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 ...

Friday, 29 August 2008

Fantastic Friday

Why fantastic? Because the weekend is here and that means I get to play and create more! It's also fantastic because the glorious sun is shining, it is a beautiful 18 degrees outside and the flowering blossom trees are looking absolutely majestic. Yesterday, I struggled to get warm, today the heaters are turned off! Ahhh, that's Melbourne for you!

Speaking of Melbourne, here is a double layout I did showing part of a tour with a visitor from the UK. We went on a boat cruise down the Yarra and across the bay to Williamstown. On our return to Southbank, we sat riverside and watched the night descend over the Yarra River. The thousands of lights on the calm water looked magical.

I am working through a stack of photos of Grace and here are a couple of layouts I have completed recently.

I found the quotes on Teen Angel on a 'Communicating With Teenagers' website - if you have teenagers, I'm sure they will make you chuckle too!

Grace is so shy (NOT!) ... I am forever finding self portraits on my computer that she has taken with Photo Booth. It is a nifty little Mac program that can do some interesting things with the photographs it takes. Here is an example -

I love the way she just plays with these programs and comes up with really interesting poses and photos. She's not afraid of testing technology!

I got a bit of a surprise yesterday - we have just about used our quota of downloading and uploading from the internet - 95% of 30G! I never thought that would be possible! But, after making enquiries, I was told things such as My Space (everyone with a teenager knows this one!), Facebook and You Tube and music downloads really guzzle up the data allowance. But sadly, I also found out that Radio broadcasts and Podcasts are also culprits! I love listening to the different music stations from iTunes, with no ads too!

Recently I have also been listening to and watching Oprah and Eckhart Tolle discussing The Power of Now and A New Earth. Very interesting! But now I will have to be aware of my internet usage habits and start playing my CD's more often!

Till next time ...

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Farewell Beijing!

I have been fascinated by the Olympics over the past two weeks - I shall be lost without them now! The courage and determination of all the athletes has absolutely amazed me, especially those who have made many sacrifices to get to where they are in their sports. I previously hadn't thought about what it costs - physically, emotionally and financially - until I listened to some of them speak about what they, and their families, have had to put in to getting them to Olympic standard. Not alot of athletes have financial sponsorship that allows them to lead a life of luxury (as the US Basketball Team!)

But, I shall get off my soap box and continue to marvel at the dedication of these amazing human beings, for the next little while at least! Then, it will be another four years tiill we remember them again, hello London!

My creating this weekend has been limited as we have had interstate visitors and spent some time visiting some of our beautiful city sights - I do love the diversity of Melbourne! I did manage to finish two layouts this weekend, that I had started a while ago. So, another lot done for Grace's album.

Here are my shares for this blog entry -

With the theme of focus and goals, this layout fitted perfectly. Grace edited her own picture using Picasa - I loved the effect that she created and it has made a great layout. She has written her goals on the card hidden behind the photo. I know she will have a chuckle when she re-reads it on a future date! Even now, her goals have changed somewhat! She has a natural talent with the camera - I have been trying to coerce her to do some photography for me. But at 14, she thinks there are other things more important right now!

This layout was scraplifted from a Jen Hall creation. When I saw what she had done, I knew exactly what photos I would be able to use with this layout! I really love her bright layouts and her creative doodling.

Well, back to the closing ceremony at Beijing.

Till next time ...

Monday, 18 August 2008

Power off!

Woo hoo ... the fuse just blew, the computer went off and I thought I'd lost this post, but when I turned the computer back on and Firefox restored the session - here it is! What's that about saving your work as you go? Should remember that!

Getting some creative time on a weekend is always a challenge. I am lucky enough to have my own space where I can snatch a few minutes to create - even when we have a house full of visitors. Luckily, it was in-laws (who were here from lunchtime Friday to Sunday afternoon) and they are very understanding!

I actually got to complete two more layouts - one for a NCJS monthly sketch challenge, and the other one is a page for the album I am doing about my parent's lives.

This is the sketch challenge - I really enjoyed this one! Lots of circle cutting!

This one, although alot simpler, was harder to do. I like doing heritage layouts but want to make sure they keep their 'old world' essence but also look fresh. I don't have alot of information regarding this photo so the text is very basic. I am happy with it's simplicity though.

As I was going through documents and photos yesterday afternoon I started to feel quite overwhelmed at the amount of work I still have to do. Actually, I shouldn't call it work! I love spending time sorting, re-arranging, browsing, pondering and then to the final creation and its completion! Oh what a feeling! I know that I will never be bored as I will always have some scrapping or card making to do!

Here are another couple of layouts I did after our tour of inner city laneways, searching the street art of Melbourne.

Well, how do you eat an elephant? Chunk by chunk of course! So, when a daunting task is in front of you, just attack it bit by bit!

So, till next time ...

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Break Time!

I so need a break from working at the computer - my neck and shoulders end up feeling cramped up and tense. I need to keep remembering to stretch and also to sit properly but I get so engrossed in what I am doing that the time just goes by. Rather than doing stretches every hour, it's my neck that tells me it's time to stop and move.

Of course it doesn't help that I keep having to twist to watch the TV - the Olympic Games telecast is must-do viewing right now isn't it! I do find myself watch sports that I would never normally be interested in. Funny about that! There is so much happening all the time. The women's swimming relay this morning was so exciting! Go Aussies! I loved the reaction the girls had when they'd finished in world record time! Third gold for Stephanie Rice - boy has she got it made now - but not after alot of hard work and sacrifice.

I got this photo from the internet so I hope I don't get into trouble over copyright!

Here are a couple more layouts that I've done - I love to see the growth my girls go through over the years. Doing layouts that show different years is such good fun.

And it's so nice to reflect on the bond they have had.

Well, I've had my stretch, now back to work!

Till next time ...

Monday, 11 August 2008

Scrap Challenges to Keep Warm

What can you do on a weekend when the rain is falling, the air is icy and your child cannot play sport because she has a dislocated thumb? Scrap of course! What a perfect weekend to be inside, cosy and warm and creating. The NCJS group held its weekend cybercrop challenges and gave me some inspiration to get some of my 'old' photos ready for albums.

Here are the two challenge layouts -

Our beautiful little dog Molly died earlier this year and it was a bit emotional to re-visit these photos of her as a cute, fluffy puppy.

I still have a few of these photos to scrap - they were professionally done (by a person who wanted to be a photographer) and are very cute! The trouble with alot of our older photos is that they are not very interesting - I think that's where I need to get creative with my layouts!

I have a bit of a dilemma at the moment with getting my photos professionally printed or doing them myself. I scanned a heap of photos from when my eldest two were younger and decided when Harvey Norman had their printing special a couple of weeks ago, I would get them done there. I was very happy with the quality of them.

I do worry that the ones I print will fade quickly and I feel more confident that professionally printed ones will last a lot longer. The only problem with not doing them myself is the limits to the sizing. I guess the jury is still out.

Well, as this week is going to continue to bring blasts of wintery weather to us southerners, I shall continue to make use of my nice, cosy and warm scrap room.

So, watch this space ...

Friday, 8 August 2008

Making Collages

Isn't it frustrating when you have heaps of great photographs that you can use in a layout, but not the room! I love the look of collages and when I had a PC I used Picasa - a fantastic storage and editing program which is a free download from Google - but now I have my wonderful iMac, I can't use it as it's only for Windows! While surfing the net a couple of days ago I found a program called Posterino, which was very cheap and only available for Macs, but does lots of good things with more than one photo. So now I am now able to create my collages again!

Here is a Christmas 2007 layout I did with the Picasa collage before I got my Mac-

I included some Christmas embellishments and actually raised them using different thicknesses of chipboard.

I saw an idea in a scrap mag where a year of photos were collaged and used in a layout that depicted that year. Posterino has a few options to doing a year's worth of photos - they are called Life Posters. I had a bit of a play with it and here are photos from 2007 -

It even put them into date order! How clever is that! Now, I just need to plan it a bit more and make sure the photos I have are the ones that I want to use for 2007.

Check out either Picasa collages if you have a PC or give Posterino a try - you can scrap events - such as weddings, birthday parties, christmas celebrations; scrap months or years; anything where you have lots of photos that you'd like to display.

Happy scrappin'

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Happy Birthday Ella Rose!

August 3rd is my beautiful grand-daughter's 5th birthday! She is an absolute delight as well as a real chatterbox and organiser! She really enjoys doing craft things, just like her Nannie and her mum, easily spending a couple of hours drawing, painting, cutting and pasting! She loves making cards. I can't wait to spend time with her doing her own scrapbooking. I hope that she had a wonderful Disco Party this afternoon with all her friends!

Here is a layout featuring Ella Rose (photograph courtesy of Rob Lacey, professional photogapher and neighbour.)

I spent yesterday at Paper Squared with some wonderful friends - Dorothy, Wendy and Suzanne. We participated in their Super Demo Saturday and evening crop. It was absolutely wonderful searching through the enormous store - each time I went to look for something for my layout, I came back with so much more. Lucky me won one of the goodie bag give-aways too! Suzanne also was a winner. I think about 6 bags of scrapping stuff was given away and we won two of them - how lucky is that!

The store is a 45 minute drive from home so we made a real day of it, leaving the shop at midnight. I was surprised that I still felt very wide awake even at that time of night - I was grateful as I knew it was a big drive home. By the time I got to bed at 2am, I was ready for a good night's sleep! It was a great day, and evening, with lots of shopping and cropping done by all of us. We have already booked our next day in Mornington in November. I think I'll be more organised this time!

How do others get so many layouts done over a weekend - especially when you are not at home with all your supplies, if anyone can give me some hints I will be most grateful!

Until next time ...