Gosh Christmas is creeping up fast

I'm not real good at this blogging stuff, am I? I have really neglected it lately.

We spent a lovely ten days in Cairns in the beginning of November which I am sure you will see in the layouts that I will be creating over the coming months and indeed in the last couple of Cybercrops.

We stayed at Holloways Beach which is approx 10kms north of Cairns city and the beach is not like our South Aussie beaches where we have the soft hard packed sand, it was grainy and moved a lot under foot. In Cairns itself you cannot swim at the beach as the city has a more swampy beachfront which is muddy and tacky with lots of crabs. At this time of the year also, the waters are full of stingers so it is dangerous to swim in the sea unless in an enclosed netted off area for protection. Holloways beach had a small area to do this and the boys liked it but the current was strong and wavy and no sooner would they stand up than wave would come and dump them under again. It became a little much for them after a few days so we resorted to swimming in the pool at the resort.

One evening at dinner I got up from my chair on the balcony to find this little fellow sitting under it. I rushed to get the camera for a photo before the boys terrorised him and he left. I could not believe the intensity of the colour of him up close.

We did a variety of activities whilst there because the resort did not run the usual activities for guests, instead they relied on the local tourist trade to entertain. We took a trip, a rather bumpy one, out the the outer reef and spent time snorkelling over the Great Barrier reef. This was rather a challenge for me because I have a fear of getting my face in the water but I was determined not to let the boys down .... and show them sometimes you have to face your fears and I made myself do it.
Here we are suited up ready to go snorkelling and I must admit I did enjoy it after the first 15 minutes of psyching myself for the experience. There aint no hiding the figure in these suits!

Another trip was out to the Rainforestation Nature Park which I think overall was the best day we had. There was wildlife to feed and look at, Aboriginal dancing, boomerang throwing, didgeridoo demo, spear throwing demo and a rainforest tour on an old Army DUKW. The boys loved this...... as they were the only kids on our tour they all had the opportunity to drive the DUKW when we got into the water. This is Mitchell at the helm.

Ethan and Keelan even put up their hands to try the aboriginal dancing in front of the crowd - I was so proud of them for having a go.

Viva even remembered us when we returned to collect her from her short boarding home. Now we are back into the routine of walking twice a day and going to the shops and craft and swimming etc.

Tonight I have been having fun with a free online class by Penny Hackney. It's over at Scrap a while
I wasn't sure that I could make the class so I didn't buy the kit that was on offer but I managed to find some papers in my stash that would work with similar effect. Loved it!
Now into the Cybercrop shares from last weekend. As usual I found myself working on two CC's on the same weekend so I didn't quite find time to complete all the challenges at both.
Over at Scrap Of Difference Anne-Marie asked us to complete a belated birthday card. I used a computer printed verse and stamped the turtle from the Cute critters set of stamps by Clear Dollar stamps.

The theme of the CC was Remember - due to the fact it had been Rememberance Day in November. The colour challenge was to use cream, brown, rust red and green and Michelle wanted us to use the word "remember" on the layout also. This is the boys holding a carpet python at the Wildlife Dome in Cairns.

See, I told you I snorkelled....... This was the sketch challenge from Anne using a sketch from Pencil Lines.

Now over at Home and Scrapped, this was a little challenge Josie asked us to complete. We had thirty minutes and were to use once piece of cardstock and scraps to complete 6 - 4" x 3" cards in non-traditional colours. I used a Kaiser stamp from their Merry Christmas collection from last year. I actually enjoyed this challenge so much that I complete another two sets and made a little holder to carry six cards so that the teachers get a thank you gift of six Christmas cards, two of each design.
I haven't photographed the others yet, so when I do I'll add them including the little holder I made for them.

Jewels gave us a layout for inspiration which I virtually copied to a T as it suited my birdie photos. These photos are also from the Wildlife Dome in Cairns.
Did I mention that I won a Cardinal's song Fiskars punch from the Fiskars blog? Well, can you spot where I have used it?

Mary gave us a title challenge - to use the words Forever and ever. Straight away I thought of the song from the Winnie the Pooh movie so used a verse from that as my journaling. This photo has been sitting in a drawer for almost ten years waiting for something to be done with it. It was the first "studio" photo taken of Bruce and I long before we had any plans to get married. The paper is from Colobok - from my survey win which I received last month. Nice, eh?

Joy gave us a mixed challenge: 2/3 photos, some black a little white, a lot of one other colour, 3 red things and some stars. I kept it very simple and I really like how it turned out, not to mention the fact I used up some really, really old paper from my stash. The photos are of the boys at the lagoon in Cairns which was created for people to swim at because of the swampy beach. It is a huge pool and has one side of sand and the rest is concrete paths and grass/picnic areas surrounding it.

Heather gave us another of her great sketches and again I have photos of the wildlife dome.

Last but not least, I found some shopping centre photos from Christmas 2006 at the Tuggeranong shops in Canberra. I have three of the same photo, one each for the boys albums so this is the first of my layouts. Again kept it simple as I really want to get some scrapping done at the moment and don't want to waste my time looking and looking through my stash for the 'perfect' embellishment. I just want to keep them moving. I put it up for the Scrap a while December challenge to create a Christmas layout.
I'm so behind with Christmas stuff though. I have spent so much time making my cards that I have not got around to writing in them yet. Some will be lucky to get them before Christmas the way I am going. I even went to start writing them out and came across about 12 cards left over from the ones I made last year so I guess I will have heaps of them.
Hopefully I'll be back a bit before Christmas.....


Karen said…
I was wondering when you were going to update......I have been checking every couple of days....
Lovely work as usual Melissa.
Hope to catch up with you soon.
Anonymous said…
great layouts.you are doing awesome at your scrapbooking still
Love your photos and work, Melissa ... I just gave you a blog award ... check my blog for details :-) ...

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