Saturday, January 31, 2015

365 Photo of the Day



credit: doodly frames by KimB

Ok, I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have a little dawg like this in my life.  This is my daughter’s sweet little thing and I can’t get over how cute she is.  I get a million pictures of her but there’s nothing that compares to spending time with her in “person” (or should I be saying “in critter”?)

She’s such a feisty, curious little girl.  She has boundless curiosity and energy.  She makes me belly laugh until my tummy hurts and causes me to go “Awwwww!” at least a dozen times each visit. 

My daughter snapped this picture of us when we managed to tucker Fancy out enough to cuddle. 


me and my girl!

Jan 31 2

We had such a beautiful drive on the way home from Kelowna with wispy tailed clouds and brilliant sunshine. 


Jan 31 1

And a small stop at Antler Beach by Peachland.  Love this dock which sits out over the beautiful clear water of Okanagan Lake.  I can never resist snapping a photo here.


Jan 31 3

And Mr. Miles captured this quiet curve of the beach.


Jan 31 4

What do you think of this odd arrangement of driftwood on the beach?  Do you think the top piece of wood could be the head of a calf and the bottom it’s leg perhaps? 

365 Photo of the Day - Jan 31

Thursday, January 29, 2015

365 Photo (s)of the day Reflective day!

Today the lake was as still as glass. 

A perfect day to walk to the very tip of Haynes Point Provincial Park, Osoyoos BC.
The second to last picture is looking out to the point,
this last one is looking back to the park and campground. 
Quite a bit of this point is submerged in the summer. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Silhouette .studio FREEBIE - Paper Bracelet!

Bracelet Studio File 4 - Barb Derksen

Pretty cool isn’t it? 

This is one of the most unique and fun things I designed in the past I think.  I came up with the idea after looking at a leather belt and I simply felt compelled to design a miniature version and turn it into a bracelet. 


Bracelet Studio File 2 - Barb Derksen

The FREE .studio cutting file I’m gifting to you today is for the center piece – the paper part, the rest will be up to you, however you will like to design yours. 

As you can see I added all sorts of embellishments onto mine.  I chose to sew the little buckle part on and I sewed lace onto several as well.  I salvaged bits of jewelry and added beads to a few.  Because the bracelet itself is paper its pretty easy to sew through.  You may choose to use some sort of glue instead.  Its all up to you.


Bracelet Studio File 1 - Barb Derksen

Bracelet Studio File 5 - Barb Derksen


The tricky part is the prong.  I am providing the shape you will use as a template but I chose to cut the prong itself out of clear plastic packaging (the firmer the better) because its flexible and strong enough.  You can use the template I’ve provided to trace upon the hard plastic – or I simply held it fast with my fingers and snipped around the prong by hand. 

* I’m adding this bit in here after thinking as I was drifting off to sleep that I should give you a bit more accurate instruction of how the three pieces go together to get the buckle and prong on.  Please excuse my messy diagram, I’ve had to restore my computer and don’t have my vector graphics program of choice to illustrate, but hopefully my untidy drawing will help:



  1. Cut your plastic prong out of a sturdy clear plastic (or you may choose to use colored too) using the template provided.
  2. Place the clear plastic prong in between the two open ends of the folded over “buckle” (the folded end will be the outside of the buckle. 
  3. Now that you have the prong inside of the buckle piece (and be sure to have the prong in front of the buckle, take the buckle and prong together and position both in the fold of the belt, lining the prong up with the hole on the fold, draw it through and up so that the buckle and prong are in position.  This is when you will either sew or glue the fold down.  After that’s done you can add the loop (which holds the tail of the bracelet down when you get it on your wrist. 

Bracelet Studio File 3 - Barb Derksen


Just so you know, these are delicate creations of “wearable art” – meaning because the main part is created out of paper (thick cardstock type designer paper works the best, double sided patterns create really nice “pulled together” pieces.  So these are fragile and they are not waterproof.  But they are original and completely unique. 

I hope you enjoy this FREE pattern.  I’d love it if you leave some comment love – and if you create your own I’d definitely delight in sharing your takes on this fun project. 

Barb Derksen’s Paper Bracelet File


Personal Use

365 Photo of the Day – Bird on a Wire

Bird on a Wire_Barb Derksen

As I walk

Is it a hawk?

I think not – I think rather

An eagle perhaps.

I like to walk.  The solitude.  There’s nothing like getting into a good lively rhythmic pace – in “The Zone” where my legs clip along all by themselves while my brain “defrags” and sets my inner self into order.  Being outside in the fresh air is a balm no matter what’s going on. I am forced to ponder on things and to be alone with my thoughts.  That’s sometimes scary in this world we live in.  Its easier to entertain ourselves than spend time in reflection.  And its especially hard to validate the gift of time to take a walk, to count it as something of value when there are so many pressing needs.  And yet, I find that when I invest in staying fit and just kicking myself out the door I’m always rewarded. 

Best of all – when I do this I take time to notice and appreciate God’s amazing miracles.  I come home at peace and in awe. 

Do you like to walk?  What do you see on your walks? 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Less is More Card and 365 Photo of the Day


Theme – Champagne and Lace

So, I try to actually take each photo on the actual date, but that’s simply not possible.  I mean I really do snap a few through each day, however some turn out so “Meh!” that I won’t share because frankly, they are boooooring! So today’s photo was taking a while ago but its one I keep being drawn to. 

This shop always displays beautiful dresses that shout “Celebrate!”  I’ve never seen an ordinary dress in the window.  These are the sort of dresses that you pay the most money for but only wear on a few occasions.  I’ve always thought this is ironic.  I hereby confess that I’ve been known to dress up “just because” for my handsome Mr. in one of these type of dresses because they make even the most ordinary day into something extraordinary.  He’s worth bringing out the bling for. 

C’mon, tell me about your favorite dress and where you wore it last!

Less is More Week 208 – sketch time (sketch 14)


Here’s what I made of the sketch:



Shape – Silhouette store “Music Stand”

Stamps – Studio G

Monday, January 26, 2015

365 Photo of the Day - Chandeliers & Twinkle Lights

Theme - Lighting

Lately I've been drawn to chandeliers.  I love this Black one my Mr bought me quite some time ago. It's never made it to the ceiling though. It's displayed with a vintage print I found at a thrift and had just enough money for at the time.  It looks soft and mysterious with simple twinkle lights surrounding.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

365 Photo of the Day – “I Swan!”

swan_Barb Derksen

Today’s 365 theme – Swan

This graceful swan ornament was a treasured find at a garage sale a few years ago.  I saw her nested in amidst lots of other “stuff” and she pleaded to me with a winsome look from her delicately (hand painted I am sure) eye, imploring me to rescue her and take her home.  And I did and I decided she deserved to float upon a wooden surface next to a lacy tatted doily (a gift from a dear friend) and in the soft shade of a bouquet of dried hydrangea which were picked at my Mom’s place. 

I must say whenever I see a swan I have an urge to feint to the side, hand placed against my brow and declare “I swan!”  Being that though I see it when I read vintage books I don’t actually know what it really means.  But curious minds have to know so I checked out this article, you can decide for yourself. 

Do you have an ornament you treasure above all others?


Saturday, January 24, 2015

365 Photo(s) of the Day - All WORK(out) and no play...

My Mr always gives me a choice when our day starts and it falls on a weekend, the choice being when and if I actually want to work out.  Even when I say I do, loud and clear I know that HE knows me better than I know me.  And therefore he knows things can change from moment to moment.  I must say, he does this very delicately.  

So my choice today (though there was this terrible big debate going on in my head) was to make myself work out FIRST before I could change my mind.  I knew that if I hesitated or put it off to a later time that just was not going to happen.  So, I looked at my workout as the thing I HAD to do.  

Because part of my day would be the "REWARD" - creative, crafting craziness! I often use my card-making, sewing, reading, baking, tatting, reading... all the things I truly enjoy as the "carrot on a stick" for myself.  

Its a system which works for me.  Heavens I've found I can really do a ton of chores very quickly and efficiently to "earn" fun time for myself.  How about you?  Do you have a treat system for yourself as well? 

Even better, today was my first ever "Crop".  I was invited by Terri (bottom left) who has done this sort of thing before and who arranged all the details.  It was really fun, inspiring to see what everyone else was doing.  There were a range of projects going on though a majority were focused on scrapbook pages while I chose to make a few greeting cards.  Its wonderful to see how every person's work is diverse and unique.  I absolutely soaked up some new techniques and learned new things.  

What a lovely bunch of ladies, I do look forward to our next get-together.  I now know just what I'll pack for the next one.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

365 Photo of the Day - Lake Scene

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the tip of Hayne's Point provincial park with some sort of bird in forefront.  I'm not sure what this bird is. 

Some sort of Heron perhaps?  Do you know what species this is? 

365 Photo of the Day - Frozen Fountain (for Jan 22)

I pass by this fountain near Pioneer Walkway here in Osoyoos BC fairly often and though its always interesting to watch I especially like how it looks when it freezes and its a terrific subject for photos.  

It appears this ice was formed at a time when there was wind because obviously much water was thrown over to the side beyond the perimeter and it formed some very odd looking nodules.  I like how ice crystals sifted over and filled up crevices.  Ice in two completely unique forms - the soft rounded bits opposed to the crunchy flaky shards. 

This area really makes me think of some of the national parks we have visited. I'm not sure whether my mind is marrying the shape of these formations to stalagmites or perhaps I'm thinking of formations caused by hot springs or geysers.  Some of the ones we saw had layers like this.  

And just how cool is this?  I can only deduct the wind was steady in the direction of these icicles.  

Hope you enjoyed these fun frozen fotos!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

365 Photo of the Day - FROST

Today's theme - FROST

I'm loving this 365 challenge to myself, it's causing me to view each day through the lens of my camera (or iphone) and capturing something I feel is worth sharing with you.  

This morning we were greeted with a hoar frost and fog.  It makes almost everything look special by coating it all with a fuzzy frost... sort of like flocking. If you get up really close to this frost it adheres to each surface with a furry layer, almost silvery.  

I've been wanting to capture this tiny nest cradled in the low branches of a sumac tree for a bit now.  I've gone past it many times but today made it even more interesting.  

After the soft wooly closeness of this morning's fog, it was beautiful to watch it melt away in the early afternoon and reveal the world beyond the grey.  My husband and I took the opportunity to go for a long, long walk in the warmth while it lasted. 

I hope your day was nice too.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

365 Photo - SNIP! and APWP #23 challenge card

Today's theme: SNIP!  

I was quite surprised to see my friend out pruning in the snow.  I was under the impression that pruning was generally done in the spring and fall, and apparently it is, generally.  However my friend says that farmers seem to prune earlier and earlier each year and it seems to be ok.  I learn something new every day.  I love the power-snippers, they just lop off branches in the twinkling of an eye.  Hmmm - I'd be afraid I'd lop of a finger perhaps.  Oh my. 

pretty & oh so sparkly

I absolutely love when the snow is like this.  Crunchy on top with a million glittery diamonds upon the surface.  

What was it like today where you live?

I managed to create a card for the Always Playing With Paper #23 Challenge:

I chose to go with the sketch: 

The photo doesn't do my card justice.  I generally try to wait until daylight and take my pics outside, natural light can't be beat.  At any rate, this is my attempt. 


Brad and pattern paper - My Mind's Eye
Stamp - Stampendous

Thanks for visiting me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

365 Photo a Day - Jan 18 - EAT!

Photo theme: EAT!

I'm sorry... am I making you hungry?  

I truly enjoyed every moment of my time away from home and I especially enjoyed having many delicious Mom-meals too but I did miss cooking and baking myself.  I'd watched quite a few cooking shows and I filed away a few tips in my mental tool box which I'm dying to try.

Sunday is always a restful day, with church in the morning we decided to make lunch our biggest meal.  Sometimes we crave breaded cutlets and we like to serve them in a hearty artisan bun.  Today it was accompanied with some french fries and a simple dip of mayonnaise mixed with sriracha sauce and finally garnished with beautiful oranges. (on sale by the box at our local grocers)  Fresh oranges in the winter are like tasting a bit of sunshine in my mouth. 

My husband was a little frightened of the knife stuck into the sandwich but I told him that the professional chefs do that on all the manly cooking shows.

What did you have for Sunday dinner? 

PS - I'm getting a hankering to share a Silhouette Cutting file in the coming days, check back!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

365 Photo of the Day Jan 17 - OF and about CTS #106 Challenge

Photo theme: CREATE!

Ah how sweet it is to craft again!  After a month away I was at a loss when I was deciding what to do.  I decided a challenge would be a good way to begin so I decided to take the plunge.  

First I made myself do all of the housework, laundry, floors and get my nest's twigs all 'just so' before rewarding myself with a moment of creating.  And how good and sweet reward it is! 

I chose this CTS #106 challenge for my very first card: 

This is my take on today's challenge: 


Embossing Folder by Elizabeth
Die Cuts by Memory Box

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 16, 2015

I'm reminded why my Mr is THE best in the west!

Yesterday my sweet husband met me with flowers, today he scooped me away on a dinner date.  Sigh sigh sigh!   How thrilling to zoom down the highway in our Frisky little Fiat.  I can't wait to drive!   But tonight it was about encouraging him to be chivalrous and me encouraging that.  After a month's absence I'm reminded why I fell head over heels with him in the first place. 

He treated us out to Indian dinner in Penticton.  We try something new each time - we've only begun to eat this cultural deliciousness in the past year, really.  

Do you like a particular cultural food?  


Thursday, January 15, 2015

365 Photo A Day - Jan 15 "The Wheels on the Bus"

Time to head home after a full month at the coast.  Hardly slept a wink last night as I was dreaming of the moment I came home to my handsome Mr.  It turned out to be anything but boring! 

Mom drove me to the bus and we shared a Tim's coffee until the bus arrived.  I got pretty misty before we parted.  It will feel very strange to not wake up at her house tomorrow.  I had a lot of luggage - thank goodness for the backpack I received for a Christmas gift and the duffel which came with my gym membership and I still had to sit on my suitcase!

Our bus set off and we rolled rolled down the big ol' highway.  The route I was on stops at quite a few places along the way.  I always enjoy the trip.  Unlike the bus trip down to the coast, this bus had sparkly clean windows because I guess it started in the city and the most muck gets splashed up through the passes.  So I press my nose against the glass (not REALLY coz who knows how many other perhaps not so clean noses have done this before me?) but I do sit on the right side so I get to see all the scenery scroll by on the journey. 

I was stunned to witness the trees damaged by an ice storm by Hope BC.  I had seen articles on the news but it was still shocking to see the extent of the broken off branches for many miles alongside the highway.  Actually, I tried to get a few photos of that - my attempt at one is the bottom left image in the collage above ... but it turned out very blurry because the bus seemed to sort of "shimmy".  I chalked that up to me sitting in the middle of the bus and perhaps that's the way it is with it being a long vehicle.  

We continued on, shimmy shimmy down the highway, each mile drawing me closer to home.  Another funny thing is for a while whenever the bus turned a sharp right on the highway for quite some distance, the horn would go off.  Now I don't know if this was an intentional thing or not on the driver's part and I forgot to ask.  

On past Yellow Lake where despite the gloomy day there were several gatherings of folk ice fishing. 

Then we arrived in Penticton and our driver announced to us that the bus needed to be looked at by mechanics due to that "shimmy" which we'd felt - it was not "normal".  Hmmm.  We were asked to wait in the depot until they found out what the problem was and upon that we would then find out how Greyhound would see us to our final destinations.  In the end (and after a delay) we were informed we would be getting a taxi home.  Wow!  Thats an hour and a bit in a taxi.  

I commend our driver and Greyhound, they organized this very expediently and us six passengers were quickly bundled into two taxis and we set off for the last leg of our journey.  

And nicely rolling home when we had to be detoured for a bit due to an accident south of Okanagan Falls and north of Vaseaux Lake.  

But we eventually got to Osoyoos (home sweet home!!!)  I noticed the cab fare rang up to about $140... good thing I wasn't paying.  

My handsome husband was waiting for me with a bouquet of flowers and I just melted into a happy puddle.  And that was my exciting day.  

Do you remember a most unfortunate travel day too?  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 365 Photo of the Day - West Coast Bats

Like an injured or dying bat, I see discarded umbrellas everywhere here in Abbotsford.  They litter roadsides, abandoned with their skin stretched into contortions, often turned completely inside out.  

I wonder what possessed people to just toss them aside.  I just don't get it - especially when this usually occurs within a block of a trash can.  

I wonder there isn't a person who could roam the streets and rescue them.  

I've come to appreciate the value of a good umbrella.  They're definitely not made equal.  The deciding factors to a quality umbrella lies in better grade material, sturdier supports inside and a handle made out of fine calibre wood, metal or plastic.  If I purchase one in the future (its on my wish list) I will choose one that is compact so it can go anywhere with me.  It will be bright and bold.  It will be highly wind-resistant.  

Do you have an umbrella?  Do you prefer one which folds up easily or are you the sort who likes a full length one which can double as a weapon to bash intruders over the head? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Walk In The Park

Another such beautiful sunny day here in Abbotsford once again.  When the sun decides to shine it gets so pleasant (a balmy 9 degrees C) that I'm propelled outside.  

I'm definitely becoming familiar with the layout of this city.  Its all making sense in my head. Mom and I had coffee on one end of town and I wound my way back home, stopping for an extra hour of walking loop-de-loops at the local track.  It's a beautiful rubberized oval and it gets a lot of use.  There are always people out enjoying it and its a great way to stay in shape.  

Where do YOU walk, mostly?  Do you prefer walking a familiar route or mixing it up?

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