Sunday, May 22, 2011

You never know when life is going to throw a brick at you....

Well there I was, just minding my own business, back from my 2 week trip away, dying to catch up with what everyone had been up to in blogland and planning to share what I'd achieved in that time.
Sunday night, had dinner, and half an hour later ended up with the worst case of indigestion. Felt sick, threw up and went to bed. Couldn't sleep properly all night, still felt like hell the next morning and to cut a long story short, ended up being taken to hospital by ambulance to discover it was not indigestion...I'd had a heart attack!!  Blooming heck!! Ended up in theatre to have a blockage removed from the front artery and had a metal stent put in. You can see the difference it made, in the photo.


I had 3 days in the Coronary Care Unit and the whole time I was thinking about the album I needed to get finished for this 21st present. Luckily I had 3 hours when I got home to do the finishing touches and get it delivered. Probably overdid it a bit but felt so much better when it was out of the way and I have just taken it very easy this weekend.
It really has been a bit of a shock to the system. And I now feel like a walking pharmacy with all the drugs they've put me on. But I'm also wondering if this is going to turn out to be one of those "this was the best thing that ever happened to me" moments....and will there be a book at the end of it?? LOL!!
 So once again this week I will be trying to catch up with what everyone's been up to and seeing what I've missed out on. I have to take it pretty easy for the next 6 weeks so I have the perfect excuse to sit and read blogs eh!! xx 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I haven't vanished....

A very belated Happy Easter to you all.
I just don't know where the time has gone. I've been nowhere near blogland for nearly 2 weeks and I know there is so much to catch up on what everyone's been up to. I wasn't very well for a while a week or so back (just seasonal flu but it wiped me out) and then just as I was coming right I had someone ask me if I could put together a 21st album for them in a hurry.... they needed it in 3 weeks. Needless to say I've been scrapping my little heart out all day every day for the the past week. I've got 2 weeks to go but I've done about 2/3rds of it.
I did manage to squeeze in a couple of pages for myself though of my grandchildren.



All totally handmade with templates and punches and no store bought embellishments. I really enjoyed getting back into the whole thing of cutting out with scissors and using pens and handwriting.
My other news is that next saturday I'm going up to the North Island to spend 2 weeks with a very dear friend just to have a wee break. I'm afraid the earthquakes and aftershocks have played merry hell with my nerves so it will be nice to spend some time not waiting for the next one to hit. We plan to scrap the whole time so I'm treating it like a retreat. And of course I will have this 21st album to finish first before I do my own stuff.
Well I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and that the weather was as nice where you are as it was here.xx

Monday, April 11, 2011

Finally some creative time....

Woah!! What a week!! I've been really busy getting the OH"s books up to date for the accountant for the end of year accounts and GST (like VAT). My brain is full of numbers whirling around. I haven't been anywhere near my blog, or anyone elses, for days so I have a lot of catching up to do as I know you will all have heaps of new things for me to read about and see. Can't wait!! And thanks for all the lovely comments from you all. And NO, I'm sorry but I will NOT be posting a pic of what I looked like in my last post.
But I did manage to share some time with a friend who's been here visiting from the North Island. We had a lovely crafty day together and I took this...
And turned it into this....

An easel for displaying and photographing my latest layouts. I just painted it white and added rubons and put together a big blingy flower.

It was a lot of fun to do but I got impatient waiting for the paint to dry. I've had the easel for ages just in it's raw state but got really inspired and therefore must give credit for the idea of decorating it to my sister who showed it on her blog when she made one for a friend.
So all in all a pretty boring week really. I have a few layouts planned for the next few days so next post should be much more interesting. Watch this space.xx

Monday, April 4, 2011

Definitely no photo for this....

Can you imagine my embarrasment today!!
As some of you may know, we in Christchurch had another big earthquke in February.Well today a lovely EQC (Earthquake Commission) representative came down our street just checking on any damage in the area. Now when I say "lovely" I mean gorgeous! A hunky type that you'd definitely look twice at if you passed him in the street just to admire his good looks.
Well I answered his questions and told him how we had only minor damage, nothing structural, just "things" broken and yes we had put in a claim. He noted all this on his ipad and took our details and we chatted about how this particular area got off very lightly and how lucky we all were. Then off he went to the next house.
I shut the door while mentally thinking how personable he was (as well as good looking) and that was when it happened. I suddenly saw myself in the hall mirror. Still in my dressing gown (which really needed a wash), hair not brushed (sticking out everywhere) and basically just looking like a bag lady!! My only excuse is that I'm not very good in the mornings and my brain hadn't started to function properly. Just as well my OH is used to this look in the morning or I could be in serious trouble.xx 
(Note to self: Check in the mirror BEFORE opening the door and use the spy hole to see who is there even in broad daylight.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

And so the seasons change....

I spotted this explosion of colour over our back fence today and was captivated by the mix of golden yellow and burnt orange splashed against the backdrop of bright green.
It's April 1st and we in New Zealand are nearly half way through Autumn already. While the Northern Hemisphere is encouraged by daffodils, bluebells, crocuses, blossom and crisp green leaf buds, with the promise of lilacs, roses and lush green foliage on the trees to come, we here in the Southern Hemisphere are seeing our gardens wither and die down as they get ready for the cold months of Winter ahead. Although the days are still mostly warm, the nights are starting to cool rapidly and they start me thinking about hot soups, woollen jumpers, thick socks and our winter duvet. As much as I don't like to be cold, I do like lots of things about Winter especially those things that make you feel cozy. So wherever you are in the world enjoy the season your in for what it brings to your day.xx    

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I am so inspired...


Photo Credit

Well I have read my way through loads and loads of blogs over the past few days and I am overwhelmed by the number of creative women out there .... my hats off to you ladies. 
So my goal at the moment is to soak up as much of this creativity as possible and try and put some of it into my own craft life. Some of the work I've seen is just beautiful and as for the actual Blogs...well they're amazing to say the least.
And on that note I'm off to bed to dream of paper and paint and fabric and flowers and chipboard and cardstock.xx


Don't faint...I'm back on here again!

Yes, I'm afraid the perfectionist in me is trying to catch up with the prompts from BFS. I know I know, it's not "Homework" as such, but I thought to myself if I'm taking this class I want to get the most out of it and do as many of the assignments as possible.

BUT! I have a wee problem with what Shimelle said in prompt 5 about "people like to see photos of the inside of your house". Why? Because you just never know what might be going on at our place so I have to be careful what I photogragh.
Someone can be just looking for their own space and not want photos taken
or they've taken over the whole lounge and you feel you can't disturb them.
Sometimes you walk in on them doing really embarrassing things

and a lot of the time they just will not help keep the place tidy and in order.

So if you don't see many photos of the inside of my home you'll now know it's because certain people just aren't co-operating with me.xx

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hmmm, Mundane and Ordinary???

Well, yes I guess my morning ritual of a cup of peppermint tea is pretty mundane. I discovered it 4-5 years ago through a nutritionist friend of mine who assured me it's very good at getting your digestion going for the day.
But what turns this very ordinary morning event into a special moment is the bone china mug I have it in.
You see it's one of a set of two Laura Ashley mugs that I bought in the UK about 6-7 years ago and every time I use them they remind me of the 16 months I lived in England. They are so pretty and they're just right size first thing in the morning....I just love them. xx

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flowers to say thanks and sorry...

These flowers are to say thank you to all the lovely people who have commented on my blog. I really appreciate it!!! And I'm sorry but I have no idea how to reply back other than to put a comment back on my own blog..... but that just seems plain daft!(LOL)
And they are also to say sorry that I haven't commented on anyones blog yet...or become a follower yet! You see I'm trying to look at everyones blogs through google reader to try and get to know everyone that's doing "Blogging for Scrapbookers" and there are soooo many of us I think I'm getting eye cramp, if that's possible. And after a few very busy days I haven't done any of the prompt's since number 3 and now I'm starting to stress that I'm getting behind (Yes I know Shimelle doesn't want us to stress and just go at our own pace but I'm a bit of a perfectionist and like to do things "right".)
I've already had technical problems so have heaps of questions but I've only just come to grips with the whole "Forum" thing, so that's scaring the pants off me too.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share these flowers with you all and tell you I'm totally inspired by some of the blogs I'm reading, and I will definitely be "following" some of them very soon and making some encouraging comments back. Hope you're all having a lovely monday wherever you are in the world. xx

Thursday, March 24, 2011

6 things...

The last thing I want to do on this blog is fill it with doom and gloom concerning the recent earthquake here in Christchurch but when I saw prompt 3 in Shimelle's "Blogging for Scrapbookers" class about things that are important to us at the moment I just had to do a layout.
This week has been quite stressful for me especially after the big aftershock on Sunday. I've had very little focus on the everyday things and I found I was quite tense and headachy. I realised it's just a reaction to everything that's happening around us and that eventually life will get back to normal but in the mean time it's been comforting to know there are certain things there for me to help me cope.


*Help in the Kitchen *Coffee and Chocolate *Comfortable Shoes
*A Furry Companion *Our Survival Kit *My Craft Room

So I'm very thankful for these 6 things this week. xx

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

True Inspiration...

Well I was sitting here this morning wondering how the heck I was going to get my head around all the new "technology" I'm about to learn in Shimelle's new online class I'm taking - Blogging for Scrapbookers - particularly after several attempts to make a small enough avatar for my forum profile and trying to download a "blogroll" on to my blog had failed miserably. I accidentally managed to get onto the Google Reader thingy so that made me feel a bit better. And I think I've found an easier way to upload photos onto my blog with out it taking 15 minutes for each one, after figuring out how Picasa Web Albums work (sort of LOL!!) So I thought to myself "Oh well just concentrate on the first prompt and think about what you want to achieve out of this course"....

New friends (obviously)
Technical Information and help ( I really am quite computer illiterate) and
Inspiration on how to make my blog interesting, chatty and informational for those who might read it.

And while I was doing that I thought I'd just see who was on Oprah today...if you've read my blog profile you'll know I adore her. Well who should it be but "Barbara Streisand", a woman who has inspired me since the age of 13 when my Grandmother took me to see the movie "Funny Girl". I was entranced for the whole hour of the show! If I was ever asked the question "who most would you like to share a day with?" it would be these two ladies. And after thinking about all the struggles they've been through to achieve what they wanted to do in life I thought surely little old me can get my head around a few techy gliches on this blooming computer.

So I came to start this post feeling much more inspired and what did I see?... a lovely lady by the name of Beverley had already commented on my last post and become a follower. So now I'm feeling really chuffed. So onward and upward on this blogging adventure. I need to keep remembering what Shimelle says...this is supposed to be fun and if your stressing then it's not fun. So no more stressing today. xx

Monday, March 21, 2011

An emotional month...

What a busy old month February was!! Between selling heaps of stuff on Trade me for a friend, planting up the front garden, sending a birthday present to my youngest granddaughter in Australia who turned one (whom I haven't met yet), starting my new embroidery project, the excitement of having Shimelle stay AND the disasterous earthquake, well it was emotional to say the least. And this month has turned out to be pretty busy too. But I finally got my Document 2011 Feb pages finished yesterday.
I did manage to get a quick squizz at a couple of lovely mags I bought...I've discovered the UK Country Living ones, just Gorgeous! And there's a new one sitting on the coffee table right now for me to drool through too.

I also found out that one of our local supermarkets, that's just been all upgraded, has put in the most fantastic bakery section selling absolutely divine cakes, slices and cupcakes. My first try was a scrumptious piece of Coffee Gateaux...mmm mmm!!
And I started growing a Kumara pot plant....have you heard of this idea?? I remember my grandmother doing it years ago and I just fancied something green and growing in the house. You just cut a Kumara (or Sweet Potatoe for you Englandites) in half, put 3-4 toothpicks in around the base (about 1/2"-1" up from bottom), fill an old jug with water that it will sit in so just the base under the toothpicks sits in the water (the toothpicks sit on the rim of the jug so the Kumara doesn't fall in) and hey presto...just wait for it to start sprouting lovely luscious green leaves. After a while they will start to bend over and spread their tendrils. They can grow really big and all you have to do is to top it up with water. The roots form a huge mass in the jug...I reckon it was the first hydroponic plant grown.

So then it came to the Highlight page. Well obviously I intended it to be about having Shimelle stay so Voila!!

But of course there was also the Earthquake on the 22nd so I did another Highlight double page layout. The first page about where I was when it hit and the second an assortment of photos I got off the net of some of the damage done to Christchurch.
And for any of you that has been following the news, you may have heard that there was a prediction of another big coming yesterday (20th March) all to do with the alignment of the moon. Well after spending several days getting a survival kit ready and making sure we knew exactly what to do in case, I decided if it was going happen I wanted to be doing something I loved so I spent all day scrapping and then we went out to catch up with friends later in the afternoon. When we got home we settled down to watch a DVD (a Harry Potter one) and I was just getting in to it and WHAMMO!! 9.47pm we had a 5.1 which shook the whole house for about a minute...very scary and very upsetting!! Thankfully though that was it. The prediction had been for an 8+ so I'm very pleased it was smaller and not a lot of damage done.
So that was my eventful weekend and I'm still here alive and kicking ready to carry on. So now to start concentrating on my March pages. xx

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I had a yearning to create....

After all the turmoil and anguish we've been living with and hearing about since the earthquake in February I felt the need to create....not just scrapbooking, but to create something "homey". So many people have lost their homes and I'm so grateful we weren't one of the statistics. I felt I needed to do something that gave me sense "carrying on" and continuing the quest to stamp my influence into the house we live in. For last few weeks I've been watching "Kirstie's Homemade" on the TV, with Kirstie Allsop. Every week she learns a new craft and one week she visited "Emily Peacock" a renowned UK embroiderer. They were making one of the cushions in the above photo and I fell in love with them. But when I discovered they were 96 pounds for each kit I decided it was a bit out of my league. Sooooo.....


I found a similar font I liked and blew it up to size I wanted. Then I got some graph paper and transposed them over so they fitted the graph scale.


This bit was quite hard and very tiring on the eyes, particularly making the curves fit into the grid. Next I went and bought some tapestry fabric and centred it up with embroidery thread.


I already had an idea of the colours I wanted to use so that was the next quest...to go and buy the wool.


Aren't these colours just GORGEOUS!!!
And so I started my tapestry cushion which is eventually going to say "HOME"


I've actually done a little more than what this photo shows and I'm really enjoying doing but of course ever impatient me, I can't wait to get it finished. I'll pop in more photos as I progress with it.

So that's what's kept me occupied in the evenings for the last couple of weeks. I have done some scrapping as well but that for a whole other post in a few days. xx

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Better late than never.

Yes I know it's already March and I should be putting up pictures of my February Document 2011, but hey I think I've got three very good excuses.
First, my divided page protectors were late in arriving, and second, well there was a bit of a blip in my scrapbooking creativity when the quake happened. Third, well I have to be honest and say I didn't mind the third reason at all.... I had to dismantle my craft room to get the mattress in for my guests Shimelle and Ben to stay so I haven't even started February yet. But here's the rest of January anyway.


I haven't "scrapped" the divided pages as such, just popped the photos in with nothing else. I've seen some done from last year that were amazing!! but this is a big enough challenge for me at the moment anyway so I didn't want to over stretch myself and then get cross because I felt I couldn't keep up. (But yes I will put some pretty paper behind those tickets, I promise.)
I love my Highlight page of my niece Holly. It is such a great photo of her on our North Island Christmas holiday.

So there you have it...January.
But wait ... there's more. Remember I said I'd got a few other goodies a while back? Well here they are...

I've been coveting these bits for ages so when I was trying to find the protectors online my credit card just happened to fall onto my keyboard and hey presto! these arrived in due course.

Just look at this gorgeous album...I love love love it!!! Not sure what I'll specifically use it for yet but you can rest assured it will be cherished! I just LOVE Black and White things...any things really, but particularly anything with these "scrolly" designs.

Well that's just about it from me today except I must show you the layout I did on my gorgeous little Pixie cat. It's a Shimelle layout and I'm quite chuffed with it.


(And did you see how I just slipped in that link :-) My dear sister told me how to do it. I clicked the button and figured nothing ventured, nothing gained. So yippee! I've learnt something new today.)
Well it really is time to go so keep creating and be happy. xx


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Special House Guest in amongst the Turmoil.

It is 1st March and nearly a week since the devasting earthquake here in Christchurch. Our city landscape will never look the same again. I have heard many people say that it reminds them of the London Blitz. I think the photo below says it all.

It just looks like a bomb has been dropped in the middle of the city and it has then covered the debris in a cloud of dust. It has left lots of people wondering how we will ever rebuild our beautiful town. The lucky ones like me have all facilities, but there are thousands of people left with no power, no water, no form of communication, some have no homes anymore and worse still many are left grieving for those who have lost their lives in this awful disaster. May they all Rest in Peace.

And so, for me, it was a welcome relief, amidst all this saddness and tragedy to be able to offer my hospitality to a travelling scrapbooker whom I have admired for many years. To my delight, Shimelle Laine, from the UK, came and stayed a night with her husband Ben while they were travelling through New Zealand.


Unfortunately their plans for sightseeing through the "Garden City" (Christchurch) and further afield through the rest of the South Island had to change because of the earthquake. They were concerned that as tourists they would be taking spare accommadation that would be needed by families fleeing the city so decided to go back to the North Island and just spend their allotted time there. So they stayed the night with us and Shimelle was at least able to get some urgent work done on the internet that evening. The next day we took them up to Oxford for brunch at Seagers Cafe where Shimelle and I enjoyed Waffles. A drive through the Ashley Gorge and then out to the airport to see them off after a coffee.

I certainly enjoyed meeting them both and hope that one day they can return to see the real beauty of the South Island. And having them with us and being able to "talk scrapbooking" and "England" was certainly a nice distraction from all the earthquake drama going on around us. And thankfully we didn't feel any aftershocks while they were here either.
Well it's that time again so I will be back again soon with my latest creative "doings".xx

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our poor City!!!!

Christchurch has once more been brought to her knees today after suffering a 6.3 earthquake. Just as the city was beginning to get back to normal after the awful 7.1 quake in September last year and businesses were finally starting to see the light of day again we are now back to square one. This one hit at 1pm today, unlike the September one which happened in the very early hours of the morning, and consequently there were hundreds of people in the city at work and shopping. So far there have been 65 confirmed dead and the authorities are expecting a lot more as many people are still trapped in collapsed buildings. Although the first quake was bigger and a lot of damage was done, it was centred about 40km's away. Todays one was centred near the centre of town an therefore many buildings that were already fragile have now crumbled along with some that have quite literally fallen sideways even though they were relatively new buildings. But I think the saddest building tragedy is the destruction of the Cathedral...the whole spire has gone down and the inside is a complete mess.
We are having trouble with the internet here at present because of all of this and so I cannot post photos but there are plenty on the net to see just what this poor city of ours is having to deal with. Sleep well Christchurch, my prayers go out to those who have no home to sleep in tonight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A tip for hoarders!!

Oh dear I'm feeling very guilty...I haven't posted for ages. But I have a very good excuse...I've been helping a friend pack up and sort stuff to sell online and move house. And it's been a massive job. You see she is a hoarder, even worse than me in fact and that's saying something!! Well the stuff we've come across all under the label of "well I was going to do this with that and I was goinbg to that with this". And then after finally deciding she's not ever going to get around to some of these things we've had to sort out what they're worth, photo them and load them on to Trade Me (like Ebay) and try and sell stuff. Huge job!! I've stayed at her place to help with all this so consequently I haven't scrapped or taken any photos of much. (In fact I'm posting from her computer now.) February is looking pretty light in the "this is what I've done this month" photos. I think it's going to be slim pickings. And the tip for all you hoarders...Use it, mend it, change it, fix it, do it up or get rid of it - now! or you too may be faced with the awful feat my friend has been through just lately.
Anyway that's the reason I haven't posted. The good news though is my divided page protectors have finally arrived...yay!!!!  So at least I have been able to finish off January which I'll show in my next post.
So happy decluttering fellow bloggers till next time.xx

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Primo".....now this is something a bit different!!



Well I said last time that I'd tell you about this very cool little cafe called "Primo" that we went to the other day. About an hour and a half south-west of Christchurch is a very small country town called Methven. It's nothing much really, a farming community mainly. We were there to do a site check, Neil needed photos of the local Four Square supermarket as he's doing some new signage for them. After he'd got what he needed we had a walk around the township which took all of 10 minutes and decided to get something to eat. I don't know what it was that made this place stand out but from across the road it looked quirky so we decided to give it a try.



Well, what an amazing place!!...it was absolutely brimming with all sorts of second hand goods....crockery, furniture, linen, clothing, jewelery, books, magazines and knik knaks galore. And everything was for sale, even the tables and chairs where you could sit to eat and the plates they served your food on and the cutlery.
The first thing I thought when I walked inside was that it made me think of Elsie Flannigans "Red Velvet Store". You know...Elsie Flannigan....who was really big in scrapbooking a while back and had her own line "Love Elsie" with KI Memories. Well if you don't already know she has an amazing blog at abeautifulmess.typepad.com (sorry but I still don't know how to add links yet so if anyone can tell me I'd really appreciate it), where she talks about her shop, amongst other stuff, which is all retro clothing and homewares plus she recycles and makes new stuff out of old. It's very cool and this is how I imagined her shop to be. Her sister runs a cafe in the shop as well. Have a look, it's fascinating.
Anyway, this place..... Just amazing huh!!!
And one of the best things?? The food and coffee was scrumptious! All healthy, organic, very European looking and quite unexpected for where we were. I could have spent ages wandering around looking at everything but I only had 20 mins and the one thing I would have liked to buy someone else got to before me. It was an Irish linen tea towel in perfect condition with the blue and white Willow pattern design for only $10. Never mind, I was obviously not meant to have it. I will just have to go back one day for a drive and spend a bit longer there to snoop around. So that was our little adventure.
The last few days I've been putting together my January pages for my Document 2011. I'm still waiting for my divided page protectors to arrive but I understand they are on their way...yay!! So as soon as they get here I'll finish it all and load it up on here to show you. Well the stomach is growling so must dash to put some dinner together. Have a great weekend. xxx