Friday 26 May 2017

Thanks for the Smiles | #tgifc109

This week at the TGIF Challenge Blog we are inspired by fellow design team member Rochelle Blok. Rochelle inspires me regularly so this wasn't a hard challenge.  In fact recently she did a simple frame with these dragonflies and I had it on my list to do something similar.

You see, I have a friend that lost her battle with cancer last year.  For some reason she loved dragonflies.  She also loved pink and glitter with all her heart. I am reminded of her every time I see these Dragonfly Dreams die cuts and stamp set.

This is a small 6x6 canvas and its really easy.

To create this effect you need: EMBOSSING PASTE + REFILL INK + GLITTER

Mix that together on a craft mat or some plastic wrapping. Use a pallet knife to wipe it across the canvas. Just like you are icing a cake. Wait for it to dry and you are done.

This photo doesn't quite capture the sparkle that this project has... most importantly though, my angel can see it as she laughs at me in heaven.

"Thanks for the smiles and everything else" Tash.

Thanks for dropping by - make sure to be inspired by Rochelle at The Stamping Blok and join us at TGIF Challenge Blog this week.


Thursday 25 May 2017

This Little Piggy | Fancy Friday Blog Hop

"You Make me Happy".

This Pig.  These Fancy Girls.  My Readers.

You all make me happy.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by whenever you get a minute.

I am so lucky to hop every month with the Fancy Friday past and current Stampin' Up! Artisans. This month we are using some of the In Colour Combinations that Stampin' Up! has released to help inspire us all to use the new 2017-2019 In Colours.
Stampin' Up! went as far as to group them by the new colours.  Since I knew I'd be using This Little Piggy stamp set, I chose a colour combination using powder pink.  And if you ask me, this colour was made to colour pigs.

"Obvi". As my 6 year old would say alongside a flick of the head.

Like most of my cards, this pig is very simple; however, I made sure to give him some dimension by popping him off the card base.

Perhaps what you might not know is that I really don't care about my base layer... who cares about the lines?

I know.
I am wild and crazy.
My secret is out.

Best be on your way to see Marisa and what amazingly fancy project she has for you today!

Wednesday 24 May 2017

A Banner and Sahara Sand Square Cards | A Paper Pumpkin Thing Blog Hop

oh. Hello Friends.

This month's Paper Pumpkin kit blew me away. The only problem was that I was afraid I was going to run out of donuts...

How I love the pink ones with the cream coloured dough. What's funny is that I don't really like donuts  From time to time I'll grab an old fashioned plain donut with my coffee.  But that's rare.
When it comes to paper donuts... I can't get enough.

With that, I welcome you back to another A Paper Pumpking Thing Blog Hop brought to you by some Stampin' Up! demonstrators bringing you alternate ideas for the monthly Paper Pumpkin kits.

This month, the first alternate project I did was a quick birthday banner.  The metallic cording that came with the kit was a perfect thickness to hold the Stampin' Up! large letter dies spelling out 'happy birthday'. Meanwhile the kraft cording that is now on the Stampin' Up! clearance rack is the perfect trim for clothesline style banners.

With some retired mini clothespins I pieced the banners together.

Once I finished my banner, I knew that I had to finish the kit.  I made 6 cards but realized I had more donuts than the die cut card bases.  I didn't want to waste any of these donuts so I started marking some 4.25"square cards along with the Happy Birthday die cut (to be available on June 1, 2017 with the launch of the new Stampin' Up! catalog).

I used several different colours as my card base but in the end Sahara Sand was my favourite choice.

... and well... now i need to get some refill kits.

This blog hop doesn't end here.  Pam Staples is up next and her keen eye for style will certainly inspire you! Check her out!

Thursday 18 May 2017

Rainbows make me happy | Stampin' Up! Artisan Design Team Blog Hop

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

So glad you popped by to the Stampin' Up! Global Artisan Design Team Blog Hop today!

As many of you know, rainbows and unicorns are hot trends these days.  I couldn't resist bringing those trends into today's project! 

The card uses the Happy Celebrations stamp set by Stampin' Up!  The smoky slate  circles in the background are also from the same set.  I love, love, love polka dots so just having this stamp alone is enough to make me happy.

To create my rainbow background, I used the Stampin' Write markers along with water colour paper and an aqua painter pen.  It's super easy.  You can check it out in my video here!

(OK. OK. YouTube hasn't upload the video just yet.  Why doesn't everything have to take so long? Come back soon when it loads for real life!)

Keep hopping along as we showcase the Happy Celebrations stamp set (143012) and the Cool Treats stamp sets by Stampin' Up! Let's see what the amazing Dani has been busy creating!

Saturday 6 May 2017

What's OnStage? | Stampin' Up! OnStage

Every six months Stampin' Up! hosts regional events around the world called "OnStage". In April 2017, I went to Toronto to attend.  Yesterday, I posted about my adventures as I arrived into the City and after this event. Check out my adventures here.

Today I am talking about my Stampin' Up! OnStage portion of that trip.

"... Saturday morning we woke far too early for vacation.  We popped into the Subway station finding a Starbucks along the way.  It was grey and we weren’t awake. Finding yesterday’s train was unsuccessful so we hopped into a cab. Gosh.  I love people driving me around.  We arrived at the event by 7:30am and waited in line to grab our goodie bags. I watched the pockets of people flowing in and out of the line.  I saw them peering at the volunteers giving out freebies wondering whether they’d be lucky enough to get one. I saw a lady with an oversized box shifting her packages from one line to another. People were on missions but it was too early for me to figure out why. They were excited. You could feel it in the air. I remained focused on drinking my coffee because I knew there wouldn’t be any inside. Paula and Colleen were in the “P to Z” line while I was on my own in the “C” line. It was a race to see whose line would get to the front.  I would win. Of course...."

As people scrambled into the room they searched for the perfect table.  I cozied up in the back so that I could make a quick exit to the washrooms or perhaps to make sure my high pitched squeals and giggles didn't distract anyone from the presentations.

On the tables was a centre piece proudly showing some of our new ribbons and trim.  Each person had their own little placemat.  On either side of the sign was boxes. Carefully they were wrapped with a message.  They must have learned from previous events.  You were not to open these until you were told. 

At the front, you could see two large screens and in the centre there was a large stage.  Behind the round tables were the display boards which included boards for featured products as well as display boards showing samples using new released products.  There was plenty of inspiration and no matter how many times you went back for a look, you found something else you didn't notice before.

To see all my display board samples please see the following posts.

This year was Stampin' Up Canada was celebrating 15 years. Amazing. But what was even more amzing was the cupcakes and treats that were distributed. It's the little things my friends and this act of kindness was appreciated.

By now we had received our planners and new catalogs.  Presentations were largely on screen in the morning and I was having a hard time keeping my focus.  I took the time to continue practising my brush lettering. My listening ears were in full swing..

It was during the OnStage event last November that I first met Martha.  However, a quick hello never really counts for a proper meet and greet. We've been speaking for months with the Artisan Design Team so it was like we already knew each other.  It was so nice to swap stories and of course... treats.

The ladder part of the day included the fun part.  Making things. Crafting. What we are all here for. To touch and play with the new products. 

And then it was over.  We all piled out of the venue saying out goodbyes. We were happy to have left with plenty of product and motivation.

Like most adventures, I thought it was important to document the memories.

"The day continued as Stampin’ Up! released new products along with the new June catalog.  We each left with a prize patrol and I found yet another hole in my shirt. Sheez. Can’t take me anywhere. Lunch was much better that last year and coffee was added to the menu. I caught up with old friends and new friends. By 4 o’clock, the sun was still shining outside and I was anxious to get moving. Thanks Stampin’ Up! Until next time.                              Saturday, April 8, 2017"

And just like that it was over.

Toronto. A Three Page Story. | International Scrapbook Day

Today is International Scrapbook Day and I am hanging out with my friends at Creative Scrapbooker Magazine.

My layouts today are 8.5"x11".  I've choosen this album size since 2016 and it seems to be working well for me.

This "one page" layout turned into a 3 page layout with a sort of 'title' page and then a story.
.. one lengthy story.  I've included the journalling below in case you wanted to follow along.

I started to build my layout by looking at my photos and deciding if there were any "focal" point photos.  In other words, a photo that could stand alone.  It was almost easy as you can see the three of us standing in front of the Toronto sign.  

Secondly, I began to write.
.. and write...
... and write some more.

It was unending. 
My initial plan was to do a pocket page but there was too many words. Plan B was to create a sort of map. But that failed too as it was spread almongst two pages.

Once I finished the journalling in a Word document I opened up two pages in Photoshop and played with the text.  Once I was happy with it, I printed it to my every day printer.

Some might say this could be consider a hybrid layout.
You be the judge.

Using my Canon Selphy I printed several other 2x3" photos.  Although I didn't use most of them, I stuck what I considered the most important ones.  Since I am wild and crazy, I cut the photos out using my... scissors! gasp!

Eventually, I was happy with the placement of all my photos. I used dimensionals to pop them off the page.  

Using some speech bubbles from Ali Edwards story kits, I considered this ultra simple layout complete.

The timing couldn’t have been better – a weekend adventure to Toronto.  With only an hour of sleep the night before, I was surprised at my energy when Colleen picked me up early evening. The sun was crashing through the window as we headed to pick up Paula.  No need to be concerned about flight cancellations, you would think. We were wrong. A short delay - but that gave us a little more time to catch up and unwind.

With no checked luggage we scampered onto the Up train to Union Station.  Then down into the subway to Dundas Street. It was raining now and reminded me a little of a travelling scene from the Harry Potter movies. Finally, arriving into our boutique hotel room at the Bond Place Hotel. The hotel lobby was small and uncomplicated.  One man was on the desk and was oddly accommodating as he passed out tap water to each of us. The hotel room was composed of a queen size bed and two twin beds.  A bathroom with a sliding door without a lock. Perfect for a family of four and interesting for a group of three.

It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep. Goodnight Thursday.

It was Friday when I woke up to the other two yakking.  Soon the door would crack open as a housekeeper tried to enter.  Come on now. It was for certain before 10am. Definitely time for a beautiful breakfast. Fran’s was just around the corner and did not disappoint.  A perfect 24 hour diner with freshly squeezed orange juice made right in front of your eyes.  I wonder how much those juicers cost They don’t even peel the rinds off.  Across the street was the iconic Massey Hall. The billboard outside said “Live at Live Hall: Joel Plaskett Solidarity Tour”. Yes please.  We snagged tickets and headed to H&M.

Over an hour of sweating inside and outside the fitting rooms, I could finally say I was done.  Why is it always so hot in stores?  The sun was shining again but it was time to make our way onto the Go Trains to Exhibition Park. 

Sometimes I wonder about us three.  Perhaps we need a chaperone.  Or at least a time keeper.  Maybe a navigation expert.  We sat on the train while it stopped at Exhibition Park.  When the train slowly started to pull away we looked at each other and said “Was that Exhibition Park?”. Across the cement walls, we saw the words passing by.  It sure was.  Stopping at Mimico, we raced across the platforms to catch a train the wrong train.  Then we raced across again chasing another. Eventually making our way to Exhibition Park where I would set up my samples for Stampin’ Up!’s OnStage event to take place there tomorrow.

Back to the hotel we go and out to Montecito restaurant.  It did not disappoint.  The waitress had a hard time smiling but she felt important so we played the game.  Wine and drinks with charcuterie and steak tartare. Just give me all the wine. Yes. I’ll take it all. 

It was a hop, skip and a jump to Mrs. Henderson, a play that we had booked the week before. Always an adventure when you didn’t know you’d be watching women prancing around without their tops on.  We left the play and dragged Colleen away from a basement bar with the base so loud I felt my belly inside my head.  Down the street we ran into the “Toronto” sign.  A stranger showed off his photography skills to his girlfriend as he genuinely wanted to take our picture for us.

Back at the hotel room, I dropped into a slumber for our early rise the next morning to Exhibition Park.

When the event was over, we walked over to the Train Station and headed back to Union Station.  It was a breeze. We had finally mastered the train.  Stopping at Blaze pizza for a bite before landing ourselves into Massey Hall for Joel Plaskett.

Before going to the concert, I contacted an old friend who likely introduced me to Joel Plaskett.  Joni and Matt were downstairs with some friends.  I joined them for a beer and simply couldn’t contain my excitement of seeing her again.  Joni is a forever friend and up for any type of adventures.  Time may pass but you never know when we’ll be together again.  Thanks for the beer Joni and until next time.

Upstairs we climbed to the second balcony.  We were close to the stage and could see all angles. We plopped into the classic red velour seats and looked at each other when we realized that the backs popped out and the seat cushion moved forward. I marveled at the fact that I could see everything. I saw people’s reactions to the songs and who was using a camera or not. CYou could hear all the yells and banter.  A perfect venue and a perfect concert. 

The night didn’t end there. We walked to Lena for a last call where we drank tequila and some drinks. Tequila. As if that is ever a good idea. And Thelma and Louise over there were shooting extras while I was in the washroom. They would live to regret that later, I am sure. Next we moved to the Hard Rock Café for vodka.  By now we have a case of the giggles and wander our way back to the Bond Street Hotel.

When I woke up the next morning, the Blonde was asking the Brunette at what time she moved out of her bed.  It would seem that I missed out on plenty of bed time conversation. It was Sunday and we were heading home early evening but there was much shopping left to be done. I circled around my bed and watched Paula guzzle some water then tuck herself back under the covers.  “Not today Junior.” Colleen and I headed to Adidas on the quest to find the perfect pair of triple white ultra boost sneakers for my husband.  It was the last quest I needed to claim Wife of the Year.  Apparently this feat was difficult but settled on a similar pair from Foot Nation.  Feeling quite pleased with myself, we headed back to nab our sleeping beauty.

She was a state but ready to rumble. We wandered down to Queen Street and almost walked directly into a sign stating “Hangover kits available here”. Well then. Sure thing, chicken wing. 

Yeah no. That didn’t work.

I do like to shop and talk. So we did.  Blu Boho was lined with perfectly casings of jewelry. The door showed a fresh coat of paint and inside there was a navy blue velour couch with pin cushions.  I watched a photographer come off the street to take photos inside. I couldn’t help but agree that there was something about this place that was perfection.

“You are loved” the bracelet said. So, I bought it for Jane. A perfect gift.

It was now time for me to meet my cousin while Colleen and Paula headed in their our direction.  I was waiting in Nordstroms but it was simply to hot for me and I wandered next door in the Eaton Centre.  Inside people were waiting in line for what seemed to be flowers. With a closer look I noticed they were making flower tiaras to celebrate the arrival of Spring.  With nothing else to do but wait, I hopped in line until Amanda arrived. I watched ballet dancers come and go and volunteers handing out gerbers. Light was streaming from the roof into the foyer and I couldn’t help but think how lucky people have it here. So much opportunity and so much flavor. When Amanda arrived, she looked at me unsure whethershe wanted to join me or not. Oh Amanda.  Just go with the flow. We placed the real flowers around a stem using wire to secure them in place.  When they were done, we plopped them on our head and took a snap. Gosh.  We are a beautiful little bunch, aren’t we?  For the rest of the day I wandered the stores with my flower tiara.

By the time I had met back up with Colleen and Paula, I was zonked.  It was coming past the time we were to meet to catch our cab back to the airport. And all the while, they had been downstairs attending church.  It was indeed Palm Sunday. It’s a funny day. It was a day where we really just didn’t know where we’d end up.. making tiaras or attending church in the bottom of a hotel.

Until next time Toronto. That was truly fun.

Thursday 4 May 2017

Eastern Palace | Artisan Stampin' Up! Design Team Blog Hop

why, hello there.
(picture me waving)

Welcome back to another Eastern Palace Suite Blog Hop brought to you by the amazing global Stampin' Up! Artisan Blog Hop. Last month we brought you a little taste of this glorious set and this month we are giving you the cherry on top.  You can now experience this Eastern-inspired opulence.  Contact your local demonstrator today to get a free gift and three of the new 2017-2019 In Colors included in one of your exclusive bundles.

This project was created as I was inspired by a dream catcher that I remember seeing when I was little in the kitchen window of my grandmother's house.  It was made out of leather and carefully handmade with fabrics and trim. Underneath the circle, it had three tassles that hung down. On the ends of the tassles were tiny multi-colored beads and several lightly coloured feathers. I appreciate the handmade.  I didn't then but I do now.  How I wished that I could find that today.  With that memory, I was inspired to create this card.

Dreamcatchers are meant to help people have good dreams and were thought to orignally be made by American Indians.  Very cool, I say.

First I placed a couple die cuts on top of each other. Next, I laid the very vanilla lace trim over top folding it over three times.  I always use this very vanilla lace trim to soften my projects. Over top of the lace, I added a layer of gold metallic twine and gold 1/8" trim. The sentiment was popped up using dimensionals and was exactly the right sentiment of the moment.

Just a simple 'hello'.

No project is finished without pearls in this house so I began adding them on the diagonal.
I quite like it.  I think I'll send it to a friend that perhaps could use a dream catcher right now.

Thanks for dropping by! My friend Dani is up next!

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Celebrating Ya-Yas | Simple Scrapper Creative Design Team

Every month, I contribute at minimum two projects to the Simple Scrapper Spark magazine.  This magazine is distributed to the Simple Scrapper community as a guide for inspiration.  It includes sketches, story starters and differen tools in order to bring out the best in you while exploring this hobby.

However, I have been forgetting to post these layouts.
With every month, I set new creative goals and this month I am going to catch up.
Right?!? Errr.

Although I can't share with you the sketches or story starters, I can assure you that they are amazing jumping off points.  In fact, I was very much happy with my start on this layout.  However, when it came to adding some layers, I didn't want my polka dots to get lost...  I heart polka dots so much and I just love that paper.  

Tips & Tricks:// Use vellum as a layer when trying to follow a sketch in the event that you don't want to lose much of your background paper.

The story of the Ya-Yas was prompted by the story starter. I can hoenstly say I am grateful to have this story on paper.  Its been several months since it occurred and already the little details have been lost.  Regardless, its a story that I hope I can remember for many many years.

Truthfully, its really about the words on this page that makes it so special.

It was a secret that lasted for months. 

My mother-in-law, Nancy was born in the United States.  Her two sisters, Cathy and Terry continue to live there with their families. The history of this is long and complicated but know that they didn’t grow up under the same roof for many of those years. However, they have developed a sisterhood that can only be envied.  They call themselves the Ya-Ya sisters and typically only see each other once a year. This particular year in 2016 was a difficult one as they lost their Mother unexpectedly. Of course, they seemed to have grown closer through those Summer weeks.

When the Fall came, Nancy had a planned Florida vacation with my family.  She was very much looking forward to the escape.  What she didn’t know was I had been planning with her two Ya-ya sisters to also join us.  

My husband reminded me not  to tell his father now his sister.  They are not known for keeping secrets.

Plans were made with Cathy for flight times and meeting places. However, Nancy was curious as to our plans for the days on the vacation. I had plans but she couldn’t know them yet. 

Keeping the secret began more and more difficult as we made it to Florida.  We arranged to meet at a restaurant; however, the restaurant wouldn’t let us be seated without the full party.  Trying to keep Nancy out of ear shot, I had to explain that there was a surprise going on and we needed to get seated... Cathy and Terry were in slow traffic and a little behind schedule.  Eventually a Manager knew what was happening as I had called the day before and let us into a room without any other customers.

We waited and delayed ordering for the two mysterious ladies to show up.  They both wore large sunglasses and wigs to disguise themselves.  And it worked. Nancy didn’t catch on at first but when she did, the tears flowed and the emotions were high.  The waitresses and staff were happy to see the reunion and I knew the secret could finally be shared.

Nancy got to go to Disney World for the first time with her Ya-Ya sisters.  She enjoyed the beaches, sunsets and drinks.  Making this trip to Florida a memory she will likely remember forever.

Thanks so much for dropping by,