Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Girls Just Want To Have Coffee

Here's a fun card I made up tonight for our secretary (tomorrow is Secretary's Day!) who loves coffee. I got to play around some more with some of my new Verve and my watercolour paints to colour the cute cup. I used an April sketch from Viva la Verve.
Paper - La Vie En Rose paper collection (CTMH); Distressed watercolour paper (Tim Holtz);
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black, Cocoa (CTMH); Stamps - Better With You, Coffee Helps (Verve);
Dies - Stitched Rectangles (Memory Box); Stitched Circles (Simon Says Stamp);
Embellishments - Apricot and Mint Green Gumdrops (YNS); Gold Sequins (CTMH).

Monday, 25 April 2016

A Sympathy Card

Here is a sympathy card I made tonight using the inspiration colours over at Verve and the sketch from the Paper Players. It also worked to make it girlie to link up to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.
Paper - Dream Pop, Charlotte paper collections; White Daisy cardstock (CTMH);
Ink - Lagoon, Creme Brûlée, Memento Tuxedo Black (CTMH); 
Stamps - Blessings, Simply Amazing (Verve);
Dies - Simply Daisies (Verve); Stitched Circles (Simon Says Stamp);
Embellishments - Gold sequins (CTMH).

Sunday, 24 April 2016

My Fairy Garden

One project I wanted to accomplish this month was to make a fairy garden. I wanted this garden to be meditative and incorporate certain elements that bring me peace and positivity.

The first thing I needed to do was to find a container. I decided that a rustic crate from Kootenay Crates in my hometown, Creston, would be perfect. Aqua/turquoise seems to be the colour I am most drawn to right now, so I was happy to find this crate. I lined the crate with plastic and then covered the bottom with rock for drainage. Next, I dumped in a bit of soil so that I was ready to plant!
I specifically chose certain plants to include in my fairy garden:
Jade - for good luck 
Dwarf Blue Spruce Shrub - I love the colour
Succulent - a beautiful plant is in the shape of a lotus flower (for new beginnings) and has pink tips
Ivy - I love soft, cascading ivy and find it a bit whimsical, too
Clover - another plant that will spill over my crate
Lavender - to create a calming effect
Chocolate Mint - to make some chocolate mint tea

I also chose some stones to put in my garden:
Crystal - for grounding and to bring in the colours of the rainbow
Moss Agate - a cleansing crystal
Staurolite - known as the "fairy stones" with a soothing, calming energy
Amethyst - a healing stone to promote peacefulness, happiness, and contentment

I created a small "pond" with blue glass rock and outlined it with granite from my parents' house. My mom found me a mini table and chair to sit amongst the garden, too. I picked up a rock at one of my favourite river spots under the Canyon bridge that I thought looked like stairs. I put the glow-in-the-dark "dream" in the middle of the staurolite. Once things settle I plan to make pathways around the garden. I found a little candle lantern that I am going to cut down to put in the garden, too. 
I can't wait to bring this garden to our new house to live on our deck :)

Monday, 18 April 2016

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

I am stoked to be able to play along with another Inspired By All the Little Things, especially with this week's fun theme of cupcake tutus! This led me to pull out some cupcake stuff I got awhile ago from Verve and so I thought I would also use another sketch from Viva la Verve! I also got out my Wink of Stella pen to add some sparkle and added some bling with some little gems.
Paper - Charlotte paper collection, White Daisy cardstock (CTMH); Distressed watercolour paper (Tim Holtz);
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black, Desert Sand, Cotton Candy (CTMH); 
Stamps - Cupcakes (CTMH); Embossing folder - Stripes (CTMH);
Shapes cut from Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge (CTMH) and Cupcake Frame Die set (Verve).

March Recap

I am quite late with my reflection on March, but here it is. March was a very challenging month for me filled with a devastating down with my health and a much needed peaceful getaway. Here are my top pics:
We went to Maui for 12 days during Spring Break. Although I didn't have to go to work, I did have some work to do on my Masters. Luckily I was able to do that and still enjoy the beach! That's the best spot to write an essay, I'd say!

The view off our deck. Reminds me of the Blue Hawaiian Mai Tai drink I had with the outstanding dinners we went out for. I don't cook a lot of fish, but I thoroughly enjoyed eating the fresh MahiMahi and Oko cooked up by some amazing chefs. I loved falling asleep with the doors open and listening to the sound of the waves crash all night long.

Another gorgeous sunset we watched every single night. It brings me such peace and calm. 

Yoga on the beach. I don't enjoy getting up early in the morning, but this I would do any day.

Chris and I at the Maui Wine estate. I felt like we were both able to completely relax and destress during this trip, which doesn't happen often.

A visit to a Lavender Farm in Kula, Maui. I really have not been a fan of lavender up until now when I have been realizing the calming effects it can have. I am very interested in learning more about it and planting it on our property this year.

My focus quote for the month of March was: 

"When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life." - Jean Shinoda Bolen (Pausitivity).

It was very difficult for me to leave the peacefulness and calm I encountered in Maui to come back to the hectic, negative environment in my life right now. I am working at accepting that I may not be able to change the environment I am in right now, but I can add things to other areas to make it tolerable. I need to do more things for me. I have been reading another one of Gretchen Rubin's book, Better Than Before, (she is also the author of The Happiness Project)that my friend Natasha got for me and came across a section that was very relatable to my own happiness project:

"As I hoped, Monitoring was having a good effect on my habits. Even before applying more active habits strategies, I'd noticed myself making small shifts, as the data provided by tracking helped nudge me to do better than before." (page 56)

Although monitoring may have the preconception that in order to reach perfection or the ideal goal, we must do something every single day, rather I have come to learn that being mindful about certain things I appreciate having and doing in my life can make me think about incorporating them more frequently than before.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Seaside set

I finally found some time to put together this Seaside set using the watercolored images I created. I used the simple sketch over at Retro Sketches.

Paper - Kraft cardstock, Regatta paper collection, watercolour paper (CTMH); 
Stamps - Seaside Greetings, My Anchor (CTMH); Dies - My Anchor (CTMH); Wonky Stitched Squares (MFT); 
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black (CTMH); Embellishments - Clear Gumdrops (YNS), Twine.

Simply Amazing

Here's a card I made this weekend using some new Verve products!! I used one of the April sketches over at Viva la Verve and I kept it simple to play along with the Curtain Call challenge.
Paper - White Daisy, Kraft (CTMH); Distressed Watercolour Paper (Tim Holtz);
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black (CTMH);
Stamps - Let's Get Sip Faced (Unity Stamps); Simply Amazing (Verve); 
Dies - Amazing Adjectives Word Die Set (Verve); Stitched Rectangles (Memory Box);
Embellishments - Metallic Neutral Twine (CTMH); Gumdrops (YNS).

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

You Are My Anchor

I had some time to enjoy my watercolours this weekend and painted up a few images. These wonky stitched dies finally came in and I couldn't wait to use them with my images! Here is a card I created using the Regatta paper collection, which happens to be the theme over at Color My Heart. I am also linking up with the Heart2Heart challenge of "four" since I used a square theme throughout my layout.

Paper - Regatta paper collection; Kraft cardstock (CTMH); Distressed watercolour paper (Tim Holtz);
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black, Desert Sand (CTMH); Stamps - My Anchor, Seaside Greetings (CTMH);
Dies - Wonky Stitched Squares (My Favorite Things). Watercolour paints (CTMH).

Saturday, 2 April 2016

My Happiness Project - April

It's April 2nd and I am happy to get this post up in the midst of my two Masters courses wrapping up!   I decided to go in a bit of a different direction for my April Happiness Project for a few reasons, but I think it will be beneficial. 

April --> Connection

I've forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet
"Hello" by Adele

I am hoping to focus on connection during this difficult month ahead of me. In particular, I want to focus on my connection to nature, to myself, and to inner peace. In March I came across a beautiful book called "Daily Om" by Madisyn Taylor, which I read from every morning. I thought this excerpt describes a good focus for April:

If you trek into the wilderness and look around with a careful gaze, you will see that the trees, flowers, and even the rocks have a tendency to flow. There is the arc of the branch that leads to the blossom, the smooth dip in a rock formation, the gnarled knot in a tree trunk, and the forking of shoots. As nature is overflowing with curves, corners, knots, and unexpected directions, so are our lives filled with unpredictable twists and turns (p. 11).

1. Enjoy the outdoors
2. Reduce waste
3. Meditate
4. Yoga
5. Read for me

I tried to incorporate my goals into my layout by using a paper collection that I had bought last spring to use before everything fell apart. I love these patterns and had planned to use them last spring for a special project, so I am glad I could reuse them for something that has become important to me. I was also able to use up some pieces I had played around with for other projects that I had saved. I think this is my favourite layout that I have created for this project so far. I love how the circles turned out to be like floating bubbles. It feels peaceful to me :)
Paper collection - Seaside paper collection; Colonial White, Black cardstock; Love Your Day PML cards (CTMH); 
Distressed watercolour paper (Tim Holtz); Die - City Scene Die Collection (Papertrey Ink), Stitched Circles (SSS); 
Embellishments - watercolour paints, Le Pen (CTMH). 

Last summer I started a Gratitude Journal that I wrote in every day for 6 months. Once I finished the journal, I stopped writing, but it is something I would like to get back to. I came across this idea on Pinterest and thought I might give it a try this month: