Saturday, 23 April 2011

Another Beatles' Quote, Another Blurb

Well, it seems I've been rather busy lately with life and haven't managed to get anywhere with the artistic aspect of my creative life. I was in a writing mood though and so I popped this one out. Some thoughts from my final practicum for my nursing degree last year...       

         John Lennon once quoted, “There’s no where you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be” and I tend to agree. My final nursing practicum last year solidified this quote for me.
I never thought of working in public health nor had any desire to do so. I went into nursing as a career for a number of reasons, but mainly because I wanted people to feel loved and make a difference in their lives. What better time to do this than when one is sick and generally feeling rather low? That being said, the circumstances of my life changed and I needed a final placement with good, consistent hours, that wouldn’t leave me completely exhausted at the end of a shift due to having my four-month-old baby girl at home.
 Public health fitted my needs perfectly in this way and yet I still did not look forward to going. This wasn’t the type of nursing I wanted to do! I wanted to “fix” everyone, not give needles to little babies (the immunization discussion will occur another day). I must admit though, after six weeks of working in public health I found that I completely and totally loved it.
            One of my biggest beliefs of health care is that of the importance of health promotion. When someone is being looked after in acute care, they are recovering from a crisis and this often can make them open to education of preventing further episodes of ill health. But more often than not, I find that once they are “fixed” they continue on with their habitual life choices. This depresses me. Our society has become rather too dependent on our health care system, making many of us lazy and irresponsible for our own health.
 In public health, teaching is done before the event of a crisis. People are generally well and they are open to the support of the nurses as well as the information that is being shared. Perhaps this is because the information is never forced upon them. Perhaps it’s because it is being taught in a relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps it’s that there are many others in the same situations, interested in the same things, all coming together. I’m not clear on the answer to this but what I am clear about is that this is what provided me with an “Aha!” moment (a term provided by one of my favourite former instructors).
I find that there is a much greater avenue for change through public health than there will ever be in acute care. Public health is SO much more than immunizations. The realm of opportunity for spreading information about health and wellness is so vast and varied that I wouldn’t even know where to start.
The main point is, I want to make a difference in people’s lives and I see that I have a greater chance of doing so on a bigger scale through teaching in public health. This is where I want to be at some point in the future and I am so thankful that I had a placement in this area. Without it, I would never have known where I was really meant to be… one day.

Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Heart 2 Heart is doing their first ever blog bunny hop in which we have to create something with an Easter or Spring theme. This got me thinking about what spring looks like to me...

I have yet to branch out into making creations other than cards and scrapbook pages at this point so I am sticking with another card. It even has a pretty simple layout but it was what came to mind when I thought of the sunshine making all the flowers grow.

The Beatles get credit for helping me with the theme of this card. Whenever I think of spring, I think of their song, Here Comes The Sun, and it gives me something warm and wonderful to look forward to. To me, this card represents the bright sun and blue skies of a fresh spring morning when the blooms are out and one has the whole day (hopefully - I do live in BC...) of sunshine to look forward to.

All products are Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted.
Paper: Mayberry and some random scraps that I have had forever and are probably not CTMH
Cardstock: Colonial White, Olive, Smoothie, and the blue is from a paper pack that is so old I have no idea what it is even called.
Ink: Goldrush, Olive
Stamps: True Happiness, Spring Up
Embellishments: White Daisy Flowers, chipboard, brads, Button, Kraft Borders
Ribbon as usual from my long-time stash that is not CTMH

Side notes: The quote was hand-written (probably one of the hardest things I did on this card) and I hope to never cut out that grass from the True Happiness set ever again, haha.

Hope you enjoy this card and I hope you feel like spring is on the way! Thanks for stopping by. Cheers.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Magnifique Gathering

I have finally managed to get myself some of the Magnifique patterned paper from CTMH. I have been eyeing it for a while and just had to wait for the right time (and right amount in my bank account) to actually get it. I also got a new stamp set and couldn't wait to use it right away. So with my new goodies, this is what I decided we would make for the Gathering I had on Friday. I am loving the browns and blues right now. We distressed, tore, stamped, cut, inked, poked, tied, etc. I let everyone choose their greeting from the Dainty Thoughts stamp set as well as either patterned or plain cocoa ribbon. It was a busy night! I'm finally warming up to the Kraft Borders now that I've become more comfortable inking them. And now if only I could hold my hand steady enough to get a photo lined up more perfectly...

All supplies are CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Cardstock: Colonial White, Chocolate
Patterned Paper: Magnifique
Stamps: True Happiness, Dainty Thoughts
Ink: Chocolate, Outdoor Denim
Kraft Borders, Colonial White Brads, Cocoa Gosgrain Ribbon

Monday, 4 April 2011

Spring Flower Power for H2H

So this week's challenge at H2H is a Spring theme with either showers or flowers. This was the perfect excuse to make a card with lots of flowers on it - something I have a lot of! Usually it takes me a day or two to mull over the challenge and run ideas through my head but this one came to me pretty quick. I started it last night at about 11pm (bad idea) and after staying up late, decided to finish it today when Nevae was napping. I still had last week's circle theme in my head and it fit perfectly with what I had in mind. I decided to simply take one of every type of flower I had - and then I even made a couple myself. I kept with a tasteful, yellow, white and green theme and here is the result!

All products are CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Paper: Mayberry
Ink: Olive, Buttercup, Black
Stamps: With Love, Aspiration, Spring Up,
Two small flower brads and white flower with pearl (bottom right) as well as calla lily from sources other than CTMH.

I have to say, I'm pretty darn proud of this one. It's going to have to go in my personal inspiration gallery as a "one and only."

Thanks for visiting!!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Sleeeeep... My Second Love

People often get my first love confused with my second love. It was actually a tough choice, but given that I am recurrently known to stay up until all hours of the night with a particularly good book, I had to make sleep my second love.

I can remember having naps when I was a little kid and I remember my first day in grade nine, which started an era of daily naps. Every day after school I would come home and have a two hour nap. I always hoped this need for sleep would fade aaway as I got older but it never has. In fact, the only things that can prevent me from having a nap these days are my kids, and my cards and scrapbooking. I believe this is mainly because all the goodies for this hobby are in my bedroom so when I go in there to lie down I think, "Oh, I'll just do this one thing..." and before you know it, an hour or two has gone by! The child portion of things is self-explanatory - I hope. Otherwise you're in for a surprise when you have children...

I have tried to eradicate napping from my life on numerous occasions and the only result I have experienced is that of feeling like a walking zombie. Seriously, you know when you're driving and your eyes start drooping and you have to open the window and sing really loud to the music just to keep them open? That is what I feel like in the middle of the morning and/or afternoon (yes, in my ideal world there would be two naps) if I don't get to sleep. I really hate that feeling.

Tea is a great saviour most of the time for being able to neglect my naps. The only problem with tea is that it takes a good half hour to kick in so I still have to endure that torturous thirty minutes of trying not to feel so drowsy before it gives me that little boost. Tea is also a whole other subject for me in which I will have to save for another blog day. Yes, I can already tell you are sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation.

I get teased a lot about my love for sleep. The joke is on you guys though because sleep is SO important for so many things. Here are some fully plagiarized facts that I found:
  • Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself.
    • Study after study has revealed that people who sleep poorly are at greater risk for numerous diseases and health problems.
    • Animals deprived entirely of sleep lose all immune function and can die in a matter of just weeks.
    • Studies have found that a single night of inadequate sleep in people who have existing hypertension can cause elevated blood pressure throughout the following day.
  • Sleep plays a critical role in brain development in infants and young children.
  • Research suggests that sleep plays an important role in memory, both before and after learning a new task. The general consensus is that consolidated sleep throughout a whole night is optimal for learning and memory.
  • Lack of sleep affects mood, motivation, judgment, and our perception of events (duh!)
  • Studes have shown that people who habitually sleep less than six hours per night are much more likely to have a higher than average body mass index (BMI) and that people who sleep eight hours have the lowest BMI.
    • During sleep, our bodies secrete hormones that help to control appetite, energy metabolism, and sugar procession. Obtaining too little sleep upsets the balance of these and other hormones.
  • Given that a single sleepless night can cause people to be irritable and moody the following day, it is conceivable that chronic insufficient sleep may lead to long-term mood disorders. Chronic sleep issues have been correlated with depression, anxiety, and mental illness.
  • Research in animals suggests that those animals who obtain more deep sleep following experimental challenge my microbial infection (basically meaning they gave rats the flu or something of that nature) have a better chance of survival.
And now my favourite part... The benefit of napping:
  • Harvard researchers found that taking a 60-90 minute nap has a benefit similar to that of nighttime sleep and that combining nighttime sleep with napping has twice the effect.
  • A recent study in the research journal, Sleep, examined the benefits of naps of various lengths and no naps. The results showed that a 10 minute nap produced the most benefit in terms of reduced sleepiness and improved cognitive performance. A nap lasting 30 minutes or longer is more likely to be accompanied by sleep inertia, which is the period of grogginess that sometimes follows sleep.
I do have two contentions with this last section. First, that once I'm asleep, I find it hard to get up again unless I've had a good two hours of shut-eye. The grogginess has only ever been a problem for me if I was woken before I was ready or if I slept too late in the afternoon. Second, that I don't find myself to be stronger than anyone else in any kind of academia or immune function. In fact, I consider myself to be a slower thinker with a terrible short-term memory and immune bugs seem to find me like a heat-seeking missile! Perhaps this means I need still more sleep...? I can only hope.

Thanks for reading!

My Second Heart 2 Heart Challenge

Ok so I don't usually do circle cards. I honestly think they are a pain in the butt. Nice, but a pain. Although, I have always been silly enough to make my own circle instead of buying the pre-cut card...
Anyway, the Heart 2 Heart challenge this week involved a circle and I thought I could use the challenge. It took me a while to decide what to do but this is what I came up with! Enjoy.

I love this Aspiration stamp set. I've used it so many times! This card was my first attempt at real stitching instead of the stamped on version. Cudos to all those sewers out there! That part alone took about 10 minutes more than it probably should have...
In case anyone is wondering... Yes, the card does stand up!! :)

All products CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Paper: Have had it for so long and can't find the name of it anywhere but it is CTMH
Stamps: Aspiration
Ink: Olive, Smoothie
The ribbon is once again from my own long-time collection and the crystal brad inside the flower has been in my stash forever too from somewhere else.