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17 August 2013

Card for MIL

It's my mother-in-law's birthday today.  My son's birthday was yesterday.  Because of all our schedules we won't get together until Monday.  We did do a little something for son's 24th.  I cooked him homemade sausage rolls and Macaroni and cheese as those are some of his favourite things to eat.  They'll all be eating ribs on Monday lol.

I decided to make MIL a card.  I picked her up a GC to Joann's as she likes to shop there. 

It's similar to a card I made a while ago.  I really like this design!  I'm hoping MIL will too.

15 August 2013

Altered photos

I actually found up a copy of Photoshop Elements 6 that hubby's Aunt no longer wanted and gave to me.  I decided to give the black and white with a splash of colour photograph and see what I could do.  I found some instructions online and, with a little help from daughter,  managed to pick my way through it.  These are photographs that I took and altered.

I really like the London Bus one!


14 August 2013

Our dog Ben

Sadly we had to put down our black lab named Big Ben (Ben for short) yesterday.  He was 16 years old.  He had lived a long old life, but it was time to let him go.

10 August 2013

Find Your Voice Workshop 5

Number one I'm behind.  I really meant to keep up with this but life is getting in the way.  I haven't given up completely and am still plodding along at my own pace.

Lesson Five is another difficult one for me but I suppose that's part of the challenge.  We are supposed to be stretching ourselves, looking for our dreams and going beyond our comfort zone.  Some of that for me is putting things out there that I wouldn't normally share or things that I've thought about doing but just haven't.

This lesson was about exploring your design style - looking to which artists inspire you and, while not copying them, try to work out what it is about their art that inspires you.  I have to admit I don't really have any particular artists that I tend to gravitate towards, but there are some styles that inspire me.  I particularly enjoy black and white photography.  There is something starkly beautiful about black and white photographs, simple but dramatic.  I would like to incorporate more black and white photography in my journaling/scrapbooking work.

 I love the starkness of these photographs - from the top one of my cat Shadow to the icon Tower Bridge in London.  I'm going back to England soon to visit my Mum and I am going to make it a goal to take more pictures.

I would love to learn how to alter my photographs more and turn them into artworks.  I saw some pictures while I was surfing the net of black and white photos with one element in colour.  This seems to add more pop to the photograph.  I don't have a Photoshop program and the trial I downloaded wouldn't let me layer, so I think I might have to seriously consider investing in Photoshop Elements 11.

I am going to print off some of these pics and incorporate them into a journal page.  There are so many stories I can tell about each one.  It's time to start writing it all down!

05 August 2013

Yummy Pioneer Woman cupcakes

The other week daughter and I got hooked watching several episodes of The Pioneer Woman on telly.  It's kind of a fun show and the recipes look delicious and not too difficult.  Daughter decided to try making
Heavenly Cream Filled Cupcakes.

They turned out to be delicious - nice and moist and tasty.  I think they have to be some of the best homemade cupcakes I've tasted.

Check them out on the Food Network website.   CUPCAKES 

 BTW if you are in the States and you have a Kindle currently two of the Pioneer Woman cookbooks are on sale for $3.99 each!

04 August 2013

Bird in Garden

The bird in our back garden had it's babies!  They are rather late this year, but they are here.

I'm not sure what kind of birds they are but the babies are so cute!

03 August 2013

Too long... Find Your Voice Workshop Lesson Four

Life seems to have a habit of getting in the way.  I am behind on lessons for the workshop but I'm determined to get them all done.  They just might take me a while.

Lesson Four was definitely a difficult one for me.  It was all about storytelling style.  For my crafty project I decided to go with a simple page layout and then telling the same story with words. 

First the picture

The words are quite difficult to read but it is about my daughter who is home for the summer but will be going back to Uni at the end of the month.  She is moving into a flat this school year with a year long lease so she won't be back for summer next year.  It's a difficult time for me but a proud moment too as she is learning to fly!

The following are the story I wrote that expand on the page above

    It just seems like yesterday that she was a little girl.  Now she’s getting ready to move to another town and into her own apartment.  I’m not sure where the time has gone.  I remember when I fell pregnant for her.  She was a surprise.  We already had two children, two boys just three and one.  We had just signed on a two-bedroom mobile home.  There was no way we could see ourselves fitting into the home for long.  I remember crying being both happy and scared at the same time.  The birth of my younger child hadn’t gone so well and I was scared to have another. 
    All through the pregnancy I was worried.  I can’t say I enjoyed it too much.  The thought of childbirth scared me.  I think that’s why I put off going to the hospital for so long.  It was December 18th when I went into labour.  My MIL and FIL took hubby, the two boys and myself to a neighbouring town to see the lights for Christmas.  I knew that I was in labour but having gone through it twice I knew it would be a while.  Besides, the thought of going to the hospital scared me.  Not sure what I thought I was going to do!  I couldn’t avoid it forever.
    We got home and, after I had got the boys settled, I tried to lay down and sleep for a while.  It didn’t work.  I even tried relaxing in a bath and that didn’t work.  I hadn’t got to do any of those things when I had the boys.  Finally we had to call MIL and have her come over to watch the boys while hubby took me to the hospital.  It was December 19th. 
    Labour was pretty intense as we drove to the hospital.  The roads in Kalamazoo down to the hospital are bumpy and I felt every bump.  I could barely sit down by the time we reached the hospital.  I was wheeled straight up the Labour ward.  I couldn’t sit by this point.  I remember being in the lift, sitting in the wheelchair holding myself up by my hands.  The orderly looked quite nervous.
    Up in the ward the nurse asked if my water had broke.  I said no and stood up to get up onto the bed and it broke.  Despite having two kids I’d never had my water break naturally.  It was a very strange feeling.  From there on I remember the experience to be something out of a comedy show or a funny film.  I shouted the baby was coming.  Hubby said no I had to hold on.  I said no I couldn’t the baby was coming.  The nurse helped me off with my trousers and up onto the bed.  She hit the emergency button.  From there it was only minutes until our new baby arrived.  We had chosen not to know the sex of our new edition so it was a lovely surprise to discover she was a girl.   Waist up I was still dressed in my winter coat bundled off to fend off the Michigan winter weather. 
    She made such a dramatic entrance to the world this lovely surprise of ours.  Over the years there have been challenges – when we were told the doctors were pretty sure she had one hip notably lower than the other (it turned out not), when doctors thought she had eye problems (not), and when she didn’t start to talk as early as she should (yes, she had speech problems).  There have been lots of joys too – when she took part in her first grade presentation and she had to say the word ‘cloud’ that she couldn’t say.  She practised and practised and on the day she managed to say the word! The joy when she took part in plays in middle school and did behind the stage work.  The joy when she became editor of the newspaper in High School and the happiness I felt last year when my Mum came over from England to watch her graduate from High School with a 4.0 grade point average.
    Now that she is getting ready to move out I think of all these things and lots, lots more.  I had never been one of those people that wished for a daughter but I am so, so glad that I had her.  I am so very proud of her accomplishments and the decisions she has made.  She is turning into a glorious woman.