Monday, June 29, 2015

slight digression

And I did have every intention of NOT buying storage supplies but...

There was a tremendous sale at Staples.  Those 3 binders for plastic plastic page protectors, of which I have many, were $2.97 and then another 25% off.   score!  The binders will have the  sheets of alphabet stickers, themes, etc.  I'll just flip instead of digging through containers  in various locations. Might try my stencils. The lidded boxes will be for all the loose stickers, a colour per category which I hope limits me to 5 categories.  The flat trays will be to corral stamps in the shallow drawers, I'm thinking. And all those stamps I'm saving for the grand kiddies will GO to the grand kiddies and their mother can store them!  lol   I was looking for magazine holders for scrap book paper. Got 3 cheap ones in our local print shop but just the smaller 9 inch size.  The gal at the Scrapbook store said the larger ones for 12 inch paper is hard to find but she found one to sell me.   One tip was to cut paper to preferred size anyway.  I'll go by colour and anything that doesn't fit will be tossed!  When I finally get mad I am okay with this much space and not an inch more. 

I sent our library a request for an organizing book by Marie Kondo, that will make me happy to throw stuff away! It seems to be a bit quirky but fun. Indeed, it kinda fine tunes the way I already think about organizing. 1) drag it all out, be horrified and then chose the best to keep.  oops, point 2 was don't buy storage supplies,  etc.  :{   Well, at least it'll keep me motivated.  I hope.  She also says do it once which I can't seem to accomplish.  I let go of most of the biggies layer by painful layer.  :(  I'm in the pursuit of the perfect work space but it is definitely a progressive process. 

The blank page does not stall me.  Mess and too many choices does stall me.  So nicely organized and easy to access supplies inspire me.

So far I have 'edited' stamps, especially those teeny ones I can't even decipher.  :(  I eliminated all the oil pastels and the oil paint sticks. The smell puts me off them and I've no patience to await drying.  Wrinkled, odd sized and ugly paper- trash.  The thrift shop can store magazines and old books and papers.  (I'm more and more amazed at the fact that if you need it the thrift shops somehow have it!)  Now all my mark making paraphernalia I've collected is going to the basement which is one step closer to the garbage.   Goodness knows it fairly easy to replace.  :-}

I eventually got to the place with quilting where I said, "enough"!  I don't buy much fabric anymore and usually it is in small amounts and with something in mind.   My mistake was thinking this mixed media phase of my life was different!  ha!  So it now has a boundary, a physical space and it is not allowed to encroach on my fabric space.  Fabric and mixed media do meet but it'll be on my neutral work table!  ;^)  There will be no more buying unless it can be used in the next 24 hour time period. 
Not quite done as I didn't fill the binders yet.  The small sampling of inspiration is still too big but I have got breathing room.
Now with things looking less stressful it is time to get back to the beginning; my default setting where I regroup and gather momentum to continue the life I luv!  And, no surprise, the simpler I make things the easier it is to start at the beginning and quickly move to the MAKING!  Shoot!  I even have some empty drawers.  :)

 Next up- my monthly project reports! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Part TWO

No, you may not have missed part one.  :{  It happened a few years ago when I realized I don't handle visual stimulation very well.  Apparently now I don't do well with too many choices!

This post could be titled-  Addressing ADDS.  :O

I apologize to those who wish I would quit typing and just do it/ make it!  But this is my journey and writing it down, reading it and putting it out 'there' has proved helpful in the past.

It seems I have been kinda stuck but it is time to move on.  And I have been trying to find the right line up.  This last line has actually been moving forward.  I knew I was a 'technique junkie'.  The better, more appropriate title might be 'dabbler'.  That makes me wince.  This past week I've been listening to a free 'making art'  program sponsored by Bebe Butler.  hmm, kinda comforting that lots struggle with creativity/productivity.

So far the best has been one gal who talked about supply clutter- my terminology.  But she did say buying supplies can make us procrastinate and also it can make us think the 'right' supply will be the magic wand to creating.  Hmmmm!     I skipped over to the blog and here are some of her tips.   Jessica Leigh Brogan's  tips:  

So part two is to reduce my supply buying habit addiction, simplify the tools, set out a LIMITED array of current luvs and ...  vbsigh,  hope for the best!  ;-)

I believe that knowledge is power in the sense that understanding can bring about desire to change and I do hope that my journey, convoluted as it is, inspires others to Do It/Make It!

Gee, there might be a part 3!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The cooler weather has resulted in big and heavy peony blossoms.

 They don't last very long but their sweet scent lingers long.

I have to bring them into the house where I can enjoy them as they sprawl out and lay themselves on the ground.  Not pretty for such lovely flower blossoms.

And speaking of blossoms, My friend Margaret, over at Scrap Wisdom Collage is really blossoming.    She will be revealing her collection on Sunday, June 28th.  I can't wait for these girls to show their petals!  Margi is following her bliss and combining a few of her luvs in a wonderful bouquet.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Journaling the journey

I enjoyed preparing a journal for my grandson to record the happenings of our trip.  Each day there was a baggie with journal fodder to personalize the page.  I gave him my old camera so he could also record his own interests.  We started with a basic book.  I added flaps and pockets.  As we moved through the time the book just got fatter and fatter.  Once home I kept it to update it with photos and I'll return it for his finishing touches.  Truth be known it was more my priority than his but it will be a good visual reminder for the future.

It seems I couldn't help adding more than photos to some pages!   Here are some of  my favourites:

We began with a departure, a layover and a destination;  airplanes, three airports and the arrival.  I used the pictures that I took but I've left pages for his use.  I'll try to be calm when he applies the stickers!  ;^)

Staying with my daughter, we experienced life in a apartment.  We also had a job to do as we helped redecorate it.  We would schedule sight seeing tours to coordinate with supply errands.

This happy place got lots of visits.  Plants, a fish pond, furniture and decorating accessories.  It was here that Josh saw a 30 inch Eiffel Tower and the hunt was on for one he could afford!  We actually worked on this page early in our trip.

He did find an Eiffel Tower 3D puzzle at the Good Will store.  I think when he gets older he is gonna hate that photo he insisted I take!  lol

Meal prep deteriorated as the project became more involved.  We also used his aunt's DVD collection for some baby sitting when his assistance as a painter wasn't required. ;^)

Laura did mention that if we had paid better attention to 'Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House' we may have seen what was coming for us!!!  :O

Half way-  I'm tempted to staple this spread together until he has used up all his stickers!  :{

By this page we should have been on the road and headed south but we had to finish up.  By golly, we did it!  Josh must have watched Ice Age 2 times plus the added features the night before.  We hadn't realized how late it was.  We took advantage of his sleeping in to get that last tricky stuff done.  He awoke in time for furniture moving!  LOL

In the midst of the final push we heard bells.  No, we weren't losing it.  The ice cream truck was circling the parking lot and Josh and I dashed out with our paint clothes, his wallet, and my realization that we'd missed lunch!

We had to be on the road early to make up for that last work day.  Breakfast at Timmies!  Heck, it was a holiday so why couldn't he have a gooey donut with sprinkles! Wish I could find a sticker!!!
Josh is interested in ships and luvs water.  We hit the mall, grabbed a quick bite and were gone before the press gangs could find us.  Aye, matey!

Stayed a bit too long at the birthday party but we got down to the park before it got too dark.

I didn't know if we'd see wildlife but I figured a black feather was a good bet.  I chopped off Josh's head as I tried to catch him as he tried to touch the crow so I had to get creative!  :)  I was printing lots of picture.  I got the wrong size but I fussy cut the two figures and wow, turned out great!  LUV this page.  The hotel booklet folds out and has the room key and a postcard of its logo- a fox.  Josh missed it but I did see one out the train window.  :P

Then we began the last drive through the ice fields and into Jasper.   There lots around so I dug out my bike stickers.

We didn't have a lot of time in Jasper.  Next time!  Laura and I are already thinking about grand kiddie #2!

The train ride was wonderful.  It gave me a chance to catch my breath.

Too much breath.  We arrived late! :(   Apparently the freight trains have priority.

The stamps that Josh used to send post cards back home became a pouch for postcards.  I used the top of that over sized photo here.

And one more over sized boo boo made a nice touch on the very back cover.

I would like to point out that it really is the glitches that add that something special to the journal.  They aren't something you can plan for, just incorporate them and things get better and better. I really luved doing this.  I think it just may be part of my passion.  :-}

Friday, June 19, 2015

We aren't lost. We're exploring!

Joshua's favourite spot in the car was the middle of the back seat so he could monitor the GPS.  On the plane and the train he poured over the emergency measures charts and was rather disappointed we didn't use the emergency shoot on exiting. :P  He luvs maps.

Before we started the road trip and because all work and no play makes Jack Josh a dull boy we did do a few fun things before we started the turn for home.

There was a trip (or two) to a great garden centre with fabulous home decorating options.  The gold fish were huge!

We took time for picnics.  okay, so the table was totally covered with stuff. lol

This was a very cool sundial in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

You can't visit Alberta without encountering dinosaurs.  It was a great interactive museum and we just found the last scavenger hunt item when a school bus rolled up and delivered a school field trip of sixty youngsters.  phew!

Once we were on the road we set our sites for the big mall in Edmonton and a big as life pirate ship!  Then we hauled anchor for my brother's and a birthday party for his grandson.  Joshua got to meet cousins!

A fuel stop for the car as we ourselves were quite full of birthday cake, and we turned our spyglass towards the mountains.

With a little help from the lady in the GPS we found our accommodations.  Don't cha just luv faerie lights!

There were lots of sweet colourful bikes everywhere and with baskets!  Josh stocked up on jellybeans while we picked up a few 'necessities'.  ;^)

Some things he didn't find as sweet as others!   lol

Actually seeing natural blue waters amazes me.  The scenery is wonderfully inspiring.

Having lost a day to properly finishing up the decorating, we had to step up the pace as we explored the park.  These tunnels allow the wildlife a safe route from one side of the highway to the other.

 The train station in Jasper was our final stop in the park.

This is actually a rather busy and very attractive station.

Our train arrived and two hundred passengers disembarked into waiting tour buses.  :0

Josh got an extra engine to help out in case of need.  We said our goodbyes and gave thanks to our excellent hostess and chauffeur!

The mountains are wonderfully exhilarating.   But there is something about big skies and wide open spaces that are indeed a great welcome home. 

oh, and  as an important aside. 

Because our seats were beside an emergency exit window Josh listened carefully to the instructions for breaking the window.  After examining everything he assured me that as he sat next to the window he would take care of any 'emergency measures'.  :)  I do wish he had discovered how the leg rests and foot stool worked before we settled down for the night rather than the next afternoon. :{  The train decided to make up for some lost time due to heavy freight schedules during our time in the dining car which made eating interesting but the food was delicious and pretty classy.  We very much enjoyed our time away and the various modes of travel.  I do think the train was the best though.

And now to get the photos into Josh's journal so we don't lose any of those exploring memories.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

yoo hoo, I'm back

Been there.  Done that.   I'll have to do it again when the next grand child turns seven.  But I will have time to rest up!

We mixed a little business with our pleasure.  hmm, maybe some pleasure with our business.  ahem, the proportions for little and lot may vary. :O  But we did have a LOT of fun.   DD#1 asked for some help with decorating her apartment.  She had three requests.

1) Hang a favourite big picture.
2) Revamp a boring bathroom.
3) Paint the basic builder beige living room.

You kinda need to pay attention  so you can understand how 1, 2, 3, became 4, 5, and 6!  Laura is still trying to do the math.  It is quite simple, really.

Upon arriving I immediately made a mental note that her bedroom had a poor furniture placement.   First job was to shift things around.  Much better but hmm, this room definitely needs painting.  Her favourite colour for bedroom decor is Wedgwood blue.  No problem but there is indeed a different problem.  The man who designed things placed a fire alarm smack in the centre of the wall seen from her pillows.  :(   There is definitely a need for a creative solution.  We slept on it.

The favourite picture after unpacking turned out to be not quite so big. It doesn't really work in the front room.  It is leaning precariously above the fridge.  It does compliment the cupboards and fits nicely above the sink.  :)

It is surely evident that painting the living room must include kitchen, dining room and well, the hallway.  Right?  Poor Joshua, he moved those boxes twice.  :{

So with a general plan in mind, a list and camera to store our memory we were off to consider our options.  Laura likes colour as you can see from her cranberry coloured couch.

She also needed a table and chairs.  First thing we clapped eyes unto in the furniture store was this:

So now she needs a hutch, table and chairs, etc. and that is what happened to the travel fund.  It was also a SALE!!!   But she is a book lover and she can be an arm chair traveler enjoying beautiful surroundings as the fund replenishes itself.  ;^)

 I had brought the quilt blocks.  They will work.  I brought large paint samples and we had good options.  We fine tuned our 'to be purchased' list and went shopping the next day.

focus for living room
focus for dining area
focus for bedroom
If we move a cranberry cupboard from her entrance to the bedroom and position a shelf nearby we may be able to camouflage the fireworks!

Unfortunately the bathroom dilemma was proving harder to solve.  :P

We rode around gathering accessories, ordering table and chairs, arranging deliveries, and purchasing primer.

 whoo hoo then became whoa ho!

The bedroom seaside picture proved to small for the bedroom.  aha!  Bathroom!!!  She wants fun so I shall make a shower curtain and send it later.  She has three black and white photos we can frame and put above the bed.  :)

The poppies were red and orange, not butter yellow.  There is also no yellow in the dining area picture.  The gold walls won't work so my understanding is to use the background of the focus picture as the wall colour.   Blue grey?  We got samples and carried them around.  Works wonderfully for couch area. Works well for the dining area.  The bedroom was to be Wedgwood blue and this is similar.  The hall works.  We laid up the sample alongside the kitchen cabinets with fear and trembling and it works. :}  But it doesn't compliment the  'used to be big' picture.  :{  We relegated it to the book/hobby room where it will help disguise another fire alarm situation and reign until I return with grand kiddie #2.  But thank goodness they didn't put fire alarms in the main area!

It took us the good part of a day to prepare for painting.  I figured out nail and screw placements.  Tape was unrolled by the mile.  A ladder was purchased, tarps laid out, and primer applied.
We had a willing crew!   We also had great music that had us waving the brush  as we joined in the chorus throwing down the roller for a few impromptu dance moves! lol

 The initial start proved alarming as I had visions a living in a battle ship but we persevered and reserved judgement.

Originally, we had planned on a cranberry feature wall behind the hutch but the advice from the paint store to think hard about possibly up to five coats to cover the wall made us like all one colour much more.  And this paint is a complex colour that changes as the light changes.  We decided not to do that overhead piece  as it blends into the ceiling and it widens the narrow living area.  We were behind schedule but agreed we needed to do two coats.  And if I never see another popcorn/stucco ceiling it will be too soon!   Clean up took longer than prep!  duh!

But we are very happy with the results.  Tired; make that exhausted, but happy.  Easy as 1, 2, 3.  Whoops, better make that 4, 5, 6!  LOL

Hall and dining area
living room
A few more things to acquire.  A low modern cabinet for books and DVD screen. A bakers rack for the kitchen/living room wall. Picture frames and mats for for 8 ink drawings for above the couch.  A fake tree behind the big chair. A few lamps, etc.  Oh, and she wanted somewhere to hang her apron but that'll figure in the laundry room which is make over part 2!   I hope she'll send photos of the dining set when they arrive.  She chose a round wood table to match the top of the hutch.  The chairs have a matching wood seat but the chair frames will have be one of four colours that will match the flowers in the dining area.  sweet!!!


 Time to throw the suitcases into the car and start the sight seeing part of our trip!