Monday, February 17, 2014

Supreme Scrap Tournament Week 2

This weeks challenge is monochromatic, double page layout with at least one black and white photo that must span both pages. You may not have ANY black on the layout at all besides the black and white photos. Theme and embellishments of your choice. This one was a huge challenge for me!
A huge shout out to my girls (you know who you are) for all the quotes of inspiration on this one.
"Be it ever so Humble" caught my eye first because the homestead is just that, humble. 
I knew for this layout not putting pops of colour on the page was going to be hard for me. I was choosing between white and red when a scrap pal said "Imagine the texture with WHITE!" So I was sold. It was going to be all about the texture.

 
 
In the details:
 
I started out slicing each page in thirds so I could run it through my Cuttlebug with some Tim Holtz texture fades. The clocks were fitting for my vintage photos. I added some metal clock hands and everything got a good coat of white acrylic paint. I sat back and stared at it for a while at that point and wanted more texture so I pressed on some random spots of VersaMark ink and added grains of chunky white embossing powder.
 Oh, hand lettering. On the one hand I DETEST it...because it is hard and time consuming and nobody likes their own handwriting or attempts at copying a different font (which is what I did). BUT on the other hand...I like it because it is hard and time consuming and has my own handy work on it. LOL Silly, right? I always love the idea of hand lettering but when it comes to the finished product...well...I am less than impressed. Some day I hope to take a calligraphy class and work on this some more. It is something I have always been interested in and I do it often on my pages, to mixed reviews.
 Birch twigs for the flower stems, tiny miscellaneous flowers and pearls, soft gauge wire and cardboard for the fence. All painted white several times over.
 All embellishments were cut with Tim Holtz dies and embossed with white embossing powder. I went over the white embossing a few times to get that pebbly look.
 

For the birds I traced some tattoos off my computer screen (hey, you do what you have to do!) with a pen onto computer paper then I went over it with white liquid vinyl. After they dried I cut them out and adhered them with pop dots to give depth. I took this photo out in the sun to show the shadows on the birds. I adore them.
 
Being part of a challenge like this is just that, a challenge. It's about stretching your legs, spreading your wings, following someone else's rules while still being yourself. I honestly haven't put this much into a challenge in YEARS. The ladies on Team Canada are wonderful and I am so happy I jumped into this. I placed 5th out of 23 artists in my thread the first week! What?! I KNOW, right? It was exhilarating. Bring on the next round!

Monday, February 10, 2014

You just have to pay careful attention...and you will feel it.

This morning it was cold. Ridiculously cold. Run for the airport no matter what the cost is...COLD. -31C without the windchill and I. Was. Grumpy. I am not usually a huge complainer when it comes to the weather. We live in Saskatchewan. It snows here. It's cold. Get over it. There is really no use being all awful about it and bringing other people down with you. Well, you can ask my Hubs...I am bringing people down lately. LOL Namely, HIM. I just need a little sun, a little warmth. For pete sake, I just want to be able to sit on my couch in less than 5 layers of clothing without shivering. I was complaining about it pretty good this morning after taking the kids to school and I thought "I just need SOMETHING. Something good. Something that shows me the end is at least SOMEWHERE. I just want to feel a little bit of Spring happiness." I was literally mentally begging God because I had no fortitude left. And then I sighed and got up to get some more coffee. When I came back to the couch (with all my work spread all over God's half acre) I stopped at the window and...there it was. My little bit. At first I wasn't sure I was hearing correctly; the sweet sound was a little confusing. There were birds chirping in the tree right outside my window. It went on for a few minutes and it made me smile.
A couple hours later I had to dress up and trudge back out into the cold to pick the kids up at school. Don't get me wrong, I am not hard done by. I drive and I make sure I run the vehicle enough to at least be tolerable. But...I was still grouchy even though it had actually warmed up about 10 degrees since the morning. Still not great...it was -21...-27 with the wind chill. I tried hard to continue in my grumpiness but as I drove past this big bush on 5th street I had to do a double take. Normally, this bush is very bare but today it was...somehow...bushy looking. Nice description, Kate. LOL But that is all I can come up with. It was still brown, but it was fluffy. So I slowed down and took a good close look and was really surprised. There were literally hundreds of small brown birds filling the branches of the bush with their feathers all fluffed out. It was really neat and I wish I had a photo to go with it. So when you are feeling really down; like there is no end in sight to whatever is getting you down...just pay close attention. I am sure He has something to lift you up. You just have to open your eyes and see it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Supreme Scrap Tournament 2014 Week 1

It's ON, baby! I signed up to participate in an international scrapbooking tournament for Feb and March. Team Canada is going to BRING IT.  Here are my teammates: Alison Campbell Day (BC), Angela Lowe (SK), Christy Riopel (AB), Corinne Braun (SK), Corlann Alfred (AB), Dawn Marie Hueser (SK), Lynne Mizera (AB), Karen Mercurio (ON), Monique Bourgeois (NB), Peggy Oliver (BC), Tracy Depeel Penner (SK), Thelma Findlay (MB).

The first challenge: 1000 Steps From Home

Make a double layout or double mixed media project that shows where your live.
But it all has to be within 1000 steps from your home!!!!
For example you could make photos of your favorite tree, bus stop, house as long it is within 1000 steps of your home!

- You can not use any spray inkts!
- You will have to use at least 3 photos on your project (scrapbooking and mixed media!!)
- You will have to add a visible journaling of at least 50 words


This was not too difficult for me...everything in town is within 1000 steps from my house! With the recent move, I haven't created anything like this in a long time. So whether I win, lose or draw, the important thing is I am creating stuff that makes me really happy and that is the ultimate goal anyway.
 
 
I used pieces of a vintage map as my background paper and bits of cardboard for texture. I embossed and painted the cardboard and added mica flakes from Stampendous. The coffee cup rub on is from BoBunny, with some metal bits from Tim Holtz. Crackle paint, glossy accents, twine and some old burlap finished things off nicely.

Journalling reads:

Nothing in my town is more than 1000 steps from my front door. That is the beautiful thing about living here. Everything is close. Everyone is tight. Neighbours helping neighbours...just like the old days. We are vintage with a touch of modern convenience. You see it in the store fronts, the way the gentlemen hold the door for the ladies at the bakery. A smile, the tip of a hat. The  friendly service at the local grocery. It is all 1000 steps from home. Our little town. Our heart. Our love.

It's in the details:

 Some great pieces of corrugated cardboard embossed with Stampendous embossing powder, painted with dark brown acrylic paint and dotted with mica flakes.
 Wooden clock face painted with Rock Candy crackle paint.
 BoBunny rub ons for the coffee cup marks and Stampendous Mica flakes which I was pleasantly surprised with. I thought it would be a novelty item I wouldn't actually like using on a regular page...but I was wrong. It adds a neat element and texture that I really enjoy.
 "Small Town" is embossed with Stampendous embossing powder and also has a layer of Ranger Rock Candy crackle paint.
 I put glossy accents on our location and painted and embossed the arrow.
I love our local grocery store. They still keep the cool sign from years ago. I raised the second photo to give it some depth by putting 3 layers of pop dots on the corners.

Week 1 under my belt. Stay tuned. What will next week bring? Who knows, but Team Canada is ready!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

It's just never simple

Why OH WHY can we not just go eat out as a family quietly and unobtrusively? It is literally impossible. First off, the kids come galloping into the restaurant (one of their local favourites) yelling "DAD'S HERE!" Daddy is on nights and they knew he would be there but had to announce it to the world and launch themselves at him. That part is fine, people think it's cute. Then there is the shoving match of who will sit with who in the booth. They already know what they want so they try to order as the waitress pours our water. Loudly. (The boys, not the waitress) And of course being a small town we were sitting right beside people we know so there is chatter going back and forth across the aisle and the boys want to know "Who is that? Whose Dad is that? They are in my class! I know them! What's their name again?" And so on and so forth. This is all within 15 minutes of sitting down and at a level of noise one generally reserves for being heard over the music at a rock concert.  The food comes and a lengthy discussion about vinegar ensues. What is it? What is it made of? Is it acid? Does it taste good? Why do we eat it? Again, none of this is quiet but people are still smiling around us, so I think all is well. Silly me. After being told no less than 912 times to stop flailing his arms, the 5 year old spills his entire glass of water and I am reduced to wiping the floor, the table, the bench, jackets, my keys and most of said 5 year old. So sorry. I am SO sorry. A few jokes from other patrons that I can come do their floors next. Yeah, ok. Chuckle, chuckle. Finally, we settle back down to eat. The 5 year then announces he is full after 2 chicken fingers which is really weird but he is being fairly good so I let it go. More chatter across the aisle. A few minutes later I am getting poked in the back. Mum. Mum. MUMMY! I NEED TO PUKE! You want to see a mama jump? Have a kid yell something about vomit. Up we went, flying to the back and thankfully it's a small restaurant with a very accessible bathroom. I am not generally squeamish but it was like the exorcist, people. Good grief. All I can say is I am so thankful this child rarely misses the toilet. And then matter of factly: "Ok, I am better now. I need to wash my hands. With soap." Well, I should think so. Then we do the walk of shame back to the table and he promptly announces to everyone within earshot (which is, of course, every single person in the place except maybe the cook but who knows, she could have heard too) that he had to puke but don't worry, he is better now and he got it all in the toilet. Sigh.  {Insert awkward, embarrassed head shake here.} And I had to tell the owner that the bathroom is now out of paper towel. Fantastic. At that point several tables got up to leave. I am truly hoping they were done their meals and not just fleeing the scene. We finished up and turned the wet jackets inside out for the trip home which caused some loud comments from the boys as well. At that point you just want to quietly pay your bill and slink out...but no. You can't. Another table recognized Hubs so he went over to shake hands quickly followed by the 9 year old who snuck past me as I was at the debit machine. I caught the 5 year old before he could follow, apologizing to the owner the whole time. She is a mama too and was not concerned, thank goodness. Still wanting to slink out without being seen by anyone else, we gathered everything and everyone up, heading for the door when the town greeter had to say bye to every single table. Fabulous. "BYE EVERYONE! We will see you next time!" I am certain most of them wanted a warning of when "next time" would be. Either to come for the entertainment or stay away from the chaos. Far, FAR away.
The thing is, they aren't bad kids. They sit nicely and don't fling their food. They are respectful and they don't {often} beat each other in public. It's not a behaviour thing, they are just curious. And busy. And loud. And friendly. And trouble follows them absolutely everywhere. I always feel like I need to wear a shirt that says "I apologize in advance for what is about to happen." and then just leave blank cheques in my wake, either to cover the damage or the emotional distress. Because some people just can't handle it at all. But...they are kids. No, no, they are boys. I guess it's a mum thing that I am hoping and praying will pass. Soon. Very soon. And until then, I just pour another cup of coffee and shrug. C'est la vie. A little embarrassment never killed anyone, did it?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Small towns just stay close

Really no matter how far you move away from your small town...it never leaves you. You can take the girl off the farm, but you will NEVER drag the farm out of the girl. I grew up on a small acreage in Saskatchewan. I can milk cows and goats, herd sheep, ride horses, shovel all kinds of poop and as much as a kid will complain about that at the time...in my adulthood I do appreciate those skills. I still love the smell of the farm and I remember with a certain amount of fondness the hard work that went into that life. In my teenage years there were 2 ways to make money. You could pick chickens or you could babysit. Both had their own separate hazards. LOL I babysat for lots of families but some of my favourites were the Roy brothers. There were 5 of them. Oh pick your jaw up off the ground my friend, they were the sweetest kids you could meet. Rowdy, but sweet as can be.  They had every animal in God's creation and I loved them all. The Roy kids will forever be just that in my mind. Kids. But you know the funny thing about that? They grew up. As much as my mind holds onto all the fun, fond memories...they just grew up. They grew and learned and fell in love. Got married, had babies of their own. They own property, have jobs and are teaching a new generation.

Alright then, enough with my nostalgia. I have a point.  Really, I do.

One of the boys recently sustained a very serious injury. He is a top rated bull rider, was having the most amazing year of his career and it was put on hold when he was stepped on by a bull. I am simplifying the situation terribly but what it comes down to is this: Bull Riders never have guaranteed income. And there is no insurance. If you are great, you make a living. If you get injured...well...you don't. And that is where that tight knit community comes in that I was talking about before. People all over the country are rallying around this family to make sure ends are met while this young man recovers from his injuries. And what kind of babysitter would I be if I didn't join in?  They have a closed group on Facebook (only 3,500+ close, personal friends) where people can donate items to be bid on by the other members of the group and all proceeds go to this wonderful family to help with expenses. Check out the story CTV News did this past week.

So. Point of this blog post. I am donating a custom piece of home d├ęcor (12x12 canvas) to be put up in the auction and I wanted a spot for people to come and check out the rest of my work. Here is a 9 canvas piece I did for my front entrance.
This piece is huge. Each canvas is 12"x12" and as you can see, there are 9 of them. And of course this photo does it no justice at all because I am no photographer and my sis is at lake. LOL

It's not much, but it's my small way of helping. I wish this family all the very best life has to offer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ugh really? My apologies.

So the last time I blogged I talked about posting Spring layouts and cards...then uploaded a photo that I blogged just 2 posts before. Ugh really Kate? Seriously? There is really something to be said about proofing before you post! LOL So the post below is old...but the photo is new. It was what I meant to upload. And if I blogged just a tiny bit more I would have caught it sooner. I will work on that. xo

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

No shadow...come on SPRING!

The groundhog did not see his shadow...so if we post spring layouts and cards will it call the warm weather to us faster?! My apologies to our creator but seriously God, this winter has been RIDICULOUS. If it's going to be this cold and snowy (-40 for a week. Yikes!) at least lower the prices of hot vacations so we can escape for a while. LOL But of course it is supply and demand. Last years mild winter saw hot vacays at rock bottom prices. This year, not so much because we are all scurrying south faster than rats deserting a sinking ship! But I digress...

What have you been creating lately? Do you work with wool? Are you a paper crafter? Do you sew? Show it! Tell all about it! This is the time to get projects off your desk in time to hit the dusty summer camping trail. I create FUN in the summer. Not projects. LOL So let's let that creativity run wild and destroy the art room!