Saturday, June 28, 2014

Perfectly content "passing love notes with our eyes"

Hi friends.  Today I am sharing a page I made using the Color Story Inspiration Case file S365-6.  I combined two lines of Teresa Collins papers for this colour challenge.  I was also inspired by a 2 page layout by the talented Jowilna Nolte.  I used the basic design of her page and compressed it to a single page.  Here is my page:

Supplies used:  Cardstock:  American Craft; Patterned papers: Teresa Collins; Flowers: Petaloo, Websters; Tattered diamond chipboard:  Blue Fern studios, Enamel dots:  My Minds Eye, Brad: Teresa Collins; Bling: Crystal stickers; Title: Silhouette Cameo;  Other: Acrylic paint, Gold Gelato, texture paste, Prima mask, DMC cotton.

The case file:
Here is how I solved the case file:

The Scheme:  All the colours were used.

Evidence:  jewels, flowers, diamonds (chipboard), gold, texture paste.

Testimony:  My title is Perfectly content and then I used a 6-word memoir.    I found the perfect one for this page on the site.  K was taking the photo of me sitting on the main beach at Plettenberg Bay.  The words "passing love notes with our eyes' fit perfectly.  My journalling on the back of the page: "This year we have been married 35 years and I just love you more and more as the time passes.  I love that we still sneak kisses, always hold hands, play footsie-footsie under tables and seriously flirt with one another.  We send messages with our eyes...and we usually know what is going through the other's head.  That is special and I know just how blessed we are."

Some close ups:
 I love stitching on my pages and this just felt like the perfect touch to finish the page.

 I have had these sheer Websters flowers in my stash for the longest time...and now they are just perfect.

I painted the tattered diamond bits chipboard with black paint and then rubbed gold Gelato onto it.

Thank you for looking ;-)


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I must confess...the hardest thing...

I have been busy writing a post about "what defines me"  Not quite ready to post it I am playing along with Laura...who is playing along with Kirsty of My Home Truths.  Confessing the hardest thing you have had to do in your life.

As a woman we wear many hats. I guess I don't need to tell you that. You all know the vastly different roles we play. I have always been a tiger mommy when it comes to my children. I wasn't 19 yet when Kobus Jr was born and by the time I was 21 I was mommy to Wynand too. Bianca became part of our family when she was 16 months old and is proof that a child grows in the heart and not necessarily in blood.  We tend to think that the challenging years are those during childhood. WRONG!  We tend to think that once the children are grown up and married and leading life away from home things will become plain sailing.  WRONG again!   Well wrong...unless you aren't very involved in your children's lives.

We face many challenges throughout our lives...and we make mistakes and choices we regret and those we rejoice in.  I cannot single out one particular thing that was hard for me...but what happened in 2010 was the most challenging and hardest time of our lives.  Something we didn't have any control over and something we never ever want to repeat.

 Wynand, Nadia and Lukas

In January 2010 Wynand told us that he has had loss of vision in his one eye after having a terrible "migraine" that lasted two days.  After a lot of scans, tests etc...we were told that Wynand had a malformation of arteries that leads directly into his eyes. The partial loss of vision was due to an artery rupturing and bleed into his brain.  In his case it was inoperable as the outcome would leave him in a worse condition.  We were told that he will have to "live with it" and that it would not kill him but could lead to blindness. In March 2010 Wynand had another brain bleed that left him completely blind.  He could no longer take care of his business and because he had a family to support, his father just took that task onto himself.

Kobus, Lache, Leane, Dewan and Juan.

During March 2010 our oldest son moved back home. His marriage had failed...and he was keenly aware that he failed his two little ones. I am honest if I say that we took this in our stride...compared to what was happening in Wynand's life, this was small.  Suddenly we had little ones staying over every Wednesday night and every second weekend.

Bianca and Stefan.

In June 2010 our hearts were dealt another blow when we woke up one morning to find that our daughter had cleaned out her entire room and had disappeared during the night.  We had no idea why she left and where she had gone to.  She wasn't answering her cell phone. We had to wait for the appropriate period of hours to pass before we could report her as missing.

I cannot begin to tell you about the fear, the much we much we prayed.

Today, Wynand functions normally despite the fact that the doctors said that he wouldn't regain his vision.  Kobus have remarried his wife and they have had another baby.  Bianca returned home after more than a year.  God has carried us through the most awful time of our lives.  If I look back I can honestly say that if we didn't have God to cling to I don't know how we would have survived.  He held us together when we were falling apart.

So tell me...what is the hardest thing you have had to do...or live through?


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Love - CREATE - Teresa Collins

Hi all, here is the second page that was published in the June edition of the CREATE magazine.  Remember this magazine is free for download HERE and you can download the free sketches HERE.  The page I am sharing today was inspired by the hearts on the card sketch.

Supply list:  Cardstock:  American Craft; Patterned papers:  Teresa Collins (Daily Stories); Brads, buttons, arrows:  Teresa Collins (Daily Stories); Alphabet: American Craft; Love title/ man&woman icons, heart cuts: Silhouette Cameo; Wooden hearts: Studio Calico; Other: Lindy Stamp Gang mists; DMC cotton, Pan Pastels.

I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut the hearts out of the ledger paper.  I then backed the ledger paper with white cardstock.  I used PanPastels to create the ombre effect from dark yellow to aqua.  I love working with PanPastels.
 I then cut slightly smaller hearts from the circles papers and pasted them into some of the cut out spaces.  I also added wooden embellishments, enamel dots, gems and brads.

I find it so amusing that I always enjoy making the layouts based on the card sketches even more than the page sketches.  Funny that...maybe it is because I am forced to think outside of the box.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Simply a Great life - CREATE - Teresa Collins

The June edition of CREATE is live.  You can download the magazine HERE and the free sketches HERE.  Today I want to show you the double page layout I made based on the sketch that was given to the Design Team.  I used some of the photos taken during our long weekend at Storms River Mouth in January.

Supply list: Cardstock:  American Craft; Patterned papers: Teresa Collins (Hello my name is); Title and leaf flourish:  Silhouette Cameo; Flowers:  Prima; Buttons, brads and sequins: Teresa Collins (Hello my name is); Other:  Texture paste, Crafters Workshop stencil.

I flipped the sketch we were given and I used a larger 5x7 photo on the left page.  Because my focal photo was larger I also adjusted all the patterned paper pieces to 1 inch longer than the sketch.  Here is some close ups:

I wanted to bring some blue into the colour scheme.  So I blocked my photos on blue cardstock and coloured my texture paste that I spread over the patterned paper with a little bit of acrylic paint.  I love the result.

I used a heart punch and punched out the two hearts from red cardstock.  I then applied some glossy accents to the hearts and let it dry.  

Please be inspired by this free magazine.  It has so much to offer.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I confess - The A-Z of me

The Bitou River outside Plettenberg Bay at sunset.

I am playing along with Laura who is playing along with My Home Truths ;-)  I am really making this random with whatever comes into my mind first.

Apple juice is my cold beverage of choice...I don't drink alcohol.

Bokkie the name I call the ones I love.

My Calling in life is to Care and have Compassion towards those who are in need.  Being Creative is what I do when I need to escape from this reality.

Dreaming  wonderful things for the people in our care...and dreaming of a home with a sea view.

Emotionally bankrupt today...there is just too much happening for my senses to handle.

My Faith in my Saviour and Lord is the very essence of who I am.

I am Grateful for friends and family that always surround me with love, understanding and a listening ear.

Honesty and Integrity are characteristics that I value highly.

I always look for Joy and beauty in my everyday experiences.

Kobus...the name of my soul mate and best friend.

I am extremely Loyal to my friends and family. of my many hats...and the  one I wear with the most pride.

No...a word I want to become more proficient in.  I struggle to say no, and I am often bullied into doing things that I don't really have the time for.

Ouma...the most beautiful name in the world.

I am a person known for my positivity.  Very few things get me down.

Quiet...the thing the introvert in me crave after too much emotional stimulation.

I place a high value on respect...for self and for others.

Something I truly suck at is small talk...and no, I don't want to get any better at it either.

I believe in telling the truth even if your voice shakes.  I believe that if you can lie, you can also steal.

I am a very strong person and can take almost everything that life throws at me...but I know that when I come undone or darling man is there to catch me when I fall.

Van maiden name.

I really don't like winter.  I have seriously tried to change my attitude to this time of year...but I fail miserably. kisses sent to the ones I love.

I love the colour yellow, and love wearing it in the winter to make me feel summery...go figure!

I have zero tolerance for people who are materialistic, arrogant and rude.

Tag you're it!!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cheerful and Playful - My Minds Eye (Now and Then - Izzy) - CSI126

Hi my friends.  Today I want to share a page I made using the Color Story Inspiration case file 126.  I am also entering this page for My Minds Eye June Challenge. The challenge for My Mind Eye is using flair on your project.  I used some photos I took of my two youngest grandsons.  There is only a two month age gap between this two...and I believe that they will be firm friends into the future.  Here is my page:

Supplies used:  Cardstock:  American Craft; Patterned papers:  My Minds Eye (Now and Then - Izzy);  Ampersand and Playful diecuts:  My Minds Eye (Now and Then - Izzy); Flair and stickers:  My Minds Eye (Now and Then - Izzy), Circles diecut and cheerful - Silhouette Cameo; Stitched circles: Prima; Other: The Crafters Workshop stencil and Dylusions ink spray.

Here is the case file:

Here is how I solved the case file:

The Scheme:  All the colours were used.

Evidence:  chevrons, polka dots, ampersand, hearts, crystals.

Testimony:  My title uses the word:  Cheerful & Playful.  My journalling on the back reads.  "My darling little boys.  When I look at the two of you my heart swells with pride...and at the same time I am a bit sad...because I know that you will probably be my last grandbabies.  I don't want you to grow up...but if you have to, my wish is that you will be best friends to one another your whole lives.  xx Ouma

I used a sketch from Sketch Savvy , you will also find the cut file for the circles there:

Some close ups:
 I doodled around the die cut circles to make it stand out a bit more.  I love how the flair fits in perfectly.

 I used the chevron stencil from The crafters workshop and sprayed Dylusion ink for the background.

The little crystal hearts took care of some of the evidence.

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Currently I am...

The now abandoned train bridge of Kaaiman's River outside Wildernis
I am trying to get a lot of my old blog buddies back into I am doing a similar blog post to Julia.  Thank you, my friend for inspiration.  Lets hope our other friends follow suit.

Reading: I completed "Orphan train" by Christina Baker Kline in three days.  Then I started on "The little coffee shop of Kabul." by Deborah Rodriguez.  I am loving it...but I haven't had much time to read lately.  We have had Pentecost services and by the time I get home I am tired and I just go to bed.
Listening to:  In my car I have the Matt Redman - 10000 reasons on home while in my scrapping studio...I listen to Katie Melua's Piece by Piece, Amy Grant's Time Again and Nianell's Who painted the moon.
Laughing at:  We laugh a lot at Stefan's antics and the things our little ones say.  Nothing that happens in their homes are seen as private...everything is blurted our amusement and their parents' embarrassment.
Swooning over:  The new Teresa Collins Cut and emboss machine...If only it was available in South Africa. 

Planning:  A trip to Cape Town. K and I have been approached by a group of interested parties (including the ACVV, Salvation Army and various churches) that want to start a setup similar to the Mission we started 16 years ago. They want our help and that excites me no end as I believe that every city should have a safe haven for those in need.
Eating lots of: Steamy stews, curries and soups.  I  am also eating lots of nartjies and oranges.  (so thankful that B's boyfriend is from Patensie)
Feeling: Despite all the drama at the Mission...I feel peaceful...I know that God is in control.
Discovering:  That after being very rigid about living in the house we have called home for the past 26 years...I am excited about the prospect of a relocation that could involve a stunning view and a new dream home.  Shhh...we don't want our children to know about our plans yet.

Looking at:  Lots and lots of ideas of dream houses that has mostly glass walls and loads of natural light.
Wearing:   It is so cold...that I am wearing layers and layers.   My new leather Bronx boots.
Knee high...and I splurged on a pair in black and a pair in brown
When I undress at night I feel like an onion ;-)  Let's not even talk about going clothes shopping.  I simply hate it when I have shed the layers just to find that what I am fitting isn't the right fit....grrrr...hence my fobia of clothes shopping.
Cooking: Dinner tonight is already simmering in my slow cooker.  Curry made with soft beef shin, potato's and carrots.  Do try Woolies Cape Malay curry herbs and spices...yummy.
Wondering:  How on earth I am going to make B understand that Stefan needs to be in some sort of routine.  I need quiet in the evenings before bedtime...and that is near impossible with Stefan that seem to need less sleep than I do.  B just rolls her eyes and I hate nagging.
Trying out: The only thing I am trying at the moment is to procrastinate less.  Here it is nearly 11:45 in the morning on an "off" day, and I am yet to put my hand to anything creative...go figure.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mud Bath - CREATE magazine - Teresa Collins

Today I am sharing my third layout that was published in the May CREATE magazine.  You can read and download this free magazine HERE.  The sketches can be downloaded HERE.  Debbie Sanders asked us to do a Questions and Answers page for this edition.  My son Wynand had taken photos of our grandson Lukas taking a mud bath.  He also took a video clip of it and sent it to was perfect as he was asking Lukas questions on the video.  Here is the page I came up with:

Supply list:  Cardstock: American Craft:  Patterned Papers:  Teresa Collins (Everyday Moments);  Brads and stickers:  Teresa Collins (Everyday Moments); Chipboard embellishments: Celebr8, Title: Quickutz(Blossom); Two circular chipboard embellishments and little frog: Unknown from my stash; Die cuts: Silhouette Cameo.

Some close ups:

As you are all well aware...speech bubbles are very trendy right now.  My initial idea was to place them above the photos.  It looked cluttered and messy so I used the white space this 2 page design left me on the sides.

I love how it turned out and I love that I captured this story.

The sketch that I used was also a Scrapbook Generation sketch that is in their Sketch book Volume 8. I love using allows for my own creativity but takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of the process.

Thank you for visiting.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sometimes life just sucks!

No...this isn't going to be a light and fluffy post.  This week was emotionally draining for me so I don't even want to think what it must be like for the children involved.

When I think of children being abandoned I just don't understand.
I cannot imagine a single reason that can justify choosing life on the streets over your children.
I cannot imagine leaving behind children that I carried under my heart for 9 months.
It must the single most selfish thing anybody can do.

The parents have been in and out of the Mission for the past 6 years.  Both addicted to crack cocaine.  The moment they would be back on their feet they left...just to fall into drugs again...and then back onto the program at the Mission.  Something we have learned over the past 16 years is that some addicts will have to live in a controlled environment for the rest of their lives.  They can never trust themselves and need to be protected against themselves.

In this case the parents were not prepared to come back onto the program.  The mother would leave during the late hours of the night to "babysit" and return again early in the morning.  One morning she was attacked while picking up newspapers at a taxi rank. (The story they told us)  The truth was that this could only be true if the mother called the customers that picked her up "baby"...and she was beaten up by three other prostitutes because she was on their territory.  The truth is that she is using again...and the awful cycle of drug addiction and prostitution had taken over her life.

They wanted to leave and we couldn't allow them to take their children onto the street with they abandoned their children.  They have four children.  The oldest, a daughter of 12, a son of 7 (already in foster care), a son of 4 and a baby of six weeks.

We had a meeting with the Social Services and the procedure is lengthy before any decisions are made.  In the mean time we have to place the children privately and try and get the baby registered.  Oh my hat, I didn't mention that...the baby wasn't registered at birth and cannot be placed without a birth certificate.  The children are with their biological aunt until after this weekend.  The aunt has already mentioned that she is not prepared to take the girl in long term.  We don't know whether it is because the girl is of mixed race (other than her brothers) or whether she just doesn't want to deal with a broken teenage girl.

So that was my emotionally draining week and my reality...I bet your reality is way different.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Photos that touch my heart

Whenever I watch my children with their little heart just wants to burst right out of my chest.  They are such good and patient parents.  This photo of Lukas with his arm around Wynand, just had me in awe.

I am so blessed to have my little ones around the corner from our home and that I see them whenever I want to.  Leane phoned me on Friday night.  She was crying, saying she is missing me and want to sleep at our house.  
 The second tooth is now gone...and I just love my little "haasbekkie".

 As the only girl cousin she is forever mothering Stefan and her little brother Juan.  Just look how comfortable Stefan is lying on her lap.

 An early morning sneak photograph while Bianca and Stefan was still asleep.  That is their normal sleeping arrangement.  He loves playing with his mamma's hair when he falls asleep.  Bianca is in a relationship again and I can see an uphill battle for the young man that is now dating her.  As it is Stefan always worms his way in between the two of them when they are sitting on the couch.

 I just love those pudgy little hands in the animal feed.

Feeding a sheep.

I am more than just a little camera happy.  I shoot everything that moves.  One just want to capture each moment and try and remember it forever.

Do you take lots of photos?
Do you enjoy looking at photos?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Pray - CSI 125

I love playing along with the Color Story Inspiration case files.  This week's case file has a beautiful colour combination and it was fun to go through my old stash to find the perfect papers and embellishments for the page.  I used a photo that I took of Stefan while Oupa was saying grace.  Here is my page:

Supply list:  Background paper: Prima Sew Cute specialty paper; patterned papers: Melissa Frances, Bo Bunny; Punches:  Martha Stewart; Chipboard weeds and title: Blue Fern Studios; Flowers: Prima; Lace and bling: Prima; Ampersand: Silhouette Cameo; Brads: My Minds Eye; Other: PanPastel in Turquoise tint.

Here is the case file:

Here is how I solved the case file:

The Scene: All the colors were used.

Evidence: Flowers, clock, something sheer (ribbon), punched scalloped papers, ampersand, textured background paper.

Testimony: I went for 4 lines of poetry and because I used the title Pray I decided that I will write Proverbs 22:6 as a 4 line poem. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
On the back I wrote: "Stefan, you are such a cutie. In the mornings when we have our (not so) quiet time (because you are around) you worm yourself in between your Oupa and Ouma. When we prays you push your little hands into ours to hold while we pray. When Oupa says grace before our meals you are so cute that I sneaked a photo of you . It is so funny that your mouth is always open when your eyes are closed. This is so precious and something I never want to forget. xx Ouma

Some close ups:
 I cut the big ampersand with my Silhouette Cameo and it actually worked out perfectly to become part of the title.  I noticed that the light grey paper disappeared on the light I applied a layer of PanPastel to the middle section of the paper.

I painted the dandelion chipboard and the "Pray" chipboard with white acrylic paint.  I then applied some glossy accents to the "Pray" title.

I remember that I went totally crazy when the Prima Sew Cute paper was released years ago.  I never used them and they just became part of my stash.  What a wonderful surprise when I found the one perfect piece of paper for this colour challenge.  See, that is why we need stash ;-)


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Some days...

..yup...that is what I want to do, but I don't.

Last Friday evening I walked through the door and a thick, sweet smell hit me as I walked in.  Every inch of my kitchen counters were covered in crates and more crates filled with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.  B was standing at the stove stirring away at thick red stickiness.  I noticed that the huge pot has already boiled over and the sugary mixture have burned into my glass top stove.  I sigh....

Me:  B, what are you doing?
B:  Ma, I am cooking jam for the Mission.
Me:  Why don't you cook jam on the Mission's gas stoves.
B:  Ma, you know that they have to buy their sugar.
Me:  I know, but so do I and I have to pay for the electricity too. (does she think it comes for free)
B:  Ma, they don't know how...and the children will love berry jam on their sandwiches.
Me:  (Sigh) Okay...just this once.  Next time you let me buy extra sugar for the Mission and then you teach them how to cook jam when they have an excess of fruit. (under my breath...and they can clean up after you messed).

She starts spooning the jam mixture into little glass jars...and I see how she aims and sometimes misses.  It is syrupy jam down the front of my oven, on my floors...across the kitchen counters.  Stefan runs through the house and I see little pink foot prints through the kitchen, the dining room and down the passage. I think to myself, maybe if I just ignore it, it will go away.

The next morning B had gone shopping and when I walk into the kitchen  I first noticed my very dirty stove top and then I noticed that the juice of the fruits had leaked out of the crates and was pooling on the floor.  I HIT THE ROOF!

It is at times like these that I remember that my friends say:  "You are so lucky.  It is awful having an empty nest.  I don't know what to do with my time."  I want to YELL...please let me have an empty nest...just for a while!!!  Let the messes in my home be messes that I actually made.

Yes this is all true.  No I wouldn't want B to move out yet.  She isn't ready and I believe that I am not ready for her to leave our nest either.  I want to know that she will be cared for in the way we cared for her.  So one day...somewhere in my future I will have a clean, neat and tidy house.  One day.