Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free, 2011, pit bull calendar for your computer desktop

Yep...still can't fathom that our beloved Fluffy is gone. I've made a 2011 calendar to display on my computer desktop so he is with me in spirit for the new year.

If anyone would like to have any of these monthly pit bull calendars for their personal use, feel free to click on each of the pictures below, which will take you to my Skydrive on MSN Live, where you can download/copy each one. Once you arrive at each page, simply click on the picture and you will access a 1600 x 1000 pixel version of it to save.

You don't need an MSN account to access them because I have made these desktop calendar pictures available to the public.

All the photos were taken by my husband Mike in March 2010 and may not be used for any commercial purpose.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

R.I.P. Fluffy

Owning Fluffy was pure pleasure.

June 15, 2002 - September 11, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Two folded greeting cards

My friend Janet sent me some pictures of two cards she made during a crafty day that she held Sunday with some friends. She found the instructions on YouTube.

Fun Fold Card

The video below was posted by tomshackj. Note: Instead of the video scoring dimensions, score your folds at 5-1/2" and 3-1/4" so the card will be completely centered.

Diamond Fold Card

The video below was posted by Chris Walker. Her blog is called Text, Dies & Double-Sided Tape and you can find lots of card making inspiration there. She supplies a free, downloadable Word document with the instructions for her Diamond Fold Card Project on her blog.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Multi-pocket mini album

When I was on vacation, the woman I visited invited some friends over to make cards. In addition, they brought some examples of their work and I took pictures so I could remember the composition and techniques.

Here's a super one made by Anne, which doubles as a birthday card. She found an online video tutorial of how to make a multi-pocket mini album, which you can view at the bottom of this post. I'm sure, once you see it, you will agree that Anne's rendition took this craft to a whole new level. Hers also vividly shows how colour choices and the right embellishments can really jazz things up.

There are three pockets for inserting mounted pictures; one pocket on the top left and two pockets on the right hand side. Pictures can be mounted on both sides of the inserts.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We are More - Shane Koyczan

Wow! Slam poet Shane Koyczan's 'We are More', recited by him in the opening ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, was a stirring ode to Canadians. Here is the text:

We are More
Shane Koyczan

When defining Canada
you might list some statistics
you might mention our tallest building
or biggest lake
you might shake a tree in the fall
and call a red leaf Canada
you might rattle off some celebrities
might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie
might even mention the fact that we've got a few
Barenaked Ladies
or that we made these crazy things
like zippers
electric cars
and washing machines
when defining Canada
it seems the world's anthem has been
"been there done that"
and maybe that's where we used to be at
it's true
we've done and we've been
we've seen
all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine
and turned into theme parks
but when defining Canada
don't forget to mention that we have set sparks

we are not just fishing stories
about the one that got away
we do more than sit around and say "eh?"
and yes

we are the home of the Rocket and the Great One
who inspired little number nines
and little number ninety-nines
but we're more than just hockey and fishing lines
off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes
and some say what defines us
is something as simple as please and thank you
and as for you're welcome
well we say that too
but we are more
than genteel or civilized
we are an idea in the process
of being realized
we are young
we are cultures strung together
then woven into a tapestry
and the design
is what makes us more
than the sum total of our history
we are an experiment going right for a change
with influences that range from a to zed
and yes we say zed instead of zee
we are the colours of Chinatown and the coffee of Little Italy
we dream so big that there are those
who would call our ambition an industry
because we are more than sticky maple syrup and clean snow
we do more than grow wheat and brew beer
we are vineyards of good year after good year
we reforest what we clear
because we believe in generations beyond our own
knowing now that so many of us
have grown past what used to be
we can stand here today

filled with all the hope people have
when they say things like "someday"

someday we'll be great
someday we'll be this
or that
someday we'll be at a point
when someday was yesterday
and all of our aspirations will pay the way
for those who on that day
look towards tomorrow
and still they say someday

we will reach the goals we set
and we will get interest on our inspiration
because we are more than a nation of whale watchers and lumberjacks
more than backpacks and hiking trails
we are hammers and nails building bridges
towards those who are willing to walk across
we are the lost-and-found for all those who might find themselves at a loss
we are not the see-through gloss or glamour
of those who clamour for the failings of others
we are fathers brothers sisters and mothers
uncles and nephews aunts and nieces
we are cousins
we are found missing puzzle pieces
we are families with room at the table for newcomers
we are more than summers and winters
more than on and off seasons
we are the reasons people have for wanting to stay
because we are more than what we say or do
we live to get past what we go through

and learn who we are
we are students
students who study the studiousness of studying
so we know what as well as why
we don't have all the answers
but we try
and the effort is what makes us more
we don't all know what it is in life we're looking for
so keep exploring
go far and wide
or go inside but go deep
go deep
as if James Cameron was filming a sequel to The Abyss
and suddenly there was this location scout
trying to figure some way out
to get inside you
because you've been through hell and high water
and you went deep
keep exploring
because we are more
than a laundry list of things to do and places to see
we are more than hills to ski
or countryside ponds to skate
we are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can't wait
we are first-rate greasy-spoon diners and healthy-living cafes
a country that is all the ways you choose to live
a land that can give you variety
because we are choices
we are millions upon millions of voices shouting
"keep exploring... we are more"
we are the surprise the world has in store for you
it's true

Canada is the "what" in "what's new?"
so don't say "been there done that"
unless you've sat on the sidewalk
while chalk artists draw still lifes
on the concrete of a kid in the street
beatboxing to Neil Young for fun
don't say you've been there done that
unless you've been here doing it
let this country be your first-aid kit
for all the times you get sick of the same old same old
let us be the story told to your friends
and when that story ends
leave chapters for the next time you'll come back
next time pack for all the things
you didn't pack for the first time
but don't let your luggage define your travels
each life unravels differently
and experiences are what make up
the colours of our tapestry
we are the true north
strong and free
and what's more
is that we didn't just say it
we made it be.

Updated: 2012-04-20

Friday, February 12, 2010

Make your sweetie a Valentine

It's not too late to make your special love a homemade (or home printed) Valentine. Here are some ideas that might motivate your creativity.

Valentine Flip Book
I think this Valentine flip book is just plain brilliant.

Felt Valentine Heart
Cute, easy to make felt, Valentine heart ornament.

Code Monkey Valentine
Make a Valentine for the tekkie in your life with these free, downloadable cards.

Small Valentine Zebra Cards
Free, downloadable zebra Valentine cards.

Lisa Rupp Valentine Card
Illustrator Lisa Rupp's free, downloadable Valentine cards.

Wooden Valentine Hearts
Decoupage some wooden Valentine badges with this tutorial.

Homemade Valentine Print
A tutorial for making a personalized Valentine, fabric print.

Valentine Straw Embellishments
Free, downloadable PDF for making embellished Valentine straws.

Vintage Valentine Card
A free, downloadable template for a vintage, Valentine card .

Valentine Postcards
A collection of Valentine, vintage postcards.

Little Valentine Envelope
Make some sweet, little, Valentine envelopes

Heart Button Ornament
A tutorial for making simply lovely, Valentine ornaments constructed from felt & buttons.

Matchbox Valentine Enclosure Cards
A tutorial and free, downloadable template for little Valentine cards that can be slipped into pretty, decorated matchboxes.

Matchbox Valentine Babies
A kids' craft tutorial for making matchbox, Valentine Babies.

Valentine Hedgehog Scherenschnitte
Free, downloadable, Hedgehog Love, Valentine scherenschnitte (paper cutting) template.

Valentine Labels
Free, downloadable Valentine labels.

Valentine Party Favors
Quote from Paper Crave: "...a tutorial and downloadable templates so you can make your very own skulk of valentine-y foxes. Yep, that's what a group of foxes is called, a skulk. I learn something new every day with this blog, I tell ya."

Cootie Catcher Valentine
Help the kids make some girl or boy, Valentine cootie catchers with these free, downloadable templates.

Lacy Valentine
A detailed tutorial for making lacy Valentines.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

'Go to' cookbooks

I love food, ergo I must cook. The best times in my life are associated with food preparation and consumption, surrounded by the people I love. Winter always spawns activity in my kitchen because venturing outdoors in Canada is a chilly endeavour.

I've been churning out meals for over 35 years and have the resultant plethora of cookbooks to liberally cover that time span. Mostly now, I just whip stuff up without consulting any of these books but, when I do need to find a recipe, these are the cookbooks I revisit, time and again.

Over the years, my preferences gravitated to recipes providing good methodology and ease in both comprehension and execution. I've listed them in descending order of visitation.

The Fanny Farmer Cookbook
The Fanny Farmer Cookbook

America's great basic cookbook completely revised to provide, for our generation, a full repertory of wonderful dishes and ways of good cooking in the best American tradition. With an introduction by James Beard
By: Fannie Merritt Farmer, Originally published in 1896 under the title The Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer
Obtain a copy: No longer in print but a version has been revised by Marion Cunningham to take into account newer preparation techniques and newer dietary preferences.

1,000 Vegetarian Recipes
1,000 Vegetarian Recipes
By: Carol Geddes
Obtain a copy: Amazon

Betty Crockers Cookbook
Betty Crocker's Cookbook
By: Betty Crocker Food and Nutrition Center
Obtain a copy: Amazon

Traditional Recipes of Atlantic Canada
Traditional Recipes of Atlantic Canada
By: Shirely Jones and The Culinary Institute of Canada
Obtain a copy: No longer in print because it was a promotional item put out by Ultramar, where chapters were offered each week and you could also purchase the binder to hold them. Sections of it come up for auction sometimes on Ebay, Canada.

Recipes: Middle Eastern Cooking
Recipes: Middle Eastern Cooking
By: Time Life Books' Foods of The World series
Obtain a copy: Dig Modern

The Southern Accent Cajun & Creole Cookbook
The Southern Accent Cajun & Creole Cookbook
By: Elena Embrioni & Frances Wood
Obtain a copy: Wikio

Betty Crockers Southwest Cooking
Betty Crocker's Southwest Cooking
By: General Mills
Obtain a copy: Amazon

Better Homes and Gardens Cajun Cooking
Better Homes and Gardens Cajun Cooking
By: Better Homes and Gardens
Obtain a copy: Amazon

A World of Baking
A World of Baking
By: Delores Casella
Obtain a copy: Amazon

Canadian Mennonite Cookbook
Canadian Mennonite Cookbook
By: Rita Kaethle & Pat Gerber Pauls. Originally published under the title Altona Women's Institute Cookbook.
Obtain a copy: Amazon

The Silver Palette Cookbook
The Silver Palate CookbookDelicious recipes, menus, tips, lore from Manhattan's celebrated gourmet food shop.
By: Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins with Michael McLaughlin
Obtain a copy: Amazon

The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook
The Alice B. Toklas CookbookForeward by M. F. K. Fisher
By: Alice B. Toklas
Obtain a copy: Amazon

Life, Love and Lobsters
Life, Love and LobstersAn Anecdotal Collection of Recipes from Harris' Seafood Restaurant
By: Clara Kathleen Harris & Gaynor S. Kleiber
Obtain a copy: Email Gaynor Kleiber at