Thursday, 27 December 2007

Masters pics finally!

I thought I'd share my Masters stuff so you can see what didn't cut it!!! lol I know there are a lot of us sharing that sentiment right now but maybe next year as the saying goes. I've seen the mag already (thanks to Lex and the fab girls at her crop last weekend!) and had a quick look at my mini album I got a HM for along with everyone else's work. The stand outs for me were definitely Maxine's work and Julie Heard's stuff. Honestly if anyone had told us from the beginning that Maxine was entering we'd have known there were really only 9 Masters places left!!! lol I'm sure she thinks people are joking when they say that but really we're not. It's a well deserved title for her and I absolutely love her work.

This is my double and I'm pretty sure I disqualified myself on the basis that it went a helluvalot further than a straight double layout - to give you an idea of size, the middle two panels are two 12x12 pages - the rest is all add on stuff so it's a huge circle when put together. If I fold it up I can get it down to the size of a double!!! lol So even though Cass warned me that I was probably outside the boundaries of a double, once I started I had to keep going as I wasn't sure I could pull it off and then enjoyed making it so much I just kept going. Eventually I'm going to get a professional framer to make a huge circular frame for it and maybe it will hang in my hallway or something. It's pretty big and I had to use an upturned outdoor table to get the rough shape and size right. The whole thing is made of plain chipboard sheets covered in Basic Grey paper. The story is about my adoption with lots of info included like how many people are in my extended, all over the place family, details of the actual adoption itself including ephemera like the original letter my parents received from the adoption agency, etc, and journalling about my personal thoughts on the whole being adopted thing. I really really love it, probably my fave piece out of all four entries.

This is my single layout and the thing I liked the least. I just couldn't come up with the wow factor when I was doing it so I had to just push on and finish the thing. It was getting to the stage where I just wanted it finished and just did what I could rather than what I would have done if I'd left myself more time. The big flowers are Heidi Swapp and the wings are Hambly rub ons over transparency and then cut out. I printed the photos on canvas paper for texture. Looking at it now I can see that I've got no eye contact photos on the layout and it probably would have been more appealing if I'd included one but I didn't have any good ones so had to just use what I did have.

My storage solution is exactly the same as Mel Moor's box she got a HM for - great minds think alike!!! lol I was originally going to do something pretty and arty with it but I buggered up the pain job and things all went to hell in a handbasket from there so I had to devote the rest of my time to making something shiny and brand new look old and grungy instead! lol I really really love this box and was sad to have to send it away for three month - wow was I glad to have it back! I use it for all my tools, adhesives, pens, files and misc bits and pieces that I want to keep for garbage layouts. I still love this one as much as when I did it.

This is the mini album that got an HM and I'll let you in on not something that hasn't been much of a secret so far - I threw that thing together the NIGHT BEFORE I had to send it. I just had the painted framework sitting there, took a bunch of pictures the day before and then sat down that evening and put a pile of embellies on the table that I thought would go and started chucking it all together. It was the one project I put the least effort or time into and it feels weird to me that it's the one that got the HM but there you go - who's to know what the mag is looking for? Sorry the picture's a bit blurry - I tried to enlarge the shot from the SM home page but didn't work. I can't find where on earth I've saved the pics of the mini album so I'll have to take another one when I get a chance. There's better pics in the mag if you've already got it.
So overall Masters was a lot of waiting for not a lot of excitement in the end and anyone who entered - and especially those who got shortlisted - will know it was a lot of waiting and anticipation and wondering why on earth I'm making such a big deal out of it?!?!? It was almost more emotional investment than it was worth in the end and I'll definitely plan better next year if I do it again. Yep I've already started wondering about what the challenges will be for next year and we'll cross that one when we come to it.
Christmas was nice and quiet here, we went to Pandanus Beach at Wynnum with my birth mother, her husband and my half sister plus Doug and I and all the kids and his mum. The kids had a great time, playing in their fab playground and then playing in the shallows at the beach behind the playground. It was a nice way to spend the day and next year we've all decided to hire a house near the beach somewhere for a week so we don't have to travel on Christmas Day - that's sounds awesome to me! The kids got a Wii and a Tony Hawks game and the Ben 10 game for the Wii that James desperately wanted. Mum and her husband got the kids a trampoline and we're still waiting for the rain to stop so we can put it up. I got a new camera from Doug - 10 megapixels and 6 x optical zoom so I'm a very happy camper. I'm still learning to use it though but I'm loving it so far.
We're off to the shops today so I can go to Diva and get my fix of junk jewellery in the post-xmas sale. I've got a week off and then it's back to work for a week and a half of cardiology typing at a hospital to cover Doug's week without pay as he didn't have enough holidays for the whole five weeks he has to be at home. I don't mind - straight typing is an easy job in my books so it doesn't feel like too much hard work.
I hope you had a great Chrissy and hope you have a fab New Year. I don't think we'll be doing much which is fine with me! I feel like I need the rest anyway! lol I should be doing lots of scrapping - product challenges, layouts and articles all waiting to be done and the motivation is there but by the time I get my stuff out and the kids are all running around I just don't end up bothering because I'll spend the whole time telling them not to touch stuff, to get off my lap, to leave me alone so I can work - all the stuff that makes me not enjoy my kids or my scrapping so I haven't even tried at home yet. Cass and I are going to go to the shop tomorrow and get some work done. The shop is closed for two weeks so it will just be us and the paper for a whole day which sounds fantastic.
Quick hellos to Miss Lusi Goosi and big kisses to your gorgeous fam, a happy healing hello to Jilly and hope you're feeling better - let me know when you want that company girl!!! Hi to Alana - love what you emailed down and yes we'll definitely get Garbage up and going again soon with a Christmas theme, a big thanks to Lexie from Cyberscraps forum for welcoming us into your home - we had the best time!
I'll catch up again soon. Much love, Lu

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Where oh where have I been?

So I've been away a loooooooong while!!! lol But in the true spirit of blogging without obligation I'm not going to apologise for neglecting the blog for a while - life has been nothing short of crazy in our house for weeks now and I know you'll get it when I say that finding an hour or so to sit down and type about all the chaos instead of attending to the chaos just didn't seem important. I'm still not out of the chaotic woods yet and I don't know if I'll get to blogging much in the next week or two either. I'll nutshell it for ya so the friends and rellies get a catch up on the last few week and I can save a bit of time cos I've squeezed this in before getting ready for work.
  • Cyberscraps had our first retreat the second-last weekend in November - some of our amazing, funny forum members came from near and far to spend a weekend with good food, good wine, good scrapping and a particuarly good stripper as it turned into a covert hen's night for me as organised by Cass and Cath - much appreciated girls - can you guess what I want for my birthday next year??? lol
  • My fabulous Doug and I finally got married - ten years together, seven weeks to organise and one perfect day! Cass has some great pics on her blog, as does our lovely friend Kylie (Kat Browne). My dear friend Tash and her husband took the "professional" pics for us with their ridiculously expensive camera which weighs more than a six month old baby!! Can't wait to see those - seriously good scrapping fodder but no promises of a whole album or anything.
  • Blayd went to Sydney last weekend to attend the Australian All Styles Championships with his karate club - a weekend of firsts for my eldest who went on a plane for the first time, went away without parents for the first time, was totally responsible for his diet and behaviour for the first time. He had a great time although we all missed him and he was well and truly mobbed at the airport when he got back by his little brothers and sister!
  • I've got a commission album to do before Christmas - a full 20 page album which will be a Christmas present. I've done an album for this lady before for her mother for her birthday and she loved it and now I'm doing one for her grandmother for Christmas. It's very scary because she wants to include ORIGINAL photographs from the 30's and 40's - beautiful "porcelain doll" pictures I call them with some even hand tinted. They are beautiful but far out it makes me nervous to use originals so I'll have to be extra careful. So that's something I need to get stuck into but have bugger all time to do it in.
  • I'm working full time - long hours like 9 and 10 hour days - doing temping for a doctor in a private hospital for two weeks. It was a quick way to get some extra cash for Christmas when the bank balance looked a bit moth eaten after the wedding! So I've had to go and buy "corporate attire" for the first time in about seven years! The only things I've called work clothes for a long time are jammies and gym gear!!! lol It's a front office job too, not straight typing so I've had to learn a million things in only a half day of training and I've been left to fend for myself but I figure if I can manage four kids and their daily disasters then I can handle this. I haven't buggered anything up majorly yet so that's a relief but I'll be glad when it's over!!! lol It's been a huge job in itself to get out of the house each morning by 7.15am, all dressed, full makeup so I'm at the hospital by 7.45am to open the rooms. And the joy of not getting home until 6pm at night with no time to spend with the kids, get dinner ready, relax or scrap reminds me why I stopped working in an office all those years ago!!! But you know my mantra - think of the money, think of the money! lol
  • CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!!! Like a freaking freight train!!!!! lol I have no idea if I'm organised or not. I have lay-by's to pick up, have done no food preparation, shopping, etc, I may get cards done or not and it's a job for the week before Christmas when I've been paid from my job and have nothing else to do but Christmas stuff - mind you the kids go on school hols that same week and Doug starts his holidays so who knows how much (or little!!!) I'll get done!!! lol
  • All the end of year school/kindy stuff coming up which I'm either going to remember or have to let slide because I can't get there because of work
  • Friday night crop this week at Cyberscraps and our Christmas party day on Saturday 8th December where we're having drinks and nibblies at a couple of scheduled times during the day (ring and book on 3274 5522 if you want to come join us for a drink or a cuppa) as well as 20% off everything in the store except Bazzill (always ridiculously cheap at 70 cents everday anyway!). It's our present from Cyberscraps to you so pop in and say hi as Cath, Cass and I will be in the shop all day from 10am to 4pm and we'd love to see everyone before the silly season well and truly takes hold!

Okay I can't think of anything else right now but that's probably cos my brain is full!!! lol I just wanted to do a quick update that's already taken me half an hour (really need to get ready for work now!!!) cos I miss chatting to the blogsphere in general. It's a diary, a place to vent, to share, to keep a record for me as well as my friends and fam who read this. I miss you my blog!!!! lol

Back when I can and thanks for sticking around if you're reading this!!! Love, Lu

Monday, 19 November 2007

It's the final countdown!

See!! I actually have gotten some scrapping done but apart from wedding stuff I've done not much else! lol It's been two crazy weeks of living at the gym, writing and re-writing lists of things to do and forgetting half of what I should be writing on those lists, and wrangling kids, resigning from my typing job cos I've just had enough of being routinely jerked around for not nearly enough money and helping with a retreat at Cath's house for the totally fabulous Cyberscraps gals which turned into a hen's night ambush (details to follow later in the week but the photographs may never see the light of the blogsphere EVER!!!! lol).

Just wanted to check in for anyone who still bothers to read!!! lol I've put Everyday Garbage on hold for two weeks and given up on all my regular challenge blogs I love to participate in just because I feel like my brain is over-full and I still can't find room to remember the important stuff. Only six days until the wedding now so the stress levels are pretty high no matter what I tell myself and I'll be glad when it's all over (isn't that awful?!?!) but then Christmas is ready to step up and take its place so I don't know how long it will be until life calms down again - maybe January?!?!?!

Anyway I'll update when I can but wanted to share what I've been up to. OH forgot to say- I got an article accepted for Scrapbook Creations!!!! YAY!!!! They are the one mag that have never accepted anything from me EVER so it's exciting to finally break the SC curse and in such big style too!!! lol

Okay I'm off to the shop today for the last time until after the wedding so wish me a productive day and all of you guys have a great week and thank you for everyone who has emailed or commented with encouragement and tips on how to retain my sanity- it's all very much appreciated!!! lol

Chat soon, love Lu

Monday, 5 November 2007

Small observation among the chaos.....

My oldest is twelve and a half so a teenager next birthday. He's got a few "issues" but basically he's a good kid who hates school work/homework/housework like most twelve year old boys. He does the same sometimes stupid things that twelve year old boys do too. I can deal with that. What I didn't deal well with was his little brother grassing him up last Thursday for throwing rocks at school. THROWING ROCKS FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!! Over the course of that kid's life I cannot honestly remember how many times I've told him not to throw rocks around and I'm pretty sure it wasn't all that long ago that I had to tell him that yet AGAIN. But he's got a typical twelve year old boy's memory so was mucking around at school with a mate and they were chucking rocks around and he hit a light cover and cracked it. Well when his brother told me what he'd done - including the offer of a pay off to keep quiet about the incident which obviously wasn't a big enough payoff cos Lachie dobbed - I was the one who cracked it! I went through the usual "that's a stupid thing to do/dangerous/damaged property/ irresponsible behaviour" yadda yadda yadda. Then I made him do the last thing he thought I'd make him do - I told him to walk up to the very first teacher he had class with the next day and confess to breaking a light cover and take whatever punishment the teacher dealt him. I even emailed his teacher to be sure he wouldn't suddenly come down with amnesia about the incident.

The funny thing is that I know one of the teachers and the general consensus in the staff room was "wow can't believe she made him do that" in a congratulations kind of way. Well what on earth else would I make him do???? He broke something that didn't belong to him and the last time I checked if you do that as an adult you generally have consequences for doing stupid things. I'm glad the teachers think I did the right thing cos I'm sure I did do the right thing but the funny observation was that apparently the majority of parents don't seem to make their kids be responsible for what they do. Apparently I'm in the minority of parents while the rest make excuses for their kids, deny their child was involved despite eye witnesses or act plain ol' shocked and say "oh how awful". Come on now, people like that have to be the minority surely?

I'm a bit guerilla when it comes to my kids getting life lessons. I'm sure they're going to grow up thinking their mother is a hard-ass bitch about some stuff but in the real world there are consequences and punishments far worse than a detention for doing something stupid. I don't want my kids to think it's okay to do stupid/dangerous stuff because someone will "take care of it" for them and they won't be held accountable. They're not professional footballers

So just having a wee vent about that to the blogsphere in general. The older I get the more I realise I don't suck at this mother thing nearly as bad as I think some days. I'm nowhere near as good a mother as people I know or even as good as I want to be but at least I realise I'm on the right track and hopefully it will keep my kids (mostly) out of trouble as they head for teenage years. Far out I hope at some point that kid of mine stops throwing bloody rocks............

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Scrap-Training has launched at Cyberscraps!

Okay this whole idea stems from the fact that basically Cass and I are jack of doing classes - lots of time to create, budget for and timetable our layouts and unless we run lots of classes all the time it's hard to find time for everyone who wants to come. I'm not good with teaching either - I'll admit that right from the start. I feel like I'm spreading myself too thin and that nobody gets enough of my attention. I definitely work better in a one-on-one situation so I'll give you the low down on what we've decided to do.

We're calling it Scrap-Training cos it's kind of like personal training for scrappers. It's individual, one-on-one teaching time - one teacher and one customer and that's it. Cass and I are both going to be available for scrap-training sessions and we're working out the nuts and bolts of our preferred times but at the moment it's most of Wednesday and most of Friday plus there will be appointment slots on Friday night crops too and a separate work area for people who want to incorporate a scrap-training session into their crop. Other times may be available by negotation because we understand that not everyone is free all the time.

How it works is you basically ring the store or come in, choose an appointment slot and book in. We work in hour long appointments and so basically that hour then belongs to you. Basically you've paid for Cass or I for that hour - hardy har har that sounds dodgy......! We will be at your disposal for that entire hour.

Scrap-training is better than a class any day because YOU CHOOSE what you want to do for that hour. We're hoping the flexibility will be a plus. You can basically choose whatever you want to do for the whole hour.
  • Each month Cass and I will create a "fave layout" that we like which will be available if you want to do that layout (or you can use it just as a sketch to work from, or you can substitute products, or change it if you like)
  • You can learn to re-create a layout you've seen in the window (which are usually our product showcase type layouts)
  • You can find something in a magazine that you want to re-create and we can teach you how to do that
  • You can bring in a layout from an online gallery and we can teach you how to create that
  • You can bring along a personal idea that you want to create and we'll help you do that
  • You can bring an off-the-page or altered item to do
  • You can come with a list of techniques you want to learn and we'll show you how to do them
  • You can come in with only ideas and we'll help you create something from them

The beauty of scrap-training is that we're not telling you what to do, making you copy a sketch or create the layout we've given you to work from. You tell us what you want to learn in your hour long session and that's exactly what you'll get to do. There are really no limits on what you can do, learn or create during your scrap-training session - it's your time so do what you want!

You get a teacher to yourself for the entire hour, and because you know when your appointment is, you can come in earlier and choose your products at your leisure so that you can focus on your work for an hour without having to waste class time looking for products.

There are no "minimum number" of scrap-training classes you need to book - you can come in for a one off appointment to get something special done or you can make a regular weekly appointment if you want to have a series of appointments to learn new techniques or a big project like a special occasion album. We'll still have regular crop days and nights as usual where we'll be on hand to help if you need the odd bit of advice here or there but we wanted to offer something more specialised than classes and in an environment of one-on-one so that you can make the most of your time in the shop, not worrying about keeping up or falling behind in a big class situation and not having to do a layout that you either don't especially like but want to learn the techniques for, doing something you don't have the right photos for, or worse, being left to your own devices to copy a sketch with no help. In our opinion we think we can provide better for our customers with scrap-training than we can with classes and we hope people will understand why we've taken this route. We don't think customers are getting the time or attention they need in classes and we've usually been happy to run our classes with only one person anyway if they really want to learn so we figured we'd save everyone the time and hassle and start something we think our customers will like a whole lot more!

The big question? The cost of course. Scrap-training is $2o per hour which is cheaper than our classes with the added flexibility of customers choosing how they spend that hour. And to give you even more value for your buck, whatever products you purchase from Cyberscraps while you are in the store for your scrap-training session attract a 10% discount! Again, this means our customers decide how much they want to spend on a layout or project rather than having the cost of the product factored into a class fee. It means you choose what products you want to work with and then enjoy the 10% discount.

So that's it in a not-so-small nutshell!!! lol Like I said before, we're sick of organising classes that are time consuming and not really as friendly and chatty as we'd like, and we know our customers have said they don't want to be told what layout to do, what products to use and then have to compete with other people for as much of the teacher's time as they need. We think this is a great solution all round and we're definitely looking forward to helping people achieve their scrapping goals no matter what they are! We're here to help our customers and we think this is one way we can best do that.

Now that that's out of the way.....not much else going on really!!! lol The wedding plans have been quiet the last few days, I've gotten invitations into the mail for people who needed them and tonight Doug and I are going to sit and finalise the ceremony. Now it's all down to having the money together for things like the reception deposit we have to pay next weekend and the balance of the celebrant's fee. There are a few hundred dollars worth of incidentals I think but that includes finalisng the lay-by on the rings as well as the cost of the cupcakes.

I got to work yesterday morning and in the afternoon we went to Springfield yesterday for a quick wander around and to look for more Ben 10 toys for James for Christmas. He's right into that at the moment and the action figures are getting harder to find. There are some that appear to be "rare" or at least hard to come across if you don't want to go on eBay and find them there but overseas do have heaps more merchandise for Ben 10 than we do here. We've discovered that the big three -K-Mart, Big W and Target - all have the Ben 10 toys so it's just a matter of going from store to store (only when we're in the area of course!) to see who has what. I fell in love with some great artificial lillies and roses at a homewares store but they were really pricey unfortunately so they stayed there. I'm a bit of a tight arse really - I want my flowers to look amazing but at a Crazy Clark's price!!!! lol I'm not doing a bad job so far, picking up stems of lillies, roses etc when I see them at good prices so I'm sure I'll have enough by the time the wedding comes around!!! Oh wow it's only three weeks away from today!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Funny how I don't get the flutters until I have to say it out loud like that! lol I'm not nervous, just a bit excited I guess.

Today we went to the computer market (or should I say Doug went to the computer market and the kids and I stayed in the car!) then we went to Garden City for a look around and more Ben 10 toy hunting. I found some nice white orchids and foliage in Dusk on sale so bought those. Caeligh had a massive tantrum in Toys R Us when she wouldn't do as she was told and so we picked her up and left. We had a really nice lady stop and chat as we walked away from the store with Doug carrying Caeligh as she screamed, writhed, spat, punched and generally carried on like a pork chop at the top of her lungs. She congratulated us for leaving even though she said she knows how embarrassing it is! Normally people just stare in horror as our beautiful daughter behaves like she's possessed!!!! lol We did try to have lunch at the Coffee Club but Caeligh started yelling when she had to sit nicely and two ladies looked around and gave me the full on "your noisy brats are disturbing our cappucinos" look and had a good long gawk at us with their disapproving stares. Honestly I couldn't help it and I'm so over being stared down (and partly because I'm so used to Caeligh's behaviour that I really don't give a shit what people think anymore) so I've turned to Doug and said (loudly and looking right at them) "I think we've upset those snotty ladies with our noisy child darling!". They suddenly looked even more horrified than before!!!!! ROTFPMSL!!!!!!! Could. Not. Help. Myself!!!!!!!!!!! After persuing the menu at 110 decibels we worked out rapidly that there was nothing they could safely eat anyway so we got up and left! Yep, it is sad but true that a happy meal from Maccas with chicken nuggets, fries and a bottle of water has virtually no nasty additives at all but even a plain sandwhich from a cafe had preservatives. We all felt more comfortable in the food court anyway!

I'm trying to get the Xmas thing organised early as in the next few weeks I won't have a moment to think about it so all the toys are sitting safely on lay-by and I went out and got all the decorations and wrapping paper and cards in one hit on Friday afternoon. I know it seems strange but I change colour combinations for my tree every year and last year I even changed my tree - a pink one last year. This year I really wanted an 8ft tall black tree with black, white and silver deccies - a whim really and nothing necessary by any stretch - but then I figured I could maybe just re-use my normal green tree and then I figured I would let the kids choose the colour scheme for once so they chose silver, blue and purple. So I have my bag of cheap shop decorations. I love, love, love the extravagant hand-blown glass baubles and beaded creations the department stores have but honestly they wouldn't last five minutes with Caeligh in the house so I just don't see the point. It would only end in heartbreak and money wasted. Plenty of time for that when she's older (and preferably moved out of home!!!! lol). So I'll be putting up the tree really early this year and I don't care if anyone thinks that's ridiculous or not. I want it to be a constant visual reminder to myself that Christmas is coming and also to remind the kids. The wedding is just one day and to our family our lives won't change at all so I don't want them to focus on that as the biggest thing in their lives right now. So Christmas takes priority and the tree will probably go up this week. I really love Christmas even though it's so stressy and I'm trying hard this year to keep things simple - still haven't forgotten my word for the year - CHILL - and I'm definitely trying to do that and not let little things worry me. I think I've changed my attitude so much in a year that looking back now I think a word of the year is a bit naff but it was fun at the time and something I did need to remember. I've even gone the whole hog this year and bought a Xmas table cloth, Xmas cookie cutter set and some "make your own cards" sets for the kids. I want to enjoy this time of year for once instead of it being something to dread. I WILL play xmas carols on my CD player if I want, I WILL put the tree up and enjoy the festive spirit as early as I like, I WILL do the kitschy things like bake xmas biscuits and do little craft activities with the kids for weeks in advance. I WILL make it a family time for once and focus on enjoying these little things with the kids and especially concentrate on making some new traditions this year. My family had almost no traditions at all except that my mum and dad took me up to the local lookout each Christmas Eve once it got dark and we stood and looked at all the plane lights and tried to decide if each red light was a plane or Rudolph's red nose. I got to play in the playground even though it was almost dark up there and my parents would push me on the swing and when I got home I'd put out milk and shortbread for santa and something for the reindeer. One year my mum even went so far as to create muddy hoof prints on our front patio - how she did that I'll never know but I will cherish that memory forever. Doug's family were the same, not much to speak of for Christmas. New Year for the Scots is a big one though with Hog Manay dinner and piping in the huge clootie dumping all aflame with lit brandy. There are a few other things like first footing and a wee dram but I'm still learning them. So we're trying to create some traditions of our own like the evening drive to look at the lights but I'll probably make it a night-time picnic this time round. There are a few and if anyone wants to share their traditions with me I'd love to hear about them. Coming from a family with almost no traditions it's seriously cool to hear about what other people do and I'd love to hear about some new traditions to adopt for my family. Can't wait to hear what you all do to celebrate this fun time of year.

I'm going to go now. I don't know how you manage to get through these enormous posts but I just type whatever comes to mind and that's what you end up with! As Stephen King the author says, thank you constant reader!!!!

Chat soon, love Lu

Friday, 2 November 2007

Quiet scrapping Friday

I did this one in the shop today - all gorgeous Cyberscraps products - and incorporated the fibres for the current How Dare You which finishes tonight. Last minute for me as usual!!! lol

Update more later. Lotta love, Lu

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Yay finally got some scrapping done!

Yipee finally got some scrapping done!!! Not much for a whole day in the shop but better than nothing!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Everyday Garbage Challenge #4 is up!

Well unfortunately the pic does not do the layout justice! I used so many thick textured things like RAM sticks from computers, the cd with chipboard on top and a name badge that it wouldn't scan at all and even the photographs are not happy campers today unfortunately!!! I promise it looks heaps better IRL!!! Anyway this was for our Garage/Hubby stuff layout that went up this afternoon and I've used the RAM sticks, a chipset from a PC, some plastic wire sheathing tubes, a CD and a whole pile of little labels that were *apparently* meant for Doug to use to put on his little plastic storage boxes for his computer stuff......sorry babe!!!! This was a fun one and I'm sure the acid free brigade would be horrified at all the stuff I've used that isn't "safe" but I like it anyhow!!!

I was over at Cass's place today and tried on *the dress* again - yep it definitely fits better than two weeks ago. And well it bloody would want to after the two weeks of busting my chubby butt at the gym and being sooooo careful with everything I eat but alas it's still not fitting the way I want it to and so I'm going to have to be really strong and put in a bit more effort if I want to see more results. My personal trainer Liam is being so helpful, always encouraging, doing sessions with me for no charge and everyone at the gym is being amazingly helpful as the big day gets closer.

We did go out and get bridesmaid dresses today for Cass and Lus - they are absolute identicals of my dress except that instead of the ivory/buttery colour of my dress, theirs is gorgeous turqoise colour with turqoise and silver beading exactly the same as mine. We were lucky and I did have a "thank you God" moment in the shop as we found two - the last two in each size - that we needed and for the price we were happy to pay so I was a thankful chickie today! I also had a go at putting together my boquet this afternoon but Cass rocks at this kind of stuff so she told me that I need more of this, more of that so I have to go out Thursday and get more of the kind of flowers I want and more of the ones I want for the bridesmaid boquets. We also had a bit of a think about the table arrangements and stuff like that. Doug and I still have to finish off the ceremony stuff that we want and get that back to the celebrant so we can do up order of service thingys if we want them plus I have to try to hunt up some of those Balinese flags - you know, the tall pointed ones on long poles? - yep need some of them apparently to mark off the area for the ceremony as technically it is in a public place. I really will need to sit down again with a list of things that need doing or in my scatterbrained chaos I am seriously going to forget things!!!

Oooooh I want to share something that we're doing at Cyberscraps - like classes but better - but we're still getting the nuts and bolts figured out so I can't blab just yet but keep an eye out and I'll post as soon as it's sorted. Think of something along the lines of personal training for your scrapping!!!!

Anyway what else is going on? My full time typing gig is over and tomorrow I'm back in the shop - YAY!!!!!!! Can't believe how much I miss the place - and Cass - when I'm at home. I also really miss getting some scrapping done as I haven't done anything at home in weeks now. I'm behind in all my challenge blogs that I like to participate in and it really makes me feel out of the loop when I can't get a great theme or challenge done because there just isn't time. Anyone got a spare 10 hours per day to lend me cos I really need them!!!! lol

The kids are all good - Blayd is excited about his Australian championship tournament for the National All Styles circuit down in Sydney the week after the wedding. His flight is booked and the accom is sorted and now I've got to sit down with him and do a really detailed food list for him so he can manage his diet on his own while he's gone. For anyone who's not a regular blog reader, my eldest has a form of autism (pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified or PDD-NOS) and incredibly luckily for him he functions and behaves 90% "normal" (whatever that's meant to be in this day and age!) as long as he sticks to a diet that excludes artificial colours, preservatives, flavour enhancers and virtually all salicylates (link to "are you feeding your kids healthy junk" in my sidebar goes to the website for the FAILSAFE diet which he does). It's a really hard diet with so many things he can't have so it's so important that he learns what he can have to avoid a reaction which in him is full on autistic behaviours like banging his head againast a wall, rages, tantrums, self-harm, all those scary things. So he will be under the care of his Sensei for three days as Doug and I can't afford to go with him and I do want him to learn some independence (even though he'll be under very close adult supervision and I trust his Sensei absolutely) so the mother instinct is to want to go with him but I do have to let him go a bit otherwise he won't learn for himself. Hard to do.......

Lachlann is going well, sleeping better and being very affectionate which is great. He's also learning the value of admitting when he's done the wrong thing and is really great about coming up to me and apologising after he's been in trouble for something. I've been trying to teach him that nothing is so bad that he can't turn it around if he's only willing to try and it looks like he's getting that which is great for him and for all of us really.

James is loving school and is almost at the end of his very first year. Can't believe it's gone so fast and how "grown up" he's become in a year. He's also completely obsessed with Ben 10 - a cartoon on Cartoon Network on Foxtel. About some kid who has a thing on his wrist like a watch, called an Omnitrix, which he can use to turn into all these different aliens whenever he needs to for the purposes of fighting evil. It's one of those things like Dora - kids started watching it on Foxtel and then before you know it there is Dora on every bit of crap and toy you can imagine. He went through the same phase with Blues Clues when he was 2 and 3 - had Blues Clues everything he could get his hands on. He's enthusiastic I'll give him that!

Caeligh is her usual ratbag self, pushing her boundaries and testing her limits every day. She is getting better. She doesn't throw a wobble if I go to the gym as long as I get cold water from the gym water cooler and bring it home in my water bottle for her when I'm done. She's finally learning to stay in her own bed all night. She's also learned that she can jump from the TOP OF OUR TV UNIT - about 7 feet high - onto the armchairs nearby and apparently it's funny and if you ask her "oh it's not dangerous!!!". I fear what the kid will do to herself in the nannoseconds when I have to use the bathroom or answer the phone. I do my best to keep an eagle eye on her but anyone with little kids knows how quick they are!

Doug is a fraction frazzled of late - the kids are all being really testing and his patience is quite thin at the moment which is really hard for him as usually he is more tolerant than I am. I think the pressure of money, work, kids, his mother's seemingly constant needs and wants and demands, the wedding and just stuff in general is taking it's toll on him and he isn't relaxing as much as he could be. I think we're all in serious need of a holiday but the cash just isn't there but it's something to aim for and save up for. We did want to buy a clapped out second hand caravan with a double bed and a couple of bunks inside and a canvas annexe so the big boys could sleep out there on fold out beds but apparently lots of second-hand caravan companies buy the ones in need of repair and do them up themselves for a profit so finding a cheap one (we're talking a couple of thousand tops and if I could find a give away then even better!!!! lol) is proving difficult so like anything on the wants list it will have to wait. But a holiday of any kind would be great over the Christmas break so I'll see what I can organise. Gotta give us mummies one thing- we can come up with something amazing out of seemingly nothing sometimes!!!

I'm off to the gym now for my nightly torture session plus more of the same for the rest of the week. Don't forget to check out Everyday Garbage if you want to check out everyone else's fab work for the latest challenge.

Thanks for visiting and for the comments too! Hope you're all having a good week. Love Lu!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

All About Eve challenge - secrets

This is my contribution to All About Eve's "secrets" challenge. Nothing too shocking - I love this pair of shoes - the only shocking part is that they're only for wearing "at home" ;) lol

Friday, 26 October 2007

Quick update

Well the week has been fairly uneventful (apart from the rat!!!! lol) and not too much is going on. I'm still working hard at the gym but I'm starting to find the diet hard but not anywhere near giving up yet as there's just over four weeks until the wedding so it's only a sprint now, nota marathon and I'm sure I can keep going until then.

I'm going to Cass's place Tuesday to try "the dress" on again. The scales haven't shifted in over a week but I have lost 5cms off my waist so I'll take that measurement instead of the scales any day!!!! Apparently because I'm doing the weights yadda yadda yadda anyhow muscle weighs twice as much as fat so I'm doing something constructive but it's still nice to see the scales move. I'll have to hop on their body composition scales next time I'm in to get a more accurate picture of where I'm at. I can see the differences still happening though and it's good motivation for continuing when normally I would have give up by now due to lack of willpower!
Above are a couple of pics of the invitations. They aren't all the same because basically I used pretty much whatever was in my stash and I didn't have enough of any one thing to do all of them the same but I figure hey, I'm a big believer in not striving for perfection and everyone knows I'm pretty relaxed anyway! lol Besides I figure nobody is so lacking in entertainment that they're going to go round catching up with other friends and rellies to compare invitation colours!!!! I just bought cheap KaiserCraft blank card packs from Crazy Clarks (at $2 for 6 plain white cards and envelopes they're a bargain!) and used one of the new Fancy Pants "From The Garden" stamps - thanks to Cass for her serious stamping effort!!! - and then used Kaiser stick on bling in silver, hot pink and light pink in the centres of the stamped on flowers. I bought a couple of rolls of cheap grossgrain ribbon from Spotlight for a dollar each and used bling flowers and prima flowers from my stash so all up I think the invites cost me maybe $30 for 40 of them so I'm a happy camper! The inserts I just printed myself on the computer using lovely washboard print lightweight paper that I had at home in a cupboard from the last time Doug and I were planning a wedding (about 7 years ago!). I also stamped the envelopes (or should I say Cass did!!! lol) to match the front design and they were done! Doug was a help in sticking all the inserts in and my eldest son Blayd (12) sat for hours with me putting on all the stick on bling in the flower centres. I'm seriously impressed that a 12 yo boy would be so willing to help so I made sure I heaped on the praise and thanks for pitching in to help. So they need to get sent today and while I realise it's not the huge months in advance sending that most wedding invites have, I figure it's not a big deal and we're a bit more casual than that.
Cass and I went into the Quilt and Craft show yesterday here in Brisbane and had a quick look around (difficult with Caeligh the tornado and Lily the princess with us for company but what can you do? They don't allow you to leave them in the car anymore......I promise I'm kidding.....if I left Caeligh in the car she'd probably work out how to hot wire it and steal it!!! lol). I bought the usual things, more VersaColour inks from that place that always has them $10 for four of them cos you can never have enough ink! I bought five Aqualip/Glaze pens - they're like the white and coloured souffle pens Cass and I absolutely love, they leave a very slightly raised solid line but the souffle ones are a matt finish whereas the ones I bought are a glossy shiny finish. I've been looking everywhere for them and they're really hard to find in shops. It's more the stamping shops so far that I've found them at. If you're a big freehand drawing/doodling fan on your layouts then seriously try to find some of these awesome pens!!!! They are Sakura brand and I'm totally in love with them and go through the ones I do find really quickly. I also bought some v.cute dice brads even though I'm not a huge brad fan, bought Caeligh some sticker packs to keep her somewhat happy and found a great MDF briefcase (Cass bought one, showed me and I went straight over and bought one too) as it's a great size to hopefully fit all of my inks in one place. Right now they take up lots of space in my big tool box and I'm running out of room for tools. I tend to keep my Fiskars, adhesives, pens, etc in the box but the inks are steadily taking up more room and after buying yet more yesterday there just isn't anywhere else to put them so I'm glad Cass found the briefcases. Honestly I must have almost a hundred inks (got that great 50 pack of VersaCube inks with my SM subscription a couple of years ago and have used virtually all of them even though when I got them I took one look at all the weird and wonderful colours and said "no way am I gonna use all these!" but I have and then gone looking for more!!!). So that's pretty much all I bought but we did catch up with the lovely Sandra and Rachelle for coffee and a chat and said a quick hello to Andrea whom we've only met once before. We didn't get quite the detailed look at the place that we would have liked but sometimes that's how it goes.
Tonight we've got crop night at the shop which will be fun as always. I've got to finish up the class layouts/OTP for November as well as do my Everyday Garbage layout for our next challenge (no hints here but look on the blog later today) as well as a stack of challenge blog layouts that I want to do for myself. I've got my idea for All About Eve worked out and just need to take the photo to go with it and I'm still working out in my head what to do for One Little Word and Aussie Dares. Still loving all the great challenge blogs out there even though I feel like I have bugger all time to do any of them lately.
I've got today and tomorrow left of my full time typing gig and then it's back to Mondays and Saturdays. The money has come at a really handy time but how far it will go I'm not sure. I will however be very happy to get back into the shop next week and be able to have that set aside time to get scrapping done that I just can't seem to find at home no matter how hard I try! My desk here usually ends up as a paperwork repository for junk mail, school notes, magazines and everything but scrapping stuff.
Here's a scary thought - time to start thinking about Christmas!!!! We've at least gotten as far as putting everything on lay-by for the kids that we wanted to get them so that's one big part already taken care of. The other pain in the butt is Christmas lunch which we always have here at home. This year we've noticed that Caeligh really seems to go crackers if she has preservatives in her diet and Blayd can't have them at all because of the intolerances he has so while last year we fudged things a bit and let Blayd have a bit of normal leg ham, this year I don't think we can do it with Caeligh being as sensitive to it as she seems to be. It's probably worse because she doesn't have preservatives at all and so on the rare occasions she gets them in her diet by accident the reaction is huge and very noticeable. So the plan is to find a butcher who does hams the traditional way, salted and smoked naturally without any artificial smoke flavour, the colour that is sometimes added to make it look better, and the truckload of nitrate preservatives that are added as part of the normal curing process for most butchers. I know it will be expensive to do it that way but it's hard to put a price on the look on Blayd's face when I tell him that he can have everything on the table instead of just pointing out the stuff that's safe for him to eat. Caeligh loves ham so it would be very hard to not let her have any. I can hear some people thinking that it's Christmas for goodness sake and what harm will one day do but for Blayd especially the behavioural side effects last for two to three days and as it's already a stressful busy time of year I can do without it all. And let's face it, Caeligh is just off the charts most of the time and I honestly in good conscience can't feed her anything I know will make her behaviour worse as she's a danger to herself now with the risky, dangerous things she likes to do. Her latest trick is to climb up our entertanment unit (seven foot high mind you!) and then jump about a metre forward and onto an armchair nearby. She's totally without fear and we still haven't found a deterrant yet for her to stop doing it. We don't have the room to move the furniture around because there will always be a couch or armchair near enough to jump to. I'm going to have to think about that one and work something out quickly before she breaks a limb. She always waits until people have left the room and then does it and I'm finding it hard to watch her every waking moment. Oh loving the challenging behaviour........
I'm going now that I've kept you all from whatever you should be doing by typing out this massive post!!! Thank you for taking time out to read if you've made it this far. Have a fab weekend no matter what you're doing and I'll try to post a bit more regularly so it isn't all in one big chunk!!!
Lotta love, Lu

Sunday, 21 October 2007

The only thing worse.....

.....than finding a rat on the back doorstep? Finding half a rat.......! lol

Friday, 19 October 2007

Just over five weeks to go!

Til the BIG DAY!!! I don't know if I'm nervous, more just excited I think as we've thought about it for so long off into the future that now that it's so close it's a bit weird now!!! lol

We met with our celebrant on Sunday afternoon. She's a really lovely lady and made us feel very relaxed and comfortable with her right away which is great. We did our paperwork and all that kind of thing and this week I've printed out heaps of different vows, ring exchange wordings, etc that she emailed me. Just have to get Doug to sit down for half an hour to choose things he likes. I've done that already, some just seemed like the perfect choice straight away so it wasn't hard. I hope he likes the same stuff!!! I'd hate for us to have our first ever big argument over the wording of our wedding vows!!! lol

I've gotten almost all the flowers I want for my boquet and for Cass and Lusi's as well. Because I really want to wear the yellowy ivory dress I've gone for cream coloured lillies, peonies, cabbage roses, etc plus whatever else I see between now and whenever I do up the boquets. Cass and Lus will have fuschia-dark pink orchids, lillies, etc. The flower girls have their dresses so that's something taken care of. I've still got to work out what the boys will wear, probably just dress pants and a button up shirt or something. Lachie still wants a full penguin suit and I still can't talk him out of it!!!! Something will have to be done about that boy!

I've got the styrofoam dummy cake layers to use as a stand for my cupcake mountain thing. That will be a fun job the day before the wedding and another reason I'm using artificial flowers cos I don't want to have to do two big jobs the day before. I've also found cute little pink and white butterfly sprinkles at Woolworths that don't have any nasties in them (very rare indeed!) so they'll probably get used. I bought a pack of 100 white bakery sized big cupcake papers at Spotlight last night so I'll put them somewhere safe (e.g. on the moon if I don't want Caeligh to get them!!).

I've been trying so hard to be good and focussed on the weight thing so that the dress will fit. I tried it on at Cass's place this week and it zips up but it's really tight across my bum and tum - look like a very classy rolled roast!!!! lol But I know it won't stay like that. I'm sticking to my 1200cal/30g fat per day diet which for me has been really hard. I'm an absent eater and I just pick up stuff and eat without ever adding it all up. The food diary has been the best thing for me, writing down every single thing as I eat makes me realise how much I ordinarily would have had. Even a couple of chocolate biscuits here and there or a handful of chips or a couple of slices of pizza all add lots of empty calories to the total and I can see how all my habitual snacking has made me gain so much weight cos I just eat without a second thought as to how much is in all of it and if I'm not exercising then it's far more than I can use up. I've had a good weeek at the gym too, working really hard, pushing myself. I did a pump class on Tuesday night which felt like it was going to kill me and by Wednesday afternoon I thought it might! I even got up Wednesday morning and went to the gym for a half hour on the treadmill so I wouldn't get that awful post-heavy exercise agony but because I'm sitting 8 or 9 hours a day to type it's happened anyway because I'm not moving during the day. At least in the shop I'm up and down and moving around alot but not doing that enough at home. I had a personal trainer session with the v.cute Liam yesterday morning. We did boxing!!!! I'm a bit unco so learning the moves was fine but putting them together in different combinations of punches was hard! Then the sprints up and down the training room weren't fun either but I got through it okay and then he cheerily says to me "okay now you can go do your cardio for the day!!!". I was sweating, puffing, exhausted and quite sure I had done all I had to do!!! lol So onto the treadmill for half an hour again but feeling better today. I can see how people can be discouraged though - I've lost 2kg but nothing for a couple of days now despite the extr hard work in the last few days but I can definitely see my body shape continuing to change even though the scales aren't moving. I can only assume that I'm adding some muscle mass as I lose fat so that's why it's balancing out. I can't wait to try the dress on again next week and see if it fits a little better. All the trainers at the gym are being amazingly supportive and they all know why I'm there and what I want to achieve so they often come over, ask what the plan is for that day and offer suggestions to up it a bit or they spend some time doing things like sit ups/crunches etc with me as I HATE doing those. I'm still quietly amazed that I haven't fallen off the wagon yet as normally I would have but I did ask for God's help in this, to improve my health and to fit into the dress I had bought and again He's come through with extra resolve for me at a time when I thought I would be worried and stressed and freaking out about every little thing but that hasn't happened either. I'm feeling calm and relaxed and figure everything will sort it self out and I can only do what I can do and if some things don't get done like little details then most people won't even notice I bet.

Now what's happening in the scrapping world? I haven't heard about Masters but heard that final decisions also haven't been made yet but very soon so fingers crossed for all us shortlisted girls. That would make a nice wedding present though wouldn't it??? nudge, nudge, wink, wink if Casey and Krys ever read this!!! lol

The shop is still busy, the October offer is really popular which is great. We just keep getting in more and more stock all the time and we're seriously running out of room. Good thing Cass is an organisational genius!!! She's there alone at the moment while I'm at home typing and I miss our chatter and deep and meaningfuls over the paper racks when it's quiet. I also miss that time to just get layouts done. I haven't done that all week at home but Cass and I are getting together tonight to do some scrapping for the shop so I won't be completely deprived!!! lol

Doug ended up winning tickets from Triple M to the Indy this weekend on the Gold Coast so he's taken a day off work to go down. Blayd is on an excursion to Australia Zoo and I've had to work so Doug left Caeligh with his mum (we might take her tomorrow or Sunday) and he and Lachlann and James have gone off for the day. I made him promise me he would get them both ear plugs. I don't care if he doesn't want to take care of his own hearing but the noise as soon as you get close to the track down there is just amazingly loud so ear plugs are an essential! Doug's more into the V8's than the champ cars but today he'll get to see both. It will be a big experience for the boys as last year we thought James was a bit small to go so we didn't take any of them and Doug and I just went by ourselves but this year I think they'll all be better able to handle the noise, crowds, etc. The passes he won are for the whole four days so he's going today, maybe tomorrow and we're not sure about Sunday, which is the big race day for the V8's and the champ cars. He also won tickets to the Indy Fest concert on tomorrow afternoon and into the evening. He has very kindly donated those to Cass and I if we want to go down as he's not into the whole concert thing and he knows we'd probably enjoy it more. Small Mercies, Kiss Chasey and Good Charlotte are playing and I'd love to see them so we'll see logistically how that works out as I have to work until about lunchtime tomorrow. This year the tickets he has won include flexi-seating as well along the track. Last year we just won paddock passes which meant you could get in and wander around all day - yep like cows in a paddock but there was no seating anywhere!!! So he's excited to have a place to sit down and watch for a while this time. He's made off with my camera and his old crap digital camera as well which I think he said he was going to let James use. Jamie is turning into quite the camera buff, taking mine every chance he gets and he's not got a bad eye either! Maybe for Christmas he will get a cheap low end Kodak or something for him to practise his photography skills.

Is anyone else doing anything exciting this weekend? It's getting towards the end of the year and Christmas shopping is upon us again. Thank goodness the shops aren't all decked out just yet. My kids never get it that actual Christmas is so far away from when the shops get decorated. Caeligh and James figure Santa is coming any day now and I have to keep saying that Santa is frickin ages away yet!!! But they look at all the shopping centres done up and say "but it's Christmas -look at all the trees and the lights!!!". It's hard to explain commercialism to little doesn't make me feel festive, just annoyed that they peak soo early these days.

Okay I'm going back to my typing (the work kind!!!) and I'll try to get some pics up of the invitations and the flowers etc next week cos a couple of you asked to see them. Thank you to everyone who has emailed or commented and left congratulations for us. It's a reminder of how not alone we actually are and I loved reading everyone's kind words. I think some people who know Doug and I are more excited than we are!!!! lol

Have a fab weekend and thanks for visiting. Lotta love, Lu

Monday, 15 October 2007

What am I scrapping?

We got in all our new My Mind's Eye stock last week at Cyberscraps (the October offer is still going if you want to grab some goodies and get a 50% store credit for whatever you spend - postage excluded etc) and I decided to sit down and do some craft knife work which I haven't done in AGES! So I've used two pieces of the same paper and just cut out the flower shapes out of one with a craft knife and then used pop dots to layer them over the original sheet. I've also gone a bit berko with aqua and beige souffle pens and done lots of outlining and using the cut out shapes to trace around and then fill in the pattern by hand with the souffle pens (that hand drawn part along the bottom). Thanks to Lusi for your fabulous photo of Doug and I - I really should let other people do the shooting from time to time!

Now THIS gorgeous young man is Cass's boy Ronin - a cherub if ever there was one - in looks anyway!!! He's very much like caeligh - can't see the horns on the outside!!! lol I've used some ScrapWare chipboard flourishes and those drop dead gorgeous flowers are our new Prima range that came in last week as well. They are satin and look old and vintage dyed and they are just beautiful.
This week is update week for most of the challenge blogs so there will be a new OLW (didn't even get around to doing the current one), a new AAE challenge (which was my Pink layout), there will be a new Dare this week (I've missed you guys even if it's only been two weeks!!!!) and of course tomorrow there will be a new Everyday Garbage challenge and I'm still putting the finishing touches on that one - slack me!!!
The weight loss is going well - 1kg down since this time last week even though I haven't been able to get to the gym over the weekend with all the running around for wedding stuff. We went to the reception place Saturday afternoon and sat down with the head chef and the functions manager and just went over what we wanted. It's almost exactly what I had planned but I'll have to make a few changes here and there and I can deal with that. Then we took the kids down to the beach at Wellington Point (where we're going to have the ceremony) and after having a look around I think I would far and away prefer to have the ceremony in the park under the fig trees as the sand isn't really dry white sand like a normal beach but wet packed sand. We can always venture down to the sand for pics after the ceremony. So something else to sort out in my head about how to go about setting up, etc. The hardest part about being the bride is that everything I would normally set up myself I can't do as I'm supposed to be getting ready!!! lol Maybe there's a teeny weeny bit of control freak in there somewhere as I'd really love to be the one to set up the ceremony area and I'd love to be there early setting up the reception tables for dinner as well but I'm going to have to hand those things over to others unfortunately. I'm sure it will all work out just fine whoever does it!
Okay I'm back to work now. I have typing to do plus invitations to print out. Cass and I are making them ourselves tomorrow and as of yet I have very little idea of what I want them to look like!!! lol I've got the new Fancy Pants "fron the garden" stamps that I might use cos they're gorgeous as well as some suede finish frangipanis and crystal brads. We'll see what comes together!
Take care, love Lu

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Migraine gone!!! lol

Wow what a week it's been here in my house! The kids are all excited about the wedding and as things often do, the plans have changed quite a bit since I last blogged.

We were originally doing the Registry Office thing and then I remembered my lovely friend Tash's wedding which was on a clifftop overlooking the beach and ocean and I remember thinking how much I wish we had been closer to the sand and the water. The beach has always had huge magnetic pull for me and I feel so calm, happy and centred when I'm there so I put it to Doug that maybe we could get married on a beach someplace. I thought right away he'd say no as he's not really a beach person (but he does an excellent job of tolerating it for the rest of us each summer!) but he liked the idea so we started thinking of beaches and what was available for reception ideas in the surrounding areas of the beaches we liked. We also wanted to look for our favourite Irish band - Tullamore Tree - to play at the reception as we'd always promised ourselves we'd get them if we ever got married. It turns out they were unavailable on the Saturday night we'd originally planned but were playing at the Wellington Point Hotel on the Sunday afternoon so as we weren't committed to a Saturday wedding we've decided to make it Sunday afternoon instead so we could have our favourite band there. We've also decided on a 2pm wedding down on the beach at Wellington Point which is a nice area with a conservation island about half a kilometre off shore and at low tide (yep it is a really really low tide!!! lol) you can walk from the mainland out to the island and back. So we've decided to go with the whole beach thing which is going to be fab. Then we're off to the hotel for a cocktail type reception with drinks, music and platters of yummy things to snack on. The band plays from 3.30pm until about 7.00pm so we've got a few hours to while away and hopefully get a chance to have a dance and enjoy the company of our guests. Afterwards we are going to give people the option to stay on for a more formal reception dinner on the rear deck in the restaurant if they'd like to. Because we're not asking for gifts (after ten years together I think we've got just about everything newlyweds would need!!! lol) we're going to ask guests to pay for their own dinner if they wish to stay. I was a bit iffy about that at first as it seems a bit rude but we are on a really tight budget and we'll be supplying everything for the cocktail reception ourselves so we thought people would understand if we explain how we're going to work things. That way people have the option to spend time with us and then head off if they don't wish to stay on for dinner. We're certainly not forcing people. It will be nice for whoever is able and willing to stay on to join us as we're having the cake and all that jazz after dinner. The reception venue have been just amazing so far. They've allowed us to reserve their huge outside dining deck which overlooks the water, offered to set up all the tables as a formal wedding reception with the whole white linen thing and even set up our table decorations for us at no cost. I can't believe how helpful they've been. We've got an appointment after I finish typing on Saturday afternoon to go down and actually clap eyes on the venue and choose the cocktail reception menu and just confirm everything we want to do. Then on Sunday we have an appointment with a really lovely celebrant I found on Tuesday (after much prodding from Cass who reasoned that if we don't have a celebrant - given that the paperwork needs to be lodged in a week or so - then we're not going to be getting married no matter how lovely the floral arrangements I'm thinking about!!! She's a clever girl my Cass, knowing what needs to get done while my head is off in the clouds thinking about some other little thing that probably nobody else will notice but me!!! I'm great with the creative detail but really crap at getting the important stuff done and anyone who knows me will attest to that.

So as of today we have the reception booked, the celebrant booked, the venue for the ceremony and I think I've even decided on a colour scheme which is what I'm good at.

Oh yep and as of this afternoon I HAVE THE DRESS!!!! EEEEEEKK! I have spent the last week traipsing around all kinds of snooty bridal shops, trying to politely and without looking to pov-arse, ask where their sale/ex-hire/budget rack is so I can find something I'm happy with. I don't want a Vera Wang here people, I just want something I'm happy with how I look in. And I know that for most of us that's a tall order too, especially for me as I'm carrying about 10kg more than I'm comfortable with right now. I still have more on top of that but that 10kg I've put on in the last few years is the one that rules out the stuff in my wardrobe I really like, stops me from fitting into off the rack stuff at most chain stores and means the difference between a size 14 item of "normal" clothing and a size 18/20 chumba whumba outfit at a "big girls" shop. Yes I know it shouldn't matter, yes I should love myself regardless of size and all that spin but hey - when you can't find anything that doesn't grab at every chubby bit you've got then you have a problem!!!! And let's not forget how flattering shiny white fabric can be to the larger woman!!! Not bloody flattering at all!!! It's an exercise in depression while trying to keep my self-respect and dignity in tact as yet another long nosed bridal store assistant shows me the "larger sizes" range - which by the way all look the same - and tut tuts at me as I say no to yet another strapless flowing thing which is supposed to flatter and camoflage the lower body. I DON'T WANT FREAKIN CAMOFLAGE - IT'S A WEDDING NOT A MILITARY ASSAULT!!! I want something pretty, something sexy, something that doesn't make me look like the side of a white delivery van as I turn around. There's a reason they only have one big mirror in front of you cos you'd never buy anything if they had those 360 degree ones like Trinny and Susannah have. You'd just collapse on the floor of their elegant bridal shop and start howling for Tim Tams - that's what you'd do!!! Okay, well it's what I'd do........ So in frustration today I visited what I figured would be the last shop I'd look at for a while. I have a very understanding gym who realise that I have to shift some of the weight before I will be comfortable in my own skin (and eventual dress) for the big day and they've set me up with great nutritional advice and an exercise regime to follow for the next six weeks so I can - as they say in the army - be the best I can be. Hey maybe it IS a military thing........! I walked in and lo and behold their sale section was about ten times as big as their new section! I suddenly saw boundless possibilities from full on bridal to cocktail dresses and formal gowns. I have however been strangely drawn to the beaded sheath dresses I've seen which I never would have normally looked at and I still can't explain why I like it but I have found (DOUGLAS IF YOU'RE CHECKING MY BLOG THEN DON'T READ THIS PART!!!!!) a gorgeous, georgette, floor length beaded spaghetti strap buttery ivory coloured sheath dress which is bridal yet very beachy looking and I absolutely love and the best part was it was well within what I was going to spend on a dress (and I can tell you it wasn't much!! lol) but the slightly scary part is that I purposefully bought one that is a tight fit on me. Now I plan on using the dress as motivation because I love it that much that I really actually do want to wear it in six weeks and have it actually fit comfortably. So I have some work to do which is okay with me. Some of the weight has to come off anyway so it will be nice if I can get partway there while getting on with the wedding preparation as hopefully the time will fly and it won't be as hard going, knowing that I've got something wonderful to look forward to at the end of it.

So there you go, no scrapping or anything but some good wedding plans going on!!! lol

There's a crop at Cyberscraps tomorrow night if anyone is up for it - just ring us at the shop to let us know if you want to come on 07 3274 55 22 and also we're having a great special for October on line as well - whatever you spend online in the store (excluding postage etc) we will give you 50% back as store credit to use next time so that's really stretching the scrapping budget further especially as we've got so much gorgeous new stock in, terrible to the point where we're running out of room for it all!!! How awful is that??? NOT!!!! lolo Hop over to Cyberscraps and check it out if you're up for some great priced scrapping supplies plus 50% store credit as well. It doesn't get much better than that!

Okay well I've got to head off to bed soon, if beauty sleep is in order then I'm going to need at least my 8 hours a night (plus a few weeks solid huh!!!). Have a good weekend and don't forget to check out the fab entries for the Everyday Garbage blog for this fortnight. Clever chickies having fun with us over there!!!

Chat soon, love Lu

Monday, 8 October 2007

Saturday, 6 October 2007

All About Eve - Music

Here's my take on All About Eve's latest challenge - Music. I've loved music all my life, always have the radio on in the car and love to sing. Pink has been my favourite singer for a while now, her whole look, attitude and music really speak to me and her "I'm Not Dead" album is one of those rare ones where I actually love just about every song on it which doesn't happen often for me. So I find her very inspirational, strong, opinionated and ballsy - all the good qualities I like and try to foster in myself! lol She's definitely a bit of a muse for me.

Saturday already and some BIG news!!!

Here's what I got up to at the shop on Wednesday. I had a terrible tragedy of running out of photo paper so the only stuff left was canvas paper which is why the pics look a bit weird! lol I'm having a serious invasion of the style snatchers moment and these layouts are a bit different for me but I'm still happy with them. The top one I really love just because of the colours. Don't you love the pic of my darling dd with the dirty face!!! lol That's a permanent thing for her, always grubby! The second one is a pic I took of James last weekend at Lusi's picnic. I'm eternally grateful that at least one kid will always pose on command for me - or at least look up when I tell him to and realise I'm trying to take a picture so not make a funny face at me constantly.......!
Yesterday I got my All About Eve layout done but it's not scanned yet so that will come later today probably. Very happy with it. This fortnight's challenge is music and whatever music means to you.
OLW this fortnight is GONE and while the first instinct is to mourn something that is gone, I purposely won't do that and I'll try to focus on something positive if I can cos that's just what I prefer to do. So I'll give that some thought today but I don't think I'll get any scrapping done.
I have to work this morning until lunchtime and then I think we have some shopping to do today as school goes back on Monday and I'm pretty sure there's no lunchbox supplies in the house!!! Tomorrow Doug will be gone all day tomorrow at High Octane for a day of sim racing and entertainment and watching Bathurst on the big screen with his mates from 8.30am until about 5.30pm so I'm doing the racing widow thing all day. The little ones are going to Gran's for a sleepover tonight and spending the day with her tomorrow so that's two less to find ways to entertain for 9 hours. Blayd will be at his State Titles for karate all day with his teacher so it will just be Lachie and me for the whole day. I've got a few housekeeping type shopping things to do but anyone with more than one kid will tell you (and definitely anyone with four of 'em!!!) it's always a special occasion if you get to spend a whole day with only one of your children without having to take everyone along. The plan for me is to get the shopping stuff over with early and then maybe we'll go see a movie and have lunch or something. I feel like I rarely spend one on one time with my kids, especially the two older boys. I try to get out one night a month and have coffee alone with Blayd or Lachie (we call it "Date Night") but then sometimes if we have lots of things going on that doesn't always happen either. Lachie doesn't know about tomorrow yet and I'm going to surprise him when he and Blayd come home this morning.
Okay in BIG news stories (and no way am I pregnant again!!!!!) - Doug and I have decided to FINALLY get married! We've been together for almost ten years, engaged for about nine of those and we have two children together. We had gotten to within a month of getting married when James was only a newborn as Doug's dad was very sick with terminal cancer and we wanted to tie the knot before he passed away but we couldn't make the plans fast enough and he deteriorated very quickly and passed away before we could organise everything. After that happened we kind of let it all go and didn't think much about it again. After all, we've been very happy for a long time and as both of us has been unhappily married before we weren't sure we wanted to "jinx" what we had by getting married. I know that's totally irrational but there's always that little fear in the back of my mind because you do hear of people who are perfectly happy as live ins or as an engaged couple for a long time and then they decide to get married and for some unknown reason it all goes to pot from there. I have no idea how that happens but I don't want that to happen to us. It is pretty much just a formality but we were watching TV the other night and a show was on about how a couple who had been together for a long time couldn't make important medical decisions for each other as they weren't married but their parents could make decisions even though they weren't close to them or hadn't seen them in a long time. Awful as it sounds, I'm not close to my Dad and if something happened to me I wouldn't want him to be the one to make the decisions as he doesn't know what I would want. Doug is the person who knows me inside and out and he's the only person I want to be making any decisions on my behalf and so we figured that something like that, that could impact our family and our whole lives together, we really should fix it so something like that can't happen. So we just looked at each other and said "How about it?" and we both agreed that we may as well just get it over with!!! lol Yep real romantics we are!!!! So we've set a date of 24th November (only 7 weeks away!!!! AARRRGGH!!!!) and we've started all the paperwork and planning. We've gone and bought our wedding rings a couple of days ago and everyone I've told has been very supportive and excited for us which is nice. I think others are more excited than we are! lol When I told James the only thing he wanted to know was who would be the ring bearer!!! I didn't even know he knew that job existed but he told me that his favourite cartoon character Ben 10 got to be a ring bearer so that's how he knows and he's decided that that's the job for him in the ceremony (which I guess it would have been anyway!). He's already decided for us that Caeligh and Lily will be flower girls and I've already asked Cass to be my matron of honour although there's nothing matronly about my Cass. It will be de ja vu for her though as she was in my bridal party the first time round!! lol But we're both a lot older and a lot wiser and I'm glad that this time I will be getting married for the right reasons and to the right person!
As for stuff like the reception, what on earth I'm going to wear, all those things??? No freaking idea at all!!!!! lol I guess I've got a few weeks to try to sort that out and we don't want to spend much money if we can help it so we'll do what we can with what we can afford. The ceremony itself is going to be Registry Office all the way (I have no idea if a Registry Office wedding has the stigma that it used to but to be totally honest I don't give a damn actually!) so that part is taken care of and all I need to do is find our birth certificates and Decree Nisi from our divorces and go book it a minimum of one month and one day beforehand so I have to remember to do that in the next couple of weeks at the most. They also have really nice photography gardens and the registry is in the old government printery which is a beautiful heritage listed building in the city so good photo opportunities there!!! With so many scrapping friends I can only imagine I'm not going to need to hire a professional photographer!!! lol I do plan on taking my own camera though!!!! Scrapper to the core I am!!
Oh if anyone has any really good tips for a budget wedding in Brisbane or any great tips on how to use my scrapping skills to help with costs then please feel free to comment. I've got every intention of doing the invitations, cake, favours, etc, etc myself but I don't even think I can remember all the details of stuff so if you can think of things then I'd love to hear some ideas!
So there you have it, my big news which isn't really that big but in a way it will be nice to finally make that commitment to each other and it will mean a lot to our kids as well.
I'm off to get some work done now but I'll post up my AAE layout later on. Have a lovely weekend whatever you're up to and I'll chat again soon! Love, Lu

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Everyday Garbage Challenge #2!

Everyday Garbage's second challenge is now up and this fortnight we're challenging you to use things from your bathroom!

We were all excited about this one and we've been posting some hints to give you a bit of direction and we've had some great comments and suggestions to help along the way too.

I've done an OTP which is unusual for me. I'm usually a straight down the line layout kinda girl but I had a Panadol Rapid Handipak in the bathroom cupboard and then on my desk for a few months and I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and realised that it would make a cute little pocket sized mini album! I took out the two sheets of panadol that were inside the packet and used them as the template to cut out the insert pages that I've done. I've also used it to cut patterned paper for the inside cover of the album too. It's called "A Pocket Full Of Michief" which suits my girl right down to the ground. She's very big on making faces every time the camera comes out so that's all I've had to work with! lol I ended up cutting a cover from felt and used a hot glue gun to stick it all the way around plus for the felt flower embellies and the heart as well. I've then put the insert page inside and used a couple of Caeligh's hair ties to hold the insert in place. I'm really surprised at how well it turned out - who would ever have thought you could do so much with a packet of panadol from the bathroom cupboard???? Come on over if you have time and have a look at what we're up to or better still head off to your bathroom and start gathering your supplies! Entries are due in by midnight Sunday 14 October (AEST) so there's plenty of time to get moving. We're also looking for guest Garbage Girls so be sure to get your entries in if you'd like to join us for one of our upcoming challenges.

Apart from the mini, album I haven't done much other scrapping. I'm hoping I'll be able to do some tomorrow at the shop as I met up with Lusi for a picnic on Saturday and met some of her lovely friends. Jilly was there with her gorgeous twin boys and they and my son James hit it off like a house on fire. Now Jilly and I are both being driven mad with requests for play dates!!! lol I've got some great photos so I'll have to either try printing them at home to use or get out to Harvey at some point before work tomorrow. Lusi goes back home today. We had a great night last night, meeting up with her and Nat for coffee up at Mt Coot-tha at the lookout for an evening of chatting and lots of laugher! We even got some pics in cos we're never without the cameras! Lusi - MISSING YOU ALREADY BABE!!!!!

James is at home at the moment, being really helpful, tidying up and watching TV for the most part. Caeligh is at kindy today and the big boys are with their dad until the end of the week. It's definitely quieter but the dynamic of the whole house is different too and I miss them heaps.

I'm working today and then in a couple of weeks I'll be doing two weeks full time which will hopefully give us the rest of the bond money we need to move over the Christmas holidays. It's weird now that we have a little bit of savings in the bank. Before, when we literally didn't have a cent spare each payday, I could have thought of a thousand things to spend money on if we had any but now there's money there and I could go and buy those things, I don't actually want to! I've never been good with saving and money does seem to burn a hole in my pocket so I'm trying really hard not to find things to spend it on. I don't want to live payday to payday for the rest of my life and at some point I have to learn to say "stop the spending!!!" so we can get ahead. I also worry that my money habits will rub off on the kids and I don't want for them the lack of money skills I've had most of my life. We're trying to introduce a payment system for their chores so they can learn to put some of it away, some for spending, etc.

Almost everything is back in my kitchen now but we need to go look for another kitchen table and chairs as ours were third or fourth hand when we got them and I don't have to tell you how unkind kids are to furniture! lol So it's dinner at the coffee table for us for the moment but funny enough the kids don't care......I guess they figure they're closer to the television!! lol Now that the kitchen is almost done, the laundry has been piling up while we haven't been able to get in and out of the back door easily because of workmen and mess and stuff everywhere. It just never ends does it? You get on top of one mess and then you turn around to find something else that needs sorting out! Doug does most of the laundry but he's back at work this week and I'll be doing it because even though I'm working, I'm still at home and have time to put on a load, put out a load, etc.

I best get back to work but just thought I'd check in about the EDG blog stuff. Thanks for coming by and having a look. I really do want to do more blog surfing and commenting but I'm struggling to find the time to do even the most basic stuff like keeping in touch with the girls on the Cyberscraps forum, keeping the EDG blog running and remembering to post in my blog. Chuck in some photo editing and answering emails and I feel like there's just not enough time left in the day.

Anyway I hope the school hols are treating you girls with kids okay - I've been really lucky that I haven't heard the catchcry "I'm bored" too often, it's been more like "there's nothing to eat!" with James here by himself. Far out for a skinny kid he puts away a lot of snacks!!! It's his lunchtime now so I better go find him something before he fades away!

Chat again soon, love Lu

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Yay productive Friday!!!

I had a great day in the shop yesterday, getting a few layouts done which is always great as it's just about the only place I scrap any more!!! lol At home it's always typing work or housework or some other thing that has to be done and scrapping seems to come a sad last to everything else so luckily at the shop (most of the time anyway) scrapping is my number one priority. The above layout is one I did just for fun, no particular reason except that I bought some Buzz & Bloom chipboard at the Paper Arts Festival yesterday and liked the punched out middle bits so much that I used them. I also took a leaf out of fab Lusi's book and bought a thingy of correction tape so that's the white stripes you see on the page. It's a bit hit and miss with those unfortunately but y'all know I'm not big on perfection so I didn't mind! lol The paper is by Luxe and they have some really great bold patterns and colours. It reminds me a bit of Cheeky Miss from last month's SM and I didn't even realise the colour similarities until I was finished. I think if a colour combo works for me I do tend to go back and use it again without realising.

This layout was using our new Dream Street papers. Not sure if I like all of them but definitely liked these ones! The buttons are ScrapWare brand, as is the scroll thing on the side, and the mesh is actually real plasterer's mesh from Bunnings! Gotta love non-scrapbooking crap!!! The photo is the predictable result of asking my darling Dougie to smile for me so I could get a couple of pictures of him!!! He was warned I would use whatever he gave me to worth with so there it is!

The last layout I got done was for Aussie Dares - scrap your irrational fears. Now fear of the dentist is actually very common I've heard and for me it came from years of treatment at the school dental hospital where the focus was on getting the work done rather than pain minimisation or easing a child's fear. Because I've genetically got "brittle" teeth with cruddy enamel I frequently get cavities no matter how careful I am with dental hygiene so a visit to the dentist for me has always involved fillings, needles and drills. I can imagine some of you reading this are squirming already - I don't even like to think about sitting in the dentist's chair, let alone go there voluntarily!!! So as a result of my morbid terror of the dentist I avoid going at all costs and I have to be in serious "not even the painkillers are working any more" type of pain before I'll go and by then the problem is way more serious than if I had just had it looked at early on. That's the irrational part, I'm so scared that I make it even more traumatic for myself by delaying treatment so the problems get worse, resulting in more extensive, painful, costly treatments which make me not want to go!!! Vicious cycle.......... Also irrational is that I've had four kids, all straightforward births, one with no pain relief, one that went on for 27 exhausting hours, so you'd think an hour at the dentist would be a cinch but you get something amazing and wonderful at the end of a birth, the only thing you get at the end of a dentist appointment is an expensive bill!!! lol
I'm working this morning (can you tell from my amount of blogging that I'm working really hard?!?!?!) and then when that's finished I'm off to Mt Coot-tha for a picnic lunch with Doug and the two little ones and some friends. Like Yogi says, I'm going to need to go find my pic-a-nic basket somewhere around here and do some packing methinks. I've got the camera primed and I'm sure that Caeligh will enjoy a day of shattering the tranquility of the botanical gardens along with some other children whom I know will be equally as adept at tranquility shattering as her. If you had planned on going today for a family reunion, a romantic little picnic for two or to enjoy the gardens in solitude - WATCH OUT FOR US!!!!! You'll hear us coming no doubt!!! I've got the camera primed and ready so I'll be sure to take some photos. I can hear the sounds of shock at the prospect of a gatering of scrapbookers contemplating taking a few pics at a gathering. OK I'll admit it, I'll probably take dozens and dozens of pictures!!! You can't ever have too many, you know it's true!!!! lol
Tonight we're going to a get together at a friend's place. They are painting their recently purchased house so we said we'd come and give them a hand if they need any but I think it's more a BBQ and a couple of tasty drinks more than anything else which is fine by me! The little ones are going to Gran's for a sleep over and I don't think we've even got anything on the cards for tomorrow as yet. Doug and I might go to the Rocklea flea market without children in tow for once which is always nice. Apart from that there's a whole lot of house cleaning that needs to get done as the kitchen is still mostly in boxes and baskets on the floor and everything now needs to find a new place and a new home. I hate sorting but also hate the clutter of having stuff sitting around on benchtops and on the floor. I love to see clean, empty benchtops although the new kitchen benches had only been in for an hour on Thursday when one of my kids (nobody will own up!) left breadcrumbs and a huge splodge of strawberry jam on one of the new benchtops and put their jam covered knife and plate in the new double bowl sink - WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS STILL TAPED TO THE INSIDE OF THE SINK BOWL!!!! lol I had to laugh - they at least put the stuff in the sink - even if the sink hadn't even been used yet!!! Oh while I remember - another entry for the slacker parent diary here - a reflection on the amount of time Doug or I probably swear and don't even realise it. Caeligh was in the kitchen yesterday after I had left for work and Doug was pottering around organising the new pantry. She is very independent and won't ask for help with anything - she just likes to help herself as she's quite high functioning and capable for a three year old. Normally she'd just make herself her Weet-Bix or get herself a sandwich but because everything is out of place or out of reach now she stood looking inside the new pantry and obviously couldn't find what she was looking for because she just shook her head and said "Shit! Where's all the food gone????". Part of me is shocked because she's so heard the word from us and part of me thinks it's hilarious that she uses the word IN APPROPRIATE CONTEXT!!!! pmsl!!!! Needless to say Doug quickly helped her find what she wanted and explained that nice girls don't say "shit", nice girls say "oh pickles". We had to remind her of that a lot when she went through her F-bomb phase (also used in appropriate context like when she couldn't pull her shoes on properly!!!).
I'm off to get some work done so here's to a quiet, relaxing weekend if that's what you want and you have my commiserations if you won't be getting it. I've got a Kathy Reich book sitting on my bedside table and I doubt I'll be opening that much this weekend either. Can't even remember the last time I read a book - certainly hasn't been this year so far I don't think!
Have a great weekend and thanks for popping in. Love, Lu

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