Friday, June 27, 2014

Project Life - Plant love pages


In lieu of last weeks regular page layout, I decided to make a plant layout instead. Just as I had the layout coming together, I received an email notifying that One Little Bird had just released a new set of digital elements. Perfect timing:) A couple of the elements were just what I needed to give a clean and simple, minimalist finish to my pages.
The right page is an 8x10 photo collage - just because it's cheaper to print that size than 8.5 x 11 in NZ

I love how this turned out. Main focus on the photos, enough story and a quote which perfectly sums up why I love plants and flowers. 

I also love breaking up regular weekly pages with photo heavy themed pages. I've been giving a lot of thought to how I complete Project Life. There are no rules. The only ones are set by me and I don't mind breaking them! Honestly, I started the year with the intention to do weekly double pages, using the same sort of format each week for continuity. Ha! I veered off track in the early weeks. I've come to realise that to stay interested, I need to adapt to what I feel like doing each week. 

So for now, that could mean some weekly, some themed pages, some monthly summaries... whatever. 

And I still love doing this project:) 

Supplies:
One Little Bird digital elements










Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Looking at a real food diet

A few weeks ago I read an article which scared me a little. I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease nearly 17 years ago, after becoming extremely ill after the birth of my first child. It was a scary time and one that I've never talked about here. Basically, I was probably losing weight personally while I was pregnant and within 2 weeks of the birth, I weighed 40kg. I thought I was on the way out. I can't explain how that felt, being a new mum. My mother in law, and sometimes my mum, dropped their own lives to come and look after us. I will be forever grateful for that.

Anyway, after a million blood tests, they finally made a diagnosis of CD 2 months later! I was so pleased to have an answer. And so started the gluten free diet. Soon after I realised that I was suddenly intolerant of things like high fat dairy, but I'm okay on low fat yoghurt. Still can't figure out why I could eat something one day and then, suddenly it makes me vomit my insides out.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. The article I saw said there's a likelihood that a GF diet may not necessarily be enough for coeliacs. There's a chance that a lot of the food that's GF may still cause leaking of the gut. Um, eek! I try not to read to much about diets. The whole Paleo/real food thing makes sense but I always wonder, is it just the next fad?

This last weekend my mum, who it also turns out is a coeliac (and mis-diagnosed for many years until I was diagnosed), was admitted to hospital with severe pain. She has an ulcer and this is not the first one. I googled the subject and don't much like what I read. I think being a coeliac, being O blood group and taking after mum, I need to take notice of some of what I've read. But am I ready to commit to yet another life changing change of diet?

I've been perusing information about 'real food' diets, paleo, 'whole 30'. It all gets a little overwhelming but today after hearing about mum, I have a new determination to make myself even more healthy. I gave up most sugar late last year in a pact with my daughter. Just cutting out sugar and ice cream (yeah!), I dropped over 6 kgs that I didn't even realise I was carrying as extra! It's still surprising how much 'sugar' sneaks into the food I eat. It's so much more than sugar though. Grains, dairy, preservatives...

I follow Australian chef, Pete Evans, who has adopted a real food way of life. I love his philosophy. I've ordered his latest cookbook (as interestingly, it's sold out of several local bookshops) and looking forward to having a good read.

It's not something I intend to just leap into. I know my body type is not like others. I know I'm allergic to gluten. I can't get out of my head that my specialist who diagnosed this, said to me that this must be a lifelong diet or I could risk getting cancer if food irritated my system. Am I still eating irritating foods? It certainly can't harm me to trial eliminating things and see. But can I stick to it? We'll see.

I'd love to hear from anyone else clean eating.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Project Life - Week 24

I didn't make any pages for week 23. Why? A variety of reasons... busy, not many photos, not anything to set it apart from a regular week. For a few days I almost threw in the weekly idea, but I find myself struggling to know how to pull a group of events together without using a weekly, or maybe monthly format. Themed pages are easy.

I decided to do another catch up on journaling - a 'right now/currently/lately' page. I find them interesting to look back on more than just random journaling. Sorry I've had to blur out some of it. There's a lot going on that I just can't risk out there on the web!


Doing the 9 pocket pages is a little more work but I've settled on a system. I size my photos 2.5 x 3.5 inches and place them on a 6 x 4 for printing. It's just a matter of trimming them to size.
The Enjoy Life is from Studio Calico's free basic digital class. I recoloured it white and added to a Sunshine kit card which balanced out the bold colour of the photo I wanted for the right page.


So, essentially another simple look. I actually stripped a few elements off it to simplify it to the look I prefer.

Supplies used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Midnight and Sunshine editions
Paislee Press digital elements
Ali Edwards digital (was a freebie from Hello Story class)
Studio Calico free digital element (as described above)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My quest to capture the magic of winter - 1


It's a hard gig to capture the moment sometimes. Like today. I had my camera in one hand, delicately poised to try and photograph the waves hitting the walkway. The other hand was holding the dog lead because one woosie dog was scared of the waves and trying to run away. Argh, a moment lost.

You see, today I woke up with an urgency to go out and take photos. I could see the light peeping through a partly cloudy sky over the sea while I was driving and I was anxious I would miss it. Turns out the light was nice, but not great as it sometimes is. Still pretty awesome for winter though!

Backing up to early this morning, two things happened. I saw that this online camera course was open for purchasing again, and then as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across something that had me clicking through to their blog for a full read. This struck a chord with me:

“It’s not always about those big ol’ grandiose trips or constantly living by the seat of my pants. There are so many places around my own home that I want to explore. Some of the people I admire most are the ones that find adventure right outside their door. It’s something that I’ve been trying to learn – a life that is fulfilling is all about having simplicity and finding beauty in those things.” CHRIS BURKARD


That just links in beautifully with my OLW thoughts and words - moment (this year) and simplicity (last year). 
I've been researching living in the moment and one of the things listed is to really take notice of the little things around you. That's one of the reasons I decided to set my winter magic photography project.
On days like today, a photo taken could easily look like any season. The sun is bright and warm - sharp contrast to the nasty storm we had on Tuesday. So, my challenge continues. Hope you enjoy a few faves from this morning's walk.






Thursday, June 5, 2014

Project Life - Week 22

Okay, so I skipped week 21 - well sort of. I dedicated all of it to my daughter's birthday photos and her at 15 years. I showed part of it on Instagram but haven't put the full pages on here as there are photos of her friends etc.

So moving along to week 22...actually the last few weeks have been tough, some days really tough. My son is going through hard times and at times I feel completely unqualified to deal with the situation. There is no instruction manual. We rely on professionals for counselling, therapy and advice but there's not much support out there for parents of ASD teens. Anyways, the "Life is unpredictable" card was perfect to add some personal thoughts on the reverse.

In some ways though, this situation makes me focus on the good more and appreciate the happy times more. We try to get out and do things that make us happy and in fact, I'm writing a post about seeking my purpose in life. Sounds a bit heavy huh? Well something our psychologist said to our son sparked something in me.  More about that sometime soon. I have a few posts half written but this week, my heart is elsewhere, so they may or may not be finished soon.
One of the reasons I love this size PL is that it looks more like a book to me. I enjoy a few more scrapbook style layouts. I could almost be tempted to use actual embellishments! But no, I do like the digital simplicity.

You may laugh, but I had a dream about an ampersand! Actually way different to this, so it may end up on another layout! However the page came together quickly and I used a digital wooden ampersand from One Little Bird... plus my script. (yes I'll post about my script soon as requested:))

So that's week 22 - a few select photos that just sum up a yoyo of a week.

Supplies used:
WRMK pages
Becky Higgins Project Life Sunshine Edition journaling cards
Paislee Press digital supplies
One Little Bird digital element
See you soon:)

Friday, May 30, 2014

OLW and a winter photography project

'bye autumn!
Winter is closing in on us here in new Zealand. It's my least favourite season. I hate being cold, hate waking up on cold mornings and all that goes with cold. Fortunately in Auckland, winter is usually quite mild compared to further down the country. There is no snow and if it does rain, it doesn't tend to last for days on end. That's all sounding very positive of me isn't it?
earlier this week - sunrise over the sea and a 2 degree C frosty start

Part of what I wanted to explore with my OLW moment this year was to capture the moment. Then I got to thinking about Nicholas's photography assignment at school which is making a photo essay. One thought lead to another as I wondered how I'd approach their brief.

I decided to set my own assignment to capture the magic of winter. That will force me to find the positive. There won't be the magical snow and ice shots you see when you google the topic. But it will force me to really look harder and appreciate more of my winter. It also ties in with being in the moment which is something I've been researching lately.

I'm really looking forward to getting out and about and using my SLR more. I'm also thinking about doing this iphonography course. I did this last year and loved the challenges to stretch my imagination. This year I've upgraded to iphone 5s and love the camera and am keen to learn all its tips and tricks, although I've already found some good free blog posts here and here.

Roll on Sunday and the official start of winter! It's a long weekend here to celebrate the Queen's Birthday and we have plans for a day trip if the weather cooperates:) Happy weekend to you all.

PS: I'll be sharing some of my photos on instagram and will post some progress here as I get into it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Project Life - Week 20

Well that week zoomed by, and this week is well on it's way too!

It's no secret that I love photographing flowers... I think I inherited the love of flowers/plants/gardens from my parents, who are avid gardeners and dad has even received a city award for his services to horticulture.  I've realised my love is not actually getting in and getting my hands dirty though... I much prefer the designing and the photographing... oh well, each to their own.

I'm also lucky that we live in a pretty moderate climate and there's always something pretty flowering around here, like those gorgeous pink flowers just hanging over a neighbour's fence.

This week I just felt like going a bit brighter so I purchased the Sunshine edition filler cards of Project life. I think I'm a bit in love! Why didn't I get it earlier?
I purchased some new succulents and a bromeliad at the Sunday markets too.

This current week has been a busy one with Anna's birthday in the mix and it's proving a bit of a design challenge!

Supplies used:
We R Memory Keepers 9 pocket pages
Becky Higgins Project Life Midnight and Sunshine Editions (digital)
Ali Edwards digital elements
Paislee Press Week in Review card
My brush script made into a filler card