Thursday, September 27, 2012

God's Country

I have just returned from spending 6 glorious days in one of the most scenic places in Canada...Newfoundland!

Just over two years ago, I met a very special friend in an online scrapbooking forum.  Who would have thought that we would fly across the country to visit each other?
Michelle arriving at the Edmonton airport last year

Last September, Michelle traveled all the way to Edmonton, and we met face-to-face for the first time.  It was as if we had been friends forever! We attended the Canadian Scrapbooker's Great Canadian Scrapbook Carnival and had so much fun.
Sharing a cup of tea...our favourite beverage :)

So this year, I decided to visit her in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and also attend a scrapbook retreat weekend together.

I've never traveled further than Quebec.  For my American friends, it is like living in Idaho and taking a trip to the East Coast, maybe Maine or New York.

Ok, well Corner Brook isn't exactly New York, but you get the idea of the distance between us.  It's 5440 km or 3380 miles!

Here is my first sighting of Newfoundland (which is an island) from the plane...

It's "The ROCK"...Newfoundland's nickname
Michelle and her daughter Chelsea picked me up from the airport in Deer Lake, about 45 minutes from Corner Brook.  
Michelle's daughter snapped this with her phone.
 It was a tearful and happy reunion...
So wonderful to meet again (not on Skype!)
On the road to Corner Brook, we stopped at this roadside attraction "The Man in the Mountain"

I was surprised by the landscape and did not expect mountains and fir trees!
A view of Corner Brook and the bay
Michelle's backyard and garden is as pretty as I imagined!  She is a talented gardener and even has a greenhouse.
It was wonderful meeting her entire family, whom I had only seen in photos! 
A special thanks to Scott for giving up his bedroom during my stay :)
On the weekend, Michelle, her friend Shirley and I drove 1 1/2 hours to Springdale to attend a scrapbook retreat "Scrapbooking Weekend with Friends".
Road Trip!  On the way, we snapped a pic with a famous moose.
 In Springdale, we stayed at the beautiful Riverwood Inn...
Our dining room
Our wonderful room

The view from our balcony

Situated on Indian River
The crop room was on the ground floor (40 scrapbookers happy as can be!)

Michelle, Shirley and I cropping the night away
Just outside the crop room doors

Front & Centre is Deidre Edison Clarke, holding the Fall issue of Canadian Scrapbooker magazine.
Deidre is the organizer of this retreat, which takes place twice a year, in spring and fall.

I taught a layout class using Bo Bunny's Country Garden collection, which was so much fun!
 Newfoundlanders have a special ritual of welcoming "foreigners" like myself.  It's called "Screeching in" and Michelle did the honours on the last day of the retreat, which involves the following...
Drinking a shot glass of Screech

Screech is a strong rum...that makes you basically want to SCREECH after you drink it! ha ha!

Kissing a cod!

Do you think Michelle is enjoying this a little?!?
I also stood with one foot in a bucket of salt water and seaweed, ate a piece of "wild baloney" and recited a phrase in island dialect that I didn't understand.

Then a really sweet lady, Julie, gave me an Ugly Stick, beautifully carved by her husband...
An original musical instrument in Newfoundland

Now I am an official Newfoundlander.....and I couldn't be happier :)

Thank you Michelle and everyone I met for your generous hospitality and kindness!  I miss you all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Strong and Brave

Sometimes I whine.  

The laundry, cooking, cleaning, tidying, laundry....more laundry, more cooking....

I think some of you can relate :)

Then I was working on The Urban Scrapbook September staff challenge and decided to use a beautiful heritage photograph of my husband's German grandmother.

Emma Klapstein

This woman lived through the entire WWII as a mother of young children, living on a farm.

Her husband died at a young age, her 2  daughters died as children, and she was left to manage EVERYTHING with 4 young boys, two of whom were taken from her to fight in the war.

One returned home...the other was killed just before WWII ended, in a tank on the front. 
Elmar Klapstein(my husband is named after him)

Elmar in centre, on the Russian front

She managed to immigrate to Canada with her remaining 3 sons, but after arriving, and living with friends and relatives, her eldest of the 3 (Ewald) died from cancer.  
L to R: Gus, Ewald, Wilhelm(my father-in-law)

Her  youngest two boys were left, Gus and Wilhelm (Bill), my husband's dad. They were employed in trades: my father-in-law in carpentry and his brother a welder.  They built a house here in my city, where their mother resided until her death at 92.  


And there are times when I feel inconvenienced if my trimmer blade is dull!

Yep, time to stop complaining and pay tribute to this amazing woman whose strength and bravery is astonishing.

Thankfully, I was able to get to know her while my husband and I were dating and then married.  I even spent time with her to help label most of the photos in her albums before she passed away 17 years ago.  I now treasure these photos and albums, stored in my studio.

For me, this is the essence of what scrapbooking is about...preserving memories of our heritage to help us understand and appreciate how and why we are living today.

Here is what I created with the September kit from Urban, which has some yummy FabScraps and Glitz Designs papers....
The cream "doily" is cut from Bazzill card stock with my Cricut (Paper Lace cartridge)

A little lacing with this glittery copper twine

This vellum oval frame and the bling sticker are from Glitz Designs.

I painted the chipboard title with black gesso and added gold metallic paint (Adirondack) around the edges. 
FabScraps dress form and roses wreath sticker

Beautiful flowers and leaf from I am Roses
Click HERE to visit the Urban blog to see the other designers' wonderful layouts using this kit.

We miss you, Oma, and are so grateful for everything you did to make a better life for your family here in Canada.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bo Bunny Apple Cider Double Layout

When I was planning my layout class for The Urban Scrapbook in August, I searched out some fall collections and fell in love with Bo Bunny's Apple Cider!

The fall palette is beautiful and has a unique twist of lime green.

Here is my layout...
Our annual fall photo, October 2008 [when they would still pose happily together]
The brown background papers are Bo Bunny Vintage Double Dot "Chocolate".

I had my Vagabond humming for this one....lots of Sizzix dies used!

Tim Holtz: Branch Tree, Mini Tattered leaves, Mini Flourish, Autumn Gatherings and the Sizzix Spooky Fence

I cut the spooky fences from chipboard and then painted with Black Soot Distress Crackle Paint.
 The Autumn Gatherings tiny leaves and branches are inked with a variety of Ranger Distress Inks in fall colours.  

Inking the small leaves BEFORE removing them from the cream cardstock is easier.

Squished under the fences and other elements is wild moss.  And I tell ya, this moss is WILD.  Very difficult to tame!  [Purchased at Michaels]
I cut the tree from American Crafts "Cranberry" Duotone Glitter Paper. [Not really a cranberry colour actually]
The leaves are cut from Best Creation "Bronze Copper" glitter paper and AC Duotone "Caramel" 
 The scarecrow cameo is from a package of Apple Cider Metal Trinkets.

Here is the title element, using images from the "Cut-Outs" piece of patterned paper in this collection....

This pretty metal flower with the pearl centre is also from the Metal Trinkets package.

The "Fall" letters are cut from this same patterned paper and covered with Sookwang double sided sheet adhesive.  I added black microbeads.
The flourish is cut from Gold AC glitter paper.
The apples on this "Cut-Out" element are covered with Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.
The pumpkin is also crackled and the cat is covered with Glossy Accents.
The special elements of this layout are the sunflowers...
The petals are cut from the reverse side of the Apple Cider Dot patterned paper.
I originally was going to stamp all the petals with 2 of these Heartfelt Creations stamps...

But I only had one stamp set for the entire class.  Instead, I used the 2 medium sized petals as templates, which everyone used as tracers.

Cutting out all those petals might seem like a lot (20 for each sunflower) but it goes quickly because of the simple shape.  And all edges of the petals are inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

The centres of the sunflowers are designed using black card stock, a SookWang adhesive sheet and black and copper Martha Stewart microbeads.
Trace and cut centres into 2 pieces each from both Sookwang sheet and black card stock.
In glitter tray or similar, remove inner section of sookwang piece and cover with black microbeads.

Mix black and copper beads together in small container.
Remove backing from outer part of centre and cover with copper/black beads.
NOTE:  The microbeads do not provide solid coverage, so I used black Bazzill card stock in the background.
The sunflower is one of my favourite flowers, so I am thrilled with the results!

The crow on the green journaling spot is from the Apple Cider clear stamp set...

I stamped the crow onto black card stock using Clearsnap Donna Salazar Inx and embossing powder in "Leather"...which turns coppery...

Now I can only hope and pray that I am able to get a decent shot of my teens for this year's fall photo shoot!  Fingers crossed :)