Monday, March 30, 2009

Amazing Scrapping Race: Day 2 PNG Entry & Day 3 China

This is my entry for Day 2 of Scrapbook Outlet's Amazing Scrapping Race. The layout had to use the Papua New Guinea flag for inspiration.

I managed to upload the small version to my Flickr stream so it's hard to see the detail. The title is Family in Christ. These are some special people who I consider family even though we don't share DNA. I realised when looking at the photos (taken 2006 and 2008) that 3 of the folks pictured are no longer on earth.

And I'm pregnant in the top photo and DD has arrived by the lower photo.

*Faces blurred for privacy*

Day 1 (Canberra: Aussie Scrap Source) layout is done, but I need to take a decent photo of it.

Day 3 is China and we need to make our own embellishment - not too hard, but not sure I'll manage to get it done tonight since I have to do grocery shopping... unless I can sneak in an online order with Woolworths somewhere today. ;-)

Edited to add: well my Day One LO is a dead loss since I used Bazzill which ASS doesn't have so here it is for China since I did some simple hand made embellishing on it. There is some strange gunk on the left hand photo which I tried to get off but couldn't so I'll have to scan it and re-print it once I get some photo paper.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Enjoy the little things

Trying out the scrunchy rumbled look with my October Afternoon Detours paper and my Stampin Up! stamps.

Not sure about this layout, but anyway, it's done now and I'm not going to re-do it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Far out! Awesome competition at SBO

Check it out!

The first prize is a chance to go to the Autumn Escape ... oh boy that would be awesome.

Even so - there are sure to be some great challenges for this one.

The Amazing Scrapping Race

Sounds like fun. I'm going to try and enter... not sure how I'll get on 'cause I'm no good at deadlines these days but we'll see.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March Reading Round Up | Book Club Review

The middle place / Kelly Corrigan
Autobiography of Kelly's fight with breast cancer in parallel with her father's fight with prostate cancer. Also about her struggle to deal with the fact her father hero is not always going to be around. I have to admit I did get a bit fed up with her angst regarding her Dad. But then I don't like to think about my Dad not being around anymore so maybe I should look to myself a bit more!

The independence of Miss Mary Bennet / Colleen McCullough
Lizzy Bennet married Mr Darcy, Jane Bennet married Mr Bingley - but what became of the middle daughter, Mary? Discover what came next in the lives and loves of Jane Austen's much loved Bennet family in this Pride and Prejudice spin-off from an international bestselling author Readers of Pride and Prejudice will remember that there were five Bennet sisters. Now, twenty years on, Jane has a happy marriage and large family; Lizzy and Mr Darcy now have a formidable social reputation; Lydia has a reputation of quite another kind; Kitty is much in demand in London's parlours and ballrooms; but what of Mary? Mary is quietly celebrating her independence, having nursed her ailing mother for many years. She decides to write a book to bring the plight of the poor to everyone's attention. But with more resolve than experience, as she sets out to travel around the country, it's not only her family who are concerned about her. Marriage may be far from her mind, but what if she were to meet the one man whose own fiery articles infuriate the politicians and industrialists? And if when she starts to ask similar questions, she unwittingly places herself in great danger?~ from the blurb.
Very much enjoyed this one, though there were a few dramatic turn arounds in thought/attitudes from some of the characters that had me a bit startled. P&P fans will like this one I think.

The uncommon reader / Alan Bennett
What would happen if the Queen became a reader of taste and discernment rather than of Dick Francis? The answer is a perfect story... The Uncommon Reader is none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. She reads widely (JR Ackerley, Jean Genet, Ivy Compton Burnett, and the classics) and intelligently. Her reading naturally changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. She comes to question the prescribed order of the world, and loses patience with much that she has to do. In short, her reading is subversive. The consequence is, of course, surprising, mildly shocking and very funny.~ the blurb
LOVED this one. We were amused. A short one but a goody.

The various flavours of coffee / Anthony Capella
In 1896 London, impoverished poet Robert Wallis accepts a commission from eccentric coffee merchant Samuel Pinker to categorize the diverse and elusive coffee flavours, an assignment that will transform his life as he falls in love with his assistant, Pinker's daughter Emily.~ from the blurb.
Very much enjoyed the lyrical descriptions of coffees as well as the tangled love story. The ending is a little different but nonetheless happy and satisfying. Mmmmm ... coffee. I would recommend this one, and also his other book, The food of love which I read last year.

March Book Club Book

Extremely loud and incredibly close / Jonathan Safran Foer
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies, Beatles memorabilia, state quarters, miniature cacti and coral. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, his inward journey towards some kind of peace takes him on an odyssey through the five boroughs of New York, as he attempts to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. ~from the blurb

Did you like/dislike the book?
I took a while to get into this book. There are several "voices" and stories running at the same time, and the presentation is different. Oskar seems rather precocious for a nine year old but then, I'm only used to pre-schoolers and 5 year olds so far! His search for what door the key opens leads him to meet all kinds of people and I liked reading about the characters he comes across, especially the old guy upstairs with the "magnetic" bed. I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as February's but they are entirely different styles. I found some of the story line a bit unconnected in parts and some of Oskar's imagination is pretty fantastic for what I remember thinking at 9 years old. Overall, I was pleased to read it but I don't think I'll bother chasing up the other books by this author at this stage.

I will edit this post with links to the other book circle member's reviews as they become available.
Janine, Sandra, Suzannah, Con, Heather, Sharon,

Did it affect you in any way?
I must say some of the stuff in there brought back memories of the 9/11 incident. Oskar's relationship with his mother is strained and that made me feel uncomfortable because I tended to identify with the mother! I found the grand-parents story irritating and frankly, I don't think I really got what the author was trying to do with it! Call me dense, but there ya go. It's all part of the fun of book clubs - reading things that you might not ordinarily pick up.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

February Reading Round Up

The heart is a lonely hunter / Carson McCullers
A quiet, sensitive girl reaches for beauty in a small Southern town. ~from the blurb This one is considered to be classic American literature.
Started, didn't finish. Found this one hard to get into. The style of writing and the desperate lives of the characters didn't appeal to me at the time and then I had to return it to the library. Maybe I'll try again.

In search of Africa / Frank Coates
Kip Balmain, a young Australian boy taken to a small town in Africa, finds himself caught up in the violence of colonial Kenya. As the country struggles towards independence, Kip also struggles to understand his mother's vindictive hatred of the father he has never met - and resolves to uncover the mystery of his parentage. In Uganda, Rose Nasonga, a girl at risk after her idyllic village life becomes a nightmare of civil war, uses her beauty to escape into the world of fashion. Out of the horrors of war, across the boundaries of time and race, Kip and Rose discover that their lives are mysteriously linked. And that the paths they travel alone, and ultimately together, lead them inexorably to their greatest discovery.~from the blurb.
Quite a good story, typical star-crossed lover type scenario along the lines of Wilbur Smith but with more depth.

Shakespeare's wife
/ Germaine Greer

Little is known about the wife of England's greatest playwright; a great deal, none of it complimentary, has been assumed. The omission of her name from Shakespeare's will has been interpreted as evidence that she was nothing more than an unfortunate mistake from which Shakespeare did well to distance himself. Yet Shakespeare is above all the poet of marriage. Again and again in his plays constant wives redeem unjust and deluded husbands, but scholars persist in believing Shakespeare's own wife was no help to him and even that he hated her. In Shakespeare's Wife, Germaine Greer combines literary-historical techniques with documentary evidence about life in Stratford, striving to re-embed the story of Shakespeare's marriage in its social context.~from the blurb
Started, didn't finish. I really wanted to get through this but I wasn't in the right frame of mind to do it, and then it was due back at the library. Lots of historical detail, dates and connections are explored and I need to be in the mood for that sort of style. Will try this one again at a later date.

Barbed wire and roses / Peter Yeldham

They were our golden youth, seeking adventure on foreign battlefields. The First World War, everyone said in 1914, would be over by Christmas, and Stephen Conway rushes to enlist in the belief he should fight for King and Empire. Leaving behind a new wife and a baby on the way, he soon finds himself in the trenches of Gallipoli. Four horrific years later, Stephen is the only survivor of his platoon, shell-shocked and disillusioned, and during the heat of battle on the bloodstained fields of France, he mysteriously disappears. Stephen's ultimate fate is still a mystery when more than eighty years later his grandson Patrick finds a diary that leads him to Britain and France on a journey to discover what really happened. It is a journey during which he unexpectedly finds love, and the truth about his grandfather's fate that is even stranger and more shocking than he imagined.~from the blurb
This novel was very engaging. At first I thought it would be a typical coming of age type story set in WW1 but it turned out to be much more deeper than that. It addresses the sensitive topic of so called "cowardice" and desertion so despised at that time and it's affect on the person, their families and friends. Parallel to the WW1 story is a present day conflict between Patrick and his wife which occurs during Patrick's investigations.

Crossed bones / Jane Johnson

In an exclusive London restaurant, a gift is given that will change Julia Lovat's life. The antique book of Jacobean embroidery delights her, but when she settles down to read it more closely, she unexpectedly discovers within its foxed and faded pages; the extraordinary diary of a young Cornish girl, calling to her from across the centuries. The stories of these two women are destined to converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner.~ from the blurb.
Also enjoyed this one. It surprised me with the complexity of plot and I enjoyed the element of exotica that emerges through the events of the story.

Didn't manage to read so much in February. We spent a lot of time repainting our room so not so much opportunity to read.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


there is something happening at SBO. On Friday.

Andrea is rubbing her hands over something! Not sure what it is but you may like to investigate.
I think it might involve Creme Eggs and scrapbooking goodies.

In other news...
Watch this space for
  • Reading Round Ups
  • Friendship tag post
I will post something more substantial once I've taken off Da Boss hat I'm wearing at present at work.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Taking the opportunity

Home with a little girl who isn't well today, so I thought I would do a blog post!

Excuse the black frame+husband's watermark on the photos. I uploaded them without noticing he'd turned on some settings. *sigh* I can assure you they are my photos! Can't be bothered redoing them.

There has been a lot of jam making in our house. So far I've made 46 jars. Some of which I'll be sending to Jenny as soon as I find a suitable box! Others I've sold at work.

This is my entry to the Scrap the Boys March Challenge. Go here for more details.

Used the lovely Snorkel paper from Cosmo Cricket.

Also managed to do another layout (don't fall off your chair) using my strawberry paper and Stampin' Up strawberry stamp.

We've finished the painting of our room and the curtains are up. :) Very pleased with the end result thought we did encounter some problems. We discovered the enamel tint was too different from the wall paint although they were allegedly the same colour. So we had a choice buying another 4litre tin of the correct colour and redoing the 3 walls, or painting the outside of the wardrobes in the wall paint (inside with the enamel). I'm afraid we chose the cheaper lazier option. I had bought the paint in 2007 so it would have been no point returning it and asking for a refund etc. This photo is of the feature wall.

Monday, March 09, 2009

cute things they say + make your own tartan

DD is coming along with her vocab and sentence making. She copies things we say - it's like there is an echo in the house sometimes.

With her face right up close to mine while I'm resting with my eyes closed she says in a big loud voice:
"Mummy seeping!" not anymore baby, not anymore..

Em, those little figurines from William's party now live in the dolls house, and get taken to bed on occasion which resulted in:

"Bob anna Wenny in bed!" (Bob and Wendy in bed!)
DH in the background: Naughty Bob!

DH had some music on:
"I yike mooscit" (I like music)

She knows most of the names of her little playmates at daycare.
Sheeta (Ashita)
Baco (Paco)
Yiza (Eliza)
and also her teachers
Yinda (Linda)
Heada (Heather)
Manyo (Manjo)

It's funny to listen to the two kids play together. DD bosses her around a bit and controls the "game" but she certainly can make her opinions felt. The other day she annoyed DD, so he said to her, "I'm going to cross you off my list!"

I hope I'm still on his list. ;-)

Now to something completely different.

I subscribe to a blog called Popgadget, a blog about tech for women. Actually they have more stuff than that, but I digress. Anyhow, the poster pointed me to Pattern Pulp, a blog about... you guessed it ... patterns, by a New York designer. Fun!

She pointed me to a Stripe Generator site where you can make your own stripey patterns.

And it links to a Tartan making site where you can make your own tartan and unleash your inner Scott. Och aye!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

today's post is brought to you by the letter S

DS had a mufti-day yesterday with the required .50c "donation" and $1 sausage sizzle.  So I wrapped up his money and told him what it was for etc.  When I got home I asked him:

"So did you get a sausage today?"
DS: Yes
Me: So you gave the money to Miss B___?
DS: No
Me: Well how come you were allowed a sausage then?
DS: You can't have a sausage unless you have an 'S' on your hand.
Me: *giggles* Right... so Nan gave Miss B___ the money then?
DS: No, she gave it to the office. *found out later this wasn't true, she did give it to the teacher*
Me: And the office ladies wrote an 'S' on your hand?
DS: No, the office ladies don't know how to write 'S'
Me: LOL!

Slandered!  Those poor office ladies ;-)  So if you know how to write an S on your hand you can have a sausage.  Just thought that little tip might be helpful.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lego classics

V.J. Day Times Square
Originally uploaded by Balakov.

You've got to love these lego recreations of classic photos.

This one is V.J. Day Times Square. The set can be seen here.

Here's my baby in a dress I smocked way before I had any kids. Lucky I tried it on her because next summer will be too late I think. She will have grown out of it. It's supposed to be a size 3 I think. (Slightly differing colour cast due to DH manipulating levels. The bottom one is true colour but she wasn't smiling!) Photos by my lovely hubster who took my hint of "needing a photo" while I was rushing around getting ready for church yesterday and went ahead and took one.