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.



  1. Oh Val, beautiful full of significance and relevance. My heart bleeds for one wants to live with so much regret! And this time of the year, building up to all the madness that is Christmas, it isn't easy! Take care. Lots of love. Shirley

  2. Your journaling is always sooo moving - it must have been hard your Mum dying so young - my Dad did, but I guess Dad's are not the same as Mum's.....LOOOVE this colour combo & i really, really like that row of hearts...looking forward to seeing more goodness from your Online course, too:):)

  3. Your layout is favourite this week. It is so sad that you lost your mom while she was still so very young. She was a brave and strong woman.

  4. I've got tears in my eyes reading this.... I just went on a journey with you... its an incredible one showing the strength of two women....
    Such a beautiful LO - and full of love and detail of things your both love

  5. This is sooooo beautiful Val. How precious this is for you is there to see. It is hard to find the right words to do your layout justice. You have done a wonderful job and the love just pours out of it. I am so sad you lost your Mum when she and you were so young. My Husband lost his mum when they and she was very young also. My Mum passed away coming up 12mths , Mum was 95 and even though my Mum was a grand age I could relate to your emotions, as I am feeling the same. Hugs x

  6. I'm so sorry Val, the loss of a parent is so devastating. Not a single day passes that my dad isn't in my thoughts. All that time heals, nah, I just want my dad back. Life can be excrutiating at times, and to lose your mom at a young age too. I'm sure everytime there is something going on be it happy or sad your thought is "if only mom was with me." Sadly grief never goes away, which you know. It becomes another facet of you. The only grace is that that shock of someone throwing ice water at you leaves, but not the sorrow. It's amazing what we as humans can function with, we are truly like onions. So many layers and pieces just feathered on top of each one. The good thing is those who are with us to hugs us, love us, and make wonderful memories with as well as those sweet times we will always have in our heart of those who are gone.

    Paula <3

  7. The layout is chuck-full of yummy-ness (love the the tied tags...amazing posies & leaves...beautiful details!) but the journaling is what really blew me away. So heartfelt and so honest. I wish I could give you a giant hug right now, Val... Those of us who have lost our moms and other loved ones can certainly relate to the regrets and the heartache. So many things in this life are "unfair" non-nonsensical, and yet we are asked to go on and to act as if we understood. I;m thinking that perhaps your Mum had something to do with that magical alignment when she saw that the CSI case file featured her favorite colors! She's adorable in that photo & the layout is stunning!

  8. Your beautiful page is chock full of love for your Mother Val...every beautifully placed element leads the eye to her. My heart aches, as I read your words again and I want to give you a hug. Your anger and bewilderment are justifiable feelings in response to this body blow of your Mother's death. Thinking of you as you work your way through this anniversary time. xo

  9. Val your layout touch my heart. You did a beautiful job with the case but even better making peace with your mothers memories. It was not up to you to amke changes, it was just her time to go. This is a precious photo and a legacy for your family.

  10. Oh, Val, such a heart touching post. I wish I could reach out and give you a big warm hug. I can totally understand your feeling.
    You've made a very beautiful page, full of delicate elements, and full of love to your Mom. XOXO

  11. Oh Val, what a moving story! I have tears in my eyes after reading it. Thanks for sharing. The page is very beautiful, too! The colour combo suits very well to a vintage black and white photo.

  12. And, today, Val, through the sadness you are sharing now, do I realize we have yet another thing in common. The loss of a girl's mother when she is just in her early 20's is almost too much to bear. The circumstances surrounding our mothers' deaths, however, differ in that my mother chose the time of her death. Yet, the things we have suffered and felt along the way don't differ--especially the anger, frustration and helplessness. Our children are now grown and having children of their own, yet our mothers were never part of this most important part of our lives--and that still hurts...decades later. Your beautiful layout is a tribute to love between a mother and daughter, and I take great comfort in this. Please feel the warmth of my embrace tomorrow.

  13. This would have to be one of my favourites Val. I adore the colour scheme and the love that oozes from the page and the journaling brought a tear to my eye. It brings all the memories back of my Mum and the way she died with cancer and I too had all the same feelings. Love this layout!

  14. This is a gorgeous page Val and I love your styling here, with so many gorgeous details and bits! It is such a beautiful theme too and even though it was obviously hard to scrap, I am sure that it was good to journal these feelings and thoughts! My wish for you is that time will heal your sadness and that you would forgive yourself...I am sure that your Mother did not love you any less, because she loved you unconditionally, no matter what you may/may not have done! Because that's what Mothers do!! I am sure she would not want you to berate yourself..but just love and heal yourself. Blessings to you today my friend and I pray that you would be comforted! Lots of love and hugs to you! xx

  15. HI..Thanks so much for sharing so much of this personal and heart touching time in your life.. It must have been a difficult time and still is I guess going by what you have said... Your layout is beautiful and the colors are lovely.. lots of things around your photo and lots of love on the layout too... really special post....

  16. Hi again Val! I just wanted to say thanks for becoming a follower of my blog, and I hope you enjoy it!

  17. Oh you've made me cry Val. I just can't imagine losing a parent at a young age. Life really does seem unfair at times. I hope you are comforted by those close to you on this anniversary. Sounds like your Mum was a very courageous lady and this is a beautiful tribute to your love for her. take care. xx

  18. You were very brave to share this heartbreaking time with us Val and, although it made me cry, I'm so glad you did. It sometimes help to let things out. Take comfort in the wonderful memories you have of your Mum and know that, regardless of what you may or may not have done, she loved you unconditionally. You're a Mum too, you know how that feels. This page, and others that I'm sure you've made of her, are a wonderful tribute to her memory. She would be very proud of the woman you are. Sending hugs and blessings your way. oxox

  19. Oh my goodness, Val - thank you for sharing your touching. I know firsthand how hard it is to lose a parent, how the pain and frustration never really goes away...I know about the wondering if there was something we could differently? It sounds like you were there for her in every way you could be. I am sure she knew you loved her very much. :)
    Love your gorgeous layout -by the way. Take care.

  20. Your layout is gorgeous and your story so heartbreaking...

    It reminds me my grandmother, I was 19 yo and also didn't understand that she was leaving. I went to see her at the hospital each day that week, and the last day, she was asleep, I didn't want that the nurse awake her, the nurse said that I SHOULD awake her but I didn't understand, I believed that it was better for her to take some rest.
    When I call her on the evening, my grand-mother sais that she did see me on the corridor but then I was gone. We chated nicely. She died on the night, and I was so sorry that I missed this last visit. I understand you so much.

    I love your handmade embellishments. I love the feeling of your layout, it's so tender and paceful. Thanks for sharing !

  21. Oh Val...this is such a touching and heartfelt post.... Your layout is Gorgeous.
    Tears well in my eyes as I read your story..... Sending you a big hug as you work through this anniversary of hers. I am sure your Mum would be extremely proud of you and what you have achieved. Take Care. xx
    Thank you for all your beautiful comments and for becoming my newest blog follower. xx

  22. Your story is so sad, and I'm sending you hugs. Even though you have a lot of sad memories and feelings connected to this photo, the layout makes a really nice tribute to your mom.

  23. I am also hooked on these challenges. Your layout is beautiful Val. So sad that you lost your mom when she was so young. Your journalling is touching.