Sunday, December 8, 2013

Getting into the spirit, and finding a little mojo.

It's been a while since I've had time to work on projects just for fun, and a while since I've done a Christmas layout that I was happy about. It took a silly package of bakers twine in the deal bin at Target to make me do both...

A page I did using Sue Sykes Sketch for Canadian Scrapbooker December Sketchy Challenge.

See that Gingerbread man? well, when he was laying in the bin at Target, he had a bunch of red and white bakers twine wrapped around his middle. I had absolutely no need for anymore twine, but couldnt resist his little face, and knew I could use him somehow. His sweater and boots were added out of necessity to cover packaging information, but they were the perfect addition to tie him in with the "ugly christmas sweater" feel of the ribbon strips on the left.

Not only did I get part of last year's Christmas events scrapped, I also found a bit of Christmas spirit!

pp: Canvas Corp, October Afternoon, Lily Bee Design
cardstock: BBP
ribbon: Target, Michaels, American Crafts, May Arts
stickers: October Afternoon, Doodlebug Design Inc. American Crafts, Echo Park
Wood: Studio Calico, Prima Marketing
Heidi Swapp Color Shine ( gold)
Viva Decor pearl pen ( gold)
Target baker's twine packaging ( gingerbread man)
Washi Tape, felt, rick rack unknown 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oldies but Goodies


 I won't inundate you with as many layouts today I promise! These ones are pages I created last year, probably just before I started to loose steam. I'm sure I'm not the only scrapbooker who can look back at a page and not only remember the time featured in the photographs, but also when and where the page was created. I love that.
Melon Heads was a quick page inspired by the Robin's Nest  embellishments that I had to use as watermelon seeds (forget that my kids have never seen anything but a seedless melon).
On The Water was done based on a Helmar Sketch by the very talented Lydell Quin. The last page was done at an awesome crop hosted by Lucky 7 Factory. The challenges they issue at live crops and online crops are always lots of fun. If I remember correctly, this one had to use a certain number of clouds. I love a challenge that gets me out of the box.

Melon Heads

pp: Bazzill Basics Paper, MME?, Lily Bee Design.
stickers: American Crafts
Washi Tape: Bella Blvd. 
Ink: Dylusions
"seeds": Robin's Nest

On The Water
cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper
pp: American Crafts
chipboard: Pink Paislee, American Crafts
Ink: Dylusions
stickers: Lily Bee Design, AC
Fabric Tape: Love My Tapes

The Journey Begins
ink: Tim Holtz Distress Stain
die cuts: Kaiser Craft
Vinyl clouds: Lucky 7 Factory
letters: Cosmo Cricket

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Playing Catch Up

There's something magical about the 6 month mark with babies. You wake up one morning, to find that small bits of normalcy have crept back in while you were getting those precious spurts of sleep between teething cries and leaking diapers. I've started getting organized again, my house, my body, and even my mind seem to be getting back to where they were before the baby bomb hit. I've also started making plans for projects, volunteering at the kids school, and being hopeful that I'll soon be able to occasionally hang out with my friends again without having to rush home to nurse the baby. I'm also looking forward to running again. ( I can't believe I just wrote that!)

Part of my organizing is happening while the baby takes a morning nap, and Rowan and I hang out in the playroom/craftroom. I realized I have tonnes of layouts in various degrees of need. Some need dates, some need to be photographed, many can be blogged about, and ALL need to find homes in albums. I estimate there are probably 10 albums worth.

So forgive me in advance if i post a few older pages or if you see something that I've previously posted. I did say I was getting organized. who knows if I'll ever fully get there

Here are a few pages that recently made it into albums:

All Bark No Bite
pp:Lily Bee Design, My Little Yellow Bycicle
felt: Prima
Wood: Prima, Studio Calico
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Stain
Rub Ons: Prima, MME
transparency: MME
stickers: American Crafts
Funny Guy
pp: Studio Calico
Stamps: WRMK, Paper Smooches
Ink: Staz On, Tim Holtz Distress Stain
Pen: Sharpie,  AC Precision pen
embellishments: Studio Calico, Pink Paislee, My Mind's Eye, American Crafts

Hello Love

pp: Pion
Stamps: Tattered Angels
Ink: Hero Arts,  Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Flowers: Prima Marketing
wood shapes: Crate Paper
Stickers: Jillibean Soup

I Love This Family
pp: Jillibean Soup
die cuts: Jillibean Soup
Stickers: Jillibean Soup
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress stain

Mother's Day Tea Party
pp: Crate Paper- On Trend
Die: Tim Holtz 
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Stain
stickers: AC, Crate Paper
mixed brads and bling

I have my favorite chosen, which one is yours?


Friday, June 28, 2013

Hopping With Practical Scrappers and Scraptown Lady


Hello and welcome to the PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS and SCRAPTOWN LADY Blog Hop!  We thought it would be fun to combine forces and share projects with you that have our design teams’ takes on one of the hottest scrapbooking trends around:  Project Life. 

Whether you are a “Project Lifer,” are interested in Project Life, or just want to find out ways to use all those fantastic Project Life types of products and ideas on your own projects, we have a hop FULL of inspiration and creativity!  

We’ve got a fabulous prize, too - a $25 gift certificate to Scraptown Lady’s shop, which is stocked with awesome scrapbooking supplies!  What do you have to do to be entered in the drawing?  It’s easy! 

1.     Be a follower of Practical Scrappers; and
2.     Be a follower of Scraptown Lady; and
3.     Visit all the blogs, starting with Practical Scrappers and ending with Scraptown Lady, and leave a comment at each blog along the way.  

We will be hopping until Sunday, June 30th, at 11:59 p.m. CST.  The grand prize winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 2nd! 

My project is a regular layout done with a Project life style layout. I'm not one to make such straight layouts, but changing design style is a great thing to do every now and again. I also liked the simplicity of design, and focus on individual areas of interest; each little block is like it's very own mini layout, albeit very simple.

The "Archives" pocket holds a detailed account of my son's birth story, actually the version you'll find in the post below.

If you get lost along the way, just check the complete list below to get you hopping in the right direction:

*visit here next* Charissa Miller:
Cathy Harper:
Rhonda Van Ginkel:

If we have inspired you so much that you “need” to do a little shopping now, SCRAPTOWN LADY is offering 20% off all orders during the hop!  The sale runs from now ‘til midnight Monday.  Enter “code20” to receive your discount.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Long, long ago.

It seems like another lifetime ago when I last blogged. I guess in a way it really was a lifetime ago. You see we added a new little life to our clan in March, and things have been hopping ever since (Not like life was previously boring or anything).

Fast forward 3 months, and I think I've finally found a minute to tell you all about the birth. I also wanted to wait to be able to share some beautiful photos taken by my uber talented friend Melanie Louette.

The weeks leading up to the big day were filled with pre-term labor or braxton hicks contractions. Every night played out much the same- contractions started around 5pm, and continued on with regularity even after the kids were in bed and my feet were up. I'd try a bath to see if they subsided, and then eventually turn in for the night saying that if it was the real deal they'd wake me up. My original due date was March 23rd, but with every midwife appointment, my belly measurement got larger and larger until everyone eventually agreed we should move the date up to March 13th based on previous ultrasound measurements. I believe I was already measuring 42 weeks at 39 weeks gestation.

So I was BIG and round and uncomfortable, but in no hurry to evict my last tenant. Of all my babies, he was the calmest by far. Ethan was a kicker, Parker would roll around and around, Rowan did a bit of everything, but this one mainly just wiggled and nudged.

On Sunday March 17th, we started the day with a breakfast of green crepes, and green St Paddy's day shirts for all the boys. As I browsed facebook posts and saw all the St Patrick's day events, I remember thinking that it would be a great day to have a baby. Sometime in the afternoon after Rowan went down for nap, I took off to Chapter's bookstore for a coffee and a bit of Easter shopping.  I remember sitting next to and chatting with another pregnant mom at Starbucks who was expecting her first baby. The question came up of when I was due, and when I calmly answered "4 days ago", the look I got was priceless.

Despite a few contractions on the way home, I didn't really feel like a ticking timebomb. Contractions popped up periodically throughout the day, and became regular around dinner time. I laid down while Mark put the kids to bed. Later on, I felt the urge to get some more laundry into the wash, and some last minute baby things ready. As usual, I timed contractions on my Iphone, while watching TV with Mark. Around 9:30,  I decided to take care of the last load in the washer, and then head to bed, since there had been no real change in contractions. Too uncomfortable to bend down to change the laundry over, I got down on all fours. BAM! a huge contraction! I yelled upstairs to Mark to start the contraction timer, but I didn't need a timer to tell me this was the real deal. By the time I emerged with am arm full of laundry, and installed the newly washed cover on the baby swing, I was into a second powerful contraction and telling Mark to call in the troops ( that would be brother Evan and his wife Erin, who were about a 5 hour drive away).  A quick glance at the clock confirmed 4 big contractions in 20 minutes and as many trips to the bathroom; signaling that things were moving really, really quickly. I paged the midwife on call, and sent my friend Melanie a quick text at 10:06 pm, letting her know it was time. She replied "now? ACK!" and "feeling a little nervous!" I was contracting and laughing at her comments at this point nervously waiting for the midwife to call back, and trying to remember the last minute things for my bag. Photographing her first birth must have been nerve wracking, but she did a fantastic job given the low lighting and immense pressure.

Sometime shortly after I received a call from the midwife asking me when we wanted to meet her at the birthing center. Since it was late, there was no one there yet. My short answer? "!" Thank goodness my assigned midwife was off that week, because of where she lived, I don't think she would have made it in time.

Mark in the meantime made arrangements for babysitting, putting calls in to our friends who live across the street, and to his coworker. Claude was walking across the street to stay with the kids until Norma arrived a couple of hours later. Norma agreed to spend the night on the couch until Mark's brother and his wife arrived from Ajax.

Last minute things packed, and a travel mug filled with lemongrass tea, I headed out to the car which Mark had already unlocked. Then he said he was just going to go make sure the boys were tucked in...So at 10:26, sitting alone in a cold ( I mean snowy and cold) car in the dark I sent a text message to my family letting them all know we were headed to the Birthing Center. Then I waited...and waited...and waited shivering with only my lemongrass tea to keep me warm and calm.

Mark took much longer than he should have, but I think he was trying to run though a mental list of things too, and the drive to the center was only 5 minutes away afterall...over TWO sets of railroad tracks! As we made the railroad crossing, and the next contraction hit I blurted something  like "Oh No! Not F'ing now!!". Mark turned his eyes from the road to stare at me with a look of terror. I then realized that he thought I was about to give birth. As soon as I could catch my breath from the contraction, I let him know that it was the tracks combined with the timing of the contraction that had me uncharacteristically swearing like a trucker. I hadn't lost my sense of humor yet, because I found it quite amusing. I don't think I'll ever forget that look.

We made it in one piece, and I took my time getting from the car to the building. I was pleasantly surprised to find Mel sitting on the couch in the dark kitchen when we arrived. I don't remember, but I guess I tore off my winter boots right there, and left them in the middle of the floor, for Mark to discover the next morning. The midwives were there too, making preparations for us. They told me to pick a room, since we were the only ones there, I had my choice . I walked to the end of the hall, and into a room with crisp white linens, and turned right back around saying something like "too white!" I have to laugh now, because I really was in no position to be picky, and as it turns out didn't have a lot of time to be shopping for the right room.  I walked into a dimly lit room with bright orange sheer curtains topped with glowing fairy lights, and proceeded to climb up onto the bed sideways and laid there trying to catch my breath. Afterworking through a few contractions, I had Mark help me into the little adjoining bathroom, where I stayed for what seemed like forever. I finally told him I had to get up and out for fear the baby was going to be born right there. As I made my way to the side of the bed, I warned my midwives that I was feeling a ton of pressure. I remember everyone instantly came alive and scrambled to my side. Turns out they both knew my water was about to break, and tried to get something under me before it did. I know if I had stayed at the bedside, steadying myself with my hands on the mattress, little man would have been born right there and then. I wasn't ready. We had just arrived, and I wasn't physically or mentally ready. I climbed back up onto the bed which took so much energy and willpower.

A few more contractions came and went, and I worked through each one wondering when the baby would be coming, how far dilated I was, if I could even physically give birth on my side.  It was then that I realized I was in control this time- complete control. No one was going to check to see how far along I was, no one was going to tell me when to push, or how I should be positioned for birth. I had to trust myself. That realization, coupled with the intensity and frequency of the contractions was all at once exhilarating and terrifying. Taking matters into my own hands, I asked Mark to position himself behind me for support. I was ready for this baby, and the baby was ready too. The only instruction I remember getting from the midwife was to let them know when the baby's head was starting to crown. I'm guessing this was so that they could apply counter pressure, but there was no time, and he was not slowing down for anyone.

 I later asked one of the midwives if it was possible that both his shoulders delivered at the same time, since the pain was so intense. She got a bit of a grin and said that he kind of came out in a twisting motion, pretty much all at once. My little linebacker.

  I remember staring down at this pudgy warm little being that had just made a huge entrance, and hearing them say " grab your baby" a couple of times. I just stared for a second, not being able to move my hands and arms for what seemed like forever. I finally picked him up, and brought him as close as I could to my chest, forgetting more than once about the umbilical cord that still attached us. He was perfect in every way. My next question was "what time is it!? Did he make it!?" I didn't realize until then that I still wanted that St. Patrick's Day baby.  Time of birth: 11:39pm.

The atmosphere after was very relaxed. I nursed the baby, Mark finally cut the cord, and the bowl that remained beside us under the covers containing the placenta was taken away to be examined. I took a bath, while the bed linens were changed, and baby was checked over by midwives and daddy. Then we cuddled in bed together some more, and were brought what felt like a feast of fresh fruit, nuts and cheese. At some point, Angele, one of the midwives asked if I wanted to see the placenta. She brought it back into the room in a plastic bag, and laid it out on a clean absorbent sheet. She showed us the two separate membranes, the side that was against my uterus, the side that was against the baby, where the umbilical cord exited the placenta like a tree with roots. I was intrigued and amazed, sobered only by her next question "Do you want to keep it?"  "" She explained that some people take it home and plant it with a new tree. Thinking of how cold and snowy it was outside, I imagined bringing it home and putting it in the deep freeze until spring... "UM...really...NO."

Once baby was weighed and measured ( 9lbs 6 oz, 21.75 inches), Mark and I we were left alone for the evening with our newest little man; Asher Callan Kislingbury. We didn't get much sleep that night, but I remember thinking how peaceful and quiet it was, and how beautifully blessed I felt nestled in beside my husband with our hours old baby sleeping like an angel in my arms.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February challenge

Of course it's just under the wire, but here's a page I created using a fabulous sketch by Lydell Quinn for Helmar's February challenge. I love her sketches, and if you're looking for a little inspiration, I urge you to go check out the March Challenge on the sidebar of the blog.

Paper: Kesi'Art
Stickers: Kesi'Art, American Crafts
Stamps: Kesi'Art, Paper Smooches
Tape: My Mind's Eye
Buttons: October Afternoon
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Stain, Dylusions Spray Ink

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Something a little different...

A quick canvas! I made this canvas for a collaborative week we are having with Helmar and PanPastel, and because someone in my house really likes firetruck. Ok...three "someones"in my house really like firetrucks.

The Canvas measures 12 x 16 inches and  is a simple mix of Acrylic, paper and PanPastel with Helmar Decoupage and Craft  Paste.  for more information, or to see more fun projects, head over to the Helmar Blog. At first, I was skeptical about the PanPastels, because I was used to using sticks; but boy was I wrong! They were so fast to apply because of the neat little sponge applicators, and really vibrant! I can really see the benefit to both formats, and can see me actually digging out my dry pastels again to use with them.
Now to just find some extra time for creating!


Friday, February 8, 2013

My Sweethearts

Here's a layout I did for this weeks collaboration between Clearsnap and Helmar. I just couldn't put off scrapping these crazy photos for another year ( plus we'll have 4 crazy boys to juggle by then).  Check out the details on the Helmar blog here.

Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper
Patterned Paper: Doodlebug Design Inc.
Dies: Lifestyle Crafts
Letters: American Crafts
Canvas: Prima Marketing
Wire Heart: Lucky 7 Factory
Helmar Acid Free glue
Helmar 450 Quick Dry
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist
Clearsnap Rollagraph Design Wheels
Archival Dye Cartridges ( Turquoise and Black)
Colorbox Cats Eye Pigment Ink ( black) 
Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink ( Warm Red, Creamy Brown)
Gutterman Thread
Gems: Doodlebug Design Inc, Creative Imaginations

Hug your Valentines!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Mad Scientist

Sometimes, when I'm putting together a scrapbook page, I feel like I'm working outside of the box, and on a roll. I don't stop to analyze anything, and work based mainly on impulse and gut reaction. That's when I feel like a mad scientist at work.

Let me loose at an all day crop with some great company, amazing challenges and a load of bits and pieces of upcycled materials, and that's when the experiments really start to bubble.

Paper: Lucky 7 Factory, Bazzill Basics Paper
Die Cuts: Kaisercraft
Bingo Sheet, Newspaper comics, Film negative, Dymo tape, 
Washi Tape: Bella Blvd
Fabric Tape: Fab Scraps
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Stain
unknown brad,handmade newspaper flower,
wire and Tim Holtz mini staples.
letters: American Crafts

Papers: Lily Bee Design, Lucky 7 Factory
Cupcake liners, Paper doily
Buttons: Pebbles, Basic Grey
Leaves: Maya Road
letters: American Crafts
Twine: The Twinery
Fabric Tape: Love My Tapes
 Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Stain

One of these days, I'm going to get so carried away that I'm going to add something really odd to my pages. Can't wait to see what it might be!