Friday, June 8, 2012

Wedding Shadowboxes

I finally finished my wedding shadowboxes! I have literally had these on the go for over two years. I originally bought the shadowboxes on clearance at Michaels. They were the kind with the two panes of glass, for pressing flowers or butterflies or whatever, and they were on clearance. I don't think Michaels carries that type any more! And they were black! I didn't like the black, it showed too many marks and fingerprints, and just looked cheap to me. But it took me a long time to decide what exactly to do with them. When we were living in Vancouver, I had them full of stuff from our wedding, but wasn't happy with how they were looking so I wasn't ready to "put them together" so to speak. Also, I hadn't figured out what to do with the glass - should I keep it between panes of glass, or should I try something different? And then I was really stumped. I had no idea what to do with them or how to make it work. I wasn't even sure what to use to attach everything to the inside.

And then we moved to Niagara Falls. I packed them up, wrapped in paper, with all the little mementos stuffed inside. There was WAY too much stuff in each of them, and some of it was just silly, like a bar of soap from our resort in Mexico! And then they sat here for nearly two years. But in the meantime, I got my current job and have trained in custom framing, so now I know all sorts of little tricks for dressing them up!

First of all, I decided to spray paint the frames a gloss white. I did this in the garage on a windy day and didn't have great results, but it's not too noticable I don't think.

I finally decided to scrap the idea of sandwiching the items between glass. I didn't want to see my wall behind them. So I bought a sheet of foam board (on sale for $2 I think) and cut two pieces the size of my frame (8 x 10). Foam board can be annoying to cut, let me know if you want to know how best to do that. At this point, I also checked to make sure my foam board fit, and had to trim it a bit in a few places.

I lined the inside edges of the frame and one side of the foam board with scrapbook paper. The scrapbook paper is acid free, so it won't damage any of the pictures or anything. Obviously all of the objects themselves aren't acid free, and items like the flower will decompose, but at least I know the paper won't contribute to it or make it worse. I used an adhesive dot roller and zots to attach the paper to the inside edges and to the foam board.

Then I layed everything out on the scrapbook paper lined foamboard and decided on what to keep, what to scrap, and how to lay it all out. This is obviously the most important step and for me, was the most time consuming.

Once I had it all figured out, I used the zots and the dot roller to attach everything where I wanted it. Then I layed out the shells and other items on the inside edges of the shadowbox, and used zots to keep them there. Very carefully I slid the foamboard into place in the back of the frame. Because of the size of it, and the snug fit, I'm not too worried about keeping it in place, but there are little things to hold it in place, as with other frames.

I may still buff up the edges and make it look a little more worn (as the paint is a bit rough looking in some places, and sparse in others). And, I may put some craft paper over the back, just to seal it up and prevent dust from getting in. But neither of those are in my immediate to-do list.

Anyways, it is SUCH a relief to finally get this project finished after thinking about it for so long!! Do you have any projects "on-the-go" for multiple years, or something that's hanging around because you just can't decide what to do with it??

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We've been talking about getting a cat for years, but I have been really hesitant. I'm allergic to some cats; they stuff me up, make me sneeze, and make my eyes red and itchy. They're an added responsibility I wasn't sure I wanted. Having to figure out what to do with the cat when we go away, disciplining a kitten - teaching it not to eat plants and jump on the counters. Cats sometimes bite, scratch, and get into things they shouldn't. Their litter boxes smell, they scratch the furniture, they throw up. If it's an outside cat it'll scare away all the birds or eat them, or worse still, leave them dead on the doorstep for us! And what if the cat doesn't like us, or doesn't like me?! Have you ever lived with a miserable cat? Not pleasant. I can remember having to jump over the last four stairs to go downstairs to my bedroom when we had a cat that I don't think liked people, or at least he didn't like me. Every time I walked past him he'd attack my ankles, hissing, teeth and claws at the ready..

But Ian is a cat person. So we got oursevles a kitten.

It was the best darn decision we've made yet.

I'm gonna get it...
Sitting pretty.

I'd like to get up there please..

When you rub my belly, I simply melt..

Sooo very sleepy...

Where'd that cursor go?

Darn paparazzi, I'm trying to sleep here!

Please stop taking my photo.

What? You weren't using it.

Jackets go in closets, not on the back of couches!
You mean this isn't a kitty tanning bed?

Well hallo, what's your name??

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turning 30

As my 31st birthday approached, I was thinking about how I got so "okay" with being 30...

18th Birthday
By the time I hit my mid-twenties, I was dreading the big 3-0. Every year became like a countdown to "the end" or something, like a ticking time bomb. I was feeling disappointed and frustrated with my life. I had always thought that by the time I was 30 I would be settled down, have a great career, a husband, children, and have everything pretty much figured out, you know?

But in those last five years of my twenties, I started realizing that my life really isn't like my parents' and grandparents' were. We are living in different times. And those people that I thought seemed to have everything figured out by 30? I started taking a really good look at their lives, and realized they didn't really have anything figured out either, and weren't any better off than me! What they did have, I wasn't ready for yet, or maybe didn't want at all!

30th Birthday
By the time my 30th birthday arrived, I was actually really looking forward to my thirties. I hadn't figured life out in my twenties so I'm looking forward to exploring it more in my thirties! And I've realized that life is what I make it. The only timeline I'm on is my own, the pressures I put on myself are exactly that - put on myself by me, and I've chosen to remove them. I have the rest of my life to "figure things out." What fun would life be if I really had it all worked out by 30?! The peace I've found in this realization has left me way more relaxed and able to just enjoy the ride!!! So enjoy your ride, thirty's not so bad!!!