Monday, 31 August 2009

SJ August Challenges

This month the ScrapJazz challenges are alphabet-themed, starting with A-B-C. One challenge is to "Get out your dictionary and peruse the A words. Then, create a layout using a one word title starting with A. There is one word you cannot use and that is "Art" - that would make it too easy! Once you pick your word, you have to use Buttons or Butterflies somewhere on your page as an accent."

And the other is to "Create a page using the word Celebrate as your title for a page or as the subject of the page, not necessarily using the word. It could be celebrating a birthday, the 4th of July, Christmas - any kind of event that you would celebrate. There is a catch to this one too - you must have a photo of yourself somewhere on the page!"

Hmm. Interesting. Well that little lot got me thinking for most of August....! I decided to combine the two challenges into a double page LO, with one for each page. It seemed to work.

The LO is about the annual independence celebrations in Singapore every 9th August. When we lived across the river from the National Indoor and Outdoor Stadiums, they were holding the celebrations in the outdoor one and we must have had about the best unticketed view on the island from our 15th floor apartment. We could see the aerial displays: the fighter planes, the Chinooks carrying giant flags right across the island, the parachutes, and of course the fireworks.

In 2006 we held a party. We all saw the aerial displays from our balcony, and watched what was going on inside the stadium on the TV. It was great fun!

I used My Mind's Eye papers, gesso to fade out the design a little to make the photos stand out more, my butterfly punch from Hong Kong market, some Stickles, a couple of butterfly buttons and my Silhouette to cut the titles.

Here they are together:

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Niece and nephew birthdays

Our niece L and nephew C had their 6th and 3rd birthdays respectively last month, with only 3 days between them. Now we have theirs, a new baby cousin's, and my DH's and best friend's birthdays all within 2 week of each other, so July is a busy and expensive month for us!

C is very much into Monsters vs Aliens this year. We've had several Skype video links with his mum, with him sitting on her knee firing Dr. Cockroach (bottom left) at the camera at us. Not a pretty sight. Still I suppose I should be thankful it wasn't BOB (top left) he was throwing at us, because these toys are very realistic!

I printed the images off the net which I don't know if I'm really supposed to. I'm not selling so I suppose it's OK. The silver is from the insulation that came inside a chocolate bag. The green paint is glow-in-the-dark which I thought would be fun for a 3-year-old, now that he's old enough not to try eating it.

L is a High School Musical fan and got a costume for her birthday, which she wore to a HSM party. I'm sure she looked adorable. Thankfully she still likes flowers and butterflies because I couldn't find anything to do with HSM that wasn't heavily copyrighted.

I used my Silhouette to cut the flower template, the Cuttlebug to emboss the pink Basic Grey paper and to cut the scalloped frame. The paper is from American Crafts. It's the kind of deliciously little girlie card that just wasn't around when I was her age.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Friday Funny

A cleaning poem

I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'computering',
And I had to answer "yes."

He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.

I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work...
I didn't mean to 'click.'

But click, I did, and oops I found
A real absorbing site
That I got SO way into...
I was into it all night. ((Sigh))

Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney.

(with thanks to Jazzer Mindy)

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Scrap Whispers Big Reveal!

This is what we've all been waiting for: the Scrap Whispers Big Reveal! If you follow the link, you can see how it changes until you wouldn't have thought it was the same LO, by the time it's been through 6 or 7 people in each team.

Here is the original LO by Georgina, which of course I didn't see:

I was the 7th and last team member, and by the time it had got to me, it had changed to this, by Kelly:

I kept fairly close to Kelly's LO, but I made the photos bigger and changed the placement of the journalling spot. Here's mine:

It's about when DH and I took my Mum and my brother to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and there was a sudden thunderstorm. We sat in the Ginger Tea Rooms and had English High Tea with cream and ginger jam (!) while the elements battled all around us, making my slightly awed family realise that I hadn't been exaggerating about the dramatic tropical weather. We were given plastic macs on our way out, and my umbrella-hating DH put his on in disgust, only half joking about not wanting his photo taken. Of course, that only made me tease him more. Hee hee! He's a good sport.

The journalling spot is supposed to bring to mind the enormous Victoria lily pads which curl at the edges. They grow in with the lotus flowers on the Botanic Garden lakes. The papers are all My Mind's Eye, with ribbon from my LSS, Making Memories eyelets and 7 Gypsies brads. The title was cut using my Silhouette and a heavy dose of Diamond Stickles was added wherever I could find a place for it! The thought bubbles and scallops were cut using QuicKutz scalloped flower dies on my Cuttle-bug, with a hole punch for the smallest.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Basic Grey August Challenge #2

Have a look at the delicious Basic Grey Challenge for this fortnight! We are challenged to make a card using at least one Basic Grey item and these colours:

Well my first thought was pink and yellow - oh no! That's my least favourite colour combination that there is. But the more I looked through my stash and put papers and colours together, the happier I became. And I think I've just created one of my favourite ever cards.

The patterned paper is from BG's Scarlet Letter, and the rest of the papers are scraps which I now don't know where they came from. I've only just got the stamp from Whiff of Joy: Willow from the Summer '09 collection, coloured in with my new Copics. And yes, after that little splurge I'm putting myself on a spending hold for a while. Copics are not cheap! The flowers are Prima, and I used Diamond Stickles to glitter it up a bit. The ribbon is from our local dollar store. It's a shame this is a random prize draw, because if it were for merit, I really think I'd have a good chance of winning! Ah well.

What do you think? You like? (As they say around here!)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

No more sympathy cards

Remember how I said I didn't like having sympathy cards hanging around? All that stuff about tempting fate and such? Well I hate to say "I told you so", but I heard from my dear friends that they just lost their brother in Singapore. They couldn't get flights out here in time, so I spent Friday at his funeral in their place. I never knew him, but his widow is a dear and has been left in difficult circumstances, so any prayers that you feel like saying would be very much appreciated.

Hey, Fate old thing, stop doing that will you?

Two more owls

Hopefully another co-ordinated card/envelope and two more of my little owls will have flown across the other side of the world by now, so I can show them to you.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Friday Funny

HYMN No.365

A minister was completing a temperance sermon.
With great emphasis he said, 'If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

With even greater emphasis he said, 'And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, 'And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

Sermon complete, he sat down.

The hymn-leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing, 'For our closing hymn, let us sing hymn No.365, 'Shall We Gather at the River?' '

With thanks to P & K.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Card planning in advance

One of the ScrapJazz challenges for August is to make a sympathy card. I'm not good with these. I feel that having them around the place is almost tempting fate. On the other hand, making them when you need them is hard too, both emotionally and the time constraints. I haven't even got any sympathy stamps, so my idea was a very plain card with "thinking of you" on it, which needn't only be for sympathy.

After the Kuching LO, I had some of those rich navys and coppers left over, just begging to be put to good use, so I made a couple.

Here is what I came up with. Nothing fancy, and quite sober colours for me, but suitable I think. I just hope it will be a long time before I have a need for them.

Monday, 17 August 2009


Back in May DH's parents came to stay, and we all went to Kuching, in Borneo Malaysia for a week. The evening view from our hotel window was absolutely spectacular, and we took far too many photos of the sun setting over the Serapi mountains, silhouetting the new State Parliament building being constructed across the Sarawak River.

This one had been sitting waiting for me to scrap somehow, but I couldn't think of a way to do it that wouldn't swamp it or wash it out. Then I spotted these navy and copper papers from SEI (Moravia) and Basic Grey (Marrakech) and fell head-over-heels in love.

Last week over on Scrap Whispers, Georgina set a great challenge to scrap-lift this very pretty sketch, with Nilsa's extra proviso of using flowers, lace and distressing. Problem solved!

With the addition of some lace from my stash, the most beautiful copper ribbon, Thickers lettering and some inked Prima flowers, the photo became art. I love it.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Friday Funny

The senior citizen drove his brand new BMW Z3 convertible out of the car showroom.

Taking off down the motorway, he floored it to 90 mph enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left.
'Fantastic!' he thought as he flew along the M1, enjoying pushing the pedal to the metal even more.

Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a police car coming up behind him, blue lights flashing and siren blaring.
'I can get away from him – no problem!' thought the elderly ‘Speed King’ as he floored it to 110 mph, then 120, then 130 mph.
Suddenly, he thought, 'What on earth am I doing? I'm too old for this nonsense!'

So he pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the police car to catch up with him.

Pulling in behind him, the police officer walked up to the driver's side of the BMW, looked at his watch and said,
'Sir, my shift ends in 10 minutes. Today is Friday and I'm off for the weekend.
If you can give me a reason why you were speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go.'

The man, looked very seriously at the policeman, and replied, 'Years ago, my wife ran off with a policeman.
I thought you were bringing her back'

'Have a good day, sir, and drive carefully!' said the policeman.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Wimbledon fever

DH's oldest godson turned 8 last week. This year he is into tennis, so I made him a fun card. The background paper is from a .PNG file off the net, which I imported into Photoshop Elements and duplicated/rotated/resized umpteen times until I had covered the page. I then lightened it so that it looked more like a water-mark, and printed it. The tennis ball is a hand-cut circle of felt, with gesso drawn on it. It really does look like a tennis ball in real life and I was thrilled with it.

I found the cartoon on the net too, and I thought it would amuse an 8-year-old with a cat (check out the shadow), so I stuck that in the inside and hand wrote the greeting. In typical "me" style, this is a relatively simple-looking card that took hours to make! But at least every time I try something new, I'm learning. While I have the time, I don't begrudge spending it.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Basic Grey Challenges are back!

The Basic Grey Challenges blog site has been relaunched. They have a new look, new rules and new prizes. If you follow the link over on the side-bar, you could be in with a chance of winning some rather scrumptious goodies. And if you like making cards, their first new-look sketch challenge is a fun one:

I had a go at it on National Day, and produced this:

It's almost exclusively my beloved Basic Grey Wisteria papers and rub-ons, with a bit of white card, a Prima flower and some dollar store ribbon. Oh and a couple of 7 Gypsies brads, and it's inked with Peacock Gold Color Box pigment ink. And if you want to get petty, the ribbon ends were melted with a match made in Sweden, although that's the best you're going to get 'cos I can't even read the name of the match maker (ha!) let alone reproduce it here.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Ain't no sunshine

I've been working really hard this past week on fun creations. BUT I can't show you yet because one is for the main Scrap Whispers Challenge, and another is potentially for publication.

However I can show you this week's Scrap Whispers Challenge #39: to use mis-matched lettering on a LO. No challenge there for me as I have quite a lot of lettering packs! As nearly all my lettering is in brown, black or white (goes with everything, saves buying packs to match, right? I'm too frugal for my own good at times HAHA!) there was no difficulty choosing my colour scheme. :-)

And as DH went away yesterday to Indonesia for "10 days' work" (multiplied by 3 will give a closer estimate) I chose the subject closest to my heart at the moment. I miss him. I know we've been married for 10 years and together for 14 and a half, but I still miss him when he has to go away. Thankfully it doesn't happen nearly so often now as it used to.

It will take me a few nights to get used to sleeping alone. So if the next LO is about sleepless nights, you have been warned!

P.S. Still no word on the Texas ScrapFest prizes. I suppose they're all still recovering from what had to be a hectic and fun weekend. Also, and this is odd, my prize from Scrap Whispers Challenges #32/33 on June 28th still hasn't arrived. There's nothing whatsoever I can do about it, but after 6 weeks I've passed from the twitching stage to frustrated mail-drop-watching. Next will come the state of resignation like when my birthday present from my Mum never turned up, but I'm still hoping. It was a lovely kit, all reds and pale blues. Maybe there's a postal worker somewhere out there who scrap-books too...

Friday, 7 August 2009

Friday Funny

A lesson on Women for Men

This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say 'you're welcome'. (I want to add in a clause here - this is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

Is a woman's way of saying 'go to h@ll'!

Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to #3.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

My baby page won!

I have no idea what I've won yet, but I won a prize with my baby LO at the Texas ScrapFest '09! Yay me!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Reds v Lions

The final Texas ScrapFest 09 Challenge was to create a double page, with one full paragraph of journalling, using chipboard and metal embellishments. Now I always struggle with these mentally, because two pages mean double the work of one, right? Well, no - wrong. Two pages that go together are almost easier than a single LO because you have more space to play with, different configuration possibilities, and you can use larger elements without the result looking too in-your-face.

The last weekend in July, we went to a football match (that's soccer to you folks across the Big Pond ;-)) at the National Stadium in Singapore. Now DH and and I lived right across the Kallang river from this stadium for two and a half years - it dominated the view from our windows. My walking group used to walk around it, up and down its steps early most mornings. The National Day celebrations were held there, and we had probably the best unticketed view in the country from our balcony. Fireworks competitions were also held there (WOW!) and we could hear the roars of the crowds at football matches - only we never knew who had just scored!

Two years ago we watched the televised official "closure" ceremonies (and the live fireworks out of the window) as the authorities decided it was to be pulled down and replaced by a fancy new Sports Hub, and we mourned a little, and then watched in surprise as they carried on using it. Despite all that, we had never been inside.

So there we were, all excited. The stadium really is something else. And this was the legendary Liverpool FC, who at last one third of Singaporeans actively support (the rest being roughly one third Manchester United fans, and one third supporters of other British clubs) playing Singapore on their own turf. This was going to be good!

I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow account of the game. I don't do sports commentaries, and besides, I was too busy watching the crowds. Both Liverpool's and Singapore's home strips are red and white, and the stadium was a seething mass of it. It was hard to tell who was supporting who. And in fact it didn't matter because everyone cheered at every goal attempt, and groaned at every save no matter which end it was, which was rather nice. There was a lot of chanting, but whether they were shouting "Singapore" or "Liverpool" it was impossible to tell - they sound the same in a Singaporean accent soaked in beer.

At one point a Mexican wave started and it went round the whole stadium twice with a huge roar, until an attempt on one of the goals took people's attention back to the game. I LOVED that! I did notice that the Reds (in their away strip of black) did all the falling over and rolling around in agony before jumping up and carrying on. If the Lions got hurt, they didn't show it. No surprises there then.

At half time it was 1-0 to Liverpool and we wandered around taking photos and stretching our legs. The second half was even more exciting with goal after goal, and the final score was a slightly embarrassing Liverpool 5 Singapore 0. We watched the Reds kindly give the Lions several openings (it was a "friendly" after all) but the home team just couldn't seem to follow them through. Maybe they were intimidated by the most of the Reds being at least 1 foot taller!

And after all that waffle, here is my attempt at capturing the excitement. The Singapore flag was given to us at the door, no doubt in a vain attempt at getting us to support the home team. I printed off a Liverpool flag from the net. I used the laces saved from an old pair of trainers to thread through eyelets, and printed out photos of the scoreboard with the clock. The red paper is from my DCWV Citrus stack.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Texas Scrapfest '09

Some of my friends on ScrapJazz are getting together this weekend for a 3 day crop, in memory of the little daughter of one of the Jazzers. Teegan Wynn O'Neal was 3 months short of her 3rd birthday when she went to bed with a slight cold. She never woke up, and was found to be a victim of RSV, a respiratory virus that hits suddenly and fatally. The Texas Scrapfest '09 is to raise money for RSV awareness.

Obviously I can't be there, but there are loads of fun challenges which can be submitted until close of play Sunday, and I'm having a go at my first cyber-crop! Yesterday I created 2 LOs - a record for me - and I have a double page LO to do today if I get time.

Here they are so far. The first LO challenge as to scrap a celebration of some kind, using flowers, scallops and circles. I used DH's birthday meal in Chinatown at the Porridge King. I tried out my new pearl alcohol ink, which (you'll have to trust me on this) looks far more effective in the flesh than in the photo.

The second LO challenge is to scrap baby photos, using stripes, ribbon and at least 2 patterned papers. I used our little niece's photo from her first Christmas. It's been sitting on our bookshelf gathering dust and fading for years. Well she's 6 now! So it and a few others came off the shelf and are going to be scrapped to stop them from deteriorating further. I used my new Raspberry liquid pearls for this one, as well as one of the giant Petaloo flowers from my ScrapJazz prize in the spring. The luscious ribbon is from a gift bag I was given and have been saving for several years. Our niece's favourite things at that age were butterflies, so they had to feature too.

I really like both of these. I'm getting quicker at putting pages together - and about time too, after nearly a year and a half. More Scrapfesting later...

Saturday, 1 August 2009

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

I'm confused. As usual! DH took yesterday (Friday) off, so it feels like Sunday today to me. And by the time I finish this it's going to be after midnight so it will actually be tomorrow. Aargh.

Yesterday (or the day before) was our 10th wedding anniversary (cue: fanfare and cheers... YAY... and CUT) and also the 9th anniversary of losing my father. Consequently we don't tend to celebrate much on this day. Instead, we celebrate on New Year's Eve which is the day we met, the day we got engaged a year later, and the day we were planning on getting married. But we had to bring the wedding forward 5 months because of two family illnesses. My Dad was one of them, and I'm so glad we did change the date because he was able to walk me up the aisle, which he couldn't do by the end of the year. (And besides, it's easier for DH to have only one date to remember - even if he does forget, he can just take me to a New Year's party HAHA!)

So we didn't do cards and such - therefore nothing pretty to show you there - but DH did manage to get tickets to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company on their Singapore tour. If you haven't heard of them before, click on the link and have a surf. They're hilarious.

I saw their Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) many, many years ago and the evolved, modernised version we saw tonight was still rib-crackingly funny. In fact a girl a couple of rows behind seemed unable to stop crowing even between the jokes, so I missed a few bits. Grr.

Afterwards they had an autograph-signing session, so I queued up like a teenager to take their photo and get their squiggles on our programme. Then we had to top up our parking card, and then we went to get coffee. And then at 10:55pm, DH mentioned that he thought the car park closed for the night around now, so it was a bit of an Olympic totter in my heels, past the darkened, shuttered library entrances to find a door that took us back to the car. He was right - we got out with moments to spare.

So we have a signed programme, a leaflet, the tickets and a slightly blurred mobile phone photo. Yup, you've guessed it. That means a lay-out!

Not now though. It's tomorrow any minute now, and the TV is only showing the kind of rubbish designed to drive people to bed. Good night!