Friday, December 21, 2012

I love birthdays

Birthdays are my favourite day of the year - even better than Christmas and Easter.  It is the one day of the year that is all yours (well except if you are a twin, triplet or share a birthday with a family member lol).  As you may have read in an earlier post, Mitchell, our eldest son recently turned the big 1-0.  To say he was excited is an understatement.  For weeks all he would talk about is what kind of party he would like to have and constantly ask how many friends he could invite.  In the end he settled for a sleepover pool party with a handful of mates from school.  Seeing his face on the day of the party was definitely worth all the anticipation and planning on his part ;)
Played around with layers and washi tape again on this layout. Loving anything aqua/turquoise/orange at the moment.  Check out those birthday flair buttons - totally cute hey?! They are from Gail at Greatest View. LOVE her stuff!!!

Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxoxox

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Exciting Times

Last weekend Mitchell was part of the local swimming club's team who partitipated in the Queensland State Relay Swimming Championships.  It was held at the Chandler Aquatic Centre in Brisbane and was, by far, the largest swim meet that Mitchell had ever been to.  He was chosen to swim in two different relays - the 4x50m Medley Relay (doing the freestyle leg) and the 4x50m Freestyle Relay.  He performed really well in both races and swam a PB for his leg of the Medley Relay.  He had his own little cheer squad in Tony, Lachlan, Nanny, Poppy, JoJo and myself. 
It is so amazing to see how far he has come in the last twelve months and I am excited to see how much further he can go.  He told me the other morning that one of his goals for the next year or so is to make it to the State Titles for an individual event.  Hopefully, his hard work, focus and dedication in training will continue to be rewarded.  He was a bundle of nerves leading up to both of his swims so of course, that just had to make its way to a layout ;) I have used the latest sketch from Stuck?! Sketches as the basis of the layout - not that it ended up looking like the sketch after I rotated it, left bits out and added other stuff in lol:

Amazingly, at the end of the meet he had the opportunity to have a week long holiday with Nanny and Poppy but he said that he would like to come home so he could go to training - no pushing on anyone's part but totally 100% his own decision. I am so proud of this boy.
S xoxoxox

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crazy, Goofy Boy

Yep, that is our Lachlan. He is always goofing off and trying to make everyone laugh.  One of his favourite things to do at the pool is jump off the blocks doing what he calls a 'cannon bolt'. I have no idea where he got the name from as it looks nothing like a cannon or a bolt but it makes me laugh every single time.  I think it is the crossed legs and tongue poking out that cracks me up the most.  Gotta love this crazy, goofy boy of mine.

What do your children do that crack you up?  I would love to hear.
S xoxox

Sunday, December 16, 2012

All about Lachlan

Lachlan is going through a 'look at me posing for the camera' phase (heck, who am I kidding, he is always posing for the camera lol).  While I don't really keep track of how many layouts I have scrapped of each child, having someone who is so willing to pose for the camera tends to create an imbalance of photos.  Just before the wheat harvest began, we had an impromptu photo shoot.  I managed to get a stack of great pictures of Lachlan but Mitchell was having one of 'those' days and I didn't get a single photo of him. Needless to say, it was all about Lachlan that day.
Had another go at playing with messy stacks again.  I have also been trying to use more patterned papers as the background to my layouts - gotta make a dent in this paper stash somehow lol.
I love the muted tones of the papers from My Mind's Eye 'The Sweetest Thing' collection, especially the blue and yellow tones.  Even though you can see the green of the header front in the picture, I wanted to steer clear of that completely. Instead, I used the colour from the wheat stubble as the focal point instead.  I think I got away with it ;)
 Layers, layers and more layers <3>
I have LOTS of these papers left in my stash so it is safe to say that a lot more messy stacks will be coming soon to more layouts.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxoxo

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Little Swimmer

Our boys love to swim. Mitchell is in the Intermediate Squad and trains 4 days a week and Lachlan is swimming at the 'Dolphin' level and will soon be moving to the Transition Squad. All of their hard work has really paid off this season. Mitchell has taken 20 seconds off his time for the 50m freestyle across the last 12 months and, this past weekend, represented our local swimming club at the State Relay Swimming Championships (more to come about that in a future post). At his recent school carnival, Lachlan walked away with first places for all of the events he participated in. He was a very happy, albeit tired, boy by the end of the day. I was fortunate enough to be able go to the carnival because of my long service leave. Normally, I only get to make it if I have non-contact time at work or if I can't make it, one of my friends sends regular updates via text message. I made the most of being there by snapping heaps of photos.

And some closeups. Used washi tape, two different mists to create splatters across the page, a page runner from Charm's Creations, flair button from the Greatest View, Studio Calico wood veneers and vintage Heidi Swapp
Now that I have scrapped some of the photos from Lachie's carnival, I can turn my attention to telling some more of Mitchell's story and his adventures at the State Titles.
S xoxox

Friday, December 14, 2012

Big Air

This photo of Mitchell would have to be one of my favourite photos of him 2012. 

I snapped this photo during his birthday celebrations last weekend. I couldn't wait to scrap it, so I did.
I used some of the special effects on PicMonkey to edit the photo. I don't really know why but when I was going through my papers, the colour orange kept jumping out at me.  In turn Shimelle Laine style, I scoured through my bag of scraps and pulled out all of the little bits and pieces of orange papers and teamed them with different shades of blue and aqua so I could make a messy stack.  The diagonal striped paper for the background is actually the B side of one of the latest Christmas papers from October Afternoon - bet you wouldn't have guessed that! I don't have many orange thickers so used some orange ink to re-colour some pink ones in my favourite 'Lullaby' font.  Add in some washi tape, Studio Calico wood veneer shapes and a few flair buttons and the layout is done.
Shock horror - I have to say that I think this layout is my favourite layout of 2012, maybe of all time.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxo

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Turning 10

It is hard to believe that Mitchell turned 10 last week. 10???!!! Where did all those years go? They have certainly flown by.  This year, Mitch asked if he could have a sleepover pool party, so of course we were happy to oblige.  All of the boys had a great time. They filled their time by spending hours in the pool, going exploring around the farm, 'Skylanders' contests on the Wii and hanging out around the house playing lots of different games.  I feel very fortunate that we are able to give the boys the opportunity to create such treasured memories. I hope they look back on these pictures one day and remember what great times they had.
I am in the process of scrapping some of the {many} photos from last weekend. Here is one of the layouts I have created using Fancy Pants' 'Life is Good' range:
I love the paperclip numbers I found recently at Typo; a quick way of adding another dimension to the title.  I have used stickers from the 'Life is Good' pack, Heidi Swapp buzz words and some Jenni Bowlin alphas that have been sitting in my stash for ages. Gotta love mixing new and old products together. 
Even though I don't particularly like my handwriting, I have started to embrace using it on my layouts more regularly.  I will never have 'pretty' writing but in years to come maybe my grandkids will get a kick out of seeing it ;)
I really wish I bought the whole collection kit now - maybe I should go Christmas shopping for myself hehehehehe.
Will be back with more shares soon.
Take care,
S xoxoxoxo

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our little farmer

Those of you who are familiar with my blog or our kids would know that we definitely have another farmer in the making with our youngest son. Judging by the poses in some of the photos from our recent photoshoot in the wheat crop he might end up on the Australian TV show, 'The Farmer wants a Wife'. Let's hope that is more than a few years away though ;)
Layout One: Such a Country Cutie. Nothing else needs to be said lol
Layout Two: Happy Little Farmboy. I love this photo of Lachie. Definitely think I need to enlarge it and frame it for my desk at work :-) 
Still working on a few more pieces so will be back soon with more shares.
S xoxox

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Slowly getting back into the scrap of things

This week marks 5 weeks since my shoulder surgery and I am pleased to say that things are going great so far.  I am no longer in constant pain, I am sleeping much better and I can already use my arm and shoulder a lot more than I could prior to the operation. Definitely the best outcome I could have hoped for.
With the recovery process going so well, I have been able to get back to the scrapping desk a little sooner than I originally thought.  Progress is slower than usual but at the end of the day, it all adds up to more layouts in the albums. Today I am sharing some school-related photos from a few weeks ago when the boys received their Golden Letters for excellent behaviour across the semester. Both layouts are based on some of the ideas taught by Shimelle Laine in an online class I recently signed up for.  Still working my way through each of the tutorials ;)
Layout One: Golden Letter Boy.  Attempting to do some 'messy stack layering'.
And some closeups of the layering, misting and embellishments:
Layout Two: So very proud of you.  Another attempt as messy stacks and using a large piece of patterned paper in the background.  Think I have overdone the the green here but I will know that for next time lol. 
And some more closeups for you: 
I have some more layouts to share but I will save that for another day.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxo

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Out of action

After several years of deterioration and almost 12 months of constant pain and limited movement in my right shoulder, I did the inevitable and had surgery on Friday. This is the second full day post surgery and I am struggling with pain. On the upside however, the pain doesn't feel quite as bad  as the pain per-surgery so onwards and upwards from here.  I think I will be out of action scrap wise for a few weeks depending on how long it takes to 'wean' off the sling and how the pain and movement if progressing.
Looks like lots of blog surfing and pinning for me lol.
S xoxoxo

Friday, November 2, 2012


Do you have any special traditions in your family?  I didn't think we did until I got to thinking about how close Mitchell's birthday is to Christmas.  As someone who grew up with a birthday close to Christmas (18 days after to be exact) I was lucky to have parents who believed that, regardless of the time of year, birthdays were special days to be celebrated free of attachments to anything else.  I have tried to keep that alive in our family with Mitchell's birthday falling three weeks before Christmas. My way of making sure that he knows his day is special is to keep the focus off Christmas and the 'silly season' until after his birthday passes. We don't put up the Christmas tree or decorations and start the countdown until December 5. Forgot the 'proper' way to do it (if there is such a thing) - this is our tradition and I am planning on sticking to it for as long as I can.

So what is a special tradition in your family? I would love to hear.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxo

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's the Simple Things

How very apt are these four little words right now.  With a week to go until I head into for my surgery, I feel as if I have a million balls up in the air at once and have no idea how much longer I can keep juggling them.  There are always a tonne of deadlines at this time of year but usually, they are spread out over three or four weeks.  My early finish means that I don't have the luxury of that this year.  On the upside, I will have 5 or 6 extra weeks of holidays while I recover.  Hopefully the recovery will go very smoothly and I will have no need for extended periods of time off work next year.  So now I am going to try and live those four little words and remember that this, too, will pass - the simple things are the things that will always get you through.  I think I need to put this layout in a frame and keep it close by in the coming weeks.
So what is your simple thing that you are going to hold onto this week? I would love for you to share with me.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxo

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grown with Love

I love the fact that the boys and I get to share in the fruits of Tony's hard work, even if it is for photo opportunities in the different crops that are grown each year. I recently took the boys to one of the wheat paddocks for a photoshoot.  The wheat was out in head but had not yet ripened.  I am planning on taking them back to the same paddock again before the headers move in to take the crops off.  It will be interesting to be able to compare the photos once I get the boys to co-operate lol.  
I love how the converstaion flair buttons from Greatest View add a pop of colour to the layout ... and I think my layering is getting better bahahahaha.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxo

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Chooks

Between snakes, feral cats and foxes, we haven't had the greatest luck with chickens.  We are onto our third lot in twelve months, although I am happy to report that our current 'family' (2 roosters and 7 hens) have outlasted the previous lot without a single loss.  Both boys were very excited to know that Daddy was planning on getting more hens.  We were fortunate enough to be given three hens and a rooster by one of our neighbours to add to the new ones that Tony brought home from town.  The boys have been great about being responsible for checking the feed and water each day as well as collecting the eggs.  We have to work on all the eggs getting to the house in one piece but hey two out of three ain't bad lol.
I have been working on my layering skills - not sure if I am making progress or not, but at least more pages are getting done for the album and that is what matters most to me ;)
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxo

Monday, October 29, 2012

Little Winner

Both our boys love to swim.  Being a former swimmer myself, swimming was always going to be a part of our boys' lives.  During the spring/summer months they are in the water almost every single day - be it at the local pool for training/squad lessons or at home splashing about in our pool.  All that time has certainly paid off over the last twelve months or so if the following layout is anything to go by.  Lachlan had a very successful day at the school's swimming carnival last year.  He certainly looks pleased with himself lol.
And some close ups - Thickers, Jillybean Soup Alphabea,s Greatest View Badges (I {love} these things) 
This year's carnival is coming up in a few weeks time and for the first time since either boy started school, I will actually have the chance to spend the entire day at the carnival.  I am very excited! Maybe Lachlan will have another great year ;)
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxoxo

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scrapping my way out of a slump

I don't know about you but sometimes I find it REALLY hard to scrap.  And when I say hard, I mean literally pulling over every single sheet of patterned paper, cardstock and photo I own only to end up packing it all away again. More often than not, these slumps happen when I actually have an opportunity to scrap or have specifically made plans to scrap with friends.
Not only is it very frustrating but in some ways it is a bit humiliating to be sitting surrounded by gorgeous layouts and talented people only to feel like an EPIC failure. I know that 99.9% of this is totally my head playing games with me but at least I have lots of memories of great times spent with awesome friends.  Plus there is the simply joy that comes with being with like-minded people and NOTHING beats that.
My latest slump came at one of those *really* inopportune times - Donna and I packed our stashes and headed out to Lauren's place for a weekend of scrapping.  Lauren and Donna were churning out the layouts like there was no tomorrow while I sat there ratting through the stash. I lost count of how many times I attempted to start a layout, only to pack it away again.  In the end, I think I managed three layouts for the weekend and while not a waste (because layouts in the album is never a waste), it definitely wasn't the weekend I had anticipated.  Over the coming days, I will be sharing the layouts I worked on while at Lauren's and a few that I have done since then (most of which were the 'rejects' from that weekend lol).
Layout One - A Boy and His Chook.
Not in love with this layout - was experimenting with layering but I think it is proof that I need to work on that technique some more lol.
Layout 2: Our Little Mate is based on the October Sketch with a Twist Challenge over at Scrapbook Savvy.  I have changed up the layout a bit with the size of the banner strips but still very similar all the same. The photo I have used is one of Mitchell in one of the paddocks of wheat that Tony has grown this season.
And a close-up of some of my current and long time favourites: Greatest View Chevron Badges, a felt star from Charm's Creations, wood veneer embellishments from Studio Calico and vintage Heidi Swapp verb stickers. 
Layout3: These Beautiful Girls is another one of those hmmmmmmmmmmm layouts - one where you know that it is ok but still not what you were thinking. On the upside, it is another wedding photo scrapped.  Maybe I will have scrapped them all by our 20th Wedding Anniversary lol. Loving Echo Park's 'This and That Graceful' Collection:
Ok that is it for now.  I will be back over the coming days with a few more shares.  I spent part of the weekend focused on scrapping as it will be the last of it for a while I think.  I am scheduled for shoulder surgery in less than two weeks which means lots of work to do ahead of then to tie up all the lose ends at school.  If only the late nights ahead of me were going to be spent with pretty patterns instead of blue lines filled with responses to exams and assignments lol.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxoxo 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reading anyone???

This month's challenge over at Scrap the Boys is to scrap your boy's favourite book/book series to read or what they love to have read to them if they are too young.  As soon as I saw the challenge, I knew that my layout had to focus on Mitchell's love of reading.  Only problem is that he has LOTS of favourite books on the go at any one time.  He devoured the 'Diary of a Whimpy Kid' over the Christmas holidays and soon moved onto all things 'Horrible Histories'. While he likes the TV series of the same name he spends hours pouring over all of the books and telling me about all the things he has learnt - maybe he has developed his love and interest of history from his History-teaching mother ;)
This is my take on the challenge:

The photos are not the best quality but with a bit of help from PicMonkey (favourite way of editing photos these days), I got them to a point I was happy with. Used some of my current favourites on the layout - Greatest View buttons, Studio Calico Wood Veneers and a Charm's Creations heart. 
And what would a recent layout of mine be without some journalling from my trusty typewriting.  Sure getting my money's worth - lol it cost me a new ribbon as a friend from work gave it to me!!! 
His next reading challenge as the journalling suggests is going to be 'Harry Potter' - it will be interesting to see how he goes with them.  They will be his most challenging read to date.  Gotta be happy about having a boy who loves to read :-)
And yes, it might surprise some of you (insert Donna here lol) but I am actually happy with how this layout has turned out.
Thanks for stopping by.
S xoxo