Archive for the ‘Mixed media’ Category

Hope you all had a marvellous Mother’s day and that you will be spoiled and appreciated every day for the rest of the year!

Although my head felt like a balloon filled with mush yesterday (because of  sinusitis) I was glad to be able to spend the day with my family who really spoiled me with heartfelt gifts!  I would have liked to have my children all together, but sometimes you don’t get what you wish for 😦

Together with breakfast in bed I received this gorgeous mixed media canvas:

I spent a long time taking in the detail and really could appreciate the journaling on it because it describes our family so well!  Corli purchased the canvas some time ago while we were out shopping and she started on the background under my nose… without me suspecting a thing!  She asked for advice on blending the background but didn’t really progress with it after that and I couldn’t understand why she could not get going.  On Wednesday evening Corli, Alisha and Riani had a ‘creative girl’s’ night where they completed the canvas that I will display with pride!

At tea time Frans, Mary-Ann and the kids arrived and brought this beautiful trio that now sits proudly on the kist in front of my photo wall:

They fit in with the photo wall as if they were part of the original design!

A bit later Kobus and Alisha brought fuzzy winter slippers that was warm from the heat in the car and my feet melted into them like smooth chocolate in your mouth.

We had planned a photo shoot for Frans and I for later in the day but I really didn’t feel up to it and we went to hospital to visit Tjaart.

He was admitted on Saturday with type 1 diabetes and the doctors are battling to stabilise his blood sugar.  What a shock it was!  Just imagine being young and seemingly healthy one day to wake up the next morning not being able to see properly.  Fortunately the condition can be managed well with diet and insulin once the doctors have it under control.

That was Mother’s day for me and my only wish for next year is to have all my children together around the same table!


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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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This is where we are headed for our scrapbooking getaway from 9-11 March 2012.  Those of you who are not joining us – eat your hearts out ;)!

The picture above was taken in March 2005 after a downpour that swelled the usually docile stream and waterfall to this beautiful sight.

Of course it is also time for the fabulous kosmos on the Highveld and Freestate.

So all you have to do is bring your camera (I suppose you will have to pack a bag as well lol) and be at my house at 14h00 on 9 March 2012 and I will take you on a road trip!

In the bag that you will take on the trip with your camera you will need to pack the following:

  • A track suit or pants/jeans with a sweater
  • Casual day wear
  • Hiking shoes/takkies
  • Hat/pet (the sun up in the mountains is not funny)
  • Sunscreen
  • Chronic medication/asthma pump/antihistamine etc (we are an hour’s drive from the nearest doctor/hospital)
  • Personal items
  • Alcoholic beverage of your choice
  • Flash light
  • Bathing costume

Since we will be doing a mixed media canvass you won’t need the usual scrapbooking tools.  I will supply everything you need to complete the project.  Please bring a close-up picture of someone’s face, 21cm x 15cm (portrait orientation).  The picture must be printed on ordinary typing paper and has to be black & white or sepia.  Select a picture without background clutter and make sure that the facial features (eyes, nose, mouth) are distinct.  Please e-mail me your pictures before 7 March 2012 so that I can make sure that they are suitable for the project.  I will change your pictures to black & white/sepia and print them for you if you need me to.  You can take more than one picture and decide which one you want to use once you start with the project.

We should be back by 14h00 on Sunday.  Please tell your loved ones that we do not have cell reception at the cabin so they won’t be able to disturb you so they won’t be able to send you a cute message 🙂  We will let them know when we have arrived safely and then we will be officially off the air until they hear from us again on Sunday.  What you do not have to tell them (unless you feel the need to) is that we can have cell reception if we want to 😉 (we just drive to the top of the koppie!)

Be ready to breathe the sweet mountain air.  To dip your toes (or your whole body) in the crisp mountain stream.  To relax in the peaceful atmosphere.  To create with an open mind an a song in your heart.  To sit in front of the fireplace when the fog rolls in at night.  To shower in the fog or under the stars in the outdoor shower… just be ready, ok?

I am ready and looking forward to share my piece of heaven with you 😉


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We didn’t buy it because it was modern, upmarket or eye-catching.  What did matter was that it had five bedrooms, a lounge, a diningroom and a separate family room for our family of six.  On top of that it was affordable!  That was twenty years ago…

A lot changed over the past twenty years and the original main entrance of our home was replaced by another.  Subsequently the original entrance hall became… a storage space for model planes, old bookcases, anything that didn’t fit anywhere else let’s just say ‘defunct’ and in the back of my head was sidelined and after a while I subconsciously disregarded it as part of the house 😦 A very sad state of affairs!

Then Mary-Ann designed the most beautiful ‘wall of pictures’ for her dining room and I immediately knew that was what I was going to do with the defunct entrance hall 🙂

I bought an assortment of frames, printed the pictures and Alisha and I set off to a quaint coffee and curio shop to buy the embellishments I wanted to use with my pictures.

Back home the design started on the dining room table…

The sad-looking entrance hall was waiting expectantly…

It took some time and effort to get everything onto the wall but the outcome was beautiful and the effort well worth it!

The bird house on the floor was meant to be painted cream and hung outside in my veggie garden but it completed the picture wall perfectly and I popped an anthurrium into it to repeat the red on the cross and the heart.  Guess I have to get a new one for the veggie garden…

When I got up this morning I went and sat on the couch from where I had a perfect view of the new ‘entrance hall’ and I thanked God in turn for every member of my precious family.

Then it happened:  the heavens opened and the angels sang…

Work in Progress Mondays

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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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