Tuesday, 22 September 2009

3 New Layouts {A Change of Plan thanks to the Rain}

I promised you a peek at my perpetual calendar & you will get it...asap!
Today I had Granny's calendar waiting on the dining-room table next to my camera...then down came the rain. It lasted all day - until nightfall - then stopped! Too late... I hate to take flash photographs of layouts unless absolutely necessary so decided to wait until tomorrow. I do have something to show you though...3 layouts...all photographed with the dreaded flash photography I've just told you I hate to use,
because I created them specifically for an online challenge I read about here. I clicked on the link provided & got here.

I created the layouts weeks ago & since then haven't got around to photographing them because the challenge deadline seemed so far away. I got the fright of my life yesterday when alarm bells suddenly started ringing in my head when I looked at the date on my blog post - at 11.30p.m! I realised that the challenge was due in THAT DAY - yesterday - at midnight!!! Fortunately my time-zone is 5 - 6 hours behind the States so I actually had until 6a.m. to submit my layouts. Not one for rising at sunrise I leapt up & took 105 photographs in my effort to select 3 half-decent ones to upload. The flash kept causing a big silver glare spot on the photographs but {after some time LOL} I kinda succeeded. Not my best shots but better to submit something than nothing.

For those of you who {like me LOL} don't always click on those links...when you're in a rush & all...I've done you a favour & copied & pasted for you ;-D All text in red is from the challenge blog within the Scrapbooks Etc website.

It is time for the July/August 2010 Make it Yours challenge! If you’re new to the challenge, here’s how it works. For each issue, we ask you to make your own versions of our original scrapbook pages. To make it yours, you can:

• Scraplift it.
• Add or subtract photos and accents.
• Expand or condense the layout size.
• Take the theme and run with it.
• Use the project as a basic starting point for your creative take.

For this issue, we have three more great inspiration pieces which are sure to inspire you and spark your creativity. Without further ado, here are the three original inspiration pieces for our July/August 2010 issue:

Game Night by Heidi Sonboul
blog post photo

Heidi recreated the look of a game board on her layout documenting a Family Game Night. By using a combination of die-cuts, rub-ons, patterned paper, and cardstock, she created a unique boardgame inspired swirl through the center of her layout. The large patterned paper rectangles further complete the game board look.

Happy 6th by Shannon Zickel

blog post photo

Two uncropped 4x6 photos are the focal point for Shannon’s birthday themed layout. Since she used a white background, she was able to hand-journal directly onto the background. Simple patterned strips add a pop of color, while repeated circles and polka dots pull it all together perfectly.

On the Edge by Linda Harrison
blog post photo

The large star is on Linda’s summer yard work layout is cut out of a sheet of coordinating patterned paper and embellished with felt flowers and twine. She used large die cut letters to create the ‘EDGE’ part of the title and laid them on the edge of the matte as a play on the title. Journaling strips make the journaling legible against the polka dot background, while still allowing it to peek through.

Please have your originals posted HERE in our gallery by midnight on September 21, 2009. Feel free to submit layouts for one of the inspirations or all of the inspirations. We love to see how you, our readers, are inspired! Simply create a layout based on one of these originals, scan it or photograph it, and upload it into our gallery for a chance to have your layout featured in our magazine. Be sure to write in your description what layout you were inspired by and how you were inspired. Have fun creating!

I decided to to rise to the challenge even though none of the layouts really screamed out "Choose me!" - so I decided to scrap ALL THREE layouts & see where it led me... Being out of my comfort zone is a sure-fire way for me to grow so this is what I came up with:-

The layout above is based on the "Game Night" Layout - I loved re-creating that swirl using ribbon - very easy - adhere thin double-sided tape along ribbon as you go along {don't cut it until you're completely finished} and just fold as you go, to create a pleated effect. I have tape exactly that thickness...not sure what the overseas equivalent is but this is good old "Purple Turtle" - a fantastic local product.

The layout above is based on the "Happy 6th Birthday" Layout & I was inspired here to create my own circular accent, which I made out of cardstock, flowers & bling. I seem to be using so much white cardstock on my layouts these days! Every one of these layouts has a white cardstock backing sheet - makes for a fresh modern look methinks...Some new American Crafts embellies there mixed in with an older MME print.

The layout above is based on the "On the Edge" layout & I liked that the photo started right at the top of the page - with no top border/matt - as I enjoy using larger photos at times but still like space for all my other "bits". I initially regretted buying these American Crafts Umbrella Thickers as I thought they were too garish for me {I got so excited when I found them locally that the adrenalin just started pumping & I was at the til before I could take hold of myself LOL!} but I like them on this layout...so there! I seem to have chopped a bit off the bottom of this layout inadvertantly - the z does not end in line with the bottom of the page!

I made the flower accent on the above layout by cutting around a largish flower on the printed paper I used then adhered it to the next layer with dimensional tape then hand-cut around the bottom layer a bit wider than the top. I did this four times, getting gradually larger each time. I raised the other 3 flowers too but as I said earlier, these photos were taken in the middle of the night last night & specifically for the Scrapbooks Etc Gallery so I didn't take any sideview shots to show you the dimension & layering...I'll take some fresh photos of my handmade details tomorrow if the weather improves. Here's hoping for a sunny day!

Monday, 21 September 2009

My Perpetual Calendar {A Gift for Granny}

This time last week I told you all about a project I had been working on over the weekend, that was meant to be *simple*. Well there was nothing difficult about it but *simple* it was not...it took at least 3 full days {difficult to say exactly as I had to work in fits & starts...}. Straightforward but time-consuming.

I started with an All My Memories 12 x 12 perpetual calendar that I bought locally about a year ago. It was only about R50 {USD6} on sale & I was meant to "do it" for Shane's mother last Christmas, but I had just started my blog {in October 2008} & found it so time-consuming to "learn the ropes" that I never got to doing this project at that time.

By "Perpetual" I mean that it does not have any dates, only the grid formation for the dates to be added. It does have the days though & I need to add the dates...the idea being that you can use it for whatever year you like. I will add the dates for 2010 {my "job" whilst we are in the car on our way to Botswana in a few days time}. What I am going to do is contact Shane's siblings en route & get all their important dates {birthdays, anniversaries, etc} & add all the "family" dates in using small alpha stickers, so that Granny Dearest will be able to see everything loud & clear for the month, forevermore. Obviously the days & dates won't match up after 2010 but who cares? she'll still be able to use it as a "Birthday Calendar" forever-after.

I started with the photographs. I made sure to select one of each of us for our birthday months (or nearest as in February & March we have two birthdays in both those months). I edited the photos if I had not done so already & printed them out 20 x 25cms. Then I matched the photos to cardstock & cut a strip off each 12inch sheet of cardstock, that matched or contrasted with the photo in question. I used 12 separate sheets of cardstock but if possible {colour-matching wise} you could actually get 3 strips per cardstock sheet but it would mean repeating your colours. I have plenty of cardstock & was happy to use 12 separate sheets because, once the strip was cut off the side, I was left with a dozen sheets, roughly A4 size, which I am going to use for printing elements for embellishments now that I have recently completed my Shimelle Laine "Go to Press" online class all about just how to do that.

I had tons of suitable photos to choose from but tried not to get too hung-up on selection because I didn't want to waste time. I looked for photos that showcased personality & relationships rather than picture perfect ones. Of course they all needed to be less than a year old to be "up-to-date". I decided that instead of journaling I would print out a quote suitable for each photo/person/relationship being showcased in that particular month.

The cardstock you see underneath the photos is the piece that remained AFTER I had cut off the wide strips. For the measurement of the strip I just cut the full length by about 5inches I think it was...just lay the photo on the sheet & measure the space that is left on the side or bottom with about an inch on either side or above & beneath it. Once you have done your printing of the quote you can trim off a bit more if necessary.

Here are the colours I chose. I used a few sheets of Bazzill Swiss Dot {just because I love it so much} & some other nice textured card {a lineny one - can't remember where I got it originally}. I also made the mistake of using a metallic one...works fine unless you want to ink heavily like I did...the ink kept "sliding" off so I had to admit defeat & start again with a matt sheet...oh well you live & learn ;-D

Here are a few close-up shots of the cardstock strips matched up to the photographs.

Don't worry about what orientation the photographs are...just chose the shots you love...in fact the more variety the better in my opinion...I think I ended up with 8 vertical (Portrait) and 4 horizontal (Landscape). Of course the challenge came when it was time to print underneath the Landscape ones & I had to figure out how to get my printing to print from top to bottom instead of from side to side(due to the length of the strip being longer than the width of an A4 sheet)...but don't worry...it's easy once you figure it out...I'll show you!

Here are the bits I am left with...for printed journaling or making my own embellishments on the pc.

Once I had printed my photos, chosen my cardstock to match & cut the strips for the quotes to be printed on I needed to chose my quotes. This was fun but pretty time-consuming because it was important that they were appropriate. If you google "quotes" there are loads of sites. I found Inspiration Peak & Quote Mountain to be the best.

What I did was copied & pasted all the quotes that I thought I may use into a Word Document. Once I had done that I chose the most appropriate for each month & then copied & pasted it into it's own document. I kept all of these saved under our names...quote...etc - so that I can repeat this project if I want to at a later stage or perhaps use the quotes on layouts for example.

The way to print onto a cardstock strip is to print the quote onto bond/computer paper first then stick the cardstock piece over the EXACT place where the printing appears & feed it through the printer again. Sticky stuff/Prestik/Blue Tak is the stuff to use to adhere it to the printer paper & only 4 tiny dots are necessary - one per corner of the cardstock rectangular piece.

I will try to explain to you how to print the quotes within a "Text Box" within Word. My 11 year-old son taught me to do this would you believe...he learnt it at Computer Club at school! It really is invaluable to learn as it means that you will be able to set out your quote or journaling perfectly within the confines of your exact measurements.

Perhaps you all know how to do this already! I don't know...so I will try to explain it anyway...

I found that selecting a "Border" definitely helped me with the positioning of the cardstock on top & also provided a cutting line for me afterwards so no further measuring was necessary. The border doesn't show in the end if you cut on it, but if you did want it to show then you could of course cut around it, leaving a space of half an inch or whatever, even using decorative scissors if you like.

Don't forget the quote marks! Fortunately I only did that on the first one & Chelsea pointed it out so I just flipped it over & printed on the back of the cardstock...not ideal but Granny is not a scrapbooker so I don't think she'll even realise...I really need to download some more fonts. I am getting REALLY sick of Lucida Handwriting...nice as it is LOL!

To get to the Text Boxes click on "Insert" which you will see next to "Home" in the above photograph, then click on "Text Box" in the new toolbar that will appear when you click on "Insert".

Now select "Draw Text Box" in the drop-down menu that will appear if you hover the cursor over the arrow there next to "Text Box".

Now a little "thingie!" will appear on your screen {see below} and you need to click on the corners & stretch the little square to the size you want it.

You need to measure on your cardstock strip where you want your text to come up to on either side & where you want it to start & finish {from top to bottom} because remember you don't want it coming right to the edge of the cardstock strip. {Yes I see now my ruler could do with a good clean LOL!}

Okay so it looks like my strips were more like about 10cm {4inches} wide.

And I didn't trim down the length until afterwards to make it easier to feed through the printer. Once I adhered my cardstock strip on top of the printing on the printer paper strip I trimmed the bottom off so that both papers were the same length - as the strips were all slightly longer.

Once you have your text box done you can click on the SIDES {NOT the corners as that is how you adjust the measurements} and move your text box away from the edges to make life a bit easier when it comes to printing...and if you look at the top right {when you click on "Text Box Tools"- see the photo 4 photos up from this one to see where it appears on your toolbar} you will see that you can adjust the measurements of your text box to be perfect. I like to stretch my text box out first to roughly the right measurement - by eyeballing it - then adjust a bit in the measurement boxes on the right-hand side as this is quicker than creating the text box by scrolling higher or lower on these measurement boxes.

There are many handy "Text Box Tools" that you can play around with for wrapping your text around an image, filling your text box with colour, and giving it a decorative outline, etc, etc. Like all things computer related try it all out on cheap computer paper first - and select "Greyscale" when printing...so it all comes out in black & white & doesn't gobble your colour cartridge ink.

You can even choose a fancy shape as your text box. With a little knowledge there are countless creative options.

If you need your text to print from top to bottom as you see in the photo above, no problem! Just click "Text Direction" as seen below ;-D You will need to do this if you are putting your strip under Landscape orientation photos so your strip is horizontal, not vertical.

By clicking on "Shape Outline" as seen below you can get rid of the outline if you like {I often do} or make it thicker if it is decorative. If you are just requiring an outline to use as a cutting line remember to choose the thinnest option available to save on printer ink ;-D

You see the little square that is yellow in the photo below? This will change the way your text appears within the Test Box - click on all four options there alongside each other & chose the one you like the best.

Phew! The end at last!! Hopefully you are all able to create a Text Box now and format your journaling/quotes attractively within it. I love to hand-journal on my layouts but there is also a time & place for computer journaling & the end result sure looks impressive. My next post will show you the finished product once I matched the photos & cardstock to some of my older Basic Grey papers {remember Granny has NO IDEA what is hip & happening in the scrapbooking world so - as long as it matches - it's all good!}

Sunday, 20 September 2009

What you missed out on...and what I've been working on of late.

I finally took some photos of my RAK on Thursday night before I packed everything up into that infamous pizza box & got it all taped up for Cathy. Presently it is making it's way across country to her in Johannesburg.

Poor Cathy actually had to work darn hard for it but all her internet investigations paid off as she hunted down the right answers week after week for 3 weeks running...

Over the years I have collected an obscene amount of paper & in this last year I have become a lot more directional about what I like to use. I love Basic Grey but am giving Cathy 20 sheets from their older ranges.

Also included are 4 sheets of alpha rub-ons (2 are behind the two on show). I am no longer a great fan of rub-ons to be honest. They are too temperamental for my liking but I do get the occassional sheet these days, especially the pretty coloured ones, the smaller the sheet the better for me because once I have cut into them it's hard to keep them against the backing sheet without parts rubbing off inadvertantly.

I like to buy stamps but don't really get enough use out of them to see that trend continuing! Cathy gets 3 rubber stamps & 3 acrylic ones, 4 inks (love inking but hardly ever do purples or navy blue) & a tub of blue paint & some silver micro-beads - that craze was fun while it lasted ;-D 2 packs of beads that I used to love threading onto pins & pushing into foamcore behind photographs, and pouring into shaker boxes. Perhaps I'll do that again one day but believe me there are more beads where those came from - I have a box full of them!

10 packs of glitter & flocking...for all those Christmas decorations that I never get to make...and a little container full of chipboard pieces...and a bonus sheet of school-themed paper. Don't do themed paper any more.

Some sweet antiqued heart paper-clips & some Anna Griffin monotone photo corners. Too demure for me ;-D

And 2 large & 2 small packs of Petaloo flowers with glitter centres. Never been too spotty a person so this impulse buy just didn't feel at home in my stash. I now have a whole heap of Prima goodies on order & arriving in 2 weeks, courtesy of a friend currently visiting Australia. I loved doing the whole quiz thing & may do it again next year. I know how great it is to win something. I won my Shimelle Laine Journal Your Christmas class last year & it was so enjoyable that I'm doing a December Daily every year! Hope you enjoy the goodies Cathy. It's a great feeling rehoming things - I hate things languishing unused so may well keep up the raks in future.

Right now I have another interesting way to use up my old papers. I have been saving packaging for the last few months & passing it on to Chelsea, my teenage daughter. Ever desiring to earn her own money I have had her cutting up the cardboard into a few different "standard" measurements I gave her then covering these with printed paper, punching holes in one side, corner rounding the other & using circular rings to hold them together. Voila! Mini albums. For Free! Okay I have to pay her a little ;-D But she is pretty fast & she works on an hourly rate! I did buy the paper originally of course but no outlay has been necessary right now & I am getting together a little collection of mini-albums I intend filling & decorating relatively simply as Christmas gifts for extended family members.

Photographs of said mini-albums are to follow shortly...

As for the major project I have been working on last weekend & last week...it is all finished & you are going to get to see it this week! Tomorrow you will see the photos of it as a WIP (Work in Progress) then on Tuesday you will see the big reveal ;-D Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Mine was a comedy of errors & pretty awful...roll on the school holidays here...starting on Thursday!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

A Layout at Last!{ It's all Good...}

Here is my design team submission for the latest Journaling Junkie challenge. Below I have copied & pasted the challenge specifications for any of you who would like to participate. There is always a little something up for grabs, but only if there is enough participation - so the more you involve yourself reqularly the more you increase the chance of it being viable to give those prizes away. Journaling Junkie is a challenge site not a manufacturer or kit club so your support would be greatly appreciated by us all there & the upside for you is that you will slowly compile {if you participate in each fortnightly challenge} a cool album full of insight. Just think...a 20 page album would take you just shy of a year (10 months) now that is achievable right? And you wouldn't even feel like you were slogging at it...it would just "sommer" come together as the year rolled on. A resolution for 2010 perhaps...come on! Join us will ya?

Challenge 65.
To document those little moments making up an ordinary day.
Snippets, special moments, ordinary routine.
This challenge closes on the 29th of September midnight GMT- Please leave a comment with the link to your URL or email me eyeore at telkomsa dot net

Here is the {blurry...sorry...} title. I used a real badge that I pulled the safety pin out of (long nose pliers work a treat). I filled the indentation at the back with a piece of 3D board (foamcore) so that I could adhere the badge easily. I did some zigzag hand-stitching at the top & layered the badge over a strip of crumpled & inked cardstock that I stapled on with some coloured staples.

The backing paper is Prima "Her Prerogative" from the Steel Toe Mary Jane Collection. The Harlequin paper underneath the photo is Jenni Bowlin "Navy Harlequin" inked with red. The cherries that I hand-cut are from Jenni Bowlin (Cherries) Clothesline & I "dimensionally glazed" them with Ranger, er, stuff... The brown currogated card is board I save every week from the packaging that comes around a 6 pack of Long-Life milk (if you must know LOL!) I inked it with Chestnut Roan & Dark Brown. The decorative paperclip is old Making Memories (too beautiful - love these & wish I could find more...) & the red tag is from the Making Memories Passport Collection. The jute string I took off a "Hang Ten" (Clothing brand here...) tag from some trackpants Chelsea bought recently. {I separated the strands to splay them out & stretched a small glue dot under each set of strands to hold them in place a bit}. There is also a strip of checked My Mind's Eye paper in there {scalloped with my Threading Water Punch) just under the bottom right photo that I needed there to balance out the title at the top. The yellow vellum has been part of my stash for, like, forever man...

Title is "It's all Good"

Journaling reads:- "To me the best times are the ordinary ones when we are all together as a family. Even when we are each "doing our own thing" at home I am happy just knowing that my four little chicks are all under one roof, relaxed & content. Providing our kids with a stable home in which to grow & flourish is, to us, the meaning behind our lives. 2009"

I had too much to say to be able to hand journal in the space on the tag so I decided to print my journaling for a change {haven't done it in a while but did TONS of it last weekend for my mystery project I am working on so was kinda on a roll...} & the vellum thing was just to add some interest & texture, same goes for the tearing & hand-stitching.

I love Picasa Collages for times like these when you want to portray a "mood" & need several shots to tell the story. They are a great way to squeeze 5 reasonably sized photos effortlessly onto a single layout & STILL have plenty of room for a title, journaling & embellishments, etc...

Still 12 days left for the challenge so think about giving it a go ;-D

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Photo Editing & Printing for June/July/August 2009

I have a lot of photos to scrap & am one of those scrappers that likes breathing space on my layouts...so as a result I am always "behind". I don't mind...I know I will get there eventually so I just keep chipping away at the old block ;-D I also like to scrap what I want when I want, and I don't have a problem with that either.

Most of my albums are chronologically sorted eventually, but are not necessarily scrapped in that order. I'm happy with that too {just wish I could afford to change over to D ring albums rather than the post ones because I DO hate having to add in the pages every few months {you know the schlep it is re-sorting them all, unscrewing, etc, etc...

Right now one of the missions I am on is to get my photo folders {on my pc} sorted. To me that means:-

1) Deleting "no good" shots

2) Editing the ones I am keeping {& I like to edit extensively}although occassionally I get shots good enough to require very little done.

3) Then actually PRINTING out the photos...Yup, I like to actually HAVE THEM IN MY HANDS...not just on the pc. I find psychologically this is better for me as it keeps me motivated actually SEEING the piles grow...

Although this task is a bit of a nightmare I am also loving it...Just look at the excitement on Cami's face as she cuts into her 9th birthday cake! You can just see that that is a REAL expression not a posed shot...LOVE it...A couple of years ago I had been "taught" the way to do it was to take enough photos for a double page (6-8 were usually required) but since I've been doing things MY way I prefer to take a few & chose a couple. I have 2 great birthday shots this year & plan on creating a nice single page layout. "Why make things more complicated than they need to be?" as Ali says???

I find that the pictures of Camryn looking less pretty are actually the ones that really capture "her look" IUKWIM???!!! This is being enlarged for a single layout using one photo. This photo typifies her quintessential look at 9 so no need for tons of photos...

Now trying to cut down the photos I take of this one is not as hard as it is with Cam...in fact it is not even necessary LOL! I am lucky if I am ever allowed anywhere near him with a camera in hand so take whatever opportunity I get. If you look at the background here you will see that this shot was taken at ABSA stadium at the rugby (British & Irish Lions match - see all the Lions supporters in the background). Teenage sons typically hate cameras so my advice is to always have one to hand & every so often become a nuisance until you get a smile{okay that would be impossible}...well until you get "a look" at least!

When you have kids young enough to actually enjoy having their photo taken use the opportunity to take A LOT of photos to get the perfect one...just remember to be ruthless in your selection & delete anything other than best, or you're going to need another lifetime to scrap them all! Also use every opportunity. I seldom have time to schedule dedicated photo shoots but once as month take these 2 out on "a date" {usually movies & pizza} & part of "the deal" is a quickie photo-shoot in front of the bouganvillea on the way to the car! It never takes more than 5 minutes.

The night Chelsea had her Senior Dance I took the most rubbish photos EVER. My DSLR was in for repair {it had to be so had no choice in the matter & it had to go to Joburg so took 2 weeks}. My handbag camera (Panasonic Lumix) flash is broken{still trying to find someone to repair it here as THEY can't...}but I had to use it...it was that or nothing! Couple that predicament with a house full of teenagers all wanting me to leave them alone & you do not have the perfect environment for great shots. All those excuses aside, I had to switch the photos to sepia & edit them to oblivion. My saving grace was a professional photographer at the event so I had no choice but to pay through the nose for a dozen decent photographs of her & her friends "in situ". I don't mind as these events don't come around often ;-D

And finally here is the kind of photo I yearn for more of. Totally unedited. Not even cropped. At least I can get it right occasionally...hopefully as the years go by this will happen more & more often 'cos heck I do try!!!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Did you know? {Art in Life}

That I am crazy about gardening? When I last owned a house {in Zimbabwe nearly 4 years ago} {I still own the house but that's another story...}I landscaped a one-acre plot from scratch, that had a brook running through it that had to be diverted to run down the side of our property instead of through the middle of the house we were building. No earth-moving machinery mind you - just a host of dedicated Shonas all working for bread if they were lucky enough to find any. The garden of the property we now rent here leaves a lot to be desired but I still do "the best I can with what I have" once a week with the help of a labourer {I am loathe to call them "gardeners" as often the way they handle plants leads me to believe that they couldn't care less if they lived or died!}

We have quite a DVD collection. We often have "DVD nights" & watch certain movies like "Music & Lyrics", "The Holiday" & "Mamma Mia" over & over again & still laugh like crazy people! A few years ago I gave away all our videos, much to the entire family's horror {DH will hang onto ANYTHING, even if it doesn't work...} but we really needed to "get with the program" as I'm not even sure that you can BUY video machines anymore...

I have always loved turquoise jewellery - made stranger by the fact that I am not mad on turquoise clothes. I hang my jewellery on our bedroom cupboard handles so that it is easily accessible & doesn't get tangled up, as well as because I get to enjoy seeing it there rather than packed away in a drawer.

I have always wanted to learn to bead but forced myself not to, because if I started I know I would never stop & "bang" would go more scrapping time...

I also have a strange attraction to trivets...can't explain that one...well, I'll give it a go...I think it's the ornate designs???

And I LOVE clocks...in fact I have decided that, when we buy a house {dreaming here...} that I am going to start a clock collection & hang them all on one wall...strange but cool...

I REALLY love Shona sculpture. A LOT. I only wish I had collected more of it. And that so much of mine hadn't fallen victim to football abuse over the years...

I'm crazy about boxes. I think it's due to the fact that they are both decorative AND functional. I feel less guilty investing in utilitarian art perhaps? This box is from Sweden & carved somewhere in the mountains there {It came with a little printed "speel" on a card inside it} but I bought it in Zimbabwe {there were quite a few nice little shops there years ago in people's homes - all with goodies the owners had imported themselves so a really "mixed bag"}.

It sits on the counter between our dining-room & lounge & contains tea-light candles & matches, a room spray {Berry & Vanilla are my favourite scents} & a chain & padlock for our front-gate as there are occassions when the gate breaks down temporarily {it's electric/automated like most gates in South Africa}.

So there you have it - a bit about my life & the art that lies within it. Now I'd love to hear from you...

What do you treasure?