Wednesday, June 30, 2010

With clever angles and careful editing

I've taken up Nicoles challenge from last Friday. I wandered around my incredibly dusty and untidiy house (school holidays not helping rectify the situation!) with my new 50mm lens attached to my camera, and took some snaps.  Little bits of my reality, on this day.

I pruned some long braches off a gum tree in the garden and found these amongst the offcuts. Too good to leave them there, they came inside. Love flowers in a vase...I know they won't last long. But still, they make me happy.
who would believe that gold fish were so dirty.  Incredibly grubby tank, and my finger getting the attention of the fish who wanted to hide in the corner.  The tank lives either on the kitchen bench corner or the dining table.

These grassy stalky things are in a big pot on near the doorway to our bedroom. Trevor hates them as he has to brush past them  (they hang into the doorway) when he goes to bed. I love their colours and their shape, and really should put them in a different spot. Also an old photo (from over 8 years ago of Trevor and his family).

pillows on my bed.

the new alarm clock the kids and I got Trevor for his birthday. It has huge green numbers and lights up the room crazily.  I certainly can read it with my short sighted night vision ;-) but then again, we can nearly read the newspaper by it, its that bright!   and just to keep it real:  dusty, marked bed side table.
new pretties put away neatly in a new jewellry organiser.  I can see where everything is now!
the floor of the boys room.  this is rather tidy actually.
new recipe binder, in which a4 page protectors do not fit. grr.
we live in an old house.  the bathroom has two doors. This is one, the one that opens from the back landing and steps. kids swimming bags.  I like the weathered colour of the door.
on the outdoor setting table downstairs on the cement. trying to keep the kids occupied.
my heavy duty work horse. :-)

our home.

Hopefully I can put these photos into a digi/hybrid page tomorrow, with a few words.  It would be good to do this perhaps on a yearly basis, capturing the little details that catch your eye at that moment, of your home and reality.  Hope you have enjoyed these tiny slices of my world.  You might have noticed that the floor was not included in any of the shots, for good reason. :-) the floor, and any other flat dust collecting surface!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Food for thought

I read the paragraphs below at another blog today. I've included the whole of it.
Many scrapbookers knew Aleida Franklin. She was a wonderful wife and mother and a brilliant artist. I didn’t know Aleida personally, but she taught me something I will never forget.

She emailed me last year to tell me she loved my blog and to ask if I liked my short hair-cut. This lead to a series of emails which eventually led me to remark that I really loved how often she posted pictures of herself with her children on her blog. And she replied to me, “Have you ever seen a photograph of your own mother and thought to yourself how fat she looked? Or how she wasn’t wearing make-up? Or wasn’t dressed in a glamorous outfit?” Of course my answer was no.

She then responded with saying that she made it a goal to take a picture of herself with her children at least once every month. And that to use excuses about how we look, as women, is ridiculous, since our children will never care what we looked like, but only that we had physical evidence of the bond between mother and child.

Aleida tragically and unexpectedly passed away in an auto accident in September of 2008, leaving 2 small children and a grieving husband. After she passed I thought of how those children must feel to have those precious photographs. I have made it my personal goal to follow her wise suggestion and I try to take photos of myself with my children….double chins, make-up free, bed-head and all.

I can count on one hand the number of photos of ME taken with my kids and/or my husband over the past YEARS (not just one year).   Pretty sad, really. I would be one of those that doesn't like their photo being taken because of my issues with weight etc. But:  Have you ever seen a photograph of your mother and thought to yourself how fat she looked? I bet your answer is NO as well. Time for me to get over myself

Time for things to change.

Original link HERE - "She Left Proof".  Photograph yourself with your child/ren each and every month. Or your significant other. Leave proof that you were here, with your family.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Afternoon Light

During my flying 8 hour round trip (well, I confess, we did go down late the night before, and came home 3pm the next day)  to the city the other day, I picked up a new lens for my camera, the details of which I will post over at my quite neglected photography blog >.  This afternoon I found the time to get it out of its little box and try it out.  And as good fortune might have it, I had about five minutes of gorgeous orangy sunset light, AND co-operative kids, all at the one time.

The light was just so warm, and actually it wasn't freezing temperature wise either.  It was just nice.

Look at how clear his eyes are! Thank you new lens!

Those freckles!  (this ratbag kid!)

And this one:

It takes my breath away.  When did this girl become so grown up looking, so serene?

All in all, not a bad first go with my new lens!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I love stationery....(warning - light and fluffy)

Yes, its me again. One last post, and then I will be quiet for the rest of the week, I promise. Busy with everyday life, kids, school, very fast trips to the city, school sports days, and oh THANK GOODNESS its school holidays, for the rest of the week.

So, I have been wandering around the internet a little bit the past little while, sourcing ideas for wedding invitations (see last post) and another function that I involved with - our annual ball - that needed an invitation/ticket designed.  I've found some lovely things in my travels - here they are:

Are these not the most adorable country-fied little cards and notelets ever? I want them all.

Speaking of the country, my husband, and nearly every other adult male I know in these parts, carrys a notebook in the breast pocket of their work shirts.  Normally ones with bright plastic covers given out every year by stock and station agents.  Very handy things, I must admit.  But not very girly....but what about THESE?!

Now I would be most happy to carry around one of these beauties all day. In fact, I would probably need a different one for the car, and for my handbag, and one for the kitchen,  and of course one for the office. Oh, and my pocket too, when I'm out and about on motorbikr and need to jot down those brilliant words of wisdom that always come to me when I don't have a pencil and paper.

Now, in my quest for invitation ideas, I also found these little lovlies. Sigh.  Perhaps I need to suggest to my brothers to hurry up already, and get married  (well, getting engaged to start off would be good) so I can suggest these to their finances...

The gumleaves one would be particulary appropriate for a bush wedding....with the ceremony on the banks of a creek...

Hello yourself letterpress. I hope you don't mind me saying this, but gee I fancy you. ;-)

And my favourite:  what a great birthday party invitation idea!  Might not work if your child was over three years of age, but still , what an inspired idea!  I am sure the concept would work if one were also of a certain age where one did not disclose the age, but were just celebrating surviving another year!

That's it, dear readers.  Quite, quite cold here tonight, in fact all day (and I have a hole in my uggies, most distressing!) so a warm warm shower, flannelette pj's and my (prewarmed by the resident bed warmer aka husband!)  bed are calling me.

A change of pace?

The future sister in law of one of my closest  friends  contacted me asking, nay, begging :-)  for help with her wedding invitations. Not an arty bone in her very practical nurse body apparently!  I've never met Annette, nor even spoken to her on the phone, and yet after a few emails and quite a lot of "I dunno?' 's from Annette, we worked out what she wanted.

And after trying to get someone to print or do up what we both had in mind, I ended up doing it myself, so at least we would both be happy with the result.  And I am!  I got the main part printed with Vista Print, and did the rest myself.
I talked Nette into a little bling bling, just a wee bit - up there between the initials. Cute hey - especially as her dress has little beads on the lace around that same light goldy cream colour.  I'm all about continuity!

Speaking of continuity, Annette wanted lace on the invite, and when she saw this lace brush she said it matched the lace on her dress perfectly! Meant to be. Then I asked her about colour, and she really didn't know...(no bridesmaids) but we worked out way around to browns and coffees and creams and mochas.  The envelopes are a lovely creamy colour, and by pure chance and good fortune, the satin ribbon wrapped around the invite match the envelopes perfectly. I sourced some matching cardstock for Annette to print out the little place cards etc, which will feature the lace.  I will design them for her and email them, and then all she has to do is print and crop.

So there you have it, my walk on the wild side freelancing as a wedding invitation designer. Tomorrow I am working on the invite for our local annual ball....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just one more

A bit of a before and after, if you will.  I did this page last the other day when putting my other collage pages together. Finished it, feeling very lazy, and promptly hated it. 

Messy handwriting, and that line around it in an attempt to bring it together. Just awful.  So I fixed it.

Better, yes?  Still not BRILLIANT, but at least I can bear to look at it now!

OK, so I have run out of printed collages to bombard you with, and my desk is temporarily pile free of photos.  Not that I have caught up (ha ha!), more that I haven't gone to the good old ordinary albums to find more photos that I want to scrap. :-)

Stay tuned, I'll have a non-scrapping, but still sorta crafty post for you soon...!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Collage Pages

The other day I found some enlarged collage photos tucked away that I had forgotten about (shock horror) and set to getting them scrapped straight away.

These first two were done in my early days of creating collages, and were done at 8 x 12. When I initially got them out, I wondered just what I was going to do with them, but now I am quite pleased with the result.  I resolve to do some deliberate 8x12's again some day.

I also love how the collage page tells the story so simply. Love it. Again, need to do more, more, more!

I assure you, that title seems straight in real life. What I love about the 8x12 is that you can cut the cardstock to A4 size and run through the printer, and then stick it back together and the photo page hides the join. Love it.  And I decided that I didn't need any patterned paper on this just seemed done without it. This page is about our schools first big bike ride - wait for it - back in 2008.  This page has been waiting awhile to be done!

Yes, another '08 one. Better late than never, hey. Again, I felt no need for patterned paper. I even had some nice blue stuff out, ready to cut, but decided against.  And again, I chopped the card and ran through the printer.
This was a 5x7 print, on an 8x8 page. Getting lazy, and using my own handwriting, which I don't like despite Amy and Di telling me otherwise.  And those thickers?  Came from my local discount/$2 store, for $2.79 per packet.  They are great.

And lastly, my favourite, and most recent (from JUST last year! Imagine that!)

I started off just with the left hand page...and when it was all stuck down I thought it was missing something - the rest of the photos from the day!  Now I could have just slipped some 4x6 photos into a divided page protector (I have a lovely collection of them) but as I haven't actually printed ANY photos from last year - just this one enlargement with the little thank you photo thingys that I'd done - I made this collage using a CZ template. I printed it at home using some rather inferior photo paper, so its not the best quality (I may reprint at a proper photo place!) but it does the job.  If I hadn't added the second page after the fact, I would have moved my journalling down a bit. Actually I should have in the first place,. but too bad now! I really do like how this page turned out.  And using the white el cheapo thickers this time!

That's it for today, I really must go and keep a date with my man, Dyson (the vacuum cleaner). sigh. Where is my cleaning fairy when I need it?!


While on the topic of digital/hybrid scrapping, I started wondering how many other "mainstream" scrapping manufacturers were also supplying their papers in digital form (not interested in digi elements here, I like to add the "real" ones!)

After a very cursory search (as the only brand name I really know this days is American Crafts! and they dont' do digi just yet - but they do have some nice free desktop backgrounds!) this is what I have come up with:




Now, I know there are heaps of other digital papers out there (designer digitals is overflowing with them for example) and freebies abounding, but sometimes you might just need some contunuity from your real life paper and your digital paper. 

So, if you know of any other traditional scrapbooking brands also dabbling into digi, leave a comment here!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Venturing Further Into the Dark Side

Ok, so I am not giving up paper scrapping just yet (not until that large stash of cardstock and paper gets used, and as I keep adding little bits that were unresistable, that ain't gonna happen)  but I tell you what I DO like about digital/hybrid scrapping:  that paper companies (well some) are now selling their papers digitally as well.  Seamlessly matching a hybrid layout - where I might have a collage of photos with some digi papers, and then cardstock and real paper - is now getting closer!

Like these lovelies - all digi - from SEI.  I know, they've been out for awhile, but that doesn't mean they aren't still yummy!

Winnies Walls: I drooled over the paper (but didn't buy) and I am drooling over the digi version as well....but think I WILL buy this version! ;-)

I have some photo collage layouts to share with you, so stay tuned, hopefully I will get them posted tomorrow, I am loving how quick, simple and so clean looking they turn out, so really need to make up some more collage pages to get printed. Makes the ole 4x6 a little redundant sometimes! ;-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

More bad photography & some quick pages (aka its amazing what you can do with a clean desk)

So, I am sure you all know by now how I feel about folding washing, and today resolutely ignored it some more, even though it has completely taken over the day bed (keepin it real folks). Oh how I wish I were one of those super tidy and organised people that manage to get everything washed, folded and put away, and whip up a little black dress and beef stroganoff for tea - all in one day!

Mind you, a little less time here, and doing this below, might acheive that, but even though I long to be one of those people, and motivation to be so is just not there! :-)

So I present some more poorly photographed quick scrapbook pages:

A photo-less page, had a little story for my boy that I wanted to include. 6x12. Great fun size to play with.
And another, which is my attempt at being all artsy and fartsy. Even tried to do cool handwriting, but its just not happening. I am SO not cool.  The one redeeming feature of this page is that it was quick. And it is done (Ok so that was two).

That's it.  I "might" make a start on that folding tomorrow, as an excuse to watch Hannah Montana on TV with the kids(anyone else find the show strangely likeable?!! I even enjoyed the movie - slightly disjointed bits notwithstanding - especially the lovely song at the end).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Slighty Panicked

My PC appears to have died.  I am hoping that its a problem with the ON button (been having issues with turning on for awhile) except this afternoon it turned itself OFF all by itself. Just stopped.

So, dear internet.  Do you know if I can plug my laptop into the PC (without it running) and access files?  Sort of like an external hard drive?

I did back up a few weeks ago, but don't really want to loose the past couple of weeks worth of work and photos. (I will be talking and visiting tech person, but as its a two hour drive, wont be seeing him until I get organised enough to get it to him).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sickness and Scrapping

So last night I didn't get much sleep (which = cranky and tempermental mother today) due to an upchucking little boy, who really didn't have much to upchuck, so that was really, really fun for him.  I kept trying to get him to have a nice drink of red cordial through the night (on the theory - told to me by a nursing sister - that it tastes nicer than bile on the way back up, and while its there it might replace some of the sugar lost) but he wasn't interested.  Long story short, he is better today, if not tired like his mother.

So, not much was ever going to happen today in terms of productive work, so I decided, in a rush of red cordial induced energy (thought I would see if it worked!) that I would make two quick pages.  But in order to do quick pages, I really had to finish cleaning my scrapping area, which during a quick tidy I had decided it needed a REALLY good clean.  That took the best part of the day, in between feeding the boy tasty and tummy friendly foods.  But FINALLY I got my pages done, and I really really need a hit of that red cordial again if the rest of the family is to eat anything other than two minute noodles for tea tonight.

You might notice a similarity between these two pages. :-)

1. they are poorly photographed. Add that to my list after "poor decorator of birthday cakes".
2. they are both based (if you couldn't tell) on the same sketch, which really was the same template I made up myself in PSE, and then treated hybrid-ly by just printing the text part on cardstock. Why mess with a good thing, especially when short on brain power.

I had already had the photos printed ages ago sort of wallety size.  And tell me if you can see the "mistake" on the first one (short of brain power, and really can't be bothered fixing it up).

OK, I'm off. Red cordial here I come. :-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Melissa Deakin posts a gorgeous photo and rather relevant (or it seems that way to me) quote each Thursday.  Love this one.  I need to print and stick on my fridge, to not keep putting off doing things. Like going to bed right now. 

Be back soon(ish), got a busy few days ahead, but oddly enough, not a great deal of excitment or newsworthiness to share. Apart from taking our dear old cat to the vet, but that tale doesn't have a happy ending, so I don't need to share the details of that wonderful outing.

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