Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

It’s the weekend baby!

And on our way to a piece of heaven we took to the gorgeous autumn fields and reconnected with our inner child for a while.  The weather was changing fast and the wind swept over the grasslands to lend wings to our feet as we skipped across the green grass.

That was after we had a bit of fun in the kosmos that lined the dirt road.

We even managed to drag the reluctant photographer who usually hides behind the camera into the flowers for a beautiful picture!

Spectacular clouds lined the sky and we just managed to unload our luggage before a few fat raindrops started falling from the sky.  A hearty dinner set the tone for a relaxed evening spent by the soft light of the lanterns and we went to bed looking forward to the creative buzz on Saturday.

Saturday was spent creating texture, paint washes, dry-brushing, highlighting and every technique you can think of.  It was amazing to see everybody’s canvas taking on colour and texture and become a work of art!

All the projects are not completed yet, so we will keep them under wraps until they are ready to showcase here 😉

The sunset on Saturday was amazing because of thunder clouds low on the western horizon and the temperature dropped considerably.  During the night it rained and the fog rolled in so that we woke up on Sunday to white fog hugging the cabin.  But before long the fog started clearing and by the time we were packed and ready to return home the seed-laden grass were basking in the morning sun.

Before finally departing Riani suggested that we take the girls to the lookout point to show them the beautiful view of the escarpment dropping away to the valley deep down below.

Everybody agreed that the next getaway needs to be longer so we can spend more time outdoors to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  So watch this space and don’t miss out on our next extended creative getaway in March 2013


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People find it odd that we don’t do the traditional christmas celebrations.

We grew up without all the fanfare of a decorated tree, Santa and gifts because my parents believed that we should celebrate the birth of our Saviour every day and not ‘cloud’ the wonder of it with ‘worldly’ celebrations.  All the family used to come together on our farm in the Bushveld and us children picked up where often we had left off the previous year.  Some of them lived in Potchefstroom which is about 300km from the farm and back then it was a heck of a distance 🙂

For weeks before the holidays we would spend most of our time preparing eats and treats for the extended family.  The Aga wood stove in the kitchen worked overtime churning out biscuits of all sorts.  My sisters and I took turns with the handle of the meat grinder through which the dough was pushed and came out the other end in fancy shapes due to different nozzles.  On the shelves the ginger beer would sit brewing silently – only now and then a raisin would rise slowly to the surface and once the tiny bubbles on it were all gone, it would sink back to the bottom of the jar again.  How I loved those ginger-infused raisins back then!

Outside the men would be slaughtering a pig, sheep or cow, depending on the amount of meat needed.  Everybody joined in to process the meat and if you were too little to handle a sharp knife, you had to scare the flies away with a twig from the giant mulberry tree under which the work was done.  Once you could handle a sharp knife you were allowed to cut ‘kaiings’ from the belly meat.  The ‘kaiings’ needed to be cut more or less the same size to get them all cooked at the same time.  My grandfather would sit to the side, hands folded on the grip of his walking stick, keeping watch over the proceedings.

In the meantime the men would get a fire going and a large 50l ‘seeppot’ (a large pot in which soap used to be made) was filled with the raw ‘kaiings’ .  Woe the one whose job it was to frequently stir that pot with a long home-made wooden spoon.  Being summer the temperature in the Bushveld would often be close to 40 degrees with the fire just adding to the heat – and it took a looong time to fry the ‘kaiings’ to perfection.  Not my favourite job!

With all the preparations completed we couldn’t wait for everybody to arrive so that the fun and games could begin.

During daytime the children had the run of the farm and we played until we could barely eat our dinner for exhaustion!  But we weren’t allowed to go to bed without ‘Boekevat’ (reading from the Bible) hymns and prayers.  Bedtime was huge fun because we used to make a ‘krismisbed’, so-called because we used to make it at christmas.  Every available mattress would be put together on the floor next to each other because you could fit more children on a ‘krismisbed’ than on separate beds 🙂  Then, with all the pushing and shoving that went with deciding who will sleep next to whom over, we would whisper until we fell asleep with the comforting murmur of the adult’s conversation in the ‘voorkamer’ in the background…

I don’t think my parents and grandparents realised it then, but they were creating a lasting legacy.  Precious memories indeed!

My children also grew up without celebrating christmas with gifts and a decorated tree and then – culture-shock!  They started dating people who didn’t ‘do’ christmas the way we did and I learnt that christmas could be done with gifts and a decorated tree in the right spirit.  The big change for me came when my grandchildren started understanding christmas and the meaning of it and missed the traditional celebration of season when they spent christmas with us.

So I started with special christmas decorations in my own style – decorations that emphasised the value of spending time together as a family.  We would read the history of the birth of Christ from the Bible on christmas eve (which didn’t happen last year because the children fell asleep before we got to ‘Boekevat’ 😦 )

Corli and I made large hearts from sheet music paper and small hearts of lace.  Inside the lace hearts we put pictures of every member of  the family.  I used some Making Memories butterflies and pearls on a string to decorate the hearts with.

  The hearts hung from two old yokes of an ox wagon and you know me – there had to be symbolism in something… Well, the yokes used to be a burden for the oxen pulling the wagon, but in contrast our hearts were hanging from the yoke and they were light and filled with love.  No burden at all 🙂

At night the warm glow of the lanterns would light up the gifts on the mantelpiece, the words on the wall and the hearts above it all.

We planned to send up sky lanterns on christmas eve but didn’t manage to 😦  Luckily the weather was favourable a few days later and we stood in awe watching the lanterns rise up in the sky – becoming ever smaller until they disappeared completely.

For the first time in many years we had our whole family together for christmas and it filled my heart with pride and joy!  We created beautiful and precious memories with our children and grandchildren so that one day, they too will be nostalgic about a christmas long gone…

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In her right hand she had the most beautiful pumpkin from her own garden.  In her left hand she had an anthurrium with lilac flowers.  In her chest she has a heart of gold!  She offered me a piece of herself.  Thank you Lorraine, you made my day!

My creativity was at an all-time low in December – especially after my head injury 😦  I didn’t do any scrapping.  Just enjoyed the company and the beautiful surroundings and spent a lot of time reflecting.  But creativity cannot be kept locked away and before long I started rummaging through my stash to see what would grab me.

As I unpacked the small canvasses and bits and bobs and lace and buttons and what-not, that familiar flutter of excitement started growing in my stomach until I could no longer contain the rumble and this is what spilled over:

A bit of handmade paper teamed up with old sheet music (my favourite!) serve as the background on top of the canvas for the 7Gypsy tags, Making Memories butterflies and vintage pictures of sweet children.  Add strips of Tim Holtz tissue tape, a cabouchon with buttons and a piece of lace and ta-da!

This year I intend to dabble more in mixed media and all things vintage and hope to take you on the journey with me 🙂

Whatever you create this week, give a piece of yourself!

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Sometimes I need a break.  Seriously.  Urgently.  Away from everything and everyone.

Then I plan a break  and look forward to peace and quiet and solitude.  Then I take a break and enjoy the peace and quiet and solitude.  Then my heart speaks up.  It starts as a whisper and soon becomes a booming voice urging me to go… home!  Because home is where my heart is.  Home is where everyone I love is,  home is where everything I love is.

Maybe I’m just a house hen, a softy who cannot be away from loved ones without my heart yearning for home.  So be it, that’s me!

When I started collecting materials for our mixed media canvas class on 4 June 2011 I kept looking for stuff that symbolise home.  I found beautiful tissue paper from 7Gypsies with birds and bird homes cages on it.  Then I found an antique doorway on Bo Bunny paper.  And that’s not all I found…

A lot of distressing, stamping, dabbing, painting and what-not later this is the result.  Of course you CAN do it!

The pink detail is a rub-on from Heidi Swapp and it ties in beautifully with the rest of the colours.

A bit of hardware adds interest and builds on the home theme. You will learn a variety of techniques that you can also incorporate in  new projects.

The class will be  from 09h00 – 14h00 and includes  drinks, tea time treats and lunch.  Please bring along your hair dryer and an old(ish) brown ink pad.  Contact me immediately if you would like to attend, since space is limited and a some places are booked already!

I cannot wait to create with you on Saturday 😉

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What a hectic week!  I cannot really list the things that kept me so busy but I’m happy to say it included lots of art and getting my hands dirty 😉

Christy Tomlinson creates the most beautiful mixed media canvases that I have admired forever.  The detail on her work is out of this world and when she came up with her online workshop I immediately enrolled!  It is called the She Art Workshop and I am sooo inspired by her work.  Meet my first She Art girl:

The process of getting paper, paint, rub-ons, doodles and whatever else on the canvas drew me in completely and for a while time stood still.  Although I have experimented with mixed media before, it was nothing like this and I am seriously hooked Christy!  I am definitely contemplating moving to an uninhabited island with a stash of  all the arty stuff I need to create mixed media art to my heart’s content. Yippeeee!!!

Okay, back to reality (sigh).  Even though I cannot spend my days just creating mixed media art, I certainly will make time to indulge in my new passion regularly. 

Try and find something new (creatively speaking) this week that brings a smile to your face.  I guarantee you it will be time well spent 🙂

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To be loved…

is a crazy and beautiful thing!  No matter what your age, everybody cherish the feeling of being loved.

The new 7gypsies range is called Lille and I could not help falling in love with it the moment I set eyes on it.  Every paper in the range is double-sided and of course I bought double so we can get them all scrapped 🙂

Our scrapbooking layout for this week is about love (what else???) and I used the ‘A is for always’ sticker sheet to go with the theme.

Pretty 7gypsies tape is just the thing I love and their new tape also features on this layout.  The paper is beautiful and so easy to work with!

The new paperclips from 7gypsies are stunning and complement the layout very well.

This layout is for everyone who has ever been in love and will stir feelings of nostalgia when reading the sayings on the stickers!

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For a die-hard two-page layout scrapbooker like me it’s very hard to admit… but I love doing single pages!

That is what kept Alisha and I so busy during our recent weekend in the mountains.  For a change I did not take any formal ‘work’ along, but decided to just scrap for the fun of it and I enjoyed it immensely!


Without the pressure of designing for someone I could just play with what felt right and came instinctively and this is what I came up with.

When I first started scrapbooking it took me a long time to enjoy the art of just creating and not getting so stressed-up about the end product.  After all, what is the worst that can happen?  It’s just paper and embellishments and if you do make a ‘mistake’ who will ever know that it wasn’t intended to look like that anyway 😉

So, there you go girls, repeat after me – IT’S JUST PAPER!!!

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