Saturday, 26 January 2008

Cross one off the Life List 2008!!!

As part of the CyberScraps cybercrop this weekend we put up a challenge for people to scrap their hopes, dreams and goals for this year. I've done my Life List for the year but looking at the layout now I have no idea why I used 2005 instead of 2008!!!!! See how truly scattered I am? Here's the list anyway:

  1. Have a mouthgasm - go to a restaurant where the food is sooo good you feel like you'r having an orgasm in your mouth!!! I heard that term on the Lifestyle Food channel on Foxtel and I'm sorry but I want one of those mouthgasm thingies!!!!

  2. Handle a snake - I have a not rabid fear of snakes but I am scared of them and no I don't have any particular reason why.

3. Travel on a plane - ANYWHERE!!!!!! because I've never been on one before, never really had the need to but I'd really like to!

4.Get a new smile - I have huge dental problems and I'm always painfully self conscious in photographs and only half-smile because I don't like people to see my awful teeth. So this year I am going to bite the bullet - hardy har har pardon the pun - and spend the thousands of dollars it will cost me to get cosmetic dentistry done so I can have a smile I'm proud to show off.

Now my darling Dougie knows how much snakes freak me out. I think I've just watched too many Animal Planet documentaries where all you ever see snakes doing is eating things or biting things so I think my subconscious is convinced that all snakes do that ALL THE TIME!!! I think the phrase "tame snake" is an oxymoron, those two words contradict each other in my book!!! But Doug mentioned earlier in the week that the kids might like to see a native reptile display that was visiting our local Bunnings hardware for Australia Day so this morning we all went down to see what would crawl, hop and slither in. The kids had a ball and the company that runs the displays is called Geckoes Wildlife Presentations ( They do birthday parties too and Blayd wants that for his 13th birthday this year, to have people turn up with scaly, slithery things to play with! The two girls who came out were just fabulous and so good with making all the kids (and grown ups!) feel comfortable and at ease around the animals. The children were allowed to touch lizards, a baby crocodile, a big turtle and a diamond python (GULP!!!!) All my kids were gung-ho straight in to touch everything they could. No fear among any of them which I'm so amazed by. Their curiosity swept away any worries or fears and they loved every second of it. The first snake I saw was a carpet python in it's box and that was enough to send me backing away from the table!!! Then the handler brought out a 3.5 metre long diamond python and it took me about 10 minutes before I would get within touching distance. The handler had the snake around her neck and at first all I could do was touch its tail. She was soo nice while I quietly tried not to freak out. She even turned side on so I wouldn't have to see the snake's head, just it's tail to begin with. Then she turned around again when the snake moved it's head around behind her so I touched its body - still not screaming yet so that' good for all concerned! Then the snake moved it's head back around in front of the handler and I put out my hand. Apparently snakes can detect radiant heat which is how they find all the little furry warm blooded things they like to eat so it could feel the warmth from my hand. It moved towards me and far out did it take all my strength not to snatch my hand back when it rested it's head on my hand!!!! Oh change of undies time I was sure!!!! lol But it didn't do anything scary, or move quickly or bite me which is what I was thinking snakes do to people. It absolutely loved Blayd and wanted to get up close and personal with him!!! He thought it was fantastic!!! I'm not sure I'm ready to be eye to eye with a snake yet but it went a long way to helping me overcome my fear. Some time later in the year I'll try to go some place where you can hold one and have a photo to really break the fear once and for all but I'm pretty sure I won't be nearly as scared as I was today! You can see from the first picture that I'm not quite sure I'm ready to get up close and personal with the snake just yet. Caeligh keeps looking at me and in a very concerned voice she is saying "Mama the snakie won't hurt you!". Mama is not so sure!!!

So YAY ME!!!! I've crossed off one of my four goals for this year and January's not even over yet! I'm still not sure how I did it but I'm very glad I did.
I'm back off to CyberScraps to rejoin the cybercrop and see if I can't get any scrapping done as well as chatting!!! lol

Friday, 25 January 2008

How cool is this storage?!?!?!?

Doug found this storage container at Crazy Clark's for a tiny $5!!! It even came with 600 pieces of hardware, stuff like nails, screws, wall plugs, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. I've already cleaned him out of the bits and pieces from that that I thought I could use for scrapping and then tipped it all out and handed the bits back to him in a cup and kept the storage container!!! lol I've got all my little flowers in it as well as some other knick knacks and bits and pieces that I use. It's made up of five 1" high donut shaped containers and the lid lifts up. Each "donut" is divided into five sections and the dividers are built into the lid as well so stuff doesn't get mixed up. The five "donuts" all slide onto a cylinder with a little carry handle at the top. The cylinder is hollow and the handle comes off so you could store things like pens etc inside that as well. How cool is that for a ridiculous $5???? I'm going to look for a few more to keep at home on my scrap desk.
We've been busy tonight at CyberScraps first cybercrop of the year. The challenges are up if you want to come over and have a look-see at
We'll be playing all weekend if you're in need of some inspiration and I've also just put up the February Get Real Challenge as well. Jodi is doing some thumpin good work with her Celebrate 2008 challenge which is new for this year as Jodi is our very latest Design Team member for CyberScraps. Welcome aboard, we love your work girl!!!
Hope you're all enjoying your long weekend (sympathies to those who have to work). In a very patriotic move Doug is planning to have a barbeque at some time over the weekend and invite some friends round. Being Scottish I haven't seen him do anything patriotic unless it involved Scotland but he's decided to go with it this year and who am I to argue? So we'll be hosting a barbie at our place either Sunday or Monday and the kids are all geared up for a game of cricket. I may even go so far as to let them get Australian flag temporary tattoos etc so they can really get into the spirit of the occasion! Caeligh is always just happy for someone to let her have pictures all over her arms - it's just nicer if she doesn't draw them herself with permanent ink Sharpies!!!
I'm off to bed but have a fantastic weekend and remember to celebrate Australia Day anyway you can, no matter how big or small. We're a very lucky bunch us Aussies!!!
Chat soon, love Lu

Monday, 21 January 2008

More warm up layouts - not great but hey, it's a start! lol

Yep,they're all very different and none of them is what I'd call particularly good but you sometimes need to just get the mediocre out of your system so you can focus a bit better. I'm hoping to get back into challenge blogs soon - my own included!!! So there will be more layouts soon plus I'm doing one for CyberScraps very first cybercrop of the year which kicks off on Friday night. Make sure you've got some Chrissy photos on hand if you want to join in but dont' forget that some of us CyberScraps girls like a bit of a twist! Shhhh can't say anything else!
Back to work tomorrow after a day in the shop today with Blayd and Lachlann who were mostly bored off their tits, except that Lachlann likes to scrap and can waste a considerable amount of producing while amusing himself whereas all Blayd wanted to do was go across the street to the park which turned out to be no fun because Lachlann spent the whole park visit moaning about how he'd rather be scrapping!!! lol It's like those stickers on cars that say "I'd rather be fishing". Poor Blayd the jock by nature has no tolerance for Lachie and his scrapping ways. They spend hours facing off, calling each other jock or geek, sport nut or dork. Thank goodness school goes back next week!!!!
Apart from the usual, near constant bitching at each other the kids are all good. Doug and I, on the other hand, can't wait to see the arse-end of these holidays. They've been waaaaaaaaay too long for everyone, especially as we haven't gotten to go away for a break at all. Maybe by Easter school hols we'll afford a couple of days somewhere but that's a ways off yet. I'm back to my three days of proper work this week and funny how I dread it. I don't mind the work itself - I'm sad - I like to type- but I don't like having to dress up in "business" wear every day and hike my butt half an hour into the inner city. Give me a well paid, type in my jammies job any day!!! lol Another goal for this year - secure that great, well paid, type in my jammies job!
I'm off to bed but thank you for having a visit and a look-see. It's nice to be back in the habit.
Much love to you for taking the time to have a read. Love, Lu

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Hooray for mojo and opportunity! (long post!!!)

Well I'm happy to say I'm back in the saddle and feeling a whole lot better! I've been getting some scrapping done which makes a world of difference to how I feel and how I deal with things. I hate not having any time, or when I've got the time I've got no mojo, to get any scrapping done and in the last week it seems like I've gotten back into the rhythm of things and I'm trying hard to make time to scrap to get back into the habit. Above is an album I did for the just closed Maya Road Rage call. They were asking for OTP stuff using their products but all I had was their arrow album and some older white acrylic flowers. I used some of their nice ribbon from the shop though - the pretty lace flower pattern velvet stuff. It had to be about love and of course I had to scrap the wedding! lol We've also just gotten in the whole glorious range of Basic Grey Two Scoops so I ended up using lots of that as well - papers, rub-ons, buttons, brads and chipboard. I also used some gorgeous Scrapware frilled hearts which I love the look of. I'm really happy with how it turned out. It took about 15 hours of work in total, about 7 hours for the covering and sanding and doing the cover, and then another 8 hours yesterday to choose the photos, crop and sand them, choose and add all the embellishments and then go over it with a souffle pen and do some pen doodling on it as well. I don't even think I spent that long on any of my Masters entries!!! But it was a labour of love by the time I was halfway through and so it didn't seem like hard work. I've subbed it via email and apparently Maya Road will contact the 15 winners by Wednesday to arrange postage to them so they can be displayed at CHA in the States. I'd love to squeeze myself into the box and go with it!!!! lol So fingers crossed for that but I'm very happy with it either way. I'll probably sub it to a mag or to Basic Grey if Maya Road don't want it.

This layout I did with the Rusty Pickle "Lucky" range, very Celtic and Irish inspired! I also used the very sexy, very fabulous Grungeboard elements for the hinges, lock and key. It smells very weird but very comforting, like my dad's old leather recliner. It takes ink beautifully, dries so fast and looks just divine. It doesn't mind a bit of rough treatment either so no need to tippy-toe around this stuff. Just get down and dirty with it!!! I did another layout - three photos that were about 5 years old - just unheard of for me but it was a warm up to get back into things and SM have taken it so I can't put it here but I was a bit surprised. I like the Lachlann one better. Hey, I'll be happy with whatever they take! No complaining here....

I've organised my Life List for this year but I haven't scrapped it yet. There's lots of "work"
scrapping to do at the moment for Cyberscraps (our first cybercrop of the year is this coming weekend for those who want to come play), an article for SM and an article for SC plus a little project I'm working on for a friend but I can't say anything else other than it will be totally fabulous when the reveal happens next month. But back to the Life List! I didn't make the deadline for my tattoo - it fell way down the priority list behind bills and groceries but I'm sure I'll fine some time after the kids go back to school and that expense is out of the way. The list for this year is:
  1. Have a mouthgasm - i.e. Eat food that is soooo good it feels like an orgasm in your mouth. Don't laught!!!! I saw that on Lifestyle Food one night and I figured if there is food that good then I want some!!! So Doug and I are researching some good restaurants in Brisbane to see where's the best place to go for a mouthgasm. If you've got any recommendations then please share with the rest of us!!!
  2. Handle a snake. Now get your mind out of the gutter or out of the wardrobe if you're off and running at the thought of snakes!!! I don't have a rabid fear of them but I don't like them either. They make me really uncomfortable and the gross feel as they move is URGH!!!! So I'm going to go to a wildlife park where you can handle a snake and let them put it around my shoulders or let me hold one because I like the freaked out feeling even less than the snake itself so I want to try and get over it.
  3. Get my ass on a plane!!! I don't even care where I go!!! lol I've never been on a commercial airline in my whole life (yes I know that seems hard to believe but I did the whole "married young, popped out lots of kids and never went anywhere" thing) and it's something I've always wanted to do. I'm not in the least bit scared, just an experience that I'd like to have. So maybe we'll go on a mystery flight if they still do those. I know that Cass and I were going to have to fly up north later in the year so that may be the only chance I get but we'll see.

So there you have it, my Life List for this year. It's all about doing things for myself, having those experiences and hopefully being a better person for overcoming fears. Wish me luck with that list. Oh something funny!!! Because I didn't get my ink done last year, I was feeling a bit down on New Year's Eve cos I really take those Life List things seriously and they are big things for me as personal achievements. Doug was doing his best to cheer me up and said "hey, it's okay, I'll draw on you if you want". He was kidding but a glass of wine later and I gave him my scrapping pens and said go for it.

He drew a Marah Johnson flowerly skull and crossbones for me - and the naughty boy used one of my Sharpies!!!! That thing stayed on for a week despite regular scrubbing!!! So he did that at about 11pm so he said technically I have had "ink" done, it just won't last forever! lol I love that man to bits!!!

On the health front, I had my echocardiogram on Thursday and there's nothing structurally wrong with my heart at all and my doctor says it's probably a combination of everyday stress and just trying to do too much, poor sleep and possibly a side effect from a virus I've had at some point in the last year or so. Either way, my very kind GP gave me some sleeping tablets for three weeks and they are not only helping me get the first solid night's sleep I've had in YEARS but the palpitations have finally settled down as well. I'm so thankful it's nothing more serious and probably the worry played a part in it too and things can settle down now that I know there's nothing to be concerned about.

The kids finally got to use the trampoline they got from my mum and her husband and my sister for Christmas. It has been raining here almost constantly so we have been waiting for a dry day to put it up and last weekend - two weeks after Christmas!!! - they finally got their present. The rule of "only one on at a time" lasted about as long as the couple of hours Doug and I spent watching and supervising downstairs and then as soon as we went upstairs it was every kid for themselves. I keep waiting for the inevitable broken limb but it hasn't happened yet. It's a round trampoline with the high side nets all the way around which is good because I had visions of them flying off sideways at a great rate of knots if we had one of the normal trampolines without the nets!
It turns out that it keeps them occupied for hours and burns off all that energy meaning they are all sleeping better at night too and going to bed earlier!!! BONUS!!!!! lol
I've got some layouts that I did last night at the crop - which by the way was fabulous with GIZMO from the SM forum stopping by and EMSTAR dropped into the shop yesterday afternoon too. It's to put faces to forum names so if you're ever in the area and feel like a cuppa and a chat and a browse then be sure to stop in. We love visitors, even if you don't plan on shopping the company is always welcome! I'll put the layouts from last night up later on after they're scanned. Nothing fabulous, just a few fun ones.
I'm off now to do some shopping, a few groceries plus I need to track down a must-have scrapping supply that I saw at a cheap shop a few weeks ago and didn't buy at the time even though I thought I should have. Isn't it funny how often you end up going back for that thing that you were sure you didn't really need?!?!?!
Have a great week. I will try to catch up with some blogs this week and Garbage is still on the backburner but we are trying to get the next challenge up ASAP. Everyone is spread pretty thin at the moment which I guess is the cost of submitting and getting more mag work (which it itself is pretty cool) but it means that things you do for love tend to take a backseat. I don't want to get too far in over my head with "work" scrapping though because there's not much joy at the end of that road I don't think. I think this year is the year to get that balance right.
Thanks for reading if you've made it this far!!!! Love, Lu

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Quick late night update

Well I guess I should be in bed by now and I guess most of you already are (the sensible ones anyway!!!).

No photos to share, no layouts to share, not much to share really except that I'm working full time AGAIN to help the finances (like the good WIFEY I now officially am! lol). I'm working in the cardiology department of a children's hospital here in Brisbane and every day is teaching me to be amazingly grateful for my challenging but healthy children. It's awful and sad to hear beautiful babies and little kids coming in and having to have painful, uncomfortable things done to them so that the very dedicated doctors can check on their progress and find out what they have to about their young patients. The nurses are amazing and so wonderfully caring. Hearing them cry after an injection or sedation makes me want to run in and pick them all up and cuddle them but it has to be done and the doctors and nurses are amazing people. What I didn't expect is that it makes me want to hurry home and see my own babies and hug them. I'm thankful to God that my kids are all okay with no major health issues. Jamie has a heart murmur that plays up when he's got a bad cold or a fever but apart from that they're all perfect.

I, on the other hand, am not quite so perfect in that respect. For the curious, I've had a heart arrhythmia for about eight months now which didn't bother me too much when it first began and didn't bother me at all when I started going to the gym every day in the couple of months before the wedding. I got slack after the wedding, missed a couple of weeks at the gym and got some palpitations one day and figured I should probably go back to the gym cos I didn't have them at all while I was doing that. Wrong move on my behalf as I went to the gym that night, ready to go hard like I had been doing for two months, and only lasted 10 minutes on the cross-trainer before the palpitations and fatigue got me. I went and sat on a recumbent bike for a few minutes but it didn't ease up at all so I went to my local medical centre and the very lovely doctor suggested an electrocardiogram which tracks what your heart rhythm is doing. Turns out I had lots of early or skipped beats, called ventricular ectopic beats for those with a medical background. It was awful, felt like my heart was banging sideways against my wind pipe and I couldn't get a full breath in. I wasn't scared, just felt weird and uncomfortable and I did a lot of occasional loud deep breaths because I felt short of air a lot. My very thorough doctor sent me immediately to a cardiologist to have things checked out and I had a Holter monitor put on before Christmas. You get sticky pads stuck to your boobs for 24 hours while the little clip on monitor (like an Ipod except no cool music!!!) sits on your waist and you press a button every time you feel something weird with your heart. Well from the day I went back to the gym until the day after the monitor was taken off I had palpitations almost constantly. Drove me freaking nuts it did. I was constantly exhausted, short of breath, had that awful feeling of a banging in my chest from the moment I got up until I went to sleep at night and even woke up in the night with really hard palpitations. At least the monitor caught all of that and it turns out I have these early or missed beats quite a lot. On my doctor's advice I haven't even set foot in my gym since and I can't tell you how much I miss it. I never EVER thought I'd say that. But now, weeks later, it's playing up again and I'm having trouble barely functioning each day due to tiredness. I have a stress echocardiogram next week which is where they strap you to a treadmill and basically pump up the intensity until you say "uncle" so they can get a picture of what your heart is doing while you're busting your ass on the treadmill and putting your heart under stress. It turns out I have a nasty family history of something called atrial fibrillation where your heart beats constantly at an uncontrolled weird rhythm and almost everyone on my mother's side of the family has it but I had yet another electrocardiogram yesterday for chest pain and breathlessness and it turns out my pattern doesn't indicate that. The lovely doctor I saw said she thought it was because of stress and my lifestyle. I KNOW I'm not alone here when I say I don't know what else I can cut back on!!! Yes I work - occasionally full time if the budget requires but mostly no more than the odd few days here and there - but this week I've been full time and doing a second typing job at home as well, plus working at Cyberscraps because I love being there, not because I have to be there, and suddenly I have more magazine work than I've ever had. On the scrapping front that's fantastic and very much what I wanted. I wanted it to pay enough so I didn't have to work if I could help it. So I have articles, layouts and product challenges to complete soon too which are all stressful even though the process of creating is fun for me. The deadlines are stressful iykwim? I rarely work to deadlines and Cath at Cyberscraps is just fantastic at letting Cass and I do what we do in our own time and our own space. You couldn't ask for a better shop owner to work for and I feel like I haven't had the energy to support her business like I should as a design team member either lately. It makes my heart sick for other reasons when I feel like I'm letting peopel down.... very kind doctor has prescribed sleeping tablets for a month because I don't sleep very well and haven't for years now. I took one last night but it didn't help at all so we'll see about tonight. I've accepted a three day a week temp assignment at the same section where I'm working now for the next six weeks because we want to refinance and get a new car and that requires some kind of double income action I think so I'm doing my best to help out there.

Now I'm tired and I think i'm typing gobbledegook so I'll go to bed but I'm just venting for me more than anyone else. I'm tired yet trying to be movitated, I'm sorry but I want to do what i have to for everyone else, I'm happy but I'm struggling, I'm flat as a tack but usually do my best not to show it. I just want to be normal and find a way to make it all work. Shit, I guess I'm just like everyone else!!!! lol

Sorry there's no great update here. I did do a layout tonight for the first time in about a month or so. I'll formally apologise to my lovely Cath at Cyberscraps because I know I owe her some work but I sat and did something totally for me to get back into the swing of things. I have a couple of layouts that I half-finished tonight that I want to do over the weekend which are just for the shop. Did you know we got some of that AMAZING grungeboard in??? We didn't get nearly enough but let's face it- it's expensive and a bit commitment for a shop to make if we're not sure it will sell but Cass was looking at it yesterday and she says it's totally fabulous so I'm taking her word for it because if anyone is a good judge of chipboard it's our Cass. If you love grundgeboard or want some then feel free to have a look at what we've ordered in at Cyberscraps and if we're sold out already then send us an email or give us a ring and we'll see what we can do. Popularity is an amazing thing so if you want it I'm sure we can get more and I'm also really sure we're cheaper than most online stores too!

Alright, now my pillow is calling but that's where I am right now. Tired. Spent. Working anyway. Trying to fit in whatever little scrapping I can. I do have some pics to share and by next week hopefully there'll be some layouts too.

Take care of all of you. okay? Love, Lu

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