Monday, June 21, 2021

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I met my Aunt at the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens this week for a photo trip.  We had to book online due to COVID restrictions and limit our time at the garden.

It is a huge place but we managed to get most of the places within the garden we wanted to visit.

I spent some time in the Japanese Garden.

The White Anemones were blooming and quietly swaying in the gentle breeze. 

We had perfect weather for our visit.  Being in shirt sleeves at 10:00 am.  I did put my sunscreen on as I missed earlier in the week and caught some color.

This was a great book - Woman of a Thousand Secrets by Barbara Wood.

A story of a young girl found in a basket on the ocean.  Adopted and raised on the Caribbean Islands before Europe discovered them.  To help save her father she journeys to the mainland in search of a red flower.  She finds people who look like her - fair and tall. She finds fellow travelers some of which are friends and some are foes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

It was a week with a special birthday for me.

I shared the day with my sister.  We had a bubble wand, hotdogs and ice cream cake. The best!

I received this art for my walls this week.  It is a digital drawing done by my aunt. 

Corvus Brachyrhynchos is  a digital drawing which I thought was wonderful.  It almost looks like a photograph.

I found a frame to put it in and placed it on the shelf in my bedroom.

Since I missed my post last week I finished this book as well.  In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende.  I have read another book of hers in this post.   This one takes place in New York City during a big snow storm.  A gentleman of a certain age has an adventure with a lady from Chile and young woman from Guatemala.  Each of them have to venture out of their comfort zones to address the crisis in which they find themselves. 

They grow as people, become closer almost family and stay true to their values in difficult circumstances.

I enjoyed the book.

The challenge for Flickr Macro Monday this week was matchstick.  Not a very broad subject matter.

You can check out my Flickr Photostream (SMDPics) to see the image I submitted.

I am sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #136 and Mersad who hosts Through My Lens #294.

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day Card

These supplies are from an old card kit.

The card base is Soft Suede with a rectangular piece of teal designer paper.  It was adhered on an angle and then it was trimmed to the card edge.

I added some leaves cut with the Tim Holtz Tattered Leaves die.  Two in Soft Suede and one gold one.

I added a Stampin Up Decorative Label greeting with color printed words.  I used SU chalks to softly color the greeting in the right colors.  I punched a Soft Suede label which I cut in half and off set behind the greeting.

A card to let my Dad know how much I appreciate him.  I am so glad he is still here with us.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Special Birthday Card

My first card made with Stampin Up supplies since the major clear out of card making supplies in my craft space.

The card stock is Certainly Celery topped with a piece of Porcelain Prints DSP. 

I added twill ribbon in the same shade.  I added a short piece of Not Quite Navy tied in a knot.

I punched a couple of Five Petals punchies in those 2 colors. I added a small So Saffron flower in the center all held in place with a mini brad.  I adhered the flower to card front with 3D foam tape.  

The greeting is a color printed circle punchie with a NQN backer.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I think of June as lilac month. 

I brought some into my place for the beautiful scent and wonderful color.

This hand painted vase works well with these blooms with similar coloring.

I finished this book this week. It holds 4 modern romance stories.

Gift of Love by 4 different authors. 

The short stories vary from young love to romance with older folks.  City and country settings are featured.  I enjoyed the stories despite that they were pretty predictable.  They were tastefully written with Christian values which I appreciated.



I came across this cool idea this week.

To add a nice scent to your bathroom by just placing a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the inside of the roll.  Every time you pull the roll the scent will be released.

I used my Bergamot & Grapefruit oil which I am enjoying everyday instead of having it sit on a shelf.

Great idea.

I found these Mikasa Crystal Tea Bag Holders this week at the thrift store.  I could not resist as they were on half price. 

I have several tea bag holders so I will have to do some culling. I have too much tea related stuff such as cups, mugs, tea pots, etc. There will be a culling soon.  


I went for a photo shoot with my aunt this week.  We tried a new wetland in hopes of it being a little less busy than the big ones.

We met at 8:00 am which was late for me and early for her. 

It took us about 45 minutes to walk around the 2 ponds.  There were many types of ducks and water fowl.  There are places where it was difficult to get close to the water.  Also, the early morning light was not great because it was in our faces when we were close to the water so an early evening visit may be better.

The number of people was low but I'm not sure that would be the case later in the day. 

This is a female Redhead Duck.  It was a very pleasant hour with social distancing and masks. 

I found a few pink flowers this week for my mosaic.  Gerber daisies and geraniums.  I am so grateful to those who plant flowers in their from gardens for others to enjoy!


The challenge at Flickr Macro Monday this week was Board Game Pieces.  Of course that leads to a great variety of options.  I was surprised at how many themed Monopoly Games have been produced. 

One of the shots I took for this challenge is chess pieces - you can check my Flickr Photostream (SMDPics) for the shot I submitted.

I am sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #134 and

Mersad who hosts Through My Lens #292

Major Clean Up, De-clutter, Storage and Organize - Craft space & Photo Studio

I did decided I needed to do some major clean up and de-cluttering with the goal of having ALL card making supplies in the craft space.  This necessitated getting rid of a lot of supplies.  I have been mulling this over for several months.  
Finally, I decided to keep my Stamping Up supplies and cull the unrelated stuff for this reason. I have card stock, designer paper, ink, watercolor, chalks, ribbon, brads, and some stamps that all coordinate.  I have enough to last me the rest of my card making career.  I am keeping 110lb for photo cards too.

I started by removing all the non SU designer paper from my 8 color coded drawers.

Then, I took the 4 drawers of SU designer paper which were crammed to overflowing and sorted them into the 8 color coded drawers. It was a bit tough because SU paper comes in sets which are organized by color collections - Brights, Subtles, Regals, and Neutrals rather than colors.

Now, I had 4 empty drawers.

I then looked at the Iris cases in the bedroom that held 12x12 designer paper.  I kept the special papers like metallic, no shed glitter, and vellum pieces which translate well to Stampin Up.  That is what is in that bottom drawers.   Look 3 empty drawers!

I have a large box overflowing of designer paper to get rid of.  I will hold onto it for a couple of weeks in case I remember a few pieces I want to pull back.
The card stock cupboard needed to be addressed as well.  A while ago I had moved 8.5x11 Stampin Up card stock to this cupboard but now the 12x12 card stock had to be moved as well.

It was being stored in the dining room secretary along with table linens so it was time it moved.

The left is 8.5x11 card stock and the right is neutrals and 12x12 card stock on the bottom.

The middle shelf holds the boxes for my 2 projects - Compassion House and Cards for Seniors.

Here's the bottom shelves of the secretary in the dining room.  

I have added a few plastic containers to organize. The top shelf holds small vases, small bottles, charger plates, place mats, and a grey box of table runners and doilies.

The bottom shelf is a container of napkins and table cloths on the right hand side.

There is room for a few pieces if I decide something new in the future.

I now have 7 Iris cases that are EMPTY!

This is the photo studio area and you can see in the right hand photo that I have filled some of them with Macro Monday props. Clear cases which are well labels so I can quickly find what I need.  

I don't know what I will use the empty ones for just yet.  I can live with them empty for a while and get used to the space.  Having spend the time to empty them I will be sure to fill them with plenty of thought!   SO HAPPY!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Christmas Card Challenge - June - Dove

The challenge for June is Dove. These card feature a die cut white dove.

The watercolor background is one I did earlier.  I cropped it to square and applied a fade to blur the right hand side edge. 

I drew the olive branch and added it to the digital background. Added the sentiment below and printed this on white card base.

I die cut the dove from heavy card stock with the Sizzix Green Dove die.  It was then mounted to the card front aligning it on the olive branch.

The 2 cards below are using copies of this card which I had messed up when printing. I trimmed them to leave a small border and mounted them to coordinating blue card bases.

Added the die cut dove.

A few more cards for the Christmas card box.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Cards - Exchange - June

I chose the theme of pink and gold for my card exchange this month.

I chose a white A2 card base with a portrait orientation.

I added a pink textured layer which was embossed with the Stampin Up Subtle 3D folder.  I asked permission to use it before I delivered it to her last month.  Very nice folder. 

I chose a piece of white with foil stars decorative paper and adhered it to the pink layer.  I then punched a slot on the left and right hand side with the Stampin Up slot punch.  I pulled the white grosgrain ribbon through both and tied in on the front. Trimmed both ends.

I added a couple of gold star punchies and a pink handmade paper flower adorned with a gold flower sequin and attached with a gold star tiny brad.

I added a Stampin Up Modern Label punchie greeting color printed in pink, adhered with 3D foam tape. 

I followed most of the supplies from the first one.  

Started with a white card base A2 and put it in the landscape orientation this time.

Same treatment of the pink layer.

Added the ribbon and taped the ends to the back of the pink layer.

I added the gold foil star decorative layer over the ribbon onto the pink layer.  The trimmed piece of grosgrain ribbon I adhered behind the gold star layer and trimmed the ends. 

I added the Modern Label greeting with 3D foam tape above the bit of ribbon. 

I adhered 3 small gold confetti below the ribbon with Bling Zots.

These are off to my partners.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I have finally been out with the camera a lot capturing nature in the form of flowers, birds and mammals.

I took a long walk around all three ponds at the Heritage Hills Wetlands this week.  I was up around 6am so seeing people was limited.

The rising sun lit the beautiful House Finch perfectly!

As you can see the leaves are growing like mad making spotting the birds just a little bit harder.





I finished this book this week - Beneath a Burning Sky by Jenny Ashcroft.  This book is based in British occupied Egypt in 1890. Two sisters, Clara and Olivia lost their parents as young children and then they were separated by their grandmother. 

Clara lives in Egypt and now Olivia is traveling there to marry a man she does not love but grandmother has arranged.

As the sisters get reacquainted, Olivia finds out who her new husband really is and how he treats her badly.  The boarder in her husband's house is a military officer.  He shows her compassion, friendship and protection.   The end is heart wrenching but also justice is served. 

This morning I was up with the birds and walking the John Poole Wetlands at the Lois Hole Provincial Park before 6:00 am.  I strolled the board walk as the sun rose and things got brighter.

I found the Barn Swallows flitting around and sitting on bulrushes near their nests which are located below the board walk. 

There were many pairs around.   I love the colors of navy and warm tones breast of these birds.



Of course, we can always count on the Mallard Ducks to be near all of the ponds in the area.

Love the reflections in this calm water and the curly feathers on it's rump.

In the duck family, the Mallard is one of the larger ones.  I saw a Mallard and a Bufflehead this morning and the size difference is significant.



I chose blue/purple flowers for my mosaic this week. 

The Pasque Flower in purple then the blue Grape Hyacinth and the lavender of Baby's Breath.

I was facing the opposite direction when this little fellow swam up, pulled a grass clump from the shore and walked back to the water and started washing his breakfast.

He is a muskrat and I did see his skinny tail.

The Flickr Macro Monday challenge this week is Orange.  

It provides a ton of subject matter in this challenge.

You can check my Flickr Photo Stream (SMDPics)  to see the image I submitted.

I am sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #133 and Mersad who hosts Through My Lens #291.     Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Allied Arts Council - 2021 On Line Seniors Show

Our Seniors Show is going ahead on-line as we are still under COVID restrictions.

These are the 3 pieces I submitted for this show.

Title: Distant Hills
Size: 8.00 x 8.00 inches
Signed Photography Print
Mats: n/a
Frame: n/a
Print: 8x8 inches


This was created using the technique of in-camera motion.  I took some of my background fabrics and hung them in my small studio.  Set up my lights to capture the reflective surfaces and them moved the camera by hand.  It means taking a lot of shots, hoping a few will be good ones.  




They all received some level of post processing to bring out the texture and pattern in the photograph.


Title: Darkness to Light
Size: 11.00 x 14.00 inches
Signed Photography Print
Mats: n/a
Frame: n/a
Print: 11x14 inches


This is another in-camera motion image with a filter applied to increase the contrast in the image.






Title: Leaves
Size: 8.00 x 8.00 inches
Signed Photography Print
Mats: n/a
Frame: n/a
Print: 08x08 inches 

I set out to capture an abstract image from Hosta leaves on my morning walk.  There were several plants and I tool a lot of shots.

This one worked quite well.

The awards and reception will be announced on Friday, May 28th, so I will update this post should I be win an award.

I am happy with getting an Honorable Mention in this art show!

It's always nice to know that my art has connected with the viewers.

You can check out the full show here!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Sylvia's Simple Shots

A visit to the St. Albert Botanic Park this week yielded more flower photos than I anticipated.

Here, I have captured one of the several colors of Pasque Flowers - Prairie Crocus blooming in the gardens.

They come in blues, purples, red, and white.  

Beautiful flowers!

During a trip to the country this week I also found a Greek Basil plant.  I have tried growing a plant since early March with no success.  I hope to be able to keep this one alive and harvest its leaves for cooking. It smells so good. I have it under my grow light for 8 hours a day.

My sister had an extra Greek Oregano plant so I asked for one of those. 

I have started using this gluten free flour for my pancakes, sauces, and other miscellaneous uses. 

After a much needed grocery shopping trip I made myself a trio of pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning.

Served with a variety toppings with cream. 

Fruit syrup, fresh fruit and yummy chocolate hazelnut spread.


I use a book to keep organized and on track for my days out of the house.  I have been doing that for years.  I have always had coiled books which forces me into a chronological order.  I saw this small binder at the dollar store and decided to give it a try. 




 With 5 dividers I can organize the information. The pink for the trip checklist, the green for shopping list, the purple for the address I use often but don't know by heart.  That leaves a couple tabs for expansion as needed.

There is a space to store my store coupons, take out coupons and whatever else bits of paper I need.

It has a slot in the front for a business card.  I have a hole punch th right size to punch my own sheets once I have used the ones that came with it.

The elastic keeps everything well contained within the covers.

A convenient place for a pen.

It lives in this bag I made a while back.  Feel good about this project.

Look at the cutie I found recently.  This is a bunny which comes from some domestic rabbits that were released from their hutches years ago.

We have hares in our province but not wild rabbits. You can tell it is a rabbit by the dark eye, the shorter ears and smaller size.

Very cute.  I will visit regularly to track the progress of the family as the young ones grow up.

The challenge for Flickr Macro Monday this week is Buttons.  There is potential for a variety of  buttons from the sewing kind to the ones on electronic or mechanical devices.  This shot is the snap fastener on my rain jacket.  You can check out my Flickr Photo Stream (SMDPics) to see the shot I submitted this week. 

I am joining the Mosaic Monday #132 hosted my Angie and Mersad who hosts Through My Lens #290.   Have a great week!