Friday, December 2, 2011

Good-bye My Sweet Boy

Today we are a very sad house as we cherish the time spent with our first pug Gadget. During the night he was taken from us, in his sleep peacefully beside us. He will be remembered for his wonderful spirit, his unconditional love, and his wonderful smile.

A Dog's Prayer

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside... for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements... and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth... though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land... for you are my god... and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest...and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

--Beth Norman Harris

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Look Who Made the Pages of Canadian Scrapbooker The Cooking with Madison Show

Check Out the Winter Issue of Canadian Scrapbooker

I am proud to say that I have been published for the second time this year, check out my scrapbook page on page 65 of the Winter issue of Canadian Scrapbooker. I am so proud of Madison she is such a wonderful girl who loves to cook especially for her family. Thanks Madison for make my job so easy!

The Cooking with Madison Show

The one thing I miss about not having kids is the stories they create in their lives. The stories about what they loved, what made them happy and the silly funny things they do. I do however have my friends children which I love like my own and enjoy spend time with them.

Madison is the youngest of their three beautiful girls, she is a special young women that marches to her own drum. For this page I wanted to talk about how she loves to cook and what her favorite dish to make is. How she has created a cooking show and with the help of her dad has a channel on YouTube.

Her personality is definitely spicy, saucy and sweet and I love this about her. One Christmas I bought her her first chef hat, apron with a little frying pan and utensils all from BergHOFF. And since then when ever I am out I try and pick her up pieces she might like for her collection.

Today she is older but still enjoys cooking and baking and though she might have grown up I occasionally think she still likes to use her personal frying pan with the cute duck on top.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wedding Reflections

Kristy and Matt - August 27, 2011 - Caledon, Ontario


Matt and I are so incredibly grateful to you for providing all of our wedding stationary. We've received countless compliments on the programs, invitations, table cards, and menus. We are amazed by your creativity, attention to detail, and ability to capture exactly what we had in mind. To top it all off, you are the most lovely person and an absolute gem to deal with. We would recommend you in a heartbeat! Thank you so much for helping to make our big day so special.
All our gratitude,
Kristy and Matt Cane
I have done a lot of weddings over the years, and everyone of them leaves my heart full of love but I have to admit Kristy and Matt and there family(s) love for each other is addictive. Looking at the many wonderful photos of the celebrations up to the event and the wedding leave one with a "I would so love to be part of this family" feeling and frankly I think they would welcome anyone with open arms.

Kristy was referred to me by her aunt who I happened to know through my Stampin' Up family, another family that I love so much. She simple loves her niece and wanted to do something special for her. From the moment Kristy and I spoke I knew that this was going to be a special couple, and I wasn't wrong, they are amazing!

The following are a few pics that I felt best reflected their love and some of why these two have a special place in my heart.

Addictive Joy and Love, the Happy Couple!
Wedding Programs
Wedding Place Cards

Close-up of Wedding Program

Wedding Favour with Thank You Card

History of LOVE
The beginning of their lives together.

Thank you Kristy and Matt for allowing me be a part of such a wonderful day!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good Finds - Finding the Joy - Decorating for Christmas

Your probably wondering where Day 5 -13 has gone from my trip to Italy but I have to tell you I have thousands of photos and of course I love them all, want to print them all but it takes so much time. How did I think I was going to do this while I was on my trip I really don't know. What makes it worse all of my other projects are getting behind which then throws me off. So I am going to be posting some of my projects and then some of my trip and so on.

Lately I have been humbugging about Christmas on Facebook. It's not the celebration but the speed to which things are moving. All those commercials are freaking me out, they all sound like you have no time and have to get it done now. I want to enjoy the season, slow down the pace, enjoy the moments that happen. Not run around with my head cut off.

So I am slooooooooooooooooooowing down and to do this one of the new projects I am taking on is Ali Edwards December Daily 2011 I love her "Capture Life" Create Art" its so true. I have been struggling with doing this because I don't have children that I can capture day to day things about. But during my trip to Italy I had an opportunity to sit with her and discuss what I thought was a dilemma, how do I "Capture Life" when it's just me (my husband, 3 dogs and 5 birds). True to what I already knew but seem to not realize is that I do matter. Just because I don't have children doesn't mean I don't have joy, my joy is just different. There are moments, there are things, there are feelings that I feel and can capture and create with. So I am taking the challenge and I am doing it. My book is going to be December Daily 2011 - Joy in My Life. Twenty-five days of joy through the eyes of a camera. I am so excited! So stay tuned

NOEL in Shadow Box

For today's project I used a shadow box I found at where else HomeSense and of course this one was in Barrie, Ontario when I visited my old but favorite neighbour Lee-Anne in August. Again when you find a good find don't hesitate buy it trust me you will use it eventually.

For this project I used a complete Christmas kit with everything matching the rest of the supplies I will use later for presents that I will be making.

This was a red shadow box that I found at HomeSense size is 10 x 10. Door opens on the side with two hooks on the back in case I want to hang it on the wall. I rubbed chocolate ink on it to give it a rustic look and some age. I will be adding this to my tea cup cupboard on the top with some other items but will take a picture so you can see the final project.

I only adhered the page with two way tape so that I can change it up if I wish. My kitchen is chocolate and red with a Parisian twist and I just might change it up and use it in there when the holiday is over.

The picture does not do it justice maybe you will have to come for a visit to see it live.

Friday, November 4, 2011

6:30 - 7:30 - 8:30 Italian Style - Day 5

Workshop with Ali Edwards, IL Poggio Winery and Cooking Class with Limoncello

6:30 - 7:30 - 8:30

After a leisure breakfast we begin our 2nd workshop with Ali Edwards called Storyology "Techniques for Sharing the Stories of Life" see here. This is an excellent class with our 1st Workshop "Scrapbooking on the Road" see here. It gets you to look at scrapbooking in a different way, there is nothing traditional about this, it allows you to develop your ideas and instead of a hugh book with page after page, it allows you to share feelings and moments collectively. It is a book you would create before you leave so that you can add things, moments, and pictures as you travel. I like to do a journal and then create but I have taken this concept and made sure that I collected things as I traveled, receipts, menu;s, business cards, why even gelato spoons. Anything that will make my scrapbook more personal.

IL Poggio Winery & Cooking Class with Limoncello

On the road heading for IL Poggio Winery
The history of the farm “Il Poggio” is nearly as ancient as its land. The fame of Il Poggio’s wines has been testified since 845 when it was acclaimed in the archiepiscopal archives of Lucca. At that time the estate belonged to the ancient farm of “San Piero in Campo”. Today the farm, owned by lord Giancarlo Rossi, has been completely renewed and production of the wine and olive-oil is now open to visitors with traditional Tuscan hospitality.

The farm ‘Il Poggio’ is situated in the middle of the most visited tourist destinations in Tuscany; the world wide famous artistic towns such as Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena and Pistoia are all close by. In the surroundings one is able to find many small medieval villages and natural beauties which can but only fascinate the most attentive tourist, even if they are not on the usual beaten track. Il Poggio is included in the wine circuit ‘Streets of the Wine’ created by the Tuscan administration in the area of Chianti D.O.C wine production. It details the top routes in the whole region which have a strong wine vocation beside natural, cultural and artistic beauties. Montecarlo, the municipality where the farm lies, is included in the route of the ‘Streets of the Wine of the Hills of Lucca and Montecarlo’ which identifies the production area of the Montecarlo D.O.C white wine. This wine is among one of the first wines which obtained the D.O.C certification in 1969.

During the winter season the old wine cellar becomes a warm and welcoming dining-room. In spring and autumn, if the weather is fine, it is wonderful to dine outside and enjoy the warmth of the first or last sunbeams. In summer the ancient trees of the large park offer a cool shelter from the heat and in the evenings torches and lamps create a magical setting.

We enjoyed our lunch in the wine cellar, sampling a typical Tuscan “merenda”; a substantial snack along with a full course meal. We tried a variety of wines with each dish and I was really surprised how each dish changed how the wine tasted. At first I sampled the wine on its own and was disappointed but learned you should never drink wine on its own, the pleasure comes from trying different meats and cheeses and enjoying the different flavours that comes from .
savoring each glass.

They also sell many items at the winery, I took home a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 5 year old balsamic vinager and truffle oil. And I wish I had bought more it is so absolutly delicious.

Enjoying a Afternoon at IL Poggio Winery

Though we did not eaten outside that day
(we got to eat in the cellar) this is a anything but typical setting.

Beautiful places to relax and take it all in.

What a sweetie.
One of many pots on the property.

The vinyards that go on for miles.

Paola with his new friend a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Yes it is a tractor but look at the colour
and condition I just loved it.
 The Cooking Class

Ali Edwards getting her apron on.

My buddy Yvonne getting her apron on.
Pappa cooking it up with Ms. Amy looks like
she is enjoying make sauce with a saucy Pappa!

Making pasta is very simple and uses
very little ingredients, flour, water and egg.

I am having such a good time
making ravioli, bow ties and twists.

Breaking into song, to get me in the mood.

My baby ravioli so pretty and tiny.

Pappa loves to hug the ladies, ohhhh Pappa!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

6:30 - 7:30 - 8:30 Italian Style - Day 4

Siena, Italy

6:30 - 7:30 - 8:30

Today was another early morning as we headed south to the town of Siena Italy. The weather was iffy and most likely turning into showers with the hills being completely hidden by the fog. But we piled onto the bus for our two hour ride to see the famous The Palio, and to visit San Domenico and Madre Teresa di Calcutta.

Siena Italy is famous for many things but the most is The Palio is a horse race that is raced twice a year on July 2 and August 16  in Siena. The Palio held on July 2 is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, who has a church in Siena. The Palio held on August 16 is named Palio dell'Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary.

In the Palio the various Sienese "contrade", or areas in which the city is divided, challenge in other in a passionate horse race in the heart of the city in the Piazza del Campo.

Originally, there were about fifty-nine "Contrade"; now only seventeen remain, ten of which take part in the historical pageant and in the race at each Palio (seven by right and three drawn by lots).

The 17 Contrade are: Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf, Goose.

Each Contrada has its own unique emblem and colors and represents an area of the city. As one walks through the streets of Siena it is easy to know in which Contrada you currently are in by observing the flags and emblems displayed along the street.

The race itself, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of dirt has been laid, three times and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds. It is not uncommon for a few of the jockeys to be thrown off their horses while making the treacherous turns in the piazza, and indeed it is not unusual to see unmounted horses finishing the race without their jockeys.

A perfect example of a race was including the opening segmant to Quantum of Solace Horse Race Scene.

Quantum of Solace Horse Race Scene Video

To reach the piazza we walked a good 20 mins, streets were cobble stone uneven and basically up hill and winding.

Kinda Creepy But Note Worthy

Our first stop was the ornate reliquary in the Basilica San Domenico in Siena where the dismembered, mummified head of the revered Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). Her right thumb also resides in a smaller reliquary not far from her head. This was truly amazing she originally died in Rome and the people of Siena wanted her body back but were not allowed. So they went to steal her body to bring back but they realized there was no way that they could get past the Rome guards and decided to just bring her head in a paper bag. Today it rests in the Church of San Dominico  near her disembodied thumb, in the Church of San Dominico of Siena, Italy.

St. Catherine of Siena's Severed Head

St. Catherine of Siena's Severed Thumb

The following are images taken during my visit to Siena:

Piazza del Campo where the race is held.


Such a charming man with such class, my new friend Paolo

Hidden stair cases that welcome you.

When in Italia you must like a glass of wine have
Gelato at least twice a day.
Beautiful flower shops.

Love love love the doors here and the unique openers.

This pizza looks sooooooooooooooo good.

Center of Piazza del Campo where we
enjoyed a lovely lunch.

I love how the clouds look in this
photo so soft and airy - Mangia Tower on Piazza del Campo

Beautiful fountains
I love the curves of the buildings so beautiful.

While enjoying our lunch the clouds decided to get angry.

And angrier.

even more

And then it was beautiful again, a little rain but
nothing that would stop such a beautiful day.

I love how you drive into a building and park in
the core of the building like a hidden secret.

I loved this store window for both the
jewelry but the shoes too.

Hidden secrets, I love this shot!
Simply amazing a door with a beautiful fountain,
again this is one of those hidden squares.

Beautiful cheese shop.

I love how these iron poster holders.

We stop for a drink and I decided to look up and found
these beautiful cloud formations. Church of San Dominico of Siena, Italy.

What a beautiful walk back to the bus.