Saturday, January 17, 2015

Two Scherenschnitte Cards

Scherenschnitte - what the heck is that? It's one way of saying papercuttings! I really enjoy making silhouettes and over the Christmas break I made a whole bunch of them. Drawing and cutting a silhouette is harder than it looks, because of the lack of detail. Here's the first one I made, a moose (click for larger):
And the second, a pegasus flying over a rainbow. You will notice it's a three legged pegasus, doh!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Here's to 2015!

For many years now, I haven't been good at sending Christmas cards. I think a few trickled out though. Over the holidays I made a lot of special cards for friends, and you'll be seeing more of them soon. Here's one for a budgie friend of mine:

I really enjoyed making the cards. Truly, my friends inspired me! Best of all, I didn't let thinking get in the way of doing. I just went with what I felt and didn't worry about being perfect. I would love to do a giant disco Muffin down the road. In terms of 2014...well, for the Year of the Horse, I felt more like the horse was dragging me through the mud and gleefully running under trees instead of me riding it. Hopefully I don't get headbutted by the ram next month :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lucky Loot

It's been a while since I blogged about the fabulous British papercraft magazines that I load up on every time I visit Chapters. The loot that a whole bunch of Christmas issues came with was crazy! Even more impressive was that the Christmas issues were on shelves before Christmas. One issue of Papercraft Inspirations came with a wafer thin metal die. Super cool, but the little pieces do get stuck in the die pretty easily.
The goodies below are from Crafts Beautiful are hilariously awesome. I'm ready to try paper quilling with the strips, tool and shape board. PaperCrafter one upped them with a giant card making kit that included fold up birdhouses and bling. The magazines are always a little pricier, but I think it's well worth it, especially if I didn't want to invest too much in a new technique beforehand.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

An Old Favourite!

Yeeesh, sometimes I forget this blog exists :-D Preparation for Christmas craft sales has kept me busy, plus I bought Adobe Lightroom last month. It's given my older photos a lot of new life and easy to use, plus it's surprisingly inexpensive - $149 for the perpetual licence.

 Here's one picture from our trip to California that I felt really lucky to capture because the line up was crazy. Don't go to Disneyland on a Saturday, folks! You can buy this image on cards and stickers from Zazzle.

King Arthur's Carousel

Sunday, September 7, 2014

At the Mopar Show

Sadly it feels like we didn't do much this summer, mostly due to some mystery health problems that I was having, and I hope to have solved soon. There's nothing worse than being a high energy person with no energy, and the waiting is a little long. I feel like I could be a patient on House ;-)

One thing we did finally get out to was the Mopar Show back in August. I have been wanting to go for a few years but the timing was always wrong. It was a little overcast, but still a good turnout, even if the exhibitors occasionally looked upwards for signs of rain and hail. I took a lot of photographs that I haven't processed yet, but naturally did get a few snaps with my cell phone. There were lots of beauties, old and news, from the 1920s to the 1990s. My favourites were all the 60s and 70s muscle cars though!

How fabulous is this Barracuda? It's totally my style! At first I thought it was a Challenger, but my husband knew all the small details that made the difference.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Canada Day at Fort Calgary

Canada celebrated it's 147th birthday on Tuesday, and the family and I went down to Fort Calgary to celebrate. I didn't grow up in Calgary, but I am celebrating my 20th year here, so it's a little embarrassing to admit that there are tons of places I haven't visited or things that I haven't done yet. It's easy to take a lot of things for granted when you live in a place. Canada Day activities are a little tricky as Calgary is now a city of over 1 million people! That means it seems like half of Calgary is everywhere in one place, and Fort Calgary was no exception.

Along with a show and shine featuring over 100 classic cars, there were food trucks, Lord Strathcona's Horse Mounted Troop, a free pancake breakfast and half price admission to the museum. I will have to go to the museum again. It's small, but there's still so much to read. It's better than Heritage Park in some ways, as it is far more informative and historical, instead of just being a great place to stroll around with an ice cream cone :-) It's hard to believe that the Fort Calgary site used to have warehouses on it, until a new roadway threatened the site and steps were taken to save the site and recreate the barracks. Archeological digs took place too! Calgary loves to reinvent itself, and it's fortunately that forty, fifty years ago, someone could see the need to save it for the future.

Sadly, the only photos I took of the celebrations were with my cell phone. I had packed up my camera kit, remembering an SD card, but completely forgetting the battery on the charger. Ah well! Pam of Always Artistic gave me a great simple tip - buy a second battery :-D Here are a few snaps - the yellow shaggin' wagon was my favourite - it reminded me so much of our family van from the 80s :-)

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Brewer's Blackbird

Is it really the end of June? It amazes me how time just seems to accelerate the older I get. I must be having too much fun along the way. We're fortunate to live in a pocket neighbourhood with lots of bike paths, a creek and a parkway, and so are the feathered residents.

Around my house we see ducks, Canada geese, American robins, crows, sparrows (so, so many sparrows!), the occasional chickadee, house finches, sometimes an owl or two. The other week I swear I saw a Cedar Waxwing who might have been lost. It's easy for people to forget that birds are the most accessible form of wildlife for anyone, anywhere! Having lived with birds for thirty some years, I can attest that they are not that much different from people!

Last year I bought a new camera, a Canon T3i. It is so much camera - I did have a film SLR years ago, but mostly I have been using a high end Canon PowerShot, which is a great inbetween model for those that want something better than a pocket camera but can't afford an dSLR. You can get some surprisingly good photos with a point and shoot these days, although nothing beats having the lenses to take distance shots. The kit lens is just an 18-55mm lens, but, as it happened, there was a special sale on Canon lenses when I bought my camera. The salesman (who happened to be a friend) recommended a 75-300mm zoom lens since that fit my budget. He also has a Canon camera, so I can borrow his lenses too.

The best way to learn a new camera is to take lots of pictures, and unfortunately last year's flood in Calgary put the kibosh on visiting many natural places like the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Bowness Park. It was thrilling to be able to pack up my camera and head on down to the creek. Unfortunately for distance shots, my zoom lens was woefully inadequate. Way up high on the hill was a hawk (either a redtail or Cooper's) nonchalantly watching from a chain-link fence. The red-winged blackbirds cheerfully called from deep within some reeds. I didn't feel adventurous enough to wade in to get closer to some ducks. Oh well!

On my way back home, I spied a robin. I have been trying to get a good pic of a robin for years now. Either they don't stay still for very long, there are too many branches in the way, and the big one, I don't have a camera! This guy was happy twilling away in a pine tree. Unfortunately, he was backlit. Some day Mr. Robin, some day.

The only successful picture I had was below. I've been seeing these birds for years and always assumed they were starlings. Not so! It is a Brewer's Blackbird. He (or she) posed long enough for me to fiddle with the settings. It's not the greatest, but that just means I need to go out again with my camera :-)