Monday, January 24, 2011

2 in one day...

I just wanted to share the 2 completed projects from today. First the coat rack:

And the Jewellery tree:

All it took was some old plaques, so old antlers, and some old paint. Pretty happy with the outcome.

Project 1 down

When we began this adventure, we wanted to try new things. So Carissa signed me up for the "Sketchbook Project" It is a project where you get a sketch book, a theme and a deadline. I got my sketchbook, my theme... and what I thought was the deadline. However my sketchbook was returned to me in the mail today. But never fear they will still accept it. It is through:

I completed my sketches of old childhood hockey cards, though a little ridiculous I was happy with the turn out. It was a fun experience, and it got me drawing a bit again, one of many things I "no longer have time for"... It was great to choose to have time for it.

I am also in the process of turning some old plaques and deer antlers into fun coat hangers and a jewellery tree for Carissa. Anyway, I also have realized again how bad of a blogger I am.

I just wanted to say, I am learning that when you don't shop you have time to try new things and enjoy old things. Hopefully I'll have more for you to follow.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year and 3 months down

Well we are 1/4 way through our compact year. So far it has been a whole lot of everything... Challenging, fun, easier than expected, harder than expected. But alas here we are in 2011 and 9 months left of the journey. Christmas was a lot of work as we prepared homemade gifts, it was fun but the challenge was coming up with good unique ideas. I think we did pretty good. I just wanted to share a couple photos from the gifts we made.

It was a lot of fun designing creating and giving these gifts. There were many more that were made. But it was a truly rewarding experience.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa's Workshop

Well we are 2 weeks away from Christmas and I have a new appreciation for Elves... We have made a handful of gifts and have an arm load left to go. Somehow putting little green pants and hats on Dane and Elias hasn't translated into faster gift making. It worked for Santa. Oh well. It has been a great experience of being creative, learning new things and playing on our strengths to make and create gifts worthy of giving. But, I will say the gift I have made for Carissa is probably the gift I am most excited to give this year. Not only that but it is probably the most excited I have been to give her a gift in 6 years of marriage. So stay tuned to a post Christmas post where I can show you all what it was. It is a lot of work. But it has been really enjoyable. We will be sitting in our basement as a family again tonight huddled around the sewing machine and power tools as we continue to create gifts!

The best part about this Christmas for me though... is not having to go to the MALL! YEAH! Christmas shopping is my nemesis.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dueck's 1 - Sophie 0

I have been having a debate in my head for a few weeks now... I have been wanting a Sophie giraffe for our youngest son. He is teething and biting on his fingers all the time. I thought he needed a nice little friend to chew on. I have been trying to find ways to justify getting this little critter for him... first of all I could consider it a safety item, kinda like a soother... totally a need. Also, he seems to be in pain and this could really help. And this is the kicker, we have a gift card, from his baby shower. I SHOULD be allowed to spend this, right?
So today I broke down and went to the mall. We made it a family affair. And I was excited. I walked into Toys R Us and was bombarded with the Christmas wish list items everywhere around me. All of the sudden there were a few other things other than Sophie that I maybe should look at? No, we stayed on course. Just in and out, hopefully nobody would see us and ask what we were buying :-)
We found Sophie for $23.99. She was $3.99 over our gift certificate amount. We stood by the shelf staring trying to decide. There was this other toy that was only $17.99 that we could get instead. It wasn't really what we wanted but maybe it would work, ya it could work.... NO we didn't want it we wanted Sophie. Jason asked, "Is this really what you want to cheat on this year?" A chew toy? Is that how we were gonna go down? with a chew toy? Everything in me wanted that silly chew toy, but I quickly said NO let's get out of here before I change my mind. And we fled!
We walked over to a store that gives kids hangers for free if you ask, but they didn't have any. On our way back we walked past Sophie again. I will say that the erg to pick her up and re-consider was still there. I was hoping Jason would have a moment of weakness, but he didn't and I had to follow his lead. He got in the car and said I'm proud of us. It took me a few more minutes to have the same joy. But tonight I am happy... the score remains Dueck's 1 - Sophie 0!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Wow. Carissa and I drove down the same street in Calgary on the same day and came to the same feelings without knowing about the other person's thoughts. We were driving down 32nd Ave, past Barlow TR in the NE in Calgary and the streets were filled with businesses. Not typical for Calgary, I know... (sarcasm). But it felt different because there were no services or needs being met it was all toys-r-us, Pet Cetera, expensive furniture, office supplies kinda stuff, and everyone had their sweet neon sign out front telling me why they are worth coming in and buying things from. Like... "20% off all of the time!" ... so why not just make your prices lower instead of being in a constant state of SALE! Anyway, I know I am just rambling, and I don't have anything revolutionary to say other than CINCO DE MAYO! but we'll save that for May 5th. It was just crazy to think about because I had never thought twice about it. Hope you are all enjoying your day.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


First of all, happy halloween? I think it gets more terrifying every year. Hah, I thought it'd be funny to say to someone when they said, "Happy Halloween" to reply, "Happy? Did you see all the body parts and ghosts everywhere? It is a little more terrifying than happy" Anyways, maybe thats just me that thinks its funny, regardless our boys were happy to have candy. Carissa was busy, and this time I helped, Dane got a hand-me-down costume of an owl or baby eagle or something with wings. And Elias got to dress up in a home made SHARK constume!! and was he scary, anyways, heres a pic of the shark costume.

In other news, our simplified life has been going great! We are loving the new found time and freedom, not to mention the saved money is a nice added bonus. We were in the mall for some reason, unrelated to buying, and as we left we both thought, wow that was easy, I had no urge to look even. Stay tuned for more exciting developments.