Sunday, December 16, 2012

Catch Up ...

Uh Oh! I'm a little bit behind so I will do a quick recap catch up!!!

December 7th

Off on a end of year school trip to the Town Basin and the Pools with Riley.

December 8th

Abbey Entertained herself and Phoebe by reading through our Daily December!

December 9th

We finally got our Christmas Tree!!! YAY!!!

December 10th

Bye Bye Uncle Tony .. back off to Australia.

December 11th

It's really hot in the shop!!

December 12th

YAY!!! New Car!!!

December 13th

Abbey's end of year Dance Festival .. it was A.Dorable!!!

December 14th

Last Day of school and a mysterious letter from Santa telling of a Special package due to arrive!!

December 15th

Christmas Festival with some of my favourite ladies!

December 16th

Preparing for two new arrivals in our family tomorrow!!

I will try not to get so far behind again!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 5th & 6th

It was a late night last night after having Art night so blogging two days in one again!!

 December 5th
Normal day, kids at school, me at the shop. Nothing much interesting happened.
After school we decided it was time to go get Riley a haircut. It was starting to get in his eyes so that is a sure sign of needing a haircut LOL

The barber was busy as and we were the last in line with about 6 people infront of us .. all kids ... all boys!! Everyone had the same idea as us ... haircut after school!
Riley was awesome sat still and nicely and there was A LOT of hair on the floor when he was done!

Riley LOVES his new hair. He keeps feeling the back of it .. "My hair is so soft Mum" hehehe and it was hilarious when he came in this morning and exclaimed "My hair is still soft Mum!" I told him it will take a while to grow out. Too cute!

Wednesday is Art Night!! Me and two of the most talented ladies get together and eat chips and dip and gossip craft. It had been 2 Christmases ago that we had a picture together so we decided that is was overdue to get one done. First Riley was our photographer, then Abbey. After that Ruth, Janine and I all had a go. It was a laugh out loud extreme event trying to get a decent photo!! I still giggle when I look at them today!

Before the girls arrived Riley practised his photography skills on me and Abbey. He even asked us to do different poses. Hehehe too funny!

At Art Night one of my jobs was to make a very special card for a very special friend who lost her Dad this week. 

Art Night as always was great fun and I got to bed late as always! Love my girls!!

December 6th
Today was the day of the School Triathlon. So this morning I loaded the car up with the bikes and helped the kids take them up to school.
I then went and picked up my brother and we went and bought me a new car!! I will talk more about that when I get the car next week.

Tony and I then went back to school to watch the kids compete.
Riley was up first. 3 Lengths of the pool, 3 laps of the bike track and 3 laps running.

My son is not athletic and he is definitely not competitive. I could never be prouder of my sweet Riley as I was today. He had the Triathlon of his life. He was a lap and a half behind everyone else in the pool but that massive smile didn't leave his face, one of the teachers pushed him on his bike 1/2 way around the course, and he was lapped on the bike by the group of kids that swam after him, after the 2nd lap of his 3 lap run the teacher asked him if he wanted to finished but he said no and continued on and did all 3 laps. He came out way last and he came out smiling. I am SO proud that he pushed himself to finish and I am so proud that he did it all with a smile!! So super super proud of my boy and his determination and persistence!
At the end he said "Man! That was exhausting!"

Abbey's race was much quicker!
One lap of everything. She also performed like a star and with a winning smile!

I feel like my kids are stars today!!!
Another great December Day!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 3rd & 4th

Opps!! I forgot to do my December 3rd post!!!

So yesterday was a pretty ordinary normal day. I did the school morning routine - make lunches, pack bags, take kids to school ... came home opened up the shop.
A courier had dropped off a box of goodies for me. In the package was the Basic Grey Aspen Frost Collection I had ordered. After opening the box all the plans I had made went out the window because I NEEDED to play with the new things!!!

It's so pretty and Christmasey!! I'm not usually a Basic Grey fan but I really like this collection.  I got a few Card kits so I pulled one apart and had a play. Absolutely LOVED it!!


It has been such awesome weather! HOT and sunny and Summery.  The kids decided that when I watered the garden that they needed watering too! I only managed to get pics of Riley since Abbey had got out of the water and dressed before I got my camera out!!

December 4th (today) has been a much more eventful and interesting day! 
My Art night girls, Ruth and Janine, came to play at the shop today. I absolutely LOVE these girls. They are funny, talented amazing ladies! I never get tired of hanging out and crafting with them!! 


I didn't get a picture of Ruth, and we are long overdue for a group photo!! But Here is Janine with the heart chip she found hehehe
Today we all got busy with bits and pieces. I made some Christmas tags for my Pinterest Craft swap presents. I also made a VERY long over due swap present.  A lovely lady, Kate, came in so I could help her make a Christmas present for her partner (he specified he only wanted home made gifts! LOVE that idea!!) I filled in my Daily December journal so it is up to date (until tomorrow!!) 

Last night my Biggest brother Tony flew in from Cairns Australia. Last time I saw Tony was when he flew over after Jason died, 2 1/2 years ago! He popped in briefly at the shop for lunch and then after school the kids and I invaded my Mums place to hang out with Tony and my nephew Zane and of course my Mum & Dad too!! Love Love Love my Big brother!!

Yes he IS that much taller than me!!!  Since he has been in Australia (far too many years for me to remember how long!!) He has worked in the mining industry. He bought both my Mum and I one of these adorable little Mining Rescue Lions! I just love him! And bonus points for the orange uniform!!


So all in all today was a pretty good one! Here's hoping the rest of December follows suit!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2nd

2nd day of December and the 2nd official day of Summer and what a stunning day it was!! For some reason my dear sweet son woke up at 5am ... and didn't go back to sleep! So after finally kicking the wriggling, squirming boy out of my bed to watch TV in the playroom I finally went back to sleep.  Sunday is our sleep in day. We usually stay in bed and watch What Now and get up at 10am. Even though What Now has finished for the year we still stayed in bed watching TV until 10am!! Then while we were eating breakfast my Mum & Dad turned up.
My Mum is my biggest motivator! She is awesome. So she kicked my butt and we got out in the garden, well the back of the shop. In between the back of my shop and the back fence there is a gap. Lately the gap has been taken over by nasturtium.  

I really wish I had of thought to take a before photo. It was seriously taking over the world back there!! So I put on my gumboots and Mum and I pulled heaps out and then I drenched the rest with weed killer.  This will be the 2nd time we have sprayed this plant. It died and then grew back. Sigh!

The wall I am sitting on was COVERED in this plant before Mum and I pulled it off! It was crazy!!!

After lunch the kids and I decided to look for a playground I knew was around but had never been to. So we went for a walk in the beautiful sunshine to the Whau Valley Parklands.
I don't know why I have never been here since we have lived so close for so long. It is such an awesome place!  MASSIVE field of grass, fantastic playground, lots of trees for shade and even some benches. It would be a perfect picnic location and I am planning on spending lots more time there with the kids. Best of all we can walk there!!

After coming back and drinking copious amounts of water (because it was so hot and we forgot to take water with us!) and having a rest we went off to do the boring weekly grocery shop. When we got home all the neighbours kids were running around outside under hoses and sprinklers, the kids begged me to go join them so of course I said yes!

I didn't get any pics of them playing cause I didn't want to hang over the neighbours fence with my camera hehehe but here are the drowned rats once they got back to get dry and dressed.

Fantastic Summer day!! I'm glad we took advantage of it because the weather is supposed to turn to custard tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 1st

First day of December!!! The Christmas season has officially arrived in our household!!
It officially started at 6am when my son came in wanting to open his Advent Calendar for the day! WAY too early!! But after Breakfast at a more decent hour of the morning the kids got to open their first Advent calendar drawer

This year I have decided not to buy toys for the kids for Christmas. They will be getting different things than toys. They are both getting a kitten, Abbey will be getting a two wheeler bike and Riley a new scooter, that sort of thing. So when it came to the advent calendar I thought I'd do the toy thing that way.  So they got a collection of Squinkies, Littlest Pet Shop, Lego, My Little Pony, Star Wars etc toys! All in miniature!! They both LOVED their little toys and we went to the Warehouse in the afternoon to pick a little container to keep their advent calendar toys safe. They have the CUTEST little square lunch boxes that are just perfect for keeping little toys in!


After opening up the shop this morning we pulled out the 3 MASSIVE Christmas decoration boxes and started putting a few things around the shop. The kids loved putting the decorations on the little tree I got for the counter, and since we seem to have a surplus of Christmas stockings I thought they would look great on the counter too!

After lunch we started decorating the Living Room. No tree yet because we always buy a real tree from St John's Ambulance Station and they haven't got them yet. The kids did a pretty good job at putting stuff around the fireplace.

Also thought it was a nice opportunity to get a family pic, we haven't done one in a while. This was my favourite of several attempts!!

This year I remembered about the Santa light Jason bought back from America a few years ago and figured it was time to use him. I also put a couple of lit up Christmas Trees on the window sills as well. Our house is on a main road so I like the idea of having window displays.

So all in all a very successful first day of December! The sun was shining, I did some gardening and some shopping, hung out with my kids and my Mum. Had a great morning with some good sales in the shop while listening to Christmas music. Tonight I go to bed with a smile on my face.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Season!

Wow! I haven't blogged since October! Man so so bad!!

Today is the last day of November. Tomorrow is when traditionally our family starts getting into the Spirit of Christmas. It's when the decorations come out and the Christmas CDs are played!
Christmas has always been one of my favourite times of the year. This will be the 3rd Christmas without Jason and for the first time since his death I am actually feeling a little excited about Christmas. It is making me smile.

So this year I have decided to get on the train called Daily December.  A Daily December album is something you use to document the goings on in December, and ultimately the lead up to Christmas. You can find LOADS of examples of Daily December albums around. This is the first year I have done one and I am quite looking forward to it.
I have altered a Mini Smash Album into my Daily December

I thought since I was doing a Daily December album I should also do a Daily December blog! Well I will certainly try!

This year I got some really awesome Kaisercraft Christmas Tree Advent calendars into the shop. I have always loved the Kaisercraft Advent calendars, as soon as I saw the tree one I knew it was what I wanted to make.

I had a lot of fun (and a little bit of swearing) putting this together! But I am VERY happy with the end result. I especially love the bottle cap numbers I made. Here are a couple more pics ...


A couple of other things that have got me into the Christmas spirit this year are a couple of swaps I have been involved in.
Firstly I signed up for a Christmas themed ATC swap. There are 12 of us involved so at the end I should get 12 beautifully decorated Christmas ATC cards. I can't show you mine yet because the swap isn't over yet! I don't want to spoil the surprise. I plan on putting my ATC cards in my December Daily!
Also four of my favourite friends and I decided we would do a hand made Christmas gift swap. We all made boards on Pinterest of things we would like made for us. And then we had to choose something to make from the other peoples boards. So in the end we will all get 4 handmade presents each. I have pretty much finished my presents for everyone and I am hoping to get them to their owners next week. I promise to share both what I made and received after Christmas!

So Happy start to the Silly Season!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cleanliness Is Godliness

If this statement is true I belong down in the Sea of the Dead with Hades.

I have never confessed to being a great housekeeper, or even a Domestic Goddess. I may have confessed to wanting to be a Domestic Goddess.  Although since reading 50 Shades of Grey the word Goddess doesn't appeal any more ... "My inner Goddess sat back and purred ..." ... yeah not cool any more ...

Anyway I digress ....

So I opened the shop and everything has been great. I sit in the shop and craft and go get the kids and play and waste time on the Internet chatting with my friends and stalking catching up with old friends. And my house was neglected ... BADLY neglected. I mean seriously when it is freezing cold wouldn't you rather sit in front of the fire with a book or curl up in bed with a movie in the evening than do the housework?
Oh Heck Yes! And that is what I have done .... ALL winter.

My house has suffered. Poor thing. It is awful. Not just messy but creep me out gross. I am terribly ashamed to admit I can't remember the last time I cleaned the bathroom. I wouldn't be surprised if my kitchen got an F from the Food and Hygiene people.

I have never let my house get this bad ... ever!  It's hard when you have no one to be accountable to except for yourself.  The kids don't care. I can't be bothered. So I get away with it. I don't really have anyone visit the house any more, they come to the shop. So I have no reason to clean

Lately the weather has become nicer. I am feeling better within myself. And I am looking around going "this is NOT ok"

So I started to do something about it.

My Mum came and helped me sort out the library which was a dumping room. She helped me start to sort out the Craft Room which is turning into a spare bedroom. We put all the stuff I dumped in the Library (from the living room renovation) away properly.
Yesterday I finished a project that had been sitting around for a good few months.
Today I decided it was time to clean up inside.

I was planning on giving the place a good tidy up. Put things away where they belong, clear benches and tables and piles of stuff that have accumulated in corners.
I did not anticipate that once I started in the kitchen that I would go CRAZY and start doing a DEEP Spring type clean.
I have found the super large bottle of jiff and poured it EVERYWHERE. I have scrubbed and wiped and cleaned like a madwoman. I no longer have a Herb and Spice Shelf on the kitchen counter because 99% of my herbs and spices had best before dates of 2003. That is the cleaning I am talking about!

I have been going hard all morning and so far I have finished .......

My kitchen bench. That is it.

This post is not going to have before and after pics. I am WAY too embarrassed to show the before and I am too afraid that the neat freaks will think that my massive scrub clean is only an average one!!
The reason I am writing this post is because I know that the percentage of Domestic Goddess (*cringe*) is tiny compared to the Domestic Slobs. Like me. And I am hoping that not too many of you let things get as desperately scary as I have, we are not alone.

So over the next few days, weeks, months I am planning on making my house a lovely place to live and be in again.

And once I am finished and my house is sparkling do I think that I will keep it that way?

Highly Unlikely!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Let's talk about Stamps

This week at The Scrap Heap I have a Product focus on Stamps. So let's talk about stamps!

If you are a seasoned crafter you probably know all this anyway, but lets make this nice and simple for the newbies.

There are a few different kinds of stamps available. And MANY accessories that go with them! I'll start with the stamps and then touch on the accessories.


Traditional wood -mount stamps are where you have a foam and rubber stamp adhered to a wooden block. Wood-mount stamps are fantastic if you like your images permanently mounted for quick stamping. I am going to be honest and tell you when I first started scrapbooking Stamping really scared me. I was always afraid of stamping in the wrong place and stuffing it up. Block mounted stamps, in my opinion, are not always the easiest to use. I have become much more confident with these stamps after a bit of practice though.
I have a few different Hero Arts block mounted stamps for sale in store
Check out the Facebook page HERE to see.

Clear stamps are very easy to use and my personal favourites!

Clear stamps are usually acrylic. They are clear so you can see right through them. The stamps are slightly tacky allowing them to be adhered to a stamping block for use. The bonus of clear stamps is that you can see exactly where and what you are stamping, there is a lot less margin for error, and this is especially good when you are stamping with alphabet stamps.
I have a large range of clear stamps in store (see HERE) The brands I stock are Kaisercraft, My Minds EyeInkadinkado, My Favourite Things and more.

I also have a range of mounting blocks in store.


Cling stamps are very much like clear stamps apart from the fact that they aren't clear and they are usually rubber, so they are a cross between the block mounted rubber stamps and the clear ones. Does that make sense?!? hehe Clings, like the clears, are unmounted and need mounting blocks.
In store I have Hero Arts and Penny Black Cling Stamps.

Soo what can you do with stamps?
I think the easier question is what CAN'T you do with stamps! I have seen them used on so many different mediums it is difficult to name them all. Ranging from paper to cookie dough the possibilities are endless!

I will give you a few of my favourite examples of how I use Stamps.

Stamp an image onto cardstock, cut around image, using foam tape attach to page as an embellishment.

Stamp your image directly onto your layout

This Butterfly was stamped with black Stazon Ink onto acetate then coloured with pens . I then cut it out and heated the wings with a heat gun until they curled a bit.

I Stamped the background of this layout.

There are many stamp accessories. 

There are so many different kinds of ink that it is impossible to tell you about ALL of them!! I have Versacolor, Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Stazon in store at the moment. All of them have different uses with stamps and I might go into those in more detail at a later time. I also have blending tools which go with the Distress Inks.

Lots of stampers colour their stamped images. The pens I have in store which are perfect for this job are called Spectrum Noir pens. They come in an amazing range of beautiful colours. The pens are also great for other scrapbooking related pen work! They come with a thin and fat nib (one on each end) and you can also buy replacement nibs.

Embossing powder is a fast melting powder that can be applied on top of the stamped image to create a raised image. The powder works by applying heat. Embossing powder can be used to add color and texture to your image. You can buy heat guns, but I have heard of people using a toaster to emboss!! I have a few embossing powders in store.

It is important to take care of your stamps. One of the most important things in my opinion is to keep your stamps clean. Most inks are really easy to clean off your stamps. Soap and water works well. My favourite thing to use are baby wipes. You can also buy specialised stamp cleaning products. I only use these for my Stazon Inks as they are fairly expensive and there are other much cheaper methods to clean your regular inks. Stazon is a solvent ink designed to stick on surfaces regular inks don't, so soap and water doesn't wash it off!

There is sooo much more to stamps than I have said here. This has really only just scratched the surface of the world of stamping!!!

Next week I will be holding a Stamping class where I will be showing you how to make a Stamped background LO and a stamped card

Check in on my Facebook page or the Website for more details soon.
Feel free to ask any questions or pop in store for a play with the shop supplies!!

And If you have any awesome stamping projects you have made I would LOVE to see them! Come share them with us on Facebook!!