Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Get Those Creative Juices Flowing

My friend Amy is holding her very first online workshop starting October 11, 2010. Here are the deets which you can find on her website.

I’m very excited to announce my first ONLINE workshop. I've taught classes in-person in Tennessee and Hawaii (and places in between), but this will be my very first time using a private blog, video tutorials and photo demonstrations to bring my creativity, ideas and techniques to everyone.

• Daily weekday posts on a private blog October 11 - October 22.
• Instructional videos demonstrating techniques and direction
• Loads of inspiration, techniques, tutorials, secrets & tips that can be used over and over again in future projects/crafts
• Individual feedback on questions, comments and suggestions
• A peek into my own studio, various workspaces and creative life
• Giveaways galore for class attendees, including a signed copy of Creative, Inc, American Crafts products, Hambly products, stamps from Hero Arts, Fiskars products, Studio Calico products, & hand-stitched tee shirts

I’m very pleased to be offering the same level of instruction and direction that go into my seminar-style classes in this new online setting.

Some of the class topics will include:
• Infusing Creativity into the Everyday
• Creating On-the-Go
• Stretching your Creative Mind
• Rethink the Way You Record Memories
• Embroidery the easy way
• Unique Handmade embellishments
• Use the supplies you already have to make something extraordinary
• Put those scraps & fun bits you've been saving to good use

Workshop Price $27

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Balancing Act

Earlier this year I made a resolution that I would find a better work life balance then I had in 2009. Which wouldn't take much since there was no balance at all. It was all work and no life. I think it probably has been like that for the last eleven years, but I never really felt the effects until Rowan was born. Or it was the straw that broke the camel's back, who knows...The balancing act proves difficult when you are a managing consultant for IBM. Very difficult. Proposal time doesn't leave much time for blogging. The little free time I have had these past few weeks has been spent staring blankly at the computer screen. Mostly looking at Studio Calico eye candy. The October kit On the Easel is for sale tomorrow. It's looking good!

I did have some time to take pictures of Rowan today. He is absolutely my favourite photography subject. Lola does come in a close second. Frank (pug #2) doesn't like to smile for the camera just yet, but I'm working on it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yes, I am biased, but I think he is adorable. I am envious of his baby blues. I am also envious of those yummy cupcakes he has got in hands....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sesame Street equals Chinese Water Torture

A big project at work is eating away into my blogging time this week. The nerve. Before I had Rowan, I was never one of those people that dreamt about having kids all their lives. What that means is I have become a wingman....or wingwoman. Not a whole lot of preparation time. Everything from the nursery, to the clothes, to the daycare....all of it was based on flying by the seat of my pants. Pants with really cute high heels. Despite this, things have turned out rather well. What can I say, I work best under pressure. And all the preparation in the world wouldn't have helped my sorry ass out for motherhood. So, when it came time to choose books for the little fart to read, I had absolutely no idea what to choose. I don't have many friends who have kids, so I received no recommendations. No research was done on parenting.com. I just headed to the children's section of the local Barnes and Noble and started to pick up books.

This is my first kick at the can at parenting but what I have found out in a fairly short period of time, is that you cannot predict what kids will like. I mean, Rowan refuses white chocolate raspberry cake. What's up with them apples? So, I bought books that I enjoyed looking at and reading. Selfish, I know. But if I am going to have to look and read these books as much as I have been watching Sesame Street, I better REALLY really like the damn things. 1,2,3...4,5,6...7,8,9..10,11,12 ladybugs came to the ladybugs' picnic...Sesame Street has become Chinese water torture for me.

I have picked up all of Oliver Jeffers books. I love the illustrations. I love the story. I love that sad little penguin. Rowan kisses the penguin every time we read them. Looking for this image, I came across pictures of the author himself. Not a bad looking fella that Oliver is...I love his books so much more now!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


He sure looks good in plaid.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Feel Free

I was going to write a post about some of my favourite children's books that I have gotten for Rowan recently, but I am going to save that for tomorrow. I got a little sidetracked while weeding through my e-mail today and I came across this e-mail from Tara. I need to put these paragraphs on my fridge, or maybe the cabinets that contain all the chips and cookies. Maybe then I will feel less guilty for eating a full bag of cookies in a day....Not saying I have ever done that...What I got out of this note is that Tara is going to love me even when I am as fat as Jabba the Hut. Which will happen if I were to keep eating boxes of cookies. Which I am not. Yup. Not eating them.

Before you look at your photographs, i want to say one very, very important thing. okay, well maybe two. :)

be gentle with yourselves. try and see you as i saw you. i know how hard it is to see yourself and all of your imperfections. just remember, everyone that loves you and knows you sees you just as you are every day, and they love you anyway. you need to love yourselves just as much. we are all very different, and your definition of beauty may not include yourself, but i want it to. because my definition of beauty includes you. all i see when i look at each one of you is immense stunning BEAUTY. each and every one of you is so beautiful and special to me. no matter wrinkles, size, break outs, whatever. it is what makes you YOU. full of character. lovely. unique. (tears!)

please, as you look at your photographs, remember these words. feel my love for you. be gentle. and understand most of all that no matter how much you doubt it-YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL just the way you are.

I don't believe I shared any of my pictures of Thailand on this blog. The other girls yes. Me, no. I am not sure why, they are quite pretty. I remember feeling not so pretty at the time because I had given birth about six months before the trip. Still had some baby poundage. I must get some of the pictures that I took of Thailand up here.....The places we visited were so beautiful.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Painting Blows

I have always liked the idea of painting. Painting is so fun in theory but is always excruciatingly painful in practice. To clarify, I am talking about painting furniture. Painting walls suck equally. So I get all inspired by these design blogs, letting you know how easy and cheap it is to transform your furniture with just a tiny dabble of paint. For the record, I find it neither cost effective or easy breezy lemon peazy. But painting and I have history, so before I get all excited about going to the paint store to pick up the paint, because honestly that is the only part I like about the painting process, I force myself to do the grunt work. You know, the stuff that I usually sucker James into doing. Like sanding, taping and priming. Ewhh. I hate those words. But since this was "my project" as James so eloquently put it, I decided I would take on those tasks by myself. Actually that is a lie, I wanted James to do it, but he said no.

On to the fun stuff, the paint colours. The shelf in Rowan's room was a stark white before I painted it green. I had the green polka dot on his curtains colour matched at the store. I thought this would add a touch of whimsy and a pop of colour to his room. In actual fact, in blends in better then the white did, therefore it is less noticeable then ever. Score a big fat zero for Michelle.

By the way, can you tell someone is a Maple Leafs fan? This is the one thing that James got excited about when we went shopping for new fixtures for our house. Yes, I know it doesn't match anything. But it was coming in regardless of my opinion. Sometimes you just have to take one for the team. However, I did get pom poms!

There was also a random shelf in my upstairs bathroom that was probably headed for my mother in law's dumpster, and somehow ended up in our bathroom. Many things magically appear in my house that have come from my MILs. It is like the Bermuda Triangle. It gets lost on the way to the garbage and ends up here. Mysterious. The shelf was a boring brown and didn't jive with the bathroom which is all white with notes of blue....So I thought I would have fun and paint it the colour of one of the Crate Paper Restoration borders....I know...Random....The colour is the yellow one... Third one from the left.

And while I was taking pictures of the projects, I wanted to snap a few of Rowan's room for fun..Pssstt..I told Rowan that I painted those birdies....

And the chair that Eeyore is sitting on? It belonged to James when he was a child; it even has James' name carved into it. Beautiful history to that chair.

No more painting projects for me until Rowan turns 30.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Can I get a lift?

I played along with Studio Calico's "Lift a Layout from your Favourites" challenge. The girl I lifted is a scrapbooking rockstar in my opinion. My style is nothing like hers, but I gave it a go. It also gave me an excuse to dig into Crate Paper's new Restoration collection which I love.

Here is Kaori's layout entitled "Delight". Eye candy, isn't it?!

Here is my interpretation...To be honest I have a hard time doing an exact lift. My mind takes me to other places, and the lift ends up evolving into something a little different.

My layout entitled "Journey"

In other random news, I am covered in paint. I have two painting projects that I started this long weekend that I plan on finishing. Photos of the completed product to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

25 things about Jamesie E

I have done a twenty five things about me post on a few occasions, and I thought it would be groovy for Rowan to be able to look back and see what his dad was all about from his mom’s perspective. For the record, I didn’t ask for James' permission to post these twenty five things, and he might not like being exposed, but whatever, he should know what he got himself into when he married me….

1. Eat Sleep Hockey is his mantra.
2. He would be the happiest man on earth if he could figure out a way to be fed nachos, pizza and beer intravenously.
3. There is this particular scene in the Austin Powers the Spy who Shagged Me movie where Austin uses the woman “Robin Swallows” as a human shield to fend off knives, bullets, bazookas and eventually the concrete pavement. James thinks this is comedy gold. It is hysterical to him. Even though he has seen it about a hundred times.
4. He loves the Lord of the Rings. He read the books as a child.
5. After he burps, he says “excusez-moi". Apparently saying it in French makes belching more sophisticated.
6. He is the only person in the world that calls me Shelly B.
7. He loves music and music history. He is a big fan of the Ongoing history of new music. If you haven’t heard this radio show, you really must take a listen!
8. He has traveled all over the world.
9. He has lived in Canada, Germany, the USA and Australia.
10. He has a deep voice that was made for radio.
11. He had his own radio show in Germany while living there as a teenager.
12. He can do the best one arched eyebrow that I have ever seen. It is right up there with Jack Nicholson. See picture below.
13. He avoided getting a cell phone for as long as it was humanly possible, yet he is an IT Architect by trade and it VERY computer savvy.
14. He was a DJ. I used to travel from Ohio to Toronto to watch him play in a bar on Thursday nights.
15. I knew when I met him in university that I wanted to marry him. Apparently he didn’t feel the same way because he dumped my ass in fourth year of university. Luckily he realized the error of his ways shortly thereafter.
16. He hates when I tell people fact number 15.
17. He is in charge of everything that has to do with the outside of our house. I only do insides.
18. He gets along with everyone and everyone gets along with him.
19. That should be apparent; he is married to ME.
20. He is the meat to my potatoes, the cheese to my gravy, and the ice to my coke.
21. He is a brilliant father.
22. I have only seen him cry twice. When his grandmother died and on the day that Rowan was born.
23. He has a man crush on George St. Pierre.
24. We have the exact same degrees from the exact same universities.
25. I adore him.