Thursday, December 29, 2011

Well, that explains it all.

The kids come by their un-photogenic-ness naturally.
Add to the mix a husband that is laughing to hard to hold the camera and you get a bunch of scary photos of me at Christmas. 
I have given up Cheezies and other corn based products. Every time I go to my parents' house I ask if they have any Cheezies. Mom bought a bag just for me. Sadly, Emily ate most of it. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It wouldn't be the same without them.

We have a long standing tradition of the taking of the Christmas photo. This is the photo I'd love to have done before 7 days till Christmas, maybe I'd like to be one of those people that sends out Christmas photo cards. But to get all the people in the same room while it's still light out is impossible. So here we are a week before the big day.
 Sally's pretty good about the whole picture taking thing, she knows camera+mom=treats. She helped get the settings done. But then factor in the big dog, the fact I just had to use my 50mm f/1.4 lens, and my walls are dark blue, and all hell breaks loose.
This year, the dogs opted for jester type neck wear. They said reindeer antlers hurt their heads. They thought the looking up and to the side pose was a good one, they are contemplating what goodies they will get for Christmas.
 These to on the other hand, wouldn't sit close to each other, hence the slightly out of focus boy. Neither would look at the camera at the same time, or smile, or open their eyes. So many things wrong. But...this is the tradition, Christmas photos at our house are goofy, full of laughs, and if I learned anything in the last 2 years, it's "Expectations reduce joy!"
The girl had all her hair cut off this week, about 3 inches. Super cute, when she combs it.
These two...Even Linus has to admit, as much as he would love to be a lap dog, he's just not so sure there's a lap big enough for him. I love how all his paws are up in the frame.
There are a few photos of me but they are pretty nasty.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 days!

December 15th. 10 days till Christmas. We are not ready.
I have not died.  Although after healing up from my epic stair descending fail, I caught a cough, it's been 5 weeks and one day. I've offered to give it away, and no one will take it.
 I helped Heather at the Benvoulin Craft sale, another successful year! I love that sale.

 I have become obsessed with making these wreaths and garlands, watch the tutorial, by Shelley.  I went to school with her, mom worked with her mom, her sister is my neighbour, although we've never been formally introduced. The cream one is my mom's, the rose one is my mother-in-law's. I made them each one for no good reason. I ran out of supplies before I could make mine and I haven't had time to start it because I have gone and done something mighty stupid. I got an "outside the house" job. Part-time at London Drugs. I am not adjusting well. Maybe payday will help.
I also made the garland and would like to make the other things Shelley shows tutorials for but I have to be realistic, it's probably not going to happen. I did notice her sister has a nice wreath on her front door, might be on mine if I don't get one done.
I went to an awesome scrap booking retreat with a great group of ladies! Had so much fun and even got stuff done. And the food was amazing.
I only have one regret...I told Karen I felt bad that she only got to work on her Christmas cards at the retreat while everyone around worked on layouts, mini albums, She Art, etc. Now, Karen has finished, and probably mailed Christmas cards. I have nothing. 
Discovered I can't eat lettuce, my body doesn't like it, at all. Even though I like.
Had a group of 11 teen girls make sock cupcakes. I wished I had a round cupcake holder, and contemplated buying the Cricut cartridge, but then realized I'd probably never use it again.
I've also discovered that life doesn't end if you fall asleep at 8 and don't get to watch Criminal Minds, CSI, or Law and Order:SVU. With no PVR anymore, I can't even record my favourites, and oddly enough, I'm okay with it.

Hopefully, I get back here before Christmas. If I don't, I hope my 2 readers have the best Christmas ever!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2 weeks to catch up on

Today is the first day I haven't felt the stiffness in my hips and have been able to get a few things done. Tip for anyone with stairs: if you fall down them, make sure you have a good 2 weeks to recuperate. 
Details of my fall....first let's go back a few days before to my first trip to Emergency. 
I had major pain on my left side under my ribs all day. After dinner, it was so bad I couldn't sit or lay down, I had major heart burn the day before. I spent 3+ hours standing in ER. A bunch of tests were done and some thing pointed to possibly having a kidney stone, but there wasn't a stone. I'm going for more tests. I have not been in pain since but am on 'diet' that includes Metemucil, acidophilous, plant enzymes and an avoidance of raw veggies and greasy foods.
That was Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. 

Thursday, I was home alone and fell off the 3rd step from the bottom of the cement basement. I landed on 4 hardwood stairs. I don't think I have ever instantly cried when I've hurt my self like I did then. I could not stand up to get back up the stairs. I crawled up, called Kerry, then mom to pick Emily up, and waited. I probably should have called 911. I didn't want to go back to the ER and probably complained more about that than anything. I could not walk in so a nice woman got me a wheel chair. 
I have learned that pain in the 'chest' area and not being able to walk into ER get you in much faster. 
I got a nice room, some nice machines hooked up to me, and lots of attention. X-rays said maybe a tiny bit of vertebrae chipped off but it was too hard to tell. I had pain between shoulder blades, middle back, lower back and hips, 4 stairs. And a giant purple goose egg just off my spine.  
I had morphine for the first and hopefully last time. ( I may have said I was dying from the poison shot into my shoulder and that I could feel said poison coursing through my veins to my heart.) And percocet, which isn't worth it, makes me itchy and nauseous, and didn't seem to do much for the pain. 
The doctor said to take it easy for a week, hot and cold compresses, Tylenol and Advil, and lots of attention. I go that from my friends! All kinds of goodies, the favourite being mini chewy Sweetarts and Pringles, which helped with the nausea. I lost .9 of a pound, go figure. 
Sleeping is difficult, I can't roll over without pain, but last night was the best sleep in 2 weeks!
 The couch potato-ing was only made bearable with the help of a 2 pieces of fruit! Apple and Blackberry! Love having a laptop, moving the imac was not an option!
The worst part.... I couldn't carry the weight of my camera with the 24-70mm lens on it. So all my shots are with the 50mm f/1.4. I remember why I love that lens. 
Here's a little bit of what I managed to do, some from the couch and some with slow painful movement.
We decorated the Halloween tree. Yes, we have a tree for Halloween. 

 I made an owl hat from the couch. My handstitching is improving.
And a Pikachu for my friend's daughter.
Got 25 of these put together, from the couch.
Today, I made a few cards in my craft room that some how got messy while I was on the couch! I pulled out that old tube of Liquid Applique and used it on the penguin's hat.
 I had Christmas on the brain.
 But did make a Halloween card.

I may have already shared this one, but I really like it so I'm sharing again. This is from my layout class.
 And this is this month's layout. No pictures on it, but I love it anyways.
 This is for tomorrow's stamper's group. Lots of newbies! So excited!
 I made a strawberry to hold a Hershey's kiss.
 I went to Yama's for this lovely lady's birthday!  Love the food there. 
 Hobbled around the pumpkin patch with Emily and Kerry. 
 Before the fall, I took some impromptu photos of some sisters who won't let the distance keep them apart. Miss you, Wendy! Thinking about you! And Heather, if  you are reading this, GET BACK TO WORK!

Today also marks the 1 year anniversary of when we met Amy, David, and Trevor in person! What I wouldn't give to be back in Disneyland celebrating Halloween with them this year!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Right now

I'm damaged goods. I'm past my warranty. I'm down but not out.
I have had stomach issues, which resulted in a trip to the ER. By the end of the week, I was back in ER again. I fell down the beautiful hardwood stairs. I've been a couch potato for over a week now. It's slow going. I will be back soon.

Thursday, October 06, 2011


Sometimes I wonder why I even try.
The one without the fur coat turns 22 tomorrow. He's the least co-opertive of the 3. I could wax poetic about how 22 years ago he was born, I could go on and on about what a joy he is to be around, how proud we are, blah blah blah. But that wouldn't be me. Just like getting a portrait of him smiling with his eyes open wouldn't be him. He has "Earl syndrome", and just like Earl's parents, we have a large amount of "eyes closed" photos of Shaun. So I take what I can get. (Sally is running to get closer to the camera, keep this in mind for later.)
 This one came home just as we were finishing up. Her and Linus have a love/hate relationship, she wants to hug and cuddle him, he wants to get away. So I have to be fast when I want photos of the two of them.
 Very fast because this starts to happen...
 See the lower left corner....she's coming.....
 And BAM there she is! The biggest camera hog in this house! And probably the cutest!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pinterest Inspired

 I limit my time I spend on Pinterest, it's a huge time waster. But it's also a great place to get inspiration. April had said she saw some neat masking tape/paint canvases. When I searched this morning, I found something like this, and so I decided to try it out and hang this in the new improved basement. I'm bothered by the fact I only have 2, I'd like 3 but I used what I had. It was super easy. Since I no longer do decorative painting, I am limited in paint colour selection, so I have been having to mix my own colours. I won't be able to make a third canvas exactly the same, so I won't even try.
 Heather pinned something similar to this and I loved it so much that before I left for work yesterday, I had to get the letters glued down so that they would be ready for painting when I got home. I loved that I used up 29 pieces of chipboard that were taking up prime real estate in my craft room.
Cheryl posted a print she had made with a quote from the Nightmare Before Christmas and I'd been wanting to do something like this for a while so it inspired me! I did this while watching Tucker screw over his own mother on the Young and the Restless.
Now to stock up on canvases because in less than 24 hours, I managed to deplete our stock pile significantly and the wrath of Emily is similar to the wrath of Kahn, only worse because I have to live with her.
Also, I have been published in September and October issues of Cricut magazine. I couldn't even remember what I'd sent in for October until I checked the copy at Chapters. Linus and Sally made their debut and so did the photoshoot of Amanda and Roxy! Very exciting!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

a quick week in review

We've been working on the garden for a few weeks. We have plans on covering it with river rocks, and planting shrubs and ornamental grasses. So far, it looks great! We have since covered it, and probably won't do the rocks until spring. Sadly, we only have 1/3 of the garden done. 1/3 will eventually be small garden boxes for my much smaller garden. We decided after 13 years that we just can't maintain a garden this size. We also calculated the amount of time and effort it takes to grow 3 tomato plants and really, it's cheap to just buy the tomatoes. 
 We also had our 2nd Crafts for the Homebound this week. We made Halloween wreaths. I can't wait to hang mine up and start hauling out the rest of the Halloween decorations. And yes, one button is pink, I don't know how that happened.
 After years of searching for the perfect camera bag, I think I am done. I have a Shootsac, which is great for shooting, and a Crumpler, which is great for travelling, but I wanted a purse that had enough protection to throw my camera, but didn't scream "camera bag". I wavered between this and an epiphanie bag, but the cost of the bag and the shipping was too high for me. I considered the fact that neither bag was leather, and I read mixed reviews, but after seeing one in person, I knew this bag was the one I wanted. And I got the yellow one! The colour mom said 'we' should never wear. I love it. It holds all my camera equipment, or a camera and a bunch of other purse filler stuff. But what I love the most is that it has a shoulder strap. I have the padding to turn any purse into a camera bag but most purses available right now don't have shoulder straps. I think it says something too that when I unpacked the bag, Kerry said "How much was this?" I think it was because he expected it to be more than it was.
We are taking the truck and camper on it's maiden voyage this weekend. (the first one as our truck and camper.) I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't need to pack our existing camping supplies into the camper. It still holds everything from when Grandpa used it, like vintage Corelle dinner ware. They don't make it like they used to. Not a chip in any of it, unlike our 2 year old Corelle set that has a chip out of every.single.plate. We also plan on taking the big dog with us, which in itself will be an adventure, I'm sure. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Here! My Favourite Time of Year!

We didn't get a most wonderful summer, it was slow to start, only happened a few days in a row, then rewound to spring and started again. It was weird. But now we have AUTUMN! Sure the days are shorter, but the the smells are better, the colours are richer, the clothes are cozier. 
I'm getting things ready for Halloween, or for October. I've been stock piling the Nightmare Before Christmas tree decorations. 

 The Mother-of-All falling cleaning list....I've got a few things checked off. Polish marble counter tops! Check! I don't have any! Clean fireplace! Check! Clean attic! Check!  
 On the advice of a friend, I managed to pick up over $500 in frames for $12. Plain, inexpensive ones but I've got plans and a can of spray paint.
 This is another frame. These will come in so handy for my October decorating.
 As will this! I love this stuff.
 I made a few of these for the tree, but then thought they'd look great on a black wreath that Heather is peer pressuring me into getting. 
 For the very first time ever! Introducing STICKY. We have snails, Fievel the mouse and now Sticky the snake. We've never had a snake in our yard. I don't really care, I'd rather have 10 snakes than one large spider any day. This little smarty got his tongue stuck on the cement and Shaun had to use a stick to un-stick it. He's in the lavender bush as we speak. I hope he jumps out when Emily comes home so she can see him. Boy, how I hope he does that!
I'm almost afraid to go out and pick the rest of the Italian Prunes! Good thing I picked tomatoes with my eyes closed, I do not want to see a tomato worm, and one year one was in our plum tree. I love fall!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beginning of Fall - unedited

I didn't edit any of these photos. I'm living on the edge today.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with chalkboard rocks or jars, but I painted them up and took pictures of them too.
 Even did before, during, and after shots.

 Really, who doesn't need a chalkboard rock?
 And who's desk wouldn't be complete without a chalkboard jar?
 I made myself a little brag book. Is it creepy that I have one of my cousin's baby? Maybe but she's so dang cute and I had this little album just waiting for a baby!
 Un-edited pictures of mine are often crooked. I got some personal scrapbooking done and it felt so good!
 If you are in the market for a truck that runs, hauls, and is a Ford, let me know, we are letting this one go. No one needs 2 trucks.
 And not to be left out, if you need a van, let me know, this baby is going too! Again, runs, hauls, and is a Ford. What more could a person want in a vehicle? 
 I was eating plums off the tree and left the canine picker on the deck. He hogs all the plums if I let him help. I gave them each a half plum.
 He's tentative if he's not quite sure, where as Sally and her plum were long gone.
 Patience is a virtue.
And I finally connected this little goodie up and am feeling pretty darn happy about knowing I'm backing up my files all.the.time. It's also a snazzy modem wi-fi thingy that makes my printer wireless or something to that effect. I just know it's backing me up.