Sep 26, 2011

Contented Sighs...

I have yet to wipe the grin off of my face. This weekend in Calgary with the Great Canadian Scrapbook Carnival hosted by the fabulous team at Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine was simply amazing.  I marvel that I am a small part of such a team of dedicated, down-to-earth and fun loving people.  The commitment and details that go into putting a weekend event like this together would blow your mind and the fact that they are cheerfully and energetically done is even more special.

Some highlights for me:

1. The layout contest.  I LOVE seeing people's creations.  Love it.  There is so much heart involved with this craft, and it touches me every single time I look at someone's work.  And the generosity of scrapbookers warms my soul.  They share their work  and they raise money for local charities (the Children's Hospital in Calgary) with such joy.  Love it.

2. The classes. It is just so special to me to see people creating away with such pride and intensity.  The classes offered at the carnival were filled with so many techniques and lots of intensity and I love how people dive in, soak up information and make projects their own.  And I feel so proud when I watch the instructors at work.  I know the care and detail and passion they put into developing the classes for the carnival, and I love to see them in front of their students sharing, laughing and just being in the moment in their classrooms.

3. The trade show.  How can you not love having such an amazing collection of stores to shop from? But it is more than the goodies on display that I love.  I love the passion these vendors have for scrapbooking and the sense of playfulness they bring to the Carnival.  They are so willing to teach about different tools and products and love interacting with all of the people that come out.  The scrapbooking industry thrives and grows because of the store owners' dedication to the craft.

4. The Canadian Scrapbooker team.  Jackie and Katharina are amazing.  A-MA-ZING! Caring and honest, they draw equally amazing and talented people around them. There was a lot of work involved in putting the weekend together, but even more laughter and camaraderie shared while doing it. My hat is off to them for making it all happen with such style and joie de vivre!

And the very best part?  We get to do it again!!!!! Maybe my still sore cheeks will be recovered by Saturday for Edmonton's show.  Bring it on!!!!

Sep 17, 2011


A few posts ago, I showed you the September Sketch for Canadian Scrapbooker's new "It's a Sketchy Challenge", and now I have my finished creation to show you.  This layout will actually be a gift for the facilitator for the yoga retreat I went to at the end of August- a little something to thank her for her leadership.  It is a very straightforward interpretation, but the sketch fit my layout needs perfectly with the number of photos I wanted to use.

Supplies used: Basic Grey paper, stickers and brads; Making Memories, Maya Road and Prima flowers; Martha Stewart punch; Prism cardstock; Harmonie acrylic shape; Zva Creatives bling; Clearsnap and Ranger inks and mediums; American Crafts letters and journalling pen.

A little detail shot of that cute little acrylic butterfly!

Love my new punch!!  So fun!

So into a frame this will go, and then get sent off to Newfoundland:0)  

By the way, I had to google 'Namaste' to see what it actually means.  I already had it stuck down as the title when I got curious; I had a moment of panic where I feared it didn't mean what I hoped it meant.  I learned that 'Namaste' has many meanings, mostly as a respectful greeting or as a wish-you-well-goodbye.  But my favourite translation was 'the divine in me bows to the divine in you'.  I like that.


Sep 16, 2011

Halloween Planning...

Avery told me that she wants to be a 'Vampire Cheerleader' for Halloween this year. "Like Draculaura from Monster High?" asked I.

"Sort of," Avery replied.  "But not really Draculaura.  She looks really cool and everything, but I would have to faint every time someone said the word 'blood' like she does. I would just end up spending the day falling over and fainting!!!!"

Ah.  So the quest has begun to find pieces to make a vampire cheerleader outfit just like Draculaura's in every way but name...

Speaking of Halloween.  We ordered some meat from an online company (Gourmet Secrets. Groupon made me do it.). It came by UPS and was packed in a cooler with dry ice. "Cool," thought we!  We can save the dry ice and do something with it at Halloween. We packed it into a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer.  Where it promptly puffed up the ziplock bag to it's maximum and beyond.... who else but us would have a dry ice explosion in their freezer?

Happy Friday everyone:0)

Sep 14, 2011

It's a Sketchy Challenge!

Oh yeahhhhhh!!!!!!  Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine has introduced a sketch challenge!  The gallery will be up and running shortly (even people who hold websites together need to take a holiday now and then) so you can share your creation with everyone, and get inspired by everyone else.  The first sketch was created by Guest Designer Jill Sarginson and you have until the end of the month to send your layout to the online gallery.  Anybody, from anywhere in the world!  And even better, if you use product from at least one Canadian scrapbook manufacturer, your layout could be chosen for publication in the magazine.  See more details here on where to send your layout etc.

I know what I am doing today!  How about you?

And.... It's WHY NOT WIN WEDNESDAY!!!!!!  This week's prize has been sponsored by Karen Foster!  It's the line featured in the passport section of the Fall 2011 issue. To win, do this:
1. leave a note here (under the WNWW thread) and
2. leave a note on the Karen Foster Facebook pageThis prize package could be yours eh?!?!?!?!?!??

Sep 13, 2011

Sympathy Card

I took a little bit of time to play today.  I needed a sympathy card, and was at Cathie's earlier in the week.  She was playing around with Clearsnap's smooch inks and her ideas inspired this card!

This is a little something that will be taught in the "Technique Taster" class at the Great Canadian Scrapbook Carnivals in Calgary and Edmonton this fall. Super easy, super cute and kinda messy- just my style!

Supplies Used: Echo Park Paper, Bazzill cardstock, Clearsnap, Ranger and Close to My Heart Inks, Maya Road pin, waaaay old flower- Junkitz maybe?, Clearsnap Design Adhesives and Embossing powder, Harmonie Accent Powder, Close to My Heart stamp, Sizzix die.

A little angled look to see the shimmery happiness going on!

I am pretty happy with the results. Card came together quick, looks pretty good, and I already have more ideas stirring:0) Happiness created in under an hour- even better!  You should be able to see the pictures larger if you click on them.

Sep 8, 2011

Canadian Scrapbooker: Webisode #21

Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine posted a new webisode this week teaching how to make a cute curled flower- a perfect technique to ensure you have a coordinated, unique embellishment for your scrapbook page or project.

Go to the Canadian Scrapbooker website to watch this video, plus all the others filled with great tips, techniques and fun ideas!

Sep 6, 2011

Totally Cool Concept!!!!

I love to read.  Need to read.  Life is sometimes crazy for me, and I don't get to read as much as I would like but I at least have a MacLean's magazine on the go for a few minutes reading before bed.  I read pretty much any genre, any topic and love it when I find something new that intrigues me.  Which brings me to the 10th circle project.

Each of the 10 editions is written by different authors in turn, and it is only available for e-readers.  What a fun collaboration!

ETA: So, as it says in the comments, the three authors work collaboratively on each edition.  I stand corrected! However it works, Eileen Bell, Billie Milholland and Ryan McFadden have created something intriguing!

Sep 5, 2011

Climbing a mountain...

Several weeks ago (already!!!!) I went to Canmore for a yoga retreat hosted by a friend.  I posted about some of the goings on before but I still wanted to say a little about climbing the mountain.

It was on the itinerary- this hike.  I was fully aware that this would be happening.  Aware in the way that you know what the words mean.  Just not what they mean exactly.  On the itinerary was a note to dress in layers for the hike and be prepared for all weather.  Here I am without such said outdoor mountaineering layers, but I figured that I could just see what the weather was before we left, and dress accordingly.  No biggie, right?  We'll see how the logic born of my innocence comes back to haunt me!

Lunches and water bottles packed, weather checked and convoy arranged, we headed out to a trail somewhere near Spray Lakes.  The drive itself took us through some stunning scenery and we parked at one of many nondescript dip-to-the-side parking spots along the lake.  To the left was the lake- that special glacier blue that never fails to take my breath away!  To the right a mountain loomed overhead, covered with thick, impassable brush.  I took in the scenery and tried to discern where along the lake the trail would lead.  No matter where we went, the sights were guaranteed to be stunning!

Imagine my surprise when we were led across the road into what I had previously assessed as impassable brush and vegetation.  It was agreed that we would hike the first portion in silence, contemplatively.  Reverently too, I thought-  impossible not to in a place like this. Once we crossed the road, the trail became apparent and we were off!

The first 5 minutes or so were lovely.  All up, of course, but the trail was comfortable to walk on. We were surrounded by interesting sights and a deep silence that made me feel my smallness magnified.  Yet not in a daunting way; there was a strange power in that feeling.  I may be small, but I am here.  I may be small, but I make ripples in the world.  I may be small, but I am climbing this mountain.

After the first 5 minutes the trail got tougher and a dim realization started to filter through haze to conscious thought.  I am not climbing this mountain with normal people.  I am climbing this mountain with what could possibly be described as centaur-people cleverly disguised as normal people.  I recalled an earlier conversation where one of the members talked of her love of climbing mountain trails and how she made a bit of a competition with herself to make sure no one passed her on her hikes.  I began to struggle, and fell behind a bit.  Okay.  I realized I would have to take this at my own pace and not try to keep up with the centaur-people.  Nor did I want to spoil their enjoyment of the climb with worry for me.  A mental battle ensued amongst myself for awhile...  I trudged along, alternating between feelings of scorn for myself for not being able to hike up a mountain as quickly as the others and a determination to be forgiving of my self and my inexperience.

I am not sure how much longer we had been hiking, but at this point I was quite far behind and had been passed by a few other groups.  Maybe mere minutes, or quite possibly it was decades but I realized that I might not make it all the way to the top!  I sat down to rest.  And the inner dialog stopped.  I became aware of where I was.  I really started to take in the magnificence of this half-mounted mountain.  And a curious sense of peace settled over me along with the depth of the solitude there on the mountainside.  I started to 'get' why people were passionate about this sport.  I started to sense the great truths that live among those silent, solitary trees.

I sat and closed my eyes.  I listened to the call of birds in the distance, the gentle rustling of a breeze in the canopy, the lulling drone of insects going about their work.  I realized then and there that I might not make it to the top.  That I might not see the rest of my group until they were on their descent and in a weird twist had caught up to me!  And I realized that it did not matter one way or the other.  I would make it. Or I would not.  And the point was not that accomplishment or failure.  The point of climbing on this mountain was much higher than it's summit. The point was this feeling of peace.  This quiet acceptance of myself- as a person with strengths and weaknesses, gifts and deficits.  This understanding that this moment alone, separated from the group, was itself a gift as I would not otherwise have had the solitude to just 'be'.

The view from the first 'plateau'.  Our vehicles are by the lake!

The view from 'my' spot.  How can a mere picture capture the majesty?

A member of the humming chorus.

This is me- reunited with my group and acutely aware that I do not love climbing mountains.  I did realize, however, that I love being on mountains!

 In the end, I made it to the top. And it was wonderful.  But not as uplifting as that moment half-way to the top when I wrestled with myself and won.

The alpine meadow at the summit of our climb.  A sunny place for a meal and community.

One last note should you feel the need to find your spot of peace on a mountainside.  Wear layers.  In any weather.  You climb.  You sweat.  You turn a corner and are blasted with a chill mountain breeze.  You turn a corner and find yourself in a sheltered sunny meadow. You need layers- probably the expensive kinds with high tech fabrics.  Not jeans, tank top and hoodie.  And you might want better shoes than round-heeled shape-ups...

And one more last note.  My companions were not really centaurs- just regular humans with more mountain experience than I.

And a for real last note.  It hurts just as much to come down a mountain as it does to go up it.