Saturday, 29 December 2012

TCR Palette #124

This is my middle sister; these are rare photos and only handed over to me under duress. She makes it almost impossible for me to get photos of her!
I was 4 when she was born and I remember Mum bringing home this beautiful little doll with blue eyes, black curly hair, a tiny perfectly shaped mouth and, as she got older, dimples when she smiled. When she cried her eyes would fill with tears but only one would gently roll down her face. She was quite different to the rest of us but perhaps inherited the best parts of both our parents genes. She was the only one Dad really wanted and the only one he stayed at home for after birth.
She joined the army at 19 and was posted to the Eastern States and although she married a West Australian who was also in the army, they only spent two years of their 20 years service at home; we feel we lost a large part of her life due to the separation. She is the mother of three very accomplished children, two boys and a girl, a very talented quilter and scrapbooker, has a wicked sense of humour and is crazy about the arts and follows almost every sport you can think of. When she smiles she lights up the room and you should see her dance. She has already achieved a very high level in Latin dance and is now working her way through ballroom; I could only wish I had half her talent.
We are fortunate to now live in the same city and spend some Friday nights and the odd weekend scrapbooking together, making up for the lost years.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

TCR#124 - Belle

CSI Case File #37

I have decided to copy some of my pages from the CSI and TCR websites as I am afraid of losing them through closed domains. My apologies if you are reading these for a second time!
I don't like to drop names for two reasons, the first being I am really bad at remembering them and I don't want to be known for who I know but who I am. Having said that I am honoured to say that this wonderful man, Gerry Darwin is a friend of ours. He is an internationally renowned artist who lives near us and we have been pleased to help him with his art. My husband has made several plinths for Gerry in the past and stood as a model for him on another occasion. He even used my hooded eyelids as a model for a piece in honour of St Mary McKillop that was presented to the Pope some time ago. He needed a workman's hands for this particular piece and my lovely husband, a carpenter, has the largest work roughened hands of any one I know! I love that both use their hands in their work and in doing so appreciate each other.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

CF# 37 - These Hands

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Holidaying a Mile High

Hi Everyone,
No scrap booking challenges for November or December as we have been on holiday in the USA.
My youngest sister, the subject of the previous post, celebrated a significant birthday and we decided that, after attending a nieces wedding in Sydney, it would be the perfect opportunity for a trip to Denver to celebrate with her. I have been able to travel to Colorado several times before but this was the first opportunity for my husband to travel with me. It was important to me that he love holidaying in the USA as much as I do so I planned the trip around the things I thought he would enjoy and travelling on trains as much as possible.
We broke our trip in Hawaii so he could stretch his legs and were given the opportunity to view the US Arizona Memorial, a very moving experience. We had a day at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, a trip to San Diego to visit a friend, a tour of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Mesa Verde and the Miracle Staircase in Santa Fe before heading up to Denver to spend a week with my sister and the hope to see snow falling. The season is very late and although we went to Aspen, Vale and Breckenridge and saw snow on the ground, there was very little falling anywhere.
Hubby enjoyed the opportunity to hike in the mountains and took photos of signs warning him of wild cat and bear! The train through the Rockies and Sierra Nevada's gave us some stunning vistas and a couple of days in San Fransisco, including a walk across the iconic bridge, a couple of days in Disneyland and California Adventure completed our holiday before heading home.
We are delighted to also announce that we have also added two grandsons to our beautiful family in the past month and I look forward to the opportunity of scrap booking them in the new year.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Scrap Friends - Guest Design Team November

I was astounded and honoured, as a random winner, to be asked to produce a layout for the November Sketch Challenge for Scrap Friends.
This is my youngest sister, there is five years and another sister between us. I was old enough to remember Mum going into hospital but we were not allowed to visit in those days; we didn't meet our her until they came home from hospital.
Dad didn't hang around for long after each of us was born so it was not really a surprise that he left again when she was only months old; I still remember that day. Mum had to work part time after that and there were several baby sitters until my brother and I were old enough to look after the younger ones ourselves. This sister eventually completed year 10, came to work in the same retail store with me for a while and studied part time at night to achieve the required entry levels for Nursing School. She married whilst still studying and completed her nursing training while raising two small boys. Those two small boys are now grown men, one an air force pilot, the other a paramedic.
She is extremely artistic, a wonderful mother, keeps a spotless home and saves lives everyday with her training and experience in open heart and emergency room nursing, she is also an excellent teacher and mentor.
The family moved to the USA 14 years ago and we only get to see each other every three years or so. We keep in contact by email and text but don't talk often as we both end up in tears. This photo was taken when she came home for my youngest sons wedding in April 2010; should all go to plan I will be seeing her this November in the USA when my husband and I travel there to celebrate her birthday.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Bird is the Word Challenge - Touch

One of the great blessings I have in my life is the young men of our family, my four sons and the families they now have. They have each grown to be good, generous, hard working men who are not afraid to show their love for their families and each other. I love how much they love and care about each other and each others children.
It is very rare for the whole family to be able to get together these days due to two of the boys being FIFO and on different shifts. I find it difficult to cope with not having them all together in one place at one time and feel blessed for the rare times this does happen. They make a very conscious effort though to catch up with each other and sometimes I am able to be a part of that. What I have noticed, and what means so much to me, is to see them reaching for or playing with each others children. I will look up and see them all play wrestling or playing football or cricket with the older nephews on the lawn or sitting and chatting to each other whilst nursing one of the younger nephews or niece. I have so many photographic examples of this that it is hard to choose just one.
The eldest and third sons were very close and also married to sisters; when our eldest son died 6 months before his son was born, they moved in with his wife and helped her through that first year while their own house was being built next door. During that first year the uncle and nephew formed a very close bond.  This is our third son holding our eldest son's little boy on his 1st birthday. He was there to support his sister in law and the little boy until they were ready to stand on their own.
He now has a son of his own and another child due in a month but remains close to the little boy, his brothers son. There is so much joy and love in this photo.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Scrap Friends October Challenge - Camera Shy

Our fourth and youngest grandson; he is a lovely mix of both his parents, he has my sons hair, it stands straight up and waves in the breeze like a wheat field, big blue eyes and a cheeky grin. His mouth and chin are like his Mum's and at the moment he is shorter than usual for our family and may take after his Mum in height, we will have to wait for his 2nd birthday so we can measure him to get a guestimate of his height as an adult. All our boys are well over 6 feet.
His Mum is a teacher and spends many hours reading to him and playing with him and his Dad loves to pick him up, take him to the back fence and spend time looking over it watching the traffic go by and talking to him about his day and cars. Bath time is a shared activity but Mum has to dress him because he will not lie still for his Dad. Whenever we visit, we are met at the door by both of them and it is a race between my husband and I to get first cuddles. Pop always wins! This little fellow will have a brother or sister in 6 weeks PG so there will be one for each of us.
This photo was taken at his first birthday party and as you can see, he is anything but camera shy!
It is wonderful how big your heart gets when you have children and grandchildren; it always seems to grow enough to allow another to take up residence there.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Scrapfriends Sketch Challenge - September

Our third grandson; born 6 months after his lovely Dad (see previous post) was killed in an accident. Our son saw him on his 12 week scan and was lost to us 2 days later. This little chap has been through an awful lot in his 2 and a half years when this photo was taken. 
He was rushed to hospital just before his second birthday and was diagnosed with meningitis; we considered ourselves fortunate that the only result of this dreadful illness was that it had left him very weak. It was not until a few weeks later that it was realised that he had also become profoundly deaf.  It wasn't picked up immediately as his language had not been affected greatly and he had already taught himself to lipread. Once discovered, he needed urgent surgery to implant two cochlea's. The surgeon was wonderful and pulled out all stops to perform the surgery quickly as any delay may have reduced the outcome.
Our little man recovered quickly and has not looked back in terms of speech and hearing. He has learnt though that, if he does not want to hear you telling him what to do or growling at him, he simply removes his aids!
As part of his recovery he has to attend occupational therapy; at one of these sessions he was on the flying fox and had safely landed into the foam pit two previous times. The third time he landed awkwardly and broke his femur.  Hospitalised yet again, his spirit shone through and when visiting him two days later, he showed me how he could grab the ropes holding the weights to his leg and swing his leg up and down!
This photo was taken 6 weeks later at his cousins 1st birthday; he was still in his box splint but happy to be a part of what was going on around him. He has since fully recovered and continues to keep his mother busy as he is as active and adventurous as his lovely Dad.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes

Bird is the Word Challenge - Spirit

Our eldest son, the first to call me Mum; he was one of those children that just cruised through childhood and his teenage years. No major health issues and no problems with school except the occasional day dream or distraction. He was a wonderful, if sometimes impatient, big brother to his three siblings but always looked out for them.
He was a bit of a daredevil when it came to heights. I found him on the roof of the house at 18 months and had to call the fire brigade to come and get him down as I was 9 months pregnant with our second child at the time. He had climbed to the top of a Norfolk Island Pine by the time he was 10, abseiled and climbed through his teenage Scouting years and abseiled Perth's tallest building for charity in his early 20's.
He was a very sociable person whose very generous character and smile drew people to him like a magnet. He was also a bit of a chameleon, comfortable and appropriately dressed for his mates in the motorcycling club, attending an eclectic range of music concerts, his role in horticultural management to the dapper young man who attended the races with his wife on his arm.  
Here he is dressed as his role as Best Man for his mates wedding and it was at this wedding that I realised he was a very accomplished public speaker and was later asked to speak at a Managers Breakfast Conference about managing the Gen Y's. His mentor knew he had chosen the right person when he arrived at his interview in a business suit and tie with his skateboard under his arm.
One of his passions was his motorbike and he was well known for his innovative design changes; I didn't like him riding but he was the most carefully prepared and careful rider. The posts on his motorcycle club and facebook pages after his accident only served to confirm that he was much loved, not only by his family but by people around the world who were touched by him in some way.
I miss him everyday.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Let's Get Shabby #38 - Doors and Windows

A beautiful Bo Bunny paper with louvered windows and a door on the bottom left;  I have cut and lifted them both but they may be a little hidden by the cluster of flowers! I may have gotten carried away!
This is our third son and his wife; our eldest son is married to her sister so don't be surprised when you look at another wedding when I get it done and think you are seeing double, the sisters are very alike.
These two had known each other for many years through their siblings and often went out as part of a group; it took us a little while to realise that they had become a couple. Our son had the ring hidden for some months before finally asking her to marry him on their favourite beach at sunset; the timing had to be right and he had delayed a little longer when our youngest son unexpectedly announced his engagement.
The OCD part of me was a little concerned that my sons would get married out of birth order but we had asked the youngest for a long engagement to be sure they were ready and these two were able to schedule theirs sooner rather than later and they married in December of 2009.
They are now the proud parents of a gorgeous little boy of 16 months and will be parents again in November of this year; they have chosen not to find out what they are having and we are looking forward to the announcement.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

CSI Challenge #33 - Brothers

These two dear little boys are our eldest grandsons; their dad is our second son. The eldest is six and the little one is nearly five. They love each other one minute and will be fighting the next!
The older one is sensitive and loving, very like his Dad. From a very early age his fascination for all things mechanical became very obvious. We would be walking along and he would suddenly sit down, his gaze fixed on a tractor, digger or bulldozer that could be far off in the distance but he had spotted it. He can name most models of 4 wheel drive as they pass and loves it when his Dad comes home with a truck magazine just for him. He takes such good care of the magazines and loves to show the latest favourite to us when we visit. He tries to look out for his little brother but is told firmly that he can look after himself.
The younger one is stubborn, independent and loves his hugs; he will cling on to you like a little monkey and enjoys nothing more than to sit in your lap for his favourite movie. He loves going out into the bush and will turn over every rock to see what is underneath and watch the bugs and worms underneath! It takes an age to walk a few hundred metres but he notices absolutely everything.
Their favourite movies are the Ice Age series; they enjoy going to the lake to ride in our kayak or take the bikes or scooters for the five kilometres round trip. 
With the grace of God, they will be joined by another little brother later this year or early next.
These two little boys light up our lives!
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Once Upon A Sketch - August Challenge; Seasons

I love Christmas! As a Christian, I believe in the true reason for celebrating the season but I also love the trimmings that go with it in this modern world. My nativity always sits beside the tree and above the presents and the children are taught the true reason for the celebration.
I love the idea of the perfect tree, the perfect table, the perfect presents for each member of our ever growing family under the tree. Unfortunately I set the bar too high for myself and am disappointed when I fall short which I invariably do! That is on me; part of my OCD and something I am learning to deal with; the perfect doesn't or shouldn't matter. I should have cherished the decorations the children made in school and hung them on the tree for all to admire, I now wish I had.
As you can see from my photo, my favourite colour is blue and everything has to match; I love that my daughter-in-laws deliberately wrap their gifts in rainbow colours to help me realise that little things like that aren't important, it is more important for us to be together, to share that special time with each other and, as those occasions are rare, they are all the more precious.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Let's Get Shabby Challenge #37 - Inspiration

This challenge is based on the photo of old paint brushes in a pot near a paint splattered canvas; as soon as I saw it I thought of the paper I have used and the photo taken many years ago of an old piece of jetty in Busselton WA. The paint brushes are old and well used; are they left to age alone, are they just waiting for the artist to return, will they inspire another artist to take them up; what stories they could tell, there is a beauty in their age and use. It is the same for the jetty; who built it and when, what was it used for, what left it in ruin? There is beauty in it's strength and it's weakness, in it's age and it's decay. Look at the rust in the nuts and bolts and the lines of weather and use in the timber; there are so many stories in there waiting to be told. Alongside the piece of old jetty are foot prints left only moments before; the old and the new together, both telling their own story. 
I love old things; this piece of jetty, an old farm fence, an old door or iron gate, older or ancient architecture. I love that these things were built hundreds or, in some cases a thousand years ago. I had the privilege and pleasure of going around the world in 20 days in 1998 with my youngest sister; 5 days of that trip were spent in the south of England. Oxford, a Cistercian Abbey ruin, Roman baths and Stone Henge just a few of the places I saw in those few days. To reach out and touch walls that were built so long ago, to see the technology in use and imagine the stories those walls could tell, if only they could speak.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Daring You to Scrap - July (Tape & twine)

Our second eldest son, writing the Best Man speech for his youngest brothers wedding. He had been stressing about it for weeks and it was only a few hours before the wedding. His Dad took the rest of the wedding party outside to give him some peace and quiet so he could get it done; the photographer was able to sneak this photo of him. It is a great photo and emphasises his strong facial features. The speech was perfect and well presented, a good balance of fun and seriousness; it spoke volumes about his love for his brother.
This son had a pretty rough start to his life with an undiagnosed allergy and chest complaints. He also struggled through school and in his apprenticeship. He rarely complained about what life threw at him and although he had a temper, it rarely lasted long and he would be as loving as always. He is the tallest of our boys at 6'4'', suffering growing pains as a child and teenager.
He joined the volunteer fire brigade at 17 and gave them 5 years of good service before marrying and starting a family of his own. He now has two little men of his own, a little angel in heaven and another child due in January. He is kind, sensitive and loving and likes nothing better than to spend time with his little family, his brothers and their families and is generous with his time for his parents. He is strong, loyal and committed. We are truly blessed to have him in our lives.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Scrap the Boys - July Challenge (School photos)

As my husband and I and our siblings had been privately educated at great sacrifice by our respective parents, we chose to also privately educate our four boys. Not only that, but since we had gone through single sex schools, we also chose this for our sons. It is a decision we have never regretted. They had their social time with students from the nearby girls school on the bus each day and at planned social events but were able to concentrate on their studies whilst in class. They were schooled with the same values and morals that we were endeavouring to teach them at home. They were also treated as individuals instead of 'someones' brother and therefore their individual needs were met, particularly in high school. None of them chose to go to University but all held down steady part-time jobs when at school and went into full apprenticeships.
It became a habit for us as I am sure it is for many families, for all the boys to have a photo taken at home on the first day of school each year. As the boys got older they were a little less in favour of the idea but put up with it for my sake. The year this photo was taken the eldest was in Year 10, the second in Year 8, the next in Year 6 and the youngest in Year 3. It is very clear from the reactions on their faces that I had asked for just '1 2 Many (photos)'.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Once Upon a Sketch - July Challenge (Friends)

The girls in this photo have become very dear to me; most of us had been scrapbooking at the same store for a while but were more aquaintences than friends until after April 2009. It was whilst I was scrapbooking my son's motorbike album after his accident that we became friends. I hated his bike and had very few photos of it until after his death; the members of his club were very kind in allowing me to use photos from their website and, when asked, would tell me the story behind the photo. Scrapbooking his time with them and reading how much they thought of him helped me to understand that part of his life. 
It was during this very important period of my mourning that these girls came to surround me with their support, their understanding my need to talk about my son and the accident, the issues that resulted from it and what completing the album meant to me. During the following three years they have continued to give me their unconditional love and support for which I am truly grateful.
We have all been through something difficult in those three years and have been there for each other in that time and have become very close friends. We now have a bi-annual scrap camp together and break into song from the classic musical movies and Mama Mia movie playing in the background; the reason behind my title! (The Journaling is on the back of the LO.)
This photo was taken when celebrating my sisters' 50th birthday in 2011, her daughter and her daughters best friend celebrated with us in a black and white themed High Tea.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Let's Get Shabby - June Challenge

Third Birthday Challenge #31 - This is the New Year.
New Years Day; my youngest son, his wife and 1 month old daughter looking out from their front door onto the New Year. The past year had been both sad and wonderful; my daughter-in-Law had a difficult relationship with her mother and had worked very hard in the past year to rebuild the link between them, they had come to understand, appreciate and love each other not long before her mother was diagnosed with late stage cancer and subsequently passed away only months before the little one was born.The birth of their first child, this beautiful, tiny little girl brought a new wonder into their lives.
I have posted of my hopes and wishes for my little families previously so wont go into it again but to say that, in looking out onto a New Year, they are looking out onto a year of new hopes, new dreams and new possibilities and, with our love, support and very best wishes for them.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

CSI#25 Scraplift Challenge

I chose to scraplift Heather Jacobs' CF#19; I love her beautiful layouts but try as I might, I have not done her justice, there are so many layers and so much skill in her work.
My eldest son and his wife, 15 months after their own wedding; Best Man and Maid of Honour for our second son and his bride. This is one of my favourite photos of my son and his wife; there is so much love between them and it really shows through in this candid shot taken on the beach near the reception centre. My sons accident was five years later and they still looked at each other in the same way. I have included a letter to both of them for his wife to read if she wishes when she inherits my son's albums. They had so much of their lives in front of them and my heart aches for her. I could only wish that I could have seen that same look between them 20 years from now.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Scrapmatts - June Challenge

I can't resist a challenge; the inspiration for this challenge was to use the song 'Hello World' by Lady Antebellum. I watched the video and was very moved by the story of the song, so much so that I down loaded the song from iTunes.
There were many photos that I could have used and many different avenues I could have gone down with this one but chose to use a line from the song... 'I remember why I am here'.
In the dark moments it is too easy to wallow and wonder if you are just taking up space or if you really do have a purpose here, if you have a job to do and you have to stay until it is done.
The men in this photo are my inspiration, my reason for being here.
They and their children are my world and I do everything I can to be the person that they need me to be whilst still being true to myself. I can only hope and pray that I get it right and am there for them when they need me to be.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

CSI #24 Challenge

I am very heavy handed in my scrapbooking and cannot seem to find that soft touch which photos like this deserve. This is a photo of my husband and I looking lovingly at one of our grandsons at one of our sons weddings. It gets a little confusing but we have two sons married to sisters, they have also built houses next door to each other and the younger son works with the girls dad!
Our eldest son and his wife orchestrated the relationship between their siblings and they were ecstatic when asked to be Best Man and Maid of Honour for the wedding. Sadly my eldest son was killed in an accident before he could carry out his treasured role. He loved to dress up and look smart but had a quirky way of wearing converse boots with his suits, he had such a lovely fun character that he could pull it off with ease!
His little boy, pictured, was Ring Bearer and proxy Best Man for his Dad. He wore a little black vest, pants and tie, a white shirt with his Dad's cuff links and a tiny pair of converse boots with the rings tied to the laces. We all realised the significance of the boots and there was not a dry eye in the chapel.
I beleive in miracles and this little boy, born 6 months after my sons death is our little miracle; a tiny part of our son left to help us through the darker days and bring such light into our lives.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes


Monday, 18 June 2012

Introducing - Our Granddaughter

We have four sons and 4 grandsons; we couldn't beleive it when our youngest son and his lovely wife announced that their expected first child was to be a girl. We didn't actually buy anything for her until she was born in case they got it wrong!
Our daughter-in-Law lost her Mum to cancer only a few months before the little one was born; it was a very difficult time for her and I was fortunate to be able to support her through the last few months. I was 'on call' for the day of the birth and everyone at work was warned that I might suddenly rush out the door. The call came at about 2pm; the little mother was tiring and my son was worried for both of them. I rushed to the hospital and was there to hold his hand while he held his wife's hand and watched his daughter being born. I feel very blessed to have been allowed to be present. Our little angel carries the name of both her grandmothers and two of her great grandmothers; She is perfect, welcomes everyone with her beautiful smile and is a delight.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

TCR #114 Challenge

I have wanted to do this page for a while and happened to print this photo on the day the TCR#114 palette came out in exactly the colours I needed. It was meant to be!
Many people do not know what to say when they learn you have lost a loved one; they say things like 'God wanted him, God took him....'. I know I have said these words myself in the past and regret them now. I do not believe my God is vengeful, he does not give us these terrible illnesses and does not take our loved ones from us. My belief is that we are all here for a limited number of days, each of us having their own number; our son had reached his limit and when he died  my God welcomed him with open arms and will take care of him until we meet again. 
Someone came to me in my church a couple of months after our son had died and asked why I was there, why would I continue to come, why did I not blame God for taking him. I was shocked; this person holds a position in our church and was challenging my faith. I asked why I shouldn't be there and explained my belief. I don't know if I helped her but I know it is this belief that gets me through the tough days.
There is a movie called 'The Book of Days'; I saw it only a few days after my sons accident; it confirmed my thinking, my belief and I continue to search for a copy.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Daring You to Scrap Challenge - June 2012

The first word that came into my head when the challenge asked to describe myself was 'ordinary'!  I looked it up in the Dictionary and it is an appropriate word for me. I am an ordinary person surrounded by some wonderful people and memories and I am okay with that.
This photo was taken in 1999; it was the only one I could find that did not have another person in it; it also relates to one moment when I did something (apart from having my children) that was a little less ordinary. My paternal great, great grandmother, an Irish Catholic, was a very early settler in Western Australia and had a small holding in Kojonup in the south of our state; she was known and has been written about in the history books of the area for her great walks. Her most documented walk was from Kojonup to Fremantle to take her daughter to Catholic boarding school in Fremantle.
The current members of the family gathered to celebrate our heritage in Kojonup in March 2000;
I chose to honour my great, great Grandmother by emulating her walk. I walked the 262kms on paved roads, with support vehicles and comfortable shoes and it was hard work; she would have done it in a long gown and boots in the height of summer on dirt roads. I had gained a whole new respect for her by the end of my journey; she must have been a very wonderful lady. 
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Once Upon a Sketch Challenge - June 2012

This is our beautiful grandmother; I have posted about her before; she was our anchor, our safe haven through the difficult years of our childhood, we knew we were loved and cherished by her.
We began celebrating her major birthdays at 65 as that was near to the age her husband, our grandfather had died. She was from Eire and a Catholic; she had always remarked that she didn't want to live to be a hundred, she didn't want a letter from the Queen! I had organsied a papal blessing from John Paul II for her 90th birthday, we had a special mass and it was presented to her by the parish priest; she was delighted and was happy to pose for this photo.
Grandma didn't get a letter from the queen; she died just two days before her 94th birthday. She told the priest that morning that she had heard the banshee call the night before, she had a shower, dressed as always in her frock with beads and broach, sat in her favourite chair and went to her eternal sleep.
She was an angel here on earth and we loved her dearly.
Thank you for looking at my page and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

You Don't Raise Heroes

Our second eldest son and his two boys love to go crabbing at an estuary about 100kms south of here, they pack up an inflatable dinghy and the camping and crabbing gear and slowly walk through knee high water for hours looking for and catching crabs. The boys have been taught to walk behind their Dad and when it gets cold they stop for dinner and change into warm clothing, my son then tows the dinghy behind him with them warm and snug inside until they have their catch.
They have wanted us to go for some time and we finally had the chance; rather than walk on the muddy bottom, I got into the dinghy and they pulled me along so I could get this great photo. Later the little ones snuggled up with me and we sang songs and told stories until they slept. It was just on sunset when I took this photo; my husband, one of his sons and his sons, the three generations tall and strong against the setting sun.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Once Upon a Sketch - May 1 Challenge

All I have ever wanted, apart from a very short time when I considered becoming a nun, is to be a wife and mother. I was fortunate to meet a wonderful man and five years later we married and began thinking about starting our family. We announced the pregnancy of our first son on our first anniversary and his three brothers followed in the next 6 years. Their Dad and the boys are all I have ever wanted and I have been very blessed.
They were active, healthy little boys brought up to a faith, a large extended family and with community responsibility. They have not given us a moments concern in regard to drugs and drinking, have always held down good jobs and are all now married with little families of their own.
I couldn't have done it without their wonderful Dad and we are so very proud of all of them, cherish every single moment we have with them and feel blessed that they now include us in the lives of our grandchildren.
I love and adore them and couldn't be happier being their Mum.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Our Group Challenges - April

The group challenge for April was based on a baby photo of ourselves, the journalling to be what you wanted to tell the baby you what she would need to for now, the present. It was an interesting challenge and I found the journalling difficult; it is hidden in the tags. The papers were from Simple Stories-Documented.
These photos were taken in 1958; I am about 12 months old. I am with my Mum and Uncle Frank, my father had already left the scene and was long gone only to return a few years later to give me two more wonderful and much loved sisters.
Uncle Frank was a batchelor farmer who worked the family farm in the south of Western Australia.  I am the oldest granddaughter on my mothers side and he is her eldest brother; a favourite uncle because he had time for us not having a family of his own.
My Mum was a beautiful, intelligent young woman but life and being left to bring up four children alone without the supporting mother's benefit, or a life partner have worn her down and changed who she should have been.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Introducing - my husband

We met at a Benedictine Monastery about 130kms north east of Perth in the small country town of New Norcia established by the monks about 160 years ago. He was a guest of my uncle who was attending a Catholic Policeman’s picnic and I was with my family heading north after holidaying with my grandmother. I was 14 and he was 15.
We started dating when I was 16, married when I was 21 and last weekend we celebrated 34 years of marriage. I am truly blessed to have this lovely, tall, handsome, quiet, committed and conservative man at my side. We have been through so much together; he has supported me in so many ways. He has a quiet way of letting me know I am asking too much or expecting too little. I come home to cooked meals, clean floors and bathrooms and washing on the line. We don’t celebrate Valentines Day on February 14; I receive these gifts of love many times in a single week and throughout the year.
He has helped me raise tall, good looking (they take after their Dad!) competent young men who are a credit to themselves, their parents and their community and who now have wives and families of their own whom they treat with the respect that they have learnt from their Dad.
He is my prince, my rock and even after all these years, I still consider myself the luckiest girl in the world as he has chosen me to share his life.
Thank you for looking and for any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Daring You to Scrap Challenge - April

I think that it is sometimes too easy to focus on the tough stuff, the bad things that happen and not on the good things. We have had two beautiful weddings and been blessed with the birth of three gorgeous grandchildren since 2009. But we, as a family had been through a couple of tough years as well. We had lost family members in 2009 and 2011 and there had been serious illness to deal with as well; we were all feeling a little fragile by the end of 2011.
We don't usually get together as a family on New Years Day but I wanted to start 2012 a little differently in the hopes of a better year. I had made small baskets containing representations of what I wished for my families, a little like the 'first foot' tradition in Scotland. I wanted to deliver them on New Years Day morning and take a photo of each family in their house door ways, looking out toward 2012.
The baskets contained: bread for plentiful food, drink for good cheer, money for health and wealth, salt for flavour and a chocolate heart for love.
We were able to see three of our four families that day. Unfortunately I have not been able to get a photo for the other family as yet so that frame waits for that photo. 
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes, Susan

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


I scrapped this photo of my darling grandmother a couple of months ago. She was 80 at the time the photo was taken; born in Ireland in the very early 1900's, she came out to Australia with her parents and two brothers. They settled in a small town in the south west of Western Australia. She later married my grandfather and produced 6 children whilst helping around the family farm. She lived until two days short of her 94th birthday and left 26 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Grandma was a lovely lady, greatly respected in the small town that she called home. Everyone would greet her when she went down the street; always properly dressed with hat and gloves, sturdy shoes, necklace and broach with a smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eyes. Every line on her face reflecting the beauty within. 
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Once Upon a Sketch - April 1 Challenge

The Back Yard of No. 13 holds so many memories of tree climbing, sand pit play, bike rides, cricket matches, water gun fights, gatherings of family and friends and four little boys growing into young men. It is now the play area for a whole new generation, the children of my sons.
The yard has changed a lot over the years but the memories remain and new ones are being made.
No. 13 has been our home for 34 years; this photo is of our family; our sons and their children taken on Christmas Eve 2011, there is only one missing; he should be standing on the right beside his wife and the little boy who was born after his death. Today is his 3rd anniversary.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Saturday, 31 March 2012


I love sunsets; I feel a sense of peace in them. I watched the sky change colour tonight from the bright blue of the afternoon sun to the deep crimson showing through the blackened trunks of the gum trees. The sun set on my eldest sons life far too early and I still struggle with losing him. It still feels like he is on a holiday and just hasn't found his way back home yet. Occasionally the thought comes to my mind, 'he will be home soon'. The truth is he is already home and will wait for me.
The sunset reminds me of him, I am not sure why. I guess my last three posts have been all about him as it is his anniversary the day after tomorrow. The photo below was taken on his second anniversary, looking west over the ocean in a suburb not too far from our home. It was one of his favourite places to go to catch up with friends, attend a music festival or just cruise on his bike. 
We just sat on the sea wall and watched the gulls wheeling overhead, the boats drifting on the breeze and the waves gently overlapping on the shore and felt at peace; perhaps that is his gift to us.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Our Group Challenges - March

The challenge for our group for March was to find something positive, something marvellous no matter how small, photograph it and scrap it. We have all been going through a tough time for different reasons and it is easy to forget that there are special moments too.
I love walking at the lake near my home; no matter how often I go there I see something new or see it in a different way. The sunrise and sunsets are stunning and there is a new vista from every angle. It is at this lake that I last saw my eldest son, it is at this lake that I found the strength to recover from losing him, it is at this lake that I find peace; it is my joy.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Once Upon A Sketch - March 15 Challenge

I love challenge sites and follow several although I rarely have time to play. The topic of the March 15 Challenge could not be missed; we lost our beautiful eldest son in April 2009 and his passing has left a huge gap in our lives. The photos were laying together on my scrap desk even though they were not related in time, they were calling to be used. Everything fell together very easily and quickly, It was a story wanting to be told. The journalling has been written around the edge of the page.
Thank you for looking and any comment you may leave, best wishes!