SC, kids and stuff

I don't remember if I shared this yet, it is my colour team layout for the current Scrapbook Creations mag which just arrived on my door this morning. It's been out a couple of weeks, though. This photo is of baby Abby, my friends Kate and Dan's little girl when she was just new. The colour combo was violet and lemon. I finished the layout I needed to do for my current deadline, ideally I'd have liked to post them yesterday but since Monday night was spent as evacuees rather than scrapping as I'd hoped it would be, today will have to do. Should still get to Sydney by Friday, as required :)

I also uploaded the latest Q Tea Kit 'Monkey See Monkey Do' but when I started writing the contents I realised I'd gotten the picture quite wrong - it was missing at least three different items! So I'll be photographing it again later and replacing the current pic with a COMPLETE one. Wouldn't that be handy?

This pic is of the four kids at the assembly we had on the weekend, I barely took any but I like this :) Kind of vintage processed. Mostly used actions from here.

Ash is excited about his new toy - a barrel of monkeys. Isn't that retro or something? A nice simple toy that he is having fun with, and only $5. Yay for everyone :)

I wanna get one of these for baby 3, but which colour? Maybe just the chocolate brown? A green would be nice, but chocolate brown might be more versatile as far as which hat he could wear when I photograph him, like red or another brown. It's all about the photos, after all ;)

I love etsy, I have to say. Such a great vehicle for individual creative people to put their stuff out there. Isn't this cute and cheerful? I've custom ordered a baby hat from here - and she's just in New Zealand - awesome! This shop is based in Sydney and she has a dragonfly and rose necklace I adore, among other things to admire. This artist from France makes me want to sew on paper and get all whimsical. Virtual window shopping is fun!

Home Time

We are all back home and fine, the fire in Upwey is contained and the weather today is good for helping the firefighters finish blacking it out... Photo of Birdsland Reserve (the fire began adjacent to the reserve and also went into the reserve) from here, virtual home of one of my fellow kinder mums.

Thanks for the messages of concern, phone calls, etc. I've never evacuated before but it was all pretty easy, packed a suitcase and some computer stuff, and we just went up the hill instead of down it to avoid the traffic. The CFA warning to leave early if you don't plan on defending is a pretty smart idea, if you can do it :) The kids were happy to have a sleepover at our friend's place!

There is a lot of CFA activity around, the firefighters are just amazing - a lot would have just responded yesterday and then not slept all night, as a lot of the big firefighting happened in the middle of the night. A lot of people around the streets having conversations with their neighbours, shopkeepers, etc, and I think a lot of people feeling the same gratitude that we are able to have that confidence - the CFA will do everything they can. Even though they are just people too. Pretty awesome.

Anyhow, I have a house to tidy and a layout to do today, best be off :)

Oh yeah, Upwey

OK so there is a fire in Upwey today, the kids and I were actually in the Main Street of Upwey across the road when the sirens went off - very loud! It started at 2:30pm or so, and we decided to leave after 5pm after the wind change pushed the fire back toward Upwey, mainly because of the smoke. Also there is just no reason to stick around.

There is heavy smoke and ember risk to an area of Upwey south of Burwood Highway (personally, we are north of Burwood Hwy), where Kell's house is, but the fire itself is further south, past Glenfern Rd. Kell and Roh and their kids, Reeze and Bodie are at Rohan's parents place, safe in suburban Bayswater. Ben and the kids and I went up the hill and are staying with some friends in Olinda tonight.

Long story short, we're all fine, and none of us have stuck around at home :)

I'm going to have to scrap scrap scrap when I get home, I have layouts that needed to be posted by Wednesday for a deadline, one of which I haven't started yet!

Hope everyone is well, stay safe.

My true heart desires... and a helicopter

Yesterday we went shopping after my 20 week ultrasound (more about that later) and after dropping Sienna off at school, and I bought Ash this new toy 'Harold the Helicopter'. Over the past couple of weeks he has been far more interested in trains - the suburban trains that we see when we are down the main street, as well as his toy trains. He has some toys from the Thomas Wooden Railway series and a portable track/case (there are 3 different kinds of Thomas toys - Jude and Alannah have some of the metal die-cast series and there is also Take-Along Thomas).

The wooden series also goes well on the IKEA train tracks, which are nice and affordable :) So we mix the two sets. Anyhow, he's been having a great time, and goes to bed each night with his 'train track story'. Though it's sometimes hard to tell if he means 'train track' or 'train truck', as he says both, LOL. So far I had bought him the Thomas engine, and then have been getting family names, there is Toby (Ben's brother's name) the Tram Engine and Mike (Ben's dad), the red engine in the photo below. I am yet to pick up the Bill and Ben set to have a Ben engine as well, we are almost fitted out with Quarmby engines though, LOL. Just a random little snippet about Ash :)
I bought this necklace from etsy the other day, with the proceeds of the sale going to the Bushfire appeal. There are a bunch of sellers participating, check it out and see if anything takes your fancy :) You might also try changing the search to wildlife victoria to also find those sellers who have chosen that appeal to help the wildlife affected by the fires.

For my part, I re-listed this painting (which I love, but seems appropriate in theme for the bushfire appeal and is small enough to post), and it sold for US$90, which turned out to be AU$138 toward the appeal. I am really pleased that I was able to contribute more money than I can afford by selling art for the purpose. I still plan on having prints made of this piece, though, as well as some others. Another thing on my general to-do list :)


Back to the bushfire stuff, there are also collections for other items that will be distributed later in the year during re-building, such as books (yay - I have loads to spare in excellent condition, and love a good de-clutter, so will donate a few boxes of books), handmade items and household items.

As for the subject matter, I got an email from Spencer and Rutherford featuring their new Autumn/Winter collection, which is also their 10th anniversary collection. I adore this one - a style I loved for the past two collections, but in this fabric it's irresistible (in a totally resistable kind of way, I am not about to spend over $400 on a bag). Inspiring, though. I want to sew some stuff.
Actually I should go to Spotlight today, I need some cotton backing so I can make the cushions and window seat cover with my lovely new fabrics. I also need some supplies for this workshop I am doing - quite excited about some of the items on the class list :) I feel like making some things, still scrapbooking, but also getting a bit crafty.

Speaking of scrapbooking and craft, the sneak peek for Q Tea's March kit is up - Monkey See Monkey Do.

OK back to the ultrasound, Sienna was cheering for a girl as we went in, and told Tammy (the technician who did the ultrasound) that she wanted it to be a girl. She said it so many times, that I felt quite sorry for her by the very end of the ultrasound when we found out we are having another boy. She was NOT HAPPY. Got in quite a little mood, I had to physically carry her out of the radiology clinic, as she was folding her arms and settling in for a protest of some kind. When I spoke to her and explained that even though it might be disappointing because she had wanted a girl, it is ok to feel upset, but it's not something we could help and a boy baby will still be fun for her. She told me "I'm not upset, I'm angry!" which I have to admit I found very funny! She's quite a passionate little thing, and very stubborn.

Later on she tells me she has decided that she doesn't like 3 anymore, that she likes 4 (as in, number of kids) and that the next one can be a girl. I was like 'uh, no' and told her again that you can't pick what babies are going to be! Later, after school, she was in a bit better spirits and seemed to be getting used to the boy idea. So I told her we are trying to pick a name and told her our two top choices, asked what she liked. She picked one, which is unfortunately not the same as Ben's favourite, and now seems to think that she should get to decide. So the new challenge is explaining the difference between asking for an opinion and a decision :)

Wrist warmers... yes, really

I am wearing the wrist warmers Sylvia knitted me. And I have a blanket on my knee as I sit in an armchair with laptop at hand. It's COLD. So weird when Saturday was the hottest day ever recorded in Melbourne. This week is cold.

These pics (above) are from Sienna's second day of school, when I apparently had to photograph her alternative summer uniform - shorts and top. Ash wanted to get in on the action as well ;)

Sienna's wall decals arrived, and have been put on the wall, a little bit by the door (above) and most of them between her toys and table. She thinks they are beautiful, so that's the job done I guess, LOL. She still needs a new painting or some other sort of wall decoration.

My last piece of fabric arrived the other day and I have decided it will make cushions for the couch - piccy above of the fabric draped on our vintage red velvet lounge suite.

A whole collection of initiatives and appeals have begun to contribute to the Victoria Bushfire Appeal, and with over 20 bushfires still out of control across the state we can only hope the threat will dissipate soon. The Dandenongs are still out of the danger zone.

The blog Meet Me At Mikes has a fantastic list in the middle bar of the blog with a variety of ways to help with the appeal. Some that I plan on supporting are:
  • Shopping at Coles and Safeway on the days each company will be setting aside their profits for the Bushfire Appeal - for Coles it is this Friday, for Safeway the following Friday.
  • On etsy there is a new seller specifically selling for the bushfire appeal, as well as a whole bunch of individual sellers adding items to benefit the appeal - simple search for bushfire and they will come up. I bought a necklace this morning with the benefits going to the appeal, it is a great way for people who have more skills than money (such as myself) to make a contribution. I'll be adding some artwork to benefit the appeal later this week.
  • This auction for scrapbooking items on ebay is also for the appeal.
A big shout out to all the CFS firefighters and other volunteers working to contain the bushfires and protect as many people and properties as they can. Ben's stepsister's husband is one of the South Australian firefighters currently in Victoria helping with the fight, and the spirit of selfless effort these volunteers contribute is just incredible.

I just went to see what Ash was doing, and found him like this, sleeping cosily in my bed! I just hope he doesn't wet it... hmm... it's pretty cute though. He had such a weird sleep, bedtime was 4:50pm on the way to get Ben from work, and that was it! So he also woke very early and is obviously catching up now. It is very rare for him to nap during the day, so this is good :)

It's kind of more official now, you can actually tell that I'm pregnant (as opposed to just podgy I guess, LOL) and the kids got to hear baby's heart beat yesterday afternoon at the midwife appointment. It took her ages to find the heart beat, which was at least partly because the kids were hovering around me watching her and kept making me laugh. Especially Ash, who was saying "babies? oh no!" and looking concerned at me, among other helpful comments from both him and Sienna. Anyhow, all is fine. Our 20 week ultrasound is on Friday.

One last pic of my funny kidlets, just to lighten the mood a little on this cold Summer day :)

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Unlike parts of the Yarra Ranges and country Victoria about an hour north of us, where we live in Upwey and the rest of the Dandenong Ranges are unaffected by the horrible bushfires around Victoria at the moment. There was a small scrub fire in the next town down the hill on Saturday but it was under control pretty quickly.

I know some people have been checking with us, being unsure where we live in relation to the disasters, so wanted to update with our location. Here is a Google map with locations of the fires and where they have been. You can click through and zoom in or out, read town names (we are between Ferny Creek and Belgrave). The other large fire, in Gippsland, is about an hour south-east of us.

View Larger Map

Mostly on Saturday, some towns have basically been destroyed by the fires and the death toll currently stands at 130 confirmed. I believe the most threatening fire at present is near Beechworth, let's hope this cooler weather means the firefighters can make progress. A bunch of bushfire relief appeals have begun to help the people and towns who have lost their homes and loved ones in the disaster - here is a link to one of them.

These pictures are from last Summer, when Sienna and I met my friend Rosie at St Andrews markets. St Andrews is one of the towns that is virtually destroyed now.

We're lucky here.

School etc

Here's our little school girl, Monday morning. She's had 3 days so far, from 9am til 2pm each day, and is really enjoying school. She seems to be a bit of a wildcard as far as going back to the classroom at the end of recess or lunch, LOL, but she's getting there ;)

On Monday she unfortunately caught sight of me waiting for her on her way back to the class from lunch break, and took off across the school in the opposite direction. Eventually a year 6 boy helped me get her down from the big kids' playground on the other side of the school from the prep classroom! Yesterday I hung back so she couldn't see me, but then she was escorted back to her class by the school principal - everyone seems to be getting to know her pretty quickly at least (I'm glad it's a small school! Less than 100 kids altogether).

Here she is getting stuck in as soon as we arrived in the classroom on Monday. Ash is more bothered by the adjustment to school than Sienna is, getting quite grumpy with me for leaving her at school! On the first day I took him for a baby cino after drop-off and took a pic of him in the cafe.
Did some scrapping at Kell's today while Sienna was at school, I have a deadline in a couple of weeks. 3 layouts down (well, the 3rd is *almost* finished) and 3 to go, all for Scrapbook Creations issue 67. I have the colour team and a feature article. So, nothing new to share at the moment.

Most of my fabrics arrived the other day to cover the window seat and make cushions, I am just waiting on the last cushion fabric and then I will head to a fabric shop to pick up matching cotton fabric to use on the backs of the cushions and window seat. In the meantime, I've ordered these Wall Candy wall decals for Sienna's room (even though hers is the only bedroom NOT getting re-decorated, I really wanted to add something new to the walls) and am waiting for them to arrive.
This other Wall Candy product - a rococo chalkboard frame (below) - is SO tempting me at the moment. I can really see it on my yellow kitchen wall... but can't justify it at the moment, so will just keep the pic in my inspiration folder ;)

My cousin Bec and her hubby Joel are staying with us for a couple of nights this weekend, am looking forward to some hanging out time with them! And Sienna is supposed to be getting her new goldfish at last, she had to wait longer than expected due to the heat, so she will still have someone to 'share' her bedroom with. Have a great week, keep cool :)