpy doctors at work, it seems
3. Futurama - obviously made by people of my generation
4. Bugs Bunny cartoons - the originals; before they cut them down to 12 second shorts after removing the "offensive" material... geez ... don't GET me started

Four places I have been on vacation...
1. Paris - 1977
2. London - 1977
3. Disneyland - 2005
4. San Francisco - 1976 and 2005 Which means my next trip there should be in 2034. I'll probably tour via walker by then, but hey...

Four blogs/web-sites I visit....
1. Sofia's World
2. Toxic Soup
3. 2 Peas

Four of my favorite foods...
1. Coconut shrimp with raspberry sauce
2. Deep fried wonton with sweet and sour sauce
3. Christmas pudding with hard sauce
4. Roast turkey with some kind of sauce too...oh yeah, gravy!

Four places I'd rather be right now...
1. Starbucks
2. In my waterbed
3. In my waterbed drinking Starbucks
4. In my waterbed sharing Starbucks with Johnny Depp

Four people I would tag:
1. Sandy
2. CircesMagic
3. Benita
4. Sarah

Thanks for the tag Sofia!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

2Peas Monday Challenge

If you became a scrapbooker-for-hire, who would you want to work for and scrap their life story? Why? This can be a distant relative, friend, celebrity, or historical or not.

Oh, I am SO glad my husband hasn't figured out this whole blogging thing... actually, he hasn't got a clue about the Internet OR computers. Mwuahahah! Now I can safely state the obvious answer to the above question without his knowledge:

Mr. Johnny Depp

Actually, I realize I haven't been all that discreet so he may in fact have an inkling of my secret crush ... I mean, really, other than playing Pirates multiple times over on DVD, trying to watch any Depp movie that may come on television, or nearly killing myself running to the TV when I hear his name mentioned.... well, he MAY in fact not be too surprised at my answer.

I mean the man has so many great stories to tell...(Mr. Depp silly, not my husband) I think it would make for one amazing album.

But that's not what's important. No, no, no.

The important thing is that I would actually get to meet him (again, Mr. Depp, NOT my husband).

Now THAT'S what's important here.

Gad, now I have to hone my skills to Supreme-Master Scrapbooker® and somehow get the word out to France of my availability for hire.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

2Peas Sunday Blogger Challenge

Yes. I know. It's not Sunday yet. Somewhere it is. So there.

Okay, let's try a meme today. Here's one about food...

How do you take your coffee/tea? In a Starbucks take-out cup. Actually, both with lots of milk and sugar. Actually, WAY too much sugar. So much sugar that I get teased about it EVERY FRIGGIN' TIME!

How do you like your eggs? Cooked. I cringe at that scene in Rocky and will never look at raw eggs the same way again.

Favorite breakfast foods: One that someone else makes for me. And delivers to me in bed. Yeah, that would be it.

Coke or Pepsi? PPPPPepsi

You're feeling lazy. What do you make? Probably nothing. You said lazy, didn't you?

You're feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Chicken. With mushrooms. Extra cheese. But do I really have to pick up the phone and order it? Who's going to answer the door when it arrives? These are vexing questions when one is REALLY LAZY.

You feel like cooking. What do you make? Probably something burnt. (No, really, I would probably make banana bread. Or chili. But not in the same bowl.)

Do any foods bring back good memories? Does ice cream count? I have good memories of pigging out at the DQ.

Do any foods bring back bad memories? Ugh...A&W rootbeer. I drank WAY, WAY too much of that stuff years ago and made myself soooo sick. Even the smell makes my stomach turn now. (I know, serves me right...blah, blah, blah...)

Do any foods remind you of someone? Not really; I don't usually eat people.

Is there a food you refuse to eat? Lima beans. Vile, evil little things that were put on earth to torture little kids at dinnertime.

What was your favorite food as a child? Mom's hard sauce (no, it's not booze, silly; it's a very, very sugary topping you put on Christmas pudding).

Is there a food you hated as a child but now love? Bacon. And coffee. But not in the same bowl.

Is there a food you loved as a child but now hate? Root beer... see above...

Favorite junk food: Popcorn. Is that considered junk food???

Favorite dessert: Anything with raspberries. Okay, not ANYTHING. Not lima beans with raspberries. I draw the line there.

The perfect nightcap? Framboise (a raspberry liquor I hide in the fridge that's all mine. All mine I say !! (Insert evil laugh here)

Do you have any weird food habits? Not any that I'll admit to here...


I'm not.

So you can stop reading now.

My first Mini-album

A few days ago, I had an idea for a mini-book and completed it last night... Instead of lugging a heavy 12 X 12 album around, I wanted a little book I could take to work or anywhere I wanted that held miniature versions of some of my favorite layouts. Since I already had many of these pages photographed, all I had to do was resize them to 300 dpi and 3 inches square and print them out.

Measuring 5 X 5 inches, the chipboard front and back are covered in Basic Grey "Black Tie" paper, and I used my new Crop-A-Dile to punch holes and set eyelets for the three jump rings. I painted a chipboard letter "M" black (M for "Maureen") and set a pewter flower brad into it. Another two matching brads hold the ribbon in place on the front cover. Inside are thirty 4 X 4 inch pages of some of my favorite scrapbook pages, and I embellished each one with something that matched the layout; either a real piece of the same ribbon, the same brad, flower or other trinket. I even had a spare "Dead Man's Chest" key for my mini-Pirates page!

This project was a lot of fun, and I am sure it won't be the last mini book I do!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Who's To Blame?

Today I was asked to provide the weekend's blogging for the first one, I asked:

"Who's to Blame?"
Write about how you first got "hooked" on scrapbooking. Was there a friend, family member, local hobby shop or just the good ol' lure of the Internet that introduced you to this obsessive, wallet-draining, wonderful, time-hogging, albeit important hobby?

Easy answer: my daughter. Yup, I can definitely pin the "blame" on her....I can even remember that cold day in February, 2005. She came home from school raving about a girlfriend's "scrapbook" and asked if we can look into starting our own.

Now, I will admit, much to the horror of my fellow 2Peas ... years ago I had a negative impression of scrapbooking. But that was only because it conflicted with my then-current hobby of collecting Star Wars toys. "Huh?" you ask? Well, a local second-hand toy shop where I used to score great deals on collectibles was owned by a husband and wife. The hubby was interested in toys, but the wife was into a new fad (or so I thought at the time) called 'SCRAPBOOKING'. Soon the hubby was losing his war of store supremacy; the vintage toys were disappearing, and more and more square footage was being overrun by albums, paper and stickers.

"Who the heck would go to all that time, trouble and expense?" I thought. (Okay, I said it VERY loud, but as usual, no one listened to me). But I was just mad that my precious toys were being squeezed out. Sadly, it wasn't long before the store shut down completely, and I blamed "scrapbooking" as the reason.

Fast-forward to February 2005. Like a good mother, I take daughter to Michael's ... and drool over the, yes, you guessed it....albums, paper and stickers...

The rest is history; I was hooked from the start and now my scrapbooking collection is nearing the size of my Star Wars collection....yes, I AM that obsessed. There is no hope. Heaven help me if scrapbooking is replaced by yet another hobby that devours me completely.

"I KNOW you're not thrilled about it Luke,
but I STILL need a picture of Vader for my family scrapbook!"

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Croppin again

Two more layouts I completed at cropping night tonight. I just love taking photos of Dakotah, she is so photogenic. I am especially enjoying getting different points of view; getting down on the floor and up close (as in the "Pounce" page).

Layouts of the pets seem so easy to make... Basic Grey paper, Bazzil cardstock, chipboard letters and a few embellishments are all I used, but I may add some ribbons to the "Playtime" layout. (Dakotah playing under my dining room table runner -- see my Stale Coffee blog for a video of this event).

Why We Scrapbook

As with everything, as humans we tend to forget the "big picture" when we get obsessed over something. Case in point - scrapbooking. When daughter asked me to start this hobby last year (her friends had introduced it to her), I was instantly hooked. I loved the idea of making something "artful" out of my family photos and sharing the experience with my daughter...who will someday be the owner of said albums. As we progressed thru our photos, the focus turned from "what was important" to what "looked good". Photos that weren't "perfect" were set aside for more artsy, well composed shots. Choices of paper, ribbon and embellishments were agonized over but journalling the event was all but forgotten.

No more. This post at 2Peas in a Bucket changed all that. It reminded me once again of WHY I scrapbook. I don't think generations from now will care if my paper was Basic Grey, or that the brads didn't EXACTLY match the cardstock; they will want to know the STORY behind the photos... the event. The lives behind the pictures.

We all need to have a kick in the rear and remember what is truely important about this hobby.

Monday, September 4, 2006

A Gift In The Mail

Wow! What a nice surprise... check out all the goodies that arrived in my mailbox! Thanks to fellow Pea "Teatimetamera", I'll be playing with all this great stuff for awhile. On 2Peas in a Bucket, she put out a request for someone to make her some blinkies for a few challenges she participates in. I love to do these, so I made her three; a Disney one, a Color Challenge one and a PeaLift blinkie.

This was her thank you...

Thank you, Teatimetamera - you were more than generous!!! My daughter and I already are drooling over the awesome ribbon, eyelets, tags, stamps, rub-ons, flowers and everything. Can't wait to use them!!!

...and Dakotah likes them too.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

2Peas Blogger Challenge

Sarah posted a few questions, so I'll tackle the non-scrapbooking topic:

Have you ever been to the opera? Did you like it? What did you see? Would you like to see more?
As Elaine commented on her friend Jerry Seinfeld, who had never been to the opera before: "You know, it is so sad, all your knowledge of high culture comes from Bugs Bunny cartoons."
Yup, that's me. Never been to the opera, probably never will..."Overture, curtains, lights..this is it, we'll hit the heights. And oh, what heights will hit! On with the show, this is it!"

Family Tags and another Blogger Challenge

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to, a site with lots of instructional videos on scrapbooking, cardmaking, and other paper crafts. One of the projects was an origami tag holder, so I tried my hand at it. I finally finished the actual tags to go inside it; now that I have a Crop-A-Dile tool to set large eyelets and punch holes...what a great tool!

Each tag has a photo of my "family"; daughter, hubby, two cats and our dog. I inked the edges of the tags and papers, attached a Prima flower to each and threaded some fibres through the eyelets. I also Xyron'd a ghost letter of each member's name and attached them on top of the tags. What a fun little project; and now I can carry my loved ones with me wherever I go!

So now I can answer Melissa's Blogger Challenge:

What is your favorite embellishment to use lately on your layouts? maybe buttons, flowers, brads? Eyelets! Now that I am having so much fun with my new Crop-A-Dile!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

In My Life

It seems I get some of my best ideas in the middle of the night. While listening to Beatles music late last evening, I came across one of my favorites; "In My Life"... it's a song I remember from the 60's when I was quite young. Just listening to it brings back wonderful memories of my childhood. So it was easy to build a page around the song (literally); I printed the lyrics on transparancy, and surrounded it with a collage of mini-photos of my family, friends and me from 1960 to 2006. Some are mounted on foam to raise them up and give the page some depth. The background paper is Junkitz "Hip Hop Squares". I was up till 1:30 am printing the photos so I could make the page at cropping night tonight. It's simple, but it doesn't need anything else. The LSS owner suggested I hang this one up to enjoy... I just may do that.

In My Life

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends
I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

- The Beatles, 1965

For an interesting article on this song, go to BBC RAdio 2.

2Peas Thursday Bloggers Challenge

Sarah posted the following today at 2Peas:

Scrapbooking topic: How do you print your photos? What gives you the best results? Even had any really bad prints? Ever had a service lose your order/film?

Non-Scrapbooking Topic: Tell us what you are good at. What do you excell at? Do you enjoy it? How did you get good at it? Do other people know you are good at this thing?

Hmmm...okay, for the first question: I now print ALL my photos on my new Epson printer at home (which I got this past Christmas from hubby and daughter). It is wonderful! I can re-size and crop any of my digital photos and even add text right on them... then I print on white cardstock and I am all ready to crop! I used to use Walmart's Photo center. I think the money I've saved on developing has more than made up for the printer price... and it sure is less of a hassle to have the prints when I want them, instead of having to drive to the mall to pick them up. I also LOVE the way it lets me print beautiful LARGE photos...really dramatic!

Now for the second question: What am I good at. Well, I love to draw or do anything artistic. My dad taught me at a very early age how to paint. This blog is basically my venue to show what I have done, either in scrapbooking, painting, drawing, sculpting or in cross stitch. My artwork has also been on display in a few cities in the US when I spoke at conventions on sculpting.

I am also good with computers, which I basically am self-taught in. (More on that on my other blog, Stale Coffee). Do others know about this? I guess so...I get paid to provide computer support at two local hospitals.

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Little Starbucks Book

After watching Ana on Fiskar' do a demonstration on how to make a mini scrapbook out of a Starbucks sleeve, I wanted to try this myself. Daughter and I love our local Starbucks, so I filled my book with photos from our many visits.
I made 6 pages in all, using Basic Grey paper (glued back to back and on the inside of the covers, front and back). Brown Bobbin ribbon holds the pages in place, three lengths holding each set of pages. The Starbucks logo "charm" hanging from the binding ribbon on the front is actually a photo I printed on Shrinky-Dink paper, cut out, punched a hole in it and I then shrunk it using my new embossing heat gun. I also set the colors on the piece with some Krylon spray.I also made a Shrinky-Dink of one of our favorite summer drinks, the Tangerine Juice Blend Frappachino and glued it to the front cover.
A few fibers, clips and a self-adhesive tab at the top finished it off! Now I can carry my mini-book whereever I want!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Memo Board

Inspired by a few artists at 2Peas in a Bucket scrapbooking, daughter and I each made our our "memo boards" from artists canvases I picked up at the Dollar Store. A few sheets of Basic Grey paper, corkboard, ribbon, a cheapo notepad, some silver embellishments, flower and chipboard letters was all it took to create my version. I inked the edges of the board and the papers, and used acrylic paint to stamp the canvas and paint the chipboard.

Now I just have to find a place to hang it...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Five (yes, 5!) New Layouts

Wow! Yesterday daughter and I spent nearly the whole day at our local scrapbook shop and we had a great time and got a lot done. I completed five layouts!

This first one is about my making applesauce (see post below). The card on the right folds up or down, so you can see all the photos, or the transparancy behind (an image of all the apples beforehand). The journaling includes two small photos popped up with foam pop dots of the wasps that were trying to get in the kitchen while I was cooking up the sweet apples. Paper is Basic Grey.

The second layout I did was of some "Mouse Cookies" daughter and I made last year to sell at her school's bake sale. We made dozens of these; they comprise of Oreos topped with chocolate-dipped marachino cherries (with the stem left on for the tail), a Hershey's Kiss for the head, two candy hearts for ears, and some icing piped on for eyes and nose. They really were too cute to eat!

The third layout was of Dakotah's mug shot, caught red-handed (or pawed), in my dresser drawer. The paisley paper was a bit overwhelming as a solid background, so I cut it out and used it as a background frame. I also punched holes in the side and bottom (a bit hard to see here), used vellum for the journalling and embellished it with ribbon and a paisley heart charm.

"Laundro-cat" (a play on the word laundro-mat) depicts Dakotah again in a playful mood. Whenever I do laundry, she jumps up on the bed while I'm sorting it and digs herself into the warm towels. A simple layout, but I like the way the colors came together.

The last one I got done yesterday was "Profile of a Cat". I had two cute profile shots of both our cats, Sheba and Dakotah, so I typed up some words that described them. I chalked and then sprayed a fixative on the words, cut them into strips and then adhered them onto the page. I also cut out one of the flowers from the background and popped it out using foam tape. Title is done on a transparancy held on with eyelets.

I don't think I have ever done so many layouts in one sitting... daughter got five pages done as well, and we were beat after our marathon cropping session!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Cooking: The Edible Art

Creating isn't limited to stuff you look at; this weekend I spent five hours making applesauce, and I must say it is a work of art when it is done.You see, we have a great apple-crab tree in our backyard. A cross between a true apple tree and a crabapple, the fruit is sweet and large. This year, because it has been so hot and dry, the apples are ready much earlier than normal. Luckily, I chose yesterday, a rare cool day to cook them up into sauce. Five hours later, three large bags of apples made over 30 freezer bags of pink sweet applesauce; no sugar added...and it sure is great to eat in the middle of winter with a nice pork roast!Even the wasps outside my kitchen window were attracted to the smell of the cooking apples!

RAK Received!

A HUGE thanks to Stephanie at Burnt Toast for two lovely cards I won in her blog's RAK! This is the first time I've ever received one (I have sent out one in the past)...and they are too nice to use. One is a Thank you card and the other is a Celebrate card! Such nice papers folded and pinned by cute brads we haven't seen up here in Canada before! They now adorn my scrapbooking room -- thanks so, so much Stephanie!!!!

A Couple O'Layouts

Two more layouts were completed at our weekly croppin' session at Dalcrafts. The first one is actually of daughter's goofing while cropping; using chipboard letters to write me notes on the table, and choking on dinner she was laughing so hard...yes, yes, in true scrapbooker fashion, while she choked, I took pictures (she was fine, BTW).The second one is of our cat Sheba. Inspiration for the photo came from catching the end of some "Funniest Animal Videos" show (or something like that) on TV... We saw this cat drinking milk from a glass by putting her paw into it and licking it off! It was so cute, we wanted to see if Sheba would do the same. She sometimes gets to lick our cereal bowls (after we are finished, of course), but this morning, I put some milk in a glass instead...just enough so she couldn't reach it by sticking her head in. No luck, though; she refused to get her paw wet, and instead tried desperately to stick her tongue as far as she could to get at the milk...hilarious to watch! Poor girl; I poured the milk out into a bowl after all.I used some great white ink to edge everything (making it "milky), and splattered white paint around the rub-ons title. Hidden journalling is slid under the smaller photo. Charms include a "purr" round brad, a cat's paw and a milk bucket on the white ribbon.

Friday, July 28, 2006

2Peas Friday Blogger Challenge

Sofia asked:

What were you like in high school? How have you changed? How are you still the same?

Well, I think I am pretty much the same. My big love in school was Art. I LOVED Art class ... I think all the hobbies / crafts I do now are a reflection of that passion.
A charcoal drawing I did when I was about 13 or 14

My interest in computers started then too ... but back in the 70's, our school had one computer - no monitor, and it filled an entire room off the Physics Lab. The exam for the "computer" course I took was comprised of creating a fistfull of punch cards ... one hole out of place and the computer would spit it back out. If you programmed the cards right, a Snoopy calendar appeared slowly on the dot matrix printer, created with all 1's and 0's. And if you could master that, you passed!
What a long way I have come since then; now I am the computer specialist for the city's cardiac sciences program, not to mention most of my free time is spent either building websites, on the net or building / troubleshooting systems for family and friends. So I guess I have always been a geek, but had lots of friends in school and was Captain of the cheerleaders and Social Convenor on student council (yeah, I got to book the bands at dances!) - not really a typical "Revenge of the Nerds" geek. In fact, just yesterday a co-worker told me "you don't look like a computer geek" ... a response I get quite frequently and take as a compliment!

My Magnolia Cards