Monday, March 4, 2013

Project Life weeks 3&4...

Here's my weeks 3 and 4 for Project Life.

Week 3 was school holiday time so there was a LOT going on in our week. We had lots of beautiful sunny weather too. The kids had a few nights at my parents, where they loved swimming and going to the beach; and Greg and I had our first date night since Kai was born - but he came too.

I changed the 'Week in Review/Title' card a little this week, and this is how it will stay. I like the horizontal way best. I also changed it to numerical '3' because I won't be able to fit in 'week thirty-seven' when the numbers get bigger later in the year! Oops!

Used a little of the Turquoise (or was it Cobalt?) extras kit that was free (somewhere!?) for some elements for these pages. (Oh and whoops, that card below is coming out of the pocket...)

I have started using a couple of templates to make photo collages lately. It's a great way to fit more photos into one space. My favourite is this one below by Paislee Press. I just add a title up the top and some journalling down the bottom. One of these collages seems to be appearing in most weeks!

Still loving the Ali Edwards brushes and this is a fairly standard for all my photos how - a little date and a 'days of the week' brush...

For this one I just cropped my pics into a square and worked out what size they needed to be to fit 6 into a 4x6 space. I can't remember what that number is though, so I'll have to go back and check next time I want to make one. I think there are probably commercial templates for this too. 

WEEK FOUR was a little 'baby-heavy', as he started on solids which was kinda exciting! I also documented our (albeit very wet) Australia Day brunch with some friends. Pretty ordinary week, but some will definitely be more interesting than others!

There's that awesome Paislee Press template - I did say I use it almost every week now (as you'll see in coming posts too!)

I have one more week to share, and then a few to catch up on. But that's all for now.

Life is so full!

Life has been SO busy lately! Things happen and I keep thinking  I need to blog about it, but then I just can't seem to find the time to, and then the moment has gone. I do write about things here and there on Facebook, but its never in-depth writing, and I kind of miss that. Just pouring my heart out in here. Really must find the time for some regular posts.

Last week was a huge week for me. I started back at University! It has been about 8 years since I was last there, and boy is it going to be different trying to juggle study with a full house of 4 kids! But I know this is what I want to do with my life down the track, and I believe God has placed the desire and passion in my heart for a reason, so I'm going to follow that and go for it. I'm studying a Bachelor of Midwifery. I'm doing it part-time - two units per semester - and desperately hoping I can keep up! One of my subjects this semester is a biggie - Biology! There's just so much content - if I get even a week behind I'll be lost forever! Thankfully, I loved Biology in high school and I find it fascinating, so I hope that helps drive my motivation to keep up to date!

I had a few hiccups with the week. I enrolled in the wrong subject at first. (Note: make sure you ask someone about which units you should be studying if doing it part-time; some are more important to do first than others.) But I managed to finally sort it out Thursday night, and still made it to the first classes for the new unit, which is good! So now I'm sorted - a Biology lab on Wednesdays for 3 hours and a 1 hour tutorial on Fridays. Thankfully I can do my lectures online, at home. I am trying to be 'at uni' as little as I can get away with, as I'm still breastfeeding Kai and don't want to have to leave him with friends too often.

It was my first time actually leaving him in someone else's care - other than to go to the shops for an hour or two or something while he's home with Greg. So a big step for Mama! He also does not like to drink formula or even breast milk from a bottle, so thankfully he's on some solids now, so a banana ties him over till I can get back to feed him again.

I think this will be good for me though. I'm excited. I just need to get serious about my time management!

I'm also trying to still keep up with Project Life for the year. I'm a couple of weeks behind already, but trying to leave my Sunday afternoons for a little creative play (No Study Sunday!). Then add in crazy mornings getting the kids to school, mental afternoons juggling afternoon tea, feeding the baby, homework, readers and computer time, plus Lani is doing Girls Brigade this year and Eli is playing soccer - both of which are on a Tuesday evening (of course!). Add in Ladies mornings at church on Tuesdays. My week is fairly busy already. Trying to leave Thursdays for study. Mondays for groceries. And hopefully a little down time in the middle of each day while the smallest child sleeps. Phew!

God help me. Only in His strength will I get through I think!! Being a Mum is so full, but so rewarding too!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Project Life, week 1 & 2...

Well, here we are already in Week 7 of the year (of Project Life), and so far my good intentions of sharing my pages on the blog have failed miserably. So I better pull my finger out.

The first week of 2013 was mostly spent away with a bunch of friends camping. So I decided just to do the whole layout on this trip. I fluffed around with photos and how I wanted to do it for a while, but I think now, finished up to week 5, I'm on a roll and have figured out my style (for this year anyway).

So without further fluffing, here's my week 1 layouts.
As I used the Design F protector for my Title Page, I used it for the left of week 1 also. And the 'standard' Design A on the right.

I have been doing most of my designing digitally, in Photoshop CS5. I'm still learning how to do things, but I can do some basic digi scrapbooking, layering, resizing, and I've just learnt how to use brushes too.

In the first week of the year, I spent countless hours scouring Pinterest and other blogs finding and downloading free journalling cards and filler designs. There's literally hundreds out there from some super talented people! I've also coupled these with a few of the Becky Higgins digital kits I've bought - Baby for Him and Clementine - and have mixed things up a bit.

For this first week, I grabbed out the bits and pieces of alphas I have leftover from my scrapbooking days (that's about all I kept!), and added some words to the photos for dimension. This actually ended up taking AGES though, so I've scrapped that technique already and am adding all my text now in PS.

*                      *                      * 

Week Two was a bit of a mish-mash, and I'm still not entirely loving this layout. Its a little too busy. Too many bright colours maybe?
But because I'm aiming for as simple as I can (still pretty far from really simple though!), I'm choosing to move forward even when I don't love something. The idea of PL is to record and document, not to make it perfectly pretty. So I'm sticking with that. Otherwise I'll never get through.

It was school holidays, so we did quite a few different things - whether that's outings to the movies or just hanging at home going bike-riding or playing Lego or board games.

This is my favourite card for the week. I asked the kids each to write for me their favourite part of the movie we went to see as a family - Wreck-It Ralph. I initially intended to write a sentence from each child onto one journalling card to include. However Jaidyn wrote almost an essay for his favourite part, and the task got thrown in the 'too hard' basket with Eli. Lani wrote hers and drew a cute little picture at the bottom of the cinema screen. And so I scanned her writing sample in, lightened and edited it a little so it was easier to read the writing, and added it to a cute journalling card (from the BH Baby For Him kit).
I just LOVE how it turned out, and the fact that I now have a writing sample frozen in time!

I also made up a quick journalling card to record some of the bits and pieces Kai is doing at 4 months old. I'll try to include one of these each month in our family album - and may even just throw the same one into his baby album too (if I ever get to doing it!).

I went a little crazy buying some of Ali Edwards gorgeous brushes. She has such a gorgeous cursive, hand-scrawled writing that I just had to have it in a few different ways to add to my photos. So far, I've used them HEAPS! Love them. There's so many designs and sets available from

Well there's Weeks 1 & 2. I'm up to date to Week 5 currently, so will come back soon and blog the rest.

So far I'm LOVING this project! I will admit I am probably in a little over my head with going weekly (when initially I was only going to do monthly layouts), but I couldn't resist, and was finding it hard to narrow down my January photos.

Hopefully I can find some time (between 4 kids including a baby and starting my new University degree part-time in 2 weeks time!) to go back and do monthly spreads of 2012 and 2011, and try and keep up to date with Kai's album - at least the monthly pages!

Are you doing Project Life? I'd love to see!! Link me to your Project Life please!!??

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Project Life

2013 goal #1 - document life... and get those hundreds of photographs into albums. Not folders on the cumputer, but albums we can flick through. That the kids can look at, read and remember the things we did together as a family.

As a serious scrapbooker in previous years, this is not new to me at all. Jaidyn (first-born) has a (albeit basic) album for the first year of his life. Elijah (child #2) has one that might be a little higgledy-piggledy, but that still documents special moments from when he was a baby. Poor Lani, with her 3rd child syndrome (and having a 1 yr old and newborn at home at the same time!), has nothing. No wait, I think I started a page for her. Or maybe I even did one. Not much though, huh. It was around her birth that I gave up scrapbooking. Not because I didn't enjoy it, or want to get those moments down, but I think I lost a little sight of what I was doing, and why I was doing it. I lost the reason for scrapping in the first place - to record those moments. I got caught up in the paper, the ink, the embellishments, and mostly in what others were doing, and I was stuck in the 'comparison trap'. (which, when your scrapping buddies are all the big-name scrappers in magazines, well who can compare! They were getting paid to do what they did! And they were good!)

Fast forward to 2012. And my dear husband asked me ever so gently for about the 100th time to please organise my photos on my computer... and added that it would be really nice if we could get them into albums so we can look through them.

And so I set that goal for myself. 2013 was going to be the year I get those photos into albums!

Ok, so yes, I could have (and maybe should have!) gone to the local KMart or Target and picked up a few slip-in albums, and got on my merry way. But as a creative-type, that was just too, well, boring!

And that's when I found Project Life by Becky Higgins. I think I might have been while looking for her Christmas card templates to use for my 2012 holiday cards. And I saw, and I knew that's what I wanted to do!

Project Life is scrapbooking, but not scrapbooking. It sits somewhere in the middle of traditional scrapbooking and just slipping photos in pockets. And its perfect for creative people that are too busy to scrapbook. You do away with all the extra embellishments, the 'creating' a layout that takes time, money and energy, but you still finish with a page that has your all important photos and journalling, but some 'pretty things' in there too. It can be as easy as printing pics, slipping them in, and then journalling on the cute cards that come in the kits - or you can go a little more creative and use your traditional scrap supplies too. And of course, there's digital versions of everything too. And there are SO MANY freebies online too, for your downloading pleasure, ready to print out and write on or just slip in!

You can check out a video below.

Yep, this is what I want to do. Getting my photos into albums, but being a little creative about it too. Perfect.

And so a couple of weeks ago, I embarked on ordering some of the great pocketed protector sleeves, in a couple of different designs, as well as a Baby kit (did you see the elephants!?) to start on Malachi's album now while its all still fresh - and to possibly use for the other kids too - and a general kit (I bought Amber) for our family album. {in hindsight, I probably should have just bought the digi kits - of which I ended up buying a couple anyway - as I want to do my journalling mostly on the computer. But I'm sure I'll use some of the kits, and can sell off the other parts.}

I've also ordered some gorgeous 12x12 leather D-ring albums (I got them for a great price, so *may* have gone ahead and bought 6 of them, oops!) from We R Memory Keepers. Aqua for Kai, pink for Lani, blue for Jai, green for Eli, red for Sebby and a black one for our family album. Yes, I do plan to go back and do the kids albums - from baby and through school (the new childhood kits look exciting!) {woohoo to finally finding something to do with all the artworks!!}

So my time lately (sorry about the lack of housework hubby!) has been spent making a big mess of the dining table - with photos, journalling cards, my kits... and lots of playing in Photoshop too. I decided that I'll use the Clementine digi kit for 2013 (and will probably use my Amber for 2012).

We had a mini photo shoot just for the purpose of my cover, and I LOVE these photos! Got some really great ones of the kids! So here's my title page for 2013. Using some elements from the Clementine kit, plus some freebies I found too. I'm loving this Design F pockets too - they will be used a LOT in my albums I think - a great way to fit in lots of pics. And I tend to shoot mostly in portrait anyway, so this is handy!

Predominantly, Project Life is done with weekly layouts. But the great thing is, there are no rules. I know I couldn't keep up with weekly - especially when I want to go and work on the kids' albums too - so I'm going to do a month at a time, and add in extra spreads for special occasions like a birthday, holiday, Christmas etc.

For the kids albums I want to do an in-depth first year memories (with the help of baby record books and Facebook for finding the memories), then just document special occasions, and also use the Childhood kits for school, scanning in their artworks etc (that are in those scrapbooks taking up space somewhere!) and getting their words in them too. Plus I'm going to do a memorial album for Sebastian - I'm most excited about that one! It will be an emotional journey I'm sure, but I can't wait to start collating all his things, photos and memories in one spot.

Other than that, I have about 5 or 6 half-done pages over the desk. Waiting for a few pics I might have forgotten to print, as well as my journalling. But I'm getting there! And loving it.

And another FABULOUS part is that many of my scrapping buddies from 5 years ago (who also let scrapping go) are taking up PL this year too - so we're reconnecting and getting excited about scrapbooking again - but in ways we can handle with our busy lifestyles. I'm excited!

Are you doing PROJECT LIFE? Link me to your pages please, would love to see them!
Or if not, how are you documenting your everyday life in 2013?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Crazy...

The silly season is certainly upon us. I'm sure that was aptly named because we run around all crazy-like trying to make everything 'picture perfect'. Exhausting really. And is it really worth it? Here I am, trying to make Christmas 'fun' for our kids still - because we don't celebrate Santa Claus - but I'm left running around like a frazzled idiot and I'm sure completely missing the point of keeping 'Christ' in Christmas.

One of my friends is making herself have a 'simple Christmas' this year, and I think she's on the right track.

But still, I get caught up in Pinterest, I want to make things, to give things. And I LOVE doing them, but I guess there comes a time when I have to realise I'm a mother of 4 (Earth-side), and I really just can't keep up with all that now!?

Doesn't make it any easier that I lost a week before Christmas because we're going away tomorrow. But then, did I? I'm hoping that I've actually gained myself a week of a little more relaxing. I won't be running around making last minute gifts because my sewing machine will be at home without me. A few more gifts to buy still, but I'm hoping a little time for relaxing over Christmas now too!!

We made it till about Day 14 with the Activity Advent I do each year. (and really, we don't get it all done most years, thinking this might just be the last year because I can't keep up anymore!!). I'm over it.

The Christmas crafting and baking has been mostly only ideas so far. I collected pins and even most of the ingredients. All good intentions to execute to actually doing, but between booby feeds, cuddles, getting other children food and whatever else they seem to need, so far we never actually got around to doing them!! And you know what, that's OK. Stuff it. My kids will survive. Christmas does not have to be about how many Christmas tree crafts we make, or cookies or rocky road or whatever. I'm OK with that. I think my kids are too.

Ok, so in all that 'failure' at having a fun, activity-filled Christmas, we've still have some good times so far. We're still 'making memories'. I know my kids will look back on Christmas times to come, and hopefully they'll remember that we did bake, and we did craft, and we gave gifts to charity, and we saw Christmas lights together. All those moments are still there, regardless of how perfectly they turned out.

And yet, in all those memories, will my children remember that the whole reason we celebrate is because of a little babe wrapped in swaddling cloth, who most certainly did not have a perfectly decorated tree, candles, mantle, front door. but in fact came into the world in the most humblest of ways - in the night, with only his mother and father there, his bed an animal feed box.

Let us remember that babe as we continue in our Christmas 'cheer'. This magical time of year, yet every year I wonder why we stress and do all the silly 'extras'. We don't need all those things to celebrate the King, to spend time together, to remember the less fortunate, to remember Christ.

So take a moment with me and remember the baby, the stable and the gift that Jesus Christ was to the world. And remember how much our lives are blessed and full - even without the tree and the presents.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sewing for Seb...

When pregnant with Malachi, I joined a small group of women who were also due to have their babies in September 2012. One of these women gave me forewarning that her and her husband liked the name Sebastien for their baby if it was a boy; it was really sweet of her to do that, because I think it would have been a bit of a shock to see that name when it wasn't my sweet Seb if I wasn't expecting it. Low and behold, they did have their little Sebastien (spelt the French way), and at first it was a little difficult to see his name thrown around our group, attached to a little boy that unlike my Seb, was very much alive. A little boy that would grow and crawl, and walk, and have his first birthday etc. It was hard. But now I'm used to it, and I don't flinch now when she mentions her sweet Seb.

I have been making some Christmas outfits for some of the babies in this group, and the other day I was sewing one for Sebastien. As I sewed, I thought of another Sebastian, and wished with all my heart that I was sewing a Christmas outfit for my own sweet little (would now be) 15 month old. Despite the feelings this brought, I then smiled and it felt special to be able to sew for a Seb, even if it was not mine. Somewhat therapeutic. Strangely, the contrast of feelings often intertwine in the same moments for me. Feelings of sadness, then somehow of joy too.

I wonder what that little 15 month old would be like now. By that age all of my other children were walking (Lani only just). My Seb (free of T18 of course) would probably be trying to get at the Christmas tree, what wonder and joy those decorations must hold for a small child, especially the first where they really take note and start to understand what's going on around them. The sparkle of excitement in his little eyes. Smiling and laughing at his brothers and sister. Playing peek-a-boo, making mess. Making joy. Things I can only imagine now.

Now I do have another little boy I'm sewing for, and its a joy to do so. But it would be oh so much nicer to have two little blessings in matching Christmas sets. 

Isn't he the cutest thing you ever did see?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Moving out...

My baby moved out last week. Out of our room that is.

I never had any of the other kids in our room. There wasn't any room! So its been really special to have our baby - probably our last baby - so nice and close.

But the bassinet seems to me to be fairly small, and has fleece sides, and he often wiggles quite close to the edge, so we felt it would be safer for him to be in his cot.

But its so far away - down the other end of the house!

Nothing serious really, but just one of those little emotional milestones I guess. The end of an era so to speak, because he'll be our last baby (we think!) and therefore no more babies sleeping in our room. Goodbye newborn baby, hello infant.

Although, he already has quite a few day sleeps on our bed because his room gets really hot in the afternoons in summer. So he's not really gone for good. Not really at all.

But who could resist these gorgeous 'Good Morning' smiles!!

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