Saturday, 31 January 2009

Tagged by Lis!!!!

I've been tagged by the lovely Lis and my challenge was to choose the sixth photograph in the sixth folder on my computer. This photograph was taken about a week before we moved from our old house. It was one of those afternoons with that really great late afternoon golden light, you know the ones I mean, where everything just photographs fantastically no matter what it is! Well this was at the beginning of sundown, just before the yellow light hit the backyard and I wanted some pics of Caeligh. She was sitting on the front steps and our poor cat, Towser, wasn't nearly fast enough lol Honestly all the cats should now by now that when they see Caeligh reaching for them they should RUN!!!! Anyway, she got him and clutched him to her like only a four year old girl with too much enthusiasm can. I did get one reasonable shot before this but it had to be the sixth picture so this is it - Caeligh trying to talk Towser into staying with her and Towser trying to get away....

I'm not a huge tagger, mainly because I find it hard to find time to do them "properly" and therefore feel I shouldn't burden another scrapper with something I usually can't manage myself but because I have found time to do this, I figure Jilly, Sue, Lusi and Ngaire should be able to do this as well. Love and respect you girls hugely, so I hope you take it for it's true intention - a compliment and an apology all in one!!! lol

Have a groovin' Saturday night! Lu xx
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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

First Day of School (original title huh? lol)

Well today was a big day in our house. Caeligh started Prep grade after many discussions about whether she could take her headband out at first break (no), whether she could take off her shoes when she got there (another no!) and whether I could just wait outside her room for her from the time I dropped her off until it was time to go home again (absolutely NO!!!!). She was happy enough this morning to get up, get dressed in her big long schoolgirl dress, put on her shoes and let me do her hair which is almost unheard of for my darling little feral who would prefer to run around wearing as little as possible, filthy and with rat nest hair if only we would let her. She did draw the line at piggy tails however, prefering a simple stretchy navy headband which she proceeded to lose by the time I picked her up this afternoon. She has that kind of "slippery" hair that just about every hair accessory known to womankind slides or falls out of within an hour. She's buggered now though as I don't have another headband and hers didnt' turn up on a quick scan of the classroom. Quite frankly it could be anywhere! I think we'll just have to write that one off and she will have to live with piggies tomorrow if she likes it or not. As far as I know, she does plan on going back tomorrow so her first day must have been okay and she got her medication on time so I believe the teachers are happy for her to come back as well lol

The boys were all dressed nicely, new shoes which none of them have scuffed up yet after the first day and Blayd and Lachie were happy to walk because we live so close to school now. They weren't happy about the first day of school book overload that they had to carry in their backpacks but apart from that they were all fine. James went to a new pod this year to make room for the new Prep kids and he likes his teachers and has his friends with him in his class. Lachie loves middle school and the sudden extra independence that he will have, and loves having his best friend in his pod with him, especially as they can walk home together too as his friend lives a little further away from school than us. Blayd is at the top of middle school this year, his last year before senior school. He was just grateful to access full size handball courts again after a six week break of having "totally nowhere to play at all". I had no idea handball was so important for sustaining teenage life but as a mama, what do I know?!?!? lol

It was a good start to the year and for me I now have all of my kids at school. Still haven't given that much thought as I've had work to fall into straight away when I got home from school this morning but boy was the house quiet. Cass walked over for coffee and we discussed our respective first day of school stories and I've been typing ever since (except when I bravely walked up to the school this afternoon to pick up the kids - I say brave because I am overweight, unfit and haven't been feeling the greatest lately so it was a slight shock to the system to walk a kilometre in the heat and back again but I figure it's a kind of forced exercise and I so desperately need some of that!).

So many posts in one day but I'm trying to establish a regular blogging habit so if you get email updates or anything, sorry!

The pic of the bag in the doorway I took just because I noticed it sitting there and thought it looked like a nice shot so call it my photo of the day for today.

I hope everyone else had a great first day back and that you all waited until you were out of the kids' line of sight before you did the happy dance!!! lol Cheers, Lu xx
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Sorry about that...

....the formatting in the post below is crap but I've discovered I can't format in Blogger for peanuts!!!!

Wicked Princess Layouts

I promised and swore black and blue I would get these done so here they are! These are the layouts using the Wicked Princesses December Dragon Kit. It was full of great distressed, grungy papers and funky embellies so I had more than enough inspiration by the time I sat down to get it all done. For the first layout, I liked the star pattered felt that I even used the white backing paper as well! I did the same for the peel off backing of the bracket. Sorry for the photo glare on the picture...

This one below looks really yellow, as does the one after, because I was taking photographs on my kitchen table last night - hence everything has a slight red border (this one particularly so because it seems I can't crop for crap! I also didn't photograph very straight either! The colour on the photograph is just a result of sanding it. Some photos, depending on where you get them developed and what chemicals they use, will sand a nice reddish orange whereas I've had a couple sand a funny teal green on the edges too. I quite like the effect and it's a bit unpredictable but that's okay cos I don't mind surprises.

This photo I took at the Vodafone Triple 8 Racing open day last month. There was lots of bright things to take pictures of, shiny cars, metal and machinery but I saw these stacked up on pallets in the back corner of the driveway into the engineering workshops. I figured they were something from the wheels but I wasn't entirely sure and didn't actually care but they took a great photograph en mass, all stacked up and rusty looking so I snapped a couple of shots. I printed out the pic to see how it turned out and had it sitting in my pile of recent photos and it went so well with the papers I had in the kit that I decided to use it. The title is pretty much what I said to Doug as I busily matted up the photo. Apparently - and forgive me for not knowing! - but they are the brake rotors from Jamie Whincup's V8 Falcon that won the championship this year. They are the used ones from previous races throughout the year and I guess if he could have taken one home he would have to keep as a momento as Doug is very much a Jamie Whincup fan. Apparently brake rotors are important (well they were at the time they were being used!) so he was very happy with the photo and I learned something new about the mechanics of V8 supercars!

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Friday, 23 January 2009

Wicked Princess February Kits

Karen and Tam are all back down to business at Wicked Princesses and the February kits are now available!  There are also some new things happening too from this month so head on over and have a squiz.  It's hard to pick my fave out of them but I think Enchantress: Be Mine wins by a nose!  After all it will soon be Valentine's Day and as I've discovered from recent years, if money is tight Doug truly does appreciate anything I make for him as a gift.  He always takes things off to work and shows them around to his workmates which is really sweet.  If you have a moment swing by here and have a look at the gorgeous new offerings for Feb and if you are still completely undecided, there is a fantastic Wicked Combo which includes three of Wicked Princesses' best kits for the month plus a card kit too for all the card makers out there.  It's also a great price too with value well over the kit cost so would make a nice gift for someone in need of a stash boost or for yourself if you feel like a nice delivery from the postman instead of bills and junk mail lol

The whole project 365 thing seems so popular right now and while I can't say I have devotedly been taking a picture a day - unlike some of you who have been amazing and kept up to date so far - I have taken a few here and there but my lovely friend Jilly has been taking such great pictures that she got me thinking I should be a bit more dedicated so Jill, just for you, a photo!  Not even a good one but a picture nonetheless.  This is my Ikea double drawers that Doug and I 

have on either side of our bed.  They m

See that?  Up there?  The cut off end of sentence?  That's all Blogger managed to save after I typed for half an hour!  Wow have you missed some exciting stuff about Doug's bedside table and his lava lamp "mood lighting", having to take a jar of Vaseline to the shops to buy school uniforms and books, and my unfortunate affliction with cankles.

Blogger, you are truly ticking me off with your lack of ability to keep hold of what I've typed!!!!

I'm going to go put my cankles up on a couple of pillows on my coffee table and wait for the return of some kind of recognisable bone structure while I curse at at Blogger's crappy and ineffective auto-save feature which apparently - despite it's promising name - does not auto save anything.  Ugh.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Kaisercraft January sneak peeks and a layout!

Yes, it's a real live layout that I've done with my own hands.  Almost feels like I'm not a scrapper anymore!!! lol  This is a sketch that I did for Kaisercraft, not a sketch girl at all really but it was great for getting back into the swing of things after such a long break.  It was nice not to have to sit and think it through and see what came but to create with a bit of a plan  so I only had to work out papers, etc.  I've used Esther's Guestlist for the layout plus the coordinating brads, inked Kaisercraft Chipboard, flowers and bling of course!  The beautiful gold brocade ribbon stuff I grabbed from Cass's stash.  She has the coolest stuff in her scraproom that she doesn't realise is cool but when she helped me move, she found a gazillion things in my stash that she thought were cool.  I think we're going to have to have a swap night!  If you're a Kaiser fan, then also keep an eye out for the new silk flowers, plus the paper flowers in fab new colours like purple, pumpkin orange, yellow, olive green, red and black!  We asked for those colours and boy did Kaisercraft listen!!! lol  There are also new bling colours coming out with a vintage feel and I can't wait for those.  I'll be teaching for Kaisercraft at the Brisbane convention in June, doing layouts so if you have any ideas on what kind of classes you'd like to see using Kaisercraft products, leave me a comment with your idea or suggestion and in a week I'll choose a random comment and send you a RAK of a mixed bag of some of the new Kaisercraft flower colours to add to your stash plus a couple of the MDF off the page projects and a packet of bling borders.  Have a great week!  Love Lu xx

Friday, 16 January 2009

Happy New Year!!!! (a little belated maybe lol)

Okay, there once was this blogger who had been flat out so waited AGES to update and get around to it cos she's a bit slack too.  Not that there was nothing to blog about, just that it went on the back burner.  So she sits down one day to update, looking forward to telling the stories behind all the pictures she had put in her blog as a draft a few days earlier.  Well she drank coffee and typed like the wind and eventually was happy with her massive blog post that would surely take anyone an hour to read... :-)  but....when she went to save it in Blogger, the big mean Blogger machine at up her post and said it could not process her request at this time.  She went back to her compose page to copy and paste her blog entry so she could update at a time more convenient to the obviously inconvenienced Blogger but nay!  She could not because the entire post was gone so she was left with nothing but her original pics and no text.  It was a sad day.

Due to slightly massive frustration with Blogger, my first update in just about forver will now consist of dot point pic explanations and I'll attempt a proper post once I get over my annoyance and mistrust of Blogger.

1. Lachlan's Shuffle Up Day where he went from the Upper Junior part of the school to Middle School, the equivalent of graduating primary school (well, the little ceremony thing most primary schools have anyway).  He was quite chuffed with himself and so was I.

2. & 3.  The Christmas tree did go up, a week before we moved, because it just didn't feel like Christmas without it and I needed a visual reminder that there was something to look forward to.  It has birds, bugs, beads, crystal thingies, feather stuff and other assorted crap on it.

4. & 5.  Doug wanted to take the kids to Triple 8 Racing's open day at their new workshops at Banyo.  Was pack, hot, crowded, but the kids all sucked it up beautifully and all "said" they  had a good time, more for Doug's sake I think.  

6. (Below) Caeligh's little "graduation ceremony" from her kindy.  They made them all these cute mortarboard hats with tassels.  She really did like it even if it doesn't look like it here.  The ceremony was combined with the Christmas party which was the Friday night of the last day of "regular" school for the boys.  She's been on holidays ever since and loving it.  Don't know how I'm going to convince her to go school...

7. & 8.  Despite all the chaos of working and moving and end-of-year school stuff, I promised myself we would get away for a few days.  The older boys were going to their dad's for a few weeks so Doug and I took the little ones to Dicky Beach at Caloundra for five days.  We bummed around, spent a lot of time at the pool and the beach, taught James to duck dive for dollar coins (the most effective motivational tool ever for a child who wants to learn how to swim properly but is all wussy about gettnig his face wet!), at fish and chips virtually every night and it was fantastic.  We're planning to go back this Christmas but undertaking the very brave step of purchasing camping gear throughout the year and doing the whole family camp for two weeks if we can.  I don't know anything about camping but if you know how to do it comfortably (if there's such a thing, and we're getting a powered site so that will help) then I'd love for you to share your hints or tips!  

9.  The new mailbox at our new home.  That one picture means a lot to me and represents a lot of things for our family.  We absolutely love the house, love living in it and already everyone is happier.  Caeligh has her own "girly" room, James has his own room, Lachlann has his "fortress of solitude" and a set of double bunks in his room and so does Blayd.  They're all pretty happy campers right now.  Doug and I have a "grown ups" bedroom with a nice Ikea bed, matching double deep drawer chests on each side of our beds and NO COMPUTERS IN THE ROOM!!!!!  It felt like a bit of a battle to be here once we got our application approved.  It was so strange that all the other houses I enquired about/looked at/went to inspections for were also being eyed off by a dozen other people.  This one I had registered my interest for a couple of weeks before but they were having trouble getting the existing tenants out (the tenant had sublet the place to uni students and was thus an absolute hovel when I came to inspect it) so it took longer than I thought and by the time I was phoned about an inspection date, it was a week and a half out from Christmas and I had to check with the RE agent about how many other people were going to come look at it because I was getting tired of competing with everyone else.  She said only one other person had registered interest which was bizarre to me because it's a rare four bedroom and study in Calamvale with separate formal dining (now my scraproom cos I'd never let the kids eat on the carpet!), formal lounge (for a grown-ups lounge room that isn't full of toys etc), a dining, living and rumpus rooms in front of the open plan kitchen, lots of big windows, reasonable yard, master with ensuite and walking distance to school and staggering distance from the Calamvale pub and sort-of nightclub (oh wow, anyone who's a southsider in Brisbane probably has some really good/bad/dodgy memories of their Friday and Saturday nights at the 'Vale!  I know I do!!!!).  Anyway, the RE lady said only one other person had registered interest so I jumped the gun and asked if I could sub an application before I even viewed the place.  She said yes, but I would have to inspect it first before they could give it to the owner for approval.  So I did all that over a couple of days, losing quite a few working hours while I was at it, just scanning and emailing documents, finding the right paperwork, etc.  I turned up on the Friday 12th December to inspect and the other person didn't!  I couldn't believe how it felt like (small God moment here) a path had been completely cleared for me to have exactly what I had been working for with absolutely no competition.  I couldn't quite believe it myself.  The owners accepted the application straight away as they wanted people in by Christmas and we wanted to be in by Christmas.  We did the bond payments the week later (now we're up to a week before Christmas, I'm still working full time and Doug is packing up the old house and it's getting a bit crazy) and had the electricity put on Saturday as the cleaners had to come back because the tenants did a crap job of cleaning the house (not surprised, it would have taken me a week to clean the dump they had turned it into - so bad that at the inspection, I politely took off my shoes at the door - as you do - but by the time we got to the main bathroom that everyone shared, the RE lady says "Oh, you don't have shoes on, you don't want to come in here, just look from the doorway"!!!!  Yep, that bad.   Think a house full of guys with no cleaning ability or inclination at all who apparently are impervious to disease and plague! lol  Anyway, house got recleaned over the weekend and carpets done a second time (cheap, nasty "Rental Beige" carpets I call them, to go with the nasty "Rental Beige" vertical blinda and "Rental Beige" walls!) and we got our keys late Monday morning - the fourth day before Christmas.  Far out, I was stuck at the old house that afternoon, still typing while furniture was being moved around me!  Cass did an amazing job.  Honestly she stepped in, told everyone how and where to pack, move and shift everything, she knew the fastest, safest way to get it all done and I don't know where I would have been without her!  If you ever need one of those people (you know, you can HIRE someone to coordinate your move while you go away for the week or something!) to take charge of a move and set up your new home for you then she's the girl.  I told her she should do that for a business because honestly, I had trouble knowing where to start, but she took our tiny, cluttered house, showed me how to declutter and what to throw out, and has helped turn our new place into what feels like home already.  She's even repainted some of my old, crappy furniture so it doens't look old and crappy anymore!  CASS I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH!  It's her birthday on Sunday (25th Jan) so if you're a follower of her blog, take a moment to stop in and wish her a great day.  I'm still trying to think of what I can do to repay her for everything she's done for me so I'll let you know how I go with that one.  Anyway, it was a race to the finish line but by Christmas Eve we were mostly in, mostly unpacked and only the garage and my scraproom were still packed up and we had a wonderful Christmas with my mum, stepdad and sister, plus Doug's mum, coming over for Brunch and then we had everyone back Boxing Day for lunch.  I love waking up every day in this house and am genuinely thankful for how everything fell into place.  Already the house has managed to stay 99% perfectly clean and tidy for a whole month, not because I've been really anal about it or anything but because there is a place for everything, we only brought with us what we needed/loved and I'm slowly training the children on how to do little things to help maintain the house like putting stuff away, doing a load of laundry every day, turning on the dishwasher each night, etc.  I know they sound like no brainers but I'm not very organised and not a good housekeeper so I'm really proud of all of us right now for trying our best to keep our home clean, tidy and welcoming.  

10. Our new and massive dining table which currently seats ten but I think could fit 12.  Cass's husband, Kelly, very cleverly used a couple of huge pieces of MDF on top of each other for strength that we had at our old house, we bought legs from Ikea, the chairs from Ikea, Cass's dad came over to her garage and routered the edge for us so it looked nice and more professionally finished, and Kelly painted it for us.  It took six people to move it the 50 metres from Cass's place to my place on Christmas Eve in time for our big family brunch on Christmas morning.  Think of all the room we'd have for a crop night at my place!!!  Let me know if you're interested!

11.  I came back from holidays to find Cass (who had very kindly offered to look after the dog etc) had repainted an old pine table that was in my garage, plus she salvaged a big wall mirror and repainted it.  This feature sits in my hallway and I absolutely love it.

12.  Cass's husband Kelly also bought these fab red cannisters (sorry, bad lighting in this one) as a house warming gift for us.  Cass and I were really impressed!

13.  You guessed it, this is my office/scraproom and yep, it's the only unpacked part of the house left! lol  Because I had to work full time again literally the day I got home from holidays, it has been one of those things that came down to doing only what was absolutely necessary, like setting up my computer and transcription equipment and so all my scrap goodies are sitting in boxes, baskets and tubs.  I did a proper tidy up yesterday and now everything is lined up along one wall behind me and much more orderly looking.  I figure I need some "thing" from Ikea, and if you're an Ikea fan you'll know what I mean.  I need some kind of furniture or storage system or some "thing" to put all this scrap stuff into some kind of order and I figure that to be reasonable (so unlike me), I should just leave it all packed up until I have somewhere for it to go otherwise I will be overtaken by product and lost in the mess.  Now that I am lucky enough to have my own room for scrapping, I want it to be clean, organised (sort of and as much as I ever am), and full of things I love so I'm basically waiting for the money to get back up to speed (crappy being self employed over Christmas when clients are away and money is really slow), and I want to invest in a storage/furniture system that works, not buy cheap, half arsed stuff that will "do the job for now" until I get what I really need.  For the first time in my life, I'm actually willing to wait.  So impulsive usually! lol

So that's it, not as long as yesterday's failed blog attempt but better than nothing.  BTW Wicked Princesses are having a garage sale before our February kits arrive.  I wil have some layouts from the amazing December Dragon kit up this week as I've been scrapping a bit at Cass's place.  Also, there'll be new Kaisercraft soon too which is fab.

I'm not American but hey, congrats USA on your new President!!!  He rocks!!!  

Have a great Wednesday everyone!  Love Lu xx

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