Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Deanna Patterson Aggregates and Iggitates

This month I got to do some scrapping with Deanna Patterson's Aggregates and Iggitates - wow, that's a mouthful. It's available at nuts4digi.com. As you can see it contains heaps of papers and elements. Love the colour scheme and because there is such a variety of elements it is also very versatile. With doodles, paint splotches, flowers, frames, buttons and flourishes, it's got all the bases covered. There is also premade clusters which make scrapping a breeze for those of us who are a bit challenged in that direction. I really enjoyed using this kit and had planned at least one more layout but the Christmas season caught up with me. So here's my layouts, one kit, two totally different looks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blog Advent Tour: Our Christmas Lunch

This post is part of the blog advent tour hosted by Marg and Kailana.

Food is always a big part of any celebration with my family. Both Christmas Day and New Years day lunches have their own traditions and particular menus. Now that I'm married I only get to do Christmas lunch with my parents and siblings every second year so I really look forward to it. This year would have been the off year but the rest of the family has taken off overseas for Christmas so we did lunch early. The bonus is that I have some photos to share from this year's Christmas lunch.

My sister-in-law hosted and did a beautiful job of setting the tables. Notice the crackers, the day just wouldn't be the same without the hats, corny jokes and cheap toys.

We have a turkey cooked on the BBQ.
Helping ourselves
My plate
All followed up by mum's plum pudding with brandy custard and cream, yum. Sorry no photo, I got distracted .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Handmade Gifttags

I started out paper scrapbooking but I don't do it anymore, partly because the mess gets out of control but mainly because I'm cutting and pasting challenged, my handwriting is atrocious and it just never seems to turn out quite the way I plan in my head. Digiscrapping pretty much takes care of all those problems ... and there is that handy undo button.

So if I'm going to do something homemade, it needs to be easy ... I mean really easy. When I was printing out the CD calendar for mum and dad I realised I'd be wasting a bit of paper so I printed out these cute gift tags at the same time. The first is a cute felt Christmas tree from Donna Duncombe's Joyful Season the rest are from her Christmas Doodles pack both at nuts4digi.com. I think they look fantastic and even if you're craft challenged like me you should have no problems ... if you've got kids you could even enlist them to do the cutting for you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ladybird: Hot LO @ ES

I just noticed my title looks a bit like a text message ... I don't generally do text speak ... so to translate got HOT layout for 12/4 over at Elemental Scraps for this:We got out of the car to do the school pickup that day ... I think Big Girl was sick so that's why she was with me ... and she says "I found a ladybird". As we started to look around we saw that the grass was full of ladybirds, there would have been at least 15 just in the square metre around the door. Luckily I had my camera so I could capture the moment.

I used Donna Duncombe's Shine minikit available @ nuts4digi.com. Isn't it totally gorgeous? Someone commented in one of the galleries about my shadowing but I'm afraid I can't take credit, all the elements come both with and without shadows and I used the shadowed elements on this layout. Yep, all the hard work was already done for me, I just had to do the shadows for the paper.
If you like the layout, I've made a template, you can download HERE.

Monday, December 8, 2008

HSMSHS: Decoration


An object with which to adorn. Show us a decoration n your space today.

We had our early Christmas celebration for my family yesterday at my brothers place ... everyone except us are going overseas this year. My SIL always sets a beautiful table, she used to be an events manager.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Absolute Cuteness Ahead ...

The Boy played the donkey in the nativity play at church last night and this morning ... very, very cute. He did such a good job and really enjoyed himself, joining in all the actions for the songs. He musn't take after Hubby who, I've been told by reliable sources, used to jump down behind the choir stalls and play when he was supposed to be singing at the annual Sunday school concert.

The full body shot ...

Now it's Sunday so that means I pick an entry from my journal. This week is from Wednesday - Acts 15:19

It is my judgement, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the gentiles who are turning to God

This is Peter in response to demands by a group of Jewish Christians insisting the Gentiles coming to Christ be circumcised. Peter rules against this but does go on to stipulate some things the gentiles should avoid. This can apply to us today, it is very important that we make sure when we share our faith that we don't make requirements out of things that are not central to the gospel. There are many traditions that are not essential to our faith, but in the same way there are also things that may be beneficial to the new believer. It takes some wisdom and a good look at what we are doing to determine what are the essentials and what are beneficial, we still need to make sure we are preaching the full gospel and not a watered down version. This is not what Peter is talking about.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Maling Rd Kristkindle Festival

Yesterday was the girls last day of school, they finished at noon. Little Girl was sick so missed the day, plus the picnic afterwards for her year. She was sick three yimes in her bed so the washing machine got a good workout.

In the evening was the annual Maling Rd Kristkindle Festival so I wandered down with Big Girl and The Boy after tea. It was really hot yesterday and even in the evening the sun had a bite. The place was crowded ... we ran into four girls from Big Girl's class and a couple from Little Girl's as well as one from kinder. There was live music, the salvos got started on some carols which soon caught The Boy's attention.
I told the kids they could pick one ride ... The Boy wanted to go on the tea cups and Big Girl kindly offered to go with him. I refuse to go on rides like that because I get quite bad vertigo and don't want to set off a case that might put me in bed for a day.

The kids got a showbag each and some free jellybeans, and we took home some for Little Girl.

I finished the CD jewel case calendar for my parents today. I used the templates by Emily Powers @ We Are Storeytellers and Donna Duncombe's Heaven Sent @ nuts4digi.com

Here's the complete set of pages.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Brown Paper packages ... and finally November's Mosaic

A number of years ago I bought a huge roll of white paper that I used to use to wrap whatever presents we had ... sometimes it was plain, other times I got the kids to decorate it. We also had a steady stream of paintings brought home from kinder which I also used for wrapping paper. Now don't call me cheap here ... it seemed a waste to throw out all those paintings ... but how many pieces of A5 paper covered in various paint splotches ... and the kids seemed proud to have their paintings displayed like this. Anyway The Boy is not a prolific artist, he's done some paintings but my supply of wrapping paper as dried up, and my roll of white paper has run out too.

I was wandering the aisles of Officeworks the other week and found this ...
a 70m roll of brown paper for $20. I know it's not quite as cost effective as free paintings from kinder but teamed with a pretty ribbon from my box ... makes an attractive wrapper for our Christmas presents. Which ties in nicely with HSMSHS prompt GIFT.
OK the ribbons came from presents we've been given ... you can call me cheap now ... I call it environmentally friendly ... you know recycling and all that.

I've been a bit slow uploading my photos for November, in fact I still have a heap from the girls athletics day ... continuous shooting always seems like a good idea at the time ... I did delete a whole heap but there's still a heap there. I finished uploading my project365 photos for November today, I missed one day this month, which is the first day I missed. Here's November's mosaic.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Teacher's Presents

We made the teachers presents yesterday after school. Here's Little Girl stirring the caramel ...
and the mess part way through the whole exercise ...

We made coconut truffles from AWW Kids in the Kitchen. I probably wouldn't make these again. They were really easy except for the fact that I had to put the mixture in the freezer to get it firm enough to work with and they started to soften on the way to school.
Caramel chocolate slice

Chocolate Balls messy to make but yummy to eat.
The girls picked a Christmas decoration for their teachers to tie on the top ... Little Girl picked this reindeer
Here they all are ready to go to school. I used disposable alfoil containers from the supermarket ... the coconut truffles in separate cellophane bags in case they melted. The gift tags I made using Donna Duncombe's Christmas Doodles.
It's my birthday today. I got all my family and all Hubby's family to put money for my combined birthday and Christmas presents towards a macro lens. It arrived in the mail on Monday ... I only ordered it about noon on Friday, because it was my birthday I set aside a little bit of time to have a play ...
that's me in the reflection:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008



A messenger of god represented traditionally seen with wings. Find a little angel in your space today! (for HSMSHS)

The girls wrote their Christmas cards yesterday. I picked them up at the newsagent for $1 a pack of ten ...
This afternoon we tackle the teacher's presents ... should be fun ... stay tuned ... this will be a major project.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Christmas Tree is Up

It is traditional in our house to put the Christmas tree up on December 1st so I'll let the photos tell the story ...

Well maybe I'll add a few words. This is our nativity scene. When Hubby went to pick up the tree and decorations from dad's shed which happens to be about 40mins away I gave him strict instructions to make sure he came back with the whole nativity ... didn't he do a good job.
This year we are doing a Jesse Tree. Basically we do a bible reading from the OT each day pointing towards Christ then hang an ornament to represent the story. Afterwards we all pick a lolly from the bowl ... that staves off the grumbling due to our lack of cheap chocolate filled character themed advent calendar (read a better explanation here). The branch came off the top of a drought stressed camellia in the front garden and I just grabbed the ginger jar off the mantle ... I probably would have had to put it away to make way for cards anyway. I am using my digi scrap stash to make the decorations and print them out on some photo paper. Big Girl was first up to hang a decoration ... decided to go with oldest to youngest.
As soon as the kids had finished decorating the tree The Boy wanted to turn the lights on but I insisted they wait for daddy to come home for the official lighting up ceremony. Ta Da ...
and here's one without us blocking the view ...
I picked up a beautifully illustrated version of A Christmas Carol from the library so we'll curl up on the couch each night as the bedtime story. I also managed to find the kids Christmas CD down the bottom of one of the boxes.

Also Donna Duncombe is having a giveaway each day until Christmas on her blog. You really should check it out.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Majula's Little Friends

This month I worked with Majula's Little Friends Kit available @ nuts4digi.com. This is a gorgeous, fun kit, full of bright colours and cute characters. There are textured,worn solid papers in all the colours plus an assortment of patterned papers as well. The colours are versatile and work with boys, girls or nature photos. There are plenty of realistic elements, the felt birds are very, very cute.

My layouts:Today has been a pretty busy day. We went to the shops first up to get some Christmas shopping done ... the girls had Kris Kringle presents to buy ... so first stop was the reject shop. I managed to get a few more presents brought ... my list is getting smaller, and the girls also picked out some Christmas ornaments to tie on the boxes of truffles we're going to make for their teachers. For those that don't know, I LOATHE shopping, so it was a bit of a trial, I was glad we had a deadline ... Little Girl had a party at noon.

Afterwards we put the net up on the apricot tree, we're hoping to get some apricots to bottle. It wasn't the easiest job because I don't think the trees been pruned for a few years, we only moved in this year.

The Boy had a rehersal for the kids church nativity play which will be next Saturday and Sunday. He's being the donkey ... he had second thoughts though and I had to physically remove him from the car once we got there and carry him in ... as soon as he saw the costumes though and told him how he needed to look after his cousin who is the cow. It worked out well, cousin is younger and needed a little helper and The Boy felt very important. He tried on his costume and he looked so cute ... pics next week.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I know what a scoundrel wants!

So now you know my secret indulgence - Romance Novels, LOL.

In other news the whole family got up at the school Christmas Service last night to do the bible reading and a prayer. Yes that is me, Hubby, Big Girl and Little Girl ... The Boy held my hand ... I didn't want him to get near the low microphone that the girls were using. The whole thing brought back memories of uni,including a horrible case of butterflies, except this time I didn't have to face up to questions from a room full of professors when I was done ... although hearing my voice magnified throughout the cathedral was a bit off putting. Enough of me ... the two girls did a great job and Hubby and I decided it was good for the kids to see us do something like that too. We didn't even fall down the steps on the way back to our seats. I'd call that a success.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some things I've been doing:

Started sorting through our junk box this week, it's where we put all the things we couldn't find a place for when we moved in ... unfortunately we've added to it since then ...A couple of months ago I had to find The Boy's birth certificate and after going insane searching everywhere I thought it might be, I found it down the bottom of the box, along with our passports etc. I think it's time to do something about it ... also it's not a good look in the dining room.

I found a square frame up near the top so I did this ...

It's my Counting My Blessings layout. That's about as far as I got with the sorting ... must keep going.


I did end up doing Jessica Sprague's Stories in Hand course the last two weeks. It was excellent ... although all the prompts to help kick start the thinking about what stories to tell are a bit overwhelming ... I guess you just have to take one story at a time. Anyway earlier in the year I decided to do somephotobooks and already have some layouts done and my method was basically to see what photos I had, then go from there. After the course I've changed my mind and now I'm going to sit down and work through what stories I want to tell for each year and go from there.

Reminds me of writing my thesis. I think I changed how I was going to organise all the information about 5 times...which probably added a few months of writing ... paid off though .. I passed without rewrites. I can't think of anything worse than having to go back and rewrite ... or horrors ... do more lab work ... would be especially awkward with a newborn baby ... I digress ...

So my first order of business is to write down my must tell stories for 2008 and then add in a few just for funs and hopefully have a bit of room for some pretty stuff ...


I want to pack up a box of things for the salvos ... I have a small pile already on the mantlepiece in the dining room, so it would be good to get rid of that ... I think I see some toys finding there way in there. Then my dining room should be all ready for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas ... because we were selling our house last year we didn't do any decorating, not even a tree, or Christmas cards ... so this year I've decided to do a bit more ... something each day ... of course I'll share. I have a few ideas already but suggestions are welcome maybe we can exchange links?

Enough ramble ... enjoy your day/night.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looking Forward Template Freebie

This is a layout I did for Novembers Inspired by the Arts challenge @ nuts4digi. Credits HERE.

I've made a template freebie of this layout, which also fits in style with my first freebie.

Download the Looking Forward Template.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Slap Dash Cook ... Part 1.

At the moment ther's no part 2 but I'm sure it won't be long in coming.

On Saturday I decided I needed cook some muffins or cakes ready for the kids lunches. Now, you know how usually in cookbooks it says make sure you measure and follow the directions carefully ... sift the flour ... blah, blah, blah ... I pretty much ignore that advice and have never really had too many problems. The other thing I often do is start a recipe and find I don't have all the ingredients ... I know you're supposed to check before you start cooking.

So my big idea was to make some banana muffins ... I didn't have any buttermilk, but I figured I 'd just use regular milk. So I went to the freezer to get some bananas, I usually throw them in there when they start to get brown ... and I saw a half packet of raspberries. I remembered I had some white chocolate bits left over in the pantry so I had a change of mind and decided to make a raspberry, white chocolate and coconut slice.

I was partway through the recipe and it came time to add the coconut ... but there was no coconut. Now the recipe called for 1 cup so I was just wandering what I should do whether to add more flour. There was only a little bit of flour left in the container so I poured that in ... went to the fridge and found there was only one egg left and the recipe called for two ... at least that solved my problem ... I left the flour as it was and added the egg.

Some mixing and cooking and I finished with a perfectly respectful raspberry and white chocolate slice ... now I should pop down to the supermarket and restock the pantry.

... and some sad news ...We had really wild weather on the weekend and on Sunday we found the eggs had fallen out of the nest. One was stuck in the rose bush, and it was still moving like it was trying to hatch ... I popped it back up in the nest but mummy bird didn't come back.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eternity in Our Hearts Eccl 3:11

Today's journal entry is from last Monday Eccl 3:11.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end.

Often non-believers dismiss religion as wish-thinking, a man-made construction to deal with our fear of death and explain the unknown ... that is one opinion but the Christian belief is this, that God has set eternity in our hearts and that is why we search for God. We are made complete in relationship with God and until that day we will try to fill that need other ways.

What does it mean to have eternity in our hearts? I think the idea is that we are looking forward to eternal life in the new heaven and earth, when all of creation is redeemed and we long for that now, also this is not just in the hearts of believers but all men.

So when we see injustice we rage against it because God hates injustice.

We talk of good and evil because God is good.

We strive for purpose because God has a purpose for us. If we don't find our purpose in God we will find it in something else.

We love beauty and we create because these are from God.

We strive to improve, to be better, to do better because there really is something better. The idea of utopia is a common thread throughout civilisations.

Lord God, I thank you that we can look forward in confidence because we know that you will triumph over sin, death and injustice, we pray that you will be done here while we wait.

The view from my window today

I suppose your all happy you're there and not here ... unless your weather is worse than this. Wind, rain and hail here today ... and it's cold, but we really need the rain so I can't complain too much. It's worse for Hubby, he's over at my sister's place doing some building with dad ... yuck.

Anyway today will be a day for inside I guess ... as long as we keep out of the way of the hail coming down the chimney. I've already managed to get a couple of layouts finished and catch up with posting my CT layouts. Other than that I'll probably just play catch up with some jobs ... soak Big Girls sheets, she had a blood nose last night ... luckily I didn't wash them on schedule ... hmmm ... a reward for putting things off? I also want to do a bit of cleaning, ironing ... don't get too jealous now ... a few things I promised the girls I'd do ... and I'll try and have a look at my rapidly filling up, totally disorganised hard drive.

I'll have to venture out into the weather to get some veges for tea ... it's the perfect weather for a roast and while I'm out we might just pick up book 4 of The Spiderwick Chronicles from the library - it's been on reserve for Big Girl and I got an email that it's in. Anyone else's kids into these books? Big Girl started reading them a couple of months back and she couldn't get this one from the school library ... came home and informed me would have to go out and buy it ... I promptly informed her for both reasons of money and space we would be reserving it at the local library and she'd have to wait for it to be available.

Now a little show and tell ... also known as mummy bragging. My Little Girl made this for the Boy - it's a paper house with heaps of flaps ... I thought it was very cute.

Find the Cat in the House:

At The Boy's kinder they've been looking at The Body. As part of this they trace they're bodies and then they paint them paying special attention to the details ...colours, patterns etc. Here's The Boy's: