Wednesday, 11 June 2014

LOAD 514 Week Three

Week Three of LOAD and I got a little behind over the weekend. I did catch up though and was really pleased with the layouts I made. The thing that surprised me most was how few supplies I was using to complete the layouts. I had visions of using up kit after kit but the reality is a kit would last for several layouts - up to a week's worth so my supplies remain largely intact.

 I think the topic was the fashions in your youth but the less said about that the better so I decided to do a layout about the person I know who loves fashion more than most - Miss 4. She loves looking at clothes, trying on clothes and playing dress ups. I used a Dear Lizzy paper that I had been hoarding and some fun plastic thickers. Once again, I used a PL journalling card - I am finding them super useful on standard layouts.

I have let too long a time pass to remember the prompt for this layout but I was keen to use this photo of M4 on her favourite TV watching perch. I used the patterned paper as the driver for all the embellies and lettering on this page.

This layout was inspired by the work of another member of the LOAD group. It remains unfinished as I cannot find the remaining film for my Instax to take a picture of M4 and myself to add to the picture. I like having a little snapshot of what we like at any given time and this is a picture of where we are now. This layout did make a decent dent in my enamel dot collection.

I had a super busy day on this particular day so I grabbed some scrap papers and put together something really simple. I love this photo of us and I wanted to let the image do most of the talking.

I was inspired by a Diana Waite layout that popped up on my Facebook feed. When I went back to the original I realised this was really nothing like it! I took a selection of 6x6 patterned papers and layered them. The journalling from M4 is hidden under the layers. She would like to be a Mummy when she grows up and have six children. It was quite a quick piece but I love the look. I will definitely try this approach again.

The prompt for today was about your faith. We are not religious in any way, shape or form so I decided to spin off the idea and look at the role our families play in our lives. I love this picture of my Dad holding M4 just a few hours after she was born.

This layout has made use of some of the oldest printed photos I had on hand. We went to the US a few months before M4 was born and had an amazing trip exploring the California, Nevada and Arizona highways. These photos are from Death Valley as we drove to Las Vegas. It was amazingly hot and dry and the scenery was straight out of an old Western. I am very pleased to have finally recorded some of the lead up to M4s arrival and these photos of a very memorable holiday.

I will share the remaining layouts from LOAD in my next post. I have not done any scrapping since the end of May but I have got some ideas for what I would like to do once I get some more photos printed.

Monday, 19 May 2014

LOAD 514 Week 2

I often start new projects with a hiss and roar before running out of steam. So far I am still keeping up and enjoying working on the layouts each day. I definitely find weekends much harder when we are all home and frequently out and about. 

Here are the layouts from Week Two.

The prompt for this day was favourite songs and I thought about doing something about songs from my youth but ended up going with one of our favourite songs right now, Pharell's Happy.

The prompt was about school days and although I have used a pair of photos from Miss Four's preschool, the journalling looks at the differences between my kindergarten experience and my daughter's.

I am not thrilled by this layout. I love the journalling but the whole layout is not quite right. At least the story is told. The prompt was something to do with telephones. I looked at my phones over the years and had a great shot of Miss Four sitting in the guard house at our apartment answering the phone. I loved this prompt as I would never have thought to scrap about this but the changes in phones during my lifetime have been substantial and it may be of interest in the future.

The prompt for today was Puppy Love and as a non dog owner and  someone who didn't really have any pop star crushes I decided to take my cat's name and make her the star. She is a very photogenic Maine Coon and I am glad to have a little more about her added to my albums.

I cannot for the life of me remember the prompt for this layout but I know I went off topic a bit with it. We have been so fortunate to be able to live our dream and spend time living in Singapore with our daughter. We are working towards a new dream for a little later in our life of building a new home in Central Otago. It certainly won't happen in the next five years, but is a medium term goal for us both. 

I am unsure what the theme for today was exactly but I have recorded Miss Four's love of food. She has, until recently, eaten anything. It was nice to show pictures of her enjoying eating and making food and a good reminder to me of how things used to be. I am finding her fussier attitudes to food very trying so I hope things return to normal.

The topic for the day was Sick Days and I couldn't find the photo I had in mind for this theme. I did find this one of Miss Four and her father at the park and decided to put a bit of a spin on things. Again, this is not a topic I might otherwise have scrapped about so I am very glad that I have these memories recorded.

We had a lovely weekend. We didn't do anything particularly exciting but had a quiet, relaxed time as a family. I hope you had a great weekend with your friends and family.



Friday, 16 May 2014

LOAD 514 Week One Layouts (Part 2)

I have to admit I am loving this class. I love getting a new prompt every day and I love the fact that I have completed 15 layouts so far this month.

I have kept these layouts super simple so that I can complete them within an hour. I have absolutely stuck to using photos and supplies that I have in hand. I have found sourcing photos for some of the topics a little tricky but it is quite a good challenge to find a work around on those occasions. The only thing I am kicking myself about is that I have have not made note of the exact topics but most of the layouts are reasonably close this week.

I think the topic for this was board games and as luck would have it I had snapped a picture of Poppy lounging in the middle of one of the games we play most often, Monster Bingo.Poppy loves to be involved when we play games and she is very careful not to knock things over. I was pleased to have a try with the Amy Tangerine letters on this layout.

This layout was based on a Christmas theme. I had these photos taken from a couple of years ago that didn't make it into an album so I am glad I recorded the process of how tree decorating takes place for us. I don't usually play a major role. Miss Four and Tet love decorating it together and my role is to take photos as they do.

I love these photos of Miss Four that were taken when she was about 10 months old. I know I have scrapped some photos from this session before but I just love how her personality is so apparent even then. The theme for today was when you believed your life would begin. I twisted this a little to be when I truly felt like an adult which was with the arrival of Miss Four. I grabbed a random piece of patterned paper from an old kit and added some journalling cards from the most recent Amy Tangerine Project Life mini kit and some random cards from either Studio Calico or Citrus Twist PL kits.

I haven't made a lot of progress with Miss Four's baby album journalling but I am really glad I have finally recorded her early words somewhere other than in her baby book.
I had forgotten so many of her early words. I am so pleased her father wrote everything down!

The seventh topic was the most wonderful time of the year. A lot of people went with seasons, but for us it is always whenever we go on holiday together. We all adore travelling and getting to spend a lot of time together. I am all too aware that in a matter of years Miss Four would rather not spend her free time with us so I am most certainly going to enjoy this while it lasts. All the images in this layout are from Miss Four's first 14 months of life. The top centre photo was our first trip (moving internationally aside) to Indonesia. It was perfect, lots of sun, delicious food and hotel staff who loved our daughter. The bottom right photo was from our post Christmas trip to Phuket. Miss Four loves the beach and she had a wonderful time splashing in the waves, eating sand and her own body weight in pineapple rice. The final image is from our first trip to Japan. This shows my two loves on a ferry in Tokyo Bay. That ergo carrier made trains and sightseeing so much easier.

I am really looking forward to sharing the next seven layouts with you over the next week. I am so excited that I have managed to keep up and that I am finally doing something with my supplies and photos instead of feeling guilty about it.

In between working on these layouts and the normal day to day adventures I have watched the first series of Scandal and a big chunk of series two. I love it! My husband is not that interested so I watch it while he is at work and we are both happy. We have been hooked on The Blacklist and are looking forward to watching the final episode tonight. I love James Spader in this show.

Thanks so much for reading if you have made it to the end. Are there any other shows you could suggest based on the ones mentioned above? I love finding a really good series to watch!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Layout A Day 514 Days 1 and 2

After an unexpectedly long hiatus I am back on board with a major scrappy challenge to get my memory keeping back on track. This month I am taking part in Lain Ehmann's LOAD challenge with my intention being to create 31 layouts over the course of the month.

I am enjoying the challenge so far. I have set myself a couple of rules to keep things manageable. The first is that I am to work from my stash and more specifically some of the bagged Studio Calico kits that are taking up a lot of space in my home. I am also trying to spend no more than an hour on each layout as I have a busy month of visitors and activities planned and do not want to burn out.  

There is a theme for this LOAD and it is Past Perfect 2. This means looking at stories from my own past that need telling. If the theme for the day does not fit with photos or ideas that I have then I can broaden and change things to fit. Day one's theme was In The News. Right away I knew we had noted down some headlines and other bits of trivia from the day that Miss 4 was born. I grabbed a couple of old kits and looked for things that worked with the theme and the layout above was the result. I was really pleased to find the news printy style stickers and and patterned papers. I gussied it all up with a cut apart page from Crate Paper and some embellies from Amy Tangerine and Freckled Fawn. The photo is actually when my daughter was about 5 days old but it was the only one I had printed from this age so it will be more than adequate.

The Day 2 theme was If These Walls Could Talk and one of the suggested ideas was our bedroom from childhood. I don't have any photos from my main childhood house but it did trigger a whole lot of memories. I decided to make the layout the colour of my room which was a bright yellow with multiple patterns going on as they did in the 70's. A quick look through my patterned papers and I had more than enough suitable papers and I was away.

I used some more cut apart cards for my journalling which also had a yellow floral which was very similar to the patterned wallpaper in my bedroom. Lain has been really helpful giving ideas such as hitting the internet for stories you don't have pictures for. I would never have told the story of my Basil Brush bench had it not been for this prompt and it was a favourite possession for several years. 

It isn't the loveliest of layouts (and certainly is not quite as square as I would like) but I am thrilled to have recorded a story that would otherwise have been untold.

Here is a little bit of a closer look at the story.

I am counting down to receiving the third prompt later today.

Have any of you taken part in a LOAD challenge before? Did you manage to keep up?

I hope you have a creative weekend and find some time to celebrate National Scrapbooking Day today.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Blog Your Heart January 2014

Life is a funny thing. I have been really feeling like it is Groundhog Day around here. I haven't been getting much crafting done and I just haven't felt the need to blog. I was very pleased to see Stephanie Howell's post.

BYH // via 
I love reading the contributions to this thread and an honest reflection of how life is going for us all out there. Please read her post for an outline of the rules. I warn you this post may be more than a little down sounding but that is my reality right now. Life isn't always rainbows and unicorns.

Life is rough at the moment. I feel like our lives are on hold and that we cannot do anything because so much of our future is uncertain. I do know that my lovely husband has been moved to a new department and I have never known him to be so unhappy in the 12 years we have known each other. My husband who is never without a smile is sad and exhausted and frustrated and there are no smiles...sometimes for days at a time. We knew the change would be a challenge but it was not supposed to be this hard. I miss my happy husband.

How he used to look

Miss Three starts full day pre school in a week or so. This is so that I can look for work. The logical job for me to take would be a return to teaching, but it is over ten years since I was last in a classroom and so much has changed. I loved teaching when I did it but I was pretty burnt out when I stopped. Our family can not manage if I am working the 60 hour weeks that are the norm for teachers now. So if I teach it will have to be relief work until  MT is at school and settled. We could really do with the income and having holidays that match MT's makes a lot of sense. In honesty, my heart sinks at the thought of the assessment and planning and dealing with all the new standards that have come into play. If I could just teach, I would love it! In the meantime, I am looking for something in the insurance line, preferably part time. I am lucky that I have a choice of two industries but really in the long term I have no choice at all and I hate that.

This is what we need more of - not so much the food but the happiness

The countdown is on to my sister-in-law's wedding. MT and I are going back to New Zealand for nearly a month which we are both really looking forward to. Hubby is only back for about 9 days so his trip will be a whirlwind of long drives, wedding preparations and catching up with friends and family. I am hoping that MT and I will have a much more relaxed time staying with my Dad for two and a half weeks before wedding madness begins. MT is beyond excited about being the flower girl at the wedding and now that we all have our outfits bought we can relax and look forward to the day.

The wedding will be by this lake but in a vineyard in early Autumn

I have made a real effort to eat better and exercise more this year. So far, the results have not been what I had hoped for. I know I have to push through and not give up but it is so frustrating when you have watched everything that has gone into your mouth and exercised and the weight loss is almost non existent. I have signed up for an online challenge and some of the women have made tremendous losses (e.g. 5 kg in a week). It is supposed to be motivating but it really makes me want to throw in the towel and eat cake.

A big part of me really wants to return to New Zealand at the moment. I know I could easily get a job there and it would be so nice to have more time with friends and family. The reality of my life here is that I do not have a single good friend. I realised if I went into hospital while Tet was away, there is not a single person I could call to look after MT. It is a horrifying thought. I just cannot seem to meet people that I really click with. I am at a loss as to how to meet people as I really do not venture far from home. My hobbies do not lend themselves to meeting people - both scrapbooking and reading are pretty solitary pursuits. I joined a Zumba class but that has ended and I didn't make any friends there anyway. I don't need dozens of friends but it would be nice to have someone who I could call up for coffee and a chat.

I have not been crafting (always a sign I am feeling pretty low) but I have taken up reading again and have remembered how much I love a good book. I have signed up to Good Reads and have been working my way through an enormous list of books. The library is my new best mate and I am reading three or four books a week which is great. Probably my favourites so far have been Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (NZ author who won the Booker Prize with this novel) and Divergent by Veronica Roth. I know I am a bit late to the Divergent train but I did really enjoy it. I don't generally enjoy sci-fi or fantasy but I found this story compelling.

It is the Year of the Horse starting on Friday.

Thanks for reading if you have made it this far. I could do with a lot more unicorns and rainbows but life is sometimes not all that happy. Fortunately, it is Chinese New Year this weekend so we have a 3 and a half day weekend together which I am really looking forward to. 

Not so many unicorns but we did manage reindeer

I would love to read your heart. I encourage you to link up to Stephanie's blog post and share the link here if you feel so inclined. Please check out the other links on Stephanie's blog. It is so therapeutic to get out some of the stuff that is hidden so much of the time.