Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is this our girl?

My sweet little niece is famous! Well, famous in our corner of the world.

She did a photo shoot for Eveline Charles, where she is a student at the downtown campus, and she ended up on the companies posters all over Edmonton Center, and on the website here.

I almost didn't recognize her, even though I went to the site today, looking to see if she had made it to the world wide web.

She looks like she could be on the cover of Vogue...but I don't wish that on her, and I am pretty sure that is not her goal in life. This was strictly a fun photo shoot for her.

So, don't you think she takes after her aunty? Ha Ha Ha! (she's the one on the left)

Actually, she's a pretty even combo of my beautiful baby seester and her charming and handsome hubby Randy. AND, her little sister, who could also grace the cover of any magazine on the planet!

Brains and's all in the genes, folks!

Monday, February 12, 2007

For a perfect Sunday...

Just add Liam!!

Day 12

February 12th. Officially, there are only two days left in the swap, but I have yet to receive the gifts for days 9 and 10 from Linda and Fiona, so I can stretch it out a little longer!

Today was day 12, and what treat was waiting for me. I made the boys do their morning chores, and complete their Math before I opened this gift. They've been as keen on the surprises as I have! And what a great way to motivate them. LOL We all held our breath as we s-l-o-w-l-y opened Liz's present that has come all the way from England. Oh, it's a lovely Valentine of the highest order. I am sure the Queen of Canada would approve.

Seriously, I wanted to have a "London Fog" drink to celebrate! (Do you have those in England, or in the U.S. of A.??) mmmmmm...If you've never tried one go directly to your nearest coffee shop and order one. It's Earl Grey Tea, steeped well, and topped with frothy, steamed milk and a shot of Vanilla. Yum! I want another one!

Thank you Liz! Beautiful details!

Day 11

We had a near perfect Sunday. Liam came to see us in the morning, and then everyone was home for brunch. We shared wild blueberry pancakes, rum infused cranberry and chocolate bread pudding, alder smoked bacon and a marvelous fresh fruit salad. Vanessa blended up some perfect and pretty fruity peach drinks.

We shared our afternoon with the Suresh family (some of our favorite people!) and when they went home it was knitting for Vanessa, Home and Garden TV and playing with Liam, and cat naps for all. Does it get any better?

Ah, yes, in fact it does! I got to open my exquisite Day 11 gift from Jennifer Rowland.

Oh my! Look at this little's a little bit of lace in glass, on a silver chain. I love it! It was so fun to share with everyone here on Sunday. Thank you Jennifer, you made a special day even sweeter.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Book Binding class...The sequel

Today a group of us met at the Library to once again try our hand at creating hand made books.
It went a little quicker this time, because most of us had the basic technique down from last week. We did have two new artists, but they caught on very quickly, and enjoyed the process as much as the product. The product being beautiful, one-of-a-kind books, embellished with fibers, charms, beads and buttons; nothing to sneeze at!

After the class, most of us came back to my house for a potluck of epic proportions. (Oh the flavours!!)

The boys had stayed back at home with their favorite Genius, Daniel E, (fearless leader of B.O.G. -the monthly meeting of a Bunch Of Genius's) who tuned up our computer and led the boys in a mind boggling afternoon of Lego Mindstorm robotic wars, weaponry construction, and other decidedly inventive activities. The boys had one word they kept repeating as they told us all the brain calisthenics they had participated in...He's a GENIUS!!! (Well, isn't that what I just said?)

The artistes, meanwhile, were upstairs sipping herbal tea, listening to relaxing music, sharing heart-tales of faith and fears overcome, nibbling on nutritious and delicious was a retreat from the absolute into the possible, and I am so much richer for it. I know this is what it means to be in fellowship.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It does my heart good...

to see creativity unleashed!

Levi, my youngest, decided yesterday that he wanted to do some clay charms too! He made these for me, and I absolutely LOVE them. I will have to find a special place to use them.

Day 8 Ooooooh...Aaaaaaaaah!

I love this heart form my art buddy Dawn, AKA... HRH the CEO (that'd be the Creative Eccentric One) of the Pointy Hat Art Posse. We're known collectively as the PHAP.

It's a wonderful dangly that she meant to be hung in my vehicle, but it's so NOT mini van-ish. I will save it for somewhere I can enjoy it and have it inspire me everyday.

The old crystals are a wonderful touch, adding just the right amount of sparkly.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Day 7 Magic!

Here we are at the half way mark. It's day 7 of the countdown to Valentines day, and I have another beautiful gift to show off.

I'm so excited, it's my first altered domino! It was made by Amy Huff. Wonderful art really warms up these cold February days. Thank you Amy, it's very beautiful!

It's snowing big fluffy flakes, and we have a cold east wind. I'm happy to stay inside and enjoy my art. Josh got out the polymer clay and we worked on making little charms for swaps we are signed up for on ICE.

Even Levi, who NEVER goes near a glue stick, joined the fun. It's so inspiring each day to open these small, lovingly crafted gifts from so many far away artists. It encourages us all to be more creative.

I hope you're all feeling the love in your heARTS!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Josh does it again!!

Look what that Phapboy's done now!! I LOVE this little book.

Maybe he'll tell you how he did it on his blog....check it out here, and leave him a comment if you like it. Every artist needs feedback!

Day 6 too!

This valentine traveled a LONG way, all the way from New Zealand. Don't you love her face?? Look at those eyes!

My, I am so happy to be a recipient of such an exceptional and unique piece of artwork.

Caren McNee has really blessed me. There is NO WAY I could learn to do water colour ...and believe me I really, really LOVE watercolours. I so appreciate the talent it takes. This piece has it all...watercolours, collage, amazing sketching.

Check out Caren's other work too!

Thank you Caren, you've made me SO happy!

Day 3 finally arrived....and it was worth the wait.

Superlatives fail me in this swap. Each artist has given a real piece of themselves.

Just look at this soldered's beautiful! Kathy Strittmater did an amazing job. Everything about it, from the way it was presented and wrapped, to it's weight and it's silver shininess makes me feel special. Thank you Kathy, I'll always treasure it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Treasure and a Joy

For the heart that finds joy in small things,
Each day is a wonderful gift.

My gift...for Day 5

Here's my offering to the Be My Valentine group. I hope it brings a spot of brightness to your day.

It is so dreary and snowy here. My gift from Lelainia (which I can't share yet!!) brought me a greatly needed bit of cheer. Thanks Lelainia!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Moving right along...To Day 4!

Nope, no Day 3 yet from Kathy...It's stuck in the mail somewhere. I'm sure it will arrive soon!

I still got to open Day 4 today from Ruth O'Connor.

Look at this!! I put a loonie in the photo to give you an idea of's a diminutive treasure!!

It was delicious opening the bag, slipping out the tissue wrapped package; then untying the ribbon that holds the book closed and slowly, slowly flipping through the pages. The details, oh my! The binding is beaded, and the covers are little tags. The artwork is so sweet. Thank you Ruth! It will be treasured !

Be My Valentine...from Feb 1st

Wow. The talent of people, and their generosity at sharing their gifts never ceases to amaze me. Cece Grimes made a very special heart necklace from copper. It is etched, with a beautiful patina, and strung on a unique copper chain. I have not taken it off! LOL

It received many compliments at the book class I did at the library.

I Love it!

And here they are...

The top pic is Josh's and my books....the second one is Lana's. She added buttons to her binding...crafty girl!!! The third shot is a close up of the binding.

And, last but not least, here's a shot of a VERY happy crafter, who learned that perfection is highly over rated, and that it is possible to do something brand new, and come away with a beautiful, lovingly hand-made creation in just two hours.

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

Oh, and next week we're doing another book, small enough to tuck in our purse (or pocket), and we are going to finish off with a potluck dinner at my house! Anyone else want to come?

Sew busy!

The final step involves doing a woven, hand-sewn stitch that connects all the signatures together. It makes a nice design on the spine of the book, and is a very simple in and out technique.

It is a great quiet activity to do while visiting or listening to music or a book on CD. (I find I always remember things better when my hands are busy as I listen. Maybe that's why Jesus taught, not just sitting in a synagogue, but out fishing, walking, and ministering with his disciples. Hmmmm...what could we take from that lesson today?)

I know I will think of the conversation we had yesterdy each time I pick up my finished book!

Sharing the joy.

I LOVE to learn, and when I find something that I have longed to do, and I discover that it's not as difficult as I had imagined, well, I just HAVE to share!

That's how I came to be teaching a book-binding course at our local library. I chose a project that looks fabulous and complicated when complete, yet it's SO simple to do! Even my youngest participant who was 7 years old had no problem. The age range from 7 to 70-something worked out just fine!!

Here are some snippets from the two hour class.

Me and my helper Josh...AKA PHAP-boy.

Here they are all together..

well, there are three that have not yet arrived, and I opened two.

I love looking at them. They are beautiful bundles of possibilities!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

So far...

So far I've received 7 gifts in the Be My Valentine swap. The mail up here in Northern Alberta, Canada is slow.....after all it is the middle of winter and those dogs get tired out pulling the big sled's. LOL! (kidding!)

I get a happy on just seeing them sitting in my front entry, and I put them on a mirror, so it actually looks like I have twice as many! LOL

Aren't they beautiful? The roses are from my sweet, sweet brother-in-law, who not only drove the three hours in from further up North to bring my Dad for his tests this week, but took the time to buy me flowers. He gets the credit for making me smile on a really hard day. Thanks Randy!

I've had such an outpouring of love from my dear friends and family. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, all in one week. You really find out who the angels are in your life when people pour into you when you feel all dried up and empty.
I received a freezer FULL of meals, prepared and delivered to my house by my sweet friend Karyn, flowers from not only Randy but also Pat, e-mails, phone calls, offers of help and many hugs, and last but not least, Ground Hogs Day cupcakes! (Oh yes, Ground Hogs Day is VERY big up here in the frozen North!! We all wait with bated breath to see if the critter will see his shadow and foretell 6 MORE, LONG, COLD weeks of winter or if we'll have an early spring...more later on the Big Party!)

I am rich!!! No money could buy the comfort these blessing bring. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. It is filled to overflowing with your love!

February 2nd!

I had a wonderful reason to be excited this's day two of the Be My Valentine swap, and I have a gift to open!! It is a beautiful heart from Crystal Neubauer

Mine is different from the one on the Be My Valentine site, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

It is a wire heart with a ceramic doll arm, on a shipping tag backing, and has a quote from the book of Isaiah.

The long arm of His love is NOT too short to reach me! It's not too short for any of us.
I needed to remember that this week.

Thank you so much Crystal! I will cherish it as a reminder of how close we are to His touch.

" Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save..." Isaiah 59:1

I may not have been able to open a gift on day 1, because the post office is SO slow, but it will soon arrive, and I'll have a day where I can open 2!!!