Saturday, January 31, 2009

Busy Day

Whew!! What a busy day!! We have visitors coming tomorrow and what an incentive to vaccum, mop and generally have a tidy up!! I also did a little baking (anyone care for a slice of fruitcake?) and mowed the lawn.

After a busy morning, I treated myself to a little playing and started the challenges at the Scrap with V cybercrop.

Challenge 1 "Summer Fun Colour Challenge" was to use turquoise, pink and pale yellow on a layout. I had to go pouring through some photos of mu little ganddaughter Zhia to find something suitable for this challenge. Here is the end result:

Challenge 2 "A Place in the Sun" had the following criteria - use paint, no cardstock only patterned paper, handmade embellishment, a journalling block and to feature at least 3 of the following colours: red, blue, orange, green and white.

Tomorrow our split system air-conditioner will be installed...YAY!!!! I can't complain, as we haven't been waiting too long. We also have not been having the heatwave currently experienced by those in the southern states.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Schoolroom

Yesterday at 8am I sat down to listen to morning notices from LSODE, for the first time in many years! But how odd it was to dial in and not just turn the radio on! We have to dial in, put in a password and then put in a pin for the studio we are connecting to. The children use headphones during their phone lesson and when they want to call in, they push a little button (push to talk button). Nathan has practised this a few times and handles it well. The greatest advantage is that I can also hear what the teacher and other children say as the speakerphone is on too.

This is our schoolroom. It was once pink, but we soon painted it 2 beautiful shades of blue. You can see Nathan's desk and some canvases he helped to create to brighten the walls.

This is another corner of his room. The big cupboard stores alot of art and craft items as well as a massive collection of boxes and containers for construction activities. You can also see where I do my scrapbooking. It's a well lit, airy little area with everything close at hand. Another large cupboard in the other corner, is home to all of my scrapping stash.

This room has been a hive of activity this week as Nathan has been so keen to do school and write.

Another Layout

I have been scrapping my little heart out lately and having sooo much fun!! Here is my layout for the week 3 photographic challenge at Scrap Boutique.

Week 4, the final challenge was posted yesterday.

My child has developed a "photo smile". Not the best looks let me tell you and obviously not real.

I am not a big fan of the "look at mummy and smile" photos. I prefer to capture children (or adults) when they don't realise I'm taking a photo of them. I feel that you can capture more of their personality that way.

The trick to do this is to move away from the subject you want to take a photo of. If you have a telelens use it, if not, just use your normal lens, move far away from your subject and zoom in. It works best when there is plenty of light (outside) and you don't have to use the flash (for obvious reasons).

Have a go at it and see if you can capture some of your child's, friends or relative's personality.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sketch Challenge

A2Z Scraplets have a posted a sketch challenge for January. It's a simple but very nice sketch.

Here is my entry:

This photo of Nathan and Sami was taken in November, just after Nathan's cast was removed.

Don't forget the cybercrop at Scrap with V this weekend. It will be loads of fun, as always!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Started Prep

Today my littlest man started Prep. Distance Education papers are worked on 5 day weeks, so when there's a public holiday or a day in town, that schoolwork needs to be made up. Nathan is going to school in town on Friday so we started today, knowing we had to make up a day. He was so keen to 'do school' that we did 2 days today!! We collected, coloured, counted, read and wrote. He wrote his name beautifully and afterwards commented that it was 'splendid writing'! How could I not agree!!

Then this afternoon he had a little accident and required a couple of stitches to the back of his head. They should come out next Monday. We came through a storm coming home and slipped and slithered most of the way to discover the storm had come this far...we measure 45pts making our total for the day 54pts! Almost an inch and a half up at our cattleyards though, which we are very excited about!

Tonight I was able to complete the last challenge for the Scrap Boutique cybercrop...the Sunday Roast. Once I selected my photos, choosing the right papers was easy!

Thanks Manon for agreat challenge.

Happy Australia Day!

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian - the people, the land, the diversity, our culture, our laid back lifestyle. We can also reflect on where we have come from. It's the probably one of the biggest celebrations of our nation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Trucking delayed

Trucking the wether weaners was delayed. On Thursday afternoon it rained, so Martin thought it wise to delay trucking until Sunday. The idea of having 2 semis bogged here or on the road to town didn't appeal.

The agents rang back and said they were not able to get trucks until next Friday. So we remustered the weaners and put them back into the paddock we had previously mustered them from. Why? There was not enough feed in that paddock for them for a week. We are hoping to be able to muster them on Thursday and walk them right to the yards.

Still Scrapping

I completed my layout for the Lucky Dip Challenge on Scrap Boutique this afternoon. I had to use pink paper, lace and paint and a summerish title.

Here is my completed layout:

My good friend Joy had a birthday last week. This is the little gift I've made for her. She's very crafty and makes the most gorgeous cards.

This little handbag will be a lovely storage item on her craft desk....mind you she might have to make room for it!


I am taking part in the Scrap Boutique cybercrop this weekend. So far I have completed 2 of the challenges.

Here is my version of Liz's Sketch Challenge. As well as being guided by the sketch, we had to use summery colours, summer themed photos and mention 'summer' in the journaling.

Kate's challenge consisted of numbers....1 cardstock, 2 different alphas, 3 ribbons or trim, 4 circles and 5 brads. The title also needed to feature a number that was either a sticker, thicker or from a chipboard alpha set.

This photo is of me mustering on my 4 wheeler and taken on Friday.

It cracked me up when I looked in the gallery and my sister Lea had scrapped the same photo for the same challenge!!! I rang to tell her but she wasn't home and rang me back later. "Am I in trouble?" she asked! I couldn't stop laughing!!

Clear skies so far today, so maybe this change has moved on. Some heavy water rain would be most welcome.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Evening Storms

There were storms around yesterday afternoon and I couldn't resist taking some photos.

We received 42pts overnight and then another 24pts this afternoon. Martin went up to our cattleyards and measure almost an inch up there! At least some of our country is receiving good rain.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Busy Morning

It was a case of being up early this morning to load 132 bales of wool. I am not keen on heights and was less than impressed when I had to climb up onto 4 tiers of wool bales. Mind you, the view from that height made me wish a camera was in my pocket! BUT there was no way in the world I was climbing onto 3 tiers of soft bales, especially when the bales at the bottom were very soft, resulting in quite a lean happening.

Then straight after, we mustered the wether weaners. They have been sold and we'll truck 1 800 of the little houdinis to Deniliquin. This was my first mustering experience on my quad bike....everyone else seemed to have to ride it during shearing! Martin is going to put a horn on it, as otherwise I'm almost on top of the sheep before they realize I'm there.

The weaners need to be off water for 24hrs before being loaded, so they'll be yarded tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week Three Challenge

Manon has uploaded the week 3 photography challenge at Scrap Boutique.

The Rule of Thirds
The most used rule in photography. Basically the rule of thirds makes the photo more pleasing to the eye. Once you have mastered the rule go ahead and break it, but for this week we'll work on this.

When you work with the rule of thirds you divide your frame (what you see through the lens) into 9 equal pieces...

Now the little intersections in the middle are areas where you want to have your focal point. The top line is, in portrait photo's, a great line to get the eyes on.

This also works for landscapes. In landscapes you divide your picture in three layer.

Here's just one of our photos following this rule.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank you Millie

The lovely Millie has sent me this lovely award.

This is called The Proximity Award.
"These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.
They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!
Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Thank you Millie, I am honoured.

I would like to send this award to Manon, Kate, Karen and Peta.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Challenge Layout done

This is the photo from the week 2 challenge at Scrap Boutique that I've decided to scrap. My littlest man is so excited to be starting school soon and has been playing with some of his school things over the holidays.

This is my layout. I have had that piece of ribbon in my stash for years, just waiting to be used! The red card is stitched onto the blue card at the sides and the bottom, creating a pocket. It contains a letter from the Prep teacher, welcoming Nathan to Prep in 2009. Also the photo is 3-dimensional, just for something different.

Last week I set up the phone in the school room and tested out the headphones. I don't know how Nathan will go when there's a button to push before he starts to talk. We'll have a couple of trial runs this week I think.

Now we just have to hang the net from the ceiling and we'll be set for the Prep.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back to Three

Our third son, Adam has finished his holidays and helping with shearing, so this morning flew back to Brisbane. He and Nathan have been niggling each other a bit lately but I know how much they will miss each other.

Adam hates having his photo taken! Last night I asked him to sit still and be sensible for just one photo and I would be happy and leave him alone. This is what I got.

He has such a gorgeous smile.


As we were taking Adam over to Barcy to catch a flight back to Brisbane, this was an ideal opportunity to take some photos, as we usually pass through there.

Recognize this 'tent'??

If you went to Expo '88 in Brisbane, you will probably have seen it. It was referred to as a 'silo' and housed the Department of Primary Industries exhibit!! It now houses the Worker's Heritage Centre at Barcaldine and has been there for many years. It can be seen from miles from the western side of Barcaldine. Mind you, I have never been inside it! One day....

South of Barcaldine this magnificent gum tree can be seen growing close to the highway.

This photo doesn't do it justice, but you do get an idea of the sheer size of the tree. I would love to have this one growing in my garden (mind you, I would have to extend the fence to accommodate it!)

Further south towards Blackall this little hut can be seen. There would be no excuse to miss this turn-off.

Enjoy the rest of your day and have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Last night we had a rather gorgeous sunset, made even more beautiful because of the cloud cover.

Today has been rather steady. The fellows put the last of the sheep into their paddocks and cleaned up all the rubbish at the shed and quarters.

I have been out pulling more weeds from the turf. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the cooch is growing. We shall have a full front lawn before winter I'm bare dirt!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shearing is Over

Shearing is over and all sheep are back in their paddocks. The wool will be loaded on the weekend and off to Brisbane.

We have already organized dates for our next shearing. In order to beat the fly, we are bringing it forward to December. This means they'll have shorter wool through summer and so less chance of them being flyblown.

Fun Playing

Today is the first bright sunshiny day we've had for awhile so I was outside with the camera to play with 'depth of field'.

As our budgies are in a cage covered with chicken wire, it is easy to take a photo of them without the netting between us being obvious. In this photo, I focused on the branch and so the background is blurred.

And in this one, I moved to the side just a little and focused on Birdie. I love the way the branch in front of him is blurred.

This has been cool fun and I took heaps of photos. I hope you are keen to give this a go.

Thanks for a great challenge Manon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thank you Lindy

The beautiful Lindy gave me this award.

This is called The Proximity Award.
"These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.
They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!
Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Thank you Lindy, I am honoured.

I nominate
Delys, Annette and Neek to receive this award.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What a busy day!!

This morning we were up at 5.30 to draft 4 000 lambs. One of the stock agents dropped in to take some photos of the mobs of sheep we have for sale, the wether lambs and a line of older ewes. After lunch we went back to the shed to mark the ram lambs that had been missed at lambmarking time. Then we shedded the ewe lambs as they are being shorn starting tomorrow. Everyone will sleep well tonight, especially one little boy.

Photography Challenge

Week 2 for the Summer photography challenge was uploaded this morning on Scrap Boutique.

I will have fun playing with my camera for this one!

To focus or not to focus.

When taking photos, it's great to have your subject in focus. To have the background a bit blurry can give you even more of a sense of depth in your photo though.
This week we are going to focus on depth...

A quick explanation about blurry and non blurry backgrounds.
We are going to use the apperture on our camera to create some depth this week.

Aperture is the "hole" where the light comes through in your lens. The larger the hole the more light and the more of your photo is sharp. The smaller the hole the less light comes in and not as much of your photo will be in focus.

Now a bit for the (D) SLR. Keep your camera on Automatic mode. When you turn your dial on your camera to the A or Av you are going to play with the apperture only. The camera takes care of the rest

The aperture is meassured in F-stops. The higher the F-stop number the more will be in focus, the lower the less will be in focus (in other words, you can create nice blurry background.

Set your camera on the lowest F-stop, take your camera outside (the light is better and the photo will be better too) and focus on an object nearby. Take a photo. Now set it on a higher F-stop and take another photo from the same position. The second photo will have everything much more in focus than the first one. Have a play around and upload your photos to your computer and look at the difference.
This really takes a bit of practice, don't give up straight away.

If you don't have an(D) SLR, no problemo. You can use your portrait setting or even your macro setting for this one. Have a play around. Just make sure you focus on an object nearby.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First CyberCrop for 2009

Ness has scheduled the first SWV cybercrop for 2009! A beach party!! Woohoo! Better stock up on sunscreen and icy cold drinks. Coming to join in the fun?

I love cybercrops but because of other commitments, have not been able to participate in one for a few months. I am sooo looking forward to this one.


Yesterday I officially handed over my Show secretary's job and boy does it feel good. I took to town a carload of boxes (with more still to go) and unloaded them on Lorelei's verandah! Then she, Judy (the President) and I sat down and went through the show schedule making all sorts of changes, especially to the arts and crafts pavilion. We created a some new competitions and I think one of the best will be the Scarecrow competition. He/she is to be no more than 1m in height and again there are different classes and age groups. I can see my little man having lots of fun with this!

I also showed Lorelei how to use the booking keeping program, which is really quite simple once you know what you're doing.

While we girls poured through bookwork and files, Nathan had a wonderful time playing with his good mate Benji. They get on so well together and played so many different games. Nathan was very disappointed when it was time to leave.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Summer Photo Challenge

I'm taking part in the Summer Photography Challenge at Scrap Boutique. We have to take a photos according to each challenge and then scrap at least one of the photos.

Week 1.

Closer… no closer… even closer…..
We often take photo’s with too much clutter in the photo… things we didn’t really focus on but they somehow still ended up in the picture.
It’s time we move closer to our object, and then even closer. Let the object that we want to take a photo of fill the frame. Have a try and see how you go with close ups. It can be a portrait, an object or animal, have a go!!

Here is my photo for week one. I love this photo of Nathan, he's always such a happy and chatty boy.

And here is my layout. I decided to make it monochromatic, something I haven't done in a good while.

Roll on next week's challenge!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another busy day

Today it's lightly clouded and not promising rain. It is keeping the temperature down though, which is very much appreciated. Shearing is progressing well.

We spent a most of the morning down at the yards drafting another mob of ewes and lambs. Poor Nathan was barrelled by a big ewe. She gave him a hell of a fright. Fortunately there's only a little red mark on his chin.

Adam spotted a baby bearded dragon in a clump of buffel. Nathan and I were wondering what he was doing when finally he stood up and showed off the lizard...from his nose to the tip of his tail he was about 4 inches long! He sat very placidly on Adam's hand and then happily transferred to Nathan's.

Nathan has gone back down to the shed with the men. My help is not needed, giving me time to do a few things around here.

I have spent quite a bit of time in the garden(?), well I'm working on one, and pulling the weeds out from between the blocks of turf. We are really pleased with the way it's growing. This photo was taken just prior to Christmas.

Which is a marked improvement from this:

The front alcove looked like this:

But now looks like this:
It's a lovely cool area to sit and relax in. We have removed all the curtains from the front and back of the lounge room and brought the outside in, making it look not only more spacious but more relaxing and inviting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Shearing finally got underway today....thank goodness. Flossie (the cook) got out of town and remembered she hadn't bought any chips or lollies for Nathan, so she's made him a donut chocolate cake. Flossie is such a sweetie and always has something just for a little dude. Talk about a spoilt lad!

As usual, there was one hiccough...the fellows went back to the shed after lunch and discovered that the fuse on the pole at the shed had dropped out. Hence no power! The local Ergon fellows were in Jericho so didn't get here till about 4.30pm. A new transformer was needed and fortunately one of the crews brought one out just incase.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New team announced

Vanessa has announced the new Design Team for Scrap with V.

Janine Kennedy
Kylie Symons
Liz Hicks
Kim Kendell
Wendy Gaskin
Jodi Dolbel
Julianne McKenna
Sine Grant
Kylie Howland
Lindy Gillespie
Annette Gearside - Millie

Congratualtions ladies.

There are some new faces on the team which is fantastic. I know you girls will have a great time, I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Boys will be Boys!

This morning dawned overcast as has been the last few days. The fellows walked a mob of ewes and lambs down to the shed and cleaned out the shearers' quarters. We were to draft the sheep this arvo but the weather caused a change of plans.

Just after midday, drizzle set in and it showered off and on all afternoon. It was decided to postpone shearing until Tuesday. So what do two 'big boys' and one little boy when they have time on their hands?? Get the go-cart going of course...and then plough around in the mud!

Here's Adam:

And Martin:

He thought he wasn't on the go-cart long enough to send mud flying....told him I had proof!

I stayed inside out of the showery weather and got some more scrapping done.

I hope you had a great day.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Busy day

What a busy day it has been. Up at 5am to start mustering for shearing commencing Monday. With the help of an ultralight, we had six paddocks mustered by 11am. Adam's comment was "Boy! Does he make it (mustering) fast!"

This afternoon, I was able to get another layout done, along with two yesterday afternoon.

With this photo of Nathan and Sami on the tractor, I was keen to try something really different and I am delighted with the end result. Adam drew the Fergie for me.

This is my third layout with Basic Grey Wassail, but that's okay...I love these papers.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Winner is Announced

While the local regional council sponsors the Christmas lights competition in town, our local paper The Barcoo Independent sponsors a Christmas road sign competition for those living out of town.
The winner was recently announced:

It certainly has the "WOW!" factor, don't you think.

Ours looked great by night. We had fibre optic lights on it that were turned on each night and they could be seen for quite a distance.

but rather ordinary by day, especially when the tinsel faded within 4 days!

We already have plans to improve on it for Christmas 2009!