31 March 2011

Today I'm ... Blogging - Prompt 9

listening - to the soft gently purring of Miss Bella who is curled up on the seat beside me

feeling -  tranquil and content - all is good!

creating - nothing atm but will be putting together a layout or two later today.

wanting - to get some of my "to do" list done.

needing - to get some of my "to do " list done!

thinking - I really should put in a load of wash.

enjoying - checking out a few of my favourite blogs.

wondering - whether I'll ever have enough time to complete my very long "to do" list and wondering if I really care!

30 March 2011

Blogging - Prompt 8

I'm a sucker for funny things and this sure tickled my fancy ...

Make sure you watch the top one first ...

29 March 2011

Scrapjacked Inspiration for March ...

I again decided to have some fun over on Scrap Jacked this month doing a little inspiration sourcing from one of the layouts of the design team.

I was taken by the page from Julie.  I liked the fun "in the pool" summer elements of the page, the colours of blue, orange, yellow and brown, using small pictures and the title.

 Here's my layout ...

Being just a little bit nerdy ...

It's no secret that I like trying something new so when I stumbled across this little challenge site Nerdy Girls I thought I should give it a go.  The March challenge was to find inspiration from this cute little collage.  I could take from it whatever caught my attention - now this part was hard - should I do blue, use the quote, add in some hearts, do a layout about fashion, use fabric .... what exactly?

Can you guess what parts of the collage I used?

The blue and red colour scheme of the "Crunch" bar, silver as a secondary colour,  tiny stars, the use of multiple small pictures.

Goes to prove, inspiration can come from anywhere. 

Blogging - Prompt 7

It beckoned me from my study window. Rising from behind the solid green fence, arms stretched towards the sky.

I don’t know how long it stood there. It was here long before our inhabitation, long before the land was cleared and subdivided, long before that. It was witness to the endless procession of sun moving across the day sky and the thousand twinkling pinpoints of light in the night.

It housed bird life in abundance – white, black and multicoloured - daily perches and nighttime roosts. Possums scampered in its branches at night, lizards crisscrossed its broad truck or sat, silently mesmerised by the suns rays. Ants marched up its flank and over its limbs, searching endlessly for tid bits of food – busy, always so busy. It offered up shade on hot summer days, stood against the furry of violet storms.

And in a moment it was gone. My study window is bare and my heart bleeds. It is gone.

26 March 2011

Never ordinary ...

In the sense of being "ordinary" - today certainly is - it's cool and drizzling with rain.  It's Saturday and at the moment one child is over at the local shopping mall, another is making 2 minutes noodles for lunch (and dh and I a cup of tea!) and both of us are on our respective computers working on our individual tasks - in his case work related and in mine, scrap related.

But really today is anything but ordinary.  Today our beautiful daughter turns 18.  The little bundle of pink joy we brought home from hospital all those years ago (and it seems like only yesterday) is now an official adult.

Today she can purchase alcohol and cigarettes should she so wish (which she won't, thank goodness), enter nightclubs, clubs and hotels or casinos (and gamble), legally sign contracts and other binding documents, make a will, enter into a lease.  When you turn 18, you can receive medical care, donate blood and get tattoos and piercings without parental consent or permission. You can also buy lottery tickets, change your name, buy adult video games or go to an X-rated movie,  move out of your parents' house and be responsible for yourself.  You can enlist in the military or marry without parental consent.  When you become 18 you have the right to register to vote and cast a ballot in all federal, state and local elections.

No today isn't an ordinary day - today we participate in a state election.  After 16 years in government the Labor NSW state government is about to be annihilated at the poles.  All credible information speaks of a devastating defeat for Labor and a huge majority for the incoming Liberal party.  After 16 years Labor is on the nose in this state and people want change.

And today my daughter gets to vote for the very first time on her actual birthday - I don't think many people get to do that and I think it's kind of special. 

Happy Birthday baby - we love you.

25 March 2011

Blogging - Prompt 6 ...

I wish I had more time to read.

I've loved books for as long as I can remember.  From those dim days of the past when I would crawl onto my father's lap and ask him to read "just one more".  I devoured everything I could get my hands on, reading late into the night under the bed covers by flashlight long after my mother had told me to turn out the light and get some sleep.  The school librarian was my best friend - I'd take home piles of  novels, weighing down my school case so I would need to switch arms every 20 paces on the walk home. I always arrived with an aching back.  Every Saturday I would head to the council run library and spend tranquil hours gazing about the shelves for new and interesting additions I had yet to read.

My love of reading did not diminish as an adult although perhaps my allocation of time spent partaking in its enjoyment did.  Bigger libraries, reciprocal borrowing, joint memberships, meant I could consume more and more books on wider and more varied subjects.  I soon learnt that purchasing brand new books was for the rich or foolhardy - a library reservation and a little patience was all that was required to gain access to the best of the bestsellers.

Having young children meant that my days of simply reading a book from start to finish purely because I wanted to and could were gone.  Reading became something that was snatched in minutes and measured in pages or at best chapters.  I'd pick up my book while waiting at school afternoon collection, I snatch a few pages at hockey practise, or waiting at swimming squads.  I'd visit my local library quickly, skimming the shelves for fast pickups with little time to get the full measure of what I was borrowing - some were great finds, others bitter disappointments but I read them all.  I'd look forward to the 20 minutes I would allow myself in bed each night before I turned off the light - 20 stolen minutes when I could relax and snuggle under the covers and fully immerse myself into the story.

Now my children are older and I can again enjoy the gentle sampling of a novel like a fine wine, taking time over it's selection and breathing deep of its paper and ink.  I can now fully appreciate the texture of words, the rich canopy of a storyline and the emotional fulfillment only a favourite author can bring. 

At last I can love my books.

Blogging - Prompt 5 ...

Right place, right time .....

24 March 2011

Blogging - Prompt 4 ...

Shimelle has asked us to consider blogging about something that we all might feel is normally mundane or boring ...

Most of us spend 2,920 hours a year doing it. 

New parents typically waste 750 hours of it in their babies first year.

Lack of it is the direct cause of 1 in 6 fatal car accidents.

Teenagers need as much of it as small children (about 10 hrs each 24 hour period) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.

Experts say one of the most alluring distractions to it  is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.

So what is it?


Sleep is a state when our senses and motor activity are suspended; there is total or partial unconsciousness, and our muscles become inactive. Sleep is the body's rest cycle.  It is a period when our bodies are producing new bone, muscular and nervous tissue; a period when growth and repairs occur.

Most animals sleep, including mammals (humans are mammals), birds, a significant number of reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

A complex group of hormones trigger sleep in response to cues within our body, as well as in the environment. As you slowly fall asleep, you begin to enter the five different stages of sleep:

Stage 1 - In this stage, your brain gives the signal to your muscles to relax. It also tells your heart to beat a little slower, and your body temperature drops a bit.

Stage 2 - After a little while, you enter stage 2, which is a light sleep. You can still be woken up easily during this stage. (A touch pr loud noise).

Stage 3 - When you're in this stage, you're in a deeper sleep, also called slow-wave sleep. Your brain sends a message to your blood pressure to get lower. Your body isn't sensitive to the temperature of the air around you, which means that you won't notice if it's a little hot or cold in your room. It's much harder to be awakened when you're in this stage, but some people may sleepwalk or talk in their sleep at this point.

Stage 4 - This is the deepest sleep yet and is also considered slow-wave sleep. It's very hard to wake up from this stage of sleep, and if you do wake up, you will be confused for at least a few minutes. Like they do in stage 3, some people may sleepwalk or talk in their sleep when going from stage 4 to a lighter stage.

R.E.M. - R.E.M. stands for rapid eye movement. Even though the muscles in the rest of your body are totally relaxed, your eyes move back and forth very quickly beneath your eyelids. The R.E.M. stage is when your heart beats faster and your breathing is less regular. This is also the stage when people dream!

While you're asleep, you repeat stages 2, 3, 4, and R.E.M. about every 90 minutes until you wake up in the morning. For most people, that's about four or five times a night.

The amount of sleep a person needs depends a lot on his or her age. Some  might need more and some need less. It depends on the individual.

Who said sleep was boring !!!

23 March 2011

Feeling awesome ...

Cathy Zielske is talking all things awesome today on her blog.  She's done a little list and it got me thinking about some of the things I think are pretty awesome too.

My Awesome List (in no particular order)

1. Autumn.

2. The smell of baking bread.

3. Comfortable shoes you can walk in all day.

4. Reading.

5. A really good movie seen on the big screen at a theatre.

6. Going out to a restaurant for a meal.

7. Scrapbooking.

8. Listening to the rain on the roof.

9. The internet.

10. A full moon.

11. Sunrises and sunsets.

12. Listening to music on the car radio.

13. Hugging my children.

14. The air-conditioner on hot, humid days.

15. The joy of owning cats.

16. Beautifully cooked lamb.

17. A sleep-in on a cold winter morning.

18. Comfortable pyjama’s.

19. Laughing.

20. Modern technology.

21. The company of good friends.

22. Sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste.

23. Flowers.

24. Being able to take things for granted.

25. Digital cameras.

26. Having time for myself.

27. Massages and facials.

28. My morning cup of tea.

29. Good health.

30. The clean, vibrant smell after rain.

31. Bird song.

32. Babies (of any variety)

33. Hot showers.

34. Hot buttered toast with vegemite.

35. The feel of crisp, clean bed linen.

36. Slightly melted icecream.

37. How cool Christopher is.

38. The feeling you get when you accomplish something.

39. Milk.

40. Sunshine.

41. The view of Brisbane Waters as I drive to and from school.

42. Digital television on big screens.

43. Email

44. Gentle breezes.

45. Smiles.

46. My talented daughter.

47. Pillows.

48.  John's success.

49. Family holidays.

50. Living in Australia.

and so much more ...

This could almost be my "grateful list" too.

Blogging - Prompt 3 ...

Favourite things, sites, post, blogs ..... Hmmm

I'm a bit of a creature of habit and one of my first chores for the day (once I drag myself out of bed in the early am) is to make myself a cup of tea with bowl of cereal or slice of toast and check my emails and then do a tour of some of my favourite scrappy blog sites.  My frequent go to international blogs are:-

http://aliedwards.com/  Who doesn't like Ali Edwards?  Inspirational, talented and approachable.  I have gleaned so many wonderful ideas from this extraordinary site.  Her One little word, December Daily and Week in the life series are life changeable.

http://www.cathyzielske.typepad.com/  I totally love, love Cathy Zielske.  She's quirky, sarcastically witty, energetic and a whole bunch of fun.

http://www.writeclickscrapbook.com/write_click_scrapbook/  Very much enjoy this site - interesting articles, loads of great information and almost daily inspiration.

http://jennibowlinstudioinspiration.blogspot.com/  Since I particularly love vintage style scrapbooking this site is a must go to for me.  Jenni has some wonderfully talented ladies on her design team (I adore Doris Sander and so enjoyed her talent when we worked together on Get it Scrapped!)

http://www.donnadowney.com/  I admire and love watching Donna's creative approach to her work.  I've been fortunate enough to meet her and do a live class and she is a very down to earth, approachable lady that simply oozes talent.  Her free Inspiration Wednesday tutorials should not be missed.

http://nichoward.typepad.com/  I've always been impressed with Nic Howard and became even more so when I had a chance to get to know her at Autumn Retreat in Lake Taupo NZ last year.  Just a really, really nice lady with no airs and graces who loves what she does and inspires many others to love it too.

http://www.shimelle.com/  Sweet, cute and very talented, Shimelle is my sort of scrapbooker.  She gleans inspiration from the most everyday of daily life and blends it with her unique and joyful enthusiasm for life.  Don't ever change Shimelle - we love you as you are!

There are so many more - think I'll save those for another day.

22 March 2011

Blogging - Prompt 1 ...

Shimelle is presenting Blogging for Scrapbookers workshop for the second time round.  I bought this class last year as a instant access, long after it had made its first appearance, so was thrilled to hear she was giving it a live run through.

I'm probably what you would call a casual blogger - I enjoy the process and find it a worthwhile tool for me - mainly as a record of my important family happenings and a method of recording valuable journaling for future scrapbooking layouts.  I also use my blog to showcase some of the scrapbooking I have been doing and to allow access to a number of challenge sites I follow that require the use of a linky tool.

What I am not good at is keeping up with a daily blog and talking about the dull and mundane.  I sometimes struggle for things to say that I think are relevant.  I hope Shimelle might give me a gentle shove onto the right path and shine some inspirational light in my direction.

21 March 2011

A tough quote challenge ...

The March challenge at Scrap the Girls really made me think - hard.  We were asked to use one of the following SHE quotes by Kobi Yamada as the title & inspiration for our layouts.  Gosh which quote, which pictures - how to marry the two,  it was certainly a challenge to combine them both.

•She must be something special. She is.

•She loved life and it loved her back.

•She listened to her heart above all other voices.

•She pursued big dreams instead of small realities.

•She saw every ending as a new beginning.

•She discovered her real measurements had nothing to do with numbers or statistics.

•She was kind, loving and patient…with herself.

•She woke up one day and threw away all her excuses.

•She realized that she was missing a great deal by being sensible.

•She turned her can’ts into cans, and her dreams into plans.

•She ignored people who said it couldn’t be done.

•She had a way of turning obstacles into opportunities.

•She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly.

•She walked in when everyone else walked out.

•She just has this way of brightening the day.

•She decided to start living the life she’d imagined.

•She colored her thoughts with only the brightest hues.

•She was an artist and her life was her canvas.

•She designed a life she loved.

•She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.

•She remained true to herself.

I eventually made a decision and am happy with the result.  The layout design isn't crocked - it's just me - I just can't seem to take a straight layout photo.

Retreat ...

I spent the weekend at Retreat to Main Creek - having some fun times with this group of ladies ...

 Lots of great scrapping time ...

 wonderful food cooked by Kate's Mum, Marion ...

Kate did some  "light testing" for Peta - well that's what we were told anyway ...

a beautiful bushland location, surrounded by hills ...

The perfect spot for some much needed R&R.  Just book me in for next year!

18 March 2011

Challenges ...

The March challenge over on Kraft it up  is to incorporate the following saying on your layout (either as your title or in your journaling) ... "There is no greater gift than today".

I decided to use the saying as my journaling as it was the perfect accompaniment to this photo.

Over on Scrap the boys the March challenge is a little different. Here we have to use a specific TIME as our layout's title. 

"Capture a moment in your day that you want to remember, part of your daily routine or something special the kids or hubby has on, or a specific day or moment that you want to remember."

I used "bedtime" - Christopher's favourite time of the day as a little fellow.  It was hard to see him sometimes there were so many teddies and soft toys in bed with him.  We all loved the bedtime routine of stories and cuddles - it is something I miss now that he reads at night independently although we still get the cuddles!!

13 March 2011

Doing it with Donna ...

Well I'm pleased to say that Donna is no Downer. 

Did a lovely class (Pressed for Success) at Pages 2 Scrap at Tuggerah with Donna Downey last night.  She was fabulous.  A lovely warm and funny lady - very generous of spirit.  It was an inspiration.

09 March 2011

Being beautiful ...

It is all pretty "beautiful" over on Bird is the word at the moment.  The challenge word is, of course, beautiful and I have done a sweet little layout inspired by not only the current word but the site name as well!

08 March 2011

This makes me laugh ... he makes me laugh ...

Tiptoed in last night to say goodnight to Christopher but was too late.  Lights blazing, child snoring, computer running  .... I'd always said he'd sleep with it if he could!!

04 March 2011

It's here ...

It has arrived.  I've ummed and ahhed over it - pondered it and finally took the plunge and ordered it and after waiting many weeks it has now arrived.  What is it you ask?

Well the Becky Higgins Project Life kit. 

I'm not going to try to do a picture a day for 365 days like I did in 2009 (and it nearly did me in let me say) - in fact I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not a picture a day, or a picture a week even, type of girl.  Some months I take many pictures and other months hardly any - and I'm OK with that.

My kids are now at the stage where they rebel over the random picture taking (Rachel especially gets really exasperated when I produce a camera and 8 out of 10 times just doesn't co-operate).  I've tried doing candid shots and sneaky shots and "will you just stand there so I can take the damn picture" shots, to no avail.  So finally I've admitted defeat and will work with those special times we do take photos (family outings, special events) and let the rest go.  Rachel will be getting an SLR camera for her 18th birthday and is learning photography at TAFE - I figure she loves taking photos, is rather arty about it and I'll get them of her one way or another!

So what am I going to do with Project Life?  I've decided that there is so much product (it is designed to do a double page spread for every week of a year) that I can do last year, this year and probably next year as a month in review album.  With the remaining pages I intend to do a K to 12 school album for Rachel with highlights of each year of school.  I am going to purchase an additional set of pages to add to this so I can include some memorabilia - as is typical of school photographs, some years I have quite a few and other years hardly any but with this approach it should even itself out and at least it will all be together.

Now I just have to start sorting and printing ..... wish me luck.