Thursday 30 July 2009

Go to Press

I am not a great one for classes. Not because I think I know it all but mainly because time & money are not usually readily available to me & also because I like working on my own projects, my own way. Some of you may remember that in December I WON my first ever online class with Shimelle Laine, Journal Your Christmas, by leaving a comment on Donna Downey's blog. Well the funny thing was that I have in the last few years become a huge Shimelle Laine fan. Since moving to South Africa 3.5 years ago I have been purchasing an English scrapbooking magazine called Scrapbooking Inspirations. As it is quite pricey in the shops I started subscribing to it this year. Shimelle is one of the magazine's Design Team so that is how I came to know her & her work.

I also came across the Banana Frog Blog, for which she is also a regular contributor, quite early on in my "online life" & I love their blog, even though I am not an avid stamper & Banana Frog is a stamp manufacturer. Their blog is always interesting & the projects are really inspiring. She is also a Garden Girl over at Two Peas & a Bucket. She is a fun & funky scrapbooker & I love her combinations & collagey/layered look {not to mention that she has the perfect name!} As much as I love the work of Ali Edwards & would say that she is my all-time favourite scrapbooker truthfully, if I allow myself to develop naturally, I don't imitate her style, but rather Shimelle's arty look. That is a bitter pill to swallow BTW but Shimelle has a great quirky/whimsical style that I also aspire to...

She always appears hectically busy with a variety of different ventures & classes & I receive her newsletter regularly & don't always have time to look into everything that she is up to but Go to Press caught my eye, because it is a practical course geared towards maximising the use of your printer for journaling, titling & all sorts of other printables, experimenting with printing on all types of papers & fabric. I am very excited about this because I like to get to grips with anything I own & get as much as possible out of it. So I will be "Going to Press" myself starting on Monday 3rd July {Woo Hoo!}! For USD25 (R400) I am going to receive 20 pdf files in my inbox (these are easily downloadable & printable instructions & inspiration). Lots of links, permanent back up of & access to these files & an A4 printable sheet of "printables" daily aswell.

Personally I think that for R20 a day that is great value, because I know that I am going to gain a tonne of knowledge & have a heap of learning fun (the best kind) in the process. So if any of you would like to join me read up about GO TO PRESS on Shimelle's blog & get signed up! Online courses are great fun & it's just over 6 months since the last one so here goes...

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Life is Bliss...

Well truthfully life is sucking a bit at the moment...but the bliss part is that Mercy is back! Woo Hoo!! Yesterday I felt like a new woman (her first day back) as I had all those extra hours back in my day & could actually wake up, get up, get ready and LEAVE, without having to go via, & tidying up first. Phew! So glad that long haul is over. Yes I can do it, but no, I'd rather not - given the choice - and it's one thing we DO have a choice on here in Africa...

Actually I have had a headache almost 5 days now...I have taken almost an entire container of Grandpas to little lasting effect. I don't suffer from migraines but I do get headaches. Sometimes more often than others & sometimes they go on...It has been a very busy week for me. I have had a lot of conflab & concern with regard to DH's work situation...a BIG recession is a worldwide phenomena right now, with the garment-manufacturing/supplying/textile-related industry being one of the hardest hit.

Getting "back to school" after a few weeks of holidays always takes some re-adjusting & the end of the month is the time I need to submit my 2 double layouts to Reminisce in time for their website update & newsletter. I have been designing for France for 3 months now. I always find it slightly nerve-wracking, even though she is one super cool chick, because I am not designing for myself so I am wanting to be constantly inspiring & innovative & not to disappoint. As usual she was delighted though...I always lay my pages on the table in fear & trepidation LOL. My own personal problem that...

My inbox & sent-items has piled up...despite daily attention...(obviously not enough LOL)...and I am feeling like I could do with a bit of "time-out" but I can't have any. I have my Cocoa Daisy obligations to sort out for my little kit club crew here & another online shopping venture to co-ordinate for a few of us. On the upside my teenage daughter Chelsea has finally got the "earning money" bug so is helping me for at least an hour a day, getting to grips with my scrap room & sorting things out (an ongoing task) amplified by the fact that I have little hidden storage.

We have a house & a factory up for sale (again...) in Zimbabwe (think selling ice to eskimos...) in an attempt to finally buy a home here. One with more than one geyser, more than one plug-point per room, a roof area that is not infested with rats &/or birds, and a house that is not being hollowed out by borer beetle (I could go on but I think you get the picture...) so I have been doing a bit of house-hunting. Always a morbid task here...House prices have plummeted but a habitable home here for a large family is still R3 million rand & I suppose all in all the pressure of life has put a dampener on my frame of mind at the moment.

Never fear, I will get my head around it all soon & be back with something worthwhile to say...meanwhile I will daydream that I am in Paris, eating chocolate croissants for breakfast & enjoying long lunches over copious amounts of wine...

Monday 27 July 2009

Something to make you cry (in a good way)

This will take you about 20 minutes to look at & read.

There are 42 photographs in total & not all are accompanied by text.

It is wonderful.

It is what I think scrapbooking is all about if you pare it down to the essentials.

Because the photography is so fantastic the simple text is all that is necessary to accompany the photos. I am not sure what format Phillip Toledano has used to display his journal in real life but I visualise a plain black album with the photos enlarged to take up almost the entire page, adhered to white cardstock which has the text printed onto it directly.

If I could tell my stories as effectively as this I would be proud. Perhaps there is a simpler way compared to this commercial whirlwind we are all sucked into...buying, buying, buying...more & more cardstock, paper & embellishments...sometimes forgetting what we are doing along the way.

Kudos to Ali Edwards once again for bringing this to my attention via her blog.

Saturday 25 July 2009

Why Local Sucks (& a selection of prints)

I have been looking at albums online, sussing out the viability of converting to 3 ring, even if in the future. I found a US wholesaler, happy to supply me with 48 WRMK albums at any time, when I am ready (if ever LOL) & able to pay for them. The price is the keenest but postage may be a killer, based on their bulkiness. So I did a bit of local online investigation & found some albums that ain't half bad & locally manufactured. No, they are not 3D but they do not have a separate spine & they are fairly thick so I thought it may be a 2nd best alternative & would at least be supporting local industry & saving me on postage, even thought the album price would be HIGHER than WRMK, which is, of course, insane...

I e mailed said company (no I'm not giving them any free advertising here LOL) & have been having various very short (almost mono-sylabbic answers...) communications back & forth with a surly & practically illiterate individual who will NOT sell me 48 albums, because I am not a retailer, even though I can assure you that my LSS does not sell that quantity in a year, & I have been to my 3 nearest LSS & NONE of them even have SAMPLES of the albums in stock. Talk about hopeless marketing...well I intend e mailing their Head Office, although I doubt it will get me anywhere, to confirm that they REALLY DON'T WANT my argument being WHY SHOULD I give any local retailer here a clear profit on 48 albums (which said company will supply them with if I give them the go-ahead) only for me to buy on from them immediately...

Why should I give a retailer a risk-free fat profit for which there will be no work on their part - as I have already done it all???!!! I already support them all a bit. Enough...I don't go for "lessons" or crops, or anything, anywhere. I agree that wholesale needs to stay wholesale as a GENERAL RULE but in South Africa, where scrapbooking is nowhere near as popular as in the first world & where stores are usually tiny & order tiny amounts why can't I buy a LARGE QUANTITY of an impossible to get product directly from a manufacturer? They don't want my money? Clearly not...despite the fact that their product does not sell well out of the local shops...based on their price I'm sure...which is too high!!! So, yet again, good riddance to them. Really - rocks in their heads...

Now onto more fun stuff... I have been printing (more successfully today Thank Goodness!) After re-inking my tri-colour cartridge (that apparently works IN CONJUNCTION with my photo cartridge) which is why everyone was lilac yesterday...because, although I had a brand new original HP photo cartridge, my tri-colour one was almost empty. The expenses never end...but as no local photo printing establishment can offer me matt photos I don't see that I have a choice. Plus, truthfully, I like being in control here are some of my latest edits.





I USED TO HAVE ONE OF THESE...admittedly a while ago now...

PICASA COLLAGES - My plan is to cut these up individually, hence the wide white line in between each photo.

To do this yourself, crop your photos manually to all be roughly the same width & just don't crop the height at all, then select 8 at a time & click the "Create Collage" button on the bottom tool bar...

A pop-up appears on the left that has an arrow with a dial & the more you pull it over to the right the wider the space between the photo becomes. When you are happy with your space/grouting press "Create Collage" & wait for Picasa to create it...then click print & choose A4 size to make full use of your sheet of photo paper.

I think there is a place for some posed shots like these. Just find a blank white wall outside & choose a time of day when the sun is not directly overhead...earlyish morning or lateish afternoon are best. Then get your subject to fool around - say funny things to them - do whatever it takes to get a whole host of photos then edit out the blurry ones! I'm enjoying these long, skinny photos & have seen alot of them used in scrapbooking lately, so this is how you do them, without using Photoshop.

CAMI'S CUPCAKES (printed this one A5 size & the other 4 below jumbo size)

Cami has ALWAYS had an obsession with shoes, particularly mine, but now that Chelsea has a few "High-Heels" Cami is delighted she has constant access to them (they share a room) & insists on wearing them to do the vacuuming!!! Printed this A5 size, because it's high-time I documented this all-important part of Cami's life LOL!

I took these shots at the wrong time of day - you can see the shadows...but it is so difficult to get all 4 kids wearing nice clothes & ready to go out that I just decided on an impromptu photo shoot at the side of the car on our way out to lunch during the holidays.

I am busy putting some of these to good use right now designing a multi-photo double layout for Reminisce, due in first thing Monday morning, so I'm off to get my nose back to the grindstone...

Friday 24 July 2009

20 Things going on around here...

I have adapted this from Ali Edward's blogpost, which you can find here, so I challenge you to follow suit if you are in need of some posting fodder, and also because we want to get to know ya!

  • Things are returning to term-time "normal"
  • Relieved that Jack has yet again adapted to a new environment
  • Concerned that things may not be a whole heap better where he is now but grateful that the travelling distance is a whole heap less...
  • Noting with sadness & joy that my little girl is becoming less & less dependent on me by the day & that my big girl is becoming an adult & is no longer desperate to please me...
  • So grateful for Reilly...such a big heart in a little body...I marvel at his ability to think like a considerate adult as a child...
  • Not feeling refreshed after the holidays but looking forward to household help again next week ;-D
  • Wondering how I have used 1 GIG's worth of bandwidth in less than a week...and if creating my Picasa Online Album (finally) has had something to do with it...
  • Having another "crisis" with regard to my albums & wishing I was rich enough to have bought We R Memory Keepers Albums years ago...
  • Feeling like I'm getting to grips with my scrappy stash now that my patterned paper all sorted from randomness to By manufacturer
  • Tired of fighting with my photo printer & cartridges & wondering why I can't just print a decent photo without everyone looking lilac???!!!
  • Annoyed again by the pathetic mentality attached to our local scrapbooking "industry"...
  • Hating cooking more than ever at the moment...
  • Soooooooooo enjoying dh's wonderful bacon & avocado on toast dinners for me (love that man...)
  • Sick & tired of receiving Gloom & Doom e mail "forwards" about cell-phone guns, new hi-jacking tactics, etc & wondering where in the world is worth emigrating to...
  • Working on my two double layouts required for Reminisce this month & looking forward to seeing my bio & links up on France's site next month
  • So excited to start my online course at Two Peas on the 3rd...
  • Feeling desperate for a holiday & wondering how I am going to keep going without one in sight...ever...
  • Concerned about my family's future in this harsh economic climate
  • Worried about the future of industry in South Africa - particularly the clothing industry - & as my husband's company supplies it life would be easier if manufacturing was still viable here
  • Content & grateful even though I don't sound like it (having just proof-read this) LOL...

Thursday 23 July 2009


I have always said that I will NEVER listen to Classical Music. Why? Well, because I just didn't like the sound of it & it seemed "fuddy duddy"...until I came across this yesterday...

If you click on the link there is a trial playlist on Jon's site...just to give you a taste...but the real clincher for me was his latest creation {click on the video of him playing the piano at the top of the page - once you have clicked on the link} os watch the video on my earlier post today.

5 Easy Steps...

Do you hate the thought of watching/listening to You-Tube videos on people's blogs???
any videos for that matter...Vimeo, etc...I know I do...I used to just click out as soon as I saw them loading. I thought, oh no, no time for that! Then one of my resident teens showed me a little trick. Maybe you are already switched on enough to have worked it out, but if you're anything like me you wouldn't have had the time, so here it is...

1. Click on the VOLUME on the bottom tool bar of the video box (that appears on the blog) so that it sets to MUTE (so you can't hear it) then

2. Click on the PLAY button (bottom left) & allow the video to load - completely if possible.

3. Check how long the video lasts (it's written on the bottom tool bar of the video) so that you can click the window you have minimized back up when the time has lapsed.

4. Minimize your screen

5. Re-open your blog in another window so you can carry on with your blog hopping.

If you do that you can watch videos PAINLESSLY with NO INCONVENIENCE AND TIME WASTING. And another good thing about it is...if you enjoy it, you can watch it AGAIN & AGAIN straight many times as you once it's loaded it's loaded.

Like the one I put on my blog yesterday... you don't want to know how many times...

Love Story meets Viva La Vida...

Totally inspired medley {Taylor Swift} {Coldplay}...

This is absolutely incredibly awesome, which is why I NEVER let a day go by without stopping by & checking out Ali Edward's Blog. The inspiration I find there is always so overwhelming. She has taught me that scrapbooking is so much more than pretty papers & techniques. It's to do with the state of your heart, the root of your's what separates the scrapbookers from the life artists...which are you?

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Little Shop of Sketches - Sketch 42

Herewith my take on Sketch 42 down at Little Shop of Sketches. This is my last sketch for Tanya Leigh from LSOS. My 6 month term is now finished and I have been given the option to stay on but have resigned, as I have some new ideas up my sleeve and need to be in a position to spread my wings a bit further afield and see what happens (Yes I know that is a bit cryptic but if I have something more concrete to tell you I will!)

I interpreted the sketch pretty literally this time as I liked how it was all coming together. I used Pink Paislee Sweetcakes Collection scalloped paper adhered to a sheet of bright yellow Bazzill then cut the circles from K and Co Amy Butler Lotus Tea Box Grandiflora Flat Paper, using my Creative Memories Circle Cutter set - one of my best scrappy investments ;-D.

I embellished with die-cut butterflies from the same Amy Butler Tea Box Collection for K and Co and also cut floral elements from DCWV Citrus Floral Vine Glitter Paper. For the title I used Doodlebug Adhesive Chipboard - Swimming Pool - Hopscotch Alphabet and for the journalling I used my trusty Dymo...

There is a DT call going on at Little Shop so if you want to familiarise yourself more with working from sketches, as I did when I applied (had never used one in my life LOL!) then pop in there to check out the requirements. I think there are a few positions up for grabs there and you could be filling one of them if you try out! Off to work on my Reminisce classes now...

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Tell me about your albums...

This is what I would like...if money & availability were no consideration...

But they are USD30 each (although I have found them here for USD25 on sale) & they are bulky so postage would be quite a consideration. Let's double it & say the best scenario would be USD50 landed. R400 each. But the problem is, to replace the albums I currently have it would cost me R16 800 as I have 42 albums! Now I WILL do it if I win the lottery, but seeing as I usually forget to even buy a ticket it is unlikely that I will win...

For those of you who don't already aspire to these beauties...they are We R Memory Keepers 3 ring, wipe-clean mock leather albums. Yes, that means no more posts! No more extenders &, can you imagine?! Reality is that I have wipe-clean denim-look POST BOUND albums that cost me about R120 a piece. They are usually available here so as I start filling up I just pop down the road & buy a few more. The problem is I HATE post bound albums. I also have most of them in the same colour & would now rather colour code them according to person & theme. So what's a girl to do? I don't like showing off my albums for the very reason that I don't like them. The presentation is not the best. But as such a stash junkie I don't want to give up my Cocoa Daisy subscription every month in exchange for an album a that would take me like 4 years & by then I'd only need more, LOL!

The next problem I have is how many layouts to put into one album. The albums I buy come with a PATHETIC post of just half an inch long...I mean WHERE is that going to get me??? I have been fiddling with silly little posts & extender sections for too many years now so what I came up with last year is a section of screw rod with a bolt on each end. Genius. Cheap. Perfectly functional. Does the same job as a fancy "post" but way cheaper & no problems to report a year on...Just pop into your local hardware store, grab a screw stick (they sell them in metre lengths) - smile sweetly at the attendant (if you can find one LOL) - & tell him you'd like it cut into 12 lengths of 8cm each (or adjust your length/quantity accordingly) - then tell him you'll be back to collect it later...they do it FOR FREE so enjoy a cappuccino while you wait!

When my albums are lying flat they are 10 cm high - in other words the spines are 10cm wide. I used to like the look of thick albums - now I'm not so sure...they seem so daunting when I plonk them down on visitors laps & kids struggle to manoeuvre them. Albums should be a joy to show off...I want We R Memory Keepers!!! I know...It's this darn internet thing again...if I hadn't discovered them I'd be none the wiser...but I have & they just keep calling me...I can't shut the voices up!!! So what I want to know from you is :-

What albums do you use? (Manufacturer, fabric/faux-leather, colour, etc)

2. How thick do they lie? (ie - how wide is the spine)?

3. Are they post-bound albums or 3 ring albums?

4. If you "extend" your posts beyond the supplied spine what then? Have you made your own spines? If so, do you just use matching
cardstock? (The spines that come with my albums can only expand to a couple of inches - 5cm- deep & I want my albums wider than that, reason being to have less albums...)

5. How many layouts do you put into each album? (I put 22)

PULEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZE...You know I never demand comments but just this once I would really like as much feedback as possible 'cos this issue is distressing me & I need to know how others deal with it...Please! ;-D Some of my best feedback comes from you guys so please take a minute or two to let me in on your systems...thanks!

{{{BTW check out the link & order for yourself if you can afford it as this is definitely the best price online at the moment - I really want to order all my albums at the same time so I won't be doing so in the near future!!!}}}

Monday 20 July 2009

Rollerskating Babies!

This was not my planned post for today as I need to ask you guys for some advice later, but have just opened up my e mail & received this, so thought it TOO GOOD not to share. I found an article about this Evian advert in the UK telegraph. Here is an exerpt from said article :-

The video of babies in nappies performing skating stunts to a hip-hop beat has been watched 3.8 million times on YouTube alone in the past week.

In the clip daredevil "roller-babies" leap over fences and railings as well as each other in a city park.

The troupe of 96 special-effects roller-babies groove to a remix of the Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight.

The 60-second film was shot at London's Pinewood Studios as part of mineral water brand Evian's Live Young international television and web video campaign.

The advert is proving a huge hit online with YouTube viewers alone watching the US version almost 1.8 million times.

The international version has been seen over 1.5 million times and the French clip over 500,000 times.

The Evian babies were last screened 11 years ago performing an underwater ballet.

Evian's worldwide director of brand Michael Aidan said that the firm was trying to sell drinkers a "dream".

He said: "In the majority of countries in recent years, our communication has been very fact-based.

"But consumers expect more from a big brand – emotion, dream. This is what we want to achieve – hence this breakaway and back to roots campaign."

One female YouTube viewer said of the ad: "It's one of the cutest things I've ever seen".

The ad was first shown on TV in France, Belgium and Canada over the weekend.

An Evian spokesman said that no date has been set yet for showing the ad on TV in the UK.

He said: "It's working so well virally that plans for TV in the UK are still under review."

Well it has now been viewed well over SEVEN MILLION TIMES so if you haven't caught it yet here's your chance! I'm not going to leave it on my blog for long if it slows it down, which these videos often do I find, so check it out, I defy you to tell me it ain't cute...

Sunday 19 July 2009

Do you love/hate your PC?!

Bill Gates vs General Motors

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated:

'If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

'If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash.........Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single 'This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation' warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask 'Are you sure?' before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off.

So see...even modern day geniuses open themselves up to humiliation at times!!! And I think we may laugh in years to come, at our "state of the art" pcs...

Saturday 18 July 2009

What went down this week...

This week was the last week of the holidays -
always a crazy one! Somehow it seems to have flown by & I have had a lot of scrap-related AND pc-related work to do, but honestly little time to take a breather & blog about it. At the end of long days I have simply fallen on my bed & passed out! I had a South African friend here who now lives in the UK, we met many years ago at college (I was at college in Cape Town because all Zimbabweans come to South Africa for University/Technikon, as there are no facilities there), and have somehow managed to reconnect every few years, wherever in the world we have been at the time, so it was lovely to catch up with her & her family again & be able to entertain them.

The kids, especially my 2 teenagers, have been trying to squeeze every last drop out of these holidays before they go back to school on Monday, so dutiful Mother (aka me...) has been driving them near & far! Chelsea has her Grade 11 dance coming up in less than a week so we have been shopping & she finally has the perfect outfit. Of course I will let you all see it when she is dressed up & I take a photo. She has chosen quite an avant-garde dress from YDE (Young Designers Emporium) - thank Goodness they had a sale LOL - it is creamy beige (satin twill) so an interesting fabric choice & I'm glad she didn't go for a shiny-shiny. Like my photos - I like my outfits matte!

It has a black lace & tulle petticoat extending from the hem, which is very Harajuka girl...It is strapless with a low waistline & a flared mini-skirt so is playful & cute & not as short as the one she originally wanted that I managed to talk her out that one she looked more like she was off for a swim in her costume...??? The shoes were more of a challenge as they are SO expensive, everywhere in the world it seems, as I even went online to compare prices. She settled on a pair of stilettos with a relatively low heel - as her date is not much taller than her - cream with black lace overlay - court shoe style with a small peep toe & crossover at the front - as she is convinced her toes are hugely unacceptable so won't wear strappies! The heels are black & all the edging is black patent so they are very stylish & VERY fashionable, so she is happy...

I bought her a Versailles style black-crystal (costume-jewellery) choker to finish off her outfit & just hope she has another occassion to wear it, as my first-born looks very swish indeed in her ensemble...a bittersweet moment for me ;-( Jack has been struggling with the concept of relocating schools so it has all been a bit dramatic around here, but now that we have handed in the forms & purchased the uniform he has finally accepted that it really IS happening...again I feel guilty as hell...even thought I know that this move is in his best interests...

So it's been haircuts all round here as their schools adhere strictly to the short back & sides policy - and I agree for school ;-D It's all uniforms & discipline here - just not enough unfortunately - Zimbabwean schools were MUCH stricter & as a result experienced almost NONE of the problems we have had to face here with kids that are naughty beyond comprehension. We have all got into a housework & chores routine & found our niches, but nonetheless I think we have ALL found it tiring & quite a shock to have to do it ALL. I am a very tidy person but now that I am on my hands & knees polishing quarry tiles it makes me more determined than ever to buy as low maintenance a house as possible - not that there really IS such a thing LOL!

I managed to rescue my lost Picasa photos thanks to Heidi & all her e mail advice - just waiting to receive my bill LOL! I have to say that any problems I have ever experienced relating to pc/blogger/photo issues have ALL been solved by YOU, my loyal bloggy friends! ;-D So thank you to all of you!! I managed to get a few layouts done this week & need to get a few more done in the next few days. I also got a SLIDESHOW set up on my blog AT LONG LAST - admittedly with only a smidgeon of my layouts featured, but better than nothing nonetheless! So don't forget to take a look ;-D

I got my first NASTY comment on my blog this week - it didn't upset me as I have been warned that every blogger gets one within their first year of blogging so I actually feel initiated now LOL! I eventually managed to delete it & have decided I'll do that straight away next time, now that I know how! As I was rushing out when I received it & couldn't bin it I replied then deleted both comments when I had time to look into it.

The comment made ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE to me as I didn't even know WHAT "Belle" (the mystery blogger...) was going on about - as she was ranting about how I had back-stabbed someone I have NEVER MET that doesn't even LIVE in Durban, & doesn't have a blog, so how I managed THAT is beyond me LOL! I spoke to my RL scrappy friend about it & she says comments like that only ever come from one that HAS to be a COMPLIMENT {{{*wink*}}} So, on that note, to ALL of you out there, especially "Belle", who went to the trouble of creating a blog for the SOLE purpose of remaining anonymous while leaving random nonsensical & unneccessarily mean comments around Blogland...

May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door...

Friday 17 July 2009

Layouts for Journaling Junkie Challenge 60 & 61.

Herewith my 2 latest submissions to Journaling Junkie for the Rhyme-inspired & Favourites challenges.

Here I used a gorgeous diecut paper from a recent Cocoa Daisy kits (My Mind's Eye-Deena's Penny Lane, Free Bird "Beauty"Fond Circles paper) backed with bazzill, together with their exclusive journalling spots, 7 Gypsies tags & funky red pom-pom wire. Also Bo Bunny sticker strips, Basic Grey ribbon, Jenny Bowlin Journalling Spot, American Crafts badge, MM brads, L'il Davis Designs Tinseltown Chipboard letters & American Crafts black rubber Thickers. Calendar saved from last year - cut up each month & use on relevant layouts. Gold sticker strip - A Crazy (Dollar) Store find.


Journalling reads:-

Jack is very specific about his preparation for a tennis tournament. He likes his trainers to be laced really tight by mum or dad. After a tough coupla years re-adjustment he has found his winning streak again & come 1st in Howard Saul's tournament in September & 2nd in the next one. He loves to achieve - that's Jack!

the colours
the weather
the rugby
the monkeys
the sea
the tropical plants
my stone hippos
almost all year
that's Africa!
Paper here is Making MemoriesPassport Collection (Varnished Floral) with American Craft badges, Prima & Fiesta Felt flowers & various other bits & bobs from my stash. The lovely vine die-cut, circles strip & flower strips I bought about a year ago & unfortunately no longer have the packaging but think they are Crate Paper. Journalling is hand-written on one of those very handy Making Memories journalling notebooks. Letter stickers - Basic Grey.

Why not visit Journaling Junkie here & take part in the Rhyme challenge currently underway? There is a tempting packet of K & Co on offer...

Challenge 61: inspired by this nursery rhyme:
1,2 tie my shoe3
,4 shut the door
5,6 pick up sticks
7,8 lay them straight
9,10 a big fat hen

There should be something laced in the LO (to correspond to the tie my shoe). Shut the door, picking up the sticks and laying them straight can mean "recovering from something or making something in your life/self right on track" (like "picking up the pieces metaphor"). A big fat hen can mean a prize or something you look forward to when you do that recovery or picking up.

This challenge closes on the 29th of JULY midnight GMT- Please leave a comment with the link to your URL on the Journaling Junkie blog or email Stefanie at

Thursday 16 July 2009

What goes around...

1) Are your parents married or divorced?

They're still married - miraculously - many, many years later...

2) Are you a vegetarian?

Not officially but I don't eat much meat out of choice, just because I don't like the taste or texture much...

3) Do you believe in Heaven?

I do...and Hell.

4) Have you ever come close to dying?

I have actually died...I had a near death experience 5 years ago after an operation. The nurses accidentally overdosed me on morphine. It was terrible & wonderful all during the same hour.

5) What jewellery do you wear?

Almost exclusively "junk" jewellery - not out of choice - but I love quirky & whimsical designs, from Sass Diva, Claire's & that order.

6) Favorite time of day?

Very late at night when no-one is competing for my attention.

7) Do you eat the stems of broccoli?


8) Do you wear makeup?

Usually although I do take a breather at home & on Sundays.

9) Ever have plastic surgery?

I would love to - as soon as I sell my house!

10) Do you color your hair?

Yes, just a touch of mahogany lowlights for shine.

11) What do you wear to bed?

Milady's PJs. Sadly the cute ones at Mr. Price don't fit me ;-(

12) Have you ever done anything illegal?

In Zimbabwe everyone was a criminal as there was a law against everything... Here - I've got a speeding fine per year - and only in ridiculous 60 zones where I was going at 70!

13) Do You Tweeze your eyebrows?

Once a fortnight or so...

14) What kind of sneakers?

Aasics for exercise...not often!

15) Do you still own vinyl?

My whole collection.

16) What is your hair color?

Very dark brown. Flat & dull.

17) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?


18) Do you sleep with stuffed animals?

At over 40? Um, noooooooooooooooooooo.....

19) If you won the lottery? …

I would put my parents into a decent retirement village, buy a nice big house, go on a wonderful family holiday & buy all 6 of us a laptop each!

20) Gold or silver?

Gold, if I could afford it.

21) Hamburger or hot dog?

Hot dog - NEVER eat hamburgers...well, maybe a Big Mac once every few years...

22) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pistachio nuts? Nougat?? Pawpaw???

23) City, beach or country?

City - with a nice big CLEAN & SAFE park within walking distance.

24) Where did you eat last?

At the breakfast nook - 2 pieces of toast with camembert & black pepper & a cappucino, mmm...

25) When’s the last time you cried?

Last weekend during a movie- "Sunshine Cleaning" -I cry in almost every movie - happy or sad!

26) Do you read blogs?

A lot. It's one of my all-time-favourite pastimes.

27) Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?

No!!! Except to a Fancy Dress party of course...

28) Ever been involved with the police?

Yes, in Zimbabwe I was beaten up by a black man double my size, who then reported me to the Police as having beaten HIM up - because I managed to throw a glass vase at him as I was escaping & it gave him a *small* cut on his hand. When I went to report the incident they told me I was the one "on trial" so I had to meet my "accuser" in the reconciliatory room & PAY HIM to drop the charges...yes, I have had a VERY exciting life - and there are more stories where that came from...

29) What’s your favorite shampoo, conditioner and soap?
Tres Semme, Pro V or Gliss, depending on what's cheapest at the time. Soap - Breeze.

30) What are your favourite colours?
Neutral & spicy tones

31)Basketball or Football?
Football for sure.

32) How long do your showers last?
As long as the hot water does - about 5 minutes!

33) Automatic or manual?
Automatic PTL ;-D

34) Cake or ice cream?
Cake - don't like ice-cream.

35) Where do you wish you were?
In Hawaii with my little girl - she is a Lilo & Stitch fan & her dream is to go to Hawaii!

36) Are you wearing socks?
Slops - have just come in from the garden...

37) Can you tango?
Unfortunately not.

38) Last gift you received?
A scanner for my birthday.

39) Things you spend a lot of money on?
Grocery shopping, fuel & school-fees.

40) Where do you live?
In Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.

41) Where were you born?

42) Last wedding attended?
My cousin in Joburg.

43) Favorite alcoholic drink?
Hunters Cider.

44) Most hated food?

45) What’s your least favourite chore?
Taking out the trash.

46) Can you sing?
Well I think so but you may not agree!!!

47) Last person you instant messaged?
Huh? Still behind there...but last person I e mailed was Heidi.

48) Last place you went on holiday?
Johannesburg. At Christmas. When everyone else leaves Joburg. Bad idea. Boring................

I have edited this from about 70 questions as it was too long for my attention span & none of you care if I can roll my tongue or not...

Wednesday 15 July 2009

My 365 for June/July & more!

This is where it all started going pear-shaped...

We wished Mercy well & she set off on her merry way...for a month's not so much computer time anymore... just my profile calling me...

And more of the stuff at the side...piles of papers...scraps with website addresses jotted down, etc, my crazy creative mind at it's best...and worst...all the while the 2 youngest creating their next masterpieces...inspired by "Night at the Museum 2" - their holiday cinema outing with mum!

I wanted to scrapbook but my desk always looks like this in between creative sessions ... because...I hate cleaning it up after all that creative energy has been expended...and I need a bigger desk...yup, that big mat fits in & that's it - a bit like the space you get at a crop really...not enough...

And that's not been the only problem! Post operative fatigue (aka holiday laziness...) & flu (no, really, 3 times...) but mostly just washing, and ironing, and (did I mention?) washing...and ironing...

But then I asked your advice remember, and instituted wasn't easy I tell ya...but it sure was worth it! And now she can iron AND smile, so things are improving every day!

And Jack is proving to be quite the chef...I even got a toasted cheese sandwich with bacon on the side & chutney in a SEPARATE, my, the power of blackmail...reward money is DEFINITELY the best motivation!

And even the little peeps are doing their bit! Reilly & Cami are making their own beds - the top bunks - and it's no easy task I tell ya...

But, as you can see, my little (aka BIG) brood has finally risen to the challenge & decided mum really DOES mean business...all children being suitably bribed...or should I say compensated for their contribution!

The rule is to get it all done asap so there is still lotsa time for this...

And this...

Chelsea & I have been blinging up her crib...aided by the Claire's sale & this funky little jewellery holder in her favourite colour...electric blue...

Her mission appears to be to cover every square inch of her walls with posters of celebrities ... celebrity culture...funny old thing...I remember being EXACTLY the same as her, with posters of Duran Duran, Howard Jones & Morton Harkett from Aha! Oh, and Adam Ant...

Oh, and she gets the reject photos...which she mixes in with a bit of her own artwork...

Kinda like scrapbooking really...what is it with this Rob Pattinson thing???...I don't see it...

This one sits right above her desk, mounted on a large piece of black card, with photos of friends & other momentos all in the mix...

And here is her bedside table, how cute is that little alarm clock I found her at MP Home???!!!

Aaah...see Orly there...haven't seen him in anything for a while...and her but what's with all the swearing? Is it meant to be *cool Brittania* or is it just ingrained in British youth?

Here we go, above the bed & right around the other side..gotta scrap this...ooh, just spotted McDreamy & least she has good taste...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way around to the bathroom door...and HOW are the boots I found her at Sheet Street???!!! Yup, we've been having a right makeover we have...

And she has been downloading & printing these super-cute bumper stickers off Facebook (see Applications apparently) LAST...I've seen it's good for something...thinking titles for layouts...*mind spins*...

And even young Cam has jumped on the bandwagon & done a spot of decorating herself...Chelsea generously allowed her to decorate her cupboard...while she handled the other 99% of the room!

Meanwhile Jack shone his ego problems there then...(some of those are back again a SECOND time around...)

And Reilly bid Ronaldo a sad (sniff...) goodbye...(notice the gap...gotta fill it with Valencia...)

And mum treated them to a new mat to keep the dirt out...strategically placed at the doorway to their room...amazing what you think about when YOU are the one doing the vacuuming LOL!

I could say I tidied my cupboard but the truth is it always looks like year's of working as a Fashion Designer & sorting samples onto rails has me bound to this OCD for life...colour-coding, 1"inch apart - all hangers facing the same direction...

But I did treat myself to this little beauty and YES it will rust and NO I don't care...I will be bored with it by then...

Even these little babies have made a reappearance out of the drawer & onto the table-top (whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? It's a start....)

Because, finally, I bought myself a sewing table...and there is even space at the side to store some scrappy storage cases & give me a bit more desktop space at my scrappy desk - Woo Hoo!

And FINALLY Checkers got in the kitchen stools again...2 years we managed to get another 2...BTW I could be an estate agent - my kitchen SO does NOT look as nice as that...

And do you really think I could resist a scrappy purchase or two (or three???) - LOOK at these babies...Fiskars no less...the Kings of cutting...right on my scrapdesk...right now...Threading Water & a Circle Border Punch, need I say more???!!!

And a little embellishment sort at long last...onto a little metal shelf I bought that stands on the side of my desk now...if I can't go out I gotta go up...

And all my bazzill finally colour-coded & in one place...oh happy day!

My latest project being sorting my prints by MANUFACTURER (my daughter thinks I'm insane...) because I think this will work so much better with my new online life...

So here is my other file storage box, still waiting to be decoupaged, divided alphabetically with foamcore/corrugated card...just until I have time to print some nice divider tabs & attach them to some plain cardstock instead...

One little girl celebrated a birthday...9 already! Look at that smile ;-D She helped me bake the cake...

And she enjoyed it soooooooo much that I bought her a packet of Barbie Cupcake Mix & she produced these...under the watchful eye of Head Chef Jack...

Reilly decided the middle of winter was as good a time as any to make some GIANT ice-lollies...

And Cami joined him...Lemos flavour (lemon & lime) & delicious apparently...

I was just delighted to see brother & sister interacting so well together...such happy friends...

I suggested they set up the "tent" in the back garden & enjoy a picnic out there...

But it took them soooooooooooo long to erect the "tent" that they took out 2 pillows & had a little lie-down instead... ;-D

This little man has been a busy boy - off to friends & playing golf...all the time with his rucksack on his back, complete with a fresh change of clothes "just in case"...that's Jack...

While this young lady has been sleeping & growing & blooming & blossoming...and straightening out those beautiful natural curls she so hates...

While this little girl has been "on the hunt" daily for her baby, who she usually finds curled up...

On Mercy's bed...knowing full-well that she can remain there undisturbed for another T.W.O. W.H.O.L.E. W.E.E.K.S !!!!!!