Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I am amazed at how well everything travelled - all things considered (and given a couple of nasty looking snags in the packaging from the fork lift). My parents really are the greatest international packers ever - my painting was perfectly wrapped and intact and I wasted no time positioning it on the mantle - the first time it's ever been hung in our own home since Chris bought it for my 30th Birthday!
By the time Chris got home from work that evening around 1/2 the boxes were unpacked and flattened ready for recycling (I'm feeling reckless - we're throwing away packaging supplies - these same supplies have survived us 3 international moves! - but I really do like it HERE) After enlisting his help pretty much all the others were done by bedtime! (I LOVE unpacking!!, sorting, putting away! - I sent Chris out for take-out so I didn't have to waste time cooking!)
I didn't say I was a tidy unpacker...
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Today I broke out the vinyl for my Silhouette machine and made snowflakes for the windows - I think they look great! A few other bits of handmade goodness for the house are the lovely pine cone-like balls I made last weekend - actually at a class at the local scrapbook store. The Christmas tree was made with strips of Basic Grey's Eskimo Kisses paper - I actually finished that off when we were still in the RV but it has found it's new home on the mantle.
And my 'piece de resistance' (even if I do say so myself) is the wall hanging. I'm so happy with it. I'd actually already made a similar version for my Secret Santa gift partner and struggled to part with it so I had to do one for us too!
And of course it's advent! Yay! Advent calendar chocolates for breakfast for the next 24 days!
Friday, November 6, 2009
(and this one probably isn't going to have a cutesy name - that was reserved exclusivly for Harvey (the RV for anyone left out there that didn't know!)
And speaking of Harvey, glad to know some of you still care for his well-being - he's tucked up for the winter, looking a little forlorn and empty it has to be said. But we're planning on keeping him and trundling off for little weekend get-aways come summer! Honestly after 5 years hard labour it's the least he deserves - our mini-retirement is over, but Harvey's is just beginning!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Leads to this....
And ends up looking like this.....
Which is why I am very much looking forward to moving into the new house....
[Photograph by: Mark van Manen, Vancouver Sun]
Black Eyed Peas opened for them and had most people on their feet with 'I've got a feeling....that tonight's gonna be a good, good night' - and it was!! That closing song from them whipped everyone into a frenzy ready for Bono and gang to come on stage.
U2 played for about 2 hours and there were plenty of the older songs (which I can at least toe-tap and sing along too!) It was such a great show - the stage set was a sort of giant space-ship looking thing and the coolest moving light/screen column that descended from the roof. Loved it!
And so worth the 6.5 hour drive home through snowy mountain passes with daylight breaking as we finally rested our heads against the pillows back at home...!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Outside my window...it’s a dry and bright but colourless day, nearly all the leaves have fallen off the trees now
I am thinking...furniture for the new house
I am thankful for...the new adventures and opportunities ahead for us here in Canada
I am wearing...my comfy pink A&F sweatpants and fat face hoodie
I am remembering...all the things that I need to get done
I am going...to take some time to scrapbook today since I’m not going out (don’t have the car)
I am reading...Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay (one of the Tesco books Mum brought out for me)
I am hoping...I will get a job I like soon
I am hearing...103.9 The Juice on the radio
I am creating...scrapbook pages, a baby card for Susie’s baby and finishing off my paper Christmas tree
On my mind...the new house – 9 more sleeps!, and the distinct lack of exercise lately…
From the kitchen... A cheesy bagel with mozza & tomato for lunch and some homemade veggie soup for supper tonight
Around the house...it’s getting cluttered and cold – right time to be moving into a 3000sqft place!
One of my favourite things...my laptop
Friday, October 2, 2009
In amongst the tourist stuff we did Chris and I have also started house-hunting in earnest so they tagged along on a couple of days looking at houses with us. Actually I think we all had fun doing that - North American houses are sooooo different from what you get in England and our UK money will go a lot further here so I've been measuring up spare rooms for suitability as a scrapbooking space!
We took a trip over to the Kootenays for a night staying at the Ainsworth Hot Springs resort. We ate at the Dock n' Duck pub overlooking Kootenay Lake and soaked in the warm waters and caves at the resort till kicking out time. One advantage of staying at the resort is you get early access into the pools in the morning so we made the most of that too!
In Kaslo (somewhere I've been 3 times now) we 'discovered' the worlds oldest intact sternwheeler - the SS Moyie. It's 3 stories tall and 160 ft long - in all honestly I'm not sure how I missed it (doh!) but there you go - I've always been obsessing about food and fast roads whenever we've rode into Kaslo. A great little side trip with film, history and a beautifully reconstructed boat that used to serve up and down Kooteney Lake between 1898 and 1957 - really enjoyed that!
The 3 of us also took a bumpy drive up to Myra Canyon trestles - part of the old Kettle Valley railway. Last time Chris and I went up there was April and at the time still largely covered in snow! This time the weather was gorgeous and we had a lovely walk along the old line taking in the views down to Lake Okanagan, the valley and beyond. And talking of the Kettle Valley Railway we also drove down to Summerland and took a ride on an old steam train on one of the few remaining stretches of track - a little late birthday surprise for my Dad (only a month late!)
Did I mention we had near-perfect weather for almost the entire time they were visiting?! Lucky us! And perfect for lazy lunches on the patio at the local winery, or our favourite lakeshore resort, driving into the hills to a small local goats cheese dairy for sampling cheese and enjoying gelato, wine-tasting, shopping for local product at some local farm shops and taking walks along the lakeshore in downtown.
We ventured an early start one morning for a Kelowna special event - a visit from the 3rd largest aircraft in the world - a Russian Antonov AN-124 - flying into Kelowna 'international' airport to deliver a bunch of helicoptors for a refurb at Flightcraft - I love these big planes - they way they just 'hang' in the air, seemingly unmoving and defying gravity! Very cool - lots of plane-spotters out for that one - but then it would appear we'd have to include ourselves in that category (That and the train-spotting - you can see what a bad influence my Dad is?!)
Thanks Mum and Dad for visiting. I hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we enjoyed hosting you and showing off our new hometown!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday should've been a slow and relaxed pace back to Kelowna, but the roads are too smooth and too twisty for that so most people had a 'spirited' ride home, finishing off the evening with a big BBQ and Chris's team being awarded first prize!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
This was I think my favourite - the mini book encased in a cute little suitcase (it measures only 4x3" - its adorable!) taught by Tim Holtz. It was a class I was 20 minutes late for and completely flustered, the class with the most 'new' techniques for me and yet the only project I completely finished in class. We used grungeboard sanded down, painted then inked for the covers then inside there's a combination of patterned paper pocket pages, some mini photo sleeves and some grunged up ticket pages decorated with distressed flowers and a few metal embellishments.
This is a close second in my fav list - a Creative Escape album taught by Debby Schuh. Full of pinks, black and white in various shades, shapes, sizes and textures - there's even a patterned felt page to put our collectible pins on! There's transparent pages, pockets, tags and more - love this. Nothing was rocket science but I lack the imagination to put something so cute together myself - I'm so looking forward to filling this with all my memorabilia of the event and my photos!
The class taught by Paula Cheney and Debbie Crouse from 7 Gypsies I wasn't sure on at first but since I've finished it up with a photo I love it! It's a wall decor peice which we put together from scratch. It has different layers and textures and there are secret doors and flaps for extra bits of journalling or photos - it even has a real glass vase and a cute bunch of flowers - I'm so happy with the finished product (now husband dear - I just need a house with walls to hang it!!)
This cute cheerful album was created by Heather Bailey who is normally found putting her talents to designing fabrics and other things related to sewing and stuff (not my bag - I wonder if I could use glue dots instead of sewing on buttons?!!?!) This was a mini album which various pockets, clips and other fun stuff - not sure what I'm going to do with it but dang it looks cute!
And finally for now this great altered box taught by Marah Johnson. We decorated using glimmer mist sprays over flocked papers so texturally its yummy. Inside there are 12 mini chipboard books - I'm thinking it's going to have to have something to do with the 12 months of the year when I come to fill them!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It was a busy and thoroughly exhausting 3 days - who'd have realised that scrapbooking and papercrafting could be this exhausting - seriously?! (I'd had all good intentions of hanging out with like-minded friends at the bar each night but even a good cocktail couldn't lure me from my bed come 10.30pm!)
I arrived on Wednesday night and was met at the airport by the wonderful Christa (who I'd not previously met) who promptly whisked me off to a Mexican restaurant for dinner with another 15 women (who'd I'd never met - catching the trend here?!)
Thursday morning was some down time and for me a mad dash around the local stores making the most of the American stores I'd been missing in Canada - then Thursday afternoon the event proper got going. The 'Technique Boutique' where we got goodies and prepared and perfected some items and techniques we'd be needing in class. Running alongside was the 'Trunk Show' where each of the 8 teachers showcased their work and some samples of our class projects (up until now the class projects had been closely guarded secrets - we only ever knew the teachers and could only speculate based on their style!) Rounding off Thursday evening was the opening ceremony and welcome, a party and raffle organised for the members of the Yahoo Group, then some of us scooted off to a nearby Macaroni Grill for supper.
Friday and Saturday were classes. At 8am classes started. Each class was 1hr 45mins long - 2 before lunch and 2 after, finishing off the day at 5pm. From the moment I woke at 6am for the yummy buffet breakfast at 6.30ish, rushing to class, a packed lunch eaten on the go, yet more classes then a sit down dinner at 6pm, followed by additional evening activities it was constant. By Saturday morning I was positively bleary eyed - and not due to a few too many bevvies - more's the pity!
Saturday night was the closing dinner and key note speaker. It all started with dessert. Yes - with 600-odd women in the house it is apparently tradition at the event to start dinner with dessert and the more chocolatety the better! Then they raffled off about a dozen lamps (originally bought at Ikea for $15) that were decorated and altered by each of the teachers past and present. 2 of them were reserved for a little extra special treatement; lamps designed by Heidi Swapp and Tim Holtz (2 of the industries more well known 'celebrities') were to be auctioned off for charity. (all in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) Heidi's was up first - and the bidding crept up and up, each time all of us squealing a little more - it reached $8,200!! - An insane amount of money for an Ikea lamp - purdy that it was! But there was to be more insanity in the room. Tim's lamp bidding opened at $500, went straight to $5,000, then jumped to $16,000 - all in 3 bids! OMG. We all watched dumbfounded as the hammer went down at $29,000 - for an Ikea lamp!!! It was such an exciting moment but someone's husband is going to be freaking out I would've thought?! Over $45,000 in total was raised for the charity during the event through raffle tickets and the auction.
The event was held at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass resort which was absolutely gorgeous. It had the most amazing pool and landscaped grounds and excellent facilities for our classess - but the place was HUGE - it took 15 minutes to walk from our hotel room to the conference area and with 120 degrees outside most people didn't venture out too much! I manged a little stroll most mornings when it still had that lovely hot-yet-freshness about it!
I loved being at the event - this was it's 4th year and I'd heard so many great things about it - all true! The event is full of such great people, everyone has been so giving and generous - with their time, efforts in organising things, sending each other gifts, providing prizes for the raffle - the list could go on... It was an event where we shared our passion for creating and recording life in artistic and meaningful ways. The teachers (Heidi Swapp, Tim Holtz, Heather Bailey, Lynette Carroll, Debby Schuh, Marah Johnson, Carol Wingert, Paula Cheney & Debbie Crouse) and class projects which had been created especially for Creative Escape and were all amazing - not all to my style but I think that's the point. It forces you to look outside your box and embrace other styles and techniques - and there's certainly a stack of ideas that I will be trying again and again.
But the biggest thing I've taken from this event is friendships. The people that I met, that I 'hung out' with - these are what made my trip so special and unforgettable - thank you Linda, Angela, Florence, Carol, Janet, Patti, Stacy, Renee, Gail, Kate, Faye and not forgetting everyone's favourite Scrap Hero Dave!
Monday, August 31, 2009
But the most recent and exciting news for us...;
Last night we crossed the border into Canada (yes we'd left - confusing but thats what comes of talking about the most recent happenings first!). We are now proud owners of Work Permits valid for 2 years - we are overjoyed!! This is the first step (big step) in our dream to living in Canada. We are no longer tourists, we are legal workers (heaven forbid!!)!! And can stay and make progress on setting up our new lives here. Happy, happy people here - we've been jumping up and down doing the happy dance all day! The whole process took us a couple of hours waiting around at the border crossing whilst the immigration officers figured out what/how to do the paperwork and $300 later we drove off. It was a late night - we didn't cross into Canada until 10.30pm and drove most of the way back to Kelowna - stopping at 2.30am in the morning for our nights sleep before heading home the final stretch in the morning - and delivering Chris to WORK for his first official day! Hurrah!
So that's the big news for us - can you sense the HUGE smile on my face whilst I write this?!
In other news....I've just got back from an amazing 4 days in Arizona at Creative Escape - I will be posting more and photos later, and the weekend before we spent more awesome days on a 3 day motorbiking trip to the Kootenays - photos coming for that too!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
It was a bit of a last minute decision but I'm really glad we went. When we arrived the gates hadn't even opened and already a long queue snaked its way through city park, but once we got in we positioned ourselves right up against the barrier at the front of the general admission area and settled down for a nap (gates opened at 5 and nothing happened till 6.45!). I thought nothing more of it - our position seemed reasonable enough....it was only MUCH later that evening during the concert that I looked behind us - there was just a SEA of people - and it was then I realised just what a plum spot we had!! :-)
The Kin (some Aussie band) played as support - I thought they were pretty good actually - very listenable music (often when it's not familiar music its difficult to get 'into' it I think.)
Rod strutted his stuff for 1 3/4 hours - belting out lots of his classic hits - D'ya think I'm sexy?, Maggie May, Some guys have all the luck, and during a rendition of Hot Legs he was using those 'hot legs' to kick footballs out into the crowd. It was a great, entertaining evening and the few spots of rain didn't dampen any spirirts.
(and I have to say I'm pleased as heck with this photo taken with our zoom lens!)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
aren't they all gorgeous?! Constantly amazed at the creativity of the group - I love them all and will treasure them! and thank you Sunny for hosting this great swap!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
It really was some awesome stuff! However I can't get the hang of all this new 'youngsters' language - actually according to the commentator of the freestyle biking it wasn't awesome at all - it was in fact 'sick'.....yep - they were 'throwing down some sick tricks man'.....okaaaaay....
...I'll be the one in line for my free bus pass.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Enjoyed a great ride out on Sunday for lunch at the Mushroom Addition at Fauquier - just across the ferry from Needles. There was about a dozen bikes on the 2 hour (each way) journey - we enjoyed a fun and 'spirited' ride, finished off with a nice crisp apple cider at the pub on the way home. Good times and fast riding in the Okanagan!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Since we've woken up this morning the smell of smoke in the air is overwhelming - even where we are, and the air is just so hazy/smokey. Apparently over 6500 houses have been evacuated and over 400 hectares are burning. There are at least 2 more fires burning over on the west side of the lake in the Rose Valley and Terrace Mountain areas. The main highway through the valley is just closed in both directions. It's scary stuff.
(The above picture was taken from Chute Lake Road area, very near the devastion and burn area left from the 2003 Firestorms)
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
We spent time down at the Kelowna waterfront parks enjoying the live music stages, the street vendors, the buskers, the folk dancing and ethnic food stands. And at 10.30 the grand finale of fireworks over the lake. We watched from across the lake on the Westbank. Fantastic stuff!
Friday, June 26, 2009
(All page elements from the 'Retro Americana' kit from cpz designs - available exclusively from Scrapoutsidethebox.com from 29th June. Fonts: Gill Sans MT & CK Alis Writing)
And I have scrapped this pic before, but I love it so much and this kit 'Sparkle' is so great for 4th July layouts! I'm pretty pleased with the result - think I might prefer it to the original page I did a couple of years ago!
(All page elements from the 'Sparkle' collaboration kit from SumScrapper.com)
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
These 2 layouts are using elements from her latest kit - 'Pop Star'
This is the 'annual' layout I create for our Wedding Anniversary - maybe one day I'll scoop them all together into 1 album - but I think we should get to, say 25 years to make it worthy of an album all of it's own!! This year's country was Ireland!
(Page elements from Pop Star kit - cpz designs, Fonts - 2Peas GG's Love Me, Anarchy, Gill Sans MT)
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. - http://magandamemories.blogspot.com/
4. Share 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
I resisted starting a blog at the start of our travels and regretted it ever since (I eventually started it one year in)...I have a degree in Business Information Management Systems...I'm scared of heights.....yet I skydive...People that stand right close next to the baggage carousel at the airport bug me (leave room then we can all reach!)...I love cats but I'm allergic to them...I love English supermarkets!
5. Nominate 6 Kreativ Bloggers and post links to their blogs.
6. Leave a comment on each of the blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
We're having a good spell of weather now (everyone is hoping that THIS is summer!) And we're enjoying getting out on the motorbike and lunches and walks by the lakeshore. And I got a new haircut which I'm loving after so many years with longer hair - it doesn't get so messed up from the helmet when out on the bike - perfect :-)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Patterned papers: cpz designs 'What's a DH' paper kit, template: Jen Caputo, Felt stars: Sweet Shop Designs Carnival Kit, title tag: K Pertiet, Small stars & paperclip: OScraps Moonrise elements
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Happy that Harvey suffered relatively few problems and even started first time!
Happy that the weather is mostly good.
Happy that I can see snow capped mountains from my bedroom window.
Happy that Chris has his bike back.
Happy that we're hiking again.
It's been a busy week since we got here. We've had a rental car since we got back (ok, actually we've had three!). We drove 7 hours over to Banff (to drop off the first car) From 18 degrees in BC we got to Banff and proceeded on to friends in Calgary in snowstorms and -5 degrees! Nice?! We then took a couple of days to drive slowly back through the Canadian Rockies. Which was great...until we drove over a rock in the road. Actually more like drove 'through' it. It messed up the underside of the car pretty bad and oil poured out in a matter of minutes. And so we ended up 500kms from the nearest rental car office so made our way back to Kelowna via Greyhound - Hence 2 days later we're on our third rental car! It's all good. It goes back tomorrow so we've been running around getting admin done with the convinience of the car.Have gone hunting for rocks in the road on some of the local forest service roads. (isn't that what rental cars are for?!) With good reason...We wanted to get to Myra-Bellevue Canyon Provincial Park (and Chris just won't take us along 8km of dirt road on the bike!). Primarily the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) rails to trails route. The Canyon is beautiful - 3000ft above Lake Okanagan and as peaceful as can be. The trail through this particular part of the park is 12km long and features 18 railway trestles and a couple of tunnels - this was quite some feat of engineering of its time and is now preserved as a beautiful hiking and biking destination. Absolutely loved this place - we've been back twice. There's still so much snow up there right now - the first and last 5km of today's hike was in snow! And just 4km out of the city limits along the FS road we spied our first Canadian Moose!! (we have seen plenty of moose in the last 4 years, but given it's 'iconic' connection to Canada never one in this country!) Rather a treat!
We celebrated Chris's birthday on the 26th. By watching the MotoGP bike racing live from Japan at silly o'clock in the night, hiking the KVR and a nice home-cooked meal. Happy Birthday honey! (that's the birthday boy jumping for joy(?!))