The most important thing we do in a day is take care of each other.

While I was busy galavanting, eating, and entertaining, life outside the home apparently went on without me. Who knew?

I’ve had a busy few weeks. I had the pleasure of babysitting a sweet little baby for a week (well, a few days really). I got an awesome thank you gift for helping out. The mom knows I’m a big fan of Barbapapa and she spoiled me with a vintage book and a flowery mug, and some party streamers from Amsterdam. See those little Barbapapa faces in the flowers on the mug? Oh, Happy day!

Barbapapa Gift | Melanie Ritchie

Then my best friend from high school came for a visit. We had some really good eats and had a long overdue chance to just hang out and catch up on our lives. We also watched “Reality Bites” which was our favourite movie to watch together 20 years ago. I can’t believe how quickly time passes. I was surprised to see I still like the movie and my opinion of the characters hasn’t changed much. I had to laugh about us though. Back in the mid-90s we watched the movie in the basement of my childhood home. Or maybe in her home. We drank Coke and ate Little Caesars Pizza or a bag of chips. Now we’re both Moms of young kids sitting in my home commenting on how delicious the fancy cheese and baguettes taste. Subtle changes! Ha!

Sunset in Ottawa | Melanie Ritchie

Our first night finished with a lovely sunset in downtown Ottawa.

Drinks | Melanie Ritchie

We had a really yummy lunch at Burrito Burracho in the Byward Market. I highly recommend the Tortilla soup. Then we wandered a bit before treating ourselves to a Maple Beavertail before heading home. YUM YUM!

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It was just so good to see her! I was sad to see her go. She gave me a very pretty bracelet from Alex and Ani as a hostess gift. It has a little pineapple charm. Pineapples are a symbol of friendship and hospitality. How perfect is that? Plus, I love pineapples.

The day after my friend left, my family and I went camping with friends at a very kids friendly KOA campground. Despite the initial rain and the plummeting temperature at night, we had a great time. Only a few weeks until our next camping trip!

After the rain | Melanie Ritchie

Upon return from camping, we had a visit from my husband’s Aunt. She is awesome. That’s all that needs to be said about that.

Then I spent the next day preparing for my very first Thirty-One gifts experience. I set up a table at the kids’ school’s Fun Night. I’m selling Thirty-One products to fundraise for the school’s Kindergarten playground project. There seemed to be a lot of interest in the products but the best part was getting to talk to other parents. Normally at events I’m busy with the kids and I have no particular reason to start up conversations with strangers. This was a great way for me to be more social.

Then the next day my parents came to town for my daughter’s Highland dance recital. It was a really good show! I also enjoyed shopping for plants with my mom and my daughter. I had trouble limiting myself to a few carefully chosen perennials. My mom bought a few plants for me  too as a very early birthday gift. Yay!

Plants | Melanie Ritchie

On the weekend, I had various things to do but managed to work on something that has been brewing in my head for awhile. I greatly admire the Junior Kindergarten teacher that taught my daughter two years ago and is finishing up teaching my son this year. She’s just a lovely person with a very gentle heart. She is exactly the type of person I hoped would teach my kids. She inspires the kids with exploring nature, science, and art. She encourages them to think critically. Most of all, I love that she teaches compassion. As a thank you I wanted to create a painting for her. I chose to illustrate her class motto which I think should be everyone’s motto.

The most important thing we do in a day is take care of each other.

I was thrilled the painting came together so quickly. I’m often disappointed and frustrated with painting. Things don’t always turn out the way I envision them. This one just made me very happy from start to finish. Maybe because I like the motto so much? So, today I took it to the school at midday and surprised her with it. I think it is fair to say, she likes it. Which makes me very happy! Although, I am sad that I won’t have a reason to talk with the teacher anymore.

Taking Care Artwork by Melanie Ritchie

I came home and sat down to write this post and remembered today is the day my newest designs are released for sale at Pixels and Company. I can’t believe I forgot! I’ve been so busy! I’ll show them to you now. Tomorrow I will sit down at my computer and get started on all the design ideas that have been gathering in my head the past few weeks.

Frolic Full Kit | Melanie Ritchie

Weather Cards | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Elements | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Papers | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Journal Cards | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Cupcake Labels | Melanie Ritchie

Have a relaxing Monday evening!

In Good Company! My return to Digiland!

I am so pleased to announce that I’ve just set up shop at Pixels & Company as a designer. I’ll be designing alongside of Celeste Knight, Deena Rutter, Gennifer Bursett, Jen Allyson, Meredith Cardall, Robin Meierotto, and Shirley Polk. That is a pretty talented and inspiring roster of artists.

My new products will be released twice a month. This week I released a full kit (So True), a journal card pack (So True) and an element pack (Cork Flairs: Happy). They are currently at least 30% off!

Cork Flair: Happy by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Elements by Melanie Ritchie
So True | Full Kit by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Papers by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Journal Cards by Melanie Ritchie

Here are a couple layouts from some P&Co Creative Team talent:

Happy Day by Maribel Rivas

by Maribel Rivas

This Is My Crew by Kate Christensen

by Kate Christensen

Pixels and Company… Most Super Fab Digital Store in Digiland

Am I overdoing it with the enthusiastic heading? I don’t think so. I have a guest spot on the Creative Team at Pixels and Company, a brand new digital scrapbooking store. I have to say, I’m pretty darn thrilled to be there in the presence of such talent.

Now, some of you may know that I am also a designer of scrapbooking products. So, you might wonder why I’m on a creative team. Well, I found that I was getting really tired and didn’t have any time to do my own life documenting. I have young kiddos and I want to soak in this time I have with them while they’re so young. So, I’m putting less time into my designing (for now) and using my free time for scrapbooking about my life as it is now. It is important to me to remember these moments, conversations, tidbits of joy and hardship, that make up our lives right now. I hope designing has a place in my life once my kids are both in school. For now, the scale is tipped in favour of cherishing my family life and its documentation. Being on a creative team allows me to do just that.

So, with all that said, here are some layouts I’ve made for Pixels and Company since their soft opening. Their grand opening will be on February 1st. Right now, the designers are stocking their digital shelves and there are a LOT of products on for a dollar. Starting February, get ready to see a whole bunch of brand spanking new digi goodness.

Tea Time

I used:
Heart of the Holidays Template 4 by Simply Tiffany Studios
Insta.Luv frames by Karla Dudley
Peppermint Stick Kit by Karen Funk
Caffeine Papers (and elements – button) by Robyn Meierotto

Contexual Journal Cards

Three journal cards from Simply Tiffany Studios Contextual Template Cards #1. I altered colours of layers and added a word or two. I printed on a kraft paper that has a gold shimmer to it. Then added my own embellishments and journaling.
I couldn’t get the dymo labels to focus in my photos… will have to work on that!

Everyday with You

I used:
Heart of the Story Templates Add-on Pack One by Simply Tiffany Studios
Made of Awesome Element Pack by Gennifer Bursett
Made of Awesome Paper Pack by Gennifer Bursett
Frame Essentials (BokehLuv and InstaLuv) by Karla Dudley
Everyday Life Sentiments by Karla Dudley
Splatter by Karla from Green Light Ahead

Twenty13-January_plcard-160

I used Twenty13 – Calendar Cards by Robyn Meierotto
I added two photos. I selected the colour blocked parts of the card and used the selection as a mask on my photos so only part of the photos would show.
I’ll use this in my project life album. Btw, the B&W photo looks that way because there is snow on the window and the coloured looks that way because I was trying to capture the mist.

Sweet as Pie

I used:
Heart of the Story Templates Add-on Pack One by Simply Tiffany Studios
Caffeine – Papers by Robyn Meierotto
Made of Awesome Element Pack by Gennifer Bursett
Happy Holiday by Karla Dudley
Peppermint Stick – Elements by Karen Funk
Frame Essentials by Karla Dudley
Jumbo Sentiment Cards 1 by Karla Dudley

Today Jan 11, 2013

I used Made of Awesome Element Pack and Made of Awesome Paper Pack by Gennifer Bursett on a layered template called Contextual Template Cards no. 2 by Simply Tiffany Studios. I then printed it out for my project life album.

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I made a project life card with Robyn Meierotto’s Caffeine elements and a paper from her Quilting Bee v2 Digital Papers. I made the card in photoshop, printed it out and pasted it onto a project life card which has hidden journaling on the inside.