Just letting you all know that I'll be posting my scrap-stuff on my new (old) blog, From My Heart to Yours, from now on. It still looks a bit funny - I worked on the background etc all day yesterday and quite frankly I couldn't care if I never saw another blog template in my life, so please pardon the fact that it still has it's clothes buttoned up wrong (so to speak) and follow me over there if you're interested in scrapping or papercraft! I'll keep this blog open as well, and I'll be posting family doings, musings, photos etc here.
Blog This is a bloggy challenge site I've joined. I know my writing is pretty ordinary, so I am not entering expecting any votes. This is purely to challenge myself, as I can feel my brain shrinking day by day. You can stop reading right now if you want. I won't hold it against you.
Hmmmm. Wouldn't it be nice if I had some high-brow Danish sub-titled Shakespeare production in mind? But no. The film that changed my life was .... The Story of Us. You know, Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis? No? Well, don't feel bad, lots of people haven't seen it. Brief plot summary -- parents Ben and Katie have lost the thread of their marriage. They drop the kids at summer camp then drive off to different places for a trial separation period. The film follows their experiences, their fights in flashback, shows how easy it is to lose the romance and become parents instead of friends and lovers. At the end, they have both realised that they want their marriage to work, and the scene that gets me everytime is when Katie is crying about how they know each other, about all the tiny moments they've shared together, how they've built a life together, and she doesn't want to start that all over again with a stranger.
Pow! right between the eyes. Because back then (early 2000) I was all on my own. I no longer had anyone who shared my life, who had the same memories and experiences. There was no one to say "Oh, do you remember when..." - no secret language, no intimate looks that hold all the meaning in the world, no short cuts in a conversation, no jokes that only 'we' shared. And I realised that there never could be. I left the cinema shattered. Really. Bizarre, I know. I had always looked for excitement, novelty, in relationships. Suddenly, I realised that what I really needed was stability. Intimacy. Safety. But I had to let go of a lot of romantic notions about Prince Charming sweeping me off my feet (yes, even at 35 I had fairy-tale inclinations) and I had to face the fact that I would have to really work at building a new relationship (if one were to come along, which didn't look hugely likely). I wasn't sure anyone would stick around long enough to get past my defences, to really get to know me. I wasn't sure anyone would get past my looks and age, to see who I was under the exterior. Scary stuff.
But sometimes, just sometimes, fairytales do come true. My best friend rang me. He (yes, he) said he had split up from his wife 6 months previously, had been working on a remote mining site and very out of touch, and wanted to come visit me. "Cool!" I said. "Bring the Jack Daniels." At no point did I think "This is the moment I've been waiting for!" ... and yet it was. That weekend, something clicked. We'd known each other and been best friends for 11 years, but that weekend we fell in love. Within 36 hours of arriving at my house, he'd asked me to marry him. And he wasn't even drunk! This man did share my life. Huge chunks of it, anyway. He knew all the stupid things I'd done. He knew my strengths and weaknesses. He knew my character. He knew about my temper! And it was the same for me. There were very few unknowns (apart from -- you know) We already had that intimate connection. We could finish each others' sentences. We had that short-hand conversation style you only ever see in best friends or old married couples. He'd known my kids when they were bumps. He'd come to my sons' funeral. And he saw the real me, past the wrinkles and fences. Now, I know it sounds mushy and gushy and a bit Mills-and-Boon, but I think, if I hadn't seen that movie, I might not have realised the importance of that deep friendship we shared, and I might have lost the best thing I've ever had.
This is my husbands' grandfather, who fought in the Middle East during WW2. He was promoted, demoted at his own request, then promoted again, to Corporal. He was hurt quite badly in a vehicle accident which meant he suffered many operations on his leg, several times fearing it would have to be removed. This ANZAC Day, we'll be remembering him, amongst many others of his generation.
Anyone who's more than a nodding acquaintance knows that I am NOT very domesticated. I mean, I don't have a bone through my nose and I can use a knife and fork, but I'm far more into the decorating than the cleaning. Well, I just caught sight of myself in the mirror while tidying the bedroom. I'm wearing a polka dot apron and high heels. There IS a reason for this, I swear. I've been baking (hence the apron) and I have to break the heels in for my sisters' wedding next month. How my husband would laugh! thank goodness he's at work.
Drunken Stampers host some funky challenges each week, and my bloggie friend Linda got me started last week; and then nearly lost me again this week cos the challenge is to use something from the KITCHEN to create a card.... kitchen! my mind boggled (not a pretty sight). I thought of a few things but they were either stupid, or too complicated and stupid -- and then I had a EUREKA moment while watching an ad for washing powder. (I know) It was so cool I leapt up from the sofa and started running around the house muttering to myself. I only stopped when Bones came back on. Anyway, I wanted to use an onion but I had no purple ink (I have wished for purple alcohol ink more times than I can count, WHY do I not just buy myself some??) So then I spotted the lime from my evening shot of tequila -- allowed it to dry out overnight -- and here is the result!
Basically, all I did was to use the Spiced Marmalade and Fired Brick Distress Ink Pads with a foam blending tool, and ink up the lime half. (you would want it to be pretty dry if you want a crisp image or the lime juice smudges your ink) Then I used the lime to stamp on the paper. As the lime dried, it shrank a little, so I used my hands to push the paper from underneath up into the lime. In some spots, a little juice smudged the print, which added to the effect, I thought. I then added Umbrella Man (I think of him as Stanley) with some black archival ink. I used Spiced Marmalade to ink the edges as well. I WISH I had a yellow (Mustard Seed) ink pad too -- see purple alcohol ink above -- cos then I would have had a shot at softly blending yellow into the whole background, but there y'go. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, my Nana used to say. To make the card, I just mounted the background onto a scrap of Bazzill from my stash, and used a bottlecap and 7Gypsies 97% Complete sticker.
NOTE ON BOTTLECAPS -- I buy them from the home brew section of the supermarket, you get a bag full for a coupla bucks and then I squash them, 6 at a time, with my Sizzix. TOO EASY, mate. I LOVE bottlecaps and almost never remember to use them!
So thanks for looking and wading through this huge post, go have a shot of tequila with some lime now-- you deserve it! XX
This is my example for the MMT comp this week. We had to use wire, hand-stitching, rust, fabric, haberdashery.... bit of a challenge for me, as I like my pages fairly minimal usually. However, I really love this one. This photo of my poor skinny man was taken underground at a mine where he says he learned a LOT about resilience! It was hard. In a way that most of us can only imagine, in an industry where normal conditions freak most people out, this job was really really tough. But he stayed there, because there weren't that many jobs around, and a man has to do what a man has to do.
I made the gear wheel using Photoshop, Inkscape and my Cricut, and rusted it with T!ms' fab rusting technique, which I totally LOVE. Journalling is on the ticket behind the photo.
Recently, I made some shoes for a challenge at A Vintage Affair. I loved making them so much I've gone on to make more, and here is one pair I made over the weekend. Don't know what I'm going to do with them.... anyone want a pair of never-worn shoes?
This was my challenge over at the ART CC last night (our theme was Making It Real) I have asked the girls to make a LO about an act of kindness they have experienced (or maybe something they've done for someone else) and I'm very interested to see the LOs!
My journalling reads: "A few months after Levi died, I was invited to my friends' baby shower. I was so conflicted about going, and knew that I desperately needed a boost in confidence. My favourite lipstick was all used up, and I hoped a new one might help me put on a brave face; but finances were tight. For some reason, I explained this to the bus-driver. And she got it. About an hour later, she dropped a brand-new, very expensive, and totally perfect shade of lipstick into my letter-box. She'll never know how she touched my heart that day."
AHHH, Lotto. We've all dreamed of you, sighed over the possibilities, kissed your lustrous tickets for luck... (what? you haven't done that?? oh. Me either) Today I was reading Amys' blog, about what she would do if she won Lotto. Most of it is similar to what I would want to do..... pay off the bills, buy a house, set hubby up in his dream career, provide for the kids and extended families.... we're not very extravagant so no fur coats or stable of fast sleek Italian cars etc. My big indulgence (aside from the Dream Home) would be to buy lots and lots of T!m Holtz products -- in fact, everything he's ever made!
But then I looked down my blog list -- and saw the real needs of some bloggers I read. Money to help families with special needs kids, for example, because our governments sure don't seem interested.
And there are things I'm hoping desperately for, that money just can't buy. I'm hoping and praying that Tash's baby boy is born alive, and well. that Fern gets the answers she needs that Kristin gets through this part of her life and lives happily ever after that Tiffs' dad would wake up tomorrow morning, cancer-free. and that Stephanie could have her hearts' desire, be pain-free, and feel beautiful and sexy and womanly again.
In my eternal search for stuff I find interesting, I found a cool challenge blog called Blog This, which throws out blogging challenges weekly -- I'm toying with the idea of joining. When I first started my blog, I had it in mind to make it an allsorts kind of thing -- some craft, some family updating, some stories-from-my-life -- but then found without a starting point, the stories thing was going no-where. Plus my life right now is NOT filled with adventure and excitement. Do I have anything interesting, or even relevant, to say? We'll see, huh?
This is my tango example for the MMT comp at ART this week. I'm not a fan of two photos on a LO, EVER -- so it really challenged me! The main picture is of me and my best mate Jules heading off to some fancy do, back in about 1990? we were really best mates -- used to tell each other everything, hung out together all the time, laughed ourselves sick many times over, and he was always there when I needed him. No big surprise then, that after 11 years of friendship, we literally fell in love one day (OK, it was more like a 36 hour time frame, and no I'm not kidding) and got married, 10 years ago this December! The little photo was taken on our wedding day. I wore a red dress (:
My friend, Ness, posted this link to an awesome tut on YouTube. Ever wanted to use your Fiskars border punches to go round a corner? I have! but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to line them up neatly. Well, ponder no more!
I signed up for an ATC swap at ART, a thing I normally try and avoid since I dont think I do ATCs very well. The theme is DOMESTIC GODDESS, to fit with our upcoming May cybercrop. And I had no idea what to do. So yesterday I hopped over to Lindas' blog because she is so awesome and clever, and LO and BEHOLD, she's made a gorgeous card using a magazine clipping. Got me thinking. Because I too have a magazine obsession... I hunted through the stacks and found a Burkes' Backyard mag, and the front cover photo was of a lot of home-grown vegetables beautifully displayed in what would be a dream kitchen for many of us... so my scissors got to work, and this was the (eventual) result. As you will see, totally NOT resembling Lindas' amazing piece BUT she gave me the starting point. So now I can justify buying all those Country Home magazines, on the grounds that one day, I MIGHT need one for an ATC.
IN A POSTSCRIPT -- Linda encouraged me to enter these for Drunken Stampers challenge 11, and so I have. There are some gorgeous creations over there! *drools*
Hubby cooked up some yummy steaks last night, but you know -- he cooks like a bloke -- and for some reason (the clouds of smoke maybe) the smoke alarm went off! It took us a while to get it down and shut it up, but reminded me that I need to change the batteries, since I forgot on April 1st. We stayed in a gorgeous luxury beach house in Dunsborough one time, which was absolutely beautiful -- except that the toaster was placed right under the smoke alarm, and the darn thing went off if you even heated a slice of bread. To make things funnier, the smoke alarm was about 35 feet in the air (well it looked like it to me) and hubby had to use a broom to shut it up. Still, better some inconvenience than a house fire! So, if you haven't checked your smoke alarm batteries, get up RIGHT NOW and go do it. And if you don't have any smoke alarms -- WHY NOT????
The photo is of my great-grandparents, whom I knew (though not as well as I would now like) They moved out to Australia in the 1920s, from Germany. My granma had worked in Berlin, and was always a snappy dresser. They were farm labourers, taking work wherever they could - and in those times, they did it hard. It must have been so very strange for Granma, and I admire her more than I could ever put into words.
I used the beautiful Kaisercraft Devonshire range, plus odds and ends from my stash for the LO. Journalling is hidden on a tag behind the photo.