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!

Mmmmmmm Slider Love