Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Card Picture

Hi There

Do you know the part in The Bible where it talks about "weeping and gnashing of teeth" ?
If you want to know what that looks like, come to my house when it is time for the yearly Family Christmas Card Picture Taking....(cue in scary music here)
You would think I was asking each one of them to donate a kidney, or worse....
My 10 year old daughter still loves it, but she is sadly the only one.
Lets just say that on picture day, there is not very much "Christmas Spirit" in this household...

This year, I came up with a different plan., that I thought they would be more willing to do . I was "sort of " right. My oldest grudgingly agreed to participate, but made sure I understood that I was ruining his reputation...LOL.

I took three different pictures of them in poses to make up the letters : J O Y

Oldest put his foot down when it came to the "O", and refused to make up the other half with his brother, so I had to improvise...

I flipped the picture, put the two sides together, and blurred out the background to make an "O".

The "Y" was pretty straightforward.
Then I had to go and blur out all the backgrounds. If I ever get to do this again, I would make sure that the background and the floor are the same color.

After editing the pics in Photoshop Elements, I made a collage on Picasa 3,  and  Voila!

Can you see that it spells JOY?

I was afraid some people might not see it, so I used this template from Walmart's photo to make my Christmas Card...

I really enjoyed doing this. Wish I had more willing "subjects", but, never the less, I have my Christmas Card! Yeah!

Have a great weekend!

Suzanne  xx

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Making Christmas Stars

Having a nice, laid back Sunday, and decided to show you my stars I made a couple of months ago at our bi-annual craft day, hosted by a friend's MIL.
Lauren, the hostess, was so kind to cut the shapes out for us before we got there. She even sanded it for us! All we needed to do was paint to our little hearts' content.
I decided to do blue and silver, and left the centres white, because I wanted to decoupage pictures of each of my three kids in the middle...

 Then I decided I did not like the gold polka dots, so I painted over it, and just splattered gold, silver and blue all over.
 I never got around to doing the decoupage (surprise!) , so when it got time for me to decorate last week, I just grabbed a white chalkboard marker, and wrote the letters of JOY on there.

Here are the NOEL blocks I made last year..

And this is my buffet all decorated for Christmas. I like to keep this one more monochromatic, this time in blue, white and silver.

Remember my silver tray chalkboard that said "Harvest" before?

...aaand that's all for now. Have a great week, Everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, ( PS: so does my Attitude....)

I have a confession to make. I might as well tell you now. Hope you won't judge me.....I am a Grinch.
There ...I said it. Didn't use to be one, just the past 8 years.
Christmas time is not a jolly time for me since we moved to the US. Everything that was Christmas to me in the past, I can't have here. In South Africa, this would be the end of the school year, and our long summer break. That meant vacation by the beach, and seeing our family.
Ok, don't worry, you can stop the sad violins now. I am adjusting. And I know Christmas is really about Jesus, I just want to explain why I have to work hard at being full of cheer.
Then there is the small problem of my lacking in decorating skills when it comes to Christmas. Don't ask me why...I wish I knew. I really don't like it. Especially the tree.Ribbons drive me crazy! I wish I has a dollar for every time I tried to decorate with a ribbon and had to do it over, and over, to try and get it right. This year I decided to give my daughter her own tree to decorate, and I just have my collection of little trees all over.

I do love Santa's, little trees that don't have to be decorated, and angels.
So, here are some of my attempts....

                                      Shower curtain turned table runner.

                           Another shower curtain used as a table cloth..

OK, I realize I sounded really negative there a minute ago, but I am really not..
Now that the decorating is done, I love the Chrismassy atmosphere. I love the candle light, Christmas music (some more that other, lol), making cookies and peppermint bark, hot chocolate, buying gifts for my loved ones, watching Christmas movies with my daughter, going for drives through the city to look at the lights,Christmas plays, and many more. (Did you guess from my title that I saw Junie B. Jones with my daughter this week?)
So, I really do wish you a very merry and blessed Christmas!
PS: I know I have not blogged a lot lately, but I finally have something to blog about again, so see you soon!

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Modern Day Pilgrim

On Thanksgiving Day, eight years ago, we arrived in Seattle to make the USA our new home.

I will never forget the captain's words after we touched down . "Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and welcome home."
I just ,started to sob, because this was not my home.

My home was where my heart was, and my heart was back in South Africa. My Mother Country, where my family was still reeling from saying goodbye to us. Where I grew up, went to school, had my first crush, had my first kiss, met my husband, got married, had my three children....

This new country held no memories for me, no familiar, friendly faces, no nostalgia invoking smells and no favorite places and sights...yet.

It did , however hold a family whom my husband had only briefly met on a previous trip.They very graciously invited us to stay with them IN THEIR HOME for a whole month, while they showed us the ropes and helped us get the important things , like a bank account , a cell phone and a vehicle.
I will never forget your kindness, Brooke, and Dough, and you are one (or two) of the " things" I am thankfull for today.

I have since made my own memories here, took some awesome trips, seen some beautiful places, and made wonderful friends. I have cried many tears these past eight years, but I have also laughed a lot, loved a whole lot, trusted, believed, dared and most of all, grown as a person.

Although I will always miss South Africa, with its abundant wildlife,

beautiful beaches and mountains, its people with their hilarious sense of humor, and of course my friends and family,

I am beginning to see this, here, as my home.

The last eight years have not been easy, but it has been good, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here, and to be a part of this country.



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