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!