Friday, August 31, 2007

I've been tagged!!

Well, as a fairly new blogger, I guess I should be honored that it's finally my turn to be tagged. Apparently this is a big trend in the blogosphere. It works like this, I'm tagged by another fellow blogger and my job now is to post 8 random facts about me and then tag other bloggers to keep the random facts posts happening. Just in case y'all didn't think I was wacky enough, I'll tell ya this...

-I can wiggle my ears. My dad can do it and I was entirely fascinated by it as a kid so I spent hours (literally, I swear) in front of the mirror till I got it. Ask me to show ya sometime!

-I have two tattoos. One around my bellybutton that I had done when I was 17 on my friend's kitchen table at a party. The other one is the Chinese character for "mother" on my breastbone. I got that one on a blind date.

-I met my husband on the Internet. For real! He's amazing and I love him to bits. We'll celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary in November

-I got married in a movie theatre and it was televised on the local news for that weekend.

-I can spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" out loud and really fast. An elementary school skill...and for those who REALLY know me (and my spelling hangups) will appreciate the amazing-ness of this skill

-If I need to mindlessly pass time without being entirely idle (which I suck at) I like to read. Sounds boring, I know, but I prefer to read celebrity autobiographies. The shallower, the better! Anne Heche, Courtney Love, Drew Barrymore...Bring it ON!

-I love country music. I never used to. While I believe Garth Brooks to be the ultimate dork-a-saurus, I really enjoy bands like Little Big Town, Montgomery Gentry, Emmerson Drive and solo artists like Tim McGraw, Dierks Bently, Josh Turner...such a long list. I'll spare you!

-My favorite dessert in the whole wide world is Vanilla Creme Brulee (made with real vanilla beans) YUM!

So now, I get to tag other bloggers.

Tania at Follow the Paper Trail

Chris at Sketch me if you Can

Danielle D.Hayward Scrap Designs

Sallie at Sallie's Scrabook Blog

Margaret at Journaling Thoughts

Nancy at Ballistic Photography

Challenge 35- Toasted Marshmallow Day

Well, amazingly enough, it's Friday again!! This week's challenge is so simple and dramatic. I love the flourishes underneath the journaling. I forgot to post yesterday but it was National Toasted Marshmallow Day!! Did you even know there was such a thing? I didn't but it sure makes a great page theme, doesn't it? I want you to get out this weekend with your family, toast a few 'mallows and document it on this fun page. I can already imagine which photos would go where on this one. Oh, and a little note for some of you who get a little stressed when I post sketches with large prints; consider alternative ways to use your photos while maintaining the overall design concept of the sketch. For instance, the above sketch could easily be modified by using two 4x6's stacked on top of one another, just be sure to shorten your 4x6 to 4x5.5 to keep the exact dimensions of the main image. Also, remember where you see circles you can always substitute a different shape and where you see flourishes, you may choose to apply ribbons or hand stitching. The page elements are simply suggestions for placement of elements and images. Get crazy and change things up!! Don't forget, you can also rotate the sketch to better suit your photos!!!

Enjoy this one.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finally, school's back in!

The alarm sounded at 6:30. We slowly rose from bed and got the kids up. Seth wasn't quite ready to greet the day so he crawled into bed with dad and hid from the world for a little while. Noah and I made our way upstairs; he packed his lunch while I whipped up a batch of pancakes. Finally, it was time to head out for the bus and I made a quick stop at the thermometer outside. It was chilly this morning!
I had the car warming up in an effort to remove the frost and to make the wait for the bus a little more bearable. Noah and I boogied down the road to wait at the bus stop but after a long 45+ minute wait, we accepted the fact that maybe the bus was early and maybe we better hustle ourselves to school. We arrived at Hidden Valley School fashionably late but that didn't bother Noah. He marched into that school like he owned the place. We were met in the hallway by a very happy principal, Len Walchuk and Noah's 4th grade teacher, Miss Allen. I was chatting with Mr. Walchuk for a minute and when I turned around, Noah was gone and totally settled into his seat in the middle of the group. What a confident little superstar! I sure dig that kid. What a blessing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Today is

Women's Equality Day. In an effort to celebrate our "equal-ness" I challenge you to create an "Equal to the Task" layout. If I were the one scrapping this challenge, I might have Ray photograph me riding our mini-mower (huge for domestic duties but micro for industrial ones like we use it for at the farm) and talk about overcoming my fear of machinery and how easy it is for me to do a job normally assigned to the guys at the farm. Ray actually said he wanted to get a sticker that reads "Vanessa's Ride" for the sides of the mower! LOL Fortunately for me, I'm part of a family that wholeheartedly embraces a woman's ability and right to do anything a fella can. I consider myself rather fortunate in that regard. I know several women who are told outright "it's a guy's job" or "honey, it's better if I do it". Not me man, Ray is more the "Well, go ahead then..." type. Let's see what you do with this one. Have fun and happy scrappin.

"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

So as I said before...

I have only one page to post for you guys from last week's sketch. Tania, who is on the DT, is a major scrapbooking superstar. I post a challenge and she's scrapping it faster than you can say holy cow! She just got back from a family reunion with her husband and three kids and is already scrappin' up a storm. Here's some tidbits from her blog starting with last week's challenge
She also just posted this kick-ass mini book. She picked up this Maya Road flower mini-book a few weeks ago from my store before I left for holidays. This book is a brand new Maya Road product. You can see more of what's hiding inside the pages if you go here and see them (and the rest of her amazing photography & scrapbooking projects) for yourself. Definitely a blog to bookmark!

I knit, therefore I am

You know, although I profess to be a highly invested scrapbooker, I am also a passionate knitter. I discovered this therapeutic artform nearly two years ago after many failed attempts at blankets and scarves. I was looking at a page done by a fellow scrapbooker on Two Peas in a Bucket (I forget her identity now) and her page was celebrating her addiction to knitting socks. I was immediately envious of her collection and decided then and there that I would learn how to knit socks too. I hunted high and low for a website offering easy-to-follow instructions on knitting socks and when I found one, I got right down to work. Of course, my first pair left something to be desired but I got the hang of it fairly quickly and the rest is history...I've knitted about 15 pairs of socks, six sweaters, a few scarves, hats, and a handbag and now (after mastering cables) I'm making a luxuriously complex cabled jacket for myself. I think it's helping to ease the pain of having NO scrapbooking supplies with me!

I found this (above) pattern online that I wanted to make and immediately phoned my pal Jen Emslie (formerly Jen Gladwin), owner of Uptown Yarns in Courtenay BC to see what she could do. I had not found a yarn shop here in Whitehorse so I was delighted that Jen could supply me with what I needed to feed my addiction! She emailed me photos of yarn colors and once I had made my selection, she popped the yarn in the mail and it arrived earlier this week. I ditched everything I was doing and immediately got down to business. However, the first night that I was working on my new, complicated pattern, I had sipped a few glasses of brandy and it had a definite impact on my knitting. Don't drink & knit! I had to pull out about an inch and a half of 132 stitches of cables! Boo Hoo!! The next day I started over and had much better results. Here's a couple of photos to set the mood (the color is called smoke grey, I think)

This is what I've knit so far in a few days of puttering .

Challenge 34 (OLW challenge)

Alright ladies,
Here's the challenge for this week. Take the One Little Word challenge and combine it with this week's sketch. Your sketch looks like this...I am going to visit the blogs of our lovely DT and snag a few pics from last week's challenge...that is, if the've uploaded them yet!! Okay guys, it's the weekend and I bet you can scrounge up a little free time...get scrappin'

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm a big fat slacker (challenge 33)

I got an email this morning pointing out that I'm a big fat slacker. I guess it's true. I totally forgot that yesterday was friday and that I needed to post a sketch for you guys *sigh* I have it ready for you to scrap. Man, I wish my supplies were here... I miss them :( But I must say, life on the farm is luxuriously mellow. Yesterday, Irma (my MIL) and I took the boys out after dinner to the field to try and fly a kite. However, lack of wind foiled our plan and it turned into Seth & Noah stripping down to their undies and running through the ultimate sprinklers! The massive irrigation line that spans the entire width of the field has sprinkler nozzles between each wheel and shoots water farther than they could outrun! The water is pleasantly pre-warmed by the sun before it exits the spouts so the kids didn't get too cold. They had a really great time. Noah created a highly entertaining dance which he called the Bartamus Bum...See below for details!

So your sketch is a single photo of my favorite kinds of LO. Easy to whip together. Now go on and scrap...I gotta get back to slackin'

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to school

Wow, I can't believe it. There's only two weeks left of summer holidays here in the beautiful north. Today I'm off to register Noah for grade four at Hidden Valley Elementary. I'm so excited for him to return to the school he attended for kindergarten and for that annual school supplies shopping tradition. I remember the anticipation of picking out the exercise books, sharpening each new pencil and the inspiration that flooded me as I unwrapped each and every item that would shape the upcoming year. I hope that Noah has the same kind of hopefulness and lofty goals for himself as he heads out on a new adventure this year. His best pal, Christian is no longer living in Whitehorse so as bummed out as he was that his right-hand man was not around, I think he'll enjoy making new friends and spending time getting to know other kids in our area.

Last year, I hosted an open house for the kids in Noah's class along with their families and the teacher too. We made invitations for each student and handed them out after the second week of classes (once the classes were finalized) inviting them to come to our home to see where we live (since I prefer to have the kids visit our house) and for the parents to get to know one another, which can be tricky as your kids get older. I don't know about you but I won't let Noah go on playdates if I have not met or been acquainted with the parents. Also, Noah's birthday is in late October so this is a great way to establish some early friendships, making it easier for Noah to make his birthday party plans. One other benefit to hosting the open house is that kids easily forget that teachers don't live at school and they are people with interests and families. Having the teacher come to our home for a social function really helps the kids bond with the teacher as a person. In my experience, that bond facilitates some dynamic changes in the academic outcome for that year. Once, we had a part-year with a teacher who did not "click" with our family. The impact was negative and rather painful. I believe that even in the event of minor personality differences, there is plenty of room to forge a relationship that will benefit a child's learning experience, it just has to be pursued equally by both parent and teacher. I am very enthusiastic about Noah's grade four year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I wish...

I wish you could have been there. I also wish I'd had my camera. Ray and I went to the hot springs last night and on the drive home at exactly 9:56 I was savoring the unbelievable sunset over the hills to my left. Equipped with new photography knowledge, I acknowledged that it must have been what is referred to as the Golden Hour (for obvious reasons relating to the wash of warm gold light) and observed how the lighting affected my surroundings while barreling down the Klondike Highway. While my eyes traveled across the horizon in front of me and to my right, I was in awe of the fiery reds and oranges that illuminated the hills opposite the sunset. The best part of all, the part I wished I'd had my camera for was the rainbow bursting out of the mountainside, arcing overhead and disappearing into the clouds. It was truly breathtaking and a sight that I may never witness again.
Well...I was fortunate enough to take advantage of some remarkable Yukon evening light a few days ago. I have been reading tons of photography books and acquiring loads of valuable tidbits. Now, I don't know about you but for new information to stick, I have to apply it so that I have first-hand experience to reinforce the lesson. So after reading a bit about light and composition, aperture and shutter speed...I headed out on a walkabout along our quiet country road and this is what I saw...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Challenge 32 & Farm photos

Holy cow, I can't believe that a week has gone by already. I have been so busy doing all kinds of things. We visited the Takhini Hotsprings a few nights ago and enjoyed a long and relaxing soak. The hotsprings are only about 15 minutes down the road so we try to get there as often as we can.
Yesterday Ray and I ventured to town with a long list of things to do. I was over the moon when I discovered that there was a yarn store downtown. Now, I should tell you that I am a compulsive yarn buyer (not unlike my paper purchasing habits) so when I tried to find what is now a former yarn store and discovered it was no longer such (rather, now it's a bakery) I was soooooooooo sad. Thank God for Jen at Uptown Yarns who has promised me that she'll mail me anything I need from pattern books to exotic yarns.
I promised some photos of the farm so here they are...
So those of you who are faithful blog-stalkers, you might want to see this week's sketch. Below is your layout and I would really like to see what you do with it. I read a great Chinese proverb today. It says "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand" See if you can incorporate that great sentiment into your page for this week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My first political event

Well, outside of visiting the ballot box when election time comes, I don't really get involved in politics. However, my family (rather my husband's family) is very active in the political scene in Whitehorse. Last night I joined Ray and my in-laws at a BBQ where I got to meet many of the local politicians (and political enthusiasts). It was an interesting, eye-opening experience centered around agriculture that really illustrated how much my life is changing now that we're moving to Whitehorse. I was introduced to a fellow, called "Smiley" who is a builder (we didn't waste any time chatting him up about building me a studio!) and he seemed keen and interested in my project. I've never been anywhere where the guys have more wacky nicknames like they do here...Smiley,Big Country, Stretch, Junior, Curley... a little odd, really!

After meeting so many members of the business community, it got me really inspired to become a member of that community. I am so eager to get my work stuff here with me so that I can get the ball rolling. I'm excited to get established and to develop my market. In addition to my plans for a studio/store in Whitehorse, I have also been plotting my website for some time now but have not yet committed to any content. I want it to be perfect but am unsure as to what that should look like. Today has been filled with researching and sketching.

I will head out here later on today to photograph details of the farm. I know you all are just DYING to see what it's all about! Unless the heavens open up again. Man, it isn't supposed to rain here like this. I guess it's good for the newly planted seed...gotta look for that silver lining, right?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

National Lighthouse Day

Did you know that today is National Light House Day? I didn't! I read about it in Memory Makers magazine's calendar for the month of August. They suggested scrapping someone who lights up your life. For those of you who actually get to scrap these days (rather than those of us who can't!) why don't you embark on a page to celebrate one of the special people in your life who you think your life wouldn't be complete without. I know I would scrap either my husband or my dear know the ones I mean; some of you have heard me speak of them. For those of you who have not, I must admit that I truly have the In-laws everyone WISHES they had! Ray observes characteristics in my personality that are similar to those he admires and enjoys in his mom. Pretty darned flattering, if you ask me. I'm not close to my mother so I treasure my mother-in-law. Not everyone is so lucky. If I had my scrap stuff, she'd definitely be immortalized in my page for today's theme. If you do scrap it, comment to this post with a link to where your page can be found (2Peas, Flickr, etc). I'd like to see it and I'm sure others would too!

Happy Scrappin'

Friday, August 3, 2007

Challenge 31

I don't know WHAT to do!!! I'm in Whitehorse...awaiting my move. All my scrap supplies are in Courtenay and I feel like I forgot to bring one of my kids, that's how weird it feels to have no scrappin' stuff! I might just have to order more from one of my suppliers...a mercy purchase!! Seeing this week's sketch, I'm jealous that you guys get to scrap it and I don't!! I can even think of the photo I'll use for it. This is the one I'm thinking I might use for this page...

Ray rigged up the mini-quad for Seth so that it only goes super slow...more so I am not freakin' out than for Seth's safety. He loves it! We took him out in the field and removed the safety tether from the back of the quad and let Seth drive it totally solo...I think he thought he was in heaven. I don't think these guys are gonna mind farm livin'...not one bit!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Finally in Whitehorse

Hello one and all!!
We have safely arrived in Whitehorse and I can't tell you how good it feels to finally be here. The flight out of Vancouver was lovely, as always...we LOVE Air North! We got to the farm around 10:30 or so and Seth fell asleep on the drive from the airport. We got in the house and put the kids to bed in the new bunk bed that Grandma bought for them. Seth has new Lightning McQueen sheets on his bottom bunk. "pretty fancy!" was his reaction! He was such an easy traveler! We spent the day killing time with the Shepley brood in Stanley Park and I'll get some photos posted here later on in the next few days. I'll get some pics of the farm too so you can see the place that we'll soon be calling home. I love Whitehorse. Feels great to be home!

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