30 July 2011

Scrap Jacked July ...

I enjoy popping over to Scrap Jacked each month to see what inspiration is up for us to "borrow".  Loved them all this time around but was particularly taken by Mandy's layout (below). I loved her use of small pictures and embellishments and the overall simplicity of the layout and I'm very happy with how my version has come out.  Thanks for the inspiration Mandy.

Mandy's layout

My version

27 July 2011


Shimelle says Try using your photos as embellishments by adding a TTV frame, writing on them or stamping. You can also have a look at your pages and supplies to help explore your crafting style.

I didn't have a lot of time today so only managed to play around with a couple of different frames and stamps. Still it is amazing how different you can make a plain photo look with just a couple of twists.  As to my crafting style - guess I'm in the category of knowing what I don't like more than knowing what I do.  My style is clean and simple - I firmly sit in the "less is more" corner of the scrapbooking world.  I certainly appreciate those layouts that are full of product and layers or intricate detailing but they aren't for me.  I want my pages to compliment my photographs not my pictures compliment my layouts!

26 July 2011

EXPLORE - Days 6 and 7

Day 6 and 7

And the start of another week. This week is all about observation. More importantly Day 6  is about where we sit, sleep and stand while Day 7 is about capturing memories.  As I'm playing catch up today I thought it might be beneficial to record what memories the sit, sleep and stand prompt might trigger.

I sleep here on the left side which I guess is relative to how you view it - when I'm in bed I'm on the left side but when you look at the bed it's the right.  This is the second actual bed my husband and I have owned although we have had a number of mattresses over the years.  The patchwork quilt is one I made - it took such a long time and was an awful lot of work (I'm not sure I would even do another so this might be the one and only).

Memory - I used to sleep on the other side but my dh claimed it for his own and I gave it up without a murmur.  I sleep on my left side and he sleep on his right so at night we are never facing each other - not sure if this is a blessing or a curse!!

Memory - Bedding has come such a long way.  I don't think people realise how lucky they are to have co-ordinating sets of linen with fitted sheets.  When I was a child the standard colour was white and they were all flat - if you were a restless sleeper then you had to remake the bed every morning.  My mother washed every Monday and it was change your sheet day - I say sheet because the system was for the top sheet to become the bottom and the bottom to go out to be washed.  It wasn't until I was in my early teens that I got my first set of coloured sheets (pink floral no less) and several years later to have that bottom sheet fitted.  There were no doona's in our house just checked woolen blankets, 1 for summer and 2 for winter and a bedspread of chenille.  How things have changed.

Where do I sit?  I spend a lot of time at my computer.  It is my communication port where I not only check out various blogs and sites but catch up on missed TV, converse with friends, listen to music and create a lot of my scrapbooking pages the digital way.  Guess over time it has become my means of communication and rather than be frightened by the advance in technology I have embraced it although I do see the negative in so much that is available on the net.  There seems to be a blurred line now on what is real and what is not and anonymity has made cause and effect and ultimate responsibility for actions almost obsolete.

I also spend some time here in my lounge chair.  I enjoy watching TV with the dh at night - we have a few set shows we enjoy together and can sit companionably for a couple of hours in the evening.  I also do similar with the dd.  In winter I like to knit while watching TV and most Sundays we spend a leisurely hour reading through the Sunday papers.  This lounge is an interim one.  Our main lounge was one of the first things we bought we we were married and it served us very well over the years.  Eventually we decided to have it recovered but the new covering was not a patch on the original and it did not last as well.  A couple of accidents with drinks and stains that could not be removed really made it look terrible and we were badly in need of another.  "Another" of similar quality was out of our price range for the time being and we just did not want to pay good money for a temporary inferior one until this bargain dropped into our laps.  This was sitting in a local clearance store - it had been smoke damaged in a warehouse fire and although the suite itself was fine it was sooty and smelt awful but at $200 was a total bargain.  $150 in cleaning costs and we had a $350 quality lounge perhaps not in the fabric pattern we would have chosen ourselves but one that "works" for the time being.

I could also say I sit for long period every day behind the wheel of my car.  It is an hour round trip to school and of course the drop off in the morning and pickup in the afternoon leaves me at least 2 hours of sitting time - add the various after school activities and the ferrying to and from for both kids and I can honestly say a very large chuck of me week is spent sitting in my vehicle.

I also sit at my craft desk where I spent time scrapbooking - I don't sit here as much as I would like actually but it is time I very much enjoy.

Memory -  Why don't things last anymore?  I went through my entire childhood with one refrigerator. My parents used the same washing machine for 40 years.  The lawnmower Dad used was second hand when he got it sometime in the 70's and when I cleared out the house once my Dad had passed away in 1994 I brought it home and my husband used it for another 10 years before it finally gave up the ghost.  The kettle and toaster from my parents home were the sames ones I remembered from my youth.  Now you are lucky to get several months past the warranty period.

Where do I stand?  I stand at the sink doing dishes, I stand at the stove cooking or the kitchen bench, I stand in queues at the bank or at the supermarket or at the store register.  I stand around talking with friends, I stand at the clothes line pegging clothes on or taking clothes off. 

I stand here - cleaning my teeth, brushing my hair, putting on makeup, taking it off, cleansing my skin, plucking my eyebrows.

Memory - I'm not a big fan of standing around unless there is very good reason for doing it.  Standing in a queue for hours to secure tickets to something  is not my idea of a good time and I rarely do it.  One exception to this rule was when the dh and I went to Expo in Vancouver in 1986.  The queues for each exhibit were long and the wait lengthy but because we were there and would in all likelihood never attend another Expo we waited and we waited and we enjoyed.  It was a memorable experience and one we don't regret.

Shimelle asked ...

Where do I spent the most time each day?

Since each day is 24 hours and I roughly split this into three segments of 8 hours, I would have to say I spend the largest part of each day in bed.  Obviously I sleep there but I also enjoy reading and this is something I do each night before lights out.  There is also a TV in the bedroom and because it is winter and warmer to just jump into bed I will often watch the late night news there as well.

In which of these locations am I most comfortable?

Comfortable as in physically at ease - then I guess either bed or the chair in the lounge room since it reclines!  Comfortable as in at ease with myself and my surroundings then probably here at my computer - my place of choice.

Which of these locations adds the most value to my day?  What is my definition of value?

Value is a loaded word - value can mean time best spent for myself or time best spent for my children or time best spend for us as a family or time best spend in care of the home or .... it goes on.  If I want to look at this purely as best value for me personally, for my inner peace and well being then I guess I value the time I have on the computer for all the reasons I have already outlined.

What is my balance of routine versus spontaneity? - Keeping  in mind, spontaneity doesn’t have to be getting up and doing something energetic - it just means a spur of the moment decision.

Spontaneity???  Oh how I wished there was spontaneity in my life -  it used to be here, many, many moons ago.  The days when I would roll over on a Saturday morning and decide I wasn't bothering to get up that day, or the times when I would finish shift work at 10pm and then decide I would go nightclubbing or the times when I'd jump in the car and head off somewhere for the weekend deciding to do that only 30 minutes beforehand.  Those were the days BC (before children) after that it was hard to do spontaneity - kids don't like spur of the minute things, they don't work that way.  You have to plan carefully every single thing you do, in triplicate with advance warning.  One day I'll get back to being spontaneous but for now I can spice up my days with decisions on lamb or chicken for dinner, which day to go to the library and whether I can squeeze in coffee with a friend.  The joys!!!!

21 July 2011

An ARTastic July ...

Octoroon Girl by Archibald Motley

ARTastic has a rather interesting painting as inspiration this month.  I can't say I'm totally taken with it and if truth be known monochromatic colour schemes are my least favourite of all the variations so I struggled a bit with this one - in fact I did a couple of renditions before I settled on this one.

The added criteria also gave me some grief as I am so not a fan of maroon, in fact I have so little of it in my scrappy stash I eventually decided to do this layout as a digital version as I had more colour scope available to me.

1. A Color or Black and White pic of yourself = 1pt
2. Shades of Red and Maroon colors (Monochromatic) = 2pts
3. Include a hat or gloves somewhere on the layout = 3pts

Still I have done it and I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out.  The baby is me at a few months of age and since I'm wearing a bonnet which, I guess is a babies version of a hat, I hope I have covered all criteria.


Day 4
Today's prompt takes three elements - notes, quotations and photos - and combines them to offer some perspective on perfection.

Do you feel you're a perfectionist or in some way frustrated when things do not go exactly to plan? Or do manage a great balance with happiness at making the best decision a given situation? Do you have a favourite quotation about perfection that you would like to share with everyone?

Perfectionism - per·fec·tion·ism
1. Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.
2. A doctrine holding that religious, moral, social, or political perfection is attainable, esp. the theory that human moral or spiritual perfection should be or has been attained

I gave up on perfectionism a long time ago.  My Mother had followed the adage of “If something is worth doing it is worth doing well” and tied herself up in knots trying to achieve this.  My Dad on the other hand had a much more laid back character and firmly believed that “near enough” was indeed “good enough” –  this must have been a source of some domestic disharmony during my childhood.  I have always tried to do my best and have strived throughout my life to do everything to the best of my ability while still taking into account everyday factors, like time and resources.  Sometimes I look at an effort of mine and think I could have done that better but I’ve learnt to let it go – Striving for perfectionism is easy, obtaining it never is.  I like this quote.

Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness.  We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.  ~Samuel McChord Crothers

As for a photo ... This isn't perfect in the truest sense of the word.  The lighting is wrong, the focus could have been better, it was taken on film and I have had to scan it so the quality isn't even very good.  So why is it perfect to me?  This photo represents love in the purest form.  It is a moment captured in time - of my father gazing at my newborn daughter and her gazing back at him.  No sleepy baby this one. She was alert and knowing from her first moments, almost like she remembered being here before!   It is perfect to me because I lost my Dad only fourteen months after this photo was taken and this image has come to represent in my heart how very much he loved his granddaughter and ultimately how much he loved me.

20 July 2011


Day 3

Isn’t it funny you never notice a particular make of car until you buy one yourself and then suddenly they are everywhere, parked at every curb, in every driving lane, passing you by in heavy traffic! 

I was in Spotlight (haberdashery store here in Australia) and on my way in the door I spotted their weekly advertising flyer in the rack near the entrance.  I walked past then did a double take and backtracked to grab one of these ….

Proceeded down to the craft section and noticed they had 50% off some Kaisercraft papers and this ….

was in the sale bin.

Went home and opened up my miscellaneous odds and ends draw in my computer desk  in the study and this ….

was the sitting quietly on the very top of the pile.

Why the significance you ask?  Well we are talking about maps today in class with Shimelle and it seems that providence might be giving me a little nudge in the right direction. 

Ready to go on a scavenger hunt?  Whether you physically travel a great deal or not, maps are symbolic of a journey, so we’re going to work with map imagery and you can decide whether it’s a literal theme for you or something a bit more metaphorical.

Tasks for today were to use scraps of map in our playbook and the making of circle embellishments.

This ….

is what I came up with.

19 July 2011


Day 2

Shimelle asks ... Do you consider yourself an adventurous person?
What does the word adventure mean to you? Is it something physically challenging? Lacking
modern conveniences? Something new? Something brave? There are so many different things this single word could define, but for our class the only definition that matters is the one you choose yourself.

1. Willing to take risks or to try out new methods, ideas, or experiences.
2. Involving new ideas or methods.

I think Life itself is an adventure.  Everyday brings forth challenges and complexities. From driving in the torrential rain (as it has been here today) to trying a new recipe for dinner.  From attended a parent/teacher interview to book club at your local library.  Watching the sun set and marvelling at the brilliant rays of golden light to gazing at the glass like surface of the bay on a perfect day - every minute of everyday is an adventure and just being here and breathing in every precious moment of it is being adventurous.

Before I had the responsibilities of marriage and children I lived at being adventurous.  I traveled overseas extensively - mostly on my own.  I didn't abseil down mountains or jump out of airplanes but I did my fair share of down hill skiing, white water rafting and  eating of strange alien foodstuffs.  Life was more of an "adventurous" adventure then.  When we were first married dh and I went around the world which added to the total of my "countries visited" list - now numbered at 24.  We have built two houses from scratch and near raised one child and part raised another.  Now the everyday is adventure enough!

If you like the above poster you can download it HERE

18 July 2011


Day 1

Today I commenced the official EXPLORE class with Shimelle.  I've been eagerly awaiting this workshop for whats seems like months.  Initially I wasn't sure what I was signing up for and to be honest even now on Day 1 I really have no idea what lies in store for us.  Shimelle is like that - her classes are inspiring yet slightly eclectic and just when you think you have it all covered - whoosh,  you are spirited away on another tangent. Guess she likes to keep her students on their toes and I love her for it.

As she says ...
Over the next four weeks, we’ll set out on a personal adventure, exploring the world around us
and taking note of those surroundings in a new way. It’s about seeing those little details in a new light, changing some definitions and giving new things a try.

Our first port of call on our Explore journey was to make our little playbooks if this was the route we each intended to take rather than just blog our journey (obviously I am doing both).  Her own one is really cute but at 4x6 I wasn't sure whether it would be sufficiently large enough for all I know will be packed into it along our 4 week journey.  I ummed and ahhed for a while - checked out a lot of blogs of fellow classmates to get a feel for what everyone else was doing.  Dithered over 8x8 and 6x6, checked out supplies - lamented over not buying a blasted SMASH book when I had the chance as this would be the perfect vehicle for this project (and of course you cannot get these anywhere for love nor money) and eventually came right back to where I started and put together a 6x4 using bits and pieces I have in my scrap basket.  I also decided to call my little book "Explore Life" as I think this it what we will be doing along our way.

Next step was to take a self portrait (holding camera) for first page.  WHAT!!! A self portrait - what are you thinking Shimelle?  I don't do self portraits - I could nearly feel the wave of angst washing across the miles as the same cry went out around the globe.

Oh OK Shimelle if I must ...

05 July 2011

A sweet sketch prompt ...

I haven't been able to do as much scrapbooking this week as I might have liked - school holidays can do that to you ! - however I have managed to put together a digi layout for Shimelle and her sketch of the week.

I'm continuing on my theme of only using photos from our holiday to Coffs Harbour in January.  I figure by the end of the year I should have exhausted my supply and have an album complete just from Shimelle sketches.  Here's my take on this week.

From Screen 2 Scrap - July

The latest movie poster is up over on  From Screen 2 Scrap.   This a very much a blast from the past - a classic movie called "All About Eve" starring Marilyn Munroe.

Entering the challenge each month is always easy - just do a layout based on the movie poster presented and for extra bonus points include the monthly criteria.  This time it is:-
Use 4 x colorful Arrows = 1 pt

Use Hearts = 2 pts

Use 1/2 or 1/4 of a face from a photo = 3 pts

This is my take on the challenge.

You may well be wondering how a poster on All about Eve could inspire a layout on antiquated music memorabilia.

I had a discussion recently with an older friend of mine who was bemoaning the fact that her 3 year old granddaughter quite regularly showed her up in the technology arena. This led to us reminiscing about life when technology was a tad simpler and listening to music was as easy as merely pressing a button - naturally that got me to thinking about how much things have changed in the music delivery department over my lifetime! I have my four arrows, hearts and a delightful (not!) half face – now how flattering is that lol. So All about Eve is really all about music .... and me!.

So head on over to From Screen 2 Scrap and pit your entry in - wonderful random drawn prizes are up for grabs every month - you just need to be in it and you could win it!!