Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More random name stuff

I came across this list of rankings showing how popular my name has been through the decades, ranked out of 1000. (Can't find the link though).

1960' s - ranked 487
1970's - ranked 338
1980's - ranked 425
1990's - ranked 707
Seems pretty obvious that the 1970's would be popular with the movie Dr Zhivago and "Lara's Theme" hitting screens in 1965.
Here's the page, about my name which won me the spot in the SA Cream of the Crop competition (long-long ago).

With such a short name you wouldn't expect it could be shortened or nicknamed in any way... wrong! Here are a few...

Wawa ;)

I *love* my name... thanks mom!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In the busyness....

... there's really a buzz around Johannesburg as kids finish school this week, matrics are on their way to their big holiday, moms rush around with last minute stuff and the shops are filling with Christmas goodies.

I'm buzzing too with my fave girls' Christmas class on Saturday - adding finishing touches to gifts etc {wink}. So in all this busyness, just thought I'd share a quote I came across today....

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie


Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I've really been doing...

...between then and now....

I have....
- celebrated a birthday
- signed off T&A #5 for print
- seen the Lion King
- sat in a really fun card-making class
- created a couple of layouts for me, classes, the next T&A
- skipped a meal or two
- skyped America, Switzerland and around the corner
- improved my water skiing skills
- still not learnt to jump quickly into the water

...and those are some of my reasons for not being here!

And for today, to my friends in America... happy Thanksgiving!

And it really wouldn't be a bad idea if we all could all adopt a day for being grateful. How about putting together a little gratitude journal, or scrapbook a page.

Here are some fun topics for gratitude journals:
1. Things that make me laugh
2. Prayers of thanks
3. What I love about myself
4. Opportunities I'm thankful for
5. People who've changed my life
6. Life-changing experiences
7. The job I love best
8. Relationships that make a difference
9. Life's lessons
10. What makes my house a home


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just in case you've forgotten....

... and I might have too... So, I took this quiz to find out who I am:

Hello, my name is Lara!

My Japanese name is: Sakura Daigo

My Hillbilly name is: Linda Sue Walker

My French name is: Fayme Petit (like it!)

My Pirate name is: Mad Hook-Handed Helen

My Superhero name is: The Arch Flame

My Rapper name is: Clever Scrappy (seriously it is!)

And it's good to be breathing normally again! Succumbed a little to this thing called publishing deadline. I have a breather now for about, oh say, a day or so!

Will be blogging sooner....



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Testing 1, 2, 3...

... and 4!

Here's the cover of Time & About #4. I realised that I hadn't posted it yet, with all that "resting" of mine!

And there's good news for my international friends.... you CAN subscribe and receive this proudly South African scrapbooking magazine right on your doorstep too! So thanks for asking.
Here's the link

In other news, I've been stuck in traffic a LOT the last couple of days, with all the rain - (false) tornado warnings - power outages.

I love the security of my desk, right here in my office and much prefer it to being in the car.

Busy, busy with T&A #5 - our Nov/Dec issue. I'll pop in here again though (sooner than I have been).


Thursday, September 27, 2007


"To laugh often and much,
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children,
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends,
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded ."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

PLAY layouts

... I am on the comeback... lots to catch up with since my little sabbatical.

In the meantime, here are the page layouts Kelli, Jenaye and I taught at the various Live, Scrap, PLAY events.

There are a few kits still available of some of the classes. If you would like a kit, please email me:


Thursday, August 02, 2007

{the official} PLAY Event Feedback

Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y.
[Participating in the Lives of African Youth]

Thank you
for being part of
Live, Scrap, PLAY 2007

We are thrilled to announce
that the event, held at
various scrapbook stores
around Johannesburg
and at a kick-off event
in Arizona USA,
raised an amount of
ZAR118 500.00 (USD17 000.00)

A very big thank you to all involved
in the success of the workshops
brought to you by {me}, Polka Dot Chick - Kelli Collins
and Chick jnr - Jenaye Collins
Thank you to these stores for hosting
a PLAY event:
Beautiful Scrapbooks, Scrapbook Emporium, Scraptifity Scrapbook Design Cafe,
The Scrapbook Store, The Scrapping Studio, and Scrapbooks Etc. Arizona.

Thank you to the wonderful scrapbookers
who attended these events
and to the many more
who were involved in one way or another.

An extra special thank you to our sponsors
for donating the amazing products
used in the great scrapbook projects.

Thank you for coming to P.L.A.Y.

Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y. is a non-profit event

Funds raised by Live, Scrap, PLAY 2007
will go to Footprints Children’s Centre
(a Section 21 company)
PBO 930023393


Wednesday, August 01, 2007


... it's a new month! My little quote - once we hit August, the year is over. So don't blink too long!

I just realised that while catching my breath after PLAY-ing, I forgot to post this....
The {new} Time & About #3 is out...

The cover layout uses Bazzill Bling and Bazzill Cardstock-with-Edge, AC Thickers covered with Ranger Stickles and a WR big eyelet.

Hope you enjoy reading and creating from it as much as I did putting it together.



Tuesday, July 31, 2007

happy people...

... and if someone is happy, then it's a happy day.

I love to make people happy. Today I was able to do just that for 3 special scrapbookers who won these prizes in the Live, Scrap, PLAY raffles.

Sarah Pretorius and Vanessa Thomas each won an Epson Picture Mate and Melanie Morgan won this cute vintage suitcase filled with scrapbooking happiness.

Happy day to all 3 of you. And thank you to everyone who bought tickets.

Here are photos of more winners.
These scrappers were some of the lucky winners of tote bags from Yellow Fence. They have such funky slogans and I just heard that my friend Stephanie has been working with Yellow Fence. Can't wait to see what comes from that!
The T-shirts that Kelli, Jenaye and I wore at the events are also from this generous sponsor - thanks Shannon!

more tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I was out PLAY-ing...

... and I've just come in.

The Polka Dot Chick and Chick jnr left for home last night and so I'll be doing a catch up really soon.

I have LOADS of photos to share and LOTS of special thanks to say....

So for now, thank you for waiting for me while I've been PLAY-ing, I'll be back soon.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

How it happens...

Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y. starts this week! The only way events like this can take place is with the support of sponsors.

I have received THE most amazing response from wonderful companies who are Participating in the Lives of African Youth.

A very special thank you to:

Bazzill Basics Paper USA

Time & About

Eprofile Distributors
Epson SA
Imaginisce USA
Scenic Route Paper Co. USA
Scraptifity Scrapbook Design Cafe

Luxe Designs USA
Rusty Pickle USA
Scrapbooks Etc USA
Sunward Park Guest House

Beautiful Scrapbooks
Heidi Swapp USA
Purple Turtle
Scrap Shack Designs
Scrapbook Emporium
The Scrapbook Store
The Scrapping Studio
Yellow Fence USA

Thank you for making footprints deep enough for our children to follow.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I've been looking at some paint colours for exterior walls. Truth be told, I probably have every conceivable colour paint chip anyway - right amongst my scrapbook supplies! But still I went and got some more and came across this one here.

You probably can't read it, but the circled colour (second from the top) is called "Gucky". Now isn't that the name of a colour you want to rush out and buy?! What kind of a colour is "gucky" anyway?

And... you will notice I spelt coloUr, like this: c-o-l-o-u-r because that's the way we spell it here in South Africa!

So to my American blog friends, celebrate your red, white and blue COLORS with lots of fun today. Have a great 4th of July holiday out in the sun with your families.

Liking these words: "The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it." ~ John Ruskin

Monday, July 02, 2007

(very many) Polka Dotted thanks...

... to those 2 amaZing chicks that I'm privileged to call my very good friends.

I know they won't mind me copying & pasting here.

July 01, 2007
Can we just say how thankful we are to everyone of you who donated an item to us; who came and bought grab bags and bargains; who bid on our auction items; who bought raffle tickets; who called the store and made arrangements to donate this coming week; who helped us set up and clean up; who emailed and posted good thoughts on the BLOG; and to those of you who emailed us inquiring on specifics on where to mail your donation. You're aMaZing! :)

Over the last few months we raised $1059 from donations and raffles. We were so pleased, but knew we could do better. And with your help...we did! Last night's auction raised $1660, which means we have $2719 to donate to FOOTPRINTS ! Those of you who know us well...know that we are madly planning on how to raise more over this next week before the journey. Our goal is to make it to the $3000 mark...we are so close. So this week, if you are shopping in the store, purchase a few raffles tickets. If you are joining Amy for Easy Peasy on some page kits, grab bags, or raffle tickets.

HUGS and KISSES to all of you for helping us change young lives.

This is a photo of us taken last night at the auction. The little guy in the photo belongs to a friend and customer of ours...Earleen. Isn't he aDorable?

Here's a photo of the table as you walked into the room last night.
Amy had a great vision with really was "stunning" as our friend, Lara, would say.

Thanks again for making the NIGHT one huge success.

You'll have to check out their blog to see the pictures and for more updates.

Love, love their "pay-it-forwards"!


Saturday, June 30, 2007

The half way mark

... halfway through the year - officially. Quite hard to believe.
I thought having an event in July would mean time would be kind, and move slower. it just means that the first half of the year has flown. Can I even hope that the second half won't?!
We indulged in this - yummy.... Brought back memories of being in the snow in Washington DC and walking around Anaheim at CHA in January. Our one in Sandton City doesn't have my favorite "sticks" but those were so delicious anyway.
The Polka Dot Chicks have their silent auction today at Scrapbooks Etc. in Mesa Arizona in support of Live, Scrap, PLAY and the children at Footprints. This is such an awesome thing, I am so grateful for the precious friends I have met through scrapbooking.
One of the little boys had a birthday this week. Took 10 of them to Macs, dressed in very similar tops - all red. Quite a sight to see (and control). Not my favourite place to be but they sure did a great job with face painting, candle blowing, playing and balloons.
One little 3 year old, battling with his burger that kept falling apart, complained: "my food not working". I think I feel a mini album project coming here...
I'm doing a HUGE "spring clean" in the middle of winter. The donated product for the projects arrives this week and I need the space. So far, one room done.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More updates and Cards...

My life is a bit of a roller coaster at the moment. So I think my blog posts are really going to be updates for a bit.

  • I'm on big deadlines for Time & About #3 this week - such fun!
We've got something exciting lined up too. If you love making cards check this out. We'd love to see your carding creations.

The Polka Dot Chicks have got some awesome stuff planned for Saturday, 30th June at Scrapbooks Etc in Arizona. Check it out here.

There will also be some fun stuff happening during the classes here in South Africa starting in just over 2 weeks time! Yikes... lots to do still.

A very big thank you to everyone who is involved in some way with this awesome event. I appreciate it all.



P.S. "The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it." ~ John Ruskin

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y.

Live, Scrap P.L.A.Y. with the Polka Dot Chicks

I love that I have friends who keep tabs on me (fi)! So here’s the update of this unique charity scrapbooking event in support of
Footprints Children’s Centre
P.L.A.Y. is an acronym for Participate in the Lives of African Youth

I have very many amazing friends, and these two
chicks, Amy Totty and Kelli Collins are doing some awesome stuff for P.L.A.Y. For my American blog readers who are a little closer to Arizona than I am, you can check out this post and perhaps you can PLAY too!

Another friend and amazingly talented
crafter did this for me – don’t you just love it!

Closer to home... here are the details for the classes

“The 6 Page Rage”
Complete an amazing six12x12 layouts in the class and then take home another two bonus pages{that's 8 page layouts!}

Complete the awesome Bazzill Gated Album with fun colours and embellishments to delight in the class and then take home two 12x12 page layouts as a bonus project!

“Summer Splash”
Complete a funky Bazzill Mono Mini Album using fresh colours and great embellishments in the class and then take home two 12x12 page layouts as a bonus project!
We'll be at these stores:
12 July Beautiful Scrapbooks – Benoni
14 July Scraptifity – Randburg
17 July Scrapping Studio – Boksburg
18 July Scrapbook Emporium – Fourways

And look at these amazing sponsors that are coming to P.L.A.Y.
Bazzill Basics Paper, Epson, Eprofile Distributors, Heidi Swapp, Henkel SA, Imaginisce, Luxe Designs, Memories Complete, Rusty Pickle, Scenic Route Paper, Scrapbooks Etc., Scrap Shack Designs, Time & About

Plus... we have sweet, gorgeous Jenaye Collins, making her maiden voyage across the ocean to South Africa, to teach too! So very excited to have her here. If you’ve booked, you’re going to love Naye’s designs.

If you would like to be involved in any way, please email me:

We’d love for you to P.L.A.Y. too!


P.S. You can see some of the special kids on the footprints-play website (under a little construction at the moment)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


...that's my weeks going by!

I've been so busy I've neglected my blog - not good. But in my defense I have been working on Time & About #3 - good. And I do have some really exciting news about Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y. - very good.

So just to keep you amused I'll teach you how to speak Chinese thanks to my friend Fiona who sent me this....

Learn to speak Chinese in 5 minutes
(saying them out loud helps)

1) That's not right..............................................Sum Ting Wong
2) Are you harboring a fugitive?......................Hu Ya Hai Ding
3) See me ASAP.................................................Kum Hia Nao
4) Small horse.....................................................Tai Ni Po Ni
5) Did you go to the beach?..............................Wai Yu So Tan
6) I bumped into a coffee table........................Ai Bang Mai Ni
7) I think you need a face lift............................Chin Tu Fat
8) Its very darkin here......................................Wai so Dim
9) I thought you were on a diet........................Wai Yu Mun Ching?
10) This is a tow away zone...............................No Pa King
11) Our meeting is scheduled for next week...Wai Yu Kum Nao?
12) Staying out of sight......................................Lei Ying Lo
13) He’s cleaning his automobile......................wa Shing Ka

I'll be back tomorrow with the updates on the P.L.A.Y. events.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Food for thought...

...these made me giggle!

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?"

Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And ... The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you!!

If you're on my side of the world, hope you're warm in this crazy weather.



Monday, June 04, 2007

Where is May??

May is gone!

I keep saying that I can't believe how fast the time goes by. May was full and maybe that's the reason

  1. celebrated my wedding anniversary
  2. was my blog's 1 year anniversary
  3. it was mother's day
  4. and probably keeping me most busy... Time & About #2 came out

I think if I blink, June will be gone too. So I'm keeping my eyes as wide open as possible, so that I get it all done before I run out of time!

Have you seen these...??

Woolworths has my favourite colour in their very handy shopping bags - yummy dark brown. Yes, there are about 30 bags here, and no I don't have any shopping expeditions planned!

These are for those special Polka Dot Chicks. They like them (a lot) and it's a very useful scrapbooking bag to have too - fit 12x12 perfectly! They will look stunning embellished with pink!

I've been to another 2 different Woolies since and haven't seen them. So either someone else is also shopping for Amy and Kelli, or else they just haven't come in yet!

Let me know where you spot more....

Liking this quote: "If you speak kind words, you'll hear kind echoes."


Monday, May 28, 2007

Time & About

Here's proof that while missing from blog land, I hadn't been totally gone.....

I am very proud to introduce to you... Time & About Issue #2. The magazine will be on shelves at scrapbooking stores this week.

Think I'm taking a break now? Nope... onto Issue #3.

Had a great weekend in East London teaching at the Spargs Scrapbook Convention. So nice to see the East Londoners again and some Joburg ladies that had also travelled.

We had heard that there was snow in the area (2 hours away!) and decided to go on a snow hunt. We phoned to check that there was actually snow on the ground, unfortunately there was none. Then, at the convention, one of the scrapbookers showed us her photos taken in the snow in that area just 2 days before. Too bad for us...!

Have a great week ahead.



Wednesday, May 23, 2007

On my way...

... to pack my bags.

I have 8 hours to pack, sleep and get to the airport for my flight to East London. I guess I'll sleep a little on the plane!

I'm teaching this weekend at the Spargs Scrapbook Convention. Looking forward to it.

Here's a little sneak peak of the project I'm doing in my session.
I hear it's pretty chilly there. Meanwhile it's freezing here too.
There are more updates for Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y. coming when I get back...
We need to tell our Polka Dot chicks that July is going to be c-o-l-d!

Won't have email til Monday.
Check your local scrapbook store for Time & About at the end of the week.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Did I get you?! :)

Look... it's a twin strawberry - siamese twin strawberry!

And if I turn it sideways... it looks like the shape of Africa!!
I call it "creative fooding". (Just my creative juices working over time)!
The simple strawberry gives my morning a start in a homemade smoothie - my own recipe.
And pronounced "sow-bebbie" by our cute little Nkosi!
Got any creative fooding to share?
P.S. Thank you so much for your comments and emails. It's so nice to know I was missed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


...that's me coming up for air!

I knew it had been a long time, but didn't realise I hadn't blogged for a month!

Sorry to have left you all in the lurch. I have good reasons.... Time & About is on its way and should be on the shelves next week.

I'll do a big catch up over the weekend. I have a few things to do that were a little overlooked while my head was down.

Here's a pic of me trying out fly fishing.
I should probably stick to scrapbooking!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Paying it Forward...

...all the way from South Africa to... America!

My friend Stephanie,who does those great doodles I coloured in last week is raising funds for a special cause, close to my heart. I have donated an item for her auction - a whole bunch of chipboard goodies made in South Africa, as well as the new magazine (Time & About) I am so proud to be a part of.

So... how many of you have scrapbooking stuff from all the way across the sea?!

It's a great cause so please check it all out on Stephanie's blog and place your bids (quick).

And other AWESOME news.....

Joey is the new Making Memories Idol. So happy for her!


Saturday, April 14, 2007


Just wanted to share this layout I made this morning with a photo taken last weekend.

The layout is for a DT challenge - Basic Grey rub-ons and Bazzill magnetic frame which I've used back to front to get more depth (and to be different!) The letters are using my Cricut's "opposites attract" cartridge and the paper, Piggy Tales and Bazzill.

ETA : journaling reads "for out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks"

Have a great weekend.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Those senses

I'm just amazed at how strong the sense of smell is and the ability a scent has to trigger memories.

To this day, the smell of flowering jasmine turns my stomach as a reminder of year end exams. (and I haven't studies for exams in about 13 years!)
This week happy memories were triggered by my sense of smell. I pulled out this old tin of crayons given to me by my grandmother about 25 years ago. As a 10 year old, I treasured them, they weren't just the normal wax crayons.These are called "non-fading crayons for painting". I was being archival then already! See the yellowing sellotape as I had tried to keep them whole. They have a very distinctive smell and as I opened the tin, memories of my childhood creativity came flooding back.

In between my deadlines this week, I revisited one of my favourite activities - colouring in. Stephanie, one of my friends in California does the most amaZing doodles, and challenged us to do something fun with a doodle she had created on her blog. The colours have changed somewhat in the scan, but I think I like the vibrancy.

Really hoping she comes up with some more "colouring in pages". There was definitely something in their for me. Being creative in a way other than scrapboooking awakens the creative process.

Give it a try. Pull out one of your kids' colouring books and PLAY!

I'd love to hear what scents trigger your memories.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Giving back...

Tuesday night is usually my TV with one of my favourites Prison Break. However... we had a 2 and a half hour session of American Idol (being a couple of weeks behind the actual events). So I’ll be watching my escapees tonight instead.

I was really touched to see what American Idol is planning to do to raise funds for orphans in Africa in the programme Idol gives back.

Those of you who know me, know that this kind of work is very close to my heart. I have a soft spot, a love, for the African children and for those who have become victims of their circumstances. It’s awesome that those who are in positions are able to use their celebrity status for good.

This is an old layout I did a couple of years ago (2004).
Sorry for the scanned quality. The journaling is on transparency with a watermark photo behind.

The page won the “Overall Excellence” layout at Creating Keepsakes University in Austin. It was through this layout that I got to meet many awesome scrapbookers. My good friends Kelli Collins and Amy Totty were there as was Joey Whittaker. I had an amazing time chatting to Stacy Julian about my experience too.

Journaling reads:
When we met Heidi Baker in August 2003, I knew in my heart that I had to visit Iris, the orphanage they spoke of in Mozambique. I wasn’t sure if Dave would feel the same and while cooking dinner, we had this short dialogue that would change our hearts forever:
Lara: “I want to spend Christmas at the orphanage”
Dave: “ok?”
Lara: “I’m being serious”
Dave: “That’s what scares me”

I made a decision that this Christmas had to be a time of real giving. I am used to living very comfortably! I am blessed with material possessions in abundance and buying Christmas gifts for one another would be superfluous.

Iris Ministries in Zimpeto Province, Mozambique provides the daily care of feeding and schooling for about 500 Mozambican children. These children are either orphaned or have been abandoned or severely abused – many of them are street children and/or HIV positive – and they cannot care for themselves. Iris’s operational needs are great, and they have a need for volunteer staff to help look after these children and the many more they will be receiving due to the AIDS and malaria problems in Mozambique.

Money that would have bought our gifts was instead spent on loads of sweets and treats for the orphans. We took much-needed mosquito nets and tennis balls, soccer balls, Frisbees, 500 ballpoint pens (the Mozambican children treasure a writing tool) and a pile of coloured cardstock and stickers.

After communication difficulties due to unreliable services at the orphanage, we were able to make our final plans just 3 weeks before our drive to Mozambique to spend Christmas with the children.

This wasn't the only problem we encountered along the way. Officials simply looking for a bribe gave us such a hard time at the border posts. They questioned us endlessly about the goods loaded in our car. Finally after over an hour we were let through. We laughed at how difficult it had been, all in the name of wanting to give.

We arrived at Iris Ministries gates and saw little children running to see who the new comers were. We descended into a sea of children, rubbing their noses against our car windows. This was just the beginning of the constant attention each child strived to attain from us.

That Christmas day of giving tangible gifts is incomparable to the love and appreciation we received from those little orphans. The children were so grateful for the piece of chicken, potato salad and rice, only one of 2 days out of the whole year that they eat meat. Our Christmas meal consisted of the same, eaten in the same way as the children – with our fingers!

I walked around the hall and did attempt to capture the hearts of the children through my lens. Some of the children posed innocently and smiled as I took their pictures. I knelt up close to this little boy, but he showed no emotion. Even as my camera clicked, his glaze remained pensive. There was no communication between us and I was frustrated that I could speak no Portuguese.

I am saddened looking at this photo- his eyes stare blankly, without emotion. The only light in his eyes came from my camera flash. I wonder still, what thoughts were on his mind. Where did he come from, what happened to his family, what did this child’s future hold?

I returned home being grateful for the fullness of my life. I am thankful for my good health. I know I will think twice before complaining about an empty wall needing a picture or the lack of a great big study desk for all my work. I know there is much more than material wealth and I am grateful for my family who love me and enrich my life.

My sole expectation of the visit to the orphanage was to give: little did I know that I would receive so much more...

Look into the eyes of a child...

I have had the opportunity to visit Iris on 2 more occasions since that Christmas and each one is as touching as the first.
It was this experience that led me to the involvement I have with Footprints and to the realisation of this year’s event Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y. (Participate in the Lives of African Youth) too.

P.S. Thank you for all your well wishes and support regarding my new position at Time & About. I am so looking forward to this experience.

P.P.S. a great quote: "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." ~Mark Twain


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'm a law-abiding citizen...

... and I had Mr Johannesburg Metro Policeman confirm that for me today!

I got pulled over in a roadblock. Weird... I just had a feeling I would be parked at the side of the road when I saw all the police cars. Even though I knew 100% I had not done anything wrong, it's still so horrid being questioned like that. I guess they're looking after the roads with the Easter weekend coming up. So drive carefully see.

Look at the gorgeous roses I got from
my father. I think he loves me!
And I just found out last night
that he reads my blog, (hallo H, love you too!)

I couldn't' get onto my computer this afternoon with all the thunder and lightning. Instead I sat with 6 layouts I've done over the last week and did all my handwritten journaling. Feeling good about that.

The Making Memories Idol competition is now on Round 5. My totally talented friend Joey has made it to the Top 5. This was after anonymous voting. We'll have to wait for Monday to vote for the next round. Thinking of you Joey!

Well, with the long weekend, tomorrow will feel like Friday. Need to keep focused...lots to do!


Monday, April 02, 2007

TWO weeks...

... is too long between posts, I know!

Here I am. Made a nice cup of tea in my "born to scrap" mug and settling in to catch up.

I'm not so crazy about the cool weather that I've been noticing, but happy that I can now have tea without breaking into a sweat!

The weekend was filled with classes. Loads of fun with the All About Me girls, now into out 3rd year together. We had all kinds of spoils from white eggs and jelly beans to sugar icing characters on cupcakes and ribbon filled plastic eggs. Didn't even cross my mind to get out my camera. So girls here's a hint for a repeat performance for scrapbooking's sake!

I taught an inspirations class at Scraptifity called Creative Correspondence. Inspiration from store bought greeting cards to create layouts and using your layouts for card making then using those bits and pieces to create cards. With all the stunning cards that were being made, I was very tempted to give out my birth date so I could be on the receiving end! There's nothing really like a home made card (and it's a brilliant way of using up your scraps too).

My friend Adele recommended The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. The book shows how to discover and cultivate your creative self by undertaking certain projects. The overview of the book is amazing, so many truths. I'd love to hear your comments if you've read the book. It does follow a 12 week plan/programme and I have literally just read the intro's. I'll keep you posted...

And on keeping promises of keeping you posted... Apparently I created a little stir by keeping the sharing of my good news for so long. So this is it - I have been appointed as Editor of a brand new scrapbooking magazine Time & About. Lots of new things on the horizon, lots of excitement, lots to do...

Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y. has received awesome support. Details of venues will be advertised soon. See here for more info.

Looking forward to this short week and getting everything done. I'll be back sooner this time!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Come P.L.A.Y.

Such an amazing response to this exciting new event -
Live, Scrap, P.L.A.Y, featuring workshops in support of Footprints Children Centre.

P.L.A.Y. is an acronym for Participate in the Lives of African Youth and I am so excited to be able to bring this event to you.

The Polka Dot Chicks aka Amy Totty and Kelli Collins, talented designers for Bazzill Basics Paper, are coming to town in July. Yes, they're coming early this year to inspire SA scrapbookers (hope we can keep them warm in our chilly winter!). In these smaller workshops, at various scrapbook stores, participants will be inspired by Kelli and Amy's passion for fun, love and life. And enjoy an opportunity to get to know the PD Chicks in a more personal setting.

There's so much to do, but I'm loving this new venture. Life is of course in the details...!

And... on my previous post about paying it forward. Here are a few ideas from :

- Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through
- Offer to return someone’s shopping trolley
- Give your kids’ outgrown clothing to a needy cause
- Compliment a total stranger
- Donate a bag of groceries to a needy family
- Volunteer your time to a charity, nursing home, school, church or other organization

- Create a layout for someone who doesn't scrapbook (my bonus idea!)

Then... I found this quote - pretty good food for thought this.
“The language we use to communicate with one another is like a knife. In the hands of a careful and skilled surgeon, a knife can work to do great good. But in the hands of a careless or ignorant person, a knife can cause great harm. Exactly as it is with our words.” - Unknown

Have a great Tuesday night if you're watching Prison Break :)


Thursday, March 15, 2007

my cup overflows...

... greetings from the Mother City!

I am in beautiful Cape Town for a couple of days. This is a picture of my hotel right on the waterfront.

Did some work this morning though and got to see some stunning new Autumn Leaves product.

Wow! Thank you for all the comments and emails I've received from my last post. Thank you for sharing how good life really is. My granny had a saying if we felt we were going through a tough time, "no matter what you're going through, there's always somebody worse off than you". This didn't necessarily make us feel any better, but I have come to realise the truth in it. Remember, even when you're low, you can still be an encouragement to someone around you.

There seems to be quite a lot of the Pay it Forward thing going on around scrapbooking and other circles at the moment. It's the idea of doing something for someone and they're not able to pay you back and instead they pay it forward and do something for another person. It shouldn't come as a surprise that there's blessing in this since I was taught from a very young age to do to others as I would have them do to me.

One of the local high schools is even doing this to instill in the kids the value of doing unto others... They're receiving extra credits for it too.

My friend Fi sent me this website which speaks a similar message about being nice . There's a newsletter you can sign up for too. I like this quote from the founder: “Live life daily as if all people – even strangers – really matter. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect, and all we have to do is treat others nicely"

I'd love to share thoughts on ways we could pay it forward in our every day lives.

Also... I haven't forgotten that I promised to share good news! Well it's still coming....

Enjoy the rest of your week, and remember to be nice!


Monday, March 12, 2007

Half empty, or half full?

What kind of person are you? Do you see that glass half full or is it half empty?

While sitting in the car in a parking lot over the weekend, I noticed a lady being helped to the passenger side of a car. I think she might have had cerebral palsy and walked very badly, struggling with a walking aid and being assisted by a woman she was with.

I noticed how she battled down the pavement trying to get into the car. But do you know what was even more noticeable? The look on her face. They had just come out of a coffee shop and were obviously still engrossed in conversation. Both the woman were talking and laughing and each pause perhaps wasn't the struggle to walk, it could have been that it was the pause to catch their breath as they laughed together.

This really got me thinking about things I sometimes complain about. Things that could be better, but are in actual fact really not all bad.

When those things get me down, I have to be honest and say, my glass really is half full. For most days of my life, my glass is full and I'm grateful for it.

So this week, start on a positive note. Even if it's not as good as it should be, it can at least be half good and that's not half bad.

I did have a full weekend. Full of fun. For me.

Here are my jars filled with ribbon. These are mostly bits and pieces of offcuts and the bits I might pull out, but mostly they're for me just to look at. They're on top of the shelf above my computer. I also have 2 and now need a 3rd rod with spools of ribbon and a wall with ribbon on manufacturers cards too. Then.... there are my plastic containers with big bolts of ribbon that I've collected on my travels just because they're nice! Yes, I love ribbon. Yes, I have a lot of it. Yes, of course I use it. Just not all at one time!
Have a positive "full" week...

Friday, March 09, 2007

North vs South

Oops, a week went by and in between I tried to do an email blog post and it got lost in blog-nowhere-land. So here I am!

I'm feeling like my Northern Hemisphere friends experiencing signs of spring - blessed with this beautiful bunch of tulips from Adele.

Here, down South it's beginning to get a little chillier. It's so much darker at 6am these days and getting up while it's still dark is one thing I really can do without during winter.

A very BIG thanks for voting for my friend Joey

Joey is now through to the next round of 30 finalists in the Making Memories Idols competition. You can log onto the website for reminders to vote, or check back here and I'll remind you too.

I think the next round of voting will be on Monday / Tuesday depending on where you're North or South!

And speaking of North... I did mention there was exciting news
that would be good for all of us...

I was near Northgate.. Hobby-X... and got this hot off the press!

It's our new South African scrapbooking magazine Time & About, published by Elkanan Media Publications.

I have an article in it and there's also a feature on the Polka Dot Chicks! You'll enjoy the layouts and ideas which are totally scrapliftable!

The magazine will be available through local SA scrapbook stores as well as some stationery stores and newsagents or contact Time & About directly.

And that's not all... there's more to follow, soon. I'll keep you posted {promise}

I've just bought myself some big 3L glass jars for more storage stuff. I did say I was a sucker for container type things. I will be posting pics of those. You haven't seen my plastic drawer storage thingys cos I ran out of time (due to T&A deadlines!) and I need another one.

I'll be southbound, playing with jars and ribbons this weekend. Anything exciting happening your end of the world?


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So exciting.....

Tomorrow is the last day of February - can't believe it. Can't believe how fast the months tick by. The whole day today I thought it was Wednesday and I'm so excited to have an "extra" day still in my week.

I've managed to get my deadlines to almost the halfway mark... so proud of myself. Then... just as I thought I'd actually reach my target... something exciting happened and it involves another deadline - a tight one. Can't share just yet, but it's going to be good for us. It's exciting! I have work to do and I'm tired. And then when I finish that, I still have the other work to do. I guess that's what it's like being deadline driven.

So now I'm thinking... what does deadline mean? Is the line drawn at the end of what you're doing dead? Who draws the line? Ok...!

Remember to VOTE at for my talented friend Joey Whittaker. Her page is stunning, check out her journaling!

Inspired by......
Today I was inspired by somebody who feels she's in a total creative rut. Sounds strange, but I am inspired to think how I can be influential, how to show her that she can be inspired by things around her. To look outside of "scrapbooking" and take a walk around the shops. I mentioned Waltons (our version of Staples) and let the products talk to her. The shop assistants might think we're a bit weird, but it's all in the name of inspiration!

Here's to me meeting deadlines (and getting enough sleep)


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Weekend Wrap up

Did you have a good weekend? Did you relax and if you're in Joburg, did you survive the heat?

I taught a great class at Scraptifity to an awesome group of girls and 1 guy who came to babysit his 3 month old and got roped into doing the class (and did really well)!

And then I saw this and it made me happy....
and my mom thinks I'm crazy!

Apparently I jumped out of my chair in excitement when she read the article to me. Me? Can't imagine it!

Looking forward to good Tuesday night viewing

And to my friends around the world, we get programmes way after you here in SA... so no spoilers please.

Tell me... who is your favourite? Try and guess mine!

Have you heard of Making Memories Idol?
It's a competition by this great scrapbooking company and the winners are selected by public votes just like the "other" Idols competition and that's how our little Heinz Winkler got to where he is!

Anyway... I have a VERY talented friend who has been chosen for the Top 50 - Joey Whittaker. The only way Joey gets to stay in the competition is if we vote for her. So here's a very BIG PLEASE - vote for Joey as soon as voting opens on Monday (tomorrow).

Click on this link and find out more from Joey's blog and here for the Making Memories link and you can even sign up for a voting reminder here

Joey is an amazingly talented designer of scrapbooking products and a CKU Instructor. I told her I would be the SA President of her fan club, but you need to help me!

I have a number of deadlines to meet this week, but I do LOVE creating!

Have a great week.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Inspired by....

...oh yummy!!!
Yes this is one of my great sources of inspiration, my muse.... Bazzill cardstock! These colours make me feel like a kid in a candy store.

I've been working on a project I'm teaching on Saturday using Crate Paper - inspiring? Yes! I'll post a photo tomorrow once I have bound it.

Paper designers are just amazing and I {love} the way all the colours of a certain range work together. So if you're not sure what colours to use, go for a range and use a few of the pattern papers. They've been designed to work together, so let it work for you.

So where have you seen colours for inspiration this week?

It's been great to hear from new friends and old friends! (Sioban from over the sea, please email me:

And by the sounds of things my little Cricut is going to be chirping!! By the way, it's pronounced "cricket", but you may have gathered that from the little logo!

My newsletter - Lara Inc. will be out early next week. I can't believe it's the end of February already. Look out for exciting new workshops.

Let colour be your inspiration...


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I played....

...with THIS today!

Spring cleaning got put aside, as did everything else actually. Today was my day to create! I needed to just "play". And today, I did play... with my Cricut and my newest cartridge - Opposites Attract.

This amazing cutting machine cuts letters and various shapes from 2.5cm to 14cm! I played with Bazzill cardstock and it cuts perfectly.

So perfectly, that I will be demonstrating the machine in my special classes as well as Scraptifity in Rabie St Randburg. So Joburg girls... if you want to play with me, let me know and I'll schedule sessions (space will be limited). You can check out the Cricut website and get as excited as me!

And if you're still battling with your de-cluttering here are some wise words:

Many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little - unknown

blessings {L}

Monday, February 19, 2007

So cute...

I bought these cute stamps at the cutest shop during my time in Washington DC. They went AWOL when my one suitcase did its own private tour to an unknown destination and then to Chicago and finally to Arizona.
I thought they were gone for sure. Now they have a special spot right above my computer, where I can see them every day. I think they'll be great for cards and I'm such a sucker for anything with { these }

Your questions, my answers:

  • I'm paging through my mags, tearing out and filing layouts and ideas that inspire me in one way or another.
  • I'm hanging on to my magazines for a little longer and then they'll go to my charity shop / garage sale for this year's charity event. And become inspiration for someone else.

Spring cleaning is still very much a WIP (work in progress)! I didn't get nearly as much done as I thought I would.
  • The only way to keep storage areas clutter free is to have mini clean outs every so often.

It's really tough for me to purge, I'm so sentimental and keep EVERYTHING, and I do have a terrible weakness for books.

Any storage solutions you'd like to share? I'll post pictures of my filled up spaces once I'm done. (may take a while though)

have a really good week



Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's not Spring...

... in my part of the world, BUT I'm in a serious spring cleaning mode. Went to my favourite plastic shop today and bought a couple of these.

Not quite sure what will be stored in them just yet, but hopefully by the weekend they will be full and some other places will be clean. As part of my "spring clean" I've been going through my huge library of scrapbooking magazines and idea books that I've been collecting since 2002! A pretty scary situation. So amazing how trends have changed and how some of the old names in scrapbooking are still around and many who we don't hear of anymore.'s time for the mags to find a new home, thus creating space for my new toys!

What are you up to this weekend?



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!!

This is the cover of the 8x8 mini album I taught in California. Would {LOVE} to hear how you TT girls used the cute little album.

lots of loves...



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

you can {QUOTE} me

In celebration of being home... quotable quotes for your home / house layouts. Or simply to jumpstart your journaling

"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you" - Christian Morganstern

"People are the happiest at home" - William Shakespeare

"A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul" - Phillip Moffitt

Do you have "homely" quotes to share?


Sunday, February 11, 2007

a sign of the {Sunday} Times

...spotted this in today's newspaper - "Guys becoming craftier" - that title caught my eye!

And the first word of the article is... "Scrapbooking... Arts and crafts hobbies are having their biggest revival since the '70s, when Americans willingly spent hours crafting..."

It goes on to say that "Wall Street is pumping money into retailers where arts and crafts are flying of the shelves... and scrapbooking has become the Tupperware party of the new millennium."

{Ok, so I'm not crazy about the "Tupperware" analogy, too many connotations, but I think you get the gist.}

And then they quote Steve Salotto, who I assume to be the guy, " avid scrapbook, says he enjoys sitting with other scrappers and spending hours creating, comparing notes and showing off his handiwork. As far as addictions, he said, It's a good one." - NYT Partner Newspapers

I think we {girls} have been telling them for ages, but perhaps now they'll listen!

And to think that scrapbooking would infiltrate my Sunday reading... :)

Hope you've had a good weekend.


Friday, February 09, 2007

your {comments} please

Thank you for emaililng me - I now realise there was no place for you to comment!

I messed up when I changed to "new blogger". So looking forward to hearing from you all again!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

{L}ife is good!!

I love being home, love my house; love our sunshine; love that I am around my scrapbook stash, love that I have some really cool new stuff to play with. Life really is good.

I made it home with all my luggage and it wasn't overweight after all (had an extra piece though) So happy that my big blue suitcase came with me this time and didn't travel alone to Chicago, amongst other places, not on my itinerary.

This has been a totally exhausting trip, but so inspiring. I think this has to be my "Inspiration Trip". Spending time at Martie Jones' store, Scrapbooks Etc. in Arizona and seeing some of the behind the scenes of classes and make & takes, has got me really going.

CHA was amazing. The new products that have come out are calling my name... (loud!) begging to be used in my classes and in layouts. There are some really talented people out there. It was so inspiring walking around the booths, taking in all the ideas.

I had so much fun teaching at Timeless Treasures in California. And they even understood every word... so what accent??

Other sources of inspiration:
IKEA - yes it is all everyone makes it out to be and it was a cheap excursion as there was NO way I could bring any of what I wanted home (purely inspirational!)

Victoria's Secret - yummy colour combos, fresh happy colours.

Skechers - ok no inspiration here, but I'm sure if I wear the shoes I'll feel it!

Anthropolgie - yummy... the home decor stuff is stunning

A ribbon store in Mesa, AZ that was floor to ceiling spools of every conceivable colour and style you could imagine. (Kelli thanks for my gift!)

Target - got lots of inspiration at this amazing store. It's like nothing we have in SA. I want to try and say a mixture of Boardmans, Dions, Loads of Living.... nope, nothing like it!

After this horrible jet lag passes, I'll get straight onto using some of this inspiration. Workshops are up and running next week again and I have a brand new newsletter coming out. If you aren't on my mailing list, please let me know and I'll add you! I'll be sharing something new in each newsletter "Inspired by..."

Let me know what inspires you!


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Weighty issues...

Just got back from teaching my first international class at Timeless Treasures in California. Thanks so much Nancy and girls - I had a really great time. We made a cute Valentine mini album and there are a couple of kits still available in the store if you missed out (and live close by).

Girls back home in South Africa... I'm on my way back Yay! Remember it's my AAM class this coming Saturday, and I'll be teaching an album project at Scraptifity on Saturday, 24th Feb, using Bazzill's cute zippered albums and the stunning range of Crate paper.

So onto the weighty issues. I think I'm overweight! Well that's what the scale at the gym said before I left, but that's not what I mean. My SUITCASES are overweight (for a change!). So I need to get back to my room and repack for about the third time. Can't be leaving anything behind either. It's that under the covers idea of mine...

Shuttle picks me up at 7am in LA and I fly to Washington DC. Hopefully there are no 3 hour snow delays like when I flew in and I'll be back home on Tuesday evening. Can't wait to unpack and feel my sunshine!

Think of me in that airline seat!


Friday, February 02, 2007


It really is everywhere.

I took the day "off" today and wandered around an outdoor mall called The Block in Orange. There are outlet stores for some of the big brands. Of course, all the shop windows are dressed in Valentine finery. Victoria's Secret have their "Spring" collection unpacked and that's where I saw it - the inspiration. Nope, not what to wear... but the colours! Great colour combinations...

So here's just a quickie to remind you to look out for inspiration (everywhere). New season's fashions have stunning colour combos. Check out your favourite underwear store - even if it's Woolworths and be inspired.

I think I'm going to Hollywood tomorrow, wonder what I could be inspired by there!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

What's hot!

CHA ended today and boy did I walk my little feet off!

There is so much cute stuff out there. Chipboard is HOT HOT HOT. And that makes me happy, cos I do love chipboard. There are all kinds of shapes of plain chipboard and a new line of gellied chipboard letters. Velvet is popular too right now.

I have a little trick up my sleeve... it involves chipboard (surprise). It's heavy and it's in my suitcase. Can't wait to play... So if you're coming to one of my workshops and it involves chipboard - don't miss out ;)

I have a couple of days in Anaheim to "rest" before I make my American teaching debut - Yay! I'll be teaching a class at a store called Timeless Treasures - thanks Nancy. So if you're in the area, you're invited! I have designed an 8x8 Bazzill Mono Mini album with a Valentine's theme. (check it out here) So come and share the love...

Had a quick walk around Dowtown Disney this evening, but it's really cold outside. I miss my sunshine!

Whatever your weather, enjoy your day.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm back... blog land that is.

Sorry to my friends who have been checking in with nothing to see. The last 2 months have been filled with so many changes. But.... there are so many exciting things on the horizon.

I had planned to do a "new year's thing", but guess what... today's the last day of the first month. So I'll just start from today, ok!

I might be back in blog land but far away from home in California where I'm visiting CHA to catch up on the Scrapbooking Industy and what's hot and new. I'm sitting in the hotel lobby with live entertainment - piano music that's making me completely home sick.

Last week I was with my special friends the Polka Dot Chicks, Amy Totty and Collins. Have you checked out their blog lately ( There's a link on the right side of my page. They post fun colour challenges and other great stuff {I've just made a guest appearance too ;) }

{L}ife is in the Details will be growing. There is so much good in my own life, so much that I want to share. I have exciting ideas, I'll be teaching an online class so you can take it anywhere in the world and I have another great event this year. Lots of work to do when I get back home. But that's still a week away, so I'll keep in touch this way (promise!)

I'd love to hear from you.