Monday, March 30, 2009

Look two days in a row!

I thought I would write again today because Sara has released a fantastic new kit... I told you she was prolific didnt i? Now this new kit is called Under the Sea. And it is got some really fun elements and beautiful papers. Of course i had some cute beach photos of Lucus just waiting to be scrapped! here is the kit: Click here to go to the shop and buy it, only $4.00
And here is what I did with it:
Isn't he gorgeous? And the kits is too!
Then I made this one, just coz I thought it was funny.
This photo is taken at Townsville looking out to Magnetic Island.
The other girls in the CT also did some amazing pages too, so have a look in the gallery at Scrapthatidea.
I have heard a whisper that there might be a very bold, bright, funky collab kit coming out way keep an eye out, because it looks pretty darned goood. I am working on my layouts now... and packing and getting organised.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where have I been?

I started off blogging really regularly but like many things it now is something that I keep having to squeeze in when I remember... and I am not remembering as often as I would like. Certainly life has been shockingly busy and I haven't been getting much besides working and sleeping done. However I do finally have a couple of days off before we go to NZ so I thought I should make an effort and do some blogging.
I can't tell you anything much has been happening in the family. Greg of course turned 17 on 27 March so that was important, but aside from that life has been fairly routine. Mike's course at Uni is quite challenging so that is adding a lot of stress! It is quite putting me off studying ever again.
I have done a reasonable amount of scrapbooking, as Sara has been quite prolific and been creating some great new kits. The latest one is called In the Jungle and has a great colour scheme. Here is a preview
And here is what I did with it.

These pictures were taken on our first Christmas day in townsville. We went for a beautiful walk down by the river and being such keen photographers we got the kids to climb up this huge tree that hung over by the river. You can see by Caitlin's face that she didnt think it was that much fun! Then I scrapped another Townsville photo. this one of Libby.

It is a really gorgeous kit... i do love the colours and as always really reasonably priced. Check out Scrapthatidea to pick it up.
In addition there is another kit due out any day now..... and I do think it is time I knocked up a qp so stay posted. Not only that.. but wait there's more. Yesterday i created my first template. I have never made one before but I was trying to work out how to lift a layout that I had admired. Now it isnt entirely finished, I am still putting the words on the top, but I think it should be ready to give away in the next couple of days too.
So now back to what I should be doing, getting myself organised for my trip. I know we are only going for a short time but it still requires organisation. I am trying to get the washing up to date and make sure meals are organised. We just have to book a rental car and then we should be all set.
see you later

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Looooooong week

Suddenly it is Wednesday. If you are wondering where I have been all week, it is really very simple. at work. Nights... again! i dont seem to have seen daylight for some time, but finally the run of nights is over and I am back in the real world! One day off today and then back to my other job tomorrow. But next week we are off on our trip to NZ, so I am calling that a holiday! Even though it looks like it will be a really busy trip, I am really looking forward to seeing everyone. I guess I am also looking forward to just being in New Zealand, it is still home!
This is going to be a quick note. I am pretty tired, just wanted to reassure you that I am still alive. I do hope to get back online in the next day or two so I can show you the pictures of Sara's new kit, and the cute pages I have made with it already. I am thinking there must be a qp coming up soon too, so keep your eye out. Just got to find a few spare moments in my day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Days off

Wow This is my 3rd day off, in a row. It is so great. I have been incredibly lazy, scrapbooked, been out for lunch, gone to a couple of photography things... and just tried to relax. Amazingly my agency hasn't rung to over me work so I havent had to try and turn it down. They rang today to offer me a night tomorrow... that works! I mean, I love working coz I really do like getting paid. We have decided to go to Ikea on Sunday and spend some of our hard earned cash on the furniture we have been wanting for Ben's bedroom. It has been in the planning stages all year, so we decided it was time that Ben got his upgrade. Poor boy, he has been making do for the last 2 years with a divan bed from the Salvos and a dodgy chest of drawers which don't open and shut too well. So off we go on Sunday for the big shop, new bed, new drawers, new desk! I might even splash out on some new sheets... although to be quite honest I bought him black duvet covers (those are doonas if you are Australian) about 3 years ago at Target and they still look great. They match everything and sort of work for a teenage boy. That was when I went for the black and red theme and bought the most fantastic bright red sheets from Big W which were NOT colour fast and now years later they still make everything else pink. I am sure they are at least 4 years old and still they run!
So.. Sunday shopping trip, definitely looking forward to that. I love Ikea, it is a real passion for me. I wander for hours. It is great that they have food and toilets because it means we don't have to leave the shop at all. And in the restaurant they have maple pecan danishes which are also one of my favorite things.
Once I have done Ben's room, then we are getting close to finishing the inside of the house. I do need to curtain the rumpus room, and it has such large windows! I had the fabric all picked out so maybe I will make that my next saving goal. Then of course I need to do some finishing in the family room. We have curtains to put up on the sliding doors, but need to buy track, consequently curtains are still in a cupboard - i was thinking it would be nice to have them up for winter. They are nothing flash, but were given to us by someone who didnt want them any more. And then there is my big project. Recovering my bargain couches. You may not know this about me but I Love to junk shop. I adore charity shops, jumble sales, garage sales, demolition sales, I have even been known to rescue things from the dump. I just can't help myself. So we have two of the most disreputable couches in the world in our family room. They were once cream or lemon (not sure which) but they are discoloured and marked and faded and they look awful. But I picked the pair up for $40 at a junk shop and they are originally Freedom couches and are really comfortable. On another of my bargain hunting shops I found a roll of upholstery fabric which cost me $20. So all i have to do is recover them. Piece of cake huh? I have done a little bit of upholstery in the past and am hoping i remember how it is done.
I have made a couple of layouts to show you. First up my St Patricks day layout with some pictures of my trip to Ireland.
Not sure that it is my most inspired work, but i wanted to do something green and Irishy! Here is my other layout for today. Now this one I love. I think this is the most gorgeous photo of Lucus.
wow.. the earth just moved again. Freaky. The other day when we had an earthquake it was the first for 10 years. And now we had another! That is kind of bizarre. The whole house shook for about 10 seconds.
Last night we officially finished our photography course. Now I think we just have to practice, practice, practice. Am looking forward to going to NZ so I can take tons of photos.
I think that is all the excitement I can share for this sunny wednesday. see you later

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My day off

So here I am having a day off. Children at school. By staying in bed with the laptop, I can't see the house, or the mess or the washing. Pretty soon though the need for coffee is going to drive me out of bed. The weather is wet and windy. And I have to say that after all these months/years of drought rain is very welcome. So I have sat here and finished my layout that I have been working on for the word up challenge at scrapmatters. Here it is.
I used a new kit (told you I had to use some of the new ones that I have been busily buying) called The walk of the lovers. It is by Choubinette who is a French designer. It is a huge kit with lots of interesting elements, I liked the filmy red fabric and the net edging. And of course I have to say that I love this song so when I had to find a title in a foreign language this was the first thing that came to me.
Yesterday I finished up another layout, this time using a template I found over at we are storytellers. I thought it was a bit different and for this one I used the huge freebie kit called Endless Love by Mimilou Forum, another French group of designers. This kit was massive, there is over 400 pieces in it!
I have been trying to get a bit of scrapbooking done, despite being completely exhausted, so at least I feel like i achieve something besides go to work, sleep and be a terrible mother. (not at my best when i am tired).
Now no freebies from me today, but if you went off and signed up for the newsletter at scrapthatidea like I did, then you will have the links for your qp album today! So that should give you plenty to play with. There are a few other cute little bits and pieces too, but I won't ruin your surprise. Enjoy! I am.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

And its the end of my week

Well, tomorrow I have one of those much loved items... a day off. I am quite looking forward to it really, and i am resolved to say No to my nursing agency if they ring (yep we all know how good I am at that). Of course days off come with this whole list of things that you have been meaning to do, buy groceries, tidy the house, clean my bathroom, catch up my washing.. and thats only the one's that immediately spring to mind. There is a whole selection of stored 'meaning to do' jobs. Like hemming pants. I think I have 3 or 4 pairs now backlogged... i do wonder why my family can't be a standard height. This current trend of leaving your jeans long and letting the ends wear away was obviously started by children whose mothers were as hopeless as me.. finally they gave up and worse the new jeans anyway and thereby started a whole new fashion statement. i personally am waiting for rolled up bottoms to come back in. Another fashion trend for families with a lazy mother who doesnt hem trousers. And so practical, because if you grow you can unroll them. Of course they do have this huge faded stripe across them where they were rolled, but with effort that too could become a fashion.
So moving on from what I should be doing tomorrow, in fact trying hard to forget what I should be doing, I will look at the things I would like to be doing. Well, I have a serious backlog of photos that need scanning. That would be more interesting, I have bought several new kits lately which I really should scrap with. That would definitely be interesting. There are some challenges I was going to enter. The third part of My story Matters has started at This time it is Your hometown. Now if i scanned my old photos I might find some photos of my hometown, and that would be of definite benefit. So far on my hard drive all i can find are some photos of the cemetary from my mother's funeral. There are photos of all my family's plots. But i was thinking of something a little more scenic.
There is also another challenge I fancied which involved using a title in a foreign language. I have the title all picked out, and the photo, but so far I haven't worked out how to make it all come together. I could do that tomorrow. I have a massage booked for 12 oclock so that is half an hour gone out of the day already. Judging by todays weather it is going to be an inside type day. It is wet and windy today. Mike returned early this morning from the brew camp. He only went overnight and it was a miserable night. I wondered why we didnt go to the lovely bush reserve we went to last year, and Mike told me that it was the scene of one of the biggest fronts of the bushfire... Mirrindindi. Of course, i do remember that in the fire reports. Guess we won't be camping there for a while.
One of the strangest things for me about the bush fires is that we went camping the weekend they started. And it was awful, the heat was just too much. So we took the car and drove round lots of places we hadnt been before. Driving up to Tarralgon and Walhalla, enjoying the native bush and the lovely scenery, smiling as you do at the signs that say, slow koalas crossing, or wombats crossing. I always stare really hard into the bush, but have never managed to see any. Funnily enough (and this is off the topic I was on) the only time I have ever seen a koala in the 'wild' was at Magnetic Island. And it had taken residence in a big tree at the school. You could tell there was something interesting happening by the crowds and the badly parked cars. And there up this tree was this cute as a button koala with its baby. We took a zillion photos and somehow lost the lot. (one of our failure to back ups) So technically it was in the wild, as in, it had chosen to live there, but the Magnetic Island primary school didnt seem like the 'wild' exactly. I had planned on a 4 hr hike to this place where you were likely to see wild koalas but i figured i had already seen one so saved myself the effort! Now back to my bush drive. The point i was going to make was that we drove through lots of little towns that we had never seen before, that a few days later were featured prominently on the news, as being on fire, or at risk from the fires. It was a very sobering thought, that these lovely little towns were now, potentially gone.
Now i have suddenly realised that it is 1200 and i better start getting ready for work. But as you know.. i have a day Off tomorrow!
havent forgotten my qp though. Here it is.
As you can see I have adapted my layout Her First Ball into a qp. I hope you like it. Leave me some love if you do. And if you like this page, then you really should check out the full kit over at If you haven't been there, then you really should, because the prices are excellent. I am really starting to notice that the price of scrapbooking kits is getting higher and higher. For those of us downunder, our poor exchange rate makes buying kits in US dollars really quite pricey. For example, the kit I quite liked on scrapgirls was 8.99, At todays exchange rate that is $13.67. Not small change. Scrapthatidea aims to make their kits reasonably priced. There is even a dollar bin! So it is definitely worth a look. And remember the newsletter is out sunday with some very cute freebies in it. I can't say much more.. but I did see this little ad in Sara's blog.
Yep looking foward to checking my email whenever it is that Sunday occurs in the rest of the world.
Oh and this is a BTW the Spirit of Summer kit (as of a few days ago) had raised $3976. Do a few of you want to go and buy it so we top the $4000 mark? It is only available for a few more days over at Scrapntag. Just think, if only 4 or 5 people buy the kit then we reach the mark! And you certainly are getting a bargain for your money.
Definitely done now! See ya later. Just thought of another thing I could do tomorrow..... make another freebie... hmmm.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We made it through the week

Suddenly it is Saturday. Of course the weekend in it's fullest sense ceases to exist when you are a shift worker. So I have work this afternoon. Mike and Greg are heading off to the Brew Camp and will no doubt return tomorrow a little the worse for wear. Yesterday was a complete washout for me. The lack of sleep finally caught up with me and I slept all day... and all night. But here i am fresh as a daisy and ready to go... sort of. Now last night I did wake up sufficiently to get my qp finished so I could put it up on the blog as a freebie today. So without further ado etc.. here it is.
Hope you like it because there is another one coming along tomorrow. I was really pleased with the layout I made for Sara's new kit Butterfly Kisses... Oh I haven't shown it to you yet have I?
And here are the layouts I made with it.
Of course the rest of the CT has done some stunning layouts too, so wander over to Sara's blog and check them out. While you are there you can have a read about the newsletter for The first issue is due out this weekend with some cute freebies. If you aren't signed up you won't get them!
That is me for the morning. got to get myself organised soon and head off for work. It's a hardship but I have to pay the bills somehow. Have a good weekend and don't forget to drop by tomorrow for the next qp freebie.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Night shift and the story of Thursday

After the exhaustion that was last week, I decided that this week I wouldnt do nights. Still down with the agency for whatever, I resolved to ask for afternoon shifts... and I got one, on Saturday, a particularly well paid day! However that was the only one and I ended up back on nights on Monday night (end of a public holiday therefore too good to turn down) and Tuesday night... and then wednesday night. Got up wednesday at 1200 and went to Pilates ( are you impressed?) and then my boss from my main job rang... did i not realise I was rostered for an afternoon shift? I had it written down for next week! OH no! So i gamely went into work on the 3 hrs sleep i had had, and did some clinic work. Then the afternoon got more bizarre. txt msg from my daughter "by the way Ben came home from his excursion with sea urchin spines in his foot". That didnt sound too good, but I was a bit uncertain about what exactly sea urchin spines would do... like are they venemous? I liased with my medical colleague.. well acutally I asked my husband who was working in Emergency department. He asked the paediatric consultant who said they needed to come out promptly as they often became very infected, aside from the fact that they hurt like anything. Rang children to check how things were at home. Ben informs me that he has googled his injury (of course he has!) and according to a story he read on google sea urchin spines are made from calcium and should be absorbed by his body. You have to laugh dont you? Regardless of his google information I felt that the injury should be checked out to see if we could get the spines out, as they were incredibly painful. So.. my clinic was about finished although it was early... raced home (40 minute trip) picked up damanged child, refused pleas for junk food on the way. Ben is 14 so while his foot was sore, he thought he was still pretty focused on food.
Returned to hospital, about 8.15 by this stage. Emergency department as feral as can be. Triage nurse gives me the 'you are wasting my time look'. I had my book and settled in for a long visit. Then had to withstand Ben's pleas that we visit the vending machines. By this stage I am wondering why I have bothered. I am tired, grouchy, haven't eaten properly and want to go to bed! However Ben's Dad is busy out the back trying to facilitate things for us, and the end result is that we get referred to the GP clinic which has No queue! Not only that, they see us straight away, were incredibly nice, agreed that the spines were a concern and set to work right away to fix him up. The first thing the Doctor said is that sea urchine spines can be very difficult to remove and that often they need an ultrasound to find them all.. oh dear not looking good for getting sleep!. He then told me that the last case he had, needed referral to a plastic surgeon to get them all out! OMG, this is sounding really serious.
Then he got some local anaesthetic and talked really nicely to Ben about what he was going to do. Ben being a staunch little kid declined the local and said, just dig them out. So the doctor did just that, and Ben was as brave as can be. Mike arrived about then having finshed his shift and we all went home about 9.45. Not bad at all, except for poor old me who was so sleep deprived I could barely function. I am still amazed at how brave Ben was. I would have taken the local any time!
So here we are crack of dawn on Friday. My weekend plans are ruined because I had written down my roster wrong and i am in fact working afternoon shifts for the next 3 days. Not flash concisdering I just did 3 nights. So I am having a long sleep in today... I will have to get to that next! But we had planned to go camping.. as it is the annual Brewers camp this weekend. A bizarre event which consists of large groups of men who make home brewed beer going to a camp site, brewing a rock beer, which is heated by having boiling hot rocks tossed into it. And it is all lubricated by large amounts of beer, both home brewed and bought. Yes, just a bit of a drunken weekend really, but the boys enjoy it and last year when i went there were a few other families and it was just a nice break. This year it is down at Wilson's Prom so I was excited as I hadnt been that way before. As it turns out, I wont be going that way! Not this weekend.
So.. having covered yesterdays exhausting adventures, and the fact that my life has had little in the way of sleep lately, I guess I should move on to hobby stuff. Namely the scrapbooking.
Now Sarah has released 2 kits since I last blogged (i personally suspect that she doesnt sleep either). The first is a fantastic freebie kit she made in collaboration with Vicki of A work in progress designs It is called Let it Rock. This is a Great kit. With nice bold colours and a bit of grunge. It also features a bit of a rock theme with cool guitars, perfect for all those photos of would be musicians (we have some pretty cool pictures of Ben with guitar hero). I decided to forgo the guitar theme as some of the other CT had that covered and here is my page.
Now the good news, is that they released this kit a few days ago, so hurry on over to their blogs to pick up the bits, as they are all there! And there is so much you can do with this kit!
I am hoping to get back here tomorrow to give you some more info on Sara's other new kit called Butterfly Kisses, but I wont be offended if you have a look on her blog and check it out today. I am hard at work in my spare time (!!!) on a qp so stay posted.
Now finally I have been trying to put in a little info about books.. I think my main problem is that i read them so quickly that it is hard to remember them all. However I have just finished another JD Robb book, She also writes as Nora Roberts. I like her books a lot. I have decided that it is because her characters are so appealing. They are interesting and funny and seem real. The crime series which are written under the JD Robb name are all about the same detective and are very readable, I am not a huge fan of crime books, but once again, interesting characters make it work for me. the books are also set in the future so i like the little sci fi element. I am reading another book by mercedes lackey, writing this time with James Mallory, a series called The Phoenix enchanted. Unfortunately book 3 is not yet written so I will be having to wait on that. But I have a Nora Roberts series out from the library too, so i have plenty of good reading material up my sleeve.
Ok.. I should be going back to sleep or I wont be having a sleep in this morning. Just wanted to remind ppl that we are still alive.. even if it was touch and go yesterday.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

qp freebie

Good morning. Really early morning. My body hasnt got off night shift time yet, so here i am at 5am. I thought, well if I'm not sleeping, I will write a blog. First of all I want to explain a fundamental courtesy. When you come to a blog freebie you should click the link to download it if you want it. Wait for 4shared to do its slow little thing and then while your freebie downloads you can click your back button on your browser window twice... and voila you are back at the blog with a few minutes up your sleeve to write a nice cheery comment. Your two words.. like thank you. or its nice. make my day. Of the 55 ppl who downloaded my desktop 5 left a comment over on 4shared, which is great. But you know I would just so love to have a little thank you. These are my first ever bunch of freebies and I want to know you like them! Does that sound selfish? I used to go blog hopping and snag freebies all the time and never considered how it felt when I didnt leave a comment. It just feels a bit sad.... i would like to hear from you! Say hi... pretty please.
So here it is.
And here is the link. Don't forget that it coordinates with the word art from yesterdays blog. Scroll back and you can see my finished layout. Of course all the real credit goes to Sara, of Sweet Blossom Design who made the kit. Her wordart in this kit is really superb. I have had a lot of fun with it. Here is the layout I made using a photo I love of Mike and I on my birthday last year.
And here is the kit itself, which is only $4.00 from

So thats me for this morning. Lots of spring inspiration, even if we are going into Autumn! Enjoy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Earth Moved

Well our big news yesterday was that we had an earthquake. 4.6 on the Richter scale. Just enough to make the whole house shake a bit. It lasted for a few seconds. The kids all came running in asking what it was. The dog barked and barked. She didnt like it at all. Coming from NZ we recognised it as an earthquake, having felt a few, but I was surprised to feel one here, as I didnt think Australia was prone to earthquakes. I checked the news this morning and they confirmed it was an earthquake, but not a major one. It was a bit eclipsed by the news that Collingwood had beaten Essendon at the AFL really.
So where did the week go? It is now Saturday and my last post was Sunday. The truth of the matter is called 5 night shifts. Yep 5 in a row. I have not really done much apart from sleep and work for the whole week. And now this afternoon I am going to work again! It does seem a lot doesn't it? But the agency work has been a bit unreliable lately so I am trying to take whatever they offer. Plus our other big news is that Mike and I have booked to go to NZ for 6 days in April. We wanted to go to Sarah's graduation but have been dithering (as we do). Finally I got online and booked the airfares so we are committed now. We are planning on fitting in a quick trip down to Gisborne to see Mike's parents while we are over, so it is going to be a busy few days. Michael (my son) has said he will come up to Auckland and catch up so we will see him and his twin sister Elizabeth. Can't wait! I have my new camera.. been off to my photography course so I feel ready to take Lots of photos. I better not say that too loud or they won't come visit.
I have been quite busy with some scrapbooking... I mean I do fit in a little bit of hobby time even when I am too tired for anything else. So you saw my desktop? 49 downloads! I was kind of stoked. Today I whipped up a QP with the same kit to celebrate..... Sara has been busy while I have been asleep and she has released her Spring is in the Air kit. Not only that, it is available at her new shop! Ok.. here is the ad that i was supposed to put up on 1 March... only a little late.
So if you go check out Sara's blog, you can have a look at it, and pick up a freebie. How cool is that? And tomorrow if you check back here, there should be a freebie here too!
Sara's blog And you really should check out the new store, because there are some beautiful kits there and the prices are amazing. Scrap that Idea
Just lately i have been playing with long columns of text on my pages. It seems to be my 'thing'. So today i made a wee freebie for you. It's called Watch your children grow. Click on the link to go to 4shared to download.
Here it goes in a page I made of Caitlin.
Of course you can't read it properly so I guess you will have to take the risk and download it... tomorrow you can have the qp of Waiting to bloom to match!
So.. have I caught you up on the important stuff that is happening for us. 1. work.. 2. mike started his uni course... daunting 3. collingwood beat essendon (i have to put that in because Ben thinks its important) 4. earthquake. 5. trip to NZ. yep.. that is the majors. Be happy, i will get back to you tomorrow. And i will show you some of our photos from the course....