Thursday, October 19, 2017

PL2017 - Week 30 [and a Halloween Layout]

Here is week 30 of my project life album. 

  • This week Madelyn was in an art class each afternoon. She spent a few days at my M&D's house. Mason and I went for a few bike rides which would have been a little bit more strenuous for Mad. 
  • Barry and I went on a date night, ended up downtown. 
  • Madelyn's artwork came home and it was awesome. 
  • Grandma and the kids after they came over for dinner one night. 
  • Movie night in the back yard, we watched Robots which has longtime been a favourite. 

Also created a Halloween layout from last year. Sahlin Studio has just released it's new Project Mouse (Halloween) Enamel Pin and Artsy kits. Check them out, they are so much fun. Here is the 8x8 sized page I created. 

Each Halloween, all four of us decorate our own pumpkin. We always have fun, and I like to include our jack-o-lanterns on layouts. Last year was also the first time Madelyn had ever gone out with a friend. It also marked the first time she'd used a pillow case to collect her candy. I really don't understand why that is such a novelty. I'm sure it will be in vogue again this year as well...

Also, I got word that my December Daily stuff I ordered from Ali Edwards is on it's way!

So excited about that. One of my favourite projects for sure. 

The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Week 30

For Real Journal Cards -
For Real Paper -

Halloween 2016

Friday, October 13, 2017

PL2017 - Week 29 & My Summer Highlight

We started week 29 off by camping in Bow Valley Provincial Park. When we started camping last year, we went Sunday to Wednesday. It worked out really well, because the weekends are generally busier and more in demand. We're lucky Barry is flexible, and he can also do a little bit of 'remote working' as long as he has cellular coverage. 

When we arrived Sunday, it was super smokey. Ash was actually raining down on us, our vehicle, trailer and picnic table were filthy. We had a spot right down by the Bow River, which made Madelyn's trip even more awesome. Lots of time spent 'frogging'. 

This week had one of my most memorable experiences of the summer. 

On the 22nd of July we went to a presentation of Milky Way Nights put on by the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory [U of C] The observatory was open to the public for night sky viewing. [There were many telescopes set up by numerous excited astronomers, volunteering their time] I had found out this was happening by reading about it in Calgary's Avenue magazine. I was absolutely keen to do this. Thankfully, so were Barry and the kids. Gates opened at 10 pm. We arrived at 9:40 pm, and were at least half way down the dirt road, waiting in line. At 10 pm, the gates opened, and we made our way up to the parking lot. 

The night couldn't have been more perfect. It was absolutely still. It was warm. And most importantly, totally bug-less. We observed Jupiter and Saturn through high powered telescopes. [I actually saw the rings of Saturn!] I was totally nerding out, and lined up to have another peak at saturn on numerous occasions. We waited in a very long line, to have the opportunity to look into the night sky through the large telescope. The hope was we would get to look at a nebula, but they were having a hard time locating one. Instead, we got to see Arcturus. It's an orange giant star which is about 37 light years from earth. It's part of the Bootes constellation. It's visible to the naked eye in both the norther and southern hemisphere. It's the 4th brightest star in our sky. It looked like a huge shiny diamond in the sky. [Told you I totally nerd out about this stuff...] It was very cool. 

After that, we went back to a grassy area, and found a place to sit down. [My only regret was not having a blanket to sit on the ground on] By this time, there were many, many other people. It was dark, with no moon [not very easy to see ones way around] We watched as the sun set deeper on the horizon, and the milky way came into view. It. Was. Awesome.  Around 11:00, they began a talk on the night sky. The man doing the talking pointed out various constellations with a laser pointer [making sure there were no planes in his path] Told us stories of different constellations. We saw the ISS [International Space Station] fly overhead. I saw the little dipper, turns out what I've been calling the little dipper my entire life is actually not the little dipper at all. 

The milky way though... Wow. It was amazing. Even the guy giving the talk couldn't believe what a great view we were getting of it. 

We finally left at about 11:45, Barry felt the talk was 'wrapping up', and there was still a steady stream of people flowing in. As we left and made our way back to the highway, people were literally streaming up to the observatory. There were cars parked all along both side of the highway. It was totally dangerous.

We were so lucky to get there when we did. We got a spot to park. We got the chance to look through telescopes. We got to listen to a fantastic talk. I got to see the rings of Saturn! With my own eyes! 

My hope is that all the people that were flowing in, were donating money to the observatory, as 100% of the proceeds go to educational programs. At the time, the suggested donation was $20 a carload. Since then, as of September 15th, 2017 the donation has gone up to $30 per carload. For our little family, it was absolutely money well spent. 

I was giddy the entire ride home. It was absolutely a highlight of the summer for me. [I included a tiny photo of what Saturn looked like for me on my journal card]

Here is week 29 [though I've touched on everything but the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming]:

  • We took Mason to see Spiderman. Seeing a few movies that aren't cartoons have been such a treat for me. Madelyn was invited to join us, but chose to have a sleep over and A&B's instead.
The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

JNP [Jasper National Park]

I'm a born and raised Calgarian.

We are far and few between. Calgary seems to be full of transplants. 

I only visited Lake Louise for the first time, about 8 years ago. I've skied Louise many times, it's one of my favourite hills. But I'd never ventured to the other side of the highway. Since that first time, [which happened to be a wedding, which was amazing] we've been back quite a few times. We've checked out the ice magic festival. We've skated on the lake. We've warmed up with extremely expensive hot chocolate inside the Fairmont Lake Louise. We've hiked up to Agnes Tea house and fought for a spot to have an extremely expensive cup of tea/hot chocolate and scones. We've checked out the gorgeous larch colours and started up the hike to the plain of six glaciers. Though we realized we weren't ready for the weather that was changing right before our very eyes, so we turned back. 

We have also just recently, as in the last couple of years, visited Moraine Lake, which is one of the prettiest vistas I've ever seen.  It's iconic.

But, getting back to the point of this post, last weekend, I made my first trip to Jasper. [Apparently I was there as a two year old, but have no memory of that visit at all] I went with Madelyn's new guiding unit, as a parent helper. An extra set of hands. We stayed in... Wait for it... A hostel. We stayed in a hostel.

That alone, is quite an experience. I did stay in a hostel in Banff once, back with my girl guide unit, we took the train to Banff, stayed in a hostel, and rode a bus back to Calgary. I have very little memory of it. Except to remember that it did indeed happen.

What can I say about staying in a hostel... We stayed in a bunk room, with 14 bunk beds. 28 women. And it was full. Not a bed to be had. A hostel is a little bit like a ski resort. As in, you bring your lunch bag, full of lunch, to the hill, and leave it in the lodge. And when you come in to have lunch, it's still there. And while you come in to have your lunch, you leave your skis and poles outside, against the ski racks. And when you come back out after eating, your skis and poles are still there...

So, it's a little bit of the honour system. And for the most part, people are pretty honourable. Having said that, I didn't take anything of value. Though I would love to have had my DSLR camera, I didn't bring it with me, because I didn't want to leave it in the hostel, or in the vehicle.

Jasper itself was a bit smaller and much less commercialized than I'd expected. The main street with shops etc, was one block long. We prepared all our meals at the hostel, so didn't have an opportunity to check out any places in town. I did however, get my Timmy's coffee in Jasper. Lucky me.

We had a jam packed schedule.

We arrived late Friday night, it was dark by the time we got there. Thankfully we had light until the Columbia Icefields. Here are a few photos of our time spent there.

A shot of the dorm room... Got it with no one in there, not easy.

 So thankful Madelyn took a top bunk, allowing me to take the bottom. The top bunks were at least 5 feet high. Actually, more like 6. Again, thankful I didn't have to make my way up there. 

 Downtown Jasper, near the train station. The girls did a fun scavenger hunt. They had to find things their list, and text photos of proof back to the leader. This was clue number one, find the train.

 Love these older buildings. This is the building the Friends of Jasper work out of. Lots of great info can be found here. Would love to have more time to explore. 
Maligne Canyon. 

The hike down Malingne Canyon, to the various bridges was great. It started off a little bit cool, but once we got moving, it was perfect. The canyon was so deep. It was so neat to see. 

 Taking a rest.

 Trail selfie with Mum. 

 This is at Medicine Lake. The area suffered a forest fire two years ago, it's still very desolate looking. 

The landscape with the burnt trees and yellow grasses was beautiful. 

 Madelyn, posing with her inukshuk. 

 Mad's inukshuk. Mine was just a tower of rocks. 

 The girls outside the hostel. This place was absolutely Madelyn's cup of tea. She loved everything about it, except the people that used flashlights in the room at night. That was extremely annoying... But in the common rooms, she was ready to chat up anyone who would chat back.

 Headed back home on Sunday. The colours... They were breathtaking. 

Quick stop at Athabasca Falls. 

The colour contrast the blue water and yellowish rocks, is so pretty. 

 Another photo with Mum at the mouth of where the falls come out. 

 Awesome view and colours captured in this photo. 

 There is something about rushing water, that is humbling. 
 Quick restroom and lunch stop at Columbia Icefield. Would love to come back and check it out. It's on the bucket list for next year.
Madelyn and a mountain goat. If it was alive, she'd want the same pose. 

Out my window. 

Bow Lake, another place I'd like to take some time to explore. 

Many photos were taken out the car window, as we were driving. The highway was so beautiful. And the the photos in no way, do justice to what it actually looked like. The leaves were all changing, it was just so darn pretty. Do yourself a favour, and if you've never been on that highway before, add it to your bucket list. 

We will absolutely be making a trip back at some point. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

PL2017 Weeks 27 & 28

Jumping back a few months, to the beginning of summer, to our little get away at the lake. We rent a cabin from a family, and always feel quite lucky if they're able to fit us in somewhere throughout the summer. This year, they were only able to accommodate us for one week. We decided one week was better than nothing, so we went. We were so lucky, the weather was perfect. Nothing you can do about the weather, just hope it's good. We were not disappointed at all.

Here is week 27 in pictures: 

I wanted this weeks layout to be a bit different. I used Sahlin studio, Photo Journal No2 as templates for the 4x6 sized photos. So that the 2x3 sized photos would seem similar, they all had a blank white space under the bottom, to unify the whole layout. I didn't use any embellishments on these photos. I just used the templates and the took advantage of the journal portion on the larger photos, to tell my story. We've been going to this lake since the kids were born. And many years before that. It's what summer means to them. I love how simple this page was to create, and how well it turned out.

For the month of October, Sahlin Studio is offering Journal Templates at 35% off the regular price. I love using templates. Especially when the photos are clustered together as I have done with this layout.

A bit of back story first, before presenting Week 28. When we got home from our lake vacation, we were greeted with yet another water leak. A water pipe that had deteriorated and began to spray a fine mist of water in our basement. This situation could have been SO MUCH WORSE. Thankfully, it was in our storage/furnace room, where again, thankfully, there is a drain in the floor. There could have been so much more damage. There could have been so many more things ruined. We count ourselves very lucky. Having said that, after towing a boat home for 7 hours, on busy summer highways, the last thing Barry wanted to do was make repairs to and replace water lines. However, that's exactly what had to be done.

We have had major issues with water in our house. This actually marked the 7th water line that has leaked since we've been here [12 years]. The majority of leaks have been pin-prick holes, that slowly saturate the drywall, and begins to leak into full view. Two of them have been line breaks, that resembled the sound of a hot air balloon, behind the drywall. Not great. Thankfully, for both of those I've been home when it happened. Needless to say, I know where the water shut off valve is, something I encourage everyone to become familiar with.

We had a plumber come in and give us a quote [all our water lines both hot/cold need to be replaced]. The cost was staggering. Barry has watched the plumber come in and repair 3 different leaks. We are now replacing all the plumbing ourselves. It's a huge job. And it's going to get worse before it gets better. But with 7 leaks in 12 years, it's not a matter of 'if' we have another, it's a matter of 'when' we have another. With new plumbing in place, we at least have piece of mind...

Week 28:

  • Repairing and replacing sections of the water lines in the basement. 
  • Driving the car, practicing. Doing pretty good!
  • Glass of wine with a friend on a gorgeous summer afternoon.
  • Spending a little bit of time at the outdoor pool.
  • Searching for and hopeful to find frogs at Bow Valley campground this summer. 
The following Sahlin Studio Product was used: 

Week 27

Photo Journal No. 2 - Templates:

Week 28 

Beginnings Elements
Beginnings - journal cards
Beginnings - Paper-

Monday, September 25, 2017

PL2017 - Week 26

Here is week 26 of my project life album. 

Grade 6 farewell was bittersweet. I wasn't sure if I would remain dry-eyed or not. To shut a door, after 10 years of coming to the same school every day. Not only Madelyn saying goodbye to her friends [she's going to a different school than her friends] but for me to say goodbye to the friends I've made. It's so effortless and easy to keep in touch when you chat with people at school pick up 5 days a week. 

There was a brief moment, when the kids all began to walk to the stage, in matching Gr 6 shirts, all with little smiles of excitement. The top-dogs of the school. Thrilled to be 'graduating'. As I saw Mad make her way to the front of the line, I saw her knowing 'I'm really trying really hard NOT to smile, smile' and my heart burst open, but only for a nano-second. I had to get that in check immediately. Had I started to cry, it would have turned ugly. I could just tell. 

Once the assembly was over, the kids all received their yearbooks, and the mad dash to get everyone to sign them was on. It was chaos. Needless to say, I got very few pictures of Madelyn and her friends together. She could have cared less, about the photos. So I let it go. I've been doing that a lot lately.

  • Mason is 15, french toast for breakfast.
  • Grade 6 farewell.
  • Birthday dinner of choice was 5 Guys, my burger-loving boy. 
  • Last day of school photos.
  • Happy Canada Day and Happy 150th Birthday to Canada!
  • Quick collage of our first couple of days at the lake.
This was another layout that I wanted to add a couple more photos. [I ended up swapping the last day of school photos around. I put Madelyn first, so Mason's pictures weren't side by side]

All through elementary school, we've taken photos with the teachers. This is the last time we'll do that. It's hard to believe that we're making this huge jump to junior high and high school. 

Ironically, Mason and Madelyn had the same teacher for Grade 6. I feel so fortunate to have had the teaching team we did. Through the years they had and loved both of my kids, and it showed. You are a FANTASTIC teacher. [You know who you are]

The following Sahlin Studio products were used:

Friday, September 22, 2017

CZ Class - Getting Inspired

I recently took a class from CZ Design called Design Your Life 2.0.  I'd taken this class 9 years ago back when I was just dabbling in digital. All my layouts from that time period, are paper and embellishments. I now am mostly a digital scrapbooker, except for the odd crafty thing I do. 

The product that I have squandered away... My husband never need know about... 

I love scrapbooking. Still. With a passion. It's never changed since I scrapbooked my wedding. 19 years ago!! Eeks! I love going through past albums. I love re-connecting with stories. I love remembering tidbits I'd forgotten. I love looking at my kids. One thing scrapbooking thing does, is freeze time. Forever more.

On occasion, I go through a dry spell. I'm not totally creative every day. On occasion weeks go by before I sit at the computer. When I saw this class was being offered again, and alumni got a bit of a discount, I decided to go for it. 

Sometimes it's exactly the kind of inspiration you need.  Here are two layouts that I made for the class. The templates were given, but photos, papers, embellishments and stories... Well, those are all mine. 


Two of my most favourite photos of Mason, taken 8 years apart. [Sigh] Another thing that taking all these photos does, is make your life flash right before your eyes.

Documented evidence of Madelyn's 12th birthday party. Such a fun time spent with her very best girlfriends. 

I had so much fun creating these pages, to suit my needs. It was just what I needed to get the creative juices flowing. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PL2017 - Week 25

Here is a quick look back to Week 25. 

  • Trip to the library.
  • Storm in Red Deer my brother was caught in. 
  • Pub Night with my Tsunami Mommies.
  • Enjoying the deck. 
  • Mason mowing the lawn. 
  • Sleepovers, the day after...
This is a layout, that I ended up having more photos than spaces to put photos. 

I had a couple of stories to tell, that I wanted to have several photos. I also wanted to include journaling, but I didn't want this to end up being a 2 page spread. 

So, I created a couple of flip up pockets. 

To do this, I cut up an existing page protector, taping it directly over the photo so that when it flips up, more of the story is visible. 

Here are the photos I included: 

My brother was in a freak windstorm this summer while camping up in Red Deer. The wind was so intense, that it literally pulled the trees from the ground. Huge trees. He said it was so scary, he thought he was going to be hit for sure. He was inside at the time, and he could hear something coming, he said it sounded like a freight train. Many of the RV's in the campground were hit with falling trees and debris, and miraculously, he got out with out so much as a scratch. The top photo, was the RV right next door to him. It absolutely hit close to home. We're so thankful he was okay.

I wanted to include a few photos that he'd sent me. It's hard to believe this wasn't actually a tornado, but it was just extreme wind gusts. There was a huge clean up effort, and the majority of the trees in the campground were destroyed.

The next story I wanted to include was the 'sleep overs'. Both kids had them, where there was little to no sleep [remember me, I HATE sleep overs] The kids were both crabby, and I sent them both for naps. And both napped. Absolutely unheard of. The only time these kids ever sleep other than at night time, is when they're sick.

Mason recovered after his nap, and made it through the rest of the day. Madelyn on the other hand woke up even crabbier. At least it was quiet for a couple of hours...

The following Sahlin Studio product was used: