Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Snow much fun…

Hello fellow bloggers and crafty friends alike. I’m back with my weekly card so it seems of late. I could have had one sooner, but I had the opportunity to get away from it all this past weekend to cottage country. Our friends have a beautiful cottage on an awesome piece of lake front property up in the Kawartha Lakes area. There is so much to do up there even at this time of the year, particularly if you are snow people. The lake has frozen over and snowmobiles were aplenty buzzing back and forth, with the occasional cross country skier or snowshoer from time to time as well. If it isn’t snowing too much skaters and hockey games are abundant, and believe it or not even a curling game could be found on occasion. Those cottage people sure know how to have fun.
As for myself, I am not the outdoorsy type in the winter but I most certainly enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. I prefer sitting by the cozy fire with a glass of excellent Pinot Grigio in hand and having a good conversation with friends. It was a blustery cold one on Saturday and old man winter definitely had the upper hand. I would have to say that it was a classic Canadian winter weekend over all.
In reminiscence of my past  weekend and the winter season I decided to make a chilly wintry card and enter it in a couple of challenges that I remember seeing the last time I blog hopped around. Color Me Creative Classroom Challenge # 35, Frosty, Icy, Cold Projects for starters and Sassy Cheryl's Digi Stamps weekly challenge #100. Congrats on that by the way Sassy Girls!


I started with Deconstructed Sketch No. 36 for my layout and then chose my favourite little reindeer stamp to colour with my Copic Markers. I really wish I could remember which stamp company this little cutie is from but no can do, and I apologize for that.  What I do remember though is when and where I bought it; it was just before Christmas of 2010, at a lovely little scrapbook store in Burlington, Ontario called Forever Scrapbooks.
Another little tidbit of information is that it  was also there that I had my first Copic colouring class, which was instructed by Sherrie Siemens of Card Crème. I still have the very first image that I coloured all by my lonesome the next day, and looking back at my humble beginnings I can definitely see an improvement, lol !!!!


My designer papers are from DCWV’s  Winter Magic collection and the coordinating Christmas & Winter Cardstock. Extras include embossing, MS punch and SB die snowflakes, the addition of icy bling using stickles here and there, glossy accents on the antlers and hooves and an interesting experimental product that I purchased called Snow Writer. I used it on the edges of the sentiment as if they were topped with newly fallen snow. It was like using plaster so you had to work quickly with it but it created the effect I wanted.



I hope you enjoyed my little blurb today and my card. I also hope you are all well, keeping warm and staying busy during these long cold winter days. Thanks for stopping by :)S

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let’s Celebrate Vintage Style…

Well hello friends, and a very happy Sunday to you all!
I haven’t posted for a while and I thought I better get colouring for you. I don’t know about you but it takes me so long to put a card together. For me in particular, the colouring aspect is lengthy due to a couple of reasons; one being that I have difficulty holding small, and large objects for that matter in my right hand. I  have a tendency to drop them, a lot, and it can be extremely frustrating. I am right handed, my brain absolutely refuses to let me substitute my left hand, and only God knows how hard I have tried to manage this particular issue. You just have to deal with it by trying different techniques, and happily I think I’ve actually mastered a form that keeps my drops to a minimum :)Yay!
The second reason it takes me so long to put a card together is because I just never seem to be happy with my paper selections at first, and I am therefore constantly changing things until I am happy, ugh!!!
Oh the life of an AR-TEE-ST.
 Today I would like to share a card that I think can be used for any number of occasions.
Let’s Celebrate Vintage Style, a birthday, a promotion, or Valentine’s Day, just to name a few. The inside of the card is where you can decide what you are celebrating and insert the appropriate information there.
Allow me to introduce to you “Dress-Up Marci” from La-La Land Crafts.
Isn’t she absolutely adorable all dressed up? I remember playing dress-up with my Mother’s clothes and jewelry, and come to think of it, I think it just might be a rite of passage for all little girls. What do you think?
I love these stamps and I most definitely need to get more of them. I coloured Marci up with my Copics and used the sepia technique that I learned from my Color Me Creative Class 4. Now I will admit that I am happy with my colouring but for some reason her face turned out blotchy and just doesn’t work for me. 
Let's Celebrate
I tried to keep within the vintage theme by picking out designer paper that had that olden feel to it and at the same time bring in some subtle colour. The DP I used is from the K & Company Classic K Mango collection. I have had this paper pad for quite some time and I am not really sure if it is still available out there, but it is absolutely gorgeous, especially for vintage themes. I made my own flowers with my MS punches and pulled my colours from the  first paper matte and the background paper behind Marci.  Adding the colour provided a real pop which I think  vintage themed cards or scrapbook layouts really need.
After I cut all the papers to size, and before adhering everything, I sponged SU soft suede ink around some pieces and ripped others for a distressed look. I used Deconstructed Jen Sketch 35 for my layout and of course put my own spin on it as well.

Other things that I added were Glossy Accents to her pearl necklace and some stickles to the flowers.


I think I will look around for a blog challenge that perhaps Marci would like to enter, given the fact that she’s all dressed-up and has nowhere to go. I think she definitely needs to go out and show off her oh so girlie look in a vintage style, don’t ya think?
I found a challenge that I think she qualifies for; Colour Create Challenge # 88 Pink & Green.
Well that’s it for me today friends, hopefully I will be back later in the week to show you another creation. Until then, take care and thanks for stopping by :)S
Oh yes, before I forget, please forgive the ever changing appearance of my blog, as I am still in the “I have to try everything until I get it right” stage…Patience is a virtue so they say…who the heck are “they” anyway? Thanks :)S

Monday, January 16, 2012

Do Snowmen live forever?

Happy Monday everyone...

Today was dentist day, ugh! To my delight though NO CAVITIES, (whoa whoa), just a mere cleaning and I was so outta there. You think that when you are an adult you wouldn't hear those words anymore, but for me it isn't always the case. I guess all that flossing I've been doing is paying off :)

Following that I stopped by my local Michaels store to buy some much needed supplies. With coupons in hand and armed with a small list; (hubby is on the picket line today, and I must be careful now how much $$$ I spend) I set out to walk from the dentist which is about a two and half kilometers walk. It was such a beautiful day for a walk, the sun was shining and the thermometer rising. You all know by now how much I detest the bus, and on top of that it was an opportunity for much needed exercise for this ole ticker of mine as well. 

I get to Michaels, fill my cart with what I need and with a few too good to pass deals I head to the check out. There I am at the checkout counter and guess what, NO COUPONS. Yup-per, nowhere to be found in my purse or on my person and no coupon fairy to be seen anywhere. I had them when I left the house I am sure of it....the lady at the cash is glaring at me with that; sure you lost them look on her face and before I even had the chance says, "We don't give out coupons" spiel BEFORE I even asked! Now here's the thing, I know they do because I have seen it happen with other people and in fact they have done it for me once. So here she is with her stone face, and I'm sooooo wanting to leave everything at the counter so she would have to put it all back (yeah my evil twin came with me too), but I decided to suck it up and pay full price for everything. I could have saved 65% with the two coupons this week and it just burns my butt to think that they pick and choose who will get a coupon when stuff like that happens. If it wasn't the only craft store in my vicinity I wouldn't shop there. Oh well, c'est la vie! At least the weather was beautiful which brings me to my card today....Snowmen do live forever, on a card that is...

I found myself thinking a lot about our 2012 snow polar bear mascot that we made at Christmas and wondered just what the heck the poor guy looks like right now; likely a frozen blob sitting on my parents front lawn. If the rain starts as it is forecast to do he will parish for sure. Good thing we took pictures!

Cards, photos and video capture the precious moments we have and don't ever hesitate to take lots and lots for it shall only be a memory if you don't. With hubby off work at the moment I asked him to compile some of our photos into a slideshow of the night we made Mr. Polar Bear and when we celebrated with him on New Years Eve. I have posted it for your viewing pleasure if you care to see and if you don't that's ok too. 

Oh and before I go, when I got home from my day out I found my Michaels coupons sitting on the kitchen counter. I'm such a loser sometimes.

Oh well, until we meet again, take care and thanks for stopping by :)S

Friday, January 13, 2012

With Heartfelt Sympathy...

Hello friends, the weekend is upon us!

Up here in the great white north the thermometer has taken a nose dive and it certainly feels a whole lot like winter out there today.  It's so nice to be inside where everything is so toasty and warm, and I have been busy rounding up and organizing all of my craft supplies. Ever since the onset of Christmas card season I have had them in everyroom of the house practically. I am such a neat freak by nature, but ever since I started paper-crafting seeing a pile of stuff here and there just doesn't seem to bug me as much anymore, it's truly perplexing.  I don't have a craft room like so many of you lucky people do, and I am sure that is the biggest reason why this ends up happening to me. What I do have is a small spare bedroom that we have delegated as a den/office/guest bedroom and I find it kind of claustrophobic. I love being down on my main floor where I can eat, drink and bee-bop along to my satellite radio.  I have difficulty negotiating stairs which is another big reason why I don't want to be upstairs, and we all know that so much of our lives revolve around the kitchen and main floor. For what it's worth I think I made a pretty good dent in this particular job and perhaps I will take the weekend off.

If you read my last post you know that a good friend of mine celebrated a birthday this week. Sadly though, another good friend of mine experienced the loss of a love one recently. The loss of a loved one is never easy and everybody mourns in different ways. One of the few comforts that comes along during such a sorrowful time in a persons life is knowing that others are thinking of them and that they are sharing in their pain. We can express this in so many different ways and a card seems to be a wonderful way to show that you are thinking of them, and it also gives you an opportunity to pen a few personal words to them.

This is the card I made for my friend Charlene and I can only hope that it brings her some comfort during this difficult time.

It's a simple design whereas I embossed the front with Pefect Polka dots embossing folder by SU, and then I used a SB oval die to create a picture frame appearance. On the inside I simply used the white oval to stamp my image and used one of the stamps from the Just Believe Stamp Set from SU as well. I added some colour using chalk and the sentiment was simply printed out using my computer and then cut to size. The flowers were made using a MS punch for a simple embellishment.

My wish for you Charlene and your family is for God's love to heal your sorrow, and may his peace replace your heartache with warm and loving memories. I truly believe that death heals all wounds, mends all broken bones,  releases us from all chains and ultimately sets us free at last. 

God bless you and all my crafty friends. Thanks for stopping by :)S

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Birthday Card...

Happy Hump Day Everyone!

I don’t know about you but the weeks just seem to be going by so fast. Winter never ever seems to fly by as fast as those glorious days of summer do they?

I feel kind of proud of myself though considering the fact that in the span of three weeks I have fought, and won, the battle against the dreaded flu bug and a dandy head cold. Yupper, back to back viruses and I am still standing, woo-hoo! Hey, there should be a badge for this feat, or at least a blinkie don’t ya think? LOL

I am a relative shut-in during these months because I can no longer drive, and if I don’t have hubby or a kind friend to give me a ride somewhere I am at the mercy of a pathetic public transit system. On top of that, the city where I live, and many of the local residents I may add don’t shovel their sidewalks. More often than not I find myself in the position where I have to negotiate snow banks and ice patches along the way. I use a cane due to extremely poor balance and sometimes it seems that it is actually safer for me to walk on the road if you can believe that. Freezing cold bus stops, inconsiderate bus drivers as well as people, and oh did I mention GERMS? The last time I was on the bus I sat across from a woman who insisted on continuously coughing into the aisle and never once did she cover her mouth in any shape or form. I had to bury my head into my coat and/or hold my breath in-between coughing spells. I hate taking the bus just as much as I hate Wal-Mart, and don’t start me on that story! Needless to say, I would just rather stay home.

Anyhow, today I went out for lunch with some of my favourite peeps to celebrate our friend Pat’s birthday. She is a wonderful person and a very dear friend so of course I had to make her a birthday card for the occasion. I thought I would share it with you so I snapped a pic before I sealed it up in the envelope.

I used a Magnolia-lious stamp, and yes I do own more than just Kraftin’ Kimmie stamps…this is Shy Tilda and I coloured her with my Copics using a form of Watercolouring and Distressing technique that I learned in my Color Me Creative Classroom.

Well friends, I think I will call it a day and bid you good evening as I am getting rather sleepy. Oh, and before I go I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the lovely people that take time out of their busy schedules to stop by my blog, especially those of you that take the extra time to leave me a comment.

I so appreciate the kudos as it keeps me motivated, so please take care and stop by again soon :)S

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Right back at it...

Well friends it’s the end of the first week of 2012. Even though my husband and I are facing uncertain times I decided not to let it get me down. So I broke out the Copics and decided to make my first New Year’s card.

This past summer I attended two of Suzanne Dean's Color Me Creative Classroom "on the road" classes that were held at Scrappin Great Deals, a scrapbooking & card-makers superstore in Komoka, Ontario. At the time I had completed 3 out of 5 of her online classes but I still wanted to experience the “in class” sessions as well. I found it a great opportunity to meet Suzanne personally for one thing, and it afforded me the opportunity to meet people that share my love for paper crafting and Copic marker colouring as well.

Even though it was somewhat of a refresher course for me, I still managed to learn additional techniques and was able to actually see and touch many of those beautiful cards that she makes and regularly shows us on her blog ScrapBitz. Trust me when I tell you they are even better in real life, and Suzanne herself is even funnier in person not to mention beautiful inside and out. She is a true inspiration, at least to me that is.
I recently coloured a stamped image that I received from Suzanne’s on the road class and unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about it. It was my intention to use it to make my card today but I accidentally ripped it and couldn’t use it as the tear was pretty obvious.  I ripped the entire corner off and bent the other. A little piece of advice, don’t try to remove a matte when you use Zots adhesives! I thought I would show you it anyway because I am going to try Photoshop and see if I can fix the blemish. My reason for doing this is twofold, this past Christmas I made far too many Copics cards that I was completely exhausted. I thought that perhaps next year I could do one original and copy the rest to use on additional cards. This little card will be my experimental image. Being the perfectionist that I am it will have to be perfect and with hubby locked out from work I will put him to work on the Photoshop aspect of things.

Not letting this discourage me of course, I went back to the drawing board and decided to use the Kraftin’Kimmie stamp that I won from the very first card challenge that I entered. Even though Christmas has past, this particular stamp is not necessarily just for Christmas. You can utilize Sending Winter Hugs for the entire winter season.
Who wouldn’t want to get a winter hug from you?

I have entered my Sending Winter Hugs card into Kraftin' Kimmie Challenge # 110.

I hope you have enjoyed my first card of 2012, and I look forward to sharing many more from here on in. This is such a wonderful hobby and I am grateful to have found it. Not just for the reward that comes with seeing how creative I can be, but for the many wonderful people I have met and befriended along the way.
Thanks for stopping by :)S

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's a New Year...

Please let me begin by wishing you all a very Happy New Year. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a restful holiday as well.  

My holiday certainly did not start off according to plan that’s for sure, and as of today it seems to be following me into 2012.  

I came down with a nasty flu virus on December 23 and it came on unbelievably fast. One minute I had a headache, next I was in bed with a fever and the chills. It didn’t take long before all hell was breaking loose (no pun intended) with round the clock encounters with porcelain and a bedside bucket. I literally thought I was going to die and believe it or not I actually had the flu shot. So much for that eh! On Christmas Day I weighed in 4 pounds lighter but feeling normal again. My entire family waited with bated breath to hear if I would be able to join them all but at the same time wanted me very far away until I was better.    

Christmas Day always seems to go so fast it seems to me. So much build-up and then poof it’s gone. Santa was very good to me as usual and we had tons of fun with my family. We spent Christmas Day at my brother’s home in Toronto. My brother married into a Jewish family and we had the pleasure of having his in-laws join us for dinner. It was so amazing to blend our blessed holiday together with their Hanukah festival of lights.
You should have seen the place all decked out with oh so tacky Christmas and Hanukah ornaments, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, lights and silver and blue banners. It was such a poignant experience to be together watching the children light the menorah and then have each of them take turns at playing Christmas carols on the piano.  

We drove up to my parent’s home following dinner to spend a couple of days with them. On December 27 my father suffered a heart attack while we sat together in the kitchen having breakfast. It was early and everyone was still in bed sleeping which in hindsight was a blessing.

My previous career provided me with the training to deal with emergencies of this nature and I knew immediately what was happening. Let it suffice to say that the quick action on everyone’s part resulted in my father making it to the hospital in time and he is still with us today. I thank God for that because I know HE always has a hand in everything. I stayed for the remainder of the week to support my Mother and Sister and we even managed to have a bit of fun when it finally started to snow. My husband and I took my sister outside to build a snowman on such a calm and peaceful night. We didn’t exactly build a snowman because I just thought that to be so boring.

Allow me to introduce you to our 2012 polar bear mascot…

On New Year’s Eve we decided to spend some time with him and took our celebrations out to him so he didn’t miss out. Creativity is everywhere my friends why limit yourself to papercrafting.

I am back at home now and the bad stuff just seems to keep coming our way. My husband builds locomotives in London, Ontario for a company known as EMC, Electromotive Corporation. On Monday night he and 420 other employees were locked out by the new owners, namely Caterpillar/Progress Railroad. Contract negotiations broke down because the company wants to slash all union wages by half, eliminate pensions all together and way too many benefits to name. What employee and/or union would allow that to happen? Needless to say we have a very sad situation and what makes it even worse is that my husband has 6 months left to work and is in the position to retire this summer. What will become of that effort now?
Needless to say 2012 hasn’t started off on a good note and I will be praying that everything will be quickly resolved and he can get back to work.
Once again I have taken a considerable amount of your time, but it feels good to vent. I wish you all good health, much love and happiness in the coming months and I look forward to sharing my creative side with you along the way.

Thanks for stopping in :)S