Sunday, 28 July 2013

Which tea are you?

I saw this image on Facebook today which a tea addict friend posted.  For my next BIG birthday I would like to have a Mad Hatter's Tea Party.  I have it all planned in my head and part of it includes a table with each setting a different pattern of fine china.  And of course lots and lots of assorted tea-pots of different teas.  I dream of starting to collect the china one service at a time at markets, charity shops and other bargain outlets.  I won't even mind the occasional chip as the more character the better!  I think I'd better start soon ... :D

I tracked down the source of the image to the Artist and Illustrator  Helen L Smith.  It is well worth a look and she even has embroidery kits!  I needed a little cheer today and I thought that some of you could too.  So which is your favourite tea?


P.S.  I must add that I had an altogether different picture in my mind for 'p.m. tea' and it certainly had nothing to do with the afternoon/evening!  If you know what I mean ...  ;)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Counterfeit Kit July 2013 Members Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop in the CKCB Members' Blog Hop!

This month we were challenged to pick a DT member and peruse their blog for a bit. Find something inspiring, and use that to create a project!

You should have come here from Lesley :-)

I have often been inspired by Jemma from Just Jim-Jams and so it was to her blog that I turned for this challenge.  I also liked Jemma's suggestion to draw a quick sketch of the layout that inspires you and list a few elements.  That way your finished layout will still be inspired by the original and not just a copy.

I took my inspiration from this layout by Jemma, which you can find blogged here.  I drew a quick sketch and took it with me on a night out crafting with friends.

Here is my Master Forger inspired layout with a photo from our visit with Goofy back in 2008.

"Goofy" inspired by Jemma
Even with all the themed bits in my kit I really like the colours in my finished layout.  It isn't an exact copy of the lifted layout but I like the sense of fun that it portrays.  I even used some of my new Sharpie Glitter Paint Pens to draw in some stitching.

The EK Success stamp set also came in handy for the three red circle embellishments.

Thanks for stopping by and now you should hop over to Leslie and she what lovelies she created!

The full blog hop list will be published on the CKCB so if you get lost along the way, head over there to find your way back onto the hop.

I love to read your comments so feel free to say "hi" if you've a moment to spare and happy hopping!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Counterfeit Kit July 2013 - Layout 1 & 2

My Mickey Madness kit this month is lots of fun and my first layouts weren't even Mickey, but Buzz Lightyear!  They were quick to put together and used lots of themed items from my stash.  I little corny but perfect for the album.

They would have come together quicker if I could spell 'infinity'!!!  I was talking too much with my friends when one asked if I meant to spell infinity that way?  Opps ... third time lucky and it was finally right!  LOL  My brain had taken a holiday :-)

I used the shooting star stamps on blue and then cut them out.  I also used the tiny star stamps for some additional embellishment along with buttons shaped like stars.

It has been rainy and dark here and this is the best photos I could get but parts of this paper say 'Tomorrow Land' which is where we were.

When my boys were little they LOVED Buzz so this photo was a must do ... we actually went on a hunt for Buzz just so that we could collect his autograph stamp.

I love my Sakura 'Stardust' pen as it adds lots of sparkle to the layouts without making it 'girly'.  I must when you have two boys!

Pop back on the 24th if you have a chance as I will have something for the member blog hop.

It has finally turned cold here as winter is in full swing.  Lovely weather to craft in :)


Monday, 15 July 2013

Photo Scavenger Hunt Update

This year I am joining in with Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt.  You can find all of the details here and you have until September to collect as many as you can so there is still plenty of time to join in!

Last week the kids began two weeks of school holidays.  We stopped at a shopping center so The Princess could buy something she had been saving for and to drool over all the lovelies at the Apple Store.  While trying to find our way around the boys asked if I was going to take a photo of the dinosaur for my scavenger hunt.  I hadn't even seen him!!!!!  There were dinos all over the place ready for the school holidays.  I laughed when I realised that they really were getting into the spirit of the hunt.  So we walked and I took photos like a little kid, even though we already had our hunt photo.  So here are more photos of #20 A Dinosaur ...

A scary T-Rex
There were little dinos too
Including a photo with me that the Extrovert kindly took.
I had been struggling with #4 An Airplane even though I drove past the airport numerous times a week.  I see them all the time but trying to get a good shot with my phone while NOT driving is very difficult.  I had this one ...

The LOML snapped this one while I was driving
 And then this one when it was coming in to land while I was sitting at a set of traffic lights ...

I caught this one and cropped out the cars
 But then today I found the perfect plane to photograph ...

US Air Force Monopoly
I could have also used the FAB playing pieces ...

Monopoly playing pieces.
The Thinker (along with all of the family except me) plays a Footy (AFL) tipping competition on his iPod via an app.  It is sponsored by a local fast food chain and everyone who gets all of the tips right in a single round (week) wins a free burger.  His voucher expired today and not wanting him to miss out we popped down to one this afternoon.  Along the way we detoured past our City Council building and in between showers I quickly snapped a few shots of #3 City Hall or similar Civic Building.

Our local City Council Office
This is the new building which I had actually forgotten they had built.  I grew up in this area when we stayed at our dad's house.  My older brother (step-brother) had his wedding photos taken in the grounds many years ago.  In the photo below the river is down behind the trees and a few large ponds are around to the left.  In Spring it is always a beautiful location.

The war memorial
This is the older part of the building and on the roof I spied another tower for #8

A phone tower
And speaking of #8 A Tower, I snapped this photo last week when the kids were setting up another Monopoly.  As The Extrovert was putting together Monopoly Revolution (the worst version ever invented) he yelled out "Hey Mom, I found a tower for your photo hunt!"  So I had to quickly get the photo before I ran out the door to work.

Monopoly Revolution tower - it controls the game
As I didn't have to go to work today we played a family game of Monopoly (which is how I found the plane!) and it even included its own tower ...

Traffic Control Tower
Like most of our family games of Monopoly it turned into a marathon.  We love to play this game and it is a bonus that all five of us can play at once.  We have a huge Monopoly collection and have collected them while we traveled and they are also popular Christmas presents.  There is one I would love to add to our collection, the Coke Cola Vintage Adds board.  Today's game involved fierce trading, much yelling and coaxing, lots of laughs, and we even had to find a notebook to help keep track of all of the immunity deals that were mixed up in the trades!

After five and a half hours we finally had a winner.  It was down to The LOML and The Princess and money flew back and forth frantically until finally the scales tipped and The LOML won!

The kids and I are headed into the city tomorrow and hope to spy a few more items off of the list :)  How is your photograph hunt going?


Thursday, 11 July 2013

And the river of life takes another turn ...

“Have you time for a chat now?” he asked.

“Sure” she replied. 

“I’ll just close the door as the walls around here have ears.”

“So I’ve noticed.” she stated nervously, knowing exactly what was about to happen.

“The only way to say this is to just be blunt and get it over with.” He looked straight at her with only a hint of apology. “We need to terminate your contract.”

There … it was said … it was done. She wasn’t surprised and he knew.

“You were expecting this weren't you?” he asked. “I saw it in your eyes at the meeting yesterday. I searched the other faces to see if they had guessed, but it was only you.”

“I could tell. The numbers aren’t on the board and with four closing that means that there isn’t room for me. I understand your position as I’ve been in it before.”

“This is the first time I have ever had this conversation and not wanted to. I have told everyone else that the business isn’t for them. I am happy to give you a reference and maybe you will find employment elsewhere. Or you could wait, if you can, and when more open in 6-12 months we could hire you back.”

“So where do we go from here?” she asked, knowing that she still had work to complete, and struggling to make her thoughts focus.

“You can finish what you are working on and you will still be paid on anything that goes through. You can work this weekend if you have things to finalise and then your contract will officially terminate at the end of the month. That gives you time to finish things up but there is no need to come to meetings.”

She left the office and continued to finish the drawings she was working on. Hours later the tears were finally winning the struggle. It was time to go home and let them fall. Work would still be there later that evening. She packed her bags and said goodbye to her oblivious co-workers. The tears began the minute the car started.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Story Telling Sunday 3 - July

This year Storytelling Sunday asks you to "pick your precious". This is how Sian described it ...
Start looking around, see what you love. Pick Your Precious is for short story tellers and for long. You can take the idea of simply a photo with a few words; or, if you are a can't-stop-yourself storyteller, you can expand as much as you like. The thing to keep in mind is that at the end of the year you'll have a permanent record of the little things you hold dear - and your family will know why you are holding onto them! Doesn't that sound like it might be worth it? No more "Do you really need that?"
Please join us this year. It only takes a minute and even if you only write a story or two, that will be a few more of your stories written down.  I had a story planned for this month but as it takes place in August I have decided to save it for next month.  Don't worry, I have another story AND a question (more on that later).

A little bit of background for you ...  In Western Australia at the time of this story Primary School went from Year 1 (calendar year you turned six) to Year 7.  High School began in Year 8 and finished at Year 12 (year you turned 17).  Compulsory education finished at the completion of Year 10 and many smaller private schools finished there and fed into bigger High Schools that had the facilities to cope with the demands of the final two years.  I attended one of those smaller private schools from year 2 until year 10.  I then went on to another school for the final two years. These pictures are items that have come out of my shoe box ...

I was blessed to have some fantastic teachers during my school life.  I also had the obligatory awful teachers, but they were far less in number.  I had my favourite teacher twice, once in year 5 and again in year 7.  Mr Mills was the first teacher to actually inspire me to put in some effort.  I was one of those students who found school work easy and was often bored.  He made learning fun and was born to teach.  Mr Mills is now a member of parliament and is showcasing his talents in another arena.  My story today doesn't begin with Mr Mills, but with another, Mr Bender.

I had always admired Mr Bender, and not just because of his formidable height of almost 7'!  He was my Physical Education teacher for the last few years of Primary School.  My least favourite subject was never going to put a teacher in my good books, but as we all attended the same church I already knew that I liked Mr Bender, just not the subject he taught!  When I started High School Mr Bender became a large part of my school life as he also taught Social Studies and my favourite class, Media Studies.  I attended a very small school and we usually had the same teachers each year for each subject.

Assignment Year 8 - It is 26 pages long!
Social Studies is now called S&E (Society and the Environment) by my children but the areas studied remain similar.  It encompassed history, economics, government & politics, geography, and law.  Mr Bender taught us to think, ask questions, and search for the truth.  We learned the finer points of creating well thought out arguments after thoroughly researching the topic.  He organised controversial debates (euthanasia and vivisection among others) and was happy to argue anything from either view point.  I remember many of the lively discussions that were a highlight of almost every class.  I also remember being guilty of taking the opposing point of view just because I could!  He used to say I was going to be a lawyer and he might have been right if my dad wasn't often in need of one at that time (I had no desire to work for free long into adulthood and quickly squashed that idea!).  I was always on the winning team in our debates and I longed to be in a school that had a competitive debate team.

My photography folder - some of the photos are missing :(
I chose to take Media Studies as an elective and over three years Mr Bender also taught us journalism, photography, and videography once a week.  He is a remarkable individual and exposed us all to the need to learn, seek the truth, and then form our own opinions.  At the same time he taught us to respect the opinions of others.  You can always try and persuade someone to agree with your point of view, but we each have the honour of having our own opinions.  His teaching must have had quite an impact as my next school asked me to represent them in a national public speaking competition after I had been there only one year!

We put together a newspaper at the end of our Journalism unit
To this day I still love to learn and formulate my own points of view.  I gather news from a variety of sources hoping that the truth will be buried somewhere in all of the reports.  I am very grateful for the lessons Mr Bender taught me.  It was more than just facts and figures, he made everything come alive.

If you enjoy reading snapshots of other peoples' lives head on over to Sian and read a few more stories.  They are always enjoyable :)

I also promised you a question.  It has been circling around in my head for the past week and I would like to hear your opinion if you have one.  At what time in our lives do you think we are ready to learn to think and formulate our own point of view?  Do you think that this could be taught in Primary school (or its equivalent), or do you think it needs the maturity that comes with a certain age?  Or do you think something entirely different?  Is there a specific time that most of us would be open to learn independence of thought? Do you remember when, if ever, that you became a truth seeker?  Please don't feel obligated to answer but I would welcome your thoughts.  I am curious :)


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Today is Independence Day and I almost missed it!  I was looking at the calendar this morning to see what the date would be next Wednesday when I saw the date today and couldn't believe it had snuck up on me.  I have many happy memories and stories from the 4th of July but hardly any photos as my mom didn't own a camera.

Here I am when we lived in Montana.  I am standing in front of my Grandma and Aunt's coffee house after the parade.
 And a few photos from the parade we just watched.  We lived in a small town :)

We lived in a town on the railway line
More of the parade
When we moved back to Australia Mom and Grandma continued to celebrate with us each year.  Grandma would round up a few stray Americans and have them over and we would eat yummy American food.  One year the local Consulate put on a huge picnic.  We went and ate hotdogs and they had brought over Root Beer and Dr Pepper!  There were clowns, stilts and big parachutes to play with, along with live music and all sorts of other entertainment.  We had so much fun and the Root Beer was definitely a highlight of my brother's and my day as we missed that!  It was cold and rainy and nothing like celebrating in summer.  It is a shame that they can't do that anymore for security reasons.

When we eventually bought a house the The LOML and I would have all of our friends around for a big (winter) BBQ.  I would make tamale pie, ribs, chilli and apple pies to go with all of our other favourties.  It was always a hit and I still have a few friends who send me a message every year on the 4th of July.

Once we moved to Ireland we didn't celebrate it with as many people but we still had a yummy dinner all by ourselves with sparklers.  In 2008 we were in Florida for the 4th of July and we were treated to two fireworks shows.  Disney Hollywood Studios do a special fireworks performance each year just for Independence Day and that year it was on the 3rd.  We then went to the Magic Kingdom for their special fireworks on the 4th of July (it actually runs for a whole week in that park).  I would have liked to have gone up to my Grandpa's and seen their parade and had a picnic but the kids really wanted to see the fireworks and at the time I thought we would get another chance a few years later (little did I know just how much life would change!).

Special Fireworks at Disney Hollywood Studios
I love the flag projected onto the castle.  Red, white, and blue featured quite prominently in the fireworks :) (Gee, I wonder why? LOL)

Magic Kingdom 4th July
This year we are having a family dinner with just us.  It is nice that my kids get into the spirit of it just for me.  I love them so much!

Wherever you are in the world, even if you aren't celebrating, I hope you have a wonderful day with your family.  We were at work and the boys were at school but it really isn't the day that matters, but the family you spend time with.

Happy 4th of July my friends!


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Counterfeit Kit July - Mickey Madness!

Welcome to another month of counterfeiting! I have spent a very pleasant few hours 'shopping my stash' while watching TV with the family this evening - but I tend to take over the living room floor while doing it!  Click on the button at the top right of this page to find out all about it and join in.  I can't believe that it is July already, where has the year gone????  The inspiration kit this month was from Scrapbook & Cards Today.

Summer Fun Kit
If you saw any of my posts from last month you may have noticed that I was scrapping Disney photos.  These are all from our trip in 2008 (as you can see I am way behind!) and I really want to make a dent in them this year.  Seeing these photos come to life on pages has been making the kids happy and we all need a bit of that around here :) When I saw the red and yellow influences and the polka dots in this kit it made me think of Mickey.  So I decided to use this month to go wild!  I will be scrapping photos like these ...

Mickey & Friends
So why not go to town and use all of the really themed papers that I bought at the time and haven't touched.  I have kept most of the pages so far un-themed but these photos are crying out for something a bit 'cheesier'!  Everything, including the characters themselves, are larger than life so here is my kit this month ... Mickey Madness!

Mickey Madness
The papers are all from  Hot Off The Press 'Busy Scrappers Disney Book'.  I took out all of the Mickey and Friends papers and left the Princess ones for another day.  The cut-apart sheets are from the book and so are the two sheets of tile alpahs (not sure if I will use these).  The red alpha stickers are from another Disney kit we bought at the park.  These papers are all paper weight but I am ok with that and I don't even back them with cardstock.  Once they are in page protectors I have never found that a problem and have always been too much of a Scrooge to waste a piece of card as a backing that no one will ever see.  It just means that they have to go into page protectors straight away and can't be stacked up in a box.

Mickey Madness - Metal Attack
There were pegs in the inspiration kit but I always have trouble using them and left them in last month's kit unused.  But I do like paperclips and as I had some FAB metal Disney ones from Creative Imaginations in my stash I added those.  I also included ribbons, buttons, and bling like the inspiration kit.  Of course I had to add washi tape as it has become ESSENTIAL!  LOL
Mickey Madness - Stamps
I also have some Buzz Lightyear photos that I want to use with the green 'Tomorrow Land' paper.  The Mickey stamps were a no-brainer and I added the camera stamp to counterfeit the camera from the original kit.  My final kit looks nothing like the original but it was a starting point and the embellishments gave me direction when looking for extras.

These are going to be fun and crazy to scrap ... so hold onto your hat and join me for a wild Mickey Madness ride!


Monday, 1 July 2013

Conterfeit Kit June - Layout 6 & 7

Now that I am no longer hosting crafting get togethers at the shop, some friends and I meet fortnightly for a bit of crafting, laughs, and sometimes a glass or two of wine.  We rotate between three of our homes so that there is a week that someone doesn't have to drive, but there is also no pressure to host if that isn't your thing.  The host provides a simple dinner as we often come straight from work or dropping our kids to their evening activities.  Sometimes I think that if we hadn't set this up we would regularly be guilty of neglecting time for ourselves.

I haven't had a full day off in nearly two weeks and the only crafting I have done is at our Friday evenings with a few minutes here and there to add finishing touches.  This is where having a ready made kit comes in very handy!  This first layout was done a fortnight ago and uses a funky sheet of vellum layered over a piece of white cardstock.  As it isn't stuck down (except under the photo) the layout photographed slightly dull as the vellum kept lifting up, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Mad Hatter's Tea Party
I really wanted to work with the circles to help reflect the spinning ride.  It was quick and fun to put together and I like the three photos all on the one page.

This last layout is based on a sketch by Shimelle which I did this past Friday.  I flipped the sketch upside down as I didn't want the sky in the photo too close to the background paper.  We spend so much time laughing and chatting while we are crafting that I am lucky if I get the papers, photo and title on the page.  Do you get a chance to craft with friends?  If not I would absolutely recommend it, even if it is just once a month and you host it yourself.  One of my friends uses it as her UFO (UnFinished Objects) night and she works through stuff that has been hanging around unfinished.  It really is more of a social gathering!  And we don't limit it to papercrafting ... any sort of crafting will do.

You will get wet!
More photos scrapped from our 2008 holiday/vacation.  It will soon be time for me to stop and take stock of what I have done from that holiday and start to work on filling gaps.  I like to make 12x12's for each key part or story of our holiday/vacation and then use decorated divided page protectors to house the rest of the photos and memorabilia.  Sort of like a 12x12 album crossed with project life.  With 1600 photos to choose from I am NOT scrapping them all on 12x12 pages!!!!

I hope you had a great weekend,