Tuesday, 29 November 2011


On Sunday a friend and I had a conversation that went something like this: Friend: "Hi, I saw your photo in the Paper!". Me: (totally confused) "My photo in the paper??". Friend: "Yes, of your boys!" Me (suddenly remembering & jaw dropping) "I've won!"

So there we are in the paper... I entered the photo a week or so ago, and actually forgot about it. So happy that some-one liked my photo enough to let me win! And so happy that the prize is an A2 print on canvas!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Project Life, 3rd week of November

Is it really Wednesday already? Time is flying towards the year-end. This morning we had a Cookie-exchange at Womensgroup. So fun. The baking and the exchanging. Today really feels like a relief after a rather pressurized time. We also had some really great news today as my husband was offered a new contract. He will be working 5 min. away from home now iso 45min one way. God is just so amazing! And I'm so thankful that I also had the opportunity to share some of this at Womensgroup this morning.

Anyway, here is last week's PL:

I saw the idea of blocking out certain images and info you might not want published, on Ali's Project Life this week. I think a good idea to implement this in future on my PL posts. I simply opened the digital lay-out in Microsoft Editing, went to "insert shape" on the toolbar, selected a shape and placed it over the area in question. In some cases I added transparency. Another option is to highlight an area and just blur it.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Concert night

On Tuesday night I attended my first school concert as a Mama! I got to see all the pre-performance excitement as a caleidoscope of little people were bundling in and out of classrooms...

And in the midst of them was my little soldier. Loving every minute in his cool calm and collected way. Posing with his best friend, who was a bear.

I wasn't quite prepared for the scale of this performance. About 75 kids in a variety of costumes, all trained to the tee. They performed "The Glass Palace". A story about two spoilt children who find themselves in Storyland with horns on their foreheads. They go through various groups of characters on their way to finding the Princess who teach them about friendship. I spotted Reuben sitting on the stairs, waiting for his turn on stage, sitting perfectly still in his huge hat, singing all the words of every song.  He was singing these songs over and over at home. The other day in the car, after the how many-th rendition, Liam, still a bit weary from his bug, dryly commented : "It's a NO from me, but thank you.." (yes, a la America's got talent!)

Then it was his turn on stage. Love that salute. He was right next to the Princess when she arrived...

After the concert they quickly changed into their "graduation" robes. They entered  carrying (safe) candles, and to the intro music of none other than Lion King. Quite a moment. Reuben was very stern throughout it all. But it was funny when his pre-school teacher adjusted his hat from sitting on the back of his head, before handing over his certificate.
So so very proud of him, so thankful to the special teachers at his school, and so amazed that this pre-school phase is almost over...

Monday, 14 November 2011

Thinking about Christmas...

I recently read Ali's "Thinking about Christmas" post. This got me very inspired to start pulling together my own plans for Christmas. I love how she has with her December Daily inspiration helped transform our December into a big build-up to Christmas Day.

So far we have already added to the Christmas book selection. We have a number of Christmas books that we take out every December. We also get a few new and library ones every year. This is one from Tiger Press, called "A long way from home" (by Elizabeth Baguley and Jane Chapman). We picked up ours at Readers' Warehouse.

We are also looking at ordering some online, like Richard Scarry's Best Christmas book , a Christmas doodle book , and Father Christmas goes on holiday looks like fun too. Here in South Africa I like to use Jump to direct me to an online book store. They also compare prices. (Just move your mouse over to find the links if they're not highlighted).

Still on books, I'll probably get myself another Elize Grey diary for next year.

Hoping to get to a maket with unique handcrafted gifts ,and the Parkview (day & night) Christmas market (with an icerink). And Carols by Candle light at the Zoo. Then there is also our church's Thanksgiving feast... But we will try to get to fewer things than last year's hectic schedule.

These Christmas labels are quite cute - you get to select faces, hair colour, and other features for each family member. They also have a great selection of school labels.

There's also a whole lot of ideas in my Pinterest Christmas board I'd like to try out. Like making some joy, peace & love pillows, etc etc etc!

And then I'm happy to say that our Christmas cake is baked and in the tin. Just need to remember to give it brandy every two weeks. (This is a during the process photo off-course!)

Mmm...Christmas is coming!

Project Life: 2nd week of November

I'm currently doing a Digital Project life. I you'd like to read more about Project Life, please have a look at my other related posts.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Doing the Mommy thing...

This week, like most, I'm doing the Mommy thing. Looking after a sick child, feeling a hot forehead, running him a daytime bath, putting out fresh pajamas, making jelly, making soup, soothing him...

Playing chess with a six year old. Teaching him to lose graciously. Being excited about Pre-school graduation photo's (they came out so well!). Trying to make a little soldier's concert costume fit him better. Hearing my own Mom's voice as I ask him to please stand still while I pin it smaller on him. Realizing that he is now at the age where my childhood memories starts.

Enjoying the peacefulness of our home... I love home. I love creating it. And enjoying everyday days here. I love savouring the moments that make up the quilt pieces of our life.

I know I can't catch them all. And I'm still learning to find the balance between capturing and fully living the moments...

But I am reminded of this quote, found years ago on Ali's blog:
(It's by Anna Quinden)

"...but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is paticularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photograph. There is one picture of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting done a little less."

Happy doing today.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Project Life | 1st week of November

The Project Life community on the internet is abuzz with the great post by Gluestickgirl. Have a look at  Lisa's approach to Project Life . It has me so excited I can hardly wait to start with next year's paper PL album.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Ahhh Avianto...

This week-end we were blessed with a little get-away to a Wedding & Conference venue in Muldersdrift, called Avainto. The name means "a village made in heaven". We were defnitely happy to try a place suggesting anything like that!

So this week-end we relaxed about our kids sleeping over (with good & trusted friends) for the first time in three years. We allowed our imaginations to transport us to a little Tuscan village (with a healthy measure of authenticity and African flavour thrown in)...

We walked cobbled streets, looked up at the earth coated towers and arches. We saw outstretched blue skies. We stood on our balcony and smelled potted jasmin. We watched many swallows in flight. We walked some more- lavender lined paths...past a pond, over a river... we danced all alone, in broad daylight, to the sound of a nearby saxaphone (playing at a wedding)...

We sat and had good conversations, we agreed that we wanted a lot more just me&him dates, we dreamed of thrawling through real Italian villages...

We bathed in bubbles, we dined under the stars, we listened to Eros Ramazotti and Micheal Bubble on the sound system, we made slow love, we slept naked, we had breakfast in a cellar...

We lunched on white linnen tables under a maple tree, we saw a good guitarist perform live, we enjoyed the friendly staff, we drank red wine...

We smelled lots of pine trees, we laughed and joked, we breathed, we smiled...

We felt so thankful for 13 years, and for right now, and for this week-end.
And we took many photographs...

 Avianto.... You can look them up here . They also do Sunday lunches (3 course with live entertainment) and are only about 30 min drive from Jo'burg.

(Click on any of the images if you'd like to see them larger).

Monday, 7 November 2011


Today marks our 13th wedding anniversary. 7/11. I only recently realized that that happens to be our shoe sizes too. Perhaps that was why the date felt just right when we booked it. But there were too many things that were just right for anything to be co-incidence...

The venue for example: We found it in the beautiful street, winding through an indigenous forest, that I always wanted to drive to our wedding. A large residential property that did wedding functions. We were finding it hard to find a venue available on the date that just felt right. We drove past this place, and I saw a rooftop amongst the trees. Something (there were no advertisement) made us stop and have a look. As we walked in, the sweet lady that did the catering was walking out (or else we would not have been able to get in). She booked us as her very last function. We walked down the forest path, past the gorgeous function hall (the rooftop I saw) to a little clearing, with a wrought iron wedding canopy. I just stood in awe at how perfect it was.

And looking back on that day, the sun breaking through the clouds and shining on our heads as we were saying our vows, I just think about how it was made for us as we were made for each other.  The kind of perfection you cannot order from a wedding planner...

Don't get me wrong, everything around our wedding didn't go perfectly smooth. Like my dressmaker that moved (with no new address) and disappeared for weeks (because she misplaced my dress with the move). She only re-emerged on the scene the Thursday before the wedding (when she accidently found the dress in a box).

This weekend we stayed over at a lovely venue (more about that tomorrow). There was a wedding and I wondered about what they might still face as a couple. Like anybody else we also had our share of losses: 2 Dads, one long awaited pregnancy, a home, a car, income, joy.. to name a few. But we never lost God and He never lost us. He is a God of turn-around situations and there is nothing He cannot redeem and make good. Today I count an abundance of blessings and many many good memories. Today we are still perfect for each other and our days are still ordained by God.

I was wondering how I would advise a newly married couple. This week-end we talked about choices.
I think I would tell them:

Choose God first
Choose love
Choose commitment
Choose integrity
Choose respect
Choose maturity
Choose wisdom
Choose honesty
Choose generosity towards each other
Choose building your marraige
Choose time together (quality and quantity)
Choose sensuality
Choose fun and laughter
Choose to be best friends
Choose sharing & openness
Choose vulnerability
Choose to listen
Choose grace
Choose forgiveness
Choose endurance
Choose gratitude and appreciation
And Choose to make good memories...

Friday, 4 November 2011


Downloading freebies can be so uplifting, you know, he he. I spent quite a bit of time over the past two days doing just that.

I found tons of free downloadable labels, journaling cards, and tags, which I think would be ideal for Project Life albums, or schoolbooks or whatever else.

Then there's a blog hop with downloadable freebies now on at Design House Digital. I wasn't able to download from all the Designer's sites, but the ones I got is really cool.

I also found this stunning free downloadable kit (via pinterest) here .

Oh, and I'm so proud of myself to know how to "link" now. I'm still very new in Blogging and learning as I go. Just don't know how I never saw that link button before!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Right now...

Enjoying:: Art projects w/ the kids.
Discovering:: Great croissants at a nearby store (chocolate and hazelnut praline fillings)
Feeling:: The Joburg sun burn.
Harvesting:: Red onions that I planted (from a shop bought onion)
Wanting:: To get to the sea again.
Excited:: That we're ordering Project Life.
Holding:: On to the last term before my youngest start pre-school.
Thinking:: That I'll never get to do half the ideas I pinned on Pinterest.
Grateful:: For my husband, the blessing of kids and friends.
Anticipating:: December and all that goes with it.
Believing:: That Theunis will get that dream job.
Wondering:: What next year holds.
Loving:: Pinterest
Remembering:: The different homes we lived in.
Appreciating:: A clean house on Tracy days.
Hearing:: Liam saying :" My tummy is crying for icecream".
Smiling:: At Reuben learning to be a graceful loser at chess.
Being:: Fully in the wonderful moments when we swim and they're loving it so much that they can
            doggypaddle. Liam kissing me when when he swam right across. Reuben turning round and round
            before he swims away.
Eating:: Lindt blueberry intense, homemade icelollies.
Drinking:: All the exciting new flavours from Halls: Berry, Strawberries & cream, Paw-paw & mango..
Trying:: Charcoal sessions w/ friends.
Going:: A shade or so lighter with my hair.
Downloading:: Blog hop freebies from Design House Digitals.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

December Daily soon

Ali Edwards, the creative mind behind the December Daily concept, has me all excited about this year's project. I've done DD for about 4 years in a row now, 2 paper projects and 2 digital albums that haven't been print yet. Here's the 1st page from my album last year. (I used Ali's templates available at Designer Digitals.)

I'm still undecided about what I'll be doing this year. But if you would like to read more about this project, you can check out this post by Ali (with further links to more DD posts) : http://aliedwards.com/2011/10/december-daily-2011-the-foundation-pages-part-one.html

And it is also absolutely worth it to check out Molly Irwin's December Daily posts:

I'm so grateful for them for inspiring me to make my albums. They are precious homes for our Christmas memories now. A highly recommendable way to spend your free time over December!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Art today

Ok, I'm still not sure how it happened, but today I started "teaching" Charcoal classes to two of my friends. I do remember that it took my very organised friend to be the one to set a date to go actually buy the artsupplies, or else we would still have been at the "yes, we must get together and start drawing" phase.

What I know about art: VERY LITTLE. The total of my art exposure at school was an easter colouring-in competition I won somewhere in the early grades. I think it is from there that "being able to draw" has been part of my identity. In my adult life I've attended two very basic art classes and created about a handful of pictures. I haven't drawn anything serious in say 5 years (and the last one was an incomplete charcoal on a fridge with a baby needing my attention), and I'm still subconciously going, OK, I'm scatterbrained and a lot of other shortcomings, but I CAN draw. So, it was time to start drawing again...

I ended up doing a charcoal of one of my sons' softies. Currently I'm not feeling the intense need to draw as I did when I was at artclass, but I felt some of the focus return towards the end of the class when I saw my friends off, forgetting to really look at their final products, being too zoomed in on getting my own drawing right. hehe!

Afterwards I was relating what I was experiencing to how we worship God. Sometimes we want to work at it (and do it all right) instead of flowing with it and enjoying it. A bit of revelation there.