Monday, 30 November 2009

A quick BG Christmas card

Now that the bulk of my cards has been completed, I've got time to play with scraps and some Challenges. Well OK, maybe I haven't really got time - the newsletter still has to be composed after all - but I felt like spoiling myself!

I went on a Christmas card-making class at Laine's earlier this month. It was a Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses fest (papers and chipboard shapes) and I've loved working with the delicate blues, greens, pinks and burgundies. We got a bottle of Stickles and turquoise gems included in the price too, and there were a couple of teenaged girls on the course who THREW AWAY their unused ribbon and scraps - so I rescued those out of the bin too! We finished (nearly!) 6 cards at the class, had instructions for 2 more which I made, and I managed another 3 with the leftovers. I still had a small pile after all that, so I used them to make this week's Basic Grey Challenge. I like Tara G's sketches. Some designers' sketches seem to have hundreds of layers, and I end up with a card that is so front-heavy that it keeps falling over. But Tara's aren't like that - they're always so sensibly designed and satisfying to create. See what I mean?

And this is what I did with it. Stuck to it to the letter this time! It also qualifies for Week #31, Fab's sketch challenge.

Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses papers and chipboard shapes
Colorbox Merlot ink
Crystal Stickers by Mark Richards in teal
Stickles "Waterfall"
green card-stock scraps

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Some more Christmas cards

I'm pretty proud of myself at the moment. I've made nearly 40 Christmas cards this week! Of course I'm not going to be able to share them all, but I did make some of them to fit some more of Fab's Big Christmas Cards Challenges.

Week #44 was half patterned, half plain paper.

Week #37 was rectangles and glitter. This card is all rectangles and I love the glitter sticker.

Week #35 was stripes and dots and/or no-fabric ribbon. I didn't do the paper ribbon part, but this gorgeous Indian paper has both stripes and silver glitter dots on it. Sorry about the rubbish photo. My camera really struggles with getting the exposure right on black cards.

Week #30 was cute and square. No problems there for my Studio G stamp and some off-cuts. It's sort of supposed to be a snowflake, but DH couldn't see it. That's OK, it's pretty, cute and square.

And finally Week #27 (I'm working back now - this was July!) was to use rounded corners and/or epoxy stickers. I planned this all on one card, honest, but when I went to check, I'd forgotten to round the corners on every one of the cards with epoxy stickers on. But I did round a lot of corners, so I've done two cards for this challenge and I hope that's sufficient.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Scrap Whispers Design Team


Ladies and Gentlemen,
I'm delighted to announce that I have been invited to join the Scrap Whispers Design Team! I'm so excited! The next game starts in January, and I'll be heading up one of the teams, as well as hopefully helping to provide some inspiration for the weekly challenges.

You can read all about how the game works here on the Scrap Whispers site. Any of my scrap-booking friends out there who want to join in, please feel free to check out the fun.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Scrap Whispers Big Reveal

The Scrap Whispers autumn 2009 game has finished and the results have been collated. You can see the amazing creativity of each team here:

Team 1
Team 2
Team 3
Team 4
Team 5
Team 6 (I'm in that one!)

Here is the LO that Georgina sent to each team leader:

My team leader Helen then created this and sent it to me. Of course, I didn't see Georgina's original LO:

I kept the colours and the elements overlapping the photo, also the positioning of the background papers and the dates. I moved the photo to the other side, and left out the 3 buttons. I absolutely love this leafy paper and I wish I could find some more but I don't even know who makes it. I got it years ago and it wasn't labelled. The rest of the "recipe" includes Stickles, paper from Kaisercraft and My Mind's Eye, the scallop punch from Martha Stewart, Thickers lettering, and Versamark white and brown ink.

After that my LO went on to Mary and so on.

All we're waiting for now, is to find out which team has won the Challenge!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Fab's Week #46 Challenge

This week we had to stamp a background. I kind of followed the challenge by stamping snowflakes all over my card - I hope it fits the rules!

stamps: Studio G (snowflakes and sentiment) & Hero Arts (owl)
Copic markers
tree paper: BG Eskimo Kisses

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Red and Gold

We've been in Asia for 4 and a half years now, and our friends were rather surprised that we hadn't been to a wedding yet. We've had a couple of invitations but DH has always been away. A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to our first Asian wedding this Saturday, of one of DH's colleagues. It will be a Chinese wedding, in Johor Bahru on the southernmost tip of Peninsula Malaysia, and just over the bridge from Singapore. Obviously some research was in order.

I discovered that black, white and dark blue are not worn at weddings, but my green dress is acceptable. Auspicious colours are red, yellow and gold. For a wedding gift, guests are expected to give money enough to pay for their meal and a bit more. The gift is given in a large red envelope or packet known as hong bao. This wedding will be held at 1pm at a restaurant, which will be a first for me. I mean, I'm used to going to a church or civil ceremony followed by the wedding breakfast at a restaurant, but having the whole ceremony held there will be very interesting. It will end at 4pm. No party, no evening reception. A long way to go for 3 hours, but that will be just about right for us two non-socialites.

Last week DH brought some more news back from work. We had another wedding invitation for a few days before the Chinese wedding. This was Malaysian - well I presumed it was, since the invitation was all in Malay, which kind of didn't help with my research. We didn't go to that one, already having something else on.

Imagine my surprise then, when I got a third invitation, for 7:30pm on the same Saturday! This one is an Indian wedding in Chinatown in Singapore. Yes, I know that sounds completely culturally mixed up, but this temple is famous. I've walked past it a hundred times and I've always wanted to know what it's like inside. The happy couple are the recipients of the scrap-book which I've been working on with the bride's mother since May. I heard so much about the arrangements but it never occurred to me that I may be invited.
Both couples are already married. Here the custom is to have a civil ceremony with just close family, in which they hire the dress, the photographer, the car and the flowers as a package. They travel around being photographed all over the island, or in my scrap-booker friend's daughter's case, New York. Then they have their own ceremony several days or weeks later with the rest of the family and their friends - another dress or two and more flowers.

The Indian wedding preparations are extensive, lavish and even more ceremonial than the wedding itself. Sheila has her bangle ceremony tonight I believe, during which she will be adorned by the family women with coloured glass and metal bangles all with special meanings like blessings, fertility and warding off evil. She will then not be allowed to do any housework until her wedding day, in case she breaks them which would be bad luck. She will have an odd number of bangles in total; an even number on one arm and an odd number on the other, because the Indian belief is that odd numbers are auspicious.

It's going to be a busy day. You can be sure that my camera will be on charge with spare battery and SD card to hand. Right now I'm waiting for the rain to stop so I can go out and get the hong bao and the crisp new notes from the bank. Meanwhile I can show you the cards I've made for both couples, because I know I won't have another chance to post for a few days.

Card blanks: gold from Lavender Crafts, red from Paperchase
Indian paper in gold and cream from Hobbycraft
ribbon from Daiso
Bo Bunny heart paper
Bella chipboard letters
gold embossing powder from stash
QuicKutz nested circles used with Cuttlebug to make the rings

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Working through Fab's challenges

I've been following Fab's Big Christmas Cards Challenges since I discovered the site only at the back end of September. I haven't been very good at doing the Challenges when they were due, or in the right order, but I have been plugging away at them.

For Week #33 I made this shaped card from the Let's Make Cards magazine kit from last year.

For Week #34 I followed Fab's links and did two poinsettia cards from the print-outs

Week #29 I didn't have any peel-offs, but I managed a star card.

For Week #41 I made a card with baubles.

For Week #38 I made this non-conventional Christmas card showing a window.

That's all for now. More to come!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

We're going to Oz!

Just to let you know that the decision has been made! We're off to Australia on a 2-year contract in January 2010. I'll post more details as they come, but for now let me just say that I'm excited!

Back in sunny Singapore

I got back to Singapore late Friday night, after about 2 hours' sleep on the flight. This was mainly thanks to two Dutch women behind me who decided that it was acceptable to hoot loudly at each other from 4 seats apart, while everyone else was trying to sleep all "night" until what would have been 5am. My own ear-plugs just weren't man enough for the job.

It wasn't only their fault. I'd chosen a seat on the aisle with an empty place behind me, so that I wouldn't get kicked from behind. It worked fine on the Air France flight on the way to Europe, but somehow on the way back with KLM, everyone thought it was OK to use the back of my seat as an arm-rest on their way past - even the staff with their trolleys. Ah well, you live and learn. It's Sunday now and I think I've almost caught up on my sleep now, despite Heffalump Child doing her darnedest to prevent me. Even DH got cross and yelled at her earlier on, but that "sound rises" rule that we learned in Physics lessons doesn't seem to work here.

I had a fantastic time in the UK, and a big THANK YOU to everyone whose beds I slept in, whose food I enjoyed, and who politely tried some of my flax bread and valiantly munched through my other cooking. Also to those who kindly made time to meet me at closed coffee shops, in draughty London squares, and at our overgrown, cold, damp house.

We even had a dear little thunderstorm in England, just to make me feel "at home". Well OK, there was one lightning flash and a gentle rumble quite a long time afterwards, but it did its best, bless it. DH promised me some thunder when I got back, because he's been working with ear-muffs in a swamp for the last fortnight, but I think I've frightened the fun weather away because it's been hot, hot, hot since I got back. I'll keep waiting.

I managed a little crafting while I was away. As well as my crop with Kelly and Georgina, I found myself with one evening free to catch my breath on my west country leg. I spent it in my hotel room with the TV showing some good old British comedy, while I put on my sloppy joes and spread out my crafting stuff all over the bed and made 8 Christmas cards.

I also made some thank you cards while I was at my Mum's, for some of the dear people who were so kind to me. I've left them with my Mum to post, once Royal Mail have cleared the backlog from their random strikes over pay and working conditions. I used my Scrap Whispers prize which Georgina gave me at the crop: a Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses Collection kit - perfect for a project whilst travelling. Here are some of them.

Now it's back to normality, laundry and more laundry.