Beyond {the} Blue {2007}

Do you want to go on a journey with me?  A journey of self discovery?  A journey of YOU?

So how did I really get into scrapping?  Back in 2006 I found an online forum run by Scrapbooking Memories Magazine... which in turn led me to an online community called Embellished.  I had been a member of the forum for a while and I had done a few challenges and cyber crops and the like.  I really loved the forum and had fun meeting new online friends.  Then at the beginning of 2007 the then owner, Ali Russell (now owner of Live, Laugh, Love Photography), ran a 12 week long challenge called Beyond the Blue.  This was the first REAL (and lengthy) scrap booking challenge I ever really sank my teeth into.

I would never have described myself as suffering from depression as such (more out of pride, sheer stubbornness and stupidity probably!) but this challenge came along at a time in my life when things were a bit tough and I was really ready to take stock and do a bit of self analysis and really immerse myself in this whole task.  It came at a perfect time for me... 

To buy our passport for the journey we each had to make a small donation to the Beyond Blue cause.  Then each week we submitted a LO based on a destination theme set by Ali and along the lines of a journey of self exploration, discovery and expression.

I didn't for a moment imagine where this journey would take me or what it would do for me... not just scrapping wise but for me as a person.  It was a journey of self discovery... and it taught me to examine my failures, reflect on the past, be kinder to myself, celebrate my accomplishments, look forward to the future and best of all to get in front of the camera.

It wasn't really a competition as such... more about finding yourself and focusing on journaling and learning about and really accepting yourself... getting to know the real you, if you will.  It was wonderful... one of the best experiences I have ever had the privilege of being a part of... I don't think I am being overly melodramatic when I say it was life changing even.  I highly recommend anyone to start scrapping about yourself... get in front of the camera NOW.

That was another lesson learned for me... I always hated photos of myself...  called myself "un-photogenic" (the spell check is saying that is NOT even a word hahaha).  I thought the camera just didn't do me justice... I KNEW I was way better looking than the images ever captured! ;)  BUT this exercise helped me see past the "ugly photos" and accept myself and my flaws and be a little kinder to myself.  I mean seriously, who DID I think I looked like?  Elle MacPhearson or something??? LOL ;)  I implore you... give yourself a break.  Start taking more photos of yourself... your children will thank you for it.  How many photos do you have of YOUR mother, your father, your grand parents?  I know I have hardly any.

Now, I say it wasn't a competition but we did vote for our favourites each week and in the end I was voted the overall "winner".  I put that in inverted commas because although I LOVED the wonderful parcel of goodies that Ali sent me I gained so much more from having completed this journey.  I would encourage everyone to do it at some point in their lives.  I was OVER THE MOON and it was a fabulous stash of lovelies too.  In all seriousness, to be honest,  I think what really did it for me was my journaling... well I like to think so anyway and that's what lots of people commented on during the 12 weeks.  I will be sharing my LO (and the journaling from each) here week by week so if you are interested check back for updates to this page.

More importantly though this whole challenge changed the way I saw myself.  It changed the way I felt about myself.  It really was that profound and came along just when I needed it most.  Ali Russell will never know how much her little "journey" meant in my life. I hope you enjoy sharing my journey each week... and hey, why don't you take your own... you never know where it might lead you. ;)

Week 1


We had to scrap about our plans for the future... where do you see yourself in 10 years time?  Bear in mind this journaling was completed in 2007.  So far on I am NOT exactly on track.  having twins will do that to even the BEST laid plans... but thankfully we still {mostly} have the second half happening. ;)

You can click on this image to view it bigger if you are interested in reading my journaling. ;)

Week 2

me & U

We had to scrap a LO about our greatest achievement... what we were most proud of...  I have many and much... but #1 on my list (which made / makes most of the rest possible) would be my relationship with my darling husband... despite the fact that sometimes he drives me insane!!! ;)

The whole top section flips back (see hinges on left) to reveal this...

and this journaling is on the left (not pictured) when it is open...

What am I most PROUD of?  What really does it for me?  I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful life filled with opportunities and SUCCESS.  I can easily think of a long list of achievements.  I was good at sport and won TROPHIES and ribbons galore for horse riding, athletics, netball and basketball.  I enjoyed SCHOOL and got great marks and won awards for academic ACHIEVEMENT.  I also won the award for Best All Rounder in year 12.  I had heaps of FRIENDS and was always popular at school… I was also voted head girl of my College.  I took part in fund raising activities for CHARITY.  I was the top selling advertising sales rep for the Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper.  I am proud of going back to uni and even if it is taking me FOREVER ~LOL~ I know I will finish my degree and that will be a very proud moment in my LIFE.  I have a lot to be proud of… I am thankful for that.

My KIDS are obviously the most amazing achievement and even though I DOUBT myself often I know that I will keep trying to be a BETTER mum to them until the day I die.  I take pride in their achievements and seeing them GROW into good people.  I don’t take all the CREDIT for them though... they are their own greatest achievement.  As much as I am proud of being their MOTHER I don’t want motherhood to DEFINE me as a whole.  Of course it is a HUGE part of my life but there is MORE to me. 

If I had to CHOOSE just one single thing that really makes my HEART swell with pride it would have to be the INCREDIBLE relationship I have with you Aaron.  You are my SOUL mate, the LOVE of my life.  Holy shit!  Did you realise darl’; we have been together for 20 YEARS?!  You’d get less for murder, as my mother would say!  ~LOL~  All the wonderful moments in my LIFE have been made possible because of OUR relationship.  Your support and encouragement has always made me feel I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.  I am proud to have given this GIFT to YOU as well. 

There are thousands of everyday moments that make our relationship what it is… some great, some I am not so proud of, but a few particular moments have left an INDELIBLE mark on my heart.  I can still vividly remember the INTENSITY in your EYES when we were saying our vows, that look made my heart soar.  I can still recall the pure DELIGHT I felt in my heart when you looked right in my eyes and said “I am so proud of you” when I gave birth to Bradley.  I remember the pride in your voice when you were telling everyone what a LEGEND I was after giving birth to each of the girls.  “No drugs, not even a Panadol”, you said.  I CHERISHED your pride after you had your motorbike accident (and nearly died when I was 33 weeks pregnant with Callie).  You were flown to Royal Perth by RFDS.  Bradley (almost 10 at the time) and I drove 15 hours to Perth to be there.  You took much PLEASURE in telling everyone how I had your bike loaded to bring with us (unfortunately the trailer lights weren’t working so I had to leave it).  It makes me proud when I make you proud.

We have been through so much crap together and amidst it all we are still going STRONG.  Our BOND has stood the test of TIME and adversity.  I am PROUD of that.  At times when things looked hopeless and it probably would have been easier to have walked away we STOOD by each other.  Lesser relationships would have failed.  We are fortunate to have come from GREAT families, a STRONG foundation for any marriage but I take much pride in YOU and ME… we are an amazing, unbeatable TEAM and it’s all OURS, no one else but US.  I hope we always take pride in that but also keep enough HUMILTY in our lives so that we no longer take this relationship for GRANTED as we have at times in the PAST.  I know this is just the first chapter or three of our AMAZING life together.  I am sure there is much ADVENTURE, excitement, hardship and no doubt HEARTACHE to come but I also know we will still be US… we are a WORK IN PROGRESS… enjoy the RIDE… it’s going to be a wild one!!! ~LOL~

Week 3


Destination Tranquillity Bay...  What do you do to relax and unwind?

At the moment life is hectic.  We are building a new house.  There were all the colour and material choices.  Then there were delays and errors at what felt like every stage of the process.  The title release took forever and the slab didn’t go down for months.  Then our window frames were stolen and our bricks were not available.  Finally, the house is almost complete and we should be moving in a few weeks (fingers crossed… but yet more stress!).  Then there will be a whole new list of things to do… gardens to plant, sheds and patios to put up, floorboards to install, painting, paving, carpets, blinds… But really, aside from this and washing, folding, cleaning, making beds, doing dishes, cooking, paying bills, chauffeuring the kids to and fro from school and activities, organizing birthday parties and toilet training Miss D, you know all the usual stuff, I don’t DO all that much.  I can’t figure out why I can’t find time to RELAX… gotta find some time for ME!