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Taking Stock 2012 – 2013

I can’t believe how quickly 2012 flew by!  Thank you to each and every one of you that has dropped by my blog in this last year and for leaving such encouraging comments, some of your comments have just been so timely and have encouraged me not to give up. So thank you from the bottom of my heart! I don’t do this often, getting personal on my blog, but it is a new year and a new me and I want my blog to be an overall picture of me and not just what I do. It is still scary for me to be doing this right now, but here goes……
You might need a cuppa to get through the year with me… Good Luck! Wish me Luck! LOL

What a busy year 2012 was, and we even survived the end of the world!
 Many wonderful things happened to me this year and I have faced many personal challenges.

Some of the Highlights for 2012 was that we got to travel to New Zealand in the June/ July Holidays and have a family holiday, it was the first family holiday away for us in 9 years, that wasn’t just visiting family. Leonii traveled to Europe and America before having a week with us in New Zealand. It was magical time and so special for me to have that time with them. Wil had 2 of his mates there and one of their parents. So the boys got to go Snow Boarding most days while us mums checked out art galleries and searched for the best mulled wine in all the gorgeous little pubs with their open fire places. Was a fabulous holiday, Don and the Kids went on the luge (spelling) a few times while I took photos. I even tried Ice skating and didn’t even fall over. We went Skiing a few times as well. There was even a rare snowfall in Queenstown itself, it was just magical. We had a unit over looking shotover street. It was such a convenient location. Leonii, Wil and Ed even did the bungee jump! Not me! LOL Really was a beautiful place! Loved it! Even if it didn’t get above 5 degrees.

I also traveled to Cairns with Leonii and my friend Lisa in April and we Photographed my friend Denise’s wedding. It was an awesome trip and such a huge learning curve. I am not a photographer but have had fun learning to shoot my DSLR camera on manual this year. I thoroughly recommend Creative LIVE if you want to learn more about Photography and posing and well just anything camera related. I have also taken some valuable business courses on there too. I loved Tamara Lackey’s courses Taking Care Of Business & Work, Life Balance. Even though the Taking care of business one was more photography related, it can translate across to any creative business. Anyway back to the Wedding I was very pleased with the results, Denise made a stunning bride and the wedding was just beautiful!

We also celebrated our birthdays in Cairns, 5th- Lisa, 7th- Leonii and the 9th my birthday.

I have really had an experimental year with photography, I am slowly getting more confidant with shooting on manual. I have also had the opportunity to photograph a few senior formals starting with Wil & his girlfriend Jordan and his mates Ed & Emily , and Nick and his partner Hannah’s formal . Then Tori’s Semi formal, Ed’s sister.
I had so much fun photographing these amazing kids. they all scrubbed up so beautifully. They have grown up so quick.

I have also taken part in a few photo shoots this year. The first ones are of Lara, a miss universe entrant. She was beautiful on the inside and out and so much fun to shoot. The Beach shots are of my cousins daughters Mitali and Scarlet, and the good looking fellow is my hubby Don. The gorgeous girl with the flowers in her hair is my beautiful niece Chloe, I was having a go at getting the nice sunlight shots here. And the Stunner on the end is the amazing Deb. I got to do Deb’s hair and makeup for this shoot too. It was pretty special to see Deb’s transformation and stunning photos! She looked so beautiful!

I have been loving all types of photography this year, landscape, sunrises & Sunsets, macro and Birds. I wish I had a better lens for Bird photography, patients is definitely they name of the game here. Here are a collection of birds pics I have taken from home, our beach, Don’s Mum & Dads place in Cooroy, and down the back roads where I go walking. It is so satisfying when I finally capture a good one!

I also got the chance to travel to Melbourne to my beautiful friend Debbie Kingston’s place. I was treated like a queen and spoilt rotten! Deb is such an inspiration to me!  We had a lovely time and even got to check out the sites of Melbourne. I also got catch up with Sharon, Fi & Christine at the Scrapbook Lady Retreat! We had such a lovely weekend! Love you girls! xxx

Sadly I had to cut the Melbourne trip short as Wil had to have his Wrist operated on in Brisbane to get his tendons repaired. Unfortunately of the 3 tendons you could injure, Wil had damaged all 3! He was tackled badly in a game of Rugby League football 6 months earlier. He never really complained about it and he still played the rest of the season with it like that, although he kept saying on and off that his wrist was sore again for the next 6 months, so we got it looked at and found out it was a pretty significant injury. Not good for someone so young. One tendon had to be reattached into the bone and the other two cleaned up and repaired. So then I was the one panicking for the next two months making sure he didn’t move it when he shouldn’t. He has mended well and has a pretty decent man scar now. You can see it in the pics below. His hand had swollen to twice the size of his other one after the surgery.

Both Leonii and Wil have had a big year this year. Leonii has traveled around Europe, then to America on her own before joining us in New Zealand. The top corner pic is her hangliding in the Swiss Alps. Both Leonii & Wil Bungee Jumped in New Zealand. My kids are not for the faint hearted! LOL Leonii also moved out of home this year and has moved to Brisbane (over 10 hours away) with her boyfriend Duncan. It is hard not having her close by but I know she is happy and that is all that matters. Wil finished year 12 last year and just celebrated 1 year with his girlfriend Jordan. How did my beautiful kids grow up so quick? I am so proud of them both. They have both found lovely partners too!

In October I made the now annual pilgrim to Perth to catch up with the Dusty Girls and do some (well lots) of work with Jen. We made the trek out West, no that’s my outback their East. Was a bit confusing for this East coast girl to get my bearings. LOL anyway we traveled 4 hours to the outback from Perth for the Scrappin Outback Hyden Retreat. This is the second Hyden Retreat I have been too! We always have sooo much fun. I taught these 2 projects at the retreat. These girls are like family! We laugh until we cry! If only you knew what Kaye was laughing at in the bottom LH corner pic. We all had tears literally. Love you girls too! xx
Just have to give a Shout out to Mistra this beautiful girl is my soul sister I am sure! Thank you hun for always being there! xx

I can’t get through the year without mentioning these gorgeous ladies! The Tuesday Girls. I first started teaching these girls at Scrap Happy and we still catch up! These girls make you laugh until you cry! It is never a dull moment with these beautiful friends. I know I would have missed a few girls here, just want to give a shout out to Loren, Renee, Trish and Maria! We haven’t had much time to catch up this past year but I hope we can make up for it this year! And I hope to catch up with many more Gorgeous Scrap girls this year too. I am so blessed to have many beautiful friends and family in my life, you all mean so much to me! And also my many online friends in every corner of the globe!

Deb, Jenny, Bev, Joan, Me, Trish & Kaye (& Ngairie not in the photo)

OK Back on the home front, I haven’t been home for more than a month at a time this year.
Anyway, we have a collection of animals on our little hobby farm, sadly we recently lost one of our dogs Rusty. We found him dead when we come home from holidays after Christmas. Was a very sad homecoming. He was Wil’s dog, I think he is missing him a lot more than he is letting on.
We still have Tilly the blue heeler, she is an excellent snake dog and now herds the chooks up without eating them! LOL. She is such a good dog and is absolutely ball mad. The 3 cats you see are all Leonii’s, somehow we have inherited them when she left. Cynder AKA Fatso in the tree follows me around the most. Sadie is the one to watch for chasing birds, you can see the magpie on the fence and sadie walking along the top, before the magpie says “I’m Outa Here!!” LOL
We now have 6 chooks (hens for Tash) and 8 Steers (cows). Our animals bring us a lot of joy and amusement. It is so hard when we lose one! RIP Rusty, you were finally getting the ball off Tilly too.

And this brings us to our little piece of paradise. Enough space to have our privacy and close enough to town to be convenient. It got pretty dry last year with no rain from July to December, although our wet season more than makes up for it. We still had plenty of water in the tanks and bore. We have our own little fruit orchid here with lots of mangoes on at the moment. The little bush in the middle is full of mulberries. This is from a cutting from my Grandma & Grandads tree, every cutting we have had from this tree has produced the biggest juiciest mulberries! We had a good crop of Oranges and Mandarins last year. The cockatoos thought they were pretty good too. I love our views it is so peaceful out here. Some of the storms that come across are pretty impressive too. We even get the odd wallaby in the yard. It is amazing that the yard can go from dead and brown like the bottom RH pic to lush green in a week after a bit of rain! The rains have started for the wet season, we have already had over 7 inches of rain since Christmas. Anyway this is our little patch of paradise.

Looking Back 2012 was a year of Dreams and doing everything I could to achieve them, even though I am getting closer it has been a long road. It has been a challenge to get out of my own way and just go for it, climbing over my lack of confidence has been my biggest hurdle and I have been learning and exploring every avenue to over come this crippling thinking.

In retrospect I have achieved a lot in the last year and have learn t alot, I have undertaken many workshops and online courses trying to find the answers. I have even found answers to questions I didn’t know were there, What is it I really Want? What do I want to Be? What do I want to achieve?
I thought I knew what it was that I was working toward. And thought to achieve my dreams I had to learn everything I could so I could do it all perfectly but in the process never felt like I was ready. Now I know I don’t need to wait until I am an expert on everything, I just need to get started and learn as I go. It has been a challenging year for making decisions, every corner I turned was another decision to be made, and each one was agonized over at length, did I make the right one? Each decision making me feel inadequate at the time that I wasn’t sure what was the right one, but now looking back each decision made has made me a little bit stronger. I have been playing on the edge of my comfort zone for the last year, and this year is going to push me right out there.

Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons has given me the courage to just go for it. I have been setting up an online business for the last 12 months, and now I am only weeks away from that dream becoming a reality I am also taking on many other creative adventures! So stay tuned!!
I am looking forward to doing some coaching this year with Jessica Brogan, wish me luck!
I have also joined a group of girls from the Flying Lessons who are working through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I am hoping this book can help release the things that are blocking me.

I am really looking forward to exploring more art this year, hopefully by the end of the year I will be able to call myself an artist.  Some of the art courses that I have signed up for this year are:
A weekend Workshop in Brisbane with Tracy Verdugo for a Paint Mojo weekend! Can’t wait as Leonii will be doing this one with me too!
Then I am going to do a 12 week course with the Brave Girls Club doing the Brave Girls Art School Session 2: The Wings Session. So looking forward to learning how to draw and paint birds.
Lastly for now I have signed up for The Bloom Girls Workshop with Jamie Dougherty.
So I have a busy couple of months coming up.

On top of getting this business off the ground and continuing with my Design Team work with Dusty Attic & Donna Salazar Designs, working for these teams has been a blessing, all the girls and bosses on both teams are amazing, inspiring and beautiful people, really is a dream to be on both these teams, Thank you Donna & Jen  and each and every design team member past and presentxxx

 I have also been working with the Australian Scrapbook Ideas Magazine and have contributed a few articles this year, that was exciting. I have more coming up this year too.
I also made my first cover this year on the Scrapbook Creations Magazine, was such an unexpected surprise! After 8 years of being published it was my first cover!

Sadly I have had a few friends diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 6 months who are all my age! Their strength and courage inspires me, and the difficult journey they face breaks my heart!! You never know what challenges may lay around the corner! Love you girls, Lisa, Evana & Ngaire!! xxx

OK if you have made it to the end, Thank You and Congrats, this was a marathon post to create with all the pic collages too. You don’t realize how many pics you take in a year until you go back through them all! I am glad I have done it now! Will be great to look back on in years to come. Think I might do a monthly review with the photo collages each month this year!

Wishing you all a fabulous year! I hope all your dreams come true!! Dream big and go for it!!!!

Phew! I did it!!
Take care beautiful people!
Michelle xxx



Michelle, you are so inspirational to me, I am always here reading your posts, admiring your work/art to me you are already an artist and your work is amazing.
May you soar in 2013 and may all your hopes and dreams become realities xxx

Laly Blue

What a year! And what a brave new you! Have a beautiful new year!

Dianne H

Hi Michelle. I have read every word and I truly admire people who follow their dreams. You certainly have and I am in awe and inspired by your bravery. So pleased to hear you had a great trip to .NZ with your family. I would love you to come and teach here (maybe one day!). Best wishes for 2013. I look forward to seeing your new venture. Take care.

Janine Whitling

Michelle, i don’t know what you were waiting for! What a terrific blog post. Amazing year you seemed to have, full of wonderful friends and family, and Art of course! I really enjoyed your photos too. AND i guess i get to meet you at Tracy’s workshop. Look forward to seeing her there 🙂

Sarah Treanor

Oh my goodness, what a rich and beautiful post about your year! I just love it. Thank you so very much for putting yourself out there – courageous, brave, and beautiful! Wishing you even more goodness in 2013! (I am doing coaching with miss Jessica too, just had a session with her today, I always feel so focused and energized from sessions with her!)


I cant wait to see your venture out there and running !
You are such a beautiful person Mich, with a pure soul – Im so
blessed to call you my Friend.
The photo collages are wonderful !!!
WOW what a busy busy busy year for you – no wonder you
dont get to bed before midnight hun !!!
Mwah big kisses and hugs
Jen xoxox (sorry, Jennaaaiiii)

Debbie Kingston

What a great post Michelle. A beautiful piece of writing and lots of gorgeous photos to compliment it. I was so glad to be a small part of your year and hope we can do something again this year. Dusty Cruise perhaps??? Anyway, just wanted to tell you that YOU ARE SPECIAL AND I LOVE YOU 🙂

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