Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Last week, I entered a layout in the "One Year Old" challenge at Practical Scrappers...and I am so excited to say that I was chosen for the grande prize! Thank you so much, PScraps! I'm lovin' the "Top 3" blinkie I get to put in my sidebar! ----->

Happy Wednesday, peeps!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Take a picture. It lasts longer.

So, if you're a sucky photographer like me, you will love Funky Junk Interior's "Blog Photography Workshop". I lovingly refer to my photography as "craptacular", and really, I would love for it to be better. The awesome thing about this workshop is that it's based on using point-and-shoot photography. Finally, I don't have to feel like a putz for being the last scrapbooker in the world without a digital SLR!

The first installment from last week talks about keeping your camera still, either by propping it on something or keeping your elbows locked into your sides and holding your breath while you press the button.

Here's a photo of my layout from last week where I know that I moved (I think the terrible lighting may also have caused a shutter delay on this shot). I tried, but I had to breathe!

If only I was a cyborg, I would never have my pesky need to breathe damage otherwise workable shots. *sigh*

Here's one where I used the same method, but am quite certain that I didn't move much at all. It really made a difference!
Propping the camera on a stationary object seems to have worked even better...but wouldn't you know it - I can't find the photos! If only I was a cyborg, I could store all of those photos internally. *sigh*

This week's tutorial is on lighting which is a chronic issue in my photos, as I often complete my projects and photograph them in the evening. I am too tired to give it a try tonight, so I'll post about that soon. If only I was a cyborg, I wouldn't have to sleep. *sigh*

Oh well. I guess if I can't be a cyborg, at least I can learn some mad photog skills.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sweets for the sweet

Scraps of bright and cheery paper make for super-cute and simple 11th-hour Easter cards.

I have the cutest niece and nephews in the land. Hopefully they'll enjoy these cards - and hopefully they'll arrive to their far-off destinations in time! While I wish I could be there to watch the kids gather eggs...

I am perfectly happy to be in my own home when the sugar rush sets in.

Well, actually, I'll be at the John Mayer concert on Sunday night enjoying a little candy of my own with a couple of girlfriends. (Ear candy, Cliff. Ear candy.)

{These are a simplified version of the cards Frances made with her Paper Poppy kit from March. Thanks, Frances!}

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I loves me some Paper Poppy!

So this kit was beautiful. It was jam-packed. It had a lot of variety. It had a gorgeous, vibrant colour palette.

But guess what? It's not a palette I'm used to. So of course, when I started playing with it, I was stumped. Crud. I waited ever so (im)patiently for this kit to get here. What do I do now?

So I dug through my old photos looking for colour inspiration. I knew that somewhere, I must have some photos that would be worthy of this bright and cheerful paper. I mean, I figured out how to mix lavender eye shadow with blue mascara in grade seven. Surely, I can make this work.

Plus, I only needed one photo since I planned to adapt this March challenge sketch by Helen Croft at Scrap A Little. It can't be that hard...right?

And then it occurred to me that maybe I've just not captured "cheer" on camera. "Hogwash, self," I replied. "I seldom go a day without cheer. Surely, I have caught it on film at some point or another."

Apparently, I said that to myself back in the 90s while I still used a 24mm.

But what made it worse was that the whole time I was putting 110% (or some other superlative sports metaphor) into finding a photo that would work, the palette was taunting me. "Make cards out of me," it goaded. "Beautiful, cheerful cards. Your niece and nephews will love me. Spread the love, Teri. There are enough yellow and red goodies here to make cards for 163 of your closest friends."

But, "No!" I said. "You will not win this fight, bright colour palette. You shall be defeated."

So I tied my cape around my neck. (That cape may or may not have been metaphorical. Either way, it paints a formidable picture). I huffed, and I puffed. I used my spidey-senses and ran faster than a speeding bullet. And guess what happened?I was victorious! Take that, bright colours!The title reads, "Summer is fun at 26". In fact, I love how this turned out. It really made me step out of my usual comfy box and try some new things. I even managed to work a couple of extra challenges into this one. Apparently, no challenge is too much for Captain Cheer.
These handmade flowers are my entry for the Paper Poppy's handmade flower challenge. I used the scallop-circle-punched book pages that were included in the kit, and I used my Stampin' Up chalks to add a some colour before folding up the edges a little and adding floss stems. The chalks and the little birdy rub-on in the centre of one of my flowers are also my entry for the Practical Scrappers' challenge to use something that's at least one year old.

But none of those things sounds befitting a victorious and powerful superhero, so I left them to the end of the post.

So, to the Paper Poppy Kit Co., thank you for introducing me to beautiful new colour combinations that I never would have tried on my own. This challenge has done wonders for my creativity.

Now if only you could help me out of this comfortable lavender-eye-shadow-and-bright-blue-mascara box I've been living in for the last fifteen years, I'd be much obliged.

Checkin' em off my list.

I'm just home from day one of two in our annual Teacher's Convention. I have learned so very much today that my students will be excited about (who wants to debate capital punishment??) but I am in serious information-overload at the moment.

So, here's my plan:

1. Make a list of things to do. Check.

2. Grab a drink. I shall not disclose the variety. But please remember, it's five o'clock somewhere. Check.

3. Write this post. Use it to answer a couple of queries sent my way. Half-check.

4. Scrap my little head off. (Actually, that's not true. I have a rather large head.)

Ok, so let's get to number three.

Query A) "What do you do with all those pretty ribbons, Teri? Your scrap-space looks lovely and that pic at the top of your blog is awesome!!! You ROCK!" (Anonymous)
Well, first of all, I think this was probably my mom. Who else is that nice to me? :) I use them to make pretty messes. Oh, and I use ribbon to tie around cards, and sometimes as a layer on scrapbook layouts. But lately, I've mostly been using it to tie around gifts. Especially since I found some gorgeous white-on-black polka-dot gift wrap, I can customize my gift wrap for the intended person super easily. Oh, and I don't have to hear Cliff complaining that his buddy Bob's gift is too "pretty".

Query B) "Yaya! Wanna see exactly what you got in there. . ." (Mandi)

The "there" is my March Paper Poppy kit, which finally arrived yesterday! (Ahh, the joys of living in the north!) And so, here it is in all its glory...
Except, the Cosmo Cricket "Red Line" Ready-Set-Chip alphas didn't make it into the photo. How vexing.

And now, I'm off to dive into that kit. But before I go, please go check out the "Giveaway with a Heart" at Sarah Ann's Bon Mot ! This is a cause I feel really strongly about. Here's what she has to say about it...

"Well, I have found an amazing organization called NightLight International that rescues girls in and at risk of trafficking and prostitution in Thailand. They also give them jobs to help them earn money and learn a different lifestyle. And, guess what they do? Make jewelry! Actually, they have a business and teach the girls all different aspects. Some learn to design jewelry, and some make it, and some learn the business side of it. I love this idea, because they are not only doing something to help the girls get out of terrible situations, but they help them stay out, which is so effective!"

Head on over there to help out and potentially win a gorgeous piece of jewelry. Thank you, Sarah Ann, for your big heart! :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Crazy in love". Or, "Crazy, in love".

So my little project from the other night's not done. Boo, I say! Boo!

I had hoped to get into my craft room last night, but then it was discovered that "the secondary panel [in our furnace] has a short". That's fancy-talk for "it's friggin cold in here."

Luckily, I rent from fantastic people who are on it like rockstars. Or like glitter on everything you own six months after you've used glitter.

That being said, I'm at home sick today, and I'm hangin' out in bed 'cause dis is where da heat's at, yo.

One little space heater = one warm room. Cliff has just arrived home from work, so it seems doubtful that the aforementioned "one room" will wind up being my craft room.

So, here's a previously-made page -- and one of my faves! -- to satisfy my need to post.

BoBunny Double-Dot, Colorbok transparency, papers from a Me &My Big Ideas slab, white rub-ons of unknown origin, and craptacular photography courtesy of the incandescent bulbs in my kitchen.
Who makes that typeface paper? It was one of my favourites and I used up every last scrap. Methinks I need some more.The flocked-and-winged heart was cut from the same M&MBI slab. I curled the wings and popped them up with foam tape.

The stitching around the circle was done in a somewhat haphazard fashion. It serves me well that "haphazard" actually looks good when it comes to sewing on paper.

What a mushy layout.

I guess you could say, "I've got my love to keep me warm!"

To which I would groan and curl up a little tighter in my duvet. But I'd be smiling on the inside.

PS: Just thought you'd like this little tidbit. Cliff sings to the dog a lot. I mean, a lot. Often these are made-up songs, or versions of songs he's been playing on the radio that day, as he's in broadcasting. He also likes to sing in a particular register that really gets the dog howling.

So he's been in the kitchen, cooking and singing. Of course, Molly started howling.

To which he just facetiously responded, "Yeah, I know the words, I effing made it up!"

Ahhhh. *Swoon* He's all mine, ladies.

PPS: He just told the dog that she'll "never work in this town again!", Al Capone-style. On the other hand, he also just brought me eggs and toast in bed. I guess I have to take the good with the crazy.

Yeah, yeah. "Birds of a feather." Point taken.

The Girl Creative

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is what happiness looks like.

When I got too tired to finish the project I started tonight, I found myself feeling so content and grateful.

I have so much to be thankful for today.

I went to a fantastic concert last night by the Newfoundland band Shanneyganock.
I am so grateful to have the energy and health to dance the night away. Oh, and thank you for the self-confidence (or lack of social decorem, perhaps?) to be the first and/or only one on the dance floor.

I went there with some fabulous Newfoundlanders who truly appreciate this genre of music.Thank you! I have been blessed with the most energetic and hillarious friends!

After some quiet time today, my marking is ready for school in the morning. Wow - and I don't even have to stay up until midnight to get the last few papers done! Thank you for helping me to overcome my instinct to procrastinate.

I have a scrappy project on the go and great music playing on my laptop.
My life would be so empty if it weren't for being crafty and sharing in the creativity of others. Thank you! What a great way to end the day!

And then, this happened.
Thank you, God, for giving me a sense of humour.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thank you, Pearl, for my uber-cute bligityblog!

The other day, I received the most exciting email E.V.E.R.

Actually, there were two. Apparently, the king of Bhutan has passed away and has chosen little ol' me to collect a rather hefty lump sum. I shan't be sharing the amount, as I hear that when you're rich, people start coming out of the woodwork. I don't want my long-lost cousin Ernesto showing up at my doorstep with a business proposition for me.

Let's just say, I may soon be living large.

But, even more exciting, I won a runner-up prize from Pearl over at Pearl's Paperfections for a custom blog header!

I can't even describe how excited I was. (Cliff probably can. He was giving me strange looks all night.)

I recently discovered Pearl's blog when Jennifer, my buddy over at Scrapping Daze proclaimed her uber-fan status. Pearl is a phenomenal scrapbooker, and definitely deserves a huge following! Her use of colour, texture, and layering is incredible!

Check out Pearl's gorgeous header-work above. Whaddaya think?

I was so freakin' excited to get this posted to my blog today - I feel like I've been given the most awesome gift (and I don't even have to send my credit card info to Bhutan to collect it!)

Of course, when Pearl asked me if I thought she should do more giveaways for custom blog headers, I told her that people would be beating down her door for them! Please pop by Pearl's blog and let her know what you think!

Enjoy your weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Good rhyme...good rhyme...good rhyme...

Maybe it's just because I'm an English teacher, but this is probably the funniest Sesame Street clip EVER.

Watch it without laughing. I dare you.

Rhyming and sarcasm and incorrect use of personal pronouns. This is comedy at its finest, my friends. Enjoy - and wish me well at parent-teacher interviews tomorrow night! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bananas in pyjamas

So, I've been seeing peeps post their super-yummy-looking banana bread recipes all over the web, and I thought I should throw in what I think is the easiest (and most forgiving) banana bread recipe of all time.

That's right. I've compared them all. Ask anyone.

My recipe originally came from Evelyn Raab's Clueless in the Kitchen. 'Nuff said 'bout my mad kitchen skills, yo. This book was actually a godsend when I first moved out on my own and didn't really know how to do simple things, like cook rice or a soft-boiled egg. (This book is a great gift idea for those with kids about to fly the coop...or, leave the nest...or...something. Is that first one a euphemism for "going crazy"?)

Anyhow, over the years, I have perfected this recipe, I do believe, and have tried a dozen or so variations that have all turned out fabulously except when I've forgotten to set the timer and the bottom has burned to a blackened crisp every time.

So, here's how she goes, a la my adaptations:

Mix together:
  • 1 1/4c flour (feel free to use white, whole wheat, or any combo of the two - other flours are on my list to try!)
  • 1 c sugar (this can easily be reduced up to half and any sugar will do. A full cup makes it pretty sweet)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
In a separate bowl, use a potato masher or electric mixer (or just use your blender) and smoosh together:
  • 3 overripe brown bananas (or thawed ones from your freezer)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2c veg oil (this can easily be subbed in part or in whole for applesauce. Tastes great and better for you. Butter will also work.)
Now, mix the wet stuff into the dry stuff.

Pour into a well-greased loaf-pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Muffins take about 30 min. Or, if you happen to have found some mini-loaf pans on sale at Michael's after Christmas for $0.15 apiece (score!), those will work too. These take an hour too, for some reason.

Some yummy add-ins: a handful of chocolate chips, chopped nuts, blueberries, raisins, chopped apples, etc. This recipe is so forgiving that you can try it any-which way.

This recipe freezes well, doubles well, and makes for a super-yummy breakfast, lunch, snack, supper when Cliff isn't home accompaniment to the well-balanced and nutritious supper one cooks when eating alone, or any other possible meal.

By the way, I thought Cliff was off his rocker when he suggested it would be good with cheddar cheese...but holy moley, that's some good eats!

Let me know if you try this one out!

Linkin' it up to some sweet parties...


Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Tuesdays at the Table
Tasty Tuesday

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Here's some insight for ya.

I like to call this one, "Portrait of the Artist in her Natural State of Crazy".

But I thought that might turn some people off, so formally, it's known as "It's kind of fun to ride the super roll-y carts at IKEA."

I used the SOS sketch (love it!) over at the Paper Poppy Kit Co., and incorporated random and assorted altered alphas in keeping with their alpha challenge.

I'm a sketch-noob, but apparently, I love it and have been seriously missing out! (Maybe that's because I'm so "sketchy"! Ha! ...Stop groaning, Cliff. I know you're at work, but I can hear you all the way across town.)

And now, I am off to prepare a novel study on To Kill a Mockingbird. On a Sunday. While the sun is shining. And the birds are singing and the blue sky is taunting me through my window.

(It's a great book. But seriously - why couldn't today be rainy?)

If there was any doubt as to the source of my questionable sanity, we may have just found it, my friends.

At least "crazy" makes for good scrapping-fodder.

So, inquiring minds want to know:
  1. Do you use sketches? Are you a sketch-noob like me, or are you a seasoned vet?
  2. Have you ever ridden the super-roll-y carts at IKEA? And if far do you think one could travel in an open space, if given a good push? I am interested in your hypotheses for purely scientific reasons. (Unless, of course, you have access to a super-roll-y cart and an open space. In which case, please contact me ASAP.)
***Editor's note: Sorry for the re-post, but I realized that I forgot to give credit to Kayla Aimee at Only Slightly Neurotic for the free printable circle embellies! Love them! Thanks, KA!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hallelujah! I can see my craft table!

Because I spent last night and this morning making my scrap space look like this:

***Editor's note: Notice Cliff's old dresser on the left? Full of scrappity goodness! That said - how is it that I added more furniture, but the room feels bigger? Either I'm spatially-challenged, or I'm about to hear the "Twilight Zone" theme music any minute now. Will keep you updated about said music.

...and because I went to Rona and had new shelves cut for my bookshelf so that I'd have space for all my boxes of scrapcrap, like so:...I had the energy (and tidy space!) to create these thank-you cards for my mom using Frances' great card sketches over at the Paper Poppy Co.:

And because I knew where everything was, I was able to make them out of bits and pieces from my stash!
Life is so very good when you can see the top of your scrap table.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is it wrong that I like this?

Ok, here's something weird about me: I love to put together IKEA furniture.

Now, I have been so very inspired by the fab furniture makeovers that creative peeps have been posting all over the web, but when we decided to bite the bullet and get some new dressers, I knew that I wanted to go to IKEA for a matching pair.

Go ahead. Judge me. But there's just something about following the pictorial directions and putting together all of the oddly-shaped and tightly-packed pieces that satisfies something deepdown inside me that loves logic and order and rules. (Normally I shut that part up with cake for breakfast and spontaneous song and dance, but once in a while, I indulge.) It makes me feel very capable and independent.
In short, PVR'd Law and Order: SVU + IKEA furniture + a big ol' plate of yam fries = a happy Teri on Spring Break. Mess in the living room be damned.

In addition to the aforementioned furniture-assembly-induced-bliss, these new dressers are a massive upgrade from our old ones. Mine was the same one I had when I was 5, and the particle-board drawers had been re-built multiple times. (We laid the bottom drawer to rest over 5 years ago. Sadly, there has been a large, gaping, ever-present hole in our lives since then. Please see said hole below.)

Cliff's wasn't much better. It was once a child's dresser that I bought for $10 (hey, big spender!) at a yard sale when I was in college and we were broke as a joke. It hold approximately 1.36 mens' t-shirts side-by-side.

I did what I could at the time by painting them both black (gloss - I had no clue) and adding super-cheap matching hardware to make them look alright, but clearly, these things gots ta go.

And now, we are the proud new owners of adequate drawer-space. Behold!

Enough space for Cliff's t-shirts x umpteen future laundry days = happy Teri x 104

Plus, that old dresser of Cliff's will make a perfect addition to my craft room. More to come on my attempts to clean up that abomination pretty up that space soon! :) Then, I can finally get to scrapping.

Last week, I was feeling so exhausted and unmotivated...but I'm back, baby! :)

{Thanks so much for your advice and commiseration last week, ladies!}

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Title Goes Here. But I'm too tired to think of one.

Have you ever been so tired that, at the end of the day, all you can think about is food (anything edible) and the sweet, sweet relief of not having to make any more decisions? I mean, the kind of tired where you could literally watch the paint peel for hours because blinking is just so exhausting?

That's where I've been for the past week. The wheel's still turning, but the hamster's dead.

I don't really know why. Maybe because it's February, and as the daylight's coming back, I can't deal with the extra hours in my day. Maybe it's because I know that spring break starts next week, and my brain has gone on holiday early. Maybe it's because of that family of nocturnal screech owls we adopted last week. I knew putting that cage in our room wasn't a good idea.

I don't know. But seriously - I have to get a grip!

I seriously need to get crafting! It feels like it's been But nothing sucks my creativity like exhaustion. And I can't take it anymore!

***Editor's note: Some of those sentence fragments were unintentional. Too tired to fix. Hard to think over the screech owls.

So, in order to get me pumped, here's a page I made a few months ago with some rah-rah spirit:

When Cliff was in broadcasting school, he was given the opportunity to broadcast live from the BC Lion's CFL pre-season opener. It was such a wicked opportunity for him as an up-and-comer!

This page is in an album where I've included some 6-photo-slot 12x12 pages so that I can include more photos from this awesome event. Since there's no room for journalling on this page, I'll include a 4x6 journalling card in one of the slots.

I also need to find a way to include the media package (an 8x10 booklet) in my album. I just love these photos - I can still feel just how excited we both were for him. Ok. Feeling a little better already. :)

So, what about you? What do you do when you're tapped out of energy and creativity? And what are your solutions for oddly-sized memorabilia that you want to include with your albums?

Oh. And if you have any solutions for a craft-room that looks like the drawers threw up all over it, I'd love to hear those too. No reason. I'm, uhhhh, just wondering.