Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Comes to a Close

Wow...2011 has been a busy year for us and a good year.

With my new responsibilities at work I have done a lot of travel to Australia and Asia this year which has been both positive and negative. It has meant Scott has been in charge of many more parenting responsibilities, the positive and I have missed my family dearly on my longer trips, the negative.

I have achieved my getting fit and losing weight goals and definitely intend on getting fitter and maintaining my current weight through 2012.

I have got a lot more scrapbooking done this year, this has been helped by being on the Harvest Moon design team. It is amazing what motivation a deadline can be.

I have really enjoyed my cooking this year and trying new recipes on family and friends. I now make our own pizza bases and pizza's almost every week, I have learnt to make bread from scratch, which is absolutely delicious. And most weeks I do a menu plan for our dinners which includes some new recipes and old favourites and is a great way to save money at the supermarket.

As I reflect on the past year I am hyped and motivated for the year ahead. To keep me on track over the coming year I have started to make a list of the big and little goals I have for 2012 and I will be adding them in the side bar as motivation and to keep them top of mind.

I have also been thinking a lot about my One Little Word but still haven't settled on my word yet.

Hope everyone has a fantastic New Year's Eve and I will see you in 2012.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

It is now Boxing Day here in New Zealand and I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope Santa was good to you all. I was lucky enough to get a very cool bright yellow vintage typewriter from my Santa which made me very happy and I have used it already today on a layout.

We had a relaxing day at home with family, spending lots of time outside in the sunshine and eating way too much as we all do on Christmas Day.

Today has been a very lazy day and with the busy run up to Christmas now over I have been able to get some scrapbooking done and have finished my last Harvest Moon layout I started over a month ago.

This is from my nephew's third birthday we were lucky enough to go to in Melbourne earlier this year. All the letter stickers, border stickers, wood veneer banners and button are from the Harvest Moon December kit. Other supplies include Bazzill cardstock, Elle Studio birthday pennant, Crate Paper fabric brad, Sassafras brad and Divine Twine in brown.

After seeing everyones December Daily albums over the last month I will share tomorrow my plans for recording our December. Although I have only got a couple of pages started I have been taking lots of photos everyday and writing down the details of our days in preparation for putting it all together once Christmas was over.

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Little Word has been another busy week and I have no new layouts to share although there are a number of half finished pages sitting on my scrap table.

I have been thinking a lot about my One Little Word : Nurture that I chose this year. I started the year strong and with good intentions to nurture myself and my family. I was living a reasonably balanced life then things got busy and by the end of March the balance was all gone. I had taken on some new responsibilities at work and started the year traveling to Australia every two weeks. I was neglecting my health; eating badly and not exercising, I was always tired and had no patience with my family.

But then when I turned 40 and I saw that photo of myself it shocked me into changing my ways....nurturing myself. Without realising it I have been living true to my One Little Word for the last six months. I have been making an effort to get home from work at a better hour every night. I have been eating so much better, joined the gym, did my first fun walk and have lost 13 kilos. I have also been working on my patience with Ashleigh and making the weekends for family.

Already I have started thinking and planning for 2012. What is my One Little Word going to be? What do I want to focus on? What do I want to achieve?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sculpt 6k Walk

Today I accomplished the first of my goals for getting fitter and healthier that I set when I started this journey just over four months ago. I completed the Sculpt 6k walk/run in downtown Auckland along with about 2,500 other woman and my six months pregnant sister, Tracey who I asked along for moral support and to make sure I had no excuses for not doing it.

I was pretty happy with my time of 1:06. I walked the first lap with Tracey in 38 minutes and then she pulled out due to very sore feet and I completed the second lap in 28 minutes. Pretty happy with that!

The weather was great to start with cloudy and overcast so not hot at all but on the second lap it started raining and just didn't stop. We waited for prizegiving as long as we could but we were just getting too cold and wet so it was time to leave.

With all the training at the gym and around our local hills it was a surprisingly easy walk given it was all flat and I am really keen to do some more fun walks, probably 8-10 km next time. And I want to use these as training for either the Huntly or Rotorua half marathon, either walk or run, which are in May and June 2012.

There we go I have put it out there. That is my next big fitness goal.

Just an update on my other goal I set when I started on getting healthier of getting my weight down to 65 kg by Christmas. Well, I am almost there, I have only 500g to go and I am really happy with my weight and how I am feeling now. I think I will fluctuate around 65-67kg depending on the week, if I am travelling, what's going on etc but I am ok with that. I am the best I have looked or felt in a very long time.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Be the star...

Here is my second Harvest Moon sneak peek using the Bo Bunny die-cut paper and sticker that I just loved.

The middle photo and be the star sticker are both attached with pop dots to lift them up and add some dimension to the page. I also added some washi tape both top and bottom and stitched some of the Crate Paper buttons to the top die-cut.

These photos were also taken the week we were in Melbourne for Paddy's 3rd birthday. He was given this light saber for his birthday and knew exactly what to do with it. The poses and face expressions were so cute!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First December Sneak Peek

Wow, the December Harvest Moon kit is fantastic and fill of some great product for all the boys, big and small in your life.

It was a great opportunity for me to scrap the photos from my nephew's 3rd birthday which was back in March. He was dressed up most of the day as Buzz Lightyear, which works perfectly with the kit as you will see with more to come later this week.

I have about four layouts planned in my head with the kit and now I just need to make some time to play.

Here is my first double page layout which is a scraplift from the September issue of Creating Keepsakes. In addition to the December kit I added the Basic Grey red star paper and October Afternoon vintage astronaut card from the Studio Calico Paper Moon as well as a few scraps of patterned paper for the circles from previous Harvest Moon kits.

Love it and love this little boy! We don't get to see him much now he lives in Australia and we miss him.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Scooter

I haven't had time to do much scrapbooking this last week but this is a layout from a few weeks ago using some Studio Calico kit products and again some very old product from my stash.

This layout also uses another Bite Size Scrapbooking inspiration layout, number 40. I had a little trouble bringing this one together but it has grown on me and it is another special little story remembered.

I have the new December Harvest Moon kit sitting on my desk and a page half way finished. Hope to make time tonight to finish it up so I can start sharing some sneak peeks...they have put together another fantastic kit, more for the boys this time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Simple Things

It has been another very busy week with me spending two days traveling overseas for work. So, we took some time out in the weekend to go Christmas decoration shopping as I had promised Ashleigh we would buy some more decorations this year to add to our new red, white and silver theme we started last year when we brought a new 6ft tree.

In addition to the decorations we brought this new wreath for the front door which Ashleigh chose the bits and pieces for together with the shop assistant and then she made it up for us. It is just beautiful....Ashleigh did a great job.

The excitement for Christmas is building here and it is starting to look a lot like Christmas. I have been putting together a calendar of activities for the month for Ashleigh because Christmas is her favourite time of year and she loves everything about it.

Like Sunday when we spent most of the day preparing samples and kits of Christmas decorations for the girls to make at Brownies this week. We both had a great time together planning and preparing and there wasn't one complaint from Ashleigh about being bored or having to clean up as we went.

This week is December 1st and time for the Christmas tree to go up...and time for me to get some Christmas shopping started.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Simple Things

Last week was very busy and the weekend was just the same. Ashleigh had a sleepover birthday party on Saturday night and went the the Nutcracker ballet with Nanny on Sunday afternoon. After a busy week she was absolutely exhausted by Sunday night.

It has become a weekend tradition to make pancakes and when Ashleigh poured the maple syrup out in the shape of a fish she was so excited I had to snap a photo. It does take a little extra effort to make these but when I get comments about how this weeks are the best yet and so yummy how can I not make a little extra effort at least once a week.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MME So Sweet

It has been a very busy week with little time for playing in my scrap room but I did manage to get my layout for the My Mind's Eye Challenge finally finished. And I love how it turned out.

I used the My Mind's Eye product from the Harvest Moon November kit and the Studio Calico Mind the Gap kit as well as some MME bling. I also used a very, very old Autumn Leaves authentic tab from my stash and I tried the other misting technique I mentioned last week which I love the look of on this layout.

It has been so good to be using little bits of my very old stash on each of my last few layouts rather than it just sitting there gathering dust...I just need to keep it up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mists and Masks

Harvest Moon now has Studio Calico Mister Huey mists and butterfly mask in the shop and I thought I would share some layouts using both. I really love the added dimension misting gives to my layouts.

This layout uses a combination of the September and October Harvest Moon kits. Before I laid everything down I randomly misted the background to tone down the white cardstock a little bit. I love this collage of photos and the banner along the bottom is one of my favourites.

This one uses just the October Harvest Moon kit. I placed three circle masks on the cardstock and misted the complete page with grey and white mist then with my circle cutter I cut the patterned paper to fit in the circles leaving a frame of plain cardstock. This was one of the first photos I took on my iPhone and played with in Instagram....I do love that app.

This is an older page using a Heidi Swapp mask that I placed on the background, misted and then layered the photos, journalling and other product over, which added a fun touch to this layout of Ashleigh and her friend playing in the sprinkler. The new Studio Calico butterfly mask will give you a similar look by placing the masks from largest to smallest up the side of your page.

Here is a flower mask used on the cover of a chipboard mini album and then painted over. This is another great look and another example of the many ways these masks can be used. I made this mini album in an Ali Edwards class when she came down under to Wellington, New Zealand a few years ago....all the classes were so much fun.

I have also been learning some other techniques with mist to give you more of a paint splatter look which I can't wait to try.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Simple Things

I have found myself taking less and less everyday photos each month which I miss so I thought I would join up to Rebecca Coopers The Simple Things, where every Sunday you post a photo of your favourite simple moment/thing from the past week and link up to the Simple as That blog.

I love my daughters spring flower garden that she got first place for at Calf Club and has been nurturing ever since...she is much better at growing flowers than her Mum.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Mind's Eye Challenge

The latest blog challenge is up at My Mind's Eye. For this challenge you must use brown and you can use any My Mind's Eye product but the layout must include at least 80% My Mind's Eye products. Here is the sketch.

If you purchased the November Harvest Moon kit there is some great My Mind's Eye product in this kit. I have already completed three layouts with the kit but I still have a ton of product left so I am going to give this challenge a go. I will post my take on this sketch before the deadline on Sunday November 20th.

Whether you have the latest Harvest Moon kit or you have a stash of My Mind's Eye product I hope you can join me and I look forward to seeing your take on this sketch.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Move More...Eat Better

After seeing that photo from my 40th birthday I was more determined than ever before to change my habits. I had slowly but gradually put on more and more weight over several years and that photo shocked me into finally doing something about it and changing my ways.

I did some research and found an iPad app to track and monitor my calorie intake and exercise. To provide additional motivation I set myself an eating and exercise goal. Goal one was to lose 13kg and get to my goal weight by the end of January 2012 and goal two was to participant in the Sculpt 6k walk and run on December 4th.

Well, I have been on this new me journey for just over three months and I am almost at my goal weight, I only have 2kg to go and I feel so good. I am fitting into clothes I haven't worn in a very long time. I am wearing more fitting clothes rather than the tunics and tights I was wearing that covered everything up. I had to go and buy a new pair of shorts last weekend because all my others had got too big...and they were a size 10...woohoo!

I started my exercise training with the cross-trainer I had at home but I knew if I wanted to get fit and lose weight faster I would need to do more, so I joined a gym about two months ago. I joined a small women's gym that I can call into on the way home from work so I would have no excuses for not going. I am really enjoying it. I try to get there three or four times a week and train for 40 minutes to an hour. And I am feeling so great for it.

Last night I finally got around to signing up for the Sculpt 6k walk and I am really looking forward to accomplishing this challenge with my sister joining me for support...even though she will be 6 months pregnant.

Exercising more (or at all) has been on my goals list year after year for a very long time. I am happy that I am enjoying it so much and I am confident that this is now a habit and exercise will always be apart of my life in one way or another.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

{Sushi Making...}

We had a very busy weekend with a funeral, Guy Fawkes and everyday chores but in between all that I did manage to get a layout started and finished, and not just a single page but a double page spread. It came together very quickly with the use of a layout/sketch by Laura Vegas from the September 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes and the Studio Calico kit 'Into the Woods'. 

I also used some very old product from my stash...the 'love' letter stickers by Making Memories and the chipboard and felt hearts. I always feel good when I use some of my very old, very large stash, even if it is a very small amount.

Although I find event pages such as birthdays and christmas the most difficult, I think just because of the number of photos you take and trying to narrow it down to a handful of photos to get on a page, I do love doing double page spreads. I love getting lots of photos on a page that come together to tell a story.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

{Pippi Longstockings...}

It is almost time for the Harvest Moon November kits to go on sale and here is my third layout with the kit. By adding a background cardstock that matches the t-shirt Ashleigh is wearing in the photos it has produced a totally different look from my previous layouts with the kit.

I also misted the background with Mister Huey white just to tone it down a little bit and I added from my stash the Jenni Bowlin circle title spot and the bling on the butterflies. I inked the butterflies to match the background and photos and to help tie it all together.

I love this page but it is definitely busier than my normal look.

This is also my take on the Sketchy Thursdays sketch for 10.27 that Caz posted on the Harvest Moon facebook page this week. As always my final page looks nothing like the original sketch but I do find it helpful having a sketch to start from.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{You are my sunshine...}

So excited to share my second peek of the Harvest Moon November kit. I really do love the colours in this months kit, the yellow/lemon and teal do work so well together.

I kept this page very simple as I didn't want anything to detract from the photo, which I adore. Everything on this page is from the kit and I used one of my favourite punches from EK Success, Double Embossed Dotted Edger.

On Thursday I will share another peek, this one is a totally different look and it does double duty as my take on the Sketchy Thursday sketch Caz shared earlier this week on the Harvest Moon facebook page.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

{First November Sneak Peek...}

I was lucky enough to pick up my November Harvest Moon kit on Friday night and finally got a chance to play with it today. I was so pleased to finish my first layout with the kit today and have even started on another one which I will share with you in a few days.

All product is from the kit except the Narratives by Karen Russell Negative Strip which I have had in my stash almost since I started scrapping eight years ago and the mini brads. I have always loved the negative strip but have never found just the right photos to use them with, until now.

I also used my EK Success punches - Bumpy Road and Circles Large, my Making Memories Slot Punch tool to punch the half circle slots on either side of the photo strip and a Techniques Tuesday Ali Edwards stamp above the photo strip stamped with Malted Milk by Jenni Bowlin.

I have had these favourite photos from 2006 printed for a very long time and I'm so happy that I finally have them scrapped - this kit was just perfect.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

{Weekend Scrapping...}

Over the long weekend between jobs and cleaning that had my focus I managed to get one more layout completed with the September and October kits from Harvest Moon.

Almost a month ago I was in a scrapping rut and needed some inspiration to tell some stories. I was reading Stacy Julian's blog and she mentioned Bite-Sized Scrapbooking. This concept by Kim Byrns, delivers by email, scrapbook page tutorials to you each week in three bites. It was free to join so I thought it was worth giving a go to see if it would help get me out of my rut.

I think it helped, although this is the first layout I have created from one of the sketches, I have been busy creating other pages over the last few weeks. This page is from bite-size sketch number 036 and now looks nothing like the original sketch other than the placement of the two horizontal photos but I am really happy with how it turned out.

Everything from Harvest Moon September and October kits except brads, Sassafras and mist, Studio Calico Orchard and White.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

{School of Life...}

Many years ago I discovered Stacy Julian's School of Life concept which I fell in love with to record and remember all the little details from Ashleigh's school life. I started her School of Life album from the first day she started pre-school. Then I found Becky Higgins school kits which I brought and used for Ashleigh's second year of pre-school. Then I found Nichol Magouirk's blog and style of scrapbooking which I totally admire and love.

I scrap-lifted Nichol's school page from earlier in the year to make the double page spread of Ashleigh's second year of school. And the page uses a number of elements from the Becky Higgins school kit but just not in the way the kit was designed to be used. The pocket is from KI Memories and was perfect to hold the certificates, important school papers and reports she received over the year. The year two title is from a Kerri Bradford Studio digital die-cut kit.

I have also changed up Ashleigh's School of Life album to include her class photos, year end certificates and any other school related scrapbook pages I have completed over the year ie school camp, calf club and any field trips etc.

It is definitely a work in progress and I still have another part year of pre-school/year 0 and year 1 of school, but I think I have found a great way forward which is simple to duplicate the basic principal each year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

{A Day in My Life...}

While I was looking back through my photo archives to find the correct date for my 'No Worries' photo I found these photos I had taken of our new premises and my office when I was doing 12 on the 12th back in 2008.

I thought they would be perfect for the Harvest Moon 'A Day in the Life...' challenge as these photos are a great representation of where I spend my working life, now four days a week.

I absolutely love how this page turned out...I used both the September and October kits from Harvest Moon and I love the colours and having this story on the record.

The photo montage and page is scraplifted from Two Peas in a Bucket design team member, Fevver. Additional supplies to the kits are the background misting with Studio Calico, Orchard, the shipping tag and the October Afternoon mini alpha stickers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

{October Harvest Moon...}

I finally have my October Harvest Moon kit pages to share. I loved the colours and embellishments in this kit. Cindy did a great job putting the kits together this month.

My first page uses an old photo I have had printed and sitting around waiting to scrap for a few years and the 'No Worries' title card from My Minds Eye was perfect for this page.

This page is a loose scraplift from a page I found on the internet but now I can't find who's page it was. I used masks for the three large circles and then misted the background with Studio Calico Warm Calico and Calico White. The page all started with the Amercian Crafts Day Dreams - Sunny Days blue grid paper which I absolutely love.

Tomorrow I will share my take on the Harvest Moon latest challenge to scrapbook 'A Day in My Life....'.