Saturday, 20 July 2013

1 2 3 Challenge - July

I know I have talked about conquering my fear of heights in a previous blog here but this photo is really where the challenge for me really began. We live in the west of Australia and decided to take a holiday visiting some of the rural towns in New South Wales then coming into Sydney for the last week. During the planning for this trip my husband expressed a wish to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge; he insisted that he would not do the climb unless I was with him even though he knew I was almost paralysed in fear doing something as simple as walking across a suspension bridge or standing on a balcony. I think he knew that I had gotten to a point where I needed to challenge myself as part of the recovering from losing our eldest son in the previous year. I decided that if he was going to insist there were a couple of things I wanted to do that I would insist on too. He had to ride a Segway with me and take me to see the stage production of Wicked.
I don't think I could understate how scared I was in preparation for the climb but every step is so carefully prepared for that it is almost impossible to fall. Absolutely everything is strapped to you in some way right down to the cap and sunglasses on your head to the handkerchief that might be needed to wipe the sweat from your brow. You are attached to part of the bridge by cable the whole way. We chose a twilight tour and I was put at the front of the line so that the guide would be nearby if I froze. We reached the top of the arch as the sun was setting over the Blue Mountains in the west and the full moon was rising over the Opera House below us to the right. It was one of the most awesome sights I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and having achieved the climb meant a great deal to me.
My husband later thoroughly enjoyed both the Segway tour and Wicked and we were both thrilled that we had experience all three things together.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Once Upon a Sketch - July: Grow

I have mentioned in previous posts here and here that we have a tradition of having a professional family photo shoot every five years; we didn't have a lot of money in the early years of our family but I made sure there was at least one professional photo taken of each of the boys at different stages of their early years. The first was taken at 6 weeks, then 6 months, 1 year etc. As each child was added they were also taken together once a year. This is the first professional photo taken of the four boys together. The youngest is 6 weeks, the next almost 3, the next almost 5 and the eldest would not be 7 for another 6 months. It was certainly a very busy time in our lives.
I remember endless clothes lines of nappies and tiny clothes, the chaos of meal and bath times and the peace at bed time. Doing the rounds at night and checking on each of them, seeing their sweet little faces at rest and covering them with their blankets and making sure their special toy was close by and thinking how very blessed we were to have them. The boys played outside climbing trees or in the sandpit, on their trikes and bikes or with friends. I wouldn't change a single thing about those years. We didn't have a lot but we were happy.
My husband needed our only car to carry his tools for work; I remember walking uphill to school 3.5 kms away in the mornings, going back at lunch time to pick up the pres-schooler and going back again the afternoon to pick up the eldest one often carrying shopping on the way back; we walked through all weather with me pushing one or more in the pram and the older ones walking beside me. We used that time as our conversation time, talking about the passing cars, trucks, plants and animals as well as the changes in our community; we practised spelling or the times tables to our step beat. It wasn't always easy; there were the very hot days where there was no relief from the hot sun except the occasional shady tree or ice cream on the way home. There were the very wet days where everyone was wrapped from head to toe in rain hats, coats and 'boggy boots' with a change of footwear at school so that they would be comfortable and warm. It was tough on the boys but we didn't have a choice and they grew up to be strong, fit, healthy, independent, resilient, hard working young men who understand the value of getting what they have from what they earn. I could not be more proud of each of them and consider myself to be truly blessed.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Scrap Around the World - July Mood Board and Sketch

I loved this mood board as soon as I saw it; the softness of the colours, the romance of the draping and the tiniest hint of my favourite colour, the very light aqua in the lowest image on the right. All of it spoke of weddings and I knew I had the perfect photo.
This is a photo taken at my second sons' wedding. He had already asked each of his brothers to stand with him and his fiancĂ© had asked our eldest son's wife to be the matron of honour; there were two other friends that were supposed to be bridesmaids but they had not been supportive and when things came to a head they were asked to stand down and did not attend the wedding. My son did not want to ask his any of his brothers to step down so all of them stood with him to support him on the day. Strangely it did not look odd, the whole group were close and carried it off really well. The bride loves the ocean and our boys love the bush so the couple compromised; the ceremony was held on the lawn beside a river under some lovely gum trees in a wine region in the east of the city and the reception held near the ocean. The day was slightly overcast though very hot and the colours of the sky, sea and sand were perfect for the photographs. The best part for me; all my family at that time are in this photo.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes

Monday, 1 July 2013

Let's Get Shabby #47 - China Serving Ware Inspiration

This piece of serving ware was a gift to my mother on her wedding day; the marriage lasted just 18 months or so and Dad only came back often enough to give me a brother and two sisters beside myself; their second child. There were no supporting parents benefits in those days and because we knew where he was, we could not claim abandonment; this meant that we had to rely on his choosing to send a cheque occasionally until the youngest child was old enough to be looked after by my brother and I; I was about eight when Mum began her nursing career and we began to take care of ourselves. Mum was too tired to bother with housework and we were too young to do much more than what was absolutely necessary. Our house was not in the best condition but this piece of plate ware, a sandwich tray, was a tiny bit of elegance in our house and was only brought out for the very occasional guest; I remember curried egg sandwiches with shredded lettuce on top. I have always loved the elegant feminine image on the plate and was saddened to find its sister broken when recently cleaning my mothers flat. I have brought this one home for safe keeping.
I needed an elegant feminine photo for my layout and chose this one of my new husband and I cutting our wedding cake; the background reminded me of the plate, my bridesmaids wore lilac with purple flowers and I carried yellow frangipani's, the cake also had frangipani's on it; it seemed to be the perfect match. Interestingly, the cake was made and decorated by the same lady who made Mum and Dad's wedding cake 25 years earlier. It's a good thing I don't believe in bad omens; My lovely husband and I have recently celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary and are very happy together.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.

The Color Room Palette #153

Each and every child born to this world is a miracle and should be treated with the utmost respect and unconditional love; every so often one of those little miracles needs a little help from prayer and science to come to being.  This little one needed a little prayer and science to join our family. He is our fourth grandson, the first son of our third. His parents had tried for a year to have a child but needed some help to get this little one; he joined a family that really wanted him, that love him unconditionally and who were overjoyed when science was not needed to give him a little brother 18 months later.
He, as they all are, is very precious.
Thank you for looking and any comments you may leave, best wishes.