Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A GIRL, yes a GIRL



Well, here are photos of my little girl. Now she really looks like a girl. Without her earrings I was always asked, "how old is he?", or she was called, "hey there little fella"!!! Despite all the pink clothes, the clips in her hair, my pink Bugaboo - it didn't matter, they still mistook her as a boy! Go figure. My little baby!

She was such a good girl. She cried for literally 5 seconds, she dug her head into my chest and then she was fine. She walked out smiling. They seem to be doing fine, no redness, and she's been pretty good about not touching them. I already have three pairs of earrings that I can't wait to put on her. Doc says to wait 6 weeks before switching them. In the meantime, I have to keep them clean, and swab with alchohol to avoid infection! My little baby!

I remember getting mine done at my doctors office. I remember harassing my mom to get my ears pierced. I was about 7, or maybe younger. You know I'll be documenting this event for Elisa. It's a right-of-passage into girlhood. Or a form of mutilation, as my husband calls it! He was nervous about her getting it done so early. Laugh.
Have an awesome day!
Francesca

Monday, September 29, 2008

All Partied Out

Well, it was Xavier's 5th birthday on September 25. My little guy is a whopping 5 years old. 5 years worth of trouble! My little goof-ball getting all big in the wink of an eye.

We had a cake for him on Thursday with just us. Then we had another birthday cake on Saturday at my mom's with the entire Giordanella family. We then had a third cake on the Sunday with the Di Leo clan. I'm all partied and caked out. Even Xavier said, "mom, I'm tired of having a cake everyday!". Too funny. Needless to say, I think I'm at least a good 5 pounds heavier for all the partying and eating. Oh well, you only live once, right? That's what I keep telling myself. Laugh.

I finally got myself done another page for the Just Us mini album. It's a photo of me in our hayday of dating. I remember this trip to Stratford, Ontario to take in some of the Stratford Festival theatre vividly, like it was yesterday. Stratford is a small town, full of gorgeous scenery, and choc full of local shops. It is best known for it's Shakespearean theatre. This time we watched Romeo and Juliet. It was a beautiful weekend. We stayed in a bed and breakfast, and enjoyed a gorgeous breakfast buffet. Soo yummy. It's a great little get-a-way place.


I bought the October Afternoon, Detours collection, and it came with a cover page with a sample of the papers contained inside. Well, I cut up the squares of each sample, and make this little page.

Oh, those carefree days of love and leisure!

Have a great day, one and all.

Francesca

p.s. Elisa is getting her ears pierced this afternoon at the doctors office. I certainly hope this isn't going to be a traumatic experience. I'm really nervous about this, but I want her to have it done. Wish us luck!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

One More Page... only 10 more to go...!!!

1st Day of Fall today - can you believe that! I so love autumn days.

Geesh, this mini book is going to take me forever to complete. I have all the photos I want to include but man, there ain't enough time in a day to spend doing this. Not with two young kids tuckering me out, and zapping the last little drops of energy I have.




Dom and I were killing ourselves laughing this morning whilst flipping through some of the photos I've chosen to include in this mini. Oh the beauty of being young, in love, skinny, and child free! Life was so incredibly different than it is now. I miss those lazy, carefree, and easy days of nothing to worry about. Always ready at the spur of the moment to do something new and crazy. Being married, a mortgage, and two kids has a way of changing your life (not to mention my once perky boobs and my tiny waistline). Laugh.

In this photo we're enjoying at day at Lake Simcoe, back in the day when my mom still had her cottage. It was a sunny, bright beautiful day. We brought ourselves a big blanket, a picnic, some drinks, and we just hung out until the sun went down. Talking, napping, giggling, smooching and cuddling.

Makes me Remember why I married Dom-in-ichi in the first place. Laugh. Smile. Hence, the 'remember' tag. Smile again.

The pp's are by October Afternoon, Detour Collection. The Remember tag pulls out to reveal my journaling (of which I haven't done yet).

Have a beautiful 'fall' day!

Francesca

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stitch-A-Photo

So here is my latest project that I've had sitting around for ages. It's called Stitch-A-Photo by DMC. Stitch-a-Photo can turn virtually any picture into a charted graph ready for you to cross stitch. It's a great way to get pictures out of your album and onto your wall! Photos of children, pets, family or friends, even antique photos all look great cross stitched! You'll receive a charted graph complete with a reference key right at the very top listing DMC thread numbers. You'll even find an exact count of how many skeins of each DMC thread colour you'll need!

The Photo of Elisa:

The Floss Colour Key they sent back to me:

For those of you who are not into embroidery and are thinking, "um'kay, why not just frame the dang photo, why go through all that trouble to replicate it with needle and thread??!". Because it's fun and it's a beautiful heirloom piece that was made by hand. I think it's such a fab idea.

I'm finding that I need more activities to keep me from getting bored. Being out of the work force for almost two years now, and dealing with kids, diapers, temper tantrums, and walks in the park, I can literally feel my brain turning to mush..!!! I'm an Aquarian, so I really crave mental stimulation. Be it reading a few new books, learning a new hobby, taking some courses, or whatever. Just as long as it keeps my mind from getting dull.

So far I have the following things on the go:

a) cross stitching (the above project)

b) re-visiting my embroidery hobby. I started when Xavier was born, and then let it go after he was born! I still have some gorgeous unfinished projects I'd really like to complete.

c) and I'd some day soon like to get back to school. I have my B.A. in Italian and Anthropology, and my Bachelor of Education (intermediate/senior division) in Italian and Social Sciences. I would love to go back to University of Toronto to get my Masters in Education. Right now I'm in the research mode deciding on what area of study I want to concentrate on, but I think I'm leaning towards curriculum development. This is one of my ultimate goals to achieve within the next few years. Keeping my fingers crossed.

d) and I want to learn to sew, and make a quilt.

Hmph... so there.

Francesca

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Birthday Bash!

Yesterday was my niece Olivia's 4th birthday party. Oh my, kids, running, screaming, chips, pinata, oh my! The kids had such a blast. I don't think Xavier had so much fun in a very long time. Elisa was so exhausted that she fell asleep the minute we put her in the car seat. Xavier fell asleep in half a second the minute he got into bed, only after he put his loot bag, and medal for winning the "pin the tail on the donkey", and his candies from the pinata safely into his bed side table for safe keeping!!



Even the adults had a blast. My brother Alex has a big brand new home in the burbs, and we hung out in the humongeous basement (that's yet to be fully completed). But it was safe and fun for the kids to run around and not worry about having them break something or spill something, like kids normally do!


Here are some fun pix of the night:

Me and Dom. I forced him to take this shot. He's so shy and hates to pose in front of the camera.


Me, my mom and sister! We were killing ourselves laughing at this photo... we take up the whole frame. Can you tell we're related?!??!? LMAO.



My brother Alex and my mom Carmela. Their typical pose.


My sister Felicia and my neice and birthday girl Olivia.




Domenic and Anthony on Rock Band... Dom was so funny on the drums, so serious like it was real...





My sister Felicia with Xavier, Olivia the birthday girl, and Elisa.





Olivia with her friend and neighbour, Alexia.





Extreme tweens! I had to fight for the three boys to stand still for 2 seconds to get this shot. What's wrong with boys?!?!? geesh! Anthony, soccer goalie extraordinaire, Max, the computer junkie (who never sees the light of day, or comes up for air), and Xavier, my superhero schizophrenic (one minute he's Batman, the next minute he's the Hulk ripping off his clothes!). Gotta love 'em.





My sister, the party girl, starting a tonga line. Is that what they're called? You know the tacky dance they do at all the weddings! LOL. The kids had a blast. (notice Dom in the background all tuckered out from banging on the drums). Smile.



It was a fun night. I'm just glad I wasn't the one to have to do the clean up afterwards. Yikes!

Dom's in Atlanta, Georgia on business this week so it's just me and the kiddos this week. Oh joy. I'm already tired just thinking of the week ahead of me.

Looks like I won't be getting much scrapping time in this week. Boo hoo.

Francesca

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More of "Just Us"

Boy, this is taking longer than I thought it would take to complete! Working on smaller pages, I've found, doesn't mean it's easier and quicker.

I'm loving working on it though. Here are two more pages:



The page above has more Heidi Grace (the paper strip on top of the page); the purple paper to the right of the photo is Cloud 9 Designs (enchanted forest); KI Memories butterfly lace paper; Making Memories tagl; the silver butterfly underneath the green KI butterfly is from Magenta, peel off stickers; rain dots; green souffle pen in the rain dots.

These photos were taken at Muskoka Sands Resort. We spent a gorgeous weekend there while we were dating. One of our favorite places to go. We had taken a walk along one of the trails and nearly got lost. Here I added some ribbon which I inked with Walnut Ink to make it look aged, and stapled it on. I used an inchi from with a quote on it, "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it's what you are expected to give, which is everything". I included a tag "WISHED" in the back which can be pulled out with the hemp I attached to the card. The background paper and the trees are from KI Memories, as well as the swirly border at the tops of the photos. The blue sparkle paper is Doodlebug Designs.

I'm home alone right now doing laundry (my least favorite thing in the whole wide entire world), and I'm blasting my Springsteen "Born To Run" CD, and updating my blog. Nothing better than listening to Springsteen ad alta voce... love the man!

Hoping to complete a couple more pages tonight...

Adios amigos.

Francesca


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Us

Finally, here is my cover for my "Just Us", mini using the Creative Imaginations Easel Album. I used lots of goodness on this:



Sassafrass Lass - pp
Scenic Route - pp
Making Memories - yellow tag, blue alpha glitter stickers
American Crafts - chipboard swirl
Anna Maria Horner - fabric
Amy Butler, K& Co - jumbo button
K & Co - flower

These buttons are just divine. The bigger they are, the better, as far as I'm concerned!!

This is the back of the cover. I had to cover it up because I attached my photo and the pp's onto the back of the window. This was a great way to hide the mess and include an opening page for the rest of the book.


This is my first page. I bought some really delicious Heidi Grace pp and couldn't wait to use it. The paper is shiny and embossed and just ultra gorgeous. I added lots of orange, purple and green. Now that I look at it, it almost looks halloween'y... oh well... love it anyway! I used some Making Memories flowers and photo corners, cut them up and turned them into two scalloped borders below the photo (one of which I coloured in with my purple souffle pen). I also used as mini borders along the botton and rigth side of photo, American Crafts mini-marks (the think green thingies). I love love love the coloured mini-marks. Sooooo gorgeous.


This is as far as I got last night! It was about 1:00'ish and I started hearing noises while scrapping the basement, got spooked out and got the hell outta there.. LOL. My basement is unfortunately my designated scrapping hole. It's spacious, but no decent natual light which makes me crazy. My dream is to renovate and make it my dream scrap room. One day. Hopefully soon.

bye for now.

Francesca

Friday, September 5, 2008

FEAR

Here is my take on Creative Therapy Catalyst #25, "What is something you fear?". If you're a scrapper you must check out this website. It's giving me an opportunity to scrap about myself. I'm finding I'm scrapping pages about everyone else except for me. The point of me scrapping is for future generations to know 'us', and therefore I must include myself.




The journaling reads:
"I fear waking up to blindness. I fear losing my vision in my one ‘good’ eye. I fear waking up one day and not being able to see the light of day. I fear not being able to see my children’s faces. I fear not being able to look into my husband’s eyes. I fear being paralyzed by darkness. I fear that I may have an accident that will take my vision away. I fear getting old when there will be nothing I or any doctor can do to restore eventual vision loss.

I have had this fear ever since I was three when I accidentally hurt my right eye which left me virtually no vision at all. I fear having to use a cane. I fear needing a vision dog. It’s an ongoing fear that sits in the back of my head that never ever really goes away.

But right now, I rejoice in the glory of light. Right now I see my children’s bright, shining, beautiful, smiling faces. Right now I delight in gazing at my world in all it’s beautiful colours and glory.

Right now when I close my eyes at night I imagine all the things I love in my head: colours, faces, nature and imprint them to memory, lest my ‘good’ eye should fail me, and slip into darkness"

I also like these scrapping prompts because it allows me to journal about the 'real' me and not just the usual, typical type of page showing off your kids and your nifty creative talents. This page was all about the journaling. It was freeing without having to think too much about what colours to use, what embellishments to include. So, if you haven't yet visited, check it out here.
My Creative Imaginations, Easel Albums have arrived and I'm in the works of putting a few mini's together. I'm thinking the following:

"Just Us" - one of just me and Dom and our relationship through the ages... I've hunted up about 20 photos of us, and it's hilarious how we've changed since we started dating. This is going to be a fun one!

"Just Mom" - one for my mother which I will present to her either for her Birthday on Dec 14 or if I need more time on December 25, as her Christmas present. I know she's going to love it.

"Our Family" - one of all of us, including Samson. About our little family of 4, plus one furry guy, our cozy home, our life together and the things we do!
I'm really looking forward to working on these and getting them done so I can display them in the house somewhere. Just love these Easel Frame Albums. Fun, fun, fun.
Have a beautiful day,
Francesca


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Buffalo

Our trip over the border was a fun filled day. The drive there was quick and easy but the wait time to cross the border was approximately 45 minutes. The kids were getting a little antsy but they were bearable. We had a nice, big breakfast at Denny's, the kind that you regret eating the minute you're finished, but couldn't help yourself and ate it all anyway. It was great!



We started off at Target. I was so excited about going here expecting to find some really great stuff, but left disappointed. We don't have a Target in Toronto, but we do have a Wall Mart, and that's what it felt like. The scrapping section was non-existant. Disappointing.



We went to both the Galleria Mall, and the Boulevard Mall. We managed to get the kids completely outfitted for school days and fall weather. You know it's funny, the deals weren't all that great, but what I found amazing was the selection of brands that are accessible.



My favorite part of the day was going to the Coach outlet and getting myself a really gorgeous purse, a wristlet, and a key chain. That was my treat to myself.



The very last store we went to was Michaels. What I should have done was have Dom drop me off there at the very start of the day, and leave me there while they shopped the malls. I didn't have enough time at this place. I don't know what the Michael's is like here in Toronto, but the one in Buffalo was awesome. There were isles and isles of stuff. Tons of K & Co, Amy Butler, KI Memories, Martha Stewart, stickers and chipboard letters and on and on and on. I grabbed what I could and left totally disappointed that I didn't get to look at everything at leisure. I had about a half hour there and it wasn't nearly enough time. I was so upset having to leave when I hadn't even seen everything.



My next visit will start off at this store. We're going to try and make another visit at the end of September. Watch out Michael's here I come. Gawd, I'm so pathetic. Give me a Coach purse and some glitter stickers and I'm one happy camper.

So, you're probably saying, "so where's the funny part to this story?". Well, I haven't finished yet!

So, the following Sunday, we woke up to a gorgeous, bright beautiful day. Dom suggests that we take a drive to Niagara Falls and take some nice pics of the kids, and just spend a leisure day there. So, Dom also suggests we take along my sister. Well, so we all load up in the car and about 10 minutes into the drive Fel says, "ohh look I still have my passport with me", and Dom says, "ooh well I still have ours as well", and in unison Dumb and Dumber say, "well then, why don't we take a drive into Buffalo since it's on our way, we can show the falls to the kids another day!!".

So we all agree to make the drive to the border. In the sweltering heat, without anything to drink, after an exhausting day the day before.... when all of a sudden Fel starts to swoon, and sweat, and about to faint, and then finally pukes, thankfully into a plastic bag Dom had sitting around! Then to top it off panic sunk in and she lost total control. No ativan, no gravol. She was a bloody mess. Well we had to stop at the Tim Hortons for a puke break, then Dom starts coughing and getting vomity.

There was no way we were going to make it to Buffalo. We turned back to come back home. Now this time it was my turn. My head started to spin, I was feeling nauseus, I had to close my eyes and just concentrate on not throwing up.

So at this point we're in stop and go traffic, Fel is barfing (that sounds like gurgling), Dom's coughing up a storm and drinking gingerale to calm his stomach, I'm holding my head with my eyes closed and telling Xavier to "shut up, everyone just shut up", Elisa is hungry, and Xavier has his darned DVD player on full blast. Oh we were a mess.

I never thought we'd make it home. But we did. Allelujah. That's what we get for being greedy shoppers.

Will we ever go back again after that, you ask? You bet!!

Francesca







Monday, September 1, 2008

STOP

I created this page in response to the Creative Therapy Catalyst #19, "Create art around one of your quirks/idiosyncrasies". Mine is nail biting. It's an awful, painful, disgusting habit that I've had forever. Really. It must finally stop. I cannot tolerate it anymore. It's getting to the point where my fingers hurt. No joke. I'm taking the 21 day challenge, today being my first day! Let's see if I can hold up and not bite.

For this page I didn't spend too much time choosing papers like I normally do. I worked on this page from instinct. I just chose papers and embellies that I like and linked them all together. It's a busy, chaotic page which refects my state of mind and why I bite.

I finally used my souffle pens, and my metallic gel pens, Pebeo glitter, some felt for the title, ArtCHIX Studio borcade border, and a red feather. A feather. Yes. Don't know why. It just made me happy putting it there! Smile.

I'm off to do some laundry. We have had a very busy long weekend, and I have lots of catching up to do. I'll give you an update on my Buffalo shopping spree! So funny. So much to tell.

Have a gorgeous, happy day!

Francesca