Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review...

Well, if it needs to be done, then today is the day... and 2011 was full of surprises.  Good and bad.  Full of many adventures and the building of some great bonds between friends.  The sad, sudden and tragic loss of my Dad in July to the wonderful family holiday we had exploring our country.  All eventful and all burned in our memories for the duration.  Too many stories to write in one post.

But what I will share is this.  I have grown more appreciative of my own little family.  I am grateful for the memories we will share and the stories I have already documented through this blog and my scrapbooking.  I am looking forward to the new challenges of 2012.  Already it promises to be an exciting year for me.

This Christmas I created some photo books to hand out to family.  Documenting our last 12 months.

This is something I look forward to doing each and every year from now on.  Sorry folks if you were the recipient of one of these book for 2011.  It looks like you may get some more in the future! hahaha!  But anyway.. I know I will be conscious of the fact that I want to now fill my Christmas photo book full of meaningful snapshots. Those quiet moments captured secretly on film, the joyous moments of our achievements shouted out for all to hear and see and of course the everyday miracles.

That is my aim for next year.  To enjoy.  To capture.  To document more and more.  Less embellishments and flourishes.  More facts and anecdotes of everyday life.

Happy New Year my friends.  I hope 2012 is good and kind to you all....x

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Santa came. I promise you...

Hello Friends!  I've taken a few days to recover, catch up on some scrappy commitments and build flat packs! LOL!  Yep.  I'm a multitasking machine!  woo hoooooOooo.... *oh my!*

Leading up to, during and after Christmas has been car-razy!  hee hee.  But I didn't really expect any different. We were hosting Christmas dinner this year and sadly...because I was in the kitchen for most of the evening, I missed out on taking photos.  A lot of photos.  :(

So I'll share the few I have from the day, bright and early Christmas morning!


Somehow, I manage to get this traditional "posed" photo every year.  And I am so glad too, as it is one of my favourite things to look back on and compare as the years fly by...



(minus Cameron of course!)

And I can go on and on right back to the year 2000 when Tahlia celebrated her first Christmas.  Some things will never change.  And I like this little tradition!  Of course the other non-changing element of Christmas was the early morning wake-up!  But this year we put a challenge out there to the kids!  Bwahahaha!

2011's Christmas morning story went like this....  It was the night before Christmas.... Ooops! Sorry, that's from somewhere else... :D

But it did start out on Christmas eve.  Mark challenge the kids to stay in their bedrooms until we got up to bring them down to the tree.  Yep.  I know what you're thinking.  Bad parenting!!!  That will NEVER work! hahaha!  But as an added incentive, rules were made to make the challenge fair.  We, as the parents, promised to come and get them at 6am.  That was deemed a reasonable time by all.  But, if any child strayed out of the bedroom before we came and got them, they would open their gifts last.  HAHA!  There was an obvious loophole.  What if they ALL came out?  Well, we, as the said parents, told them, they'd have to have breakfast first before any gifts were opened!!! Could they (or more accurately, would they) do it?

Just after 4am, we heard movement.  Okay, I thought... Here we go... Am I going to be mean enough on Christmas morning and force cereal down my children's throats when they will be clearly obsessed with what is in the other room?  I was hoping not.  :)  So Mark got up to investigate.  Here they were, sitting patiently at their bedroom doors not daring to go out any further into the hallway, and just bursting with excitement!!!  Liam and Ethan in one doorway.  Tahlia and our niece Simone in the adjoining bedroom doorway.  All lined up at 4AM!!!  Sheesh!!  LOL!

So we caved.  Weeeelllll...... Technically we actually got them and brought them down to the Christmas tree.  (That's what I'm claiming anyway!)  And just like that... chaos rang out! LOL! 

The kids kindly posed for the above photos and then wrapping paper was strewn across the atmosphere!  So yes.  Santa did come to our house.  And he was most welcome...x

ps - If you were wondering... Yes.  We do have daylight here just after 4am.  And it makes it very hard for kids to stay in bed! LOL!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oh Sweet Christmas Time...

The season is busy.  Always.  But I want to share my warm wishes and love to you all at this precious time.. I hope that you all receive a gift of love this Christmas even if it is in the form of a tender touch or warm embrace. I hope that you don't let an opportunity slip by where you can give that hug or embrace back in return..

I hope that the Season reminds us to bring joy to our hearts and maybe, just for one moment.. slow down and reflect..

So, from my family to yours...

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh. My. Goodness!!!!!!!!!!

Hello friends!  Do you remember a little while ago when I posted about being one of Australia's top ten Scrapbooking Masters? :D Well.... The magazine edition is out and circulating among those who have a subscription or is featured in this issue.  Unfortunately I don't have my copy yet.  And it doesn't go on sale until December 28.

However........................... I did get sent a photo of the cover.  And just let me please repeat.................

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!

Have a little look at who is on the cover!!!!  It's MEeeeeeeEEeeeeee! (Well, technically it's Tahlia! But it is my layout.)  My first. Ever. Cover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you tell I'm a little bit excited!!!

Thanks for visiting..x

Monday, December 19, 2011

December Daily (part 3)...

I guess it is time to play catch up!  LOL!!  As I said earlier in the week, I have been moving along with this little (massive!!) project! hee hee.. I am also very glad to have kept it simple.  I find that the management of it has been really easy.... this time around.  I am even going as far to say... ahem... I might continue this tradition in years to come! YAY!  

Day five:

journaling:  Gift wrapping is usually the last thing on my mind at Christmas...sure it is an essential part of the fun for the kids but I always seem to leave it until Xmas eve.  This year I started early.. and boy does it feel good to be so organized!  It may be the start of a new tradition! lol..x

Day six:

journaling: Today is gold pass and for the kids it means a great day!  Both Tahlia and Liam have been level one behaviour all year and for this they get rewarded with a trip to swimming parks... "Wet N Wild" on the Gold Coast for Tahlia which goes from 7am - 7pm!!  "Burpengary Aquatic Centre" for Liam: 9-3.  But today he has fallen sick.. :(  He is staying home instead.  Unfortunately for Ethan, prep doesn't participate in gold pass.  Next year buddy!  And you will have a great time..x

Day seven:

For this page I've added a Thank-you card from Ethan's teacher.  This card also allowed me to add extra photos for day seven.

journaling:  Today, teachers' gifts were carefully carried into class and handed over.  This year instead of 3 gifts, a total of 5 were given out.  Liam and Ethan both had 2 teachers this year.  As an extra bonus, the kids also got to juggle Christmas/end of year break up party snacks.  Lots of reindeer and melted snowmen to be eaten...x

Day eight:

journaling: Today I am grateful for my children having wonderful teachers who have guided them throughout 2011 and encouraged each and everyone of my kids to love learning.  Today was their last day @ school.

Day nine:

journaling:  Today: We celebrated the town's "Christmas Under the Stars" festival..  This year was the 1st time we have attended.  We walked thru the new library and cultural center and waited nearly 45 mins in line for a free balloon!!!

Day ten:

This page was created with a flyer that came in the mail.  I do have a photo of the storm that came across that afternoon but I still chose to use the flyer.  After all, it has an awesome lightening strike and it really says it all about the Summer weather we have been having lately.  :D

journaling: Today: we had Australia's version of a white Christmas! Plenty of hail stones in a late afternoon thunder storm...  This season the weather is very wet once again.  So far, not a lot of sunshine...

Day eleven:

I still need to journal on this page but it will be about putting the decorations up around the house.

Day twelve:

I haven't written on this page either, but I know the words will come directly from this blog post! ;)

journaling: These little elves are an apology gift from the store that destroyed our original Santa photos last year!   Cam loves them.  He is always walking around with both of them tucked up under his arms.  I even found one of them sitting in a "Barbie" horse carriage this morning!  LOL!  I don't think I will pack them up in boxes this year after Christmas.  He is having too much fun with them...x

Day thirteen:

journaling: Dear Santa, today we are working out the "naughty" and "nice"list.  For the majority of it, the kids have been good but I still have to deal with squabbles!..x

Day fourteen:

journaling: Today we celebrated Grandma's birthday.  Pool party & lots of yummy treats.  Happy Birthday!

Day fifteen:

journaling: Today we went searching for the winning entries in the Xmas lights displays!  Our local area didn't have as many entries this year - probably because of the wet conditions lately.  We did however, find some fabulous participants including one with a train ride and snow machine!!


So that is where I am up to.  I'm not completely on top of it! hahaha!  But every time I go to update on my blog, I find that I am ultimately a few days behind whatever! hee hee... oh well...  Thanks for visiting...x

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Create + Sketchabilities...

I'm back!  So soon... Did you miss me? hee hee... Today I wanted to share my second to last layout for Sketchabilities.  Six months of fun and fabulous sketches by the lovely Karan.  I can't wait to see what the new DT has to reveal.

But back to the present...! Here is sketch #61.

And there are those circles again!! LOL!  But guess what... I changed it up a bit... :D

My layout:

products used: cs - Stampin' Up, bazzill; pp - Bella!; alpha - American Crafts thickers, Kaisercraft mini alphas; other - kaisercraft: clear stamp; October Afternoon label sticker; string; star punch; Martha Stewart circle punch; machine stitching; Sharpie pen; ink: versacolor.

Well... not overly much... but you can see I rebelled a little bit! LOL!  Thanks for visiting..x

Friday, December 16, 2011

Create + Get Picky...

Hello All.  It's been a little while between posts huh?!... I guess that's the busyness of December.  I am still moving along with my December Daily, taking photos and writing down the stories!  I love this idea so much!  Thanks Ali! :D  I hope those of you who are joining in on the journey haven't given up.  I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.  I will update mine in the next day or two....

Today I want to share the latest reveal over at Get Picky.  This is sketch challenge #15! And it is divine!  I love this sketch and the DT have produced fabulous creations!  Head on over and check them out

So here is the sketch:

You can interpret it in any way you like AS LONG as it is still recognisable AND has multiple photos on it! LOL!  Yep.  Some people forget that this challenge site is to get us to use MORE THAN one photo on a layout.  :)

So here's my layout....

[Wave Runner]

products used: cs - bazzill; pp - Lily Bee; Bo Bunny; alpha - Lily Bee; other - Kaisercraft: die cut journal block, rhinestone flourish, embellished paperclip; ink: versacolor (pinecone), Tim Holtz distress ink (antique linen); string; machine stitching; handmade satin flower; Martha Stewart butterfly punch; Sharpie pen.

No interpretation needed!  LOL!  I loved it straight up and didn't want to change a thing.  Hmmm.. Is that some kind of lyric? hee hee...

So... I do hope I see you over at Get Picky playing along.  I know this is a crazy time of year to be creative but why not get a jump start on it... hee hee... maybe some Holiday photos are beckoning to be scrapped! Thanks for visiting..x

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cheeky elf...

These little elves are an apology gift from the store that destroyed our original Santa photos last year!   Cam loves them.  He is always walking around with both of them tucked up under his arms.  I even found one of them sitting in a "Barbie" horse carriage this morning!  LOL!  I don't think I will pack them up in boxes this year after Christmas.  He is having too much fun with them...x

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Exciting news!

Hello Friends!  I just wanted to let you all know a little something I've been working on!!  Check this out!

Yep.  That's right.  I'm going to be teaching here at Miss Arts!  Wow!!  I can't wait to share some more.  Stay tuned...x

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December Daily (part 2)...

Hello Friends and Hello December!  I know I have had a really busy start to the month already, but hopefully it will all just add to the experience of my journey with my December Daily!

Today I wanted to share with you the first few pages.. (sorry about the bad light.. it looks like we may be in for another wet Christmas in Queensland, again this year! rain, rain and more rain! =D )

Day one:

journaling: Oh what a delight it was to see the expressions on the faces of the kids when I picked them up from school... Nanny had come for a special trip to surprise the kids and to see Tahlia's ballet concert.  We had planned the surprise right down to Mum holding her phone camera in her hand just as we arrived @ the school gate.  Their squeals were priceless!!

(photo taken by Mum on her phone)

Day two:

journaling: Finally the tree came out from its hiding place and the kids got to decorate with gusto!  Cam joined in for the first time and constantly placed baubles on the same branch.  He certainly loved decorating and we let him place the star.

Day three:

journaling: Our beautiful ballerina shone on stage! She was so magnificent to watch... her smile... wow!  This year Tahlia was involved in 2 performances - matinee and evening.  Cindy and I volunteered backstage for the matinee and watched in awe with our families, the evening show.  The first ballet "Blue Danube" blew the audience away!  It was amazing... created in only 5 weeks..x

Day four:

journaling: Today was a good day.  The kids got to spend some quality time with Nanny.  They went to the movies to watch "Puss in Boots"and got to eat plenty of lollies and popcorn!!!  They all spent some more time shopping and making Christmas lists together...  All their planning and plotting will make for some fun in the near future.  I am so glad that they get to spend good times together.  Christmas will be fun..x

So this is the start of my DD.  Just keeping it simple and manageable.. (hopefully! LOL!)  Thanks for visiting..x

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

And the winner is....

Number 9:

Cynthia said...
Your tree is SOOOOO cute!! I love the idea of making them for name cards--what a perfect idea!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Congratulations Cynthia!    Head on over to the Pretty Little Studio Blog and let Melissa know you have won the prize on my blog...x

Just a little update too on how I created these little decorations.  A few people were asking how I put them together so here is a quick step by step...

1. Using a saucer or similar sized plate trace a circle around the outside edge, directly onto cardstock.  Cut in half.
2. Take one semi-circle and form a cone shape.  Adhere edges together.
3. Create a concertina flower as seen here but don't close it up.
4. Cut three more circles (3", 2.5" & 2").  Cut each circle in half and form cone shapes.
5. Snip the bottom of each patterned paper cone shapes to create the branches. Ink the edges. Cut a small section off the top of each cone until it slides to position required on the cardstock cone.
6. Slide over the cardstock cone and adhere.
7. Create a star using left over patterned paper and/or star punch.  Adhere to a toothpick.  Slide toothpick into the top of the cone.  Decorate with organza ribbon and a small shipping tag.

Thanks for visiting..x

Friday, December 2, 2011

Create with Sketchabilities...

Hello Friends!  It certainly has been a busy week!  If you are looking for the Pretty Little Studio Happy Holidays Blog Hop...........Please visit here!!

Today however, I want to share with you my layout for the latest Sketchabilities sketch #60. 

Karan's gorgeous sketch looks like this...

And from this sketch I was inspired to create this layout...

[Stolen Moment]

products used: cs- bazzill; pp - Lily Bee, Kaisercraft, Nikki Sivils, Bella!; alpha - cre8tive foam letters; other - Abi's Craft paper flowers; homemade flowers; kaisercraft: pearl strips, ink, grosgrain ribbon; machine stitching; hessian; office stamp; black pen (sharpie).

OMGosh!!! And look at that!  I am in these photos!! LOL!  Shock! Horror!! hee hee..

I hope you will play along.  See you there...x

Pretty Little Studio - Happy Holidays Blog Hop!!

Hi Everyone and welcome to the Pretty Little Studio Blog Hop.  If you have stumbled onto this post by chance, CONGRATULATIONS!!!  LOL!  You have found the very beginning....  =D!  I am very pleased to say that these talented ladies, on this blog hop, will delight you with everything they have to share!  

So are you ready for some Christmas inspiration from the Pretty Little Studio girls?  Well, here are the rules...

Visit each of our blogs for additional holiday projects, and be sure to leave a comment at each stop. Each of us will be giving away a $10 gift certificate to the PLS store, and there will be a grand prize $25 gift certificate awarded to one lucky person who comments on the PLS blog!  You have until the 5th of December to leave a comment.

I've decided to make an OTP project with the gorgeous Jingle Bells collection.  A cute little table decoration that can be used as part of a name card or simply to add that homemade touch to the table...

 {Merry Christmas}

products used:

Thanks again for joining in on our first Blog Hop.  Your next stop is here with Irit.  But if you get lost, here is the list to follow....

Now as an extra bonus, Melissa is also kindly giving away a FREE vintage card download for our blog hoppers!  YAY!!  Have a look...

They are available as a PNG file or PDF.  Here is the link:

Have fun!!  And don't forget to leave some love for the Design Team as you go!  ... =D

Happy Holidays...x