Thursday, February 28, 2013

Springtime Vintage Giveaway

So Rob thinks that I should name my giveaway...  that it should have some kind of theme.  Well it has to be spring somewhere and the goodies have a bit of a vintage theme, so there you have it.

I always hope to learn a little more about my readers with my giveaways so.... if you are interested in winning this.....


..... just leave me a comment telling me something that you look forward to when spring rolls around.

Here are some close-ups of the stash!




The paper pad by KaiserCraft has more than just paper.  Take a look!  It is the Miss Match collection.





I have also included a tiny package of vintage yumminess!



I will draw a random winner on Monday after dinner.  Sorry that once again this is only opened to North America.  Postage is so high.  :(

Mo wishes everyone good luck!  ;)  This giveaway is now closed.


Yes my big, bad, handsome all be it somewhat matted, Grandkitty.... is having a vacation at my place.  His mother is off chasing monkeys in Costa Rica, or maybe monkeys are chasing her.  ;)  Rob is sneezing lots.  :(

Jen

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

No Buy Challenge ~ February Update

Here we are at the end of yet another month,  a short month that has just flown by in the blink of an eye.  Life has been busy around here.  Lisa has left the condo that she rented from us to move in with her boyfriend Steve. He bought his own home last month.  We have been hunting to find a really good tenant.


It is great when you can rent to your daughter because you have that "mom guilt" thing that works in your favour.  You know that things will be kept properly.  When your tenant moves out and you check the place over, you just make your tenant a list of the things that need a bit more elbow grease involved to get them up to "Mom's standard".  So now that I am dealing with the real world of tenants and have lost all of my "momish" powers,  I had to put my best investigative powers to work.  Luckily for us, there isn't much out there available to rent so we get to be selective.  I think I found my girl last night.  I knew she was the one when she got excited that the floors were actual hardwood and asked if she should clean them with Swiffer cleaner.  Yes, she knows that they require more than a wet soppy bucket of water.  Would it be breaking boundaries to offer her a mopping system that she can use with just water and it will save her money and keep my floors looking even better.  Yeah, probably.  Even the daughter tenant wouldn't buy into that one.  Okay, I admit it, I have a thing for floor cleaning products.  ;)

So I have survived another month of the No Buy Challenge!  Here is the report.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought a box of white cardstock at Homesense for a great price.  It was on my list of things that I could buy and it was a really non-exciting purchase.  Boo to that!

Later in the month was a bit of a test as I did go to two LSS's with Susan.  Yeah it is like being on Weight Watchers and spending the afternoon at the ice cream parlour and bakery.  Tempting!!  The old shopping Jennifer saw lots of things that she wanted to impulse buy.  The creative possibilities were all around me.   I got super excited when I saw some awesome stamp sets.  Susan laughed at me as I realized that I was talking a bit loud about these beauties.  Now the great thing about having a sister who loves to scrap is that you can borrow and trade stuff.  So you can buy the stamp set for your sister as a gift and then you know that eventually you can ask to borrow it!  Lucky for me, the stamp set that I loved is the same one that Susan loved..... score!  In my defence,  I knew before leaving for the store that I was buying a little gift for Susan.  They had lost their loving cat, Stripo, to illness the night before and she needed a little pick me up.  Here is what these stamps look like.


I told Susan that I won't ask to borrow them for quite some time because that would seem like cheating and I plan on seeing this challenge through.

I did make one purchase that day.  Susan and I came across this diecut that we have been searching for forever!


We decided to co-own it!  We can share it back and forth and save money in the process.  I was a bit torn about this purchase as I never mentioned anything about "tools" in my list of what was okay to buy.  Tools are not a trouble spot for me... it is the actual supplies.  Both of my judges gave me the green light on this purchase.  It wasn't an impulse buy.  I love being able to make doilies in any colour and I love the kraft ones.  The only downfall to this diecut is that you have to poke out every little hole in this intricate design.  The end result is worth it though.

This is what I have learned this month.

~ When I am surrounded by goodness at the LSS and think that I "need" all of this new stuff, I really don't.  A few hours later I could only remember two of the things that I really wished I could have bought.  One is that amazing vellum paper from Fifth & Frolic with those big gold dots on it.  Not sure how I would even create with it.  I think I will be looking for a sheet of that in the sale bin next year.  Hmmmm could I fashion my own version using vellum and gold glittery paper?  The other was a set of really neat square alphas.

~ Less is really more!  Now that I have less,  I am not feeling overwhelmed.  I have really organized my stash and feel that I am more aware of what I have.  The creative possibilities are swimming around my scrapping dazed head.

> sheets of tags have been cut up and are ready to use.  So much bang for my buck for a layering loving scrapper.



> sheets of circular patterns have been punched out and are ready to use.  A cheap way to embellish.  Layer them up and add some goodies on top.





~ Big sisters feel sorry for little sisters going through scrappy withdraw and share some of their new goodies as gifts!  (Actually, Susan and I always share stuff with each other.  It is a great way to have a taste of the goodies but not too much on hand to use.)   Look at those sweet birds especially the owls!!  Can't wait to use them.  :)


~ When big sisters listen to little sisters mourn the loss of their glittery white alphas they remember that they have a package at home that they never used and give them as a gift.... along with some sheets of vintage BG that they have no use for.  Score for me!  I can't turn down vintage BG!


>  Big sister then decides to give the super vintage circa 2005 BG Blush collection that she spied first at the warehouse sale last year, to little sister!  Thank you Susan!  Can't wait to cut into this!  :)


The most important thing that I learned this month is that little sister needs to keep quiet or else by the end of the No Buy Challenge she will still have too much stuff and Big sister will have none.  ;)

So clearly I am not suffering over here. LOL  I am still having lots of fun with this challenge and am appreciating my possessions much more.  Two months down ~ 10 months to go.

In fact, I think I still have enough stuff to afford me to put together a giveaway for one lucky reader!  Check back in the next couple of days.  There may even be some diecut kraft doilies in there.   :)

Jen

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spring & Studio Update

Spring?  Are you there?  Although I likely have about two more months of winter left, somehow it feels that Spring is in the air.

Rob and I took a quick trip to the greenhouse this past weekend.  It is where we can get a bit of a taste of Spring.  I love how the humidity hits you when you walk through the door.  Then there is the smell of earth and even water.  They put up a beautiful pond feature each year complete with fish.  The traditional Spring blooms are available for sale too.  We came home with a pot of three tulips which at the time had not bloomed.


Now we are watching them bloom one by one.  Eventually the bulbs will be put in our backyard so we can enjoy them all over again next year.  Yellow tulips in my kitchen can make it feel like Spring even in the middle of a snowstorm.


Today the sun is shining through my living room window and it is even mild enough to have the windows open for a bit.  Yes, Spring is on it's way.  This Spring feeling has me wanting to fix things up a bit in the house...  to refresh.  The Spring cleaning list will soon be written.  That is the fun part.  The yucky part is actually completing the list.  lol


This years house changes have all taken place in the studio.  I may have been replacing my scrappy shopping with studio shopping but the make-over is now complete.  I shared the beginning of the process here.  Now for the update.

The hunt for turquoise continued on.  I found a few more items to add a punch of colour to the room.

This folding chair from Ikea.  A great spot to stack paper or magazines!


A shiny basket (HomeSense) to hold large punches.


A fancy bowl (HomeSense) for washi tape!


A simple curtain rod from Ikea to display some LO's.  I opted to hang them in protective album pages.  I would rather have glare than wrinkles from clipping them up.  I'm a bit fussy like that.  ;)


Some funky fabric to cover Susan's chair.  (Ikea $6 a meter)  I'll post a photo once the big guy gets this done.


And my splurge.... this totally whimsical and somewhat useless stool. (Urban Barn)  He followed me home.... really! ;)

I am not sure if I will look at him one day and wonder why I ever bought him or love him forever.  I'm thinking the later.  After all, he is a bird and he is turquoise and I can always sit a doily on his head and use him for a side table.  ;)  How could I pass him up considering that original owl picture from Ikea?  It is all Lisa's fault for getting me that for Christmas!  ;)  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

A few overview shots...





The studio now feels a bit more cohesive and less thrown together.  I love the whimsical feel and happy colours in it!  I now consider this project finished. :)

Along with decorating I have also done a major clean up and purge.  It is feeling really good to be organized.

And what have I been up to creatively?  A few assignments which will show up on the blog at a later date and some more knitting, of course.


More cowls for a couple of the girls' friends.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Jen


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sleuthing and Shopping

It was a busy day yesterday.  Rob was home so he took me and Susan on one of our "Friday Field Trips".  This is how it goes.  Susan and I drag Rob with us around the city to places that we want to go but need a ride to.  I'm a total chicken driver.  Susan is the braver one of the two but Rob just knows the city so well.  So Rob gets dragged to girly places to look at girly stuff.  Poor guy.  {Thanks Rob.}

 This trip involved going to two LSS stores that I rarely go to and Susan had never been to.  It was a bit of a test for me as I was just window shopping.  Card stock was the only thing on my to buy list and that is boring so I didn't buy any.  There will be more details on this in my end of the month "No Buy Challenge" post.  There was one shared purchase made, with Susan. It was totally out of the blue and passed the okay from both of my judges.  It was not a scrappy "supply".  No worries I am still in the game!  ;)  Phew!!

These trips always involve a fun lunch out.  We went to my favourite pub, Sherlock Holmes!  I had yummy shepherd's pie.  I forgot my camera so there are no photos to share.  :(

Our last stop on the trip was to show Susan an amazing stationary shop that we love!  We had so much fun snooping around and looking at all of the fun paper goods and cartridge pens.  Susan and I both love writing with cartridge pens.  Back in my school days it was the only thing that kept me awake during note taking.  Susan and I were remembering how the best part was changing the colour of the ink and slowly watching your words fade to a new colour.  I picked up a new thicker nib and a few new cartridges in my favourite colour turquoise.  In the old days they called it "Peacock Blue" but now it is just "turquoise".  We then learned that we could buy a converter that would allow our pens to accept an entire new ink line that has so. many. colours. in. it!!  We each picked a bottle of ink out.  Mine is a lighter shade of turquoise.  I have never used a re-loadable cartridge so this should be interesting.  Rob even bought himself a cartridge pen for work.  I hope he likes it.  If you have never tried one and enjoy writing, I encourage you to give one a go.  They are so much fun!


I am really looking forward to writing in my journal with my cartridge pen and new ink colours.  It has been away for quite some time as the fine nib that I had was scratchy.


When we got home late yesterday afternoon, the new CSI case was up so off I went on another tangent.

I scrapped a photo of Jack, the rabbit who hung out outside my bedroom window last year.


The journaling is hidden in an envelope on the back of the page.  I documented how much enjoyment this rabbit gave me during this time last year when life was difficult.  I always find my peace in nature.




I used this sketch by Jenny Evans.


Wishing you all a great weekend!

Jen


Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Cat Love" ~ Catching Up

So this year I seem to be all about the challenge.  Since I have been totally addicted to solving the CSI cases each week,  I was thinking that it would be a fun challenge to complete each case this year.  Not to mention, a great way to get excited about my existing stash of supplies. Hmmm  Not sure if I can achieve this goal.  I did start off strong last year but then went MIA from the site.  But, it is good to have goals so I will give it a go and see how well I do.  Since I didn't solve the first three cases of the year, it was time to backtrack.

Here is this year's first case.

Oh I struggled with this one.  Thought I might have to call in the FBI and RCMP for back-up!  ;)  I don't have many supplies in this colour palette.  These colours seem best when scrapped in a different style than I scrap.  My first attempt was an epic failure.  After 1.5 hours I salvaged what I could, threw the rest in the trash and left the studio.  Today I returned with an idea of keeping it very simple and minimal.  Two things that I struggle with.





So, not my usual style but it was definitely a challenge and that is a good thing.... I think.  ;)

I got a quick shot of my photography assistant, Maggie.  How cute is she?  It looks like she is holding the white board down for me.


 Hey, she wasn't even blocking the light this time and no photo bomb either!


Wishing you all a wonderful day with the ones you love!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Jen
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