Posts categorized "photography"

sydney to dubbo {via bali}

It seems like a long, long time ago, but Sydney, Bali, Dubbo was our itinerary last school holidays.

The first week of the school holidays was spent in beautiful Bali. It had been almost 18 years since my last visit (that was on our honeymoon). Bali had changed, alot, but it was still beautiful.

I have many of our photos in a flickr album.


One special group of photos I've placed in a COLOURS OF BALI album. I created this little collection of photos because Bali is so vibrant, I wanted to capture some of the colour that surrounds you there.

A few special things I'd love to mention about our holiday:

Our accommodation in Canggu, SABA VILLAS. Absolutely stunning. We stayed in a two bedroom villa, with our own pool. Total relaxation. I wanted to pick this place up and bring it home to our little plot of land in Sydney! Below is our pool and villa at night, more photos of the villa can be found HERE.

Saba Villas, Canggu

Our accommodation in Ubud, KAJANE MUA VILLAS. A beautiful, beautiful place in the Ubud style. Again our villa was lovely with our own pool. Although the villa complex is on Monkey Forest Road, our two bedroom villa was right up the back of the property with rice paddies around us. This was the pool area of our villa, more photos of this villa can be found HERE.

our private pool at Kajane Mua villas, Ubud

The Bali Elephant Safari Park, out of Ubud, where we had the most marvellous morning feeding the elephants then having a ride through the park and forest. Here's Em with one of the baby elephants, more photos are HERE.

Bali Elephant Safari Park, Ubud, Bali

Kafe cafe, this was a great find amongst all the hustle and bustle of Ubud. Probably the best coffee we found in Bali. Delicious organic meals and juices.

Gaya Galato {part of the Gaya complex}. Oh, my goodness, I would travel back to Bali just to have this gelato again. The gelato at the bottom was Spiced Chocolate gelato, one of the best flavours of gelato I've ever tasted. This was well worth the short trip out of Ubud to taste this gelato. They also sell cookies and biscuits. These guys should write a cook book, cause I'd make every cookie they were selling! They do offer home delivery, not sure this extends to Sydney :-(

gelato from gaya gelato, ubud

Ubud markets, alot of fun, alot of interaction with the stall holders {and bargaining}. These markets are much better than those we found in Semenyak or Kuta.

On a slightly more serious note:

There was one slight emerency on our Bali holiday. During a visit to Monkey Forest in Ubud, I was bitten and scratched by one of the monkeys. Without going into many details of the following couple of days, I had to try to find two different rabbies vaccines which I needed to receive within a few days of the bite. Rabbies is a big problem in Bali at the moment and one of the vaccines required after a bite is very hard to find in Bali and is very expensive once you do find it. Anyway we did find the vaccines in an international clinic in Kuta and have continued to receive the rabbies vaccine back here in Australia (the course is given over 28 days). My arms were like pincushions during this treatment, but hopefully all will be well. I'm just writing about this to let others know. Monkey Forest is a big attraction in Ubud, would I rush back there next time... no way, the monkeys are cute but certainly not worth the trouble they caused.

We returned to Sydney from Bali, had 24 hours at home to un-pack, wash clothes, re-pack and leave for Dubbo.

We went to Dubbo for Phoebe. She was picked to play in the Far North Metro team at the Soccer NSW State Titles, which were being played at Dubbo.

We had a great week, Dubbo is a fantastic country town and we certainly enjoyed our week there. We did watch a lot of soccer, sitting on the sidelines. The girls on the team had a fun week together, and played some fantastic soccer. Their team came fourth overall.





While I was in Dubbo, I had a chance to meet up with Narelle, Neek and Leah one afternoon. It was so lovely to have a chat with these gorgeous ladies. We chatted for so long, the cafe closed around us, and the owners showed us the back gate exit, saying we were welcome to sit there as long as we liked. We did stay for quite a while longer chatting away....


Emily and I did visit the Dubbo Zoo one afternoon. One of the first areas we visited was this {not so little} baby hippo...


Then the gorgeous giraffes...


And we found some more baby animals...


One our way home we passed these beautiful fields of rape seed. We could see the fields coming from far away with the specatular colour...


We returned to Sydney exhausted, but happy, after a varied holiday. We probably needed another holiday to recover from this one, but it was straight back to work and school....

And that's our last holidays summed up. It's take me several weeks to finish this post, but it's finally done and published!

Thanks for visiting. Will be back very soon with some Ribbons Galore updates.



easter school holidays round-up

.... in photos.

I'll start with our own little cute Easter bunnies, here's Butterscotch:


and Bubbles:


I bought the girls these groovy "new polaroid-style" cameras for the holidays, they've had a great time taking lots of photos:


These cameras take business card sided polaroid photos. In a world of digital photography, I'd forgotten the joy of seeing your little photos come to life in a couple of minutes:


We love going away to Hawks Nest with these girls, and their mum :-) We've been friends since the older girls were in pre-school, and still love to get together for a few days away:


One night the girls wanted to create some sparkler art. Best $2.00 entertainment of the holidays. They created a few words, then made some shapes (next time I'll take my tripod away, would have made this activity a lot easier):


 And there were a few blooms left on my old frangipani tree up at Hawks Nest:


We went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, ate lots of chocolate easter eggs, caught up with family and friends... all the usual stuff that happens over Easter.

Now we're back into the maddess of school term time, not to wish time away, but bring on next holidays!

That's about all, thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

poor neglected blog...

... I've just checked and it's been over 2 months since my last blog post. The days, weeks and (dare I say) months have just flown by.

In October we took a trip overseas to our beautiful neighbour, New Zealand. We had a fabulous time staying in Christchurch, Lake Tekapo and Queenstown and driving through the most gorgeous countryside in between.

I've finally uploaded our holiday snaps to Flickr, if you are interested you can take a look at them HERE.

The family have kept us busy. Sport and music fill our lives. Phoebe's representative basketball season has come to an end, as has her regional soccer development squad .

Emily's school rock concert was fabulous, they prepare for this concert all year, it is such an entertaining production, so much talent in one school. Em's still playing the drums...


I have a new camera. I upgrated my Canon 300D to the Canon 500D. I'm loving it. It got a good workout when we went to New Zealand and I'm really happy with the results.

The silly season has started over at Ribbons Galore. I sold some baubles and pouches at a school fair recently. The baubles will filled with ribbons and hung from tree branches. They looked so pretty. Unfortunately I have now SOLD OUT of the baubles for 2009.

That's about all for now. Thanks for visiting. I'll be back with some festive news very soon, so stay tuned.

Fiona x

no particular topic, just rambling

Thought I'd better get a second post up before the end of January.

The girls are back at school, all's quiet around the house. Emily has started at her new high school, is happy and excited about everything going on there. Phoebe has her new class already, and is pretty happy with that too.

Holidays were lovely and relaxing... I do love school holidays.

Here's a few photos and ramblings from the things that we did during the holidays.

We took Phoebe out to the Athletics Stadium out at Homebush to participate in the Little Diva Dash organised by Athletics NSW. She got to meet Jana Rawlinson and run a 400m 'fun-run' around the athletics track. In true diva-style, Phoebe adorned her hair with Ribbons Galore ribbons!

Divadash Divadash1

We went kayaking last weekend on Pittwater. We hired a couple of kayaks form Paddlecraft at Bayview, and paddled our way around to Church Point, enjoyed our coffees/milkshakes and bacon and egg rolls from the cafe there, then paddled back to Bayview. It was a beautiful morning and lots of fun.



We gave Emily a new bead for her bracelet the night before she started back to school. A little drum for the drummer girl of our family. It is very cute, the drum is silver with little gold drum sticks on the top. This one is a Pandora bead, but it still fits on her Bacio bracelet.


I took Phoebe to the Sydney Wildlife World at Darling Harbour one day. It's a great centre, the displays and exhibitions are informative and it is different from the zoo, so you do get a different experience. At the end of the centre you have the opportunity to walk through the butterfly display, which Phoebe loved. We stood for a long time as the butterflies fluttered around us. They loved her headband, as they were always landing on it. (We also discovered a Lindt Cafe at Cockle Bay Wharf, so guess where we went for afternoon tea).

Butterfly Butterfly1

One of Paul's friends has been making a guitar... from scratch... and he doesn't even play the guitar. He brought it over for Paul to "inspect". It was so beautifully made, with such lovely detail. You just had to admire it and all the work that went into making it.



And lastly, this is to show Mel, my very clever friend who also loves sewing and Japanese craft books. Phoebe and I had a day out in the city, and one of our stops was a huge Japanese book shop, Kinokuniya, in Galeries Victoria. I picked up the latest Cotton Time which was great as previously I had navigated my way through the Japanese Amazon site to purchase my Japanese books. Phoebe and I also picked out a couple other cute books. The good news is they get the magazines in about a week after the release date in Japan, so I can send Paul off in his lunchtime to pick up my books. And there are a couple of other magazines I like (all in Japanese) and I can just give them the codes from the magazines and they can get them in for me too. Now I just have to finish off my CHA projects so I can start work on some of these very cute things.


That's about all, back to a little more scrapping.

Thanks for visiting. I'll be back to more regular blog updates from now.




Christmas eve in Sydney

So school's out and we are finally on school holidays. Lots of end of school stuff went on last week, but it all seems a long time ago now, and we are finally getting into the Christmas spirit.

Today I was at the fish and fruit markets at 7.30am buying the salmon and prawns and salads and fruit for tomorrow. With that all finished by 8.30am, it left a pretty long day ahead of us. So the girls and I caught up with friends, jumped on a bus into the city with the main aim of visiting the David Jones Christmas display windows.

It became a fun festive adventure, wandering through the busy city. Here are some photos from our day.

Martin Place Christmas tree:


Martin Place is looking very festive with the stars and banners:


Pitt Street Mall had these groovy Christmas trees:


Bush firemen:

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The bush fire service Santa was also found in Pitt Street Mall:


Free Hugs man.... (if you don't know about him, see HERE):

Freehugs1 Freehugs2

We did make it to David Jones. The window story this year was The Nutcracker:


Beer Bottle Busker (see him HERE, but today he was playing Christmas songs outside St James Station):


Lindt Cafe (a trip to the city is not complete without a stop here):


The girls decided to try their luck at busking in York Street while waiting for the bus home. They sang the same Christmas song over and over and collected $2.15 between them.



I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous and healthy new year.

Thank you for visiting my blog this year. I look forward to bringing you more craft and scrapbooking ideas and classes in 2008.

Enjoy the holiday season.


Until 2008




very random ramblings

I feel the silly season is here. Not much spare time at the moment for blogging. There's lots going on in the Carter household and many end of year activities at the girls' school. Christmas shopping hasn't started yet, although I've seen a few Christmas "wish lists" around the house.

I'm busy making table decorations for Emily's graduation dinner coming up soon (will post photos when I have some). Emily has just over 2 weeks left of primary school. She is so excited about starting high school next year, which is great.

There have been quite a few "proud mummy moments" lately. Here's a few:

Yesterday we attended Presentation Day for the girls' school. Both girls received awards. First up was Phoebe who received the Academic Book Award for her class. After the ceremony she was allowed to choose a book and have her certificate placed on the inside cover.


And Emily received the Public Speaking Debating Award for the school. She was so excited. She speaks beautifully and can speak in front of an audience with ease, which is such a fantastic skill to have. We now lovingly refer to it at home as the Argument Award, something she's particularly good at, and obviously a requirement for debaters :-)

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A few weeks back, Phoebe ran in the State Relay Carnival out at Homebush. She was part of the Under 10's 4 x 100m relay team for her Little Athletics club. They ran well, finished third in their heat, but missed going onto the final. She was happy to be out there and part of the action. That's her below just starting her run.


We were up at Hawks on the weekend. The weather wasn't great, but it was so nice to be away for a few days. Not much photographic evidence that we were there apart from these photos of the girls.

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{mental note for next time, remind Phoebe to remove white socks before we take photos}

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We've been visited by a few kookaburras in our back yard recently. There seems to be more around than in recent years. I took this photo while standing in my kitchen, looking through the shutters. He sat on our clothes line for ages (we think he was stalking the bunnies!). It's so nice to hear them too, laughing away so close to the city.


Are you still with me?

I've created a few things with some new Paper Salon papers.






These are a few Christmas cards made as part of my latest on line class. The patterns and instructions are included in the class.

Candycane1_2 Tree1 Stocking12 

That's about all for now. Thanks for visiting and reading my blog.

Hope you all have a great week.




Holiday catch up and a RAK

School holidays are over. All's quiet in the house today. We've seen several movies, caught up with friends, been out and about our beautiful Sydney and had a relaxing break up the coast last week to finish off.

We walked the Balmoral Beach to Chowder Bay track again. I've mentioned this before, but it is such a nice way to spend some time around Sydney (and you get some of the best views of Sydney Harbour too, in my opinion). The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust is opening up some of the best land located around Sydney Harbour to the public. The photo below is taken from George's Heights looking across the harbour to South Head.


Since our last visit to this area, Ripples Cafe and AquaMine have opened. Ripples Cafe is a great cafe located just under the Sydney Harbour Bridge at North Sydney Pool which has been operating for several years now, and now they have opened up in one of the restored buildings at Chowder Bay.

And up the coast, this is the view we enjoyed for a few days. The girls and I went away with friends to Hawks Nest. It was so lovely up there.


Emily was in charge of breakfast one morning while we were away. She made a stack of her fabulous pancakes. She says she knows the recipe off by heart now, and in this case, how to double the mixture!


And there were several morning and afternoon tea opportunities. Nicole's Cafe over at Tea Gardens is a favourite, they have the best cakes and they serve real Chai Tea (with tea leaves in a tea pot - not the powdered variety). I love the presentation of their cakes, this one was almost too good to eat (almost!)...


Just thought I'd throw this photo below into the post. Phoebe loves getting hold of my camera and takes all sorts of photos. It's usually when I clear my memory card that I discover what she's taken. This was one that I really liked...


We started the holidays off a couple of weeks back with a weekend of music. Emily was one of 20 kids to be selected to play in the Primary division of the annual Billy Hyde Drummer's Playoff. It was such a fantastic experience for her (and very, very loud for us). She played on a fantastic kit up on stage at the Institute of Music in Surry Hills and had a great time.



She wanted to wear a t-shirt for her performance that said "girl drummers rock", which of course we couldn't find anywhere in the shops, so we made one. We screen printed the words onto a white t-shirt and she was very pleased with the result!


I've also been doing a little bit of sewing. I have several bags cut out ready to be made, which I'll be placing in the Ribbons Galore store as they are finished.


I think now it's time for a RAK. I haven't done one for a while, so if you've actually read (or just scrolled) to the bottom of this post, leave me a comment and tell me (if you want to) where you live (state and/or country is fine). {I love knowing where readers of my blog are coming from} You will have the opportunity to win a RAK from me.

I've been collecting all sorts of things lately. The latest find is a daisy lace runner which I think would look great cut up and used on some projects. I've also been collecting lots of old buttons. I'll pack in some ribbons, (maybe a few little bits and pieces from my DT companies). So I'll put a RAK pack together. It'll be a mixture of old and new things... leave a comment if you're interested in receiving one (I'll post worldwide too). I'll post a photo later, when I've put it together.

Thanks for visiting, and reading. Hope you have a great week.


Fiona x

DCM card challenge

The challenge this week over at Daring Cardmakers is titled Photo Finish (to create a card for any occasion but it must include a photograph somewhere! The photo subject can be people, items, locations, flowers, absolutely anything so get snapping.)

Thanks for the challenge girls!

Here's my card this week.


I love catching up with friends for coffee. (And sadly, I had several photos of my coffees to choose from for this card - LOL).

I also used one of the new Maya Road journaling sheers on there. The colours of the sheers when perfectly with my coffee :-)

Thanks for visiting.



weekly catch up

Really quick catch up, here while I'm having a cuppa tea :-)) Life just seems to be really busy with the girls at moment and time is flying by. Here's a few random ramblings:

Thought I'd share one of my favourite photos from the past week or so. It captures a few of my favourite things... my family, a sunny autumn Sunday in Sydney, a great cup of coffee, some relaxing time together.


This photo was taken Sunday week ago when we went down to Chowder Bay (Clifton Gardens) on Sydney Harbour. We'd heard one of our favourite coffee places had opened up somewhere amongst the old military buildings. Well we found it. BACINO BAR (famous in my opinion for it's "hole in the wall" cafe at beautiful Dee Why beach) has a tiny little kiosk in an old bunker over looking Chowder Bay. And it also has a cafe just up the hill over looking Sydney Harbour. After our coffee we then walked the headland round to Balmoral Beach and back, just beautiful...


Emily cooked this last night:


Absolutely delicious. The girls decided to host a 'surprise' birthday party for their dad last night (he's birthday is actually end of this week). They cooked dinner, hamburgers for our main and Emily's berry bread and butter pudding for dessert. A little tip, Emily used Tip Top's Golden Crumpet bread in this pudding and it was sooo yummy! (Thanks Donna Hay for the recipe)

And although it is only the beginning of May, my front garden thinks its spring. I was surprised to find these little rays of sunshine on the weekend.


We are growing strawberries! Highly recommend these for the kids to grow, nothing much seems to kill them (not even too much love and attention), they just need a little sunshine, and the kids love picking them from the plant and eating them right away!!! {and I think they look really pretty growing in a pot}


Well that's about all.

Have a great week.

Thanks for visiting!

Fiona x

Just chatting

I have been downloading some photos this morning. Its been a while since I've cleared my photo card, I'm ashamed to say. I usually do it in a rush when I turn my camera on and see I only have room for a couple of photos left on my card. Considering I use two 512MB cards, that can be a lot of photos to sort through. So I'm trying to catch up this morning.

One thing I love about backing up my photos is that I get to review the photos I have taken, some I have even forgotten I'd taken. It's really is like going through a digital photo album.

Anyway, we spent the morning at Balmoral Beach last Sunday, one of my favorite places to visit in Sydney. The tide was high, really high, thanks for a full moon, and the girls love jumping from the boardwalk around the baths. As the tide was high, the drop wasn't so great, and therefore not so scary = happier girls!

Below was one of my favorite photos from the day. I sat my camera on the boardwalk and took the shot - I didn't even look through the viewer. I loved it when I opened it this morning. Phoebe with her blue goggles which are a permanent fixture to her face whenever she's near water and the bright red surf mats the girls received for Christmas, which again, are a permanent accompaniment whenever we are near water. Love the color of the bleached wood of the boardwalk and the green of the water.


We have spent sooo much time at Balmoral over the last 11 years. I'd hate to add up how many hours I've spent there sitting on the beach, under the trees, dipping my toes in the water with my two girls as they have grown up. When they were toddlers and pre-schoolers it was usually the first place we'd suggest to meet up with friends, have picnics with family or just go there and hang out, just the four of us. There have been days when we'd arrive in the morning intending to stay a couple of hours, and would end up buying fish and chips for dinner.

One place I love down there is the Balmoral Boatshed Cafe. You can see it behind Paul and Emily in the photo below. It's new, sparkly new and its fabulous.


The old Boatshed closed a while back and was pulled down. It was great too, had a lot of character (like you could see the sand and water through the floorboards of the cafe, type of character). But the new Cafe is great. People still wander in with sandy feet and towels wrapped around them, kids run in with their swimmers and wet hair, it still has all the atmosphere of a beach-side cafe. Love it, and I'm sooo glad its back and open and selling great coffee!

Anyway, thanks for reading my rambling on today.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Hope you have a great day.