Friday, December 31, 2010

December Daily Day 23 and Some Reflections

Here's my ear infection page! I know, you've all been waiting for it, hee hee! I just held the camera out in front and took this shot myself, and I really like how the journaling on the photo turned out. I am going to put this one in for the Design Dollies Elements Challenge, which says to use ONLY ONE of each: piece of cardstock, piece of patterned paper, word in the title (December 23), photo, and embellishment. For some reason I found myself wanting to add more embellishments, but I now that it's done, I like the clean look.

I woke up this morning and I was a little bit bummed out. I must admit, this is not the first New Year's Eve where I've felt this way, but today's mood caught me by surprise. Instead of thinking about how blessed I've been this year, I was dwelling on how isolated I feel. We don't have any family in this town, and although we've lived here for over two years, I don't have a lot of friends to do things with. We didn't get invited to any New Year's Eve celebrations, and then I realized I haven't been to one at all in 5 years. As a child and young adult, I was very much a social animal, surrounded by friends and happiest when in the center of attention. Things have gradually changed: because of several moves, I have become more independent, which is great, and for the most part I am content to do things with Jason and the kids or on my own. But every now and then, like on New Year's Eve or birthdays, I feel the isolation more. So, I told Jason how I was feeling, and he was very understanding and took Nolan and Ailis out for a ski so I could relax. Then he brought home Chinese food, a bottle of wine, and a chick flick, so my mood is much better now. I just thought it might feel good to purge all the negativity here before the New Year, and maybe there's someone else out there reading this who thinks New Year's Eve sucks, too! Let us unite, ha ha ha!!! Seriously, though, it's been a great year and I love that I've been able to make some fantastic blogging buddies (you know who you are!) I don't think I would've been able to continue with this blog if it weren't for all of your supportive comments, and I hope to "see" everyone again in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December Daily Day 22 - Best and Worst Christmas Ornaments

This page is about our all-time favorite ornament! Nolan made it in pre-school when he was 3 years old, and we are always very careful to wrap it in tissue and place it in its own box when we take down the tree. The little poem on the tag says:
"These aren't just 5 snowmen as anyone can see
I made them with my hand which is a part of me.
Now each year when you trim the tree you'll look back and recall
Christmas of 2005 when my hand was just this small!"
Too cute, eh?

One thing I did at the start of 2010 was read a couple of books on organizing and decluttering. I think I was in nesting mode at the time. Anyhow, I did manage to get a few things straightened out around here, and I really changed my way of thinking about "things". The experts say this all the time: if you don't use it or love it, get rid of it! This is a hard thing to do if you're a bit of a pack rat! This mindset stayed with me all year, though, and when I was unpacking ornaments, I thought, "Man, we have a bunch of JUNK!" Including this:
Is this not THE butt-ugliest (pun totally intended!) thing you've ever seen??? I said to the hubby, "I know this is an ornament from your childhood, but it's really ugly. Do you mind if I maybe just get rid of it?" He said, "What the *bleep* is that? It looks like a *bleep bleep*!" Oh we were laughing so hard!!! After I threw it out, I thought it might make a funny December Daily story, so I dug it out of the garbage (luckily it wasn't totally full of gross stuff yet!) and took some photos of it. Only a scrapbooker would ever do such a thing! Then, since Jason's always playing jokes on me, I thought it might be funny to place this in the medicine cabinet, right on top of his can of shaving cream! He, in turn, placed it on my December Daily album, then I put it in his pillowcase, etc. etc. I'm not sure where it ended up, but if it does turn up, I am going to keep it for next year and start a new tradition!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Daily Day 21 and 200th Post!

So after the disaster of December 20th, I woke up with a new lease on life and decided that no matter what, I was going to have a better day with the kids. Part of my plan included bundling everyone up and going for a walk in the snow. It was only -10, but it felt colder, and poor Brenna's nose and cheeks turned pink pretty quickly, so we came back way earlier than I'd planned, but we had a fun time. I turned this day into a 3-page spread because I wanted to include the Tim Horton's wrapper. If you are not Canadian, you may not know that Tim Horton's is a donut shop/coffee franchise, and it's somewhat of a Canadian institution. Pretty much every town has one, Burns Lake being one of the exceptions! So, if ever anyone passes through a town with a Tim Horton's on their way to Burns Lake, it is kind of an unwritten rule (or suggestion) that they bring somthing from Timmie's for us, be it donuts, cookies, or muffins. This day, Jason had to go to Vanderhoof for work, so he brought the kids each one of these candy cane donuts home. (I was mad that he didn't bring me one, but he said, "I was only thinking of you, I know you're trying to 'eat clean'!" How thoughtful!!!) Anyway, with a couple of stamped journaling spots, the wrapper makes a unique addition to my album. What do you think?

Monday, December 27, 2010

December Daily Day 20

This day was pretty horrid! Any time we transition from the regular routine of school to the irregularity of holidays, Nolan starts to wig out. The first week of summer holidays was really bad, so maybe I should have expected the turmoil, but it totally caught me off guard. I didn't want to write about all the fights we had on this day, however, so I did a simple page with a small photo of the kids snuggled together watching cartoons before all hell broke loose. The calm before the storm! Thankfully, this day was the worst of December (so far, fingers crossed!)

I stamped the two doodley frames, then masked them before spraying with Glimmer Mist, and I really like how that turned out. I may save this technique for a full 12x12 page one day! Thanks for looking!

Friday, December 24, 2010

December Daily Day 19

This was really cute! For such a gung-ho hockey dad, Jason cannot skate to save his life. So when we heard a hockey player friend would be passing through town, we told him to bring his skates so he could take a driving break on our rink. He was happy to battle it out with Nolan, and they actually worked up quite a sweat! As he was leaving, Nolan asked for a rematch and said, "You're going down to the core of the Earth where you'll be blasted back up to the Sun!" That's typical Nolan-speak for, "You're going down!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December Daily Day 18 - Good News and Bad News

Warning: This blog post contains graphic information that may not be suitable for the sensitive reader!!!

The bad news is: in the middle of the night, my ear started leaking! Bloody, pus-filled fluid!!! I know, gross, right? This has never happened to me before, so I was trying not to freak right out!!! Anyway, went to the medical clinic early this morning and they fit me in somehow.
The good news is: I'm not going deaf or getting my ear amputated (the former I told Nolan, the latter Jason told him, and he was just about in tears). It's a bad infection that should clear up pretty quickly with antibiotics. The other good news is that now I have the story for December 23!
Anyway, back to the real reason for this post: Isn't Ailis just the cutest little highland dancer you ever saw? She's been doing lessons since September, and she was the last girl in her group of beginners with no shoes! Terrible parent, I am! Finally we got around to tracing her little feet and sending it by fax to Tartantown in Coquitlam, and they were able to choose a shoe and send it up. Only took a couple of days, so we let her open this gift so she could wear them to her last dance lesson of the year.
I'm almost at my 200th post! That, along with my Birthday on the 27th, may be reason enough for some candy!!! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mini Album Baby Gift

I finally got this baby gift in the mail today! For such a simple project, I don't know why it took me so long to complete, except that there were always other things to scrap. There is an opening page, a page for each month, and then a couple of extras for bath time and play time. I posted one almost the same over a year ago using the Animal Cookies paper pack from Close to My Heart, but this time I decided to used Zippidee, and thankfully I have plenty of leftovers because I really like the versatility of these papers. Hopefully my friend will like it and use it, even though her boy is 4 months old now!
Remember the card I posted here a couple of day ago? Well, I found out this morning it was a runner-up at Picture Perfect Creations! Brightened my morning! But then something happened to my ears, I think it probably has to do with the head cold I thought I was over. At first I felt like I was underwater and I was just annoyed, but by mid-afternoon I was in a lot of pain! Now it's down to a dull roar again, thanks to a couple of Ibuprofin. Man, that stuff rocks!
Did you hear my Christmas playlist? It is harder to find Canadian Christmas music than I thought. I totally forgot Michael Buble and Shania Twain, so I may add them in. I wanted to put Bob and Doug MacKenzie's version of 12 Days of Christmas, but it wasn't available. I could've put Celine Dion in, but can't really stand her, so I ommitted her on principle. If you think of any other great Christmas songs by Canadian artists, let me know and I'll try to get them on my playlist, at least so I can have it ready for next year.
Sorry for the rambling, but I have one final announcement of some blog candy over at Krista's. It is open to everyone until January 2nd, so check it out and spread the word. I'll be back tomorrow with some more December Daily!
Supplies (all CTMH): 6x6 album, Zippidee Level 2 paper pack, Cocoa ink, White Daisy embossing powder, Chocolate Alphabet (small) My Acrylix stamp set
Other: Versamark ink

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December Daily Day 17

I think the star of this page is the photo! Look at Brenna's cute smile! It's really hard sometimes to get her to smile for the camera, so I made the photo a little larger than some of the others in this album to allow it to shine. It was so cute on Friday, I found a whole bunch of old baby toys I thought I'd given away, and she just played the night away. It was like early Christmas for her!

December Daily Day 16

This was the day the kids had their school "Christmas Concert" - note the quotation marks! It was really nice to see the kids sing, and I don't want to be negative here, but suffice it to say I was expecting a little bit more. I almost didn't go to the event because on their notice home, all it said was, "Thursday, 1:30, carol singing in the gym, parents welcome". Luckily I asked one of the teachers if this was their "concert", otherwise I probably would have stayed home with a napping Brenna.
Anyway, this day ended up being a three-pager. The first page is Ailis. I cut some circles to put around her head, sort of like an ornament, but also to call attention to her. The second page is a photocopy of the program they handed out, and on the backside is Nolan, where I used a little blackboard arrow to point him out in the group. It was extremely difficult to get photos in this setting, and the ones on these pages were even doctored up a lot, so you can imagine what the originals looked like - absolutely HORRIFIC!!! But at least the memories are documented, right? Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blog Candy Announcements!

There are three blog candy links in my sidebar up for grabs, and they all look great!!! There is a huge stash of Tim Holtz stuff over at Artfully Yours. Then Prairie Fairy is celebrating coming back to blogger with a huge giveaway. And finally, Kylie is celebrating one year and 300 followers! Go check them all out because ya never know...

I've gotten a bit behind with my December Daily and another project I've been working on due to a wicked head cold these past two days, but I'm back to normal (basically!) today and hope to get some crafting done. It's pretty hard having the kids at home though. Who am I kidding, they're driving me up the wall!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Little Boy B-day Card

I had to take a quick break from my December Daily album to do up a card for my friend's little boy. He doesn't know me from a hole in the ground, but we share the same birthday (December 27, mark your calendars, kids!) so I feel connected to him that way. He's going to be three, so I thought the bright colours from PPC and this image from Some Odd Girl would be perfect for him. I also used a sketch from Lord Have Mercy and adapted it a bit to fit the image. Some Odd Girl's challenge is to use 2 different types of bling, which I thought would be hard on a boy card, but I used some sparkly mist, silver embossing powder, and even some Perfect Pearls. Anyway, I really like how it turned out - I just may have to make another to keep in my stash!

Supplies: Close to My Heart cardstock, patterned paper, and watercolor pencils, Copic markers, Some Odd Girl image, Tim Holtz Grungeboard, Distress Ink, and Perfect Pearls, Tsukineko mist, silver ink and silver embossing powder

December Daily Day 15

Nolan's class worked really hard to put together a couple of skits and presented them to the parents on Wednesday. He had been talking about how he was going to be the Abominable Snowman for weeks, so we were excited to see what this was all about. After seeing the play, I still don't really know! It was all in French! I took French up to Grade 12, but obviously I didn't learn much (or I forgot it all!) but from what I could see, the kids did a great job. See the picture on the right? That was Nolan for the whole play! Many parents suggested that we get his eyes checked, but when we asked him afterwards why he had his paper up in front of his face, he said he had some stage fright. This must be a new development, because he's never had it before! Anyway, that's why I took the photo of him on the left afterwards, so I would have at least one good clear picture of his face. What a guy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December Daily Day 14

This page is all about Nolan's obsession with hockey. I had meant to go to his practice on Tuesday night and take some photos, but Jason ended up taking him instead. So I just used some photos I had from other days. Last winter Jason made a rink in the front yard for the first time, and this year he chopped down a couple trees (well, measley little branches, really)
in order to expand the rink. (It was pretty funny to see Jason firing up the chainsaw to cut down these "trees" that he probably could've just broken off with his hands - what will the neighbours think?) Anyway, I'll have to make a 12x12 page one day about Jason and how seriously he takes his rink-keeper duties. He's out there "plowing" or flooding it just about every day - it's pretty much a second job keeping that thing up. Well, this year it's all worth it, because Nolan's out there practicing for hours at a time! He's like the Energizer bunny, just keeps going and going... The picture under the flip flap is him with the two grandmas - somehow he convinced them to go out there at night with him and slap the puck around. Amazing there were no broken hips!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Daily Day 13

This is my second post tonight, so make sure you scroll down to see my Day 12! This page took a while for me to complete, but I really love it. I decided to break out the Glimmer Mist for the inside page, which looks a lot more shimmery in real life. I also really like the round Heidi Swapp journaling spot - not seasonal but seemed to fit with the baby theme.

Do you ever have one of those days when you just feel really happy, for no apparent reason? That's me today! I must be getting into the whole Christmas spirit. Actually, I guess one of the reasons I am in an especially good mood today is that I received a beautiful package of blog candy from Roz! And just in time, because I was running really low on paper for this December Daily album, and she sent me a whole schwack of Christmasey papers!!! Here is the card she sent me; isn't it adorable?
Well, I'm off to do my workout. Jason promised he'd join me, then we'll hop in the hot tub. There was supposed to be a meteor shower last night, so I'm hoping I'll be able to see something tonight. Have a fabulous evening!

December Daily Day 12

I really struggled with this spread, not least of all because none of my photos turned out. I tried every setting on the camera, and these were really the best shots. Maybe I should read the manual one of these days, eh?
Supplies: Bazzill cardstock, Prima journaling card, Basic Grey patterned paper (fussy cut into ornaments), Creative Memories stickers, Close to My Heart stamps, Magenta letter stickers

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Daily Day 11

Jason and Nolan went out to get the tree yesterday, and they came back with the most beautiful tree I think we've ever had! It's up in the living room right now and the kids are just itching to decorate it! I made another flip flap thingey so I could include some larger photos and journaling, and after doing 11 pages of this project, I've decided next year's album should be a larger format! (As a little side note here, I was proudly showing Jason my album last night, and he said, "You should do one for a year!" Men, they just really have no idea, do they?)

December Daily Day 10

I finished this one last night. Isn't it cute? I wanted to include all 3 photos, so I made this cute little flip flap thingey because I didn't want to cover the pretty paper. A bit of journaling, ribbon, and some sparkley grungeboard numerals and my page is done. And I'm so glad I caught this little glimpse of our daily lives!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December Daily Day 9

I'm still hangin' in there with this project, and I must say I'm still lovin' it! Not much was going on around here December 9th, so I decided to document my new workout regime. Even though the holiday season is in full swing and we have a billion and one things to do, I still have to stick to my weight training, otherwise I won't be able to compete at Femsport on April 2nd. And why would I want to do such a thing, you ask? Well, I was in terrific shape before I got pregnant, and I miss that body and feeling so strong and healthy, so I decided that this would be an attainable goal for me. I'm not in it to win it, I'm just in it to get fit and strong and hopefully not kill myself trying! So far the training is going well, and I know if I can keep it up through December, then exercise will be a habit and it won't feel so difficult to keep up the routine. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 10, 2010

December Daily Day 8

This is my second post today! Woohoo, haven't done that in a while! But I was getting a bit behind with this album, so I thought I'd better work on it a bit today. So on the 8th was Jason's work party. He's only been in this job about 6 months, so it was all new to us. The kids had a great time making crafts and playing with friends from school. They ate a ton of junk food, sang carols, saw Santa and were given a present. Lots of fun for them, and surprisingly they behaved very well! Even Brenna had a good time, despite her itchy dress, but she looked soooooo cute, I could not resist! It's probably the only time she'll ever wear it. She sat so nicely on Santa's lap, didn't cry or whimper or anything! I have some more photos I want to include on the back side of the 2nd page, but they did not print well, so I'll post that part once I get it all straightened out.

Anyhoo, the "Invitation" and "December" stamps are from Close to My Heart, the dark green patterned paper is Creative Memories, and the light green (you can just barely see Santa printed on that one!) is Little Yellow Bicycle. The "8" is Grungeboard inked with Distress Ink and sprinkled with Perfect Pearls (all Tim Holtz/Ranger). And the rest of the stuff is just from my stash. Thanks for looking, and have a great weekend!

December Daily Day 7

I had originally planned to do a hockey practice page for Day 7, but what with the chaos of the two grandmas here and getting everyone to the rink on time, I forgot the camera! This was also the night of my monthly book club meeting at the library, though, so I just changed the plan. I did bring my camera to the library, but the battery died almost immediately, so the pictures featured are pulled off the internet and are not very good quality. Oh well, I'm glad I got the story down in my little album, because as I say in the journaling, this is the one activity I have (outside the house) that is for me and me alone, so it should be documented.

The patterned paper, poinsettia sticker, and pen are from Creative Memories, chipboard frame is Cosmo Cricket, rub-on is Basic Grey, and number sticker is Magenta. The star and ribbon are old stuff from my stash!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December Daily Day 6

December 6th was Jason's birthday, so basically I ended up in the kitchen all day! It was a good thing I had my mom and Jason's mom to help out with the kids and cleaning, because I don't entertain all that often and I don't have it down to a science like others I know (and love, hee hee!) It all turned out great, and we had a lovely evening. Jason keeps thanking me and saying how it was the nicest birthday party he's ever had.

I wanted to include plenty of photos and journaling, so I added a small page with a Prima journaling card attached back to back with some Creative Memories patterned paper. I used stamped images from Close to My Heart (the ticket-type cards on the left and the presents on the bottom right). The numeral is Grungeboard inked with Distress Ink and then covered with Perfect Pearls.

And there you have it, Day 6. I'm getting a bit behind, so I'm off to do Days 7 & 8, and hopefully I'll have another post later in the day!

P.S.- The Design Dollies elements challenge this week is "candles", so I will enter this page. I wasn't about to put 38 candles on Jason's cake, so I just put the number 1 candle on and said, "This is because you're #1!"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Daily Day 5

December 5th was a pretty big day at the McCleary house! So for this album entry, I have three pages! The first is above, with the four small photos on a small cardstock page. I just stapled some ribbon on the upper right to give it a bit more sumpin' sumpin'! When you flip that little page, you get this:
Four more little photos with a page of journaling. The journaling card is one from Prima that I folded in half. If you flip that page, then you get this, voila!: Some more journaling and a photo of Ailis in the hide-a-bed with my mom. She was so excited to have a "girls" morning! The papers here are Basic Grey, and those are sequins all along the top that I glued on before December 1st (good thing, as there's no way I would have time lately!) Off to post this on Ali's site, then maybe print some photos from yesterday's birthday party - have to get December 6th done ASAP!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Daily Day 4

Whew, I'm a little late finishing and posting this today, but I did it, and technically the day's not even over! It's a pretty simple page, but it's done and I'm already preparing for Day 5. My mom and Jason's mom made the 5 hour drive yesterday to come see us, so we all were very excited to see them. It's pretty nice that the 2 grandmas get along so well. They're even sleeping in the same hide-a-bed! I guess the highlight of this page is the numeral. Dontcha just love those poinsettias? They're from Imaginisce, and I stamped each petal with a stamp from CTMH's Moments In Time stamp set. The "4" is Grungeboard inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and slathered in Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls. My dad picked me up some photo paper, so I was able to print photos today, YAY! There was a little mishap when I thought I was running out of ink, but after reading the instructions, I found out I was printing on the wrong side of the paper. Huh, who knew? This is why it pays to read the info that comes with new stuff! Ack, the weekend is over and tomorrow's Jason's b-day and I have dinner and cake to make and people coming over and I'm trying not to freak out... Good thing I've got 2 moms to help out!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December Daily Day 3

Day 3 is all about mandarin oranges! The small tag in the upper right says: "We've gone through six boxes of oranges so far!" It's crazy, the kids eat them like they're candy, especially the teeny tiny ones. Mmmmm, so sweet! I'm not sure which photos I will include at the top of the page, maybe all three. This is me getting artistic with the camera, haha!

Anyway, thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Daily Day 2

Here is the second page of my December Daily album. I'm just waiting on some photo paper to print out this photo, below, which will go up in the top left corner:

Then I think I will make another page, maybe from the piece of holly transparency I have, to put this photo: I went to the drugstore to print out a bunch of these, only one kiosk was broken and the other was busy and then Brenna started to fuss, so I left it for today. The Christmas cards won't get mailed until Monday at the earliest, so I guess there's no rush for the family photo. Jason doesn't like this photo, I guess because Nolan wasn't cooperating, but this is the best of the bunch (and believe me, there's a huuuuuuge bunch!) and it really represents who we are. Sad to say, but I think this photo shoot was the first with all five of us...ever!
Anyway, here's a few other photos from yesterday that I'm thinking of including: Ailis cutting pics out of magazines and gluing them down (not sure why, just one of her little arts and crafts projects).
Jason and Brenna playing on the piano (it's so cute to see her banging away on this thing!)
Nolan researching which hockey helmet he wants for Christmas. (Who knew there were so many?) And that was pretty much it for December 2nd, 2010. Tomorrow I will post December 3rd, so stay tuned, 'cause it's a doozy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Daily Part 1

So here is my December Daily album in its early stages. I've been able to use mainly scraps and older supplies to make the bulk of it. The stamp set I chose to use throughout is a Stamp of the Month from Close to My Heart called Cherish the Moment (that's what I have stamped on the cream cardstock) and I really love it! It just adds that cute little journaling detail to each page. Most of the numbers for the dates are Grungeboard that I've inked with Distress Inks and then covered with Perfect Pearls. This album is only 5x7 and a half, so after completing December 1 sans photos, I'm thinking I may have to add some pages for photos. Hmm, we'll see how it goes. It's kind of strange making an album without much idea of what's going in it, but I'm pretty excited and I think it will be a treasured little thing when it's all done!
Supplies: Basic Grey and Creative Memories patterned paper, Bazzill, Prism and CTMH cardstock, CTMH stamps and ink, Tim Holtz Grungeboard, Distress Inks, and Perfect Pearls, Creative Memories, Magenta, Debbie Mumm and unknown stickers, Basic Grey rub-on, Imaginisce poinsettias, buttons, cord, ribbon, sequins, diecuts, and whatever else I can fit in there!