Saturday, June 27, 2009

Until We Meet Again...

Poem for Penny

Across the time,

Across the miles between you and I

There is rugged land

And endless sky

Time together rare

Treasured every moment we meet

Jewels each memory

Every time we greet

And oft I'll find

On the busiest day

My face tilting to the Heavens and I pray

For YOU, dear one -

Wherever you be

Each time I look to the sky and see,

A cloud fluff by it causes me

To think of the day we spent - so fun,

Our faces lifted to the sun

Ah, my friend, behind my eyes

I see you and me and sunlit skies,

Until we meet again,

Tomorrow or years from now

There will be no time - it seems somehow,

For the distance is short between two friends,

Its not on a clock that it depends,

Rather with age it grows rich and sweet,

Until then, until we meet...

by Barb Derksen

My friend Penny came to visit this past week. We go back many years. We used to be on a Music Worship team at a church together (though she had a voice, I did NOT!) Even back then we had a chemistry together and it was oft the Mr. had to separate us so we could get serious music practice underway for inevitably we girls would wind up giggling and snorting and getting everything off track.

Some things never change and when Penny visited this time it was no different. Mr. had to keep us on track because we kept ramping up - such fun!

Penny blessed our church with a concert while she was here and it was delightful to simply bask in the wonderful talent she's been gifted with. Here's a video of her singing one very sweet and fun songs! If you click on the middle control on the bottom of the YouTube player you will be able to view this video full-screen.

After the concert Penny came home with us and we had huge fun with the Mr. using all sorts of whacky sound samples to create silly songs together. Before we knew it we found it was after 1 a.m. - I can't remember when I was up this late!


Penny and I managed to sneak away from the world for a few precious hours in the morning and we shared EVERY scripture in the bible we could find about the word "cloud". Do you know it is mentioned 111 times in the bible? Thats not "clouds" - just the singular! We sat and faces tilted to the sky watched them drift by and chatted and caught up on the time since we last met. It was awesome.


We also got to see two of Penny's beautiful daughters as well - they've grown into beautiful young women in the meantime - I'd never have known them!

To read more about Penny's time here you can visit our Osoyoos Christian Centre Women's Online Blog by clicking HERE and you can also learn more about Penny by visiting her website by clicking HERE. There is also a yummy recipe for rich, decadent icing which I whipped up for cupcakes for the concert at the OCC blog - I've called it Penny's Rainbow Icing. You can make it ahead of time and the recipe doubles and triples up nicely for large functions. The recipe is available in a full Microsoft Word document, or ready to print using Scribd - just click the MORE feature on the Scribd window on the OCC blog and choose Print, if thats what you would like to do!

Thank you, Penny - for your visit, your music and the (sniff - yes, you've made me misty!) the cloud-shaped card! Until we meet again, dear friend.



photo by Amalia Sommer

My friend Amalia took this photo of me one day recently while I was visiting her. I took one of her at the same time -


Amalia is SO handy with her camera. She took a course at the Learning Centre with my Mr. as her Instructor - and she's mastered every function on that little camera and hers - including the video, that's her video of Penny's performance above. Pretty good quality for a little camera.

I'm going to take some time off from my blog for the next 4 weeks. I need to rejuvenate - so I hope you all have a great July!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pretty Pictures and My Brother's New Site

The Mr. and I decided to surprise my father-in-law by driving down to the coast and take him out for lunch to celebrate Father's Day. It was just a quick, one day trip and we really could not afford the time - but then again, we could not afford NOT too. It was worth the time and effort, for sure!

Dad recently had a second knee replacement surgery done and it was a great success. He can walk for a block now with no cane and no pain. Mom says its the first time in years he can do this. We are so grateful. At any rate, Mom and Dad usually come stay with us for a week before summer hits, but due to the surgery they were unable to. So it was GOOD to spend this one extra day with them.

On the way home we stopped in at the Rhododendrons on the highway home. It's a small area set aside by BC Parks system between Hope and Princeton. We've only caught them in bloom once or twice before, and even this time I think we caught the tail end.


Its just a small loop through the beautiful forest and undergrowth but a nice break from the long drive home. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.






And then there were these dramatic plants - I believe these are known as Indian Pipes?


I'm including this picture I took of Melodie, Sarah and Emilie who recently visited our church just because they are PRETTY and photogenic! They are one of the many fruit pickers coming from Quebec to our area. Every year we have almost another whole population come in to help with the harvest!

melodie sarah emilie sm (3)

And on the subject of photographs, my brother Bill just sent me an invitation to his own photo site he's started - his first ever. He has some wonderful photos he's taken at the coast and various places. Won't you take a moment to visit his site and welcome him by way of a comment or two on his wonderful photography? You can visit his site by clicking HERE.

I'm loving having family posting online, I already have my sister Nina who makes lovely (REAL) paper cards (click HERE) and my sister in law Judy who 'does digi' and hybrid cards and keeps us up to date on her side of the family. She's been going through a rough time with her mom being in hospital lately. You can read more or leave her some love by clicking HERE.

Tomorrow is graduation at my Mr.s school and my friend Penny is coming (YAYYYYY!) to visit and perform on Wednesday night and I am beyond excited about it all. I'm sorry but I won't have much time for blog hopping etc in the next few days - besides getting ready for vacation its all aswirl in my mind. So forgive me for being sporadic and thank you all who come visit me anyways. I love every comment and visit.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More ipod Art, Haste Makes Waste and a Present

I find art so relaxing. I love to create and since finding an ipod application recently I've been given a medium which works for me in ways that some traditional media has not. For instance - it goes with me wherever I go and so even if I have a few moments I can simply start the application up and add a few bits to a work. I've been so very busy lately and waking in the middle of the night and its not strange for Mr. to find me 'painting' in bed beside him at 3 a.m. Here's my latest little work simply entitled "Kitty". I took snapshots all along its creation to share with you. I started using a grid at first. Isn't it amazing what one can do on an ipod?








I've been working on a project with some friends and we have completed the first leg of it. It has been very exciting and a huge learning curve for all of us - but nothing gained, nothing ventured. During the first course of it I made a rather LARGE mistake - the sort that when you realize it you take a big GULP and wish you could turn the clock back a week ... the kind that you are going to totally deny is happening until the evidence proves its so. The sort that if you were a kid you would probably be tempted to hide from your parents. Yes, THAT sort of an error.

I realized it was so for me about an hour before we had the evidence it was so in my hands - too late to change anything. I was not sure if it was simply a software glitch or? So, sucking up my courage I simply and calmly confessed to the lady I am working with and...

She was amazing. She had every right to be hard on me. With no effort on her part she could have had me squirming {I was squirming to start with - with shock!} But instead, SHE comforted ME. I'm still in awe of how she handled the situation. How she treated me ministered to me in a way I will never ever forget. The way she took it all in stride and even brought me to a place where we could use it as a learning tool and even have a few laughs about it - well, I certainly will take a page out of her book!

How she treated me makes me want to be how she is. I want to be an encouragement when someone makes a mistake. I want to step in and LOVE them exactly when they 'deserve' something else. This is not to say that if someone has deliberately done something wrong to hurt someone or someone's property. But if someone has made a mistake I want to be able to 'let them off the hook' - for I now know what that meant to me - how beautiful it felt. And really, we have ALL made mistakes and will continue to make them. We are, after all, very human. What power we hold in not only forgiveness, but in embracing people when they fail. How much a few kind words mean instead of a punishment.

One thing is for certain, I am so encouraged by my friend that I will now go 'the extra mile' for her in the project. I want the final product to be absolutely perfect and am willing to work hard to that end to make it happen. And now, I'm going to RELAX on the last leg of it. AFTER our vacation.

I found this small poem which really sums it up:

STOP! Take time to read this -

Take time to think;

It is the source of power.

Take time to play;

It is the secret to perpetual youth.

Take time to read;

It is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to pray;

It is the greatest power on earth.

Take time to love and be loved;

It is a God-given privilege.

Take time to laugh;

It is the music of the soul.

Take time to give;

It is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to work;

It is the price of success.


Yes, before this poem I mention the word VACATION. Yes, the Mr. and I and our VW Sebastian are going on a grand adventure. In one week. We have been busy arranging house-sitters and packing. I'm so intent on details that I tink our house sitters will be HAPPY when we've left and I stop reminding them of things to do! LOL! We have a bazillion things to do in this next week, including hosting a concert with our friend Penny at our church {setting up, making 100's of gourmet cupcakes etc} and the graduation at my Mr's school. Ah, but we will get through it all and I can already see the picture in my mind of Mr. and me around the campfire the first night with nothing more than cricket noise in our eardrums. Ahhhh!


I found a most BEAUTIFUL comment on my blog last entry - it moved me to tears.

"I had to put scrapping on the back burner as life just got so very busy. Even though I don't scrap very often now, I don't let more then a month or 2 go by without coming to your blog to see what you are/have been up to. You have come a long way! I usually come to your blog eager to read your uplifting tales and recipes.

With Canada's big holiday approaching I am looking up the Canadian designers I used to frequent their blogs and stores but sadly I can't find many of them. I am on a search for Canadian.

You are on the top of my list! I think of you when ever I walk into a Sally's as I take a quick glance around to see if anyone is taking pictures of little treasures lol! I have a page of some of your words and quotes posted on the door that has yellowed and a little torn. You have given to the world in ways that you probably will never know. Your freebies are great but still only material things. (Is digi material when you can't physically touch it? lol) I appreciate your blogging!"

This anonymous commenter was asking me if I might have a list of Canadian designers which I might post. Unfortunately I don't have a list - and I wish I had time to compile one, but I simply don't - especially this chaotic week. I do know that my friend Kristin Cronin-Barrow is Canadian, and Kristine - both wonderful, talented designers - but for the rest, I'm not certain.

My apologies to you for not knowing off my head who more are (and forgive those of you who are and I'm not recalling), but thank you SO much for your encouraging words, anonymous commenter. They came EXACTLY when I needed them and I appreciate it so much. THANK YOU for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Sometimes its the very thing which keeps me blogging!

Also, perhaps if someone is reading this and you are a Canadian designer, or know of a Canadian designer you could leave a comment here so I CAN make a list at some point!

At any rate, since I'm not designing anymore (officially) I have not had time to make anything new for a while, I'm going to give you all my Digital Dad kit - for FREE. I designed it when I sold at the Sophia Sarducci shop where I was known as Olivia Dorazio. The shoppe is no more, but this way my kit will live on! I hope you can use it - personal use only, please. It was used for the following two layouts - so you can see the possibilities. I also will post the add on frame again in a day or two.

And forgive me also to all my blog friends as I've not had any time at all to go blog hopping. I miss you all very much!


Layout by KimB of her son Nathan!

(Kim is NOT Canadian but she ALWAYS has a goodie or two at her blog!)


My Mr. who turned me into the geek i am today!


Barb's Digital Dad kit - Personal Use!

Click on the image to download

PS - I would love to see how you use my kit! Why not send me a small jpg of your layout and I will post it here on my blog. Just sent it to me at lalaime {at} hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gifts for Me, Awards and Art

I found a little package in my mailbox yesterday. It touched my heart. Inside I found a small metal woodpecker/toothpick holder. The thing is, my Grandma, who I loved dearly and who passed away a few years ago - she had one. If I had to pick only one thing from her house which stood out in my mind, it would be this woodpecker/toothpick holder. Countless hours were spent by us children (and there were eight of us!) playing with the woodpecker - smashing its little head down into the toothpicks, then taking them off and doing it again. I'm sure some toothpicks were broken before they ever made it into anyone's mouth. It had to be a pretty sturdy item with all of us children banging on its head!


I never did take a photo - nor have seen one of the shelf above Grandma's kitchen table with this ornament on it. There was a big mirror there and I could watch Grandma cooking from the front room - she spent a LOT of time in her kitchen. There were all sorts of knick knacks and photos on the shelf. Another funny thing was a clear glass thermometer, shaped like a bird, with a feather stuck on it's head and some for little wings. It was supported on a plastic stand. She would fill up a glass of warm water and then tip it's 'beak' into it. I don't quite remember how it worked but after a while it would swing on it's own dip, dip, dipping into the water as if sipping.

I don't know where Grandma's ornament wound up when she passed on, and I'd not seen one since. So imagine my surprise when I saw this one on Shirley's blog a few months ago. I commented on it right away, I was so excited for her and told her my memories of this item. And then - I find this in my 'real' mailbox! Shirley you have really touched my heart. I don't know how to properly thank you - but I will find some way! I fully expect little children will be playing with this here and I'll think fondly of YOU and Grandma!


And speaking of gifts I still have two people to thank for gifts. One is dear DEAR AmyW - who, on her own birthday - which I FORGOT {I'm a bad friend!} - Amy sent ME some little gifts, including a fairy kit which I helped with in a small way a lonnnng time ago. She sent me her 'Lil Fishes Kit. Its so fun and pretty and ... THANKS Amy!

And now its the time that I want to say thank you to someone who has waited an awful long time to hear this... but THANK YOU to KIMB - for the beautiful package you sent me a while ago.

KimB sent me a package chock full of goodies - from chocolate to ornaments, cookbooks and all sorts of things - and a note that felt like a big hug from across the world. Why didn't I blog a thank you back then?

Well, Kim's package arrived at the time when the economy was taking a severe downturn, and a friend of mine was facing a very difficult time. Her husband had lost his job - one he'd held for many years and their entire future was financially uncertain. Kim and I talked about it and I simply could not feel right about crowing about my good fortune when my other friend was hurting. But Kim knew how I felt and so we were good with that. My other friend has since then had their financial picture turn to the positive so I feel good to say THANK YOU KIM - for your gift, for waiting and for our friendship. My blog friends ROCK - and I'm not talking about 'stuff' I receive, its far far more than this.


My dear friend Penny Buhr Johnson, who I've featured here before is hosting a concert at our church at the end of this month. Penny is a recording artist and has just been to the Country Gospel Music Association Convention in High River, Alberta where she received the following awards:

CGMA 2009 Bilingual, Silver Heart Award
CGMA 2009 Instrumental, Silver Heart Award
CGMA 2009 Female Full-time Vocalist, Silver Heart Award
CGMA 2009 Songwriter Full-time, Silver Heart Award

Congratulations Penny - we feel honored to have you come and perform for us! We hope our little church does you proud!


I have an ipod touch. Actually, this is my second one, Mr. has inherited my first. He bought me one when they first came out and I happily packed it around to listen to music on. I did not know what else it did.

About 6 months ago, I discovered "Apps" ... and began to experiment and download them. There are so many very cool and amazing and useful {and usless) ones. My faves are some of the book reader ones, one that tracks my wieght and food and... any ones that do art. In particular I downloaded one that does vector art {vector drawing does not get 'jaggy' or pixelated when you blow it up to larger sizes} and I have been playing with it. I was blown away by what I could create - and the following is a sample of a work I did, I took 'snapshots' in stages as I worked. I also found out there is whole communities of people who create 'ipod art' and galleries too.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Have you ever done any digital art? On the computer or on your phone or ipod? I'd love to know.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Humming Along, Hummer's Feeding and Happy Birthday to Gina!

Thank you all for coming to visit me even though I have not been a very good blogger-buddy these days. I have been very busy helping a friend of mine publish her memoirs into a book. Though the work is extremely interesting and I'm enjoying her great company, the project (like most big projects) is taking a bit more time than anticipated. It will be worth all of our effort in the end though.

I would like to share a video which I took with my camera - thus the small format and lesser quality - of the hummingbirds at our feeder. As you can see, there is a little stampede each night before dark. Sometimes we have as many as six at a time! And they are not nice to each other sometimes, I am sad to say.

It is my friend Gina's birthday (Tuesday) - so won't you wander over and leave her some love? Gina was one of the very first blogger/digi-scrappers I met on the net and we connected instantly. Though I've not had as much time to chat this year, each time we do its like there was not time in beween - kwim? And Gina was one of the first blog buddies I met in real life - she's even more wonderful in person!

Gina has often been an inspiration to me with her humour, kindness and talent (be sure to check her Etsy store, link on her blog) But even more meaningful to me is that we are sisters who share our faith. So Gina, I created a small token to say thank you - I love you and I hope you have a wonderful next year!

Gina and I share 'gurl-talk' sometimes and we point each other to interesting fashion, design and makeup ideas sites... so today I'm going to leave you with a very cool youtube video I found on some pretty racy makeup.... LOL - but truly, after seeing this video, check out the others offered by this young lady. She's truly got a talent with makeup - I've learned a few things myself.

And now, for my giveaway - in honour of Gina! I created the one on the ribbon by using one of KimB's CU products - minitiemes - which you can find by visiting her blog (links to her store there) and she has many other terrific goodies on her blog!!!


Click on picture to download!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sun, a Stink and a Smiley!

It has gone from cold to hot here in our little corner of the world! Seems like just a post ago I was lamenting the cold weather and wondering if summer would ever come. Now I see people already swimming and water-skiing! I've even got the air conditioner on. Why, just a few short weeks ago I had the furnace on to HEAT the house. Perhaps I complained too quick - as the old saying goes "Be careful what you wish for!"

With the hot nights (and toss some menopausal hot flashes in there too) I try to keep the windows open at night to encourage a breeze to circulate about the house. Well, last night at about 1:30 a.m. I woke in a sweat and could not remember whether I had opened all the windows so went about and checked. Sure enough I'd forgot to open the one in the guest room. So, I quickly opened it up - it does make an audible whoosh!

Less than five minutes later, Mr. and I were assailed by a foul odor... guess I must have startled Peppy LePew! Do YOU have a good skunk/stink story? I'd love to hear it!


Our church is undergoing a bit of a facelift these days and so I created some posters for a feature wall in our foyer. I was wowwed to see how they printed out! I took the photo of the mountain a few years ago last year on a highway in Washington State - using the telephoto lens on my camera. Believe me I was far, far away, but this still turned out nicely, I think. This poster measures 36 x 24 while the two smaller ones measure 18 x 24 inches. These two were mostly made up of a montage of creative commons photographs. Once the track lights are installed and the black frames purchased then this will be a nice focal point for our visitors!





This gives you an idea of the size the posters printed out. This is Me and Mr. Miles! I thank my Mr. for printing these for me - it would not have been possible without his help.


Last, but not least, our daughter came for a three day visit and she slathered me with daughterly doting. She added highlights to my hair and showed me some new {bolder} ways to wear my makeup, painted our nails and generally did Mom-daughter things. She got some time in with Mr. as well - they went to the gym together for workouts because I'm still nursing a sore heel.

Our time together passed in a happy blur - so I've made you this little happy face for you to 'stick' onto your pages! Please, use it in any way you wish - personal, commercial - go wild!


click to be taken to download!

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