Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Project Life | New Year's day

I'm rewinding back to the beginning of the year and sharing some pages that I haven't posted yet.
This one covers New Year's day.
 
It was one of the rare days T wasn't working (he was working 7 days a week at that point). We spent the day in the beautiful Sabie area hiking three waterfalls, so lots of photo's (there's also another spread for this day).
 
This page covers making travel food in our cabin's outdoor kitchen, and the drive there. We had breakfast in the picnic area of Lone Creek falls, and then took the walk to the falls.
The wonderful  "twenty fourteen" is a freebie from Paisly Press I think. I've scrolled through my PL freebies board but can't locate it now. "Great day" cut from a (Coral)kit card.
 
I initially took the portraits for our cover page, but then I ended doing something different there, so I included it here. (Cover page photo's still needs to be printed).
 
This really was one of the best, if not the best day of this year.
 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Easter

 
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life" (1John1:1).
 
I'm currently working through a prayer journal by Beth Moore (Whispers of Hope- 10 Weeks of devotional prayer) and I love every bit of it. Think the following piece was very relevant for Easter:
 
"...The Spirit birthed the church in the hearts of eyewitnesses- people who saw Christ with their own eyes and touched Him with their own hands. John watched as Jesus was transfigured on the mountain. He saw Christ raise the dead, He heard Jesus foretell His suffering and death on the cross; then he watched in horror at the fulfilment of every detail. He saw Mary Magdalene's expression when she came with the news of the empty tomb. He ran to see the evidence for himself. Later John gathered with the other disciples behind locked doors when Christ appeared among them. He saw Christ pierced hands and side with his own eyes..........
....Eyewitnesses. They watched their risen Saviour ascend into the heavens then lived the rest of their days on the passionate certainty of what they had seen...and touched...
...They didn't just believe, they knew...". Beth Moore.
 
So looking forward to this Easter long week-end. May your time be special and blessed.
Feel free to stop by my Easter Board on Pinterest for some fun Easter egg and Easter craft ideas.
 
Ps: the photo's from our recent trip to the bush. So many lovely thorn trees there.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Living with photo's | Digital art

One of the things I intend to do more, is getting more of our photo's off my computer and into our life. I know I'm doing this with Project Life. But maybe it is because I'm doing a backdated PL album, that I'm discovering so many photo's I love, but have completely forgotten about.
I want them in my everyday.
 
So here's a simple and quick start I've made: I've known about this feature on my photo editing program for a long time, but never actually did anything with it. Then I saw a post by Elise (can't find the exact post now) where she used a cell phone app to art up her photo's, and thought I'd give it a try.
 
 I used filters on my Microsoft photo editing program. It came for free with Microsoft - but if you don't have it, I suspect most editing programs would have a similar feature. Mine has all kinds of options such as watercolour, charcoal, colour pencil etc. It's as easy as going to Filters and selecting one , applying it and deciding if you like it. You can even combine filters, lighten it afterwards and just play around. I liked photo's where you didn't see full faces.
 Here I used colour pencil and printed (normal photocopying) it on textured off-white cardstock.
 
I think it could also work great if you want to try out doing some art, and first see what it might look like as a watercolour for example. Or you might start out with printing this and then further touch it up with watercolour. 
 
Coincidentally I popped into this gallery passing through Dullstroom recently, and saw some canvasses on display using this very same thing. Pictures of landscapes and wildlife, digitally turned into watercolours and printed onto canvas. Come to think of it, this would make a nice watercolour.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Project Life | Week 9

Hello and welcome to Week 24 February - 2 March. Yesterday as I started to "work" on this post, I ended up writing a whole story on this season where my husband is working away from home (blogged yesterday). Well, of all the challenging weeks we had, this one was probably the most difficult. So yes, I was in Eeyore mode here...
 
And how great to find a freebie card that suited my mood! Today sucked card- click here.
 
So this week tells of my exasperation with another Monday (they come a lot faster than Week-ends around here). I was sick with a postnasal infection this week, and hubby had to leave earlier than planned, and I received other bad news as well, so just not a great day. It was also another week of lots of rain. I finally went to the doctor for antibiotics on Wednesday (when I started to suspect something was growing in my throat - sorry to gross anyone out) and did a little "cost analysis".
Relief = Priceless.
 
The insert included holds a drawing on one side, and chess puzzles on the other.
 
Here you can see Liam's drawing better.
 
Things got more positive after the meds worked so amazingly fast. Reuben discovered Scoobies, Theunis (who was also sick on site this week) picked me flowers in the veld on his way home, and I made Apple crumble. I cut some words from a kit card and adhered it onto the photo.
(I think the drawing is about what my throat felt like hehe).
 
Eventually I felt that while the page looked right for the mood I was in that week, it just felt too dark, so I decided to cut out the last photo and put it on a white piece of vellum with some journaling around. A bad week in some ways, but all part of the story.
 
Can I get spiritual? Here's what God ministered to me when I was really down during that week and just invited His Spirit to speak to me: I was reminded of the story of Jacob in the Bible, who discovered that he married Leah instead of Rebecca. Everything seemed to have gone wrong, I suppose. But everything was in fact going exactly right in the bigger scheme of things:- There had to be 12 sons for the 12 tribes of Israel (twelve is a very significant number for completion in the Bible). There had to be two sons distinct from the rest. One to go ahead into Egypt, and another to bring the others into Egypt. And they all had to end up in Egypt for the whole Exodus story to unfold, which is forever a picture of God's deliverance out of the slavery of sin. So sometimes, even when everything seems to be going all wrong, it might just be going all right.
(I still don't know the purpose of this particular week, but it's ok.)
Hope that encourages someone.
 
 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Six months plus.

 
 
Some of you might know from reading here, that we've been doing the "husband works elsewhere thing" for more than six months now. I don't want to go on about it too much, as I have friends and acquaintances facing much harder challenges than me. Really hard things- like husbands with serious illnesses and operations, and hospital bills and losing everything kinds of challenges. I do that a lot, remind myself that mine is nothing in comparison. And I certainly know that there's many amazing single (and even married) Mom's out there doing - in practical terms- this and more indefinitely.
 
 But the reality is that this is tough. It's a constant living outside of your comfort zone, finding a new "normal", and then having him home for a bit, and realising that this is what comfort really feels like, and then having to say goodbye again and again. The (somewhat dramatic) picture I have of this past term is me pushing a huge boulder up a hill, not being able to emotionally focus on much else. (Isn't that what a growth curve feels like?)
 
It's having so little time for anything (rest, admin talk, kids, even fighting and making up). It's the kids not having their Dad around. It's being without his present support and strength. It's being in "open heart wife mode", but having to function in "I don't need a man independent mode". It's me not having him around when things are tough- like when I'm sick, or when the geyser leaks and water starts dripping from the ceiling.. or the gate remote won't work.. or an unexpected all day/ night power failure, or a creepy insect inside at bedtime..  
 
I've done different things to cope: leaned on God, stayed busy, isolated myself, shared with friends, cocooned with my kids, went into robot mode, indulged in chocolate, indulged in Pinterest, blogged, caught up on Project Life, worked on my dreams. Long conversations on cranky phone lines helps.  I've kept it all in, and I've cried a little....I've tried to "be awesome instead".
 
It's definitely had it's positives though... Both me and him had time to grow independently in this time, grow stronger in different areas. We were once again assured that our unity can overcome many obstacles. I've gotten better at accepting help from others. I've seen again what amazingly grounded and adaptable boys we have. I've seen how I can adapt to a new place of contentment. I've again realised what we have is truly special. I've learnt that people mostly don't really understand and it's ok. I've experienced so much grace from God. I've learnt this is a process for me, and to be patient and gentle with myself. To say no to things that stretch me too much time wise. I've found a new rhythm at home, what once felt like hard, now feels like everyday routine. I've built boulder-pushing muscles. ..And I've learnt how to help a Praying Mantis out the door at 10pm.
 
I'm sooo looking forward to a new season coming soon, where he'll be working near home.
But till then- was it Elise that came up with "I can't do this, but I'm doing it anyway." ?
 
Ps: This started out as the intro to my PL post, and then the words just came. It's the most personal that I've gone on this blog, so a bit of a stretch here.
 
You might also want to read this blog on coping with loneliness  (over at Beautiful Mess).
Word art on my photo is from Ali Edwards.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Project Life | Week 8

Welcome to week 17 - 23 February... where things get a little gloomy around here. 
 
First the boys each had a turn to be sick, and then, starting over the week-end, it was my turn.
 
But as I've journaled here, I do embrace sick days as a special time for me and the kids to just be. Especially if it's one on one time. I really try making this a time for them to feel comforted and enjoy their more quiet than usual play activities. Sometimes I would drop everything and sit with them on the couch and watch a movie, something we don't usually get around to do. I find this a special blessing of having a very flexible schedule. And even when I do have things scheduled , it's a no-brainer for me to cancel them when my kids are sick. I hope even sick days will one day be a happy memory to them.
 
The first photo is about it raining while the sun shines. "Monkeys wedding". Happens from time to time here in Jo'burg. Liam(6) took that photo of me. He seems to have an eye. I downloaded the Brothers and Sisters photo from the internet. I know we're very late on the bus, but we are so enjoying working through this series. And the last one is a flapjacks/drumming session. I added a grid card from previous kit.
 
I love Reuben's bird drawing with a signature added. And I regret not taking a photo of my once white, now chocolate brown duvet cover after Zoe rolled around on it while all wet and muddy. (Too exasperated at the time). Did include a "note" to her to please refrain from that in future.
 
Word art is from Ali Edwards and available at Designer Digitals. 
 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Project Life | Week 7

Hello and welcome to Week 10-16 February. Valentines week, feels so far away now..
 
My photo's this week were less busy than other weeks, with a lot of white background, and I enjoyed seeing how the page got filled in with other elements and pattern.
 
This was also the week we went a little Dutch around here. Reuben was doing a talk at school about our surname's country of origin, the Netherlands. Fun to research, put together an outfit for him and also visit a Windmill at Hartbeespoortdam.
I took a video of his talk, and tried to generate one of those block codes, but I think it was too long, so it didn't work. So I included a Spongebob quote instead. I cut out a kit card for the speech bubble on the photo and popped it up a bit.
 
For Valentine the kids got to wear red to school :: We had our bi-annual chuck-out at church. Lots of fun where everyone brings their unwanted  stuff in the morning, and come and shop for free in the afternoon :: This was also the week I received the Coral kit all the way from England. So happy with this kit :: The heart, February card and "love" card are all freebies. You can visit my PL freebie board on Pinterest and hopefully find it there.
 
I was recently so inspired by Manda Townsend's wonderful Project Life style. Love that its photo-centric  and creative. Looking for other inspiration? There's lots on my PL 2014 Pinterest board.