Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 11 in 2011 and Hello 2012!

The new year is almost upon us!  2011 seems to have passed in a blink of an eye.  It was a terrific year in terms of scrappy endeavors!  Here are some of my faves.

Wishing all of my bloggy friends a Happy New Year and all the best in 2012!  May all of your creative dreams come true and here's to lots of scrappy time!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflections and Goals

Another year is coming to a close.  This is the time when I tend to want to organize my life and make some goals for the new year.  This time last year, I did a post outlining some goals for 2011.  It's always fun to look back to see if any were actually achieved.  Surprisingly, some actually were!

I was successful in making lots of hand made cards this past year.  I have however come to the realization that I don't enjoy making cards.  It seems like a chore.  I plan on going back to making cards from BG card kits.  I LOVE them!

I did do some LO's using my own designs.  This was fun but who am I kidding, I am totally addicted to sketch challenges!

I am very pleased that I have gotten back into cross stitching thanks to my freaky magnifying glasses.  I don't stitch often but it is a hobby that I will never grow tired of.  I have been doing it for 21 years.

The thing I am most excited about is my knitting journey.  Thanks to crafty Tuesdays with Susan, my knitting horizons are being expanded!  The socks were made and now we are knitting up dog sweaters for Gus and Maggie.  I learned lots from my mistakes made in Lady's sweater.  Poor Lady having to wear the "irregular" sweater.  ;)  We have plans to make a baby sweater and then eventually an actual sweater!  It is all about baby steps.  In other knitting news, with my confidence at a high, I have started knitting a baby afghan.  I'll post more on that later.

Now onto some goals that I didn't achieve.  Was I delusional when I stated that I was going to scrap less in 2011?  I'm totally addicted and I don't see the scrapping as slowing down any time soon.  I love scrapping!  It is really what motivates my day and I feel so fortunate to have an activity that I feel so passionate about.  I have finally accepted the fact that at some point in my life my album count will be a concern.  I may have to rent a storage locker!  hee hee

The mini albums that I planned on making are still sitting in the drawer naked.  Hmm   Maybe mini albums fall into the same category as card making for me.

Lastly, I did not manage to decrease my scrappy purchases for 2011.  Shocking!!!  I am a sucker for watching manufacturers blogs for all the new stuff coming out.  I love CHA time and looking forward to getting my hands on some new stuff.  I don't see this behaviour changing.  I am happy to say that I am not a stash hoarder.  I do go through the stash and donate stuff that I know I won't use.  As long as it stays out of the landfill, I am happy.

My goals for this year are simple.  I have decided to set myself up for success!

I want to learn to crochet!  I learned at school in grade 4 so I'm sure I can pick it up again.  This book is bound to work!  After all, the series made sock making a success!

I plan on getting some reading done.  So many books just patiently waiting for me.

Lastly, I have decided to Write Every Day.  A Project 365 in words.  Some days I may write lots while others just a sentence or two.  Just a thought or a memory, something funny I heard, something happy or something sad.  This will give me an excuse to get out my fountain pen.

So that is it.  No hollow plans for this year.  Let's face it, unless the scrapping industry goes belly up  and there is a global shortage of cocoa beans, I'm not giving up scrappy shopping or chocolate!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Best Wishes

Just wanted to take a moment to wish all of my bloggy friends a wonderful holiday!  

I am still loving this blogging community of ours and am so appreciative that I have connected with so many wonderful people who share this scrappy passion.  I love being able to see all of your wonderful creations as well as a glimpse into your worlds.  It still amazes me that I have friends from all corners of our world.  This fact alone makes me feel that this world of ours is not so huge and we all share so much in common.  I so appreciate all of the lovely comments that you all leave me.  :)

I will leave you with a Christmassy photo of Gus and Maggie enjoying a long winter's evening.

Merry Christmas and Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung ...

Well sort of.  It is a Christmas miracle!  I have finished knitting my hand knit socks.  Here is what I have learned.

(1)  There is a lot of work that goes into knitting one pair of socks.  I am in awe of the pioneer women who came before us and too bad we have two feet to knit for.

(2)  When a pattern says that you only need two balls of their wool, they may be wrong.

(3)  Wool that you buy on sale last summer may not be available to buy the following winter.  :(

(4)  Substituting black wool to complete your sock toe may lead to problems while trying to do a "kitchener" stitch to close your toe.  It is almost impossible to see what you are doing when you work with black yarn.

(5)  A simple "kitchener" stitch can lead to a loopy tangled mess that you want to throw out of your kitchen patio into the slough.

(6)  Big sisters who have a history of fixing their little sister's mistakes continue to do so in their adult life.  Susan to the rescue fixing my loopy tangled mess!  :)  (Susan had to put the zipper in a skirt I made as a teenager when we went to a sewing class.  I never would have finished it. )

(7)  When you complain to a yarn company that their pattern did not work, they feel sorry for you and send you three balls of sock wool even though they believe that their pattern is right and you just really suck at knitting socks.

(8)  I must have really skinny feet.  These socks too fit me like "sloppers"!  :(   Yes they will have to be worn over my socks as a kind of sloppy slipper.  :(

(9)  Knitters who don't suck take the time to check their gauge.  I think I might knit a bit loosely?

(10)  Bargain bags of socks purchased from Costco are a sweet deal and sound good enough for me!!!

I have come to the conclusion that although I have accomplished this task and can scratch it off my bucket list ( I joke) I am not a sock knitter and will not continue this sock knitting journey.  The free wool will be passed along to Susan, along with the two balls of sock wool that I picked up for 79 cents each.  Score!  Susan on the other hand,  is loving this new journey.  I see a future of delicately knit socks that match every colour of top or blouse she wears, almost like Rose from "Two and a Half Men".

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Paper Makes Me Happy!

I got some "happy Mail" yesterday!  Lots of October Afternoon goodness.  Yum!!

"Farmhouse" is such an amazing line with lots of soft yellows, turquoise and grey.  It is so beautiful that I might have to wait for just the right photograph to cut into this one.

"Holiday Style" has an amazing retro vibe.  I should really wait to use it on some photos taken on Christmas day, but it may find it's way to scrapping one from last year.  I find that once Christmas is over, I don't feel like scrapping the season, so I am usually a year delayed in my scrapping.  No worries, I'm sure there will be plenty of amazing new Christmas collections for 2012 that I will deem a total necessity.  ;)

Skipping ahead to the next holiday, Valentine's Day.  Crate has an amazing new line out!!  "Paper Heart"!

Look at all this goodness!

Love there stickers and borders!  So much to choose from!

Here are some of my favourite papers in the collection!  Love the hearts on the turquoise !

Well, enough drooling over paper.  hee hee  Soon it will be January and we will have the fun of watching out for all the new releases for CHA.  So much fun!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Little Helper

Yesterday I had a chance to play with some of Jillibean Soup's latest Christmas line, "Christmas Eve Chowder".  As much as I totally love this line, I found it really difficult to work with.  It is very busy.  Hind sight tells me that I should have chosen a sketch with more white space.  I think what might save me is the fact that the LO is child themed.

Here is my friend's little fellow last Christmas.  I invited him to help me open up my gift from his family.  I love the look of concentration on his face.

He sure has grown in a year.  He loves the "Clifford" series of books so I have "Clifford's Christmas" to drop off for him to enjoy before the holidays.  He is such a sweet little boy.

I used this sketch by Julie Bonner.  It was fun to replace the extra photo spots with patterned paper.  Some of the larger patterns are so beautiful that it is nice to showcase them on a LO.

Well it might be time to scrap something that doesn't have a winter or holiday theme.  ;)

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmassy Challenge

Today there is a new challenge up at Scrap it With a Song.  You can choose any Christmas carol or song as inspiration.  I decided to go the untraditional route and chose the song, "Shake Up Christmas" by Train.  It is a cute song and you can have a listen to it here.

I took the lyric, "Tis the Season of Smile" to title my LO of none other than smiling Thomas!!

I used the Echo Park collection, "Season's Greetings".  I can't get enough of this warm and vintage line.

Hope you are smiling today!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decking the Halls and Some Findings

Yesterday was a very productive day in terms of getting ready for Christmas.  The tree is finally up!  We did cheat a little though.  We decided to leave our huge tree, also known as "the Beast",  in it's box in the basement, and invest in a smaller more suitable tree.  It is only 6 feet tall.  We didn't have to rearrange furniture.  Hooray!!

This smaller tree would not allow me to hang all of my ornaments so I was able to give some to Diane to help fill her tree.  Each ornament on my tree is different.  A very eclectic look.  Here it is in all it's glory.

Now for a closer look at ornaments.

My newest find and just so perfect for where Rob and I are at in our life right now.

A gift from Diane.  Every tree needs a sparkly pink elephant!  ;)

A sparkly sentiment.

Diane helped me to decorate the tree and when I came across this ornament of Mo, I asked Diane if she would like it for her tree.

She said that no, it was okay because she has the real Mo in her tree at home.  I guess he thinks that Diane put it up as an entertainment source for him.  ;)

And... a bit more glitter.

Now onto some scrappy stuff.  There is a new colour challenge site coming out in the new year!  It sounds like it will be a lot of fun.  You can read all about it here.

Lastly, if you ever thought of doing Project 365 but then knew that you would never take a photo every day, this may be for you.  It is called Write Every Day and it is a Project 365 in words.  It is so simple to just write a few lines each day to record "whatever".  It would be so great to be able to look back on a full year, in words.  You can find out more about this idea here.  I failed terribly at Project 365, but I think that this is doable.  I love to write!  There is a free downloadable to set up a book but I think I will go the old fashioned route and just pick up some pretty journals at HomeSense.  

Hope that all of your Christmas preparations are going well!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One More for the Winter Album

The scrapping mojo is in full gear these days with another LO featuring winter.  Here is my friend's little fellow two winters ago.  I love the look on his face.  Oh the joys being Canadian and bundling up to leave the house.

I used some BG "Nordic Holiday" and love the masculine look it offered.  Some of the embellishments on this page were a gift from Sarah.  I am in love with those circular clips!

We have a quiet weekend ahead.  No plans.  Our weather is still unseasonably mild so we will get the pups out for some walks.  I am sure that once January comes we will pay for this awesome weather.  :(  It usually happens this way.  Tomorrow we will be erecting the Christmas tree.  Time to pull the beast from the basement, drag up far too many boxes of ornaments and then rearrange furniture to fit around the tree.  Such a strange tradition really, when you step back and look at it as an outsider.  Diane is coming over to help so I am happy for that.  Who knows,  maybe I will get a photo and have a Christmas LO opportunity.

Wishing you all a fun weekend!  Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

More Than Just a Winter Collection

I have one more LO to share using Pink Paislee's "Snow Day" collection.  No snowy photos in this LO.... it's a birthday page!  Here is Diane on her 24th.

I had lots of fun with layering on this one.  Just pulling a little of this and that from my desk top supply.

I used this week's sketch up at Sketch Inspiration.

Last night I came across a wonderful source for desktop wallpapers.  Basic Grey puts a new one out each month.  You can find them here.

Here is this month's.

This was last January's.  I just love it and can't wait to see what this January's looks like!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snow Day

I just can't seem to get enough of Pink Paislee's "Snow Day" line.  I was at the LSS yesterday and picked up just a few more sheets of paper to help make my scraps go further.  My excitement over this line is really inspiring me to get lots of my winter photos scraped for my winter album.

Today I decided to play along with this week's challenge up at Scrap it With a Song.  It is the Rock Chicks up this week and the song is Bing Crosby's "Dreaming of a White Christmas".  I have always liked that old song and the theme of it works in well with this wintery LO of Mo.  I love the look on his face.  This was the first time that he had ever experienced snow.   Diane put him out on the balcony to see what his reaction would be.  He is only about a year old here.  { I really do talk about Mo like he is a grandchild. ;)}

I am really having fun with snowflakes lately.  Not everyone would get so excited over a kraft snowflake but I love anything kraft.  I am really disappointed that I have yet to find those amazing wooden snowflakes that I see popping up everywhere.

I used this sketch by Julie Bonner.  I love this linear sketch with lots of white space!

Next I am off to see if I can do a non snow themed LO with some more "Snow Day".  It really is such a versatile line.  I overheard the owner of my LSS saying that she wanted to order in more because it will go well for Valentine themed LO's.  Very true.

Hope you get a chance to play along with us this month at Scrap it With a Song because I am sponsoring this prize!  It would be a hoot if one of my readers won!  :)

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen  :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Free Stuff

Everybody loves free stuff, right?  I have recently been on the lookout for free downloadable images since we finally purchased a good laser coloured printer.

How about some of these sweet images for your Christmas crafting?  They can be found here at Smitten Blog Designs.

If you are a fan of Pink Paislee's new winter line, "Snow Day", then you are in luck.  

They have been giving away free downloadable images daily as part of their 12 Days of Christmas celebration.  You can check it out here and maybe win a prize too!

Happy Christmas crafting and Happy Scrapping!!  Jen :)
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