Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!

A few pics of our Christmas decor :) Enjoy

Oh, and of course, our little munchkin totally soakin' up the Christmas spirit! Look at what she did! Stuffing her furry face between cushions on the adorable is that?!

Merry Christmas everyone! Have a wonderful Holiday! See you in 2010 :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Craft Fair Treasures

A quick look at some fun stuff I sold this year...

Two crazy big sellers (and last minute ideas) were Cookies in a Jar and Tic-Tac-Toe-On-The-Go! Thanks to my sister for getting me a ZYRON for my birthday, compete with AWESOME magnet on one side and laminate on the other! Perfect for making the magnetic pieces for Tic-Tac-Toe games :) You always support my habit :)

Thanks for those of you who supported me and visited my table! Looking forward to next year :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009


When most of us hear the word "ageism," we think of young people being prejudice against old people. You know, the gangsters mugging old ladies and computer savvy techies scamming them out of retirement money using prank calls.

But, what about old people being prejudice to young people?

I just spent the whole day at a craft fair, which I try to do at least once a year (gotta keep this habit funded!) And, I swear, EVERY year there is some old lady there who is TOTALLY MEAN to me!

Last year, I remember some lady calling me "young" in a condescending way as she said something hurtful (yes, it's a vague but emotional memory). This year, I threw a banana peel in a bag that was hanging nearby (obviously for garbage) and realized it must belong to the old lady selling jams behind me. So, I politely smiled and pointed to the garbage and asked if it was okay if I threw my banana peel in there. She didn't understand me the first few times, due to her hearing impairment, but eventually she realized what I was asking.

Then, she loudly exclaimed, "Well, didn't you already throw your banana peel in there anyway?! Isn't that just like you young people! Always doing something before you ask permission!" If that wasn't ageism at it's finest, on top of it, SHE HIT ME! Yes, she slapped me HARD on my shoulder. I just stood there, shocked. I wasn't smiling anymore. I couldn't believe I had just been treated so rudely. I offered to take my banana peel and throw it away somewhere else, but she said it was fine...

Fine my BUTT (and ya know I wanted to use another word here!)

It is NOT fine to treat me rudely because I am "young."
It is NOT fine to assume that I am like all the other "youngsters" who are actually in their teenage years...just because you can't discern which decade I belong to!
It is NOT fine to put me down or slap me!
AGEISM to youngin's must stop!

The Bible says:
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.
(1 Timothy 4:12)

So, everyone who considers themselves "old" please be nice to people you view as "young." And, we "young" people (how much longer does one belong to this group???) will be nice to you too...okay?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DIY project gone BAD

Last night I found myself trapped in my bedroom at 10:30 pm desperately calling for help out my open window into the rainy darkness. Unable to access a phone, shaking with frusteration, my only hope was my landlords upstairs.

What would cause such a situation, you ask?

A do-it-yourself project gone wrong.

Yes, because my husband is out of town, I decided that I would take matters into my own hands. I decided to switch the doorknobs between our two bedroom doors (one with a lock on it and one without) - because I wanted our bedroom to be able to lock (for safety at night). I cheerfully unscrewed the craft room doorknob, excited that I had renewed my sense of independance without needing my husband to help with such a project. However, as I was unscrewing the craft room doorknob, it was somewhat difficult to hold the door open with my foot while doing the unscrewing.

With the main bedroom doorknob, I would fix that problem!

I decided to CLOSE the main bedroom door while I was unscrewing the doorknob. I happily completed the unscrewing process and listened as the outside of the doorknob clunked to the floor. I took the inside of the doorknob off too...almost done, I was thinking!


That's right. I had gotten myself stuck in the bedroom. I had no phone, and no way to get out! At first, I was sweaty and panicking. I tried everything to open that door! Then I started yelling for help. I opened my bedroom window and yelled out to the dark empty night. Eventually, a neighbor came and asked if I was okay. They said they thought I was an old lady getting attacked or something...

Eventually, my landlords were awakened. THANK YOU Brecon for coming to my rescue!

Moral of the story: make a honey-do list and wait for the hubby to do such projects. And, if you're single...well, make sure the door is open when you're changing the knobs ;)


Monday, October 26, 2009

More Than a TRIP TO GREECE!!!!

HOW CAN A GIRL SLEEP RIGHT NOW?! I just registered for the Mykonos Greece trip through YES!!! I am going to Greece in 2010 (provided nothing CRAZY happens in the next year...)

This trip is sooooooooooo much more than just a trip to me. Besides getting to spend a whole week with Jenni, Ali, and Karen, taking a bazillion photos on a gorgeous island, and resting in the sunshine in late September...THIS TRIP IS ABOUT SAVING MONEY AND CHANGING MY SPENDING HABITS.

See, in order to afford something this expensive (yeah...that cost does NOT cover airfare), I am going to need to drastically change my spending habits for a whole year. But, what's really funny is this: if I just stop buying scrapbooking stuff (not clothes, not pretty things for my house, not even Starbucks), I WILL EASILY AFFORD THIS TRIP.

I know. It's scary. Do I REALLY spend THOUSANDS of dollars a year on stickers and paper?? YES. I do.

My name is Erika. And I am a scrapa-spend-aholic. Yes, I buy too much scrapbooking stuff.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love my paper just like the next gal! And, I even enjoy just LOOKING AT IT. Sometimes I gaze and smile at all the gorgeous colors and textures. That's the joy of what we do as scrappers! But, this is a time for CHANGE. It's a time in my life when I am ready to use what I have! To be creative in the way I use my things. To find other ways to use my time INSTEAD of SHOPPING.

It's true. Shopping is also a hobby of mine. But, it's one that's going to STOP right here. Right NOW. My blog will now become a place where I share with you my tips and tricks and joys and difficulties of breaking my shopoholism. YES. I am going to sober up!

So far, I haven't purchased anything this last week - no clothes, no scrappin stuff. Well, I did by a new hairbrush. But, David said that was okay. And, you know what?! I FEEL GREAT! I feel so liberated by not allowing consumerist romance to lure me! I feel FREE!

We'll see how long this lasts...

I will let you know.

Why I Don't Apply

For those of you who haven't visited the Inspired Scrapper blog lately, fyi they are calling for new design team members.

Now, I would LOVE to apply to this! I think it would be SO SUPER COOL if they accepted me...except for one problem: MY STUPID COMPUTER.

I just spent a whole hour scanning, stitching, and uploading scrapbooking layouts for you to view. Then, I sat their for another 10 minutes waiting for my jpg's to upload for this blog. you see any layouts?


That's because it didn't work. My computer is so frusterating and slow and old that I can't even upload things for you to see. It is the frustration of electronics that keeps me from applying to design teams. I am soooooooooo behind the times! SERIOUSLY! And this is ALSO why I am not on Facebook! I sit in front of a computer screen for most of my day...why come home and torture myself like this!? WHY!?

I am going to go jump on my trampoline now *scowl*

And, David...if you read know what I want for Christmas...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Adventures in Puppy Parenting

My wonderful husband and I have been using the book "Puppies for Dummies." It's because we're dummies when it comes to raising puppies...Here's why:

1) How many times do I have to let her into her potty area WITH HER LEASH on? Only to have it drag through her poo 5 minutes before I am supposed to leave for work...

2) David has forgotten a number of times to put her out into her potty area after she eats. Mmmmm....nothin' like poo in your house!

3) And, here's the latest and greatest: We were looking at the conversion chart on her food, and I looked at the number "60" (because she's eventually going to be about 60 pounds) and it said we should be feeding her about 5.5 cups of food a day! WHAT?! We had only been feeding her 3! I felt terrible because we had been starving our little puppy. So, we quickly started giving her almost twice as much food...and she was behaving oddly - she seemed sick and has been pooing MASSIVE amounts. HM...something must be wrong! So, I checked the chart again and discovered our flaw: The chart said 60 KILOGRAMS, not pounds! OOPS! So, turns out we're supposed to up her diet to 4 cups of food...yeah, we feel terrible :(
Our poor puppy! At least she is always showered with love ;)

Friday, September 25, 2009


For those of you who don't already know: TREASURY OF MEMORIES is closing! Yes, it's truly unbelievable!

Thank you to my friends for running to their first day of liquidation sale for me and picking up some of their staples. Check out their link (to the right) to see what's on sale!

This store is more than just a place to shop for us - it's been the centre of countless road trips and National Scrapbooking Days for my friends and I for years. No offense to all the other amazing scrappin stores out there, but TOM has always been my favorite! Nowhere else has compared to their amazing selection (always the latest and greatest), fabulous prices (just can't help that the mark up is so high in Canada!), and brilliant ideas (a WONDERFUL design team for sure)...not to mention incredible service (who else sends you handwritten thank you cards just for shopping, knows you by name, and never hesitates to let you order anything ON SALE over the phone with a credit card!)

The loss of TOM cuts deep for me, and I am sure many of you. Please tell Elizabeth, the owner, how you feel! I've had the very special priviledge of reaching her a couple times over the phone, and I know this is a difficult and emotional time for her. Offer her the support and love she's shown us over the years! Truly, Elizabeth, you will be greatly missed!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Announcing: Jolie Violet!

We have a WONDERFUL announcement to make, for those of you that don't already know: WE GOT A PUPPY!!!! She is our pride and joy - a beautiful Australian Labradoodle (a magnificent mutt as our bumper now reads). Little Jolie Violet came to us from Gemstone Labradoodles Kennel in Armstrong BC. Last Thursday night we picked her up in Vancouver. We were immediately in love with her! Can you see why?!

David and I enjoyed a week of vacation with her - which was much needed, considering all the time it takes to train a puppy! Fortunately, she was 11 weeks when we got her, and already knew the basics: sit, come, and loose leash walking. She's truly a gem! So smart, she's caught on very quickly to other tricks already like laying down, shaking a paw, and SORT OF pottying outside...that's the hardest one ;)

This little ball of fluff has brought us so much happiness! We love watching her play and sleep...which is pretty much all she does right now. She'll grow to be about 60 pounds or so, and her coat will change to a "lavender-grey" color (hence the middle name Violet!) We're so thankful that everything worked out for us to finally be puppy-parents. We've wanted a dog for SO LONG and now she's finally here! Well worth the wait :) More pictures to come...

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Pledge

"I, Erika Melnychuk, pledge to not buy ANY scrapbooking stuff (excluding adhesives and necessary Stampin' Up! items) until I have completed thirty-five (35) scrapbooking pages.  Mini books will count for 1/2 the number of pages in the book.  Cards do not count."
Signed by ME yesterday...

Witnessed by my husband yesterday....(no, he wasn't holding me hostage...well, not really...HELP?!)

For obvious reasons...including my overspending problem (let's just say I was recently "convicted" by the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic) and my incredibly wonderful collection of scrapbooking supplies, I figure this won't be a difficult feat.  

I was allowed to get a head start with a few pages I recently did, and already completed more for a total of 6 completed pages marked on my list (which is nobly hanging on our refrigerator).  I am planning on scanning and sharing some of them with you along the way!  Who knows how long my journey to 35 pages will take?!  Maybe many weeks...maybe only a few!  Thankfully, I am going to a scrappin retreat next weekend and will be able to do at least SOME layouts (in between splashing in the pool and laughing with my friends!)

WANT TO JOIN ME?!?!  Let me know in the comments section if you will also join this challenge!  How many pages can YOU do before shopping?!?  Of course...adhesives and "necessary" Stampin' Up products don't count...wink wink...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Did she copy me?

SOOOOO FUNNY!  I absolutely LOVE Ali Edwards...I can often be caught flipping through her books (I own them all - some of them are SIGNED!) and scrap-lifting her ideas.  But, this is one time that I think she copied ME ;)
On her blog she just put her ideas regarding purging her supplies, getting organized, and shedding the like my last blog entry!  Except...well, SHE says it much better :)  Click on the link to your right to check it out - and be inspired by her sophisticated explanation of what I was trying to say.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Organizing Tips

I love to organize; most of you know that. But, sometimes I get really overwhelmed. I've been organizing my scrappin' room all day today and last night (workin' away for about 10 hours so far...) The room is still a very big mess. However, I am not quitting! I refuse to do what I usually do: pile everything up and just throw it in a drawer. I won't do it! I want everything thoroughly clean from the inside out.

Thought I would share with you some of my organizing tips that have helped me through this project:

1) Use a scrapbook to store your extra page protectors. I use all different sizes of pages (from 6X6 to 12X12) and now all my extra page protectors are nicely in an album, with dividers marking the different sizes, on my shelf. LOVELY!

2) I have embraced the idea of "hybrid" scrapbooking. My albums are full of all different sizes of pages. AND, I've recently added pocket slip covers (ie. a plastic page protector that holds plain old 4X6 photos) in a variety of arrangements. That way, I don't have to store my extra photos in a seperate box and flip through them. All my pictures, whether scrapbooked or not are in the appropriate album. Another great thing about this is that if I want to go back and use the pictures for a mini album project, there are extra prints right there ready to play with! I love these page protectors from We Are Memory Keepers:

2) If you're like me, you have random piles of extra photos laying around. I have a very intimidating heap of photos from the last 6 years - it has made me feel so overwhelmed! Instead of spending hours trying to figure out which photos go where, I've decided that I will worry about this later. I ride the ferry a LOT, especially during the summer, which gives me hours of downtime with nothin' to do. So, I have put these extra photos in a pocket, stuck the pocket in a random album, grabbed some of my page protectors, and put the whole thing in a bag. Now, my bag is ready to grab n' go for my ferry rides, and I will be able to slip my many extra 4X6 photos into pocket page protectors! I can put the ones from the appropriate year into the appropriate album AS I GO.

3) Don't be afraid to throw things away! I have three massive bags of goodies that I will be selling at a garage sale in a couple weeks. One scrapper's trash is another's treasure! I also haven't been afraid to throw away extra photos that I know for sure I will never use. Overall, there's been a lot of recycling boxes filling up around here...makes me feel so free :)

4) Allow yourself a spot for projects in process. I keep mine organized (yes, I have a number of projects on the go) using large plastic bags or empty Making Memories Foam Stamp cases. Then, I have a nice basket that hides on my shelf and houses all these projects. *ahhh exhale*

Let me know your favorite organizing tips :) I'd love to learn how I can keep this under control!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

STOP shopping

I love buying scrapbooking stuff. I even have my own business as a Stampin Up! demonstrator SELLING fun scrapbooking and card making stuff. But, there comes a point...and I am at that point now...when we can get BOGGED DOWN with having too much stuff!

My creativity has been BLOCKED. It seems CLOGGED by my massive amounts of scrapbooking supplies. It takes me more time to unpack my shopping bags and attempt (I do stress this word "attempt") to keep my art studio somewhat organized. Over the last few months, I have definitely spent much more time cleaning and organizing and putting away than I have scrapbooking, making cards, or painting. This makes me sad. Sad indeed.

In everything the middle course is best: all things in excess bring trouble to men.

There is a book that I recommend to every artist (I believe that's everyONE): The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (note it on my bookshelf to the right...) On page 83, she talks about what it's like to PURGE - to throw the old out and make room for the new:

"Shifts in taste and perception frequently accompany shifts in identity. One of the clearest signals that something healthy is afoot is the impulse to weed out, sort through, and discard old clothes, papers, and belongings.

"I don't need this anymore," we say as we toss a low-self-worth shirt into a giveaway pile. "I'm sick of this broken-down dresser and its sixteen coats of paint," as the dresser goes off to Goodwill.

By tossing out the old and unworkable, we make way for the new and suitable. A closet stuffed with ratty old clothes does not invite new ones. A house overflowing with odds and ends and tidbits you've held on to for someday has no space for the things that might truly enhance today.

When the search-and-discard impulse seizes you, two crosscurrents are at work: the old you is leaving and grieving, and the new you celebrates and grows strong. As with any rupture, there is both tension and relief. Long-seated depression breaks up like an ice floe. Long-frozen feelings thaw, melt, cascade, flood, and often overrun their container (you). You may find yourself feeling volatile and changeable. You are."

Last night I was talking with my mom about this, while organizing my ribbon-by-the-yard into my awesome new ribbon organizer (that I MADE with Kristin last weekend - so awesome!) There were dozens of little snips of ribbon. I wanted to keep every precious one. After all: what if it would be the PERFECT little ribbon for my next page?! What if I NEED it? No, my mom said. I don't need it. She told me to throw out all those snippets - to throw them in the yucky kitchen garbage and get rid of them for good.

And that's what I did.

It's time to let go! It's time to make room for the new! Shed the excess and enjoy the process. The old is gone, the new has come!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guest Designer

So, many of you have discovered that I was the Guest Designer on The Inspired Scrapper (link to the right). Sonja, thank you for this wonderful opportunity! View my page on their WONDERFUL blog, and take a challenge to inspire your inner-scrapper :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scrappin Again

Well, it's been a busy January. But, I am back to scrappin again! Newly inspired and fresh to face 2009 - with all the creativity of last year and more (hopefully!)

Just did a layout tonight - another big THANKS to my Kristin friend. She and I were shopping at TOM and when we got in the car to leave, she held out a bag and said, "Suprize!" Inside were goodies from the Little Yellow Bicycle Love Letters entire section that I had sadly missed in the store, and fell in love with as I noticed it on my way out. Kristin, that was so sweet! I love these beautiful items - this page uses a transparency and cardstock stickers. So much love!

TFL :)
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