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

Friday, 28 September 2007

Hint, hint.......

The first hint for Everyday Garbage Challenge #2 is now up! But it's a very personal issue so be sure to view with discretion!!!! lol More hints coming up between now and Tuesday and you have until Sunday night midnight (AEST) 30 September to get your layouts in if you'd like to be in the running for the Marah Johnson Rock Star RAK.

Cass and I had a sabattical from the shop this afternoon and went into the Paper Arts Festival here in Brisbane. It was actually really small but still managed to pick up a few things I really liked like some big Prima flowers, some red glossy Bella chipboard alphas, more inks and Aqualip pens, basics like Pritt and pop dots etc. We had a great time, catching up with Lisa, Ruth, Leone and Marni as well as some other girls.

Today Lusi arrives and tomorrow will be up for a big picnic in the park kind of thing so that all of us who love her to bits will get to meet each other. It's funny how there are so many interwoven connections through the internet, forums, etc. People we know, people we know of, people we admire yet for whatever reason haven't had a chance to meet. I'm sure it will also be a mad dash for the cameras to have so many friends we know in the once place at the one time!!!

My kitchen is done and has soooo much more room than before. I chose smoke blue cabinets and dark blue granite laminex for the bench tops although to be honest I really didn't care about the colour. I was just glad to have it done!!! The workmen were all lovely and super-fast but Doug and I are still slowly getting everything back into the kitchen and sorting and chucking stuff out (as you do when you have to completely empty a room for whatever reason).

The boys have gone for a week's holiday with their dad so the house will be a bit quieter. I really miss them when they're gone but at the same time it's nice to have a chance to do things with the two little ones without having to worry about the bigger boys getting bored with things like indoor play centres etc. James and Caeligh are off with Gran today for her usual Friday babysitting and I think the plan for tonight will be scrapping for me and Cass and Doug is desperately trying to finish Halo 2 so that he can crack the seal on Halo 3. He got it on Tuesday when it was released and I can't believe he's been so patient. So that's his aim for tonight I think, to get his game finished so he can start the new one. I'm sure he'll end up doing more tidying up as well as he's just one of those nice guys who will do whatever he sees that needs doing. Worth his weight in gold that man!!! I should marry him one day!!! lol

Okay, back to the grind here at the shop (not that being here is every really work!) cos I want to get some new layouts done and I think I should finish off my EDG layout for next week too!!!

Have a great weekend and take care! Lotta love, Lu

Thursday, 27 September 2007

All About Eve - Future Glimpse

This is my layout for All About Eve. I'm not a big one for looking back so I'm looking forward instead, to what things I want for myself in the future.

Just a quick post as my house is in the middle of HELL right now with my kitchen only half finished and with no power or water connected to it so far.

I'm off to the Papercrafts festival at the RNA showgrounds tomorrow afternoon with Cass to catch up with Lusi for a bit.

Talk about heart attack - Doug was just standing next to me in our room watching the boys climb the big tree out the back. The next thing we see is our tiny girl up the tree and scrambling along a high branch just like the big boys. Poor Doug has almost had heart failure (me too!!!) and run out to tell her to stop moving so he could help her get down. The funniest thing is that she didn't look the least bit scared and she is as agile as a cat. I'm more worried about her brothers falling and hurting themselves than her but it wouldn't look good in the Emergency Room while she waited for treatment for a broken limb if I said that!!!!

Chat again soon, Lu

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Stuff from today

Well this is the product of my work at the shop today. I had a class to teach this afternoon so didn't get as much done as I would have liked although I did do my All About Eve layout late this afternoon but not scanned as yet.
The top one is my layout for One Little Word. Somebody saying the word "perfect" to me is like showing a bull a red rag. It makes me mad!!! I just really dislike the word although I have things in my life that I'd consider as close to perfect as I think it's possible for us as human beings to get; I love my kids for the perfect beings that God created them to be (even though they all drive me crazy in their own way), I have as close to a perfect man as I could ask for and I have two near perfect jobs (each with their own little downfalls but pretty damned good all the same and both bring me a different kind of happiness). So the layout is about me and about how these days I love imperfectness. I revel in it. You could almost say I strive for it!!! I don't want perfect because to me it doesn't seem real, it's like a television show where things always turn out right or something like that. So apologies for not being in the "perfect life patrol" spirit of things but I love my imperfection and that's what perfect means to me these days. I know the OLW girls will totally get it so if you see a word you aren't sure about or you don't love, don't give the whole thing a miss, just put your own spin on it and celebrate your take on things!
The bottom layout is created with the new Fancy Pants papers and die cuts we got in at Cyberscraps this week. Admittedly don't love them but I'd like to think it doesn't stop me from using something for DT work.
Well tomorrow is remodelling day for our kitchen. We live in government subsidised housing and they've decided it's time to upgrade our admittedly ancient kitchen. I'm thrilled with that but not thrilled with having to remove EVERY SINGLE THING from my kitchen including all furniture, shelving we've bought and put in ourselves because there was so bloody little when we moved in, all the cupboards have to be empty and the fridge, freezer, all has to be gone so that they can redo the floor covering as well. I promise you it is going to be a day of take away tomorrow including breakfast as the workmen arrive at 7am and I have no place to get the kids set up for brekky anyway. I'm hoping I can actually leave the house all day while the tradesmen work as I've got all four kids and Doug at home on holidays tomorrow and I can't imagine surviving without a functioning kitchen for a whole day!!! Doug has valiantly offered to take the kids up to the indoor play centre for the majority of the day while I stay home and scrap if somebody has to be here. I will readily admit I think I'm getting the better end of the deal out of that one!!! lol I can put a kettle in my room and as long as I have coffee I think I'll be okay!
So that's my day tomorrow. The first of our new clues for Everyday Garbage go up tomorrow as well, just to get everyone's interest and get you thinking about our next challenge which goes up on Tuesday 2 October. We're still seeing amazing entries for our first challenge come in every day and the number of visitors we've had just leaves me totally floored by it all! I'm really excited that it's proving to be so popular and hopefully we are achieving our goal of getting scrappers to step outside the comfort zone and take some chances with their work. I can't wait to share my project for Challenge #2 - I've had the idea for weeks now, even before we knew what we'd be doing for the next challenge and while it's a little left of centre (isn't everything at EDG though?!?!?) I'm still really happy with it and it's something that I wouldn't have done in a million years before we started the blog.
Okay I'm going to bed now. I've got YET ANOTHER COLD and feel like crap. I'm going to finish my nice hot lemon drink with paracetamol in it and head off to bed. Doug and I still have to get up fairly early to do a vacuum and quick last minute tidy of the kitchen (or should I say what's left of it!!!) before the tradies turn up tomorrow.
While I think of it, I'm really grateful for hot lemon drinks with paracetamol in them, Doug for always being the one to stand up and do what has to be done, our car for keeping on keeping on, quiet time alone at this shop this afternoon which could have been really boring if not for a burst of inspiration for a layout I ended up doing, grateful that my kids know the blessings of having siblings even if they all hate each other right now and want to strangle each other on an almost hourly basis, and so grateful for Lusi being able to visit and for God orchestrating that for us all cos I miss her so much!!!! I'm also grateful for a wonderful shop owner at Cyberscraps who provides Cass and I with everything we need (and in abundance) so that we can have fun and create and do what we love. I'm also super-grateful (after today's computer dramas) that Doug has so much knowledge of computers that there's not much he can't fix (even if he doesn't have a piece of paper to say he can do all the amazing technical stuff he can do).
Have a great day tomorrow. Lotta love, Lu

Monday, 24 September 2007

She didn't go to kindy soon enough!!!!!

Do you see the pictures of the cute little girl below in my last post? Gorgeous isn't she????? Yeah don't let the looks fool you!

First up she decided that television was too good to leave just for a little thing like needing a poo - so she just took off her pj pants and undies and dropped it on the timber floor of the loungeroom instead.............there are just some days when I don't have any words and this is one of them........

Her older brother was meant to empty the dishwasher this morning and got as far as opening the door all the way but then got pulled in by the TV tractor beam. Her Royal Brattiness then decided to go into the kitchen. Now our kitchen, being a rental house, doesn't have a dedicated under bench dishwasher space so ours sits in front of an unused cupboard and we have a hose connector thingy to the tap and that's how it all works. Because the dishwasher is freestanding we have a couple of heavy plastic storage tubs on top with kitchen stuff in them to weigh it down and for the most part that works fine - unless you do something stupid and dangerous that is. This is the part where Caeligh comes in.

She walked into the kitchen and decided to STAND ON THE OPEN DOOR of the dishwasher, thus causing the whole frigging thing to topple forward, launching very heavy plastic tubs of kitchenware across the length of the kitchen floor and the whole dishwasher fell forward, falling on the door in the process so that all the now smashed crockery and glassware remained safely inside the dishwasher. I have been able to make this assumption based on the mess that I found upon leaping up out of my chair at my desk like I'd been shot and bolting through the house in response to the crashing sound and her scream of terror as she surely though the dishwasher was coming to get her. Lucky for her (and prayers of thanks to God for keeping her safe from herself) she came to no harm, unlike my plates, cups, mugs, bowls and wine glasses................ :(

Where on earth have I been?

Well I've been here - at my desk everyday - just not doing much personal blogging!!! lol I've been working a bit still this week even though I'm only part time now but there's still backlog to be caught up on and hey money is money right????? Yeah we've all heard my opinion on this one before.......anyway so I have been here and I'm far more up to date with my email and the Everyday Garbage blog than I have been with my own, naught me!
I did get to go back to the shop this week which was great. I really miss the place and very much miss Cass when I have to be at home working. Interestingly we've become kind of like the Siamese twins of scrapbooking!!!! Because we are so close I think we get automatically paired - when people think of one of us they usually think of the other as well. I am not complaining in the slightest - I can't think of a better way to enjoy my art than to have my best friend by my side the whole way! I spent Wednesday sitting with a very lovely elderly lady who had begun some scrapbooking but wanted to try a Bella tag album so I gave her a hand and showed her some ideas. That pretty much took up a lot of the day with customer traffic included and Cass spent the day reorganising the shop. She's so good at that in a way I can't even comprehend and now we have a Christmas section all set up and plenty of rack space for when the new Urban Lily ships soon and the new My Mind's Eye etc. Hard to believe with all the stuff we have in the shop that we still don't have all our new stuff yet!!!!! Thank God for Cass's phenomenal organisational skills or I just don't know where we'd put anything!
Thursday I spent over at Cass's place and the intention had been to try to scrap cos I had done so little over the last few weeks but the motivation just wasn't there y'know? It's hard when that happens, the time and the product but not the enthusiasm to create anything. So we basically had a bit of a bludge day and didn't do much at all but play with the little ones, take pictures, spent lots of time cuddling Cass's sister's baby Toby (who is so damned seriously cute!!!!!! - but not in a clucky "gee I want another baby" kind of way, just can appreciate the cuteness of him and hand him back) and watching TV. That was about it! The photos above are a couple from Thursday with the girls dressed up. Caeligh put on Lily's ballet tutu and mucked around for a bit so I snapped the bottom two pics of her. I haven't had a chance to review the rest yet. The top two pics of Caeligh are ones I took a few weeks ago - you know the ones I did in the car park with the pink tree? I showed some to Jilly and she very kindly had a play with them in Photoshop as a surprise for me. They are gorgeous and I can't wait for a bit of mojo to strike so I can actually DO SOMETHING with them!!!!!
Well it's a busy week as far as challenge blogs go. Everyday Garbage has one week to go on our first challenge In The Kitchen and entries for that one close midnight Sunday 30 September (AEST). I updated the site yesterday with the entries we've received so far and wow are they great!!!!! The response has also been amazing and we can't thank people enough for their support of our ideas right from the word go.
Aussie Dares has a new challenge this fortnight and it's really one to get your teeth into which I absolutely love. The challenge is to scrap your fears. This is the kind of thing I really love to scrap about, the gritty hard stuff so I'll definitely be trying to fit that one in this fortnight.
All About Eve's latest challenge is "a glimpse" so you can scrap a treasured past memory OR you can have a peek into the future and scrap what you think the future will hold for you. I'm really enjoying the AAE challenges so another one that I'll try to fit in.
One Little Word's latest word up is "perfect". Now I'll admit that I find some of the words a little cliche and kitsch for me. Sure I could do a thousand layouts on what I find perfect - gorgeous pics of my beautiful, smiling (and if I cleaned their faces, maybe even not dirty for once) children but there is a little bitch voice inside me that is telling me to take the whole "perfect" concept and cram it sideways because basically I don't like perfect - not in any way, shape or form so most likely I'll go with my idea of a layout about "anti-perfect" which is kind of how I think of myself. So I don't want to offend any of the seriously talented girls at OLW but I won't be able to go with what I assume will be the popular choice on this one. But that's the beauty of these challenge blogs, you can do in any direction you like with it and people are just happy that you've had a go. That's real freedom and what I love about participating in these kind of things.
So if you're in need of some inspiration there's some ideas for ya!!!!!
So what does the week hold so far? Well it's school holidays as of today (groan, moan, sign of resignation) so all three boys are home. Caeligh however is going to kindy because I still have to work and even though Doug has this week off work too life is just easier when she goes to kindy. Yep some people will probably think that's terrible but I'm a realist. She'll have a far more exciting day at kindy being constantly amused and given interesting things to do than she will at home, getting herself into trouble, fighting with her brothers and generally causing havoc (like she's done all weekend!!! lol). I think Doug has the cleaning bug now so I think the plan was for some serious gutting of the children's rooms and a serious amount of toys and clothes making their way to local charity as they have too damned much! I asked Lachlann yesterday to cull any clothes that don't fit him any more and do you know what he has left? Two pairs of shirts, one frigging T-shirt and an old Pumpkin Patch jumper!!!!! Thank goodness Kmart has 25% off kids clothes until Wednesday! And then I asked Blayd the same thing but he still has 90 of his wardrobe that fits but then told me he has only two pairs of shoes - and one pair are those nasty black rubber and wetsuit material slides which are so bogan (think he got them from his dad's house....!) so that won't do at all either and KMart to the rescue again with buy one pair of kids' shoes get the second half price. Funny how sometimes the sales are there when you need 'em!
I had better get moving. I still have lots of typing to do before the "normal" workday stuff starts and I can hear a fight in the loungeroom over the TV remote so I had better go sort it out before Caeligh hurts somebody!
Have a great creative week and comiserations if you've got kids at home! Here's hoping they give us all a break this week and behave like little angels - or you can find someone else to entertain them for you at least!!!! lol
Lotta love, Lu

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Surprise but!

I was looking for cool new challenge blogs to add to our Everyday Garbage links list and remembered to go back and check out Scrap The Boys which is run by the lovely Sharryn Thomson. I was "bowled over" (sorry for the pun!!!) to find that she had chosen my layout "Opening Bat" as her "Just Because" pick! How spesh is that?!?!?! I'm always thrilled to see others who like my stuff and I hope I don't ever "get used to it" iykwim? If there wasn't that little buzz then I think I'd wonder what the point was considering that yep I'll admit I scrap partially for the personal recognition thing, to prove that this is something that I've created in my role of being just me as opposed to being mummy, wifey, employee and all that other stuff (which I love too, it's just not the same but I hope you get what I'm meaning by that). This layout was originally subbed for SC's colour comp.

Nothing else exciting but just thought I'd share. Cya, Lu

Everyday Garbage Challenge #1 is up and running!

Here's my take on our first challenge which you can find here. We had to use something from the kitchen and at first I thought that might be hard because all I could think of was brown paper bags!!! lol Then I took some more time to just wander around and look in drawers and on shelves. I did end up using a strip of brown paper bag but I also used a yellow couscous box, a brown teabag packet, a black permanent marker for writing on freezer bags and the yellow rectangles with holes in them - they are Decor Tellfresh labels that you're meant to slide into the front of your food storage boxes and write on them with pencil so you know what's in the container. I am so not that organised so I had lots of the food storage boxes on the shelves but the little packets of yellow plastic tabs were in the bottom of my plasticware cupboard, still in their own little plastic bags with a little pencil and an eraser. My kids really liked getting a little pencil and rubber for themselves and I ended up with almost 20 of these plastic tags. I then used permanent pen ink to blot over some of them and the freezer pen to mark pen stitching on the rest and on the layout. Totally happy with it but no guarantees about the archival security of any of it. Like I've said before, it was for fun so I'm not really worried.

My dictionary from my typing has not been able to be restored fully although Cath did very kindly email me hers so that some of it was back and all of my precious auto-corrects are gone, gone, gone like George. That's the hardest part as it saved me so much time and made my life a whole lot easier. So now I have to re-create them all again, hours and hours of work but what can you do? Nothing.....except learn for next time to make sure I back up all those things specifically before I do anything to my computer. It just didn't occur to me that Word wouldn't keep that stuff when it reinstalled. DUH LU!!!! So my own fault really.

Waiting on new One Little Word and All About Eve challenges this week and I can't say for sure that I'll get Aussie Dares done although I'd like to.

This layout is the other photo I had on my blog the other day from my quick photo shoot with Lachlann. I've used Kaiser bling on this, a big round silver earring, the Marah Johnson Rock Star metal guitar and banner embellishments plus the matching epoxy stickers and some gorgeous purple velvet brads which are also Creative Imaginations that we got into Cyberscraps. If you're a brad addict you should see the jewelled, glittery and velvet brads we got - I'm pretty sure they're under What's New - find them here. I've written the journalling in gun metal dark grey gel pen but it's really hard to see on here. Love this one - all to do with the fab products I'm pretty sure - that and the seriously cool subject matter of the photograph!!! lol

I'm off to do more typing now but have a great day and don't forget to check out the Everyday Garbage challenge if you get a chance.

Lotta love, Lu

Monday, 17 September 2007

Grrrrr computers!

I love my computer, I really do.....when it's working! It's been giving me some trouble on and off for a couple of weeks now, the kind of niggling bugs that mean that something vital will give way any ol' time and on Friday afternoon it did just that! The motherboard was toast apparently and the machine just kept trying to restart itself and the processor was being fried alive by heat. Because Doug was sure he could get a replacement at a really good price from the computer market on Sunday morning I couldn't work, blog, email or wander aimlessly around the net like I sometimes like to do for all of Saturday and most of yesterday too because it took so much longer than expected to fix the machine. Doug had to do a nuke and rebuild (so basically wipe everything including the operating system and reinstall EVERYTHING). 10pm last night I got my computer back, with a few nips and tucks and looking better than before. So that's why I haven't drawn my RAK winner yet but it's here now - the winner of the Marah Johnson Rock Star RAK is Brigitte!!! Yay for you girl - thanks for commenting on my blog. If you can email me your addy I can send you your RAK asap.

Well my work hours have been changed AGAIN! The chick who left decided that she didn't like her new job and wanted her old one back and they gave it to her!!! So now I'm only working two days per week instead of five but God does make sure you get what you need and the amount I'm earning will still pay for the rent when we move over Christmas which is all I really needed from the job. The extra money would have been nice but the money to cover the rent is what we really needed so I feel blessed that we still have that. Slow going today though because when the computer had its rebuild yesterday my custom dictionary for Microsoft Word was nuked as well and Doug forgot to save it before erasing the whole hard drive and reinstalling everything. No problem really, he talked me through a data recovery program over the phone and we've rescued everything that was on the original hard drive and now I need to wait for him to get home so he can search through all the data and find the dictionary before getting rid of the other stuff again. The dictionary is my list of shortcuts and abbreviations I use all day long in my medical typing. It's taken me years to accumulate all the corrections on there and so today has been really slow going while I have to type everything out in full because none of it is in the system. Oh well, hopefully all fixed tonight.

The weekend was pretty quiet, I had a class Saturday morning at the shop and then Saturday afternoon we went to Garden City for a wander around. Doug wanted to look at something in Toys'R'Us and I wanted to try some Dreamy Donuts. They're meant to be the same as Krispy Kreme (got the taste for those after our Sydney jaunt!) and wow were they good!!!! My favourite was by far and away the raspberry filled with a huge slab of white chocolate on the top. There are just not words for how good it was and therefore I have resolved that I should probably never EVER eat one again lest I fall into its evil clutches and be forever hopelessly addicted to them! lol The last thing I need as I pretend to give a remote toss about my weight is a brand new food addiction! I've given up on the diet shakes though - the coupling of those milk based shakes plus the basic necessities like Diet Coke make me so sick that I ended up throwing up last week so that's out the window. I keep looking for the "magic bullet" or something that will make it easier or faster to lose weight but deep down I know that what I really have to do is be more careful about what and how much I eat and I need to shift my fatty boombah bum and do some exercise - whether I like exercise or not! I have been going to the gym but only once or twice a week and given that I'm not exactly the strictest person when it comes to what I eat, that just isn't enough to do more than break even. Certainly isn't enough to make me lose any weight, just halt the gaining process.

So Sunday was a trip to the computer market to buy some parts for my computer so that I'd actually have a working computer. I also stopped in at Target and bought some new thongs - yes I am totally a complete dag and I do pretty much live in thongs all summer long! I already have a great pair of hot pink ones so I ended up getting a pair of lime green ones with white polka dots and a white pair with cherries all over them. That should cover just about any fashion contingency of the season!!!! Remember when I bought Caeligh some new shoes last week? The red embroidered suede ballet flats for the bargain price of $5??? Well she was wearing those when she was in the backseat of the car late last week and she thought it would be a good idea to open a 4 litre bottle of motor oil sitting on the floor in front of her and pour half of it all over the carpet in the back of the van and ALL OVER THE BRAND NEW RED SHOES!!! I tell ya, there are not words some days for that girl..........I'm sure it's nothing that a firetruck full of degreaser won't fix (the carpet in the van that is) but I'm pretty sure the dainty suede ballet flats are a write off. If you have any safe way to remove motor oil from suede I'd love to hear it (when you all stop laughing cos I know, that's just a ridiculous proposition cos clearly they're ruined beyond salvation and what kind of optimistic fool am I?........).

Well tomorrow is our big launch of our first Everyday Garbage challenge! We're all so excited and have our takes on the challenge sitting waiting to share them with you! I'm the only one out of the five of us (cos I do most of the posting, only because I have a bit more time in front of the computer than the other girls) that has seen everyone's work and I love how different we all are in our styles and the way we approached the challenge. Still can't believe how lucky I am some days to be junking it up with some of the best in the business! The whole plan so far is that all the hints we've given - the last one went up this morning - will point to the challenge we'll be putting up tomorrow. If you have time to go and post a comment on the hints at all then we'll be drawing a random name to receive a RAK as well plus you'll get to see what other creative minds have suggested for the hint items we've posted. There are some clever chickies out there I am telling you!!! We're hoping the blog will be a real source of inspiration for people and something new and different for scrappers to have a go at. For some people we know that the whole found objects thing is really hard so hopefully the ideas you see on the site will get you to try new things, think "outside the square" cliche as that sounds, and just give you a reason to have a little fun with your layouts. I will say right now that I very much doubt that my layout is acid free and completely archival safe but I did it because I wanted to and it's meant to be about creativity and fun. I have albums and albums of perfectly preserved archival safe layouts - this time I wanted to be able to be as creative as I liked without having the constant worry of it all being acid free yadda yadda. I know some scrappers are reeling in horror at what I've just said but hey it's a bit of fun and the layout will last as long as it lasts and I'll keep creating my other stuff as well. Trust me, my kids will never be short of layouts about their childhoods! lol

Our very first Everyday Garbage challenge will go up tomorrow, Tuesday 18th September and you can access it from here. Come have a look at what we're up to and join in if you can!

I have to say thank you to Lisa Le-Ray for her much needed cheer up for me the other week. I will get back to you soon. Jilly I hope your day hasn't been too exhausting (yeah right!!!) and rest up when you can. Kat and Peta, thanks so much for Friday night - we always have so much fun when you guys come hang out with us!

Back to the typing grind but I'll be back again soon. Have a great week, love Lu

Friday, 14 September 2007

Cyberscraps cybercrop tonight!

If you're in the mood for some scrapping and some games and some company then hop over to Cyberscraps for our cybercrop this weekend.

I've already posted up our three challenges here if you want to get a head start and then tonight we'll be having games and chat on our forum with our fabulous forum chicks!

Cass and I have our TGIF crop night at the shop tonight but we'll be multi-tasking and helping out online as well so we'd love to see you stop by and join in.

Chat soon, Lu

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Rock Star RAK

I promised to wait until our Rock Star was in and wow is it just gorgeous!!! Above is just one of the very funky designs in the range. For this RAK I'm including one each of all the Rock Star papers and some bits and pieces of the accessories like the epoxy stickers and some cardstock stickers and a couple of sheets of the rub-ons as well. I would have included more but I had no idea the range would be quite so popular! If you want to have a look at what's left click here.

We also got in some completely fabulous ScrapWare chipboard shapes as well. Very well priced and beautiful to work with. I've got the skulls and crossbones and I'm just biding my time until I have enough scrap time to do something special on a layout with them. At the moment all I'm doing is typing and keeping an eye on Everyday Garbage by putting up our hint posts and there's been no time to do anything else much.

I did drag the completely happy to participate Lachie into my room yesterday for a v.quick photo shoot as I wanted something special to go with the Rock Star papers I've got for my DT work and didn't have anything quite right in my photo stash. Here are my two fave pics from yesterday. He really got into it, asked for black emo eyeliner and borrowed one of my nose rings - without the steel ball in one segment of it so it sits on either side of his nose inside and out and really does look like he's got a nose piercing - he thought he looked totally "wicked" and I had a fleeting glimpse of what my 10 year old baby (2nd eldest of four but still think of him as my baby) will look like in five or six years! I see the future and it scares me (that's my own mortality speaking there, I'm fascinated yet slightly horrified to be very close to being the mother of teenage boys!).

I think he looks amazing though!!! I mucked around in GIMPshop for the top one, adjusting the histogram for the brightness and mucking with the contrast etc. The bottom one I used the brightness and contrast to fix after I had changed it to rich B&W with the hue saturation. Sorry Jilly but I'm still totally hit and miss at this!!!!

Today brings lots more typing after more work was added to the queue yesterday afternoon so I'm trying to get the fun stuff over with first because I just don't know when I'll finish work today. I miss the shop soooooo much!!!!! I miss spending three days a week in a place I love working along side my absolute best friend in the world - Cass!!!!!!! I miss our wonderful customers who come and chat and watch us work!!!

Fear not! We have a crop night this coming Friday night from 6pm until midnight and I'll definitely be there even though I haven't been in the shop for two weeks (is it that long already?). If you want to come hang with us in the shop with some tunes and pizza for dinner then give Cass a ring at the shop today on 07 3274 5522. Kat and Peta - we definitely want to hear that you're coming!!!!

Okay well if you would like to be in the draw for the RAK you know the drill. Just leave a comment any time over the next five days - I'll draw the RAK Sunday night. If you have time and you would like to join in the inspiration brainstorm in the lead up to our first challenge launch on Everyday Garbage have a look here at our latest hint - there's a pattern so far that will tell you what you'll need to do for our first challenge plus people are coming up with some rockin' ideas for our hints so far! So cool to watch everyone putting their ideas out there to share with others - that's completely what our mission was when we started off.

Have a great Wednesday no matter what you're up to! Lotta love, Lu

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

All About Eve challenge

Yep I know, I know.....I've had this one up here before and it was not long ago pubbed in SM in their "Day In The Life" gallery but I'm going to hoist it up the flagpole again because it's a pretty accurate record of my average day and because with all the typing work and EG challenge blog setting up we've been doing, I don't have time to create something from scratch. Right now my everyday actually consists of my computer - for work, for scrapping, for play, for kids' research - for just about everything and so that's pretty uninspiring as far as layouts go.

Back later with hopefully something more interesting to share!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Happy happy Monday

I know that title sounds completely bizarre as normally Mondays suck quite frankly BUT I got my DT allowance from Cyberscraps of the shiny new and completely rockin' Rock Star range from Marah Johnson. Totally love so far!!!! There is a drop dead gorgeous large winged guitar metal embellishment that I can't wait to use and as Lachie got Guitar Hero for the playstation for his birthday I have already singled him out as the perfect subject for a rock star layout.

Thanks to God again for intervention with the phone account problem. The loveliest man called me from their pr department and sorted the whole thing out in the space of five minutes with no drama and no fuss at all. Totally and utterly helpful and he said he didn't really understand why nobody could have done the same thing for me on Friday and saved all the grief.

And it seems that as of about ten minutes ago, Blayd still couldn't spell "detention" and he gave Doug some incredibly lame story about the teacher having to leave suddenly and everyone else being on duty so there was nobody to supervise his detention so it was cancelled. His dad, who works at the school, told me Blayd tried that at lunchtime to escape his detention then too but there's no answer at his pod so we can't confirm yet whether that's actually what happened or if he's just giving us a load of bull (which is what I'm pretty sure is going on). I tell you, I can't believe how sneaky and cunning he's becoming. It's horrible to watch my eldest son - who has always had some problems and been a little bit away in his own world - turning into some nasty creature that I can't trust, can't believe anything he tells me. I don't like the feeling that I can't take him at his word but he keeps proving me to be a fool when I do take him at his word and I'm getting a bit jack of that! It sounds mean of me but he's always been a bit clueless and he continues to play that card all the freaking time and it's driving me nuts cos now he's proving that he's far more clever that he makes out. He can't quite manage to do any schoolwork but he's getting an A+ right now on his report card for lying, avoidance, scamming and spinning crap. The "A+" is for effort, not for skill or accuracy cos he's not very believable anymore. I'm seriously thinking I need help with him. I've heard that the Triple P parenting program is really good and there was - coincidentally or not? - an ad for the program for dealing with teenagers from 11-16 (since when do 11 and 12 year olds count as teenagers? I guess they're dealing with life earlier and earlier these days) in the last school newsletter and I think I'll have to take a deep breath and just ring and see what we can do. I'm having one of those revelations where I understand now just how mind-bogglingly infuriating it must have been for my parents to watch me lie to them over and over again as a young teenager and prove myself untrustworthy on more occasions than I can now remember. Knowing how dreadful I was - as a girl - I'm cringing at how bad Blayd is going to be. He may be sly and cunning lately but he's still also very easily led and I bet you can read my mind about the kind of trouble I worry that he's going to get himself into. I know the kind of trouble I got myself into and I was just a really lucky kid, never getting myself into a jam that God didn't show me a way out of but not every kid is lucky and I'm just so bloody worried about where he's going to go from here. Any advice is one hundred thousand percent appreciated........

On a bright, happy note, our next hint for Everyday Garbage is up - find it here. This one's going to have you scratching your head for sure!!! lol My layout for our first challenge is sitting here on the desk next to me and I have a scan on my computer and I'M BUSTING TO SHARE IT BUT I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT TUESDAY!!!! ARGH!!!!! I also wish I could blab about all the cool fun challenges we have lined up but I'm sworn to secrecy on those too!!!!

I'm off to type again now - love my job, love my job - but I did get paid so that's a good thing! Still more work than I know what to do with but that's just how it goes.

I was going to share some pics of the stuff I bought at the markets yesterday but my card reader thingy in the front of my computer doesn't want to play with me today so it's ignoring my SD card like it doesn't even exist. Another job for Dougie the Super Tech when he comes home!

Have a nice night guys. Lotta love, Lu

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Better day

After the afternoon I had yesterday I couldn't possibly have imagined that today would be a better day but I did ask God to take some of the load off and he certainly did. Today I woke up feeling hopeful and with renewed strength. And I needed it would you believe!!!! We had to go to the shops and had to take all four kids with us. Any parent with more than one child knows the feeling of wishing they could just offload a couple, or even just one, onto a babysitter before a trip to the shops because having to take everyone is sometimes just a plain 'ol nightmare. In some families the whole dynamic changes when you take out just one kid. I wish I knew why that was because at home they all drive each other nuts but when you take just one away, for some reason everyone suddenly loves everyone and there isn't any fighting. I completely don't understand the psychology behind it but all I know is it works and we weren't able to do it today.

So we piled the kids in the car and headed off. Caeligh was duly strapped into her pram on arrival, with the shoulder straps crossed over to prevent her otherwise very likely escape. For some reason my boys have never, ever seen the prudence in staying close to me when we're out in public anywhere so it's normal for them to wander far and wide in the shops so at any point we probably can't see at least one kid. I keep threatening dog leashes and one day I'm going to make good on it!!!!! Caeligh threw a couple of cracker tantrums about really minor things like wanting to take a chupa-chup into the toilet with her and not being able to physically get out of the pram and hand the money to the man behind the counter when she purchased a toy for Lachie for his birthday (belated gifts from siblings - another gold-plated slacker mummy trait!!). We've really reached a point now where we can ignore her fairly convincingly but she still grates on the rest of the shopping population in a really visible way. People gawk and stare and whisper - you know what they're saying - "Glad she's not my kid". Mate I'm very glad she's mine, I just wish she had come with a volume knob!!!! And I figure if I have to listen to it then so can everyone else. She has vocal volume and projection that is far beyond her years and everyone should get to enjoy her fire-engine screeches of protest for as long as she wants to continue with it cos I'm not buying into the supplication parenting any more. No treats, no lollies, no doing whatever it takes to make her be quiet. I do not negotiate with terrorists!!!!!

So we made a very loud convoy as we trekked through the shops (I was reading on Kerrin's blog about the same thing - yep, Kerrin, they look in horror at us when we arrive at their store too!!!!). I had to go to Target to put money on the Christmas lay-by and Doug looks sideways and asks why on earth was it again we were spending so much money on them? That's cos by now James has climbed a display cos he wants to reach something at the top, Caeligh has started screaming that she needs the toilet (a new trick she knows gets her out of a boring situation lightning fast), Lachlann has vanished and Blayd is slumped on the floor against a clothes rack as he's currently grounded for the whole "don't give a toss about school" thing so he's determined to show us how bummed he is about knowing he won't get diddly squat on the shopping trip. So for him the day is a total loss and he wants to share it. Jilly, you were absolutely right - the testicles have got to go!!! The whole starting puberty thing is revolting already and we're only at the beginning!!!! Doug has that slightly pained look on his face and I'm sure he's thinking back to when we first met on the internet almost ten years ago and thinking "why the hell didn't I just assume that girl would be trouble and run?????". Granted, he has the patience of a saint with the kids, more than I do most days, so he teeters between that pained look and just laughing it all off because what else can you do some days?

The reason I did end up having a happy shopping trip despite the children all playing a starring role in putting it as far off the rails as possible was that in Target, they were having a shoe clearance and while I've never been a big "I need to have 100 pairs of shoes" type of girl, I do like to have a couple of great pairs if they're a good price, just so I'm in something besides my red $10 imitation converse knock offs from K-Mart (which are getting serious air conditioning in the soles so I really need a new pair of them too!). I will have to take a picture later to show you what I ended up with but I really love ballet flats and while I know that they are now in some seriously hideous pastel shades for spring, I don't wear hideous pastel anything - at any time - so I just bought the winter stock and am very happy with it thank you! I found ballet flats - my favourite shoes right now - in bright red, a metallic maroon colour and a pair with black and white leopard print. They were all $5!!!! You read it right - five bucks a pair! So yes, I bought three pairs of ballet flats plus, just for fun and the very occasinal night out, a pair of 3 inch patent red stilettos - total hooker shoes but I love them with jeans and a nice top - and as long as I know I'll be sitting down most of the evening!!!! lol They were only $5 as well so it's hard to go wrong with them at that price, even if they are only "occasional wear" type shoes. I bought Blayd a new pair of sneaks for school for $6 and Caeligh got a pair of red suede embroidered ballet flats and a pair of cute pink knee high boots for $7 a pair each. Her feet are growing so damned fast right now it's crazy!

Then I stopped into Diva cos I love junky jewellery. My MIL looks down her nose at my cheap and cheerful jewellery and says she only buys "quality pieces" and that's fine love, if you've got someone to buy it for you or you have that kind of money but I don't and besides, I like to change my look a lot and that requires having lots of options so the best way to do that is pick up stuff that's not meant to last a lifetime, just a season. I always just head straight for their reduced rack and don't really buy anything full price - how scummy am I?!?!?! lol But I always find stuff I love and if it's reduced then that's all the better. I got a three pack of earrings with gold hoops, huge diamond studs and small diamond studs for $3, a gorgeous lariat necklace with matching earrings for $3, a pair of cherry earrings for $3, a purple enamel owl on a long chain (like the Hambly rub-on owls) for $5, some headbands and plastic beads for Caeligh and my favourite purchase, a large enamel oval medallion and matching earrings.

I did end up getting paid thank goodness and so Doug and I are going out to dinner tonight - alone!!! The MIL is coming over to watch the troops for a couple of hours and we're going to the Sushi Train at Sunnybank which as the best sushi around plus it's a pretty cheap dinner which is how we like it! Then Jamie and Caeligh are going home with the MIL for a sleep over and I think Doug and the boys are going to LAN over the internet with his friends and play Counter Strike. He's asked me if I'll play too but it's not something I really love like he does, more that I join in cos it makes him happy to have me participate in something he loves to do. And it's not like I don't have a crapload of work to do so I might try to do some of that tonight and spend most of tomorrow working as well. Thinking of the money, thinking of the money. Especially as our car is playing up at the moment. It needs a new altenator belt and new brake pads which aren't much in the scheme of things but she's getting on in age and I'm just holding my breath for something expensive to go wrong. We had a flat battery upon trying to leave the shops this afternoon and the MIL had to drive 20 minutes to come and give us a jump start with her car. So the altenator belt is being replaced first thing tomorrow and we're going to drive her car when we go out for dinner tonight.

I'm off to make a gourmet dinner for the kids of boiled eggs and toast soldiers (hey it's not my fault if that's their idea of an exciting dinner!) and get ready to go out for dinner with my lovey.

I'm trying to update Everyday Garbage with our first hint but Typepad appears to be slightly buggered this afternoon so I'll try to do it later.

Take care and have a good weekend. Lotta love, Lu

Friday, 7 September 2007

What's the deal with all the s**t hitting the fan at once???

Far out I wish I had an early warning system for stress and bulls**t!!! That way I would have known yesterday that my off morning wasn't nearly as bad as today's list of things that have really jerked my chain!!! In the interest of everyone's patience levels and my better judgement that tells me not to sit and vent in an ugly way all the time to anyone who will listen, I'll just mention in point form the stressy stuff and get it out.
  • My eldest is on the verge of being suspended from school for misbehaviour in class and on the verge of failing due to lack of giving a toss about any of his school work. It seems that he couldn't spell detention so when his teacher gave him some today he had no idea what she meant and went home instead of doing his after school detention. Now I think I'll need to teach him whole phrases instead of just words, phrases like "you are a dead man", "can't believe you did that" and "grounded for life". They're just the clean ones I can use here.
  • My old phone company have continued to bill me since I switched companies and despite repeatedly asking them to stop and having been told I would get an amended bill for a final amount, I got a nasty letter today from a collection company. Wasted an hour and a half of my work day on that crap which still didn't get sorted out and had to ring the Telecommunications Ombudsman to get them to step in. Could have done without that -thanks so much AAPT for being completely unwilling to help even though the mistake is yours and not mine!
  • I have more work than I actually know what to do with right now. It has blown out to about 30 hours of typing that needs to be done on top of the normal 40 hours per week (conservative estimate there) that gets logged each week. Thanks so much to the previous typist who left me with said 30 hours of typing and chose not to do her work in the last week cos she didn't care and knew it would no longer be her problem anyway! Turns out she lied outright and told the manager that her work was all up to date so she even naffed off early on her last day!!!! Yes, admittedly there's a tidy amount of money in that but money can't buy you sleep or time with your kids can it!!!!! That is so not a question so you'll see there are no question marks on that last because the last typist left with so little warning I haven't had time to learn a complicated speech recognition software program that I need to know how to operate to do some of the work that is still outstanding. I'm meant to learn that this afternoon I assume so I can catch up on work over the weekend. NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT FUN NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT
  • then they didn't process my invoice on time yesterday even though they said they would, they didn't respond to an email this morning asking if they could confirm that it went through okay yesterday so I could pay my direct debits or give me time to organise something else and didn't seem particularly interested when I had to ring back again this afternoon because nobody bothered to let me know what was happening either. So we have exactly $20 to our name now to last us until probably Monday when the money will come through. It's not like I had plans or was going anywhere but that isn't the issue at all. F**k them then - I'm going to invoice them on Monday for the the full week and if they can't bring themselves to pay me then they can go find someone else to do their typing. I don't care how much money it is - I can do without this crap. I was far happier before, working at Cyberscraps, getting paid in product and personal fulfillment, than I feel right now even knowing how much money is coming to me. I don't have that money or the fulfillment or happiness or anything right now. Right now I'm just pissed off at the world and would dearly love to put my head in a blender. I'll settle for a big glass of red but you know what I mean.

So please excuse me while I go have a small mental breakdown over here in the corner............God, anytime you'd like to step in and take this crap off my shoulders you can totally have it. I surrender *waving pathetic white flag above her head*

Sorry - I really did try to keep my self indulgent whinging to a moderate level..........

Is it RAK o'clock yet????

Well Cyberscraps has just gotten in yet another huge delivery of beautiful stuff so I think it is!!!

I'll be going into the shop over the weekend to choose something v.spesh for a RAK so keep watching this space as they say!

Thursday, 6 September 2007


For those of you who love, love, love Marah Johnson's work, her brand new ranges of Rock Star plus a couple of her other ranges have just landed at Cyberscraps for your drooling pleasure!!!!!

Come see the gorgeous range and check out our prices here.

Let the rock begin!!!!

Challenge blogs rock!!!

You know they do!!! Cass and I love 'em so much we made one of our own but you know the deal with that - launching 18 September - be there!!!! (or else I guess!!!! lol).

One Little Word's bright shiny new word for the fortnight is PURE and I totally love it. Also totally love this layout - yep a bit of a cheater here cos I've had this layout for a while now and none of the mags liked it but I really love it so I'm happy to wheel it out for another go!!! lol It definitely meets the criteria and I'm running more than a bit short on time - if I had to create a layout from scratch these days I don't know if I could do it in time.

All About Eve has the lowdown on the everyday this time around and we should all be scrapping a bit more of that. It's those little moments each day that make up the real substance of our lives and sometimes I know I'm guilty of neglecting to scrap them in favour of the "perfect moments" which look great on a layout but in reality are few and far between.

There's a new Dare out tomorrow so keep an eye out for that one.
Thanks to everyone who has popped over to Everyday Garbage for a look see - the response so far has just been mind blowing! I love the layout I've done for our first challenge so I can't wait to throw down the gauntlet to you garbage girls out there!
On the home front, I'm a little sleep deprived as I struggle to catch up with the backlog of typing I had waiting for me when I started work this week. Yep I can chant "think of the money, think of the money" all I like but it will be mumbled and I'll have trouble keeping my eyes open while I say it!!!! lol I'm keeping myself alert and entertained in between typing letters by blogsurfing (which is my favourite way to waste time!) and taking 5 minutes here and there to do errand type stuff. We're looking to move closer to the boys school over the Christmas holidays and so we've had to do some serious research on whether we should try and buy without having saved a deposit (except for that ridiculous first home owner grant which is a drop in the ocean these days compared to how high house prices have gone) or find a rental place with hopefully a long-ish lease. To be honest I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a dessert fork than have to rent privately again but beggars can't be choosers and a mortgage repayment is a huge commitment these days. It's not something that was just another one of the usual bills like it was for our parents - these days it's a massive, ugly chunk of income and the way interest rates and prices keep going up and up, it's a risk that so many people can't or won't take, and that's even among the people who can afford to!!!! Never mind the masses who would love to own their own home but would need to start selling their kids to afford it!!! Yep that's shocking but I can say it because that's Doug and I!!!! lol It's sad that the norm these days is to either rent and be poor, or really put your family on the line, buy a house and then try to pay it off and be even poorer. I don't know what people are meant to shouldn't be this hard for so many...........
Enough of that whinge cos you've heard it all before.....I've got all three boys at home from school today. We had one of THOSE mornings where every kid seemed equally determined to make sure nobody got out of the house on time. Doug had to be at work early today cos he has a training thing to go to this afternoon so he needs to leave early and the childrens' timing was spectacular. So by 8.15 (Blayd is meant to be at school by 8.30 and we live 20 minutes away at least in busy traffic) Lachie didn't have his lunch made, James was throwing a foam-at-the-mouth fit cos he couldn't find his school jacket and then when he did find it he decided he didn't want to wear it and wanted to argue that even though he had goosebumps, suddenly he wasn't cold!!! Blayd kind of wandered around tut tutting at everyone for not being ready even though he still had a pile of homework he hadn't done and made quite clear he wasn't going to do (I hope he paid attention in English so he can properly spell D E T E N T I O N!!!!!!) and Caeligh generally ran amok and annoyed the boys as much as she possibly could. Because I'm a slacker mama and didn't get Lachie's birthday cake baked, cooled and iced in time last night (only got the baking part done but hey at least I tried!!!) I said they could have it with breakfast this morning (told ya I was a slacker mama!!! lol) so I iced it when I got up at 4am this morning to work and left it on the table. By the time the boys got around to showering and getting dressed and actually making it to the kitchen to have breakfast Caeligh had already done the Hollywood Boulevard thing and put her two famous handprints right in the middle of it!!! Then she ran around stamping the walls and furniture with chocolate icing, not to mention her clothes too or otherwise what would be the bloody point if you can't make a mess of yourself as well as your surrounds I ask???????? That was probably the worse of her morning performance, today was more of a steady level of general mischief rather than full on demon-possessed mental acts that she sometimes goes for (the smashing light bulbs thing - surely you remember that one?). So once we had firmly established that she was going to be a moderate pest for the day I decided that kindy was in order as I needed to get more work done today so kindy it was and off she went to greet her adoring fans. I can't believe she has so many friends considering the way she treats her family!!!! So Doug stomped about and huffed and tried to keep his temper even though he knew he was going to be late YET AGAIN by the time he dropped Caeligh at kindy and the boys at school so I made him a coffee and said "honey just leave the boys home today" - honestly he looked at me like I'd just told him I'd found him a lifesaving organ donor!!!! (which by the way is such a good cause - I've happily registered to give whatever I've got left that's useful once I cark it - think of the worst case scenario of a partner or child facing death because not enough people donate organs to find a match, it's tragic, terrible and shouldn't happen). So anyhow he snatches the proverbial Get Out Of Jail Free card, his workbag and Caeligh and makes a quick escape. I've told the boys to get out of their uniforms, eat their school lunches if they are hungry and let them clean the house for me while I type and then play xbox for the rest of the day. Are you listening you education department people??? I LET THEM STAY HOME BECAUSE IT WAS TOO DAMNED HARD TODAY!!!! I'm sure lots of us do it but not many admit it. James and Lachie love school and are fast studies so I don't believe they'll be academically compromised by today's lack of structured learning and Blayd is doing so little in school right now that if I taught him to correctly load a dishwasher then he's achieved far more than he has in class for the rest of the week anyway. There is the little voice in the back of my head (y'know the one - the Perfect Life Patrol Mummy voice) that says what a bad mother I am but I've just handed her another vodka cocktail and told her to shut up!!!! I - on the other hand - have no vodka cocktail but heaven knows I could totally go one right now but drink-typing is about as successful as drink-driving. The only thing that allows me to type as fast as I do is my two handed co-ordination which isn't good for any fun stuff like playing piano or being ambidextrous, just typing, and if I get wobbly with that then I may as well turn the computer off and try again tomorrow and well I just don't have time for that!!!! lol
Okay I'll go now but that was the start of my day so I hope it makes at least some of you feel better!!! If, on the other hand, you think our start to the day was a walk in the park then I'd love to hear yours so I can cackle madly with laugher (with you, not at you.......).
Later babes, lotta love Lu

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


For a couple of weeks now Cass and I and Lusi have been muttering under our breath about something going on that we're a bit excited about and now I can finally share!

The three of us, along with the supremely talented Jill Geraghty-Groves and the lovely Alana Steadman, have started our own challenge blog called Everyday Garbage. It reflects our love of garbage and tat and not-quite-scrapbooking type things that we use on our layouts and the idea is that hopefully we'll inspire you to try some new stuff on your layouts and in return we know you'll all inspire us with your creativity and ability to push the envelope with our challenges.

The details of how it all works are on the blog as well as links to our individual blogs, the start of a photo album with notes about what we've used in our definition of garbage on some of our layouts and a "I play with garbage" blinkie link so you can grab one of your very own and be an Everyday Garbage Girl too!!!

Please bear with us though as we're all pretty new to running a challenge blog, many times a participant but never the organisers so we'll do our best to keep everything running smoothly for those of you who want to come play with us.

If you have time, go have a look-see, have a read and let us know what you think. There are lots of challenge blogs about at the moment and we don't plan on being competition for any of them. This is purely for fun (although we are giving away a RAK each fortnight for the most innovative take on our challenges and the first RAK is some drop dead gorgeous goodies from the brand new Marah Johnson Rock Star collection!!!!!) and we've added a link to other challenge blogs so you can get even more inspiration.

So I have to ask - do you want to play with garbage?!?!?!?

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Fab photo shoot on the weekend

I really loved these photographs I took on the weekend. I'll fill you in on how I came to take them.
Doug likes to go to the Computer Market on the weekends, and one weekend a month it is at the Logan Entertainment Centre here in Brisbane. Now for the rest of us (except for Lachlann who is a bit of a computer nut himself at 10 - well 10 tomorrow anyway!) the Computer Market is BORING, BORING, BORING!!!!! There are rows and rows of tables full of expensive, small, breakable things and it is a nightmare to take the littlies as James will wander and pick stuff up and Caeligh will wander, pick stuff up, throw stuff, steal stuff, hide, scream, throw tantrums and generally make sure Doug doesn't get a moment to actually look at anything!!! The Computer Market is meant to be a fun thing for Doug, like you or I would see a visit to a scrap shop and therefore I mostly offer to stay in the car with the littlies so he can actually enjoy his browsing. So Sunday morning, Father's Day, I definitely wanted him to have a good time so we parked the van around the back of the complex in the almost empty car park and Doug reversed up to a flowery tree for some shade for James who sits in the back of the van on the driver's side. So there we were - James and Caeligh climbing all over the back of the van playing some imaginary game and me in the front reading the Sunday paper - quite relaxing really. I had the camera in the car as it was Dad's Day and I was planning on taking at least a couple of shots of Doug with the kids (the big boys were with their dad for the weekend so a whole family portrait had to wait). Caeligh suddenly needed to pee - excellent timing my girl cos the loo is all the way around the front of the centre and I had to lock up the van, yadda, yadda. So I basically went the slacker mum route and let her pee in the garden bed right next to the rear of the van where the tree was. There was nobody around and so I figured who cares? Then she decided that rather than get back in the van like I told her too, she began to climb up the wire fence around the trunk of this flowering tree, stood on top of the fence and began to climb up a little until she was standing amidst masses of gorgeous pink flowers. The photographer in me instantly got excited and grabbed the camera. It was full sunlight, almost noon and so there was heaps of light around. So basically I let the two kids climb all over this tree for the better part of an hour, snapping away when I saw something I liked. They had a great time, I had a great time, Daddy had a great time browsing in peace at the Computer Market. I knew I had gotten a few good shots but I didn't really appreciate how good until I got them home and had a lookie on the computer. I'm really thrilled with some of them and the ones above are my faves. Who could have thought that a simple tree in a car park would have provided the backdrop for such amazing pictures??? I sure didn't!!!! So for demonstration purposes and to show that you don't need a flash camera or go hunting for the perfect scenic location for your pictures, the shots above were taken with my Panasonic Lumix 4 megapixel (which is now three years old and crappy by current standards) in a public car park. See below - that's where we were, with the van parked right next to that gorgeous tree. No magic here folks, just lucky enough to see the potential in an otherwise boring situation!!!! I've never done a photography course either, never had professional training, never even been shown how to use my camera. I just put it on the general setting and shoot and see what happens. I guess what I'm trying to share with you guys is that you can do amazing things with what you've got, don't need the biggest and best, just experiment with the camera you've got and if you're still not happy then download a free photo editing package like GIMPshop and find out what you can do there to improve your pictures. Sorry this turned into a bit of a soapbox thing didn't it?!?!?!? lol Not sure why, I just want people to believe in themselves a bit more. I hear lots of people say they are no good at photography or scrapping cos they don't have the latest camera or supplies, or they don't have anywhere nice to take pictures, but you don't need those things. I don't have those things. For goodness sake I used a squashed rusty tin lid I found in a carpark for my Coat Hanger layout I did on Friday!!! Make the best of what you've got and work with that.

So that was our Father's Day morning, and our Father's Day afternoon was spent at a park with this seriously cool monorail thing for the kids to pedal on. It surrounded the whole playground and was a great way for kids to play as well as get exercise. Yep, fatty bum mama had a go too and it actually is good exercise!!!! It was like an exercise bike with some light resistance! Needless to say Jamie lasted longer than me!!!!! lol We had fish and chips for lunch and Daddy got to play with the littlies for an hour. It's also an awesome park to fly a kite in and we'll have to remember that as Jamie is a bit of a kite fan.
The whole typing thing is completely BOOOOOORRRRRING!!!!!!! Yeah the money is a motivator but far out I'd rather be scrapping I can tell you!!!! I'm trying to juggle the typing with some blog stuff and shop stuff and forum stuff and I don't feel like I'm putting in 100% effort at either at the moment so I'm going to have to leave myself some dedicated hours just for typing and then do the rest later.
Poor Lachie came home yesterday afternoon with the weirdest markings on his arms! I hadn't seen him since he went to school Friday morning as he goes home with his dad straight after school and returns to school with him on Monday mornings. I swear he looked totally fine Friday morning but yesterday he had a really obvious divide down both forearms where his skin is normal on the outside of his forearms but toward the inside there is this stark clear line where the skin on the other side has lost all its' colour. The first thing that came to mind was vitiligo, where apparently the body's auto-immune system gets triggered into thinking that the skin's own melanin that produces skin colour is actually an invader so the immune system starts destroying the cells, resulting in depigmentation of the skin. The darker your skin colour the more obvious the depigmentation. Lachie isn't bothered and neither am I but I did take him straight to the doctor to have it confirmed as the pale areas on both his arms, because they have no pigmentation, cannot tan when exposed to the sun, only burn and as he is fair skinned with freckles anyway he has to be super-careful now to put sunscreen on every time he goes outside, especially on the affected areas. The dr said that he might repigment, sometimes kids do, but there's no telling when or if that will happen or, like some people, he will have only that degree of vitiligo and it will stay like that forever, or as in some unluckly people's cases, it spreads all over the body and can be really shattering to a person's self esteem. Fingers crossed it doesn't get any worse but he's such a positive, accepting kid that I don't think it will be a huge issue for him if it does. He also had to have blood tests to check for other auto-immune conditions as vitiligo is often associated with other immune disorders too. He was so brave as the first needle hit a dry vein and nothing came out and the other arm wasn't much better and there was lots of faffing around and in and out while the poor lady tried to get enough blood out for the necessary tests. In the end she gave up but at least the basic auto-immune screen will get done and the other stuff will have to wait for another day if it's really needed. I can't imagine what any more blood tests will cost me in chocolate as I already had to offer him a block of chocolate for bravery for last night!!!!! lol
Blayd came back all scraped up from falling off his bike bigtime. He's taken the top million layers of skin off his knee and elbow and it's so gross that I had to go buy him a big stick-on dressing thing because walking around like that with the wound exposed is like a freaking biohazard for other people. URGH!!!!! And yeah, naturally he's totally invalid now but I'm slowly convincing him he'll live! I know it must hurt and far out I'd probably have cried if it happened to me but it's the sighing and constantly wanting to show me how bad it is and the exaggerated limping that I can't stand. I know, bad, bad, unsympathetic mama I am..........

Well after that enormous blog I at least feel like I've given 100% effort to something today!!! ha ha, just not what I should have given the effort to.......hey I had fun anyway. How about you? Now I'm going to raid the freezer and see what I can reanimate for dinner and I have to do some wrapping for tomorrow. Lachie's 10th birthday and he can't wait to get into double digits. I remember that too, a big milestone it was at the time. He's getting Guitar Hero 2 for the playstation so I'm sure he'll be stoked with that, plus I've got a couple of other smaller things for him. I've given him the option of doing something special on the weekend as well but he's still umming and arring about that so who know's what he'll decide?!?!?! And I do believe some kind of cake thing will be in order but that's a job I can tackle tomorrow, while not giving 100% effort to my typing or other stuff!!! lol
Have a good night girls and chat again soon hey, lotta love Lu

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Forgot a layout - not such a good one but anyway.....

I was trying to be tricky with the title and it's meant to read a couple of ways, either "Being You, Becoming Yourself" or "Being Yourself, Becoming You" - see how being too tricky just buggers things up sometimes????? Ah well, I like some of it anyway, esp. the green souffle pen and the cool winged heard chipboard. The red fabric is from a big ball of red strips of fleecy jumper material that you can knit like wool but I liked it better for layouts.
Thanks for having a look! Lotta love, Lu

Friday night crops rock!

We had a blast Friday night at our crop night. It's not what you'd call your usual crop night, everyone is relaxed, having fun and sometimes not even a lot of scrapping gets done! Not that I'm sure other crop nights aren't fun too but I think we've found something special at Cyberscraps with the ladies who come in. I've never had so much fun going to work before!!! Thanks to Julie, Kylie and Peta who are our favourite regulars and help make the night go off!
I got a couple of trip layouts done, the Freedom Machine (Gladys) and The Coathanger. The harbour bridge layout has quite a bit of crap on it - kitchen string, an orange plastic thing I found in Jamie's toybox (and no, it's not an essential piece of anything I was sure I checked first!), a flattened rusted tin lid I found in the carpark behind the shop Friday morning and some red leather offcut - but I like how it all looks like it should be there.
The one of Caeligh was just more of a product showcase for me so I didn't do as much as I would normally do but it's okay. It's nice to show that I can scrap in moderation when I have to!!! lol
How is Father's Day going for you all? The kids and I were up early this morning getting Daddy coffee and breakfast and sorting his presents. James did a great drawing for Doug which I'll haev to scan later and Caeligh found a chipboard star from one of my packs of Bella and got Daddy's new pen (came in a set with a watch, keyring and pocket knife) and wrote her scribble on it and then proudly declared that it said "Happy Fathers to my daddy" and that he should take it to work with him and read it if he ever got sad at work (do you think maybe Doug talks a lot about how he is sick of his job???? lol). I think the plan for the rest of the day was to go with Doug to the computer market - that's his thing, computers and given how involved in scrapping I am I can't really begrudge him can I? - and then we said he should go to High Octane for a couple of hours for some race practice. While he's away we'll probably draw some pictures for him or scrap a layout or something like that. Then we'll work out what's for dinner I guess. Not a lot of action here I'm afraid!!!
I start my typing work tomorrow but the chick who left was obviously totally over it when she handed in her resignation and so has left me with about 75 consultation letters not done and some of them are almost two weeks old!!! I like to operation on preferably 48-72 hour turnaround at the latest so now I'll also have to spend some time today catching up although I'm sure I'm not even going to get half of them done by the time I have to start at 8am tomorrow morning. Oh well, I charge by the hour so it will take as long as it takes. The whole typing thing is hard, it's a no brainer job for me, really easy and doesn't feel like hard work because I've been doing it for so long and the money is fantastic but on the other hand I love what I do at the shop and I'll miss it like crazy while I'm chained to my desk at home. It's hard to justify wanting to play at the shop and miss out on the money when it's not like we don't need the money or anything. There are definitely things we need the money for. Our car is getting to that stage where no matter how gentle we are with it, something is going to give and it will be expensive when it does. You know how it goes with older cars...... We also want to move closer to the school, like within a 1km radius of the school, so that Blayd can walk because often he is ready before everyone else and because Middle School starts before everyone else does he is very often late as we try to get everyone else ready and out of the house. If we lived close enough he could just head off when he was ready and not have to wait for the others. I'm sure it would make his day a lot easier if he was calm, relaxed and arrived in plenty of time each day. Of course to do that we need to move which requires renting somewhere privately (urgh!!!) plus saving up bond plus finding somewhere that doesn't cost a fortune. Most places are about $350-400 per week in the area we're looking at which is just astronomical given that we're not even buying, just renting. I don't envy people with a mortage - it must be so hard every week. So we know that moving will put us at a disadvantage by another couple of hundred bucks a week but there's nothing else for it. Blayd will be in Senior school in another couple of years and they start at 7.45am each day! I'd have to do two school drop offs in the morning to get all the kids there and that's going to end up costing us as much in petrol as it would to move closer to the school. It's one of those things that's always in the back of my mind but we've never really been in a financial position to do anything about it and now maybe we will be but it will involve me seriously considering how much work I'm prepared to take on each week. Hmmmm, another issue I think I'll have to hand over to God because it gives me a brain ache the more I try to sort it out!
Our very exciting Creative Imaginations shipment should have left on its journey from the States to our shop and fingers crossed it will turn up towards the end of this week. It's all new Marah Johnson including the much exciting Rock Star, Coffee House and Marquis, plus some other hot CI designers and if you loved the Caution! Girl and Caution! Boy ranges then be sure to look for the Drop Dead Red range - it looks like my style all the way and I can't wait to get hold of it! We're also still waiting on My Mind's Eye and some other stuff so we probably only have half of what we're expecting from CHA this year so far and I'll bet if you've been in the store or had a lookie online you thought we already had tons of stuff!!!! Nope that's not nearly all that we're expecting! Just don't ask me where we're going to put it in the store!!! lol I'm glad that will be an issue for Cath and Cass to sort out and I'll get to come in for crop night in a fortnight (14 Sept if you are interested, call us on 3274 5522 to book your seat) and just stand back and admire all the new goodies. It does mean however that my partner in crime, Cass, will get her mitts on everything before I do!!!!! At least I know she's the kind of bestie who will make sure she gets supplies for me too!!!
Okay going to go now and get ready to head out. Have a lovely Sunday and take care girls. Lotta love, Lu

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