Sunday, March 31, 2013

Welcome

I scrapbook most days.  Some days I am able to complete several layouts.  My secret is using great sketches . . . sketches that suggest ways to set up layouts while leaving lots of room for interpretation.

My plan (hope) is to post a new sketch every Monday to entice you to grab your trimmer and adhesive and create something wonderful.  I hope and encourage you all to share your creations and inspire others.

If I run across any interesting blogs or sites, techniques or ideas I will share them here as well.

To get you started, here is a very simple two-page layout from my newest book Scrapbooking With Two-Page Layouts:










Supporting the Relay for Life St. Thomas



This will be my third year participating in the St. Thomas Relay for Life on the Pink Scrappers team.

If you would like to participate in some way you can donate to a walker online or in person, volunteer at the Relay, join a Relay team, make a donation to one of our events -- all day crop, silent auction, book sale, bake sale, yard sale -- and come out and support our fundraising efforts.

The Relay for Life is being held June 7th at St. Joseph's High School.

Please choose at least one way to help us raise money to fight this horrible disease.






Sunday, March 24, 2013



I belong to the Pink Scrappers Relay for Life Team and will be walking in the St. Thomas ON Relay for Life on June 7th. 

Why do I participate in the St. Thomas Relay for Life?

The Relay for Life is fun. The Relay is a way to honour those who have fought the battle against cancer . . . win or lose. It is a joyous occasion. The Relay is a great fundraiser that allows the whole community to step up. It is a chance to cry and remember. The Relay is a chance to play dress up and stay out all night and pretend I'm not an old grandma. I know the money raised brings us one step closer to defeating this horrible disease. The Relay make me feel hopeful. The Relay is a way to make a difference.

If you would like to make a difference and support the Relay for life you can:
1. make a donation to a participant (like me) in person or online,
2. join a Relay team or form a new team,
3. share your message about why you support the Relay for Life
4. purchase a luminary

The Pink Scrappers have two main fundraisers: our all day scrapbooking crop on April 20th and our yard, bake and book sale on May 11.

We would really appreciate your donations and support for these events.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Review: 20,000 Days and Counting



Most people measure their lives in years.  But how would our thought process change if we measured our lives in days.  On the 20,000th day of his life, Robert D. Smith decided to put this concept to the test. He spent the next 48 hours planning his next 20,000 days—and walked away with life-changing information.  Through a combination of captivating storytelling and step-by-step instructions, Smith reveals a simple plan that will allow you to master your life, starting right now.  http://www.therobertd.com/the-book/

I've been alive for 19,224 days . . . wow . . .

My review of this book is going to be short and sweet and simple, just like the book itself.  It literally blew my mind.  What a simple concept Smith is sharing!!!  He offers a plan for living each day as if it was your last.  Smith challenges you to be deliberate and to stop sleep walking through your life.

It was a quick read and a really exciting read.  I recommend this book very highly.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Please support the Relay for Life


This photo was taken June 2012 which was the second year I participated in the St. Thomas Relay for Life.

And I'm back again for another year.  I would really appreciate your support.  You can make a donation . . . any size . . . big or small . . . I know every little bit helps to make a difference.

Thanks.

Scrapbooking for February 2012

I wish I could share all of the layouts I created in February but since so many are going to be published in my books I can't share them here.  If I did, no one would buy my books and then how would I afford to scrapbook?  You can see the books I already have available at Lulu.com.  As you may well guess, I usually write about . . . scrapbooking . . . 

You can find all of my handmade paper piecings at
https://www.facebook.com/PaperPiecings 


I love Close to my Heart papers.

I love tags.





.  . . and yes I do use my paper piecings . . .
a lot!








Crochet Along Afghan - Waves



This is the first strip I have completed for the Afghan Crochet-along at Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo! Group.  Isn't it wavy?  LOL.  I'm almost finished the second strip as well.  I'll share that photo as soon as it is done.  The patterns for this afghan will stay posted in the group until the project is completed.  I think you may have guessed by now that I really enjoy this group!

I LOVE this little sweetheart . . .


This sweet little hand towel is another pattern that was free only in February at Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo! group.  I did find the pattern here as well http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/be-still-my-heart-3 

I really enjoyed making it but haven't decided who to give it to yet . . .

Another Oddball Square -- Puppet Parade


Woo Hoo -- twelve oddball squares done so far and only 30 more to go and then of course putting it together and adding a border.  These squares are so challenging and so much fun to make.  This little beauty here was frogged several times before I finally figured out the technique.  I couldn't find an online video or web site that explained it in a way I could understand.  So I just interpreted the pattern, tried it and frogged it . . . a few times . . . before I finally figured it out.  After that it was kind of fun.  You can see the afghan and patterns here.

All Around Basket



Isn't this the cutest little crocheted basket?  It is meant to hold coasters but mine is now on a shelf filled with afghan square samples.  I found the pattern on Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo! group.  This is a very fun group.  At the beginning of each month different designers post selected patterns that would make great gifts.  The patterns only stay up for a month and then they disappear.  They are available for sale from the designers after they disappear.  Members are asked not to share the patterns outside the group as a courtesy to the designers.  Each month I select the patterns that appeal to me and add them to My Dreaded To Do List.  I really enjoyed making this little basket . . . simple and fairly quick to make.

I found the pattern athttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/all-around-cloth-basket but there is a small charge to download it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review of Denny's, London


My hubby's employer is just a minute or two down the road from the Denny's at Highbury/401 so we have frequented the place several times . . . usually in the middle of the night when I am picking him up and he is starving.  Guess what?  I don't want to cook in the middle of the night . . . LOL.

I have had some very lovely meals in this restaurant.  My first favourite meal was the breakfast plate with grits.  Yum.  And then one day I had the pumpkin pancakes and they were delicious.  I now have a new favourite, tried for the first time today.  Banana Pecan Pancake Breakfast.  It came with two large whole wheat pancakes with tons of pecans and extra bananas sliced on top, 2 slices of turkey bacon which I always love and scrambled egg whites.  I've never had egg whites before but they were light and fluffy and I think I like them better than whole eggs.  Yep that's my new favourite meal at Denny's.

Do you know what else I like about this Denny's restaurant?  It is clean.  You know how it most restaurants when the table is cleared and the server gives it a swipe with a cloth or rag?  The server was cleaning a table with a tub of soapy water and a cloth.  She even cleaned the chair seats.  And the servers are lovely.  I don't think I've ever had bad service there because bad service sticks in my mind for a very long time.

As we left the restaurant this morning, Hal to return to his truck, I mentioned to the lady at the cash register that I couldn't remember ever having a bad meal or service there.  The manager saw us chatting and came over so I repeated my compliment to her.  And now I am repeating it to you.

Review of Swiss Chalet, St. Thomas


A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Swiss Chalet about their new pasta and rice bowls.  I thought they looked delicious, especially the butter chicken, and couldn't wait to try them.  In fact, I mentioned the ad in my Facebook status.  So you know I was really looking forward to trying this dish.  One FB friend did mention that she thought it was wrong to serve jasmine rice with butter chicken.

Last week my sister was in town for the day.  We went with Mom, Nanna and our sister-in-law to Swiss Chalet for lunch.  Guess what I ordered?  Nancy and I cracked a joke about the butter chicken being served with the wrong kind of rice.  And that's when I got my first shock.  "It's not our fault that head office is r*****ed" our server informed us.  I hate that word.  I know it is a simple, harmless word all by itself.  But it is used to demean others, especially those with challenges they can't help.  But I bit my tongue which you know is sometimes difficult for me.  I didn't want to ruin the meal for everyone else.

We had a lovely chat while we waited for our food to be served.  It all looked lovely, well except for Mom and Nanna's.  The photo on the menu showed a lovely bountiful serving of garlic shrimp. What arrived was a few tiny shrimp huddled together for warmth in the centre of the dish.  And then Mom took a bite.  The shrimp weren't peeled properly so Mom had to peel them all and ended up with the garlic sauce all over the place.  Nancy and Terra split a pasta bowl with chicken and said it was very good.  I took my first bite of the butter chicken and it was delicious.  Nancy took a taste, scooping up a little chicken, sauce and rice in one bite.  I took a forkful of the rice at the same time.  OMG . . . it was almost raw.  I flagged the server over and handed her my plate.  She offered to get me a new butter chicken but I said no because by the time my new meal arrived everyone else would have been done eating and have to wait for me.  I grabbed a piece of naan bread off the plate to prevent my starvation.  I then asked her about the garlic shrimp, commenting that it sure didn't look like the menu photo.  That's when I got to hear more about the mentally-challenged head office because of course it couldn't be the cook's fault.  Although apparently the cook didn't know how to cook rice either.  She offered to bring my meal back with the regular rice they usually served.  I accepted that.

Yeah, I was still eating long after everyone was done . . . but . . . the butter chicken did taste quite delicious with their seasoned rice.

I am sure I will be going back again.  After all, this is the first time I've had an ignorant server . . . and the chicken pot pie is to die for.  I doubt I'll ever order another rice bowl or garlic shrimp though.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Product Review: The Knook


Sometimes new does not always mean better.  I've been reading about the Knook for quite a while.  Some people seemed to absolutely love it but just as many absolutely hated it.  I'm open minded.  I'll try anything once especially if it might be fun or challenging.  So one day while I was in Michaels with a 50% coupon in my clutches, a Knook fell right into my cart.

I finally decided to give it a try tonight.  I followed all the instructions in the booklet which is really well written and has lots of lovely pictures.  I was going to make the infinity scarf in the booklet because I was sure I would be an expert at this in no time at all . . . LOL.

By row three I was so freaking annoyed.  This was not fun, this was not easy.  This was someone's horrid idea to make me miserable.  The stitches do not work up naturally.  The stitches kept shrinking on the cord so that you had to struggle to put the hook through.  It was just garter stitch done the hard way.

Before I gave up I decided to check out the online video in case there was just the slightest chance I wasn't holding the hook correctly or something.  On the video you can actually see the woman struggling to put the hook through the constantly shrinking stitches.  So vindication . . .

I didn't finish the third row and the Knook is going in the next yard sale.  Thank goodness I only paid half price.  Maybe a Knook lover will give it a good home.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton



I've never read any of Kate Morton's books before now.  In fact, the only reason I went in search of it is because someone in one of the groups I belong to was raving about it.  I decided I wanted to check it out.

Apparently I wasn't alone.  The waiting list to get the book from the library was indefinite.  I started asking around on Facebook to borrow a copy.  A friend managed to get her hands on a copy and very graciously passed it along to me.

I now know what all the fuss was about.

Teen-aged Laurel Nicolson witnessed the murder of a stranger on their farm.  She saw her mother stab him to death with the birthday cake knife.  The whole situation was kept quiet and the police accepted that the mother was acting in self-defense.

Decades later, Laurel finds a clue that makes her curious to solve the mystery of the dead man.
The story is very intriguing.  There are so many mysterious twists and turns written into the very detailed story and they are solved very gradually over the course of the book.  The really big mysteries remain unsolved until right to the very end.  I loved that.

The best part is that every time I thought I had everything figured out, the author shared new information and I had to rethink the whole mystery again.

My sister says this isn't Kate Morton's best book.  What!?  Looking forward to reading more of her books especially if they are even better than the Secret Keeper.



The Young Male's Marriage Primer



If I tell you that this book is very obviously written by a Canadian, please realize I mean this as a compliment.  Canadian humour is . . . well . . . honest and surprising.  Larry Danby is a resident of rural Southwestern Ontario and he has obviously taken a few minutes to work out all the difficulties that young men will face in marriage.  By day he is just an average guy running a lucrative at-home woodworking business.  By night he becomes Dr. Murray Dick, amateur marriage doctor.  His office is at the local sports bar.  In fact the doctor has used many of the denizens of the sports bar to test his tried and true theories.  Dr. Dick is ably assisted by his brother-in-law Wally, an out-of-work master plumber who dabbles in psychiatry.

I believe the doctor's greatest moment is teaching his students how to communicate with his wife with a minimal amount of listening.  My favourite moment is his discussion of the no-touching rule in ladies lingerie stores.  And don't miss the story of Agnes, the Canada Goose.  Be prepared to giggle often and laugh out loud frequently.

I think I need to read this one again.  I know it will be even funnier the second time around.

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen




If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I live by a very funny calendar.  A day is not over until I complete all the chores assigned to that date.  Reading my free ebook 'The Girl in the Gatehouse' was scheduled for December 29th.  I know in reality it is early March but . . .

The first thing I have to say about this book is that I am very sad it took so long for me to start reading it.  From the moment I opened to the first page I became annoyed by any interruptions to my reading.  The story is pretty predictable for a period romance but that is okay because isn't that why we love period romances . . . the girl and boy always realize they love each other by the end.

In this case the boy is a ship's captain come home to try and win the hand of the lady who spurned him several years ago.  The girl is a lady who trusted too much and was taken advantage of by the man she thought loved her and was going to marry her.  When the boy and girl meet the story really begins.

The  interesting difference in this book were some of the very interesting characters.  I thought Julie Klassen did a great job bringing her characters to life and making them interesting people that one would wish to read about.  I especially enjoyed Martin and Captain Prince.

A great read.  Order in pizza so you don't have to stop reading to cook a meal.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Aloha!!

Oh how I wish I was telling you about my trip to Hawaii . . . but we do what we can.

Helen wanted to start her Relay for Life fundraising off with a little pineapple.  She invited all the Ladies' Day Out ladies for lunch and some quality scrapbooking/crafting time.  In exchange for $5.00 she provided all kinds of great hula props for photo ops and fed us Hawaiian pizza and pineapple upside down cake.

We had a great time!!