Sunday, 30 January 2011

Young, Free & Pretty Terrified {Layout}

It's been a busy weekend as hubs is away on business so I am taxi-driver & cook, two jobs I normally get the weekend off from when he is around.  With 2 teenagers in the house & one "almost there" {now with a girlfriend!} there are many trips up & down the highway to the local mall, the teenage meeting-place where they watch movies, concerts, etc.

I was really in the mood for scrapbooking last night though so got this one done for an all white challenge over here at Candy Shoppe Designs & combined it with the Sunday Sketch over at Studio Calico. 
As I was working on this layout I was thinking about how my daughter is feeling now that she is about to embark on University life, which means that she will have to be hundreds of kilometres away from her family.

That's what inspired me to come up with the title, which I really like.  Funny, this pink Maya Road mist is almost finished but I have about another dozen that are nowhere near through...I've been dying to use some real twine on my layouts now that I have finally received my order of it.
If you want to see any of the images in more detail just click on them & they come up pretty huge.

Supplies:-  Bazzill Basics Swiss Dot (White)
Text Print - Scenic Route (Multi Expressions)
White lace cardstock - Creative Imaginations (Chocolate Numbers) Reverse-side.
White tissue paper
Maya Mist (Pink)
Tim Holtz {Ranger} tag - painted with Gesso
Making Memories Alphas, packaging (black/cream strips),"My Girl" embellishment & black rub-on alphas
3 colourful handmade buttons (courtesy of Pearl - Singapore)
White button (courtesy of Jessy - Malaysia!)
Butcher's twine
Caramel ink (Color Box)
Kaisercraft Mini-alphas

I also took some photos of her & her best friend, who is leaving for another university tomorrow.  Will put those up on the blog tomorrow.  Exciting times ahead but also laced with sadness.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Giveaways & Challenges that win you stash!

Just a reminder that my JANUARY "Southern Hemisphere Springtime" RAK is due to close in a few days so I will be accepting comments on all posts with this picture!
Snag yourself some fresh Spring goodies to jumpstart your creativity - I've got cute little shaker-box embellishments, K & Co. Epoxy badges, Sassy acrylic alpha stamp-set, an Antique resin butterfly, sentiment stickers, a BG mini paper-pack, flowers, stick-pins, blingage!

And if you're looking for a creative way to spend some time this weekend look no further than HERE - scroll down for EIGHT right-on-the-money CHA inspired challenges to get you into your creative zone!


Friday, 28 January 2011

My Top 3 CHA Winter 2011 Selections & my new Favourite Techy Thing!

Short & sweet today - just soooooooooo busy right now & need to scrapbook more than I blog this year!


LILY BEE (HAPPILY LOST) although I love all 3 new lines!


You will LOVE this new Firefox add on Bloggers - it adds a quick-share toolbar to your toolbars {just beneath them} & you can quick-share ANYWHERE - amazing!  HAPPY WEEKEND BLOGGIES!!!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Colour Filled Days layout {Scrapbook Challenges}, my January RAK, beautiful Layout Frames & a Home Decor Update!

At last!  Something to blog about!!  Life has been frenetic of late & I have been alternating between my sick bed & running around frantically registering my daughter for university, organising her accomodation, transport & all her requisites.  No easy task as she will be many miles away for months at a time.  Nonetheless, today I took some time out to CREATE.  Yaaaay!!
This is the challenge I set over at Scrapbook Challenges {you will see it in the forum there tomorrow} as my January Design Team Asssignment.  Yes, I am now designing for Scrapbook Challenges until the end of June & loving the friendly community there.
This challenge is for the letter C - hence it is called "Colour Filled Days" therefore the title starts with a C!

I have also made sure to use CARDSTOCK on my layout & something beginning with C.  In my case I chose CRATE PAPER Restoration {the printed paper}.  So why not join me & play along?  Just follow the link - great prizes to be won regularly & plenty of challenge & sketch inspiration!
Supplies used are:-Bazzill Basics Cardstock {Swiss Dot} white
Crate Paper Restoration {printed paper}
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist {Starfish}
Red ink {Colour Box}
Crate Paper Restoration chipboard embellishments
Echo Park "Life is Good" border stickers, alphas & bunting
Yellow alpha stickers - Basic Grey
"Love" title - Glitz Design Love Nest
Yellow embroidery thread
Dark brown journaling pen - Creative Memories

And here is my January RAK - I have decided to host a monthly giveaway here on my blog to all my FOLLOWERS {I will be restoring my Followers gadget shortly & in order to be eligible to win you need to become a follower & leave a comment on this post any time before the end of January {Monday 31st} midnight EST - 8 hours behind local South African time therefore 8a.m on the morning of February 1st 2011 if you are based here in the Rainbow Nation}.

There is an assortment of "stuff" in this pack, including 3 packs of K & Co. embellishments, Sassafrass acrylic alpha stamps & petalloo flowers.  Bling, chipboard, stick-pins & a whole mini-pack of Basic Grey "Sultry' papers.  I am going to spend the entire year paring down my older stash but may add in some interesting new or unusual goodies as well, just to say Thank You for all your kind comments & support!  Of course this RAK is open to EVERYONE all over the world & I will pay postage - because I'm cool like that!
And here is one of my new dining-room lights - bought on sale at Mr. Price Home in Johannesburg & carted all the way home in our trailer!  Loves though right???!!!
And my Christmas gift to the house- these unusual painted metal artichoke candlesticks.  Oooh they make me hungry as I just looooooooooove fresh artichokes!
And another couple of Mr. Price Home candlesticks bought on sale, nothing special but nice nonetheless...The counter these items are on {there is another big matching light just to the left of the artichoke candlesticks} is my album shelf {actually 2 of them pushed side-by-side} housing all my scrapbook albums.  I store them in the dining-room as it it the only room with space for the bookshelves they sit on.

And here is a photo of an absolutely beautiful oak-stained handmade frame that I had made locally by a master craftsman.  In fact I had EIGHT of them made to put above my server table in my dining room.  I am going to use them to display my latest scrapbooking layouts & have ensured that they are easy to "get into" from the back so that I can change the layouts in there regularly.

They are shadow frames so the backing board is slightly recessed to allow for a bit of dimension.  I still have to get the glass cut to fit.  The internal measurement is exactly 30.5cm (12 inches).  I am taking orders on these & they are very reasonably priced so anyone interested please let me know in the comments section & I will e mail you details.  They are beautifully oiled/matt varnished & honestly the workmanship is impeccable.

I am so excited to get the layouts chosen for them & get them up on display!
And lastly - COOKIE JARS!!!  How adorable are these???  Giant cookie jars to house my ribbon - all in a line on a long shelf {still to be made} above my studio window - Ye Olde Sweetie Shoppe style!!!  I am currently overhauling my studio space & refining my storage methods thanks to Organisation Week on the Creating Keepsakes Blog {had me really inspired!}.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sick, sick, sick!

Yup I am afraid this post has absolutely nothing to do with scrapbooking!  In fact, I, at the moment, have nothing to do with scrapbooking!  Just thought I would let you know {those of you who don't follow my frantic Facebook status updates LOL} that I am man doooooown right now.  Apparently I should be better by Monday but I am not perking up as I was hoping.  I took a single dose antibiotic yesterday that is a new "thing" {for South Africa at least} & 24 hours later I'd say I'm slightly better, but not heaps.

I have laryngitis so can't talk.  That may sound peaceful but the reality is awful, particularly as today was pay day for the universities & we have been doing our research all week & had to make the final decision today over which one to choose.  Hubs had to do all the talking over the phone to the respective peeps with me scribbling notes on a clipboard - pretty hilarious really!  Would be a bit more funny if my head wasn't splitting in two though...

It started in Jo'burg the day before we were scheduled to return to Durban.  Cami became distraught with a pain in her ear.  We took her to the trauma centre there as it was evening.  She had an ear infection & was prescribed Augmentin.  It cleared up well.  Then Jack followed suit - but with a throat infection, again, an antibiotic was administered & it cleared up well.  Then Camryn became really ill.  Nausea, vomiting, fever, lethargy.  Then she came out with spots.  They spread.  EVERYWHERE.  She's had all her measles jabs so the doctor suggested tick-bite fever & she was tested for both.  And malaria.  Just in case...

When you've recently visited somewhere as remote & rural as we have you definitely want to rule that out before it progresses further.  We battled through the longest 24 hours in living history - a portion of it power-less because we had to switch off our house mains as our house nearly caught fire!  There was a problem with our main outlet from our distribution board & a section of it melted, causing a very concerning burning smell & a very hot-to-touch DB board!

Oh yeah - it's been a ride this week I tell you...We asked the fire department to come & check that nothing was smouldering in our ceiling as it was after midnight so we couldn't phone an electrician at that hour.  They arrived in full regalia, firemen, hoses & in a gigantic engine!  If I wasn't so concerned that my house may shortly be ashes I would have asked them to line up against it for a picture.  Somehow that seemed grossly inappropriate at the time LOL...

We had to switch off the mains (which apparently would have tripped shortly after in any case) & spend the next 12 hours sweltering with no airconditioning, in the dark with no lights, dealing with a very sick & vomiting little girl.  After making no improvement yesterday I took to Google, worried that if we didn't take action Cami would have to be hospitalised for dehydration.  The fact that she seemed to be struggling to breathe was also very distressing. 

Then it dawned on me...She was having an allergic reaction to the Augmentin (penicillin based)!!!!  I gave her a dose of antihistamine & her improvement was almost immediate.  The fever left, her temperature went down & she slept like a baby!  Her spots are fading & the doctor is, I think, a tad miffed that I made the correct diagnosis while she did not.  Thank goodness for Google.  Really.  Technology is awesome.  Technophobes be gone.  If I hadn't been able to do that research she would probably be on a drip right now! 

So she is happily watching TV now while I am the one languishing in bed, not capable of much else right now & not on my pc so without my e mail.  I have been enjoying scrolling through the Creating Keepsakes blog though, oogling at all the wonderful workspaces they have on show there right now for their Organisational week.  If you haven't taken a look yet I suggest you do.  Inspirational.  I am itching to get back in to my Studio & have a major sort-out!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Woo Hoo Hoo!! and Our Northern Travels {Photo Post - Zambia}

Great news woke me today.  I received an e mail from a publisher wanting to publish something I submitted a while back.  I have only ever submitted a few times & not been successful.  So today is an awesome day for me!  I will only be able to tell you what it is & where to find it in JULY - I know, isn't that awful???  To have to hold on to such wonderful news for so long - but there you have it - very good news for me! 

I feel like I'm riding on Cloud 9 - even the constant loss of internet signal today (for some reason-  that better be resolved soon please dear internet provider company!) cannot wipe the smile of my face ;-D  

Thank you to all my Facebook well-wishers - you girls clearly know what a huge rush it is to have some serious acknowledgement come your way.

***Photo-post below - Zambia - more photos to scrap - starting today! ***

I am well & truly sick of these photos already!   I have edited them down from 861 to 145 of the best & most relevant - all enhanced if required.  Fortunately my photography skills have obviously improved as there seems to be less & less need for any major editing but I do like to fiddle a bit with the saturation as I prefer a less garish look. 

I need to find a Photoshop action for this to save me repeating the same steps over & over.  {suggestions welcome!}
We stayed in the terracotta building attached to the church (the Sunday school & "cry" room), just across the lawn from the main house (white).  See the little buck that came right up to the security fencing at the end of the lawn?  Too sweet...
I needed to zoom in a little for these whilst on a drive to the "next door" neighbours - but they were literally 5 - 10 metres away from the car.
I love this pic of the zebras' rear-ends!  I have one of their fronts but didn't want to post every shot here.
Yes it really was THAT green - no colour-popping added I promise!
And the skies really were this BLUE - even without a filter on my lens! 
We took a trip into "town" about an hour away - but apart from a clinic, fuel station & general dealer any purchases are made there at the market, from vendors selling out of shacks.  The first sign of semi-civilisation is in the nation's capital, Lusaka, a 4 hour car journey away!
We stopped in at the local clinic {which has a few overnight beds & even an ICU}.  Just click on the images if you'd like to see more detail - like the free condoms - unfortunately HIV/AIDS is still rampant in these parts.
This poor man got very excited when we slowed down to photograph the charcoal the local people use to cook with - he thought I was buying a bag but was happy to "smile" & say "newspaper?!" when he saw my big camera resting on the window edge ;-D
She busied herself smothering Nutkin the cat...
and insisted I take a million photographs to prove it!
She reconnected with her youngest cousin, even though she hasn't seen her in half a decade.
The boys did "boy stuff" like swimming in the dam {and the neighbours pool}and...
Catching fish!  He was actually pretty horrified truth be told...
She "learnt to drive" - on a long, straight farm road - well, she learnt how to sit & hold the steering wheel with her foot on the accelerator...
She loved having 6 other people to play "30 Seconds!" with & we loved learning such a fun new board game.
He got to really "chill" {thanks to his phone not receiving e mails whilst we were there!}
And enjoyed some down time with his sis.
I got some time to click, click, click...
And have had a bit of fun editing since my return...
But most importantly we got to see them, the reason we went, and we enjoyed leisurely meals, baked home-made bread & actually got into the habit of going to bed just a wee bit earlier!!!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Making Friends, Making Cards & taking Teen Photos for Facebook

Phew I am ready for bed - but want to keep up with my regular posting now that I am back home so here goes!  I have edited all my holiday photos this weekend {down from 861 to 145 of the best, some of which I have enhanced a little}  Only afterwards did it dawn on me that I still have all the Christmas day photos to edit (about the same number!)   Tomorrow I will be posting the last of my travel photographs.  For now here is a picture of me & Ingrid from "Your Scrapping Shop" in Johannesburg {also an online store}.  

I always love to meet my online/bloggy friends so made an arrangement to meet up with Ingrid when I was in Johannesburg recently.  I regularly buy scrapbooking supplies directly from the States but when I need something "pronto" Ingrid is one of my local "go to's" because her store is so reasonably priced, quick, reliable & she is just the sweetest person.

I was supposed to be tidying up my {very messy} studio this weekend but made some cards instead!  {with what little counter space I could salvage}.

I started off small but enjoyed myself so much that they just kept getting bigger & bigger!

Paper:-  Offcuts.  Tags & brad - K & Co.  Lace - Prima.  Doily - Little Yellow Bicycle.  Colourbox inks.
Have offcuts - will make cards!  Here I used Girls' Paperie Packaging (pink text) Red bazzill.  LSS - ribbon.  Prima flower.  K & Co Sentiment sticker.  American Crafts journaling sticker.

K & Co.  Printed paper & pop-up sticker.  Teal bazzill.  Little Yellow Bicycle doily.  LSS Pink ribbon.  Colourbox inks.
Okay no wise-cracks about being a bit late for Christmas okay?!  There's always this year!  Red bazzill.  Offcuts - Crate paper (?) & Girls' Paperie.  Ribbon - LSS.  Brads.  Foam circles (around brads) K & Co. fabric-covered brad.  Girls' Paperie flower.  Prima bling swirl (part of).  Pink Paislee digital sentiment.  Scrapbook King rub-on.

Card below uses Kiwi bazzill.  Little Yellow Bicycle doily.  Making Memories metal scallop frame.  K & Co. sentiment sticker.  Rose ribbon & seam-binding from my stash.  Fiskars punch.
I took these this evening & left it a little late so this one is slightly bluuuuuuuury!

Somewhere amidst all the photo-editing & creating my "almost 13" year-old pestered me for some new Facebook photos.
Mum's of teens will know that regular family shots just don't make the cut.  Only hard-core will do...

I always have a good giggle thinking these up with them...
I got some sweet ones of him smiling but no ways does he want those to add to his Facebook ones!

He gave himself this nick-name as "Tibbs" was already taken by his brother. {derived from our surname}.
{MUFC = Manchester United Football Club - he got this goalkeeper top for Christmas}.
The more edited the better for these kids.  I try to keep them vaguely recognisable though LOL.  So there you have it.  A creative weekend.  Hope yours was too!