Thursday, December 9, 2010

Making my wall calendar

I thought I'd show some pics of my wall calendar made up.
I've been making these for about 15 years for my parents. It started with the artwork of my eldest daughter. I used to trim the art and glue it to A4 cardstock and then laminate it. Then I'd print the calendar pages with family dates on them and bind it all together.
I even organised it as a fundraiser at our local primary school for many years. The parents would send in their child's artwork and we'd laminate it and bind it with some calendar pages. It was a terrific fundraiser. It was great fun, too, except when we had a disaster with the laminator or bound the picture upside-down!
In recent years I've done family heritage pages instead, with a different picture for each month. Here's my 2009 version (yes, that's me on the left with my tongue sticking out!):

This year I'm using templates by Roadside Designs at Two Little Pixels (see earlier post).
I haven't finished all of the pages yet, but I've bound a few of them to show you how it looks:

I used to bind them with white combs but I was very happy to find clear combs at our local office supplier a few years ago.

To use these combs you need a comb binder like this:
I'm lucky that we have one at work. If you are not so lucky I imagine your local office supplier would offer a comb binding service. Here's a link to instructions about how to use a comb binding machine.

I love making calendars for the family. My family don't necessarily "get" scrapbooking, but they certainly enjoy the calendars. And it has been such a terrific way to share photos that are otherwise hidden away in old albums or slide boxes. I will never finish scanning old slides and documenting our family history but I CAN finish a calendar!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

25 Days of Christmas

Oh my! This time of year always comes around so quickly and I am NEVER ready!
I've been doing a  photo-a-day and some how have fallen one month behind. Aagh!
To get me started on December I'm using these sweet templates by Roadside Designs. As a bonus they are free on her blog - one each day!
 

It has been a particularly busy week for me with a trip to Melbourne for a conference, apartment hunting with my eldest daughter, shopping, a school awards night, a progressive dinner with dessert at my house.

So you can imagine how handy these templates have been!

There is a story to the photos of the awards ceremony. We were very proud that our daughter was elected prefect. And very proud that it is something she really wants to do and will do well. So of course I needed to take photos. But in the chaos that as characterized this week I left my camera at home! By the time I'd retrieved it (and navigated through traffic jams and flooding...!!) we were already late for the ceremony and had to be escorted in. And what a shame that the few remaining seats were right in the middle near the front. Of course we made a bit of a spectacle trying to sneak in, but I got my photos and that's all that matters, right?! ;)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Apartment Hunting

My eldest daughter has had a year in student accommodation in the big city and is itching to move out. This week we took a trip to the city and met a friend she plans to share with. What a big adventure!


We were hunting in the "leafy suburbs". Some places would do just nicely, thank you. Some places just made me cringe. Funny how different they could look from the online photos! This was one place that took the girls' fancy:

And we had to stop for refreshments

 

And they had to update their friends about their progress


Apparently phones are good not only for communication but also navigation. And maps are SO old hat. And the mother was allowed to come as long as she sat in the back seat and didn't navigate and didn't say any "I told you so!"s.

So I sat in the back and looked at the map and watched in silence as we took many wrong turns.

TOLD YOU SO!

But it was a lesson in holding back and watching my young lady growing up and making her own decisions. And a lesson in letting her make her own mistakes and feel free to say "Whoops, sorry Mum" without being nagged. Which she did. And I am proud.

I think we both learned something very valuable this day!

Friday, November 26, 2010

2011 Wall Calendar

I'm working on these calendars as gifts for my family. I have done this every year for years. This year I've gone for a theme of "Three Little Girls...". Each page is a picture of my sisters and me somewhere together - from the late '60s and early '70s. I've used templates by Roadside Designs at Two Little Pixels. Her templates are perfect for someone patterned-paper-and-clustered-embellishments-challenged like me. I'm very lucky to be on her creative team!

This page created using the kit Simplicity by Sabrina Creations at Two Little Pixels.

This page was also created using the kit Simplicity by Sabrina Creations at Two Little Pixels.

This page created using the kit Dainty by Creashens at CatScrap.


If you haven't tried one of her templates, here's your chance. Starting 30th November there will be a download a Day for 25 Days . . . Details announced on Nov. 30 . . . on Roadside Designs blog

I've had a sneak preview and I love them!
Don't miss out!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

{inter}National Digital Scrapbooking Day

Well, for digital scrappers this is a busy weekend with online chats and blog hop freebies. The dilemma for us in Australia is whether we can bare to sleep and miss the online chats!
Anyhow, at twolittlepixels there is a collab kit that you can pick up for free any time this weekend if you spend $10 in the store:


I have used it for a couple of pages:

And the party continues all weekend with 30% off...
Enjoy your weekend :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Change

They say a change is as good as a holiday, and heaven knows I'm easily bored. So here are some changes at my place:

computer upgrade

My computer died. It had some malware. I knew the minute that little window popped up saying I had viruses that it was a big fat lie and closed the window. Trick is that closing the window INSTALLS the malware. And then it disables all of the malware detecting software that one has installed on the computer. Whoever makes up these insidious pieces of code?!
So I asked the experts to clean it up for me, and install heaps more RAM and an extra terabyte drive and superfast 64 bit Windows whilst they were at it - turn a negative into a positive, yes?!

another year older

I had a birthday. Not a significant one (that's next year {sigh}), but it was lovely. We celebrated by having dinner out in our new patio on our new table and chairs. My eldest daughter bought me the jug for my birthday. My birthday candle served a dual purpose - it's a citronella candle. I need to stock up on those!

exam time

Middle daughter is studying like crazy for exams. Her determination and disciplin are amazing. She doesn't take after me or her elder sister. She is growing up so fast.

new cupboards

My youngest has complained that she couldn't keep her room tidy because she needed better cupboards. So now she has them!  We shall see if this makes a *real* change to her room!

(credits here)

new CT call at twolittlepixels

And there are changes a-foot at the twolittlepixels digital scrapping site, too. It has a new blog and is putting together a new dynamic team. Here's the call:
Lots of opportunity there! I'll be staying on as one of the site CT members. It's a lovely community.

But I think all that is enough change for me for a while! I'm looking forward to getting back into a groove (with a new computer ;) ).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Typical Saturdays

I enjoy just relaxing and catching up on Saturdays. We are still busy with an on-going house project - a covered pergola which we are building ourselves. I am the site manager or spectator depending on your point of view. I'm also the official photographer ;)
Last weekend I took a bunch of "typical Saturday" photos which I hope to make into a multi-photo scrap page when I find some inspiration. I really like those photos of everyday life.
It is lovely to take some time out on a Saturday. I have been inspired to scrap a couple of photos from recent weekends.
One was of one of those rare times when my husband and I go to spend some time together away from all the distractions. As the girls are getting older we are able to do this more often.
(template by Roadside Designs from the Sugar Hill Blog Train, papers from Wishing and Hoping Kit by Sabrina's Creations

My youngest has taken to baking all sorts of sweet temptations. I'm not complaining!

(template Crossroads Maps 5 and 6 by Roadside Designs, papers from the Sugar Hill Blog Train)

If you'd like these papers or a couple of Roadside Designs' templates you can grab them yourself THIS Saturday at Sugar Hill. Here's a sneak peak of the entire kit - it is HUGE and very, very SWEET!

What do you have planned this Saturday? Perhaps you could photograph some "typical Saturday" moments.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A possum comes to visit

On Monday one of my colleagues found this scared little fellow wet and cold. He was trying to cuddle up to a pipe in the school corridor. Poor fellow had lost his mother and was much too young to fend for himself!
We thought he looked a bit like Alf - remember Alf?! Anyhow, we wrapped him in teatowels and popped him in a photocopy paper box where it was nice and dark and cozy! We called a lovely lady who does wildlife rescue who came to pick him up and mollycoddle him. She thinks he would only be a few months old.

Anyhow, there's a template challenge on the twolittlepixels blog where you can pick up this template for free:
I used it and a new kit "Wishing and Hoping Kit" which is a collaboration between Sebrina's Creations and Kelley Mickus Designs to create this page of my sweet little visitor:
The template challenge goes for another week, so grab your template and enter for a chance to receive a $5.00 coupon to the RainyDayz store (or don't, and give me a better chance of winning, hah! ;) )

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scammers strike again

This time my 14yo daughter answered the phone. Luckily she was aware of the previous phone call and has already developed a strategy for hanging up on unsolicited callers with Indian voices.
This time the caller claimed that there was a virus on our computer that was stopping their computers from operating correctly.
She hung up.
And laughed at the proposterous notion.

I feel so bad for the people who will inevitably be caught out by these scammers.

Now for something more tasty. The caramel slice my daughter was making when interrupted by the caller!

Recipe here .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beware of the scammers ...

The other day I had a phone call. There was a man with an Indian accent on the other end. I'm afraid that we get so many phone calls from Indians trying to sell things that I'm instantly on guard. The conversation went something like this
"Esther A.......?"
"Yeess"
"You have a computer?" Darn stupid question I thought.
"Yeess"
"Our company work for Microsoft and your computer has been sending many warning messages. You know that computers send warning messages, right? And they tell me that your computer is full of viruses and malware and trogans..." (there was a whole lot of other mumbo jumbo in there that was unintelligible because of the poor line and his accent and my impatience)
"Can you turn your computer on, please."
"It is." (but I disconnected it from the Internet just in case)
"Can you tell me what operating system you use?" (here alarm bells started going off)
"You should know from the error message"
"Madam, your computer is sending error messages and they tell me that your computer is full of........" (more mumbo jumbo that went on and on and most of which was unintelligible)
"Madam, I just want to show you the viruses and trojans and malware that you have on your computer. Can you hold down the Windows button and press R for me."
"Have you done that?"
"Yeees"
"Can you see a text box you can type into?" (of course, how stupid does he think I am?)
"Now type 'prefetch'"
"What?"
"P R E F E T C H"
"Was that 'REACH'?"
"No, P for Paul, R for Roger, E for Elephant...." ...I think you get the idea.
He had me there, I don't know what prefetch does and I was starting to feel stupid. He claimed it showed me errors but they didn't look like errors to me. Then got me to do the same with  'eventvwr'. Supposedly more evidence of errors.

Then (and call me slow, but this is where alarm bells were going off madly) he asked me to type
a www.... into the run dialog box. I told him that there was no way I would do that. I expect he was trying to trick me into running some malicious program.
Since I was starting to get obstinate he warned me that these viruses and malware and trojans were damaging my computer and needed the help of an expert to remove. He gave me the http://www.fullpcsupport.com/ website as their contact point.
Aha! They wanted me to pay big dollars to repair a problem I didn't have.
At that time I politely said I needed to think about it, took a name and phone number an hung up.
So, David Jones, of 02 09 1234 784, I will NOT be availing myself of your services.
In fact after a 1 minute search of the web (is Google the most amazing and empowering invention of the decade or what?!) I was able to ascertain that this was, indeed, all a scam - I was even able to match the spiel he was giving me.

I felt ill for the rest of the day. But I did run some extra virus scans and did fresh backups just in case. What sort of insane world do we live in that people do this?!!

Find out for yourself - and beware!
police-act-shut-cold-call-scam
pc-support-phone-call-scam
TelephoneComputerSupportWarning
phone-phishing-attacks-increase

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another opportunity...!

There is another CT call at twolittlepixels, this one by Designs by Anita. Anita creates gorgeous kits and you can find them here.

Good luck!

Meantime it has been so wet and cold here. It seems like we haven't had a proper winter for years. It certainly hasn't rained this much for a very long time, probably for the entire life time of my youngest daughter (who is 14)!! It has even been raining INSIDE the house - something we DON'T need! Note to self: Must phone plumber!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Up for a digital scrapbooking challenge?

There is a new blog at twolittlepixels. I'm quite excited about that because it already has freebies and challenges. There is a template challenge using this fabulous template that you can grab for free:

and a scraplift challenge to lift this gorgeous page:
Hmm, so much inspiration, so little time! I think I need to retire!!
So add http://www.twolittlepixels.com/blog/ to your google reader.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CT opportunity with Scooty's Designs

Interested in joining a digital scrapping creative team? Here's a great opportunity. You can see Scooty's Designs here at twolittlepixels.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Keeping it simple

I love all the gorgeous digital product that is out there. I find it SO hard to resist. And you know, $2 here, $3 there... less than a cup of coffee (or so the voice tells me!). Yet I prefer the minimalist pages I've created to the ones with lots of embellishment.
This leaves me somewhat in a state of turmoil!

I have a quite a few minimalist templates by [ksharonkdesigns]. Here's one page I created using one of her templates with hardly any embellishment, just some photos I was a bit proud of, a background paper and some leaf elements blended into the background.
 (credits here)
Many of the scrappers I admire most do pages that are far more minimalist than that! They also often have amazing photos. (I wonder what they do with their less-than-amazing photos. No one can take amazing photos ALL of the time, can they?!)

I recently stumbled upon a bunch of freebie, ultra simple templates on a blog by Julie Designs. I love the simple LOs. Here is an example:


But they are just photos on white backgrounds. You'd think that a person would not need a template to do that, yet I'm so inspired by the designs that I can't resist collecting them! And I do use them. Sometimes they sit in my stash for years. My 2010 POTD album is ultrasimple and I'm so happy how it's turning out. It is based on an older freebie template by [ksharonkdesigns] that sat in my stash for years...
I don't manage to get a photo I'm proud of every day, but it surprises me how well they scrub up when I pop them into this simple template.
I'll be printing these with blurb like I did for my 2009 POTD album. Can't wait!
So, to embellish or not to embellish... that is the question!

UPDATE: I just found a Margote's blog where she used those simple templates for her POTD. Love it! I think I may just have found my format for 2011 POTD!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Grab Bags Galore!

I am on the Creative Team at twolittlepixels.com and what a privilege that is! This week is ultra special because all of the designers there have released grab bags. That's 19 grab bags to choose from!!

I was lucky enough to see what was in the grab bags of [ksharonkdesigns], Roadside Designs and cherpea designs, and they are ALL well worth the $3. Below are a few LOs I've made with goodies from the grab bags (just to tempt you!)


These two pages use grabbag goodies: paper by Roadside Designs, alpha and frames by [ksharonkdesigns], tape and staples from cherpea designs. I also used the Simple Sets #50 template and stitches from collections [stitches 1] both by [ksharonkdesigns].


And another double page spread using paper from Roadside Designs' grabbag. I also used ExpresswayMap7 by Roadside Designs. Her templates come ready embellished - and included the ribbon, flowers and buttons. You'll find more amazing templates in her grabbag!
So do yourself a favor and pick up a bargain!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Things are happening

Can you guess what we're up to at our house?!

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