pool days

Summer time means more time to take photos and more time to make them fancy. Another PhotoShop play session. Two days at the pool in thirty degree heat. Bottles and tubes of sunscreen. Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches. French fries with seasoning salt. Bottled water that gets warm in the heat but you drink it anyway. The smell of Kentucky Fried Chicken drifting over Taylor Street at suppertime. Hot pavement under your feet. This is what summer is for me.

last day

We wrapped a little gift for the teachers - today is the last day of school! It is amazing what you can do with a paper bag and some ribbon, isn't it?

loopy's paper bag book

I proudly present to you the paper bag book that Sidney made for the end of her school year as a little memento for herself. It's her first effort (in truth, I'd never even done one) and I helped her with the machine stitching. We worked on it over the weekend and she took it to school today so her classmates could sign the autograph page.

We enjoyed working on this together so much that we plan to do a few more of them over the summer. I had no idea that the paper bag book was so much fun! There are so many little flaps and pockets to explore, the possibilities are endless.

Nicely done Sidney Jean! Mom loved it so much, she blogged it.

Happy Birthday Jack!

We hope you have a great birthday and have fun seeing the new Cars movie! This picture of you was taken at our wedding two years ago today. You had lots of fun dancing in the bubbles and playing with the goldfish. I added the hat.

Have a super birthday Jack, we love you!

A reminder of that happy summer day two years ago tomorrow. It was perfect. A sunny warm day not unlike today filled with family and friends. Our first dance was to Adam Sandler:

I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad
carry you around when your arthritis is bad
all I want to do is grow old with you
I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches
build you a fire when the furnace brakes
oh it could be so nice growing old with you
I'll miss you, kiss you, give you my coat when you are cold
need you, feed you, even let you hold the remote control
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
put you to bed when you've had to much to drink
oh it would be so nice to grow old with you
I want to grow old with you

The completed anniversary-gift-pillows. I'm pretty proud of myself.
Ben really liked them and they are looking good in the man room.

sew darn crafty

With our second wedding anniversary coming up, I wanted to do something nice for Ben's man room. In the man room, everything is manly. It is Ben's domain, complete with theatre seating, football and baseball memorabilia, and other testosterone-laden items.

So while shopping here I found three different Green Bay Packers sweatshirts for the rock-bottom price of $15.0o each. And at Liquidation World (another favorite haunt) I found really ugly cushions to cover for $1.20.

I have to piece together the green fleece because the embroidered crests were too high on the chest to be centered on the cushions for the man room. I'm topstitching the seams to give them a real jersey look. I admit that I'm not really an accomplished seamstress at all, but I can sew a straight line and figure things out so I can usually whip up pillowcases or curtains.

That's what I'm working on today. I will post the finished items when they're done! And ssshhhh... don't tell! It's a surprise.

It's almost our second wedding anniversary. I'm still scrapbooking the photos, and as all of you scrappers out there know, it is a monumental task. The situation is further muddied by my interest in PhotoShop and digital scrapbooking, and now, blogging.

On the bright side, I managed to finish my three little bridesmaid albums for the girls! Every day I try a new skill in PhotoShop and here is today's effort. Sidney Jean has grown so much in two short years.

This photograph was snazzed up with a digital doo dad made by the artiste extrodanaire of Moland, Mo Jackson. Sidney and I are huge fans of her doo dads and her scrapbook art. We are proud doo dad dabblers!

an open letter to my brother

Ha! Caught you looking!

My brother came over the other night for Father's Day dinner and helped me with my blog for a while. He was very helpful. He ate and ate.

But seriously, he showed me how to fancy up my blog a bit and yesterday I designed a lovely new banner, which I emailed to him and he will host for me because apparently that's how these things work and now I am at his mercy waiting, waiting, waiting for news about this situation.

You see, my brother is very smart and very cool. We went shopping today at the local pawn shop. I had never set foot in a pawn shop before and he warned me that it could be smelly (it was) and sad (oh, it was) but it was very interesting. I am glad I carry purell.

My brother teased me about the goofy clock on my blog but I deflect his computer-geniusy jabs because I am a "newb" and I was pretty impressed with myself for getting that silly thing to work. Plus - I changed the colour of it to green so it would match my titles and my lovely, gorgeous banner that is coming soon.

a family milestone

I am so proud of my Dad. He was recently bestowed an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Saskatchewan in recognition of his achievements in the field of art and printmaking. By chance (and good timing) I also graduated with my Master's degree at the same Convocation. My Father made the convocation address. He also looked pretty cute in his academic robes!

Here we are after the ceremony. Dad is in the middle and we are with Dr. Peter MacKinnon, President of the University. As happy as I am to have completed my education, I am very proud and pleased that the University honored my father for his lifetime of work and service to the institution.

my dirty little secret

For those of you not from my home town, you may not understand this, but humor me anyway: I am divulging this little secret... I shop here sometimes.

Now, I know it shouldn't matter, but if you knew this town like I know this town you would realize that:

a) this is not in the nicest or safest area of town; and,
b) it doesn't have the least bit of panache.

But, insofar as shopping goes, and I mean shopping, as in hunting, this place is the greatest. Like a little secret only I know about. Only now I am telling everyone, and for those of you who read my blog regularly - (shout out to Lolly for doing some replanting!) I do like my shopping. I love to find really, very good bargains. I like going to strange out-of-the way discount sort of places where the cement floor needs a wash (and yes I would probably offer to do it for them in exchange for a gift card) and the clientele might be a little... uh... can I use the word "sketchy"?

My theory is that these funny discount places are awesome because almost all of the people that I know wouldn't be caught dead even in the parking lot, but I go right on in and find the best bargains... and no one is the wiser. So I can pick up some nifty things and stuff the leftover money in my mattress, right where it belongs, under the Kate Spade sheets I got at Liquidation World.

Today's case in point: my lovely 100% dupioni silk curtains that I just hung in our master bedroom. They look exactly like the 100% dupioni silk curtains that I wanted from Restoration Hardware, only at Restoration Hardware they would not have cost $29.95. These curtains are fully lined and let me tell you, they are gorgeous... and at this store I still had the option of picking up a Baby Ruth candy bar for 69 cents at the checkout, how often does that happen at Pottery Barn, I ask?

amazing, delicious weekend

What a great weekend we had. On Friday night, we grilled pork chops - with a sauce recipe invented by yours truly. The recipe included soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, garlic, and a "secret" ingredient... a splash of Jack Daniels! I used half the mixture for marinade and then reduced the other half at a simmer and thickened it with cornstarch, making a shiny brown glaze for the chops when they were off the grill.

Our very good friends, the Delpartes and the Mogensons came to town for a visit. Bob brought whole lobsters with him. On Saturday night, we grilled steak and chicken breasts to go with the lobsters, oven roast potatoes, ceasar salad and bread to go with the lobsters! Amazing, absolutely amazing. It was quite a feast, followed by homemade caramel ice cream. Mmmmmm.

For Sunday brunch, I made my famous Eggs Benedict (shown here) for brunch. Dessert was to be fresh strawberries but I didn't think they were quite ripe enough so after slicing them I sprinkled them with brown sugar and drizzled them with the tiniest bit of Kahluha. They were served with fresh cream. It all melted together to be a sweet, flavourful sauce.

A good time, with good friends and good food. What a great weekend!

visit merryville

Dear friends and readers: you must, if you get a chance visit Mrs. Staggs in Merryville at:


Enjoy your trip. I promise, it is worth the trip.

has anyone seen my duck?

We take Wacky Hair Day very, very seriously in this family. Every June, students at Loopy's school are invited to wear their wackiest hair styles. I think about Wacky Hair Day all year long.

Loopy won the top prize every year from Kindergarten to Grade 2, we forgot (horrors!) in Grade 3 (and I -seriously - was very unhappy when I realized that we forgot what is maybe my eighth or ninth favourite day of the year).

This year we turned Loopy's hair into a giant duck. Her long hair (it falls to her elbows) was pinned into a ginormous updo and secured with 144 bobby-pins that I wired with yellow feathers. They eyes I hot glued to small clips and I fashioned her beak from craft foam.

We didn't win this year because of the wig scandal.

The best part of the day was after school. Whenever she said anything, Buddy (oh teenage brother!) said, "what's that sound, all I hear is quack, quack". We took her for ice cream and asked the server if they had anything with quackers in it. We tried to talk her into trying on giant orange sunglasses at the department store, but she was tiring of us so we went home. There's always next year.