One of My Favourite Places on Earth.

I’m sort of in love with the colours of summer. I suppose I get this way about winter too; the brilliant white and blue of snow and shadow. Summer’s tones are popsicle-saturated. The kids in tees and swimsuits, flowers and pollen and the orioles that nest in our backyard.

Yesterday the kids and I went with my mom to my grandparents’ home in Silver Valley. Their cedar-sided house perches on the edge of fields and forest on the banks of the Peace River. Together with my mom and uncle, I hiked through the forest to the top of the River Hill; stepping for a few hours back into my childhood. My first trip to the Peace River along this same road was at two months old, and our post-dinner walks through my childhood always followed the same route. The aspens have grown taller; I remember them arching over an avenue of green and they stand more like sentinels now.

It was really sunny so my photos are a little washed out. This is the top of the River Hill where we turned around. From here it’s another mile or two to the river, down a very long hill that we didn’t want to hike back up! What I do love is that down at the bottom of the hill the forest gets quite thick and I’ve found all kinds of flowers that we don’t see at the top. The wild strawberries were blooming like crazy, and I found wild violets (which are the subject of my newest painting attempt) and saskatoon and chokecherry blossoms. The chokecherry blossoms made me think of tiny white lilacs.

All in all we hiked 5.5 km in about an hour and since I’d swam 1km in the morning and then biked 16km later that evening, I had a pretty good training day! A little over three days until the triathlon so I’m trying to find just the right balance between training and recovery. I think I’ll skip soccer this week since I don’t want to risk getting hurt or pulling a muscle two days before the tri.

I haven’t been doing any paper crafting. I’ve been working on a canvas wall art piece, and doing a little painting every day, but I have been saving this pretty card for a while. I love the blues, even if they are more “winter” than “spring.” Stamps from Unity Stamp Co. I love the silver embossed on the blue cardstock.

Just read: Blood of the Reich by William Dietrich. This novel was a little far-fetched (both parties attempting to find some Shangri-La in Tibet find the location first try?) but I enjoyed the quick pace of the action. I was browsing a series by the same author at the library but the first book in the series was checked out so I took this one instead. I doubt I’ll read the series now – I didn’t really warm to this author.

Just baked: Pretzel Cookies with Chocolate & PB Chips. Found this recipe on Pinterest and it’s so good! I’m crazy about the addition of a salt sprinkle to the cookies. Which makes me think that maybe I should be looking for a recipe for those salted lemon cookies I love so much, since I can’t find them in stores.


A Cheerful Cola card and a Sunday look to the week ahead.

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’m sharing a bright and cheerful card to match my mood, just for fun! All the stamps are from Unity Stamp Co.

Looking ahead to a good week! I’ve got a watercolour class to teach, a calligraphy project to ink onto good paper (it’s a little scary to anticipate!) and after a long bike ride this afternoon, I’ll be doing a “recovery week” on my triathlon training schedule. Maybe that will give me more time in the studio!

I really want to submit something to the Peace Liard Arts Council’s Regional Juried Art Exhibition (what a mouthful!) so I’m hoping I can finish my apple blossom painting. It’s almost done, I just don’t know if it’s good enough to exhibit. There are a lot of places where I didn’t know what to do so I just added paint willy-nilly. Is it wrong to admit that?

Hoping to get my bike repaired so I have a few more gears for the triathlon, and this week I want to drive up to Fort St. John and check out the route I’ll be cycling and running on June 3. I bit the bullet and registered yesterday so I really am committed now! Not that I wasn’t before – I keep saying that’s why I tell everyone that I’m doing a triathlon – so I don’t chicken out! Every training run is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and yet every time I manage to complete it. There is something so rewarding about that. And I’m seeing results in my physique too. I haven’t lost more than a couple of pounds, but I’m leaner and sleeker. Except when I’m wearing my swimsuit – it’s a little too long and bags at the bottom.

A couple of paper craft magazines have calls for submission ending this week, so I want to craft for that.

So much to do, so many ideas, and still all of this comes after parenting, wife-ing, homeschooling, and housekeeping. Well, I confess that housekeeping usually comes after creating!


Bicycle Themed

Every time I do a training run, I think to myself that deciding to do a triathlon was a crazy thing to do. Which is why I’m glad I’m such a blabbermouth. Telling everyone about your idea is a great way to keep yourself accountable to do it. I did a 45 minute bike ride today, and it was long, hard and cold.

The girls started circus camp today. A week of learning circus skills like juggling, unicycle and stilts in the company of friends. They spend four hours each afternoon working on it, with a performance on Friday evening. It’s such a cool thing for them to be involved in – I was almost as excited as they were this morning!

You may be wondering, if I find cycling so gruelling, why I would create a bike-themed retirement card? Well, it’s not as far-fetched as you might think. When I was little, we lived on a quiet country road just two miles from my dad’s parents. Some days my grandma would phone me up (our phone was still on a ‘party line’ back then!) and we’d both  hop on our bikes and start riding toward each other. At the stop sign that marked the halfway point, we’d meet, and she and I would ride to her house and her utopian refrigerator groaning with ice cream. It’s a fond memory from my early childhood; Grandma is 92 now and I’m very thankful to have her in my life.

There is a related story about my little sister – she was only three or four and decided she would go for a bike ride – taking her tricycle down the same road to the same destination. She was nearly to the stop sign before Dad caught up with her and dragged her home again, the little runaway! Those very quiet country roads make this story not as terrifying as it would be nowadays.

Thanks for stopping by and listening to me ramble! Have a great day!

Supply list: Card stock: Bazzill, Mohawk (white); Paper, October Afternoon; Stamps, Unity Stamp Co., Papertrey Ink; Ink: Stampin’ Up!; Buttons, Close to My Heart

Shabby Chic Friendship Card

Can I just say that I think that every project I’ve created for the Scrapbooker’s Paradise Challenge team has been one of my best and most favourite projects to date? I think it’s the quality of the challenges – they are open ended enough that I can be true to my style while being inspired by the challenge itself.

I love seeing how each team member looks at the inspiration photo in a different way and runs with it! I had to use the soft colours in the inspiration photo and use a pretty Pink Paislee badge that was sitting on my desk. My newest scrappy acquisition is the On the Edge Doily Die from Tim Holtz for Sizzix and I die cut two of them from pretty My Mind’s Eye paper. I assembled everything kind of backwards – I’m an intuitive crafter and I glue as I go and in this case it meant everything was adhered to the stamped image before going on the card base. And then after I finished it occurred to me that the focal image would have looked even better if it had been popped up with foam tape! But that’s okay. There’s still lots of pretty in this card, don’t you think? And I have so many wonderful friends I could give this to!

Please head over to Scrapbooker’s Paradise and check out this week’s challenge. It’s always a good one, and there’s always room for more competitors – you have until Thursday to enter and I’d love to see what you’ve made!

Supplies Used:
Cardstock: Colonial White
Paper: My Mind’s Eye Lost & Found Two; October Afternoon Farmhouse
Stamps: Papertrey Ink Celebrations Stamp Set, Unity Stamp Co. Vintage Scripture
Dies: Papertrey Ink Celebrations Frame Die, Sizzix On the Edge Doily Die
Button Badge: Pink Paislee

Rose Pink Baby Love

I’m staring at a stack of boxes – supplies not yet unpacked from the class I taught last night. Today is bookkeeping day, and running-errands-day and drive-the-kids-to-circus-camp-practice-day. As much as I enjoy spending time at my craft table, I’m going to have fun today too. It’s my best friend’s birthday too, and she actually picked out her birthday card from the projects I showed her the last time she was over.

This card was an experiment. I wanted to try painting over a heat embossed image, but I learned that it takes a particular kind of design for this to work – this one had a bit too much embossing and not enough area to paint in.

I do like what I did instead: I misted the die cut lightly with pink glimmer mist, then dried and heat embossed the stamped image (a lovely rose from Unity Stamp Co.). I then painted with three different colours of glimmer mist around the image to make it pop. And it’s just now that I realized that I adhered the music paper upside down!!

This card works perfectly for my design team project for Scrapbooker’s Paradise: Merlie’s Playing in Paradise Stitching Challenge #54. I used my sewing machine to attach the cream cardstock. I’ve been sewing a lot on my projects – my old machine only does straight and zigzag stitch but that’s all I really need. The prize this week is a lovely package of goodies from Fancy Pants, and you have until Thursday to link your project up on the Scrapbooker’s Paradise blog.

I’m also joining the Friends with Flair hop on Unity Stamp Co. since my focal stamps are Unity Itty Bitties. I’m a big fan of their red rubber and my Itty Bitty collection just keeps growing. The script stamp on the focal point is an Itty Bitty as well as the rose.

Have a great day, friends & a fantastic weekend!

Miss Sunshine Birthday Card

I don’t know how I feel about my Copic markers. I know I should love them, but I’m not really into spending hours colouring. I haven’t taken any courses, so I’m sure I don’t use my small collection to its full potential, but on the other hand, I love the fact that they are an alcohol ink and often use them for colouring on non-paper items.

I made this card for my daughter’s birthday last week and I did have fun colouring the little girls on the card. Nothing fancy, but I love the colourful way it all turned out! And “Sassy” quickly recognized which girl represented her – the middle one of course!

She is my sunshine girl – so sensitive and loving. She opens her heart so easily, and is a marathon-length hugger. She’s tall for her age, like I always was, and unlike me, hates writing anything but letters to her friends. And this year I’m proud to say, she calls math her favourite subject. Last year she really struggled with math and so this year we repeated grade two math using a different curriculum and she’s thriving, grasping the concepts easily. Sometimes it just takes time and a different approach, I guess. Isn’t that just like life!

Materials Used: Paper, My Mind’s Eye Stella & Rose, October Afternoon 5 & Dime; Stamps, Unity Stamp Co.; Brads, The Girl’s Paperie; Markers, Copic Sketch; Spica Glitter pens; Ink, Memento Tuxedo Black

Tree Tradition

Sometimes I wonder if the people who read my blog for the paintings are disappointed by how many paper craft projects I post. After all, it’s not real art, right? (And I wonder if everyone is disappointed when I post a “life” post but hey, I am a well-rounded girl – I write about a lot of things.)

The projects I worked on this week are all paper crafty items and I couldn’t be more excited by them than if they were real  art. To me, that makes my creative time spent worthwhile, and it couldn’t matter less whether I spent it painting or stamping. I’m also absolutely certain that the things I am learning about design and colour in scrapbooking, for example, will translate into stronger paintings in the long run. So it’s never time wasted and I can hold my head high whether I’m identifying myself as a painter or a crafter.

I found this layout on Pinterest and I absolutely loved it. And it’s a digital layout, but I had to make one in real life, if you will. And I had to change up the colours, though I love the original hues, so that I could scrap our family photo from just before Christmas.

Now it irks me that digital layouts always look better online because of the limitations of (my) photography. But I just love how my layout turned out. I used paper from Authentique and stamps from Unity Stamp Co. and then just scattered little details across the page.

I have a little crush on that baker’s twine tassel – I made it myself and it’s those little details that no one else may notice that make me smile. I’ve noticed that when a layout has a strong design, it can look “finished” almost right away, before any embellishments are added, and the right details are just icing on the cake – they take a layout from good to great!

Today I cleaned out some of my submission folders – stuff I’d submitted to different publications that didn’t get accepted – and so I have lots of stuff to post over the next little while. I’ve learned to keep submitting and learn from my own “misses.” Sometimes stuff isn’t chosen because of weaknesses, and I’m learning to see them, and other times  the project just may not suit the call, and is still great stuff. I’m not discouraged – creating is its own reward.

Ups and Downs

It’s been kind of a cool week for me scrap-wise. I won a little Unity Stamp Co. competition with these:

So now I’m waiting for my ten free Itty Bitty stamps to come in the mail. It says they’re itty bitty, but they’re really kind of a big deal.

And today my name was posted on the Spellbinders blog as they narrow down the entries for their design team search. I can’t believe I made it past round #1! How awesome is that? While I am dreaming of being chosen for many design teams, Spellbinders is pretty much the top of the list, and I would LOVE to win a spot on the team, beside some of my paper craft idols. (Kimberly Crawford and Lesley Langdon, you know who you are.) Unfortunately, I had to email Spellbinders today and decline to continue the competition. I found out recently that I have a prior commitment that prevents me from fulfilling the travel portion of the design team spot. Next year I will try again and totally knock their socks off. But I am also so disappointed that I can’t continue on – I was so sure that this was MY year.

With that in mind I’m sharing a little “feel better” card – who says it’s just for illness? When we have a disappointment, it can take a little time for the sting to fade. I love the cheery combination of yellow and the fussy cut flower on this trendy card made using papers from Authentique.

Best Friends Beauty layout

We’re thankful for friends in the Fehr house. And we have them all over the world. Why keep all your friends in one basket? *wink*

This layout turned out gaspingly pretty and I didn’t mean for that to happen! But with the beautiful Blossom Stackers dies from Spellbinders, and the matching Blossom Stackers stamps from Unity Stamp Co. (they are a Samantha Walker co-brand), it kind of had to happen.

I absolutely love how the medallion turned out. I stamped the loopy shape twice and then die cut it, and layered the two pieces turned at different angles to give the lacy look. SO PRETTY! I will be using this set again and again, and did I tell you it is huge? Tons of stamps.

So I’m linking up for Friends with Flair on Unity and that means you’ll want to leave a comment – they pick a winner every week to win an assortment of their great stamps! And then head to the Unity blog and check out the rest of the Friends with Flair line up!