Wednesday, 17 December 2008

An Award & Heidi Swapp!

As a wonderful lady so aptly put it - right now it's so 'Crazy Busy'! I always find that the lead up to Christmas takes on a life of its own and the time seems to accelerate as the 25th December gets closer - or is it getting worse!?! Things are getting done but I still have alot more to do ... it will be done!

Last week, the amazing Libby gave me an award, my very first one and I thank you very much Libby - This is called The Proximity Award.

"These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

So the 8 bloggers I choose to pass on the award are ... **drum roll** ... Vicki, Karen, Sara, Leonie, Julie, Julie, Ness and Heidi ... I really enjoy reading these blogs and I'm sure you will too!

I have been frantically doing some creating - presents for friends (decorated albums & notebooks), some cards (very few!! Even had to *shock horror* buy some!) and making a mini album for my precious 14yo daughter for Christmas. It is an A to Z or her and I'm loving doing it - it's all falling in to place so easily. I'll post pictures when it's finished. I got some great ideas to add to it from my day with Heidi Swapp yesterday ...

What a frenetic day! I attended the Create 08 workshop in Melbourne as many, many other avid scrapper did. Heidi has increased her standing in my eyes - she is such an emotionally honest and inspiring woman - I love her! We spent the day doing some wonderful techniques - beginning with a calendar album (did 4 pages) and a mini mirror album. It was go, go, go right from the start but an amazing day! If you ever get the chance to be in one of Heidi's workshops I highly recommend her - she is so down to earth and what she offers covers all types of papercrafters styles and expertise.

Here are some shares from yesterday (unfinished but still impressive!)

Here is a picture of the venue - verrry crowded, with no room to move which was a bit frustrating! Really the only thing that I didn't like about the day. The venue was in a beautiful setting but not one to hold so many crafters with all the paraphernalia that we all need to do our work! I'm standing up right at the back, in the white shirt!

This is the view from our table - Heidi is the speck on the right at the front!

And of course, I had to have my photo taken with Heidi and my scrapping colleague, Wendy. It's not what I usually do but decided that I wanted to remember this amazing day with an amazing woman. Of course, with all the paparazzi there it was hard to know which camera to look at!
Thank you Heidi!

So until next time ...

Sunday, 7 December 2008

100 Pages!

I know, this is too crazy to believe - but I have just finished 100 pages (6" x 6") for the Southern Cross Kids' Camps designed to create happy memories for children who have been victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Julie Stone - Making a Difference - has taken on the mammoth challenge to provide, literally thousands, of pages to be made into albums for all the children who attend the 7 camps around Australia and 2 in New Zealand.

I think that this is just an amazing thing to do for these kids who are "over the moon" to get these albums, with photos taken at the camp, presented to them on their last day. Check Julie's blog entry from earlier in the year to see the finished albums.

It feels good to be able to contribute and I urge all you crafters out there to spend some time, even in this crazy time of the year, to create, and send off, some very basic but colourful and inspiring pages. She needs them for the camps to be held early in January. It's a great way to use your scraps and all those extra bits and pieces lying around. You can contact Julie for her postal address.

Here are the pages I made - they are basic, as they are meant to be, and are just to show you how easy they are to make! The campleaders add the photos and a bit of journalling so there needs to be space for these things.

Here is what a pile of 100 looks like -

I also managed to get some Christmas cards completed last week - I spend a wonderful week with my eldest daughter and 3 grand-daughters getting some TLC after my bout of the flu. Being an avid crafter, she has a space set up for her paper crafts and I made good use (and a big mess) of it and made these cards (my camera is being repaired and I've used my iPhone camera so the photo's are not as sharp and crisp as they should be) -

Well they are my shares for now - hope to get some more creating done this week - meeting up with the gorgeous Dorothy on Wednesday for a social crop. I have an album to complete for my rebellious but beautiful youngest daughter, for Christmas - will be a push!

Till next time ...

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Few and Far Between!

Doesn't time fly when you are having fun! The 8th November is 12 days ago - nearly 2 weeks since the last post! Urrrgh! But it has been rather a busy 12 days! I celebrated my birthday last week with friends and close family. There were some very important people that helped to make my day special and they know who they are!

I was then hit with the flu - not fun! I don't get sick and this came as quite a shock to me! My body felt like it had been hit by a truck - even to sit down was extremely uncomfortable. I slept more than I had in ages but then had to continue with life, warts and all. Anyway, I am now on the end of it all - still coughing and spluttering but as long as I don't talk too much I am okay!

I was able to get some card making in yesterday. I went with a friend to Scraptacular and we made 8 Christmas Cards using the Wassail Card Kit! So simple and so beautiful! It felt like cheating! These are cards for special people in my life! So I am gradually getting there with my cards!

Here are some of the cards I made -

Well that's all for me now ... so until next time ...

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Top Ten Essentials About Me

I just saw a great idea and thought it would be good to start off a tag team activity using this idea from Big Picture Scrapbooking -

TEN "essentials" that I cannot scrapbook without:
  1. My computer - to give me lots of ideas & resources
  2. Photos of the important people in my life
  3. A clear workspace
  4. Double-sided tape
  5. A good choice of paper
  6. My tote with all my essential basics
  7. Music - mostly from my iTunes collection
  8. A sharp pair of scissors
  9. My 12" cutter & my Creative Memories photo cutter
  10. Lots of embellishments to choose from
NINE words I love are:

love, happy, freedom, family, passion, success, achievement, pride, respect

EIGHT of my quirky habits are:
  1. I have to make the bed each morning
  2. I love eating out
  3. I love surfing the net
  4. I always get to bed 1 hour after I say I am going
  5. I love all sorts of music from country rock to classical
  6. I procrastinate too much over my scrapbooking
  7. I have bouts of de-cluttering where I literally throw out bags and bags of 'rubbish'
  8. I cry easily during movies
SEVEN things I love about my "every day" life:
  1. I am totally loved and supported
  2. I enjoy my hot drinks with friends after gym
  3. I have a home that has lots of space, including my own space
  4. I love having family around me
  5. I love spending special time with my children and my husband
  6. I love being a mum
  7. I love having my own business
SIX places I'd love to visit before I die:
  1. United Kingdom esp. England & Wales
  2. Italy
  3. Mexico
  4. China
  5. Nepal
  6. United States
FIVE things I do everyday, without fail:
  1. Check my email
  2. Use my computer
  3. Drink water
  4. Give my husband and daughter a hug
  5. Think about my family
FOUR websites I frequent:
  1. Scrapbook Hub
  2. No Crap Just Scrap
  3. Friend's Blogs
  4. Anything to do with scrapbooking & papercrafts
THREE layouts I love:

TWO decisions I've never regretted:
  1. Having children
  2. Getting married
ONE additional and very important thing you should know about me is:

I also enjoy 'me time' where I can lose myself in whatever activity I choose to do!

So now I 'tag' Vicki Brunner to answer these questions ...

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A Fortnight's Worth of Chatter

Life moves along so quickly and I am very aware of how it is so important to treasure every moment. Just to be able to stop, breathe, be in the now and be grateful is something I must remind myself to do. It is too easy to get caught up in the 'busyness' of everyday living and neglect the things that matter most to me. I am making it my intention to give myself 15 minutes every day to just breathe in my life and give gratitude for everyone and everything that make my life the wonderful experience that it is.

I have done very little personal scrapping - I started my Christmas cards yesterday with a friend who is just starting her creative journey. When I say started, I literally mean started cos that's all I did - I certainly didn't finish anything! But, the room is set up with my Christmas supplies and so I can get a bit done every now and then when I can grab myself some moments to create.

Last weekend, I spent Sunday with some wonderful, wise women creating my new vision board. It was a day that provided motivation, challenge, support and encouragement. We sat overlooking Port Phillip Bay, and even though it was cold and wet, it was such a peaceful energy. I didn't have specific intentions when I started but found myself drawn to certain areas - getting myself organised was a big one and one that surprised me.

I have been busy with the site - keeping a check on its use and making sure that everything runs smoothly. So far, the few problems have been minor and easy to correct. It is great to see the activity with both the Forum and Gallery - some amazingly talented women out there! If you haven't made it over, go and check it out - lots of resources with more being added all the time. I am looking for suggestions also!

Whilst on my research travels I came across a site called Creating Intentions. What a great way to manifest your desires through scrapbooking. But it does make sense doesn't it! Creating my vision board was a bit like creating a layout.

As I have no fresh layouts to share right now, I thought I'd show you some photos of my scrap space.

This was my very first space in a very tiny room, as you can see by the way the desk (sewing table) stretches from one wall to the other.

The next images are the room I have right now - and notice how tidy it is! It's not like that at the moment!

So there you have it for now ... so until next time ...

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Another Birth Day!

It's finally happened - is now alive and well! Nine months of planning, researching, designing, communicating ... a lot longer than I realised it would take ... has now come to fruition. Thank goodness this birth was relatively painless - just a click of the mouse!

Something I have always wanted - somewhere to find all the resources and information that I need when I want some inspiration, some motivation and anything specific to what I am doing. A font to suit my layout. A title to give it spark. A design to suit my photographs in number and size. Some ideas for when I am stuck. Some supplies or tools to help me create. A site that would give me much information in the one place - in the past have spent hours looking for something going from site to site and blog to blog. So now here it is - one site to find everything any papercrafter could possibly require - with more to come!

I have a talented and passionate team just bursting to provide lots more inspiration, stimulation and enthusiasm into the papercraft world. I welcome Karen Yates, Vicki Brunner, Deanne Stewart-Mills and Sara Noendeng! Welcome to the team!

After working for long hours over the past few weeks, I was able to enjoy some social time over the weekend. Friday night Rob and I chatted with a few friends over drinks at the Aria Lounge in the Langham Hotel in the city. After the others left, we stayed on an enjoyed a sumptuous smorgasbord meal in their Melba restaurant. The food range was amazing and fresh. Anything cooked was done on the spot - I'd certainly go back there again!

Saturday I spent with my scrapping buddies at Paper Heaven - it was good to get back into some hands on creating! Then Saturday night we went to an Egyptian themed party hosted by friends heading off for a trip to Egypt on Wednesday this week. I went as a belly dancer (with a covered belly!) courtesy of a friend who has done belly dancing. It's certainly not a quiet outfit! Now I know what the cat feels like with her bell! Rob piked out of a full costume but I managed to tie a cot sheet around his head so at least looked as he had made an effort! I didn't get any photos as our camera is playing up right now - isn't that always the way!

This morning Rob and I went for a 15km ride on our bikes, with a head wind most of the way! It makes even little hills feel like Mt Everest! My legs feel a bit tired right now! It was a beautiful morning, the sun was warm but not too hot and Melbourne in spring is just a glorious site. It's such a different view going along the roads on a bicycle. Tomorrow will be interesting as the Boxing Circuit class I go to on Monday morning is full on but I think I will need to be kind to myself and pace myself a bit more.

No shares tonight - I haven't completed the layouts from the weekend. Hopefully there will be something to share later in the week. So make sure you head off the and get your teeth into some of the great resources. Please let me know what you think about the site - suggestions and feedback are most appreciated!

So, until next time ...

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Happy Birthday Nell & Rob!

We've had two birthdays in our family this week - Nell celebrated her birthday on Sunday 5th and Rob's was yesterday.

I spoke to Nell on Sunday morning, just before she went out to lunch with her girls and Justin, Justin's parents and her father. Both Ella and Sophie bought her chocolate which apparently Sophie ate! She is such an amazingly exuberant little being, so full of life!

But, I am a bad wife and partner, I have been so focused on getting the website up and going that I completely forgot Rob's birthday until yesterday morning. So he had no present and not even a card from me!!! But, I will surprise him on the weekend with a night out on Friday and a present. So not all is lost!

Below is one of the few layouts I have with Rob in it - it is usually him behind the camera. Photography is not one of my strong points!

And this one is a life collage of Nell - what a gorgeous woman!

Well, lots of exciting things happening right now ... so watch this space on Friday!

So, till then ...

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Wednesday wonderment ... is there such a word!

Isn't it amazing how some things just happen magically! Yesterday was a day of coincidences as Deepak Chopra calls them and I am feeling blessed (sorry, it's not meant to be a religious term!). I just know that when good things fall into your path it is a that you are heading in the right direction and that's how I feel right now. The whole day culminated in me finding a shiny, new $2 coin on the footpath last night - I thought it was a 5c piece! I always remember a wise man saying that we should never decline a gift - no matter how small it is - and even a small coin is a gift and a message. So for me, finding that a 5c coin was really $2 gave me such a gift! So now - to get the message! What would that be for you? I invite you to leave a comment!

On the creating front, below are the four Olympics ATC's I did for NCJS. I covered the card with gold tissue paper, using the Jo Sonja Sealer, I first covered the card with the sealer then I scrunched the tissue paper and put it over the mixture. Keeping it scrunched, I then re-applied the sealer over the top of the tissue. I had lovely gold fingertips!

Using NOBO Overhead Projector Transparency Film purchased from Officeworks, I printed the peace dove, the Beijing Logo and the Olympic Rings. I trimmed these and then used double-sided tape to adhere them over the gold tissue. To cover the tape, I cut strips of textured gold paper and applied this over the top.

I used gold heat embossing powder (so much fun to do!) on the Peace Dove. The printed Olympic Coin image was trimmed and I printed the English and Chinese translation of One World One Dream on textured cardstock. I edged these with gold stamping ink.

On the Olympic Rings Card I attached a small Chinese Coin with gold Christmas string and used a gold pen to write over the words Faster Higher Stronger. Even I really had to think about what I was going to do on each card (as we had to make 4) it was fun in the end!

Here is a layout using the Creative Memories Circle Templates - I do them, they are so easy to use. I hear the blades are now available in a swivel version which will make them even easier to use! I also used Heidi Swapp Ghost Letters which still stand out over the white base. I'm so looking forward to Heidi's Create08 Day being held in Melbourne on 16th December - all booked out now though.

The white card looks greyish bit it is a lovely crisp white in reality. I used the complimentary tones of green and pink and the ribbons made a beautiful match.

Grace took this photo of herself - when i ask her to do something for me it never works out the same! Darn! I'm not good with the camera, my creativity doesn't extend there - but I am determined to learn!

Thanks for reading on! So, till next time ...

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Computered Out!

I have been sitting in front of my computer for such long hours this week, getting things completed for the launch of Scrapbook Hub, that I have had enough of concentrating - so I am computered out! There are so many ends to tie up and although I am generally quick at doing most things, the little bits and pieces are taking me ages! But I can't complain when it all helps me to get one step closer to launch day!

I feel withdrawal symptoms right now! I am so looking forward to going to a Scrap Together tomorrow night - I need to let my fingers get into paper and ribbon and flowers and chipboard and .... all things scrapbooking! I'm worried I have forgotten how to create! Hopefully I should have something to post after this weekend.

Saturday will be a quiet day in front of the TV watching the AFL Grand Final. Even though I'd love the Bombers to be playing, it's also good to be able to sit back and not worry about who wins (although I always end up barracking for one team anyway!) So, who will it be - the Cats (or Pussy Cats as my 3yo grand-daughter calls them) or the Hawks (or the Dorks as we call them to my 5yo grand-daughter who barracks for them).

On a lighter vein, I found this video on another site and even though I have seen it before, I thought it was worth keeping. Enjoy it and remember to give someone a hug today (even if it is yourself!)

Till next time ...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Wow - where has the time gone!

It's been one week since my last post and it has been a whirlwind week! I actually got to catch up with Chris today to celebrate his birthday - one week late! All the family went to a fantastic little Greek restaurant in Swan Street, Richmond called Agapi. The food was absolutely delicious and I feel so full and it's six hours after I've eaten!

I have had the pleasure of having all my beautiful girls with me over the past week - until Friday night, Rob has been the only male in a house of five girls (six including the cat!) It has been an absolute delight to have so much happy energy around - it has also been very tiring! But I wouldn't swap it for the world! The house will be very quiet after tomorrow - but then again, it is school holidays ...

I did get some layouts completed last weekend for the NCJS Challenges - just as well because I haven't been able to do anything else this week. I love doing the challenges, they give me some motivation and guidance - even though I have heaps of photos to get organised. I also managed to complete the ATC Swap - The Olympics - we had to do a set of 4 cards. Kept me thinking!

The first one is of the gorgeous Sophie who is such a character! Rain has been something she has seen very little of in her short life so the chance to use her umbrella was so exciting for her, even if it was in her backyard, all by herself!

This next one features 'The Fish' structures that decorated the Yarra River during the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Their colours were magnificent in the darkness of the night, combined with the reflections on the water and the fireworks, made for a wondrous sight every evening of the games. I wish I had read an article I found recently about how to photograph fireworks - they are not a sharp as they should be.

The journalling is unreadable due to the scanning process (red and black, love the colours but always have problems with them being scanned) but it tells of the 72 structures and their nightly exhibit.

Last week also saw me busy with Scrapbook Hub's completion (well getting very close to completion). It has been a massive job and it's all fallen into place. There are loose ends to tie up and then it will be ready for first stage public launch on 1st October. I'm getting very excited now that I can physically see the 'working product'. Before, it has just been pictures of the pages, now I can actually do things on it - Yay! I have also enlisted the talents of some amazing women who will feature on the initial launch ... but stay tuned to find out more ...

So, I will keep you informed of Scrapbook Hub's launch - until next time ...

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Happy Birthday Chris!

It's my baby boy's birthday today! Well, he's not really my baby as he is 36! But, for all mums, we know that our children will always be our babies no matter what age they are! Chris is my eldest and my only son. He is now married and I am waiting to hear the big news that he is going to be a father.

Here is a layout of Chris aged 4 - he only rarely had a sad face but it usually meant he felt really sad!

This next layout is one page of a double - I am still waiting for Chris to give me back his baby photos so that I can scan and scrap them. It shows his growth over 35 years.

I spent this afternoon at Paper Heaven, with my wonderful friends, doing some scrapping. Each month, for the past 20 months, we have been meeting to focus on an album that is about our lives - we are the About Me group. So, it has been a natural progression for all of us to get to know each other very well and to become buddies! I was doing some photos of 70's weddings! Love the fashions! Will share them when they are complete.

I'm off to complete two cybercrop challenges, courtesy of No Crap Just Scrap and the generous Anna Costello from Anna's Craft Cupboard. I always love a good challenge!

So, till next time ...

Friday, 12 September 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Just a quick post before I head of to a meeting with my website developer ... things are now starting to speed up in regards to the web launch after quite a frustrating period of snail pace (well it felt like that to me!) So things have been quite hectic over the past week!

I am now in the process of sending out invitations to some very talented crafters, to join Scrapbook Hub's community. I am also seeking sponsors for a variety of activities and competitions so there is alot of admin work to be done also - oh I wish I had someone who loves doing the detailed stuff that I dislike!

Anyway, it all has to be done so we keep plugging away! I plan to get some scrapping done this weekend - I have some ideas after my Stampin' Up Demo on Monday night. Lots of goodies there to play with and I'm looking forward to my stash arriving!

Hope to have some shares over the next couple of days.

Till then ...

Sunday, 7 September 2008

A Happy Father's Day!

Father, husband, brother, son, son-in-law - to all those males in your life who are 'fathers' - this is a day to honour their influence in our life. At times it will feel positive and at times it may feel challenging, but their influence has a profound effect into developing us into the person we are, right now, today.

I have had the pleasure of sharing today with my father, my brother and my husband and when I reflect on how each of them have shaped my life in some way, I am grateful. Not every moment has been happy and joyful, life is not like that - but I am grateful for the times I have felt challenges because they have provided me with the situation to become a stronger person. I am also grateful for the caring and supportive times because it is in those times I have felt worthy and I have felt loved.

So, today has been the culmination of a busy weekend! We rushed to the hockey final on Friday night (it took us 45 minutes to get from the city to the hockey ground) and the girls played a fantastic game. It went into extra time and the other team (top of the ladder) scored a goal 2 minutes before the final whistle! So, we have no Friday night hockey till next year!

Saturday morning Grace played netball and the team were outstanding, winning very comfortably. Grace played such a solid game in GK! Very proud! I caught up with a girl friend Saturday afternoon. It's so nice to have someone to completely relax with and just chat! Saturday night I spent watching football with my wonderful husband.

Today consisted of time with the men in my family (I have eaten so much!). So, I didn't get the time I anticipated to do the ATC's or any scrapping! But, the personal time can never be re-created, the scrapping time will be!

Here are my shares for tonight - a Paper Bag Baby Album I made a few months ago -

Getting the colour right is still a challenge for me! As I have mentioned before, I scan the layouts and then 'stitch' with PE6. But, even when I play with the colour, it just doesn't turn out to be the vibrancy or tone that it really is. One day I'll get it right!

I love the versatility of the Paper Bag Albums - they can be created into anything! I was having a play with this one and the challenge was to make it neutral so when it is given as a gift, the user can add whatever they need to make it their own - journalling, photographs, memorabilia ... whatever! I am making a Pregnancy Album at the moment - I shall share that when I have completed it!

So, until next time ...

Thursday, 4 September 2008

ATC's - Minature Art

I have been busy - or at least my mind has been busy - working on an ATC set for a swap organised by my amazing friend Joyce, also ATC Swap organiser for the No Crap Just Scrap Group. I participated in one last month which was called 'A Pocketful of Friends'. In this one we made a card representative of our self - this was relatively easy!

Here is my card - on the back I put my details. I haven't received the others' cards yet, they are in the mail as I write!
This month's swap is themed the Beijing Olympic Games. Now this also sounds relatively easy, but we are required to make a set of 3 or 4, which shouldn't be too difficult either. But, being me, I wanted to make sure that I don't duplicate what I anticipate the others will make so I have pondered over how to make my cards differently! I have been told that I make things too complex and I am beginning to believe it!

But, I have decided that it doesn't matter if they are similar to someone else's as my interpretation will be different anyway! I have almost completed one set and I think they look good. I will share when the swap has been completed!

I did get some scrapping done over the past couple of days - with nights in front of the TV (there are some good shows on right now!) in my scrap room are just what the doctor ordered. I am also finding that I am getting my layouts done quicker than I have before so that helps get more completed.

Here are a couple of shares for this post -

This first one is part of the heritage album I am completing about my parent's lives. I don't have all the information about my mother which is a shame. She was an only child and I don't have access to her ancestry as she was Italian and I don't speak the language.

This next one is a Grace layout - she loved performing and is really a Diva!

I hope to get my ATC cards completed this weekend - in between Hockey finals, Netball and Fathers Day Lunch.

So, till next time ...

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Officially the Last Day of Winter!

I know it's all in the mind but it feels good to get the winter behind us. Spring is such a nice time of the year and I look forward to the warmer days and nights, the refreshing spring rains and the glorious abundance of new growth. Here are the blossom trees in our street that are in fine display and driving down the road is a picture of colour and brightness.

I haven't done much creating this weekend - I spent the yesterday with my eldest daughter, Nell, who was having a girlfriend weekend in the city, with an old school friend. It was a wonderful day especially as I don't often get her to myself these days.

Here is a photo of Nell and Ella her eldest daughter -

I also had the misfortune of going to the football this afternoon where the very depleted Bombers were thrashed! Not a good place to be when your team is struggling to be competitive ... well there is always next year! And I'm still smiling ...

Here are some shares for tonight -

These altered journals reflect the simplicity of the beautiful Japanese designs.

I used an image I downloaded from the web, matted the image with black card, then a copper metallic card , and more black and white card behind that. The Chinese coins were added to complete the Asian theme. I also use black elastic to hold the pages closed.

This altered journal was done with Collections chipboard squares and Japanese papers. I used gold card as matting and a golden elasticised hairband to keep the journal shut. I also included a hand-made, large pocket on the inside of the cover for notes and other mementoes.

I hope your weekend was a good one!

Till next time ...