Friday, April 29, 2011

My Art Class - (first time teaching!) and I meet a RAT!

I taught my first digital art class today, and survived!  I actually enjoyed it as did the students.  We explored Art Rage and learned how all the tools work and then the students did their own paintings.  Next week we will graduate them to a more serious piece of art. 

It was especially nice to have Jill join her son Cameron in the class, they both smeared a lot of digital "paint" onto canvas and were very enthused about the whole class. 

Oh, and all I can say is "Whew and Thanks" that my Mr. was there to help me or I would have been a basket case!   He does this instructing thing for a living and gave me many valuable pointers.

Here they are with their first ever masterpieces!  And yes, it was windy - Jill's hair is not jumping for joy on it's own :)  Thanks for your permission for me to post these photos and I look forward to seeing you next week!

And I met a rat today as well.  Who knew when I woke today that I would meet a rat?  Cute little feller but awful hard to catch on film for it squiggled around so much so I have decided to put it in a slidesho so you can get an overall feel for the 2 minute photo session. 

Meet The Rat

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Twitterpated Robin

I kept hearing something "tapping" at the window yesterday and I'd keep peeking outside until I realized it was this Robin. 

It would hop from the top of the cedar to the ground where it would gobble up worms as if it were a spaghetti feast.  But that did not explain the tapping sound.  So, I snuck quietly back into the shadows of the house...

And next thing you know, Robin is looking right in at me! 

But I only flatter myself, for Robin was in love with it's reflection and it spent the entire afternoon fluttering up and down against the glass.  Narcissistic little thing!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mojo 188

My Mr and I were at the coast this weekend spending Easter with our family - a warm, wonderful and restful time.  As there is no internet connection beyond my iphone its very relaxing indeed.  I think we need that break from technology now and again, though I ate far too much delicious rich food (my Mother in Law is a fabulous cook and caters to all our favorites!) and watched countless shows on the food network.  I'll be hitting the machines this week in an attempt to burn some of it off. 

We arrived home mid afternoon and it began to rain not too long afterward.  When it came it came in buckets making it for a nice stay-indoors evening, a perfect time to craft this Monday's Mojo! 

Yay!  Thank you Mojo Ladies...  nice and simple and also a choice of shapes.  Why if you lived here I'd take you to Tim Hortons and buy you one of them new triple chocolate donuts I saw (salivating at the glass counter)

I love this paper my Sis gave me - all shimmery and pretty, good for all sorts of projects.  I really have to make myself use the prettiest papers because I have a tendency to hoard them... for what?  I don't really know.  So today I used this stuff up.  The stamp is from Inkadinkadoo.  I love saying that word.  I would annoy you if you happened to be here carding with me.  My Sis would tell me to "Shut the Kazoo (off)" 

The inks in blue and brown were from Michaels.   Well, that's it for now - perhaps I'll have another chance to card this week, we will see.  I'm teaching digital art lessons to grades 5-7 later this week and that might tax my artistic side.  Hope you all had a good weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And there you have it!

before - duh!


And there you have it.  I am willing to publicly share my junk drawer.  Now, lets see YOURS!  C'mon, I dare you.  Won't you join in the fun and get organized at the same time?  I'm several rooms/closets into the "Simplify Your Life" series by Midday Connection and Marcia Ramsland and its been fun working along with my friends who have been emailing me their own photos and ideas.  I'd love to have you join in too!  I might share another pic or two, we will see.  Taking photos is fun because you really see the dramatic change this makes. 

credit: graphics fairy

Wishing you and your family a meaningful and Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Making Choices - Simplifying My Life

Its with mixed feelings that I find myself having to make some difficult choices for my life.  I've been running flat out again, a cycle I went through last year and I thank the Lord for that experience in my life because I was able to recognise the signs before I spin right out of control.  He's given me the ability to not only see the wreck I could have (once again) been headed for, but He allowed me, through prayer and consideration, to make healthy choices, tailored especially for the plans he has for me. 

The plans of a hard-working person lead to prosperity,
but everyone who is always in a hurry ends up in poverty.

Proverbs 21:5

And I've been guilty of this very thing - I've been hurrying everywhere and trying to do it ALL! 

Funny thing is, as I am writing this I'm also listening to a radio program on Kinship Radio online to an interview with Max Lucado, the well known author of many Christian Books - and he's talking about this very subject - figuring out what's important and then figuring out what to do about our lives so that they match the plan that's vital for us to live with "the goal" in mind.  The goal of living life to the best of our ability with a focus on it counting as a life lived to the glory of Jesus Christ. 

In my case, I'm was lacking a shut off valve for doing "good things" and instead of doing just a few things well, I was trying to do all things and nothing was being accomplished or finished, just a lot of activity without fruit!  Not a very good witness. 

And SELF was continuously battling with me as I kept trying to juggle more and more.  And then came a day when I knew that I had to take stock and prioritize and figure out, for me, what was important right now.  This is what I'm finding for my life, at this time:

  • developing my prayer life - devotion to Jesus Christ
  • my marriage, I need to make sure it gets more tending than household etc!  I desire to do some fun things for my amazing husband.  Somehow our date nights have been being eaten away
  • family and friendships - not willing to give up close connections to those I love - I see it too being sacrificed at times
  • church - our church (Osoyoos Christian Centre) is growing and evolving (exciting times!!!) and the talents and gifts (all the glory to God) both my Mr and I have are being employed in a big way
  • school - still trying to work through some graphics courses - but often I wind up helping others (thats part of ministry!)  and missing my own lessons. 
  • teaching a two hour, six week (fridays) computer art course to grades 5-7 students
  • workshop - "Simplify Your Life" - an 8 part workshop series through Midday Connection and Marcia Ramsland
There's something missing here - my designing.  I love designing.  I'm passionate about it and would love to be able to do it all day, but when I sat down to prioritize my life I had to recognise that this is a want and not a need for my life right now.  You have no idea how I wrestled and prayed about this.  It came down to a vanity thing - I love being a designer.  I LOVE Scrapbook-Elements where I sell, I love the PEOPLE at SBE, they have been fabulous, supportive of me 100%.   My Mr as well, he gave me free choice to do what I thought was right - even though he watched me melt down under stress last year when I took on too much. 

I finally had to make the decision and with a heavy heart I talked to Sunni and John at SBE and asked to be released.  They were incredibly sensetive and kind, even offering me an hiatus for a few months.  Ack - this made it harder for me because the little selfish part of my brain kept whispering "you could do it" even though the hard physical evidence of my calendar/planner says NOT.  Designing is something I would want to do WELL, not just "a lot of" and I knew I would not be able to fulfill my obligations there and would have wound up in the train wreck for sure. 

So, my time at SBE is winding down - I believe the 26th is the deadline.  I want to say to everyone at SBE I'm still family, you are a terrific bunch and I believe with all my heart this stepping away is only for a season.  Sunni and John have blessed me with the knowledge that the door is always open for my return.   Thank you!

This is a perfect time to let you know that its SBE's 7th anniversary and there's a CELEBRATION SALE on Friday, April 22 - with a 40% savings on everything!!!  (excluding Sale excludes gift certificates, CD burns, DOTM, Closeout, UBI, Bargain Bin and Designer Resource categories plus
all items regularly priced at $2 or less.)
I will still design - but only when I get time, for the joy of it and to build a library of kits for when I begin again... and of course for a FREE item here from time to time.
I'll be posting more little snippets on how my life is coming back in order in the coming days so stay tuned. 
Have you had a time like this, when you were faced with having to say NO to some things you really liked to do?  Was your family supportive? 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mojo ONLY (holding myself back)

Haha, I have information overload to share, but like my wise younger sister pointed out, I should save some of it and spread it out over a few days, so that's just what I'm going to do.  I bet you are relieved ;)

I love it.  This sketch was SIMPLE.  Ummm in case the Mojo bosses *giggle* are reading this, the feedback I get is that "simple is good"  - not that WE are simple, we can handle it yeah yeah, but Simple goes so nice and quick - allowing us to perhaps do a few cards at once if our time permits.  Don't listen to me, I'm just thinking out loud here. 

I know, it's sentiment-less at the moment, but I need a few like this which are made up ahead and I could stamp at the last minute for a surprise occasion.  You know, the one that sneaks up on you and you have every card except "that" one! 

I don't know any of the papers but the flower, now there's a story in that.  I was doing some of my "Simplify Your Life" work today (one closet a day keeps the inner-hoarder away *snort*)  and I came across a pretty doily with pansies ringed all around it.  Now I knew I would not use that doily for furniture and so my one hand was wrestling with the other hand as it tried to deposit it into the give-away box, when I had an inspiration flash! 

I spent an hour trimming the pansies off of the main doily and now I have a couple of dozen flowers for cards. 

With a gold gem glued in the middle, a green leaf beneath, it looks perfect!  K, I will be quiet now, for today, anyway. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mojo 186, Spring Cleanin' (challenge ya!) and Congrats Penny - new album, concerts!

Where DOES the time go?  It's a pretty challenging time in my life, loads of GOOD stuff (or should I make that GOD stuff) going on.  I'm so grateful to be used (to the maximum!) at this time in my life.  I'll fill you in a little as I write up here but firstly I always carve out a few moments on Mondays to take part in the Mojo Monday carding project because It's become a family affair.  Yep, if you look to the right to my "family" links you can find Mojo-ers all present.  K, Neti does not exactly do cards but she makes yummies and that counts, don't ya think?  Besides, there's always a need for a card so this is a terrific way to take care of a couple of birds at once (however that saying goes - I don't want to be killing birds, though some people would not question that if it were a juicy delicous bird) 

I have been quivering to use this piece of "quilted" puffy cardstock Nina gave me.  The person I'm giving it to is into quilting so this is perfect.  I decided to get all experimenty. 

I really want to find unique uses for pattern papers because they are plentiful and I think they are so interesting.  At the thrift store they cost pennies - why, for a while the ladies were using them to wrap dishes in when they sold.  I fear that one day we will all be very sad because the vintage designs would have been fun to actually use to sew clothes.  Are we tossing away treasures just because they are plentiful?  At any rate, I snipped a square section, stamped it with the Happy Birthday Sentiment - it did not turn out dark enough so drew around it with a black fine tipped marker, then colored it in with felts.  Then I inked up the edges, stamped color on the white rick rack to match. 

The flower is Wild Saffron from K&Company.  Plain twine, touched with ink.  Stamp is TPC celebration series.  Yeh, I had fun making this.  And Louise (FREE Easter Card here), yes, one day when I find my hands idle (I think that happened a few years ago one time) I will do a tut on the pattern flower I made last week.  It was a pretty messy process as I recall. 

Life is pressin' and squeezin' me at the moment, all GOOD like I mentioned above.  You only see about 10% of whats going on my life at any one time, but bits will shine through here over the next months.  One thing is I will be teaching digital art and painting part time for the local school district to grade students - I'm SO excited about this!  I'll keep you posted on that. 

And so, this might sound like an extra thing, but its not... I've begun to take part in a "series" - workshop, whatever one might care to call it all to do along the lines of spring cleaning etc.  Because I've got so many varied things on the cooker I need to get organized.  My Mother in Law visits in a month and its always my goal to have all that stuff taken care of so that we can simply enjoy our time together.  So I decided to take part in the "Simply Your Life" workshop series, available for FREE at  

This series is hosted by Marcia Ramsland who is a well known professional organiser and the Moody/Midday  gals - Anita and Melinda.   The workshop is available by looking at the "past programs" archive, beginning in January.  So far there are 7 parts... I'm still on the first.  You can listen to each of the 1 hour sessions as the ladies discuss what you are to do in each one.  You just tune into the session you want, click the LISTEN button and thats it, you can work away while you listen to the free audio podcasts!  AND bonus, there are free worksheets/information checklist.   They are based in scripture - a great way to marry bible study with everyday chores!   Also, if you belong to facebook then you can go and look at the pictures posted of befores/afters by others who have taken this challenge. 

I'm loving it, so far its only doing a few, managable cupboards a day - I do it while I listen to the news, or right after I do the dishes, and it takes less than 1/2 hour to do each cupboard.  I've been using my iphone to take before/after pics which I'm putting in a (private) web album, but if you were to take part I might be bribed for an invite.  The photos are pretty dramatic and give me a great sense of satisfaction.  Here's a sneak peek of ... the dreaded junk drawer.  ( how does it get this way???) 

I was able to downsize some items, weed out duplicates too.  I can lay my hands on the items I need right away.  What a great feeling.  (yep, open/closing drawers to beam over them) 

I invited my friend Cicero to join me and she's been going great guns as well (no pics, mind you) and its so fun to compare our days.  I also invited our church to take part too - we will see who is able to take me up on this.  I think many people, who were busy like me, wonder how on earth they would fit this in on top of all the "to do" list I have... well, if you listen to the first program you will understand that by doing this you will make it all easier.  Marcia is going to cover everything from organizing your household to doing your vehicle right to managing your time!  I don't know about you but I need someone to hold my hand/show me how!  I'm so utterly grateful for this resource.   Let me know if you take part and we can compare notes and inspire others.  Check out Marcia's website to get an overview of what this is all about!  You know you wanna! 

Lastly, I just have to TOOT here about my friend Penny Buhr Johnson who is just putting out her latest CD, has won more awards through the Canadian Gospel Music Association and is on TOUR in BC at the moment.  She will be appearing in Kimberley, Cranbrook and Fernie ... if you just happen to be in that area say a BIG hello for me!  Congrats Penny! 

Oh, so I lied  to you, there is one more thing.  Go vote for my friend JanMary (giveaway here too!) , won't you?  She's got an amazing jewellery design and photography blog over in Ireland, and she is eligable in several categories of a contest. (links on right of post)   If you have not done a random (or intentional for that matter) act of kindness today, this could be it!  I know she would be delighted. 

Really really going now. 

(ducking) I just found one more thing but you will like it, trust me. 

You can click HERE to sign up and request free samples of good "stuff" from Proctor and Gamble.  This is the Canadian site, but I am almost certain there is a US version if you hunt about online!  Happy Sampling!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Mojo 185 and a Pretty Craft Project

It's Mojo once again and I was looking foward to this all weekend - this is my reward. :)

And my take on it:

The inner green frond paper is Laundry Line by Jen Wilson.  Ribbon from Michaels.  Stamp Studio G (embossed)  I made the flower myself, an experiment using old sewing pattern paper!  Loads of inking with various Michaels inks.  Thanks to my Sis who helped me choose out the colors I did not already have. 

I also built a project yesterday.  I'd pegged this idea from a Martha Stewart newsletter and yesterday was the perfect time to tackle it.  Martha's original instructions were to use plain white paper and make dogwood blossoms, I simply adapted it using pretty patterned papers. 

My friend Rose had given me a white jug and it serves as a perfect base to tuck the real branches into.  I filled the jug with plain white rice to anchor them. 

I used one patterned and one unpatterned papers for the blossoms, and then did the same for the leaves to add variety.  I inked the edges of the blossoms and it was my own idea to add a pretty gem in the middle of each bloom. 

If I made this again I think I would seek out some nice two-sided paper because though I positioned most blooms so that you can't see the underside, when you do see the underside its just plain white.  You really have to see this to appreciate it. 

You can find the tutorial for the orignal project on the Martha Stewart site by clicking HERE

Lastly, a belated:

Happy Anniversary

To my Bill and Maggie, my brother and sister in law!  

Friday, April 01, 2011

Happy Birthday Brother!

credit: Saxon Holt's - UBINaturallyMaleALpha
available HERE

And even though his birthday falls on this unfortunate day, he is NO fool, my brother Dave!  Wishing you a wonderful one!  You can wish Dave a happy birthday too by visiting his wife Neti's blog HERE.

Have you seen the newest feature of Gmail?  It pretty amazing.  It's called Google Motion!  In case you've not seen it yet you might want to go to the gmail home page and check it out. 

And just because I've not posted anything for giveaway for a while and because its just NICE to give stuff away,  I thought I would offer up this pretty butterfly graphic for you.  It's in png format (transparent background) and is about 5.5 inches wide.  Fine for both personal and professional use, enjoy!   I'd love to see how you use this graphic - email me at with a photo and I'll post here!

click on graphic to download!

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