Thursday, December 23, 2010

2 days to Christmas

With just 2 days to go to Christmas, I'm deeply grateful for...
  • having the resources to be able to bless other people
  • the wonderfully cool weather in Johannesurg, and lots of rain
  • the opportunity to see my brother Michael over Christmas (he lives far away in the Karoo)
  • friends and family who care about me and bless my life
  • work that I enjoy and which challenges me to reach higher all the time
  • scrapbooking
  • my gorgeous kittens
  • the gift of salvation - being a born again Christian
May you be blessed abundantly this Christmas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3 days to Christmas

I'm still working until midday tomorrow so it doesn't really feel like Christmas yet. 

I attend a regular Wednesday evening Bible Study group - a wonderful group of people who bless my life immensely; I so appreciate their prayers and messages of comfort as I travel around the globe.  This past Saturday evening, we had our Bible Study Christmas dinner, once again a blessed time of sharing and comfort.  This group reminds me of the real reason for the Christmas season - the birth of Jesus Christ - our Lord and Saviour.  He is the real gift to us at this time of year.

The layout below is of the 2009 Bible Study Group Christmas gathering. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


like an egg dropped
by the slip
of a child's hand
the night lies spilled
the morning has broken
          **Dikobe wa Mogale**

I LOVE this beautiful poem - enjoy

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 days to Christmas

Just 5 days to Christmas - it's come too soon, almost as though it's snuck up on me when I wasn't looking!

5 things right now...
  • I went scrapbook shopping in Pretoria on Saturday (LOVED it!) - Scrap-a-doodles have the best range of supplies and lowest prices right now
  • we've had tons of rain and a bit of hail in the last 10 days
  • new yummy finds : low-alcohol beer shandy and moroccan spatchcock chicken from Woolworths
  • I'm packing for a looong trip to Richmond (Northern Cape / Bo-Karoo) on Friday
  • I'm thinking about my 2011 goals and dreams - I'll let these simmer and unfold during the next few weeks

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scrapbooking retreat

I have been scrapbooking with  a group called the Scrap Addicts since 1998. We scrapbook together once a month, and we set the dates a year in advance.  We also save money all year for an annual Christmas scrapbooking retreat.  This past weekend, we spent time on our annual retreat at the heavenly Maison Bordeaux guest house in Randburg - total luxury and comfort.  Here's a snapshot of the weekend...

We've just arrived on Friday afternoon - Lynn, Lynette, Leonie and I

The patio outside my bedroom

My bedroom - heavenly comfort

The living area became our scrapbook room

Lynn and I enjoy breakfast on the patio


Dontcha love my page!?



Time to go home - Joyce was our hostess for the weekend and
treated us to tons of filter coffee and delicious meals


Johannesburg is soggy with all the rain that we've had since last weekend.  LOVE IT!!  This is a dry country and we don't get nearly enough rain, so I'm joyful right now. 

I love the sound of the rain, the smell of the rain on the dry earth, the feeling of wanting to huddle and find comfort in hot coffee and Christmas mince pies.  I love my kittens wanting to snuggle up against me because it's cool.  I even love their muddy feet traipsing mud into my home.  Thank you Lord for this gorgeous rain!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Layout to share

I just spent the most awesome weekend at Maison Bordeaux guest house in Johannesburg.  The 4 Scrap Addicts spent the entire weekend scrapping - totally glorious but more on that later when I have some pictures (drool!) to share.  For now, see

This is another layout to share using just scraps and leftovers...

I encourage you to look at your scraps of paper with new eyes - they can easily become cards, gift tags, scrap pages or covers to note books for 2011.

This past weekend, we discussed how to store scraps of paper, and there was no real consensus.  Some store scraps by colour, some by pattern.  All I do is sort through my scraps every few months, toss (into the recycing bin) anything smaller than half a page (probably A5 size) and keep the rest in a plastic basket at the bottom of my scrapbooking cupboard.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Random thoughts

Just some random thoughts today...
  • there was sooo little traffic on the roads this morning - is everyone (except me!) on holiday already??
  • I have a long and difficult Exco meeting today
  • I'm on the 06h00 flight to Cape Town early tomorrow morning - I hate getting up at 03h30 in the morning!
  • Through Ali Edwards, I have just discovered what 'tostadas' are - I'll try them out over the Christmas holidays
  • I may get my new car today (YAY!) - a Honda CRV; I will really miss my Hyundai Tucson
  • I'm loving the colour red right now
  • I really need to unclutter my home - a lot
  • I've been thinking a lot about how much I want to adopt a regular yoga practice in 2011.  What else are my goals for 2011...?
  • I love Nokia / hate Blackberry

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brookdale Health Hydro

I treated myself to an early Christmas gift (3 to 6 November) by spending 4 days at the glorious Brookdale Health Hydro in the Natal Midlands.  It was a loong drive of five and a half hours, but the roads were very good.  I met many courageous, talented women, all indulging in a bit of comfort and pampering.  The food was delicious, but 1200 calories a day does NOT go very far!  The environment was breathtaking.  I discovered some lovely new products (Clarins and Guinot); I bought some of the new (expensive) products.  So glad that I am able to treat myself.

Methinks I may make this an annual solitary retreat?

The spa - photo taken on a too-brisk morning walk - phew!

The early morning view from my bedroom, as I sip forbidden coffee
(they don't serve coffee at the spa, they encourage us to drink herbal tea)

My very comfortable bedroom

All oiled-up after another treatment
I don't look my best in a white gown.  I don't care

Monday, December 6, 2010

Layout to share

Just a little something to share on a Monday morning...

My girls Bella and Ruby - total comfort, especially in the middle of the night
xxx  LOVE them to bits!

This is a really cheap and simple but very effective page - some stamps, rub-ons, dimensional glaze and scrap paper.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another day

At the start of another hectic week, this poem reached out and called to me

"This is another day O Lord...
If I am to stand, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
If I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly"

Taken from my (unpublished) book "Whispered Comfort

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

Hello December 2010. 

Three and a half weeks to doesn't yet feel like December or that the end of 2010 is just a month away.  The upside is that I have finished 95% of my Christmas shopping, so I don't need to be in the shopping malls with the crazy people, the desperate and frazzled people.

We had an early family Christmas celebration this past Saturday.  Of course I bought my gorgeous niece Elizabeth far too many toys and gifts and stuff.  Of course I HAD to get her some red reindeer antlers.  Of course she looked fantastic in her little red dress from Scotland (thanks Aunty Rosie!).  Of course I had FUN! 

I'm looking forward to December, let the countdown to Christmas begin!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Finding joy

My quest this past week to find JOY in my everyday ordinary life reveals that joy is mostly about the little things.  This week I found JOY here...
  • good coffee
  • my gorgeous Troop London canvas briefcase
  • my tiny baby hp laptop which is light as a feather
  • bottled water
  • Woolworths
  • my hotel booking was upgraded from an ordinary room to an Executive Suite overlooking the back of Table Mountain in Cape Town
  • a clear, cool day in Cape Town
  • flights that arrive and depart on time
  • a hire car with an automatic gearbox
  • a big comfortable hotel bed
  • a hot bath and soft towels
  • room service
  • Lindt chocolate & orange tart
  • colleagues who say please and thank you
  • rain
  • encouraging sms text messages from friends and family
  • an MMS picture of my gorgeous 1-year old niece
  • wild birds at my outdoor bird feeder
  • my kittens (they are EXTREME joy!)
EnJOY your weekend

Monday, November 22, 2010


With just 32 days to go to Christmas, I'm deliberately focusing on what gives me JOY.  This week I will seek it out, work hard at creating it, and try to understand what brings me JOY.  I think that the opposite of JOY is sadness, feeling overwhelmed and out of control - I don't want this.  I have a crazy week ahead of me with a ton of work, home maintenance (can't stand it!) and a business trip to Cape Town.   Note to self : be mindful about finding JOY (and comfort).

What brings you JOY?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Layout to share

Like most scrapbookers, I have a lot of scraps.  I tidy them up once or twice a year, but it makes me happy to be able to use them to create a layout or cards.  I made this layout with leftover bits of paper, my fiskars punch, flowers, ribbon and letters stickers.  The word 'birthday' was cut out using a Cricut diecut machine.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Less than 6 weeks

It's hard to believe - there are less than 6 weeks to go to Christmas!  I love the weeks before Christmas more than I love Christmas itself.  I always find Christmas day to be disappointing, probably because we have very few children in our family. 

I love the cheesy Christmas music in the malls and I love the decorations and festive displays of merchandise.  The colour red also makes me very happy so my joy at this time of year is doubled.  I wear my happy face.

I have already bought a few gifts - mostly books and goodies online at and a few other bits and pieces.  I have dedicated this coming weekend to Christmas shopping, especially Saturday.  I LOVE giving gifts to people, so I enjoy the shopping part of it - a lot!

"Remember this December
that LOVE weighs more than gold"
                      ***Josephine Bacon***

Friday, November 12, 2010

Favourite supplies

I'm frustrated that my new hands-free slice has not yet arrived.  I want it and I want it NOW!  Stamping my foot. 

Anyhow, wanted to share some of my favourite scrapbooking supplies right now...

Letter stickers - looove them!

Stamps - great value because I can use them over and over

Have recently discovered Martha Stewart punches - LOVE them.
Fiskars punches are also great.

Martha Stewart punches - these are must-have
supplies for scrappers and cardmakers

I will be scrapping with my friends tomorrow - oh happy day.

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The gift of encouragement

Encouragement is the perfect gift because it is free.  All it will cost you is some time, perhaps some creativity and thoughtfulness.  There are many people in your circle of life who are just waiting for your words of encouragement, comfort, praise or support.  Your words can heal the hole in someone's heart, the hurt which they keep hidden from the world. 

Be generous in dishing out lashings of appreciation and recognition to  people.  You can deliver your gift of comfort and encouragement in a simple note, a conversation or a telephone call.  No-one ever receives enough encouragement.  Someone is waiting for YOU to bless them today with the gift of encouragement.

Taken from my (unpublished) book 'Whispered Comfort'

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Layout to share

I have just spent 4 days at the gorgeous Brookdale Health Hydro in the Natal Midlands, but more on that in a future blog post.

This afternoon, I watched 'Julie and Julia', the wonderful Meryl Streep movie about cooking and blogging - totally inspirational.  If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It may inspire you to cook.  And to blog.

Now...a scrapbooking layout to share.  I love this easy layout and it can take LOTS of photo's which I like, I'm definitely not a 1 photo per page scrapper.  In this layout, I used:
  • cheap CNA chipboard letters for the word 'retreat'
  • fiskars border punch
  • Bazzil Basics paper flowers
  • the Good Shepherd brochure
  • apart from the 2 pages of brown for the background, I mostly used scraps of paper

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Travel journal

I bought these beautiful blank journals at Kirstenbosch Gardens recently - they come in packs of 3.  I have embellished the blank pages with my stamps and scrap paper to create a gorgeous travel journal.  I love the way that they have turned out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hello November

Heeey - where did this year go??  Can't believe it's November already!

It's official - I'm in love.  It's not a man, it's a machine.  The new pink SLICE to be exact.  I attended the Aquila Scrapbooking Extravaganza this past Saturday with my friends, and we all fell in love with slice.  Oh dear, another dent in my bank account.  But I must have it.  I have ordered one, can't wait for it to arrive.

The hands free pink slice - a thing of beauty!

See the little green SLICE on the table - it has bewitched us!