Wednesday, June 29, 2011

School's Out!

It's the last week of school, and I always have mixed feelings about the summer break.

YAY!  We get to sleep in!
BOO!  Gone are my peaceful mornings ALONE with my tea.

YAY! No more making 4 bag lunches every day (that get thrown out at school).
BOO! I'll be in the kitchen at all hours because the kids will be eating at all hours.

YAY!  I won't be rushing to the bus stop or driving kids in morning traffic to school.
BOO!  All day long, I'll be the Mom Taxi ...without tips.

YAY!  No more projects, tests or homework!
BOO!  Two months of "Mom, I'm BORED" and "I have NOTHING to do!"

YAY!  The kids will be home with me for 2 months!
BOO!  The kids will be home with me for 2 months!

I have a remedy...
Would you like to celebrate summer with me?

This is me.  No, really, it is.  :)
Let the summer fun begin!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Fabulous New Authentique Paper!

Since my original plan for this blog was to share my passion for scrapbooking, then maybe it's time for me to post a layout.  I was thrilled last week when I laid my eyes....and hands...on the gorgeous new collection by Margie Romney-Aslett called Authentique Paper.  Gosh, these papers are lovely to work with, and I did a two-page display layout for my local store Scrap-A-Lot with the "Blissful" line...isn't that the nicest name? 

Honestly, these papers design themselves! Normally, I'm not a big fan of yellow, but Margie's patterned papers in this palette are truly stunning.  I kept the layout quite simple...which is a big accomplishment for me! hee hee!
Cut out these flowers from the paper and added a black ribbon border...

The bird cage is also cut from the paper, and I placed a Prima black bling flourish behind.
The edges of the background papers are punched with a Martha Stewart border and corner punch.
I inked all the edges with Color Box Charcoal Chalk Ink and added the black Twiddley Bitz chipboard accents...

I wanted to create a layout to remind my children that they mean the world to me, and thus the title "I Love You" with the Tiny Alpha stickers.  These collections come with the most adorable tiny alphas, die cuts, title tags and "Diction" stickers (those are the words I placed beside each photo to describe my kids...luckily I was in a good mood that day!).

And the BEST news is...there are two more lines:  a pink collection called "Uncommon" and a blue collection called "Journey."  They are just as lovely as "Blissful."
"Journey" from Authentique Paper

"Uncommon" by Authentique Paper

Hmmmmm...I feel another shopping trip coming on :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Celebrating 50!! A GIVEAWAY!!!

The title could be's NOT my birthday and I'm NOT 50!! (although I'm getting there!)

I am celebrating reaching 50 followers!  I do have a bit of trouble saying that I have "followers"....because I'm not too sure how I am the "Leader"  hee hee! I'm still a "baby blogger" and am coming to terms with the blogging world and all that it means.

One fun blogging event I've come across online is the GIVEAWAY, so I'm jumping aboard that train, and welcome you to come on board and leave a comment on this post to enter the draw!  (Remember, you have to be a "Follower" to qualify for the draw.)

There are 3 prize packages:  one from Glitz Design, one from BoBunny, and one from Imaginisce.

Glitz Vintage Rub-Ons, Stamp and Die-cuts. (Say "Oooooo!")

BoBunny Chipboard, Dimensional Stickers and Flowers (Say "Aaaaah!")
Imaginisce Clear Stamps (Say "Wheeeeee!")
Here's the funnest part (Yep, I know it's that's poor gramar, ha ha!) but is "Giveaway" really a word??

All you have to say in the comment is vote for your FAVE giveaway of the three with either an Oooooo!  or an Aaaaaaaah!   or a Wheeeeee! 

I'll post the winners next week!  Yaaaaaay!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's a Fascinating Friday

I have had a wild week, my friends, but my weekend is off to a great start because today I am featured on a wonderful blog called Paperie Designs' Studio.  I'd like to thank Alia Mohammed, my buddy at and DT member at Paperie, who finds me "fascinating."  Thanks also to Noor Nahdi, the designer and owner of Paperie Designs....check out Noor's beautiful cards!  She is so talented!

This is the first time I've been interviewed on a blog, and I think my answers are a bit on the loooong side, but you know me!  Chatty Kelly! lol! Feel free to leave a comment at Paperie Designs...unless, of course, you do NOT find me fascinating :)

Thanks for sharing my excitement!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer!

It's the first day of summer!

I woke up this morning thinking, "Yay! I have a couple of hours to work on my display layout for Scrap-A-Lot, my local scrapbook store here in Edmonton.  I'm using the most beautiful Creative Imaginations collection called Sakura, and I have photos from my high school trip to Japan in 1980 (please do NOT calculate my age! ha ha!).

The phone rings at 9 am.  Call display says it's my youngest daughter's school on the line.  Did I tell you how much I HATE Call Display?

I'm a good mommy today, so I pick up, and with a most unenthusiastic tone, say "Hello."

Sure enough, it's B.O.F. (BabyOfTheFamily), who calls me about 4 times a week from school for random reasons. (I guess the upside is it's not the principal calling about BoyGenius. sigh.)

"Mom? You know the Arctic diorama sitting in the kitchen?  I have to hand it in today, so I need you to bring it to school before 1 pm because Mrs. C had a baby."  (Nope, I don't understand the baby part either.)

"And be careful! It's fragile!"

The Arctic in a shoebox.

DEFINITION:  Diorama...An attempt to design a visual representation of a microcosm or a landscape scene in a shoebox... that usually bears no resemblance to the real world.

Now, what B.O.F. fails to mention is that the Arctic diorama is UNFINISHED.  Well, according to me it's unfinished...because like most crafty moms out there, a tendency towards perfectionism can kick in and pretty quickly I'm hauling out my scrapbooking supplies to give their projects those special details and final touches. 
Lovely Glitter paper snow drifts edged with chalk ink to define sloping hills

The sugar cubes igloo is falling apart, so I used DecoArt Snow-Tex paste and rebuilt it.

The outside of the shoebox was uncovered and looked HORRIBLE.  Out came the blue paper, my paper trimmer and snowflake stickers.

I am proud to say that all these amazing plasticine figures and and elements were made solely by B.O.F. and her friend.  And I am thrilled that she is following in her Mama's crafty footsteps.

Zombie Eskimo...with incredibly life-like Snowy Owl as pet 
Plasticine Arctic Wardrobe
Surprisingly realistic snowshoes
Somewhat disturbing scene of seal getting speared by Eskimo wearing neon green night-vision hunting goggles (Doesn't that seal have a strangely beseeching look of fear on its face that makes your heart ache?)

But we all know that being a Scrapbooker Mom is a blessing and a curse.  The minute you give a teacher a handmade card, you are labelled the "crafty mom" and ALL the teacher's special projects come your way.

Last June, B.O.F.'s Grade 4 teacher said, "I hear you're a scrapbooker..." (polite pause)  In my head:  RED FLAG....ALERT....RUN!! And within 2 minutes flat, I had agreed to complete 25 mini-albums for the entire class, so they can remember their wonderful year in Grade 4.  I will definitely remember Grade 4! ha ha!

Yes, it's the first day of summer...and my headspace is in the ARCTIC!

I'd better get an A+ for this!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Thoughts

Yesterday, my husband read this wonderful quotation by Mark Twain (in the newspaper), which I'm sure many of you have heard before..

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.  ~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

 I find consolation in these words, mostly because Twain is saying that 140 years ago (and probably since the beginning of time), parents have had to deal with the teenage mindset of "I know EVERYTHING and you know NOTHING."

And I also admire Mark Twain for finding the comedy within the teenager's absurd point of view.

Because that's what I want to do...laugh at these silly moments in life, instead of cry.

Happy Father's Day to all those deserving dads out there who make a difference in their children's lives and don't give up on them in the teenage years.
BoyGenius(BG) and his Dad, 3 summers ago

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Driving Miss Daisy...Crazy

Honestly, I'm too old to be teaching my son how to drive.

For the past month, our 16-yr-old son, BG (BoyGenius), has been taking driving lessons.

Here's a "stealth" photo I sneaked while hiding inside our front door, like a contortionist, sticking my camera only out into the window area, praying I would get a decent shot.  Not bad, hey??

In "teen speak" this activity is called "LURKING".  Ex....I walk into our home office while teen daughter is on the computer..."MOM! Quit lurking!" I pass by my teen son laying on the couch to pick up the cushions from the floor while he is texting..."MOM! You're such a lurker!"  Their trendy vocabulary is soooo impressive. Like, I want to know what they are saying to their friends....NOT.  (Oh no! I'm starting to sound like THEM!)

Where was I?? Oh yeah, the driving lessons.

So after his first lesson, I realized he needed to practise.  And of course, my husband was out of town. Great.

I decided to be brave and be a good mommy and handed him the keys to my mini van.  Hey, maybe he would refuse to drive it because it is such an uncool vehicle.  No such luck.  Off we went.

I thought about packing an Emergency Kit, with some First Aid essentials:

Something to calm my nerves.

Something to restart my heart after it stops....when he doesn't.

And these special underwear...because even though he might not have an accident, there's a good chance that I will!

Well, I did not pack these essentials and lived to tell the tale.  Maybe I'll go finish off the Heineken in his bathroom cupboard instead.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Transparency Leaves Tutorial

Since my initial goal was to blog about scrapbooking, I'd better get to it! ha ha!

Here's a better pic of my two-page Graphic 45 Springtime layout, "Our Fairytale," which I taught at my local scrapbook store called Scrap-A-Lot. I LOVE designing for Kim at the store, and she has soooo many wonderful products and paper collections in stock.  All the products used in this tutorial are from Scrap-A-Lot.

When I posted it here on my blog about a week ago, I also had a photo tutorial of how to make that canvas tree.  And then I promised another tutorial on the leaves. Better late than never, I guess! 

I do have a Cricut and am starting to use it more often, but I find myself pulling out my Big Shot and dies a lot.  After creating this layout, however, I was kicking myself that I used a Big Shot to cut ALL those tiny leaves!!

Basically there are two types of leaves cut...paper and transparency.  Here is the Sizzlet die I used for the paper leaves up in the tree and the transparency leaves in the bushes below....

And here is the Sizzlet die I used for the paper leaves with the canvas flowers in the bottom left page corner....

Now I got some 'splaining to do!! Sit tight....and here we go!
Gather your supplies.  The Tattered Angels Mist is only for spraying the paper leaves a darker colour, NOT for the transparency leaves.  
Cut a piece of transparency the size of the Sizzlet die. (Just LOVE that word Sizzlet!)
You might have to snip a bit around the die cut if the Sizzlet doesn't cut through the transparency completely.
Pour some Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam "Dirty Martini" into its lid and dip in the leaves. (Hmmm...whoever named that product is GENIUS! I'd actually love a job naming colours of sprays and inks and stuff!)
After Glam has dried, add touches of gold toned Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze "Saffron".  (Sorry, can't seem to rotate this photo!! Just tilt your head..hee hee!)
Here is the final effect up close.  I did turn the leaves OVER so the Glam & Glaze are on the backside of the leaves when I adhered them to the page.

You might ask, "Why are you colouring transparency instead of just using paper leaves?? Good question. I wanted to play with the effects of light and colour in the trees, maybe even recreate the sunlight dappling through the leaves. :)  Wishful thinking, I know. ha ha!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!  Hope you have fun creating your own transparency leaves!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sister Wives

First of all, I should tell you that I do not watch TV.  Well, I do watch American Idol.  And Modern Family.  And The Middle.  But that's it.  My kids, however, seem to have that TLC channel on all the time lately.  So I've seen brides shop for wedding dresses in "Say Yes to the Dress", heard families discuss their "Strange Addictions," hurried into my scrap room/studio to re-organize when "Hoarders" comes on, and trimmed my household budget after watching "Extreme Couponers" lug their 10-pound binders to the grocery store. 

Mind you, I'm not watching these shows intentionally.  I'm a reluctant bystander working in my kitchen which is in full view of our family room and tv.

Then "Sister Wives" showed up on the screen.  My older dd, DQ (DramaQueen), explained the concept of these 4 women married to 1 man and sharing the same home.  Yes, honey, I've heard of polygamy before but am astounded that this is on the air...on THE LEARNING CHANNEL (TLC) of all things.  What are we LEARNING? 

In truth, I did not watch a single minute of this show....but I still thought about it.  And you know what happens when I start thinking! ha ha! I began to envision life as a "Sister Wife"....and hey, it didn't seem so bad. 

In my polygamist marriage, there would be SIX sister wives.   I, of course, would be Head Wife #1, who assigns duties to the others.  Here's how I see their household responsibilities:

SISTER WIFE #2 - Cleaning
SISTER WIFE # 3 - Cooking
SISTER WIFE #4 - Laundry
SISTER WIFE # 5 - Driving

SISTER WIFE # 6 - You know what I mean
And that leaves me.  Sister Wife Numero Uno.  When I'm not off traveling the world and exploring other exotic cultures...

...then I will be at home in my studio, enjoying life...
And scrapbooking every minute of it!

I'll be interviewing potential Sister Wives shortly and let you know how things turn out :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My older daughter and I get along great.  She's the easygoing one in the family, ready to laugh at her own mistakes and doesn't stay angry for long.  Must be my genetics.  But for the sake of this blog, I will call her Drama Queen or DQ, an affectionate nickname for her in our family.

But the one issue that rears its ugly head and we argue about is her uncanny ability to keep her room messy.  I guess you could say DQ is a "collector"....a nice term for a "packrat"....and likes to hang on to things FOREVER. 

Like her magazines.  They stack up and stack up and I do not understand why she doesn't toss them.  Sooooo frustrating!

The other day when I walked into her room (hmmmm...maybe I should just stay OUT of my teenagers' rooms!) I saw this lovely display on her floor
And her night table beside her bed had a similar mountain of assorted reading materials...
So of course I "lost it" and we had a roaring good "discussion." 

To calm myself down, I ran a hot bath and soaked with one of my favourite scrapbooking magazines in hand
And then went straight to bed with a good book.
Okay, okay....the irony of this is not lost on me.  Or should I say the HYPOCRISY?? ha ha!

We will be featured on the TLC tv show "Hoarders" some day soon :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guilty Pleasures....sometimes it's the little things

For the first time in my life, I have to travel for work.  Right now it's only one day a month...but being away for even one day is a huge adjustment for my family.  For the first few trips, we were all struggling with managing my time away.  But slowly, I started to see this travel a little differently, especially after this past weekend when I spent 24/7 with laundry, ironing and cooking for kids and their friends. 

So when I walked into my hotel room last night and saw this
I felt a little rush of delight.

These treasures were in my bathroom....MY bathroom that only I would set foot in...
And they were beside a tub and toilet that I had never and would never scrub.

I stared longingly at the stack of fluffy white (not grey) towels that someone else had washed for me...
and started to fill the gleaming tub with hot water for a bath.

When I opened the closet, I couldn't help but smile, knowing I would NOT be touching this...
OR this...
Instead, I would spend my evening alone with this...

watching anything I wanted.  ANYTHING.

And the icing on the cake...
My remote control.  mine mine mine :)

Do I sound a bit selfish?  Maybe.

But sometimes a little selfishness is better than a lot of insanity.