Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scrapping with Donna and Lauren

Just before the madness of Christmas, Donna and I packed up our scrapping stash and kids and hit the road for a scrapping sleep over at Lauren's place a few hours drive away and affectionately known as the place where you can almost see the end of the earth. Not sure about the whole end of the earth thing but at the moment it is so green and there is feed everywhere. After spending all my life living on flat farming ground, it is a major difference been surrounded by hills of Lauren and Luke's farm. It was the first time my boys had been to visit the Bell's down on the farm and they had a blast. I loved just sitting with Lauren and Donna chatting and scrapping the day away - these two ladies make me laugh so much, not to mention the fact that they inspire me so much with their scrapping. I managed to come up with 7 layouts in the time I was there - somewhat of a scrapping frenzy for this super-slow scrapper lol.

Layout One: Christmas

I have used the December 15th sketch from Stuck?! Sketches for this layout as well as the criteria for Sar's December Kit Challenge over at Scrapbook Savvy. Not 100% happy with this layout - I really wanted to make myself use the printed side of the patterned paper but in hind sight, I should have used a reddish/cranberry coloured paint, ink or mist for the background paint and chipboard instead of the black OR the reverse side of the paper. Oh well, it is another layout for the album.

Layout Two: The Cutest Santa

A photo of Mitchell from our photoshoot this yeat. I have used the Merry Savvy Kit for this layout and old October Afternoon stickers and some Mr Huey's Mist - starting to fall in lust with this stuff lol.

And, of course, the obligatory close up:

Layout Three - Sunshine and Smiles

Originally, I suggested this title for one of Lauren's layouts but when she went with something different, I decided that it went perfectly with this photo of Lachlan.And a close-up:Layout Four: It's Your Love

Another layout from our wedding all those years ago (hitting 13 years this April). I have used a line from the chorus of the song we danced to for our Bridal Waltz in the title - It's Your Love sung by Tim Mc Graw and Faith Hill. I surprised Tony with tickets to one of Tim and Faith's Brisbane concerts for Christmas. Truth be told, I really wanted to go more than Tony but he can't say no now can he lol?!

Layout Five: Candle Time
Mitchell celebrated his 9th birthday at the start of the month. We had a small party for him at home. Tony helped Mitch to light the candles but it was too windy for them to stay alight. In the end Tony settled for getting Mitch to blow out the lighter instead. I went a tad overboard with the mist on this layout but you get that lol.

A closeup of a Purple Pumpkin button, October Afternoon stickers and mist, and twine from The Twinery.

Layout Six: Best of Mates
I love this photo of the boys - it isn't technically perfect but the history behind the taking of this photo is what I love. They were jabbering on about the farm, what daddy would be doing and how they can help him all throughout the afternoon that Sarah Bacon and I were taking these photos. It is memories like these that cannot be replaced. I also decided to enter this layout in one of the December challenges - Rebekkah's - over at Challenge Heaven where Donna has just been announced as a member of the 2012 Design Team (woot woot Donna!). I might even give some of the other challenges a go over the next few weeks before school starts back.

Yep, you guess it, another close-up. Thanks Lauren for showing me your twine techniques. Think I need a few more lessons hehehehehe

Layout Seven: Best Foot Forward

A just because layout of Mitchell from a few years ago. I want to try and teach the boys that life is not always great and things get tough but we can make our way through things by putting out best foot forward. Now if only I could practise what I preach lol.And another closeup:So that was my effort from our visit to Lauren's. Christmas has been and gone since then. Santa spoilt me a lot this year with a new iPad and some plane tickets for the boys and I to go to Melbourne in the new year to visit a special friend - gee I wonder who that could be lol ;). We fly out on January 5 and return on the 13th - just in time for the mad dash to get everything ready for the start of a new school year. The boys were spoilt this year with new John Deere toys, clothes, lego, book and a huge remote control 4WD John Deere tractor - and that was just from Santa and Mum and Dad. We won't talk about all the other goodies given to them by their relatives lol.

I hope you all had a safe and merry Christmas.

Catch up again soon.

S xoxoxo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More scrapping shares

As promised, I have returned to show you more layouts created over the past few weeks. This year, I took long service leave for the last two weeks of school and apart from going to work for some of those days (yeah I know I have idiot written on my forehead lol), I spent a few days scrapping with some of the other Dalby scrappers. I have also been playing with paper in between trying to get this house sorted again - housework went by the wayside in those last frantic weeks of work. Here is what I have come up with - oh yeah, lots of photos to follow ;)

Layout One - The Cutest Buns (the title says it all really lol)

Layout Two - Superhero in the Making

(our pool is out of action so the boys have to make do with a tarp spread out over the lawn. There is a bit of decline so they think it is hilarious to practise their 'superhero' poses. Credit for this layout goes to Lauren Bell from the Whitehouse Retreat)

A close-up:

Layout Three - S'up Dude

(what is it with boys and the 'punk rocker' pose??)

Layout Four: Sprinkler Play (again, the title says it all ;-) )

And another closeup:

Layout Five: Smile

based on another Lauren Bell creation - anyone would think I am fixated with her at the moment :o

And yet another close-up:

Layout Six: Rooster Top (in reference to the fact that no matter what we do, Lachlan's hair always sticks up at the back thanks to a double crown)Layout Seven: In Deep
And finally, two of the three teacher gifts I made this year for the boys' teachers. Messages boards as inspired by Wendy Smith. They went down a treat and am in the process of making a fourth for another special teacher at the boys' school.
The quote reads: A teacher holds a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.
So those are all the layouts and other things I have to share at the moment. Still have a bit of tweaking to do to some of the layouts I created while Donna and I went on our little road trip to Lauren's. If I get myself organised, I might even be back to share those tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxox

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

... considering it is just a few days out from Christmas, I thought it was time I actually got around to finishing scrapping the photos I took in the lead up to Christmas last year. The following layouts - yes you read that correctly, I have used the layout twice - are based on the December Sketch from Scrapbooking from Sketch. Here is the sketch:
Peta McBeth - owner of SFS also added the following criteria for the sketch challenge - string, hessian or material or lace in small pieces and staples. This is my take on the sketch with the added criteria:

As I said earlier, I have actually used this sketch twice. This is is my first take on the sketch, minus the criteria. I was totally inspired by Lauren Bell. I think the white mist, twine and small photo give me away, don't you lol. Just have to say it here, Lauren inspires me so much. Maybe it could be the fact that I have just spent the last two days scrapping at her dinner table. Seriously, I could sit and watch her create all day and then on the next day I could sit and lift them all hehehehehehehe.
And now for a close-ups:In other exciting scrap news, one of my very good scrapping friends from right here in Dalby - Donna White - has been announced as one of the new Design Team members for Challenge Heaven. Such an awesome accomplishment for a super talented scrapper. She is the queen of 'popping' and 'double popping' on her layouts - I am referring to the dimension she gets on her layouts - amazing affect and you have to check out her work for yourself to believe it. Congratulations Donna, I can't wait to see your work on the site.
I do have more layouts to share but I will leave that for another post.
Take care everyone - stay safe during this festive season.
S xoxoxoxox

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stuck?! Anyone?

I have finally got around to completing the December 1st Sketch challenge from Stuck?! Sketches. The banners had me freaking out at first but eventually I think I got somewhere in the end. Here is the sketch:

And here is my take on it using some patterned paper from the Merry Savvy kit for December.

December 15th's sketch went up yesterday so I might even get a chance to play along with that sometime over the weekend.
Hope you are all safe and getting excited for the cuddly man in the bright red suit to come visit. Take care.
S xoxoxo

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finally she scraps

After what has felt like an eternity (well it was almost 3 months) I think I have re-discovered how to scrap. At my lowest point I honestly felt that I would never scrap again - the very thought of it would make me nervous and nauseous. As much as I would want to catch up with my scrap buddies, the thought of actually scrapping was not something I looked forward to. Not even the promise of a 3 day retreat at Donna's house excited me. Part of this could have been the fact that I had a bunch of exams to mark and report cards to write. So mark away I did while everyone around me created like there was no tomorrow.
Luckily, I had put in for some long service leave earlier in the year for the last two weeks of school. Once all of the school work was out of the way, I began to get excited about the prospect of scrapping again. Thanks to some inspiration from Donna and Lauren, I think I have found my scrap again - YAY! The next few layouts are the start of the re-discovery. I won't bore you with them all at once, plus it will give something else to blog about.
Layout 1: Wide Open Spaces (photo by Sarah Bacon):

Layout 2: Slide Fun

(Our pool is out of action at the moment so to break the hot weather, we grabbed a tarp used to cover the cotton modules once they are picked and added water and shampoo - cheapest fun the boys have had in a long time lol)

Layout 3: Say What? (Photos by Sarah Bacon) DEC Sketch for Purple Pumpkin

(Sarah, a very good friend of mine came out to have a play around with her mum's camera. The boys certainly hammed it up for the camera, even more so after I told them a dirty ditty my mother taught me when I was their age)

Layout 4: Our Cheeky Monkey - nothing else needs to be said

Layout 5: {9}
(Photo taken of Mitch on his 9th birthday - cannot believe that I have a 9 year old. Where have the years gone???!!!) That will do for now. I have a few more layouts and pictures of the Christmas presents I made for the boys' teachers to share but I will save that for another day.
To those of you who sent messages and offered support during the last three months - thanks from the bottom of my heart. I am lucky to be surrounded by an awesome group of friends - you know who you are. Loves ya all lol.
Take care
S xoxoxox

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Feeling Lost

Not in the best head space at the moment. Silly really because there isn't anything really, really wrong - I just feel blah. I can function perfectly fine Monday through Friday but come the weekend it is a different story.
I have stuff to share, things to say but just can't get the words out. Need to work on me but will be back when I can.
Take care.
S xoxo

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hello October

It's the start of a new month so that means hunting around to see what new scrapping challenges are out there in cyberspace. After taking photos yesterday of the boys yabby hunting, I was in the mood for some creating.
Layout 1: 'Special' is the word of the month for Sara's Wordy Challenge at Scrapbook Savvy. For this challenge, the word special needed to be a focal point of the layout. I love how simple things can give the boys so much joy - kinda special you could say ;)

Layout 2: My take on the sketch of the month at Anna's Craft Cupboard designed by DT member, Wendy Smith. I scared myself a little bit when I compared my layout to Wendy's sample - freaky how I had used paint even without seeing hers and in a similar way too :s

There are lots more challenges and I am always on the look out for more so if you see any, leave links in the comments ;)

The final term of the school year starts tomorrow. I am sad that the holidays are over but happy knowing that my term is only 8 weeks instead of 10 - gotta love having enough long service leave up my sleeve to add an extra two weeks to the summer holidays :)

Take care and thanks for stopping by.

S xoxoxoxo

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The final roundup

Well I may have needed an extra day but I am happy to say that I have managed to accomplish something I previously thought impossible - that is completing all 30 sketches for the SFS Sketch-a-day challenge. When I first read about the challenge I thought to myself, yeah right as if I will ever get through that. However, to my surprise I did. Personally, I think the real reason why I made it through this challenge was the fact that we have just had two weeks of school holidays - there is no way I would have ever been able to scrap this much normally. So here are the last 3 layout for the month.

Layout 1 - Sept 30 Sketch After seeing one of Lauren's layouts the other day - a Christmas one - I was inspired. The criteria for this sketch were to use 3 or more different papers, two photos, border punch or hand scallops, hand journal and multi alpha title. I think I managed all that lol.

Layout 2: Sept 29 Sketch The extra criteria for this sketch were to use a household item behind the title (mine is a recycled orange bag) and strip journalling.

Closeup of some of A Lil Somethin's latest release which was school-themed but I loved the apple and it fitted with my title so why not? lol

Layout 3: Sept 28 Sketch - a sketch from Sassy Lil Sketches. Yet another wedding photo (yes, I am picking my chin up off the floor too lol)

I didn't really think the banner on the original sketch fitted the photo so I swapped it for butterflies. I think it looks ok. Simple but passable lol

After a few months of nagging, Tony came home the other day with a yabby net for the boys. Early this morning the three of them headed up to the dam on the western side of the farm armed with a bag of meat and the net. We all went back after lunchtime to see if there was anything in the net. We expected maybe one or two but there were closer to 40 yabbies much to the squeals and delights of two little boys.

I love how the simplest things can give them so much pleasure - seriously, who would have thought a few bits of old meat and a dam could make them happy.
Looks like someone needs to have a party and invite his shirt down - either that or I need to find some new farm clothes for him lol.
It took a lot of convincing but the boys eventually left all of the yabbies, bar three, in the dam on the promise they could go yabbying again another day real soon. Goodness only knows what the three unfortunate yabbies are going to go through - one has already last a claw. Not sure how it happened but Master Lachlan proudly brought it inside and promptly dumped it on my desk for me to look at :o
That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxo

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All Caught Up

With the boys having a little holiday at Tony's parents, I have made the most of my free time to get caught up on the Sketch-a-Day challenge over at SFS. I am so pleased to say that I am officially up-to-date. Considering that I must be one of the slowest scrappers out there (as Lauren and Donna can attest to lol), this is something of a minor miracle, especially when a few of my child-free days were spent in bed trying to get rid of migraines. Ok so if you are game, grab a cup of coffee because there are quite a few photos to follow.
Layout 1: Today's Sketch Another wedding layout. I am thinking that once this challenge is over, I am going to go through the sketches and do some more wedding layouts.

Layout 2: Sept 26 Some random photos of Mitchell from our holiday back in June/July.Layout 3: Sept 25 Another layout using photos from my photoshoot with Sarah Bacon over at the cattle yards. Criteria on this layout were to use black cardstock and negative alphas - I traced around alphas and then lifted them off. The strip of material is off an old pair of Lachie's farm shorts. If you look real close, you can see some grease stains that never came out in the wash.Layout 4: Sept 24 More photos from our family photoshoot back in May. Have scrapped these photos before but will probably scrap them again lol.Layout 5: Sept 23 Photos from Mitchell's 'Circus' Performance at school at the end of Term 2. The criteria for this sketch was to use time in the title. Tony and I were just commenting tonight about how much Mitchell's confidence has improved over the past few months. Making the decision to have him participate in Social Skills lessons after his ONS Autism diagnosis was one of the best things we ever did - he has come out of his shell so much and the SEP staff comment on how much he has changed and how he has developed a lot of leadership qualities. He has had a few big challenges this year but is coping with them really well so far.Layout 6: Sept 22 Photos of Lachlan and Tony from our holiday. Took me a while to 'get into' this sketch and it has ended up being quite a busy page for me but I think I like it lol. I used a few bits from A Lil' Somethin' as templates for the banner and kite on this layout.Layout 7: Sept 21 More soccer photos of Lachie and a bit of a fluff up (well a lot of a fluff up) with mist on the Jenni Bowlin playing card lol.Layout 8: Sept 14 Photo taken on Lachie's birthday when he took cupcakes to share with his class mates. I didn't fulfill all the criteria with this layout as we were supposed to use two photos. But I did fulfill the 'no pink' and a handmade embellishment (A Lil' Somethin' bottle top thanks to Donna). Two out of three ain't bad lol.

So if you have sat through all of that, you need a medal lol. And isn't it just my luck - when I finally do manage to get caught up, I have to head off for a few days. I am going to pick up the boys tomorrow and most likely spend a night with my parents before coming home again. Let's hope I get home nice and early Thursday to scrap some more lol.

Thanks for stopping by and even more thanks to those of you who stayed knowing that this was a huge post. Your visits and comments give me more than just a little boost.

Take care

S xoxoxoxoxox