Sunday, August 31, 2008

33 months

I haven't put a Jamie update on my blog lately. You may have noticed. But the other day I was reading through Nic's update on Isaac and I was amazed (I don't know why) at how alike he and Jamie are. So, I'm motivated to share this month's letter to Jamie with you.

Dear Rabbit,

This month you have developed so much socially. You have made friends with two boys at childcare. It has really changed the way you react to Thhursdays and Fridays. You now look forward to going to childcare and playing with your mates. You don’t cry when I drop you off anymore (although you still look sad). And when we ask you who your friends are you cry “Dactil and Boah!!!!”. Aka Axel and Noah.

The other day when I picked you up from childcare, your carer told me that you’d been playing chasey with Noah and having a wonderful time. Then, last week she old me that you and Noah had been inseparable at childcare, doing all the same things together. I think it’s just great that you have two friends. Friends are a wonderful thing to have in life.

You are all about routines and rhythms at the moment. Your bedtime milk must be in just the right spot on the bathroom counter while you’re cleaning your teeth at night-time. Daddy isn’t allowed to sit in the chair in the corner of your bedrrom because it’s “mummy’s chair”. It’s the chair that you and I sit in and sing nursery songs just before I put you into bed at night. And there's a million other little things that I can't think of at the moment. Things that must be "just so".

You are great at tidying up. Although I suspect that is a product of childcare, rather than a natural part of your character. You pack your cup into your bowl after breakfast and bring them both over to the kitchen counter before seeking out your facewasher and washing your hands and face. I don’t even need to ask.

You amuse me with your attitude to dirt. You are a bundle of contradictions. I think it’s to do with your age, but it’s amusing nonetheless. You freak out if there are toast crumbs on the rockmelon pieces at breakfast. You whine to me if you get a bit of dirt on your hands. And yet you love to dig in the garden and move bark chips from one spot to the other. You don’t mind at all getting filthy dirty out in the garden.

Since going up to the kindy room at childcare your language has exploded. In fact there was one week this month where you seemed to be growing up and developing in front of our eyes. Every time we looked at you, you were doing something clever and new.

Your language is reflective of you being a little boy:
“bobot” = robot
“bobbles” = Wiggles
“deesplane” = aeroplane
“dayn” = train
“toto” = Thomas the Tank Engine
“bee-bee” = finished
“boolk” = milk
“bweebwee” = strawberry
“bock-ben” = rockmelon

You cry “Gook Mummy! Gook!” a million times a day. The other thing we hear a lot of is “Don’t Do Dat!”. It is said with a very determined tone and comes complete with a little stop-sign action. We get that a lot, Daddy and I. Jak cops a lot of “Jak, Don’t Do Dat!” too. Poor Jak.

You can sing entire songs now. Baa Baa Black Sheep is your favourite. I must make a video of you singing. You also can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Row Row Row Your Boat. You know the hand movements to half a dozen others and join in enthusiastically.

We got out your puzzles this month. The big 20 piece puzzles. You stunned mummy and daddy by putting them together almost by yourself. You have an amazing memory. In a short space of time you had remembered exactly where each puzzle piece went. I can’t remember them like you do!

You love building with Duplo. I had never seen the purpose of blocks before. But now I watch you playing with your duplo sets and I can see their purpose. You adore creating everyday scenes with your little farm scene, or the house set. Ah, imagination.

You still love playing outside. You’ll happily wander around the back yard with your wheelbarrow full of some treasures or another (usually bark chips). I asked you what you were digging up with your spade the other day and you answered “Treasure!”. Simple. Wow. Where do you get these things?

You are a pretty happy, easy going little boy. We hardly have any temper tantrums. That’s not to say that we don’t have any, or that you don’t have your own mind, because you certainly do. But generally you’re fairly easy to reason with, or if worst comes to worst, to distract. As I said, you’re a happy boy.

You are quite a cuddle bunny still. You love cuddles when you’re tired or just waking up. And, this month, if I ask you how much I love you, you hold your arms out wide and say “Dis Much!”.

Ah, yes indeed. That much. And much much more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rose Moka

I have been playing with the new Rose Moka papers for Shop and Crop this week. How beautiful is this range? Love Love Love the colours. They just really speak to me. Plus, they're slightly ddistressed which is perfect for getting that beautiful vintage feel.

Little Gardener

In line with my S&C newsletter article last week about using up your stash and teaming old things with the new... I got out my pizza box full of bits and bobs that I've cut out for other projects and then decided not to use. Found lots of little additions for this page. Wonderful!

The bird is from Tia Bennett's Little Grove digital kit - I've printed it on white cardstock, painted it, then added dimensional magic to make it 3D and glossy. It looks sort of epoxy. Love it! Might have to make a few more of those.

The photos are of Jamie in the garden. He can potter around out there with his wheelbarrow, watering can and spade for hours.

Aim High

Photo of Jamie the first time he climbed the ladder to get to the big slippery dip (as distinct for the little toddler slippery dip that he'd always used previously). Daddy is standing right behind him though!

These layouts would have to be my favourite of any I've done for a while. Gleeful grin.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's happening at our place today

Straight out of the camera, no sharpening, no fixing or else they'd never get up here ;).

Just a few pics of what's happening at our place today. Coffee at McDonald's playcafe this morning, then home to do a few outside chores. Jamie's in bed now, I'm quickly updating here before racing out to do some food shopping.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jennifer Bowlin creations

I have a couple of items in the weekend inspiration article on Aussie Scrap Source today. Both of them using the gorgeous Jennifer Bowlin papers. I love them! I swear I could easily scrap on just a wad of Jennifer Bowlin Vintage Drawing Paper, if I could never buy another single product again. Love love love.

Go check out the other inspiration here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I am...

The Shop and Crop design team were challenged to scrap pages around the theme "I am" this week. I chose the beautiful Scenic Route Sonoma papers. Gorgeous!

I am...

Stream of consciousness journaling as I was looking at the photo that I took a couple of weeks ago:

"..thinking that I'd like Spring to start about now, thank you very much... loving my new super warm jacket... discovering home-made chowder on cold winter days - yum!... enjoying sunshine when it appears... thinking that life's pretty cruisy right now... it's 17.08.08"

I've cut the flowers out of a couple of the patterned papers and used another of the papers to create my abstract little vase thingies. I'm liking those atm. The flowers are scrunched up off the page, which doesn't really show in the photo here.

I am at my desk

The journaling for this is taken from my blog post on 29 May:

"1. Finalise briefing paper for Senate Estimates Committee
2. draft response to complaint received by Premier
3. update colleagues on development at this week's Workplace Relations Ministers' Council
4. research national issues in occupational health and safety during this week
5. investigate correspondence sent to an agency by WorkCover and assist with resolution"

I took these photos with my mobile phone camera while at work one day. They're not the best, but they record my working environment two days a week. The Sonoma range gave me the perfect background for a page about my work. It is classic enough to work on a work page, and shabby enough that I can rough it up and make it my own.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Daddy's tool box

The other day, Jamie asked us to fix his Thomas Tank Engine train track. The batteries had run flat and the traffic signals no longer flashed. Phil got out his tool box to get the screwdriver so that he could replace the batteries. Jamie climbed up to view the operation. Watched as the toolbox was opened, the screwdriver retrieved, the screw removed, the lid taken off, the batteries taken out and replaced.

Jamie remembered. He has a good memory, this lad.

Tonight, he wanted the lights on his big red fire engine to flash. They don’t flash. They are just blue plastic. We tried to tell him that they didn’t flash. That they weren’t made that way. He walked off, with purpose.

"Where are you going?" we asked.

"To get Daddy’s toolbox and fix it" he said.

Yes, Daddy’s toolbox can fix all sorts.
It can make plastic flash.
Daddy’s magic toolbox.

Friday, August 15, 2008

On a roll...

Wow. I'm on a roll. My Wash Day layout in the post before got layout of the day at sistv. Two LOTD in a week! Whew.

I'm off to a crop tonight with some of the girls from Scrapboxx. What fun!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wash Day

This month our members at Shop and Crop set a challenge. Scrap 6x12 size incorporating one other craft.

I was inspired by a blog hens teeth where she does amazing embroidery onto airmail envelopes. It's just fantastic.

Here's what I did. Using embroidery:
I determined that I would use no scrapbooking products on this at all! All fabric and a bit of a dressmaking pattern ruched along the bottom edge.

Oh, no, I lie. I used some Making Memories scrapbooking dye to dye some muslin green to make the "grass".

In Winter I have a great deal of trouble getting the washing dry. I heard on the news last night that Adelaide has had 14 days straight of rain. Wash day turns into wash week, which turns into wash fortnight, which threatens to turn into wash month, as I juggle line, indoor clothes horses (yes, horses) and wet or semi dry (or wet again if it rains) washing, lol. It's been on my mind...

I can't wait to see what the others are going to do! Join in if you are able :)


Sunday, August 10, 2008

These just made me smile

I just came across these old layouts and they made me smile, so I want to share them with you.

This first one is my first ever published layout, back at the end of 2004.

And this one is the seventh layout I had published, in early 2005.

They're both uhr-alt but they still make me smile. Something about that 7gypsies paper that I used in both of them. I loved it. And used every skerrick of it. Something that I still have a tendency to do if I love a patterned paper :). Something about those smiling faces. The memories. I dunno....

Isn't it great when your old work still "speaks" to you?

Oh, and something else that's making me smile today... I just discovered that my "2 years with you" layout I posted below has made "layout of the day" over at SIStv.


Have a great week.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Published layouts share

I have a couple of layouts that have been published recently. The first one was in Scrapbooking Memories Vol 10 No 3 a couple of months ago.

Journaling: Since my scraproom became Jamie's bedroom, I have been scrapping on the dining table.I keep my tools and day-to-day materials in my scrap-tote and bring it out at night once Jamie's in bed. All my other stuff is stored in a cupboard in the next room. Man, I wear a groove in the floorboards going between those two rooms!

And this next one, I just discovered in Scrapbook Creations at the newsagent today. I didn't think it was due to be published until the next issue, but maybe they've shuffled some galleries around.

Journaling: wow! there's no journaling, lol. This is a rarity...Just a collection of my favourite photos from Jamie's birth until he turned two.

Two posts from me today. Well, it's way past the time that I should have been in bed, so I'd better go try to get some sleep.

Have a great weekend.

July Photo-story

Dancing to the radio in the kitchen, complete with improvised musical instrument

Collecting flowers in the back garden and rolling around on the grass with Jak

Playing in the rain - a favourite thing to do if you're wearing your Thomas the Tank Engine raincoat and Bob the Builder beanie ;)

Making playdough turtles.

I can't believe how this little guy keeps developing. He's now doing 20 piece jigsaw puzzles with amazing ease. His words increase every day, although are quite hard to understand (especially the new ones that I haven't heard before): for instance, Bobble is Bob the Builder; but Bobbles is the Wiggles. I need an interpreter!

I really am lucky to be a mum. I know. And as much as I was upset this week, I never ever forget to count my blessings for this miraculous, perfect, adorable little guy. My goodness, I am so lucky to have this little person in my life!!!

(And, yes, I realise that the advertisers and merchandisers must love us! In every single photograph Jamie is wearing either Bob the Builder or Thomas clothing, lol! Ah, the power of advertising and the persuasiveness of little people. Gotta love it.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Inspired by Music

This week at Shop and Crop the DT has been inspired by music. It could be the artwork on a CD cover, or the lyrics of a song.

This theme is always fun and there are some great layouts in the gallery. Here are my two:

Row Row Row Your Boat
Journaling: "row row...sea...argh!!" you sang, merrily rowing your imaginary boat. You make me smile :)

LOL. I took these photos a few weeks back and had been saving them for this week's theme. One night as I finished hanging our washing over the clothes-horse (yes, our house resembles a chinese laundry in Winter), Jamie jumped into the empty washing basket and proceeded to sing his version of Row Row Row Your Boat. Complete with hand movements. It was the first time I'd seen him do that. I guess this is one of those milestone type pages that most people's albums contain.

Of course, getting those photos took a bit of work. The subject was quite happy to do a repeat performance "for the camera", but kept climbing out of the basket to look at the camera display before I got a chance to get off a shot! After much singing we got the sequence you see here. So much for candid hey?

I've paper pieced a little boat in the bottom RH corner for something different. And it helps to introduce a bit of orange into that bottom corner and balance up the design.

Journaling: In the middle of Winter, a blue sky causes me to stop, notice, and to be grateful for the unexpected, for the little things that brighten my day.

This was inspired by Massive Attack's "Protection" CD cover:

Can you tell? - corrugated cardboard photo mat; black frame around photo; masking tape effect.

The journaling block has lyrics from Jason Mraz:
"Well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you're free
look into your heart and you will find that the sky is yours "

Yeah, I was having a bad week... it was a good thing for me to stop and reflect, and to "open up my plans". Thank you Mr Mraz!

Loved the Hello Sunshine pps for this layout! They were perfectly suited to my new purple jacket.

You might be interested in what I did with the photo too. A bit of manipulation went into that shot. Here's the original:

I knew that I wanted a bit of a darker, edgier look. At first I tried some cross processing and got this:

I really really wanted the black borders they used in the link above, but couldn't put my hands on them straight away and ran out of time. Anyone know where I can find them online? I know I've seen them somewhere but can't remember.

Anyway, after all that work, the colours in the cross processed photo weren't right for the papers I was working with, so I tried another technique - one for getting photos to look like Lomo photography and it was perfect:

Still wanted those black borders though...

Thanks for the emails about the last post. I'm OK. I bounce back :). But I'm just like anyone. I have my down moments. Normally I don't post about them. But I have to keep it real and that was real. I never understood before, about miscarriage and the emotions that accompany it. It's harder than I expected. I hope I help someone else by sharing it. And you all helped me. More than you probably realise. So thanks.

Have a wonderful Thursday and Friday. I'm off to work for the next two days. So I'll talk to you soon.

Monday, August 04, 2008

It's too quiet

I have been missing in action a bit lately. I just haven't felt like saying much. Today I would have given birth to another baby. Another member of our family. A brother or sister for Jamie. My nights would have been sleepless again, lol. My days would have been busy with feeding and rocking, all with a toddler in tow.

I found myself wondering today what my life would have been like if I hadn't miscarried this little baby. The house is so quiet. It's just Jamie and I here today.

He's great company at the moment . And I find myself wondering if maybe it's for the best. Because I have so much time to give him. Because he and I are such great friends and I can't imagine being preoccupied with a baby.

Nevertheless I feel sad. I always thought that by the time today came I would be pregnant again and it wouldn't be so hard. But I'm not. And it is. Hard. Grieving a miscarriage just seems to get harder as the months go by without another pregnancy.

So if I'm a bit quiet, that's why. I'm here. Just not feeling like talking.

And if you have a friend who miscarried recently, give her a big hug. And if you have a friend who miscarried last year, don't think that she's forgotten about it and moved on. Give her a hug. Even if it's been a while.

And, whatever you do, when she draws a breath and says "Guess what?", please don't jump in with "you're pregnant!", because, seriously, there's a million and one ways to finish that question and it gets really hard to keep saying "no, I'm not".

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Colour combination challenge

It was my turn to set the colour combo challenge on the Shop and Crop newsletter this month. Here's my layout:

Orange and pink.

I used a mix of Pink Paislee paper and Little Yellow Bicycle. The colours also worked perfectly with some left over MM Noteworthy glitter frames I had in my stash. Love it when I can mix and match and use up more of my stash ;)

Whatdyareckon? Want to give it a try? Load it up at Shop and Crop for a chance to win a $10 gift voucher.