Tuesday, November 24, 2009

keeping myself busy

Sorry I haven't been around much. I suppose that isn't too out-of-ordinary for me, though, is it? I've been busy stamping and doing classes. It's all good! I actually had a woman ask me to make up some card kits for a group, so I was busy working on those. I had to make 10 each of two designs. Here is the creative process:

Everything was pre-cut and pre-stamped and all that fun stuff. Times 10! I put all the pieces into little printed baggies, along with envelopes, a sample card and simple instructions. (the cards are easy enough anyways to make)

Finished Product. This one is my favourite that I've made this season.

all SU! Dasher stamp set, Rich Razzleberry textured c/s, Soft Suede c/s, Pale Plum c/s, Whisper White c/s, Christmas Cocoa DSP, Soft Suede ink, Linen thread, Mistletoe ribbon (old olive), Dazzling Diamonds, corner rounder.

inside of the card included a Pale Plum cardstock for writing on, the Serene Snowflakes stamp set (My FAVE set from the Holiday Mini catalogue. LOVE IT!!! That, and Dasher, from the regular IBAC, are my two faves for the season), and some Dazzling Diamonds. And we're set!

The other 10 cards were of another design I CASEd from the Holiday Mini catalogue. I don't feel so badly about it though b/c I've seen so many other demonstrators use that one too! It's a beautiful card and I think mine turned out just as good!

all SU! Serene Snowflakes stamp set, Many Merry Messages stamp set, Bashful Blue textured c/s, Kraft c/s, Christmas Cocoa DSP, Basic Black ink, Versamark ink, Bashful Blue ink, Frost White Shimmer Paint, corner rounder, cutter tool (7-sided distressing tool).

There is still time to make your own cards, you know! If you're looking for ideas, I can show you a bunch of easy ones to make. Or maybe a card kit is the way to go for you. All the bits are provided, you just add the SNAIL Adhesive and put it all together! Talk about cutting your time in half! Send along an email to me themadstamper @ shaw dot ca. (sorry, I don't provide a live link, so I'm not likely to get spam!) I can show you the many options for cards.

Friday, November 20, 2009

An apple a day...

We got a huge box of apples from a boy at the LCS Middle School...he called b/c his mother has adopted me (or I hope, lol) to her own SU! team, since my own Upline moved away and I am *sob* orphaned, and she suggested my name and because his class (or school?) is doing a fundraiser for some reason I didn't catch! A box of apples for a good price? Why not? Of course! Bring 'em on!

So for $18, I got a nice huge box of Red Delicious. If they don't get eaten, surely I can bake with them. Can't I? Always being hopeful. ;)

When I brought them home, they stayed on the floor while I could start dinner. Once that was on the way, I peeked over at my Little Monkey to see what mischief he was getting himself into. And what do I see? He's made his way over to the box and climbed ONTO it!!!

I was quite surprised, to be honest! He's proud of himself!

Then he manages to pull out an apple from underneath himself!

H'mm...a snack! how handy!

He's so adorable. He's so clever. He makes me smile.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

punkin faces

The day of Hallowe'en approached us kind of fast. It's not like we didn't have adequate warning, I just didn't plan very well! Costumes weren't ready, pumpkins weren't carved...it was rather scattered. But in the end it all worked out!

The kids got some mini pumpkins from Grandma & Grandpa, and Kai got one from Aldor Acres on his class field trip, plus we had one from our garden, all waiting to be made into faces. So, I grabbed an old and rather ugly fitted sheet that I no longer liked, spread it over the table, pulled out some markers for the kids, and we got to it!

I first got the kids to draw on the pumpkins what they'd like to be carved. I don't give them set rules or tell them how a face "goes", I let them use their imagination! I remember her first pumpkin, Abi just drew circles and lines! It's neat to see the kids design and draw up ideas, and to see how their talent changes over the years! Bryn still needs help, but it's still his pumpkin and he loves being involved!

After the drawings are done, I cut the tops off the pumpkins and get the kids to clean out the gunk! You can see how enjoyable this process is....and can probably guess how I ended up cleaning out most of them in the end! *smile* At that time, we also pull out the seeds so that Daddy can bake them later. (a tradition he grew up with and one I'm learning)

Next comes the actual carving of previous drawings. And yes, I did give my children sharp instruments to work with!!! From personal experience I have learned that so-called "safety" utensils can cause just as much harm! (Ow!) So I just give them the good stuff and supervise!!!!! I'm very proud to say that we had no injuries, accidents or mistakes! *smile*

Our neighbour friends were over and even they got into the mess with us! They had a good time and I enjoyed having them join in. It's always nice to see friends work together! Max & Teague helped both Kai and Bryn carve their pumpkins, which I thought was so nice of them. Team Work! (they used sharp instruments also, but their mom said it was ok...but said something about if they get hurt, they couldn't come home and bleed on her carpets!)

We ended up with some pretty imaginative creations that we were were all proud of!

That night, since Cousin Mia, Jenn & James were trick-or-treating with us, we got their pumpkins to join our family too. It was so fun having them all lit up with candles at our doorstep! (which isn't a step at all, but what else do you call it?) Carved pumpkins make me happy! *smile*

Jenn went all fancy and carved her large pumpkin to look like Pablo from the Backyardigans (Mia's favourite character! too cute! She was dressed up as Uniqua, also a character from the show...but only b/c a Pablo costume wasn't working out too well) Show Off!!! *giggle* I love fancy pumpkin creations. I'm just not picky enough or patient enough to put the work into it myself. But I love seeing all the pumpkins when we go door-to-door...and am amazed at how many people do the whole kit and make artwork out of these orange vegetables!

Our Punkin Family

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a bunny, a princess and a Transformer, Oh My!

Growing up, Hallowe'en was one of my favourite "holidays". Dressing up was fun, but the getting candy was even better! But I must admit that the older I get, and the older my children get, the less I like the whole event. I don't even like the days gearing up to the event! All the decorations in the store...and the decorations people put on their lawn...it makes me feel a bit ...uneasy.

There is a verse in the Bible that I am trying to memorize:

Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such thing."

It fits into every part of my life, and so I'm trying to apply it when it comes to what I read online (such as falling into those Hollywood gossip sites. Man, those are hard to ignore for me!) and what I watch. But it truely comes into play this time of year for me. Especially when I see all the decorations everywhere.

Has anyone else noticed how it has become a holiday of massacre? mayhem? death? evil? I see gravestones, dead bodies, hangnooses, Black Death figures, etc in yards, and I can't help but wonder why we do this? Why is it okay to celebrate these things for one day? Hallowe'en has given everyone a ticket that says we're allowed to partake in evil deeds and pretend to be a part of it, and I find it disturbing. What happens on November 1st? We're all 'back to normal' and suddenly death and murder and decay isn't 'cool' anymore. If that's so, then why is it okay for that one day? Or am I missing something? maybe it has come down to it that people aren't bothered by those things anymore either. After all, the biggest t.v shows and movies out there are about vampires and psycho killers.

But let's just put this aside for a moment and just say that perhaps it's just me. Maybe I'm being too sensitive. I need to grow up. I need to stop whining and Have Fun. Okay, I can handle that. Fine. But there are other bits that make this event difficult for me: My kids.

My children are sensitive. At first I would be a bit embarrassed that my children couldn't watch the regular movies that everyone else their age and younger could watch. The Incredibles? Nope. Monsters Inc.? Not likely! Abi would run to the other room when Barbie would face some danger or be scared and she'd never get to watch the end of the movie! Now I am finding that to be just fine with me. I have discovered that not only do they not like to be scared, but they are sensitive to witnessing someone do another harm, even if it's just something as "simple" as disobeying their parents! That's something I can be proud of! I WANT my kids to find things like that distressing, I don't want them to become desensitized! So how does this fit with my growing dislike for Hallowe'en? All the creepy decorations and costumes, of course!

Now, Abi and Kai are getting older and they are starting to handle the costumes better and can tell me that they don't like them without being frightened. But poor Bryn did not like it at all! There were a few houses that we had to walk away from! He didn't like our neighbour's costume, and he didn't like our other neighbour's paper skeleton on the door, and he certainly didn't like the electronic witch cackling at him with dry ice floating around the house on the next street! That's fine, I held his hand, reassured him that he was being very brave and didn't have to go to those houses, and explained that it was all pretend. But I find it tough. We tend to forget that there are many little kids out there still!

But speaking of little kids! I was appalled at how many Dead Cheerleaders and Corpse Brides costumes there were on TODDLERS!!! Seriously! I passed a few and was wondering what was going through their parents' heads. I told Abi that she could dress up as a bride one year if she wanted to...as long as it wasn't dead!!!!

But aside from that...why are we letting our kids take candy from complete strangers anyways??? They can't do it any other day but Hallowe'en, either! Isn't that confusing?

So, call me a Party Pooper, I'm a Big Girl and can handle it, but you've got to wonder about this so-called holiday. It's supposed to be FUN...but I'm finding it more disturbing. So much for kid's having fun...it's geared towards adults in every way, from decorations to costumes.

I would LOVE to find a venue that my children could be involved in. I wish our church was large enough to host a Harvest Party or something, or even the school. But instead, every year, we've gone out trick-or-treating. One day, we will hostess our own annual Harvest Party at our house, with games and fun. No dead things...other than leaves! lol Maybe we'll plan a Family Night and go out...or stay in and watch a movie with our lights off...think of something.

But instead, this year, I went out trick-or-treating and brought along with me a Bunny, a Princess and a Transformer! What a year it was for deciding costumes, too! Abi was lucky that Grandma Lynn had this costume in her closet for a while, so that was one down! Kai wanted to be a Skeleton, but I couldn't find one for him and I didn't know where to start or didn't have time to make him something, so we were very lucky that Grandma Lynn (our hero!!!) found a Transformer costume for him for 1/2 price! (he doesn't watch Transformers, doesn't have any toys of them, I don't even know if he knows what a Transformer is, but he wanted to be one!) And Bryn was too frightened at the idea of going out, so he didn't even want to think of a costume. Knowing that on the day of he would, so I planned that he could use our bumblebee costume. However, we couldn't find the wings anywhere! And I know it probably would've been find if he went out sans wings, but it bothered ME! So I searched and searched for something else, and came up with a Bunny costume that was given to us from Cousin Isaac (since he outgrew it) What fun!

Here are my delightful children.

Snow White: isn't she beautiful?

"bumblebee" from Transformers

my cute Bunny

We went out for about an hour with Cousin Mia and our neighbour Josh, and it was fun! (aside from the creepy houses and costumes, of course!) I find that a third of the houses in our neighbourhood are gone (or they don't answer the door) or they are too creepy for my kids (we steer clear from the ones with those spooky soundtracks playing) or the street isn't lit up enough for safety. So we hit maybe 30-50 houses. My kids were satisfied, but I'm realizing soon the older ones will want to go out longer! Next year, I'll have FOUR kids to take out and that should be interesting!

Bunny, Bumblebee, Snow White, Uniqua from Backyardigans, Elmo from Sesame Street (and Jody!) What a cute bunch they were!!!

Rhys stayed home and actually fell asleep on the couch for a nap just as we were starting to head out. Oh, and the orange juice in his bottle? not a good idea! he threw it up later! :(

on a search for chocolatey loot!!!

this is the kids' favourite houses in our neighbourhood. They decorate like this every year! the kids get a kick out of the (non-creepy) inflatable eyeballs!

*sigh* what a strange holiday we celebrate! The dressing up is still FUN and the candy still the Best....but still a *bit* creepy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Those Canadians and their Flashlights.

Those Canadians And Their Flashlights

Those Canadians And Their Flashlights

Found at probably bad news

Friday, November 6, 2009

it was supposed to be a zucchini

Every year, my Hunny gets the idea that he'd Love to plant a vegetable garden. And every year, he buys seeds and some soil and starts to dig up the backyard. And every year, he forgets about the garden after about a week. And every year, his mother comes and takes care of it. And every year I shake my head at our innability to accomplish simple tasks. And feel shame.

This year, like every year, he planted zucchini. Or so the package said. But it turned out not so much so to be zucchini. We had a few grow, and that was wonderful, but then this Other Thing started to sprout too. At first, we weren't too sure what it was, although we could guess. And as time passed, it's formation became more pronounced and easier to distinguish, and when Autumn befell us, it was starting to change it's colour and reveal it's true beauty.

And there I found it, plucked it, washed it, and prepared it for it's final job. And what a fine job it would be! I should've picked it a week earlier, but still, it turned out. I worked around it's overly soft bits. I was proud of my accomplishments in the end! (oh, and yes, the tire is supposed to be there. I can't recall why though. To help keep something 'cozy' while it grows. Zucchini perhaps?)

I modeled Bryn's one-eyed monster shirt as the punchkin's face. Too cute! (so's the shirt!) Not at all looking the same, but it was an effort!

After a few years of Jenn trying to plant pumpkins herself in our garden, finally one grew! I actually thought it was a leftover seed of hers finally sprouting, but was told it was one Hunny planted. I'm not too sure how that was determined, but whatever. I don't even try to claim to know anything about gardening! Every year, I'd LIKE a flower garden, but every year I know that I won't put the effort out!!! I'm trying though, and like to think every year I get better, lol! But to be honest, I'm bored of it by August! *blush*

There's always next year....Green thumbs are Cultivated, aren't they? It can happen!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

know the difference

Know the Difference between a Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms
H1N1 Flu
Fever is rare with a cold.
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the H1N1 flu.
A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the H1N1 flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Severe aches and pains are common with the H1N1 flu.
Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.
Chills are uncommon with a cold.
60% of people who have the H1N1 flu experience chills.
Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the H1N1 flu.
Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Sneezing is not common with the H1N1 flu.
Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
The H1N1 flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A headache is very common with the H1N1 flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Sore throat is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.
Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Chest discomfort is often severe with the H1N1 flu.

The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness.
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