Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lovely Little Art Blocks

Hi there lovelies,

So here they are. My four little art blocks that were part of the Saxonwold Art Gallery event during end of October up to 2nd of November 2014. I was so proud to be part of this event. A great experience in general. 

Homeward Bound - 25cm x 25cm on canvas

Hold On - 25cm x 25cm on canvas

Homeward Hope - 25cm x 25cm on canvas

Strong Against The Wind - 25cm x 25cm on canvas

Friday, October 17, 2014

Creative Art Block Exhibition

Hi there lovelies,

I am very excited to announce that I am taking part in the Marlise Le Roux Saxonwold Art Events Gallery Creative Art Block Exhibition in Johannesburg at the end of this month.

I am doing 4 pieces for this event.

For more info, please contact artist and owner, Marlise Le Roux.

Hope to see some of you there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scrapbook layouts, markets, artworks in the making and life in progress!

Hi there lovelies,

October already and I have tried to blog more often but yet again time has gone buy quicker than expected and I am now finally forcing myself to at least do this post now. It is midnight already but it is now or never.

So our Willows Night Market has come and gone. The coldest night of the year and we decide to go out and participate in the madness. You have to be either crazy or very very determined. All I can say it was pretty cool, and by that I mean freeeeeeeeeeeezing! Thank you to everyone who supported us!

We also did a food stall and I felt very proud when a "food connoisseur" gave me the greatest compliment ever: "So, do you have your own restaurant?" she asked. This was my first try. Not to bad for a first try if someone who owns her own restaurant spots some kind of talent in you. Maybe someday I will open that little restaurant and feed the world. :)

What have I been up to?
First of all, I had to recuperate from the market experience. It took me almost two weeks to feel like I have the guts to tackle another project.

I have been organizing my studio again because clutter stresses me out and then I can't focus on any of the trillion projects I want to do. I still have a couple that is unfinished but at least I can now see them again.

I love scrapbooking but as of late I have not been able to attend to it as much as I have planned to. At least I finished this double page layout I have been working on. I still need to do some journaling but plan to just type it up and add it later. I left space for the journaling on both pages. These are photos I printed for my childhood album. On the right, I had doubles and decided to use them all to build the page. I like the way it came out. I found a little swimsuit sticker and it fit in nicely. In this design I am celebrating having friends and cousins and thinking about years have gone and where we are today…being married, having different lives of our own. I don’t have contact with the friends on the right as we moved away and never had the privilege to get to know each other as adults. At least I have some contact still with my cousins on the left.



I had to add this sentiment. I love kids but I wanted to remind myself that I use to be one and as such, the fact that we were born is a blessing in itself. God never makes mistakes. I also still hope and pray for my own babies someday. Can't wait to love them to bits and scrapbook it all! I did a couple of project life layouts for this album but will leave that for another post.

My husband’s birthday:
I decided to make him a couple of things for his birthday. The Silhouette cutting machine is a joy. I don’t even have the latest model but I love the freedom it gives me. I can cut my own designs or stuff I downloaded for free. This was a really quick card that happened in minutes.



I made a couple of things I knew my husband would like or that represented him. He loves lamas, landrovers, adventure, bicycles, photography, aeroplanes, he has a moustache, always looking for his glasses or looking after it. He is very particular that it should never be scratched or smudged…and then I found a little silhouette figure that represents one of his stances. I have so many photographs of him standing in this way. I also made a little pouch for all his memorabilia to go straight to the scrapbook afterwards so it wouldn’t get lost or damaged. During the birthday week, I hung it up with string in the living room. He loved that idea!

At the moment I am working on some new art that is for a show held at the Marelise Le Roux Saxonwold Art gallery in Johannesburg at the end of the month. I had the privilege to meet her a couple of weeks back. (Not name dropping but I found out I married her husband's cousin or is it she married my husband's cousin. Anyway, it doesn't matter because I love having a creative family and adding her to the list is a pleasure) What a lovely lady and so talented. She invited me to take part in an Art block exhibition with various other artists. I am very excited about this. I will blog about the event some later on. Her idea came from the Art Block exhibition held at the Spier wine farm in the Western Cape. I had the privilege to see it last year in August when we attended a family wedding. The various artists' work together makes for a lovely display. Here is a sneak peek on some of my ideas for the art blocks. I am going to do only four and have given my sister and fellow artist the opportunity to do the other four.


This is my favourite:

I just love these little paper bows! I also used the Silhouette to cut the owl. This machine makes card making so much easier and cards look much more rounded and professional.

Sometimes it feels like I am in a slump. So many ideas and projects I want to see happen but it feels like I am either overwhelmed by it all or stuck because their ideas are too many and the time too little. Being married, managing relationships and life and home is a tall order for anyone. Then I remember that I am just human and not super human and that it is O.K. to LIVE the life I have been given before I plan to scrapbook it.  When I look back on the last couple of months since August, I realise that I have been living it. Even if it is at a much slower pace now than when I was younger and working as a fulltime teacher, but at least now I get to do other things I wasn’t able when I had a fulltime job outside of my home life. I love my art and being able to create when ever the inspiration hits me. I love that I can be available for my family and have the energy and time to be a wife to my husband. We sometimes let our jobs and work and the things we want to do, steal the time we need to spend with our loved ones. I realise still, that I need to make it a priority daily.

Finally, I want to make a statement about the month of October. I am a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ. I do not celebrate Halloween and do believe it to be a pagan celebration. I am against it and will always discourage others from it. I urge you to get educated about the roots of this so called “holiday”. It is absolute evil and I hope none of you gets sucked in with the hype of it. I will never design or use designs or paper with this theme. I take a stand on this because I believe it to be important to stand against things like this and speak out.

For me, October is the month my sister has her birthday and all the Jacaranda trees are in full bloom in Pretoria. So it will always be a month of love and colour. This is a work done by my sister. Mixed media on a wood block.

Happy Jacaranda Season to you all. May your allergies survive it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New little August artwork and a sweet little card

Hi there lovelies,

Just finished another artwork this month. I don't know what I will call her but someone mentioned it looked like she was celebrating that special time in a women's life...I gather she was referring to being pregnant because it is the most special time in my book. Someday soon I hope to talk from experience. Then I gave my artwork another look and why not...sure, she looks like she might be. I didn't really intend for her to be pregnant. Just shows you how people see different things in different artworks.

I have a house-obsession so always trying to add one or two to my art. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am dreaming of my own dream house or the fact that family means so much to me. 
I also love all the bright colours on this one. Using paper to create a patchwork background in the landscape as well as in the girl's hair represents to me all the different aspects of our lives as women. We have so many things going on, all at once. This girl looks happy with her patchwork life and landscape because God's Grace and Love is the reason everything fits together and blends nicely. She has a purpose and so she is happy and content. 

Thank You card:
My mom did some sewing for me today so I just wanted a quick card to tell her how much I appreciate her. She did it with so much love. 

I used a busy pattern on the cardstock but kept the rest simple. 
I used my Silhouette to cut the vintage sewing machine and the berry wreath. 
I used watercolour paint to distress the wreath.
I layered two pieces of cardstock, one striped blue and white and another that matched the earthy colours in the card. I stitched it to the card with my sewing machine. Mom did some sewing for me so I did some sewing for her. :)

I am a big fan of anything "Project Life" so always collecting images that I can use on my
Project Life layouts. This one is from a collection that had a couple of these either in circles or in blocks. I chose this one because it says what I wanted to say. Will be using it again on Project Life filler cards.
I distressed it with some watercolour and Stickles.

Finally, I embellished with pearls and diamante and a little string. Done!

I just love all things paper. I will probably say this again and again, but it's just such a wonderful medium to work with. I think it is therapy to my soul! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. This one went quicker than my usual cards. I made a choice not to over-think it and just kept it as simple as I could. 

Happy go Artsy will be at the Willows Night Market on the 29th of August. Come and say hi! We will be showing our art, both Art by Ansu and Surita Brink's art

It is officially Spring in South Africa! The first trees and plants in our garden are blooming and the first rains have fallen. My sister shared this collage of the evidence and I loved it so much I just had to share with you:

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Scrap-a-doodles Design Team 2014 Audition" Cards, cards and more handmade cards!

Hi there lovelies,

Today I am sharing my love for card making with you all. I have been making cards since at school, and at university, I even started selling them for pocket money. Over the years my style and approach have changed and grown as I changed and grew. I really feel like the last couple of years I have found my own unique approach and just love making these individualized cards. I probably won’t grow rich making them but I do enjoy the love, time and care that goes into making these cards.

I begin by thinking about the person receiving the card. I think about what they like or what I would like to say to them to show my love and appreciation. I put my heart and creativity into these and most of them take me up to two or three days from conceptualizing the idea, researching images to designing and producing these cards. I also love scrapbooking and all paper products. So for me, it is all a creative process and therefore I can easily jump from creating my mixed media art portraits to scrapbooking to card making and other craft projects. Currently, I am working on projects to design my own paper ranges as well as designing layouts and cards for my Project Life album….a very large undertaking in the making.

To recap the work of the last couple of months, I decided to blog about all my favourite cards up to date. And drum-roll please….here they are:

April 2014 Cards:

The first card was made for a friend’s birthday. It has become a yearly tradition to attend her birthday tea party. Making her a card is just a very special thing for me. I love spoiling my friends and I hope they love being spoiled. As the saying goes, 'it is greater to give than to receive', and for me, the fun and joy lies in the giving!

Also in April, we celebrated Good Friday. I used my little flower punch which I totally love, to create these little Cross Cards. I made them for family members and one of my friends.

The final card for April was a commission for an 80th birthday that was well received.

May 2014 Cards:
In May I was a very busy lady. I made two exploding box cards. They are quite the trend now. Just love these cards because I love loads of detail and they allow you to add lots of it. The first was for my parents’ 49th wedding anniversary and I think this is my favourite card to date…I worked hard on this one to get it just right. I already wrote a separate post on this so take a look at my May blog posts for more detail. What I love most is the mini wedding cake inside.

The second exploding box card was turned into a little house for a housewarming friendship gift. That’s right, all of my cards are meant to be the gift in itself. It takes so much time and love that it has to be more than a little note or something that you read once and then throw out or place into a drawer or box never to be seen again. Some of my recent customers said they are going to frame their cards. The box card would be difficult to frame but you can display them nicely on a little shelf somewhere. For this one, I had to design the roof of the house from scratch. I had very little time to finish it so I didn't add a lot of detail on it, keeping it simple.

The third card for May went together with the housewarming exploding box card. It was a quick birthday card for the same person. Again I used my little flower punch.

Then I had another commission for a birthday card for an elderly lady who loves reading books. I was asked to include a mini book on the card and it was a little challenging deciding what to do. In the end, it came together nicely. I am using the Silhouette cutting machine and learning at the speed of light. This machine is really changing the way I make cards. Cutting out images is becoming easier by the day.

Another birthday in May and for this one I created a Project Life styled photo book for this friend’s birthday and a little hand-painted card. I wasn't happy with the painted flowers but I have come to realize that it’s OK to not be perfect or do things perfectly. In the process, you grow, learn and the little imperfections make it great in the end.

Take note: there was a little technical trouble with this album and some of the images rotated themselves back on their sides...feeling frustrated. I have turned them in Picasa twice now and they keep on doing it. ;( 

Then came mother’s day. I had to somehow improve on last year’s card which was still on display until recently. My mom just loved her card. I had to make two: one for mom and one for my mother-in-law. In my haste to finish my mother-in-law’s card, I didn't paste the letters to the word ‘mother’ in the right order and she obviously did notice but loved it so that she didn't want me to fix it. Mistakes like that keep you humble, right. Winking smile

It seems like I have made birthday cards like crazy this year. But isn't it like that every year? I have to prioritize and decide who gets a card and who just gets a nice text message or email or even phone call. It is too expensive to send snail mail to every single person I know. So I hope I’m not in trouble over this. Winking smile

Another special card is for a very special lady. I met her in 2010 while volunteering at a local children’s home. She was my assistant in the home and she has such a special personality. Quiet and very diligent. I just love her strong quiet way. She is so very dependable and it is clear that she is doing her job for more than just the salary. When I left there I vowed that I would come back for her and now she works for my mom and me and we don’t know what we would do without her. I hope she will be around to help raise my kids one day. So I made her this card for her birthday.

It seems like I didn't make any cards in June because I had other projects. One of these is the Happy Go Artsy retreat that we are marketing now for August. I hope some of you attend. Go over to our Happy Go Artsy blog for more details.

Then came July.

July 2014 cards:
I love how these cards turned out!!! A thank you card for gifts received from a cousin. Yes, more birthday cards and another anniversary card.

My previous blog post highlighted this thank you card with a red typewriter.

A very special friend, who is my age, had her birthday last week and we were invited to dinner at her place. We all had to bring a dish and it was a really nice evening. My sister and I made her a little mixed media painting which I am planning to duplicate for someone else as a Christmas gift this year. I designed the painting last year, we updated it a bit and personalized it to fit a single lady. She loved it and had a whole story to tell about what she identified in the painting from her favourite place in the country, the Western Cape. Her card was a pleasure to make. I just love this little boy meets girl icons and cute little houses. Something about it draws me in. Maybe because I am very family orientated. Maybe because I am dreaming of owning my own home someday soon. Or maybe just because it's cute.

The artwork

I truly have been productive. What I enjoy most is that I get to work with paper. All kinds and colours and designs…it just thrill me! I love the feel of it. I love the fact that it is fragile and will probably not last forever…just like we are fragile and we need to appreciate every moment that is given to us.

A card also doesn't last forever so when you do receive a handmade one from someone, you should realize the love and effort that went into it, and that says something about what that person is trying to show you: LOVE! This is my way of communicating my love to those who matter to me. I hope this post has inspired you to start creating your own cards. How boring just to pop into a store and grab a printed one when you can make it yourself. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, but the process is well worth it.

It has been cold in Pretoria the last couple of days, so hoping you are keeping warm in your part of the country.

Till next time, create on!