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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas 2014


So it is the last day of 2014 and I have really fallen off the blogging wagon.  I have every intention of blogging our journey more often in this coming year.  After all...I am my family's memory keeper. 

I am going to share some of our Christmas moments with you today.  We try to keep things fair in the family.  Every second year we have all our children and grandchildren at our home for Christmas and every alternate year they spend time with their in-law parents.  This year was an alternate year and Wynand and Nadia invited me and K to spend Christmas Eve with them and Nadia's family.  It was so much fun.

The evening started with some real "boere sport"...here the teams are getting ready for racing with potato's balanced on spoons.
Then we tried to throw water balloons to each other...trying very hard not to let the balloons burst.  The couple who move apart and throw the furthest without the balloon bursting was the winner.

K and I one this round !!!!

Seeing who can spit a watermelon pip the furthest...not so good at this one ;-P

Then it was pulling rope.

The horses and ponies found the humans very entertaining.

Supper was "vetkoek" with various fillings.

Nadia's step father baked all the "vetkoek"

Then we had a feast.

When it got dark it was time to move on to the next part of the program.

Merissa (Nadia's sister) played the guitar and we sang Christmas carols while Christian read the story of Jesus.
Lukas and Christian played drums on whatever receptacles they could find.

We had our lunch at the local Italian club.  The venue as well as the food was totally forgettable and downright awful.  Pictured above...my eldest son Kobus and his wife Lache with our youngest grandson Juan on her lap.

My beautiful Leane.

Dewan...the clown...would have nothing to do with photo taking.

Little Lukas...always ready to give the biggest...most beautiful smile.

My younger son Wynand with his wife Nadia.

The two of us.

Father and son.

Juan entertaining himself.

After the "sad" Christmas lunch we went to our home for coffee and desert...and the children spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the pool.

I trust that you had a blessed time with your family and that you are ready for a brand new year.

xoxo

Monday, December 29, 2014

Reflections


Today I feel somewhat out of sorts.
I don't know whether it is because the weather has been bleak and wet these past few days...and I miss the sun.
I don't know whether it is because this year is nearly over.
I just feel an overwhelming sense of sadness.

Is there something about life that I am somehow missing?

So tonight we sat in a quaint Italian restaurant.  K with a glass of Merlot and me with my glass of water...and I ask the questions.

What are we missing?
Do we have balance between work and play?
What can we do different in the coming year?
How do we break the monotony of going to work and coming home?
How do we bring that spark of excitement in the everyday life?
How do we live fully right now?

We challenge one another to find creative ways of doing things.  He teases me.  He isn't familiar with a melancholy me.  We laugh.   We dream and make plans.

Is it only me...or are you reflecting on the past year and do you feel slightly flat?

xoxo

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Joy - CSI 149

Today I am playing along with Color Story Inspiration's case file 149.  This isn't called a challenge for nothing.  The idea was to scrapbook a winter event...and as so many of you know, South Africa's winters are relatively mild and I have never experienced snow in my life.  So I used the colours and the sketch as inspiration for a Christmas page and I love the result.

 Supplies used:  Cardstock:  American Craft; Patterned papers: BoBunny, Fancy Pants, My Minds Eye; Tickets: Pink Paislee; Flowers: Maya Road; Brads: Doodlebug, Making Memories; Stars: My MInds Eye;  Bling: W&M; Punches: Martha Stewart; Title, Tree border and ornaments: Silhouette Cameo; Other: Gel Medium, Lindy Stamp Gang Embossing powder.

Here is the Case File:

Here is how I solved the case file:

The Scheme: All there

Evidence: stars, stripes, polka dots, heat embossing on title, trees.

Testimony: I used a prompt by Paper Wishes and wrote a letter to my grandchildren that reads as follows:    "Dear precious ones. I just love to experience your excitement on Christmas Eve. Here you were on Christmas Eve of 2011...you could hardly contain your excitement about receiving and opening your gifts. I want you to remember why we celebrate this special day. That it isn't all about receiving gifts...but it is about the greatest Gift that we received so many years ago. As you open each gift remember that more than 2000 years ago our Saviour was born and He is the reason we celebrate. Love you lots. Ouma Net."

Some close ups:
 I cut the row of trees and it just disappeared on the background so I decided to back it with some navy cardstock to stand out more.

 I love the soft felt flowers by Maya Road...and I hung the ornaments with rows of bling.

 I feel the angel and the nativity goes perfectly with the letter to the little ones...pointing to Jesus who is the reason for the season.

My title is always the last thing I work on.  I cut the title with the Silhouette Cameo and then coated it with Gel Medium before covering it with embossing powder and applying the heat.

Thank you for visiting.  I trust that you are having a awesome Christmas season and enjoying quality time with family and friends.

xx


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Around here...

For the past two weeks my whole house has been upside down.  We are repainting and I have forgotten what a huge job that is. Taking down pictures and curtains...moving furniture and everything else out of harms way.  How the heck did I accumulate so much junk?  Needless to say that a LOT of stuff has been thrown out and after the carpets are steam cleaned next week my house will be spotless.  I just don't know why we ALWAYS choose the most hectic time of year to make changes at home???? Totally crazy.  I also rearranged my scrapbook studio and destashed before the room could be repainted.  This is about half of what I purged:
Lache was very happy to take it off my hands.

Initially we planned to drive down to Cape Town for a week at the end of November.  We bought tickets for "Afrikaans is Groot" at the beginning of the year.    In the end we just gave Wynand and Nadia the 4 tickets and gave them a week off from work to take a holiday in Cape Town.  They could choose which of their Cape Town friends would go to the show with them.  Lukas stayed behind with us and Stefan really bonded with his cousin. Every morning when K took Luki to school Stefan cried "snot en trane" over "my Lukas".  


I have been very busy making pages for the January issue of CREATE...but as you know I cannot share that yet.  I can however share a page I made recently from a kit designed by Carina Basson of the Scrapbook Studio in Jeffreysbay.
The beautiful Marion Smith Designs papers are busy and calls for black and white photos.  These beautiful photos of my son, Kobus and his wife Lache were perfect for this page.  

I added a little flower cluster to the page.

I applied some texture paste through a stencil to the patterned papers that form a backdrop to the photos.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your love ♥

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Looking back on 2014


I know...I know.
I haven't been around much lately.
I am not even going to make excuses for my absence.
My first priority will ALWAYS be the Mission and the calling on my life.
This has been a tough...tough year and still I can't believe that it is nearly over.
Life is truly like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end the quicker it goes :-)

At this time of the year I love to look back on our journey through this year in our lives.  At the beginning of the year my word to live by was "Eucharisteo". Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning  joy.” 

This proved to be "hard" thanksgiving from the get go.  On the very first day of this year we took people from the Mission on an outing that resulted in two of the young men drowning. A wake-up call on the first day of the year that life is fragile and precious.  At times like these we have to make a choice...we can give up and wallow in self pity or we can get up and praise God in the circumstances. Over these past 16 years in full time ministry we have learned that when things fall apart we need to run to the One who holds everything together.

Life for us is never boring or dull.  This year held indescribable heartache and indescribable joy.  We have had the heartache of seeing little children abandoned by their parents...we have had the joy of seeing families reconciled and reunited.  We have had the heartache of death due to drowning and death due to drugging...and we have had the joy of seeing people walk the road of healing from addictions. We had the heartache of people choosing to live in darkness and we have had the joy of people choosing to live in the light. Life is filled with joy and with pain and we have to choose not to numb the pain and continue living.

I can look back on this year and thank the Lord for the sorrow and the joy.  I can thank Him for walking with us through every storm this year held. I am thankful for the love that always, always surround me.  I am thankful that He shows me beauty in many unexpected places.  I am thankful that the Lord chose to call us to head up the Mission and touch the lives of the broken people that He has placed in our care.  I am thankful for my beautiful children and grandchildren...a constant source of joy to me...I am truly blessed.

xxx 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

CREATE November

Hi Scrappy Friends,   I have been terrible at blogging lately...I just don't have time to spend online and I am forever late with posting my design team work.   Today I am sharing the pages I made for the November edition of the Scrapbook Generation CREATE magazine.  Remember this magazine is free for download HERE and you can download the free sketches HERE.  This month we had a colour challenge...and a challenge it was.  I ended up using Christmas patterned paper for an Autumn page.  The photos were taken in the Drakensberg in April 2013.


 Supply list:  Cardstock:  American Craft, Patterned papers:  Basic Grey Jovial; Organza Flowers: hand made by Lisa Gregory; Flowers/Leaves: Prima; Bling:  Prima; Alphabet: American Craft; "Autumn title":  Silhouette Cameo; Buttons from stash.


Some close ups:


I also made a single page layout based on the card sketch.  I love this challenge the most every month. I was inspired by the pennants and the hearts on the card sketch.

Supply list:  Patterned papers:  Teresa Collins; Cardstock: American Craft; Chipboard, bling, buttons, brads:  Teresa Collins;Quote: Kaisercraft; Title: Silhouette Cameo; Other: DMC Cotton.

Some close ups:
 I love that the Teresa Collins lines are complete with chipboard, brads, stickers etc.  This line is one of my favourite and I will be sad when it is all gone.

 I cut the title with the Silhouette Cameo and matted it.  The scroll below the photo was cut from a patterned paper.


Thank you for visiting...I do hope that I will get around to you soon.

xx

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Canvas of Life

“Such is my relationship with God: on my gigantic canvas of life, I am the one throwing all of the brightly-colored paints, creating genuine splatters, authentic whirlpools of color, beautiful patterns, wonderful streaks and stains and wild accents; God is the one with the paintbrush who stands beside my canvas filling all the intricate and amazing details in between the whirlpools and the streaks! We're happy together!”     ― C. JoyBell C.

Yesterday morning I woke to the news that a dear cyber friend had just lost her husband and best friend...he was only 44 years old.  I just cannot stop thinking of them and my heart aches for her and her 4 year old daughter.  At times like these I am brought to a standstill to reflect of life and the joy and pain it brings.  I have no idea how one deals with this sort of loss and I cannot imagine losing my darling husband who is also my soul mate.

Some time ago I wanted to write a blog about "what defines me" and it has been sitting in drafts all this time.  The right words just did not come.  Reflecting on my life up to now and the joys and the pains it brought made me realise that One defines who I am...and that is my relationship with the Lord.  Over the course of my life until now we have had much joy and peace.  We also had a lot of hardship and storms that nearly destroyed us.  We have had to make hard choices regarding the calling on our lives and our Ministry that caused us to loose many of our friends and some of our family.

We have learned that there is no one to turn to but the Lord.  We have experienced Him holding all things together when it felt as if our lives were falling apart.  We have felt His love and compassion when our children were all affected in one way or another.  We have learned that without Him we could never make it.  We never choose the storms but we are forever changed when it is over.  He will always be the One I will run to in time of trouble, fear and doubt and I have faith that He will carry me through it every time.  I am on His easel and He is creating the painting of my life...when things are hard that is where I must stay and He will make something beautiful of the pain.

My prayer is that He will carry Lisa Marie and her little Bluebird through this and that they will know His comfort and love.

xoxo

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The International Scrapbook event in Jeffreysbay

Hallo there,  I want to share the awesome projects we made at last weekend's Scrapbook event in Jeffreysbay.  Two blissful days of scrapping!!!!  Our first class was taught by the awesome Kasia Krzymińska (the Prima educator and a mixed media artist).  Her most memorable words "DON'T THINK JUST DO".  The thing that I will never forget:  SHE CUTS UP FLOWERS....gasp!!!!!  I loved learning all the new techniques and the result was this canvas:

This is one of my favourite photos that I took of my darling man while we were in Plettenberg Bay last month...and one that I couldn't resist putting on canvas to hang on the wall.  The only things I added after the event was the shells and the title.

Kasia taught us the rules of basic design and then the lesson started.  "Don't think...just do" and that is what we did.  After choosing a design layout we liked we tore papers and pasted it to the canvas and then covered the whole canvas with a layer of gesso.  We then build our photo stack and pasted it down.

 We then continued with the embellishing.  Cutting up the pretty Prima blooms (gasp) and building clusters.  We then dabbed some gesso onto the flowers and I also dabbed some gesso onto my photo stack and even on the edges of my photo.  Very brave, don't you think?  The next layer was using some watercolour pencils and misting through stencils.

The last step was stamping randomly on the background with permanent ink and clear stamps.

 It was fun getting those hands dirty...and it was even more fun to see that each person's canvas looked different and unique.

The next morning we were back for more...this time the lovely Jowilna Nolte stood in for Marion Smith that cancelled a month before the event.  Step by step the following double page layout came together:


There is so much detail in this page that I am sharing a stack of close ups.  The page isn't my regular style, as I prefer to put more photos on my pages...but I always love to try something new...and I enjoyed scrapping photos taken at my 50th birthday.

 I didn't even mention that Cariena Basson put us through the paces of making beautiful little flowers with the Marion Smith bloom tool.  So pretty!

All the stamps and papers are Marion Smith designs.

 A lot of fussy cutting and a lot of layering within the folded envelope.

 Love all the quaint and feminine touches.

 The page looked a tad bare so I added a Silhouette cut title.

Some more little details and another bloom tool flower.

Thank you for visiting my little blog and thank you for your lovely messages.

xxx