Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post for 2008!

Well this is officially the last post for 2008!

We took the boys to see some 9pm fireworks tonight as well as an icecream and they loved it!
Hopefully this is the first of many New Years Eves out as a family. They had a great time and so did we.

Thank you to everyone who visits my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for leaving a comment, no matter how big or small. And for those that don't leave a comment that's Ok too - it's just lovely that you take some time to visit here every now and then.

Best wishes to you all for a Safe and Happy 2009!
Enjoy the New Year - 45 minutes to go here in Brisbane - just need to keep my eyes open a little longer - hehehe!

What's a post with a photo - here's my collage of Xmas Day 'opening presents'.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes - it really meant alot to me!
And, I can't believe how many Capricorns there are amongst us - more birthdays to come.

I've been processing photos galore and getting ready to print them off tomorrow. I like to crop them sometimes in Photoshop and make a collage so I can use on my layouts, so I've been spending time on that tonight. Here are a heap of photos from Christmas Day - spent at my parent's home. It was a huge family affair and we all had a great time. I can't wait to do this layout!

Best wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year in case I don't get time to post tomorrow night.
Here's to a wonderful 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday .... to me!

Today I'm celebrating my Birthday and not just any birthday ... the BIG 40!

I'm having a fun day with Ethan and Joshua playing trains and building Neo, gingerbread for morning tea and heaps of kisses and hugs from them. Looking forward to when Manuel gets home from work too.

Hopefully I'll have some photos to share soon!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

GIngerbread Recipe

Thanks go to Nicole Southworth who shared this recipe with me last year.

It's easy to make but the trick is to let it sit the mixture sit in the refrigerator until it firms up before you go rolling it out and cutting shapes.
3/4 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar (I use Black sugar fromt he health food store)
1 egg
1/4 cup molases
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 1/4 cups plain flour sifted
Beat the wet ingredients together until creamy.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until well combined.
Allow to firm up in the fridge.
Roll out to approx. 1/4 inch thick and cut your shapes.
Bake on baking paper in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees celisius for about 8-10 minutes.

Royal Icing
1 egg white
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar sifted
Gently beat the egg white and then slowly add icing sugar one teaspoon at a time.
I use a small plastic sandwich bag and simply cut off a small amount of one corner. I use that as my piping bag. But .... I really must grab myself a proper nozzle to decorate these because they would probably look even lovelier with one of those.
Happy Baking!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Best Christmas ever!

We celebrated Christmas lunch and dinner with cousins and aunties and uncles and grandparents and greatgrandparents and nieces and .... well it was fantastic! The boys had a great time, not just with the endless supply of presents but playing with their cousins and also a visit from Santa Claus on the day. I'll share some photos next week. Oh and some of those cousins and aunties are visitors to my blog .... time to leave a comment girls!!!!

Earlier in the week, the boys were excited to bake some gingerbread. We started the tradition last year and they loved it. This year though we baked them and then decorated them, ate a few and then packaged them into a biscuit tin as a gift for their 95 year old GreatGrandmother. They decided that since she couldn't bake her Greek biscuits anymore they would bake something for her - I'm lucky to have such good little boys. Of course, they kept a container for themselves too - hehehe!

If you'd like the recipe, let me know and I'll post it here next time. It's not tricky at all and they taste delicious. The recipe was given to me by Nicole Southworth - some of you may know her name as a fellow aussie scrapbooker.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas ...

The boys are so excited that Santa is coming tonight - Ethan reminded me that we took photos last year in front of the tree before bedtime, so I was more than happy to carry on the tradition.

Of course, they also got some homemade gingerbread for Santa, an apple for the reindeer to share and a glass of water in case anyone was thirsty. Ethan included a special note for Santa as well.

Here's hoping that tomorrow morning doesn't start too early - but then again, it is Christmas Day!
Merry Christmas to everyone - wishing you all good health and happiness in the new year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa Cupcake

Isn't this the cutest Santa cupcake?!
Our local bakery is making these in mini versions as well as normal cupcakes. They taste delicious too!

Only 4 sleeps to go!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is how it goes!

So we have to strike a deal in our house for a mini photo session - one crazy photo then one 'normal' photo. In fact the 'normal' ones are hardly normal most of the time. I'm loving my new camera and I just collected my second new lens - a 50mm f1.4 - and had to have a play. Here are some shots - gotta love my model!

Five sleeps to go!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another layout

... 2 in fact,

although I can only share one since I'm thinking that I can use the other for the Keeping it Simple article in Scrapbook Creations.

The weather in Brisbane was forecast to be 35 degrees celcius today so I stayed inside with the boys most of the time. We baked gingerbread and hopefully we can decorate them tomorrow. I also completed 2 layouts and went for a swim. We should all sleep well tonight.

Here's my Finding Diesel layout - I kept thinking it needed some patterned paper but I just couldn't get it to feel right with it on. That gorgeous arrow is a sticker from the American Crafts range - a gift from Severine a while ago - isn't is so cool!

Six sleeps to go!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In the Groove

All I needed were a few new photos and some goodies from the scrap store and I felt inspired to scrap again. I'm sure it's been a couple of weeks but I'm in the groove now and I'm about to complete another layout once I share this on my blog.

These photos were practice shots with my new camera and lens - I'm really loving it and I was pleased with how these photos turned out of Joshua and his trains.

Thanks for dropping by - only 7 sleeps to go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blog Award x 2

Thanks to Tiff for nominating me for this blog award - 2 awards in 2 days - how cool is that! She's a really fun girl and a great scrapper - go check her out.

Thank you to Tanyah ( ) for nominating me for this award. Tanyah owns Scrap 'n' Craft with T and has a great range of online scrap goodies. This is what I need to do:

1.You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs.

2.You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions.

3.On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link back to their blog.

So, I nominate, in no particular order, some of my most visited photography blogs,

1. Whitebox Weddings

2. Andrea Joki

3. Kerrianne Brown

4. Rachel Richter

5. Audrey Woulard

5 addictions

1. cold, milk chocolate

2. an inspiring blog

3. a beautiful photographic image

4. my family's laughter

5. checking for new emails - more than once a day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A visit to Santa!

Yes, we made it in time before Xmas day - to see Santa of course!
It was very exciting for the boys and they told Santa all about their wish list.

Now, just 10 more sleeps to go!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

oh Xmas tree ....

The tree is up and the presents are wrapped - except of course the ones Santa will bring.
We've had the tree up since mid November - the boys put it up one stormy afternoon to stop them feeling scared. I love having the tree up early - it feels like Xmas doesn't it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back In Action

Finally, my new camera arrived at the camera store and I love it!

I'm so happy to have the Canon 40D as well as a beautiful new lens - the 24-70L.
The 50mm f1.2 is on it's way but I'm loving the other one.

Here are a couple of the very first images I took on the weekend.

Oh and Kate B. asked me about a previous layout I posted on my blog - a Xmas layout. She asked what inspired me to use black aplhas against a black background.
Well, I had seen my friend Severine do it over a year ago (just before I created the Xmas layout). She had used White letters on a white background and I loved it. When I was creating mine I wanted the emphasis to be on the Xmas list and I remembered how she had done hers. I felt it didn't dominate the layout. Hope this helps Kate - thanks for asking.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Xmas Bookmarks

Ethan came home last week and announced that he needed some cards for his 27 school friends. So this is what we made - Xmas Bookmarks. Some of the designs were inspired (in a big way) by my friend, Melanie Louette - her cards are beautiful - go check them out if you have a moment.

On the reverse side he wrote his To's and From's - the kids loved them!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I'm so excited.

I received an email today from Jennifer Wozab (Simple Scrapbooks - USA) requesting a layout from me for the MAY edition.

I am so excited - this will be 2 editions in a row.

And to make it even more wonderful, my dear friend Severine DiGiacomo (from Switzerland) will be in the same issue as me - she has a layout accepted also. I'm very happy for her.

I'm really really excited - did I say that already?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lucky last - xmas Layout no.5

It's that time of the year where I need to gather all my ingredients together to bake some gingerbread with the boys. A friend of mine, Nicole Southworth, shared a layout of hers last year with her daughters baking gingerbread and it inspired me immediately to go out and grab all the gear I needed to do this with my own children. They loved it and so did I and the best part was that it was pretty simple to do. What more could you want? I'd love to hear if you follow any xmas traditions - such a great time of the year, isn't it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Xmas Layout no.4

I forgot to upload my 4th layout last night. I was so busy completing a layout for Scrapbooking Memories for the Xyron Challenge they have coming up in the new year. Wow, I've never used one before and I loved it. So easy to use and sticks everything down so well. I bet you all have one in your scrap stash - don't you ?

This layout is a favourite of mine - not sure why the design grabs me but it does - I think it's the American Crafts rubon arrow - not sure exactly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Xmas Layout no.3

Here is the third layout that is featured in this month's Scrapbook Creation's Xmas Article - not difficult at all to replicate and really nice to look back on in years to come at how the house looked at Xmas time. That reminds me, time to get the Xmas wreath out and onto the door.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Check this out !

I have some exciting news to share ... a little while ago, Tanyah Payne from Scrap 'n Craft with T (online scrapbooking store) invited me to put together a kit for her along with a layout using the products that I chose. Myself, along with Michelle Jamieson and Tracey Thorne will be taking turns each month to do this and they will be for sale along with 'step-by-step' instructions.

My kit will be available from the 1st January and I can't wait to share what I've done.

In the meantime, Michelle Jamieson has the very first kit available for sale and it's gorgeous!

Oh, and Tanyah is a great scrapper herself - having received an Honorable Mention last year in Scrapbooking Memories Masters.

The kits are available for sale throughout Australia.

xmas day 07 - layout no.2

Here is another layout I have featured in the Xmas Article this month in Scrapbook Creations - I love the papers that I used on this layout - American Crafts (what else? hehe)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

5 layouts in 5 days

I was so excited when Scrapbook Creations asked me to write this month's article in their magazine about scrapping Christmas photos the 'simple' way. If you have the magazine I'd love to hear what you thought about it. There are 5 layouts in there , all different designs, and I'm going to post one on my blog each day - here's the first one - XMAS LIST.

Isn't the paper cute -

it's Scenic Route Laurel
and the chipboard alphas are from
American Crafts,
the list and the arrow turns are
7 gypsies.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A sketch challenge

Being a simple scrapper, I've always enjoyed the Simple Scrapbooks site and the layouts that like-minded scrappers post there. They have a sketch challenge at the moment, and I created this today. I scrapped my Halloween photos with a little bit of journalling also.

Oh and yes, that is two posts in one day for me - woohoo!

My gift last year

Last year I created this for my niece for her Christmas gift. I had it printed on photo paper and mounted on foam board - it was about 70cm across. The original photo was of her crouching near our garage and she had no fairy wings. I found this magical background and added her to it along with her wings and the fairy dust. She loved it! ... and she couldn't work out how she had been transported into fairy land.

Now I just have to think of something special again this year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


If you have a moment, take a look at this - very touching and beautifully photographed. So glad you posted this on your blog Melanie! Be sure to scroll down.

Friday, November 21, 2008

camera shy?

I finally got around to scrapping these photos that were taken at a recent wedding in a cool photo booth - the bride and groom hired one for the night for all the guests to use - as you can see Manuel and I aren't what you call camera shy. Maybe I should have called the layout "camera hogs".

Sorry for the bad scan - it is straight in real life.
Paper - American Crafts
Strips - bazzill strips

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

bad bad pic!

I had a few friends ask for me to upload my first layout published. It was for a SHEER Gallery for Scrapbook Creations. I still remember opening that email in shock and major excitement. The large photo and journalling has a vellum overlay on top of it - it was the thing to do! Sorry for the bad photo - I really need my new camera ASAP!

Oh and on a festive note, I've just been given this link
- it's meant to be super cute for the kids - I'm off to check it out with Ethan now.
Can you believe Xmas is getting so close?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trust me ...

... thank you for playing along and leaving me a message to enter the RAK of goodies I have. It was lovely to receive the messages of praise from everyone about my layouts being accepted for publication.

As you all know, I have sold my camera so I have no photo to share of me drawing one name out of the red satin box that sits on the shelf above my desk ... trust me that I did Ok?

So, the name drawn was ........... maryanne r.
Can you leave me your email details so I can get your address to post you some goodies please?

Also, I have a layout to share for the lovely LUCY (crazymumm) who celebrated her birthday yesterday. She won the auction prize of a layout for me to create for her. She chose for me to create the layout for her online friend, Karen (gypsy), to thank her for her hard work with Pink ribbon day and also for the friendship they have. You'll see the layout I created in the post below but I really wanted to create one for Lucy too - her generous nature meant alot to me. So, Lucy, here's a layout for you also and you have Chelle to thank for getting me this lovely photo of you and Karen together. I hope you like it and thank you for your generous donation to such a worthy cause!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Lucy!

A special birthday wish to Lucy (aka crazymumm on some scrapbook sites)- This lady is so kind and caring. She was the highest bidder for the Pink Ribbon Auction to raise money for cancer in women - the prize was for me to create a layout for her.
She emailed me and asked if I would mind creating it for Karen (aka Gypsy), the lady who organised the event to thank her for her friendship and hard work on the Scrapchat site. So, Happy Birthday to Lucy and I hope Karen enjoys the layout you so kindly RAK'd to her. Oh, and Lucy, I have a surprise for you too ... please check in tomorrow to take a peak. I wish I could have posted a photo tonight but I was rostered on to work today at short noticed and due to a big storm here in Brisbane I couldn't get myself organised ... of course putting up the Christmas tree with the boys late this afternoon slowed me down too. Here's the layout!

Oh, I forgot to add - thank you so much for the lovely comments about my layouts. I'll try and scan an early layout in the next couple of days - that should have you laughing!

Friday, November 14, 2008

woohoo .....

So, I had a bit of time to pass while Joshua was taking his nap today and I thought I'd update my Resume about the layouts, cards, mini albums etc. that I've been fortunate to have published or accepted for publication.
I started to count ... and I'm pretty excited to say that I hit 103 pieces !!!!!!

Thank you to the following magazines who have accepted work from me over the last few years - it's overwhelming and I still get the same thrill when I read an acceptance as when I did with the very first one.

Scrapbook Creations - who accepted my very first layout back in 2003 - thanks Barb.
Scrapbooking Memories
Creating Keepsakes (AUS)
Scrapbooks Etc (USA)
Simple Scrapbooks (USA)
Scrapbooking For Beginners
My Reflections
Scrapbook Answers (USA) - the layout that flew to America, was photographed and ready to be published until the magazine was sold and the new company stopped production on the issue my Layout was due - sad story!

To celebrate, I'd love to send some scrapping goodies to one lucky person. Simply leave a comment ... and your name ... and I'll draw it on Monday 8pm (Brisbane/Australia time). Thank you to everyone who ever takes the time to leave me a comment - I love reading each and every one of them!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A quiz!

I saw this on my Melanie's blog ( and thought I'd fill out the quiz - I think this would be a great LO idea , don't you? Maybe a mini album even!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band school
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis ... yikes
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped ............ I will never do this one !
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables ... do carrots and a few herbs count?
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving............Never for this one too !
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt ... a pretty bad one though
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Now you should all sleep well after that unexciting bit of trivia from me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A first for me!

Who would have thought I would post 2 blog entries on the same night?

As promised, I went and scrapped a layout for me about Ethan learning to ride his bike without his training wheels. The day he decided to take his wheels off was really important to him and so I chose to not take my camera with me so that I could help him gain some confidence to ride alone. I did miss capturing those photos of him but I can't imagine how I would have been able to run next to him with one hand on the handle bars and the other on his bike seat and my camera hanging around my neck all at once. So, we simply went back to the same park a few days later for 'the re-enactment' and got some good shots then. Here's the layout :

Wow - a blog award!

I have a lovely friend, Anita Meade, who is a talented scrapper and great girl. She kindly nominated me for this award and it's really made my day. Go check out her layouts and her cool mini albums - you'll be inspired not only by her artistic creations but by her terrific outlook on life.

The Rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award are :
1. The winner may put the logo on their blog.
2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to their blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

So, this is tough, I nominate ........

1. Celeste Smith - - a busy US scrapper who creates beautiful, clean layouts for the who's who in scrapping mags and companies, as well as gives you enough links to great websites that you'll never get off your computer for as long as you live.

2.Keisha Campbell - - a US girl living with her family in China - she creates some dazzling stuff for some big name scrapping companies - best part is she's a great girl too.

3.Lynette Van Barello - - this Aussie girl just creates the most gorgeous pieces of scrapping, is hysterically funny and is as mad as you can get (and I mean that in a good way Lynette) - check her out too.

4.Ingunn - - a norwegian girl living in seattle - if you've ever wanted to see how to scrap your holiday or pet photos in a cool, clean way, then Ingunn's layouts are a must to see and the photos are just gorgeous of her hiking trips.

5. Genevieve Jacquemont - - anyone that knows me knows that I love scrapping 'french style' - well Genevieve is from France and her style is so sophisticated - I love it!

Oh, and tonight I'm scrapping a layout just for me ... no commitments to any magazine so hopefully I'll be sharing it really soon on my blog - stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Look who's vain!

The lovely TIFF ( just brought this to my attention - an advertisement in Creating Keepsakes Australia with a layout from me in it. So, I showed my husband excitedly and this is what he had to say ....

'Why did they pick that photo? My hair's not straight at the back!'

Yep, that was it!
A very interesting response don't you think?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's official !

My Canon 400D has been SOLD!

I made the decision to move to the next level of Canon cameras - the 40D or 50D - and I had a friend who wanted to buy the 400D. So tonight, I wrapped it up carefully in bubble wrap and handed it over to a lady that's eager to learn about photography.

Now I just need to head on over to the camera store this week and get myself a new model along with a 50mm f1.2 lens. I hope I have heaps of good photos to share with you once I make my purchase.

And because I like to post a layout, here's an older one from when Joshua was just a baby - hasn't he grown!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Ethan and Joshua had a great time on Friday for Halloween. Their cousin, Genevieve, joined them for her first Halloween and the 3 of them loved it. After visiting a couple of neighbours, they returned home to greet over 70 'trick or treaters' and offer them a lolly. They even asked them if they had a trick to share. Their favorite visitor was a small white fluffy dog who came with white feather angel wings and a mini pumpkin basket for his treats - how cute! Can't wait to scrap these and heaps more photos from the day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

3 more layouts to share

I wish I could share what I've been creating but I can't due to magazine rules, so I've dug up some old layouts that some of you may have seen and others may not have.
I'm looking forward to scrapping something soon that I can show you. Have a good weekend!