Saturday, June 30, 2007

Quick Share

Here are a couple of layouts I have in Scrapbooking Memories this month:
(Info on how to create either layout is available here)

Perfect Holiday.

The photo has been manipulated in photoshop and I've used watercolour pencils to create the embellishment down the bottom LH corner. The journaling is simple - all my essentials for the perfect holiday!

10 Reasons

I don't have a photo of the front of our new house yet. This layout was done shortly after we bought the house and I was dreaming about all the great possibilities of our new home.

Journaling: Our new home. We've only just bought it and won't be moving in for a while. First we have to finish renovating our curent home. It takes so long. There's too many things to do: painting, finish the kitchen, a new bathroom, new carport, new fence, paint the outside, landscaping the outdoor entertainment area. I just want it to be finished and to have moved. But it'll be at least another 6 months. So for now, I just dream.

Isn't scrapping great? I read that journaling and I can remember how insurmountable that list seemed back when I did this layout in September last year. It makes me feel weary, as I remember.

10 months it's taken to get the house finished and sold, from when I recorded these thoughts! And we thought we were on the home stretch back then! LOL.

I promised Cherill some pictures of the new house. As soon as I can convince DH to save them for me from his laptop.

OK, just a quick post today.
See ya

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I have been spoilt this year for my birthday. The day itself was extremely uneventful. I spent most of it tidying the house for an open inspection late in the afternoon. I spent every moment of it thinking "this time next week, I'll be back at work" and trying to enjoy my last free Friday. Yeah *wry smile* - it's a bit hard to enjoy your space when you're up to your neck in cleaning utensils.

So to be incredibly spoilt by friends is just a blessing. Especially when they're friends who I didn't even know a couple of years ago. Especially when they're friends who I don't really see all that much. Yes, I have been blessed by this scrapbooking hobby. I have developed such warm friendships with other scrappers. I already wrote about the pressie Nicole surprised me with the other day. Well, last night I got home from work to a pretty pink parcel. From Edwardstown. Hmm. Scratches head. I don't know anyone in Edwardstown. I opened the parcel to find a little box full of trinkets and eclectic scrapping goodness...

Thank you soooo much Lisa!!!!

I adore each little bit of loveliness :D.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Joining the coffee set

Jamie's been staying with his grandparents while he's sick and I have to work. He loves his grandparents. He loves going for coffees with his grandparents. They go to the same cafe each time. The owner of the cafe knows them. He knows Jamie.

The owner takes great delight in bringing Jamie a babycinno each time he visits. Because he loves the reaction. As soon as Jamie sees Dave coming, cup in hand, his eyes grow big and round, his lips purse up with delight and an excited "oooooooooooooooooh!!!!" echoes around the room. Ah, there's nothing like childish excitement :).

Yesterday, Jamie had a mouthful of his Grandad's fruit bun in his mouth when the babycinno arrived. A fruit bun that had, until that point, been consumed with relish. Well, nothing beats a babycinno, it would appear. The fruit bun had to make way. Out it came. Each and every last crumb of bun had to be removed from his mouth by eager little fingers, in order to make room for the treat.

You've gotta laugh. I wish I had been there to see it. On second thoughts... I'm glad that I wasn't there to have to clean up mushy remnants ;).


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Doing a happy, happy, joy, joy dance here. Cooling off has officially ended. Our house is SOLD.

So happy!
Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happyhappy happyhappyhappy

Hee hee hee hee

And for now, I am completely ignoring the fact that we now need to pack and actually move. LOL.

I spent a fab hour and a half this morning with Nic and Isaac. We toasted the sale with a mugacinno and cookie :D. And her fab cover on this month's SM. You go girl! Love that girl's company! And I have a brand spanking yummy warm and toasty woollen scarf. Mmmmm Yum. I think I'll be wearing that to work in the morning :D. Thanks Nic. (Isn't it wonderful when you manage to spread your birthday out a whole two weeks ;) )

I took Jamie back to the doctors this afternoon. He still wasn't well. Poor little guy. He'd been on antibiotics for 7 days and still had a snotty nose and a shocking cough. You know that tickly horrible, can't stop cough? The type that keeps you up all night? So that you can't fall asleep until 1.30am in the morning? So that you sleep fitfully? So that you wake early in the morning? So that you get a headache and sore ribs and just feel yucky? As well as tired? Totally lethargic? And shockingly grumpy? Yeah, that cough. Poor little guy.

So back to the doctors we went. It turns out that the antibiotics that he has been on were not strong enough, given his size (and believe me, our little guy is not large!). Someone did a miscalculation, I think.

One dose of new, stronger antibiotics tonight and he was already chirpier. Nevertheless, he will be spending the next two days with his grandparents rather than at childcare. Hopefully by the weekend he will be much improved. And then next week we start the childcare saga all over again.

Thanks for all the hugs people! Tiredness and stress are shocking. Coffee helps. Hugs help. Sleep would help too. Cross my fingers that Jamie sleeps through the night now that he's dosed up on his new antibiotics.

I'll be back soon. I think I have layouts to share from this month's mags.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Because all you do is scrapbook

I can tell he's tired. Tired by the goals that he sets himself. Tired from working long hours. Tired from renovation work. Tired from the stresses of a demanding job and the headaches of negotiating to sell a house. Tired from a mind that whirs with thoughts of what now needs to be done to the new house before his family can move in.

I can tell he's tired. We snap and snarl at each other. And there it is. Again.

"All you do is scrapbook!"

I fall back into silence. Stung. Because he has completely forgotten.

He has completely forgotten all the long hours I've put in completing the renovations. He has completely forgotten how I've been shifting furniture while the baby sleeps. He has completely forgotten the hours and hours and hours of housework and tidying I've done in the last two weeks to keep our house pristine. He has completely forgotten that we've had a sick baby who wakes during the night, crying for his mummy. That we've had a sick baby who, when he's awake, just wants to curl up in his mummy's lap. He has completely forgotten that I've spent countless hours sitting in a childcare centre while our son gets used to the new home that will be his for two days a week. He has completely forgotten that last week I returned to my old job two days a week.

This, the regular old argument when we are both tired and stressed. The argument that I have a hobby. Because, a hobby is not permitted in our hectic lifestyle. This quaint, somewhat silly hobby does not fit in with our lifestyle. It does not make sense to him, when his goals are of striving for accomplishment. With his view that one should be busy and productive for sixteen hours a day, seven days a week.

And then I remember that he does all this, that he works so damn hard, and pushes himself so incredibly, for us. For Jamie and me. So that we can not go without. So that we can afford to send Jamie to a good school.

And so, with a sigh, I accept his accusation for what it was. Tiredness. Possibly envy, that I get to sit still and relax, doing something that brings me joy. And I tell myself that it doesn't matter if he doesn't appreciate what I do. I tell myself to let it go. I tell myself that in years to come, when he has forgotten what his son used to look like as a tiny baby, when he has forgotten the funny things his son did as a toddler, he will catch sight of my waste-of-time albums and he will remember. And he will appreciate.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Nineteen months

Dear Jamie

This month has past by in a whirl of cleaning house for open inspections, wiping snotty noses (both yours and mine!) and wakeful nights. You continue to develop in ways that amaze me. Every now and then you react to something in your surroundings with a flash of a smile and a laugh so adult that I see a flash of the wonderful 18 year old you will be one day.

You're making sense of your environment as you become more aware of it. You love to walk everywhere now. To touch everything. To wonder over the smallest details. You stack. You sort. You recognize shapes and colours, although you don’t yet know that they have names. Last week you were “sweeping” with the broom outside. I looked over from my task of hanging out the washing and saw you gather half a dozen or so pegs together in a pile, pick up the broom and proceed to sweep them onto the grass.

Every day that I spend with you seems more precious at the moment, because I’ve finally returned to work. I am having difficulty adjusting to working two days out of the home. I am having difficulty with the emotions of it – my emotions are raw as I leave you in childcare in the morning. You cry as I leave you, loud distressed howls, and my heart cries with you. I know that one day you’ll know that I really didn’t want to leave you there. That it hurt me so much more than I could ever have anticipated to leave you in the care of strangers. That my heart broke each time I had to turn my back on your distress and walk away, knowing that you would not be in my arms again for nine hours.

I am having difficulties with the logistics of being a working mum on those two days. Actually, it spills out onto the other days too, as I try to cram the stuff I do to make our lives run smoothly into the remaining five days of the week. Last Friday, I arrived home at 6pm, after picking up stuff from the supermarket, to find you not fed, not bathed and generally tired and grizzly. Daddy had picked you up from Grandma’s at 4pm but isn’t used to caring for you. So he had not thought to give you your tea or to give you a bath. Our evening routine usually starts at 4.30pm when I begin to prepare your tea and get ours started. You usually have tea at 5pm, bath by 6pm, snack at 7pm and in bed by 8pm. I don’t know how I’m meant to do it all on work nights, when I only get home at 6pm. And when Daddy expects his tea at 7pm too. We will have to work on that over the next month or so. Get some sort of routine happening. Because it was chaos!

You’ve continued growing teeth this month. I was surprised about that, because I thought you were finished with growing teeth. But, after a week of dribbling and grizzles, when you finally let me have a look in your mouth (you were crying so hard that your mouth was wide open and I could finally see what was happening in there!) I realized that your two top molars had not broken fully through. Those last couple of prongs of tooth gave you so much difficulty! So we dosed you up on teething gel and panadol.

No sooner were the teeth settling than you got a cold. And then you got a worse cold. And it turned into an infection in both of your ears and a nasty cough. It seems like you’ve been sick all month. And all you want is to sit in mummy’s lap and be hugged. I really, really wish that life was simpler so that I could just sit and hug you. I love sitting and hugging you. I hate to be so busy that I can’t pick you up when you hang onto me and bury your sobs in my leg. I hate it when you lift your arms up to me, tears running down your cheeks and I have my hands full and can’t lift you up. I would like life to slow down. I really would. My heart aches to just sit and cuddle you when you’re sick. To try and make you feel better again.

This month was also the month that we put our house on the market. Rabbit, soon we won’t be living here anymore. You’ll be in a new house. With a wonderful big living area to explore. With a yard with a cubby house and swings. Won’t that be the best? I must remember to take photos though, of your first home. Of your first nursery. To show you. Because you won’t remember it.

First of all though, before we can move, we must find someone who wants to buy this house we live in now. And so mummy and daddy have spent a lot of time (an awful lot of time!) this month cleaning the house and making it look beautiful, so people can have a look at it. The good news is that we seem to have a couple of people interested in buying it, so we will cross our fingers and toes and hope for the best. I really, really hope that we don’t have to clean up for any more open inspections.

As you can probably tell from the tone of my letter this month, mummy’s tired and feeling sick herself. It’s been a month of transitions and adjustments. We will keep plodding along though, and we’ll get there.

I find myself analyzing the way I deal with things, since you’ve come along. I’m aware of you watching me. I know that my actions and my reactions will shape how you deal with the world yourself. I want to be a good role model for you. I want you to be able to deal with life’s ups and downs, with her challenges as well as with her joys. So I model good behaviour. I keep an eye on the big picture. And then I keep on keeping on. I break it down into chunks. Daily chunks that I can manage. And I let those chunks take care of the big picture. That’s what I want you to know. And that it’s OK to get discouraged. As long as you get back up and keep plodding on.

And I wonder where we will be plodding along to in a month’s time. See, isn’t life exciting?

Love you |.............................thiiiiiis much!!!........................................|


That is the sound of me exhaling. Phil went to look at "the perfect opportunity" when it was open for inspection on Saturday morning (fortunately Jamie decided that he needed a morning nap, seeing as he's still sick and so I *just had* to stay home). He came home with the news that it was much more work that we were prepared to enter into at the moment. (Read here that the house was a knock down, lol.) So we are off the hook. Until next week's new properties appear in the newspaper.

Sigh. And I was hoping that we'd have a little rest once we moved....

I can see that it's not to be. We are already making the plans for what needs to be done to the new house, in order that we can improve it's value and buy the next one.

I just have to remember that this is all for our future. So that Jamie can go to a good school etc etc etc.

OK, so now for some happy kathie. LOL, I'm such a whinger at the moment. It comes from having been ill for over a week and having had a miserable baby for about a month - between teething, colds and ear infections. And not getting to sleep through the night for about roughly the same period.

So, what's making me happy today?

- a neck that is pain free! I just got back from the chiropractor!
- interested buyers for our house. We're still in negotiations. Cross your fingers!
- it's Monday, which means tonight is my scrapping night. Touch wood. I am itching to do some scrapping. It's been a bit lean on that front lately.
- that, as busy as I think I am, I still have time to do this :)

See you

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Whadya think?

My face is in shadow, but you get the general idea. I'm loving it so much better than the old scraggy ponytail :)

Now, anyone want to volunteer to be a couch sitter for a few days? I am in desperate need of a couch sitter. LOL, it's all Jamie will let me do at the moment. I have to just sit and cuddle him. He's so miserable with these ear infections. He cried and whinged pretty much all day today. How exhausting! It would be OK if the pace of my life allowed me to just sit around for the entire day. Or if Phil could actually look after him for a while to allow me to, oh, I dunno, maybe get the dishes done? How about having a shower even? But Phil was at work pretty much most of the day. And so it was just me. And my list of tasks. And a grumpy baby. Ah the joys of motherhood.

I am hoping that life is settling down again. However, a conversation with Phil last night alarmed me quite considerably. He has found "another house". Now, Ok, yes you're right. We have already bought our new house. We are in the process of selling the house we live in at the moment in order that we can move into our new house. See? We don't need another house at the moment. But apparently it would seem that a house that "would be the perfect opportunity" has come onto the market. For "after the next house". Groan. I am humouring him at the moment ;). And hoping that it's just a passing fancy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Child's Play

I was rapt to be invited to be Guest Designer for Designing Memories for Katja's July kit. Gorgeous, gorgeous kit. I can highly recommend Katja's eye for goodies. Here are my projects:

Child's Play

Love, love, love this layout. My favourite at the moment.

Those crochet flowers were wonderful!

May I have this Dance.

I've printed out a few of my wedding photos lately and have been creating an eclectic collection of pages with them. No co-ordinated wedding album for this little black duck ;)

Milestone box.

I had been wanting to collect all Jamie's milestones in the one place for a while now.

This little box and chipboard album was the perfect opportunity.

Smiling, sitting, eating, crawling, walking, all noted. Isn't it the perfect little baby size box?

Go check out the other projects at their website. Mardi, Sarah and Katja created some inspiring stuff.

First day back at work today, and it feels like I was never away. I was up at the crack of dawn in order to make the hour and a half round trip to take Jamie to his grandparents' for the day and then get to work by 9am. Yawn. I think it'll be an early night tonight.

And before I go, a huge congratulations to Nic for her cover this month. WTG Nic!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Our theme for the latest DT layouts at Scrapbook Station was "felt". I took my inspiration from this bag:

And created this layout.

"It's late April. Finally the rain has arrived. Jamie wakes early in the mornings now, startled by the noise of rain thundering on our iron roof. The walks that have become so much of our daily routine now must be squeezed in between showers. But that's all OK. The drought has broken! The entire country has been on water restrictions all Summer and dams and reservoirs are at an all time low. The coutryside really needs this soaking. Farmers the country over have been praying for this rain. And for me, it's the perfect excuse to pull out all my scarves and beanies and welcome in the Winter"

See the inspiration?

We all have colds. I called the doctor out for Jamie tonight. I tried to get him in to see a doctor today to no avail. Isn't the health system shocking?

Our usual medical clinic had a computer glitch and couldn't book us in for an appointment. All they could suggest was to "come and wait in the clinic and we'll try to fit you in as soon as we can".

The next clinic I rang wasn't taking new patients.

The next clinic was engaged and I couldn't get through.

The next one couldn't see Jamie until next Monday.

The final one couldn't offer us an appointment but we could "come in after 4pm and a doctor will see you sometime between 4 and 6pm".

What the?

In the end I called the after hours home doctor service. We waited in the comfort of our own home, watching Big Brother, lol. He bulk billed even. I don't think I'll bother with clinics anymore!!!!

Anyway, it turns out that Jamie has a bilateral ear infection (both ears), a throat infection and a chest infection. He can't go to childcare for the next two days. So there go my plans for work tomorrow. My poor boss. I think she'll run out of patience with me soon. Sigh.

And we have someone coming to have another look at the house tomorrow lunchtime, so it's not even like we can sit around the house all day feeling miserable.

Oh dear. I don't much like being a working mum, lol.

Take care. Talk soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Janine (from Rockingham)!
You've got a copy of Scrapbook Trends!
Can you email me your addy and I'll put it in the post tomorrow when go to the PO.

Was it you?

My layout for Sketches Oz this month. Melissa Goodsell did a wonderful sketch. As per usual, I ended changing it around a bit, as I had a portrait oriented photo.

When I saw this photo, it reminded me of a dream I had a few years ago, before I had conceived Jamie. (Do you think I dream in black and white, lol? I could not, for trying, add any more colour to this. It had to be black and white. Even the photo is dark. Weird!)

The dream was one so vivid that it had stayed with me. It was one of those dreams where I woke up with the emotions still very much with me. A very powerful dream. And I've always wondered... So, when I took this photo, I had to go scrabbling through my old journals to find what I'd written at the time and this is it:

"14 April 2002. I was miserable. Depressed. Couldn't sleep. And then, when I did fall asleep, I dreamt I had a baby. He came and spoke to me. He brought me such comfort. I woke, sobbing with relief. My baby, he existed! 5 years later, I often wonder if that was you. If it was your beautiful soul speaking to me when I most needed it."

Honestly, I can't describe the feeling of release and utter comfort I had after waking from this dream. All my despair had evaporated. And I felt such confidence that this was my baby's soul speaking to me. Such utter calm and confidence. And happiness. Totally freaky. In my dream he (yes, the baby was a boy) was called Benjamin. When we came to naming Jamie, I had Benjamin as one of my choices, but couldn't bring myself to name him that. Just because the dream had been so strong.

Well, Phil just rang to say we have another open at 1pm. At the moment we're doing them by appointment, as we have booked an agent who has registered buyers. I think this is the last of them. Then we go to auction if the house has not been sold. I'll be glad to stop having opens for just one or two parties. It's driving me nuts all this cleaning! I have spent 8 hours in the last five days, just cleaning house. That was my scrapping time! Needless to say, I'm way behind with my scrapping goals.

Well, enough complaining, I have two and a quarter hours to clean the house.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Layout share

I have two layouts in this month's Creating Keepsakes Aussie Reader Gallery.

Sitting Up Straight.
You sit out on the lawn, your back so straight. Ii watch you explore. You finger each blade of grass with delicate curiosity, pulling them and watching what happens. You chew on leaves and sit there, contemplating.

I love this photo of Jamie out on the back lawn. I played with it in Photoshop a bit to give it an acidic touch.

And this next one. The photo is from when Jamie was only six months old. Look at that little baby face :).

You and Me.
My sweet sweet companion. We've been together constantly for six months. you are the best company!

The tag under the photo details our routines etc. from when he was seven months.

I'm a bit obsessed with recording my life as a SAHM, seeing as I go back to work this week. I keep telling myself that it's only part time and I'll still be a SAHM for much of the week. But it seems different still.

We've all got colds atm. Jamie threw up tonight. But he's gone to bed OK. I'll have to keep an eye on him during the night, because he's running a fever. I guess that's what you get when you start childcare, but really, I didn't need any further complications in our hectic life at present.

Back with the winner of the RAK soon.

Our night out was great. 2am we came home. Woohoo! That's late for us these days. And Jamie was good for his grandparents. A successful night out!

Oh, and I have a photo of my haircut to share too.

See you

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The stuff of my life

... at least for the last eighteen months. Just some pictures that are making me happy.

Here's what our bathroom used to look like:

And here's what we made it into (I use the royal "we", Phil did all of this. Clever man, my hubbie!):

Here's what our entrance way used to look like:

Oooh, so eighties ;). And now:

I hate to think about how much of my time went into painting this house. It was an awesome job! The problem with beautiful old houses is that the walls are so tall due to the high ceilings. Then you throw in picture rails and mouldings and it takes some time to paint all that! But it looks absolutely awesome now, and we've taken a dark old house and made it light and airy.

And some little details. Lots of texture:

Earthy warmth:


Love it!

OK, I know I have a RAK to announce. I also have some recently published LOs to share. I promise, I promise. Next week.

Thanks for the birthday wishes. My little boy gave me a wonderful birthday present - he slept all night (hasn't happened all week!) and then actually "played" at childcare in the morning (instead of just wailing!). He was quite calm when I arrived to pick him up. Of course, the crying started again as soon as he saw me. But he happily waved goodbye to everyone as we left and was chirpy (even hyper!) all afternoon. So happy about that.

Well, he's at his grandparents' today and tonight. Phil and I are off to a 40th birthday bash at a poshy hotel, and don't plan on an early night :D. My first night out for ages! And Jamie's first night staying at Grandma and Grandad's. I just hope he sleeps through the night.

Back soon.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sometimes you don't need a reason

As promised, here's my completed layout from the retreat the other weekend. It's quite simple - we only had an hour in the class so I kept the design simple to allow us to focus on the journaling and the handwriting.

Girls who were there will see that I've changed the LO up a bit - it just seemed to want it when I added in the journaling. Does that ever happen to you? That the "feel" of the LO is influenced by the story you're telling?


They called me Annie-Sola-Pergola. I'd just graduated Uni and started my first job in a research lab at Flinders. The only female researcher in a lab of guys. They treated me like their kid sister. It was the new haircut that started it. That big 80s fringe. "Annie Lennox!" said Tim. "Solar pergola on your forehead" said someone else. And so it started.

Bless you all for your beautiful comments on the childcare. Mwah. I have no words to express how comforting your posts were (are) to me. To know that you've gone through it and understand. Men don't understand, do they? Phil just says "he'll get over it". Which, of course I know he will. But that's not the point. At the moment I feel terrible and just want someone's shoulder to weep on.

Yesterday was our fifth orientation visit. Jamie cried for the entire hour and a half, then exhausted himself and fell asleep on the way home and slept for 3.5 hours in the afternoon (unheard of!). Tomorrow we go again. This will be his first "session". He's meant to be there for eight hours, but I'm only going to leave him there for the morning, I think. Seeing as I don't go back to work until next week.

In the meantime he has developed separation anxiety and finds it difficult to let anyone out of his sight. He had to sleep on top of me last night. I think I got about 2 hours, all up.

And as if life wasn't busy enough? We have people coming to look at the house tomorrow afternoon and Friday morning. So, between drop offs and pick ups at childcare (he's only doing half days this week), I will be cleaning and tidying. So much to do still.

Wish me luck for the next few days. It never is dull in my life. As much as I am longing for dullness and stability at the moment, lol. At least I got the chance to spoil myself and got a long overdue haircut this morning (I hadn't had it cut since last November, squeak!). Short and blonde. :D A big change. I like it!

And on that happy note, I'll leave you.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sob, sob, howl.... and that was just me!

Been totally busy. Expecting to be busier in the next few weeks too. Life it is a' changing.

From my diary last Thursday:

"My heart broke into a million pieces this afternoon. It was the first time that you stayed at childcare without me. The plan was for me to leave for an hour and see how you would go. I was prepared for you to cry. I was dreading it, because I knew you would cry. But, in all honesty, I thought you’d cry for ten minutes and then recover and find something to distract yourself. What I didn’t plan on was you crying for the entire hour I was gone.

After the first ten minutes of listening to you howl (and I do mean howl), the director of the childcare center suggested I go for a walk for the remaining 45 minutes. Which I did, because the other option was to join you and howl too.

But I thought about you for each of those long 45 minutes. I wondered how you were going. I hoped that you weren’t terribly, terribly unhappy. I hoped that you weren’t wondering where I was and why I wasn’t coming to you when you were crying. I hoped that you would have stopped crying by the time I got back.

You hadn’t though. I could hear you as soon as I walked back into the building. When I entered the room you were sitting in the lap of the childcare worker, clutching two pieces of jumbo chalk tightly in your fists, heaving gigantic sobs, still totally miserable, with red eyes and tear-streaked cheeks.

And I really had to control myself not to grab you into my arms and run from the room and never going back."

Aaargh! I hate it. I know that I'll probably look back and laugh at what a sook I was. But, for now, this is haaaard! Next week we have to do it again on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I am going to be a mess.