Tuesday 30 November 2010

Wavin' Flag (Scrap - it - Lah Challenge!/Scrapbook Challenges Sketch)

Hiya!   Just popping in with a quick one I was going to load tonight - forgetting that the challenge site in question is in Malaysia - about 11 hours ahead I think!  So have to do it now or I'll miss the deadline!!  Just on my way out to get my hair highlighted for the Summer!  Glorious weather we are having here while poor old hubs is in the UK shivering away...aaaah Africa does have some benefits!  Okay, down to business...
This is the November challenge over @ Scrap-it-Lah here.  I combined this challenge with a sketch one, also due in today, over at Scrapbook Challenges.  I rotated the sketch onto it's side & ,in keeping with the "waving" offset the smaller photographs at angles instead of in a straight line.  I stuck to mainly plain cardstock for a simple, vibrant layout & added a crackingly perfect local p/p 'specially designed for all our World Cup layouts!  I think South Africa has one of the nicest flags in the world.  Full of symbolism too & the ONLY flag with SIX colours - did you know that - nah? Well, neither did I until Reilly, my son, told me!
Came together very easily Thank Goodness as it was very late at night last night (!) & then I could only photograph it now in the blazing sun so 'scuze the shadows...Computer journaled again & really it is SO EASY that I'm going to do it more in future.  The good thing about typing out your journaling instead of hand-writing it is that you can fit so much more journaling on a page without it looking cluttered.
The journaling is all about a song called "Waving Flag" that became a real hit here over the World Cup time mid year this year.  It was not the officially commissioned song - that was "Waka, Waka" by Shakira, but this song won everyone over & was just literally blaring in every mall & everybody's ring-tone too!
Journaling reads:-  "When I get older, I will be stronger, they'll call me freedom just like a waving flag, and then it goes back, and then it goes back, and then it goes back".  Composed & sung by K'naan, a relatively unknown Somalian musician.  Adopted as the unoffical theme song for the FIFA World Cup 2010 Soccer Tournament  It quickly became the unofficial anthem of the African Celebrations." 
Just linking up then have to run so will pop in to see all my bloggy peeps tonight!
Have been crazy busy with end of the school year functions, which quite honestly I find a drag - so repetitive!

See y'all later! xx

Sunday 28 November 2010

Where do I Fit In? {SCNTS Week ONE Layout Share}

At last I got some scrapping done!  My daughter has gone away with her girlfriends for a week because she has finished school - wrote her last ever school exam {matric finals} on Thursday, dyed her hair dark purple Kardashian Black & was off like a long-shot!  Now if that was me now I'd need to sleep for a week LOL!

So I did this for a challenge over at Scrapbook Challenges where they have a fun month's challenge going on to find their next top scrapper!  I can't even remember all the details except that you submit on Sunday, they judge on Monday & Tuesday & post the winners on Wednesday.  If you make it through you have another challenge with the finalists & so on, until the last week, so it's a process of elimination.  Sound like fun-  yes?!
Supplies:-Dark brown & craft cardstock - Bazzill, Printed papers x 3My Mind's Eye "Lost & Found" & sentiment cards& die-cut, Dear Lizzy for American Crafts "Bloomers" {red rose tape}, Basic Grey "Porcelain" journaling sticker,fleur-de-lis sticker & scallop strip, 7 Gypsies brad, Echo Park "Life is Good" stickers x 3,  Pink Paislee alphas - red, American Crafts Thickers (Question Mark), Making Memories mini-alphas & ribbon, Jenni Bowlin mini-aphas.  Brown & Toffee inks - Colour Box, thread, staples, Picasa

In LOVE with this paper line & didn't order any!!  Stupid right?!?  Just lucky for me I have ways & means of getting hold of stuff here sometimes...and this time I was in luck!  I just didn't realise how nice this paper looks in layouts until it was too late & my order was in without it!  Same with Curio...bummer!!{Still trying to track that one down again now...} Sometimes it's really difficult shopping online instead of in REAL LIFE...

I put my title onto some p/p adhered to a sentiment card that I really liked & wanted to use {drat!} but it just looked SO GOOD on there with the litte glitter/scallop candy stripe strip on top...
I cut the tulle from the edge of the Bloomers & stapled it on, pleated & inked the text p/p then edgestitched.

I computer journaled for a change & it was a challenge working out how to print top to bottom {lanscape} instead of side-to-side {portrait} but I got to the bottom of it & I was very happy with the end result!

LONGEST TITLE EVER HERE! "Where do I fit in? Right in the middle of this Beautiful Happy Family" - that's surely got to be a record right?!

Journaling reads:- "and I am delighted to be there!  You are all I have ever wanted & the answer to my prayers.  Life with the 5 of you is wonderful & I love being totally involved in everything you do.  Being a wife & a mother is an honour & a privilege & there is nothing I would rather be.  Sharing your experiences, photographing your living your lives, documenting your achievements & disappointments & scrapbooking our journey together brings me indescribable joy.  2010"

Friday 26 November 2010

GRATEFUL & all that....

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago then posted only half of it because I thought 10 for Friday was a little hectic!  Since completing my LOAD {Layout a day} I've got nothing scrapped this week.  Just t.o.o. t.i.r.e.d.  Literally my eyes hurt...Scrapping up a storm is good but it simply can't last forever & I don't think anyone can sustain a layout a day for beyond a month unless they really have NO LIFE!  Sitting at the pc is easy though.  I can do it in an almost comatose state. 

1.  I've given up on some of my dreams.  I really want some things out of life & I'm never going to have any chance of getting them if I don't FOCUS, so this should have a positive effect on my blog as I expect it will lead to more structure, better quality of work & hopefully inspire you all. There are certain things I want really, really badly & next year I'm going to work towards achieving them.
2.  I'm SO READY for 2011.  Not practically speaking...I'm forever behind due to sheer logistics {Just too much to do & not enough hours in the day].  But I'm hoping that by FOCUSing more next year I can achieve more of what I want & learn to accept that I can't do everything but concentrate more on working smarter not harder.

3.  I've rediscovered the pain & satisfaction that comes from commiting to something & seeing it through.  I've done my own LOAD {Layout a Day} for a month & it's left me exhausted but rekindled my desire to achieve.   Reminded me of days gone by, where I achieved so many professional goals {definitely easier when I had less kids & consequently fewer other commitments} but I've realised I can still do it!  It's harder but I've seen that I can still work like a Trojan & it's a GREAT feeling achieving so much & doing a good job of it while still fulfilling my other responsibilities.  I love feeling worn out from work!

4.  I've had to do some serious blog-culling.  I can't sit @ my pc indefinitely & my blog list was growing out of hand.  Now I've reduced it to the SERIOUSLY TALENTED & INSPIRATIONAL ONLY plus of course those true blog friends of mine that are generally regular commenters & genuine supporters {& would be excited to meet me if they came to Durban on holiday lol...}.  Just as in real life it's most beneficial to spend time with those that encourage & uplift us I've applied the same principal to my blog.

5.  Another recent revelation has been concerning blogging as such an invaluable resource.  While I love reading some personal blogs I limit them to scrapbookers/photographers as those are my interests & I need some common ground with the author.  However, most of what I read are scrappy blogs with a bit of personal thrown in rather than the other way around.  My main purpose online is to LEARN from others & return the favour by SHAREing with others what I already know.

The internet as such a vast & generous resource pool & I am SO GRATEFUL to the 2 local ladies who disregarded my scrapbooking achievements 2 years ago because they were so busy fawning over "international" (read anywhere divided from Africa by a bit of water) "icons" as - if it wasn't for them - I would never have started my blog, which  has made me grow so much as a crafter & person.

Thanksgiving in America (yesterday) really has had me dwelling on my blessings so I thought I'd intersperse this post with a few images of them!


Thursday 25 November 2010

Random images from around the Home

The other day when I was photographing some layouts to share I did a quick shifty around the house & clicked away so thought I'd share!  Trying out the pre-sheduling of your post on this one, a first for me...
I found this sweet painted metal sign at a local crafty shop.  Too cute don't you think?  And I'm a sucker for anything with birds..{I put it up using some double-sided mirror tape - between our lounge & dining room}.
I bought this pretty cushion @ Woolies {Home Section} for my studio.  Softens up my hard plastic bucket chair & adds a bit of girliness to my studio.

This pale avocado dish is my Christmas edition.  Every year I add a colourful dish to our collection so that our Christmas dinner is cheery.  There is a nice raised olive design on each side {not a great photo!}
I thought this photo came out rather interesting!?  I like an eclectic assortment of objet d'art  around my home & have this little arrangement on one of my kitchen counters.  The apple holds keys. Olive & Vinnie are oil & vinegar holders {Clicks}, one chicken holds toothpicks & the one in the basket is 2 piece but as yet I haven't thought of what to put in the basket!  The aubergine on the right is my timer ;-D

I bought this salad plate a while ago.  The writing & pictures are textural & kinda raised yet oven & dishwasher safe{not that I have one}.  I prefer to serve salad in a large shallow bowl as opposed to a deep one.  Looks & tastes better - try it, you'll see!
I've started a little starfish collection on various walls & it's interesting, because they are all different materials, textures & colours but the same "thing"...

It was evening & my flash battery died...sorry!  Found these distressed signs at the same little crafty shop as the metal sign in the first photo.  This is the first thing we all see as we enter the kitchen & we do our best every day to live by these 3 simple words...it ain't always easy as you know!!
My kitchen clock, which I have a sneaky feeling I may have posted before.  It says "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away" I'm happy to say that I love my life even though it is far from perfect.  Attitude goes a long way towards that...

One of two canvas prints in the kids' bathroom.  It was newly renovated when we moved in earlier this year {Thank Goodness} & is very tastefully done in neutrals.  These prints liven things up a bit for the kids.  Fortunately they're all past the bath toy stage {although I do keep a stash of empty containers in the cupboard under the basin, for my 10 year old who still loves to play around with them in the bath!}
A lovely hand-made framed shadow box containing real shells - that I bought at a handicrafts fair in Zimbabwe many years ago.

The kids' new bath towels bought @  Mr. Price Home.  I've added some touches of that blue & a bit of corally orange in accents to liven up the bathroom a bit.
The curtains in the kids' bedroom{the 2 younger ones who share a room}.  They have a lovely lineny texture, the tie-backs are simple rope ones & I had some denimy roller blinds made so that they don't ever have to actually close the curtains so their room always looks swish.  The blue on their walls is "not shy" but looks great with all the white woodwork.  A 10 year old girl & 12 year old boy share this room so I had to come up with something unisex that wasn't too babyish but wasn't too mature either.

Now if I could ever get them to tidy their rooms I could give you a closer look!

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Time to Update! {edited for the sake of Peace!}

Where oh where does the time go?!  I know I have a lot of updating to do here to keep my little bit of cyberspace lively & inviting so here we go...

1.  This is the first time I've sat down at my pc since Sunday morning, when, very frustratingly, my new printer ran low on 2 cartridge colours as I was in the middle of printing out some 5 x 7's to slip into an album for DH, who was off to the UK on business {& slipping in seeing a few hundred friends -  from his boarding school days there - along the way}.

2.  More frustratingly, when I sent DH on a grab & return mission to the local "Inkdrop" they didn't have said cartridges, nor did CNA {major newsagent}, the Pick 'n Pay Hypermarket {major all-rounder} Makro {major Wholesaler} nor Incredible Connection {leading IT/PC chainstore}!

3.  We're talking here about the Epson Stylus Photo TX700W - for here, the latest printer/scanner/copier available, so what's with not being able to "refuel" - pretty sucky if you ask me...{Got hold of them on Monday from the computer company that sold us the printer - being delivered tomorrow - the soonest they could deliver - makes me wonder if that was the plan all along so they make a mark-up on them every time?}

4.  I have the same issue with trimmer blades.  I've given up using my old faithful Fiskars cutter because it is now impossible to get replacement blades!  I bought a new {& very reasonably priced} Provocraft cutter in it's place, as the replacement cartridges are half the price of the Fiskars once & readily available here...only problem is it doesn't cut at a 90% angle - more like 87.5degrees, which means nothing is straight.  Certainly has turned me off the idea of ever owning a Cricut if they can't manage to perfect a trimmer!  Dug out my old Creative Memories one - LOVE!

5.  I need more energy.  Any tips that are not either a) revolting & unable to consume & b) time-consuming like getting fit & being hardly able to move for every minute between training sessions.  Not interested in either option A or B.

6.  Question where I really would like an answer.  If you spent a wonderfully relaxing holiday lasting several weeks in the same town as a bloggy friend who you knew "well" by cyber-standards, would you ensure you at least had her phone number so you could chat even if you couldn't manage to meet halfway (for some absurd reason) to actually enjoy a cappucino together?

7.  Of course the above question is totally hyperthetical!  {I mean who would really do that lol?!} Yikes, I know I would be totally stoked to meet my bloggy friends!  Just  a quick post to say "Hey, I'm still here!".  Hope to scrap tonight & have something to share soon...Meanwhile...

8.  Can't post without a picture so just showing you the pic I sent with Shane to England.  Alexa Chung clogs - bringing home for me!  To match my new vintage-inspired Fossil...{got tired of having to keep buying a cheap watch every few months when my Chinese imports broke} so visited one of my favourite stores recently & it was immediate love.

Embossing - check!  Embroidery - check!  Square shape - check!  Pink face - check!  Brushed steel -check!

Perfection - check!

Friday 19 November 2010

A Thief in the House!

I didn't get to finishing this on time but finished it off last night as I'd already begun earlier in the week.  The Colour Room is based in Adelaide so is about 6 hours AHEAD of me instead of what I am used to - EST time - which is 6 hours BEHIND - so I am still trying to remember that simple fact from week to week!

I based my layout loosely around this recent Inspired Blueprints Sketch & found various Basic Grey lines fro 2009 that worked well together, plus an older one {backing paper} & some 2007 MAMBI {the back ground stitched border piece}  Basic Grey:-  Origins, Indian Summer, Orange crinkle paper, wooden scroll & bling bindies- local, white thread, BG Indian Summer self-adhesive elements, ribbon offcut, staples, K & Co. painted chipboard & flowers, Prima Flowers, Sassafras Paper Whimsies {Seamstress Boutique}, brads - 7 Gypsies Victoria, Metal sentiment & square dot ribbon above & below photo - Making Memories, Mini-alphas - Jenni Bowlin, brown & yellow inks - Colour Box.
Title :- BANANA THIEF.  Journaling reads:-  "These poor creatures, the Vervet monkeys, are indigenous to Kwa-Zulu Natal & now their natural habitat has been so developed that there is very little space left for them to live & breed.  They can often be seen at the side of the road & come into our garden about once a week.  If any windows or doors are left open we can be sure that they will pay the fruitbowl a visit!"
One of my reasons for delaying this challenge was the colour scheme.  I really didn't want to work with it!  But, you know what?  Whenever you commit yourself to a scrappy endeavour, it always works out in the end, so I'm learning to just go for it.  My husband & daughter think my scrappy efforts are wasted on a monkey but I think it's important to document these creatures we come across almost daily here as they are a part of our lives in this province {state}.

I'm enjoying using my sewing machine again & am already wanting an upgrade.  Originally I owned a very nice machine that was stolen some years ago, so I had nothing for a few years then bought the cheapest, just so that I'd have something to use for sewing on my pages.  Now that I am using it what I need is all coming back to me & this one doesn't have 3 needle positions or a reverse button - which are a must for neat work!  So my plan is to teach my daughter how to sew so that I can pass my machine on to her & get myself an upgrade {sneaky huh???}
Love clustering/layering.  Swiped the background paper over with a yellow inkpad as it was pretty dull before & this definitely lifted it!  I am loving getting interactive with the photo - printing directly onto it - and adhering elements directly to it to.  Also pleated some ribbon onto it at the top & bottom.

I added some intentionally messy stitching to the leaves & the date block & the ribbon under the title.  My machine is permanently set up in my studio now.  It makes it easy to use but I have to stand as it's on my scrapping counter {purpose built to stand at} & it's a hassle as I have to clear the supplies from behind it each time (in order to feed the paper through) so I'm getting a sewing station built out of wood, that is going to stay in our dining-room as I'm all outta space in my little studio.  {I'm enclosing it in a cupboard so that it doesn't look like a sewing table but rather a cabinet - if the carpenter ever completes it I'll show you!}
I added this "Follow your Bliss" sentiment as I'm sympathetic to the monkeys' plight {me & about 3 others lol} as it's not their fault they have nowhere to live & nothing to eat.  Most people here shoot them even though there is a steep fine if they get caught {not likely as they have trouble catching serial killers here!}


Thursday 18 November 2010

Who Floats my Boat {when I'm not drowning that is...}

Oh how I wish I had a layout to show you but alas, I think I've already put them all up!  And, did you know that housework & scrapbooking don't really go hand in hand?  Somehow, with every swipe of that mop so the scrappy chutzpah is sucked out of me & swooshed down the sink.  Okay, perhaps that's rather a dramatic analogy & I'm actually still hoping to scrap tonight but only because there is a challenge due in that I really want to take part in!  Ooooh...obligatory scrapping... not a fun thing at times like these! {Sure I'll love it if I ever get crack-a-lacking!}

So I mentioned in a recent post that I had a Top 10 List of Manufacturers & Scrapbookers & Heidi wanted to know WHO made it onto the list!  Now please realise that this list is not meant to be static, & indeed has changed over the years & may continue to do so, just as manufacturers continue to evolve & change direction at times.  I'm feeling {& hoping} that I've finally found my final scrappy preferences now but who knows, maybe I'll also be evolving & changing again in the future ??? so this is my 2010 LIST. {drumroll please...da da da daaaa...}

In no particular order:-

5.       LILY BEE
9.       K & CO.

If I could make it 12 I'd add in Jenni Bowlin & Kaisercrafts ;-D 

There are other manufacturers that I love like Maya Road for example, but my top 10 are all-rounders, in other words, make almost everything to create a page independently, ie:- including embellishments AND paper.  Just looking at that list & trying to identify the common thread ... I think it is that these companies do all over patterned papers mainly, rather than THEMED papers.  I really don't like those.  The ones that say Happy Birthday! all over them & could be wrapping paper cut up LOL.  I've also gone off gungy & distressed of late but still love vintage {if that makes any sense?!} so these papers are clean/modern not "roughed up looking!" 

This doesn't mean I don't like other manufacturers!  I'm sure I must have used EVERY manufacturer by now, at some time or other!  and there is a time & a place for everything, so before I go upsetting anyone these are simply my best, not my ONLY ;-D 

Now I've just realised that my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE line of late {on it's way to me now in practically it's entirity} is CRATE PAPER'S RESTORATION - not even on my list of top 10, so go figure??? {Below - couldn't order these as they are consistently SOLD OUT - grrrrrrrrrr...}

Right, now ... as for my 10 Fave Scrappers... RIGHT NOW ...these are the girls that are inspiring me the most at the minute.  I'm not going to include the obvious greats like Ali & Elizabeth or the great scrappy philosophers like Becky & Stacy 'cos those gals are already on first name only status along with Madonna!

Again, in no particular order:-




4.      KIM WATSON







Now there are MANY scrapbookers that inspire me, in different ways, on a very regular basis, but remember I could only chose 10!  And again, this list changes from time to time too as I discover new & lovely scrappers along my blogging journey.  Heck, there are probably tons I've still not come across! 

I had no idea when I started scrapbooking just what a competitive industry this is but geez... there is a giant talent pool out there!   {Hope I've provided some of you with some new inspiration there!}

I realised the other day {had a kind of epiphany!} that what we are involved in is such a marvellous thing from an artistic viewpoint aswell as a personal one.  Over the internet anyone & everyone can take part & what we are privy to every day is sharing the journey with the absolute cream of the crop in the entire world.  Pretty awesome concept I thought...

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Fun While it Lasted, Another Win & A little Chatter...

I'm just not feeling it on my blog here this week.  Truth is I'm exhausted & I really need some domestic help!  Roll on Monday when my house-helper returns from leave {hopefully!}.  I've had a couple of personal disappointments lately & that also leaves one feeling a bit "flat" but discovering this yesterday certainly perked me up, thanks again Kirsty!  I created this NOT FOR A CHALLENGE lol!  Just...for me!

Bazzill cardstock Navy,white, royal blue & teal.  Printed papers Basic Grey Marrakesh.  Dark Brown Inkpad - Colourbox cat's eye.  Jenni Bowlin Alpha stickers & stars.  Ribbon from Cocoa Daisy & my stash.  Metal embellie & brads - Making Memories.  Stickers - 7 Gypsies.  Creative Memories Journaling Pen. {9}

A cute pre-digi photo used & the story told - Check!  Love these JB alphas...Loved this Marrakesh Line,  loved URBAN PRAIRIE a while back, also ORIGINS & LOVE Curio right now.  BUT not getting any...
Why?  I have too many new lines getting older by the day right here in my studio & MORE on their way to me right now - & Curio wasn't in store in time by end October when it was time to place my 3 monthly order. 

 Us "international scrappers" really need...what we need...to be delivered bella pronto to make relevant use of it, as it takes a month to ship & I don't like to order too soon after CHA because I hold out a bit so that most of what is on my wishlist has arrived in store.  Relatamundo???

Aren't those Making Memories metals beautiful?  LOVE that brand - always have & am sure I always will!
I hand journaled the "the" there, then cut it out & inked it.  I like that little cluster "Imagine the fun".  Also enjoy stapling on my layouts, especially for boy's pages.

Did you notice that I punched out some scalloped circles, cut them in half & placed them under that lovely ruched ribbon?
I've been busy sorting things out on my private blog all week.  {I use a private blog instead of a Google reader, where I keep my blog lists & cut & paste challenges, etc} I have to say that it works very well for me & means less stuff in my Scrap Addict sidebar, which means faster loading!  

I'm re-assessing all the challenge blogs I have in there right now & trying to prioritize them according to how much I've enjoyed "playing" there - of course The Colour Room & Colour Combos Galore are on the top of the list - having turned into a crazy colour challenge freak since I discovered them!

Enjoy the rest of your week!!