Friday, December 30, 2011

Finally - I've blogged!!

Sorry I've been awol on this blog awhile - I have been very very busy with various commitments - Nanna was sick and I had to travel to Ipswich to help Mum care for her, thankfully she is on the mend now, Christmas preparations of course, and well - the usual for a Mummy IYKWIM...Anyways, I have been scrapping, some I can't show yet - very secret but here is a sneak or two..

And this layout, which would have to be one of my all-time favourite layouts.  It is a vintage photo of my Mum, aged about 17....
I've use Basic Grey paper, some Prima and Kaisercraft flowers, and some chippy dressed up with Glimmermist and Glimmer Glam.

I added to the dress frame by gethering together some tulle, which I had sprayed with glimmermist, and added some lace and a Kaisercraft sparklet to finish it off....
As I said, this would have to be one of my all-time faves as far as layouts go - just love doing vintage inspired layouts, and had a ball playing with Martha Stewart around-the-page punches, Kaisercraft stamps and mists...  yumyum..
Anyways, that is all from me for now, I am now busy scrapping my Chrissy photos - so I'll be back with more shares

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Some scrapping for me!!

I did this layout last night - for no particular challenge just "for me."

I picked this paper up at Magical Memories Scrapbooking - my local scrapbook shop.  It is Websters, and I just loved it.  Teamed with a bit of Prima flowers,shabby chic resin, lace and vines, and Kaisercraft flowers - playing with some girliness in a shabby style was exactly what I needed.
Of coursce, being slightly OCD about colour matching, I just add to alter the colour of my Prima Shabby Chic Resin shapes...after a bit of experimenting, I found using my Copic Markers worked a treat - the alcohol ink in the markers was great to use :)
Here is a close up:

That's it for me, I am working on another "for me" layout at the moment - and experimenting with my Martha Stewart Fringing Scissors...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hold on to your chairs....

I have scrapped a double!!  Used some Basic Grey, Dusty Attic Chipboard and some Kaisercraft flowers.  Some of the flowers were white, but I sprayed them - and the yellow part of the title, with some Studio Calico Mr Huey's mist - Sunshine
Here it is - photos are of Connor at his school's International Day - they did the German Clap Dance

I've also been participating in the monthly challenges over at Scrapbook Savvy.  This is Kerryn's Manufacturer challenge - which was to use some Jillibean Soup - I chose me fave, Watermelon Gazpacho.

Thanks for popping by - I promise I will be a more regular blog

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Kraft It Up

Well, it's that time of the month again - time to upload layouts for all the competitions around. 
This is my layout for the fabulous Kraft It Up Challenge Blog.  This month, the challenge was to create a layout that was either Monochromatic, Shabby/Vintage Style, or Minamalistic.
I couldn't make up my mind, so I did all 3 - this layout is about my journey with anxiety, and how I need to do my self talk to improve....

I've used a mixture of Pink Paislee Butterfly Garden and Prima Reflections.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Get Picky Challenge

For the first challenge this month at Get Picky, the challenge was to use the word "Celebrate" as inspiration.I did this layout:

These photos were taken on Christmas Day 2010 - and I couldn't resist the title because my cheeky little monkey of a son looks like quite the imp....hehe...
Had oodles of fun making flowers, punching borders, doilies and leaves and even did some stamping - something I got for inspiration from the talented Trudi Harrison here on Anna's Craft Cupboard's blog.
Really loved doing this challenge - it was great to get into Christmas scrapping again!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Stuck? Sketches

My final update for today is for the Stuck? Sketch Challenge Blog.
This is the sketch for September 1st:

And this is what I did with it:

Just a layout about Connor's race at this year's school Sports Day - I was so happy I could go, just loved being a part of the day :)  I used Echo Park "Happy Days" the bright colours, don't you?

Next, was the 15th September sketch:

This is my take on it, using Echo "Splash" range.

Well, that's it from me, time for this little black duck to get to bed - it's waaayyy past my bedtime.
Looking forward to seeing a new months lot of challenges tomorrow - are you??
Thanks for popping by.

White With One

This month's White With One challenge was to use pale pink and journalling on the photos....
Not one I would normally go for, being mainly a boy scrapper - hehe.
I do, however, adore pink in any shades, and I'd just found some photos I took at a wedding of a very close friend of mine - I also had some beautiful MME Lost and Found 2 papers that I needed an excuse to use - hehe...
This is what I came up with - like I said, very very PINK!!  I love it!!

The quote on the photo is one of my favourite ever - from the letter of St Paul to the Corinthians.  I actually love the whole verse - always brings little pricks of tears to my eyes....
I used some tulle on the layout as well - loving tulle/organza bows at the moment.... and I thought the tulle went well with the photo.
Here is a close up - the chippy doily is a Dusty Attic - which I paint, and then put on some Glimmer Glam.

September Kraft It Up

Well this month's Kraft it Up was a goodie - to use fabric and stitching, as well as the Kraft cardstock background.
Here is my entry - I used denim scalloped border and circle, and blanket stitched around them. 
I have used Crate Paper's Random range - which is just so yummy, and at first look seems quite girly, but there is plenty of boy goodness there too.

Here is a close up of the top cluster - also the stitching and denim. I also sprayed some doily borders with the Studio Calico Huey's mist.

Thanks for the fabulous challenge ladies at Kraft It Up, I thoroughly enjoyed playing with this.

Get Picky

This challenge for Get Picky was a sketch challenge.  I have, however, just realised that I should have uploaded my entry by yesterday - ooopppss....
Oh, well - never mind.  I actually had it ready yesterday, but because I was in Bundy, I couldn't upload...
Anyway,  here is the sketch given:

This is what I did with it, using Pink Paislee Nantucket - it is a gorgeous range.
I love all the bits and pieces that comes with it too....  I also used some muslin, corrugated card, paint and shells - just wanted to give a lovely rustic beachy feel.

Here are some close ups:

I used some glossy accents on the crab to make it look like a shiny shell - if you know what I mean...
That's it for me for now - I have done heaps of challenges while I've been away, so I'll be doing lots of uploading today...
Cheers, and thank you for popping by my blog:)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Mind's Eye Sketch Challenge

I love participating in the My Mind's Eye Sketch Challenge over on their blog.  Somehow, I always get mixed up with the dates and don't seem to pop them up in time
This month though, I made sure I did it in time to share.
We were given this sketch:

With the added theme of "Back to"
This is what I created:

A layout about our regular visits to the little trains at a local park.  I'm not sure who enjoys it the most - Connor or
As you can see I've also gone back to one of my all time favourite ranges - MME Lost and Found Two You are My Sunshine Range...  Love love love the gorgeous golds, yellows and blacks...  It is a stunning range, and as you know, I've used it frequently...hahahaha!!
The only "non MME" products on this layout are the paint (Tim Holtz Daubers) Stamp (Tim Holtz) Prima ribbon edging on the circle, and the American Craft Alphas.
Thanks for popping by my blog - don't forget to leave some comments...I love to hear from you all...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Passion 4 Fashion at Scrapboutique

I am playing along at Scrapboutique's Passion for Fashion competion.  This week we had to use the Dramatic Fashion Style....
It all seemed too tricky for me, I really wasn't sure how to represent this style.

 DRAMATIC (or Theatrical)- This style creates a glamorous and glitzy impact.

Colour- Strong, vivid, and contrasting (black is a favorite color).
Lines - Severe, sharp and usually asymmetrical. Bold and often overwhelmingly fitted with open slits.
Textures - Rare and trendy.
Effects - Confident, chic, sexy and catchy.
Needs of Customer - makes a statement, garments made or altered to fit.
Favourite Accessory - Bold statement usually metallic (gold, silver, bronzes, etc).
Note: Notice the fit, its impact and its open slits. Sometimes open back design or see-through materials are used. You'll know when you see one.

I also took a leaf out of Sonia Thomason's book and googled this picture, which I thought could provide some inspiration.

So, I created this layout:

OK, so black is a prominant feature in my layout, I slit open the paper to reveal the paper underneath.
Made a silver frame out of 2 Crafty chipboard, painted in silver paint.  Also used some organze to tie a bow, and used it as a feature of the embie cluster.
I've used the new Pink Paislee Vintage Vogue range - very striking colours in that range, just love it!
Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Friday, September 16, 2011


I will never forget the day 25 March 2000.  It was the day my whole world as I knew it came crashing down.
It started out normally enough.  It was a Saturday, and council elections were on in Mt Isa, where I lived.  I was working at the electoral booth at my school.  I had to go there early and open up, and prepare the voting booths etc....anyway, everything was going along smoothly until about 1.00, when I received the phone call.  It was my the boyfriend, who later became my husband, Mark.
"Hun, you have to come home. Now."  I was starting to make excuses when he said, "I have something to tell you, and I have to tell you in person.  Come home, NOW"
So I organised a replacement and drove the 10 minutes home, horrible thoughts going through me mind.  My grandfather had been sick, so naturally I thought it was bad news about him....
But it was worse, much much worse.
Mark waited until I was inside, before he hugged me tight, I was bracing myself with news about Pa.  Then he said. "It's Nathan, he has passed away"  I let out the most gut wrenching wail, and I remember feeling my legs crumbling underneath me, Mark supported my weight.  I had so many questions, which all came babbling out.  Then I got the message.

Suicide.  My brother had hung himself.  He was 28.

My thoughts raced to my would they be feeling now???  I phoned them, and spoke to Mum, she was still sobbing quietly.  She had been out shopping when Dad found him.  She had come home to find ambulances parked in the driveway and knew.  She had just known. I spoke to Dad, he was doing the typical male thing of hiding his emotions, but his voice just sounded so hard, so hollow.
I had to be with them.  As soon as possible.  A plane flight to Brisbane was arranged, then a train trip to Bundaberg.  I left the first thing the next morning.  Everything just felt so surreal, so unbeleivable.  Mark stayed because he was just starting a new job, and he also had to look after our dogs. During the whole trip, I couldn't help but replay what was to be the last conversation my brother and I had had.  We were travelling to the Gold Coast from Ipswich.  He was talking about how down he was, how he just couldn't get his life back on track....he said "Nique, I sometimes think about killing myself"  I was taken aback,  but not that worried, I said something like - Oh, Nathan, please don't think that way, think of your  gorgoeus chidren who need you, think about what it would do to Mum and Dad.....  I so wish, to this day, I had done more, I had said more, if I somehow could have know the "right" thing to say to get him help.  But I didn't, and the guilt still racks me.
 I didn't get to Bundaberg until night, but both Mum and Dad were waiting for me on the station.
 We hugged each other tight and all started sobbing.  After a while, we left and went back to the motel Mum and Dad owned at the time.
Over a cuppa, we talked and talked until late, I had so many questions, but I also knew they probably didn't even have the answers.  He had done it through the night, after a particularly ugly row with Mum and Dad.  He wanted money for drugs, they wouldn't give it to him.  We were very very sad, but we weren't really surprised.
Nathan had been troubled for a long long time.  He had taken a heap of Dad's anti depression medication at 15.  He went through the charcoal treatment, got assessed by a mental health professional, and somehow managed to convince them that he was fine, he was just "attention seeking" and he was sent home after a couple of days.  Mum and Dad didn't want to let everyone know what had happened, so it was decided the official line would be that Nathan had had an asthma attack.  But nothing went back to normal, Nathan's behaviour was erratic, he quit school, left home at 16,  moved back, left again.....drank way too much frequently.....  I didn't realise it then, but I do now, that all this was a symptom of severe depression....Then at 19, just weeks before my first wedding, he did it again.  He was living in a flat next door with his girlfriend and we thought he was starting to get himself together....I'm not sure what he took this time,  I just know he washed it down with a heap of alcohol this was worse, much much worse, and he was in ICU for 3 days - in an induced coma......still, no-one in the mental health system thought it was worth keeping him in hospital to get treatment....the mental health system has an awful lot to answer for, if you ask me.  No counselling for our family which by now was unravelling at great speed.  This time at least, Mum and Dad let everyone know what happened - I think it was an attempt to get as much help as they could, for Nathan, as well as themselves.
About 6 months later,  Nathan revealed to me he was suffering with an addiction to Speed.  He showed me the needle marks on his arms, and begged for help, and also begged for me not to tell Mum and Dad.  I rang the appropriate people, but they all told me that Mum and Dad would have to be in the process to get him hospitalised for treatment.  I convinced him to tell them, which to his credit he did.  He was hospitalised at the Royal Brisbane Drugs and Alcohol unit.  He spent 2 weeks there.  About the same time I went to a seminar about the "new" disorder called ADHD...OMG the symptoms were Nathan, Nathan as a child, and as an adult...  Then the professor in charge of the RBH unit phoned Mum, he asked to speak to her in a meeting.  He asked about all sorts of things - Nathan's schooling, Nathan as a child, what he was like orgainising himself, could he keep a job..(he couldn't)...finally he told Mum he beleived Nathan had ADHD - because Nathan's reaction to Speed was the total opposite of what it should be.  You see, Ritalin is a pure form of Speed...and Nathan was in fact self medicating....  His self esteem was so low,  and his depression was so bad he was willing to do anything to feel "normal."
Anyway, Nathan was discharged, and he was put on Ritalin, but that was just way way too hard - Nathan was an addict, and he kept taking more Ritalin than he should.  Mum and Dad would hide it, and he would rip the house apart looking for it, physically abuse Mum and Dad to get was a very ugly scene, and Mum and Dad tried so hard to help him, they gave him so much, supported him so much.....but Nathan stayed addicted to Speed right up until his death 5 years later..... This was so far away from the sweet, quiet, loving boy I grew up with... Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Ritalin,  my own son is now on it, as he has been diagnosed with ADHD - and I have to say, when used properly, on someone diagnosed early, it is very effective in allowing Connor to concentrate and stay focussed at school.
The crunch came March 24 2000 - there was a particularly bad scene which involved violence, and Mum calling the police.  Everything eventually calmed down - or so they thought, and everyone went to bed.  It is thought Nathan hung himself sometime between 1 and 5 am.  Dad found him at 11am.  By then it was much much too late....
The following week would be one of the hardest to bear in my life.  The funeral, the wake - Mum had way way to much to drink and just started sobbing and wailing - I will never forget those gut wrenching sobs, but it wasn't until I had my own child years later that I truely understand her pain.

It wasn't just that week though, the nightmare is ongoing.  Both Mum and Dad have suffered terribly,  I think there was just so much anger and pain there, their relationship crumbled, and they very nearly divorced.  They lost nearly everything - all of Dad's super, the motel business, both houses they owned......Fortunately they have now worked through the problems.  They are both still getting treated for depression, and with the help of kind, generous, sympathetic and loyal friends and family they have their lives back on track.  For me, the pain is still there.  I have been suffering anxiety and depression for years, and I believe this was one impetus for my illness.  There is still an empty hole at family gatherings, and I have sadly lost touch with some of my nephews and nieces.  Thankfully, we have connected with Nathan's first child, Nick.  I know he brings Mum and Dad so much joy, and the resemblence he has to his father is just uncanny.  I truely value his place in our family.

It's been 11 and a half years, and I have never fully recounted this story to anybody, only bits and peices to close friends - and it as taken a long long time to write this, many tears have been shed, believe me.  I apologise for the long post, but I felt the whole story needed to be told.  I wanted to paint the ugly scene of pain for the people left behind.  It is a living nightmare.
If you are contemplating suicide - Please, reach out for help. Ask someone to go with you to a hospital, a the help you deserve.
Your family love you more than you will ever know.  I know you are not going to think about it, but please,  consider them.
The are not better off without you - the anger, grief, remorse and guilt they will feel will eat away at them and impact on every aspect of their lives - for always. They won't get over it.  Ever.  I know.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Get Picky

I decided to play along with the challenge at Get Picky this week - I've been lurking there for a while, and just love the challenges and what the creative team do - and finally decided to give it a go!
We had to use this picture as inspiration:

This is what I came up with - using MME Lost and Found 2 "Sunshine" range.  I adore this range, and have used it to create several layouts already - so look out for more from me using it, because I love love LOVE

Decided to tie a big organza bow on this layout - I love how it turned out - think I will use it more, just love the effect...
Anyway, I am going to go to bed now,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest DT Spot at Scrapbook Savvy

I was absolutely thrilled to discover the other week that I had won a Guest DT spot at Scrapbook Savvy.  Part of the prize was this fabulous kit.
It is gorgeous, with Authentique and My Mind's Eye papers, cardstock,  and choc full of yummy embellishments.  I loved playing with it, and used just about all of it making these 3 layouts.

Since this layout was for a wedding photo, I added a bit more glimmer with some really old Prima product from my stash.  Have been trying hard to use up my stash, and this gorgeous paper was just screaming for some  Also addes some Kaisercraft flowers, but the scrunched flowers I made from paper scraps from the kit - and my Tattered Florals Die....

Everything on this layout is from the kit, except the brown buttons.
 And this one was also entirely made from product from the kit - except for the spotty button.

I know I've said it before, but thank you so much Sar, I absolutely loved this kit, and thoroughly enjoyed playing with it.
The We're Savvy kits are all sold out now, but keep them in mind for future months - they are awesome value for $25 and are ALWAYS awesome!
If you want, I think there are still 3 She's Savvy kits left in the store, and I couldn't resist - I got one to play is beautiful too, also full of Authentique and MME and beautiful embies....think i might have a play with it tonight
Thanks for popping by :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Playing at Chookscraps

Hi everyone,  sorry I've been a slack blogger, I've been scrapping, but because I am on new medication, I have to go to bed early, otherwise I am a zombie the next day, so not much is getting done really.... Last weekend there was a Cybercrop over at Chookscraps.  I managed to get two challenges done - just not on time, haha. 
This was Challenge 1 - had to have a heart/club/diamond/spade on the layout, a number in the title, at least 2 flowers....

This is what I did for Challenge 2 - I had to use at least 50 per cent black and white, 5 of something, the word "Nothing" somewhere in the title or journalling...
Used some Basic Grey Out of print..such a gorgeous range..."sigh"

Finally I have been playing along in the Amazing Chook Race.  Round 11 saw us visiting Vietnam.  We had to use  Red and Yellow - at least 75 per cent, and base our layout on a sketch provided.
This is what I did - used the gorgeous Echo Park Happy Days paper - and yes, couldn't help the song playing over and over in my

That's it for me at the moment, it's a beautiful rainy day here, so I plan on spending the day scrapping - and I'm playing with the gorgeous We're Savvy kit over at Scrapbook Savvy - I am lucky enough to be the Guest DT member over there this month and I got this beautiful kit to play with.  It's sold out now, but be sure to keep an eye on the kits at this store - they are always outstanding, full of gorgeous new products, and such good value..They are out in the middle of each month ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

End of Month Bits and Pieces

Well, this was a good month for me scrapping wise - I managed to get a lot of challenges done, and I've just spent some time over lunch browsing the challenge blogs and organising myself for August.
Just to finish things off, this morning I did the 2 Inspired Blueprint sketches.
This was the July 1st sketch:

This is what I came up with:

This is Blueprint #77

Here is my sample - as you can see, I used stars instead of hearts, just scrapping some old photos of Connor - which is good, finally catching ups.

Finally, here is my sample for this week's Colour Room Challenge.
It was to use the colours from this room:

Here is my layout - about Connor's love of guinea pigs, photo was taken at last year's Mackay Show.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Visit To Germany

I have been playing along in the Amazing Chook Race, over at Chookscraps.
This layout was for Round 9 - Europe.  I chose to go to Germany....  I love Germany, and hope very much to get there one day...
Anyway, since I picked to visit Germany, I had to use 3 colours, 1 large photo, and feature clocks/cogs on my layout.
This is what I did - using some Theresa Collins paper, I used a clock transparency, and a fabulous Steampunk chippy.....

Layout was about Connor and his gorgeous gappy grin - which he may not have for much longer, as he has his first ever loose tooth, which will probably fall out today and tomorrow....especially if he helps it along...haha!! 
My little baby boy is growing to fast...... "sigh"....
Thanks for popping by!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Savvy Cybercrop

The other cybercrop I've been involved in this week is the one at Scrapbook Savvy
It was a "Get your Mojo Moving" cybercrop - and it sure got my mojo flowing - lol....

The first challenge I did was Anthea's.
It was to use this Pagemaps sketch:

This is what I came up with:

Used some old photos of Connor doing his "Coolest Dude Ever" impersonations, and my favourite range ever - October Afternoon Rocket Age....
Then there was the lovely Sara's challenge, it was a colour challenge - you had to use the colours frome this picture:

I have to say, the colours in this picture were right up my ally - I am loving using brights at the moments.  I did this layout of Connor in the pool at Dolphin Heads resort - our summer us....

Then there was Kerryn's challenge - a puzzle challenge.  This was the challenge I found most challenging, IYKWIM....  We had to include these elements in our layout:

This is what I did.  I used a photo of Connor playing on this awesome playground in Bathurst.  I used Basic Grey Oxford range - which I love, and lots of bits and pieces from "A Lil Somethin'"

Finally, there was Renee's challenge - all we had to do was include stitching on our layout, which is pretty easy for me as I include stitching on just about everything I do
This is the layout I did - I used this sweet as photo of Connor - aged about 3, on his first set of wheels - a little red tricycle his Nanny and Papa bought him. 

I used Crate Paper Toy Box for this layout - another of my favourite ranges, sadly, I've just about run out of this one - oh, well - I've done about 4 layouts from what I bought, so at least I got my money's worth...
As you can see, I have been playing around a lot with Adobe Lightroom - I am loving playing with this - and I'm enjoying experimenting with the colours and lighting of my photos......
Thanks for popping by my blog :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cybercrop at Chookscraps

Been keeping myself very busy participating in Cybercrops this week.  These were the layouts I did for the Chookscraps Cybercrop.
The person of interest this CC was Sandra Bullock. 
This layout was for challenge 3 - had to show a picture of "booty," diagonal lines, pearls and stickers.

This is for the 2nd Challenge - Had to use lots of distressing, rumpling and tearing, stamping.... I really enjoyed creating this layout - lots of fun......
Finally - this is for challenge number 1