Tuesday, 31 March 2009

We're all up to this...


When you're confronted with a problem, you know exactly how you want to handle it.

You are decisive and act quickly. Once you get the ball rolling, you don't change course.

You can be a bit stubborn at times, but you have reason to be. You're often right.

You are unwavering and brave. You do what needs to be done, even if it isn't popular.

What Street Sign Are You?

"Blogthings" has suddenly come into my life...where has it been? Why is it now everywhere? It is fun but it ain't accurate. I am "riding boots" & so much of me is NOT "riding boots"... As for this one...well, I've only just read it & IT"S ALL TRUE...Go Blogthings!!! You're not so bad after all...

Monday, 30 March 2009

Voted Best Original Song for 2009!

Call me crazy if you like but I haven't been this excited about a song since I posted my last video onto the blog in December. Who can remember what that one was??? This is my song of the month...DO NOT watch this video if you haven't yet seen the movie & plan on doing so. Only if you've seen the movie can you appreciate the song. It gives me goosebumps...no, I don't prefer the Pussycat Dolls Version!!!

I have removed the video as unfortunately it was slowing down the loading of my blog a lot. The song is Jai Ho, from Slumdog Millionaire & you can find it here.

I have since downloaded the whole soundtrack & am LOVING it ALL...who would have thought I'd be such a quick & easy convert to Bollywood!

Isn't it wonderful?

That Jo doesn't get poetry & maths & I love them both, yet I'm sure she "gets" a lot of what I don't "get"... Stefanie loves orange-flavoured tea & Blue Point Siamese whilst I am happy with Earl Grey & my moggies? It's a great, big, wonderful world out there & I love being a part of it's diversity. We are all different & that's what makes us special. Which brings me to a treasured book I have kept since Chelsea was given it by my neice, Mandy, 13 years ago. It's called "Jinzi & Minzi are friends".

Jinzi & Minzi are friends.
Jinzi likes dolls,
Minzi likes panda bears.
Jinzi likes dancing,
Minzi likes singing.
Jinzi likes cars,
Minzi likes zebras.
Jinzi likes strawberries,
Minzi likes blackberries.
Jinzi & Minzi both like hats.
But Jinzi likes spotty ones & Minzi likes stripey ones!

And here we are! The ultimate Jinzi & Minzi...2 people seemingly somewhat incompatible yet we bring out the best in each other. His strengths are my weaknesses & visa versa. Gotta love it...

Sunday, 29 March 2009

March Journaling Junkie Layout.

The weeks have been a-rollin' by & I have got behind on updating my blog with my DT submissions. You can go here if you want to see what the other DT members came up with or apply to see what it takes to become a member of the Design Team yourself (There's a DT call going on there at the moment). Here we were required to come up with a sequence of photos. Mine, rather than depicting an event, were all about a person & the thoughts that came to mind as I looked through this set of photos. I have hand-written my thoughts onto strips of paper on each photo aswell as in my journalling space down the side of my double layout.

I used plain bazzill & colourmates & was happy with my striking colour combo. I also used KI memories lace cardstock, which I cut-down to size by cutting around the elements to the rough size required. I also used a lovely floral glitter cardstock & cut out all the elements & bumped up some of them. The pink cardstock had a white core which lent itself to tearing & I double mounted the main photo onto pink AND white cardstock for emphasis, then bumped up the whole mounted photo onto foamcore. I rubbed some clear glitter glue onto the main (brown) section to highlight my focal point photo. It is very subtle but doesn't photograph well...

I decided to scallop cut the actual photos for a bit of added interest. I have a scallop ruler (actually just a strip of chipboard scallop that I got in a set of chipboard elements & decided to reserve as a template). I hand journalled once again, with my faithful dark brown fineliner (& my white one for the date - bottom left). I usually just check out the space & can see if what I want to write will fit in or not, but this time I actually just quickly wrote it out in very pale pencil then rubbed the pencil out (quite some time after I journalled) to ensure that I didn't smudge any of my writing. I used white rub-ons for my title "How Come?" & mounted the brown glitter chipboard brackets around the title (MM pre-made) onto white cardstock which I then inked with pink.

These are just a couple of Picasa collages I created to highlight the elements. As you can now see here the Bazzill backing cardstock I used was the beige from their Swiss dot collection.

Cutting out all the flowers & swirly leaves from the glitter cardstock gave me a dent in my finger (!) but was so worth it, for the number of elements I managed to get out of just one sheet - seriously cost effective as compared to pre-bought embellishments. I really wanted to use this lace cardstock & pink is the only colour I could get hold of here (suppose I could have painted it but I was too impatient as I wanted to get started...) but I couldn't bear the thought of a garish layout as I've gone quite neutral these days, so I was happy with how good the pink looked against the dark brown & how the pink/brown colour combo worked against the neutral beige background.

Above is a "sneak peek" of my upcoming Journaling Junkie challenge. Look out for it coming up on their blog sometime this coming week. I used my March Cocoa Daisy kit papers & buttons & stickers from my own stash. The papers worked perfectly with my chosen photos so watch this space...

Now share your opinion of my "How Come" layout with me. Good or bad, us scrappers thrive on feedback...

I don't get it...

(Pinched off Jo's blog!) Thanks for the great idea.

1. Flavoured teas.
2. Pedigree cats.
3. Opera.
4. Reality TV.
5. Holidaying in a glorified tent (read "game reserve" where you're lucky to spot a thing).
6. Cricket.
7. Suits for women.
8. Jazz.
9. Novels (my life is exciting enough thanks!)
10. Violent movies.
11. Why no-one in the world intervenes in the Zimbabwe situation (the 4th Reich...)
12. Why documentaries always feature a droney, monotonous male voice...
13. Waking up at sparrows.
14. Woolworths clothing for women (B.O.R.I.N.G).
15. Realistic art when we have cameras!

This could possibly be the most revealing quizzie thing out there...Now I'm not going to bore you all by tagging you if you're not up for it, but anyone who does play along PLEASE let me know your intentions here (in my comment section) so I can read your take on this...15 things you just DON'T get...Anyone agree with me or do you all LIKE waking up at sparrows, to drink your flavoured tea???!!!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

A couple of cappucino layouts...

These are layouts created while I am more interested in chatting & drinking cappucino, so they are never my best work,lol! This is my "duty" scrapping...photos that have been hanging about, wiating patiently to make their way into an album. I do these one morning a week when I am scrapping with a friend.

This is a double page layout of my daugher's 6th birthday & I have just seen that I put on a 7 sticker by mistake!!! Told you I was no good at multi-tasking...must remember to go & change that! Should read "Cami turns 6" - I should have picked that up as she goes with the years.

The cardstock is textured & from my older stash & I printed the photos in sepia ages ago. I got the idea from Ali Edward's (Creating Keepsakes recent issue) to punch out a whole lot of circles from my offcuts stash. Just attach randomly around the edge of the layout then trim off the excess - I used scissors as it was all a bit thick for my trimmer. This is a fun way to do a brainless layout - when you talk as you scrap & don't think too hard about what you're up to...

I made a Picasa collage of some close-up shots of various elements. I used MM black glitter alphas & some cheap circle stickers from CNA (every now & again I buy the ones that aren't too garish & mix them in as subtly as possible!) They came with the printed chipboard tags (see above) & I used natural embroidery thread as ties for them then glue-dotted them on. I hand journalled as I often do. I had a mini bulldog clip hanging around in my tote so pulled out the spring with my mini wire-cutters, tied a bit of brown ribbon through the hole in the top & attached each half to the main photo, using a pop-dot (as these little clips aren't entirely flat so you need to use something more substantial than a glue-dot - silicone would work well too.)

Below is a double layout on dark brown Bazzill cardstock. I did the classic thing of using a strip down each side but upped the interest by layering 2 co-ordinating papers on top of each other, one cut straight & one torn.

I entitled this "A Fabulous Achievement" so that I could use my new chipboard "fabulous" wording from my new Cocoa Daisy kit! I ended up using the entire A5 sheet of printed chipboard elements - all Basic Grey, as well as an edging sticker & the word "Achievement" from the alpha stickers supplied. I printed the photos with a white edge, which I am enjoying at the moment & hand-journalled in white too.

I think the sticker sheet is 7 Gypsies...

I love the MM tiny ledger stickers (see date above) & have them in most of the colours. They are very handy. Another couple of layouts to add to the kids albums. Getting there slowly...


The challenge here was to use an oxymoron in my title. I chose this photo of Daisy. I had already printed it out large. I used natural cardstock as my base & cut a frame for putting around the edge with this very cute printed cardstock (KI Memories I think...) It's a nursery paper featuring little creatures & the best I can get here to mimick the new Sassafrass range of papers with all the little woodland creatures, etc. I inked around the outside & inside of the frame heavily with dark brown ink for a distressed effect.

I cut out a couple of the little creatures & mounted them onto yellow cardstock, bumping one of them up with foamcore before adhering it. I matched up various strips of cardstock & printed papers & layered them all the way down the left-hand side of the photo. I adhered MM cotton-lace onto a plain rust strip of cardstock first, then pushed the next strip slightly under this (it's the green floral one). I made this strip to look like a continuous bracket using a bracket template I made from a MM packaging card, used repetitively. I inked this in brown & mounted it onto yellow cardtock. I slid a wider strip of torn printed paper under this. Lastly I cut, inked & doodled a strip of plain rust cardstock using my scallop ruler. Once I had these all in position I adhered them from left to right so that they all slightly overlapped "on top of" each other.

I printed my title out on photo paper on the pc & used paint behind it to bring in some yellow & also to help the title stand out. I also printed the journalling on the pc & cut it out in strip form, inked around each strip in dark brown & adhered the strips, before attaching a brad to the left-hand side of each one. I rubbed a bit of yellow glitter-glue onto the top of the paint for a light shimmer. I also used glitter on the little creatures too.

I used a making memories circle sticker as a journalling spot & some of their tiny ledger alphas for the date.

Aren't these snails just the cutest?... It's amazing what you can do with a sheet of printed cardstock if it has some nice elements. I keep a bag of papers with elements I want to cut out, behind my bedside table, ready for cutting in the evenings when I am relaxing in my bedroom.

On the right-hand side of the photo I positioned the journalling strips over a bracket I made with the rust cardstock, inked & mounted on yellow. I found a matching MM flower cut-out in my stash so cut it in half & used one half above the journalling & the other half on the top left-hand side, for balance. I tore a strip of yet another co-ordinating paper which I layered above the bracket & under the journalling strips. Altogether I used 3 sheets of plain cardstock & 4 different prints, but I still have plenty left over in my offcuts container.

This layout has been on the Journaling Junkie blog for over a week now but I haven't had an opportunity to post it yet. There is a DT call going on over there at the moment so why not pop in & take a look...

BTW the yellow daisy on the layout is IN THE PHOTO & not an embellishment on top. Chelsea took this excellent photo & I saturated the flower in Picasa to make it pop. What dya think???

Photos at Last.!

Here are the wedding collages...my flash was broken (still is...) so I had to lighten them up a lot during editing. The quality may not be the best but they are still a lovely family memory. I'm sure you can tell that the older man is Shane's dad. Aren't they just 2 peas in a pod?! As it was a night wedding it was very Baroque/Gothic, with blood-red roses everywhere & lots of candlebra.

Here we see my cousin Shelley as the bride, with her gorgeous sister Leanne (so photogenic!) & my sister-in-law Jody, from Pensylvannia, now living in the Zambian bush & about to give birth for the first time! She is on her way to Johannesburg (Gauteng) this week to stay with my aunt until the birth so she can have the baby in a private clinic, for safety reasons, as this is a miracle baby & has been hard-won over many years. Bottom left is my mum-in-law & step dad-in-law & bottom right Shane's Uncle & Aunt.

Here is my little supermodel, Camryn. I "soft-focused" the pics, (in case, you, like Reilly, thought they were blurry!!!) It may look like she is in the Grand Canyon but the background it actually a fibreglass rockery around Shane's aunt's swimming pool...cool...This girl's messy hair is fast becoming her signature style...move over Kate Moss.

My little lovely...Reilly...he was in his element as there were animals everywhere - chickens, sheep, dogs. He loves getting back to nature & the opportunities for that where we live are all too rare. Durban has a serious grass shortage unless you are prepared to spend every weekend away, so Reilly loved visiting this little small holding just outside Joburg. I recently gave him a "tennis ball" hair cut with my Wahl clippers & he is loving it - helps him in our summer heat. Winter you will see him looking all rock-star again with a much longer look.

These 2 pics are very different to me. The one shows his relaxed look & the other his sense of fun - a wider smile & hence eyes more closed - just about to break out into his trademark giggle.

These photos were taken by Chelsea at Montecasino when the girls ran off, bored by our adult conversation, they have that young, funky touch...I give my kids a lot of practice on my camera as I want them to get a feel for photography at a young age...even Cami is at it...see below...


Again, these photos are slightly different...follow the ball...I increased the saturation for a colour-injection. Nice & crisp.

My girl looking gorgeous...I swear I didn't look this good at her age. Hair-straighteners go a long way to enhance her look but the fact that she is an Amazonian (5 foot 9 inches) size 8 helps...The "other half" of her family (Shane's side) is full of gorgeous girls, tall & skinny, so lucky for my girls it is in their genes...only definitely not from me!

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Today is a beautiful Durban day - 27 degrees & sunny - the humidity is lifting - YAY!

Today I have been flat-out busy!

Today I dropped 3 out of 4 babies at school (Shane does no. 4).

Today I filled up my Chrysler beauty with loadsa lovely unleaded fuel!

Today I am excited to get my cardstock into my new paper-rack (bought yesterday).

Today I have learnt more about my computer & managed to clear 8 gigs worth of space ;-)

Today I have popped into my favourite blogs (but not had time to comment on all) ;-(

Today I have spoken to one of my favourite people (Jacqui).

Today I have ordered some awesome paperpacks & cardstock online.

Today I have done all my receipt filing & updated my expense register for March.

Today I have read through mountains of school literature & pinned circulars up on the boards.

Today I have planned a delicious chicken dinner & prepared it for cooking later.

Today I have tidied my scrapdesk (just a tad...)

Today I have found the Panasonic agent here & booked my digital camera in for repair (it arrived from Hong Kong with the flash broken...boo-hoo!)

Today I have finally booked my "Learn all about your SLR Camera" course-starting April.

Today I have argued telephonically with a shop that charged me 60% more on an identical item than it's other branch (daily practice for me here,lol!)

Today I am running late to fetch my babies back again so gotta go!!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

I am not ignoring you!

I am having pc problems this week, so, if you have sent me a comment or an e mail chances are I may not have received it. My e mail is frozen & opening (occassionally)...if it's in the mood...It tells me I need more disk space. Anyone able to translate that for me? I just had more ram put in last month so obviously that's not it! I have managed (just before she started sulking with me...) to send Anton (aka computer man) a plaintive e mail, outlining my woes. Hopefully he will get back to me asap. He seems to be one of only a few reasonably priced IT men in KZN & therefore in very hot demand, so I hope & pray he gets to me this week...

I have lots of new photos to show you - but Picasa is also up to her old tricks! Also not enough free disk space! What does this mean! I need more!! I know for a fact that Shane has MUCH more than I have, stored on his computer & doesn't have this problem!!! Uuurgh...I can't stand computer woes!!!!! On the bright side I have registered on Facebook so feel free to do whatever it is you do (poke me?!) if you wanna be my friend...I've already found a few of you there but I have a terrible memory for surnames, etc, so come hunting for me if I haven't tracked you down yet. BTW Facebook does NOT appeal & I have joined purely out of "duty" as I can see that this blog of mine is having NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on my family. If they follow it they're stalkers 'cos they sure don't let me know!!! However, they are almost ALL on Facebook so I've decided that if the mountain won't come to me I will have to go to the mountain...(let's hope it's worth the journey, LOL!)

I have spent the last few hours trying to track down all & sundry, which is no easy task I tell ya! 'Specially as most of my friends from long back must be married by now & therefore have different surnames. For those of you outside of Africa - let me explain - in this continent it is all too easy to lose touch BECAUSE so many of us end up elsewhere...How I would love the scenario of still living in the same town I was born in, with family there too. What a dream! Sadly, the reality is very different & even immediate family are scattered all over the continent, with everyone else even further far-flung. I can't see myself taking to Facebook. It looks SO boring, but I may eat my words. I will keep you posted...

So no photos...(always makes for a pretty boring post...) but hope to be back on track ASAP. News is I've been scrapping madly. Mainly "duty" scrapping as Vicki calls it, IOW filling up the albums with "gotta scrap" photos & layouts that are not neccessarily "out-of-this world" but gotta get in there. I've done a couple with my scrappy friend, Jax, but am not the best multi-tasker so may not show you my efforts there,lol! Have had fun with my DT submissions but can't reveal those just yet either!

FINALLY my Stacy Julian book, Photo Freedom, arrived from the US (3 weeks later - is that really neccessary I wonder? Especially as the postage cost the same price as the book!). I am half-way through already & it is great. I have no regrets about purchasing it without being able to flick through it first. It's just what I need at the moment (as she says, there are plenty of "ideas" out there & we don't need another book about those, we need a PLAN & a SYSTEM rather). So I have been (trying to) implement Stacy's "Photo Freedom" system to restore order to my Scrapbooking Organisation & it is going pretty well considering. I have had to purchase various bits & pieces & customise other things I already own & it has been busy & fun. My space is already looking a lot more organised & I am feeling more in control...Photos to follow.

On the family front, Chelsea has had her IPOD stolen so drama all-round there...police reports, insurance claims, lectures on responsibility, etc...Jack is becoming too hormonal to bear right now & my maid/cleaner/helper (not sure what the world-wide pc term is...) is sick, so that is never good news! Despite it all I am happy as a lark & engrossed in all my scrappy plans (just worried my computer is on the verge of a nervous breakdown...) School holidays are looming here (start the end of next week) so there is hope on the horizon! I can't wait to lie in!!! From the sounds of things, schools starting at 7.25 are purely an African thing. I mean really, is it necessary I ask you???!!!

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, etc...so, 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...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Weekend News

This weekend was pretty hectic. We went away to Johannesburg to attend a wedding & only returned on Monday evening. So today feels like Tuesday, but is actually Wednesday (as you all know,lol!) We left Jack here as he has just been appointed cricket captain of his team & it was the biggest match of the season, against their famous rivals. We accepted the wedding invite 3 months ago so of course couldn't foresee this, and, even if we had, the wedding couldn't be changed on our account, so it was just one of those unfortunate "double dates" that happens at times.

All's well that ends well as his team won & he finished off the season with the highest scores on his sheet. Hockey season has started here now & he has made the squad. Trials were on Monday. His team has an upcoming tour to Joburg so looks like we'll be off again there soon. Preparing for our weekend away seemed to make it hardly worth it. It's amazing how much organisation goes into necessitating "getting off the treadmill" for just a couple of days.

The drive was LONG (about 700km's I think...) so took about 8 hours with Shane at the helm (not the fastest driver,lol!) & we had to have the obligatory pit stops en route for hungry kids. Luckily there are some fairly decent roadside garage stores along the way, but of course, prices are double what you would normally pay. We arrived with not much time to spare & getting ready was pretty crazy. I lost my phone down one of the centre seats (as they are able to fold away right into the base of the car) when I took a little nap on the way, so I spent all weekend fretting that my phone had fallen out somewhere,LOL. What a relief to find it on our last night, after some serious searching & thanks to dh.

The wedding was low key & fairly small but everything had been thought out to the finest detail, so it was a lovely experience for us all, & one we don't get too often these days. 40th birthday parties are more the order of the day for us now. The bride had the longest eyelashes I had ever seen (obviously false) & it got me thinking, I should definitely try them as my eyes are tiny...just have visions of them hanging off at one corner as the evening progresses though ;-) I was socialled (?) out by 10.30 as I don't do well making small-talk for tooooooooo long, but of course, hubby was having a whale of a time so I was stuck there a good few hours longer. As usual I was the designated driver, good thing too as the 2 glasses of wine I did have gave me the usual splitting headache the following morning...

I did manage to collect a table's worth of black velvet ribbon (used to tie around the menus!) & 8 bling-topped pins (used to secure them...) to use on my scrapbook layouts of the event. Sure will add the "personal" touch!

The next day was a family breakfast/farewells to some/followed by an all-day family lunch & dinner at Montecasino - a real novelty for us Durbanites. We had to rush back on Monday in order to collect Jack from sport in the afternoon so another long car journey where I got to quality-control my first batch of crochet flowers & package them up. I am experiencing some start-up difficulties with the unemployed ladies making them, as my standards & theirs are not in line, KWIM??? So sorry to Jacki...I was meant to bring samples...I will e mail you pics of them before March is over.

I have to do some serious editing of the family photos before I dare show you all. Anyone know of a retouch tool that knocks of the kilos?!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Birthday Boys

Both my sons have recently celebrated their birthdays. I have collaged their birthday photos so that I can scrap them each as single layouts. Here's Reilly, just turned 11, enjoying his birthday lunch at Milky Lane & the first-thing-in-the-morning photos, opening his birthday presents. Mostly soccer paraphernalia & a little ball that bounces on water ... summer pool fun!

And here is main man Jack - now 14 & finding it very hard to crack a smile...We ordered each of our sons a personalized Manchester United Newspaper History portfolio from www.gonedigging.co.uk. Worth it for die-hard football fans. Just remember to track your parcel well ahead of time as the original books went to South Australia instead of South Africa! Just goes to show that it's not only the 3rd world that muddles things up! The company did make good & remake the books in 3 days & courier them to us-losing all their profits in the process I'm sure!

Jack also got 2 hoodies - one "from Reilly" & one "from Cami" & a pair of Vans "from Chelsea." I took him shopping for these as he's too fussy to buy for & it's just better that he chooses & gets the things he's after. Most of his clothes shopping takes place at Christmas & his birthday so it's stuff he really needs by then. He's very realistic & undemanding so it's lovely to spoil him a couple of times a year. These boys are poles apart & it's entertaining to watch them co-habit a bedroom! Mr. Messy & Mr. Tidy...by now you should know who's who ...

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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

What happens when I'm busy...

Well, firstly, I don't get to read any of your blogs! For that I'm sorry (& I'm having withdrawal symptoms). I really want to catch up with you all & hope "I'll be back" sometime soon, but know for a fact that the rest of my week AND my weekend are jam-packed with "have-to's" so it could take time...

My little "business" is, at the moment, costing me money & giving me a headache BUT I am also having a lot of fun with it & am very pleased with the results, even though I have experienced all the usual set-backs associated with such a venture. Firstly, sourcing reasonably priced crochet thread has been pretty difficult, but I think I'ved overcome that one now. Next, sourcing reliable & competent ladies to do the production has been the challenge I expected, but I now have a couple of lovely ladies (previously unemployed) helping me on a "pay as you go" basis so I feel great to be able to help them, myself & deprived South African scrappers (LOL) at the same time. You need to be patient though, while the samples look great I am still busy with packaging & pricing, etc & don't think I'll be ready to do the "big reveal" on my blog until April.

Today has been a mad day. Anything involving "red tape" instills the worst fear in me & I spent hours (along with dh thank Goodness...) trying to sort stuff out relating to my delightful Zimbabwean passport today. As a result I was late for all my collections (the domino effect) so was faced with 4 grumpy children at half hourly intervals & I was darn near grumpy myself by the end of it!

To top it all Shane's boss is here from UK so we had a dinner engagement with him & that involved some serious running around as I had to refuel, repair a slow puncture AND grocery shop & unpack beforehand. Dinner was a great success & I enjoyed TWO glasses of red wine (2005 Meerlust Merlot - delicious!) carpaccio to start & butternut ravioli for my main course. I arrived home an hour ago & had to upload, edit & e mail one of my DT submissions (completed & photographed this morning). Phew! I feel like Superwoman...

A word of advice for anyone feeling sorry for themselves (even with good reason,lol) - Go and watch Slumdog Millionaire. I watched it on Sunday night & it was BRILLIANT. The cinematography was superb & the story was lovely, but the main thing that struck me was that I'm RICH...seriously rich...AT LAST!!! When you see how so many people in this world live (& I thought I already knew, having been born & bred in Zimbabwe) you will never complain again!!!

Complete & utter squalor conjures up too cosy a picture. Really, those Mumbai slums are indescribable. Go & watch it & you'll never consider anti-depressants again!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Photo Collages done over the weekend.

I have a SERIOUS amount of scrapping to do...literally years' worth...I've decided that every page needn't be a master piece...the important thing is to get through the year's & get those memories scrapped. Then (hopefully...) I can get up-to-date & scrap all my photos "in the moment" - every scrapper's dream I know. I just LOVE Picasa's Collage Function & have created 60 collages so far. I have scrapped them & will continue to do so "as is" (stuck on in their entirety) to save on time. Not a bad idea me thinks...

Camryn - December 2008 - note the toothy grin!

February 2009 - Cami & Lilly Bear (a Christmas gift from her daddy).

My Golden Girl.

Popcorn Queen.

Swimming with her baby.

December 2008 - Daisy Bucket (a.k.a. Lazy Bucket).

February 2009 - Chelsea gets ready to party!

Fashion Show here I come!

You Go Girl!

November 2008 - Jack & the ball.

I spent this morning in my scrap room. Not at my scrap desk, in my bedroom, creating...

No, I was actually tidying, sorting, containerizing, planning, visuallising, etc, etc...

Lotsa fun but also a harsh reality check for me. I've got to get down to some serious "catch-up" work...

A fairly overwhelming thought.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

My Wishlist

Still bonkers for yellow...How're these for lovely!?

My Mind's Eye new paper ranges...GOSH!





And to think I thought I was tired of buttons & flowers???!!!
How pretty are all these? Can't wait to get my paws on some of this inspirational new stash.*