Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Barefoot Bakers - Challenge 41 Scrap Africa

Hello, hello - today I’m sharing a Design Team page for 
Scrap Africa, challenge 41.
to see what the rest of the team have created.

Create a project - layout, card or altered project that depicts what Christmas Time/ December Holidays/ Hannukah is like in your home, town, city or country....for some it's a snowy winter in Europe…
For us in Australia, it’s summer and usually hot.
So tell us what a traditional December is like for you.
I adapted a sketch by Susan Stringfellow from Sketch Savvy.
I know it's a busy time of the year,
but I hope you find a squidge of time to play along.
Last week, when we had the twins, they helped us decorated the tree and then they wanted to bake Anzac biscuits. They like to cook without too much quality control from me, so the biscuits come out of the oven in all shapes and sizes.  The bigger the better as far as they are concerned.
The paper range is from Authentique, "Wonder" and "Foundations"
some more treasures I found whilst rummaging around in my stash.
The lovely stars are from Scrapmatts CB 6081
They come in this lovely red and I just
 shimmered them up it bit with some glitter.
I did a bit of a Lizzy Hill and splashed some gold around,
but I might need remedial lessons from the gold Queen herself!
I did the journalling on a joined tag and slid it behind the photos.
The journalling reads:-

Christmas time for me is about family gathering to break bread together.   The Grandchildren trimming the tree, with ornaments which their Daddy used to hang.  It’s the smell of baking throughout the house.  Using the old bowl and the recipe handed down from my Mother to make the Christmas pudding.  It’s shopping for fresh seafood to eat outside under the verandah, hoping that it won’t be over 40C.  Singing Christmas carols, especially my favourite, “Silent Night”.   It means writing letters to friends far away, and hearing from them too, about their families activities for the year.  It’s remembering those no longer with us and giving thanks for the legacy of love they left behind.   It’s about thinking hard before choosing the perfect gift for each person. It’s the joy on the children’s faces, as they open their gifts. Christmas is also about donating to those less fortunate than ourselves and giving thanks for all that we have.   8 Dec 2014


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Celebrate Moments - CSI challenge with S365-10

Welcome to my blog gentle people, it's lovely to have your company.
I hope you will find something to inspire you and perhaps
take the time to leave me a comment.
Here is the challenge for this week, you have until Dec 31st to enter.
To see what the guests and design team have created.
I find it difficult to achieve accurate colour when photographing white and ivory, so this looks a bit muddy - it's much better IRL
Because I had a lot of journalling I tried to keep 
the layout fairly simple and use lots of white space.
The mason jar is from American Crafts.
Some lovely Kaisercraft collectables, "On this day"
The embossed brick stamp is by Deep Red
Love the versatile words from Scrapmatts Words, 01 and 03
A few sparkly bits from Prima and it's finished.
I did have a whoopsy with the stamping,
so I just cut it out to the shape I wanted 
and stuck it on a new piece of card stock.

Embossing powder

I went to the Journal Jar prompts and chose to write about the most serious illness I have had.

This photo was taken around the five year mark, when I felt almost brave enough to hope for a future.  But the slightest thing could push me off kilter, extinguish the hope; send me down dark alleyways, swept along by fear and tossed helplessly on rough seas of despair.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, the story began years before, when the specialist told me I had Cancer, that I needed to have radical, invasive surgery and that the odds of survival were 50/50.

I felt angry and cheated that this could happen when I ate healthily, was not overweight and exercised regularly.  Why me? What had I ever done to deserve this?  I felt out of control, confused by different medical opinions and raped by invasive procedures.

Because of my nursing experience, I knew exactly what to expect and that increased my terror; I’d assisted at the surgery they proposed, which left the operating theatre looking like a slaughter house.

If I died, no one else would Mother my children as well as I could, nurture them with loving kindness and steer them on the path to adulthood. How would my husband cope with working and raising the children on his own?  

The post operative pain was beyond description, only eased by a superb night nurse who topped up my pain medication, before positioning me as gently as a new born.  I never saw her face, but I would recognise her soothing voice anywhere. The nights seemed interminable; once I recall sitting bolt upright in bed and screaming “I want my Mother!”  My body ached and my heart ached for her loving arms. 

We were blessed by the kindness of family and friends, who provided meals, did the laundry and collected children from school. They brought books and flowers and massaged my aching body.  

I have disabilities because of the surgery, but I have gifts too.  If someone had asked me, if I wanted to waltz with Jack Dancer I would have said a resounding NO.  But there are gifts which came with it. Previously a bit of a pessimist and inclined to melancholy, I’ve learned not to worry too much about the future, to enjoy each moment, to stop and smell the roses, to tell people I love them and to be grateful that I’m one of the 50% who survived.  My glass is always half full.   Journalling 5th Dec 2014  


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

First Selphie - DT page for Scrap Africa sketch challenge 40

Hello on this hot day in South Australia,
I hope you have somewhere cool to relax.
Today I’m sharing a page for Scrap Africa
which is a sketch challenge.
You can find the details HERE
I chose an ancient film strip which was taken in a photo booth, 
long before mobile phones were invented.
The background paper is from Prima,
Epiphany collection, “Clear as day”
I used a very old negative strip from Creative Imaginations which I found sulking at the bottom of my acetate collection. 
It had frilly edges which I cut off, ‘cos I wasn’t in a frilly mood.  
Hope I didn’t hurt it’s feelings too much!
The orange hexagons are from a scrap of 
Kaisercraft the “Paradiso” collection.
I had fun trying some new techniques with stamping and gold leaf and am happy with the final result.

I wrote some journalling on the back - it reads:-

Who is this young woman, all fresh faced and innocent?  I hardly recognise myself.  A friend and I had caught the train to the city to buy clothes.  At the Adelaide railway station, we popped into a photo booth to play in a strange contraption which took instant photos before popping them out of a little slot. 

I remember that dress, which I bought with my first pay packet as a telephonist with the PMG.  It was a soft polished cotton with a modern geometric print.  It had little cap sleeves, a belt and a full skirt.  I thought I was the bees knees in it. 

Like a lot of teenagers, I was egocentric and gawky, socially inept and yet wanting to appear sophisticated.  If only I had known, that most people didn't give a darn about how I looked or if I made a faux pas, I would have been bolder, taken more risks and slurped the marrow out of life, while my limbs were still strong and resilient.

My Mother used to say "You can't put an old head on young shoulders" and how right she was.  But wouldn't it be fun to try it for a month or two?


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Simple Pleasures - CSI challenge 148

  Welcome to my blog, it’s lovely to have your company.
Today, I’m sharing a DT page for CSI.
to see what the team have created for your inspiration
Here is the challenge
What do you think?  I’d love you to play along, 
so grab your forensic kits and lets get sleuthing.
I used a Blue Fern paper for the background,
"Leslie's dream", from the Ombre Dreams collection.
All the required colours are on the paper, 
but I added more watercolour and texture through a stencil.
The yellow daisies, the title and the butterfly are from Scrapmatts
The tree charm is from the Scrap book store
A bit of stamping, some die cutting and 
the tea cup embellie is from Craft Queen

Teacup accent
House, tiny one in the right cluster

I went to Sunday Scribblings, and chose to write about a vintage photo.
The journalling is on the back and it reads:-

One of the most vivid memories I have, is of playing in this garden on the farm when I was about four.  My Sister and I have our good clothes on; so I expect we were just home from Church.

I see Lettuce and Cabbages growing and Sweet Peas climbing the fence.  My Mother always planted the Sweet Peas on St. Patricks day to ensure a beautiful flowering. The photo triggers a memory of me picking Snap Dragon flowers and popping one bloom on each finger, before proudly showing my Mother my pretty hands.  I couldn’t understand why she was cross!

Another memory flashes into my mind. It’s a warm summer day, not too hot.
I’m sitting on the edge of the veranda with my bare feet in the dirt; a soft, sandy dirt which puffs up between my toes when I tap them down. My feet are wide and calloused on the soles because I loathe wearing shoes. They are only for Sunday, when we go to church.

My patched cotton dress is protected with a Pinny; my hair in pig tails as
I watch black ants scurrying into their nest. They are busy mounding up the sides.  Rain must be coming soon. The fragrance of the Lorraine Lee rose perfumes the air, as I watch the monarch butterflies and hear the drone of the bees as they swarm over the Lavender.

In that moment, all my senses heightened; I feel at peace, serene and connected to something bigger than myself.  I’m aware that I feel happy.  I hug the happiness to my heart, like a warm blanket.  Decades later, I can recall that moment with utmost clarity.  I’m always at peace in solitude and I’m sure it stems from the gift of that one perfect moment.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Thank you card using 2 tabs - Scrap Africa Challenge 39

Hello again, just a quick post to share a card for the
Scrap Africa challenge 39
All you have to do is create a page, an OTP project, 
a canvas or a card, using two tags.
Easy Peasy!  I hope you will find time to play along.
To see what the team and guest artists have created for your inspiration.
I used a Hero Arts stamp on one tag,
created some texture and colour on the other one,
then trimmed with a Lemon Owl flair,
some yummy Prima lace and and some foliage.
Still on my stash diving, I managed to use a piece of
very old Chatter Box, by teaming it up with some Maja.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Fun Times - CSI challenge 147

Hello, hello, it's Saturday and time for a new challenge at
Here's the mood board and you have a bonus sketch from Em Stafrace.
Just use all five colours, at least two of the evidence prompts and at least two of the Testimony prompts.  Inspired?  Then grab your forensic kits and let's get sleuthing.
This page was made from scraps, apart from the white Bazzil.  The blue patterned paper is from Echo Park “Grandpa’s Garden.  The red and the bird paper is an older Kaiser line.
The wooden stars are from Studio Calico
The stamps are from Kaisercraft
The journalling tag is the reverse side of the blue patterned paper

Stamps - the title and the flowers
Stack something, the circles
Chalks, colouring in the stamped flowers
Other animal - do the birds count?

I went to the 365 questions link and chose to write about something that makes me happy.  It’s not surprising that I would choose to write about these two little kidlets, who come to spend the day with us each week.  Their joy in discovery and love of the outdoors makes looking after them a pleasure.  My darling Mother, who had the greenest thumb in the town, would be thrilled to see the next generation of gardeners coming on. 
The hand written note says. “You both love to dig with your own spades; to plant and watch things grow.  You enjoy the snow peas and take some home for your brother.  Each week you check the progress of the tomatoes and the spuds.  You water them and drench each other too!  Love Granny 2nd September 2014


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Always together - CSI DT layout - combined with Scrap 365-9

Hi there, I hope your day is wonderful,
It's 38C here today, good for hibernating inside out of the heat.
Here is the image for the latest challenge at CSI
Scrap365 is joining in as well and we have lots of interesting examples to inspire you
 I used an old piece of Webster's paper for the background.
The other scraps of paper are from my stash;
a mixture of Basic Grey, Kaiser and My Mind's Eye.
Some texture paste through a Prima stencil. 
and some gelatos to create a bit more interest.
A Studio fourteen40 flair which I haven't photographed very well.
And a Prima bubble to highlight the little tackers.
Transportation accents
Musical elements
Metal - the flair
Scatter something - the watercolour
Numbers - Top left


When we moved into our home and planted a tiny tree, we had no idea it would grow to this enormous size and tower over the roof.  Planted with optimism and hope, watered with tears of joy and sorrow and buffeted by the winds of change; it survived and dwarfs anyone who shelters in it’s shade. The tree is now host to rainbow lorikeets, willy wag tails, magpies and wattle birds.  Each year the fragrance of the flowers fills the house and at the end of Spring, it’s blossoms fall, creating a yellow carpet on the lawn.  When I see you both standing under the tree, it reminds me of the tiny shoots of the relationship with which Pa and I began our married life. I hoped we would have children, but didn’t imagine way back then, that we would be blessed with Grandchildren too. I’m so glad you two form new branches of our family tree. As you leave our home shouting “I love you”, from the car window, my cup of blessings overflows.  Love Granny 28.10.14


Saturday, 8 November 2014

CC-3 Special case file for CSI - The great outdoors

Welcome back, it's lovely to have you drop in for a visit.  
I hope you will find some inspiration here.
Today I'm sharing a special case file,
One of our regular contributors, Lydibel Porrata
 contacted Debbi to create a special case file 
for her Puerto Rican TV show, Creativa.  
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control, 
the case file was not able to air. 
Debbi has decided to go ahead with it anyway and 
at the end of the month Lydibel will choose someone to win a prize.   
To see Lydibel's shows on you tube click 

You can find the more details and examples from the DT
I used a piece of grey board for the MM background
I coated it with white gesso before using stencils and mist
The frame is made with florists vine
The little nest is by Prima
The chipboard feather is by Imaginarium
The ostrich feather, I found on our travels
Bird accents 
Tree accents
Mixed media background
Mist/paint splatters

I used the inspiration words, outside, first and nature.  The journalling reads:-

The first six years of my life were spent on a farm with just my family for company.  I spent most days outside in the fresh air and was keenly aware of the weather and the change of seasons.  Although I now live in a small city, I love to holiday in the outback.  With the wind in my face and the smell of the gum trees, I’m transported back to the freedom and solitude of my childhood.  This photo is of Ormiston Waterhole, 135 kms from Alice Springs, in the Red Centre of Australia.  I love the grandeur of the massive Red Gums drinking at the edge of the water.  The texture of their bark, begs to be touched and photographed.  The water and the shade attracts  native birds, who feast on the seeds and noisily conduct their courting  rituals overhead.  The ancient rocks, standing sentinel for millennia, are reflected in the water and speak to me of the first inhabitants of this ancient land.  The silence, the brilliant azure skies, glimpses of native fauna and the connection with nature, all generate peace and serenity for my soul.  I savour the absence of other tourists; it’s too remote for most of them to venture so far.  My spirit is renewed and I never want to leave the outback for the rush and bustle of the city.  August 2010


Monday, 3 November 2014

Remember when - Scrap Africa Sketch 38

Hi there and welcome.
Today, I'm sharing a sketch challenge layout for Scrap Africa
I must confess to struggling to find the right papers
and discarded my first two attempts.
But when I worked with these Kaiser papers, it all came together quickly.
to go to the Scrap Africa site
The photo is of my husband's family in 1952
I followed the sketch almost exactly.
The flowers and metal clock are from Prima.
The chipboard title is by Scrapmatts.
I hope you will give it a try too and be eligible for some scrappy prizes.


Know in your heart you are loved. DT page for CSI 146

Hello there and welcome back to my blog.  
Today I’m sharing CSI challenge 146
I have always been a big fan of magenta with grey,
so I loved playing with these colours.
My Mother made all the dresses and she told me my dress was pale pink.
Any way, down to business.
Here is the image

Feel free to hop across to
to see what the DT have created for your inspiration
Would you like join in the challenge?
Then grab your forensic kits and let’s get sleuthing.
I added stamping and ink splats of sparkling H2O's 
The background is from 13@rts
The pale pink papers are by Maja
The metal title is from Tim Holtz.
The little circles of guipure lace were left over from my wedding veil.
The decorative scissors are from Scrapmatts

Stripes, (very faint, on the smallest mat)
Metal, the title and the brad
Fibres (the lace circles),
Something transparent
Decorative scissors

I went to the Journal Jar Prompt and chose to write about my most vivid memories of my childhood kitchen.  The journalling is on the back of the page and it reads:-

The kitchen in my childhood home was a huge room, perhaps 24 feet by 14 feet; big enough for a table to seat 12 or 14 people. It had a meat safe, a Koolgardie safe and a blackwood kitchen cupboard along one wall.  There was a cedar miner’s couch and floor bins to hold flour and sugar along another wall.   The wood stove burned all day, summer and winter and another small cupboard held a bucket of drinking water, which we carried in from the outside rainwater tank. 

It sounds rudimentary by today’s standards, yet it was a happy, welcoming place; a place where I felt safe and secure. 

Mum was always home when we walked in from school.  She cooked biscuits or scones for afternoon tea and there was a delicious smell of baking as we walked through the door.   She listened to our stories of the school day, never judging or chastising, just advising us to do our best.  She often said, “School days are the best days of your life”.  I never understood that, but then I was not forced, as she was,
to leave school after Grade Seven, in order to look after eight smaller siblings.  

My Mother cooked all our food from scratch, mostly lamb, vegetables and fruit we had grown ourselves, or bartered from the neighbours.  In summer we bottled peaches, apricots, plums and quinces.  Jams were made from these fruits too; dozens of jars of them, enough to last until next summer. Tomatoes were made into sauce and cucumbers into pickles and chutney. There was no air-conditioning, not even a fan and I remember hanging up wet towels at the front and back doors, to try to create a bit of a draught. 

After our evening meal and the washing up was done, the table was cleared so we could do our homework.  Mum sometimes sat with her hand sewing at one end.  Dad read the paper in his usual spot, whilst smoking his pipe filled with Dr. Pat’s tobacco.  Sometimes we played cards, with our favourite games being Canasta and Euchre. Often the floor standing, valve radio was switched on so we could listen to radio plays.  

In winter, we grouped around the wood stove, with the oven door open and toasted our toes, whilst Mum taught us to knit, crochet, darn socks and do fancy work, aka, embroider.   I was an absolute dill at fancy work - it didn’t take my fancy at all!  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the stitches neat and I spent more time unpicking than embroidering.

In winter, day old chickens were put to bed in the residue of the oven’s warmth, safely tucked up in a cardboard box. They had travelled 50 miles by train from Adelaide and were collected at the railway station.  They quickly grew and provided eggs.  Only at Christmas time, were one or two cooked and eaten; a rare and delicious treat.

Thinking about my childhood kitchen, has evoked a flood of smells and memories, of saying Grace, of minding my manners, of keeping my elbows tucked in, of waiting for everyone to finish eating before asking to leave the table, of thanking Mum for the meal, of petty squabbles with the sibling seated next to me and of a "clip around the ears" from Dad, if we argued about who's turn it was to do the dishes.

I’m left with a feeling of awe about the amount of hard work my Mother did, the lack of labour saving devices, the acceptance of her daily grind without complaint and woven through it all, the the blessed assurance, of my Mother’s unconditional love for me.  Journalling October 2014


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Note to self - DT page for CSI 145

Hello and welcome to my blog, I hope you will find some inspiration here.
Today I’m sharing a layout for CSI challenge 145.  It’s a quirky image and lends itself to any kind of page.

to see what the rest of the design team have created.
I hope you will feel inspired and join in for a chance to win some 
fabulous scrappy prizes.

I fell in love with the image for this case file and remembered that I had a small piece of the same paper tucked away. So I had a play with an “Art journal” kind of page.  It didn’t turn out quite the way I expected, but I guess that’s what Art Journalling is about.  For the first time, I managed to use all the evidence prompts - yay!
The mixed media background was created with Prima crackle paste
and Tattered angels Glimmermist.
The dress was made from Cosmo Cricket, Odds & Ends, "Remnant"
The stamps are from Unity stamps - Jillibean soup
 The gorgeous umbrella chippy is from Scrapmatts
The butterfly stencil and stamp are from Prima
 The heart chippies and the sequins were a gift from my friend
Thank you Janice  :D
I was inspired to try draping the paper by seeing some layouts by
Mixed media background
Hearts - on dress pockets and texture paste
Flowers - on dress
Transparent elements - Sequins on dress and blue beads on brolly
Floral pattern on dress
Polka dots - on dress
Stripes - stockings
Stencil - MM
Pockets - on dress

I went to the fairy tale prompts and chose to write as though I was talking to myself.

The quotes and poem read:-

The greatest challenge in life, is discovering who you are.
The second is being happy with what you find.  (Unknown)

Life’s challenges are not meant to paralyse you,
They are meant to help you discover who you are, (Unknown)

Make a little garden in your pocket,
Fill your cuffs with radishes and rocket,
Let a passionfruit crawl up your thigh,
Grow some Oregano in your fly.
Make a steamy compost of your fears,
Trickle irrigate your life with tears,
Let your troubled mind become a trellis,
Turn your heart into a summer palace.
Michael Leunig

The first quote has helped me to accept myself just the way I am, a flawed woman, doing the best I can to live in the moment.  Not regretting the past or worrying about the future, but enjoying the here and now, because that is the only moment I have.  

The second one has given me hope in the darkest times and guided me to find the lessons to be learned from adversity.  Sometimes the lessons seem rather obscure and sometimes I think they are meant to teach me patience; not one of my virtues. 

The whimsical poem by Michael Leunig, is one of my favourites.  It teaches me not to take myself too seriously, to harness my tears and fears so they can nurture my heart and allow it to bloom.