Saturday, March 30, 2013


It feels like forever since I've written a blog post. Sorry about that. Actually, it's only been a couple of weeks but life has been rather full of distractions of late. Three distractions, in fact.
We were on our usual Sunday afternoon outing to the local Pets at Home for cat food. We had been keeping an eye on these degus since before Christmas, and every time we went to the store we'd have to go and check if anyone had taken them home. This time, they were still in the shop and being utterly adorable. Normally, when either Chris or I starts thinking about how we could take them home, the other one of us will have their sensible head on and rein it in. After all, we live in a small house and already have a cat and a chinchilla. How could this possibly work?

Apparently, what happens is that as you wander away someone else will start looking at the degus and I was overcome with the fear that someone else would take them home. And so that was it. I had a serious case of longing, and Chris wasn't in the mood to discourage me. A quick mental re-shuffle of the lounge and where on earth we were going to put them, and we were decided. The degus would be ours!

We picked up a cage, and some toys, and a bag of food, and before I knew it we were heading home with three degus in cardboard boxes. Oh my word. 

Chris has had degus and other rodents before, but I've never experienced anything like them and wasn't really prepared for the level of overwhelming cuteness that comes with having these three guys in my life. They are utterly engaging, charming and adorable. After a few days we started to notice their distinct personalities, and although we are still getting to know them they are already part of the family.

I can't help but smile each time I see them. Their friendly chatter and the fact that they are so interested in you and everything you do makes them the perfect companions. They get braver every day and will come out of the cage to greet us - now we have to work on training them to go back in when we want them to. Indy, pictured here, seems to like sitting on top of the radiator and keeping his feet warm. He's also started to 'groom' me by gently nibbling my fingers. Apparently this means I'm one of the gang and I love it.

Pep the chinchilla is distinctly disinterested in them, even when the most adventurous degu tries to make a bid for freedom by dashing across the lounge. Morpheus, on the other hand, thinks we've bought him his own live TV. Now if only he could work out why they are so interested in him... (and no, we don't let the degus out of the cage while Morpheus is in the house.) 

This time last year, if you had told me what my life was going to look like, I would have called you a fool. It's funny how things work out and I certainly never imagined a home full of furries. Every day, we do something that makes this home even more special and right now I couldn't be happier.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Adventures in scrapbook style

I've talked a few times before about attempting to change my scrapbooking style. I am trying to make it a conscious process - looking critically at other examples to see what I like, what I don't like, and considering how I can reflect that in my own pages. I think this has come about for a couple of reasons - firstly, feeling that my pages were beginning to look 'the same'. And secondly, looking at the wealth of new products that are out there and realising that I find some of them very hard to use because they didn't fit with the 'style' I thought I had. 

More than anything, I have realised this process is a work in progress. The page above took me far longer than one of my usual pages. Not layering and overlapping the papers makes me feel the page is very exposed, and I start to get super-critical about straight edges and neat borders. (It also makes it harder to get a straight photograph, but I promise you this is not wonky in real life). I found it really hard to decide where to put embellishments, and had to leave and come back to this page several times. Eventually, though, it all came together and I have ended up with a page I love and am so pleased to have in my album. I've made a few others in a similar style since this one, and each has come together a bit more easily. I am enjoying being a bit more adventurous.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A scrappy Sunday

Oooh, look at that...March was nearly running away with me. The last few weeks have been ever so busy with birthdays, holidays, and not least Mindy opening her new shop. She's had a corner of Mum's shop for a few years but as her business has grown both she and Mum needed space. I am so proud of Mindy for having the courage to step out and do something like this. Go Mindy!

This is probably the quickest that I have ever scrapbooked an event. Seriously, it's less than a week since I took these photos. I'm using a real mix of supplies at the moment. Some of them are like the white background's been in my stash for a long time. The brads and chipboard letters have been around for a while as well. The patterned paper is new from the Amy Tangerine Yes, Please line. I have updated my paper collection with a few 6x6 pads from different manufacturers, and this is one of them. I love the bright spring colours and watercolour effect. I also love that the 6x6 pad has two cut-apart sheets which have small scale journalling and embellishment cards on - the 'hello adventure' and pink label on the right are both from this. A great way to add little embellishments without breaking the bank.

I have been a follower of Scrappyjedi (Melissa Stinson) for a while and though I love her style I have never managed to incorporate it into my pages. In my bid to expand my own style, I went with smaller photos and mounted them on vellum. Genius! Why didn't I think of this before? I love the subtlety of it and the way it creates another layer without making it too heavy on the page.

I am still practising. At the moment each new page is my *favourite* and I like it that way!