Thursday, 30 April 2009

Thank you tea bags!

I sent this card to Tamara to thank her for the acrylic stamps RAK. I've used the acrylic stamping block so much since then - I seriously had no idea how much more effective it is than the old plastic box I had been using. So thank you again Tamara, and I hope you don't mind my showing off your card!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


This was another Scrap Whispers Challenge which I've just realised I haven't written about. The Challenge was to use every colour of the rainbow in a LO. The obvious subject would be a rainbow, but we simply don't get those much in Singapore. I suppose it's because being so close to the equator, the sun is too high in the sky to shine through the rain. But I did have this stunning photo of clouds around the moon lit up with almost the full spectrum of dispersed moonlight. I got the earth photo from the net and printed it onto standard card.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Top Gear

Last September my brother came out to stay with us for the Formula 1. OK, I'd like to think he came to see us too, but he timed his visit perfectly! We managed to get tickets for one of the better stands for the whole weekend and it was an amazing experience.

It was the first ever night race in the history of F1, and also the first time Singapore had hosted the race. It was a street track like in Monaco, and they spent I don't know how much on building a pits area and brand new approach roads. Our stand was perfectly positioned opposite the Esplanade Theatre and Concert Hall, right by the food "village", close to the portaloos and with a view of a long straight part of track which ended right by us at turn 14 and then went underneath the main grandstand. We had a massive screen to watch the TV footage, which was needed because otherwise we would have had no idea what was going on.

The noise was indescribable! We had a speaker blaring at us at a volume that we thought to be unnecessary until the cars went past - then we realised why. Wow! The ear-plugs went in very early on.

We went for a walk-around the night before the 3-day event (you could say we were excited!) and suddenly walking the other way along the pavement was David Coulthard! My brother had the presence of mind to get his camera out in time to take a photo. Excitement instantly doubled!

The race itself was very entertaining, with Massa from Spain driving off with the fuel pump still attached to his fuel tank, and controversy over illegal pit-stops when the safety car was out - and more controversy because the safety car had to come out at practically every race because of various cars' altercations with the race barriers and walls - the height of the bumps on the track edges was blamed. But nobody was seriously injured. Massa won the race but British Lewis Hamilton (my brother's favourite) came in second and won the series so we were happy!

I fell in love with this paper for a Formula 1 LO! I used some goodies from my ScrapJazz prize, and made the journalling spots to match the Top Gear wheel.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

A true friend

Michelle on ScrapJazz is putting together a little project for another Jazzer who is struggling through some upheaval at the moment. She asked everyone for contributions which I think is a lovely lovely idea and so kind of her. I sent my contribution across the pond to the States, along with this little card for Michelle. She's received the parcel, but hasn't given the gift yet so I can only show you the card.

This is actually the same green Verdigris embossing powder as I used on FIL's card, but doesn't the background colour make a difference?

Friday, 24 April 2009

Friday Funny

The Marriage Test

I was a very happy man. My wonderful girlfriend and I had been dating for over a year, and so we decided to get married. There was only one little thing bothering me... her beautiful younger sister.

My prospective sister-in-law was twenty-two, wore very tight miniskirts, and generally went bra-less. She would regularly bend down when she was near me, and I always got more than a nice view. It had to be deliberate. Because she never did it when she was near anyone else.

One day her 'little' sister called and asked me to come over to check the wedding invitations. She was alone when I arrived, and she whispered to me that she had feelings and desires for me that she couldn't overcome. She told me that she wanted me just once before I got married and committed my life to her sister.

Well, I was in total shock, and couldn't say a word. She said, 'I'm going upstairs to my bedroom, and if you want one last wild fling, just come up and get me.'

I was stunned and frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs. I stood there for a moment, then turned and made a beeline straight to the front door. I opened the door, and headed straight towards my car.

Lo and behold, my entire future family was standing outside, all clapping!

With tears in his eyes, my father-in-law hugged me and said, 'We are very happy that you have passed our little test. We couldn't ask for a better man for our daughter. Welcome to the family.'

And the moral of this story is:

Always keep your condoms in your car.

(With thanks to Jayne for sending this to me)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

FIL's birthday card

This was one of the things I couldn't show you before, but now I can!

I know I'm not alone in finding it difficult to think of ideas for cards for men. I've always got a weather eye open for new ideas. I bought this bird stamp in a set of three specifically with men in mind, and black with metallics is so masculine and stylish.

I heat embossed the bird and the greeting inside with Verdigris embossing powder. I used my binding hole punch along the edge, and threaded the ribbon through. Because of the unusual shape, I made the envelope and gave it a dark green insert.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Today's LO

is... my first attempt at a digital page. I used free stuff from Free Digital Scrapbooking and Two Peas in a Bucket just to see how I got on with it. The Challenge was from Scrap Whispers but I was much too late with entering for the prize. To be honest I felt a bit guilty entering again when I just won, but I think my conscience will heal quickly!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

A creation a day keeps my conscience at bay

So that's a little of what you'll get while I'm busy with the rellies.

Here is today's: my Dirty Little Secret, a Challenge from ScrapJazz.

The journalling reads "My Dirty Little Secret is running up a huge bill talking to my Mother on the 'phone for hours. But at least it's cheaper than flying 6,500 miles to take face to face. We share an irreverent and often inconvenient sense of humour, a gift which we don't share with anyone else. I miss her."

Monday, 20 April 2009


On Friday morning I had a "pool date" with Dutch Twinkle. We spent an hour swimming leisurely lengths and chatting as the pool gradually filled up with people. It was a somewhat interrupted swim, as the fogger (the twice-weekly insecticide for mosquitoes) came round at one point and we had to get out and find a smoke-free bit of air to breathe. A pile of maids and mothers brought their small children into the shallow end, and we were serenaded with "The Wheels on the Bus" ad nauseam. I think I preferred 99 Red Balloons!

Then a proper swimmer got in. You know the sort: swimming goggles on, powers up and down the pool in a focussed and professional way that gives the illusion that mowing down slower swimmers and children is actually acceptable. After he'd missed me by inches for the second time, DT told him off. He apologised but the shaking head and goggle-magnified rolling eyes negated any sentiment. And off he went again in the same manner. We swam a few widths to get in his way purposely, then got bored with being childish and got out.

DT told me some interesting things though. One night in March last year when DH was away, I was disturbed by this terrific banging, vibrating noise that shook the bathroom walls and drowned out the TV. It was completely impossible to sleep through even with ear-plugs, because I was feeling rather than hearing it. I got dressed again and went to investigate. It seemed to be coming from the apartment below on floor 18. I met another lady from floor 17 with a very heavy Korean accent. She was panicking that something was going to catch fire, come down through her ceiling, explode and flood her apartment - barking mad. She said that she'd called the police!

This seemed rather extreme, but I joined her as we went and joined her husband who was talking to security. It was nothing to do with me, but what else was I going to do? Sit and listen to that racket all night? Nobody could raise the residents of the apartment although we could see lights on. The police weren't allowed to break in, however hysterical #17 got. We were all sent back to bed - haha. At around 4am the noise stopped and I guessed someone had made contact with the residents and dealt with it. The following day I heard the unmistakeable sounds of workmen and plumbers, and that night I slept. Good, sorted.

A few months later DH was again away, and I was woken up at 1am by shouting, screaming, the crashing of furniture. I listened for a while thinking someone was having a moving-in/out fight. They happen here: moving is stressful. But this went on and on. I got dressed and went to call security. I could see all the lights on in Hysterical #17's apartment. I should point out here that I'm 2 floors away on the 19th! It took 20 minutes for the security guard to wake up his colleague to come and relieve him at the front gate, but finally we were on our way back. We listened outside the apartment. The lights were still on but the noise had died down. My friend the security guard was very nice and told me to ring the gate if I was disturbed again. I didn't hear anything more.

So back to DT's gossip. Firstly, he has heard Heffalump Child and its marbles. From 2 floors down. He only realised that it wasn't me after I whinged to him about it. Good, if I ever meet these people I can now say something. Maybe I'll go and call on them when we move out. :)

Secondly, he calls Hysterical #17 the "maid-beater". He says it's a monthly thing, although I don't know whether that coincides with salary payment or a clash of hormones. We already know that the police can't do anything in a situation that's classed as "domestic", so nothing can be done to help. I wonder why the maid stays with them. Now that's drahmah duckie.

Friday, 17 April 2009

DH gets home tonight!

My posts will be a little sparse for the next couple of weeks, because I'm picking DH up from the airport tonight, and then on Monday his parents arrive for a 2 week visit. I'm going to have my hands full.

We're taking them to Kuching in Borneo for a week during that time. I've never been to Borneo before so I'm getting excited. You can bet your boots I'll be filling my camera card up with photos to bore everyone with when we get back. The scrap-booking possibilities will be endless.

I'll make sure I schedule some Friday Funnies for while I'm gone. Bye for now!

Friday funny

This little 16 second clip has been around for a couple of years now, but I only just found it. I think it gets funnier each time you watch it.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

99 red balloons

Last week at art group L lent me some of her scrap-booking toys to play with: a set of alphabet dies and the cutest balloon punch. I ran off some sets of letters during the week, and then when I went to pack everything up to give back, I came across the little balloon punch buried in paper bits. Knowing that everyone was waiting for me to come back to the group, I hurriedly grabbed some different coloured papers and card-stock scraps and got punching. It was fun!

I finished with the expensive red card-stock bits and that was the most fun of all. The punch just sliced through and the balloons went flying around my ears, down my neck, landing on the floor and everywhere - I was in too much of a rush to pick them up.

Guess what song I was humming all afternoon? ROFLMAO emote

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

My prize has arrived!

I've been working on lots of things this week, but they're presents so I can't share them yet.

But look what the postman brought me! It's my Scrap Jazz prize! It's supposed to be US$50 (around S$75) worth of goodies from - but I tell you, there's NO WAY I could buy this lot for S$75, even if it was available here which much of it isn't. Isn't it nuts that even with the shipping costs, it's cheaper to buy on-line than from the shops here?

Anyway, this is what I've been waiting for!

See that red, white and blue pack of chipboard die-cuts at the top left side? That's absolutely perfect for my latest LO for the April LO Challenge, which is to produce a LO with a title from a TV programme. Mine's to be called Top Gear and I'm featuring photos from when the Formula 1 came to Singapore for the first time, for the first ever night race in F1 history. My brother came out to stay, and we all managed to get tickets. I'm no petrol-head (although I love watching Top Gear!) but I had a wonderful time. The noise was indescribable! David Coulthard walked right past us the night before it all started and my brother got a snap of him, so that has to go in. It was also the race when Massa tried to drive out of the pits with the fuel line still attached to his car - big oops!

So please excuse me while I go and clear that load of beautiful stash off my desk and get stuck in!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Molasses cookies recipe


* 1-1/2 cups ghee or butter
* 1-3/4 cups blackstrap molasses
* 4 eggs
* 3 cups rye flour
* 2 cups rice flour or oat flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 tablespoons hot water
* 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
* 1 9oz. package dark chocolate chips

How to make it:

1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
2. If using butter, beat it in a large bowl until soft.
3. Add molasses gradually to the butter or ghee, beating in.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.
5. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to the moist mixture.
6. In another bowl, blend the flours and salt together.
7. Gradually add flour mixture to moist mixture, beating until well mixed.
8. Stir in chocolate chips (add nuts if desired).
9. Use a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie, and place on non-stick cookie sheet.
10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
11. Let cool before removing.
12. Makes about 60 cookies, which freeze beautifully.

This has been adapted from the recipe on the Blood Type Diet website Measurements are in US cups. Delicious!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Saturday, 11 April 2009

:( DH delayed

Last weekend DH went to the back of beyond in Oz for a week to work. He was coming back tonight. Yesterday he called to say that everything that could go wrong [i]has[/i] gone wrong - even the backup equipment failed. So he'll be away until next weekend. His parents are coming to stay with us for a fortnight on Monday week, so if he isn't back for their arrival then he'll have more to worry about than failed backup kit!

Meanwhile that gives me a little more time to prepare. I spent yesterday baking. I made nearly 60 molasses cookies and a box of spicy fruit slices. Today I'll be making soup to freeze and some beef stew. That, along with some fish and a turkey I got for the visit, is about all our freezer will hold. We have an enormous freezer, but nearly half the useful space is taken up with the water chiller, and the ice-maker that we don't use. It's the most stupid freezer I've ever had.

On the craft front, I've been lent a pack of Cuttlebug alphabet dies by Lorraine, so I'm going to run those through and get a few sets cut before I give them back on Thursday. Plus I have another Challenge LO to complete today: about the gadget/object that I can't do without. That's a tough one. I mean my laptop is very high on the list but I want something that everyone else won't be using too. Hmm, thinking cap on!

Friday, 10 April 2009

I can't believe how lucky I am!

On Wednesday I had my piano lesson and afterwards I stopped in Made With Love, one of the scrap-book shops in the same shopping mall. I found a little something for a friend of mine in the US who lives on the stunningly beautiful Olympic Peninsula, where Twilight is set. She's a very good photographer, and I asked if she could post some photos of the area. Bless her, she went out with her camera and took some absolutely gorgeous shots for me. Have a look at Tamara's blog My Corner of the Northwest to see them.

So I came home laden with my music and various parcels I'd... ahem... found in Made With Love and the $2 shop upstairs. (Oh and in Spotlight... I'm just not safe when it comes to crafting materials!) And waiting for me in my post box was another little treasure trove from Port Angeles. Talk about telepathic!

There's a card and her little something in the post to look out for, but if she happens to read this too then THANK YOU TAMARA!

Here's what she sent me. The card is meticulously hand-made and quite beautiful.

I've had a few more crafty days lately, but I can't show you anything I've made, because it's all for other people who haven't received them yet, so it wouldn't be fair to post them here first. But once the recipient has OKed it, I'll be able to show you.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Singapore River

I was sitting by the riverside the other day with my camera and 10 minutes to kill.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

German Twinkle anomaly resolved

Because he's Dutch! That makes much more sense!

My doorbell went yesterday, just when I was sitting in my nightwear having a quick surf before getting dressed. Not the lift buzzer, which gives me just enough time to fling on a t-shirt and shorts before the lift arrives, but the actual doorbell. I don't think that's ever happened before, and it meant that someone was standing outside my door, about to see me in my jimmy-jams. Horrors! Thankfully the first t-shirt I could grab was long enough to cover my pretty pink shorts, and I opened the door to find my downstairs neighbour there.

He came to find out about DH's guitar teacher, because he'd got fed up with waiting for his shop to find one for him. DH is away at the moment, and I didn't have the details so I gave him the shop name and my card. While he popped downstairs to get his card, I got a pair of shorts on and felt much more comfortable! He came back and came in for a cup of tea and a chat. He's sweet!

After he'd gone, I realised that that's the first time anyone has dropped in for a chat and a cup of tea without calling first, in the whole time we've been in Singapore. Even my neighbours in the old place lived in different blocks of the same condo and had to buzz me to come up. How about that? In a city of 6 million people (or whatever it's up to now) I'm more isolated than I was in our quiet little house on England's beautiful coastline.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Scrap Whispers!

Click here --> Scrap Whispers
Do you remember that game Chinese Whispers that we played as kids? We all sat in a circle and the first person whispered something to the next person, who whispered what they heard to the next and so on. And what came back to the first person was wildly different from the original.

Well this is the same principle except using scrap-booking pages. The first person creates a page or lay-out (LO) and e-mails a photo of it to the next person. That person takes elements that they like from it and creates their own LO for the next person to scrap-lift. All the LOs are kept secret until the Big Reveal when the last person has finished. Georgina thought of it a couple of years ago, and it was so popular that she created her own network and Scrap Whispers was born.

This is the 5th round, and my first time in the game. There are 7 teams, 42 people playing!

Yesterday my team leader sent me her page to scrap-lift, and... well let's just say that I didn't do much housework. There was such a big build-up for this - signing up for the game then waiting for it to kick off, then having a week to complete my part in it. I had it done by tea-time, with a mild sense of anti-climax that there wasn't more to it! But not for long, because now we have to wait for the Big Reveal which will be mid-May.

I can't show you my LO. You'll have to wait along with me!

Monday, 6 April 2009

A little dream come true

OK this is funny!

Heffalump Child has a piano. Well I wasn't quite sure whether it was Heffalump Child upstairs or German Twinkle from the floor below. I've heard Chopsticks being played very enthusiastically from somewhere, but it can be pretty hard to tell where sound is coming from. Chopsticks on repeat mode can be fairly irritating, and that's why I've never learned, or even tried to play it.

The other day I was again sharing a lift with German Twinkle. He's sweet. We chatted and joked, and I asked whether my piano playing was bothering him. He Twinkled again and asked "Chopsticks?" I said "do you hear Chopsticks being played?" and he made that slightly confused "well... er... yes..." look. Interesting. "Do you have a piano?" I asked. He shook his head.

BINGO! He's hearing Heffalump Child's piano 2 FLOORS AWAY. They're THAT loud.

I'm now just living for the day when he asks me how old my child is...

Sunday, 5 April 2009

I won again!

Good grief!

I just won a prize on ScrapJazz too! Remember I wrote in my Crafty Sunday blog entry of March 15th that I'd entered my cards into a Challenge for a random prize draw? The results are out and I've won US$50 worth of goodies from You can bet your boots that I'll be posting a photo when it arrives.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

I won!

I never win competitions. I've been entering around 3 or 4 most months since I joined ScrapJazz and I've never won anything. Last month I joined a new site Scrap Whispers (see link on the right in my favourite blogs list). They run a new Challenge each week, and have a prize draw every fortnight, and I just won!

This will be my prize - it's being sent by Georgina from England. It's a chipboard mini-album made by Bo Bunny. I can't wait for it to arrive! I think I might use it to record our upcoming week's holiday with DH's parents in Malaysia.

Thank you Georgina!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Friday funny


1. Teaching Maths In 1970
A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price.
What is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1980
A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price, or £800.
What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1990
A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is £800.
Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Maths In 2000
A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is £800 and his profit is £200.
Your assignment: Underline the number 200.

5. Teaching Maths In 2008
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is totally selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of £200. What do you think of this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers. If you are upset about the plight of the animals in question counselling will be available)

6. Teaching Maths 2018

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Pianos and crafting

Yesterday I had my second piano lesson. Why is it that when I've been practising something for 2 weeks and can ALMOST get it right albeit at hibernating tortoise pace, I screw it up royally when I have to play it in front of the teacher? She was so nice about it - laughed and said the same thing happens to her and to everyone. At least she understands, but I felt so cross with myself.

Afterwards I consoled myself by going downstairs to the $2 shop, and getting some heart brads and a selection of felt sheets in lots of colours. After a year of owning it, I still only have 1 set of dies for my Cuttlebug apart from a snowflake one and an oversized stamp one that came with the machine. The range in Laine's is not best, so I think some on-line shopping is in order. Meanwhile I can make flower-shaped embellishments and that's it - but I use those a lot.

Lorraine came round for half an hour on Tuesday afternoon to show me her beautiful baby album, and stayed until nearly tea-time! I love that! Because we're both scrap-booking now, we can share ideas and tools, and tips for sale items we come across. It's just so nice to have a crafting buddy!