Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flaming Skies

Last night the sky was amazing.  I captured this photos at about 10 p.m., just when the sun was starting to go down.  I am loving my new camera for the low light capabilities.

Tomorrow is Canada Day and I am planning on getting outside and viewing the local fireworks display. It will be fun to practice taking some photos of fireworks.  Have a wonderful day!

Summer Layouts

Sizzlin Hot Summer (A layout on Osoyoos, B.C, Canada)

Clayton's New Bike
I have been getting inspired to do some summer layouts from one of my favorite websites Two Peas In A Bucket.  At the moment they have an event happening called "Snap and Scrap Your Summer".

I love all the bright colors for summer and got busy creating with some older Bo Bunny papers.  The colors and papers are perfect for these.  I am on a real kick with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists and Tattered Angels Chalkboard Mists.  On these layouts I used the  Marigold and Tiger Lily glimmer mists.  Fun, fun, fun!

If anyone knows of a way to prevent my papers from curling when using the mists, please let me know.  I had to put big books on the above two page layout as the corners curled up after the misting.

Two page layouts are out of the norm for me, but thought I would give one a try.  It definitely gives it more of a flowing feel to the story of the page as I wanted to showcase my photos of Osoyoos.

Have a wonderful summer day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Battling The Weight

Since December, 2010 I have been attending Weight Watcher's meetings.  It isn't anything new because this is the third attempt on trying to get down to a decent body weight.   Like many adults, I have had weight issues since the birth of my youngest son.  He is now 11.  It all started with a pregnancy in my late thirties, and adding to that quitting a package and a half cigarette habit just before the pregnancy and then after the birth of my son I mysteriously gained thirty pounds in a matter of three months.  That is when it was discovered that I had hypothyroidism.  To treat hypothyroidism, I was prescribed Synthroid, which is a synthetic drug.   So what is my excuse for being overweight now?  Well my metabolism has slowed down considerably and I am an emotional eater.  The first attempt to get the weight off was in 2001.  It took me a gruelling 14 months, but I managed to lose 60 pounds.  I became dissatisfied with the weight loss as my doctor wanted me to lose 90 pounds and the weight just was not coming off.  I would go to my meetings week after week and I know I was losing inches as my clothes were fitting well, but the scale was not moving.  Discouraged, I gave up.

The second time, was in 2007 that I went back to Weight Watchers and managed to lose thirty pounds.  I worked out faithfully everyday, tracked everything I ate in a journal.  I was happy with how I felt and I came to the conclusion that I was never going to be really slim, but as long as I was healthy that was my main goal.

After a while, I slipped into my old habits and eventually gained the weight back.  In December 2010, after gaining all of it back I started back at Weight Watchers for the third time with the inspiration from my doctor who was also attending meetings after the birth of her child.  It was nice to know doctors are real and they struggle just like the rest of us.  I really admired her, because she practices what she preaches.

This time I have been attending meetings for 6 months and tonight I reached my 5%, which doesn't sound like a significant amount but hey, if I hadn't gone to meetings at all, I would have either gained or not lost at all.

Weight loss for me is one of my biggest obstacles in life but I have realized that I have to accept the fact that I am only human and that I love to cook and I love to eat.  I have accepted that I will never be the slim person I once was because when I was slim, I didn't eat healthy.  Now,  I live a much healthier lifestyle, even though I'm overweight.  My blood pressure, blood sugar and cholestrol are at healthy levels and I can enjoy all that life has to offer so why stress about weight?  We only live once and I plan on keeping on this weight loss journey, but I am not going to beat myself up over every little bite.  I am going to do my best and give myself a hug.  I have realized that for me, if I am balanced in body, mind and spirit, I can achieve great things.  It is a struggle for me because of my circumstances and now that I am self aware of what I need to do to change my circumstances, the weight loss isn't going to be speedy.  Weight loss at my age now isn't about vanity, it is about getting healthy and having more energy and confidence and knowing that I can have more quality in my daily life.

I can only do what I can do and I know that the people in my life that love me, love me for me.  They support me in the good times and the bad times.  Sure, I would like to be that slim girl that my husband met thirteen years ago, but it isn't going to happen.  My husband knows I struggle and he knows I try.  He loves me anyway.  I'm on a mission to get healthy and that's what I am striving for.  It is going to be a day at a time.  It's going to be baby steps....


Monday, June 27, 2011

Wild Thang

My cat Asia loves to play in boxes.  Especially the box I use to spray my glimmer mists.  I don't know a cat that doesn't love boxes or bags.  I created this layout because she can be a wild thing.  Bo Bunny has a new collection called "Zoology" and even though it really is for zoo animals, my Asia is a bit of a tiger.  I used several products in this layout and also stamped the tiger and colored it with Copic Markers and glazed it with Ranger's Glossy Accents.  The brown cardstock was sprayed with Chalkboard Mist by Tattered Angels and the stencil is "Zebra" by Crafter's Workshop.

Where Does The Time Go?

My daughter is turning 24 today and I can't believe it!  This photo above is when she turned 18 and it just seems like yesterday.  So much life has been lived in six short years.  She has graduated from high school, worked as an operating room technician in a major hospital, got married, and now just finished her first year of nursing.

Shannon is a trooper and has always been such a joy to me with her sweet personality, her sense of humor and her positive attitude.  I love you Shannon!  Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


My son, who recently went on a grade six field trip to the zoo, took some photos of some of the wild animals.  I loved this tiger and thought I'd create a layout with the new Bo Bunny "Zoology" collection.

It was fun to do and I used a few different elements such as sequins,  fibers from Basic Grey's "Archaeic" collection, buttons from Basic Grey's "Granola" collection, mosaic tiles from Harmonie and a corrugated tree that I painted from Jillibean Soup.

I really was impressed with my son's photo and as he goes to junior high school next year, he will be trying new options such as photography.  I think it will be so good for him.

This makes me want to visit the zoo.  How about you?

Friday, June 24, 2011

So Proud

My youngest son is finishing grade six and his school had a farewell mass and ceremony to celebrate the occasion.

I am such an emotional person and I kept on feeling a tear roll down my face.  I remember when we moved here in grade two and now he has just completed grade six and he will be going to junior high school next year.  Wow!  Life goes by way too fast.

Some of my photos are a bit blurry as I am using manual settings on my camera and it's still a challenge for me in lower light situations, but it just takes practice, practice and more practice.  Here are some of Clayton's special day:

Clayton's goes to such an awesome school and the teachers are wonderful.  The highlight of the mass was when the cute little grade one students sang a farewell song to them.  I loved it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My New Camera! The Canon EOS 7D!

It was time to upgrade my camera so I headed down to Saneal Camera, located in Calgary at the Southcentre Mall.  They are very knowledgeable and John always takes care of our photography needs.

 I am very happy with my Canon EOS 30D, but wanted more ISO flexibility and more frames per second continuous shooting and the full HD video is a real bonus.  I have been eyeing the Canon EOS 7D for about a year now, but wanted to know my first DSLR camera very well before upgrading to my new 7D.  All my lenses are compatible with my new camera body too!

It will be great to capture some video of my son's Grade Six Farewell tomorrow at my church and also with vacation coming up it is the perfect time.  Now to let the battery charge up and try to sneak in a few "golden hour" photos.

What's going to be really nice is that my husband and I can go out to the mountains and he can use the 30D while I use my 7D.  It's going to be double the fun!  My son went to the zoo on a field trip today and took some great photos of the tigers with his point and shoot. He will be taking photography classes at school next year in grade 7 so I'm sure he will enjoy it too!  We will be the family of shutterbugs!

Enjoy your evening!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some Free Online Classes!

I don't know about you, but whenever I can save money and take classes for free, I'm all over it.  I tend to learn better with online classes when I'm in the comfort of my own home and don't have to feel stressed about keeping up with the rest of the class.  I am a visual learner and I like to take my time and not be rushed.   Want to know my best kept secret?  I like to watch online photography or photo editing classes on CreativeLive and if you watch it live, it is absolutely free!  After the live class, you can purchase the course and go over it and rewind it as many times as you like.  I have taken two online courses in the past year through CreativeLive and it has helped me grow in my photography and photo editing skills.

Photography and photo editing  are two areas where there is always room for improvement and since I have mastered the workings of my camera, now it is time to move on to the "digital darkroom" to make those photos pop more.  

It is such a lovely day today, but this is something I don't want to miss so I'll be hanging out on my computer and watching Lesa Snider make sense of  Photoshop Elements 9 and then maybe spend tonight photographing some landscapes to put my new photo editing skills into practice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recipe for Royal Raspberry Cake

Royal Raspberry Cake

I had a few people ask for the recipe for Royal Raspberry Cake that I posted earlier. Here it is:

I bet you can't stop at one piece!  Enjoy!

Baking On The Last Day Of Spring

It hasn't really felt like spring here in Alberta, Canada but the first day of summer starts tomorrow.  I really don't enjoy cooking or baking as much in the summer except for grilled fare and cooking with berries.  The raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are coming into season and I couldn't resist baking my usual Royal Raspberry Cake.  It is so delicious and very low in fat.

Measure 3 and 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes

Let cool on cooling rack for 5 minutes

Drizzle with icing 

Enjoy!  It's best warm and also excellent with vanilla ice cream.

If anyone is interested in this recipe, let me know.  Have a wonderful last day of Spring!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

She Art Girl No. 4 - My Modern Girl

There are lots of things happening in my life right now and this She Art Girl is a tad busy, but it depicts the busy and chaotic life I have right now.  I first started with some notes, drawings and cards that my two sons, my daughter, and my husband have given me and Mod Podged them on my canvas.  I then painted and inked on top of them so it may not be visible, but it has some personal meaning to me.

She Art Girl #4 - Modern Girl

 She Art girls are so much fun and I am looking forward to the next online course that Christy Tomlinson is offering.  I signed up for "She Has Three Hearts" which is an art journaling class taught by the funny, adorable Christy Tomlinson.  It starts in July.

Happy Father's Day

 I love my dad

 and I love my husband.

 They deserve a day to be honored.  I had to share this video.

Hope all you dads out there have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cute Mixed Media Album

Prima has done it again!  This mixed media album is super cute and looks like so much fun.  It is my new interest besides scrapbooking.  I can't wait to try this!

What Am I Doing Right Now...

Right Now > June 15

Right now (at 1:51 p.m.)  I am...

listening: to the silence
eating:  nothing
drinking:  nothing
wearing:  black "New York" top and black pants    
feeling:     happy and excited
wanting:  to go to the grocery store
needing:  a weekend away to do some scrapbookng
thinking:  it would be great if my older kids lived closer so I could see them more often
enjoying:  the peace and quiet before my youngest son comes home from school
learning:  to juggle a new part-time job with all the home responsibilities
wondering:  when I'll get time to create some art or layouts
procrastinating:  changing the sheets on the guest room bed
loving:  my new job
anticipating:  our summer vacation with my husband and youngest son as we need more family time.

What's happening in your life RIGHT NOW?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011