Monday, March 30, 2015

Sassy Scrappers March Mood Board

Gosh I have excelled myself this month...
this just may be my third challenge for March...
I'm pretty sure that's more than I've ever done before....and I've loved it.

This is my very first Sassy Scrappers Mood Board challenge... 

 and I was totally smitten by 
those colours...and flowers...and textures 
That gorgeous watercolor image grabbed my attention straightaway...





Saturday, March 28, 2015

H.O.M.E. ... time for a change..

My number one focus lately has been our home....
I was tired of it... unenthused by my outdated colours...and style..
and feeling suffocated by the amount of stuff I no longer needed...or wanted.

I decided I needed a huge cull....a de-clutter...a change to a simpler style and a spruce up.
I began by a huge clean out... bags and bags of 'stuff' marched out the door to the Op shop...every time the kids pulled up I loaded their car with some more things to take away.
Then the hard part started...
where to go from there.

I was overwhelmed and had no idea where to begin....I loved so many looks...so many ideas...and I found it hard to narrow them down to just one style...plus I was adhering to a tight budget.
(Home decor is low on my spending priorities.... Travel is more important for both Ian and myself)

I enlisted the help of my dear friend Janelle... who waded through piles of ideas... pictures..and suggestions to help narrow down my style.

We started a Pinterest board of ideas...and both pinned away...and jotted notes...
and in the mean time I began the hard labour.

First job was to paint all of my walls white....argh!!
It seemed not that long ago I madly added colour...and now oh how I regretted that...covering those dark turquoise walls took many coats.
I also removed all my timber blinds... and culled some unwanted furniture.

I slowly noticed in the last few weeks a shift in the pins I was pinning...and the magazine pages I was ear marking....I had unintentionally settled on a style that I obviously loved the most.
I'd say it is a simple and earthy style.

I am ever so thankful for Janelle's ideas... I have sent her many a SOS email...
with "what could I do here?"
and she has patiently sent me links... and ideas.. and kicked started many of my ideas.


Now I am well aware Ill never own a show home..and I certainly don't have high end budget...
but I would love to share my decor journey here on my blog.
It can be a place to jot down my thoughts...finds and DIY's along the way.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Kraft + plus challenge - all that glitters..

As soon as I saw these talented chicks Sandra and Amanda
launch the Kraft + plus challenge blog.. I knew it would be a ripper..
I also went out and bought myself a pad of Kraft.
(eeeeek...Kraft...its not white....can I do it...haha)

So the first month I created....but didn't load it...
This month I was determined to join in...
and this is the challenge...


 here is my take...

Kraft background - tick
Sketch - tick
Gold - tick
Sparkles - tick
Glitter - tick.
and most importantly....story told- tick



If  you get a chance to join in ...all the details are here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Escape 2 Create 2015

Escape 2 Create... Oh my gosh...
Its impossible to even describe how wonderful this retreat is for the soul.
Meredith and Amanda do an AMAZING job...
the decorations...
the organisation...
the FOOD!!
the generous goodie bags..
the inspirational teachers..
and their down to earth country hospitality...
make it the BEST weekend possible.

Just being in the company of all of these paper snipping ladies for an entire long weekend...
recording memories..
sharing ideas...
laughing...
and swapping stories is incredible.

This year I shared a table with these beautiful and hilarious girls...
We seriously laughed until our stomachs were sore...
Thankyou SO much Meredith, Marika, Amanda, Lauren and Sue for making my weekend so absolutely perfect.

I took all four classes this year....
I wasn't going to miss the chance to scrap a layout created and taught by these talented ladies..

Fiona Paltridge... and her wonderful mixed media ...shabby...layered style...I was quite out of my comfort zone... but one of my absolute faves once I finished.


Leanne Allinson....Who I was super excited to meet. I feel like I've known Leanne forever...even though this was our very first time meeting in person. I adore Leannes style and she is a sweetie too.



The beautiful Kim Price... who pushed me to my messy limits.... with some crazy techniques for creating a layout background. I also did a first...I used purple on a layout...and kinda liked it.


Chantalle McDaniel ... what an energetic soul this little chicken is..and I loved Chantalles class...and my layout...with its sneaky hidden little flip book tucked inside.


I think I scrapped the most layouts ever.... 5 class layouts....and 10 of my own!!
I also chatted to my jaw ached...
laughed to my stomach split...
filled my inspiration cup to brimming...
and even managed to dip my toes in the ocean one afternoon (Thanks Lauren..mwah)

THANK YOU Meredith and Amanda for all that you do...
all your time and energy in the preparation and throughout the weekend...
and for being the loveliest friends I could ask for.

Monday, March 16, 2015

February 2015 - a review

The highlights on our February calendar were...

I went along to the girls school acquaintance night because Mummy and Daddy were working... it was so lovely to see their pride in their work and classrooms.

The painting of walls continued.... according to Ian the house is shrinking slowly with the amount of paint on these walls.

Brayden turned 2 - Grumps and Grammy were staying....so Briony and Granny made cupcakes and we headed to the river where Brent and Alex were camping ..
it was a beautiful night on the river bank. 

Briony and Jarrad spent a week in Bali... with Hannah...Kate and Kate...
they had the BEST time.

Briony bought herself a new car.... its identical to my old one...it makes me wistful.

Ian and I had a very eventful weekend at Hanging Rock for the Eagles concert.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Jot Magazine issue 9 - Layout shares...

Once the latest issue of Jot Magazine comes out its always lovely to share the layouts here on my blog.
I realised as I was loading them here that I may need to challenge myself to some different subject matter from time to time... my precious little grand-babies seem to get all the scrapping limelight of late.

(School themed gallery)
Loved this photo SO much.... Alex posted it to Instagram on the very first day of term...
I knew immediately I wanted to scrap it.



(Cut file gallery)
A huge thanks to Raquel and A.P.O.C.D for the gorgeous cut files I used in my layout.


Hand-stitching gallery

Sian Fair challenge gallery
I always love Sians challenges...this issue I created a layout using the title as journaling.



Babies gallery
I found this beautiful shot in among some older photos and couldn't believe I hadn't ever scrapped it before...
Its so sweet and captures their relationship perfectly.
(If you haven't already.... which I am sure you have... the latest issue 9 is available free to read here...or the link is in my sidebar too.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Europe 2014 - Paris

25th October 2015

This morning we were up at 6.30am and saying farewell to London.
We headed into St Pancras Station ready to catch the Eurostar to Paris.
We had a little panic attack when a very loud alarm sounded and we were all told to evacuate immediately. 
Fortunately it wasn't for too long and was apparently caused by an unattended bag.

Back inside we settled in and waited to board… we got a little surprise when Drew Barrymore came through the gates and sat perched on her bags like the rest of us.

The Eurostar was FAST…. we zipped through the tunnel….I think we napped briefly and when we woke we were in France…we could see the scenery had changed.

Or Motel was awesome….I loved it. 
Ian and I were up in the attic I'm sure. 

We had a the most quaint little room with French windows onto a balcony…and the best bit was the coffee machine…yippee ... our first room with decent coffee.

We made the most of the day buying a Big Bus ticket and taking a lap of Paris… it was crazy travelling past so many iconic sites.
The Paris Opera - founded in 1669

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is a triumphal arch in Paris, located in the Place du Carrousel. It was built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories of the previous year.

The Louvre


Markets..

(Les Invalides)


Notre Dame


We were totally shocked to see the amount of padlocks (love locks) that were on the bridges over the River Seine. We didn't add a lock but we did sign our name among the thousands of others.



(Arc de Triomphe)
During the day we had noticed a French restaurant (Chartier)around the corner from our Motel…it had a very long queue at lunch time but as we walked past in the early evening the queue wasn't too long so we decided to give it a try.
We were ushered in and seated reasonably quickly. 
It was buzzing with atmosphere and our waiter was very ‘French’ ..or course we couldn't read the menu so ordering was a challenge. 
Donna tried the snails and I think she sort of enjoyed them.

Our meal and drinks tab was written on our paper tablecloth...such a cool idea. 
On leaving the restaurant we realised how lucky we had been…the queue was now stretching down the street and around the corner.

We headed to bed on our first night in Paris feeling so excited and looking forward to what tomorrow would bring.
We were up bright and early… and set for our ‘skip the queue’ visit to the Eiffel tower
It was a misty morning as we arrived and traveled to the top… 280m.
The view of Paris from the top was spectacular.
The next stop was the Louvre and of course the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. 


The famous ancient greek statue 'Venus de Milo'  from 100BC

Then of course we were following the signs... looking for this chick...
and we found her..... she had drawn quite the crowd..
"Mona Lisa" c1503

We could have spent so long wandering the museum here it was enormous….but with such limited time in Paris we checked out the ‘world famous’ exhibits and ticked them off our list.

Tonight we headed out to Moulin Rouge
… its crazy to believe we were sitting there sipping champagne and watching the acts… such an amazing night.

27TH October..
This was an amazing day…it started bright and early...as we left Paris little did I know how much I was going to enjoy it. 
When we were planning this trip Ron had mentioned he would love to visit the WW1 Somme battlefields and Villers Bretonneux cemmetary of course we were all happy enough to make the trip.
 I am so grateful he suggested it…we felt so proud to be Australian and so touched and saddened by the loss of life and sacrifices made in WW1.

We were collected from the Motel by our tour guide…as luck would have it ...the other couple on the tour today were also Australian..they had travelled from Melbourne.
It was an eerily misty morning and it was quite a long trip out to Villers Bretonneux and the other WWI sites… a lot of our stops were various war cemeteries and sites of battles throughout the war in 1914 – 1918.

We made a stop at a little village for the purpose of seeing their school. 
We all felt so touched that in among the French buildings stood this very Australian school. 
The story behind it was just so beautiful and when we entered and saw all the touches of Australia and that the kids had artwork on the walls which was Australian themed even now in 2014 we had goosebumps.

The Lochnager crater site was enormous…. It measured 91m in diameter and 21m deep.





Lunch was at a lovely little cafe…which was sort of just inside someone’s home. 
In the garden were all sorts of relics dug up as they gardened … that was such a common site in this area...as we drove the streets we could see stacks of relics ..old artillery shells etc lined up against fences everywhere.
At this particular cafĂ© they had not long come across some bodies in the backyard as they were digging….apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence.
 Lunch was delicious and home cooked and just sitting and chatting here was lovely.

We visited a site with some trenches still intact and were able to walk along the very trenches that the soldiers were in 100 years ago.

The cemeteries were dotted around the countryside everywhere…. Lines and lines of white tombstones all maintained and manicured perfectly …all those lives lost.


It was a late evening returning home and we were so thankful to have been out in the countryside all day…and to have paid our respects and visited these sites today.
It certainly was a day we would never forget.

Tomorrow we began our flight home….so we had some major packing to do that night.
We were all so sad that our holiday was over but also super excited to be seeing family again…we had missed everyone SO much.

So that is the last of our Europe trip 2014 ...its been a real trip back down memory lane writing these posts...editing the photos and researching the links...each and every post has made me wistful and sad... wishing I was back there...even if just for a moment.
Thankyou to everyone who has followed along...and sent me such lovely comments.
Thanks also to my dearest friends Ron and Donna for being the best travel buddies anyone could ask for...and for allowing me to steal their photos as if they were my own...which I have done on a number of occasions.