March 29, 2007

Watercolor Wonder Crayons SPECIAL

I am offering 20% off Stampin' Up! Watercolor Wonder Crayons until the end of March. I created this card using them...just love the watercoloring technique. As a challenge in Stampin' Up! Bootcamp, we were asked to re-create a card from the current catalogue (this is from page 129).
Wishing You Happiness Card Recipe
Paper: Bashful Blue, Close to Cocoa & Whisper White
Ink: Whisper White craft pad, Jet Black StazOn
Stamp set: Summer by the Sea
Accessories: Aged Copper Hodgepodge Hardware, Stampin' Dimensionals
Watercolor Wonder Crayons: Bashful Blue, Blush Blossom, Bordering Blue, Close to Cocoa, Sage Shadow & So Saffron
Tools: aquapainters, 1/16" hole punch

~ Taco Night ~

Hola! Tonight I was stumped for dinner ideas; when that happens I usually make tacos. I spiced things up by adding our Mexican blanket for a tablecloth and displayed the taco toppings in cute little bowls. I thought that by making it a bit of a fun & fancy meal that our 'picky eater' Ace would eat...and he did much better than he normally does. And Scarlett had sour cream head-to-toe (straight into a bath for her). Cory thought I had surprise tickets to Mexico or something...unfortunately that wasn't the case, I wish. It was a great family meal!

March 28, 2007

Books & Reading

Both of our children LOVE being read to and are so interested in books! Today Jennifer, our Usborn Books rep dropped off our new book order. Ace was so excited to read 'Shark in the Park' that he rushed through his bat &, bedtime routine and ran to get into bed so I could read him this book. I love that they're so excited about reading because I've never liked to read.

In fact, reading books has always been a challenge for me; it's like torture (OK that's a bit exaggerated). Just recently I visited a new optometrist and she asked if I had ever had a hard time with reading...I was shocked that she asked this question because yes I did. She said that because I have an eye that turns-in occasionally, that when I read my eyes have a hard time following a line of text and then switching to the next line; I loose my place often. It all made sense, that's why it has always been difficult for me. She suggested that I read with a ruler or straight edge and that might help with my shifting eyes. The optometrist also suggested that we bring Ace & Scarlett in to have their eyes checked as soon as possible because the condition is hereditary and can possibly be treated before they are 6 years-old (that's when your eyes are finished developing).

Ever since our children were born, we've read to them because I wanted them to enjoy books. I'm so pleased that they love their books so much. I'm working on my reading...however I've never had a problem reading magazines, I'm a mag junkie!

Poker Night

A few weeks ago when we had the Reeves family visit, we also invited Mike & Tobi over for a dinner party...which was followed by an intense poker game.

Tobi - I believe she won against the three guys

Mike placin' a bet

Darrin bluffin'

The players: Cory, Mike, Darrin & Tobi

The Reeves Weekend Visit

We enjoyed a great visit with the Reeves family a couple of weekends ago. They came down from Edmonton for a visit before the newest member of their family is born (due date: April 14th - Cory's birthday). We had a wonderful time, as we always do's too bad we didn't live closer.
Starr & Hannah (almost 9 months pregnant)

Carter & Ace at the park

Carter, Ace & Cory preparing breakfast.

Listening to...


March 26, 2007

Recipe Tin Class

I'm so excited to teach this class tomorrow night to a group of stampers at my place. Don't you just love the chocolate & ivory combo...the patterned paper is from the Au Chocolat line of Stampin' Up Designer Series paper. It also involves some embossing and a new technique called faux metal. I'm impressed by the way the tin turned out and can't wait to get my recipes organized for inside. If you'd like to take this class, I'll be offering it again in April, by popular demand. Contact me if you'd like the class details/schedule.

Washing Machine Fiasco with Sears

This little light has been the cause of my week long frustration (my close friends have already heard me grumbling about this story). Last Tuesday I was all ready to do a whole pile of laundry, so I put the first load in and let it wash. The washing machine broke half way thru the cycle and the door wouldn't unlock so that I could get into the washer to get the clothes out...the clothes just happened to be all of my children's pants!

So I called Sears for the warranty repair (the washer is not even a year old) explaining the situation that I needed to get the clothes out soon or they would go funky...not to mention that my children no longer had pants for the week. To make a long story short, Sears was very uncooperative and didn't offer any empathy even after I called 9 times & explained my odd situation. They said the soonest I could get a repair would be March28th...that was just unacceptable to me.

By the 9th call to them on Friday, I had 'HAD IT'. So I called their head office and finally talked to someone who could help me. She called the Calgary repair center and set up an appointment for the next day (Saturday) for someone to come out to do the repair. Guess I should have called the head office in the first place...note for next time.

The repair guy came, but couldn't get into the washer because he had to order the parts that were disabling the door lock...and really what's two more days to our already funky clothes! So that was OK, he said he'd come back on Monday...and finally today at 5:00pm the washer was fixed...and the clothes inside were free! Yeah!

When the repair man installed the new parts today, he actually had to 'break-in to' the washer and bust open the lock because this Kenmore model doesn't have any other way to unlock the door. In doing this, he damaged the front panel of the washer and tried getting out of ordering me a new one...but I stuck to my guns and said, 'you break it, you replace it'...I couldn't help that Kenmore's poor design would result in this during the repair.

My advice to any of you who are shopping for a front-loading washing machine...make sure you get one with a latch on the lock so that you can access it from the bottom and open your washer door if the circut board goes like ours did.

I know it's not a big deal that we didn't have a washer for a week...but it was a hassle and I learned once again that good customer service in this day & age is hard to come by. Thanks to my sister & Cory's Grandparents for letting us do laundry at their place.

I made a few trips with the laundry in the van this week!

March 25, 2007

Stampin' Up! Bootcamp - Challenge #1

I joined in on Stampin' Up! Bootcamp under the direction of my upline, Deb. This past week's challenge was: Mission Organization. Since I made an effort to clean my office/scrapbook/stamp room, I thought I'd share photos of my space (I absolutely love to see other people's scrapping spaces). The real challenge will be if I can keep it this way!

My kitchen workspace: since I can't always be working in the office when the kids are around, just too much for them to get into.

Stampin' Up! cardstock files

My husband and I designed the cabinets in our office to house all of our clutter we didn't want to see. The L-shaped counterspace & table has been great to spread out and work on.

Some organizing details: the clear plastic storage is from Stampin' Up!.

My favorite part of this room: my ribbon storage in glass jars from Target.

Filing cabinet, ink pads, shredder & AMM {purple} tote to keep my most used tools right-at-hand.

Stamp sets and other miscellaneous stuff I can't live without.

Indigo: A Year of Color - Week 2

My favorite jeans!

March 21, 2007

My Camera

Lately, a few people have been emailing me about the photos I take...I'm so flattered when I get compliments on my photography! I consider myself quite the amature, but have loved photography since I was a kid. My approach is more about capturing the moment than the technical side of photography. I have endless photo albums which often are taken out and looked at when we have friends over to reminisce...that's why I love taking photos.

My camera is a digital Canon Powershot S60 - 5.0 mega pixels (it's actually my second one, since I loved the old one I had which broke). I would suggest buying Canon, I have had really good luck with them...and also purchasing it through Costco - they have the best return policy incase something goes wrong with the camera. I love that it has a rechargeable battery and it uses Compact Flash cards for memory...not so tiny like alot of them these days. It's a great size to fit in my purse and not too small that I loose it.

I try to use my camera to it's full potential. I have self-trained myself by studying my instruction manual and have now found out how to make it work for the photos I want to take. Most of the photo shoots I take are done indoors using natural light during the day from a window...I think that's the real trick to good photos, lighting. I shoot mostly in P mode (program mode) with no flash. I also use the macro button (flower button) when shooting very close to objects.

My dream camera is the Canon Rebel XT Digital SLR...I'm saving up for one and will hopefully have it by summer...or maybe someone will buy it for my 30th birthday in April (hint hint - someone PLEASE tell my husband - silver case model on sale now at Costco for $999; photo below).

March 20, 2007

First Stamp

I found this first stamp...back home in my old panda bear collection I had as a kid. I didn't realize my stamp obsession started so early.

March 19, 2007

Muffin's Cafe

This is Megan who is the owner of Muffin's Cafe at the Bloomin' Inn (her Mom, Cindy, runs the scrapbook retreats & store there). She has an amazing story behind the beginning of her coffee-career and is truly a unique young person for doing that. Here she is making my favorite drink: a blended chai frappe!
Pouring the perfect drink.
I look forward to these treats everytime I'm at the Bloomin' Inn!
Kim & her favorite...a mocha latte.

Scrapbooking Retreat

This weekend I was lucky enough to slip away for a Scrapbooking Retreat at the Bloomin' Inn B&B. Dispite some obstacles & stress prior to the trip, I had a really great time, completed lots of projects and feel refreshed now that I'm back.

I've had the chance to go there four times now, and for some strange reason, my family ALWAYS gets sick when I go (including me this weekend with a cold/flu). I'm grateful that my husband stays home with our sick little munchkins every time...with a little grumbling...I usually smooth things over by returning with homemade lasanga from the Inn.

If anyone is interested in booking future retreats, the earlier the better. They are booking into 2008 now, that's how popular they are! I currently have booked a block of spaces for two more retreats in 2007 and three in 2008...and am already looking forward to them. Here's a little bit from this trip:

Kim, myself & Darla enjoyed the weekend together.
The scrapbook building has space for approx 30 guests to spread out and craft on their own table. All exteriors of the buildings there have been re-sided with cedar and it looks great!The Scrapbook Cupboard store (located in the scrapbook building) has all the supplies you need to scrap...or if you forget something at home.
The beautiful relaxing view of the mountains near Pincher Creek, Alberta...just breathtaking.
Kim made me feel special by putting rose petals on my comfy bed in the cabin we stayed in...what a sweetie.
A new addition on the main house made room for a little store that houses homemade canned goods, fresh baking & cooler full of beverages (so you don't have to run to town to stock up on diet coke to stay up and craft till 3am).
I could go on an on about this place...I believe everyone needs to get away to relax and enjoy it for themselves...and you don't have to 'scrapbook'!

March 18, 2007

Yellow: A Year of Color - Week 1

I'm excited to enter Dee-Ann's weekly photo challenge. If you'd like to enter it's free & fun...and you don't have to have a blog. Here's my entry for the week of 'Yellow'. Tulips are my favorite flower and I love to have them around the house this time of the year.

March 14, 2007

OPI Nail Polish

Who else out there loves all the quirky names of OPI nail polishes? When I was at my sister's hair salon today (getting a color obviously) I could not resist this book. Here's some of my favorite colors/names:

Introducing: Jacqueline Marie Hill

Born to our friends Adam & Jenny Hill
We went for a short visit to meet this little cutie tonight...just 3 days old (Scarlett wasn't feeling well, so we didn't even hold her - didn't want to spread our germs). Can't wait to go back and get a cuddle from this sweetheart. You can check out more photos of her on Jenny's blog.
Little announcement card I made up...inspired by her nursery decor & a beautiful blanket her Grandma Hill knit for her.