Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho

After a long day of work yesterday, I decided to pull out my Copic markers and color. When I went to bed after 1:00 am, my dh asked if I had been playing with my markers the whole time. My answer was 'YES'!

I did a lot of coloring, but I only actually finished one card.

I used a sweet stamp from Stamping Bella called Santa's Clothes a Dryin'. Isn't it adorable? Then I used some paper from MME, Prism cardstock, Frosted Lace Stickles on the poles and the white fur, and ribbon from my stash.

I also used a technique I learned at my Copic Certification course to create the brick pattern on the bottom of the image. Very cool!

Thanks for looking ♥

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Autumn Memories

I know we all have favorite memories. For me, most of those memories are not the big events in my life. Surprisingly, they are often a simple moment in time where my heart was touched in some unexpected way. It could have been a moment of laughter, a feeling of closeness with someone special, a delight that comes my way in the midst of an otherwise ordinary day.

One of those times for me was a couple of years ago when Carolyn and I took Spencer and Amanda to the pumpkin patch. Spencer and Amanda are only a year apart and they have been very good friends for many years. They don’t spend as much time together now as they did when they were younger, but when they do get together, they are very comfortable just being themselves. On this particular outing, they enjoyed picking out pumpkins, testing their skills on the Pumpkin Launcher, and just hanging out while they tolerated their camera ready moms. It was also a time when Carolyn and I could enjoy a nice fall afternoon together without the pressures of work.

I decided to scrapbook this particular memory on a double-page layout using Pink Paislee Amber Road papers (one of my favorite lines). I kept the layout simple, with some stamping and distressing, and I love the way it turned out. I used black and white photos so they wouldn’t compete with the soft colors of the papers.

It was a special autumn day – one I will always treasure!

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My New Addiction!

Yes, I have a new addiction. Chocolate now has to share a top spot with my new love (sorry, my sweet companion) - Copic markers! These amazing markers have totally grabbed my creative side and I just can't get enough of them!

This past weekend I took my small collection of markers with me and they were the first thing I played with upon my arrival at the retreat I attended. I also used a new stamp from Stamping Bella called Penelope. She is just the cutest and I couldn't wait to stamp and color her.

I had so much fun making the first card that I made a second one with the same image.

I just adore the striped stockings and the Mary Janes she is wearing! The 'hugs & kisses' sentiment is also from Stamping Bella and is my new favorite.

I am sure you will see lots more of my creations using Copics. Plus I heard a rumor that my favorite scrapbook store just might be selling them in the very near future! Oh yes!

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Weekend Away

I had the wonderful pleasure of attending a scrapbooking retreat in Horseshoe Valley this past weekend with my bsf (best scrapbook friend). It was scenic and relaxing and I got lots done. I completed a number of layouts and cards and just enjoyed having no responsibility whatsoever - except to scrapbook to my heart's content!

The first layout I worked on, Exploring the Waterfront, was based on the October 15 sketch on the Sketchabilities blog. I liked that this sketch had 4 photos on it and I knew I had the perfect pictures for it.

I used papers from Kaiser Craft and corrugated letters from Jillibean Soup.

Next, I created a page to document my recent visit to my Mother's childhood home. (You can read my Stepping Back In Time post if you like.)

I titled it Back In Time and I used some Basic Grey Wisteria papers that I have been waiting to work with. I made the paper flowers using a new technique that I read about. They were really easy and I promise to do a 'how-to' post in an upcoming Friendzy Friday on the Two Scrapbook Friends blog!

I think my favorite page of the weekend though was my Dream layout!

I worked with the new Time to Travel line from TPC Studio because I totally love the colors and I thought they would work really well with this picture of my ds. Then I added some bling, a chipboard dragon fly that I inked and glimmer-misted, a Tim Holtz ticket and Basic Grey chipboard letters for the title. Plus, I decided I just had to add one of the circle trees that Karan has been using on some of her creations recently. I soooo love them!

At the end of the weekend, I submitted this layout into the page layout contest and guess what? I won! That was a first for me and I was thrilled!

I still have lots to share so stay tuned for tomorrow's post. Thanks for looking ♥

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mojo Monday Week 108

I actually completed a second card on Tuesday night with the girls. I based it on this week's sketch from Mojo Monday.

I turned the sketch on it's side and made a Christmas card.

I used a mix of green Copic markers and added some Liquid Pearls for the ornaments. With a pink and green background and a sweet pink bow I am happy with how it turned out!

Thanks for looking ♥

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Card Making Fun!

Last night was awesome! Carolyn, Karan, Audrey and I got together with Regan, Deanna, Avril and Rosanne for a card making night. I think we talked and laughed more than we worked on our cards, but it was the most fun I have had in a long time!

Regan and Deanna very graciously showed us the basics of using Copic markers and now I am totally hooked on them! I was even able to make up a couple of cards using the images that I stamped and colored with Copics.

For my first card, I decided to use this week's sketch from 2sketches4you.

Then I used a delightful owl stamp that Regan had and her Copics. She had to walk me through choosing the colors and how to do the blending, but I think I did pretty good for my first go.

I also used papers and a sentiment from PTI, Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Prism Cardstock. The button and twine were from my stash. I am not sure who I will give the card to, but this adorable little owl sure puts a smile on my face!

Thanks for a great evening friends - I can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

Cold outside...

warm inside...

and a day off work - ahhh...

Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sweet Potato or Yam?

My sister-in-law, Ann, makes the most delicious Sweet Potato Casserole I have ever had. She has made it several times for our Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings and I decided that I needed to make it for our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner this year. So I called her and she kindly shared her recipe with me.

Now, my mind works in odd ways some times. (OK - I know what you are thinking...) But, ever since I decided to make this recipe I have wondered about the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. So I finally 'googled' it.

Many people use these terms interchangeably assuming that they are one in the same vegetable. But, I learned that they are in fact two very different species!

A Yam is a starchy tuber that is mainly grown in Africa, Asia and New Guinea.

They can grow up to 2.5 meters in length and weigh up to 154 pounds! It has a rough skin that is difficult to peel and some species can be toxic if eaten raw.

The Sweet Potato, on the other hand, is what is commonly grown and sold in North America.

It has a delicious, sweet, orange flesh and is only distantly related to the potato and is not related to yams. It was the African slaves in America that first referred to sweet potatoes as yams because they resembled the yams of Africa. So even though you might think you are purchasing yams at your local grocery store, chances are you are buying sweet potatoes.

It is this latter vegetable that I love! (I have never tried a true yam.) And in Ann's wonderful recipe it is to die for. So I made it for the first time yesterday and it was delicious and I just have to share it with you. So here goes :)


4-6 large sweet potatoes
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup evaporated milk

Bake yams in oven until very soft. Let cool slightly. Peel baked yams and cut into chunks. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Put into casserole dish or 9x13 pan.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 Tbsp. softened butter

Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top of potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. (Note: The potato mixture does puff up a bit during cooking, so allow some room at the top of your dish for expansion.) Enjoy!

I wish all my Canadian family and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving. Blessings to each of you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sweet Indulgence

I couldn't help myself! I had a craving for ice cream and I had a coupon! It was a 2 for 1 so I begged my son to go with me to the Marble Slab Creamery and I have no regrets.

The Marble Slab Creamery is fairly new in our city and I had heard many good reviews about their ice cream. It is "hand-crafted daily in small batches in-store using the freshest ingredients for the richest flavor". (Yes, that is a quote from their web-site.) When I noticed that they had a coupon, I decided it was time to give them a try (or maybe it was my hormones that decided it!).

Marble Slab is known for its huge selection of mix-in possibilities. You choose the flavor of ice cream that you want and then you can choose any number of decadent additions that they mix into your ice cream right in front of you. Of course they work on a frozen marble slab, hence the name of their store.

I went with Vanilla Bean ice cream and added in a peanut butter cup, chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Oh my!

Then I had it served in a fresh waffle bowl.

My son got their Snickerdoodle creation; vanilla ice cream with Snickers candy bar and caramel sauce. They were both equally delicious!

Yes, it was truly an indulgence and I would definitely go again. Although I think I'll wait until my arteries clear a bit before I justify my next visit. In the meantime, I will dream about the possible combination of goodies that I will have them mix in :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Product Challenge

Each month at Two Scrapbook Friends, we offer a Product Challenge Kit. It is a small kit with a couple of pattern papers, cardstock, ribbon and one or two other items. The challenge is to create a layout or project using some of each item in the bag. You can add other products to your page to complete your layout. Then if you upload a photo of your finished page to the Photo Gallery you have a chance to win a $10.00 gift certificate to the store and the next month's product challenge for free!

Even though I can't win, I always love a good challenge. So this month I decided to play along. The kit contained the word 'spooky', so I did this fun layout using Halloween photos from about 4 years ago.

Spencer went out as a hobo and we told him he should try to look all depressed and sad to be in character with his costume. But, whenever he would try to make a sad face, he would break out in fits of laughter! As you can see, the title 'spooky' didn't quite fit the pictures, so I added a question mark and the word 'not!'.

One challenging item in the kit were two squares of cardstock with an embossed image on them. I decided to sand the image, punch a circle shape out of them and add Glossy Accents. Then I backed them with a black scalloped circle and some of the ribbon. They made a great embellishment on my page.

I also decided to add a Cricut owl cut from the black cardstock in the kit. The owl is from the Storybook Cartridge (one of my favorites). I added some stitching to my page and I am quite happy with the finished layout.

It's not too late to get this month's Product Challenge kit. We still have a few in stock. Why not join in the fun?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

World Card Making Day

Yesterday was World Card Making Day. World Card Making Day is a holiday especially for card makers around the world to celebrate the creativity of handmade cards and the personal connection that they create between friends and family.

It took me quite a while to embrace the idea of card making, but I have to admit I really enjoy it! In honor of World Card Making Day, I made the following card.

Cardstock: Prism; Patterned Paper: Boo to You! by MME; Chipboard Tree: Maya Road; Stamp: Close to My Heart; Ribbon: BoBunny

Because I like the inspiration of a sketch, I used this week's sketch from Mojo Monday - the Sketch Blog.

If you haven't tried card making yet, why not give it a try. It is fun and easy and you can use leftover bits of paper, ribbon and embellishments from scrapbooking. Also, when you give someone a hand-made card, it is truly a gift from the heart.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Bittersweet Farewell

It happens every year at this time. I feel the coolness in the air, I see the flowers in my garden start to fade, I notice the sun going down a bit earlier each day. I know it is time to say good-bye to Summer and welcome Fall.

As a season in and of itself -I love Fall. I don't mind the cooler temperatures, I love the Fall colors, I see beauty in the mums and pumpkins. I look forward to pulling out my sweaters and jeans after a season of shorts and sandals. I enjoy a hot cup of tea in the early evening and putting on the fireplace to take the chill out of the room.

But deep inside I know that Winter, that cold, harsh season, is just around the corner. And that is part of the reason I hold onto Summer as long as I can.

This sweet little Cardinal has been visiting our yard for the past month or so. He is filling up on the bird seeds in our feeder and he seems to share my sentiments of the coming winter. I am sure that he would come inside if he could and watch as Winter comes and goes. Then when Spring graces us with it's presence, he would gladly return to the outdoors.

Please don't go Summer! But if you have to - then hurry back. We will be waiting!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Celebration

It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks. Between house renovations, planning and hosting our 25th Wedding Anniversary Celebration and owning a store that is busier than ever, I have not even had a moment to get to my blog. But, the good news is --- I'm back!

I do have lots to blog about, but I have to start by sharing some photos of our party. It was such a wonderful celebration with family and friends joining us. It made me realize how truly blessed we are to not only have been married for 25 years, but to have such wonderful people in our lives. Their friendship, support and humor has added to the richness of our marriage over the years.

So, now for the photos. We did not end up with too many pictures. I guess we were too busy enjoying the moment. But my son did manage to get a few.

My brother, Brian, honored Wayne and I with a heartfelt toast. He captured the essence of our marriage beautifully and brought laughter and tears to each of us.

We decided to have the Wok Wagon cater our dinner and all we can say is that is was absolutely delicious! Friends of ours who attended our party had just arrived home from a trip to China and they had to laugh when they found out we were having Chinese food! But, they said it was far better than anything they ate on their trip!

Then we indulged in some truly decadent desserts that my dear friend, Sue Eby, made for us. She made five delicious desserts in total and they were all amazing.

Then our guests enjoyed the rest of the evening by visiting, playing pool, watching TV (yes, we had some die-hard sports fans at the party) and playing Rock Band!

Rock Band had to have been the funniest part of the evening. Imagine a group of adults having their turn at the drums, guitar and microphone while trying to follow a hard rock song! It was truly hilarious! Someone (I'm not mentioning names!) played so hard that she actually broke a drum stick!

It was a wonderful celebration! I am not only grateful for 25 years of marriage but for the wonderful people in our lives. I have to say I am truly looking forward to the next 25.
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