Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The washup

That one big day of the year, the one everyone stresses about and is busy preparing for, is now over, finished, done with!!! And I for one am glad. Some of you may have picked up from my Facebook posts that I was ready to skip the whole festive shebang and just keep moving right along. But, long story short, it all worked out ok and we had a pretty good day.

Beer and gingerbread cookies left out for Santa on Christmas Eve. 

Santa left some cool stash in the kids' stockings. Miss Caitlin though doesn't miss a trick and I am going to have to be super careful in future - she spied something in Ciaran's stocking that she saw me buy recently and no amount of pretending on my part would convince her so I changed the subject and thankfully she let it go.

Little boy was very curious and excited but he was very good and just looked.

The first of many pressies for this pair. Happy campers all round and thoroughly spoilt too.

We spent the day at Marty's parent's place with his sisters and family - 7 adults and 5 kids makes for a fairly full on, chaotic day but it was all pretty casual and chilled out overall.
We started with nibbles and drinks,  fed the kids lunch, enjoyed some prawns and oysters (not me though, cant stand the slimy little things, I just stick to prawns thanks), crowded in the lounge for presents which looked something like this ...

Then we left the kids to play with their loot and the grown ups enjoyed lunch - ham, turkey breast, chicken, cabbage/noodle salad, green salad, potato salad - followed by sticky date pudding and ice cream!
Afternoon siesta's for some and a swim in the pool for others was the order for the rest of the afternoon followed by prawns on the BBQ and leftovers for dinner followed by a fruit platter, white christmas and a cuppa.

Thankfully we just hung out at home on Boxing Day and then our friends came over in the evening and we hung out with them enjoying nibbles and drinks and exchanging pressies with each other's kids.
Thanks (or rather NO thanks) to storms on Christmas night which dumped almost 2 inches of rain at our place and nearly 3 inches of rain in town, followed by another storm that afternoon, we took a drive around to see the floods ...

This is our driveway river ... 4WD access only!!!

Looking towards town from the western side where we come in ... the river flooded over the lucerne paddocks and cut the road between the poplar trees. It will take weeks for the water to soak in or evaporate away because it doesn't flow back into the creeks or rivers.

Top right - river flooding lane behind main street shops - the main street and front of the shops are all higher but the water comes right up to the back of them and even into some but most are able to get their goods moved higher beforehand.
Others - when the river breaks its banks it forms almost a second river across the low lying flats on the northern side - the amount and speed of water moving through is incredible. The bottom right pic shows water over the road between the 2 bridges and it got much higher than this the next day, cutting road access completely.
Thankfully it is all subsiding relatively quickly and the road closures around the area didn't last long.

So beautiful ... sunset over the flood waters down near the lucerne flats that we share farm ... but so wrong cos the water ain't meant to be in these places and it's caused major damage to our lucerne.

However, they say a drought ends with a flood ... and 2010 has been the year of floods, certainly for Qld (at least twice in some areas, poor buggers) and NSW and Vic. The only state not copping the wet weather is WA. I'm sure their time will come ...

So that's my news for now ... are you impressed about another post from me WITHOUT an eternity between them LOL.

Next time I'll have some scrapping to share.

Happy New Year. I do hope that 2011 is a fabulous year for you all!!!
Best wishes, Love H xxx.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Oh Dear ...

It's been a long time between posts yet again, life is just too crazy busy it seems.

Harvest kicked off well enough with our canola - we got the last of it stripped literally just a few hours before the first of the rain periods set it. Lucky is an understatement because there are so many paddocks belonging to others where their windrows of canola is still just sitting there turning black and horrible because of the weather.

We are totally over the rain now - and feel guilty in a way for saying so after so many years of wishing and praying that it would rain. Why did it have to come at the wrong time? The boys are trying desperately to strip what they can but the wheat has been severely downgraded and they seem to spend more time pulling headers out of bogs that actually harvesting. There are a lot of frayed tempers and colourful language as you can imagine. Still, we just keep slogging away cos that's what we do.

Check out just a few of the wet weather pics I took around our house. It doesn't really show just how much rain we've had and how saturated everything is. I wish I had got pics of our driveway which has been literally a running river on several occasions - with dams over flowing and paddocks completely sodden the water just runs, and keeps running - it's been deep enough to be just over the side steps of the 4WD!

 I quit my job at the dairy a few weeks back with the intention of helping with the harvest but I've been really sick with a sinus infection that just wont clear plus the kids have been crook then last weekend I got sick again too with a very weird virus. Thankfully my parents had just arrived for a week's visit so they took over the household and kid-wrangling for me. It was a shame it wasn't a nice relaxing visit for them and we didn't get to spend much time together however it was good timing that they were able to help.

My parents were also here for the school presentation day ... and Miss Caitlin got an award for "Safe, Respectful & Responsible" behaviour. She also brought home a lovely report card the day before so it was proud parent and grandparent moments all round. Thankfully I was starting to finally feel better by then.

We also took a drive out to Wyangala Dam for a picnic lunch and paddle - it looks amazing with water in it!!! The best I'd ever seen it was just under 60% when I arrived here 9 years ago, and now ... well, skiing this summer will be a whole lot more enjoyable.

I have done a little bit of scrapping, but not nearly as much as I would like to.

I used some of the new October Afternoon "Seaside" range for these pages - the "Tinsel Tangles" LO is for my challenge during our Cyber Crop over at Red Earth Scrapping earlier this month.

 This page is for Scrapbook Top 50 where I joined in the "scrap whispers" during November.

And the double is based on the December Challenge sketch over at SBT50 as well which RES is sponsoring this month. I turned the sketch into a double as I wanted to use all these pics from the same day on the one LO. It's not quite finished to my eye but I decided not to sit on it anymore, perhaps inspiration will strike one day with what it needs to complete it.
 Here is my LO from Mistra's "Scrapilicious" Class we held at RES. I do love this, it's really special.

And how about this, 2 double LO's in the one post! This is from Penny's "Sunny Happy Skies" Class also at RES during November. This was such great fun and I was even inspired to continue the whimsy feel and use up some leftovers from the kit with another quick page.

Then there were these pages "just because" ... I am such a terrible product hoarder, it's almost embarassing so I am proud of myself using up all this old stash.

This page I created for a friend who is keen to get into scrapping (YAY!) ...

It seems like I have been doing a lot of scrapping but it really is only a bit here and there between all the other crazy life happenings and running about.

I was also very industrious preparing Christmas card kits for some classes I held in town on the first 2 Saturday's in December, aimed at kids coming to make a few cards. The 2 mornings were a success and got the RES name out there. Everyone asked for more classes next year, and there's adults keen to get involved too with scrapping and card making so it was really positive and worthwhile.

So, that's been life (in a nutshell) of late.

Hope the silly season is treating you kindly.

Til next time ...

Friday, 5 November 2010

Loads of pics in this post!!!

Hi friends, thanks for dropping by. I've got lots to share this time. I really should post more often, but you know how it is ... anyhoo ...

So the above pic is of the newest additions to our family, yep chooks!!! Woohoo, I've been wanting chooks for years and years and my wonderful, clever husband finally built the Taj-Mahal of chook pens and we got this assortment of fluff-balls from some friends just the other day.

The big white fellow is the rooster "Johnnie", the brown hen is "Brownie", the cream hen is "Hillary", the black hen is "Stevie" and the 2 bantams are "Henny Penny" combined.

This morning the kids collected 2 eggs!!! Dad cooked "dippy eggs" for breakky which went down a treat.

Onto other things ... scrapping to be precise. I've managed to squeeze in quite a bit lately which is fabulous. Some are "just because" and others are for challenge blogs, or for Red Earth Scrapping.

This LO uses October Afternoon "Thrift Shop" pp's which I got from Michelle at Divas a while back - I love them and the page came together really easily. And what do you do when you haven't got quite the right matching embellies ... make them from the pp scraps of course. Have been enjoying making these concertina "flowers" lately although I have had trouble when fanning them around ... the trick however is smaller folds. Originally I read somewhere about scoring every 1/2" on a 12" strip and folding, but I've found they need to be narrower than this so it fans out better. The hot glue gun is excellent for holding everything firmly in place too.

This 8&1/2 x 11 page is for the November Sketch challenge at RES and is also the 1st sketch over at Stuck?! Sketches. See that cute heart button? It's from My Little Bit Of Whimsy which, after popping in and out for a look a few times, finally decided to treat myself to some yummy goodies.


This next LO is my version of Mistra's October challenge over at RES which had to include that particular quote, fabric, ribbon among other things. I've had this Websters Pages paper calling out to me and I was in the mood for lots of flowers and bling and a lumpy-bumpy full on page so this is the result. I am particular proud of my Dusty Attic chippie - you like??? 
Using the fabulous Mistra's "Chipboard 101" technique which she has shared in the RES forum, I achieved what I think is a passable result for a "chippie virgin" LOL.
Thanks Mistra, mwah xxx.

 This page is for a "scrap whispers" challenge for October over at Scrapbook Top 50 - always good fun joining in with something like this.

This bookmark and card are designed for children to make - I am going to hold a couple of mornings in December at the CWA hall in town for children (and adults) to come and make some simple christmas cards etc. So far I've made up about 2 dozen kits of each and I have more ideas. I hope the mornings are successful both for my business but the participants too.

These next 2 LO's are using products from the RES shop which I've been eyeing off for a while - The Girls Paperie "Paper Girl" range. Every single thing on both these LO's (with the exception of the Dusty Attic chippie windmill sorry) are from this range. So pretty aren't they, and I think, so adaptable to any style of page.

This was a "just because" page and it was great to deliberately reach for some older stash and finally use it up. I'm such a terrible, terrible hoarder ...
Oh and good to finally scrap some older pics too.

This page was using the Stuck?! Sketches second October sketch and it was also our sketch challenge over at RES for October with the added criteria of using lots of pink. Afterall it was pink month in support of Pink Ribbon Day over at RES.
Do you think there's enough pink here? LOL

And lastly, here are some christmas cards I whipped up for the school fete - I popped them all in a little plastic bag and also included a slip of paper saying "Handmade by Helen Kinsela" and I put the logo and details of RES too. Bit of free advertising cant hurt right?
Speaking of the fete I am about to head up there right now and grab a sausage sandwhich for lunch. I also have to take up my other contribution - 2 dozen apricot & honey Rock Cakes and 2 dozen Blueberry Muffins which I cooked up this morning.
Think I've done my bit for the fete dont you?
It's all good though, I actually enjoying making the cards and cooking so I dont mind.

 If you're not asleep by this point WOW and THANK YOU.
See you next time ... maybe I'll post a little sooner (and make it a little shorter LOL).

Monday, 11 October 2010


Lots happening but as usuall little time for blogging so it's a quick catch up today.

First up though, get yourself along to RED EARTH SCRAPPING where everything is PINK for October for Pink Ribbon Day which RES is supporting this year. There's loads happening on the site for you to join in with, including a RAFFLE of this gorgeous "Wishful Thinking" pack from Fancy Pants ...

Tickets are just $2 each or 3 for $5 - go HERE for all the details and HERE to purchase your tickets.
Hurry!!! The last chance to purchase your tickets is Sunday 24th October and I will draw out one lucky winner on Pink Ribbon Day itself which is Monday 25th October.

While you're in the RES Shop make sure you grab some of the gorgeous Pink Ribbon Day products like the pins, pens and wrist bands. All proceeds go DIRECTLY to the Cancer Council.

Thanks for your support of this fabulous cause.

So, onto some of my own scrapping ...

Something a bit different, especially for me ... I used the new Graphic 45 "Steampunk Debutante" range for this one. I absolutely loved it when I first saw it so nabbed some for myself but then was a bit stuck exactly how to use it. Once I decided which of the gorgeous designs on the papers I wanted to cut out it came together. There's just so much to see on each piece, they're amazing designs. And yep, it's in the RES Shop if you want some!!!

Then there's these simple pages for something completely different again. I had seen this LO design ages and ages ago (and I'm sorry I now dont know who to credit) and I finally scraplifted and came up with these pages.

You might notice on all these LO's some yo-yo flowers ... I have been wanting to make some for ages so finally had a bit of a flower making fest the other weekend then of course had to use them. I found the easy-peasy instructions here.

These next few pages are "just because" and I made myself reach deep into my stash for some older products that I really should used up LOL.

And for World Card Making Day last weekend, I finally got my A into G and made up a few sets to add to my stash, again using up old products which always feels great. I guess I dont feel so guilty about it sitting there or something LOL.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I would love for you to take a second and say hi and I'll do my best to visit your blog too. Thanks :o)