Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I have a regional conference coming up for Stampin'Up at the end of the month.  Usually ppl will take card fronts to swap with other attendees, to inspire and show how the materials/tools can be used.  I've been recommended to bring about 50.  After MUCH thought, I've finally come up with a design, here's one element of it!

That's 50, hand punched, pieced, and sponged cardinals!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A new venture

Some photos of my recent jewellery creations

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Bird-day

Two very fun cards.

Cased with modifications from Mary Marsh

Stamps: Pun Fun

Paper: Garden Green, Pacific Point, Tangerine Tango, White Whisper

Inks: Basic Black, Garden Green, More Mustard, Pacific Point, Pink Pirouette, Tangerine Tango

Accessories: Blender Pens, Snail, Stampin' Pastels, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stamp-a-ma-jig


Love this card!  Cased from the Canadian 2009-2010 Catalogue, Page 80.  I picked up this set the last time I was over home.   Some minor variations due to not having the accent stamps used in the original.

Stamps: Extreme Surfer, Circle Circus, Basic Phrases

Paper: Old Olive, Pacific Point, Crumb Cake, White Whisper

Inks: Baja Blue, Chocolate Chip, Certainly Celery, Pacific Point, Wild Wasabi, Versamark

Accessories: Embossing Buddy, Heat Tool, Snail, Clear Embossing powder, Cutter Kit, Stampin'
                    Dimensionals, Stamping Sponges, Powder Pal, Stamp-a-ma-jig

Sunday, July 25, 2010

new things

So many things have happened lately.

First off the surgery was a complete success, I've experienced no dizziness or nausea. Friday past I had my second mapping (programming) appt. My speech recognition is already at 100% and this is from sentences with no visual cues, lipreading included ;)

The bathrooms are finally back on track, thankfully with a new renovator who is definitely a world of difference to the past guy. The whole job should be done in 4 weeks instead of 4 months.

Unfortunately the spa bath we ordered from Mitre 10 is not what we ordered and this little mistake wasn't noticed until after installation, so I have the unrivaled joy of going in this week and trying to figure out what they are going to do to make up for their second major mistake with this bath. I am so not impressed with them!!

The old spa bath is almost out of the house. Salvos is due to pick up some older furniture and bits and pieces on Tuesday.

The carpet in the spare bedroom was laid about a weeek and a half ago, my fancy light with thanks from Buyster Lighting, is finally up. Their service was incredibly good, especially after I made a mistake in the first order, they were very gracious and happy to exchange the fixture. Photos to come.

We got a cheap bed frame from Spotlight, unfortunately they oversold the bed. Originally they offered us the trashed floor model at the same price as the new ones, which I understandably rejected. So tomorrow I'll be ordering their newer version, which they've offered to us for a reduced price.

Mr Chatty is now in school an additional day a week since he clearly needs more stimulation. he was incredibly difficult over the holidays, being destructive, lying, whining and generally unpleasant. He has also started dancing which is so exciting to me! He's taking Ballet, Jazz an dTap, his classes are an half an hour each one right after the other, Saturday mornings (no more sleeping in for me!!) He has recitals in the beginning of December.
He's also requested we go to church on Sundays, so I took him this morning, I think he was looking at it as a chance to see his friends another day. However, most of his school friends go to the Anglican Churches. He didn't want to go to the kids portion today, but he's looking forward to it next week.

Mischief is really developing into his own little person, and he's a quirky, fearless and moody fellow who keeps everyone around him on their toes.

For me, I finally got back to the gym today, I'm looking forward to a couple more days this week, working with and around everything else we have on. Thankfully Mr WFS has worked with the bathroom guy before so he trusts him a bit more than some of the other people we've had in the house before, which has given me a little more freedom to do my own thing. Including volunteer at the highschool art studios at Chatty's school and...

The biggest newest thing for me is that I have finally, after a few years, decided to bite the bullet and sign up as a demonstrator for Stampin Up! I am so excited that I'll be able to share and in some ways teach some craft to other people through the parties and events. There's conventions to attend to meet other demonstrators and learn new techniques too! So exciting!!

Friday, June 18, 2010


So far so good, my surgery went well. Added benefits, I'm not dizzy, nor am I calling for Huey in the bottom of the bucket. For me this is a HUGE success. So it looks like the whole procedure will be a small blip in the routine instead of the predicted ENORMOUS and highly dreaded one. I am very happy!

The external device ( looks like a hearing aid with a tag on it, but no earmould) will be fitted in about 3 weeks.

Art class at the school went really well too, some massive issues with registration, (during the stage 5 - which is gr 9-10 silk screening) that I can now hope to address after my two week moratorium on driving, as long as the dizziness keeps at it's current non level.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The art teacher from my sons school called up today and we had a bit of a chat, and I'm terribly excited to say that I'm going to be going into volunteer once next week for sure and hopefully the following day, since that class is the silk screening class which I would LOVE to help out with. The class I will be helping with is doing 3D paper mache sea creatures. Unfortunately due to my rescheduled surgery next Friday I can only go next week.

I've been looking into what sort of university courses I would need to take to teach art to kids or adults. I haven't gotten too far yet, since I need to pop up to the uni to talk to some people to see what my best route would be.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


There are a couple of people lately in my life that have bucked the trend of being disagreeable and surly. I am incredibly grateful for their thoughtfulness and kindness.

One of the people is a lady who we sold our old spa bath to on ebay. Unfortunately between my surgery, the problems in the renovations downstairs and one of the bathroom guys other clients suffering a stroke and needing a quick bathroom upgrade to allow her accessibility, the projected removal of the spa bath (or jetted tub) has been thrown behind by at least a month. I expected the buyer to rant and rave and be generally nasty, I had been stressing over letting her down and the expectation of a nasty response. I couldn't have been more wrong. She was so gracious and and relaxed about the whole thing. It's such a relief to deal with nice people who don't raise their hackles the minute something goes amiss.

There are a couple of other people who have pleasantly surprised me lately as well, one of which I hope to share the details with you very soon about...

Monday, May 31, 2010

3 weeks

After 3 weeks of being sick I desperately hope I'm on the road to recovery, I've felt horrible and terribly fatigued. Which is why you haven't heard a peep from me. The doctor diagnosed bronchitis and has given me some loverly drugs which I'm desperately hoping will mean good health for me!

Everything is backed up since I've spent most of my waking hours with my bum parked on the couch.

The bathroom renos are stalled atm since the fellow doing the job needed to go do some work for a lady who had a stroke. There's quite a few details to be ironed out before he starts upstairs.

We had the spa bath delivered today and it is just another mistake to be added to the long list of problems that have arisen since the beginning of the whole renovation, this has been one of the most problematic renovations we've ever had, and we've had some doozies, like the discovery of a septic tank while doing landscaping work the very same day that council was coming to inspect the location of the footing for the deck extension, which was to land directly on top of the open septic tank....or the kitchen countertop laminate which wouldn't adhere to the countertop itself and a new sheet had to be shipped from another state since it was actually discontinued and that was the last sheet that we could find countrywide.

If the drugs work, you'll see some more of me as my energy returns and the infection gets flattened by them instead of me getting flattened by the infection.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The surgery has been postphoned, poor prof had to go into the hospital himself for surgery. He's had a bad run of it this year.

I, on the other hand am so relieved. I had become a radiating little stress balterRyere is so much going at the moment, and do much to be done. So now, I am making lists of all the things that need to be done before I go in, and actively conquering it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A little something

A couple of weeks ago a lovely lady from www.buyster.com.au contacted me about a special something, that I'm hoping might fit in right in with our current renovations. I had a terribly hard time choosing just the right thing since they have so many amazing things and I can honestly very reasonably priced, and yes, I have done the legwork, way too much of it! Take a look at the entertainment units, so many choices here, and they deliver to your door. I wish I'd known about them before we trekked into the big city to a certain Swedish box company, it would have been so much easier.
No arranging kids to be looked after so that the carseats could be left behind and then watching the husband swear left right and centre that said items would not fit the car (he was of course wrong, we women can eyeball lots of stuff and figure out exactly how to make it fit, even if it means that our knees are sitting under our chins.)

Countdown to surgery 36 hours! eeks!

Next time I 'see' you I'll have a swollen head, literally ;)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Holly Jolly Swap Blocks

I don't have much of my own quilting to show you at the moment, since I'm slogging away at the last snowman stitchery, it's a whopper, I'm hoping to be done by the end of winter.
The holly jolly blocks arrived around the beginning of April, just as we were beginning to start the renovations, of which the downstairs area is supposed to be finished by the end of tomorrow, here's hoping!

The blocks were a definite mix, I've tried to group them together as best as possible.

This group includes my own submission.

The softer colours

One of my favourite blocks and definitely one of the ones that would have taken the longest since it's needleturn. Isn't he cute!

Cute snowmen, buttons to be added for detailing after quilting.

Another favourite, the plum pudding is very cheerful. Love the stripy dish!

Which ones are your favourites, colour or pattern?
Some news, I was going to post mid last week, that I had put my name on the waiting list mid March, (late March?) and had been told that it would be about 6-8 months until my surgery. On Thursday last week we received a phone call to let me know that my cochlear surgery had been scheduled for May 21st, and did I want to go ahead at this time? EEK!! As if we didn't have enough going on with the renovations! Not knowing when the next available date might be, I jumped in with both feet. Talk about being ahead of schedule!
If you don't see much of me in the next while it'll be because;
- I'm trying to get all the final details sorted for the upstairs bathrooms, since I won't be driving for at least 2 weeks after surgery, if not longer, I'm hoping not longer!!
- sorting out stuff for the kids during that time period, my in-laws who now live locally will be a big help in this regard
- maybe sorting some meals out? at the very least making sure that the pantry is figured out and flush!
- general stuff that I might need to have done in that two week period afterwards, I will be trying to get most of it done beforehand on the off chance that I'm too dizzy to even read, which I'm desperately hoping won't be the case since I live off reading!!
- stamping up catalogue launch party at a friends tomorrow night
- 3rd birthday party Saturday for a good friend's son
- Preschool picnic & church service Sunday, at which I've volunteered to direct some of the kids craft.
- there's probably more that I'm forgetting, my head has been spinning trying to figure it all out so that we can just slideit into our lives, rather than having it stop everything dead in it's tracks.
Normally we stay home on Wednesday's, yesterday was no exception, what was an exception was how the day went. Normally the day melts down into a horrible mess, with some stuff done around the house, but lots and lots of yelling and fighting and is generally unpleasant.
Yesterday was amazing, it embodies what I had in mind for our Wednesdays, by no means am I going to try to say that there wasn't a single voice raised or anything like that, we aren't perfect.
We baked cupcakes, the boys coloured, painted a tad, built Lego towers and stores, Chatty and I did some piano together (we're both learning, as our schedules and moods allow) we danced to music, James Blunt, oo how lovely is the sound! Chatty spun around with his hands in fifth position, inspiring me to try to show him all five foot and arm positions, he did all of the positions with help and even attempted a couple of demi plies in first and second positions. Boy was I rusty though, first and second positions came back fairly, but I just discovered while looking at the demi plies, that I mucked up the third arm position. He seems interested in trying out a class, so I'm hoping I can find an afterschool (or wed?) class next week for him to go for a play. I am hoping that the girls in his class won't be snarky...the last thing I need is for him to be turned off of the idea by a few girls!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Geocaching and more

Yesterday Hubby had quite a bit of work to do and I've been feeling a little stir crazy with the reno's on, so the boys and I went for a long walk. We recorded the co-ordinates for a couple of geocaches and set out. Chatty found a soccer ball well hidden amongst some bushes, so we picked that up, and took it with us down to the first location where we had some lunch while searching high and low for the cache, we found the location and all the hints, but no joy on the cache. Mischief & Chatty played soccer on the field nearby. Mischief is really good at dribbling the ball, natural skills!

This area is currently under development and hopefully we'll see many of the features that were recommended by the group I sat on, installed. If so, we'll have an Ampitheatre, basketball hoops, cricket pitches, junior & senior skateparks, an early childhood playspace including dry creek beds, large boulders, tunnels, an older playspace with zip lines, one of those giant spider web domes, a small water park connected to the pool water, a fully self sustainable community garden, dirt mounds and trails for mountain bikers, etc. If the council really gets behind the plans, this park could become an absolute Mecca for the community, instead of the barren Teenage garbage heap it sadly currently is.

We headed on towards cache #2 along a walking & bike trail that I adore, it's punctuated with a couple of playgrounds as well which appeals to the boys.

Last time we went on this trail I promised Chatty & myself to bring sketchbooks - you can see Chatty here with his. Mischief demanded to get out and walk. He found flowers and ran and had a great time.

I did some sketching, which I haven't done for years, so it's a bit basic. Here's a photo of the general area I sketched and the sketch. I'm happy I got a chance to do it!

The trail has some many features, and such lovely scenery.

Hubby joined us a bit later in the day as you can tell from the lighting, he got to help try to find cache #2, no luck. The GPS program recommended by the Geocaching group for the iPhone really wasn't very accurate. I hope it's just the user! I'm going to give it a few more tries, especially since I finally managed to get Chatty to understand that he actually had to search for the cache, no one was going to arrive at the locations, and hand it to us!! All in all it was a beautiful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Mischief gets Mischievious

On the 12th of March we finally moved Mischief out of his crib into a bed. He did really well the first couple of nights and was very excited to be in a big bed. After the novelty wore off he begun to take advantage and was in and out of bed more times than we could keep up with, he was also leaving his room at the crack of dawn before anyone else was awake and getting into Mischief!

The day after Chatty's birthday, at 7am he was up again, roaming around the house. Hubby was woken by a loud thump, upon investigation he discovered my iron at the far end of the family room lying flat on the floor. Later he realised that there was a warm spot on the carpet, which I simply figured must have been where Mischief had been sitting. While dressing the monster I noticed he was wincing, but he still hadn't cried once. Looking at his body I found burns, bad burns on the inside of his right wrist and the side of his thumb. Until this point we'd been pretty complacent, simply figuring he had just been playing pretend.

The doctors wasn't open yet and the radio doctor (does overnight house calls) was closed, we were in that no service period...

The doctor determined 2nd degree burns, to be bandaged until the 2nd degree part had healed enough to block out bacteria etc.

Here's his first bandage, which peeled away in a less than a day. The bandages became more and more elaborate to try to protect him, while also going with no tape since he screamed more about the removal of the bandages than anything else!

A few days later, some healing has started, thank goodness!

You can still see a scar from the 2nd degree burn now, a month and a half later, and he still makes sure everyone else sees it. He still points to the floor, his arm and the iron and says they're hot. Hopefully that sticks with him. What's a bit worrying is that his favourite toy at Chatty's preschool is the pretend ironing board and iron, so he hasn't been scarred for life by any means, which in some ways is good, but in other ways makes me wonder what he would do next time he saw a real iron out.

FYI the original iron was actually cold, and had cooled overnight from some sewing I had been doing, it had been too hot to put away in the linen cupboard. He had carried it all the way across the room, unravelled the cord, unplugged the TV and then started playing. I had never predicted he would do anything that silly. I would never leave a hot iron in reach of kids, but didn't think twice about what he might do with a cold one!

The following Saturday morning he was up roaming early in the morning again, and quietly I might add since Hubby is a very light sleeper. He rearranged the dishes in the dishwasher, mving the glasses from above his head to the lower rack across the slate floors, and the cutlery basket with the knives in it, above his head onto the upper rack.

He now, for his own safety has a latch on the outside of his bedroom door for when he's sleeping. If his mischieviousness had been predictable sorts of things we probably would have simply childproofed the house more, but since he's picking such wild things to do, it seemed impossible to figure out what he might pick next.

Basement Improvements

Another project we've been working on is our basement. When we first moved in 7 1/2 years ago, we had all sorts of ideas for the space downstairs which consisted of this classy toliet space, there were no walls or ceiling, the toilet was plastic, it leaked frequently, and the sink was definitely a hand basin at best. Since the ceiling was unfinished, the area was constantly dusty and dirty from whatever the winds brought up the hill.

The toilet never got used and the room the the previous owners had dug out of the hill slowly became just a storage space and unused gym equipment, the corridor leading to the toilet space had a grubby workbench and an equally grubby gardening bench opposite.

As you can see we're not finished yet, but our reno guy has told us that it should only take about one more week.

Bathroom space - with doors, walls and even a ceiling! The block in the back couldn't be gotten rid of since it's actually part of a retaining wall for some stairs on the other side, weird I know. So we've incorporated it in to the shower space, and it will serve as a seat, which will be perfect for when one needs to shave their legs.

The builder planned on putting the window on the right in, which sounded great since it meant bringing extra daylight into a light poor area. For some bizarre reason, his initial plans were to actually wall in the old window though! For obvious reasons we changed his plans, which he complained about the extra work, but that's life!

The corridor leading to the new bathroom has been converted into a laundry space, the machines are slated to be moved tomorrow.

Unfortunately this photo doesn't really show this room well, but this is the old gym/storage heap, we had two of the support poles removed, and replaced with a beam, the last two will just have to go into a cupboard once we get that far. It's to be the new guest room. The walls will be the same sandy off white that is in the laundry corridor. Floors will be a darker sandy carpetting, again, that won't be happening right away!

And lastly the existing laundry room is likely going to become an office, which I'm hoping will really help hubby. Right now he works upstairs in our bedroom, and the kids can be very distracting.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Chatty's circus Extravaganza

For Chatty's 5th birthday party, we went with the circus theme inspired by the phoenix cards we picked up at my friends' "Home party" thanks to this amazing lady I barely had to even think of anything it was all laid out for me already!

I made these pennants, the bowties, and the hats are simply the cheap ones with a pompom hot glue to the top! The photo booths, and games were all homemade too. I picked up the noses, animal masks, tattoos, plastic goldfish, circus loot boxes, photo cut out and the very popular body boppers from the Oriental trading company. I'm fortunate enough to have friends in the states that I could have the items shipped to who then shipped them on to me, to circumvent the extreme shipping prices that American Companies charge anybody outside of the country.

I didn't get photos of everything since I was a bit busy, the weatehr was all over the place, we had light showers at one point which meant everything had to be brought in, unfortunately the weiners for the hotdogs were cooking on the stove at the same time, when I got back to them all the skins had split, and the whole lot were a very unappetising pink mess, thankfully Hubs had insisted on sausages for the adults, we had enough to cover the kids appetites too!

Food was kept pretty simple for a change, some candy, popcorn, cupcakes, cake, watermelon, BBQ'd sausages, drink was simply lemon cordial or water.

Games, were kid led with the exception of the pinata, that Chatty, myself and a lovely friend from Canada, who is now an expat herself made together, we had the goldfish toss, a stack of clear cups with a mix of plastic goldfish or goldfish shaped envelopes with bubble bath gel inside, the kids were given a goldcoin to toss, whichever cup it landed in was theirs to take home, there was a basketball throw, a very small cardboard clown ring toss, the body boppers, plastic bowling pins, and lastly a clown face with holes where the nose, mouth and eyes should be for the kids to try to throw balls in. We also had Chatty's new trampoline set up, the sandbox and the cubby house were all available.

I wish I could say I had made the cake you see in the photos, it was amazing. One of my friends made it. Isn't it beautiful?

As much work as this party was to put together, it has gotten my creative juices flowing and now I'm dreaming up all sorts of other theme related party fun, eg -
dinosaur - use the sandbox to recreate a dinosaur dig;
robot - spray paint all the empty cereal, yoghurt etc bits and pieces silver and then set the kids loose on them to make their own desktp robot or even their own costumes;
rodeo/cowboy - make stick horse with wrapping paper tubes and self coloured horse heads, wool/yarn for reins and then hold stick horse races! ( I already have a cowprint fabric in brown & white for the photobooth for this one!)
Needless I can't wait for Mischief's 5th birthday!

Another recap

So many things have been going on in the last few months, so instead of doing everything in one post I'm going to break some it all up!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The last couple of months

The lovely Homemade pasta I made the other night, thanks to my amazing new mixer!

The Holly Jolly Blocks I designed, the horrible computer drawing I did (I am NOT good at freehand computer graphics!) and the finished block, with the 9 patches that were included in the swap. I went for something a bit more summery and less traditional than the usual green & red. If recollection serves me, the shifted colour pallette was inspired by a Christmas item I saw by Hot Possum.

A few of the cards made in the last few months at parties, workshops and a couple I've come up with myself. I'm really enjoying using the sweet treat cups from stampin' up.
The purple card uses Versamark Resist & The Brayer.
These three cards were done at workshop hosted by Vanessa Webb.
This sweet little stamp set is one of the ones I picked up over the Christmas Holidays in Vancouver. I probably need to use markers on the bugs instead of chalk, but I'm happy with it for now.

We're planning on a circus themed party for Chatty's 5th Birthday, I picked up some invitations, which is where we got the circus inspiration, at a friends Phoenix Cards party and quickly realised that the package of 10 wouldn't be enough, so instead of buying another set, Chatty and I sat down and did our best to case the Phoenix ones, I think we did a good job!

Today while making these two magnifying glass cards, Chatty made himself an elephant - cute isn't it!