Sunday, May 12, 2013

30 Interesting Facts about Me

Here are 30 interesting facts about me in no particular order.

  1. My husband still sets my heart-a-flutter after 8 years. I love him dearly.
  2. I often say, “I’m just a mum,” when people ask what I do but I actually think being a good mum is the most important thing I can do and will ever do in my life. I am so proud of my children and all I have done with them. (No, I am not perfect but I do acknowledge my hard work has paid off in many respects.)
  3. I love, I mean love, scrapbooking. It is my stress relief and I wish I could do it all day, every day.
  4. My eldest daughter is more like me than I’d like to admit. I’m not really looking forward to teenage years at all. I’m so sorry Mum.
  5. I enjoy gardening but seem to always kill basil. Surely if you like gardening you wouldn’t be able to kill the most hardy plant in the world.
  6. I started university when I was 16.
  7. I’m actually an Indonesian teacher, one who hasn’t spoken Indonesian in a long, long time but an Indonesian teacher none the less.
  8. We actually wanted a 5th child. We didn’t keep going until we got a boy.
  9. I have a tattoo of a spider on my left ankle. It is in memory of a friend of mine who died when I was 22.
  10. I go bitten by an eel when I was about 10 or 11.
  11. I started teaching when I was 21.
  12. I’m actually very shy despite what most people think.
  13. I met my husband on Valentine’s Day. We were married 11 months later.
  14. I grew up with an outside toilet and shower.
  15. I loved going camping and canoeing as a kid. They are some of my favourite memories.
  16. I became a Catholic at age 26.
  17. I had Ross River Fever as a teenager.
  18. I am proud of what I have achieved in my life so far.
  19. I need neat and tidy to feel relaxed. After 7 years it is something I have not been able to let go of. You would think that after 5 kids I would just let it go and realise it is just not possible with so many kids.
  20. I have very large feet. Size 10 or 11 depending on the make. They are really wide.
  21. I would love to ride horses again.
  22. I have a hand fetish. I like nice looking hands. My husband has nice hands. Mine are very manly hands. I have large palms and very un-elegant fingers.
  23. I lived in Longreach, Queensland for 4 years and I still miss that place after 18 months.
  24. I would love to run every day.
  25. I love bootcamp.
  26. I would love to vacuum every day.
  27. I wanted to be a travel show host when I was a teenager.
  28. My children mean the world to me. I delight in them every day, even on those horrible days. Kevin just has to smile at me and I don’t care he’s been up all night teething. Lisa’s cheeky smile always makes me smile. Hannah is artistic and so good at puzzles. Every day I am astounded by how smart Jessica is. Hollie is such a sweet girl, she’s caring and a wonderful big sister.
  29. I like my house even though it is seriously flawed. I love it’s personality and the good feeling it has. (Sounds a little strange but you know those places you walk into and they feel good? That’s our house.)
  30. I don’t like talking on the phone.

What are some interesting things about you? Do you have a blog you could post them to?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Becky Higgins Sweet Baby kit

Last year I started an album for my daughter using the Becky Higgins Sweet Baby kit from years ago. (I am not sure if you can still buy them. They are not from her current range but from when she used to work for one of the scrapbooking mags.) I purchased numerous kits at the time so I was able to make a first year album for each of my kids. Kevin is now 10 weeks old and I have already create 2 pages for him and have done the third but I have to cut out the title on my robo (Silhouette for those of you outside of Oz). I am pretty impressed with that because Lisa, who turns 2 in December has only a handful of pages completed in her baby album. I uploaded a video here showing how I'd put together the album and what is included in the album.

What I like about this kit is all the journaling prompts which come with it. With some of the prompts I didn't write much, for example where it said, " Books read..." I wrote, "You are the 5th baby. I think we know what we're doing."

The only items not from the kit are the twin and the 2 photos over the stickers.  I am making an effort to use my stash.

I quite like how the notch in the journaling holder fits nicely around my belly. I didn't take many photos this time which in hindsight wasn't a good idea considering it will be my last baby. 

The scalloped edge is a sticker from the kit and I added ink to the edge of the journaling pocket which comes pre-made with the kit.

This sketch is from Shimelle's Hitch Hiker's Guide to Scrapbooking and is one of her go to sketches. So in this layout I've combined two of my favs; Becky and Shimelle.  

The cream letters come with the kit. I added the stamped 'baby' which is an old Heidi Swapp stamp which I've hardly used. Need to start using all these supplies in my room. 

The love diecut is a class cut from Cut It Out from Studio Calico. I'm still working my way through that class but I have thoroughly enjoyed it and got so much out of it so far.
I am using a different system this time as I found the system I had last time was a little to restrictive. It was meant to make it easier and quicker by having all the pages following the same design but I ended up printing too many photos and couldn't work out which ones to cull so I just gave up. This time I'm going to be doing a cross between a project life album with divided page protectors and a baby month by month album. I'll let you know how it goes. I have to buy some albums for Kevin so I can start to assemble everything. I don't really want to get behind. He'll be the much loved and spoilt son who has a completed baby album. Him and the first born. Sorry the rest of you girls. I'll get around to you soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Project Life 2012

In quite a few forums I frequent there has been discussions on Project Life. More so now than before. I think this is because of all the recent announcements from Becky Higgins. For those of you who don't know I'm a little Project Life obsessed. I think it is such a fantastic way to document your day to day life or get a little bit creative with a fairly simple scrapbook or a let's say a more extravagant photo album. I was always the person whose photo albums didn't need any explanations. They always had notations next to or below the photos so for me scrapbooking and Project Life are just an extension of that.

The kids just adore looking at the photos. I also include a lot of photos the kids have taken.  While the photos aren't always good it is also part of our life story. I try to include a note in the journaling when the kids have taken a photo so we know for future reference. I also like that the photo taking involves them in the Project Life experience.
I found this blog last year and was inspired to create my kids albums using the project life kits. I wanted somewhere to put all those extra photos you take, and are good, and have meaning but you don't have time to scrap. I found the answer. Well I think I've found the answer. The answer is a Project Life kit. One of the problems I have with traditional scrapbooking is that you create all these wonderful pages with very few photos on them and where do you put the other photos of your life or the life of your kids? A few years ago I started putting these excess photos into a traditional photo album but when I got around to wanting to scrapbook them I ended up printing another set OR I left a blank spot in the album where I pulled them out. Now I combine my fancy photo album (Project Life) with my scrapbooking albums and I don't have photos sitting around in boxes, except the photos in boxes from previous years.

This is from Hannah's album She likes to scrapbook too so I include her pages in the album too. This one is about her love of puzzles next to one of my pages for her about her Godfather, Josh.

I have used the patterned paper which matches the Project Life kit to add a background to this sheep Hannah  made at Playgroup.

Often I don't add any embellishments. Here I have added some twine to a journaling card and some doodling to a filler card. 

More artwork with a journaling card attached with washi tape. 

This year I am completing 5 Project Life albums! Yes, that's right 5! I am doing one for each of the kids, except Kevin because I want to work out what I want to do with regards to a baby album for him, and a family album. Call me crazy or call me super smart but either way I've found a system which works for me. I am still able to scrapbook traditionally. These are included directly into the Project Life album and I have somewhere to store all the other photos and stories until I can scrapbook them or I have a perfectly recorded story and the photos and stories won't be lost.

I've added photos from my phone as well as my DSLR. Sometimes I cut the photos down. Sometimes if I have time I will re-size them to print but I'm all about no fuss so I don't want a system which requires me to edit and resize. I don't really have a problem with having to slot a portrait photo into a landscape slot sometimes, or like here often.

I have since converted my sister-in-law who hasn't scrapped in years and was wondering where to start and how she was possibly ever able to catch up. Well I tell you what. I'm caught up. She is now up to date in her daughter's album for her 3rd year and is starting to go back and get photos documented from further back. It is a win-win situation. I love the fact that I don't feel behind. It doesn't take long to write out the cards for the months' photos. I often just grab a card and write a funny little story of the kids which doesn't have a photo to go with it but it was worth documenting. I don't like my handwriting but I use it all the time. I haven't printed any journaling yet. I only hand write which to me saves a lot of time as I can do it on the go. I don't require a computer or a printer. I just love Project Life. I can't praise this system enough.

This is another page in Hannah's album. I added some journaling to explain why I chose this picture to include in her album. This was the first time she had drawn a picture of people with their mouths instead of just an arch for their mouths. She has also distinguished various members of the family by their size and different colours and styles of their hair. These are the Bomber members of the family. (For those of you outside Australia the Bombers are a football team which all other members of the family, except Hannah and I, follow. We are Lions in case you were wondering.) You can see this is where the album ends for the time being. You can see some journaling cards sticking out from the picture. They have already been journaled on and are waiting for photos to be printed.

With my traditional Project Life I have adopted a no-stress approach. I am not caught up on it being a photo a day. I am using the weekly method. Often I have more than 7 photos for the week but sometimes I don't. Sometimes life is too busy and I don't get around to taking out my camera. Sometimes not much happens. On those weeks I just make a shorter spread or print numerous photos from the same event. Of course more often than not I am unable to pick just one photo for the event so it ends up being a larger spread with extra inserts. I have attempted to use a variety of the page protectors but have found it adds to the stress. I don't like having to think about the configuration on the back side so I tend to just stick to design A. I frequently add 6x12 page protectors though, both divided and undivided, as they allow me to add extra photos easily or a school project or an invitation or any other memorabilia.

This is the day my son was born so naturally it required a lot of photos. This is a double page spread of 4x6 slots to  fit in lots of extra photos.

This post lists my top 10 tips for using Project Life and staying up-to-date. Pretty much Project Life can be what ever you want it to be. I don't think you should get bogged down by what the rules are. You make the rules. This is a simple, easy and quick way to scrapbook. Enjoy it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shimelle's starting points

I'm sure by now everyone knows I'm in love with Shimelle's style, her cute voice, her nails, her dedication to scrapbooking and most importantly to me, her dedication to writing down the stories and like me writing a lot. Shimelle has taught me a lot. I am no longer scared of writing on my layouts. My writing isn't as neat or as arty as her BUT I've written down the stories and the memories will live on.

When Shimelle has her starting points on her blog I usually participate but very rarely do I add my linky to her page. If the truth be told I'm just slack. I find her starting points an inspiration. A jumping off point. I'm quickly able to get a page done whereas if I sat down and started to scrap I'd often not be able to start quickly. What's a starting point? It's just the starting layers of a layout, without the photos or any other items. you use the starting points to build your layout and add your embellishments. I love them.

This page was make using the scraps from a Scenic Route kit I have had for years. Most of these pieces I didn't even trim but just added them according to the design of the starting point. 

Here I stamped the June using Technique Tuesday stamp set Twenty Eleven. I like the subtle effect of tone on tone here. Each layer was inked in distress ink. I have only started using the coloured distress inks for edges. Usually it's just brown.

This layout, Nanny, is very special to me. I'm not very happy with the end result but I am happy with the story. I miss my Nanny and am so glad I had the opportunity in her later life to spend so much time with her when she didn't have many family members around her. 

I find these papers, ones with large designs/scenes, very difficult to work with. I just don't know what to do with them. How do you incorporate these designs into your pages? I find I buy them and then don't know how to use them. On this one I added extra strips around the sun using the same paper line.

 This is another special layout to me. It is about my sister and I growing up and how we have maintained our wonderful friendship even though we have had rough times in the relationship and even though we live on opposite sides of the world. It also mentions that I wish this kind of relationship for my daughters. 

This layout only uses 4 different patterned papers. All of the embellishments came in the same Scenic Route collection. 

I have had this layout completed for a very long time. The journaling hasn't been done though. It was such an important story. The story of how I snagged my husband. I didn't want to get it wrong.

Essentially this is only 2 pieces of patterned paper and a few stamps, stickers, chipboard sign and a tag. Very simple but also it is a masculine page so I didn't want to over do it. My darling husband still says there is too much on the layout.

I'm quite happy with this layout. Often I'm not good at mixing collections but I did manage ok here. This is a layout about my Mum starting this street performance group. 
It is another very simple design with the twine, string and washi tape adding most of the embellishment. I think it turned out well. 

Thanks Shimelle for the starting points. It really got me going. I appreciate it. What gets your mojo going? Do you use youtube videos, starting points, sketches, classes to get your mojo going?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10 on the 10th Project Life tips

There seems to be a renewed interest in Project Life. Maybe it never waned, maybe the interest has peaked because of the new products. I am interested in the school years mini kits but can't seem to find any information about when they'll be released. For now I'm plodding along with my Project Life 2012 albums. Up until yesterday I was very behind. To be honest with you I'm not entirely caught up. I still have a few photos to print and a few dates to find out for photos but essentially everything is completed. 
I decided to include my top 10 hints for making this a do-able project.

Tips for Project Life

1. Be prepared. Be super prepared. Have an idea of what you want to achieve with this project then set your system up for that project. You might want to do a spread a month or just of special family events. You may go the weekly method like I have. Whatever system you decide on, set it up so it works for you. Set your photo organisation system and your journaling system up so it works for you. Be prepared with supplies if you are adding to the core kit or just use what comes out of the box but be prepared so it doesn't become a huge task. 

2. If you are going the monthly method you may want to stamp a few journaling cards with just the month and the year on them so when something important or memorable happens that month you can simply write on the card and set it aside until the end of the month. Last year I did 7 or more journaling cards a week so I pre-stamped my cards with the date of every day for a few months in advance so I just pick up the card at the end of the night and write on it. This year I haven't gone with that method and I feel my journaling has been let down by it a bit. I haven't kept up with my journaling and have often only journalled once the photos have been printed. Often my journaling doesn’t match the photo and I’m ok with that. I have written journaling cards with the meals we’ve eaten that day and the times certain events have occurred. Sometimes the photos say enough and I want to include other parts of our lives. What can you say about a cute kid? 

Here is an extra 2 pages I've inserted into a week. This was the week my son was born. Obviously a lot to celebrate that week. Lots of photos and memories to record which meant a lot more to be put into the album.
3. Be a little relaxed about the project. Its purpose is to record memories and be a simple alternative to traditional scrapbooking. Find strategies which make it less stressful. I’m also ok with not having a photo a day. In the past I have included journaling every day but some weeks there might be 4 photos from one day and I forget to take a photo for the next few days. So work out the system that works best for you. Work out if you are ok with journaling that doesn’t match the photos. Work out if you will stick to a photo a day or whether my approach will be something you’ll be able to live with.

4. I did just mention journaling but I wanted to point out my experience from 2010 when I made my own kit. The kit was made to type the journaling and print it on the computer. This didn’t really work for me. Although I am quite skilled at printing my journaling onto tags and the like for my scrapbooking pages I didn’t end up printing out my journaling until I’d had heaps of journaling cards completed. I also found that at the end of the day the last thing I wanted to do was sit down in front of the computer and write my snippet of journaling. Most of you know I don’t like my hand writing so I was a little nervous about having a book full of my handwriting for all to see.  Now I'm ok with that. I don't mind people seeing my spelling mistakes and my horrible handwriting. I just want the memories recorded. So if you know you can sit down at the computer to do the journaling go that route but if you think that having a stack of cards handy will mean you are more likely to record the story use your handwriting. I find it easier to dedicate 5 mins a day to writing my journaling directly onto the cards than 15-20 mins at the end of the week. However you do it work on a system that will work for you. Have them in your handbag or in your diary so they are on hand.

Here there is a lot to say. Lots of writing. Almost a card for every photo. 

Another busy week with added inserts.

5. Download regularly. Last year my system was to download the photos every Friday. They were then labelled and stored appropriately. This year I have not allocated time every Friday to do this and have fallen behind in photo downloads. This is something you want to avoid. Keep your photos up-to-date otherwise sorting and labeling them just becomes too big a task.

6. Storing your photos. Find a system that works for you. I label them with date (year, month, date) and title and store them in the month folder and copy the photos I want for P/L into the  P/L folder which then has sub-folders with the month. So my P/L photos are stored in 2 places; in the general photos section under year then month and also in the P/L folder. I do it like this so I don’t have to search for the photo I want amongst all the other photos taken that month. I don’t print at home because I can’t justify the expense of a home printer which is of good enough quality when I can get prints from Harvey Normans for 9c. 
This is a list of photos I need to print so I'll just go to the relevant folder in the Project Life album and print them out. Very easy to find. 

7. Print photos regularly, at least once a month. The longer you leave it the bigger the task becomes. I find that by storing them in the correct folders makes it easy for me to know where I am up to. My aim would be to print every week but somehow life gets in the way and I can't get to the shop to print. 

8. Keep it simple. I very rarely add other embellishments. A bit of washi tape here, a jewel there, and only a very few times special letter titles. I mainly use the kit by Becky Higgins.

This is a rare example of adding title letter stickers.
9. Cut page protectors to suit your purpose or don't be afraid if you have to stick a portrait shot in the landscape pocket. Remember it's a memory album. Will your kids or great nieces care in 30 years time? Will you? Use what page protectors you have to make it work. I frequently use American Crafts 6x12 divided page protectors to add extra photos and I've even cut a few.

I have used A/C 6x12 page protectors here and added Scenic Route label stickers. 

I store some extras at the front of the album so I can take the album and the photos to the lounge room and work on the project.  

10. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the enormity of this project. It is what you want it to be. If you skip a week that's fine. It's only one week in a year. Here is a week where I only had photos from one day so the spread was only one sided. Work with what you've got and record the memories. Enjoy the process.

Enjoy it. Add photos, leave week undone, journal, don't journal and add extra photos. It's up to you. Do it your way. Enjoy it. 

What are your methods for staying on track with Project Life or Project 365? I'd love to hear your tips.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hitchhiker's Guide to Scrapbooking

I've been eyeing off this course on Two Peas for some time now. I had promised myself that if I FINALLY got my scraproom clean I would purchase the class as a reward to myself. Well after 8 months in the room I still hadn't got the room clean. I decided to purchase the class using my scrapbooking budget because I realised I might be waiting 20 years for the room to be clean.

I have to say I'm most impressed with the class. Of course I love Shimelle so that helps but I've already created 4 pages using only the first lesson. Imagine how many I'll complete once I've been through all the lessons. Every night this week I have completed a page. This class is really helping me get my mojo back. 

This layout is about my daughter's godfather who she calls "my Josh". We chose really well. He is such a wonderful young man and Hannah just adores him. I think it is hard to tell who loves who more. 

The stamped flower I have had in my pink embellishment box for years. I don't know why I kept it but it works well on this layout. This layout came together really easily. Thanks Shimelle.

I found this photo a little difficult to know how to match paper colours to because there is so much colour in the background and her school uniform doesn't match with the bright colours of her hat. I decided not to match the colour to the paper, obviously. I went with some themed paper and bright colours. I like how it turned out in the end.

I used the Stampin' Up lace punch and layered over the border strip. I like the subtle texture this gives. I've also used a lot of washi tape on my 4 layouts. This is a new technique to me. I didn't understand what all the hype was about until I got some. Now I'm in love.

 Tonight I'm creating another layout using the class. My darling husband has informed me this layout needs to be about him or our latest addition. The layout will be about my darling husband because as the 5th child I have yet to print any photos of our darling little boy. I guess that's a job for next week.

What online classes have you done? What would recommend to those who want to complete a specific project or need inspiration to get started again? Please share your links in the comments or name the class.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Shimelle's 10 on the 10th

I haven't posted in a very long time. I have had every intention to do the 10 on the 10th for the last few months but life has seemed to stop me. I have stopped me. I haven't made this blog or my scrapbooking a priority. In fact since moving back to Brisbane I have barely scrapped at all. I have lost my mojo. I don't know how to get back into the groove I once had. Here is my latest work. My work of the last 5 months. At the end are my three favourites.

1. I completed this layout last year and was waiting for my daughter to complete the journaling. That's not exactly true, considering she's not yet 6, I was actually waiting to feel inspired enough to get back into my scrapbooking. 

 2. This layout was completed mainly during a crop night with my friend. I am so glad to be able to catch up with with my friend and get some scrapbooking done. It forces me to get out of my rut but I don't manage to do anything else during the week. Oh how times have changed.

3. This layout was completed at another crop night. All but the journaling. The journaling is about how hard it is to give a baby their first foods, well for me anyway. Most of the supplies for the last 2 layouts were from the Becky Higgins Sweet Baby kits. I'll post some more details on these layouts and the Becky Higgins Sweet Baby kits soon. I promise, especially for those of you who have requested I do as much.

4. This is a Kaisercraft range which I have had since last year. I have finally made some layouts using it. It is quite a cute range and suited our visit to a large property just before we left Longreach. What an amazing place it was. The property stretched from horizon to horizon. AND the land is flat so you can imagine how far that is. Well actually I don't think you can imagine it. Until I saw it with my own eyes I wouldn't have been able to believe it either.

5. This is one of my favourites in a while too. I completed this last year at a friends surprise 40th birthday party crop. I hope someone does something like that for me. We were all given a kit and 30 mins to complete a layout. This is what I came up with. I'm pretty impressed with my efforts for 30 mins. 

6. I had these papers sitting around for ages. I didn't know what to do with them. I really liked the Basic Grey flower paper but it was too detailed and I just didn't know how to use them. After I'd had them for a while I fussy cut some of the flowers out but I still didn't know what to do with them. I think they work quite well here. I like the border punched edge too. I think it works well and you can't really tell it's been joined. I am happy with how this turned out. At least the memory is recorded.

7. Here is another one using the Kaisercraft papers. What I am actually most proud of in this layout is the way I manipulated the Technique Tuesday stamps to align with the curve of the hill on the papers. I really like how that works. 

8. Now starts my favourites. These were all completed by my daughters. Hannah aged 3 completed the following 2 pages. She selected the photos and the embellishments and told me what to write in the journaling. I'm so proud of her. 

9. These are made from the Project Life kits and bits and pieces she has found around my scrapbooking room. I'm so happy is into scrapbooking and so so happy she bugs me for the chance to complete a page. Again the words are hers. In this one I also added a note from Mum just to add a bit more detail about the significance of the photos.

10. I still love Project Life even though I haven't kept up to date with it. I am so disappointed with myself but  unfortunately LIFE has interfered with me getting anything done.

Here are my 10. What are yours? How do you go about getting your mojo back? I need as much help as I can get. 10 layouts in 5 months is not very good. Help me get my mojo back.