Thursday, March 6, 2014

Summer is Gone.....

Although summer has officially gone, it still feels like summer, but a milder fresher version. So bearing that in mind I created this set of cards and hopefully inspired the girls at our monthly get together to put their own mark on their cards with my 2 original cards. I used Stampin' Up's stamps, markers & papers to create these. The papers were the retired Designer series, Subtles Collection, cut to fit on the SU note cards with envelopes. Both of these are a great way to buy essentials for card making. There is such a variety in the colours and patterns that it will keep you going for ages. I love the note cards....a great size, and a convenient & economical way to create. The flowers were created by using a stamp set called FLOWER SHOP, which gives you a variety of flowers to choose from....BUT the best news is, it has a matching punch so you don't have to cut them out by hand!!! Being Stampin' Up means the stress of colour matching inks & papers is taken care of & we were able to use the exact colour marker pens as the papers. I just love that!

These last two are the original two I did before the class and the others were made after the get together....inspired by the creation of the other ladies who came on Monday night.
I chose this card as we move towards the 2nd anniversary of my husband's passing which is one week today.....he was an amazing friend & I miss his sense of fun and laughter so much.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fresh Start....

Well, time has whizzed by and it has been a good break but I am keen as mustard to get back into crafting and blogging. Last year I joined up with Stampin' Up and have finally started having classes here in my home....well not so much classes as card get togethers....I don't so much want to teach but facilitate opportunities for creativity. So the first Monday night of the month is when it happens here at my place at 7.15pm start time. I make up cards for inspiration, and am there to demonstrate any new techniques, but I love seeing what is created with the product used.

Here is the first lot of cards I made to inspire the class.

The papers I have used for this cards are a gorgeous 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch Fresh Prints Designer series paper stack. I loved the colours and thought that they were fairly gender neutral so could make cards for blokes as well as women using these papers. The banner stamps and dies are also in our catalogue and made putting these cards together quick and easy as was the ribbon.

For the first time in 2 years I have entered cards into the following challenges:

Monday, May 6, 2013


I know this sounds a bit new agey, but this is my focus now. I have been inspired from all directions. I started juicing at the recommendation of one friend, Adelyn Ing, and my dear brother-in-love, Sean McGrath. Then, I found the Juicing Vegetables page on facebook, and get daily inspirations to try different juice combos for different health benefits. If you would like to check it out, here is the link:

Raw food dessert.....healthy & Yummy!!
So much colour & flavour
 Juicing & Smoothy demonstrations

Another couple of friends, children of Smith & Stephanie Streatfield) also have blogs and promote health by being either sugar free &/or raw food. I was invited to a raw food party the other Sunday. Wasn't sure what to expect, but wow....the focus at that party was vegetable juicing and smoothies.....just where I was at! Inspired further by the raw food meal we shared after. If you would like to find out more and see more ask to join the fb group Rawlicious Rawstars

I am also trying to drink more of the Kangen water. I have the system so why have I not been using it to its full advantage? Silly I guess!!! The very high alkaline (11.5) water is great for washing all those nasty oil based chemicals off your fruit & vegetables if I can not find organic whatever I need. Water just can't wash the chemicals off when they are oil based. The 9.5 alkaline water is what I drink and need to drink more of, and the acid water run off is GREAT for cleaning, especially the strong acid to kill bacteria. Contact me if this also interests you and I can send you a DVD for free, showing you the benefits of Kangen water.....CHANGE YOUR WATER, CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!

Lastly, I cannot thank God enough and for those who have held me up in prayer for the last 12 months plus. God is faithful and I was able to grieve, journey and grow because of His presence in my life. Returning to wellness and awareness I have been able to spend more time with God, but He never left me and sometimes I only got through the days because He carried me. Thank you to all of those who prayed for me and continue to pray for me, but most of all, thank you to my Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus & the Holy Spirit who never give up on me and lead me through the valley of the shadow of death.

So in all of this I am hoping to get stronger, fitter, healthier. I have set myself some major & minor goals and look forward to sharing with you all now healthier, tastier food recipes as well as my craft. Keep watching!


I am pleased to say that the fog that has surrounded me for so long has lifted. I am unsure why this is. There are a few things that have happened that I think I can say have contributed to it a bit. 1. We had Shaun's memorial and the burial of his ashes. This has bought some closure I think to his death. With just a few close friends and some family we gathered at Woden Cemetery and planted Shaun's ashes into one of the garden beds there. It looks lovely and peaceful. Now I just have to finish organizing the plaque for him. 2. I was inspired to take up vegetable juicing. This has given me heaps more energy every day and has led me to look at further changes I can make for a healthier me. Trying to introduce more raw food (especially their desserts) into my diet, exercising, and more time with God. 3. My mum was finally able to come home from 6 months rehabilitation from her stroke a month ago and so my eldest son, Caleb & I were able to drive over and help her settle into her home again. We had to work physically quite hard almost everyday. Getting up earlier, rearranging furniture, decluttering (had a few tears with that one!) and shopping & cleaning. It was good for us both to focus on somebody else....we went to bed tired but satisfied every night. We have tried to continue this now at home to get our own home sorted and finished off. So all is good for us. God has been the major focus too. Devotional time, prayer, & church all key factors in getting back on track.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

About Time....

Wow, can't believe it has been so long since I posted, or even bothered to photograph any of the craft I did last year. I did do some although not nearly as much as in previous years & as for blogging, just couldn't get into it. So here goes, new year, new Blog.

After having the worst year of my life, I am so glad to be in 2013! I cannot tell you all that has gone on, but for some of you you would have traveled with me on my fb wall and know what went on, you will I am sure understand. For those of you who don't know, just trust me I do not have enough time or energy to get you up to speed.

Keep your eyes peeled as I get crackin' on with some challenges & gifts, pages & cards as I begin again to enjoy the world of Blogging! Take care now.

 Got back from 3 months overseas the day before my dear friends Pam & Paul's here I am in my dress she had ordered on line the day before, that I squeezed into, coming down the 'aisle' and then below is a photo of me and my mate Robbie, Pam's son....Dec 20 2012.
Debby McGrath

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Up, Up & Away

It has been such a long time between blogs. I am sorry for to those who had been following me. I have really struggled up and down in my grief as I am sure you can appreciate. I am hoping to get a few blogs up in the next week or two because after that I am off overseas with my mother for 63 days. It has all been a bit rushed for me, and I have made some decisions which now I would not make but I know my mum wants to do this so that I can have something good happen this year as it has been a really tough one. Not only loosing my best mate / husband, but also having no access to my granddaughter and having other very tough issues happening in my family. In saying that, God is good and I have been blest in lots of ways and have had much support from family and friends who have been there constantly. My mother & I have been joking lots about our trip down the Rhine. We have a balcony so I have told her she had better behave or she may end up in the Rhine not on it!! lol! The highlight always for me is family and I am looking forward to catching up with family I have not seen since I was 10 so 40 years!! We are also catching up with friends, and hopefully making new ones.

So keep your eyes open for updates and I will also try and do the odd blog on my trip....if I can figure out how to with the ipad!! Will have to have some quick lessons when I finally get it!

Happy altogether last Christmas. My mum is holding my granddaughter.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gone but always remembered

In the early hours of Tues 13th of March the tubes that were keeping my dear Shaun alive were taken out. In just 12 short minutes he reached the end of his journey here on earth. In 40 minutes his lungs, liver, kidneys, eye tissue and heart valves were on their way to change peoples lives. He had been surrounded by all his family except one brother & two nephews who all had the chance to say good bye whilst he was able to hear & see them. 28 of us gathered around his bed, the youngest only 7. He is resting now, waiting for the trump to sound, and for his creator to take him home to heaven. Rest in Peace my best friend, my husband, Shaun Alfred McGrath you will be remembered always for your steadfast love of the Lord, for your generosity, for your wacky sense of humour, your honesty and loyalty.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Well the last few days have seen Shaun just not doing too good. He is dizzy, nauseous, headaches, not eating, throwing up, miserable and I think a bit depressed.....& who could blame him. They had to put a drip back in today as well. Sleep is his only relief. It is so hard to watch him like be going through all this again.

Today I spoke to Dr McDowell, who was so lovely. He needed to check with me Shaun's history, all the different things we tried regarding both the trigeminal neuralgia as well as the Aterial Venus Malformation....& believe me we have tried anything we heard of all over the country. I told him that I have spoken to Dr Vinnie Khurana, who is the only person who has opened Shaun's head and seen inside, who was at Canberra Hospital but is sadly now at Royal Melbourne, whom we happily travel to see. We discussed the long term options none are very comforting. We have some very hard decisions to make once Shaun is well....rather I should say, that Shaun has to must be his decision.

Today too, I saw Shaun's head uncovered and was shocked to see his head is all stapled, when they had told us that they were to drill a small hole to put drainage you can see below, it seems a bit bigger than I had imagined!

Thank you to Shirley from the Alliance Church at Calwell where we have been attending for nearly 6 months, who came over last night, about 10pm (we got home very late) with a couple of meals for us. You have no idea how thankful we are. We continue to see God's hand on Shaun & the doctors and I thank you for your prayers. It means so much to all of us.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Prayer and more prayer

Yesterday at lunch time my wonderful husband of 27.5 years had a major brain hemorrhage, his 3rd, & the 2nd in less than 12 months. Again, completely different symptoms from both the first and second. He felt suddenly ill, hot, & oh, so sweaty. Sore neck, spinning room. So I called an ambulance. They worked on getting him both pain relief and tried to help the vertigo before being able to move him.

I had enough time to quickly post on my fb wall asking for friends and family to pray, that it looked like Shaun was having a brain bleed and that we were on our way to hospital in the ambulance. We met 2 out 3 of our children there, the other was in Sydney for the day.

Despite his history of having an Arterial Venus Malformation, with 2 aneurysms on it, all 3 things could bleed, the hospital took 2 hours to do a CT scan and diagnose the major brain bleed. Shaun was deteriorating, going further & further into sleep mode, heading towards unconsciousness. His speech was becoming more & more slurred and his movements became harder. They told me they would operate to place a thin drainage line into his head to drain off the excess fluid which was causing the aforementioned symptoms at 9pm....8hrs after the bleeding begun! So I rushed home with a friend, and tried to contact with the only neurosurgeon I trusted, who was the only one who had operated on Shaun's head previously, and who was with us during the 2nd brain bleed in Melbourne last year. I could only leave a message as it was his day off and I prayed that he would return my call. (He did later that evening....thank yu Dr Khurana) It was while I was home that our daughter, Tamazin called to say she had just filled out all the paperwork and that they were taking my husband, Shaun to surgery now.

By the time I got up there, Tamazin's good friend, Courtney was there with dinner for us.....yummy bolognaise and garlic bread...oh & some chocolate!! We had dinner and went to wait for Shaun to come out of recovery to the ward. Finally at 10.30pm I asked if I could go into recovery and see him, which I did. He really was out of it though, & I only spoke briefly to him before heading home for the night, sleeping with my phone next to me, and checking it frequently through the night.

I called the hospital about 9 o'clock this morning to see how Shaun was doing (not able to visit til 11am....rules!!) I was told that he was doing ok and had eaten a little breakfast. Our son, Tristan who had returned from Sydney dropped in & then took me up to the hospital while the others stayed to do some stuff around home, including taking the dog who had been most diestressed at being alone so much, over to friends. We met his wife at the hospital and headed up to see Shaun. Although being somewhat uncomfortable, he seemed ok, still not really with it, but much improved.

Tristan & Carissa headed off and then Tamazin came back in. Shaun's lunch arrived and he had some before it was time to leave for a couple of time (rules....11 - 1). I went to the cafe and Tam went to friends. Several friends joined me at the cafe, firstly Rick & Anne with their girls, the Denis & Marilyn, who also came up to see Shaun briefly. It was amazing to see how much more he had improved just in 2 hours. He was more evenly coloured, brighter, more awake and doing well. 

We have truly seen the prayers of many faithful friends and families, strangers across the globe answered. I had allowed myself to trust God no matter the outcome.....He gives, He takes away, still I will say, Blessed is the Name of the Lord.....

The journey is only beginning. The bleeding needs to stop. I know I am not alone. God is there at our side, journeying with us, sustaining us through the gifts of friends, the prayers of strangers. I am looking forward to Shaun's mum arriving on Tuesday. Hoping that his sister can come later too. Will keep you posted!