Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas '08 in a Flash

So Christmas is over for another year, and this year it went by just as quickly, if not more so, than previous years. I had 5 days off but for some reason it didn't feel that long and I wished I had taken a few extra days to just relax at home, but alas that's not the way I saw it back when I booked my time off, so now I'm paying the price.

Anyway, Christmas for the Flynns went something like this:

On the 23rd we drove to Fredericton with little Shimi in tow. Now, for most of the trip she was a really good little kitten, barely meowing or picking up much fuss, but there were a few instances where I think she realized what was really going on and she had this terrified look on her face:

Oddly though, after about 5 mins, she calmed down (or was distracted...funny how they are like children that way), and she back to sitting on Dan's knee, grabbing some coffee at Tim's.

I won't get into how she behaved during the entire trip, but needless to say that cats are not easy to travel with. The worst part is that as soon as we got in the car to head home she turned back into her old cuddly super sweet self, which just made me even more angry, ha. Oh pets.

Anyway, so we spent the night in Fredericton and on Christmas Eve morning headed to McAdam to spend Christmas with Dan's brother Trev and his family, which was different since most Christmases have been spent at the in-law's places, but it was a nice change:

Church, good food, relaxing in the country. Lovely.

I also did alot of baby cuddling with this little (well, not so little) guy, Hayden.

But how couldn't I, look how cute he is!

Then it was Christmas morning. This year my oldest nephew Sean was old enough to start to understand it all, and it was alot of fun seeing him opening all his presents. Dan's dad and brother came out too, which was nice, lots of family around.

He must take after his Matante Geneviève :)

Hayden loving his new toy, a Glow worm.

Christmas Day we had 2 turkey dinners, one in McAdam and one in the evening with Dan's mom and Nan, then opened presents, which was nice and low-key in itself.

[insert picture of Fredericton Christmas here]

On Boxing Day it was off to my family's place in Sussex:

Most of the time spent there was going for long wintry walks with my mom and the dogs, hanging out with my sister, eating eating (and more eating) and relaxing. We opened gifts and had a ham supper on the 27th, it was very very good.

In summary...
-I ate waaaaay too much
-I didn't get alot of presents, and I really liked it that way
-I love going for walks with my mom, it's my favourite thing to do in Sussex
-My nephews are adorable
-Most didn't-know-I-needed-it-but-am-so-glad-I-got-it gift: An external harddrive for my pictures (thanks Trev!)
-Traditions and family are the most important part of Christmas, but making new traditions is fun too
-My sister makes an awesome pasta salad
-I'm getting a fake tree next year (maybe 2 small ones)
-Snow on Christmas Eve is magical, it just is
-Best how-did-you-know?! gift: Warm Amber Body Butter (thanks Nan!)
-While I love little towns, sometimes they are TOO little
-There are old friendships I realized that I would like to explore a bit more in the upcoming year
-Most practical gift: 2 sets of sheets (thanks John and Mama!)
-I can't wait to move home
-I miss Anna
-I'm making more hand-made gifts and crafts next Christmas, it was so fun this year!
-Taking pictures in the snow is hard
-Best present to myself: A new camera lens (buying January!)
-Always take a day or 2 more vacation than you think you need; you'll need it!
-Low-key Christmases are the best

Happy New Year to all, may 2009 be wonderful, light and full of dreams.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Favs of '08

Inspired by the lovely Kara (who is way more well-spoken than I ever could be), here are some of my favourite pictures (taken my myself) from this past year.

I have taken a ridiculous amount of pictures since I bought my new camera back in March, but I have enjoyed every second of it, I love photography and looking through the lens, and though I've had many frustrating moments when I've doubted if I have what it takes to take beautiful pictures, some of these shots have given me the confidence to think that I can. And I'm always striving to improve, which is the important part. In 09 I am rewarding myself with a new lens and photo editing software, so hopefully with those tools I'll be able to build on whatever basic skills I've aquired this year, and I'll have many more interesting shoots to come!

Now these shots in particular all mean something to me; they are either funny/silly and make me laugh, show something important that happened in my life or my family's/friend's lives (ie: pets or children), or are just beautiful/interesting (to me at least.) There are waaay too many pictures of myself in there and I apologize, but alot of the shots I took this year were for my 365 Challenge, so there you have it. If you go to my Flickr (on the left) you can check out the set and see the larger shots.


More goals for 09

Ok, so after reading my goals for 09 post, I realized that there were tons of other little things that I wanted to include but didn't for some reason. So, in no particular order, here are some more goals for myself (I have way too many, I know, as always, but I love list making!!)

1. Stop and take the picture: This is something that I really want to start doing, because I can't count the number of times this year when I was driving along, or walking along, whatever, and I happen to see something beautiful and I think "I should take a picture of that", but for some reason, I never ever stop and actually take it, even though my camera is usually sitting right there. I always make up some sort of excuse, like if I'm driving in the car and I see something beautiful on the side of the highway (happens the most I think), I'll think that I can't stop because it's dangerous, or inconvenient, or Dan is with me, or I think that the shots won't come out (which is possible, but I'll never know if I don't try.) I always come up with an excuse, but I always, ALWAYS regret it. So, from now on, I need to bring my camera with me when I go out more, and I need to stop and take the picture. No matter what. This also goes for photoshoots. I need to do more of them. Either by myself or with my willing model, Heather. I have ideas, I just need to make them come to life. No excuses, no laziness, no worrying about what others will think, just make it happen!

2. Make a blanket/quilt: I've been wanting to do this for a few years now, but not having a sewing machine has made it near impossible. But I think that I'm going to start one anyway, and if I can only work on it when I'm at my mom's house, then that's fine, even if it takes me all year I just want to make one. I may even hand sew some of it at home, who knows. So, if anyone knows of a good tutorial for making a square patch blanket, that would be great :)

3. Pretty-up my cube: I spend about 40 hours a week in this grey, gross little government cube, so I might as well make it pretty. I think that I may order some bright prints from a few shops on etsy, get some nice white (and light) frames and hang them up, get some more pictures up, use some pretty file folders (perhaps crafted by yours truly), maybe get some fake-but-real-looking flowers (I am nowhere near a window), stash away the unecessary work stuff and add a few little touches. It's hard keeping it personal yet professional, but I think I can manage, there's lots of inspo online for me! So many pretty offices, sigh...

4. Cook/bake more: I suck at cooking and baking. I'm just not into it, I don' t know why, but I also know I'd like to be. Maybe it's because I know I have to clean up afterwards, or because don't care what I eat most of the time, or I'm just not creative enough with it, but I know for sure that it's something I should get used to and learn to enjoy. Someday one of my main jobs will be to cook meals for my family (right now it's Dan's job, but when we have kids it'll be mine), so I need to learn to make things that are healthy but that we all enjoy (a challenge for anyone, I know.) My sister is really starting to get into cooking and watching her this weekend really made me think that I could enjoy it too. So maybe I'll start with once-a-week suppers, or I'll try new recipes for my work lunches. I don' t know, all I can say is that I want to get domestic, and get it real bad, ha.

Well that's all I can think of for now, my brain is too mushy from doing Archives (imagine the most monotonous job ever, and then imagine filing on top of it and you have my to-so list for the week.)

Off I go, pics and recap from Christmas to come soon!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pics and scraps...

...from life lately. I made this layout last night, really quick, and it was fun too, I love the K&Co Wild Saffron paper, so bright and cheery, great for a topic like this (my favourite songs of 08):

Few things I forgot to mention on the layout-
Favourite album: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Favourite Soundtrack: Juno
Favourite concert: Tie between Radiohead and Backstreet Boys (that's right!)
Most emotional song: "A Song for Sleeping" by STP (man that song can make me cry!)

Up next: My Christmas childhood memories mini book. I almost didn't want to show this because the pictures don't really do it justice, it's much cuter when it's all together in a book, but just so you could see the papers I scanned them all individually. This was a fun, cute project, I had fun remembering Christmas-related things from my childhood. I think that I'll probably do another one next Christmas, maybe attempt a December Daily album or something.

Last, but not least, some pics I've taken lately that I enjoy:

My black nails are back and I love them. Even at Christmas time.

Cuteness (and annoyingness) that is our Shimi, peeking up from the couch. I love this shot, even if it's a bit blurry (darn me and my shaky hands!)

Latest 365...only 3 months left of the first year, hard to believe!!

Well, that's all. We are heading out after work for NB, Christmas break will officially begin. I'll try to get online as much as I can, but at the same time I want to take a break from it, focus on other things like family and friends and taking pictures and baby nephews and going for walks in the snow, so if you don't hear from me again for a bit, Merry Christmas everyone!

Ps-We're having a little sale at our shop, there are still a few cute things left, check it out!

Goals for 2009

So it’s that time of year again; I realized the other day that 2008 is almost over and, gulp, we were quickly entering into 2009, almost the end of the first decade in the 21st century. It’s so hard to think of how the last 10 years have gone by, quickly at some points and dragging at others, but the fact that almost a decade has gone by and I can remember parts of every year within it makes me feel…well, quite old. The first decade of my adult life is almost over. Already.

One thing that I’ve done over the past 2 years of this decade is to document my goals for the upcoming year, and I’m really glad that I have since it has given me a chance to look back on my priorities and dreams for that year, and to see what, if anything, I’ve accomplished. So, without further ado, here is my list for ’09 (nine in ’09) Now not all of these are deep or complex, some of them are just things I would like to do more of, silly things, but others are more serious and fit into the larger picture of my life, so I hope to at least accomplish some of those, without ignoring the little things as well.

1) Get Pregnant: this is obviously something that might not happen, since I can’t really control whether it happens or not, we’ve been trying for over a year now and nothing has happened, but I know for certain that this is something that I want, I’m (and we’re) ready to have children, the time is right, so I am making it a priority. Whether this means getting medical help or just doing whatever I can to help it happen, I need to keep my focus, because I want to be knocked up by the end of this year. My #1 goal.

2) Travel outside of the Maritimes at least twice: I’m very happy that this happened in 08, and I want to make it happen again next year. One trip I want to make is to Toronto to visit my friend Anna again, that was a nice “mini vacation”, and it was relatively inexpensive, so I’ll probably go again in the spring. The other I’m not so sure about, ideally I would love for this to be the year to head to Italy, I’ve been wanting to go for a long, long time, and now that I have a friend there, it would end up being somewhat inexpensive, depending on what kind of flight deal I can get. I really really, really want to go, it’s a life long dream, I know I will probably cry when I get there, that’s how much I want to go, and if there is any way that I can do this one, I want to do it. The biggest luxury, but also the most worthwhile one.

3) Take more (and better pictures): I’ve had my camera since March, so almost a year, and I think it’s time I took it to the next level technically. I’m going to invest in a new lens and a photo editing program in January, and I really want to take my photography up a notch (or 2 or 3). Really learn how to work my camera, how to edit properly, and how to develop a photographer’s eye. Whether this means taking a class or reading books, or just practicing every day until I get to where I’m happy, I want this skill of mine to improve.

4) Read at least one book a month: Plain and simple. I’m not going to force myself to read anything, if it’s non-fiction, fiction, fluffy or not, just to read one book a month. Easy peasy.

5) Save up (almost) half of a down payment on a house: Ever since Dan started working back in April, we have managed to save about 1/5 of what we need to buy a house. I would like to increase the savings if possible and save about half of what we need to buy a home in Sussex in the next few years. This might be a tough one to do, but Dan should be getting a raise or 2 next year (although we will also start paying off Dan’s govt loans…eek), but as long as we save as much in ‘09 as we did in ‘08 I will be happy.

6) Journal more on my scrap pages: I’ve accepted my “style” in scrapbooking and am generally happy with what I scrap/how I scrap/how frequently I scrap, but one thing I’m not satisfied with is the journaling I add (or don’t add, in most cases) on my pages. I need to dig deeper and really focus on the words I use and what I want to say. Even if it’s just a silly page, I want to look back on it in a few years and really feel like I expressed myself as accurately and as vividly as possible, to leave behind my life, all aspects of it, through meaningful words.

7) Maintain some form of exercise: This is going to be hardest one, by far, since I’ve never been one to naturally enjoy exercise. I can go through phases where I will get into the routine of exercising (like running or Pilates), but it’s not something that comes naturally to me, I have to work at it, which makes it hard when I feel like being lazy, which is all.the.time. BUT, my weight has been creeping up on me lately (sniff sniff), and I’m no longer satisfied with my body as it is, so starting as soon as possible, I’m going to do my Pilates and when the weather gets a bit nicer, I am going to aim to start running again and possibly run in the 10km in July that I did last year. Maybe swim or something as well. Wish me luck on this one!

8) Quit (or at least tone down) the casual swearing: This is a bad habit of mine that I let sneak up on me from time to time and it’s time that I got it under control. Swearing now and then is cool, when it’s needed and when it’s the only thing that can be said it’s fine, but throwing it into casual conversation for no reason is just not going to fly with me. I’m smarter than that and I won’t let it get worse.

9) Umm, did I mention get pregnant?

I truly believe this.

These little guys came to me in the form of a Christmas card from my friend Jory. I believe they are from Etsy, but I'm not sure from which shop...they look kinda Ashleyg to me, don't you think?

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Check out this cuteness!

Here's a picture of my newest nephew, Jonas, all curled up in the Cocoon I bought for him off Etsy from this wonderful shop!! So adorable, I'll definitely be buying one of these for my future babies, if only for the photo opportunities!

Say it with me now: Awww.....

Ok, I am around...

This seems to be a theme with all the blogs I'm reading, but we've all dissapeared lately! My reasons? No Internet at home for over a week...busy with Christmas Internet at home for over a week...not a lot of craftiness to Internet at home for over a week.


I did write out a blog post on my computer at home yesterday (my "goals for XX" post, I'm ahead of the game!) and I was going to bring it on my memory stick to work to post today, but last night we got a super wicked wind/snow storm and our power went out, so I didn't get a chance to load it onto my USB stick, grr. Hopefully the power is on tonight though when I get back from work so that I can load my post, some pics I took lately (mostly Shimi) and-gasp-a layout or 2, plus my mini book! So lots to share soon :)

Oh, and for the fam, in case anyone is wondering, here is out schedule for Christmas:

23rd (evening) --> Drive to Fredericton, stay at Bonnie's house
24th --> Leave in the morning for McAdam; stay with Trev and Sarah overnight; have supper (seafood casserole?) with John, Trev and Sarah and the kids, and hopefully Andrew; go to church in the evening, and Christmas Tree in McAdam (while Dan hides in the basement)
25th --> Spend morning and afternoon in McAdam; have Christmas dinner at Trev and Sarah's; leave McAdam at around 4 or so to drive back to Freddy; spend the evening with Bonnie and Nan
26th --> Leave in the morning for Sussex; spend night at parent's
27th --> Hopefully hang out with Daf and family; maybe go to camp
28th --> Meet friends in the afternoon for coffee; leave after supper for home

Woo, going to be busy!

Well c'est tout for now, hopefully I'll be back tomorrow, if not, I hope everyone has a very Merry and safe Christmas!!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Flickr Favs-Nov/Dec

Flickr Favs-Nov/Dec, originally uploaded by Genevieve_vev.

Some lovely pictures I've been checking out lately...sigh, these make me want to go out and take pictures all day...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paper Therapy

..had one of those days today where it seemed that nothing was going right, and there was nothing but frustrations to deal with all day, so when I got home I knew I had to create something, something kinda messy and kinda quick...I needed some paper therapy (not so much in the journaling, though I did a bit of that, but more in that I could take my anger out on the paper, out on something that I could tear up , slap on, glue on and mess up, it felt good!) Can't wait for the day to be over though, ugh...(on the bright side I used some K&Co Wild Saffron paper, a hard piece too!)

On to more pleasant things, wanted to share a few pics of some Christmas things I've been up to:

I'm trying to be nice to the Earth (and my wallet) this Christmas so instead of buying wrapping paper, bows and ribbon, I bought some craft paper that can be recycled, and I'm going to wrap all my gifts with it (the ones that don't go in re-useable gift bags that is.) I like the look of it anyway, and I'm also using my own scrap supplies to make the gifts more cute (I added some fiber and Christmas paper to this one, and used a cute little tag from Etsy, for my friend in Italy...I also used a paper box I've had for-e-ver for my friend Anna's little gift, it was really fun to decorate!)

I also added some more to my windowsill in the kitchen, it looks much better now. I added some fake boughs and ribbon to the top, and hung the tinsel I wreath I made based on Rachel's awesome idea, just instead of using felt to make flowers I added a glittery ornament I bought. I think it turned out pretty cute! I also set up my Nativity scenes (plural because I got not one but 2 sets for Christmas last year and I couldn't choose just one!) So now my kitchen is all Christmas-ized, now to just get my tree this weekend and finish the house off!

Oh deer, haha

Hmm, I suppose that's all, like I said, I'm not having a great day so I think I'm just going to go clean up my desk and then veg out with hubs on the couch, head to bed early. Hopefully tomorrow is better!!

(Oh, an intro into my bad day today was last night, when I went to Wal Mart to get some craft supplies-sequins to play in The Art is Found challenge and dental floss/white circle stickers to create this awesome project for my living room windows, but of course, they didn't have ANY of those things! So I am craftless, and that is not good. Grr. Sorry, just had to vent that.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Procrastination...

Found this through my sister-in-law's blog, thought I'd spend a few minutes...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Depends on the gift, usually gift bags, they are re-usable.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real 100%!

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually around the 2nd week of December (next weekend)

4 When do you take the tree down? No later than Jan 2-3.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but only in small doses.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm, I really can't remember, the gifts weren't a big part of it...probably some Disney movies or Barbie things.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Lately it's been my parents and parents in law.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Dan, my friends.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I got 2 for Christmas last year, so yes, I put them out today!

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I like all the presents I receive.

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? Oh my, so many...the Grinch (cartoon), Muppets Christmas Carol, Disney's Christmas Carol (with Scrooge and Mickey), The Sound of Music, Nightmare Before Christmas

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Probably Mid-November I aim to start.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so, I recycle the wrapping and bows and tags though.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turkey Dinner (all of it!), Clementines, Quality Street Chocolate, Tofifee, Fererro Rocher, all chocolates really...

15. Lights on the tree? For sure, white ones.

16. Christmas song(s)? Oh man I don't know, I couldn't name them all...all the old classics, the Carpenters Christmas album, Kathy Mathea "Mary Did you Know", Soundtrack to Home Alone, Kenny G Miracles...

17. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Probably if I sing it.

18. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Always Christmas morning, even as kids.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The feeling that you need to buy things in order to have a merry Christmas, the rush rush of it all, line-ups at malls

21. Theme or color? Both kinda...I do Santas and Snowmen for the tree, but they are usually in Christmas colours. Trying to branch out this year though.

22. Still do a stocking? Yes, Dan and I give each other fact, that's all we're doing this year for each other.

23. When do you go to Church? Try to go Christmas Eve when I can.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Garlands + Pics = Good Friday

I left work early today and came home to take some pics in the park across from my street in the last little bit of daylight. It was so nice, I had the place to myself and I had my tunes, but that's definitely one thing I miss about summer/warmer times, is the abundance of sunlight...this shot came out blurry, but I loved it anyway :)

First of all, I just wanted to mention that Heather and I are going to be doing a little update to the shop tomorrow, so be sure to check in, we have some new goodies, and one item in particular that I LOVE LOVE and wish I could keep for myself, Heather really outdid herself :) So be sure to check it out and come sit at our table!

Ok, so, on to other showing off my latest project, a felt star garland I made in a few hours the other night...not sure where the idea came from exactly, I've been seeing alot of felt and Christmas decorations lately, so I guess I just decided to try and make one myself. So I free hand cut some stars from a piece of felt I had leftover from when I made Yoshimi's Pink Robot (completely dead now, btw), and I strung the stars together with embroidery thread, and on the thread I added bits of whatever I had around; buttons, beads, Christmas paper, lace, brads, anything that seemed to work. I made it about 4-5 feet long, and it just so happened top fit perfectly on my kitchen window, so there it hangs :) I think that I'm going to add something around the windowsill and frame, it's looking a little empty right now, but the garland is definitely cu-ute.

Sorry for the terrible pic, I can't really take pics of it during the day...see more pics on my Flickr.

So tonight I'm going to be working on a tinsel wreath and hopefully making some Christmas cards. Tomorrow Heather and I are going to be doing a little shop work, and then taking a walk to a local hand-made holiday craft fair, should be fun, even though it's supposed to be really cold! Other than that I am going to rest rest rest. This week has been quite tiring for some reason so I'm not going to beat myself up if I sleep in a bit, or take a nap, just take it easy really. Well that's all for now, will be back with some pics of the wreath and cards I hope! Hope you all have a great weekend!


365 from today, I look forlorn but really I was quite happy, I just like how the shot came out, it's cold and wintry.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas time is here...

1. Time for Christmas mom was nice enough to send me along all these super cute Christmas papers, (not sure who they're by, not K&Co?), so I decided to use them for my Christmas mini, using the arrow mini book I got in my June Sweet Twee Lab kit. I knew as soon as I got the book back in the summer that I was going to use it for Christmas, and originally I wanted to use all BG Christmas papers, something like this, but in the end I think these papers will fit my theme better; Childhood Christmas memories. I'm not going to use any pics, just papers and words, remembering all the little things from Christmas when I was younger; the food, the traditions, the TV shows, the music...short little memories, but I'm really excited to get started tonight!

Speaking of crafts, I'm hoping this weekend to be able to make a wreath something like this one I saw on Rachel's blog, so cute, so inexpensive, which is perfect for the holidays, since it can get quite expensive if you let it...(side note: if you have a chance, watch this video, it really hit home for me, I'm going through my Christmas list and trimming it down quite a bit because of it, I'm glad I saw it...)

I'd also like to make a felt garland, some more gifts for friends, I have my Christmas cards to many crafts, so little time!

2. Time for Christmas decorations...I took out my village last weekend, I love the look of the village sitting on top of my entertainment centre, it glows all night, and last night I went out and bought a 24 pack of trees, which really made it a winter wonderland, I love it, I might have to keep it out until January!

I'm not sure when we are going to get the tree, I said the weekend of the 20th but it seems so far away, I might move it up a week...other than that I don' t have many decorations out, my shelf, a few candles here and there, I have a Nativity set to put out, and that's about it. Somehow I feel like I need more, but I think that for this year I'll just make due with what I have and next year I'll know more what I need for the space. I'll make as many decorations as I can (I have the MS magazine and they have tons of crafts), and just be happy with that.

3. Time for Christmas food...Oh my, I haven't even started thinking about this yet! I know that Heather and I are supposed to make some cookies one evening, and we are having a big supper within the next few weekends, but I'd also like to try a few candy/sweets recipes, as well as maybe make some of the food my mom used to make, like meat pies (I think that's what they're called, Tourtières), peanut butter balls, mochas...yum yum. I'll gain about 10 pounds if I make all that food though!

4. Time for Christmas music...I'm really enjoying Sarah's new Christmas blog, even though she hasn't put up any new projects, I still check it everyday for the Christmas playlist! I'm also listening to The Carpenter's Christmas album alot, it's just perfect, nice Christmas music...if there' s one thing I can't stand is contemporary artists doing Christmas music (Beyoncé singing Jingle Bells is not my idea of nostalgic or pleasant), I really prefer all the oldies when it comes to Christmas music....and, although I'm a bit ashamed to admit this (though not really), I also really like Kenny G's Christmas, especially alone at night when it's snowing, it's so peaceful!

Well that's all. Time to get crafty!

(Oh!!! Our shop made a sale! After only one day, we were soooo happy! I shipped the item off today, it was so wonderful, I think I could really get into this...we're working on some more goodies now, I'll let you know when we do an update!)