Friday, August 23, 2013

The birthday last card I made and long overdue update

So, yah, ummm, it would appear that I kind of fell off the face of the (scrapbooking related) earth for the past four months, now wouldn't it? As you may recall from my last post in April (yes, April - I know!), I was headed in for surgery and going to take some time afterwards to recoup and get my strength back.

The recouping part has happened as best as its going to, but my strength level - and moreover my health in general - has been anything but conducive to crafting this year, and as a result, I haven't been able to create anything new now since early January. The fact that my craft room is currently doing double duty as a storage room due to some very unpleasant basement flooding that we experienced in late June isn't helping matters either (I couldn't get to my scrapbook supplies at the moment, if I wanted to - which believe me, I do want to with all my heart).

This blog has always been a way for me to document my scrapbooking and card making work. I may occasionally talk about other things, but it's not my primary blog (that would be Chronically Vintage), and so when I'm not able to create new work, things do tend to fall silent here. I don't know when I'll craft again new next, but I certainly hope that the answer is a resounding "soon", because I miss it something fierce.

It's rather interesting catch-22 that I'm often unable to craft due to my health problems, and yet crafting itself, I find, is tremendously therapeutic and beneficial to said health (not the least because I find it so incredibly relaxing).

To the best of my memory, the last paper crafting project that I made back at the start of the year was the following delightfully feminine, layered, embellie filled birthday card (for a dear Aunt), and as I haven't posted it here yet, it seemed like high time (more than half way through August!) that I finally did.

Just seeing it makes me yearn for my papers and inks, Stickles, trims, punches, Thickers and all the other delightful items that call my craft room home. Again, though I don't know when I'll get to reconnect with them once more, I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed that such will happen soon - I have so many months of creative ideas swirling through my head that I cannot wait to see come to life!

Whether new projects emerge in the near future or note, I will continue to post “this is where life is at now” kinds of updates here periodically and really want to wish each and every one of you an incredible, fun and happiness filled last month of summer!

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm taking a short blogging hiatus due to medical reasons

Hello my lovelies, as I touched on in my previous post from mid-March, I'll be having surgery again very soon - tomorrow (the 16th) to be exact.

As such, it's likely that my usual routine (online and off alike) will be quite impacted for the next little while I'm recouping. As always, the best ways to stay up-to-date with what's going on in my life are through my main blog, Chronically Vintage, and via social media channels.

In the nearly five weeks since my last post, I haven't had one single moment to devote to crafting, the chief reason amongst which is because on March 18th my husband and I welcome an incredibly darling little (then) eight week old American Bullador (American Bulldog/Labrador Retriever mix) puppy into our family.

We named our sweet bundle of puppy cuteness Annie in celebration of the fact that she was our present to each other this year to mark the ninth anniversary of the day that we met back in 2004 (which Tony and I like to call our "loveiversary" as a way of distinguishing it from our wedding anniversary).

Annie, our darling new American Bullador puppy

Since then, almost all of my time and energy (the latter of which I have precious little of on the very best of days) has been devoted to Annie, just as I'm sure the rest of the spring (save for while I'm recouping post-surgery) and summer will be, too, as we continue to raise the first dog we've ever had as a couple (we both had dogs while growing up, but Annie is the first we've raised together).

That doesn't mean that I won't get in some crafting time (all things willing) of course, just that I've made peace with the fact that I'll probably be spending a lot more time with squeaky toys and obedience training books than I will spools of twine and cardstock over the next little while.

Instagram photo of Annie playing with a plush toy (nine weeks old)

One of the most exciting things amount having an awesome new furry family member is plethora of photos that we've been taking of Annie, and the knowledge that over time, quite a few of them will find their way into my scrapbook pages (something that I'm eagerly looking forward to).

This will likely be my only post this month, as I expect that I'll be recouping from surgery for at least two to three weeks (possibly longer), and doubt I'll be doing well enough to craft or create new blog posts during that time. I'll miss you all very much and look forward to connecting with you here again a little later on in the spring.

Instagram photo of Annie falling asleep against my leg

In my absence, I hope you'll enjoy the cute trio of iPhone photos of Annie in this post (to see even more, be sure to follow me on Instagram).

Thank you very much for your understanding while I'm on this brief medically dictated blogging break. Have a fantastic second half of April, everyone!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wishing you a beautiful birthday card

Dear month, any time you want to stop whizzing past at the speed of light, that would be fantastic. Thanks! Sincerely, Jessica!

Ok, silly opening lines aside, it rather amazing how fast time has flown past since my last post here in February, nearly a full month ago. As you may recall, I mentioned in that post how I was planning to go in for surgery on March 12th and that I said I'd keep you in the loop about it as that date neared closer.

Unfortunately however, my surgery date had to be rescheduled recently because I recently came down with a very bad flu and it was a lot safer to hold off on having the operation until after I'd recovered from the flu and my breathing was back to normal. While I had very much wanted to get this surgery done and over with this month, it's only been bumped ahead a few weeks, and is now scheduled to take place on April 16th (assuming - knock wood - that nothing comes along to alter that date again, as I truly hope it does not).

Between the flu and various flare-ups, I was out of commission big time throughout almost all of February and the start of March. Little change yet there honestly, but at least I'm slowly starting to shake off the flu (which I'd say was probably the second worst I've ever had). As a result, I haven't been able to do any crafting however the past few weeks, however earlier in the year, I made a fun, vibrant birthday card for a dear friend of mine who lives in the States, which I'm delighted to share with all of you here today.

Wishing you a beautiful birthday card with purple ribbon, Prima flowers and chipboard swirls (for Lori's birthday)

I really, really like the colour palette at work here. It's warm, rich, captivating and thoroughly lovely to work with (I kept several of the products used on this card out, instead of putting them back when I was finished with the card, as I hope to make a scrapbook page in the same palette in the not-too-distant future). If I was going to assign a name to the style and palette of this birthday card, I'd called Moroccan shabby chic.

The sun finally returned here in a real way this past Saturday. Though the temperature wasn't all that toasty (I think we got up to around 8 or 9C), the gentle, subtly warm sunshine felt like a gift from the gods, and really helped inject a dose of much needed energy back into my spirit. I hope that the pleasant weather continues, the last traces of vintage vanish quickly, and the rest of March plays out more enjoyable - and on a healthy note - that the past few weeks have.

Just as I said in my previous post, I plan to post again before my surgery to let you know that things are progressing as slatted. In case this is my last post before the end of March, I'd love to take a moment right now to wish all of you an absolutely beautiful, serene, meaningful Easter celebration. I really hope that you all have fantastic Easter filled with the sweetest of treats and loveliest of family gatherings.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

That's how I roll scrapbook page

Happy Valentine's Eve greetings, everyone? How are you as we near the (almost) half-way mark of February? I wish I could say that things had improved overall from where they were at in January for us, but so far they really haven't. No sense in bemoaning what's happened or what cannot be changed, but it would be rather lovely if the overall tempo (of positivity) and spirit of this year decided to pick up some time soon!

At the moment I'm not feeling very well due to one of my medical problems really acting up. I'm going to be going in for surgery next month for this condition (I'm slatted to have surgery on March 12th, but am on call in case a sooner date becomes available, so if I suddenly vanish from my usual online activities at a moment's notice, that's likely why), and will be taking a brief blogging break (from all my sites) in the days afterwards so that I don't push myself too hard (something I'm very prone to doing) while I'm recouping. (I'm planning on posting here again before then, unless I do get called and told to come in on an earlier date), but just wanted to give you a bit of an advanced head's up.

No one likes to go under the knife, but I'm (as much as one can) looking forward to this procedure and hope that it will help bring me some very much needed pain and symptom relief. In the meantime though, I hope to have at least a day or two where I feel up to crafting, as there's few things on earth that bring me more joy than sitting down in my craft room to create a new project.

A little earlier this year I had the chance to do just that when I created a scrapbook page featuring one of my baby photos. This page is devoted to the fact that, from day one of my life, I've always had a very independent nature. I might be a shy, quiet homebody most of the time, but that doesn't mean I don't have a fiercely independent spirit and desire to always blaze my own trail.

That's how I roll shabby chic layered scrapbook page

I was pretty rough on the day when I took this photo and wasn't able to stand up long enough to do detail shots as well (sorry about that, I do try to grab a few detail shots for my layouts whenever possible).

I went with a soft palette and subtly vintage inspired embellishments and papers here, as they complimented the classic baby carriage in the photo really nicely. The cute little corrugated butterflies are from Jilly Bean Soup, the delicately crocheted wool trim is from Prima, and the Pearl Swirls are from Zva (if you’d like details on anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask).

Scrapbooking my own baby photos is something that I truly love doing, especially since I don’t have any wee ones of my own to make pages for yet. There’s something profound and beautiful about looking at yourself at such a young age – the world completely ahead of you still – and reflecting on how you’ve changed, what’s stayed the same, how your life played out and what you might tell yourself if you could go back in time.

I’d be sure to tell this little lady to keep on doing what she’s always done, keep the independent spirit going strong now matter what challenges, curve balls, and obstacles life threw at her.

Thinking of all of you, my sweet scrapbooking friends, and sending tons of joyful Valentine’s Day wishes your way!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where, oh where, did January go?

My goodness, it's hard to believe that nearly a month has whizzed past since my last post here. After a marvelous holiday season, January turned out to be a busy, stressful, and rather expensive (big car repairs, hefty personal and business taxes, etc) month. For the better part of six days during the middle of the month, our home internet service was down as well (due to an unspecified reason that your provider wouldn't tell us), which created quite a backlog that I then had to scramble to catch up on. So between all that, I haven't had too much time for blog posts outside of my main personal site (Chronically Vintage) as of late.

I can't claim for a second that this weekend has been any less stressful or hectic (it hasn't!), but I don't like to let too long pass here without posting, so I'm taking a moment on this chilly Sunday afternoon to pop in and say hello - as well as to extend my slightly belated New Year's wishes to all of my readers here.

It strikes me as I read back over the two paragraphs above that, as is often the case, I tend to vent a touch more here than I do on my other sites. I don't like to think of myself as the complaining type (I always make a point of counting my blessings before listing my woes), but there's just something about the very intimate nature of creating scrapbook pages - which document all kinds of thoughts, feelings, highs and lows - that makes my scrapbooking related blog seem like a very logical place for me to share the ups and downs of my life sometimes.

Last year was an extremely transitional time in our lives and I hope that that the problems that we've already faced this month aren't a sign of what 2013 holds in store as a whole, because I'm really hoping it can be a year or more stability, productivity, and just as much happiness as the last. One rocky month doesn't have to define the nature of a whole year though, and I'm nowhere near ready to roll my eyes at 2013 yet.

Amid the trips to the mechanics, doctors appointments, drafts and revisions of our household budget, no internet service for a while, and plenty of snow, I have found time to sneak off to my craft room and do a bit of creating this month (and what a serene godsend those few quiet hours of creating have been).

Today, as winter is still very much in full swing here, I wanted to share a charming winter themed card that I recently made for a friend (and fellow vintage lover) who lives in South Africa, where - being located below the equator - they've been experience summer while we're in the throes of winter. We'd been chatting via email about how she was pining for some snow, and that gave me the inspiration I needed for this cheerful hello card.

The clear plastic snowflakes were picked up at a dollar store in the nearby community of Oliver a few days after Christmas. I think there's 40 or 50 in the pack, so that gives me oodles more to use on other projects in the future. The paper beneath the word "hello" started out as plan turquoise cardstock, but I wanted to give it the look of ice that's been slashed by skate blades, so I simply dabbed the edge of a Distressed Ink pad (in Tumbled Glass) across it multiple times.

I really hope that this frosty palette of blues, whites, and shiny clears helps bring my friend a sense of the snow that she's craving, and that it reaches her safe and sound on the other side of the world.

Hectic as January was, it struck me as a very, very quick month overall. I hope that things settle - and slow! - down at least touch as the year progresses or else we'll be sitting down to whip up Christmas cards again quicker than you can press down a glue dot.

I hope that all of you have had a positive month that involved time for crafting. I don't have any major plans for February, but if this past month has been any indication, I suspect the universe will see to it that I stay mighty busy whether I want to or not! ;)