Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Life Paper Scrapbook Sketch: A Year Is A Long Time

I love seeing posts from the Life Paper Scrapbook blog come up in my Feedly stream. They always have interesting challenges and I have discovered some wonderful new to me scrapbookers for that extra pinch of inspiration.

I was quite excited about the October sketch. I had a couple of ideas and spent some time trying to make a trio of photos work to no avail. I left it for a couple of days and decided to work with just a single image instead.

Once I had decided on the story I wanted to tell it was easy to put the page together and I even found a pink pen so that the journalling worked with my monochromatic colour scheme.

The story behind this page is the sudden departure of one of Miss Three's best school friends. The two of them got on so well together and unfortunately they returned to Australia suddenly and unexpectedly while we were on holiday in New Zealand so Miss Three did not get to say good bye. It is a harsh reality of expat life that friends leave often but I wanted to record the changes in just a short time.

I used a mixture of old and new supplies including some Sassafrass letters and a new Dear Lizzy frame. Once I started with the very pink paper I decided to embrace the pink whole heartedly.

There is a new colour challenge due any day on the LPS blog and I am going to force myself to have a go. I really struggle with colour challenges so I am sure it will be good for me!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Coconut Muffins

Fear not, my blog is not going to turn into a recipe one. I do feel compelled to share these delicious coconut muffins that I discovered while browsing Pinterest recently. I have made them twice and they have turned out perfectly each time so I think it would be rude not to share the joy!

The recipe comes from a new to me blog called The Roasted Root. It is a gluten free recipe but I just subbed the gluten free flour for plain and we were good to go. This recipe is super easy and I have gussied it up a little with dried fruit. Initially I used dried strawberries and then today I added dried bing cherries. We bought these when we were home for the holidays and I am trying to use them up in delicious things before the climate does awful things to them. I just added half a cup of dried fruit. Craisins or dried apricots would be delicious in this recipe too.

We have a play date this afternoon so I decided to test the recipe in new to me cupcake tins. They were an impulse buy but now that I have tried them I will be buying them again. I have not had great luck with silicon baking pans in the past but greased with a little coconut oil these were fantastic.

We have a Halloween party at school for Miss Three later in the month so I can see what I will be bringing to share. With the cool faces on I don't think I will need to add icing or anything to them. I am really happy with how they have turned out.

I will be back tomorrow with a new layout, with a bit of luck. We have a public holiday here tomorrow so it will be nice to have the three of us together midweek.

Obviously, The Roasted Root have no idea who I am but I really wanted to share their (slightly modified) recipe as it is a great one. There are so many delicious things on the blog. I am pinning like mad! Do you have any favourite healthier food blogs you follow? I am always on the lookout for things that we can eat without feeling too guilty. 

Happy Monday, especially to those Mums who have sent their children back to school after the holidays today.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Listmania 35: Five of my favourite places

After bit of a hiatus, I am so pleased to be taking part in Listmania again. My blogging has been, at best, sporadic and at worst, non existent over the past few months but I am doing my best to get back to a place where I am regularly writing and creating.

I had a long think about this when I saw the topic. I have been in the very fortunate position of being both an expat brat and an expat adult and I have travelled quite widely as a result. I did find that three of my places were in my two home countries and the other two are favourite holiday destinations. I guess I am pretty lucky to have been able to live in places that I love.

1. The McKenzie Country region of New Zealand. I cannot get enough of this spot. Some of you will have driven through it on your way to Queenstown or Wanaka but I suggest that you stop and take the time to enjoy this spectacular part of the world. We have spent many happy times as a couple and a family in Twizel, Tekapo and Omarama. If we won Lotto and never had to work again we would seriously consider living here.

A selection of photos from our trips there over the last few years

2. Singapore  I have been fortunate to live here four times throughout my life and although it has its frustrations it is still a city that I am very happy to call home. My daughter was only four months old when we moved here and this is her only home. It is culturally vibrant, constantly changing and a very easy place to live.

A selection of Singapore images

3. Phuket, Thailand  I know it has a reputation  as a tourist trap and there are more remote beaches with fewer people on them in Thailand, but as a place to relax with young children it is hard to beat. We stay away from Patong with all the crazy nightlife and bunk in some of the quieter beaches further north on the coast. The food is incredible, the people are friendly and the beaches are fabulous. I have been visiting Phuket since I was 12 and I am so glad that my daughter loves it just as much as I do.


4.  London I love London even though it is over ten years since I was last there. I know I couldn't live there (the climate is just awful) but as a place to visit it is unparallelled. So much culture, history and excitement around every corner and one of my best friends lives there as well.

5. Christchurch, New Zealand This will always be my home even if I never live there again. The city I grew up in has been erased by the earthquakes but many of the people I love are there and it is a beautiful place.

So there are my favourite places. Sorry for the lack of photos for the latter two. I don't think I even had a camera the last time I was in London and my photos from Christchurch tend to be just family snaps rather than the greater city.

Have you got any favourite places to share? I am always looking for new adventures!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

1-2-3 Challenge sketch

Thank you for the warm welcome back. I am trying hard to get back to some more regular blogging and creating. Miss Three has finally returned to school after being sick for ten days. It was lovely to have her home but it became harder to keep her entertained as she became well! Crafting time was just not going to happen.

I happened upon the 1-2-3 Challenge blog via another blog I read - Blessed Life. Raquel is on the design team for this challenge site and I decided to have a go after seeing her work for this month. The challenge  is to include a colour, a word and a technique in your layout.  This month's challenge is to include the colour yellow, the word heart and a mixed alpha title or journalling. I knew the word and title would be fine but yellow is not a colour I use often and I was really having to delve into my stash to find much at all.

I found a picture I have been meaning to scrap for a while from Miss Three's birthday party. It had a lot of yellow in it as she wore a yellow dress and is standing by a very yellow table cloth. It also includes her best friends from when she was tiny so there was a good story to add.

The background is a kraft cardstock but it has a very yellowish look in this image. The papers and embellishments are a range of very old (sassafrass lettering) and very new (Amy Tangerine vellum pocket) and a bit of the in between (MME label). 

I have to admit I struggled a bit with this layout, probably because I almost never scrap on kraft but it seemed to make the patterned papers pop a little more than white. Still it is good to work outside your comfort zone every now and again.

A little close up

I have added this layout to the challenge board and would love to see any other readers' interpretations of the challenge.

Do you have any favourite challenge sites? I would love to hear about them. I think the Life Paper Scrapbook  sketch is going to be my next mission.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Stuck Sketch got me unstuck

I have been in a crafting lull lately and decided that the scores of sketches that I save would be a good place to start. I decided to start with the most recent sketch to fall into my Feedly feed. The October first offering from Stuck?! looked like a good place to start.


I had a portrait photo of Scarlett modelling a necklace she made and I knew this would be perfect for the sketch. Scarlett has been off school all week with a virus so I set up on the lounge floor while she napped on the couch and things came together pretty quickly.

I used a variety of collections including Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper and MME's Find Your Wings and Fly. For once I took a photo of my layers before I started gluing and it was just as well as a certain small person dismantled the whole pile.

It felt really good to be crafting again. I hope I manage to grab some time tomorrow to try another sketch. S is home for the rest of the week with her bug so I might be lucky!