Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Just Us Girls #542 Mod Squad challenge entry

So excited to have time to play in the craftroom today! Gives me a chance to play with some challenge blogs that I follow for inspiration!

This afternoon I am playing along with the Mod Squad Silhouette challenge and pairing it with the Just Us Girls #542 challenge!


Creating a card featuring Silhouette Scenes and coordinating Sweet Silhouette dies from Stampin’ Up! 


 I stamped using Memento Black ink and my Stamperatus to get the nice deep black ink onto a mixed media background using dioxide inks and sponges to blend.


Happy Stampin’

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

*post contains affiliate links

Inspired by Cool Treats Sketch

Happy Canada Day!

Playing along today with a couple sketches from over at Inspired By Challenge
Inspired By 'Cool Treats' Challenge Inspired By - Cool Treats

Sketch Challenge
Used the Altenew Hug Me stamp set from Scrapbook Nerds coloured with my Blends from Stampin Up - went with the Flirty Flamingo, Coastal Cabana and Daffodil  Delight colour palette!





The little fox is just adorable and I love colouring!

Happy Stampin’

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

*post contains affiliate links

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Is Universal Childcare what is 'best' for Ontario?

With all that is going on with Covid there is a huge push to 'unionize' and ECE Unite childcare by a few in the sector! I am in camp be careful what you wish for! There is a reason why there is not a strong union presence in the childcare sector over the past what 60 plus year since the development of the first Day Nursery Act regulating our industry - childcare is one of the oldest professions in the world even more it was 'regulated' and one that could actually use the collective bargaining power more than auto workers when it comes to protections yet unions went there the actual money was!
Typically it is not a wise 'business investment' for them and please do not be naive a Union is a BUSINESS - it charges members dues in exchange for a service that is a business and if the dues do not cover the cost of service that would be needed to effect change than there is no point in them continuing to provide the service but you could end up still stuck paying the dues to how difficult it is to break a union once it gets a foot in the door . That is why so many unionized childcares over the past decades have CLOSED because the employer could not provide what the union was demanding - we have seen so many well paying positions evaporate as college lab schools got closed and as 'regional operated' childcare centres were closed and the off loaded childcare to 'community partners'.

The challenge for our sector is NOT our employers and that is the only level that unions have the power to negotiate with - they collectively bargain with your employer .... also currently your 'collective bargaining' in a union would be the voices of the employees at that individual centre or if you work for a 'chain' of centres all operated by the same person than you could have a slightly larger collective voice but it is still going to be SMALL and therefore largely ineffective ...the fact is that you cannot get blood from a stone and the reason our wages are so low is that unlike auto industry there is no PROFIT in childcare sector to suck out of a business owner to raise wages and benefits and pensions out of and unlike TEACHERS our wages are reflective of the fees for service charged to individual parents not the collective tax payers! If parents had to pay out of their individual pocket for 'education' than the reality is that there would be a huge influx of one parent leaving the work force and HOME SCHOOLING because they would not be able to afford to pay for education - same goes for childcare. If the cost of childcare is MORE than a parent can hope to earn than there becomes no need for 'childcare' they will just remain home and provide it themselves!

In the current model of childcare in Ontario unionization will not produce the results ECE want like the College you will end up paying for something that in reality does not serve YOU it just serves someone else - so at a 2% of your wages due rate even if you only made $28,000 which is minimum wage now you will find yourself paying $560 or more if you make more annually in union dues with little more 'protections' than you have under the Employment Standards Act already because the cold hard reality of our field is that our employers do not offer us more because they are rolling in profits they have a limited revenue of fees capped by their license to balance their budget with ... the only reason why 'non profits' pay more than private sector is that non profits get more FUNDING from the government in way of operating grants, more wage enhacement grant and if they are non profit they often have chartible status so can access 'reductions/discounts' in rent, phone, tax prep and other overhead costs that a 'private' model can not ... we need to stop being naive there is no PROFIT in childcare - if there were there would actually be businesses rising to meet the demand - beside every Tim Hortons there would be a private childcare to match 'raking in the profits' ... the reason there is shortage of childcare is that no one wants to invest the time, energy and money into opening childcare - non profits cannot find people who want to 'volunteer' to do that hard work and private business can make AN ACTUAL profit for similar investment opening a TIM HORTONS which is why there is one of those on every corner instead!

If ECE want to see change IMO they should first join the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) for a far more reasonable fee of $60 .... as a professional association they can provide the collective voice of 50,000 ECE who are registered with the College of ECE and any who do not have to be to push government for UNIVERSAL childcare model where the GOVERNMENT becomes the employer of all ECE just like TEACHERS ... and THAN you can look to all unionize under the collective employer of the government and the collective pockets of ALL TAX PAYERS to bare the burden of increased wages and resources for ECE professionals.

IMO the AECEO can provide a much larger collective voice than 'individual centres' who manage to get a union into them and for FAR LESS investment from the ECE!

Start THERE is you want to actually see change ... the AECEO could do so much more than they already do if every ECE registered with the College also joined the AECEO .... their budget to advocate and increase their lobby reach of the government could be truly profound .... their current paid membership is so LOW and they already do more for ECE imagine what they could do with better resources!

Nothing will change in the licensed childcare sector under the current model of 'market can bare' fee collection! That is what changed FIRST for teachers too - the move from private education to public. If we want what teachers have we need to follow that same path - create a public universal childcare model and THAN form the unions under that!

even with universal childcare - we need to be careful what we wish for here in Ontario because we are not doing such a good job in public education the answer so shortage in funding from our leaders regardless of their political affiliation when they are in power they always seem to choose to cram more children into smaller spaces or to take away supports in some manner while the 'middleman bureaucracy' constantly grows and outpaces the frontline support .... so if to fund public education we need to see ratios of 1:20 ore more pupils imagine what the ration for childcare could erode too

Take Spain ratio for infants is 1:8 .... we need to be careful what we wish for because THAT could be our future - free or greatly reduced childcare cost for parents at the expense of QUALITY

Be careful what you advocate for - you might get more than you bargained for!

Take Care
Margaret

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Global Design #246 and Inspired by Challenge card

Margaret here guest designing for the Scrapbook Nerd - if you want to come play along join us Scrapbook Nerds & Friends on Facebook

For those who prefer to watch verses read I created a little process video over on my Youtube channel

 

Today I am using two challenges for inspiration for my card design! 


I created two cards featuring Vicki Boutin's Color Kaleidoscope line with some of the 12x12 paper and the coordinating stencil pack and the Wild Flower and Honey cardstock stickers. 


I used the blender brushes and a color palette featuring Flirty Flamingo, Balmy Blue and Rococo Rose from Stampin' Up!

 Finished products ....
 Everything About You ... Loved Beyond Words
 Adore Everything About You!

Happy Stampin'

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

*this post contains affiliate links
 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Join us for an Adventure Challenge this month

Margaret here guest designing for Scrapbook Nerds and Friends

Feels so good to see the light at the end of the tunnel and have a handle on my immune system once again which means more energy allowing me some left over to get back into the craft room and get my hands inky!
 
This month's theme is Adventure with a bonus color challenge! 


 I opted to choose my inks from Stampin' Up! The Blushing Bride, Flirty Flamingo, Grapefruit Grove, Petal  Pink and Soft Sea Foam were a perfect match in my opinion! 


My idea of an adventure is being out in nature with the flowers so I opted to play with the Vicki Boutin color kaleidoscope stencil and coordinating cardstock stickers for my sentiment and paired with the color challenge palette!

I am just loving the Picket Fence Studio brushes - the come in all sorts of sizes on the Scrapbook Nerd website!I l love how the varied sizes allow you to get into tiny spots and provide a lovely blend!




 Here is my finished card - a perfect card for either retirement, bon voyage or just because!  


 If you would like to see it come together check out my process video over on YouTube! 


 Happy Stampin'

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life 

*this post contains affiliate links




Thursday, June 18, 2020

June's Paper Pumpkin has arrived!

So excited when my Paper Pumpkin arrives each month! 


This month's Paper Pumpkin is all about #sharesunshine and this is the exclusive stamp set that comes with the kit!



If you love a good unveiling watch it here with my process video on Youtube! 


These are the 4 card designs that come with the box - perfect for new crafters or those in a hurry that do not want to have to think up their own designs - quick and easy yet totally adorable!!!!



 And these are 4 designs I came up with using the supplies from in my box but thing 'outside the box'!

I cut the sunshine card base in half for this card. Used the smile sentiment from the exclusive #sharesunshine Paper Pumpkin kit with versamark and black embossing powder and mounted on a new whisper white card base, basic black card front and embellished with some metallic pearls!



For my second card I cut a strip of the one card front and than mounted on white card base and used a black polka dot sticker, die sun die cut and a label and embellished with the kits bling!
 Card number three I cut the stripped card front in half and mounted on black card front on a white base and embellished with items from my kit! 
 Final outside the box design for today - again made use the card front by cutting it in half diagonally and than used kit embellishments to finish it off!

 Happy Stampin'

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

*this post contains affiliate links




Sunday, June 14, 2020

So Fun with Vicki Boutin

Margaret here guest designing for over at Scrapbook Nerds and Friends

Today sharing some fun I was having playing with the Vicki Boutin - Colour Kaleidoscope - So Fun Stamp & Die Set and alcohol markers with a pop of Nuvo drops!


Perfect card just to say 'love you' to someone special in your life!

Happy Stampin'

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Stop demonizing PRIVATE childcare operators

PSA for those who do not understand how childcare WORKS and a rant about those who continue to demonize 'private childcare' who should know how it works but do not seem to GET IT .... the stereo types around non profit being better verses private being substandard greedy villains drive me bonkers! 


I have listened to this rhetoric for 30 years working in the field for both non profit and private models and now operate my own private home based early learning program because after 17 years in 'licensed' sector I was just DONE with the constant changes that to me reduced the quality of the program with increased ratios and paperwork and policy that took time away from children and add little to no value to their actual early learning experience .... but I can tell you there is no PROFIT in Ontario childcare! If there were we would see childcare popping up beside every Tim Horton's and there would be no shortage of childcare! 

If there was a profit in childcare we would see business rise to meet it and being offering affordable childcare for ALL!

Reality is that regardless of the funding model we all operate under the same revenue cap of our license capacity as well as all face the same 'staffing' requirements under same licensing capacity and have the same fixed expenses around insurance requirements and other legislated expenses - so the only wiggle room for is for those things that are not FIXED - so their rent they might pay for their space and the ability to find 'money' not earned through their license - so fundraising or grants! 

I have worked for a non profit in my current region I live that paid me LESS than the private one I had left when I had to relocate ... and it was not a small non profit a 'chain' of over 14 centres. It was also very top heavy with 'management' positions that did very little for the 'front line' support.

The reality is that the only difference in private VS non profit is the priority that management/owners give to allocating funds they have to work with! There are non profits that divert disproportionate funds to management heavy salary positions so the front line has less resources and there are privately funded programs where the management is only the owner or the owner and a RECE supervisor and so there is more left for the front line!
And yes there are childcare programs where the 'owner' is rarely around but lets face it there are non profits where the 'Director' is rarely round either - they are out networking and doing other stuff so again BOTH models have management that are not hands on support to the front line but they also both have those who ARE ... again not the funding model but the HUMANS working in them! 

Non profits also have access to larger disproportionate funding from government, often they are able to secure FREE or REDUCED rent due to their charitable status, they get discounts on phone services and other services for same reason that reduce their overhead .... but yet there are still non profits that are poor quality programs because, and I will say this again for the people in the back, its not about the funding model its about the HEART/VALUES behind whose is running the program! And sadly there are people whose heart is in the wrong place in ALL models of childcare - just like in ANY profession there are those who excel and those who really should choose a different journey!

This post was sparked by someone comment that 'of course the greedy private childcare operators will be ready to open their programs on Friday' in face of the news this week that we can reopen as of tomorrow! IMO the far likely reason that 'privately owned' childcares might be ready to open this Friday is that they did not wait on the Ontario government to tell them what to do - they likely spent the last few months researching what every other country ahead of us was doing and started to formulate a plan and source the things they felt they were likely to need on their own because they have their heart and soul and all their own finances tied up in funding their childcare program and if it goes under they are not just out of a 'job' they are out their entire personal investment they have made! 

Honestly until all the people demonizing the private model want to step up and open NON PROFITS themselves can we please stop demonizing people who see a need in their community and rise to meet it .... the fact is that the challenge with operating a non profit is no one wants to VOLUNTEER to do all the hard work to get one up and running and to keep people sitting on the board that is required but yet they cast stones at those who see the need but want to be PAID for their hard work and the risk of their own funds and investment on an industry that has a capped revenue potential and go out of their way to try to make them drown with unfair funding and grants and campaigns .... you can invest in a Tim Hortons franchise or you can invest in opening a childcare centre in Ontario which one is the 'better investment' if all you are concerned about is sitting at home rolling in the PROFIT ... hence why there is a Tim Hortons on every corner and NOT a childcare centre 🙄
 
Rant over

Have a great day

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

Saturday, June 6, 2020

June Sketch challenge of at Scrapbook Nerds


Playing with June's Sketch over at Scrapbook Nerds and Friends!  Head on over to Facebook and join the fun ~ sketches are a great way to get your creative juices flowing plus well Joy gives lots of fun prizes in her group!
 This is my take on the sketch playing with the Vicki Boutin - Colour Kaleidoscope - So Fun Stamp & Die Set and coordinating ephemera and Brutus Monroe Watercolor galaxy paper and a Wish die for the sentiment.



 Happy Stampin'

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

*post contains affiliate links

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Classic Stampin’ Spot Techniques

The new Classic Stampin’ Spots Assortment on page 147 of the 2020–2021 Annual Catalog that goes live this week is the perfect little ink collection for your stampers. 

With eight colors including Basic Gray, Coastal Cabana, Daffodil Delight, Flirty Flamingo, Gorgeous Grape, Granny Apple Green, Real Red, Shaded Spruce, the lovely array of colors hits the spot. 

Here are some fun techniques to prove that some of the best things come in tiny packages.



  • Block Background: Use the spot as a stamp. Turn it over and apply it directly to the paper for the cutest card on the block.
  • Tasteful Texture: To mimic the wood grain of the In Good Taste Designer Series Paper, swipe the spot across the stamps instead of pressing the stamp to the ink.
  • Layered Colors: Use the Stamparatus and apply the darkest colors around the edges of the image. Stamp. Then clean the stamp with your simply shammy and apply a lighter color in the center. Stamp again to create the look of a multicolored markered image
You can also create your own 'custom mini spots' using the uninked spots just add your own reinker color choice!

Happy Stampin'

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawak4-life

*this post contains affiliate links

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rhubarb Season!

Strawberry Rhubarb low carb grain free muffins for the win - they are nice and moist with a nice tangy rhubarb zip!

Recipe adapted from here - I added some xanthum gum and psyllium fibre because I didn’t have have baking soda in house.


Now I need a nap  cause seems even baking is zapping my energy right now!

Bon Appetite 

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

On the Go Diffuser - Yes Please!

So excited about this new rechargeable Pilot diffuser! 

Be lovely to be able to use out on the deck or for a picnic to help create a bug free bubble!


Have a zen field day!

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Grain Free Focaccia Yes please!

Nom nom thank you my friend Lynn who offers an amazing Healthy Keto Life Community on Facebook  for sharing this grain free focaccia bread recipe the other day!





 Made some up to go with tonight’s soup supper!


Recipe here:


It was totally tasty I cannot wait to try some different versions of spices for it! 

Bon Appetite

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life






Friday, May 1, 2020

Orange Mixed Media Challenge for International Scrapbook Day tomorrow

Today starts the kick off of an amazing fun weekend because tomorrow is International Scrapbook Day
 
I am exited to be guest designing for the Scrapbook Nerds International Scrapbook weekend crop with a 'Orange ~ Mixed Media challenge' ~ join us over on Facebook Scrapbook Nerds & Friends to share your mixed media inspired layout! 





My layout today features products from the shop with Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks, Concord & 9th Faceted stencils and Vicki Boutin's gorgeous Colour Kaleidoscope ephemera and a pop of Tonic Studios glitter paper!! 


Process video for those who like to see pages coming together! 

Happy Stampin'

Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

*page contains affiliate links

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Guest Designing for the Scrapbook Nerds

Good morning!

Hope everyone is doing well keeping safe from all that is going on in the world right now! It has been a roller coaster for me over here ~ was hoping being home in islolation mandate would mean more time for crafting however my auto immune system had other ideas and the past month has been ups and downs with a struggle between hives and digestive issues! 

However today seems to be a manageable day so havingg fun today finally able to spend some time in the craftroom catching up on some challenges and doing a guest design post for the Scrapbook Nerds!

I used a The Cupcake Inspiration #492 combined with the Inspire. Create. sketch challenge #068 to get my creative juices flowing to make my projects today!

I also wanted to play with the Concord & 9th Faceted Gems stencils available in the Scrapbook Nerds online shop as well as some of their fun Tonic Studios glitter papers!





I loved the color combo inspiration and chose to combine Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Pretty Peacock with Gorgeous Grape for my stencils! 

 The turnabouts are so easy to use! Here is a little process video from Concord & 9th





 I used my Stampin' Blends to colour the basic pearls for a coordinating pop of colour on my sentiment! 

Just love love love this colour combo however I can see that this stencil will look amazing in an array of colours and cannot wait to try out some more of them!!!

 Have an amazing day!

Happy Stampin'
Margaret
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

*this post contains affiliate links