Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 10 in 2013

Another year is soon coming to an end.   A new year is upon us and with it comes the promise of new beginnings.  On reflection,  2013 was a year of loss and some challenges too.  It was also a year that held precious time with family,  love, laughs and lots to be grateful for.

On the scrappy front, I didn't accomplish as much as I normally do.  I am actually feeling the thrill of scrapping returning.  I am looking forward to some cold winter days where I can hide away in the studio and play with paper.  Time to start getting some memories recorded and those albums filled up.

Here are my 10 favourite pages created in 2013 in no particular order.











I only have one resolution this year.  I shy away from making them usually as I feel that I am usually setting myself up for failure.  But, this year I want to return to my kitchen.  Rob has been chief cook for the past couple of years and has tired of it.  I am looking forward to getting us on a more routined meal schedule.  Time to get back to preparing some favourite recipes and comfort food like muffins and soup!  So you just might see a few posts here on what's cooking.  Blogging about my creativity (or lack of) in the kitchen may help to keep me somewhat motivated.  

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year with all good things in 2014!

Jen

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Recap

So another Christmas has come and gone.  It was a quiet one and I'm fine with that.  Tomorrow it will be time to "undecorate" the house.  As much as I love to decorate for the holidays,   I always look forward to getting "stuff" put away and having my house feel more in order.

Today we had our family celebration at our house!  It was somewhat untraditional.

There were tulips.


Diane and Eric came,


Lisa and Steve too.


Grandma enjoyed the evening too.


We had delicious Chinese food.



We shared gifts for each other and someone got super excited about her sock monkey jammies!


My grand puppies were there but spent the night playing together, so I never got a photo opportunity.  The snobby Shaw dogs have little to do with those young ones.  ;)

It was a relaxing time with not too much fuss.  I am a happy mama.  :)

I'll be back soon with my Top 10 LO's for 2013 post.  It's always fun to look back on the scrappy year.

Jen

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Greetings

And so another Christmas is upon us.  Only a couple of sleeps before Santa makes his big trip around the world.  Rob and I seem to be getting spoiled this year with a few surprises.  Rob is known as one of the "snow angels" in our neighbourhood.  He goes out and snow blows the big dumpings of the white stuff remembering who needs the help the most.  He never expects anything in return.  But then there is a beautiful card delivered and inside a generous gift card to Starbucks from the neighbour with the shoulder injury.  Within days a beautiful gift basket  was delivered from our elderly neighbour who has just moved to a senior's home.  All the neighbourhood "snow angels" take turns keeping her property shovelled.  I am sure we will see Selma's house go up for sale in the spring.  We will miss her positive outlook on life and her little dog Rex.  But we know where her new home is now. :)

Last week Rob came home from work with a gift for me.  It was from some of the ladies that Rob works with.  It was such an unexpected surprise and look what it is!


The perfect addition to my holiday decor!  I just love this guy and have a feeling that he won't be packed away after the holidays.  I will find a spot where I can admire him year around.  I was so touched by the kindness and generosity of Rob's co-workers.  They are always so very good to me.

Then there was the card that arrived in the mail from some of our old neighbours from the condo.  It touched me that the theme of this card was that we were "friends".  These are the true "gifts" of the season that I want to remember.

I learned something very valuable this holiday season.  You can plan a "Winter Solstice" gathering almost a year in advance but that doesn't mean it will happen.  It seems that cold and flu season coincides with Winter Solstice.  Yes, my body had other plans for me this week.  Baking, cleaning, preparing appetizers and gathering with family was not in the cards.  Sleeping, sleeping and more sleeping was just about my speed.  But this is life, as imperfect as it can be at times.  Plans can always be re-adjusted.  There are lots of days in this holiday season.  I'm thinking that a gathering after Christmas with appetizers, baking and a feast of ordered in Chinese food might be in the cards.  It will still be fun and I am looking forward to it.  I'm thinking I should be in good shape for Christmas day.  Hmmm Maybe I wasn't meant to celebrate the Winter Solstice after all.

Before I leave  I want to wish all of my readers a wonderful holiday with many happy memories and great photos to scrap after the fact!

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

Jen

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Decor

I finally got around to taking some photos of our decorations.  In celebration of Winter Solstice and the return of the light, the theme is all about nature.  I'll warn you that this is a photo heavy post.

The decorations upstairs are pretty much in the living room.  It is where we hang out most of the time.  I stuck to a red and silver palette and it goes somewhat well with the touches of gold that we have in our house.  I keep my decorations simple because if things get too cluttered, it annoys me. I like things to be functional.  Here's what we are looking at in addition to the bird tree and winter village.











My favourite decoration this year is our tree fit for Cindy- Lou Who!  It was made at the florist and is called "Jazzy Who".  The greens are cedar and much to my happiness, they are not making Rob sneeze!  Yay to having some real greens in the house!


Our tree is in the basement because our living room is quite small.  Once again it is nature themed in a red and gold palette.  Gold represents the sun!  I had many ornaments that fit this new theme.  I did add new ornaments this year... squirrels, birds, mushrooms, owls and pine cones.  It was actually good timing to change up the tree because Lisa and Steve were on the look out for ornaments for their first Christmas tree.  I was able to pass onto them a fair amount of decor.  I also insisted that the girls take all of their special ornaments from their growing up years.  It is time for them to enjoy them on their own Christmas trees in their own homes.










And one of the best "decorations" for the season.... a Starbucks Latte.


Hope your days are festive!

Jen

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Behold the Loud Chair

The "loud chair" arrived yesterday.  I was a bit worried for it's arrival,  being unsure if the pattern was just too much.  But alas, as they carried it all wrapped in plastic into the house, a small flutter of excitement was felt in my stomach. (Actually that flutter may have been the touch of the flu I have been fighting the past few days.  ha)  I knew the chair was perfect for us!


And so I add yet another touch of gold and a small vibe of early 70's fabric.  This look is not for everybody, but this chair just makes me happy!  As you can see, Lady took little time giving the chair a go.  She has quickly claimed it as her spot.  By the time Rob got home from work last night, Lady was all sprawled out sleeping.  She was good enough to push to one side so the big guy could try it out.  It is "a chair and a half" in size and so they fit perfectly together in it.  Maggie is still hanging on the leather sofa with me.  Just as well as she is my slobbery dog.  There is a reason that there was not a purchase of a new sofa as well.

Here is the small occasional chair and loud pillow.  I love the sleek lines.


Yes, it is Lady approved for comfort also.  ;)


I can't say enough good things about Sofa Land.  They were amazing to deal with.  These pieces were made in B.C. Canada.  Historically we have bought from Lazy Boy but find that their quality has diminished as of late.  However, the prices have stayed high.  Sofa Land even gave us this gift as a thank you.  It's nice to be appreciated as a customer.


I'll leave you with this cute photo of Little Tom.  He looks so happy!  He is like his dad, who was always so intrigued with the large machinery, as a boy.


This time of year makes me wish I lived closer to Thomas and could enjoy his wonderment of the holiday season.  The little people in our lives always make the season special.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jen


Monday, December 9, 2013

Thoughts on this Holiday Season

The holiday season is now upon us.  I am realizing how terribly behind I am this year.  Holiday cards have not even been written up yet, gifts still have to be bought and wrapped and I am promising myself to actually get into the kitchen to make a few of the girlies favourite holiday treats.  The only thing I am up to date on is decorating!

This year we are changing it up a bit.  It's all about Winter Solstice!  It just seems fitting for me to celebrate the return of light and the wonder of nature.  Nature provides me with a peace and solitude beyond words.  And so we will celebrate on December 21st, with a roast of beef dinner and frozen ice cream cake!  We will burn bees wax candles.  The decor has a nature theme and the "celebration" tree is decked out with lots of birds, animals and the colour gold to represent the sun.  But more on the decor in a later post.

This new idea comes with a couple of benefits.  Keeping it simple means enjoying the season and not stressing.  Celebrating before Christmas day allows my family to spread out the holiday season and enjoy more than just one day.  The girls will not be rushing from house to house in order to be with us as well as their boyfriend's families.  I don't mind having my family with me a few days early.  Then on the big day, the girlies can relax and actually eat Christmas dinner with their boyfriends.  It is a win win for all!  We will all be able to enjoy more time together.

No worries that Rob and I will be sitting home alone on Christmas night sobbing into our empty stockings..... there are no stocking in Winter Solstice.  ;)  We will be spending time with Rob's mom at her house.  And if we wanted to celebrate late into the night we have an open invite to go to Diane's boyfriend's parent's home.  Eric's mom is a saint and never wants anyone left out.

One of the best things about the holiday season is that there is a better chance of a new photo coming my way.  Diane set up her tree on the weekend and sent me this photo of our favourite cat, the ultimate Christmas kitty!


Yes, Mo is one happy cat now that his "friend" has been taken out of the box for another season.  He will be a busy boy "undecorating" it each day as Diane is at work.

Lisa and Steve had her office Christmas party this weekend.  I always love seeing a photo of them all dressed up.


Hoping your holiday plans are taking shape.

Jen


Saturday, December 7, 2013

What's it Going to Be?

I took a trip to the good yard store today.  It is just a place that I like to be, especially this time of year when knitter's are in high gear for the holiday season.  Today I saw a young woman buying a selection of colourful yarns to give her mother, who is a knitter, for Christmas.  Her bold colour choices were beautiful and I imagined her mother's delight when opening up this heartfelt gift.  I saw a man sitting on one of the comfy chairs entertaining his little girl while mom shopped.  The little girl was wearing a beautifully knit hat.  That is the great thing about being around knitters.  You can always look for and admire their knits in their wardrobe.  Another great thing about the yarn shop is looking at the beautiful lap blankets draped over the comfy chairs along with the knit items on display,  meant to inspire knitting projects and yarn choices.

Here's what I found today!


Finally some Baby Alpaca in a heavy weight.  Then finding this amazing washable worsted in my favourite turquoise made my day.


As always while at the cash register, the shop owner asks, "What's it going to be?"  I thought what an amazing question to be able to ask people all day long.  That is the great thing about knitting.  You take two sticks and some yarn and make it into something!  How exciting to watch people's yarn choices and then imagine the projects completed.  My answer to this question is always the same... mittens and scarves.  Makes me realize that I really need to challenge myself and expand my knitting horizons.  But then,  there is something good about the relaxing process of knitting what you know.

And for now, I continue crocheting my squares for my afghan.  After letting it sit untouched for a year and a half, it feels good to pick it up again.


This new yarn will have to wait until the new year when it is time to give the crochet hook a break.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jen

Thursday, December 5, 2013

That Darn Cat!

I have had this hilarious photo of Mo for over three years,  just waiting to be scrapped.  When I saw the vintage 50's image on this sheet of KaiserCraft  "Tea Break" paper, I knew it would be perfect!


Yes, it is Mo sitting in my seat, at dinner time, ready to eat my chicken dinner.  Such a sassy boy.  ;)  And yes, in our house, when the pets act up, the first thing to do is to grab the camera and take a photo. No wonder I have misbehaved animals.  Good thing I raised my girls better than I did the animals.  LOL



Have a great day!

Jen
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