Oil painting: Campfire next to a river… Now that’s life!

Art

Oil painting_Campfire next to river

As I’ve mentioned before, I have only started painting about three years ago, meaning, that most of the paintings I’ve attempted are firsts for me:)  For this specific painting the fire was a definite first!! I don’t know if you’ve noticed but photographing sunsets, sunrises and fires are not the easiest thing to do.  You never seem to really catch the beauty of it on camera. Well painting it, I can tell you, is even more of a challenge (well for me in any case).  A good friend of mine helped me to start off and well, this is the end result… As I know myself I will probably try to adjust it up and till it’s delivered to my very first customer, who was the photographer of the photo I painted this from. This photo was taken at their  favourite campsite.  I guess they wanted a reminder of their happy place even though they’re not there.

What is your happy place?  I can’t really narrow mine down to one place or thing but I would definitely say mine is somewhere in nature.  I love sitting alone in God’s Creation, it makes me feel closer to Him.  I get the almost tangible feeling when the wind blows around me that I can experience the presence of God.  The Bible says in Kings 19:12 that God was not in the earth quake or the fire, He whispered in the stillness of the wind..I really don’t hope anyone will have a request for me to paint the wind somewhere though:)

I hope you all will have an amazingly blessed day and have the opportunity to also visit your happy place soon for a nice relaxing time!

God bless

J

xxxx

(PS.  This painting was also difficult photographing, since the whole picture changes a bit depending on the angle you’re looking at it and the type of lighting its getting.)

LIFE’S A MYSTERY

Devotional

Life is a mystery..

How do we see life?  How do we see the obstacles and opportunities?  Do we see things that happen in our life in a negative way?  Are we without patience and we want to know what’s ahead, our future, the next step… and it’s more about the end goal than the journey?  “If we could just know what the economy will do, what the weather will be like, what career to choose, field of study” etc….

I heard a 9 year old boy pray the other day and it was so beautiful to hear his outlook on life.  While praying he thanked God that life is a mystery!..and this got me thinking.  The picture of a treasure chest came to mind.  Our lives are like a chest full of unopened “treasures” and it’s an exiting journey – a treasure hunt – to unlock the different “treasures.”  And yes, the “treasure” at the end of the journey is awesome, the bonus, a blessing, BUT the journey should be just as exciting.  Think of your childhood and all of the Easter egg hunts or other activities/games where you had to follow clues and solve problems and “hunt” the end prize.  The prize was very exciting but the “hunt” was where the real excitement took place.

Is this not the way we should approach our lives as well?  Enjoy every step and obstacle, solve the problems with excitement because you know at the end there will be a blessing if you persevere in the journey.  Whether it is to make a big life choice or the little things in life.

I think it’s time we get our childlike faith and wide-eyed-excitement back regarding life. To see problems as opportunities and look for creative solutions instead of more problems and to stop complaining too easily but rather be thankful for all the blessings which we have already “unlocked”.  Change our daily mindset and see the beauty in life again.  Try something new every now and then because you never know if you have a hidden talent or interest.  Stop caring so much what the world think about you and the little box they want to place you in and start standing up for who you are!!!

Remember, you are more than you think you are.  God designed you and your journey – and yes, sometimes we miss a clue or misinterpret the “treasure map” and end up on a different road but if you ask for Godly direction again, you will still reach the finish line. It will maybe just take a bit longer and you might pick up a few more bumps and bruises along the way.

So lets all thank God today that life’s a mystery and that we have the opportunity to solve the puzzle or find the “treasure!”

Lots of love
J

“Feeling” nothing…

Devotional

Its not about me its about You Lord

Religion is not just about ’emotions,’ meaning that when I ‘feel’ good, God is good but when I ‘feel’ sad, frustrated, angry.. then God is not so good anymore.

We want to “get” something from church, worship and our relationship from God but when we don’t ‘feel’ anything – joy, peace… – or get a specific message for ourselves during Bible study or church, or if we don’t receive what we prayed for…IMMEDIATELY and in our own way, then we are disappointed with God.  We say: “God doesn’t love me, ” “He doesn’t care how I feel or about my situation,” “Does He even know I exist and that I’m struggling?”

YES, He knows about you and your problems and He loves you dearly, BUT we are missing the point!  God did not create the world for us and to please us in every way we want.  Everything is about Him and His glory…He is the Creator…not us!

So we should actually be asking:  “What can I do to please God?” “Even if I don’t ‘feel’ anything during worship, let me continue in any case because it’s not about me. It’s not what I can get out of it.”

We need to make a mindset change and try to not ‘use’ God for our own benefit.  As soon as you start submitting to God’s will and renewing your mind by thinking of Him before yourself, you will start ‘feeling’ peace in your life…and no, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to have obstacles you need to overcome, you can now just overcome them WITH God, in His will.  He wants to help you because He really cares! But God is not just Love, He is also Just and Righteous, so He will go against His own nature if He tries to please people to earn their favour…and He doesn’t need to do that, He is God.

Take some time to sit and think if you’re not maybe doing or saying things that’s blocking you from hearing God’s Word.  He’s waiting patiently, in love, for you to turn to Him with an open heart…not a perfects heart…just a willing, open heart and He will help you to clean it again.

God really loves you!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 12:2 ” Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Hebrews 5:11-12 “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.  You need solid food!”

2 Timothy 2:11-13,15,19 “Here is a trustworthy saying:  If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

“Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription:  “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Hope you all have a blessed week!

XOXO

J

Decor: Room divider as headboard

decor

Interior design has always been a passion of mine.  It was also apart of my studies.  Everyone doesn’t have the privilege to pursue this as a career though, so I use my own house for all of my inspirations…and my poor husband just needs to try and keep up!

Decorating your house, just as a normal salary earner, is not always the easiest thing to do.  You look at pictures on the internet and in magazines and think…hmmm..my house looks nothing like that and will also not look like that within the next 10 years!

What I have learned over the years, is that beautiful decor takes time.  When we started putting up house, as soon as I had a bit of money to my disposal, I would impulsively go to the shops and buy the first thing I sort of like but can afford.  Later I ended up with non-quality items and a house that didn’t look anything like I wanted it to.  I realised then, that I should rather save up for a bit longer and then buy the items I really want.  Also, family and friends sometimes have stunning items that’s in their way but its perfect for your house.  Ask, you can maybe buy it cheaper from them or, even better, get it for free! Another “fun” option, is one me and André enjoys…go DIY!  There is so many amazing projects on the internet and in magazines you can find and make…if you can find time off-course!

In the following post I’ll share a little bit about the decor of our one guest bedrooms.

Neutral coloured bedroom with room devider as headboard

Last year we had the privileged to build a brand new house.  So as time passes, one room at a time is being tackled and changed, and changed and changed 😉  The quilted throw at the bottom of the bed was made by my ‘Ouma’ at the age of 85….and needless to say its very special to me.  It is also the focal point of this room and the rest of the decor is planned around it.

The absolutely beautiful room divider that’s being used as a headboard in this picture, is actually just a visitor in our house presently.  My sister didn’t use it to its full potential at this stage 😉 so I used the opportunity to borrow it for a bit to play around with.  I love change around me and non permanent, multi-functioned items like this gives me that opportunity.  Today it can be used as a headboard and a months time as a divider in my reading corner…that’s to say if it visits me long enough!

The white embossed bedspread was purchased from Zara Home…a shop I adore because it has unique, quality products and they change their shop’s colour schemes constantly!  The bedroom in this photo is quite a small guest bedroom with a dark floor.  I chose the white bedspread, as well as the ceiling-to-floor white curtains, not only to lighten up the room but also to visually enlarge this space.

My general style is quite minimalist where I incorporate ‘old’ and modern.  We were so blessed to inherit a few special ‘old’ pieces for our home from parents, grand- and great grandparents, including this antique, wooden bedside cabinet, who apparently was carried over the Drakensberg with the ‘Voortrekkers’…I won’t bet my chocolate cookie for the accuracy of this information but I choose to believe it!!  🙂

Well that’s the just of it…hope you’ll all have a blessed and beautiful day!

XOXO

J

Very Easy but Tasty Meatballs “Frikadelle”

Recipes: Meat

 

I don’t know about you, but I love easy dishes.  We just don’t have time anymore to slave away in the kitchen after a hard day at work.  This recipe is one of those easy “go to” recipes that never fails. The great thing about it, is the basic recipe is moist and tasty just like it is…but you can still add any flavours or other ingredients of your choice.  It depends on how adventurous you feel that day.  Meatballs, or “frikkadelle” as we call them in Afrikaans, also freeze well.  This specific batch I made is for this purpose.  I am going to devide them into little freezer bags, ready for “that day”, where you are so tired and don’t have time to cook, but bellies to fill.

Ingredients

 

3 Basic Ingredients

500g red meat mince

1 container of sour cream (I used créme fraîche today)

1 packet of brown onion soup

Additional Ingedients 

I added..

1 egg

125ml oats

You can also add  grated apple and herbs etc.

Method

Preheat the oven to a 180 degrees Celsius.  Mix all ingredients together.  Form little balls with your hands and place in a dish.  You can decide how big or small you want your meatballs to be..cocktail size, normal size, or super size!  The time you cook the different sizes will just very.

Prepared meatballs

Bake meatballs approximately  35 minutes…and it’s done!

Perfect, tasty, juicy…but o-so-easy meatballs! Enjoy!!!

Easy but tasty meatballs

Xoxo

J

DIY: My little succulent garden in a vase

DIY: Gardening

A little while back I received the most beautiful tulips in a vase as a present.  I nurtured these tulips to the best of my abilities, but just like most flowers – well maybe just in my home – they have an expiration date.  I decided to reuse and recycle the vase and the rocks at the bottom to build myself a new little flower garden, but this time with succulents which can survive much easier for longer!

Before:  The beautiful tulips

Tulips in a glass vase.  Brightens up the diningroom/livingroom.

The steps of building your succulent garden

Step 1: Rocks at the bottom of glass vase

Step 1:

Place rocks at the bottom of the vase.  This vase doesn’t have holes at the bottom to help drain the excess water and these rocks will help to absorb some of the water.

Step 2:

Wet the potting soil.  It shouldn’t be drenched in water, just moist enough to keep the soon planted succulents alive.

Add potting soil onto the rocks and then cover it with the fine river sand.  The sand is optional, I just like the beige/white colour of the sand better than the look of the brownish rough potting soil.  It all depends on your style.

Little succulent garden in a glass vaseLittle succulent garden in a glass vase.

Step 3:

Make little holes in the soil and plant the succulents.  You will see some of mine is still very small.  They were little off-springs of the bigger one you’ll see in there.  Succulents grow very easily so you are more than welcome to plant mature succulents but I know these babies will grow quickly and fill the space.

Step 4:

Place your little succulent garden where you see fit and enjoy looking at it everyday and see how it grows.  Especially living in the city it is one way of at least feeling a bit closer to nature…

Greetings

J

 

Trees and Seasons

Devotional

Psalm1:1-6


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinner nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Tree oil painting

It took me years to paint this tree as it is now and not because it took so long to paint it, but because I kept on changing it.  We’ve been joking that this is a seasonal tree.  It started off as a black and white tree, then it grew green leaves and grass whereafter the sun started setting on it…and a fence were built.  Probably one of these days it will grow blossoms for Spring😊

After looking at this painting for a while the thaught came to mind that our lives are also like this tree.  We go through different seasons in life and some may not be so much ‘fun’…thats maybe your winter season where it feels like everything is ‘dying’ around you.  Anything and everything that can go wrong will! BUT remember its only a season and will pass!! Even in nature there’s a good reason for winter just like our “winters” also have a good reason.  We might just not understand the reason yet. What I have personally learnt about these difficult times in our lives are to go and ask God what the lesson is you need to learn and sometimes the quicker we learn the lesson the sooner Spring can come.  During one of my ‘Winter’ seasons a friend gave me this scripture…

James 1:2-4

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,  not lacking anything.”

When we persevere through our troubled times we will grow stronger, like it says in Psalm 1, we will prosper and bear fruit. As soon as we enter into Spring again we can then share our good fruit with the people around us who’s in their ‘Winter’ season. By helping others and remembering to be thankful  when our troubled times ended, our roots can then grow even deeper and we can grow so much stronger that the next time Winter comes again..and it will…we will be able to handle it better than the previous time and who knows, maybe it won’t be as cold as the previous one❄☺

Kind regards

J

Braai: Lobster & Roosterkoek in Addo National Elephant Park

Recipes: Braai

Jack’s Picnic Site in Addo National Elephant Park

How to be fancy the simple and easy way

During our holiday in Port Elizabeth me and my hubby bought some lobster tails and decided we are going to attempt cooking them.  Since we flew down to PE we were obviously not in possession of cooking gear etc.  Nonetheless we wanted to do this!  We came across Jack’s picnic site and were pleasantly surprised.  There were plenty of stands with built-in braais, picnic tables and shade situated in a well maintained site with a beautiful view! We just bought the bare basics for the cooking and serving of this lovely meal and had to improvise a bit😊 It was absolutely worth it! I will share our picnic-braai-easy-and-simple methods with you.

Ingedients & Utensils

2017-07-08 18.55.06

YOU NEED:

  • Lobster tails
  • Garlic butter
  • Lemon
  • Any spices you prefer, we used Robertson’s Fish Spice

FOR THE ROOSTERKOEK :

  • Ready made dough you can buy from a supermarket
  • Camembert cheese
  • Butter
  • Jam or Caramelised onion marmalade

SOMETHING TO DRINK:

  • Dry white wine
Preperation

Light a fire. When you are able to hold your hand about 15cm above the fire for approximately 10 seconds your fire is the correct temperature.

The roosterkoek has a longer cooking time and can thus be placed on the grill about 8 minutes before the lobster.  In the photos below we illustrated how to create the dough balls to place on the braai. Position them on the side of the grill where the fire is a bit cooler.

Next you can start preparing the lobster.  Take scissors and cut open the bottom part of the shell – on the tummy.  Take a knife and/or scissors again and cut each tail in half.  The shell side of the tails are going to face downwards most of the time.

First spice the lobster with the spices of your preference, then you’ll butter them with loads of garlic butter…yum!!!! Place them on the grill and while on the fire you’ll squeeze the lemon juice onto the lobster.

You can add the Camembert cheese in the foil package onto the fire about 5 minutes before the lobster and roosterkoek is done.

2017-07-08-19-11-47.jpg

Cooking time:

Lobster: Approximately 15 minutes on the shell side and 3 minutes on the flesh side – flesh must be white.

Roosterkoek:  Approximately 20 -25 minutes, depending on the heat of the fire and the size of the roosterkoek.

Camembert cheese : Approximately 5 minutes.

Serving:

Since we had the bare basic utensils and containers we decided not to make a difficult salad and just added some Clementine naartjies to our plate.  The fresh citrus flavour complemented the lobster well.

Lobster, Roosterkoek and Camembert on the braai with white wine

Add the lobster, slices of naartjie and roosterkoek topped with butter Camembert cheese and jam of your choice to your plate ( in our case a paperplate😊) and pour yourself a nice cold glass of crisp, dry white wine…mmmmm!  I personally recommend this lunch and if possible enjoy it in nature, everything tastes even more delicious!

Enjoy!

J

Siyadala Quilting Festival 2017 – with my Granny

Events

 

I have the privilege to attend this year’s Quilting Festival in Port Elizabeth with a ledgendary quilter who I have the honour to call “Ouma”  (Grandma) – Louise Rheeder.

The first National South African Quilters Festival was held in Bloemfontein in September 1989 and the SAQG  (South African Quilters Guild) – also called the Umbrella Guild in those days – were founded at this event. Ouma Louise was chosen as the Eastern Free State committee member. In 1990, at the age of 64, she received her Quilting Teacher’s Diploma and then there was no stop to her. She taught quilting to ladies all over SA including:  Senekal, Heilbron, Bethlehem, Ladybrand, Winburg and even in Lesotho.  Peace Corps approached her to teach woman in Lesotho different quilting skills to generate an own income for themselves.  During one of these visits to Lesotho, she was invited to drink tea with Queen Mamohatu!  The Matwabeng quilters nominated her for the Community Builder of the Year award where she won the Free State Senior category.  She used the money to buy some sewing machines for the ladies who nominated her. 

My “ouma” is turning 91 this year but is still far from old ☺ I am so proud of her, her helping heart and positive attitude towards life. Thus I can state again what a privilege it is for me to attend this festival with her and still learn so much wisdom from her regarding quilting and life!

Some of the items we received on arrival at the festival. Our rooms were also decorated with beautiful quilts provided by the quilters from PE. Thank you!

Tomorrow I’m taking a free motion quilting class.  I can’t wait to learn a new technique and see what options it opens up for making home decor.  Will keep you posted…😉

 

Xoxo

J

Art from the past

Art

Personally I have always enjoyed creating anything beautiful using any medium…BUT…I always got so frustrated because the picture in my head just didn’t look anything like the physical end result! Then in 2014 I started painting classes at Beate Naudé in Richardsbay.  These social painting evenings were the highlight of my week!  Beate is an amazing art teacher who guided me into actually painting something I was proud of…and no I’m not claiming Picasso end results!!  So I thought I’d share a few of my first paintings with you.

Mykonos-01Plaas-01Succulent-01Sunrise-01Kaapsche Hoop-01