Thursday, March 29, 2012

Scrap Africa Rainbow challenge

By tomorrow evening I will be grandmother to my 5th grandchild.  Bianca will be having a C-section as it would appear that little Stefan has the umbilical cord around his neck and this is preventing him from engaging the birth canal.  So my next blog post will be a photo rich post with lots of baby photos.

In the mean time I want to share with you the card I made for Scrap Africa.  
The theme is rainbows and you can make a layout or card and submit it for the challenge.  The lovely scrappy prize is up for grabs to the winner.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Embracing who I am and owning my story

A few days ago Allie blogged about why we have a need of writing our story and why in the world would there be people who actually read what we write.  I have been thinking about that a lot lately.  I have also been reading a book by Brene Brown called "The gift of imperfection" (Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are).  Now if you remember, my one little word for this year is EMBRACE.  I have been drawn to this book and it just "speaks" to me.  I will be sharing some of my thoughts on some of the topics in the book over the next few posts....but I want to leave you with this profound statement by Brene Brown:  

"Our lives are a collection of STORIES, truths about who we are, what we believe, what we care for, how we struggle and how we are strong.  When we let go of what people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness. The feeling that we are ENOUGH just as we are, and that we are worthy of LOVE and BELONGING."

I am really enjoying this book and find so many truths in it.  I realise that telling our story makes us vulnerable, but it also makes us real.

Now I want to share this week's layout based on the March One Page Sketch by Sketch Support

One-page Sketch #19

You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the one-page sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog.  Here is my layout based on the sketch.

Supply List:  Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed Paper: My Minds Eye(Stella and Rose Hattie); Stickers including "Boys" title: My Minds Eye (Stella and Rose Hattie); Brads and Trim: My Minds Eye (Stella and Rose Hattie), Pearls: Melissa Francis; Punch: Martha Stewart.

Variation #1:  I used a 5x7 photo and therefore added a few additional strips. I also liked the idea of using flags as part of my title with the word "Boy".
Variation #2:  I matted my photo on cardstock.
Variation #3:  I used pearls and brads instead of buttons and scallops.
Variation #4:  Instead  of journaling on the left side of the photo I added some banner stickers.
Variation #5:  I punched a border and then added trim to put below the photo.

Please share with me why you "NEED" to blog.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Human rights day in South Africa

Today is Human Rights day in South Africa.  So I am still sitting in bed with my laptop.  Happily blog hopping and reading the blogs that I have had so little time to visit lately.  DH was off to the golf course at 7 this morning.  I am planning to spend some time in my craft room today. In the late afternoon all my precious children and grandchildren will be coming so that we can braai (BBQ) and spend the evening together. Spending time with my favourite people always makes me happy.

I also want to share with you the project that I did for Sketch Support this week.

Add-on Sketch #15


You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the add-on sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog.  I decided to make a double layout using skech no 18 in Allison's new Travel Sketches book.

Birthday Pony by Lynette Jacobs
Supply list:  Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed Papers: Basic Grey(Basics), My Minds Eye(Fine and Dandy); Dimensional stickers: My Minds Eye(Fine and Dandy); Tickets and Journal tag: 7Gypsies; Brads: My Minds Eye(Fine and Dandy); Alphabets: Doodlebug, American Craft; Punches: Martha Steward border punch and Quickutz stars; Other: Felt for stars.
(Click on the image to see more detail.)
Variation #1:  I cut my flags in different shapes.
Variation #2:  I used stars to embellish them.
I smile when I look at these photos.  The pony was very wild when we got him...but he allowed Lukas near him...on the photo above Lukas is pretending he is also eating straw.  You will see that I matted and stitched around two of my photos to make them stand out.  I also drew frames around the other photos.

Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday.


Friday, March 16, 2012

My week in bullets;-)

I am (slightly) overwhelmed with my to-do list at the here is my week in bullet points;-)
  • Our financial year end was at the end of February.  Because it is a NPO, we have many different reports that need to be sent to different organisations regarding our year.  So for me it is a hectic time.  Getting the books done and finalized in order to be able to move on to the new financial year.  I was literally buried in paperwork.  At times like these I bitch and moan about my work as surely this couldn't possibly be part of my calling.  Surely He knows that I would much rather do counseling or play therapy with the little people in our care.  After a lot of moaning my DH usually tells me that I am a good steward of the finances at the Mission and yes...that it is part of my calling.  So since the beginning of the month it was head down and working.  Yesterday the final reports were posted and year end could be done on the books.  GOOD I only need to catch up on the all the admin and bookkeeping for March.  I tell just never ends.  (moan over.promise)
  • Bianca is now formally on maternity leave and is becoming very uncomfortable now.  The baby is due in a week and weighs 2,7kg at the moment, which means she is going to have a tiny little baby soon.
  • DH's nephew was killed last Friday, so yesterday he left for the long drive to Sasolburg where the funeral took place today.   
  • Yesterday was one of the worse days of my life.  We had to sit around the table with the social services and decide the future of three girls, ages 12,6 and 2.  The mother and father has had so many chances to sort out their lives.  Two months ago the mother upped and left (again).  The father struggled to cope and the 12 year old girl ended up playing Mom to the two little ones.  The father is abusing pain tablets and was as high as a kite last weekend.  On Sunday he also just left.  This is not the first time the rug has been pulled out from under these little girls and it was time to call in the social services to see whether a solution can be reached.  Sad thing is that all the children's homes in the city is full to capacity. We have also heard such horror stories linked to these homes.  There is also no data base of  good foster parents (never mind that they will be expected to take all three children).  That means the children will have to be split up and put into various different homes. After much debating the children were placed in our care as "a place of safety" for the next six months.  The parents were called in and told that they will both have to go to two different organisations where they will be expected to follow the programs for six months and reform their ways.  If they fail to do so, or if after the six months they come back to the mission and mess up again, the children will be removed and placed in permanent foster care (sadly, possibly separately).  I came home so emotionally drained and with such a splitting headache that I got straight into bed.
  • I have enrolled for an awesome online class called "The Art of Wild Abandon" and haven't even had the time to do one of the tutorials.  Maybe this course will help me get my wings to fly where art is concerned.
  • Yesterday it was reveal day for Sketch 3 at Scrap Africa.  Here is my layout based on the sketch:
Supply list:  Cardstock:  Bazzill; Printed paper:  Prima; Iron-on title: Prima; Vines: Prima; Page Pebble: Pink Paislee; Other: Doilies that was misted with glimmer mist and trim from my stash.

Go and check out the Scrap Africa blog and take part in the challenge.  There is an awesome scrappy prize to be won.

Oh yes...then just a little layout "Little Lady" has been second most bookmarked  on 2Peas for the past three days.

Have a lovely weekend.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sketch Support March two pager

  Two-page Sketch #26


You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the two-page sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog. This sketch must be my favourite since I have been on the design team.  I made two layouts based on this is the first one.

"Bug Catcher to the Rescue" 
Supply list - Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed papers: Echo Park (Victoria Gardens); Flowers:Prima, American Craft; Brads: My Mind's Eye; Pearls: Kaisercraft; Bling: Prima; Punches:Martha Stewart; Alphabets: American Crafts, Paper Trunk, Basic Grey; Other: Doilies.

Variation #1: I replaced the thin strip at the top with the butterfly punched strip.
Variation #2: I cut my top printed paper squares to 3.75 x 2.75 and backed it with a 12 x 4 strip.

I had so much fun decorating and embellishing each little square.  Here is a closer look at some of the details: 


Variation #3: I used only 4 x 6 photos.
Variation #4: I replaced the thin strip at the bottom with a swirly doilies punched strip.

                                                         • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
My second layout is done with photos taken last year in June at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town.
Supply list - Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed Papers: 7Gypsies (Conservatory); Cards and cardstock butterflies: 7Gypsies (Conservatory); Butterfly, bee and dragonfly stickers: K & Co; Page Pebbles: Pink Paislee; Punch: Martha Stewart; Other: twine, dragon fly charm and doilies (unknown); Alphabet: Making Memories, Pink Paislee.

Variation #1: I replaced four of the blocks with photographs and cut them to the same size as the 7Gypsy cards.
Variation #2: I replaced the top and bottom strips with punched strips.

Variation #3: I used four 4x6 photos.

  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sketch Support March card sketch

Card Sketch #17
You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the card sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog.  I did three projects based on this sketch.  First a "boy" birthday card.

"Happy Birthday" card 
Supply list - Cardstock: Worldwin; Printed Papers: Echo Park (little boy); Felt plane:Autumn Leaves (Cute World); Stitches rubons: Kaisercraft; Die: Quickutz.

I did this card strictly according to the sketch.

  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Second, a friend card.

"Friends are the Sunshine of Life" card
Supply list - Cardstock: Worldwin; Printed papers: American Craft (City Park); Trims:American Crafts (City Park); Felt flower: American Crafts (City Park); Sentiment:Kaisercraft

Variation #1: I supplemented the two narrow strips with two different trims.

The rest of the card was done according to the sketch.

  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Lastly, I made a layout of Lache and two pregnant daughters;-)

"Little Boys Under Construction" 
Supply list - Cardstock: Bazzill Dots; Printed papers: Prima Reflections; Flowers: Prima;Trim and bling: Prima; Letter stickers: Paper Trunk, Pink Paisley and Echo Park; Butterfly rubons: Prima; Word rubon: Kaisercraft; Border punch: Upikit; Butterfly punch: Martha Stewart.

Variation #1: I converted the sketch to suit a layout.

Variation #2: I left the striped paper off and punched the two narrow strips of paper.

Variation #3: I substituted the block for the sentiment with the photo.

Variation #4: I added the title and dressed the layout with embellishments.

  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bianca's baby shower

Three weeks before the baby is due is probably a good date to set a baby shower.  Bianca tried everything to avoid having one...even buying everything she thinks she will need for Stefan.  I am so thankful for Lache, who is still very much into baby she had to put everything together.

DH and I left home on Saturday morning to do some baby shower shopping and to pick up the little cow cupcakes I ordered a few days before.  The temperature was 33 degrees Celsius on Saturday and despite having airconditioning in the car, I had to watch little cows slip melt from their perches.
When I got home, I quickly popped them in the freezer to chill;-)
...then repositioned them and put them on the cupcake stand.
Mr and Mrs Cow...aren't they darling?
More than enough to eat.
After the initial scowl, she actually relaxed and enjoyed it.
I still find it surprising to see her sit with her legs folded.  
She was remarkably accurate in guessing who the gifts were from.
I have a feeling she was helped by "die tannies";-)
I was so happy that the twins and their mother was there.  The twins Samantha and Ashleigh grew up together.
One of the few times she got it wrong and had to pay the forfeit.
The contents of the potty...lunchbar and iced tea...but it looks awful.

All in all it was a success and Bianca got some pretty awesome gifts for Stefan for when he is a bit older.  She had already bought everything she needed for him up to age 3 months.

In a month or two it will be a repeat performance for Lache as her baby is due towards the end of June.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

A last note....

...on surrendering. 

"Surrender your heart". That is what has been on my mind for this past month.  I have been dreaming it, reflecting on it and have been doing my utmost to live it.
Before I tell you more about this layout and the person who made it, I want to wax lyrical about the friends I have made on the internet in these past three years.  Thank you to each one of you for speaking into my life, leaving notes of encouragement and to the ones that have become "in real life" friends, you have enriched my life no end.  A very dear friend, Lisa, has been following my walk through surrendering this past month and was inspired to make this beautiful layout of me.  Lisa lives in the USA and is on the design team of Zva Creative and the Swirlydoos kit club.  She has an amazing talent to make her own embellishments.  The flowers you see on this layout as well as the butterflies are her own creations.  Not only does she design and make them, she shows us how to make them and allows us to use her butterfly files for private use...a very generous, giving lady.  Over these past few years Lisa has become a firm friend and prayer warrior in my life.  Many times the scriptures and comments she left me picked me up, dusted me off and put me back on my feet.  You can see more of her beautiful projects and tutorials on her blog HERE.

But now I am going back to surrendering. Life can sometimes be such a struggle when we try and do things in our own strength.  This week I got the light bulb moment when I realised that He knows us so intimately that He even knows that it is not in the human nature to SURRENDER.  To us surrendering is tantamount to giving up, giving in a defeat.  A negative thing...that is why we find it so impossible.  The harder we try to surrender our hearts the more difficult we find it and the more we keep back.

So He allows circumstances to come into our lives.
Things we cannot fix and are totally beyond our control.
Things that medically can't be fixed (Like when Wynand was diagnosed with the AVM in his brain, where doctors can't even fix it.  Where we have to choose to believe His promises or live the rest of our lives in fear of the unknown.)
A situation that no amount of money, or worry, or thinking...or lying awake at night can fix.(when Bianca ran away from home and we didn't know where she was, and I had to surrender it to Him, because He is El Roi, the God who sees everything)
Onto a path that is so narrow, that you cannot turn around. (when we were at the Mission 4 years, all our finances and assets already sown into the ministry...and nothing left, and we had to surrender and tell Him that the Mission belongs to Him not to us...we can't make it work)
A path that feels so dark and hopeless that you cannot see a way out.
A place that has no back door or escape route.
A place where you know that there is no one but Him.

Then you run to Him and fall at His feet because there is just no other way.  He kneels down and picks you up.  Despite the situation you are in, you are filled with a peace that transcends all understanding.  Suddenly you know, you're not alone.  He is holding you in His arms, drying your tears, filling you with His love.  You just know that He is ultimately in control and all you have to do is make Him your hiding place. I want to leave this scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 with you to reflect on.  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".

Have a fantastic weekend my friends.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

February in review

I seem to be doing everything in review this year;-)  Life just seem to be getting away from me and I am clinging on for dear life as time just speeds ahead...maybe you know the feeling.  I posted in a previous post about the divine time we had at the Tsitsikamma Lodge.  What I didn't blog about is our adventure at Tsitsikamma Adventures and our ziplining across the waterfalls.
Our group on the first platform
As free as a bird.  This was such a wonderful experience, that we will repeat it somewhere in the future.
Then there was Valentines Day.  Not really something we celebrate.  At the Mission one of the local companies in Port Elizabeth gave all the people on the program a lovely tea.
Bianca went for a 4D scan and it was amazing to see how expressive a baby's face can be at 33 weeks.
DH won the SAGES Golf championship.  I am so proud of him
 Kobus and Lache became the proud owners of a home.
The house is just around the corner from our home and suits their growing family like a glove.
 Leane, our little animal, insect, whatever lover.
..with a butterfly she saved from the pool.
Our three little ones...always have to sit ON TOP of their Oupa. (during a sleepover)
Oupa and his four grandchildren on his 57th birthday.
Lukas throwing a tantrum.
My pretty DIL Lache celebrated her 30th birthday.

Now that was quite a quick catch-up in photographs.  Kobus and Lache moved into their new home already, and they love their new space.

Then there is one layout I made for Sketch Support that I haven't posted yet.

One-page Sketch #18

You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the one-page sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog. Here is my layout.
  Supply list - Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed Papers: Creative Imaginations (Devotions by IOD), Teresa Collins (Notations); Alphabet: American Craft (Doll), My little shoebox mini alphabet stickers; Die: Quickutz nesting hearts; Punch: Martha Stewart heart.

Hopefully I will be able to keep my blog up to date from now on...but I am not holding my breath.