Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Winter Blah!

Why, oh why, do I have reoccurring bouts of Mondayitis? It has been a grey, Winter weekend where it feels like nothing got done and the house is littered with empty Milo mugs and a trail of Hansel and Gretel crumbs.

Isn't it funny that when the kids were little I thought that our house wouldn't always be this messy, it would get better as they got older.  Now, of course, I know that the messes just get bigger as they get bigger and instead of removing purloined millipedes and marbles from baby mouths I am confiscating torches from those reading well past bedtime.  We have entered a new phase of parenting. I am a taxi driver.  I am the mum that doesn't do what "everyone else's mum" does.  I am also frequently the "bad cop" when it comes to policing food and viewing choices.

Sometimes it is hard to be the teacher turned parent. Dan told me, the other day, that I didn't have to "make everything a learning opportunity" and while I know he is right I still worry. Are we teaching them enough?  Are we holding them too tight or giving them too much free reign?

These are the questions I turn to when I can't sleep.

It has been a funny kind of weekend. We moved a ton of wood. I fixed the wood heater (replacing two fire bricks and the top plate but not the baffle because that will only come out if we remove every single brick!) I made bread. We've been using the bread maker a lot lately but a loaf disappears in a single sitting. We ate minestrone for what seemed like days but in all fairness was probably only two dinners and one lunch. I made cheesy egg and bacon tarts for brunch - delish.
James tinkered with my computer trying to get the essentials moved across to my new desktop.  We still have a way to go.  I am yet to fall in love with a new operating system that seems totally unintuitive.
I finished a shawl from handspun and an ancient project for a Winter jumper.
I began pruning the roses (the ones closest the house that missed out last year and won't get frosted). It feels too early to be pruning. I know they say "prune in June" but James' plant-loving Aunt always said "except in the Hills" I did like my slow and methodical approach this year- just pottering along and clipping the bits into manageable pieces until the green bin was full. It felt like a more manageable way of gardening, to just do a couple of bushes at a time until I am done instead of that frantic, harried feeling of busting a gut one weekend in August and ending dishevelled, torn and covered in thorn scratches.

In the end, it wasn't so much the full bin as the thunderous, dark grey-blue clouds that drove me inside to light the fire. Despite their ominous threat they moved around us and we didn't get more than a spit or two.

I am toying with the idea of keeping a garden journal. An almanac of sorts, where I can observe that the Daphne is budding up nicely and the yellow rose is putting on a brave face and still offering up one lonely bud at a time despite the Winter chill. I had to remove two dead native plants from outside the kitchen window. It made me sad. The birds used to like to hide in them. I may go to the nursery this week and see if I can find something that blooms in Winter and attracts my little feathered friends.

Enough ramblings for now. I will be back soon with some crafty show and tell.
May your week be kind to you.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

CTMH Australasian Blog Hop No Worries

Hello and welcome to our June Blog Hop featuring the beautiful "No Worries" paper collection.  I am excited to have another South Australian joining our Blog Hop group this month - hello to anyone who found us from  Doreen's Blog and hello to my regular readers,

I love the colours in the No Worries collection and it suits our Aussie lifestyle so well. This one is so easy to use.
The No Worries paper works equally well with White Daisy and Colonial White or Cashmere or Slate, but I love it with a bit of brown thrown in. What's not to love about blue and brown together?

This month I used two ideas from our "Cherish" ideas book.  Don't you love that faded woodgrain paper?

This one is "portrait collection" from page 76 and the other is "simple contrast" from page 28

Our Scrapbook Program and Cardmaking Program And Make it From Your Heart books are a great place to start if you are time poor or looking for inspiration. They are also great value with the books at $23 and the Make it From Your Heart volumes only $12. We all lose our scrapping mojo sometimes and I find that if I have hit a bit of a block, or I am tired and lacking inspiration these
books are just the right thing to get me scrapping again.

I used a PML piece and a bit of zip strip teamed with some sequins and an old sentiment that was lurking around in my scrap bin to whip up a card too:
My daughter has recently become a teenager and I am thinking that this might suit quite well for a teen or tween birthday card.

This last page is a bit of a favourite. I teamed some scraps of No Worries (the sunglasses PML and the chevron zip strip) with a piece of old whimsy fundamentals and some Pacifica cardstock. I used white Daisy ink with our Handwritten Print Alphabet (my favourite Alphabet set E1030) then inked over the top with Saphire ink to give it some dimension. Such a quick, easy and effective page. Apologies that Blogger wants it to be sideways.  None of my photos have been edited this month as I had a disaster with my computer this week.  The screen is totally trashed (thanks children) so this has been cobbled together as best I can while we wait for a new screen.

So That is it for me. Why not head over and visit Maz to continue the Hop?
Until next time,
Happy scrapping,

Monday, June 12, 2017

Scrap Happy!

Scrap quilts, Scrap booking, Scrap Wool Projects. Seems like I just can't get enough of scraps at the moment.  I am not sure if it is growing up on a farm in a big family that has made me frugal, or just part of the something from nothing/make do and mend philosophy but scrappy projects just give me so much joy!

I just finished prepping for this month's card buffets and then gave myself permission to play. Things weren't coming together well for me at all until I started to pack up and was fiddling with my scraps..bam..the mojo hit and I was well into the 5th page before dinner.

I have set myself a Winter Scrap Challenge with my wool basket.  My woolly projects have kind of got out of hand in the loungeroom so while I was cleaning up for the birthday sleepover of the century akka Hannah turns Teenager I put all of my partial balls/scraps in one basket.  I have since made 4 hats (the two crocheted ones are no pattern but the knitted ones are little "Quynn") and I am halfway through a pair of socks and the basket hasn't diminished at all.  I also made this little "Milo" using scraps too.

My next thing of course is to get my fabric organised so that I can make some more scrap quilts.  There are a few current quilting projects that I need to finish first though; Briony's quilt, the disappearing 9 patch for my folks, Hannah's Christmas quilt and Emmy Lou's Braids which was started a million years ago.

Disaster struck this week.  My kids were fighting in the back of the car and then when we got home the computer (which was in the back of the car) wouldn't work.
The screen is cracked.  I feel quite bereft but thankful that at least it is only the screen and the hard drive will be okay.  NOTE TO SELF: back up EVERYTHING ASAP.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, blogging is a bit tricky until we get the technology sorted so don't be surprised if I am missing in action for a short while, and apologies that none of these photos have been edited.

Until next time,
I hope you are savouring your scraps too?
Keep smiling

Thursday, June 1, 2017

CTMH Blog Hop June SOM

Hello and welcome.  If you have arrived here from Lauren's Blog you are in the right place.  Just keep clicking on the links at the bottom of each post to go right around.

Now, this month's stamp of the month "Hello Foxy" is cute and fun.  Unfortunately, as I type this, our lovely farm neighbours are baiting for foxes in the hope that they don't lose too many lambs this season.  Foxes are somewhat of a pest in Australia so I can't imagine using these little guys on a page anytime soon.

I do have a friend who loves foxes (her nickname is Foxy) and has a birthday coming up so I made her this birthday card. I used Pacifica cardstock and the basket weave paper and burlap ribbon from the No Worries Workshop Your Way.

This stamp lends itself really well to card making.  I have two team members going through some tough times so I wanted to send them a card.  The wreath is just perfect for popping a sweet sentiment in.
 Ever wondered what to do with those zip strips? They make great little accents on cards.

 And the orange paper on this one is a PML piece from the Prickly Pear paper.  If the sentiment is not to my liking I will often use these as a mount for photos or cards.

Now, a note on watercolours.  You will notice that my watercolouring is not perfect but this month I set myself a challenge to use our watercolours over my personal preference of watercolour pencils or Shinhan markers.  The reason is simple. This weekend I needed a sign for my stall and my almost 13 year old made one for me on a canvas using our watercolours.  I have adapted it to use as my new blog header. I was enormously proud of her for giving it a go.  She has stepped out of her comfort zone quite a lot lately and it was a reminder to me to do the same (ah, the things we learn from our children) I was a folk-art painter before I had kids, and also did Senior Art at highschool but I think like all skills if you don't use it you tend to lose it and in my own brain I was not confident using our watercolours.  They really are easy though - and lots of beautiful colours for only $18.00.  I have even used the watercolours with my kindy kids and they held up really well and lasted a long time even with constant use from 4 year olds.

This last project was my favourite.  Remember that I am on a mission to bring back the border? The sweet little flowers on this one really look lovely scattered as a border.  I mixed it with some raspberry cardstock and the seaglass stripe from our Prickly Pear paper.

That is it from me, now head over to Shaunna's blog for some more great ideas.
Happy scrapping!