Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 37: Frustration

I almost called this prompt 'Temper Tantrums'... in fact, I even had the title ready to go... but in light of the fact that Mum just brought me back some lovely scrapbooking goodies from Perth... and it is almost Christmas (Yup I'm hoping for a present!!) I changed it to 'Frustration' LOL

Before I share my layout I want to give you the story... I arrived at Mum's late afternoon and heard a 'not very happy' voice from her craft room saying "I'm in here"... I probably should have turned around and gone home... but I braved it and went in! Here's how the conversation went:

Me: What's wrong?
Mum: I keep breaking needles. I've broken six in the last hour!
Me: What's wrong with it (the sewing machine).
Mum: Well it keeps breaking needles doesn't it!
Me: What were you doing when the first needle broke?
Mum: Well I was sewing wasn't I!

Hmmm... you can see how this is going can't you!

Me: Have you 'fiddled' with anything inside it?
Mum: Well of course I haven't!
Me: Can I have a look?
Mum: You won't be able to do anything... it's going to have to go to Wellington on Monday and now I can't get my sewing done for Perth!!
Me: Yes but can I just have a look?
Mum: All right (and there was a little foot stamping happening at this point too!!)

Me: How do you take the plate off?
Mum: You're not allowed to take the plate off... only a technician can do that!
Me: Well maybe there's a bit of needle still stuck inside.
Mum: There's NOT I cleaned it all out!
Me: I thought you said you weren't allowed to take the plate off.
Mum: Well I had to clean it didn't I!!

End result: I took the plate off and it turns out that when MOTHER cleaned it out (even though only a technician can do that!) she didn't quite have the bobbin shuttle in right. I turned it a tiny fraction and it dropped back into place... and voila! Machine sewing again... needles not breaking... and Mum no longer stamping her foot! :)

Here's my layout:
The journaling reads: Let's face it... we ALL get frustrated at times! Sometimes things don't go right... sometimes other people annoy us... and sometimes we get incredibly frustrated with ourselves!!

I went to visit Mum a few weeks ago and she was ready to explode! She was in her craft room... and going on the sounds coming from inside, it might have been wiser to leave!

It turned out that she'd broken SIX sewing needles in the past hour!

Logic would tell you that something was wrong with the machine... but logic wasn't high on Mum's agenda at the time!

In the end it turned out that the bobbin shuttle wasn't quite in right!

We got it all sorted out before I left... but it made me think about my own actions when I get frustrated. I have since made very concentrated efforts to keep calm and even the girls have noticed. Thanks for the life lesson Mum xx

After leaving Mum's place I went and visited one of my sisters and her little girls. We'd done the bathing thing and Kody (2 years old) was meant to be packing up her toys and she threw one of them... so I said "Your just like Grandma... she throws her toys too!"

Kody: Grandma not do that!
Me: Grandma DID do that (Katey - my sister - pricked up her ears and I said I'd explain later)
Kody: That's naughty... your not allowed to throw toys.
Me: I know... but Grandma was throwing all her toys out of the sandpit.
Kody: Kody NOT do that... Grandma naughty!

I'm not sure if that particular conversation got back to Mum... but it really was funny!

I hope you all have a good week... and try not to let frustration get the better of you :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weeks 34 - 36

I seem to be on a bit of a roll with these prompts so here's three more!

Week 34: Reach your goal

I've always been one to set goals... and usually they're pretty realistic! I haven't reached my goal of winning Lotto yet though LOL This time it's about my BIL and his goal:

The journaling reads: I think it's really important to set goals for myself. Some of my goals are really easy: things like "by the end of this week I want to _ _ _"

Some of my goals are a little more challenging or take a bit more time like: "By the end of this year I want to _ _ _"

Mostly I think goals need to be achievable because if they're not I just end up feeling like a failure.

My brother in law set himself a goal last year to complete the Tough Guy Challenge... and he did it!

This year he 'upped the anti' and set a goal to beat his previous time.

Then he set to work training! He ran daily... sometimes twice a day!

The day of the challenge arrived and he was ready! We all went to support him and he reached his goal! It goes to prove that working towards your goals really pays off!

We were all so proud of him and what he had accomplished! He had a big grin on his face when he finished and it was really good to see my nephews and niece watching their Daddy reach his goal too!

Week 35: Full House!

I've always enjoyed peace and quiet... even when I was younger. I like being sociable and being around other people... but I also like having 'time out' by myself. This week my peace and quiet was shattered by a group of roudy teenagers!The journaling reads: I have a fairly quiet life. After working at school with over 500 people around me all day I need somewhere to come home to and relax!

The girls are generally quiet people too... Mikayla especially!

Recently Krystal asked if she could have a couple of friends over... and I was ok with that.

What I hadn't realised is how BIG teenagers are!

They arrived to watch videos so the first thing they did was close all the curtains! Then they all squeezed onto one sofa!

Out came the food ... and it disappeared pretty quickly too!

When I went into the lounge it was NOISY! They all were talking at the same time! The video was on loud! It felt like they were sucking all the oxygen out of the room!

But... they all had a great time! And today it's quiet.

I must admit that they've come over several more times recently... and it's the same every time... LOUD! But they really do seem to enjoy spending time together... and I think I'm kind of getting used to it now LOL

Week 36: Finishing Touch

This week it's all about those finishing touches that make a project feel really done! The journaling reads: How often do you do a layout or project and feel like it needs that one more thing to be really finished?

When we did the BIG patio project I'd always felt that it needed something! I knew it wasn't pot plants because I'd already tried that.

I decided to wait until the right thing came along... and 18 months later it did!

I was in a pot and cane shop with one of my girlfriends just looking. Then I turned around and there it was!

A fantastic piece of garden wall art!

He was the right size and the perfect colours for my patio area!

I knew I had to buy him!

Mr Pig has now found a new home on the patio fence and everyone that sees him comments on how cool he is! Sometimes it really is worth waiting for the perfect final touch!

Now my patio is 'almost' done because Mr Pig made my old pots look a bit shabby so I've starting re-vamping some old ones... they'll be coming up in another Creating My Life prompt soon!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weeks 31 - 33

As promised I have another update :) I have to admit that it feels pretty good to be catching up again!

Week 31: Explore

This week it's all about looking at things in a new way... whether it means literally exploring is up to you :)

The journaling reads: It's not often in our busy lives that we get a chance to explore things.

When my sister and I went to SENZ in Auckland we took my wee nephew with us and it gave me a chance to explore the world in a different way.

Obviously we went to see new products, get ideas and inspire our creativity. But for my nephew it was simply a day out with Mummy and Auntie!

After the first hour of being stuck in his buggy he was bored... so Auntie decided to take him exploring!

What a laugh! He loved it!!! He wanted to see everything! And best of all... EVERYONE thought he was SUPER cute!

Looking at life from his eyes gave me a different perspective! Everything became more interesting, people more friendly and the event was a lot more fun!

Wide aisles are also great for a wee boy to dance in!

We had a really great time at SENZ... and my wee nephew slept the whole way home!

It was definitely a great day spent in each others' company!

Week 32: Time Limits

Some people hate being late... and for some it's not an issue. This week I learnt a bit about setting time limits!!

The journaling reads: I'm a bit of an eleventh hour girl. I almost always leave things to the very last minute to do!

I've always been that way! But I didn't realise how much it was rubbing off on my girls until recently.

Krystal's senior ball was approaching and she had made up her mind that she didn't want to go. Then on the last day of ticket sales she changed her mind!

We went looking for dresses but didn't find anything she liked... not a major problem because we still had several weeks to prepare.

However, 8 days before the ball we still had nothing!

Finally she found the perfect fabric and pattern and all of a sudden I was on a very tight time frame!!!

In the end she did wear her new dress. But I was still hemming it 30 minutes before she left!

year it will NOT be happening like that!!!

The part that struck me was that it wasn't the time frame that bothered me so much... it was the time frame 'imposed' on me! When I leave things to the last minute I've almost got it planned out in my head... I've walked myself through the steps I need to take etc. But with Krystal's time frame I hadn't had a chance to do all that. I think it might be time to set some NEW time limits :)

Week 33: Copy Cat

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

The journaling reads: What happens when you see a really great idea?

If you're anything like me you give it a go yourself. That's one reason that we have trends! Someone does something new and we all want to give it a go!

There's been lots of times when I've needed a little creative inspiration and I've done a Google search to kick-start an idea.

Last weekend we had a wee example of this exact thing happen in our house!

Miss Kody came to visit while Krystal was getting ready for the ball.

She was all eyes watching her big cousin getting her hair and make-up done with constant cries of "Kody too!"

After Krystal had gone, Miss Kody had full use of the make up! It was all very serious as she put on her blusher!!!

Thankfully make-up comes off in the bath!

The girls used to think it wasn't very fair having no cousins their age... but they both seem to like having the little ones copy them now :)

Weeks 28 - 30

Well it's about time isn't it!! To be honest... the prompts have been in my head... I've been putting aside the photos... I just haven't been getting them done! This week I'm aiming to catch up completely again :)

Week 28: Take care of YOU!

As a lot of other mothers' do... I generally take care of everyone else and forget to take care of me but I learnt the hard way that sometimes you actually NEED to take care of you so that you're ok too!

The journaling reads: How often do you take care of everyone else and then end up sick yourself?

With all the 'sniffles' and 'snuffles' going around school it was no wonder that I caught a few bugs! What amazed me has how sick I got!

On a scale of 1 to 10 this bug was right up there! I wasn't much good to anyone! I certainly couldn't teach... and I was fairly useless at home as well!

In the end it became a matter of taking care of myself!

Instead of just soldiering on I had to actually stop and rest!

I learnt that sometimes your body actually gets the last say! Even though we sometimes think we know best!

So it's been early nights around here! The funny thing is that it made the girls more responsible for helping out around the place... and that's got to be a really good thing!

I'm still learning to take time out to relax... it's something I actually seem to fight (no idea why??) But I'm definitely getting better at listening to what my body needs... and if it NEEDS sleep or relaxation then who am I to argue??

Week 29: The funny side

This week it's all about trying your best to see the 'funny' side in a situation that doesn't actually 'feel' that funny!

The journaling reads: We've all had those days when it doesn't matter what you do... it's WRONG!

Yesterday was one of those days! My friend and I were in town... we were extremely tired and things just weren't going right.

In an effort to make things easier I offered to cook dinner... BAD idea! We should have just got takeaways!

Anyway... one of my speciality dishes is fettucine with chicken and a lovely creamy mustard sauce. Esther said she had a past machine so decision made!

The dough came together perfectly, then we set up the machine... and disaster struck!

The machine kept clumping the dough! It was all looking pretty BAD!!!

In the end I cooked up the pasta... the fettucine as well as the clumps! It looked like gnocchi so we decided to call it Gnoccho-cine! It's probably more Italian than Dominoes!

We actually ended up laughing ourselves silly... and repeating "Gnoccho-cine... it's more Italian than Dominoes"... which was terribly funny to US! But it actually tasted pretty good :)

Week 30: Space

This week it's all about clutter & space!

The journaling reads: Let's face it... sometimes we get so used to our own space that we don't actually see it anymore!

How often have you looked around your home or work place without actually noticing what's there?

I get so used to my own clutter that I just stop noticing it!

I came home from work one day... leaving behind a very cluttered desk!... and walked into my bedroom and realised just how cluttered it had become!

So... I decided to give my room a makeover. Nothing extreme... no painting or wallpapering.

All I did was move things around, throw things out and re-organise.

Then I bought a new duvet set, some nice sheets (chocolate coloured :) ) and a couple of candles. I also opened a box of special things I had been saving and hung them on the walls.

The end result felt like a million dollars! I love my new space!!!

A couple of months on and I STILL love my space! It feels calming, relaxing and a little bit 'grown up' which I like :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weeks 26 & 27

June has definitely brought some highs and lows in our family. My grandmother (Dad's mother) passed away recently... just prior to her 107th birthday!! It's amazing to think of all the things that have happened during her lifetime and how much it has all changed since she was a little girl. Which brings me to this weeks prompt:

Week 26: Heirlooms

This weeks prompt is all about heirlooms and history! The journaling reads: Just before her 107th birthday my Gran passed away. She led a very full life and had lots of interesting stories to tell.

A week later my Dad gave me a very special heirloom!

The brooch is a Scottish Thistle made from solid silver with paua inserts! The detail on the leaves is incredible! Apparently this brooch originally belonged to Gran's mother!

It's really stunning and I'm thrilled that Dad gave it to me.

It also made me realise that I have been given quite a few heirlooms over the years. Some are big... my dressing table... and some are small... like Nana's wedding ring... and yet they each hold memories, and history of times gone by.

I'm wondering what items my girls will want in the future and what memories they will associate with them. It really is the little things in life that count.

Of course, as a scrapbooker I'm hoping that my albums will be treasured and that journals like 'Creating My Life' will be read with interest. These days though, we live in such a 'throw away' era that my girls (and their future children) are not going to want to keep my laptop etc... so what heirlooms will I be leaving behind??

Week 27: A good sort of tired

I often go to bed feeling tired... which is a good thing... but it's often more a mental tiredness than a physical one. On Sunday I definitely felt physically tired!

The journaling reads: On Sunday I went down to Taupo to get some firewood from my cousin. Krystal came with me and it was nice to get a change to really talk to her.

Instead of just getting firewood from the shed we headed out the back of the farm to get some really good wood!

First though, we had to feed all the horses! Fearnley's got 40 horses so it took us quite a while! He's driving the ute while I'm holding on and feeding out the hay. Next minute I hear: "Hold on Cuz!" and the ute starts sliding sideways! Nothing like a bit of adrenaline to get the heart racing!

Then it was time to gather pinecones and cut wood... in the rain!

We ended up heading home several hours later with a huge load of wood and pinecones... and very dirty, wet and tired!

It was a great sort of tired though. The sort of tired that lets you know you've worked hard! The sort of tired that gives you a great nights sleep!!!

Unfortunately I've turned into a bit of a 'townie' and my poor body didn't really cope with all the physical work in the rain and I've ended up with a cold... although the headache has finally worn off!

The best part about getting the firewood was working with my cousin... we worked hard, talked lots and just generally felt happy in each others company. It really was a great day :) And of course we are now enjoying lovely warm fires at home!

I hope you're all having a great week and I'll do my best to have the next prompt ready on time :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weeks 23, 24 & 25

Can you believe we're almost half way through the year??? Time seems to be rushing by in a hurry... but I do have some more prompts to keep you busy :)

Week 23: Quirks

I've been thinking about the things that make us who we are lately. It seems that we all have quirks... those little things we do that are just a part of us. I was talking recently to a good friend of mine and happened to mentioned one of my quirks and then next thing she's laughing her head off... it seems that I'm a little more 'quirky' than I thought. So here's me prompt page:

The journaling reads: Let's face it... we all have our own little 'quirks'... little things we do that make us who we are.

I have a special fork! After years of stabbing the roof of my mouth every time I had a meal I finally found the perfect fork for ME! I'm not sure where it came from... but I do use it every night! The prongs are shorter than normal and now I can eat my dinner without worrying about hurting myself!

I know that it's a bit unusual... but no more so than stirring coffee a certain way... or putting milk in your milo before adding the hot water.

I have just discovered that something I do throughout winter is considered a bit 'strange'!

Like most people (I think) I don't like getting into a cold bed... but I also don't like electric blankets! But I have the perfect solution for that!!! I use my hair dryer!

I simply warm up the bottom sheet... hop into bed and make a 'tent' out of the blankets and warm the bed up. I works great! Is that quirky???

I'm not holding out a lot of hope that you all do the 'tent' thing with your hair dryers... but if you do then PLEASE leave me a comment so that I don't feel like I'm the ONLY one who does this! LOL

Week 24: When you're ready

Have you ever just known that you weren't ready for something??? I've had that feeling lots of times... maybe it's about making a change in your life that you actually want to make but you're just not actually 'ready' for. That leads me into my page:

The journaling reads: You know how sometimes you know you're not ready for something... and then one day, all of a sudden, you're kind of ready?

After the break up of my last relationship I got really badly hurt and I buried myself in work and projects for a LONG time. I knew that I really needed time to heal.

Around Christmas time a good friend of mine asked how my 'love life' was... my answer? Non-existent! And I was very happy about that! I knew inside that I wasn't ready to take a step in that direction.

Just recently things in that area have started to change.

I'm still VERY happy on my own and I have a great life... but I've met someone who makes me smile again.

Basically I feel like I've got a crush! LOL What I like the most is that it makes me feel really good. I feel like the healing time has really worked and I'm making progress. I feel like I'm in LIKE with someone. It's a nice feeling and well worth enjoying. I'm still not ready but I'm getting there. :)

The part I really like is that nothing actually has to happen! When I see him I get those little butterflies that we all experienced as teenagers... I'm smiling a lot more... and I even blushed when we talked on the phone today. Whatever happens I know that it's a sign that I'm well on the mend :)

Week 25: Just say Yes!

Are you a homebody who never wants to go out of your comfort zone? Have you been 'stuck in a rut' for a while? Sometimes it's nice to just have a change of routine... that happened for me on Friday and I wanted to document it just to remind myself. Here's my page:

The journaling reads: How often do you actually say 'Yes' when friends invite you out?

I have become a bit 'stuck at home' in the last few years! I used to go out with my friends on quite a regular basis... but these days it's a different story!

A good night (including Friday's and Saturday's) was scrapping in my craft room or an early night with a good book... and I still love doing those things!

But on Friday after work a couple of the teachers invited me out. I was going to say 'No thanks' out of habit but at the last minute I said 'Yes'... and I'm so pleased I did!

We all met up at the R.S.A. for a few drinks together and had a really great night!

We talked, laughed, caught up on the gossip and relaxed!

It reminded me of how much fun it is to simply go out... to get out of the house for a change. I'm definitely going to say 'Yes!' again :)

I really did enjoy myself on Friday night... and it was pretty good value too! Plus I was home just before midnight and had a great nights sleep because I was so relaxed (and the brandy probably didn't hurt either!) I've also achieved so much more this weekend by simply having a break so it was well worth it!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I'll try my best to keep up to date next weekend :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I know... it's about time!!!

I've had a few emails lately about Creating My Life... mostly along the lines of "when are we getting some more?" I have no excuses, reasons or anything else... but I do have 4 more weeks of prompts ready for you!

Week 19: Spoil Yourself

If you're anything like me you don't spoil yourself that often... and when you do you tend to feel guilty about it because there are bills to be paid or kids that need something etc

Back in February I visited my cousin in Taupo. He's a really busy single dad, has his own business, looks after his parents and generally takes care of everyone around him. He wanted to show me his new 'toy' which turned out to be a really cool motorbike... looks like a Harley, sounds like a Harley... and costs a fraction of a Harley! He was super happy with it... except that he felt guilty for buying it! As I said to him: "You work far too hard, have far little time off so why shouldn't you have something that makes you happy?" After that he felt better... and he's enjoying his bike!

The journaling reads: How often do you spoil yourself? Mother's Day reminded me that I don't spoil myself very much as all! And when I do I often feel guilty!

Krystal and Mikayla went 'all out' this year! A gorgeous breakfast of crab & pasta in a creamy sauce, a huge bowl of shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, marscapone and croissants... all washed down with sparkling grape juice! It was wonderful!

Once we sat down to breakfast there was another surprise... a box of presents!

  • Sleepless in Seattle DVD
  • Haircare products
  • Fancy chocolates
  • 3 fantastic canvses that Krystal made!

I started to think about how lucky I am to have great kids... and then realised that they spoilt me because I was worth spoiling!

I often treat them to little things... hot chocolates, stationery, paying for something unexpectedly... and then I realised that I don't actually spoil myself!

So I've made a list of simple treats: a lovely bubble bath, special soap, perfume, candles etc and I'm going to spoil ME!

So here's a wee challenge from me to you... do one little thing to spoil yourself this week... even if it's shouting yourself a nice coffee... because YOU are worth it!

Week 20: Teamwork

It's amazing how much can be achieved through teamwork. Sometimes you are required to work as part of a team for sports, employment etc My sister and her husband work as a team with their family and raising their children. So this weeks prompt is all about team work!

The journaling reads: Working as a team is becoming a real theme for me this year!

At school, I'm team teaching with the teacher next door and loving it! It's so great to have someone to bounce ideas off, share the workload and help with on the 'bad' days. I'm still not completely used to it yet... but it's a lot better than I expected it to be!

At home, we've always been a team. We work together really well most of the time. And last weekend was a perfect example!

Our truckload of firewood arrived and they dumped it on the driveway. There was a lot of wood and I thought it would take ages to put away... but within half an hour we were done!

We've got a good system now! Mikayla brings up the firewood... I chop it and light the fire... and then Krystal cooks tea. By the time tea is ready the fire is going well and we can all eat dinner in a nice warm house!

I'm even letting the girls be a bigger part of the 'scrapbooking team'... with awesome results!

Each team is unique and serves a different purpose... so what sort of teams are you on??

Week 21: Things kids say!

I've had several little things said to me lately by nieces and nephews so this weeks prompt is dedicated to those little funny things kids say!

When Krystal was little she had a fox soft toy which she called 'Sockie' instead of 'Foxie' :) She also used to sing: God of Nations at MY feet!

Mikayla used to call her sister "Tistal" and she once said to her Grandma... "You're not a TROLL are you Grandma?" While I wanted to die, Mum calmly said "of course not". Mikayla replied: "Dave says you're a troll but I said you're not a troll you're nice". Mikayla was only 3 at the time and had no idea what a can of worms she was opening!!! It's all funny now 10 years later though :)

The journaling reads: Kids really do say some funny things sometimes!

Yesterday, while I was at my sisters place, my feet were really cold so I put on my new hot pink socks and my niece came rushing over and said, "Auntie, you've got pluppy socks".

I couldn't work out how she got 'pluppy' from hot pink... until my sister said "She can't say her F's properly". She's saying you've got fluffy socks!

The next thing I know she's looking at me with big puppy eyes and saying "I haven't got ANY pluppy socks Auntie Shelley"... doesn't it just make you want to buy her some??? I couldn't resist... so I now have a pair of 'pluppy' socks for her!

I also had on a top with rhinestones that she tried to pick off. I said "Don't pick of Auntie's bling honey"... the next thing I know she's giggling away about Auntie's "Blingee Boobies"... what next???

The following day at kindy she told everyone about Auntie "Charlie's" blingee boobies and pluppy socks!

I'm just starting to make a book for each of my girls that I'll give them on their 21st birthdays and now I'm trying to remember all their cute little sayings... so if you've got little ones make sure you write them down because later on it's really HARD to remember them all!!! :)

Week 22: Tools of the Trade

I've been thinking lately about the different 'tools' we have in our everyday life. Mostly it's come into my mind because at school we're doing a big study on Third World countries. The kids are amazed that people can live without TV! So we started to think about the things we take for granted... having a tooth brush to brush your teeth, being able to use a toilet, pens and paper at school, being able to eat several times a day etc

The children are certainly learning more about empathy and appreciation! We've had some amazing discussions and lots of learning!

The journaling reads: No matter what sort of job you do... or how you live your life... everyone has 'tools' to help them.

I remember when the girls were little and I carried the 'nappy bag' with me wherever I went full of nappy wipes, nappies, pins etc

When I started teaching my tools changed to my teaching planner, pens, stickers and 'post-it' notes. My 'tools' for teaching have changed over the years too! Now I have my headset, laptop and digital camera along with the 'Smart' board.

Just recently I found the perfect container for my scrapping tools!

It's a lot like an old fashioned milk crate - but a little bit fancy!

It's got 6 great mini areas that fit my Pringles containers so now I have all my everyday tools in one handy... and very portable... container!

I admit that just looking at my tool box makes me happy!

So what are your daily 'Tools of the Trade'? What things do you carry with you wherever you go? What are the tools that make it possible for doing your job or interests?

Thanks to everyone for their emails... I really do appreciate it! I hope you have a happy week :)