Monday, June 29, 2015

Seattle and Vancouver

Hello, I'm back from an awesome, incredible and amazing holiday.  Here is a roundup of the first week in Seattle and Vancouver...

We stayed at the Edgewater Hotel, apparently the only hotel on the shore front in Seattle.  It was good


We visited the Space Needle in Seattle


and marveled at the glass creations in Chihuly Garden and Glass


We also spent time at the Pike Place Market
 


and had coffee at the first Starbucks store
 



We had breakfast at Biscuit Bitch, really interesting.  We ordered biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs and cheese, and garlic grits on the side.  The food looked awful (like a sloppy mess) but tasted great.  It was a good experience, and lots of fun





We had just 1 night in Vancouver, and stayed at the Sheraton Wall Street - scary!  Our room was on the 23rd floor.  Fortunately we were very tired and slept well.


Between Leonie and I, we took over 2 600 photos, most of which are excellent.  I'm having a very hard time deciding which photos to scrap!  I'll share some photo's from Alaska in my next post.
 


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bucket list trip

A trip to Alaska has been on my bucket list for ever.  I've put it off several years in a row because of the poor Rand / Dollar exchange rate (we pay R12 for every 1U$D!!).  As this is a big birthday year for me, and because the Rand will always be weaker than the Dollar, I breathed deeply and booked the trip for 3 weeks in June.  My friend Leonie is joining me on this big adventure; she's a great travel companion, very relaxed and easygoing and adventurous!
 
I'm trying to pack light, but part of our trip is on a cruise-ship, so we're required to dress formally on 2 evenings, and smart casual on a few other evenings.   I've done 2 previous cruises (in the South China sea and in the Mediterranean sea), so it irritated me when I started getting very stressed last week about what to wear for dinner on the ship.   
 
My daytime wardrobe is totally sorted - I photographed the various combinations of leisure clothes on my iPhone, which is very helpful.  My formal evening wear is also sorted.  As for the smart casual clothes - meh - whatever!
 
  

Miss Ruby is very suspicious about the suitcase and passport!  Shhh - she doesn't know yet that she's going to the kitty hotel while I'm away.  She HATES the kitty hotel!  Last time she stayed there, she refused to come out of the kitty igloo for 2 solid weeks until mom fetched her.  Miss you already my baby!
 
I'll be on a blog break for a while, see you when I'm back.

 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Art Journaling

I love being creative.  Together with my faith, it's my therapy and refuge from a very stressful work life.  Scrapbooking is undoubtedly my 'first love' craft, but I also love art journaling and painting and crocheting. 
 
I scrapbook regularly, but due to time constraints and an overloaded schedule, I sometimes get a bit despondent that I don't do my other crafts regularly enough.  There's just not enough hours in the day to get to everything.  I feel like I just get going with some art journaling and then stop, and then get going and then stop.  This note by Connie Solera resonated deeply with me "I have had a creative practice my entire life and it's filled with gaps, long hiatuses, and abandoned pages -- and that's totally ok.  I'm an artist, not a machine"

One of the blogs I love is Dirty Footprints by Connie Solera.  Here is a lovely post by her of what she's learnt about art journaling and herself as an artist.  I think this also applies to scrapbooking.




 1.  I have had a creative practice my entire life and it's filled with gaps, long hiatuses, and abandoned pages -- and that's totally ok.  I'm an artist, not a machine.

 2.  Great things happen when you just stick to it.  Gosh, there is such a huge difference in skill and style as my art journals progress through the years.  I'm so grateful that I've stuck with this practice for over 20 years!

 3.  I'm a series girl!  In Take A Peek you'll get a glimpse of my Painting The Feminine series, my Grey series, my Healing Journal series, my Oil Pastel series, and many more.  I love to take an idea or concept and explore the hell out of it!

 4.  Experimenting is mandatory as an artist.  I'll be honest, I was cringing my whole way through
episode 2 because that journal is like a mad scientist got her hands on it! I'm all over the place in trying different things out.  But  in retrospect I can see how necessary experimenting was/is in my development as an artist.

 5.  Part of being an artist is just having to make ugly ass shit.  (Sorry, there's no sweeter way to put it.)

 6.  Art journaling for me is all about moving energy and expressing myself in the moment.  I like to keep my supplies and even my techniques simple and direct so the essence of me can flow! flow! flow!

 7.  As vulnerable as I felt sharing an intimate peek into my personal art journals, there was something very cathartic about doing so as well.  I was able to bring light and much needed closure to an era of my life I feel.  Thank you to those who bared witness.

 8.  Without even trying, we tell the story of our lives when we art journal.  This moved me the most when I looked back at my journals.  There are so many pages I can remember exactly where I was -- what I was feeling -- and why I created that page.

 9.  Our mark is sacred.  It doesn't matter if it's pretty or the worst thing you ever did -- those marks you make on paper are sacred.  They are your younger selves whispering "I'm here.  I'm still by your side."

 10.  Art journals are living entities.  They have Souls all of their own.  I'm not being metaphoric when I call them my old friends.



So I'm sticking with my creative life, committed always to trying different things and starting and stopping and starting.  It's ok, I'm not a machine.  I'm an artist.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Clothes that make me sad

I recently wore a shirt to work that made me feel awful.  What was I thinking when I bought it a few years ago?!  I really felt frumpy and horrible wearing it.  And so I've decided to get rid of all the clothes in my wardrobe that 'make me sad'. 
 
If I don't feel great in it, it has to go.  Slowly over the next few weeks and months, I will remove the 'sad' clothes from my wardrobe, and they can go and bless someone else.
 
 
This shirt is the first item in the 'donate' pile of clothes that I don't love.  I sometimes buy clothes because they fit me, not because they look great on me (do you ever do that??).  My 50-year old self wants something different now... Maybe I'll sign up for Kelly Rae Roberts' next online workshop on 'wear your joy'
 
 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Harties Cableway

I don't like attending work events after hours as I spend more than enough time at work with my colleagues during the day.  But my 'one little word' for 2015 is FUN so I organized a team event for 28 people on Saturday.  Our employees and family and friends spent the day at the Hartbeespoort Cableway in Magaliesburg, and we had an awesome day out.  I really really enjoyed it. 
 


We started gathering from 08h30 onwards and after the exhilarating ride up the cableway, we dawdled over coffee. 



the ancient old cable cars - I rode in one of these many years ago! 

I took my beautiful sister Caron along
 

At 10h30, I hosted a quiz, and we then divided everyone into teams for a digital scavenger hunt.  The teams had to take photos on their mobile phones of 30 different things on the mountain top including bugs, the old cable cars, various signs and other fun items.  A member of the team had to be in each photo, and the judging was done on the most creative photos.  It was such fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it.


the paragliders drifted along beside the circling vultures






 


the winning team received a monster box of chocolates

 
We then had lunch and people slowly started to head home in the late afternoon.  I loved spending the day with my sister Caron.
 

Friday, May 15, 2015

15 Things

15 things on 15/5/15...

I've finally relented and upgraded my beloved iPhone 4 to an iPhone 6.  Looking through the photos on my old phone, I see images of many of the things that I love.  Here are 15 of the photos...


My darling Ruby - there are at least 50 photos of her on my phone.  Mama loves you princess!

 
  

  


My nieces Elizabeth and Katy - they live 2 hours away, so my brother Robbie and his wife Tonia are very good at keeping me connected by regularly sending photos of the girls to me

  

  




My family - I don't see them often so when I had a last minute brunch with my sister Caron, brother Shaun, his wife Leanne and their daughters Jamie and Anna, I had to use my mobile phone because I forgot my camera at home






The Scrap Addicts - love these ladies!  Here we're being silly, acting surprised that a page designed by Lynette was completed with photos (many of her layouts have no photos - she says she'll finish them later)


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Autumn Garden

It's late Autumn in South Africa

It's really cold at night but still very warm during the day

My Autumn garden is coming alive...

I love the little 'faces' of the winter pansies. 
The colour above is antique rose - gorgeous! 





Most of the succulents in my garden have flower buds; I can't wait to see the explosion of winter colour - mostly bright orange.