Sunday, June 30, 2013

Project Life: Week 26 and the last page

Hi everyone :)

You know how sometimes you just feel good… you know, like REALLY GOOD!  Well that’s me today!

Mikayla cooked me breakfast for my birthday since she’s been busy all week… I started a new ‘top secret’ project and it’s going super smoothly… and I just feel like I’m on top of things.  It’s a good place to be :)

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

It was super cold here on Monday morning and my poor car looked like something you might see on ‘ice road truckers’.  When I finally de-iced the windscreen and started the car the temp was –0.3 which is pretty cold for me… I’m more of a summer girl LOL

When I got home on Monday Mikayla was super excited.  She’d won a FREE carpet shampoo and ‘the man’ was coming in less than half an hour.  Not really the welcome I was hoping for!  The man duly arrived at 6.30 and of course Mikayla was so excited that she hadn’t cooked dinner yet…. but ‘the man’ didn’t leave until 9.30pm by which time I was getting pretty annoyed… especially since I’d told him that ‘Mikayla won this’ and it was nothing to do with me LOL

Here’s a closer look at the start of my week:Left_1

In New Zealand we’ve just experienced the ‘super moon’ and it was pretty spectacular!  The sky was really bright for several nights but on Tuesday morning the moon looked quite ethereal over my neighbours roof so I had to take a photo.

Mikayla has been teasing Toby by sitting on his new sheepskin bed and he’s been getting himself all wound up… it’s not much fun for Toby but it is funny watching them behave like little kids!

On Wednesday I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me following a hugely horrible experience from last Friday catching up with me.  I was all over the place and needed some time to get my head together again so I had a ‘mental health day’ and did some art journaling and I can honestly say it was the cheapest and most productive form of therapy ever!

On Thursday I felt so much better and was back at school which was just as well because it was also my birthday!

Here’s a close up of the second part of my week:Right_1

I’d been telling the kids at school for days that my birthday was coming up and on Thursday I received several bars of chocolate along with some V drinks… they know me so well :)

I also had cards from family and friends and then at morning tea time the most gorgeous flowers turned up and got everyone thinking that I had a new man in my life… some of them were actually disappointed when I told them Krystal had sent them LOL  The flowers are currently in a vase on my dining table and the perfume coming into the lounge is beautiful!  Thank you so much Krystal xx

Mum sent me a photo of the note I’d left in her diary… I’d forgotten I’d done that.  Mum always said that if it wasn’t on the shopping list or in the diary then it wouldn’t happen.  (The big present didn’t happen either… even though it was in the diary… but I did get taken out for lunch!!)  Actually every time I go to Mum’s I add things to her grocery list… chip and dip, chocolate, treats for Toby but somehow they always get crossed off before she does the groceries!

Toby was VERY interested in my dinner on Thursday night… especially with my dessert!

Toby copy_1

He’s a total drama queen when it comes to the camera and I often have to take photos of him just to get him out of the way and be able to get the photos I really want to take!

Friday was busy with our Room 4 Masterchef challenges which the kids are totally loving and tomorrow we have our class final!

Yesterday Mum came over and took me out for lunch which was lovely and then we did some shopping… actually we ended up spending the entire afternoon shopping and we had such a good time.  She helped me pick out lots of fabrics for a project I’ve had in my mind for a while (the ‘secret one’) and I’m happy to report that I’m having some success with it so I’m sure I’ll share it with you sometime soon.

This week marks the half way point in 2013 and my first album of the year is pretty full so I decided to do a final page for the back of the album before starting album number 2.  I found lots of cool quotes that I wanted to remember so I spent a bit of time putting them together with some photos and here’s what I came up with:end of album 1_1

So that’s my week and the end of album Number One!

I hope you all have a happy and safe week xx

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s definitely a Feel Good Friday for me today.  After receiving so many birthday greetings… chocolate at school from my class and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from Krystal delivered to me at school who wouldn’t feel great?

Here’s a photo of my table last night with all my goodies laid out… it was a nice thing to wake up to as well LOLIMG_8580

The flowers were totally stunning!


Thank you to everyone who left me messages on Facebook… called… text and wished me a happy birthday… you all made my day special :)

Now back to the Feel Good Friday.  This week I was reminded that ‘Life is about using the whole box of crayons… even the colours we don’t like so much!


It sparked an idea to involve colour in this weeks page and this is what I came up with:week 26 - paint and colour copy

I really love colour… although if you looked at the amount of black in my wardrobe… or the neutral colours in my home… you might not think so LOL 

I hope todays page has brightened up your Friday and I wish you all a wonderful weekend xx

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A bit more creativity!

Hi everyone :)

You know the saying ‘When life hands you lemons… make lemonade’?  Well sometimes you just end up with smashed lemons!

I’ve had some heavy stuff going on for the last few days and this morning my emotions were all over the place so I had a MHD (Mental Health Day).

I spent a little while this morning working on my art journal and getting some ‘stuff’ sorted out in my head.  It took a bit of time to get my thought sorted out but I did end up in a good space again :)

Here’s my dining room table with all my art supplies on it… it was so nice and warm with the fire going and the sunlight coming in the dining room windows:1

This page was made with a ‘brick’ textured background which I painted and then painted and then painted some more to get all the crackle texture I wanted.  Then I added loads of ink… some stamping… a felt die cut and a cool bow made from the ribbon that was wrapped around my Creative Adventure goodie bag.

Here’s a closer view:2

And here it is stuck in my art journal:3 copy

After I’d done that page I decided to use my last background from Donna’s class.  I’d had a previous idea for this background but today it really ‘spoke’ to me in a completely different way so I just went with it and here’s what I ended up with:4

I’m actually really pleased with my page and it definitely did me a lot of good working in my book.  Here’s my pages in my journal… quite like how it all turned out:5

By the time I had my pages done and cleaned up all my mess I was ready to put the finishing touches on one of my layouts from Creative Adventure.  It’s been sitting waiting for the feathers and paua detail to be done and today was as good a time as any.

Here’s my finished layout:IMG_8555 copy

The ‘camera’ was made with mini file folders and loads of paper cutting and it hides the photo booth film strip taken on Friday night.  Here’s the layout again with the photo strip out so you can see it:IMG_8554

The ‘Create’ title was created with a chipboard word which we added beeswax and perfect pearls powders to.  Here’s a close-up of the title:IMG_8556

We were also given an awesome embellishment for this layout which we coloured with Picket Fence Distress Stain… I really like how it turned out:IMG_8558

Thankfully I’m in a ‘good head space’ again and ready to get back to school tomorrow.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week xx

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mum’s done a challenge layout!

Hi everyone :)

I’ve got something a bit different today.  In my inbox recently I got a challenge from one of the many blogs I subscribe to and I thought it was right up Mum’s creative path so I sent it to her and sure enough it was exactly what she was looking for!

The challenge was called Frilly and Funkie Challenge - Birds & Nests

To enter the challenge you had to create a project which included both a bird and a nest.

Here’s the layout Mum did for the challenge:Frilly and Funkie challenge

Mum used resin doves which she painted to match in with the colours in the layout.  The nests were made from fabric that had been part of the girls flower girl dresses.

This is a really special layout because not only does it include lots of mementoes from Mum and Richard’s special day 15 years ago but also because we lost Richard just a few short months ago.

I’m so proud of Mum for taking on this challenge and I know she’s pretty thrilled with her layout. 

I’m sure Mum would love to get a comment so please feel free to leave one for her… ps her name is Erin :)

Thanks for looking and have a great week xx

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Project Life: Week 25

Hi everyone :)

Well I’m a little later than normal tonight but I had to go to school… do heaps of photocopying… get the groceries… go to the laundrette… and the list goes on!  I’ve got a little more school work to do tonight but that’s ok cause there’s not much on TV that I like to watch LOL

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

I’ve got another student teacher in my room.  This time it’s Matua Aaron and he’s doing his very first placement in a classroom for three weeks.  A huge bonus is that he’s tall… and I mean REALLY tall… 6 foot 6!!  He actually has to duck his head when he walks through the classroom door but he’s also tall enough to put up my artwork without needing to stand on a chair or a table (which is what I have to do) LOL

At school we’ve been working hard on our cooking topic and this week we made fresh pasta which the kids were stoked about… they especially liked rolling the dough and cutting it into fettuccine!

Here’s a closer look at the start of my week:Left_1

I’ve been working hard on wall displays featuring the kids work lately and all of a sudden the classroom is looking amazing!  We’ve got written work, art work, photos and reading activities all on the wall and the kids are super proud of all their stuff!

On Thursday night quite a few of our senior kids braved the freezing temperatures and performed in our kapahaka group as part of the Matariki celebrations in Rotorua.  Several teachers went to support the kids and they were really excited to show the wider community just how good they were… and we were like proud parents watching them and taking photos.

Chris (one of the teachers) and I decided we’d have dinner at the market and we really enjoyed ourselves.  She loved the waffles I introduced her to and she showed me the best salami guy in the world… super delicious and spicy!  We both decided that paella was a good choice and by the end of the night we’d been all around the world with our food :)

Here’s a close up of the second part of my week:Right_1

On Saturday, Carey and I went out for hot chocolates and I couldn’t resist the macadamia brittle… it’s totally decadent!  We also did a quick trip to the library which was lucky for me as I’d just finished another novel. 

I have to admit that I’ve tried more new authors this year than ever before and so far I’ve only gotten out one book that I just couldn’t get into.  There’s nothing better than hopping into a warm bed and the end of the day and relaxing with a good book… well except for chocolate of course!

Yesterday afternoon I took Toby down to ‘his’ supermarket and while we were there he had his toenails clipped and then we saw a sale on the sheepskin beds!  They had a whopping 50% off so Toby and I got the biggest one we could find and brought it home with us. 

His bed now sits right in front of the fire and quite honestly he’s like a ‘king in his castle’ with it!  Mikayla went to have a look at it today but Toby was quite insistent that she couldn’t even sit on it!  It’s nice to know that he likes it so much… and best of all it’s completely machine washable!

So that’s been my week.  Only three more weeks until the school holidays and I’m counting down the days already!

Have a great week everyone xx

Saturday, June 22, 2013

One Little Word: June update

Hi everyone :)

This morning I finally got made some time to get my June pages for my One Little Word album completed.

April title for blog copy_1

This month Ali Edwards asked us to ‘evaluate and reflect’ on how our word for 2013 (mine is Choices) is taking shape in our lives.  It just so happened that as I was finishing my pages a PNG quote arrived in my inbox that was perfect for this months prompt:

be like the moon copy_1

Evaluating and reflecting is a BIG part of my day to day life at school and luckily for me I think I’m a natural ‘reflector’ because I often think about how things are going and what’s working and what’s not and then I make changes based on what I have in front of me.

In fact a couple of weeks back Carey (from Room 3) and I got together because our reading programme wasn’t getting us the results we were hoping for so we sat down and did a big evaluation of what was working and what wasn’t and then we set about designing a new reading programme for our classes.

The following week when we had our mid-year appraisals we were given the task of finding something to work on and improve for the rest of the year and when we looked at what we had to do it turned out that we’d already done it and were both ready to move onto the next stage… that’s definitely working smarter in my opinion!

Here’s my first June page:Mid year reflections copy_1

I really am surprised at how well the word ‘Choices’ is working for me.  I’ve had some really challenging situations come up this year and at all times I’ve remembered that I actually have choices about what is happening… it’s a pretty powerful realisation!

There’s been heaps of positives… I feel like I’m living my life more authentically than ever before which has to be a good thing.

Here’s my second page for June:Mid year reflections - page 2 copy_1

After I’d done my reflections I wanted to include some photos of the important ‘stuff’ in my life… my girls come right up there at the top of my list… along with my ‘furry son’ (although I must try and get a more up-to-date photo of the two of us together!) 

I had to include my photo of creating my art journal and all the surrounding ‘mess’ because I’ve recently re-discovered just how important creating is for me… it’s that whole ‘food for the soul’ stuff that keeps me centred.  I also wanted to include a photo from my classroom because it’s such a big part of my life.

So that’s my June pages done… I’m really looking forward to seeing what July is going to bring!

Have a great weekend xx

Friday, June 21, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

‘Friday’ seems to be rolling around quicker and quicker each week lately… or maybe it’s just that the whole calendar seems to be on speed mode.

On Wednesday my class made fresh fettuccine as part of our cooking unit at school and the kids were amazed that they could turn flour and eggs into something that tasted so good so I thought I’d do a Feel Good Friday all about pasta and this is what I came up with:week 25 - pasta copy 

Actually doing the ‘research’ for this page has inspired me to do a bit of pasta making myself.  I might just have to see what the weekend brings LOL

Meanwhile have a great Friday and stay warm xx

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Art journal pages

Hi everyone :)

I’ve been having a bit more fun with my art journal this week and have come up with another three pages… I love that it’s creative… but I also love that it doesn’t take much to ‘fill’ the page and when an ‘anything goes’ theme I really do have the flexibility to work on pages when the mood strikes!

Page 1

This page was one that I did the background with Donna Downey and then stamped away to my hearts content when I got home… I even broke open my container of washi tape and added some to the page.



As you can see the lighting wasn’t the best when I took the photos but that’s the way it goes in winter I guess.  I also used up some 7 Gypsies stickers that I had left over from other projects.

Page 2

This next page was created completely in my craft room but is based on the ‘string technique’ that Donna taught us during class.  I didn’t like my string page that much and it was actually on the back of one of the pages I did like so technically it is ‘in’ the book but you just can’t see it LOL.  I used loads of paints and stamps to create my background and then added more paint through a stencil along with some random stamped images.  I love that a little bit of the lime green paint has made it through to the final page!


And here it is in my art journal:


Page 3

The final page for today is one that I created ‘just because’.  I started off punching out some circles and sticking them onto the background and then painted the whole thing with gesso.  Then out came the red paint (Brown Madder by Jo Sonya).  Next I ‘finger painted’ the yellow onto the circles (Jo Sonya’s Yellow Deep).  I even went ‘outside the lines’ on purpose!!  Not bad for someone who is very ‘linear’ really!

I went around the circles with my charcoal pencil and smudged the edges to create some shadows and then added lots of stamping… I’m totally loving stamping at the moment which is great because I’ve got lots of ‘brand new’ stamps that I’ve had for ages but never used!


I added a bit of washi tape to the page and it was done… pretty stoked with my efforts and it’s been a great way to unwind at the end of a long day at school.

So that’s my update.  If you’re doing art journals leave me a message because I’d love to see what you’re doing :)

Have a great week xx

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Project Life: Week 24 and Matariki

Hi everyone :)

I’ve been enjoying the best weekend I’ve had in MONTHS!  I’ve even done a couple more pages in my art journal today so I’m feeling really good.  It’s been a good week overall too… except that my website has been demolished by internet hacks of the worst kind so we’ve had to take it offline for now. 

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

The start of my week was filled with baking.  On Monday my class had their second go at making chocolate chippie cookies and this time my bowl survived the experience… although not all the cookies did because Matua Mike could smell the baking and just had to help himself on his way through the staff room LOL

At home Mikayla found a new cookie recipe… Apple and Peanut Butter!  I wasn’t too sure about them but they were surprisingly yummy!

Here’s a close up of the start of my week:Left_1

On Tuesday the Duffy Theatre people arrived and did a couple of performances for our kids.  They always produce a lot of laughs and the kids get completely captivated by their stories and acting.

We’ve been doing a lot of writing lately… and lots of different types of writing too!  The kids all wrote recipes for making Smoothies for Ralph (the mouse from our class story).  Most of the smoothies had peanut butter, blueberry muffins and bacon in them LOL  They might not taste good to us but the kids set out their recipes correctly which was the aim of the writing.

Along with lots of writing we’ve also been doing some art in the past couple of weeks getting ready for the Matariki celebration and I finally got it all mounted and ready for display.  The kids loved how they turned out.


Another wall display that has suddenly ended up on our wall is all the kids reading activities.  They’ve been producing some outstanding work and our classroom walls look awesome!  We’ve even got a little wall above the classroom sink with all our S.M.A.R.T. Goals on them (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound).

One of my boys really struggles with his learning but we’ve discovered he likes working on my desk with Whaea Sue so we’ve been making good use of that!

On Friday afternoon I took my kids to see the Matariki display in the school hall just before the bell for home time went and sitting on the stage was Matua Aidan trying to get his painting finished for the art auction… the paint wouldn’t have even been dry by the time the auction was supposed to start LOL

If you saw my blog yesterday you would have seen all the pages I’ve been working on for my art journal and my table was a creative mess… but it felt really good!

Now for the Matariki insert.  I decided to just include the photos without writing on them because I wanted them in my album but I really wanted to keep on being creative so a compromise was called for LOL  Here’s what I came up with for the insert:



As it turned out the art auction didn’t go ahead… not sure why… but they’re going to have it early next term apparently so my kids and I are going to get a classroom canvas done to go in the auction.

So that’s been my week and best of all my school work is practically finished so I might just get to have a night off tonight :)

Wishing you all a safe and happy week ahead xx

p.s. even though Toby isn’t in my pages this week he’s quite happy and currently lying full stretch in front of the fire :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy as a pig in mud!

Hi everyone :)

Warning:  There are a LOT of photos in this post so you might want to grab a coffee LOL

Remember how I said yesterday that I wanted to get into my craft room and get creative?  Well after doing some school work this morning I decided to have some ‘me time’ and I got into my craft room and I’m as happy as a little pig in mud!

When Mum and I went to Creative Escape Downunder I was pretty thrilled with Donna Downey’s class… so many cool techniques… but for some reason my art journal just wasn’t working for me.  I wasn’t sure what it was and so it’s been sitting on my craft table looking a bit neglected… until today!

I finally figured out what wasn’t working for me and there was a super simple solution!  It turns out that what wasn’t working for me was the way the signatures were held with ribbon in my book… so I got out my book binding stuff and had a look through it and hey presto… problem solved!

Here’s my book with the original signatures taken out of it… all I had to do was undo the ribbon:1

I made three sets of signatures from kraft cardstock and then used book binding thread to sew them all back into the original cover:



Now they fit really well and the whole thing opens like a ‘real book’ which really works for me.

Then I started taking apart the original pages I did with Donna and putting them into my ‘new’ art journal.

Page 1

Here’s how it looked in the original book:5

I used some cool rub-ons I’ve had for ages to decorate the heart:


I decided that I quite liked Donna’s idea of ‘dating’ her work so I grabbed out a date stamp that I’ve NEVER used (it’s been in one of my drawers for years) and put the date of the class when I started the page and then today’s date since that’s when I finished it.78

Page 2

The next page was one where we just painted the background using a variety of techniques.  I loved the colours so I trimmed it up and got started.9

I did a whole heap of stamping… added a photo (from my One Little Word album) and punched out some circles from old dictionary paper.  I also got a bit creative with Indian Ink… love that stuff!10

The quote reads: What if your FEARS and DREAMS exist in the same place. Would you still go there?

Then all I had to do was add the page to my journal… easy as pie!12

Page 3

This page was even easier than the first two because it was the one page in my original journal that was pretty much finished.


All I did was trim it up… add a stamped quote and the date tags and I was done!


Here’s a close up:


Page 4

(and the final one for today!)

This page took quite a while because basically all I had was a background of texture… no paint, no gesso… nothing!


I got it into my head that I was going to paint a tree… mostly since I’d just found an owl that I’ve had stashed away for ages!


Then I dried it and decided it needed some more detail using charcoal pencil and watercolour pastels:18

It was at about this point that I had a ‘hissy fit’ with myself because it wasn’t working… and when all else fails I just bring out my ink sprays and hey presto… happy!


After I dried it off I stamped an image in the centre between the two ‘tree trunks’ but the background was too dark and you couldn’t see it… no problem I just added some paint for the ‘moonlight’ LOL


The quote reads: The world of reality has it’s limits but the world of imagination is limitless.

Then I stuck the page into my book:22

It has been a highly productive afternoon… and I’m really thrilled with how my art journal is taking shape.  I’ve still got a few more ‘Donna pages’ to work on before I start any new ones but it feels GOOD!


I couldn’t resist taking a photo of part of my table this afternoon… just to remind myself that this is IMPORTANT to me!  I’ve re-discovered my creativity and I’m feeling really good about it!

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and I’ll catch you back here again tomorrow with my Project Life update.

Happy Saturday xx