Saturday, 26 October 2013


Hello Everyone :D

Today I have the new case file from CSI to share with you. Have I mentioned how much I love these case files... the colours, the evidence and the testimony... They really push you to the limit and I need that.

Here it is ...

Sometimes the the universe lines everything up perfectly for you and it is hard to ignore it. This was for me one of those times. For starters the colours... reminded me of my mom... she loved blue and brown... (blue is one of my favourite colours too),  the testimony - Feeling blue (write about a sad memory) and the date October... On Monday is the anniversary of my mothers death... then to top it all I found this photo that I took of her the last time I saw her. You think that was enough of a sign? I think so!

Here is my layout. Which was inspired by my amazingly talented friend Heather Jacob :D Do yourself a favour and take a look at her blog I can promise you will not be sorry :D

Here is how I solved the case...

Scheme     - the colours are all there
Evidence   - Distressing, flowers, paint, book pages, tie something, metal.
Testimony - Feeling blue, document a sad memory.

My journalling (on the back) reads:

My mom died on 28 October 1982 – 31 years ago on Monday. This photo of her was taken in July, 1982 at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe. I will never forget that day when dad phoned and said I should come as soon as possible because mom was in a coma, I remember being totally hysterical and having to fly alone.

I was 10 years old when mom got sick she had Osteo and Rheumatoid arthritis in every joint in her body and she went from seemingly totally healthy to totally crippled in no time at all, a matter of months. She was unable to perform the most menial tasks that we take for granted on a daily basis. I never once heard her moan or complain and I only ever saw her cry once and I think that was more from frustration than anything else. I had no idea of just how sick she was and I certainly never thought she would die, she was only 47 and, she was supposed to live to a ripe old age, get see her grandchildren and yet here she was in a coma.

I will never forget the sight of her when I walked into her hospital room. She was so small and frail and she was hooked up to machines and tubes. I remember feeling like I had been sucker punched I don’t think I have ever been so shocked – I was 25 and I was not prepared for losing my mom.I had taken leave from work and I was not leaving my mother’s side. It was so unfair. I remember my feelings of total anger, frustration and helplessness as I begged the doctor to take my kidney for her, not understanding how it could have gotten to a point where it was too late to do this, before they realised that her kidneys were failing.

After three weeks she came out of the coma on her own and I have never been so happy to anyone as I was to see her, it took her a little while to orientate herself and I stayed with her for a month but had to come back home or I would lose my job. It was the hardest decision that I had ever had to make. I didn’t know how long she would remain in hospital or what was going to happen... well... that was what they told us. 

When I got back home I phoned her every other day so we could chat... then on 28th October 1982 I phoned her in the afternoon and was told she was asleep and I said not to wake her but to tell her that I had called and would phone back, but I never got to talk to her or hear to her voice again. She died at 7pm that night. I was heartbroken and after 31 years I am still heartbroken and so angry - with myself for being young and immature, for not questioning the treatments and the outcomes, for not knowing just how bad it was, for not telling her just how much I loved her, for her leaving me before I was prepared for this world. For her not ever seeing her grandchildren, for the unfairness of it all. It is my one regret in life, that maybe I could have or should have done more... or even done something. This is always a hard time of year for me a time when depression really hits me with the full force of its might and a time when I feel truly helpless and small.

Here are some close ups of my layout.

I wanted to create lots of layers around the photo and I love how Heather uses shapes and tags and things so that is what I did. I have also just signed up to do Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 online and I have already learned so much and I used the first classes techniques to make the heart and the little tag below it. I love the effects of this. It is really a worthwhile course to do in my book. :D You can just see the corner of the book page peeping out there, it is there I promise :D

I used banners and tags and stamped the script and hearts in the bottom corner...  a Sugarloaf stamp...must be old :D 

I used lots of flowers and my favourite leaf die to make the leaves. All the tags were tied with bakers twine and I used some blue heavy twine to created the circles. The background page was aged with Tim Holtz distress stain.. 

I loved doing this layout and even though the photo is not a good one it is the only one I have of my mom and I will treasure it forever. This layouts is just for her. <3 and miss you mum.

Thank you for stopping by to take a look. I love your visits and your comments. I hope you all have a lovely weekend wherever you are and whatever you are doing.


Thursday, 24 October 2013


Hello Everyone

It is Thursday and nearly the end of another week. I have another of the layouts that I finished over the weekend. This is another double layout from the convention and another one that I changed. :D Sorry Glenda :D

I love the colours of this range from Carte Bella and although Glenda's original layout used all of the colours I chose to only use the yellows, orange and coral with a pop of the aqua and black.

My journalling which I have now added to the little white card in the bottom right hand corner says:

2 People
1 Marriage
2 Countries
2 Kids
3 Cities
7 Homes
12 Cars (and those were just mine)
12 Jobs (between us)
1 Company
6 Domestic workers 
20 Pets (all shapes and sizes and types)
37 Years together untold ups and downs and twists and turns still together.

Here are some closeups...

I created a banner under the photo of Simon and the little aqua heart was embossed using a smaller chipboard heart behind the cardstock.

I used one of the cards for journalling and added the fussy cut pen and the pointing hand washi tape. The little pencil was sanded and then rolled over a script stamp that had black stazon ink on it. I love the effect, it looks so cool. The TYPE word was coloured with distress stains and then covered with Tim Holtz distress glitter and then stamped over with a script stamp. Pretty cool huh?.

I added another pencil tied with ribbon on this side too, and also added a copper tag.


On this side I adder more banners at the top and another flower cluster with a zipper pull tucked at the bottom. The photos were all changed to sepia to fit the colours.

Thanks for stopping by to have a look. I love to read any comments that you care to leave. See you all soon.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Hello Everyone,

I have another layout for you today :D This is one that I finished from the convention.  I changed this one quite a bit to fit my photos...but I love the way it came out.

My journalling (inside the little envelope) says:

This year has been a year of many changes in the Thorpe household. Some changes big and some changes small. One of the biggest changes is that my little family has grown by one, for now, with two more on the way. February in fact.  :) These changes have been embraced with open arms and whilst there has been a period of adjustment for all of us it has been a relatively painless transition. I am so lucky that Lin has adopted our family as her own, and that I have been given free reign to record this journey of theirs as well as that of the babies, and now the move to their new home, and she is very happy for me to make a record of it all for her. These photos were taken at the beginning of September when she was nearly four months. I am hoping that the bond between the three them will be strong and that they will all grow close, it will be a wonderful environment for the twins when they arrive and also for Stormies' kids when she has some. My wish for my family is to be a tight knit one where blood will always be thicker than water, and that they will always be there to help and support one another and that the cousins will be close. I love my family and I want for them what I had as a child with my moms side of the family.

Here are some close-ups of my layout.

I turned the corrugated card sideways because I could... I also swiped some gesso on the bits that were showing, and then added some random pieces builders tape.

At the bottom of the left page and the top of the right page I added some concertina black and white ribbon and attached it with a staple and tape, then put a flair button on the end.

The bottom right has the envelope which holds my journalling and I used a doily with some flowers, to create a little cluster, the big flower was punched from the script paper and then topped with a black flower and a coral brad to hold it all together. The last things I added were the little cork arrows... you can just see it on the edge of the bottom photo.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look. I love your visits :D

Monday, 21 October 2013


Hello Everyone

Welcome to a new week :) We have had a very wet and slightly chilly weekend this weekend and I managed to get SIX layouts done :D Don't worry I am not going to bombard you with them all at once but I do have one for you today which I managed to do for two challenges - I have always admired people who can do one layout for multiple challenges - now I have managed it too :D

So the first challenge is a fairly new site for me called Orange Paperie and Co and I am really happy to have found this site because not only is it some of my favourite scrappers but they also have some very cool challenges like this one which I love, and, their GDT this month is the fabulous Heather Jacob who is one of my scrapping icons and if you have not checked out her work you really should, you are missing out.

The challenge this month is Black and White with a splash of colour... What could be easier and nicer than that.

So I had a colour scheme - I needed a topic and a sketch and I knew just where to get it. Let's Scrap have some lovely sketches and this week they have a challenge to focus on You ... so often as scrappers we get left out of photos, stories and layouts....This was perfect for me as I have had some big life changes to focus on ...

Here is the sketch I used...

Here is my layout.

I used black and white  Bazzill cardstock and I had this leftover blue patterned paper in my stash. The journalling is on the little tag behind the photo and says:

Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans...
Just when I thought I had my life on a even keel and things would begin to settle down something came along and tipped it on its head. My son and his girlfriend found out they were pregnant. I am going to be a granny to - not one - but  two babies. I have always said I am not ready to be a granny yet, I need more time. I have just gotten used to the freedom of not having kids at home to worry about any more. For the first time in my life I can do what I want, when I want and why I want. I never felt like I was a good mother and I certainly felt like I would not be a good grandmother. Clearly nature had other plans. It only took me a little while to get my head around it and now I am so excited to meet this next phase of my life with arms wide open. I will give it all I have got just like I do with everything else. I am sure I will screw up but that's ok, I am not perfect but I am willing, and that has got to count for something. I wasn't a natural mother with my own kids, but when I look at them both I am proud of what I see and what I accomplished and I see no reason that I won't be the same with my grand kids. This is a journey that we are all taking together... and.... I can't wait. Bring it on!

Here are some close-ups...

I used a new Martha Stewart punch for the border and did some faux stitching on the blue pattern paper.. I added a net bow and two hat pins to the flower cluster and a couple of sprigs of black leaves.

I love this blah blah blah stamp :D I also added two fabric covered brads here. You can see the tag under the photo.

I love this new doily die of mine :D I also added a little punched butterfly and that is my layout done. Thanks for stopping by to take a look. I really appreciate your visits and the comments that you leave make my day. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Hello Everyone,

I have  a couple of quick things for you today...

First of all it is Wednesday which means the new sketch challenge is up at  Let's Scrap and this week it is a card sketch.

So if you would like to play along, go and have a look at the inspiring projects from the DT and submit your card or layout too.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to one of our local Scrapbook Suppliers for one of their retail classes. They hold them every so often for shop owners and teachers to attend. It was my first one and I have to say I really enjoyed it. This class was taught by Liane van Harn and you can visit her blog HERE - she really has loads of eye candy to look at.

I don't know why I didn't take a photo of her layout but you can see it on the stand behind her...

Here is the layout that I did. I am sorry that I changed it Liane... but I did :)

This layout was made with just Bazzill Cardstock and washi tape from Liane's and my stash. The blue paper was cut smaller than the yellow to leave a little border all the way around. The damask pattern is a stencil with a bit of Tim Holtz distress glitter added to the gesso whileit was still wet. Then left to dry.. The photo mats were cut and the scallop at the bottom was a scalloped piece of cardstock.

Here are some close-ups of my layout.

I made the banner with different washi tapes in the yellow, blue and orange. The big orange dots came out of the scalloped border, I added diamond glaze to them too.

The flowers, were added then the little bows and I have stuck two hat pins through the knot. I also added some leaves. The title was just painted black and left. 

 The quote was added as well, stamped in black ink. It says ' The world of reality has its limits, but the world of imagination is boundless. '

My journalling on the back of the layout says. 

I just adore you little guys. It always amazes and amuses me when people come to visit and they can't tell the difference between you. To me you are all so different in looks and in character too. So I always explain to people ... 
Pixi is the oldest at 10, and she has had her tail docked (when it was still allowed and I have to just say I am so happy that they have stopped this practice), she is also called the 'puppy police' because when the others start playing rough and noisy she snaps at them, all the while keeping her eyes on me looking for approval at her good work, as if to say 'just stop it now, behave'. She is just the sweetest dog and she had me to herself for many years before the intruders came and now she has to share me...
After Dexter died we wanted to get a friend for Pixi because she was lonely especially when we went out - so we went in search of a mate. We found one - well more like two - we just could not leave one behind so we came home with Butch and Holly, they are brother and sister and are 6. They are as different as chalk and cheese. Butch is very similar to Pixi in colouring, but being a boy he is lazy and his ears don't stand up. No matter what we tried and I think it is kind of cute. Butch has an identity crisis I think, I mean who calls a Yorkie Butch? My DH does that's who. He thinks he is king of the castle and is the most affectionate of the four of them. He loves to climb onto your chest in the morning, while we have tea in bed, and give you lots of kisses.  Holly is the littlest of my babies and she is almost all black. Her hair never broke and is still dark and a bit curly - looks a bit like fluffy cotton wool. She is our cuddle bug and loves to be cuddled and loved and will always lie on her back for a tummy rub. She has these big dark brown eyes and always looks like she is going to cry. I think she is secretly the cheeky one.
Then there was Karma. We had no intention of getting any more dogs until we went to our holiday home in Uvongo two years ago and I saw her in the pet shop. I went to see if she was pure bred and the owner told me she was but that she had been sold. I went home feeling very sad, however, two days later she was still there and the lady in the store told me no-one had come to get her so I paid for her there and then and arranged to meet the breeder at the vet to get her papers, jabs and chipped. We brought her home on the plane... To say the others were completely disgusted at her arrival is an understatement. :D
Karma is the naughtiest of all my dogs and she is training the others to follow in her footsteps. She is also the prettiest, the cutest and the most photogenic. She is such a character and you just can't stay mad at her for long.
Now you know why I adore them all. They bring me infinite pleasure and joy. They rule the roost here and are spoilt rotten and I don't care. :D

Thanks for stopping by to take a look and for leaving so much love. I really appreciate and even look forward to your visits. 

Monday, 14 October 2013


Hello Everyone

It's another Monday :D and I have another challenge from CSI to share with you... this time it is the second challenge in conjunction with Scrap365 and here is the case file.

I knew when I saw the testimony section of this one that I wanted to do something completely different and have some fun with this one. Here is my layout.

Here is how I solved the case...

Scheme - the colours are all there
Evidence - Circles, bookpages, tearing, hearts, buttons and needlework.
Testimony - Begin with 'Once Upon a Time'

The quote around the yellow circle says - Never ever ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.

The journalling (one the back) reads:

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived in a big house with her handsome husband and two perfect children, who harboured thoughts of crossing to the DARK side. The seed for these thoughts were planted when she was introduced to the series Sons of Anarchy and laid eyes on Jax Teller with his bad boy attitude and his little boy charm. This way of live was completely opposite to anything she had ever experienced or imagined. She thought about what it would be like to sit in the saddle with her arms around Jax Teller, on the wide open road, with the wind playing in her hair. The thrill of the sound of that deep throaty engine, the sleek lines of the gleaming bikes and surrounded by leather and tattoos, of living life on the edge, not knowing what would happen next but sure that whatever it was that she had Jax and a whole posse behind her. Until she realised that some of their actions might land her in jail then shocked she looked around her beautiful, big, castle and at her stable, and at her sensible husband and her kind and caring children and she knew she would just dream about it for one hour a week but that she would never want to change her life. Not even for Jax Teller :D

Here are some close ups... There was nothing 'normal' about this layout for me. I just had fun with all of it and that fun for me was a bit stressful. First of all I found this photo with Jax in it but he wasn't alone so I cropped the photo to a square and then edited it to make it more grungy and I love the effect of it..

Next I cute postage stamps in two different sized of papers that were the colours I needed. I adhered these along the one side of the paper in a kind of random fashion. I got this idea from Nadia Cannizzo on this journal art page that she did a couple of weeks ago. Once I had adhered all the bits of paper I covered the whole lot with a layer of  thin gesso and dried it off, then the different squares were coloured with watercolour paint in the colours of the case file... I love how it came out - what I don't love is how it warps the paper and that makes it harder to work on. I have found that it you stick it to a thicker piece of board it does straighten it out a lot. I then made the circles with a toilet roll and a plastic tube and then doodled around the smaller ones as well. I cute the heart and wings using a template of Tim Holtz and also some of his grunge board and I then put it through my cutllebug to get the texture and then painted them... I love these.

The JT are Tim Holtz letters that I just painted. I added the washi arrows pointing towards the photo and added builders tape and tags.

The button were sewn on and the quote written around the yellow tag. I am not unhappy with the way this turned out I am just not sure I am into the whole mega mixed media thing. :D I do think that sometimes it is good to do something that is completely out of your comfort zone :D

Thanks for stopping by to take a look. I love your visits and I appreciate every single one of your comments.

Saturday, 12 October 2013


Good Morning Everyone :D

It is a glorious summers day here on the Highveld, and the birds are making a heavenly racket outside in the fever tree. It is Saturday which means the new CSI file is out so if you click on the link it will take you to it.

It also comes with a sketch from the amazingly talented Em Starface. Here is my layout.

Here's how I solved the case...
Scheme    -  The colours are all there
Evidence  -  Numbers, something dangling, pinwheel, ribbon, book pages, triangles.
Testimony -  Be Daring Prompt - If you could have dinner with anyone currently alive...
The journalling on the front of the layout says:
Sometimes you are lucky enough to meet someone who changes your life forever.
The journalling on the back of the layout says:
For me that person is Helen Wallace. I joined CSI at a time when I was probably at my lowest – confidence and creativity wise – and I was totally overwhelmed by the layouts that I saw in the gallery, and I wondered if I was just going to make a fool of myself by putting my layout in the gallery with that level of talent. I tried it out anyway and my journalling consisted of a list of 12 things I could not do without. That was it!
From that first layout Helen was like a beacon of hope, gently encouraging me, guiding me and constantly reassuring me and because of that I wanted to strive to be more.
She helped me to find my voice and to sing out loud and clear. I suddenly realised I had stories to tell, stories that others were interested in hearing, and stories that I wanted and needed to share, things that I want my family and future generations to know about me and my life. She helped me to realise that I had value as a person and as an artist. Because of her I started to try new things, my first DT position, mixed media layouts, to try and make others feel the same way she makes me feel. Like I am special, like my work is amazing, like I am someone she would call FRIEND.
The more I got to know Helen through this site, through her layouts and her interactions with the other members of this site I realize what an amazingly wise, caring, insightful, and remarkably talented woman she is. She has a wicked sense of humour and I am guessing that there is also a rod of steel in there somewhere too should the need arise, and for all of these reasons and more she is the one person that I would like to have dinner with. Not only to thank her for all that she has done for me, and I don’t think she has any idea of just what an impact she made on my life, but also just to kick back and enjoy her witty repartee, her pearls of wisdom, and her down to earth approach to life. I think that we have a lot in common besides scrapbooking, telling our stories and now even twin grandchildren.
I would like to talk to her about books, music, marriage, religion, politics and so much more. I would like to compare notes on life and death and everything in between. I wish I had had someone like her when I was growing up. To make sense of all the madness that was my life. To help me put it all into perspective. It would have made things a whole lot easier. Having said that I am very glad to have made her acquaintance now and each week I learn something more and something new and something I didn’t know before.
So thank you Helen and I hope that you will enjoy our dinner for 2.

I layered an orange punched strip onto brown and then onto the white and added the journalling in strips against the edge. I made the pinwheels and attached them with brads and did fake stitching because I ran out of time and I wanted to take pictures before it got too dark (and I hate sewing :)). I also added tiny little yellow circle rub-ons so the yellow is very subtle.

I created tags to tuck in behind the photo (which I took off Helen's FB wall and changed slightly so the colours would be better with my papers). The leaves in the flowers are my new Shape-abilities die cut and I love them.

I created the arrows with triangles. The papers were perfect for the case file and are a very old paper from Wild Asparagus.

Thanks so much for stopping by to take a look and thank to those of you whole leave messages. I really appreciate the time it takes to leave them. Hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Hello Everyone

Today I have a couple of cards for you but more on that in a bit. First I want to tell you about a couple of DT calls that are going out.

The first one  is for OUAS so go on over and take a look at the blog see if it a good fit for you and try your luck...they are a fabulous no nonsense, no drama, super talented bunch of artists, and they are looking for fresh blood :D

Here is the second one.

This one is for CSI another wonderful, talented DT. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most amazing and talented people on both of these sites and I can highly recommend them.

Now as most of you know Saturday was World Cardmaking Day and over at Let's Scrap they decided to a card load for the month of October. A great time to knuckle down and get some Christmas cards made (or not :))

Here is the first card that I made.

 The first one is very pretty spring colours and black. I used a doily and a couple of chippie scalloped circles and added some flowers.

The second one is less girly and more muted colours. I added a saying and the butterflies and some flowers too. I have another one but I can't show you yet. Only at the end of the month :D

I do have one other thing to share with you we have Egyptian Geese in the complex next door... they have a dam in there  and these geese love our complex for some reason or the other. Anyway they have  been hanging around my house looking for somewhere to have their babies and these dam things sit on the wall and taunt my dogs who go bananas... I think they really liked my garden with the shade and the pool but they really wanted me to get rid of the dogs... Like that was going to happen. 

Anyway look what I saw this afternoon...

Daddy, mommy and five little babies. Last year they had five or six babies and only one survived... breaks my heart to think that they will die.... :( but I did enjoy seeing them walking down past my house.

Have a great week and I will be back soon.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


Hello Everyone

It is Saturday morning here in Johannesburg and we have an exciting weekend with the rugby this afternoon for those that are fans. Go Bokke! That is as far as it goes for me. :)

I have the new case file from CSI today and here it is.

I used the sketch from the latest Scrap Africa.

Really soft and pretty and muted this week and I loved it. Here is my take on it.

Here is how I solved the case...

Scheme - the colours are all there.
Evidence - Gems, bookpages,cabochon flowers, hearts, dangle something, ribbon,charm, lace.
Testimony - Never list.
My Jounalling (on the pink tag) says...
I have never...

Drunk coffee, I don’t even like the smell of it, and I am the only one in my family that doesn’t like it.
Had cosmetic surgery of any kind, nor will I ever have, I have learned to love who I am and I am happy to age gracefully.
Had a tattoo, although I would really love to have one but I am allergic to the pigment in the ink.
Gone bungee jumping, and I never will because I am afraid of what it does to your brain.
Played a musical instrument, although I would love to play the sax or the piano.
Been to jail :) and that’s gotta count for something :)
Turned down a frozen margarita, since I had the first one... just one sip and you are hooked.
Liked snakes, I am terrified of them, truly terrified that I can’t even look at pictures of them.
Been divorced, and I don’t plan on it anytime soon.
Had a sister, and I have always wanted one – I do have a SIL who is also my best friend and we chose each other.
Enjoyed cooking, my dream would be to have a chef who completely took care of the kitchen area.
Lived alone, I left school and moved into a house that I shared with other and then I got married. I am not sure I would know how to live alone either.
Been published in an overseas magazine, I really want that too and so it is maybe time to remedy that.
Been able to dance, I have three left feet... but inside my head I have the moves down pat... Move over Michael Jackson – Valerie is in the house.
Gotten over my mother’s death, somehow I feel that I should have been able to do something.
Had any faith in myself. I am still working on that.
Hitch hiked, I always was and would still be too scared.

I have never...

Here are some close-ups

I used the little square stencil with gesso and a pale pink mist and also just spread gesso... I looks very yellow here on the photo but on the layout it is white... go figure. I stamped the Royal Windsor stamp with black ink and also added some dry wall tape, man I love that stuff. The lace is a sticky backed lace and I used a border punch for the scalloped border I used  book paper and created tags with the pediment die cuts so my journalling could go under the photo.

Here I created a little cluster of flowers, hat pins and a little heart charm tied with ribbon, I swiped the whole lot with gesso.

I used the same border punch to create a little detail at the top of the page. The title and chippie circles were painted black and I added some jewels to the circle and added a flower the butterfly and some gauze.

I really enjoyed this case file it was a lot of fun to do. Thanks for stopping by to take a look and I love reading the comments that you leave. You know who you are :D thank you.