Thursday, August 27, 2009

how to fill in a Sunday afternoon

Matt's Extension English class were asked to spend the term studying one of the pre-war classics of their choice, look at modern variations in both the written and filmed versions and then write a derivative story based on that novel (the teacher also said a film, art work or and interpretive dance would be acceptable, no one did the dance...) . Matt chose Dracula, forcing him to read Twilight which caused enormous suffering on his behalf but he also got to watch Van Helsing which he thoroughly enjoyed.

After writing his version, he then wanted it printed onto parchment, kindly looking up a recipe that would turn white printer paper into something resembling parchment. Knowing my weakness for paper crafts, he started the process asking for help.

It took me all of two minutes for him to turn it into my project, which I enjoyed for possibly the first hour. After that it got a bit dull but I have done far more tedious things for the kids in the past and I did end up with extra nice crinkly paper for my own use so all ok.

Here are my steps for parchment paper if you are vaguely interested. It would be very quick if you only needed to do a couple of sheets, I ended up doing over 20.

Step 1. The all important mixture. Coffee grounds, instant coffee and tea leaves (handfuls in this case) as well as a couple of sprays of coffee coloured glimmer mist to add a touch of sheen (not important). i think a drop or two of vanilla essence would be nice at this stage as well but I haven't tried that. All mixed in about 2 cups for this amount of boiling water and let cool. Swirl your paper around in it for a while, it seems to dry darker than it looks damp. If you don't want fingers that look like you are a pack a day smoker for the last 20 years, then wear gloves (must remember this tip next time around)

step 2. drying with a hair dryer, adds the lovely crinkly feel. You can brush off the tea leaves and coffee grounds at this stage as well. If you wanted smoother paper then dry slowly between sheets of paper towel with a heavy object on top.

Step 3. Ok not a step just a pile of crinkly paper, although a good time for a tip from our lovely school librarian. If you get a book wet stick it in the freezer and when the sheets are frozen, get it out and shake and scrape it to get all the moisture out. Again I haven't tried it personally but she is a librarian. Henry is very keen to try this though.

Last step. Iron your sheets, I had the iron on linen setting. They worked a treat and printed up beautifully.

ps. After all this, Matt was working out how to put it together when I heard him say whoops. He had started to put holes with a punch in and didn't bother lining them up, with the end result being the first set of papers he tried to punch just having holes clipped in the side...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

next experiment

Found some old photos (also called cabinet cards I have just learnt), including one of this not so happy bride. It is dated 1895 and I think I will (with her permission of course..)use her often. This is copied onto some 100% cotton especially made for printing on. Not sure where to go from here but I will persist....

Since starting this i have of course gone back to my seed head embroidery and have made a cool dragonfly out of wire beads and a screw. Will take photos soon.

PS I am in love with the girl in my new header, such an untypical pose for that era photo, she will also be popping up occasionally (see here)

Monday, August 24, 2009

we need scent-o-web

I wish you could smell this daphne. we have 3 enormous bushes near our front door and the scent hits us as soon as we are out of the car. I can just feel my self calm down a notch or two every time I arrive home. Lovely.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fun in the snow

We did get someone to take a whole family picture but the batteries crashed on both cameras just as we lined up, so instead of taking the usual hundreds of photos we only got a few.

The great snowball challenge. It eventually disintegrated and ended up down someones back.

I think Henry has the bug, he is very keen to ski soon. Mt Selwyn was fine for tobogganing but I think if you were skiing it would get boring very quickly.

Poor Matt

We 'forced' Matt to accompany us tobogganing on the weekend. we figured we were running out of time to do whole family activites together and this would be fun. we didn't drag him out of bed at some ungodly hour (didn't leave until after 9am) and we weren't going to make him ski. Well, he threw the silent sulking tantrum. On the way there he pulled his hood as far forward as it wopuld go, plugged his ears with his new ipod and ignored us - to the point of refusing chocolates! He was so determined not to have a good time and try to ruin the day for the rest of us would be a bonus!'

However he didn't count on Henry and Meagha having such a good time, and he could just sit in the snow (we let him be). His true nature eventually won out and he went tobagganing and even went on the snow tube slide. The highlight of his day I suspect was a huge snowball fight with Geoff, Matt had a hood on under his ski jacket which effectively stopped most snow sliding down his back, Geoff wasn't quite that lucky.

Matt chatted for most of the way home then, so all was not lost and we weren't quite the worst parents ever, for the moment anyway.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

more BOM

This my contribution to the cocoa daisy book about me. Was a bit rushed but a fun lo.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Studio

Is be a newish scrapbooking site, but I am loving some of the work I am seeing there. The august challenge is to scrap using something non specific re: scrapbooking supplies (I used the netting from the oranges and my trusty ancient tape measure, which is getting shorter by the day), as well as borders and stamps in the journalling.

I used photos from our saturday night at a friends house where Henry met Tess, who is the same age and has two elder brothers. they hit it off pretty well and if their self confidence could be taped, the energy supplied would power Bungendore for a while! Meaghan and Tess were the only girls and they more than held there own against the 7 boys present, a fun night.

We are off to selwyn tomorrow tobogganing, so hopefully some photos by Monday, have a good one. x

Monday, August 10, 2009

for those who have only known me since kids...

my adventures in the Cocoa Daisy, My Book about Me continues, really enjoying it although of course am always a couple of days behind.

Yes I was once skinny and had no use for sunscreen, (BTW that is me in pink, and Geoff in green). This was before we were going out - housemates then. It took Matt a good 12 hours to work out who we were.

The other two are Pete and Michelle who we still see regularly, with their boys in a serious love/hate relationship with Meaghan, Jasper being 8 months younger.

The event is the yearly toga party, with us wearing the very fashionable curtains purchased at great expense at the local, much frequented, Wagga vinnies. Our hair is dyed in vegetable dye which was very unpleasant on the pillowcase the next morning. Michelle did go the extra lengths and attempted a black self dye (the 80's hair dye was not the most reliable) and if you look closely it is quite an attractive green.

My reinvent etc course with Jenni Bowlin is also continuing, with the chat finally rolling around tomorrow. Thanks to the time zones, it will be at a very civilized 11am, which for me is perfect. This lo is my mothers family portrait sent to my grandfather while he was in north qld towards the end of WWII, he was less than impressed with it apparently, nan's look wasn't what he was expecting I think. Mum is the oldest child on the right.

Off to meet lovely Louise for lunch now, hooray i am now a lady who lunches!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

pointy kitty

Love this little kitty pattern from wee wonderfuls, a nice freebie. She is made from a soft flanellette material, nice and soft. This is going for a long flight overseas to a little girl who is having a tough time healthwise (along with a book of Australian animals, cause everyone knows we have the cutest animals...). I hope it puts a smile on her face for a little while at least.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Just trying a few options with paper/embroidery/beading etc to see what I like. This is an early version of an idea I've had. Sorry the light isn't spectacular, the muslin is actually a very clean white. I like the shape of the seed head but i think i would prefer it in one colour maybe even a very dark brown with clear crystals for the little seeds. The wire is, of course a variation of a Rebecca Sower idea (did i mention before how much I really, really like her work?). The music paper under the muslin I could also work with more. Plus adding calico is always a must (words maybe?)

Anyway stay tuned for more stuff as I head in the direction that is currently calling me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

crazy busy

I was looking forward to a slow week this week - not to be. Matt is still in bed - he is the easy one at the moment.

Meaghan had her school carnival on at the AIS, not the best place to get to in peak hour, leaving Geoff to drop off Henry . Meaghan then discovered that she had lost her sports jacket (I won't even mention how expensive that was!) . after finally getting her there, Phone call from Geoff "any chance you'll be back in time to take us to work/school" hmm let me think about that -no.

next phone call from delivery man, very politely telling me he was at our house with our new dishwasher (yay) and was I far away? (apparently this counts as an hours notice that I was promised) Luckily I was now against the worst of the traffic and could fly home.

Then the phone bleeps, what now - oh goody a message from Geoff telling me the cat had vomited inside and he didn't have time to clean it up, about now I am willing to throw the phone away just for a few minutes peace.

Back home, ring Matt's school (forgot yesterday and then you get a phone call from the SARGE) and then collapse in front of my computer (after cleaning up the cat's little present of course).

Geoff was hinting that I could plumb in the dishwasher today (!!!), I know I am good but seriously, it is staying in it's box.

On a brighter note I have started the Book about Me (after rereading my previous paragraphs, it is all about me today, sorry!) for Cocoa Daisy.I am using a Heidi Swapp folder and although I am not rapt in the cover, may be altered soon , i like the facts page and I am going to enjoy scrapping in the smaller format for a while. The next couple are {if you knew me then...} and icreate both fun topics.

Off to lovely Jo's for morning tea, this is where I love being a stay at home mum, and then back home to meet the guy who will finally hopefully fix our landline which has been dodgy for weeks.

Monday, August 3, 2009

my baby is 17!

Matt turns 17 today. Can't really be true, not so long ago (and yet a lifetime has gone by) when we in Queanbeayan Hospital completely unready for the birth of our firstborn. He was 3 weeks early and came out bottom first, in a hurry (no time to even book in the inevitable, but avoided, caesarian) so we had quite a crowd of midwives and doctors to greet him. a week of hospital, who said breast feeding was easy? and we took him off to our little awful third story flat -laundry down the bottom floor, no lift, thank you very much. It all has improved since then.

Matt has always been the mature one in the house. he spent his first four years as the only child, both in our family and amongst all our friends, so I suspect that shaped him as much as anything. He has been such an easy teenager, spends a lot of time in his room, mostly reading and playing on his computer, but is more than willing to socialise when the occasion arises. We are so lucky, and I hope the other two follow suit - dream.

unfortunately the good health he has managed this winter has left and he will probably spend the day in bed, with new ipod so not all bad. hopefully he will be well enough for school as year 11 exams are at the end of this term and then the long haul for the HSC begins. Matt is downgrading his maths (really doesn't like it) but will be doing what in my time was called 3 unit history and 4 units of English. These extra lessons are mostly self study where they have to produce their own piece of work by the end. So a full on year but I suspect an enjoyable one as he loves these subjects.

Happy birthday Matt!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

toy society drop

Finally got my nice bike fixed up (read replace very expensive bits so I had better go bike riding NOW) so off I went, ending up at Lennox Garden. It was a wee bit cold, but I was On a mission. Another toy society drop. This time another knitted toy from this book, really, really like this. A big squashy robin that I left undercover so he wouldn't get frost bitten if he wasn't discovered straight away - you can just see the hint of the bag he was in on the left hand side of the shelter. Hope he finds a good home because he needs lots of squashy hugs. x

latest offerings

I have gone back to glue and paper scrapping in a big way recently. having my own space makes a huge difference. I am also finding that having a challenge is also a great way to get moving when feeling a bit sluggish.

The top lo is for the Jenni Bowlin class previously mentioned. We had to use those little red rimmed stickers (called Dennison labels apparently) in a layout (or anything really). I used a newly scanned photo of Mum sitting on the step of her house in Armidale with her little brother and sister. I stitched the beads on the doily and ripped some muslin (expect to see more of this!) for the background. If you are dropping by from that class then welcome, I will be visiting you soon (hmm, that sounding threatening, I will be nice I promise).

The Vietnamese childcare work is for a glimmer mist challenge on Cocoa Daisy. It is hard to see the glimmer in the photo but it softens the pinkness of the background paper. The Cocoa Daisy team are guiding us in a Book About Me over August (I am contributing a page towards the end of the month, excited about that) so will show you that as I go along. I don't do enough/any pages just about me so this will be the push along I need.