Saturday, 29 November 2008

Photo Diary - A week in Review...

Last Sunday lunch...
We all ate burgers & the like...
Cami ate popcorn, sweets & 7 UP!
She was in junk food heaven...














Daisy Bucket is settling in...
Already sleeping with the Boss!

Posted by Picasa

Photomania! - Gateway Theatre of Shopping

At last! I said I would post the photos of our weekend shopping trip & so I have! Only a week after, but that is about average for my turnaround time! Hey, it's not all I do you know...

Pretty flashy huh? Me thinks so anyway...

Love the red Christmas ducks, all in a row. Pretty cute huh? They're available at my fave Home Store, cleverly named @Home. I bought a beautiful all-white Christmas wreath there.

Some of my fave shops all in one cool mosaic, pretty flashy technique, I'm just sayin...
Aldo, Accessorize, Converse, Musica, Young Designers Emporium, a visual delight & great inspiration stations ...colours, prints, it's all the same when it comes to fashion, it spills over from one field to the next, textiles into paper prints, etc so you can take your inspiration from all over!

More, more, more! Gateway is one big mall...Posted by Picasa

Friday, 28 November 2008

Journal Your Christmas Online Class

For those of you who follow my blog, you will know that I won a place in Shimelle Laine's Online class..."Journal Your Christmas" last weekend. I spent a couple of hours this afternoon registering on her forum, with a password SHE SENT ME (!!!) That's right people...Shimelle Laine HERSELF...she exists IN REAL LIFE!!! This was no computer-generated thingy...this was HER...my Scrapbooking Heroine...one of my favourite Scrappers in the WHOLE WORLD e mailing ME in person!!! I'm saving that e mail FOREVER!!! In fact I'm printing it out & adding it to my 37 page "Journalling my Christmas" album! Okay, so she probably only sent me a personal e mail because I e mailed her first to say THANK-YOU for my wonderful gift (after all, I think the class has hundreds of participants so I would never expect her to e mail every single one of us individually all the time), but, nonetheless, she had the good grace to do so!

So the ball is now rolling...I have registered & downloaded her "Getting Ready" pdf. Obviously it's unethical to copy & paste everything onto my blog & I would never do that anyway... everybody's got to make a living...but I have got my weekend work cut out for me as I've been instructed to GET PREPARED! I need to gather my supplies together into a dedicated space & prepare my album. I can choose any format I like so I think I'll stick with a 12x12" album as mini-albums are difficult to find here & I have left it too late to order an online one by Monday. I'm gonna buy an album tomorrow, put in all the plastic sleeves & expanders & extenders so I am ready-to-roll with my first page on Monday.

I went to Scrap4Africa today (I heard they had some lovely new Christmas stock in) to buy some bits & pieces, & will go to Reminisce/Imagine That tomorrow to finish off. Well, I paid nearly R15 per sheet SINGLE SIDED My Mind's Eye printed paper & R16 per sheet for DOUBLE SIDED Little Yellow Bicycle printed paper, from the Sharon Ann Christmas Magic Collection. ( R10 - 1 US$) or (R15 - I UK pound) & (R7 - Aus$) to give you an idea of pricing. With the Rand devaluing almost 50% during the course of the year Scrapbooking has now become more of a luxury here in South Africa than the luxury it surely already is anywhere in the world!

My next instruction from Shimelle is to tell someone...so "check" to that one now! Lastly, I'm meant to "have fun" doing this & I fully intend to! I can't wait to go off & do the balance of my stash shopping tomorrow, although it's going to be a tight squeeze as I have to sneak out of a very important cricket match (Jack's last match for his school as he's off to High School next year) & sneak back in unnoticed, as Reminisce closes at 1p.m I think. I have to say (although I'm sure you've already guessed!) I am totally flipped about winning this class!!!

Just the other day I was thinking over what I had achieved this year. I was prompted to do this after reading Beryldene's Blog where she wrote an excellent post this week, about how we're all ever-so-quick to make endless "To Do" lists but how many of us ever stop to write an "I've Done" List? Well, not me! Don't think I've ever done it...so I thought...about what I had on my "To Do" List this year & whether I had achieved everything I set out to do. I made (another!) list...

1. Early on in the year I wanted to convert our storeroom into my Scrap Space so I had a dedicated work zone. Check!
2. I wanted to acheive a certain amount of "catch-up" pages. Check!
3. I wanted to learn how to store & edit my photos within my pc & print my own photos. Check!
4. I wanted to learn how to shop online for scrap stash & find EVERY online Scrapbooking Store in SA & check out their sites. Check!
5. I wanted to enter (& win) our SA Talent Search in September. I came 2nd. So I'm gonna accept that I did the best I could & give it a Check!
6. After receiving ABSOLUTELY NO RECOGNITION FOR MY EFFORTS (L.O.N.G. story & worthy of it's own post...) I decided I needed a new strategy & that setting up my own Blog would be a good starting point. Check!
7. The last thing I wanted to achieve in relation to my Scrapbooking life was to do an Online Class. I was umming & aahing over the cost when BANG! I won a seat in Shimelle's Class. Check!

Which means I'm off the hook guys...I've achieved everything I've set out to do in 2008...so if I do no other layouts this year (bar Shimelle's Class, which requires A PAGE A DAY) then I'm on schedule & I AM ENOUGH. That's a huge relief for me & something that I wasn't even consciously aware of, so Thank You Beryldene for making me aware! Thanks too to Wilna who inspires me daily with her outstanding work & infectious enthusiasm. The day I received my prize her scripture for the day was Psalm 36: 5-6

"God's love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks."

Well I certainly didn't...thanks to His good grace I have somehow managed to achieve it all...Wow!!! I gotta go get me an Amplified Bible...nothing says it quite like it!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Thursday's thoughts...

I think...

1) I need to get some serious scrapping done...I feel like I'm getting behind now...I'm seriously into this blogging thing & lovin' it but gotta remember why I started my blog in the first place!

2) My eldest daughter, Chelsea, is just growing up so fast now & is just so lanky like her dad (she is taller than me now & I really never thought that would happen...) & so good...keep waiting for the serious jolling (socializing) fever to start but she's still so sweet & naive (me thinks so anyway...)

3) I could really leave Africa & not miss the weather as much as all other Africans tell me I will...would definitely miss Mercy though, she is on semi-leave at the moment & working 3 days a week instead of 5...& we are ALL missing her! (bear in mind we have had this luxury all our lives & don't really know how to live without it...worrying..!)

4) My baby girl is really NOT a baby anymore!!! She is also going the way of all lankiness & it's only of late that I struggle now to pick her up...she has been on my hip for the last 8 years! Skinny as she may be, she is just getting TOO tall. I know I must come to terms with it but I just feel such loss...no-one needs me THAT MUCH anymore! :-(

5) I have to get my head around Christmas & start enjoying it more. I really am trying this year round & hopefully Shimelle's class will also get me going!

6) Good discipline can never be underestimated...hard as it is there is NO substitute. My 13 (going on 30) year old son has just completed a 2 week grounding & has come out the other side SO much nicer! Amen!!!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Daisy Bucket is Growing Up!

Here are some recent photos of our new little fur baby, Daisy Bucket. Good news is that Coco Blush (our 1 year old fur baby) has finally stopped spitting like a Cobra & baring her teeth like a Vampire...I was starting to think that my 2 furbabies would never get along so Thank Goodness all the animosity seems to be dying down at long last. They even touched noses today!
Isn't she cute? She is so confident & settled already & has never batted an eyelid over Coco's bad behaviour. She has just persevered with her friendly advances & finally it has paid off!
Posted by Picasa

Chelsea learns to Edit!

Had to laugh when I found this one...Okay I cropped it down a bit better but she did the rest...
When I quizzed her about it she told me Picasa was fantastic because she could now airbrush out all her spots! Poor girl is suffering a bit at 15 ...If you click directly on the "Picasa" I have created a link directly to Picasa3. It is a FREE Google download & FANTASTIC (as Chelsea says...). Best of all is that Picasa links directly to Blogger & downloading photos is so much quicker & easier when using it. Even if you don't have a blog, it's still a worthwhile package & only takes minutes to download & offers all sorts of benefits-go check it out...NOW!Posted by Picasa

Jack's Car

This post's really for the family, to see what our wee ones get up to...Poor Jack (& Shane I might add...) worked really had on this one. Tech mark was in the 70's so it was worth it at least. Note the Zim numberplate!

The photos don't do it justice...It was difficult to make & fully functional (okay, maybe not fully, but it DID move) & we dropped it by mistake so add ROBUST to that people!

What struck me about these photos (taken by Jack & added to a 24 page typed "Instruction Manual") was the artistry in the shots...clever boy has been watching mummy all this time... note the rugged background...achieved by placing the car on top of a bark "cobblestone"? thingy we have in our garden. He really thought about camera angles too. Standing up on things for the aerial shots & getting right down to ground level for the side-on shots. I love that some of the weird things he sees me do daily have obviously rubbed off on him...bless my boy!

Tuesday's Blog News

Some Interesting changes...

Before I get to bed (past 1a.m. here)...thought I'd give you a quick update on what I'm up to on Da Blog...

I am going to be updating my sidebar during the course of this week, re:- My Blog List.

I am doing allotta reshuffling & categorizing so that it will be a lot more USER-FRIENDLY for any of you visiting, ie:-

1) Blog Buddies
2) Inspirational Blogs
3) Celeb Blogs
4) UK Scrap Blogs
5) Sketch Blogs
6) Defunct Blogs (ones I'm hoping will fire-up again soon!)
7) Trade Blogs
8) Art Blogs
9)Scrap/Lifestyle Blogs...

(Phew, I can now chuck away the scrotty bit of paper I jotted all that down on LOL!) so need to spend some time deciding who goes where...

Then, when you pay me a visit you can also do some blog-hopping straight from my launching pad.

Just doin' my bit to make Blogland a better place to visit :-)

Monday, 24 November 2008

GOOD NEWS!

Nearly forgot...I WON!
Late on Friday night...(Saturday morning actually) I was blog-hopping & ended up at Donna Downey's.
I took her class at the Johannesburg Annual Scrapbooking Convention last year (2007) & just LOVED her.
She was absolutely full of fun & I loved her artsy & relaxed approach to Scrapbooking.

To be honest I had kinda forgotten about her...then I got onto Cathy's blog & pinched her little emblem to add onto my sidebar (by the way, thanks to Mel for teaching me the right terminology) & wanted to create a link directly to the originator of said pretty little thing, only to find out it was Donna!

Thought I would check out her blog & saw that she was GIVING AWAY 4 PLACES in Shimelle Laine's Online Christmas Art Journalling Class (2 sets of 2 tickets) & all I had to do was leave a comment to stand a chance of winning. Said my bit then left...never thought about it again...'til I got a comment from Cathy today, congratulating me!
Ever the cynic, I went over there to check it out & sure enough I WON!

I am the person that wins NOTHING, despite pretty consistent effort...so I was doing cartwheels (okay, not really, that would be like, impossible...) There is some EXTRA SIGNIFICANCE to this as SHIMELLE LAINE is definitely my fave SCRAPPER OF THE MOMENT. Her creations are really different & I love the way she embellishes. She really pays attention to detail & I am just dog-gone crazy about her work...

YAY ME!!!

Well hello Mr. Yummy...

Well, here he is girls...whatdya think? Okay, so I could have given birth to him but, truthfully, he reminds me of my dh when we first met, at 17...Shane was also an English schoolboy, straight out of Taunton in Somerset...mmm...

ALEX PETTYFER a.k.a. Freddie from "Wild Child", also starring Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts Neice (interestingly similar, especially the giant mouth!)

I've always gone for the "pretty boy" look...this boy is just too cute...

Monday's "What actually happened"...(over the weekend!)

Just goes to show...that if you step out of your comfort zone & "put yourself out there" people appreciate you for it! Well, I got 6 comments on my last post (my most ever...) so the gamble paid off! I'm not a mean person, but I do shoot from the lip, & sometimes someone's gotta say it (yes, you can be sure it ends up being me!) So, despite the fact that my little rampage (see last post...) was a direct result of lack of sleep, I may try that "creative writing" technique next weekend again...

Well, how was your weekend? Mine was good thanks. I took 3 of my kids to see "Wild Child" on Friday evening & then went to see it AGAIN on Sunday, with my husband & my son that missed it first-time round. What a lovely movie...I really only went to see it first-time-round as a "labour of love" for my 10 year old, who was dying to watch it. Well, I loved it & couldn't wait to take dh & Jack with me on Sunday. Don't want to give too much away but it is more of a teen movie with all the usual ingredients but also with a good moral & just cute...

The "hunk"of the movie is one Alex Pettyfer, who is J.U.S.T. 2 .G.A.W.J.U.S...Okay, he is playing a 16/17 year old boy (& IRL is still a schoolboy...) so it must be wrong of me to fancy the pants off him, but the fact is he is just too dreamy...I googled him today (on behalf of my 15 year old daughter of course...?!) & saved some scrummy photos for her to print for her wall. Will upload them with my next post (just to make sure you keep coming back for more!).

I had a good Saturday afternoon shopping spree at Gateway (local B.I.G. mall) & bought some white patent/floral wedge sandals for summer & got my Scraproom bookshelf. Fortunately for me, it was the last one in the shop, ie:- the sales sample, so was already 'made-up' as opposed to being flat-packed, so yipee!...no D.I.Y. I have a BIG car so managed to fit it in on the backseats, all screwed together already. Rushed home & got straight to work digging out all my Scrapping magazines from their various baskets, boxes, etc & giving them all PRIDE OF PLACE on their new shelf. Very proud...

Austen Powers party was okay. I'm not a great one for socialising, just anti-social at heart, always have been! My thinking is...life is so busy, when we have a few precious hours to spare over the weekend (& it IS only a few as the kids are involved in lotsa sports & our 2 teenagers are VERY social & needing lifts there & back, day & night) I would, quite honestly, rather spend my time scrapping, blogging, or reading magazines, ie:- doing the things I REALLY enjoy.

At last we are being invited to a few social functions (it takes 2 years in this town to crack the nod to anthing...) so, for that I'm truly grateful. I go for Jack's sake, 'cos all the people who attend are parents from his group of friends, so we get to have a chat, but invariably it is about our boys...truth is we don't really know anything about each other, bar this common thread! Just as we start getting beyond the formalities of social chit-chat the music starts BLARING & that's the end of the convos! Oh well, that's life...dh enjoys it, kids have fun, I don't mind it & have nothing against any of them & it doesn't happen often, so I accept it as part of my life. I just can't get over enthusiastic about it...

On Sunday Chelsea went to the Country Club for lunch (posh 16th birthday party!) so the rest of us went out for lunch while she was away. I took my camera along & got some okay shots. Am not enjoying my new acquisition, Panasonic Lumix (top of their range) - my latest gift, from Shane's recent visit to China. I haven't spent hours getting to grips with it, but can see I'm gonna have to. For 10 megapix I have to say, I'm disappointed. Took it with me to Gateway again in the evening and good thing too. Ster Kinekor's website has a lot to answer for. Wild Child was advertised for 5 o'clock, but the site failed to mention that this show doesn't take place on Saturdays & Sundays, & is at 7.30 instead!

With 2.5 hours to kill Jack & I had fun trying to make the most of our photo op! Finally I have some photos INSIDE Gateway...something I've had on my TO DO list for the last 2 years...It wasn't easy as the place was PACKED...late night shopping has ALREADY started here & shops are open 'til 9 every night. Totally unneccessary & I just feel sorry for the staff, who all have to work late then get public transport back to places like Phoenix & Inanda, just provides more opportunities for criminal activity is you ask me! Be prepared to be bombarded with photos in my next few posts!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

What I really think about YOUR blog...

Ha! Thought that title may grab your attention...
Well, I have been bloghopping for 5 hours now...gotta stop! Gotta go to bed... At least I've visited (most of) my friends...

BUT...before I do get to bed (yes, I DO know that I'm an insomniac!) I just wanted to give you an overview of my findings...

For me, it seems that the blogs I keep returning to are those with some CHARACTER, a bit of HEART...a place where you feel that there is more than just a commercial goal...

I hate to say NEVER but it would be a SAD day if I had to advertise on my blog...Seriously, it is COLOUR CO-ORDINATED...Very important people!

While I may not be a veteran on these things, I am an enthusiast & I must say that PROFILES are important. The less you put, the less you care...harsh but true...not that I'm saying you need to waffle on & on, but some of you don't even have a profile...About Me...nothing...nothing to say about yourself?...While we really want to get to know you, you're not making it easy...

I know it may be none of my business, but if your blog is public, I can only assume that you're happy for everyone to share it, the more the merrier, right? Sometimes I wonder what people's aims are...I suppose for some it's nothing more than an interactive web page, that keeps people informed of their latest scrapping victories, honourable, yes, but also lifeless...

Which brings me to e-mialing...I have only had e mail for 6 weeks...yes, you read that correctly...L.O.N.G. story & totally irrelevant here...& I was SOOOO excited to be able to communicate with all my friends, all welcoming me to Cyberspace & telling me how hooked I'd be getting...Hooked on what I ask you? Clicking FORWARD...?give me blogging anyday! I am SICK and TIRED of receiving forwarded e mails that have gone to all & sundry (gee, I feel special!) & never ANOTHER word. Now, don't get me wrong, some dear friends do click forward occassionally, as do I, and it's fun, I enjoy it...good for a laugh! But others ONLY click forward. Nothing else...nothing...not a word...how is that communicating??!! Am I meant to feel "thought about" 'cos truthfully, I just feel insulted. Sorry, but I have just had enough of it. Blogging wins hands down! I love the interactive element & the personal communication aspect. Just brilliant.

The final straw came about a week ago when I sent on (yes, I clicked "forward"!) a quiz that Jacqui had sent me...I had to backspace over her answers, fill in my own, then send my completed quiz back to her (so she could learn more about me) & onto 5 other friends. Well, I got 1 reply. Okay, laugh, I would if it wasn't me...but I was bleak, really bleak...& I have only got bleaker as the week has progressed...so bleak in fact, that I have deleted them from my address book, should I ever be tempted to contact them again...I figure if they value our friendship they will send me something again (no doubt...by just clicking forward!) then they'll be back in the address book (mine saves automatically...) Silly-maybe, immature-definitely, upset? You bet...

Friday, 21 November 2008

I'm Back! (My week in review...)

Well here I am again...
I sure have missed you all...no, really...
Truthfully, I have been really sick for 2 days, vomiting & diarrhoea (yes, I did just look that up in the dictionary...) so it has been a very unpleasant coupla days for me & mine...

What's been going on in my mind:- I want to try & set a typical 'routine' up for my blog...maybe I will, maybe I won't...but I thought it could work...you know, if I had the same theme for the same day every week, ie:- My week in Review every Friday. Could be boring so maybe I won't keep it up, but at least then you could get to know which 'articles' you enjoy & go straight to them. Reason for this thinking? I have had a magazine week at last...I have read 3 magazines cover-to-cover! OK, NOW & Creating Keepsakes, & it struck me that they all have a format, and that I always turn to exactly where I want to go first, rather than just starting at the beginning. In fact, I often start at the last page, as it is almost always an interview, and I love those...

So let me know what you think if you can be bothered...otherwise I'll just give it a go anyway...

My highlights have been...(not that many come to think of it...lol)...more introspective than anything tangible, although I did get my hair done (cut & coloured) & that was worthwhile. Chelsea is finally finished her exams so we have got to hang out quite a bit this week & I have enjoyed it. We tidied her room, pretty darn thoroughly, & she did NOT enjoy that, tho' I was in my element! Uurgh, why are teenagers such pigs???!!! It was really gross...Needless to say a fair bit ended up in the bin, or recycled, or given to our house-helper (ever appreciative) & things are now much improved (in my opinion) tho' she claims she actually LIKED living like that...?!

So, back to the hair...we both had the hair-do's & looked pretty flashy for a day (I need some GHD's!). We usually have a photo-shoot straight after (the supermodel look doesn't last long...lol!) but I had started the day feeling pretty queasy & , by the time we were finished, I was looking (& feeling) rather grey...So we never took the photos, soz!

Dorian & Jody's Website also gave me that warm & fuzzy feeling...check it out...Dorian is my brother-in-law (my husband's brother...duh!) & him & his wife are finally moving (back) to Zambia, from America (Jody is American & Dorian has been studying for an Environmental degree there for the last few years, since they've been married...BTW...they met in Zambia while Dorian was working as a guide at a camp there, and Jody was working there for the Peace Corps). This is their dream...& it is quite inspiring to read, so give them some support & check them out, the scenery is awesome! Jody arrives from U.S.A. on 6 December to join Dorian, who has been there for a few weeks now, setting up camp. Jody plans on keeping their website up-to-date although I'm not sure how as I can't imagine an ADSL line anywhere close-by...

Ali Edwards inspired me AGAIN...I don't have a chance to blog-hop nearly as much as I would like but finally checked out her blog for the first time in ages & came across this treasure - a quote - by...


Marilyn Thomsen : "And while it takes courage to achieve greatness, it takes more courage to find fulfillment in being ordinary. For the joys that last have little relationship to achievement, to standing one step higher on the victory platform. What is the adventure in being ordinary? It is daring to love just for the pleasure of giving it away. It is venturing to give new life and to nurture it to maturity. It is working hard for the pure joy of being tired at the end of the day. It is caring and sharing and giving and loving… "


Wow...that has had me thinking ALL week...Gotta add it to my Layout. Look for it down the right-hand side of my blog. That's just too good to get 'lost' in my archives. I could waffle on about it but it'll mean something to all of you so no need.

Mel also inspired me to get more REAL with my blog (hence the e mail, now removed...sorry Mel, just couldn't go THAT far...) & Joanne gave me my weekly dose of laughter...that girl...These 2 are just inspirational. Their blogs are so real, open & honest. Thank you! I really am enjoying what you have to share. I have also been having good chats with Heidi, all the way across the seas in New Zealand. We have been comparing notes on lifestyles...VERY different...but VERY similar...weird...

So, looking back on that just SHOWS me how important blogging has become in my life!

I spent a couple of mornings scrapping with my Scrapbuddy, Jax, & need to photograph & post some more of the layouts I have done recently, up onto da blog! Will try & do that tomorrow, but have plans for some D.I.Y (the scraproom shelving, remember?!) & need to find & buy a li'l bookshelf for my ever-growing collection of Scrap Mags...so the photos may have to wait a while. Also going to an Austen Powers Party soon so need to organise a "Groovy, baby!" outfit too...

Have had some Lowlights too, but will keep them for my next post! For now, goodnight! I've got places to go...people to meet...I'm off blog-hopping!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Welcomed to South Africa! (An e- mail forwarded to me today).

Phew...that was a mission to get rid of...! Well, if you didn't get to see it, you're TOO late. Sorry, but I just didn't like the look of it on my blog. I want to print my blog into a Blog Book (now offered online you know-they print and send - FYI) so I want every morsel of it looking delectable & that e-mail was darn U.G.L.Y. Not only was the content revolting (true, yes, but also very depressing...) but it was printed in gigantic type for some strange reason...making it look all the more menacing...enough to put any of you off from ever visiting my blog again...

Basically, it entailed life in South Africa, & how to live it around the terrible crime situation here. Not keen to turn this into a political blog as I have SO MUCH TO SAY on the matter that it would take over the blog! Also, well, I'll rather not say anymore about it in retrospect...! So back to the business of blogging my life, minus the (really) nasty bits...

I'm a Blog Evangelist!

Yes, yes, yes!!! I am SO excited 'cos my friend France wants to start a blog!!! I am so excited to share some blog love with her...I can't wait...

FINALLY got to my fave l'il shop around here...Reminisce to visit my friend & be inspired by all her hard work (she owns & runs a fab Scrapbooking Shop in KZN & has recently relocated into a beautifully renovated house, complete with La Maison Coffee Shop & Spa Treatment Centre)...SO lush...If you haven't been YOU"RE MISSING OUT...travel if neccessary...or, only if you have a GOOD excuse...ie, you live on the other side of the world...visit her website...just click on the links I have created above...Oh yes, I'm not too shabby at this blogging thing anymore people!

We got chatting (as one does...) & she always gets me excited...firstly, we always have a little "reminisce" about our weekend together at the Convention in Johannesburg this year, which was full of hilarity-you can imagine-African Style-the hotel bookings were stuffed up good & proper & it took us hours just to check in...blah blah blah...the list goes on. The START of the trip we were all hooking up at Jan Smuts (oops, I mean Oliver Tambo now people) - that's Johannesburg International Airport for anyone who didn't know that - after our respective flights, only dear France was nowhere to be found...Poor girl was at the clinic getting a fair amount of stitches in her LEG!!! She had sliced it open with her craft knife that had jostled it's way to the side of her CABIN luggage...unbelievable but she has the scar to prove it & is now most revered for her dedication to scrapbooking, in sickness & in health...aaah...OK...enough reminiscing!

Anyway...then we inspire each other...she shows me some tantalising, mouth-watering goodies from her "special" shelf...& I fill her in on the latest happenings in MY Scrap World. Well, my good excuse for my sudden monthly drop in layout production (LOL) I attributed to STARTING MY OWN BLOG (never fails to impress..!) which had her instantly excited & rearing to go. Like so many of us (here anyway?!), it's something we have all heard about, & she is just dying to make it happen, but not at all sure how to go about it..well, guess what?!...I could advise her! I know that is hilarious, coming from me of all people, but it made me realise (as I was reminiscing again on our meeting, last night) I've actually made a blog, single-handedly, & it's a pretty fine one now too... Not only does it look good, it functions as it should & it is interactive. I'm proud of myself...better stop boasting before something bad happens & my blog deletes itself (my new worst fear!)...you know what God says about pride coming before a fall...

I got the Blinkies!

BIG thanks to my new Cyberbud Vicki! Thanks for the tip...I am delighted with my little set of "Blinkies"...For those of you who have NO idea what I'm talking about, look to the right & scroll down until you see the title "My Blinkies" right here on my blog! They are SO cool, right? Well, they may not be everybody's cup of tea I 'spose but this is MY blog, so they're here to stay! Dear Vicki pointed me in the obvious direction, & suggested I google "Scrapbooking Blinkies", which worked a treat. I keep forgetting to Google...sounds ridiculous but, until about 6 weeks ago, I didn't even have e mail, let alone "Google" anything, so sometimes I just need a gentle push in the right direction.


For any other Bloggers wanting to "steal" my Blinkies...please GO AHEAD...you have my blessing! Haven't tested it yet, but it should work. If not just google them as I did, THEN right click on the one you want & copy ALL the URL (HTML text) you see in the "description" then PASTE it into your Blogger Gadget (choose the one that says "Add a picture") & remember to delete the http:// before you paste it as you will already have that, otherwise it will say INVALID URL & you will get frustrated, like I did, until I worked out what I was doing wrong!!! Then, using your keyboard arrows, use the LEFT one and keep pressing it till you get to the beginning of the address, ie http://. Once you get to the beginning it will start processing almost immediately & you will soon see your Blinkie appear. REMEMBER TO CLICK SAVE amidst all your excitement!!!

BTW I 'spose they are called BLINKIES 'cos they are animated so they kinda BLINK at you! (Took me a while to work that out...DAH!) And for anyone REALLY adventurous, you will also come across (on page 1 of your search) a tutorial for "How to make your own Blinkie" which sounds fascinating...I would LOVE to try it & know I will manage one day, but I'm a realist & I reckon I've done pretty well with my little blinkie selection, so am calling it a day for now.

Monday, 17 November 2008

A week in Review (Jack's highlights/Daisy comes home)

I'm sure you can all tell I've overcome my photo downloading problems! Hence tons of photos being posted daily. For anyone who's interested I downloaded Picasa 3, as suggested by Blogger, and all I'm doing is selecting the photos I want to publish, then clicking "Blog This!" Have just seen that I can edit the photos right in Picasa, before posting them, so they should all be better quality from now on. I usually only do the editing prior to printing in my photo-editing programme, Photosmart Premier, but am already won over by Picasa's more comprehensive editing options.

Last week Jack was awarded the "Sportsman of the Year" award for the Under 13 age group at his local Football Club, for the 2nd year running! Jack top scored with 17 goals this season, in 13 games. Not bad my boy! He is Manchester United obsessed & Ryan Giggs is his personal hero.

The following night we went to the Scholarship Awards at one of our local High Schools, where Jack was one of 50 boys to receive a Scholarship for a school with approximately 1000 learners.

Our first photo of Daisy Bucket, whilst we were still at the vet. Held by her "mum", Chelsea...

Baby makes herself quite at home in my Scraproom.
Posted by Picasa

Introducing Daisy Bucket!

As promised, here is the new baby! She is now just 7 weeks old & is just adorable. Although she is tiny she is actually quite sturdy & incredibly self-assured & friendly, considering she has only just met her new family. We weren't sure which kitten to choose initially, but she won us over with all her purring!

Daisy spends a lot of her day asleep, like any new baby, but is "full of beans" when she is awake

Aaw, isn't she just an adorable fur baby! She loves being carried around like this by all of us!

Cami is "over the moon" to have such a cute, real life fur-baby to cart around the house!Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Phew! That's a lot of posts for ONE layout!

Not sure why I got so carried away! Sorry! For all of you who have seen the post below, for some complicated reason, the other 3 posts I have written SINCE THEN have come out BELOW instead of above them, so PLEASE SCROLL DOWN to view.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I am exhausted after ALL THAT POSTING & am definitely let off for the next few days...

For those of you who are following my progress as a Blogger, and my efforts to become TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED (as opposed to "challenged") I uploaded my photos last night directly from Picasa, as opposed to "My Pictures" and it took exactly one eighth of the time, ie 3 minutes for 4 pictures, as opposed to 6 minutes for one (not too shabby at the maths hey?!) so this was a vast improvement for me. Limitation seems to be that one can only upload 4 photos per post as, if you select any more, they just don't arrive...ever!

Have noticed that my pc is definitely slower tho', since Picasa's arrival...? Have my IT man coming this week to see if we can speed things up again.

Have had a strange weekend...blinked & missed it. Don't seem to have done much. Have been enjoying the new fur-baby. Still need to upload those photos I know! Will try to do that soon. Had a nice drive yesterday, all the way to Shane's work place, pretty far from home, & my plan was to take photos all along the way, to give you peeps an idea of our surroundings here. Dear daughter had nicked my camera out my bag & not replaced it, so I was livid & now you get no photos...sorry! Dear hubby didn't help the situation either...when we arrived at the factory gate he realised that he had left his gate remote at home so we couldn't get in!! We were supposed to be collecting a surplus desk for Chelsea to use in her bedroom, now that she has a bit of space since we have relocated the pc.

Anyway, no problem, he collected it with her today & we decided yesterday that we would pop in to the new Westwood Mall here in Westville, rather than waste our journey, and we enjoyed that. It was lovely to walk around like a couple, with no children in tow for a change & the bonus was I found some lovely colourful pencil cases at CNA so bought one per colour/print way - 3 in total, & am going to add them to my travelling Scrapbooking bag, for adhesives, etc, as my poor tote is overflowing...

We have been enjoying some delicious meals in this house lately, courtesy of My Chef (see previous posts) ready-prepared food that comes with the recipe attached, and, interestingly, our grocery bill has not increased. We are now all enjoying the foods we each like (my family is VERY fussy & each person has different tastes) so everyone is happy & there is less wastage so mum's happy too...hate to waste!

Went to Mica for the shelves today (for my Scraproom makeover). Had to travel further afield than I had hoped, as the local branch does not have a big DIY section. Bought 2 white melamine shelves plus brackets & screws to match. Just gotta drill them up sometime soon. Not looking forward to it to be honest...terrified of DIY...need to get over my fear I know, it can't be that hard & it sure does save money!

Layout Time Again! Layout No. 4 - "Egg Hunt"

For those of you who attended this year's "Convention" you will recognize this as the layout idea from Jennifer Strauss, from Around the Block... The paper we were supplied with was Easter paper...luckily I STILL hadn't scrapped my Easter shots so I was okay...sure many of you were furious tho', not to have been told to print Easter photographs, as we were told that any family theme would suit...Hello? No can do! Can't scrap any arb photos with paper that actually has text saying EASTER!!!
I reckon our fancy "Convention" was a good way for these international "celebrities" to palm off all the junk that hadn't sold throughout the year...We were supplied with a very interesting assortment of brads, etc to use to decorate too, some of which I swear came out of someone's Chinese Christmas crackers...I had to finish this at home with my own tidbits...did manage to use some of the SHOCKING (in more ways than colour only!) punched-out flowers tho"!

Above is the LEFT-hand side of the layout. I changed mine from the original sketch, quite a bit as I wanted/needed to pack in more photographs. I inked the gross pink paper flowers (by paper I DO mean post-it quality, not bazzill!) with my Dark Brown cats eye & added some delectable treats from my all-time fave...Making Memories. Nyummy big, glossy brads, plus some nice felt ones too...can't remember what manufacturer, soz...& some lovely little crochet flowers that are available here from "Imagine How Expensive That Is!" - our local rip-off joint! Keep threatening to buy my own crochet needle...

Above here is the RIGHT-hand side of the layout, along with hand-journalling that I will show you a close-up of in my next post. I did think Jennifer was a lovely lady & I did learn a bit. I enjoyed the idea of tearing the bracket-shape then "distressing" it with our finger-nails...cool...saves digging about in my Tote (contains essentials only...hehe...must photograph it to show you all how to use yours to capacity!) Just adored these photos...shows you the pro's are right about taking them at the right time of day, early enough for the sun not to be directly overhead. Also enjoyed the black fineliner "doodlingy" disjointed lines around the edges, although the doodling trend has been around for quite some time already...

Here is the finished layout. Pretty cute huh?! Also liked the idea of using half the bracket shape on the top of the left page and the other half on the bottom of the right one. She provided us with some fairly cute acrylic stamps to use for the title. Only problem is they were totally STUCK together-some excuse about the shipping process-funny how the ones available in the stores (that arrived by same mode of transport) are all fine...?...so we spent a fair portion of our precious 120 minute class desperately haggling with the pieces, trying to separate the entire alphabet, not to mention the cute little flowers, etc! Would have thought the company representatives would have sorted out this problem the day before, when they arrived. As it was we had enough on our plates having to convert from inches to centimetres in EVERY class.
I'm not a great fan of interactive elements on pages. I like to view the entire layout, journalling, the whole lot, when I look at the layout, without having to lift any flaps, etc. Not keen on it, don't do it unless, of course, in the rare case when something is private. You'll notice a little match book on the bottom right corner of my layout. I thought this was pretty cute, & will probably make quite a few more, but as gifts for friends, etc & not actually attached to a layout. I've cut a rectangle, slightly larger than the mini-book, from my page protector, so that the little book can easily be flipped through without having to remove it from the plastic cover.
In my next post I will show you close-ups of the details, plus a sneak peek into the little match book, which, by the way, was incredibly easy to put together.
Until then, goodnight! For me, it's beyond midnight & I am trying my best to get out of my very bad habit of blogging 'til dawn!
Posted by Picasa

Layout 4 - Egg Hunt - Inside the Match Book

The long -awaited match book! Tadadada! I wrote directly onto the photos. I know, I'm one brave girl, but it really doesn't worry me, if I mess it up I'll make a plan, or as my Scrapbud Jax says..."You can always add a blom!" (Afrikaans for flower) Also love angling the photos & cutting them flush with the edge of the layout (or, in this case, mini-book) as shown on the left-hand side below.
As you can see, although the book cover opened up as per a 'normal' book the 'spine' of the mini-book inner pages is on the right, so , in my opinion, the contents of the book are kinda back to front...When I make another one I'm rather gonna do it the other way round so that the cover looks back-to-front but the inner pages open like a normal book, with the spine on the left. Maybe it's irrelevant, but some of these little things just DO bother me!

Never one to throw anything away if I can help it (let me off guys, I'm Zimbabwean!) I decided to use some of the larger flower cut-outs as journalling "spots". Couldn't bear to do it with the pukey pink ones but this butter yellow was rather mellow...It's not clear in the photos but I also inked the edges of the mini-book with the inkpad we were given-an olive green one. Not a colour I use a lot but wasn't bad on this particular layout.

A sweet montage of photographs of my son Reilly. a.k.a Bing. He was so enthusiastic that I ended up making another layout, entitled "King of the Hunt" especially for his own personal album. I don't have ONE memory of hunting for Easter eggs...think we may have just been given one egg each on Easter morning. That's what I love about scrapbooking. I know I can rewrite history for my children. I try not to miss a moment...

Well there it is. One way to get through ALOTTA photos all on one layout! What to learn? Keep a black & a brown fineliner in your tote at all times. Learn to love hand-journalling. Hunt out a good white 'milky' for writing on darker-coloured papers. (Not easy to find in this part of the world). My Secret? I am pen crazy! I keep a slim-line plastic container in my tote FULL of black, brown & white pens of various thicknesses. These are my 'staples'.
Posted by Picasa

More close ups on Layout 4 - Egg Hunt

Yeah, yeah, you all know about this one...think I just got a bit "carried away" when I was taking these photos!! Sure you get the idea by now. Just dig through your stash jars & tip out a whole lotta lush product then start "spiking" with your ever faithful paper piercer & before you know it, you too can have an oogleliciously lush layout! Need more inspiration. Google Shimelle Laine...She has a gallery at 2 peas in a Bucket & all her layouts look like adverts for Cosmic Candy. She is possibly my favourite scrapper of the moment.

Below is a close up of the stamping. Very cute fonts & we were provided with pretty coloured inkpads to use. Stamping's not perfect but I don't care...I like it...I'm not after perfection...I wholeheartedly embrace Alli Edward's philosophy that "It is Okay" and it is..

Ooh, this is a goodie - the shot below shows how nicely the bazzill distresses. Just mark your shape outline lightly with a pencil, tear, (not as easy as it sounds...you need to always tear towards you to get the core showing, and if you are following a specific shape like this then you can only tear little by little, being careful not to bend & mark the lovely shape that will end up gracing your layout.)

This is my own personal font! It just kinda developed as I did more & more hand-journalling. Funny thing really, 'cos it ain't my hand-writing, but I have taught myself how to journal like this on almost all my layouts. I like it. It's a good one for not having to be straight & perfect all the time & I reckon it always looks cool. I'd even go so far as to offer this as a free computer font, if only I knew how to go about it...

Aah! The little mini "match" book at last! In the next post I show you all close-ups of what's inside the book. It's cute. It's easy. Hope you like it! If you do leave me a comment or, easier still, just tick on the appropriate box below. I created these little opinion/reaction boxes the other day, they're a new Blogger feature, and, yet again, I think they're cute...(even I am tiring of that word!)Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 15 November 2008

More on Layout 4 : Easter Hunt

Well, here you have it...all the details...close up...Here you see the deliberately "wobbly" hand-doodling. Quite dig it...just sayin'! Also sanded some of the photos a bit on the edges, like the l'il one here of Jack...reckon this layout had a nice, naive, homespun feel to it. Take note of the word EASTER in close-up. (refer to last post!).

Isn't white bazzill just the business?! Like the idea of the bracket shape a LOT - see the 'point' of it in the photo below. Makes for a nice change from the usual tearing/straight/wavy line scenario! Okay, in these pics I can actually see that the light isn't great on the photos...too harsh & overhead...but we are great ones for staying up too late & sleeping in in the mornings over weekends! Jack's in none of the group photos 'cos he's such a joller he was sleeping over at a friend's house so only came home late Sunday afternoon.

The torn effect coupled with the fingernail distressing is a good look...The background colour of the printed cardstock actually matches perfectly with these pictures, which was all down to luck really...I did make sure tho' that the kids dressed nicely colour-co-ordinated with one another, in gentle "Easter" shades. Not kidding! Do make my family think a bit about what they wear on special occasions, to make my life easier when it comes to selecting paper to match. It's either that or printing all these types of days in black & white, which can be a bit drab.

Some of the delicious goodies I used to embellish. Very Shimelle Laine don't you think? That girl's pages are positively edible! Love the felt cut-out flower, which is actually self-adhesive. Must try & remember the manufacturer! Also layered-up the flowers, with different colours & textures but all falling under the same "nyum-nyum" theme...Also liked the pretty pink print we were supplied with. Think we were each only given half a sheet though, which I thought rather stingy...

Another close-up. Loving the little crochet flowers...Only thing I don't like is that they come with a tiny pearl bead sewn in the centre. Would prefer them plain so that they are more flexi - nothing against the bead & have used them "as is" on appropriate pages, but have just as often cut off the bead & replaced it with a brad or button instead. This broad range of embellishments may look lush but is not necessarily pricey as the paper flowers stretch the more luscious goodies that little bit further.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, 14 November 2008

I'm on a Blinkie Hunt!


Well I managed to find one! Am pretty happy with it...so cute and...well...blinkie! Am on the lookout for more so will be visiting all you bloggers to see if any of your blinkies have any twin siblings I can adopt. Mmm...think I'll be like Angelina & try to get one from each country!

Here are a coupla pics I took from my car window this week when I parked at the Mall. Couldn't set up the shots & haven't edited or anything, but this brazen pair were right next door to me & happy to have their photos taken!

Well, the week is nearly over & has been ongoingly busy down this neck of the woods...We have had some teenage family dramas in our household, fairly ongoing at this stage of our lives, & very draining! New baby is settling in well and "Royalty" has stopped hissing like a viper, so progress is being made there. We had a huge tropical storm this afternoon & it just kinda echoed my mood...Hope this weekend will be better!
As for weekend plans, I'm supposed to be buying a mini-bookshelf for my Scrap magazine collection,to go in my Scrap room, and measuring up my Scrap room back wall then going to the local DIY to buy shelving for hubby to install - BUT... I just may do NONE OF THE ABOVE 'cos, quite honestly, I don't feel like it! Poor Shane has been building a car with Jack the last coupla evenings, for a Tech project, and I ended up designing & sewing a mini-shirt for Reilly's Tech project! Poor boy did try but his attempt was nothing short of disastrous! What with evening school functions & our part in the kids' projects, we are actually in need of this weekend. .. May put all the HAVE TOs on the back burner & take a break to scrap instead. Just feel like "zoning out" for a while & being fed instead of doing the feeding, know what I mean?
Have been sitting at this computer for the best part of 8 hours now, up to all sorts as usual, and have been around the world & back, making many interesting discoveries along the way...
Hope to post new pics of the kitty tomorrow, plus a coupla layouts I completed this week with my Scrapbud Jax. Have done quite well on the Christmas shopping list. Have been dashing in & out of the nearest mall whenever I have had the chance, usually while waiting for a tennis or cricket lesson to be over. Got the artificial tree (not enough space for a lovely fir-branch unfortunately) out of the shed & de-cobwebbed it, ready for adornment. The little uns are dying to get going with the decorating so I thought, why not?, after all the shops are full of them already...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I got me a Fur Baby!


This is what I've chosen as my Screensaver of the Fortnight (I get bored quickly!) You can find it at my favourite online photo site! www.photobucket.com inder the "Colourful" section. Research shows that bright colours enhance your mood...works for me anyway!
Well, as promised, I went off with Chelsea yesterday to a nearby vet that was "giving away" kittens...well, nothings for free & we ended up paying R400 for two lots of vaccinations & a deworming pill, well, a quarter of one actually! Anyway, baby is home safe & sound & has been christened "Daisy Bucket". For all you Scrapboffs you'll know that that is a Scrapbooking paper& embellishment manufacturer. She is very serene for a kitten & is already content & purring away with granny as her mum is still studying away, & has her maths exam tomorrow!

For anyone local, we got her from the Ashburne Vet & there are tons more there, just waiting to be 'adopted"! They were brought in by Animal Anti-Cruelty & had been abandoned. We filled in reams of "Adoption" papers & were given a big freebie bag, courtesy of Hills Science Plan, with everything we need to get this little one on her feet...pellets, meat, measures, anti-flea ointment & a little "How to care for your Kitten" booklet. Needless to say, Coco Blush, our one year old Fur baby is VERY distressed...nose out-of-joint BIG TIME & is being most unladylike, hissing & fluffing up like an inflatable feline...Well, her nick-name is "Royalty" so I can understand that she is concerned about anyone usurping that throne of hers...
Already have dozens of adorable photos to upload & am having to type one-handed as baby won't sleep unless she's scooped up & held tightly to my chest...aaawww!!! Well tonight was interesting. So much for our 'romantic evening'...Jack has a 'Tech' project to complete by Friday so dad decided to get involved...had no choice really as things were NOT going according to plan...
so I decided to look into my photo problems & download Firefox & Picasa 3. Needless to say I have been in my element ever since...

Am hoping that the discovery of Picasa 3 will revolutionise my photo-organisation & maybe speed up my uploading process. Sure looks like it so far! I have already created 13 different albums & am busy moving all my photos into the right ones. Have done a stack already but still have a few thousand images to sort! Thanks so much to Cathy, Sophia & Vicki, who were all kind enough to answer my distress call & come to my rescue!! Click on their names as I have created a link directly to their blogspots...not too shabby huh?! Am learning how to "blog" at last...

Have also just added this funky new feature to my blog. Found it in Blogger Buzz while I was Buzzing About. All of you with Blogger, I say give it a go! It is a "Reactions" bar that appears at the bottom of each post & you can customize it with whatever wording you like. Good thinking as a quick & easy way to show your reactions if you don't have time to leave a comment. We all react to feedback I'm sure...I definitely do anyway...

As for kitten pictures, they're coming over the weekend & I will add them in to this post once I have uploaded my most recent photos so hang in there, our new little cutie is worth waiting for!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Layout 3 - It's all in the Pose!

Well technically it's actually now Wednesday so don't expect a post from me 'tomorrow'! It's now after midnight & another late-nighter for me on Blogger, etc so I need to do some damage control tomorrow. Think dh & I need to meet up after work for a date night. Poor man is most long-suffering but has really been neglected of late...Well, these photos have taken FOREVER to upload, but the upside is the notice-board right next to my desk is now spik & span! Yup, still got the tidying bug...Well, what am I 'sposed to do while I'm waiting 6-10 minutes per photo, huh?! Tried Cathy's idea (she very kindly gave me B.A.S.I.C. instructions on how to load up to 5 photos at a time) & the penny finally dropped in my computer-challenged brain. Was SO excited to put my new-found 'skill' into practise but, alas, Blogger refused. Just WOULD NOT do it...I gave up waiting, I mean really, how long do you girl's give it?! Can I at least minimise it & multi-task on Outlook Express at the same time? You don't expect me to just SIT here do you?!

Anyway, back to the notice board...It is no longer triple-layered full of by-gone events (dating back to July I might add...) so we can all actually see what's currently 'going-on' at long-last, so I 'spose I should actually say "thank-you" Blogger...seriously tho', I wanna upload photos with every post so please let me know if what I am experiencing is normal. I went to visit Blogger Help and found some gobbledeegook about Picasa Web Albums (used for our images?) only having 1 GIG storage space & there being an option of purchasing more 'storage'. Have any of you done that? I would have no idea of what's the best deal for me at this stage & prices go up to USD 500 per year, which in African language is a trillion gazillion South African Rands (I won't even bother giving you the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent!!!)so I need to get it right...HELP!!!???

Don't understand why blogs are free anyway...maybe this Storage thing is where Google makes a bit of cash to recover all their research costs. After all Blogger is a wonderful resource centre if you ask me & I would whole-heartedly recommend anyone reading this post that does NOT have a blog to create one NOW. Just follow the links at the top of any Blogger Blog for step-by-step setup. You'll not regret it as it's a place to jot down all your thoughts & ideas even if no-one else ever reads it...To me the funnest part of blogging is the interactive aspect of it & I just love receiving comments, no matter how short, so if you haven't left one yet PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT, you'll make my day :D

Here are some photos of a recent layout I did called "It's all in the Pose", about my two teenagers. If you scroll down to the bottom you'll see what it looks like finished, then scroll back up to see how I got there...

The photo above shows the right-hand page of the double layout, featuring a nice big 5X7 close-up in Black & White. I used plain white Bazzill as my backing cardstock and inked it HEAVILY with lime-green to FUNK IT UP. I used a Making Memories Scalloped paper print above the line of regular-sized prints (4x6"jumbos) & doodled around it with a black koki-pen. The pen is quite thick so I did a little trick...I went over it all with a white fineliner pen in the centre of the thicker black line. Have done this a coupla times before now & I dig it, very Aboriginal!

Above, we have the left-hand page of the double layout, showing a close-up of the nyummy Making Memories Polka-dot jelly alphas & a close-up of the printed frame I used around the line of photos at the bottom. This was an offcut of Karen Foster paper, which is (sorry!) never my favourite brand, but the colours worked well with this layout as they were quite a bold mix of lime, red & pink & I figured you wouldn't see much of the print in a narrow frame anyway...

I mitred the frame-corners for a more professional look (SO easy, just mark with a pencil first & cut a diagonal line, you can do it!) Repeated the doodling with the white-on-black pen scenario, at the bottom of the page aswell (loops go all the way around & are not 'cut off' along the bottom as it looks in this picture-above-the last half centimetre of the layout has not printed, soz!) I honed in so you could read the hand-journalling but you need to look at the photo BELOW for the FIRST half of it! then back at the photo above...

Aah, here is a nice view of the bottom doodling...cute huh?! also inked the bottom heavily so it looked kinda naively painted within the doodle line. Forgot to say that I inked the frame quite heavily with my very dark-brown ink pad too. Find black just that little bit too harsh so use my dark brown inkpad A.L.O.T!

Go gently with the inkpad 'cos you can't press the "undo' arrow if you overdo it! I started boldly on the edges & got lighter & lighter as I came 'in' to the body of the page, giving a smoky kinda Disco look...sometimes I wish these two would go up in a puff of smoke! LOL

I printed a coupla the photos along the bottom in COLOUR just for a bit of interest, so the whole layout didn't look too monotonous. I was very happy with how it turned out & note:- I didn't use a single "embellishment" so was proud :D Like to save where I can so I can splurge on other pages when I need a statement flower-flourish or fancy title, etc...

So there you have it! A real "Focus on the Photos" layout. Was pretty happy with the funky close-up portrait shots I got. Think they say a lot in themselves so thought they were 'statement' enough therefore no need to go overboard on 'bits & pieces"...Goodnight!