Thursday, 30 June 2011

Post 30, Careers paths

I was thinking today about the various career paths that are open to librarians, as well as how we ended up where we have. I am going to keep this post short and sweet and finish it by asking some questions of you all.

Why did you decide on librarianship as a career? When did you realise this was the profession you wanted to work in? Did you study as an undergraduate or postgraduate? If PG, is this a second, or even third, career for you?

Looking forward to some discussion!

Post 29 June card challenge, days 25-28

Day 25 Make a vintage type card inspired by lace. I tried to keep to shades of pink for this one. The pink mat was done using the EK Success daisy border trim punch. I lined it up centrally on each side and just did one punch, so it gave a framed effect. Day 27. Make a card with handmade flowers on it. I used a fabric yoyo I had made that coordinated with the rest of the card.Day 28. Make a card with some fabric on it. I used a design I machine embroidered a while ago. The card was finished off with faux stitching in a pink to match the design.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Post 28 June challenge catch up, cards 17 and 26

I have finally caught up. Set myself a challenge within this challenge to make use of what was around me and just get it done!Day 17. Use heat embossing on your card. I used a floral background stamp with perfect medium to stamp the image on the black card and then used clear embossing powder over it. It is extremely difficult to see in this picture. I tried several different shots but the embossing barely showed in any of them :( I used a Martha Stewart border punch on the pink paper and a favourite Stamp It dragonfly stamp with a fluid colorbox chalk ink.
Day 26. Make a card with torn paper. I kept this card simple as I wanted to showcase the softness of the paper.

Post 27, What's in a name?

In Post 16, I blogged about the A-Z of me and under 'P' for "Pet Peeves" I put down people using American spelling. I know many of us have varying peeves, but another one of mine is my name being spelt incorrectly, especially when it is in reply to an email I have sent and clearly signed off as 'TanIa', not TanYa. I acknowledge that mistakes happen and automatic assumptions count a lot for this (ie Tanya is usually more prolific than Tania), but when it happens continually over the course of many, many emails, then it becomes more than just a mistake, it becomes silly. If the purpose of these emails is to get professional advice on a number of topics, then it become more than just silly, it becomes ridiculous. If you want my advice on things, you would think that the least you could do is notice the correct spelling of my name. Surely it isn't hard?

Post 26, Getting there

Almost at the end of June and almost at the end of the #blogjune challenge. And it has been a challenge. This month has seen me out most days or committed to something that has a top priority (marking) conflicting with something that also has top priority (teaching) conflicting with another top priority (motherhood) conflicting with, lo and behold, a high priority (writing). This has meant that I have been playing catch up with my daily blog post and also with the June card challenge that I have been taking part in. June has been exceptionally frantic and I'm looking forward to July 10 when I've submitted final grades for the semester and there will no longer be a need to play catch up.

Has anyone else had to play catch up this month? How have you managed to stay ahead?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Post 25, Days 21 and 24, June card challenge - filling in the gaps

So I have finally gotten around to filling in the gaps for most of my missing days.
Day 21. Make a card for a new baby. The stamp I used was from my playdate with Gemma last Thursday to Kaisercraft in Geelong. I coloured the animals in using my copics and edged the white borders with a blue copic.
Day 24. Make a card using your coloured pencils. I was a bit worried about doing this one, as I wasn't quite sure about matching colours, but it seemed to work out ok. I used the Faber Castell watercolour pencils i 'borrowed' from Ms 19. I used some water to soften the colours on the card after I coloured the butterflies in. This is my favourite Hero Arts Heart Butterfly.

Post 24, On choosing a conference committee, part 4

The NLS4 committee was pretty much set when I received an email from a self confessed conference junkie who was asking, pretty please, if she could join NLS4 as she was having withdrawal symptoms. Who was this junkie? Margie Anderson, ALIA's Victorian Local Liaison Officer (now called the ALIA Victorian State Manager). I had worked with Margie on the alia07 conference committee and knew what she meant when she said she was having withdrawal symptoms. Managing a conference project is such a rewarding and fulfilling experience and I know that there is a sense of anticlimax after the conference finishes. I had NLS4 planning to look forward to so didn't feel as flat as the rest of the committee.

Margie was a powerhouse of knowledge and expertise during alia07. She had been in libraries for many, many years and wanted to be on the committee for her own personal development, not merely as an ALIA employee. It was Margie who suggested we have 15 minute hot spot sessions, to try and fit in as many great presentations as we could and Margie also gave a fabulous professional development seminar on our PD day, the Thursday before the conference. This sessions was free for ALIA members who were registered to attend NLS4.

Margie was worth her weight in gold, even if she is addicted to conferences :)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Post 23, June card challenge, Days 22-24

And we're onto week 4...

Day 22. Make a Christmas card using non traditional colours. I quite like how this one turned out. I've since played a little more and refined the tree, however those cards were in traditional Christmas colours, so didn't meet the challenge criteria! I used the Fiskars Apron Lace border punch. Day 23. Make a card with some embossing. This is one of my all time favourite Christmas card designs. I embossed the card mat to add some interest using the Cuttlebug swirls folder.

Day 24. Stay tuned...

Post 22, June card challenge, Days18-21

Here are the last 4 cards for week 3 of the challenge.

Day 18. Make a card with a stamped background. Love, love, love this card. I used similar for my Christmas cards one year. The stamps are all from Paper Squared in Mornington. I think the centre flower is my favourite - I love how there are different designs on each petal. The sponged areas were done using a cosmetic sponge.
Day 19. Make a card using the colours purple and yellow. This is one of my all time favourite Kaszazz stamps - I have it in two sizes :). I used a pale yellow cardstock as my backing and purple ink to stamp the butterfly. As the purple ink looks a bit pink on the yellow, I added a purple envelope. I cut the circle out of the front of the card (it's a trifold card) using my CM custom cutting system. I cut the thin pink circle ring using the same tool. I think it is very effective.

Day 20. Make a card with something metal on it. The squares for this card were punched using the 1 inch CM square punch. I added the sentiment from a stamp set I have and thought the llittle metal dragonfly charm would be cute. I do like dragonflies. :)

Day 21. Stay tuned...

Post 21 June card challenge update Days 15-17

I've been really behind in taking photos of my cards, but have started making a move so here is my update for week 3 of the challenge. The criteria for Day 15 was to make a gatefold card. I used my cricut to cut out the centre sunburst and my favourite swiss dots folder to emboss the front panels.

Day 16 Make a card using no less than 3 brads/eyelets. I love doing this style of cards with the graduating colours. Very effective.

Day 17 - stay tuned....

Post 20, Colour my world

This meme was inspired by Fiona. I adapted it to give 3 random facts about me relating to each colour in the rainbow spectrum.


1. I have a lovely red laptop.
2. One of our cars is a red commodore (have to love Holdens).
3. I just bought a pair of red leather gloves. Love!


1. I like to wear orange as an accent colour. For example a black suit with an orange top. A good, strong contrast.
Seeing orange on a webpage always makes me think of the browser RSS button.
There is an orange feature wall in our house.


1. I own not one yellow item of clothing. This has never occurred to me before.
Anthony's favourite rattle at the moment is yellow, with some orange and green.
I went to a publishing event once and had yellow nails. I love having feature nails, but these were a bit too out there, even for me.


1. Green is probably my least favourite colour.
I am marking at the moment with a lime green pen.
I love my lawn being lush and green.


1. The last card I made had blue on it.
l like to write with blue pens.
My dressing gown is blue.


1. My favourite pair of shoes (which are technically cutaway boots and my avatar on twitter) have indigo mixed in with the violet.
l have a lovely scarf in a beautiful shade of indigo. I want to start practicing these styles from Justgirlwithshoes' blog post. I think my scarf may be a little small though.
One of my favourite dresses when I first started working was indigo.


1. See (1) for indigo.
Anthony is lying next to me wearing a Winnie the Pooh jumpsuit of a violet hue.
3. M
y scrapbooking room is violet. It took some getting used to, but I like it now.

A little bit of trivia. The mnemonic I use to remember the rainbow spectrum is Richard Of York Got Boozed In Vienna.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Post 19, Planning for July

Thanks to Retrokatz and Ballarat Library Chick for this post's inspiration.

I've blogged earlier about things that I want to achieve and did a follow up post to remind me (keep me on track, oops), however thought a more immediate one for July would help me (as Kat put it) come closer to achieving a state of Zen.

Tax - definitely get organised as I have it booked for the end of July. I usually get my tax done about February the next year, so this is very early for me!

Scrapbooking - Start (another) project A week in the life; complete a scrapbooking challenge which will be one layout a week.

Events - Plan for, and enjoy, my mother-in-law's surprise birthday and Anthony's baptism. Help Sarah with her birthday sleep over.

Menus - plan dinner for the coming fortnight so I can shop accordingly.

Exercise - Start using the treadmill.

Craft - Continue working on granny stripe. Plan my square a day blanket.

Writing - Finalise ALJ abstract. Work on current paper. Continue blogging.

Reading - Get my feeds to almost zero. Maintain inbox zero.

Remember to refer to this list :)

Post 18, Why I travel

The other day a friend of mine, Clare, posted about a day in her life. In it she mentions that she would have to get up at 5.30 if she wanted to have breakfast at home. Obviously she has a long commute to work.

I also travel a fair distance to work. Distance doesn't bother me (but traffic does, as well as unnecessarily imposed speed limits, grrr) and it was something I factored in when applying for my current position. To me, job satisfaction is more appealing than having a job in a convenient location. Sure, both would be good, but that is not always possible. As public transport is not an option, I make the most of my commute by listening to podcasts or audio books that I want to catch up on.

As a manager, I think it's healthy for an organisation to have staff who do not all live locally. To me it shows commitment and dedication and highlights the fact that these staff members really want to work for us. They wouldn't travel if they didn't want to be there. I've been involved in a lot of recruitment and it always rings warning bells when, during an interview, an applicant states that the main reason they have applied for the job is because it is close to home for them. I've seen too many instances of unhappy people who stay in their workplace because it is close to home and so very convenient for them. They become bitter and negative - this is not only demoralising for them, but it is not good for staff morale and not conducive to good working relations. It isn't a situation I would want my staff or colleagues to be in.

Do you have a long commute to work? What are your thoughts on this?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Post 17, Recording history

I remember being at work one morning, before the library opened, shelving with my colleagues. One of them idly mentioned that there used to be a diary that belonged to her grandmother, a scrapbook of sorts, that had photos, memorabilia, shopping lists, day to day happenings and events and it had been thrown away by her (I think) father. Amidst the synchronous gasp of horror, I just stared. I couldn't believe that someone threw away something with so much social history. When the shock had subsided, my colleague said 'only a roomful of librarians would understand the significance of what happened'.

I don't think that is completely true, I am sure others would have appreciated that glimpse into time, the intricate patchwork that made up life back then, however I do think it is true that librarians take a leadership role in preserving social history.

For me, I take a leadership role in preserving my family's social history. I love looking back on old ephemera and memorabilia that my dad has and want to be able to take snapshots of moments of time in my family's life. I started in December last year by doing Ali Edwards' December Daily album idea which I blogged about here. This year, in July, I will be doing the Week in the Life project which is a photographic and textual documentary of my family's life from July 25 to 31. The aim is to have this project give a representation of my family's life at this particular point in time. I plan to keep shopping receipts, tickets, school memorabilia, anything really that will reflect my family's life at this time. And I'll have fun doing it.

Post 16, the A-Z of me

I saw this on Craftyminx's blog and thought it would be a fun and different way to blog today

A. Age: ok, already not going there!
B. Bed size: Queen. Pillow top.
C. Chore that you hate: Putting clothes away.
D. Dogs: I like dogs but no longer own any.
E. Essential start to your day: Shower and tea.
F. Favourite colour: Blue I think, or maybe purple. I can never decide.
G. Gold or Silver: Gold!
H. Height: 5' 3 3/4" (when you're short you take every bit you can!).
I. Instruments you play: None.
J. Job title: Branch Manager (professional); Miracle Worker! (personal)
K. Kids: yes! 4.
L. Live: Melbourne.
M. Mother's name: Mary.
N. Nicknames: Tan.
O. Overnight hospital stays: 5. 4 children and appendicitis.
P. Pet peeve: people using American spelling.
Q. Quote from a movie: 'What a beautiful chocolate man ahahahaha'.
R. Right or left handed: Left.
S. Siblings: Two, both younger.
T. Time you wake up: 6.00 am (when I work), 7.00 am (at home).
U. Underwear: Yes. No idea on the point of this question?
V. Vegetable you hate: Tomato (yes I know it is technically a fruit...)
W. What makes you run late: My husband
X. X-Rays you've had: Teeth
Y. Yummy food that you make: Chocolate caramel slice
Z. Zoo animal: Tigers.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Post 15, June card challenge, days 11 to 14

And here are the last four cards for week 2 of the June card challenge. Day 11. Make a card using the colours pink and orange. This one really baffled me. Putting pink and orange together seemed so unlikely. I pushed different combinations around for a while, then finally decided to go with 1 inch strips in varying pink shades, with a thin strip of orange across the bottom scalloped border. The border punch used was Fiskars Threading Waters.

Day 12. Make a card featuring some chipboard. A simple card using coordinating 1 inch squares, with faux stitching in between. I used a Martha Stewart border punch on the bottom part of the card, on the green patterned paper. The chipboard featured is the gorgeous butterfly by Rachel from Happy Creations.

Day 13. Make a card with lots of distressing. I thought I would also go for a little bit of grunge, along with the distressing. I used three different circles to make the flowers, distressing each edge with my distresser (tip, a thread cutter is a good, cheap alternative :) ). I then added twine to the flowers for stems and put twine around the right hand side of the card to bring it all together.

Day 14. Make a card using paint somewhere. I love this card, made by stamping flourishes on acetate. For the paint component, I used twinkling H2O to change the colour of my flower!

Post 14, choosing a conference committee, part 3

The academic program - really the guts of any conference, the heart and soul if you will. It doesn't matter how good the food is, how wonderful the networking opportunities (well maybe this does count for a lot!) or how swish the venue is, put on a bad program and reap the results.

Thinking about the academic program was an interesting exercise. Remember planning was happening years in advance; even the initial call for abstracts would be close to two years before potential speakers would be presenting their papers. This could well have meant that something that was new, exciting, innovative and cutting edge in 2007 would be old, dull and tired by the time December 2008 came through. This then meant that the Academic Coordinator had to have a very good knowledge of current trends in the library world (across all sectors), upcoming trends, as well as have the intuitive feeling required to know if a topic was going to be interesting months down the track. Not only this, but I needed the Academic Coordinator to be organised and be able to identify whether the stream selected by the author was an appropriate fit, create a selection system for us to work through together (as Convenor I was part of the decision making process for the program, as well as for the other Coordinator roles) and develop a model for peer review. Sharon was ideal for this role as she had worked in many different sectors and kept up with library literature. She was always very aware of what was happening in library land.

These posts so far over simplify the process I went through, to an extent. The decisions weren't made in 5 minutes; I also didn't actually have a process to follow or selection criteria to guide me - all of it was done through my own analysis plus experience of being on the alia07 committee.

Tomorrow I'll talk about a conference junkie :)

Monday, 20 June 2011

Post 13 Some of my favourite blogs

This afternoon, Clare crowdsourced potential post topics, having run out of steam (aside here, don't you think 'cloudsourced' would be a good term too??). The suggestion I gave her was the post I had planned to write this evening - some blogs in my reader, under various labels.

Like many, the aggregator I use is Google reader. I did start off with Bloglines, but switched over to Google to simplify things - it was much easier to use one login for everything (good thing, as Bloglines died an untimely death but all of my feeds were in Google by then).

Bear in mind that these are just a few of the blogs that I subscribe to - I literally have hundreds, which is why my feeds constantly seem to be over 1000. These are in no particular order or preference, I am just choosing 3 from each of my labels!

Library related

Librarians Matter, by the ever wonderful Kathryn Greenhill
Libraries Interact - a blog for Australasian libraries


Write.Click.Scrapbook - lots of tips and ideas. - love this site. Noell does a paperclipping round table podcast weekly which I bank up and then listen to. There is also one for digital scrapping.
Creating Keepsakes - like the magazine, lots of inspiration here.

Card making

For the love of life - some amazing work here
Daring cardmakers - I so want to make a wobble card
Passionately Artistic - lots of cuttlebug goodness

Peeking into the lives of others

Day to day - also a good craft blog
e - an Aussie living in the US
Attic24 - lovely, lovely stuff. Lots of crochet goodness


Sew ritzy titzy - I SO want to do this challenge - who is up for it??
Crochet with Raymond - a cat who crochets?
Hooked on handmade - more on the May challenge

So many more I can share, but think I will call it a night! What are some of your favourite blogs and why?

Post 12, Choosing a conference committee, part 2

Yesterday I finished my post with the bombshell Jenelle dropped on me, she was moving overseas and would have to withdraw from NLS4. As I said earlier, Jenelle was the ideal choice for Website Coordinator and had also been to NLS1 and NLS2 (NLS2006 had not happened yet) so had lots of insights to share.

Jenelle's withdrawal left a hole in the committee, as I really didn't know anyone else with the skills sets she possessed. Although the need to fill the gap was not critical at this stage, I did need to have something in place fairly soon. I had my lightbulb moment writing a youth strategy (of all things!). I had not long returned from Aurora and met Jill Stephens there. I should say 're-met' Jill :) Jill and I had worked on aliaVIC together a couple of years back and we then lost contact when she resigned from the committee. I offered Jill a place on the NLS4 organising committee and we didn't look back :) She had many great ideas (remember, Web 2 had not quite taken hold back then) and established a wiki for the committee to collaborate in, as well as setting up RSS feeds on the site. Importantly, Jill had the committee take ownership of the website, so no one felt as though they were operating in a vacuum.

Another important part to any NLS, established from previous NLS', is the social program. This was an area that I didn't have a lot of experience in, so needed someone who would be able to pick up the ball and run with it. No better candidate than Gemma! Gemma's excitement when I asked if she was interested still makes me laugh! The first thing I asked her to do was get some preliminary costings for the cocktail party and lunches for the conference to prepare for our initial budget to the ALIA Board. She had figures to me by the end of the week and made her famous (within the committee) comment "Who would have thought food would cost so much???" She was right, catering is one of the biggest expenses with any event.

Tomorrow I'll talk about the Academic program :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Post 11 Choosing a conference committee, part 1

With NLS5 approaching, I thought it would be an ideal time to reflect on my choices, as Convenor, for the organising committee for NLS4 in December 2008. There were 2 avenues open to me - one was to put out a call for expressions of interest and the other was to choose committee members based on my personal knowledge of them. As most of you would know, it takes at least 2 years to organise a conference and looking back through my files, I put in my first expression of interest to the ALIA Board in July 2006, with the formal (and much wordier!) bid going to the Board in August 2006, over two years before the actual event. Taking this into account, I felt then (and still do) that knowing a person's qualities ahead of time would be the strength behind the conference's success. Having already been involved in many committees, I had seen first hand what happened when people put their hands up to be involved and then didn't deliver - it put so much more work on the rest of the committee. I wanted to avoid that so, after discussion with the two previous NLS convenors, made the decision to bypass transparency and choose committee members myself. I also wanted to try and have the organising committee cover different sectors, and, being a national conference, have representation from interstate and regional areas.

As this would be a small, relatively small budget conference, I wanted to keep the committee fairly contained and have a limited number of positions. These were:

Marketing Coordinator
Melbourne Ambassador
Website Coordinator
Social Program Coordinator
Academic Program Coordinator

Because financials are so important and managing a budget critical, I wanted to have someone who already had experience in this. Kevin Dudeney had previously managed the budget for neXt and was able to put together an interim budget for me to supply to the Board with little effort (or so it seemed to me!). Kevin had also dealt with trade and sponsorship which made him an invaluable asset in this regard as we were able to work out compromises which still gave delegates a good program without impacting too much on the budget. It is not commonly known (but should be) that without sponsors costs would be so much higher for delegates. As NLS4 was primarily aimed at new graduates, based on the assumption of being low income earners, keeping costs lower was even more critical.

When managing a budget, reaching the budgeted number of earlybird delegates is essential (as is budgeting an achievable amount) so marketing becomes imperative and I wanted someone personable who could write well and investigate the multitude of promotional opportunities available to us. Ruth Barton, who was the first Coordinator, unfortunately had to withdraw from the committee and was replaced by Andrew Finegan who, as Librarian Idol, was more than able to rise to the challenge. I met Andrew at NLS2006 and loved the way he handled himself during a debate that was part of the program.

Trevor Mackay was an ideal choice to promote beautiful Melbourne to potential delegates, he knew Melbourne inside and out, a critical factor for this role. Importantly, I knew Trevor had the 'stick-to-itness' that I needed.

As the website was going to be our main source of communication, the Website Coordinator had to be techie, to say the least and who better than our own Victorian techie, Jenelle :) I was on aliaVIC with Jenelle and she was also a brilliant convenor and always followed through. Who better for the Website Coordinator role? Early in 2007, Jenelle dropped a bombshell on me - she was moving to the US to live and would have to withdraw from NLS4!

I'll talk more about my choices tomorrow :)

Post 10 - A fun meme :)

Again courtesy of Fiona, here is a fun meme to kick start the week.

What’s in a name meme…

1. Your real name:


2. Your Gangsta name:
(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle.)


3. Your Detective name:
(fave color and fave animal)

Blue Cat (my cat is black :) )

4. Your Soap Opera name:
(your middle name and street you live on)

Tania Hogan

5. Your Star Wars name:
(For your new first name: first 3 letters of your 1st name + first 2 letters of your surname; For your new last name: first 2 letters of your mother’s maiden name + first 3 letters of the city you were born)

Tankr Azfoo

6. Your Superhero name:
(your 2nd favorite colour, and favourite drink).

Purple Tea

7. Your Iraqi name:
(2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your mother’s maiden name, 3rd letter of your father’s middle name, 1st letter of a sibling’s first name, and last letter of your mother’s middle name)


(hmmmm, not bad)

8. Your Witness Protection name:
(parents’ middle names)

Assunta Frank

9. Your Goth name:
(“Black”, and the name of one of your pets)

Black Gypsy

10. Your Ninja name:
(First two letters of your first name added with “ruto”)


11. Your Pirate name:
(Your middle name after the word Captain)

Captain Tania

Post 9 June card challenge - Days 8 to 10

Here are the first 3 cards for week 2 of the June card challenge.

Day 8 was making a card using no less than 3 buttons. Having sewn for most of my adult life, I have no shortage of buttons in my house. I have so many that I once organised them by colour because it took me so long to find a few that matched. I am always glad to use buttons on my layouts or my cards for this reason :) My love of buttons started at a very young age when I used to go through my mother's button tin and admire the colours all mixed together. I still love walking past rows and rows of buttons in Spotlight, all organised by colour..... For this card I chose contrasting coloured buttons in varying sizes and placed them randomly on my cardstock. When I was happy with the placement, I glued them down and then drew in the stems and leaves. I'd like to make more like this.Day 9. Make a card using glitter. This was a challenge for me, as I tend not to use a lot of glitter on anything, one due to laziness in getting the glitter out and two because I end up wearing a lot of it! The glitter is very hard to see in this picture, but I used a new Kaszazz flourish stamp in the bottom left hand corner with some pearlescent glitter. It was a lovely, understated effect. I used the wrong glue though, and the glitter brushed off, so I will have to revisit this one :) The base card was a pale pink, but I stamped a flourish background in a darker, pearlescent pink ink to give it some more interest.Day 10. Make a card in a shape that is not a square or a rectangle. The hardest part of this challenge was actually deciding on what to do - I had so many different ideas. I ended up going with a telescoping circles card that I learned at a Creative Memories workshop a few years ago. The variation I added to what I learned was using scalloped circles rather than plain circles. I used my Spellbinders nestabilities to cut out 5 circles, 4 of which were in varying sizes, half an inch apart (aside here - I am very much a metric girl, but when scrapbooking, making cards or talking about a baby's weight/person's height, I can't instantly visualise anything unless it is in imperial measurements, not sure why...). See below for a photo of the card opened in all its telescopic glory.

Post 8 On multi tasking

The other week, on Twitter, someone asked how people with children managed to get everything done and still stay sane. It made me think about how I am managing being at home with 4 children. Granted, 2 of those children can look after themselves, but they are part of the household, and, as such, require me to still be their mother :) I am home at the moment and thought I would be able to fit even more into an already busy schedule, having gained more hours during the day through not being at work and not travelling. I am not quite sure it worked out that way....

I try to be organised so that everything flows as smoothly as it possibly can. I try to find short cuts that I can live with, that won't compromise the way I believe things should be done. Where possible, I simplify things as much as I can and try to declutter (my biggest challenge). I recently completed a 6 or 7 week declutter challenge where we had to focus on one area a week and totally revamp and declutter said area. It did mean I had to find time to work through these tasks, but now that I have done them, it is so much easier to sustain and keep things tidy.

I try to take time out to relax - it doesn't always work (ironically, sometimes giving up that time calms me more, as my overwhelming to do list gets an extra special attack :)). I watch very little TV but try to make time to play catch up my favourite TV shows when I can. Jenelle frequently blogs about getting dinner ready in a record amount of time - I must have a chat to her more about this....

I read somewhere that we need to say no to things more, that juggling too much in our lives means being overwhelmed and stressed. I think that is over simplistic. Working out what I can do and how I manage this takes away stress and yet is still a juggle, just a more efficient one.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Post 7 June card challenge - days 4 to 7

The final four cards for the first week of the June card challenge.

Day 4. Make a card using no less than 3 ribbons. I cut the heart out of the top layer using my cricut. I stuck ribbon scraps onto the base card so that they showed through the cut out heart when I adhered that layer to the card. I used a white gel pen to do the faux stitching around the base card and the heart layer.

Day 5. Use a die cut. This was my second attempt at this challenge. It took forever to make the first card, which I never really liked, then I made this one in about 5 minutes without even thinking about it! I cut the butterfly out using my cricut and stuck it on the left flap of a gatefold card. The gatefold ends up being 4x4. I love pink and brown together! There are some glitter dots scattered across the patterned paper.

Day 6. Make a card using flowers. The flowers were hand cut from images I stamped (the same stamp set I used for the sympathy card for post 6) - the large and small flowers were both cut twice and then layered over each other. I used a script background stamp to add some interest to the flowers and edged the flowers with dimensional glitter gel. I used a cuttlebug embossing folder to impress a design on the front of the card.

Day 7. Make a card using the colours red, white and black. I like the way this card turned out. Simple but effective. The bird is made using a Stampin' Up punch.

Post 6 June card challenge - Days 1 to 3

So to add to an already full schedule, I decided I would take part in a June card challenge, put together by the lovely Katherine from Scrap Everything. This post will have my contributions for the first 3 days (mainly because blogger is playing up!) Day 1. Make a square card for a male. The card is a 4x4 card blank (so definitely a square!) with the blue panel made up of coordinating strips placed on a strip of card on the diagonal and then trimmed to size. The red scalloped border was made with an EK Success border punch (love them!). Faux stitching completed the card.Day 2. Make a sympathy card. I created the patterned on the coloured card using a flower stamp and versamark, which creates a tone on tone effect. I then punched out a circle from the pink and brown section and used my Kaszazz dragonfly stamp and punch to place the dragonfly in the centre of the cut out.Day 3. Make a card using the colours blue and brown. This was was harder for me to get my head around, because I couldn't narrow down my ideas enough to start making the card. I'm happy with how it turned out in the end. The scalloped edge is done using a Martha Stewart border punch. The cute little owl is paper pieced using the Stampin' Up punch. I used a white gel pen to free hand a border on the outer edge.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Post 5 Se7en meme

Memes - I love them! I love doing them and I love reading friends' postings! This meme was taken from Fiona, our very own bun toting librarian :)

Seven things that scare me:

3.Losing my family
4.Being on a ship in case it sinks (as 1 above)

Seven things I like:

1.My children
2.My husband
3.My family
4.My job
6.My friends
7.Living in Melbourne

Seven random facts about me:

1.I joined ALIA as a student in 2001
2.I have 2 laptops
3.I have very small fingers and wrists
4.I love shoes :)
5.I have recently started watching Glee
6.I used to bite my fingernails till I was 13
7.I used to work for the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SEC)

Seven things I want to do before I die:

1.Have lots of grandkids
2.OK, am stumped now

Seven things I can do well:

2.Make cards
4.Make lasagne
5.Seven things at once :)
6.Over commit!

Seven things I can’t do but wish I could:

1.Drive a manual
3.Give up eating chocolate
4.Know Photoshop inside out
5.Take REALLY good photos
6.Build a computer
7.Speak a third language

Seven phrases I’m known to use:

4.You'll cop it
5.Hang five
6.oh dear
7.I don't think so!

And that, I have to say, was much harder than I thought!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Post 4 - Library and Information Week 2011

Another Library and Information Week has been and gone. Being home on maternity leave, I wasn't able to do anything for work, mainly because I wasn't there :-) Lots of ideas though, always lots of ideas.

Soooo, being a good advocate for reading to babies, here is my contribution to making Australia a reading nation.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Post 3 Something for me (cont)

Back in January, as part of the 12 days of Christmas blogging challenge, I did a post on a healthy balance in life, outlining what I wanted to achieve this year. Let's see how on track I am so far....

1. I will continue to avoid buying items for my scrapbooking stash so I can use what I have faster (this has been in place for almost 3 years and nothing seems to have depleted...)

this is still on track

2. I will make all my Christmas cards again this year.

again on track. I have designed one and am making 5 a month

3. I will experiment and make a step card that will fit in a standard size envelope.


4. I will finish my December Daily album (I really just have to get photos together).


5. I will continue with Project 365 for myself and Anthony.

Ongoing. I have monthly photo challenges that I email to some friends of things to take photos of. It is a great sharing and learning exercise. That reminds me that I need to email out yesterday and today's theme...

6. I will finish crocheting my granny stripe blanket.

er, ongoing still.

7. I will unpick some jumpers that I no longer want and reuse the wool.

Yet to do

8. I will finish scrapbooking Project 365 for 2009-2010.

Still ongoing. Am going to an all day scrapbooking crop next Saturday and hope to make a huge indent into this.

9. I will host some more crafternoons, as I am a little housebound right now (first Twitter one scheduled for Jan 16, yay).

I have scheduled one scrapbooking day a month till August with some friends.

10. I will experiment more with PhotoShop.

Done and ongoing. Looooove PhotoShop!

All in all not a bad effort, considering I forgot about this!

Post 2 - Blog every day of June

Day 2 and lots and lots of thoughts going around in my head.

Something I do daily is check Facebook and my Twitterstream continuously - so much easier to do with my iTouch and Windows 7 phone (love that phone!) than it was when I had to keep checking a computer to keep up to date. I find my PLN (personal learning network) on Twitter invaluable. I have purposely kept my followers (and those I follow) to a small number (although I think I have gone over 100 now) so that I can easily keep track of tweets as they appear. Following too many people means I lose sight of many of the threads of conversation that are happening simultaneously.

I love the Twittelator app for my iTouch - I actually prefer to use it over because it loads where I finished reading the last time I used it, as opposed to the Twitter site, which loads at the most recent tweet, meaning I may need to scroll down pages of tweets to pick up where I left off. Twittelator also colours my tweets green and any replies to my tweets are brown - love it! I wish Twitter would do that - I thought it may have been a feature in the 'new Twitter', however I haven't been able to find it if that is the case.

I do vet those that ask to follow me - they need to be directly associated, somehow, with others in my PLN or be involved in the library industry (apart from Master Chef :) ). If I approve someone following me, then I follow them. I see no point in having followers that can see my tweets and I can't see their's. Likewise, if I follow someone, then I like them to follow me. I regularly compare the two lists and think seriously about removing those I follow that don't follow me.

So what are the benefits, for me, of having a PLN?

  • collaborative sharing and learning. Ruth, from Creative Circ, blogged here about the way she used Twitter to crowdsource (love that term!) topics for a potential conference paper and how it helped engage her with a future audience. Brilliant.

  • It's somewhere I can discuss ideas and explore them with others.

  • I have access to a global learning community of very active library people who are more than happy to share their expertise.

  • It is another source of information for me. Recently it has been my first port of call.

  • It may be informal, but it is still a method of learning for me.

  • It puts some randomness back into my life :) Where else would I hear that someone burned their dinner for the third time in a row because they were busy catching up on tweets? Or about emphysemic pets and how germs cannot live in an alcoholic environment!

  • I love how, the more I use Twitter, the more creative ways I find that people are using it.

    So, how does Twitter benefit you?

    Wednesday, 1 June 2011

    Post 1 - Blog every day of June

    Today saw the start of another blogging challenge from my Twitter PLN - blog every day in June. The last time I attempted this was to blog the 12 days of Christmas - something I did manage to achieve. As my blogging is sporadic (and indeed stopped after the 12 days of Christmas effort), I considered paticipating in this challenge and decided against it. However, after being 'encouraged' by Gemma, I thought I would start and see if this would give me the impetus to continue blogging after June ends. Someone tweeted earlier today that there were 58 bloggers taking part - it may be more now. It's an awesome effort and make being part of my PLN more real somehow.

    So what am I doing in June? I am also taking part in a card making challenge which involves making a card according to preset criteria every day in June (today's was a square card for a male). As well as this, I need to catch up on my twitter mystery a month post (been so long that I don't remember the hash tag for it, but I have still been reading!), finish co-writing a paper and continue with sessional work at Curtin University and Victoria University. I took on the card making challenge as a way to try and force a little me time during June. My days are so full that I need something to put me into a different head space.

    Am I over committed?? Nah, there is no such thing! :)