OLW - April prompt...

Firstly I need to say that this is the fourth month and I am up to date.  I am really proud of myself.  I usually bomb out about February, last year I didn't even start it - lets move on!!

At first I struggled with this prompt and just kept putting it off and putting it off.  I think I was trying to make it way more complicated than it needed to be.  Yesterday I sat down and chose some photos that spoke to me.  I didn't really think about "the why" too much.  If the photo spoke to me then I figured it must mean something.  Once they were printed I sat a just looked at them for awhile, trying to decide if they worked for me.
This is what I ended up with:-
sharing my thoughts on each photo going top to bottom, left to right
1.  I have struggled with my weight for a few months but since using the "myfitnesspal" app things are slowly changing.  I kept coming up with excuses about counting calories etc but in the end that's just what I have to do.
2. Money is a big issue for me this year but I am trying to stay positive and although these next few months will be tough I am able to make some better choices that will make good changes.  Focusing on my word this year has really helped with this one.
3. De-clutter is my favourite word at the moment.  I am spending a lot of time on this right now, sorting, clearing and moving stuff.  I am feeling a little hemmed in but doing this is really helping.
4. I am making an effort to be organised so that I have more creative time.  I also really wanted to work on my blog, so again being organised is giving me the time to do so.
5. I have also found that being organised and being sensible with money I am enjoying the good things.  I am really enjoying this and I am going to continue to work on this.
6.  Spending time figuring out what I want and going after it.  Being me and hanging out with people that allow me to be me is making a real difference. 
7. I am also working on being spontaneous and just doing something because its there to be done and not worrying about what else I "should" be doing.
8.   I am thoroughly enjoying the #myselfiescrapbook project that I found on Instagram.  This community is so supportive, caring, creative and fun and has allowed me to be even more creative.
9. Getting orthotics has made such a different to the pain in my feet, which has made it possible for me to get back into exercising.

Continuing to work on my OLW and this class is keeping me focused and making big differences.
Looking forward to next months prompt and thankfully it's only a few days away.

Have a great week
Love me :-)


#myselfiescrapbook - week 3...

I know I have said it before but I am totally loving this project.
I am so good at starting projects but not actually finishing them, but this project is so different.  Not only am I doing it, keeping up and sharing it but I don't want it to end.

This week I went back to work so my creative time has been missing due to the fact that I am totally exhausted.  I am also not allowed to have my phone out at work so I haven't taken many photos but I have tried to be as creative as I could be with the ones I did take.

These are the pages that I have added to my photo book:-
I was tagged on instagram to list 10 things about me.  So I copied the words from the Instagram post and added them to the same photo that I used on the post.

I also added a copy of this layout to my photo book as it really describes how I felt going back to work.

and I added this, giving a glimpse of my day.

I am so excited with how my book is turning out and I will be sending it off for printing as soon as April is finished.

Yep, still loving this project!
love me :-)


Why I Journal - tips and ideas Part 2

Nothing excites me more than "happy mail" except coffee but that's another story LOL!
I can actually hear the delivery van now, I know its distinct sound so I am already at the door waiting for him to arrive at my door.  On Thursday my new stamps from Kellie Stamps arrived and I was just a little excited. I admit that I may have done a little "hands in the air, twirling happy dance" and said the odd woohoo, and why not? Have you seen these stamps?

Inspiration for journaling can come from many different places.  One of the reasons I think journaling comes so easy for me is that I don't have any rules or guidelines on how journaling should look, sound or feel.  As long as the story is told I am happy.  That is what I am after, the story because I am not always going to be here to tell it.  That might sound a bit morbid but that is the truth.  Your journaling turns a photo into history.  It gives the photo depth, meaning and most of all emotion.

Quite often I am inspired to create a layout because of "product".  It might be a piece of pattern paper that instantly makes me know how I want to use it or it might be a journal card that triggers a memory.  When I opened up my stamps, I started reading through all the words on each of the stamps.  As I was reading some of the words I was instantly transported back to earlier this week and how I was feeling about going back to work after a two week break.  I knew then, that this had to be a layout.  I even knew the photo I wanted to use.  Using these stamps and adding a few extra words takes a "foot" photo and gives it so much emotion and explains exactly how I felt that day.

First was to grab all the stamps that I thought I could use.  I then laid them out on a piece of paper from top to bottom.  Next I just needed to come up with some extra lines of journaling to go between the stamped images.  This was so easy.  Because I had laid my stamps in an order I thought would work the extra journaling just came to me.  It was almost like these stamps were created just to describe how I felt about going back to work.  I used Word to create my typed journaling.  I used my ruler to get a rough guide as to how much space I needed to leave to between lines so that I could add my stamps and then printed it out onto white cardstock.  

I chose an orange ink to do my stamping with to match my handbag in my photo, added my photo and a few embellishments. I mounted my white cardstock onto pattern paper and stitched around the edges and my layout was complete.

TIP:  you don't always have to use stamps the way they come.  For my title I used one stamp on a label.  I simply inked just the first two words and stamped it onto the label.  I then cleaned my stamp, inked it again but this time I only inked the last two words and then stamped underneath the first image.  I also used this same stamp down the bottom of my layout but I only used the first two words so that I could add it with another stamped image to create different wording.

I hope this has helped and inspired you to add journaling to your layouts.  If you have any questions please make sure to leave them in the comments section.

Have a great weekend
love me :-)


#myselfiescrapbook - Part 2

I was going to share my photos for this past week and let you know how my photo book was coming together... but then today happened and I realised that I was meant to do this class for a reason.

Today was my daughters Year 12 Ball and I thought it would be fun to capture some selfies of her and I. But the more I thought about it the more I knew that I wanted to capture one specific moment in time.  That moment that I wanted to remember forever.

When it was time for Alex to get dressed I knew that it was just going to be me and her, in the room, no one else, just a moment between Mother and Daughter.  No one was going to be able to capture the photo that I wanted and I am not sure that having someone else there would have made the moment so special.

I set up my tripod, set up phone and made sure the remote was close by.  For a moment I thought, what are you doing! trying to get a selfie at this time!  But then I realised that these past two weeks of taking selfies has made me understand that I want to be part of the story and I am part of the story.

I wanted to be able to capture some moments where I was helping her to get ready for her ball. So as she dressed and put shoes etc on I just kept clicking off my remote as I was helping her.

But this was the moment that I wanted to capture. That moment when I looked at my beautiful daughter and realised that my little girl was all grown up.  It was the moment when she was all ready, I looked at her and I couldn't keep it in any longer and I cried.  Then she cried and we hugged... that was the moment, right then when I clicked.

and this is my second favourtie photo, when we both grabbed a tissue, looked at each other and laughed.

 What an amazing day, 
what an amazing emotion,
what an amazing feeling.

Never again will I question taking a "Selfie"

love me:-)


Minimize your wardrobe - part one...

I have been following along with a little project called #myselfiescrapbook and one of the main contributors to this project is Julie from How I Sustain. While reading her blog I came across some posts she did about Minimizing your Wardrobe, you can find the first post here.  This really got me thinking and inspired.  I had wanted to get my wardrobe into some kind of order for ages but it always seems like such a huge job and so I put it off.
Julie broke it down into several weeks and each week had a different task to accomplish.  I continued reading and the more I read the more I wanted to give this a try.
When I was reading the first challenge which you can find here, she mentioned that her body had changed over the years and not because of anything bad, just because things had happen like having a baby etc.  This really hit a cord with me.  I have had four different jobs in the last two years (I was actually doing three at once for approx 12 months but that's a whole other story) and I had different clothes for each one. But now I am doing one job so all the clothes I had for the other jobs I really didn't need any more.  My problem usually is that because they were too good to throw away or, the big one, I will fit into them again soon, you know, the minute this diet thing kicks in, so I was always reluctant to throw them out.  Julie's post made me see things very differently.

My OLW for 2015 is FREE.  One of the things I wrote down at the beginning of the year was that "I want to be free of clutter so that I have space to move and breathe".  This challenge fitted perfectly with my word and was just another reason why I had to give this challenge a go.

This is what my wardrobe looked like before I started.  It doesn't look that bad but I have to push with all my might to move the hangers so I can put things away.  But as Julie said in her post, I have so many clothes but I never seem to have anything to wear.

So today was the day I chose to tackle Challenge #1 If it doesn't fit, get rid of it.

I dived in.  Okay, to be completely honest it took a while because I was struggling with the whole "if it doesn't fit" thing.  But the reality was they didn't fit and even though I liked them, they just didn't fit.  Right now I am just going to tackle my wardrobe, as in hanging space.  My drawers etc will wait because I don't think I can handle to much of "this doesn't fit" thing.  Mind you it made me stick to my healthy eating plan today LOL!

This is my first pile of clothes to go.  When I stood back and looked at this pile I noticed a pink shirt.  It made me laugh because I don't really wear pink so what was I thinking when I bought it.

Although this photo doesn't really look much different to the first, just getting rid of those first few things has made so much space in my wardrobe.  I left the empty hangers as a reminder of all space I have created already.

On reflection
What seemed hard at first got easier as I went along.
I was able to see that even though I liked them, they didn't fit so I wasn't wearing them anyway.
Some of the things I took out (like the pink shirt) wasn't my normal style of clothing, which made me realise that I should stick to my style.
I know it sounds a bit silly, but I felt lighter straight away.
There are probably a few more things that could go under this category and that's ok - little by little, as the week goes on I can just pull things out as I find them.

Off now to count my calories for the day!
love me :-)


Why I journal, Tips & Ideas - part one...

I have been scrapbooking for a long time now and I can't finish a page without journaling on it.  It seems that no matter how much space I have to journal, its never enough.
I am always asked the same question, over and over again... How do you get your journaling so good?
Its funny because I never really think about journaling other than I can't do a page without it.

I was wondering how to explain my passion about journaling and then I remembered a talk I had to give about 8 years ago.  I was doing a course at Uni and as part of one of the units I was taking you had to give a talk in front of the class.  It could be about anything but it had to be something you were passionate about.  Your introduction had to be powerful/different/fun/and set the scene.

My talk went something like this...
I stood at the front of the class and introduced myself.
I asked them to all stand up, bunch together and I took a photo of them.
I then told that we had traveled forward in time, a 100 years to be exact.
I then pulled out a shoe box and told them that they just found this in Aunt Betty's attic who had sadly just passed away and she had left it to them.
I pulled out a photo of a group of people (we pretended it was the photo I took earlier)
I passed it around and asked them to tell me about the photo.
They couldn't really tell me anything because there was no writing, no story or information attached to the photo.
I pulled out a scrapbook page with the same photo on it, all very pretty with embellishments etc and then asked them to tell me about the photo.
They looked at me blankly and said, "well nothing, it looks pretty but there is still  no information about the photo".
I then pulled out another scrapbook page with the same photo on it, all very pretty with embellishments on it but this time I had added a name and a date.
Again I asked them to tell me about the photo.  Obviously they could tell me the name and the date but that was all.
Then I pulled out another scrapbook page with the same photo on it, all very pretty with embellishments on it plus the name and date.  But I also added journaling with information about the photo.
They could now tell me lots.
I then said "My name is Tracey and I'm a scrapbooker, very passionate about recording my family history".
and went on to explain what scrapbooking was...

I got a great mark and glowing compliments which was the whole purpose but its the story I always go back to when people ask me about journaling.  You need to ask yourself the question, why do you scrapbook?
I know for me its about telling our story, all of it, the good and the bad.  Of course I like the creative side of scrapbooking but its more about the story.  Because as I said earlier, its no good people finding your scrapbooks in years to come with no stories.

Now you know why I journal.  Hopefully over the next few weeks I can give you some hints and ideas on how to add journalling to your pages.

My first hint and probably the most important is to just write.  Dont' get all caught up in the spelling and grammar, just get your story down. 
(I actually have at least one spelling error on every page I have ever completed.  Its sort of my signature on a page if you like.  If there's no spelling errors then its not mine LOL) 
 I can hear you already... I hate my handwriting!!  
This is usually everyones first comment about journaling, it was also mine so type it out. 
(just to give you a heads up, we will be adding handwriting in upcoming posts) 

We had a family get together recently but I didn't get my camera out.  They all usually complain about me taking photos so I chose not to bring it out.  The next day I was thinking about the night and how much fun we had had.  All the laughing, the chatting, the stories and yes the odd argument or two.
So I sat at my computer and just typed out everything I wanted to remember about the evening.  I just kept typing, not worrying about spelling etc, just getting the story down.

Once I had finished I then went and made a cuppa, took a break then came back to my journaling.
I corrected any errors like spelling and grammar etc.
I then moved my words around to make it look appealing and then I added embellishments.

and when I was done I had a scrapbook page full of memories from a wonderful night with my family.
No I don't have a photo but I have an amazing story that can be passed on for many years to come...  and really I don't think the photo would have allowed me to journal so much.

As I was looking at the page I couldn't help but remember how wonderful the night was.
The stories that we told each other.  
The laughs that we shared.  
But most of all I have a written record of this moment.

It was just an ordinary family get together until I wrote it down.

I hope this helps get you journaling on your pages.  If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.  Pretty pages are great but if there's no story, all they are is just pretty pages.

Happy journaling
love me :-)

Note:  stamps and embellishments are story stamp & story kit from Ali Edwards.


#myselfiescrapbook... Week One!

Taking "selfies" is not something that came easily for me.  In fact I thought it was just something that the young kids did.  Thats what my kids thought too when they saw my first selfie.

I am the main photo taker in my family, so basically if I don't take the photo no one else will.  I get quite a bit of flack from them but I have learnt to just let it go and keep taking photos LOL!  But the reality is that I don't get in many photos.  That became very obvious several years back during a camping trip.  When we got home and I started sorting throught the photos I realised that I was not in one single photo.  Not one.  Which made me think, in many years to come my kids will look at these photos and think, oh, didn't Mum come.

So I made a promise to myself to "get in some photos".  Which meant that I had to ask someone if they would take my picture and that felt quite awkward.  But the upside was that I was in the photos.  While I was happy to be photos I wasn't quite happy with how they turned out.  I don't mean that I didn't like how I looked in the photo, it was more from the view that after many years of taking photos I have a particular way that I like photos to look (from a scrapbooking point of view) ie. I like them to be lighter not darker, I like white space in a photo if I can, I might want a particular photo taken from a certain angle... anway you know what I mean.
The only way to solve this was to take a "selfie".  At first it was a bit weird (just ask my kids) but the more I took the easier it became.  The more I took the more fun I was having.  The more I took the more adventurous I was becoming in my photo taking.  The more I took the more I discovered how photo apps can make all the difference to a not so good photo.  Basically the more I took the better I got.

But then I noticed something truly wonderful.  I started documenting stuff about me, yep me!  Not the kids, not our holidays, but me.  When I came across #myselfiescrapbook on Instagram (my favourite social media) I got so excited and jumped right in.  You can find out all about it here.  This is a free class, yes free and there  are so many very talented and lovely ladies to help and inspire you along the way. You can find the links and first set of prompts here.

I have decided to do my pages digitally mainly because right now it's easy to fit into my life and if its easy then hopefully I will keep up.  I did struggle with how I was going to put it all together but I have now settled on a photo book from Snapfish.  I am using templates from Paislee Press.  It also means that I can just keep adding photos to book as I go along.

Here are my photos from week one...

I am totally in love with this project and I think it should be mandatory for every woman to do it.  I am finding it so much fun and very liberating.

Happy selfie taking
love me :-)


Project life - playing catch-up...

It always seems to happen and it doesn't matter how hard I try but I am always playing catch-up with Project Life.  I have to laugh though, it doesn't matter what process I put in place or what system I try I am always behind.  Oh well, maybe that's just the way it is.

Anyway... this weekend I have decided I am going to try and get caught up or at least get some of it done.  For the last four years I have done my PL weekly but this year I decided to change it to monthly.  The first few months went great, I kept up and all was good with my world.  LOL!  But since March things have gone a bit haywire.  Insert why I am playing catch-up.  So to start my catch-up run I am starting with April and will work backwards.

So here is my first few pages of April which included an unexpected overnight camping adventure so I have included a 6x8 insert as I wanted to add quite a bit of journaling.  My journaling came straight from this blog post.

I was so lucky to win some digital journal cards - Shopaholic card set from Big City Quiet Designs on Instagram through Mandy at Record Life Home.  They were easy to print out, great print quality and so fun to use.  Check both of these lovely ladies blogs, they are so talented and very inspiring.

I have also used bits from Ali Edwards Story stamp/kit, Studio calico and paislee press.

Right then, on to the next lot...
love me :-)


In my bag...

Playing along with Record Life Home and her prompt for this week  "in my bag".
We went on a picnic on Easter Monday and before everyone attacked the bag I managed to get a quick shot.  Just the usual stuff inside... plus hot cross buns - don't be harsh its easter LOL!

Why not snap a photo of whats in your bag. Don't forget to link up at Record Life Blog so we can take a little look, just for creative purposes you understand!  If you use Instagram use the hashtags #inmybag & #hashtagthisweek.

Happy snapping
love me :-)


An unexpected adventure...

As part of my OLW for 2015 I am trying to be a little more spontaneous and doing things that maybe I am not that excited about doing.  So last Wednesday I casually mentioned to my Husband that we should go away camping, just me and him, no kids.  By Thursday afternoon he had organised an overnight camping trip with some friends and we were leaving the next day... as in Good Friday.  So within 48 hours he had managed to take my idea and make it happen.  Note to self - be more detailed in my ideas, as in not necessarily straight away LOL!

  What I didn't know is that his friends had already planned to go away over the Easter Weekend so when I suggested "lets go camping" he already knew someone and somewhere to go.
As it turned out it was the best thing.

We headed off on Friday morning, just taking it easy, no real plans and no time schedule.  
This was such a fun and unexpected adventure and I loved it.
I want to remember so much...

the slow pace,
the little stops you have along the way - we stopped at Bakers Hill pie shop and I had the most amazing vegie, cheese and nut pie... it was divine,
not having a time schedule,
not really knowing where we were going but we went anyway,
watching the clouds, it bought back memories of camping trips when I was younger where we used to try and make pictures out of the clouds to pass the time,
the sheep all huddled under one tree to rest in the shade,
flies, they were everywhere - it was funny watching John do the "fly dance"
trying to cook frozen fish on the BBQ and then deciding to just smash it up - it was so yum,
cooking dinner together, then turning it into MKR (my kitchen rules) who was going to "plate up first",
drinking cocktails - yes we had cocktails,
suffering a hangover the next day,
getting to know friends a little better,
meeting new ones,
just being me & him...

Definitely going to have more Unexpected Adventures...

Love me :-)


Just add eggs...

Hope your Easter weekend is going well for you and that you are not over indulging too much on chocolate.  I am, however, indulging way too much in Hot Cross Buns.  Thankfully Easter only lasts four days!!
I thought I would share a quick Easter craft project with you that is perfect for the little ones to do.  We did this in our pre-primary class and the kids loved it.  We then used them to put there eggs in from the Easter Egg Hunt. 

All you need is an envelope, white copy paper, cotton wool, pink colouring pencil, googly eyes and a small pom pom.  Seal your envelope closed then cut off one end to make a pocket.  I drew a rabbit face (we then photocopied enough, one for each child in class) and cut them out.  The children then coloured in the ears and then attached some cotton wool.  They then glued the face to the front of the envelope pocket, added some googly eyes and then stuck a pom pom on the back.

When they were finished I popped some coloured tissue paper in each pocket all ready for the Easter Egg Hunt.  This was a quick project that took the kids about 10 to 15 mins to put together.
Although each child used the same materials, each rabbit pocket looks different.  They looked so cute all lined up, ready to go.

The best part... seeing the looks on their faces when they realised the Easter Bunny had been and left them Easter Eggs.

Have a wonderful Easter
love me :-)


How to export photos from the CollectApp...

I have been doing project life for 5 years now and I still love it as much today as I did when I first started using it.  Over the past few years I have found "keeping up" quite difficult and realised that I needed to find a way to simplify my approach while keeping my own style and include the stories.  I am a big fan of journaling and that's where most of my time was taken up.  

I discovered the "CollectApp" last year and it has been my saving grace.  It makes documenting our lives simple and easy.  The best part is I can do it anywhere and then when I get home all I need to do is simply upload them to my computer. 

 The CollectApp has been my go to for documenting our holidays as well.   At the end of the day when we are back in our hotel room and unwinding, I simply edit my photos, add them to the CollectApp, add my journaling and I am done.

I know alot of people use the CollectApp but I am often asked "how do I export my photos"?  I have put this info up on instagram a few times but thought I would share it here as well.    






I upload my photos to my computer and then from there, I either print them from home or get them printed from a photo printing company.

I am by no means an expert on this app but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and  I will do my best to answer them.

Woohoo I'm on holidays...
love me :-)

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