Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Great White North Revealed

We are celebrating The Great White North on Gingersnap Creations in December! That had me thinking that, in honor (honour) of my former "home and native land", I could give you some interesting facts about the world's second largest country!

Canada is one of the top ten trading nations in the world, despite being 36th in the world in terms of population (approximately 33,739,900 citizens). Go Canada!

Stamp credits: Stamping Bella (Thornhill, Ontario)
and Chapel Road Art Stamps (Oshawa, Ontario)

Canada is now the world leader in higher education for young adults according to a study by US Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education College Completion Agenda 2010 Progress Report. Excellent!

Canadians live on average to the ripe old age of 80! Check out where your country falls here.

Like a little sparkle in your life? Canada is the third-largest diamond producer in the world.

The east coast of Canada was settled by Vikings around the year A.D. 1000. according to archaeological evidence found in L'anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. How cool is that?

Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world at 151,600 miles. It also has the longest international border between two nations at 5,525 miles.

The inspiration for the beloved children's classic, Winnie the Pooh, was a Canadian black bear cub named Winnipeg who was donated to the London Zoo. The bear became a favorite (favourite) of young Christopher Robin Milne.

A few famous Canadians you may know that are not Lorne Greene:
  • James Gosling, father of the Java programming language
  • Frederick Banting, co-inventor of insulin
  • Air Marshall William Avery Bishop aka Billy Bishop, WWI flying ace
  • Wilfred Bigelow, inventor of first artificial pacemaker
  • Doug Henning, magician
  • Marshall McLuhan, communications theorist who coined "the medium is the message"
  • Captain Roy Brown, WWI fighter pilot officially credited with shooting down the Red Baron
  • Mary Pickford, "America's Sweetheart" of early Hollywood and co-founder of the film studio United Artists
  • Winners of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry - Sidney Altman, Gerhard Herzberg, John Charles Polanyi, Michael Smith and Henry Taube
  • Jacques Villeneuve, racecar driver
  • Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, poet and author of In Flanders Fields
  • Winners of the Nobel Prize for Economics Myron Scholes and William Vickrey
  • actors Walter Pidgeon, Raymond Burr, Christopher Plummer, Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, Micheal J. Fox, Dan Ackroyd, Neve Campbell, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers as well as a ton more - see Wikipedia's list
  • Skaters Toller Cranston, Brian Orser and Kurt Browning
  • James Naismith, inventor of basketball (while he was in Springfield, Massachusetts)
  • Samantha Bee, of the Daily Show, and Peter Jennings, former CBS anchor
For a ton more famous Canadians, check out this amazing list on Wikipedia.org.

Let's debunk a few common misconceptions.

Yes, Canada does have all four seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - despite the running joke that Toronto only has two, winter and construction. No, it is not snowy all the time anywhere but north of the Arctic circle and even there they have periods of thaw. During the Summer months, the whole country's temperature averages 21C or 70F and when you consider the country runs from the 49th parallel up to the arctic circle that's a pretty good average. In the major cities, it gets hot in July and August like everywhere else! Check out these highs from August 2010: Toronto, ON (91F), Montreal, QC (90F), Vancouver, BC (88F), Calgary, AB (88F), Fredricton, NB (92F).

No, not all Canadians speak French although Canada does have two official languages. Actually, when at home, about 68% speak only English and 13% speak only French. Another 17% of Canadians say they speak both.

Not all our police officers wear red or ride around on horses. While the Royal Canadian Mounted Police aka RCMP are the official police force of some of our provinces (no, not all), the only time you'll probably see these hard-working law enforcers in their dress reds is on parade or on special occasions.

77% of Canadians live in urban environments, about the same as in the USA. Toronto, often hailed as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, is the eighth largest metropolitan area in North America. By the way, Toronto is not the capital of Canada - that's Ottawa also located in Ontario. Montreal is bigger than Cleveland, Minneapolis, Denver and Saint Louis. Vancouver beats Pittsburgh, Orlando and Cincinnati in population.

Canadians don't all say "eh" and, in my personal experience, only people imitating Canadians seem to say "a-boot".

Not all Canadians play hockey. Enough said on that one. By the way, hockey is only the National Winter Sport of Canada and has only held that designation since 1994. LaCrosse, now the National Summer Sport, used to be official national sport of the nation.

Many Canadians love gadgets and technology. Canada ranks 12th in the world for internet usage with about 84% of the population using the net on a regular basis, compared with 77% in the USA.

Canadians do not sit around and drink beer all day. According to recent stats on Wikipedia.org, Canada is about 21st in per capita beer consumption, well behind the UK at 6th and the USA at 13th.

Canada is a sovereign nation. It's not a colony and it's definitely not an American state. It has 10 amazing provinces and 3 unbelievably beautiful territories that all have their own distinctive and wonderful characters.

As proud as I am to be a new American, I am just as proud to have been born in the great country of Canada. I guess the last myth about Canadians is that they are not patriotic, but if you want to dispel that one, just ask any Canadian about their "home and native land". You'll get an earful!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm in Craft Stamper!! Whoohoo!

I am totally excited about my scraplings being published in the January 2011 issue of Craft Stamper Magazine.

I have long been a fan of this gorgeous UK publication with all its fabulous projects and, to make it even better, tons of wonderful instructions. If you haven't checked it out yet, definitely give it a look. I find mine in the amazing magazine section in Barnes & Noble.

So, do you remember my little tutorial on making paint chip scaplings? Well, I got to do it all over again in print!

Here are my submissions for Craft Stamper:

Stamp credits: Lost Coast Designs

Stamp credits: Lost Coast Designs, Curious by Design

Whoohoo! I am so honored to be in the company of so many fabulous artists - among them many of my amazing friends. I admire their talent so much and dearly cherish their generous encouragement.

A list of some of my sweet friends (in alpha order) also in this issue:

Jean Franks Beck on the cover and on page 21 and pages 56 through 58

Jo Capper-Sandon on pages 20 and 73

Katy Fox on page 6 and pages 50-52

Annette Goatley on page 83

Hels Sheridan on pages 36 through 38

Joanne Wardle on pages 46 through 47

To see mine, check out the Swatch Scraplings article on page 28! Cool!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Getting Into the Great Gifts of Life

Today, with the spirit of thankfulness all around us, I have to say that I am most thankful for the intangible gifts of life - family, friends, cozy feelings, health and happiness.

That said, with the coming Winter holidays, there is definitely lots of attention paid to the more material expressions of our fondness for our family and friends. That's why this month, for Holiday Happenings, I have chosen the theme of "Great Gifts".

Here's one I created that captures...or maybe cat-ures the spirit of the best gift I can think of - JOY!

Kitty Wishes
Stamps: cat and sentiment (Angi-B)
Paper: Blackbird (Memory Box)
Cardstock: Summer Sun, Garden Green, and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); various copic markers
Tools: circle cutter (Creative Memories)
Technique: Out of the Box (Technique Junkies)
Embellishments: 1/4" green ribbon

To see my other holiday cards with the "Great Gift" theme and a couple of cards from my friend, Ali, check out the Holiday Happenings post today on Gingersnap Creations!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

GC80: Vintage Hues

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a total softie when it comes to all things vintage! What a delight to play with my favorite color vintage palettes with the new Color Challenge on Gingersnap Creations!

I got out my new Relish Reading plate from Rogue Redhead Designs and picked out the vintage boy for my project. He seemed like a good fit. I love this BasicGrey paper pad that I bought! It's 6 x 6's of the Pyrus collection and they are just fabulous for doing vintage projects.

Vintage Lad
Stamp: boy from Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: Pyrus collection (BasicGrey)
Cardstock: Old Olive and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); various Copic markers

If you want to see some awesome vintage palette projects, check out the wonderful work of the Gingers!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My time offline, following the untimely demise of my latest laptop, gave me some time to stamp again. I've been dying to try out my Almanac background with Distress inks so I started to play, stamping the background in Versamark and embossing it. After embossing, I sponged Wild Honey, Fired Brick and Spiced Marmalade over the background. I used the same combination for the background for my focal image, these swingers from Rogue Redhead Designs' first release, Relish Reading.

Storytime Swingers
Stamp: swingers from Relish Reading (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: Old School collection (Pink Paislee)
Cardstock: Summer Sun and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Inks: Wild Honey, Fired Brick and Spiced Marmalade (Ranger Distress Ink); Timber Brown (StazOn); Versamark
Tools: heat tool; oval and scallop punches (Marvy)
Other: storytime charm; clear embossing powder (Judikins); 1/4" red ribbon

Hope you get some time to share some great stories over the holidays with friends and family!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm in Take Ten!

I was very pleasantly surprised when I went to the mailbox yesterday and found a copy of Take Ten - early! You know what that means....yup, I got a few cards published! Whoohoo!

Here are the cards that made it in!

One from 2008,

One from 2009,

and one from this year!

I am so excited! Now, to tackle sending in the newest stack of cards on my desk!

Before I sign off, I would like to say congrats to the following friends also published in this issue of Take Ten!

Lynne Moncrieff - pages 6 and 84
Jo Capper- Sandon - page 97
Paula Whittaker - pages 56 to 59

Way to go everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stamping and Stitching

Gingersnap Creations just unveiled their latest Random Redhead Challenge - Stitching! This cute little girl seemed to be the perfect focal image and I couldn't resist making her a redhead.

Being sewing-challenged, I decided to use faux stitching on my card!

Sweet Girl
Stamp: girl from Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: Pyrus collection 6x6 paper pad (BasicGrey)
Cardstock: Summer Sun, Chocolate Chip, Garden Green and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); variety of copic markers
Tools: oval cutter (Creative Memories)
Technique: Drywall Stitching (Technique Junkies)

The Gingers really have this challenge sewn up! Check out their great samples on Gingersnap Creations.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Going Rogue with Zentangle

Today, I tried out some brand-new Zentangle patterns on a project I was working on.

This one is called Up and Down:

This piece shows Hibred and Fescu.

I also tried out Poke Root, Yincut and Japonica.

To see what I ended up using these patterns on, go to the Rogue Redhead Designs blog.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Running Late with this One

I've got a last minute entry for Sketch #89 at CardPatterns. I am probably too late to enter but I thought I would share the card anyway.

I had to use more of that yummy paper from Pink Paislee today. I think I am addicted. I love the soft sage pages. Loved the Sketch at CardPatterns this week! Here it is:

Now for my go at the sketch:

Stamps: books and sentiment from the Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: from Old School collection (Pink Paislee)
Cardstock: Sage Shadow and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn)
Tools: circle punch (Creative Memories)

Hope you get around to reading something fun today!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cute as a Button

Okay, I am not much of a sewer and as most of my friends can attest, I am embellishment-challenged. I was rooting around in my supplies to get some sewing notions for the latest Gingersnap Creations Spicy Supply challenge, when I came across a big brown button all on its own. Too fun! I just had to use it!

As I grabbed my seemingly only sewing notion, I remembered seeing that Crafty Creations was having a button challenge! What luck!

Daydream Trio
Stamps: girl and sentiment from Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: paper from Old School collection (Pink Paislee)
Cardstock: Sage Shadow and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Ink: Rich Cocoa (Memento)
Embellishment: button and thread
Technique: Warhol (Technique Junkies)

Uh oh! Just remembered where the button came from...oh, well, the card needed it so much more than my sweater!

Going Unscripted with Relish Reading

I've been having fun with challenges this week! Today, I decided to try the latest Unscripted Sketches challenge. It's my first time doing one of their challenges. Hope I did it right!

Here's their sketch:

I just had to use some of this pretty paper from . I decided to be very simple with the image, using watercolor pencils to put in a touch of coloring. I think it gave it a slightly vintage look.

I even finished the inside of the card for once! It will make a great way to give a bookstore gift certificate!

Rosy Reading
Stamps: children swinging, Flourish, book and sentiment from Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: double-sided Old-Fashioned Flowers/Rose Garden of the Kimberly Poloson line (Fiskers)
Cardstock: River Rock (Stampin Up)
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn)
Watercolor Pencils: white and burnt umber (Derwent)
Embellishments: 3 prima flowers, 1 brown brad

Do something unscripted today! Have some fun!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Playing with Paper

I picked up this great 6x6 pad of Pink Paislee paper from the Old School collection at my local stamp store. It's got such great patterned paper that I could not resist playing with layers.

To get me going, I went to two of my go-to challenge blogs for some great sketch inspirations. The first one I found was the Sweet Stop's latest sketch.

I turned it on its side. Here's how it turned out:

Daydreaming Girl

Stamps: girl in chair and sentiment from the Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: Old School collection (Pink Paislee)
Cardstock: Sage Shadow (Stampin Up)
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn); Antique Linen and Vintage Photo (Ranger Distress Ink)
Embellishments: prima flower; dark red brad
Tools: oval punch (Marvy)

For the next card, I went to Friday Sketchers which had this great sketch:

Here's my take:

Layered Lad

Stamps: vintage boy and sentiment from the Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: Old School collection (Pink Paislee)
Cardstock: Yoyo Yellow (Stampin Up)
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn)
Watercolor Pencils: Crimson Lake and Venetian Red (Derwent Aquatone); Flesh Pink and Turquoise Blue (Derwent Studio)
Embellishments: 4 square antique brass brads

There's nothing like a good sketch to get the creative juices flowing! I love trying new styles.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mono Mosaic with RRD

I saw so many fabulous Mono Mosaic cards on Technique Junkies, I had to get in on the fun!

I got busy and this is what I made!

Reading Pair
Stamps: border, flourish, almanac background, books and swinging children from Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Cardstock: Whisper White and Brilliant Blue (Stampin' Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Technique: Mono Mosaic (Technique Junkies)

Have a fantastic day! I am off to curl up with a good book!

Zany with Zentangle

Zentangle is a term that has been flung around my house ever since my daughter, my 6th grade girlie, took a class at the local community center. She's made for it!

The teacher, Wendy Brown, was just so nice and so inspiring that I asked her to do a mini class for my kiddo and her fab friends. Wendy was nice enough to let me sit in and now I am just as addicted as my babe.

Here's the sample tile I made during class:

Wendy was kind enough to bring along some bird cutouts for us to work on. I am almost finished mine but I can't decide what to do in the last section..alas!

Finally, while minding our Studio at Western Avenue, I decided to use one of my canvases which I had finished painting but hadn't embellished yet as a tableau for more Zentangle fun. The canvas was painted with Lumiere paints so it has a really interesting sheen to it along with the highlights of the metallic paints.

It is quite addictive so I'll have to be careful! I don't need another beyond addictive hobby....when will I stamp?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Loving Literature

Anyone who knows me also knows that I am a total bookaholic! I am in love with literature and I couldn't wait to make some note cards to share with my fellow bibliophiles.

I love this cool paper I picked up from . It has a school-theme but I found that it is very versatile. I used the yellow/brown colors as a jumping off point for this card. I added the pomegranate to give it a little pop!

Read to Live
Stamps: reading girl and sentiment from Relish Reading plate (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: Goody 2 Shoes from the Old School 6x6 paper pad (Pink Paislee)
Cardstock: Purely Pomegranate and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up) ; various copic markers
Tools: circle cutter (Creative Memories)

Have a novel day!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Introducing Rogue Redhead Designs!

Announcing Rogue Redhead Designs, a brand new stamp company! RRD offers deeply etched unmounted stamps on high quality rubber. You’ll love the level of detail!

I decided I stamped so much, I better start making my own! Rogue Redhead Designs will feature stamps in several different styles including vintage, eclectic and modern. Our first full plate release is a tribute to the literature lovers in our midst. The “Relish Reading” unmounted plate is perfect for creating hand-made bookmarks, adding a personal touch to journals and creating beautiful note cards.

This 8" x 10" plate includes images and elements to get you stamping right away from a full-sized background to great focal images to thoughtful sentiments.

“Relish Reading” is available at the Rogue Redhead Etsy store. As part of our initial release, RRD is offering this brand-new plate on sale for 20% off the regular retail price of $22.00 until December 15, 2010. Get yours now!

Want to see some samples with the Relish Reading plate? Check out our new Rogue Redhead blog to see what the Rogue Crew has been creating. We’ll be having new art regularly from our scandalously talented team! Watch out too for our Rogues at Large as they drop in on us to tempt us with some of their own amazing art!

Here's a card I made with this new plate using the wonderful inspiration on Lots to Do Challenges with their new Autumnal Colors Challenge:

Stamps: girl under tree and sentiment (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Paper: Oblate from the Pyrus collection (BasicGrey)
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip and Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up!)
Copics: E02, E07, E11, E35, E37, E40, YG91, YG95, YG97, YR00, YR09, YR16, YR18, YR23
Tools: distressing tool (Ranger); corner rounder (Creative Memories)
Technique: Torn Frames (Technique Junkies)

Check out the Rogue Redhead blog for more samples!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project Runway with GC77

It's Wednesday again and time for a new Gingersnap Creations Chestnut Theme Challenge! Today it's Haute Couture! How fun!! I had the perfect stamps for this great theme!

I always think black and white gives a special elegance to cards, so I went quite simple with this card and just had fun with the patterns and images. I loved that all my supply names seemed to "go" with the project.

Haute Couture
Stamps: woman from 20's Ladies plate (The Artistic Stamper); sentiment (Cornish Heritage Farms)
Paper: Black Tie Optional (Imaginisce)
Cardstock: Whisper White and Basic Black (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Tools: corner rounder

I am not the only one stylin' today! Check out the amazing designs of my fellow Gingers!
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