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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Idea Fest, Naps, Anniversaries and Homemade Water Parks!

I am out in Abbotsford enjoying a mini getaway at my parents while the older two girls attend VBS (Vacation Bible School for those of you who don't know) at their church. Their cousins Jenna and Luke are also going so it's been a busy fun week so far. Yesterday I got to slip back into Ladner to celebrate Greg and my 9th Anniversary and while there I took the opportunity to play catch up with my Big Idea Festival book. Here are the last 5 words.

These 3 ARE my nest (that's what the journalling is about) and also, I thought the hammock at Granny Camp kind of looked like a nest.

Visual reminders are always good!

The journalling is about "lessons I am trying to learn from my 2 year old". Like "dirty is always better"!
A note about the orientation of this page. Because I wanted to use this picture I felt I needed to flip the template from BPC. It also helps the pages that I accidentally created in the wrong orientation to fit in better! LOL!

Be Free - the journalling talks about my desire to be free from fear, pain, guilt (oh, the Mommy guilt!) etc. I also flipped this one 'cus I was using another large picture. Plus, this page and the one above are next to each other in my book.

In this Moment celebrate with love. As I mentioned above, it was our anniversary on Tuesday (our 9th) and I took some pics before we headed out on our date. This picture was initially one of the rejects because our heads are cut off (ah, the self timer!) but there is something about it that I like so I scrapped it. Now it's with me forever!

Okay, so my post title said something about naps ... we arrived here on Sunday evening and the girls weren't able to calm down and get to sleep (they are all sharing a room downstairs so you can only imagine the excitement that created!) until after 10PM. Monday was a full day of VBS, cousins, pool time and then another late night when we tried to add their cousins into the mix of the sleepover (Jenna joined them while Caleb and Luke slept upstairs in the den.) It was past 9 when we finally got them settled - Paige was in my bed, Marley had moved over to sleep with Christine as she was sad to lose her bed mate (Paige) which left Jenna sad and alone ... Ammee to the rescue! Ina cuddled with her for a bit and that seemed to help settle everyone. Phew!
So, it should be no surprise then that LC looked like this by 10AM on Tuesday after a walk to the church to drop the kids off and to Shoppers to check out the new store.

She fell asleep in the stroller on the way home and hardly blinked an eyelid when I transferred her to the couch. Aww! According to Ina she was in bed just after 7 that night too. Poor tuckered out little soul!

Here is the "official" anniversary picture.

We had a good dinner out using a Groupon at The Point in Steveston. Very yummy food, very slow service but we scored a comped glass of wine because of it so who cares?!

Last but not least was the homemade water park today. The girls didn't want to go to the local park to play on the playground once I got back, instead they wanted to tear down the little hill that is Ammee and Poppa's driveway on their scooters while I sprayed them with the hose.
Hmmm ... okay
I have a few more grey hairs from watching these bikini clad bodies scream (rather shakily in Paige's case) by me but amazingly no one bailed!

For this one I was shooting from the hip as I was also manning the hose!

See Paige's hair flying out behind her? That should be some indication of how fast she was going!

This is the hill. LC was trying to go up as high as her sisters but ...

... Mother Marley helped her back down again.

So Paige could come flying down unhindered. Yikes!

LC took a little break on her scooter.

Eventually the scooters were tossed aside in favour if just plain old running through the spray! Here's Ina manning the hose.

Marley took a turn too. She can be rather ruthless with her aim but ...

... I don't think they minded! (This time!)

Paige is trying to squeeze the trigger to make the hose spray. Hee, hee, hee. I'm sure when she'd 16 she'll hate that I posted this picture of her but right now, I think she looks so cute!

Speaking of cute ... Marley making a Pringles duck bill mouth! The post water play snack.

And seeing as she was surrounded by granddaughters, Ina opened up a spa on the deck. Here is Paige painting her finger nails. Oh, and for those of you who are on Facebook, we were very careful with LC and she did NOT get to paint her own toe nails this time!

She did however participate in the soaking of the feet and ...

... the buffing of the calusses (okay, I have no idea how to spell that word!)

Well, that's it for today. The girls are asleep (without too much effort tonight) and I think it's time I was heading that way too. Thanks for stopping by.
Enjoy the sunshine if you've got it and if you're near those thunder and tornado cells out East - hunker down and stay safe tonight!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Today was hot. The first truly hot day all summer I think. There's only 2 weeks left of summer and NOW it decides to show?! Sheesh!

Ah well, better late than never.

Today seemed quite busy. We took the kids to Splashdown in the morning (thanks for the passes Karn!!) - only leaving when LC had a meltdown over being forced out of the hot tub. I'll post some pictures at the end of this post but first I want to post my latest crafty endeavours. Bear with me or scroll down - your choice!

First up, Project 12 for July.
Here's the sketch.

And here's what I came up with.

I'm not totally happy with it. It feels unfinished somehow but it was too hot in the craft room to keep working. Plus, dinner wasn't going to make itself! (If I found a genie in a lamp, I think that's what I would wish for ... someone to make my dinners.)

Here's the left hand side.

And the right hand side.

A close up of the journalling/title block. I saw a tutorial (I think it was on my upline Sandra's blog) on how to make these pleated paper ribbons so I gave it a shot. LOVE IT! And so easy. You really have to try it!

I wanted to bring attention to the little picture I had of Paige riding her bike without training wheels so I framed it in yellow. That sort of was the jumping off point for all the yellow accents on the page. Originally I wanted to include a picture of Paige on a bright yellow waterslide but it didn't work with the layout (one too many pictures if you can believe that!) but I think I had yellow stuck in my mind. Anyway. I like it. It adds a touch of sunshine to the summer themes.

Next we have a little project I've been working on this week for Big Picture Classes. They're running their Big Idea Festival right now (check it out here) and everyday you are emailed an inspirational word. You can also download and print a 6x6 template to use. Here's my mini book so far.

The cover.
I bought this album last year at Clipper Street's garage sale. It's wooden with inner pages made of what looks like recycled paper. Very raw. I glued the striped paper onto the front (cutting around the hinges) and then taped the rest in place.

To go with the feel of the album. I have been printing all my templates on kraft cardstock. This is the title page template that they gave us.

Day 1 - Share. The journalling talks about how we are always telling the girls to share, how they sometimes hate it but how they also love it. Marley is actually now in her own room after 7.5 years of sharing with Paige. So far so good. It will be interesting to see if she misses Paige's company. Last night she had some trouble getting to sleep and at one point stuck her head into her old room to check on Paige and LC. Thankfully they were fast asleep!

Day 2 - Wonder. I accidentally made this the wrong way so had to paste it into the book portrait instead of landscape. Oh well. I may have to do more like this to make this page look intentional! :)
The journalling here talks about the strides Paige has made this summer in conquering some of her fears. I added to the title to make it "I Wonder if it will last?"

The second page and more pictures of Paige and LC on the swing ride at Sun Fest this year.

Both pages together.

Day 3 - Less. Here I talk about my efforts this summer to use or lose my stash.

Day 4 - Give. A picture from the ceremony at the Cenotaph to honour those fallen fighting in Afghanistan.

Day 5 - Enjoy. The journalling talks about how we enjoyed a fun trip to the water park at Granville Island and how all 3 of them were enjoying it in their own way. Usually there is one child freaking out about something but this time, they were all happy!

The second page of that.

Both pages together.

So now we are ready to show you some pictures from Splashdown. How different from the day pictured above! Marley and Paige were excited and having fun on the slides - despite chattering teeth as the water was super cold! But after the first slide, LC was not having fun anymore. Once she hit that cold water it was all over for her. She did love the hot tub though. As I mentioned in my opening, she had a tantrum when we pulled her out of it!
Greg is still experiencing some discomfort so didn't want to go down any slides with the girls, and I ... well, let's just say the less people see of me in a bathing suit, the better and leave it at that. As it was I had to parade around in my suit once or twice when the girls wanted some added reassurance at the bottom of some slides.
Starting out. Marley was under strict instructions to take care of LC - something she excels at. Seriously! Sometimes I think she does a better job of mothering that child than me!!

Whee! This is fun!

Hmmm ... maybe not. This water's cold!

Nope. I am definitely NOT having fun now! Let me off!!
And that was where LC and the waterslides parted company.

After some more waterslides, Paige and I ended up in the hot tub. I got out when I saw that Marley was about to go down the inner tube slide. 
That's her!

Hitting the pool at the bottom.

Freezing cold but loving every minute!

Warming up in the hot tub.

Well, so far tonight Marley has come down once to give a SITREP on the other two which was completely unneccessary as Paige had already come down herself to complain that LC was turning her light on and off and it was keeping her awake. Sigh. It's only night 2 ... it's only night 2 ....

I am off to see what trash I can find to watch on the TV (after switching the laundry first.) Greg seems to have left it alone for a bit - ran out of soccer and football games to watch I guess. :)
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MotherLOAD Week 7

I received my weekly MotherLOAD email this morning ... we're into week 8 now. Hmmm ... I finished the layout for week 7 yesterday ... Oh well. Life has been busy and taken a turn for the crazy(er). While I have been spending hours in my scrap room/office, it's mostly been reading up on Stampin' Up! stuff, trying to figure out their site and learning about the fine art of Direct Sales. Ugh. Not sure I'm really cut out for all this cold calling and stuff but I'm doing my best to give it a shot.

But back to Week 7 ... we were to create a layout that conveyed a theme or emotion without using words. Here is mine, can you guess what my theme/emotion is?

If you guessed "play" you are correct!
Ways this says play: bright colours, diagonal placement of the circle elements (putting things on the diagonal suggests movement - there, my interior design training just paid off!! LOL!) and the circle elements themselves. Marley said they look like bubbles and while that wasn't the intention, she's right. This also adds to the playfulness of the layout, don't you think? I didn't add a title because I didn't feel it needed one. Sometimes, I think you can get away with no title. Let the pictures and your journalling speak for themselves.

And speaking of journalling, here's a close up of mine.

Products used: Cardstock - Bazzill (yellow) and scraps (white); Patterned paper - Bella Blvd and AC; Cicles - punched with my Cuttlebug (it's for sale on Craigslist if you want it!) and the Nestabilities circles. 

For week 8 Lain is talking about Inspiration and how we can get overwhelmed with our inspiration - too many ideas, too much product, too many photos. Check out this great post from about burnout.  It is so timely as I've been feeling overwhelmed and not in a scrapping "mood". Since doing all those Apron Strings challenges in July, I've barely scrapped anything. I'm falling behind on my MotherLOAD work, I've printed the pictures for my July P12 layout but done nothing with them and my OLW ... well, the less said about THAT the better! Earlier in the summer I signed up for Big Picture Classes Big Idea Festival so now I've got more projects that aren't getting done. Yes, I suppose I could be a teensy bit over stretched! :) Add to that the fact that I've now signed up with Stampin' Up! and am trying desperately to learn all I can about the company, their products (I'm mostly familiar with them already thank goodness!) and the business of being a demonstrator for them. It's a ton of stuff firing at me at the same time. No wonder I'm feeling overwhelmed!

Anyway, I'm going to try and get into my craft room today to do some scrapping - if the girls will play nicely! I had an hour to myself last night to get some sales calls made and the promise of another hour tonight to make some more, so I think I can put aside the crafting business in favour of the crafting business for a bit. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Directions

No, I'm not talking about Glee.

I'm talking about a new direction in my life. My scrapping life to be specific. Well, and my working life.

For the past 7.5 years I've been a Stay at Home Mom. Before that I had an okay job for a decent company but it didn't inspire me, wasn't my passion and didn't pay enough to tempt me to put Marley into daycare. Greg and I wanted to give our kids the experience that we had of having a parent at home full time. As I had the least paying, least satisfying job, I took on that role. When Marley was joined by Paige and then Christine (LC as we call her on this blog) it just didn't make sense - both financially and for our family values - for me to return to work. Recent economic downturns and the steady increase in family expenses (soccer, swimming, dance, FOOD!) have started to put pressure on me to go back to work. I did not want to go back to where I worked before I had Marley. I wanted to utilize all that I'd learned at BCIT during my 5.5 year sojourn there. Then something different fell into my lap.

Stampin' Up!

My friend Sandra has been a demonstrator for years. I've often linked to her blog and I encourage you to check it out now as she has been showing off her Artisan Award submissions. She won the award this year which, in the world of Stampin' Up! is a big deal. Hundreds submit their suite of projects (layouts, cards and 3-D items) and only 10 win. Anyway, she emailed me about an opportunity to join the organization and I decided it was the right time.

The rest, as they say, is history!

So what does this mean for me? For my family? For my scrapbooking? I'm not sure yet to be honest. I've been with the company for 2 weeks now and am pretty excited about my prospects. I'm also freaking out a fair amount!! I've never thought of myself as a sales person so that is going to be a stretch for me! I love their products and the projects you can create from them, however, I also love other manufacturers out there and (since I have a room full of other product) have no immediate intention of getting rid of it. My plan at the moment is to still use whatever I love and show off my projects right here on my blog. I have a Stampin' Up! blog now ( which is where I'll be posting strictly Stampin' Up! projects and news. I encourage you to head over there and check it out. It's still pretty rough but as I figure my way around it I'll tweak it and make it mine!

Right now, I'd like to leave you with a teaser. I am going to be giving away some BLOG CANDY here soon. Basically as soon as I can remember to photograph the prize!! So, become a follower so you don't miss out on the fun. And believe me, you don't want to miss this one. It's AWESOME!!!

Thanks. That's all for now. See you soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

MotherLOAD Catch up.

I've been doing my MotherLOAD assignments but I've just plain old forgotten to post them. Whoops! I've also been SUPER preoocupied with other stuff that I am hoping to post about soon. I'm just not sure yet what form that post will take so stay tuned ...

Back to MotherLOAD. I last posted about Week 4 where the theme was "use what you love, lose the rest". Week 5 we were talking about cutting corners - not literally, but in a more "scrapping faster" kind of way. We had taken notes about our usual scrap process in Week 3 and now we were to revisit those notes and find ways to shave off time. To be honest, I'm not sure where I'm wasting time. I've gotten into the habit of pre-printing a whole stack of photos at once so when I want to scrap something, they are ready to go. I do sometimes spend forever picking my papers - trying to find the "perfect ones". So I can endeavour to make decisions faster there. Harkening back to my Embracing Imperfection workshop, I can embrace what I have and use it. Perfect or not. Oh, and through the process of using my old stash during Apron Strings July challenges, I now am more intimately acquainted with my stash so digging through it to find the right papers doesn't take nearly as long! I can also get bogged down in photo and embellishment placement but if I find I'm having trouble, I know that turning to a sketch can be a real life saver.

Lain challenged us to create a layout in only 30 minutes. Set a timer and go for it! I created this.

When I'd finished I actually had to check my phone (I was using it's alarm clock) to see if I'd set it correctly as I was sure I'd gone over the 30 minutes but the alarm hadn't gone off. Clearly something was wrong with my phone! But no. It took me 29 minutes to complete this!

Products used: Cardstock - Bazzill; Patterned paper - DCWV Nana's Nursery Baby Girl stack; Journalling tabs - Jillibean Soup Journalling Sprouts Circle in Brown and Colorbok Sticky Journal Stax Pastel Baby; Alpha's AC Thickers Stroll Glossy letter stickers and Jewelry Box Chipboard number stickers; glitter embellishments - from stash, manufacturer unknown.

In Week 6 we started focussing on Journalling and the challenge was to start our layouts with the journalling. Plan for it from the beginning so as to ensure there was enough room and that everything else supported it. I was so inspired I actually made 2 layouts (I'm a keener that way!) When I was looking at the stack of photos from our trip to the PNE in 2009 I knew I wanted to include a page about it in Paige's album but most of the pictures were of Marley on rides. What to do? Make two pages!! One for Paige's album and one for Marley's. I started by writing down my journalling for both in my new notebook dedicated to such things (another Lain prompt) and then transferred it to some Basic Grey paper which I cut out on my Cuttlebug.

Here's the layout for Paige.

Products used: Cardstock - Bazzill; Patterned Paper - Nana's Nursery; Scalloped cardstock - from stash; Alpha's - EK Success Sticko dimensionals Large Black Foam; Butterflies, hearts and circles cut out with Marvy punches from scraps of Nana's Nursery and black cardstock; Flowers - Heidi Grace dimensional flowers Day Dream Believer; Word stickers - Bella Blvd Sunny Happy Skies and Plastino; brad - from stash.

And here is Marley's.

Products used: Cardstock - from stash; Patterned paper - Echo Park Dots and Stripes and Bella Blvd Sweet Celebration's Stardust, Hello Beautiful's Borders and Blocks (the B-side) and Swing Into Spring's Rainbow Ribbons; Arrow - Basic Grey Element Stickers from Sugared; Labels and stickers - EP Dots and Stripes, Bella Blvd Plastino and Firty; Punches - EKSuccess Open Scallop and corner rounder.

Well there you have it. The other thing I wanted to share with you today was my continued efforts to reorganize my scrap space. While the girls were at Granny Camp and Greg was laid up recovering from his "procedure" I got busy in the office. Greg and I actually share the space but I think I am slowly pushing him out! :) As my stash takes up more and more room, his computer gets more and more hidden. If my new business venture (hint, hint, hint) takes off, he may have to leave altogether so we can claim that office as a tax write-off. We'll see.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the new space.

A friend of mine was getting rid of all her scrapbook supplies and I snapped up this paper rack and the Clip It! display. I love, love, love being able to see all my cardstock and my most used papers!! I also love how the new arrangement has opened up the space. Even though the amount of stuff remains the same in there, the new configuration allows for much more ease of access. Always a good thing!

I used to have to move this 3-drawer unit all the time to access the lower shelves of one of my bookshelves. No more! Now I can grab alphas as I'm working or rummage for ribbon to match my project. The added bonus of having all those tempting rolls of ribbon effectively hidden from LC is AWESOME!!!
I managed to get all the stickers and rub ons from my bin onto the Clip it ... now the bin has another use!!

This is where I moved my bookcase to. I used to have all my final Interior Design project boards tucked into this corner but they are destined to find a new home somewhere else. Currently they are still hanging out in my living room ... but soon I will move them! Maybe the garage. Maybe the bedroom - where the giant vase with all my rolls of drafting paper and old projects went. The boxes in front of the big bookcase have (from the bottom up) fabric and other sewing supplies for when I get my sewing machine fixed and start sewing again (HA!!!), old scrapping supplies that will be going to Paige's kindergarten class, and miscellaneous "stuff" that is still waiting for a permanent home.

Take a close look at that middle box. It used to hold my stickers and rub ons. Can you see what it holds now?

Oh, and a view of Greg's little corner. Yup, it pretty much looks like this on any given day. And nope, the mess is not mine!

Well, thanks for tuning in again. I've got a big day tomorrow so I'm going to head to bed now. I will try to get back on here on Sunday and let you in on my little secret. Until then, have a great weekend!