Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A Christmas card and an earthquake

Well it had to happen, didn't it? I've been moaning about the supermarkets selling Christmas cards as soon as the kids go back to school in September for years. I love Christmas, but I find by the time it's arrived I'm completely fed up with it. Nothing can be done to stop the tide however, so as they say, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". My Christmas card-making began today.

The current Basic Grey Challenge is to use embossing, either heat or dry, along with at least one BG item. And I just found a new blog today which has inspired me: Fab's Big Christmas Cards Challenge and the challenge here is green and more green.

He also suggests making two cards from the same supply of materials, which I had fully intended to do before close-of-play today, but I got interrupted by an earthquake which I suspect is a little more important in the general scheme of things. Honest. Don't believe me? Check the news. I'll wait... Yes, you've got it, that's the one. That 7.6 magnitude quake 53km off the coast of western Indonesia near Padang at 6:20 this afternoon. We felt it in our 19th floor condo in Singapore. The door was swinging, the curtains were swaying, and if it had gone on much longer than about half a minute, I think I might have felt travel-sick. It's the most peculiar feeling.

So Fab, I love your blog and you've completely inspired me to get working on my cards - thank you! I hope you will forgive me for not finishing my second card before the deadline, but I promise I'll finish it and post it tomorrow :-)

This earthquake is on top of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami which caused so much damage in Samoa this morning. And the typhoon Ketsana which has devastated the Philippines, roared through Vietnam and is now battering central Cambodia exactly where we were this time last year. Those poor, poor people.

So now to my card, and I promise it was not designed with any knowledge of today's terrible news. However much we help our human impact on the earth, we can't help the power of the elements. It makes me feel very humble and insignificant. I must add that inside there's a mistletoe stamp and the sentiment "have a merry one". In green, of course!

Patterned paper: Basic Grey Wisteria, Urban Prairie (Hayloft), Sultry (Patina)
Ink: Versacolor/Artnic in Sky Blue, Evergreen and Green Tea, Dew Drops in Galaxy Gold and Bamboo Leaves
Stamp: Inkadinkado (I'm dreaming of a green Christmas) and Stampington (tree)
Embossing powder in Verdigris, gold cord and gold staples from my stash

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


We're up to the letter "E" on the ScrapJazz Challenges. For September we had to create a LO using either ephemera or envelopes. I don't really like using ephemera which may not be acid-free, but the more I thought about it, I realised that the only reason to have an envelope is to put ephemera in! So after all that, I used a leaflet from our New Year celebrations in Hong Kong, and just hoped it isn't too acidic.

I'm not exactly happy with this LO. I couldn't even get it to photograph properly - the pink is actually a plummy kind of purple. Grr. I stamped grasses and flowers which look quite like fireworks as a background for the photos. The journalling is on the back of the "lift" tab, and the outside of the leaflet hangs outside the page protector. One thing I really like is the date stamp on which you can circle the month(s) and date(s).

Friday, 25 September 2009

Friday Funny

I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace.

Dr Phil proclaimed:

'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.'

So, I looked around our apartment to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving for work this morning I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish cream, a packet of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates.

You have no idea how good I feel right now!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Cat City

One of September's Challenges on ScrapJazz is to create a page using distressing techniques including tearing, sanding, inking. We also have to use die-cuts too, either pre-cut, or cut using our machines.

Unfortunately my crafting mojo seems to have got a bit cheesed off by the rest of me being poorly, and for the first time in a long time I sat looking at all my pretty things and my photos without having the faintest idea of what to do with them. I thought about the challenges while I was out walking, on the bus and on the train; looking for inspiration in adverts, shops, magazines. I concentrated really hard, noticed a plethora of fascinating things which normally would have had me reaching for pen and notebook and hurrying home. But my poor little imagination just folded its arms, shook its head and told me "nope, not playing".

It's possible that DH's call to tell me he was coming home in a few days gave my mojo the kick up the jacksie that it needed. Or maybe I was just feeling better. Who knows? Whatever the reason, I think it's gradually filtering back. I spent yesterday enjoying my turn at the autumn Scrap Whispers main challenge (which I can't show you yet na-na-ne-na-na :-) but it's gorgeous) and today I couldn't wait to get working on today's candy.

I distressed the edge of the paper with an old emery board, tore the photo corners, and sanded "claw-marks" into the paper. I die-cut the journalling spot and distressed the edge. The arrow is also die-cut and inked. I used my new Basic Grey Lemonade papers and letter stickers

The photos are from our visit to Kuching, where there were cats, both statues and the real thing everywhere. The journalling spot reads "a little bird told me" and the arrow points to a sparrow perched on the bronze back of the cat statue, which tickled our fancy.

Monday, 21 September 2009

SW Challenge #43

Scrap Whispers Challenge #43 was a fun one! We had to choose our favourite digital scrap-booker, and scrap-lift one of their designs. I haven't got a particular favourite digi designer, because I think they're all better than anything I've managed! I chose our very own Lillypond from ScrapJazz. This is her LO Pool Time and this is my paper-and-glue version.

To be honest it's cheating rather, because 99% of that gorgeous design is the Bo Bunny paper. All I did was to cut the photos to fit, cut around the edges of the leaves so that they fitted over the photos, add a stamp and a little journalling, and squidge some lime green Stickles around to match the green in the photos. Oh, and then mount it on a white background. Even the photos were already printed out from another project, and I didn't want to waste them. Ah well. Recycling and saving paper is a good thing!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Pause for thought

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events: terrorists attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Basic Grey Challenge #3

This fortnight the Basic Grey Challenge is to take inspiration from this photo, as usual using at least one Basic Grey item. Isn't it a lovely photo?

I went for Willow again, coloured with my Copic markers. I really love that stamp! The papers are from BG Wisteria, the lace from my stash, and I used my favourite Carla Crafts Macaron punch and Diamond Stickles. Quite simple this week - I really wasn't up to anything much more complicated. But I think simple is good in this case.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Return from sick leave

Hi folks!

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. I had a minor surgical procedure last week involving an overnight stay in hospital. Apart from not getting any sleep, everything went fine until I got home and took a contingency pain-killer to ensure a good night's sleep. Big mistake. Instant allergic reaction: rash, fever, fright. So that's yet another item to add to my allergy list, and I've had to spend the week recovering from the allergy as well as the procedure. Ah well. I think I'm back on track again now, although my energy levels are well below normal, so please bear with me!

I did manage a card for my dear friend J for her wedding anniversary last week. I took the photo at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and it just seemed perfect for an anniversary, without a lot of extra embellishing.

I struggled with taking the photo of the card though - as soon as I brightened it, it lost all its shininess. You'll have to take my word for it that the spots on the ribbon and the sentiment are silver, and that the card is much brighter in real life.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Member of the Month!

Wow. I'm feeling so proud at the moment.

Scrap Whispers is featuring little me as their Member of the Month! Their inspirational Design Team has been choosing my LOs to scrap-lift, and they've put together a fun Blog Hop. You start at Scrap Whispers, and follow the links until you get to the end.

Go on! Go and see how they've improved on my designs?

Can't say any more.... too embarrassed....

Friday, 4 September 2009

Friday Funny

What Is Butt Dust?

What, you ask, is 'Butt dust'? Read on and you'll discover the joy in it! These must be original and genuine, because no adult is this creative!

JACK (age 3) was watching his Mum breast-feeding his new baby sister. After a while he asked: 'Mum why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?'

MELANIE (age 5) asked her Granny how old she was Granny replied she was so old she didn't remember any more. Melanie said, 'If you don't remember you must look in the back of your panties. Mine say five to six.'

STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mum good night. 'I love you so much that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window.'

BRITTANY (age 4) had an ear ache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mum explained it was a child-proof cap and she'd have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: 'How does it know it's me?'

SUSAN (age 4) was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. 'Please don't give me this juice again,' she said, 'It makes my teeth cough.'

DJ (age 4) stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: 'How much do I cost?'

CLINTON (age 5) was in his bedroom looking worried When his Mum asked what was troubling him, he replied, 'I don't know what'll happen with this bed when I get married. How will my wife fit in it?'

MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple who were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: 'Why is he whispering in her mouth?'

TAMMY (age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mum knew. Tammy looked at her for a while and then asked, 'Why doesn't your skin fit your face?'

JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: 'The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.' Concerned, James asked: 'What happened to the flea?'

And finally, the Sunday sermon I think this Mum will never forget.

'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. 'Without you, we are but dust...' He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, 'Mum, what is butt dust?'

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Backtrack: Copic markers

Humour me for a little here, OK?

Wind the clock back a few weeks, to when I entered the first relaunched Basic Grey Challenge. Imagine a girl suddenly finding the goldmine of 100 blog sites filled with the prettiest, cutest, most beguiling stamped coloured images on the most gorgeous cards. Imagine someone addicted to colour and creating new things, but with no stamps, and no colours. Yup, I ordered myself some unmounted stamps from Whiff of Joy at a very reasonable price. Now for the colouring.

I admired, I trawled YouTube and gave myself a headache watching all those tutorials. I researched and nearly fainted at the prices. I dithered, I argued with myself. I decided not to. Too expensive - ridiculous. Did some more video-watching and arguing. Had another look at the two beautiful, charming cards that Georgina sent me. Sighed. I poured out my arguments to my long-suffering DH, and he said "do it". I said ???????? He said "you'll use them, get them." I argued some more, with him this time. Then I went out to Art Friend to see them and their price tag in the flesh.

They sat there, those boxes of 36 markers in their locked cabinet (told you they were valuable) and I swear I heard 36 little voices reminding me about my 10%-off member's card in my purse. I stopped dithering and promised them that they would be the last spending I did for a while. I carried them reverently home.

Then I spent a day being a child again with felt-tip pens and white card. Hehee I DID enjoy myself! When DH got home I couldn't wait to show him. He's such a patient guy - he showed more than enough interest and enthusiasm to satisfy my childish need for admiration. I had to drag myself reluctantly back into adulthood again to cook the tea.

But I think I brought part of my child's heart back with me. Every time I look at these cards, I grin spontaneously with pleasure. I'm SO GLAD I spent that money, and SO grateful to DH that he didn't begrudge it at all. I'm a very lucky person.

You're going to want to see what all that build-up was about now, aren't you? Oh...... OK then. If you really want to...

"Recipe": Whiff of Joy stamps: Lizzie from the Winter '08 collection and Willow with Flowers from the Spring '09 collection, Copic Ciao markers (swoon), scraps including SEI Moravia, DCWV and Basic Grey, dollar store ribbon, Prima flowers, gems, brads, ink and an unknown gift stamp from my stash and Stickles to add the essential girlie sparkle finish.