Monday, 29 October 2012

Learning to Jump

We had a lovely three day weekend. The weather was excellent. Sadly last night, Scarlett started to sneeze and by this morning she was down with yet another cold and cough. This is the fourth Monday in a row she has missed school due to illness! I am starting to feel like a horrible mother. I am also wondering if my very plain minimal fibre diet in an attempt to control my IBS is having a very negative effect on my daughter's immunity. Lots to think about in preparation for my next visit to the specialist.

I only managed to complete one layout over the weekend as tiredness is forcing me to get as much sleep as I can. On the upside I did crack open my new Roller Rink kit from Studio Calico and I really do love it.

I really wanted to scrap this single photo of Scarlett's first experience on a trampoline. She was not able to jump before she hopped on and after ten minutes was jumping with two feet together like a pro. She enjoyed meeting our friends' daughter, Maya and playing with her. The photo is a little unclear as it was taken through the protective net around the tramp. They are way safer than the ones we played on when I was a child!

I based this layout loosely on a sketch but in spite of my best efforts I cannot find it on my Facebook feed or in my reader. If anyone recognises it I would love to give credit where it is due.

The materials are a mixture of the Main Roller Rink kit and some embellishments from the Couples Skate and Toe Stop add ons. I also added a little washi from my stash. 

Right, I am off to take a nap while the little one is doing the same. We have had an unexpected guest arrive for the week and so I am going to snatch the sleep I need when I can!

Have a great week!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Using up the scraps

I thought I was pretty much done with my Summer of 69 kit but it was not the case. I pulled out my drawer and found enough floral scraps to make me want to scrap some garden based activity photos of Scarlett lying in my ever growing "To Scrap" pile.

These photos are from three separate outings to the Botanic Gardens and Willowbank in Christchurch. I love the fact that Scarlett is wearing both winter and summer clothing in these pictures - a great indication of a New Zealand Summer!

I added lots of odds and ends from my stash to this layout. I was pleased to finally use another one of the Heidi Swapp flags and the explore one really fits the picture. I added an older OA Sidewalks journalling card, some SC veneer, MME brad and a lot of my last few Amy Tangerine Sketchbook stickers. I love the title lettering!

I have had a rough couple of days with yet another IBS flare up. This one resisted medication which was a first and unpleasant development. Fortunately, we were able to send S for an extra day at school to give me a chance to recover today. I foresee a very quiet afternoon ahead.

We have a public holiday here tomorrow. It will be nice to have a three day weekend!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sick Days

We have had a sick wee dot the last three weeks. This is a glimpse of what that looks like.

Sleeping in Mummy's bed (while Daddy is away)

Playing on the Ipad
Putting on plays for all her toys

Snuggles and movies with Daddy

Surprise presents from Uncle Shinya
Markers as makeup

We have a winner

So sorry for the delay in announcing this. Another sick child drama!

The winner is.... btsoi!

I used to draw the winner.

Congratulations Btsoi! I will be in touch.

Thanks to those who entered. The challenge certainly helped keep me a bit more motivated last week.

I did complete my second layout last week with the Amy Tangerine envelopes from my new SC kit. A couple of those lovely MME enamel dots and I have called it done.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Depeche Mode. Coffee and Peace

I love my daughter. I really, really do. The last ten days have been trying though. She has been cranky and unwell and with me ALL THE TIME. The only time I have spent away from her has been a very short trip to the supermarket and about two hours total after she fell asleep at night. Most nights she needed me to be with her to fall asleep. She was well enough to go to school today and she was so ready to be there too. It was fun seeing her face light up as her friends arrived at school and she was more than happy to let me go off too.

I did not need to be asked twice! I headed off on the train to a mall and sat in Starbucks and drank a Salt Caramel Frap and read Jenny Lawson's "Let's Pretend This Never Happened". I have discovered it is a terrible book to read in public as I was laughing so hard I was crying. It is not a good look when you are sitting on your own in Starbucks. I feel ready for a lot more one on one time now with the wee girl. I have Depeche Mode blasting off YouTube as I type... such a luxury when it is often the Wiggles or Scarlett's favourite, Adele.

I got about an hour of free time last night but had lots of little jobs to do so only spent about ten minutes on my layout in the end. This was where I left it last.

I quickly found a couple of Instagrams of a visit earlier in the year with my friend Stefanie. She was in Singapore after a Yoga retreat in Thailand. I have known Stefanie since Middle School so it is always nice to catch up. She lives in the Netherlands so I don't get to see her that often. Luckily she is actually passing back through Singapore next week on her way back from a trip to Bali so we will catch up again then.

I really wanted to draw attention to the photos so used some Amy Tangerine arrows and my new favourite washi from Freckled Fawn. I grabbed a title from the AT collection as well. Just a little journalling to add and I think we will call this done as well. I am wondering about a little vellum envelope with my journalling concealed inside. I think that might be the answer.

Don't you just love that washi?

The photos are a bit off colour wise as we are enjoying yet another thunder storm today! Good light is a bit of a scarce commodity.

I was going to share a Depeche Mode video to finish but I cannot choose a favourite. If you are at a loose end though, You Tube have dozens and dozens of them. Some are funny now as they are so early 80s but the music is still pretty great.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Oops I Did It Again

Impressive thunderstorm .... check.
Falling asleep beside S ..... check.
Lovely two hour nap .... check.

There are worse bad habits to adopt I suppose.

On the bright side my 15 minutes of craftiness last night was successful.

I managed to complete my first layout and got a good starting point made on my next one.

I ended up going with hand written journalling after playing with a handful of journalling cards. Nothing quite worked so I decided finished was definitely preferable to perfect.

I had pulled out an older OA paper from my Handmade collection so I used that as a base and grabbed some scraps from Summer of 69 and put together a layered starting point in the style of Shimelle and that gives me a chance to choose a photo and get embellishing tonight.

I have no great plan for this start but I do love all the bright colours. Here is hoping Miss S gets to bed without me tonight and gives me a chance to play!

Just a reminder that the 15 minute challenge competition runs until Midnight Sunday night EST and there is a $10 Studio Calico voucher up for grabs for all those who take part. Please share something you have made in a 15 minute period in the comments on this or any post from this week and you will go in the draw to win. If I get more than ten entries I will add a second voucher to the mix. You know you want to.

Brr it is a very chilly 24 degrees here now - I have my cardigan on! I hope you are keeping warm and crafty wherever you happen to be today.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Accidental Nap

Things are a little delayed today after I hopped into bed with Scarlett to settle her for her nap this afternoon and woke up nearly three hours later! She is still sleeping as I type. She had a very unhappy night last night with lots of bad dreams and such so the mega nap will do us both some good.

Yesterday's fifteen minutes of craftiness was actually four bursts of less than five minutes as Scarlett really struggled to settle for her nap. I went with the general consensus and set up a simple embellishment block in the top right corner. I am fairly happy with that. I also need to pop some journalling somewhere on the page. I trimmed down a journalling spot from the BG Clippings collection bu I don't love it. The colour is just a little off and the location doesn't thrill me either. 


So I hope to finish this layout tonight and perhaps even gather my supplies for the next one. There is some urgency as my new kit (and FOUR add ons) has just been delivered this afternoon and I really need to get rid of the last pieces of the previous two kits first. I am pondering writing the journalling directly onto the page at this point.

Here is a quick close up of the embellishment cluster. 

I love those Ready Set Go stickers and the pop of colour from Sasha's Paper Play flair is just what it needed.

We have had a tremendous thunder storm here this afternoon and the air is fresh, cool (25 degrees C) and delicious. I plan on opening windows and enjoying the freshness before I start to cook some dinner. The afternoon really has got away from me!

I have been so excited to see what projects my readers have come up with. btsoi has posted some awesome cards in the SC gallery that she has been making in spare chunks of time. I am loving seeing how much we can achieve in those spare moments.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Handmade Revisited

I have a kit from November 2011 that is essentially untouched. I decided to grab this as part of my fifteen minutes a day challenge. I liked the Handmade kit when I ordered it but just have not felt inspired by it when I have been playing with my photos.

When I went to tuck Scarlett into bed last night I found three photos sitting on the table in her room. They were Instax photos from our trip home last year that had been placed in a box and packed away for some reason. I decided to take this as a sign and grabbed the three photos and the Handmade kit and set to work.

This is how far I got in 15 minutes.

At this stage only the photos, Amy Tangerine Love card and title are stuck down. I pulled out some bits and pieces from an OA pack of goodness and spent a little time playing with them. Before I got any further my fifteen minutes was up and my daughter and her father were back from an impromptu trip to the mall. A little bribe to get S to take her Pamol!

I have fiddled for a couple of minutes with the word labels this morning.

I am not sure where I am going with the upper third of the layout. I am thinking perhaps quite a large cluster of something in the middle of the top third...

I am super excited that some of you are onboard to have a go with the challenge. If I get more than ten entries I think I will have two $10 Studio Calico vouchers up for grabs. Those are pretty good odds!

My wee one woke up much improved but has taken a turn for the worse again as the morning has progressed. I thought for a moment she might actually be well enough for school tomorrow but alas it appears that is not going to be the case. Sigh.

Have a happy Tuesday everyone.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Challenge for a Monday

I feel that October has been an epic fail kind of month! I had high hopes that Blogtober would get me back on track with daily blogging but it has not been the case. Life, or rather the ongoing dramas of a sick daughter, has had other plans. I usually do my crafting while Scarlett naps or is at school. She has not been doing either of those things since Tuesday so I have not been crafting.

I am determined that this needs to change. Hubby is off to Japan tomorrow night and I will be sole parenting until Saturday morning. Something has to give. I am going to set myself the challenge of finding 15 minutes a day this week to craft and see what I can come up with by Saturday. The 15 minutes will probably be dictated to by DVD watching slots as there is usually a half hour at least that I can do something else while Scarlett is engrossed in Cinderella or Nemo.

Who is in? I would love to see what all you crafty ladies out there can come up with in 15 minutes a day. I am sure I can find a prize to send to those who take part. Shall we say a $10 Studio Calico voucher?

I have managed to take a few photos of our self imposed exile this week. 

While there has been a bit of cat chasing and table climbing there has been a whole lot more lying around listlessly and refusal to take even pamol to help take her temperature down. She is a stubborn wee thing!

I would love to see what you can create in 15 minutes a day. Please link up any progress shots  in the comments below and I will be back tomorrow with what I create today. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Stray and Delay

I was fully anticipating a Wordless Wednesday post for yesterday and a finished version of the Starting Point I shared earlier in the week going up today. Funny how life has other plans for us!

Scarlett went to bed off colour on Tuesday night and woke up on Wednesday with a very high temperature. Our 24 hour visitors arrived on Tuesday night and I had a flare up of my IBS on Tuesday night as well! Tet left for Thailand very early on Wednesday morning leaving me holding the sick baby and a house full of visitors. I love my husband very much but sometimes his timing leaves a lot to be desired.

Here we are late on Thursday afternoon, Scarlett is still unwell but brighter, my stomach is starting to recover and our visitors are back home in New Zealand. It was a tough day but we got through it. It helped that I put S on a mattress on the floor in our room last night and went to bed when she did at seven. We both feel much better for 11 hours (off and on) of sleep and her wakeups were all really short as she could see me as soon as she opened her eyes. We are definitely doing the same thing tonight!

I was filing some layouts and found one that I thought I wasn't going to share.   I really liked it looking at it again  though so here it is.

I like the more muted tones in this layout. It seemed to suit Scarlett's expression. I had a play with the mistable arrows for this layout and found a layer of Shine on them actually looks quite striking in real life. The colour I tried to use didn't turn out with quite the density of colour I had hoped for but again the Mister Huey Shine improved things no end. All the papers and embellishments are from the Central High kit with the exception of the journalling spot which I think is from Echo Park.

With luck Scarlett will be back at school tomorrow and I will have a chance to get some scrapping done and finish my Christmas layout. We have had a lovely quiet home day even if she has not managed to nap. I fear the daytime nap is definitely coming to an end. It will be greatly mourned.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Happy Mail and a Starting Point

I used another of Shimelle Laine's starting points to make a further dent in my Central High kit last night. Hubby was watching 'Taken' on TV so I sat with him and made a start on this layout.

I love the green on green floral Kesiart paper so I am trying not to cover too much of the rest of it up once I start adding photos and embellishment. I can say that I have added a photo from Christmas Day last year to this starting point and I have pulled out my October Afternoon Christmas supplies from last year that did not arrive until well after Christmas. I have really had some fun mixing and matching these papers this time.

The mail fairies must have seen what I was up to as I received the perfect happy mail this morning. My order of six rolls of washi from Freckled Fawn.

Here is the  Christmas selection which I think will be a perfect addition to my starting point and very useful when it comes time to wrap some presents.

I also picked up two of their new lines that they designed in house. The bottom roll is potty people and the top is a fantastic selection of hearts and arrows. I love them both!

I was quite taken with the colours in Shimelle's original starting point so thought I would share it here as it is the right time of year for North Americans especially to make use of these colours.

I have said it before and I will surely say it again - I cannot get enough of these starting points!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Pure Joy

I love watching my daughter playing with her friends. Her excitement at being part of a group and her love of all things social is so obvious! Over the course of the weekend we had plenty of opportunities to watch Scarlett at play. She had gym class, a play and dinner date with old friends and a pool party celebrating a class mate's second birthday. It really was just as well that ballet was cancelled this week!

I am frantically trying to finish off the scraps from Summer of 69 and make a decent dent in Central High before my new kit and ahem- four -ahem add ons arrive later this week. I had one piece of quite brightly coloured orange card from the Summer of 69 main left. I decided to use a very old Shimelle starting point as a way of keeping the process simple. I made the starting point before I had chosen a photo which is not the way I usually work. As luck would have it I found a photo of Scarlett with a lovely seventies looking tent in the background. I think the card and the photo were made for each other!

I cut some circles from the SC exclusive paper in the main kit. It is times like this I wish I owned some circle punches! I added an Amy Tangerine flower to one circle. The labels and stickers are either from October Afternoon's Cakewalk collection or the new Amy Tangerine line. I added some sequins to the labels to match the Hello There label. I have become addicted to sequins and just ordered half a dozen types on Etsy and they are winging their way from South Africa as we speak! There is some hidden journalling on the card tucked behind the photo mount. The layout is a little simpler than I initially planned but with the bright coloured background I definitely think less is more is the correct approach!

My aim of blogging every day in October fell at the first weekend hurdle. I really struggle to blog over the weekends as we do not spend much time at home. I am not usually that organised to pre post during the week. Something for me to work on I guess.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and that my Canadian readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Five On A Friday : New Products

The stores are full of beautiful new scrapbooking products and I have chosen five that I think will have to come home with me in the next wee while.

The first is an essential which has been unavailable for some time but is finally back in a new and improved way - the SC Crop bags.

I love these bags. They hold 12 x 12 papers with room to spare and keep all of my kits together and tidy. I am excited that they have worked on the zipper as these occasionally failed in the old version. I cannot wait for mine to arrive next week!

I spotted these vellum die cuts on Two Peas last night and I love them. They come in an arrows version and the speech bubbles set. I can see such a lot of potential in these.

I am a sucker for smaller font letter stickers and I love the October Afternoon range. The Midway version Sno Cone are super cute. A usable colour and size. I need these.

I love feathers and especially peacock feathers. I have admired the new JBS wired feathers but their price point of US$5.99  for three feathers is too rich for my blood. Imagine my joy at checking out Greatestview on Etsy and finding these flair.

 Just beautiful and I will be ordering mine soon. I am a huge fan of this Australian based Etsy store. The shipping is reasonable and the service is first rate.

Finally, this tape is not brand new but a fairly recent addition to Freckled Fawn. It was designed in house and it is beautiful. They have three new tapes but this one is my absolute favourite!

It is already on its way to my house and I cannot wait to use it on my layouts.

What has caught your eye from all the recent releases?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Why are Adult Friendships so hard?

We took my daughter out for a sushi dinner the other evening. While Daddy queued up to pay, Scarlett walked up to two children a couple of years older than her and they started playing. The older children told Scarlett their names and she told them hers and they had a lovely time trying to work out if they could get any sweets out of the vending machine without putting any money in while swinging round the machine like it was a carousel. When it was time to go Scarlett announced that she just needed to say goodbye to her friends.

Scarlett making friends in Japan

It got me thinking. I took part in Stephanie Howell's Blog Your Heart earlier in the week and as I read through all the beautiful contributions there was a striking theme. Woman after talented woman lamenting the lack of real friendship in their lives. These women have full, busy, creative lives but find making and sustaining friendships with other women in the area they live very difficult. How do we go from making friends with almost anyone we meet to finding the whole process so difficult?

I can only speak for myself and for me I think some of it is fear and some of it is perhaps the sneaking suspicion that I am becoming depressed. I have become too reliant on the online world. I can chat to people via forums, Instagram and Facebook who share interests with me and get where I am coming from. In the real world I do not know a single person who makes layouts. My husband is really supportive of my hobby but no one really gets it.

Moving overseas with a small baby was a challenge but I really did think it would be easier to meet people than it has been. Our lack of a babysitter means we don't go out together in the evenings and we never really seem to meet couples anyway. My one semi regular outing has been my book club but Tet has been away on four of the last five meetings and is going to be away for next week's meeting as well.

 My IBS has certainly kept me closer to home of late. I am definitely wary of being too far from a toilet so home is a safe place. I do not wish that to be the way I have to live my life. Fear is a paralysing emotion and I do not wish to be ruled by it.

How do adults make friends these days? I am at a bit of a loss. I am not religious and that probably would be a good way to meet like minded people. I do not really participate in any organised sports or activities. Does anyone have any magic solutions?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Road Trip Album Part Three

There has been a bit of a long gap between part two and three. I hope it was worth the wait!

I really loved the mix of papers in this Daybook. There was plenty of space to share the little details of the trip. We love this part of New Zealand so much and are seriously considering buying a holiday home there. Now we just need to find ourselves a money tree!

This page on the doily really has not photographed well. It shows the delicious scones we ate at one of the cafes in Tekapo. They were so good we had them two days in a row!

I love this photo of Tet's sister, Yaeh, and her fiance Henry. We had a lovely day with them when they drove over from Wanaka. The Amy Tangerine label was just perfect for this shot.

There was a great playground over looking the lake. Needless to say it wasn't just Scarlett who had fun there.

These are the two iconic images from Tekapo. The first is the church (Church of the Good Shepherd) which is right alongside the lake. It is a beautiful stone chapel with an amazing view and some beautiful stained glass. The other icon is the sheep dog statue bearing tribute to the role of dogs in settling this part of New Zealand. 

Here is Scarlett helping us pack up the car on our journey. We hoped she would be okay on the longer car journeys and she was a total star. I think it helped that her new car seat was super comfortable.

I was totally blown away by the wide skies when we home. Living in Singapore there are no long range vistas and I could feel my eyes relax. 

The sunsets were not too bad either.

A lovely shot of father and daughter on the Tekapo shore. 

I loved using the Daybook to record our journey and will definitely use one again for this kind of memory recording. I would love a Christmas style one for my December Daily actually.

I have decided to take part in the Blogtober initiative, albeit a little late. The aim is to blog every day in October and perhaps host a giveaway. This month will mark my 200th post so I am looking to give something away when we reach that milestone. If you would like to take part in Blogtober check out all the info here.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Instax Love

I love my instax camera but not as much as my daughter. If she sees it unguarded she is off trying to take photos with it. She has already figured out how to turn the camera on and how to make it take a photo - she finds using the viewfinder a little more challenging. She and my husband had a bit of a play with the instax over the weekend and I was not at all surprised to see that Scarlett's photo of her Daddy was better than his of her.

I was completely over working on my New Zealand vacation photos so I cracked open my Central High kit from Studio Calico and grabbed the instax photos and sat down to check my Facebook. As luck would have it Creative Scrappers had just posted their new sketch and it was perfect for the instax sized prints. I was in business.

Here is the sketch I was working from.

Now I only had two photos but I did not let that stop me!

I fully intended to just use my new kit with this sketch but I found myself reaching for my box of embellies to find a good range of round shapes for the embellishment column. I included some Amy Tangerine flair from the new Ready Set Go line that was in my add on. I also added a Pink Paislee green button, some MME brads and a Basic Grey number brad from the kit. The flair in the title was from Sasha's Paper Play store on etsy I believe. I also included some SC veneer and the tag and envelope are both from BG's Clippings range. I added a few of the little puffy stickers from Ready Set Go to the paper to add some interest to the bottom third of the page.

I am really happy with this layout and really pleased to be working on something current. I am off to order some more recent photos now to keep me motivated to scrap! I ordered all four add ons with the SC October kit so I really need to get my August and September kits worked through pronto!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Blog My Heart : The September (well now October) Edition

Okay. I may have squealed just a little when this appeared in my Facebook feed. I would love to say I read it while keeping up with my reader but there are over 200 unread things on there at present so I am looking forward to reading Stephanie's post again later in the week!

For those who have not come across Blog Your Heart before, it is an opportunity to blog about the things that are on your heart and mind currently. I have found it such a useful exercise as it enables me to be grateful for the positives and to get the things that are bothering me off my chest. Head over to Stephanie Howell's blog and check out the other contributions if you do not follow her already. It is always an interesting read.

1. My recent diagnosis with IBS has been a pretty negative thing for me.I was hoping they would find something wrong that could be easily sorted. Instead this looks like it is going to be a long process with no guarantee that it will ever be resolved. While I am grateful that we have health insurance which meant I was treated quickly it is unlikely the insurance will cover the things that may actually help including a dietitian, acupuncture and stress reduction. Funnily enough the whole constant running to the toilet and becoming increasingly housebound is making me very stressed!

2. I am still too scared to look for a job. I fear I have completely talked myself out of it now. I could really do with some more social interaction that a job would provide, not to mention the fact that earning some money would be quite a nice bonus. I have postponed everything until January when S will start five day preschool but I worry I will let the fear rule then too.

3. I love having people to stay with us on their way through Singapore but less so when hubby is away. Even when they are super independent I feel pressure to show people around and when T is away life is a pretty scary juggling act. 

4. I am sooo behind on Project Life. I am going to have to do monthly spreads for July, August and September to catch up. I still love it but I am finding it a bit of a nagging voice in the back of my mind.

5. I have failed to make a single meaningful friendship in the time I have lived in Singapore. I have been here for two and a half years and I do not have a single person who I could just call for no reason. Indeed I no longer have anyone I could do that with. It makes me sad.

6. I adore the fact that my husband has a job that he loves. Lately though, the travelling schedule has been brutal on us as a family. September was a killer with trips every week and now October is the same. He assures me that November will be better but I seem to recall that he said something similar about October. I just keep focusing on the sir miles. We have enough for two of us to get to New York in July and hopefully enough for me to head back to NZ mid next year too.

7. T and S were talent scouted by a modelling agency on the weekend. Well, T was approached about S. I have checked them out and they are an amazing agency who have models working for some major companies. I just worry I might make her too aware of her physical side by following this opportunity. What if she turns into one of those Toddlers and Tiaras girls or I turn into one of those Mums!?

8. I am super excited about Christmas. We have family from Japan and NZ coming for the holiday period and that makes me happy. I am working on creating some family traditions for the Christmases we spend in the tropics as it is very far from a white Christmas here.