Happy Birthday Dad

It was my dad’s birthday on Saturday and this is the card I made for him this year. I used the Creative Expressions Shadow Box Collection-Celebrations die set for the frame and also the small die cut elements using a colour scheme of blues and yellows.


The apt quote is a Woodware stamp and I added my dad’s age of course!


I used an 8×8 white card blank and stamped small images in sky blue Memento ink to create a subtle background. Die cut and punched stars in yellow added more interest.


Personalised with die cut letters:


The inside of the card and the envelope are decorated to coordinate with the card front. The greeting is another Woodware stamp which I like to use when creating 8×8 cards as it is a very large stamp.


It was lovely to spend a day together and I cooked a special dinner and even made a cake, but no candles as 84 would not have fitted!


X for Xtrail SUV

I was finding X quite a tricky letter for my South African album until Dawn came up with using the name of our hire vehicle which was a great idea. If you look at the left hand photo you can just see Baboons playing in the road!20191031_153104

The title and quote at the bottom of the page have been cut on my Cricut. I have added a lot of stamping to the layout using a stamp set from the Creative Stamping magazine that had some good travel images and quotes. I used the tyre tread behind the title.20191031_153116

We covered a lot of miles in the car travelling along the garden route across miles and miles of open farmland with huge mountains as a backdrop. All those clouds yet no rain!


We saw some really dramatic scenery, especially as we left the garden route and drove through high mountain passes on Route 62 to the Little Karoo interior, which is like an arrid wasteland, especially after three years of drought.


We occassionally saw wild ostrich or baboons but very little else and crossed numerous dry river beds.


We also saw very few cars on the road, and made sure we always had plenty of large water bottles on board, just in case!

L for LION

Another layout for my South Africa album and I have made use of the left over black negative from my A for Adventure page which I have matted onto beige card to use as the base for my layout.


My male lion photo has been slipped underneath the shape of africa. We really were this close!  I have added a title using a lion shape with the word cut out from the centre made with my Cricut. 20191031_153042

All the stamping on this layout is from a very old Woodware stamp set called African Adventure designed by Francoise Read. I used the small square stamp to create embellishments by simply stamping onto a selection of coloured card scraps.20191031_153038

We were not able to get close to these lionesses with their cubs as they were at the top of a large hill with a ravine beteen us, but fortunately Dawn’s expensive camera managed to get some great shots. The photo below however was taken by my husband at another big cat encounter as a lioness walked right past our jeep! Close up big cats are HUGE!


As the lioness approached I think Dawn stopped breathing! I was just behind her and got this shot:


She then looked at us with distain and walked away across the plain! What a memorable encounter.


Congratulations Kieran & Bekah

Paul and myself spent a wonderful day on Wednesday celebrating the marriage of our friends son. This is the card I made for their special day.20191031_163607.jpg

I have kept the colours classic and used white on white plus touches of silver. The background has been dry embossed. All the flowers and foliage are Cheery Lynn dies and I have added a sprinkle of pearls to finish.20191030_082115

I have used a Sweet Dixie die for the Mr & Mrs sentiment, and then added the bride and grooms initials.20191030_082130

The inside of the card and the envelope are decorated to match:


We were so fortunate that despite a wet forecast the day stayed bright and sunny, although admittedly rather chilly. k13After the ceremony we all threw dried red maple leaves instead of confetti which was a lovely idea, and very eco friendly!k14Everyone was so happy and the bride looked beautiful and her groom very handsome!k1I loved the bridesmaids dresses. Each a different style but all either burgundy or silvery grey:k7My friend Helen as the mother of the groom looked stunning in silver grey with touches of burgundy.20191030_132502This is one of my favourite photos of myself with my goddaughter Louise who was a bridesmaid, and sister of the groom.74615414_2504623002918098_2326287053542653952_n

And finally a photo of the cake. It was made by Bekah’s grandfather and the decoration was fabulous. From the bottom up the cakes were: traditional fruit cake, red velvet, chocolate, and lemon & poppy seed. k12

A wedding is such a joyous occasion and we loved being part of it.

G for Garden

We stayed in a traditional gable styled Africana guest house in Oudshoorn. Although the area is still under water restrictions due to a severe and prolonged drought the owner was a keen gardener so had drained his swimming pool to keep his garden growing. We showered over large buckets so the water could be saved.20191024_161840

I found this technique on YouTube by Marta Lapkowska. I started painting some round blobs and whilst still wet sprayed clean water on top, then held the card vertically to create the running drips. I had already trimmed my 12×12 white card slightly smaller so I could mat it onto coloured card once I was finished.20191022_140105I mopped up the drips with some clean card and used that for my O for Ostrich layout!Once the paint was dry I used a variety of Sakura pens to add doodles to the shapes as I did on my F for Friends layout. There is no right or wrong way to do this so very relaxing to create. 20191023_083410I also added a frame around the layout using small scribbled circles.20191023_083401The title has been cut on my Cricut.20191024_161747Journaling is written dircetly onto the background.20191024_161602The guest house consisted of four double ensuite rooms built at the bottom of the garden into a steep slope.25 With views across to the mountains:20190912_175102

Two covered terraces gave a lovely spot for a cup of tea, or glass of wine.

Our host had imported lots of bulbs from Holland. The clivia and amerylis massed in both borders and pots were stunning.


As well as plants the garden was filled with lots of classical ornaments.

This life size sculture was just outside our room:

We spent a very comfortable two nights at the guest house whilst exploring the area, and enjoyed some lovely meals in local resturaunts. Our host Morkel also cooked us a very delicious breakfast to start each day and kept us entertained with his chatty conversation!


We were very excited to see our first wild ostrich when we visited Cape Point, and later in the holiday we visited an Ostrich farm and learnt a lot more about them. I have already made an “O” layout but have so many memorable photos from our adventure I will be repeating letters in my album.

20191024_162224I started with some plain white card and used it to mop up some water colours on my work surface from another project! Once dry I matted it onto burnt orange 12×12 card, and used another shade of burnt orange to mat my photos.

20191024_154642The title is a pre-designed Cricut cut that was perfect for my theme. I used an EK Success decorative edge punch to add extra interest along the top of the page.20191024_154627I die cut some large white egg shapes to use for my journaling tags and glued them along the base of the page.20191024_161930The eggs are really tough and we were encouraged to stand on top of them. Sure enough they didn’t break! The ostrich egg is the largest egg in the world and weighs 1.5kg. It would take two hours to hard boil it!20190913_153109We watched a craftsman carve them with intricate pictures, although back in time they were used as water containers by the indigenous population. Amazingly the ostrich eye is larger than its brain!20190913_154227On the farm the eggs are incubated in warming cupboards and take around 40 days to hatch. The chicks are reared in large groups with two foster “parents” and by mimicking them they learn how to peck and scratch.


We were able to get very close to the birds and even fed them with a large metal spoon!

We also tried ostrich meat at the local restaurants. I was expecting a type of gamey turkey but in fact it was more like a beef steak and delicious. A red meat but very low in cholesterol.

On the game reserve we were told that lions also enjoy the meat as in the wild they are a favourite lion meal, along with Kudu, a type of antelope. Although flightless the ostrich can run up to 43 miles an hour and has a vicious kick, which combined with its excellent eyesight are its main defences against attack.

F for Friends

It was great fun to share a second holiday with our friends Dawn and Graham. Although we all contributed Dawn did the bulk of the research and planning for our adventure and put together a fantastic itinerary.

20191022_160847I saw this idea on YouTube (Leslie Writes It All) and was inspired to have a go myself and use the idea on a layout. I started with some water coloured shapes.20191017_205925Once the paint was dry I used a Sakura micron pen to add doodles. This was really relaxing to do and a brilliant technique.20191017_223817I added more detail on top using a variety of other Sakura pens (moonlight, stardust, white) plus added a scribbled border to frame the layout.20191022_145909I used the same red/orange paint colours to paint a piece of card, and once dry die cut letters for my title from it. I like the variation of colour you get using this technique.20191022_145901

The photo was taken on our first afternoon having just visited the penguin colony at Boulders Beach. Within half an hour we would be paddling in the sea like school children!