Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last of the VC Shares

It's officially 2 days before the Long Weekend.  It is with some sadness that I approach the Labor Day Long Weekend.  No doubt it will be a fun filled couple of days at the lake with another couple we love dearly, and other friends.  Our trailer is located 1.5 hours North of the city at Camp Neustadt.  The property is owned by the German Society of Winnipeg, the camp is run by a committee out of there.  In the past few years they have done a wonderful job planning events specifically for families to get to know one another.  They host big barbeques and even have fireworks right there at the camp to celebrate Canada Day.  For Labor Day weekend, we divide our time between our camp and another called Spruce Sands a mile up the road from us.  At our camp we'll have a pig roast, and celebrate Halloween over the course of the weekend.  That is always a good time.  It's unreal how much people will decorate their yards, and how much candy they'll hand out to the kids.  Last year someone brought out a huge blow up Frankenstein, it took up the better part of their front yard.  They also had huge spiders on their lawn with a bunch of fake spider webs all over their trailer.  Crazy.  The kids come home with a grocery bag full of candy, just in time for the first day of school.  On the Sunday of the long weekend, Spruce Sands will host a steak dinner, a fireworks display, and a dance.  In the past the fireworks have been spectacular, even better than the ones they put on in the city for Canada Day.  We're all looking forward to this one last party of the summer before it's back to the books, early mornings, and Dance Classes.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit anxious for the settling back in of routine, just don't tell my kids that.  Here are a couple of lake livin' shots. I tried to find photos of our little trailer, but can't seem to locate the external hard drive with all our old photos  on my Network, sorry.

And here are the last of my VC goodies.
Challenge: use a kitchen item to create something crafty.

these are vintage tart tins

decorated  to create magnets

for the new board going in my scrap space

Challenge: use the title of a Shakespeare play as a title for a layout

close up shot of the journaling
 It was a great Virtual Crop, the DT did such a great job organizing all the challenges.  It sure got my creativity going, and I'm very happy with all I accomplished.  I find it much easier to work from home versus an actual weekend crop at a different location.  I'm spoiled, I like to see all my stuff out and visible.  I'm funny that way.  At some point, Ill have to post photos of my space.  I keep waiting for it to look, like I want it to look, more fun, and less drab.  Alas, it's a work in progress, and will likely never be exactly as I envision it in my head.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you enjoyed your visit.

♥ S.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A love for cards

Have I ever mentioned that I enjoy making cards as much as I enjoy making layouts?

I find them relatively easy to design, and love using up scraps.  But mostly, I love having them on hand for those times when a card is just the right thing.  Of course birthdays, and thank yous.  But also for friends who've moved, or to welcome the new neighbours.  And encouragement, or to share words of blessing.  There's baptisms, and new jobs, new babies, and the passing of a loved one.  My favorite card to receive is the 'just because' card, especially if it comes in the mail.  Théa, my 9 year old just received one of those in the mail today.  It was from her Small Group Leader in KidzCore (our church's Children's Ministry).  We had seen her at camp when we drove up to pick up Isabelle, my oldest from camp.  She had been working there for 6 weeks.  She has a genuine love for T, and all the girls in her small group.  In fact she cares so much about them, that she's been with them since they first began the KidzCore program in Kindergarten.  She will be greatly missed this coming year as the girls enter Grade 4.  But they know she's going to return after her year away at Bible School.  As a mother, I look forward to how much the experience away will grow her faith, and deepen her relationship with Jesus, both things that will naturally flow out of her, and into the heart of my little girl upon her return.  I wish her all the best at Capenwray this year.  Her card was a good reminder to me, to make a few more of those 'just because' cards, and not just make them, but actually send them out to the people that matter to me.

Here are the cards I created for the Nook Virtual Crop...

Challenege: add a feminine element to a male card

Challenge: create a card with no patterned paper

Challenge: use a female form/cameo

Challenge: use tissue paper (mine is twisted, misted, and rolled)

Challenge: create a male card using strips (I actually won this challenge, yay me!)

I'll be back tomorrow with the last of my VC shares.  Until then, have a lovely day friends.

Thanks so much for popping in,

♥ S. Pin It

Monday, August 29, 2011

Virtual Crop Goodies

Happy Monday friends,

I can't believe how quickly the month of August has flown by.  It seems to be that way every year since the girls began school full time.  July is nice and steady.  August arrives innocently enough, and then all of a sudden you're three weeks in and can't account for all the days prior.  Here, we're hoping to finish the summer off on a high note.  Last week we took Thursday through Saturday night to get away for a bit, just us.  We headed down to Minneapolis for a couple of days of playing, shopping, and eating out.  This year, the girls were finally big enough to ride the 'thrill rides'.  We were able to enjoy a few rides all together.  We all agree that SpongeBob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge was the best one.  Check out the ride images, and see for yourself how crazy this ride is.   I couldn't believe they enjoyed the roller coasters as much as they did.  I see a couple of thrill seekers in our future, we'd better keep our eyes and ears peeled as they get older.  A visit to The Cheesecake Factory, The Waterpark of America, and Ikea were all on the agenda, and thoroughly enjoyed from arrival to departure (okay, maybe not Ikea, it was a Saturday afterall, and everyone, and their grandmother decided to join us).  It was a short and sweet two days, but so nice to get away, and have one another all to ourselves.  It shoud be noted that we all got a little closer, literally, on the drive home as we were packed to the gills with storage units from Ikea.  *giggle*  We'll all be able to appreciate it a little more once the units are set up in their respective rooms.

Onto the scrappy goodies.  Rather than overload you with numerous projects at one time, I've decided to split them up a bit.

Here are the single page layouts I completed during the two days...
Challenge: to use a large title and bling

Challenge: use 7 types of flowers *I forgot to retake this photo.  The twin on the left just got pushed up when I moved the layout for photographing.

Challenge: scrap a photo of yourself, adding factual journaling to the layout

Challenge: use a sun as a main element.
As far as the Design Team Position at My Scrapbook Nook, the list of finalists will be posted at some point today.  I feel for Leah, I'm sure she's had an emotional week having to chose who will stay, and who will go, and who will be added to the team.  I am so glad it's not me who has to go through that.  I trust her instincts completely, however, and know that the team is going to great, whoever ends up making the cut.  I wish each applicant all the best, as we continue to wait.  I'm still so proud of myself for trying out, and know that it will get just a little easier next time around.

ETA:  I made the list, I made the list! 
I'm still in shock, seriously - wow.  Out of 110 applications, I joined 39 other talented women on the short list.  Now the real work begins, I'm not really sure what to expect to be honest.  Plus I plan on heading out to the lake on Friday, and staying until Tuesday.  That may disqualify me from making the team, but I'll have to wait and see, I suppose. 

Thanks as always for stopping by to have a peek into my world, I sure love your company.


♥ S. Pin It

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Let's Create

Today I'd like to take you through my process of making a card with the focus on hand stitching.

Here's the card we're going to make

 Here are the supplies I used:
1 pc green cardstock paper, for card base
1 pc white carstock paper for decorated card front
1 pc MME Lime Twist  Fly A Kit 'Wish Ribbon' paper for inside of stitched heart

MME Lime Twist 'Spring' Accessory sheet
MME Lime Twist Fly A Kite 'Spring' Twine
Lillybee lime green alphabet stickers (any coordinating tiny size alphas will do)
Crafts - yellow rhinestone bling
Cosmo Cricket Social Club Butterfiles and Doilies (tiny yellow cardstock butterfly)
1 paper piercer and matt
1 chipboard shape for tracing.  I used the chipboard heart from the Crate Emma's Shop collection.
About 24 inches of DMC embroidery floss (I used Ecru, but any coordinating colour will do just fine)
1 sewing needle with a large eye, but this enough to keep the wholes in your stitching tiny and close together.

The first thing I did was cut out the card base.

Next I took the Crate Emma's Shop chipboard heart, and trace it in 2 places on the white cardstock at varying heights towards the left of the card.  I knew I wanted to add the sentiment to the right of the card, so I was sure to leave enough space.  Note: I often just draw my shapes freehand, tracing simply speeds up the process.

After I had the hearts where I wanted them, I added a line from the top of the paper to the top center of the heart.  I then, used my paper piercer, and pierce all the way around one heart.  You could do both hearts in this step.  I like to see success quickly so I finished off one heart completely with the stitching and the paper center, and and then moved on to the other heart.

Now for the sewing...
First you'll need to cut a 15" length of off white embroidery floss.  The project in it's entirely will require more thread than this, however working with shorter strands reduces the chances for knots in your thread as you are sewing.  It's very simple to add more thread to your project as you go.

Next you'll need to separate the thread (a skein of DMC thread has 6 ply).  We only need three ply for this project.  Separating the skein can be tricky if you pull too quickly.  It's best to pull slowly, holding your hands at eye level, and gradually moving them in opposite directions as you pull.

Thread your needle.  And sew through your pierced holes.  Simple regular sewing stitch - down up, down up

The half completed stitch heart from the back.

Once you have completed the heart one way, you need to go over it a second time.  This time you will stitch over the spaces in between each bit of thread filling up every hole, and every space where there is piercing. Your completed heart should look like this.

Completed heart view from the back
At this point is where I will trace and cut out the heart shape from the MME 'Wish Ribbon' paper.  You'll want to be sure to cut just inside the traced shape, making the shape just a tad smaller than it's original size.  This way the cut out will fit snugly inside the stitched heart.

Because the second heart will overlap the sentiment, you will need to add your lettering now, before stitching the second heart.  I just eyeballed the positioning of the letters.

Now stitch the second heart the same as you did the first.

Now remove the orange oval sticker from the MME 'Spring' Accessory sheet and place along the top right edge of the white cardstock, trimming off the top half of the sticker so it looks like this.

If you like the look, you may use your sewing machine to add more dimension to the card at this point by sewing a simple and/or zig zag stitch through the half cardstock sticker like this.  I did a little of both stitching styles.

At this point it is safe to mount the face of the card to the front of the green cardstock.  Doing it in this order allows you to hide all the the stitching that you've done, keeping it nice and clean looking all over.  Once you've mounted to front you may continue to add little details like a twine bow, and a tiny butterfly with the rhinestone center.  After that the only thing left is to add the rest of the sentiment to the inside of the card, and voilà you have a beautiful card that will make the day of someone you love. 

Here is my completed card

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and that you found it easy to follow.  I welcome any feedback, suggestions, words of encouragement (hee hee) you have to send my way.  I hope to do more of these in the future so it would help greatly to know if you enjoy them.  Or perhaps you're curious about another technique you've seen me use on layouts and/or cards that you'd like me to outline for you.  Let me know in the comments sections and I'd be happy to oblige.

Enjoy your Wednesday friends.  You're halfway to the weekend!

♥ S.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Monday

How was your weekend?

As, I mentioned on Friday it was a busy one here.  Busy, but fulfilling.

On Friday, D and I had a double date with some wonderful friends of ours.  We tried out a restaurant called Segovia.  It's a converted old home in Osborn Village, with a Tapas style menu; unique selections.  The food was delicious, although I can speak for the bone marrow.  I could not bring myself to try it, and based on D's reaction to it, I wasn't missing anything *giggle*.  We always have such a nice time with this couple.  There's always a lot of conversation, and a lot of laughter  Makes you wonder why we don't do it more often.  Oh yeah, everything else that fills most days and evenings.

Saturday we attended a block party in our neighbourhood.  We live in a new development, so everyone is new.  It's such a blessing.  Not only to enjoy the huge blessing of living in a brand new home, but to have everyone else be in the same situation.  Most people are genuinely interested in getting to know their neighbours, especially those with children.  One of the cul-de-sacs is full of exactly those types of families.  So much so, that they formed a committee, and for the second year in a row they hosted a block party on their street.  This wasn't just a "close the street to traffic, and let's mingle in our driveways" kind of party either, they went all out.  They approached many of the local builders in the development (they are still here adding house after house, and likely will be for another 2 years) to donate cash, or services to the event.  There was a giant bouncer, pony rides, free hot dogs, ice cream and drinks, as well as tables and chairs set up in the middle of the street to eat at, and a street hockey game later in the evening.  I couldn't help but feel very full emotionally as I took in the sight of my neighbours, people from every corner of the world rubbing shoulders with one another, striking up conversation, and enjoying their children playing freely together.  This, I believe is the way the Lord always intended for his children to live together in this world.

The Virtual Crop over at the Nook was also a big event for me this weekend *giggle*.  There were many new comers to the board who joined in the fun.  I love meeting new people, and seeing how others enjoy and create art with scrappy supplies.  The DT knocked it out of the park with challenges all based on a Shakespearean theme.  There were 16 scrappy challenges, with some extra bonus point challenges along the way.  There was everything from sketches, to cards, to material specific layouts.  I've never scrapped so much in a 48 hour period.  In the end I completed 13 of the 16 scrappy challenges.  I created seven layouts (one was a double page, so 8 pages total), 5 cards, and 3 vintage tart tin magnets.  I'll reveal everything to you over the next several days.

I'll share one layout with you now, as I actually used one of the challenge to complete a layout I had in mind for Challenge #6 over at Scrapping Everyday Miracles - "Friendships that go the distance".  This girl and I have been friends since before either of us were mothers.  Our daughters have never known life without one another.  She's the one woman who knows me as well as my own husband.  She isn't afraid to call me on my stuff: bad attitude, unrealistic expectations, martyrdom.  And she is often one of the first to be there cheering me on: when I had 2 babies, 15 months apart, and thought I'd never survive, when my 11 year old makes me want to pull her  my hair out with her insolent behavior, when ministry, or marriage, or life at the moment is tough.  We both love to craft, take pictures, spend time chatting over coffee, get into a good debate, and contemplate God's will for our lives.  There are some differences, however that make us wonder how in the world we are still friends: she loves Country and Fold music, I love Top 40 Dance.  She loves vintage/cottage style looks, I like sleek and modern.  She loves living in the country, and I mean in the middle of the woods were internet is only dial up for most, I would sooner move to China.  The list goes on.  Between the two of us, e have been through the birth of 6 kids (all girls), 6 moves, several career changes, and everything in between.  I know she'll always be a part of my life, just as she knows I'll always be a part of hers, no matter where this journey called life takes us.  We give glory to God, for He is the foundation of this friendship, that's how it works, and continues to grow and become richer through the years.
"So Richly Blessed" using Echo Park papers.
Today's "To Do List" includes:
(1) Going through the school supplies, to see what we still need to get, as well as the clothing for the youngest two. 
(2) Measuring out space for an Expedite unite in the rec room for games, etc.
(3) Figuring out what other US purchases need to be made on our upcoming trip to Minneapolis
(4) Uploading the hand stitching tutorial I made last week.
(5) Submitting my application for The Nook DT Call.  (I've not spoken about it before because I've really been going back and forth in my head about whether or not I'm prepared to face the very possible rejection.  There are so many fabulous woman on that board, that the competition will be fierce.  However, I'll never know if I don't try.  And I'll not be modeling to my girls what it looks like to move towards a goal, even when we don't know the outcome.  They need to see their mother take chances, believe in herself, and do something where she is not in total control.)

With that, I'm off.  Thanks for stopping by.

♥ S. Pin It

Friday, August 19, 2011

A full weekend ahead

Hi friends, 

I hope this week has been a full, enriching, and blessed one for each of you.  We hung out at home quiet a bit, which, I have to admit, was a really nice change.  I am starting to feel a little anxious as the school/dance class start up is right around the corner, and it feels like there is much to be done before we're all ready.  More vacationing, more reading, and relaxing, more friends to connect with, more spelling, math, money, and time to practice, more sleepovers to be had, more movies to watch, and definitely more hanging out on the deck.  *sigh*  Alas, we are not there yet.  Can you tell I have a problem with staying in the moment, and living in the present, as much as I pray about getting better at it, I continue to struggle with it, and find myself consumed with things yet to be done so often.

One of the things I'll be up to this weekend is the Virtual Crop over at My Scrapbook Nook.  In between some of the other things going on here, I really hope to participate in several challenges, and plow through some of my unused product from the past few months.  It's such a shame to see all that loveliness just sitting there begging to be used.

Last night I finished the early bird challenge that the most hilarious Hilde posted the other day.  The challenge was to lift a layout in the gallery.  I chose this one by a new member, and fellow Winnipeg (yay)  Nicole.  It jumped right out at me in the gallery.  I loved everything little thing about it :)  Here's my lift...
I even used the same MME Fine & Dandy line as she.

still addicted to hand stitching as you can see.

I covered the Maya Road chipboard bits with MME paper, and used OA Mini Market alphas on top.
You can see check out more of Nicole's work on her blog if you're interested.  She's a fabulous scrapper.

I also completed my 3rd layout for the Studio Calico LOAW.  Here's the sketch it was based on...

and here's my take...
I flipped it to better suit the orientation of my photos.
The third project I completed yesterday was my very first tutorial.  I'm sure it's a little rough being my first, but I'm still planning on sharing it with you here.  I just need to edit the photos, and review the instructions once more.  Stay tuned.

I'm off to check out the newest challenges over at the VC, hope you'll find some time to pop over and check it out, I promise it'll be worth your while.

Happy Friday friends.  Thanks, as always for stopping by.

♥ S. Pin It

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Scrappy Mail

Tuesday was a scrappy mail day.  I had two fun packages waiting for me when I retrieved the mail from our box.  One was this lovely kit from my Nook friend Zoe.  The two of us Canadians were paired up with each other for this round of the Card Kit Swap.  Here's a picture of the kit she sent me featuring My Little Shoe Box goodies.
This kit was so jam packed with product that I was able to create five cards, with more still left to keep the creations coming.  Here's what I made with the kit:

Here is a picture of the kit I put together for Zoe. 

It's filled with My Mind's Eye goodies, some May Arts trim...  I can't wait to see what she creates with it.

The other scrappy mail that came that day was my August kit from My Scrapbook Nook, featuring My Mind's Eye Lime Twist papers, and Jillibean Soup goodies.  For some reason this kit in particular was screeming for a double layout to be made.  It's been a while since I've made one of these...

Speaking of scrappy mail.  I could resist no longer.  I finally took the plunge and joined the Studio Calico Kit Club.  My first kit arrived on Monday filled with Studio Calico exclusives by Crate (one of my fave maunufacturers, now when will they start a kit club, hee hee), Sassafras Lass, and more.  I have yet to create anything with it, but plan to work on the second LOAW challenge by Caz.  You can join in the fun with me here.  I'm really looking forward to completing this one, this clean sketch is right up my ally.

If you're still with me, there's one last scrappy bit of news I'm excited to share with you.  Check this out.  Online Crop?  Yes please!  I'm out for a bit on Friday night, and again on Saturday morning, but I'm really anxious about participating in this crop.  The challenges at the Nook virtual crops, the chit-chat, and the prizes are second to none, if you're needing a scrappy pick me up, this crop is for you.  Hope to see you there.

Thanks, as always for taking the time to pop in,

♥ S.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

LOAW challenge #2

This is week #2 of the Studio Calico Layout A Week Challenge.  Once again Caz did not let us down with the inspiration piece.  Check this out.
original source: here
This was a tough one for me.  It took a few days for an idea to form.  The idea: to create a layout with a banner running all the way through it just like this frame...sometimes I'm not so swift on the uptake, lol. So here's what I created...
I've used Lilybee Picket Fence papers, and purple alphas for a previous Nook kit, along with Maya Road chipboard shapes, Crate button, misc brads, Pink Paislee Tickets, American Crafts alphas, Jillibean Soup Sprout (backwards and misted with Branwood Mr. Huye's.  I've hand stitched the boarder with DMC embroidery floss in brown and cream.
Again, a white cardstock background.  I think the end result is okay, a little simple, but outside of my standard style so I like that about it.  Want to know something funny?  The photo was originally straight, in line with the boarder.  As I was sewing the banner on however, it shifted (I only use the teeniest bit of adhesive when first laying out my design, I didn't think about securing it completely before stitching).  It wasn't what I had planned, but it doesn't make me crazy to see it off centered either, so I've decided to leave it.

Speaking of Studio Calico, I've signed up for their monthly kit, and am looking forward to working with more of their product.  Their kits are interesting as they have a host of different manufacturers represented each month, it's not solely their own stuff.  Another neat attribute is that they often (if not always) have exclusives in their kit, that cannot be purchased elsewhere.  September's kit for example has some of the much talked about Amy Tangerine items, however they are in different colour/style than the originals.  You can see the full Kit, all the Add on kits, and the exclusives here.  One last thing about these kits is that they ship super fast (within a week), and come directly to my door.  Sweet!

We're off to the beach tomorrow with friends.  The weather is suppose to be nice and hot, so combine that with water, sand, snacks, and good company, and you have a very good day on the horizon.  Hope your Monday is looking just as good.

Thanks for popping by,

♥ S. Pin It