Friday, December 31, 2010

The Closing of Another Year

credit: morguefile


This post marks the end of two events - the first, smaller event is a month of posting every single day for December -  not as easy as one might imagine.  Without my iphone I assuredly would never have been able to do it.   Some posts came from way out in left field and sometimes I had to rely on my "blog interest list" I keep on my iphone.  It was a good practice for something I am certain - just what - I will have to discover.  I was not alone in my journey for my friend JanMary joined with me and gallantly kept up, her posts had much more "meat" on them, far tastier than my paltry offerings. 

The second event, of course, is the end of the year.  Farewell to 2010, welcome to 2011!  I confess I've been ruminating on this all day hoping to come up with some thoughts on this milestone.  This is what has occurred to me. 

The changing of the year is significant but on the other hand its not?  Allow me to explain.  I am confident anyone who knows me knows I am a Christian.  No, I don't have it splashed all over my blog with daily scripture etc.  I do share "the word" when I feel led to do so and then I do publish what I think may be of interest and value.  I love the Lord with my entire being and I'm secure in my relationship with Him.  Today is one of these times I would like to share something which I will marry with the word - regarding New Years. 

Though my Mr. and I stay up until midnight on New Years and have some "nibblies" and do something fun like play a game or watch a movie - New Years does not have a great significance to us.  I believe this is because though many people observe New Years as a time to make "resolutions" - to drop bad habits, do some inner searching, make changes etc - a scripture keeps coming to the forefront of my mind:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23


So to clarify - to me EVERY day is New Years.  Because I'm a believer I'm always searching inside - always looking at each new day as an opportunity to renew.  I don't have to wait until the end of a 365 day year to take stock.  Not only this - unlike making "resolutions" (which are basically promises to one's self to give things up or start doing things) I instead surrender my every need to the Lord who is my constant helper.



1 God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.
 
 
Psalm 46
 
 
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad there's a calendar.  I love the turning of the seasons and all the occasions we celebrate (especially Easter, Christmas and ones which have a spiritual significance)  I enjoy that these set-aside days seem to bring us together in groups of family and friends and often give us an extra day to rest.    But New Years are to me simply markers of passages of days that we are allowed to live here on our earth.  In the grand scheme of God's Plan for us, this is nothing - a wisp of air, a practice run, a time to practice out what REAL love should be. 
 
This next 365 days we will all lose loved ones, meet new friends, celebrate joys and suffer sadness's.  We will experience growth in some areas and setbacks in others.  We may be granted a full year or we may be taken - but its all just messy, complicated, joyous, desolate etc... living unless we believe.  I say this because of my own testimony.  I don't have one of those shocking, exciting, tragic or electrifying stories that would make a great novel or movie - just an ordinary life changed to something extraordinary.  I wish I knew how to describe to you the very depth of change inside of me, all because of His presence in me. 
 
All I can tell you is that if your life is missing something - if you feel you are merely living out your 365's to no point, won't you give Jesus the same opportunity to step into your life as you would not think twice to give up to a debt counsellor, marriage counsellor etc? 
 
After all your 365's are over - what's left? 
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
 
John 3:16
 
I wish you could see what I see - what my Grandma saw, my Mother saw - so many people who have gone before me knew when they surrendered their lives to the Lord.  I am so comforted to know they are saved - that's why today I could not end without giving you the opportunity to know that even if I don't post each and every day, something spiritual etc - I believe, I'm here for you if you want to know how you to surrender your life to Jesus. 
 
Thank you to all who have "followed", visited, and commented on my blog for the past year!  I have created this graphic for you for any of your projects you might like to use them for - they are about 6 inches long, the first without a drop shadow, the second with.  They are in png format.  I believe you can simply right click and "save as" to download them.  Please do not share them directly with others, at least have them come visit for themselves and ... I'd love a comment! 
 




Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Wonder...

photo: morguefile


I'm run dry of blog-post ideas that are current so I will blog about something I think about now and again. 

Ever since I was a kid I've loved to look look at houses - any house that was not my own, and wonder what it would be like to live there.  Even in the tiniest glimpse I can get an immediate sense of what it might be like inside and what I'd feel like living there.  From the poorest shack to the fanciest of mansions I'm intriqued.  I must say that I have always especially liked travelling at night and catching a peek as warm and buttery lights shine out. 

Is it just me - or what?  


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Lucky Find!

When I visited the MCC Thrift Store in Abbotsford recently, I was delighted to find the following book:


The paper inside looks like this:


I've not seen paper like this - its unique and feels wonderful.  The book features basic Wok Recipes, with just a few ingredients and the hand drawn illustrations are fabulous. (which I can't obviously show you without breaking copyright laws)  The thing is, we loaned this cookbook out at some point and it never came back.  We did not think to write down who we loaned it to and so could not ask for it to be returned.  I hope whoever has it has enjoyed it. 

So when I came across it at the thrift store I was delighted.  Have you loaned out books that did not come home?  Do you keep a list of who you've leant to? 

PS - there are some pretty oooh-lala snow photos on my sister's blog!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dessert Disaster



Oops!  Seems every occaision the family gets together something gets spilled, flipped or flopped.   We've had cakes, steaks and lasagnes in my memory.  

This time it was the delicious Strawberry Slice my Mother in Law makes.  As I was not there to witness it in person I have to rely on the varying accounts which blame it on the slippery surface of the glass pan and the shifty plastic lid on it that caused the spill-ee to lose control of the contents.  Sigh! 

So - what about you?  What was the last food item that took a nose dive in your household?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Who Cares

The title does not match this post but I waited until bedtime to post and can not think of what to call it and this is what my Mr said to name it.





It has been raining and raining and raining so despite that we made ourselves get out of doors for a walk on the trails. It was rather refreshing.



-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, December 26, 2010

An Unusual Craft





My niece has an unusual little hobby which she began several years ago. She likes to play with fire!






That is, she uses a toothpick and dips it in the melted wax until she makes a small creation.






This is her creation for 2010. Do you play with candle wax? Or does someone in your family have an odd little hobby?



-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to All! These posts are short, sweet with larger servings promised in the coming days!



-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, December 24, 2010

If You Catch It JUST RIGHT...




I noticed that if I waited toll JUST the right moment I could take a photo that made it seem like the head of the worker INSIDE this kiosk is on the body of the person in purple. The purple sweatshirt is actually a reflection of the front of the lady on the right. There is a mirror panel that runs all the way along. Here's a closer shot:





What does this have to do with Christmas? Nuthin - but wishing you all a wonderful Christmas eve and Christmas Day!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Table Decorations





A plain white napkin, a twist of wired ribbon, a red button, a length of gold elastic make an inexpensive and attractive table setting. Add a candy cane and fresh sprig of evergreen for that last touch!


-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Yummies





Was served a persimmon today, my first ever. I liked it very much. Have you ever had one? If so, how do you eat yours?





Was served a nummy homemade eggnog latte. So foamy and creamy with a healthy caffiene kick! Better than starbucks.


-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, December 20, 2010

How TWEET!





I recently started using twitter and I've won a CD from Midday Connection and found the following deal which I'll take advantage of tomorrow!


Starbucks: Get a $5 Gift Card When You Buy a 12-Pack of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew (Dec 21-22) http://dlvr.it/BnvFG



-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Early Present (blush!)

My Mr. encouraged me to share a photo of me in the pretty dress he bought me for Christmas but gave to me early.  Its a good thing he encouraged me because he I would have chickened out if he did not insist. 


What I really appreciate about this dress is it is so comfortable!  It is made of some buttery soft material which doesn't bind.  I like the little sort of puffed bottom hem, sort of like a flounce.  This also looks wonderful with a pair of leotards or yoga pants beneath.  It does not wrinkle so I can pack it as well and it was bought locally.  I know I will be able to wear this for many occaisions. 

In fact, I wore it today for our church dinner!  Our small church was just hopping, a good time had by all.  I will post on that later on both here and on our OCC blog


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Early Present



My Sweet Mr. brought something home for me - an early present.  I'll show the rest of it tomorrow, perhaps! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Unique Eat





A friend of ours has a small restaurant which serves delicious food. Recently she began experimenting with this dessert and chose us as her tasters.





What is it? Well it's deep fried - so crispy on the outside but soft and hot on the inside. The filling includes sesame seeds, banana and avocado. I know this sounds Luke a highly unlikely pairing but we assure you, as this is our second tasting - it works!

Perhaps we will see this thing names and onthe menu this coming year.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Present for YOU!

I wanted to create a "special little something" for YOU!  So, using one of my Christmas Doodles (available in both personal use and professional use versions) to make you this sweet little sled.  The doodles are so fun and versatile to use - I personally think that this sled would be just the right size to make some wonderful gift tags.  This element is about 4 inches high - the orginal Doodles are at least 7 inches tall or larger!  Here are previews of those two kits (links to SBE STORE below each) followed by your gift.  PLEASE - send me links and jpgs to the creations you make so I can feature you here on my blog.  It delights me to see how you use my goodies. 






And now for your GIFT!


PERSONAL USE





Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tastes Better When...


Yeah, not much to blog about today as it was run run run!  I had a wonderful chat with my friend Cicero Sings, cooked a turkey, cleaned house did a library run, wrapped gifts and I don't know what all.  So, I'm using a "filler" topic.  I keep a list on my iphone in the notes of things to blog in the future.  Today I'll tell you a super simple little tip that people notice  when I do it.  When I make whip cream for pies I use brown or golden sugar instead of regular white.  It causes people to tilt their head and ask "What's in this?"  Really.  Especially nice on hot butter tarts. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for a FREE GIFT here...


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happiness is


I didn't think to take a photo until after I'd added some chili hot-sauce and eaten one of the MONSTER won-tons.   There's this tiny Chinese bakery/restaurant in town, not a cookie-cutter chain restaurant, where they make this incredible soup.  The won-tons are filled with a fresh filling, so soft and delicious.  The final touch are leaves of Chinese cabbage or kale.  We had no clue this was available until recently, now its winning us over.  And its less than you'd pay for a combo meal at McD's,


Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Mojo Monday - Whew, my 15 minute card!

I forgot it was Mojo Monday and it was not until tonight when my sister Nina reminded me - and I was truly debating if I could get a card polished off - or not.  It was a clean-house Monday and I did not get off my feet from 8 a.m. this morning and I think I heard myself inwardly groan when Nina was taunting me.  But I rallied to her challenge, giving myself a mere 15 minutes - "do or die" for the card, and managed it.  So "nyeh" Sister. 

This here is the challenge sketch.


My take on it.  The pretty embossed pearly paper came from my SIL Judy (who I bet will post a card in the next day as well!)  All the other supplies are random and mostly gifted from Neen.  (beaming) 



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Three New Products and a FREEBIE for YOU!

Whew, I did not think I was going to make a post today, I had so much going on. Our beautiful daugther came down for a visit, we got snowed in last night which made for some special Mom/Daughter time. Because of the big snowfall we had to grill our steaks in the oven rather than have our handsome Mr. shiver himself out in the cold. The snow was replaced by very wet snow today and eventually something very close to rain and all the lovely fluffy stuff has turned into something very solid and wet. Thankfully the roads have been cleared though.

Now the weekend is nearing an end and the days should take on some form of a routine - I'm grateful I will have a day to take a breath and organise. There are several festive functions coming up and lots to think about and DO!

In the meantime I managed to launch three - technically four new products into the Scrapbook-Elements store, just in time for Christmas kits and layouts!  I'll start with the product(s) which count as TWO, because there are two different versions of it - one personal, one professional use!  The difference is reflected in the price - the professional use one, of course being a few dollars more.  Click the links below each preview to visit the store where you can purchase these - and get there fast and you might just find they are on SALE for a day or two!












I've had such fun designing these four products.  I truly enjoy doing the "doodles" - working with several vector editing programs, learning in leaps and bounds and being able to apply what I'm learning.  The "doodles" are all very large and crisp - I can hardly wait to see how they are used in personal layouts, designs and professional projects.  I think they would be terrific even for colouring pages.  I really think my acrylic looking Festive Frames will be perfect for those "shiny and bright" Christmas photos.  But I do confess I have a soft spot for the Gem Flakes.  Extracted from real snowflake images they are so delicate and beautiful - the tiny jewel inside each one giving that extra touch of magic to your projects. 

And of course I always like to give you a sample from one of my products so I used the string of lights elment from the Christmas Doodles kit and created this 12 inch wide coloured lights string from the "Doodle"  This will give you a small sample of what you might do with these drawings.  Imagine what all of these would look like filled with papers/textures etc!  

Thanks for taking time to visit today - and it would mean much if you were kind enough to leave a comment.  I'm using a new service for upload - I LIKE how it has NO ads!  Please, do not share the link, I would appreciate it if you send your friends here to pick it up for themselves.   For the work that went into making this for you, I don't think thats too much to ask :)   I'd love feedback on how the download service works for you so I will know if I will use it for future shares. 




Saturday, December 11, 2010

Romantic Gesture of the Day








It's cold and snowy here today. In town, at a cozy cafe my Mr offers "Here, warm your hands on my mug". (of coffee) even though it meant he would have to drink it cool. Now that's true love!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Fun Geeky Christmas Concert

We were away today and so this post will be short and sweet.  Valinda sent me this fun Christmas video - as she knows my Mr. has an ipad.  Simply amazing.   Thanks Valinda - I'll bet he will be hunting down some of these apps. 

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Lovey Lives!



I finally located Lovey - she reappeared on the stovetop, thank goodness I'd not been cooking anything.  I quickly zapped a raisin in the microwave, cooled it outside and then pointed her to it - she happily crawled on and fed. 

I did not have a chance to tell my Mr. that this was "Lovey's Dish" and when I woke this morning and found the dish empty, and knowing the raisin was bigger than Lovey and she could not possibly have eaten the entire thing)  I asked my Mr. if he knew where Lovey's raisin went to.  Ahem - he got an alarmed look on his face and he confessed he ate the raisin - went nicely with his granola breakfast!  I hope he does not get sick. 

Then Lovey disappeared again - I finally located her snugged up in a corner up by the ceiling, sleeping off her full tummy. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Card Writing and a FREE Quick Page!

This is my 900th post!  I can't quite grasp that.  I might need a nap now *snort*

First thing, my little ladybug has vanished!  Alas after coming home from school last night, all excited to plump a raisin for my new friend and after having Valinda "name" it,  I seeked high and low and fear that Lovey has found some little crevice to climb into.  I will keep you posted  though if there is a sighting in the future, and I will plump up the raisin - just in case. 


Card Writing Time!

Its that time of the year again - to send out greetings to friends and family.  I'm reminded of this each time I open my mailbox and recieve cards from all over the place - for instance, I recieved a lovely card from Betty in Paraguay just yesterday.  Thank you for thinking of me all the frosty way up here, my friend.   A card will be zinging its way to you, too, when I get my act in gear here after I post.  :)

Our house has something I just love - an old fashioned fold-down ironing board, and though I don't use it to actually iron on (do people do that thing called ironing any more?) I love to pull up my special high chair (its just like one my Grandma used to have in her house when we were growing up - has two steps which fold out)  and tuck it up to the ironing board and lay out all my card supplies and address book.  Its a wonderful little corner to while away a few hours as I send seasonal wishes out to those I love. 

Where do you write your cards? 

And as mentioned, Valinda created this fun and frisky 8x8 inch Quick Page using my Artistic Christmas Kit which is available at SBE!  Just click here to purchase!



I would love to see your layouts - and feature them here too.  Just send them to lalalime(at)hotmail{dot}[com] putting Artistic QP in the subject line.  Enjoy!

PS - Thanks Valinda!



Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ladybug Ladybug - Is THIS Your Home?

What do I do with you?

I keep a little bowl on the window ledge above the kitchen sink which I use to keep fresh tomatoes or avacados in to ripen (I've heard you should store tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavor, and I believe its true now that I've tried it)  And I don't have a dishwasher so I spend a fair amount of time at the sink. 

I was doing dishes and glanced over at this bowl and I saw this ladybug atop the tomatoes - at first it did not strike me as strange until looking past the bowl out the window to see the snow coming down it occured to me this little feller (or fell-ey) must be stranded inside the house, he/she should be hibernating. 

Well, if you are like me then your first instinct is to mother the wee thing and so I have done some research on what to do with it - which I gathered from Answers.com:

"What do you feed pet ladybugs?"

"You must provide Ladybugs with fresh water and food, even if you think they are hibernating. Do not give them distilled water! Use Spring water, if possible, or use water that has been boiled and sat for 24 hours. For their food, use a small Styrofoam tray to put the food on so you can keep the area clean. (They also like to hide under the edges when you put it in a corner.) Use a sugar water mixture (1 part sugar to 10 parts water) or you can use hummingbird nectar mix. The nectar mix does provide more vitamins that then sugar water, but make sure you don't mix up big batches because it only keeps for about a week. Soak a few cottonballs in the food mixture and put them in empty caps from juice jugs. Make sure you change the cottonballs once a week, and add to them in-between if necessary. And, make sure you keep their regular drinking water full. Put a few small pebbles in a juice cap and keep the water level just full enough do that they can use the stones for safety. Do not just put a capful of water or it can be real easy for them to drown. If you want to give them a little variety to eat, give them a few pieces of fruit every once in awhile, but be sure you DO NOT give them anything acidic. The safest fruits are strawberries, apricots and raisins. Soak a raisin in water for a few hours to rehydrate it before you give it to them."

I do have raisins and I do have some small pebbles and a bottle cap so I think I will try to feed my poor little pet tomorrow.  If he/she survives and thrives do you have a name you could suggest? 


Barb Derksen's Artistic Christmas Kit

My very first digital scrapbooking kit is available for Sale at Scrapbook-Elements.com/sbe if you are looking for a sweet little kit to use to scrapbook your fondest Christmas Memories!  There are LOADS of new products at SBE from many talented designers!

And stay tuned here tomorrow for a FREEBIE - a darling Quick Page cooked up by Valinda using this kit! 

In case you did not read several posts ago - I am hoping to blog daily through December and my friend JanMary and sister Nina are hoping to do the same, why not hop over and check if they are holding up their end of the bargain - and fink on them if they are not?  *wink*




Monday, December 06, 2010

Happy Birthday Brothers and another Mojo Monday

Before I get even one nanosecond into my blog post I'd like to wish my brothers (twins) Barry (my SIL Judy's husband) and Bill (sorry no blog link here)  ... wish you!

A BIG FAT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
photo credit: Billy @ sxc.hu

Hope your day was extra-special - I'm trying to call but have reached nobody yet! 

It was a very busy day again with the minutiae of Mondays, you know the routine.  But I did take time out to try out the Monday Mojo.  If I don't do it my sister Nina might bite me and I did get my SIL Judy started on this, so can't be letting people down!   Thank goodness - I see Judy thought to take a photo of the birthday card I made Barry, and good thing for I completely forgot.  ;) 

And while I was at it I figured if I was going to drag out all of my supplies I might as well make a little factory assembly line and knock off SEVERAL at a time.  I did - wound up with five nice cards.  Not a terrible one in the batch though I know that as soon as I go a-surfing through the other posts I will feel mine pales in comparison to the incredibly talented carders who undertake the Mojo Challenge.  So, I shall post and then go look so I won't lose my nerve. 

Here is today's sketch:


And here are my various takes on this card:



The background of this one is plain old gift wrap!



This one is merry and bright!


Ah yes, I got tired of doing all the reds and greens!

Sorry, once again a mish mash of all my various supplies, mostly lovingly donated to me and none with names on, though many of the stamps came from Michaels.  Which card do YOU like best? 




Sunday, December 05, 2010

Designing Again - Come Visit Me at SBE!

I'm designing again! 

For those of you who have travelled the journey of my blog over the past five years, you know that designing has been a big part of my life.  When I first began my blog I wanted to be able to "give back" to the blogging community, and when I discovered the joys of digital scrapbooking, I found another passion - designing! 

I began by creating very simple (and primitive looking to me now) elements and kits, but as I grew in confidence and my products became refined I began to think of taking this seriously.  I will always give some of my items away because I feel so grateful for this God-given talent and would like to bless you all with it.  However, while it has been nice to be a one-income family I'm longing to bring in some money of my own, even if it is so I can surprise my Mr. sometimes with a gift or two, or to contribute so we can languish in our retirement years (not so far away!) 

Most of you know I designed a few years ago at the Sophia Sarducci shoppe - until it closed - where I created under the assumed identity of Olivia Dorazio.  That was terrific fun and a truly positive experience.  I was nurtured by my manager Saxon Holt.  She was terrific and we became good friends and have remained so.  In fact, she seems to have a tap into my creative juice levels for she approached me exactly when I began to feel like I might want to venture into the designing world again.  And so, one thing led to another and I've hopped on board at the store where she is now a designer too - Scrapbook-Elements.com 

Not only do I get to work with Saxon again - the entire "family" at SBE has has given me a BIG WARM welcome, why I almost feel hugged!

My first kit launches TODAY - I hope you can check it out, spread the word, I'd love the "toots!"  Here are my previews:

Barb Derksen's ARTISTIC CHRISTMAS KIT

I invested hours upon hours into my first kit - digitally hand-painting many of my elements.  The rich oil-paint textures give the overall feel of almost vintage!

Digitally Hand-Painted Elements

30 of the 46 elements have been crafted using a digital art program - rich, textured strokes!  The other 16 elements include fun strings of cranberries and popcorn, perfect for layouts of your Christmas decorating party!

Artistic Christmas Papers Package

What you don't see here are the two bonus papers included! *wink*  There is something for everyone in this unique kit - and it's ON SALE (discount!) right now, so check it out at HERE at http://www.scrapbook-elements.com/ along with the many other beautiful items new to the store today! 

Here are some pretty layouts created from my kit - to give you an idea of how my Artistic Christmas kit is being used:




Layout by Judy (my SIL :)
credit: Barb Derksen's ARTISTIC CHRISTMAS KIT
various elements (birds, house etc) by Barb Derksen

Thanks so much, Judy, I love how you incorporated this old house into the layout - looks like a real old-fashioned Christmas - you think that old house is available over the holidays? 


Layout by Valinda (DEAR friend!) 
credit: Barb Derksen's ARTISTIC CHRISTMAS KIT

It always amazes me that two people can use the same kit and squeeze two unique layouts out of it! 


Layout by Valinda (DEAR friend!) 
credit: Barb Derksen's ARTISTIC CHRISTMAS KIT

Make that three different looks!  I'm tickled that something I created can accommodate your precious family memories in these layouts, Valinda.  Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to make these layouts for me to share!  (After I get all my uploading etc done I hope to get outside too, like Christy and Freedom - they have the right idea!) 

And without further ado - what would my celebration launch be without giving you a FREE GIFT so you can get a sneak peek at the quality of this kit?  I've assembled this pretty little bird and boughs element for you to enjoy!  (PS - be on the lookout next week for several new products to come your way - I've been on a creative streak!) 




 


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