Saturday, September 30, 2006

What A Week!

To say I've had better weeks would I think be an understatement but anyway I guess it's over. There were some highlights - a trip to the Royal Melbourne Show stands out as a bit of Mother/Daughter fun time. Lakeisha & I took the train to the show this year. What a great deal that was! So long as you had your show ticket (purchased from the PO) you got a return ticket from anywhere in country Victoria for $10. Holy cow I couldn't drive there for that - not to mention the parking and the actual driving..... It was a long day though - had to catch the train at 7:00 a.m. and it didn't get back in until about 8:30 p.m. or more.

But we had a good day, took some silly pictures, I got to watch the Cockers at the Royal - Yippee & Well Done to Anne for her domination of the English Cockers..... Well done to Liz on her wins in the Yanky's although it was pretty pathetic the number that were there... Yes OK so I contributed to that by not entering, but with everything else that had been going on here leading up to the entries closing - and at what was it - $23 an entry or something - I just figured it would probably be a waste of about $80 by the time I bought a catalogue when I probably wasn't going to make it there anyway. Will be looking forward to hearing the results and I have my fingers crossed for my favourites.

Other than that the week was just a blur of appointments and disappointments. Nothing that won't pass, but just seems to be the way of things at the moment. I need a holiday.

OH well no actually there was one other interesting development for me personally. I guess the store that would qualify as my Local Scrapbooking Store (hereafter to be referred to as my LSS since I'll be endeavouring to encourage them to stock more stuff!) has one of my albums on display and Kerry has asked me to do a demonstration on Wednesday of next week and also to do some classes! I'm so excited/nervous/stunned but I'm warming to the idea. I have a few ideas of things to do and have my demo LO ready to go. So I think it will be OK. God I hope it will be OK LOL. I think above all else I'm looking forward to the challenge. Lately life has been pretty dormant and I think this will be great to get me back on track again. Anyway - wish me luck!

We are off to a dog show tomorrow so I better get off here and start making some preparations.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Spot Challenge

A Spot Challenge at The Scrap Pile tonight to do a LO on a Joke or an advert that you either got via email or find on a joke site on the web... I was just about to head off to get some dinner but thought I would post the link and my LO before I went.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.


Quiet Weekend

Hmmmm well winter has arrived!!!!! LOL Murray managed to get the grass mown yesterday - it takes a long time even on a ride on mower.... but boy do I love that smell of freshly cut grass. It's been the one time I was actually happy about the kitchen window that got stuck open slightly the other day (really must get that fixed...) as I was in the kitchen this wonderful smell of freshly cut grass drifted in through the window... But now today it's dark and raining and a pretty ordinary day *(sigh)* Oh well what a shame - will have to stay inside & Scrap!

I finished a new LO yesterday. I thought I would tackle another of my sketch challenge from The Scrap Pile and since I had already done one, I set myself another challenge - to scrap yellow. Why is yellow so difficult????? It's weird. But anyway I was reasonably pleased with how it came up but it's a bit sad to think that this is probably the only pic of Murray & I together that I can recall. It's either me behind the camera or him....

And just a little more about Friday's accident......... Take a look at this and tell me HOW LUCKY ARE THESE GUYS.......

How lucky they weren't travelling very fast at all at the time. Every time I look at these photos they send a chill down my spine. I'm just so glad they are all OK.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.



Friday, September 22, 2006


Well what a Friday it's been. Got a call to say that one of our employee vehicles managed to roll off the road, and by all accounts the damage is pretty ugly. We now have a Troop Carrier that looks more like a ute.... but the one THANK GOD I do have is that everyone is OK. Obviously all a bit shaken up and probably will be sporting a few sore spots tomorrow, but alive and walking away. Vehicles can be fixed or replaced - people can't.

In the meantime I actually got to scrap again today... it was helping to cheer me up until I got that phone call. But I have had this photo for quite a few weeks, of my friend Lisa's son Callan. I really like the way this one came up. And if you think I have a bit of an obsession with those red flowers lately - well I bought a long stem of them and there are probably 20-30 flowers on there so they are going to last a while LOL...

Oh and LOOK - there is stitching.... My mum went into town and so I thought I would sneak over to her house and borrow her sewing machine for a bit of a play... I've decided this could become addictive - and probably quite dangerous for someone like me. As I was discussing with Cass at The Scrap Pile earlier today - you might as well call me the Queen of Don't Know When To Stop.... But I still think I'll put in for a cheap sewing machine for Christmas. Anyway - LISA - CALLAN - Hope you like it!!!!! Now I just have to find the pic of Ryan so he's not feeling left out!

Gosh the first week of the school holidays is over and we've done absolutely nothing except hang out at home. Will be heading off to the Royal Show next week some time so that will be a bit of fun. Have to go and buy the customary Whizz Fizz Showbag! I just love those cones with the sherbet in the bottom and the sprinkle topped marshmallow on the top.... mmmmmmm making my mouth water thinking about them. Yeah I know you can buy them at Safeway for half the price, but then isn't that half the fun of going to the show? But then we will also have to try to fit some other day trips in... the time just goes so fast!

Well I should go lodge a claim with the insurance company.. that will make their day as well no doubt. Hope everyone has a good weekend... Stay safe!


Thursday, September 21, 2006


How sad was the Steve Irwin memorial???????? I couldn't sit down to watch it. I had a lump in my throat throughout the whole thing and I just couldn't watch when they showed Terri. I couldn't help but think what an incredible ordeal it must have been for her to face that.... surrounded by all those pictures of Steve - larger than life - a bit like the man really. But it was such a fitting tribute and I think Stevo would have been sitting up there on a cloud somewhere watching over it all having a bit of a laugh and probably shedding a tear or two for upsetting everyone so much.... How is it that someone you never really knew and never ever met can touch your heart in such a way. The more I think about it - the more I think none of it makes sense - his death, the way I feel, all the sadness........

That aside - today I needed to scrap. No I mean I NEEDED to scrap. I had a LO in mind for a while. Actually I had planned to use it for Katie's challenge at The Scrap Pile's Cyber Crop last Friday night but I just plain ran out of time and so today the idea was put into reality - with a few extras that wouldn't have been allowed at the CC.... LOL

OK no laughing but this is a picture of me - somewhere around 1962, riding a giant cement budgie of some description... (I suspect it was meant to be a flamingo or something except from memory it was more the colour of a seagull LOL). Yeah don't laugh - I was cute. At least my mother tells me I was so I have to take her word for it don't I.....

This weekend I think is shaping up to be a quiet one. Probably a good thing after the fun of last weekend. I could use some more scrapping time.

Cass has organised another Cyber Crop for Scrap Pile - it's November 10th - BE THERE!!!!! I made her a little gift as well.... check this out!

OK shameless plugs over. I should go and cook some dinner.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Oops, I have been tagged by Michelle...

OK Here goes....

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? A luxurious Beach House at Bora Bora.
2. What’s your favorite article of clothing? My long black jacket with white stripes.
3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? The eyes have it!
4. What’s the last CD that you bought? Panic At The Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out.
5. Where’s your favorite place to be? Out having fun with my family, especially on a holiday.
6. Where’s your least favorite place to be? Depressed...
7. What’s your favorite place to be massaged? Neck & shoulders.
8. Strong in mind or strong in body? Mind.
9. What time do you wake up in the morning? Usually whatever time Murray leaves for work - usually around 5:30 a.m.
10. What is your favourite Kitchen appliance? My Wok.
11. What makes you really angry? Idiots and being accused of something I didn't do.
12. If you could play an instrument what would it be? I think I'll pass on any new ones. I can play guitar, clarinet, saxophone, and the fool... LOL
13. Favourite color? To wear - black, to look at - purple.
14. Sports car or SUV? Sports Car.
15. Do you believe in an afterlife? Yes.
16. Favorite children’s book? Nancy Drew, Brer Rabbit and Archie comics,
17. What’s your favorite season? Summer except for the bushfires.
18. What is your least favorite household chore? Toss up between grocery shopping and cleaning windows.
19. If you could have one super-power, what would it be? Invisibility.
20. If you have a tattoo what is it? No Tatoos - I'm allergic to pain.
21. Can you juggle? I'm an expert at juggling money - but then I guess that wasn't quite the question.
22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to? My Grandmother.
23. What food do you hate the most? Pumpkin Soup
24. What’s in the boot of your car? Usually Murray's work stuff.
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? Hamburger.

I'm tagging Jo, Terri and Francine

The Highs & Lows

Well I am really pleased to have my blog back at Blogger. I like the fact that I have more control over how the page looks here.

What a week last week! Aside from a whole bunch of rubbish that went on which I refuse to stoop so low as to go on and on and on about in MY blog.... There were plenty of things to celebrate and there were new scrapbooking pages... AND dog shows...

The week didn't start that well. After waiting weeks to get in for a breast scan and then having to wait 7 weeks and still no results!!!!! I got a call from the clinic on the Monday confirming my appointment for Wednesday. My reply - What Appointment! To which the woman responded Oh hasn't someone called you with your results..... hmmmm clearly not. Ahhhh OK so Houston - we have a problem! I guess I can be grateful that there were only 2 days until the appointment. But those 2 days were horrendous. And no matter how many times everyone tells you it's going to be fine - I don't think you would be human if even for the slightest second the very worst thoughts didn't run briefly through your mind. So yes by Wednesday morning I was a wreck. But to cut a very long story short - after 3.5 hours of poking, prodding, screening, waiting and talking - the diagnosis was that it was OK - just keep an eye on it.

I can't tell you the huge relief. I mean I knew I was worrying about it, but I don't think I realised quite how much until that very moment. I've been completely unable to function these past few months. Everything has suffered, I haven't really felt like doing anything and nothing that used to give me any pleasure has been able to lift my spirits - except I have to say Scrapbooking which was probably the thing that saved me from going right round the twist. I was able to throw myself into it and for at least a short period of time forget to some degree the thoughts that kept invading every part of my day.

Friday night The Scrap Pile had a Cyber Crop. I hadn't been a part of one before but it was fun. I must admit I didn't get to be as involved as I wanted because we had entered 2 dog shows at Hamilton on the weekend and with dogs to bath, stuff to pack, etc etc etc, I was just popping in here and there to see how things were going throughout the evening. I did manage to do a couple of LO's for the challenges, I had hoped to do all three but I needed sleep and sleep won the war.

I did this Layout for Dads 80th Birthday which was a couple of years ago. I had arranged a get together of some of his past guitar students, friends & family... it was a great day and I have a few really nice shots that I need to scrap - but then I have lots of photos to scrap so they are just sitting in line waiting there turn.

I also did another LO of our little lawn wrecker... there is an Echidna that has been hanging around lately and he has taken to visiting our front lawn in search of ants. Clearly we grow good ants in our garden because he has literally single handedly wrecked the front lawn... I took some photos of him and scrapped him cos despite being a naughty little buggar - he's cute.

And to top off the good things for the week.... we had success at the dog shows as well. My beloved Hogan won Best of Breed & Best Open in Group on Saturday and then on Sunday absolutely surprised the heck out of me by winning Best of Breed and Best Exhibit in the Gundog Group! It was such a great fun weekend and just what I needed after the hectic week I'd had. Thanks in no small part to my friend Wendy who apart from being a bad influence on the alcohol consumption - provided us with lots of laughs and a good old fashion GREAT time. My only disappointment for the weekend, aside that it was over, was that in all that time I forgot to pick up the camera ONCE..... Oh well. Another day - another dog show.

Enough for now (more than enough I would have thought....) On with the day's duties! Have a great week.

My First Design Team Layout!!!!!

Originally posted September 9th on Myspace....

Well I finished my first DT layout for the Scrap Pile tonight. It's called Poppy's Girl and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the way it came up.

You can access the detailed instructions HERE and click on the thumbnail of the layout in my DT Gallery. Did I mention I'm really enjoying the challenge of the DT???? LOL. I love that it makes me think more about what I'm doing with everything. I think it certainly helps me to get much better end results. Thanks again to Cass for the opportunity to be a part of the team.
Quiet weekend here but I really do need to get out there & bath a dog or two tomorrow. Right now though more than anything I need sleep.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Latest Layout

Originally posted to Myspace on September 5th.

I uploaded a new layout to The Scrap Pile last night. It's called Glamour Girls.

It's the first pic I've scrapped of my daughter Lakeisha at her school's Semi Formal, pictured with her friend Bec. Now originally I was quite upset when I saw the pics because they were looking ordinary. There were one or two that were OK, but overall they were a pretty dismal bunch. Nowhere really to take pics at the venue aside from at the door as everyone was going in - great choices for a backdrop - a whole bunch of people walking in the door / a brick wall / an alley-way between two buildings / or the pitch black of night with a few parents watching on..... Yeah good planning LOL.

But I've managed to salvage a couple of photos and to try to get rid of the harsh background I added a few PSP elements to soften everything so I don't think it turned out too bad overall but I was bitterly disappointed that none of the photos will really show how stunning her dress was. It was a pale baby pink and it was covered with beads & sequins... I'm tossing up making an appointment some time with our local professional photographer and have him do some shots so we have pictures that do it justice. Will think on that one. Maybe some of the other mums would be interested too and we could get a group of the girls together and also cut down the initial cost as well.

Regardless of the photographic memories though, I have to say I was so proud of her on the night. She looked stunning and I couldn't be more proud of the woman she is becoming. Now if I could just get her to stop burping, farting and calling everyone "Poohbum" she would almost pass as a lady as well........ Thanks Murray!!!!!!!!!

On a sad note though, I couldn't finish this blog without mentioning how sad I was to hear about Steve Irwin's death. I don't know what it is - I can't say I was even really all that much of a fan of his (I didn't dislike him either that said....) but it really struck me yesterday and I just found myself thinking about him on and off all day and how sad it was for his family. How does Australia replace an incredible icon like Steve? I can't think of a single person who was as enthusiastic, dedicated, optimistic, and genuine as he was and I can't begin to imagine the huge hole that is now in the hearts of Terri, Bindi & Bob. The fact that the world loved him so thankfully will ensure his legacy lives on.

I created this layout as a challenge for the Scrap Pile Cyber Crop - Thanks Michelle for a fantastic challenge on the weekend. It doubles as my tribute to Steve.... Thank you Steve for the laughs and for showing Australia to the world. RIP.

Design Team at Scrap Pile

Originally posted September 5th at Myspace....

Of course I am really excited about being a part of the Design Team at THE SCRAP PILE and as a part of my application to be a member I created a new layout which hadn't been uploaded anywhere else. It's called DANCE WITH ME. I absolutely love it and I think it's up there with the best I've done so far. So thrilled that this DT involvement has really made me raise the bar of my own expectations - never mind what anyone else might be expecting of me.

And lots happening at Scrap Pile over the next few months. I have posted my very first challenge as a DT member. A sketch challenge. I designed the LO myself, thought I would start with something similar. Will work on getting my LO done & uploaded as soon as I can. I'm looking forward to receiving my first package from Cass and playing around with it. I really need to get some things organised so I have a clear start on it. It's hard to get my head around this because it's the first time I have ever done anything like this. But the girls are really nice and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from them all in the time I have. So if you haven't already joined up - please come and give it a look. I think one of the things I like best about it is that unlike some of the other sites I've been involved with, there isn't any of that clicky elitist girls club thing happening and the owner Cass is really trying her best to make it a fair and fun place to scrap.

I spent the last couple of days not so much on scrapbooking but also trying to get the belated fathers day gift done for my dad. Going back to 2004 I organised a get together for him for his 80th Birthday.... it's a long story but he used to teach and play the guitar and sing - mostly country & western. I think he taught most of Colac and their sons & daughters to play. I remember him having the classes when I was a kid. So I got a group of his friends and ex-students together and it was a fantastic day. Allbeit that in the beginning I had to almost drag him there (it took me weeks to actually talk him around to the whole idea in the first place!!!!!) but he had a fantastic day and even got up on stage himself and sang. It's a precious memory I won't ever forget and I thought it was something really wonderful for Lakeisha to know just how much he is loved and appreciated by so many people who feel they owe him so much for what he shared and taught them.

Anyway I digress.... we took lots of photos on the day and so I made up a DVD of a slideshow of all the photos, plus throughout the DVD I've added for background music a couple of the songs he recorded for me as well as a couple of songs recorded by two of his ex-students who are also close family friends. He hasn't seen it yet, I only finished it tonight and finally copied it to a DVD... tomorrow he'll get to take a look at it. I think it runs for about 12-13 minutes. Mum & I previewed it tonight and I'm really pleased with the way it came up. Hopefully..... well no actually I know he'll love it - even if it is a couple of days late. Thankfully I got the glitches ironed out in the end. My computer was groaning I think at the stress of the large files LOL.

Have a good one!

Mixed Emotions

Originally posted at Myspace on September 1st.

Well it's been a weird week. Kind of up and down. But the two crucial events for the week couldn't be more opposite of one another.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Mandie our 15 year old English Springer Spaniel. She has had a good life with pretty good health all the way through if you don't count the time way back in 1995 when she broke her leg. She recovered from that ordeal though and went on to continue to be a showdog and a mother, and I guess the biggest claim to fame she had as a showdog would be that she won Best Gundog in Show at the 1995 Sydney Royal Easter Show - beating almost 1000 other dogs in the process. But what we remember most about her was her loving personality and the annoying way she used to be pushy for her nightly cookie. How I wish now that she was still here to annoy me.

We will miss you so much Mandie.
16th July, 1991 - 31st August, 2006

But then today came some exciting news that I had been accepted into the new Design Team for The Scrap Pile . I've never been on a DT before so this will be a new experience, but I am certainly looking forward to both the challenging side and the enjoyment side. Hopefully I can fulfill the faith that Cass has put in me by selecting me. I'll be giving it my best shot anyway.

Well Lakeisha's school ball is tonight and there is heaps to get done in preparation for that and the weekend.....

Have a great weekend everyone!

They Must Be What?????

Originally this was posted on August 30th at Myspace.... OK so I changed my mind and moved back to Blogger because I didn't like the options for the look of the page at Myspace! Fussy I know.

Now you might ask - what the????? But I need to explain. My first love (yes pre scrapbooking) is and probably always will be my beautiful American Cocker Spaniels of which I've had since 1977 (and you can see at

It's a love affair that's endured 5 engagements, 4 marriages, 3 divorces and lets not dwell on how many men in total LOL. I have been breeding and showing dogs since 1977 - well no let me be more specific - I've been breeding and showing American Cocker Spaniels since 1977. As a registered breeder I breed to a written standard for the breed, and in that written standard in the very opening paragraph - it states "Above all they must be free and merry". Hence was the birth in 1977 of our kennel prefix - Merriyank - in the "above all they must be merry" train of thought.

When I first started scrapbooking in March of 2006, I came across the website and I have to say that it has been the website that gave me the inspiration and probably the courage as well to really get "into" scrapbooking. I have spent since that first day, so many hours pouring over the endless incredible layouts from people around the world who have in turn inspired so many of the ideas and techniques I now use in my own endeavours. I have learned so much but yet still have so much to learn. There are so many who's ability I hold as my "guru" of inspiration. I truly believe that in anything scrapbooking you are limited only by your imagination. But for me it has been such a rewarding thing to get involved in.

This year for me has been a mixture of highs and lows. I guess that isn't much different for most people, but around the time I began scrapbooking, I had found a breast lump. To be honest I am not really sure what came first but I can now clearly see that much of the "urge" I had for scrapbooking came from an inner fear of what lay ahead. I think I have come to terms with that now.... and as I wait for the results of the test I should have had months ago, I think I am strangely much more at ease with everything in my life. I am prepared for the best and /or the worst and I know that no matter what the future holds, I am happy with where and who I am and maybe have a much greater perspective on my life than perhaps I have ever had.

I would like to share with you the greatest achievement in my life - my daughter Lakeisha. This is a Challenge Layout I did called "So My Daughter". It was meant to be a one hour challenge but it kind of turned into a one and a half hour challenge LOL.

She is just the most important thing in my life and my greatest source of pride and love. At 15 I am truly proud of the person she has grown to be and although there are times when I am afraid for her, I am also very excited and hopeful for her future. It's so hard to see them grow so quickly but I have so much faith in the knowledge that she is a great kid who has intelligence and passion and I know she will achieve some wonderful things in her life.

And my life is not complete without my gorgeous husband Murray. I think this is one of my favourite pictures of him - serious and thoughtful - the Murray we know and love.

I also did another layout which the caption read - "We may not have it all together - but together we have it all".

That's really about how I think of our relationship. It has been a challenge for both of us for various reasons to get to where we are, but at the end of the day I think we are good for one another, we make a good team in business as well as personally, and there is something special about the way he makes me feel about myself.

Hmmm well that's it for blogging for me. God knows if anyone out there will actually read this. But if you are, and I make you feel even remotely human for a moment.... then this can't be a bad thing............ can it?????????????