Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Beautiful Blogger? Who, me?!

What a fun perk on a Saturday night - Tracy from Tracy's Treasures emailed me to tell me that she awarded me a Beautiful Blogger award - so sweet! Thanks, Tracy!

Now, upon receiving this award, I have to do 2 things:

1. Share 10 things about me
2. Share this award with 10 other bloggers

Now, it is no longer Saturday night - it's already Tuesday morning, but it took me a while to come up with 10 Things. So, here I go:

1. I flip through magazines, newspapers, manuals, etc. from back to front. One day my 6 y.o. son noticed me doing this and asked me why I did this. I told him that I don't know - I've just always read magazines, etc. this way. He thought for a minute and then said, "Maybe it's because you're left handed". Ding! Lightbulb going on over my head! It made so much sense to me! Casey, my six year old son, cracked the mystery of why I read 'backwards'! I'm glad somebody in this family is smart like that! (And for the record, I don't read books/novels that way - it doesn't work. This much I do know!) I also just noticed that in the little notebooks that I have stashed everywhere (my purse, beside my bed, on my desk) where I jot down bits and pieces of the jetsam and flotsam in my brain, I will write in them from back to front. Hmm...perhaps this is more than just being left-handed...perhaps I'm just backwards! Better yet, I'll just add this to the list of things that I like to refer to as 'my lovable quirks'. That sounds much better than just being weird, doesn't it?!

2. I am freakily flexible. I always have been. It's not because I was in gymnastics as a child or anything like that. I think it's just 'in my blood' so to speak. My mom is also surprisingly flexible, and I remember that both my grandparents (my mom's parents) were as well. (I can't have inherited this from my dad's side - they are notoriously the opposite of flexible - short hamstrings, 'cankles', etc.) I am now a 'big girl', a 'woman of size' - you know, 'zaftig', 'plus-sized', 'generously proportioned', or as my husband volunteered - 'bodacious'. This, however, has not affected my flexibility, which makes it even more freaky - if I ever have occasion to bust out a yoga pose in public, people are suitably shocked and impressed. It's kind of a neat party trick...

3. I was a single mother with my daughter for six years. To quote Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". It's not a path I would have chosen, and it's not a path I recommend, but I am grateful for what the experience taught me. It was a pivotal time in my life and it served to wipe away the worst of me and bring out the best in me, and I've carried it forward ever since.

4. I have such vivid dreams, it's like I watch a feature length movie in my sleep every night. Even more so than a movie, though, because the sounds, the smells, the sensations are all so intense - so much more multi-dimensional than a movie could ever be. I love it! Every night is an adventure. Very occasionally, I'll have a bad dream and then the intensity of my dreams is a liability, but this is so rare. Overall, it's a great trait to have!

5. If I ever win the lottery (I rarely ever buy tickets, which makes the odds of winning even MORE remote!), I've always said that the first two places I'd go are a book store and a garden centre. OH, the fun I would have!!

6. I have worn SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on my face every day of every year since I was 21 years old. I had read an article in a science journal stating that the majority of visible aging is due to low grade, long term, daily sun exposure. As a fair skinned, freckle faced redhead, that was all the motivation I needed. I'm 38 years old now - I wonder - has it helped? I don't look significantly younger than I am...Check back with me when I'm in my 50's. Or 80's, for that matter! I remain hopeful...

7. I can't watch that new TLC show, 'Hoarding: Buried Alive". It hits a little bit too close to home. I'm not nearly that bad, but I do recognize that I have tendencies toward hoarding behaviour. If I ever end up being an eccentric old lady (and so far I'm 65% sure that I will be one day), I think hoarding will be one of the ways my eccentricities manifest.

8. I've had my driver's licence since I was 17 years old. In the 21 years that I have been driving, I've never (knock on wood!) been at fault in an accident. In fact, (and again, knock on wood) I've only ever been in a few motor vehicle accidents, and they were all very minor.

9. We own a mini van, and I am so freakin' over it! When I was pregnant with our second child, we traded in our Ford Explorer for a Dodge Caravan. Made sense at the time. Then we had our third child, and the minvan still made sense. Factor in hockey gear, soccer gear, tae kwon do gear, bikes, etc. and a mini van still makes sense. But I'm over it. I don't like the mini van anymore. I don't want to be driving it. I would like to drive a car, or a truck. I feel like I am willing and able to make whatever changes, concessions, etc. necessary to forgo the need for a minivan. I'm not going to rush out and get rid of it, but make no mistake, when it does come time to purchase a new vehicle, it will not be another mini van!

10. I pretty much have music in my head all the time. Sometimes it's background music, and sometimes it's so prominent that it starts leaking out and I actually start singing out loud. Sometimes I'm alone, and sometimes I'm around other people, whom I may or may not know. I think that people sometimes think that because I sing out loud, in public, and often with exuberance and enthusiam, I must think that I'm a really good singer even though it's painfully obvious to the observer that I'm not. Newsflash - I KNOW I'm not a good singer, but that doesn't stop me. I can't help it. I got the music in me and sometimes it just wants to come out! And sometimes, I'll get a song stuck in my head. And, usually, it's a song that I know really well musically, but not so much lyrically. Often, it becomes a fixation, an obsession, and I can't stop it, or get it out of my head, or leave it alone until I exocise it. Thank goodness for the Internet - if it's convenient and I'm able, I get on the Google and search using the lyrics I do know, or by artist/band name. Once I can get ahold of the full and correct lyrics, I can get it all straight in my head and work it out. I think this might sound a bit OCD. Maybe it is...I have had times where I've tended to lean in a bit of an OCD direction. My daughter just finds it really embarrassing. If I start singing anywhere outside of the house, she will hiss at me, "Mom! People are going to think that there is something WRONG with you!!". I also pride myself on being able to come up with a song for any occasion, or to fit any theme, statement, or comment. These are the little ways I keep myself amused.

Whew! Coming up with 10 things was surprisingly hard!! BUT - coming up with 10 bloggers to nominate is easy!

1. Karla. Karla is delightful. She is an amazing designer - check out her digital products! She is so creative - so much eye candy on her blog! And, the icing on the cake, she's a supermom to 5 children. Yes, that's right - FIVE! She's gorgeous, her husband's gorgeous, and her five children are even more gorgeous! She's one of those women that you might be tempted to hate, except that she is so nice, and so real! Check out her blog - you'll see what I mean!

2. Kerry. Another great digi designer. And supermom to three. And all round super creative, super talented, super nice person. And there was a time when Kerry was actually my boss, and she was super at that too!

3. Sandy. Another Wonder Woman here! This is a woman I really admire, and she is one of those women who makes me wonder how she is able to do much more with her 24 hours a day than I do! Sandy is very inspiring. She is a driving force behind Operation Write Home, and as if that isn't enough, she also makes the nicest cards!!

4. Cari. Another amazingly creative woman! So talented, so creative, such a great teacher...love her!

5. Karen. This woman is an amazing photographer - a true master of her craft! She amazes me! And, like Karla, Karen is a gorgeous woman with a gorgeous husband and gorgeous kids - but you can't hate her either because she is truly one of the nicest people I know, and a really great mom too!

6. Debby. One of my all-time favorite scrappers! Plus, she's a really nice person, super creative, and - another Supermom!

7. Erica. Supermom, super scrapper...I'm beginning to think I appreciate a specific type of blogger...Erica's blog is great looking too - check her out!

8. Ginnie. Ginnie isn't somebody who I know personally, but her blog speaks to me!! She is a beautifully real and wonderful human being and she writes about her daily life so eloquently. Plus, her blog is visually gorgeous - her photography is amazing!

9. Ann. Another woman whom I don't know personally, but her blog is so lovely...some of her posts have moved me to tears. She also hosts the meme Multitude Mondays, which I have begun participating in. So much good stuff on her blog - go see for yourself! It's uplifting!

10. Heather. The perspectives she shares on her blog and the way she writes about everyday things perks me up. Also - Great mom. So creative. Amazing photographer. All-round likeable human being. She also has a photo-a-day blog that is incredible.

So there you have it - a collection of blogs hosted by women who inspire me, and I'm so happy to share them with you.

Thanks again, Tracey, for the nod!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 5

81. Being able to tickle my daughter's grumpies away. It doesn't work every time, but it works enough of the time for me to be thankful!

82. Two little boys who are great buddies and are happy and busy playing together in our home

83. A weekend with NO outside obligations

84. A sweet husband who brings me flowers, a card, and chocolates for no reason

85. My three little nieces. THREE! Little girls! How cute is that?! Lucky me!

86. The wisdom that comes with age and experience. I'm not claiming to be wise (not yet!), and I don't think of myself as aged, but a little bit older, a little bit wiser - I can live with that!

87. Mascara. My own magic wand. I'm lucky to have thick enough, long enough lashes, but without mascara, you can't see them.

88. Extended medical benefits through my husband's employer

89. My mother sharing her car with us so generously

90. The quilt that my Grandma made me when I was a child. Butterflies and flowers made out of fabric scraps that I recognize from clothes that she made for me, for herself, and for others. Such a keepsake.

91. My cameras. Put me anywhere - if I've got my camera(s) with me, I'm happy.

92. Forsythia. While searching the Internet for gardening ideas for our new home, I came across a less-than-positive mention of forsythia, citing it's short-lived 'garish' yellow flowers, and it's transition to plain green leaves which contributed nothing attractive to a yard or garden. I was offended! I LOVE forsythia, and I always have. It is one of the earliest flowering plants in spring and in late February, early March, any forsythia sightings in Metro Vancouver make my heart soar - such a bold and joyous exclamation that spring is inarguably on it's way!

93. A neighbourhood with an ample supply of sticks of all types - long, short, flexible, breakable, rough, smooth - all eagerly sorted out, grabbed up, looked over, and claimed by my boys and their friends - tools for their imaginations.

94. Toys that do not require batteries.

95. Toys that are not noisy.

96. Turning the TV off. Keeping it off.

97. Art supplies.

98. Laughing and joking with friends.

99. Laughing and joking with my kids.

100. Good rain gear.

holy experience

Friday, March 26, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - 2nd Edition

Hello! Happy Friday, TGIF, and all that! Coming at you with the great 7 Quick Takes Friday meme hosted by The Conversion Diary. Jumping right in...

1. Is there truly any such thing as a bra that fits well, is comfortable to wear, and makes the girls look great? Is there?! Really?! Because if there is, I haven't ever found one in my entire bra-wearin' life! Am I missing a really obvious/simple piece of the puzzle? What gives?! It's the 21st century for cryin' out loud! We've got space tourists visiting the International Space Station, the human genome has been mapped, and the United States has elected it's first black president. Could somebody please provide me with a comfortable and effective flopper stopper?!

2. Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder. 'Just Breathe'. Enough said.

3. I love playing 'Lexulous' on Facebook. It's the online equivalent of Scrabble. It can be played against friends, or you can join a table or host a table with other users. It is not uncommon to have multiple games going at once, and some can be finished in one sitting while others last for days. There is one thing about Lexulous that perplexes me though, and it's this: Some people use it as a hot talk forum. I'm not a prude, but come on, people! Time and place! Is Lexulous really it?! Here are some real examples of requests:

"PLEASE READ THIS!!!! Fun girls only. ;) Say 'yes I'm naughty' when you start the game."
"Looking for sexy girls for sexy chat."
"Any other guys sitting at home in their underwear?"
"hot girls 18-30. cum and play - do not play if you don't want to talk dirty x"
"WOMEN ONLY..FLIRTY TYPES only..if you dont want to chat dont play....no blank pics, pet pics, or fake pics..i want to see who im playing..chatting a must..NO GUYS"

Really?! This is an online SCRABBLE game!! Can you find no other forum for this? Does this actually WORK for you?! Is the Scrabble component necessary for your gratification? Forgive me for being judgemental, but I find it quite strange...

4. There are days with my children where I swing wildly between being so besotted with the cuteness of them, so powerfully captured by their sweetness and goodness that it's all I can do to keep from imploding with love - to finding myself catapulted instantaneously into raving irritation and annoyance with them - their whining, their fussing, their dawdling, their pickiness over food - I need to physically restrain myself from bolting from the house, raving like a lunatic, frantically fleeing my suburban home for the wildness of...wherever...anything else is a celebrated alternative and reprieve! Is this a common Mommy experience?! Please - provide me with perspective! I'm either a horrible monster for feeling this way, or in ample good company!

5. I fear that I am turning into my mother. Case in point #1 (and sadly, there are probably a total of TEN or more 'case in point's'...) - I think I am becoming a technological dinosaur. I have never sent a text message. I don't know what to do when I receive one. I know how to program contacts into my cell phone's directory, but I get easily frustrated with the process and ask my daughter to "just do it for me!", which reminds me of my mother's inability to program her own VCR to tape a program and her reliance on us to take care of it for her. It's comparisons like these that send a cold, creeping prickle of fear up my spine...

6. I love books. I especially have a thing for children's books. We are avid library users and always have stacks of library books in the house, but we also have a LOT of our own books too. Now that we've bought a house and are going to be moving in approximately six weeks, I'm looking around at all of our overflowing book shelves and dreading not only the boxing them all up, but the moving them! Boxes of books weigh a LOT! I'm crossing my fingers that we're going to end up hiring movers, but even so - we are going to have scores of boxes of books to deal with. I've always said that if I ever won the lottery, the bookstore would be on my list of Top 3 places I'd go to first...why does it look like that's already happened?! I've got the books, now where's all the leftover cash winnings?! Sigh...something's out of whack here!

7. Another great Friday challenge over at The Inspired Scrapper - mixing black and white photos with colour - check out Cari's and Virginia's awesome examples!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 4

61. The smell of the woods after it rains

62. Sunshine for Casey's soccer tournament this Saturday

63. My daughter looking after Cody so well while I coached at the tournament

64. Renewed energy after my cold/flu

65. Having three great days with all three kids while my husband was out of town

66. Spending the afternoon at Everett Crowley Park and letting the little boys run wild like little boys should.

67. Improving sleep patterns for my daughter (resulting in improving moods for my daughter!)

68. A fun OWH blog hop weekend

69. Lexulous - the online equivalent of Scrabble. Good brain strain!

70. Knowing that we will be moving into a more suitable home for our family sooner rather than later...

71. Feeling like I'm doing a good job of getting healthy food into my kids

72. A good stretch

73. My sister's little girl, my niece, turning 3 years old. Such an impish little gift to our family!

74. Finally being well enough to get my hands on my newest baby niece, Olivia - a perfect, pink little bean bag!

75. The bond between my husband and I

76. Steve's safe trip to and from Whistler over the weekend

77. Little boys singing to themselves happily and unselfconsciously at various times throughout the day

78. School administrators and faculty who are dedicated and effective

79. Colour - in nature, in my home, in my children's artwork...bright, muted, riotous, quiet, evocative, tranquil, stimulating, energizing, calming, shocking, earthy - colour, glorious colour!

80. A really comfortable mattress

holy experience

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blog Hoppin' with OWH!

Hello - welcome to my little stop along the way in the big Operation Write Home Spring Break Bloghop! If you are are participating in the OWH blog hop and you've found your way here from Vieve Garner's blog, Plaid Polka Dots, you are rolling along merrily! If you have found your way here from somewhere else, well - you are just as welcome, and encouraged to join in on OWH's blog hop - it's big and bold and full of wonderful inspiration, creation, and celebration! Head on over to the OWH Stars & Stripes blog to start at the beginning. Reminder - leave a comment on this post to show that you were here. At the end of the hop, I will be writing on an itty bitty little strip of paper the name of each person who commented, then I will throw everybody's name into a hat (a Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics toque, specifically!) and I will draw one name. This person will be announced somewhere here as the winner, I will make contact via email in order to get a mailing address, and I will be sending a humble yet heartfelt little gift/RAK of appreciation to them. YOU could be the lucky winner - yes, YOU, so don't forget to comment at the bottom of this post.

If you are not familiar with Operation Write Home, I strongly urge you to check them out! It's such a great organization - their mission statement reads, and I quote - "To support our nation’s armed forces by sending blank greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them." Their site(s) feature so many heartwarming stories and comments that demonstrate how sending handmade greeting cards overseas, such a seemingly small and simple show of support for some of this world's true heroes, can make such a strong and appreciated impact. Truly, it's the least we can do and I personally find it so rewarding to know that the cards that I so enjoy making can be received by service people overseas who can in turn use them to send words of love back home across so many, many miles to their families who love them and miss them and pray for their safety every day...Like I said, SO rewarding! You can find out more here, here, here, and here!

OK, now on with the show! Participants in the OWH Spring Break Blog Hop were asked to create a 'Welcome Spring'/Thinking Of You spring-inspired card. I have made three cards that say 'Spring' to me - bright, cheerful, and floral. I left them without greetings so that they remain in the 'all occasion' category and can be used for birthday, thinking of you, love, etc. I often do this for cards that I keep in my stash so that they are versatile and can be modified to suit an occasion as needed. For the cards that I send in to OWH, I almost always add a greeting of some kind in order to give them a 'finished' feeling/appearance. Of note, you can go to Operation Write Home's home page to find out what their currents calls/requests and deadlines for cards are (look in the bottom left column). As of today, they are asking for packages to be sent postmarked by:

Mother's Day: April 1
Graduation: April 19
Father's Day: May 15
All other cards: anytime

Alright, now on to the next stop along the way - hop on over to Tami Bayer's blog, Dapple Designs, see what goodness she has to offer, and make sure to leave her some love too!

Thanks for stopping by and playing along! I hope you will be inspired to send OWH a package of your own handmade cards often - or even every once in a while - it's all good!

Happy Saturday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 3

Good morning, and Happy Monday! Time for another round of thankfulness with Multitude Monday, hosted by Ann at A Holy Experience. Her post today planted a big ol' lump squarely in my throat. She put into words so beautifully what my muddled brain sometimes ponders on - "How does a heart sorrow over the time forever gone and still be present to the wonder of the time that is now?" Ok - lump in throat and tears in eyes. Thank you, Ann - your words just happened to find me in a most timely manner.

Now - before I commence with today's installment of 20 gratitudes, I must confess - this list should be numbers 61 through 80, but last Monday I was away visiting my sister and didn't plan ahead for my Monday post. I considered posting it late once I got back, but, well...I didn't. In summary - a quote, from Forrest Gump - "That's all I have to say about that."

Here goes!

41. A safe (but very rainy!) drive to Seattle

42. Being able to spend the first half of Spring Break with my sister, my brother-in-law, and two of my beautiful nieces.

43. Home again safe and sound (sick unfortunately, but still safe and sound!)

44. 'Get well' pictures drawn by Casey

45. The most wonderful parents-in-law ever!

46. Watching my husband carry the Paralympic torch

47. The improving ability to bite my tongue

48. The opportunity for my sons to attend a Paralympic sledge hockey game

49. A regular paycheque

50. Hearing my two boys in the bathtub splashing and laughing gustily

51. Feeling like my daughter and I are experiencing more decent times that difficult times lately...

52. Being surrounded by wonderful green space

53. Photographs. Old ones. New ones. So many great images and memories captured.

54. Accessible health care

55. Daylight Savings!!

56. Good neighbours

57. Getting a big pot of hot black tea brewed first thing in the morning

58. The ability to (often, but not always) find humour in difficult moments/times

59. Moments of 'down time/me time'

60. Other bloggers who share their stories with humour and honesty and eloquence

holy experience

Friday, March 12, 2010

Share The Love Sunday - The Gardening Edition

Hello, and welcome to another Share The Love Sunday! Read my page here to find out what it's all about!

With spring in the air, and signs of it all over the ground, I am starting to feel the gardening bug creep up on me again! Additionally, with my husband and I currently house hunting, I'm thinking a lot about yard, landscape, and garden ideas. I've never Googled any of these topics before, and wow - wouldn't you know it - there's a whole lot out there! Here are a few of the sites that I came across that I think I will be spending a lot of time poring over:

In My Kitchen Garden

National Wildlife Federation - 16 Tips For Wildlife Gardening With Kids

Garden Rant


This list could just keep on going - as I mentioned above, these are just a few of an infinite amount of gardening-related sites and blogs that are out there and have me intrigued. I love that a visit to just one blog can lead to finding numerous other blogs to discover. And that, folks, is one of the reasons for Share The Love Sunday. The fun just rolls on and on. So please, share with me what you have come across that you are digging on. That's garden humour right there...told you I was starting to feel the 'bug'. (Please note - your shares can be on any topic that interests you - so link up! Share the love!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Share The Love Sunday - 3rd Edition

Hello - welcome to the third edition of Share The Love Sunday. I'd love to have you play along. Check out my page for all the details!

First share: Creatively Savvy. Susan Stringfellow shares a beautiful and clever technique for using Cuttlebug folders to emboss the edges of 12x12 paper. She's achieved such a great effect!

Second share: Color Me Happy. Diane Payne has created an album made with fabric to hold her monthly creations for Project 12 over at Scrapbook and Cards Today. Such an amazingly gorgeous creation.

What have you come across recently that you are just loving? Share it here!

*Note: Mr. Linky is now closed.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

For Today, March 6, 2010

Outside my window...Cherry blossoms, my humble little straggly forsythia (I think I need to prune it aggressively!), my hostas starting to poke up out of the earth in my garden...oh, how I love this time of year!

I am thinking...about what to pack for our trip down to Seattle...I really should make a list. Bikes, car activities, music, books, medication, rain gear (crossing my fingers that we won't need it!)...and lots of other stuff. I don't pack light, people!

I am thankful...for my friends. I'm pretty lucky in the friend department.

From the kitchen...red wine :)

I am wearing...As always, I just cut and paste this part from my last 'For Today' entry - "my usual at-home uniform - yoga pants, oversized t-shirt/sweater".

I am reading...Hold On To Your Kids, by Gordon Neufeld/Gabor Mate

I am hoping...that this beautiful sunshine lasts for spring break, and that my sister's husband isn't too sick, that my sister doesn't get sick, and that her kids stay healthy too because darn it, it's spring break and we're supposed to be leaving for their place tomorrow!

I am going...house hunting again tomorrow. It's not something I enjoy all that much...it tries my patience. But - I am grateful to be in a position where it's actually something we can be doing right now.

I am creating...lots of cards. I'm really loving the card making lately!

I am hearing...dang it, I wish I could say something other than...the TV!

Around the house...sigh. Well, let's just call it 'signs of happy, busy children'.

One of my favorite things...just regular, everyday life.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Road trip to Seattle, good times with my kids, my sister and her family, lots of photo ops, and then the excitement of watching my husband do his leg of the run with the torch for the Paralympics.

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing with you...A self-portrait of Casey and I from March 5th - goofing around in the van while waiting to pick up Chanel.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Challenge Is Nothing More Than A Creative Opportunity...

I've got two cards to share here today.

This first card is based on a sketch over at 2 Sketches 4 You, Kazan's Sketch #47. This card proved to truly be challenging to me because of a mechanical difficulty. The butterfly on this card was cut out of vellum using a Sizzix die, which I bought to use in my Cuttlebug. I'd never used a Sizzix die in my Cuttlebug, but because I've been able to use numerous other brands of dies, I didn't even question whether or not it would work. I ran it through my Cuttlebug and the body of the butterfly popped out no problem, but the finer, fussier antennae had not cut all the way through and tore when I tried to pull them out. I tried again, this time paying more attention to place the die and vellum evenly on the platform with the mats squarely overtop. Again, the butterfly's body popped out without any trouble but those darm antennae were not quite cut through and tore again.

At this point, I contemplated scrapping the butterfly idea all together and figuring something else out, but the butterfly just seemed to be the perfect finish. I just needed a small fraction more pressure on the antennae, so I decided to try using a shim. I had some cardboard packaging from new glue sticks lying on my desk, so I slipped that underneath the platform and ran it through one more time. Success! The entire butterfly popped out easily and intact. "That's using the old noggin', Jillian!", I told myself. I then had two butterfly bodies and one complete butterly, so in order to provide some depth, I stacked the pieces on top of each other and used a very narrowly cut piece of foam tape between each layer to really give some dimension. In order to disguise the foam tape showing through the butterfly on the top layer, I used self-adhesive rhinestones to cover the butterfly's body (or 'thorax' I believe is the proper term!). Problem solved, and I'm very pleased with the finished result. I will be giving this card to my sister-in-law at her baby shower next week.

My second card is based on a sketch at Card Positioning Systems, #156. (Please note - the colour difference angling across the top of the card is a shadow. Oops!)This card was also truly a challenge for me because this is a new size/format for me. I have never made a narrow tall card before. Is there a 'standard' size for these? I just 'eyeballed' a size that looked right, and made this one 3.25" x 8". Although I've been wanting to try this size for quite some time, I had never gotten around to it. The sketch at CPS is what finally 'forced' me to do it. Being a size/shape that I've never tried before forced me outside of my 'comfort zone' a little bit and forced my brain to work and my eyes to see in a slightly different way. Not a dramatic exercise, but still different enough that I could feel the gears in my cranium creaking a little bit. With certain scientific studies indicating that mental stimulation helps offset cognitive impairment, every little bit counts as far as I'm concerned! Thanks to the sketch, I didn't have to overstrain my brain and come up with placement, so I kept the design quite literal and again, I'm pleased with the results.

I tend to want to 'tart things up' a little bit and sometimes struggle with keeping cards (or layouts for that matter) simpler. As well as being more minimal, this finished card has a lot of white space. In theory, I love the idea of white space and am amazed at how effectively some people use it, but on my own stuff, it can make me feel uncomfortable. The longer I 'sit' on it though, the more it settles into my grey matter and makes itself at home. I vow to attempt white space more often!

Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you plenty of creative opportunities of your own!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Random Cute Moment With Cody...

Cody, being well known for his little cheeky streak, likes to ease his way onto the chair at the computer desk and start tapping frenetically at the keyboard or clicking away with the mouse like a little maniac. I caught him at it a couple of days ago and I said, "Cody!! What are you doing?!", to which he replied..."I'm just doin' my email for tids (kids)".

I can't really say anything against that...I mean, how many times has he asked me what I'm doing only to hear me say, "Im just checking my email"...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round Two

Well, it's Monday again and so time for another 20 things for which I am grateful. Today's list includes, but is not limited to, the following items - in no particular order:

21. Quiet moments in which to regroup, refresh, regenerate. It's imperative to my survival and sanity!

22. The public library. Oh my word. How I love the library. I get in there and I'm like the proverbial kid in a candy store.

23. My safe and happy home. Chaotic and cluttered - but safe and happy.

24. The opportunity to NOT work outside of the home right now. I'm really enjoying my time at home - really enjoying the cliche-but-oh-so-true quality time with my children - especially little Dookie. He needs it the most, and with him being my last baby...it's particularly poignant.

25. CFOX morning show. I can be in the foulest, most irritable mood, but if I'm lucky enough to have a moment to listen to a bit of the morning show at CFOX, it gets me laughing and feeling good again in no time. Because this is not a program that I consider appropriate for my young children's ears, it's a real treat when I am actually on my own at a time when I can catch it.

26. Cherry blossoms. They are everywhere! What a gorgeous winter this has been, and spring has tiptoed in early!

27. A loving, suportive husband.

28. My new little 'pocket camera' that my husband got me for Valentines Day. So easy to keep in my pocket or purse. Still love my digital SLR, but this little Sony is quite the little workhorse. Lots of great features, and more megapixels than my Canon!

29. Spring Break on the horizon. Hopefully, we will take a drive down to Seattle where my sister, her husband, and their two little girls live. A visit with my sister is long overdue! Better yet, we might even make it a round trip on the train. The Amtrak Cascades is not a bad way to go and the little boys will love it!!

30. Rubber boots. There's a certain satisfaction in being able to tromp around in the rain and know that your feet will stay dry and warm. "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." — Sir Rannulph Fiennes. Problem solved!

31. Good, clean drinking water right from the tap!

32. Naps. No explanation necessary!

33. A sense of humour. I can't imagine where'd I'd be without it.

34. Structure and routine. For me, for my children. Couldn't have it any other way.

35. A migraine that didn't quite happen. Got the sensitivity to sound. Got the blind spots/auras...then...nothing. Severe discomfort averted.

36. Clean laundry. Sure it's a bit of a chore to fold and put away, but it's a small price to pay for knowing exactly where to go for clean socks and undies!

37. An engaging paperback novel with a clip-on booklight to take to bed with me. Even if I know I am way to tired to get beyond the page that I'm on, it's insurance - peace of mind towards a good night's sleep.

38. Airborne. My magic elixir. Works every time.

39. The sweetness of little boys.

40. The good fortune of being born into the most beautiful city in the world and being able to raise my children here.

holy experience


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