Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Catching up...

I've been busy in the retched office again the last few days so haven't been blogging or scrapping until today. I have been doing a little on my holiday album that I will show when it's finished.

I'm not thrilled with my last 2 layouts so I'm wondering if I'm running out of creative juices or whether this office work is draining them. This is one of them, a layout about Jett reaching the stage of getting into things. The photos are a year old and I always find it harder to scrap them, than recent photos. I am trying to go back though and fill in the gaps.

Also, I did this layout a couple of weeks ago and didn't want to show it until its finished, but here it is anyway. All I have to add is 'heart-felt' journaling. I wanted to explain a few things to Phoebe about how we clash at times because we are so much alike but that I still love her so much and love her beautiful personality and soul. She really is a such a wonderful little girl and I'm afraid that she wont know I have always felt that way so I hope when she is older she discovers this journalling and knows how I really feel. I always look at her just before I go to bed at night and realise how lucky I am. My Auntie had a little girl just like Phoebe - very full-on and in-your-face at times and very loud. She looks at Phoeb's and sees her daughter all over again and says to me "she may be full-on and hard work now but will make an amazing high achieving adult who gets things done" which is how her daughter turned out. I used Cosmic Cricket Hey Sugar papers which I love, with Heidi Swapp large florals.
I'm off to Newdegate tomorrow to see my good friends over there for a class. I'm in need of some girl company of the scrapping kind so it will be food for my soul. Toodle Pip!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Glued to the office chair...

I did 2 full days of intense office work and by last night my head was throbbing! I decided that that was enough and I needed a break so after resisting the urge to scrap while the office work needed doing, it was time to create today. I did a really quick layout using some inspiration I got from Gayle Smiths new digital layouts. You should check out her work...it's really good! Love ya Gayle. I'm so pleased with this layout and it was so fast. I used My Minds Eye papers.

Also, here's the Explosion Box that I mentioned in my last post. I used the same patterned papers as Gayle's but different card stock. It's not quite finished - just needs a few finishing touches and journaling. Who better to do a Love theme about than my only little family?! I made this for Phoebe but I'm a bit concerned about how long it will last...she carries it around and loves it a little too much!

I received a Kit of the Month from Creating Keepsakes in the mail that I ordered because I saw it on Ali Edwards blog and it looked like good value for money. It was only $29.90 which is a bargain for the amount of stuff in the kit - only trouble is it cost $37 to get it here! OUCH! I have used a couple of pieces on a layout I'm currently working on...will show you when it's done. Here's a photo although its not very good.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On the verge...

We are on the verge of starting seeding...in minutes the boys will sink that seed into the ground so I am officially a seeding widow from today onwards, but secretly...sshh...I dont mind in some ways...I quite like some time to myself and Matt has been working from 6am til 12am everyday for the last 2 weeks apart from our 2 days in Perth anyway. The main reason I complain about seeding is cooking meals for everyone, which has already started, but heres hoping it only lasts a few weeks before its over!

I've had a frustrating day but managed a 20 minute layout and I'm happy with the results. Jett, being a little (lot) different from Phoebe has a way of melting my heart and disolving me to laughter when I tell him off, so we are trying the Super Nanny's 'naughty corner' for a form of discipline. We say "you sit there and think about what you did wrong" (not sure if he understands that yet), and he does sit there and he does think - who knows what he thinks about- but he's so obedient! It's so cute that we quietly laugh, but it seems to work. So in keeping with my theory to record everyday stuff, I did a layout about it...here it is...

I also attempted Gayle Smith's Explosion Box - from the retreat - and it has come together well although it's not finished...I'll show you when it is. I can see why Sharon Manning pumped out 4 or five of these on arriving home after the retreat. They are easy and fun to make - perfect for gifts! Thats all for today folks!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Heartfelt journaling and a whole new level of menace...

Recently I've been eager to journal very honestly about issues so I leave real stories, not just factual or happy ones. I think it's important to let your family know how you really feel at times - even when you've felt sad, lonely, angry etc. - and sometimes it's easier to write it down than it is to say it. Also, there's the chance that I may forget some details later on and I'll be grateful if I've written these things to jog my memory (when I'm old and grey!). For example, I'm not keen on doing too many lovey dovey layouts unless they have a purpose or significant meaning. I don't do a Valentine's layout every year, I just do the occasional layout about love when I've got something to say. I decided to do a layout about how marriage or living with the love of your life isn't always peachy and romantic and how there comes a time when you need to choose love rather than feel it. I created a layout using a photo of Matt and I taken at Christmas time in a more serious pose (No, we weren't fighting at the time!) and then I added it to classic love theme papers rather than comical ones. I decided not to hide my journaling but if you are the type who doesn't like to wear your heart on your sleeve, you could hide it behind your photo. I am so happy with the result and feel that I've left my children with something real and honest about our relationship that it wont hurt them to know. It's not negative - just real.

Then there was the incident today where my children stepped up their level of menace. I found clumps of hair on the lounge room floor and thought it must have been Barbie's...until the kids showed up and I realised it was theirs. I have dreaded this day, assuming it happen to all kids and Mums. I have been so careful about hiding scissors but they are just too clever. Phoebe thought she should fix having her hair in her face by attempting to cut a fringe for herself and then started on Jett. His is worse than hers but because he's a boy it's not so bad, and it will grow back. I was a little cross at first (I'm the type that cries over spilt milk), then I saw the silver lining - a scrapbook moment, so out with the camera and here's the proof...it's called 'They did a BAD BAD thing'...

So as you can see I snuck on some scrapping this afternoon after going hard on housework this morning...my little reward. It comes easily some days and today was one of those.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A layout...

So here it is...the layout I mentioned in my last post...I love this layout, it just came together...

I'm still shopping for venues, by phone and Internet. There are some great possibilities but the biggest problem is price. Thank you to all of you who have been posting or emailing feedback on venues etc. It's great to hear your points of view and suggestions. I'd love to know how you feel about price. So far we have anything from $200 - $500 for a weekend all inclusive of food, accommodation and conference fee, but I'm not sure which end of the scale most of you would prefer. Obviously you get what you pay for so bare that in mind when you think what a reasonable price is. The lower end of the price range is budget food and shared accommodation and the higher end obviously includes a bit of luxury.

I'm only scrapping a little at the moment as we are preparing for seeding. I've cleaned out our pantry which is the size of the average bathroom - big job! Now I have loads of office work I can no longer avoid like the BAS and preparing employee documentation - fun, fun.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well I'm home again and had a great 2 days away from the farm. The concert - 'Matchbox 20' at the Burswood Super dome was fantastic. Matt and I loved every minute of it, even the support band - 'Thirsty Merc' - would have been worth going to see on their own so we had a double treat. Now its back to head down/tail up!

While I was in Perth Matt and I went venue shopping with Sharon Manning for the Perth retreat. We looked at budget facilities which were good but lack of space for the main scrapping area could be a problem if we have anymore than 100 ladies attend. I expect that and more judging by the responses we've had so far. We also went to the Vines Resort to check out scrapping space and sadly although the Resort itself is excellent, their conference room is smaller than the Hyden hall and we would be battling to fit even 100 ladies in. So we have decided to keep looking and I've got a few great venues in mind so stay tuned.

After my last post on Sunday I went out to turn the lights off in the scrap room and was enticed into doing a quick layout. Unfortunately it was not my best work but its another memory recorded.

I did a layout today for my class at Newdegate on the 30th of April. It's a layout using Making Memories flowers and buttons which I've layered and I love the result. I love the pastels colours so much I may have to use these again on a vintage layout! I'll have to post the layout tomorrow as I did not photograph it today.
While I was in Perth we received confirmation that my brother, Dean, after a bone marrow test, has leukaemia again. Although he is quite unwell the outlook is ok. He will start chemo next Monday and when he is in remission he may undergo a bone marrow transplant. At this stage it looks as though they have 3 donors in Australia who are a match which is fantastic news. Thank goodness for these people who have gone to the effort to be registered bone marrow donors. At this point in time we are all staying positive and hopeful.
Toodle pip!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


This week I've scrapped my heart out and it's been very therapeutic. I can escape reality for a little time and create. It's been lovely to just be by myself for a bit and think things through. The good news is that I've done 16 layouts since the Hyden retreat which is more than I've ever done in that time frame. It cant last too much longer as seeding will start soon and I'll be too busy to scrap as much, and I have to get on to all the office work and other jobs that I have been avoiding. I managed to clean windows today which I'm ashamed to say is a once or twice a year event! Gee the difference is amazing - the view looks so much better!

I have a couple of layouts to share. I decided to go back and scrap some older 6 x 4 photos - some of Jett as a baby and came up with this layout about him trying to crawl and get the cat in his grip. I used Fancy Pants new About a Boy papers and chipboard brackets with some old Heidi Swapp letters - love to use up older stuff.

I used Alli's quick and easy pages formula to come up with this layout of Jett's first train ride. This formula is so handy. I had tried using these photos for another sketch and it wasn't working and then I shifted the photos into a block and wah-lah there it was...to easy Alli, but so effective. This is my type of scrapping - I love it.
Then there's my 'Pals' layout. I used more of the new Fancy Pants paper and chipboard, also with some American Crafts chipboard stars and old alpha's...yay!

That's all for today. I'm off to Perth tomorrow. I have to check out venues for the Perth retreat, spend some time with Dean and Cassi as they await test results, and I'm taking Matt to see Matchbox 20 (his Christmas present). Be back soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Devastating news...

Normally I wouldn't share news like this in such a public way, but I know alot of you who read my blog know that my brother, Dean, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in June 2006, 2 days after my son Jett was born, and have been interested in his progress since then. After undergoing chemo for 6 months he was cleared and has been in remission...or so we thought. Recently he has not been well - extremely sore and swollen joints, bruising and nasty flu's etc. As you would expect we have been concerned but hoping that the cancer doesn't rear its ugly head again. Dean told me a week ago that he thought he'd relapsed and would see his doctor to confirm it. Test results came through on Thursday that his white cell count is very low which indicates that the Leukaemia is back. He will undergo bone marrow tests on Monday and diagnosis and treatment will follow. The specialist who has taken care of Dean's case has indicated that they have a bone marrow donor match. It's easy to speculate on what will happen from here, but we will take it one step at a time. Fortunately I have had a quiet week and have been able to come to terms with the fact that we are going through this again. This time we are more prepared than we were when he was originally diagnosed. Being a little prepared is only a small consolation - it's not easy when a sibling or close family member faces terminal illness. I will find strength to get through this again and most of all I want to be there for Dean and his amazing wife, Cassi, one of the most profoundly amazing women I know. And then there is their two little guys - Asher and Maddox, who were young enough the first time to not be too affected by Dean's illness and hopefully it falls like water off a ducks back this time too.
I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who showed support to me and my family when we faced this earlier on - it makes all the difference knowing people care. I do believe in the Power of Prayer to God who is sovereign. I will be praying my way through this and would appreciate any of you who believe, to do the same. I know Dean's case is not isolated and that there are many people out there who suffer terminal illness and many who don't survive. I know alot of you have been affected first hand by the ugly disease - cancer. I said recently at the Hyden retreat that it's not just finding a cure that is important to cancer sufferers - but support as well. Dean was very fortunate to benefit from financial support as well as emotional support from people all over the world and even some who had never met him. Due to generosity Dean and Cassi did not lose their house and to be honest, did not go without anything while going through treatment. I'm passionate about supporting people in time of need. Tonight we are off to a 'Be Brave and Shave' night in Lake King being held for a beautiful women and friend who is currently going through chemo herself. We cannot do enough for people like this.
I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Layouts to share...

I decided that while the creative juices are flowing, I should keep scrapping when I can. So I have done a couple more layouts but they've been slower ones this time...at least I'm still in create mode. I finally have a layout from the retreat classes finished...it's my version of Alli's 'Believe you can...Live out loud'. I love the colours and I'm pleased with the overall look of this layout - Alli did a great job on designing this one with lots of cool little techniques like the hand cut and doodled scalloped paper. I got to use chipboard letters I'd had for ages and chipboard circles by Collections.

Also, a layout using Fancy Pants new range of papers that are very arty farty. Matt moved his office desk into my office at the start of the year and to solve the problem of the kids being bored while we work, we turned his office into a toy room which now looks like a cyclone has hit it - as you can see. Anyway, it solved the problem and they play in there for hours, and think of all kinds of crazy stuff to pass the time. Love 'em.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Outback to City Scrapbook Convention...

How does that sound? I wont be offended if you think its corney! Should it be convention or retreat? Let me know what you think girls. Thank to those of you who have made suggestions - they all help.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Layouts to share...

Today was Tuesday scrapping with the local girls which was good. It's always good to have company to scrap.

I finished two layouts last night about our first Easter egg hunt. Both layouts were done with the Making Memories 'Garden Party' Easter range. I love pastels but don't use them often. I figured that while the kids are still little I can get away with pastels for the time being. I love Phoebe's layout...here it is...

..And here is Jett's...

Today I achieved one layout. I used K and Co 'Wild Saffron' papers, chipboard buttons and journal card. Unfortunately the layout did not photograph well but you get the idea. I'm in love with this colour combo at the moment.

I am still working on a venue for the Perth retreat...now I just need to give it a name. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Quite a few layouts to share!

After a very busy weekend, I decided to set aside some time to scrap today and achieved quite a bit. I have 5 layouts to share and more for tomorrow. No, I didn't scrap all day - I'm just getting quicker at it! Here's one using the same techniques as the 'Tool man' layout shown previously. I used new Basic Grey papers and stickers.

Next I scrap lifted a layout from the Scrapbook City gallery called 'A Girl Needs Chocolate' but it looks totally different. Once again I used Basic Grey Archaic papers and a mix of letters and embellies. I was so glad to use up some alphabets that I'd had for a while...slowing chipping away at an oversupply! I think I might use longer titles with random alphas more often. I love doing a mix of masculine layouts and girly ones - fortunately I have a good mix of photos.

Then I scrapped some photos I had taken at the Beach House - an indoor playground in Osborne Park, Perth. They are busy photos with loads of colour and it was hard to narrow down which ones to use and which ones to leave out. I don't like printing my photos too small - especially ones with a lot of detail in them, so I try to use at least 6" x 4" 's and lots of them. A little while ago I came up with this layout using 10 regular size photos in one double page. Here it is...

...and here is today's using the same sketch. On this layout I used some of the new Scenic Route 'Grafton' papers.

I am on a scrapping with 6" x 4" photos mission as I realised that so many girls do not have their own photo editing and printing equipment. I wanted to design layouts with standard photos or 3" x 2", 3" x 4" and 6" x 8" photos which you can print from a photo kiosk.

Here's my final layout for today - my favourite. I used some gorgeous KI Memories Love Elsie background cardstock and chipboard buttons. I designed this layout for my class to be held in Newdegate at the end of the month. I am in love with this colour combo!

Bye for now!


...The first statewide locally run Scrapbook Convention to be held on the 10th - 12th of July 2009. I recently shared my dream to hold Perth's first locally run event of this calibre, at the Hyden retreat. It has only been done once before but was run by a Sydney publishing company. My intention is to do it again, run by locals who know what locals want. I will be running this event with the help of Sharon Manning and many other enthusiastic girls who want to see this happen. Sharon posed the question on her message board at sharonmanning.com.au about what people want in a retreat. Many comments were made and we have come up with what we think will be an event not to be missed. We have been researching venues and so far we like The Vines Resort in the Swan Valley, Perth. I am currently negotiating prices and hope we can come up with an affordable price although we all know that comfort comes at a price. The good news is that the venue is available and we have plenty of time to save and organise our families around the weekend. I'll be emailing out 'expressions of interest' shortly where you can let me know what you expect. I am so excited about this event and have my husbands full support to make my dream a reality. Stay tuned for more details as they come about. Yeehah!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Time for story telling...

I found time to scrap today once Phoebe was at school and Jett was asleep. I finished an easy layout that shouldn't have taken long but I spent too much time choosing letters. Procrastinator. My Mum and I walked out on to her patio the other day to discover the kids climbing up the lattice which is almost 20 years old. Of course I freaked but the scrapbooker in me had to get a few photos before we told them "DANGER! Get down from there", trying not to smirk.

I started another layout of Phoebe climbing the lattice too but had to go back to school to pick her up. By then she was dissolving into tears at the drop of a hat - tired girl after such a big week!

I received the new range of Scenic Route papers and embellishments and they are awesome. They will be perfect for my Cocos Island photos. I can remember the days when there used to be sooo much girly paper and not enough boyish or masculine stuff. Well there's certainly quite a bit of it now days - this range has a camouflage paper which will be very useful. The colours of this range are very intense - beautiful in my humble opinion.

Thanks to all of you who have been leaving comments. I love it so much when you leave your mark. I was beginning to wonder, with over 2000 hits, who was reading my blog! Thanks especially for all the kind comments about the retreat...you are all wonderful.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Story telling...

I decided recently that my new term for scrapbooking should be 'story telling', because after all that's what I'm trying to achieve. Of course I do it because I love cutting stuff up and joining it all back together again - something that men will never understand - and I love design and colour and all of that but what I love most is that I'm telling stories to future generations and especially my own children - I'm telling their story from my view. Looking back on this in 10 or 20 years is going to be a blast. Already Matt and I laugh and cry when we look through Phoebe's baby album that I scrapped from day 1.

Today I did a little more sorting in my studio, just enough so that I could get to my stuff to start 'story telling'. I managed a layout that I'm really happy with. It's about the 'funny story' in my last post...my little 'tool man'. I'll be teaching this layout at Newdegate on the 30th of April. There's a few little techniques I figured out the other day whilst dreaming of scrapping. I do that...I dream up what I'm going to do if I cant physically do it sot that when I get to it its quick and easy...in theory. I used the new Basic Grey range of Archaic papers, sticker strips and rub-ons...love this range for little boys and I think I'm going to get alot more done with it! Here it is...

Hopefully I'll find more time tomorrow to get on with some other ideas. I've got some classic photos this week of the kids playing which always inspires me to story tell. Pitty I cant get inspired about old photos I need to use...maybe some other day. I'm off to study the back of my eyelids (one of my Dads terms for sleeping).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Funny story

Last Thursday I did a trip to Hyden with a load of stock and noticed that the tyres on my trailer were worn. Upon telling Matt about it when I got home, he said the tyres would be fine. Sure enough Friday morning as I set out - an hour late - only 30kms down the road a tyre blew on my trailer which was fully loaded with stock (one of the few times I'm right). Fortunately the men were not far behind and they proceeded to replace the blown tyre. While fetching the spare tyre we discovered that we had a very capable and keen helper come to the rescue....

...isn't that adorable?!

After having such a great weekend, unpacking all day yesterday, working my way through a mountain of washing, driving 350km+ to take Phoeb's to school and picking up the last load of stuff from Hyden today, I am now officially stuffed and need a day off. Unfortunately a mother does not have an off button but I will be putting my feet up tomorrow and resting a little. Fortunately I am inspired by all the creativity that was circulating at the retreat and I'm ready to sink my teeth into some layouts. I've got so many ideas for my classes coming up at Ravensthorpe on the 12th of April and Newdegate on the 30th of April. Maybe I can combine rest and scrapbooking tomorrow (if the kids will let me) and kill two birds with one stone. Don't worry...the kids and I have had some Mummy time. Phoebe and I had a ball cooking piklets on Monday morning and Jett had fun eating them all!

I must mention how well the tutors; Alli, Sharon and Gayle did at the weekend - they were inspirational. And Jo - our cook - did a stirling job! If you'd like to see photos of how the weekend went visit the girls blogs (right side top). I didn't get to take many photos as I was pretty busy but they have done justice to it anyway.

Ta ta.