Thursday, May 31, 2012

{Create} Monogram button canvas & our monthly link-up party

May's been a good month of creating for me.

I finished my book which is my biggest creation to date, I did those lovely DIY paper tapes (BTW since then I've seen people do exactly the same thing and call it washi tape - um, no, it may look a bit like washi tape but it isn't), I also made some adhesive fabric tape and I'm 90% done with another photo canvas.

And then this one.

After my hectic weekend, I needed some time to recuperate and so I made this.

What you need

  • Canvas (mine was R12,99 at Mega Mica)
  • Monogram printed to the size of your canvas
  • Pencil
  • Craft glue
  • Buttons (my bag was called crazycrafts and was R9,99 at Westpack)

I don't have any intermediate pics because all my things are done at night and the light is AWFUL in here.

Also, glue + camera = not a very good idea (I don't know how the crafty gals who do tutorials do it but they clearly have more patience than I do)

It was waaaaaayyyyy easier than I thought.

How to do it

  • Print the letter of your choice in a plain font as big as can fit on your canvas. I like plain and simple so I chose a standard sans serif font (can't remember which one now).
  • Cut out this letter.
  • Trace it onto your canvas with a pencil.
  • Glue within the shape. I did one "leg" at a time on my M.
  • Stick any assortment of buttons onto the glue.
  • The beauty is that this is meant to be imperfect so your lines don't have to be straight, you can position buttons over the pencil lines, you can use any colours, etc. and it still looks gorgeous.

showing you glue splodges up close. Almost invisible when you look at it as a normal person would

my pack of buttons had all shades, shapes and sizes
the widest section of buttons
and DONE!
I really, really, REALLY love this craft and I may even break loose and let the kids do their own ones... outside!

They have a K and a C on their bedroom door (plain white wooden letters) so if I'm brave, I'll glue them and let them go wild. I bought blue and pink buttons when I bought my green ones because I thought of doing something similar for their bedroom.
I also think this is a great idea for a gift that you really can suit both to the individual (choose a more flowery, whimsical font for a more girly person) and to your pocket (a bigger canvas will obviously cost more and use up more buttons - I still have about 15 buttons in my pack).

So, what do you think? Will you do one and show me?

I've got so much to do and all I can think about is nail polish

Seriously though, I really love this colour.

(Essence, colour and go, Walk of fame - R19,95 at Clicks)

It's a cross between brown and purple and I can't quite tell what colour it is at any given time.

Have I mentioned before how I LOVE colours like this - ones where you don't know if it's green or grey, purple or grey, purple or brown, red or brown?

MMMMMMM, yummy.

blurry pic taken with iPad

My other favourite winter colour at the moment is grey.

Why has no-one told me before how yummy grey is?

I used to think it was boring but oh, it's so nice. Neutral without being black.

What's your favourite winter/ summer colour at the moment?

PS I'll be back later with the craft link-up!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm remarkably calm for someone who just spent a ton of money

I made my final selections on flights and so on, and I've now booked and paid.A fortune.

The last time I booked an overseas flight was to Dublin in 2009 and the cost of these tickets was DOUBLE the cost then.

Nevertheless, you can't focus on the past otherwise you'll never get anything done.

But woohoo! I can't believe I'm going to be jetting my way to NYC in 7 weeks time.

I decided to fly direct to NYC from Jhb, and back again and I'm really excited by no transit time in another country.

It made sense to cut out nearly two days extra travel time and stress. Twice I've been that crazy person (as if on The Amazing Race) running through airports and quite honestly, I'm not cut out for stress :)

I fly into NYC, fly out to Charlotte 5 hours later, stay there for 5 days, fly back to NYC for 4 days and then fly back to Jhb.

Sounds perfect to me.

So I've set some intentions for this trip:

  1. meet 5 friends from my online community and give them big hugs!
  2. do two city tours - one in each city
  3. do two photo walks - same
  4. say yes to fun (do some not-really-Marcia things :)
  5. go shop in an American shop like Target :)

  1. give two speeches - authentic, passionate and totally God
  2. have a good conference - participate, engage, learn all I can
  3. step out of my comfort zone
  4. connect with 5 ladies
  5. promote book
  6. get clarity from God about future speaking - topics and how to steer this thing
  How does that sound?

I haven't booked any accommodation or tours yet. But I'm going to start with all of that either tomorrow or Friday.

Have you had a good experience booking through the likes of priceline or hotwire?

My budgeting style is to decide here what my daily budget is, get there and then start thinking in the local currency. Otherwise I will go crazy thinking, "R50 for a cup of tea" and similar, as I did when we first travelled overseas.

So how much should I budget for food and incidentals per day, in both Charlotte and New York?

If you're in either of those locations, please tell me and hopefully we can have a nice cup of tea and a scone :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{SP5} Colour, glorious colour

So... I realised I'm WAAAAAYYYY behind on posting photos.

I hope you're ready because I'm going to have to catch up. If only I didn't have so many things to keep talking about!

The theme for week 5 of Superhero Photo was colour.

I'm a girl who loves colour - LOVES.

I love this pic so much and I'm not sure why - the colour of the wall, the bedside table that is just so typically me - a book, tissues, lip gloss, hand cream, post-it flags and nail polish :)

scones from my lovely work friend

my morning Vitamin C

So I enjoyed indulging my crazy. But also I'd been gravitating to colour pics throughout the series so I'm going to show you some others that you may not have seen.

In other news, I was THIS close to buying some more Groupons for photobooks (it's a SICKNESS!) but I resisted and saved about R400.

I wanted to make a photo book of my pics! Do you know how monumental that is?

But it goes to show that if you do what she tells you, go have fun and play, you WILL get some really great pics.

And so I'll still be making a photo book, but a cheap version - I'll choose 24 of my favourite pics, get them printed and put them in a brag book (on the list for June).

Let's go!

little drink umbrellas from a 30th I went to on Saturday

lovely tree with orange flowers in Pilgrim's Rest

craft for the babies - will blog...
I'm now making my own fabric tape - yes, I am. That is my newly painted table that I still haven't put on the blog
the neighbour's bougainvillea

also taken on my photo walk

I loved this stall at our market last week - felt, crochet, all of it gorgeous! A little (and big) girl's little paradise

Another quick aside - one of my favourite weird things is when I stop to take a pic and other people in the vicinity stop, do a double-take and look to see what was so fascinating about that ..... tree/ building/ table, etc :)

Just this evening I was walking down the stairs at work. I saw the MOST GORGEOUS SUNSET and went, "WOW!" and a couple of people looked at me like I'm mad. I honestly wanted to take a pic but my hands were full and I'd just taken a pic with the iPad at my desk.

this was taken on Friday
  Do you get passionate about sunsets like I do?

Which is your favourite pic?

Monday, May 28, 2012

{Create} DIY paper tape

This is one of those crafty things I stumbled upon quite by accident.

The ones that seriously make you feel like a genius :)

When I made a mini-book for the fertility group's Secret Santa last year, I made some paper tape, packaged it all up for the gift and then totally forgot to make more and blog about it.

And then I was blog browsing the craft blogs and before I knew it, I'd landed upon Sweet Muffin Suite where I found these fun and colourful printables.

I printed out a sheet and that weekend had myself a TON of fun.

Is there anything better than sticking and cutting and seeing the pretty afterwards?! Not much, I tell you.

  1. Any pretty patterned paper - this time I used these printables - but this is also a fantastic way to use up bits of scrapbook paper. I throw NOTHING away so I always have bits and bobs lying around. If you're the same, use those bits.
  2. Double-sided tape (the best invention ever, after washi tape :))
  3. Scissors

How to do it:

  1. Well, to keep my page from moving, I use some Prestik (sticky stuff) to keep my page affixed to my desk blotter.
  2. Stick the patterned side to the desk blotter!
  3. Then carefully paste strips of double-sided tape to the edge of your page.
  4. I do one on each edge of the page and then cut those off, then the next two and cut. You'll be moving closer and closer to the middle if you do it my way :)
  5. My double-sided tape was the perfect thickness for these printables (about 18 mm wide) and I got mine at Crazy Store

And that is that - it is easy as pie.

But be careful, once you start you can't stop.

I then pulled out old scrapbook paper, gift wrap, etc. and went wild.

oh yes, this was the weekend after the terrible manicure. BTW, I complained and I haven't even had a response to my mail so don't go to Perfect 10 in Killarney.
that's how it looks when you peel off the tape
So what do you use it for?

I'm using mine in my mini-books, for labels (write on them with a nice black permanent marker) and any other place you'd normally use tape (clothespins).

If you make some, please come tell me where to go have a look. And if you find more cute printables that this craft will work with, I'm all ears :)

I'm linking up to these parties.

What have you created lately?

PS come back on Thursday for our monthly linky party.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

We got the twins to sleep!

Photos by Cat of a little boy trying to escape :)

I had the most glorious nearly two-hour sleep this afternoon after we got back from lunch.

I told you last weekend that my kids hadn't slept for two weekends. Well yesterday they slept (Nanny S put them down) and today in the car we were talking sleep up like it's the best thing since sliced bread (well, it is all that!).

"When we get home, Mummy's going to sleep, Daddy's going to sleep...." and then they chimed in with "Kendra's going to sleep, Connor's going to sleep".

There was a bit of drama in the execution so we split them up - Kendra came to sleep on our bed and D went to sleep on her bed to keep Connor company.

And then we actually all slept.

Kendra and I playing on the bed
When we woke, I said to Kendra, "I'm going to make some tea. Would you like some?" She says, "yes, and a biscuit?" and then I remembered I had a lovely acts of service gift from Louisa, cinnamon and raisin bread.

So that's what we all had.Because Connor woke about 2 minutes after we did.

All three of us, piled on my bed, having a tea and cinnamon and raisin bread picnic. D was watching something on TV and also, he doesn't eat raisins, something I still don't get!

Perfect. And perfect memories.

I love hugging this girl - yes, I'm aware I need to colour my hair....

We carried on giving them supper in the kitchen, bathed, dressed, prayed and put them to bed.

I prepared lunches for the week (I pack yoghurts and breads in their containers) because I'm determined to start building good eating habits again.

And then after consulting my May goals list, I did one complete craft - it looks GORGEOUS - and I prepped a canvas for my next photo one.

People, I'm back with my canvas mojo :)

I want to take this week and indulge my creative self before Elevate the Ordinary starts on 6 June.

look how impressed she is with the photos :)
Like last week, I'm linking up this post with Kristen's Capturing the Joy series. She encourages you to get in photos with your kids, even if the pics are messy and imperfect :)
Since my goal is to get at least one GOOD pic with each child (better still, with both of them) every month, having this weekly linky is going to make it a lot easier to hand over the camera and say "please take a pic of me with the kids".

Do you do that enough?

And last, did you see Centsational Girl went to NYC and did a beautiful post? I've pinned it and will be stealing some ideas :)

I promise, tomorrow is the day I book flights!!!

What are you looking forward to this week?

PS To my US readers, enjoy your Memorial Day tomorrow.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I'm exhausted!

I loved these crocheted hair clips and bought one for K

1. This is the first week in who knows how long that I've not posted on friendship!

But I've had a real, live friend here and it's always better to talk in person with a friend rather than blog about it, right?

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So she's not weird (!) and hopefully she doesn't think so of me. BUT my children *cough* Connor *cough* are stalking her. It's so funny to see.

It's a bit surreal to meet someone after 18 months that you've just known on the computer but it's all good.

my table - I've cropped off the top as I don't want you to see our company's branding :)

2. I got all the book stuff done and I'm exhausted. Another item crossed off my Life List :)

I'm usually very good about my self-care so these 5 nights of working til 11:30 - 12:00 plus then my reading time (this never falls by the wayside!) means a nearly 1 am bedtime this past week, and I'm knackered.

I think the adrenaline was keeping me going because straight after packing up my table at work yesterday (2:27 :)), the fatigue just came over me.

Anyway, it's here if you want to peek in and have a look.

my book - I am so very glad it's done - please tell your friends

3. Also, in not so small news, my D had a bumper bashing yesterday. This is D, the safest driver in Jhb, so imagine how shaken he was. Seriously, he's not had an accident (not even a scratch) in 19 years...........

Granted, the last time I had an accident was about 10 years ago when a girl drove out of her driveway (on a curved road) at breakneck speed and bumped me. But that's another story.

So our insurance company had the car towed from his work in case any consequential damage happened and he had to take a rather sudden trip on the Gautrain :) It was not the best way to have his first Gautrain trip but that's life.

We're now a one car family until further notice and this is a drama and a half. Like today, I was at a church thing (business breakfast) and because I had the car, he and the kids were stranded at home. We are not used to this and we both really LOVE our independence and freedom, so it's a bit horrible.

Pray for patience for me this week, and the ability to get up early since we'll have to travel in together.

I really want to talk more about my upcoming trip and I'm so undecided whether it's worth R3 300 to fly direct from Jhb to NYC, or if I should save that R3300 and detour in London. Although I'm REALLY leaning towards flying direct. It means 15 hours instead of 28 - 31 hours of travel time....

Anyway, I need to make a present, write out a card and do my other computer bits and bobs before the kids wake up.

What's going on in your world?

If you had to describe how you're feeling by naming a fruit, what would you say?

PS when I asked someone this about two weeks ago, she said like a mashed banana! Normally solid but so stressed she's all squashed inside!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A few things on my mind

1. I'm glad you all liked that post I referenced yesterday - I love it so much it's starred in my Google Reader :) If you go to Tara's blog, you'll also like a post called why they don't all have to look at the camera, or something like that. I believe that 100 %.

2. So I've been very diligently working on the book and not much else this week, which is very good because I have a table at work tomorrow to exhibit my "wares". My wares being my coaching and the book. And yes, I am about 90% there. I have one Kindle thing to sort out (I love that they're working while I'm sleeping so I was emailed this morning again), one page to write on the website and then we're good to go!

As a result, I have given NO thought to the appearance of the table. I so want to "go to town" but I just don't have the time. But I'm thinking bunting (because everything is better with some happy flags, right???), an easel to display my book, business cards and I have some notebooks which I'll sell as my "number 1 rule of time management - write things down" :) :) Don't worry - I will take a pic. EEK.

It's going to be SOUL-destroying if I don't have lots of people. But I'm offering a little bribe - all who sign up to my list will go into a raffle for a 1:1 session with me.

However, courage and all that jazz!

3. Do you like my new top? This cowl neck is not typical for me but I really like it. I'm going back to Mr P for some more!

self-portrait taken with my ipad
 4. God gave me a little gift yesterday. I found out totally by chance that even if you're only in transit in the Heathrow airport, you need a visa. Dear Lord, I don't even want to THINK about how this could have gone down once I arrived in London without that visa. I can just see me bursting out crying in front of all those British people.

So a travel agent is finding me new (cheap) flights as I most certainly do not want to go through Heathrow unless it's like a R5000 difference in price.

I am also checking hotels on all these sites. I've decided I'm staying in Times Square and once I pay, I will block out the exorbitant price of accommodation. Let's just say R8000 is on the very cheap end of accommodation in NYC for 4 nights. Yesssssssssssssssss.

But this is Life List stuff and what is savings for if not for experiences, right?????

5. This weekend a very lovely friend is coming to stay with me. A friend I've never met but have chatted to on the phone a couple of times. Things could go very south (do you use this phrase?) if she thinks I'm crazy but hopefully not.

Then again, I hope my US friends also don't think I'm weird after meeting me. At the moment two people are confirmed and I've set my intention for five.

6. The party planning is non-existent. I've had a chat with the gym and it's a very good option depending on how many people can come. Again, after this weekend I'm going to kick it all into high gear.

I was planning to rest - photos and reading - after this weekend but actually it looks like I'm not really resting even then.

So how's your week been?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And this is why a massage just won't do it for me

When I've been in a funk, some of my well-meaning friends have said, "oh, you need a massage or some retail therapy" and while that's nice for the moment, it just doesn't do it for me.

This is why.

What works for me is that I actually need to stop, examine my life and see what's REALLY going on.

What works for you?
Did you like that blog post? 

PS by a strange coincidence, I'm actually going for my first massage of the year today :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

{Create} craft fail - cherry blossom canvas

So Rachel from Small Notebook linked to this little project of hers on Alphamom and I immediately pinned it because I thought, "CUTE! EASY! ADORABLE!"

Source: via Marcia on Pinterestt

You know where this is going, right?

Mine didn't turn out as cute or adorable.

I chose a canvas that had the general shape. They only had smaller versions - in retrospect, a good idea (less of a waste of money!).

I drew the brown tree with the branches first.

Then I took my 500 ml water bottle (I checked a number of different drinks and most of them have this shape) and went to town.

this is how I do "messy" crafts - on a lid of a plastic storage box

That may have been my problem. Less is more and all that jazz?

But when I did one per branch it looked a bit sparse.

Also her little prints looked "perfect" - mine were very blotchy and I had to touch them up with a paintbrush in most cases. You'll see how heavy-handed I was with the one on the top right, my first one.

Strangely, I stood the dry canvas up on a bookshelf at an odd angle this weekend and it doesn't look as bad now. But I still consider it a craft fail.

Lessons learned
  1. I really don't know if paint projects are for me (although I now have a good few bottles of acrylic - I went a bit wild in Sabie seeing as they were R10 for a small jar I've paid R24 - R30 for before)
  2. Don't assume you can do all craft projects!!!
  3. Less is more!

I love that I can take pics that show texture like this!

Action plan going forward (this is sounding like meeting minutes!)
  1. Make another canvas paint craft before freaking out (I saw a nice Father's Day one on Pinterest)
  2. Decide if I like the cherry blossom one or if I will paint over it and start again, or if I should use it for something else altogether (ideas???)
  3. Bask in the fact that I'm letting go of perfectionism - not only am I doing things I'm sooo uncomfortable about (painting) but I'm posting my fails on a public blog!
Look at the brown - does it not look like a dancer leaping?

So that's my craft fail.

The last time I had one was when I tried to do washi tape jars (don't bother looking - they're not on the blog) and discovered I still can't see in a straight line :)

Have you ever had a craft fail?

Did you try and rescue it, or did you throw it out?

If you made this cherry blossom art, please post your link in the comments - I want to come see!!!

PS Tonight I went into the lounge VERY briefly and saw a snippet of Survivor. And... I actually watched 30 minutes. The last time we watched Survivor was 3 years ago when I was still pregnant with the babies.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

{SP4} Self-portraits and perfectionism

Sony Cybershot right after my Zumba class
and this is my top half - I also put a "warmify" filter on it (Picasa) - I like this pic because this is exactly how I was feeling about this exercise at this point :)

If you don't already have a nice cup of tea, you may want to get one.

I want to write about this self-portrait thing as I've experienced it over the last couple of weeks.
my mirror pics are terrible but I discovered if I crop in a "weird" way, I quite like them

that glass ring on my right hand is from Thailand - recently discovered and I'm loving it

I've always loved self-portraits that tell a story, not just a typical pic. And I've also always loved the self-portraits Andrea's put on her blog for years and years.

I had limited experience with taking these except for when I've been alone somewhere and wanted a quick pic.

This series of self-portraits was taken before we got to the self-portrait lessons and bonus! I actually liked them.

So I thought when I had to do the homework that it wouldn't be too big a deal.

this is me in my comfort zone :)
this is the one from a few weeks back where I was laying on the grass outside!

I can honestly say it has been a Big Deal.

I'm sure I've taken 100s of pics only to have about 5 I really like. Which is not fun!

One lady on the course said something like when she sees all her flaws, she just wants to hide and I commented and said I get it because I feel the same. I've never been shy in front of the camera (provided I have my lipstick on!) but I also like people to have an "eye" and most people, let's face it, don't care about getting a good pic of you so they take 1 horrible shot and that's that.

I did this treasure hunt like I did all the others, a little bit here and a little bit there, as opportunities presented themselves but then one night I got so darn annoyed with I wasn't getting the same good results as I had been on the course up to then and so I decided to be silly.

Me - silly!

I like laughing but I'm not someone you'd naturally call silly.

But... I'd also seen a series of pics from another lady on the course where she totally embraced silliness and her pics were gorgeous!

And so surprisingly (or not), I actually liked most of the set. There may be something to being a bit silly :)

Anyway, here they are - for your viewing pleasure.

So I think something clicked in me (just a little bit - I'm still going to take 20 to get 1 or 2 I like, although I know the angle for the silly pics quite well :)) because look at me here.

If this is not imperfection at its finest, I don't know what is.

me, without my lipstick, yesterday afternoon

so much so, I even tried to jump with the self-timer but my reflexes are still shocking

taking pics of body parts is so much more comfortable...
This weekend I had to take a pic of me and my book (for the other blog next week) and I started in my usual serious style, hated them all, and then I tried to be "lighter" and voila, these are the ones I'm going to use :)

yes, that's my book. It's only the proof for now but tomorrow I will complete the process to make it available to the PUBLIC! And this is how I felt when I saw it on my Kindle.
I dare you to put a silly pic on your blog! Or any pic of you :)

This week since it's timely, I'm linking to the lovely Kristin Duke (who shares a birthday with my twins :))'s Capturing the Joy linky party.

So, do any of you have issues taking a proper self-portrait? What do you think of  my "journey"?
PS I'm still going to keep trying to take a jumping self-timer pic


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