Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just a list

Just a little list of life as it is TODAY...
  • wearing : Private Collection by Estee Lauder
  • listening : to Michael Buble - Crazy Love - full blast in my car
  • praying : Miss Ruby will get better soon - something is wrong with her back legs, the vet is not sure what's going on
  • hoping : for a little romance in the not too distant future
  • in my fridge : Woolworths butternut soup and winter pears
  • planning : to take the photo's at my friend Cathy's 40th birthday high tea on Saturday
  • coping : with a monster workload in the office (I worked almost 12 hours yesterday)
  • grateful : for seat warmers in my car (my warm butt says thank you)
  • happy : that my eating and exercise plan is back on track

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


"Love much for the earth has enough bitter in it"
                                                                          **Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Poet**

According to Albert Schweitzer, "constant kindness can accomplish much; as the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate".  The human spirit is incredibly tough and resilient.  Just look at the triumph of someone like Viktor Frankl who survived the horror of living in a Nazi concentration camp.

But the human spirit is also excruciatingly fragile, and can be crushed by something as simple as words.  Careless, nasty, unkind words can deeply wound the human spirit.  We should choose to rather speak words that nourish, heal and bring life to fellow travellers in this world.

What kind of words flow out of YOUR mouth each day - words that harm or words that heal?

**Taken from my (unpublished) book "Whispered Comfort**

Monday, June 27, 2011

Layout to share

I got most of my weekend chores done (go me!) - the bathroom cupboard is now a lot neater, one shelf in my scrap room cupboard has been tidied, I scrapped a double page layout, I printed a huge batch of photo's AND I walked for half an hour.

Just a little layout to share this chilly Monday morning

I always use lots of photo's on my layouts - 16 photo's on this one!
I also used our company gift ribbon as an embellishment

Love these Adage tickets by Tim Holtz / idea-ology
Stay warm and have a great week!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

This weekend

This weekend is bitterly cold in Johannesburg, it was -2 degrees last night.  For the first time ever, I kept my electric blanket on all through the night.  I abandoned all plans for shopping and doing the usual weekend jobs on Saturday morning, and instead settled down to pottering around at home.

I'm wapped in 4 layers of clothes, a buff and a beanie,
not a pretty sight

my best friend - the heater!

enjoying low-GI fruited seed loaf with peanut butter
and a mug of hot butternut soup

grabbing kitty cuddles and kisses whenever Miss Ruby walks past,
note how delighted she looks (LOL)

loving my New Balance casual walking shoes

enjoying scrapbooking inpiration from Becky Fleck
I also plan to :
  • tidy the bathroom cupboard
  • catch up on a few PVR taped programs
  • print a batch of new photo's
  • photograph layouts to share on my blog
  • tidy the pile of magazines next to my bed
  • have an afternoon snooze
  • go  v e r y  slowly
Stay warm out there!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mini books

I love making mini books, as gifts or just as a keepsake to enjoy myself.  When I find mini books that I like, I buy a couple, even if I don't have a project in mind.  This has been useful, because I often decide on the spur of the moment to make a mini book gift for someone (I work best under pressure!).

This mini book was part of a class I attended and the pages were in a kit form.  This book is a personal keepsake about my family; we all have very busy lives, we live far apart, sometimes we like each other and sometimes we really can't get along...just a normal family.  Some of these photo's are not ideal for scrapping a 12x12 layout, but they are real and true to who we are as a family.

"Having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain"   
                                                                          ** Martin Mull **

I love using my stamps - definitely one of the scrapbooking tools that I use a LOT

More stamps, a little flower, and title letters
cut out on my friend Leonie's cricut machine

I love circles, on paper, clothes, furniture, anyplace is good to add a circle

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Photo's to share

Just some photo's to share....

I have updated a wall in my lounge - gone is the old painting of flowers (I decided that I didn't love it, so I'm donating it to charity).  I have framed some favourite family photo's in various frames, and randomly scattered the frames on the wall.  I'm enjoying this new feature which greets me every day when I come home.  I feel connected to my tribe

Photo wall.  Some of the old frames are made by a community project
which employs women who battle to rise above poverty;
the wood is reclaimed from building sites and
re-used to make these beautiful frames

My brother Michael takes beautiful photo's in his little home town
of Richmond, Karoo
I scrapped the enlarged photo's very simply. 
This is my niece, Miss Precious

An old windmill in the backyard, with the hills in the distance

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


In every office you hear the threads
of love and joy and fear and guilt,
the cries for celebration and reassurance,
and somehow you know that connecting those threads
is what you're supposed to do
and business takes care of itself.
**David Whyte **

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mini book

My friend Cathy turns 40 in July, so I have been helping her make invitations and thank you notes.  She is hosting high tea at The Farm House in Linden, Johannesburg.  I have also made a birthday message book for Cathy.  On the day, I will ask all guests to write a special birthday message in the book and then add a picture of each guest onto the back of the message page (I am taking photo's on the day and will hopefully get a photo of Cathy with each guest)

To make the book, I used 12x12 lined scrapbooking paper which I cut into 15cm x 15cm pieces.  I inked around the edge of each mini page, and then used my stamps to add words onto the pages.  I used 2 O-rings to bind the pages (so that I can add more pages later if needed) and added ribbon to the binding rings.  I'm sure she'll like the message book, and that it will become a treasured keepsake.  Here are some photo's of the project (apologies for the dark unedited photo's, but I wanted to share them with you)

The front of the invitations

Cathy typed the invitation wording onto vellum

some of the berry coloured paper for the mini book

15cm x 15cm pages

words stamped onto the pages

waiting for the ink to dry; the patterned dots
are on the back of the lined pages

putting it all together

the final product - the birthday message book

Friday, June 17, 2011

Leaning into it

Leaning into something is a way of 'half committing' to something without being totally committed.  Sometimes that's easier to contemplate and manage than total commitment.  Sometimes we put things off because we can't face being 100% committed; it seems too scary and final to fully commit to something.  Leaning into something means you can try stuff out without the pressure of being fully committed, you can adjust and do a bit more or a bit less without feeling like a total failure if things don't work out. 

In October last year, I started leaning into the possibility of doing regular exercise.  I committed to exercising just ONE DAY a week, because I know that exercising 3 or 4 days a week (like we're apparently supposed to) just won't work for me, a total exercise-hater.  I started doing kick-boxing with a personal trainer who comes to my home every Monday afternoon at 4pm.  A few months later some friends (also exercise-haters) joined me.  It's June and I'm sill doing the Monday afternoon kick-boxing class.  GO ME!  From almost no exercise to a regular once a week workout - now that's huge success in my little couch potato mind.  I try and add 2 walks a week to my exercise routine, but I don't beat myself up if I can't make it. 

Here are a few other things I am leaning into...
  • I'm leaning into the possibility of doing a yoga or pilates class once a week
  • I'm leaning into the possibility that I can manage my eating habits better - nothing radical, just more fruit and veg each day, and less sugar and fat
  • I'm leaning into the possibility that I can honour 'meatless Mondays' by eating vegetable protein instead of animal protein on Mondays
  • I'm leaning into the possibility that I can get on top of the clutter at home by doing just an hour a week of uncluttering
  • I'm leaning into the possibility that I can do just a bit of Bible Study each day, instead of one big study session on Sundays
  • I'm leaning into the possibility that I can live a gentler, less stressful life
What possibility are YOU leaning into?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Discovering lipstick

It's no secret - I ADORE my niece Elizabeth.  I don't see her too often as she lives far away, so when I do see her, I take a gazillion photo's.  On a recent visit, she was fascinated by my pink shimmer labello lip balm.  This is princess Elizabeth discovering 'lipstick'...

First, my Aunty Ali puts some lipstick on me

How do I open this thing???

Now I put some lipstick onto myself

hmmm, wonder what it tastes like?

Now, Ouma also needs some lipstick

Ouma smears some lipstick onto me. 
Where is the cat...?  I'm sure he will look good with lipstick

This is such fun!

LOVE YOU my baby!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scrapbooking retreat

The companionship of friends and hours of scrapbooking - it was a great weekend at the Good Shepherd Retreat at Hartbeespoort Dam.  We all met for lunch at the Windmill at 12h00 on Friday, and after enjoying some delicious pancakes, we settled in to the convent at Good Shepherd; it's basic, it's clean and comfortable.  And someone else does the cooking and cleaning up.  All we have to do is show up and enjoy the meals, and then go back to scrapping.  Heavenly.

Total fabulosity - we are ladies who scrap and drink lotsa coffee

Scrap Queen Gifts.  Everyone contributes 2 items to each gift basket
We each end up with a lovely gift basket of goodies
Gifts included gloves, scrap supplies, books, a sweet jar and bracelets made by Tanya

The beautiful old convent

Entrance to the convent

I love this old bell at the door of the convent

Sunset over Hartbeespoort Dam

Pyjama party on Saturday night - Linda, Leonie, Alison and Lynn

Some of the Scrap Addicts group - Lynette, Lynn, Leonie and Alison

Paddy, Lynn, Lynette and Linda

Tanya, Claire, Leonie and Alison

Take a look at my friend Lynn's page here to read more about the weekend.  This weekend was pure delight.  I'm feeling so blessed to know this group of special ladies, and to be a scrapbooker.  I'm already planning the next retreat.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cape Town

Cape Town - a workers report (LOL).  I work at our Cape Town office for a few days each month.  This is the first time that I have been in Cape Town during the arrival of a cold front.  Truth?  These Capetonians know NOTHING about the real cold.  Yep, it's windy as anything and if you stand in the wind, yep, it's cold.  But nowhere near as icy as Johannesburg in winter - the Jozi cold is a biting, stinging, nasty kinda cold.  Johannesburg is usually dry during winter, but today it is raining - global warming or just a bit of craziness in the weather patterns?

So...I arrived in Cape Town from Johannesburg on Tuesday morning, and I fly home on Thursday afternoon.  I usually stay at the Vineyard Hotel, and our office is in Observatory.

My hotel room; I was sooo tired last night, I'm sure that I slept a hole in the bed!

I worked late into the night, trying to catch up on a monster workload

Me. Last night.  Worked too late.  Ate too much sugar and carbs.

View from my hotel room early this morning.

The view from our office in Cape Town.

I plan on working much less in Cape Town today, and hopefully getting to enjoy some down time.  I hope to leave the office at a reasonable time and visit a few of my favourite shops to catch up on gift shopping for upcoming birthdays.