Saturday, September 23, 2017

Coffee Loving Cardmakers - Fall Blog Hop

I made this card for the last day of the Coffee Loving Cardmakers Fall Blog Hop.

I won a gift certificate from Paper Sweeties in the Summer Blog Hop.  I decided on the Tea for Two stamp and die set. 

I have stamped the tea pot onto double sided designer paper from a 12x12 pad from KC Company.  I chose the polka dot side for teapot and the floral on the back side for the background. 

I embossed my table top from white card stock with a Sizzix Textured Impressions Plus - Field of Diamonds Embossing Folder.  I ripped the top edge and made it the same width of the designer paper.

I chose the mauve color from the DP and used it in the card base.   I stamped the teapot in black and die cut it.  I added several silk flowers in the bottom right hand side of the tea pot. 

I added a greeting stamped in a warm green on a Stampin Up Modern Label punch.  It was adhered to card front with 3D foam tape.

Submitting to the challenge for the hop which is to make a tea, coffee or cocoa related card.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fruit, Harvest, and Thrifting

I spent a day and a half at my sister's processing the apples we had picked from Mom's trees on the weekend. 

Food processors are wonderful inventions and my sister had recently acquired a good machine for a song. 

We managed 13 four cups bags in just over an hour with prep and clean up.  We washed, quartered, cored, sliced and bagged. She will use hers for pie and crisp and I will use mine for fruit crisps.

We picked chokecherries on Tuesday night in quite cold temperatures.  I had gloves on except when picking.

The berries were plentiful and ripe so picking went very well.  We came home with 2 full ice cream pails and bit. After clearning, that yielded several bags of frozen berries.

I will eat them unthawed during the winter as a snack.  They can be made into jelly or syrup anything during the winter.  Mom will get a couple of bags as well as my sister. 

We also processed the high bush cranberries (pembina in french) which she picked on Friday.  Again, the picking went well and she froze them until I could come to help with the making of pancake syrup. 

We ended up with thicker syrup than the last couple of years and it may be due to starting with frozen rather than fresh berries.  We processed mostly 1.5 cups jars which makes the process quicker than dealing with tiny jars.  We did make a few small jars for giving away. 

We learn a few lessons every year. 

I am grateful that she has all the tools to make the process work well.  I provide the support help.

It will taste absolutely wonderful on pancakes during the winter months.  Like a bit of summer.

I got a tip from my aunt that there was a thrift store near my sister`s house that had some Blue Nordic dishes in the window.  I should check it out next time I am visiting.  I called ahead and indicated I was on my way and should be there in 1.5 hours.  The weather did not cooperate so I arrive 10 minutes before the store closed.  I quickly checked the pieces over and made my purchase.  I unpacked the boxes today.  I have brought my total teacups to 10 with saucers so that was a good score.  The coffee pot, cream and sugar set was another great addition.  Adding 6 bowls brings my total to 10 as well.   Very good.

I look forward to having tea with friends and family in wonderful dishes that I love.  I believe there will be sufficient space is the kitchen for all of it.

Sharing with 
Share Your Cup #265 hosted by Jan at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson

Tuesday Cuppa Tea hosted by Ruth at Antiques and Tea Cups

Tea in the Garden hosted by Bernideen at Tea Time

Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Thursday, September 21, 2017

One Thousand Gifts - Session 3 - All is Grace

I am leading this bible study tonight - One Thousand Gifts Bible Study - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.
Seven 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 3 - All is Grace

Ann recounts an incident where practicing Eucharisteo made a difference.  Where how she behaved changed the results of a conflict between her sons and her. 

The toast incident was between two of her sons  and involves chucking toast. Her initial reaction is anger.  The one boy is humiliated and the other is indignant.  How can I practice "Giving Thanks" in this ugly situation?

She chooses to give thanks for the sons rather than react in anger.  She speaks aloud what she loves about this son. She calms and so does the son which results in a tender moment between her and one son because she behaved differently in the situation. 

It redeemed the moment and the experience for mother and son.

She talks of the ugly beautiful. Is it possible that all we experience can be grace if we focus deep enough to see God's influence to transform all of it?

Welcome to my Kitchen - 1st one this fall

We had our first Welcome to my Kitchen of this fall session. 

We were treated to quiche, tea & coffee, toast and jam and muffins. 

Everything was delicious and we appreciate the time and effort the hostess made to provide refreshment and hospitality for the group of 14 ladies who gathered to share our summers and pray for each other and the concerns on our hearts.

The weather was not pleasant and my drive in this morning was somewhat stressful due to the sleet I wiped off my windshield this morning in the country.  It was not icy despite the whiteness in the ditches as I traveled.    I missed taking my traditional photos of the great food.

I just love this group and the concept.  We had a good time!!

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!