Friday 19 December 2014

A Handmade Gift Basket

Two weeks ago, I was truly lamenting over what to get my Oma for Christmas. As I wandered around the shops getting gifts for others on my list, absolutely nothing caught my eye as the perfect thing for her. I was a little stumped....

But then, as I was making soup on a Saturday afternoon (as one does), I opened my spice cupboard and saw this...
This is one of my favorite gifts that my Oma has ever given me. Last year she grew parsley in her garden, dried it, and put it in an old jam jar for me at Christmas. I love the handwritten label and that when I look at this jar I can see her in my mind, tending her garden and drying the herbs. 

I knew at that moment that her Christmas gift needed to be handmade.

So, to a simple basket, I added this mandala which I made back when I was in the grips of mandala making mania. Oma has many houseplants (real and otherwise) that would look lovely on top of it.
I am going to make her some jam the day before Christmas, which I will put into the mason jar and then add to the basket. I use a recipe from this book to make the most delicious chia seed jam.
But what I am most excited to give her is this photo hanging display that I made using pictures of the girls from our trip to a local garden (I wrote about it here, and made this layout with the pictures).
I know she will love it, as there is a longstanding family connection to this garden. When we look through old photo albums, there are countless photos (no kidding, it seems like there is one on every page) of my Oma and Opa and my Mom and her brother, taken in this garden. I know she will love that the girls had their pictures taken in this familiar spot as well.
This is one gift that I am very excited to give.  
I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas. I will be taking a little blog break over Christmas and New Years and will catch up with you all in January.  

Thank you so much for visiting and reading. Talk soon. 

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Three Christmas Things

Three Christmas things that are making me smile this week:

These Playmobil Christmas toys on the kitchen windowsill. I found these on sale at a local toy shop a few months back and I love them. I told the girls that these are Mommy's toys and they were completely okay with that.
Our tree. This Christmas tree was the first thing we bought after we got engaged on December 19, 2002. Realizing that we would be married by the following Christmas and not wanting to have to pay full price for a tree, we hustled to the store to find one on clearance. Not the most romantic thing, but certainly practical; I love that our tree has this memory attached to it.
This nativity was mine when I was a kid, and every year my sister and I would carefully set it up in the living room. I love that I can do this now with my girls and that it will become a part of their childhood Christmas memories.
So, with Christmas only a little more than a week away, what Christmas things are making you smile?

Wednesday 10 December 2014


I took a little bit of a break from making Christmas cards over the weekend, and finished off this layout about our annual summer camping trip.
Oh, the double layout - great for including lots of photos, but so hard to photograph well. Here are some shots of each page....
I used patterned paper from the Happy Camper line by Echo Park, and various random embellishments from my stash for this layout. I kept things simple so that the page did not get too cluttered. 

As winter settles in and the holidays quickly approach, it was really nice to work with these pictures from our summer trip to the woods. So many wonderful memories. 

Have you done any scrapbooking lately? Or is it all about Christmas prep? 

Monday 8 December 2014

Holiday Wishes and Cheer

It's a happy Monday, made happier by the fact that I have kicked my cold to the curb, and it is sketch challenge time over at The Memory Nest.

Here is the sketch - one that really inspired me to layer lots of patterned papers, which you know is one of my most favorite things to do. 
I decided to make cards this time around as I was on a bit of a roll and having lots of fun after making this card last week.
Patterned papers and sentiment tags are from the 2013 Christmas line by Imaginisce. I love the polka dots and the turquoise color - a little traditional, a little not. 

Have you made any Christmas Cards yet?

Be sure to pop over to The Memory Nest today to see what everyone else on the Design Team created for this is fantastic as always.

Friday 5 December 2014

Holiday Cheer

Today is a day for tea and nose-blowing....yuck!

On a more cheerful note, I wanted to show you a Christmas card that I made this week.
I based my card design on this sketch from The Memory Nest (I absolutely love its simplicity and it is the same sketch that inspired this layout).
Both the patterned paper and the sentiment tag are from the 2013 Christmas line by Imaginsce. Coordinating supplies sure make card making simple and quick.
I am off now to make myself another cup of tea and get snuggled on the couch for a little crochet time.  Have a happy weekend! 

Monday 1 December 2014


Good morning and happy Monday! Can you believe it is December already? We spent the weekend doing some Christmas shopping (almost done!!!) and decorating the house. I feel very prepared and organized for Christmas this year, which is a great step in avoiding a mid December panic attack.... always a good thing, wouldn't you say?

Christmas preparations aside, I also spent time on the weekend working on my layout for the latest sketch challenge at The Memory Nest.

Here is the sketch, which I absolutely love:

And here is my layout:
Yes, I did a layout using a picture of me alone.....a very rare occurrence, but a nice addition to my album. I can not remember the last time I did a "me" layout, so it was a lot of fun to create this page.
All the patterned paper is from the Amy Tangerine Sketchbook line. The other embellishments are just random bits from my stash, which I had a great time rummaging through last week, especially when I found this treasure.

As always, you can create your own page based on this sketch and link up over at The Memory Nest. Gotta love all this creative sharing....I love blogs for that.

Have a great day. If all goes well, I should have another layout to show you later this week.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Take Time to Create

I found this while sifting through a box of random scrapbooking supplies.
So true. So necessary.

Now if only life would simmer down so I could diligently follow this advice.

Hope you are finding some time to create. It is so very good for the soul, wouldn't you agree?

Monday 24 November 2014

Shop Update

I am so very proud of my little Etsy shop. It is stocked, more so than it has ever been, and looking at all the cards waiting to go out into the world and make someone smile, makes me so incredibly happy.

I sincerely invite you to stop by.

If you are looking to send Christmas cards, I have some of those listed.
Is someone special having a birthday? 
And what better way to show your gratitude than with a handmade thank you card.
Thank you so much for taking a look.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Maybe Next Time, Ripple....

My ripple blanket and I have parted ways.

I have not given up completely on the notion of a beautiful ripple blanket on my couch, I have just given up for now.

You see, I was rippling along, confident that things were all well and fine, until suddenly it all went wrong. Nothing was matching up, my work was all wavy, and for the life of me I could not see where I had gone wrong. I pulled out several rows, hushed my family so I could count and recount my stitches, and then in a somewhat humiliating fit of frustration, threw the whole thing into the bottom of my project basket...where it has remained for the last week.

I just do not have it in me right now to fight with this pattern, to count and recount umpteen times trying to get it right. Maybe someday, but not now.

What I need now is a simple project, one that requires minimal, if any, counting, one that I can work on while watching a movie, answering homework questions, at the coffee shop...

Life is busy right now and to be honest I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. I need a crochet project that is simple and satisfying; I do not want to crochet for an hour only to rip the whole thing apart because nothing is matching up. Crochet is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not wrought with frustration, anxiety, and bad words.

So to that end, I have started a v-stitch blanket - a beloved pattern of mine that is both simple and relaxing. I have made several of these blankets and they are perfect for working on amid distractions, easy to pick up and put down as needed.

This is what surrounded me after work last night - a cup of tea, a candle and my blanket. After a hectic work day, and before the nighttime routine of dinner, making lunches, and bedtime began, it was incredibly calming to sit and make v-stitch after v-stitch while chatting with the girls and listening to them play...
A v-stitch blanket suits me just fine for now. As for a ripple, maybe next time.

Monday 10 November 2014

Today, Tomorrow

Last week I showed you two layouts from the spring (see here and here), and this week I have a winter layout to show you. I am trying to get caught up on my scrapbooking and am working on layouts as inspiration strikes rather than in chronological order.

Like last week, I played along with a sketch challenge over at The Memory Nest.

Here is the sketch:
And here is my layout:
There was a twist to this challenge as well - to use a mixed media element - which was both confusing and frustrating for me. At first I was not exactly sure what that meant, and a quick Google search brought up some lovely layouts that used a ton of supplies (paint, mists) that I do not have and was not really keen on buying. So I decided to do some heat embossing on my page, but for some reason when I used the heat gun, my paper got completely warped/wavy (has this happened to anyone else???) and I needed to make a dash to the store to get another sheet of gray cardstock.

So I abandoned the mixed media thing and stuck with what I know and love....clean and simple....while following this very fun sketch.

I did use a doily on my page as well as some gumdrops....
I love how I was able to use small amounts of patterned paper on this page. Because of this, I was able to use scrap papers from creating this layout for this one. This is why I can not throw any scraps never know when they will come in handy, the perfect thing for another project.

And even though I was not successful at including a mixed media element on my page, I was very excited to see what the other members of the Design Team did. Head over to The Memory Nest for some beautiful inspiration.

Friday 7 November 2014

Three Things

Three things that have made me smile this week.

We had a new front door installed in the summer (I was so happy to get rid of the old, ugly one) and one of my favorite things is looking out the new window and seeing the leaves on the tree in the front yard. They are a beautiful orange right now, and when the sun shines on them, it is just stunning.
Making a lasagna for dinner on Monday...and having leftovers in the fridge for the rest of the week which freed up some time for crafting.
Crochet. My ripple blanket has been slow going, but I have to agree with the consensus that the ripple pattern is a soothing one to crochet. There have been some tense moments lately, some stressful days, but as I sit and ripple, I can feel the tension just slid away. Oh, the therapeutic power of crochet.
Hope you have had a wonderful week and have had many reasons to smile.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

A Perfect Day

Happy Wednesday! The middle of the week already, how great is that?

I am very happy to show you another layout today.
This is a very simple layout with minimal embellishments, but I love it. I especially love the photographs which were taken at a local garden (I wrote about our visit to the garden here).

While I was creating, I second guessed the simplicity of this page, worried that perhaps it was missing something, but anything extra that I tried to add just looked off, so I stuck with simple....

I put this layout together at the same time as I was completing this one. Using the same papers and embellishments (Summer Bliss by Echo Park) I had both pages laid out on my table and just moved between them, adding tidbits to each page as I was inspired, until they were both done.

I love this cluster of patterned paper and descriptive words in the corner.
Did you notice that there is no title on this page? This is something that I have noticed in scrapbooking lately...many layouts out and around do not have a dominating title, in fact they don't even have a title at all. I love this as an option when creating a layout. Add a title or not, it is really okay either way. Kind of a reminder that there is no strict recipe for a scrapbook layout....just do what you love.

As always, thanks for stopping by and happy crafting.

Monday 3 November 2014

Discover Spring

I am back again today with another sketch challenge from The Memory Nest.

Here is the sketch:
And here is my layout:
Notice how my picture is straight, rather than at an angle like the sketch? Well, I tried to follow the sketch and keep my picture angled, but the perfectionist in me just could not let that happen. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't...what can I say, straight is how I roll (to the point that I remeasure everything on a layout several times to make sure that it is absolutely straight, call me crazy).

I love all the layers behind the picture - such a great place to use many patterned papers and embellishments.
All supplies for this page were from the Summer Bliss line by Echo Park.

Great letter stickers for the title. I love how they pop against the Kraft background.
So there you have it, a spring layout in the fall....or I guess you could say almost winter since we got a light dusting of snow here this weekend.

Of course if you are inspired by this sketch, get scrapping and then head over to The Memory Nest and link up your creation.

Have a happy Monday and happy scrapping!

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Up High

I'm back today with another scrapbook layout.
These pictures were taken at the top of the CN Tower - way up high. Deciding that we needed to show the girls some of the world famous sites in our own backyard, we visited here back in May.

The pictures themselves are not the greatest - but the memories sure are.
All the colors and patterns in our clothes made choosing paper a little difficult. In the end I decided on the Perfect Vacation line by American Crafts. I layered my papers and kept the overall design simple.

I am very happy with this layout and think the papers coordinate quite well despite all the competing colors and patterns in the pictures. While working on this layout, I remembered a tip I once read in a travel scrapbooking magazine - pack all coordinating outfits for your family so that selecting paper for your layouts is simpler; at the time that seemed a little insane to me, but maybe there is something to it since it took me ages to find the right paper for these mishmash photos.

I hope you are getting some scrapping done. The weather here is getting cooler and more conducive to getting onto my pajamas early in the evening and crafting....a wonderful side effect of autumn and the coming winter.

Monday 20 October 2014

Open for Business

I recently bought a photo light box and I do have to say that it is perfect for taking pictures of my cards. No more running around outside trying to catch the natural light in order to take a card picture for this blog...I now have a better, more reliable tool for the job.

With the new photo box, I have also been learning a little more about photography and digital manipulation - information that is interesting and valuable to know, albeit the fiddling around can be somewhat frustrating at times.  

But let's talk about cards for a moment. I love making cards. I have seen how touched people are when they receive a handmade greeting card - how loved and truly special they feel - and I make my cards as a means to pass that feeling around.

I have many cards that I have made sitting idle in a shoe box on the shelf....which is truly a shame.

And after a bit of a hiatus from card making, which I spoke about here, I am getting back into it and really enjoying working with this smaller canvas again.

All this to say that I am restocking my Etsy shop.
My photos are better and I am very excited by how professional they look.

And my cards are available, waiting to make someone feel special and put a smile on their face.

I am open for business. Please stop by and have a look around. I have lots of cards to photograph and upload, so check back often to see what is new. Thank you so much.

Monday 13 October 2014

Stitching on a Scrapbook Layout

Good Morning!

It's Monday and time for another sketch challenge over at The Memory Nest

This week's challenge was not only a sketch challenge, but a sketch challenge with a twist: to use stitching. 

Stitching on a scrapbook layout is a technique that I had not used in a while, so I was excited to try it again.

Here is the sketch:
And here is my layout: 
A close up of the stitching detail that I added:
And my journalling:
I love the pretty detail that the stitching adds to this page...simple and beautiful. I may need to add a little stitching to some of my future layouts. 

I used paper and embellishments from the Hey Mom line by Simple Stories for this layout. 

Work from the other design team members can be found here.

Friday 10 October 2014

A Proud Mommy Moment

A card made by Bridget, age 7.
Someone has obviously been watching while I am making cards.

I am a very proud Mommy.