Sunday, December 04, 2011

Very quiet

Not much excitement going on in my little corner of paradise.  Christmas is looming - why am I always so surprised at how quickly it comes around again?  We expect Christmas to be very low key again this year.  No family here, just the two of us, and of course our family of friends.  It's such a busy time of year.

Store stock is pretty much all caught up and delivered.  I have a couple of more designs to deliver this week and then that's done for another year.  Today I need to get caught up on some ATC's that are late and then of course start my own Christmas cards to send out.  I'm also in a swap so need to come up with a fairly simple, but equally stunning :) card design to send out for the swap.

My journalling has been almost non existent for the last several weeks.  However, I did sign up this month at Art Journalling Every Day so I need to get my stuff in gear and journal!  I have a hard time with journalling.  I can't seem to separate the "art" part from the "journalling" part.  I'm hung up on the idea that the art has to match or support the journalling I'm going to do.  I seem to spend a heck of a lot of time surfing the net and checking out all the fabulous journal pages but don't ever seem to be able to actually do a page.  Very frustrating.  I think my new plan is that I'm not even going to think about the journalling part - just focus on trying to do cool art?  Guess we'll have to see.

Gotta run.  I've done lots of cards but forgot to post before I delivered them so don't have anything ready to post right now.  Hope to have some new stuff in the next little while.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

I follow Art Journal Every Day by Julie Fei Fan Balzer.  Yesterday, I think, she posted an interview that she had done with Tricia from Altered Schoolmarm.  Tricia did a mini tutorial on how she creates a journal page.  The link to her blog is .  I would encourage you to swing by and check out her blog.  Her journal pages, IMHO, are to die for!

I love floating around and looking at all the blogs belonging to the wonderful artists in our midst.  The styles are so varied and diverse - everything from whimsical to dark.  So much talent and so generous for these people to share their art with us.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Organization ? Chaos!

I'm one of those people who can never keep her studio clean and tidy.  No doubt about it - I'm a messy crafter.  It isn't that I don't try, I have 2 long banquet tables that form a corner workstation in my studio as well as several rows of shelving on the wall above the work table. There should be ample room for storage, however my work table is always covered with stuff!  I just always seem to be working in a space that is only 6 inches square.  I move stuff from one pile to another and then stack the piles, and then rearrange the piles and then shuffle through the piles, and then sort the piles and then add to the piles and then knock the piles over onto the floor....well, you get the picture.

Some of the things I've done over the years have worked and I always seem to come back to them.  Just recently, I thought I had finally found my organizational style.  I spent hours re-arranging, re-packaging and re-labelling all my supplies.  I moved things around and repurposed storage elements that I already had.  At first it seemed to be working, but now?  Not so much!

Part of the problem is that I have way toooo much "stuff".  I have big stuff, little stuff, leftover stuff, coloured stuff, paper stuff, metal stuff.   I really do love my "stuff" but it's taking over my life!   I know I have some really great stuff, but I can't use it because I can't FIND my stuff!

I do have some stuff organized by drawers and that does seem to work well.  I have loads of my rubber stamps organized by category in clear plastic shoeboxes.  I have my punches stored in large plastic tray/baskets, granted not the best because it takes up a lot of flat storage room, but it works.  My paper is held both some in sterilite drawers and in my cabinet. That works but again, paper in more than one place! That causes problems because my paper is then split in different locations and I don't know what I have. 

This organizing and being organized is a quest for peace in a sea of chaos.  I'm not sure I'm going to make it without capsizing!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Christmas tag swap

I created this tag for a Christmas tag swap I've played in for the last few years.  This tag was fun to make and I'm pleased with the results.  I used 2 different colours of distress inks.  The ink pads were smooshed - highly technical term "smooshed" -  on a craft sheet.  The smooshed ink was sprayed with water until the ink beaded.  Tags were then moved around in one colour, dried and then smooshed in the second colour of ink and dried.  Then tag was stamped with the various images and coloured.   No two tags are exactly alike.   Simple procedure with pretty nice results!

Friday, October 21, 2011


The countdown to Palm Springs has started! House has been rented and flight booked.  All that remains is to rent a car which I'll arrange for much closer to the date.  We've rented a different house this year, mostly because I dragged my feet and our first choice was already rented!  That's not a bad thing though. This house has a bigger pool and a nicer pool area - should get sun most of the day so that's a definite bonus.  Let's hope the house lives up to the pictures.

Can you believe that Christmas is just a little over 2 months away?  The next couple of weeks are busy for me as I get my Christmas stock ready for the Fort Langley store.  Then of course on to making up my personal Christmas cards and getting them ready to send. 

Here's another christmas card.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The last few weeks at work have been crazy making !  However this is my busy season, with all the work getting christmas samples approved and ready for the open house at the store.

Here are a few new samples.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just back from a quick trip to Ottawa to visit family.  I was only there for 7 days, however, it was a good visit and very enjoyable.  Returned on Thursday morning and back to work Friday.  That was tough!  I don't know where the time goes but it certainly does fly.

I have a birthday coming up so I treated myself to a facial and a massage on Saturday.  It was heaven - sure wish I could do that more than two or three times a year ! Hmmm, I guess I'm never satisfied.

I was a very bad girl!  I spent a bunch of money on craft supplies and new toys.  That is not supposed to happen but I just could not help myself.  I bought a Cricut Personal cutter.  I've been eyeing the Cricut for months but just could not justify spending the money they wanted for it.  I was in Michael's on Thursday and they had them on sale - regular $199, sale price $89.  The price was so good I just couldn't help myself !  I haven't even taken it out of the box yet, but hope to do some playing this afternoon. I'm hoping that this is worthwhile - it appealed to me to be able to die cut sentiments for my cards and journals.  Hopefully, I'll get lots of use out of it.

I also scored some good craft stuff - mostly regular priced but I'm happy with it regardless.  I am now hooked on Youtube craft haul videos so I went out and bought a new memory card for my camera so that I can post some of my hauls.  Also want to post some other videos - maybe some of the supplies I'm purging?  Stay tuned!

I keep forgetting to post art before I send it off, so will make more of an effort to update the blog with some eye candy.  Maybe some blog candy as well?

Gotta run.  Caio!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's been a very busy couple of weeks and I've been away from the blog for too long!

Summer has finally arrived on the coast and everyone is enjoying the good weather because we all know it's not going to last much longer.  We've has a lousy summer this year - not cold, not hot, not really all that rainy, just blah!  The flowers have been lackluster with insipid colour and long gangley stems.  Finally now that the summer sun has arrived they've perked up and are looking happy and robust. 

Work, as usual has been crazy busy.  I come home most nights exhausted and totally lacking in any ambition to do anything at all. I'm loving every minute, however it is definitely both emotionally and physically exhausting.

I'm starting into the  2nd busy season of the year for my  business.  I'm working on Christmas samples and the fall season kicks everything into high gear.  Christmas is only 4 months away and time will fly between now and then.  I'm also working on 2 travelling journals and 2 journals for my journal partner swap.  I plan to make a run to Be Creative this afternoon and then will come back and hunker down to work in my journals.  Tomorrow is sample day and then back into the craziness of work next week.  Thank God for weekends!

Gotta run.  Caio!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Ok - so this is going to be one of those rants I warned you about.  You might want to leave now....or not.

What is up with the fascination with Casey Anthony?  I am so sick and tired of listening to the media and seeing her stupid mug on tv every other minute of every single night and day. Enough already!

That creature has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  She is a total waste of skin, air and space and I'm so DONE with her.  I am sick and tired of hearing what she did, where she went, what she ate, where she's going and where she's coming back from, what she's wearing....Enough.  I could care less about her.  With any luck at all she'll get run over by a truck or bitten by a snake - now that would be poetic justice - and die.  Good riddance!   Or maybe she'll just crawl back under whatever rock she crawled out from under and we can call it a day.  Move on already!

I told you it would be a rant.....don't say you weren't warned !

Monday, August 01, 2011

Today is BC Day which means that all government workers get today off so it makes for a nice long weekend.

I've been busy on the home front.  I dug out my garden at the front of my townhouse.  There were a bunch of rhodos and azaleas that were way too big and overgrown.  The roots were a bit of a challenge to remove on a couple of them but we managed, with the help of a friend at the end, to get everything out and the bed cleared.  Turns out there were only 4 rhodoa and 3 azaleas but it was a veritable jungle in there.  Everything was way too big and overgrown to be even remotely estetically pleasing.  Just a big blob of green.  I want colour !!

I sent my plant list into the strata and I'm waiting for thier approval to proceed with the planting.  However, I did go ahead and buy a few things yesterday as the deal was way too good to resist.  The local nursery has a huge sale on as it's getting near the end of the season here.  I scored 3 roses for the price of 2 so that was a big saving of $25.  WoooHooo!  As the roses are in the plan I submitted to the strata and everyone around here has them, I can't see there being any problem with going ahead and planting them.  Famous last words?

I had intended to do some overtime at work this weekend but changed my mind at the last minute.  I have so much to do here at home I just decided that I needed to be here instead.  And clearly I made the right choice!  I made and delivered a bunch of wedding cards for the store - my guy is soooooo patient!  I hope to get another batch finished today so DD can deliver tomorrow or Wednesday.  I did the nursery trip and have some other artsy projects in the hopper so it's all good.

Friends are coming over today to help me ---- well actually, there is no "helping" involved -- he'll do all the work and we'll watch.  They are such good friends - I don't know what I would do without them.  DD and I try to do things but sometimes it's just beyond us.  Sometimes it would be so nice to have a man around!  My friend will replace my thermostat with a programmable one so hopefully we can save some money on heat.  He's also installing a new smoke detector which I replaced after I had my place painted.  We're a little intimidated with the smoke detector because it means turning off the power.  We've been told that this might require the gas pilot lite to be relit afterwards....I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole.  With my luck, I'd do something wrong and we'd all get blown to china!  Best not to go down that road.

Well must run.  I want to water my garden and then grab some breakfast.  I'm hoping to be able to retreat to my studio for a little while and finish up some cards before the day gets away from me.


Monday, July 25, 2011

I was finally able to finish the journal spread in my own travelling journal and get it out to the next player.  It was a bit of a struggle, but I was reasonably happy with it so it's all good.  I've just received the next journal in line.  It's a quirky little book with different sizes of pages.  Not sure what I'm going to do but it should be interesting.

I've also managed to create a journal page in one of my journals.  Teesha Moore's art is my inspiration and I tried to follow her style. I'm really pleased with this one and it was fun to do.  I think I may do more of these type pages.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I'm really frustrated.  I'm participating in a travelling journal swap and I seem to have hit a great big, nasty cement wall  which is blocking my creativity.  I have enough "stuff" to open a good sized store, yet the well seems to have gone dry when it comes to finishing the page. 

I have my background done and have tons of ideas flying around in my head but I can't get anything down on paper.  Theme?  I have no blessed idea.  I'm just totally blank.  I don't know what it is but it's making me crazy ! I don't know where to start, I don't know how to finish and I sure don't know how to cover the distance in between those two points!

I love the idea of art journalling but I can't seem to get out of the box enough to be able to be spontaneous.  This little voice inside me keeps saying "oh, that's stupid" or "what's the point of doing that"?  And I guess deep down inside I really don't know how to put the art and the word together. 

I need to finish these journal pages tonight ...and I will.  I just don't want to send someone a bunch of crap of which I'll be ashamed to admit that I created.  Frustrating, very frustrating !

Friday, July 01, 2011

Last night while watching tv, I decided to try to draw some faces with the plan being, that if I came up with anything decent, I might use it in my art journal.   I'm not a person who can draw, never have been and never will be any good, but I was pleasantly surprised at what I came up with after practicing for awhile.  The first few (start at bottom left) are pretty bad but I can definitely see some progress with the final few. 

Pleasantly surprised to say the least.  I think I might have to spend a little more time working on this!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hello again

The past couple of weeks have been hectic. Work is good but full of the usual challenges and then some. A challenging employee moved on to a new job only to be replaced by one that's almost as challenging to supervise. Makes it difficult to get any work done.

The surgeon is finally happy with the results of the second jaw surgery. Thursday I had the 2 plates and 4 screws in my jaw removed so I'm off work for a few day. I also went to see my ortho guy who advised that the braces come off at the end of August and then the retainer goes on. Finally after 6 years, progress. Woohoo.

Then I went to my regular dentist to have a cleaning and to discuss the remainder of my treatment plan. Turns out I will probably need 2 crowns and 12 veneers, all adding up to a cost of almost $ 20,000 out of my pocket. Now that was not so good news. Have no idea how I'm going to pay for it - investments, line of credit or installments? Your guess is as good as mine. Very up and down week. Needless to say I've been cranky, cranky, cranky!

On the art front, I've been busy. Father's day, Weddings etc. I've also joined a travelling art journal group, signed up for a couple of online classes and am still in a partner journal and ATC exchange. I find I never have enough time for art, or maybe more to the point, I don't manage my time well enough to get much accomplished on the art front. Whatever....

Monday, May 30, 2011

OMG !  It's been more than a month since I last posted.  Time has sure flown.

Ok - so I'm re-committing to be more active in my blog.  Less tv and more blog!

Quick update on what's been going on in my little corner of paradise.  Work has been crazy busy - I have 2 new employees who are keeping me busy.  My job has been rewritten so keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get a nice promotion.  I've joined a travelling journal project on Facebook - sounds like fun.  I'm also taking Pam Carriker's on-line journal class, can't for the life of me remember the complete title - Journal 365 or something like that.

I can't seem to get my head around working in my journal. I don't understand  why I'm so intimidated by the act of writing in the journal.  I'm ok with doing the art but when it comes to adding text, I'm totally blocked.  What's up with that?  Well, that problem should be dealt with in another post.

Must run as I'm back-logged with wedding and fathers day cards for the store. So what else is new?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Well so much for updating my blog more frequently! That just did not happen!

Work has been extremely busy since I returned from vacation and all I want to do lately is eat and sleep. Not a lot of energy for much else. This is also a very busy time of year for my cards as weddings and birthdays, as well as the special occasion cards, sell well.

Anyway - here are a couple of samples of mother's day cards for your viewing pleasure.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Earlier this evening, I watched a segment on some new program, about Gabrielle Gifford.  It dealt with her abscence and the impact that it had on her office and the people who work for her.  They said that since she had been shot, that they were constantly thinking "what would Gabby" want done as they go about their business.  The people who work in her office talked about what a life changing event the murder of her collegues and her attempted murder had on everyone working in the office.  They said that their desire was that in spite of all the death and pain, that they wanted something good to come of it.  They talked about how the office had become a rallying point and a place of comfort for so many of the people affected by this tragic event.

I couldn't help but reflect on my own situation and the tragic and unexpected death of my husband.  He died on March 2nd and we would have been married 35 years on June 23rd of the same year.   When referring to grief, someone commented on how everyone always says it gets better after you lose a loved one, and the grief and pain go away.  This person commented that the grief doesn't ever go away, one just learns to integrate it into one's life.   I think that is so true! 

I don't think the grief and pain go away.  Rather I think you just integrate it into your life - it becomes part of the fabric of your being and changes you forever.   It's like a large scar.  It heals but it never really heals's still tender and you feel pain when you least expect it.

So many things have changed since I lost my husband and I can't help but reflect on all the changes in my life.  There was such an outpouring of kindness and love from people I didn't really know all that well.  It makes me forever grateful for the support and love I received, sometimes from people I barley knew.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss  him and wish he was here with me. I go to bed every night and before closing my eyes, I tell him that I love him. He will forever be a part of my life, a part of my being.
The emptiness and pain of loss doesn't ever go just learn to live with it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

We arrived home safely last night.  We flew out of Palm Springs to Edmonton and then caught a connecting flight to Abbotsford.  The stop in Edmonton was a bit of a gong show.  There was a huge lineup to go through security to connect with our flight to Abbotsford - there had to be at least 150 people lined up at one point and the line was not moving.  We couldn't figure out what the holdup was until we finally moved into the screening area.  Very inefficient and far too much nonsense with doing and re-doing things.  Colossal waste of time.

Once we cleared security we walked to the other end of the airport to our gate.  We were almost there when we learned that the gate had been changed.  You guessed it - the new gate was at the other end of the airport and we had just come from there!  So off we went, trudging back to join the rest of the masses lined up to board.

The kicker was we didn't get to bring back any duty free.  On our way down to Palm Springs we picked up our duty free in Calgary when we changed planes to catch our connecting flight.  We assumed the same would apply on the way home.  We thought we would be able to hit the duty free prior to clearing customs in Edmonton.  Not so much.  Apparently, Edmonton doesn't have a duty free for inbound international flights, or so Canada Customs told us.

What kind of  "international" airport doesn't have a duty free?    I never heard of such a thing!!

We had a fabulous vacation but it's good to be home again.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Well, it's that time again.  We're nearing the end of our vacation here in beautiful Palm Springs.  We have 3 more days to enjoy the golf, the pool and the house and then on Sunday we leave for home.

The weather has improved and it's now quite warm - more the temperature one would expect this time of year.  Everyone we talk to tells us that it's been unseasonably cool for the last couple of weeks.  Go figure!  I can't really complain though as we've played 12 rounds of golf and the weather has been perfect for that.  I've also had a lot of pool time so I'm leaving here a happy and relaxed camper.

Well must run.  Just wanted to check and give a quick updated.  Once we get home and settled in, I'll post some of the journal pages I've done.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

We had a lovely day today.  Since we had issues with the pool - long story - and couldn't use it, we decided to go golfing again today, instead of just sitting around.  We played the Resort course at Taquitz Creek.  It's a nice course - fairly difficult with lots of water and deep sand traps.  Trust me, I know about the sand traps because I played far too many of them!   K became frustrated because it was a little beyond her ability and got down on herself about it.  However, even though she had a few difficult holes, she still came in with a decent score for a beginner.

I don't usually golf two days in a row, and Wednesday will be our third day golfing in a row.   However, we're golfing again tomorrow at Indian Canyons.  We both love that course and it's somehow fitting that we're playing Garry's favourite course on the third anniversary of his death.  He's tickled that we're doing that and that K is playing so well.

The weather is supposed to be great for the next week or so and I'm really happy about that.  I'll be able to get some serious pool time in - finally.  Between the cooler weather and the issue with the pool, I haven't been able to enjoy the pool for almost a week.  While the cool weather has limited my pool time, it's been great weather for golf so we've enjoyed getting out and doing that so I guess there's really no need to complain!

After golf tomorrow, we're going out for dinner and then we'll hit the casino for a short visit.  I need to cash some traveller's cheques so that's the best place to do it.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Well must run as I need my beauty sleep.  Caio!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We had a wonderful day in Palm Springs today.  We had originally planned to golf but when I saw that it was going to be a warm day, I opted for spending the day by the pool instead.  We golf at Tacquitz Creek, one of our favourite courses, tomorrow.  The weather is supposed to be rainy on both Saturday and Sunday so we'll problem engage in a little retail therapy.

We went to the casino tonight - not a good thing.!   I left a healthy deposit and hopt to be able to withdraw some of my deposit the next time I visit. 

Well must run.  I need to get in my jammies and have some ice cream before settling in for the night.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

left page of journal spread
right page of journal spread

This journal spread was created by Heather Robinson, my exchange partner.  I love the colours and composition  that Heather used!  This page is so bright, happy and energetic.  It's interesing to see the difference in our styles!
Here's another one I did for the exchange.  I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.  I love Asian inspired art - it's so serene and zenlike. 

I learned something about my style when I was working on this.  I've been stumped as I can't seem to think outside the box when it comes to these pages.  I've been trying to do a page from start to finish in one sitting and it has just not been working for me.  This particular page was done in stages - a few minutes here, a few minutes there and it just seemed to flow together.  Much more cohesive and certainly a more enjoyable process for me when done in stages.  Lesson learned!
I've been threatening to upload so art for weeks. Here is one of the pages I completed for an art journal exchange that I'm doing with another CSTer,   Lately I've been doing a few zentangles.  I find when my creativity needs a jump start that these little guys help to do that.
We're away in Palm Springs enjoying the sunshine and golf.  The weather is less than perfect - cooler than it would usually be this time of year.  The forecast for the next 14 days is a lot cooler than I would like but....good for golfing, just not all that great for enjoying the pool.  I'm hoping this is a case of the weatherman being wrong so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We've been here since Friday afternoon, and both DD and myself have managed to get a tan.  We played a round of golf yesterday afternoon.  The winds were gale force so that made it a bit challenging but we had a good time.  We golfed with a canadian couple from Parksville, BC.  Nice people and both of them were very good golfers.

Today is a lay around and relax day.  The temperature is only supposed to go up to about 68 but I think I will still be able to get some sunbathing time in.  We may head off to the casino for a couple of hours tonight - we'll have to play that by ear.

I hit Michaels on Sunday and picked up a few more supplies.  I was organized enough to bring some watercolours, pens and glue with me, as well as a small journal but forgot to bring some of the other things that might be useful.  I managed to drop $50 but picked up some good stuff so the trip was worthwhile.  I thought I packed a paintbrush but when I got here found that I did not - duh!  So for the time being I'm using a cheap blush brush and a wine cork to spread my paint.  Whatever works!

Must run - will check in again soon.  Caio!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Just popping in to say hello.  The last week has been very busy and I've had little time for art.  I'm planning to do some housework today, not exactly my favourite thing, and then hope to post some new work to the blog later today.   I know, I know.....I've been saying that for ages.   Thanks for your patience.

Countdown is on for vacation and I'm starting to get excited about our trip.  I sooooo need some hot weather, some time on the golf course and of course some pool time!  I'm starting to stockpile my reading material to take with me and making my "to do " list of everything that I need to do before I go.  Busy, busy, busy....

Must run - will check back in again soon.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I've been woefully absent from my blog for almost the last month. Extremely busy time of year for me both personally and professionally.

We had a very quiet Christmas, just the two of us, and it was lovely. We both enjoyed it immensely. Santa was good to me and spoilt DD ....Santa was out of control. New Years Day, we hosted a small dinner party with a few close friends. Everything went very well, my prime rib was done to perfection. It was a lovely day and I know that DH was there with us in spirit, presiding over the festivities.

I was back to work again on January 4th and right back into the swing of things again. Work is sometimes hectic, frequently crazy and often frustrating. I'm really enjoying it, I'm learning and growing so much, however, I do find it wearing and exhausting, both phyically and psychologically. When I come home at night all I want to do is sleep. There are lots of changes happening, and lots more changes coming in the near future so it should be interesting to see how the unit evolves and grows.

This weekend is my 3 day weekend and I hope to get a few things accomplished. They've been sitting in limbo for far too long and need to be addressed. First and foremost, I have some art projects to finish and send off. The recipients have been very patient but enough is enough. And then of course there is the dreaded housework and clutter control. Two of my least favourite tasks!

Well must run. I've made a commitment with myself to post to the blog more frequently. I have several pieces of artwork to post but would like to take a picture rather than scan. I'll try to do that within the next few days so please swing by again soon to see the updates.

That's it for now....Caio and Happy New Year.