Monday, 31 December 2007

I scrapbooked today.

I'm just a little bit excited, seeing as I haven't scrapbooked since November some time. I have done little creative things, and painted rooms - not with art, though there is an art to painting walls :) - but scrapbooking was buried under piles of books, papers, magazines, clothes, and even Christmas presents.

It's all cleared now (well, as best as I can under the circumstances) and I have done two layouts for Aussie Scrapjacked. I love the simplicity of Sarah Van Wijck's layouts and just wanted to join in the jacking fun.
Here is one of Sarah's layouts and my jack of it.

And here is the one that Sarah actually did for Aussie Scrapjacked and my rendition.

Sunday, 30 December 2007


The People

The Presents

I received lots and lots of presents - here are some of the creative highlights.

There was a lot of secretive business going on with Douglas and Susannah. All I knew was that it involved the ends of my garden bench, which had fallen apart and been relegated to the trailer. On Christmas Day I was pleasantly surprised to be given my garden bench again, only this time in a much sturdier form - FABULOUS!

When I unwrapped this set of wooden kitchen things with a printed sheet that explained what the utensils were for I was just a little ho-hum. Then I found out that Dad had actually made them and I became just a little emotional. I thought he even did the info sheet on the computer but Mum photocopied it from an article in the newspaper. Aren't they a clever pair?!

I am pleased to be the proud owner of another of my children's artworks. Here is a beautiful watercolour pencil work of a lily in the back yard done by Susannah.

My sister's huband's brother (or, my brother-in-law's brother) does these lovely little metal art works. He collects pieces of metal that he finds on his walks - pieces that have character worn into them by weather, time and even human forces - and then he constructs (for want of a better word) little artworks. Colin collected quite a few little bits and pieces just on our street and made a little collection - here is the one I chose.

And, even though this wasn't a present, I like the mood of this photo taken by Annelise on her Canon EOS 400D - a gorgeous little digital SLR which I happened to get for Christmas too - Lucky me!

The Peculiar

You want to know what these are all about? I haven't the time to explain right now. Maybe later. They make me smile.

Monday, 24 December 2007


I had plans, ideas, grand schemes... I was going to make a whole pile of these gorgeous little peace birdies (the idea of which I got from Ngaire and have unashamedly copied - thanks Ngai) and give them to ALL my friends and family. If you got one you're 'lucky' (in the loosest sense of the word). If you didn't get one, please forgive me and remember that I still love you :)

And I'll leave you with this thought: There is a peace that passes all understanding. It can be found through Jesus Christ the Lord. Read about Jesus in John's gospel.

God bless and Merry Christmas.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Just quickly...

There are lots of things happening in the kids' creative realm but I just haven't taken photos and dealt with them.

So today, because I happen to have a photo, I'll show you one of Reuben's latest drawings. Reuben filled his art book in under two weeks with the most amazing drawings. I like his style. Here is my fave, at the moment.

And now, a photo of some beautiful (actually, the orange ones were magnificently, the most superlatively beautiful) roses. Gwenda brought these over last week and they sat on my kitchen windowsill for nearly a whole day before I just had to put them outside. Their perfume was absolutely gorgeous but it gave me a migraine so the roses went the way of most scented flowers - out to the front landing, where they can be seen but not smelled (or is that smelt?).

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Flour Bags, Petals and White Board Art

Where do I start? Hudson has had a little pillow as his bedtime 'thing' since he was very little. We realised about a year ago that we needed to have a supply of them so that we always had a clean one available. Somehow or other, Hudson manages to lose them - we have lost about 5 so far and there are 2 left. So... I decided to make a few more, except I have been ruthless in my clearing out and ALL the material scraps have gone to a better place!

I have a characteristic that can be a bane but it can also prove to be a blessing - I find it hard to throw away things that I think could be useful some day - shoe boxes, calico flour bags, big strong plastic bags...

Well, can you see what is coming? I made two more pillows out of little calico bags - one from Demeter and one that had a 'squashy hat' in it. Now I just have to convince Hudson that they will be quite suitable to sleep with. I have written "Have pillow will sleep" on them and my mobile phone number. Do you think we'll be able to hang onto them until Hudson no longer needs a pillow to sleep?

The other night we couldn't find a clean pillow. Hudson set up camp near the washing machine to wait for it to be washed and dried. He finally fell asleep without it at nearly midnight. He could've had Declan's little pillow but it is made with flannelette and Hudson can't bear the feel of it.

When I went outside to photograph the pillows I found this icecream container full of rose petals. It brought back memories. I remember collecting cherry blossom flowers and making "perfume" in jars. The 'scent' was absolutely beor.di.fool!!! - in my imagination, anyway.

Give Susannah something to draw with and something to draw on and voila!!!

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Thursday, 29 November 2007

Cleaning and Consolidating

When our renovations first started I suddenly had to find a new place for lots of things. Some stuff was squashed into cupboards, more stuff went on top of cupboards. Other stuff went out to the small shed and then there was stuff that I really didn't know what to do with.

I've made a policy... Take a photo and get rid of it! That works for some things - like this rug that I made when Annelise was a baby. I have carried the rug around for years and it has hung in our 'store room' for all that time. This rug was laying around, as rugs do, getting in the way. So, finally, I have taken a photo of it and it is going to a better place - I don't need to know where.

I have been collecting tissue boxes for quite some time (maybe years) with the aim of building a cubby house. Reuben and I have quietly stashed the empty tissue boxes. We didn't enlist the help of friends (probably should have) but just waited for the right moment when we would have enough. Well that moment didn't have a chance to come. We needed to clear out the room downstairs so that the reno's could start. Out came the tissue boxes and Reuben made what he could with the small stash.

Here it is... The Tower of Rowan.


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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Take a photo, it lasts longer!

That's what I called my layout about having lots of people living in the same house at the same time 24/7. My advice to my cleaning lady is simple... "Just clean and don't look back." Only a few days and it will be tidy again. Momentarily!!! The doodling was therapeutic.

I've been on a scrapbooking roll this week. You might wonder where I get the time but it doesn't take me much time - that's one thing, and another is - if I don't do something creative I feel frustrated and irritated. Gardening is satisfying too but the rain has not been conducive to being outside.

Hudson got a hold of Reuben's camera the other day and took about 60 photos. He enjoyed seeing the flash go off but had no idea what he was doing - still doesn't!

Every-so-often I leant forward (I was on the phone to Mum) and took his fingers off the lens.

There was one usable photo, so I scrapped it. I was inspired by Jen Hall (again!) and used her layout as a starting point. I'm having issues finding the layout on Jen's blog so here it is (hopefully).

And here is my rendition - Telephone Love

Last weekend, on my way home from visiting Dad and Mum in Ballina, I stopped at a cute little town to meet my lovely friend Renae. We had a pleasant time strolling down near the river and taking photos of ourselves :)

I was inspired by this very old, out of print fabric, which I first saw on Ngaire's blog, and based my layout on its design.

Here is my layout based on the fabric with one of the photos of Me and Nae.

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Wednesday, 21 November 2007

I'm not going mad!

I'm mad already!

Take at least seven kids and one or two adults and put them in a house 24/7 and what do you get? A huge mess. There's a layout coming with that theme, but for now, a break in my creative drought. I decided to do the Aussie Scrapjack for this month by Celeste Vermeend.

Plant a Tree

It is interesting... while we were transplanting the little oak tree that started growing under our walnut tree I made the comment "plant a tree, save the planet." I'm not sure where it came from but it obviously planted itself ('scuse the pun) in my mind from some advertising campaign or other.

There are a couple of quotes on the layout.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
He who plants a tree plants a hope. (Lucy Larcom - poet, educator and editor in the 1800s)
And an implied quote with the little bird in the tree - Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. (Chinese Proverb)

The journalling at the bottom of the layout reads: Planting a tree may or may not help reduce carbon dioxide. Let's transform the way energy is derived and used by coming up with carbon-free power generation. (I paraphrased these sentences from an article about Prof. Caldeira)

"The idea that you can go out and plant a tree and help reverse global warming is an appealing, feel-good thing," said Ken Caldeira of the global ecology department at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Stanford, California, a co-author of the study. "To plant forests to mitigate climate change outside of the tropics is a waste of time."

So there you go.

It is nice to think that if I drove past our yard in 30 or so years time, or when the children drive past 50 or more years (or whatever they will do to move in years to come), there will be a huge oak tree giving pleasure to adults and children alike.

Russell Page said - To plant trees is to give body and life to one's dreams of a better world.


Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Aussie Dare 34

Be inspired by an album or cd cover.

For no particular reason, I chose the cd by Jackson Jackson called The Fire Is On The Bird.

Here is the artwork for that cd, the picture of which I got from here.

And here is my rendition - a lighthearted look at a very trivial matter - my bad hair day.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Artists in Residence

All the residents in this household are artistic in one way or another and their creations are amazing. Today I want to show you two of Susannah's 'works'.

Susannah has been drawing and using watercolour pencils for some years now. She started by copying other artists' work beautifully, but now she is working from her own inspiration.

The City was inspired by this little tag, which, Susannah says, "reminded me of a city."

Can you spot the family van and Daddy's SAAB? We won't analyse it any more than that, okay?!

And now Fluffed Toys, a beautiful rendition of the 'fluffed toys' on Susannah's bed.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Bewdiful and Evryfink!

When I first found out that Kim had leukaemia I was pretty much shocked. Then my mind and emotions clicked in. It was like…

“Hang on a minute. God, you’ve got the wrong person. Not Kim!” I just couldn’t imagine my dear friend being very, very sick and having to go through chemotherapy. Surely someone else could have it. But we both know God knows what He’s doing.

Now, a few months down the track, three lots of chemo later, and many trips from Armidale to Newcastle and back, I can still see God working in Kim’s life. And mine.

Kim is a wonder! She’s happy and cheerful. And a total nutcase really! I know she’s not superwoman, and she’s definitely not above feeling the trauma of this whole thing, but she shows the joy she has in God, the peace she has with Him and, whether she is just putting on a face or not, she is inspirational to me. I thank God for her.

I was so glad that we could call in and see Kim at her unit in Newcastle on 10th October, 2007. Now I can picture her in her new home away from home. I miss her so much.

Sophie-Lee took this photo of us together just after Kim said, “Hang on a minute. How's my hair?"

Monday, 5 November 2007

The one that didn't make it.

I am planning to make "a photo a day" album, or something, for the month of November. The thing is.... Some days there's (I'm never sure about the grammar there - there are? there is?) more than one photo.

So here is one that is not going to make it into the album - I already have a photo for today.

Actually, here's another one.

Derwent Colour Pencils

When I was a kid Derwent pencils were an absolute treasure to me. I was given a set of 24 for my birthday (can't remember how old I was), I bought a set when I went to Sydney College of the Arts, and I used to buy extra colours whenever I visited Dymocks in Sydney. I just loved going downstairs into the art department and absorbing the inspiration, the smells, the colour. Aaaaahh! - those were the days!

For a long time no one was allowed to touch my Derwents. When I married Douglas, our Derwent collection more than doubled but the pencils were kept safe from careless hands. Eventually, the Derwents made it to a collective coloured pencil box, mixed in with all the cheap coloured pencils that are hard and break when you sharpen them.

I mean, what was the point of having over 150 coloured pencils if they were never used? Here is what we have left after about 20 years - well used, well loved.

Two admissions...
1. I love arranging things in rainbow-colour order.
2. This photo was inspired by a photo my friend, Meredith, took of some coloured pencils.

Sunday, 4 November 2007


The Scrapapple Weekend Workout challenge was to include a baby photo on your layout. I am in no mood to scrap a baby photo, of myself or anyone else, but I did have this photo of "Broody Trudy" that comes as close as I could get.

This hen decided she'd like to sit for a while. She is very determined and has resisted any attempts for me to discourage her from her mission. So she continues to sit, on china eggs at first, and on unfertilised eggs. I don't know when she will give up.

We just collect the eggs from under her each day - she growls a bit but she isn't at all aggressive.

Too bad I didn't think of it earlier and we could've put some fertilised eggs under her had some little chicks any day soon.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

In Loving Memory

May these precious soles forever rest in peace!

Caitlin got these boots when they were two sizes too big for her - that gave her time to love her boots to death! Life would never be the same.

The boots were kept on life support (a safety pin and help from Dad) for quite some time but we just couldn't keep them going. Caitlin cried and cried - they were her friends. They'd been with her for years. It was hard for Caitlin to let them go.

A funeral was the only way - it was cathartic to prepare the coffin, dig the grave and say goodbye in a little funeral to be remembered.

P.S. Only a few days later the boots were replace by a brand new pair of pink suede boots. Caitlin is happy again.

P.P.S If you look closely you can see a carefully placed line of glue pen around the edge of the page where the black line is - thanks to Hudson! He loves that glue pen.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Funky Mini Album

I have just finished my mini album of Annelise's wedding. I'd already made one for my mother in a very conservative style - elegant and classy, and I don't like to do the same thing twice so I broke out and used up all my Love Elsie papers for this little beauty. And a big thanks to my friend Peg for the self-adhesive felt hearts - fiddly but nicely effective.

If you want to see all the pages (all 54 or so) then click here. The photos are in reverse order and I don't know how to change that, but you'll get the gist anyway.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Free at Last

Not really, but I have managed to set up a card table next to my bed so that I can scrap. I kick-started my scrapping with the Scrapapple Weekend Workout - Use black and white photo/s.

After I overcame the issue of printing my photo and getting my sewing machine working (the needle was bent - glad I had a replacement) I got stuck into putting this one together.

Monday, 22 October 2007

It's Spring!

So! It's still spring for another 6 weeks yet! Here is some evidence of Spring in my garden. Let's take a stroll.

Lavender is a hit in my garden - somehow or another it manages to stay alive and flower every year. Yay!

We have had hundreds of butterflies this year. I keep thinking "Butterflies come from caterpillars," but I haven't seen any caterpillars (or other evidence of them). Not that I have looked very hard.

The pear tree blossoms get better every year. We have had pears before but they are full of grubs - great food for the chooks. I wonder how they will go this year.

We have a border of the lovely yellow daffodils and then I have a pot with 'special' daffodils. I planted them along with hyacinths (which seem to have disappeared) and star flowers. This year only two have bloomed but they are SO gorgeous.

I thought I was going to miss my sweet peas because they were in bud just before we left for Tasmania. This is only the second time in my whole life that I have successfully grown sweet peas. And I grew them more successfully this year than last and maybe I will grow them more successfullyer (How do you spell that?) next year.

And my tulips too! They were in bloom when I got back from Tas but have lasted for ages. There's one in bud too.

Where did that come from? :)

We have these self-seeded poppies which add a cute bit of colour to the garden. The chives are ready to burst forth, and there's a little pansy hanging in there from last year. Hopefully the rose will bloom soon. And the bird bath... we have so many more birds in the garden now that the cats from next door are gone.

I absolutely adore the palest pink blossoms on my crabapple trees.

And now to the front yard. This viburnum, otherwise know as snowball bush, has been growing and blooming heartily every year. (At the moment, and for reasons unknown to me, this photo won't upload - will try again later.) It supplies the children with masses of 'snowballs' to pick, stash, throw, make a mess with.

Last but not least - the rambling rose which has so beautifully made its way to our front door. Opinions are divided. It seems that females like it - they think it is pretty, artistic, cute. Men seem to think I haven't noticed and tell me, when they come to the door, that the rose has grown up there!!! Douglas thinks it makes the place look neglected - I think it makes the place pretty. What do you think?