Thursday, January 31, 2013

No Buy Challenge ~ January Update


Well it is the last day of January.  A great time to update my readers on my first month without scrappy buying.  It was a very successful month.  I made only one purchase which fell into the "Okay to Replace" category.  I replaced my little black ink pad that is recently not stamping as crisp with a new big one.

It was on sale at Michael's for 40% off and then I also used a "15% off sale items" coupon.  Realistically, this likely just brought it down to a normal price.  ;)

So what did I learn this month:

Rob is much more happy when I suggest that we pop into Michael's for wool or needles because he knows it will be a quick trip.  No more looking up and down the scrappy aisles.

Rob is my "soft" judge.  I spied some really nice chipboard embellishments in a clearance bin at the door upon entering Michael's.  They were on for $0.75!  Rob said to buy them because they were so cheap.  I refused to because then I would have lost the challenge.

Susan is my "hard" judge.  Last week while crafting, Susan showed me how she had used a black embossing powder.  I immediately said, without thinking, that I would need to pick some up.  In my defence I have a very limited supply of this ~ about 6 colours.  Susan asked if it was on my list of things I could buy.  I said no and then realized that if I bought it, I would lose the challenge.  But, big sissy to the rescue, Susan is bringing me over a portion of hers to have!!  Thanks Susan.  I think I had better follow this judge if I want to make it thorough the year.  ;)

On a funny note, I told Lisa about my challenge.  Her first response was to say that I won't be able to do it.  I then explained that I had put it out on my blog to keep myself accountable.  Her next question was, "What will you do when you run out of supplies?"  Oh she so does not get the magnitude of my supplies!  ;)  I told her that I had enough "stuff" for easily 3 years!  She then went on to tell her boyfriend, Steve, about all the paper I had and how each piece costs about $0.25.  Oh we wish!

So I realize that I am at the easy part of this challenge.  My motivation is high at the beginning of this journey and historically I don't buy lots in January and February.  When the new stuff hits the shelves in March and April I will truly be tested.  I am still looking forward to the challenge.  Now I look at all the supplies in my room and think of the creative possibilities.  :)

One month down ~ eleven more to go!

Jen

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brrrrr!

It is cold outside.... again.  It is supposed to warm up tomorrow but somehow I'm doubtful.  :(  The winter is wearing a bit long this year and we still have a few months to go.  We have had lots of snow and it started early but.... days like this are a great day for doing stuff inside.  I had got up this morning with plans of getting out my forensic kit and solving this case!  


Yummy!  My favourite palette.  But then my knitting starting calling out to me.  Hmm a relaxing day of knitting while the pups cuddle around sounded good.  Here's what I'm working on ~ cowls for Diane.


The first one I made is the ivory coloured one.  With the second one in "Heather Grey" I changed up my needles to a smaller size.  I tend to be a loose knitter so I liked the look of the tighter knit one.  I will be interested to see which one Diane likes best.  The looser one may drape a little nicer.

The "Cobalt Blue" cowl is what I am working on now.


It is in a seed stitch.  It takes a bit longer to knit because you have to keep moving your yarn back and forth from front to back but, it is worth it to produce the pattern of tiny seeds!


Here's to a creative day inside in PJ's!


You can't do that in the summer time!  ;)

Jen

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Knitting Day

Today is a knitting day.  I'm working on this chunky cowl for Diane.



I just love all of the chunky cowls and infinity scarves that are in stye right now!

Hope your day is a creative one too!!  :)

Jen

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Happy "Tail"... Finally

Just a quick update to my last post regarding the ever so cute "Bandit".  Last night I was so sad to see this face had popped up on our local humane society web site.  They have named him "Pepper".


 I guess our information of his owners finding him the next day was wrong.  :(  It makes me so sad to think that nobody was looking for this little guy.  It makes me wonder what his story is and why he was wandering around outside, alone on such a cold day.  They listed him as only 10 months old with socializing problems and being very shy.

I immediately wished that I could apply for him.  My logic tells me that Rob would definitely be allergic to a terrier mix and that two dogs is enough for me.  Rob also suggested that if I decided that I needed to bring this dog home from the SPCA, the he would need to drop me off at the SPCA with instructions that I am shy in the beginning and like treats.  ;)

I went to bed last night knowing that he was in safe hands and that he would be adopted out very fast.  The small dogs always go first, especially when they are young.  Well, he was posted at 4pm yesterday and as of this morning he is gone!  :)   He will make a wonderful long-term pet for some lucky family.  So with this, I wish Pepper aka "Bandit" a truly beautiful life!

Jen

Monday, January 21, 2013

Doggy Jail

When you decide to scrapbook a photo of a dog whose name you don't even know, does it mean that you are officially a "crazy dog lady"?  Probably.  ;)

Rob works at our local police station and often comes home with stories of the cute dogs that our by-law officers have picked up and put into "doggy jail".  I know it sounds awful but they are fed and watered and most importantly, they are warm and safe.  A couple of weeks ago, Rob came home with a photo of the latest patron.  The cutest dog ever ~ so I just had to scrap this photo.  When Diane saw the photo, she immediately named him "Bandit" due to his awesome masked face!


So I guess that doggy jail isn't really so bad when you are this cute and everyone carries you around and loves you.   This story does have a happy ending.  This little guy was picked up on a very cold day.  Thank goodness he was found.  Nobody came to claim him that day and so he spent the night at the office.  He was brought to the humane society the next morning and it was there that he was reunited with his owners.  I guess that not all of our community knows to look for their lost dogs at the police station.  It would shock me to think that there wasn't someone out there missing this sweetie.

Some close-ups of the LO.  I used some Studio Calico papers, mostly the "Darling Dear" collection.




The sketch was this week's latest at Creative Scrappers.

Jen

Saturday, January 19, 2013

December Memories

I cut into my December Studio Calico kit.  I got three LO's out of it.  I loved this kit.  It was a Christmas kit without a strong Christmas theme.

This first LO uses the pastel palette in the kit.  I love me some turquoise.  The design is totally inspired by a beautiful LO that Julie Bonner did.  Julie is always such an inspiration and I love her sketches too.





These next two LO's feature my friends little girl.


I loved using the glittery gold sheet in the kit to punch out small die cuts with.  A little glitter is a good thing.




I used the January sketch at Les Papiers de Pandore.


This last LO features my favourite photo of this little one.  I'm not sure that I can part with this one and might have to keep if for my own album.  ;)


I stitched on top of a stamped area here.  I might use this technique again.



 I used a sketch by Julie Bonner here.


It felt good to be in my scrappy happy place again. Hopefully I can keep the mojo going.

Jen

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vellum and "Old is New"....

"Old is New"  ...this is what one of my readers, Cindy, said to me. She had left me a comment on my "No Buy Challenge" post.  Wise words that I will embrace this year as I watch new products being released and I am still using up the older stuff.  Thank you Cindy!  :)

Cindy then went on to say that she had lots of vellum paper to use up.  This got me thinking about how most products do come back into style.  Just the other day while crafting with Susan, I was mentioning that eventually I would probably end up using up some of my twine supply wrapping up gifts at Christmas and Birthday time.  Susan said that I should save my twine,  as it will come back in.  I think that she is right.  Down the road, someone will have a new idea of how we should use up our twine supply.

This got me thinking about vellum and Cindy wanting to use up some of hers.  Vellum really is back in a new way!  This past spring, I noticed that designers where breaking out the vellum again and it lead me on a shopping search to find some.  I found some old stock at Michael's but have noticed since then that Studio Calico sells it in packs. Back in 2005 we often used it in large sheets.  Remember the special vellum tape that wasn't supposed to show through the paper.  Yeah, well years later mine shows through as a sticky dark mess.  :(   So how is "old vellum" now "new vellum".

Manufacturers like Studio Calico are making die cuts out of vellum now.  These came in the November kit.




Here are some of the "new" ways that I have used vellum since last spring.  (Yes, I spend lots of time stalking other designers and looking for inspiration. )

Layer it under your patterned paper.  Yay to layering!


Punch it out and layer it under other punched items.


Use it in large strips as you would a patterned paper.


Punch it out in a floral shape and layer it with other punched out flowers in patterned paper.  It really adds dimension.



One thing I have yet to do but love the look of, is layering it over busy patterned paper as a way of making it look more calm.  Hey, there is a great way to use of some of that busy print that I love!

I also plan on stamping on some using Stazon ink.

So there you have it.  I guess that old really is new again!

A mini update on the "No Buy Challenge"  A big thank you to Michelle and Lynette, who are joining me in this challenge.  Thank you also to my readers for your interest in my little adventure.  So far, all I can say is that there is a certain freedom that comes with knowing that you will not be bringing anything home when you spy some goodies while at Michael's or HomeSense.  I guess it is a freedom from the guilt that comes with buying more stuff.

Jen

Thursday, January 17, 2013

52 Avenue

Just wanted to share a LO I did for Les Papiers de Pandore.  52 Avenue is where my parent's apartment is in Wetaskiwin.  It is a beautiful spot lined with huge trees.  It holds a special meaning to me as I too lived on that same avenue many years ago.  When we first got transferred to Wetaskiwin, we rented a tiny brown "war house" styled home on 52 Ave.  It is the home that we brought newborn Lisa home to.


One Sunday while going to pick up my father to head off to the home to visit my mother, I stopped to admire the frosty tree line.  Luckily, I had my camera and decided to snap a photo to bring to show to Mom.  She was so happy to catch a glimpse of what her spot looked like on this day.


I still love doing winter LO's!  It is the one place where I break out the gems and bling.  Snowflake embellishments are always a favourite of mine over flowers.  Must be the Canadian girl in me.  ;)  This LO will be placed in my "Winter" album ~ a place that reminds me to appreciate even this chilly side of the year.

I used this sketch by Diana Fisher.

Jen

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Penny Blossoms

Are there any "The Big Bang Theory" fans out there?  Remember the "Penny Blossoms" episode...


My girlies went for grooming today and when I picked them up they were nicely "embellished" with a lovely Penny Blossom each.  (hee hee)  



What can I say, it's January and there isn't much going on in life these days, so I will find life's small pleasures where I can.  Life just seems more joyful with a Penny Blossom in your hair... or fur in this case.  ;)

Jen


Saturday, January 12, 2013

No Buy Challenge

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have been reading this interesting book about simplifying your life.


If you read yesterday's post or have been following me for any time, you may know that I get pretty excited about new scrappy supplies and love to scrapbook shop.  Yes, my world's are colliding.  I want to be this disciplined person who lives a simpler life, (no I'm not moving into a 128 square foot home on wheels) appreciates what I have, doesn't get caught up in wanting the newest thing out on the scrappy market and shops wisely.  It is easy to shop just out of boredom.  It is easy to shop for that initial rush of looking at a pile of new supplies and thinking about all of the creative possibilities.  That rush is short term. My book advises one to wait 30 days before making any purchase.  If I followed this rule I would never shop for scrappy supplies.  All of my scrappy shopping is done on impulse.  Then I look at my scrappy room and know that it has too much in it.  More plastic containers have been purchased to store more paper collections.  When I am looking for something specific, I come across lines of paper that I have forgotten even buying.  That gives me a bad feeling about myself.

It is said that if you want to challenge yourself to accomplish something, tell people about it or better yet blog about it.  It helps one to be accountable.  Will a person quit so quickly if it means losing face in public?

So I am announcing it here.... I am taking the No Buy Challenge.


 I am not buying any new scrappy supplies in 2013!  Okay, my sister Susan is likely rolling on the floor laughing right now saying, "Yeah right Jen."  But to this I say, "You'll see!"  LOL (Yes, I have said that many times before and then fail on an epic level.)  I will only purchase adhesives, foam dots, Cricut mats (if I run out) exacto blades for my cutting needs, black ink if needed and Distress ink in Frayed Burlap if my pad gets too shabby and I run out of my bottle of liquid ink to moisten the pad.  I will allow myself to buy cardstock as needed.  This is not a trouble area for me, as I am not a huge cardstock fan.  I do go through white and kraft and they are essentials to my pages. I will assign Susan and Rob as judges to okay any purchase I make to ensure that I am following my own rules.  Best of all, I will be accountable to all of you... my readers!!

I will do monthly posts to update you all on my adventure.  We are almost half way through January and I haven't made a purchase yet.  No big sacrifice on my part though as I ordered the January Studio Calico kit at the end of December and placed an online order at my favourite store back East.  Both of these packages have arrived.  So at this point, I have what I have.  :)

I am excited to see how my LO's look in 2013!  I will likely be pulling out some vintage stuff and mixing it up!  It will be fun to look at my scrappy room at the end of this year and see how much of a dent I have made.  Best of all, I am hoping to feel that I have disciplined myself in some small way.  I always want to appreciate everything that I own.  As they say, "It is better to love everything that you have, rather than have everything you love."  I know this will be a hard challenge for me but I am feeling up to it!  ( No tiny Maya Road cameras for me ~ waaahhhhh)  LOL

Anyone out there want to join me in this challenge?  It can be a kind of scrap-addict support group?

I always remember what Ali Edwards wrote in an article years ago regarding excessive scrappy buying, "You have plenty of supplies to record all of your memories".  This is very true. :)

Jen

Friday, January 11, 2013

CHA Window Shopping

So I think it is safe to say that the CHA sneak peeks for another season have come and gone.  Yes, I stalked them and studied them every step of the way and loved every minute of it!  Overall, I love the many soft palettes that have been revealed for this spring and bokeh seems to be a big thing this year.

Here are a few more items that have caught my eye.

I love Studio Calico everything!  I love it so much that I seem to hoard my SC collections.  I really need to cut into some of them!  This release was no exception to the awesomeness that they always release.

Sundrifter is my favourite!


Also loving the brighter palette of Here and There.


Loving these badges.


So happy to see the return of arrows!  Remember the huge arrows we used a few years back.  I still have some stored away and love them just as much today as I did back then.  This sheet of stickers has a lot of potential.


I always look forward to seeing what Crate will come out with.  They never disappoint.  This season, DIY Shop has me feeling that I might just "need" it.  ;)  It seems like a mix of Restoration and Portrait and I loved both of those lines!


Moving away from my biggest love, paper, there are some good things coming out that could help a scrapper have something new to use and still use up the paper they have on hand!

Loving these die cuts!


I have seen many scrappers use this idea.  Not sure if they cut their own with a die cutting machine.  I love the idea of filling these many units with a mix of patterned paper.  I believe these are from Jillibean.  It is all starting to be a blur now.  hee hee

My love for corrugated continues and so I am loving these from Jillibean!


Maya Road has these amazing little cameras!


 Loving the kraft and transparencies!  I think I have bought all of their previous similar releases of doilies and snowflakes.  So many great possibilities for these!

So that ends my lusting for Winter CHA.

Moving to the total opposite end of the spectrum, I am currently reading this book.


Totally enjoying being reminded of the joys of simple living but this couple is extreme!  They live in a 128 square foot home.  No fridge, a composting toilet and they have to shower at work or the gym.
If you would like to view a tour of their home, check out this.  

Well, I couldn't do it but they do send a valid message regarding the amount of stuff we have these days.  As I read this book I am reminded of my scrapping "stuff" just waiting to be used.  I still fall victim to the short lived rush of buying new supplies even though I know I have lots on hand to use up that I still love.  Somehow, shopping in my scrappy room and rediscovering some of my old treasure does not hold the same high as acquiring more new stuff. ;)  It's an addiction I tell you and I have it bad!  LOL  Well, I know I am not alone with my affliction so that gives me comfort.  hee hee  My goal is to try to focus on the joy of using up some treasure and the joy of having less stuff on hand to maintain and organize.  Historically I have failed,  on an epic level, every time with this goal but I still believe that it is important to keep hope alive!

Are you feeling strong this time around or do you think you might cave to the lure of these amazing new products that will be hitting our shelves soon?

Jen


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