Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 12 in 2012 & Hello 2013

It is hard to believe that there is only one day left of 2012.  I can't really say that this year flew by.  It has not been one of my favourite years and harder times usually make the days drag on.  It was a year of loss in many ways.  My father-in-law, George,  passed away in February.  My mother lost her freedom and mobility after her stroke on the very same day that we lost George.  On that day, my mother-in -law,  as well as my father faced the huge change of living alone after decades of living with their spouses.  On a much lesser note, we lost our dog, Gus,  in August.  But... I refuse to only see the negative of 2012.  There was lots of good stuff to be thankful and appreciative for.

2012 is the year that we sold the condo and got back into a home with a yard.  I appreciate every day that I get to live in this house that I feel so comfortable and happy in.  I watch the birds feed in the bird feeder and feel a sense of peace and joy.  I have spent another year with my honey and enjoyed lots of good times and lots of laughing.  It has been another year of having my sister, Susan, live in my neck of the woods.  This means crafting time together, chats on the phone and lots of crafty and charity plans.  For this I am so grateful.  This year has both of my girls happy and healthy.  They are enjoying their careers, for the most part.  ;)  They are both in relationships with young fellows who I hope will each one day be my son-in law.  They have the love and support of their boyfriends' families who are both strong and caring units.  This year I have enjoyed the company of Miss Maggie May following me around constantly and wedged up against me as I knit, blog or watch television.  I have also awoken each morning to a very happy little poodle named Lady.  She starts each morning wagging her little tail and thrilled for whatever the day will bring.  She cuddles up to me as usually only puppies do, rubbing her head into the crook of my neck.  On a more universal note,  this year I enjoyed and appreciated this peaceful country that I live in as well as the beauty that each of our seasons brings us each day, even if some of these days have been chillier and snowier lately.  ;)  We are never promised only happy days in our lives.  The saying, "this too shall pass" also applies to the great days ending and some sadder days coming along but, if we look hard enough we can still find the silver lining of each day.  Life is good.

It is at this time that I like to reflect on how I did with my resolutions and goals of the year.  I had a simple list this past year with only three thoughts.

(1)  Learn how to crochet granny squares.  This I accomplished with the help of Susan.  I am about half way done making squares for my afghan and plan on picking up this project again early in the new year. {check}

(2)  Write every day.  I started off with a journal but soon found that I was boring myself.  I figured that I do write most days with blogging.  Then, in early spring, Susan surprised me with a gift of a 5 year journal with daily writing prompts.  It has been so much fun and it will be terrific to see how I answer the same question on the same day from year to year. {check}

(3)  Read more.  Here is where I have failed.  I read a few good books but still have lots of reading to catch up on. Yet, I still buy books at Costco.  Whilst scanning the authors and titles today at Costco, I overheard a teenager say to his elementary aged brother, "How about you read all of the books that you already have and then buy a new book."  It was great advice for me!  lol  I will try to follow the wisdom of this young fellow.  ;)  {unsuccessful}

So this brings me to this new year upon us.  The thing that comes to my mind is the same old thing that I think of most years..... discipline.  Oh, to be a more disciplined person.  One who eats more healthy, spends money more wisely, cooks terrific or at least edible suppers at least 6 night a week, always has the house ready for receiving and walks the dogs religiously weather permitting.  Who am I kidding?  I am never going to be this person.  So, this year I have decided to follow Rob's lead and not have any resolutions.  I know that I will never keep them.  So, this year I am just going to be happy being me.  I am always going to be a person on a tangent.  It is who I am.  I like to think that it contributes to my creative energy.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  ;)

I will leave you with my favourite LO's for 2012 and I wish you all a wonderful 2013 with much happiness, love and scrappy adventures too!  :)












Jen




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Little Tom and Christmas 2012

Recently, we had another challenge at Les Papiers de Pandore.  It was to use the journaling cards on this awesome sheet of paper.


I decided to use three in a row.  One for embellishment, one for a little photo of little Tom and then one for my journaling.

I punched out a circle on this card and backed it with a transparency sheet.


The word "petite" is cut from on of the journaling cards.


I punched a small circle from the center of a starburst on one of the cards to represent the letter "o".


Journaling cards are one of my favourite supplies.  There are so many possibilities!

I'll leave you with some images from our Christmas celebration this year.  It was a different Christmas with my mother being in long term care and my father-in-law, George passing last February.  But, as all families do, we make the best of it and soldier on.  Hoping you all have a lovely celebration with the ones you love.

Visiting Mom at the home on Christmas Eve day.
Dad opening his gifts with Mom at the home.
Rob's mom 
Diane
Lisa
Pups resting up for company.
Susan and Rich
Lisa


Jen

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas with the ones you love!


Jen

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust & Shark Review

My Studio Calico November kit has been reduced to a mere pile of tiny scraps.  Boo to that but the next kit is just waiting to be cut into.  The kit yielded 3 LO's which proves to me that it is a more expensive scrapping option than just buying my own supplies.  However, I could never mix it up the way whoever designs these kits does.  A price must be paid for these talents.  :)

One more LO of my Gus.  He was on my mind yesterday so it seemed fitting to scrap him.  I promise that I only have one more sad Gus LO planned.  What can I say, I'm a sappy dog lover.  ;)  This LO is based on a sketch from Kristine Davidson's eBook.

I cut strips of paper out of the brown paper and backed it with the yellow paper.





This last LO with the kit was so much fun.  I just used what was left and let the product guide the design.  After I was finished, I realized that the design is pretty close to my last LO.  I love the mix of colours here.  It is always hard for me to scrap nature foliage and flower photos, so it is nice when in this case, the photo was chosen to match the supplies on hand.  




About The Shark Pro Pocket Mop.  I give it 2 thumbs up!  Here's what I liked.  It is easy to use.  Just fill it up with water, almost like filling an iron, let it heat up and you are ready to go!  There are three settings, dust, mop and scrub.  We used the hottest scrub setting.  8 tiny paws leave lots of prints on my floors as the pups come in and out from the back and their paws are wet from the snow.  It was light to push.  Just seeing the steam come out of the machine made me feel that my floors were really getting clean.  This is important to me with having the dogs coming in and out and tracking in yuck. The pad comes off to dry.  It will be flipped to the clean side for the next use.  It washes easily in the machine but can't have fabric softener or bleach used on it.  I will just wash it with my Norwex cloths and mop pads.

On the down side, if a few streaks on your floor will drive you crazy, it may not be the machine for you.  I have light hardwood so the streaks don't bother me.  If I was in the condo with those dark floors I may have given it only one thumb up.  ;)  For me, I will take a few streaks for a cleaner floor.  Norwex may have my floors virtually streak free but I know that if I am wiping something up with damp paper towel after they have been mopped, there is still dirt on the damp towel.  The next time I use the Shark, I will try going over the floor more, leaving less water to see if that makes it less streaky.  But.... in my opinion, it is well worth the money.  Floor washing is still not a "fun" chore but this little gadget makes it less work.  Just the fact that it is a gadget will have Rob wanting to use it until the novelty wears off.  The more Rob mops, the less I mop!  hee hee

Jen

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Studio Calico Love

I caved last month and bought myself the Studio Calico November kit.  I had only ever ordered twice before.  It arrived and it was exciting.  Looking through it, it looked even better IRL.  I love getting exclusive papers.  I love how they mix up colours.  I love how all of the embellishments now come in cute little glassine bags, sealed up with a sticker.  It was so exciting, in fact, that I caved again and ordered December's kit.  It arrived last night.  I was passing by the front door when I saw that happy mail sitting out there in the cold.  The postman hadn't even rung the bell.  I retrieved it, poured through it and yes, it was just as awesome as the November kit.  However, all of this awesomeness comes with a hefty price tag.  I am always torn as to whether I am really getting my money's worth.  I'm not sure on that one but I am sure that I always seem to love the LO's that I produce with these kits.




Now I will have to be strong and pretend that the Studio Calico site is not opened for viewing for awhile.  ;)  I spent a few hours cleaning up the studio the other night and I have lots of stuff to use up.  I haven't scrapped as many LO's this year, as I usually do, but I continued to shop for scrappy goods.  Many of my LO's were made with Les Papiers de Pandore paper that I receive from France.  It's time to start making a serious dent in the stash, but first I want to totally use up these two Studio Calico kits.

On the domestic front, you know you are old when you are excited about purchasing one of these.  ;)


It's the Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop!  It cleans hardwoods and ceramic with just good old water! Very green, indeed.  The middle section lifts away so you can steam other surfaces, or even curtains.  We are going to give it a go later on tonight.  Wow do we know how to spend a Saturday night during the holiday season.  hee hee  What can I say, Rob and I have a weakness for buying floor cleaning devices.  I am hoping that Rob enjoys this toy so much that he is going to want to clean the floors almost every day!  Wishful thinking I am sure.  I'll let you all know what our review is.

Jen




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Colour Challenge

I couldn't resist playing along with this month's colour challenge at Les Papiers de Pandore.  The Autumn palette always draws me in.


The perfect opportunity to showcase this cute little fellow who showed up on our patio last summer.  He didn't stay too long.  Luckily I was able to snap a shot of him.



I used this month's sketch at Les Papier de Pandore.  Loving that little cut out circle at the top.


It has just been hitting me how close Christmas is coming.  Lots to still get done as we start to prepare for the feast.  Pies from our favourite sandwich and pie shop have been ordered and as is our tradition, we will pick them up on Christmas Eve day and have a sandwich too.  Hope all of your Christmas plans are coming  along nicely.

I'll leave you with a recent photo of little Thomas wearing a hat that I knit for him.  Hard to believe that he will soon be three!

Jen


Monday, December 17, 2012

Bird is the Word

Yesterday we finally got the Christmas tree up and decorated.  The downsized skinny tree that we purchased last Christmas almost didn't make it out of the box this year.  We don't have room for it in our living room.  We have a really long living room in this house.  Very different from the huge space in the condo that I never quite knew how to fill .  So we debated if it was worth setting up the tree in our family room in the basement.  We only go down a few times a week to view our favourite television shows.

So I had the great idea to go off to the greenhouse, yet again, to look of a little tree that could sit on my fireplace ledge in the living room.  We found the perfect tree and decided to make it our "Bird Tree".  We selected a few bird ornaments and I knew I had lots at home packed away.

Next came the task of going through all of my ornaments to locate all of my birds.  Then it hit me.  If I am going through all of these ornaments anyway, why not just put up the big tree in the basement too.  Besides, I would miss not seeing all of my old ornaments and the memories that some of them bring back.


This year's new ornaments.... yes still birds.  ;)




And images of this "tweet" little tree.





So now we have two trees and I have to say that the "Bird Tree" is here to stay for many years.  I plan on looking for new birds each year to add to it.  My plan is to have every branch adorned with a little bird.

Wishing you all a terrific week.

Jen





Sunday, December 16, 2012

December Daily Woes

A few weeks ago I had the brilliant idea to create a December Daily album.  Remember this post.


 Well apparently I am at a point in my life where I really have very little of great excitement to document for 25 days in December.  I have decided to leave this project for another time.  Maybe one day when there are little ones in the family and there is more stuff going on.  I don't want an album filled with photos of my ornaments and yet more photos of "Christmas pups". LOL

Anyway, here I have this album, 8 or 9 completed foundation sheets and a bunch of 8x8 inch cut up papers.  It is good stuff.... lots of Pink Paislee "City Sidewalks".  So I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has been getting lots of photos this month, has some good stories to document and needs this album and some supplies?  I will include some embellishment stuff too.  Plus.... feel free to pick apart my completed foundation pages and salvage what you can... or use them if you like them.  ;)

If you are in North America and want this stuff email me at shawja417@gmail.com.  The first person to email me will be the winner!  I will try to get this package out this week, but if the post office is crazy busy I may have to wait until after Christmas.  But.... you will have it soon enough to get those memories down.  :)

Jen

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner is Michelle!!  Congrats Michelle!!  
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