Friday, 31 December 2010

Last photos of 2010

It is now 6:30pm and dusk has descended on my small corner of the world. I have just taken my last photos for 2010. The stats in Lightroom show that I took 2486 photos. It seems a lot until you look at the distribution. July to November is sparse to say the least. I am looking forward to 2011. I am not going to select a word for the year as my word last year was "health". What irony.

This coming year will be good!! We are certainly due for some good luck all round.  I will continue the photo a day and hope to post more photos. I have modified templates, selected fonts and styles for my 2011 Photobook and hope that by focusing on months, I will not be too focused on difficult weeks. This was the problem in 2010. I hit a few weeks of just one doctor's appointment after another and thought that if I recorded actual events, this would not be a photobook any of us would really want to look at. If I ignored the challenges, then it would be totally false.

So this year I am looking at the world at large and will record more than just our life. I want this to be a book to look back on for a taste of life in the year 2011. We will see how it goes....

Anyhway here are 2 of my last photos of the year.

The snake bean seeds planted 3 days ago have just sprouted.

Guess what Harry got for Christmas? Yes this wonderful squeaky toy is his pride and joy. He even sleeps with it. Just so cute!

And as a closing note, I would like to wish you blessings and joy for 2011.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

I love the rain ....

Australia is a dry country and after years of drought and trying to maintain gardens with buckets of water from the shower, we finally have rain. And plenty of it. It has been raining for close on 2 weeks. The colours of Summer have changed to a brilliant lime green and the air is clean. It is wonderful!

The temperature is also lower and for the first time ever here, I do not have to sleep in airconditioning. Imagine!

I have spent the last couple of days preparing our vegetable garden. Yes I know I am terribly late but with health issues it just has not been possible to do anything until now. What joy to stand out in the warm rain, feet in mud, planting seeds. Let's hope they germinate...

I hope all my Australian friends are safe from the floods.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

I'm back ....

There is not much that can keep me away from my computer except sickness. I was unable to sit for longer than half an hour for a few months due to back pain which turned out to be gall bladder issues. I ended up having my gall bladder removed at the end of November and am finally starting to feel much better. It has taken a while for me to be able to vary my basic boring diet but I am much better and have even been able to eat some treats this Christmas along with ham and pork etc. I am so happy!

Over this time the girls have also been sick and especially Amber. It seems that her problem is also allergy related and she reacts badly to any grains or dairy. We do not eat any processed food and cook from scratch so luckily it is not difficult to avoid problematic food.

We have had a wonderful quiet Christmas. The weather has been continuous rain which we love as it keeps the temperature down. What a change not to have the aircon on all day every day.

My best wishes to all for a wonderful end to the year and may 2011 bring you health and happiness.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ztampf! Birthday Surprises

There are some wonderful prizes to be won. Don's miss out!

Monday, 13 September 2010

A new week

And hoping that this one is better than last.

For scrapbookers, be sure to watch out later this week for a Ztampf! event.

To subscribe to the newsletter click here.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


We had to put down our darling Kelpie yesterday. So terribly sad.

Cheetah was 14 and had suffered from Cushings disease for 4 years. In the last year, artritis also set in and she required medication for the pain. Over the last week, she started to refuse all medication no matter how I tried to disguise them in delicious home cooked meals. I think she was telling us that this was enough. We took her to the vet last Friday and then again on Sunday where she was given an injection for the pain. This gave her 2 days to enjoy life relatively pain free just as she used to. Chasing Harry a little, barking at the Brush Turkeys and enjoying a sniff around the garden.

Here is one of our last photos. She is missed terribly.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Creations by Tinamarie

I just realise that I have not yet posted a note  about my friend Tina who has now started designing. After braving the rounds of the apprentice competition at Little Dreamer, she was finally selected as one of the new designers. So exciting! You can find her designs here.

Here are a few layouts I have created with Tina's designs:

Credits can be found at my gallery here.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Photo Find

I love looking through photos. This is always the inspiration I need when stuck for ideas for a layout. I found this photo just recently and the colours were not too bad as it had been sitting in a box for years. My favourite prints which had been on display are the ones that are fades and unfortunately in some cases irreparably damaged.

This layout was created from a scanned photo of Myself and Mum. I love this photo. Me with a spade and Mum with one of our Chinese army bags probably containing some rocks we have found. I love fossicking out in the Australian bush. Nothing like the smell of eucalyptus. So distinctly Australian.

Note to Mum: HELP!!! Mum do you remember this holiday? I think this was on our holiday to Bairnsdale where Ross and I met you, Dad and Jetty Boy. All morning I have been trying to think of the name of the wonderful red rocks we found that were full of fossils. My mind is blank..... Help! I'd love to polish the faces of one of my stones.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Change of scene

Life is chaotic at the moment and the more chaotic and unpredictable my everyday life the more I crave peace and simplicity. Translated into real, (digital "real")  life this means that my blog now has a makeover and my recent digital scrapbooking layouts are also simpler and cleaner. If my life ever really became less stressful I'd probably start scrapping like one of those amazing Brazilian scrappers.

Anyway back to my new blog photo which is immediately identifiable if you have ever travelled to this country. It was taken in Myanmar last December. For those who don't know where I am talking about, Myanmar is also known in the west as Burma. But please do not use the name Burma, although this is what our leaders like to use to refer to the country. I think they do this as they believe using the official term Myanmar gives some sort of acknowledgement to the corrupt military regime. This is wrong!

Burma is the name that was given to the country by Britain when they were the rulers and it refers to the largest ethnic group the Burmans. This group however is only one of many ethnic groups so the name effectively disenfranchises everyone else. The people in Myanmar always refer to their country as Myanmar. It may not be perfect but that is the name.

The photo was taken in the backwaters behind Sittwe travelling to Mrau Oo.  The boat trip can take anything from 3 to 7 hours depending on tides but it is no difficulty as the scenery is just wonderful with glimpses into the daily life of the local people. Our boat on the way up had a roof deck with a few deck chairs where we lounged. Here are some more photos.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Travel memories

I'm slowly scanning in the boxes of slides from my travels. Sometimes it really does seem so long ago especially when I look at photos taken in the late 70's and 80's. It is wonderful at times to make a discovery of a photo that really stirs the memories or evokes the time and place. A few I have picked out to scrap in layouts. These will not be co-ordinated travel books as I did for one of our trips to India but more a collection of pages with notes from my travel diaries. I am thoroughly enjoying the trips down memory lane.

Orissa in Eastern India

Beidai He in China

Swat Valley in Pakistan

Central Highlands of Yemen

Bali (as if you couldn't tell)

Photos are linked if you are interested in seeing the credits or a larger size.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Love beyond measure...

There has always been a special bond between my eldest daughter and our Kelpie. It started when Amber was 3 and we had just purchased our little puppy. We were struggling to try and find a name when suddenly Amber came out with "Cheetah". If you know anything about kelpies you would know just how perfect this name was. Cheetah has just turned 14 and is not as fast as a Cheetah now but still has the tenacity of her namesake, Cushings disease and all.

Here are some recent layouts:

Credits for all layouts can be found here. All by Studio Ztampf!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

One Month Down …

Happy that we have made it this far on our low carb Gaps diet. The first week was frantic for me but now that I am into the schedule of cooking and have a few trusted recipes up my sleeve it is a little easier. We are on this diet for health so I am monitoring what we eat and any reactions. I am also trying to write down everything we consume which is not easy at the end of the day when I am tired. There have not been any major changes in health problems since commencing (and days where our bodies have been detoxing have been pretty miserable) but I am still hopeful.

So what are we eating?

Firstly the no’s: No grains, no unfermented dairy, no high starch vegetables eg potato, parsnip etc, no processed foods at all so no soy sauce etc, no sugars but little honey occasionally.
Now what do we eat: Eggs, non-processed meats, vegetables, a little fruit and nuts. And a basic for all is home fermented sauerkraut.

So what are the major impressions of our first month:
  • I am spending hours in the kitchen now. Cooking 3 meals a day from scratch means that I need to spend 3 hours a day in food prep etc just to get by. I am trying to get ahead but have not yet been able to do so.
  • Carbs are filling, we miss them and we still crave rice. You need much more food to satisfy hunger. I am struggling to fill growing teens.
  • There is always a pot going on the stove or otherwise my slow cooker is cooking up a bone stock or soup. In everything I cook I make as much as the saucepan will hold.
  • Only one of us has lost weight and then just a kilo. I cannot believe that people go low carb to lose weight. I gained 1kg my first week and one of the girls has gained 2kg. Supposedly the carb cravings should start to disappear soon. I hope so.
  • I am learning to be more creative in cooking. With limited ingredients, I am really trying to make meals taste different. But how many ways can one cook cauliflower?
  • Home made ferments are fun to make and taste great. I especially love my pseudo kim chee, carrot and ginger and cabbage/garlic/onion sauerkraut. Yum.
Here are some photos of a recent meal. Middle Eastern flavoured lamb stuffed capsicums. These were good.

Enjoy your week!

    Monday, 14 June 2010


    It is such a joy to be able to stitch again after laser surgery on one of my eyes. First reading and now Needlepoint. My photos for today are included in the following layout which uses products from Studio Ztampf! at Scrapbook Graphics. Click on image for credits.



    When I decided to go back to stitching, I found that I had already bought all the wools for this design years ago. I love the design by Candace Bahouth. In her book she explains the meaning of all the flowers selected which makes the tea cosy extra special.

    Thursday, 10 June 2010

    Paislee Press is the featured designer for this months Artisan Notebook. She has generously given everybody who purchases the June issue this BEAUTIFUL kit!

    Liz is also be sponsoring a challenge to create a 2 page layout using at least 2 items from this kit. She has some ideas on how to create 2 page layouts easily. Please check out this thread at the Guild for full details.

    This is my layout:

    For details on Guild membership and how to pick up copies of the Artisan Notebook follow this link.
    Be sure to also mark the following date in your calendar for the chat with Liz at the Guild. And please bring some virtual cake as this will be my birthday! Actually apple struedel would be better...

    Enjoy the rest of your week everyone. I’ll be posting tomorrow with an update on our diet as this will be the completion of 2 weeks.

    Thursday, 3 June 2010

    Tuesday, 25 May 2010

    Lesson Learnt!

    Do not ever talk about sickness in blog posts unless you want to be totally inundated with spam. I am so tired of rejecting comments from the usual internet spammers who obviously have no idea that this blog is not written from the States. Note to anybody reading this post – we have a government funded health system in this country and I am not in the market for cheap medications.

    Now that issue is off my chest the obvious question is where have I been and how are my 365 photos going? Simple answer is that I have now jumped back into 365 photo taking as from today. I just do not know how some people manage to keep up with everything. Super woman I am not!

    We are all s*** with colds at the moment. The usual nausea, dizziness etc has hit everyone. I have been preparing over the last couple of weeks to start on a new diet for all of us with the aim of both trying to identify allergies and rebuild all to healthy guts. We have been gluten free for well over a year now but this is not enough as we still manage to succumb to every virus doing the rounds and a few others as well. Combined with other symptoms which are worsening, we are going to try the most restrictive of diets to date. In the past we have tried low salicilate/amine/glutamate and also the dairy free and while this seemed to help, in time I just gave up as it all seemed too difficult. I guess it depends how large you perceive the problem as we are now starting the GAPS diet which seems to be modified carbohydrate diet.

    A link to the Australian support site is here.

    So we are off all grain, dairy, sugars, beans/lentils and starchy vegetables like potato etc. Also no dairy (fermented dairy introduced later down the track). In preparation, I have been cooking up pots of organic meat/bone stock and the house is really starting to smell like a soup kitchen. I have my cabbage fermenting in salt and have even tried to put together a pseudo kim chee. It smells pungent so I must be on the right track. Supposed to be full of good probiotics but all I remember is that when living in China the high rates of stomach and oesophageal cancers were directly tied to fermented cabbage. A case of too much knowledge is not necessarily a good thing. Anyway we will give it a try. So if you would like to join us for dinner over the next few days you are welcome. The menu is meat broth of 3 varieties: chicken, lamb and beef. Is your mouth watering?

    Photos to follow.....

    Monday, 22 March 2010

    Creative weekend

    How was your weekend?

    We started to clean out the garage which has been accumulating junk for years. It feels so good to toss. Now the garbage bin is full and old TV's and computers were collected on Friday by a rubbish removal company, so no more tossing until tuesday. We will get there.

    Digital dirt and elements from Studio Ztampf! Click on layouts for credits.

    Here are another couple of layouts recently completed with items from Studio Ztampf! Yes you can see I am really enjoying being on this team.

    Have a great week everyone.

    Friday, 19 March 2010

    Sunday, 7 March 2010

    Photos of the week

    It has been a busy week with doctor’s appointments etc but pleased to say that all tests have given normal results. My fingers are also healing well. Now every time I go to cook in the kitchen, Amber tells me to be careful. She had a suggestion today that I should just bandage my hand first. LOL! Well I guess that 2 accidents in 1 month is too many.
    Photos for this part of the week are centred around my garden again. Doctors waiting rooms and hospitals are not my choice of topic!



    These are some orchids in my garden that thrive on neglect! How easy!


    And these are my favourite well worn shoes. They have been worn constantly. In fact I am wearing them now.

    And I am still managing to plonk a photo into the template for a week of photos layout. I modify to suit the photo and add no elements. So easy!




    Enjoy your weekend and time with the family.

    Wednesday, 3 March 2010

    Tuesday, 2 March 2010

    How can we still be sick?

    Well this title explains my absence for the last week. DD2 is still sick and will go to hospital for small procedure tomorrow. DD1 is OK. And as for me, I burnt middle fingers of my right hand (i.e. computer mouse fingers and camera click fingers) so have been out of action for a few days. I am not even going to try and explain this one…
    Photos have been taken on some days so here is the catch-up:
    Portraits of sunflowers then some rain, then more rain, then even more, then floods…

    Waterlilies planted in a pot are starting to flower. I hope to add gold fish next weekend.



    This is our local creek today in flood. The path is way more than 1 metres below this water line.

    And just one last photo. No this is not a good photo but I love it. This is an Australian green tree frog and we found this baby last night on the back patio on a chair. He is handsome.

    Have a good week!

    Tuesday, 23 February 2010



    It is hot and humid still. We have had some rain but it is hot. Everyone is feeling tired and DD2 has now been home from school for a week. We have 3 more doctors appointments to go this week. Ugh…..


    I have not had as much time for photos but am still taking at least one photo every day.


    Sunrise on palms next door.




    I had to use a rake to move this lizard on when trying to move the car out of the garage yesterday afternoon.




    This is my baby boy – Harry. He is a sweetie even though a little feisty. Not a lap dog at all.




    These are our first beans from the garden. They grew from a flower to over 30 cm in 10 days! We will have beans now for the next 2 months.




    I love the pattern in this dragon flies wings. Nature is so wonderful.




    Have a good week everyone and keep up the photo a day. I really love visiting all your blogs for inspiration.