The finish line!

Running Like a Girl

The final instalment in the Running Like a Girl challenge

The weeks went by quickly, and now the finish line is already behind me!
Finish Line 2014
Here are the stats
First ever run – April 24 (2 km)
Total distance covered in April – approx 10 km
Total distance covered in May – approx 40 km
First race – 5 km Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women on May 31, 2014

Run for Women

I finished the race feeling great, a little red in the face but I know I could have gone a little farther or faster. Not sure yet about my next goal. I definitely want to keep up the active habit, and maybe improve my pace or time (or technique!), and maybe do a 10 km race in future.

My mom and my husband cheered me on at the race and we had a great day together. Thank you for your support as I built these habits and finally got moving. Also thank you to Simon & Schuster and the Running Like a Girl challenge for getting me started.
Family at the finish line

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New products and new techniques

At a recent team meeting we saw a wide variety of projects made with new stuff, and I got to play with lots of it (even before my order comes in next week)!

First, a simple card layout showcasing the new In-Colors:
New In Colors
Supplies:
Greeting from ‘Work of Art’ stamp set
Card stock: Lost Lagoon (blue), Hello Honey (yellow), Mossy Meadow (green), Blackberry Bliss (purple)
Also uses the new Tangelo Twist (Orange) ribbon, and a little flower punch from the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack.

Next an angled easel card that was fun and easy to make. I will definitely be making some of these in an upcoming card class.
Sea Street Easel card
Stamp Set: Sea Street, Yippee-Skippee, A Fitting Occasion
Paper: Maritime Designer Series Paper, Night of Navy & Real Red & Whisper White cardstock, Gold Foil card stock
Inks: Night of Navy, Real Red, Coastal Cabana
Other: 1″, 1-1/4″, and 1-3/8″ circle punches, Thick Coastal Cabana bakers twine, On Film framelits

I also tried out the new Blendabilities – alcohol based markers that give a concentrated colour to a project and come in sets with 3 shades of a single colour so you can blend them together. There are a few things to know when working with these (to prevent them from drying out or damaging the tip) yet I found them really fun to use.
**The Blendabilities are in the new catalogue, but are not yet available to customers. However if you get a starter kit, including the on-sale $60 kit this month you can include one set in your order if you are interested in having these now before their wider release**
Blended Bloom Blendabilities Work of Art
Left sample: Blended Bloom stamp set, Rich Razzleberry & Daffodil Delight Blendabilities, Tuxedo Black Memento inkpad

Right sample: Work of Art stamp set,
Inks: Hello Honey, Lost Lagoon, Basic Grey
Papers: Moonlight Designer Series Paper Stack, Lost Lagoon & Basic Grey card Stock
Other: Hello Honey ribbon, 1-3/4″, and 2″ circle punches, 2-3/8″ scallop circle punch (punched twice to give pointy edges)

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Another step closer

Running Like a Girl

It’s the last week of my Running Like a Girl challenge, and I am another step closer to my race goal. I kept up the running routine until last weekend when I was outside doing door-to-door volunteer work all afternoon and got heat stroke. A few indoor days of recovery ensued, followed by a social dance night, followed by more indoor recovery days. But yesterday I made it back outside, and it felt great!

The weather cooperated too, not too hot for me to be worried about another overheating episode. I did a full 5K loop in my neighbourhood, and while I did not run the entire way (or anywhere close to it) I did have longer running bursts, and more of them than last time. I did a similar route before, and this time I made it better by getting the worst part over with first and ending with the best part.

Worst: crossing the busy intersection closest to home. It’s a long wait at the lights.
Getting better: 10 minutes in I arrived at the foot and bicycle bridge that spans the Whitemud Freeway. Here’s a picture of one end of the bridge
Foot bridge

The other end is lovely, with some wooden steps and lots of shady trees
Foot bridge 2

Now was the less fun part – running into the sun when I forgot my sunscreen, and fidgeting with my earphones which were not working properly. I took a side trip through another park, widened my circle slightly, and began heading home. Finally, in last few blocks I was at my favorite part. A long tree covered grassy area.
Running action shot
So there’s my running action shot. Almost home and glad I came out.

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Sign and Save – until June 30th

Sign and Save

For a limited time you can join Stampin’ Up! for just $60 CAN! This amazing opportunity will only last until June 30, 2014, so take what you already love doing—stamping and crafting—and make a little money while you’re at it!

When you join Stampin’ Up! during this limited-time offer, you’ll receive:

$65 CAN worth of products
A 30 percent discount on your first order*
A 20 percent discount on all your orders
Free Paper Pumpkin Kit
Free entrance to our annual Convention* (must be registered by the 20th of June)
Before June 2, 2014, you may also choose preorder items from the new annual catalog. See the list.

Create friendships that will last forever and enjoy the benefits of fun, friends, and creativity—become a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator today.

More details on signing up here
Click here to sign up now

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A walk in the park

Running Like a Girl

week 2
The promised ‘Learn to run’ kit came in the mail, so I stayed up late and read the first half of Alexandra Heminsley’s book plus the index so I wouldn’t have any excuse the next morning. The parcel included a copy of the book ‘Running Like a Girl’, a water bottle, hair elastics, compression socks, a vector bar, a notebook for tracking your runs, and some nail polish. The book gave me some good tips, and mostly made me remember that the biggest challenge is just getting out the door.

Learn to run kit

I grabbed my new equipment and went out the door the next morning for my first ever outdoor run. I went through the neighborhood at a brisk walk, occasionally bursting into jogging mode. 30 minutes later I was home. That wasn’t too bad! I admit it was mostly walking, but google maps says I covered 2 km so I feel like I accomplished something at least.

Week 3
This week I tried some time on the rowing machine and the treadmill. I actually found this harder than the outdoor run. I found I liked being able to set my own pace easily outside, and not worry about any equipment. I also realized I need some help so I can prevent injury and make sure I don’t develop any bad habits. I set up an appointment with a trainer through work, and found out about a fitness promotion in the city.

Week 4
I met with a personal trainer twice this week. I made it through the fitness assessment without flunking out, in fact I did much better than I expected. I think I found a better running pace, and I got some good ideas for improving my endurance on non-run days.

I also joined the UWalk program. The City Centre mall is having a few events to encourage walking and general fitness, so I grabbed a pedometer from them, had my picture taken beside the giant shoe, and logged 6000 steps on a ‘Foodie Walk’ where we went through the entire mall having free samples. It seemed a little strange to be encouraging exercise by giving us chocolate and lobster appetizers, yet it was also strangely effective. I went to each of the seven participating locations and had a little treat at each.

Giant shoe

I will miss the next event at the mall, a Shop N Walk, because it is on a Thursday night when I already have plans. I would encourage anyone to try this though. Sign up for the pedometer by joining the City Centre team, and go on May 22 for wine and discounts as you walk all evening.

So, in the past few weeks I have walked in malls, ran on treadmills, and today I enjoyed the sunshine for a jog through the park. I think that is my favorite yet. If spring continues to come I plan to enjoy more of it outside, and maybe I’ll even be ready for a certain race.

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Open Sea + Chalk Talk

This card was fun to make and very colorful (the pictures don’t quite do it justice). The chevrons kinda look like waves, right?
Open Sea Chalk Talk card

The list of retiring items from the current Stampin’ Up! catalog were released last week, so I challenged myself to make a card entirely with items that will still be available.

Stamps: Chalk Talk, Open Sea
Inks: Elegant Eggplant, Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla, Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Labels Collection Framelits, white bakers twine,
Chevron embossing folder, dimensionals, Crystal effects, Big Shot

I embossed the chevron pattern then used the Bermuda Bay ink pad directly on the raised paper to make the distressed zig zags. The nautical knot is 16″ of white bakers twine that I folded to use 4 strands together, wrapped in a figure eight and put the ends through the loops then trimmed off the excess. It was kinda short while manipulating the knot into the shape I wanted, but had very little waste cut off the ends. Try it with longer pieces, maybe 4 strands each 6″ long and you will probably have an easier time. Once I had the shape I wanted, I applied a couple dots of crystal effects to the back to glue it to the card and help the knot keep its shape.

Here’s my second trick on the card (I love doing this). I stamped the ship on the middle of the Vanilla piece then used a framelit to cut it out. I then trimmed around the edges. It is a very efficient use of card stock and lighter for mailing, and unless you took it apart you would never know that piece is missing. Tricky!

Open Sea Chalk Talk card pieces

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Running Like a Girl

A completely different topic for today. Learning that a lot of my friends run has inspired me to try running for myself. At first I didn’t admit that to anyone, just quietly made a secret board on Pinterest to track my research and started a very basic daily exercise habit at home. I looked at local running events, but they all seemed way out of my league (I am a pre-beginner after all)!

Then I saw the Running Like a Girl challenge, and it seemed like it was created just for me.
Running Like A Girl Challenge

The Challenge is from Simon & Schuster Canada:
-read the book “Running Like a Girl” by Alexandra Heminsley
-get outside – start walking and jogging
-register for a race or half-marathon within the month of June and start training for it
-Run! Take part in that race or half-marathon
-Share your experience

By joining the challenge, they will provide me with a copy of the book, a running starter kit (some items the author suggests in her book), a way to see how others are doing in the same challenge, and the public commitment to follow through.

My first issue in signing up was that my calendar for June is already full! There are family anniversaries, a three day regional convention out of town, and only one local race that was not already sold out or a full marathon. The dates just didn’t work. So I asked the good folks at Simon and Schuster if I could still participate if I ran in a May 31st race. Yikes! They said yes!

This is the race I have registered for, the Race for Women put on by Shoppers Drug Mart to support women’s mental health.
Run for Women

I plan to run the 5k course, and I only have 6 weeks to get ready. My first week of training was not as successful as I planned. I did 3 km on the elliptical last Sunday, joining a friend at her gym. Then I planned on an outdoor run 2 days later but this happened:
Snow day in April
Snow. In mid-April. Yuck. Not enough to stop someone who already has an outdoor running regimen, I’m sure, but enough to make me stay inside. I didn’t think my sneakers would have enough traction, plus it was cold and crummy out (it snowed MUCH more than the picture shows, the snow removal crews were all on high gear again). Now that the spring snow has melted, I am again stuck inside feeling sick today.

Lesson learned. I now have a bad-weather back up plan (treadmills at my office gym) and intend to do better in week 2. If you have words of advice or encouragement, please let me know!

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Project Life coming soon!

Project Life Stampin Up
Busy scrapbookers rejoice! This week it was announced that Stampin’ Up! will be partnering with Project Life by Becky Higgins. Project Life is a very popular style of scrapbooking that is easy to learn and so fun to do.

it’s a super simple, totally affordable way to get your photos into albums: you just slip your photos into Photo Pocket Pages and add designed cards. It’s a back-to-basics approach to documenting your life. In a nutshell, it’s all about spending more time making memories and less time scrapbooking them.”

The first selection of Project Life products will be available starting May 1. The complete line will be in the new Annual Catalogue being released this summer.

Project Life items May 1
Project Life item numbers

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Spring snow inspires Frozen card

It’s been a wintery week. Although it was the first day of spring yesterday, the temperature plummeted and the snows returned and it did not feel like spring at all. Also we bought Frozen, the new Disney movie that was just released to video. So we have been indoors enjoying the snowy movie instead of the snowy weather.

I recently got Simply Sent Snowflake Season card kit from a promo (it’s no longer available to purchase), and I wanted to use it to make some pretty cards.

The kit has 10 postcards with removable ornaments, plus snowy kraft paper envelopes. I layered the postcard on a Pool Party card base, and put a doily under the removable snowflake, secured on the wrong side with a little washi tape.

Snowflake season card wrong side

Then I used the MDS software to print out a quote from Olaf in Frozen “Some people are worth melting for”  (Thanks TL for the excellent idea!). The quote is cut with a window framelit and glued flat inside. On the snowflake itself I used the kraft scalloped circles that come in the kit, a smaller 7/8″ scallop circle of patterned paper on a dimensional, and topped it with an extra large rhinestone. I added 10″ of bakers twine in spring colors (not using the red in the kit).  I have 10 of these to make, so there will probably be a few variations in my next card class. Maybe other quotes?  My friends suggested “Spring blizzards bring May skiing” and “Do you want to build a snowman?” I think those are both great ideas to use with this!

Snowflake season Olaf quote

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Make some Glittered Greetings

The Paper Pumpkin deal is back on until the end of the month! The kit is $24.95 plus tax and includes shipping directly to you. This is the card kit I got this month, “Glittered Greetings”

The kit is usually a surprise each month, but I had a little sneak peek in time to decide that I wanted to order two of them. So, if you come to my card class this Friday afternoon (March 21) you can make a Congrats or Thank You card from the kit!

The class is $15 to make 5 cards, but if you decide to order the kit yourself the class will be FREE!
You will get the welcome kit sent to you in the middle of next month with:
-a clear block size D, 2 clear stamps, a mini ink spot, 4 fast card projects
-and  bonus set of 5 markers that are only available for sign ups until the end of this month

Then you can decide to skip a month or cancel anytime with no penalty, or stick with it and see what the next surprise kit will be. Since I have 2 kits for this month, I will also give the stamps and ink from one kit to the first person to sign up with me.  That’s a fantastic deal – $25 cost for $65 value (5 cards at a card class, kit valued at $40, and another bonus stamp set & 2 inks spots if you are the first).

Hope to see you Friday!
Email me at marlo_r@hotmail.com if you want more details

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