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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas down memory lane

It is Christmas Eve....and I have yet to find my HOHOHO....and I remember "a long, long time ago...when I was a little girl, and the magic of  childhood Christmas.

I cannot think of Christmas without thinking about Ouma and Oupa Baard...my maternal grandparents. In the left photo Oupa is sitting on the far left next to Ouma who is holding one of my cousins on her lap.  My mother was one of five children and this particular year my aunt and cousins from New Zealand were visiting.  

Ouma had a way of keeping the family together.  On Christmas eve each of us received an amount of money and we were taken to the Fair that was always set up next to Happy Valley on the beach front.  Here we had endless rides and it was followed by a walk through the magical Happy Valley with all its pretty lights.  Then we were off to my grandparents house where we gathered in the lounge.  Father Christmas (Santa) had by then deposited the gifts below the tree.  Each of us got a pillow case to put our gifts in.  Oupa  would hand out the gifts and delightful chaos followed.  We were 18 cousins and you can just imagine the sheer joy of being together.

On Christmas day we would all return to Oupa and Ouma's house for the huge feast.  Here is a photo of my mom (yellow dress) and my four sisters.  As it is hot in South Africa at Christmas time our meal consisted of cold meats and salads followed by Ouma's wicked trifle.
Another photo in front of their house....my New Zealand cousin Gail Parker in front (with the long brown ponytail) and me with our matching red Christmas dresses.

Tonight we will have our own little tradition.  All our children and grandchildren will be at our home for a braai (BBQ) and then Santa will visit around eight 'o clock to hand out the gifts...and now I am off to do the things that we all do at the last minute;-)

Wishing you and all your loved ones a blessed Christmas.  May you make amazing memories again this year, and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

xx

Friday, December 21, 2012

Barefoot in the sand *Sketch 'n Scrap* - Creative Imaginations IOD (Beach Cottage)

Brenshevia made a beautiful sketch as a bonus challenge for December.  Go and check out the blog at Sketch N Scrap to see how the other designers interpreted this sketch.

Here is my layout.  The photos are of me and my sister Ansie while in Kidds Beach in December last year.
 Supply list: Cardstock for mounting photos:  Bazzill; Pattern paper: Creative Imaginations IOD (Beach Cottage); Epoxy stickers and shell diecuts:  Creative Imaginations IOD (Beach Cottage); Swirl rub on:  Cosmo Cricket; Flowers: Prima; Title: Silhouette; Border punch: Martha Stewart.

 I am loving my Silhouette.  I cut the two shapes on my background as well as the title with it.
 Some lovely epoxy stickers.

A pretty Prima bloom always finishes any project.

Here is Brenshevia's sketch.


If you are playing along, this bonus sketch gives you another chance to win these fabulous prizes:

First up is this exciting PRIZE donated by Amy Edwards, CTMH consultant and SR DT member, kit is called Jingle. You can find even more great CTMH products at Amy's website:http://paisleyscraps.ctmh.com/


AND

another lucky winner will win this PRIZE:

 Christmas Washi Tape prize from Shrekphoebe etsy shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/shekphoebe?ref=seller_info
 

Isn't that awesome??? You have TWO PRIZES you are playing for this month and an extra sketch to get you motivated along with many more Design Team members to keep you inspired! So grab those photos and get to work. We can't wait to see what you come up with!! :)

Uploading your layout to the sidebar will enter you into our monthly drawing for the PRIZES above from CTMH & Shrekphoebe etsy shopIn order to qualify for the prizes, please be sure to do the following:

1. Visit someone else's link and leave a comment on their blog
2. Link your layout up by clicking on the Froggy link in the sidebar of the Sketch N Scrap blog.
NOTE: Don't forget to link to the direct post of this weeks challenge on your blog!
Have fun! We can't wait to see what you create! :) 
Remember each submission will give you ONE entry into our monthly random draw for a chance to win the  December prize!
So get those layouts started! International players are welcome, but  they will be asked to pay shipping on their prize should they win.
Link up your layout by Monday, December 31st at midnight PST!

xx


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holding on....


...when all our natural hope is gone.
...when life comes crashing down on you.
...when we have exhausted all options...and find no solutions.
...when we come to the end of our strength.
...when the storms of life is sweeping you off your feet.
...just hold on to God.

I was deeply touched by a recent e-mail from a dear friend.  A reminder of how God, through His grace have brought our family through tremendous trials and tremendous pain.  The e-mail gave me a lot to think about.  In our family 2010 will not be remembered as the year of the Soccer World Cup...it will be remembered as the year life came crashing down on our family.  Our oldest son's marriage failed and with that came the pain that goes with a divorce where there is little children involved. My younger son lost his sight after a brain bleed and it was discovered that he has an inoperable malformation of his brain.  A few months later my daughter ran away from home. I can not begin to tell you how devastated we were.  You would think that if you answer the call of the Lord and work for Him full time...this kind of thing wouldn't happen to you.  You forget that Jesus said in:

John 16:33:  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


When I look at my youngest son...I can only marvel at the Lord's goodness and grace.   In 2010 the prognosis by the specialists were heartbreaking.  We could have lost all hope...but the Lord gave a promise to this child of mine.  It was a promise of hope and a future.  In those days we had to decide whether we would believe the doctors or believe the Creator.  We clung to the Lord and His promises...and He gave my son the miracle of restored sight.  Today we seldom think about the malformation in his brain.  We don't fret or worry.  The promises of God took the sting of fear away.

At the end of 2011 my oldest son remarried his wife and they now have three little ones.  God has restored their marriage and increased their joy. My daughter also returned home at the end of 2011.  She gave birth to our beautiful little "peace child" Stefan in March and recently got engaged to a young man that loves the Lord as much as she does.  The Lord has in His grace brought our family full circle.

On Sunday evening a Pastor came to the Mission where we had Carols by Candlelight.  His message for the evening was on "holding on".  He used the scripture in Isaiah 40:31: "Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.    The Hebrew word for wait is "qavah" the literal meaning being to bind together like a cord.  In a way you could read this verse as follows :

 “They that have all aspects of their lives intertwined and bound together with the Lord, like threads are twisted into a rope, shall exchange their meager strength for the strength of the rope, they shall rise up to meet challenges as if they had powerful wings like an eagle, they shall run through life and not be weary, they shall walk through problems and not faint.”

Isn't that just beautiful.  I want to live my life so intertwined and bound together with the Lord.  Then no trial could be too difficult.  

Thank you for listening to my thoughts.

xx

Monday, December 17, 2012

My favourite kind of "date"....

...is my dates with my grand bambinos.  I don't do it nearly often enough.  A few weeks ago I took them to Garden Lovers where there is also a children's play area.
I can't believe my only little princess will be going to "big" school next year.  Time goes by much to quickly. 
 The three cousins never get enough of playing together.
 He is becoming such a tall three year old.
 ...and they have such energy...it is just go...go...go ;-)
If there is only one of a kind thing to play on...they always need to be on it at the same time. 
 See, Ouma...I got my way.
 This one is a little bunny hugger.
 Once inside the bunny enclosure...she wasn't letting go of this little bunny.
 ...and this is where I had to go and fetch her when it was time to go.
 This gorgeous little man is now 8 and a half months.  He adores his Oupa and he knows when Oupa takes him they will go outside.  He loves being outdoors. 
He is crawling all over and pulling himself up against anything he can find.  

As you have noticed, I have started posting here again.  It is just two much effort to try and keep two blogs up to date.

xx

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sunshine *Sketch 'n Scrap* - Echo Park (Walk in the park)

Hallo there, today it is time to reveal the next sketch over at Sketch N Scrap.  Please visit the blog to see the layouts the design team made using this sketch.

 Here is my layout of my grandson, Dewan.
Supply list:  Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: Echo park (Walk in the Park); Stickers: Echo park (Walk in the Park); Badge: Flair by American Craft; The circle arrows, sun and title: Silhouette.

I have discovered that I love stitching on my layouts.  Here I pierced holes around the sun image and then hand stitched around it.
I substituted the circles in the sketch with these circle arrows and I love the effect.  I stencilled the arrows and messy lids after I actually messed on my layout and in order to disguise the mess I incorporated the stencilling into the layout.

Here is Lisa's sketch.


Now off you go and create a layout based on the sketch...there are some wonderful prizes up for grabs.


Life is Good *Scrap Africa* - Creative Imagination IOD Devotion

Hi friends, the challenge this month at Scrap Africa is hosted by Elizna Parsons and the challenge is to use a film strip on your layout or project.  I have had a Creative Imaginations film strip in my stash for ages and I used half of it on this layout.  Please visit the blog at Scrap Africa to see the gorgeous and diverse projects the Design Team made.
Supply list:  Cardstock:  Bazzill; Patterned papers: Creative Imaginations IOD (Devotions); Flowers: Prima: Crystal Swirl: Prima; Title and backgroud cut by Silhouette.

I always found this paper a tad busy so I cut this trellis out of cardstock and layered it over the patterned paper.
I love the effect of the trellis over the roses.  I cut the title with my Silhouette and then gave it a glossy accent finish.
I also cut a smaller shaped die cut to go behind the photos and then layered the crystal swirl, some vines and leaves and flowers to the corner.

Other awesome news is that Scrap Africa is featured in Issue 27 of Scrap Affairs.  The magazine is available at CNA,



Our sponsor this month is


The prize is 2 cute button packs.  One randomly chosen winner, will find these buttons in their Christmas stocking!!! ;-)



Secondly, our faithful sponsor FabScraps
Check out the wonderful goodies below.

FabScraps

You have until 31st December to upload your projects.  Please come and play along with us.

xx

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I love you - My Minds Eye (The Sweetest Thing - Bluebell)

Hi my dear friends.  Thank you for leaving such lovely messages after our scare on Friday last week.  We have now upgraded our security system that will now include beams in our garden.  We are also now actually setting the alarm at night:-)  The first few days I found myself checking and re-checking doors and windows...totally paranoid.  The first night after the intruder came into our house I actually didn't want to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night...too afraid that I would trip over somebody on my way there.  It is surprising the tricks your mind plays on you.

We are having the usual organised chaos that leads up to Christmas.  Our kiddies at the Mission are being spoiled with quite a number of parties this year and it is a joy to see how much they love being made such a fuss of.  Last night K and I went to his annual Sages golf Christmas dinner.  I sat there in amazement when it hit me.....we are now being counted among the SENIORS....(rolling eyes).  On Friday evening we are having our cell group Christmas dinner.  We will miss our special friends as many of them will be away over the festive period.

Anyhow...today I scrapped another newborn photo shoot photo of B and Stefan.  Yes...I used my Silhouette on this one too.  Have I told you how much I LOVE my new Silhouette?
Supplies used:  Cardstock:  Bazzill; Patterned paper: My Minds Eye (The Sweetest Thing - Bluebell); Background Template and title:  Silhouette; Velvet blooms:  Maya Road; Doily: Websters; Flower: Prima; Journaling card and dots:  My Minds Eye (The Sweetest Thing - Bluebell); Quote rub on:  Kaisercraft; Other:  Stitching template and DMC embroidery floss, Martha Stewart Punch.

Here is a couple of close-ups:
I have developed a love for hand stitching.
The lovely Silhouette title.
The Websters doily.
I love the Kaisercraft rub on quotes...it always adds so much to a layout.

So what have you been up to?

xx

Friday, December 7, 2012

Things that go bump in the night

At approximately 2:30 this morning my DH woke up because he heard some noise.  Initially he thought that it was just B that was busy making a bottle for Stefan in the kitchen.  When he looked towards the foot of the our bed, he noticed a man crouching on the floor. The head flashlight that was on his forehead was burning.  DH jumped up and the guy got such a shock that he bolted with DH giving chase.  He ran through the gym room that is adjoining our bedroom and out the sliding door.  He proceeded to our backyard and jumped over our garden gate.  We pushed the panic button and when the security guards arrived they checked out the premises and patrolled the parameter.  They found the intruder's jacket hanging over our back wall.  He had entered our home through the window in our gym room and opened the sliding door as a getaway path before he tried to go deeper into our home.

We have been living in our home for more than 25 years and in all that time we have never had a burglary.  We have become complacent.  Never setting the alarm unless DH was away.  Often we have unlocked doors and unsecured windows.  This incident have given us a wake up call,. to be more vigilant and more careful.

After all the drama I lay awake for hours.  Thinking about all the "What If's".   What if DH didn't wake up?  What if the intruder pulled a weapon and DH got hurt?  What if B and I were home alone?  You get my drift.  Thoughts like that can drive you insane.  I knew that I had to take control of my thoughts and focus on the "NOW".  NOW we are safe.  NOW nobody got hurt.  I thanked the Lord for keeping His hand of protection over us and I thanked Him that He kept DH safe.  Then I fell asleep.

Today we will be spending time putting back burglar bars that were taken off during the years.  We will be investigating exterior beams and movement detector lights.  We will be more careful and use wisdom.

xx

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My sweet Blessing - My Minds Eye - The Sweetest Thing (Bluebell)

Hello there,  You probably know that my heart belongs to my grandchildren;-) Seriously!!!

I made this layout of Stefan.  The photo was taken when he was only 12 days old.  Time flies and now he already has his first tooth, is crawling and starting to pull himself up against furniture.
Supply list:  Cardstock:  Bazzill; Pattern paper: My Minds Eye (The Sweetest Thing - Bluebell); Brads and enamel dots: My Minds Eye (The Sweetest Thing -Bluebell); Template for Silhouette: Kinsey Wilson; Other: DMC Cotton.

This is a layout that took me all day and I seriously enjoyed every moment of making it.  I love "flat" layouts and now that I am using the Silhouette I can add layers without too much bulk.  I also love the effect the stitching on the arrows have.

To cut my title I used the CK Ali font.  Here you can see how lovely the stitching looks on the arrows.

I cut some strips of the Bluebell "Playful" paper and added some enamel dots to the scallops.  

Thank you for you visit and your kind comments.

xx

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Scrapbook Studio - Card tutorial

Hi friends, I am still showing you the work I did with the November kit from Scrapbook Studio.  Today I am going to show you how to make some pretty cards in a few simple steps.  First we will be making this card:

 Step one:  Cut a piece of cardstock 21,5cm by 14 cm, fold it in half and score it along the center.
 Step two:  Cut a piece of printed paper slightly smaller than your card front.
Step three:  I pasted a doily to the front of the card.  Cut off the excess from the doily.
Step four:  Tie a piece of matching ribbon around the front of your card.  Make it long enough to enable you to make a bow.  Before you make the bow, thread a piece of twine through a metal heart and tie it to the ribbon at the same place where the knot of the ribbon is.
Step five: Tie the ribbon and the twine into bows.
Step six:  Attach a tag to the front of the card with the edge under the ribbon.  I used a Martha Stewart tag cut in half.
Step seven:  Choose a sentiment.  I used a rub on.  Make sure of your placement before you attach it.
Step eight:  Apply the rub on.  I then attached a glittered chipboard heart to the side of the ribbon.  If you have naked chipboard.  Cut out a heart, paint it white or cream.  When dry apply Glossy accents and then immediately sprinkle white glitter onto the wet glossy accents.  I finished the card by applying a Prima flower onto the heart.

The second card we will be making is the following:

 Step one:  Cut a piece of cardstock 21,5cm by 14 cm, fold it in half and score it along the center.
 Step two:  Cut a piece of printed paper slightly smaller than your card front.
Step three:  Attach a journal tag to the front of the card.  Again I used a Martha Stewart card.
 Step four:  Apply a strip of lace to the front of the card.
Step five:  attach a glittered chipboard heart to the side of the ribbon.  If you have naked chipboard.  Cut out a heart, paint it white or cream.  When dry apply Glossy accents and then immediately sprinkle white glitter onto the wet glossy accents.
Step six:  Layer a star over your chipboard heart.
Step seven:  Finish off your heart embellishment by threading twine through a button and then pasting it to the star.  
Step eight: Work out the placement for your sentiment and apply the rub on.
Step nine:  I added some pearls and it is done.

You can find the November kit at the Scrapbook Studio store.

xx