Monday, 27 April 2009

We Remember


We often see part of Laurence Binyon's poem For The Fallen and it made me wonder what the rest of the poem was like. The whole poem is beautiful and the third stanza is particularly poignant, I reckon.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
Last year our family read A Rose For The Anzac Boys by Jackie French. It certainly helped all of us to get a little bit of an insight into the whole Gallipoli story. It's a great read and just right for the kids.

This year we didn't do much but we did remember and we did cook Anzac Biscuits. Yum! We don't bake biscuits very often. Do you know why? Cos I like them.

Hennyway. In my efforts to reduce washing up I managed to reduce the size of the Golden Syrup container!!!

And Sophie-Lee... She wanted an Anzac biscuit but could only have one if she posed for a photo. There's a biccie in her mouth and a quick pose. Good job I didn't blink or I would've missed it.

Reframing Myself

A little while back I discovered that I am an HSP - a highly sensitive person. I didn't need to do the self test to know but I did it anyway. :)

Well now I have been reading the book by Elaine N. Aron about being a highly sensitive person. It is enlightening, and maybe a little bit scary, as I work my way ve.e.e.e.ry slowly through the pages.

Now this might seem off the subject but... I don't journal very often. I am not good at being consistent with keeping records, writing down my thoughts, or even taking tablets (not that I need to) so whenever I do an art journal piece it is either for a challenge or the rare time when my emotions and creativity mingle and result in just a little bit of inspiration.

This is one of those rare occasions and there just happens to be a challenge as well!!! I have been doing the Art Journal challenges at Blue Bazaar for the last few months. This month's technique is to do an image transfer. I can't say I enjoy this process - probably a combination of lack of success and not liking the smell of gel medium. But I did it anyway. It's a picture of me when I am about 7 or 8 years old. I'll show it to you so that you know what you are looking for :)

Here is the page I have done. It's called Reframing Myself. Which is the name given to the process of understanding myself with respect to my sensitivity. It's great!!! The understanding myself, not necessarily the page. :)

and a close up.

So there you go!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Ticket to Ride

I didn't want to sit at home on Easter Saturday with the kids asking every few minutes if they could go on the computer so we headed to the Tram Museum in Loftus. There was a bit of "Nyergh. This is going to be boring," but it turned out to be a rather pleasant way to spend a few hours (and a bit of money!) The kids enjoyed riding on the trams and I enjoyed the history of it all. Next time we might go for a bushwalk as well.

I used Picasa to create a collage then I put the collage into Publisher to make it the size I wanted it. I printed the collage out, measured each photo and then resized my photos to match. Then I made the collage in real life. :) (The extent to which some people go!!!)

Products: PP - Dream Street Papers LLC Romantique-Serenity, Scenic Route Summer, Daisy D's Antique Blue Wild Flowers; Alphas - Arctic Frog Business Alpha, Basic Grey Alphabet Stickers Ambrosia; Chipboard tree that I found in my oversized (cos I just don't use it) stash of chipboard stuff; Paint - Making Memories and Reeves Acrylic.

Oh and I just remembered...
I used Holly Hanks' layout that was shown on the Sassafras Lass Blog for a little bit of inspiration.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Kellys Falls

... the nice bits!

I know. I know. It annoys you as much as it annoys me but Kellys Falls does NOT have an apostrophe in it. So, one could assume these falls are neither owned by Kelly nor named after him. I have assumed that and pronounce it Kellis Falls to emphasise my acknowledgement of the lack of apostrophication.

Okay. Now that we have that over and done with, here's a layout - a quick one that took me about a week to get done. Oxymoronic!

There were NOT nice bits as well.

Products: Making Memories 5th Avenue PP and Color Staples; Memories Mist; Radiant Rain dauber; Thickers Hat Box; Pink Paislee Holly Doodle Alphabet stickers; Bo Bunny Bodacious Brads; Bumble Bee Crafts Bamboo Paper Clips; String; AND those cute crocheted flowers - does anyone know who they are by? Peg? I can't remember.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Art or Eyesore?

I was flicking through a few pages of the Sydney Morning Herald this morning and the photo in this article caught my eye. The caption starts... Heritage-listed eyesore. The reason it caught my eye was cos I thought it was beautiful.

What do you think? Art or Eyesore?

That's all. :)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Please Remain Calm

I did, whilst "remain calm" played over and over in my head like a scratched record (iykwim) and sweat saturated my hair and dripped from my brow. :)

D'you wanna know?
Warning:long story.

I took our four youngest to Kellys Falls today. The plan was simple - we'd take some victuals (gotta love that word! Pron. vittles) in our backpacks - and eat them some time, walk through the bush, see the waterfall, and then head home again.

We arrived at the falls via a severely potholed road and were the only ones there - that was fine. After strolling down the track towards the falls for a few minutes we came to the top of the falls where you could cross over and walk around the other side. We stepped across the conveniently placed rocks and headed around the other side to find out if we would actually be able to see the waterfall that I had seen in the pictures. Maybe we could've if we did some more stone-stepping stream crossing but we didn't. We headed back to the carpark.

Supplies were eaten, water was imbibed, and most of us decided to leave our stuff in the car to walk the trail to Stanwell Tops - 795 metres long, it said on the sign. We headed off, noticing lots of wonderful fungus specimens (which made me think of Jill GG - funny that!). I confidently told the kids about fungi - it likes moist, warm, humid conditions. I took photos. No bells were ringing.

We strolled at a leisurely pace, checking out the native plants, the sap bleeding from trees, the fungi. We stopped and listened. We could hear bird calls and little movements in the thick bush. I don't know how far we had walked - maybe 500 metres -when Caitlin felt something on her leg. THEN the bells starting ringing.

Caitlin had a leech on her. No wait she had lots of leeches on her. Hang on - we ALL had lots of leeches on us. Please remain calm. Malachi gets the award for the calmest kid. There's no second and third but we all know who DID NOT remain calm - Hudson. I swear, the people in Helensburgh probably wondered if a murder was being committed in the bush. Fortunately that domino panic effect (I don't know what it is called but it is like THIS) didn't take hold as it has in the past. I don't know if that was because of the absence of other children (who will remain unnamed) or the amazing self control that I was exhibiting whilst I could feel a leech squirming under my foot, IN my shoe, and telling the children to stay calm.

I left the leech/es unacknowledged in my shoe/s and tended to all four kids - removed their shoes, flicked the leeches off socks and skin, prised leeches from under shoelaces, inner soles and tongues (shoe tongues, that is), checked the legs further up and then replaced the shoes. Meanwhile, the kids are jogging on the spot (this makes me LOL) cos that's what I told them to do. Little did I know at the time, that the jogging on the spot prolly didn't stop the leeches getting back on, but it sure helped distract the kids into thinking they were safe. If only I had the presence of mind to video the whole thing - it'd be a Funniest Home Video winner, for sure. :)

My determination to finish the walk dissolved instantly at the thought of leeches and I was happy to head, quickly, back to the car. About half way back we stopped on a big rock and decided to do another check. Hudson spotted a leech on his shoe. He jumped off the rock and ran along the track screaming all the while as if something at the end of the track would save him from the terror. It didn't take him too long to realise that he was more likely to be saved by me, so he turned and screamed back to me. One at a time, starting with Hudson, again I removed the kids' shoes, flicked the leeches off socks and skin, prised leeches from under shoelaces, inner soles and tongues (shoe tongues, that is), checked the legs further up and then replaced the shoes. Then I did mine again too.

Quickly was not quick enough. I think it probably took us 3 minutes to get back to the car, where it had taken us about 40 mins to stroll in the opposite direction. When we reached the carpark we all headed to a picnic table to do the whole routine again. By this time I thought, "I should take a picture of a leech." HA! I wasn't going to ask any child to just hang on while I took a photo and at that stage I had none left on me - just one in the groove on the bottom of my shoe.

You know how when you talk about headlice you start feeling them crawling around in your hair, and you surreptitiously have a little scratch, telling yourself that you know you don't have nits? Well, I thought one of those little suckers had managed to crawl to the top of my jeans! I did not do a repeat performance of ignoration and disacknowledgement (they're words - now). I am glad to announce that there was no leech. :)

At one stage at a leech check point I must have said out loud, "Where's Daddy when we need him?" Malachi thought that was a grand idea and suggested we give him a call. We didn't.

By the time we were back at a park in Engadine the kids were happy to check their own shoes, confident that we had indeed removed all the leeches and left them far behind - all clear. I checked my shoes for the 4th time - all clear. Despite the drama having run its course, I still had enough adrenaline coursing through my veins to keep me going for at least another 8 hours. But that's another story.

Note: No more photos were taken from the instant the leeches entered our consciousness!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Bonzer News

Easter is not terribly different to any other weekend of the year for us because we remember that Jesus died and rose again on, pretty much, a daily basis. Nevertheless, a public holiday or two makes for a bonzer weekend.

On Good Friday we all headed down to Austinmer to check out the beach there. It was a beautiful day and the beach had an abundant supply of shells. Caitlin and I decided to do an art work in the style of one of my favourite artists - Andy Goldsworthy. NB: If you Google seach Andy Goldworthy and check out the images you'll likely be blown away by his art. The videos are amazing too.

After collecting shells for a while I decided that the ocean felt bearably the right temperature for a swim - so swim I did. For the first time in about 10 or 11 years.

The swim was great but the shells kept calling, so we collected more to add to our Easter cross.

Bonzer News!
Jesus died for my sin (and yours).
He came back to life and lives forever.
I'm living forever too!

And here's a layout to record the day. I take no credit for creativity here as the layout is totally and utterly scraplifted from Kathie Link. I take credit for only scraplifting the best! :)

If you are into words, linguistics, semantics, whatever, you might be interested in A Bonzer Conundrum. Let's keep bonzer alive - or any other variations on the theme. It's a bonzer word!

Saturday, 11 April 2009


That's what we did this afternoon - we visited the Tram Muesum at Loftus. Here's a collage of the event.

Hint: If you click on the collage you can see a bigger version of it.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

I love...

... watching the kids play at the park. Generally speaking they take turns, help each other, and play happily together. The big kids help the little kids. Even the little kids help the little kids. It's just a bonzer time.

Here's the boys on a swing. The best swing I've ever sat on (or at least since I was a kid) - it's wide, broad, and totally comfortable for a good swinging session. :)

Products: Basic Grey Eva PP, Marrakech Chip Sticker Shape, Lilykate letters; Making Memories 5th Avenue Border and Tag Stickers; Brads; Eyelet that came with Crop-a-dile II; Creative Imagination Narratives Cream Quote - finally used them!

Look at those faces! Scallywags!!! Guess which one is the bigger scallywag.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Proportion and Depth

I continue to be inspired by the amazing sketches on Urban Sketchers. The different styles of recording the world these artists look at are all equally enticing. Not only am I travelling the world, but I am trying to imbibe (if that is the right word) the techniques and the quality of sketching with the intent to bring my sketches to life.

After looking at my quick sketches I have noted that I need, firstly proportion, and then depth. I seem to start out with one size subject then everything around it loses its proportion and makes it into the picture as well! And I have difficulty separating the foreground from the background.

Have a look... see what you think.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Scrapbooking Warm Up Exercise

I've been wanting to do this for a long time...

Whenever I clean up my desk (not clean up, but clear a space, really) there are bits and pieces of stuff. Off-cuts of paper, buttons, ribbon, you name it. I've often thought to myself, as I debate with myself as to whether or not I should throw the bits away or stash them, that I should do a layout with the bits. No picking and choosing - just bung them on a layout.

So that is what I did,. There wasn't a huge accumulation of bits and pieces so that made it relatively easy, I guess. I grabbed the first photo I laid eyes on, a piece of kraft-y coloured Bazzill and started sticking without agonising. It was just what I needed and I have a layout to boot. Only prob was I forgot to cut off the inch on the length so what you see is the 8.5x12 version!

Products? Don't ask me, I wouldn't have a clue! But you could probably work out which layouts they came from if you looked back through my layouts.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Soccer Mum

Yep. I'm a soccer mum again - and I like it! I really love watching the kids play - they're so energetic, and serious, and happy and.... I could go on.

The kids are playing for Marton Hammers, one of the many teams in the Shire. DH is the coach for Caitlin and Mal's team, and Susannah, who missed out on a team this year, is the assistant coach.

Products: Pink Paislee PP; Heidi Grace Alphabet CS Stickers; Basic Grey Die Cut Alpha; Ranger Adirondack ink; Zig Writer.

Friday, 3 April 2009

She's the Man!

The Muffin Man, that is.

Caitlin has a natural ability to make up recipes and just 'knows' how to make things in the kitchen. She memorised the recipe for our muffins straight away and started making up optional extras pretty soon thereafter. Caitlin keeps us with a constant supply of freshly baked muffins. These are white choc chip and carob. Yummy!

Here's our recipe for some FAILSAFE, gluten-free treats.
3 cups brown rice flour
2 tspn baking powder
Pinch of salt
Sift these ingredients into a large bowl.
3 eggs
large dash of rice bran oil (it's the best!) - I think it is about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup
1 cup of rice milk (or any liquid you desire - water, juice, milk)
and mix with a fork.
It's that easy!
Optional extras
1 tbspn carob powder
chopped carob buttons
chopped white, dairy-free choc (or any choc really)
chopped tinned pears
pureed tinned pears
Whatever you like.

Oh yeah... bake in moderate oven (180 C) until golden brown.


Okay. Products used for this layout: Pink Paislee Sweet Cakes Collection PP and Holly Doodle Alphabet Stickers; October Afternoon Fruit Stand; Bazzill; Fancy Pants Felt Shapes; Making Memories Puffy Alphabet, Rubons (as guide for lettering), and Color Staples; Zig Writer; Uniball Signo Gel pen;

I started with Sheree McGee's layout for the Boxx of Scraps (can't remember which one) and ended up with this. I was determined to use all the cupcakes I had but when I went to find "them all" I could only find this one, which wasn't even a whole one. Oh well. I used it.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

facebook has changed my life!!!

I bet that made you read further!

Well, you see, now that Sophie-Lee is on facebook she is happy to pose for photos. That means I get to scrap photos of Sophie-Lee, and in particular, photos of Sophie-Lee's 15th birthday. Which wasn't a hugely amazing event but an event, nevertheless.

I like getting the Boxx of Scraps from Scrapboxx. Maria does a fab job of putting together a box of goodies that colour coordinate fabulously and stretches my creativity just a little bit more. Sometimes, when my mojo is missing, I just use one of the Design Team's layouts and scraplift - like I did for this layout. I started with Nicole Anderson's layout (I wish I could find a way to link to it) and ended up with this - similar but different.

Journalling under the story in 6 words says: Sophie-Lee's fifteenth birthday was not much different to any other day except that she got some presents and we had a birthday cake.

Products: Bazzill; Basic Grey Marrakech PP, Chip Sticker shapes, Alphabet stickers.

Speaking of life-changing experiences...
If you want a life-changing experience (and you really DO want this one) then having a relationship with the God of all creation, through Jesus Christ, is tops!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

a healthy beginning

Sometimes I link to a blog or website that I have enjoyed looking at, or that I hang around on the forum at, or whatever, but today I am going to do a shameless, blatant, outright plug. It's for my very beautiful, clever, special, loved sister's new business a healthy beginning.

If you are interested in natural health choices for conception, pregnancy, birth.... well have a look at the website - it tells you all about it!

My sister is, and I quote, "an experienced natural birth and registered doula" and believe it or not, she never had the privilege, blessing, thrill, or excitement to be at any of my 9 births. :( The closest Deborah came was to deliver my (not very) labouring body to the hospital in her trusty little Mini for my first child, and to be at my place in the early hours of the morning when my waters broke for my second first child (my third, actually). But if I was to recommend someone who is thoughtful, caring, diplmatic and strong for the job of helping and guiding you through conception, pregnancy, childbirth and beyond - Deborah would be the one!

Okay. That's all.

Do you think she looks like me?