Friday, December 29, 2006

Cool Gifts

Christopher and I have been thoroughly enjoying all the Christmas pressies we've received this year from everyone. Here are a few I want to share with you....

Check out this cool mini shopping cart! It arrived full of chocolates, soaps, face cloths and more candies. My nephew just loves to push it around our flat, and our cat, Min, loves to knock it over and empty the contents. Everything in the cart smells sooooo nice and yummy!!! Thanks again so much Ian & Allison!

Another is a gift voucher from my friend Gab. She made this
gorgeous voucher that I can't wait to redeem! I' m not sure what I'm looking forward to more, the pampering session at the Day Spa or an undisturbed sleep in. Thanks so much Gab!!

My friend Ange in Hong Kong must have been to the markets recently as she crammed lots of these beautiful silk flowers into the Christmas card envelope. Australian customs stopped this lumpy letter to check its contents, and it arrived just before
Christmas. Thanks Ange! I'll find LOTS ways to use them. Hope you make in down to Australia in 2007!

Another friend, Ainslee, gave me this really neat book. Its like a guest book with a twist. You don't just write in your name, where you're from and a date of also add details about your favourite things (song, book, clothes, hobby, childhood toy, actor, thing about Sunday, and your favourite lie, just to name a few!) Some other details to include are: the naughtiest thing you've ever done, one thing you wished you had done yesterday, a turning point in your life, what you'd do with a million dollars, & what 3 people you'd like to have with you on a desert island. Great book Ainslee...Thank you!

So my friends, start thinking, as this little book will be arriving on your doorstep during 2007!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas

For the first time in 8 years, my family had Christmas together. It was the first time Christopher has ever spent Christmas with cousins. There are really no words to describe how happy, peaceful, and relaxed I felt on Christmas day...after so many years away from the people I love most in this world. However on saying that, I REALLY missed those dear friends (Allison & Ian, Dunc & Tina, & Meegan and all the kids) that became my family while living in Hong Kong. We've spent the last 5 or so Christmas' it was wonderful to hear their voices and to see them on
Skype yesterday. Christmas wouldn't be complete without them! And Katrina, Joel and Sylvia, who we'd always share Christmas eve and some or part of Christmas day with them too....hope you're having a wonderful Christmas together in South Africa.

These are some of my favourite photos from Christmas day...

Thank you everyone for all your gifts, cards and wishes. Love and Hugs to you all!

Santa Photo '06

Yes this is the pic that I cannot believe I paid $ to have....but this is as close to a real Santa as I could find. The things we do.......
Santa outdid himself with the gifts for Christopher. Christopher wanted some of the cars from the movie "CARS", that we have been unable to find in Australia. A lovely friend and her pilot husband became Santas elves in tracking down and flying these cars to us, from the USA, on time for Christmas morning. Thanks so much Ainslee and Kyle!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Enjoy the Process!

Its so easy to forget during this time of year to stop and enjoy the season. I get so caught up in the preparations, that the everyday moments slip by. So today I did stop a few times and appreciated the moment I was in. I was "busy" looking for the right size turkey for our Christmas dinner, "busy" posting away a bunch of cards to friends in Canberra, "busy" wrapping presents and finalising other gifts. This is the only time of year I do these things, so why rush through it all? I will get it done, but I'll try and stop more often and enjoy the process!
The photos here are my favourites from this week.
I've been receiving lovely Christmas cards from friends around the world. Today's card was from friends, Liz and Mike who, like myself, lived in Hong Kong for the past 10 years. They now live in California after Mike transferred with work this year. Thanks for the wonderful newsletter! Mike you have a real gift in had me in tears as well as laughing at the same time. Miss you heaps Liz!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cousins & Santa

Its been an exciting last few days in my family.....My sister and her gorgeous kids have moved to Australia. Her husband will arrive after Christmas, due to the loooooonnnnng process that the Australian immigration puts people through who want to immigrate here. This is the first time in 14 years that my family has lived on the same continent. Christopher had only seen his cousins through the photos...and they are now 2 1/2 years old and 5 months old....and Christopher is 8. He looks so big next to them.
We're so happy they are here. Christmas should be lots of fun this year!

Christopher & I went to visit Santa today. I was feeling rather aprehensive due to the obviously fake outfit and beard that I've seen the Santas wearing here. We been lucky to have visited a REAL Santa in Hong Kong since Christopher was born and I knew that the fellow we'd be visiting today would look nothing him. The pics I've posted today were of last years Santa, in Hong Kong. That beard is REAL... And so are those rosey cheeks. I've always been allowed to take my own pics whenever we visit Santa, so when I was told today that no photos are to be taken, I was very disappointed. Only photos by a "professional" photographer were permitted...with a hefty fee as well. With my fear that this might be Christopher's last Christmas believing in the magic of Santa, I handed over the $ and recieved an average quality, very plastic looking photo of the 2 of them. I'll scan that pic and post it another day. All in all, Christopher enjoyed seeing Santa and ended up having a lovely little chat with him as there weren't any other kids waiting. Heres hoping that there will be another year of Christmas magic. I think we'll have to watch the Polar Express tonight!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Calendars & Friends

One calendar done...2 to go! The calendar class I held at my home this week was lots of fun. It took 4 hours, but the ladies finished their calendars and now they have a wonderful gift to give this Christmas, or a beautiful keepsake for themselves. There was lots of laughter, Christmas cookies and I came away feeling like I've made some lovely friends. Being a Stampin Up! Demonstrator has been the best way for me to get out and make friends since moving to Australia this year. I've met some of the lovliest people in my workshops and its been wonderful to get to know them more outside of the workshops.
Here are some of the pics from my calendar. I've got to finish the other 2 this weekend and get them in the mail!

Friday, December 08, 2006


I've finished making the first batch of my Christmas cards, and they're in the mail (to my overseas friends) as I write. What a great feeling. I know I'm a little late....but I'm always so busy helping others get their Christmas cards organised that mine always get left till the last minute. I tried starting making my Christmas cards in July one year, but I didn't have the Christmas spirit in the middle of the summer (in the northern hemisphere). For these cards, I used up some more of my Paper Salon goodies that I won last year. Click on the following link to check out my paper salon submissions for the contest. I'll be making another batch of cards for all my new Australian friends that I've made throughout the year. These cards will be all Stampin Up stuff.

CONGRATS to my friend Gab....I'm so proud her. 45 LAYOUTS!! Check out this link .

There will be another One in 48 challenge in January. Its a fun way to get lots of layouts DONE as well attaining lots of fresh inspiration and do-able sketches. You can sign up for January, on the blog.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Great Find!

I was purusing the supermarket isle on the weekend when this pack of Dutch Syrup Wafers jumped out at me. It was hidden among the jellies, puddings and the canned fruit section...not the biscuits section for some unknown reason! I used to enjoy these special treats with my dear friend Katrina on Sunday afternoons in Hong Kong. She knew somebody who would bring these wafers to HK whenever he was in our neighbourhood. For years, Katrina and I would spend EVERY Sunday afternoon together...drinking endless cups of tea, chatting, either sitting on a beach or at one of our homes, scrapping, card making and lots more chatting over cups of tea. Our boys have know each other since they were two years old....when Katrina moved to HK. The boys NEVER got along until they turned 4...then they became the best of buddies. We loved watching the 2 of them while they played. It was very hard to say good-bye to these dear friends and I must say now, on our Sunday afternoons, Christopher and I are a bit "lost" without them. snifff....snifff....
Ok....enough.....back to the wafers....for those who have never seen or tried these, Ill show you how its done!
The first photo is a package of them. 2nd - You place the wafer on top of a HOT cup of tea...I've found brewed coffee is not hot enough. Let it sit for a few minutes, turning it over when it starts to soften. The softening proces is the syrup melting and you can see in the 3rd photo the glistening syrup which oooozes out of the wafer while you eat it.....YUMMY!!! Stop round my home and you can try these as I'll have to keep a stock of them in my cupboards from now on. Cheers Katrina! Miss you my friend!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Happy Silly Season! I know we're all busy getting ready for the Christmas and the summer holidays, so I'll get straight to the point. I'm offering you the chance to make a special Christmas gift this year......that perfect gift for someone special, or someone who is otherwise difficult to buy for. A Calendar!! Not just any calendar, but a hand stamped one and personalised with your photos. Here is your chance to use some of the stamping techniques I've shown you at the workshops, while you put together a gift that is priceless and will always be remembered. A bonus with these calendars is that the pages are perforated so at the end of the year, they can be removed and placed in an album.

For the evenings of December 13th, 14th and the 16th you can come to my home and use all my stamps, inks and ideas and put it together into this calendar. The cost of the calendar is $15.95 each (shipping of calendars is free for this class) and the cost of the evening is $25. If you need to come for more than one night, then any subsequent nights will be just $18. Christmas cookies and mulled wine are free! My table can only hold 6 people, so to book your spot for one or more of the nights, email me the date/s you're coming and you'll need to pay for the calendar in advance. More details of what to bring will be given to those who book into the class. Bookings for the class will close this Friday December 8th.

Now on another note.....

Stamps for Christmas!

Now is your chance to commandeer Santa and put something under the tree that you'd really love! Have a look through the Stampin Up catalogue, if you don't have one, look online at and pick out something you'd love to have. (like a pair of the Craft and Rubber Scissors you regret not having when cutting up your stamps!) Place your order before Thursday December 14th and it will be delivered to you wrapped up, gift tagged and ready to hide under the tree. A BONUS for you is all orders over $100 receive a FREE Classic ink pad, colour of your choice! (might be a hard choice as there are 48 to choose from!)

All orders must be placed and paid for by the the 14th, which gives Santa enough time to wrap them up and deliver! When Emailing your orders to me, make sure to include the item #. You can always forward this message to other family members who are still looking for a gift to give you!

Hope you enjoy this wonderful season. Try and find time to stop and enjoy yourself in the middle of the Christmas rush. Remember to take lots of photos and write down those memories!
I picked up a copy of Simple Scrapbooks "Scrapbook Shortcuts, Quizzes & Questions" idea book from Ainslee at Scrap Junkie a few months back. I did one of the quizzes with my son and this in the layout that came out of it. Click on the pic if you'd like to read the journalling. I'm going to try a few more quizzes at Christmas time with other family members.

I've been very slack in my postings for many months. Its an early new years resolution that I become more committed to this as there is so much going on in my life.....I want to remember it all! I've always been a big fan of jounalling, I think I should thank Oprah for that. Keeping a blog is just a bigger journal where I can keep pics as well as other peoples input.
I've been reading lots of creativity sparking books lately, which is helping me to see the world a little differently. The book I'm immersed in right now is "Live out Loud". I'll take a pic of it and post it tomorrow. I saw this book in a scrapbooking mag...I think it was Scrapbooks Etc....and I had to read it for myself. It has many creative exercises to get those juices flowing. The one I'm in the middle of (or you could say "stuck on") is writing down 100 uses for the pencil! I've got about 17 so far. I should really carry around a pencil with me for 24 hours and see what I do with it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

There is nothing like the Australian birds! Beautiful colours! This photo was taken at a bird park in Canberra last Saturday. Christopher & I had a ton of fun feeding these birds and letting them climb all over us!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

June 3rd 2006.....I'm blogging!!!

This is all because of Katrina! You've been telling me for awhile to do this, so FINALLY, here I am!
This is the offical day of Thanksgiving in Australia. Thanksgiving is pretty new here, most people haven't heard of it....but I LOVE thanksgiving, so I'm going to celebrate. Not today though, next Saturday as my brother will be visiting us for the long weekend. I love digging out those festive recipes and picking the best ones for this meal. I'll have to get creative and make place settings for everyone too.
Been working on some altered puzzle pieces throughout this much fun! I'll try and figure out how to post them on here.