Thursday, 28 January 2010

2010 - The Year of the Makeover!

DH & I have decided that 2010 is the year of the makeover for us both!
We have changed Medical Insurance Schemes in order to benefit from the healthy lifestyle incentives that our current {new} medical aid offers. Hubs is running every morning with various different permutations of children {depending on who is feeling up to it!} - I haven't joined them yet as I'm only capable of staggering around first thing in the morning but I have started on a low cal/low fat/low GI diet & lost 8kg's so far! (1 kg per week). Due to our circumstances over the last few years we haven't been in a position to prioritise our health & outward appearances so 5 years into our journey here in South Africa we have agreed that now is the time...

We have been visiting a very skilled dermatologist here {world-renowned actually - South Africa, and our province in particular, boasts some of the finest aesthetic medical specialists in the world believe it or it's high time we benefited a bit ;-D} Hubs has this disorder & has so far only had one IPL treatment & is scheduled for another 3. The result so far has been amazing - a really visible difference. I had my first dose of this the other day & it was rather unpleasant but - again - the results are phenomenal. Each area has to be treated 3-4 times so I am in for quite a long haul but if I want to be able to wear shorts {which I do as this climate is incredibly humid for 2 - 4 months of the year} then ND Yag Laser is the only way to go. I also had my first {of 8} treatments of this & again the results were & are still totally amazing. Microdermabrasion is totally fact I thought that my treatment was just the preparation & there was more to come...then I was told it was over! So no sweat here - really....

I went into all this rather sceptical as I don't even go to the salon/spa regularly here due to the cost factor & because I've never been convinced of a visible difference when I've had a treatment. This dermatological stuff is incredible though - it has waaaaaaaaaay surpassed my expectations & I am looking forward to improving my appearance monthly!
I'm not interested in doing anything unnatural or pumping toxin into my body but I am keen on doing my best to get rid of my spider veins {on my legs - due to 4 pregnancies} & my uneven skintone {due to the hormonal changes that go hand in hand with 4 pregnancies} & considering that my eldest will be 17 this year it certainly isn't a day too soon!!!

Every so often I'll be sharing our journey to health & vitality here with you & letting you in on my discoveries along the way. In the past I have bought all sorts of creams that claim to even out skintone - none of them did - my dermatologist sold me this & it's worth every penny let me tell you...I can see the changes daily! {Good news too is that it's no more expensive here} So if you also have uneven skintone as a result of hormone changes, sun exposure or just plain age then this is the stuff!!! The reason I want to get an even skintone is so that I don't always have to wear foundation/base as it's a terrible feeling in summer in this hot & sticky climate & I'd much rather go make-up free - roll on next summer!

If only we could all look like this we'd have no worries!

Our "Golden Girl" enjoying her 398 234 swim of the day!!!

Those ectomorph genes certainly come from the other side of the family ;-D

She is currently fighting a raging temperature ;-( She spends so much time out in the sunshine that I'm wondering if it's just a touch of sunstroke. She has a beautiful olive skin that none of us have that tans instantly without ever burning so it's difficult to tell. Of course I'm hoping it's only a 24 hour thing & that she'll wake up healthy again tomorrow...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Journaling Junkie mid December 2009 {Challenge 71} Layout

I think I'm right in saying that I haven't "published" any of my Journaling Junkie layouts since around May of last year - which would make me a good 6 months behind on that one! Hmmm...can't say why really...I hate to think of myself as disorganised so let's call it time-strapped rather shall we?! As I can't show you anything new at the moment as this *&@^#%$ computer has turned adolescent on me, I'll use the opportunity to play a bit of catch up with what I have loaded already ;-D

You can hop over to the Journaling Junkie blog to read about the challenge here. I used product mostly from my Cocoa Daisy November 2009 kit "Autumn Glow" that you can find here. The beautiful K & Co. Que Sera Sera Stitched adornments & Prima bling centres all came from this amazing add-on kit "Pumpkin Latte"! I went so crazy for this kit range that I also got myself the "Spiced Cider" add-on too - full of K & Co. {one of my vintage faves}, Cosmo Cricket Earth Love& K I Memories glittered goodness!!!

I mixed Pink Paislee & Making Memories alphas & the green Prima packaging as my journaling block {btw I LOVE how almost EVERYONE has used that green packaging on their layouts recently} - I bet Prima are's just so appealing that I remember using it on other layouts well before I saw it on anyone else's layouts on the internet - looks like we all had the same idea at the same time - amazing really!

That gorgeous gathered velvet ribbon is from Maya Road.

I actually clear-stickled that whole torn strip down the side there but it doesn't twinkle in the photo...sigh...;-(

Just in case you didn't see the "journey" sentiment on the stitched tag the title is:- JOURNEY TO CHRISTMAS 2009 & the journaling reads:- I do my best to trim the tree & decorate our home as early in December as possible even tho' the kids are still in school. Chelsea is not a very willing helper but does a great job nonetheless & dear Cami gets absolutely giddy with excitement!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

My ( not so) Guilty Pleasures...

Fortunately I don't feel guilty about enjoying life. Sometimes others try to induce guilt but quite honestly I think we should all enjoy the short time God has given us here on this earth, so no guilt for me, as long as I'm not up to anything norty!

I've been catching up with some of the blogs I follow & it seems that we scrapper/bloggers have so much in common. I could relate to almost every guilty pleasure! So here's what comes to mind for me...

1) I love cappucino. Even on my new Low GI diet I am indulging in a cappucino a day {and losing over a kg a week...} Some people are on the cappucino wagon because it's fashionable these days but I've been on it for as long as I can remember, way before it became "de riguer". These days I usually only get to enjoy it at home {Nestle's Unsweetened for me} & a trick I've discovered since dieting:- Pour out the powder {it comes in individual sachets} into 2 mugs {so that each mug gets a bit of coffee & a bit of milk-powder} so you have to shimmy a bit between the two...and voila! You can have TWO diet-cappucinos a day...not quite as decadent as having a whole sachet each time but still a very acceptable diet-fix!

For the best skinny cappucino in town - try Kauai {my new 2010 hang-out} - so foamy!

2) I like to stay up late & sleep in. Okay sometimes I DO actually feel guilty about this, but I talk myself out of it pretty quickly, after all, who cares? I get all my work done, just at odd hours! And I love the peace that comes with nightfall...I've also had many years of waking up all through the night for babies & rising really early with little now I'm happy to indulge my rather socially unacceptable habit when DH is able to take over the school run. I never get more than 8 hours sleep so it's all the same really...

3) I love the pc & in particular the internet. BTW did you know that the first ever Internet Rehab Facility has recently begun operating in the States? Perhaps we should hold a convention there? ;-D Seriously though, I don't feel guilty about this fact either, since I only logged on for the first time just over a year ago! I reckon I have a looooooooooooooooooot of catching up to do...

4) I spend money on scrapbooking supplies...but when I look at the measly amount I usually end up with {when shopping locally as all the prices end up double what you pay in the States} that assuages my guilt pretty also occasionally induces an "obligation to my stash" attack...which results in a frenzy of scrappy activity & a bunch of new layouts - so you see, it ain't all bad ;-D

5) I read trashy mags. This one doesn't generally go down too well with others so it's not something I readily admit, but seeing as I've read that quite a few of you do the same, I'm outing myself here! I keep threatening to give up HEAT & did so once for months, but decided that it was a pretty cheap fix to keep me happy for an evening, considering I don't enjoy watching TV. I also love NOW & REVEAL, both English "tabloid" mags but not too trashy really, lots of trend tips, etc in there too...and I have successfully weaned myself off People, You, Hello & OK, so progress is being made steps...

I think 5 should do it for now! Cappucino, late-nights, the internet, scrappy stash, could be worse I suppose...

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Back in Business!!! {But what comes Next?}

Phew! What a long 16 off the internet...finally made a temporary plan to get back on last night but still have no permanent solution & my internet provider is as foxed as I am as to the I just don't know where to go from here & am not even thinking that far ahead...for the weekend I am just happy to be back!

Here is the looooooooong story condensed - no need to read it unless you have had your own problems & you are like me & want to get to the bottom of things & understand why & how these things happen!

1. Router started "clicking" +-3 weeks ago & as a result internet access came & went {sometimes we could connect, other times we couldn't, other times we lost the connection midway}= FAULTY ROUTER

2. Spent approximately one week trying to procure a new router from our internet provider, getting given different information entirely during each {about 3} phone call & on each different visit {to 2 different branches}. Eventually bought a new router & upgraded our account to 5 gigs {sick of running out on our 2 gig contract & having to top up - although this only kicks in at the beginning of the next month} DID YOU KNOW? That the 5GB package comes with a delivery speed of 4096kbps as opposed to 384kbps {in other words is 11 times FASTER}...I had NO wonder our internet is soooooooooooooooo slow...

3. Installed new router which promptly uninstalled itself {despite following the step-by-step with our internet provider} which apparently CAN happen??? Repeated entire process again...

4. Despite installing a fancy new router we were STILL experiencing the signal dropping... sometimes we could connect to the internet, sometimes not at all, and sometimes we lost the connection once connected.

5. We phoned our internet provider AGAIN who diagnosed the problem on the phone as they could see on their equipment that the strength of our internet connection kept dropping...we were told that now we had a LINE FAULT...{no jokes...} so we were required to request a technician to come out to our home & have a look at the connection point {phone jack}

6. 3 days later said technician arrived {unannounced despite us having given my cell no. & having requested that they please phone beforehand to ensure that I was here}. {Fortunately I WAS here...} He tested the jack in our bedroom {where the router is situated} & told me that was dropping the signal constantly {usually a sign that it is sitting in water apparently}...{quite possible in this ramshackle rented home we have the misfortune of living in - although not for much longer Thank Goodness}.

Yay! methinks...problem diagnosed = problem solved. No such luck! He takes a look at the jack & tells me that it is not one used by the internet provider {I confirm this with DH over the phone as if it was we would be paying a R14 rental on it per month & we aren't}. DH confirms that the jack was installed by "a cable guy" when we moved in {DH just asked our IT man (the idiot who I'll no longer have within a 50m radius of my pc) to do whatever was required to get our 2 pcs connected in our chosen spots within our home & he called in said cable guy to do the wiring - who never even told us that we had a couple of options - going the private route or using our internet provider to do the job}.

The technician told me that he isn't authorised to fix the wiring because it wasn't his company {our network provider} who installed it - therefore we need to call in "the cable guy" to rewire {I suspect the cable has been eaten through by a rat & is no longer insulated therefore water is able to get into the cable}. Technician leaves...having totally disconnected the bedroom jack where the router was plugged in & not reassembled it so now, instead of having a dropping signal, we have absolutely ZERO signal as we can't even plug the freaking router in at all!!!!


7. Time for a meeting - DH & I put our knuckle-heads together to think of a Plan B. Our options were :-

a) Call "the cable guy" in at {most probably} vast expense to redo all the cabling {which is most probably shot (buggered...for want of a better word lol)

b) Buy a booster {to strengthen the signal from the router - which now has to come from the original jack in the kitchen} {of all places - where it was already when we first moved in} or

c) Book our internet provider to come & replace the wiring & phone jack, which could take up to 10 days & would thereafter add R14 to the phone-bill every month {soon not to be our phone bill as we are moving house shortly}, & our landlord being as petty as he is he would probably veto it!

8. Decisions, decisions...we decide against plan

a) because spending a lot of money installing something that we are only going to use for a few months would be stoooooooopid. We decide against plan

b) because buying a booster isn't cheap either & in our new house wouldn't be necessary so again we would be spending a lot on a temporary arrangement, which apparently still needs to be wired up as opposed to plugged in in any case... We decide against plan

c) because we can't be bothered with the endless procrastination that we know will go along with our landlord deciding on whether or not he is happy to add R14 a month (less than $2) to his phonebill - and also because we don't want to wait up to 10 days when we have already been offline for more than 10 days!!!

9. Now what?!?

We decided to TRY plugging the router in to the original phoneline in the kitchen {which only requires buying a cheap "splitter" to create 2 plugs instead of the original one} & seeing if there is sufficient signal strength to reach the pcs - through walls, etc - at a distance greater than the capacity of the router - we figure...we're so bored now that we have no online lives anymore what's there to lose lol!?! Bingo! signal! - yet again varied - from low to excellent depending on...who knows what {walls expanding?!? lol} so we try to connect. DH had complete success on his pc. I had NO SUCCESS on my pc at all. They are 6 metres apart...explanation please anyone IT educated!

Why not? I have no idea. He has no idea either!!!

10. DAY 13 - I returned the pc to the computer shop {where BTW I had sent it during all this rigmarole (seeing as I couldn't be online anyway) for a full upgrade - in order to make it faster (more RAM) & bigger {a new hard-drive} - where, of course, Sod's law, it connected to the internet instantly & loaded speedily. The IT "experts" there (both of whom look close to 19...) had NO IDEA why I could not log on at home although they did attempt to throw some hair-brained "James Bond" type scenarios our way (like someone has stolen our IP address, etc...) so I told them to grow up & stop reading crime novels {no, not really...} then I left.

10. We scratch our heads for a couple of days, now completely stumped. I, at this stage, am beyond consolation, totally unmotivated as I now feel destined for a life without technology. Unable to blog on Dh's pc {because none of my settings are in place & he uses programs that are completely unfamiliar to me including a different browser, search engine, keypad, mouse, etc} I give up & go shopping instead...{find a nice new blouse, some new underwear at La Senza & some pretty scrappy goodies}. Dh decides we need to bite the bullet & call in a technician to our home {very expensive here & the last one we used was hopeless & unreliable so we don't know anyone & would have to look in the newspaper & get someone totally unrecommended who could turn out to be a serial killer (well you never know...anything is possible here...). I agree, figuring that life isn't really worth living without my pc anyway so I'm willing to risk it to get my blog (& yours) back!

11. DAY 16 - Sitting here, wondering who to call {last night} & what solution they could possibly come up with {having run a full scan overnight to eradicate any possible obstacles - senseless as it seems as my pc was working like a dream when I took it into the computer shop} I decided to give our internet provider ANOTHER call. Explaining my peculiar circumstances I spend a fortune (on my cellphone because we no longer have anywhere to plug the hands-free phone into now that we have had to relocate the router to the kitchen & I have to be sitting in front of my pc in order to follow the technician's directions) going through every single network setting on my pc at the prompting of the technician on the other side of the phone, to check if SOMEHOW the IT man who transferred all my info, programs, etc, onto my new hard-drive, had changed a vital setting or got something, somewhere, messed up...

Nicks...nada...all fine...but no internet! {insert overwhelming desire to punch monitor here}***

12. Internet provider technician has last resort plan b. Insert all settings manually as they are not working automatically. Add desktop shortcut {internet provider icon} & click & connect manually each & every time I log on. I am back in the stone-age on dial-up! Despite this not being a permanent solution I jump up & down for joy {not really...just in my mind...remember my feet are killing me because I've been shopping for hours} BUT I want to know WHY. WHY did this happen? HOW did this happen? All he can think of is it must have something to do with the upgrade & transferring of data & perhaps an automatic update on Kaspersky (my anti-virus software) as my pc WILL NOT allow an automatic connection to the internet.

13. B{log} in & write this post - then decide to let it stew overnight while I catch up with my bloggy friends.

LAST NIGHT I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT & STILL DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO READ EVERYTHING I WANTED TO CATCH UP ON! Good thing it's Saturday today so I could sleep in as I had an afternoon appointment today.

I have never experienced such a bizarre set of circumstances coming upon me simultaneously so if anyone has made it to the bottom of this epic explanation & has any idea WHAT COMES NEXT please let me know! I need a permanent solution!!

I can't continue logging on manually every time I want to go online & I didn't think to change profiles & repeat the process again in Chelsea & Jack's profiles {& give them a desktop shortcut too} so now they are having to work on MY PROFILE & I HATE THAT...For now {unless anyone has any brainwave ideas} I'm just going to put up with it for a few months, until we move house, then call in our Internet Provider, or even a private technician, to try to solve the problem then, although if they were both unable to solve it now perhaps it is just an unsolvable mystery!

Friday, 15 January 2010

In case you thought I may have died...

Since last Friday I have had practically no internet access due to a faulty router. It started clucking like a chicken {and as it lives on my bedside table I found that a tad frustrating...} but if I clicked continuously on Firefox for about an hour a day I got 15 minutes on the internet every 3 days or so if I was lucky!

After 2 completely contradictory conversations with our dear internet provider here in South Africa {the one with the monopoly} & one waste of time trip, 4th time lucky this afternoon we got a snazzy new router & set it all up only to discover that my week of practically zero capability was NOT OVER {insert scream here...} My pc is oblivious to the fact that it has a willing new friend & facilitator & refuses to do anything except allow me to enjoy my view of the Eiffel Tower {my January desktop}!!!

I'll refrain from detailing what happened next as I need to go to bed now & would rather not relive the nightmare..suffice to say the tower is now at the front door ready & waiting for it's surgery tomorrow. Here I sit at the worst machine I have ever had the misfortune to meet, just to let you all know that I am not dead! Nothing is familiar to me here, Firefox is Internet Explorer, Google is Yahoo, even my own blog doesn't know me & wants a password {my other "launching pad" blog}...the cheek of it!

If it were possible for me to do what I do here I would, but with no PSE & Picasa, none of My Pictures etc, it just isn't. I would love to bloghop but even this keypad & mouse are from a bygone era. All I dare say about the monitor is we could perhaps recycle it as an aquarium at a later stage. DH has a state-of-the-art computer at work & uses this one to read the news... It's only other purpose is to hopefully add to our retirement fund at the next antiques fair.

I can assure you that SOMEHOW I will catch up on my visits & comments whenever that great day comes & my pc can actually function like a normal techno being. Until then I can't even work on the sketches & challenges I had all ready & saved for January {already missed the 4 I had decided to do for the 15th} because my scrappy schedule, complete with cut & paste specifications & challenge deadlines, sketch images, etc is sitting comfortably in my Word program{insert several screams here...}! So much for New Year's Resolutions - life always has a habit of getting in the way & making some of our plans impossible to achieve!

Despite all that some very good things have happened this week too. We have signed & sealed our house deal & the legal process is now in motion. We have a +- 9 week wait for the process to be completed so we have all the time we need to prepare. Thereafter I will be there every day for a month {as I'm not allowed to start any additions until the transfer is finalised} to customise our home to suit our needs. All in all it will be about 13 weeks before we can take occupation & I'm fine with that. Of course we're all dying to get in there but we need to spring-clean, decide on what to keep {we're upgrading but downsizing if that makes any sense!?} & pack. I never get the packers in {too much of a control freak lol}...

The kids went back to school on Wednesday} & all +-100 of their books & files are covered in paper & plastic {a marathon exercise} & our bank account is seriously depleted {after buying all their stationery requirements for the year!} So even though I'm sans technology {my cell phone is also dying a slow, undignified death} all our other plans are really taking shape ;-D

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Finally! {It's happened...}

4 years after relocating to Kwa-Zulu Natal we are the proud owners of a very beautiful home - having most probably viewed every property on the market in our neighbourhood in the last 4 months! We've spent almost every Sunday afternoon looking at show houses only to be disappointed by the grotty state of most of them & their inflated prices. We found 2 suitable homes but both of them were slightly above what we could afford & needed ongoing renovations that we would have to do over many years. The situation didn't look hopeful...

We spent this last Sunday afternoon at Sibaya utilizing some free vouchers we had been given so only started looking for "On Show" signs half an hour before closing time. We stopped at a couple that weren't worth getting out of the car for then decided to head home our usual route. We saw a new sign {most show houses here are the same week after week} & decided to take a quick look so that at least we would have walked into ONE for the week! Prices are never advertised on the boards so you have to enquire once inside but from my initial impression when I first walk in I can usually quickly determine what the asking price is. DH & I both presumed it would be out of our league only to discover that the house was priced significantly lower than the norm for what it was. {We later discovered that this was due to the owner's circumstances}

It's a touch on the small side but we plan to overcome that by installing more storage. Apart from that it's everything we could wish for & more! We put in our offer almost immediately & after some minor tussling it's all ours! Funny thing is I still keep slowing down when I drive past "For Sale" signs & yesterday grabbed a copy of the latest "Property Mag" only to remember that I didn't need a house anymore! It's going to take a while to get our storage installed but we have a lease to complete so we have the time to get it all done before moving in. The thought of the actual move is dreadful {the packing up & organisation to get the phone, ADSL line, etc disconnected & reconnected, etc} but I know the view will make it all worthwhile...{ she says... not kidding}...

Friday, 8 January 2010

I promised you...

The photos of my layout using the other colourway of the My Mind's Eye Ooh La La! paper so here they are. I only did one layout with this colourway {not 2 like I did for the other one} because we were away & I didn't have any more suitable photos. Hope to get one done this month to use up the paper. I really want to try to get through my kits/prizes/stash in that order {ie:- from best to worst...not that I would ever own anything too gross lol...}
this year - one of several scrappy resolutions {will share the rest soon}.

I based my layout on Sketch 52 from 52 Weeks...52 Sketches below {rotated to the right obviously!} I'm totally over my "thing" with sketches. I used to think using one was "cheating" because I am quite capable of NOT using one, until I realised that just because I sometimes buy convenience food it doesn't mean I can't cook! I am a very busy person so at times I am going to use a sketch so there...

The line came with a sheet of die-cuts so I used a number of them on the layout & raised some of them for dimension {like the bracket shape the title "Jack" is on}. I inked quite heavily with grey & butternut & added some loose bling adhered with glue-dots to give the title a bit more impact. The alphas are Doodlebug & were initially white. I often buy white letter stickers & recolour them myself with my inkpads {tip* SAVE a sticker sheet - the BACK of one of your alpha letter sheets - when you have finished using up the stickers - & use it to transfer the alphas onto temporarily while you recolour them - that way they won't stick until you are ready for them to}.

This paper has a school-feel to it because of the lines - which made it simple for me to hand-journal quite extensively {I had no access to a pc while we were away or I probably would have computer journaled in keeping with the formal theme} but at least now Jack has a hand-written "note" from me! I cut out the design behind the photo by hand - it was one of the elements on the patterned paper. I often do this if I find a print too overwhelming to be used in it's entirity.

I double-matted the photo for a more formal feel & raised the matted photo up on some foamcore.

I've taken some close-up shots of the journaling but blotted out the details for know "the internet is full of weirdos" {according to all non-bloggers anyway lol...}

I enjoyed creating the little cluster {collage} of embellishment's below - all die-cuts from the sheet supplied - bar the bling crystal & the recoloured date numbers. I inked the tickets in dark brown & chestnut roan for an antique look.

I specifically did not ink the large cut-out behind the matted photo - for the sake of clarity & simplicity as it is already a busy image.

I also won these Pink Paislee Amber Road papers here in November but only received them a month later {that's how long the post takes from the US}. I really liked this line "online" but when it arrived I realised it was Fall-themed, & as we have no Fall to speak of here I used the reverse of a number of the papers, which were very suited to a masculine layout. I used this sketch from What's Old is New but didn't get to entering any of these layouts in the challenges because of the craziness that preceeds Christmas. No matter...

I wasn't crazy about the sketch but the martyr in me often makes me take a risk to keep me on the edge of my comfort zone. I decided on a distressed layout because a slick one looked like it would be too unchallenging lol! I used a metal edge {top left} that I had previously soaked in pool acid {I have a small container of them - presoaked ;-D} The acid does a marvellous job eating away at the shiny finish & IMO as long as you thoroughly rinse it afterwards it's fine on your pages - provided as it's not actually directly ON your photo}.

I think the tearing looks very effective against the black background & echoes Jack's outfit. I blotted out a detail there on my journaling {on the photo} - no that black splodge is not on my actual layout! I used T!ms film-tape down the side's there {look on the left-hand side of the photos below} BTW you get a good view of the acid-washed metal corner there too I see...I used White Glitter Thickers {AC} & the gold "underlining" is actually the "I" from a set of locally available "no-name brand" alphas.

I wanted the title to be "Incredibly Handsome" but you know what it's like with these poxy alphas - you never have enough vowels...ever!

The flowers are Prima - as are the jewelled centres & the key is from Making Memories {awesome} Vintage Findings Collection.

I sanded the photo because it was printed by the school on high-gloss {no thank you} & we weren't given a choice of what finish we would prefer & it was GLARING OUT at me on the layout & I couldn't stand it. I also sanded the red mat around the photo. I inked the pale green printed paper with dark brown to grunge it up as it was a bit pepperminty against it's counterparts. Please do not listen to anyone who tells you you can't use flowers & bling on a masculine layout - you totally CAN...

Looking at it it needed an extra "something" so I channeled my inner Iris & managed to tweezer in {& adhere underneath with the help of a wooden rub-on stick} a couple of offcuts of mesh. Voila! You can see it in the photo below...It's not meant to be straight/parallel btw...notice how it echoes the design on the patterned paper below.

Phew! - that's me for the week - enjoy your weekend everyone & tune in again on Monday. I have a busy weekend planned & hope to fit some creating in aswell!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Pom Pom Flower Tutorial

I found this tutorial online & thought it was really cute. Cute enough to share with you *wink*... 2010 is definitely going to be the year of hand-made embellies & there are always so many lovely spins on the flower theme. I am wanting to build up a library of tutorials here on my blog, for me {& you} to find easily when we need be.

I have them labeled down my sidebar as "tutorials"{ I need to work on those labels...have only just discovered them & how to utilize them so not sure how to re-reference all my past posts with the correct labels without losing all my comments & having to republish & drive all your Google Readers into overdrive ***if anyone has any bright ideas on how I can do this please shout ***}


1. Cut a strip of patterned paper approximately 12 inches by 2 inches.
(12 by 1 would make a smaller flower, 12 by 3 would make a larger flower, etc.)


2. Fold the strip of paper in half lengthwise.


3. Using your scissors cut fringe strips into the folded paper.


4. Continue to cut fringe through the entire length of the folded paper.


5. Using your fingers, bend and shape the fringe strips in various directions.


6. Next, add your adhesive along the length of the paper near the fold.


7. Begin rolling the adhesive-prepped paper lengthwise from one end to the other.


8. Continue rolling the paper lengthwise until you reach the other end. (I then added more adhesive on that end for extra stability).


9. Now you can begin to shape your flower! I used my thumb to "smoosh" the fringe petals down.


10. Here's the completed flower.


11. Next, embellish your cute pom-pom flower however you wish!
I chose to ink my fringe petals up a bit with coordinating distress ink & added some crystal Stickles to the petal tips for some extra sparkle.


Totally FAB imo!!!

Urgent! Read this first...

While busy sorting out my Cocoa Daisy subscription just now {yup - rather late this month!} I saw that Iris's Prima Kit Special is about to expire {tomorrow} so, with the Phillipines being 6 hours ahead of us here in Durban, I am sending out an SOS to all scrappers resident in South Africa....Anyone want to join me in ordering this beautiful kit & sharing postage?

LATEST so that I can rush over there & book & pay before this offer expires.

Here is the inventory & price &
all proceeds are going to World Vision:-

1 sheet Paradise City paper
1 pc. SIIP Swirl: burgundy
Lace: 1/2 yard (18 inches)
Lace: 1/2 yard (18 inches)
1 pack ( 6pcs.) Homespun Elegance Vintage flowers
1 set Times Chipboard alphas-white-small
1 pack (10 pcs) Raja centers: mixed bag

Total Kit Value : US$16.12

Special Kit Price: US$13.50 plus shipping

You get a discount on the Prima materials, free layout step-by-step instructions, AND you get to help a good cause.

You will be able to collect your kit from me or my hubby's workplace or I can send it on to you via Speed Services for an additional R80 {includes padded envelope}.

Price for locals collecting will be R164, which will include your share of the postage.

So far I have 2 people joining me so I am looking for another 3. If you want IN please leave me a comment letting me know that you will be e mailing me asap. Thanks!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Just ignore the title of this song...

And watch the video's amazing creative genius meets 2010 technology. Guaranteed to raise you out of the post-holiday slump!

OK Go - WTF? from OK Go on Vimeo.

So...watchya thinking? Makes me wish I could "find" my scrappy desk {piled high with supplies that need putting away...} & pull out the paints!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Oooh La La! {Layouts at Last!!!}

When we went away before Christmas I selected some stash to take with me & found I had quite a bit of time to scrapbook while the kids & DH were out participating in more extreme sports!
I won the whole range of My Mind's Eye "Ooh La La!" papers in 2 colourways over at Scrappy Times last year. You can find their blog here & it's worth adding to your Challenge Blog list - the prizes are awesome - I got a whole USPS flatrate box to myself! The papers I received aren't available locally so it was great to get some "impossible-to-buy" stash.

I used this sketch & followed this challenge but with the flurry of festive activity when we returned home less than a week before Christmas I never got to sending in any of the challenges I responded to for December!

A sheet of die-cuts came together with the papers, which I wanted to use, so I didn't follow the journaling idea on the sketch {also had no computer to hand for lengthly journaling).

I used 3 sheets of double-sided co-ordinating papers & inked some edges like the green frame above. The papers were Christmassy in colour but not themed - which I prefer as we have no snow in my part of the world so often the images are inappropriate.

The flourish on the left of the journo-spot is also a die-cut that I inked. I backed the journo-spot with printed paper to give it a spotty border & bumped it up on foamcore for dimension.

Alphas & numbers are American Crafts Thickers, Making Memories {"All"} & Pink Paislee {"that"} & that wicked ribbon is pre-glittered & gathered & from a local habby store {score!} Yeah I noticed that it was higher under the date so I've since pulled it out & straightened it up! So add All About Me to your Challenge Blog list too...always lovely sponsored prizes there aswell...

The above layout I based on the sketch below - from 52 Weeks 52 Sketches which has recently been discontinued. I had already missed the deadline when I created this layout but I still wanted to give it a go just for fun - because I had seen & really liked this layout from a really fab scrapper who's blog I follow - maybe you should too?!

As you can see I added quite a bit to the sketch - the truth being that I was in holiday mode & kept being a clutz & dropping my ink-pad all over the place & having to cover the marks up - lol ;-D

Used the same range of papers as the first layout but this time went for the more subdued ones. My son Jack is there above on the bottom right btw...The date letters & alphas are from Creative Memories.

I inked a lot of the edges again here - the red blocks & the orange circle - to me it just looks a whole lot more finished than if you don't do it...

The title letters are Making Memories Christmas ones {Mistletoe I think?} & I adhered them to paper (the plain colour on the reverse side of these prints) then carefully cut around the whole word using my small scissors).

That is the South African flag you can see in the above corner. I like my little die-cut cluster thingie going on there above & around the title. Who says you can't use bling on a boy's page? Even HE didn't complain!

I'll show you what I did with the other colourway tomorrow.