25 Nov 2013

My Fair Lady

More orange today over at CSI and I'm beginning to be more comfortable around this, my least favourite colour! Yay!  Lovely cool-ish palette, this!
And so this is what I worked on today.
Scheme : All colours
Evidence : butterflies, floral, stripes
Testimony : it takes two (2 fonts)
My journaling (short one this week!) : Nov 2013.  A wardrobe bursting with over 40 dresses, a multitude of necklaces, alice bands and hair bands ... all this simply proves that you ARE a Girly Girl!  Right down to your precious tippie toes!
Here are some close-ups.

I did a lot of work with a mask, texture paste and mists.  As well as with Gelato's and my water colour pencils.

22 Nov 2013

Time that is not spent loving is wasted...

Well I just LOVED the latest challenge at CSI.  The colours are sublime!
And this is what I did today:
Scheme : All colours
Evidence : stripes, polka dots, clock, ribbon
Testimony : I chose a BlogHer prompt - how old were you the first time you fell in love?
I could tell you about the 2 serious relationships I've had before I met Travers.  I could tell you about the massive crush when I was just 15.  I could tell you that with each of those 3, I was in love.  I probably was.... but they do NOT come close to the love that I have for and share with Travers. 
We met in 1995 when I was 19 and he was 26.  I was fresh out of a serious relationship and not looking to fall in love.
Too late... 2 months into my relationship with Travers, I was head over heels.  That makes me 20 when I first fell in love.
This love is different.  This love is real.  This love is complete.  This love has kicked some serious butt over the past 18 years.  This is a love that will last.
Travers is my BEST friend.  He is my heart and he is my soul.  He is part of my reason for living.  I could NEVER have imagined loving like this.  NEVER.  This love is so much bigger than I ever thought possible.
After 18 years, I can honestly say that I often fall in love with him all over again.  And that is the best feeling on Earth.
Here's to another 18.  And another.  And another.  And another...
Here are some more shots.
I have been watching a lot of work by Finnabair on Youtube and have taken inspiration from her work for this piece.  I do feel myself holding back somewhat on my scrapping pieces - I really need to just let loose on a canvas....!!
The chippie clock has been painted with plummy pink, then treated with Crackle Glaze and a final coat of white was put on top. 
Really love this look that Finnabair has mastered; I think I am going to work on doing more of this in future.

11 Nov 2013

You Inspire

I've said it before, but here I go again - I just love how CSI brings me slap-bang out of my comfort zone.  I always love the colour combo's, but there are times that I get a bit 'shaky' because I don't know how on Earth I'm going to pull it all together!  Here is the latest combo, including another gorgeous sketch from Em.
And this is what I pulled together this morning, after days of planning in my head. 
Scheme : All Colours
Evidence : leaves, grid design, chevron, something shiny (sequence)
Testimony : I chose one of the Cheddar X prompts - have you ever met a blogger?
Journaling (stuck on back!):
I have been a blogger since late-2009. I started blogging because I wanted put down in words, what was going on my life at that time.  I have difficulty speaking what I feel and blogging helped me with that.
At that time, I belonged to an online infertility forum where I ‘met’ several women who were in similar or worse situations in the hell that is infertility.  It was such a great sense of relief to know that I was not alone; infertility can be a very, very lonely place.
A small handful of these ladies stood out to me, but one in particular was my “favourite” – namely Sharon.  She had been through a lot … so much – and not just on the infertility front.  She was not afraid of being open.  She was always on hand with a kind word and some sound advice.
I was afraid of being open; and lurked around on the site for several months before coming out into the open.  My name on the forum was an alias and I was too embarrassed to admit to anyone who I was – or to ‘formally’ introduce myself.
I would constantly read Sharon’s blog.  Read and re-read.  Then she started on her adoption journey and was one of the fortunate few who was selected by a birth-mom mere days after their interview with the social worker.  I became so involved in their rollercoaster ride that followed.  Granted, there were times when I found it hard to read Sharon’s blog, such was my pain and longing for a child.  And she knows that – and totally ‘gets it’.
I can honestly say that were it not for Sharon’s inspiring, realistic, heart-warming story – I would not be where I am today.  I know that adoption was the path chosen for us – but it was Sharon’s story that prompted me to move in this direction and make final decisions.  Their story allayed every single one of the fears I had.  It was as if I were living their story right alongside them!
I am so happy to have met Sharon, Walter and Ava-Grace; and I’m very excited about meeting their new princess - precious Hannah Faith!  I am so fortunate to have them in my life.  Although they live in Jo’burg and I barely get to see them, they are a very special family and have a very, very special place in my heart.
Sharon runs an adoption forum online – www.trinityheart.co.za.  And she blogs at www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za, where she continues to inspire every day – not just me, but so many others in so many ways. 
I will never be able to put into words how grateful I am to Sharon for being so open and sharing their incredible life journey.  I will hold them close to my heart always.
Here are some closies:
The title word 'inspire' is a chippie which I embossed with dark teal (came out darker than I anticipated)
The 2 circles are cut from corrugated cardboard, covered in white acrylic and then edged with blue Gelato's and then smudged.  I also did a blue Gelato swirl on the background.
Owls are Sharon's "thing", so naturally, I just had to include one on this LO!!

7 Nov 2013

You Are My Sunshine

This week's challenge at CSI is bold, punchy and as delicious as always.  This was a really lovely colour combo to work with!
Aaaaand it is my Gelato's debut!  If you are somewhat of a Gelato's fundi - please forgive me!  I realise that I have a loooong way to go.  Having said that, I did manage to achieve the look I was going for!!
And so this is what I worked on for about 2.5 hours this morning.
Scheme : All colours
Evidence : mesh, frame, flowers, rhinestones
Testimony : I used one of the one-minute writer prompts, namely "Sunshine"
Journaling (pasted on the back):
One of the moments I look forward to MOST is picking you up at school.  Nothing brightens my day more than seeing this very smile.  I usually sneak in and the teachers know by now to keep quiet about my presence; as I observe and I WAIT for you to see me.  And when you do, we are both beaming from ear to ear with the silliest, cheesiest grins.  It’s at times like this that I go through the WHOOOLE thought process where I stilll can’t believe you’re mine; that I am the one who gets to take you home.  And when you clap eyes on me, you say “my mommy” under your breath…  Such a brief few seconds makes such a tremendous change to my day.  It makes NO difference what has happened at work, what stresses I have resting on my shoulders – seeing your face light up when you see ME makes everything right in the world.  Nothing else matters.  No one else matters.  The people and stresses who have got me down during the day are insignificant compared with your presence in my life.  I carry your little smile with me and it fixes everything.  My precious ray of light.
I have taken to pasting my journaling to the back of my LO's more often, as I tend to plan as I go and at the end, don't always have place for it!  Chop! :-)
So, here are some close-ups.
I drew a 'sun' with Gelato's and blended with my finger.  Then I randomly coloured a woodgrain stamp with the red Gelato, misted with water and then lightly (and very roughly) stamped along the rays.  Then I gave it all a very, very light spritz of Mister Huey's gold to give a sparkly appearance, before finishing off with texture paste and a mask.  The overall effect is gorgeous (if I do say so myself) and these pictures don't pick up on that!
The mesh is actually from a large piece of non-slip matting that I found.  I have used it before for masking too and it works pretty well for that purpose.  I just need to figure out where I got it..........!

2 Nov 2013

Missing You

Lovely blues over at CSI this week
Here is what I did this morning:
Scheme : All Colours
Evidence : Paint, Distressing, Flowers, Metal
Testimony : Document an old memory with a hint of 'feeling blue'
Journaling (stuck on the back of the LO, as I knew it was going to be an essay!):
In the early hours of the morning of 3 February 2007, our telephone rang.  It woke me from a dream that Oupa had died; so I wasn’t surprised when I was told that Oupa had died about 30 minutes earlier.  Although he wasn’t sick, he had very recently been fitted with a pace maker and his prostate cancer had also recently returned; he was becoming frail.  So the news was a shock.
I went straight to sleep, but woke with a jolt the next morning; wondering whether the phone-call and the dream were one and the same.  I knew they weren’t; I knew I was in denial.  I waited to fall to pieces.
This photograph was taken sometime in 1979 or 1980.  Oupa was the best.  He was hands on.  He was always there for ALL of us.  He made us wonderful toys.  He taught us so much during the school holidays when we stayed with them.  He nurtured my creative side – teaching me calligraphy, water colour painting and sketching.  I remember being petrified of trying to work with oils – and he really pushed me to try.  Sadly, I never got to try oil painting whilst he was still alive.
All his art paraphernalia has been passed on to me.  The paints are all hard, the brushes disintegrated; but I will hang on to them and cherish them.  Amongst the books and suitcases is one very, very old wooden artist’s suitcase which had been passed down to Oupa by my maternal Great-Grandfather.   This is filled not only with brushes and hard crusty paint, but also with Oupa’s sketches and doodles.  I’ve only been through the contents twice since Oupa’s passing...  It just hurts too much.
I don’t think that we ever get over the passing of someone close to us.  There are days when I miss him fiercely and I do still find myself welling up and aching for him.
The memory of the announcement of his death, the days after and the funeral are still very, very vivid to me.  I remember thinking, long before he died, how I would surely need to be institutionalised or doped up when I heard that he’d died, but I was surprisingly ‘calm’.  Broken, but calm.
On the day of his funeral, I had to take 6 (natural) tranquilisers to numb myself completely.  It was an open casket, but I chose not to say goodbye that way – choosing to rather remember him alive and smiling and chatting and joking and laughing.  I do not regret this decision, as I thought I might.  I made a small bouquet of lavender from my garden and asked my sister-in-law to place it inside the coffin, which she did for me.
I still well up and HURT when I think of all this.  It is still a very real pain for me.
I think that with death, there often comes regret.  The two biggest regrets for me, is that he never got to see my new-found art – scrapbooking.  I KNOW that he would have LOVED it and would have provided such valued input and critique.
The second regret is that he never got to meet my Isabella.  Too painful to talk about right now.
I don’t know where he is now.  No one ever really knows what happens after death.  I do feel his presence from time to time.  Mom has a Yesterday Today Tomorrow bush in her garden which she got from him and it seems to bloom when she’s having a difficult time in life; showing us that he is around.
I love him.  I love him completely and I do wish he was still with us.  As I said, we never get over death.  Not really.  Something, at any time, can trigger a memory and the pain can resurface. 
I used a mist on the background and then I thinned down some white acrylic paint for the masking.  I thinned it down coz I wanted some of the colour from the mist to still show through.  Then I outlined the detail of the mask.
The rest is pretty straightforward - layering up of flowers and the photograph, the butterfly and the doily.  The photo mat has been distressed.
Sorry about the brief info and lack of more pics - am a bit grumpy after having a lengthy, painful dentist visit yesterday morning.  Nine shots in the mouth later and my jaw muscles are still achey!  Oh woe is me!  Boo Hoo!!!