As a courtesy to me and the universe, please speak to me before you copy or transcribe anything from this blog for profit- my work may be unpublished but it is of value to me, and if you are using my ideas to profit, hey, I want my cut of it!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Adieu to Summer

As much as I am denying it, summer is over. It has been over for a couple of weeks now. Here it has, anyways. It is Sunday afternoon. Really, it's early evening but in my true denying nature, I claim it is afternoon.... The leaves are starting to fall from the giant elms outside my house, shedding its lovely canopy of leaves that has given my street a cathedral feel for the past four months. Pretty soon, I will be awash in the leaves and you will hear me whine about the bags nd bags that line the back lane, waiting for pickup on refuse days.

Last night, there was a frost warning and I was out, frantically picking apples off my tree, wondering what I would do with the 40 or so organic apples I had picked. I can only eat an apple or two at the most each day. I am not a baker- last year I attempted an apple crumble but the crumble rotted in the fridge for weeks.

The inevitable coming of winer. I dread the thought of the cold. Partially because I keep my place so cold. But also because the dark is painful for me. I already miss the early morning sunrises and find it hard to rise each morning, despite heading to bed earlier and earlier each night.Coming from a place of equal sunlight and darkness, I have always been fascinated by the movement of the sun. Because I have been so cold the past few days (the heat hasn't yet kicked on since late spring and I leave my thermostat at 15oC), I stood in my mudroom window today at noon, basking in the bright sunlight and its warmth. It felt so good to feel the radiation on my skin- and so I dragged the book I had been reading out and sat on the deck in the sun. I felt like a lizard, soaking up all that energy as I rediscovered my love for reading again. I have always been a voracious reader but had fallen on dry spell. The library donation centre called up, worrying why I hadn't been feeding their coffers with the numerous fines I usually rack up because I sign out so many books at once and when I forget them, they benefit. There is this new wing they want to build, you see.... Anyways, Bryce Courtenay has a new book out called "Whitethorn" and I was thoroughly engrossed in the book. It has to be one of the most pleasurable ways to spend the afternoon, reading a good book in the afternoon warmth of an autumn day, the smell of tea eggs gently bubbling away in the kitchen.

Yes, I decided I was making tea eggs again. It's really easy, right? You boil up some eggs. When they are done, you gently crack the shell and slip them back into the boiling water, this time the water has some light and dark soy sauce, salt, a few peppercorns, a star anise and a tea bag. Turn it down low and let it simmer for as long as you can- at least an hour, longer if possible.

Stamping has been on the backburner for a awhile now, although I did have an open house yesterday.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Last minute swaps

So, its down to the wire and I am finishing up my last minute swaps. I went to Innisfail yesterday to take part in a stamping get together, hosted by Robin, a friend from Innisfail. She has been putting on these getogethers for at least six months before Peggy and I did our big Edmonton Extravaganza in May this year. It was pretty amazing- there is so much raw talent there and I learned so much from just the one day. Wish I could have gone today as well- but I have so much to do before I go. Anyways, without much ado, here are some of the cards I've made.

My rolling monkey card is one of my personal favourites. The monkey is from "Zoofari", one of the new Stampin'Up! sets. I coloured them with reinkers and my Aquapainter. The background is Paisley Bkg stamped in River rock ink on sahara sand paper. the sentiment is embossed. I like the stitching but I am not font of piercing so I don't see myself repeating this for a lot of the swaps.

This cute giraffe is from the Bundles of Joy set. I coloured her in with reinkers and the aquapainter (can you say Diane discovers watercolour painting with the aquapainter?). The paper is groovy guava- I've recently discovered how much I really like this colour. It is one of the new "in" colours- ie they will only sell this colour for one year, then they retire it. The background stamp is a polka dot bkg, also a new set from Stampin' Up!. The brown is chocolate chip paper.

The next card is using the same groovy guava. I love this new combination!!The stamp is from a card kit called " Simple Delights". It has some lovely and classic stamps but I've had a hard time coming up with designs using this kit.
I broke out the new chocolate chip taffeta ribbon with this card. The taffeta ribbon is growing on me. I am going to miss the narrow choc chip grosgrain ribbon they retired. Instead, they have a wider choc chip ribbon, which I hear is the same colour as the old stuff. I had a look at the rest of the taffeta ribbon- they are very, very nice, especially the green ribbon.

Finally, I also have the giraffe, making a reprise in cameo coral colour. The sentiment is embossed . I used white pigment ink and white embossing powder to get good coverage on the words.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

More stamping stuff

I have been busy getting ready for Convention. Lots of things I signed up for aand now its a frantic scramble to finish off my projects. Also, I promised my friend Jen I'd make her baby announcements so-been working on those too.

Card #1 is the version I made for Jen. Its a variation on my previous elephant card. canged up the colours. Bkg cardstock is barely banana. I paired it up with old olive. Used a corn stamp to make the background and coloued in with stickles.
Elephant is gamsoled.

Card#2 is my Wow! Shaker card for convention. The stamp set is a new set from the Stampin'Up! catalogue called Punch Pals. The penguin is watercolored and embossed with Iridescent Ice EP. This was a really fiddly card- cannot see myself making lots of them for anyone. But it is a very cute card. I went punch crazy on this one- used the small and regular tag punch, as well as the word window punch and the ticket corner punch. Paper used- real red, black and whisper white cs.

Card#3 is one I made for floor swaps. I am on a masculine kick lately. I like the clean lines of this card. I used River Rock cs (yaay! It's one of the new In Colours for 07/08 and I *love* it very much). It has a slight olive underone and is a chameleon as it looks different with different colours. Since I didn't have River rock ink, I used Sahara Sand ink on it and it works- the background is stamped with flannel bkg (also Stampin'Up!, of course!). The base is chocolate chip and the giraffe is a stamp from a newish set, called Bundle of Joy. I used reinkers and an aquapainter pen to watercolour the image. It's easy peasy watercolouring.I matted the giraffe with close to cocoa and the sentiment "sweet little one" is embossed.

Card# 4 is an ATC. Hero Arts Dill which I used my watercolour wonder crayons (also Stampin'Up!)--- love this very much!!.... bkg is an unmounted stamp I got from Catslife Press (Dictionary Diamonds) which I stamped in blush blossom ink. The watercolour wonder crayons work best on solid image stamps. I took my aquapainter filled with water, ran it over the stamp and then used the individual crayons to "colour" or scribble over the moist surface of the stamp. It really gives a watercolour feel to the image.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More stamping stuff

I have really been neglectful at posting my creations. Call it laziness. Call it lack of inspiration. Call it whatever you want. I am trying to motivate myself to get creating some cards as I need to design and complete them for Convention. Yesiree, it is the female version of the Star Trek Convention- it is the Dream Big Stampin'Up! Convention in Denver at the end of July. A bunch of grown women getting really excited about rubber stamps. Hey, don't knock it until you try it.

There are a lot worse things to be addicted to- like crack. Or so I tell myself. But just like crack, the purveyors of all things crafty, are always reinventing the product so its bigger and better- the goal being to SELL more of their crafty stuff. Newer is always better. I have managed to not succumb to getting a new TV but new punches, well, an addicted gal has just gotta have 'em!

Anyways, I'll get off my soapbox and post some things I worked on in the past and some new things I've done.

First off- more inchies. The butterflies are one I created some months ago. I alluded to them in my previous post. The pears, too are ancient. I punched out the pears, used some chalks to give them colour and added some dimensional magic to it to give it a gloss and shine.

finally came up with a cool idea for my asian inchies. I used some scraps I got off a friend, so it was a bonus. She had brayered the Pumpkin Patch Spectrum pad and inked them on glossy cardstock. I love the gradation of colours from the Spectrum pad. It melds so well. I inked some chinese calligraphy in bronze(SU, od course, retired) stamped the buddha head over (same set, Ancient Asia), with the word "spirit" on it. This was done using Versafine Sepia(my new favourite ink!!)

The newest card I worked on is a baby announcement card. My friend Jen just had her baby- a little girl named Avani Marley. I promised her I'd make her some announcements. I love the new animals set from Hero Arts. I am also very sad that Stampin' Up! is retiring one of the best colours they've had- Cool Caribbean. Its such a fantastic, happy blue. The base is cool caribbean. I also paired it up with "Only orange"- I inked a reverse polka dot stamp from the "Petals and Dots" set ( SU Spring Mini) and punched out circles. The orange strip in the back also has some large dots in orange (stamped using a retired corn cob from the Vegetable Garden set, but can be recreated using small bubblewrap) and although you likely cannot see it, the dots on the orange strip also has some Orange Peel Stickles glitter glue on some of the dots for added bling. Ribbon is SU black grosgrain. The elephant is gamsoled. In other words, I used grey and pink coloured pencils to shade in the colour, then went over the image with a stump and some odourless mineral spirits to blend in the colours. I am doing a variation of this card for one of the numerous swaps I am partaking in at Convention.

The Christmas Card is also another card I am working on for Convention. The sets are mostly new- Baroque Motifs, Hugs and Wishes and an oldie lace stamp from Trimtastic (All Stampin'Up!)Paper used: Always Artichoke, Soft Sky, Read Red and Black. Inks: Versamark (for embossing), Real Red, Sahara Sand and Pigment white.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Inchies Galore

Some of you may be wondering what the heck are inchies..... it 's a miniature piece of art- a smaller form of an ATC (artist trading card, for those of you green to the world of papercrafting). Inchies are exactly what they sound like- it's whatever you can get onto a one inch by one inch piece of paper. Apparently its the newest craze in the UK. I stumbled upon the inchie earlier this year. I was intrigued by the thought of trying to get works of art onto such a small area. I mean, any idiot can slap on stamps and layers of paper together- but try doing it on a limited space! Also, what appealed to me was the fact I could use up all my smaller scraps on the inchie- a scrap scavengers dream! And I've always been fascinated by things that are small and cute.... so I got into this inchie swap hosted by Caroline (Aunt Sally on SCS). My submissions were: a japanese washi paper punched butterfly (with metal feelers) on a black and gold printed bkg and a punched pear that was chalked and coated in diamond glaze on a coral background. I waited and waited for my inchies to get back to me but they got lost in the mail. Talk about heartbroken! I did manage to see some of the inchies the others had made because they posted them but I didn't get to see all of them.

So, subconciously, I 'forgot' that I had signed up for round two of inchie madness. I finally checked what I had agreed to do and to my horror- I had signed up for four different kinds of inchies- stamped, black and white, asian and vintage! Arrgghh!! And they are due June 9th in the UK too! For those of you who are going "huh?". I joined a swap. I agree to make 10 inchies for each swap I join and typically, they are she same item. I send them to the swap hostess, along with lots of other people. the swap hostess collects all the swaps and trades them out. I get back 9 different inchies plus one of my own. So, I'd committed to making 40 inchies and they should have been in the mail last week!

So I got busy last night. For the stamped inchie, I stamped the edges on a fern to look like seaweeds. I also stamped a crab and coloured it using gamsol and punched it out. I diamond glazed the body of the crab, and edged the punch circle in lime green pastel chalk. On the inche, I stamped "surprise!" over the seaweed and popped the crab on a dimensional to make it pop up, I was laughing the whole time I made the inchies as this gave me a brilliant idea for a wicked cheeky card when I get my Crab and Co stamps from Stampin' Up! next week.I'll post it when I do make it.

For the vintage inchie, I am not sure I understand vintage correctly so I hope they will forgive me for it if it is wrong. I stamped the word "sacred" on it and underneath it, I stamped an image of an artichoke. I coloured the artichoke in with shimmer green radiant pearls (green fandango) and then added Tim Holtz crackle effects over that so the artichoke is aged and crackled.

For the black and white inchie, I chose to stamp in black, on white, an image of a northwest coast indian image of the sun. I am going to overlay a transparency with the word "grand father" on the image. The white image is matted in black.

I am still drawing a black for the asian inchie. I will work on it tonight. Caroline, if you are reading this, the inchies are coming!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The perfect summer day

It was the perfect summer day yesterday. Weatherwise, it was 24oC. There was a slight breeze to cool things off. The neighbour's bunnies were lazily hopping around in their overgrown yard. Bits of dandelion fluff and poplar cotton were swirling gently about in the sunlight filtering through the crabapple trees pouring over the fence. Crabapple blossoms were flittering down from the branches, and little chicadees and red breasted robins were pecking away at real or imaginary worms in the dirt.

I had returned home from work and had decided it was time to put some plants in the ground. The earth greedily absorbed the moisture I was pouring on them, and my coral bells and forget-me-nots were perking up from this. The Veronica and delphiniums are starting to look like what they should. My blue poppy plant had survived the winter and it looks like I will have a small blue poppy this year. My tulips are almost done- the pink and white ones are open beyond their normal bounds and the only tulips that are still at their peak are the late flowering little pink ones that were planted in the shade of the deck.

As I worked the shovel into the dirt to make way for the the new plants I got, for that one infinitesimal moment in time, it is as if time slowed down, and the mosquitoes stopped biting, and the heat didn't matter, and the snow-in-the-mountain runners I had been battling for two years stopped bothering me and everything was perfect , and I almost felt contentment.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

War of the dandelions

I woke up this morning to the horror that is my so-called garden. I mowed the lawn last week and to my dismay, it had all grown back, and then some. I should really say I mowed the weeds last week as that is what it is. It was a sea of yellow. It would almost looks pretty if I didn't know what torturous roots and seedlings that have taken hold in my very own backyard. It's the revenge of the dandelions!! Now, remembering my discussion with my neighbours about making dandelion wine (hey, if life gives you dandelions, make dandelion wine!), I proceeded to dutifully collect some flower heads. I had plucked maybe about 20 flowers and had not even made a dent in my yard, when I figured that I could probably make it. At first, I was sceptical as I needed an ice cream bucket full of flowers for the wine. But when I realised I had to pluck off all the sepals and any green parts, it became clear to me this was going to be a nightmarish task. I tried, instead to see if I could eat dandelion greens-and chewed on some fresh and tender green leaves- it was nasty bitter and I promptly spat it out. So, instead, peered over the fence and the neighbours were there so I invited them to help me make dandelion wine (it's called redistribution of work) but they were not that interested. So- intead, I hauled out the lawn mower and mowed them all down. The yard looks fabulous now- only because I've cut all the dandelions down- but I am sure by next week- it will start looking jungly again out there.

In honour of the dandelion massacre, I made the card below. Okay so I havn't yet made the card. But imagine a card with the yellow of dandelions and the green of dandelion leaves. A little black sentiment and some ribbon, perhaps my favourite black gingham....

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Stamping Melee

So, I finally got stamping over the last little while. This card was inspired by a picture someone had taken of the picture boards from the recent Stampin'Up! cruise. I had done some square purses using my square punch. This is using the round tab punch. This is going to be for a birthday card for my friend Candace, who turns 31 (I think).
All Stampin'Up supplies unless noted.
Paper: Barely banana (or so saffron), old olive, basic black and non SU shimmery white.
Inks: Dewdrop Versafine Chalk Pastels(TeaLeaves), Versamark, Black Embossing Powder
Stamps: Happy Everything, Snow flurries
Accessories-silver cord, black and antique brads, micro hole punch, round tab punch, dimensionals.

Next card is one I completed for my monthly Swap Club. The challenge was to use a media apart from inks. I chose to watercolour. I borrowed this set from my friendPeggy about a month ago and am still sitting on it. I figured I should use it at least, to justify the loan.
Paper: Vintage violet, old olive, non SU (shhh!) shimmery white.
Inks: Versamark, Platinum EP, olive, violet, blush blossom, close to cocoa, choc chip, cranberry, black.
Stamps: Cowboy Kid
Accessories: Aquapainter, metallix pens (gold, blue and red for the star, the kerchief and muzzle on horse), antique brad, slit punch.
The next card is one I made for my sister, who is travelling for the next six weeks. I love the doggy Patch. Patch is from A Muse Art Stamps. He is stamped with Versamark and embossed with black EP. I stamped patch on the non-SU shimmery paper (yes, I love it- it has silver shimmer and I ordered lots off it off a papershare I found.) I also used my Marvy mega square scallop punch to make the black frame for Patch. Organdy polka dot ribbon is from Michaels, as is the Hearts embossed red cardstock paper.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I logged on to work this morning and the default screen is our work intranet. Usually it's filled with announcements and news tidbits relevant to our place of work. So, one of my coworkers is trying to raise funds for a diabetes marathon in Spain next year. Good for her, I thought- and I clicked on it to see what she had to say. So- she needs to raise close to 6500 dollars and she is starting a fundraising campaign. This is how she is going to do it- she will sell chocolates, pies, cookies and Mundare sausages/burgers to raise the money. I commend her for what she is doing but does *anyone* not see the irony in all of this? It's like the Kidney Foundation selling salted peanuts to raise funds. I suppose one would try and raise money any way that works. But there are other non food related ways- like raffles of quilts, or other items. Or get corporate sponsors. Maybe its really not my place to say anything- however, I *am* expressing my own opinion.

What is Mundare sausages, you may ask? It's sausage from a little town East of Edmonton. It's really quite famous- and they make all kinds of processed sausages (its actually run by a Ukrainian family called Stawnichy-and its a smoked pork garlic sausage, which is quite lean comapred to similar products. It has become a Christmas tradition that I buy friends the sausage for Christmas.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The pressure's on

It started with a simple comment- get on with the blogging- alright, you anonymous visitor, you- *do* at least let me know *which* naggy friend you are. I was complaining to my sister that I was feeling rantless and uninspired about blogging. I really didn't feel like I wanted to say anything. The weather has been improving significantly and everything is starting to get green here. Of course, my whole take on blogging is I must have something worthwhile to say-or else why say it at all.
So, I was hunting through my hard drive for some pictures and I stumbled upon a little piece of writing that I did. I am not a writer, but sometimes, when I am motivated or effected enough, I sit down and write.

This piece is called "Double Wok Cooking".I wrote it in April, 2004

I had just returned from Easter holidays from my mum’s. What precipitated this journal entry is the reception that I got from mum. Some background- I have always helped mum in the kitchen. From as young as I remembered- she always got me to prepare the evening meal for her. I was her sous chef extraordinaire. I chopped and pounded. I hated pounding. My eyes watered and I cried as the pungent fumes from those shallots and garlic and even chilli assaulted my eyes.” Mum, is this enough? “ I would ask- hoping that it was. Invariably, mum would say- no- just a little bit more. And I tried everything to shield myself form the fumes- I had a potcover I used as a shield- I remember its black phenolic knob- dull with years of use- the curved dome of the battered aluminium cover.
I remember the ridges on the cover, where dirt and grease from previous cooking sessions had gathered in the grooves as I insistently and reluctantly pounded away at the mixture. Sometimes I would be treated to splashes of onion juice- especially when the shallots were extra juicy. As I grew older, I used to rebel against this dreaded chore. I always harangued mum about using the blender, instead- why can’t you use your blender- its much easier, mum. The onions will dull the blade- and the plastic would absorb the flavour and the next time you want to blend something nice you’d get the flavour onions tinging whatever juice you were concocting. I remember the triumphant time I returned home from my friend Carol’s place- mum, mum- Carol’s mother uses the blender--they take the pungency out by blending salt and water at the end of the session. Can’t we try that? Mum never let up and gave in. I could not understand why she was so reluctant to use the appliances that made things so much easier.

When I moved out, I bought a little chopper to do my rempah (spice mix). No more chopping and pounding for me. Whrrrrr- whrrr-whrrrrr went the chopper and my onions and garlic and ginger- the holy trinity of Malaysian cooking- was nicely minced up finely. My cooking, although praised by all my friends, never tasted like mums. Mum’s was the holy grail- it was what we (my darling sister and I) strived for. There was a metallic taste. I’d cook something for hours to get around the metallic taste. No matter what I did- it was never the same. It irked and annoyed me to no end. I was always trying something new- and mum would always have some sort of comment for me and it would annoy me since she never tried making a new dish and there she was, offering me suggestions on something she knew nothing about. I was stubbornly relentless about her suggestions. I had all these gadgets to help me cook-and in my mind- it was never good enough- because it’s not like hers.

But then, I moved away. I really missed mum’s cooking. And this leads me back to the story. I returned home and she had cooked some Kuey Teow (pan fried broad rice noodles) for me. It was Good Friday so it was no meat day. The kuey teow was delicious. Its simplicity- the mix of flavours the salt and freshly ground pepper- it was perfect. I was amazed that my mother created this magical dish out of so little- noodles, some chilli paste, garlic, chives, egg. I asked her how she made it. In her own style, she proceeded to tell me. Mum, when she is relaying recipes, was bound to leave something out. So the next day, she showed me. By then, it was Saturday-we dragged out the lap cheong and I had picked up some shrimp and so today’s was going to be even more delicious. The kuey teow had to be nuked for 120 seconds to soften it. Then they had to be “peeled” to separate the sheets of noodles. I chopped the chives. I cut the lap cheong diagonally. I chopped the garlic. She pulled out two eggs. She was using her crappy frypan- once long ago, it was non-stick, but the Xylan or Teflon coating has since worn off.

“Mum, why don’t you use the non stick pan I got you?-Oh, I don’t want it to lose its non-stickyness.

Arrgghh!! Mum- I’ll get you a new pan…. "Don’t worry, I already started", she said. In went the garlic- it sizzled gently as she didn’t believe in turning the stove on to full/ high heat. The fear was it would heat up and explode.

“ But mum, the man always had it on high heat…” This “man” we keep referring to is the man who sold char kuey teow daily. The infamous “man” is a hawker who perfected the art of one dish and one dish alone. He would have a charcoal or a gas stove and I remember the coals being red hot and the pan sizzling. Mum didn’t budge- and in went the garlic. In went in the noodles-“wait, wait, I didn’t finish peeling it.” Mum with her asbestos fingers kept peeling the kueh teow in the pan. In went in the chilli paste. She started another pan- her little sauté pan to lightly toast/brown the lap cheong (chinese sausage). Mum, I don’t understand why you are cooking with two pans. “Couldn’t you have tossed the lap cheong first, then add the garlic- that way the flavour to the garlic?” She ignored me. In went the soy sauce and some salt, dark sauce. She was turning the noodles in the pan. She sprinkled some water in. Some sugar went in too. She deftly transferred the lap cheong to the pan and cracked an egg into the sauté pan. I was about to ask- and she explains- if you add egg to the noodles, it would drop the temperature and the egg won’t cook. And as you turn the noodles, the egg would coat the noodles and you won’t see the big chunky pieces like the “man’s”." But mum, the man adds the egg to the pan” “But the man has a better stove and control of his fire” she says. The egg was half cooked when she tossed it into the main fry pan. She carelessly broke the egg as she turned the noodles. In went the taugeh(bean sprouts) and the chives. The prawns got the same treatment as the eggs- her rationale was a drop in the temp as you add more food to the pan. Then she pulls out her batu tumbuk, her granite mortar and pestle, and gives in a few pounds. There were peppercorns in there and she carefully took some pounded pepper out and tossed it into the pan. The peppercorns, I toasted to release the aromatic fragrance, she explains. The shrimps go in last and the dish was ready. It was divine. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also sat down to write the recipe out.

When I got back home, I was determined to repeat the dish. I had everything on hand, and then some. I followed it to the “T” and much to my dismay- it did not taste like hers. There was this hollow taste in it- something was definitely missing. Arrggghhh!

I repeated it the second time- this time, I made sure I had some prawn stock- mum’s trade secret. She usually sets aside the shells of peeled prawns to make a stock. The dish tasted better- but it still was not like mums. I even tried the double wok method, cooking in two places so it would taste like hers.

I’ve thought lots about this- and the conclusion I can come to is that the missing ingredient is love. Mum, when she prepares food, demonstrates her love for us. She does everything lovingly. It really does make a difference.

During the weekend- we talked extensively about cooking. It seems that my desire to make my food taste like hers is just shadowed by her attempts to make her food tastes like her mums. She was saying that no matter how, it never tasted like her mums. And I saw the irony of this all. We were all striving for something we remember and perhaps all our food will never exactly taste like our mum’s- we are, after all, different individuals touched and affected by different circumstances. This does not diminish the love and effort we put into our cooking and the memory is always there and perhaps it’s a goal we can all aspire to.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Waiting Game

We are always waiting. Waiting for others. Waiting for a good opportunity. Waiting for the doctor. Last week, I waited in line for a new passport. I work in the same building as the passport office and had been watching the line grow and snake around the fountain and back again. Some days are worse than others. The beginning of the week is bad- so is the beginning and the end of the month, after holidays and after its been on the news.So there I was, patiently waiting in line along with everyone else, resigned to waiting.
We wait for better times, we wait for spring (have we ever been waiting- there still is snow on the ground and I spent 10 minutes this morning, scraping off the ice on my stairs so the postman doesn't slip and fall when he brings me my bills and the swaps I've been waiting for). Is it just a human thing- this waiting?

On the weekend, I was in Calgary and spent some alone time with my canine nephews and got this lovely picture of them waiting for their "parents" who had gone out for Easter dinner. They looked particularly cute, those boys. Van Gogh "Go Go" Feener is the spotchy one and Salvador "Bo Bo" Feener is the fawn coloured greyhound. They both ended up taking my brother-in-law's name so when they get into trouble, they are called by their full name, just like all us humans are when we are in the doghouse. Gogo and Sal, as I like to call them, are very different. Sal is content to wait patiently, while Gogo is very impatient and isn't shy to let you know- although that dog exhibits incredible tenacity when he wants something and will wait if he thinks there is a reward for him at the end of it (usually it's food and just for his sheer willpower, we often cave and give in to him). My father and him share a very funny relationship and Gogo has no qualms about complaining loudly through crying when dad teases him by denying him his reward.

Right now, I am waiting for a friend to give birth. I made some card samples for her in case she wants to use the idea for her baby announcements.Actually, I just love making samples even if I don't have babies to announce. This is a 4.25inch x 4.25inch card.
Paper: Old olive cs, Barely banana cs
Stamps: "sweet" from So Very ( Stampin'Up! Saleabration 2007 set), Polka dots from Stampin'Up! Petals and Paisley Set.
Inks:Celery, Versamark, white EP
Accessories:Mega scallop punch, Cuttlebug "It's a Girl" embossing set, chalks, wide olive grosgrain ribbon.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Baby announcements

No, I am *not* having a baby. That would be a miracle in itself. It seems like everyone around me is pregnant and bringing forth life into this world. All except me. I have no problems with this since I can barely look after my own needs- I cannot fathom looking after a totally helpless child.
So- one of the reasons why I started this blog is one of vanity. And the desire to share my (lack of) creativity. Since you are here, you likely know who I am. I am not really advertising my blog. I am not after the masses to sing my praises( in adulation, no less)- and neither am I bribing the masses to come visit by offering blog candy (sorry Pegs, this will be a very boring blog with NO BLOG CANDY) . This is my attempt to create and help others recreate. And share my acerbic wit with those around me.

I recently joined STAMPIN'UP! as a demonstrator. I believe enough in their product to want to sell thier stuff. I have been, however, a stamper waaay before I heard of STAMPIN'UP! so I may not be as loyal to them as others. in some projects , but you will see other companies products on my blog too.

Right- back to the creativity thing- I want to share my works of art with others. Maybe it will inspire you. Maybe it will BORE YOU TO DEATH, or even worse, *indifference* or it might stir you to take action, even if it is to beg me to stop.

Enough with the blather-and getting back to my commentary on baby announcements. I made this card for a Baby Announcement Swap last month. I really like how this turned out. I don't know if I have a style per se, but I like things that move on my cards. Dangly things (no dirty thoughts now), things that swing and move, you will likely see on the cards I make.
All items are Stampin'Up! unless noted.
Paper: thyme cs, whisper white cs, black cs
Inks: Classic mustard, rust, thyme, mustard reinker for ribbon
Accessories: micro punch, horizontal slot punch, sponge daubers
Embellishments: hand dyed grosgrain ribbon, Offray microcheck black and white ribbon, hemp twine
Stamps: Wild about you, Linen
Stamp linen and flowers on thyme paper with thyme ink. Stamp lion in mustard on white piece. Using sponge daubers, ink mustard lightly around the lion. Ink lion in rust on separate piece of paper and cut out. Stick over mustard piece with dimensional to pop up the mane, staggering the mane to give it more dimension. Edge paper with mustard pad, mat with black. Punch with horizontal slit in corner, tie ribbons. Punch holes for the hanging tag and tie together with hemp twine.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

It is snowing here... it is SNOWING here. Whatever happened to March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb? This lion is ROARING!
The only reason why I am whining about the weather is because I am tired of winter. This past winter seemed particularly long and there was lots of snow. I suppose it is a typical Edmonton winter... but I moved here a few years ago and I thought global warming had taken root firmly here and so we didn't see the typical Edmonton winters of 3 feet high piles of snow and extended periods of -30oC weather. I remember the previous winter in November when the weather was 8-12oC, right into December. Its the kind of winter I can tolerate.

The neighbour's bunnies are seeking shelter under the picnic table. It must be fairly windy outside as the snow keeps blowing in all directions. I am gazing at those bunnies in hatred and malevolence. No, I am not a bunny hater- just that those bunnies killed my pumpkins last year.
I am not a gardener and last year, my daddy gave me some pumpkin seeds to grow in my humungous garden (another long story). I grew these pumpkins from seed- I nutured them and babied them- there were four plants. All summer, I was out weeding around them, checking up on them every evening, watering them, worrying about them when there were reports of late afternoon hail.

When I discovered I finally had pumpkins, I was pleased as punch. There were two fruits.They kept getting bigger over the summer. The first sign of something not right was when I discovered some gnaw marks on the larger pumpkin. Someone had also taken bites of some windfall apples as well. I thought it was the neighbour kid- he is approaching teenage years and is often outside in the yard. I was *not* impressed but, well, as long as I hadn't caught him in the yard, I could not do anything.

So, it was an early fall morning. I had a few minutes before I'd be late for work- so I headed out to the patch out back. To my absolute horror, it was a pumpkin massacre. Bits of pumpkin were EVERYWHERE. Both fruits (about the size of a giant cantaloupe) were strewn all over the garden. I started to cry because I was so upset. The fruits of my labour were destroyed. And I didn't know what had caused this destruction. It seemed particularly cruel to imagine he neighbour kid doing this- and it didn't *seem* right. I could not bring myself to speak to the neighbours as I was so mad. When I finally did, it seems the bunnies had dug their way under the fence and escaped into my garden. And killed my pumpkins. AARRGGGHHHH!!

I kept hoping that they would not withstand the winter. But, no, Splotch and Death are happily hopping around the neighbour's yard- frolicking with the dogs and the cat.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My first post

My very own blog.....who would have thought.
I hemmm and I hawwwed.. do I actually want the responsibility of posting regularly to this bit of cyberspace? Surely, if I told no one of it, then I won't have to worry about who actually visits.

So, it is done.