Had a bit of a photo sess the other day with the kids, and also took a bunch of photos of myself.

You see, the other day I saw a recent photo of myself and was all like 'bleh' but then thought about it, and it seemed so silly. I mean, I still don't like that photo much, but anything that shows all of me tends to have that effect. HOWEVER, I decided to undergo 'photography therapy'. I mean, if this is how I look, I've gotta get used to it. And also scrap about myself (I wrote 'scrap myself' at first, but that sounded too close to something you might do if very scared) at some point. While the kids had their bath after being outside (where I took all these photos of them), I took a bunch of photos of myself. The bathroom has pretty good light. And this painting of mine that hangs in the bathroom made a nice background for a couple of shots - which is where my new blog header comes from.

I didn't really intend to change my blog header, but I did want to try a white background, so that photos can be on white. I always matt them in white, so it seemed more appropriate. Then the old header didn't work, so I did a new one! Easy peasy. Took a little while actually, blogger has changed stuff around. So I also added a new blog I love while I was at it, and a new section with my current favourite music to listen to.

So, pictures!

Class Kits and a Page

Well I just sent out the newsletter for Kiti Q, announcing that Class Kits are now online! How excitement. LOL. Actually it was really fun putting them together this morning, and photographing them for the site. Check them out here.

Here is the layout I did the other day, featuring a quote from Van Gogh and inspired by the shapes of 'Starry Starry Night'. Love this arty photo of Sienna too. My favourite bit is the fat red velvet ribbon threaded through the side of the page.


I have no pictures today, so it will be a bit of a rambling instead, I think. This is a funny time of year - somehow managing to be both busy and relaxed at the same time. Even not celebrating christmas, lots of things were happening. Work stuff, possible holidays, cancelling possible holidays, gardening, illness, processing photography orders. On the other hand, we had two public holidays in a row.

Ben and I are both working on websites at home at the moment, so it is quite funny. Mind you, I need his help and he doesn't need mine :P But we have to keep changing the dns of our homeip, where the 'beta' versions of our websites are displayed. It can only show one at a time, you see. We are also both playing Viva Pinata, but Ben has played much more than me and can tell me tips on 'romancing' pinatas, etc. Quite handy. Usually. I get annoyed if he tells me stuff I don't want to be told though. Grumpy girl that I am :)

Sometimes I think we are a weird little introspective technological family, but all families have their own quirks, I think that is what is normal about us in the end.

I did a layout yesterday that I love, at the moment anyway. It is for the 123 challenge but I haven't photographed or scanned it yet. And I keep wondering if I should use it for something else, as it has given me some techniques ideas.

Hope everyone is having a happy end of year, enjoying holidays if you are on them, etc!

Ich, Schmutzig?

Love this photo of Ash getting all messy with his noodle lunch. The tshirt is from Germany and means "Me, dirty? Never!" Though I am not sure if 'messy' would be a more accurate translation maybe? Anyhow, you get the idea. It is appropriate for Ash since he can only wear it for about ten minutes before he starts getting grubby.

Sienna got sick today, poor blipper. Vomiting all over herself in the car, and a couple of hours later all over herself AND her bed. Fun fun. She is having a sleep now at least.

I am a bit melancholy as I was pulling out weeds in the garden, and hoed my foot. With a hoe. It hurts. And of course, it is the same foot that I twisted a few weeks ago and which hasn't even healed properly from that. So it all hurts now, and I can't continue gardening because of it. I have a lot of work to do, so it feels like a bit of a waste.

Here is another cute photo - this time of my nephew Jude. Cheeky little fella :)

No new creations to share, but have just had a few photos printed so may get to play tomorrow or later this week. Hopefully, anyway!

It is bizarrely quiet in general at the moment, in some ways, because everyone is away or busy or holidaying. But the shops are madly busy just before christmas too. Strange combination. Hope everyone has a good few days off! It is even quite pleasant balmy weather for a change (well, in Melbourne), so enjoy!

Drawings and Other Things

I commissioned my friend Sara to draw me a series of three connected sketches, to be placed in three frames on the wall in my study/foyer. This is what she has done for me - isn't it gorgeous?

Last night I made a second page kit layout, which I completed this morning. I am hoping to do one more - a love or friendship themed one, or perhaps travel. That will be a good start, and Kell will be making some page kits as well so it should be good!

Page Kit for Kiti Q

Yes I had fun this afternoon making up a page kit - layout kit, class kit, whatever you want to call it - for Kiti Q. Here is the layout, I'm not sure when the kit will be in the store, probably not too far away. Is pretty cool though, you get all the products together in a kit, with a print out of the layout and full instructions, and pay even less than the retail cost of the included materials - great value! Keep an eye on Kiti Q for more details. Or register for the newsletter - I'm sure Kell will be telling all the members as page kits are added to the site.

OK, that's my plug for the day ;) While I'm at it, though, I added some of Outback Pride's new products to the site last week. Haven't tried them all yet, but the Quandong Jam, and the Passionberry and Fig Jam are both super yummy. Also is native food, supporting Aboriginal communities, indigenous training, and so on and so forth, yada yada ya. So I guess they are my two plugs for the day! Or week, or even month, now that I think of it.

Now what I was going to say yesterday is that I have made the decision, and am flying over to Adelaide in Jan for a couple of classes at Creative Edge. I'm booked in for Zina Wright's class on Friday night, and Kate Mason's class on Saturday, midday-ish. Ben had said I could go, so I said if I could book in a few photo sessions while I was there, I would go. Well, so far my cousin and his girlfriend have booked me to photograph their baby girl, but I also got cheap flights, so that was enough to decide. That said, if anyone else wants to book, I still have heaps of time open! Did I say the dates? We get there late Thursday night, the 19th Jan, and leave Sunday afternoon/evening. 'We' is Ash and myself, in case you were wondering ;)

Was there something else? Oh yes - Kate Miller-Heidke is gorgeous and amazing, so talented. I usually divide my time at shows pretty evenly, watching all the different band members, but Kate herself is so enthralling that I, along with much of the audience, was just captivated. She really seemed rather grand for Ruby's (not that there is anything wrong with Ruby's, Kate just has a very powerful voice). That said, the Australian references that pepper her lyrics, her great - and quirky - sense of humour, and the hilarious bogan-style performance by her guitarist at one point, all combined to make it still a very down-to-earth gig. Loved it. Will probably be buying up her latest E.P. if I can track it down, to give to everyone I think will enjoy it. Maybe not, that could get expensive. I know quite a few who I think would like her.

I can hear Ash making mischief in the kitchen, better go rescue something (from him).


OK, I finally caught it on camera - Ash the escapee, making his way out the cat door. Honestly, he hardly even fits through it anymore, but he is quite determined. When we catch him like this, we have to help him right through, or wait for him to finish by himself, since he can't get his shoulders back through. Crazy stuff.

We FINALLY got our table and chairs delivered the other day, but guess what? Damaged in transit! Useless courier company. They wrapped the table legs really tight, pulling them together, so they are now all loose. We have it sitting upside down on the kitchen floor until it can be fixed. Ben is not a big fan of DIY, so I am not allowed to add any screws or nails - we'll eventually get a friend who knows what they are doing to look at it for us.

Took some cute photos of Ben playing with the kids the other day - though it is not so easy to carry both of them anymore! They are getting heavy :) about 24 kg between the two I think, maybe a bit more.

And HOW CUTE is this little vest? I won it on ebay, for Sienna. Love it!

Haven't scrapped in a few days. I decided to give up on the Scrapbooks and More Elsie Challenges. I'd done a fair amount, 24 or something? Anyhow, the messageboard on the site is very slow to be updated, trouble with the internet or something. So the weekly finalists thing doesn't really happen anymore. Also, there isn't really much value in going the full way - I think you get a $25 voucher if you complete every single one, but that is less than 50cents per layout, and you are not allowed to submit them to mags until after the 6 months. So I decided I'd rather use those layouts, well - some of them at least, to submit. It would only take one or two to outweigh the value of the challenge reward. Besides, a $25 scrapbook shop voucher doesn't go so far, and I don't mean to be critical, but Scrapbooks and More tend to be quite expensive. I was looking for Heidi Swapp acetate alphabets once, and SAM actually charged $1 more than the RRP, where most online stores try to knock a dollar or two OFF the price.

Anyway, long story, lots of reasons, la de da, end result being I no longer have those two challenges a week to make me scrap! Hehe. I have some things to work on, but felt unwell yesterday, so just slept, read and played video games all day. With the kids hanging around, of course, though Ben pretty much took care of them all afternoon.

Today I need to catch up on a few things, so hopefully this week will give me some scrapping time.
I had another thing to say but it will have to wait - this is getting really long!

Fires and things

Was just reading the news online, it is all rather depressing the bushfire situation in Victoria and Tasmania at the moment. We've decided that this house is just not really defendable, and we are just completely not equipped even if we wanted to defend it in case of bushfire. So the general fire plan if the Dandenongs come under threat this Summer is to leave - but this means leave early. Still have to find out what to do if it's too late to leave the hills! Better to be at home than on the road in that situation, that's for sure.

My what a chirpy subject! Just what I was thinking about at the moment. Mmm and the prospect of putting together a page kit or two for the Kiti Q gallery and shop. Still thinking about that one. Should be an interesting project. I wonder what Kell will come up with?

Here's a pic just cos I like it.

My friend Tina got engaged on the weekend - big congrats to Tina and Ben!

You are my sweetest downfall...

Well I'm big on the song lyrics this week - this line is from a Regina Spektor song and it is just beautiful, though she sings it so beautifully it is more striking in song.

It's time for some photos I think. I take so many and forget about half of them, so here are a selection from the past week.

I don't need to sleep to dream...

Another line from Kate Miller-Heidke. Cool girl. I think she's only 23. Bizarre to be older than a lot of musicians I like or that are coming up now - am used to being young I guess. Will be 26 in January, which is not old of course. But still, heading from mid to late twenties. People expect me to be an adult now!

It is weird for me I think because I was used to surprising people as a teenager by being 'beyond my years', and always felt like an old soul. But now I am struggling to think of myself as the age that I am even though I have two children and have been married for years. But then, it still strikes me as bizarre that Ben will be 30, that Kell is 28, etc, etc!

As cliche as it is, time has raced along since Sienna was born. Gotta hate it when cliches are so obviously hinged on reality - makes it too tempting to resort to using them.

OK, back to the matter at hand - new canvas yesterday, new layout this afternoon - thanks Kell for handing over your new bling cardstock! *cheeky grin* I know you only got it today, you're too good to me! Um, sizes - 12" layout as usual, the canvas is about 40cm wide, 32cm high - my guess from looking across the room anyhow.

Ooh, news, news. Scrapbook Creations seems to like me this week, it is very exciting. Was invited to take part in a future feature, not sure how it will pan out but the invitation to contribute was a thrill in itself. Also am making three layouts for a journalling feature that is coming up. That is the monthly article on journalling that Leanne Mezrani writes.

This morning I wrote a couple of poems with possible layouts in mind. One I am determined to use for the feature, so won't put it here for now. The other one is for my mum, and here 'tis:

mother, i'm a mother now
my heart has overflowed
i know you understand
by memories you hold
from a little yesterday when
this was the journey of your own
mother, you're a grandma now
you're walking a new road
you know i'll understand
now as my babies grow
that the you of you was given me
and taught me all the love that I have known.

My favourite place is you and me

LOVE LOVE LOVE this line from a Kate Miller-Heidke song. Have to use it for a scrap page soon. Or an artwork. Am going to her gig at Ruby's next Thursday night. Looking forward to that, and to picking up her E.P.s there.

Made this new page yesterday, using almost all Fancy Pants products. Took this photo of Sienna out of a frame on the wall so I could scrap it :P - have had it up for over a year so wouldn't mind framing a new one anyhow, hehe. Excuses, excuses ;)

Quirky Quarmbys

I did this layout yesterday for the second SAM challenge this week, which was to scraplift an alphabetical approach.

Sienna is being a bit of a brat lately - telling us to 'stop' or 'shush' if she doesn't like what we are doing. Tantrums follow when she is told off for being rude :P Fun stuff.

Yesterday she masterminded a joint escape, somehow climbing through the cat door herself before enticing Ash out behind her. I could hear her calling him but didn't realise what was going on until they were at the other end of the verandah! She has also been telling Ash that whatever she's got is "not a toy, Ash", if she doesn't want him to touch it. I say to her, actually, it is a toy! When I say it I am usually talking about dvd players or scrapbooking supplies or something. She was talking about blocks! Very funny.

Sienna has also picked up on my habit of calling Ash 'Mister'. She'll say "What you doing Mister?" or "Where you going Mister?" and it is very cute. She also gets worried and pats him on the head if he falls over or something.

Ash loves stomping his feet as he gallivants all over the house lately. He thinks being able to make noise with his feet is a great joke, and quite enjoys himself. He also loves being chased, and has quite a giggle, even if I am just accidentally going in the same direction, toward the kitchen or similar. He is a very chirpy little guy actually.

Yesterday he got into the pantry and took the lid and then the inside dripper lid thing off the olive oil, spilling it all over the floor. That was after he feasted on cat biscuits. My moving the bowls out of reach (his reach AND the cats as it happens) didn't worry him - he just scouted out single biscuits left in the surrounding area and ate those instead.

Sienna's toilet training is going pretty well, in that she asks for the toilet regularly and doesn't have many accidents. When we were travelling - both Sydney and Adelaide trips - she basically had no accidents at all. She has a few at home sometimes. But the thing that is driving me mad is the number two issue. She knows they earn her a chocolate froggy as reward, so will spend a couple of hours hopping on and off of the potty, calling me to help every single time, and not actually producing anything. She's trying just in case, I guess.

I'm hoping my order from Blue Bazaar arrives today - half is for Kell, but I am looking forward to playing with my new Fancy Pants and MME Magnolia bits and pieces. Finding it hard to be much motivated about housework, but I do feel like scrapping.

On White

Another new layout yesterday - one for a SAM Elsie Challenge (to use white as the base). Keeping it simple at the moment. Would like to scrap more but am feeling a bit rubbish today. At least the dishes are done! That is a positive, for sure.

I am working on a re-design of Danielle Q Photography so that I can launch a fully functioning website with all info, booking form etc, next year. Here is my current home page mockup.

Sienna is drawing 'daddy froggies'

This is the only page I managed on this busy weekend, and that was last night after 10pm at Kell's! Am glad I got something done tho.

I have many things in my head. Many days I just want to stay home, do at home work like photo editing, scrapbooking and gardening. Other times I want to contribute to a more professional work environment, I trawl job sites looking for at least somewhat challenging part time positions, which don't tend to exist. I also want to promote Danielle Q sometimes. I do want that at the moment, but find it hard to follow through (it involves too much talking to people!).

But I love the photography and the thrill of editing good photos. So even though it is something I know I want to do, I still have to put pressure on myself to take action, to make things happen. It's an internal conflict between peace and quiet, and intellectual and creative satisfaction. In a way - as I have to go out of my comfort zone to make the intellectual and creative stuff happen.

Have I said lately that I think too much? LOL.

It's a photography weekend

Mmm very busy weekend this was, with bits and pieces of housework amid two photo shoots and various other engagements. I had a great time doing the shoot at Brighton Beach bathing boxes yesterday afternoon, even if 2 year old Jack wasn't particularly cooperative! Just a standard toddler shoot then ;) At least his sister Molly, 11, was really helpful trying to get in the frame with her brother!

I did another couple of scrap pages for the SAM challenges on Thursday at Kell's house. One is a gift for Paula, a friend, for her family album. This one of Caden hasn't photographed at quite the right colouring, but you get the idea.

There are some gorgeous new papers from Basic Grey that I picked up from Kiti Q, but I am just not scrapping motivated at the moment. I need more photos! OK, I have masses of photos. I need to get them printed! Or print them. Or something.

All sorts of layouts

OK, here are the layouts from my entries to FK Awards for Excellence, all bar one which has been kept for possible future publication. 'Where are the fairies?' is still one of my all time fave layouts.

I also got my Scrapbook Creations cover comp entry back today, was apparently in the top 20, but not the winner so what does it matter! It actually had a sticky note with a number '2' on it, so I'd like to think it was close, LOL.
Anyhow, I think I posted this way back when, but here is a reminder of what it looked like - 'Beautiful Bride'.

More little peoples

We are safe home from our interstate travels, and even still sane after the 10 hour drive home. No, it doesn't actually take 10 hours to get to Adelaide, it takes 8. But with a 3 year old on board only 2 hours of breaks for food and play is doing quite well actually. Seriously, the kids were actually really good on the drive. I think they're getting used to it ;)

Here are some of my favourites from the shoots on the weekend. Alisha is such a little bundle of cuteness - since she was quite prem, she is still really small although she is 5 months now, and has all the expressions and mannerisms of a 5 month old. It's adorable! Actually she wasn't much bigger than the twins, at 2 months, and Caden as a newborn! They are all within a kilo of each other in size, so it was quite interesting really.

OK this is getting dull so I am signing off for today. Cheers!