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 this....to 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 make....it 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 through.....as 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 hours...rest 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!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

M for man, male, masculine...

The Paper Players have a new challenge....

So here is my take, back to making a card this time. Using whatever scraps I had in the drawer, but also using some new stamps I have, Nina B Designs (Layers of Color) Elegant Labels. There is not much to say about it, I have tried to keep it fairly simple. So here it is!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Paper Players Design Team Call


My name is Debby McGrath also known as Debbles Dabbles. Some of you may remember the name as I have entered into a number of your challenges last year. My home is in Canberra, the Capital of Australia, where we have lived for the last 17 years. I love Scrapbooking / Card Making / Off the page projects, not only for myself but to make as gifts for friends and family. I have been involved with these crafts for about ten years on & off, mostly in regards to card making, even teaching it from my home for a year or so, which I loved. However, in the last couple of years have become rather passionate about scrapbooking more and more. I am very excited and a bit nervous to be applying for a position of a Design Team but I always enjoyed the Paper Players challenge and would love to be part of this wonderfully creative team and hopefully adding something special to it as well. It would be a great honour to me if I make the team.

I have a 3 adult children, one granddaughter and a wonderful & supportive husband who has been happy for me to indulge in my passion. My family come first & I love to help and encourage them on their own journey, including my immediate family, my extended family, church family and my wonderful friends. I work part time but may need to increase my hours a bit more as my husband stops work due to health problems, however, I still make time for my craft.....my sanity when things get hecitc.

Here are some examples of my work over the last year that I would like to share with you.

This was a card I made to order 

This card was part of a SU workshop I went to

 This page is of our God daughter

I hope this gives you a little insight into what I love to do. Please feel free to check out more on my blog.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Thanks to my lovely friend Ann Craig who has sent me this lovely Blogger Award. It's lovely too, because it works like a pay it forward & I must choose 5 blogs that inspire me and send them this lovely award too. So here are my 5 and why:

Kim at PaperArtsy for a fresh, inspiring blog, not just about
her papercraft, her business but also her family

Linda at Lovely Linda's Craft Central because her 
creativity is never ending, her work inspirational, and 
she was the person who encouraged and helped
me to start my own blog

Rochelle at Two Tears in My Bucket because she is amazing!
Her PASSION for papercraft is so contagious.

Scrapping with Soul because I love what they are about.
They do an amazing job of combining their love of papercraft
with their love of the Lord. They have a great blog with 
loads of info on what they are offering, including great
retreats and scrap days...check them out!

Stampin' Sisters in Christ because they inspire not 
only in regards to my craft but encourage in 
my walk with God.

So I hope that these blogs are able to collect this award and pass it on to others who inspire them.
Hoping you too,  will be as inspired as you check out these blogs as I am each time I visit.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Third Scrapnight this month, but time for a change....a sea change maybe???/

Well after working on my original layout as seen in the last postfor 2 of the scrapbooking nights, I decided it would just do my own thing on the last one. I had one more photo from my childhood that I wanted to get done, so went to work on it. As my baby brother, David was wearing an outfit with a 'sailor' theme to it, I thought I would use that as the theme for my page. So using the beautiful Stampin' Up paper (Nautical Expedition) & stamp set (The Open Sea) (see Ann Craig Independent SU Consultant)
I set to work....here is the result!

The colours I have used are 'Not Quite Navy' & 'Soft Suede'. Again I raided my little supply of vintage charms and found the boat charm, which suited very well. The seam binding is also available from Stampin' Up  as are the stamp lettering. I distressed around the oval. Not my usual girlie page this time for my two brothers...lol!!!
 Some challenges I have entered into are:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feb layout design @ Ann's Scrap Nights

Another great month for scrapbooking and a great few nights we had at Ann Craig's. I was glad we had 4 nights to choose from. I got to 3 of them, which I needed 2 of them to finish the page. It was a rather time consuming design but was one we all enjoyed working on. Everybody's page was so different with most choosing bolder colours as I chose softer pastels as the photo I chose was one of my mum's 2nd wedding where I was flowergirl. The colour of our dresses was the yellow, so found some lovely yellow fabric to make the main flower out of. We used different stamps and some dry embossing, I used some Tim Holtz tissue paper but the card stock and stamps are all Stampin'Up. Thanks to Corinne Harrison, I had some lovely vintage charms arrive in the post this week so was able to finish off this page with them.

Some challenges I have entered this into are:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What a Wonderful Wedding

Our friends Darren & Alison's daughter, Jemma got married yesterday....Sat Feb 11. We were invited to the wedding. I designed her invites and we had a great night with her friends and mum making them.

I also offered to make a guest book but have had such an awful start to our year that I forgot all about it. Luckily Jemma facebooked me and reminded me a couple of days before the wedding. So I headed over to my friend Ann Craigs place to pick up a few supplies....per usual more than generous!! (Thanks Ann x) So Friday night was spent putting it together using some of the techniques we had learnt at the last Stampin' Up workshop I went to....you may recognize the style! Anyway, here is the front and the inside page.....I was happy as was Jemma and Allan!

Here are a couple of pics of the wedding too!

Dad writing some words of wisdom in the book!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What a fun workshop!!

Hi there friends. My friend Chriss & I both booked a Stampin' Up workshop during salebration. Chriss had hers on Saturday 29th Jan 2012 at the home of our friend (& Stampin' Up consultant) Ann Craig. Chriss chose a theme of 'Shimmer & Shake' so upon arrival we all got a yummy milkshake with a take home curly wurly straw. We also had yummy fruit kebabs, or chocolate muffins. I had 2 kebabs they were sooooo good. Chriss had asked that we do an easel card for our make and take. However to start with Ann went through a few techniques that some of us may not have tried before. We started with a piece of plain white cardstock and then chose a stamp which we inked with the markers rather than the ink pads that way we could use several colours rather than one. I chose a stamp with a pear over some writing, inked it up then stamped. It worked out rather well I thought, but decided to give it another go with colours for a friends birthday, she likes blues, turquoise, those kind of colours. Worked well again. Then we punched out or cut the image so we could place it over a 9cm square. We then stamped up a background on that 9cm square. I of course, had to ink around both the background square as well as the image. Then I mounted the square onto a piece of coloured card stock which I trimmed down. Then Ann showed us how to make a lovely frame using one of the SU punches, slitting it and putting the corners into it. We were all very pleased with this look.

Ann said we had to finish this as we still had to make our take away project, the easel card. We said we wanted to turn what we had already created into our easel cards. She was happy enough with that and so we all did. Everyone's was very different to each others. I was very happy with the end result. I did some dry embossing that I used ink with to make it stand out more and layered that onto card stock. Attached what we had already created onto foam dots to raise it up (after I had added ribbon) then attached it all to the actual card. To create the easel affect, cut out card to make square card. Fold in
card in front, then take the front of the card and fold in half again. Using double sided tape, tape only on the bottom half of the front of the card and attach the front square. On the bottom of the card add something that will not only look nice, but hold back the front of the card, like so.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


So young, so innocent, looking expectantly for what life can bring. These are the thoughts I have when I look at this photo. I recently found this along with a few other portraits of my siblings and I. I wanted something fresh for this photo, rather than vintage as such, so no sponging this time. The BG paper is from a pad I bought at Big W of all places, & I picked up the light purple from my friend Kim at PaperArtsy. The flowers are Layers of Color, which I watercolored and went over them in Stampin' Up Pearl ink, Frost white. The bees I have subtly blinged with 'at you Spica Twinkling like stars' pens, which I also got from Kim along with the flourish die. I have no idea where I got the silver flowers from! Here is the pictures.

Some challenges I have entered this in are:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Boys and the toys that amuse them!

Another link to a scrapbooking challenge that Anne Patterson sent to me was http://scraptheboys.blogspot.com/ and so I decided to enter into their January challenge.....what is it that your boys like to do in Summer? At first I was trying to think what that might mean for my boys who are now in their twenties, looking into my photos, and then it struck me.....of course, my boys LOVE Summernats. Every Summer here in Canberra we have a car festival called Summernats. Rev head, and car nuts gather from all over the place to display, admire & drool over cars. The highlight for our boys is the BURN OUT competitions. These happen on the Sunday, & luckily for our boys, they can go along for free because they take our Morris Minor in to display with the car club. They usually come home stinking of burning rubber and covered in rubber, but enjoy this time together doing blokey stuff. So here is my page. I have gone and done something completely different to what I would normally do, (mostly vintage / shabby chic) but I like it. Hope you do to!

Other challenges I have entered this into are:
Digistamps4Joy - One for the Boys

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ask & you shall find....

My dear friend Marilyn's niece is an avid and wonderful scrapbooker and so I thought I should ask her where there were some good scrapbooking challenge sites. She got back to me very quickly with several links. This one really appealed to me and I could see that I could use this layout for my page I was planning of my Uncle. http://stucksketches.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-15th-sketch-part-2.html

So here is the sketch & my page:

Some other challenges I have entered this into:

Surprising finds....the joy of shifting!

It's amazing the things you find when you shift homes. My husband was going through the things in the garage that still had not been sorted and we found a photo frame belonging to my grandfather. In it were some wonderful old photos of my grandmother (whom I adored, and who had raised me alongside my mother who had to work, when she and my father split up), my mother and uncle as children, also my uncle as a young man, when he went off to England pursuing a career in the Speedway (motorbike racing). So after completing the frame I had done of Shaun with our granddaughter I started to work on these wonderful old photos. I already had the pages which I had bought at different times, so that was a good start. However, I didn't get them complete at Ann Craig's house the day we all met up, and last week I made myself pull them out and complete them. Here is the result, which I am so very pleased with. More to do, but it is a great start, I am feeling very inspired, hope you do to!!

This was my grandmother's wedding photo I have used in this layout.

I have used Kaisercraft Chanteuse Collection paper which I have layed over some embossed card stock, (I can't remember the name of this card stock), both of which I bought from Scrap n' Stuff @ Richardson. I have used my own stamped, coloured Layers of color flowers & butterfly, as well as flowers I bought from my friend Lovely Linda, lace from my friend Ann Craig, & some pink pearls.

Challenges I have entered this into are: