28 Oct 2014

Journey .... Believe .....

Hi there!
I decided to use this week's CSI challenge for something very, very personal; something that has come to define who I am today.
Here is what the challenge looks like:
And here is what I worked on for the past 2 days:
The title of my piece is actually 'hard tho the journey may be, believe dreams can come true'.  The photographs are of 1 and a half IVF's cycle's worth of syringes and needles.
Scheme : all there
Evidence : mixed media background, flowers, stamps, floral pattern
Testimony : I journaled about something I have achieved - namely overcoming infertility.  I've had to put my journaling on the back
Never in a million years did I expect that something so natural, beautiful and miraculous as conception, be so very difficult for me to achieve.  I had very fertile parents, after all.
For a solid 9 years, we slogged.  For 9 solid years, my body failed to do the one thing it was designed  - but not destined! - to do.  So easy for some.  Downright impossible for many.
Mentally, I went through a Myriad of emotions.  Anger, depression, RAGE, resignation, FURY, resentment, jealousy, HATRED, confusion.  My prayers turned from asking nicely to unashamedly begging to questioning WHY others and not me?  WHY underage girls, child abusers, vagrants??  I was on several prayer groups; people who had never met me, who I'd never met - and never will - were praying for my miracle to happen.  It never did.  My faith faltered.   I took a great leap back, because I could not understand what I had done wrong.
Many days over 2001 - 2010 I cannot remember.  I mostly took very strong painkillers so that life, babies, children, nappies, dummies could pass me by in a haze - or so that I could JUST SLEEP.  I was tired.  The fight was very, very hard.  There were times when my voice didn't work.  I would sit down and just stare.  Only my eyes worked.  I had no strength to move my body.  What was the point anyway?
I begged Travers to leave me - find someone who could give him a child.  I lacked the strength to leave him - so begged him to do it.  He stuck by me - in sickness and in health.  As long as we had each other, it would be fine.  But it wasn't.  For what felt like forever, it wasn't.
Towards the end of 2009, after our last failed IVF with donor eggs we were utterly shattered - physical and mentally.  It was a turning point for us, because suddenly we were excited about adoption.  We really HAD given it our all, but were hitting a brick wall.
Natural conception and pregnancy were obviously NOT meant to be on the cards for us.
When I held Isabella for the very first time, the burden of infertility lifted.  The sun shone brightly through the window of the hospital room.  But not as brightly as our beaming faces.  Here we were - after everything we'd been through - holding our child.  Our very own child.
As terrible and heart wrenching as infertility is, I have learned some valuable lessons.  Compassion - NEVER ask someone why they are "so damned miserable" because you do NOT know what burden they are carrying.  Patience - I hated people for saying it to me, but all good things DO come to those who wait.  Value - you just get to appreciate so many things, when you've always taken for granted what comes naturally.  Love - I can't believe that Travers stood by me through it all.  I just can't.
My infertility has defined me.  It has changed me in so many positive ways.  My outlook on life changed drastically.  I don't remember who I was before it; I cannot imagine my life without it.
Through many friends I've made who are still in the trenches, I am constantly reminded of life as an infertile.  I may not have beat infertility in the physical sense, but mentally - I kicked butt!!!
Here are some close-ups.

The background paper is watercolour paper.  I smudged some gelato colours and then misted.  The white bits that you see is stencilled texture paste, onto which I sprinkled UTEE and embossing powder - both white.

I'm crazy about these chippie circles that seems to have become all the rage!!!  I have several so you might just see more on future LO's!!  LOL!!

Thanks so much for your visit!!

25 Oct 2014

Like Mother Like Daugther

Hey there,
I'm finding it hard to find time and motivation to do more than one scrapping LO per week.  There are so many other challenge sites that I would like to participate in, but I'm just not planning my weeks properly in order to do so! This year seems to have been more than a little crazy with parties I've been helping out with in terms of decor and invitation design; and then also with a lot of little things that Isabella has been doing via school.
And to think that Christmas is already practically around the corner.  I've not achieved what I wanted to when I "retired".  Not even close.  I never set New Years Resolutions - but I WILL be doing so next year.
So.  After that rambling, let me share my take on the latest CSI challenge.
I particularly enjoyed this challenge - the colours are so peaceful; and that image!  LOVE it!  Quite often I procrastinate for days about the journalling - but this time I was sure about what I wanted to do.  Here's my take on it:
Scheme : All there
Evidence : paint, polka dots, pleated rosette, buttons, flower
Testimony : I journalled about my (and Isabella's!) creativity
Even as a small girl, I enjoyed any and all forms of creativity.  I have very vivid memories of taking mom's Women's Value magazine and working hard to create whatever crafty thing there was inside - be it a folded box, a card or some form of decoration.
Oupa saw this more creative side in me and he was the one who nurtured that, being extremely creative himself.  He taught me many, many things and I'm pleased to have inherited all his art supplies.
So, it goes without saying that I am thrilled to the nth degree that you have embraced creativity from an early age too!  I have all your artwork stashed safely away and some are also framed.  You thoroughly enjoy any arty crafty thing that we do together - from something as simple as colouring in, to more 'advanced' crafts, like painting an ornamental bunny.  It has been an absolute joy to see how your drawing skills have developed from squiggles to actual, real-proper stick figures - faces, fingers and all!
You've already started to show a signature form of painting in your creative art - you paint a frame around the page first, before filling the centre with whatever it is you choose to paint.  It's amazing - and I wish I knew where you picked it up!
Your creativity has even extended as far as adorning our walls at home - and your sentimental fool of a mom doesn't have the heart to wash it off!
It is such a blessing to share this with you; a love of art and creativity that belongs to just you and I.
And now for some close-ups.

I completely LOVE the background of The Scene above and wanted to recreate it on a smaller scale.  I watered down some acrylic paint and just applied it with long brush strokes. 

Thanks for stopping by!

15 Oct 2014

My Red Mary Janes

Another beautiful Case File; another beautiful sketch by the uber talented Em.
And here's what I did

Scheme : All there
Evidence : stripes, bird, pen work, flowers
Testimony : Free Verse Poem, handwritten, stuck behind the photograph
Across the room
As my eye catches
The lustrous crimson leather,
The gleaming brass buckle ~
My breath catches
My heart stutters
I know I must make them mine!
I stroke the stitching
Smell the earthy scent
I am in love!
My feet find contented solace
In their cosy core
Come home with me, my precious ones
Let's walk life's road together
Here are some close ups.  I kept this one 'clean' this week.

9 Oct 2014

Plain & Simple

Hey there,
Today I'm sharing my take on the latest challenge on the CSI site.
I'm not used to working with such bold colours, but I think I managed okay. Here is what I put together.
Bit overcast here today, so the pic colouring is a bit off...
Scheme : Check
Evidence : plain white background, speech bubbles, numbers, grid (tape), word stickers, ampersand, arrow
Testimony : Right or Left brain, handwritten on the back:
I was quite interested in taking an online questionnaire to ascertain which side of my brain dictated my life. I was even more interested in how accurate AND how inaccurate it was.  Which begs the question - am I even?  I think not...
The title of this LO is a bit tongue in cheek.  There is NOTHING plain and simple about me, except how I look.
The Q had some interesting insights.  But where was it accurate and where was it inaccurate?
Apparently I handle problems and difficult insights with ease; breaking them down, analysing them and then reaching a conclusion so as to make an informed decision.  CORRECT.
My world runs like clockwork.  CORRECT.  Too much so; at times I get QUITE bored with being a creature of habit.
I don't have a messy room.  INCORRECT.  My scrapping room - let's not go there.  Literally and figuratively.....
My kitchen on the other hand - DON'T go there to move things.  I might bop you.
Apparently I'm conscientious and meticulous and well-prepared for everything?  CORRECT!  One of my therapists told me that I cross all my bridges before a situation presents itself.  I do that.  I've crossed bridges that will only be built in 12 years time.  No, really!
So being ruled by emotion or impulses is not in my nature, eh?  INCORRECT.  My husband can vouch for that. 'Nuff said!
A very, very interesting and somewhat insightful exercise for me, this was.  I'd hoped for more accuracy (there's the Virgo in me!), but I guess I am not alone there.  We can't have all of the answers all of the time!
Here are some close-ups. 

I watered down some gelato's here to get the colours I wanted; instead of relying completely on paper.  I did, however, use a small amount of paper and some washi tape too.  I also randomly stamped the numbers on and I also did some embossing with white UTEE.

The ampersand is wood, which I chalked with red.

Thanks for looking.

1 Oct 2014

Goofy Poser

Hey there,
The latest CSI case has been quite a challenge for me (pun intended!).  Not because of the colours - but the testimony!  I procrastinated for DAYS before finally settling on what I was going to journal about!
So here is the case!
And this is how I eventually solved it!!!
Scheme : all there
Evidence : leaves, lots of layers, glossy accents
Testimony : I used the IW 'weird'
Journaling on the back:
 Ordinarily, as soon as my (ever-present) camera is pointed in your direction,  you get a bit grouchy and order me to either put it down (on the grass!!) or put it away! 
This day, however, I was in for a treat!  You started off by doing some 'normal' posing for me the minute I lifted my camera and aimed it at your direction - but you soon tired of that and instead started doing some strange, weird and wonderful things for the camera!
I shot off a whole series of pictures (wish I had enough space on this page for all of them!!) - but these two stood out most for me.  You were so silly!  Not only were you pulling faces and doing silly poses - but you were also singing songs that you made up on the spur of the moment.
I put it down to it having been 1 September - our national Spring Day - AND it was our first lovely day in a long time, so we headed outdoors after school AND you were wearing a new dress! 
All of that adds up to happy, silly, weird, crazy, goofy moods all round!
And now for some close ups.
I love love love corrugated paper!  It lends itself to such delicious textured arty-ness!!  For the green and purple on either side of my LO, I turned some Gelato's into water colour paint and brushed it on; I was going for a bit of an ombre look.  I then stamped a leaf design all over, in deep purple.
The purple strips in the background were crumpled and then I brushed the purple ink over the top to create even more depth and texture.  I thought that the black strips just brought everything together.

Chippie title - very simply inked with black and then I randomly applied embossing ink and sprinkled with black UTEE to give a 'splashed' effect to the title.

The leaves are also chippie - inked in green and then given a 'rustic' Glossy Accents topping.

I love frames on a LO!  This was a chippie which I inked in purple and then cut to fit around the pic of Isabella.  The green doilies and the lace were sprayed with various greens and whites that I have in my stash.  The white doilies were left as is.
Thanks for your visit!!!