Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Well, Christmas is over for another year and Santa was very good to me again. I'm not sure whether that means I was a very good girl or a very bad girl. In any case, I've been spoilt yet again!

Our Christmas dinner went very well. We have no family here so the last few years it has just been the three of us, which I quite enjoy as it is such a busy time of year. This year we planned on having a couple of coworkers with us as they are orphans as well. At close to the last minute, we added another couple so we had morphed into seven from three. The turkey was big enough - just! - and I made enough food to feed a small army so it was all good. We ate dinner and then sat around the table and chatted for several hours,which is the part that I think I like the best.

It has been a wonderful holiday season !

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's been a busy couple of weeks but I think I'm just about there! As of Monday, I hadn't even started my Christmas cards and only had about a quarter of my Christmas shopping done. It's amazing how much work you can get done when your're on a tight deadline. I was able to come up with a design that worked for me; it met all the criteria, elegant (at least I think it is) with a little bit of wow factor. It made up fairly quickly and I managed to get 30 done and out in the mail Tuesday and Wednesday. I still have about 5 more to make but they will be hand delivered when I visit with them before Christmas. I'll use the same design but glitz it up a notch further because I have fewer to make and more time to do it.

I finished up the majority of my shopping today with just a few things to pick up locally in my normal running around prior to Christmas. I hit Chapters - a bad place for me to go when they have a sale on but I did manage to get one Christmas present - the rest of the goodies were for me. I just couldn't resist some of those titles and when you can purchase a hard cover book for half the price of a paperback, what's not to like?

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Since Friday we've had a dump of snow out here on the Coast. I'm not sure how much we got but it has stayed. It looks so nice and fresh - "it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!". The weatherman tells us that it won't last - he says to expect the "pineapple express" to come through sometime later this evening or in the early hours of the morning. That will bring warmer weather and lots of rain which will keep up for a couple of days. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted! In the meantime, here are a couple more of my Christmas cards. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I've been busy making Christmas cards. I love making Christmas cards and it always puts me in a festive mood. I'm working on a special order so I can't hang out here too long today but I thought I'd post some of my Christmas art.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finally finished all my 3 x 3's for the swap on Altered Designs. I really enjoyed doing this - I got a chance to play, something that doesn't happen all that much lately. I dug into the stash I've been collecting and it was really nice to be able to use my treasures on these little peices of art! And I'm so pleased with how they turned out - I hope the gals who receive them are happy with them!

Friday, November 23, 2007

There's been a lot going on so haven't posted much art lately. We've had the requisite number of crises and catatstrophes at work - lots of drama and noise - but things seem to have settled down now for the short term. I've been laid up sick with a lousy cold - I guess that's what happens when you brag about not falling victim to a bad cold for years....the cold god decides to pay you back!

I'm still working on some art to post - hopefully later this afternoon as I'm finishing up some projects that I've fallen behind in completing. Hopefully I'll be able to get thoses worked out and posted later this afternoon.

In the meantime, here's an ATC I did for the Stampington ATC swap over on CCSwaps. The background paper is a scrap of paper towel that was under my paper when I was making my painted acrylic backgrounds. I thought it was too nice to throw away so I kept it to use and luckily it came in handy here. It has bits of gold paint, which probably don't show up that well on the scan, but it's quite pretty when you view it in person. The down side is that because the paper was textured, the stamped imaged isn't as dark as I would have liked it .

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Finally pretty well caught up with everything on the list. My project list has shrunk considerably - when will I learn that I cannot over-commit myself? My problem is that there is so much I want to do "artwise" but so little time to do it!

Here are two more pages from my Skinny Book swap. I'm not sure if they are finished yet so I've set them aside to germinate for a couple of days and then I'll re-evalute to see if I want to do more on them.

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's been a busy several weeks and my posting fell way behind. Hopefully I can get back into the groove again and bring my blog back up to date. I've mentioned the Skinny Book Swap being hosted over at the Altered Abbey and have finally finished my pages - well almost! I still have a bit of tweaking to do but it's 90% finished so so I thought I'd give you a little peak. I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm in to the home stretch - only 1 more Open House to prepare for and then I'm on to some projects that have been put on the back burner.

I'm getting a little stressed about the skinny book - haven't done a darn thing on it and the deadline is less than a month away. I am committed to 26 pages of original artwork, which thank goodness does not have to be all the same. So the plan is to come up with designs for 5 pages. I'll make 5 pages of each of these designs, probably varying colours and embellishments so they are all original but a variation on a theme. I just can't see myself coming up with 26 designs - that's a little over the top for me!

Well, must get back to the grind stone. I haven't posted any art for ages so will try to get some of that on the blog soon.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm deep in the throes of a major production push - trying to get ready for the Open House at the store is keeping me very busy. Of course, things came up which prevented me from getting as much accomoplished as I would have like but I'm getting there. I have 1 set almost completed, a second set 75% completed and then 3 smaller sets to make up. Delivery is Monday the 15rh - no doubt I will deliver just before close but I am confident I will deliver so that is a good thing.

My shoulder has been killing me for the last week or so. I went back to work on Monday and my shoulder ached so bad on Sunday night that I only got about 2 hours sleep the whole night. I tossed and turned for an hour and a half until I finally got up and watched TV for a couple of hours. I was meeting myself coming and going to heat up my bean bag to put on the shoulder from hell, hoping to kill the pain but it just would not go away. I took a couple of pills before I went to bed - that would be in addition to the 2 valerian I took to help me sleep - and then took another 3 Ibuprofen at 230 because the shoulder was still throbbing like a rotten tooth ache. I got myself into the massage therapist this afternoon - it was wonderful - but by the time I got to work I had a nasty headache, probably from all the tension she forced out during the massage. I have another massage booked for Saturday afternoon so I'm really looking forward to that. Guess I'm back to my twice weekly therapeutic massages - they save my life - I don't think I need to suffer with the shoulder if the message can get rid of the pain.

I haven't posted any art for awhile - I'm working on a couple of ATCs for a season swap that was due on September 30th but which hasn't gone out yet. I was sooooo busy with the Music Deco and other things that I totally forgot about the ATCs so will try to remember to scan them before I send them off.

I'm starting to get a little stressed about the Skinny book I'm in - it's due in Kristy's hands by November 17th and I haven't even started it yet. I have to do 26 pages of original artwork. The good thing about it is that they don't all have to be the same so I plan to design 5 or 6 pages and then do variations on them for the original art. I'm looking forward to that but right now my plate seems pretty full. No one to blame for that but myself though!

Oh, and I treated myself to one of those fancy paper cutters - I think it's called a Dream Kutter (from Dream Kuts). It's designed for 12 x 12 paper - I use standard letter size cardstock - but I've played with the various cuts and I think this little gizmo will save me a ton of time and frustration. I cannot cut a straight line to save my life so I'm really looking forward to getting my hot little hands on this baby!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I celebrated a birthday on Friday. How did I get to be so old? Unbelievable. I feel 16 on the inside. We had a lovely dinner out with a couple of friends and then back to our place for dessert and coffee. Everyone was tired so it certainly wasn't a late night

I've been busy catching up on stock for the store. Ron needs some birthday and anniversary cards and I still need to produce the stock for the open house so I'm going to be busy for awhile.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm participating in a Music Deco Round Robin over on Altered Designs. This is my first Deco ever so I'm both a little overwhelmed and a little excited. I've kind of dropped the ball at the beginning - my book should have gone postal by now. It hasn't but I'm working on it!

I chose "Candle in the Wind" as the theme for my spread in Anne Atkinsons's Deco . Anne asked that everyone make an ATC for their sign-in - great idea. My contribution for sign-in is on the right.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I have a ton of work to do in this next few days. I signed up for a music deco just about 3 weeks ago, just got my first deco a couple of days ago and I'm already behind the eight ball. Good Grief! I also have to make up some new samples and stock for the shop. I hope to have some new art to show you in a couple of days but in the meantime here are a couple of more of my 4 x 4 collages.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wow this month is flying by! I've been sooooooo busy with my 4 x 4 collages - I can't believe how many I've created. It's been a lot of fun! These little gems are addictive. Here are two more that I created for the swap.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm in catchup mode - I was working on new designs for the Open House for the store and a few things went by the wayside. Here are a couple of the 4 x 4 collages I made for the swap on Altered Designs. I hope to get the remaining few out in the mail in the next day or so.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I just came off night shift Monday morning. I had a good sleep - about 7 hours - but was falling asleep on the couch by 8pm. Finally woke up at about 930 pm and decided I had better toddle off to bed. I had a grand sleep but was then wide awake at 3 am .... so I've been down in the workroom for the last couple of hours working on art for swaps etc.

These two 4 x 4's are for a "Your theme" mingle being held over on the Altered Designs group hosted by Kelly Burton. I'm quite pleased with the end result and I hope the recipients will be as well. Two down and only eight more to go!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm playing in another swap over on CC swaps. Those gals sure run some great swaps! I've really been pretty active over there lately. I'm having fun and using up some of my gigantic stash of supplies. This particular "Doodle " swap was a stretch for me and I might do more of these types of ATCs in future.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I managed to get through the week and still hold on to the tiny shred of sanity I still have left. Husband was released from hospital on Thursday after having completed a battery of tests. He had an angiogram on Thursday and that came back clear. No blockages at all which was very good news. He came out of the hospital none the worse for wear except for an eye infection which was pretty gross looking.

The cardiologist is sending him for a couple of more tests just to make sure eveything is ok and then he's all done. He's back smoking for the next week or so as he has a boys weekend planned but has promised me he will start his smoking cessation meds when he comes back next weekend.I've made my feeling clear and that's the end of it.....I will not fight with him about this!

He is off work this block, and took next Friday off as well as he is up in Kamloops for a golf tournament. I've also booked some time off as I have several days to burn off thatI can't carry over to next year. I'm soooo looking forward to some down time that I can devote to art!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It has been a very hectic couple of days for me. Saturday night my husband was admitted to ERH. He was suffering from deep chest pains and was having trouble breathing. They kept him overnight and he saw the cardiologist on Sunday afternoon and was admitted to the MCU (Monitored Care Unit).

The cardiologist is fairly certain that he did not have a heart attack - yet! However, she believes that he has some kind of blockage in his artery. He was kept in and today he is being taken to another local hospital to have an angiogram. If they find a blockage and it's not too severe, they will also do an angioplasty. If the blockage is too severe, then he would be looking at a bypass of some kind. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they find a small blockage. If it comes back clear then that raises a whole host of questions as to what caused his pain?

My husband is a smoker - sorry, was, a smoker. The cardiologist read him the riot act about smoking and insisted, with my support, that he stop smoking immediately. She wouldn't even let him go outside for a last puff before sticking the patch on him. It was really quite humourous to see this big tough guy whining and coaxing, trying to get his way. The nurses were wonderful - he wasn't happy about not being able to smoke and he wasn't happy about being held in the hospital - one of them told him "suck it up, princess"! Hilarious.

Will keep you posted on his progress!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's been a busy week but I did manage to get some 3 x 3 art done for a swap I'm in over on Altered Designs. These little guys are challenging but fun. I learnt the hard way that you need to plan your space a little better than you would on a larger piece - 3 inches square is not very big - otherwise you run out of room! I do think, however, that this is a case of where less is definitely more. I think I may have developed another addiction! And what a great way to use up all those little bits and piece of your precious papers and scraps. Bonus!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I am in several swaps over the next few weeks so I wanted to create some art to send off. I don't get to just do random art too often so it was nice to be able to play today. I made a couple of ATCs and 2 cards for a monthly swap so it was a very productive day.

The black shell atc doesn't scan that well but in person it's very pretty. I used some of my acrylic paint watercolour paper - had to use it for something! The rose is direct to rubber with twinkling H2O's. For the 2 greeting cards I used some decorated scrapbook paper scraps.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I recently participated in a Sudoku swap over on CCSwaps. For those of you who are unfamiliar with a Sudoku swap, it is a collaborative swap. Each person makes 4 backgrounds which are then passed on to the next person in line. Essentially, every person in the swap does a different stage on each of the other players cards. At the end of the swp each person received 4 finished ATCs. It's a lot of fun.
Our group was named the yellow group; the participants were Chris Bennett, Jessie Sherf, Sandy Proulx and Adrienne Goodenough . I love the artwork that resulted from this collaboration!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I signed up for a background paper swap over on CC Swaps group. The requirement was to send 12 sheets measuring 4 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches. All were to be as close to the same as possible. I opted to do some painted acrylics on watercolour paper - my new favourite technique. Since I was making a mess anyway, I decided to make some extras for myself. I plan to use them for card backbgrounds or ATCs. I'm very pleased with the results and I hope you'll like them too!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I've been away from my blog for too long so I'm doing a quick update.

Last 4 days off were fairly busy but felt very long - does that even make sense? I normally just do a few errands on day 1 off but last block I did errands, did some shopping, got together with a friend for an early dinner, dyed my hair and watched some tv so quite a lot was accomplished. Day 2 I golfed - what a bad day I had! Myscore was in the range it normally is but my game was terrible - I just didn't feel like I had any ooomph and it showed. Days 3 and 4, I worked on cards for the store and was able to make a delivery on Saturday to replenish some of his stock and , of course, take another order for more wedding cards.

I managed to get all my swaps out on time - or close enough to consider being on time - so that was a relief to be able to stroke them off my list. It was also very stress free becauseI had everything listed in my book (instead of hunting high and low for the instructions) so it all came together fairly easily and quickly. Amazing how smoothly things run when one is organized!

This coming block (Thursday through Sunday) I will be fairly busy again. I'll be working on stock for the store. I have one set of cards started already and I'm even working to make some extra cards so hopefully that will shorten my turnaround time. As fast as I'm delivering them, they're being sold. I guess that's a good thing but is sometimes a little frustrating as I can't keep up. Wah, Wahh. I'd like a little cheese with my whine please!

Husband is playing golf on Friday, we're having dinner guests on Saturday and I plan to play a round of golf with husband on Sunday and then we'll be back to work again. Funny - talking about it in those terms makes me realise that we really are fairly busy on days off. And here I thought I didn't have a life!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Here's some eye candy for you . These are some of the fabulous ATCs I received last Sunday at the Grind. These little works of art far too good to not share!

The artists on the left (left to right and top to bottom): Blue ribbon by Penelope Harris, Specimen by Andreaflaa, Angel Fish by Misti Ko, Angel by Leilania Lloyd.

The artists on the right (left to right and top to bottom): Blue Angel by Val Verhagen, Wings (Angel Dog) by Fran , Slide Mount by Char Koehler, Crow by Nancy Sherman

I have so many ideas spinning around in my head, and so much I want to do! I just don't have enough hours in the day. The little altered canvasses I've just discovered are certainly addictive - I ran out and bought a dozen more of them and just cannot wait to get to play on them.

I have a ton of cards to do - both for personal use and for the store - so though I hate to do it,I'm going to have to "step away" from my blog for a little while. Hopefully I won't have to leave for too long - I'm finding this blog addictive!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Here's the altered canvas I was working on. I included the painted canvas base in the last post.

Here's the finished product. It will be going out in the mail in the morning. Not bad for my first effort!
The ATC swap at the Grind on Sunday was fun. We had a good turnout, probably about 16 swappers, with several new-to-me faces. It was fun to attend again after having missed so many swaps over the last several months. One of the new people and I seemed to hit it off - very nice and very talented lady. It was nice to be able to visit with her and discover that we share a lot of the same interests. Last night we chatted on the phone for about a half hour and are planning to get together next week for coffee so I'm looking forward to that.

The last several days have flown by. Husband came home on Tuesday and it has been busy ever since. Funny how a third person in a house changes the dynamics and "busy-ness" that goes on there. I've now had to shift back into wife and homemaker mode - my selfish "artiste" hat is hungly firmlyin the closet for awhile.

I've been busy trying to finish up some art for a couple of swaps I joined over on CC Swaps. I had challenged myself to try to stretch some of my creative muscles this year; I think that, so far, I've been fairly successful at doing that. I've worked in 2 Chunky books this year, done some cool backgrounds and I am now working in a collaborative journal.
I'm also working on an altered canvas for a swap - another first for me! I think these little gems could become addictive! This picture is what the finished base looks like. The scan doesn't show it well, but there are also some gold highlights mixed in there. The gal I am sending to had stated a preference for green so I'm trying to accomodate her. I just hope the background isn't tooooooo green!
I'm please that I've been able to experiment with new techniques. I feel likeI'm finally growing as an artist and that's a good feeling!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Today I'm attending an ATC swap at "the Grind" in Vancouver. This group meets monthly, but I haven't attended for several months. With shiftwork and other commitments, I just haven't had that particular Sunday of the month, free for ages!

I worked until the very wee hours on some new ATCs. Originally, I was trying to duplicate a background technique shown by Karyn Gartel on the Technique Tuesday site. Since I have an altered canvas that is almost due, I thought I might try this technique on that project. I practiced on watercolour paper so that I would have some neat background paper for ATCs.

I'm reasonably pleased with the results and I was able to use the backgrounds for my ATCs; they are the two ATCs on the extreme left of this picture. The paper isn't quite as vibrant as I would have liked, seems a little muddy to me. I'm not sure if that is a function of what happens when you are creating art at 4 o'clock in the morning or me just needing a little more practice !

Friday, July 13, 2007

I've managed to fritter away yet another day without getting much accomplished - not that that's a bad thing! I'm going to remedy that very soon!

As soon as my program finishes - I'm totally hooked on "What Not to Wear" - I will be knuckling down to get some new art done. Sunday I plan to go to a local ATC swap so I need some new art to trade there; I also signed up for a couple of ATC swaps and I need to create some new art to send out for the end of the month.

Before I retire to my studio I just feel the need to comment on Lord Conrad Black's conviction which I just learned about on th 6 o'clock news. Big surprise there! Well actually it is a big surprise to me as I was pretty sure he was going to walk. Instead he will be incarcerated for quite some time. Hard to have any sympathy for him and his "lady" - they are both arrogant SOB's and IMHO they are getting exactly what they deserve! That is all I'm going to say about that!
This couple of weeks that I've been off work have gone very quickly. I managed to get some stock into the store; I would have gotten more done if I had stayed off the darn computer but I am so addicted to this thing that I have a hard time doing other things some days. Today I spent a couple of hours putzing around with the stupid thing trying to get my scanner working. For some reason the computer wouldn't recognize that the scanner was attached - it wasn't even showing that it was installed. No icon, no nothing! I finally discovered that one of the cords had become disconnected when I was rearranging the furniture. I plugged it back in but that didn't solve the problem. The stupid computer wouldn't read that the scanner was hooked up even though at one point it was showing the icon. Talk about frustrating! On about the seventh re-boot, I unplugged the scanner, waited til it completed the re-boot and then plugged the scanner back in again. That seemed to do the trick as I got a "new hardware" message. Once the computer recognized the "new" hardware, it automatically installed the program and I was good to go. Why didn't I do that the first time around? I certainly would have saved myself a lot of frustration and wasted time. Go figure!
Husband is back in 5 days and I have more tasks left than I have time. This week here on the coast, we got hit with some extremely hot weather. Wednesday the temperature here in Pitt Meadows was 40 celcuis. That is some hot! Tuesday was also very hot as well so I had a hard time getting motivated to do much - mostly lay around. I watched a lot of my decorating shows. This translated to me not getting as much done around the house as I wanted to do but I guess that's why they call it "vacation"! The plan for tomorrow is to paint the entranceway from the garage into the house. It's not a large area but it is dirty, disgusting and so ugly looking that I just cannot stand it another minute! Once that is done I'll feel a lot better.
I've spent a good part of tonight trying to clean up some of the junk and clutter that seems to be taking over the downstairs family room and my work area. I did a bunch of organizing a week or so ago and managed to get my studio in pretty good shape. Got stuff off the floor, into drawers, like things together and so on. So now I'm going through all the stuff I just tossed on the floor to deal with later. Well now it's later and I'm piling up these empty plastic containers and there doesn't seem to be any end to them. I think at some point over the last several months I must have lost my blessed mind. I swear I have no idea when I bought these or why I bought so many of them. It's absolutely ridiculous! I've posted them on freecycle and I'm really hoping that someone will jump on these babies really quick and take them off my hands.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Three days into vacation and I've had a couple of very productive days! Yesterday I sprayed my roses for aphids, fixed the fountain -it was running very sluggish because of too much water, I think - painted a wall in the studio and reorganized my studio - twice.

I had taken the measurments and drawn it out and on paper it looked fine, like everything would fit. Unfortunately when it came time to actually set it up the way I had drawn it, it just wasn't flowing - looked too disjointed and chunky! Does that even make sense? I 've had to set it up pretty much the way it was before except that I've gotten rid of one small desk, moved the chest of drawers and added 2 small bookcases that I scored on Freecycle. I like the way it turned out ! It feels good and is reasonably pleasing to the eye.

Today I worked on getting things on the shelves and reorganizing my stamps. I saw something on one of the lists about organizing your stamps in those big ziplock bags. I think it was a tip from Carole Duval. Prior to this I've had my stamps in drawers and boxes, stacked in layers and deposited all over the place. I tried putting them into the ziplock bags with a piece of cardboard in behind it for support - I absolutely love it! I've taken the bags and they are standing in a large rubbermaid container. I can fit about a dozen bags standing up in there and I can see at a glance exactly what I have. They're grouped by theme - birthday, wedding, hearts, things with wings, and so on. This is fabulous! By storing them this way, it solves a couple of problems. First off it organizes them in a way that they are clearly and easily seen and are all in one place. Secondly, now I have more drawere space because the stamps are stored elsewhere. I think this is going to work out really well !

My workroom still looks a little like a cyclone hit it but it is improving. Tomorrow after I get back from my paper run I'll work on it some more. I really want/need to get my work table cleaned off so I can get to work on some new cards. I've also committed myself to some more swaps, want to work on some tags and ATCs and my 3O minute collages.

This feels really good - like I've finally found a system that works and that I can keep up. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Finally - on holidays - Woooohooo!

Last night at work, as the night was winding down, I started thinking about the next couple of weeks and how I was going to spend them. I took a page from my husband, who is super organized, and photocopied a calendar page for the month of July. I know I have lots I want to do but also know that typically I won't get a lot of that done unless I'm organized. So I started working my way through the page and pencilled in the things I want to do. I find that by actually marking a date on the calendar that makes me psychologically commit to doing that task on that date.

I find it certainly helps. I feel more in control and I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something instead of just wasting time by spinning around and being unfocused. I think it also helps me to manage my time better. I've always been a list maker but as I'm easily distracted, the list will often get set aside and I forget about it.

My first day off and I already have the next 3 days planned out and I am committed to doing something on those day. I think that is a great accomplishment!

Friday, June 29, 2007

I haven't posted for quite awhle - it's been a busy couple of weeks that's for sure! I've been in major catchup mode with the store. Trying to get stock and new designs in there as quickly as possible but will definitely need to get some serious production happening. Husband is going away on Sunday and will be gone for 18 days. I'll have some time to myself to just do my own thing! Wooooohoooo! I've taken the same amount of time off so will be working like a fiend to get caught up.

I tend to flit from thing to thing. It's not uncommon for me to start a major project or task at midnight if that's when the inspiration hits me! I'm not able to do that when he's here - he gets all weirded out about me not getting enough sleep, getting stressed out, getting sick, all that sort of thing. But when he's gone - watch out! I'm free to be as sporadic and unstructured as I want to be and that is kind of fun!

My "to do" list is a mile long. It should be interesting to see how much I actually get done while he's away! I plan to get lots of work done but also plan to do some "fun" things. I definitely want to make a paper run over the line to Bellingham. The Paper Zone down there is to die for! Right next door is Stampadoodle - an awesome Rubber Stamp store. Hmmm, I think I see a plan coming together. Don't ya love that?

I've let my "30 minute collage" project - which I committed to back in January - totally fall by the wayside. I got one done but wasn't all that happy with it - it just didn't look finished. I could not for the life of me decide what I needed to do to complete it. I kept looking at it but it just wouldn't click and so I kind of ran out of steam. I'm so mad at myself that I didn't keep my committment to myself! I really want to make an effort to get back on track with that!

Looking forward to doing less "work" and more art. Will be posting some of my accomplishments in the couple of days! Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's funny how things happen in life. Opportunities come and go, tests are failed and lessons learnt. If we don't learn from our mistakes, then we keep making the same mistake until we learn from it.

This point came through to me loud and clear the other day. I was channel surfing and I stumbled on the Biography channel. The program was called "the 5 things you need to know before you die". I thought that was kind of interesting so I stuck around and watched the remainder of the program. The lecture was given by a doctor named Dr. Izzu or something like that. He lives in BC somewhere and I found him to be absolutely fascinating. While I don't think I learned the 5 things I need to know, I think I did learn 3 of them.

He said that he had learned all he needed to know about life from his dog. He talked about how we all rush through life, always focussing on what lies ahead or what happened in the past but not living in the moment. He talked about how he would take his dog for a walk and the whole time they were out, he was impatient with his dog because the dog would stop and smell the flowers, explore all the new sights and sounds and smells. He'd be hurrying the dog along, not letting him stop to sniff the flowers. He said one day it dawned on him that his dog was enjoying the walks way more than he was because the dog was taking it's time, smelling the flowers, taking time to visit with the people and animals it met along the way. He said once he learned to take his time, live in the moment, that the whole experience was richer and more fulfilling. He met new people and enjoyed the exploration.

He also kept using the phrase: "to the subconscious the thought becomes a prayer". What we think - about ourselves. our lives, our hopes, our dreams - becomes our reality. Now, I knew that, I've read it a thousand times, I've heard it a thousand times but for some reason it just hit me. It was a light bulb moment. Wow! How profound is that?

The other thing he talked about is gratitude. He described how an elderly friend says each morning when he wakes, he gives himself 2 or 3 minutes to meditate. He thanks God, the creator, the Supreme being , whatever deity you believe in, for giving him another day and asks that the day not be wasted. This same gentleman takes 2 or 3 minutes each night before he goes to sleep to catalog all the reasons he has to be grateful and thanks God for giving him this day.

I've always thought of myself as being a person who is aware of all the things I have - aware and grateful. But I think I'm going to have to revisit that whole idea. This whole aspect of gratitude really me; it touched a chord and really reasonated with me. Consequently, I've made a promise to myself to make an effort to embody these things in my life. I've pledged to myself to take that few minutes at the beginning of the day to thank God for the gift of another day and to pray that I don't waste that gift. At the end of my day I want to take a few minutes to thank God and to catalog some of the things for which I am grateful - for the "gift" of another day, the "gift" of all the loved ones and friends in my life, for all the opportunities I have.

I am so happy that I stumbled upon this program!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Some new art for a collaborative book I worked on for another list. I don't want to say much more about the project as I don't want to give anything away. I am pleased with the results of my efforts.
The good news in my little corner of paradise is that it seems like the flood threat is pretty much over for those of us who live in the Lower Mainland. We've had cooler weather and less rain so the run off has slowed and the volume of water coming from up north has diminshed quite a bit. Unfortunately, some areas will still have some flooding but it won't be nearly as widespread or as bad as was predicted.

The sun is out today and it's looking like it might actually be nice for the weekend. I am just coming off 4 days of work and will be able to enjoy 4 days off before I have to go back again. I have a ton of things I want to get done this block but not sure what I will accomplish. Husband and I were talking yesterday and he mentioned it's only 2 weekends left before he takes his annual summer trip back East to see his family. Since I'm taking he same time he is but staying here it was like ----woooohooo!! Only 2 more weeks til holidays.

I'm totally looking forward to having the place to myself - well, myself and my daughter. When he leaves he always says "now don't fight girls." And the funny things is we get along very well and we never fight. Go figure. I think he's the one that makes us both crazy when he's here!
A coworker from many years ago used to refer to the freedom of not having men around - ie not fetching, carrying, explaining and catering - as the freedom to have smarties for dinner. No one was going to say a word! I think that sums up the feeling of freedom pretty accurately!

One of the projects I have on my list is to clean, maybe paint or at least freshen up my workroom and to reorganize /reconfigure what little space I have. I managed to snag 2 small bookshelves from someone on our local Freecycle group which was truly a bonus. Saved me some money that I can now use for something else. Hmmmmm....... can you say rubber stamps?

The bookcases are not all the pretty and are a little smaller than I had hoped for but they are more than sufficient for my needs. Since I'm a very visual person, I am more comfortable when I can see my stuff because that means I will use it more. But I am also distracted by visual clutter so I am trying to address that by making my open storage more attractive but also more uniform and organized. What often happens at the end of a marathon cleaning/reorganizing session is that I may very well end up with a bigger, or maybe different mess than what I started with! I've been wanting to get at this since I got the bookcases last week but just kept telling myself, no you cannot do that now, you have other things to do first. That mantra does not usually work, but it did this time so that's a "good thing".

Will keep you posted on my progress.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It's cooler here on the coast today - overcast with threats of impending rain. We got some rain yesterday which is probably not a good thing with the impending flood. On a brighter note thought, we got a message from "the Big Cheese" telling us to check our municipality's website to see if we lived on the floodplain. We were given a contact name and instructed to let her know if we did live on it and would required assistance. I went to the Pitt Meadows website, did my check of the city map and to my profound delight, discovered that I am not on the flood plain. The flood plain ends about 3 blocks from my house - woooooohooo! Is that a weight off my mind! If the worst happens, we will still be impacted - we won't be able to get in or out of Pitt Meadows - I plan to be at home if that happens - but at least we won't be under water. So I am very relieved about that!

Knowing that I won't have to sandbag my house has made me even happier with my little garden. My little angel is firmly ensconsed in my backyard and it looking wonderful. The littlle frog I bought is so cute I have to keep checking on him to make sure he hasn't moved. I was out in the yard last week when I heard some chattering and some fluttering wings. I looked over at my little fountain and there was a black and white bird sitting on the rock drinking from the fountain. As I watch, he hopped closer and started taking a bath, hence the fluttering wings. It was darn cute and such a joyful thing to watch. I've been lurking around out there with my camera but so far I haven't been able to catch him enjoying his shower.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I finally downloaded my pictures from the digital camera to the computer. I was very pleased with the pix of the flowers. I'm not sure what it is about them that draws me - maybe it's the texture or just being able to get such a good closeup. I'd really ke to use them in some of my art but not sure it I'll be able to do that!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Today was a beautiful day on the coast. The temperature at 4 pm was 30 degrees celsius. Now that is hot! Husband was out golfing with his cronies and I spent the day at home. The plan was that I would get lots of cards done...... not so much!

I ended up doing my running around first thing in the morning, rather than later in the day, and a good thing too. The boys had car trouble on the way home and they needed to be rescued. Luckily the car broke down in town rather than out on the highway, so they were able to have it towed fairly quickly. The problem was fairly minor - almost $500 to fix though - but at least the garage was able to get the part and fix the vehicle fairly quickly. Since they had decided to carpool to the golf course, I had husband's vehicle so I was able to go and pick them up. They had to wait about 45 minutes as I was coming from a neighbouring town, but it was a nice ride out and back so all is well.

I've gradually been adding to my garden. I'm not too proud to take freebies and I've scored a few that have saved me some money. A friend of mine has a beautiful yard and when she culls her overly large plants or plants that are becoming too crowded, she gives them to me. Her gifts have helped me to fill in some bare spots, and while the garden is still a work in progress, it looks good! I think I'm just about finished putzing for this year. I finally found a garden ornament that I like and broke down and bought it. It's an angel perched on a decorative column. It's really pretty - I'm very happy with it. I placed it in a spot that will get dappled sunlight in the morning - it makes me smile! I also bought a garden gnome to go on other side of the garden. I'm usually not big into gnomes but this one is a frog dressed up in a golfing outfit and carrying a golf bag. Pretty hard to resist when husband and I are both golfers. Very cute! I took pictures so I'll post them when I finally download them to the computer.

We're off to play a round of golf tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it as we're playing at a course the I really like but which I haven't played for a couple of years. It's supposed to be hot here tomorrow as well, so we'll be riding in a cart. This particular course is pretty wide open so the sun can get be very hot but usually there is a good breeze as part of the course borders the slough.

I've managed to come up with a couple of new Father's Day designs. The King is from Alpha Stamps and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I also like the blue one - the combination of gold and navy blue is particularly pleasing to me. It reminds me of a navy suit with a gold tie!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We attended a wedding on the weekend. A friend and co-worker, who is asian, had this huge wedding. It was held on the grounds of one of the local ritzy restaurants. The grounds are beautiful and the restaurant is on the shores of a small lake. The weather cooperated by being sunny but only pleasantly warm, rather than scorching hot. The bride was beautiful, her gown lovely and the whole afternoon was perfect. We were able to visit with some old friends and enjoy the company and ambiance. There was an opportunity to dance and enjoy good conversation so a good time was had by all.

There was a second reception in the evening at the Kiron Seafood Restaurant in Richmond. This reception was quite different as it was all about the food which was wonderful. We had a 12 course meal, predominantly seafood! This was a first for me as I'm not much into seafood unless it is lobster or crab. I enjoyed shark fin soup and several other delicacies.

The bride changed three times during the reception - once into an absolutely stunning traditional gown which she bought in China last year. The groom wore a tux and it was nice to see them actually enjoying their own reception. So often it is so stressful for the couple that they can't enjoy their own day. That didn't seem to be the case here though.

My husband and I had booked ourselves into a room at the Hilton as it was a long drive home after a long day. We were both so glad that we did that. The day was exciting - it had started with the ceremony at 11 am - and it went on until almost midnight. We were both too tired to have driven any distance, especially after all the wine we drank. We finished our evening up at the lounge in the hotel for a night cap, or two, prior to retiring for the evening.

I have to say that I've been to many weddings, but I think this was the classiest by far. It was well organized without being stuffy or too regimented. I won't forget it for a long time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Here are a few more of my designs. I just need to stay off the darn computer so I can get more work done!
This one on the left is one of my new favourites. Didn't I tell you you'd be seeing
more of it?
I've finally finished my page for the Whimsy book over on CC Swaps. I'm very pleased with it.

The page with the flower on it is the front. The image I used on the back came on the same sheet as the Alice image. It's not really something I would normally use but I quite like it. I think you'll be seeing that image more in the future!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where has the month of May gone? I cannot believe that it is almost the end of the month already! I can remember when I was a child - the days seemed to go on forever but now they just seem to fly!

I put my hummingbird feeder up and the hummers are back! I do so love those little birds. They are really cute - so feisty and territorial when the feeder first goes up. At first they buzz around and fly off but as time goes by and they get more used to having people around, they tend to be less skittish. We have the feeder by our basement window so it provides entertainment for the cats and gives the hummers a little bit of a buffer between them and the patio.

My garden is finally in, and almost complete. I still want to pick up a figurine of some sort for the garden. My all time favourite would be a heron sculpture but they are fairly expensive and I'm not really sure how durable they are so that probably won't happen. There's a terrific garden centre - or so I hear - out in Maple Ridge. It's called Trice Farms and I've heard rave reviews about it so will have to make some time to go out there. Not really sure what I want except I do know, I do not want any of those ugly little gnomes!

We're off to a traditional Asian wedding on Saturday. One of my husband's co-workers is getting married. It's a day long affair - ceremony at 11 am, then a celebratory luncheon. I believe this is mostly for friends and such. Then there is the big reception which is being held in Richmond at one of the seafood restaurants. It's going to be something like 12 courses and the bride will be changing into a traditional chinese gown for that reception. I don't really know how many people will be there but I think this one is more for family etc. I'm looking forward to it.

I will be playing some golf on Thursday. This is my first round since we came back from Palm Springs. I'm looking forward to it, particularly since the weather is supposed to be really good. My score might not be so good but I'm sure the exercise will do me good!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The weather here on the coast has been spectacular - a good thing for those of us ready for summer, but a bad thing for the flood watch. Not too much happening on that front so far. The troops moved into Abbotsford to set up a base camp and start to prepare but so far nothing required of them other than that. Guess we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed.

I put my garden in - it's not much mostly plantings in a couple of beds and several large pots but it always makes me feel that things are right with the world when I can get that finished. I allotted myself an hour to complete the task - 3 hours later I was still working on it and have just about finished. My daughter and I went to the garden shop this morning and picked up 10 bags of mushroom manure. My beds are looking a little sterile and dry. I know from experience, that once I put the compost down, all the little plants will perk right up. They really like that stuff. Does you heart good to see it!

I finally decided on the paper for my page in the Whimsy swap over at CC Swaps. I had one page picked out and then decided to make one more trip to the store to see if I could find something more to my liking. I chose a nice classic looking, almost toile-y looking paper. My initial choice was a beigey-yellow, this one is more a corally red. Funny thing is that I seem to gravitate to colours that are a little more intense. I've decided on several elements for the page - I still have some tweaking to do - but I think it's coming together quite nicely. This time I put a little more thought into the design so hopefully I've saved myself some labour. I was pleased with my last effort but it was way too much work! I could easily have saved myself time and frustration had I put a little more thougth and planning into my initial design.

Friday, May 11, 2007

We're under a serious flood watch here in the Lower Mainland. The experts tell us that the snowpack up in the mountains is 165% of what it usually is and the melt is just starting. They say that if it get's too warm too quickly, then we are in big trouble! I work in a neighbouring city and the estimates there are, that worst case scenario, some areas could be under up to 4 meters (or 16 feet) of water. Now isn't that special?!?

I've been consciously ignoring the warnings, thinking that I'm far enough from the Fraser - almost a mile away and approximately 100 feet above, so this isn't going to affect me. Wrong! A co-worker who is dealing with emergency preparedness gave me some cold hard facts that scared the beejesus out of me. For example, I live on a flood plain and there are very serious concerns about my town. They say if it gets bad, that 95% of my little piece of paradise will be under water. Add to that the fear of contamination due to all the industry along the Fraser, and we could well have to deal with contaminated water flooding our homes. They also say, if evacutated, we may not be able to return to our homes for 6 to 8 weeks. That's enough to give anyone nightmares! My stamp lady, who lives on acreage on the other side of town, had the RCMP visit her last week. They were taking a head count, trying to determine how many people live in each residence, how many adults, kids, elderly, giving out pamphlets about disaster preparedness...that sort of thing in case the area needs to be evacuated.

She has pets and livestock. They told her they would evacuate her family and pets but no livestock. Pets aren't allowed in emergency shelters so for those people, like myself, who have no family here, what do I do with my pets? When asked what provisions she had made for her goats, her aviary, chickens etc, she told them she planned to move them to her sundeck which is about 15 to 20 feet above ground. They told her that wasn't a good idea because no one would be allowed back in once evacuated - who was going to feed them? Shades of New Orleans!

The Mounties told her that this was her notice of possible evacuation and that the next time she saw them, they would telling her to pack up and get out NOW! How scary is that?!? They told her if it came to that, then she was to open her barns and her aviary and let the animals go. She's concerned about her doves and chickens - she says the hawks will get the doves! My comment to her was that if she let them go at least they would have some chance. Better that the hawks get them than they drown in their cages! I can't think of anything worse than that! The RCMP officer said the same thing. He said that instinctively the animals will try to find somewhere safe. No higher ground nearby but at least they'd have some chance.

I live in a 3 story townhouse and have 2 pets. There is no way that I can do all the things they suggest - moving appliances, etc. I've tried to discuss it with husband, but he refuses to take any of this seriously. He says he has lots of beer, I have my tequila, we have water - so hey, no worries! He says it's just the media "fear mongering". This from a man who should clearly know better! I swear he's in denial! Unbelievable! I know he's being a smart ass but sometimes I could just choke him!

The "window of opportunity" for the greatest risk of flooding is from May 15th to the end of June. I've discussed this with my adult daughter who lives with us, explained to her that while her dad chooses to fiddle while Rome burns, that I am going to make preparations. I have no idea what to expect ! My efforts to get ready may be inadequate but at least I'm thinking about it and trying to prepare. She and I are both in agreement - "stuff " can be replaced but we will NOT leave our pets behind. If necessary, I will take them to work with me! I've already made that announcement at work and that didn't seem to be a problem, so that's one less thing to worry about. I've already told husband I think he's a fool - and I mean that in the nicest possible way! He's been warned that my golf clubs will be saved - because I will be moving them to higher ground - and that he can expect his to float away. He's also been advised that when all he has is a pair of underwear and a toothbrush, that he will get no sympathy whatsoever from me! I've also put him on notice that if he's thinking he'll get his toothpaste or toilet paper from me, that he better be prepared to make a deal because it will cost him dearly.

Entrepreneurship at it's finest!

Here are a couple of new designs. They are pretty representative of my style. I'm pleased with them and I think I can modify the sentiments to work with just about any occasion.

I'm also working on a spread in my art journal. I found an image in my collection that totally suited what I wanted to do. I also have a verse running around in my head and the two just went together so well. The collage started out as a 30 minute collage - it's 75% finished but there is still something missing . I can't position the verse the way I want to and it just will not come together for me! This 30 minute collage is now a 90+ minute collage and it still isn't finished. UGH! I finally had to walk away from it. Hopefully when I return to it, something will inspire me. It's one of those things where I don't know what it needs, can't describe what I want, but will know what it needs when I finally find it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's been a busy several days. I worked frantically to get my Mother's Day cards ready and into the store in time. No need for the frantic antics, just poor planning on my part. Once that was done, I started to focus on the wedding cards. My guy sells tons of my wedding cards and I have a hard time keeping up with the demand at the best of times so being behind the eight ball is not a good thing. I also have to get some production going on Father's Day cards and Birthday and other occasion. It would be so nice to actually be able to get ahead of the demand and have some stock on hand but then that would tax my time management skills to the very limit.

On another front, at work they have finally hired a partner for me. Woooooohoooo! I've been working, for the most part by myself, since the end of December so it will be nice to have the team consist of more than one person again. She's a very nice lady who works in another department so we know each other well. She's bright, hardworking and direct. We are very much alike in the directness department so we should get along famously. Thank God for directness and assertiveness! It is so refreshing to deal with someone who doesn't play stupid games with you. I am sooooooo very tired of working with people who don't mean what they say and don't say what they mean.

I also went out on a limb and organized a "girls only" dinner club. No kids and no men!! I assembled a group of about 12 ladies, mostly a lot younger than I. We met for the first time on Monday night and it went very well. We started out with Appies and drinks and plan to move on to theme nights etc. The plan is to meet at my place every 6 to 8 weeks - early start, early finish - so it should work out well. I had been toying with this idea for awhile but had only thought of it in terms of couples and then I had this brain wave to do it with the girls. We all work together and, despite the infighting and pettiness that sometimes surfaces, we really do get along pretty well. There have been some problems of late - all brought about by relationships with men, I might add - so this is my attempt to calm the waters and seek "world peace" in my little corner of the universe. It might backfire - let's hope it does not!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I've been playing catchup and working on some new samples to show my guy at the gift shop. He has given me a long list of stock he needs and that is a little daunting. He also wants some new designs - I find the designing takes such a long time sometimes! I finally came up with a couple of more new Mother's Day designs which are interchangeable into a wedding card and birthday card so I guess that's a good thing.

I'm toying with submitting some work to one of the stamping magazines. I've never done that before but I think it would be a nice challenge and kind of fun. My DH is on my back about not overcommitting myself but he doesn't really understand what that is all about. He sees it as me taking on too much and then getting stressed out and sick. But that really isn't what that is all about. I get so caught up in doing things that "must" get done but I haven't seemed to be doing any fun things so I'm trying to stretch my creative muscles by doing stuff just because I want to do them.

I am picked at myself because I had set a goal for myself to do one 3o Minute Collage a week and I haven't been able to meet that goal. I just seem to have so much on the go right now and so many ideas zipping around in my head. I'm having a hard time staying focused. My boredome threshold seems to be very low - they say people who are very intelligent are easily bored and distracted - at least that's what I keep telling myself!!

I did manage to get one page in my art journal painted. I also went through and glued a bunch of pages together for stability so maybe I'm actually getting something accomplished. I have this idea for a page in my journal and this phrase to go with it that I just can't get out of my head so I think I may actually have to commit it to paper. Will post some new work in the next little while so stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vancouverites are in a state of euphoria this morning after the Canucks won over the Dallas Stars last night in game 7. While the officiating sucked, it was a very exciting game and most everyone was sitting on the edge of thier seats, all crossable parts of their respective bodies crossed, holding their breaths. Marty Turco was awesome and, in my humble opinion, is the reason the Stars lasted as long as they did.

Vancouver looked tentative throughout the whole first period and I was very concerned that they weren't going to be able to pull it together. I'd love to know what happended in the dressing room after the first period. Whatever was said and done certainly seemed to change the tide and the momentum. Vancouver was a different team in the second and third periods.

Robert Luongo? What can you say about this guy? He is phenomenal and such a classy guy. At the end of the game he tossed his stick over the glass to a little kid in the stands. When an adult grabbed it, Roberto told him the stick was to go to the kid. I'm sure it did! Super guy, classy, talented. We hit the jackpot when we got him. Vancouver is such a hockey city - if you don't live here, I'm not sure you get it. Vigneault benched a player for one or two shifts in one of the earlier games and it hit the sports pages like it was something out of a Greek tragedy. Vigneault laughed and made the comment, only in Vancouver would that be big news. Everyone knows their hockey here and we' ve waited a very long time to be where we are now. Some close brushes with the playoffs but for some reason it just never seemed to come together. I don't know what Vigneault has done that is different from other coaches we've had but he clearly knows what he's doing. He's the man!!

I can hardly wait for the Anaheim series to start on Wednesday!

Monday, April 23, 2007

I've been remiss in posting to my blog - I will make a more concerted effort to keep it current in future. I've have been quite busy, although sometimes I wonder what it is that keeps me so busy as I seem to have little to show for my time spent in the workroom. I think part of the problem is that I'm spending way tooooooo much time on-line surfing all the cool sites and reading and viewing all the wonderful content and art. I think I need to wean myself from this addiction or at the very least limit my time on-line .

What's been happening? Hmmmm.....

Myself and four of my co-workers made a trip down to Marysville to Seattle Premium outlets and the Tulalip Casino on Saturday. We only stayed one night - big mistake that was! We spent over our limit and then stewed all the way to the border wondering how much duty we would have to pay to bring our treasures across. Luckily the Canada Customs guy was extremely laid back - not sure if that meant he was having a good day or a bad one! He just pretty much waved us through so no duty or taxes had to be paid. Wooooohoooo!!

I always say I'm not much of a shopper but I think of the 5 of us, I spent the most so how funny is that? Visited Victoria's Secret - now that was a treat!! Love the selection, love the colours and would have bought some more fun stuff had I been by myself but thought that might be pushing it a bit so just stuck with bras. It was quite humourous really - four of the five of us are quite - ahem - shall we say "well endowed" so we all had to be measured; then there was the choosing the colours and playing with the body lotions and trying the makeup. Lots of fun there!

The Casino was not so kind to any of us. None of the machines or tables seemed to be paying much so the time spent there was only a couple of hours. Funny thing too was that they serve alcohol on the floor, which they don't here in BC. I thought I would be all over that but I guess I was just too tired from the shopping and the long wait at the border - we were lined up for two and a half hours on the way down!!! Anyway, talking about the liquor at the Casino, we saw several drunks - drunks as in so inebriated they couldn't stand up! That was a little disconcerting - most of the Casinos I've visited do not encourage or tolerate that type of behaviour. If a patron gets feeling good and is having a good time, not causing problems, then they are more tolerant but when they start to lose control of their faculties, then they are usually cut off and encouraged to go home and sleep it off; none of that seemed to be happening there. Different strokes for different folks I guess!

What's not happening? I'm not working on my 30 minute collages which is picking me big time! Also not getting as much done in the production department - I have so much to make up for the stores, it is not even funny. I took two days off from work, so I will be logging off shortly so I can work on swaps, at least one 30 Minute Collage and product for the store.

I think I just need to step away from the computer!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Today was a rather uneventful day. Since today is a stat holiday, all the Monday to Friday people were off so things were nice and quiet at work. I had a very productive, stress-free evening which is a nice change from dayshift which can be very hectic.

I met a friend for coffee this evening. She had been cleaning out her work area and came across a couple of stamp catalogs and scrapbooking magazines. She was kind enough to offer them to me, and of course since I don't have many magazines - Not!! - I of course said I'd re-home them. So we met at the Starbucks near my office to make the exchange. I'm not much of a Starbucks person - the coffee is way too expensive and I find it quite strong - but it was nice to be able to get together for a visit as we haven't seen each other for awhile. We were both surprised at how busy Starbucks was on a Monday night at 9 pm - amazing!

I'm busy working on some stock for the store and between that and coming up with samples for a "welcome to your new home " card and Mother's Day cards, I'm going to be busy for the next little while. The designing is what takes so darn much time - it seems to take forever. Sometimes I wish I could just wave a magic wand and the ideas would design themselves.

The weather is starting to get nice here. We've had a lot of rain and there are concerns about flooding because of the spring run-off. Thank goodness I don't live too near the river! It's been very wet so it's always nice when the sunshine comes out again and the flowers start to grow. Husband and I plan to go to the nursery this week as we have a couple of rose bushes that are not doing well so the plan is to replace them. I guess after more than ten years, it's not surprising that they are starting to lose their ability to flower. Quite frankly, I'm tired of babying them so out they go! If husband doesn't get too impatient, while we're at the nursery I'll check out what they have for my flower beds. I always try to put in something new - often with results that are less than wonderful but I like to try new stuff, otherwise the plantings can get pretty boring.

Well I'm off to play my Luxor before I go to bed - part of my 4:30 in the morning pre-bed ritual. I need that to help me wind down so I can go to sleep otherwise my mind just chases itself around all night - too much going on in there sometimes!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Finally managed to complete our income tax and get it filed. Husband always does our taxes and he gets very antsy if the books are not ready for him in early March. I had my company books pretty much done before we went on vacation so just a few loose ends to tie up when we got back. We're all getting refunds so we are very happy campers!

This has been a busy 4 days off for me. We hosted a dinner party last night which went very well. Unfortunately, we don't entertain like we did when we were younger but then who has the time or energy to do that anymore? We had 2 couples, good friends of ours, over for dinner and we always have lots of laughs so it was a lovely night. Tonight I have two friends coming over for gossip and appies. I work with one of them but the three of us don't get together nearly often enough so we should have an enjoyable evening.

I'm back to work tomorrow - not really looking forward to that but what can you do? I have way more things I'd like to be doing at home tomorrow instead of being at work! Loads of samples need to be created and stock made up, yard work, anniversary cards .....busy, busy, busy.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This last couple of weeks has been quite hectic. I've gone through the frenzy of organizing my studio - which, I might add, took way toooooo long. I must say though that it is really nice to have it organized. I still have more to do but I can actually find things fairly easy now and can put them back where they belong as well, so that's a good thing. I guess that means that I've finally found some kind of system that actually makes sense to me!?! One can only hope!

I have all kinds of work to do for the store as well. The gentleman I work with has branched out into corporate gift packs so he's asked me to design some occasion specific cards for him. This is a wonderful opportunity for me so I really hope I can come up with something suitable for him and his clients.

I also managed to finish my chunky book pages for the 5th Anniversary Chunky book project on CC Swaps. I sent it off last Thursday via Purolater. It cost me an absolute fortune so I sure hope it gets there before the deadline otherwise I will be choked. The gal at the post office said 2 business day delivery - I'll believe that when I see it ! I've been holding my breath ever since it left.

I put a lot of work into my page and learned a very valuable lesson. I should have put more thought into the initial design. I'm sure I ended up doing my page the hard way - way more time and effort spent than was necessary. Unfortunately, I tend to have to do things the hard way first and then I learn how to do it better and more efficiently. Having said that, I'm very pleased with the finished product - I only hope it compares favourably with the other pages.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Artwise very little has been accomplished. In order to force myself to do more and have a little bit more fun, I signed up for several swaps. I'm participating in the 5th Anniversary Chunky book over on CC Swaps so that's a short deadline. I joined some ATC and card swaps and I'm also trying to find time to do a weekly 30 Minute Collage. Add to that the need to come up with stock and samples for the store, so it's a bit of a challenge. Can you say busy?!?

These are just a few of the ATCs I've made recently. It felt good to get at least some art accomplished!

Work is still very hectic to say the least. Getting back into the swing of things is always hard especially with the way things are at work. Still a big mess that seems to grow each day. The PRIME audit was not good and now management is scrambling to try to plug the holes in the dike. Several positions are vacant but no one has been hired. I've heard about the "wiz kids" who have been hired part-time but so far haven't seen any of them. Hopefully the staff meeting we're having tomorrow afternoon will address some of our concerns. I guess one can only hope.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Well, we're back home again after spending a fabulous 5 weeks away. We spent 2 1/2 days on the road to travel down - with a stop at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, of course. We spent the full month of February in Palm Springs and then took 4 days to come home - just had to stop at Seven Feathers on the way home too. That stop was nice though as we had a few days just to ourselves after the crowd for the month.

The weather was fabulous - most days it was at least 75, some days hotter than that. We played lots of golf, enjoyed way tooooo many adult bevvies and just totally relaxed and kicked back. We were in bed most nights by 9 pm and got a full 8 plus hours of sleep and then we were right back at it the next day. Lying around the pool is my idea of heaven and I must say I was able to do lots of that this time.

My golf game was much better than last year - I can actually see that my game is improving so that is a definite bonus. Husband had a lot of fun with his brother and the other fellow that joined us and the third couple, whom I had never met before, were super nice, just a joy to have around.

It's a little tough getting back into the swing of things - I guess I'm still in holiday mode! I've worked 2 days already - the first one was kind of a write off as I really wasn't very productive. I had to get caught up on all the gossip and visit with everyone but I guess that's to be expected after being away that long. Day 2 was better, got more work done and did less visiting. My 2 night shifts will be even more productive so I'll be back to normal by next block.

Oh, how I keep wishing I'll win the lottery so I can spend more time in PS. One can only dream!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Husband and I are off to Palm Springs first thing in the morning tomorrow morning. The plan is to be on the road by 530 am so we get across the border before the lineups start. We will be spending the first night in Canyonville at the Seven Feathers Casino, then on to Buttonwillow (just outside Bakersfield) for night 2 and then on into Palm Springs on Thursday morning. We can't pickup the keys to the house til after 2 pm so this should work out well.

We're being joined down there by the BIL and SIL and another couple who are friends of the guys. Should be a good time by all. We'll be party central in CA and my daughter will be party central in Pitt Meadows. Sounds like a plan. So......will be away from the blog til March 5th. Will miss all you guys. It's a hard thing to deal with....pool and margaritas or cold wet weather? Hmmmmm........I'm going to miss the cold wet weather!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This is my second 30 Minute Collage. I'm very pleased with it and it was a lot of fun to do. I'm really enjoying doing these little projects; they are so quick to complete.
I used Aquarelle watercolour crayons and did a splatter technique on the notebook. The brush bristles would become saturated with whatever colour I was using so when that happened, I just dabbed the colour off on the paper and re-wet the brush. Once I had all the colour I wanted on the paper, I went back with a wet brush and stippled and spread the colour and/or added to it. I am really happy with the mottled result.
Once the paper was dry, I overstamped it and then added some butterfly stickers and some expoxy stickers from my sticker supply. I have so much stuff in my stash and it's fun to finally be able to use it instead of hoarding it. This could become addictive!