1. We have avoided the big city Christmas parades up until now (too much stress finding a park, finding a spot on the pavement, too many people and too much waiting around). So our first big city parade last weekend was the one we were actually in.
Daughter-Two was leading out a float for her musical theatre group and The Husband and I, in dark clothes and dark glasses, were walking along the side like secret service agents in santa hats.
We had to get there over an hour before the parade, so there was a lot of waiting around in the side streets where all the performers and floats had to congregate and get lined up.
I decided taking photos of the "pre parade" was more fun than the parade itself. You have to imagine these with several competing carols blaring out as all the floats tested their sound systems. Even Darth got into the spirit, dancing to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer":
It was rather windy:
As for Daughter-Two, she started out as a Christmas tree (which she was very happy about):
But then one of the dancing girls was pouting up a storm because all her friends were Christmas trees and she wasn't.
About the only drawback of having non-whiny kids is that they are usually the ones asked to make a sacrifice in such situations (eg when younger, Daughter-One would emerge from a birthday party the only one without a party bag because they ran out and the apologetic mother would say "I knew she was the only one who wouldn't make a fuss').
I was wondering why they didn't just tell the child to stop being silly, then realised the organisers didn't want someone stomping down the road with their bottom lip stuck out as far as it would go.
So Daughter-Two ended up in a neon pink dress and gave it her all:
2. She also gave her all at the Christmas concert at the hospital, opening the show (to our surprise) by belting out "Hell is gone and heaven's here,
There's nothing left for you to fear
Shake your *** come over here
I'm a burning effigy
Of everything I used to be
You're my rock of empathy, my dear" (Let Me Entertain You).
Oh well, she's nothing if not versatile.
3. It was a week of dressing up all around, as The Husband and I had the annual photo at work - his first and the first one we have been in together. (I have one on the wall from 21 years back, I suggested having a gap of 21 years again till the next one).
Unfortunately I arrived at Parliament to find The Husband still in cycling shorts and neon cycling vest. Someone had taken the shirt he had left in the gym and it looked like he would have to be in the photo in cycling neon (perfect for the zeitgeist I thought) or in a suit and tie with no shirt underneath. Fortunately Daughter-One was able to come to the rescue and bring a shirt down from home on the bus in time.
4. That night was the gallery party, which is the only time you see politicians who are usually abusing each other across the floor of the house laughing together over a beer and a hot dog. Or getting totally drunk and making embarrassing Dad jokes. Unfortunately my only respectable pair of high-ish heeled shoes died a death after the photoshoot when someone stood on the back of them so I was at the party in ballet flats peering up at people from chest height. So it was a day of sartorial disasters all round.
5. Here's a sneak peek of what new this weekend at Designer Digitals:
Winter digital scrapbooking kit and papers
Available from Designer Digitals
1. Last year a genuine vintage Elf (who likes to live on a shelf) threw itself at Daughter-Two.
He's been in hibernation until the start of December but magically reappeared and has been finding lots of places from which to undertake his surveillance activities:
2. The special Days of December event is underway at Designer Digitals:
3. I had a great time earlier today talking colour with Debbie Hodge and Tami Taylor at Masterful Scrapbook Design.
If you are in the market for some great inspiration and a creative community it is a great site to check out. If you do sign up you'll be able to listen to my webinar as part of the Color 2 class. It did seem slightly unreal to be chatting away to someone on the other side of the world, with lots of other people listening in (have to love technology don't you?) but it was lots of fun.
I created the layouts we were talking about a few months ago and so much has happened since then (oh so much .. I need to go have a lie down just thinking about it) so embarassingly half the time I couldn't remember which of my own products I'd used. But I do LOVE the layouts that the project prompted me to create and it reminded me how the layouts you do for a challenge are often your favourites.
Here's a sneak peek of a couple:
4. In front of the house someone in the past has planted a lot of natives and flax - which are now flowering an attracting lots of quarrelling tui. But underneath them was bare soil and a few patches of grass and weeds. So over the weekend we added to the beach cottage feel with some stones and gravel:
Unfortunately at the very front of the house lies the kayak (because we have no shed or garage) and every time I come home I sigh and think "I have a giant in a blue bodybag in my front garden".
5. Here's a sneak peek of what's coming to the store this weekend:
Available from Designer Digitals
Bold and bright Christmas digital scrapbooking kit from Designer Digitals, digital scrapbooking New Zealand
1. We went to a fair at a local school, down the road we call "Unhappy Valley. Although in the middle of the day (the only time the sun reaches it) on a stunner of a day it managed to live up to it's real name of "Happy Valley". The big drawcard was the helicopter flights. The poor people on the hills must have been thoroughly sick of it by the afternoon.
2. On the way I stopped to take a photo of the old house we always look at on the drive past. It seems to have imploded
3. On the subject of decay, at the end of the road where it meets Houghton Bay is this bike carefully chained to a lamp post:
I always wonder who left it there obviously planning to return but never did? And why? Did something happen to them? It looks like it has been there for at least a decade.
4. Layouts I have scrapped:
5. And a sneak peek of the kit coming to the store at Designer Digitals this weekend: