30 January 2012

Monday ...

Oh yes - it sure is.  

26 January 2012

Hello relaxation ...

We have just booked a holiday on this little beauty.  12 nights around New Zealand and calling into Hobart for a look see on the way home.  Can't wait for January 4th, 2013.

23 January 2012

Monday ...

Now that would be a first !!!

22 January 2012

Plum wonderful ...

I'm the first to admit I totally love Stephanie Plum.  She's quirky, comes from a family that put the D in Dysfunctional and the O in Oddball, has friends that are well ... just plain manic, works in a job that is certainly different and a whole lot dangerous, has a love life that could only be described as ...." interesting" and is a total disaster just waiting to happen.  My sort of girl really!!

I tend to judge Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books by laughter level.  In the eighteen of this series I am happy to say that only a very small number have been in the smirk category while the vast majority have sat firmly in the laugh out loud and chuckle section.  Several have even made the "tears streaming down my face while I try to control myself" region.

I do much of my reading in bed last thing at night.  The house is quiet, invariably the husband beside me is sleeping - it's where I get that special "me" time to savour the reading experience. I was fully immersed in Explosive Eighteeen a few nights ago - happily chuckling away through Chapter Seven  when my husband rolls over and opens one bleary eye and says "Let me guess? ...  it's that Peach chick again?".  Plum, dear, Stephanie Plum! - long may she reign.

20 January 2012

Right now ...

Right now I'm listening to my daughter chat with her boyfriend on Skype - it's a nightly occurrence, into the wee small hours I might add.  They play joint online games (usually Portal or Portal 2) and you can hear the laughing and squealing as they combat each other and whatever it is you do on portal.  She worked tonight so they didn't get online until after 11pm.

Right now it's humid, the last few days have been the warmest we have gotten so far this summer - at least it feels that way and it's humid.  makes me realise how much I hate the humidity, it's draining and uncomfortable.

Right now it's 11.57pm - yep it's late but I know if I go to bed now I'll just toss and turn and turn and toss for what will seem like hours so I've been trying a different tactic of pushing myself to stay up later (like til 1.30, even 2am) and then go to bed - at least then I fall to sleep reasonably quickly.  Guess it's sorting out which is the lesser of the two evils.

Right now I'm thinking of the extremely long list of things I really need to get done.  It's a toilet roll of a list and every day I seem to tick off one or two items and add in five or six more.  I don't have enough hours in a given day but I'm not letting it defeat me - it gets done, it gets done - if it doesn't, I'm OK with that too.

Right now I'm allowing myself to be just a little excited by the prospect of heading to New Zealand for Autumn Escape scrapbooking retreat in April.  Booking the airline tickets last night sort of made it feel real and being able to spend a week there this time is just plain awesome.

Right now it's good - all good - hope it stays that way.

19 January 2012

OhLife - making journal entries a breeze ...

Psst - want a great idea for keeping track of entries for project life or your blog?  Like doing a daily journal but never seem to keep it up.  Want a simple, fuss free solution?. 

In 2010 I discovered OhLife and daily note taking suddenly became easier,  well no, in fact it became so dang easy it was ridiculous.

So what is OhLife - Once you set your preferences this nifty little site sends you an email every night (or three times a week or weekly ) asking how your day was.  All you need to do is to reply to it. Simply as that.  All your entries are stored and are super easy to access for future use either through OhLife itself or as your own saved emails.

Check it out. You'll love OhLife like I do.

18 January 2012

Wednesday inspiration ...

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.  ~James Dent

16 January 2012

Monday ...

Yep - gets you every time.

13 January 2012

A Soul Scrapper challenge ...

As memory keepers we look to many places for inspiration and ideas for layouts. Many of us subscribe to scrapbooking or craft magazines, some of us look to blogs and web sites for ideas. One of the things I often look at for layout inspiration is advertisements.

Take this one for example ...

I really liked the clean crisp feel to the design layout and the way one large photo was used to tell the story (or to inspire us to rush off to tropical pastures!). It was easy to transpose this idea to a 12x12 layout and can be done just as easily with paper as I have done it with a computer.

This is the sketch and template I have made of the advertisement. 

And here is my version of the add.  If you would like to play along with me with this challenge pop over to Soul Scrappers for all the relevant information.

Know what today is??

Do you know what today is?  If you are the nervous type, shy away from ladders, worry when you see black cats or throw spilt salt over your shoulder, you are probably very aware that today is Friday the 13th - Black Friday no less.

Did you know that legend has it: If 13 people sit down to dinner together, one will die within the year. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary (Brewer, 1894). Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many buildings don't have a 13th floor. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names). There are 13 witches in a coven.

You should never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow. Don't start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune. Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck, as in the tale of H.M.S. Friday. One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell the longstanding superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned and given the name "H.M.S. Friday." They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday, and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday — and was never seen or heard from again.

Seems 13 has always been associated with bad luck and add it to a Friday and ..well, watch out!  Funnily enough both my parents were born on the 13th - February and August and yes, you guessed it, both days were a Friday. 

12 January 2012

Some Ali inspiration ...

I admire Ali Edwards for many reasons other than her remarkable talent in memory keeping.  She doesn't put herself on a pedestal, she doesn't think she's a cut above everyone else.  She's kind and gentle, a mother doing the best she can.  She's real and I think she's inspirational.

I very much like what she has said and how she has said it in this lovely story about her family acquiring a cat.  It proves that even a simple story can mean oh so much.  The words aren't complicated, nor is the story yet it comes from the heart and that is why it works so very well.

11 January 2012

Wednesday ...

Never lose sight of that ...

10 January 2012

10 things ...

Today I thought I might have a look at some of the major projects I've noticed on offer across the web for all of us avid memory keepers,

1. 10 things on  the 10th with Shimelle - well er listing 10 things on the 10th.

2.  Project Life with Becky Higgins - the keeping of the everyday.  This year there seems to be a renewed interest in this project, people have realised they can adapt it to whatever works for them and have embraced the concept.

3.  One Little Word with Ali Edwards - taking a word and living it for a year.

4.  Take 12 - 2012 with Ella Publishing - Taking 12 pictures on the 12th.

5.  Layout a Day with Lain Ehmann - well doing layouts - lots of them.

6.  Project 12 with Scrapbook and Cards Today - 12 double page monthly layouts featuring 2012.

7.  365 picture prompts - ideas galore for photography fans.

8.  Log Your Memory - inspiration and prompts for 12 months of scrapping.

9. Photo Stores 2012 with Noell Hyman - adding stories to your photos and while I'm at it, Paperclipping Roundtable is always a great listen.

10.  Big Picture Classes - wonderful workshops and instant download classes being added constantly.

09 January 2012

Monday ...

The boy is away and I've taken this week to buy him a new ned, sell the old one and clear out his bookcase, draws and cupboard.   I'm surrounded with stuff, piles over here, piles over there, they aren't getting any smaller and I'm running out of space.

Maybe this wasn't such a great idea!!

04 January 2012

Wednesday 4th ...

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.  ~ Aaron Rose

02 January 2012

This year ....

This year I would like to be a better blogger – to date it has been spasmodic at best and I think if I implement a set weekday blog routine it will help me keep on track of posting life stories and my scrappy projects on a more regular basis.  This doesn’t mean I will always adhere to it and I give myself permission to add and delete to my weekly routine as the need arises.  But a starting point is a starting point and I think one that matters.
Monday - I like to start the week with a smile so expect something light-hearted and fun each Monday.  It may be a cartoon or fun saying – it might be something I've overheard or a joke that has been passed to me.
Tuesday - I might set Tuesday aside to show my updated Project Life for the previous week.
Wednesday - On Wednesday you might find a quote, an inspirational photograph or something amazing I've discovered online. 
Thursday - This will be the day I mix it up a bit – who knows what you might find on here on a Thursday – you’ll need to stop by to see.
Friday - Friday I’ll share something I've made recently. Most weeks this will be a layout (either paper or digital) but there may be the occasional card, ATC or another project.  Some weeks I may share something cool I've learned, a different or new way of doing something or using something.

Scrappy Projects for 2012
Last year I tried rather unsuccessfully to do 10 on 10 with Shimelle listing 10 things or links or whatever I fancied really on the 10th of each month.  Some months was easy and others rather more difficult while I wracked my brain trying to come up with ideas. This year I thought I might try it again but I'm not going to get all tangled up in the "10" thing.  If I get 10 great, if I end up with 8 or 6 even, well so be it.  We'll see how it goes anyway!!
Project Life – I bought the full Project Life kit with the intention of doing it last year and it didn’t happen – in fact it didn't happen past my first initial look through the contents of the box.  Why?  Because at the time I really didn’t know where to start.   I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the 365 photos a year thing as I had done that in 2009 and it near killed me, I started off fine but it became a chore, not a pleasurable pastime and I was scrambling for picture subjects for the later months of the year and getting all caught up in the “I must have a picture for every single day” thing.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to simplify it to a monthly spread either but I knew that I wanted to keep it simple and enjoyable without the pressure of needing or wanting to record a picture every single day.  So I left it and I waited to see what other people did with it – I was particularly interested to follow how Ali Edwards approached her Project Life and suddenly in a light bulb moment I said yes – that’s it – that’s how I want to approach it.  Use the Project Life kit but also add my own bits and pieces of product – a journaling card here, a printed digital element there.  I want it to not only reflect a year in the life of my family but a year in the life of who we are as Australians, where we lived and when we lived.  I'm not going to take a photo  everyday, I'm not even going to do a photos of all the events we do - it will be snippets of life, taken at random.
One Little Word - I enjoyed embracing my word Change in 2011 and the album I did with Ali Edwards at Big Picture Classes was a highlight in the year for me.  I continue this project in 2012 with my new word Focus.  May this year be as inspirational.
For some years now I have yearned to get the stories in my head of memories of my childhood and younger years down onto paper and obviously I have done this to some extent in the many, many layouts I have produced over the years.  This year I liked the fresh approach of keeping a journal and have decided to follow along with Emily Falconbridge with her Remember When year long journey.
2012 Goals for a better life ...

I don't make resolutions unless it's the one not to make resolutions!! but every year I think I like to add some goals and challenges I'd like to overcome, this year being no different to any other.
Family Relationships - We need to spend more quality time as a family so this year I want to FOCUS on one family activity at least once per month.
Marital relationship - I also don't spend enough time with my husband in one on one time and I'd like to improve that with at least one night out together once per month.
Health – Eat better and move more - enough said!
Just for me - Read at least one book a week*
* Agatha Christie – There are 91 books written by Agatha Christie – over the years I have read many of them but it has long been my desire to say that I have read them all so it is this year that I start – I estimate that it may well take me several years as I also wish to read other novels in between these but working my way through the very long list of her works seems like a good approach.  I spend a lot of hours at the swimming pool while the boy swims squads and the best approach to passing time is to read – I figure why not use this for my pursuit of Agatha.
Join a book club
Continue with my memory keeping journey.  Make the most of the design teams I am on and continue with a few scrapbooking classes online but choose these more wisely – do what I know I can realistically complete, those that enhance and stimulate me. 
Attend 3 or 4 scrapbooking retreats – Take in the company of friends and the stimulation of creativity or just plain relax in the peace and quiet.  Make the experience more about me and less about the amount of scrapbooking.

But most of all ENJOY LIFE !!!

Monday ...

01 January 2012

And so it begins ...

"Another fresh new year is here . . .

Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!"

~ William Arthur Ward ~