30 May, 2010

Week in the Life Album - update

It's been several weeks since Ali Edwards ran her Week in the Life 2010 project. I started a little late (as Ali was finishing) and have been struggling to finish it. The main problem is that I have too many projects on the go at once. I have several smocked dresses half completed, an insert for a romper for Lisa's baby (due in 4 weeks) half finished and several scrapbooking projects on the go as well. This week (on Wednesday) I decided I needed to finish this dress for my darling friend's daughter Chloe. It was her birthday yesterday and I decided I wanted to finish the dress and post it. I seriously should have thought it through a little more.

Chloe trying the dress on (months and months ago).

All it needed was hemming, the tule needed to be stitched to the peticoat and the buttons and button holes needed doing. I got it finished very late Thursday night then put it in the post on Friday. I've primed her mum who is going to photograph her opening the box. I can't wait to see the pictures.

So that is why only yesterday I started cropping and sticking photos into my week in the life paper bag album. One of the down sides of paper bag albums, is that if you need an extra page or if you miscount at the beginning (yep I really did) then you can't add pages. As it turned out it was a blessing in disguise as I had two days late in the week where I had almost no photos. So what you are about to see is the half finished album. There are no opening pages, collages or journalling yet.


Will make sure I get more pics up as I finish it!!

Emily xoxo

Ace Drapers

In my previous post I mentioned the shop "Ace Drapers" and promised to devote an entire blog entry to this remarkable establishment. I have not yet found a way to sneakily take photos, so I will add them later.

Let me start by saying that one should never go into Aces without first notifying a loved one and charging your mobile phone as getting lost amoungst the stock is a real possibility. Aces is run by Alan. I am relatively new to Roma so I don't know his last name. I do know that he and his brother also own a furniture shop, Ace drapers no. 2 and probably half of the town. To say that they are hoarders would be a giant understatement.

I'm getting ahead of myself here, essentially Ace Drapers is a drapery, a material shop. However if you are looking for anything along the craft line, it is worth dropping in and having a look around. They stock material, patterns, beads (glass, plastic and chrystal), scrapbooking supplies and tools, patchworking tools, sewing machine accessories, the usual material shop odds and ends such as ribbons, lace, elastic, cotton, embroidery threads, needles etc. They also stock a huge range of craft wood projects by Kaiser, craft wood letters, fake flowers, buttons galore, window blinds, and a whole isle of kitchen related stock. The kitchen isle is so full it is inaccessible....literally. The boxes and piles of stuff are stacked the length of the isle as high as my head. If you want something kitcheny, either go somewhere else or ask Alan - don't bother trying to find it.

Every isle is crammed full of stock and boxes line the floor - also full of stock. You really have to watch where you are walking as you are likely to trip over a stack of stock. Each morning before opening, Alan wheels piles of boxes out of the material isles and these are stacked outside the shop on the footpath. Next to the shop he has a shipping container, also full of stock. Upstairs above the shop is full of stock, the car is full of stock - so full I don't know how he drives it.

Going into this shop is sometimes a leap of faith, but it is always an adventure.

Now, I can hear you thinking surely she is exaggerating. I'M NOT!! The family owns a pub, it's windows are all boarded up, and I'm sure it is full of stock too. Who knows. What I do know is that bus loads of women come to Roma as a part of special craft/patchworking tours specially to go to this shop. You can spend hours going through boxes and not find what you are looking for. Once I went in looking for hot pink piping for a dress I'm still halfway through sewing, and I couldn't find the right pink. I asked Alan and he said that he didn't have any at the shop but he knew where he did have some and if I came back at 2 he'd have it for me. And he did. The shop might be messy and full beyond belief, but he knows exactly where everything is.

I will get photographic proof asap of our local treasure!

Emily xoxo

28 May, 2010

State of Origin Day

Gee it's been a while since I posted anything! I've been terribly slack. Well really it is merely an indication of how busy I've been with school. The last few weeks have been interesting. My non-verbal Autistic student started saying "Shut up" and "buck" (his version of f***). He is also now counting to 5 with only gestural prompts, rather than relying on a verbal prompt as well.

I have also discovered another reason why I love teaching the early years - no hormones... I have had to deal with a kissing incident between two intellectually impaired students and am now having to include appropriate and inappropriate touch lessons in my weekly 'girls club' lessons. Plus we all hit panic stations when one of my year 7 students (with a speech language impairment) started writing stories about growing up and having a baby (she is 12). So then I had to have the discussion about the legal age of consent....omg by this stage my head was spinning (by the way, she didn't mean she wanted one now, she just knows that one day she wants a baby).

As if all that wasn't enough, I've dealt with several violent outbursts from two intellectually impaired teenage boys. No wonder I drop onto the couch in exhaustion each night... and thats before I even get to actually teach any curriculum. So that is my excuse for not posting over the last couple of weeks....

Now you might be wondering what all that has to do with State of Origin Day. For those of you who are not Aussies and are not educated in Aussie sporting rictuals, State of Origin is a series of 3 matches played between Queensland and New South Wales in NRL (Rugby League). The series is played every year over a three month period. Last Wednesday was the first match for this year. The idea is that players are selected according to where they played their first A-grade match and that is the state they represent. No other states are included, but players leave their teams temporarily to join the State of Origin teams. This leaves teams missing their best players for several rounds in the NRL competition which makes tipping a challenge (I only got 2 out of 7 games right last week).

So for the first State of Origin match (Wednesday night) the year 7 students had a State of Origin Day at school as a fund raiser for their school camp. Basically you could dress up in your State of Origin colours and donate a dollar to do so. I'm a Queenslander through and through so I stole Autumn's idea and went down to Ace Drapers (another post coming soon about this amazing place) and bought maroon and white tule to make a tutu for the occasion. When I proudly showed my husband my new purchase he asked why didn't I just wear his Queensland jersey...yep I'd forgotten he had one. So I wore them both!!!

Me, Jamie and Mr Tom

Ok so it isn't the most flattering outfit ever, but the kids loved that I got into the spirit of the day. Pictured with me is one of my lovely students and my teacher aide Mr Tom in his Queensland finery!! Go Queensland...and yes Queensland won. If we win the next game it will be the 5th year in a row that Queensland has won the series.

I LOVE STATE OF ORIGIN!!!! It is the best footy of the year!!

09 May, 2010

How to make a Paper Bag Album

You will need:

  • some paper lunch bags (see photo below)
  • some cardstock scraps (5 cm x 20cm)
  • eyelets
  • eyelet setting tools / Crop-A-Dile
  • hole punch / Crop-A-Dile

Step 1.

Decide how many pages you will need for your album and whether you want the pages to be full or half size. Count out desired number of paper bags.

Step 2.
Layer the paper bags so that every second bag opens on the right. Fold all paper bags in half if you are making the half sized album. If you want to make the full size album like my Week in the Life album, do not fold the pages in half.

Step 3.

Cut a 5cm x 20cm piece of cardstock, in whichever card you choose

and score it just off centre so it folds nicely.

Place the folded card stock over the fold of your paper bags, or on the left hand side. The shorter side of the cardstock should be at the front.

Step 4.
Using your hole punch or Crop-A-Dile, punch your centre hole first. Keep your pages and cardstock straight while punching the hole.

Step 5.
Push an eyelet through the hole and set with setting tools or Crop-A-Dile. Continue until you have as many eyelets in place as you like. I usually set 5 eyelets which gives me lots of spots to anchor ribbon and beads.

Step 6.
Use cardstock and co-ordinating papers to decorate and strengthen the pages. The open ends of the bags can be used to keep notes, journalling or other things you have collected relating to the topic of your album. I always adhere ribbon on both sides of the openings so I can tie them closed. Be aware that small items will still fall out unless you fold the bag over as a feature before tieing it closed.
Below is an album I have made but not added photos to...yet.

I find paper bag albums satisfying to create and they look great too!!

08 May, 2010

Week in the Life - photos

So I went out and got my photos printed today and they cost me an absolute fortune. I know the album will be worth it in the long run, but I made a severe error in judgement. When I was making those lovely embellishments (previous post) I worked out that if I rotated all my photos and cropped them so I could have them printed as half photos (2 to a 6x4) they would all be able to be trimmed down to the right size.

I forgot to rotate and crop before I took them to be printed. I must have had a brain fart... what else could have made me completely stuff up my photos (which may I remind you cost a FORTUNE).

Ok so all is NOT lost. I will just have to trim my embellishments down to match my photos. Not a complete disaster, but I can't imagine Ali ever screwed her project up this much. So here is the plan of action:

Step 1. Have a rum to soothe my nerves.

Step 2. Make dinner to fill my belly.

Step 3. Measure and crop photos then measure and trim down embellishments.

Step 4. Sort photos into the 7 days.

That will probably be as far as I get tonight.

In other news, I won a first prize at the Roma Show for one of my layouts and a second prize for another. I will photograph them and post the pictures tomorrow after I collect them in the morning.

05 May, 2010

A week in the life album...

So I have watched in admiration as all those whose blogs I frequent have been displaying their absolutely devine Week in the Life albums with the Ali Edwards special templates. Unfortunately for me we aren't in the financial position for me to purchase the proper album and sleeves and templates from an overseas supplier (given that I live in Australia). So this week, while trying to take some candid shots at school of the kids that I can use to make up for the days where I took none, I have been racking my brain trying to find a way to do my Week in the Life album without costing me the earth.

I had a look back through Ali's posts around Week in the Life for the last couple of years and was pleased to see that her albums have changed over the years as well. I gave a sigh of relief that I could choose any replacement and by having simply documented the week I would still be creating something very valuable to us and our future family.

So, drum roll please, I have decided.

I am going to do a paper bag album. I can almost hear the shocks of horror... "A WHAT?" Yes a paper bag album. They are really easy to make and super duper fun because they have premade pockets in them. If I had thought this through a little better I would have taken photos as I went, but I didn't, but I will whip another up tomorrow and capture the process for my next post.

Back to my album. So I used paper bags already on hand, and a selection of co-ordinating ribbon and papers that I already had. So far it has cost me nothing additional from what was used from my stash....






That is all I've done. Across the dark brown section on the front page will be 7 small photos, one from each day. My journalling will go on large cards that will slide into the pockets between the pages....

Some of it will evolve as I go.

Amongst Ali's previous Week in the Life posts I saw that she created multiple embellishments in different colours. I decided to use this idea and made the following embellishments, again from my stash!

These ones are yet to have stitching on them and some ribbon.

These were inspired by a recent layout that my lovely new friend Autumn posted on her blog called 'Right Now'. Each of the cards starts with 'Right Now' at the top.

And these will be the date for each day.

And these are just plain cute.
So I will keep adding pics as I do more on my album. I'm actually really excited to be doing something a little different. It is more work than using the templates and the divided page protectors but I'm already thrilled with it and there is nothing inside yet!!
Now to start choosing my photos...aghh...the decisions are hard!!

02 May, 2010

A place for everything and everything in it's place!

Remember these photos??

Well the horrible mess that was once my study/scrapbooking room is no longer. I moved the computer desk and turned it so that there are now effectively two work spaces separated by a bookshelf. Both desks face the window, with the scrapbooking work area right under the window for optimum natural light. I'm really quite pleased with my achievement. It has been on my 'gonna-do' list since we moved in here (late December).
Now it looks like this:

I'm actually inspired to create now! I am working my way through the tasks in Design your Life, paticipated in Week in the Life (now to decide what format it will take) and am ready to go with the photography course I enrolled in. I'm also re-reading Ali Edwards' book 'Life Artist' - which I love.
The first time I read it I thought 'that's all very well if you are brave enough to throw the perceived rule book out the window, but it isn't me'. Now, three years later, I'm reading thinking 'yeah, she's right'. It's amazing the way we change and grow. I'm just three years behind... developmental delays perhaps. In her book she says that blogging is a great way to encourage journalling, which I suck at, so I'm pleased that I have started - and amazingly am maintaining.
Have an inspired week to those of you who are reading!

01 May, 2010

Week in the life

Day 7 - Saturday 1st of May

This is me, right here, right now. No make-up, jewellery and I haven't styled my hair as I would do on a work day. Saturdays are the day I stay in my pjs for as long as I want (unless I have jobs to do in town).

It was so chilly this morning I had to pull my trusty uggies out of the cupboard. Looked up the temperature and it was only 7 degrees celcius... Winter is on it's way.

Coffee and porridge at the computer, checking blogs. Can't get a handle on the time difference between here and USA where my favourite bloggers live. I spent the day checking in to try and catch their new posts. Eventually googled time conversions and found a great website to help me!

Logged into big picture to check up on when my photography course starts. Thought I should start to get organised, so I printed all the materials currently available to me.

and made a groovy folder up with all the info I need. I'll add to it each week. I even found all the "before photography lessons" photos that I need and copied them into their own folder.

Made a list of photos I want to have printed to try some of the design techniques I'm reading about. Realised it was 10:00 and I would have to move fast to get to the photo shop in time. Couldn't find my usb so had to rush to school first, then copy photos onto the usb..but first I had to iron my clothes and shower..

ironing my new pink duds.

Oooh love my white slip ons with the bling!!

Cranky at the people across the road who CONSTANTLY park their ute right opposite our driveway making it awkward to reverse out. Normally I take it in my stride but today, in my rush, it just made me mad! By the way I got to school and couldn't find my usb so I tipped out my handbag, and yes it had been in there all along!!! aaarghh!!

Made it to the photo shop and back with some beautiful photos. Completed one layout and half of a two page spread. Can't finish it because I left my list at home and forgot to print one of the photos I needed.

The one layout I did finish - my very first attempt at an 8.5 x 11.. wanted to have a crack at it before getting into the creation stage of Week in the life to get a feel for the size. Loving it!!!

So today, or tomorrow, in the USA is national scrapbooking day - which I think is seriously cool. We don't have it, but I'm adopting 1st of May as a national scrapbooking day on behalf of all scrapbookers, and yes once I got home from my frantic dash into town to print photos, I spent the rest of the day happily scrapping in my newly tidied scrapping space!
I don't have an 8.5 x 11 album for week in the life yet, nor do I have the divided page protectors, so it may take some time before my album is ready to show off - I will definately post it here though when it is finished.