Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted so here goes......

Not much new going on in my little corner of paradise. Work is going very well - I'm very busy and deal with new challenges every day - but I feel that I'm growing into the position and making it my own. I've found the change in hours from 4 days on and 4 days off to a 5 day work week to be a challenge. It seems that I'm always tired and I'm usually in bed by 10 pm and fighting to keep awake. I know, I know - boooooorrrrring!

Christmas is 2 weeks away and I'm not even close to being ready! I have Christmas cards to make and shopping to do and parcels to send. Unbelievable. I am never ready for Christmas - I am clearly a slow learner. But then again I think that maybe this year I should cut myself some slack. I've had a lot of changes and I'm still adjusting to being a single person in a couples world. I guess I'm allowed to be a few steps behind in the race to Christmas.

We're hoping to have some friends over for Christmas dinner this year. This is something that we did most years and I think that now Kerry and I are alone, that it's even more important this year. I know it will be tough but the fact of the matter is that life does go on and we have to continue to re-build our lives. I know DH would want that for us. I don't think it would be a good thing for Kerry and I to be sitting there at the dinner table looking at each other, with just the two of us, hence the plan to have friends for dinner. If that falls through, we'll have to go to plan B. At this point I have no idea what plan B is, but if need be I'll come up with a plan B.

Art seems to have been put on the back burner. Not a lot of energy or creativity at this point and what little creativity I do have is consumed by making stock for the store. Some days, it's all I can do to put one foot in front of the other. I do, however, have lots of ideas percolating in my brain - the trick is to be able to transfer them to paper.

I'm hoping to be able to post some new art and I'm toying with doing the Soul Journal prompts in an effort to actually art journal. I also have lots of bits and pieces to convert to cards as well as 3 swaps to complete in the next 3 or 4 weeks. I don't really have a lot of time for swaps but it forces me to create stuff so that's why I join them. Some days I feel like I need to force myself to do this otherwise I'll just let it go completely.

Anyway, check back in a couple of weeks - I hope to have some new stuff by then.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm finally getting around to making some art for a couple of swaps. The atc's are for a purple theme swap that is due in the hostess's hands by the end of November. The card is for a monthly swap I play in - one card down and three more to go!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Here are a couple of my Christmas creations for your viewing pleasure.

I cannot believe that we are slightly more than 6 weeks away from Christmas! Who knew time would fly by so quickly?

Work has been keeping me very busy - I'm working a different shift now and have every second Monday off so my days are a little longer and I'm very tired when I get home at the end of the day. I have to say I'm not all that energetic most nights.

I have been busy creating cards for the Open House in Fort Langley. It was this past weekend and from all accounts the expectation is that it will be as good or better than last year. Will post some of my creations as soon as I find them. My studio is a disaster!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The weather is cool and blustery here on the coast. I guess the rainy season is on us now for a couple of months. It could be worse - it could be snow! I quite enjoy this time of year when there's a nice bite in the air on a clear night. And it's kind of a time of rejuvenation as well. Yes all the plants die off but you know that many have just gone to sleep, working at storing up their beauty for the coming spring.

We bought a new Christmas tree. I have hated the one we've had for years but DH would never let me get rid of it. Well, there's a new sheriff in town ! DD went out and bought one of those ones with all the lights already on them. I haven't actually opened the box yet and set it up - if this baby goes up now it is not coming down until January! With both of us working, we are trying to streamline and having a tree that goes up in 5 minutes as opposed to 2 hours spent arranging lights on spindly branches....what's not to like?

I delivered my cards for the Ridge Open House - I still have a few gift tags to make but all in all it's the first year that I've actually been on time. Who knew I could do that? Tonight I'm starting on the next set of cards for the Langley Open House. I have 2 weeks to do them but I want to try to get as much as I can done so it's not all left to the last minute.

I was off to Be Creative today to see a demo of alcohol inks and stickers. Very cool! Haroldine is a very baaaaaad influence on me! Every time I go to her shop, I spend a small fortune. Is there a 12 step plan for impulsive craft supply overspenders?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The past few weeks at work have been busy. I'm having more interaction with the clients and I'm beginning to feel more comfortable with how I'm doing the job. I learn several new things everyday; the downside is that I'm having to ask a lot of questions for which the answers are probably fairly obvious but that's the way it goes!

I'm in the process of working on the stock for the Open House at the store in a few weeks. I don't know why but I'm always amazed when this time of year comes around. August and September seem to have flown by at warp speed and here we are in October already! Maybe it has something to do with the great weather we've had here on the Coast !

I'm off to see Toby Keith at GM Place tomorrow night. I'm very excited about that. Can hardly wait to feast my eyes on him. I'm a big fan. I saw him several years ago just before he hit it really big so I know I won't be disappointed.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This past week has been an extremely busy one. I seem to have turned into somewhat of a social butterfly and have been out to lunch or dinner several times in the last week. It's making it pretty tough for me to stay on my diet but I guess that's to be expected.

Today I'm celebrating a birthday - yes I hate to admit it but I am actually 39 - yet again! I was out to dinner with some girlfriends Saturday and tonight I'm off to the Keg with DD and two other couples and then back to our house for birthday cake. Let's face it one "must" have birthday cake on one's birthday.

On the art front, I have been working on Christmas designs for the store. I've also managed to make a couple of 4 x 4 cards for a monthly swap. I don't know why these 4 x 4 beauties appeal to me so much but they do. I just love them!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm finally starting to feel more energetic - thank goodness for that!

Here's a little peak at 2 of my new designs.

Traditionally the store has an open house at the end of October. Another one is then held at the other location a week or so later. The gentleman who owns the store likes to have the product in at least a week prior to the Open House so he can price everything and work out his layout etc. So this week I'm working on a couple of more samples for him to approve. I have some popular designs from last year still in stock but I like to try to give him lots of new stuff each year.
I have a pretty good sense of what he likes. He always views them before I make them up and 99 % of the time he gives me the ok to make them up. I'm just about to send these 2 off to him so keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's the end of summer, the beginning of the season of harvest and only about 15 weeks til Christmas. Where does the time go?

I'm finally starting to come out of my lethargy of the last 6 months. I'm feeling more energized, more focused and more creative. I've let many of my artistic pursuits and interests fall by the wayside. Hopefully, I've turned a corner and will be re-energized artistically.

I am presently focusing on creating some new Christmas designs for the store and have also promised myself that I will create some new wedding designs. I have a couple of art journal pages which have been percolating in my brain for the last several days - I think I'm ready to commit them to paper.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

This past week has not been a particularly good week in my neck of the computer world. I've been having issues with the compouter and it's many accessories sporadically now since March. It seems that I get one issue resolved only to be plagued with another. This week my monitor started giving me trouble. I contacted the manufacturer and he says he's pretty sure it's toast. And guess what? My warranty ran out at the end of July. Isn't that special!

Right now I'm working from the laptop but had to hook up my printer to the laptop so I could print off what I needed. Thank god for the laptop is all I can say! It makes me crazier than usual when I can't use my computer. I've wasted so much time during the last few weeks and I'm on a deadline which I'm not meeting and it's nobody's fault but my own. Arrrrgh!!!

I am not spending one more cent on the desktop I have now. I've decided that I'm going to purchase myself a good computer with supersonic speed, kick ass memory card and lots of storage. I'll wait til my darliing daughter returns from her holiday back east as I want her opinion on it and then I'm ordering it !! WOOOOOHOOOOO!

Did I say I was on a deadline? I know I haven't posted lately despite promises to the contrary. It will happen. Honest. I promise....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Here's one more! This one is really quite pretty - it has some sparkle

and it's elegance really appeals to me. The heart is fabric and beautiful.

One of my favourites so far, I think!

Looks like I haven't been doing much lately, but I've been very busy. I was in a contest which I had to pull out of because of work commitments. The first week was fun and I would have loved to continue but life got in the way. Maybe next time around!

I've started a walking program with a friend; we usually walk a minimum of 3 times a week for 45 minutes on our lunch hour. I need the exercise and I know I won't do it after work so this works out very well. I'm into my 4th week now, and while I haven't really seen any changes, I'm enjoying it and it's good for me so that's a "good thing".
I finally have some art to post to me blog. Woohoo!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I've been away from my blog for far too long - I'm back now and will focus on getting some new work up here.

My life has undergone a total change - I went from being happily married for 35 years to being a widow overnight. It's been a very difficult time for my DD and I but we're finally beginning to feel like we're coming out the other side. It will be 4 months on Wednesday, but we still feel his calm presence with us.

I've started a new job and it's wonderful. It is such a refreshing change from my previous position; I feel valued, supported and respected and I'm enjoying the challenge of learning new things and spreading my wings.

DD has resigned her position at her workplace as well and is searching for new employment. Her workplace environment was just too toxic and emotionally draining for her! She's done so well since her Dad died - she's also spread her wings. She has matured and blossomed and has been my rock and my support as well as a wonderful friend to me. I know her Dad would be so pleased!

I've cut back on my cards for the store and will be focusing on wedding cards and Christmas cards for this year. I don't have the time I had when I worked my other job but I quite enjoy the creative process of wedding cards and would like to keep that up. Hopefully, by limiting myself to 2 design lines, I will be more productive, less stressed and more focused. The last thing I want to do is to compromise the quality of the product I produce.

I've joined a new swap and am looking forward to creating some 30 minute collages. I hope to have some new art to show you soon.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Finally - some new art! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I've finally managed to work through most of the necessary paperwork and phone calls relating to my husband's death. I've been filling out forms and making phone calls until I'm blue in the face. It has been tedious and overwhelming, to say the least, but I think most of it is finally done. I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have theses tasks finally completed.

I finally ventured into my studio this evening. It has been 3 months since I have been down here. Since Garry's death, I have had zero desire to create but gradually my creative urges have come back. Earlier this afternoon I was surfing the net, looking for some of the challenge blogs. It's a bit intimidating to look at everything I have and not know where to start. I thought it might be helpful to begin with a small, relatively quick project.

I chose the 4 x 4 Friday challenge site. The theme for this Friday is floral so I figured I'd give that a try. It took awhile longer than I expected to complete my piece of art but it felt good to create again.

This is the piece I created. I recently purchased an HP all in one and I'm having trouble with the scanner - I'm not able to size the scans properly, which by the way, is making me want to poke my eyes out - so my apologies for the incorrect sizing. Hopefully I will master this thing soon.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's hard to believe that it is 4 weeks since Garry died. It's surreal! My DD and I are managing - we returned from the service in Ottawa a week ago and have started to finally get some semblance of routine and order back into our lives. Since returning, I have been consumed by meetings and paperwork but gradually things are starting to fall into place.

I haven't had a lot of desire to do much and as a result have been doing a lot of sitting around - so much to do. I did, however, start to go through DH's clothes and have been able to pass some of his really nice clothing on to a close friend who is thrilled to have the suits, jackets and shoes. I am equally glad that I could give them to him as I know that Garry would have wanted that.

I haven't been near my studio since we came home from Palm Springs - I just didn't have the desire to go down there. However, gradually I am feeling the creative urge coming back so I hope to be able to go down there and do some art soon. When that time comes, I'll post it to the blog - it's been too long since I did that and I'm sure everyone is bored with the soap opera that seems to have become my life.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

We completed DH's funeral arrangementgs in Palm Springs on Thursday afternoon. The gentleman at the funeral home was very kind and helpful so things went very smoothly. While we had originally planned to stay in PS until the creamation was completed, it was not going be done until Monday or Tuesday so we decided to come ahead home.

We arrived home yesterday and are happy to be back in our own house and sleeping in our own beds. While my daughter and I needed to spend those extra days in Palm Springs, waiting for the completion of paperwork etc, that time together also allowed us to start to come to terms with his passing. We are calm and accept what has happened but we also know that there will be times in the future when it will suddenly hit us how profoundly our lives have changed.

We know that eventually we will hit an emotional wall and that there will be difficult times ahead. However we are both strong and we have each other and an enormous amount of support and love from our friends here in BC. We'lll get through this, minute by minute and one day at a time. We feel his calm, loving presence with us still and accept that our lives have changed forever.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

We were scheduled to leave Palm Springs on Saturday March 1st. The original plan was the we would take several days to drive back home to BC with us arriving home on March 4th.

Unfortunately, my husband became critically ill and was admitted to Desert Regional Medical Centre here in Palm Springs for emergency surgery on Friday February 29th. Despite heroic efforts to save him, he died at 10:16 am on Sunday March 2nd.

My daughter and I are devasted by his unexpected passing. However after discussing his case with the Medical Examiner's office, we are satisfied with their determination as to his cause of death. The manner and speed of his death was indeed a blessing to him and to us his loved ones. We are totally at peace with his passing.

We are still here in Palm Springs but are looking forward to returning home to BC very soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We've been having a fabulous time and then husband hurts himself. He was bringing in the garbage pail from curbside and stepped down funny and his knee gave out. He figured he'd blown his knee so he was surprised when he didn't have any pain. However his hip and down his rump and into his leg was extremely sore. It continued to give him so much pain that he finally went to the Emerg at the local hospital. Turns out he irritated his sciatic nerve. He hasn't been able to get much sleep and has been in constant pain since he injured it. The doctor at the emerg gave him 2 shots, 1 for pain, and gave him 3 persciptions, one being a major pain killer. He's still in quite a bit of pain but is feeling a little better. The Doc told him it would at least 10 days before he's recovered completely.

We leave on Saturday so I'm worried about him being in constant pain while we're on the road. It will be a minimum 8 hours in the vehicle on day one of our return trip. I foresee him suffeing big time. I went to the pharmacy today and found out that because there were no refills on the perscriptions he got, he will need to go back to the hospital to get a renewal or a new perscription. We figured as much and this is not a problem I just want to make sure that he has his pain pills before we start back - I don't think he is going to enjoy the trip home very much!

This has put a bit of a damper on our last week as he hasn't been able to enjoy it as much as he would have liked. We had plans to play a couple of more rounds of golf but I don't think he's going to be able to play. BIL and I will probably still go as the rounds are prepaid and DH will probably tag along to keep us company but he's disappointed and I feel bad for him. But...what can you do?

I think today was the nicest day we've had since we got here. The sky was clear and cloudless and the temperature hovered near 100. The pool was fabulous! The forecast for the remaining days is more of the same so I plan to live in the pool tomorrow - gotta work on my back!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Well we're starting into our last week here. We've had a wonderful time - no issues with work sharing which I was afraid we would have. Everything has run very smoothly and we've had a fabulous time. I will be sad to leave but now that we're into the home stretch I find myself starting to think about things at home....all the things I need to do once I get home :)

No news on the job front - I'm hoping they just have me on "ignore" because they know I'm away. I'm not going to worry about it - I'm just going to let it be and whatever is going to happen will happen. I have, however, heard of another opportunity that is coming up so who knows, maybe that will work out if this one doesn't.

I went on a shopping spree at Walmart yesterday. Not exactly high fashion but the prices were excellent and the selection for larger sizes was fabulous. I bought 3 pairs of shorts (had already bought 2 pairs on a previous trip), 2 pairs of dressy capris suitable for the office and 3 blouses. I was really pleased with my purchases and didn't have to float a loan to buy this stuff so it's all good. After I get offline, we're off to Foot Locker for some runners for DH and then to Target so I can check out their scrapbooking section. Someone on-line was talking about their grunge board and embellishments and since DH will be in the neighbourhood I will be tagging along.

Gotta Run

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We're into week three and it seems that the time is just flying by. The weather has been fabulous and I've managed to get a very good tan (at least it's a good tan for me!) and have managed to avoid getting burned. Today is a little overcast and a bit cooler so the trip to the Outlets that we cancelled Friday is on for today. Husband wants to get some new runners and I'm hoping (not holding my breath, but hoping) that there's a Kohl's or Lane Bryant at the Outlets. I hear that Kohls has fabulous stuff and equally fabulous prices so I'm wanting to check them out. If they aren't at the Outlets I may have to take some time away from the pool to do a little shopping!

We golfed with a friend Monday - I had a terrible game. I think I played every stinking sand trap on the course and let me tell you there are a lot of them! I think the golf gods were just putting me in my place and letting me know that I was a little too full of myself after my landmark game on the weekend. I had 2 firsts - I had my best game ever and I broke 100 - came in with a 99. Wooohooo!

While the boys were golfing on Tuesday, I spent the day by the pool, floating on a recliner. Sheer heaven! Last night we went to the Casino again - I'm not even going to talk about it. Suffice it to say Sandy minus, casino plus and let's just leave it at that!

I'm getting tons of sleep - averaging at least 8 hours a night, sometimes 10 hours so I'm feeling rested and rejuvenated. Hopefully the rest and relaxation will jumpstart my creativity and I'll be able to get right back into the swing of things when I get home. Until then, I'm going to veg out and just soak up the rays!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Well, we are halfway through our time here in Palm Springs and are having a fabulous time. There have been 2 days that were not so great and the rest of the time the weather has been outstanding - averaging around 80 degrees every day.

Three of this years group are golfers so we've been splitting our time between golfing and lying around the pool. Other years, some of us have spent too much time on the golf course and not enough by the pool so that has been remedied this year. Yesterday we played at the Doral Course at Desert Princess. I had a wonderful round and celebrated a couple of golfing firsts - I had my best round ever and I broke 100 - I came in with 99 .....woooohooo! Now that I've done it once, I know I can do it again so I have a goal to work towards.

We've made numerous trips to the casino - so far we've only gone to the Spa Casino which is quite close to the house. I did manage to win a $500 jackpot on the nickle machines but other than that, the casino has come out ahead. Well you know what they say - it's not hard to win money at the casino, it's just hard to get out the casino with the money you've won.

Today is a pool day - I'm starting to get "owl eyes", those white circles around the eyes from the sunglasses. So today the plan is to try to lose the sunglasses for awhile and get a tan happening around the eyes. If all else fails, I'll have to purchase some of that sunless tanning cream to even out the tan. Lifes tough isn't it?

Monday, February 11, 2008

We are thoroughly enjoying our time here in Palm Springs. The weather, except for the storm that came through a week ago Sunday, has been absolutely, hot, hot.

This morning we played some golf - we had an early tee time but we got our wires crossed and showed up today instead of tomorrow. We were able to play 9 holes and that was good and then we came home to lay around the pool. At 12:30 it was 86 in the shade - ya gotta like that!

Not sure what our plans are for this evening. We're doing burgers for supper and then who knows? The others might want to go to the casino but I will probably pass on that. The casino has not been good to me so I think I need a little time out. In any case, I'm quite happy to hit the sack early - I was in bed at 8:30 last night - I don't have a tv in the bedroom at home so it's a real treat to be able to lie in bed and watch tv. Just another little piece of paradise!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Well we started our annual vacation in Palm Springs. We left home in Pitt Meadows at 7 am on January 30th. We finally made it to PS - but it was quite the journey and we're not likely to forget it for awhile. It took us 2 hours to get from our house in PM to the Port Mann bridge, a trip that would usually take about 20 minutes! It was gridlock near the bridge and the roads were terrible. Garry says Mainroad must have been eating donuts all night as the roads were awful. The late start put us late into Canyonville but it all worked out and probably saved us a couple of bucks at the casino.

We normally make the trip in 2 1/2 days. We stop at Seven Feathers Casino in Oregon the first night, then on day 2 drive on as far as Buttonwillow, a little place outside of Bakersfield, and spend the night there. BTW - the Willow Barbecue there is fabulous, which is why we plan our trip to stop there every time! From there it's only about 4 hours into Palm Springs so it's a nice short relaxing drive through LA - well as relaxing as driving thru LA can be - and we don't have to fight a huge rush hour traffic jam.

Unfortunately, Day 2 was quite difficult. We only got about an hour away from our hotel when we discovered that they weren't letting anyone go further unless they had chains. We stopped in Medford but couldn't get chains because they didn't have low profile chains to fit our tires. We ended up purchasing something equivalent called the "spider" to the tune of $ 400, We got in line but lost one of the chains so had to go back to the shop to have it fixed. By the time we got back to the freeway, it was closed for 5 hours so we spent the afternoon sitting in a parking lot. When we finally got onto the freeway we had to go thru a chain checkpoint. Halfway to the checkpoint, we lost a chain so they turned us back, The first time we lost a chain we found it but the second time it was hopeless - just too many vehicles and they diverted us via a different road so we were SOL.

So back we go to Les Schwab in Ashland. By now it's 530 and we just squeaked in before they closed at 6 pm.! Very nice people there! They re-installed a new set - they said the first shop hadn't installed it properly and that was why we kept losing one. It was almost 7 pm before we got thru the chain checkpoint and on our way again. So at that point we were a full 10 hours behind schedule. The in-laws were arriving on Friday afternoon so we were worried we wouldn't arrive in time.

Long story short, we went thru 2 mountain passes requiring chains so had to chain up twice. The weather was good but the roads were really bad, especially through Shasta. The big transports were almost pushing us off the road and the second lane wasn't fully plowed in some areas. We could only go about 25 mph with the chains on so it was a little hairy to say the least!

We ended up driving all night and only stopped for gas and then for breakfast at 445 am. Unfortnately, we didn't get to stop in Buttonwill - phooee! We drove until 630 but just could not go any further so we grabbed an hour and a half sleep in one of the rest stops about 2 hours this side of Buttonwillow and then drove on to PS. We ended up here right on time, well actually probably an hour ahead of ourselves. What a trip!

The inlaws didn't get out of Ottawa on Friday anyway because of a huge storm, They had to re-book their flight and didn't get into PS til about 830 pm Sunday evening. They couldn't fly out of LA and had to be bussed from LA to PS because we had a huge storm here yesterday afternoon. The wind was incredible - trees down, sand blowing everywhere, power out for 12 hours - unbelievable! But they did get in safely so all is good.

Weather was nice here earlier this morning but has started to cloud over a little. Hopefully it will clear up - theyre saying it will get increasingly warmer as the week goes on so that's a good thing. However, did manage to get in the pool for a couple of hours yesterday so it's all good.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I finally finished the new cards for the shop and delivered them today. Because I was so disorganized, I had to make two deliveries instead of one but husband came with me to keep me company, so it was a nice drive and time well spent.

I'm so glad to have them done; they were weighing me down because I knew they needed to be delivered before I could move on to the other 20 things on my "to do list" before I leave for vacation. Anyway, that's all done now so I can focus on other projects.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I've been remiss in my posting - it's been extremely busy in my little corner of paradise. I've had some exciting stuff happening on the work front - more about that later - and I've been trying to get caught up on all the things I let slide in the pre-Christmas rush. Does one ever get caught up?

We're getting ready for our annual trip to Palm Springs. We leave on January 30th and will not back until March 5th. I'm sooooooo looking forward to lying around the pool and soaking up the rays - especially when I look out the window and see the snow coming down. I was just thinking yesterday that the trees were about to burst into leaf and now this cold snap comes through again so it will probably set that process back several days. It's been quite cold here which is unusual for the Coast. We usually get quite mild weather here at this time of year, well at least compared to back east it's mild! Where else can you run around in a light jacket in the middle of January?

I bought husband a laptop for Christmas so we'll be bringing it with us to Palm Springs. I'm pleased about that because it means I can access my e-mail from my groups and still post to my blog, even if it is just text.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Happy New Year to one and all. These wishes are a little late, but better late than never I always say!

I cannot believe that it's already almost 3 weeks since Christmas. Where has the time gone? I had a fabulous Christmas - my husband spoilt me rotten as did my daughter. I bought husband a laptop which surprised the heck out of him. He's very happy with it - so am I because now I have my computer back....woohoo!

I'm disappointed that I haven't posted as often lately. I plan to rectify that over the next few weeks. I'm getting ready to leave for Palm Springs at the end of the month so , while I will have a computer with me, I won't have any art to post. Plan is to get as much as I can done and posted before I go so I won't have a lot of time to waste during the next couple of weeks!

Some goals for 2008:

1 - to have at least on piece of art published
2 - to participate in more swaps
3 - to organize my rubber stamps and keep them organized
4 - to purge some of my supplies and pass them on to someone who can use them
5 - to grow both professionally and artistically

Hmmmmm - seems I will be a very busy girl in the coming months!