Sunday, 27 April 2014

morning walk dressing gown saga

I went for a walk yesterday morning even though I didn't really feel like it, and it was quite late for me at 8:00am. It wasn't a frosty night - quite mild, and walking was good going with the sun out.

At least six times I caught someone out in their dressing gown either getting their newspaper off their lawn, or mail out of their mailbox! I kid you not. Normally, I wouldn't catch anyone in their dressing gown even at 6:00am.

One poor lady was so embarrassed I think she wanted to turn into a tree - she was elderly and only had on her nightdress! She practically ran to her front door covering herself in her mail as much as she could.

One gentleman came out of his place carrying his paper under his arm, walked in front of me, and went next door and picked up the rolled up paper on his neighbour's lawn, and took it to their front door. How nice!

One woman in fluffy slippers was waving goodbye two young people in a P plated ute.

It was an odd sight to see so many in the same morning. Maybe being a Saturday after a Friday public holiday had something to do with it.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Colleague dies

I came back to work after the Easter weekend to be told officially that one of the staff members had died over the Easter weekend, that she had committed suicide.

I have been at work for nearly 17 years. In all that time, I knew this staff member as a kindly, softly spoken person with a good sense of humour. Her voice was one of the first I came to recognise on the phone when I was on help desk (softly spoken), and she was really helpful when she was on reception in another area during a rough trot I was having.

Over the past 4 weeks she had been helping me with procedures and work instructions that I had to do for our department. The last time I saw her (Friday week last) she seemed in good spirits, and little different to any other time I had seen her. I actually had last week off work leading into Easter.

I didn't know her outside of work. She has adult children and an x-husband. She has at least one grandchild. She worked right up to Easter at work.

I've been so upset this week at work. Those who knew her better are just shocked to the point of no emotions showing. I, on the other hand, have been crying both at work and at home.

She was such a lovely person. She rarely talked about her personal life.

I've had to have some counseling because I just don't know where to put my emotions. When I go into work I've had to stare at emails from her from last week, awaiting a response, and know that she is gone.  So I wasn't staring at them, I actually emailed her back and said stuff, even though I know she isn't there to answer them.

Other staff feel uncomfortable about removing her details from the system, which would be the normal procedure if someone left, and have actually held off, waiting for someone to tell them to do it, as it feel disrespectful.

I am still emotional. It's real hard to believe I will never see her again at work. She was one of the ones that had been there 'forever' that I really liked. There are so few of those left.


Monday, 21 April 2014

It's Stripey Cloud Day - Hooray

It only happens once a year - always in Autumn - and this morning when I was coming back from my walk I could see it in the morning sky. Hooray! It's Stripey Cloud Day.

I don't know what caused it. I don't know why it only occurs over a few days once a year (a secret test flight from the army? Just mother nature doing something brilliant?) but I just love it when it happens.

I ran in after my big walk and got the camera and took some pics. Because yesterday was a little overcast, I don't know if it started yesterday or not. It may get better today or it may just disperse.

Please celebrate Stripey Cloud Day with me by taking a picture of the clouds - they are truly amazing.

Just to prove I was there - though looking straight into the morning sun - ouch!

Stripey Cloud Day in the morning sky

Stripey Cloud Day over my little unit

Stripey Cloud Day - over my front door

Stripey Cloud Day - 2014 - all hail the stripey clouds

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Digi Scrapbooking - software

For most wanting to start out in Digital Scrapbooking it will be a program like one of the one's listed in this neat 2014 review. After playing with one of these for a few months you'll know if you want to dip your toe in further or not.

Digi scrapping isn't for everyone. And these programs are way cheaper than the commercially aligned photo editing packages like Photoshop and Photoshop Elements! 

Also - there are lots of 'getting started with digital' sites out there. Here is one (you can google search for others) :

I use Adobe Fireworks (formerly Macromedia Fireworks. Macromedia created a suite of products including Flash and Dreamweaver (creating web pages). But then Adobe moved in and bought them out. Making few upgrades of the products after that. But I believe Fireworks is still a better program than Adobe Photoshop Elements in many ways, even though it is barely promoted at all by Adobe).

But I was formally trained in both Fireworks and Photoshop. Without this training and exposure to the software over some years, and my quickness in picking up new concepts, I probably wouldn't be as good in creating digi pages freehand as I am today.

For those without this training, I would recommend going with a $20-$50 program first that is for digi scrapping; yes it is limiting creatively, but it gets your feet wet in sitting in front of the screen and trying to produce something digitally. If that takes, then you can move to Adobe Photoshop Elements or similar, with visiting alot of online tutorials or reading Photoshop Elements for Dummies or lashing out and doing a Introduction or Short Course in the program. Once you're exposed yourself to one, you'll find alot of the tools and concepts transfer over to other applications, even though they may be slightly different locations.

Easter Morning 2014

I had a terrible night's sleep after (what I believe to be a ring tail possum) scratched and scraped in the wall most of the night from about 1am. Sometimes banging the wall helps, but I can't stay up and do that all night. I intend to get him back today and bang the wall whilst he is asleep and see how he likes it!

I went for my morning walk after the temperature dropped early this morning to around 5 degrees. The sun was out, and it will be a fine day.

Part of my Easter photo shoot. This Camellia sasanqua has just come out (one month early) - Paradise Petite, sitting in my favourite glass bon bon dish, the rabbit is a combo salt and pepper shaker, and they are all sitting on my favourite melamine tray. I cracked the eggs myself on Good Friday night for a Salmon and cheese omelet (with Paprika, salt, olives, grated sweet potato)
It was very quiet for 8am on a Sunday. House silent. House silent. House silent. House silent. Raven on powerlines. House silent. House silent. Man walking excited Maltese cross dog. He made the dog sit whilst I passed but she continued to jump up and in all directions.

House silent. House silent. Flock of Spotted Turtle Doves. House silent. Woman shouting at husband to come speak to someone on the phone. House silent. House silent. No cars on road. Cat in the window - catching rays from sunshine. Big black and white cat with green eyes. Sound of split air conditioner outdoor unit running - one of two - suspect heater).

House silent. House silent. Garden with azaleas all out (in Autumn! - in fact everyones Azaleas seem to be out) crazy weather. House silent. Cat in the window catching rays from sunshine. Tabby with scratch of white on nose and yellow eyes. House silent.

House silent. House Silent. Lady at front tap filling up an upside-down water bottle (industrial sized) and using silver masking tape to seal something up. House silent. House silent.

Cat in window catching rays from sunshine - grey cat with blue green eyes. House silent. Mud Larks on power lines. House silent. Sound of hot water service refilling/reheating.

Heading towards home. House silent. A young couple packing things into their car in driveway. Boot open. Doors open. House silent. House silent. House silent. Puff.. pant.. Car starting up somewhere and driving off.

Home. Jiggedy jog.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Learning is Fun 2014 - digi layout

ARTastic April 2014 had this cool painting (which reminded me of Alice in Wonderland and the rabbit) playing chess. As I'm on the Design Team I created this page on a series of childhood memories of kindly gentleman who lived down the road from us and taught me to play scrabble, chess and snooker.

my page:
Learning is Fun 2014 digi layout for ARTastic April 2014 design team

ARTastic April 2014 challenge (depict crazy antics / silliness or fun)

Ingredients: CSI #92 patterned paper velvet grunge (background), Sweetly scrapped journal card 2945341, Far Far hill Freebies Kit Spring Labels 001, various buttons scanned myself ‘Dotties Buttons’ (a friend’s mother’s collection – best collection of buttons I’ve ever seen), chess pieces – scanned myself, Far Far Hill Freebies Kit Photo Frames 001, 003, Cilenia Curtis Changes kit – transfer 3, CSI Coordinates #96 word art typewriter keys, etc

2nd Easter Without Nan 2014 digi layout

I have tried not to dwell too much this Easter, but its really hard not to associate Easter with my Nan who passed away 12 months ago in February (at age 98). Easter was the holiday season that I did spend with her- taking her to the Club for a meal, or in later years to my Auntie & Uncle's who aren't for afternoon tea, which Nan really enjoyed (though the first one she was so certain they would lock her out from the home that she only stayed a couple of hours before insisting being driven back). Then there came a time when I couldn't drive Nan anywhere on my own. She'd try to open the door whilst I was driving along, and if I locked it, then when we stopped she'd near rip the door handle off because it wouldn't open! Later on it would be just flowers and chocolates in her room. She loved chocolate.

When I saw the Pixels and Paper challenge all I could think of was Nan - just because it was Easter themed. So I have created a page based on the beautiful warm colours (Autumn toned - which is quite neat because in Australia Easter is in Autumn) and done another 'Nan' page.

It's a cold, overcast day today, after days and days of sunshine. So this page warms me up a bit too.

2nd Easter Without Nan 2014 - for Pixels & Paper challenge April 2014

Pixels & Paper April 2014 Challenge

Ingredients: Lara’s Digital World - Bye Bye Summer Elements - mushrooms, [Far Far Hill Freebies Kit Easter Eggs - 0010 & 0011], Armina Designs I Wanna Be - Flair 2 (love heart), Meilike Designs - Island Trees Clip Art - no 9 (tree silhouette), Lara’s Digital World Bye Bye Summer Elements 1- Leaf2, A Christmas Wonderland: Joyful K Cronin Barrow - glitter star scatter, Prelestnaya P Designs - Because Of You - patterned Paper no 9, Far Far Hill Freebies kit - Lace kit - 0013,  etc

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sister Dance 2014 digi layout

I loved the colour combo over at The Color Room that I just had to do a page with it! These are my cousinettes (children of my cousin Wayne) Violet and Olive. I just saw this video footage this morning on Facebook and just had to do some screen grabs and create a page.April 2014 The Color Room Challenge

I had to look up online exactly what 'clothing tags' were - but even then, I'm not 100% sure. I got everything from size tags on clothing to the actual brand / washing tag and a whole lot inbetween. Hopefully my tags are close enough.

Sister Dance 2014 - for The Color Room April 2014 challenge

Ingredients: Basic Grey Black Tie Patterns - Atwood (patterned paper black/grey), Cilenia Curtis FYA Moving Forward - Card 9 (background paper), [mixture of paint splatters : (Armina Splatters Brushes - Brush 1a, Brush 1d), Lauren Grier Disaster Space: 1 - Splatter 2], Amoung the Wildflowers kit - M Mullens Flower1, Laura Burger Going in Circles - bitz4 (beads), tags (made them myself), Angie Young - Get Crafty Collage Sheet 36 (butterfly brad), Cilenia Curtis Fly With Me - E grid overlay (hatching), Jasmin Olya Designs - Rope Elements Vol 2 - 01 (rope border), Cilenai Curtis FYA Moving Forward - Stitches 2, etc 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Music With Attitude 2014 digi scrapbooking layout

I've surprised a few people who know me well by sharing how much I love rap music. I've always liked it - from the early 1990's onwards, but have recently re-connected with all it and all the latest artists. Although I love classical music (and a host of other genres) rap is one of the few that speak to me with ATTITUDE. ATM my favs are Flo Rida, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj, but I also love tracks by other artists like 50 cents, Eninem, Lil Wayne, and lots of other emerging artists.

I don't know much about their personal lives, or what was behind writing or performing the music, but I love listening to it. Like the first time I heard Pink's song "So What" where she chainsawed the tree/power pole with her once sweetheart's initials carved into it, and wishing.. 'wow. I wish I could get my angry out like that!'. Even though Pink is not technically rap music, of course!

In the past I used to buy rap music on mixed albums, so people like Bobby Brown or groups like LA Style (particularly their song James Brown Is Dead).

I loved this Orange Paperie challenge - circles and flourishes. Flourishes are my all time fav addition to a scrapbooking page. I love them even more when I moved to a digital environment.

Music With Attitude 2014 - digi layout - for Orange Paperie April 2014 challenge -circles with flourishes

Ingredients : Far Far Hills Freebies Kit Clock & Gears - 004, DB Designs Love Birds kit - FrameCircle, Far Far Hills Freebies Vintage Ornaments kit - 0017, Far Far Hill Freebies kit - Nocturne - el5 (flower), CSI Coordinates #47 journal block (changed to black/grey), The Ettes Fayette Terlouw Time 4 Dreams - ‘staple’ (ribbon stitching), Shawna Clingerman - 52 Smashup - arrow 1, K Cronin Barrow A Christmas Wonderland: Joyful - card (patterned paper background),
Fonts: Ithornet (attitude), Always forever (music with), Alba Super (current favs)

Here's the layout I did about Pink (in the days when I was still scrapping IRL!! (it's one of the most visited pages on my blog for some reason). I took a lot of angry out on that page.

Angry Pink layout see details here

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Exploding Daisies?

I had my art day today. The second Saturday of each month I join up with fellow acrylic painters and we try different techniques together and work on different projects for different exhibitions. Today was experimenting with texture paste, gel paste or similar onto canvas and mixing with paint.

I ended up with Exploding Daisies. I love the drippy and exploding effect. Others had fluffy landscapes that looked like they had been done with wool instead of paint. They looked huggable.

I really enjoy this outing. The mix of people is good, and we are at all different levels too. And its good for me to get out and about and be part of a group.

Exploding Daisies 1 april 2014

Exploding Daisies 2 april 2014

Saturday, 5 April 2014

CSI Case File #117 - a blast - plus FIND NEDDY

This challenge at CSI really bought out some serious creativity from the team, and I think those that take the challenge will find that too. From the cogs/gears to the cool 'ransom' style lettering I just found it really mind boggling, and decided to go with a Steam Punk look! I've wanted to try that IRL and digitally but never found a challenge where I could incorporate it.

I added black to mine, and I got a really moody and interesting page, or at least, I think so. I think it's my fav page this year so far. The quote with the ransom style lettering is from the opening credits of Gone With The Wind.


'Time' - CSI Design Team #117
HERE IS NEDDY THE HORSE (in yellow outline):
NOW YOU SEE NEDDY THE HORSE! (sorry, a few folk couldn't see the horse so I have outlined him here!)


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