Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Some Days are Longer Than Others

Scarlett was wonderfully well behaved while her father was away last week. Shouty Mummy barely made an appearance and all was sunshine and rainbows in our world. Daddy went back to work today and it has been the longest morning ever.

All I had to achieve today was a small grocery shop and about six loads of laundry. The laundry was on target but getting Scarlett dressed and out the door took the best part of three hours. Either she did not want to do what needed to be done or she wanted to do it herself. I love her increasing independence but not the tantrums that come when she cannot do it herself the first try. My hoped for leisurely grocery shop turned into a sprint event so we were home in time for lunch with Daddy. At least she has gone down for her nap without a fight.

We ended up having an unexpected long weekend as Tet took the Monday off to make up for all the lost weekend days from his recent work trips. We dropped Monkey off at school and we went out for a leisurely breakfast followed by a reflexology session. It really was lovely, although I think Tet regretted getting the shoulder massage as that was pretty full on. Scarlett was thrilled Daddy picked her up off the school bus and after we all had an afternoon nap, Daddy and Scarlett had a swim. Simple pleasures.

Saturday and Sunday were really busy. We spent a lot of time out and about wearing Miss S out. Her sleeping habits are much improved so I think it may be working.

She was the picture of sartorial elegance on her way to gym. I could not persuade her to have the brim of her hat turned up, nor to remove it on the bus. She really does like to stand out.

Gym was fun and the novelty of Mummy helping her instead of Daddy kept her more on task than usual. Note that she is sitting far away from her mother though. She likes to do the activities by herself. Normally she is shooting off in the distance like her tutu wearing buddy so I will take what I can get!

This shot was from our Sunday breakfast outing. I was just trying to get a shot of Scarlett checking out the menu but it is one of my new favourite photos of her. She really does look up to no good!

Scarlett's favourite part of the weekend was our discovery of a new mall out by the airport. Not only does it have an amazing water play area on the roof, but it also has a great pay to use playground a floor below. She and Daddy had a wonderful session while I watched on.

Fun in the Ball Pit

Enormous Balloons

Tea for Two
Yes, it has been a busy few days. It has been so lovely to have Tet home with us again. Now the countdown is on until Grandad's arrival and our trip to Penang. I cannot wait!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Her Favourite Person

We are in the home stretch. In less than 18 hours Daddy will be home. It has gone quite quickly to be fair. Scarlett has been very good and we have had a pretty fun week. I even managed to do a bit of crafting.

I had a wee play with Elmwood Park this morning and ended up with this layout. This is one of my favourite photos of my Dad and Scarlett. Scarlett is a man's girl. She gravitates to men and her two favourite people are my Dad and her Daddy closely followed by Uncle Shinya. She is my Dad's shadow when they are together and she is beyond excited that he will be here with us in three weeks! This photo was taken on Christmas afternoon after a very large lunch. We had one of the few sunny warm days of our trip and Dad's garden was looking pretty lovely.

I started off working with the kit but ended up adding lots of non kit things including the banner and journalling block from Basic Grey's Clippings line. More SC veneer people, Hello Forever flair, and MME stickers rounded it out.This layout started off on white dotted cardstock but I just couldn't get it to work. Once I turned the white into a photo mount and added the coloured cardstock it all fell into place.

I am trying to keep myself alert today as it is Studio Calico presale at midnight Singapore time. I have my eye on a couple of add ons and a couple of shop items so I know I need to stay up. Coffee with diet coke chasers today, obviously. Is anyone else doing the same? I love hearing what people have in mind to buy!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Fun Times

Don't you love going to visit a friend and feeling really comfortable and relaxed in their home? Scarlett and I went to visit my former workmate and her husband and son today. It was lovely going to a house where the parents were relaxed about child noise and drama, the house was child friendly and we both just had a lovely time. It was hard to get Scarlett to leave.

We love living in Singapore but it can be a little isolating. As a SAHM who is not here on an amazing expat package I can't always keep up with the neighbours. We have a lovely life but I don't have a helper and I don't have huge wads of discretionary income to spend on babysitters and other such activities. It was nice to spend time with a couple in the same position. It can be hard to remember that life here is a bit removed from reality for many expats.

I had hoped to be able to share some pages of my mini album today but the light is not flash and I think I may need my assistant to help me work out how to hold all the pages open. I am about halfway through and am really enjoying remembering the few days away. It was a real holiday.

Here are a couple of photos from the trip to give you an idea of why we enjoyed it so much.

McKenzie Country Skies

Constantly Changing Weather

Mountains, Lakes and Fresh Air

A Very Happy Munchkin

Now I am feeling a bit homesick!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wearing Her Out

I believe I am a bit of a Mean Mummy. I find I run a tighter ship when Tet is away. Scarlett goes to bed earlier. She is expected to do a little more when she is getting ready for school or an outing. It is so worth it though. She is sleeping at least 90 minutes more a day this week and we have had a lot of fun. There is nothing better than a child who wakes up with big smile on her face!

Yes she really has been waking up happy!

Scarlett does not go to school on Tuesdays. We always try to do something fun on those days. She decided she wanted to go to a park a bus ride away from our house. She loves the bus. She would ride the bus with me everyday if she could. She smiles at and talks to the other passengers, talks about all the things she can see out the windows and just loves every aspect of public transport. 

Tiong Bahru Park has a really great playground. It has a big train climbing contraption which is all on a lean. Scarlett loves the "wobbly train" even if she is too scared to do too much in there. She loves the slides and the ladders though and it keeps her happy and occupied. We left our trip a little late and some of the equipment was too hot to touch by the time we reached the playground. There is a lot of grass and winding paths to explore so we were kept more than occupied for a good ninety minutes. Scarlett especially likes standing on the little bridge and watching the turtles.

I was amazed that we had the entire playground to ourselves for the length of time we were there. There were a number of people using the wider park facilities but no other children. It was very warm though.

Scarlett loved running around and exploring... and I like to let her think she is unsupervised. I can always see her but I think it is good to give her a sense of freedom. It is a joy living in a country where children are so safe. 

She is a very sporty wee tot. She loves to swim, take gym classes and ride her scooter. She will start ballet next month and she can hardly wait. I made a layout this week to celebrate her active self.

I love the look of the stacked paper squares. I find it is my go to technique especially when I love so many patterned papers in a kit. The Elmwood Park kit is just chock full of beautiful patterned paper. I am in love with all the reds this time around.

Miss S will be home from school soon. I had best get a snack ready and try and get another couple of mini book pages completed before she returns. We have been making a lot of smoothies lately. She loves putting all the fruit and yogurt into the blender and turning the blender on. Two year olds and noisy machines - surely a match made in heaven!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I'd Totally Forgotten

I had great plans of completing two mini albums during my four week holiday in New Zealand over Christmas. I had obviously forgotten that I had a 22 month old and would be sole parenting for half the trip. Throw in a couple of earthquakes and the plans were in tatters.

I did complete my December Daily a little while after the end of my trip but the Amy Tangerine Day Book that I had planned to fill with images of our mini break down to Wanaka never got beyond a title page. Fast forward to this week and I stumbled across my daybook. I coincidentally just ordered 160 odd photos from the holiday. I think you can see where this is going...

So my aim this week is to get this daybook filled with photos and thoughts. I hope I have something to share with you by the weekend. I am excited by the stacks of photos from this trip. Let's hope the enthusiasm lasts!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Instagram Love

I still wonder what I did before my iPhone and Instagram. I rarely pull out my camera to take a photo as my iPhone pictures are generally every bit as good.  I love the Instagram community too; such a fun, positive online space.

I worry a little that I occasionally flood the feed with pictures of Scarlett but I do try and show some restraint. If you can cope with a fair few shots of Miss S then please follow my feed @clairetomonaga.

Today's layout is very simple. I love this little photo of Scarlett and her two best friends hugging/collapsing together. The three of them really do love each other.

Most of this layout is from SC Twisty Slide add on with a few pieces from the Elmwood Park main kit. The LOVE title is a Dear Lizzy piece from American Crafts. I am in love with the brighter colours this month and really excited about working further with this one. 

I am expecting a bit of a lighter crafting week this week as Tet is away in Indonesia all week so I am the 24/7 parent. Thank goodness for pre school! It did not start well as Miss S woke at 1 am convinced it was time to get up. It took me a couple of hours to fall back to sleep and then Poppy decided she needed breakfast at 4.30am. Needless to say I am a bit slow today!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Simple Summer Sketch

I really enjoy the blog Write Click Scrapbook. I am not a digital scrapbooker but I find the simple approach and wide range of contributors really inspiring.

A few weeks ago Donna Jannuzzi shared a great simple sketch that I filed away.
Here is the sketch.

I had a couple of pictures from a trip to the Chinese Gardens that I wanted to scrap and decided that this sketch would be ideal.

The entry to the gardens is so man made and hard that I thought softer floral based patterns would be the right thing to add a garden feel. These papers from the Sc So Cal add on Malibu, fitted the bill.

I am expecting nearly 150 photos in the mail today from our New Zealand trip in December. I managed to restrain myself from printing all the photos I uploaded to Snapfish! I can't wait to get stuck in with some serious scrapping!

Have a wonderful weekend! Tet is away all next week from Sunday to Saturday so we will be squeezing in a lot of family fun tomorrow to make up for his absence.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Two Sketches One Layout

I have been using sketches to boost my productivity this week. I saw this sketch on Shimelle's website today (it is quite an old one but new to me) and it reminded me of this week's Sunday Sketch at Studio Calico.

Below is the Studio Calico Sketch.

I decided to kind of mix and match them a bit to create something fun.

This is almost entirely my, fresh off the plane, Studio Calico Elmwood Park kit with a few bits from add on 2, Twisty Slide. The only non kit additions are the sequin style Thickers from American Craft, the Basic Grey flair and the Freckled Fawn hemp thread. Oh and the Elle's Studio journalling and date spots.

My daughter would admit that her favourite food in the world is not cupcakes but in fact Chewbaba (cucumber) but cupcakes are a very close second. Well, to be honest, the icing on the cupcakes is what she likes. She can take or leave the cake part. We have rather a large collection of pictures of  Scarlett and cupcakes but these are two of my favourites.

I am totally in love with those Thickers. I also bought them in blue but I can see I may need to get a couple more packs as they will not last long.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sketches Save the Day

I have been saving sketches that catch my eye on my Reader and then not using them. This week I vowed to make use of a couple before they disappeared off the top of my Reader list.

I first spotted this sketch on Melissa Priest's blog but it was originally from the Boys Rule Scrapbook kits.  The circles reminded me of the die cuts in the So Cal kit. Melissa simplified the sketch to suit her purpose and I modified it a reasonable amount too.

Please tell me what I did before grey card stock and SC veneer stars?! 
I started off with just the two embellishment groupings but it looked unfinished so I added a third in the top right corner. Everything on the layout is part of the SC So Cal Kit or the Santa Monica add on  with the exception of the Noel tab on the journalling which is from the 2011 OA Christmas line. Since I did not receive mine until January I think this is the first piece I have used from it.

The photo of my daughter was taken on Christmas Day at my Dad's house. She was pretty excited about everything!

I still have not received my July SC kit so I have my fingers crossed that today will be the day.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Blog Block

I spent a couple of hours trying to write a post for Friday last week and failed. I wrote quite a lot but it all seemed like self indulgent drivel. It will remain in draft form as a reminder to myself that sometimes it is better to say nothing! You can thank me later!

It did include a photo of a delicious Mocha Caramelatte though which I will resurrect as it tasted as good as it looks. I wonder if Miss S could be persuaded to take a walk after her nap?

I have killed my 35mm kit. There are still a lot of those mistable hexagons which I won't use and the Heidi Swapp mistable banners which I probably will. Otherwise there are odd bits and pieces and one MME paper that I adore but cannot find the right photos for and that is really about it. I made my final layout with some pictures from our 2011 Japan trip.

The photos are more than a little overwhelmed by the camera print paper but I am glad to have the story behind these pictures recorded. I spent a lot of time wandering around these parks that trip, as Scarlett would only nap in her pram and would wake up every time I took her inside a warm building. I spent hours walking around trying to keep warm and Scarlett asleep. These quiet spaces with interesting art work or religious statures were a welcome distraction.

I am midway through a print order for the photos we took on holiday in New Zealand back in December and January. I completed a December daily with instax photos but I have not scrapped any photos from this trip or indeed printed them out! I apologise that my Christmas themed papers might just be getting a workout over the next little while. It will be good to have these photos in my hands and to work on a collection of pages with some cohesion. Have you got any big projects waiting for your attention?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Scarlett Stars in a Starting Point

For anyone who regularly reads this blog, it will come as no surprise that a great deal of the scrapbooking that happens at our house revolves around the two year old who runs the place. I have a handful of cute but no real story to go with them instax photos and I decided that I would try and use them on one of Shimelle's starting point layouts. Today is the day!

This Starting Point had quite a simple layout. Building a layout from the bottom up using strips and borders and scraps. I was itching to use the SO Cal Studio Calico kit, not the least because my new kit should be arriving anyday and I would really like to feel like I have made a start with the last one!

Once again I remembered to take a photo of my starting point before adding anything.

Now I want to say right from the start that I am not a pink person. My daughter is a purple and red person. I had a feeling if I did not use this pink cardstock early it would languish in my stash for all time. It works really nicely with the MME stripe and decided to go with that. My strips at the bottom are various pieces cut from an SC exclusive Tim and Beck paper and a Heidi Swapp map based fringe.

My initial intention was to just use three instax photos but they did not seem to work for me so I added in an additional photo of Scarlett larking about outside a restaurant with her Dad. I love the three pictures he took  this day. She really does look like a doll.

The tag tucked in behind the PP explains the title a little. We are told almost everyday by random strangers that Scarlett is a doll or looks like a China doll. I think it is her very fair skin and lightish hair combined with her very Asian features but it has become a bit of a standing joke that she is a doll. With this idea in mind, I fussy cut a couple of girl/dolls from the Crate Paper Party Guest paper to add to the effect. I used the exclusive stamp that came with the main kit between two of the instax and the Stamping class stamp below the main title. I am not a very confident stamper but now that I have googled stamp press I am actually using mine properly and it has changed my life!

I loved using the Kaisercraft blossom as part of the CP bouquet

Love the Prima Raspberry Pie ink

I am pretty happy with the way the layout has turned out and I am glad I used something from the main kit and the two add ons I purchased last month. I really need to get scrapping as there are a couple of new lines coming with Summer CHA that have totally caught my eye and I will need to make some room for them!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

First Haircut and First Double Pager

I have been saving some of the last papers from the Field Guide kit to create my first double page layout. I saved some Basic Grey paper for the background and hoped that I would come across something worthy of two pages.

As part of the Cover to Cover class Shimelle Laine offers, I made a short list of layouts that I felt were missing from this year's album. One of the important events was Scarlett getting her first haircut. She was just a month shy of turning two when she had her first haircut and I was definitely more nervous about it than she was!

I spent a lot of time positioning the green strip of paper just so on the second page so everything lined up only to completely cover it with photos and other paper!

All the papers are from the SC kit. The embellishments on this page include a Sasha Farina flair, Amy Tangerine sticker and a MME border sticker. The Thickers are an SC exclusive from the So Cal kit.

 The same lines are represented on this second page. The right hand photo was taken on the runway they have in the salon for the children to show off their new looks. 

I am glad I had a go at a double pager and especially glad that I have recorded this event in my album as well as in Project Life. I think I may challenge myself again to this format if I have an event with more than a couple of photos. It has also officially meant the end of the Field Guide kit! I am so excited to get stuck into So Cal for the rest of the week.

Right, the kitchen calls. I have a pile of veges that need turning into ratatouille and sadly they won't chop themselves up! Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Champagne Brunch Is My Weakness

We spent a very pleasant afternoon on the island of Sentosa on Sunday. Our guests are big fans of the Sunday Champagne Brunch which is a very popular offering among the five star hotels here. I put out a request on Facebook for some ideas on where to go this time and The Sentosa Resort was suggested. I am so glad we booked there!

When we first got to the car park we were greeted by an amusing sign.

We kind of thought they were overstating the case but when we walked onto the terrace of the restaurant we were greeted by this sight.

The best sight of the day was shortly after when one of the waiters was chasing after an over eager peacock with a long cane to scare it with in one hand and a bottle of French Champagne in the other. It was more than a little surreal and I wish I had managed to take a photo.

The brunch is held in a lovely restaurant with a mixture of indoor and outdoor tables. It has been very hot so we went for indoors with plenty of AC but this is the view from outdoors.

I did not take a huge number of photos of the food but it was superb. I have been to brunches with a wider variety on offer but everything was delicious. There were no filler items just the best quality food. I really enjoyed the dessert buffet and the Spit Roasted Suckling Pig but really it was all an absolute treat.

Scarlett had a wonderful time. There were loads of her favourite foods and she enjoyed eating her own ice cream cone after a big helping of savoury delights. We later found the children's room where they had a DVD station, a Wii set up, lots of toys, a kids buffet including a popcorn cart and Cotton Candy. Everything thought through so well.

This was the first of too many helpings of food. The lobster tails were so delicious, beautiful soba noodles and I had a really piggy helping of Japanese pickles which are one of my favourite foods. 

Fruity dessert - truly delicious
There was a table groaning under the weight of air flown French cheeses and another covered in about twenty different types of breads. You can see one of the three desert areas behind Scarlett in the picture above. Spoilt for choice was an understatement.

We waddled back to the car and were very pleased to have a nap when we got home. After our nap we headed out to a local food court for dinner. I really had no appetite so I shared a platter of fresh fruit with hubby and Scarlett and then followed it up with a Mango Ice Kachang. This dessert is simply shaved ice covered in flavoured syrups and evaporated milk with a selection of red bean, longans and jelly underneath. This one was greatly improved by the addition of fresh mango pieces.

Light and delicious. Just what the doctor ordered after an afternoon of overindulgence.

So we have decided we will be having our Christmas lunch at The Sentosa this year. It is not a cheap meal out but as an occasional treat is a wonderful thing.

Monday, 9 July 2012

One Quick Layout

Wow! This past weekend has just flashed by. We caught up with three lots of visitors between now and last Wednesday and two lots stayed with us. I dim sum brunched, champagne brunched, tour guided, celebrated hubby's 39th birthday and now I need another weekend to recover!

Who could complain about spending a weekend with this gorgeous pair?

All this reconnecting and eating has made a lot of memories, clogged my instagram feed (sorry those who endured my over sharing) but resulted in precious little scrapping! I did manage to work on one layout on Friday while my guest and daughter napped so I will share that with you. We still have people staying indefinitely with us at present while they decide whether to go to London and Paris or to just head home to Kobe (... I know what I would choose) so my creative time is going to be limited. At least I will have loads of photos for Project Life.

This is my first proper layout from the So Cal kit.I loved this paper on sight and the photo seemed to work well with it. My daughter has always been mad on mirrors and this has not changed as she has grown older. I love this photo my hubby snapped of her admiring her own reflection. I just added in some of those gorgeous muse woodgrain Thickers, SC veneer stars, a doily and some of the cute die cutes included in the kit and called it done! I am in love with the orange Tim and Beck letters too. So cute and the mix of fonts is perfect!

I hope you all had great weekends and those in the States are not melting away in those 40 degree days! 35 is about my limit!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Morning Joy

Brunch at Forty Hands on Sunday.... that Flat White was bliss!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Rainy Days and Visitors

In spite of my best intentions, an episode of Poirot that I had not seen before sucked me in last night and robbed me of my creating time. I love all those Agatha Christie books and shows and Poirot especially. All that Art Deco glamour... I am still making headway with Project Life but a rainy morning here has put paid to any Mummy time.

We have a busy week ahead. I have an old friend visiting for a few days (starting tomorrow) on her way to Europe for a three month holiday. I am also having a catch up on Saturday with an old workmate/friend who I have not seen for several years. We might also have Scarlett's surrogate Japanese grandparents staying for the weekend so there may not be a lot happening creatively but I think there could be plenty of memory making going on.

 Did anyone else get excited seeing the first sneaks of Amy Tangerine's new release paper line?

How cute is that woodgrain paper? There are some beautiful Thickers and stickers too. Check out her blog for all the goss. I have really used and used her last two collections .They are just so incredibly versatile so this is one collection I will be staking out my LSS for.

Well, I am off to dry some of our clothes from this morning. Scarlett and I had a marathon puddle splashing competition downstairs in the torrential rain. We both got soaked in spite of our umbrellas but it succeeded in curing us both of our earlier bad moods. There really is some truth in just adding water to cranky kids!