Saturday, 29 October 2011

Christmas Paper Wreath

I have just finished making a Christmas Wreath out of paper. This was my first attempt and I  must say I am mighty pleased with how it turned out. I saw the idea online somewhere a few weeks ago. They had made theirs out of wrapping paper. I  made mine out of scrapping paper. See below for instructions if  you want to have a go at making your own.

This is how I made it
1. I used a sheet of Bazzill Cardstock 12" x 12". I placed a dinner plate on it and traced to make a circle. Then I used a smaller plate to make another circle. Then I cut out along the lines to make a ring.

2. I drew a leaf shape freehand out of the spare cardstock. Then traced it onto my selected paper. I used Festive from Kaisercraft December 25th Collection. This paper is double sided and it took nearly 2 sheets to make all the leaves for this wreath.

3. Then I inked the edges of the leaves with Tim Holtz Walnut Stain.

4. To give the leaves a bit of shape so they didn't just sit flat against the wreath, I pinched the ends together so I got a nice curl.

5.  Then I stapled the leaves onto the cardstock ring. I started with the middle leaf then did the outer two. I didn't use a hot glue gun for this as I find it too messy. But you can use whatever is easiest for you. Double sided tape might work as well.

6. I did one side of the ring, then started the other side so the leaves met in the middle at the top and bottom.
7. I then cut out another ring to cover the back so the staples wouldn't be seen.

8. I them made a bow and hanging tab. These I added using a hot glue gun as I wanted to make sure they stuck.

9. Next I added some Green Tara Christmas picks and flowers.

10. And there you have it, my first attempt at a paper Christmas Wreath.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Today has been a tough one.

As I sit here in front of the laptop with the kids in bed and the house is so quiet, I reflect on today.
It wasn't anything special, just another day. But my 10yr old son who has Autism decided that today was going to be a challenge for everyone in his world. I know he can't help it, but sometimes I struggle to deal with it.
This afternoon was one of those times.
He was fine when I picked him and his sister up from school. But as soon as we walked into the front door at home his personality seemed to change. He suddenly had attitude to his voice and a tone to it I did not appreciate. He was argumentive and just generally difficult. I have heard it before and it is something that I find very difficult to deal with.
I know there  could be a few different reasons for it. One of which I think is that he is copying another boy at school. This other child was born with attitude. Unfortunately my son is a copier. He will repeat what he sees and hears, in others conversations, from the TV, anywhere, anytime. I recognise this child in my son when he changes like this. He has even admitted in the past when we have had times like this, that he is indeed copying the other child.
Another reason could be some environmental trigger that I am unaware of. Why would he change suddenly when getting home?
Could it be that something happened at school and he was holding in his frustration till he got home?
I wish I knew what the problem was that triggered this behaviour. I try to get him to tell me, but he gets frustrated because he can't explain it. Sometimes he doesn't know himself why he is "off".
And I wish I could relate to him more in times like this.
But most of all I wish that I could  be more patient with him and not loose my temper. I get frustrated with him and do not listen to him enough when he gets in these "moods".
I hear the words of Kirk from Celebrate Calm in my head at times like today, but another part of me takes over and just can not stay calm as hard as I try. I guess tomorrow I need to put Kirk's CD's on and have another listen.
At times like this now when I can sit and relax and reflect, that I feel so overwhelmed.  I wish that I could take back the not so nice things I said to him, I wish I had of sat and just listened to him instead of cutting him off. I wish I had handled it better.
Isn't hindsight such a wonderful thing.
I love him immensely and would never physically hurt him, but it's my words that I fear may be causing him harm. I try to praise him constantly and encourage him to try harder.
I know he knows that I love him, so that gives me some solace. He is a forgiving little soul, so I know tomorrow he will hold no grudges. I always wake him with a kiss and cuddle, and scratch his back before he gets out of bed. He loves that.
Tomorrow is another day, another chance to be a better mum. Another opportunity for me to grow and learn. Another day to kiss and cuddle him and let him know that I love him very much.
In the words of the greatest Hollywood cowboy - "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday. " - John Wayne
I want to leave you now with some images of my gorgeous son.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Scrap Retreat

This past weekend I spent at a Scrap Retreat. I had an absolute ball as usual. The scrapbook shop where I teach hosts 2 retreats a year, one in May and another in October. The cost is very reasonable as it covers all meals, accommodation and 3 classes. Guests arrive from 7pm Friday night and scrap till whenever. There are optional extra classes they can do on Friday night. This year I taught a 3 hour marathon class on Friday night. The lovely ladies got to complete 3 double layouts in 3 hours. I must say there was a lot of laughter and conversation thrown in to the class.
Saturday sees breakfast at 8.30am and then free time to scrap till the first classes start at 11am. After this one hour class it again is free time to scrap till lunch, then a two hour class at 1.30pm, and another 1 hour class at 4pm. Then its free time again to scrap until you can't stay awake any more.  Some of us scrapped till 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, or should I say mornings. Sunday is your own time all day till 3pm to scrap.
We have a lady come visit us on Sunday for $20 massages. And by this time some of the ladies really appreciate these.
The weekend goes way too fast. Lots of laughter, lots of chatting, lots and lots of scrapping, and way too much eating of chocolate. This year we even had a bird visit us.
We came back from dinner on Saturday night to find that we had a bird trapped in our scrapping room. Well the evening after that till nearly 11pm was a mix of scrapping, bird watching, opening all doors, turning off the lights and trying to shoo the bird out with brooms and whatever we could find. There were some hilarious suggestions which included a few suggestions around bras being used as sling shots. After all it was a room full of 50 women. Eventually the party got too much for the bird and he flew to freedom. The onsite caretaker said he had never heard such a loud celebration.
I had a wonderful bunch of ladies on my table and we shared many laughs. There were some serious moments when we discussed the big issues and especially issues with our children. We learnt some things and shared many funny stories.
Eventhough I was working, the socialising with our customers and the time to sit and scrap with great company outweighed this fact. It was an excellent weekend and I can not wait till our next one in May next year.
If you are a scrapper and haven't been on a scrapping retreat yet, what are you waiting for? Get down to your local store and enquire. You will have lots of fun and make some new friends along the way.