Sunday, 24 August 2014

Welcome to Harrison Donald Tomecek, born 5.8.14.

So besides my pre-scheduled design team post it's been a bit quite here on my blog. Regular followers will probably have been able to guess why: I gave birth! Even though my due date was 20.8.14, little Harrison didn't want to wait and was born on 5.8.14.
My waters broke around 4pm on 4.8.14 however I was not experiencing any contractions. After calling the hospital and confirming I had likely had my waters brake, I drove myself into hospital still partially expecting them to tell me I had wet myself when I got there and have them send me home. :) Instead, they set me up in a birthing suite and said I should settle in for the night. I tried to contact Ben to update him, however the battery on his phone had gone flat so I didn't get a hold of him for another hour. He did sound sufficiently guilty over the phone once I did speak with him.
At 8.30pm the on-call OB came to see me as contractions still had not started. We decided to wait overnight to see if things would progress naturally. By 11pm I had been having severe back pain for a while and decided to ask the midwife for some pain medication. She performed an examination and discovered I was actually 7cm dilated! Unfortunately, we didn't progress too much further during the course of the rest of the night. My OB saw me around 8am Tuesday morning and determine I was 9cm dilated however baby's head had not descended. He went to perform another induction and returned at 10am. We discovered I was fully dilated however baby hadn't moved and appeared to be stuck on the 'spines'. Dr Bopp advised me of my options, however given Harrison was starting to show signs of distress we chose to proceed with an emergency C-section delivery and he was born at 11.15am (19 hours after my waters broke).
 We spent five days in hospital recovering and were hopeful of a smooth transition to home when discharged on 10.8.14. Unfortunately, I developed a serious case of mastitis and was re-admitted to hospital on 11.8.14. We needed to stay in for three nights for the IV antibiotics to kick in and were discharged on 14.8.14. We then had another flair up within 36 hours, which we are currently managing at home with the assistance of our GP. The blood work has indicated the second bout is more intense than the first, however luckily it didn't come with the fever the first bout did.
 In addition, Harrison does not sleep well during the night resulting in me achieving three hours sleep per night on average since his birth. There is limited opportunity to catch up in this during the day due to the feeling/expressing schedule we are using to treat the mastitis. Harrison is also struggling with latching during feeding so he has not put on any weight since initially being discharged from hospital. We have another check up tomorrow with a midwife and I have my fingers crossed he will have gained some weight. It will probably continue to be pretty quiet around here until we can get all the health dramas worked out and settle into a new routine.

Photos of little Harrison from 8.8.14, 11.8.14, 13.8.14 and 24.8.14.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Discover Travel Tag - Couture Creations DT

Welcome back for a quick and easy travel-themed tag today. I received the Couture Creations Paris embossing folder in my design team kit and was stumped as to how to use this, given I'm not one of those people who has a real passion for Parris or the Eiffel Tower. I do however love to travel, so have kept the 'Travel * Escape' part of the design and covered up the part I didn't like. :)
Start by running your cardstock through the Paris embossing folder. I have used Core'dinations cardstock and then used the sanding block to reveal the kraft core which really highlights the image.

Adhere the cardstock to your chipboard tag and trim to fit. My tag is from Scrapmatts of course, they have a variety of sizes and styles. I find the thickness is perfect to provide good support yet you can still emboss them, sew through them or layer them up without getting them too bulky. I like to sand the edges of the tag too, as my cutting isn't always the smoothest.

Create the rest of the background for the tag. I have just stuck down some patterned paper after inking all the edges and then layered two different washi tapes at the bottom. Ink the edges of the whole tag to give a cohesive look. I also cut two of the Discover word from The Van Roe collection.

Gather a random assortment of embellishments and adhere these to your tag. I have used both halves of a travel-themed tag, flair button, skeleton leaves, twine and some Gemstones. Lastly, adhere the two titles slightly off-centre to create a shadow effect. Now you have a travel tag, ready to display on it's own or add to you next travel themed layout or journal.
Couture Creations Materials List:

Thursday, 7 August 2014

My 30th Birthday - Couture Creations DT

I was feeling inspired to get messy when I created this layout, probably because I had just spent a couple of days cleaning my craft room. Nothing like enforcing order to make me want to pull everything out again for one layout! The photo is of my sister and I, it was taken at the end of my 30th birthday celebrations. My journaling is just a quick re-cap of how I celebrated, but I pleased I included it none-the-less. I need to make more of an effort to remember to include journaling in my layouts.
So because this layout was created as a Couture Creations DT layout, it also comes with a tutorial on how to make it:
 1/ Start off by die-cutting all the pieces you will need. To create the frame I cut four of the Light Box Frames from the same colour Core'dinations cardstock. Because this is a fiddly piece I found it easier to remove if I used to quick release paper between the die and my cardstock. I also cut one Moulin Rouge piece from vellum, again using the quick release paper. Make sure you keep the quick release paper die-cut too. Lastly, I cut two lots of the Roman Set from Core'dinations cardstock and covered these in crackle medium.

2/ Cut off the bottom section of each Light Box Frame, so the frame becomes square. Trim your photo to fit inside the four frames (I think this was 3 3/4" x 3 1/2" from memory). Tape the frames to the corners of your photo to create a single decorative frame.

3/ I had a beautiful piece of watercolour printed paper which matched my colour scheme perfectly, however I wanted to add a soft purple border to the page. I grabbed some ink pads and sponge daubers and set to work to create the effect you can see below. I found it works best if you move the dauber gently and lightly around the edges in a circular motion, rather than up and down like a stamp.

4/ Get messy with your background. I used some Gelatos and blended them into the background with water (hence the very warped background paper), then sprayed white mist through a mask, before adding the silver paint circles and teal paint splatters.

5/ Paint your chipboard pieces. I have used two lovely designs from Imaginarium Designs and painted both of them with metallic silver paint.
 6/ The next step is just to assemble all your embellishments. I adhered my two Moulin Rouge die-cuts first, with the quick release paper version at the top left of the frame and the vellum version at the bottom right. Be careful what medium you use to stick these to your page, I used spray adhesive and it caused both die-cuts to blend into the background quite a bit. From there, I added the washi tape, punchinella, ribbon and twine. Once I had this basic design sorted I placed my photo frame using some foam tape to lift it from the page. Then just build up your flowers and place the Roman Set die-cuts, chipboard, brads and sequins.
7/ Finish off your title using letter stickers. Create some strip journaling and edge that in a light coloured ink to blend it into the background a bit more.
Couture Creations Materials List:
CO723818 Quick Release Die Paper
CO723623 Sponge Dauber 6 pack
CO721962 Foam Mounting Tape
 CO721956 Stainless Steal Scissors
CO721986 Handheld Essentials Craft Knife, Piercing Tool and Scoring Tool

The colour scheme for this layout was inspired by the fantastic challenge over at Kreative Koncepts which runs until August 14. I was initially really drawn to the deep jewel tones and the way they popped against the greys. When I went to pull out all my supplies though it turned out I didn't have those rich colours or very much of anything in grey (only ONE sheet of cardstock!). Hence, I have taken a somewhat loose interpretation of the pallet this time round.

 I will also be entering this into the Gold Coast Show in the Celebrations scrapbooking category. I'm not sure if they will like the arty feel but there are only so many clean and linear designs I can do before I need to break loose. :)