Crafty Wednesday

I’ve made a few more cards for various events. I made a get well card for a young lady who broke her leg, one for a woman who just finished her university courses, and another for a wedding. All of these cards were made using a half sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock for the base, making the size of the cards 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″.

This is the first get-well card I’ve done. I don’t have a lot of stamps for that kind of card, but I just picked up a magazine (Simple Cards & Paper crafts) which included a cute rabbit stamp set and specialty papers. I liked the polka dot paper and the flowered paper, which were from the magazine. I attached peach-coloured ribbon to one side of the polka dot paper and used a glue runner to attach the paper to the pink card stock base. I used my 3 1/2″ scalloped circle punch to make the centre accent. The flower petals were from a box of wedding flowers I bought on sale. I placed the pale green on the bottom, then layered the yellow, peach and pink petals, securing them with a yellow brad through the centre and through the scalloped circle before gluing it onto the card. I used my 1 1/2″ scalloped oval punch to cut out the shape. I sponged the edges with Cherry Red ink. I heat-embossed the ‘for you’ greeting and attached it with a large pop-up square. Although the stamp set was garden-themed, the one rabbit was so cute I thought he would cheer up the patient. I used my Versa Mark sticky pad and black heat-emboss powder so the outline would stand out, then filled it in with my shiny paints. He was attached with pop-up squares.

Both the canvass-look paper and the plaid were also from the magazine. (I love getting free stuff like this!) The ‘Consider Yourself Hugged’ stamp is from a Close To My Heart set called Thoughtful Tidings and attached with a pop-up square. The magazine’s flower stamp and cherry red ink added a cheerful touch to the inside.

Here is the grad card. I started with purple card stock, embossed it using the Cuttlebug Polka Dot embossing folder. I then added some grad-themed paper that came from a Scrapbookers Calendar that my sister-in-law gave me a few years ago. I picked up the grad stamp from a bargain bin at Michael’s and the satin star ribbon came from a special deal at one of the craft weekends I went to in the past year.

I typed up the sentiment using MS Word. I used the 3 1/2″ scalloped circle punch to cut out the sentiment. I also used it for the background scallop, which I cut in half and taped it to the back. I used one of the stars from the satin ribbon strip for the top and there you have it!

For this wedding card, I started with a light blue card stock. The background paper is part of a lo-o-o-ong sheet of specialty note paper that contains a full rainbow, clouds and four unicorns. I cut off the other three unicorns and part of the rainbow so it measures 4″ x 5″ (approximately) and used a glue runner to attach it to the base. I typed out the sentiment and cut it out using a 2″ circle punch. The wedding couple is from an old Stampin’ Up wedding stamp set. I used my Versa Mark and black embossing powder, heated it up and cut around the image.

I cut another strip of the rainbow for the inside. I typed and printed the sentiment onto white card stock, then cut it out in a cloud pattern. I finished it off by using a silver marker to outline the edges and glued down both the rainbow strip and the sentiment.

Well, that about covers it for today.

So, what did YOU do on this ‘Hump Day’?

13 Reasons Why

While I was reading easyondeyes blog post yesterday about the book, The 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan Begat, I was reminded about another book, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I still get chills thinking about it.

The basic story revolves around a girl’s suicide and an audiotape she made just prior to taking her own life. She sends the tape to the first person on her 13-reasons-why list with instructions that they read it and pass it on to the next person until it reaches the last person. She tells them that she made copies, which she sent to someone else who would continue the process should one of the people on the list not pass it on. Her words on the tape are interspersed with the actions of one of the recipients of the tape and how it profoundly affects him. He never sees the other 12 people she talks about in the same way again and he seriously thinks about how he might have changed the outcome if he had only had the courage to do something sooner.

It is a powerful YA novel that really makes a person think about their actions and how they affect others. Thirteen Reasons Why details how 13 people impacted the girl’s life in such a profound way that she felt she had no choice but to end her anguish permanently. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you do, especially if you have teenagers or if you suspect someone you love is depressed. It might save a life.

What books have YOU read that had a powerful impact on you?

Busy Weekend

The weekend was a busy one. Friday was spent with friends. We played Canasta until after midnight. We girls were hoping to catch up to the men folk’s huge lead but, alas, that was not to be.

Saturday started out as an ordinary one with the usual chores around the house and yard. Then we went out for dinner with a couple of close friends who helped us celebrate our 33rd anniversary. We each had a wonderful meal at the KEG. It has become quite pricey, though, since the last time we were there. Then we went back to their place for coffee and ended up playing tug-of-war with their new puppy. He wore us out!

Sunday, I attended a shower to celebrate the birth of our newest grandniece. My daughter came along with her little guy. I’m afraid he may have upstaged the baby, though! He’s walking now and was being such a cutie – trying to help unwrap presents and playing with a balloon – while the baby slept for most of the afternoon.

The shower was 45 minutes out of town, longer if you consider I was coming from the opposite end of town, picked up daughter and grandson, then picked up my mother-in-law before heading out on the highway. It’s been a rainy, windy weekend, too, and very chilly, so driving wasn’t the greatest. I’m just glad I had good company! The grandson was laughing full tilt – that same kind of belly laugh as the boy in the video in my last post. So the weekend ended on a good note.

How did you spend YOUR weekend?

Beautiful Blogger, Lovely Blog

Earlier this week, The Other Watson at wantoncreation nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award and Rebecca from frifflethoughts (I love the name of her blog!) nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.

If J. Keller Ford had not already been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award, her blog would be on my list, too. Her blog is truly beautiful (it even has dragons!) and Jenny herself is a beautiful person. Click on her name if you want to see her responses to the award and two others that she richly deserves!

Both awards are very pretty and I want to thank them for thinking of me. There have been variations on the rules accompanying the acceptance of the awards. Some have just told 7 random thoughts or insights into their lives, others have discussed what they think is beautiful in the world, as well as the usual nominating other blogs they think fit the bill. I think I’ll try to combine the two – random thoughts about beauty.

1) The media displays society’s ideal of the perfect man (some buff, tanned, musclebound ‘hunk’) and the perfect woman (some anorexic supermodel who needs a ton of make-up to bring out her ‘inner beauty’). What about that ‘inner beauty’? Kindness, compassion, sensitivity, loving disposition, an ‘I’ll do anything for you’ attitude – these constitute a beautiful soul. It doesn’t matter what kind of package it comes in – tall or short, thin, muscular or wide, blonde, brunette, or redhead – it truly is what’s on the inside that counts the most!

2) A child’s laughter is such a beautiful thing. It reflects unfettered joy at life’s little adventures. Whether it’s discovering what’s hiding under the blanket or hearing a grown-up make funny noises for their amusement, their laughter is so contagious, one cannot help but smile at their giggles. Case in point:

3) The sight of a bird in flight against an azure sky is enough to carry my imagination soaring to new heights. I often wonder what it would be like to have the ability to fly wherever the wind carries me. I even dream about flying!

4) The plethora of colour in a perfect garden always reminds me of my grandmothers and my mother. All three women had marvelous green thumbs, unlike myself, who can barely keep a cactus alive – and they don’t need to be watered very often! My father’s mother had a huge yard and was what I always considered to be the perfect English Garden. It was her pride and joy. My mother’s mother had a significantly smaller yard but she tended it with the utmost care. What space she lacked in her yard, she made up for in houseplants. African violets on every window sill and flat surface in her two-story house, including the basement where she had set up a table with grow lights where she nourished the seedlings. My mother planted gardens at our house in the city and our cottage. When she passed away, the gardens went into disarray and made me sad to see them so empty.

5) Walking through a library or bookstore gives me the most wonderful feeling. I love to wander through the aisles, taking my time to read the book spines searching for the perfect book. The smell of the pages, especially a used bookstore, is like no other and no story on any e-reader available can match it.

6) Exploring new spaces and old is so much fun for me. I love to travel, but haven’t been able to do as much as I would like. I started local. You’ve probably heard me rattle on about Lower Fort Garry (a local site) and its history. I’ve visited many other historic sites around the city, which I absolutely adore. I’ve also been to the west coast of Canada, traveling cross-country several times and the beauty of the mountains never fails to amaze this prairie-born girl. The smell of salt air is so much different than the smell of the ‘inland sea’ where our cottage was situated. Taking a ferry across to Vancouver Island is always fun because you never know if you might see whales or seals crossing our path.

7) The joy I feel when I meet like-minded people is very intoxicating. Blogging has been such a wonderful experience because I’ve been able to meet so many interesting people from all over the globe, sharing a love of books & writing, music, the trials & joys of parenthood, and beautiful works of art, not to mention their unique views on the world and how it affects them. It amazes me that today’s technology is able to connect people like this!

There are many other things that I find beautiful, but these will have to do for now. Below is a list of beautiful bloggers and their blogs. They each deserve both awards, but they can choose which one they would like to accept. Please take the time to check them out. 🙂

tracikenworth has a lovely blog, with book reviews guest authors and all kinds of great stuff!

cbwentworth creates wonderful journal pages and her travel pictures a gorgeous!

My First Book enjoys showcasing other writers and has a lovely blog site.

Sky Diaries has a wonderful way of describing moments in her life in such a beautiful way. Her ability for imagery is astounding.

Diane’s Stories Site a beautiful lady with wonderful stories to tell.

greenpawpaw reviews books, movies and much more

Steve at steveweigenstein shares the beauty of the Ozarks.

Laurie at unavoidableawkwardness who shares her love of writing and gives us a taste of her musical favourites.

Essi Tolling who shares the beauty of the woodlands near his home

byroisinhealy who shares beauty tips as well as book & movie reviews and much more.

Rosh Rulez has a very pretty site and is a warm caring person, sharing her experiences in such an open manner.

There are many more I could name but it’s getting late and I really must totter off to bed.

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend! 🙂

Me at the Symposium


I found a couple of pictures of my co-panelist, Julie Burtinshaw, and me on the Manitoba Writer’s Guild’s FB page & thought I’d share it with you.

This was our panel on YA Fiction at the Symposium of Manitoba Writing that I spoke about a couple of weeks ago. The photo array of ladies above us showcases a few of our most prestigious Manitoba writerrs, including Nellie McClung and Margaret Laurence.

I love the wood details that were found throughout the Canadian Mennonite University. I took a few pictures of the architecture, myself:

 

 

I love the old part of the campus, which used to be the School for the Deaf which was built in 1921. To me, it looks like an old castle.

 

 

The inside has the feel of church.

 

 

The wood wainscoting is so elegant.

 

 

And there are surprising little features like these cherubic gargoyle-like stone carvings.

 

 

They are tucked into the sides of the doorway into the older part of the structure.

 

 

Nestled into several alcoves are these comfy little sitting areas with chairs that are perfect for curling up in with a good book. The natural light coming in the windows is wonderful!

 

Do you have interesting old buildings like this where you live?

Crafty Wednesday

While I was making an anniversary card for Hubby, I thought back a few years to our memorable 25th anniversary and thought I’d share some of those 8-year old memories with you. The pages were some of the first I scrap-booked so they’re not quite as pretty as others I’ve made since I took classes on how to make them more interesting. I’ll start with the card. I apologize if the photo quality is not as good as usual. My Mac doesn’t acknowledge the card reader we have for our  Rebel camera, so I use our old computer to process the pictures with Photoshop, then transfer them to a flash drive and input them to this computer. Well, as luck would have it, our old computer is a little fried. As a result, I used my movie camera which has the capacity to take stills, but they are only 5mp as opposed to 10mp with our other camera. I hope you’ll get the idea anyway.

First the card for our upcoming anniversary: The main part of the card is white card stock. The front was embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder (curly frame) Using a heart edging punch I created the top and bottom  of the purple card stock and stuck it onto the card base with double-sided sticky tape. I stamped the lacy pattern with cream-coloured ink and the Recollections clear lace stamp. The trumpet and pen from Stampin’ Up‘s Rue des Fleurs set were stamp embossed with the Versa Mark sticky stamp pad and black embossing powder on white card stock. I cut them out and used pop-up strips to secure them to the card. The sentiment was printed from MS Word and attached with a glue runner.

I used rectangles of woodgrain paper to back the corner photos and a brick-printed paper for the centre one which shows the head table.

For our 25th anniversary, my in-laws planned a great party for us. They knew we had plans to fly to Las Vegas for a few days, so they made sure we had a wonderful send-off. We expected just dinner with a couple of close friends like we do each year. I wasn’t expecting a whole room full of people! Hubby said he suspected something like that, but I was clueless (What else is new? lol) We all had a great dinner. Then there were the speeches, like at a wedding. Some were more like a roast, though! Finally, our niece, who sings in a band, gave us all a personal concert.

There were a few gifts, but mostly we got money in the cards. I kept track of how much we got from each person so when we were at the slots or tables in Vegas we would say, “Ok, this was from so-and-so. If we win big we’ll split it with them!” Unfortunately, we ended up losing it all, but sure had fun while it lasted! We were supposed to board the plane at 7 am. However, the flight we were supposed to take was stuck in Chicago due to a storm and wasn’t going anywhere. We were booked on a later flight, leaving at 2 pm, the time when we should have been arriving. To top it all off, we had a 6-hour lay-over in Denver – not long enough to go explore the city, just the airport. By the time we got into Vegas, got our bags, went through Customs, picked up our rental car and arrived at the hotel, it was midnight! We’d completely missed our whole first day. 😦

Hubby couldn’t sleep, so went down to the casino and played a few hands of Black Jack before coming to bed. Despite that, we were up early, enjoying the hotel’s buffet breakfast. We stayed at Circus Circus. We explored the nearby hotels that first day and went to see La Folies Bergere in the evening. It was a little risque but Hubby was entranced!

 

 

 

 

The next day we went to the main event – the main reason we went to Vegas in the first place – to see Star Trek The Experience. Back then, it was being held at the Hilton Hotel. When we stepped out to the main street, we could see the hotel. It’s only a block, we thought., so we started walking. For those of you who don’t know this, a Las Vegas block is not like an ordinary city block. It’s about 10 times longer! Hubby could barely walk by the time we got there! (He broke both ankles 30 years ago & now has severe osteoarthritis, which is very painful) We had some time before the first show started so played the slot machines for awhile. I did pretty well on just one quarter, but eventually lost.

The Star Trek Experience began with an interesting Museum chronicling the ‘history’ of the Star Trek Universe. There were models overhead of the Enterprise ships, Voyager and Deep Space Nine. Costumes from all the series, technological devices (tri-quarters, communicators, etc) were displayed along the walls. I even got to meet a ‘real live’ Klingon! We had our pictures taken and at the end of it all, we were able to choose which ‘crew’ we wanted to ‘join’.

I chose the crew from Enterprise.

Hubby became a Borg. Can you spot him here?

 

 

We boarded a ‘shuttle craft’ and wound our way through a space battle that felt so real! Later, we were almost assimilated! All-in-all it was loads of fun!

What adventures have YOU had?

May the Tweets be with you!

Hello, everyone! Hope all my Canadian friends & family are enjoying this extraordinary Victoria Day! It’s 20 degrees Celsius, here, with full sun – the perfect spring day! Better yet, it’s a HOLIDAY! 🙂

Well, I finally took the plunge and joined up with Twitter. I’ve been told it’s a great way to keep track of other writers, new books on the market, and what’s going on in the world of publishing. Oh, yeah, and it’s a great way to get noticed by other like-minded folks. I kind of thought that’s what blogging would do for me, but as yet I haven’t actually linked up with any kids who have read my books or would be interested in them. Not that all of you haven’t been great. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with so many wonderful talented people. 🙂

With the lack of marketing being provided by publishers, these days, we writers have to do as much as we can to reach our target markets. I was talking with my editor earlier this week and she was praising the benefits of Twitter. Since I value her opinion, I tried it. I’ve noticed that a lot of you bloggers have Twitter buttons on your pages and I have pressed the follow buttons so I can enjoy your wisdom in other ways, too. 🙂

I’d appreciate any advice you can give me regarding this new (to me) social media.

Since you started with Twitter, what advantages have you found about it? Any pitfalls I should try to avoid?

The reveal

Thanks to everyone who played the Love of Reading game. The quote I left at Jenny Keller Ford‘s site and my own post is from Brenda Hasiuk’s novel Where the Rocks Say Your Name from Thistledown Press. According to the publisher’s blurb :

Brenda Hasiuk’s debut novel details eight weeks in the lives of four teens in a hardcore mining town in northern Canada. Ally and Toby, life-long locals, Rina, a Sarajevo refugee, and Adam, the returning urban native warrior get lost in each others’ individual and collective mythologies as they find love, friendship, violence and tragedy in one long, last summer. Unflinchingly honest, and disturbingly poignant, this story captures the displacement of “northerners”, the struggle for identity, and the restlessness of teens in isolated communities. In a place that makes them feel lonely, they try never to be alone; and in lives confounded by rituals and restraints, their search for meaning is illusive. It was Nominated for the 2007 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award; the Eileen MacTavish Sykes Award; and the Margaret Lawrence Award for Fiction.

Where the Rocks Say Your Name

Brenda Hasiuk’s award-winning short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, Prism International, and The New Quarterly. In addition, her work has been published in the anthologies Up All Night (Thistledown, 2001) and Kobzar’s Children: A Century of Untold Ukrianian Stories (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005).

I haven’t had the chance to read her novel yet, but it’s been sitting on my side table since I picked it up at a book-signing I did with her a few months ago. When I finish reading it, I will post a review. It sounds like an interesting story.

The quote I left at wantoncreation‘s site was this: “As his thoughts came back under control, he could feel entirely new bouts of shock and hysterics about to erupt.”

It was from Nathan Town’s YA novel The Oldest Game In Town. The book’s back blurb reads:

The Oldest Game of All

Eternal and mystic forces have dueled over the millennia, pitting their champions against one another. Now, after so many thousands of years, their conflict comes to a turbulent and explosive end in the most unlikely of places… Unfortunately, Douglas Bower’s parents have left him with a number of responsibilities, and he simply doesn’t have the time for unexplained events, strange murderous visitors, gun-toting zombies, horrifying monsters, or the Fate of All Things. Snuck from the pages of Town’s previous novel Ned Stapleton and the Wrath of the Death Gods, The Oldest Game of All is a roller-coaster fantasy adventure for all ages. Occasionally frightening, and often humorous, this fast-paced story is easily appropriate for young teens and exciting enough for older readers.

I quite enjoyed the adventure. Nathan is from Brandon, Manitoba and many settings in the book reference real places. It always tickles my fancy when I can recognize places in a story I’m reading. Even if you don’t know the town, it’s still an enjoyable read.

For those who quoted in my comments and would like to reveal the sources, please feel free to do so. I’m sure the other readers are interested in the books you’ve kept handy. Again, thanks to all who played our game! 🙂

For The Love of Reading

I was just over at Jenny Kellerford’s blog where earlier this week she had posted a fun game – For The Love of Reading. Basically, it was to honour that love of reading (and learning). What you need to do is:

* Grab the book nearest to you. Not your favourite. Not the one you think is most intriguing. The closest one to you.

* Open it to page 60.

* FInd the 6th sentence.

* Post your sentence in the Comments box here. To make it more interesting, please don’t tell us the name of the book. Let’s see how many people can guess it.

Also, if you want to keep this going on your own blog, that’s cool, just make sure you link it back to her blog post (above) and mine, too. I’d love to read what others have found!

 

My quote is this: “She was nothing like the needy teenagers who’d crawl in and out of his bed, nothing like the earnest teachers he’d known at school.”

If you’re interested in finding out the book title and author, I’ll try to remember to post it tomorrow.

Now, it’s your turn!

Crafty Wednesday

I thought I’d take a break from all the Symposium stuff to show you what I did this morning. I made a card for my newest grand-niece. Since it’s the only crafty project I’ve done in awhile, I wanted to take you through the creative process – from choosing the paper, the stamps, the punches and the embellishments.

Since the card is for a baby girl, I considered the colours I would use. Pink was a definite for the main part of the card, but what went with it? I considered the polka dot pattern, then added blue for contrast. I cut out some samples of each paper to decide which combination of colours would work best together with the stamped words. Using my 3″ scalloped circle punch, my 2-1/2″ scalloped circle punch and my 2″ circle punch I cut out some of each colour and put them together. I’ll show you what I came up with in a minute.

Also, in this picture you will notice the ‘Word Play’ stamp sets. I thought the ‘So worth the wait’ stamp would be the best sentiment for inside the card.

Next, I had to decide on a design. I have two Recollections stamp sets that would be appropriate, one with animals, the other more for baby showers, although some of the phrases could be used. Since there is a turtle theme to the baby’s room, I chose that and the ‘It’s a Girl’ stamp from the other set. I also chose ‘Congratulations’ from Stampin’ Up’s wedding stamp set so that the front of the card will say ‘Congratulations. It’s a Girl!’

So, what other types of embellishments should I use? Ribbon? Let’s see what we’ve got that might look nice on a baby card…

What do you think of the wide pink polka dot ribbon on the right-hand side? The dots will go well with the theme, I think. Maybe I’ll also look in my box of silk wedding flowers, put a few pastel petals together with a pink brad. Now that I have a good idea of what I will use, I’ll put them all together. The sentiments were stamped using the Versa Mark sticky pad and black embossing powder to make the words stand out nicely.

For the main part of the card, I cut my 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheet of pink card stock in half, then folded the card so it was in a landscape orientation (4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ ). I cut out a rectangle in blue that was 3-1/4″ x 5″, then used a curved corner punch to round out the corners of both the card and the blue rectangle. I wrapped a 5-1//2″ piece of ribbon around one side of the blue rectangle attaching it on the back with two-sided sticky tape. About 2/3 of the way up the ribbon, I fastened the flower, just through the ribbon and the blue paper. Then I fastened the blue rectangle onto the front of the pink card. I used pop-up squares to fasten the scalloped polka-dot circle, then fastened the smaller pink scalloped circle in the centre of that using a glue runner. I attached the blue circle into the middle of the pink one using a glue runner and finally attached the sentiments.

On the inside, I placed a 2-1/2″ blue scalloped circle off-centre to the right and added the sentiment. Beside it, added a turtle. I stamped and embossed the turtle on some designer paper I had that was various shades of green, which reminded me of a tortoise shell. So, there you have it. A bit of insight into what goes through my head when planning to make my cards.

Is that pretty much how other scrapbookers do it, I wonder, or do they follow patterns set out by someone else? WHat do you think?