5 things about Summer

Here I go with Listmania # 2 – five things I love about the current season, and 5 things I’m not so keen on. Big summer skyIt’s SUMMER here in New Zealand – my favourite season. I like most things about summer, but especially:

  • higher temperatures (I hate being cold)
  • longer days – I can get so much more done, and I’m more likely to exercise
  • people are generally more relaxed, and casual clothes are OK at work
  • lots of my favourite special events seem to be in summer – Christmas and New Year, summer holidays (aka vacations to those from the American continent), summer reading programme at the library where I work, celebrations and parties just because it’s summer
  • summer fruit and vegetables that make it easy to eat well

Summer fruit bowlThe things I’m not so keen about are:

  • flies – especially the clustering variety (hopefully it will be so dry this year they won’t be able to get out of the ground and I’ll only be annoyed by the usual kind)
  • hot nights – I like being hot in the daytime, but I find it easier to sleep when the nights are on the cooler side
  • sweating – ugh
  • sunburn – and having to avoid it
  • having to have all the windows open in the car to make it bearable to be in, but then getting blown away at open road speed

I admit, I had to stretch a bit to find five things I don’t like. I’m a summer girl!


I love this project – especially now it’s finished

Album coverRight through 2012 I tried to take a photograph every day. If I missed a day I didn’t stress about it, I just took an extra photo the next day (usually of something that would have been the same the day before).

Title pageThis is the title page – the easiest to complete because it was a simple “fill the slot” page, and all the components came in the Project Life Amber Edition kit. I’d purchased this in late 2010, but didn’t use it for 2011 as I took a break from the photo-a-day thing.

March spreadThrough the year I placed the photos (7 for every week) into the slots in the divided page protectors, and filled the other slots with journalling and bits and pieces I picked up.

August spreadI was still going strong in August. My routine was to sort out the week’s photos on Sunday evening, and then print them out in draft quality on plain paper. On Monday night I’d complete each week’s spread, slotting in the images and writing about the events of the week, using the collected ‘ephemera’ from my handbag, mailbox and recycling bin to create mini collages for any slots left over. Every couple of months I would take advantage of a printing special at Harvey Norman and get the images printed, slotting the photos in place of the paper place-holders. I kept up with that routine until mid-September, when I started getting behind. I did a big catch-up at Stamp Camp in early November, but the rest of the album had to wait until this weekend to be finished.

Blog-PL-Complete-5But finished it is!

This year I am continuing to take a photo every day, but I will return to the format I used in 2010 when I create my album.


Starting Point

Lovely – a new scrapbooking page starting point from Shimelle Lane. Go here to see her example, and compare it to my page made with pieces of a similar size:

Why does he do it?As usual, I had fun adapting Shimelle’s ideas and putting my own spin on them. I have a feeling a certain person may regret all those faces he pulled when he sees this post though!

Listmania #1 – Currently I am…

Joining in the fun (see Mandy’s blog here, and Deb’s post here – Deb is the one who has started us all off).

Currently I am:

1356 coverReading: 1356 by Bernard Cornwell (I love his novels – he writes about battles better than anyone else; his novel Agincourt is one of the best historical novels ever)

Listening to: the sound of the TV news, and of DH, DS and DS’s girlfriend talking about the current item – the Cabinet re-shuffle – with some amazement as to who has apparently kept her portfolio.

Laughing at: Ninja and Scruff – it’s an unexpected bonus of having a kitten (now a young cat) that the older cat discovers how to play again

Swooning over: summer fruit – I adore peaches, apricots and nectarines and the fruit bowl doesn’t stay full for long

Planning: my work-flow for pesto and chocolate spread production, so as to have enough ready for our stall at the Martinborough Fair #1 on 2 February

Eating lots of: salads – and using our new Citrus infused olive oil in the dressing (it tastes like sunshine to me!)

Feeling: that this year is already rushing along far too quickly


Discovering: biking the extended Greytown-Woodside Rail Trail is a great way to start the day (the link is to the event marking the official opening, but it’s actually all available to ride now)

Looking at: photos from my phone – I’m a little embarrassed to admit I have only just worked out how to get them from the phone to the PC (so some of the shots were taken in 2011!)

Wearing: shorts or skirt & t-shirts; I love the casual look and it’s important to be cool on hot and sunny days

Cooking: more new vegetarian recipes. Tonight we had Spiced Rice Scramble from Alison & Simon Holst’s Very Easy Vegetarian Cookbook and it was yummy. Next time I make it I’ll put in two tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce though, as it wasn’t quite spicy enough with only one

Wondering: how it is that yoga poses I could do with ease only a couple of years ago are now impossible


Trying out: hybrid scrapbooking. I’ve downloaded the Storybook Collection #2 elements from ACDigitals, printed & cut them out and used them on a layout (for some reason the link to the actual page isn’t working, but if you go to the main link, you can find them on page 5 under the Journalling Cards tab).

If you would like to play along with Listmania, create your own post using this list. The best bit? There will be another prompt next Monday!


It’s been a year since some of my on-line friends, the Scrapmates, visited Fantail Grove for a retreat (you can read about the 2012 event here).

Last weekend we did it all again – and it was just as good this time around. As you can see from the image below, we worked hard. (Followers of this blog may realise why we are working in the living room this year, and not the garage craft space – go here to see the reason). Hard at work I was very pleased to get my 2012 Photo-A-Day project album up to date as far as the beginning of December, but the highlight for my own creativity was completing three layouts:

Waterfront WellingtonDH takes amazing photographs. These are from his daily walk between the railway station and his place of work and showcase just a little of how lovely (and busy) Wellington’s harbour can be. I wanted to try something new with my title lettering, and used plain chipboard letters from Kaisercraft. I inked these and then embossed them to give them a shiny finish. Next time I will have to remember that the grey of the chipboard substantially darkens the colours – but I’m pleased with how they turned out anyway.

Really Good at SleepThis layout was my response to the challenge I laid down to the Scrapmates: use machine stitching. I have stitched on the scalloped border strips, and over the lettering. I also used up some Scenic Route journalling cards that were already quite old when I got them – as part of my challenge to myself to make a good sized dent in my stash this year.

Haymaking with Farmer TomThis is my favourite of the three layouts I made. I think I am at last beginning to get to grips with layering items and I love how the clusters look. I am so glad to have used the Kaisercraft chipboard embellishment and some very old diecuts. I will forever be grateful to Shimelle for showing me how to repeat elements to bring unity to the design and lead the eye through the layout. I am sure I have lots more to learn, but I think this this is real progress.

Have you found that working with others inspires you to create more than you might have if you worked on your own?

January Goals

I’ve just read this post, and thus motivated I’m going to try something similar. It is quite intimidating to set goals for an entire year; goals for the days between now and 31 January I can manage. Here they are:

  • finish my Photo-A-Day/Project Life album for 2012
  • ride my bike on at least five more days (I’ve done one big ride and two round-the-block rides so far in January)
  • start again with my yoga DVD – exercise along with it on at least five days
  • make a date to have lunch with my BFF
  • send thank you cards to two people who have recently been especially kind to my Dad
  • see Quartet

Thanks for the inspiration, Amy!

Working at the carwash

Working at the carwash, yeah! Hands up if the Rose Royce tune is now going through your head.

Yes, the cars were  dirty enough that I was finally motivated to clean them. DH will testify that this happens only once every couple of years (he’s the one who usually undertakes the car-washing chore).

Carwash1Cleaning the Nissan Sentra was a breeze – it’s a short car. However I needed a stepladder to get to the top of the Hilux!  Carwash2It was great to have some help too – DS’s girlfriend did the low down bits while I tackled the roof.

Carwash3DS was not to be outdone – he vacuumed the Sentra while we washed outside. Do you think it was a wise decision on his part to avoid his mother and girlfriend who were so handy to the hose outside?

Conducted touring

Isn’t it wonderful when a friend or relative visits and thus gives you permission to do the tour guide thing?

I’m in that lucky position right now, with my second cousin visiting from the UK. When I collected Kirsty from the Interisland Ferry on Sunday, she was my excuse to have coffee at an Oriental Bay cafe, drive to the top of Mount Victoria, cruise through central Wellington and to visit my own personal food Mecca, La Bella Italia, in Petone.

Today my sister joined us to ride the Rimutaka Incline bike trail. We were a bit dubious about (a) hangovers and (b) the wind (which was blowing rather fiercely) but the whole thing was an inspired choice for a New Year’s day excursion. The wind provided very useful assistance in blowing us up the hill (so glad it was behind us), and for dispersing the cobwebs and tiredness. We had a wonderful time!

Richard met us on the other side, and we later took in views of Wairarapa from the Mt Dick Lookout before heading home.

All in all a great start to 2013. Happy New Year!