31 December 2009

A word for 2010

I've taken inspiration from Ali Edwards again and tried hard these last few days to think of a word for 2010. Her word for this year is STORY and last year it was NURTURE. I needed a word that would cover all my main concerns for the new year, not just my addictive need for scrapbooking . I cheated a bit and looked at the long list of words that Ali's readers had come up with for 2009. I talked with DH and he decided it would be a good idea for him to find a word for himself. So the word he decided on is RENEWAL. My word is TREASURE.

I like this word - look at these definitions -
1. Accumulated or stored wealth in the form of money, jewels, or other valuables
2. Valuable or precious possessions of any kind
2. One considered especially precious or valuable
v. treasured, treasuring, treasure
1. to keep or regard as precious; value highly.
2. To accumulate and store away, as for future use

Treasure applies to the completed albums, books, pages or cards I make...
Treasure is how I want to view (time with) my children...
Treasure is the goal I have set for next year, to reach my goal weight...

There are lots of other things I want to achieve but these will be my top 3 priotities this year.
If I could choose one other word it would definitely be SLOW. As in slow down. I put a post-it note in my study this year which says Go Slow! Don't rush around like a maniac. That little note made a bit difference.

30 December 2009

12 December 2009

Adventure list

It's been a bit of a downer this week, with both the kids sick, and DH having chronic back pain and endless trips to the GP over the past few weeks. My scrap desk is piled high with 'stuff' that needs organising, my christmas cards are sitting in a corner waiting for me to finish making them and I can't find my mojo.

However I took a positive step last night and make myself not so much a 'to do' list but an 'adventure' list for 2010. I picked up my sewing machine yesterday - Mum's old Elna from the 1960's - and it's in good working order, ready to work. I actually am not a sewer...yet. But I plan to change that! My list contains all the scrap and sewing projects that I want to try and at least start, if not finish, next year and I've created a word file that sits on my computer desktop. So no more scraps of paper floating around and getting lost.

I am planning to make a little mini-book, with sections, each one will be labelled "scrap book projects", "mini books" etc and each time i complete a project, I will add it to the little book and write a little about the process. I got this idea from Elise Blaha's blog - i love the idea of changing a daunting to-do list into something inspiring and tempting, with something to show for it at the end. (also thinking of making a toolbox mini-book which I can add techniques and ideas to). More and more, I'm loving the idea of creating mini books with my Zutter Bind-it-all. I love the idea from Creativity Prompt for completing mini projects, rather than just page layouts, which seem to take me hours to do. I love a quicker way of doing things.

08 December 2009

The fence - Dad's childhood home at Bairnsdale, then and now

It was naughty, but when we were visiting Bairnsdale, to see my Dad's childhood home, my sister and Auntie Shirley, and the others along with us, snuck into the backyard - it was wide open - and took some pics. I hope there was noone at home! I just had to see the fence. All the family photos were taken here. It's a sacred place.

200+ holiday photos to scrap

So, back from the road trip and it's a bit daunting having so many photos. I've been through them tonight and managed to cut about 70 so that brings it down to about 130. Most of those will be printed as 2"x3" otherwise the album will be way too huge. I've been reading Ali Edwards' Life Artist book - it's very inspiring for those of us who try and scrap way too many photos and are always behind because of it. I want to keep up with things as they happen...I can't believe I still haven't started the babies' albums yet. Embarrassed to admit how many unfinished projects there are (Though I'd rather that, don't mind the idea of a work-in-progress).

I really love the 8" by 8" size album for special projects - there was Dad's album (first ever completed project), then the zoo book (not yet finished). I think, after much agonising about what to do, I will go and get some page projectors which I will mix with envelopes and cardstock, and bind the result. I plan to make a fabric cover. I'm not a sewer at all so watch this space. My sewing machine has been in for servicing and ready to be picked up. It's my Mum's old Elna Lotus from the 1960's and I love that it was hers (vintage) and that it's portable. Electric, happily.

21 November 2009

Photos from the week

In lieu of scrapbooking layouts, i have been taking the usual amount of photos this week with our inadequate little camera, and thought I'd share them. My ideas for scrapbooking layouts as compared to actual completed layouts are about 100:1 I think.
This poor old picnic basket has been tagged for the scrapheap - not by me. I want to keep it. My dear Auntie Robin gave it to me for christmas in 1991 and inside it contained blue napkins and a plastic picnic set. I have a photo of me opening the present. I still have the napkins. I took the basket outside for a photo - I've been doing this a lot lately with sentimental items, I guess because of the bushfire season - and now I think I am going to keep it after all. I just remembered i'd been looking for a little keepsake box for things I've kept to remember my grandma and I think this might be just the thing!

Koala takes shelter

Love this photo, suckin' up the noodles.
The babies were having their dinner when DH returned home the other day and discovered this little koala sheltering behind a tree by our front door. It's common on 40 degree+ days for koalas to do this, and they often come looking for water as they're so hot and thirsty. DH took the little baby-bath-cum-swimming-pool which still had water in it from our afternoon swim, and left it for the koala to drink. He'd gone by the next morning...the koala that is! I hope he's ok.

The proposal

It's almost five years since DH proposed. On Christmas Day, 2004, he presented me with a Christmas gift - these lovely scented candles, and a gift card that said, on the back, "Will you marry me?" He did in fact take the easy option, but hey, he's the most romantic guy I know. I've kept them til now but have decided the photo will help keep the memory alive and I really want to burn those lovely candles.
This I like... the clever man, who's quite entitled to admire his handiwork, has fit three childproof gates and mini brush fence to keep the babies safe on the deck. Lovin' his work. Lot more renovation to go as you can tell by the surroundings...
Just Dad and his girl, keepin' up with current events
angus asleep on the change table...got to get that nappy changed quickly!

Scrapbooking withdrawals

Yep, I'm having scrapbooking withdrawals. It's not that I've lost my mojo or anything serious, but we have a big trip to melbourne coming up this weekend...one packed car, a Mum, a Dad, a one-year-old and a two-year-old and a fair bit of rain forecast in the days ahead. Lots of snot, pooey nappies, occasional tantrumic outbursts expected. Two weary parents on high alert. Oh how we love the holidays! so have been too busy for scrapbooking *sigh*.

The main purpose of this trip is Dad's memorial service at the end of month, which we're having for all his family who live in melbourne. The ashes will be interred in Bairnsdale on the 1st December, his birthday, and I'm so looking forward to discovering his childhood town (since I spent a year scrapbooking an album about it!).

So the last few nights have been spent finishing the slideshow, making copies, getting christmas cards ready, and just other bits and pieces that add up to make a very busy week! I was grateful as always to have our mother's group here today, because the reward is a lovely neat and tidy house afterwards! Well, relatively anyway. You should have seen the house this morning...eeeuch. That would make a funny before-and-after pic!

Anyway, I'm so glad I do have a few little creative projects I can take with me... the chipboard wall art for the nursery that need to be decoratively painted, a mini mobile-phone-picture album, collating notes about the babies for their journal, (for next year's scrapbook albums!) oh yes and the christmas cards, which will just need to have some baubles glued on, the letter added in, and a bit of embellishment here and there with the glitter pens. I figure we'll be away for two weeks, so might as well take something with me to do. I usually overestimate what I will be able to do, but you never know your luck in a big city. That's melbourne, not adelaide.

My sweet little lovely came to give me a cuddle before bedtime tonight, and said "I weally love you a lot, and daddy, and mother's group too." It makes it all seem bearable when she says things like that! Which is why i need to get the journal up to date so I can write things in it AS they say them! Instead of on scraps of paper.

11 November 2009

Another double layout share - saying goodbye

I am so happy with how this one turned out, and I couldn't sleep for a few days until it was done - i was up til 3.30am last night. I know that's crazy late, but I figured at least I'd be able to sleep afterwards LOL!

I have to acknowledge the talented Kathie Link as my inspiration here - her article on double page layouts in this month's Scrapbooking Memories Magazine came at exactly the right time - helped me work out what to do. I've again gone for two single page designs that would complement each other, in content (they were taken on the same day, in the same place) with same background papers. I've incorporated fabric which is very Kathie-style, and I love making quilled paper flowers. Roses are easy when you use corrugated paper - the pink roses were made this way. I've just picked up a cute little crimping machine from Seriously Scrapbooking for $15. That has to be the bargain of the year. I bought cream Bazzill cardstock on a whim and so glad I did - it was perfect for this layout.

I am also constantly inspired by Ali Edwards style. I love to handwrite my own titles - I'm getting more confident using my own handwriting and doodling borders. I also like to use multiple photos. It would be MUCH easier to use just one photo, but I like the idea of telling a story as being more important that scrapbooking just for the art. But that bit's very nice too!

This double LO is my favourite so far - though there aren't that many to choose from...yet. I think next year will be a bumper year.

New double layout - remembering

Even though these are very simple pages, it took ages to decide what to do. I think it's because, if you feel a layout is very special or important, you agonise about it being "right"! I think when the photos keep ending up in the same position after you keep shuffling them round, it's best to stick them down - with removable tape of course.
I decided to try two 'single page layouts' that would complement each other as a double page.

07 November 2009

Angels canvas card

Here is the second 'canvas' card I made - for this one, I glued the paper angel image on to the canvas and painted the rest to sort of blend the image in. I used orange and white and achieved several shades by blending and dabbing. I did the sides as well. I coated the finished product in Crackle Medium but it's created just a very fine crackling. The paper buckled a little at first but seemed to flatten out again afterwards. The ink ran a little under the crackle medium (the image was printed on my home printer) but the quote hides it quite nicely. A rub-on would be the ideal way to show a quote but I printed mine from the computer as I wanted a specific quote.

Thank you canvas card

Well, I really went out on a limb with this project. I'm not sure how I thought of using a small canvas as a card, but I remember seeing some cards in a Readers Digest that had been used with wood and I've loved the idea of using a material base other than paper so the card becomes more of a keepsake.

I wanted to make a special card for one of Dad's nurses, Dee, who works at the Oncology ward. She is a very special person and was so caring in her approach to Dad and also to us, the family. All the permanent staff in the ward were special, there's no doubt. But she became a favourite to us. She told my sister and I 'this is what I would want for my Dad' when his time came and that was a great comfort. I'll never forget her.

There's one more nurse in the chemotherapy unit of the private hospital who was a favourite of Dad's and I am almost finished one for her too. I'll post it when it's dry.

I surprised myself using paint - I was dead scared to try but once I started it was great fun. I recommend it! I just used acrylic paint and cheap brushes - not recommended as the bristles get stuck in the paint. Yuck. I'd love to learn some proper techniques LOL!

I should mention that the inspiration for the butterflies comes from an Australian artist Catherine Swan but other scrapbookers have been using this technique too. It's terribly pretty don't you think!

01 November 2009

Angus turns one

Nothing could have been harder than celebrating our little angus's first birthday just two days after Dad passed away. But I felt determined that he shouldn't miss out even though it was such a sad time. So I took the mother-guilt option and spent a small fortune on a fabulous cake, printed with an edible photo of Angie for icing, made at Michel's. Funnily enough we did the same for Tasmin's first birthday, only her cake was plain, having been bought on the day of the party when there are limited options. You can't go past mud cake though, it's so decadent.

I am really pleased with the double page layout and will do another double LO for his baby book, which is being planned for next year. His LO will have a different, more little-boy focus, on the cake, presents, cards, and so on. I love the luxury of scrapping current photos. Have printed more photos so I can keep up.

I'm trying to arrange photos on a LO that focus on remembering Dad, also from that day and week, but finding it hard. Wish I could just choose one photo like everyone else seems to be able to. Oh well, I'll keep trying for now. That's the hardest part of a LO for me, settling on the photo placement.

30 October 2009

New banner

Hey, this is a bit exciting, for someone who know next to nothing about digital scrapbooking. I created a little banner for my blog! It's a work in progress, as I learn more about digital art, but this was created very simply in Photoshop Elements, just by creating a banner size new file, (note to self: this needs to be a bit shorter!) filling it with some background paper that's free with that program, adding some text (1942 report and CK Ali's hand) and a photo and wacko-the-diddlo. The little typewriter is a pencil sharpener, made of metal with a little roller that works - that's real paper rolled in! - that cost 99cents on ebay.

I would LOVE any advice you can offer me on making banners, or digital art for blogs, or anything I can do to improve on this.

Have a great weekend xxx

28 October 2009


It takes a while to wake up in the morning. This is what our house looks like, in the morning, on coffee number two... I love having Ian home in the morning- I love the morning coffee ritual on the couch.

There's usually a sprinkling of toys on the Facari rug from the night before...

Tasmin munches on fruit, Angie crawls around working up an appetite...

The bottles left to dry on the sink, from the night before... I love to wake up to the sight of clean dishes. It's not common...

ahh bliss... this is what I was up to last night, like most nights... I almost completed a whole double layout...and I bravely tried paint on my page which I LOVE. 1am was a bit late to finish though.

"why am i always the last to get fed around here....?"

Ah yes, the new pile of washing.....

The towels I hung out to dry YESTERDAY...
And now, I'm off to take Tassie to her swimming lesson. Hope we won't be late :-)
Thanks for visiting!
How do you spend your mornings?

25 October 2009

Remembering Dad book

I got a bit fixated on making a book in time for the funeral. It was supposed to be eight pages, so I went to Spotlight to get some smaller O-rings and a Space Bar which are designed to bind smaller books with the Zutter bind-it-all. No one was surprised when I emerged on the day of the funeral with a 50 page book!
I'd stayed up til 4.45 am printing pages and binding it all together. I'd somehow imagined I'd even make four copies, one for everyone else attending, and that it would all be done in two hours. Where do I get these crazy ideas and what drives me to keep going? Well, I felt the need to document all my thoughts about the fortnight leading up to Dad's passing as well as more general memories, so that is done now. Relief. And the material is all organised and printed reading for binding so I can make the other copies in my own time.

I found images of his favourite music on Google images (above);

I included messages received by SMS and email (above), as well as my own eulogy at the funeral, and some of his - and my - favorite quotes. I'll also include the notes from Ian, my sister
and her husband.

I included one sample of Dad's handwriting, from an old letter that I'd recently rediscovered in one of Grandma's holiday scrapbooks (above);
I scanned in the beautiful portrait painted by my talented cousin Noni Clarke, (with only a portion of the portrait showing);

I included scans from his favourite book of poetry, above and his beloved Scottish ancestry below;
As mentioned a few weeks ago, I finished a little album about Dad's childhood and early adult years and made a slideshow of photos to go with it. Even though he wasn't terribly interested, he knew I made them to remember him, and it was the closest we came to having a conversation about how we felt. So I'm as satisfied as I'm ever going to be. I wrote a few pages of memories and anecdotes from my childhood which I'll use in Part two of the album, which will focus on my relationship with dad. Part three will focus on his relationship with the babies, and there are many lovely photos, which I am really grateful for. These will each be housed in their own little album.

Farewell Dad

My dear Dad passed away just over a week ago so my little world ground to a halt. Even though he'd been very unwell with cancer for a couple of years, two days before he passed the doctors thought it would be weeks. So in a way it was all a bit sudden as I thought there'd be months left. So of course I spent a lot of time thinking about the day before I saw him and how it should have gone. But that day I do remember greeting him properly, grabbing his chin and giving him a really big kiss. I took Tasmin along and she was pretty good that day. His wish had been to see the babies as much as possible and I scheduled my days around the hospital visits. It's always difficult taking toddlers to the hospital.

The call came at 2.30am on Thursday 15th October and it was an emotional journey that day as I, my sister and her new husband sat by his bedside, holding his hand, reminiscing about the past and recalling his favourite jokes. It was wonderful to hear him chortle and laugh a few times even though he was in a light coma by then.
All in all, it was a peaceful passing and I was very grateful to be there with Dad holding his hand.
The funeral was on Wednesday and attended by me, Ian, my sister and her husband and Mum. My in-laws very kindly stepped in to mind the babies back at our house. It was an amazing and very simple service, with just the five of us looking out at the beautiful water garden atrium, cradled by a beautiful blue, almost cloudless, sky. We all spoke, and laughed, and cried, and all wore colour. Afterwards we went out into the gardens for a picnic. It didn't feel strange at all. I felt compelled to take pictures of the roses as they felt like his roses: they would look different the next day, and the day after that, and these will be a reminder of the beauty of infinite life.
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