A picture is worth a 1000 words

A picture is worth a 1000 words

Canvas Scrapbooking

Friday, June 12, 2009

It is a lot of fun to alter and scrap on a canvas. It is also a great gift to make for someone else.

I did a class with a lady called Anna-Karin over last weekend about Textured Canvas Scrapbooking. We made a canvas with a lot of texture and using different paint techniques.

I started with one on Friday. But to me it was not that big a success. The final product is growing on me... I was a bit disappointed. The picture I took to put on the canvas are one of my wedding pictures, and it's a very special picture. But in the end I used another picture on the flop one and on Saturday, I made a second one, which I love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tutorial: Textured

  • Canvas
  • Gel Medium
  • Acrylic Scumble Glaze
  • Acrylic Paint (white/cream and a dark brown)
  • Patterned Papers
  • Embossed Patterned Papers
  • Chipboard Embellishments and Letters
  • Die-cuts


  1. Paint the canvas with a thin layer of cream or white paint, the edges are the most important. If you want to you can paint some of the chipboard pieces too. Let it dry.
  2. Cut and tear up the different patterned papers and embellishments and place them so that they cover the entire canvas. They should overlap a bit. If you have decorative scissors, you can use them on a few of the edges. The goal is to get a lot of interesting texture. Don't worry if the colours or patterns don't seem to fit together.
  3. Collage the papers and embellishments onto the canvas using the gel medium. Simply paint a layer of the gel on a part of the canvas and palce the papers on top of it. Make sure there are no air bubbles underneath and press down the edges of the paper. Continue to the next section. Let it dry.
  4. Do the same with the embellishments and the title. Let it dry.
  5. Paint the entire canvas with the gel medium once or twice. Make sure that everything is firmly adhered. Let dry in between and after.
  6. Mix a bit of white and cream paint, and add about the same amount of scumble glaze. The amount of scumble glaze depends on the thickness of the paint and on how transparant you want the mixture to be. Scumble glaze makes the paint a bit transparant and also gives you more time to play with the paint as it dries slower.
  7. Paint the paint mixture over the entire canvas. If there are any areas that you think got too much paint, use a cloth or a paper towel to carefully wipe off some of the paint.
  8. Mix about 1 part brown paint, 2 parts scumble glaze and 3 parts water. Paint this over ther entire canvas and leave it for a minute or tow. Rub off most of it with a cloth. Leave it in some places to add dimension. Let dry.
  9. If you want to, add a rub-on or two. Stamps also work great.
  10. Adhere your photo to the canvas.
  11. You can also embellish the edges of the canvas with rub-ons, journalling, stamps, etc
  12. Add a hook to the back. Enjoy!

This is what the "flop" looks like:

And the pretty one!!!!!!!!!!!!! (as you can see this one is a whole lot nicer than the first one!)

Happy Canvas Scrapping!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here are some devine recipes that I got on Facebook for all those chocolate fanatics, like myself!

Chocolate and Mint Tart with Creme de Menthe Cream

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 3 eggs
  • 160ml thickened cream
  • 60g good-quality dark chocolate, melted, cooled
  • 2tbs cocoa powder, plus extra to dust
  • 40ml (2tbs) creme de menthe, plus extra to serve
  • Whipped cream and mint leaves, to serve
  • 225g plain flour
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  1. To make the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and mix for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and process until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigeratge for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 23cm loose-bottomed tart pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  4. Line the pastry shell with baking paper and fill with rice or pastry wieghts. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and return to the oven for five minutes until dry and crisp.
  5. Place the eggs, cream, chocolate, cocoa and creme de menthe in a bowl and beat to combine. Pour into the tart shell and bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until just set. Set aside to cool (don't refrigerate).
  6. Swirl a little extra creme de menthe through the whipped cream. Slice the chocolate and mint tart and dust with cocoa powder. Serve with the cream and garnich with a few mint leaves.

Choc-chip Pudding with Jam and Creme Fraiche

Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanialla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 60g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup raspberry jam, warmed
  • Creme fraiche or mascarpone, to serve
  1. Grease a 1-litre pudding basin.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer, add vanilla, then add eggs, one at a time, beating after each until just combined. Sift floar, cocoa and powder and add to mixture with enough water (about 1-2 tablespoons) to make a dropping consistent. Stir in chocolate, then spoon mixture into basin. Make a pleat in the centre of a sheet of baking paper (to allow for expansion) and use to cover pudding. Secure with string, then cover with foil.
  3. Place basin in a saucepan and add enough water to come halfway up the sides, then bring to the boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and steam for 2 hours. Remove basin from pan and set aside for 10 minutes. Turn out, cut into slices and serve with warmed jam and creme fraiche.
Here are the rest of the names and pictures, the recipes will have to wait.... Just making sure I make you come back for more..... Sorry, am I mean?!?!?!?!

Choc-a-Block Trifle

Ingredients (Serves 6)
  • 4 good quality chocolate brownies (about 85g each)
  • 1/4 cape (60ml) Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur)
  • 275g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 150g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (30g) toated chopped walnuts
  • Dark chocolate curls (see note), to decorate
  1. Break up brownies into small pieces and place in the bottom of a 1.5 litre dish or 6x1 cup (250ml) serving glasses. Drizzle over the Kahlua, then set aside.
  2. Place dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Allow to melt, then stir very gently until smooth. Remove from heat and add 225ml boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring to make a sauce (don't add water more quickly or the chocolate will 'seize' and become grainy). Pour sauce over the brownies, then cover and chill for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl with electric beaters until thick and pale.
  4. Heat 300ml of the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until just below boiling point. Pour the hot cream mixture over the egg mixture, stirring to combine. Transfer to a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Stir for 2-3 minutes until a thick custard forms.
  5. Place two thirds (100g) of the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the custard into the bowl, stirring until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined. Cool completely, then poor over the chocolate brownie base. Chill for 2 hours.
  6. Place the remaining 50g of white chocolate in a food processor with the walnuts and pulse until fine. Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks, stir in the walnut mixture, then spread over the trifle. Chill for at least 2 hours until set, then servedecorated with chocolate curls, if desired.
Notes and Tips
  • To make chocolate curls, melt good quality chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water not letting the bowl touch the water. Spread evenly on a flat board or baking tray, then refrigerate until set. Use a sharp knife to carefully shave off curls. Refrigerate until needed.

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting

Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
Ingredients (Serves 12)
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • 155g (3/4 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 265g (1 3/4 cup) self-raising flower
  • 35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) milk
  • 70g (1/2 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
Caramel Frosting
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 2tbs golden syrup
  • 1 tbs milk
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat together the butter, brown sigar and vanilla in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until just combined. Sift the flour and cocoa over the butter mixture. Use a large metal spoon to fold in the milk until well combined.
  3. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the caramel frosting, use an electric beater to beat together the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a medium bowl until light brown and fluffy. Add the milk and beat until well combined.
  5. Use a large serrated knife to cut the cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom half of teh cake on a cake stand or serving plate and spread with half the caramel frosting. Top with the remaining cake and spread with the remaining caramel frosting.
  6. Sprinkle the top of the cake with pecans. Place the caster sugar in a medium frying pan and stir o er low heast for 3-5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and caramelises. Remove from heat. Set aside for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles subside and toffee cools slightly. Use a spoon to drizzle cake with toffee.

Chocolate & Cinnamon Flan

Chocolate and cinnamon are a favourite combination in Mexico.
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 60 minutes
Ingredients (Serves 8)
  • 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) water
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 100g dark cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Strawberries, washed, hulled, quartered, to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line the base of a large baking dish with a tea towel, folded to fit.
  2. Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, occasionally brushing down the side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water, for 7 minutes or until golden. Use an oven mitt or tea towel to hold a round 20cm (base measurement) cake pan with one hand. Pour in the caramel and swirl to coat the base and 2cm up the side. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, place the milk and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring for 4-5 minutes or until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, condensed milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Place the cake pan in the lined baking dish. Pour the custard mixture into the pan. Pour enough boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the side of the pan. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until just set.
  6. Carefully remove the cake pan from the baking dish. Set aside for 40 minutes to cool. Place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to chill.
  7. To serve, run a flat-bladed knife around the edge of the pan. Carefully turn the flan onto a serving plate. Cut wedges and serve with strawberries.
Chocolate and Hazelnut Mousse

Broken Heart Chocolate Puddings with Mocha Sauce

Bittersweet Chocolate Mud Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Bowls of Hot Chocolate

Blackforest Cheesecake

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Oh my word...

It has been ages since I was last here. so much has happened since the last time I came to blog. It is scary. And the worst part is, that the last time I blogged I had just come back form Christmas holiday. Now it is already June... It is terrible how time flies. Before you know it the year is done with...
Lets try and catch up. One thing at a time.
Let me start with February. A lot happened - it was Valentines Day as well as our first wedding anniversary. Here are some pics...

These pictures have luckily been scrapbooked. (Will download them later...) So even though I have not had time to blog. I do however make time to scrap...

How times flies

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I cannot believe that the first month of 2009 is almost over - 5 days and counting. It amazes me how fast the time goes by. i know time goes by quickly when you are having fun, but by the looks of things, time goes by even quicker when you are busy, irrespective of whether you are having fun or not.
Things have been a bit busy at the office and at home. And the worst of all I have not been able to do any scrapbooking for 3 weeks. It is really depressing.
I started with ballet clasees again, after about 2 years of not dancing. And the best part is that I still enjoy it. I never realised how much I missed it. I'll be doing my Grade 8 (last graded exam) in May. After that I have 4 advanced exams left, then I have finished all the exams and I qualify for my teachers. I honestly do not know whether I'll ever teach, but at least I'll have it. JYB (Johannesburg Youth Ballet Company) also started this past Saturday, so now everything is up and running again.
So between work and ballet, I have not been able to scrapbook a lot, but I have been doing some tidying at home. I am looking at doing some redecorating as time goes on. The first room that I want to do is the guest room. I want to hang some kiwi/dark lime green suede curtains with white crushed voile; for the bedding I saw a nice white set with similar green patterns; I want to add some black to the room by getting tiebacks and scatter cushions in black. So in the end it will be a green, white and black room. I reckon it will look quite nice. I am a bit hesitant about the black, but if it does not work, I'll just go for the green and white.
My husbad and I are off to the spa on Friday evening, for a relaxing spa session and overnight stay. I cannot wait!!!!
To finish off with here is a little something about women that I received the other day:
A Woman has strenghts that amaze men.
She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.
She holds happiness, love and opinions.
She smiles when she feels like screaming.
She sings when she feels like crying,
cries when she's happy and laughs when she's afraid.
Her love is unconditional!
There 's only one thing wrong with he:
She sometimes forgets
what she is worth...

Technological Problems

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our server at the office was off from Monday morning until yesterday, which meant that I was unable to do ANY work. And of course it is Murphy’s Law that when you have tons of work to do, the server will be off.

We had an uneventful weekend. I had lunch with a close friend after work on Friday afternoon, went home with the idea of doing some sorting of the guest bedrooms, but fell asleep with Zorro and only woke up when my husband phoned at 6 to say he is on his way home. We were going to go out for dinner and some ten-pin bowling on Friday evening, but in the end we stayed home, got some pizza take-away and watched Eli Stone. On Saturday I got started on the sorting and cleaning out – but once again I did not get very far. I went scrapbooking in the afternoon where I finished a layout I started about 2 months ago and finished another layout. Both these layouts are of our honeymoon in Mauritius. In the evening my husband took me to dinner at our local Chinese Restaurant. Sunday we just hang around the house watching TV and I made supper for my parents, since they arrived home from their holiday late yesterday afternoon. I also attempted some crumpets – which was a big success for my first attempt.

I have not had a chance to upload the layouts I did over the weekend nor those I did over the holiday. But I reckon I might be able to upload them tonight.

I read a very nice book over the holiday called Dewey. The book is about a kitten that is found in the local library of a small town in Iowa. The story then unfolds as the kitten grows older and how it then changes the life of the people in the town. It is a very sweet but sad book in the end – since Dewey dies. But then again, nobody can live forever, not even a cat. I also started reading Photo Freedom by Stacey Julian over the holidays.

At the moment I am reading 2 books; the one The Appeal by John Grisham; and the second book it The Tales of Beatle the Baard by J.K. Rowling. Both books are very nice. I started The Appeal over the holidays once I had finished Dewey, and by now I am about half way through. But then when I walked into Exclusive Books the other day I found the new book by J.K. Rowling, and since I am a big Harry Potter fan, I just could not leave the book. It is a thin quick reading book, so maybe by the end of the week I’ll have that finished, then I will return to my Law thriller. What is also nice about The Tales of Beetle the Baard is that it consists of 5 short stories of a few pages, and each of these stories is independent of the other. So I can read a story a night, which is nice, since I do not always have the energy for reading a lot of pages once I get to bed at night.

Quote for the day: “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.” – G.K. Chesterton

Home From the Holiday

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

We finally arrived home from our December holiday on Sunday.
My husband and I travelled to St Francis Bay where we have a beach house. We were there for 2 weeks, and I honestly wish I could say that it was long enough. But unfortunately, it never is. I always wonder why that is. But then again, if we don’t work, then we won’t be able to go on holidays such as these. So either way it’s a catch 22 situation.

After leaving at 5 in the morning with both Zorro and Luigi in the car we arrived safe and sound at the coast on Friday 19 December at about 19h00. The first 2 days we did not do much. We went to the beach once or twice, if the weather was nice. My husband went fishing with my dad while I either sat in front of the TV, on the patio reading my book or behind the scrapbooking layouts.

I took this picture the one day while the men were busy gearing up for the fishing. The fishing rod was standing against the wall, and

Just before we left for the coast we received news from a close friend of mine that her baby boy was born on the 17th of December. He was 53cm long and weighed 3.8kg. He is too cute for words, and looks exactly like his dad.
We had a very quite Christmas Eve, with just my parents, my sister, my husband and me. We had a nice dinner, and opened gifts at 00h00. Even though it was a relaxing evening, there was definitely not a shortage of gifts for everyone. Even Zorro celebrated Christmas. I bought him a blanket for the winter and made a bowl with goodies and toys in. I placed his prezzie in a gift bag, which he then climbed into to get to everything - very sweet really.

On Christmas Day the whole family (on my dad’s side) had lunch at my Gran’s house. That was just as much fun and a big success. We had lovely food, but ate too much, as usual. And once again there were tons of gifts.

My husband and I bought Boyds Bears’ Christmas decorations for each person. After they received their gift we decorated the tree, and in the end it turned out really nice, and everyone enjoyed it.

I went to a local scrapbooking shop near our beach house during the holiday. They have a lovely shop with tons of stock. But in the end I was not that impress with the class. I arrived and left about an hour and a half later with a finished double layout. Yes I know it is quick, but the problem is that with tehe exception of sticking the paper pieced and my pictures I did nothing. They did all the cutting everyting, they even painted my chipboard letters. Well I at least got to choose the paper. The rest was all their doing. Luckily I did not have to pay any class fee...
Between Christmas and New Year my sister's boyfriend joined us as well as my cousin. Shame, she wrote matric this year, and while she was staying with us she received her results. She was so stressed while waiting, but in the end all her results were very good, and everyone was very pleased.
On New Year's Eve my parents, my husband and me had a braai at one of my close friends that stay in St Francis. It was a very nice and relaxing evening. There was no need to wait for food, or having to stand in a queue to get something to drink. We did however have a bit of an upset when we arrived home - one of the dogs had ran away. The poor dog is terrified of fireworks, and once it started he got scared and hit the road. We got into the car and went looking for him, but unfortunately we could not find him. Luckily when we woke up the next day he had come home by himself. The only drawback was that he had hurt his feet with all the running on the tar roads. But luckily his feet are recovering very well.

On New Year's day my dad's family came over to our place where we once again had a lovely lunch and ate too much. We also celebrate his one brother's birthday which was on the 2nd of Jan. We got him a cake with candles that can not be blown out. So he was huffing and puffing, but without any luck. In the end we had a wonderful day but we were very tired.

All and all we had a wonderful holiday and I took tons of pictures, and unfortunately we had to come home.
Quote for the day: "Who has begun has half done. Have the courage to be wise. Begin!" by Horace

New Year, New Beginnings

It's a new year with new beginnings. I can not believe that 2008 has come, gone and bought us 2009 already. It feels like yesterday that my husband and I were getting ready to get married, but now we've almost be married for a year (6 weeks to go). It is really scary!

What is even scarier is the fact that we all make these new years resolutions, but no know ever keeps them. I have not really made any resolutions, that way I can not break them. What I have done is thought about things I would love to do during the year. And what's nice about that is that if you do not do them, it's alright, I guess. I haveno't really thought about it a lot, but there are some things that I can put on paper so long:

  • I want to organise the bedrooms in our house and redecorate them.
  • I want to go on the New Year's cruise (2009-2010) to Mauritius.
  • I want to organise my scrapbooking stuff (the reason for this is that I have started reading Stacey Julian's Photo Freedom over the holidays. I got really inspired by that book to get my pictures and scrapbooking organised.

That is all I have so far - but as time goes on I presume, no I know, the list will get longer.

Quote for the day: "Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better" by Richard Hooker.

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