Monday, November 12, 2012

November Creating

Here are the pages I worked on at our retreat and Scrap Saturday this month. I have enjoyed working with a mixture of old and new photos, the opportunity to reflect on how things have changed, how the kids have grown and to journal my feelings and thoughts.

I also relished the time out from a normal weekend, enjoyed lots of laughs and good friendship. Look forward to next time!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Playing Creatively

Each month a group of local ladies get together to create our pages and get our memories recorded or to make cards to share special sentiments with others.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I look forward to this day each month.  I had quite a few photos to scrap yesterday and still have a bundle from our adventure to the beach and farm last weekend - I think these will be in a book all of their own.  Here are some of the pages I created last night.  Layouts 2 & 3 made use of the resin we had our first play with yesterday - so fast.  Nic's instructions and the materials from Andrea were spot on. 

'the Farm Experience' is my favourite layout from yesterday.  The simplicity of the photograph seems to work with the slightly more detailed patterned paper that I sprayed with a little Glimmermist first.
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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dotty is back on the lay

It was lots of smiles and excitement this afternoon when Dotty laid an egg. Due to decreased sunlight hours the girls had all stopped laying. Jase set up a lamp in the hen house a couple of weeks ago to get light hitting the hens retina. It's working and I'm looking forward to eating her egg for breakfast tomorrow morning.  I hope Daisy & Fiery get laying soon too!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Self Care Swap

I had a wonderful courier delivery on Saturday morning! I loved reading the labels and opening the packages of a 'foot spa' from Tracey! Such fun.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sourdough and Self Care

I have been hankering to have a go at some sourdough bread.  Last week after watching the Fabulous Baker Brothers talk about their ancient sourdough starter I checked out their recipe & made a starter.  Each day I have fed and nurtured this little bubbling mixture.  Yesterday it was grown up enough to be used for a loaf of bread.  My loaf isn't very loaf-ish looking but it tastes great.  I think I will look at getting a proving basket for the real sourdough experience.  I was up at 6 this morning to crank up the oven and get it cooked before work and school today.  So now as well as Caspian sea yogurt in a jar reproducing on our bench top I also have a sourdough starter  bubbling away in a jar there too.  There is still plenty of room for the coffee machine!

Today was the send off day for the self-care swap I have been collating over the last month or so that Janine organised.  I had a list of what another person likes/dislikes and have had this in the back of my mind when I have been out and about.  I would have liked a greater 'handmade' element but not really knowing what someone's home or 'style' is I found this to be in the too hard basket.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of choosing things for someone I don't know well, thinking about the kinds of reactions might be had when they open the packages and hoping they are ones of happiness - the kinds of emotions that I would like someone to have - I think that true self-care is perhaps allowing yourself to smile on the inside and gaining ongoing pleasure from that happiness.  But now that I've sent it there's an element of worry about whether I got it right or not...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pretty cups

I loved mums set of these cups, nice to drink coffee from and they look good! When they were in a local kitchenware store I just had to get them. Seeing them on the coffee machine makes me smile inside.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sewing Skirts & Lightscribe

I used the previously posted skirt 'tutorial'' to make the girls a skirt each last night.  They are very happy with them (love that they don't notice their mum isn't too good on inserting zips). 

Last night I also discovered how nice Lightscribe is when labelling discs - I only did writing on it but next will try to add an image.  They look heaps nicer than writing on them with black vivid.  We've had the capabilities for about 6 years as our computer DVD drive has Lightscribe built in.  We just hadn't used it.  You can get coloured discs and gold discs which could be lots of fun.  Basically the laser that writes the images or info to the disc is then used to put the label on the disc (you have to turn the disc over so the laser can work on the label side of the disc).

I'm almost ready for the school term to begin, spent some time in my class today putting things back after the cleaners have been through and have a few loose ends to tie up to be ready for the week ahead.  I am going to try to do my planning on google docs this term to try to eliminate the paper clutter that always seems to surround me!
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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Term Break

Term Break has meant time in Dunedin with family, creative moments and playing with my camera!  Yesterday was 'Scrap Saturday' where a group of local ladies get together to make stuff with paper generally although there were some knitting needles out & about yesterday.  I worked on the below layouts.  '12' & 'Hi' were part of a 'kit'challenge that we had each made up our own kits (shopping from our stash) & we had some things to do on our pages to go in the draw for a prize.

Having 8 ladies to your home to scrapbook requires liquid handsoap in the bathroom...we were out so I made some:-)  Rose essential oils make this one smell delighful and I smile each time I wash my hands (kind of like my rose multipurpose spray too).  Julia asked for the recipe...I made mine from Wendyl Nissen's book and you can find it HERE.  I added rose geranium & indian palmarosa in equal quantities.  I didn't use sunlight soap either - used some Dr Bronners bar soap.  This only makes enough for about 250ml liquid soap.

Last week I had the double pleasure of catching up with a uni friend and her delightful daughters and nephew to take some photos as I learn my way around my camera more.  She made some delicious ham soup and used the left over fat from the ham to make bird feeders with these three.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

it's all in the name

I've been thinking.  I'm always thinking:-)  I don't really stop....

But, I've been thinking about what I could call myself/us IF I decided to do paid photography shoots.  I don't want it to be my name necessarily - Jase could very easily be actively involved one day (he is the one with the design degree - mines in education and health...) so in some ways it needs to encompass both of us...  I think photography needs to be in the 'name'.

My first thoughts were Lara Moss Photography, but if I type this in google there's a Laura Moss Photography - a 'u' is too close for my thinking....

I had toyed with...
Lara Jane Photography
Lara Jane Moss Photography
-but they seemed too much all 'me' with no room for Jase to be involved.

So I came up with a few other possibilities...
Moss Photography (there is an architectural one already in Denver Colorado - does this matter???)
KEA Moss Photography (KE&A being the initials of my three kids names)
Mr & Mrs Moss Photography - sounds a bit too 'weddingish'???
Holmes Moss Photography (my maiden name)
Lake Moss Photography (L - Lara & then AKE are my kids initials again - but Jase isn't in there...)

Any ideas that I am missing?  Again, this is a big 'if' -just a pie in the sky day...maybe...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Scrap Saturday

After a kind of non-scrapbooking or rather only scrapbooking at camps or retreats for a couple of years I decided it was time to get back into regular local scrapbooking events.  Last month I invited a couple of people to join me for  a Scrap Saturday - International Scrapbooking Day.  It was lots of fun, very creative, and nice to mix with some people I hadn't spent much time with as well as with others I catch up with regularly.  Our scrap days will typically be the first Saturday of each month - except January.

I asked Andrea from Scrapbook Outlet if she could send a box of goodies for sale on the day (Queenstown doesn't have any LSS apart from The Warehouse) to help inspire us and she also organised for Nic Howard to send us some Washi Tape.  I put the washi with some muslin, ribbon, 6x6 piece of paper and a gift tag (cut on the cricut) together as a little challenge pack for the ladies attending today.   I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

The vege soup is in the crock pot, bathroom cleaned and vacuuming done.
Ready to create!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Six Months

It's a bit 'cheaty' wearing black for these photos of where I am at, but they are my only exercise pants and thermal tops are a necessity at the moment!  Bare feet was a bit risky!

Since December 12th 2011 when I started Fat Chance! the no going back workbook I have lost 20.4kgs and 22cm from around my waist.  I don't want it back.  I have learned to love moving - I can run the 8km around Lake Hayes, swim 2 1/5 km in 50 minutes and use the exercycle if the weather, time or short days mean I can't do either of the other two daily exercises.  This, from someone who has always hated running. I still surprise myself that I like running. 

 I am still working towards a healthy BMI but slowly and surely I will get there.  I am eating regular, balanced meals and don't feel hungry.  

I like feeling this way and I love being able to buy clothes 'off the rack' at normal clothing stores.  
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kakanui Portrait Workshop

This weekend I joined 8 other ladies and 1 man for a portrait workshop in Kakanui.  Rachael Kelly shared her expertise in portrait photography and her skills as a professional photographer.  I have lots to learn and lots to process following the weekend - thinking and reflecting, not post processing of photos!  We worked through three different types of portraits - family, engagement and maternity, each had different challenges.  I learned mostly that I need to get to know my camera and the lenses more so I can make it do what I want quickly.

Our first session was with an amazing family at the Kakanui Estuary and beach, bright sunlight and bitterly cold wind challenged us.  Gloves and hats were worn.  I was thankful for my puffer jacket.

Saturday afternoon: engagement shoot.  What a great couple to put up with 10 cameras aimed at them for a couple of hours!  I really enjoyed thinking about the settings and possibities for sites for photographs in this one.  I think if there weren't 10 of us, I would have liked to be able to get closer to our engaged couple.

Sunday's Maternity shoot was my favourite of all of our photography sessions.  I adored the mustard flower field, so bright, fresh and hopeful.  Going into the old Whiskey building we used great big windows as natural light and I love the way this fell on our beautiful subject and her husband.  One year ago to the day they were having their wedding photographs taken.  Happy 1st Anniversary!

For now, I need to work on understanding how my camera and lenses work by taking lots of photos and experimenting and taking note of what I am doing.  I think the hardest part for me would be telling people how to stand and position themselves for the most effective and flattering poses, seems strange for a teacher to not like 'bossing' people around...

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Super Simple Skirts

Just cause I am putting of getting on the bike and packing for a weekend away... here's a simple tutorial that tells how I make the skirts in the previous post!

Click on the image above to be able to download a pdf.


Should be all go now...

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


I'm feeling a bit short of clothes at the moment so have been sewing for the last couple of nights. Ethan says I should make all of my clothes and the girls think I should sew them something.

Based on the apple I used on the first skirt I think this series of skirts will be titles 'apple for the teacher'.

Simple A-line, just below the knee, skirts. Perfect to wear with over the knee socks and some boots for winter. Late night photos...not great, but you get the picture.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Learning to use a new toy

And there is so much to learn!  Who knew?  On getting a DSLR I decided that I needed to use it in manual.  I haven't used it in full auto.  Mainly using Apperture priority and really love using the 50mm 1.8 lens - cheapest lens but love the depth of field it helps create with photos.  I am also enjoying using 'Light Room' to edit my photos but did use Picasa to create the collages for this post.  With the weather reports...I might get to take some snow photos before the weeks out.

I think people are my key photography subjects.  I think I like trying to capture who they are. e.g. my rather scruffy middle daughter, the pensive oldest and the creative son.  I also enjoyed capturing my nephew and niece...actually got some sparkle in my nephews eyes AKA catchlights.

Scenery and pretty, adore the DOF with the 50mm when looking closely at plant life.  I think I need to do lots of work on good scenery shots.

Exploring DOF with Miss A & a 'thing' she found on the beach.  Looking forward to playing with this some more.  Hopefully I can get home from school in daylight to play...dreams are free.

I am really looking forward to the portrait workshop weekend coming up. Huge thanks to mum & dad who are coming to look after my kids while I head away for the weekend.
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Saturday, June 02, 2012

New Camera

After weeks of research and 19.5 kgs lost, I cheated and got me a DSLR camera 0.5kgs early. I have only had a wee play but absolutely love it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Photography Workshop

Yay, I am going to a portrait workshop with Rachael Kelly.  Something for me.  Something I've always wanted to explore further!

I read on Facebook that she had a couple of spaces left....

Just Saying:-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Nevis

We went into the Nevis this weekend.  A bit of a family history trip really.  My Great Grandad was raised in there.  His adoptive mum and dad ran the Nevis Boarding House.  We found out where it once stood - after we had passed the site, but we know for next time!  Mum & Dad came up from the farm for the weekend and we enjoyed their company - even if they didn't like the pull out sofa much.  We borrowed a 4WD from a friend of Jases and made our way in to Glenorchy (stopping at the cafe for a coffee) and then traveling through the Nevis.  Jase drove us well - even though mum was worried we'd get stuck in there and she had her sleeping bag with her!  Jase had even made our lunch and afternoon tea - Deluxe Bacon & Egg Pie and some Vanilla Custard Squares with lemon & coconut icing.  Yum.  There was lots to see and I wish I had my DSLR camera already to try to do justice to what we could see.  We exited near Garston and made our way back home.  Tired.  Happy.  Jase had a roast ready to just add the veges.  It was delicious!

I downloaded a trial version of Light Room to edit my photos and enjoyed what I did with them but I did the above ones in Picasa - easy integration with Blogger :-)
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Simply vanilla

It's been a week of celebrations and busy afternoons. It started with Mothers day. Next was my Father in laws birthday, parents in laws wedding anniversary, parents wedding anniversary and today it's my sisters birthday. On Wednesday it was a colleagues birthday too. She had asked about buying a candle after I had made her a little one as a gift... so I made her a big one, refilling a glasshouse container I had. Made one for me too and some smaller ones. We did breakfast at the Hilton, nice relaxed morning before school started. Next weekend looks busy too but without the celebrations.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


As I get closer to my goal weight, the DSLR camera gets closer too.

On Monday night I joined the Queenstown Photography Club.  I went with a friend.  My desire for a DSLR has increased, this group is an opportunity to get support to use the DSLR.  I don't want to be stuck in auto mode, I want to explore the camera and what it can do.  I want to make images.

I have been researching what will work for came down to a more entry level DSLR in both Canon & Nikon  - the 600D & the D5100 and then a more 'enthusiast' model in Canon (60D) & Nikon (D90).  I was gearing towards the Canon 60D...and a posed Facebook question came up with a similar result.  Right at this very moment this is the camera I am aiming for!  But then I have the problem of what lens to get.  The common thought is that the kit lenses aren't very good...I checked out some lenses and wonder about going for a standard 'prime' lens e.g. EF 50mm F1.8 and then save for further lenses.

I have found some fun videos in my finding out...

Canon 60D Hands-on Review: Your Questions Answered

I even found a site of camera tips for the 60D!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

No more Picniks

I used to use Picnik for editing some of my photos - loved that it co-ordinated with Picasa.  Picasa now has many of the Picnik features added into it but I have been exploring a few of the other editing options online... - looks a lot like Picnik - created by two of the former Picnik designers, they think it's even better

- I got this info from Interface Magazine, Term 2 May 2012 issue, page 47 - Article by Greg Adams.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Card Folio Tutorial

I have wanted to have a go at making a video tutorial for quite a while.  Today I gave it a go.  We have a school cluster wide 'Movie Making' competition this year so I need to use the skills I want the kids to learn.  Killing two birds with one stone.   The project is one I worked on about 3 years ago, and one I have repeated a few times since. 
 I decided I was a bit mad for deciding to do it but I charged up the flip video, got out my gorilla pod thingy for it (as I write this I wonder why I didn't use the big tripod - I wouldn't have needed to put the chair on the table...oh well, maybe next time - if there is a next time!).  I said 'umm' way too many times and not sure I like hearing my own voice.  Here goes if you are interested...

Card Folio

I have put together a little project for those of you who want something quick & easy to do – it could be the perfect gift for a birthday, mothers day, teachers gift, to say thank you, or maybe something nice for yourself...

 My materials were purchased from Scrapbook Outlet and my Stampin Up demonstrator. Here's a link to the beautiful 'Authentique' paper I used.

You will need:
  • a 12 x 12 inch piece of heavy double sided patterned paper that you like
  • 3 x A4 Sheets of card suitable for making into 6 note cards
  • 6 x C6 envelopes
  • approximately 50cm of ribbon that co-ordinates with your patterned paper
  • a collection of small patterned paper scraps
  • basic tools e.g. adhesive such as double sided tape or white glue, black ink pad, scissors, a paper trimmer and a ruler (you could use the measurements on your trimmer)
  • sentiments stamps (happy birthday, get well, thank you...)

    And now for the video... 
    The materials:
    *omitted to say that you will also need some kind of glue or adhesive

    The Workshop: 
     Hope this gave you some ideas :-)