Eating food provided by my aunty Lyn who took Tuesday off work to come visit us. I say us but pretty certain I wasn't the main attraction. ;)
Binging on Nora Roberts books.
Planning a campervan adventure on the coast for the end of spring.
Enjoying the pops of colour my cyclamen provide. After a tip from Mum I've started watering the saucer underneath, letting them draw the water up, and now they are thriving.
Sorting through hand-me-down clothes from cutie niece. Everything is so little and sweet!
Starting to look at houses for sale. We're probably a year or so away from being serious about buying somewhere new, just beginning to monitor the market at this stage.
Wading through 6 months worth of work emails.
Splurging on Elle's Studio products, particularly the Joyful collection for my December Daily.
Thinking about how to improve my photography and which specific skills I want to work on.
At 6 months old Amelia is:
The Simple Scrapper Story Starter theme for September is Simple. Reading through the 12 layout ideas, the story of our wedding table runners came to mind. Definitely not the quickest and simplest wedding detail to organise. ;)
This is a 6x8 spread for my Wedding Details album. I have the beautiful album from our photographer but I also wanted somewhere to record the planning and details that went into the wedding. While the big photo is of our wedding day, the two smaller photos are inspiration images that I'd found online and pinned. I intend to use the vellum 'inspiration' circles throughout the album for consistence and to easily denote they aren't my personal photos.
The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.
Somehow, with some crazy fast forward of the calendar, it's almost time to start thinking December Daily again! Of course I am planning to document my sweet little Milly's first Christmas, but I have no thoughts so far on what form my December Daily will take this year. I've been keeping on eye on the new Christmas collections being released, although nothing has really caught my attention yet, and I'm eager to see the new December Daily kits Ali is releasing this month.
But before I become too focused on this year, how about I finish sharing last year's mini album.
December 24 - It wasn't a technically great photo of me snuggling with my friends' little baby so I turned the photo black and white. The photo of my cranberry sauce cooking on the stove wasn't particularly inspiring either, so I printed the recipe on vellum and sewed it on top of the photo. Using the same border punch helped unite the two pages and add some interest.
December 25 - With my December Daily being the only Christmas scrapbooking I do, as per usual (2014, 2013, 2012) Christmas Day is never documented in just one spread. I began with a favourite selfie of Mike and I from Christmas morning. I was conscious that this was the last Christmas with the two of us, and Christmas morning will never be the same again. :)
On the right I included a card my Mum had made for Chip, aka Amelia. ;) I attached the back of the card to a strip of transparency so it's sturdy in the album, can be opened and the back still seen.
Inspired by Ali Edwards' Storytelling with December Daily class, I created a foldout page of photos of Christmas morning and lunch. You can use the tab to fold the page to the right, then it all pulls over to the left.
I used a full spread photo, about 10 by 7 inches, as the basis for the next page. Who can resist little cutie niece's face there? She wanted to sit next to her Auntie Lanie. :) Again, not a technically perfect photo by any stretch, but there is my family and Mike's mixed together, Santa hats and crackers and paper crowns and food and mess and colour. I love it.
I included a page of printed journaling in the middle of the spread, with a few simple red embellishments.
On the other side I included a collage of photos from the afternoon, and struck two fabric-covered chipboard stars back to back on the edge of the page to form a tab. It does split the full spread photo but I figure holding the page on it's edge will allow the photos be seen easy enough.
To finish the album I created a vellum pocket which I sewed onto a piece of glitter paper. Mementos like gift tags, wrapping paper, a joke from a cracker are tucked inside. I used a piece of patterned paper to line the cardboard back cover, with the sentiment cut down from a 3x4 card on the bottom.
Normally I continue the album through to December 31st; I think it's the first year I ended here on Christmas Day. I'm off work over Christmas through to New Year so the time feels like a holiday to me. For this Christmas I was only two weeks work off beginning maternity leave so the time didn't feel as precious. With nothing I particularly wanted to document happening, I simply decided not to.
This is the end of my December Daily album, but I think I've got another page of two still to share.
You can find links to all my December Daily albums and pages here.
At 5 months old Amelia is:
This post was drafted on 27 July, when Milly was 5 months and 1 week old.
I'll be back shortly (ha!) with a new update because today my baby reached 6 months of age. Seriously, how did that happen?!
Having recently farewelled Mike's grandmother Esme, I knew I wanted to create a layout for Milly telling her a little about her great-grandmother and the relationship they had. I have a few photos in my album of being held by great-grandparents as a baby but I know very little about them. I wanted to create a connection to Esme for Milly.
I based the design on a sketch from the Simple Scrapper membership collection. The journaling ended up longer than I expected, taking up more room than allowed for in the design. However, my decision-making process was simplified by pulling out elements of the sketch as inspiration, such as the scalloped border which adds colour and pattern and using the banner shape, cut from washi tape, to fill an awkward blank space.
The journaling is a letter to Milly, based largely on this post. I did finish with one additional story though.
One of the stories told at her Memorial Service dates back to her Teachers’ College days. In the evening Esme convinced her friends they should go skinny dipping and next morning went around knocking on their doors and getting everyone up. They get to the water and count down, 1, 2, 3... Everyone takes off their dressing gowns ready to jump in, but Esme was the only one wearing bathers under hers.
Esme definitely had a cheeky side, no pun intended. :)
The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.
On Thursday we farewelled Mike's grandmother, Esme Edgley, who passed away a week earlier. Despite being 92 years old, it was unexpected. I'm grateful that her whole family - daughters, grandsons, great-grandchildren, all of us - gathered together for lunch only a few days earlier.
It was a simple service, befitting someone who was not fond of funerals, with songs selected from musicals that she loved. Her daughters later commented that beginning the service with the final song of Les Misérables may not have been the wisest choice, given that half the attendees were teary after only the first few bars. People were invited to take a flower from the arrangement home to remember Esme by, which I think would have appealed as she loved a bargain.
I knew Esme as a warm, interested and generous person. She was a much loved grandmother to Mike, who will forever be grateful for the hours she spent teaching him how to read.
Her three grandsons, Mike and brothers Dan and Steve, collaborated on a letter that was read out during the service.
Dear Grandma Esme,
As each of us sits with 3 hankies in each pocket, we are grateful you sent one to us with each birthday card over the years.
When we were young, we remember you there at home; in the morning piling structurally unsound levels of honey onto toast, and in the evening doing the ironing or watching Sale of Century (sometimes with your eyes closed, snoring). With the gift of hindsight, we now know you were helping Mum and Dad by keeping three ratbags out of the way, and that you needed to warm your tea up in the microwave because we never gave you a chance to finish it.
You took two trains just to come and see us, and help us with our homework, and spoil us rotten. And as we got a little older, we got upset when we weren’t up in time to see you off when Dad took you back to the train station. We always jostled for position to see who got to stay with you over the school holidays, for some quality one-on-one spoiling.
As we grew older and vaguely more self-sufficient, more often than not we would go to visit you. Dressed in our best “Grandma” jumpers, we would make sure we made it to McDonald’s for Hotcakes, followed by a light morning tea at your house and a less light Lunch at Kelly’s Hotel or Barney Bananas. Sometimes we met Aunty Sally and went bowling, usually followed by too much of your money spent on arcade games. And then of course there was afternoon tea, because we’re growing boys don’t you know. We were introduced to classic entertainment such as The Gods Must Be Crazy and Bugs Bunny. You were always kind enough to have something for Dad to fix when he came down with us also.
We’re sure your shopping lists must have revolved around the specific items with competitions running, and we were well versed in answering the phone to whatever combination of names you’d entered the competitions under. You won a trip to Perth, and to Queensland. You won a car from Cadbury’s, and Dad went on Hey Hey It’s Saturday to get the keys from Darryl. We learned that good fortune came to those that worked for it, by collecting as many labels and barcodes as they could and mailing them to whomever would take them.
Once we started to get our own social lives, and our licenses, we were less likely to make every trip with Mum and Dad. But we still saw you at Birthdays and at Christmas, and you would still feed us too much. Even dropping in unannounced wasn’t enough to stop a cache of biscuits and party pies appearing for an instant afternoon tea.
Whenever we asked how you were doing, the answer was always dismissive and cheerfully pessimistic, but you were far more interested in what we were up to. And though Mum and Aunty Sally would complain about how stubborn you were being, you always told us (quietly) that they were the best daughters in the world.
Although you were reluctant to visit Mum’s house and conquer their steps, when invited to one of ours you couldn’t wait. Luckily Aunty Sally has always been more than willing to chauffeur you when she could. After such a special event, the hosts would usually receive a hand written thank you note telling us how much you had enjoyed yourself.
Even more recently, Great-Grand Children started arriving, and suddenly family gatherings involved sitting and watching them play and telling us how clever they clearly are. When we brought our children to see you, they too got morning or afternoon tea. Once again, there was always an extra packet of chocolate biscuits or lollies that could be found.
We used to ask why you didn’t have a Grandpa living with you like Grandma Madge did, and you told us he was flip-flopping around up in heaven. Now we know that you have done an amazing job of bringing up two daughters from when they were very young, and we owe a lot of our own good fortune to the amazing job that you did. So now I’m sure you and Grandpa Harry have got a lot of catching up to do, flip-flopping around together.
Mike, Danny and Steve
My sadness at Esme's passing has surprised me with an extra element, and that's Milly. As melodramatic as it feels to say, her life will be that little bit poorer for never having known Esme.
I want Milly to know how much she was loved. I remember Esme's delight when Mike and I told her I was pregnant, and the first time Esme held Milly she sat there with tears silently running down her face. In a room crowded with family I didn't notice, she didn't make a fuss, but Mike saw. The last time we saw Esme I sat down on the couch next to her, Milly on my knee, and the two of them just stared at each other. There was an extended period of time, the two of them just gazing at each other. Esme commented then, as she had before and since, how alert Milly seemed. How intelligent. I remember another family lunch too, Milly and I sitting at the table next to her, and Esme watching Milly, fascinated. I don't want to give the wrong impression, she was mentally fine and only moved into aged care a fortnight before her death, Esme just wanted to soak her all in. She asked me then if Milly cried a lot, recently having read and put aside an article for me on how crying is a babies way of communicating. We laughed that Milly definitely had a lot to say.
I want Milly to know what a strong, capable woman Esme was. Widowed at age 42 (I think it was) with two young girls to raise, she managed their business, their investments, fought to renew her teaching qualification to become a primary school teacher again. She was savvy with money, particularly real estate, and shopped the supermarket catalogues. During the service Julie, my mother-in-law, got a laugh when she told how they'd had to put their foot down when they started doing her weekly shopping, making her choose just two supermarkets instead of her preferred four. But Esme was also generous, with cash in cards at birthday and Christmas. If we purchased something on sale with the money, Mike always commented that we'd have to let Esme know about the bargain we'd scored. My favourite story though, is the air-conditioners. As Mike tells it, Esme had purchased a new air-conditioner for her own house. She was so impressed with it she decided to shout (heavily subsidise) the entire family air-conditioning. That's another six units!
And it wouldn't seem right not to mention the spreads of food that appeared during every visit. Regardless of time of day or how little notice we may have given her, Esme loved to feed us. We always felt so welcome and she was so interested in hearing about our lives and adventures. Although she did worry, Esme was particularly pleased about our South American honeymoon as that was somewhere she'd have loved to visit.
Esme Alice Edgley
2 June 1924 - 21 July 2016
You will be missed.