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    Tracey Agnew on Excuse the dust and cobwebs…
    Vicki on Excuse the dust and cobwebs…
    Hannah on Excuse the dust and cobwebs…
    mandyb on Excuse the dust and cobwebs…
    Karen Latham on The Party

Excuse the dust and cobwebs …

… seems this old blog has been a bit neglected lately. I’d like to say it’s cos I’ve been out enjoying Summer … but it’s currently wet and cold … I have the heat pump on and am getting over a horrible chesty cough … I don’t know what happened to Summer.

 

However, moving on … the big news is that Jessi is now 10. We’ve had a lovely weekend of celebrating … was just unfortunate about the weather … there’s nothing like having the piñata hanging from the lights in the middle of the lounge instead of safely outside where we planned it to be!

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It was a bit of a 1 Direction themed party … just the traditional party games and a cheats cake with a printed edible image and simple party food.

 

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We picked up one of these for her …

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She’s been begging for a small pet for quite some time … we eventually realised she wasn’t going to give up and so Theodore has joined the family.

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We had an extra cake for Church morning tea …

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… and then after Church she had this done …

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And that’s how 10 happens in our house.

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The Party

It looks like a bit of catch-up blogging is in order … November was a BIG month! You might want to make a cup of tea … this is a huge post.

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After being rather undecided about celebrating 40 I finally made up my mind to have a little party … a garden tea party actually. So invites went out and the work began to transform our overgrown jungle backyard into an acceptable party space … always with the uncertainty of ‘what if it rains?’ … but we went ahead with planning and just hoped for the best.

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As it turned out we had some absolutely gorgeous days leading up to the party day … and then on the day the wind decided to make an appearance … making it a little challenging to keep tablecloths on tables and rather difficult to hold on to one’s dress.

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My little jars of flowers had to have rocks added to keep them on the tables … I probably should have expected that, given that we live in Wellington … but still, they added the ‘pretty’ look I was hoping for.

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I’ve got to be honest, this wasn’t the perfect pinterest party I had imagined … there were limitations on time and budget and weather. I chose to go to Church in the morning instead of spending that time setting things up. I chose to do many things myself instead of hiring caterers. I chose to have the kids involved in setting up and helping out. I am exceedingly grateful to Janine and my inlaws who pitched in and got it all set up just in time.

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And I’m thankful for friends and family who helped with the making yummy stuff to add to the table.

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It may not have been pinterest perfect but it was certainly perfectly perfect for me.

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It’s quite impressive just how many tea cup sets Janine and I own between us.

Speaking of us … here we are …

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These macarons were the most yummiest of yum … I ordered them from Nikki at Creative Cooking … yes, I can make them myself, but not such a variety of flavours and not when I’m busy making other stuff as well … and it was a fun adventure for Jessi and I to sneak out early on Sunday morning before Church and pick them up from City Market.

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There was fruit too … lots of fruit.

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And Bekah made a good waitress handing out hot food …

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She was also the chief photographer so most of these photos are from her perspective.

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There was a selection of blankets to spread out on the grass for picnic style relaxing (we shall not mention the areas of dirt and new grass seed which was optimistically spread a week before the party!)

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And we had iced tea in little bottles with mint green chevron straws.

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And real tea in fancy teapots.

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Oh and I made a sign … cos I saw one like it on pinterest. This was one of my favourite preparation moments … with the weather being so beautiful in the week before I was able to be outside in the evenings painting … and with the left over paint I painted the bunting on the wall too.

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And then there was cake. This was really just a ‘for looks’ kind of cake … I made it myself and it looked better than it tasted!

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It’s the first time I’ve used fondant icing like this … not quite as easy as pinterest would have you believe.

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And I wanted it ombre inside as well … but didn’t fancy the idea of eating teal coloured cake so I made the inside pink.

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And maybe one of my favourite ‘came together perfectly’ things was this dress. I’ve been wanting a dress for ages but haven’t been able to find one exactly how I wanted … kinda vintage looking, and pretty and kinda teal … and not too short … Well, the night before the party I decided I’d just have to make one … only I didn’t have a whole lot of time … but I did  have the perfect vintage sheet. Rebekah helped … and all up it took only about an hour … no fussing with patterns and measuring and pinning … actually a little measuring cos I wanted it to fit of course … but I think we broke all the rules of sewing which she’s learned in school this year!

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And it was perfectly fine … except for the part where it was windy of course!

And that was that … 40 has been celebrated … and such a blessing to have so many friends and family to celebrate it with.

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More layout making.

 

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This is a ‘use up whatever is lying around’ layout. I found the bits of hexagon papers waiting to be used … and that giant blue flower has been floating around on my desk for ages. Journalling is tucked into the paper bag under the right photo with the feather which I’m sure has been waiting several years to be used.

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And yep … this is the big 40 month … kinda swinging between pretending it’s not happening and celebrating big … today it’s a ‘not happening’ day!

Another ‘use’ up stuff on my desk layout … featuring a photo of my parents which has been floating around for ages too.

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You’d think … if I keep on with this using up bits and pieces I might actually have a clear desk before too much longer!

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It turns out …

… that October was a good month for layout making.

Way back at the beginning of the month I finally managed to attend one of the local crop days that happen every so often. Usually there’s kids or work or some other grown up adult responsibilities to prevent me going but this time … well … I decided to go anyway!

 

I packed light … really just my Project Life supplies to finish off my September pages … so that’s generally my flat stuff … stickers, stamps, washi tape, small lettering, core kit cards … and just in case I’d need something else to do, I threw in a few old photos I’ve had printed for ages, a few sheets of card, a couple of sheets of paper and a 6×6 pad.

 

Turns out I did have time for a real layout or two.

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Given the ingredients I had to work with these layouts were very much flat and simple … a definite lack of arty, messy techniques … but kind of satisfying, just to keep it uncomplicated, using up some photos and getting the story told.

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Then it got even simple-er …

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not even a scrap of patterned paper on this one.

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I’m not sure if I’ve ever left a layout this simple … but it just seemed right to stop there.

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I guess not every layout needs to use $20 of prima flowers to tell the story. (Although I do like making those ones a lot!)

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It was good to finally get these photos on a layout … it took a while to work out what date to put on this one. When exactly did we get that trampoline? The kids look quite a bit younger than they do now.

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It was a good thing I got that one done … cos this is what our trampoline looks like now after the recent windy weather.

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It was an exciting day at our house … and a good thing I’d worked out the date … that came in handy when filling in the insurance claim!

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I guess I’ll have to do an updated layout when we get a new one.

 

There’s more layouts to share … but that’s enough for now.

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Is it too early …

… to start talking Christmas?

 

I made a pretty bird …

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And then helped him decorate his birdcage …

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Christmas styles.

 

 

 

 

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Would I be thinking Christmas if it wasn’t for a class at Craft House? … Probably not!

Hope your long weekend has been a good one … I’ve read a book, slept in a little, done some scrapping, had lunch with a friend, been to Church and had an inside the car picnic with the family, dismantled our broken trampoline, done a few loads of washing, a bit of housework and some grocery shopping … sufficient activities for a 3 day weekend I think.

 

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My Big Girl

Rebekah had a model for a day photo shoot done last school holidays … they spent ages making her over … curling her hair, applying make up and making her feel really special. Then the photo part happened, with tips on how to pose and 3 outfit changes we ended up with heaps of beautiful photos to choose from.

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Of course we couldn’t pick them all so ended up with these three which I think gives a good overall viewpoint of the session and also a good reflection of Rebekah’s beautiful teenage personality too.

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Mandi Lynn

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Child’s play.

Thought it was about time I actually used this Prima Doll Stamp I picked up at Paper Arts a month ago.

Dressing her up felt very much like playing with paper dolls … you know those ones with the little paper tabs that held the clothes on … only if you folded them just the right way AND held you tongue in just the right place?

I made this one first … the ‘deluxe’ version complete with messy play on the background and a few extra flowers.

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Then Jessi needed a quick birthday card for a friends party on Saturday so I made a ‘simpler’ version.

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Next challenge is to use it on a layout!

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