Category: Travel/Crops/Retreats

Crop & Create 2016 – What happens there, stays there!

20160319_123202Have you ever been to Crop & Create?  This was my very first.  So I guess I’m a Crop & Create newbie.  Let me just tell you right now…it was uber-amazing!!!  Scrapbook & Cards Magazine put on one heck of an event!  Believe me…after you read this post, you will definitely want to attend the next one (yes, I’m an enabler)!

We arrived at the hotel the night before the event.  You need to make sure you get your beauty sleep before an event like this.  We even got a little sneak peak at them setting up.  We were so excited, we could have started right then!

The next morning we registered and got our badges, and goody bags.  The goody bag was a large scrapbooking kit!  Lovely!  They even included ideas of what to do with the kit.  How cool is that?

When registering I signed up for a whole bunch of classes.  That is usually what I do when I attend something new.  I like to take as many classes as I can to give me a feel of what they are all about.  We got to work with companies like Simples Stories, Fancy Pants, Dear Lizzy, We R Memory Keepers, Ranger, and Core’dinations.

The classes were amazing!  I have never used a Snap Album before…let me tell you…I am hooked on them now!


I forgot how much fun it was to play with Distress Inks…I want to play again with mine.


Putting stickers on photos?  I never even thought of doing that!  Now I’m going to do that for sure!



Here’s a double layout class I took using the Attwell collection from Fancy Pants…



We even got this very cute zippered bag to put embellishments in from Fancy Pants!  Love it!


Here’s another mini album class using a 4 x 6 Snap binder from Simple Stories…


After a wonderful, but tiring, full day of classes, we had an evening of make-and-takes and even a dessert bar!  Yum!



So many cute crafts for the make-and-takes.

  • There were three cards,




  • an owl pendant,


  • a gift card holder,


  • and a sample of gold foiling from the Minc Machine.


Oh boy, that Minc Machine…I’m very tempted now.  Dang that Vicki Boutin!


She showed a technique that made me want that Minc so much more.  I thoroughly enjoyed ALL the make-and-takes!


I never really participated in them before at other events, but I really should have.  And I definitely will from now on.  You meet so many wonderful ladies just standing in line for these make-and-takes.  What a great way to meet new friends!

After the classes on the second day, Vicki worked on some tags using the Tim Holtz Distress Crayons, and Collage Medium.  They turned out beautifully!  Vicki is so talented.  She just sat down to play, and ended up with a whole lot of amazing tags!



And here is Vicki doing a photo shoot!


Hey…and I even won some goodies!  What could be better than that?



I can tell you what’s better than that…having all these wonderful photo booth pics with my old friends and new ones!

PhotoBooth Collage


What an amazing time at Crop & Create!  But be prepared…the energy is so high all weekend…you might need a nap!


Fun times!  Can’t wait for next year!  Will you be attending, too???  Let me know in the comments below…


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How to wind down on your vacay to Ontario – finale

Well, vacation is over now.  I had such a wonderful time!  I can’t wait until I can go out there again.  I really enjoyed the rest.  I really needed the rest.  I feel so energized now!  Wait a minute….maybe I shouldn’t go that far, but I do have a bit more energy.

So, my last few days at the homestead were spent mostly indoors.  It was quite nasty outside with all that white stuff falling.  The wind thought it would chime in, too.  I hate wind!

I spent the next few days in my nice warm PJs watching movies.  I caught up on season 2 of Downton Abbey, and watched the first four discs of NYPD Blue!  I loved that show!  I wish it was on Netflix so I could continue watching it.

My Mom made us a turkey supper one of the nights.  Sooooo yum!  She must have made one heck of a large turkey at Christmas because there were sure enough leftovers to make us a nice meal.



A few days later it turned sunny for the day.  It was bitter cold, though.  Brrrrrrr!  But since it was sunny, we went for a little road trip to Bloomfield.  There was really only one store that was open.  It was a lovely little store called Green Gables.  What a delightful place!  There was so much to look at!


We stopped part way through to go for lunch.  We went to Agrarian.  I ordered a supper yummy grilled cheese with mushroom soup.




After a delicious lunch, we finished our perusal of Green Gables then went home.

While I was still at my parents, I worked on my skills at bra-making.  I’ve never made a bra before, but I sure needed to learn.  I have always had trouble finding a bra that fits me.  I have very narrow shoulders.  My bra straps are always falling off.  So, I finally decided to take a Craftsy class ( to learn how to make myself a bra.

If you’ve never taken a Craftsy class, you definitely must!  The classes are so professionally done, and the instructors are so knowledgeable.  The sewing went fairly well.  If you count having to seam rip it out 2 or 3 times each step as fairly.  But that goes along with learning, right?  Well, I got three quarters of it done before the top thread kept breaking on my Mom’s machine.  So I will finish the rest of it at home.


I will post a picture of my bra once I finish.  I’m quite proud of myself so far.

Before I sign off on this holiday post, I need to post a random pic.  Here it is:


Yes, it’s a package of 4 bags of milk!  Yes, I said milk!  People in Ontario buy bagged milk.  Strange.  But I do prefer that to buying jugs of milk.  The bags pour nicely and don’t get crusty like the jugs get around the opening.

Well, that was my vacation folks!  Hope you enjoyed catching up with me, and my adventures.



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How to wind down on your vacay to Ontario – part 2

Well, I’ve been out visiting my parents for over a week now.  So fun!  A lot of relaxing went on.  It was a little nasty to go outside.  It was either windy as h*&# out there, or snowing like crazy, or raining on top of the snow.  But we managed one day to go out for a walk.  A 3 km walk to be exact.  Wow!  I haven’t been on that far a walk in a VERY long time!

It wasn’t too cold.  I made sure to wear a scarf over my mouth so I wouldn’t start having an asthma attack (which happens when you breathe in cold air).  We were heading into town from my parents acreage for a little lunch at the one, and only, restaurant in town.  We were going to go the day before, but when we called it said to check their website for hours.  It said that it was open on Friday from 2 to 9, and today (our walking day) was Friday.  When we got to the restaurant….it was closed!


No notice on the door.  In fact, the sign beside the door said that they were open 2 to 9.  Well….I guess that’s a small town for ya.  A bit depressing.  🙁  So we had to turn around and head back…no lunch for us.  I did find a little something to keep those hunger pangs at bay…


Yeah, I know what your thinking…woop-dee-doo!  That would keep my tummy from growling for all of 2 seconds!  Anyway, when we got back to the homestead needless to say…we had some much-needed lunch!

The next day we went to on a shopping day to Kingston.  Along the way we had to take the local ferry.


Brrrrrr….actually, it wasn’t as cold as it looked.  It was about 1 degree celcius.  You can see all the large slabs of ice near the shore.


Menacing looking isn’t it?  Further out in the middle the slabs of ice turned into one large slushy mess.  It was as though we were travelling through was monster-size slurpee!


When we got to Kingston we parked downtown, and shopped all those quaint little shops they have there.  But there were way more eateries, cafes, and restaurants than shops.  In fact, after shopping for a couple of hours we wandered ourselves into one of these cute little cafes and had some lunch.  Hey, shopping gives you quite the appetite!


The lunch was quite yummy.  So was my café latte!  Sooooo good!  And the price of the food was very reasonable.

After we had been “fed” up…we shopped for another couple of hours.  Yes, we are determined shoppers!  Once we had checked out every store downtown, we headed over to Pickers World Market.

My Mom and I saw it advertised on the news the night before.  Unfortunately we got there fairly late.  We only had about half an hour to take a look around.  So we only got to see a small section of this big market.  Oh well, I can check it out again the next time I come out this way.  In that small amount of time, I did manage to find myself a cute little teddy bear to take home.  And those that know me know I love teddy bears.  In fact, I collect them.  I have a very large collection.

So here are my shopping spoils for the day:


We topped the day off by having supper at the Barley Room in Picton.  Wow!  That place was awesome!  Wonderful atmosphere, delicious food!  For supper I had the Cornish Pasty.  Sooooo yummy!  And for dessert…you can’t have supper without dessert…I have Coconut Cream Pie.  Absolutely heavenly!  I didn’t leave any of that on my plate that’s for sure.



The band playing was so amazing.  They were called Northern Voodoo.  If you haven’t heard of them before, you MUST check them out!  In fact, go to their website now…you won’t be disappointed.  I was so impressed, I bought their CD!  They had the entire pub hopping!

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How to wind down on your vacay to Ontario – part 1

Right now I’m out visiting my parents in Ontario.  That was my Christmas present!  So excited!  The trip out here went just fine.  It was late at night when I got here, but it was warmer than it was at home.  Not that much warmer, though.


The next morning I met a friend at Eatons Centre.  This is a friend I made while on the Crop and Cruise to Hawaii in 2012.  I met so many wonderful friends on that trip.  Anyway, me and Jo-ann met up and had a girls shopping day together!


We came, we shopped, we conquered!  We shopped til we dropped.  And let me tell you….it didn’t take much.  After having a bite to eat we hit the Old Navy store because it said “up to 75% off”!  We spent quite a while in there.  I got a lot of nice shirts!  After that, the rest of the mall went down hill.  We didn’t really see anything else worth buying.  And I thought Eatons Centre was so much bigger than it actually was.  So we decided to hit the underground mall stores.  I saw some real interesting ones on the way to Eatons.

Actually it ended up we only really went into 2 more stores.  All day and we went into 3 stores.  A bit shameful, but that’s what it’s like when you get older.  But I say 2 bags of shopping are better than none!  Yes, say it sister!  LOL!

Now the weather is not co-operating.  Quite windy and rainy.  Good time to catch up on blog work.  I will also be updating my website and editing videos.  I’m hoping to be more present on this blog and post at least every week.  This is my promise to you, my fans.  So I’ll sign out for now.  But hey, I did do a post this week, right?  🙂


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Scrapbook Carnival 2015!

Another year…another carnival!  Woohoo!  I look forward to this every year.  It is put on by Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine.  It is also in conjunction with Stitches & Crafting Alive show.  It is the most amazing craft convention you definitely need to go to if you are a crafter of any kind!  I mainly go for the scrapbooking area of it.  I pay for the Embellished Crop every year.  That way I get the extra special Goody Bag!  So full of yummy scrapbooking supplies!

I’m lucky that this Carnival just happens to be around my birthday each year, so hubby took me for a lovely dinner the night before.  I LOVE sushi!


We were even given an upgrade on our hotel room!  So nice!


The Carnival was at Spruce Meadows.  What a beautiful place!  It was there last year, but I was unable to attend because I was sick.  I hope it is there next year, too.



There were lots of croppers there!  Lots of booths to shop at too!  It made me quite hungry…all that shopping!  Zeb even tried to take a nibble or two.  😉

I took a couple of classes while I was there.  The first class was by the wonderful Nicole Wright.  It issuch a cute little box.  It has cards and envelopes inside.  I finally learned how to properly use my distress tool.  I always seemed to end up with sponge marks.  I guess I’ve got a very heavy hand.  I just need to concentrate on using the sponge very gently.


Here’s a view from our classroom.  You can see all the incredible booths that are set up.  Crafters heaven for sure!


The next class I took was from the very talented Kelly Klapstein!  It was a double layout class.  I learned a fun technique of doodling flowers on vellum that was pretty cool.  I’ll share it in another post.  I didn’t finish the layouts as they were girly layouts, and I have a son.  So I need to find some pics of me to use these layouts for.

In the crop area, I was working on a layout to enter in the contest.  They usually pick a layout or project that they like the best plus some others that they want to put in their magazine.  I wasn’t chosen unfortuately.  🙁  Maybe next year.

Zeb thought he would help me do some creating.  Actually, I think he was trying to eat the modelling paste.  Bad Zeb.  LOL!


Hubby took me out for another nice supper at Hudsons.  I had a delicious shephards pie.  So good!


Another day at the Carnival!  I took another class from Nicole.  We made a cute frame.  It had some rolled roses on it.  Most of the ladies were really struggling with them, but I had no trouble at all.  It’s because I’ve had practice.  It does take practice to do them.  It was a fun class.  As you can see, I was in my 80s getup.  It was 80s theme this year.  I just love the 80s!  I designed the shirt myself.  I will show you in a later post.



All-in-all it was a great time!  I go every year!  It is just full of amazing classes, and I have lots of fun meeting new crafty ladies each year.  If you get a chance, you should definitely go!  Hope to see some of you there next year!


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Prima Art Venture 2015 – Edmonton (Part 2)

…thanks for coming back and checking out my post on the Prima classes I took!  So….let’s get down to business…

I arrived…and that’s a real accomplishment in itself sometimes.  I’m not a morning person.  But Zeb kept me amused.  He couldn’t wait to get started, in fact!

Our first class was with first-time instructor Adrienne Ford.  We started out just painting and spraying the heck out of our sheet of paper!  Yes, I had to use my fingers for the painting.  If you know me, you know I don’t like to get my fingers dirty.  But I tried to not let it bother me.  I think I might finally be coming one with the dirty fingers!  Lol!

We were using Prima Mica Powders mixed with gesso (after putting a coat of clear gel medium over the entire page).  I really like the Mica Powders!  The colors are so lovely!  So bright and bold!  I think I gotta get me some now!

Here is my finished page:

I just love how it turned out!  See what I mean about the Micas?  I love the rich colors!  And yes….I even used some gold glitter!  I think it would have been a bit drab without that glitter.  It just gives it that bit of sparkle!  The fillagrees at the bottom and top are metal.  I really love them!  
The last class of the first day was Frank Garcia’s Christmas Album.  How beautiful it is!  It looks so hard to do, but in reality…it’s quite easy.  But boy, does Frank ever boogie in his class.  Not much of a breather between steps.  I do love his classes, though.  He makes what ends up being simple to do, look so stunning!  If you ever have a chance to take a class of his…do so!  You won’t be disappointed.  And you get so much product in your class kit!

Well, because of the “boxes-stuck-at-customs” debacle (see previous blog post), we ended up finished Frank’s class at midnight.  Wow!  What a long, but totally fun, day!  Now to the hotel for some much-needed sleep.  It will be an early day tomorrow…
Back at it!  And Zeb is right there with me…
Our first class today was with the lovely Sharon Laakkonen!  Zeb wanted to get started right away!  Zeb….that little over-achiever!  Lol!  In her class, we were making this lovely framed scrapbook/mixed media page!  Yes, it included the frame!

I decided to use a picture of my son at Yellowstone Park when he was younger.  Maybe I should have thought that through.  Afterwards, I didn’t think he would like it because it had flowers and a bow on it.  But surprisingly he loved it!  He said he didn’t care about the flowers and bow.  And to top that off…I can hang it up in our home!  Yay!  I have such a sweetie for a son.  Anyway…I love this page!  We did some stenciling with beads on it, and lots of layering of papers (which I am still trying to master).  We even added some gold touches to the leaves with Mica Powder.  Gorgeous!  Thank you so much for such a lovely project, Sharon!
Next up was the Telephone class…I was so excited for this!  It was also taught by Sharon Laakkonen.  We got to use the brand new Prima Lumies!  So awesome!  What a great idea to light up your project!  I need to buy me some more of those!  I decided to use a picture of me on my first day of school.  This piece is now on my mantle at home.  It’s so pretty!

The next class was with Adrienne Ford (again).  We did this gorgeous wall plaque!  It was using Prima’s new Enchanted Aviaries Paintables.  They are fantastic!  We colored the teacup with Color Bloom sprays.  Just dip your paint brush in them and color.  We added some texture paste and stenciling, then a LOT of flowers!  Lots of spraying, too!  I am just in “awe” of how it turned out!  Wow!….Wow!  And those little dangles just added that extra little bling.

After that technique-filled class, we went on to Frank again to finish up our Christmas Album.  Let’s just say…I’ll finish it at home.  It was a very long day.  Four classes instead of three!  But I loved every minute of it!  Prima Art Venture is the total bomb-diggity!  For sure!
Have you been to a Prima Art Venture???  Let me know about it in the comments below….
Thank you so much Prima (and Denny) for all you do for these wonderful events!

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Prima Art Venture 2015 – Edmonton!

Well, I attended my second Prima Art Venture this year!  This time I took my new little mascot with me…Zeb the Zebra.

It started off with a bit of a problem…I went to pre-register on the Friday night (the night before the Art Venture).  I was told that they didn’t have the goody bags yet, and they are starting the continental breakfast at 11:30 am with classes starting at 1 pm instead of classes starting at 8:30 am.  The reason was that all the boxes were stuck at customs!  What???!!!  Whoah!

Ok…so I arrived the next morning for the continental breakfast, and we started at 1 pm.

Then half way through the class we had to stop because they only had enough supplies to start the class.  The boxes hadn’t arrived still.  So we were told to come back at 4 pm.  We came back, and had to leave til 6:30 pm.  Came back then and had to come back again at 7:30 pm.  The boxes finally arrived!

By then, many people were angry.  I just thought to myself…oh well, shit happens, right?  One lady left after the first class, and got a refund for the rest.  Oh well, to each his own.  So we finished the first class, and went on to the next class.  During that class, Denny (the event coordinator) came in and gave each of us a choice…either we can get $300 in Prima product shipped to us at no charge, or we can go to Prima Art Venture in Anaheim in January for free.  Wow!  That was sooooo unbelievably generous!  I never expected that!  I was saying to someone earlier that if they just give us a Kit-of-the-month box I would be happy.  So this deal was amazing!

I just have to say that Prima Marketing is the best company ever!  They went above and beyond for us attendees!  Denny said that they (him and Prima) just wanted us to be happy.  Was I ever happy!  I had the best time!

To Be Continued…to find out about the classes I took at Prima Art Venture, check out my next post!

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A Little Bit of Shopping!

So this past week I’ve been travelling with hubby. First we went to Calgary. When we checked in to our hotel, we were suddenly upgraded to a King Loft suite! Whoah! It was so amazing! I’m not really sure why we were upgraded, but….who cares!
This is a picture of our room once we come in the door:
Please excuse the blurry pictures.  They were taken with my iPad Mini….it doesn’t take very clear pictures.
When I walk into the room and turn around, there is a staircase up to the bedroom.  Under the staircase is the bar.
Here we have a large King size bed!  It has a  large flat screen TV to watch from bed.  When I turn around…
…there is a balcony/room that looks down into the atrium.  Nice place to read a book!
And this is the ensuite!  It was such a lovely room!  I’m just sad that we only stayed there one night.  🙁
I did a bit of shopping while in Calgary.  I stopped at Paper Pastimes.  A friend of mine works there.  It’s a great place.  The have an amazing amount of dies and stamps!  They specialize in that.  If you are in Calgary, check them out!
I then went to a place called Fabric Depot.  I am working on a reupholstering project, and I needed some foam.  I could not believe this place when I walked in the door!  It didn’t look like much from the outside, but inside….
They had thousands upon thousands of appliques!  Tons of tassels!  An entire room for zippers!  Rooms full of trims, braids, and ribbon!  Mega amounts of fabric!  They are one of the largest fabric stores in North America!  It’s a fabric heaven!  So if you are ever looking for fabric, trims, appliques, etc….you must check them out.
I also went to Michaels (surprise, surprise).  I am thinking of getting a Fuji Instax camera.  I thought that if I have that when I attend scrap related events, I can just snap a pic and have the person right their name and info on the back.  That way I can keep track of all my new crafty friends!  It’s pricey, though.  I’m still trying to decide.
What do you all think about the Instax Camera?  Do you have one?  Let me know in the comments.
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