Monday, December 27, 2010

Highlight of the Ward Family Christmas

There`s going to be a wedding!
Sean`s brother Sheldon surprised Lynsey with a ring in the pocket of the jacket he got her for Christmas.  (And I got a fun engagement photo of them, courtesy of the new lens...  Thanks, Sean!)

 We got to see an itty bitty baby today - our friends had a baby boy on Thursday afternoon & were at church this morning to show him off.  (Well, ok, maybe they were there to worship, but we all sure checked him out!)  Their birth announcement is a little video worth watching - some older sibling celebrating going on there.  Congrats Darren & Christine!!


M has a blog with school - if you want to check it out, you can do that here.  She`s MW if you`re browsing through the class list.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The best shot of the morning: Madeline`s reaction when she opened the last gift and saw a camera.
(This was taken with my new Canon 50mm 1.8 lens!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Counter for Christmas!

Sean brought home the counter top today!  It`s not attached yet, but set in place, and I used it to make Butterscotch Treats and Poppycock.  I imagine it`s a very happy counter top, getting a new family for Christmas, and being welcomed with such yummy love.  It`s a dark grey, so it blends nicely with the black and stainless appliances.

I`ve made the Christmas food list, and tomorrow I`ll be making the potatoes for Christmas day at Carla`s, Christmas afternoon I`ll put together the marshmallow salad for Boxing Day at the Wards, and before church on Sunday I`ll make the apple crisp.  Not too bad.  I already made a batch of poppycock this week to take as gifts for my co-workers - today`s batch is for us.  

After Christmas I`ll post photos of some of the stuff I`ve made as gifts.  Don`t want to spoil any surprises just yet!  One more to make, but it`s to go to Winnipeg, so I`ve got an extra day or two for that. 

I will say, though, that I love vinyl!  A friend saw the parent / child aprons I made last year and asked me to make some for her and her two daughters.  No problem - I whipped those up last weekend for her.  She also has a little boy who needed a holster for his gun... so she brought me some brown vinyl when she came with the apron fabric she had picked out.  I impressed myself with my pattern design skills (must have got that from Mom), and I loved working with the vinyl - it`s smooth like butter.  I`m going to have to get me some of that to play around with.  Watch out - next Christmas just may all be decked out in vinyl.

These three are all the same - reversible with pockets on both sides.  M is my always willing model.

Oh, I do have to tell you that I rocked the serger today.  And by rocked I mean that it had a broken thread which I successfully re-threaded, and then when that bobbin promptly ran out of thread, threaded it again.  And, when another thread broke, I re-threaded that one.  And the end one, when it ran out of thread.  And finally the fourth one, when it wasn`t connecting the way it should.  It didn`t even feel like the machine was my enemy, either - we were strange cohorts, in a joint effort to boost my confidence in my serger rocking abilities.  Hooray for me, and thanks, Singer!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Looks Like Christmas

The tree went up tonight!  Sold the microwave stand, moved a few things over, and put up the new tree.  I did all the `fluffing`(funny how no one else likes that job), put up the lights and garland, but the actual decorating has to wait till M is home from school tomorrow.

I put on the music station and heard this song - thought it was worth sharing!
Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Gifts

I made the best little gifts yesterday - have a look (except if you're in book club!!!):
Little Book Club Ornaments

With Pictures Of All The Books We Read This Year Inside

And Wrapped So Prettily!

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The first screw just went in attaching cabinets to the wall.  This week they should all go in and the plumbing done.  The counter top won't get here till early next week, so I won't have that or a sink until the week before Christmas - the race is on to see if it will be done by Christmas or not!  As soon as the cabinets are in, though, I can put back all the stuff that is currently in the living room and 'move in'.

Madeline is out volunteering - she goes the second Sunday of the month to help with the service our church puts on at the rehab hospital.  She loves being there, and I'm glad for the couple who takes her along (and usually out for lunch after) each month.  Nice for her to have her own serving thing, and the friendship of this great couple, too.

Tonight is her Christmas concert - she is doing a duet at the beginning (which you can watch online if you can't be here to experience it in person... 6:30,

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fame in the Family

McNally Robinson Booksellers
presents the launch of
Measured Words:
An Anthology

with Editor
Barbara J. Becker


Thursday December 9, 7:00 pm
Grant Park in the Travel Alcove
This anthology invites the reader to savour a cultural banquet of stories, poems, photos, illustrations, and recipes Come sit around the table and sample the diverse, authentic voices of Manitoba writers sharing special memories.
Contributors include Barbara J. Becker, Lauren Blue, Ellen Burns, Charlotte Caron, Dana L. Coates, Tracy Gregory, Althea Guiboche, Elizabeth M. Hunter, illustrator Pamela Kat Johnson, Lovern Kindzierski, Leona MacDonald, Glynis C. Morris, Charmaine Johnson Putnam, Andrea Ridgedale, Clayton Schneider, Jennifer Schneider, Judy Stoddart, and Oriole Vane Veldhuis. Editor Barbara J. Becker is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg, a teacher and a writer published in journals local, national and international, as well as in Prairie Writers Volumes One and Three.

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Clayton and Jen are my brother and sister-in-law, and the editor, Barb, is Jen's mom.  We got to have a peek at Thanksgiving, and I'm looking forward to getting my own copy at Christmas.  If you live in the Winnipeg area, go check out the launch and readings this Thursday.  I wish I could.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Cards & Cookies!

Or, What I Made Today.

I picked up supplies for cards on Saturday (thinking the whole time, I should just buy some...) but I'm glad I didn't.  These are coming together quickly, and I'm working on my list of who to send them to as I go.  I started the assembly line yesterday, and today some are ready to go.  The cards are a box of blank reds & greens, and they all look good with the brown and white.  Hooray for homemade!

Madeline's class is having a bake sale tomorrow to raise money for the Humane Society & I sent the form back last week saying yes, we'd send some goodies - and hoping I'd have a stove at least by now! We do have the stove, but still not much prep room, so these are a roll of Pillsbury dough - they'll do!

When I wrote last I said all we had left was a coat of color on the walls... Sean did that while I was at the craft sale on Saturday.  He also moved the fridge and stove and table and chairs back into place, so it's looking great!  Yesterday he put up those lights over the table, and right now he's in the kitchen installing the new pot lights in the kitchen.  It's coming!

Now I'm heading back to the studio to make some more cards, or maybe to write in & address some... or maybe I'll just pick up my book and relax...  Thanks for checking in!

If you want a Christmas card, send me an email to followandlead @ gmail . com with your mailing address - even if I don't know you!  Ha - especially if I don't know you! 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Book Club Party & Sad Anniversary

Here are my book club friends!  Last night we met & ate & discussed Animal Farm, and had a book exchange.  Good fun - I enjoy these girls.  We`ve got two little readers on the way - the two in the middle of the back row are both due Dec. 17!  Suzanne`s little one is coming a little sooner, though - (s)he`s breech, so she`s got a C scheduled for Tuesday.   

We set up for the craft sale tonight.  It looks decent - 80 tables and yummy baking...  I`m looking forward to hanging out with Madeline and Carla and Josh and Suzanne tomorrow.  (It`s at WH Ford, 10-4 if you want to come check it out or visit!)  I also wish I was going to be home painting with Sean, but I did get in on some brush action tonight.  We primed the whole kitchen, and painted the kitchen and bathroom ceilings.  All that`s left is the color on the walls.


Today is December 3.  It`s a sad anniversary for us - Neil has been gone 7 years.  Hard to believe.  In so many ways life has moved on, but in so many ways he is still here.  People at the church talk about him, I still see his handwriting in lots of files at work, Madeline is like him in so many ways: she`s got his looks, his musicality, even his teeth!  The dentist said this week that she`ll need braces.  She had the day off today, so we went down to the cemetery.  There was lots of snow, so we shoveled a path and cleared off the stones.  It`s always a reminder, too, of Lucy - she would be 9 now.  I wonder what she`s like.  Something M said right after Neil died was that I was here with her, and Daddy was in Heaven with Lucy.  I don`t know if that just made sense to her, or if it was a comforting thought.  It does take a bit of the edge off, somewhat.  When we saw Carla tonight she asked if we had shoveled - they went out this morning, too, and while they were there Warren and Doug showed up.  M was glad to hear that - she had been asking this morning if I thought anyone else would go.  She likes knowing that other people remember - I think it validates her feelings.

There you go - just some rambling thoughts on day 2555 without him.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dear Blog World, I`ve missed you.

I`ve been busy creating... although I can`t point to a pile of stuff and say, `Look!`  I have been making a few more things for my craft sale this Saturday - a few more magic bags, some tie-onesies, and more magnets.  Along with the little snowmen and the ribbon rings, I should have enough for a table, nicely spread out.  Carla and Suzanne are joining me, but we got another table next to me that they`ll share.  I hope there`s no blizzard for this one.

While I was waiting for the Jessica Sprague course Inspiration Everywhere to start, I got out my Holidays in Hand album that I did last year, through another one of her courses.  I haven`t looked at it since January, and had lots of fun taping down a bunch of stuff, and getting ready to add to it this year. I figure that it wasn`t something I didn`t complete; it will be an ongoing album of our Christmas memories until it`s too full for more.

Then on Monday the new class started, so I`ve been playing around with some of that stuff, starting an Art Journal...  Today`s assignment was to make a mix CD of songs to inspire creativity.  I rarely listen to anything, so I`m not sure if I`ll skip that one or not.  Maybe I`ll get a mix CD for Christmas.  I know a couple of people who I would love one from...

Off to bed now - I don`t have to stay up late finishing my book for book club tomorrow, because this month is Animal Farm by George Orwell.  A good short one.  Good for us, Ladies - that was well planned. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Or so I thought.

I thought we were done with the destruction. Apparently a bit of the wall into the living room needed removal, too. Sean is so good at getting things done right.  This first photo shows the end cabinets and sink being taken out, and the second is the new look of the living room.  The other view of the living room looks like a garage sale, with all the stuff we need out of these cupboards out on the coffee table.

I just finished a great book and I just started another great book.  My thoughts on those coming soon!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Madeline's team (South Africa) beat their opponents (Spain) 18-1 this afternoon.  What a blowout.  I was half cheering for the other team... 

On the way home we stopped at Home Depot (surprise!) for more wire, and bought a dishwasher!  It was on for a really good sale price & it will come the same time as our cabinets.  Our sink is gone as of yesterday - with one trip to the dump, we are done with the last of the destruction.  

Off to do some dishes in the bathtub!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Storm Fail

Yesterday was our anniversary - I'm sure glad the weather four years ago was not like the weather we had this year on November 18th!

Yes, the craft sale was on our anniversary, and because of all the wind and snow, there was a very poor turnout - only 3 sales at our table.  The table was free, so I did turn a profit, but a very small one!  I sold one magic bag and 3 little snowmen.  We've got plans to try again, though.  They're both going to join me at the WH Ford sale on December 4.  (10 - 4 Come on out!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craft Sales

Tonight is our first craft sale of the year (and second ever craft sale!)  Suzanne has a table at the school board office where she works, and Carla and I are sharing it with her.  Suzanne has knitted stuff & dog toys, Carla has snowmen made from patio pavers (a buck a pound!) and I've got these:

Perfect Heat Wheat Bags - these are my newest fabrics.
I'm selling these for $12, and as always, custom orders and wholesale orders welcome.

Tea Light Snowmen - Saw one of these at Jess' place last year.
These will be $1 - I had a big box of candles already, and thought this would be a great way to use them up.  You need small inexpensive items get people to your table, anyway.  :)

Dancing Ribbon Rings.
And these I saw online - can't you just picture your little nieces dancing around with these?  The ribbons are 2' long; the rings with three pairs of ribbons will be $10 and the ones with five are $12.

Here are the posters for the sales if you want more info:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Free Inspiration Everywhere Class

I took a class last fall and thought it was great - anyone want to join me for this one?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Homemade Christmas

Christmas is wonderful - celebrating what Jesus did for us by being born a human, and getting to see family.

The gift giving side of Christmas is not high on my priority list; my love languages are more in line with physical touch, words of affirmation and quality time; gifts is at the very bottom.  (A hug and sitting around the living room?  Perfect.)

I do enjoy giving gifts when I can come up with something homemade and perfect (it's hard being a perfectionist)!  I love being excited for someone to open the gift from me because I put thought and effort into it, rather than being half apologetic because I couldn't think of something better.  (It's also true that I think too much.)

I also like a simple life, and am trying hard to come up with ideas of things I can make without getting frazzeled by 'the list'.

Today I thought I would share with you my strategy for this year:  the in-ter-net.  I just googled 'gifts to make' and got a great idea for the boys.  I found something online a couple of weeks ago that I just had to make for K, and bought enough supplies to make some to sell at my craft sales.  I found something for just about everyone on my list; now I just have to get making!

I do recognize that not everyone appreciates homemade, and don't worry, I would rather spend money on something someone will actually use than give them something I made that will be junk in their home.  I am as concerned about usefulness as well as being frugal.  :)

I'm not intending to go on a big rant here; I don't want you thinking that you have to give me something homemade or I won't appreciate it.  I would be happy to open anything, because I know it comes from someone who cared enough to think of me.  I would be very happy with a mixed CD or baking or a family photo for my wall.  I would be honored to know that someone gave a donation to a charity (water projects or education in Africa?) in my name.  I would laugh if we got money to go towards our kitchen renos...

Here are a few sites to check out:
Advent Conspiracy -  be sure to check out the video.  Our preaching series for Advent is going to be on the four themes laid out in AC - Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All.  I'm very excited to see if our church grasps the idea.
How About Orange - fun stuff on this one.  I like the printables.
Instructables - "Homemade gifts are the best" is what they say!
whip up - I like that most of these blogs have a list of blogs on the side so you could get lost in crafty-blogginess for a good long time.
Craft Gossip

At Thanksgiving, playing the family trivia game I made for Christmas last year.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Christmas gifts, family traditions, or sites where you find inspiration.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Saturday, Sunday, Monday

 On Saturday, we helped Sean's parents move into their new place in Balgonie.
(Aaron, Ben, Sheldon, Sean)

Sunday Madeline had her second indoor soccer game.
They are South Africa, & tied last week 4-4 and won this week 8-6.
I have a little bit of a hard time not yelling like a coach.

Tonight we did a little more demolition.  It looks so much smaller without its skin on!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Cat's Eye, Cabinet Costs & House Found

Just a catch up on life...

Book club tonight - I didn't notice that on the calendar until Monday.  Ordered the book at the library, picked it up Tuesday, and managed to get it done in 2 days - it's a long one, too.  Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye.  Now that I"m done that I can go back to Gone With the Wind.  How come I've never read this before?

I'm doing two craft sales this year.  Carla and Suzanne and I are sharing a table at a sale at Suzanne's work (School Board Office, Thursday, November 18, 4-8 pm).  I also got a table for one at WH Ford School (Saturday, December 4, 10-4).  Come on out if you're close by!  I'll take pictures of my wares and post them for you.

Sean's parents finally found a house!  The got possession yesterday, and we'll be helping them move on Saturday.  It's in Balgonie, so closer than they were, but still not in the city.  It's supposed to be pure 70's inside - can't wait to see it.

And a couple of photos to leave you with (thanks Auntie Joan for the costumes!) and a renos update (I actually wrote it first, but it got demoted to the end so you can skip it if you're not interested.

Madeline wore this to the Harvest Party at church.


And we wore them to a costume party at a friend's place.

Our kitchen is still in demolition mode. The main thing initally was that we were going to do the floors, a new countertop and ditch the wallpaper and paint. Minor renos. Sigh. The walls need to be redone because the wallpaper was covering lino which means the whole wall needs to come down. (And we can redo the vapor barrier and wiring, so that's good.) But we're now going up into the ceiling, too - scraping off the stipple and replacing the light fixtures. And cabinets. We moved out the one on the outside wall (and now have to go into the living room for our silverware and pots) to do the wall behind it, and now are pretty convinced that we should just do the cabinets too since everything else is getting done. But man they aren't cheap. Rona has a truckload sale on and we checked that out and they have everything we need except the right size sink base... and that means it won't work. Would have been half price, too. Enough about renos. I'll post more photos as it changes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Z is for Zachary

Are you suprised?  Here are some shots from Thanksgiving weekend:  Isn't he wonderful?

Thanks for joining me for Alphabet August!  For those who might consider doing something similar, please note that it will take you about THREE months, not one...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Y is for Yes.

Yes, I went to a scrapbooking retreat on the weekend.

Yes, I made some layouts.  Twenty, in fact.

Yes, I'm going to share.

An 8x8 - I've got a smaller album for lots of M's stuff.

Some older pics - look how little she is!

Journaling taken from the blog...

Love these photos - their group did such a great job.

How fun, hey?  I like the way this page turned out.

Like the journaling says - what a wonderful addition to the family!

First of 4 South Dakota trip pages.

Part one of a two page spread...

...and part two.

Notice the stamped title - I also used the Cricut for titles, and the computer that was there, and sticker letters, and grungeboard, handwriting, and Suzanne's Sure Cuts A Lot (software that works with the Cricut).  No rut for me!

This was a scraplift from the latest Scrapbooks Etc. magazine.

Lots of golfing picture from this summer...

A mushy one with a bunch of random shots of M.  The journaling says 'You will carry my heart with you wherever you go, and I will always be home for you.'

Did I spell that right?  This was the funniest thing I saw when we were home at Thanksgiving.

This is one of my favorites.

And this is the other one.

Yes, I realize there are not 20 layouts there - I also worked on an Atlas album, made a whole Geocaching album that I'll share another day, and counted as 1/2 the ones I had half done before I got there.  A very complicated counting system.

Leave me some love!  Tell me what you think!!