Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Do you remember back in April when I posted saying I'd won a competition, and then the next day I won another one? Well that was weird enough, but believe it or not, the same thing has happened again!

Yesterday (Monday) I checked the Scrap Whispers site for the new weekly Challenge. It gets posted on a Sunday, but since Georgina is 7 hours behind us in England, it's usually after my bedtime. The new challenge is entitled "One of a Kind", with no restrictions on what materials to use. I know exactly what I'm going to feature in this one. I went off to chose and print off my photos, and promptly got distracted by something else as usual. Just before I went out in the afternoon, I realised I still had the window open, and thought I'd just check the previous fortnight's winner so I could leave a message - and it was me! Wow.

The prize is the June "Natural Butterfly" Kit from Moments to Remember

So a BIG THANK YOU to Georgina and Tmouse who is on the Scrap Whispers and the Moments to Remember Design Teams!

Last month I also entered my Colour Through the Rain layout in a competition at Laine's for the most popular LO costing less than S$9.90. This morning I got an e-mail from them saying I'd won! I get a S$10 voucher to spend in their store. I laughed! I spent about 2 hours in there only yesterday trying to decide how to use my 30% and 40% off bags before that offer expired at the end of June!

It's the second SDUM course there this afternoon, and we'll be learning more about embellishments - the pretties that make scrap-booking the best fun of all. Well almost the best, second only to the glory that is patterned paper! (Of which I got 30% off a LOT of sheets yesterday...) I'm going through a stage of loving bright and cheerful colours at the moment, so stand by for some wow factor.

Monday, 29 June 2009


Scrap Whispers Challenge #33 is to make a LO using no card-stock at all. I was a bit miffed when I saw this, as last week's gecko page had no card-stock either - it was a shame I couldn't enter that one twice!

But I had had something in mind for a patterned-paper-only LO ever since I found this rather beautiful rose petal paper. As soon as I saw it in the shop, I knew exactly which photo I wanted to use it with: this photo of my Mum talking with (er... make that listening to!) my great aunt when we visited them last autumn.

My great aunt will be 102 at the end of next month, and is the last of that generation in our family. She's got her telegram from the Queen, or whatever the modern day equivalent is, and she still runs rings around us all. Actually maybe that should read that she has us all running round in circles around her! She's a feisty, bossy old lady; sharp as a pin, with a good old-fashioned West Country turn of phrase which keeps us chuckling with delight, even while we mourn that she is amongst only a few left who still speak that way.

I got some little sponge applicators a while ago, and I never really played with them until now. I used my fancy corner punch to make a lacy edge for the photo mat, then sponged pale blue and magenta inks through the holes to make both an inked border for the mat, and a further pattern on the background paper. There is a card with some private journalling tucked behind the shaped mat, which can be pulled out of the top of the plastic page protector by its ribbon.

My great aunt is very much not a lacy, rose petal person, but somehow this backdrop works well.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Gecko has it!

The Scrap Whispers Challenge last week was to create a LO with consecutive starting letters in the title. I used the photos from earlier this month to create this. I used the cropped parts of the photos to make a collage for the rest of the page, and cut out the mini-gecks using my Silhouette.

Our little gecko is still around. DH thinks he might be about to shed his skin because last night his eyes were milky which is the sign with reptiles. He's found a new hidey-hole INSIDE the open bathroom window frame, in a drainage hole! DH spotted just his little head poking out upside-down. Cute!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Friday Funny

Gonna be a bear.

In this life I'm a woman. In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear. When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping, and wake up to partially gown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

If you're a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Yesterday my friend L and I attended the first class of two in our EK Success Scrapbook Design University (Masters) course. Sounds grand doesn't it?!

We already did the Basic course back in the spring. That was learning about design, colour (L is an artist so she knew about that) as well as products and tools, many of which were new to us. I for one had no idea there were so many THINGS available to buy. There must be a lot of people out there who are creative but can't draw, can't use paint, can't copy, can't cut things out. Or maybe they can, but it's just easier to own 5 different large punches to cut 5 different sized circles instantly, for example. It was fascinating playing with all the fun tools.

Then yesterday we learned more about patterned paper: how to put it together, how to use LOTS of different kinds, how to use papers that don't match, and why some papers don't work together even if the colours match.

Next week we'll be learning about embellishments which will be great fun. Then I'll be a SDU(M) graduate!

Here is my page. Believe it or not, there are 8 different pieces of patterned paper on this LO. I have enough left over to make a new St. Patrick's Day LO every year for a good few years to come! If we celebrated St. Patrick's Day. Which we don't. Ho hum.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Friday Funny

These questions about South Africa were posted on a South African Tourism Website and were answered by the website owner.

Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only two thousand kilometers take lots of water...

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa? Can you send me a list of them in JHB, Cape Town, Knysna and Jeffrey's Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa? (USA)
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in South Africa? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa? (Germany)
A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegetarian hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

A good thing in disguise

I had an e-mail the other day from a friend in the UK. She was giving me general church news from our home, and she told me that the elderly husband of one of my church choir friends had passed away. She had had to leave the church choir to nurse him herself through senile dementia and a lot of other problems for the last 4 years, so this can only be good news, despite its sadness.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Basic Gray "Wisteria"

I bought this little pad of 6"x6" papers when I was out with L at Laine's. They were having a 30% off promotion, which I was interested in, but only if I found something I wanted, you know? I saw these, and they're just so pretty, but I wasn't sure how I would use them... And THEN I spotted a matching pack of rub-ons (what we used to call transfers when I was a child) and, well, that was me suckered. The red mist descended and I HAD TO HAVE THEM! Anyone who knows me well knows that that just isn't me, so they must be pretty special.

I used my beee-ooo-tiful new toys to make this card for Joey Rene's birthday on ScrapJazz. It has been received so now I can show you too. Isn't it just delicious? Haha!

The outside:

And inside:

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Blinkin' work

Everything's gone belly up at DH's work. The kit that was last tested in the UK, and that they've only just discovered is required here tomorrow, now doesn't work. Another piece of kit has failed with two intermittent errors that cannot be reproduced. It's been taken apart and is awaiting return to the UK, and now there are internal disagreements over who's going to pay the $$$,$$$ for it. And all the while, the customer quite rightly wants to know what's happening. It's an engineer's management nightmare.

Consequently, he had to work yesterday, and he's back in today. Grr. To make up for it, we were taken out last night for a steak meal by the engineer who has been out here for the last month trying to fix it. He's a sweet lad, and very helpful, very easy to get on with. He flies back to the UK tonight. I've got cheese toasties planned for tea - another of DH's favourites. I hope he manages to stay awake long enough to eat them.

The only consolation was that yesterday I got 60 chocolate chip molasses cookies baked, and managed to do some scrapping, and I have more to do today. I really ought to get the vacuum cleaner out, but eh... tomorrow will do. This is more fun!

This week's Scrap Whispers Challenge was to use this advert as inspiration:

And this is my take on it. I created the bottle montage in Photoshop Elements. The journalling spot is supposed to be like the blackboard at the club, and I had great fun distressing (translation - attacking with an old emery board) everything in sight - a technique that I haven't used before. I really like it!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Friday Funny

Installing a Husband

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as:

· NBA 5.0;
· Super 14 3.0; and
· Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?



Dear Desperate,

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.HTML and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If those applications work as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that automatically downloads the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend:

· Cooking 3.0; and
· Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck!

Tech Support

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Wedding card

My cousin and his fiancee are in Las Vegas getting married this week. When they get back, they will be having a wedding party for family and friends. It's unlikely that we will be able to go unfortunately (although there's always a chance) so we'll have to hear all about it from Mum and my brother. Well, Mum anyway!

I really wasn't sure what to do about their wedding card. They're not "pink'n'lacy" people at all. He's a charmer; academic and about as practical as a chocolate teapot, bless him. She's very sporty; not a girlie-girl one bit. I suspect that this is one reason why they're not having the traditional white wedding - I can't see him organising anything so elaborate, and I can't see her dressed up like a meringue. The wedding party is a glorified fish and chip supper!

But I did want them to have a wedding cake, as they probably won't be having a fancy one in real life. And I wanted to use the Silhouette - of course. And my Cuttlebug embossing folders. It was going to be red flowers but my red ink was "a bit bright" (family joke at my cousin's expense! LOL) And then it just went from bad to worse, and I'm afraid they've ended up with a girlie pink, flowery, sparkly card... It's actually very pretty and I hope they forgive me.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


Where we live there are lots of gecko lizards, which the locals call chi-chaks because of the almost bird-like chirps they make. We were very surprised when we found them on the pest exterminator's list, but apparently many people don't like having them around. I suppose they do leave little presents which need cleaning up, but they're completely harmless and anything that eats mosquitoes has got to be good! Plus we think they're cute. Aren't they? Look at those little hands and feet!

We've had lots of these little visitors to our apartment. They don't stay long; a day or two maybe, then they're off finding food elsewhere. Some are up to 5" long, most are maybe 2"-3", and some are minute - less than an inch.

The latest little chap has stuck around for nearly 2 weeks now and is particularly adorable, because he doesn't show us any fear. It's a game finding his latest hiding place.

DH noticed him first in the bathroom when he was having a shower. A few days later he was still there when DH got out of the shower, and as we watched he trotted across the dark grey floor and hopped onto DH's foot! To his slight alarm, the gecko then headed up his leg before jumping onto the other leg, down again and into the corner. DH was charmed! Since then he's explored the whole bathroom, the lounge wall one afternoon, and he's spent the last couple of days in our bedroom. We slept badly the other night knowing that he was under the bed and worrying we were going to tread on him! Last night DH spotted him down the side of the TV cabinet (watching "TV"!)

He's now settled on the wicker laundry basket where he's pretty well camouflaged.

We're not allowed pets here, so this is the closest we can get.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Friday Funny

Business Update : Just Announced - IKEA to take over GM


In that case, WE WILL BE IN DEEP TROUBLE .......



(with thanks to Lorraine)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Forever Friends

It was my SIL's birthday a few weeks ago, and I created a card for her using her favourite Forever Friends. I've probably infringed all kinds of copyright, but I will say that I have not sold or made any money out of the use of this freely available picture off the net!

You can't see from the photo, but I've used Diamond Stickles on the picture, and inked the edges with a platinum (pearlescent silvery colour) ink. I used some buttons from my SJ prize stash, and a punch that I got from the Stationery Superstore to make the scallops. The lettering was made on the Silhouette. The soft blue colours, the cuteness and subtle sparkle all fit my SIL perfectly.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Colour through the rain

Scrap Whispers Challenge #30 is to create a card or LO using pink and orange. This is not a colour combination I'd normally touch with a barge-pole, but having done it, I absolutely LOVE it! I'm not sure whether it's the colour or the design that attracts me, but I'll definitely be scrap-lifting this with different colours in the future.

DH took me to Hong Kong for a week's break over the New Year - aren't I a lucky girl?! It was boots-and-coats weather most of the time, which was a rather nice change from tropical heat, and very suitable for post-Christmas/New Year celebrations. We had some quite dismal days with clouds and drizzly rain, and on one of these days we took a walk through one of the central parks. Through the gloom and raindrops, these busy-lizzies were glowing with colour and I had to take their picture.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Thank yous

After birthdays have come and gone, it's always time for the thank you cards. I've been very fortunate this year with my presents, and as the big one was my dear Silhouette, I simply had to send hand-crafted cards to thank the family who contributed to it. Here are the pretties I sent:

Monday, 1 June 2009

Flowers of the Far East

One of the ScrapJazz June Challenges this month was to produce a layout using "the power of four": 4 photos, 4 buttons, 4 different patterned papers and 4 flowers. Interesting.

I was in a Sushi restaurant waiting for my takeaway order when the idea came to me, and I sat there sketching different ideas in my little notebook, aware that people were walking past trying not to let me see their interest. I have to have a notepad and pen with me at all times. All kinds of things go into it: recipes, e-mail addresses, design ideas, "to do" lists, day-diaries of holidays, room measurements, word translations. My friends laugh when they say "you must read this book" and out comes the notebook and pen. "You're so organised!" they tease me, then 2 minutes later, "have you got a spare bit of paper?" Teehee.

I continued the planning on the MRT (train) on the way home. Mostly people don't like to be seen to be nosing into what other people are doing, but the old Singaporean man next to me had no such inhibitions. If he had been able to speak any English, I'm sure he would have given me some advice, but he had to content himself with smiling, pointing and nodding. Bless him. The Singaporean version of the "nutter on the bus" syndrome. It follows me around the world.

I hand-cut and inked the flower petals and bracts, and used the Silhouette to cut the stamens and the title. I can tell you that those tiny letters took blinking ages to cut and stick on - SO fiddly! And just when I was sitting there holding the "s" in tweezers with my nose 3 inches from the page and my tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth, Heffalump Child decided that would be a great moment to knock over something large and breakable just above my head. I didn't bite my tongue. Just. And I managed to find the "s" on the carpet, unpick the fluff and re-glue it. No tongue this time - it was busy muttering unholy sentiments.

So with thanks to the encouragement of my friend on the MRT, here's the finished result. Am I the only one who is going to be humming "Flowers of the forest" all day now?

Pathway to my Paradise

The Scrap Whispers Challenge #29 was "Special Places" - the place where we would be if we shut our eyes and imagined our favourite place.

This wasn't difficult for me. My favourite place has been Box Hill in Surrey ever since I can remember. After the lay-out was photographed and entered into the Challenge however, I decided to add some journalling behind the photo and a few other changes, so here is the updated page.

Box Hill, Surrey. 29th October 2008
This is a glorious autumn walk, a pathway leading to two of my favourite places; the parts of Box Hill known as Juniper Top and Happy Valley. At 8 years old I was taught to ride my first bicycle in the valley below on the cycle track. As children, my brother and I used to cycle 5 miles from home to watch the deer and rabbits in Happy Valley before church on Sunday mornings. From the hill-top you can see Juniper Hall Fields Studies Centre, where we spent our happiest and most informative childhood holidays. We wandered all round the area counting snails, badger-watching and hunting glow-worms, trapping squirrels with peanut butter bait, and collecting owl pellets for dissection in the lab. This was one of Dad's favourite spots in the Surrey Hills, and I always think of him when I'm there.