07 July 2014

DOING LIFE {a Hop to get to know my Creative Spirit}

Hello to all my lovely visitors and Followers
- grab a chair with a cuppa and spend some time here ....

I was tagged by a really lovely lady, Denise van Deventer (a fellow South African), to play along with this fun Blog Hop (with a difference).  If you know Denise, then you would also know that she uses lots of layers, flowers, chipboard, paint, stencils and anything in the Mixed Media line. She also runs a fabulous design team called Scrap Africa, for which she provides most of the sketches and ideas for her challenges. She is calm, organised and very supportive; truly a joy to work with.  I have also had the honour of being a guest designer over at Scrap Africa.

Denise tagged me in her post HERE and if you would like to go and take a peep at her blog, I am sure she would appreciate it! You will also see what I mean about her creative style, which is certainly so wonderful and fabulous! So thanks Denise for tagging me, it certainly was an honour for me! 

To start off, many people probably wonder why my blog is called Doing Life. I started my personal blog way back in January 2006 and at the time had to brainstorm a catchy title for it... and the thought 'what do I do with my life each day' went through my mind and I told myself, but actually I am DOING LIFE each and every day of my existence - and so my blog was named DOING LIFE and mainly showcases my passions for photography, scrapbooking, cardmaking as well as reporting about happenings in my day-to-day life.

What am I working on right now?

I own and manage an online scrapbooking shop called DOING LIFE Online Shoppe  where I sell comprehensive kits four double page layouts.  Most of my scrapbooking designs are created with the use of templates which I also design myself. At the moment I am busy with the comprehensive step-by-step notes for a new double page design which I will present at a scrapbooking conference here in Johannesburg during October 2014. Here are some snapshots of the double page design:

Here is also another double page scrapbooking design I am working on to present at scrapbooking events during November 2014:

How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

When it comes to my scrapbooking I would say that my style is quite unique as for me the focus is always on the photos.  The photos should tell a story and for me it is difficult to tell a story with just one or two photos. And it is here that the combination of a variety of template shapes helps me to incorporate numerous photos onto a double page design, without having the overall design look too cluttered.  I would say this is one of my signature scrapbooking designs:

I am also a big fan of affordable crafting and create most of my embellishments with paper folding techniques.  You will find the link to various of my paper folding tutorials, here.  This also transpires in my cardmaking.  I do not own any fancy machines or tools, apart from my collection of hand punches without I will be lost.  And of course I am a big fan of the brad (split pin).  Here is one of my typical card designs:

Why do I create?

When it comes to scrapbooking, it is a wonderful way to document every day happenings and turn them into memories which can be treasured for generations to come.  Cardmaking for me is also a great way to use up all the left overs from scrapbooking designs and to practice my paper folding techniques on a small scale before using them on my scrapbooking designs.  In general being creative is therapy in itself and a great way to de-stress, especially with such a fast paced society we currently live in.

How my creative process work?

My scrapbooking process starts with creating rough designs with various cut out shapes from my templates and once I have a design fine tuned, I will browse through my Pictures Folders on my computer to see which photos will best suit the design.  Once my photos are sent through to a lab via Dropbox and they have been collected from the lab, they are cut into the desired shapes and sizes for the specific design.  Then I will match up papers with the photos.  Embellishing is a mere finishing touch for my scrapbookings designs and not the focus.

With cards the image to be coloured is printed on an inkjet printer and then coloured with with Copic alcohol markers or H2O watercolour pencils.  Then coodinating papers and a sentiment are selected, etc.  Centre step card designs are my favourite, but I also enjoy easel and tent card designs.

How do I become inspired and stay inspired?

As far as scrapbooking is concerned, I will always have photos, as photography is my first love.  Even with the techno/digi era we are in, the delight of touching a hard copy photo instead of staring at a screen, is pure delight and therefore scrapbooking with the real McCoy will always live on.  When it comes to cardmaking it is so fulfilling when seeing the expression on a recipient's face when opening up a handmade card and of course then there are the zillions of challenges in blog land one can enter with cards - its a whole new world out there.

I have tagged 2 creative friends, who will be sharing their creative journey's with you next week Monday, 14 July 2014. They are:

I have met Susan for the first time via Tammy's Scrapin Corner's Design Team (cardmaking) a few years ago.  Although this design team is not active any more, we still have daily contact in blog land via challenges and other numerous design teams Susan serve on. Susan has a unique creative style which reflects so wonderfully in her beautiful cards, each one a little work of art.  She is also a master at achieving gorgeous dimension on her digital images.  Please pay her a visit, as you will not be disappointed.

I have bumped into Penny via card challenges I entered in blog land, a few years ago and have become close bloggy friends ever since.  Penny serves on numerous card design teams and her creations are always so well thought through when it comes to design and with awesome colouring skills she brings any digital image to life so creatively.  Then of course Penny and her hubby are serious foodies and with Penny's wonderful writing style she shares their culinary and travel experiences with her bloggy friends in such a colourful way and always with a great sense of humour, that one actually feel you were there with them.  So pay Penny a visit and experience her creative/writing style for yourself.

I have also made loads of other wonderful friends in blog land. There are many of these creators, ladies and men, that I truly admire and are so inspired by. I have had the privilege of meeting some of them and it has added so much to my creative journey! So to all my crafty friends, I thank you all for the wonderful words of encouragement and the wonderful inspiration that I always find on your blogs! Every single one of you! 

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little bit better and I hope you will hop along to my tagged friends. Signing off with the following:

In the words of Richard Jeffries: 
"The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours we live."

Crafty hugs


  1. Wouw great to get to know a bit more about you hun, and soo fun to read all this. And as always your work is just amazing ofcause.

  2. Such a great post Desire and it was really nice to learn a little bit more about you! ;-) You see, I didn't even know that you scrapped pages....so it was really lovely to see those! Thanks also for your kind words about me, I truly appreciate it! Thanks also for being one of my "tags", especially at the last moment...I am so pleased that you accepted and that you were able to share this post! x

  3. Such a fabulous post Desire and loved reading it. Your layouts are gorgeous and love the design you are working on at the moment. I have not come across any of the blogs you have mentioned apart from Pennies - she is a wonderful lady. Your card designs are always amazing and love how you can create such fabulous embellishments with paper.
    Enjoy the rest of your week.
    Hugs Sharon. x

  4. This is so very pretty in all the shades of green Desire.

    Had no idea you had a store but will be taking a peek, scrap booking is one of those things I keep promising myself I will make time for.

    B x

  5. I know Desire trough MIM and she is a sweet lady..nice word she always write on my blog and she got more fan too if you see her post always full with lovely comment...Happy to know you Desire..big hugs..Monika

  6. Bravo! I loved reading more about you Desire, you are such a multi-talented inspiring woman! I love all your creations, today's offerings are no exception. Thank you for sharing more about yourself with all of us. ~Diane

  7. It's so nice to get to know you better through this beautifully-written post! I am so glad we are blog friends! And I thank you again for asking me to participate! Sending you and the penguins big hugs, Penny

  8. I enjoyed reading this post:)

  9. Wonderful post! I love your artwork.

    I found you through Penny Mull!

  10. What a fabulous post Desire!! I am truly honored to be one of your tags :) I have always admired your work.. You are amazing!! Thank you!!!

  11. what gorgeous projects and very beautiful cards Desire.

    gr karin

  12. Simply gorgeous is your card and image x

  13. I really enjoyed getting to know you more Desire, and more about your creative process!! What a fabulous post!! Have a great day :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  14. Gorgeous cards Desire, love the very cute images and beautiful details. Love the L.O.'s too.

    Donna x

  15. It's wonderful to learn a bit about the person behind the creations Desire. You have a brilliant eye for layouts, colours and just the right amount of embellishments x

  16. Such an interesting post, Desire, I really enjoyed reading it and learning a little about what inspires you. You are a talented artist and designer, your cards are always so beautifully designed and constructed. Your photographs are stunning, I have often admired the beautiful photography published on your blog.
    Your scrapbook layouts are wonderful, so many gorgeous photos, so cleverly arranged!
    Off now to check out your 'tags'.

  17. Beautifully inspire your ideas. The main thing that you love your passion, all the work is great, I am full of admiration for thy new projects. Thank you for the nice comment on my blog. Yours sincerely

  18. This is a fabulous post Desire, it is so nice to see some of your layouts and to learn more about your creative process.

  19. This was a really fun read! You are so talented!

  20. Love the way you write and all you create! Keep it up it makes you the Beautiful person you are! This card is Amazing as Always! Enjoy your Week!

  21. Wow- I love to see all of your adventures- I knew about the cardmaking designs and have seen your beautiful photography on your blog. Wonderful to have found you in blog land- thru Create with TLC- i love Paulette- she is so awesome and I am so glad you joined her team!

  22. Fabulous post Desire..what a fabulous way to get to know more about someone who is so creative.

    Luv CHRISSYxx

  23. A brilliant post Desire, so nice to read all about you!
    Your cards are always gorgeous, you have a fabulous style.
    Lorraine x

  24. All this work is awesome Desire. Thank you for letting us get closer to knowing you sweetie.


  25. What a fabulous post and way to get to know you better, Desire :) Thanks for sharing all about you!

  26. thanks for sharing about yourself, Desire! You already know I love the details and story-telling in your cards, but I especially like your scrapbook pages because the photos really do say it all! hugs, de

  27. These will always be my favourite kind of posts. I love to learn more about the artist behind the art.

  28. That card is really pretty & I have so enjoyed reading these posts shared all over atm. Your name DOING LIFE is really clever & catchy! I have always thought so!!

  29. So glad I found you through Penny's blog and love your scrapbook layouts with photos telling the story. Do visit when you get time
    Dr Sonia
    Cards Crafts Kids Projects

  30. You're so talented, Desire - and it was such a treat to get to know you a bit more in this post! Such lovely, lovely work!!

  31. Hey Love! How are you! It feels like a dog's age since we last talked which is very odd for us! Now that my own is complete I am finally getting the chance to work backwards to you. It has been wonderful getting to know a little bit more about your creative process.

    Love how you thought up your blog name. I also just adore your templates. They are very unique just like you. And hey, I see a familiar 'joy' in there! Very cool the way you've incorporated it. Oh and those trees are simply gorgeous. Which folding technique did you use on them?

    Now I would never have known that you don't own any of the fancy machines. What you can accomplish without them is just incredible.

    You are truly a blessing in my life and I am sure so many others, I can't believe you are almost at the 1000 mark. Your inspiration just keeps reaching out and finding even more people. You deserve all great things so congrats on all your success!

    Big hugs,


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Crafty hugs