Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pressie party

Hi there all you bloglanders

Today I want to share with you a present I wrapped for a very good friend.  To tell you the truth, I know her for 4 months less than my own age!  We actually grew up on neighboring farms and even our moms were friends while expecting us.  She is an excellent gardener but not a big crafter but always keen to find out how I do my projects.  She lives about 150 kilometers from me and we don’t see one another that often as our families and homes keep us very busy.

In South Africa it’s a real battle to get hold of nice goodies and when the scrapbook club I belong to, advertised twine from Doodlebug, I jumped in and bought a roll of each for her.  I love the colors and the size of the rolls (and it was really, really affordable – less than a dollar per roll). I just know that she will love it as she likes wrapping flowers from her garden and adding a home made card. Even if you use ribbon to tie a bunch or a present, twine just gives that extra punch.

I used a glassine bag from Monika’s etsy shop, folded a scalloped circle over the top, added a strip of paper, a die cut (MFT’s Contempo Cage & Stamp Set) and some green twine from The Twinery.  I chose a pink and green color scheme as my pink is my friend’s favorite color and as I’m not a “pink person”, I toned it down with one of my favorites – green! I think it looks clean, cool and girly. Perfect for my oldest friend.

I have a lot of office work to do (need the money to pay for my toys) but once that is done, I’ll start on my month-in-review pages.  Can’t wait! Of course, I will keep you posted but tomorrow I think I will get into the spirit of loving – Valentine’s day!  Please come back to play.

Date night

Hi there bloglanders

As promised, I’m here to show you my 2011 Date night mini album.  I actually used Monika Wright’s idea (I'm a huge fan of her creativity) for the book and then added my own twist. It is basically a cover made out of an old school book filled with different pages, journaling spots, die cuts and scraps of paper.  I just stitched it all together with my sewing machine. For every occasion I have added a brief description, date, detail and some pictures.  Easy peezy and I love it.

This is the front of my book.  A printed sentiment, eyelets, felt heart and some ribbon.  I made my own string clasps by punching circles out of scraps and putting an eyelet through the middle. The felt heart is homemade as well.

Inside is detail of trips and outings. 

Inside the back cover I sewed an extra pocket as my album was full by the end of November and I had to do the December outings on tags that went into the bag. I just love the look of multi media and the big advantage is that it is recycling at its best.

Tomorrow I will show the pressie I did for a friend.  Please come back and have a look.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Hi there all bloglanders

Today I wanted to take pictures and now we don't have any sunshine!  Not that its cold - very humid but compared to yesterday, a beautiful day.

Last week I received goodies that I’ve ordered from Papertrey Ink and wanted to play with straight away but had to finish some urgent sewing first.  (I will show you the smocked dress I made in another post) So, today I unpacked my toys and what a wonderful playmate Papertrey Ink is - she can come over to play at any time!

I used the “love lives here” collection. Actually, I bought it for the little house with the heart in the middle but in the end I totally fell in love with the butterfly.  I’m not really into cards and rather make tags but then I decided that it’s silly – if you can make tags, you can make cards. I do use a lot of tags so it’s always nice to have some new ones in my stash.  Also, I used an A5 PVC business card holder in my 2012 Junk journal and they fit perfectly into the slots. I’m adding some personal journaling to them and intend keeping one of each in my folder.

I tried my hand at stamping as well. Normally I don’t do that either but its getting fun once you get over the nervousness. I used Jenni Bowlin’s ink pads and intend to keep adding to my collection until I have every color. Just love them.

My toys cost 36 dollars (about R300 South African rand) and that’s a lot of money to me but to see it in perspective – a shop bought card cost about R30. I have to make 10 cards to pay back my toys and in about an hour’s time I’ve made about 15. Also, I have only used 2 dies and 2 stamps, the rest will be used on a future play date. The paper is scraps and old envelopes that I’ve cut up.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow I will show you my 2011 “date night” mixed media journal.

Love and sunshine from Sunny South Africa.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My systems

I’m back!  We had a very nice trip and it wasn’t as warm as expected this time of year in Namakwaland.

As promised, I will explain my memory keeping systems to you. Today I want to show you what my 2011 Junk folder looked like. First, I have to explain why anyone in her right mind would need a junk folder.  To tell you the truth, I love to keep my memories alive but I’m not a big photographer. The effort of taking a camera everywhere with you and expecting everyone to pose for photos all the time is just unnatural to me. Maybe its because I hate my picture being taken.  Even my blog pictures are not very good because this is the part that I hate.  The ultimate for me will be a cell phone with a reasonably good camera that will be with me when I really want to capture something. I also feel that if I can get hold of a brochure or some other memory that reminds me of an experience, it is easier (and cheaper) for me. Most of the time brochure pictures are taken professionally and include beautiful pictures as well as a story.

The problem is that I end up with a lot of junk on my desk that turns into extraordinary layouts or memories once I do the journaling.  Therefore, to keep my desk clean, I decided in 2011 to do a Junk journal. I had to make folders to keep a friend’s girls busy and did an example for myself which I then used.  First of all I laminated the front and back pages as I used very old scrapping paper (not even double sided) and it wasn’t as sturdy as required.  It is kept together by binder rings and divided into months with shop bought dividers.  I also included the year's gift tags, birthday cards and notes  as well as pictures where I remembered to take them. (and had my camera with me) Easy peezy and I love the mixed media look.

The album is 6x9 and the size was determined by the size of the dividers. At the end of the year, the only thing I had to do is put it in my 2011 Memory box. Since then I have taken it out a lot as the added benefit of keeping brochures, is that I have contact details of places we've been on hand whenever someone asks for it.

Love and sunshine from sunny South Africa

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Out of office reminder

Just a reminder that I'll be leaving blog land for a few days to join my husband on a business trip.  Nothing special but after 25 years of marriage and family now self sufficient, I owe it to myself and him to start sharing the good stuff again.

I promise to write that blog post about my system for 2012 when I come back.

Love and sunshine from South Africa.

My scrapping story

Yesterday I shared a picture of a 6x6 Christmas layout.  That is where my “scrapping” started or rather what I call “album making”.  I’m not a real scrapper.  Real scrappers know how to use mists, chalk and do three dimensional pages. I just try to record some of the important stuff in my family’s life. The rest of the time I play!

Biologically I only have one child.  About 5 years ago I wanted to see what we did every Christmas since we had him. (Luckily I didn’t start with my own because 47 is a lot of Christmases!) Anyway, even though we take a lot of pictures, I have them printed and put them into albums, I had 3 unaccounted years.  I felt like a total failure because not only did I not have pictures, but I couldn’t even remember what we did.  What is very nice about this exercise is that I actually had a great time in making a 6x6 mini album with every year’s Christmas pictures. How we changed, how he changed and most of all – all the fun we had.

My “blind side son”, Wernich came to stay with us about 10 years ago and when I started making albums to document our life, he wanted one as well.  His mom died when he was 10 years old and even though we asked for pictures from family and friends, we couldn’t find even one with him and his mom.  How sad is that.  Anyway, at least we found some of him when he was small as well as a few of his mom. (I can count them on one hand) Today, Wernich is an architect and proudly shows off his album to family and friends and I keep it up to date by offloading pictures he shares on Facebook.

My husband’s mom and dad died a few years ago and when all the family treasures were divided, his childhood photo album vanished.  He was devastated. So, once again I started begging and borrowing pictures and for his 50th birthday, I gave him a brand new, “old” childhood photo album.

There you have it, my motivation for recording my family’s history.  People often ask me why I bother to buy expensive albums and develop my photos and my answer is always the same “I have heard of a lot of computers and external hard drives getting stolen / crashing but never of someone stealing photo albums”.  Yes, they can be destroyed but they will also be the first things I take when I evacuate!

I have to go away on business for a few days but next time I will tell you how I have adapted my recording system to fit in with my hectic life.

Love and sunshine from South Africa

PS. Lucky me won a seat in May’s Big Picture class on Monika Wright’s “I love it all” blog.  Maybe I’ll become a real scrapper after all. Monika has also been so kind to send me instructions as how to do a link. Thanks Monika, you inspire me!

Monday, January 23, 2012


The previous weekend I went away and found these little wire clips in a very small shop called "Willa se winkel" (this is Afrikaans for Willa's shop). As my December Daily is not nearly finished, I immediately bought a set of each to use.  OK, all the journaling has been done and the pictures printed but I can't decide if it should be bound by rings or my Zutter. So, until I decide everything is securely packed in a basket.  I promise I will decide before the following DD.  This was part of my 2012 resolutions - rather enjoy the journey and stop fussing about getting it done at all cost.
These were made by Eco Africa. The paper is hand crafted by communities of Zimbabwe from fiber of indigenous en replenishable plants that grow free and wild around their villages. For the embellishments they use paper, wire or other recycled elements. Through this project mainly underprivileged women and their families are helped.

I used one in a layout I made in 1994 for my son's Christmas album. The rest I saved for my DD.

I'm still struggling with the links but I found the Eco Africa story at

Yes, I googled the linking thing and got hold of a website for dummies but since then I lost the link again and this dummy still can't do it.

Well, today it rained so,

Love and rain from sunny South Africa

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christmas in January

I can’t believe that we have nearly finished one month of 2012!  So far it has exceeded all my expectations.  As the month is nearing its end, it is time for me to do my first gift project.

Last Christmas I made boxes with gift tags for all my girlfriends. Each tag was different and I included 26 in each pressie. I just love having tags on hand. As I don’t spend a lot of money on presents, I always try to wrap my presents beautifully and to add a personal touch to each and every one. I’m not really into card making but tags are so much smaller and I do try to do projects where I can use up all my scraps. If ever I get the opportunity to write a book, it will definitely be “365 tags a year” by Hazel Hamman. (sounds good to me)

Anyway, one of my friends saw the tag project in the making and therefore I decided to give her a different pressie. In the end she was taking samples of every tag I made and I ended up giving her a whole set!

This year most of my girlfriends requested a refill as they are not very crafty.  So, I have this month’s project covered.  I found that it was getting boring to do 26 tags in one month and therefore decided to do 2 sets every month of the year. OK, this doesn’t really count as a full Christmas project but for me its fine. Once I have the idea and start on it, it counts and I know I will finish as my friends are expecting their requested refills. Also, this means that I will use the scraps as they accumulate. It makes sense to do a layout and then use the scraps left to do tags or cards. Its funny how everyone is telling you something and one day it just makes sense!
Without further ado, my first set of tags for 2012.

I couldn’t wait to try out my new die from Hero Arts so I used all my cream and white off cuts and some brown ink to stamp the bicycles. I just love them. Well worth my effort of buying online and struggling to get it delivered to South Africa. I also did some bicycles in red and blue ink to use on cards while I had all the tools out. I’m not a very good stamper but I love doing it. A friend came over for a visit while I was working on this and loved it so much that we sat down with a cup of coffee and chatted while she stamped and I cut out about 20 for her tag stash. Now I feel a lot better about indulging in buying the stamps and dies!

Next up I used an idea from “Shimelle’s Pretty Paper Party” - use stripes, dots and a print on one layout.

As you can see, I can’t do “links” yet, but I have arranged with my son for a lesson on them ASAP.  First I’ll try to Google it – just maybe I can get it sorted myself or maybe someone can send me a link as how to do them.

That’s all from me for today.

Love and lots of sunshine from South Africa.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Girlie pressies

OK, so my houses are not finished yet BUT I'm sorting out my scrap space and as I have a lot of offcuts, I decided to make little mixed media books.  In the pictures you can see the ones I made for my friends' darling daughters.  I included a lot of cut outs for them to use while crafting at the sleepover as well as later at home. My son is all grown up and I don't have girls so I love to borrow someone else's children. (hopefully they like to be borrowed!)

Currently I have a whole stack of citrus coloured paper that's going to become the next batch of stocking fillers.  My aim is to make one present a month. Then, come Christmas or birthdays, I'll have enough stock to use. My husband has his own business and I'm cutting up all the blank pieces for pages.  I used to hate shredding all the confidential stuff but since I've been doing this, the pile is about a third of what it used to be. Saving and recycling!

Actually, I should be sewing as I promised myself  that I'll give my house a makeover but it is very, very hot in Stellenbosch (at least 45 degrees Celsius!) and I just can't get myself to start on the blind for my bedroom. Therefor I decided to start with a smaller project - the mini books. Hopefully it will be cooler tomorrow and I'll get sewing.

In 2012 I'm trying to get at least one thing done for my house every month, one thing for myself and one thing for someone else. Every Sunday I make a list of what I aim to get done the following week. Come next Sunday I write down what I actually did in each of these categories and plan the next week's. So far so good. This is why I started to do this blog - at least I can hold myself accountable while I'm playing.

Love and LOTS of sunshine from South Africa.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Seeing is believing!

Can you believe it!! My son got Maukie the virtual cat onto my blog but I did "I love it all" and "WCS" all by myself.  I'm going to find some more sites that I love before I forget how to do it. I also figured out how to move Maukie to the top as I totally adore him. Some other day I will write a post about my 18 year old cat, Tossel. A "tossel" is Afrikaans for a pompom and she used to play with one when she was little. She actually is our very first cat and we still have her. I feel truly blessed.

That done, tomorrow I'm going to start on little fabric houses that I want to sell in my etsy shop (whenever I get that figured out).  I have to start with them as I want to use a picture in my blog header. That's me - I don't start with the easy things. I want to do it all. Hopefully I will have house #1 to show tomorrow. I also have to start working again after our summer holidays so tomorrow will be hectic.

Love and sunshine from South Africa.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year

OK, I'm still not sure exactly what to do.  Will ask my son to come over and help. Isn't there a manual for setting up a blog??  Will Google right NOW!!!

I have some wonderful stuff to share and one of my priorities for week 1 was to get the blog or etsy shop up and running.  Tomorrow week 1 will be gone and no such luck for me.  I wanted to insert the most wonderful, moving, black cat from a blog and couldn't even get that to work.  OK, Google first and then a call to my son. Maybe tomorrow.

Love and sunshine (lots of it) from South Africa.