Friday, December 15, 2017

Gift Guides Galore

Over the years I have posted a few gift guides and I couldn't decide which was the best.  So, I decided to share all of them with you.  All the guidelines you could ever need for conquering the gift giving gauntlet! Click the links.  










Gift guide for teenagers: save yourself the heartache and give 'em some cash!!





I have given lots more of advice regarding gifts.  Let's get rid of all the noise for you, though.  The most important piece of advice I can give you (and I have said it many times before):

"Consider the individual recipient of the gift.
Imagine them using or enjoying your gift. 
Be thoughtful, practical and fun." 

That's that then. Everything you need to know to Win at gift giving! 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Gift Shopping 11 top tips! (updated)

I first published a list of tips for gift shopping in 2011 and I reposted it in 2015.  Now, I'm updating the list.  I have fixed the typos, and a bit of the grammar.  Some of my references are a bit more relevant and I have added some links to other articles that might help you along the way.  Thanks for visiting AGT to meet your need for Christmas Survival Tips. Remember to leave a comment if you have any questions about gift shopping! 

Gift shopping is one of those exhausting, sometimes terrifying, activities that could be classed as an extreme sport! 
Here are some tips to survive the Gift Shopping Gauntlet! 
  1. BE PREPARED  Make a list of people you want to buy gifts for and what you are planning to buy them.  Have alternative gift ideas just in case your plan goes awry.  Consider all possibilities.  There are several apps available to help with this tip, click here to check out a list of them.  If you prefer paper and pencil, check out these printable lists from Amanda (meandmybigideas.com) and Organised Christmas.  
  2. HAVE A PLAN This may sound the same as the first tip, but it isn’t.  Before you go anywhere, answer the following questions and decide on the best plan for your circumstances.
    • Is there a shopping centre or mall that will have all the shops you need?
    • Or will you need to go to various locations?
    • How much time do you have to shop, the whole day, a few hours, no time at all?
    • How big are the gifts? Will they all fit in the car? Do you need to catch the bus?
    • Can you purchase everything online and get it delivered? 
    • How long will it take for online purchases to be delivered? Do you have time for that? 
  3. BE SPECIFIC While bulk gift giving sounds quicker and easier, you definitely run the risk of missing someone (or a bunch of someones).  A personal gift that considers each person will be more appreciated. The apps and printables linked above will help you with this too. 
  4. TAKE TIME Don’t wait until Christmas Eve!  Purchase some items as you see them (another reason it's good to have a list going).  Allow extra time, so if you can’t find something you are not stuck in a gift giving disaster! This is also important if you need to purchase some gifts online. 
  5. EAT FIRST When we are shopping we spend far too much time in the food court.  We are also likely to spend money purchasing unnecessary snack foods or drinks while shopping for gifts.  So eat a proper meal and take some crackers in the handbag.  This applies to the online shoppers as well.  Don't get distracted by hunger when you're browsing amazon for perfect gifts. Nobody want to spill Diet Coke on their keyboard and accidentally purchase 15 identical sets of gold earrings! 
  6. STAY HYDRATED If there is a time you are likely to get a headache, Christmas Shopping is one of them.  Crowds, Christmas Music, Children, Sales, long queues!  AAAHHHH! Take some bottled water along with your list.  Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headache and prevention is better than cure!
  7. DITCH THE KIDS If this is one time a babysitter is worth it, it is now.  If you can't get a babysitter, then online shopping might be the way to go. :) 
  8. STAY FOCUSED You are shopping for gifts, not for clothes or shoes or hats or jewellery or craft supplies!  You are not shopping for yourself!  The quicker you get in and tick each item off the list, the quicker you can get home and relax.
  9. SMILE and RELAX Don’t let yourself be sucked into the stress of Christmas Shopping.  Yes, you have set goals and you want to get in and out as quickly as possible, but you can do all this without turning into a Grinch! You have done the hard work by making a list of people and gifts, planning which shops, where and when.  You can afford to relax and enjoy the experience.  Smile at shop assistants and thank them for their help. Be polite to fellow shoppers, no matter how greedy and cranky they may seem.  Remember that Christmas is a time of goodwill and peace on earth. 
  10. WRAP IT UP Know when to call it a day.  If you are starting to get Grinchy, it might be time for a break.  You might even need to go home and save the rest of the list for another day.  It isn't much fun shopping for gifts if all you can think about it your sore feet and aching arms.  
  11. LET IT GO Most importantly... take the stress out of the season by letting go of obligation!  When you make that all important list, cut it in half.  Don't buy gifts for anyone because you feel you have to.  Think carefully about the people in your life who are worth your hard earned money, time, effort and attention.  Many of us have more than enough of what we need.  We even have plenty of what we want.  If you want to show your love and appreciation to someone, some well chosen words are much more appreciated than a silly gift we don't need. Buy gifts for people because you think they will love what you have found for them, don't do it because you think you should. 
More next week. 
HOLIDAYS!!! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Happy 1st of December

There are only a few weeks left in 2017 and there is so much I want to fit into the rest of this year! Right now, I'm focusing on finishing report cards.  Ending the school year is always such a busy time.  There is so much happening.



It's also the beginning of Advent, a time when Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus.  We often get very caught up with preparations of Christmas- parties, sending out cards, carolling, charity drives, family gatherings, gift shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, baking, church activities and more.  The Christmas season is such a busy time too.  That's why Advent is so important to Christians.  It's a time when we need to consciously set aside time and be still before God.  The real preparation we need to do is in our hearts.

Over the next few weeks... I will revisit some of my favourite posts from previous years.  We will look at gift guides, shopping, gift wrapping and more.  I will also have some tips to help you survive all that social activity! We will look at some more card craft.  Finally, we will wrap up the year AND see how I have progressed with my 2017 goals.

Like I said, the year might be nearly over, but the rest of the year will be totally packed.

This time next week, I will be on HOLIDAYS!!!

The countdown is on!


Friday, November 24, 2017

So Much to Say...

Too much to say!

So much to do.


Too much to do!

So little time.  

Too little time!

Late. Very late!

The end is near.  It's coming.

Too soon!

I'm okay.  No time to explain!




Until next week.... 



Friday, November 17, 2017

What is CASEing Anyway?

Hi everyone,
Late again... for good reason.  I was spending time with my uncle this week.  Family comes first.

A few weeks ago, when I shared my latest cards with you (Check it out here), I mentioned that I had CASEd a card.  I promised that I would explain, so here I am, ready to fill you in.  CASE stands for Copy And Share Everything.  CASEing is when you see a card (or a photo of a card) and you use it to inspire your own creations.  The important part of this is that you acknowledge the original card creator.  If you publish your card on a blog or in a video, link to the original card.  Share the love as well as the ideas.  If you want to watch how a stamping expert CASEs a card, check out this video by Catherine Pooler and check out her blog post here.



When CASEing, you can copy anything about a card, copy most of it or just one element.  Change it up using whatever you already have in your stash.  Here are some cards that I have CASEd recently.

My Birthday KISS cards based on some Thank you KISS cards made by Catherine Pooler.  Click here to see her blog post and video.

Catherine's Cards



I love these Birthday Cards...



This next set of cards was CASEd from a card I saw on Pinterest.  I LOVE Pinterest!

Pinterest Card from the Singing Scrapper (click to see her blog)



I made a set of these that I am planning to give as a gift set.



Christmas is coming.... School is nearly finished for the year.  It's a busy time.  Take some time to breathe and look after yourself.  Relax.  

See ya next week... 





Friday, November 10, 2017

Got to be Kitten Me Right Meow

Meowm is doing a terrible job of keeping up around here lately, so I decided to pounce in!

Here are some photos of me...


I'm sooo beautiful!

Okay, hoomans, you're done... see ya later.

Kitties... I know you're out there.  The rest of this post is for you! Meow, meow meeeow... No I'm not translating for the humans.

I want to tell you about the meowst pawsome puurrblication for cats!    It's called Pussweek and it's meowgic!  In fact, I just supuurrvised while Meowm ordered issue #5.  It's FUR kitties BY kitties.

You gotta check it out. Right Meow! www.pussweekmag.com

Just in case you need more convincing.  There are some very important issues that are covered in this magazine including types of litter, scratching posts, the addictive propawties of catnip and that's just issue one!  There are stories from real life everyday cats and the latest issue has some tuna-tastic articles about famous cats around the world.

Of course, I know there are some of you hoomans still reading this... because you silly pawple just can't follow directions.  If you are, now you know what to get your kitties for Christmas!  There are some great gift packs available in the Puss Week store, just in time for Cat Prezzie day.

While you're there, you can check out the other meowchandise available.  There are posters, collar pins, stickers and more.  These are just a few of my favourite collar pins that you can buy in the store.


Now, click on one of the links and get shopping.  

Go on! 

Meow!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

OCTOBER CARDS

Apologies for the extra lateness of this week's post!  Would you believe that this week was even crazier than last week? Anyway, let's get to it.

I have been really enjoying playing with my stamps and cards and paper and stencils and spray bottle lately.  In fact, having all my card and craft stuff set up in the lounge room has made it so easy to just sit down at the table and play around in between everything else I have to do.  It's also easy to sit down and get inky INSTEAD of all the other things I have to do!  LOL.

Check out these cards!












 The Party Time card was created with some gold foil transfers I bought at the local dollar store.  This was a fun technique to try and I will use the rest of the transfers, but I'm not going to go crazy buying foil and other tools for foiling.

The Chevron 'Happy Birthday' card is one of my favourites!  I made this using a stencil that my aunty sent me.  I love it!!! I used two shades of blue ink and an ink blending tool to colour over the stencil and then I cut it to size and did some offset layering.  The "Happy Birthday" die was cut out on using Denim cardstock from Kaiser.  




The Frog Birthday Card was made using: Chit Chat stamp set from Lawn Fawn.  Hexagon dies, Frog stamp and green polka dot DSP all from Kaiser craft.  The rest of the card stock on this card was generic from a $2 store. 
There's Always a Reason to Smile was one of my attempts at making a batch of KISS cards (Keep It Simple Stamper), using a variation on one of Catherine Pooler's KISS cards.  It did not go nearly as well as things do in her videos.  I make a lot more mistakes than she does! Click here to check out her blog post and video.  You could say I CASE'd this card.  More on CASE'ing another day.  The DSP is another of my favourites from Kaiser craft.  See below for the other two cards that I made in that batch.  I love how versatile this layout is and how easy it is to adapt.  























Pink Balloon 80th card: This next card is extra special. It was a request from a co-worker.  Her Mum turned 80 and she asked me to make the card.  She also paid me! This is the first time that someone (other than Nanny) has paid me for one of my cards. Excited Much! This was a variation on some of the other balloon cards I have made before.  I decided to make two clusters of balloons this time and I really like how it turned out.






















The card above right, Celebrate, is a card I made for an extra birthday card to have on hand.  I used two different sized circle punches, some designer series paper with birds.  I just lined up the circles with the birds on the paper - well almost.  I'm happy for a first attempt! 



 Can you tell I love butterflies? The hello die was a gift from my aunty and it looks great in any colour!  The Baby Girl card was made for a colleague at work who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl more than a month ago.  The Butterfly Hello card was my first attempt at inlaid die cutting.  It isn't exactly how it might look in all the tutorials, but it is my spin on it.  I like how clean and simple this card is and how cheerful it looks.  I made it for a different aunty.  She loves gardening and is such a gentle soul.  I had to use this patterned paper to make something for her.

Now for some THANK YOU cards.  I think I have made more thank you cards than birthday cards!! I love to show my appreciation for people and I love making cards for this purpose.

The first card below, Black Cat Thank You Tag card, was made for a friend of mine who kitty sat Shelly over a weekend or two.  I went away two weekends in a row and one of my former students, now a 23 year old, came over to feed and play with Shelly everyday I was away.  She also scooped a bit of poop, so she definitely deserved a card! Shelly left a note inside as well.



Now for the most important card this month.  One of my aunties shares my love of paper crafting and stamping.  She has hundreds of stamps, dies, stencils and all manner of craft supplies.  Over the past few months she has been clearing out her stash and trying to pare back a bit.  So, she has been sending me all sorts of goodies... like stencils, stamps, dies, stickers and stamped images.  She has also taught me so much simply by giving me feedback on my card photos that I send her, sharing links and project guides with me and telling me about YouTube channels to watch.  I have really grown as a crafter and stamper in the past four or five months and all because of her.  So, I decided it was time that I use some of the lovely stamps and dies she has sent me to make her a card.  I used some techniques she showed me too.  The best part was that she wasn't expecting it and she was really impressed with it.  (Insert Giant Grin here!)  If you are wondering, the flower and leaves matching stamps and dies, were a Free Gift in the September Simply Cards magazine.  My aunty bought a copy of it and her daughter bought it too, so they sent one to me! I'm so lucky!


I have made a few other cards this month, but I think you have probably had enough?  I know I have.  You might get to see them another time. By the way, I do my best to acknowledge the designers of stamps, dies and other products that I use when making my cards.  However, much of my stash has been acquired over time, from others giving away things they no longer use, or purchasing from discount stores.  I don't have a lot of money and I try to stretch my crafting dollars as far as possible.  No apologies for that!  My point is, that if I don't know where it came from, I can't tell you.  

We are heading towards Christmas.  Yes, I have started shopping and making cards!  Work is super busy with no sign of letting up.  I have no idea what next week will bring. So, we will all be surprised together! Hopefully, I will finally get to post on time.  

Stay Cool!














Saturday, October 28, 2017

One Day Late...

Okay, so it's Saturday.  I have been a busy lady. I wanted this post to be so much more, then I decided that if waited any longer to find the time I need to make this perfect, it would be next week before I got it done.  The plan was, to show you some of the cards I have been making lately.  There have been quite a lot.

What have I been doing? Wednesday was our school's Parent/Teacher Interview Evening.  I was unable to attend for various reasons.  This meant that I had to contact the parents of the students in my class and offer them the opportunity for a 10-20 minutes phone call regarding the academic progress, behaviour and effort in my class.  This is sometimes a nice chat about a great student.  Unfortunately, I have found that most of the nice kids have nice parents and they know you are a busy person and as long as things are going okay, they don't want to waste your time.  The parents of the children who are not very nice OR are struggling fall into two categories.
1. They know their kid struggles and they don't want you to tell them again so they don't even respond to your messages.
2. They know their kid struggles and even though they have been to every interview every year and asked the same questions they still want you to meet with them.  They still want you to fix their child.  They want you to give them a different answer.

Parent Teacher Interviews are exhausting.  I'm sure it is difficult for the parents too.  I don't know, as I am not a parent.  I just know that I feel tired after.  Sometimes it's a good reason that I'm tired, like I have been excited to talk to a parent who truly cares for their child, doesn't make excuses, respects me and my colleagues, wants to work with me and has my back.

I think I'm exhausted because talking to a virtual stranger: tell them what can sometimes be the hard truth about their child, gain their respect, advise them on educational issues, listen to their stories about siblings and work and how hard life is, then remind them that you are here to see their child succeed. That's hard... it takes effort, restraint, a sense of humour, tolerance, patience and kindness.  It takes a lot of thought and energy.

So, if you are friends with a teacher, and they tell you it's Parent/ Teacher night, Hug them.  Cook them dinner.  Give them space.  Let them have a nap.  Forgive them if they don't want to go out and party.  Cut them some slack.  I know you did that during Report Card season, and Beginning of the Year season too.... but, you know what.... just be nice to your Teacher Friends ALL THE TIME!  They need it.  They deserve it!  They will love you for it!

Happy Teachers Day
for yesterday, everyone!!! 

Next Week: I promise there will be cards.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Scripture Typer: An Impartial Review

Let me begin by saying: I am not associated with the Scripture Typer Application in any way.  I have not been paid for this review and I won't be paid for it in the future.  This is entirely my own opinion.

In April, I bought a new phone and when I downloaded my Bible app (I love my Bible app) the Google store suggested some other apps, including some scripture memorisation apps.  This is when I found, Scripture Typer.

AGT regulars will know that I am working hard at reaching somgoals this year and blogging about it every month has been helping me stay on track.  One of my goals is: "Learn 12 scripture passages by heart."  I started out this year by writing out the verses of scripture I wanted to learn and reading it everyday as well as using the old spelling strategy: Look, Say, Cover, Write/ Recite, Check.  So, I can honestly say that Scripture Typer has changed my life!

Here are 10 of the great things you can do with Scripture Typer:
1. Access Scripture Typer on your computer (an excellent website) or you can download the app to any electronic device as it's available in the Google Play Store or the App store.
2. Import the text of scripture passages from 10 different translations including NIV, NKJ, ERV and ESV.
3. Search by scripture reference or theme.
4. Memorise collections of verses (already compiled) by theme or Book of the Bible.
5. Create your own collection/s of verses, organised how you want.
6. Divide longer scripture passages into individual verses to make them easier to learn and then combine them when you have mastered them.
7. Sketch prompts which appear on your screen with the Scripture reference before you type in the Scripture from Memory.
8. If you have the PRO version you can record yourself reading the text aloud and listen to it when working on memorising the scripture.
9. Share (brag about) your success on social media as well as create groups of friends who can support each other while working to memorise the same scriptures.
10.  Track your progress as you learn each scripture passage and add new goals to your collections.

I have the FREE version of Scripture Typer and it does everything I need.  PRO users can register for an account which syncs everything to the cloud so you can access your collections and progress on any device at any time.  It's as easy as creating a username and password.

Scripture Typer also features an excellent memorisation program. Once your verses are imported to your collection, you simply follow the review tasks each time you open the app and before you know it you will be reciting scripture better than ever.
1. Type It: The verse appears on the screen and you type into your device as you read.
2. Memorise It: The verse appears on the screen, but with gaps, and you type the whole text into your device.
3. Master It: the Bible reference appears on the screen and you can type the verse from memory.

Through all of these steps in the program, Scripture Typer gives you feedback on errors and gives you an accuracy percentage when you finish.  You get a point every time you review a verse.  One of the things I love about Scripture Typer... in case you doubted how much I loved it already... The program tells you how often you should review the verse in order to increase your retention.  Once you get a 100% accuracy on the "Master It" step, the program will tell you that you have mastered the verse and you should review it every 2 days.  After two repetitions every 2 days, the program tells you to review that verse weekly, then fortnightly, monthly etc.  This keeps track of each of the verses in the collection so you can review one verse daily while reviewing other verses every six months.  You can revisit verses as often as you like and continue to receive points.

This app really has taken my memorisation and made it so much easier for me.  I can review verses at home, in bed, on the train, even at work on my break (when I get one).  Scripture Typer has not only helped me reach my goal of memorising 12 scripture verses this year, but I have surpassed it, "mastering" 15 verses.  I plan to continue working on these 15 verses and reviewing them weekly (even though some of them don't need to be reviewed for 6 months) until the end of the year.  Next year I will create a new collection of verses to memorise over the year.

If you are looking for a memorisation app, I would definitely recommend Scripture Typer!!







Friday, October 13, 2017

When did that happen?

Internal Dialogue..

When did I become responsible?
When did people start to think I was a good person to keep their secrets?
When did I learn all that I know now?
When did I get so old?
When did I become that girl who people come to for help?
When did I become a mother hen?
When did my parents get so old?
When did those children grow up?
When did the world get so sad and mean and violent and dangerous?
When did that happen?

What was I doing when that was happening?

I'm how old?

Are you sure?



Friday, October 6, 2017

Finding where you fit

I will do my best to keep this short.  It might meander a bit, but trust me it's all important.

I'm turning 34 at the end of this year and I have to say that a big chunk of those 3 and a bit decades were not easy.  I spent a lot of time feeling like I didn't fit in.  I was the broken puzzle piece, the extra fitting in the flat pack and the 11th Tim Tam.  I still really struggle to make friends.  Social situations are difficult for me.  They are exhausting.

It took me a really long time to learn what I was really about, why I was feeling certain things and how I could prevent those yucky feelings.  You can't control everything, but if there are things within my control that will improve my quality of life, it seems silly not to change them.

Today, I want to tell you about three times when I didn't fit.  I'm concentrating on these because they all occurred when a 'chapter' of my life ended and the next one hadn't started yet.  I felt really lost during these times. In retrospect, the 'in between' times were so important in shaping me for the future, preparing me for new chapters and helping me become the awesome person I am now.

1. The end of university.  I had finally finished and it took me a really long time to get a full time, permanent job.  It took 5 years.  Of course, I worked part time, doing contracts and relieving other teachers.  In fact, 4-5 months after I submitted my final assessment, I was thrown into the classroom as a supply teacher.  During that first year after I finished uni, I was really disappointed that I didn't get offered a job.  I had never been without a purpose or a reason to get out of bed.  I had always been at school and I went straight to university.  I spent holidays babysitting, doing housework, planning a wedding and being very busy.  Suddenly, life was not going to plan and I had to figure out what I as going to do.  I considered lots of things and I worried that I would never be a real teacher.  At the end of the first year, I realised that supply teaching was a pretty good gig for the time being and I figured it would eventually lead to a permanent job.  I decided to say "yes" to every opportunity and be the best supply and contract teacher I could be.  I learned sooo much in those 5 years and I earned enough money to survive.
When I was finally offered a full time, permanent job, I was not only more qualified and experienced, but I appreciated it so much more.  I succeeded because of all the things I had learned while in the 'in between' stage of life.

2.  The end of my marriage.  My husband and I had been married for2 and a half years and we had been 'together' for 8 years before that.  I couldn't really remember a time when he wasn't my boyfriend.  Suddenly, I was back at my parents house with only a few boxes of my belongings.  He was living in the house that we shared.  Then, I learned that one of my friends was sleeping with my husband.  My world shattered.  I had put years of my life and all my energy into my marriage and building a life with my husband.  It took a very long time for me to adjust to the idea of being a single lady and it took even longer for me to be happy about it.  Now, I love being single!

3. The end of Dad's life.  I'm still in the midst of adjusting to this new way of life... so bear with me.
When Dad got sick, my life changed.  When, as a family, we decided that I would take time off work and share the caring responsibilities with Mum, my life morphed into something different. I still had some time to myself.  My purpose was to make Dad comfortable.  While I certainly wasn't perfect, I was good at caring for Dad.  Most of my time was spent with Dad or thinking about Dad, or thinking about how I could help Dad.  When he died, I was obviously sad for him and of course I grieved him.  I also grieved the life I had with him.  I realised that my everyday purpose was suddenly gone... again.

The first few months were hard.  I didn't want to get out of bed or leave the house.  I forced myself to do these things, most of the time.  Knowing now, that my time is not filled with "Dad" I am beginning to find other useful things to do with my time.  I'm finding a new 'place' to fit.

I worked out that I have a bit of a knack for words!  I enjoy making cards.  So, I am spending my time, using my talents and the things I enjoy, to encourage others.  I am sending cards to people in my church who are unwell, or struggling.  I don't send one to everyone, because I don't know everyone.  I am simply trying to do something small with what I have, where I am.  I am happy with that for now.

The future holds great mystery and right now, I want to appreciate everything I am learning and look forward to using it to make people smile.

Love.


Friday, September 29, 2017

I knew there was something I had to do today

I was lying on the lounge, in my pyjamas, thinking that there was a lot that I needed to do that day.  I only found it mildly disturbing that I couldn't remember any of the things I needed to do.
"I should get off the lounge and get dressed" I was saying to myself when I heard a knock at the door.
I dragged myself off the lounge and staggered to the door as I tried to work out who could be rudely knocking on my door at 9:30am.  The light from outside almost blinded me as the face of my grooming lady also came into view.  It took me a moment to realise who she was.  Gasping, I said, "oh no! I completely forgot you were coming."

I called to Shelly and walked outside to try and find her.  She looked at me quizzically and stalked back into the house.  When she saw my groomer, she started to bolt.  Shelly did a few laps around the house, ducking behind armchairs and diving under tables, all the while chased by me, in my pyjamas. She finally settled in under a wardrobe in our garage, that was surrounded by several large boxes of sheet music and electrical items.  There was no way I was getting to her.  Defeated, I left her alone and rescheduled.

An hour and a half later, I emailed my sister to tell her this story and ended it with ...
Shelly is still under the wardrobe and I am still in my PJ's.

My sister replied with a laughing emoji and "You just made my day."

I hope I just made yours too.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Goal Update

Let's see how I'm going with my goals for this year.

This Year, 2017, I will…

Quit… eating because I’m bored, sad, angry, frustrated or confused.

It's holidays again!  Woo hoo!  I'm doing very well!  :)

Eat…   three balanced meals and two snacks at least 6 days a week. 

I'm doing okay with this one.  It was hard to make good choices and keep track of balanced meals when I got the flu.  It took a little while to get it together after that too.  I'm doing okay. 

Start… exercising for 30 minutes, at least 4 times a week.

I've been doing more incidental exercise and now that I'm on holidays, again, I have started a new walking routine.  Ask me next month!

Visit… family and/or friends once a month.

Totally on track!! Woo Hoo.  Thankfully, the family have been making an effort too.  That helps.  :) 

Accept… that I cannot fix everything. 

Gigantic Tick for me!! Insert Happy Dance!

See…    Melbourne in real life/ Capital Cities.

I know it isn't technically a capital, but my Mum and I are planning a weekend on the Gold Coast in October.  We are going to Sydney to see family at the end of this month and I am planning some fun while we are there.  I am looking at Melbourne and Hobart for next year.  

Learn… at least 12 scripture passages by heart. 

Let's See: Scripture Verses learned so far
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Psalm 23
Psalm 32:7
Colossians 1:11

Psalm 32:8

Philippians 4:19

John 3:30

Working on more...

Therefore, I'm on track! Loving my memorisation app!

Give… to Christian Missions overseas and in Australia (12 times or once a month).

I have been continuing with my regular sponsorship of a day care centre overseas.  I am saving some money to send to an orphanage in Cambodia where my cousin is the director. 

Be…   Quiet

Doing okay.  Need to do more.  Trying to keep my words to a minimum.  Is it working? 

Grow… spiritually by reading my Bible 5-7 times a week and attending church at least 3 times each month.

Being sick and Mum's glittering social life has prevented me from as much church attendance as I wanted.  It took a little more than 12 weeks for me to finish the Everyday with Jesus writing plan I told you about last time.  I purchased a one year devotional called Women of the Bible and I was going to move on to that.  Instead, I decided to leave that until January.  I am sticking with the Everyday with Jesus devotional.  The plan I'm following now is an in depth study of Colossians.  I'm finding it helpful.  I have learned so much through working on this goal.  

Invest… in reaching these goals.

Obviously I'm doing this.. I have realised that some of the goals on this list will be a continuous struggle for me.  These goals are helping me to make better choices and form good habits.  That's good.  I already knew it, but I need to remember, that some goals will require a conscious effort forever.  

Stick with it! 


Friday, September 15, 2017

More Cards and New techniques

I've been experimenting!

I need some more practice....

So, this wasn't really a new technique.  It's just another card I made.  
That baker's twine is such a pain! 

I tried this technique using my small square and small circle punches and it worked okay.
I tried out some shadow stamping using my Stamp Master after watching a 
Catherine Pooler video that you can watch here.  I am loving this
shadow stamping technique and I will definitely be using it more! 
I need heaps more practice on this one!! 
I created this card after watching this Catherine Pooler
video where she created a background using a sentiment stamp.  

That's that for today! :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

August Card Collection

I have been making LOTS of cards.

There was a Fathers' Day Stall at a friend's church activity, so I contributed some cards for that.  I had lots of fun making these mini cards.  Although, I would have preferred to have some pre-cut mini cards on hand.  I found some at the local bargain store AFTER I had finished all these cards.  Talk about kicking myself. Check these out.
Excuse my finger... inspired by this pin and a tutorial for partial embossing here

Inspired by this

If you are a regular around here, you will know
that I love this basic card layout and technique.  
It works for any occasion and this one was no exception! 

 Now for the birthdays.  I'm trying to get ahead of the curve again so there are a quite a few of these.
This was just a simple layering card. 
I used my new rough squares die set. :) 
I made this one for my grandmother. 

I had fun making this card.  Inspired by this pin


More layering with my rounded rectangle die set and my Happy Birthday die. 
I had heaps of these textured papers from the Go Wild Decorative Papers from Kaiser Craft.
So, I decided to use them.  


I recreated one of  Catherine Pooler's KISS cards
As Catherine suggests, I used the stamps I had on hand,
as I didn't have the stamps she used. 


I whipped up this card in under half an hour! 
Some washi tape, and a new Happy Birthday stamp 
added to some decorative paper I had left over
from another card went together nicely. 
I'm really proud of it! 
Last one for now... a Fathers' Day Card for my grandfather.  He loves fishing and passed on that love to my Dad and uncles.  Many memories were forged on the end of a pier or in a boat with a fishing line in our hands.
My aunty sent me a bunch of stickers and die cuts when I asked for anything
I could use for a fishing themed card for Fathers' Day. 
There are more that I have added to my stash now.  

Next Week: more cards that I made recently, including some new techniques I tried out - with mixed levels of success!