Saturday, January 29, 2011


I was looking at my scrappy supplies this morning and realized that with all the purchasing I've done lately (& the successful Stampin' Up! party I had last night-- thanks again for the great time, Anne!) that I have amassed quite a bit of product & tools lately. And seeing as I seem to spend more time lately online looking at layouts/products/tools than actually scrapbooking, I figured that I should do something about it.

Enter the challenge...

My challenge to myself is that on every layout I create, I need to use one or more "new" product/tool that I've purchased in the last couple of months. This would include my Cuttlebug and dies, my Ranger Ink Blending Tool, my Ranger Craft Sheet, my Fiskars Stamp Press and my punches, stamps and inks.

There. Easy, right?


I was browsing online this morning (I know, shocking!) and noticed that Two Peas in a Bucket is having CHA Winter Runway online social, where they're posting videos and photos from CHA this weekend. AND, they've also posted some challenges, so I decided to play along.

So here are two layouts that I created today...

This first one is for the Shabby Chic challenge: to scrap the shabby chic style.

Not sure if I succeeded or not, but I added some distressing & some stitching. I also used my Ranger Ink Blending Tool with some SU! ink to change the colour slightly of the peachy Bazzill cardstock I had on hand.

I put the cardstock on my craft sheet and blended the ink into the edges of the paper, so it would match better with the stripes on the "sweet" diecut tag. I also cut out the title with my alphabet dies and the flower with my Tattered florals dies and inked the edges with the blending tool.

The second layout I made was for the Accessorize challenge: add some bling, jewels, florals etc. to your layout. This layout is for my Thankful album.

I cut out some flowers from the Crate patterned paper with my craft knife and added some glittered brads and jewels.

I also cut some flowers with my Tattered florals dies and added some brads. Part of the title was cut with my alphabet dies and the rest is October Afternoon alphabet stickers.

So, is anyone else out there feeling like they could take on the same challenge?
Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Five for Friday

1. I did Day 10 of the 30 Day Shred today. That means I've finished Level 1 and now I'm suppose to move on to level 2, which makes me a little nervous.

2. I've had the week off, so I decided to spend it wisely by Spring Cleaning my house. It feels so good! I started with the main bathroom and the kids' rooms...

Then I did the master bedroom, the livingroom/diningroom, the hall closet and finished with the kitchen. (Actually, the kitchen is tidy and the floor is cleaned, however, it still needs a better cleaning, but I'm saving that for another day.)

3. I ♥ Cadbury Mini Eggs.

4. I am also loving my new Cuttlebug, embossing folders and dies! Why, oh why, did I not buy these sooner??

5. I have some sneaks to show from the MSS February kit:

Bonus: I have a post today on the Winter Sketch #5.

Thanks for looking!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today, I am...

...happy to connect with friends, whether it's in person, over the telephone or via technology.

...making Jonah happy by volunteering in his classroom (even though I only got to spend 1/6th of my time there with him.)

...also making Jonah's day by baking pumpkin muffins.

...glad to have a clean main floor of our house. I spent the week "early spring cleaning" and got rid of stuff, washed walls, floors, etc. Feels so good. I really should take some pictures, because I know it won't last.

...enjoying purchasing things online. So convenient. Too convenient, really.

...looking forward to having friends over tomorrow night for a Stampin' Up! party.

...disappointed that I didn't win one of these collections-- my most favourite from the CHA-2011 previews.

...suprised at how little I like with the CHA previews this year.

...wanting to watch this show tonight. It's my favourite.

...wondering why I spend (waste?) so much time online when I could be scrapping.

...wanting to share a layout I made this month:

(I used My Mind's Eye pp and The Girls' Paperie pp. embellishment and stickers. The alphas are October Afternoon and Pink Paislee. See this post for the explanation/journaling.)

So, what are you doing today?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Congo Album, part 4

Here's more of my Congo album. You can click on the links to see Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3.

I loved the colourful doors and details on the windows in Kikwit. These photos were taken at BTEDE and at our hostel.

I was totally fascinated by how the Congolese men, women & children carried things on their heads-- so amazing!

The next few layouts detail our experience at the Kikwit MB church...

... how I participated in the offering "dance", much to the delight of the congregation!

... and handing out more soccer balls from our Sunday school to theirs.

Some layouts detailing the food we experienced there...

... and some of the friends we made.

On our last evening in Kikwit, we took the BTEDE team out for supper along the Kwilu River.

On the Tuesday, back in Kinshasa, we drove to see another farm. Probably my worst day there. We travelled in the back of a closed in truck, but the seats were two benches that faced in. I think travelling at this angle, plus the heat made me feel carsick. However, the day was "saved" by the discovery of a Nando's in Kinshasa! For an hour or so, it felt like we were back in North America-- air conditionning, ice cold cokes, a pita stuffed with chicken, tomatoes and cucumbers and fries! Yum!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crop for the Congo 2011

Last January, I hosted a Crop for the Congo as a fundraiser for my trip to Congo with my church. This March, another team from Westside is going and the Congo Committee asked if I'd be interested in organizing another crop.

And, since I'm always up for scrapbooking with friends, I said yes.

So here are the details:

Crop for the Congo 2011
(a scrapbooking fundraiser hosted by me, Leigh Penner)

Friday, February 18th – 6pm to 11pm
& Saturday, February 19th – 9am to 4pm
at Westside Community Church in Morden

Cost: $40, which includes:

* door prizes
* snacks Friday evening, coffee & muffins Saturday morning
& lunch on Saturday
* use of tools & stamps
* an inspirational corner
* scrappy shopping, provided by My Scrap Shoppe

To register, or for more information, please call me at 822-4078 or email at

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Congo Album, part 3

More layouts I made for my Congo album. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

We met a boy on the road walking a monkey on a leash. Ken talked me into holding him, saying that my kids would get a kick out it.

A layout about our interesting (and not always reliable) method of transportation in Kikwit.

A 2 page layout detailing our visit to the first of BTEDE's experimental farms.

Some photos I took in and around Kikwit. There was much less worry here about taking photographs, but we still put our cameras out of sight when we came to check points or saw soldiers/officers in the area.

I did a number of layouts about our experience at BTEDE's 2nd experimental farm. This one was in the rainforest.

I wanted to display the photos I'd taken of the beautiful children of the Congo...

... and of the beautiful flora there, too. The WRMK 9 pocket sleeves were perfect for this.

On the way back to Kikwit, we stopped for one of the team members to buy a phone card. While we were waiting, a vendor approached our truck to sell his wares. Talk about convenience! Who needs a drive-thru or internet ordering when you can get the vendors right up to your vehicle and buy without getting out? ;)

Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Congo Album, part 2

Continuing in showing the layouts I made for my Congo album. Click here for Part 1.

At the Bomoyi Ya Sika Orphanage. Bomoyi Ya Sika is Lingala for "Home of New Life."

An outdoor pub that we went to at the end of the day to cool off.

The scariest thing for me in the Congo was the cockroaches. They were huge! This guy was on my drapes in my room at the hostel and I couldn't go to sleep until Konrad and Dennis came and killed it! Shudder.

Our flight to Kikwit in back to back pages.

Our first stop in Kikwit was at Edgard's (the director of BTEDE) home. I was able to meet his wife and one of his sons.

The hostel where we stayed in Kikwit. I enjoyed it much better than M.P.H.

Some photos taken at BTEDE, which stands for Bureau Technique de Développement Endogènes , the organisation our church supports and the reason we went to the Congo.

Before I left for Congo, our Sunday school program (R.O.X.) raised money to buy soccer balls for the kids in the Congo. This is layout is about how I handed some out at the school in Kikwit.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Listening: to the silence in my house

Drinking: nothing, but will probably have an A&W Diet Root Beer later

Reading: Lady in Waiting, by Susan Meissner

Watching: The Mentalist, tonight

Looking forward to: learning the rest of my Koreo pattern at taekwondo

Wearing: a white hoodie and my Levi's jeans

Feeling: good about doing Day 7 of the 30 Day Shred this morning

Eating: a Dairy Milk bar-- it's justified by the Shred! ;)

Weather: way too cold

Wanting: to scrapbook this afternoon

Needing: to pick up the kids from school at 3:40pm

Thinking: of how I'd like to spend my share of the $500 our family won through BBM Canada yesterday

Wondering: if I'm going to like the alphabet dies that I picked up this morning in Walhalla

Missing: my dad—he would have been 74 on Monday

Enjoying: a day off from work

How is your day going?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Congo Album, part 1

I just wanted to thank everyone for you kind comments and emails. I felt very encouraged after my last post and am very appreciative for your support and care.

A highlight of the past weekend for me was finishing my Congo album. I had a bit of incentive-- the Congo committee at my church asked if they could display it at their fundraising evening this Saturday-- just the kick in the pants I needed to get it done. ;)

So, I thought I share it here on my blog. There are over 40 layouts, so I'll spread it out over several posts. To see any original photos/stories that I posted about my trip back in March, you can just click on the "Trip to Congo 2010" link at the bottom of this post and it will show all of them.

To explain a few things...

I wanted the album to have a cohesive feel, so I used kraft cardstock and Pink Paislee 365 Degrees patterned paper (with a few sheets of Fancy Pants and October Afternoon thrown in here and there.)

I also wanted to use simple design and chose not to use a lot of embellishments. I wanted the focus to primarily be on the photos and stories.

Because I'm not a huge fan of 2 page layouts and tire of them quickly, I decided to use WeR Memory Keepers: 12x12 Page Protectors Multi-Pack 10 pack to house some of my photos, while creating a regular 12x12 layout beside it. I found that this worked very well for me. It gave me a variety of choices for the orientation of the photos and kept the album feeling fresh.

If you have any other questions about my process, please don't hesitate to ask.

Here we go...

The title page. This photo was taken in front of the Kwilu River, in Kikwit.

Where the story began... with the fundraising I needed to do to be able to afford the trip.

Our commissionning at church. This took place several weeks before we left because two of our team members (Ken & Len) left earlier to go to South Africa first.

A layout using a photo taken of me in the Toronto airport. This is where it began to sink in that I was really going to Congo.

The hostel we stayed in in Kinshasa.

Scenes form Kinshasa. I was only able to take a few photos in the city for fear that police officers or soldiers would take my camera away from me. In Kinshasa, I had to be very discreet with my photo-taking.

Such a different culture there, I had to journal about it.

The walk to the Bon Berger clinic was something I'd never experienced before. There was garbage everywhere.

At the Bon Berger Clinic. The name means "Good Shepherd."

We were able to witness a cool Congolese tradition. When a woman has a baby and is ready to go home, friends will come and do her hair and nails and toenails. Then she gets all dressed up and her friends come to the hospital (all dressed up) to take her home. They walk together down the street, singing really loudly, rejoicing in the birth of the baby. Later, when we left the clinic to go back to M.P.H., we passed the house where they were partying/celebrating. It was very cool.

Thanks for looking!