Only this time last week Cass and I were at the Townsville Airport, ready to board our flight back to Brisbane after an amazing long weekend at Hughenden for Outback Scrap. It was a long time in the planning and despite some hiccups along the way, Kerry, Lindy and Karen from Flinders Poppy Arts and Crafts Group did a fantastic job of organising the whole event. Women came from all parts of the Queensland outback including Julia Creek, Barcaldine and Cloncurry. I think there was even a lady from Mackay who travelled all that way! The ladies who came to take classes were all just amazing too, wonderful down to earth women. I loved meeting everyone! It was a great opportunity for the ladies to try new techniques and products and I really hope the classes provided some valuable new scrapping skills. Sandra and Rachelle did some great classes too and it was fab to spend time with Rachelle on the trip up and back and get to know her a bit better. It was a wonderful weekend for all. Half the fun of course was the chance to sit and chat and we had plenty of opportunities for that. The recreational hall in Hughenden is fantastic too, as good as you will see anywhere, with lots of room for sport, theatre, etc and a great industrial kitchen where the local ladies fed us the most amazing home cooked food every day in between classes. On our very first day in Hughenden we had morning tea at Karen's house and had the most amazing pikelets and rosella jam and cream. I don't even like pikelets but wow I do now!!! And I had no idea I liked rosella jam either because I've never had it before so there's two new faves to add to my list of things I shouldn't like as much as I do.
Cass and I stayed on a beautiful cattle farm outside of Hughenden which is owned by Kerry and her lovely husband Alan who cooked us up hot breakfast every single day! What a man!!! They are really lovely people and the farm was great, a real piece of true outback Australia. Cass and I stayed in cottage (see above) on the farm and it reminded me so much of my Nanna's old miner's cottage where I used to go and stay for Christmas holidays when I was a kid; all corrugated iron and glass louvre windows. The constant noise of cattle and wind was weird but relaxing at the same time, simply because it was so different to the sounds of home. On the Sunday night when the classes were finished for the weekend and we had packed up the hall we all went up to Mt Walker for drinks and fish and chips for dinner. The sunset was just amazing out there and there were so many stars at night without the city lights to draw attention away from them. I'll share more photos later; I had to rely on Cass's camera for any shots I wanted to take as Caeligh dropped my camera a few weeks ago and I didn't have the money for a new one before I left. I'm hoping to remedy that really soon though - I miss my camera!!!! The photo of Cass and I lying on the road is on the way back from the drinks that night - note the roadkill in the background? "Don't sleep on road!!!!" is the message here people!!! lol There is more to the story but for now let's say we'd had a few to drink and were being egged on by our hosts!!!
The picture down the bottom is of me and Cass - on quad bikes mustering cattle!!!! Ha ha I never thought I'd see the day!!!! lol We got up Monday morning with the anticipation that Alan said he would teach us to ride the quad bikes so we could have a look around the property but then he put us to work! Mustering cattle isn't as hard as I thought but it did take a little while to figure out how the cows respond to where you are behind them and how fast you're going etc. We got the hang of it pretty quickly and after a while Alan left us to it with 65 head of cattle including a couple of massive bulls who looked like the size of cars and would kill you if they sat on you! There were also quite a few poddy calves, still fuzzy and only a few days old. Seriously cute!!!! I think we did okay for a couple of city gals!!! It was the best fun I have had in ages and I would love nothing more than to take the kids out there one day so they can see what country life is really all about - I fear though that they wouldn't ever want to leave once they got out there! Is that such a bad thing - I'm not sure. After only a few days in Hughenden I could see me happily packing up and leaving the city behind. I wouldn't want to be too far from a regional city but let's just say it was very appealing and I'm lucky that with my typing job I can work virtually anywhere. Just a thought for now....
Up the top is a pic of Cass and I at Mt Walker with our bona fide cowgirl hats on! Mine sits proudly (upside down, Alan, just like you told me!!!!) on my desk with the faint coating of Hughenden dust still on it that I refuse to wipe away. It's my most treasured souvenir of the trip and I'll be sure to wear it every chance I get. After getting to do actual cattle mustering I figure I've earned it!!! lol
The house has been totally upside down while I've been done. We had a total internal repaint last week so I came home to every scrapbooking item I possess being packed in boxes - where it all still sits because all I've done is type since I got home. I'm really itching to do some though because I did a layout while I was away during free crop time that I really love. It isn't me but that's okay, I'm still really happy with it. I'll have to ask Cass to scan it for me.
Speaking of scrapping, you know what I'm going to start doing again? Challenge blogs. I used to love them and some of my best work came from doing challenges, comps, etc when I was just getting started and I think I need that motivation back in my scrapping. There are so many great sites now. I know that our Everyday Garbage challenge blog really fell off the wagon. Cass and I just struggled to find time to do what had to be done for it each month but if anyone is interested in us doing it once a month for inspiration purposes then let us know. I am pretty sure I can fit in once a month but rather than getting people to send their work to us, we can put up examples of what we've done and then people can post a link to their blogs for people to come and see. It would be more a place for inspiration rather than the way we tried to run it before. If you're up for that we'd love to know.
Likewise if you know of any great challenge blogs that really do it for your mojo, please drop me a comment and let me know. I hear names floating around the blogsphere but I don't have time to find them all so if you have a favourite I'd love to know what it is. There are so many out there that I imagine it's hard to choose. I'm also planning on going from 12x12 layouts to A4 size for my challenge blog stuff, just becuase I don't have an A3 scanner at home (I use the one at Cass's place for my 12x12 stuff) and because for me if I see a challenge that inspires me I want to create right away, do something immediately and scan and upload it so I have to utilise the A4 scanner I have under my desk. Maybe the change in size will be good for mojo as well. I've never tried it before and used to think it was a bit sacreligeous to scrap in anything other than 12x12 but I'm very ready to expand the horizons and grow some wings (and grow some balls too!) and try something different. How many of you have tried A4 or is it 12x12 all the way? I don't think it will become my preferred side but for challenge blogs I really want instant gratification so it's a way for me to achieve that.
I'm off to - you'll never guess! - TYPE!!! lol My work is a'calling me so I must pull out the proverbial finger and get something done. I have extra work this week and don't want to miss Friday night's crop at CyberScraps as the new Basic Grey is in plus some cool new Pink Paislee alphabet stickers (mmmmmmmmm....alphabet stickers....drool). I'm looking forward to catching up with the chickies and seeing what everyone's been up to.
Have a good week everyone and don't forget about those challenge blogs!!! Love, Lu xx