Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Some New Projects...

I had a great time playing with my December kit from The Scrapping Nook! I loved working with the Foofala Indian Summer line when it is getting so cold outside. I also broke out the UTEE for the first time in a long time...I'm addicted again!

I had this photo of Simon blowing out the candle on his cake on his fourth birthday. I thought it would be a great twist to journal about what I wish for his future instead of what he may have wished for (probably chocolate treats) when he blew out his candle.

To make the chipboard owl, I inked the edges of the Maya Road Owl with brown ink an drew in a beak with my journaling pen. I then heat embossed three times with UTEE. This gave it a neat pottery kind of feel. For the eyes I added two little orange buttons.

I also made this little mini book using the lyrics from the song "We are Family". This project is going to be our next free download on ScrapAbility and I hope many of you will visit and download it. I then hope that you post your creations because I want to see them! You can look for this class to be posted hopefully by the end of the week! Also, while you are there, would you mind answering a couple of polls we have posted at the moment under "ScrapAbility News"? We are getting ready to launch some new classes for January and would love to know the direction you would hope to see ScrapAbility go in the future. We want to offer the classes you are looking for (obviously) and are willing to find the most amazing teachers to teach them! Thanks so much for checking it out!

PS. Two posts in one day...this has to be a record!

I did it!

I was afraid to try. I managed to make a very primitive blog banner. I will work on it and make a better one soon! Need to get some digi elements I think!

Quick post...Grace and Simon and my attempt at a holiday photo. I will post again soon!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Where does the time go?

I just can't seem to keep this blog up to date! You would think that I have tons to talk about but I don't. Life just seems to take hold and before you know it, it's December.

I'm working on my layouts with my Novemeber kit from The Scrapping Nook! I love the paper we were given this month. I would love to post a peek but I haven't taken a photo of the one layout I have completed thus far.

November brought some changes on the scrapping front for me. After one glorious year designing for an amazing company, they decided that they were not going forward into 2008 with a design team. I was extremely sad that I wouldn't be a part of the team anymore but Cosmo Cricket and the people behind it are wonderful. I was so honoured to be a part of the team and will value the friendships I have made as a result of being on such a close knit team. Thanks Cosmo!

Wendy at Gel-a-tins brought out some amazing new Holiday stamps and I'm still in the process of making my Christmas cards as we sit here today (insert embarassed face here). Both sets of stamps are a build-your-own set and very versatile! I love the Holiday postage one. So vintage looking! I hear that Wendy has some awesome stuff up her sleeve for CHA winter as well! Can't wait for those designs. Creativity will be oozing I'm sure!

I took my first exam for the Web Design certificate I'm enrolled in at the local college here. I'm loving the program so far. I'm learning all kinds of things I didn't know before. Before I know it I will be a web design goddess! :) It was so weird walking through the halls of the college on the night of my exam. At 35, I feel young but man did I feel old walking those halls. My mom said that people probably just thought I was a teacher. Thanks mom!

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Steel City Safari here in Hamilton. It was an amazing show put on by the Reptile store and a bunch of other community zoos and conservation organizations. There were amazing educational segments and the opportunity to get up close and personal with many animals. The kids had a blast. Grace was the usual dare devil and couldn't hold enough of the snakes and birds. These photos are her holding a couple of the snakes. She wasn't afraid one bit. In the photo with the funny face, Grace was told to make a face like she is afraid. Can you believe it? That snake was on her head! Simon wouldn't even touch the snakes. He did however touch the shells of the turtles (when they weren't looking). *snicker*

Christmas is in full swing here. I put the trees up on the weekend of the Toronto Santa Claus parade. That is my tradition. I love the trees so much so I try to optimize the length of time that they are up at our house. Now that we are in the new house I have room for both trees. One is actually in our bedroom since we have this really nice arched window in it and it looks so pretty from the front of the house at night. I will take some photos and post at a later date (Read: don't hold your breath).

I'm so thankful that my friend Patti's husband Ron made it through his surgery fine and is home now on the road to recovery. You are doing an amazing job my friend. What an amazing nurse you turned out to be! You had absolutely no need to doubt yourself and your abilities! The patience of a saint I tell you...that handbasket is going to be empty for quite a while! ;)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Heavy Heart and some New Layouts

I have been spending the last week consumed with thoughts and well wishes for my dear friend Patti and her husband. The surgery will be on Tuesday and I'm hoping (and yes even praying) that the surgery will go well with no complications. You are always on my mind Patti and I'm here for you whenever you need me. Please take care of yourself.

This month I had the privilege of working with the Daisy D's Autumn line for my DT work at The Scrapping Nook. I love this paper and I feel a couple more layouts coming on. I created these two layouts with the kit.

The first one was a labour of love, cutting out all the flowers from the patterned paper but I love the final look. It's funny how we as scrappers, always have a favourite layout and how that favourite changes all the time. I admit that these two new layouts are my new favourites!

The second layout is my family being goofy. I had to laugh as someone commented, "that picture of your husband must make you proud" on one of my message board sites. It's true, it's one of my favourite photos of my husband and he didn't want me to make a layout about it. I was planning on using it all on it's own but thought this was a bit more subtle. I love what a great husband and father he is and how he is willing to wear the crown if his daughter (and son for that matter) demands it.

On the ScrapAbility front, we are getting some new classes ready and should have some up for registration in the coming week or two. Watch out for some great project classes and a Photoshop class!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Catching up...a bit

Well...I guess my good intentions have gone to who knows where. I really do try and update the blog more often but before I know it a month has gone by.

We are settling into the new house well although Grace still says frequently that she misses the old house and her friends. It breaks my heart to hear her sad like that. She seems to have settled in well at the school and she likes her new teacher.

The middle of October was busy for me. I had the Crop for Kids in London. I had a fantastic time and the event seemed to go amazingly well. Kudos to Sarah and the gang for pulling off an amazing weekend that raised thousands for the Children's Hospital! I'm honoured to have been even a small part of it all. The women I met that weekend were all fantastic and I even managed to meet a couple of people I only knew from online so that was fun. All of my supplies made it to my classroom and the classes seemed to over well which was a relief.

I have the honour of being a part of The Scrapping Nook's DT. Last month I had Dream Street Papers to work with. I decided I would do a canvas with some of my paper. It took a long time to finally finish it as it was a work in progress but I'm happy with the final result. I hope my friend Patti liked it too (she's the owner of the store).

I also decided to enter a Prima contest this month as I already had the paper that was required to enter and I was dying to try it out. I had a lot of fun working with the Paintables. For the blue and pink flowers I painted them using my watercolour pencils. I used texture paste on the red flower and painted it with red acrylic paint. I accented all the flowers with my glitter pen for a bit of shimmer and outlined the black outlines on the red flower with my black Glaze pen. I'm very happy with the outcome of the layout. Loving the Kraft cardstock lately.

Halloween has now come and gone. The kids had a great time. My sister's kids, the twins, came out as well to go Trick or Treating with us. There were many great displays in the neighbourhood so it looks like we have some competition! We love to decorate the house for Halloween and there were a few in the neighbourhood that even had haunted houses in their garages! It was a lot of fun walking around with the kids. Grace was a bit timid at a few of the scarier houses and I heard her say to Simon once, "You go first Simon because you are braver than me". I love my kids!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I am T-I-R-E-D

Why can't I sleep past 3:30 am lately? This past week there I am, wide awake staring at the ceiling at 3:30. Why?? I guess I have a bunc of stuff on my mind. I can't think of any other explanation unless it's that arched window in our bedroom! It's the only thing about our new house that I don't love. If I had the choice, it wouldn't be there. We are having a hard time finding a covering for it. Of course I sleep on the side of the bed where at 6am, the sun shines directly on my face. I have also noticed lately, that at, oh around 3:30, the moon is also shining on my face! I have a mask but I never sleep as well with it on. I guess I will have to give it another try. Keep your fingers crossed that I will find some suitable covering for it soon!

Grace started school this past week. Her first week in the new school and in grade one. It seemed to go well. It's her first time riding a bus to school. I was worried that she would be to afraid to get on the bus all alone, to a school that she has never been to, and to a class full of kids she didn't know. Boy was I wrong! She hardly had time for a kiss goodbye! She ran over to that bus, got on, and waved happily from the window. I guess it was mom that was too afraid!

There was only one story from the past week that broke my heart. She said that she asked some kids to play with her at recess and they said no. She said that she spent the rest of the recess standing by herself by a tree. I cried when I heard that. The next day she took a skipping rope to school and the report was that she played with Mackenzie at recess. So we are getting there! New kid in the new school syndrome. Grace is so sociable so I'm sure it won't be long until she wants to invite her whole class over for a play date!

Simon starts school this week. We will see how that goes. I found out last week that he is still on the waiting list for speech therapy in Hamilton. We waited 8 months to get in at Erinoak in Burlington. We were told that there wouldn't be a wait here since we already waited so long in Burlington. I guess they were wrong. The thing that bothers me is, that it was one of the deciding factors about whether or not we should move. Since we thought there was no wait we figured it would be okay. Another tearful day for me on Friday. I'm so embarassed to say that I actually broke down and cried on the phone with the speech therapist intake coordinator. Simon is so resistant to speech therapy at home with us. He needs that one on one with the therapist. I know we will get there...it's just such a long road and I'd rather get back on it sooner than later.

Here is a picture of Grace on her first day of school. Love that missing tooth! Just as Murphy's law works. My battery died on the camera after the second shot! Bad mommy not checking the battery level the night before!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I watched Oprah today. It as an episode about giving. Bill Clinton just wrote a book about it apparantly. On the show they mentioned an organization that helps people in developing countries sustain themselves by giving them loans to run their businesses. The best thing? You can donate and directly help someone! When they pay you back, you can use that money to help someone else! The donation amount is set at $25 right now due to the overwhelming response. Almost everyone can afford $25 and you can read updates about how they are doing!! Oh...and their payback rate? Something like 97%!!

It's amazing...check it out!


Monday, September 03, 2007

Canadian Scrapbooking Crop for Kids

This October (the 12th-14th to be exact), I will be teaching at the London location of the Canadian Scrapbooking Crop for Kids. All proceeds from this event will go to the Children's Hospital in the city that the event is held. The Crop will be held in 5 cities across Canada and I can't even tell you how dear this cause is to my heart.

My son Simon, although healthy today, had two stays at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto immediately following his birth. Had it not been for the amazing doctors, surgeons and nurses that work in the Neonatal ICU there I wouldn't have my son here with me today.

Let me see if I can find some old journaling I did on a layout about the events surrounding my son's birth and hospitalization. One sec...

Okay I found it!! Here we go...feel free to skip this part if you aren't at all interested...it's a bit long.

Simon’s Story

March 31, 2003. The day you were born, the height of the SARS crisis in Toronto. Daddy and I were the only people allowed in the hospital with you when you came into this world. No one would be able to see you until we brought you home from the hospital. You were born by c-section at 36 weeks because I had no amniotic fluid left to sustain you in the womb. Your birth was very exciting and you came into the world surprising us all that you were a little boy. You were beautiful and 6lbs1oz, a good size for being born at 36 weeks.

Shortly after birth you developed breathing problems and had to stay in the nursery on oxygen so that they could keep an eye on you. I went to see you a short time later and you looked comfortable lying there in the incubator. I wasn’t able to hold you yet because of the oxygen.

Through the night your breathing became more laboured and the doctors put you on a CPAP machine which would help you breath easier. Because of the CPAP, the pressure in your lungs built up like it sometimes does and you developed a collapsed lung. In the morning the nurse informed me of this and I immediately went down to the nursery to see you with tears streaming down my face. Your father was on his way.

They told me that you would need a chest tube and would need to be intubated. Since this was what you needed you would be transferred to Sick Kids in Toronto. Because of SARS it took them hours to arrange the transfer since they had to get special clearance. The nurses that transferred you were wonderful and took some Polaroid’s of you without any tubes so that I could keep a picture of you by my bed since I wasn’t able to go with you. It was less than 24 hours since your birth.

That night was one of the hardest nights I have ever experienced. Daddy wasn’t allowed to come back to the hospital because he had now been to another hospital that may have had a suspected SARS case. The next morning I signed myself out of the hospital so that I could be at your bedside with you. I sat by your side for hours on end. Your little body hooked up to so many machines. Daddy and I had to take turns because only one parent was allowed in the hospital at a time. This was extremely hard on us to not have each others support at your bedside.

You did very well and 3 days later the chest tube was pulled and you were extubated. This is when I was finally able to hold you for the first time. I was sobbing as I held you in my arms, so tiny and through so much already. Later that day you were transferred back to Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington.

In Burlington you were still being tube fed as you wouldn’t take a bottle well. We were having difficulties with your feedings as you were vomiting them all up. The nurses told us to be patient and that everything was fine. We just knew that something was wrong. When you were 7 days old you began vomiting green bile and then the doctor’s knew something was wrong. They told us you had what was called Malrotation.

It occurred when you were developing inside me. The intestines didn’t attach to the abdominal wall like they were supposed to and now you had developed a rotation in them that caused an obstruction. This required surgery.

Again they started the process of transferring you back to Sick Kids. Hours later we were on the road again. At 1 am and 8 days old you had surgery to fix the obstruction and take out your appendix as it would now be in a different than usual spot. Daddy and I were allowed in the hospital together just while your surgery was taking place and then it was back to one at a time. We waited anxiously and after what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came out and told us that the surgery went well and that there was no further damage done. What a relief!

The next 11 days were long and tiring to say the least. We spent hours on end at your bedside. The nurses and the team at Sick Kids were wonderful and always took the time to talk to us and update us on your progress. You were kept asleep for a few days while you recovered so that you could receive pain medication.

After they took your breathing tube out for the second time, the work of getting you to drink from a bottle started. It was frustrating to say the least. The one wonderful thing about it was that we could now hold you as much as we wanted! We would sit in the rocking chair at your bedside and hold and rock you for hours.

Finally on Easter Sunday and almost 3 weeks later we were allowed to take you home! What a wonderful present for Easter! We brought you home at 5lbs1oz. One whole pound less than you were born at. You were so tiny! Finally the rest of the family could meet you! It was wonderful to see Grace’s face when she met you for the first time. She just kept saying, “baby” and would so tenderly touch your face.

A month or two later we got a call from Sick Kids. They wanted to send a photographer out to take pictures of Simon so that he could be in their annual report. The photographer came and took tons of pictures (I wish I had copies). Later we found out that you were going to be on the cover of the report! The picture turned out fabulous and you looked so cute on the cover held in daddy’s arms.

I’m so thankful that everything worked out okay and that you are a healthy toddler today. I love you buddy.


Well that was four years ago now and I am now able to give a little back. I hope you will help me if you are a scrapbooker and come out that weekend, take some classes, and crop for a while. Classes are only $20 each and are taught by some amazing teachers (humbly leaving myself out of that group).

Here is a peek at my classes. My layout class, sponsored by Cosmo Cricket, will be taught at all the sites and my layout in a tin class, sponsored by Gel-a-tins, will be taught at a few of the locations.

Gel-a-tins Coaster Album in a Tin

We will bind this album together making a board book of sorts from coasters. When completed it will fit inside the altered tin. We will use brand new release stamp sets from Gel-a-tins and explore some stamping techniques like heat embossing, masking, layering, and shadow stamping. We will also be breaking out the alcohol inks for this one!

Gel-a-tins Altered Coaster Christmas Wall Decor

We will use coasters to make this altered Christmas wall hanging. We will use a new font set from Gel-a-tins along with the amazing Fancy Flakes set and a tried and true alphabet. Techniques include heat embossing, layering, and a unique use for heat embossing as well. I can't wait to put this up on my wall this season...who am I kidding..it's already up!

Cosmo Cricket Use Your Diecuts Layout
We all have them and sometimes don't know how to use them. In this class I will get you to think outside the typical diecut to use them in new ways. Using the brand new Gretel Line we will rip, sand, paint, and ink our way to a beautiful aged layout with hidden journaling!

Cosmo Cricket Dates to Remember

In this class we will alter a Plain Jane Cigar Box from Cosmo Cricket with the brand new Gretel line and "to die for" Ready Set Chipboard Letters. Inside you will find a perpetual calendar where you can store all your important birthdays and anniversary's of loved ones. We will even make a couple of cards to get you started!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tables and chairs and couches oh my!

Paul and I spent the day today at the decor centre in Missauga after a friend of mine, Vicki, told me that she saw some amazing stuff there. In and out of the stores we went. I think we might have found some stuff we actually like and nothing we like more than the living room furniture and dining set we found already so that is good since we are buying the latter this weekend!

This is the recliner that we are buying, the couch is slightly different. The colour is going to be a dark brown, so darker than what is shown in the photo. Also the head rest comes out...I don't like that piece.

I think we found a kitchen table we love and a stand/bench for the front door area. We also saw a chandelier that we both agreed on! That is BIG news. We rarely find lights we agree on.

This is the bench we saw. It also comes in Black so I'm not sure which way I'm leaning on this one...we might not even get it. It would just be great for the kids. Looking at it now, I think I like it better in black! Man this is hard!

We also saw some art work that we would love...now to save the $5400 we would need to buy it! This house is going to cause me hours of overtime I can feel it!

Have I mentioned that my dad's brother is an artist? I would love one of his paintings but I don't think I could ever afford one. My mom has one on layaway at a gallery. She goes in and puts money down on it all the time. One day she will own it!

Here is a link to a gallery that carries some of his work.
Harold Klunder

It's very abstract and I love it...plus he's my uncle! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Funny Things Kids Say

So the kids come home from daycare the other day and Grace has this little piece of paper with her writing on every little bit of the paper. I ask her what it says. She says, "It's a list of what Simon and I want to be when we grow up". I ask her to read it to me. This is what it said.

"I want to be a horse back rider or a nurse (I happen to be a nurse), and Simon wants to be a Chef, a Wrestler or a Giver of Flowers."

Then she goes on to ask me where she will be able to find a horse for riding. I tell her a farm and she seems happy with that. I ask Simon what a "giver of flowers" does and he replies, "I give flowers to you, daddy and Grace". Just like that. Very matter of fact.

I love these kids! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Updates Galore!

Two times in one month! Now I'm getting somewhere! So...what's been happening with me? The short answer is lots!

On July 24th we moved into our new house. We are absolutely in love with it! Almost all the boxes are unpacked and we are getting to the point where we almost feel brave enough to put holes in the wall! It's funny to me because I never had this problem before. I guess this is the right house for us because I just want it to be perfect. Our appliances are finally installed, grass is growing, towel bars are up, and the inevitable search for some new furniture has begun!

I will post photos of the house soon. It's much nicer now that we have grass. I just have to get out there and take the photos!

We have been spending a lot of time at the Binbrook Conservation area the past few weeks. It's just minutes from our house and the kids love it! The beach is perfect and the shallow water is corded off. They also have a great splash pad. We bought a season pass so that we can go whenever we feel the urge for some sun and sand.

Last week we took the kids on their first camping trip. This was our first time camping since Grace was born six years ago! Of course, it had to be the worst two days of the summer. The kids had a blast just the same. We didn't go far so that if something happened and we couldn't get the kids to sleep in the tent we wouldn't have far to come home. They loved sleeping in the tent and roasting marshmallows on the fire. The hammock that Sarah (my sister) demanded we put up, turned out to be a tremendous hit. We also tried "fishing". I put that in quotes because we mostly just threw the line into the water. The kids fishing rods didn't even have hooks on them.

On Wednesday we went to the African Lion Safari. We decided that we would drive our car through the animal reserve so that we could stop where we wanted and move on at our own pace. It was a good idea I think, since the kids were so excited and very loud! It wasn't too hot so the animals were pretty active. I got some great shots of the animals too. My favourites are the monkeys (Baboons) and Giraffes.

I have to say though, that I was very bothered by some of the patrons of the safari that day. This is the problem with parks like this. People just don't think about the animals' well being. Many people were feeding the animals through their window and I even saw a teenager pull on a baby camel's ear! I was hoping that the camel would spit on him but he didn't. I left feeling sad for the animals as I usually do when I take the kids to places like this.

On the creative front, I have completed a couple of layouts for The Scrapping Nook where I am honoured to be a part of the design team. This month we worked with the yummy Cherry Arte paper. I have also been finishing up my projects for the Canadian Scrapbooking Crop for Kids coming up in October. This is a Cross-Canada event for an amazing cause, Children's Hospitals.

Those of you that know me, know that this is a cause close to my heart. Had we not had an amazing Children's Hospital near us when Simon was born, he wouldn't be here with us today. The doctors and nurses that work in these hospitals are amazingly talented at what they do and I as a nurse bow down to them for all that they do every day! I don't know how they do it but I'm so thankful that they do.

Saturday marked our annual Klunder Family Reunion. My dad has 10 brothers and sisters and most of them have large families as well. This yearly event is the one time a year that a lot of us see each other. We have to wear name tags now to keep all the 2nd and 3rd generation straight! Grace and Simon had a good time although we couldn't stay long since I had to work nights at the hospital.

Speaking of hospitals, we had a family outing to our local hospital last night. Simon fell off the swing at daycare yesterday and got a cut on the back of his head. When Bern called us to tell us about it, it didn't sound so bad but when Simon came home and we got a closer look we knew it needed stitches. He wasn't too happy about it but he ended up with 4 staples in his head by the time we left. Other than that he is doing completely fine.

We have two new classes up for registration at ScrapAbility. Please stop by and check out the classes by the lovely Michelle Engel and a new teacher at ScrapAbility, Pamela Mosby. Both have designed amazing projects for you. We also have a new free project available for download in our forum. It was created by Pamela for us and the project will be part of an upcoming class at ScrapAbility. Downloading the project will give you a good idea of how we deliver classes at ScrapAbility. Plus, as an added bonus for registering on the site this week, we are giving away free classes to two lucky new registrants in our forum! Hope to see you there!

Phew! That was a lot! Hopefully I will get better at all of this!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


SO....I guess in an effort for me to keep my blog updated, I was tagged by my friend Tara. The game is Scattegories and for the record, "j" is a hard letter!!

My Name is Jen:

1. Famous singer/band: Janis Joplin (oooo 2 points for that one!)

2. four letter word: jack

3. Street: Jones St.

4. Colour: Jaundiced (it's a medical skin colour...hey...it's the only thing I could think of!)

5. Gifts/presents: Jewellery

6. Vehicle: Jetta

7. Things in a sovenir shop: junk

8. Boy Name: Jim

9. Girl Name: Janice :)

10. Movie Title: Jurassic Park

11. Drink: juice

12. Occupation: Janitor

13. Celebrity: John Travolta

14. Magazine: Journal of ...

15. U.S. City: Jacksonville, FL

16. Pro Sports Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars (hey! 2 points again!)

17. Fruit: juicy

18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Jam in traffic

19. Something You Throw Away: junk

20. Things You Shout: " Jinx!" (remember yelling that?)

21. Cartoon Character: Jerry (Tom & Jerry)

Monday, July 30, 2007

I bet you were wondering...

if I am still alive! I am...but I'm very, very tired! :) I was away at CHA from July 18th to the 23rd. We arrived home at 6pm. We were gone for almost six days but it always goes by so fast! I had so much fun being with my friends that I only get to see a few times a year! I miss you already Kerry! CHA is a lot of work but spending time with friends and hanging out after the show is always a ton of fun. Wendy had a great show (her best yet) and managed to out last many of us at night despite "her condition". Michelle, her usual cheery self, belting out the show tunes and quoting the movies. Natasha was great to have along...so young but I think she held up good with us crazy girls! My prairie girl Kerry is always a laugh to have around. Can you believe she didn't know that we have farms here in Ontario? I was laughing about this again yesterday as I drove by the tractor dealership on my way home from work. It was almost as bad as the "Regina, Calgary" quote of another friend of ours.

For the first time, we had to deal with a significant theft from the Gel-a-tins booth. Kerry made a wonderful altered tin that held her son's hockey medal proudly inside. Sadly, we returned to the booth on Saturday at the end of the show to realize that it had been taken. I just wish they would have left the medal for Kerry. There we were, standing in the booth all of us crying for Kerry. It was a hard day for us but poor Kerry had to go home to her son and tell him that the medal was stolen. So sad.

We moved into our new house on July 24th (the morning after I got back from Chicago) and we are still living in a house with half unpacked boxes everywhere! The good news is that we now have a new stove, fridge and microwave. It's good news because it has been a daily battle with the people we bought the appliances from. Daily phone calls since they just didn't show up on Tuesday. The bad news is our dishwasher was mysteriously cancelled without our knowledge or notice...so we have no dishwasher until next Saturday. I sense there will be quite a few more phone calls and letters written in the near future.

The kids have settled in well. I was worried about Grace because she never wanted to talk about the new house. It made her sad since she was going to be leaving all of her friends. We told her that everyone else in the neighbourhood was looking for a friend too and that she would meet some as soon as we moved there. Sure enough, we met little Jessica the day after we moved in. She is our backyard neighbour. I'm excited because she will be in Simon's class in the fall. So he will at least know someone when he starts school. It should ease the stress for both Simon and Mommy as well.

That's really all I have to say now...I hope I will update more frequently...but you know me, it will be sporadic at best I'm sure! :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Exciting news!!

It has been announced and now I can share some great news. My two very dear friends at The Scrapping Nook, Patti and Elia, have asked me to join their design team! I'm super excited to be a part of this team. How wonderful to be on a team with your friends, working for your friends! This site has become my home. It's a place where I can go to chat with friends and get amazing inspiration. There are always wonderful challenges going on!

Patti and Elia are also planning an amazing getaway weekend next May....Destination Create!! You MUST check it out! I'm so excited that some of my friends will be coming from across Canada...it will be my first time meeting some of them!

I made these layouts lately with the Prima Just Us Collection available in the online store at the Nook.


I feel the need today to talk about something else. I believe that everyone should be allowed to share an opinion in this world. It makes for great conversations. I live my life trying to do things that I think are right. I have many strong beliefs. I support companies that in turn support humanitarian efforts and stand for excellent business ethics.

There are places that I won't shop at because they stand for things that I don't agree with (ie. Walmart). There are products that I won't use because of how the products are made or tested (ie. veal, known sweat shop use, unethical business practices). Recently a company that I was involved with chose to do business with a company that I felt lacked business ethics. I spoke my mind saying that I personally wouldn't support such a business, sighting my reasons and the fact that it was my opinion only. Some agreed with me and some disagreed. It was all okay because they too have opinions and they don't have to agree with me. I was quickly banned from where I posted my comments. I assume it was because I didn't agree with the choices that these people made. They were not posted publicly...it was a private area. I was merely stating an opinion and trying to get people to look at things differently.

I am hurt for so many reasons. I am hurt because a place that I loved and helped build up to what it was had now turned it back on me. My best friends in the world came from that place. I shared many ideas about how I thought the place could grow and be even better than it was before. I gave monthly ideas and support. I'm hurt because when I made the difficult decision to move on, I gave them more time at their request and in the end, I was merely deleted...without a word of thanks or a good bye. It makes me sad. It's like I can't go home anymore. I feel like I'm looking through a window but I'm no longer allowed in. I'm not saying I can't come in. I can...it's just that I no longer feel welcome. And that is what makes me sad.

I'm moving on...I just needed to get that off my chest. Thanks to all of my friends who support me and understand.

Friday, May 25, 2007

And so it Begins...

It was inevitable. You buy a new house and you want nice stuff to go in it. Yesterday, Paul came home early from work so we decided to go looking at appliances. We will need a new dishwasher and microwave for the new house because the ones we have now stay here with this house. Beside Sears Appliance store is a store that we have never been in before. Amish Furniture Outlet. I'm not really sure what the Outlet stands for because I didn't find the prices to be outlet prices. But man! The furniture in that store is absolutely gorgeous!!

I found the dining set I have been dreaming about. It will even seat 10 extended! But...and this is a big but...when all is said and done, it will cost almost $10000.00! Ouch! But it is oh so pretty. I think I have to keep looking. Here is a photo so that you can feel my pain. The photo doesn't even do it justice. You need to go there and just feel it. Patti said that I could be buried with it if I wanted. I'm actually thinking about it!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Days

We have had quite a few happy days lately. The stress has decreased significantly around here. We sold our house in only 2 days and finalized all the details of our new house. We got 99% of our asking price and are extremely happy. I still can't believe that we bought our dream house. The house that we will hopefully grow old in (until we can't climb the stairs anymore).

We have been to the new house weekly since we bought it and have spent long periods of time inside and imagining what it is going to be like when we finally move in. The big move date is July 24th which makes me a bit nervous as I won't get home from CHA summer until the 23rd most likely! Eek!! Just thinking about it makes me a bit nervous but I'm so happy that we will be moved in with a month of summer left. The kids will get a chance to make some friends before school starts in September.
Here are some photos of the new house. The outside, two shots of our kitchen, and the great room (minus the carpet). Ignore the mess...I haven't dusted for a while! :P

Simon turned four March 31st which somehow got lost in my blog posts along the way. I can't believe that my baby is 4. What on earth have we been doing that four years has gone by so quickly? After our rough start with Simon, he has grown into quite the young boy and SO happy all the time too. We are incredibly blessed to have two wonderful children.
Just to keep with tradition, Simon made sure to have a nice fall the day before his birthday and had a nice upper lip abrasion to show for all of his photos. I think I should do a layout of my poor battered children on their birthdays. I have a ton of photos that show the evidence. I'm totally going to do that!

Grace started soccer on Monday. She was SO excited! She loves soccer. I think it is her favourite. Unlike Ballet. She is counting down the days until the end of ballet. I guess we won't be signing her up for it next year. I must admit that I was surprised that my tom-girl wanted to sign up for it in the first place. Soccer is much more her style.

Not much else... it has been nice to just relax a bit after the whirlwind house selling. I promise I will try my hardest to keep up my posts in the future! I swear mom! :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I'm still alive....but barely kicking! :)

I know that I have been a very bad blogger...I'm so sorry...life has been turned upside down for the past couple of weeks. We bought a house (rather suddenly) and have been spending every spare minute getting our house ready to sell. The sign goes on the lawn tomorrow and we have an Open House planned for Saturday. I hope it goes quick...I can't take much more of this!

I'll be back real soon...I promise! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I know I have been missing in action...but I have an excuse!! I swear!!! I am ecstatic to announce that ScrapAbility has gone live!!! It has been months of work and it is so nice to see it all completed. Thanks to everyone for their support. The response has been great so far and you won't believe what we have in store for you! I'm still working hard on bringing you even more amazing classes.

I need to thank a few people though. First to my dear, dear friends Patti and Elia. You are the most amazing friends a girl could ask for. I'm pretty sure that Patti is ready to say "Stop calling me!" We talk a few times a day and still we aren't sick of each other...well I guess I can only speak for myself. These two girls know business like no one else I know and have such high standards for ethics and morals as well. Amazing is all I can say. I'm so privileged to know the two of you much less get to work with you!

I also want to thank our first set of amazing teachers! Without you guys willing to take a chance, ScrapAbility wouldn't have been able to get off the ground! Thanks for believing and trusting in me. Your faith in our idea humbles me and I am honoured to also call you all my friends. Trust me when I say this...these classes kick a*%!!! Each of these teachers brings something amazing to the table. There is truly something there for everyone.

A big thanks to Patti and Chris the minds behind Blue Kangaroo Studios who brought our vision for ScrapAbility to reality. I'm sure they are sick of our constant changes and requests but the end result speaks for itself! Thanks guys!!

If you haven't stopped by already, please do so. If you register in the forum you can download this free class and you will be entered to win a prize package! The deadline for registering for the prize package is April 15th. I can't wait to see you!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm here....just busy!

So...It has been mentioned at the Nook that I haven't posted in a bit. It's mostly because I don't have much to say right now that isn't about ScrapAbility. And I can't give all of that away right now....so I decided to take Kristi-Anna's challenge and do the 100 questions about me survey!

1. When’s the last time you ran?

I don't do running...although I would love to be able to say that I am a runner. When I was young people used to make fun of the way I ran and now I'm too self conscious to run. I did run upstairs today to get some clothes for Grace! Does that count?

2. Do your jeans have rips, tears, and holes in them?

I used to think I was SO cool in highschool when I had this...remember the safety pins?? I don't have any holes in my pants now though.

3. What are you dreading right now?

I'm anxious about the launch of ScrapAbility. I'm not really dreading anything though.

4. Do you celebrate 4/20?

Am I dense? What is 4/20? Easter? Not this year. Hmmm.... how about I'm not sure?

5. Only child?

No..I have one younger sister, Sarah.

6. Favorite ice cream?

PC Caramel Chocolate Crackle Ice Cream and Baskin Robbins Pralines & Cream

7. When was your last doctor’s visit?

About 8 months ago...the dreaded yearly physical! I'm kind of anti-doctor for myself...which is odd considering I'm a nurse. I guess I just worry that they will think I'm silly for coming in for nothing.

8. Do you get the full 8 hours of sleep a night?

No...I don't even know what that is. I don't think I have slept through the night since Grace was born almost 6 years ago.

9. “First Loves Are Never Over;” is this true for you?

No...although I admit I have thought about my first love through the years.

10. Think of all your exes. Would you take any of them back?


11. If anyone came to your house on your “lazy days” what would they find you wearing?

Probably PJ's or track pants

12. Have you ever been on your school’s track team?

In grade school I was on the cross country team...see my earlier post about running...and in high school I was on the gymnastics and field hockey teams.

13. Do you own a pair of Converse?

I did when I was in high school. I just bought Grace a pair of rip-off high tops all blinged out! I love them on her!

14. Who did you copy and paste this survey from?


15. Do you eat raw cookie dough?

Yuck! No...I would much rather have the cookie.

16. Have you ever kicked a vending machine?

No...but I have rocked one in the past.

17. Don’t you hate when the radio ruins good songs by playing them over and over?

Not really... I only listen to the radio in the car so I'm happy that I get to hear the good songs when I'm driving.

18. Would you rather them play the whole video or just a clip of it on TRL?

I have never been a video watcher...so I guess I don't really care.

19. Do you watch Trading Spaces?


20. How do you eat oreos?

I just bite into them...it's really how they were intended to be eaten! ;)

21. Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone?

Yes...all the time...I'm kind of embarassed to admit that.

22. Are you cocky?

No...I don't think so

23. Could you live without a computer?

Definitely no!

24. Do you wear your shoes in the house?


25. At what age did you find out that Santa wasn’t real?

I'm not really sure...maybe sometime around 8?

26. How many phones are in your house?

4 plus 2 cell phones so I guess 6

27. What do you do when you’re sad?


28. Who would you call first if you won the lottery?

Paul and then my mom and sister

29. Last time you saw your best friend?

It's been too long but I talk to her multiple times a day!

30. Who or what sleeps with you?

Paul, my hubbie

31. Are you/have you ever been in love?

I am in love now with my husband (and scrapping) :)

32. Pancakes or french toast?

French toast with strawberry jam

33. How do you like your eggs?

Over easy

34. Are you in highschool?

Thank goodness...no!

35. Is anyone on your bad side right now?

Oh...there are a couple of people!

36. What jewelry are you wearing?

Just my wedding ring set

37. What’s the first thing you do when you get online?

Check my email

38. Do you watch Grey’s Anatomy?

Ummm...of course! Is there any other show as good??

39. How do most people spell your name?

Jenn .... I only use one "n"

40. Would you wear a boy/girlfriends clothes?

If they fit me I would...why not?

41. What was the first movie that gave you nightmares?

Blair Witch Project - that movie creeped me out...we were living in a house in the forest at the time!

42. Favorite 80s teen movie?

Breakfast Club I guess...I loved all of the 80's teen movies though

43. Is Justin Timberlake becoming the next Michael Jackson?

I'm not sure...I do know however that he is bringing the sexy back! BTW...check this out!

44. Do you know someone that wasn’t born in Canada?

Yes...a ton!

45. Favorite name for a boy?

Simon obviously! :)

46. Will you keep your last name when you get married?

I changed mine to Paul's

47. Your favorite restaurant you don’t get to eat much at?

Alice Fazooli's or Milestones

48. When is the last time you left your house?

This morning...with the kids

49. How do you eat your steak?

Medium...on a side note, I was a vegetarian for 11 years and now I love a good steak occasionally!

50. Do you return your cart?


51. Do you have a dishwasher?

Yes! Thank goodness!

52. What noise do you hear?

The hum of the fridge and my fingers on the keyboard.

53. Would you survive in prison?

I think so but I would be terrified!

54. Next concert you hope to go to?

I would love to go see one of my favourite bands from my youth including but not limited to...Depeche Mode, REM, The Cult (I hear they are getting back together), U2

55. What was the last thing you ate?

A pizza pocket...and it wasn't even good!

56. When was the last time you said I love you and meant it?

This morning

57. Who is the youngest in your family?

My son Simon who is turning 4 this weekend! Where has the time gone?

58. If all of your friends were going on a road trip, who would be most likely to over pack?

Probably me. I like to be prepared!

59. Do you know anyone with the same name as you?

Umm....yes...doesn't everyone know someone named Jen?? My sister in law is also named Jen and so we have the EXACT same first and last names...much to her disappointment! :)

60. How many syllables does your name have?

5 for first and last

61. When is the last time you ate peanut butter?


62. What service is your cell phone?


63. What’s for dinner?

Not sure...I guess I should start thinking about that.

64. What’s the last thing you purchased?

Gymnastics classes for the kids.

65. Do your siblings ever pay for stuff for you?

No but why should she?

66. Where is your cell phone?

In my work bag.

67. Is your phone on vibrate or ring?

Ring...but it's always turned off unless I need to call out.

68. What brand are your pants right now?

Not sure...bought them at Costco though!

69. Ever been to Georgia?

Yes...as a child

70. Did you do breakfast this morning?

Yes...Honey Nut Cheerios and banana

71. Do you like marshmallows?

About once a year...roasted almost until they are burnt

72. What irritates you most on the internet?

I would have to say unsolicitated spam emails

73. What brand is your digital camera?

Canon Rebel

74. Do you watch movies with your parents?

Not any more

75. What song best describes your life right now?

I can't think of any right off the top of my head...I'm not very good at that...I keep singing "Paxil Back" in my head.

76. Do you own expensive perfume/cologne?

Yes...but I never wear it!

77. Are you taking college classes right now?

No...but we are getting ready to start our own school! ;)

78. Who are you dating right now?

Patrick Dempsy...oh...did I just say that out loud?

79. Do you like sushi?


80. Do you get your hair cut every month?

No...about every 3 months

81. Do you go online everyday?

Why yes I do!!!

There....are you happy now?? :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm tired...

I don't really have too much to post about today. I have been spending a fairly relaxing week at home. I have been working on some more of the behind-the-scenes stuff for ScrapAbility. I can't tell you how excited I am about all of this. The night that we went live with our Splash page I couldn't sleep! The response so far has been fantastic! Thanks SO much to everyone who has left us comments and let us know that we are doing the right thing by starting all of this. It makes all the work SO worth while! We are working at bringing you all something unique and inspiring. I really hope that you will all agree once you see it for yourselves.

I have had 3 layouts picked up this week for publication! I'm so excited. I have recently started submitting again and to have success so early after starting again is fantastic!

SO next week is the week that we will find out that my friend Michelle Engel has indeed won CK HOF. I was privileged to get a sneak peek at her wonderful work and I'm quite certain that she has an amazing chance of getting the nod this year. She has an amazing, cohesive style that I just love. One talented lady she is! I guess I just have to sit back and wait for the calls to start. Then I will get the call from Michelle that will say "You were right Jen" and I can say, "I told you so". I've been waiting to say that. :)

I guess that's all I have to talk about today. Life is good. It's wonderful to be surrounded by great friends and family. Realizing my dreams is becoming a wonderful, fulfilling experience. Did I mention that I'm tired?

Sunday, March 11, 2007


So I can finally reveal what I have been working on for the past little bit! I'm so excited! Patti Thompson, Elia Cabral and I have come to together to bring you something that we are so excited about.

Please take a moment to visit our new site...ScrapAbility!

Here is a bit more info from my friend Patti:

When will we launch--We do not have a specific date, but will let you know when we do. What I can tell you is that we are very close, and are working on it at a feverish pace, so it should not be too long. Obviously we will keep you up to date. Who are we--I have to credit the concept of SA to Jen Backler. Elia, Jen and myself have worked hard to round out the concept and bring something truly unique to everyone. We are a separate company from The Scrapping Nook.

What are we--The classes that we will be bringing the consumer are top notch classes, taught by industry leaders, design team members and top manufacturing companies. We will launch with a small array of classes to test the waters and continue to grow from there. We have a long list of teachers who have agreed to teach for us and who understand our concept and our goal.

What is our goal-- Our goal is to reach everyone. We have a distinct Canadian feel, but have included international teachers to really round out the experience. We felt a real need in the industry to reach scrapbookers, paper crafters and photographer "wannabes" all over the world. It does not matter if you live in Fonthill, France, Ft. Myers or anywhere in between. Everyone will now have the opportunity to learn, grow and flourish as an artist regardless of where they live.

We are incredibly excited and honoured to offer this to you! We would love to have feedback on what classes you would like to see offered, and any other comments you might have. You can reach us at info@scrapability.ca

Saturday, March 10, 2007

So...here we go again...

I know, I know...it's been forever, but I'm here now and I plan on staying on a "fairly" regular basis. My life seems to have been just crazy lately and many things have had to take a back seat lately including this blog.

I am back working full time at the hospital and that has been a bit of an adjustment. Trying to balance work, kids, my designing commitments, and new adventures has been difficult at times but I'm liking the direction my life is taking.

Start with the kids you say? Well...even if you don't say that I am...so there. :) Grace is doing well...sassy as ever. I can't believe that I have an almost 6 year old! Where does all the time go? Simon has started speech therapy (after an 8 month wait on the waiting list) and we are having almost weekly sessions. Another challenge in our lives right now but much needed for Simon's sake. He will be starting JK in the fall and I want people to be able to understand him. He still drops the majority of the ends and beginnings of words and has been classified with a "moderate to severe" speech delay. Right now we are working on the "f" sound and he is making slow but steady progress.

I will add a couple of photos of the kids enjoying winter...just because! :)

I'm starting a new schedule at work next week and I'm excited about that. It will be a 4 days on and 5 off schedule. SO much easier to manage my life (or at least I hope so). Shift work can be so hard, especially when you have to work 2 weeks of nights at a time. I'm hoping that this new schedule will find me less tired on a day to day basis.

I recently finished my very first scrapbook teaching experience at the Nook! It was a fantastic first experience. I love my friends Patti and Elia. Working for them is a pure pleasure and they made the whole experience so enjoyable! I had a ton of fun throughout the day and I hope that I will be able to teach again soon! It was great meeting some new people and seeing a bunch of my friends as well. I hope it was as fun for those taking the class as I had teaching it.

I have started submitting again. Yay me! I figured it was time to get myself out there again. I just heard that I got a layout picked up for Blue Media's Layout Blueprints 2. SO excited to be at it all again!

And...I have something very wonderful in the works right now. Unfortunately I can't share the details yet but I am so extremely excited about it all! I have been working very hard on this along with a few other friends and I hope that you will all be as excited about it as I am when it is all finished! I can't wait to share more...and I'm sorry about the tease. It will all be revealed real soon! I promise.

If you stumble across this new post...thanks! I know that many have given up on me and if you come here on the off chance that maybe, just maybe I posted a new entry, I love you for not giving up on me! I will try very hard to be a better blogger I swear!