Q Tea Layout and a couple of cuties

I did this layout last night using the January Q Tea Kit 'Folklore Forest', which is fun and vintage-y :) An old unedited photo of Sienna and I in Paris. Love this Danyeela patterned paper!

Today we spent a few hours at a playground with some friends, here are a couple of fun shots - Lincoln first, and then a black and white of Abby.

SC Layouts as promised

My projects from Scrapbook Creations 61, they arrived home safely and I've photographed them now to share here (and so they can be added to the random pile of layouts without a home! I must get some more albums...)

And while we were tidying up a bit around the house yesterday, since we hired a skip bin for the week, I found this old window frame that has been there since we moved in. One of the panes was broken, so I smashed out the other one - that was quite fun :) - and sanded it down a touch to use as a big frame on our foyer wall. I like to change the entrance wall around every now and then, since it's the first thing you see when you come in the house. And if it looks good I hope it distracts any visitors from the chaos everywhere else, LOL.

Anyhow, the left side has this big metal 'Q' that I bought in Perth, and the other side has one of our family photos taken by the lovely Donna Wild a while back. I hung a couple of my vintage cameras above the frame, and a pendant that Viv gave me is just below it - I might move that around though, as I do actually like to wear the pendant sometimes (which might be hard when it's up on the wall methinks). Next step is painting the window frames (the actual windows, not the frame on the wall) in Porters Paints flamenco red. Fun stuff.

Creative Therapy

I was honoured to be asked to guest for Creative Therapy - the prompt was 'What is the best advice you've ever been given?' - check it out here. I have to say it was quite funny for awhile, as I just couldn't think of any. Do people not give me advice? (Am I that scary? Actually, don't answer that LOL) Well I'm sure people have and do, but obviously I don't listen to much of it. Or I just forget that it was advice and think that I myself am incredibly wise - possible? Hehe.

Seriously though, it was like a 'duh' moment when I realised that the Bible IS advice (as well as instruction, guidance, truth and so on). I am always writing down scriptures that catch my attention. My notes from public talks (church meetings) are scattered with big, loopy handwriting when I find a verse that makes me think and write it big with a whole page to itself. Then choosing one was getting difficult, but I decided to go back to basics and chose a scripture which in itself directs you back to the bible and to the fact that awareness of spiritual need is what makes me want to look into the deep things of God.

The other thing I mentioned on the guest spot is how I don't often journal or scrapbook about my spirituality, so it was nice to focus on a scripture for a project. For a change. It's also interesting timing, with christmas being this week. Most people would know that I don't celebrate christmas or whatever else. What has been really fascinating to me this year is realising how many people do know the various origins of christmas, the Winter solstice and pagan roots, and that it isn't Jesus' birthday at all and so on. Though it's obvious that it hasn't been primarily religious for a long time, certainly not for shops and things anyway! It brings home how powerful a social tradition is, it's really a very interesting thing from a sociological viewpoint.

I think because I find personalities and psychology so fascinating, that a mass social event (so to speak) is also really interesting. It is also really interesting to observe or hear various responses upon hearing that we do not celebrate... some people feel very passionately that things should be done, just because they are the things people do. The question is not why do it, but why not? Peer pressure on a grand scale, at least it would be if one was particularly susceptible to it. This is also an interesting social thing. Other people, much like myself, are more 'each to their own'. I do actually understand the appeal of some aspects of various celebrations, such as christmas, but have reasons that outweigh them. Other people feel quite differently, and different areas have different weight for them - like most decisions, it's a personal thing.

I got my layouts back from Scrapbook Creations yesterday, so will post the pages from the latest issue in a day or so :)

from - just one of the many stunning wall decorations / designs which I completely love (but could not afford - the shipping from France is A LOT) and now the shop has suddenly shut, so too bad for me and my wishful thinking :(

Last day, little 5

Here is Sienna on her first day of kinder, in February of this year...

And here she was this morning, on her last day of kinder.

She tells us that even though she is a big girl, she is a 'little 5', as opposed to some people she knows who are a 'big 5'. This is quite literal - she just recently worked out that being the same age doesn't mean being the same size, LOL, or suddenly being able to do 'bigger' things.

I just posted the sneak peek for Q Tea's January kit - here 'tis. A bit more organic and vintage after the bright December kit.
I'm off tomorrow to Create08 with Heidi Swapp, the Melbourne event, with Kell and Cass. Should be fun, though I will need a big coffee in the morning to get me started! Being sociable before 9am is just a bit hard ;) If anyone else is heading that way, I'll see you tomorrow!

3 year old boy + Canon 400D and 50mm lens =

OK so that includes a bit of mum and Photoshop, but the photos are his and I didn't do any cropping, so the framing is entirely his as well (aside from the stress of watching him hold my camera - at least he had the strap around his neck!)

Sienna also had a go for a few moments when Ash was willing to share, here are a few of her shots....

Hello London

This is what our back yard looked like (when sitting down in it) before I finished brushcutting it. Even though I know it needs to be controlled, I love the beauty of a wild meadow, so it always makes me a bit sad to cut it down - changing it from green and breezy to yellow and bare. It will grow back, of course, but I find it hard to understand why other people don't see the beauty in it. What I think of as inspiring and alive and natural is to some people just imperfect and unkempt. Like most things, it's not that simple. Anyhow, it's cut now. Because I prefer the green I usually only do it two or three times a year.

This is Jack, the little boy of some friends of ours, Donna and Brett. Below are a couple of pics of all three of their kids, Imogen (the eldest), Mercedes and Jack. We had dinner there the other day and I did a quick mini-shoot in the backyard :)

This is exciting for me - I have my layout on the cover of the latest Scrapbook Creations. It was a last-minute commission, but still wasn't guaranteed to make the cover so I was really pleased to see it had. My first mag cover, after a couple of years of publications, and it was one of my scrapping goals for this year, so I've just made it in the last month of the year - thanks to Kim (the editor) for the opportunity! I love this pic as well, the phone boxes are SO London and Sienna was so little, at 16 months old trotting around the place as though she owned it. V. cute.

I have 7 things in this issue (including the colour team layout of my friends - the Lloyd family - also on the cover as a thumbnail). I don't have any pics that I can find at the moment though, LOL, so I'll have to photograph them when I get them back from the mag. But there is the cover layout, the colour team layout, one layout in Jolene's Blind Scrapping feature, a journal cover in the top ten feature and three travel layouts in the journaling feature. Fun stuff :)

Pics and rambles

A few pics from our weekend in Adelaide...

So today is for scrapping, or at least this afternoon will be. I have a load of dishes to do and some washing to put on before that - and, as usual, a lot more I *could* do but after lunch it is definitely scrap time. I FINALLY got some more ink and photo paper! Yay! Time to print some piccies for deadlines :)

Hmm what else? I need to pick up some packing boxes, as we plan on rearranging the rooms in the house a bit and the first thing required is my packing up my scrap space... a GOOD thing as it is so chaotic at the moment that I can't even use it, which is a bit pointless. I am looking forward to moving my art area to somewhere a little more hidden - at the moment it is the first thing you see when you walk in the house, as it is in our foyer. But since it is (almost) always insanely overloaded and messy, this doesn't thrill me. So the computers and printers will go there instead, which should be much easier to keep tidy.

And the kids will be moving into their own rooms as a result, as I need the big master bedroom back so that my art area can fit in our bedroom. We are currently in one of the smaller bedrooms which only just has room for the QS bed and a little wardrobe... so I plan on reclaiming some space. It's a bit sad for the kids in a way, I do love their massive room which is mostly play area, but it is - of course - always crazy messy and can be difficult at times when Sienna wants to be left alone or whatever. So it is a good time, with Sienna starting school next year, for them to have their own spaces. It is also a bit fun to think about the new decorating opportunities now that the rooms will be redefined :)

Fishy Business

Just did this page for fun the other day and ended up using loads of Q Tea items from the latest kit 'Never Say Neverland' - lovin' the vintage woodgrain wallpaper, I might cover an actual wall with it one of these days :) This pic is of my nephew Caden in January 2007.
We went fishing at Lilydale Lake - it was printed as Lillydale on the signs but since the town is Lilydale that just seems weird. Anyhow, it was 'first water' for the fishing rods dad bought each of the kids on the way from Miss Marple's to Lilydale. Rather a fun day altogether, with a funny back and forth of who was getting which coloured fishing rods. It BIZARRELY worked out without any fuss from the kids, much to our surprise. Sienna ended up with the pink one, as you can see (though according to Alannah the rod is really red, and the purple one is prettier, a view we adults wholeheartedly agreed with, wink, wink).

I made them all calico fishing rod bags on Sunday to protect the rods, and each with an embroidered fish and their initial in the same colour as their respective rods. All rather cute and outdoorsy really. Now to continue, we will actually have to get fishing licenses and so on (my dad has one, so we were good last week) and go again. Fun fun :)

Now, Nevis has asked about photo actions (hi, Nevis!) and I keep forgetting to talk about it. I process in Photoshop and I can't remember which versions, but I have a few actions I often use. Sometimes I only use my own made up actions which adjust levels, curves, brightness/contrast and sometimes blending options/soft light. At other times I might also use Itty Bitty Actions and in both cases I often use a Vignette action, like the photo of Sienna above, from someone called Mariah. I duplicate the vignette layer when I want to increase the effect. Hope that helps :)

On Thursday morning I FLY TO PERTH. Cool, hey. Wave if you see me there.

Sienna is 5 now, but thinks she isn't as she isn't grown up enough. Not sure the point of arguing that ;)

Last weekend and the year before

New shoes. For summer. They even fit.
Zoo visit on Sunday.
Family collection ;)
The 5 cousins now...
same time (ish) last year.