Monday, 31 January 2011

Couple of Layouts

Thought I would start the week with a couple of layouts! Yes, I have scrapped. Just feeling like I am getting back into the swing of things again. It feels so long since I last got to sit and play at my desk!

The first is a challenge for the Show Us Your Stuff blog, it was the first challenge for January, a sketch challenge, a nice easy way in! The only other criteria was something handmade, either by you or someone else. I pieced together a little present stack like in the photo and also added some pleated paper also.

The next challenge came by the way of a sketch too. The sketch was sent on by a friend to challenge ourselves and the get the juices going. But, given we started with a card sketch I had to think about it a bit before I could get a good run to turn it into a 12x12 page. The result is something I am happy with though, and I got to play with my Paper Lace cartridge for my Cricut! Yay! Not only that, but I used some more of the Studio Calico bits and pieces that I was given by the lovely Ang! Thanks again Ang!

So there you have it! The week has begun! Catch you next time.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Walk Around my Neighbourhood...

Liam and I went for a little walk last Thursday (so one week after the devastation) to see how the parks and river were looking. What we saw took me by surprise. There is still so much mess and evidence of what happened and even still water lying around in parks. It will take a long time for things to truly return to normal.

The view looking toward the river and the bike/walking path that meanders beside it. Currently it is covered in mud and unusable.

This looks away from the river along a little creek that backs onto houses in White St and finishes as an open reserve at the end of Austral Ave. Usually there is very little if any water in this creek, but you can see just how much surged through here at its worst.
Remember the layer of mud from the netball courts? Well that was nothing compared to that nearer the river.
Debris along roadsides and footpaths, full of all sorts of odd things. Here a smoke alarm, a piece of lego, a rubber glove and odds and ends of plaster board. The human side of the debris.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Back Home

Well, we are finally permanently back home now with power restored and things slowly going back to normal. School is not far away so this gives the kids something to look forward to. Friends to check up on and comfort. We have been advised that somewhere in the order of 40% of families at our school have been seriously affected by the flood waters, so there are many many friends who will need some routine and something normal again.

We are doing our bit too. We have found spare uniforms to donate to help those who lost them. The Sherwood Neighbourhood Centre is also taking donations of clothing, linen etc, so we will be taking what we can to them to help others. I think there will be many weeks before things really return to normal, but also for everything to properly sink in. When the volunteers are no longer out, and the army returns to normal duties, then it will hit the hardest in an emotional and mental sense.

Another example of things still not normal is seeing our netball courts. I saw for the first time yesterday that they are being used as a tip for the collected rubbish before being transported to land fill areas and the like. There is so much rubbish down there it is hard to fathom and I am sure this is simply the tip of the ice berg.

Now for some more photos. Another flood waters one, but the rest show how the local area is still affected.

This looks down the street beside the school toward the netball courts (on the left), the row of trees/shrubs sits just above the top courts.
This is the current view down our side street looking toward the grass netball courts. Looking back to normal thanks to some rain to clean the grass. But all is not as it appears...

Once you get past the grass courts you see the second surfaced court is being used for a rubbish collection point before being trucked onto land fill and the like.

You can see by the size of the truck compared with the pile just how much rubbish there is here, and they have been working for days to remove it all.

This looks in the opposite direction from the courts, back to the reserve area. Here there is still stagnant water and mud and areas that just simply look like they are dying. You can even still see the brown in the tops of the trees showing how deep the water was at its worst.

This last one shows how thick the sticky, stinky mud is that is still lying around. This was on the edges of the small bank that goes down to the pedestrian/bike path that winds its way beside the courts and then on to the river. And it is still really slippery too.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Flood Updates

Finally I have been able to get time and power/internet access to come on and give you updates on us and the floods.
We live in one of the suburbs severely affected by these floods but we have been so very lucky. Our house and property have not been touched by water at all. The only loss we have suffered is a fridge full of food, such a small loss in the scheme of things. We are surrounded by people in our street and neighbouring streets who have lost so much. We have spent the last couple of days helping those of our friends who need help, cleaning mud, removing destroyed belongings and just keeping up spirits.
When the waters started rising back on Tuesday we decided to evacuate our house rather than risk being stranded without power and possibly water. We were so generously taken in by our friends Georgie and Craig, and I am sure this has been the best part of the school holidays for the kids! Ironic really. We spent a couple of anxious days watching the news and being updated by friends and neighbours still in the area as to the water levels and how our house was faring. The best news I have ever received arrived by text from our neighbour early on Thursday morning, simply saying no water has reached our house.

We decided then to make our way over and help those who needed it. What we saw as we came back over the Indooroopilly bridge was amazing and surreal at the same time. I have to say that despite all I have seen I don't think it has really sunk in yet. So much water, just so much water and now the stench and the mud. We took the kids with us on today to help with some cleaning and to get them to understand how lucky we were and how much others need our help now. The water had dropped significantly but it is still so surreal. I made sure to take some photos on Thursday and these follow.
This is looking down towards the netball courts on Tuesday afternoon about 6pm. This is about one house away from our house, but gives a little idea of how much higher we are than the street behind.

This is the same view Thursday morning (water had already dropped about a foot or two). The driveway to the left is higher than the one in the above photo that has the four wheel drive parked in it. That driveway is under water in this photo. Many boats were launched from here during the day.
This is one end of our street. To the left is the kids school. This was a boat launching area.
This is looking down the other end of our street. Below where the water is are at least three houses that were unable to be accessed. This was also another boat launching area.
This is looking down Oxley Road towards Indooroopilly. The street to the right with the sign just visible is Leybourne Street. Boats were being launched from here also.

This is down the end of Richardson Street, looking toward the carpark entrance to the Netball Clubs building, to the left is Turner Street. Again, more boats.

So, that is our lives for the past few days. Full of anxiety and turmoil, but in the end of it great relief. Especially given all the devastation that we have seen around us. We are now spending our time helping our friends and neighbours and even those who we don't even know.
And that smell that they keep talking about, believe me, it is in a category all of its own. Something you need to smell to appreciate, a mixture of rotting vegetation, mud, and even a fishiness it is a stench of its own.
Ok, that is me signing off for now.

Take care, Katie

Monday, 10 January 2011

Happy New Year!!

Can you believe how quickly the Christmas and New Year period disappears?? So welcome to 2011 and may it be joyful and prosperous for you all!

Right now, along with many Queenslanders, however I simply wish for less rain and less flooding. But we are some of the lucky ones. We have not been washed away and we can still get outside of our home.

I thought that I should come and share some more renovation updates with you. We are very close to being able to completely move into our new bedroom! Yay! As we speak the carpets are being laid. The whole house is undergoing a facelift with new carpets going into each bedroom and to the hall as well. We even took the opportunity to clean all the walls while the rooms were empty over the weekend. The painting is also complete in the new room and on the deck and lighting is connected in the new room also. So only a few little things to finish off, like the deck lighting and fan and the airconditioners. Lucky it has not been so hot this summer that we were desperate for the aircon! So here are some pictures. I thought I would do before and after shots so there are photos of all the rooms and the hallway looking bare and displaying really gross old dirty carpets. The bottom two shows the new room with its fresh paint and also the ensuite all finished. We have been using the ensuite since just before Christmas and let me tell you neither of us will be able to go back to the old shower after using the new rainhead! It is magnificent and we are thinking of changing the old one to something a little similar to share the love around! Which leads me to the fact that we are going to give the old bathroom a small makeover in the coming months too. Which also reminds me, we have no front deck at the moment! They came and ripped it down the other day and the house looks really strange now. I will get a photo as soon as it stops raining enough to get outside, and who knows when that will be??!!

Niamh's old room, soon to be Liam's room.
Our long hall way. And despite the carpets it has never looked this clean!
Liam's and Erin's room, soon to be Erin's alone.
Our old master, soon to be Niamh's room.
The new room, looking almost complete!
And the finished bathroom. We just need to move all our stuff in now!

So that about wraps it up for now. I do have a couple of pages that I have done. One for the Scrap the Girls January challenge and one that I didn't quite finish in time for their December challenge. But I am waiting for better light to photograph them!