Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Potential disruption to service

Just thought I'd add a note to say that our family are due to arrive soon (providing there are no further delays) and we are determined to spend lots of time with them while they are here.

I'll try and post if I can but it's likely I'll be away for days at a time rather than my usual 3 or 4 posts each week.

Hope everyone is keeping safe and happy over the festive period and normal service should resume mid January.

In the meantime I'll leave you with this picture of some New Zealand lamb.... :-) Cool huh?!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

JYC Update 3

I'm still plodding along with the Christmas Journal.
You can see all my Christmas Journal posts here.

And here's the latest pages I've made...

Day 10 - all about wrapping presents...

Day 11 - about our Christmas tree...

Day 12 - I went away from the prompt here so I could add a page about taking part in the NZ Twitter Secret Santa...

Day 13 is about Christmas music...

Day 14 is about presents...inside the envelope is a list of what we got and what we gave...still to be completed so no-one peeks too early!...

Day 15 is all about Visitors we are expecting for Christmas and this is extra special because we have family travelling all the way from the UK to spend Christmas and New Year with us...

Day 16 is about Gratitiude and the journalling talks about how I could list lots of things but there is 1 thing (or should that be person!) we are hugely grateful to have in our lives this year...

Day 17 talks about a perfect present...or at least what I hope will be perfect, need to wait for the reaction on Christmas Day...

I am fairly up to date which is good, have notes made and pictures printed for the last few days - just need to get them all on the pages. I'm definetly finding it easier to just jot notes down/take pictures each day and then make a few pages all at once while baby is napping or once he has gone to bed.

And I've said it before - it's not the prettiest journal with the latest techniques and products but I am so glad I am keeping up. It's still going to be AWESOME to look back on in years to come.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap...what I got!

I received my last wee parcel from the Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap in the post yesterday so I can now reveal what I got...

From Louana...(love the matching bag my crocheted tree arrived in!)

From Norma...

From Dione...

From Hannah...

From Krissie...

Thank you ladies for an awesome collection of original and unique ornaments that I will enjoy hanging on the tree for many years to come.
You can see what I made for the swap here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Handmade Gifts: Lavender and Orange Body Scrub

I decided to have a go at making some Body Scrub. I found a few 'recipes' online to work out the ingredients and then just kind of made it up!

I bought 2 little pots from K Mart for $5 (if I end up making more I might try and find bigger pots as these only hold about 15ml I think).

I used equal parts sugar (just run of the mill white sugar) and sweet almond oil and mixed them together (about 4 teaspoons of each as I was only making a small amount).
And then I added lavender and orange essential oils until it smelt right. I ended up using 10 drops of lavender and 8 drops of orange. It may be a little too strong but smells great!

Then I used my circle punch to cut small circles out of sticky labels and drew/wrote on them and stuck them on the jars.

Easy As :-)

I had a little left over and tried it out - it left my skin feeling a little greasy for a while but once it soaked in made my skin feel lovely and soft. Definitely recommended!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scrapbooking tip: placing letters

I've been doing this for a while now and find it really handy for checking I've got enough room for stickers and letters etc before actually sticking them down.

Basically what you do is find some clear plastic - the easiest place to find this is usually the packaging that alphabets or other stickers come in.

Place your stickers or alphabet letters onto the clear plastic in the order and arrangement you want them. You do not have to press them down hard, just lay them on the top as this is only a temporary measure.

Then lay the stickers (on the plastic) where you want them on your page to check they will fit.

You can rearrange as necesary before the final stick down on your actual layout.

Saves all those times share you stick something in the wrong place or don't leave enough room for all your letters and try to peel them back off and leave a mess.

Hope this is useful :-) Apologies for the quality of the photos but my crafting tends to happen at night once baby is in bed and the light for photos is not so good!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

JYC Update 2

Another update on my Christmas journal...

I found some Christmas themed peelcraft (not my favourite item but I'm all about using stuff up at the moment) and used that to fill a gap on my 3rd December page which is all about Christmas Cards. In the envelope is a copy of the picture I enclosed with our Christmas cards and a copy of the Christmas newsletter I wrote...

On December 6th I talked about why this year Christmas is different for us and included a cute photo of bubba in his new sunhat...

The prompt for December 7th was your Christmas To Do List and I thought this would be a nice easy page plus interesting to look back on...

December 8th was all about sights of Christmas popping up everywhere so I printed some recent Christmas-y photos I've taken....

December 9th was about Traditions. We are (well, I!) currently thinking about traditions that we can start that will be interesting and fun for baby in years to come. I've listed some on the page. 
That strange red and brown beast is supposed to be a reindeer! I drew round baby's hand and foot and cut them out to make the reindeer. See a much better example here ... I think I've put the 'antlers' in the wrong place and it just looks wrong!

That's it for today. I'm finding it easier to sit down once baby goes to bed every few days and do a couple of pages in a row...not exactly in the spirit of a page a day but whatever works :-)

You can see all of my JYC (Journal Your Christmas) posts here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An excuse to buy new shoes

Number 1 on my 29 things to do aged 29 list is

I can now tick that off.
I bought some new sandals at the weekend. They are SO comfy. And because they show off my toes I painted my toenails.

Or you could say because I wanted to paint my toenails I bought new shoes :-)

And that definetly has to be a sign that summer is here
(even if Palmy is not feeling particularly summery on this rainy grey day).

You can see more seasonal posts here at Seaside Siblings.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our very own Rudolf

When I saw what Tartan Kiwi over at Craft and Nappies had made for her Christmas Ornaments I had to smile. Her Rudolf ornaments were so CUTE and so I asked if she would like to do a one-off swap. Luckily she agreed and so in the post we received our very own lovely little Rudolf in a little woven heart basket...

Isn't he gorgeous? And here's a close-up of Rudolf in all his cuteness...

P.S. Tartan Kiwi's blog is well worth a read. She has a list of crafty tasks to carry out and it's fun seeing her progress. She is also due to give birth to her 2nd baby any day now...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

JYC Update

I'm getting somewhere with my jyc (Journal Your Christmas) 2010 album. I have been writing down some notes each day in a notebook even if I can't get my page done and I've been thinking about what photos I can include.
A big help was finding this software which allows you to put more than 1 image on a 4 by 6 print without Photoshop. Seriously helpful in general and awesome for this project as my pages aren't big enough for full size pictures.
Here are the pages I have completed so far.

Day 1 - Manifesto

Day 2 - the prompt was about the weather, I mentioned it a bit but mostly this page is about our roadtrip to Rotorua (hope to post some bigger photos from the roadtrip over the next few days)

Day 4 - I skipped the prompt topic altogether and talked about heading home from Rotorua

Day 5 is about Advent - I talked about counting down and also putting up the Christmas tree

Day 3 is a work-in-progress - it needs a little something extra. Day 7 is half done and I haven't done anything for Day 6 yet (except my notes on the day)

I am trying to follow the prompts mostly but if they don't really apply or something more exciting happens that day I will make more of a December Daily page.

As mentioned in my earlier post I am keeping it simple and not getting too focused on the scrapbook-y details. It's more about capturing baby's first Christmas and making sure I can get it done in the small amount of me-time I have these days!

Hope to be back with a few more pages in a couple of days :-)

All of my Journal Your Christmas Posts can be found here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Taping two candy canes together to make little hearts

Red carnations - $2.99 a bunch at New World

A felt flower hair tie bought at Brown Sugar Cafe in Taihape

Milky Mint Hot Chocolate in my starbucks candy cane mug, complete with chocolate spoon

A sticky Christmas Tree on my window 

Add to that a gently snoring baby asleep beside me and I might just be in heaven :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Wreath

We've never had a Christmas Wreath before but I've seen some lovely ones this year and decided to have a go at making one for our front door.

I got a plain white wicker heart for $10 (it was on sale) and a length of red tinsel and some candy canes. 
I tied the tinsel round the wreath and then wrapped it round and round until all the wicker was covered. I bunched it up as I went to make it nice and thick and when I got back to where I started I tucked in the loose end.
Then I stuck some candy canes to the tinsel using double sided tape. I tied some ribbon round and used a Command removable hook to hang it on our door.

Pretty simple but I like it. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap...the finished products :-)

My ornaments have been posted and should have all reached their recipients by now so I can finally share what I made here on the blog.

To begin with I thought I would make a felt tree ornament and even made a prototype. But whilst I think it's quite cute it's not exactly great standards of sewing! So that one is just for me and I moved onto Plan B instead.

I've seen quite a few little photo frame ornaments around this year and decided to have a go at making something along those lines. It fitted in well with my love of scrapbooking as well.

So here is what I came up with...

And here are the 5 ornaments I made for the swap plus the one I made for me (complete with cute baby photo!).

And we all know that the packaging of wee parcels can make it so much more exciting to receive them so I made envelopes (from hot pink card!) and hand drew borders on address labels. I wrapped the ornaments themselves in tissue paper and also included a little card and chocolate santa with each one.

I really hope my swap partners like them and find a lovely photo to put in theirs.

And once I've received all my ornaments I'll be sure to post a picture of them all together :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stuff we love: MOO Cards

Don't you just love exciting mail?

Little parcels that you are expecting and you check the mail box every day with anticipation and when the parcel finally arrives you rip open the jiffy bag as quick as you can to get to what's inside!
On Wednesday I received a little parcel such as this...

A couple of weeks ago I ordered some Mini Moo cards. had a sale and I couldn't resist. It was an impulse purchase, not something I had been planning and before I knew it I had uploaded 5 recent photos that I loved and designed my own little tiny cards.

They are part of a grand plan that will be revealed if it comes to fruition but in the meantime I will keep opening my tiny box and look at my lovely mini cards!

I had hoped they would arrive before I sent my Christmas ornaments so I could send one in each little parcel but it was not to be. Nevermind.

And I think I might start squirelling away favourite photos in a special folder ready for my next get 100 cards in the box and they can all have different images on if you wish.

And here they are in all their glory....cute huh?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's nearly Christmas :-)

Happy December Everyone :-)
And Happy 1st Day of Summer Kiwi's :-)

I managed to get my Christmas journal covers and pages made up yesterday during the baby's nap times.
I kept it simple and used some brown corrugated card I had (I think it's US sizing so 8.5 by 11 inches) cut in half for the front and back covers. I inked the ridges with my green stamp (the same one I used to ink the page numbers) and then stuck on a piece of pink card, added the holly embellishment (one I made years ago for a Christmas card but didn't get round to using) and the letters and numbers. I had hoped to use glittery letters and numbers but my alphabets are pretty depleted and I didn't have quite enough.

The pages inside are a mix of black and burgandy card (I couldn't find any white card and the burgandy looked reasonably festive) cut a little smaller than the covers.
I've hole punched the covers and all the pages and will join it all together with book-rings. I need to get 2 in the right size as I only have 1 that's too small at the moment!

Here's what it looks like...


I might have to add some ribbon or more embellishments at a later date but for now it will do!

And now it's just a matter of waiting for the first prompt to come through. The time difference goes against me a little as I end up a day the time I get the 1st Dec prompt it'll probably be the 2nd Dec here.

I won't post pages everyday - probably do a few together in 1 post a couple of times a week and intersperse it with other blog posts.

In other Christmas-related-news, I made it to the post shop yesterday and spent an obscene amount of money posting all my overseas Christmas cards and some parcels. Still a couple of parcels to send to friends but they require a few small purchases first.
Good job Christmas is only once a year or the price of postage alone would bankrupt me!

I've already sneaked a few decorations up here and there but might have to get more decorations up over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seasons: Spring

I've had this list saved in my drafts folder to add to as I think of more things. 
This last weekend has been so hot and with the 1st December almost upon us (the official first day of summer) I think it's time to celebrate what I love about Spring and start thinking about my summer loves!

A work-in-progress list of what I <3 about Spring...
  1. Daffodils...especially the double headed ones that come up in my front garden each year. I was so disappointed they came up blind this year and hope they will flower next year
  2. Tulips...which I planted whilst pregnant and then watched them sprout and flower with my newborn baby beside me
  3. Hanging the washing out...especially on those blustery, sunny days where it doesn't take long to dry
  4. Being able to get out in the garden and get the lawns mowed
  5. Watching everything sprout and grow and 'green-up'
  6. Wanting to eat salad again (I don't like eating salad when it's cold and grey!)
  7. Starting to think about Christmas, what we will do, what we will buy, what I will make
  8. My birthday...which now falls in Spring
  9. The nights drawing out
  10. Having decent light for taking photos
  11. Not having to have the fire/heating going all day long
  12. More barefoot days
  13. Dreaming of vegetable and flower gardens (even if I never quite get around to actually doing them!)
  14. The lemon tree perking up after winter
  15. Fresher looking fruit and veg in the shops
  16. Sitting outside on the sunny days and enjoying a breeze
I'm sure there's more to come....hope to add to this as the years go on :-)

See more seasonal posts here

Monday, November 29, 2010

Journal Your Christmas

This Christmas is going to be quite different from previous ones for a couple of reasons. Firstly - it's baby's first one! And secondly, we have family coming all the way from the UK to spend it with us!
So it's going to be AWESOME :-)
And because it's going to be like nothing that has come before it I have decided I want to record it.

For Christmas 2008 I joined up for Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas and completed all 37 days/pages. I love looking back at the album to see what we were up to 2 years ago and already have it out for the festive season.

Basically Shimelle sends out a prompt by email every day which makes you think about some aspect of Christmas and then blog/journal/scrapbook/photograph it. There's also an online forum where you can share what you've done and chat with others taking part. It's heaps of fun and the best bit is that once you've paid  you're in it for life and can take part every year if you wish. 
(And if you click on that link above you'll see there's some giveaways for class places happening this week).
It starts on 1st December and runs right through to the 6th January. 

As well as being a SPECIAL Christmas/December this year it's also going to be a BUSY one. Therefore I am going simple. I am not going to buy a stack of the latest christmas themed scrapbooking goodies - I will use up some of the stuff I already have. And I'm not going to worry too much about making this a hugely pretty album. It's going to capture some words and some photos so that we have something to look back on in years to come. I'm fairly certain baby is not going to judge me for not including lots of lovely scrapbook supplies when he's older!
I learnt last year not to over-complicate this process. I only made it to day 5 last year. I had morning sickness,  was mega busy at work and had an album/journal that required too much time and thought to complete.

I've made up some page numbers ready to go. I have a ream of pink card (bought for wedding thank-yous) that I cut into 2 by 1 inch rectangles. I then stamped the date on with my date stamper and added a punched xmas tree/star. I didn't have quite enough trees for all 37 days so went with Christmas trees for the December dates and stars for the January dates. I've also inked the edges in green ink.
And these are probably the fanciest things I'm going to have in the album!

I'm hoping to get a front and back cover made up over the next couple of days. I am probably going to have an A5 size journal because it's easy. And I'm thinking a mix of black and white card for pages. I am thinking about making it landscape in orientation and will hole-punch each page and join with book-rings.

And once I've prepped the cover and pages it's just a case of taking photos each day, writing some words and sticking it all together.

I really want to do this so keep your fingers crossed I can scrape ten minutes each day to get my pages done.

And as it will be very simple and smaller than the usual 12 by 12 pages I will get 50c per page for my scrapbook fund or $20 total if I complete all 37 pages.

Hopefully I will be able to share some of the pages and covers with you as December progresses.


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