Sunday, 22 March 2009

My Latest Little Shop of Sketches Layout ( & other news & musings)

A blog post at last! A few days off is unusual for me, but may happen more often in future,LOL! Truth is, I am actually enjoying life very much at the moment & rather neglecting my poor old blog. Much as I love it, it is actually very time-consuming, as Bloggers all know! I don't want to end up hating it & looking at it as a chore, so please forgive me if I act human & give it a break at times. The same thing happened with my scrapbooking last year & I actually had some mad, random thoughts of packing it all in at one stage (it was becoming a master rather than a slave...) then I thought, no!, I love scrapbooking...I'm doing it on MY terms.

Now I've decided to apply that principal to my blog. It has brought me endless hours of enjoyment & satisfaction but one's gotta keep things in perspective here. I DO have a life, a wonderful family, many of my own personal goals, etc,, the bottom line is, there's more to life than blogging! Thanks to one of my very dearest Blog friends, Heidi, many thousands of kilometres away in Christchurch, New Zealand for some great insights this year into how to come to terms with so many of my silly hang-ups. She's one great example of someone who, without being selfish & uncaring, lives life without worrying about how you're "supposed" to do things & says goodbye to other people's expectations daily. I'm doing my best to follow suit there girl! BTW, you really should FOLLOW HER BLOG if you want to feel consistently better! I always have a good giggle when I'm over at hers.

The same can be said for Joanne in Cape Town. These two should have been journallists. They sure have a hilarious way of telling a tale & I'm jealous of their amazing ability to warm people to them through their funny words. Well done girls, I'd give you an award if I had a new one, but sadly not, so help yourself to one of mine if you like, I've amassed quite a few in my 5 months of blogging (boast,boast...)

Well, this wasn't meant to be this type of post, but I'm just going with the flow here & enjoying my waffling...sorry! BTW I love all the blogs I follow so no getting jealous now. I feel like one of those characters in American movies like "The Women" now, with girl-friends all over the world, each with their own special purpose in my life & I know just where to go when I'm in need of whatever it is I need so I believe we all serve a very special & individual purpose to each other in Blogland.

Talking about movies (you can see I'm having difficulty focusing this fine Sunday morning...) I went with dh to watch "New in Town" on Friday night & highly recommend it. I cried almost the whole way through, which is not unusual for me. It was a lovely movie (hubby calls it a "feel-good" movie, but I'm not so sure about that as I blubbed through most of it (so how can that be?), anyhoo - it was very sweet, cute, meaningful, lovely, real, blah blah blah...

Yesterday Shane & I went to Kearsney College in Hillcrest, to watch Jack play hockey & tennis there. I was blown away by the awesomeness of the place & kinda wished for a bit that we had the cash required to send our son to such a fine-looking establishment. It looked more like a village/campus than a school & made me homesick for Zimbabwe with all the space & greenery. The downside is that it is a boarding school & (while Jack would undoubtedly thrive in that environment) we're not ready to give up our son just yet.

Jack's hockey team was awesome. The 3 black players in the team were remarkable & I felt a sense of shame as I watched their whole-hearted contribution to their team (as I had thought that they were probably only in the team half for their talent & half for their colour) as that is how it works here - Jack has lost out on more than one occassion at district level to less talented players, simply because they were "of colour" & the quota system in our new "democracy" requires that there be a certain percentage of players per race (talk about how to turn people racist...) Anyway, let's not start another controversy here, the point I'm making is that these 3 boys were flipping fantastic & I just loved watching them play. Needless to say, they drilled Kearsney, so goes to show that it's not always about how high your school-fees are!

Jack won his singles & doubles tennis sets & got home wiped-out, then passed out! He left at 7.30 & returned at 6.30! Tiring just to think of... He played great tennis with a few terrible shots thrown in here & there (I'm his worst critic unfortunately) but, had I not been there, shouting the odds through the fence, who knows what may have happened!!! I really believe kids try just that little bit harder when you're there to "encourage" them,LOL!

Last night was another great night! Who can tell my life's improved rather a lot lately??? My darling friend here, Jacqui, & her husband, took us out for a surprise birthday treat (my birthday is next Sunday...don 't forget!) to Roma Revolving Restaurant. It is on the 32nd floor of a building in central Durban, close to the Esplanade (beach-front) so the views were awesome. It is one of only 31 restaurants in the world that REVOLVE!!! It rotates full circle every hour - slowly, slowly, consistently... How cool is that? I have vague memories of being in another one in Switzerland many years ago ( a bit of de ja vu was going on...) so anyone reading this who knows if there is one there, please let me know.

It was a fantastic treat & one I would NEVER give myself (as Jacqui knows) because we refuse to go into town anymore, after our car has been ruined twice through attempts to steal it - got tired of coming out after a nice meal to find my steering wheel on the seat & the dashboard disconnected! Now Jacqui's husband works in the automotive industry so isn't bothered about his car getting stolen (the only attitude to have here really...) as it's fully insured,. & with his connections it's relatively painless to acquire another one. I, on the other hand, have a personal relationship with my car & would mourn her loss ;-)

At last, this is the paragraph about my latest creation for Little Shop of Sketches. I'm having great fun over there (also in Christchurch, New Zealand) as part of their Design Team & learning a lot along the way. I had no experience of using sketches at all when I applied for the position, but am slowly getting the hand of it, & improving all the time I think. I just LOVE this layout below. The photos were taken at night & my camera is particularly bad at shooting in poor lighting conditions, but what the heck, Cami's still cute & I love these photos of her celebrating her graduation with a champagne glass of Appletiser (fizzy fruit juice).

I got all excited when I found this glittery electric blue paper in my paper stash (DCWV I think) only to remember as my page progressed (or rather, didn't progress...) why I stopped using it. The texture is so gritty (like sandpaper) that nothing sticks to it with double-sided tape. I had to use permanent, non-repositionable glue, so, for a Design Team page, that was a BIT scary!!! Anyway, it did force me to be decisive first-time round &, as a result, I did this layout quite quickly. The floral paper has a silver design embossed on it (you can't see that in the photo unfortunately) & the silver ribbon is the shiniest I've ever seen - both of these are from my new Cocoa Daisy kit - aswell as the calendar dial on the bottom left. I'm feeling SO inspired by my new stash - I'm like a race-horse in the starting stalls!!! (I did another layout with my new CD stash yesterday but have yet to photograph it).

I bumped up the top photo with some foamcore & used a rub-on from my new CD kit there too. I also bumped up the red glitter flower on the bottom left, in the same way. The blue bling flowers are also from the CD March kit (Prima flower centre kisses) as is the red butterfly on the top left. The other bling stones & ribbons are from my stash (Prima & Making Memories) & the red flowers/leaves I cut out from paper left over from my Christmas album (Making Memories Falala Collection). The black glitter letters are Making Memories & the chipboard letters are Chinese cheapies that were white & I painted them silver with my thick silver Magic Paint Marker (available at CNA). I glue dotted the lettering on. Oh, & I've also just seen that I inked the floral paper with silver, after tearing it.

I put the date on using a jewellery tag that I got last week on a gift I bought for Shane's mum's birthday (just used the other side) & I used a tiny leftover of organza ribbon tied onto the O of the "to" just for fun. Let me know what you think!? Don't forget to go over to Little Shop of Sketches & take part in the challenge. You could win something! Just ask Mel...


Mette Thomas said...

Very sweet girl sounds like life is going so well, lovely to have such great friends that take you out to dinner and spoil you rotten on your birthday.

"Happy day for next sunday"is that when you said it was ??
Mette x

Jenny said...

Well done to your son playing so much sport! And I really like the blue of that l/o

Vicki said...

Wow thats a huge post and have to agree there is more to life than blogging. Good to catch up on all thats been going on with you and the family.

Michelle Ramsay said...

Stunning layout and well done to you son. I also used to enjoy watching my daughter playing all her sport.

Shayne said...

Lovely long post for a lazy Sun arvi! Your LO is great. And so glad to hear that you're feeling so much better!

I have about 10 acrylic albums - circles & flowers. I got them from Stef (who's selling them for Jo). I'm hoping to do a class here with a Creative Moments rep so hold thumbs.

If you want i can send you one? They're R75 each. I'm just dying to get stuck into one - follow this link for a great idea:

Desire Fourie said...

I agree wholeheartedly with you, one really need to try and balance one's life. Love the layout and the bright colours you've used, as well as the little touches of red bling. Have a great week. Hugs from Desire

topkatnz said...

Fab newsy post. Sounds like Jack is doing well with his sport; and go Cami for her graduation. Thankyou for your kind words ... although I don't think I'm doing anything special - just being me; I'm glad that I'm making someone elses life better with just my words ... Sounds like you are learning too from using the LSS ... WTG! told ya!LOL ... Happy Birthday for next Sunday - hopw it's a good one!!

Lynette said...

Very beautiful layout Helen. You have had a lot on your plate...busy, busy, busy. I also wish I could blog like a journalist...but I think when it comes from the heart...that is all that is needed.

William said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


jax said...

Also saw "New in Town" and thought it was a feel good movie - very nice change indeed compared to the junk we've landed up seeing lately. The comments about scrap bookers made me feel like a hill billy. Bad script there .....
Glad you had such a great weekend and that you enjoyed the night out - it's such a fun place.
Your latest page for submission looks fresh and beautiful!
Remember, you blog for yourself - so do it as much or as little as you like. We are privileged to read your posts however often you have the time and desire to upload them.