Monday, July 30, 2012

Dog Sledding

Good morning!
I was finally able to get into my craft room and create yesterday.  What a great
feeling to just relax and play with all my scrap papers and other gadgets.  

Today's post is from the Soul Scrappers Sketch Challenge (SC54).  Below is the sketch and the 
direct link to their sketch site:

The challenge is to not only use this sketch but to use up the mountains of patterned paper
off-cut strips that we all have in our stash.
The sketch is designed around a 5x7 photo and other options are also available.
A montage of photos can we used or two 4x6 photos side by side.

I chose two 4x6 photos side by side.  Since I really liked this sketch, I decided to keep
my layout as close to the sketch as possible. 

Here's my take on the sketch.

I never thought I would ever have experienced dog sledding in my lifetime!
My father-in-law, Gary, had a dream to have teams of dogs and become a dog sledder.
He bought dogs, and dogs, and more dogs.  They were the most precious things..... so
friendly, soft and great runners too.  All they had to do was see us walking near the 
dog sleds and they went crazy jumping and barking, so eager to RUN.

Harnessing up all these dogs was quite a chore.  We had to be sure to match the
dogs' personalities or they would "bicker" while running.  Just like a bunch of kids.  If we
did harness a couple of them wrong, we had to stop along the trail and rearrange them.

The first run for the dogs is a burst of speed like nothing you've ever experienced.
HOLDING on is all you could do until they leveled out their energy.

My first time dog sledding, I was so eager to try this and so nervous too.  I got vague
instructions, because that's how Gary rolled.  I had to learn from experience whenever I
was around Gary.
So....... take off......... I lose my grip and fall off the sled.  The next time, I fall off again.
Then I was told, "Don't ever let go of the dog sled!"  Ok, I finally find a spot to place
my hands where I can hang on better.  And we're off!  Sharp turn coming up...... I can do this, 
lean...... and then it happens..... I fall and get dragged all over the field, but I don't let
go of the sled!  The dogs are not accustomed to my commands and only listed to Gary.
Thank goodness he was never far ahead of me!  He got them stopped and I was
able to get all the snow off me.  Let's do this again and again and again.

I never got over that rush of when the dogs first take off running.  There's is such an
absolute surge of power there..... truly amazing.

Let's talk about soreness for a bit.  I don't think I've ever been sore from my neck to the bottoms
of my feet.  It was amazing how sore I got and in places I never would have dreamed.
This was a total body workout for sure!

Oh the beautiful country we saw while dog sledding.  You're sliding along on the snow
and it's the most peaceful thing ever.  I could look around at the scenery and enjoy all
that fresh winter air.  It was wonderful!  Sometimes I would even take a day or two off
work (when I was working full time) and Gary and I would go dog sledding for the
day.  Sometimes we would bring a light lunch with us.  He would always have a team of
around 8-10 dogs while I could only manage a team of 6 dogs.  Wow!  Even six dogs was
quite a handful for me, but I somehow managed it.

And what a job once we got back home!  Both of us would be so tired but there was still
work to do.  The dogs needed to be unharnessed and brought to their "correct" houses.  I always
needed direction with that because I could NEVER remember which dog went where!
Once the dogs were all hooked up, then we had to put away the harnesses and the sleds and
feed and water the dogs.

Truly exhausting, but when Gary called and wanted to go dog sledding on a specific trail he
picked out, I was there, ready to go. 
Wonderful memories that will never be forgotten.

Supplies used:
Paper: Momenta, DCWV, White Cardstock, Other
Circles: Traced with random objects and hand cut
Ribbons, Ric Rac
Font: Cricut Stamped
EK Success Circle Punch
Sharpie Marker (for journaling)
Pop Square
Ink: A la mode Turquoise

One of the many dogs in their "cubby holes" during transportation, patiently waiting
to finally be able to RUN.

A pop square was used under the photo of the dog to give more definition and hopefully 
make it stand out more. 

The ribbons I used on the layout, which match the papers so well.
I went through my scrap stash and found strips of various papers that matched.  It felt
good to use up some of my stash because it "grows" faster" than I can use it up!

This spot fit so perfectly for my journaling spot.  To make it more recognizable, I punched a half
circle in the strip of paper and added ric rac above.  I snipped off the edges of the tag and added 
ribbon with a staple.  I lightly inked the edges of the tag. 

This is my journaling block.  I don't usually show hidden journaling, but it felt
right this time.

Have a wonderful day!
Polly  :)

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