Happy new year if you are here!

This has been an unusually long absence from the blog for me - my apologies if you have been hanging out! Life has been busy and quiet at the same time and still recovering from the blows that 2015 dealt. But just wanted to pop in and say Happy 2016! May it be an amazing one. I will be back soon!
With LOVE and appreciation for the love and support! Without blog readers and followers - blogs are just meaningless words hanging out in space!
Here's to an absolutely amazing God filled new year!

Create - double page layout using a sketch.

Today I am sharing another double page layout I did for the November issue of Create magazine. The sketch was given to us as a single page sketch to work with, and I turned mine into a double page.
I used my much loved Lady Pattern Paper scraps along with some other paper scraps to complete the portion on the left. I pretty stuck to the sketch portion but changed it up a bit as I stretched it into a double page.
I love how the Lady Pattern Paper works perfectly with other paper ranges - effortlessly.
Down the middle of the photos on the right side of my layout I used a Celebr8 stencil and added some light stenciling and stamping on my background. A beautiful heart sticker all the way from Israel adorns the page - thanks Cecile! The stars scattered across the layout is from a frame pack by the talented Melody Ross/Chatterbox fame, and the flowers from my favourite The Wholesaler.Little Birdie, who makes loving flowers so easy!
Embellishments include tags, buttons, brads, diamante and metals.
 And don't forget the much loved sewing to add some lovely texture and pattern.
Thanks to Nabila for the photos of her gorgeous little girl!
Until next time - Head on over and see the other inspirational layouts in the last issue of Create Magazine.

Christmas Exploding box - The Wholesaler.

Over on The Wholesaler blog you can read all about my Christmas Exploding box - perfect to impress those crafting skeptics and make a statement. This truly is a magnificent piece that cause everyone to ooh and ahhh. So go on and give it a go...
 Making gift boxes has become a rather important and easy thing to do – so if you are a crafter then you really have no excuse, other than to have a fabulous gift box for treats and small gifts alike.
Years ago when I first made my first exploding gift box I turned it into a mini album rather than a box. I was pretty impressed with it and it had huge impact on everyone that viewed it. But nowadays I am much more of a simpler kind of crafter. So instead of making it complicated like we do, I made the same box using a festive theme.
I will use the box for a small gift or chocolaty treats instead and afterwards the recipient can recycle it and turn it into gift tags by simply cutting it apart, punching a small hole and adding some ribbon. This way no one will be stuck with something that can’t be used, gathering dust and adding clutter to their lives. A gift within a gift I say.

Create double page Christmas layout.

Today I am sharing my double page layout in the last issue of Create magazine. I used a combination of really old and slightly old patterned papers. This is one of my most favourite ever layouts simply because I could use what I had on hand instead of trying to compete with the Jones' and buy all the latest products and fancy embellishments.
The only new paper I used was the star pattern from Lady Pattern Paper at the bottom of the layout. I love the simplicity of the layout as well as all the little details using die-cuts, inks and stenciling with modelling paste.
How are you doing with your Christmas preparations?
And have you completed your festive layout yet - then simply add your photos from Christmas day and you are good to go.
Until tomorrow.... thanks for stopping by.

CREATE farewell.

It's with a heavy and sad heart that we say goodbye to CREATE Magazine by Scrapbook Generation.
The wonderful team has done such an amazing job with this publication and it will be missed by everyone who is anyone involved in scrapbooking.
I am honoured to have been a part of the 2015 design team and will treasure the memories always.
But it is not goodbye for always as we will still keep an eye out for the wonderful kits, specials on line and sketches - cause I am sure Debbie and Allison won't be quiet on that front.
So head on over and download or read your copy here
I will be sharing more details about my layouts in this issue in the week ahead.

Believe DIY Christmas Bunting for The Wholesaler.

Decorating for the festive season shouldn’t be stressful. This year I am using what I already have plus maybe a few extras to create beautiful and meaningful decorative elements that will fit right into my home effortlessly. 
Read all about it on The Wholesaler blog here
and see how I used my embossing folders, Cuttlebug and die to create this gorgeous bunting.
So quick and easy - just use what you've got!
And remember you can buy all the goodies directly off of The Wholesaler website and have it delivered to your local scrapbook store. Now that's what I call service with a smile!
Just going the extra mile.

Hello crazy beautiful world!

well what can I say - I have had a whirlwind month of October and then November started off with a fabulous teaching trip meeting some beautiful creative souls and ended up with a car accident that has left me well....a little fragile, bruised and just plain hurt! So needless to say I have neglected my posting on the blog and have fallen way behind on things that I have to do. But I am fine and will just keep on going. So my apologies for leaving you high and dry without any new reading material - I promise I will do better!

To start off I am on the Imagine Crafts Blog today with a fun Vintage inspired Christmas card.
So head on over to the blog for some inspiration using the amazing products by Imagine Crafts and Tsukineko!
I truly love how versatile their products are - and the world of creativity it inspires!
and if you are in South Africa, remember you can get all your Tsukineko inks from The Wholesaler or your nearest craft store!
#TheWholesaler #Tsukineko #JowilnaNolte #Scrapcouture #CoutureCreations #ImagineCrafts

Tomorrow I will be back with a Christmas inspired Bunting - and if you can't ait head on over to
The Wholesaler to view it today!

20 Things Only Highly Creative People Would Understand.

and so it is and going to be.... the truth about creative people by Kevin Kaiser

There’s no argument anymore. Neuroscience confirms that highly creative people think and act differently than the average person. Their brains are literally hardwired in a unique way. But that gift can often strain relationships. I’ve seen it firsthand while working with New York Times bestselling authors and Grammy-winning musicians.
If you love a highly creative person, you probably experience moments when it seems like they live in a completely different world than you. Truth is, they do. But trying to change them isn’t nearly as effective as trying to understand them.
It all begins by seeing the world through their lens and remembering these 20 things:

1. They have a mind that never slows down.

The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity. There is no pause button and no way to power it down. This can be exhausting at times but it is also the source of some crazy fun activities and conversations.

2. They challenge the status quo.

Two questions drive every creative person more than any others: What if? and Why not? They question what everyone else takes at face value. While uncomfortable for those around them, it’s this ability that enables creatives to redefine what’s possible.

3. They embrace their genius even if others don’t.

Creative individuals would rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they are, without compromise, is how they define success even if means being misunderstood or marginalized.

4. They have difficulty staying on task.

Highly creative people are energized by taking big mental leaps and starting new things. Existing projects can turn into boring slogs when the promise of something new and exciting grabs their attention.

5. They create in cycles.

Creativity has a rhythm that flows between periods of high, sometimes manic, activity and slow times that can feel like slumps. Each period is necessary and can’t be skipped just like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary.

6. They need time to feed their souls.

No one can drive cross-country on a single take of gas. In the same way, creative people need to frequently renew their source of inspiration and drive. Often, this requires solitude for periods of time.

7. They need space to create.

Having the right environment is essential to peak creativity. It may be a studio, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the house. Wherever it is, allow them to set the boundaries and respect them.

8. They focus intensely.

Highly creative people tune the entire world out when they’re focused on work. They cannot multi-task effectively and it can take twenty minutes to re-focus after being interrupted, even if the interruption was only twenty seconds.

9. They feel deeply.

Creativity is about human expression and communicating deeply. It’s impossible to give what you don’t have, and you can only take someone as far as you have gone yourself. A writer once told me that an artist must scream at the page if they want a whisper to be heard. In the same way, a creative person must feel deep if they are to communicate deeply.

10. They live on the edge of joy and depression.

Because they feel deeply, highly creative people often can quickly shift from joy to sadness or even depression. Their sensitive heart, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering.

11. They think and speak in stories.

Facts will never move the human heart like storytelling can. Highly creative people, especially artists, know this and weave stories into everything they do. It takes longer for them to explain something, explaining isn’t the point. The experience is.

12. They battle Resistance every day.

Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, writes:
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”
Highly creative people wake up every morning, fully aware of the need to grow and push themselves. But there is always the fear, Resistance as Pressfield calls it, that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how successful the person, that fear never goes away. They simply learn to deal with it, or not.

13. They take their work personally.

Creative work is a raw expression of the person who created it. Often, they aren’t able to separate themselves from it, so every critique is seen either as a validation or condemnation of their self-worth.

14. They have a hard time believing in themselves.

Even the seemingly self-confident creative person often wonders, Am I good enough? They constantly compare their work with others and fail to see their own brilliance, which may be obvious to everyone else.

15. They are deeply intuitive.

Science still fails to explain the How and Why of creativity. Yet, creative individuals know instinctively how to flow in it time and again. They will tell you that it can’t be understood, only experienced firsthand.http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/20-things-remember-you-love-highly-creative-person.html?dgs=2#

16. They often use procrastination as a tool.

Creatives are notorious procrastinators because many do their best work under pressure. They will subconsciously, and sometimes purposefully, delay their work until the last minute simply to experience the rush of the challenge.

17. They are addicted to creative flow.

Recent discoveries in neuroscience reveal that “the flow state” might be the most addictive experience on earth. The mental and emotional payoff is why highly creative people will suffer through the highs and lows of creativity. It’s the staying power. In a real sense, they are addicted to the thrill of creating.

18. They have difficulty finishing projects.

The initial stage of the creative process is fast moving and charged with excitement. Often, they will abandon projects that are too familiar in order to experience the initial flow that comes at the beginning.

19. They connect dots better than others.

True creativity, Steve Jobs once said, is little more than connecting the dots. It’s seeing patterns before they become obvious to everyone else.

20. They will never grow up.

Creatives long to see through the eyes of a child and never lose a sense of wonder. For them, life is about mystery, adventure, and growing young. Everything else is simply existing, and not true living.

Grunge sketch cards using the CURIO.

The day i made some sketch cards using the Silhouette Curio and fell head over heels in love with this amazing ability. Not only with the pens and the actual possibilities, but the fact that I can create funky and grungy and off-the-wall things that suit my home and work space so well. Yes that day!
So head on over to The Wholesaler's blog and see how the Curio got my vote 10/10 for becoming my best friend in crafting!
To purchase your Curio in South Africa you can head on over to the website and find a store near you - support local and get it through your favorite craft store today! You will love it as much as I do!

Create - double page layout.

Just reminder that the September issue of CREATE Magazine is live and you can download and read it at your own pace perusing leisurely through all the amazing inspiration from the team.
I am sharing this layout I created using the sketch9. I loved working with this sketch - and this was a real challenge using so many photos on a single page - yes I am a less is more kind of girl.
For my large "J" I used a grungeboard letter inked using dark brown walnut ink, then embossed with a layer of silver and gold embossing powder mixed together. Lastly I added a layer of StazOn Studio Glaze in Gold to add to the faux metal look. I love how this turned out.
So head on over and catch the magazine as well as previous issues all in one convenient location by clicking on the link above.
You can also Download some free sketches and play along and get published in a future issue - so go ahead and be inspired and CREATE! Until next time.

hello October blogging.

I can hardly believe it's October - the months and this year is just racing by! I am so behind blogging for the last part of September due to some technical difficulties but hopefully am back for good and regularly! Thanks for hanging out though - without blog readers and followers there really is no point to blogging! So please know that you are appreciated and loved!
For today I am sharing a few things and you can head on over to the blogs to read the full articles, and remember to leave some love there - thank you!
We are beginning to think about Christmas - gasp - I know - can we just catch up to this year and slow down for a second. But hey its true. so head on over to Lady Pattern Paper blog and see how I Created these cute little folded gift bag/boxes. So simple and yet so effective.
And over on The Wholesaler blog you can read all about my wonderful and sometimes frustrating experience with the NEW Silhouette CURIO machine and work space.
I am truly blessed to have been given this machine by our wonderful distributor The Wholesaler and Silhouette America. This is an amazing machine and if you are consider buying one - this-is-it!
 Well that's it for today! I will be back tomorrow with some more posts - full posts this time!
In the meantime have an amazingly creative day...and don't forget to book for this upcoming amazing event - you don't want to miss out!

So you got a Silhouette CURIO.

Warning! This is not a Silhouette Curio review by an expert but rather like the rest of us who had our hands on the Curio first, a very honest write up about this baby we have all been waiting for so patiently.
Welcome to frustration levels hitting the pitch of our very high thatch roof! Literally. This is me trying to install the Silhouette Curio as I excitedly opened the box to find everything I wasn’t expecting. Yes you heard me (insert gasp) I guess both of excitement and surprise.
First off the Curio is much smaller than what you think. It’s sleek and modern square shape had me fooled too – so no worries there feeling a bit like a dummy. Looks can be deceiving! I love the look though. As you unpack the box there is everything you need to get you started with this new toy serious machine. You will notice that the machine has loads of different matts, a funky platform, the normal ratchet blade as we know it, 2 x different embossing blades fine/wide, power cables and the normal i-guess-i-won’t-need-that-manual-and-CD.
So where do you start. Well fast forward to that real life moment when you decide to just update your current Silhouette software instead of installing it via the CD included in the box. BIG mistake. Not only did it crash my system, but Silhouette Studio has not worked since then. Plan B – fast forward and install the CD on another system where I am only a user and it crashes the system so that I can’t even open the Silhouette Studio. By now I am freaking out as I can envision that all my bought and free designs in my Library are lost. Had I only backed up the library as intended a million times before. Fast-fast forward and my DH computer wiz extraordinaire did back up the library as promised and I still have all my designs! Wheh!

You should know: that by the time you actually get your Curio you may have to go to the website anyway to get the updated version of the Software. Yes – seems like there was an update the 13th August rendering that very Important CD useless just like I thought. But you will have to wait and see what is shipped with your machine…

Ok – so now we have a Studio that works and I can finally concentrate on the task at hand. So everything there pretty much looks the same apart from a few extra buttons and functions to go with the newly included features and the main reason you got the machine right – embossing, stippling, debossing and etching.
 The main feature of the Curio is the extra height clearance the machine has. Hence the base plate with all the different matts i.e. the platforms that will allow you to draw, emboss and etch onto thicker material like balsa wood, metal etc. 

The Curio’s Platform

The Curio 8.5×6 inch base is included in your box. On either side there are plastic clips that hold the platforms in place. The hard base allows you to keep thicker material and other media from moving and slipping while being in the machine. Having said this, the Curio has a whopping 5mm height adjustment that needs to be filled to reach the bar. So it means that you have several cutting matts that can fill the area – much like a sandwich that has to be built up to reach the top. So the plastic clips are there to group the matts and keep them together while building up the height to reach the top.
The Curio comes with 2 types of platforms – 2 x 2mm platforms and 2 x 1mm platforms that you can clearly tell apart. An embossing matt mounted on a 1mm platform and a cutting matt mounted on a 1mm platform. The platforms are separate so you can remove them and chop and change as you need to.
 From left to right: pause button, reload button, on/off button, USB, power
What I really like about this base is that it has a precision loading system – this means that it will load the base exactly the same way each time. So it means that you can pause a process, remove the base, check the progress, reload the base, un-pause the machine and it will continue where it stopped. Awesome!

Remember this: The Curio is made for the bigger other stuff – the embossing, stippling and etching. So the actual cutting area is smaller than that of the CAMEO, but what I have found is that the Curio’s cutting and drawing functions are indeed a lot better than that of the CAMEO – in my opinion.

The Curio has an awesome system at its base to make it more stable – not that it really needs it. It has two pull out sections front and back – feet as you will to add extra stability for when you are embossing and etching weird large pieces of stuff I guess. But all in all I think this is amazing extra.

The Dual Carriage System

The Curio is the first machine with a dual carriage system. This means that instead of just one tool you can load two tools at the same time. So by using the dual carriage you can now smoothly jump from one command to another without pausing the actual job. You simply send the image to the Curio, tell it to draw in two colours OR score and emboss etc. you get the idea.
What I like most about this feature is that it is so easy to tell it what to do inside the Studio Software. You simply chose the tool 1 or tool 2 option and do whatever you want done.
So all in all the Curio is amazing, and although it will take a lot of getting used to this will soon become one of my favourite machines. This is a basic intro to all the differences with the actual machine. The obvious ones at least, next up I will share the Studio workspace for the Curio.

Why The Curio?

Well what can I say – why would you need the Curio as well as the CAMEO. I personally think and know that the Curio is a game changer. It is made to work hard, made for a specific purpose and it is amazing!
The machine is firm, sturdy and functional. The Curio is the machine that will take your hobby a step further and help you dabble in home décor and decorating. It will change your life and you won’t have enough hours in the day to try everything that comes to mind – it really is a must. You can do everything you have come to expect of Silhouette as a brand and then so much more.
Here’s to many more hours of experimenting and getting creative as soon as I have my hands on all the other extras soon to be launched!

So all in all – yes this machine will be your husband’s machine as much as it will be yours – be warned!

Amplify Bee Mine!

Creating texture and dimension is so easy with the amazing Neon Amplify. The perfect amount of bulk to create loads of interest on cards and other projects - have you tried your hand at it yet? You will simply love it!
Head on over to the imagine crafts blog for a how to on this amazing product and card.
Happy inking!

Project Life Pocket Style Scrapbooking with Lady Pattern Paper

I cringe every time I hear someone say something negative about Project Life, pocket scrapbooking or about how expensive this hobby is. And as a local memory keeper I want to assure you that you can afford this hobby and I want to show you how…
With the Proudly South African paper releases by Lady Pattern Paper distributed by The Wholesaler you can create your own pocket style cards in a few easy steps. Yes you heard me – you don’t have to buy expensive specific product for memory keeping (yes I know we all want too – but as creative souls should we not get over that and make our own?).
With my regular scrapbooking pages I have so many off-cuts and embellishments left over, and I can’t stand throwing them out, but instead of hoarding them like in the past they have found a home in my Project Life layouts. And so came to be the Lady Pattern Paper project life cards for this layout.
I wanted to keep the layout simple, classy and elegant and the So Buff and Onyx Black colour range of off-cuts worked perfectly.
Step 1 - I started off by cutting my papers to measure 4×6” and 3×4” and then rounded the corners. Cut as many as you want for the pockets that won’t have photos in them.
Step 2 - To add journaling to my cards I first drew up a text box in a word document and printed it onto white typing paper.
 Step 3 - Once I was happy with the placement I adhered the cut cards to the printed sample page using a sticky square to hold it in place temporarily.

Step 4 - I place the page into my printer again and sent the same journaling to print, but this time onto my pocket cards. And so I could quickly and easily add my journaling to my custom made Lady Pattern Paper cards. TIP: I added some hand doodling and borders around my journaling for added details. I used a few simple embellishments to dress up my cards.
Step 5 - For this card I used a single base card and then cut another card slightly shorter and adhered them together to create a two-toned effect. I added some gold stamped numbers using foam stamps to this card.
 Step 6 - Another two toned card with some embellishments and then some gold paint around the edges.
 And in true Lady Pattern Paper style this Basic Essentials range is perfect to mix and match in with Project Life cards and other embellishments. I love the clean and feminine look of this layout and it has mostly to do with the simple way of memory keeping and because I used the much loved basics from Lady Pattern Paper.

So no more excuses why you can’t keep your memories beautifully in one place and updated. Hope you enjoy your Project Life scrapbooking with Lady Pattern Paper!

Have you booked?

It's been a while since I have blogged - i took a few personal days and look its all still here! thanks for hanging around though! In the meantime I did a lot of catching up on random things. But.... just wanted to hop in today and say

Have you booked your seat for this Event? So excited to be part of this Scrapbook Studio Event – Couture Creations is a great International Scrapbook Company whose products are distributed by The Wholesaler in South Africa!
Book TODAY by just clicking on this link

NEW Basic Essentials Lady Patetrn Paper – Just Perfect!

Classic, elegant with loads of spunk – that’s the NEW Basic Essentials range from Lady Pattern Paper. This range is perfect for past, present and future memory keeping – perfect with everything included from bold and bright to elegant and classy. I think I am in love with the range!
So when I first saw the range I was so excited, not only because the palette included my favourite colour RED, but because I could literally combine it with so many different paper ranges. It truly is the perfect companion for all your beautiful paper ranges from boyish, to girly to travel and anything in between too.
For this launch project I chose a simple layout design to showcase the beautiful patterns and colours and truly how versatile it can be. I used it for some old travel photos alongside a beautiful patterned paper, some rub-ons and smaller embellishments supporting my theme. All in all this is such a gorgeous range that it can work for anything and with anything you can imagine. The only thing standing between you and loads of creative fun is your imagination.
 To me personally, a travel page can include anything from dreaming about far off places, to a starry celebration of something amazing in my life, and this paper range gave me the perfect mix of classic and timeless with a bit of spunk added in the stars. I pulled the large star element from the starry paper and used it as inspiration for a fun over-sized element. Inside the die-cut star I used a beautiful patterned paper star – and it works perfectly, giving this layout a fun and modern twist on a traditional travel layout.
 “not all who wander are lost” and not all who scraps with their hearts are lost cases.
The range includes beautiful red, green, black and buff papers in designs that range from classic stars to a beautiful trellis design that makes my heart skip a beat or two.
You know when you can exactly see what else you can use it for and the creativity just doesn’t flow fast enough – this is how I feel about this paper in the new colours and designs.
I look forward to being creative and showing you the full potential of how the new Basic Essentials range in its myriad of colours and designs can be turned into anything – fit for any theme of memory keeping. And don’t forget about the card-making and invitation possibilities too.
Here’s to another successful paper launch by Lady Pattern Paper – proudly local!
#LadyPatternPaper #TheWholesaler #Scrapcouture #DoublePageLayout

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