Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Return to Scrapbooking

Ok, so I haven't done an actual scrapbook page an a long time (really long... can't remember exactly, but it's been months), but we're coming up on a New Year and that always gets the inspiration flowing a little:

"What are my goals?" 
"What do I want to do with this whole New Year ahead of me?"
I haven't looked at the Challenges board on in a really long time but this morning I thought I would take a peek (I actually think I clicked on it by accident when I was going to look for new swaps, but that's beside the point) only to find that my friend Tammy had posted a challenge about scrapping your word for 2011. We were to pick a word that we wanted to focus on in the New Year and scrap that word. I chose the word 'Simplicity' and as soon as it came to me the page would not get out of my brain so I knew I had to put it altogether right now! I have never (NEVER) had a page come together so quickly for me and in 15 minutes (crazy!) it was done!!

Here is what I wrote about it on

First, that is NOT a picture of me, but I promise that if I ever manage to do that and someone takes a picture of it then I will add it over this magazine image. I thought it fit the word and the feeling it gives me so I used it.

Second, it was so HARD no to do any distressing or inking but I felt that wouldn't have fit the page either.

There is hidden journaling under the picture that reads: "One of my words for 2011 in 'simplicity'. I am a big dreamer and seem to complicate my life with plans and lists and lots of ideas about who I should be and where I want to be going. Yet... when I stop and think about it, it is the simple moments where I allow my life to just happen that are the most treasured and memorable. My other word for this year... 'freedom' because that is what living simply gives me."

Catching Up

Oh my goodness, I have 3 followers now! LOL I better get to posting before they leave!!

I can only assume that these a three lovely ladies from, a place that I have come to love for the support, encouragement and fantastic ideas that everyone shares with one another (and the swaps are fun too!)

I haven't been doing a TON of crafty stuff in the last little while, lost my mojo as some people put it, but it's slowly coming back and I'm just going to share a few pictures here with you all:

These are some Christmas ornaments I made this year for my friends and a swap partner. Found these awesome wooden ornaments and clear plastic snowflakes at the dollar store. I painted the words with acrylic paint and covered them with Candy Cane Stickles. I covered the snowflakes with Frosted Lace Stickles and added a little bling. Super easy and everyone loved them! When I went back to the store to get more they were sold out... guess I wasn't the only one with brilliant ideas (really??).
Then, I made this box for a secret sister swap I was in for Canadian swappers. Another dollar store find for the wooden box (LOVE my dollar store for their crafty items!) and more of the same snowflakes. I painted the box with old gold acrylic paint and covered the base and lid with paper (no idea what collection or how old, it was gifted to me). On the bottom I just added some cotton lace and inked the edges of the paper with fired brick Distress Ink. On the top I sprayed the paper with forest green Glimmer Mist and added the snowflakes and flowers and a Tim Holtz tag that says 'Imagine'. (The little people you can almost see in the background are pieces of the red clay nativity scene that my Mom bought in Mexico... I should take a good picture and post it...)
After Christmas I started cleaning up my crafty area (we really should be eating at the dining room table) and working out how I wanted to store things and have them accessible. Didn't manage anything creative there, but I did alter a bulletin board to hang over my sewing table and use as an inspiration board:

I covered the board with fabric that I had been saving forever. It's a screen print on polyester and since the only sewing I do anymore is quilting I hadn't found a use for it, but it was too gorgeous to get rid of!! I attached it to the board with a matte gel medium by Golden that I also use when I'm art journlaing and covered the edges with ribbon, leaving the inside edges free so I can tuck things behind or clip items to that I don't want to pin. Of course, I had to bling up the corners a little with some Prima leaves, some lollipop flowers I received in a swap and another Tim Holtz tag that says 'Simplify'... which has kind of become my motto in the last day or so (as you'll see in my next post).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thunder Spirit

Last night my fingers were itching to do something... anything... and I couldn't shut my brain down to go to sleep. So I threw on the headphones with Solitudes - Thunder Spirit playing, meditated a bit and this is what came out:

This piece has a lot of nature elements in it... sky, earth, water. Not sure what the eye or the bird mean to me at the moment (or what they meant at the time I drew them), they just said they needed to be there.

I'm pretty happy with it. About halfway through I had to stop and get my head to relax again (you shouldn't be gritting your teeth while you meditatively doodle... right??). I had a lot of problems with my pen this time, so I will have to try a different one next time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Prairie Summer

I take part in a few swaps on One of them is a monthly envelope swap for embellishments. Typically, we include 2-3 NIP (new in package) items, a spool of ribbon and a handmade item. Sometimes it is different, but it usually depends on the theme. This month's theme was summer. Buying items is easy, but it took me awhile to come up with something to make. I formulated this idea in my head and was so happy that it came out just the way I pictured it! (That doesn't usually happen to me).

Page Title

This is a 5x7 page title that I created from cardstock, patterened paper, foam letters and vellum. I cut and layered the grass by hand. I really hope my swap partner likes it, I had so much fun creating it! I think I'll have to make another one for myself!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grassi Lakes

I think it is so funny that I have lived here all these years and am just now hiking trails that I've heard about from so many people... and when I get there all I can think is "what the heck took me so long?"

Today it was the Grassi Lakes trail with two of my friends and my amazing son, Dorian.

To get to the trailhead you go past the Canmore Nordic Centre on the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Lakes Road until the pavement turns to gravel, the parking is just to the left. There are washrooms in the parking lot (like most trailheads in Kananaskis and other parks).
The hike starts off with an easy climb up an old logging road and then you get to choose the Easy route or the Difficult route... I highly recommend the difficult one. The terrain could be challenging for some, but the views are amazing. The easy route follows the logging road right up to the lakes.These are just some of the rock stairs built in to the trail (my friend purposely posed behind the tree).

The hike on the difficult route is 1.4 km (the easy route 1.6km). The lakes at the top are amazing... I can't say anything more than that. The colours really took my breath away and my son was pretty impressed (it takes a lot to impress a 13 year old).

The first lake.

The second lake.
The colours really are this bright and vibrant, due to algae growth in the lake, and the water is crystal clear. It is also very cold as we found out when we stopped to soak our feet for a bit while eating lunch.

From the end of the trail you can travel up into a crag that is very popular with rockclimbers, it was very busy there today. There are stairs built through much of the area, but they are very steep so make sure your knees are in good shape. About halfway up the climb there are pictographs on one wall that are estimated to be from c. 1000 AD.Very cool.

I have also been to see the pictographs in Grotto Canyon, but these ones are better preserved and, this one in particular, much larger.

We climbed all the way up to the top for an amazing view of Canmore and then gave our knees a good workout going back down all those stairs. I'm tall (5'9") and some of those steps were a struggle for me.

On the way back down we took the easy path just to see what it was like. While it's a great path for young kids, I think if we head up here again we'll stick with the Difficult route just for the scenery.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back at It!

Wow, I didn't realize that it had been almost a year since my last blog entry...

A lot has been going on I guess, with a promotion at work and lots of other mundane stuff.

At the end of December 2009 I took my first international trip and went to Jamaica with a friend of mine. The trip was absolutely amazing and WAY outside my comfort zone, but that's a good thing!
Also, before winter last year I took a driver's education course so that I can get my license this year and get out of the city finally (without having to depend on the kindness of others).
I'm still playing volleyball once a week and having a ton of fun doing it! We're back on the 'beach' for spring and summer.

Hiking season has finally started and I went on my first one yesterday to the Plain of Six Glaciers in the Lake Louise area. It was a challenge as a first hike of the season, but it was worth it!

My plan is to start writing in this blog more often and tracking the journeys and adventures I take with my family and friends in our beautiful country. My son and I are planning some road trips for once I have my license, my friends and I (JAKT) are planning more hikes for this year and my sister and I hope to get out camping at least once this summer. I will also be going on another creative retreat next month.

My grandfather said more than once, "I will worry about seeing the rest of the world after I've seen the country I live in first." (Or something to that affect). This is now my goal, to travel Canada, learn its history and tell the stories along the way. I hope that if anyone stumbles across this blog and reads what I have to say that they will be somehow inspired to explore and see things for themselves...

I feel lucky to be the 5th generation of my family to call Canada home and I look forward to my adventures and learning what my ancestors went through to be here and about the proud history of a great and beautiful country.