One Little Word

Resolutions aren’t for me. Instead, since 2009 I have selected a single word to be my focus for the year ahead. I first heard about this from Ali Edwards, and you can read more about it on her blog here.

My words have been:

  • 2009 – choose
  • 2010 – present
  • 2011 – clear
  • 2012 – slow
  • 2013 – active

For 2014 I have chosen the word MORE. I believe I have been doing good things for my physical, mental and emotional health – and now I am going to focus on doing MORE of them.

I saw this inspiring video and I created a similar layout to celebrate and record my intentions for how my One Little Word – MORE – will manifest in my life through 2014.

My ONW for 2014I really enjoyed doing the stitching and making the watercolour background. Celine’s instructions on the video were easy to follow – although I did make a practice page first for the watercolour part. I think this is only the second layout (ever) I have made that uses no photographs – but I might do more of them if they all turn out as well as this one!

Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 4

This is it – the last one! I have managed to find all but one of the 21 items on the list, but #19 (Fisherman) eluded me, so I took one of the substitutions allowed.

Without further ado, here are my final six photos:

#2 - Theater for performing arts

#2 – Theatre for performing arts

Greytown has a very small population (under 2,000 people), but it boasts its own theatre! It is located behind one of the hairdressing salons, with the entry under the awning you can see down the driveway. We went to a stunning marionette play The Kitchen at the End of the World there last year, and you can read about that here.

#17 - Candle

#17 – Candle

This rather out-of-focus shot was taken at a very special dinner  DH and I had to celebrate our 29th Anniversary.

PSG#17bCandleWe can still hold hands and share a plate of wedges!

#18 Local pub, coffee shop or tea house

#18 – Local pub, coffee shop or tea house

I’m giving you a little bit more here, with a slice of Greytown’s Main Street. There’s the recently-renovated Union Church on the left, Jack & Jill Cafe in the middle, and the Greytown Butchery on the right. I believe Greytown has more eateries per head of permanent population than any other town in New Zealand – there’s lots of choice for diners who can select anything from a quick bar meal right up to Michelin-star quality dining. Jack & Jill Cafe is a great daytime venue, and it has great coffee and lovely food. I also appreciate giving business to someone who supports ours (they use Fantail Grove olive oil).

#19 - A fisherman

#19 – A fisherman

Well obviously this is NOT a fisherman! Rinda gave two allowable substitutions for the items we couldn’t find. I’m claiming one here – a sundial. I hope you can see how accurate this one is: I placed my watch into the shot to showing the time as 1313, and the sundial is reading about 1310!

#20 - A dinosaur (take 1)

#20 – A dinosaur (take 1)

This is one of the many pieces of public art to be found all over the city of Melbourne. Along with the many green spaces and fantastic architecture, the art is one of the hallmarks of this city. Although it’s certainly big enough to be one, I’m not sure it is supposed to be a dinosaur though, so I also submit this next photo:

#20 - A Dinosaur (take 2)

#20 – A Dinosaur (take 2)

The tree across from the library’s big picture window was pollarded in the autumn, and now it looks very much like… a dinosaur. That’s what most of the children who visit our library think, and I agree with them!

#21 - A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply

#21 – A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply

There were no substitutions allowed for this one. I chose to show one of my sewing machines because it was the tool used most for my early creativity (sewing clothing for myself, friends and family), later for my adventures in patchwork and quilting, and now for sewing on paper and cardstock on my scrapbooking layouts and cards.  This photo also represents an understanding reached between me and my new camera: I have mastered the self-timer function!

I’d like to say a big thank you to Rinda for organising this Photo Scavenger Hunt – I’ve had lots of fun finding the items (and almost as much fun thinking of reasons why my maybe-not-quite-what-she-had-in-mind items should be allowed)!



They’re here!

AsparagusYesterday I had asparagus for the first time this spring. In this world of globally circulating food where very little is ‘seasonal’ any more, asparagus remain something available only for a couple of months each year. I look forward to the season, delight in eating gently steamed spears while I can, and then reminisce for the rest of the year … until it’s September again and the miracle reoccurs.

The spears above were over $1 each, so I’m not going to indulge too freely until the price becomes more reasonable. They were worth it though!


Photo of parcel contentsI had a lovely surprise in the mail last week: a parcel of scrapbooking goodies from Jennifer Grace, who recently taught me during an on-line course (Projects that Wow). When she e-mailed me to tell me I had won a spot-prize, I had no idea it would be such a generous one. Thank you Jennifer! I have spent time happily imagining what I might make with these supplies. One sheet of paper has already made its way onto a layout:

Olives r Us LayoutCan you spot it?

Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 3

Here are my finds for items 12 – 16:

#12 A cloud in the shape of something

#12 A cloud in the shape of something

This was one of the most difficult items to find. For months, every cloud I looked at looked like … a cloud! Finally I looked up as I was closing the gate after coming home from work, and noticed this cloud pattern. To me it looks like the outline of a pine tree, as you might quickly paint or sketch one. I’ll understand if it just looks like clouds to you though.

#13 A fence

#13 A fence

Somewhat embarrassing this – it’s ours. Fortunately it doesn’t actually do anything any more, being a relic of past owners when our property was a livestock farm instead of a horticultural block. Once this fence would have kept stock out of the ‘house garden’, but we’re thinking of taking it down.

#14 A stained glass object or mosaic

#14 A stained glass object or mosaic

This is the floor mosaic in one of Melbourne’s lovely arcades. The woman gazing wistfully into the shoe shop window is my sister; the shop was closed or she would have been inside, trying on a pair or two!

#15 A fire truck or police car

#15 A fire truck or police car

Melbourne has mounted police as well as the ‘normal’ kind. All of them were out in force on this particular evening, ready to police the crowds dispersing from a rally on the refugee issue (very controversial in Australia). As we walked up the street and past the Town Hall where the rally was being held, it seemed there were far more police than demonstrators though.

#16 A windmill

#16 A windmill

This windmill is a water pump, and is located on the Woodville property we visited for a hazelnut pruning demonstration last month. I had no clue as to how or where I was going to bag #16 for the hunt, so I was very pleased to see this!

Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 2

To follow on from #1 and #3-6 yesterday, here are #7-11 (I’m on a roll here folks)!

# 7  A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny

# 7 A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny

We saw this in the jewellery manufacturers’ showroom that was part of our Bargains & Bubbles shopping tour in Melbourne. So true!

#8 A tower - take 1

#8 A tower – take 1

#8 A tower - take 2

#8 A tower – take 2

Take 1 is a nice ‘arty’ shot of the Melbourne Arts Centre Tower from underneath. Take 2 shows the same tower viewed from Federation Square in the dusk. One thing that really impressed us about Melbourne was the variety and quality of the architecture – this tower being but one example.

#9 A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong

#9 A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn’t belong

This is our library circulation desk. Baby Hugo is clearly not a book waiting to be checked in or checked out, hence he is a perfect choice for #9!

#10  A bench that is outside

#10 A bench that is outside

This rather lovely, traditionally styled bench is outside the Community Supermarket in our town’s main street.

#11 An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.

#11 An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.

This is possibly a bit of a cheat, as I think Rinda intended that the photo should come from a special visit to an Aquarium (with a capital A). While Melbourne does have a wonderful Aquarium, I’d visited that on my last visit and didn’t want to go again (it would have taken too many hours away from the principal purpose of our visit – shopping!). This photo was taken in a pet shop – but as I was delighted with the pose of this fish, I’m including it as my entry anyway!

What do you think of my photo choices so far? If you were setting the rules, would you allow my entries for #4 and #11? Have you ever participated in a scavenger hunt (of any kind, not just a photography one)?


Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 1

I’ve been on a scavenger hunt – for photos on topics nominated by Rinda of Gallo Organico blog. The hunt began on 22 June, and participants have until 21 September to complete the list. It’s a Summer list for those in the northern hemisphere, but here in the south I’ve still had fun trying to complete it.

I have five of the first six on the list, and here they are:

#1 An Open Air Market

#1 An Open Air Market

This is just part of the Makers Market which is on every Sunday at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. Sunday was our ‘no shops’ day – but of course that meant that we could happily shop at the market instead!

#3 Town or City Hall

#3 City Hall, Capitol or similar Civic building

This is Melbourne’s Town Hall, and very grandly Victorian it is too.

#4 Airplane

#4 Airplane (or Aeroplane – it’s all the same thing)

I’m quite pleased with my take on this one, catching the sunrise from the aircraft window, with enough of the plane in shot to qualify, I hope!

#5 Sunset

#5 Sunset

This one is from much closer to home – it’s the view from the front gate one clear and about-to-be-frosty evening.

#6 Someone or something taking a nap

#6 Someone or something taking a nap

I might get into trouble with a certain young lady for posting this one….

I’m back

A couple of weeks ago I had a four-day trip away – to Melbourne. This was my second visit to this city, and I confirmed my impression from last time – this is a great place to visit!

Melb1 - Yarra River by day


Melb3We enjoyed eating out, attending a show and lots and lots of shopping! On the day of our shopping tour (more about this later) there was also a big football game on. We were lucky enough to see the Carlton Brewery Clydesdale team go past the pub where we had lunch, on their way to the Staduim:

Melb4The credit card did take a bit of a hammering, so it will be a while before I can afford to go away again!


Yesterday I took this picture on the way to work. Do you know what this is?

View looking south to a big bank of cloudsThat’s a southerly front building up, full of cold wind and rain, straight off the Southern Ocean and Antarctica! It hit us last night and the wind and the rain have been lashing us all day.

Fortunately we have one of these:

Log burner And plenty of this:

FirewoodI hope wherever you are, you are warm and cosy!

One step at a time guided creativity

I’m doing a free class at UK Scrappers, with my favourite tutor, Shimelle Laine. It’s called “Break It Down” and each week day there’s a post with a prompt for one stage of the ‘making a scrapbook layout’ process. Even if you play along only once, you’re sure to have some fun!

Here is the layout I made after the first week’s prompts:

Experiencing-OlivesThe photos along the top are from 1999 and the other is from 2006. The theme for the week was “Before and After” and we were challenged to find photos that could be used to tell the story of something where there was a difference over time. If you look in the UKS Gallery you will see layouts with photos from the same event, and others with photos decades apart. It’s fascinating to see how different people have interpreted the prompt.

Through the week we got more prompts on selecting the colour scheme (with links to some very useful websites), a new technique to try (stamping off), planning the layout, putting it all together and embellishing. I followed along right up until the last one, when I did something different to the suggestion. I was thinking how to decorate my page as I fell asleep, and the idea came to me just as I was dropping off – I’m glad I still remembered it in the morning!

I’m especially pleased with the colour scheme, which is not one I would have come up with by myself. I enjoyed documenting the change in our experience of olives before and after buying and planting an olive grove. The journaling reads:

At the Telecom Christmas Picnic held at the Wellington Zoo in December 1999, the olive trees made a nice background to a photo and easy climbing trees for Edward. This was our experience of olives.
In 2000 we bought land and planted olive trees.
Now we fertilise, prune and harvest our 800 trees every year. We know the different growing habits, harvesting ease and oil flavour for the varieties we grow. We have a business selling the bottles of oil we produce. We have a detailed and intimate experience of olives.