Thursday, 29 January 2009

A Couple more pages.

Finished up a couple of pages I had laid out on the desk for a week or so.

Beautiful Duet - I just love these photos of Paul and Allie playing a duet together. Makes my heart real warm. The rub on in the lower rt corner reads.
"These are the MOMENTS I want to remember forever."

Love this musical paper too!

And then back to some pretty awful photos taken in a gym. Haven't we all experienced the terrible effects of the lighting in a gym? Add to that , our subjects are way too far away for the flash and , well you get these green pictures. Oh to have known way back then, what I know now, but that is the way it is. I scanned and converted most of the pictures to Black and White to get them all onto one page. Here ya go!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I'm pretending.

Another few days of minus 40's wind chills and I am using my remote start from the shower at the gym in the early mornings (almost). But we are getting a bit of a reprieve now.

To cope I am posting a few pictures that came to mind when Cheryl reminded me in her comment in my previous post, just how beautifully HOT it is in Mexico!!!

Since I am here and not there I am just going to reminisce a bit.

Ahhhhh ......Mexico 2007

Go ahead Cheryl - have another margarita for me...please! And bring some of that beautiful hot sun home with you!

Back to REALITY!!

This is for you Kate. Clocks - I know how you love em as much as I do. We unpacked them this afternoon at JSI - only three of them and I got one. All three clocks come in each package.

heidi swapp 6x6 transparency overlays - mini clocks. Brand new and very fun!
I am betting they don't last until Friday late night crop. I know I'll be using mine in no TIME. LOL

In other news, #2 son arrived home safely late tonight - as in 11:30 pm after 11 hrs on the road from Thompson, Manitoba. Glad to have him home. Wish he would leave at 8 in the morning when he does this!! I am now off to bed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I am thinking I may not make that 6am spin class at the gym in 6 hrs.


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Got some pages done

Plugging along on 2002 - I now have 24 pages done from that year and I am only three months into the year.... oh dear this is going to take a while. I find it so hard to cut down. I could have done a single page on every one of these shots of Allison having dress-up time and swimming fun with her girlfriends. But alas, they all got squeezed into a two page spread.

The best part of these memories is that Allison kept her homeschooling journal while we were on this trip and I absolutely love her fun description of all the exciting things she did with her friends. There is no more meaningful journalling than that done at the moment of the event. I scanned her journals from her book and reprinted them on matching blue card stock.

This spread is celebrating my fathers 77th birthday while Allison and I visited Victoria in February of 2002. Dad is about to celebrate his 84th birthday next month!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Saskatoon photos

I took this photo last fall when out for a walk on lunch. That is the Robin Hood flour mill at the end of the track there.

Same shot desaturated with Photoshop gradient and a sepia filter added.

Not sure which one I like better.
What do you think?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

New stuff!

I have been working full time for the past two weeks and that means lunch comes out of a plastic container every day. Bringing my own lunch also means I frequently eat lunch at my desk, working because I have a very busy job and it gets stressful if I start getting I tend to work through my lunch and coffee breaks. Bad habit.

I made a promise to myself to stop doing this. And the easiest way to keep this promise is to not bring a lunch. The hunger makes me stop what I am doing, put on my coat and head out and pick something up. And I feel much better after this break.

I have two favorite lunch spots (besides Earls! ) One is Tim's because I can get the lunch soup and bun special for under $5 - wow. The other is a little place with yummy homemade soup and sandwiches that is located on the second floor of Charter House Interiors on first Ave at 24th st downtown. I posted about them on my family room reno post

Last Wednesday I called David at work and said - meet me there for a quick soup and sandwich - and it was quick - like 30 minutes. We both had to be back at the office for 1:00 pm meetings.

Now you have to walk through the store to get to the stairs to the second floor diner and there is always something that catches my eye and usually at a very good price. This speedy lunch date we happened to run into a sale - BOGO half price.

And look what I spotted!!!

Isn't this just funky cool? And it goes with my gecko's and tropical stuff.

David loved it too, soooo they put one in the back of my car to take home on trial. You have to love em at Charter House. Real customer service.

Well I took it home and wouldn't ya know, it was

The next day we bought the second one at half price - because they look so much better as a pair.

And that's not all. While we were there, we spotted this cool guy!

It was love at first site and when we both see something and look at each other and say - oh isn't that neat - it would look great on the shelf... well it is a done deal....

and he was on sale for $17 - so I grabbed him too.

He fits in there with the geckos and the tropical chairs. Nothing like a Parana in the family room. You can also put a candle in his mouth - haven't tried that yet but I think it will look pretty neat.

A bit of a conversation piece anyways. haha

I think I will stick with Tim's lunches or home made for a while.

Saturday, 24 January 2009


No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.

-Alexander MacLaren (1826–1910), Scottish preacher

Tranquility? what's that?
Time to just Do It

Friday, 23 January 2009

I KNOW there is a God

“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God.
I know there is a God.”

~Ernest Boyer, Jr.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Facebook anyone?

I posted this a couple of years ago, but since more of you are facebook inaugerated and busy wracking up your list of "friends" I thought you might find this amusing.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Junk Yard

There is a metal scrap junk yard in Saskatoon and a couple of years ago I went there to get some photos...because a big huge pile of metal makes for some cool shots.

If only metal could talk.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

two more pages

I spent some time reorganizing the scrapbook supplies this weekend. I discovered some pretty cool product I didn't know I had. At least I had completely forgotten about it. And I now actually have a desk again now that the garbage can is full and the shelves organized, so that helps the work flow!

This process is very therapeutic, so much so that I actually got two pages done when I finished.

One is from 2002 - some very bad pictures but an event I still wanted to archive. I used some of that "get it done in five minutes" paper from bZOO along with some Basic Grey sticker letters I found at the bottom of a pile of stuff that needed to find a home.

The second layout was a more pleasureable experience - scrapping some wonderful photos from this past Christmas. I called it "I'll be home for Christmas", because the house looked so warm and inviting and filled with Christmas spirit and yet three of the kids didn't make it home this year. So "even in their dreams" they were home and I have pictures to show them what they missed. In some small way they were here. My phone bill can attest to that!!

Christmas 2009, Lord willing, will see NINE of us together. And I get to feed them all for several days and several meals. Both fridges will be full of food, and likely a lot of baking and what not stored in the cold garage. The house will be a mess of people, gifts, chocolates, board games, new sweaters, laughter and more food!! And I will love every minute of it.

Have a blessed day and get out there and enjoy this balmy may not last too long.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Incredible weather!!

I made a snowball today. A firm, very compressed, cold and icy snowball. And I threw it at my husband. Because THAT is what you do when the temperature gets above freezing in January in the great white north. When the snow sticks together it is reason to celebrate. I almost made a snowman.

For those of you south of about 45 degrees latitude who get bored looking at Palm trees, this may seem odd, but let me explain.

It has been cold here. Miserably cold. Try to imagine minus 40 F if you can. It freezes your nostril hairs in seconds. It gives a whole new meaning to cool crisp air. It is dangerously cold and it can get, well, rather depressing after the third, fourth, fifth week of it.

When it is THAT cold you spend fifteen minutes layering and bundling just to go out and hope your car, which has been plugged into a warmer all night, starts. You scrap off the ice and while the poor thing tries to thaw and circulate oil, you shovel the driveway of all the snow, piling it into big mounds at the side of the driveway, because where else are you going to put it?.

By now your care should be toasty warm because you just burned about $15 in gas to get it that way!

And you do this every day!! So you can have nice big piles of snow like this.

and this...

Which for a grand total of three months of the year would otherwise look like this...

Most smart Canadians who can afford it, have what we call "command start". You stand at your bedroom window in the buff and yell "Car! START!"
...actually you have to press a button on your ignition key. Voila, the car starts and you head into the shower - much more civil. You may still have to shovel the driveway though. Check the snow gauge.

When it is minus forty however the car may just refuse to start in which case you go back to the old way and may even need your neighbor to come over and attach big long electrical chords from his nice warm car battery that came out of a heated garage to your car battery which is refusing to speak to you because you left it on the driveway all night.

Another wonderful invention which I have in my northern survival kit is the heated seat. You sit down on your car seat and your bum starts to warm up. It is like a built in electric heating pad. Your hands may be frozen, your windshield iced up, your toes icicles, your fan blowing ice particles at you, but your bum is warm. Stop for a hot coffee on the way and things start to look up.

It has been like this more or less since before Christmas and the furnace has been doing overtime and charging accordingly since then.

But this weekend, things changed.

When the temps rise to a balmy 30 F or 1-2 Celsius up north here, you head out there in your bathing suit and shovel a spot on the front lawn for your lawn chair. Okay, not really, but you at least go for an invigorating walk.

And that's what we did early Saturday morning.

This, for those of you who have never experienced a Central Canadian winter, is a snow gauge....
It basically tells you from the kitchen window how long it will take you to shovel the driveway and how late for work you are going to be.

Very cool devise that doubles for a bird bath in the summer.

We do get summer. It is way too short but we do get summer and I for one am ready for it now.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Diaper Bag arrived!

...and it is beautiful and much larger than I had imagined.

Yes I bought one of those diaper bags I told you about. Boy it can hold a lot of things.

I know... but I am keeping it for some special Mom.

Well, one day I will be a Grandma and
well, just thought these were sooo very nice.

And they are. beautifully sewn by Tina in Manitoba.

They are roomy and filled with pockets on the outside and the inside.

And also very soft...and oh so pretty.

Tina's sewing skills are really superb!
And I just discovered that she knits too!

This is so solid and well made. AND I suspect that once you remove the support in the bottom of the bag, it can be thrown in the washing machine.

I will have to ask Tina about that.

So head on over to Tina at Bits of Scrap and Check out her blog and you can get one too.

You can also check out some of her pictures on her first bag here.

They are $45.00 plus shipping.

Tell her I sent you. ;)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Saving Lives

Steve Karas and Matthew Welling share a special bond.

Matthew Welling, left, received a bone marrow transplant from Steve Karas, right.

They aren't related. In fact, they had never even met until 3-year-old Matthew needed a life-saving bone marrow transplant two years ago.

It turned out that Karas, 51, of Newton, Massachusetts, was a perfect match.

"My heart went a hundred miles an hour, and I couldn't even conceive of what this meant," Karas recalled.

He had signed up for the National Marrow Donor Program registry 17 years ago and had never given it another thought.

The call to donate came out of the blue.

Karas remembered hearing, "It was a little 1-year-old boy with this horrible disease called osteopetrosis, and the only cure was a bone marrow transplant, and would I be willing?"

He said there was no other answer than "of course."

Read the rest of this story here.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Who'd a thunk it!

Calvin's explanation of his Lemonade Stands business perspective.
It has a resonance to the Auto industry's position in the economy.

Click on the cartoon to have it open in full so you can read the print.

Do you think the government would consider subsidizing scrap booking? I mean, really, we are preserving our history for generations to come. What could be more important? Think of the tax payers money that goes into preserving artifacts, like rocks! Think of the public funds used to build huge museums and display collections of..... art.

Shouldn't society encourage this worthy pursuit of preservation of the family (pictures)?

Scrapbooking is a serious business! And when the word comes down that this month's household budget for food will supersede any new scrapbooking supplies....Well! Where are we to turn?
Government subsidies I say and why not? They love to hand out our money to anyone who asks.

Yes this is very serious!

Well it was, at least, until Paris Hilton decided to show up at CHA with her new line! Thanks to Kate for this link....

Your thoughts on a new line of scrapbooking supplies from Paris Hilton??? and on gov't subsidy for scrapbookers who have been stifled by the family budget keeper???

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Five layouts!!

Finally! Some scrap book pages. The pictures on my desk are piling up, especially the 221 I just got back from the Boxing Day sale at Don's!! Oh my - WHEN will they make it into the album!!!!

I decided to take a reprieve from the 2002 pictures...because I had all my Christmas photos organized and on my desk...not to mention all the Christmas paper out from my last project - Christmas cards.

So Christmas 2008 at our home is now captured.

Here we are experiencing all the JOY of Christmas morning.

Our Christmas dinner and into the evening game playing fun.

And finally some photos that capture our home over Christmas.

But... back to 2002...
Here is some great golf paper from Creative Imaginations. It is from the "Old Guys Rule" line but there is nothing OLD about these guys. Just some cool dudes ready for some "Tee Time". Love this paper and the Jolee's embellishment.

Alas - back to the 2002 pictures because I just HAVE to get them done. And 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 AND 2008.

I am determined to get caught up ...because I just have to. And I won't tell you why just yet...but soon.

On a more newsy note...
Number two son, Mark, my firefighter arrived home safely from Thompson last night. I am thankful to have him safely home after 11 hrs on the terrible northern highways and that following a 12 hr shift. Crazy guy, but he is home and will head back early Friday morning, hopefully with more sleep going into the trip home.
Mark is making this whirl wind trip for a job interview with Saskatoon Firefighting Dept tomorrow morning. If you have any connection...make them work. :)
I want this guy back home!!!

On other news, I am heading into five weeks of full time (plus) over the next six weeks. That's what happens when you work two jobs and holiday coverage is needed. I can do this!! I am not that old!!!
Don't expect much in the way of scrapbooking, but I do hope to post now and then because it is my little time of relaxing at the end of a hectic day when dinner is cleared from the table, the dishes done and a load of laundry is put on. This is where I relax until my head hits the keyboard (ouch). About a 20 minute span of time!

Blessings to each of you!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Olympus E-3

As many of you know, I have had the privilege of having an Olympus E-3 in my possession since noon Friday. This is a demo courtesy of Don's Photo.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to use it Friday evening as David and I were enjoying a lovely supper out at John's Prime Rib with some friends. And my Saturday hours were filling up fast too. However, I woke in the wee hours of Sat morning with a very dizzy head. And it was then that I remembered the last time I had that wonderful gravy at John's that I had a similar experience. So all my Saturday plans were laid aside and I slept in. I know, VERY unusual for me. Dear husband brought me my decaf in bed, bless him.

A few hours later I was feeling well enough to read so I dug into the E-3 manual and about four hours later was beginning to get a grasp, literally, on this powerful camera.

Now instead of being dizzy, I was feeling over saturated with all this new knowledge. I spent the next 6 hours taking photos with the E-3 and my E-500 trying to decide if I would fork out the hefty price for this new toy. Despite it's bells and whistles being in completely different places than my E-500, I actually have become quite adept at finding my way around the E-3 and spent a good portion of the day working in manual and A priority. I really tried to use every options it had, including all those fun flash options.

I am still not totally convinced an upgrade to the E-3 will be worth it's big price tag but I do have to admit that the E-3 has the fastest start up and auto focus I could ever imagine. You can count to two from the moment you pick it up, turn it on and have a focused shot taken. It is that fast.

It also has a very nifty playback screen that gives live view. One of the first DSLR's to do this. And this screen actually rotates for those tricky shots. But is this neat feature worth the price?

My E-500, while only an entry level DSLR takes very nice pictures, but the E-3 seems to have just a little more depth and clarity to the pics. I liked them a whole lot.

One disappointment for me is that I like to shoot without a flash. My camera is big enough to draw attention to me without a flash going off, so I prefer to be subtle and not use a flash unless I am doing some macro shots or taking pictures of cutlery! haha

I like to up my ISO for those dark situations. But upping the ISO means noise and graininess and I was hoping the E-3 would wow me with noiseless shots at ISO 1600.

Not even close!! While a tad better than my E-500, there was noise at ISO 600. This was very disappointing and apparently it has something to do with the Olympus 4/3 system - the very system that allows live view. I will take a clear high ISO over live view any day.

Which left me wondering if I shouldn't have gone with Nikon or Canon. But, with this investment in lenses I have, I wasn't going to go there in my thinking. And besides no one makes lenses like Olympus. I guess you can't have it all!!

One fun aspect of the E-3 is the ability to use off camera flashes (strobes) so I had fun with that today and discovered I can take some pretty cool shots with off camera lighting.

This revelation was also a little bit scary because remote flashes are pricey and the umbrella's and stands also pricey. Not to mention that this might cause my husband to put a stop to hauling my camera equipment around for me.

Now.... on to some of the results of spending the weekend with a new camera.

This is an example of what off camera lighting can do. I had an off camera flash on the side for this shot of this wonderful treat my husband brought me this evening.

A picture of my husband trying to watch the football game this afternoon.

My husband still trying to watch the football game, but this time I have him holding an off camera flash in his right hand pointing it into an umbrella held with his left hand so that it would reflect back. See the difference in the colour and lighting on his face? I only got one try because how many guys want to be holding an umbrella in front of their face while they watch a football game!!

More playing with lighting on an abstract piece of art....since there weren't any humans willing to humor me.

With this shot I have an umbrella propped up on the dining room table and a flash going off into the umbrella to give some soft light to the flowers.

I took this picture out the living room window and I also cropped it right down since the yellow electrical cord out to my daughters car was not adding anything to the scene. :) I am impressed with the detail in a zoom, through the window and a crop. However the snow is a little blue and that is because I forgot to set the "metering" to high to pick up those whites. But I did for this next picture!

Again through the living room window.

And there you have it.
The results of having my head in a book, my hands on a camera and my butt on a chair all weekend. I learned lots though. Felt like I took an intensive course all weekend and I guess I did.
And tomorrow the E-3 goes back to Don's. sigh....

Friday, 9 January 2009

I am so excited!!

I have, right now, in my possession...

The Olympus E-3 ~ my dream camera!!

It has the FASTEST auto focusing of any professional camera!! Click, click, click - all in focus with incredible detail.

And I have three days to play with it!!

Three days to be totally distracted with this new toy of mine...

and then Don's Photo photo wants it back!!!

But until then, I plan to put it through every test I can and take a thousand pictures!!!

Here she is... and isn't she beautiful???

I picked her up over lunch today and man it took a lot of self control to let her sit in the corner of my office all afternoon untouched!!

So, if I don't blog for a few days you will know what I am doing.
sigh... and then she has to go back.

The specs? Check this out! And this!

The E-3, the flagship of Olympus' Digital SLR line, combines speed and durability in a splash-proof magnesium alloy body. Early to embrace Live View and Dust Reduction features in a dSRL, Olympus now appears to offer the fastest autofocus in the world. Body-Integrated image stabilization , a 10-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, Supersonic Wave Drive and one of the largest and most accurate viewfinders prove Olympus is not sitting on their laurels but is still an innovator in photographic technology.

Are you ready for the "World's Fastest Autofocus" dSLR? Used in combination with the Zuiko Digital SWD ED 12-60mm f2.8-4 lens, the E-3’s new AF system is the world’s fastest.

Thursday, 8 January 2009


I have been taking some of my photos and working with them in Photoshop to make them into water color prints.