31 January 2013

Challenge me Happy ...

Challenge #38 over on Challenge Me Happy involved some song lyrics.  They give us the song and we ,the players, create something from whatever inspires us from that song - could be the lyrics or the title, even the music video.  Their song of choice wasn't just any old song, mind you, but Somebody I used to know by Gotye.  Wonderful song but really hard, I thought to do anything with.  It took me quite a while to come up with an appropriate layout. 

Eventually I decided to use "I think of when we were together" to highlight a photograph of my daughter and her paternal Grandfather who we lost to cancer in 2007.  We all miss him.

30 January 2013

Getting Creative ...

I wish I had more time in my day - I'd like just a little more, perhaps an extra hour just for me - to read or sew or scrapbook (or soak in a large hot bubble bath!).  Wouldn't that be nice :) 

If I had more time I might be able to complete all the wonderful scrapbooking challenges out there.  Get Creative is one such challenge site I really like with a nice mix of sketch and inspiration for both cards and layouts.  With four challenges a month I always struggle to keep up.  I'd love to do all four but realistically I might manage two or sometimes three - and that's OK.  I do what I can.  January is a difficult month for those of us in Australia with school aged children as we are always running around after them during the holidays.  I'm hopeful February will give me that elusive extra hour.

The first layout I did was for the joint St Valentine challenge Get Creative is having with Scrap and Grab Challenge blog.  This one is all about LOVE of course !!

My son dearly loves his Grandmother - she's the last of the Grand's and therefore all the more precious to us all.  I try to get a photo of her each time she visits.  This picture is from a few years ago but I think captures that special bond.
Second layout was based on this sketch ...
I thought I'd use a fun loving photo from my yet to scrap stash - this one shows my kids having a tickle fight in bed one morning.  From the look on his face I'd say that my daughter was winning! 
The final challenge was a cute card sketch ...
Since Valentine's Day is coming up I thought I'd be prepared :)

29 January 2013

Childhood Memories - Week 04

Stories and words

It’s the last day of the month and it’s time to focus on something perhaps a little more light-hearted about our early childhood days.

I think all of us would have a favourite anecdote or story about ourselves, one which has been handed down by our parents or grandparents. Nine times out of ten these amusing tales would be an awkward or embarrassing moment and parents, both young and old, seem to delight in telling these wonderful little titbits in the most humiliating manner possible. Perhaps you might even recall when you said or did something inappropriate at the time but is now amusing when looking back at it. Kids after all say and do the darnedest things.

Children!! W C Fields wisely advised against working with them and good old Bill Cosby had a very successful and extremely funny television show based on the things they say. Out of the mouths of babes comes.... well just about anything, at any time, really.

It doesn’t seem to matter what age bracket you belong to, kids have been saying the funniest things for generations. They say them when you least expect it and when the mood takes them. They will say them loudly and quickly and there are many, many times when those around them have wished they hadn't said anything at all.

Take the time when my mother and I were shopping in the crowded local department store in my hometown. I was about 4 and was a real chatterbox back then. I talked incessantly, asking questions and making comments all the time – my poor mother didn’t get a minutes peace. We were in the haberdashery department and my mother was preoccupied rummaging through a bargain bin of fabric off cuts when I spot something. I desperately want to tell my mother about it but she’s not looking at me. She has her back turned and is bent over the material. So I start tugging on the back of her dress and silly Mum ignores me saying “just a minute dear” but I need to tell her now so I tug harder and faster until I can contain myself no longer and at the top of my voice I say "Mummy!! That man has NO HAIR." Pause for effect. "SEE ... (pointing) … he has NO HAIR on his HEAD".

So do you have an amusing anecdote or story you might like to share about something you said or did as a child.




25 January 2013

Chocolate cake and macaroons ...

Sometimes you just glance at an image prompt and instantly know what you are going to use from your scrappy stash to replicate it.  This is what happened when I first saw this delectable image challenge on Show us your stuff.

Quite aside from the fact I was instantly hungry and desperately wanted in sink my teeth into one of those delicious looking macaroons, I was instantly drawn to the lovely bird patterned background.   I knew I had THE perfect paper - a half sheet hidden at the bottom of my paper draw.  It had literally sat there for years.  It wasn't exactly the same but the bird images on this background reminded me strikingly of the birds on this other paper.  I paired it with a couple strips of teal coloured patterned paper and one of brown I had in my offcuts box, added some shell buttons, brown gauzy ribbon and my handmade crochet flower and button embellishment.

This is me as a toddler with my Dad and resident cat in our backyard.  I don't remember the cat - his name was Whiskey but apparently he was one very fickle feline.  He tolerated my Mum as she fed him, he barely tolerated my Dad because he didn't feed him yet poured his love and devotion on me probably because I was of a similar size.  

24 January 2013

Scrap Africa ...

I've become quite the fan of an inspirational challenge blog called Scrap Africa.  It's a little different, with a mix of sketches and challenges and a lot of lovely inspiration.  The design team do some outstanding work and most seem to realise that scrapbooking isn't always about throwing as much product on a page as you can. 

To me scrapbooking has always been more about what I want to convey.  I like to think about the story I am trying to tell and the photograph(s) I am showcasing. 

The current challenge is to use postage stamps on your layout.  

22 January 2013

Childhood Memories - Week 03

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES - a year long class on Soul Scrappers

Week 03 - Pretty dresses and fancy knits

One of the things I remember vividly from my early childhood is wearing lovely, dainty handmade dresses. My mother and my aunts would make them - not because it was the fashionable thing to do or for reasons of vanity or self indulgence - they would make them because it was by far more economical to do so than buy them readymade from the store. This was of course to slowly change over my growing years with the introduction of cheap imported clothing made for a pittance overseas but when I was little, thread and needle ruled supreme.

I remember frilly little dresses with underskirts. Pale pastel dresses with large tie back bows. Gingham checked skirts and floral patterned blouses (they weren’t called shirts in my day!). There were intricately smocked bodices and delicate embroidered collars. My aunts were the queens in making fabric go so much further than it was ever intended. I had outfits cut down from old dresses. Hand me downs from my cousins - nipped in here and let out there. I had boys overalls repurposed with a quick girly appliqué. I even recall the odd day dress being made from a pair of old curtains or cut down sheets.

While my mother and aunts ruled supreme in the sewing department both my grandmothers were spectacular knitters. Every winter I would be clothed head to toe in itchy, scratchy, “can’t bear it for another second” 100% pure merino wool (because neither of them were having anything to do with that cheap acrylic stuff). I had jumpers (sweaters) and cardigans, beanies, mittens and scarfs. I still have a hand crocheted skirt, poncho and beret my maternal grandmother made for me when I was about 9. While I loved their care and attention I will admit to this over abundance of wool led to a lifetime aversion to the product – I still break into a cold sweat when confronted with 100% merino wool.

Funnily enough handmade these days is much desired. To own a hand knitted jumper in 100% wool is an expensive luxury. When I was a child it was simply the most economical alternative !!

What clothing outfits do you recall from your early childhood? Were you, like me, dressed in handmade or repurposed outfits handed down from other family members?

Do you remember your mother sewing clothing for you and your brothers and sisters? Or did you go to the store and buy those pretty dresses off the rack?

Perhaps your mother or grandmother knit or would crochet clothing for you. What clothing disaster or fashion statement do you remember from your early childhood?

15 January 2013

Childhood Memories - Week 02

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES - a year long class on Soul Scrappers

Week 02 - Special friends

It appears our love of teddy bears and soft toys doesn’t end with childhood. More and more of us have come to see nothing wrong with keeping a ted in the bed. In a recent survey of some 6,000 adults it was discovered that more than a third still hug a childhood soft toy while falling asleep while more than half still have a teddy bear from their childhood. The average teddy bear is 27 years old.

Those who slept with a teddy told researchers that they found it was a comforting and calming way to de-stress at the end of the day.

Hotel chain Travelodge, which carried out the research, said that in the past year staff have reunited more than 75,000 teddies and their owners.

Spokesman Shakila Ahmed said: ‘Interestingly the owners have not just been children, we have had a large number of frantic businessmen and women call us regarding their forgotten teddy bear.’

So fess up – do you still have your teddy bear or soft toy from childhood and can you be counted in the number who still bring him or her out for a quick cuddle?

I’m afraid I can …

But my poor husband can’t :(

Do you remember your childhood comforting toy – was it a teddy or maybe a special doll? Tell us about your special friend and why they meant so much to you.

08 January 2013

Childhood Memories - Week 01

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES - a year long class on Soul Scrappers

Week 01 – Our earliest memories

Some are focused on events that are happy and gentle, while others sad and confronting. Many others are random snippets from everyday life that seem to hold no special weight. Women seem to recall theirs from an earlier age than do men but the average is 4 years.

Put on your thinking cap … what is your very first childhood memory?

About a third of adults will say their first real memory from childhood is a trip to the dentist! And it isn’t the sticker or balloon they received at the end of the visit that has stayed in their mind, rather the fear and pain associated with the experience.

Others recall a specific event. Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, opening presents on Christmas morning, attending a family wedding or funeral.

The top 10 list of people’s earliest memories are:

1.) Trip to the dentist
2.) Birthday party
3.) Vacation
4.) First day of school
5.) Trip to the doctor
6.) Being outside
7.) An accident or injury
8.) A tooth falling out
9.) Receiving a present
10.) Playing with friends

My own comes in at #6 and I was 3 years old.

My husband remembers this event from when he was about 4.

How about you? What is your first childhood memory?

Some Archi-scraps inspiration

January inspiration and criteria

It is the front entrance to Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney.

It recently celebrated its 95th Birthday with a complete refurbishment.  It is iconic to Sydney and is heritage listed.

Your challenge is to do a layout containing at least part of a circle,or a whole circle and because it is the zoo,an animal somewhere. It can be any animal from a bird right up to an elephant. Perhaps you actually have a zoo photos or you've visited an animal park.Get out those pictures and get scrapping.

You don't have to wait until the end of January to upload HERE

Here is my interpretation ...

I've used the rectangle size windows to determine my photo size and the small piece of patterned paper is similar toning to the dome,  I've used a light coloured background cardstock  not unlike the colour scheme of the building.

I have to say I am a huge button lover so it was a simple task to add some to this layout to fulfill the circle criteria.  

Archi-scraps is also on the lookout for some design team members.  Check out what you need to do to apply  HERE.

07 January 2013

Swimming in ducks ...

I took my two kids plus a friend to the waterfront to feed the ducks. We started out with two friendly quacking ducks. They obviously weren't quacking "just" to be friendly - they were busy spreading the news - "free food here" because suddenly ....

2 became 12

then ....

12 became 22

then ...

22 became 42

then ...

all hell broke loose !!

05 January 2013

ARTastic in January ...

Our ARTastic January inspiration comes to you from ...  My Blue Angel by 3D chalk artist - Jenny McCracken.

Criteria – the use of chalk or the addition of wings on your entry
 or be adventurous and use both :)

A little about 3D chalk art

3D chalk art is also known as pavement art, street painting, anamorphic perspective, optical illusions and sidewalk art.

3D chalk art is traditionally produced directly on the ground. Images and footage of the artwork continue to spread a message online well after the work has been washed away. Traditionally it is a temporary art form but these days permanent artworks are produced on the ground and walls too.

No question - Chalk art is a crowd-stopper – a great choice for a centrepiece at all kinds of festivals! 3D chalk art can be supported with public are workshops and competitions.

3D illusions can be produced directly on the ground, on canvas, or other surfaces. When canvas is used the artworks can be used for multiple events. Posing in 3D artworks for photos is engaging way to interact with an audience and to reach a larger audience.

For more information on Jenny …
International Chalk art tour
and now some wonderful inspirational work from two of our amazing Creative Team members ...

and lastly my own page.

TIP - don't own chalk?  I used eyeshadow !!

Please join us on ARTastic - we'd love to see your work.

02 January 2013

Some of my most favourite layouts from 2012 ...

6 digital and 6 traditional  - since I do both equally :)

From Screen to Scrap January

Here is the January  'From Screen 2 Scrap'  Movie Poster ...


Extra Criteria

1pt = White base card stock

2 pts = Large BOLD one word title (any colour)
3pts = A teddy bear on the page (stamped image, sticker, embellie)
and here is my sample layout for this month

Aren't the teddy bear cake toppers just so dang cute !
You have until the end of January to get your entries in so I hope to see some lovely creations on site.

One Little Word 2013

One Little Word 2013

I have been doing this for a few years now - finding inspiration through the months from a single word.  It takes me while at the beginning of each year to mull over my choices.  Sometimes a word jumps out at me and I run with it immediately, other times I have to ponder over what might lie ahead for me - what major plans I might have for the year ahead.

2011 was a years of change for us all - Rachel moved off from school to start the next phase of her life studying for a career and was slowly leaving childhood behind. Chris moved from the security of primary school to high school and all the differences that entailed,  growing up both physically and emotionally..  John moved into a more intense role at work, developing and taking on higher responsibility  while I set myself personal goals and challenges in my day to day life and within the things I do with scrapbooking.  CHANGE was an easy choice for that year.

2012  Last year was my year to REDUCE.  I set myself some goals to clear out a lot of the things that cluttered my life.  To file away, to store away and to throw away and to dwindle away. I achieved my aim only partially, I simply did not have as much time as I intended for the labour intensive plans I had in my mind and I will again work on some aspects of reducing my life this year.

2013 is the year I live with PURPOSE.  

This is the perfect word to describe what I want to achieve this year.  I hope that every challenge I set myself, every item I focus on, I do with purpose in 2013.  I want to complete unfinished projects, consolidate others.  I want to have direction and purpose in the things I do and undertake this year, I don't want to just drift through 2013 letting each day week unfold as it arrives.  I hope to know where I am going and feel a sense of achievement in what I am doing this year.


The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

Have as one's intention or Objective

01 January 2013

Welcome to 2013 ....

A new year - time to reflect on the past and look to the future.  I'm not one for making resolutions but I do think we should all ponder over what we need to do for the coming year. 

For me this year I'd like to focus on getting healthy and being healthy.   I need to eat better, concentrating on wholesome and nutritious food - more fresh vegetables and fruits and drinking more water.  I need to try to lose some unwanted kilos.  I wan to keep at the gym at least 3 days a week and try to walk a little more in between.

I need to stress less. As I like to say "Don't sweat the little things" and I need to listen to myself more  on this topic.   I need to take each day at a time and be more realistic in my expectations. I need to relax more - do the things that I like to do to lower the pressures of everyday life.   I want to continue to read, to meditate, to listen to my favorite music, to go out with friends and to do enjoyable activities that matter to me and stay away from those negative “influences” that can ruin my day!

I want a better relationship with my daughter.  I want to listen more and say less. 

I want to enjoy and work on my passion - scrapbooking.  I need to do what makes me feel happy, creative and contented.

I'd like to learn in 2013 and acquire a new skill. Last year I decided I would join a book club and try mediation and I did and enjoyed both.  I intend to continue on with these.  This year I'd like to explore my digital scrapbooking and take it to another level.  I need to develop and make use of it.

This year I need to clear my house and unload if of unwanted stuff. I need to declutter my life and the lives of those under this roof and I need all of us to feel good about it!

I need to spend better time with the ones I love - family and friends. Life is too short - we need to enjoy each other’s company while we can.  We need to do the unexpected, talk about things that make us all laugh and smile and do spur of the moment activities.  Each day is a blessing and I want to enjoy every single moment of it.