Welcome Everyone!

Remember to "click" on all pictures if you'd like to see them a little closer.

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Beginnings

Hi everyone!  Happy New Years!

The topic for the Round Robin at Swirlydoos this month is "New Beginnings".  I chose to document the story of my dog, Oakley, as he has gone through a huge change in his life this year, and has started his "New Beginning" with grace and acceptance.  

If you want to know Oakley's story, you can read it at the end of this post. 

I started with one of the beautiful papers from the Heirloom collection by 49& Market.  I had a lot of fun with some mixed media techniques:  layers of heavy gesso, strips of newspaper, stenciling and sprays... and then I covered most of it up!  I guess that's what mixed media is all about... glimpses peeking here and there through all the added ephemera.

The stenciling was done using Prima's Static stencil and White Crackle texture paste. Over top I used a beautiful Starburst Spray from Lindy's called "Autumn Maple Crimson".

The small flowers were stamped with a Heartfelt Creations stamp set "Berry Blossoms" using Archival ink "Vermillion".  After they were glued together, I put a light coat of  "Clear Rock Candy" Distress crackle paint on top and left it to dry overnight.  Once dry, I added some burgundy "Baby Beads' from Queen & Co.

The color choice for this layout came from a challenge at Unity Stamps.

I have fallen in love with Unity Stamps... they are so unique and beautiful.  The one that I used in this challenge is "Shari Girl".

I coloured Shari on a piece of tissue paper with Copics and then glued it down with Matte Gel, with a coat over top to protect it.  *Tip.... In order to get the image to show up on the dark background, I stamped it on to the layout and filled it in with white gesso.  Then I glued the tisse layer over top of the white "shadow".  At this point, I almost wanted to stop...because I loved the shadow with all the distressing... but Oakley's story needed to be told.  LOL.

The rest was just playing with bits and pieces from the November Swirlydoos kit and adding embellishments from my "stash".  For me it is the longest part of creating a layout.

Thanks for stopping by on this COLD day (-25C) and checking out what I've been up to!


Oakley's Story

I chose to use Oakley in my layout about new beginnings, because he began a new life with us in August.  He is 7 years old and his previous family was no longer able to look after him.  I had never adopted a dog that was this old and I was a little nervous… he had grown up with 3 boys, lived a merry life in the Rocky Mountains running up and down ski hills… and now he was coming to live a quiet life with my husband and I (mainly me, because my husband works away from home 3 weeks of the month.)

Oakley was very much loved by his previous family.  Mom was a bronze medal Olympic skier from Sweden, and the family owned a ski resort here in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.  The youngest boy of the family, who came with his mom to interview me, had some hilarious stories to tell about Oakley stealing ski gloves as a pup, and sitting on the gondola looking down and watching him race up the mountain with the glove in his mouth.  Unfortunately, the parents were getting divorced, mom was moving back to Sweden, the boys were scattered around the country in university, and dad didn't appear to have enough time for Oakley… so he needed a new home.
I was smitten the moment he walked through the door, although I was surprised by how big he is … he is a GINORMOUS dog, but he has the gentlest spirit of any dog I’ve ever met.  I didn’t get him right away… the family was interviewing several others who were interested in him… but in the end, after some nerve wracking days, they phoned and said they had let him choose, and they felt he was the most comfortable when he was at my house.  Whew!  Happy, happy day.

So, Oakley’s new beginning started, and I have learned a lot about grace from him over the past few months as he has adjusted to his new circumstances.  At first, he waited by the door for them to come back a lot, and his head would turn whenever a little grey car would drive by, but he didn’t whine or cry… he was just very quiet and well behaved…and accepting.  After about 3 weeks, I noticed he was becoming more animated… he was excited to do things with us… and he was wagging his tail merrily when we would talk to him.  I think he is very happy and comfortable with us now!

Oakley’s new beginning has been a real blessing for us.  My husband has a walking partner again, (we had lost our previous big dog a month before Oakley came to us), I have a gentle companion to keep me company, and our small dog has someone to show him that he isn’t the boss of the house!  (He needed to learn this… trust me!)

The moral of this story?  Don't be afraid to adopt a senior dog.  They adapt very quickly when they are given love and you will soon feel like you've had them forever! 

Monday, January 2, 2017


Hi everyone! 

Today I have a layout that was made with Swirlydoos' November kit, "Market Street".  It is a stunning kit using gorgeous paper from 49 & Market, BoBunny and Kaisercraft.  (Hint Hint....  There's still a kit left in the store!)  

This layout was made for the Swirlydoos' challenge "All That Flutters".  In order to make it I used the challenge at More Than Words where your inspiration word is "Celebrate" and you were to bling your layout up with jewels, glitter, and anything sparkly.  This worked well with some photos that I had from New Year's Eve this year!

Sometimes when I'm starting a layout, I sit and stare blankly at the paper.  When that happens I turn to a sketch to help me get going.  This month I used the sketch from Stuck?!Sketches.

I did a lot of mixed media on this page, using some of the products from Swirlydoos' Mixed Mediums kit. 
I used the silver Viva Decor Modelling Cream to emboss with a stencil behind the photos.
I splattered the whole page with watered down gesso.
All flowers were dry brushed with gesso.
I fussy cut the flowered paper and blinged it up with Stardust Stickles.
The Dusty Attic chipboard was painted with the silver modelling cream and once that was dry, I added a layer of stickles over top.

The silver tiara and the word "celebrate" were cut with my cricut explore, and the silver glittery leaves that you can see on both sides of the photos were cut with a die from Penny Black "Winter Garland".

The butterflies were also cut with my cricut explore.

The "All that Flutters" challenge is over now, but watch for the next kit... it will be arriving soon, and with it, there will be another "All that Flutters" challenge.

Also check out the challenges at More Than Words and Stuck?!Sketches....they both run until the end of the month.

Thanks for stopping by to see my first project for 2017!