31 October 2010

Slow and steady ...

I've done a few other layouts these past weeks, grabbing an hour here and there to scrap.  One of the things I find useful is to leave my "work in progress" layout out on my desk, as I go past and glance at it I often know that something else is required in a certain place or I need to move a picture or embellishment to another location.  I've long since learnt not to get frustrated with only having small snippets of scrapping time - it happens this way sometimes - now I just go with the flow and let it work for me in a positive way.

Here's just a couple more.  I actually did 16 layouts this month which totally stunned me when I counted them up.  I didn't attend any scrap days or closet myself away for hours on end.  Guess slow and steady really does win the race.

29 October 2010

Filling in the blanks ...

This week's fun-Friday prompt is about writing by filling in the blanks.  Shimelle gave us two paragraphs to try out.

I wish I could travel back to the time when I was seventeen.  A time like the day when I told a boy I liked a lot that I didn't want to go out with him and broke his heart ! It made me feel terrible, like I could crawl under a rock and die. That same day, a group of school friends had teased and taunted me over him until it was unbearable . They said it was not right I go out with him when I was older than him and from a different school. I know I thought dumping him would solve my problems but it didn't.  There was never another guy like that.  I still feel guilty!

I feel positive about your relationship as brother and sister.  I enjoy watching you spend time together.  Sometimes I hear you laughing and giggling when you're together.  I've also seen you share one another's toys when you play.  That also makes me feel happy to see.  Someday when you grow up, you will leave home and be independent.  And then I know that the two of you will be just as proud of each other as I am of you!

Writing letters ...

Prompt four is all about different ways of writing letters. Write a letter to your younger self, write to a loved one about a special memory, take the funny approach and write a short message to an object.

Dear Head of HAIR,

I know I haven’t treated you over the years with the full level of respect you deserve. I’ve cut you, I’ve teased you, I’ve doused you in chemical concoctions, I’ve singed you, I’ve pulled you, I’ve even tied you up in knots.

I thought we’d gotten through all that. I thought you’d accepted it was merely part of the process and moved on. I was mistaken wasn’t I HAIR? You’ve secretly harboured grudges – you’ve been biding your time, waiting for the opportune moment to unleash your revenge, haven’t you HAIR?

Well HAIR I have to say your present approach will only result in an increased level of my obviously unwanted attentions towards you and a more stringent and regular application of corrosive materials.

In short HAIR – turning grey and falling out is not an appropriate course of action for either of us – please stop.

Your frustrated owner

28 October 2010

Repetition ...

Prompt 3 is all about repetition!  Use the same phrase to describe a picture, person or activity.

I really love the lyric's to Affirmation by Savage Garden.  They speak to me!

27 October 2010

Gradually getting them done ...

Here's my layout for the October sketch challenge over on Kraft it up.  I've been gradually getting through a pile of older photographs that I am yet to scrap - there's not too many of them thank goodness and they seem to be in odd pockets of years, just ones I missed at the time or overlooked I guess.  It was a nice feeling to get these down onto a layout since they were from 2007.  Mind you I have an entire box full of heritage and vintage pictures that haven't seen the light of day.  They'll be carting me off to the nursing home with me screaming "No not yet, I still have pages to do !!".

Letters and Numbers ...

Prompt two is all about using numbers and/or letters as a starting point.  Use the alphabet to direct your thoughts, use numbers to describe one day, one event, use the initials of those in a picture to describe the people.

7 and 3 have featured heavily in the many and varied places I have lived in my lifetime – in fact only one property I have resided in does not relate to either number and probably if I put my mind to it and think very hard I’ll come up with some manner of connection.
The very first place I lived – the home my parents took me after my birth did not have a house number nor in fact did it have a street address – it was a rural property on the outskirts of a farming community. It’s name “Thyruna”, however had seven letters.

Then came a succession of 3 and 7 numbers.

3 Palmer, 13 Warne, * The one that doesn’t fit, 7 Nancarrow, Unit 3/7 Kable, Unit 3/33 Macquarie,
Unit 7/135 North, Unit 34/1-5 Taranto, 71 Langford,
13 Whitehead.

Thank goodness 7 and 3 are considered special numbers in Chinese mythology. 7 means “togetherness” while 3 has a similar sound to the Chinese character for “birth” and is thought of as being a lucky number.

So where am I living at the present time? Have the 3 and 7 phenomena followed me to this current home?

You betcha – this one is Number 37 !!

Weather patterns ...

I've been thinking about the weather a lot lately - about how unpredictable it is being - hot one day, cold the next.  How we are very nearly into November and normally at this stage of the year the pool is being used each weekend (but not this year brrr), winter weight blankets and quilts have been folded and put away in the linen closet, electric blankets removed from beds (but not this year brrr), jackets and jumpers stashed on the top shelf of the wardrobes, shorts and short sleeved tees pulled from bottom drawers and placed in ones at the top (but not this year brrr).  It's a funny old climate - keeping us on our toes, making sure we don't take it for granted, giving us a not so gentle nudge of "change" awareness. 

It's also funny what you can dredge up from the dim dark recess's of your brain.  While thinking randomly about the weather this little poem popped into my mind.  Haven't thought about this one for a quarter of a century or more but here is it ready to jump right out and yell - "Hey you, remember me?" and my reply is "Yes little ditty I do ....."

Whether the weather be fine,

Or whether the weather be not,

Whether the weather be cold,

Or whether the weather be hot,

We'll whether the weather

Whatever the weather

Whether we like it or not.

26 October 2010

Questions and Answers ...

I've started with Shimelle's new online class "True Stories" today.  To quote Shimelle - True Stories covers fifteen different ways to approach your story and commit it to paper. You can use these prompts as a scrapbooker and see your journaling evolve to something that will be a treasure to read. You can use the prompts as a blogger to make your entries feel like honest, unique and compelling tales. Or you can just use them in general as a collection of ways to add a bit more excitement to your writing if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut of writing the same way on every project.

I've agonised over which approach to take with this class - do I put pen to paper, create a journal, write a blog, do a layout focusing on each prompt, try it as a mini album, do it digitally - have a nervous break down !!!!  Eventually I got realistic and decided that at this busy time of the year for me, the only real way I could cope was to do a rough written draft of each prompt in a notebook, transfer this to my blog, complete with relevant pictures.  I figure that at least doing it this way I will have ready made journaling and appropriate photographs together ready to go when time permits to do a few layouts or worse case known at least the stories are recorded.

So Prompt 1 is all about daring to ask and answer questions - doing a personal FAQ that others often ask or perhaps writing a letter of advice to a child or friend, even to yourself.

To myself at age 18

Hi Kid – Bet you’re surprised to hear from me – and maybe just a little relieved too because here we are in 2010 -we've made it this far - never thought we would did you?

18 will be a big year for you – you probably realise that already. Lots happening, things to think about, different directions to take. Know how you worry a lot about whether the decisions you make are the right ones? How you are always agonising over which path to take, which choice to make?

I’m here to tell you kid, not to sweat it. Sure I should probably point out that you taking the left hand fork in the road rather than the right when it shows up in front of you in a few months time might be a better option and in a couple of years from now when you decide to flip a coin over an important decision, don’t settle for tails, keep going until a head comes up.

But really there’s no point, ultimately it doesn’t really matter in the long run. Every journey in life has it’s up and downs, every road has a bump or two and a few twists and turns and you know what? That’s OK; it’s what keeps it all interesting. It's what happens outside of the bumps and twists that makes life worth living.

So go on – don’t worry so much, choose left, choose right, just keep moving ahead – your journey will be remarkable; I promise!

24 October 2010

New kid on the block ...

It's raining and my husband is sitting with my daughter going through HSC maths for her exam tomorrow - he's the maths guru in this house - I dropped it in preference to extension ancient history and english for my own HSC.  The only kid in my school not doing maths for their examinations and so very grateful I wasn't.  I had a hate, hate relationship with most anything mathematical (still do) - I'm afraid my mind just doesn't work that way - and I just could not see myself sitting through logarithms, probabilities, differentiation and all the other "stuff" that I just knew I would never, ever use in real life.  So my hat is off to hubby for not only relearning his maths abilities from years ago and persevering with our daughter to act as coach for her over these past trying months but for actually enjoying the process.

But I digress - while they have been cramming, I have been scrapping and since there is a new challenge site called Get Picky offering up their very first challenge this month I thought I would indulge myself and play along with them too.

Their first challenge of the month was the above sketch.  I decided to keep to the basic premise of the design with my own slight twist to it.  This is a digital layout as I scrap traditionally, digitally and in hybrid style and am happy to mix it around depending on my mood at the time.  I love these candid photographs of my son and daughter and have been wanting to use them on a layout for some time.  Rather than do a standard "there they are" type of page I decided to take a slightly different "brotherly" approach, using appropriate song lyrics.  I like the result.

23 October 2010

Movie motivation ...

The sister site of  ARTastic is From Screen to Scrap and while Artastic concentrates on inspiration from painting, FS2S uses movie posters to tantalise our collective "scrapbuds".  You are never quite sure what will be around the next monthly corner having gone from Invasion of the Body Snatchers in September to My Fair Lady in October - from ridiculous to the sublime !!!

But honestly who doesn't like My Fair Lady - an absolute classic. 

Again we have some bonus point for using shades of pink, a blue tile and a handmade hat.  I'm not much for paper piecing, I will admit, so decided that rather than make a mess of doing this I would just concentrate on the actual layout and found this wonderful photograph of my Mother resplendent in Sunday best complete with hat.  To coin a phrase "isn't she luverly??".  The poster had a certain shabby chic appeal about it with lashings of both pink and black which I tried to capture in my layout. 

Feeling arty ...

I wish I had a little more "me" time this month but truth be known I haven't scrapped as much as I would have liked.  We have been a little preoccupied in this household while we nurture our daughter through the stressful times of HSC study and examinations.  I've snatched odd hours here and there and divided my time equally with some paper layouts and a few digitally.  I long ago realised that I like doing both of these styles and find equal enjoyment in their creation.  It also no longer worries me if I mix digital in amongst paper layouts in my albums - in fact mixing actual layout sizes is no issue either although I am mainly a 12x12 scrapped - guess I have Ali Edwards to thank for this earth shattering revelation.  Ali mixes and matches her layout sizes, styles and techniques freely amongst her albums and having now done a couple of classes with her, I too have come to appreciate the simplicity of this method and have embraced it with gusto.

ARTastic is a challenge blog I stumbled across only recently (now where have you been hiding precious site!) and like very much the concept of creating layouts based on famous (and not so!) pieces of art. There is much to admire and absorb from artwork and so many facets of colours, style and subject matter can be gleaned from them which is easy to incorporate into scrapbooking layouts. This month the inspiration piece was A Summer Morning by Rupert Bunny.

Bonus points were given for using shades of pink, pink roses and white birds and as this painting was certainly a softer piece than many, it lent itself well to a scrap layout in Shabby Chic or Vintage style.

This is my digital take on the challenge using a vintage photograph of my Grandmother and digit  elements by A-liya's Designs.


Chocolate love fest and an Ahhh moment ...

I really loved the first challenge over on Scrap the Boys this month.  It was all about Halloween but with a twist.

TRICK -They all have one…you know that trick they play on you whether it be copying everything you say or shadowing you so you don’t know where they are.


TREAT – scrap about your boy’s favourite thing …that one thing you know he will consider a huge treat. This could be his favourite chocolate, game, place or those special moments he gives you (your treat…cuddles in bed on a Sunday).

Oooow so much ammunition - which to choose, which to do?? In the end I just couldn't go past Christopher's love of chocolate - his face and shirt can attest to the total enjoyment he gains from partaking of this calorie rich little indulgence. He loves it so ...

The second challenge was to use some texture on a page - denim, hessian, cord.  I decided to use some denim, tuille and fabric to create an embellishment circle.  I love this picture of Christopher and his Dad busy doing "men" things - they look so in tune with each other walking side by side - I often wonder what it was they were talking about.  Most definitely an Ahhh moment.

14 October 2010

HSC ...

And so it starts .....

after 13 years and some 100,000 kilometers of me driving to and from school everyday, today marked the beginning of the Higher School Certificate.

There are nearly 68,000 HSC students this year, the largest ever to complete Year 12 in New South Wales.
The first English exam will be held tomorrow and the last HSC paper is set down for November 13. Students (Rachel amongst them) will have to wait until December 17 to receive their results and then until early January for the first rounds of University offers.

Exciting times are ahead.

Shirt dresses ? ...

They waited and waited for these Year 6 shirts to arrive - it's a special part of the final year in primary school and traditionally they are worn to Canberra as part of the Year 6 excursion.  But no shirts this year - a glitch with the manufacturer's meant the kids went off to Canberra with their normal sports shirts.  First week back in Term 4 and finally the shirts arrive.  Really disappointing, they are way too big (no extras ordered and although much swapping was made between kids Chris still ended up with a top that looks more like a dress).  He's not impressed and the only saving grace is that he's not the only one that looks like this ...

13 October 2010

Over sized ...

Rachel has weighed our enormous, over sized feline, Mr Zo.  You know .... the one that overhangs the  lounging section of the cat play equipment because he's too big ... the one that eats his dinner and then polishes off his sisters ... the one that needs two viles of flea treatment because one isn't sufficient .. the one we had to buy a small dog carrier to get him to the vet because he didn't fit into the normal cat cage .... the one that makes Garfield look skinny ... THAT one.

He's 7.2 kg - ouch.

But he pales into insignificance along side of Snowball - an 87lb cat from Ottawa in Canada. 

Now that's big !!!

12 October 2010

Moving on up ...

It's the first day back at school and the first day we aren't three in the car.  In a way that's a bit sad as I have been driving with two kids in the car now for 12 years but Chris didn't think so.  He was fast to snaffle the front seat - with no Rachel at school it means no more having to ride in the back.  He's coming up in the world.

06 October 2010

Catching up ...

Caught up with Jill and Izzy for lunch at MMacDonald's while they were on a flying visit to Gosford.  It was lovely to catch up and see how much Izzy has grown.

We love the fact that you are enjoying life in Oberon and have embraced country living with such gusto BUT we miss you guys.