Tuesday, September 19, 2017

One Thousand Gift - Between Sessions

I am grateful for gathering the last of Mom's apple and grape harvest this week. 
Farmers are also gathering in the harvest.
God is good all the time.  

In ancient times people would place a stack a stones where important events took place as a reminder of the event.  As the people traveled by the parents and grandparents retold the story to the younger ones in an oral history tradition. 

What can we do in our lives to mark the big and small events to allow us to look back and remember God's gifts?

Scrapbooking - digital, paper, Project Life are ways to record our lives.  We need to make those available to remember and recount the stories. Dig those books out regularly and browse through them.

We can use scrapbooking to create a visual reminder in our quiet space that brings us to be calm and reflective.

A digital photo frame can hold photos from a trip, event, or just the great moments of ordinary life.  It is quick and easy.  Make the frame central to life in your home for a constant reminder of the good gifts from God.

Place some images which would trigger a calming response in you so in times when needed you can cast a glance to the frame and find an image to re-center you.

A journal, a blog, a slide show on the computer are all tools to record our big and little events then provide a way to remind us to slow and tell our stories.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Recent Snapshots

The bison at Elk Island National Park are sporting their gorgeous summer coats.  The straggly look of earlier in the year is gone and they are trim and great looking as long as you don't get too close.  The light was very good and the shot turned out well.
Several of my sisters and I picked Mom's harvest on Friday.  Apples from two different trees and you can see that there was a difference in color and size. 

The left pail is a small portion of the grapes we harvested from Mom's vines.  They have moved to a seniors residence so this was the last time we will pick fruit from the trees and vines she nurtured for nearly 50 years.  She shed a couple of tears knowing we were at the house and she could not be there.

I was looking for art for my kitchen and after a while of browsing sunflower kitchen art was reminded that my niece gave me this wonderful metal one a couple of Christmases ago so it made the short trip from dining room to kitchen.

It may need something more. A frame, a word, or another thing. I don't know so I will wait further inspiration.

Changes are progressing nicely in the kitchen.

The fields of grain are warming up in color and texture.  Soon the cutting and combining will start a frenzy activity to get the crop off before frost and the cold put a halt to the activity.

I managed to get one head in nice focus so I cropped the image to isolated it somewhat.

I started enticing chickadees wit sunflower seeds and I managed to get this shot after sitting quiet of 90 minutes.  My hands were stiff, my butt was sore and I was really cold.  The life of a wildlife photographer!!!

I am happy with the photo but would like better.  We shall see how many more days I can sit quiet for a long time.  The weather has turned here so the mornings will be much more cold and I likely will not be able to sit for that long and the camera may not be happy with cold either.

We generally do get Indian Summer here so we could still have some warm days ahead.

I am sharing with

Maggie at Normandy Life if her computer issues get resolved
Mersad who hosts Through My Lens #112

Thursday, September 14, 2017

One Thousand Gifts - Session 2 - Grace in the Moment

I am leading this bible study tonight - One Thousand Gifts Bible Study - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.
Nine of us met tonight to share and learn.
I look forward to a time of slowing down, being intentional, checking my attitude and increasing my gratitude.

Session 2 - Grace in the Moment

Ann this week talks about how to live our one life well.  When we give our undivided attention to the moments of life; time slows and there is enough time.

It has been studied and proven that those who take pen to paper and maintain a gratitude list of gifts enjoy:
1. Absence of Stress
2. Progress in Personal Goals
3. Higher levels of Energy
4. Feel closer in their Relationhips
5. Experience a 25% increase in Happiness

Who does not want that!!

Another subject Ann covers this week is the hard gifts which come our way.  She was eager to take the good, easy, nice gifts but there are hard things that come.  These too come from God. How can you open a hand to the easy and close the hand to the hard. You can not.

She recounts a story of an injury her son sustained and she had to come to terms that we must accept all things that come.  God has a plan.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

One Thousand Gift - Between Sessions

There is Between Session work in the One Thousand Gift bible study.

It prompted us to start out our Gift List with 20 gifts, identify 3 moments in our life which changed our lives, and choose a couple Eucharisteo Mentors. It suggested sending a card or email thanking them for their example.

I designed these new Nifty Notes. I chose a couple of nature shots I took recently.  I love how the Bull Thistle one turned out.  I added a bokeh layer and a greeting to the original image. I chose a fall looking plant in warm tones for the second one.  I added a horizontal blurred layer and greeting to this one.

I printed some and will bring them to class for participants to use in communicating with their mentors. I have a couple of cards prepared to send off to ladies which have been a calm and steady influence in my life.

With having recently purchases new kitchen appliances I had occasion this week to deal with deliveries, installations, professionals and not so professionals.  The not so professionals required my grace and to those who did a great job I expressed my sincere gratitude for their exemplary work.  I will be delivering thank you notes later.

Start a gratitude journal and record the blessings you have received.  The result is joy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Recent Snapshots

I am working on images for Christmas cards already.  I thought this one would make a nice photo card with a greeting in the top left hand corner.

This one is Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) – The cute little (non-edible) white berries on this bush are a delicacy to birds. During the winter when the leaves are gone, the berries look like little white ornaments hung on delicate branches.

I thought this plant was pretty in its pink finery.  This one is growing wild in the river valley.

I have no idea what it is called and with some research I was not able to find a name. I'll keep trying.

This was the sun the other morning.

Absolutely red due to the forest fires raging in the western provinces.  I waited until a few clouds drifted by to take this shot.

It makes for an eerie type morning walk when there is this tint to the world.

I found a bed of cosmos flowers the other morning.  I have included three of them in my mosaic this morning.

Changes are taking place in the kitchen.   I will post when they are all done.

I have been looking for a blue cut glass bowl for a long while since I saw one in a friend's blue and yellow kitchen.  I found the glass lemons in the last six months or so and then this bowl showed up last week.

It will sit in my kitchen on this yellow star doily a top a new white microwave.  Having had to clean out cupboards I am motivated not to return all the "stuff".   I want to simplify my decor as well.

I was gifted this set of Johnson Brothers Blue Nordic dishes by my aunt.  She did give a lot away before she moved but she did not keep any saucers for the tea cups.

It been a slow process to get what I needed.  I found one at a thrift store in June, a couple showed up at a garage sale 2 weeks ago.  And I purchased a  couple of tea cups and saucers at a thrift store the other day.  It gives me 6 cups and 5 saucers.

I have a full set of dishes for 4 now.  With a few extra pieces for good measure. My thrift store shopping list has been adjusted.

This was breakfast this morning.   Chocolate bran muffins, banana on plain yogurt and a good cup of Earl Grey tea.  A bit of cranberry syrup to add a bit of sweet.

We are getting ready to pick this year's crop so this current supply has to be eaten.

Sharing with

Through Your Lens#111 hosted by Mersad

Thursday, September 7, 2017

One Thousand Gifts - Session 1 - Attitude of Gratitude

I started leading this bible study tonight - One Thousand Gifts Bible Study - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.
Nine of us met tonight to share and learn.
I look forward to a time of slowing down, being intentional, checking my attitude and increasing my gratitude.

Session 1 - Attitude of Gratitude

Can I write down the gifts I have been blessed with?  Can I do every day till I have counted 1000 then continue? When I start to intentionally look in my life for blessings I find them everywhere.  When I write them down the invisible becomes visible.  Providing me a place I can go back to in difficult times to remember how blessed I am.

One point I picked up this session was giving thanks is the other side of prayer. Sometimes prayer becomes a list of my needs but a gratitude journal becomes the list of blessings I have received.

We started our gratitude journals tonight and one of my blessings - Friends and Family.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Recent Snapshots

I visited the St. Albert Botanic Park recently.  They have many flowers, plants, trees in their park.

The weather was perfect and I wandered the space for 3 hours!  The sky was overcast so it provided excellent photo taking opportunity.


I was totally impressed with the Dahlia Bed.  Wow, what wonderful flowers they had there.  All colors, sizes, and varieties.

I do photo calendars every year.  I want to do a Bird one next year so I have been working on getting some nice bird photos.  I really want a good Chickadee photo but all summer they are so skittish that I have not gotten a good one. Even with stalking bird feeders.  I decided that I would provide a few sun seeds in a great photo location in hopes of attracting one for a photo op.  Beggars can`t be choosers I guess because this pigeon helped himself to all my seeds.  I guess I need to be more discerning tomorrow as to where I put my sunflower seeds.  You can find the calendars for this year thru this link 2018 Calendars.

I finally have yellow tomatoes on my two plants!!!!

It has taken so long!  I bought these on May 29th and on September 5 I have ripe tomatoes.  It turns out that the amount of sun on my balcony is not conducive to growing tomatoes hence the long process to produce and ripen.  The production is only about 18 tomatoes so that is much below what I was expecting.

Sharing with Maggie at Normandy Life who hosts Mosaic Monday #52
and Mersad at Through Your Lens #110

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Simple Sentiments Gift Box - Retro

I made a set of Simple Sentiment cards which feature images from my Retro Calendar.

These designs were created with a filter in photo editing software.

I have a wide selection of images from flowers, plants, tea related images, nature and insects. 

Some have no greeting and some have Thanks as the sentiment.

Several designs have duplicates in the set.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Christmas Card Challenge - Scallop Oval / Lavender

This is my card for my blog Christmas Card Challenge.  The theme for September is Scallop Oval and Lavender.   I chose a white card then layered a piece lavender designer paper cut to leave a small border.  I then cut a scallop oval from lavender card stock with Spellbinder Nestabilities die.  I placed a iridescent fabric snowflake on every other scallop with a light purple tiny brad.  I placed a large white snowflake created with a Martha Stewart snowflake punch, the layered a medium snowflake again cut with a Martha Stewart punch then an iridescent fabric snowflake all held in place with a light purple tiny brad.  I chose not to include a sentiment as the snowflake says winter very nicely.  Sometimes I have folks on my Christmas Card list which do not celebrate so a winter card works in that situation.

Have you started your Christmas Card Making?  Get started today!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sympathy - Cat

I made this card for my sister who had to put her cat of many years down this week.

This has been a season of loss for her because her husband's sister just lost her husband.  That makes 2 losses in a couple of weeks.

He was a well behaved cat. I know because I am not a cat person and he did not bother me when I visited her house. 

I am sure she will miss him a lot.

Sympathy - Blue Green Tones

This is the card I made for my brother in law whose sister lost her husband. 

A similar design to the last one.  I like this layout for a 4" square of designer paper.  

I ripped the square in 2 then ripped again towards me to remove the white edge.

I adhered them to the front of a deep warm green card where I shifted one down and the other up.  I stamped the sentiment from Stampendous on white card stock with Evergreen VersaColor ink and clear embossed it.  I ripped the top and bottom and adhered it in the center of the card. 

I punched a Martha Stewart butterfly punch from deep green card stock and adhered it above and to the left of the sentiment.

Sympathy & Card Set

I made this card for a friend who lost her husband recently.  They had recently moved to BC after his retirement and he passed very suddenly.

I used some designer paper from Michaels called Teal Paisley.  I love the watercolor effect of this paper with the colors ranging from turquoise to green.   I cut the paper into 4" squares. Here I have ripped it in half and shifted the piece up and down. 
I stamped the sentiment from Stampendous in Green Tea Versamark and embossed it in clear powder.  I ripped the to and bottom of the greeting and adhered it in the center of the card.
I punched a butterfly with a Martha Stewart punch from warm green card stock and adhered it above and to the left of the sentiment.

I made a set of cards that coordinates for her to use as she needs during this difficult time.  The butterfly die in white was cut with the Sizzix Winged Beauties die.

The memorial service is today and my brother in law will be by his sister's side.  I have spent many a Christmas Eve with this couple unwrapping "Treasures".  He will be missed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Photo Card Gift Box

I have put together a box set of photo cards for a prize at an upcoming charity event.

I chose 3 rural images which have been cut to 3.5 x 4.75 inches leaving a generous border.  They have been adhered to a heavyweight white A2 card.

The first is three heads of barley against a stormy sky.

Second, is a field which has been combined leaving windrows of straw behind.  Again, the sky is very expressive.

Third, a field of bales on rolling hills with a wonderful blue of water in the background.

I have packaged 12 cards (4 of 3 designs) in a 6x6 clear box with an information card stock insert.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Garden Flower Mosaic

A walk to the community garden yielded many flowers. Geraniums, poppies, Echinacea purpurea or cone flower, gladiolas, straw flowers and sweet peas.

The season is coming to an end and the flowers are giving their best to finish in wonderful color.

Sharing with Mersad who hosts Through My Lens Nr 109.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Glittered Thanks Card Set

I colored a several of these Spectrum Noir colorista card making sets with colorable glitter.  I had my eye on these for quite a while but they were to pricey.  These I found on sale for just over a dollar for 6 cards so I bought 3 sets.
Most of the flowers are glittered but I chose to only color the daisy looking ones and not the tulips ones. 

I used Stampin Up Watercolor Wonder Crayons and a couple other sets of watercolor to provide a variety of looks and colors.  I applied the color with a round brush.

This one to the left is quite soft in color and subdued in tone.

You will see from the ones below some pop with great color and some are monochromatic so I stuck with various shades of the same color.

I am not sure where they will be donated yet.