Saturday, October 27, 2007


We just went up and joined the toy library up at the top of our street. Another sign that we're gradually integrating into our new suburb and finding out all the good things to do.

I can see that I'm going to like Saturday mornings. Jamie's happily playing, spreading his time between the slippery dip on the back lawn, the Bob the Builder toys on the mat in front of the TV and the toy 'fridge complete with (ba)"nana" (a new word for today), various other fruits and bowl and spoon.

Aaaah, bliss!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Slowly, slowly, slowly...

We have never in the past exceeded our internet download quota on our internet connection package. Never even got close. Except last month. I thought it was a glitch. But it's happened again this month. Tonight I am back to dial-up speed. Aargh!

The only thing that I've done differently?

I joined Facebook!!!!!

That little program sucks the very life out of your computer. And it sucks the time out of your day.

I think I need to stay away. Throw now more pigs. Send no more fish for anyone's aquarium.

And so, if you see me there? Please poke me and tell me to GET OFF!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Family times

Sigh. The week with my sister and her family went way too fast.

It was so great to see these two again. Yeah, I'm up the top in case you're wondering.

This is what I enjoyed the entire week. Babysitters! The boys were wonderful with Jamie. And he absolutely adores his big cousins.

Here we all are. I'm the one on the left down near Jamie. My sister's the other one ;)

Jamie with the treat Sonia and John bought him.

Look at that face!

With mum and dad

At the airport saying goodbye. Sob!

That's all for today.
I have some "before" photos - why you should never live in a house before it's renovated type stuff. For next time.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Two new layouts

I entered a challenge to scrap 20 layouts using my stash. Here's nos. 3 and 4 -

Letting Go
Journaling: Your first slide down the slippery-dip without my help. You took a big breath, let go and down you went. All by yourself. And of course then you had to do it again and again and again smile.gif... And I couldn't help think that it was as much about me letting go as it was about you!

I'm still thinking about running a black marker outline around each of the photos. Or will it ruin it? Indecision. Indecision.

Making Conversation
You have been slow to talk, but in the last month you've started to get the hang of it. This is what you're saying at 23 months: "Me"; "Detty" = dirty; "Woo woo" = woof woof; "mama"; "Bobber!!" = Bob the Builder and any associated paraphenalia; "Dedda" = daddy; "Mi'" = milk; "Bump" (whenever we go over a bump in the car/pram); "Ledda" = ladder.

I love this photo of my Dad and Jamie. This is how Jamie "talks" when he's explaining stuff. I captured it perfectly. Love it when that happens.

The layout's based on Viv Bonders' sketch on SketchesOz blog. I don't think I've ever used such a big photo on a layout. And I quite like how it's turned out. It's good to challenge yourself to do something different every once in a while :)

Thanks for your comments about my post yesterday. I'm totally over it. But those thoughts had been swimming around in my head and I needed to get them out. Did it sound melodramatic? Maybe. Sorry. Even I have my moments.

I have news. I am on the DT for Designing Memories! Katja puts together the best kits - I was a guest designer for her recently - so I am really looking forward to this. And I've never worked with kits before. Should be good!

Hope your weekend has been great so far.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dear Blogger, it's been a week since my last post...

I'm sorry! It's been a very quick week. Or at least it feels it. It has flown by. And I honestly do not know what I've done, lol. I know I have been run down. And sick. And I was so tired. A couple of nights of decent sleep have revived me though.

But the tiredness, the sickness, the general "not feeling to good with the world" has had me thinking. About life in general. Where I'm heading. What I'm doing. What I want. Etc. Etc.

One of the things that I found myself contemplating was this blog. I was disturbed to see the re-establishment of the aussie smack blog. I know I should not have gone and read it. I'm annoyed at myself. But I did. And it forced me to question a few things. Some of the comments are just plain mean. And generalising.

* Published scrappers keep blogs just to stoke their egos, apparently. "Do I?" I wondered?

* People don't like "seeing the same old faces over and over again in the magazines". "Are people tired of my work?" I asked.

* Someone complained about the scrappers who appear multiple times in the CK Aussie Reader Gallery. I am about to. In fact the other day I had six LOs accepted for the Gallery. "Will people complain?" I questioned.

I also read about a website where creeps are taking childrens' photos off the internet and using them to create bogus "profiles" used, apparently, by peodophiles. "Am I putting Jamie at risk by having his photos and information up on the internet?" I asked myself.

Yes, I've been thinking too much maybe. That's what I do. I'm a thinker. A worrier.

I've been worrying. And not blogging.

And before you go and misinterpret me, no, I don't think that any of the comments on the smack blog were directed at me. I don't have that sort of profile. I'm just one of many scrappers who are published regularly but who don't appear on most people's radar. I'm not a drama queen. I'm not an attention seeker. I'm relatively unknown. What reputation I have is based on my work. And that's how I like it, to be honest.

But nevertheless, I have been re-evaluating.

What purpose does this blog serve? Is it still relevant? It used to inform friends and family about Jamie, just after he was born, when I was in that sleep deprived early adjustment period and couldn't get out or to a telephone. I'm not in that situtation now. If I care to, I can easily pick up the 'phone and give a friend an update.

What has developed, though, is a dialogue by which I connect with you. A two-way dialogue. Without this blog I would miss each and every one of you who visit and comment. I look forward to your comments. I keep up with what you and your families are up to by this cyber-medium. I would miss that.

I could password protect my blog. But, you see, I get more people visiting here than commenting. I get over a thousand visits every month. I have no idea who the majority of the people passing through are. I'm sure that most of you wouldn't email me to get a password. And, you know what? I don't want you to have to. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you pop past every now and then. I don't want to put up barriers.

Every now and then someone new pops their head up to say hello and I'm so happy to see you! Yes, I'm not ready to give up my cyber-buddies just because I've gotten offended at a few people's hatefulness.

So, I came to the decision that if people are passing through who are going to feel negative about what I write, then so be it. The benefits outweigh the negatives.

However, what you will see over the next few months though, is less detail about Jamie. After all, he is no longer a baby. He will be 2 in less than a month. Eeek, yes, two!! When did that happen? So I will give him a bit more privacy.

Also, you'll notice that photos will now be watermarked to prevent their misuse. Please don't misinterpret. I do not consider myself a "photographer" by any stretch of the imagination, lol. But I don't want the risk of perverts picking up my photos and plonking them down somewhere in cyberspace where they shouldn't be.

Well, there. I've gotten it off my chest. If you're still with me, well done :)

Until next time.
Have a great weekend. Apparently we have 35 degrees forecast for Sunday down here. Woohoo! I hope the airconditioner in the new house works, lol.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

And another page...

I got my contributor's copy of For Keeps last night and discovered that I have this layout in there:

What a photo, hey! I used a photo corner from the Kazoo Kids chipboard goodies to make the little party hat :). On days like today I'd give anything to be three again and not having anything to worry about. Not even that your tights had fallen down to your knees, lol.

Thanks for your comments about Jamie being ill. I spoke to the childcare centre and they can really only say that all children are different when it comes to how they'll cope with the bugs at first. Sigh. I do hope though, that things ease off soon. We're all so terribly run down. Phil's home sick today too.

Hope you're all having a good day

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More layouts to share

I have three layouts in Scrapbook Creations Issue 46. Here they are:

Journaling: "Grandma and Grandad spoil you with a babycinno every time you go for coffee with them. At first you would savour the feel of the bubbles on your tongue. Now you recognise the cup and squeal excitedly when it's brought to the table."

Look at those photos. I'm glad I captured them, because fast forward 10 months and he doesn't appreciate babycinnos like he used to, lol.

The Dress
Journaling: And she said to me “I can remember what I was wearing on the day you were born. It was my favourite green summer shift and cardigan. The same dress I’m wearing here.” What a memory!

I wanted the layout to capture the colour of the dress, so I converted the old b&w photo to a sketch and coloured it with watercolour pencils. The little original photo is down the bottom, as an embellishment.

Journaling: "I'm so tired. Too many nights of broken sleep tending to a new baby. Too many early morning feeds. I know I should get to bed earlier but I've never been good at that. There's always just that one last thing that I find to do. And besides, there's that 11pm feed to do. I'm clumsy. I'm forgetful. I'm lethargic. I snap at tiny little things. I vague out in the middle of doing something. I don't remember things Phil's told me. Aaah, bring me more coffee."

The photo's printed on a transparency and stuck over the top of patterned paper that I've journaled on. Lots of transparent elements on this one, building up that gorgeous layered look.

OK, I'm off to bed. Jamie has gastro again, so I'm just waiting up until I can give him another dose of Neurofen to bring down his temp. I think he'll be sleeping with us tonight. In case he throws up again.

Seriously, for those of you with kids in childcare. Is this normal? For him to be sick every single week for four months? Every SINGLE week? Or should I be thinking of putting him another centre? (Not that it's really an option when there's an 18 month waiting list.) But I'm really interested to know what those of you with more experience think. Is this normal?

See you

Monday, October 08, 2007

For those of you who like competitions!

Crop for Kids is running a Design-a-Chippie competition.

For a $5 entry fee, you get to submit up to three designs for a chipboard embellishment.

The winning design will be produced by Scrapware and sold exclusively through Crop for Kids!!! Plus, the winner also gets $50 worth of Scrapware products, and a $50 gift certificate to The Scrapbook Establishment.

Entries close on 15th October. All the entry fees, and then all the money from the sale of the embellishments will go to the Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

The Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital has a big impact on advances in medical treatments as the following excerpt from their website shows:

* RCH clinicians and scientists first discovered that rotavirus is the cause of gastroenteritis.
* RCH is the Australian National Centre for cardiac transplantation.
* RCH is the leading centre for bone marrow and cord blood transplantation.
* Australia's first gait laboratory for children is located at RCH.
* World-wide changes in measles immunisation in children were initiated at RCH.
* RCH leads Australian studies into childhood allergy.
* World experts in paediatric anaesthetics work at RCH.
* RCH provides Australia's most comprehensive care program for neonates.
* RCH is internationally recognised for work on ethical and legal aspects of newborn care, especially the use of high technology.
* RCH developed a video EEG monitoring system, which is now used internationally and has been integrated with the best epilepsy surgical program in Australia.
* RCH is conducting a landmark longitudinal study of childhood asthma into adulthood

You know my commitment to medical research. This is a great, fun way to show your support!

Check out the Crop for Kids blog for more info on this great initiative.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

These are the moments

Here's the page I have in Creating Keepsakes Aussie Reader Gallery this month:

These are the Moments
Journaling: The smell of jasmine wafts over the neighbour's fence, alerting me to the fact that Spring has arrived. The days have grown warmer. I can take my laptop and coffee outside on the back verandah after the morning chores are done. Jamie sits beside me watching the birds darting among the new leaves on the apricot tree. This is my happy place.

See you!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

How do I scrapbook?

This fortnight's portal has gone up at Scrapbook Station. Our theme was to scrap how we scrapbook. Here's my page:

1. The Start. This can be anything - theme or a sketch for a design team, projects to design for a kit club, or "just because" pages. This time I had a brief to showcase some product.
2. The Design. Oh, where to start, where to start. This is the part that usually challenges me the most. Most often I start with a story. A story gives me passion for the process. Then I hunt through my photos to find something that'll help me tell my tale.
3. Get out the stash. I always go back to my stash. I use things because I love them - even if they're "old". My fallbacks? Strips of patterned paper and ribbons, scallops, distressing, buttons, brads, BG letter stickers, stitching, frames and handcut elements.
4. Experiment. This is usually the bit that takes the longest and my page often looks nothing like how it ends up. Eg - the title here and the vehicles around the edge of the photo. Plus it needs a frame!
5. The Detail. I don't stick things down until I'm happy with my page. Once I'm OK with the overall design, I add my journaling and the little finishing touches: some pine-tree buttons, cute little brads, a ribbon strip and machine stitching.
6. Done!

The background paper is SEI and was part of the box of stuff I got when I was published in Scrapbook Trends (USA) in May. I wouldn't normally have chosen it, but I love how it all fit together for this page. And that Jenni Bowlin blank paper is one of my favourites, but unfortunately I've used all of the pieces I bought. I wish I had've bought, like, another 100 sheets. Seriously. I would use it all.

Back soon with more shares.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dear Zoo

I had forgotten to update you on our recent trip to the zoo. The book "Dear Zoo" is Jamie's favourite. He loves the little zoo animals in their lift-the-flap containers. So it came as no surprise that he ADORED his first zoo trip. In fact, he loved it so much that I decided to take him again yesterday.

My sister and her family decided to take a day trip to Monarto Zoo, about an hour from Adelaide. It's a free-range zoo and I thought it would be ideal for Jamie. We took a safari bus trip around the zoo and he was wide-eyed the entire day. Zebras, camels, giraffes, rhinoceroses, cheetas, kangaroos etc etc. There was too much happening for him to sleep. He crashed on the way home in the car.

So cute.

It's a busy week this week. We've all had gastro over the long weekend. Thankfully we got better just in time to catch up with Tatum on Tuesday morning. Jamie had a great time playing with Charlotte, Lillian and Sebastian at the local playcafe. It was so great to meet another scrapbooker who, until then, I'd only ever chatted to online. The morning flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head home and get ready for my sister and her family to arrive for lunch.

Jamie's cousins love him! They follow him around and try to pick him up, they play ball with him.. basically they occupy him, which is just wonderful in my books, lol!

I'm at work for the next couple of days and then get to spend another couple of days with them before they fly back to Perth on the weekend. Sob!

Hope everyone's having a great week.