Sunday, June 29, 2008

Special layout

I've had this photo sitting here for a while but just lacked either the right paper or the inspiration to do it justice. It is truly the most gorgeous photo in real life. But for some reason this morning, after looking at this photo now for some weeks, it just all fell together and so here is "The Fisherman".

It brings back so many childhood memories for me of the time I spent with my Grandfather. He was an avid fisherman before his health began to fail. We spent many hours on the shores of Lake Colac (back in the days when it actually had water in it....) and also at various rivers and streams in the area. One of the most memorable fishing moments I recall, a particular night we went to a river and he was joking with me about catching eels and how I better not catch too many of them. In the end it was he who caught many eels and I who brought home the edible fish! I don't think we ever let him live it down.

Even though I was very young, I still remember the peaceful calmness of being in his company fishing. He was a tall, strong man of few words, but he had great patience with the small child who was constantly at his feet, and I always felt loved in his presence. I remember his secret cigarette stash, his tank of minnow for fish bait, and his incredible passion for growing plants from seeds. When I was a child, he worked at the local Bulla Cream Factory and all the employees would bring home a box of icypoles each week as a perk. I loved the Rainbow Chocs which they still make to this day. When he retired he grew vegetables & raised seedlings to sell at the plant nurseries, but always found time for fishing.

It's more than 20 years since he passed away, but he is still in my thoughts regularly.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Finally finished.

This is the first time I can recall finishing all the challenges for a Cyber Crop at Scrap Pile (or anywhere else for that matter since SP is the only place I CC anyway!) And so I managed to get the final challenge done - this one for Mel's challenge - counting 1-6 the elements in the layout. Photos from some of Lakeisha's collection from Sports Days at school. Hmmmm I don't remember Sports Days being this much fun in my day....

And so the layout "Beautiful Moments" is born....

Now there is actually a photo I have sitting here that I REALLY want to scrap but I'm just not sure I have everything I need to do it justice in terms of colours of paper.... But I have a vision in my mind of how I want it to look so we'll see what I come up with over the next week or so.

I'm afraid I failed miserably in the list of things to do today. Some but not all on the list was attended to. Hey there is always tomorrow. Right now my biggest challenge is keeping the fire lit...

The usual weekend stuff

Thankfully Scrapping has once again become a regular Saturday morning routine for me. I find it really relaxing to start the weekend off this way. Mind you - Saturday morning often turns into Saturday afternoon... but at least I'm unwinding.

And so I managed to do the layout that has been only a photo on a piece of cardstock now for a week. This one for Leah's challenge from the Cyber Crop last weekend. The photo is the group photo that was taken in Brisbane when the Scrap Pile Girls got together at a hotel to celebrate Mel's birthday. So many memories of that wonderful weekend returned to me as I did this layout. I really must scrap a few more of the photos I have from then. I'm looking forward to meeting up with some of the girls again some time soon...

And so here is "The Girls"....

Back to work... still another one to do before midnight...

I have been tagged...

The lovely Jewls has tagged me - Gee THANKS a whole bunch Jewls!!!! LOL

Here's how it works. Answer the questions about yourself. At the end of your post, tag another 4 people & post their names. Go to their blogs & leave a comment letting them know they've been tagged. Let the person who tagged you know that you have posted your answers.

My answers are:
Q1: Ten years ago.....
Was like a past life. I was not working, and at this point I was probably at a Dog Show somewhere in Victoria (most likely Melbourne at this time of year) avidly grooming a dog in an attempt to win Best in Show. Don't know if I did, but that was the aim.

Q2: Five things on today's "to do list".....
House loving, Washing clothes, Bathing Hogan, Ironing and Scrapbooking - Not necessarily in that order....

Q3: Snacks I enjoy.....
Marshmallows, Mixed Salted Nuts and Cherry Ripes.

Q4: Things I would do if I was a millionaire.....
Travel to all those destinations we've only talked about so far, buy a BMW and actually save some!

Q5. Places I have lived....
Colac, Langwarrin, Barongarook, My Dreams....

I am tagging.....

Friday, June 27, 2008


I'm not usually a subscriber to the whole "Thank God It's Friday" concept however this week SIGN ME UP! Lets just call it the week from Hell and forget it happened... OK????? Well except for today, I think, where I had lots of laughs, a wonderful lunch date and a feeling of such warmth and love that it could almost - ALMOST - make up for every single one of the really bad parts of the week. Lets not dwell on the bad. There HAVE been unbelieveable moments as well.

My Dad as we speak is still in hospital on the mend from some relatively minor surgery although when you are in your 80's I'm guessing the realistic thing is NO surgery is minor. He went in on Wednesday, and while some complications had us a little concerned, he seems to be OK now and with any luck he'll be home this weekend.

I'm looking forward to this weekend for some fairly simple reasons. #1 is Sleep. I am so drained from the events of the week and the worry and emotion. Family issues, Job issues, just to name a few. There is always something.

#2 on the list is Scrapping and I hope to get a couple of things done this weekend. I've really missed my scrapping. I have a couple of things sitting on my desk in the planning stages that look promising.

#3 is getting the photos of Lakeisha and her Dress Up day at school today. The lamb costume she hired was pretty cute so I can't wait to see how the photos come up and what everyone else looked like as well. A few laughs and hopefully one or two scrapping opportunities wrapped up in that too.

Besides which - each day is a step closer to the future. And we have one..... don't we.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tired now....

What a long couple of days. After Sunday's marathon effort - 3 a.m. start and my bright idea of not getting any sleep until last night (hey well it seemed like the right decision at the time...) - another trip to the airport tonight to pick up Lakeisha... Don't ask why I'm still up now - I just am. I know if I go to bed early I usually wake up again by midnight and then can't really go back to sleep. As always there are too many things to think about. Too much that floats through my mind.

The big Sydney Challenge seems to have been very much a challenge for the kids. I'm really sorry it's been such an unpleasant experience for them, but then I guess in the real world not all experiences are positive so maybe they will walk away with more than they expected out of it. If I tell you around 50 of the kids in attendance ended up with diahorrea for the weekend from the food that was provided - I think you will get the picture. According to the other team members their accommodation smelled (I have a grateful child this evening for her lack of ability to smell anything...) and was not particularly clean. That coupled with reports of some questionable integrity in the other teams was enough to tarnish the experience for them. Heck it would be enough to tarnish the experience for anyone.

Unfortunately they were not valiant in their quest to win the competition but I'm very proud of all of them for their decisions to uphold the integrity of the event, play by the rules, and not to cheat. The recognition of the fact that winning isn't everything is a great lesson I think. And of course I am very proud of Lakeisha who once again had to represent her team as one of the two speakers. She was afraid she had let the team down by her performance - but the fact that she stepped up to the plate and participated I think shows a courage and dedication that will bring it's own rewards for her future.

A part of my mail today was a pizza box full of goodies from Scrap Pile. I had won a few gift vouchers over the last couple of months but hadn't been shopping. I finally got around to selecting a few bits and pieces and then left the rest to Mel to pick out. I opened the box tonight when I got home and there are so many lovely things in there!!!!!! I really miss the time to scrap. I really want to try to make a bit more time to create things. I've missed it a great deal.

Great pain tonight in my back. Looking forward a great deal to the chiropractor's appointment on Friday. My back feels a bit like it's immitating my life right at the moment - painful and drawn out with little relief in sight.....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

and the next instalment...

This is for Melanie's challenge - either a layout or a bookmark using flowers and at least one photo on a flower. I opted for a bookmark since the other 2 challenges are layouts and I don't know if I'm going to get time to do 2 more layouts before next Saturday... We'll see. I would like to. It would be neat to actually complete all the challenges this month.

You probably heard me swearing at your house! I tried stamping along the side of the transparency overlay to hide the tape that was going to join the transparency to the backing - the stamp slipped & I had already applied the last of the leafy rubons & couldn't find a decent alternative to start again.... Hence the ricrac and stitching! Then mum had no black cotton!!!!! grrrrrr.... but I actually like the contrast anyway as it turned out.

Now..... which one next.....

Another creative addition.

This card is for Jewls' Challenge for the Cyber Crop. Circle of Friends card swap and mine is going to Em. What a lovely idea this challenge was. Everyone gets a lovely card hand made by one of the talented girls at Scrap Pile. Hope you like this one Em.

Off to make a bookmark!

Busy weekend.

Well it's been a busy week really. Haven't been anywhere on a holiday for ages and this morning I had my 3rd trip to the airport in as many weekends. This time it wasn't me winging it off into the wide blue yonder though. Lakeisha is off to Sydney this morning to compete in the Global Challenge for the Australian Business Week Final. The trip so far seems to have been disorganised chaos so hopefully those in charge are a bit more organised up there than they have been leading up to the event. I'm sure they will enjoy themselves regardless of the result.

Plane departed at 7:00 a.m. and everyone had arranged to meet at the airport at 6:00 which meant we were scheduled to leave home at 4:00 a.m! Avril starting singing "Girlfriend" at 3:15 a.m. for me (the mp3 file I use on my mobile for an alarm - suitably irritating enough to not let you sleep through it......). I headed for the shower, did make-up and was about to dry my hair when it occurred to me there was no noise downstairs. By this time it's after 3:40 I might add. My enquiry down the stairs - "Lakeisha are you up" was met after some time with "Shit...". Given my ability to understand the "Teenese" language, I read the english equivalent to that was no. Given how long it can take this girl to get ready at times - I thought we did well to get out the door by 4:17. At that hour it's always a pretty easy drive to the airport. We got there without speeding by 6:15. Of course last to arrive and they all headed off through the doors straight away. My first stop was coffee. My second stop was home and it was very tempting to just crawl back into bed at 8:30 in the morning! Here it is almost lunch time and it feels like late afternoon....

Instead of sleeping I decided to finish off the layout I've had half started on my desk this week. The photo is of course much clearer than the scan shows. This one entitled "Times Like These" and if I had had the room I think I would have included the Foo Fighters lyrics.... they would have been perfect.

Quite pleased with the way this one came up. The colours are nicer in real life. I couldn't give the scan more contrast because I lost too much detail in the photo.

So now as much as I would like to catch up on sleep - there was a Cyber Crop at Scrap Pile last night and I have some challenges to complete so I suppose I should make the effort to make a start on them while I have a relatively free day..... Hopefully more later.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Overnight express

One part of "the new me" I really like is wanting to do things more on the spur of the moment. I guess you could call my decision to book a ticket to Sydney on Tuesday night fairly spur of the moment. And some really beautiful memory pictures are embedded in my mind right now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


It's been almost 2 months since I've scrapped a layout for myself and not part of a challenge.... not that I was worried I had scrapper's block or anything, I just haven't been feeling in a mood to scrap - and it was OK. But today I started to play around with some paper and the layout eventually evolved. One of the photos I took on the Brisbane Trip... actually I'm working my way backwards since this was a photo I took from the air on the trip home. Entitled "Wings To Fly".

A number of wonderful people in my life give me the wings to fly. I am grateful for each and every one of you. It was especially great to talk with you today Mel. Love to you and your wonderful family. One day I'll make it that far north!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Pretzel story

I don't honestly know what all the fuss was about really.... LOL These photos thanks to the lovely Leah who will be charging admission to see them if I don't "expose" myself first...

It just goes to show - anyone who says I'm not flexible has no idea what they are talking about! And those of you who know how --- hmmm dare I say anal I can be --- about colour co-ordinating.... LOOK I EVEN MATCH THE CAR!!!!! LOL
However - Getting in there was one thing.....

Getting out was a whole new deal! As you can see - not a whole bunch of room in there. But it beat walking Leah so you can stop laughing now....

And at the end of it all - what can I say - a picture of innocence....

Well, we all had a laugh and just think - not a drop of alcohol involved.

Friday, June 13, 2008

An odd birthday

Well today is a very special birthday.... Yep - Friday the 13th 1998 was the day I had my hip replacement. I can scarcely believe it was 10 years ago, although when I think about it - it seems like a lifetime ago. So much has happened in that 10 years.

Pretty isn't it. Well maybe "pretty" isn't quite the right word, but it's been pretty damn helpful to me. It's enabled me to live a relatively normal life, having not had a pain free day in 2.5 years prior to having the surgery I have now been pain free with the hip for over 9 years. With thanks to the lovely Rick Angliss my brilliant surgeon - who out of interest is son/brother of the mother/daughter team of Dalmation breeders from a few years ago (for those dog show enthusiasts who still wonder what the hell I'm doing these days!!!) What an amazing man who to this day still remembers the date he did that surgery. Might have had something to do with my reaction to his phone call booking me in along the lines of "You've got to be joking - Friday the 13th - you are kidding me - right????" He wasn't. And he changed my life - literally.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Brisbane Experience

Honestly I'm not sure where to start. There are so many wonderful moments to recall from this past weekend. So many thoughts. So many positive experiences. I can't begin to convey how happy I am that I finally decided to make the trip to meet the lovely girls from Scrap Pile.

My morning started at 1:30 a.m. when the alarm went off and my immediate thought after some 3 hours of sleep was WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING??????? I headed off to the airport at around 2:45 a.m. What greeted me on the outskirts of Melbourne was thick fog and I thought oh great - probably plane delays.... Parked in the long term car park and had no wait for a bus which was right at the bus stop as I arrived. Got my bags checked in and off to the gate in plenty of time. Unfortunately the plane was delayed and ended up getting in almost half an hour late.

Arriving in Brisbane I was still really calm about the whole trip. Looking forward to it, but not nervous at all. As I approached the baggage area I spotted Melanie waiting for me and recognised her immediately. Thankfully the bags were offloaded quickly and we piled into a shuttle bus for our first adventure. A trip that should have taken an hour took 2 hours and eventually the company was obviously so frustrated with our driver that they offloaded Melanie and I to another driver who took us to our destination. If you get to Brisbane Airport and catch the shuttle and your Driver is Amy - either settle in for a long ride or request another bus would be my best advice!!!!!

We finally arrived at the apartments and Mel was waiting out the front to greet us. It was just an instant feeling of knowing we would be friends. Hard to explain but from the moment we hugged I just thought this is going to be the best weekend! After exchanging some entertaining chatter with the driver about value for money if you were paying for the service by the hour we set off to the room to meet Justine. I hadn't had much opportunity to talk with Justine before this weekend so as much as I had an idea of what she was like, it was great to finally get to know her better and she was lovely.

Given we were running really late now, it was already time to head down the road a block or so to the Pineapple Hotel for lunch with a grand total of 10 of the Scrap Pile girls. I can honestly say there were very few surprises. Everyone was pretty much exactly how I thought they would be. We had a fantastic lunch. Leah managed to get some neat pictures of the girls which you can see on her blog I CREATE I know that Donna & Mel also have some pictures of lunch which they haven't had a chance to download yet. I'll post those links when the photos go up.

When everyone else headed off, Mel, Justine, Melanie, Donna, & I headed back to the 2 bedroom apartment the 5 of us were sharing for the weekend. Being the last to arrive, Donna drew the short straw of the roll out bed. We decided to go for a walk after chatting for a while in the room. Justines suggestion was a stroll to Southbank and check out the evening markets which opened at 5:00 p.m. before having dinner. I guess the first mistake everyone made was believing it was walking distance although I suppose technically we survived so I guess it was.... The words tired and sore feet come to mind.

A few photos and a lot of laughs later we stopped at a restaurant for a drink and I had to laugh when at the door I said we needed a table for 6 - 5 of us and one chair for Donna's imaginary friend. Donna then requested a table for 6 when the waiter came up and I laughed when she didn't even question the fact that there were only 5 of us.... We had an interesting 6 way speakerphone conversation with Shane which pretty much was the beginning of the conversation heading downhill LOL Donna - you and that Elephant were made for each other. Then we headed down to check out the markets. Then on to the shopping centre where we found a nice little restaurant for dinner. Aside from Mel's undercooked steak, dinner was not too bad. We made our way back to the room and given the 3 interstaters had had pretty early mornings, we didn't make it much beyond 11:00 p.m. before we went to bed.

Saturday morning we were off to the Scrapbooking Convention at the Convention Centre in Brisbane. The girls had all booked lots of classes to attend while I didn't have anything so I spent most of my time wandering around the various vendors and yes I did buy a "few" bits and pieces to take home. I'm really looking forward to using some of the stuff I bought, in particular some gorgeous flowers and chipboard items.

Finally 5:00 p.m. came and everyone was done. Donna & Melanie were off for dinner with friends from other websites so Leah joined Mel, Justine and I for the evening. Now to say getting back to the apartments was an experience would be an understatement. Leah owns a Subaru and has 2 small children. 2 Small children = 2 carseats. Me + Carseat + Carseat / backseat of subaru = Not a whole bunch of room. And there is a photo on her blog to prove it.... LOL I now evidently have the new grand nickname of Pretzel. It provided a few laughs if nothing else.

The four of us chatted for several hours and Leah is just gorgeous. I actually felt quite disappointed that I haven't had the time to spend getting to know her better before now, but for sure I will endeavour to keep in touch now that I have. What a fresh, lovely young woman she is. Finally Donna & Melanie returned, Leah headed home and we all went to bed for our last night in Brisbane. It actually dawned on me as I pulled up the blankets that night, it was our last night and how sad I would be going home the next day. The time went so fast.

So next morning everyone was getting ready. Donna headed off back to the Convention Centre for more classes but Mel, Justine, Melanie and I were destined for the airport. We said our goodbyes to Donna and got ready for the airport. If it wasn't enough I had given them something to laugh about most of the weekend - I almost ended up having a strip search at the airport security when my hip replacement obviously set off the security alarm. It doesn't happen all the time, but some of the airports it does. After making me remove my shoes, then my jacket - a woman came over and gave me the big pat down to check for whatever it was that was setting off the alarm. I joked and said that if she was going to be patting me down the least she could do was give me a massage at the same time LOL. She joined in the joke - you have to laugh - they are only doing their job regardless of how annoying it might be. No point in getting grumpy about it. As I said to Justine afterwards - you would be more pissed off with them if they missed someone who actually brought a weapon on board.....

I think all of us were in a bit of denial at the airport but when it finally came time for Mel and Justine to get on the plane, there was a tear in my eye saying goodbye to these two wonderful women. Another couple of hours and it was Mel's turn to get on her flight and I had another 3 hours to wait until my flight would be boarding. I got bored in a short space of time and ended up buying a Dean Koontz book to read. Its the most I've read in ages - I got through about a third of his book Velocity. Hopefully I'll get to read the rest of it before I forget the first third!

Didn't arrive home until well after 9:00 p.m. but it was really good to hug the Boofcheese and hear all about how things had been in her world the past few days. But the memories of all the little things kept coming back to me all night and most of today.

It was the most fantastic time and I am so fortunate to be able to call these lovely ladies my friends. I know that we already had such a connection before we went away, but I think meeting face to face and seeing with our own eyes - knowing in our own hearts - that the people we had come to know on the internet truly did exist as we had expected was overwhelming. I'm certain that in the coming months our friendships will continue to strengthen and we've already made plans for another trip.

Well if you've made it through that saga - congratulations.... Thank you ladies for making it such a special weekend away!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Meeting the Girls!!!!!

Oh My God..... what an incredible time we had in Brisbane!!!!! I'll fill you in on some more details tomorrow but here are some photos from the weekend. Not that I took many but I think you get the idea we had a pretty good fun time from all the smiles!

A bit serious there Mel
Justine at the Convention Saturday
Justine, Donna & Me at the convention
Justine Donna & Me - Yep Donna - You are in my heart too! LOL
Mel & Leah
Thinking of a career in showbiz girls?????

Ready for bed - Saturday night
Melanie & Mel at the apartment
Melanie & Mel at the airport
Mel & Justine's plane - although I'm not
too sure about the guy taking it for a walk
on the dog leash................
Mel & Justine - off leash and in the air....
Melanie's plane
Melanie flies out
Finally - I'm also on the way home!

Well there you are - the only decent photos I have but no doubt there will be more floating around in the next few days!!!!! It was such an incredible time. I was so thrilled to meet the girls from Scrap Pile and you were every bit I had expected and more! To finally meet you was such a super fun time. So many funny stories... Tomorrow I think. Tired right now - it's been a long day! This little Pretzel is off to bed!