Monday, August 26, 2013

Made it!

So I mentioned at the bottom of Wednesdays post that I was driving back to my home town with my two kidlets. You'll be pleased to know we all made it alive and well.

Brenden insisted that my car got a service before I left, I'm pretty slack on car care (I don't think I have even ever washed my car myself) and she was well and truly overdue for one. Seeing as we were flat out all the weekends and our mechanic is a Chloe-unwalkable distance from public transport that just left Wednesday when I, and the kids, could get a lift back from Cathy.
I had planned from the beginning to drive through the night. It would have been way too hectic trying to keep them both feed, asleep and happy when needed during the day. Jayce still sleeps well at the start of the night so I figured I'd bottle 'em both up, throw them in the car to sleep and hopefully arrive before they wake.
Anyway, back to the car thing. So Cathy ended up taking Chloe for the day. Great I thought, give me plenty of time to pack and get organized.  Of course I forgot Mr. Hold-Me Hold-Me would want to be held all day and there wasn't much I could pack without a car to pack it in.
Eventually Brenden gets home, we get my car back and Chloe and I finally make some progress. 

Amazingly and very suprisingly everything fitted in! I even snuck a large portion of my scrapping stuff in and still have room! The last few things were just extra toys thrown on top!

Ok, so, I have done this trip with just Chloe many times before and nearly always struggled to get it all in. So somehow I've managed to add an extra person, extra car seat and their extra stuff and take up less room... Either my car tetras skills have seriously improved, I've finally learnt how to pack light or I've forgotten a bunch of stuff... knowing me, I think it will be the latter.
So this is my boot space:

This is is my boot space with just Jayces pram:

And this is how much else I fitted in:

With a lil help from the back seat.

But still magic! Seriously champion worthy car tetras there!

8:08 PM - Leaving our house. Not looking forward to the drive.
8:34 PM - Fill the car to the brim at the petrol station right at the start of the highway.

9:02 PM - Chloe finally stops pointing out all the cars and trucks and stars and Jayce and blanket and doggy and dark and anything else she can see and doses off to sleep.
10:46 PM - Pull into Yass Service Centre to top up and pee.

11:01 PM - Back on the road.
1:34 AM - Pull off the highway for the last leg of the journey. Jayce starts to stir.
2:04 AM - I spot the Uncle Tobys factory just at the edge of town. As a kid I used to sing "I see Uncle Tobys" and clap along excitedly when coming home from anywhere and in my delirious over-tired state I start doing this again.
2:08 AM - Arrive in Mums driveway!
Exactly 6 hours after I left home. From driveway to driveway. No joke. Here's proof.

2:10 AM - Try to race Chloe into bed so she won't wake up. No such luck. Greeted by 3 very excited women.
2:13 AM - Jayces turn. Rush him into the prepared pot-a-cot, he wriggles a lil then closes his eyes. All 4 of us run out of the room.
2:20 AM - Jayce looks like this:

Bugger. I give him a feed and he still looks like this.
4:00 AM (approx) - We are all off to sleep. Finally. 24 hours since I had woken up the day before. But we made it.
8:37 AM - Jayce is up. So is Chloe. And our Victorian adventure begins!

Considering it has taken me an extra-extremely long time to get this post sorted with much frustration between my phone, the very limited/slow internet access and old-old computer things will be a little quiet around this side off the blog-o-sphere until I get back to Sydney.
In the meantime, given the information above, can anyone guess my hometown? (clearly not intended for those who know me personally)
XoXoX Nicole

Friday, August 23, 2013

Layout - Before & After

The other day I told the story of taking some family belly photos here and today I share the scrap page I made using the best set.
I struggled with this page for quiet a while! The photo is special to me and I wanted to do it justice.

I had a few options in relation to the theme and color scheme. I could have gone down the love path with lots of hearts or taken the baby road with rattles, bottles and teddy bears. I could have pulled colors from our clothing or made the pic black and white. 
Instead I chose to embrace our back yard and use the fence, rock wall and greenery to guide me. 
Kaisercrafts base coat collection was absolutely perfect for this and ultimately made my decision for me!

I decided to give my scissors a rest from this layout and ripped all the papers, showing the white inside to give it a bit of a rougher layered look. I love the word stick pin from little yellow bicycle, it was hard to decide which one to use, I nearly put them all on.
I print all of my pictures for scrapping using my borrowed-from-mum-with-no-intent-to-return hp photo printer. It is really old and very moody! It refuses to print decent 6x4 photos, always messing up the colour, so I use word, print them on an A4 sheet and cut them out. But sometimes even the A4 sheets will come out with funky colours. This happened with these photos numerous times and I couldn't just throw them out so chopped 'em up and threw them on too at an offset creating the perfect gap for the alphas and date.

I brought the ladder because I thought it went with the backyard-ish theme, but by putting the cut out square 'growing' under it made it more of symbolism of our family getting bigger. I left all the wood/chipboard bits raw to keep with the natural look of the papers.
I wanted to subtly point out that what was written on our belly in the first photo is what we are holding in the second, what better way then to use arrows! 'Magic happens' seemed like a perfect fit cause having a baby is pretty special, amazing and magically.

I wanted to put the word 'family' on my page somewhere and had lots of options in my stash, embellishments, alpha stickers, papers, rub ons etc I decided to keep with Kaisercraft and use there rub on words. However I didn't want it to take away from the photo, so after rubbing it on I got my scissors out of retirement and scratched at the word. Giving it a rougher look and breaking up the solid black making it look lighter.
The brick stencil has been in my stash for ages and what a fitting layout to use it again. I used glimmer mist with it over all of the ripped papers to help unify the layers.

The 'Homemade' bingo card lifts up to reveal my journalling: "I couldn't resist taking photos like this! It took a looong time to get photo #2, it was always raining! But we got it in the end + possibly a cold too!!" It really was freezing!
Thanks for checking it out!
XoXoX Nicole

Kaisercraft - Base Coat - Weathered
Kaisercraft - Base Coat - Rock
Kaisercraft - Base Coat - Corrugated Iron
Simple Stories - Harvest Lane - Bingo Cards
AC - Thickers - ??
Kaisercraft - Wood - Ladder
WOW - Chipboard - Narrow Arrow Pack
?? - Chipboard - Heart
The Crafters Workshop - 6x6 template - Bricks
Tattered Angels - Glimmer Mist - Creme de Chocolat
Kaisercraft - Rubons - Enchanted Garden
Kaisercraft - Rubon Words - Family
Little Yellow Bicycle - Word Stick Pins

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Belly Photos

I think every mum-to-be must get photos of her belly!! Because, hopefully, your belly will never be that big again (unless of course you have more lillies).
And as much as I really didn't want/feel like having my photo taken while pregnant, I now love having those few photos to look back on. Unfortunately I didn't do weekly or even monthly shots  for Chloe (huge regret!!) and swore I would do it for Jayce. I didn't. (huge regret!!) But I HAD to have some pictures. And I just couldn't resist doing a cute family before and after shoot.

So I planned for Brendens mum to come around one afternoon and take a few snaps.

First up we just took a few shots of the three of us and one very big belly in our backyard.
You can't really see it, but Chloes singlet has an iron-on which says 'I'm the big sister', corny but I had to do it!

Then we did some before pictures.
Sitting on the couch one night while pregnant I looked over and saw Brenden leaning back making his belly look big with a beer in his hand, next to him was Chloe leaning back making her belly look big with milk in her hand and I came up with this belly photo idea.
(unfortunately I found similar photos on the internet a week later so the idea wasn't as unique as I thought)

Of course there were a few outtakes.

We put Chloe up on the rocks to try and get all our bellies at the same level but it put her too far into background of the photo so we moved our local to the other side of our yard and stood her on her sandpit lid instead.

We had our before shots so now we needed the baby to arrive so we could get the after ones. And exactly a week (even down to the hour) Jayce was born.
However for weeks and weeks after the weather was so terrible! We hit the heart of winter and it rained every single day! I was very frustrated by this and was driving Brenden nuts nagging about when we could get the after shot.
Finally on a Sunday afternoon the sun broke through for a whole two hours! My mum and aunty had just driven up from Victoria to come visit for the week. The moment they pulled into the driveway I shoved a camera in their hands and dragged them out the back.

I had kept all of our clothes from the original photo clean to make sure they were ready and waiting for when we could take the next photo. Of course this particular Sunday Brenden had dressed Chloe in these jeans then let her jump in puddles all morning so they were soaking wet, so you may notice she looks a lil shift and cold. Actually we were all freezing! But I got my photos =D

And the final products.

It took a bit of fiddling around with the colour, exposure and stuff but I think I got them pretty close. And they were well worth it!
I will always love these photos. So glad we did it!
XoXoX Nicole.

P.S.Wish me luck as tonight I attempt to drive the 7+ hours to my home town in Victoria with a 2 year old and 2 month old by myself...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Two Months New

A bit late, again..
Things have beencrazy around here! Brenden and I have not had a free weekend with the house to ourselves since before Jayce was born and we're looking at another month until it will happen again!!

Jayce has hit the two month mark, yay, and I am please to tell you there has been some major improvements since his one month bday, double yay!

There has been less of this:

And more of this:

The most notable difference is definitely his sleeping.
During the day he is still shocking. There is one nap for about 30 minutes, just long enough for me to flick the TV on for Chloe, have a quick shower, put a load of washing on and if I'm really lucky tidy up a lil. Other then that its really only if we are out and about he'll nap longer then 10 mins in the pram/car seat.
However now at night he has started sleeping for around 9 hours! Woohoo! Unfortunately it starts at 6pm which means he is still waking up sometime between 2-4am! Bugger!! And by the time I get Chloe to bed, clean up a bit, possibly chill with Brenden and the time it takes me to hit the zzzs, I'm not getting a full night sleep. He will go back to sleep but not well. He grunts and groans heaps! So I usually try my best to ignore until a more reasonable time.

Chloe doesn't get so upset when Jayce is crying anymore, instead she will come and tell me "Jayce ciryen" or yell "CRIET Jayce" (quiet Jayce). Have a mentioned that she can't say his name normally it is always in a high pitch tone.

Jayce is smiling big and happy, I swear I've got a few giggles aswell.
The two month stats:
Weight: 6.20 kg
Length: 60 cm
Head C: 40.25 cm

Jayce is starting to get some real arm control. He is able to swing at and hit hanging toys. But his favoutire past time seems to be watching his mobile and can lay there smiling at it for a good 20mins! (thats how long the music plays for) The mobile did come with a remote so you can turn it back on from a distance but Chloe has decided that it is her bag.

And he still loves his bath. I have been bathing him in the laundry sink because ease of access to water and not back-breaking like the bath tub. But it is getting harder to stop him from hitting his head on the end when he plays/kicks around.

Lets hope he keeps getting better! Can't wait until Chloe and I can play with him more!
XoXoX Nicole

Friday, August 16, 2013


Chloe turns 2 today!
I can't believe it! My lil bubba has been gracing us with her presence for two wonderful years!
Every mother says it, but the two years have truly flown by! And I still can't get over how much love I have for her! I fell in love with her the minute I saw her and my love grows with every smile, cuddle and giggle.
She is amazing, incredible, fantastic, beautiful (etc etc) and to think something that great came from Brenden and I, pure craziness!

Chloe the day she was born.

Chloe on her first birthday.

Chloe this morning, on her second birthday.

A HUGE amount of stuff has happened over the past year:

Chloe had her first fever and was hospitalized =[

Her hair grew long enough for pigtails (hugely important!)

Chloe began to walk.

We moved house.

Chloe met heaps of new animals.

Her hair grew even longer for a single pony tail.

She started sleeping in a big girl bed.

And she got her very own toy brother.

I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for her and to watch her grow even more into the perfect little lady that she will become.
Love you so so so much my beautiful bubba.
XoXoX Nicole

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Layout - Introducing

I have been slowly working on this page for over 2 weeks! It is a must do baby layout. The introduction page with the birth details.

I took my inspiration from the blue doodlebug notebook-like paper and the simple stories cork paper and decided to design the page as if it was a hospital clip board.
The page is fairly busy, with lil bits and pieces of info everywhere but everything on the page serves to provide info or add to the realism (eg the tabs at the top left).
To ensure Jayce's name (the title) wasn't lost in the crowd it is the only thing on the page that is actually straight, everything else is stuck at an angle.

First step was the clip for the clip board which I freehand drew then cut out from grey card stock. To help with realism I 'embossed' it by drawing onto the back over a soft surface to make indents then rubbed grey chalk on to the front to emphasis them.

I used a blank calender card to tell his birth date and added the time on a card behind it. I have used the Kaisercraft report card stamp again (seriously liking it atm) and this time added in his agar scores.

I searched my lss for awhile to find something with 'details' on it but this notes cut out fits in perfectly and houses all the usually stats. A must say a massive thank you to my aunty Mandy who printed a huge bunch of words with her dymo for me and posted them up. Thanks! They are exactly what I wanted to added to the paper work type theme.

I have also used keepsakes as embellishments, what better place to keep them safe. There are the hospital wrist bands for Jayce and I on the bottom left and on the bottom right under the 'notes' cut out is the tag that was on Jayces crib.

The more observant eyes may have noticed the decorative bracket with more of the screw brads on the bottom right. Well it actually works and lifts the 'notes' paper to show off the hospital crib tag and the back of the paper. I was disappointed when I realised that the 'week in review' was the same piece, I really liked both. This way I could use both and put on added details of the week that was of Jayces birth.

What do you think? Did I take the clip board idea too far or pull it off alright? Let me know.
XoXoX Nicole

Materials: (a bit of everything...)
Doodlebug Design Inc - Boys Only - Clip Art
Simple Stories - 24/Seven - Cork
Bella Blvd - We're Expecting - Coming Soon
Bella Blvd - Baby Girl - Daddy's Girl
Bella Blvd - Baby Boy - Mommy's Boy
Echo Park - Everyday Eclectic - Hexagons
Echo Park - Today's Story - Discover
Kaisercraft - Konstrukt - 6x6 Paper Pad
Bella! - Mat Stack - Wedding
Cardstock - Grey and White
American Crafts - Thickers - Bliss Black
Studio Calico - Adhesive Letter Set- 105
Authentique - Fresh - Elements
Kaisercraft - Stamp - Class of '87
Simple Stories - 3x4 Sn@p! Cards - Snappy Days
Kaisercraft - Flourish Pack - Nappy Pins
Bella Blvd - Washi Tape - Yellow Chevron
Decorative bracket and paper clips
Brads - Screw Top
Dymo (Thanks again Mandy)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lots of Thanks

Babies are amazing lil things! And being so small its incredible what they can do. Like how loud they can cry, the amount of poo they can produce and the ability to bring people together.
People have come from near and far to meet our little man and our family has been showered in love and gifts! It really is touching! I had to do something to show how much it is appreciated, so I made these:

Unfortunately I didn't have enough product/time to make one for every person that deserved one, sorry about that guys and girls.
And sorry blog readers, I've been holding out on you. I made them quite awhile ago now but wanted to be sure the recipients got to see theirs first.

To make the cards I began with the photo from my DIY photo shoot, which took me 2 weeks to print! Turns out if my printer is out of a colour it just refuses to print in any colour until you figure out what the heck is going on. (Anyone want a copy of this photo in black and white, I have plenty!)
Since I've been absent from the scrapping world a new craze has come along, ombre. And I knew I wanted to use this technique. However it turns out to be a lil difficult to perfect.
It is suprisingly hard to change the shade of the paper without changing the tone. Unless you use a small trick I thought of (while wondering through bunnings of all places). Paint samples!! The paint company has done all the hard work for you! There just sitting there, for free, waiting to be punched out and stuck down!

I used an alpha punch set to make the sentiment as I kinda wanted the photo to be more of the focus. I was going to use the punched letters on the inside as well but my OCD child cleaned them up and put them in the bin within minutes. Instead the inside looks a lil like this:

Considering I was making multiple cards, it just seemed logical to use stamps and punches. That way I was able to production line them after the first one was just right.
Saying thank you once was not enough, hence I stamped the background over and over with three different 'thank you's in white so they are subtle under the hand written personal message.

I also wanted to put Jayce's birth details somewhere on the card, having run out of room of the front and finding this Kaisercraft stamp in my stash, I had my solution. (And only now I realise I probably should have included his birth date too... woops...)

I couldn't resist grading him on the three main newborn characteristics. And let me tell you, he deserves that F and A+!!! (More on that here)