Friday, 31 July 2009

Friday Funny

What Religion is Your Bra?

A man walked into the ladies department of a Macy's and shyly walked up to the woman behind the counter and said, 'I'd like to buy a bra for my wife.'
'What type of bra?' asked the clerk.
'Type?' inquires the man, 'There's more than one type?'
'Look around,' said the saleslady, as she showed a sea of bras in every shape, size, colour and material imaginable.
'Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only four types of bras to choose.'
Relieved, the man asked about the types. The saleslady replied:
'There are the Catholic, the Salvation Army, the Presbyterian, and the Baptist types. Which one would you prefer?'
Now totally befuddled, the man asked about the differences between them.
The Saleslady responded, 'It is all really quite simple... '

The Catholic type supports the masses.
The Salvation Army type lifts the fallen,
The Presbyterian type keeps them staunch and upright.
The Baptist makes mountains out of mole hills.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Owl invasion

I had such fun making the owls for my LO that I couldn't stop making them! DH thought I'd gone a little owl-mad when I used up the rest of that delicious Scenic Route paper to make a little (what's the collective noun for owls? Flock? Yeah I'll go with that) flock of owls to go on some really pretty autumn-coloured cards. Yes, I know my seasons are all muddled up at the moment, but after Christmas in July and now the Hallowe'en stash is coming out ALREADY, who can blame me? When I start posting Easter designs in October, you have my full permission to come round with the strait jacket and get me committed. I blame the owls personally. ;-)

This week's Scrap Whispers Challenge 38 is a very simple one: to use a stamp and some rik-rak. Now I KNOW everyone else is going to be using their adorable Sugar Nellie stamps, because they seem to be the latest fashion in card-making. They're a delightfully pink'n'frilly collection of little girls chasing butterflies or holding baskets of flowers. I really like them actually, but I haven't got any, and I'm not a girlie-girl - have I mentioned that before?! So owls it is.

Here are the two cards I've submitted for my entry. There are 6 more which I can't show you yet. Hmm. Maybe DH was right...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


One of the Scrap Jazz Challenges for July is to produce a page with the title of a TV programme. I did one of these a few months ago, and I chose Top Gear and showcased some photos from when the Formula 1 first came to Singapore.

This time I struggled with an appropriate TV title. I mean there are loads I could use, but I wanted something we actually watch. I really thought after 3 weeks of mulling it over, that I was going to be reduced to using Friends.

DH was the one who came up with this idea. We both love watching House. This has nothing to do with my being in love with Hugh Laurie or him having a thing about Lisa Edelstein or anything like that, you understand. Of course not.

So out came some rather gorgeous photos of our beloved home in the UK: the view from the window, the house itself, and I went to Google Earth and printed off a superb aerial view of the house.

And now to embellish it. Well I wanted something woodsy, as the house is in a very woodsy location and we have a running battle to keep deer out of the garden, and badgers from digging up the grass, and squirrels from eating the bird-seed. I saw a tutorial on the net for something completely different, but it showed these very cute owls, and I thought I bet I can make something very like those myself.

I cut a rounded shield-shape from the back of the striped Scenic Route paper, inked the edges in brown and the middles in different shades of green. The outer part of the eyes was from my leaf punch, and so were the wings. The inner eye was from my hole punch, and the feet were 3 of the petals from a flower punch, all inked. I'm just so chuffed with how adorable they look. Their beaks, the arrow and the flower were hand cut from some sheets of felt from the $2 shop.

It's a very plain page really. I might add some more stuff to it another time. Or maybe not. The colours make me smile.

Monday, 27 July 2009


We made the windows for this card on our SDU(B) course back in the spring. I put them together to make this card, using a stamp roller. I need to remember this technique now that I've given the card away, because it's so versatile.

Another ongoing project is to use the pretties and the embellishments we made on the course, rather than just filing them away in the binder. They're far too nice not to be used.

Sorry the photo is so over-exposed - oops.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Card for baby J

My new first cousin once removed has received her card, so now I can show it to you too. I had a bit of a pink orgy again I'm afraid.

I'm one of those people who, if she puts pink clothes on, seems suddenly to be surrounded by caring, worried-looking people all asking if she feels OK. And the "pink aisle" at Toys-R-Us has always filled me with slight panic, my being as far removed as it is possible to be from the stereotypical pink'n'frilly girlie-girl. Maybe that's why I always thought that I didn't like pink much. In fact, I have a vivid memory of playing with plasticine at about 7 with the girl next door (who looked delicious in pink and it wasn't fair) and the two of us mixing different shades of pink plasticine and then going "uuuuugh PINK!" at each other. Hehee!

But now that I'm free to create pretty things for other people, I find that I DO like pink. Very much. AND lace. So I suppose I must be making up for lost time.

But I still draw the line at frills!

The empty panel now has her name on it, and I added Stickles to the roses.

The inside.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Friday Funny

How to tell if you're Mum's favourite:

Thursday, 23 July 2009

As is

I didn't do last week's Scrap Whispers Challenge because of being busy with DH's birthday and everything. It was to scrap water which I was disappointed to miss because I have a load of stunning sunsets over water. Ah well, another time.

This week's Scrap Whispers Challenge is a fun one. We had to take pics of an area in the home where a lot happens, without tidying it up first, and scrap that. I had to choose our little "family" room off the lounge/dining room. We have an airer in there and a dehumidifier to dry the laundry. To take advantage of the dry atmosphere, the musical instruments are kept in there too. And because the room has big windows in two of its walls, the light and the views are superb - a perfect, if slightly crowded scrap area.

I took advantage of Spotlight's discount weekend to get some delicious American Crafts and Basic Grey papers, and I was able to use them again for this project. I also went a bit overboard with my new Glossy Accents. Practically everything is shiny on this page!

Yer 'tis!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Some new blog candy

For those who have never heard of Blog Candy, it's an opportunity to win a free sample of a new release of a product by spreading the word on your blog. All you have to do is leave a comment and your contact info on the designer's site, and add a link and a little bit about it on your own blog to get entered into the contest.

Whiff of Joy (closes on 26th July)
This one is for a set of stamps by designer Katharina Frei of Whiff of Joy, and Elisebeth Bell. Here is what Katharina has to say about them: "the pre-order for the Kit is open until August 7th. It includes 5 brand new, never before seen, main character stamps, 3 large accessory stamps, designed by Elisabeth Bell and 6 text stamps, designed by myself"

The stamps are super-cute and I want them!

Franmade (closes on 21st July)
This is that whole pile of stash over in the photo in the side bar. Fran also designs for Whiff of Joy, and she's offering this amazing prize to celebrate her birthday and 100,000 hits on her blog.

Go and have a look? The links are over on the side-bar. Enjoy!
The offer has now closed and the links have been removed as they were slowing down my blog - sorry!

Monday, 20 July 2009

I feel like a toad

This is over a week later and I still feel like a toad.

I sent my BFF (see? I really AM hip and trendy!) a birthday card. It's a cheeky card which I spotted in a shop a few months ago, and immediately thought of her. It's not hand-made, but it made me laugh, and I thought it would amuse her, so I sent it.

THEN she posts here on my blog to say how much she loves my hand-made cards, loves the designs, gets disappointed with the selections in shops. Aargh! The guilt!

I was going to send her a house-warming card when she finds her new place, but I've decided to send another card as well. Maybe she needs some good luck wishes for her search first. Sorry A - I hope this makes up for it!

For anyone who may be interested, the houses are American Crafts "Craft Fair" patterned paper, the blue/green is the paper back, and the pink is Basic Grey Urban Prairie Morning Glory. To make the enlarged house in the middle, I photographed the paper, colour-corrected it, cropped it and printed it on plain white card. I really like how it's worked out!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

You're out of this world

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... I went on a day course at Laine's. Along the way they gave out little prizes, and one that I won was a little gel-à-tins™ acrylic stamp set. They come in a tin for storage - really cute! This one was an alien, a space-ship and the sentiment "you're out of this world". At the time, I wondered how on earth I was going to use it, because it is so very "small boy" and I'm so NOT!

Time warp to a few weeks ago, and I was surfing cyberspace and I came across some ideas. These formed into other ideas, and transmuted into bits of chopped up card all over my desk and the floor. The addition of some silver insulation from the inside of a chocolates bag, and some glow-in-the-dark fabric paint which DH thoughtfully bought me for my birthday last year and... the space-ship was born.

In three different mutations, this has gone out in birthday form to

A godson:

A nephew (OK make that THE nephew - the Monsters vs Aliens fan, and I'll give you one guess which one he is!) This is just one card but different views. Obviously!

A friend as a thank you, and L asked for one to send to her brother-in-law. These were the same:

And then, finally, I found a way to girlify the design! Here are two more thank yous to two special Aussie Jazzers:

And one has been "card-lifted" into an even better form. Have a look here.

All in all, for a prize that I had no idea how to use, this has done me proud!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Movie magic

I'm going to start with a small warning here.

Two Harry Potter films less than a day apart in combination with a bottle of red wine can lead to... confusion. Frustrated head-scratching silences while staring absently into the distance over the birthday dinner table. Potential arguments.

Last night we watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was the HBO Asia Family version, meaning that it had Chinese subtitles covering all the important bits, and had been edited to fit HBO's time slots and family standards. So not a single "b1oody he11" from my favourite Ron, which I don't believe for one minute should have been left out - that's his catch-phrase after all. And how about the delightfully icky SNEAK in giant indelible pustules across Cho's (NOT Cho, grr) traitor friend's forehead? Where did that go? And what about the brains that Ron managed to get wound around himself in the Department of Mysteries, which gave the school nurse Madame Pomfrey the unforgettably wise line about thoughts taking the longest to heal? They MUST have left that in the original. Surely?

I lent my whole set of books to my Mum over a year ago, so I couldn't even swot up on the plot in advance. The wine didn't help my memory either, and DH managed inconceivably to fall asleep during the final battle scene, so it obviously had an effect on him too. (Of course that could be down to exhaustion from working 13-hour days, but hey he should be used to that by now! ;-)) But despite the limitations it was a cracking film, and I loved seeing how all those kids have grown up.

Then today. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Wow.

This film had a different director. A LOT about it was different. The humour for a start. Poor Rupert Grint wasn't given much to work with apart from the Quidditch match and a pretty cringeable love potion scene, which he would have done far better aged 3 years younger. Or given different direction. The trouble is, Ron's grown up now so he can't get away with the trembling lip and wounded puppy eyes so easily.

Emma Watson on the other hand was better than she's ever been. They've allowed her to grow into her prettiness, and the new mature Hermione delivers her lines slowly enough to understand what she's saying. Less humour for her too though. Harry is a more believable, a more stable character now. From being vaguely irritating at points through the first 5 films, I felt more empathy with him than ever before. Helena Bonham-Carter stole her scenes as the deliciously deranged Bellatrix Lestrange.

At one point in today's film, they showed moments of a black tiled corridor. I leaned over to DH and whispered that they'd used that scene in the previous film for the Ministry of Magic. Then, talking about it all over our steak later, we couldn't for the lives of us remember where they were. Still can't. It's no good. I think we're going to have to go and see it again.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Today is DH's birthday and he's booked the day off. This afternoon we've got Gold Class tickets to see the new Harry Potter film!

I'm the reader of the family and I must have read the whole series several times. DH is the family film buff. Between us, we're firm Harry Potter fans. DH booked the tickets as soon as they became available on-line, then I suddenly had a panic realisation that I haven't actually seen the Order of the Phoenix. So last night we lit the candles, settled down to a glass of red and had a Harry Potter fest in preparation for today's birthday treat. And yes, OK, I cried!

I might report back later on...

Thursday, 16 July 2009

A shaped card

Remember how I bought that cutting file when I said I never would? Well here's why I was so beguiled by it. For the US$4 I got the envelope shape, the envelope insert, the card shape and the shape to stick on the card. I think that's good value.

For this card I didn't use the envelope insert, because I was using patterned paper anyway. I bought this paper a while ago for a different project, and I realised that I was never going to use it for its original purpose. My challenge to myself was to use the paper which didn't coordinate with anything else, and make it go with my other items without buying anything new - apart from the cutting file! Unexpectedly, I really like the result.

I made a batch from this challenge, all slightly different, with different papers. This is the only one I've sent, so now I can share it with you.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Christmas in July

It seems that wherever I turn at the moment, I'm seeing articles on Christmas cards, Christmas projects, Christmas advice. And Christmas films on TV. ??????

Now I'm used to having to zone this out, because Christmas tat is sold all year round in Singapore. You can find that festive green-and-red in any gift shop. You can go for a warm, breezy walk along the East Coast with the waves lapping along the beach, the roller-bladers and cyclists buzzing around you, and hear the metallic fun-fair music from the amusements. And some of that music will be Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman. You can go out for a restaurant meal and be pretty certain to hear Santa Baby or Mistletoe and Wine while you're eating. All year round.

Christmas in the tropics is already incongruous to me, simply because the heat and humidity just don't go with how I was brought up to know Christmas. Tinsel and air-con, turkey and sun-burn, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas in shorts and sandals - dream on Bing! I'm used to gift shopping on dark, dingy days, in coat and boots, soaked in that damp misty chilliness that makes me want to light all the candles and curl up with a bowl of hot soup. And the annual will-it-or-won't-it-snow?

Not here. Sometime around mid-November before most people are bothering about it, I put the air-con on, the Messiah in the CD player, and compose my annual newsletter and write my cards. I put on my spaghetti-strap top to walk to the Post Office with my gifts so that they arrive in the UK in time. By early December I'm back in the pool - finished with Christmas - done everything, got tired of it - almost forgotten about it. Life goes on as usual. Then suddenly DH is off work and we have a day of church, eating, exchanging gifts and lengthy phone calls home. Then it's back to normal again. Bizarre, huh?

I'll admit that I had this lovely little plan of making Christmas cards all this year so that I had a head start, rather than being surprised at how long it actually takes to hand-paint 72 little churches at the last minute again. But it hasn't happened yet. Maybe it won't, or maybe all this Yule-tide exposure is the catalyst I need to get myself moving.

Just let me get the mid-summer birthday cascade out of the way first though, OK?

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Welcome baby card

No, not my cousin's baby!

This is another baby, a boy this time, who has just arrived home to a friend on ScrapJazz. He is a very special, long-awaited baby, and although I don't know this friend very well, her story struck a chord with me.

This is also a double-purpose card, because I'm entering it into the Scrap Whispers Challenge #35, to make a LO or card in red, white and blue. The paper is from My Mind's Eye, the embossing folder is one that I got with the Cuttlebug, and the balloons were rescued from the floor after my little frenzy with L's punch!

I actually paid money for the GSD file for the envelope and insert! I know, I know. When I got the Silhouette, I told everyone that I couldn't understand how people would pay for files when they could so easily create their own designs on the computer for free. If they had the software, and the time. Which I did. And what happens? I see a pretty pattern (well OK, 4 pretty patterns) and suddenly I'm thinking hey, US$4 is nothing to pay for that - it'll get reused over and over again, right? And suddenly faster than you could say PayPal, I'd become one of "those" people!

I was right though. It's been used for 7 different cards now, and the envelope design is perfect for those odd-shaped cards which don't fit a standard envelope. Yup, still trying to justify myself! Work with me here, OK? Go on, admit it - it IS pretty...

Friday, 10 July 2009

My new first cousin once removed!

Stop Press! (Or rather, stop the Friday Funny - this is more important!)

My cousin has had her baby! All I know is that it's a little girl, average weight, and both mum and babe are tired but healthy.

This is the first addition to our little family for 29 years, so it's very exciting. However the timing does clash with my other cousin's wedding party which is tomorrow, 200 miles from where they live - oops! But you can't plan around babies. They will arrive when they want to, not to fit in with other people's arrangements. My poor aunt and uncle are going to be torn between the wedding of their son and their first grandchild this weekend.

I don't even know her name yet. Hopefully I'll find out soon, and of course the new #1 item on today's To Do list is a beautiful pink lacy card haha! So watch this space.

I wonder when we'll get to meet her...

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Scrap Whispers!

I'm kicking myself at the moment, because I just realised that I set you up for seeing my secret lay-out for the main Scrap Whispers Challenge back in April, and then I completely forgot to post it.

The Big Reveal was at the end of May (I'm still blushing), and it was fascinating to see how the original LO changed with each scrap-lift. One team actually managed to lose some major elements of the design, and then magically put them back without even knowing they used to be there. How about that!

This was my slightly dark and mysterious contribution.

The journalling reads "2009 is the first year that Singapore has participated in Earth Hour. The idea is to "vote Earth" by switching off all the lights at 8:30pm for an hour wherever you are in the world. We turned off all the fans and the air-conditioning too, and played Yahtzee by candlelight. It was SO hot! He got the highest overall score. I won 2 out of 3 games. So who won?"

The next round is already under way. My week is at the beginning of August, then the Big Reveal will probably be around the end. I must remember to tell you this time!

Monday, 6 July 2009

One of a kind

The Scrap Whispers Challenge for the past week was to produce a lay-out with the title One of a Kind. There were no other rules. One of the Challenges on ScrapJazz was to use polka dots on a summer lay-out. I combined both of them to make this:

It was kind of cheating even more, because this was the LO that I did at the SDUM course last week! Oh well, I don't think I've broken any rules, and this year is all about being frugal so I'm sticking to my guns.

This was a really fun page to make. I used lots of things I've never tried before: my new S$2 leaf punch from Daiso, a length of knitting fibre given to me by L, some grommets, felt, and a library card pocket from 7 Gypsies. The photos are from our family trip to Kuching in May - you may have recognised them. The Rafflesia is definitely one of a kind.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Neighbourhood update

I haven't posted lately about my nearest, dearest neighbours here in the condo. How remiss of me. You must be wondering how much I've seen ;-) of Ugly Naked Guy, or what I've heard from Heffalump Child, or maybe how Happy Harry II's smile is getting on. Let me update you.

I think someone must have said something to Ugly Naked Guy. Or maybe it was just coincidence. But when I saw him a few days ago, he was loading his washing machine as usual, stretching past the dryer to pop each item in as he took it off. But this time, instead of socks hanging from the little circular dryer, there was a towel. It's not a very big dryer, and the towel wasn't very big either, but it was just big enough to make my view much less... er... compelling (in that train-wreck kind of way) than usual.

Happy Harry II has metamorphosised into his own father. DH went down to pay late one evening, and instead of the dark, dark face with the bright, white teeth glowing out of the gloom, he was greeted with a shock of white hair against the chocolate skin, and no teeth at all. He wasn't quite sure whether it was the same "company" (in the loosest term of the word because Harry II was a one-man-band), but the new/old guy seemed to know DH's car, although his English is even more limited than Harry's was. We haven't picked a name for Harry II's father yet. We're working on it.

Heffalump Child and Wooden Blocks are growing. In height, foot size and volume. HC's lungs have developed to an extraordinary capacity, where she can wake us up by screaming in the night from a different room in the apartment above. I'm presuming it's HC rather than WB, simply because I get her "wah wanna wah" wailing several times a day. She's doing it right now actually. WB squeals rather than wailing. Can't wait for the baby to arrive...

So now that she's bigger, I can hear the thump thump thump thump THUMP THUMP thump thump thump thump accompanied by the crashing of furniture that she's knocked down on her rampage. She's also decided that she's big enough to move chairs all by herself now, so we get SQUEEE... EEEEEEE... (insert fingers in ears, try not to grit teeth)... eeeeee... eeeeee... eeeeeeeak several times a day. Lovely.

At weekends when DH tries to get a lie-in (that's a "sleep-in" to all you folks across the pond!) he gets woken up by the extra-enthusiastic morning yomp at around 7:20am. That's a whole hour earlier than the daily 8:20am scaffold pole dropped from 5 storeys at the building site across the road.

And lastly to Dutch Twinkle and his wife downstairs. He's a dear. I get a text message at least once a week saying "Hi neighbourette, pool tomorrow 10am?" Then we spend an hour doing leisurely lengths, or widths in the deep end if the "wheels on the bus" are going "round and round" endlessly in the shallows. We chat and joke, and he blows raspberries at passing children, and tells me beer stories. He's taken a few fun lessons with DH's guitar tutor, found the guy to be just as unreliable as our warnings, and moved on to a better one. He humours me when I moan about HC by saying that yes, he heard that crash at 8:30 this morning too, and it wasn't me? Goodness that was loud then!

I'm going to miss all this when we leave, which may be in a couple of months. DH did ask me the other day whether I would stay here if we had the option, and I said yes. Better the devil you know, and all that. At least our little cloven-footed devil upstairs is only 4' high.

Friday, 3 July 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 2010

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 in 2020


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Doing vs should be doing!

Today I have about 10 cards to make, plus I really want to finish the LO that I started on Tuesday at the SDUM course. It's at the stage of having most of the elements assembled, but I have a pile more ideas that tend to pop into my mind just as I'm dropping off to sleep. I used to keep a notebook by the side of the bed, but these days I just can't be bothered to put the light on and write them down! I think my brain must work on them in the night, because they're still there, and often even more developed in the morning. Aren't brains funny things!

So I thought I'd just check my e-mails, check a few blogs and then get on, and 2 hours later here I am, still apparently surgically attached to my laptop.

I wanted to mention a rather fun site that I found through Kelly's Calico Dreams (see blog list on the right). It's called
Craftie-Charlie Website
and they have this offer going on at the moment, that if you leave a comment on their blog telling them which of two gorgeous My Mind's Eye kits you like best, you'll be entered in a draw to win it. I suspect after this week's lucky streak that it's someone else's turn to win now, but it's worth a try!

So now, I'm going to get up off my sofa and get card-making. I am. I am....