Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Log your Memory: Week 43 and Week 44

Hi everyone :)

This week I’ve got two prompts which brings me to the end of the ‘shopping’ theme and quite frankly… YIPPEE!  It’s been a month of challenging prompts!

Week 43

The theme for this weeks prompt is ‘social networking’.  I struggled with this from the outset because in my mind shopping and social networking don’t even go together… but maybe they do for some people?

I’m not a huge social networker… maybe I should be given that I have an online business… but in all honesty, I prefer talking to people in real life.  I like to ‘hear’ their voice and see their expressions when I talk to people. 

Here’s my layout for this weeks prompt:Week 43

On the other side of it, I have found Pinterest a wonderful place to visit and gather ideas… and not just for scrapbooking!  I get loads of home decor ideas, recipes to try and tons of school resources from there too!

I’ve done the whole ‘messenger’ thing… and quite honestly I’m just not a ‘twitterer’… and I’m a terrible ‘Facebooker’ as well!  I actually wonder if the ‘word count’ on Twitter might be what is putting me off because I just have far too much to say to fit it into a tweet LOL

Blogging gives me my own wee space out in the cyber world to share the things I want to share and learn from others.  It’s easy… it’s convenient… and it keeps me up to date with friends and family. 

Week 44

This weeks prompt at Log your Memory is based around product reviews and recommendations.  I don’t really read a lot of reviews… unless I’m buying something like a vacuum cleaner.  Although I have read several reviews about dishwashers and in my Dream Kitchen I know exactly what I’d buy!  Maybe I’ll win Big Wednesday this week and find out if the reviewers are right!

So… what to do?  I decided to share the scrapbooking products I’m enjoying at the moment… seemed like as good a time as any really LOL

Here’s my layout:Week 44

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love Tim Holtz products.  What you might not know is that I genuinely love them… and I’d still love them if his name wasn’t written on the packaging… actually I’d probably like them more because then they’d be cheaper!

I’ve wondered over the years if I’m a ‘label girl’ when it comes to scrapping but the reality is that I like what I like… and it has nothing to do with the name of the company.

Graphic 45 became a bit of a favourite of mine a couple of years ago when I realised how ‘cuttable’ the paper was.  Since then I’ve used lots of different Graphic 45 paper and each time I do I’m surprised at how unique each collection is.

Prima is another company who makes great products… I love their flowers and just lately I’ve developed a real liking for all their resin embellishments as well.

Another company that continues to inspire me with their paper is Simple Stories.  As their company develops I’ve discovered more and more collections that I like using and at the last retreat I used two different collections for classes and challenge packs.

Right now I’m preparing ideas for this years December Daily album and the Carta Bella Christmas range is turning out to be perfect for this project!

So for me it’s not about brand names or designers… it’s just that I really do know what I like!

So that’s it from the ‘shopping’ theme.  Roll on November and the new theme which I had a sneaky look at tonight!

I hope you’re having a great week xx

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Project Life: Week 43 and an insert

Hi everyone :)

This week has been busy… it’s been crazy at work because we’re trying to get all our testing done so that we can write reports!  At home it’s been busy with lots of things happening too… so I thought I was pretty darn clever when I had most of my Project Life photos printed off yesterday… turns out it was a good thing because I didn’t even make it to the chemist today!!!

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

My week started off with me having to re-make one of my October ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards).  Mr Toby decided that he’d like to critique my artwork which involved him chewing and ripping off every element he could… and I still haven’t found the brad yet!!

After Toby got a good growling he decided that snuggling (aka greasing) up to Mikayla was a good idea… until he realised that I buy his treats… and I feed him… and I’m the only one with a drivers licence so I’m the only one who can take him anywhere!   Thankfully he for him I had all the bits I needed to make another one and he was only in the ‘dog house’ (imaginatively speaking since he won’t actually use his Toby house still) for a very short time.

Here’s a better look at the beginning of my week:Left_1

As I mentioned last week, we’re learning lots about elephants at the moment.  As we’re working with the children in the other rooms my kids are really looking after those little kids.  I’ve seen some wonderful caring, empathy and helpfulness from my kids and they’re so much more engaged in their own learning too!

On Tuesday night Mikayla took Toby for a much needed walk.  He was so excited ‘pouncing’ around the house waiting for his lead to go on and when they left he wanted to sniff at absolutely everything… but it did make him incredibly happy :)

On Wednesday I took my Silhouette to school and did LOTS of cutting out for our wall display and art.  It had a good workout and I’ve got some neat things to go up on my wall!

Here’s the second half of my week:Right_1

I had a visit at school on Friday from three of the new entrant children who are learning about elephants.  They wanted to show me their art work and both myself and my class were completely blown away by how wonderful it looked.  The little kids were super pleased when I asked if I could take their photo.

Toby ended the school week with an ice cream from Mikayla and then she gave him a good combing.  He absolutely loved it and the hair/fur that comes off him at the moment is incredible.  Best of all… Mikayla actually seems to enjoy doing it which is great!

On Saturday morning Toby had his health check up with Matt.  Toby wasn’t keen to go into Matt’s room at all this time and his tail was way down!  We realised that the last time we’d been in there was when he had his nails done and he’d been very upset by the whole thing.  This time Matt talked to him really gently and Toby eventually calmed down.  He was keen to see what Matt was doing to him and actually he didn’t even realised that he’d had his injection until after it was all over LOL

After the visit to the vet we headed over to Mum’s and spent the afternoon there.  I gave Mum some new resin embellishments I’d made and she was super happy with them.  Then we did some icing and decorating together.

Check out these disgusting little creations:blog_1

The cupcakes were made using a Red Velvet recipe and exchanging the food colouring to green… when you break open the cake they are REALLY green!  Then I injected some ‘Jelly Jiggle’ into them (it tastes just like a jelly tip ice cream!) before icing them with meringue icing (also green).  The final touch was some revolting lollies that look like eyes.  Perfect for a Halloween party!

Here’s my piece of creativity for this week:Creativity_1

Mum gave me the very cool skeleton and the witch die-cut (thanks Mum) and I teamed it with a Halloween background that I had.  It looks pretty cool in real life.

And now for the insert!  Last night Loreen and Keith hosted their annual Halloween party and it was AWESOME!  It was a dress-up party and luckily for me there is a great costume hire place here in Rotorua so…. here I am as Little Miss Muffet with ‘Spider Boy’:

insert front copy_1

Mum did my hair for me with some ribbon that I picked up from Spotlight and then she added the flocked spider… looked super realistic!

Toby had a bandana around his neck… which he didn’t mind at all!  Then we added some ribbon and a spider as well and he went mad trying to get it off!  It did last on there long enough for some photos though :)

On the back of my insert (which is a 6 x 12) I put in lots of photos from the evening.  Loreen and Keith go to so much effort to make their home look wonderful and the decorations were really cool!  We had a pot luck dinner and I can honestly say that nobody went hungry!

insert back copy_1

Thank you both so much for a wonderful night of fun and laughs!  Toby really enjoyed the party too and he was super well behaved :)

So that’s it from me… I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and that next week goes well for you xxx

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Log Your Memory: Week 42

Hi everyone :)

Don’t even ask me what happened to last weeks’ Log your Memory post… I actually completely forgot about it until I was heading to school on Friday.  But as they say… better late than never.  In fact, I think my family thinks that this phrase was invented especially for me!

The theme for this months’ prompts is shopping and to be honest I’m struggling with them a bit.  For the first time ever I’ve had a ‘sneak peek’ into what November holds for a theme and it’s looking to be much more ‘do-able’. 

Now onto Week 42!  The prompts for this week were all about loose change, paying the bills and credit cards.  It had me a bit stumped at first because:

  • I don’t carry cash on me so there’s no change
  • I pay all my bills online
  • I’m not really a credit card spender

Just as it was all getting a bit overwhelming I opened up my wallet and went through it… and I mean REALLY went through it… and it turns out that I had plenty to work with! 

Here’s my layout:Week 42

I’ve had my last wallet since 2007 but I actually found expired cards from 2004 inside it… how did I not notice those over the past 6 years???

In amongst all the detritus (that’s my cool word for the week!) I discovered FIVE expired credit cards… don’t panic Mum they’re all for closed accounts!  I also found several other expired cards like my Q card (I have a current one) and my NZ Teachers Council Practising Certificate card (Yep I’ve got a current one of those too!)

But looking at the other cards I’ve got ones for my D.I.Y. needs… my reading and stationery requirements… a Sub Card (didn’t know I had one of those!) and my Spotlight card (that one has saved me a LOT of money over the years!)

The cards I use regularly though are my Fly Buys and One Card.  It’s amazing just how much stuff one girl can fit in a wallet!

I think a new ‘slim lined’ wallet might be in the future for me… well maybe LOL

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week xx

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Project Life: Week 42

Hi everyone :)

Can you believe that it’s Week 42??  When I wrote that I suddenly realised that there’s only 10 more weeks of the year left… how on earth did it go by so quickly??

It’s been a busy week here with the start of Term 4 and over the next few weeks you’re likely to see a lot of ‘elephant’ stuff because that’s our new topic of study.

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

This week also signals a slight change in my life because I no longer have any ‘kids’!  Mikayla celebrated her 18th birthday on Friday which means that I’m now the mother of two adults… any Toby of course LOL

This term I’m working with two teachers from different levels… Susan teaches a new entrant class and Veronica teaches Year 3 and 4.  We’re all working on the topic of elephants but we’ll also be mixing with each class a couple of times a week.

This week we all got together in my room to watch an elephant documentary on the smart board… I LOVE having a big screen in my room.

There were lots of great moments but one of the little girls from Susan’s class was totally taken by the baby elephant ‘playing’ with his trunk and by Friday she was still talking about it!

Here’s a very short clip from the documentary so you can see why she is just enthralled with the baby elephant:

The juniors favourite moment from our elephant documentary.

If you’re anything like we were you’re probably having a bit of a giggle over that one!

So onto the first part of my week:Left_1

During the introduction to elephants I’ve been showing my class lots of different photos and they’ve discovered the work of Nick Brandt… talk about an AMAZING photographer!

In other school news our class hosted the school assembly this week and the kids were getting really nervous as the week went on so I gave them the opportunity to be silly for a photo… they loved it AND they were super good for the rest of the day!

Our cricket team also went to a mini tournament and came home with a trophy!  Two of the boys are in my class and when they got back Sonny said to me: “Whaea we brought home the BACON!”

I’ve had a couple of orders arrive this week from overseas and it’s been a bit like Christmas here… love it when new stuff arrives.

Mikayla also made her own birthday cake to take to tech.  She really wanted to make chocolate ganache and she was very pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s the rest of my week:Right_1 Friday was a super busy day and it all started when Mum phoned Mikayla to say Happy Birthday.  Actually she had to ring twice because Mikayla didn’t answer the phone in time!

Mikayla was still half asleep when she opened up her present from me and Toby… a sewing basket that she’s been coveting for quite some time!

After school Toby and I had to go out to see ‘Uncle John’ because his computer wasn’t working quite right and Toby was extremely interested in all the garden smells because Uncle John and Auntie Wendy have been busy planting.

When we got home Mikayla had a present all wrapped up on the table that she wanted me to photograph as she unwrapped it.  Toby couldn’t resist getting his face inside the parcel for a sneak peek… and then it turned out Mikayla had actually bought herself an i-phone and wrapped it up!

Mikayla didn’t want to go out so we had KFC for dinner so I feel like I got off lightly there!

Yesterday was a stunning day and I actually managed to hang out the washing myself… my back is improving really well now!  Toby loved the sunshine but he was NOT about to let me hang his blanket on the line to dry!

He also thought that Auntie Nina should share her sushi lunch with him… he knows better than to try and hungus of me LOL  In the end he got a couple of dog biscuits which he was happy with.

Here’s my creativity for the week… Creativity_1

I used one of the kids favourite Nick Brandt photo and printed it twice.  Then I cut one out and popped it up with foam to make it stand out.  It’s a really stunning photo to work with.

So that’s my week… lots of elephants and NO ‘kids’ anymore. 

I hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend… it’s so nice to have more time to get creative! xx

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Project Life: Week 41

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s certainly been a full-on week… actually it’s hard to believe that this time last week we were just getting home from the retreat!

I’ve had a bit of a drama with my photos today.  I had them all ready to go… loaded on my memory stick… BUT Mark is off sick and nobody else knows how to work the machines!  I know Mark must really be sick because he NEVER takes a sick day. 

So I came home and printed my own photos… nope they were absolutely terrible!!!  So I did the next best thing and apart from the ‘rounded corners’ I’m super happy with it.  What I actually ended up doing was down-loading Becky Higgins digital template from Jessica Sprague’s website (it was $1.99 US) and loaded my photos into it.  I wish I’d thought of doing that over winter when it was really difficult to get my photos due to poor lighting!

Anyway here’s my full week spread:Full digital_1

On Monday I was pretty tired and Mr Toby decided that curling up with Mumma in front of the fire was the thing to do!  He was super cute after me being away for the weekend.  I definitely had a shadow because each time I moved Toby was right there behind me!

Toby has also decided that everything Mikayla has he must have too!  If she has a frozen L&P then he wants some… if she has juice he wants some… and if she has an ice block then he wants some… although he wasn’t too sure about the grapefruit flavour!

Here’s the first half of my week:Left digital copy_1

Krystal has always been competitive but now it turns out that Mikayla has a competitive streak in her too!  This week they both went to the ‘Checkout Operator of the Year’ Regional heats.  Krystal did hers in Hamilton and Mikayla did hers in Tauranga.  They had both independently told me that they didn’t care where they came so long as they beat the other one.   End results: Krystal scored 48 seconds and Mikayla got 47 seconds!  As far as Toby and I are concerned we’re calling it a TIE!!!

On Wednesday a couple of teachers and I got together at my place for a planning session for Term 4 (which starts tomorrow) and Susan brought along morning tea with her.  Somehow it made doing school work a little easier!

Mum also had a trip up to see Auntie Daphne early this week and she got the chance to see her new ‘Dental Therapy Clinic’.  It’s been purpose built and it’s a bit flash really.  Mum was hoping to get a photo of Auntie Daphne working on someone but that wasn’t going to happen so next minute Mum was in the chair herself to get a photo LOL  (Next time that happens Auntie Daphne should give Mum a filling with no anaesthetic!)  Oops… did I say that out loud??

Quickly moving along to the second half of the week:Right digital copy_1

Our HRV man came on Thursday to change the filter.  We’ve had the HRV installed for two years now and I was gob-smacked at how dirty the filter was!  Apparently a lot of that is because we have a wood fire in the house.  One thing I do know is that thanks to the HRV the house is certainly warmer and drier in winter and we don’t have any condensation at all… good stuff!

My nephew (Aidan) had his 10th birthday back in July but he was having a celebration with his mates this year so we didn’t get together as a family.  Since then we’ve tried to get together a few times and it just hasn’t happened so I decided to take the risk and send him his present on the courier.  Thankfully my sister had the camera ready and now Aidan is very happy with his own personal subway art!

Here’s a close up of how it turned out:Subway art copy

It’s filled with all the things Aidan says on a pretty regular basis.  Thankfully the courier was pretty gentle with it and it arrived with all the glass in the frame intact so both Aidan and Auntie were pretty happy :)

Yesterday Toby was asleep on the sofa… all curled up and looking cute… and then when I turned back he was completely stretched out… I have no idea how that could have been comfortable but he stayed in that position sound asleep for over two hours!

Today it was time for another nail trimming session.  Up until now I’ve been taking Toby to the vets for his toe nails and he HATES it.  He growls… he cries… he whimpers… and last time he peed himself!!!  A friend of mine had told me that the ladies down at Barkers Corner did toe nails so I gave them a call and in we went. 

Kelly spoke to him really gently and kept telling him what a good boy he was but he still wasn’t keen so I ‘cuddled’ him while Kelly did the business and apart from one tiny little growl it was all good… to crying… no whimpering and he didn’t pee himself!  The bonus for me was that it only cost $5 instead of the vets charge of $20 so buying a few treats was ok with me.

He actually chose his own bone to chew on… and he’s been chewing on it solidly for a good two hours now!  Mind due look at the size of it!!

ba

I’ve been feeling a bit artsy today so I made my little creative card using some Tim Holtz resist paper and some inks and sprays.  I also cut an umbrella man from felt and added a Tim Holtz word band to complete… love how it turned out!  IRL the blue on the background has a bit of a sparkle to it.

IMG_2929_1

So that’s it from me… we’ve had a busy day today with Toby and then we went to the laundrette and dried SIX LOADS of washing… my washing machine is a 9kg one so there was heaps of laundry to do!

It’s back to school tomorrow so I’d better go and make sure I’ve got everything prepared.  I hope you all have a great week and take care xx

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Log your Memory: Week 41

Hi everyone :)
This weeks prompt for Log your Memory is all about being a bargain hunter.  I’ll admit, that being a creature of habit, that if something I USUALLY buy is on special then I’ll sometimes grab an extra can… but in general I just tend to buy the same things each week.

When the girls were little and I was a ‘poor student’ I must admit that I would usually buy the cheapest of everything just to make ends meet.

I remember one time, Oak spaghetti was on special so I bought a few cans knowing that it would make a quick dinner on nights when I’d been at Teachers College and just needed to get dinner into the girls as quickly as possible.  The only problem was that it had lots of ‘watery’ sauce and hardly any spaghetti and the girls wouldn’t eat it… so much for a bargain!

Here’s my layout for this weeks prompt:Week 41
There are some things that I just won’t skimp on like:
  • flour
  • pasta sauce
  • laundry detergent
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • chocolate – hey a girl’s got to have standards! LOL
And there are some things that I’ll often buy the budget variety of like:
  • fabric softener
  • sugar
  • dishwashing liquid
  • chips – I actually prefer Pams potato chips
  • and of course toilet paper
When the girls were little we always seemed to go through a lot of toilet paper and as they grew older it just got worse… how many families go through a 12 pack a week for three people???  When Krystal moved out I thought the toilet paper ‘consumption’ would decrease but nope we were still going through a 12 pack every week… crazy!

When it was just me and Toby living at home the toilet paper went down to two rolls a week and I was just starting to think about buying some of that really nice stuff… you know the one that’s ‘quilted’ and smells really nice:IMG_2402_1
Then Mikayla moved back home and we were straight back to 12 rolls a week!  I guess I’ll just have to be patient and wait a little longer.

I hope you’re all having a good week and enjoying some of this lovely spring weather xx

Monday, October 8, 2012

Project Life: Week 40 and the retreat!

Hi everyone :)

WOW!  What a week it’s been!  Most of the week was spent getting ready for the retreat and for the first time ever EVERYTHING was ready before everyone arrived… thanks to a really wonderful team of assistants :)

Here’s an overview of the week:Full_1

On Monday I got really inspired to create my mask for the retreat.  Over the course of the day I had my mask in varying states including a LOT of drying time but by Tuesday morning I had something that I was super pleased with.

Here’s a closer look at my mask:Mask

On Tuesday night ‘Nana Chris’ came to visit and she bought Toby a new baby… a lovely white teddy bear.  While Chris was here Toby played ever so gently with his bear… he carried it around, licked it and was really gentle… BUT… within 5 MINUTES of Chris leaving the nose was off and stuffing was coming out of Teddy’s face!

Have a look at the photos and  you’ll see what I mean:Left_1

We kept cleaning up the stuffing but it kept coming… it’s quite surprising just how much stuffing goes into one small bear!

The last couple of days were spent packing up the shop and doing all those last minute things in between visits to the chiropractor… and my back is definitely improving!

Here’s a better view of the end of the week:Right_1

After being cooped up at home with me for three weeks Toby was almost beside himself with excitement when he went to Holden’s Bay on Friday morning.  He ran… he jumped… he played… and he even went in the water all by himself!  When Mikayla came back with loads of photos I wasn’t surprised… I think she takes after me like that!  Her only comment was “Toby’s got sand all over his bits”.  She comes out with the funniest things sometimes.

On Friday morning Loreen and Esther both arrived and we picked up the trailer and got everything loaded.  We were a super efficient team and everything went pretty smoothly.   A huge thanks to you both for all your hard work this weekend!

The final photo is of everyone dressed up with their masks on Saturday night… it was such a fantastic weekend and wonderful to catch up with everyone again!

You might think that after scrapbooking all weekend I wouldn’t have any creativity left but today I woke up with an idea in my head and here’s the results:Creativity 2_1

The paper is some that I had left over from another little project and the flower is a gorgeous Prima one that I found when I was tidying up… love it when that happens!  The mask is a resin piece that I painted with Glimmer Glaze.

Here’s a close up view:Creativity_1

And now for the insert!  On Saturday Mum came over and took loads of photos in between being busy with classes and she actually got a shot of everyone at the retreat so I made up mini photos so that everyone is on the insert.  I’ll probably have to start paying Mum and royalties she mentions soon LOL

Front_1

I made sure to include all the classes too… the layouts from the classes were absolutely outstanding and I had such a good time listening to everyone’s comments.

Here’s the back of the insert:Back_1

Tina made a fantastic mask!  Absolutely outstanding effort so she received a stamp set.  Here’s a close up of her amazing mask:Tina's mask

The challenge pack was super popular this time!  The range of layouts made using the pack were so varied it was mind blowing and there was no way I could choose a winner so when Mikayla came to visit on Sunday I got her to choose and here’s Raewyn’s winning layout:Raewyn's layout

So it’s over… the retreat has been and gone and it’s VERY quiet around home today… I think I’ve gotten used to the conversations, laughs and general chatter of the weekend.

I hope you’ve all had a great week and I’ll catch up with you again on Wednesday xx

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Log your Memory: Weeks 39 and 40

Hi everyone :)

This week I’ve got two prompt for my Log your Memory project and then I’m finally back up-to-date again!

Week 39

This is the last prompt in the “Life’s Challenges” section and quite frankly… thank goodness!  I’ve had a few to many challenges during September!

This time it’s all about that eternal thing we’re supposed to strive for… Balance!  Over the years I’ve heard people discussing the need for balance so much… and it seems in this day in age it’s something we all strive for… but personally I think balance can mean so many different things.  Take this for instance:

il_fullxfull.355048631_4sfg

For me balance is all about being able to do the things I HAVE to do and still finding time to do some of the things I WANT to do.  When I have time for both I’m a happy girl… and when that balance is off and I’m working too hard I know I need to make some changes!

Here’s my layout for this prompt:Week 39

Since Toby has come into my life I feel a lot more balanced because basically you can’t reason or bargain with a puppy.  The need (and deserve) attention and they want it right NOW! 

When I spend time with Toby going for a walk it actually gives me a chance to talk about my problems and he’s a fantastic listener!  It also makes me take a few moments to breathe… to slow down without feeling guilty.

I especially notice that when I go for a walk with Toby after school it makes a clear cut break between the ‘have to’ and the ‘want to’ areas of my life.

Adopting Toby was one of the best things I’ve done in my life :)

Week 40

The month of October is all about shopping… when I saw that my heart sank because I’m really not a shopper.  The idea of going to try on clothes ‘just because’ is one of my worst nightmares.  I’ve got a friend who loves spending the whole day trying on different clothes… but she very rarely buys anything… what’s with that???

When I need new clothes for school I psych myself up for it a few days ahead of time and then I drive over to Merric (we don’t have one in Rotorua) and get all my clothes in one go!  It actually works for me pretty well.

Here’s my layout for this weeks prompt:Week 40

Buying groceries is certainly not something I look forward to but I’ve been patting myself on the back lately because I’ve got a good routine now.  I pick up Mikayla from work on Saturday and we do the groceries straight away.  It forces me to get into a routine and it’s actually working out really well.

Shopping for craft goodies though is a completely different story!  I can spend HOURS looking at paper, scrapping tools, embellishments and glitter. 

I love seeing new products and getting ideas for how I’d use them.  Going to SENZ is like letting a kid loose in a candy store… there’s so many goodies to see and new techniques to learn!  It’s my very own kind of ‘happy place’ :)

So that’s it from me… I’m off to work on all the ‘little things’ on my list that I need to do before the Scrapbook Dreams retreat starts on Friday… SUPER excited about that!

I’ll be back on Monday with my Project Life update so until then enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderful weekend xxx