Thursday, 30 May 2013

Project Life:: Week 19

Catching up on Project Life. And I really love this week...

I once again added a half page insert. Ideally I wouldn't want to, but it seem no picture gets left behind when I do PL. I don't always take photo's of everything, but once I have, and like them, it's hard for me to leave photo's out. But I know the bigger picture is that I don't want my album too busy. I learned that from last year's album. Working towards an insert free page for this current week. Hold your thumbs!

So to recap:: A Facebook picture of my brother outside of the PieterMaritzburgh High Court the day he was admitted as advocate. A photo of Liam through his bay window (I just add the "Twosons" over when my instict tells me to). A story about us negotiating new routines with my husband studying part time, and how we now make quality time for each other. Some birthday cupcakes for school. (I got the idea of adding letter stickers onto photo's from my favourite blogger/ Project Life'r, Ali Edwards.) ...And Liam getting a stay-at-home day. Loved listening to him play with his cars, and all the sound-effects that came with it.

This page:: Trying Cherry infused Chai tea (nice) at a ladies breakfast. A journaling card I made..(Psst: surprise at the bottom of this post). More breakfast photo's...

Turn the insert over... and on the left there's photo's of Liam's Pre-school's Mother's-day picnic. And the sweet gift each Mom received. It came in an illustrated brownpaper packet that I cut up and added here. The photo looking like a magazine-cover is a small copy of a cover I did for Reuben's school project where they had to make a Health Magazine. I got the photo on Pinterest and added text to it. I also captured some Autumn splendour in our neighbourhood.
The card in the corner I made by digitally adding a camera freebie to a white card, and then adding text. It journals about the photo's I didn't take over the week-end.

I obtained the translucent look here by cutting a journaling card out of a left over piece of page protector (after I cut it in half for the insert). Added some letterstickers to it. It wasn't standing out enough so I also used black pen around it. Not as neat as I wanted it, but an idea I'll try again.

And just to say thank-you for stopping by, you can download these journaling cards for personel use. Just print as a photo and cut to fit your pocket sleeve.
Edited:: To download hold the mouse over the photo, right click and select "save picture as".  It should then be saved in your "My Pictures" folder. Hope it works!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Project Life :: Week 18

The first week in my second album, and a busy one, because it was Party Week. Yes, Liam turned Six and we had a A Vintage Superhero party!
Around here that adds up to a lot of photo's. So I included not one, but two inserts, to hold all the party photo's.
This page I kept relatively calm, just a bit of the week preceding the party. Mostly party preparations: Making the capes, lolipops, baking the cake etc. And a photo of the Igloo Project after the dog.. well, ate it.

Here you see the first page of the party inserts. I just cut two Design A's in half for the inserts. The "Zap" , "Pop" etc. came from the cake. I stuck it onto a fold-up card that contains journaling about the party.

This is the middle of the two inserts. Very busy, but it reminds me a bit of a vintage comic book, so I'm ok with it being busy. I love that awesome "six" card, and the fact that one can see it no matter if the inserts are open or closed. It was a freebie I found on Pinterest.
And here is the back of the last insert and then mostly documenting Liam's actual Birthday on the Saturday: playing with his Hotwheels loop de loop, opening presents, Egg Benedict for breakfast, going to play Putt-Putt, waffles at the Spur, and -on Sunday- Flapjacks and Icecream for the Neighbourhood Circle.
Thanks for looking through this rather long post.

I'll be linking up at The Mom Creative.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Project Life :: Last Page & Cover Page.

And so I've come to the end of Volume One for 2013. I'll be dividing the year into 3 parts of four months each. (Like many other people). The first one can probably take another month. If I find Volume Two taking up a lot of space, I might move May into the first album, but for now I'm ending Volume One here.

This page might just be my favourite one in this album. Perhaps because I finally achieved enough white space to my liking! And I love that photo. We took it one morning while going out for breakfast (just the two of us). The "story continues" card was one I made myself, inspired by the one in the Seafoam kit. I will still own that kit. The rest is all Cobalt kit apart from the printed vellum.

And perhaps because I like Encores and Second helpings, I also like adding random bits at the end of the album. Stuff that didn't fit anywhere else but should be included.  Here I added some of Liam's number practice..

...a list of things that had to go to Liam's party, a drawing by Liam, and some School photo's. More class photo's of Reuben at the back.
I found the little Africa amongst my stash, I think it came from some sort of packiging at some stage.

I got a black leather Chiswick album for Volume Two. Love the quality. The "Twosons" doesn't actually appear on the photo, I just felt that I should add it on the blog. Hello card was a freebie. Map was cut from scrapbooking paper. The tag was a digital one that I printed, stamped on the heart and added letter stickers to. I don't feel the need to have my cover pages look similar, or even to have the whole family on 2nd and 3rd volume covers. I think I going to love this volume...

Linking up at The Mom Creative.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Project Life 2008 | A backdated project.

When I fell in love with Project Life, I did so properly. To the extent that I want just about all of their kits (does it sound familiar?) And I want to put all our photo's in Project Life albums (an exuse to get all the kits?) Most of my photo's currently only exist on my computer on External hard drive. So somewhere last year I ordered an additional kit (love Clementine) and slowly started working on the year 2008.
Back in 2008 I was frequenting Flickr and got inspired, mostly by Maine Momma's amazing photo's to do a Project 365 (which is basically a photo a day for a year). So grateful for this. So grateful that I took those photo's in the blur that was motherhood to little ones. I probably would have forgotten most of those moments. And it really became an excercize in gratitude for me. Our lives has changed a lot since then. We moved, and moved again, to a new City and Province, away from the sea. The kids got bigger, started going to pre-school and school.  My photography style changed a bit. But these times are saved in a bottle...

I love the perspective of doing a backdated album. It made me realize that the photo's I now take and see as everyday, will later be something that links me back to a certain time in our lives. What is ordinary to me now, becomes so precious a few years later. I most love photo's of moments of affection. But I actually love all of them. Every one that shows me how small the kids were, what our days looked like, what our world looked like...

For example: Going to the beach used to be (a wonderful) ordinary thing for us, now it is not part of my everyday life at all (being about 7 hrs drive away). I also love the little projects we did, so glad I photographed and even kept some of them.

I thought I'd do ONE backdated PL a year. Right now I'm still busy with last year's backdated album. Not working at it consistantly. I do a few pages every now and then... But more and more (forgotten) photo's are being savoured over again, and given a life outside of my computer.

I usually just transfer what-ever I'm doing in my current album onto this PL. So, if I'm adding tabs, I'll also do it on these pages, if I'm adding printed out digital supplies, I'll do it here. Writing on photo's etc. (The word art on the top photo is from Ali at Designer Digitals, and so is "Everyday Beauty".)

I'm leaving spaces to add some words once I find the diary I kept for 2008. It is somewhere amongst (still) unpacked boxes in storage.

So have my eye on the Jade Edition for a 2009 Project. And then baby albums...  I'm looking forward.
Thanks for visiting, I'll share more backdated pages from time to time.

Linking up at The Mom Creative.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Slow Week-End | Busy Hands

Since arriving in Joburg almost three years ago, we did a lot of exploring and out & about-ing. But we are getting to a place where our week-ends are changing. We are preferring them slower, more restful, and yet more productive. I think the inspiration originated years ago from a blog I used to visit from time to time. Soulemama makes living as a creative family so appealing. I love & own her book Creative Family. While my life doesn't look nearly as handmade & homegrown as hers, I've come to value the joy of making some things myself (I just love those things more), and letting my kids in on these experiences as well (they have always been eager participants).  This was one of those week-ends for us. And what did our hands find to do?
My hands finished a crocheted wolf beanie. I found the inspiration here, but instead of buying the pattern, I just "Gung-ho'd" my way through it. Reuben is very happy with his hat!

Dad's hands  picked some lemons from the tree and we all made lemonade together.

Dad also washed the dogs. Not sure how much little hands helped.

I made a batch of Oats cookies.

The boys re-discovered a book on paperplanes, tried various prototypes and went to fly them in the circle.

Six year old hands tried out Looming. Our favourite project for this week-end.

Eight year old especially loved it. (I'll write more about it once our project is finished).

And last but not least we taught them Charades, which created a lot of laughter around here!
A happy creative week-end.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Project Life | Week 17 (and a freebie)

Hello and welcome! Anyone remember the A-team on tv and old Hanibal saying : "I love it when a plan comes together"? Well I had that feeling with this week. Not that it was so much planned, but I loved how the colours just came together for me.

This week:- Catching up on washing after the rains (we usually don't need a tumble dryer in sunny Joburg, so I never replaced mine when it broke. I'm also blessed with domestic help, who, you know, helps, but this Monday I was up and down the garden path hanging 4 loads of washing).

I also had to get the K53 down in very little time. Yes, that is a somewhat embarrasing fact about me right now. I'm one of those late bloomers when it comes to getting my driver's licence. And I feel the need to explain. I can probably say that it had blessings - that most of my life it has just worked out that I don't need one.  It gave me contentment to be at home, being more productive at home, doing a lot of things together when we do go out. Living on an easy bus route before etc etc. I've made not-very-focussed attempts before (think learning to drive with a baby in the car). Postphoned a lot...But the time has come to do this now! I ended up reading through the K53 twice (felt very creative while I was supposed to study!) The test was computerized, and quite easy. And I was not the only girl of my age there, no, there was probably two more. And I got it! I got my learners, now it's getting the Drivers!
The "I really need to do this" freebie is from here.
Other news was that Liam lost another tooth and Reuben brought home a really hillarius family drawing.

You can actually see it better here. Then - (on a half page insert) some photo's that my husband kindly took of his weekly day-trip to Mpumalanga (4 hrs there, 4 hrs back). Reuben showing off his yellow shirt: Kids who work hard and earn enough points (for volunteering, honesty etc) earn the right to wear these bright yellow shirts on selected days. He did a lot of extra reading and handed in money found on the playground to earn the right to wear his shirt. He was so excited to finally get it. The speechbubble can be downloaded as a freebie at the bottom of this post.
Here we have the insert turned over: Liam that went on a late afternoon visit to Theunis' work (at least his office is only 5 min drive from home), some Autumn splendour outside our window, and a nice site drawing I found amongst the scrap paper that came home from T's work.

And the last page contains some photo's of Reuben's Igloo project (more blogged here.) The lined card was made from a piece of white cardstock where I added some grey crayon lines. The "Hello" card was a freebie. Supposed to be somewhere on my Pinterest board. Sorry I can't find it now.(Edited: Ok found it - it was a freebie from Digital Design Essentials because I receive their newslwetter. You can sign up here.) I added the photo of Liam peeking through a tree they made in Sunday school.

I love this week. Thanks for stopping by.

Now for FREEBIE time! The speach bubble is a card I made myself, and you can download it for personal use! (Not sure why the colours are so very different - it is the exact one I printed.) Just right click, "Save the picture as" and print as a photo. Cut them out using a PL card as template. (It's the first time I'm doing a freebie, so let me know if it works out ok or not.)

I'll be linking up at The Mom Creative.

School Project | Building an Igloo

I knew from the time that we attended his Open Day two years ago, that this project was coming. There, on exhibit, stood a number of dwellings:- an oxwagon, a farm house with lots of little details of washing lines and farm animals, a squatter camp made from metal plates...a Tuscan Villa... It's suppose to be a collaborative project between kids and parents. In some cases I doubted that a kid was allowed near the engineering and adding of mini model trees etc. It looked like a lot of work, and quite daunting. And so came our turn this year...

On my Pinterest board I found this amazing Igloo project from Bookhoucrafts. I loved that it was a relatively easy, participative project. I loved the simplicity and high visual impact. It shows you step by step how they did theirs. We did ours (shown here) somewhat differently: 
 Day One of our project I made some papermache goo. I found the recipy somewhere on Pinterest but the link to it is no longer available, so I'll share it here: 

Paper mache goo recipy:
Combine half a cup of flour + 2 cups of cold water in a bowl. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and add the flour & cold water mixture. Bring to the boil again. Remove from heat & add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool. The paste will thicken as it cools.

We worked over a balloon and used a yogurt container to papermache the entrance over. Instead of vellum, we used torn up pieces of baking paper. The kids really enjoyed tearing it and dipping them through the goo. We ended up adding more than one leayer, working up and horizontal to create the appearance of iceblocks.We allowed it to dry overnight.

Day two I applied some thinned down whiteglue over the dome and entrance and added some white glitter we had. I also applied some glow in the dark paint, but thankfully it didn't work as I only later realized that it glows in a luminous green! Then it was assembly time. We carefully removed the balloon, trying to involve the kids as far as possible. I was glad that we used more layers, as over the area where the door entrance was to be, we used only one layer and it was very brittle - but the rest was fine. I neatly cut the dome to shape, cutting out the door entrance.

Then trimmed the arch that goes over the entrance. We prepared a board (from an old framed picture), painting it white and adding glitter. With a craft knife I cut a pool out of one layer of the cardboard and slipped blue paper and a transparency inbetween to create the fishing pond. Added some glitterglue fish.

We glued the entrance to the dome - a little tricky. First taped it together on the inside, then added glue over the outside. Then we glued the complete igloo to the board. Added a penquin we had on hand and a Leggo Scientist. The wow factor was the little lights (we used a battery powered headlamp and a tiny cubboard light- found at Crazy store locally).

Reuben took it to school the following day and did an oral on the process. Switching on the lights at the end, got a "wooahw" from the whole class. He was also one of two that was selected from the class to exhibit at the next Open day at school. A less daunting project for new open day parents I hope?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A Vintage Superhero Party!

Last week I've been preparing for my youngest's party. I love handmade parties, and recently blogged more about it here. Once again, I was so grateful for Pinterest for making finding ideas so easy. You can check out my Vintage Superhero Party board here. This was one of the parties I've most enjoyed. A lot of Grace!
Everything just fell into place unbelievably well. It helped a lot not to bake a lot of stuff the day before. It took me years (and a broken oven) to get here, but wow, it makes a big difference. What I did bake (at a friends house) was the Earthquake Birthday cake...
This is an absolutely crazy cake. I initially planned to do something like this. But then realized it would be much easier to just incorporate this idea. Not having to ice around the side, yeah! I used what has become a go-to cake for me : Sweet Paul's go to chocolate cake. (he might pull his hair out if he sees what I've done to it.) It's basically a four layer brownie cake. I've added caramel and nutella in layers in between. The top got a layer of cocoa, cream and strawberry jam mix, some coffee chocolate broken in pieces and strewn over, and then some whipped cream, with thinned down caramel drizzled over. And lastly, for what was supposed to look like rocks, I added toasted marshmallows. I know, if you're a perfectionist (or on a diet) you might battle with this cake. But if you're willing to embrace imperfection at a six year old's paty (or have a cake braking in pieces) - this is great! I just added a Superman we already had, and some cartoon art on sosatie sticks. And some long candles, to avoid setting something alight.

For the partypacks we got some red buckets (the colour scheme was red, light blue, yellow, grey and black) and printed out these free cards. (To add as thank-you notes, signed by Liam). Inside the buckets each kid received an initialed cape and a mask...

They were very easy to make no-sew capes. Pattern and instructions found here. I bought felt, but discovered it had a shiny side, so decided to make them shiny-side up! The glue I used (Non-tuluene contact adhesive- from Excitement store locally) dried almost instantly and promises to be waterproof. I also glued on the velcro as I couldn't find selfstick ones.

Oh yes!

This day totally rocked :- Perfect weather, lovely park (we had it on a Friday afternoon at Delta Park), and Liam surrounded by his best buddies, having so much fun.
(word-art was an iNSD freebie from Ali)

And now you're six!
Happy Birthday to my Super duper boy. Love you so so much!