Friday, May 22, 2009

Do ya Wanna?

Learn how to do this?

My first Photoshop tutorial is being posted to the Just Cre8 Happy Be Scrappy crop this afternoon -- I hope you'll give it a try! Check out all of our activities HERE!

And I had to share the cutest photo -- the kdis are home from school today, so DH took our little guy to work with him. They were prepping a driveway today, and Curtis just loves to help! Here's what he looked like before he left this gloves, rubber boots, plaid jacket and all!

Crops & Contests & Inspiration

This is going to be a great weekend!

Just Cre8 is having an online crop this weekend, full of challenges, classes, games and inspiration. It kicks off tonight (Friday) and is packed with things to get you motivated and scrapping!

This afternoon, I'll be posting a neat tutorial for Photoshop or PSE, Holly has an altered clock project, and Jessi Lute has an altered book she wants to teach you! We have an exclusive Becky Fleck sketch for you and tons of challenges and games! You can find it all HERE in the crop section of the forum. :)

And, if you like these:

They are part of a prize package you can win by blogging about the crop this weekend. Check out the details here.
I'll be posting bitz and peaces through the weekend, so keep checking back!
Happy Scrapping!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just Tidbitz

What a lovely day outside -- yeah -- for WINTER, maybe! Brrrrrr! Everyone is talking about how they want spring to come, and I am one of them. We're supposed to be working in our gardens, enjoying barbeques, and playing at the park. Instead, I'm holed up in my house watching the wind and -- gasp! -- a handful of snowflakes outside. We've cancelled soccer practise and our lake trip because it is miserable outside. That's what I get for living in Saskatchewan, I guess!

The bright side though? No hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or tornadoes. I'll take that any day -- at least I have seat warmers in my car. :)

We have had a few soccer games, though. Here's a few pics from Curtis' on Monday:

Love this action shot...I think he was trying to stop and run the other way:

And, of course, there goes "the tongue" again:

And here's a couple from Renee's game on Tuesday. I'm so proud of her this year -- she's one level up and really working harder on the field than I have ever seen her work before:

And having fun, too!

We had a garage sale this weekend...the kids made a whole, whopping $62 selling old toys. But it made for a good trip to McNally Robinson, anyway! Curtis used some of his money to buy a hockey net -- full regulation sized, with the goalie-shootout thingy that bungies on to practise. (Sorry -- that's as technical as I get!) He couldn't wait to try it, so he and Grandpa had a few good sessions of driveway hockey after the sale was finished:

Love, love, love the look on his face when he's taking a slap shot!
And here are a few pics I took this weekend that I really like. This one of Renee needs some photoshopping, but I have to fool around with it some more:
And here's a great shot of our almost 10 year old Spookers. He's a very cool kitty:

Other than that, we've had a few things going on this week. We're looking for our Mickey -- our "baby" fat cat. He went out on Monday and hasn't come home since. Sigh. I miss him and not sure that he's coming home. :(
I'm scrapbooking today -- the Just Cre8 reveal is tomorrow! This kit was perfect -- I loooooove it so much that I wonder if I should order another! Stay tuned for some layouts -- I'll post them tomorrow.
And, speaking of Just Cre8, we're having a HUUUGE online crop May 22-24! Lots of challenges, tutorials, free classes, and prizes. I can hardly wait! So check it out in the forum.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The New Face of Soccer

OK...if you are having coffee while reading my blog, do yourself a favour...and swallow your drink before you peek at the pictures in this post. I would hate to have been the reason that you spit your morning caffeine all over your computer keyboard. Carry on!

I love my zoom lens! It is the season for soccer, and without my Nikkor AFS 55-200 mm lens I wouldn't get half the action shots that I do. Last year, for my daughter's soccer season I don't think the other parents even took photos because I spent the entire time kneeling along the sidelines snapping away.

My son's first game was last night. He's played soccer before but this year he is on the U8 team, which means they actually play games -- not just practise. I took about 70 good photos of the team in action last night, with my zoom lens of course. I couldn't wait to check them when I got home.

Well, it seems as though my lovely zoom lens captured the most honest, focused soccer face I have ever seen -- so much that I laughed until I cried. So did my hubby. So did my mom. I just had to share them. This is what Curtis looks like when he plays soccer:

This one is my favorite...what a sweetie:

He's happy to be on the "older team" that plays games this year. I think it feeds his competitive spirit:

He's so happy, he dances:

I figured out that, when he's concentrating, he sticks his tongue out like this:

And like this:

And like this:

I have to say, though, that THIS one takes the cake. It was his kick-off and, man, he must have wanted to boot that ball really hard!

After I took this photo, I previewed it to check that I was getting decent light with the shutter speed I was using. OMGoodness, did I laugh! If you missed the look on his face, here it is cropped in close... is going to be an interesting season!

Happy scrapping!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Heather's Shoot

Tonight I had the opportunity to have a photo shoot with a friend of our family. This young woman is one of the most extraordinary people I know. She's smart and beautiful. Musically talented. Creative and mature -- and humble about it all. And she is graduating this year -- I can hardly believe it! I've offered to take her graduation photos and, lucky for me, she accepted. I'm excited!
Anyway, I went to her family farm and we went on a "photo walk" together so that I could take a few photos of her in the place that she loves the most. On the farm, they have a wonderful collection of old buildings and vehicles, ponds, grasses that make a perfect backdrop for casual photos. The sun was setting with a warm glow and all the conditions were perfect.

Here are some of the photos I managed to capture. Heather makes a lovely subject to photograph and I am so pleased with the way they turned out!

And a little more on the artistic side:

And, of course, at least one deserves some Photoshop treatment:

Thanks for looking! And thanks, Heather, for the shoot.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What's in the box, mate?

Yessssssssss! Today is a good day thanks to Sue and the people at Canada Post!

I just picked up my June Just Cre8 kit and it is FULL of scrappy things that I love love love love!

PLUS, tucked in the box were two new Slice cartidges that I ordered. Hurray! to the Co-op for some chocolate and some Beaver Buzz energy drinks to prepare myself for the weekend.

Happy National Scrapbooking Day everybody!

( those wondering...I found two tickets for the Oilers game at almost ticket price. Lower level even. Curty's birthday is going to be a good one this year. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Me On My Soapbox

I don't usually like to use my blog as a soapbox, especially for the little things in life. Having said that, I need to say something that has been on my mind a lot -- and has actually become a problem around here (and maybe the rest of the country, I don't know!) lately. Ticket scalping. Even the phrase gets my dander up. (I'm trying to be nice about this -- not easy!)
I never understood the call to watch sports...that is, until my kids started playing. My little man, 6 year old Curtis, started playing hockey this year. He wanted to try and so we signed him up. Somewhere mid-season, he fell in love with the game. He lived it and breathed it -- playing, practicing, and watching the NHL on TV.
I can't even count how many times I've said: "Hey you -- no raising the puck in the kitchen!"

Relatives of ours live in Edmonton, so Curtis started watching Oilers' games with his dad and grandpa in the evenings. (This is despite the fact that Grandpa loves Toronto -- it's sweet to watch this little rivalry in progress!)
Well -- now the Edmonton Oilers are THE team to watch. He has Oilers sponge pucks to play with. Oilers pyjamas. An Oilers jersey and track pants. (A great deal from Zellers at $20!) A Sam Gagner hockey card that his sister found in a cereal box. And all of these are his prize possessions. Every time we go to the mall, he has to go to the sports collectible store to see what's new in Oilers gear. He dreams of having his room painted in Navy and Gold and a big Oilers flag hanging on the wall.
So when I heard that the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Islanders were coming to play an exhibition game in Saskatoon in September, my heart just leaped! The game is scheduled for a week after Curtis' 7th birthday. What an absolutely perfect birthday gift -- sending him to the game with his dad. I can just imagine the look on his face when the puck is dropped!

Guess what? The game sold out immediately. And I wasn't able to get tickets...not even nosebleed ones.

Here's the part that just ticks me off. The most expensive tickets were $77.50 from Ticketmaster. I've been watching Ebay, the newspaper AND Kijiji. Tickets are NOW selling for a minimum of $150 EACH! And that is for nosebleed ones! I just contacted a guy who was selling two lower level seats for $200 -- at that price I would have gone for it, even though the seats were a fair bit out of the way. Today he called back and he wants $300 instead. Jeez!

This is happening for almost every concert here I've seen advertised in the last little while. The Oilers-New York game. The New York-Calgary game. Nickelback. The latest one is AC/DC -- for this one, tickets have been advertised at $5000! Seriously? That means that real fans have NO chance just because some guy with a fast computer selfishly buys them all, inflates the price at least 100% and sells them off to make a fast buck. Either that, or Ticketmaster is cheating by holding back tickets to sell at an inflated price. (Have you seen how many "ticket resale" websites there are? This one, TicketsNow, is run by Ticketmaster themselves!) Absolute absurdity!

One more thing...I am not going to support outrageous ticket scalping. I'd rather drive my little man 6 hours to Edmonton and fork out for the hotel, food, and $100 regular price ticket. He WILL see an Oilers game, but not by handing over my money to someone who has bought tickets only for the purpose of selling them at a ridiculous price to someone who really, really, really wants them, like my son:

And related to this subject, HUGE cheers to a friend of a friend from Saskatoon, Saucy. Her blog is HERE. She found herself with 2 extra tickets to a Jonas Brothers concert. Is she selling them at an inflated price? Nope! Is she selling them at cost? Nope! She's giving them away! Yes! To a complete stranger! Seriously! This is the kind of person there should be more of in this world -- generous and caring. 'Nuff said.
If you've gotten this far, thanks for listening to me vent. It's amazing what a little blog-vent-therapy can do. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thoughts for today

Unbelieveable! The last couple of weeks have just flown by, and I have no idea where they went! There is a saying that time is a thief -- and it's so true. It just steals away when you aren't paying attention.

Seems like things have been so busy. With spring comes a lot of things that demand attention, and the transition time between winter and spring is even busier. We've wrapped up all of our winter activities now, with the kids' piano recital on the weekend. We are also starting to work on the house again now that the weather is nice.

I can finally see ahead to the finished renovations in our home. We added on an attached garage two years ago, and part of it is planned to be a new entrance way, dining room, and an office for DH. He and I framed up the wall last weekend and we are going to be working on the suspended floor soon. It's exciting, though, to see the framework of what will soon be inside the house!

Soccer starts this week with the kids' first practises. Hopefully the weather will cooperate! We had snow on Friday. Snow! The roads got quite icy and it was a bit dangerous on the highway, but it didn't last very long thank goodness. Spring? It wants to come, but is not quite here yet.

We're busy planning at Just Cre8...for a couple of things! The June Sneak Peek is up and looks fantastic. Can't wait to get my hands on this one!

And we're gearing up for an online crop too. If you haven't been part of one at Just Cre8, mark it down on your calendars...May 22-24 is the date for our Happy-Be-Scrappy Spring Crop. Tons of prizes to be won, lots of mojo-inspiring challenges, tutorials, classes, and some games thrown in for good measure. Go to the forum and register if you haven't yet, and then tune in to the forum on that weekend. That's all you have to do to take part!

I have some new photos to share...I'll be posting them tomorrow. Until then, happy scrapping!

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Eye Candy Photos!

In the last couple of weeks, I have been blessed with a handful of photo opps, great lighting, and (mostly) willing subjects -- which make for awesome pictures! I wanted to share some of my faves from the last little while, and I'd love to hear what you think!

First, these photos are of two girls I absolutely adore. I have permission to post their pics on my blog and in my scrapbook pages (thank you parents!) as long as I don't use their names -- so we'll call them Z and R. So, to make a long story short, these two are like my nieces and their mom, G, is like a sister to me. You could never ask for better friends! I had Z and R at my house the other day while G was working and we had a little photo shoot. The girls are just beautiful inside and out -- and the photos captured exactly what I wanted them to!

Z is the oldest of the two -- she's the same age as my daughter, Renee, and they have been best best friends since they were in diapers together. She has gentle, kind eyes and a smile that lights up a room!

Z also has a very infectious giggle...

R is a doll...she has a sweet voice and her face is so expressive. You can always see what she is feeling in her face.

I love this look -- it is so characteristic of R!

Z and R have a very special sister relationship. They play together way better than any other siblings I know. G says they do have their spats...but I will believe it when I see it! LOL

Sister it...

This is G, their mom. My neighbour, my friend, and she's family to me.

And, of course, I have to throw in a couple of pics of my kids -- since they are my favorite subjects. This smiling, non-silly one of my daughter Renee is rare. I think G convinced her to smile nicely for me that day.

And my boy...he is the handsomest little man I know...but that's because I am his mother. ;)

Thanks for looking! Happy Scrapping!

We Have A Winner!

Gooood Friday morning!
OK, so first, thanks for the comments! I made a list of all the comments and then generated a random number to pick the winner.

1. Cheryl
2. Nathalie
3. Audrey
4. Suz
5. Betsy
6. Lydia
7. Janet B
8. Bamm-ela
9. Mrs. Wizzle
10. Sarah

And the winner of this Cosmo Cricket Blackboard Album:
Comment #5....Betsy!

Betsy please email me at amandalepage (at) canada (dot) com with your full snail mail address and I will send it out right away. Congrats!

Thanks for playing, everybody!

Next giveaway is at 2000 hits, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today's the Day!

It's up! The Just Cre8 May 2009 kit is revealed today in the gallery and in the store -- and it is a good one! Bright, springy colours and cheerful embellishments to match. It has variety from a dozen different manufacturers and it all coordinates for perfect layouts!

You can see the kit HERE and the Cre8ive Crew designs HERE.

Here are my designs from this kit so far:

I realized, after organizing my photos, that I'd never scrapped Curty's first birthday. So here he is in all his cake-smushing glory:

This is one of my favorite photos of my nephew, Nick. I love how this LO turned out -- it's so crisp, like a bright cartoon:

This month, the kit includes a 4x4 canvas. I made mine into a "happy list" magnet to put on my fridge.
I've posted closeups of these layouts in my gallery at Just Cre8, so if you want to see more head on over there.

I'd love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment!

Oh...and we are at 1000 posts, aren't we? Time for a giveaway! Leave me a comment telling me if you've ever ordered a kit and what you loved about it on this post and I have a Cosmo Cricket blackboard album to send to one lucky winner. I'll draw for the winner on Friday morning, so get your comments in!