Sunday, 29 November 2009

My birthday!

We had a gorgeous birthday dinner with Mum and Peter - they'd driven down, stopping at both of Peter's sons places before getting to us.

They gave me a pretty cupcake shaped sugar bowl (or is it for jam??). And to go with it :

a jar of Roses Lime Marmalade, obviously the best marmalade in the world! I was brought up on it as the "treat" spread, the one you save for Sundays. Yum!

Birthdays are a good day to take photos of all the kids : here's the boys (that's Thomas on the left, Jonathan on the right, obviously). Hmm, prob'ly haircut time for you guys. Nice shirts. No, I do not make them dress alike.

Here's Catriona not looking little any more...

And here's Jeff and Peter. See how nice Peter's skin is looking? It's the special soap! He had found a hotel soap that was very kind to his skin, and asked me to look up the web site for him. Thanks to the power of Google, soon I'd found a local retailer (these people) that would sell me a box full of that particular hotel soap! They asked where my guest house was ... So if you ever need lots of hotel toiletries, or stuff like that, I can recommend them!

I had such an exhausting day...

...that Jeff was just tuckered out...

If you can see it well enough, you'll see is glasses are askew. I like that look.

And he was snoring.

And Catriona recorded him snoring on her DS. So there's the sound effect for our next animated movie.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

November 2009 Paperific Report!!

The latest Melbourne Paperific show has just been on (actually it finished a whole week ago) and here is some of my personal report - I've been doing them for years, so no reason to stop now.

Here's a typical Paperific sight, a demonstrator with several visitors, all making stuff in a Make and Take. Such a good idea (I'm sure most of the vendors say "what a hassle", but there's no better way of showing off your wares!).

Then there's ... oooh, lots of stamps! I've been thinking that there are too many fairly-cheap, imported stamps around in recent years, and they all seemed a bit "churned out" to me. No, I have no evidence to back up this opinion, just the fact that I've been to a few shows in a row and not purchased any stamps. But this year, I felt that nice stamps are coming back again (not intending any offence to the people who've been making awesome stamps all along, of course!).

And then we come to ... punches. Drool. For a stamper, I sure do buy a lot of punches. Gosh they are satisfying. EK Success have a new style out, which save space. And that means new designs. I'm giddy! And the old ones are still around, and as good as ever. Punches age well - five years down the line, a circle punch will still be in fashion! And Martha Stewart has brought out a range of punches. Very pretty, and sure to be influential. I noticed one that was a little pop-up village. Now that's a little specialised for me!

I scored another bird punch (big brother of last year's one), some photo corners, some brackets (yep, these things {}) and a bunch of little flowers and stuff - older style ones, just filling out the corners of my collection.

Then I spent longer than expected at Twiddlybitz, looking at chipboard and wooden constructions. Wow! Congratulations to their design team, the display looked amazing! We're going to make the Advent House (just as soon as we have a minute!).

And here she is, the new Queen of Paperific, Naomi Swan. She's taken the reins from Stacey, who started it all, and she's running with it. Oh, wait, I think that was a mixed metaphor. She's stepped into the big shoes, and she's walking around saying "Look at me, I'm Mummy!". No, that doesn't sound right either.

What she's doing is running a fun and lovely show, the first of many. In this photo, she's looking radiant and happy, which is odd, because she was feeling awful and on the way to the doctor!

Well done Naomi, it was a great day out for us visitors, and I'm sure it was a super day for vendors.

Next Paperific is 5-7th March 2010, at the Showgrounds again.

Oh, and by the way, I used public transport to get there from all the way on the other side of the city. SO EASY! The tram was is sight of the front door. So there's a recipe for arriving cool, calm and collected.

Friday, 20 November 2009

I use my craft skills at the office

I just knew that years of tinkering with rubber stamps and paint would pay off.

At a staff meeting the other day, I heard the expression "Code Cool" - I loved it! "Hey, dudes, it's Code Cool, get your sunnies on!".

Turns out, of course, that it's more like "we're having a code cool, so no more changes to the code please". "Code" being "computer programs". The stuff we make. And it further turns out, a Code Cool is declared when a Code Freeze is coming (that's when you stop making changes and ship a new version out). And during a Code Freeze, sometimes you have to have an emergency Code Thaw. Well, I couldn't leave all that unanswered.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Squidamatron

Well well well, what do we have here? It is, of course, the basis of my latest article sent to a stamping magazine. Which of course has not been accepted yet, and might not be, and is still under the veil of secrecy. But I think I can divulge this much.

It started one morning when I was feeling creative. I asked Boy 1 and Boy 2 to throw me some words. "Banana", "Turtle", "Turtleade" (don't ask) were followed by "Squidamatron". I nearly didn't add it to the list, but Jonathan carefully spelled it for me.

So I drew a squidamatron. Fairly rough and ready (Catriona draws better squids than me any day), but it lead on to the next idea. Later in the day I was matching cardstock and ink pads...

...And when you eventually see the results, either published or here, I think you'll see what a logical process it all was.

You should see the other guy

Nope, don't worry, none of my kids did anything physical. Fell off a chair while playing an online role playing game. That's my boy!

This happened a few weeks ago, he's all fixed now. I just found the photo - and laughed!

This one's for Meagan!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

My Potato-Based confession

While on an outing to Chadstone on the weekend, my young helper Jonathan and I committed a family indiscretion. We had delicious chips, and didn't share them with the rest of the family!

We were on an urgent snack-food-based excursion on Sunday morning. After our important chores were done, we decided to go and see if the famous Lord of the Fries Chadstone store was open. It had been scheduled to open a week ago, but got delayed a bit.

We got there, and it was clean and finished, with signs and furniture all in place, but the lights were out and the chairs were stacked.

...And when we got home, that was the story we told. But what really happened was, just as we arrived, the guy turned the lights on, and started unstacking chairs. I wandered in to ask if they were cooking yet, and he said yes of course.

So, Jonathan and I shared the very first cone of chips from the second ever day of business at that store. The guy said they had been REALLY busy on Saturday, so that's gotta be good for the all-vegetarian burger and fry business!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Well, how did YOU think they did it?

I snapped a photo in traffic the other day (it's OK, I was a passenger). We passed a sheep truck fully loaded with woolly baa-lambs.

And down between the wheels was a special little box for the sheep dog. I had never thought of that!

Also, I think I'm getting a cold. Wah!