Saturday, February 27, 2010

Watchmen by Alan Moore

Watchmen Watchmen by Alan Moore

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked this to read as part of the Take Another Chance Challenge, challenge 6: genre switchup.  I've never read any graphic novels and I figured may as well start with this which is usually listed as must read graphic novel.

Set in an alternate 1985 where costumed heroes are real and the world is drawing inexorably closer to nuclear war. Costumed heroes which first appeared after World War II have been outlawed and most are retired or working for the government when the murder of an ex-hero leads to the others joining forces and donning costumes once again.

The plot skips between place and time with multiple story lines occupying the same panels. Being new to the genre it took a little while to get used to the format and remember to look at the pictures. Luckily for me much of the back story was provided fictional documents at the end of each chapter.

None of the characters in this are likeable, which I think was the point, but it's very hard to identify with them. There are some important issues addressed in the book but mainly this is through fairly long winded dialogue. The pictures are very gory which I suppose appeals to the target audience but I didn't like it. I'm not sure whether graphic novels are for me or just this one didn't suit. I'm unsure whether I'll wade into this genre again or not.

Oh yes, you must go and check out Jenners graphic novel review ... funny and clever.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Five #23

Our eggplant is flowering and fruiting at the moment ... very pretty.



This week has been a bit crazy so I've only finished one layout:


Credits HERE


Both the girls have their own cameras, Big Girl has had hers for a few years and Little Girl got hers last year when we went to the US.  The most enthusiastic photo taker of them all is The Boy who gets to use our point and shoot occasionally.  I've shown the girls a few things, especially talking about getting the focus right and holding the camera steady but I must admit I haven't spent as much time as I would like teaching them about taking photos.  DPS has a great article 13 Lessons to Teach Your Child About Digital Photography that I've bookmarked to help me out in this area.


Last year I did Shimelle's class blogging for scrapbookers and one lesson involved having a special tag for those stories we blog about that we also want to scrap so this week I finally got my butt in gear and I now have a new tag The Stories that I'll use for these posts.  It makes it really easy to whizz through and pick a story to tell when I'm in the mood for some scrapbooking ... and the best bit is the journaling is already done.


and a favourite from GVF ... Human by The Killers ... no comparison to live though.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

But I Love You Template

Ever wished you had a CTRL-Z button for your life?  We were sorely in need of one yesterday morning with two young members of the family turning on tantrums even before we left for school.  I was thinking we would have a few more years before one of the kids wandered out the morning and mumbled "Get my breakfast" without even a hello.  Anyway today I left The Boy at school scowling at me because I wouldn't let him take his transformer with him to class ... but I've had three coffees now and am offering a free template to my lovely readers ... a gift for putting up with my rant :)

Based on my layout But I Love You ... download HERE


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Good Vibrations Festival

On Sunday I went to the Good Vibrations Festival with my sisters and brother-in-law.  First up we had to fuel up for the day ahead ... chicken parma at The Standard.


We got to Flemington just before 4pm, in time for Salt-n-Pepa. They were okay but Spinderella's mix in the middle was probably the best bit. We went for a little wander in the middle for some drinks.


and here we are back at the main stage:


Next up was Gossip.


The sound where we were standing was pretty bad so we stayed for a little bit before ditching it in favour of some more 80's-90's Spinderella on Mr J stage. As we walked we realised the bad sound was due to the wind ... good information to know for later in the day. There were some classy girls around ... booty shaking competition.


After that excitement little sis needed a sit down.


We headed back to the main stage for Basement Jaxx.




In my defense I'm pretty sure the last shot was an arm's length self-potrait ... well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Finally the highlight of the day - The Killers. Squashed in like sardines you have two choices arms up or arms down ... no sideways movement allowed. Oh and there should be rules about girls with big backsides hopping on guys shoulders ... could take out innocent bystanders ... happily no photos to share of that sight.



That would be #7 and #23 on The List.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Read, eat, eat, play, eat, eat and GVF ... this week's P365

Probably about time I tidied my bookshelf?

45 - Bookshelf

By request of the big girl ... Dutch pancakes for pancake Tuesday.

46 - Pancake Tuesday

Just managed to squeeze this giant zucchini from our garden into the roasting pan.

47 - Stuffed Zucchini's

While the girls have their tennis lesson my boy gets to play in the park.

48 - In the Park

My girl putting her obsession with reptiles on display with some face painting at JSPA picnic.

49 - School Picnic

Saturday night dinner with friends, followed by wild kids scootering home through the streets in the dark.

50 - Dinner at Friend's

The Killers go off at Good Vibrations Festival

51 - Good Vibrations

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Five #22

Just check out The Boy's face ... this is how he comes home after having a chocolate icypole at school ... you don't even want to know what his shirt looked like.



Good tips on composition: The Five Basic Rules of Shot Composition


For some reason I was having lots of trouble opening some pages on the internet today so I figured I'd take the opportunity to highlight some old items I'd starred in google reader.

The Daily Digi's Easy Sepia Tones

DPS 8 Guidelines to Taking Panoramic Photos

This on a smaller scale would make a wonderful addition to the kids albums or your own. Photojojo: Project 1976: Making a Photo history of the Year You Were Born

... and that makes 5. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

develop on fridays :: lesson four

This weeks develop on fridays assignment is all about angle.

Assignment - shoot one thing from at least FIVE different angles. Consider and pay attention to what each angle "feels" like to you - and what it's saying about the subject.

I got The Boy down at the park while the girls were having a tennis lesson this afternoon. Excuse the extremely dirty face ... he had a chocolate icecream at school today and we didn't make it home before the park. There is heaps of great things to play on at the park ... these are on the mini rock climbing wall.

The first is from above. I think this is my favourite, captures a natural smile and you get a good sense of him climbing, although maybe a little vertigo inducing?


The second is from the side, not good because he ended up being half in shadow and half in sun.


From below, you get a sense of height and accomplishment.


This is from the other side ... still problems with the light and dark ... although not as bad.


Finally standing further back and level with the equipment. You get more of a sense of the wall but he looks awkward.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

P365 January 2010

When I started my P365 this year my plan was to put all the photos and words in their own book which I still plan to do, but I was reading Audrey's P365 January wrap-up and thought what a good idea to make a page each month to include in the family albums. So I finally finished mine ... and I'm so glad I did it. even though it took me ages to put all the photos together.

View the pages and credits HERE and HERE.  While I was at it I also put the January photos together into a slideshow.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hot and humid weather, love and sewing ... this week's P365

More hot weather ... fans not optional.

38 - Hot Again.jpg

Plastic tablecloth gone, new placemats and we can see the beautiful table again.

39 - The Table.jpg

Waiting for the storm ... hoping for some relief from hot and sticky.

40 - Storm coming?.jpg

Of course it has to rain now ... the girl's first tennis lesson with their new coach ... and by rain I mean gumboots required.

41 - Washed Out.jpg

Tonight we eat the first beans and corn out of our vege garden.... let me just say ... beans and corn from the garden ... soooo good.

42 - Home grown Corn.jpg

Taught my girl to fix her own teddies this afternoon.

43 - Fixing Teddy.jpg

We had an early morning visit from my boy wondering why there were words on the chairs this morning ... my valentine messages to the family.

44 - Valentine's Day.jpg

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where is the Love?

I've never really been a fan of Valentine's Day but this year I started to think maybe it isn't such a bad thing to show our appreciation for the people we love ... but I'm not going to buy into the whole Hallmark Card Celebration.  Actually I've been a little hard to live with the last week or so ... maybe some handmade sentiments will go a little way to making it up to my very understanding and indulgent family.


I don't know about you but I can relate when Paul says in Romans 7:19 "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing" It seems whatever my intentions to show love whatever the cost, it's not long before they are replaced by anger, impatience and unkindness.

Jen recently blogged about planning to love.  It's worth clicking over to read the whole post.  She brings up a good point that often the disconnect between our professed beliefs and our actions is because showing love will interfere with what we had planned.
"because all too often, I'm faced with a choice between getting done what I wanted to do or treating another human being with kindness, and I can't do both."
 For a while now I've tried to make sure I have enough slack in my schedule so that if someone suddenly needs support or help I am available but still find that often when I snap at the kids, get angry and frustrated and am impatient it's because things aren't happening the way I planned them or people are getting in the way of me doing something I wanted to do.

I think another major factor in not loving for me is just being tired.  Being an introvert I find being around people tiring and you can't love without being around people, usually I can hold it together in public but then I just don't have anything left for my family.  Even for extroverts it's hard to be patient and kind when you haven't had enough sleep and when faced with all the need around, our families, friends, the people we meet for a fraction of our day in the shop or the street and the overwhelming need of those living in extreme poverty it is so easy to become tired.

So what's the answer?  It is true there are some things we can do ... get enough sleep, eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise ... allow downtime in our schedules and "plan to love" but I don't think we can do it on our own.  This week while I've been mulling these thoughts over two verses I read in my daily bible reading gave an answer to this question.

In Acts 3:19 Peter is preaching to the crowds and says this "Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord"  I am going to fail but when I do if I turn to God he wipes that out and refreshes me.  I need to go to God, spend time with him and let him refresh me, let him give me the resources and let his plans become my plans.

The second verse was Ecc 4:10 "If one falls down his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up"  We are stronger when we work together, supporting and encouraging each other, spurring each other on to love and good deeds.

This week be refreshed by God and be encouraged by your family.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Battle of the Prizes

Last year Rose City Reader's Battle of the Prizes was one of the few challenges I finished, so how could I pass up the opportunity to do it again?

Same deal again for this year's Battle of the Prizes:

Choose three books that you have not read before:

1) One that won both the Pulitzer and the National;
2) One that won the Pulitzer but not the National; and
3) One that won the National but not the Pulitzer.

Last year I enjoyed the Pulitzer's more than the National's so it will be interesting to see what happens this year.  Tentative choices:

1) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
2) The Road by Cormack McCarthy
3) The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this the most out of the four books even though there were a few things that got on my nerves. Firstly the good, plenty of action and Jacob's POV. I'm going for team Jacob and so glad that she changed to Jacob's POV, I mean he is funny and this section would have been utterly depressing from Bella's POV. Also there was plenty happening plot wise.

On the downside, Renesemee??? ... what kind of name is that? I found it detracted from the story because every time I came to it it distracted to me, what a ridiculous name, why, oh why, couldn't it have been a boy. Secondly Edward getting Bella pregnant went against the rules of Meyer's world, the vampires are supposed to be frozen. I was willing to accept that Edward might have one chance with semen frozen when he became a vampire but then subsequent developments at the end of the book put paid to that theory.

My recommendation? ... suspend disbelief and just go with the flow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Five #21

First up my beautiful Little Girl.  I was going to post a photo of her avoiding the camera but she saw it and said not to show anyone ... I agreed ... this time ...



This week's layout is one I did for the digidares challenge blog. When I saw the challenge I just knew I had to join. I had been planning to do a layout based on my word but this gave me the impetus to get going ... which is rather ironic really:).

Your One Word!

Many scrappers have adopted the concept of the “one little word” for each year. This is the one word that each person chooses to focus on in her life for one year. Ali Edwards started her annual tradition in 2007. There is even a challenge blog (now closed) focused on this concept of the “one little word”.
I’d like you to choose a word and scrap your page with *LARGE* type as the main design element of your page.

Dare Flares:

-Use a thick chunky font and make your one word HUGE.
-Use at least one photo and fit it into your word in a creative way.
-Use at least three colors on your layout.
-Incorporate journaling on why you chose that word and its importance to you.

Credits HERE.


My one little word again:

Made with My Cool Signs.Net ... spells out any text using photos.


We don't usually get into valentine's day round here but I've been a bit of an old bag lately so I thought I might do a little something to make up for my bad behaviour.  I like the look of these Valentine Garlands,  just the right sentiment without too much sentiment, IYKWIM.  These Pencil Toppers look easy and fun for the kids.  I'm not sure whether we'll get around to them though ... Hubby is currently spending any spare time on weekends taking us around to display homes.


Sticking to valentine's day, today's xkcd made me laugh - Science Valentine.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

develop on fridays :: lesson three

Lesson three is all about unexpected light

look for unexpected light and get at least one shot you love using an unexpected light source

This assignment was fairly difficult considering it doesn't get dark around here until 9PM at the moment. Hubby is rarely separated from his iPhone so I decided to use this as my unexpected light source ... very occasionally I wake up and see this in the middle of the night ... but this time I got him to pose for me.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Donna's template Pack #5

I don't think it would be any secret that I'm a big fan a templates, they just make it so easy to put pages together, especially now that I'm trying to get some books printed.  Donna Duncombe designed this template set with P365 photos in mind but I think they're perfect for scrapping events.  I don't know about you but I have a lot of events with a lot of photos and most of the time I'm looking to do just a two-page spread.  These templates make it easy to fit lots of photos and journaling on a double page layout without it looking messy or cluttered.

The first layout is from Christmas morning.  You can see the single pages with credits HERE and HERE.

The second page is our Christmas lunch again view the single pages with full credits HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay

The Gospel According to Lost The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Being a fan of the TV show Lost, I couldn't help putting my hand up for a copy of Chris Seay's The Gospel According to Lost through ThomasNelson's Booksneeze program. This book looks at how life, faith, science, philosophy, hope and the basic questions of what it means to be human are explored in the TV show and relates them back to biblical stories and characters.

If you have watched Lost you will know that there are always questions and as an answer for each question is found more questions result. I like what Chris has to say in the first chapter - "We were created from mystery to live in mystery - to trek an adventure of faith - but instead of embracing the process, we stir and squirm until we find an answer to anchor us, to make us feel safe."

The book is a short easy read, broken down into chapters, most of them dealing with one character and the issues they face. I felt some of the parallels drawn were a bit of a stretch and some issues could have been delved into more deeply. Just as things started to get interesting the chapter would finish and he would move onto the next character. As a starting point for thinking and discussion though it is a great resource.

Now I'm impatiently waiting for the last season of Lost to start over here and carefully avoiding any spoilers on the internet.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Back to normal scheduling, avatar and a baptism ... this week's P365

My boy on the first day of grade 1 ... not happy about going to school or having a photo taken ... but after early nerves , a good day.

32 - Back to School

Phew, all kids back at school. Even after a hot day at school they look pretty happy about it too.

33 - Also Back to School.jpg

Need to watch out if you're in the garden and someone hops in the shower.

34 - Late Afternoon in the Garden.jpg

Went to see Avatar today ... with my Hubby ... in the middle of the day ... making up for time lost while he's OS.

34 - 3D at the Movies.jpg

Day spent preparing for Mainly Music starting next week - clean toys, lunch, write lists, pick up kids, then sort out forms and regos.

35 - Mainly Music Prep.jpg

Sleep in followed by supermarket, visit display homes, cook and then small group leaders BBQ.

36 - Raspberry Chocolate Cheescake Brownie.jpg

My nephew's baptism ... an all day affair apart from a short afternoon interlude to visit a couple more display homes.

37 - Baptism.jpg