Pops of colour

17 August 2015

Hi there everyone. I have a layout to share with you today. I really love how colourful and bright it is even though I used a dark background. It is all about getting the contrast right. One of my classes at BigPictureClasses is all about contrast. You can check it out here. I love the new BPC website and the way it works. You pay  $9.95 monthly and you get access to all the classes. There are so many to choose from. You will not be disappointed. You have the possibility of a trial period just to see if you like it but I'm sure you will.

Creating contrast is high up on my list when working on a layout. I am always looking for ways to make the photo stand out. Using dark backgrounds is fun and I love how colours just pop off the page. I used my sizzix BigShotPlus and some circle dies to cut out some extra circles for my cluster. I added a bit of stamping to them for extra detail. 

Sizzix Supplies:

I'll be back later on this week with a video of a card that I made yesterday.
Have a lovely week and happy scrapping.

Today a bumblebee flew into my face ...

9 August 2015

Since the start of the summer holiday I have been walking nearly every single day. I listen to music and look around and even stop to take pictures. But today something happened....

I was enjoying my stroll around the village. I usually pick tiny lanes that meander through fields  where I can be alone. My only companions are cows who always look up when I walk by. They stare at me and in their eyes I think I can see a slight "hello, are how you?". Curious calves gallop up and when they come closer they jump back in fright. I always chuckle and enjoy it. I love these small moments. Today while I was walking and taking pictures a bumblebee flew into my face and flew off just like that. I was a bit startled and continued walking. A couple of seconds later I felt a wave of emotion come over me and I started crying. I was sobbing in the middle of a deserted lane, crying buckets of tears because a bubble bee hit me. Once I had cried every tear I could, another emotion took hold of me. I felt at peace. I have never felt such a feeling in my whole life and at that moment I knew what I needed to do. 

These last two years have been, so it seems, good years. I have a stable job, my kids are thriving (even though they test me day in day out), I'm in a happy relationship which has it ups and downs like every relationship and I am able to live my hobbies like music, photography and crafting. Nevertheless, I had this gnawing feeling that something wasn't right. Today I knew what it all boiled down to. A SENSE OF BELONGING.

My life has been a good one. As a child I grew up in South Africa, and we went back to Belgium and later to Luxemburg when I was 11. I believe that part of my heart was left behind. I still yearn for my country (even if on my passport it is written I'm Belgian, deep down I'm South African). Since then I have been in a quest to belong. When I was a teenager I turned myself to music, then I met my husband and I devoted myself to him and my new life as a wife. Then I became a teacher and I became passionate about that and I felt I belonged there in front of the classroom helping my students the best I could. My children were born and I put all my energy into them, feeling that my family was were I belonged. The feeling of emptiness never went away. Something was always missing. So I kept on looking and I found scrapbooking. I felt that I had found a place and people that understood me (or at least my passion for photos and paper). That strange feeling of being lost and incomplete never left me and today I came to realize why. I have never used this word, but leaving South Africa and all it represented (the language, the smells, the sensations) has left me with a wound that I have been trying to heal that I will never be able to. I will always have that feeling that I left something behind. That feeling of never belonging has been my companion for years. When the bubble bee hit me today, I heard the Lord speak to me. This is what he said. He said you belong HERE with me. I'm with you every step of the way and I'll guide you. I cried tears of happiness today because for the first time in 25 years, I felt that I belonged. On a tiny lane in the middle of fields I knew I was where I needed to be. I was with the Lord. It was just Him and me. Then I knew I have still have a long journey ahead.  There are things in my life that need to be worked on. 

I have decided to step down from all my design teams. I will still keep on teaching for Big Picture Classes as I can choose what I want to teach. I want to spend more time on finding myself and working on my relationship with God. I will still scrapbook but I do not need to be part of teams any longer. I thought that being involved in the industry would fill that empty space that has been a part of me for 25 years but it can't. It has been an amazing journey. I have met amazing people they have taught me so much. Some don't even know that their stories have unlocked some of my closed doors. 

What have I learnt from this world of crafting and from the people I have met (and I will only focus on the good):
  • Do what you love and what makes you happy, 
  • Don't be afraid to be proud of yourself, don't EVER say you aren't good or good enough. You are SPECIAL and you have every right to show how special you are.
  • There are no rights or wrongs, only different ways of life, 
  • Don't be afraid to feel sad or unhappy. I have often said to myself: "Don't complain girl. You have an amazing life, no worries, good health, healthy children, ..... ." Well, sometimes I feel horrible and there is nothing I can do about it. I know people are really in awful situations, but knowing that won't take away that feeling of hopelessness or unhappiness. All I can do is acknowledge and let it exist.
  • BE YOU for YOU. Take the time to find yourself.
The Lord has been there every single step of the way. When I'll go walking tomorrow, I know he'll be there each time I put one foot in front of the other. 

Thank you bumblebee for flying into me today. Hope you're okay because I'm okay. I AM OKAY. I BELONG. I FINALLY BELONG and that feeling fills me with immense joy. As I type this I am crying tears of joy.  

Nut bread

27 July 2015

I am always trying new ideas to find the perfect gluten free bread and I have already built up a small collection. Before I went gluten free I loved eating whole meal bread and especially loved nut bread with some French cheese so I went on a quest to find a gluten free recipe. I search high and low but never managed to find one which I liked so I decided to make my own. Now baking gluten free bread isn't easy and if you are used baking bread in a traditional manner, you'll be surprised that the batter if often quite runny but fear not this recipe is one of my favourites and it makes a moist and delicious bread. 

Ingredients for the bread dough:

430 ml / 1 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp water
30 ml 2 tbsp olive oil
5 ml / 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 eggs
25 g / 5 tsp chickpea flour
125 g / 5/6 cup  millet flour (or brown rice flour)
125 g / 1/2 cup tapioca flour
125 g / 1/2 cup potato starch
12 g / 2 tsp salt
20 g / 1 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
10 g / 2 tbsp psyllium husk
15 g / 1 1/2 tbsp dry baker's yeast. 

Mix water, oil, vinegar and eggs with a mixer. Mix the different types of flour, starch, salt, sugar and psyllium husk in a separate bowl. Add the yeast to the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix and mix for 2 minutes. 

You can add nuts, seeds and dried fruit to this bread dough.
For my nut bread :
100 gr/ 1 cup dried cranberries
50 gr/ 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
50 gr/ 1/2 cup pecan nuts (whole)

Add cranberries to the bread dough. Chop up the nuts and add. Mix the dough. It will be quite runny, don't worry about that. 

Grease a cake tin (24-26 cm/ 9.5 - 10 inch) , add the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. 

Bake in for about 35 minutes in a preheated oven. (180°C / 350°F). Check with a cooking thermometer. The bread must have a temperature of 90°C / 194°F in the centre. Take it immediately out of the tin and let it cool. 

1 slice = 

Layouts to show ...

25 July 2015

Oh I have been bad about posting my layouts. Summer has just been about enjoying and working in the garden and having fun with the kids. The following layouts were made for the Scrapaddictes blog. 

I used one of my favourite dies from sizzix. Leaves are perfect for the finishing touch.

 The next layout was created using a small square punch.
And the last layout was made with lots of scraps.
I'll be back tomorrow with a couple of recipes.

Sea photograph

17 July 2015

Our little trip to the seaside in April was just what we all needed. The kids had an amazing time at the beach and my husband and I had time to relax and put our feet up a little. We had awesome weather and the boys even ventured into the cold North Sea. 

I took loads of photos and I'm still working my way through them. Here is a layout I created with a photo taken of Damien and NoĆ© on one of their many search parties. They spent hours looking for crabs, shrimps, and other tiny sea creatures. 

Their is a little video showing the whole process and I also added the cut file I created. You can download it here: CIRCLE CUT FILE.

Butterflies ....

10 July 2015

After my cooking post back to scrapbooking. I'm busy working on my next class at BigPictureClasses so that is taking lots of time but I will try to squeeze in the occasional video for my blog too. Today I am sharing a layout I created yesterday with my brand new sizzix butterfly punch. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

Hope to have a video up on Sunday.

Happy Scrapping.

Chestnut bread

Today I have a little cooking post for you. I have been eating gluten free for nearly 18 months. I was suffering from repeated migraines, headaches, sinus infections and other smaller ailments. I went to my GP and he couldn't find why I was having all these complaints. One of my friends suggested I cut out gluten. Since I haven't had a single sinus infection and only one migraine. At one point I was having 2-3 three sinus infections a month.
I love baking and have started building up a recipe list of gluten free products. 

Chestnut bread:

Serves 8-10
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Rest time: 30 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes

430 ml/14.5 fluid ounces water
30 ml/ 2tbsp olive oil
5 ml/ 1tsp cider vinegar
3 eggs
100 gr/ 3.5 ounces chickpea flour    3.5 ounces
125 gr/ 4.4 ounces tapioca flour
100 gr/3.5 ounces rice flour
50 gr/1.8 ounces chestnut flour
125 gr/ 4.4 ounces potato starch (you can switch for corn starch if you want)
12 gr/ 2.5 tsp salt
20 gr/4 tsp coconut sugar or cane sugar (or honey)
10 gr/ 2tsp psyllium husk
15 gr/1 tbsp dry yeast
50 gr/1.8 ounces  walnuts
50 gr/ 1.8 ounces pecan nuts
oil to grease the tin

Mix water, oil, vinegar and eggs in a bowl with a mixer.
Mix in a separate bowl chickpea flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, chestnut flour, potato starch, salt, sugar and psyllium husk.
Add yeast. Mix the dry and wet ingredients for 2 minutes. Add the nuts at the end. For into a cake tin (around 24-26cm long) and put a clean towel on top. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 °F) and bake the bread for 35 minutes. Check the temperature in the centre of the bread with a cooking thermometer. It should be 90°C (194°F). If after 30 minutes this isn’t the case leave in the oven for a couple minutes longer and check again.
Once baked, take out of tin immediately.