31 December 2011

Farewell 2011... Bring on 2012

Hey there,

So as 2011 is in its final hours, it is a good time to reflect on the year that has been and the hopes for the year to come. 2011 was not an overall great year for me. In fact it was comparable to the very awful year 2000 that I had in my final year of high school. However, I made it through and have very high hopes for the year to come.

In 2011, I experienced some of my greatest fears as a reality. In February, I interrupted a person attempting to break into my bedroom window. Such an experience really ruins that feeling of being safe in your own home so I have struggled with that at times since.

In March we celebrated the birth of my gorgeous neice Kaleaha. My sister's 7th child. Yikes!

In June, many of my co-workers move on to new jobs which was sad to see them go but exciting for them too. This was largely due to the unfortunate news that our centre was closing down and we were re-opening about half an hour further down the road. New, state of the art centre, but a massive drive each day to and from work compared to my current 10 minute drive. This came with a combined mix of good and bad. I got promoted to senior psychologist which was a great achievement being as young as I am, but the timing was horrible. I struggled with a horrendous workload for months to follow due to us being so short staffed and having difficulty recruiting due to the relocation of the centre next year. So my work stress was extreme and my hours were long. But I did lose a lot of weight... yes from stress.. but it meant being at a size I was happiest without trying ;)

In September, my worst fear at work came true with an incident I wished never to experience in my career. Unfortunately as a psychologist, there are not always happy endings with the individuals I work with so this was a very difficult period following an already stressful work phase. It came with subsequent self doubts. It did not take long to move forward from these doubts thankfully and remind myself that I am competent and skilled. Sometimes things happen no matter how much is in place to avoid them.

October was our first wedding anniversary which we celebrated with a weekend away in Brisbane.

Throughout a lot of November and December, Simon was away touring with his band so I had a lot of time alone. This itself was not as hard as I expected, however in late November I had to say goodbye to my beloved cat Felix at the age of 15. More than half my life with this beautiful girl but due to fluid on her lungs, I had to have her put to sleep. This was so much harder without Simon home.

Throughout the year there has been a mix of health issues and stressful situations surrounding those I love but thankfully most of these things seem to have improved for the better. However there has also been a mix of happy news with my scrapbooking, which has included having 4 scrapbook layouts accepted for potential publication in Scrapbooking Memories magazine. The first is due to be published in March 2012!

The week before Christmas came a happy experience. The adoption of our kitten, Dexter. He was my christmas present from Simon and has already brought much joy into our home. And Christmas with the whole family has been a wonderful experience also, with my brother and his family up from Melbourne. So the year will end on a high note at least.

So with that all said and done, I have some big goals and very high hopes for the year to come. We hope to receive the happy news that we are expecting our first child hopefully soon into the new year since this news did not come about  as yet. I also have the following goals:

- To get organised and declutter
- To focus on being healthy, fit, and baby ready
- To clear our outstanding debts
- To have at least one mini break overseas (just cannot help myself... the travel bug is bad)
- To keep trying new things and experimenting with my scrapbooking and craft

So farewell 2011... good ridence. Welcome 2012... I am already very fond of you as I can feel you are going to be a great year!

Holly xo

30 December 2011

Top 10 of 2011

Howdy,

Wow, I cannot believe 2011 is almost done and dusted. And not soon enough if you ask me. It was quite a challenging year at times for me so far from my favourite. However I am proud of my achievements regards to my scrapbooking. I started the year as a complete and utter newbie, dabbling here and there over the years in some totally flat, dimensionless scrap pages. Then I discovered challenge blogs and found so many wonderful and inspirational scrappy friends. I somehow managed to get on some design teams (thanks to those lovely people who were willing to take me on) and my scrapbooking skills improved 1000%. Still a long way to go compared to those I have come to admire, however like any new skill... it takes practice and I've been having lots of it!

So I thought I would take this opportunity to share 10 of my favourite layouts of 2011. It can be hard to narrow it down and there are a couple of favourites I am not allowed to share due to acceptances from Scrapbooking Memories (Wow... another thing that still amazes me) and a couple of very recent creations for DT purposes, so here are 10 favourites that I am allowed to share:













Even in this collection of layouts,  you can see the development of my style over the space of a year.

I also wanted to share my top 6 OTP projects:






Don't forget there is still time to enter my blog candy for my blog anniversary. The anniversary is 5.1.12 but the draw will come late in January. Click here to enter. You could win this:

Wishing you all a happy and save new years eve. Bring on 2012!

Holly xo

26 December 2011

Christmas at the Connors Household

Merry Christmas everyone!!

I hope your day was as wonderful as ours. This year we had the wonderful experience of having the whole family together for christmas with my brother and his family up from Melbourne. So in total, 9 niece and nephews under the one roof for the day. Never a dull moment!

 Here is a Christmas project I forgot to share. How yum are those chocolates. Somehow most of them survived yesterday so yay... chocolate goodness for days to come! I used a mix of new and old kaisercraft collections for this set.


 Awww... my christmas present sitting under the tree like all the other presents. Isn't he the cutest?
 And playing with the decorations...
 Family around the christmas tree getting into the gifts.
 Even managed to take some photos of all 9 kids. There are about 12 different photos of them and not a single one is perfect. So hard to get this many kids to look at the camera haha
But they are a cute bunch of rat bags!

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful time this festive season!

Don't forget my blog candy. It's almost blogivarsary time...

Holly xo

23 December 2011

Memory Box

Hi everyone,
Cannot believe how close to Christmas we are. Its coming too quick as I have so much left to do but tomorrow will give me plenty of time to get organised at least. Lucky Christmas falls on a Sunday. How is everyone else's plans coming along? What do you hope Santa will bring you?

Our house is full of excitment with our recent addition... my christmas present kitten. He is so full of energy and love. Keeps us busy when we are home but the introductions with my siamese Villain are going slowly... and a little painfully lol She's a very territorial girl... which is normal of the breed. But we'll get there.

Today I wanted to share a very sentimental creation I made recently, which is something I am so very proud of, simply because of the importance. As some of you may know, we lost our other cat Felix not so long ago. It has been a sad time not having her around anymore after more than half of my life with her. So I wanted to make something more than a simple layout and decided to put this fabulous Scrapware memory box from my stash to good use.
 Materials: Scrapware memory box, scrapware, twidleybitz, scrapmatts chipboard, Manor House creations flowers & leaves, prima bling, Kaiser flower and paper, Bo Bunny paper, Tim holts distress ink, other: metal charms, paper doily.



I am linking it up to the current Scrap Our Stash December anything goes challenge because it is so special to me and I want to share it.

It has been a mega busy time for me lately so I have been a bit slack on the blogging but I have a few things to share (hopefully I'll squeeze in another post tomorrow) and some exciting news to kick off the new year.

Holly xo

18 December 2011

Christmas Came Early For Me

Hello everyone,

I have had a most wonderful day, picking up my christmas present from my husband. He knew I always wanted a Devon Rex cat so after the recent loss of my beloved Felix, he decided he would get me one for Christmas.



Our new family member is a little boy and is as yet unnamed... so if you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. Isn't he adorable? The second kitty in this photo... with much less fuzz is his brother... who my naughty sister decided to adopt. So they are both causing havoc in my spare bedroom for now until we can slowly introduce him to our Siamese Villain... who is already very unimpressed. But she has been calling out for her departed companion so hopefully in time they will be friends.

Holly xo

11 December 2011

Felix

Hi All,

Here is a layout I made featuring my recently departed fur friend, Felix. The envelope contains the journalling from the recent post I did about losing my cat. A sad but special reminder of a special friend.




Materials: Kaisercraft bonjour papers & stickers; A2Z Scraplets chipboard; other: buttons, paper doily, twine, flowers.

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to check out my giveaway post to be in with a chance to win.

Holly x

10 December 2011

Self-Reflective Scrapping

Hi all,

The past few months have been very challenging for so many reasons. In fact, this entire year has been quite the challenge with many of my worst fears becoming realities this year. Overall I cannot wait for 2011 to be over because I'm ready to get on with good times instead.

In September, one of my biggest fears at work occured and it really hit me hard. Unfortunately I cannot discuss the details of this, however it resulted in a lot of self-doubt and reflection. Over the days that followed that experience, I had so much time to go over and over it in my head and have since made peace with the situation, knowing that I did do an exceptional job and I should never have doubted myself in the first place. However as humans, we do. Over and over again. Its one of those frustrating traits most of us seem to have.

Up until recent times, I had never scrapped about anything negative. Always instead focusing on the positives in life. However the negatives shape us just as much as the positives do, therefore it is important to record both of these. Especially when it comes to self-reflection like I have done in this next layout. Many of you will have seen one of my recent posts after having lost my cat recently too so again, its a moment that should be recorded and remembered, because no matter how hard, these moments do shape us.

 This layout includes hidden journalling inside the envelope on my experience at work and my feelings that followed. It even includes a totally hideous photo to reflect on the physical emotion of the time.


I am linking this up to the current Bo Bunny layout challenge, which is to be inspired by circles. I absolutely love the timepiece collection and have used it on so many creations. For this particular layout, I chose the clocks (circles) to express the sentiment that time heals all. There are also some great circular designs on the background paper too.

Materials: Bo bunny timepiece papers, Kaisercraft velvent ensmeble mini pad, Kaisercraft blooms & bling, AC thickers, Jillibean soup kraft alphas, Manor House creations leaves, vintage buttons and twine.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to look. This particular layout was one that I contemplated not sharing but decided to go ahead and share. It has taken time, but I have had the chance to move past the experience now. There are still reminders here and there but my doubts are gone.

Holly x

04 December 2011

Exciting News to Share

Hi everyone,

In the midst of my very sad week last week, I received a very exciting email. You see I have quite an obsession with chipboard and have always wanted to be on a chipboard manufacturer design team... and now I am! Woot!

I am now designing for A 2 Z Scraplets commencing in the new year. I cannot wait to get started. If you pop on over to the blog, you can see the other talented ladies who will be joining me on the design team. Pop on over and check out their blogs when you get a chance.

On other news, Scrapbook Kits with a difference is currently having 20% off all kits at the moment. That includes lots of new kits that are being added to the store each day. There are some really gorgeous christmas ones too. You can find the store here.

Scrapbooking Haven is also having a massive store sale with so many bargains. I picked up a heap of stuff yesterday for dirt cheap prices so be sure to check it out. Maybe some christmas shopping for some crafty friends? You can find the store here. There is also a 12 days of christmas challenge going on at the ning site.

And of course don't forget to join in on the massive Scrap School competition going on at Wicked Princesses.

And... don't forget to enter my blog candy here.

This post sure does have lots of keep you busy... or shopping hehe Have a great day everyone.

Holly xo

02 December 2011

Blogiversary and Giveaway

Hi everyone,

Sometime late in December last year I decided to start a blog. At the time I was starting to get back into scrapbooking, but had always only just dabbled on and off prior to this time. It was not long after christmas and only a couple of months after my wedding. I had loved all the DIY stationary and stuff I'd made for my wedding and thought maybe a blog would be a good way to motivate me into regular creating. It did not take long before my interest in crafting turned into a full blown obsession. This blog documents that journey over the past year and how far I've come in such a short time.

So to celebrate my blogiversary and all the wonderful new bloggy friends I have made in this time, I am having a giveaway. To be in with a chance to win, all you have to do is become a follower of my blog (if you're not already) and leave me a comment after this post. For an extra chance at the draw, share this giveaway on your blog or in your sidebar and link back to me but don't forget to leave another comment letting me know so I can add an extra entry in the draw.

Thank you to all of you who visit and leave such lovely comments. It is so nice to have people who share my interest and whom I can share my creations with. That's what keeps me coming back each day to see what is happening in the blogger world because each of you inspire me and remind me how much I love creating!



Blog candy

A mixture of items including some WOW, scenic route and Dusty Attic chippy titles, Manor house leaves, Prima & kaiser bling, lots of alphas from Prima, Abi's craft etc, some mini pad papers from MME, an alpha stamp and christmas stamp set and some other bits and pieces.
Holly xo

01 December 2011

December Inspiration - Scrapbook Kits with a Difference

Hi everyone,

Thank you to those of you who left kind comments on my last post. It has been a really sad week. I just had a call from the pet cemetary people about arrangements for my cat's cremation and it has me in tears ago. However I did do something nice for myself today and got a new hair cut and colour. It has been such a rough couple of months. I really do need a fresh start so hopefully the new year brings much happier times.

Onto some scrappy shares. The new sketch and inspiration challenges have been released over at Scrapbook Kits with a difference and here are my takes on each of the challenges:

December Inspiration pic:

My take - Waiting For You
 Bo Bunny timepiece papers, zva bling, prima flowers, kaiser rub on, AC thickers, Jillibean soup alphas, white paint, felt, lace.


December sketch challenge:

My take: Cheris Family
 Bo bunny time piece collection paper & stickers, kasier paper & bling, flowers, chipboard titles, mesh.


Hope you are all having a lovely day.

Holly xo
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