Sunday, December 28, 2008

The city by night

These are some views of the city as night approached - taken on Christmas Day.

Enjoying the view

On Christmas Day, after we'd eaten dinner, Gina and I sat on her balcony and enjoyed the scenery. These are views of Townsville looking over the city towards Cleveland Bay. The one above is looking towards Magnetic Island. It was such a beautifully clear day and the water was a deep aqua. So tropical!

Family pic

This is a pic of my daughter and her family at the airport ready to leave on their overseas trip. (This was Christmas morning.)

Christmas Day

Okay, so now some of Christmas Day which I spent with friends. This was the table set for Christmas dinner.

The turkey was ready and the preparations were almost done when I took these pics. It was a most enjoyable meal. The sweets we had later.

Christmas pics

Thought I'd try to post some pics of Christmas - our 'early' one before my family left on their overseas trip.

This one on the far left was before the present opening. The one immediately left and the one on the right are of my grandkids opening gifts.

Christmas and after

Quite early on Christmas morning I phoned my daughter's house to wish the family a Happy Christmas. My grandchildren just had to tell me about Santa brought them.

Before 9:30 a.m. I was at their place and so were my son-in-law's parents. We were there to take them to the airport. They were packed and ready and it wasn't long before I was saying "Goodbye" to them. They were flying to Brisbane where they spent some time on Christmas Day with my brother and his family. On Boxing Day they flew out of Australia to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong they fly to Ethiopia where they will spend almost three weeks, I think. They have taken baby formula with them in their luggage and they were hoping that if they had excess weight that it would be okay - and it was - so we are very thankful for God's provision.

I spent the day with friends and I was so glad that I wasn't on my own. We enjoyed a beautiful Christmas dinner with roast turkey, ham and pork and all the trimmings. Somehow we eat far too much on Christmas Day and we waited until later in the afternoon to have our Christmas pudding and brandy custard.

My friends live in an apartment on the twelfth floor of an inner city apartment building. During the afternoon my friend and I sat out on their balcony and enjoyed the breeze and the quietness of the city streets. It was a beautiful day and the sea looked an amazing deep aqua blue. We were even able to see the lighthouse way across the bay at Cape Cleveland. Later, when the city lights came on, I was able to take some quite clear photographs of the city centre at night.

On Boxing Day, my friend and I went to the movies to see, "Australia" with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. The photography of the Australian outback is stunning. I enjoyed the movie and I think it is quite true to history in its portrayal of life in Australia at the time.

Yesterday we went shopping around the home and garden shops. I used a coupon that I'd had for a couple of years (!) in one shop. I finally found some garden ornaments that I liked, so I've now added to my outdoor bird collection. My grandkids will have fun finding the new birds next time they come.

Today I've gardened early in the day - it's far too hot and humid to be outside once the sun is up, so I like to do it while it's in shade. I trimmed shrubs and tidied up my courtyard. Once inside again, I scrubbed the tiles in the bathroom, then I had breadkfast. After I'd been to my daughter's to feed her pets, I came home, had a shower and then I was ready for morning tea.

I'm trying to do some digital designing while I have this four day break and so far I've completed two embellishment sets which I have uploaded to the stores I sell in, so I feel I am accomplishing quite a lot really. Plus, I've loaded PSCS3 onto my PC and I've started working through some tutorials so I'm learning to use that program now as well.

Tomorrow I'll be back at work. I've enjoyed my four day break. If you're reading this, then I'm hoping you've had a blessed Christmas as well.

I'll try to upload some pics from Christmas - and perhaps the previews to my new embellishment sets.

Here's to the New Year. May 2009 be a year of blessing with many hopes and dreams fulfilled. God bless.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Almost Christmas

"Two more sleeps," my grandkids would say...

...and then they are on their way to Africa...starting out on Christmas Day.

I'm really going to miss them so I hope there is some way they will be able to email me from time to time. I just hope and pray that they are kept safe and healthy. It should be a great experience for them as they sample a little of Ethiopian culture.

I'm going to be missing my Mum this Christmas also. It is going to be a tad lonely, for sure, however I'm not going to be alone! I have friends!!! Yeah...and I'll be with them on Christmas Day, so that's a real blessing.

I want to wish all follow along on my blog a very safe, happy and blessed Christmas. Remember...Jesus is the reason for the season!! Have fun.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My new kit for Christms

Zesty Digi Designs_my_purple_christmas_kit_preview

I have uploaded my new Christmas kit to two stores.

It is at Scrappin Out Loud :

And also at Heaven-Sent :

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


BLACK FRIDAY they call it in the U.S. It's the day after Thanksgiving Day and it is one of the biggest days for SALES!

ScrappinOutLoud is having a store-wide sale.

Zesty Digi Designs will be 35% off!!

Don't miss out!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One door closes, another opens

This week, after weeks of frustration and stress, Studio Style Designs and I have called it quits. It just didn't work for us - on either side! I was sad to leave because SSD gave me the opening I needed when I began digital scrapbook designing.

Then - like the saying goes "when one door closes, another opens" - and it has!!

Scrappin Out Loud ( had a Designer Call and I applied. I was accepted and I've been busy uploading my products to their online shop. Yay!!!!

Now the second photobook of my trip is finished (today!) I will be back into designing - and I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

With great sadness

This past week has been so sad. My dear Mum passed away on November 11 - Remembrance Day.

My daughter and I flew to Brisbane for her Thanksgiving Service which was on Saturday morning. Although we were only there for four days we packed quite a lot in but it was a very emotional and draining few days.

I think it is the 'attitude of gratitude' that will get us through our grief and the pain of our loss.

My Mother was 94 years of age. She lived alone and did most things for herself. Although she had commented regularly on her increasing tiredness during the past few months, she was in surprisingly good health for her years. She had all her faculties and she was delighted when she managed to crack a cryptic crossword. She kept her hands busy with knitting, tatting and crochet. She read avidly. She liked to walk when the weather was fine and generally walked to the shops for her lighter grocery items. She did not want to have to go into nursing care, but she hoped to stay in her own home.

Two weeks ago she had surgery to remove a small tumour following some tests. I am so glad that she did because she probably would have had a much slower and definitely more painful time prior to death if she hadn't. The day before she died she had a full CT scan which revealed the cancer had spread. I am glad the doctor didn't tell her. Although she appeared to be recovering quite well from the surgery, in the last couple of days there was a decline and in the final twelve hours, she deteriorated rapidly, so her death was quick and it came as a shock to us.

We have so much to be grateful for though - all that I have mentioned above - and above all, that she had a deep and profound faith in God. She was ready to 'go home'.

She was a quiet, reserved lady who liked to do things in the background to help others. She spent much time in prayer for others. She loved her family dearly. She missed her friends who had gone from her life in these later years. She lived 'one day at a time' - a great philosophy.

I am going to miss her dearly but I will look forward to the day we meet again in that place Jesus has prepared for those who believe in him. I loved my Mum.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Photobook progress

In spite of hurting my back and being 'out of action' for most of the week, I have managed to make some progress on my next photobook.

I am up to page 41 now. Yesterday I did quite a section on Prince Edward Island and now I'm working on the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. I think another couple of pages will complete that bit. After that, I have the rest of our time in Nova Scotia to do and then it will be back to the mainland and the journey back.

My Oregon book should almost be leaving the U.S. in the post, I reckon. It should have been back from the printer's last week.

I'm hoping it looks really good because it takes soooo much time to do a whole book of almost 60 pages!

Well, that's it for now...I have to get back to the Cabot Trail...LOL!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Celebration Paper Collection

This is the preview of my new Let's Celebrate! paper collection. I'm really pleased with the way these papers turned out.

November already

Well I have no idea where October went...just that somewhere in the past couple of weeks, I had a birthday, so it mustn't have just disappeared off the calendar!

To tell the truth, I have been extremely busy. I have been trying to do digital photo albums of my trip overseas. One is finished - OUR OREGON TRAIL - and I'm now into the second one. I am trying to meet a deadline so that I can use photobook links which I had purchased a while back before the company changed names. (I'm not sure the company changed anything else much and now they have imposed a 'use by' date on photobooks which I'd bought and hoped to use over a much longer time than what is now available to me. Hence the rush is on! (And that's not to delve into the details of the extra charges they are now slapping on, on top for preparation and processing, packing and shipping - the latter was included in the original price but now an extra lot is being charged. I can't believe it, but I have coupons to use and I'm going to use up as much as I can before the end of this month and then I'm going to find somewhere else that operates in a more 'up front and reasonable' manner and charges within the realm of affordability while offering top quality.)

Amongst all of that, I have added some new product to the digi stores I sell at and have some extra things in the pipeline. I am starting to think of my Christmas kit and I'll start work on that when I need a break from this photo album.

Add to that some back problems again and you'll have the picture of what life is like here!

Anyway, I just thought it was time to pick up the thread again and not let this poor blog lapse any longer.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Home again

What an amazing six weeks I've had...tripping around North America.

Here's a brief overview.
I started with a couple of days in Brisbane, visiting with my Mum, before flying out to San Francisco via Auckland. This was the worst time I'd ever had flying long distances. I guess the lower back problems I'd been experiencing in the past couple of years came back to bug me. I don't think I could have sat another minute on that plane!

My friend, Kathy, was at the airport in S.F. to meet me and we drove back to her place in San Jose. I had a couple of days to catch up with myself and get over the jetlag which wasn't too bad really. Then we packed up the car Kathy rented and headed off on our driving trip through Oregon. I really enjoyed this trip and I was able to take lots of great photos. We headed to Ashland and from there to the coast. The temperatures inland had been really high which induced fog on the coast. I'd really wanted to see lots of lighthouses but some we didn't get to visit because of the fog. Then when we were coming back, Kathy wanted to go to Crater Lake but it was fogged in with practically no visibility so we decided to go to Diamond Lake instead. I loved the Columbia River Gorge and the waterfalls we saw. We took about ten days and then arrived back in San Jose with a couple of days to spare before I flew out again.

My next flight took me from San Fran to Toronto via Calgary. It was an all-nighter, so I was a little tired when I arrived in Toronto at 6 a.m. Sherry and Gary had come to meet me at the airport and then we drove back to their place, quite a distance from the airport. I arranged a visit with Julie and Sherry drove me there the next day (Monday). It was lovely to catch up with Julie and Mike. The next day, Donna was coming up from Michigan to meet me, but she wasn't arriving until later in the afternoon, so Sherry and I went for a drive to Klineburg. I had loved this quaint village on previous visits so I was a bit disappointed to find that things weren't exactly as I remembered. I did do some good shopping there though.

Donna arrived late in the day and after a quick cuppa, we got my luggage loaded in her van and we took off on my second driving adventure. We had decided to visit Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. There was some quite long stretches of driving involved to cover the distances but we managed to fit a lot in and we saw some great places and enjoyed lots of wonderful scenery. We did decide to stop in Quebec to visit the Old City there and we were pleased we did.

Prince Edward Island was lovely and I enjoyed it immensely. Then we crossed by ferry to Nova Scotia and headed up to Cape Breton Island. There we did the Cabot Trail - one of the best scenic drives in the world. After a couple of nights there we drove back down to Nova Scotia where we went to Peggy's Cove. This was surely one of the highlights of our trip. It is such a gorgeous little place with a wonderful (much photographed and painted) lighthouse. It was at Peggy's Cove that I met some more Beale's, orginally from England, and one who is an artist. We wonder if somewhere along the line, they could be related to my late husband.

The day we left Nova Scotia was one of the most miserable as it was wet and windy. We took the ferry across from Digby to Saint John in New Brunswick across the Bay of Fundy. We'd wanted to see the Bay but we didn't much sight of it, given the rainy weather. I think we were starting to get some of the rain from one of the hurricanes in the Gulf. We then drove back towards the U.S through New Brunswick. I liked New Brunswick and then Maine. We followed the coast down and saw covered bridges and cute little seaside towns. Then we crossed into New York State and headed west. It took us about three days then before we arrived back at Donna's home. As they are in the process of moving house - just a couple of miles from their old place, but crossing state borders - I didn't know whether to say they were in Ohio or Michigan.

I had another three days before Donna drove me into Detroit to board my flight to Toronto. I had a couple of hours in Toronto before my flight which took me to Los Angeles. Jim and his daughter, Nicola, were waiting at the airport to welcome me. We met Ingrid at one of their favourite restaurants and had dinner together before we arrived at their home in Orange. I had a wonderful four days with them and Tully, their 6'4" almost 18 yr old son. On Monday September 15, Jim drove me back into LAX for my flight back to Brisbane, via Auckland. I arrived in Brisbane at 8:30 a.m. and my brother, Paul, was able to come and collect me and take me to Mum's for a couple of hours, before driving me back to the domestic terminal for my flight home to Townsville. I arrived in Townsville on Wednesday 17 at 4 p.m. Ben picked me up and brought me home.

It was good to be home again. I quickly unpacked the 'treasures' I'd brought back for my grandkids and drove around to their place for dinner.

I still haven't recovered from this lot of jetlag. My sleep patterns are all out of whack and I'm quite tired. Tomorrow I start back at work. All too quickly routine takes over and my trip becomes a wonderful memory.

The photos and my travel journal will go into digital scrapbooks in due course and I'll be able to relive my memories through them.

Ahh...what a great time I've had. I thank God that I was blessed with safe travel and good health all the way too. (And I only gained 600 grams in six weeks! I am so pleased with that.)

That's my 'catch up' and hopefully, I'll get back into the swing and get blogging again.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A little progress

Today I organised most of the paperwork for my trip, making photocopies etc. Just a little more paperwork to fix up and then I think that side of things will be done.

I've started pulling things out of cupboards and making lists of what not to forget. I've yet to decide which suitcase to take. I'm hoping for the smaller one of two that I have because it's easier to manage. I'm allowed two suitcases so I'm thinking I may buy another one the same size in the States. That's where I got this one so I may even be able to match it.

I was so engrossed in getting the paperwork right today that time slipped by and when I looked at the clock, it was past the time I was supposed to be at work. Needless to say, I was very late and very embarrassed! I worked a little later and managed to get everything done so all was okay in the end.

The other 'news' is that I am upgrading to CS3 for my designing. I got a great deal in the U.S and I will get the software when I arrive (hopefully). Then I'll be on an even steeper learning curve, but I'm so looking foward to being able to do things/create things that I couldn't do in PSE5. I just hope it's not toooo daunting!

I'm almost counting hours now until I leave. Well...I did say 'almost'. Only a few days now to make sure I have everything done at this end. I'm tackling something each day so I think I will
manage it without too much stress.

I think I'll have an earlier night tonight - the last few have been later than I like and I still wake early.

Be back when I have everything done and I can breathe easy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Can it really be Monday again???

Yep, just checked the calendar...the weeks are just flying by.

There's only a couple of weeks and a couple of days before I'm off to Brisvegas and then the US and Canada. If the past few weeks are anything to go by, I think I'd better not even close my eyes or I'll miss the flash as they whizz past faster than a, than a...what??

During this past week, something exciting that happened for me, was discovering another digi designer living right here in my city! We've made contact and we're going to meet up for coffee next week. How amazing is that!

I've learned how to do some new stuff with the designing too, so that's been a real boost. I'm playing with textures now and I'm seeing 'textures' literally everywhere I look. This is sooo fun!
I'm using my own textures now to create background papers. (I may never have to buy another Commercial Use texture overlay again.)

Not much else to write about just now, except that we had a rainy day last week and we're having another one today. Rainy days just don't happen very often for us here so when they do, they are such a pleasant change! I love them. I love sunny warm winter days too, don't get me wrong, but a rainy winter day - they are fairly rare and provide a great contrast, so I enjoy them too.

Oh and I found some new fonts to buy's just deciding which ones - that is the hard part.

I'm starting to find the limitations in PSE now too, so I think I'm going to have to take a long hard look at whether to purchase PSCS. I know I just can't afford the latest version but maybe I could buy an older version (reduced in price now) and then buy an upgrade down the track. I'm wondering if that would be a good way to go - or not. Just reading what other designers are using and what they are producing in the way of CU stuff, makes me think I have to go down that path sooner or later. (Maybe I need to see what kind of tax refund I'm likely to get...)

Well, that's it for now - probably for another week, if my past performance is anything to go by...LOL

Have a fun week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Forgot to add...

...this new kit is currently uploading to the store at and once I've entered the details it will be available for purchase.

It will go into later.

Have fun...

Hearts and Roses page

Okay, that pic saved okay, so now I'll see if I can get the pic of the page I did to upload.

Here's hoping!

A new kit

I completed another new kit at the weekend. This one is called 'Hearts and Roses' and has lots of red rose photo extractions. I'll post a kit preview here.

I'm rather pleased with the way it came together. It has 18 background papers and 33 embellies so it's quite large - the biggest one I've done to date.

This morning I did a layout using this kit that I'll post in a couple of galleries.

Life has been pretty hectic! I'm in the throes of preparing for my next overseas trip which I'm taking from August 8 after spending a couple of days with my Mum in Brisbane for her 94th birthday.

Blogging is something I'm not very good at - I don't post very often. Maybe I'll become a more regular blogger in time to come. For now - too much else to do!

Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday catch up

I am such a hopeless blogger. An entry about once a week seems to be about all I can manage. Oh well, let's not bemoan that little fact and get on with it, now I'm actually here.

We've just had a long weekend, here in Townsville. The annual Show was on over the weekend and Monday was 'People's Day'.

Dee, Ben, the kids, Ben's parents and myself all had a great morning out at the Heritage Tea Rooms up at Herveys Range. We arrived at around 9:30 and enjoyed a lovely brunch. It was a little cooler there as it generally is and eating outdoors proved just a little on the chilly side. The place was really busy and almost every table both inside and outside had a 'Reserved' sign on it. It soon filled up with people and people kept arriving who hadn't made a reservation, but I don't think anyone was turned away. I guess just enough people left in time for those arriving to take their places.

Our time there was really relaxed and it was a great way to spend some time together on the holiday.

This past week I've worked on completing my new kit - this time, a masculine one. It presented quite a few challenges and while I am quite pleased with the way it has turned out, I must say that I enjoy creating 'pretty' kits more. I have it ready to upload into the stores but first I have to wait for my computer to complete its backup. A backup has been overdue and with the death of my PC a couple of weeks ago, it became urgent to dedicate a day to do it. There is sooo much to backup and it does indeed take a full day!

Along with doing backup to an external hard drive, I have been in the process of backing up to a remote location. This is taking for--ev--er! I am only a little of the way through and I think it is going to take MONTHS! LOL This is because of the slow upload speed. Today I had my internet connection checked and it appears that my connection is 'strong', so that's good. I was wondering if there was something wrong with it but that isn't the problem I'm having apparently. The upload speed is just S-l-o-w. It could also be that there is a problem with my ethernet cable and I'm thinking of going wirelss on my PC. I am working on ironing out the problem with why I have problems with smooth transition from one page to another/moving from one site to another on the internet. The whole browsing experience is slow and frustrating. There has to be something that can be fixed. Well, the shift to wireless is something I have to check out. I'll keep posting about progress on that issue.

There's not much else for now. I've just watched the grand final of Australia's Got Talent which was just awesome. My favourite contestant, Smokin' Joe, won. YEEEAAAAHHHH! He is such a fantastic talent. Now The World's Got Talent is on. Don't want to miss it, so I'm signing off...Bye for now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cool Tuesday

At the top of my Yahoo Mail I see that today, Tuesday, at 6:30 a.m. the temperature is 10 degrees. I just LOVE these cooler mornings. We don't get very many of them in a year, so I have to enjoy them while I can!

Apparently there's a 'typical' winter weather pattern over Australia right now which is bringing in cooler days, even here in the tropics. The forecasters predict that warmer weather will return by the end of the week.

Crisp mornings, clear blue skies - and drier skin. Slippers, dressing gowns, shoes and socks, trackies, throw rugs - hmmm, they get to see the light of day - if only for a very short time.

What joy! I love it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another week over, a new one begun

I just don't seem to get here as often as I'd like...the time just flies with so much else to do.

This past week saw some mega frustration although I did finally get the two photobooks uploaded and I received word back that they were successfully downloaded at the other end, so it was a great relief to finally have THAT sorted out. I've already had shipping advice for the first album so it should be here in a couple of weeks. The second one should be only about a week after that.

The major frustration though, this week, was caused by computer problems - again. But this time, it wasn't something I could fix. I had my computer techhie come out and once he'd checked it all out, he took it away to put in a new motherboard and processor. My poor computer died!

The great news is that I didn't lose a single thing! I was amazed and so relieved. My computer guy didn't charge the earth either and he had my PC back to me in less than 24 hours, all ready to go again - and with a new DVD burner installed as well. What could have been a huge disaster turned out to be a wonderful blessing. I am praising God and thanking him for saving all my stuff.

My offsite backup continues. It is very slow but then uploading anything from here seems to be awfully slow. I'm just hoping that it will all be backed up before I go away on my vacation.

I've completed another new kit and have it in both stores - Magical Memories.

I'm currently working on one with a masculine theme.

No weight loss this past week but no gain either. Off to the gym again this morning...

That's it for now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New membership

Today I joined

It sounds like a very good digital scrapbooking community to belong to and I'm looking forward to being part of the network.

It sounds like a good place to become known in the digiscrap world and who knows, I might even find sales increase as a result.

Here's hoping for good things to come.

Where did the time go?

Goodness only knows the answer to that one!

I've been busy and frustrated over the past few days but at least some problems have been solved and some things have been accomplished.

Having repeated trouble with uploading photobooks caused much of the frustration but finally, using sendspace, I got two albums uploaded. Hopefully the photobooks will come back looking great! It just seems that hours and hours have gone into them when you include the two weeks of trying to sort out the upload issues.

Another digital kit is almost ready to put into store and I've started another one. I decided I needed to do a masculine one - which is a bit of a challenge when I love to do the pretty, flowery thing.

I did do a few more photo extractions as well. The yellow and red butterfly was very time consuming but I'm really happy with the result. Lots of fine detail in that one.

Then there was a lovely yellow rose in my garden and I grabbed the camera the other day and took a few photos of that and I've now extracted them as well.

Yesterday when I went to my daughter's, I took the camera because she had a gorgeous green orchid. I can see another extraction lined up now...LOL.

And another achievement for this past week - I've shed another 400g. That's now a total of 16.5kg! YES!!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Accomplishments today...

the car has been serviced and feels as if it is responding to the extra care and attention. The tyres have more air in them and the car feels smoother on the road. Hooray!! I'm glad that's done. It was waaaaaay overdue for this service. I just need to have a couple of new tyres fitted sooner rather than later.

The other major accomplishment today was that I finally wrote up a document that I'd been asked to do a draft for. I sat and nutted it out while I was waiting for my car to be serviced and when I got home I put it all into the computer and I've emailed it off, so hopefully, that's another tick in a box for things done today.

It's a good feeling when you feel that you have actually achieved something for the day!

Now it's time to go to work - to the 'real' job, that is. LOL.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


...the first day of the rest of my blog!

If this is to be a journal of my life on the internet, let me say that today has been a day of huge frustration with things not going according to plan.

Internet Explorer had a 'hissy fit' and I couldn't access the sites I needed.

When I finally gained access, I couldn't log on.

When I finally logged on, I couldn't upload the files I needed to upload.

I'm now waiting for a reply from Customer Support on that website.

The internet is GREAT when everything works - but today's not one of them.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I'll live in hope...