Sunday, 28 February 2010

He turned Twelve




Reilly that is...It's hard for me to comprehend really because he's so affectionate & loveable, nothing like Jack, who is also adorable but doesn't require affection from anyone, not even the cat!

Because South Africa is hosting the Fifa World Cup, and both my boys are football crazy, most of his gifts were World Cup/football related, although the shorts are "Sharks" {our local rugby team - yes I know they're not performing too well so far this season ;-(... }

He loves sweets so padding out his gifts with a few treats was easy...

He's the artist as far as the kids are concerned & keeps trying to nick the Staedler fineliners I use for journaling so I bought him his own! That other strange gadget is a Flash Drive. He's a computer geek too...

His sweetest gift came from our house helper...she always gives each child R20 {US$2.50} & makes a card.

I made him some party packs for his class-mates & added some printed "text-box-toppers" ala Becky Higgins lol...

Then I baked a cake...something not normally on my agenda but I do it for their birthdays *{wink}*

It didn't crack & it didn't flop...needless to say I was amazed...I even managed to get both layers sandwiched together without breaking them!

I even made Ganache icing using real chocolate melted in a double-boiler over boiling water on the stove!

Then I made a "mask" {stencil} of one of his silly nick-names "Rhino" - {I printed it then cut out the letters with my craft knife} then sprinkled golden sugar granules through it to form the word.

Added a bunch of candles {well, 12 to be exact...} & a plastic rhino Cami got in a Kinder Joy Egg {her weekly chocolate treat} and...

It was so worth it - his cute little face lit up & he was delighted!

Kids just LOVE having mum make a birthday cake with candles & having their loved-ones sing "Happy Birthday To You!" - the cake idea was really simple but he thought it was great & that's all that counts!!

Oh, & the fact that it was actually delicious too...





Saturday, 27 February 2010

Creating a beautiful shabby chic Paper Rose!








Want to make something gorgeous this weekend?! How about trying your hand at one of these?


You can find the whole tutorial here & look at some other great examples here on Helena's blog.
Helena also subscribes to Cocoa Daisy all the way from Rome! She is always up to something...creating, renovating her scraproom or off scrapping around the world at scrap camps. I love being part of so many people's daily lives through all my blog-hopping.

Now if only I could join in the rose-making...my creative plans have been thwarted by this. That's right...no roses for me today - I am busy helping Reilly create an ERUPTING volcano for a school project due in next week!






Wanna Win BIG?!







Well looky here 'cos there's not much time left to sign yourself up for a chance!
{Click & follow instructions ASAP!!!}




Thanks to Vicki for pointing me in the right direction! Prima have a secret to share...can't wait to find out what it is! Happy Weekend everyone ;-D






Friday, 26 February 2010

Locals Only...{Stash at a Steal!}








Looky here. You likey? You wanty? LMK ASAP, I have one space...someone has let me down...e mail me if you are interested in a 3 month sub.


The add-ons are also delish...just look at these papers...




Contents:

  • Cosmo Cricket Material Girl Calico

  • Cosmo Cricket Material Girl Inspiration

  • Cosmo Cricket Garden Variety Sunshine

  • Hambly Turquoise on Turquoise Houndstooth

  • Pebbles So Tweet Chirp

  • Melissa Frances Antique Treasures Clara

  • GCD Studios Homespun Chic Blue Calico

  • GCD Studios Homespun Chic Vintage Jane

  • Collage Press Good Times Diecut

  • Jenni Bowlin Cherry on Top

  • Scenic Route Garden Grove Lemonwood Lane

  • Fancy Pants Designs Little Sprout Pampered

  • DCWV Green Woodland Wild Flowers

At $11.75 this set of 13 papers equates to R94, which works out at R7.23 per sheet - what a steal!

I have sent out an e mail to numerous scrappy connections too so don't delay if you're keen. First come first served & only ONE PLACE AVAILABLE!







Thursday, 25 February 2010

Let me point you in the right direction {Blog Links}




This week has been absolutely hectic! I haven't touched sides & today is Reilly's birthday! I do have a few photos but we do the unwrapping gifts thing first thing in the morning so they are never very flattering...So instead I give you a recently made collage of Cami & Reilly enjoying our mid 30 degree temperatures! Just wish I could spend every spare minute in the pool too!

Now as for "pointing you in the right direction" this is where you need to go. Head on over & visit my bloggy friend Heidi's blog for some literary inspiration & food for thought. This girl is a genius writer & somehow always manages to channel what so many of us scrappers think, into words! Amazing. If you peek at the comments you'll see that she, me & you, well we aren't the only ones that make a hobby out of stash shopping & hate feeling misunderstood re our craft. Heidi, don't be mad I didn't ask your permission...just think of all the blog traffic I'll be sending your way! {what with my millions of blog readers lol...}

Popping into Blogsville is such a joy to me when I am running around chasing my tail. I want to thank all my blog friends for adding daily joy to my life. Need card inspiration? Don't like the thought of even starting? This is sure to change your mind...talk about awesome first attempt! And you can be sure that, come Hell or high water, Lynette will faithfully visit you back at her first available opportunity. Gotta love blog buddies like that!

And just in case you missed this link, you certainly want to bookmark it/add to your reader. There is a totally cool RAK up for grabs but don't just visit for that! Have a scroll & drooooooooooooool...Jessy scrapbooks in her sleep, I'm sure of it, 'cos this girl just keeps pumping out one gorgeous creation after another 24/7! Another great girl resides here & is always pushing the envelope every which way! Then there's Diana, who is always earnestly scrapping away despite newborn twins - what resolution!

Lastly, Lynette, this one is for you - pure unadulterated beauty. Just take a look at all that yumminess! So - sorry friends that I don't have time to show off my latest creations (yup I do have a few actually - just need to photograph them!) but hopefully you've enjoyed a glimpse into my blog-hopping world. If you need inspiration, lack mojo, or just like looking at pretty things over a cup of coffee when you need a break pop in & visit one of my friends. Leave them a comment, let them know you're there & that you benefitted from all their hard work. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.




Saturday, 20 February 2010

Thank you Prima!





FINALLY it arrived! Woo Hoo! I've had it for about a week now but not had time to take the photos.

I feel blessed!!! All this beautiful scrappy goodness for FREE...lucky me ;-D

That's right! I won all this in the class I took over here...

I'm so glad I played along - I especially LOVE the white flowers...

That rainbow bling is gonna come in handy for my summer photos!

And I also won a lovely alterable Donna Downey canvas mini-album & a "Believe" stamp too...

I think this stamp is going to come in handy for this year's Christmas cards - on that note I'm going to be posting my 2009 Christmas cards here this week...what??? Ooops...it's already February...oh well!!!

This is the box all my goodies came packed up in. I have finally sourced some Glimmer Mists here so am keeping this as my spraying box!

I was interested to see that this box {8.5c.m. deep} cost US$18.66 to post, which equates to about R150. Definitely worth bringing in some new season goodies me thinks...

I could pack quite a lot of 2 Peas goodness in a box this size & get myself some Feb CHA goodness...hmmm...

Now there's an idea! I haven't had the time to scour the internet for ALL the new CHA product but I have seen a bit & totally love THIS & want it all...well most of it I'm sure, but especially these

- and most DEFINITELY the watermelon coloured "rose" ribbon on the bottom left...and everywhere I look it is sold out! Can't say I'm surprised considering how blooming gorgeous it is, but I HAVE to have some so no order for me until that can definitely be included.


I also have my copy of Lizzy's gorgeous book in my paws at last too & am loving reading it through & through...it has my mind a spinning...

ANOTHER parcel arrived for me this week too...Yup, it's been Christmas here at last, actually the book & the flash WERE my Christmas presents from hubs but we left the ordering thereof too late {my fault} so they've only just arrived!

It's been a great week ;-D






Friday, 19 February 2010

Isn't this darling?! {This one's for you Jessy}

{a.k.a the hottest product on the photography market right now...}

Read a review all about it here & view the specifications here. I have already placed my order from China - woo hoo!!!

You do know that ordering online or sourcing from overseas is waaaaaaaaaay cheaper for us here?! Which reminds me of an image I was sent via e mail this week...


I always manage to justify all my purchases because I shop around for the best deal...can't wait for my new baby to arrive!

Happy weekend y'all...

***** ALL credit goes to my online buddy Jessy for bringing this cutie to my attention. Jessy is offering an awesome shabby chic RAK over at hers right now...so pop on over & leave her some love...she is an awesome scrapbooker & a brilliant teacher! Visiting her blog is always like a breath of fresh air for me, she puts the FUN back into scrapping....






Thursday, 18 February 2010

Journaling Junkie Mid February 2010 - Challenge 74



This is what you need to do if you want to win an awesome RAK here. Create a LO that celebrates one of your talents, journaling about it and how it affects the people in your life. I decided to take tonnes of photos especially for this challenge. As they were all pretty boring {showing our cupboards, etc, & how I organise our lives!} I decided to make an "inchie" collage with lotsa tiny photos. I was worried it would all look a bit boring but I'm happy with how it turned out & glad I got to document this OCD of mine!

I used a really old printed paper for the background {Provocraft - Rainbow Dots} but first I arranged all my elements onto black bazzill cardstock - into the dreaded GRID design. This is always SO DIFFICULT to get everything lined up straight & mine are never perfect but nonetheless it turned out okay...

I printed my own photos {Picasa Collage of course!} & also printed the title out onto photo paper {free font I picked up at Da Font} called "Capture It 2" then cut it up & positioned it beneath the photo. Printing out that vast amount of journaling took quite a bit of juggling to get everything to fit "perfectly" {not!} into the grid. I measured everything up first {based on the space left around my photo} - which I printed out "CD Cover" size in order to get that square. For each column of journaling & the panel beneath the title, I created separate text boxes in Word. I have done a tutorial on how to do this around October last year, but I'm sure all you clever peeps know how to do it already anyway!

I recommend printing out your journaling onto photo paper if there's a lot of it like this, or onto cardstock if you like {just cut down to A4 size unless you are lucky enough to have an A3 printer} as using regular bond/computer paper is a bit flimsy. I've done quite a few of these "loads to say" pages this year & have decided that printing each paragraph in a separate colour is easy on the eye & less monotonous design-wise. The l'il strips of stripey paper around the title are "October Afternoon" offcuts that never seem to run out lol! Note that I used the bling to dot the "i"s in my title, and for the apostrophe...

As it's difficult to see all the images clearly in the main photo I decided to give you a close up sneaky peeky!

The little heart you see above {& the little bird & most of the bling} come from a recent Making Memories embellishment set - very sweet...

All the buttons are Sassafrass & came ready-threaded & glued to thick foam pads, so thick in fact that I decided to pull them off {I saved them to the side of my desk of course!} & just use small flat glue dots instead as they were too raised & wiggling about unsteadily. The zigzag brad is ancient & represents the flower stem - the flower is a Prima basic that I folded into 4 (glue dotting as I did) to create more of a bud so as not to obscure my journaling. Then I spread the petals open a bit & added some Prima bling to the centre.

My advice to you for grids {not that I have vast experience...} is to measure up everything FIRST on a refill insert (the plain white paper that comes in your plastic album refill sleeves) then make all your text-boxes that EXACT SIZE & leave the outline in to use as a cutting line. I find using a paper trimmer with a point {as opposed to a rotary one} the best way to measure so accurately - & even then I can't manage lol...

I adjusted the size of my journaling as I went along, in order that it all fitted well & kinda matched up on either side. Always select the "blocking" option for this type of text (look on your tool bar for the straight lines one below the other & you want the ones that are all the same length) so that the spacing is adjusted in order for the words to start AND finish at the beginning/end of each line. The "Behind the Scenes" sticker is a new 7 Gypsies one from one of those packs with all the words & sentences on.

Here is the journaling, pasted from Word, so excuse the formatting!

I have this thing about organisation, storage especially. To me there is a right & a wrong way to EVERYTHING, from how to arrange the toiletries on the bathroom shelf to which way to fold the towels & how to make the beds{hospital corners no less...}I have even come up with the "Tilbury fold" for our clothes after they have been ironed. I'm not out to convert anyone else but all the systems I have instituted work for me & make my busy life just that little bit easier.

I have days for washing, days for kids to help me with dinner {"kitchen duty"} & Friday is the day I get my car refuelled & go through the carwash. These little things make me feel in control & like I am "on top" of things. Of course this OCD needs to be tempered at times & drives the rest of my family a little nuts, but they also appreciate that they can find anything whenever they need it {or should I say, I can find it for them!} because everything has a home & I always say "put it back where it lives".

I guess this sounds kinda sad to outsiders but I like it. I grew up in relative chaos so I really battled at first to get my life on track & read many books about organisation. Now I consider everything I buy & only keep things I love, that have special sentimental relevance or are just darn gorgeous & enrich my life. I tell my kids "Everything you buy you have a responsibility to for the rest of time – once it is yours you need to clean it & care for it, house it & dispose of it responsibly should you tire of it".

I regularly sort stuff out for repurposing or passing on. While I love to have a clear out I never fill up a black bag for the bin, like you see on the TV shows. Coming from Zimbabwe I have seen far too much poverty to even contemplate that & even spend hundreds of Rands sending my old stuff back there to Christopher, my gardener there {as we still rent out our home there}rather than getting my maid here to sell it for next to nothing. Once stuff is gone here it is difficult & expensive to replace so I always have a garden shed to house all those things I'm not willing to dispose of just yet...no attics or basements in homes here.

I hope I manage to instil some of my ideas in my kids. Chelsea is already totally "anti-tidy" but hopefully this is just teenage rebellion as she used to be a really good little helper when she was small. Jack is already Mr. Neat but has always been that way & poor old Bing-with his dyspraxia-is pretty much a lost cause.His policy on his wardrobe is "TFTT" {Take from the top} which always makes me chuckle. I actually love that he is so un-image conscious that he really doesn't care what he wears.Luckily he has a lovely wardrobe & also gets to share Jack's lovely "kit" {clothing}.

Jack is Mr. Stylish too & loves branded clothing, especially white, & always buys it himself with Christmas/birthday money & anything he manages to earn from his random entrepreneurial ventures. {He always seems to have a plan on how to make a buck...} He colour codes his wardrobe just like me-At least I have a protégée!Sharing a room has been challenging for these 2 boys but buying them each a couple of chests of drawers has gone a long way to helping them keep everything separate. Plastic wheelie boxes under their beds keep the rest of their "stuff" tidy & accessible too...

I find the best systems are custom-made, ie:- the ones that work for you. The same goes for storage. Always see what you have that needs housing then custom buy or make according to your specific requirements. Containers are my passion – I own them in all shapes, sizes & materials, from basketry to wirework, to clay pots, to wooden boxes, hand-carved or with intricate marquetry. Plastic containers are a positive addiction but the truth is, somehow I do use them all! The fridge gets an almost daily makeover & all the left-overs are decanted into the right sized container, preferably square so as not to waste precious fridge space!

I spend so much time keeping the lives of my loved ones organised that my scraproom is the last place I sort out! I am busy overhauling it at the moment - in anticipation of our house move - and am hoping that the floor to ceiling cupboards will make keeping a "neat look" easier to achieve. While I love scrapbooking I find the storage aspect of it all a bit of a nightmare, as my requirements are ever-changing & there is very little, if any, dedicated scrapbooking storage available here in South Africa. That said I already have a really cute selection of storage options, from cupcake containers to dressmakers forms {used to hang my ribbon off} & cute organza flower-embellished baskets, plus dozens of mini cookie-jars for buttons & other embellishments ;-D

Keeping track of the possessions of a big family is challenging it is rewarding too. Even Cami {definitely not the neatest kid on the block} "knows the rules" when it comes to putting stuff away etc & I think this already gives her an advantage in this mixed-up world we live in. Fortunately Shane shares my sentiments, to a degree, although he definitely wouldn't mind if I was slightly more chilled about it all. I just find it easier to keep at it as it does seem to be a never ending task & often my "just 15 minutes" turns into an hour or more. I like to think this "hobby" of mine has positive spin-offs all round though!


Hope you enjoyed taking a look & congratulations are in order if you actually read all that!!!




Monday, 15 February 2010

Monday's Musings...






IF I COULD I would fly out of South Africa with my daughters, for the month of the FIFA world cup {June/July} to somewhere like Mauritius, & just chill away from the madding crowd...{My boys are too football crazy to want to join me...}

IN MY KITCHEN CUPBOARD there is plenty of Nestle Unsweetened Cappucino powder {for me}, microwave popcorn {Cami's staple diet}, baked beans {DH's fave} & Mazoe Orange! At last I have found Mazoe Orange {Zimbabwe's best - and probably only by now - export} so I am hoarding it in case it disappears off the shelves again soon. If you see it buy it - it's the best juice/cordial in the world. Beats Oros hands down truth be told...

ON MY DESK...oh my...there's a lot there...newspaper cuttings to do with garden sheds, cupboard fitters, awning installers, some fab new Cocoa Daisy goodness & my latest completed layout {still to show y'all!}

IMAGE IN MY HEAD...my new scrapspace {busy designing it right now} - ALL WHITE - need a blank canvas you know...but I have plenty of colourful accessories so don't you worry...

IN THE MIDDLE OF MY TO DO LIST...I am ALWAYS in the middle of my to do list. I've graduated from a notebook to the "Notes" in my cell phone & update my list daily, deleting what I've achieved & adding what needs to be added! Works for me...

I AM DREADING...the movers arriving. My teak dining-room table still bears the scars from it's last ordeal...


RIGHT NOW I WANT to get everything done so we are ready to move in to our new home, then enjoy a Savannah Light {cider} on my new deck while watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

I THINK far too much...but am learning not to worry about the small stuff...and the inexplicable stuff...

GOING TO...enjoy Chinese Takeaways for dinner tonight. Yes I am still {supposed to be} "on diet" but I can't take another evening cooking in this humidity!


Yum, yum!!!





Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!




I love Valentine's day! It's cute!! Today I sat at Kuaui {Health Food Restaurant Chain} with Chelsea {we were having a late lunch as we'd been busy running around doing chores all morning} & we "people watched". Couples were out in full-force...the way people pair up is very interesting to me...often couples look mismatched {as hubs & I probably do!} & one wonders what their history is. Almost every man we saw out & about was carrying a bouquet of flowers or a beautifully {store} wrapped parcel. Some men really do make an effort & personally I think men in general have an unneccessarily bad rep - maybe that's just because I'm blessed to be married to one of the keepers!

This is my Valentine's Layout for Journaling Junkie Challenge 73. We were required to NOT use conventional Valentine's colours {ie: no red} & non-conventional embellishments {ie: steer clear of hearts!} & to write a letter to a loved one. I decided to write a letter to my loved-ones - all 5 of them! I love this {not very good} impromptu photo I took of all my sweethearts - on our way up from the beach when we were holidaying on the South Coast just after Christmas. I literally called out to them {me always being last up the hill you know...} & snapped quickly before they had time to put on their camera faces {hate those...}

I used a turquoise bazzill cardstock as my base {Turquoise being the official colour of 2010 you know...heehee...true as that actually is I used it because it matched best ;-D} & an October Afternoon stripe {gotta love it...} & another OA offcut strip along the bottom {the pink one underneath the title "Listen up! My Peeps". I devoted a paragraph to each family member & typed it out in a separate colour. This works well visually for interest & definition & it's best to "block" your text so that it stretches out to fit the text box & to get each paragraph to be the same number of lines. This required juggling what I had to say a bit but was worth it.

My embellishments are no-name brand "cheapies" from CNA {big newsagent chain here} but they are cute & pretty, mixed with 7 Gypsies sentiment stickers & Prima floral wonders of course. The brown spotty cardstock is an absolutely ancient Paper Salon print. I am using old with new on almost every layout this year, because that way it works fine. It's like wardrobe updating - as long as you have something fresh & fashionable you're still fine with your old basics.

Yes that's a little piece of Prima's famous packaging I've used there {under the "My Peeps" sticker} cut to shape to show off the little family of birdies on the branch, aswell as behind the photo of ME. The 7G stickers came with my latest Cocoa Daisy kit & were perfect for this family/love theme. I printed my journaling out onto good weight photographic paper & my photo onto cardstock - so it has a nice texture that is impossible to convey here via photograph. I have cut & pasted the journaling from Word into Blogger & as you can see it is not spacing the way it appears on the layout - sorry for that but I don't have the time to type it all out again!

Shane – you make a great father – I know you know this already but never doubt your abilities & try to overcome your reserve if I am not around for those one-on-one chats that aren’t really your “thing” – you know that communication is key & that I believe in 100% honesty when it comes to the kids questions – no matter how awkward they may be. Remember we don’t want them to grow up with any hang-ups. The best we can do for them is send them out into the world with a clean slate – ready to face life head-on without any disadvantages. I want you to be happy & don’t expect you to mope around – I need you to be strong for the kids. Make time for yourself too – you deserve it & would be a real catch – go for it – if I’m not around one day I don’t expect you to mourn me forever. You have my blessing!


Chellie – you are the eldest – of course you know that & I realise that you resent it at times, but I am counting on you to keep everyone together & not let anyone stray. I want you all to remain friends forever, it’s not too much to ask, you need to keep the lines of communication open & forgive if necessary. Remember that this is the way God wants it to be. Never lose your Faith or question God argumentatively – just accept that he knows what is best for you.Try to live out of his will & you will bear the consequences–please pray for that not to happen – please! Keep your gentle nature & be patient with your younger siblings. Trust your heart & find your happiness – keep searching & you will find your passion. I know we fight at times but I utterly adore you & have always loved you to bits & pieces!


Jackie Boy – I know that you are dying to spread your wings & get out there & live your life! I hope I get to see it all & experience at least some of it with you. You know your Dad & I have great hopes for your future & the Lord does too. Just remember to stay in God’s will & he will make all your paths straight & open up all the right doors for you if your heart is right with him. Be good to Chel & Bing & Cam, even though they exasperate you at times.You are great in a crisis & always handle things so competently. At times you may need to take charge & be the man of the house – I have 100% faith in your abilities & am counting on you to keep everyone on the straight & narrow – including yourself! Know that you have filled me with so much pride & joy so far that at times my heart has felt close to bursting!


Bingy – You are the sweetest little man alive – everyone who knows you immediately picks up on your gentle spirit. Stay humble & remember our saying “Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” God has made you the way you are for a reason. Who cares if “the populars” don’t see your light shining? It is their loss & I know that one day you will find a wife with a beautiful heart just like yours & become a wonderful & caring father. Always stay as undemanding as you are – that way any blessings you receive will fill you with the same joy they do now. Just be a good boy & keep that soft heart! Your time to shine is still to come & I have every confidence in you & your amazing creative & mathematical abilities. You are a genius waiting to be discovered – just keep on thinking outside the box!


Cam – Remember you are the coolest little girl on earth & big things await you. Your beauty is phenomenal & it will take you far,but remember that it’s the heart that counts & true happiness comes from within. Be bold & have faith in yourself & God. You don’t need to be good at everything, just be excellent at what you do well. I am so proud that you are the best reader in the family & I love that you immerse yourself in “Princess Poppy” books almost daily & prefer to spend money on them rather than anything else. Whatever you become remember that you are loved, cherished, adored by all your family & that you have brought me more joy than I can even try to explain. Never cease to find wonder in the simple things like your love of swimming & the beach. Be good for Chel - listen to her & don’t be lazy!


I journaled my thoughts for each person, imagining that if I died this is what I'd like them each to know, then lo & behold I nearly DID die this week. I came seconds away from a terrible {& I'm sure it would have been fatal} car accident this week. I nearly wrote myself, Chelsea & Jack off on Umngeni Road one evening returning from a sporting fixture. My "near accident" involved a taxi {commuter mini-bus} that would have ploughed directly into my side of the car, that was traveling, as they do, at a speed too fast for safety. It was as close to a head-on collision as I have ever come. And IT WAS MY FAULT...I was on my cell phone...something I have done for years & will never do again.


So that's some food for thought for you...maybe it's time you also did a layout expressing your desires for your loved ones?



Thursday, 11 February 2010

Home at Last!

Okay so finally I have a few photos to show you! Please bear in mind that I had all of 5 minutes to take these because the previous owners are still in residence & I didn't want to annoy them by overstaying my welcome ;-D These photos were for my benefit, to see how everything "fitted" in relation to everything else, blogging them is just an afterthought, so no harsh criticism on my lack of photog skills here k?! Relevant text is BELOW each photo...

Our front lawn & car port. Lawn is a bit on the dry side but remember it is SWELTERING here at the mo...

Not a bad view of the front from the corner of the front garden. The double volume window on the left is our lounge {in looooooooooooooove with the huge space - even though it is bigger going UP than it is wide!}

From the carport down around the kiddies windows, to the side of the house...love that white trellis...

The big herbaceous border just below the front lawn - love the big timber beams used instead of retaining blocks...

The "working" side of the house...and the littlies front window..this area is all gravelled. Very neat.

There are 2 retractable wash-lines here. We're increasing it to 4. I like that there is a gate to keep the dogs in at the back...

This is the view as you drive in from the front. Sadly those potted figs are going...I have 2 of my own big pots that I'm currently repainting terracotta {from bottle green - over that now...} just need a coupla new plants!

The "other" side of the house - ain't it pretty?! Full of ferns & crotons, tropical stuff that flourishes here!

Mini date palms down the side of my scrap room {presently their hall} - they get no bigger thank goodness!

Entering the house from the carport & front driveway. The lovely french door on your left leads to my scraproom & is being filled in...sad but essential as I need the cupboard space!

The front door! Have only just realised that the security gate is on the outside - rather strange!! Will have to check up on the whys to that one ;-D The windows there are for our dining-room...

The scraproom {currently the hall} That's not a crack in the window - just a reflection of something... A long narrow space with a door off to the dining room at the end on the right.

The lovely shade bed beneath the dining-room windows... The little window is the side window of the kiddies room.

The view of the back garden from our lounge - out to the tiled verandah & pool area. The tiles are "outside" sandstoney ones so they have a good grip as opposed to the slippery ceramic ones.

The pool ain't too big but we have been spoiled here with a gigantic pool for the last coupla years. The little house on the left is Mercy's abode, although we are partitioning it off to include a small laundry room as well.

Another little corner. I love how the bed edges are neatened off with timber poles although they do look slightly drunk! Just need to straighten them up...This is the spot where the trampoline is going - a real "dug -in" one.

Replacing that durawall panel is about the only unseen to maintenance required on the property.

An ill-placed tree right in the middle of Jack & Reilly's football pitch. GOT to dig it out...sorry...

A lush ground-cover surrounds a tree at the bottom corner of our garden. All a bit bushy down the bottom here...will need to do some serious pruning to keep this lot in check...

Another ill-placed tree! Gotta come out aswell I'm afraid...this is the spot for the garden shed! The wall on the left is the retaining wall for the pool. This province is notoriously hilly & often gardens are "stepped" - ours has 3 levels - about average ;-D

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Look out for some sneaky peakies of the INSIDE of our house soon!