Thursday, May 29, 2014

Little girls have a MAGIC all of their own - CSI 124

Last weekend I had time to play along with the latest challenge on Color Story Inspiration.  I love the work of Melinda Spinks, she recently made a gorgeous page that just begged to be lifted ;-)   Here is the result:

Supplies used:  Patterned papers:  Prima, My Minds Eye, Daisy D's; Rub ons: Daisy D's (frame around the photo), Kaisercraft; Brads: My Minds Eye, Doodlebugs; Pearls: Fab Scraps; Doily die: Quickcutz; Butterfly punch: Upikit; Flower punch: American Girl; Other:  Silhouette Cameo, DMC Cotton.

The yummy Case File:
This is how I solved the case file:

The Scene: All the colors were used.

Evidence: Butterflies, glitter brads, flowers, rub ons, ombre effect, wings, tiny brads.

Testimony: I used the title: Little girls have a Magic all of their own.

Some close ups:
I punched the flowers with an American Girl punch, inked them and attached them.  I then finished them off with a little pearl in the middle of each one.

I love the way the stitching frames the photo and flowers.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Things I love & don't love

Hallo there,  thank you so much for the compliments on my previous post.  Some of you made me giggle because you said that the dress I was wearing in the photo on the layout is pretty...but you could only see the very top of the I thought I would show you another photo of the dress full length.  This photo of my darling man and I was taken at a wedding in 2009 on a wine estate outside Stellenbosch.  It is really a beautiful dress and in one of my favourite colours.
In the good old days we had an amazing blogging fraternity.  A great bunch of women full of compassion, love and a good ear.  Many of us became such wonderful friends...but over the years many stopped blogging.  So today I am following in Allie's footsteps with this post. Make a love/hate list...don't over think it too much...okay?   I challenge all my old blog buddies to follow suit...if you no longer have a blog just do it in the comments section.  I need to hear from all of tag you're it.

Things I love

the first cup of coffee in the morning
tight hugs
spending time with my loved ones
people that REALLY listen
losing myself in a book
capturing images on camera
hot soups and stews in the winter
the sun on my skin
sitting at the beach
my time on the treadmill...when I feel the tension melting away
being warm
being alone
living out our calling
being creative with paper and glue
a long deep warm bubble bath
beautiful wordy quotes
pretty stationary
chattering children
laughing babies

Things I don't love

people's sense of entitlement
small talk
being cold
foul and vulgar talk
cigarette smoke
snakes and spiders
being lied to
feeling manipulated
mean spirited jokes
people who complain all the time
road rage
unresolved issues
brussel sprouts

I am waiting to hear from you


Monday, May 26, 2014

You & Me - CREATE magazine - Teresa Collins

I want to share my second layout that was published in the May CREATE magazine.  You can read and download this free magazine HERE.  The sketches can be downloaded HERE.  The second challenge of the month is to use either the card sketch or the tag sketch for something else.  I love this challenge the most each month...and I always end up making a page using the card sketch. I used a photo taken on my birthday this year.

Supply list:  Cardstock:  American Craft; Patterned papers:  Teresa Collins (Save the Date); Chipboard Embellishments and sequins: Teresa Collins (save the date); Large Chipboard heart: Melissa Francis; Small heart; Maya Road; Micro beads: American Craft; Flowers: Prima, Petaloo.

Some close ups:

I am totally in love with all things Teresa Collins.  This line is the "Save the Date" line...but it works with just about any photos.  I used some of the chipboard flags and some die cut flags.  The little was a chipboard heart that I painted red and then covered with glossy accents and then dipped in micro beads.

I used another of the die cuts for the title and added some sequins.  I love the sequins.  Oh my goodness I am gushing.

I will be back soon to show you the two pager I made for the Questions and Answers challenge.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

The do's and don'ts of living with Fibromyalgia

One morning in 2003 I woke up in so much pain that breathing was difficult and turning my head impossible.  The doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia...gave me anti inflamatory and pain injections...and sent me home with a prescription for Trepilene and Azor.  At the time he told me that there is no known cause and no known cure.  It was something to live with.  Lekker ne!!

For many years I just "lived with it".  Using the whole mind over matter method.  If I didn't mind it didn't matter.  I got up each day, ignored the constant aches and chronic head aches and just continued with my life as usual.  I believe I have a high pain threshold.  Ever so often there would be a major flare up and I would experience "flu like" symptoms.  My muscles spasms would then be so bad that the inflamation would make me feverish and I would have to go for injections and stay in bed for a few days.  Those were the days when I wanted to just curl up and die. It is a chronic pain syndrome that eats away at your joy and steals days out of your life.

I tried everything.  Food supplements, special diets.  I visited chat rooms for fibromyalgia sufferers.  You name it...I did it.  Then three years ago I was just plain fed up.  I have had enough of constant pain and I wanted it resolved...NOW!  So I made an appointment with a Rheumatologist and had to wait for nearly six months to get an appointment. (Seemed that my NOW wasn't going to happen and that I am in the wrong business :-)

She first put me on Lyrica (an anti seizure medication with pain blocking properties)and I had awful side affects, so three months later she had me try Cymbalta (an anti depressant with pain blocking properties).  After 5 months on Cymbalta I could still feel no improvement in my pain levels.  So I stopped.  Cold turkey!  The withdrawal symptoms were awful , I was argumentative and not easy to live with.  That my husband didn't divorce me is simply a miracle.  It was fibromyalgia 2:  Lynette 0.

My next move was to see a neurologist.  I insisted that there must be something wrong with the discs in my neck as it felt as if most of my pain and head aches were radiating from my neck.  A MRI and electromyogram later the Neuro sat me down and told me that "it is what it is".   Making peace with it is what I need to do and he needs to find me the pain blocker that would work best for me.  He then prescribed a schedule 5 pain medication (Tramacet) that I needed to take every night with the Trepiline and Azor, as it would also act as a pain blocker.  It worked.  Six months later I was relatively pain free.

I want to share with you what I learned during my journey.  What worked and what didn't.
  1.  DO see a specialist i.e.  a rheumatologist or neurologist as soon as you can after being diagnosed.  There is a pain blocker out there...they just need to find the one that works for you.
  2. DO NOT...I repeat...DO NOT...go into chat rooms or forums with other fibromyalgia sufferers.  If the pain doesn't make you depressed, the chat rooms sure will.
  3. DO NOT spend a fortune on supplements.  They don't work.  The only supplement that I found helpful was Magnesium.  It helped with muscles repair and when taken before bed time, will help you sleep. A vitamin B and B12 injection will help with the energy levels.
  4. DO get serious about quality sleep.  The pain tends to affect your sleep patterns.  The medication (like Trepiline, Azor and Tramacet) will help you fall asleep.  If you are a light sleeper get some wax earplugs and cut them to a size that feels comfortable in your ears.  That way your partner's snoring or other noises will not disturb your sleep.
  5. DO NOT stop exercising. If you aren't exercising... start slow. I have found immense benefits from a brisk walk each morning.  It cancels out the lethargy brought on by the medication and the endorphins makes you feel good and acts as a pain reliever.  You will also strengthen your muscles and the spasms would be less painful.
  6. DO laugh more and have fun.  I met a woman a while back that have gone into mourning about her health...that just makes me depressed hearing it.  DON'T stop living. 
  7. DO NOT use fibromyalgia as a way of getting out of activities.  That makes you a victim.  Rather do as much as you can when you feel good.  You often underestimate your capability.
  8. DO NOT stop taking your medication as soon as you feel better.  I learned this the hard way.  You are not cured...the pain is simply blocked.  If you stop taking your medication you WILL wake up with an elephant sitting on your chest and it will take you many months to gain the ground you have lost.
  9. DO take up a hobby.  All work and no play...and all that.  We live in a stressful world and stress worsens your condition.  Be creative, play a musical instrument, play a sport, sing, something that makes you happy and reduces your stress levels.
  10. DO not overdo things when you feel well.  You will pay the price for it the next day.
  11. DO NOT allow negativity into your life. That includes unsupportive doctors.There’s no room in your life for a physician, friend or co-worker who thinks fibromyalgia syndrome is all in your head. That just makes you feel foolish and guilty for being sick and increases stress, which is a pain trigger.
  12. DO listen to your body.  Take time out when you need it.
  13. DO NOT forget to always take a jacket or sweater with you where ever you go.  Cold makes your muscles tense up and can send you into a downward spiral.
  14. DO NOT underestimate the value of a good massage.  I will do wonders to your body and your soul.
I hope that this blog post will mean something to somebody out there.  Remember you are not alone.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Adorable - CREATE magazine - Teresa Collins

I am delighted to be part of Scrapbook Generation's CREATE magazine design team.  The May edition of CREATE has just gone live. Click here to read and/or download CREATE.  This month is a bumper edition of 245 pages...and I have three layouts published in the magazine.  

The first layout I want to share with you was for the colour challenge this month.  This was the inpiration photo:

Here is my page:

 Supply list:  Cardstock:  Bazzill; Patterned papers:  Teresa Collins (Everyday Moments), Wood arrows: Studio Calico; Chipboard circle and title: Blue Fern Studios; Brads and word stickers: Teresa Collins (Everyday Moments); Stamps:  Prima stitched circles and Prima stitched rectangles; Floss: DMC Cotton, Background:  PanPastels; Chipboard circle colored with Gelatos.

Some close ups:

Initially I left the background white...but it was just as if something was missing.  I then used my PanPastels around the edges of the page and then stenciled some blue PanPastel through a Crafters Workshop Stencil.

It was difficult working on the background of a completed layout...but the result was worth it.

As a final touch I added the stitching stamp around the edges and some circle stitching stamps here and there.

Thank you for visiting.  I will be sharing the page I made based on the May card sketch as well as the two page layout I made for the Questions and Answers layout.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dewan turns five

I know I have said this hundreds of times...and I sound like a stuck record...but I cannot get over how quickly time goes by.  At the end of April we celebrated my grandson Dewan's fifth birthday.  It feels like yesterday when he was the baby of the three musketeers (Leane, Lukas, Dewan).  Lache and Kobus booked the Barnyard as the venue.  The children always love the interaction with animals.  Here is a glimpse into our day.

He is an angry birds fan...and Lache is fortunate that her neigbour is a wonderful baker

Dewan kyk vir Ouma!  This little man just hates the camera and begging doesn't even work to get him to look at me.

Very reluctant.

The temperature was well into the 30 degrees on this day.  The children feeding a donkey.

This little monkey has lost her first tooth while on holiday in Plettenberg Bay

My oldest son Kobus...with his youngest son Juan

Cousins and best friends

The three musketeers.  It doesn't matter how many other children are invited to a party...these three always end up together.

Blowing out the candles

Time for a tractor ride...

...and I get a gift of a beautiful smile.

The boys discovered the sprinkler in the tortoise enclosure and they were all running around in their underpants.  This must have been the highlight of the day for them.  Wonderful how the simple things often gives the most pleasure.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Little Moment - CSI120 - Fancy Pants

My life has been a bit busy lately and I haven't had much time to be creative. I love to play along with CSI (Color Story Inspiration).  They have weekly challenges and really challenge you to think outside the box.  Anyhow...let me share the last page I made for their challenge 120.  I was very blessed to see that my page was among  the "Most Wanted" pages.

Supply list:  Cardstock:  American Craft; Patterned papers:  Fancy Pants, Circle die cut:  Silhouette Cameo; Alpha stickers: Websters, Enamel dots: My Minds Eye; Little Alphas: Making Memories; Turtle: cut from Nikki Sivils papers;  Other:  Texture paste, Crafters workshop stencil, Prima stencil.

I decided to use some photos of Stefan that came out less than perfect. Here is how I solved this case file:

The Scene: All the colours are there.

Evidence: Stripes, mixed media, animal accent, umbrella, raindrop shapes, scribbles.

Testimony: I used a rain haiku found on

"The many notes
of the falling rain
all in tune".

The journalling on the back says: "On a rainy day in February we had an impromptu photo shoot with Stefan dressed only in a nappy (diaper) and boots and carrying an umbrella. Needless to say it was a total flop. He moved so fast that nearly every picture blurred, the umbrella was everywhere but above his head and at the end of ten minutes the umbrella was totally wrecked after he used it as a bulldozer."

Thank you for visiting.  


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My life...perfectly imperfect.

Thank you for your comments on my previous post.  I appreciate the encouragement and the prompts on where to start ;-)  I haven't posted many of my latest photos and I am not going to overload you now.  Today I am going to post a little about why I love my life.

Last month I wrote a post about my marriage of 35 years to the love of my life.  I also mentioned it on Facebook and was contacted by our local newspaper and interviewed for an article about anniversaries.  I was a bit gobsmacked by the attention because I always considered it normal that marriages should last through better and worse.  A few people commented that I have "a perfect" life.  THAT really made me life perfect?

Yes...I have been happily married for 35 years...and yes we are still very much in love....BUT it doesn't just happen.  A good and happy marriage is all about give and take and a lot of hard work.  Like any other couple we don't always agree...we argue and get cross with each other.  He drives me totally insane when he makes decisions that affects me without consulting me.  (A year ago he sold my car and only informing me when the buyer arrived to collect it) I know I drive him crazy because when I believe strongly in something  I WILL JUST NOT LET IT GO.  (He wanted to do business with a man recently. I had a strong feeling that this man wasn't honest and I did not let it go until my DH burned his fingers with this man...then I told him....yes you know it....I TOLD YOU SO).

Another reason why people believe we have the perfect life is because I have beautiful children and grandchildren.  Oh yes...that sure makes your life PERFECT{LY} chaotic.  The reality is family life is messy...children and in-law children often don't get along and frankly just don't like each other.  I guess these are the things that makes my life PERFECTLY normal.  I still consider my children and grandchildren to be my greatest blessings and I love them to bits.  My love for them isn't based on them liking and getting along with each other.  I have learned that I can spend quality time with all of them individually.

The reality is that we have been married for 35 years and we have never had an empty nest.  My chicks tend to always find their way back home.  Another fact is that my chicks are spoiled...and I end up picking up, closing doors and cleaning up after them.  Sometimes my life is a PERFECT mess. I am definitely not going to get the prize for the Ouma that has the tidiest house.  As most of you know Bianca still lives at home with two year old Stefan.  Having a two year old around is quite house more often than not resembles an obstacle course with ride-on toys, books and lego strewn throughout the house.

He might look like a little angel....and he has a twinkle in the eye that barely disguises just how mischievous he is.  He often falls asleep in our arms or in our bed...and we usually wake up with him banging on the door and calling for his Oupa.  You see...his Oupa actually belongs to him alone ;-)  It is amazing to have a young child grow up in our home again.  He is the source of much joy and laughter.

He is also a strong willed child that wants things his way or else...

...we see many many meltdowns...

We are happy.  We are involved in the good and the bad...the happy and the sad of our children's lives.  We are blessed to be working full time in the ministry that the Lord called us to.  I would say that my life is perfectly imperfect and I love it.

How would you define a "perfect" life?


Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting this show on the road

Why is it so darn difficult to get blogging again.  For the past while all I have done is post Scrapbooking projects.  This weekend there was a blogger's meet up in Jozi...and I looked at the photos on Facebook and I was as jealous as hell.  I have made the most awesome friends through the medium of blogging.  In actual a year ago I was in Sanlameer with two of my best blogging friends for a week....and we had a blast. We talked, and talked...and talked some more.  

Maybe I have simply lost the nerve to write about my life.  
Maybe the pressure of reading and commenting on all the blogs out there has become too much. 
Maybe it is a TIME thing....something I have way too little of.

Thing is...I miss it! 
I miss the freedom we felt in getting it OUT THERE.
I miss that I no longer connect.
I miss the friendships that were formed.
I miss the feeling of knowing that somebody understands.

We are women.  
We share emotions...we share the fact that we are wives and mothers...we have very much the same fears.  I really want to pick up the pieces and start blogging again on a regular basis...but where do I start?