Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Goodbye, Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking...

Hello out there!

It's been months since I have posted to my blog, and I've missed it so. Saying that, I'm so sad for the reason I am posting today...

As you may already know (and probably most of you don't), we've been renovating our 1969 home and bringing it into this century... and doing all the work ourselves. So life has been put on hold for months - including any crafty time.

At the start of the process, I knew that if I did nothing else this year, I was going to submit to Holiday Cards & More, because it's my absolute favourite call to create for. It's Christmas (sort of my thing, you know!), and it's the first publication I was ever published in;

When the work took over and I didn't manage to get anything put together, I was disappointed, but I knew there was always next year...

I started my blog on a whim and never imagined how much this hobby would impact my life. Very early on I decided I wanted to try and get my work published, but in the back of my head, I doubted myself.

I started keeping an eye on the publication calls as they came out, and then finally took the plunge. I shut myself away in the craft room for hours, creating as may cards as I could for nearly every category in the call. I figured it was a long shot, but at least I gave it my best.

I remember how I waited for the 'happy mail' day. The night before, I reminded my hubby that I'd find out in the morning if it was all worth it (the submission process can be time consuming, especially for a first timer!).

Here's something you should know about me; even when I am beyond excited, I barely react. When I should be jumping up and down squealing, I might quietly smile and say something half way sarcastic, because I am just not comfortable with exuberance.

So I sat down at my mother in law's computer, and nervously clicked open my email, knowing the inbox would be empty. And then I saw an email from Susan, with that magical subject line of "Project Acceptance Notification"...

I screamed. I screamed and I jumped, and I giggled, and then I screamed again. I just couldn't believe I had actually done it! And not one, but *two* of my projects were being requested for publication!

Because we've been so consumed by our renovations (I do hope to share all about that soon!), I haven't been in the craft room for months. Can you believe I've *purchased* cards I've needed? Yes, it hurt a little... anyway, I went digging through my old files, cards that I had previously submitted to the magazine but that weren't accepted. I figured it was fitting to share something the magazine inspired me to create!

Since that first acceptance, I've had a good number of my projects published in various issues. One of my prouder moments was the first time I was asked to submit to a private call; I felt such validation in this little hobby I love so much. It's still a charge for me to see my name in print, and when I get to tell people I've had my work published, I'm so proud of my accomplishments.

What a boost to a girl's confidence, getting that Happy Mail from Susan! Seeing my name mixed in with some of the most inspiring ladies in the industry is just the coolest thing, and I'm so grateful for the opportunities I had, thanks to Paper Crafts.

I'm so sorry to see the magazine shutting its doors, but you know why? Because there are so many people just finding their wings in this little craft, and they will never know how amazing it is to get that wonderful email, or to see their names in print next to something they've created. I feel so fortunate for the fact that I have a small pile of magazines that I can thumb through, seeing things I made, next to those by friends I've made through this amazing little community.

So, this is my humble little thank you, my farewell, and just a little bit of my story with the magazine. I know we will all feel a hole when the doors are shut and there are no more calls to work for, no more anticipation while waiting for that happy mail party...

Thank you so much to the ladies at Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking for making some of my dreams come true... I am forever grateful!

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Checking In...

Hey there! Long time, no chat...

We're plugging away here, trying to balance the chaos of renovations with the laid back schedule of summer... we've been having gorgeous weather for most of the spring, and I'm loving the time I am able to spend outside enjoying it with my girls.

This last couple of weeks we've been wrapping up some of the projects that were only mostly completed before we tackle the biggest renovation we've ever tackled; our kitchen. Doing that room will actually entail finishing three rooms, since the spaces all directly impact one another. Oh, and did I mention we're building the entire thing (read: cabinets) ourselves?

We might be crazy.

We might be really awesome.

I'll let you know.

And no, I'm not forgetting that I haven't shared our bathroom projects with you yet. Every morning that I step into the shower, I am aware that I have to do that post...

Something I've done here and there as I have an hour to spare (so... twice in a month, it appears...) is grab my kids and my camera and practice taking passable photos.

Wanna see some?

That's my beautiful girl, who just loves to pose. It's almost comical how this girl gets into having her photo taken, but thank goodness she's patient and enjoys the process while I learn what I'm doing...

She had the idea to go sit in the tree, and look how cute it looks! I can't believe how grown up she's getting to be... I blinked!

And this little clown:

She is also a poser... in a completely different style. Also patient, thankfully!

Here is one from her Snow White Birthday shoot...

She apparently likes to look lost in thought...?

And here's her truer personality:

Well, she'll keep you entertained, anyway...

And here they are, loving sisters that make my heart swell:

Goodness I could squish 'em!

Hey, speaking of photos - make sure you head over to the Chickaniddy Blog for a fun photography contest and giveaway!!

Have a great weekend, friends!

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Visit Me at Chickaniddy...

Hello friends! I'm just popping in to let you know that I have a project over on the Chickaniddy blog, with some of the other ladies... it's time to share what we did with this month's sketch!

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Calling all Scrap Hoarders...

Hello friends!

It's my turn to post over at Chickaniddy today, and I'm sharing a way I came up with to use up all those tiny scraps you just can't let yourself get rid of... you know the ones I'm talking about! *wink*

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Birthday To You...

Hello my friends! I'm back on the Chickaniddy blog today with a new project for this month's colour combo. There's some projects from a couple of the other girls too!

If you've ever spent time on my blog, you know how I feel about stamping my own background patterns... It's my favourite thing to do when I'm in the craft room. The irony is the amount of patterned paper I collect, of course, but for me, nothing beats sitting down with a few stamps and some ink and making magic.

So you can imagine I was just waiting for an opportunity to do just that with my Chickaniddy stamps! Each of the 2 collections has its own stamp set, so I combined the flowers in both sets to create my background. 

This month's colour combo was perfect, so I set to it!

And now I want to stamp one in all kinds of new colours!

Thanks for peeking in, as always! I know we don't see enough of each other these days, but I sure enjoy when I can stop in here!

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sneak Peek...

Hey guys!

I just wanted to let you know I have a couple of bonus projects over on the Chickaniddy Blog today! I had the chance to create some layouts to share... I hope you'll stop over there to check it out!

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Snow White Party - Josie turns FOUR!

I haven't blogged about a birthday party in a long time! It occurred to me while I was getting this post ready that I didn't ever blog Emma's fifth birthday party... don't worry, you didn't miss much. We had a Princess Party, and it was weeks after we moved into our new old house. It sort of got thrown together in a hurry, and it really wasn't one of my favourites.

Lucky me, I sort of got a do-over!

Initially, Josie (FOUR?!) wanted a Spiderman or Super Hero party. I was trying to push her gently into the direction of "Super Josie" where we could have a lot of fun - at least, according to Pinterest, we could! She was pretty insistent on Spiderman, so I was doing my best to figure a way to put a girly twist on things. I just wasn't feeling it.

Pinterest to the rescue. She was snooping over my shoulder one day, saw a Pin of a Snow White Party (her *favourite* princess), and it was all downhill from there.

I actually didn't manage to create invites for this one. Which really bummed me out, because I had all kinds of grand plans... renovating two bathrooms back to back got in the way. I was nervous that without my usual focus (I plan these things for months normally!) I would repeat last year's blah party.

I was pretty pleased with how it actually turned out!

Above, you saw the dessert table. I really pared down the food and obsession with the theme this year, and I think it paid off. Bonus: I was so relaxed and prepared this time, I managed to fit in a trip to a neighbours garage sale before our guests arrived!

So you've seen these before, I'm sure. You can look them up (Tissue Paper Pom Poms) on Pinterest, and there are plenty of tutorials. So easy, so cheap and a quick way to add lots of impact to your decor. You can buy kits to create them, but it's insane to pay the prices for them! All of these poofs came from a total of about 10 sheets per colour (so about half a package from the dollar store). Simply put, these cost me less than 2 dollars to create - for all of them. And that's only because I wanted three colours!

The table - basically the drink and dessert table this time around!

I made up the punch and we had none left, so I'm guessing Poison Apple Punch is a win! Equal parts soda water, cranberry soda and apple juice. A healthier version would be water and cranberry juice in place of the carbonated drinks. I just sliced up apples and made sure they were poked down the sides of the dispenser to add some interest.

I also had Wishing Well Water, for those who didn't want something carbonated. I just served an infused strawberry and lime water in these milk bottles. I stole the bottle decor from something I pinned, of course!

I wanted to include the Dwarfs somehow, so I came up with the idea that jujubes look like gemstones, which is what the guys do for work. People ate them, which is all that matters!

I also saw something very similar to these on Pinterest, so this is another stolen idea (what on earth did we do before there was Pinterest?). I cheat with cake pops because I just don't have the patience - and I find the real thing to be a bit too rich for me. I just buy donut holes and dip them in melting wafers. Easy peasy.

Finally... *finally* I put my silhouette to use. I got it for Christmas, and these are officially my first project. I created the place card myself (like I said, first time I was making anything, let alone from scratch!), and then I downloaded the bows from here, and made them teeny tiny. Still easy to assemble!

For the kids, we had cupcakes, which I rolled in some sprinkles because all kids love sprinkles. This was also the first time I made cupcake wrappers - I'm officially in love with my Silhouette!

And the cake... it was actually so hot while I was working with the fondant that I had to keep adding icing sugar - which ended up leaving a bit of a powder layer on the red accents. But I'm okay with that because Josie was so excited when she saw it!

As a final touch, we raided the halloween decorations so that we could feature a poison apple next to the punch:

I made these glittered apples a few years ago to put out as a creepy decoration, and they're one of my favourite things I've glittered!

I am still working on her birthday portraits, so I don't actually have a picture of the birthday girl for you - hopefully soon!

Thanks for scrolling through! I'm so glad I managed to get these blogged so soon after the party - we're just about to head into the biggest renovation we've ever done, so I knew it was kind of a now or never thing... I will try so hard to share our two bathrooms with you before too long (as I know I've said before, of course)...

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