Friday, May 31, 2013

In My Backyard ~ Photo Post

The birds are singing and everything is in bloom!

Vines are climbing.

Flowers are blooming.

Some flowers are drooping.

A new birdhouse is awaiting tenants.

Cotton for nesting is ready for pulling.

Nyjer birdseed in hopes of  attracting Golden Finches.

Some blooms are already fading.

Out with the old and in with the new!

Bleeding hearts sit in a row.

Yard work is waiting to be done.

Curious puppies are exploring.

A winter casualty lies waiting to be composted.

And this little one dreams of laying her eggs.

~ Jen ~

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No Buy Challenge ~ May Update

Well, the end of another month is soon upon us.   Time to give the month end report of my scrappy diet.

This month had me doing a few posts on the challenge throughout the month.  It started out as a hard month.  It was National Scrapbooking Day that really seemed to get to me.  Some people scrap on this day but I historically,  shop sales.  I was feeling a little bit deprived.  Then along came Mother's Day.  Yay to having children!  Normally the girls won't buy anything scrap related for me.  They say they won't support my addiction. LOL  This year they took pity on me and each gave me a gift card to a LSS.  I knew when I started this challenge that my only hope of getting a few new things this year would be from gifts.  Mother's Day and Birthday are the two occasions where I get a bit of a reprieve from the scrappy diet.  And so,  this month's post will be more of a guide to frugal scrappy buying.

I had a total of $80 to spend.  I can't even begin to tell you how exciting this felt.  It is really weird how when I think of last year's buying pattern, I often went into the LSS and would drop $80 or more and think nothing of it.  Not a lot of thought really went into what I purchased.  If it was pretty,  I bought it.  That is what landed me in a spot of feeling overwhelmed by having too much stuff.  This time with $80 in my pocket,  I knew that lots of thought would go into each purchase.  I wanted the most bang for my buck.  I knew that I would focus on paper.  It is cheaper and it really is my favourite supply of all.  Embellishments are more pricey and sometimes you can make your own from paper.

Here is what I got for $80.

My first task was to go through manufactures that I am attracted to and to only choose a small sampling from each collection that I liked.  I carefully looked at each sheet of paper.  It had to have something "new" about it to qualify for purchase.  If it looked like something I might already have,  I passed it up.  After all,  I plan on mixing the new with the old as a way of using up more of the old.  I also looked for paper that had lots that could be cut out of it,  to use for layering and embellishment.  Here are the bits of the collections that I collected.

Studio Calico "Here & There"

Studio Calico "Sundrifter"

Studio Calico "Atlantic".  I plan on punching all of the circles out of this paper.

Studio Calico "Snippets"

AC "Lucky Charm"

Crate "The Pier"

Cosmo Cricket "Sweet Disposition"

BG "Hipster"

Next I selected papers where I could cut lots out in the way of tags and borders.  These can be mixed with papers on hand to give old stuff a new vibe. That top right hand sheet is MME "Sweetest Things" and was half price!

In choosing embellishment, I looked for items where I got many for the money spent.  It had to be different from anything I had at home.  I picked up the SC Flair at Homesense.  Last years line.  14 badges for $2.99.  Score!

If you look within these supplies that I have already shown you,  you can see that I tried to get a bit of the newest trends for this year.  Missing out on the new trends has been the hardest thing about this challenge.  It still amazes me that each year, the designers come up with something new that stands out as different.  I think I captured a taste of the "new".

Arrows... Can't get enough of them!

Negative Space Teardrops... What are these things called, anyway?

Nautical...  For all of my seaside photos taken in the prairies of Alberta.  LOL

Speech Bubbles...  I started the year thinking they looked cheesey but apparently I am easily swayed.  ;)

A successful frugal shopping trip!  The old me would have just thrown entire collections into the basket and bought many of the add ons.  It is amazing how the thought process shifts when there is a limited amount of money to make the most of.  I kept asking myself if I had something similar at home already or if I would really get the use for the money spent.  I am hoping that this new psychology of shopping stays with me next year.  I feel so grateful to have these new additions to the stash. Thanks Diane and Lisa!  :)  They will be kept together with the idea of trying to incorporate them in with older supplies.

 Two great things about this shopping trip.....    I am not overwhelmed by what I brought home and I got to say hello to the ladies who run the two LSS's that I visited.

Five months down and seven months to go!

Now I just can't wait to have two operating hands so I can actually dig into these goodies!  On a happy note, my mother-in-law wanted to get me a get well gift.  It was the choice of chocolates, flowers or paper.  So yes, I choose paper!  The new collection paper pack from Fancy Pants "Trendsetter".  I'll be back soon to show you all of the goodness inside this pack.  Now I just can't wait to cut into it.  Susan has offered to be my scrapping assistant and cut and hold things for me.  What a gem!  It would just seem cruel to take her up on it though.  If only I could train Maggie to hold my papers and use an exacto knife!  LOL  She is my scrappy assistant but only in that she sleeps under my desk as I create.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Greetings from the Bird Geek

I am still enjoying having a beautiful Tree Swallow couple nesting in my backyard.  They spend their days building their nest in our birdhouse.  They began mating last week.  Soon enough they will be busy feeding babies.

The female has given me a couple of frights.  First there was the flying into the door incident.  Thankfully she made a full recovery.  Only a few days later she had me worried as I watched her continuously fly up and flutter against our kitchen window.  It went on for hours.  At this time, her mate was nowhere to be seen.  So strange as they are always together. I wondered if something had happened to him.  Eventually she tired and flew away only to return with her mate the following morning.  I was so happy to see them together again.

I was finally able to capture some photos of the female.  She is so relaxed and allows people to come quite close to her.

My hope is to eventually photograph the little ones!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

"LOL" & A Broken Wing

Just popping in to share the latest case at CSI.

It was the perfect palette to share this photo of Rob and I with comedian,  Jeremy Hotz.  We saw him last March for the second time.  He is Canadian born but now resides in the USA.  He is such a funny man and we were thrilled to be able to meet him and thank him for a great show.

In other not so scrappy news,  the scrapping has come to a screeching halt as I am presently nursing a broken wing.  :(  Well... not exactly broken but rather a dislocated elbow.  I apparently do not have the cat like agility that I think I possess.  While washing windows last Sunday,  I attempted to just hop up on a bench in order to reach the high window.  I didn't gather enough momentum and came crashing down on my side.  {Note to self:  You are not a cat.}  So the elbow has been relocated and was thankfully done while I was asleep.  Just a tiny bone chip and a soft tissue injury.  I am in a splint awaiting muscles to heel and tighten so the elbow will not displace again.   Hopefully when I see the bone doctor in 2 weeks,  he will set me free.

I am going through major craft withdraw and realize that I am not too good at sitting around doing nothing.  It is amazing just how many things you really need two hands for.  I don't want to drive with only one hand.   Rob has been on domestic duty and I am spending some time reading.  The pups are loving sofa time with me.  I'm boooooored!!! {insert whiny 5 year old voice here}

I welcome any one handed crafting ideas.  I wonder if I could knit with a knitting loom?  Maybe I should try a LO done with one hand?  It could feature ripping and be very askew.  It may just have an artsy feel to it.  ;)


Friday, May 17, 2013

About Mother's Day

Another Mother's Day has come and gone.  This one was quite different for me.  I actually managed to get a photo of me and the girls together for the first time in 5 years!  Some of you may remember this LO from 2010.  Well the drama continued and 2011 did not yield me that much dreamed of photo.  2011 held a trip to the emergency room with severe intestinal pain.  Thankfully it was nothing serious.  Then in 2012 Lisa had to attend a bachelorette party in Las Vegas.  I was nervous for her to go as Mother's Day usually means a medical emergency for Lisa or at least a sickness.  She was fine so I hoped that the spell was broken and I might actually get that photo in 2013.  Yay!!!  I got it.  Rob photographed it as soon as Lisa came in for fear that some emergency was lurking around the corner.  LOL

This week's case at CSI gave me the perfect reason to document this story.  Documenting "5 things" had me thinking of the five years that I waited.  Here's the case.

I used a blurry photo of Lisa taken last Christmas.  I wanted to add to the theme of it being hard to get that capture.

I used a sketch by Kristine Davidson from her second eBook.  Love these sketches!

And here is that photo!  I think it may be showing up on a LO sometime soon.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

House Guests

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you may be aware that I am a bit of a bird geek.  These little feathered friends just make me happy.  One of the best things about leaving the condo and coming back to a house with a yard is that I have songbirds to enjoy once again.

Last Sunday a couple of Tree Swallows swooped into the yard in a furry.  They decided to move into a new birdhouse that we had just put up a few weeks ago.  We watched them begin the nesting process, before it was time to leave to visit my mother in the home.  By the time we got back, they had left the new construct and were hanging out at one of the older houses.  I regret not buying a filler for the house to help start them of with the nesting.  They must have figured that a pre-existing home would be less work.  Smart birds.  I agree.  ;)

This morning I heard a thump at the back door.  When I looked out, the female was sitting on the deck stunned.  The male was sitting close by.  When I opened the door to check the bird, the male flew off to the lawn chair and watched.  She wasn't moving her head and sat still.  I came in as not to scare her.  After awhile,  I opened the door again and was happy to see her fly off.  My only worry was that she would fly off to die somewhere.  I watched the male sit alone on the fence and wondered what his life would be like without her.  Would he find another mate at this point in the season?  I hoped he would.  Soon enough she returned.  Reunited!  I have some photos to share.

The happy home owners.

The female is taking it easy today and doing lots of fence sitting.  I hope she is okay for mating.

The male is quite chatty as you can see in these photos.

Oh he is a beauty!

I am happy to report that the neighbourhood I am in also has a pond just around the corner from my home.  I walk to it daily to watch the activity.  There are at least 3 couples of Canadian Geese who share the pond.  The pond at the condo only ever had one couple as the male was quite aggressive and would chase off any other couples who arrived.  Yes, 5am geese fights were often heard.  Too bad because that slough had enough room for many geese to share.   In chatting with my previous neighbours, I have learned that he is back again this year and dominating the waters.  LOL

A few days ago we were talking past the new pond only to spot these beauties!

They are American White Pelicans.  They are huge!  They were there all day and then I spotted then flying overhead early the next day.  Sadly they have moved on.  It would have been thrilling to have them near by.  Apparently they live for 26 years!  They nest between April and August and both parents sit on the eggs.  They are social birds and live in colonies so I guess they went off to find the others.

So here is the official springtime warning.....  With so many geese on the new pond,  some photos of new little goslings are soon to follow.  Okay maybe more than some photos.  ;)   One mama is sitting already.  I'll have to bring over the binoculars to see if I can spot more.

Wishing you a wonderful day with something beautiful from nature to enjoy.  :)

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