Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Trying Something New

I have seen a video from Shimelle Laine a couple of times where you take a selection of papers and cut them all up and then use them to create as many layouts as possible. I have always wanted to do this and today I cut up the papers from the Studio Calico Field Guide kit from last year and I am making layouts with those pieces of paper. 

To be honest it is a little bit scary to cut into all those pieces of paper without knowing what photos I am going to scrap but it is also strangely empowering. There are some pretty stunning papers in that collection that I have cut into small pieces. I have kept some of the patterned papers whole to use as backgrounds and I have two pieces of the same paper that I am going to use as the background of my first ever double pager.

The first page is a contrast between the life of our pampered feline and a stray cat we saw out on a walk. I have never actually scrapped Poppy before and seeing these two photos together gave me a great story to share.

The second layout was inspired by some of the layouts completed for the NSD challenges at Studio Calico. I loved the bright colours in the photos and thought a banner style layout might work well. I also had a play with my Mister Hueys and the Maya Road chipboard included in the kit.

I had fun working on these layouts. I did grab a couple of things from my May Studio Calico kits for the second layout including some Lawn Fawn string and  the title lettering from Jillibean Soup. I am hoping to complete some more layouts from this older chopped up kit this week. I am happy with how it has gone so far.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Taking the Toddler to Universal Studios

A couple of weekends ago, Hubby and I decided to try taking Scarlett to Universal Studios for the afternoon. We actually visited the theme park once before with my husband's work and had enjoyed it when Scarlett was about six months old. Obviously, there was not much she could do then but we thought there might be a bit more she could try out now.

We took the compulsory photo of the Universal logo just as New Zealand came into view and then headed into the park. We had booked our tickets online so we just handed over our printouts and were straight inside. We had taken a  bit of a gamble that the park would not be too crowded on a Saturday afternoon and we were pleasantly surprised by the relatively small crowd. The longest we waited for any ride was twenty five minutes and most we were in a line for five minutes or less. There were a couple of rides that we did not go on because of the wait time but most of those were not suitable for Scarlett anyway.

Just as we arrived we caught a glimpse of Shrek and Princess Fiona as they headed back into the castle. Scarlett was very impressed!

We initially focused most of our time on the Madagascar and Far Far Away sections of the park as they had the most age appropriate rides for us. We started off on the Crate Adventure Madagascar ride which took us through some scenes from the movies on a boat. It was fun for Scarlett but fairly tame. We then headed over to the carousel which is also animal themed. Scarlett had not been big enough to ride on anything but a fixed wagon last time we were here but this trip she was keen to ride an animal by herself. She and Daddy had a great ride while I tried to get some photos without much success.

We also really enjoyed the Shrek 4 D movie. Scarlett was very surprised by the moving seats and all the effects. It was a lot of fun. As we came out of the Shrek movie we were just in time to see all the characters from Madagascar. Scarlett had her photo taken with Alex.

In the interests of an authentic Theme Park experience we introduced Scarlett to the joys of the corn dog. She was pretty impressed! It was pretty warm and sunny (maybe 33 degrees C 91 F) so the key thing was to keep drinking! 

We really enjoyed having a look at the Lost World section of the park where we had a fly on some dinosaurs. Scarlett and Daddy really enjoyed that ride but it was a bit too scary for me. There is a great ride through the rainforest but the wait time was over an hour so we gave that one a miss.

Scarlett had seen a ride which involved driving Model T style cars through an archaeological dig. We promised her that we would go on it and that she could drive. Sadly it had the longest wait time of the day at  25 minutes and it was too long for Scarlett. All her grumpiness evaporated though as she steered the car around the course. She really enjoyed the ride although it is not that exciting for anyone over the age of about 6 I would think.

We continued around the park and were surprised to see the duelling roller coasters at Battlestar Gallactica only had a five minute wait time. Tet was keen to have a go so Scarlett and I sat under the coasters and tried to spot Tet. We did not see him but he enjoyed the first ride. I sent him back to try the other one and he declared it quite scary. The two coasters loop in through each other. One is a ride on cart sort of set up and the other is a shoulder harness dangling ride. I was waaaay to chicken to have a go but it was fun watching all the other folk enjoying themselves and Scarlett found some pretty coloured stones to play with so it was a nice break.

We decided to head for the exit with a brownie and ice cream break on our way back through the park. Scarlett also attempted to join a dance crew on stage before starting her own breakdance in the crowd. It was a tad embarrassing but she was surprisingly good! 

The best part of the day for Scarlett though was having her photo taken by Po from Kung Fu Panda as were leaving the park. She loves the movie and the character was really fun, mock fighting with the children and making a real effort.

What a shame they both had their eyes closed!

Overall, it was an excellent day out. The park is free until the age of four so it was just the adults who had to pay. $74 a ticket means it is not a cheap day out but we did enjoy ourselves. We intend to go back in September with Scarlett's grandad.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Blog My Heart May

I opened my reader this morning and my heart smiled when I saw Stephanie Howell's blog post was a call to Blog Your Heart. If you don't read Just My Soldier and Our Four Little Chicks you are totally missing out on one of my favourite ever blogs. Stephanie is an amazing crafter but also the mother of four gorgeous girls  with a husband who serves in the military and all that entails. She blogs from the heart and her honesty and openness makes for a wonderful blog.

Blog Your Heart is an opportunity for bloggers to openly share all that is on their hearts and minds and I am excited to be taking part again.

My heart looks a little like this at present:

  • fearful... I want to get a part time job but I am terrified I am unemployable now. As a trained teacher it makes sense for me to go relieving but I have not taught in ten years and that is an age! Insurance is the other industry I have worked in but part time jobs are few and far between and I am not ready to work sixty hour weeks. I need to do something but currently I am petrified to even start the process for fear I will fail.
  • amazed by the change and growth my daughter has shown in the past couple of months. She is such a chatterbox now! Her time at pre school has been so positive even if she is really the only child in her group that talks much. Her poor teachers must get an ear bashing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • excited to be taking Scarlett to her first live concert. We are off to see the Wiggles tomorrow and she is super excited. Sadly I am just as excited and to think the last concert I went to was the Killers in Vegas when I was pregnant with Scarlett. Sigh....
  • disappointed and relieved in equal measure that I have fallen off the Weightwatchers wagon. I have lost 9 kg since February and am still losing a little at a time even now that I am back eating more normal food, I just needed to be able to eat out again and I was getting too cranky on the restricted diet. We are all a lot happier and that is important.
  • scrapbooking and this blog continue to be my sanity. If I get to craft and blog then I am generally happy. If things come up that put a stop to that then I am not such a happy camper.
  • grateful that we live in a wonderful safe city with excellent schools and opportunities for my daughter. There has been a whisper that we may be transferred in the next couple of years and I was surprised how sad that made me. It may never happen but I truly enjoy living in Singapore and need to make the most of the time we have here.
  • counting down the weeks until my Dad comes to stay for a month. Scarlett is beyond excited as he is her favourite person ever. Then we have the excitement of my sister coming to spend Christmas with us and heading to Thailand for a post Christmas break. So many adventures on the way.

If you would like to join in this Blog Your Heart please check out all the information on Stephanie's blog.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Style Analysis

I have just completed an exercise as part of my Cover to Cover class trying to determine what I mostly do with my layouts. The challenge was to look at the last five layouts I completed and analyse the style, products used and determine what the components are of the pages I love.

These are four of the five layouts I analysed. The fifth one I have not actually photographed yet I just realised!

  • My love of patterned paper is pretty evident. With the exception of the Me @ 38 layout all contain a mixture of patterns and the pattern on the Me layout drove the whole design.
  • I use a single photo almost exclusively. All five layouts I analysed were single photo efforts and increasingly I am using Instagram shots. I went through my entire 2012 album and found only two layouts containing more than one photo.
  • I love bright colours and generally warmer colours too. I lack confidence in combining colours so the Studio Calico kits have been an absolute godsend in that someone else with a far better eye puts the colours together.
  • I used Thickers for every title of the five analysed pages with the addition of other letter stickers for the majority.
  • All my journalling is hand written and I am increasingly using printed journalling cards. There is one layout with no journalling and one with hidden journalling among the five.
  • I always leave either the top left or top right corner of the layout empty.
  • My layouts are very flat.
I am surprised at how little cardstock I have used lately and how much more confident I am becoming at mixing various patterns. Overall I was pretty pleased with all these layouts. Often it is the photos I love rather than the layouts themselves though ... perhaps I should just be sticking them in a photo album!

I found this exercise really beneficial and will try it on a second album soon to see if my style has evolved at all.

Have you ever analysed your pages in this fashion? Did you discover something unexpected about your style?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

How I love a good Starting Point

I think it would be fair to say that inspiration does not always run hot. In fact, on many occasions it seems to have left the building entirely. On days such as this when I have the time and inclination to scrap but no great plan I find that sketches and increasingly, Shimelle Laine's starting points are where I turn.

Her pink and grey starting point this week had me reaching for my Glee Club Studio Calico kit which is very nearly finished. I found a recent photo of Miss Monkey that really shows her personality and went from there.

The link to the starting point is here.

The photo was taken on a day trip we took to Sentosa a few weeks ago. Monkey loved the butterfly park and especially liked the macaws and lorikeets that were also living there. She is pointing too some spectacular Scarlet Macaws just out of shot although she refused to believe they have her name too! All the patterned papers are from the very old Glee Club kit and Debate Team add on. The blue paper is actually the back of an advert that was popped in with the kit. The two bird themed journalling cards are from October Afternoon and the fonts are Amy Tangerine Muse in woodgrain and Studio Calico letter stickers. I did slightly adjust the starting point to suit the orientation of my journalling cards.

I am off to tackle another week or two of Project Life this afternoon. I remain about a month behind in spite of my best efforts. I am trying to focus on PL for the rest of the week in my evenings. Monkey is off school with a cold today and school is closed on Friday so ,once again, free time is a pretty scarce commodity.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

39 by 39

I have had this list completed for a while but I completely forgot to post it. As luck would have it I have actually managed to cross a couple of things off it already which is a nice surprise as I have not done anything with any planning.

Here we go!

  1. Visit a new country.
  2. Stay overnight in Johor Baru.
  3. Learn to sew on a machine.
  4. Redo my blog.
  5. Go bike riding.
  6. Lose 10 further kg.
  7. Update my CV.
  8. Grow my blog to 30 followers.
  9. Walk in the rain.
  10. Cook one new recipe each month.
  11. Take a cooking class.
  12. Keep up with Project Life.
  13. Start my wedding album.
  14. Complete Scarlett's first year album.
  15. Take an online Scrapbooking class.
  16. Last a whole month of photo a day.
  17. Plan and book our NYC trip for July 2013.
  18. Start a Japanese conversation class.
  19. Try a bikram yoga class.
  20. Try a traditional yoga class.
  21. Visit Legoland.
  22. Watch Downton Abbey.
  23. Keep up with my book club.
  24. Sort out a baby sitter.
  25. Initiate a monthly date night.
  26. Go to a live performance with my daughter.
  27. Go to a live performance without my daughter.
  28. Watch a movie in a movie theatre.
  29. Try and grow something from seed.
  30. Complete the couch to 5k programme.
  31. Run in a 5 k race.
  32. Have some portraits taken of our family.
  33. Spend a day at a waterpark.
  34. Have a facial.
  35. Try a fish spa.
  36. Get some exercise clothing that makes me feel good
  37. Earn some money
  38. Have a ruthless wardrobe sort out.
  39. Swim once a week.

So without even trying I have managed to cross four things off my list. I need to get that many crossed off pretty much every month to clear my list by my next birthday.

Some of these things are going to be a lot easier than others I can see. I need to lose some more weight before I start the C25K just as a favour to my knees. Cooking new healthier recipes should help with those goals. 

We went to the resort island of Sentosa a few times in the last couple of weeks and we grabbed a deal they had for visiting the Butterfly Park and the Underwater World. As part of that deal  they included a ten minute fish spa. Inside they had two big ponds full of the cleaning fish. There was one pool with smaller fish and lots of people and one pool with bigger fish and no one. We decided to brave the bigger fish and we may have made a tactical error. They were pretty aggressive and it was pretty tickly.Tet barely kept his feet in the water but I did find afterwards that my feet were a lot softer and smoother.

As you can see they loved my feet!

I have been caught walking in the rain twice in the past couple of weeks. We certainly have the climate for it in Singapore as even in the cooler rainy season the temperature never drops much below 25 degrees C.

I am loving my new scrapbook class Cover to Cover and I am really inspired to make better design decisions with my albums.

Finally, I have signed up for a 30 days of Curvy Yoga class to do at home. I have tried the routine once and I did find it good up to about the halfway point where the filming makes it hard to actually follow the pose. I will try again tomorrow. I would prefer to do a real life class but I find Yoga Studios and the lithe, thin practitioners more than a little intimidating.

I hope everyone is having a great week.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Simpler Style

I have a couple of layouts from this week to share. I am excited to have finally killed my April SC kit, City of Lights. I do have a few scraps of paper and some left over file sheets from one of the add ons but they are going into my scrap pile now. I have really loved this kit. It has been easy to work with and I am generally happy with the layouts I have completed with it. With my May kit still missing in the mail I am working on my oldest kit currently and trying to reduce it to a few scraps as well.

This was my favourite piece of paper in the entire kit selection for April and I knew I wanted to use it in its entirety but I just wasn't sure how. The pie graph just seemed to fit with all the ways I am pulled currently - none of them very exciting either! I love those wooden muse alphas. They are stunning.

I am really in love with the KesiArt papers. They are so bright and beautiful and super easy to use. I used the graphic Heidi Swapp file as a background sheet for the photo. The photo mat is the reverse of the bright stripey KesiArt paper. The school theme of the words on that paper really went well with the photo of Scarlett in her uniform..

I really like the simpler style of these layouts and the reliance on patterned papers. In part, using the kit means that there is a limited supply of embellishments and that has necessitated a cleaner style of layout. I am starting to feel more confident in leaving the layout be and am less tempted to over do things.

Have a great weekend. I am catching up with an old friend from High School this weekend which I am really looking forward to!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Project Life - Only a Month Behind

I have seen a couple of well known scrapbookers give up their Project Life recently and I totally know where they are coming from. I am behind. Really behind. So behind that I have just ordered three weeks worth of photos from Snapfish and I still have two more weeks to sort through. I figured another few days won't hurt and I may as well save the printer ink for sizes that are harder to get elsewhere. But I love it. I love the album and the finished pages. I just need to work on the process especially with my husband's photos.

Here are some blast from the past pages from late March!

Some of our best friends came down to spend the weekend with us from KL. It was lovely to see them and have a few kiwi brews with them too. We had a little gathering of Scarlett's two best buddies and their Mum and Dad for a birthday brunch. We went to a great Italian restaurant that does a buffet starter and dessert but you order your mains. The biggest draw was the bouncy castle and playground outside which was a really safe space for the children to run around. They all enjoyed the Toy Story cake. There is also a random cute shot of Poppy, our Maine Coon taking over Scarlett's dolly bed. 

I have to apologise for all the glare on this photo. I had about 8 attempts at taking this page and for some reason I could not eliminate the glare. This page is dedicated to Scarlett's orientation day and first day at Pre school. Her teacher is seriously wonderful and Scarlett loves her with all her might. She is in the bottom left frame.

The following week was pretty quiet so I dedicated this page to our regular Sunday morning outing along Robertson Quay. It is just a few minutes from our house and we all enjoy walking along the river. We often have breakfast at one of the cafes. We love the coffee at Toby's Estate but their breakfast is a bit average.

The final page I am going to share which brings us into April (huzzah!) is more about getting into the new routine of Scarlett going to school. It has been a wonderful thing for us all but not without its dramas. She is currently only bussing home as she just refused to leave us on the bus in the morning. Tet takes her on his way to work now or I drop her if he is away. It is much easier to say goodbye when she can see all the fun activities ahead.

On a more personal note, today would have been my Mum's 65th birthday. She would finally have started to receive her pension today. I really miss her. Happy birthday Mum!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cover to Cover - the Album Conundrum

Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying the Cover to Cover class I am taking at the moment? It is really making me think about the hows and whys of my scrapbooking and the best way to share our family stories. I have been reading and watching all the prompts but struggled to act on more than a couple last week. I set aside some time today (thank you Pre School and Slow Cooker for making that possible) and am up to Prompt Five which is looking at how to divide my albums.

I am not a chronological scrapbooker in terms of the order in which I work on projects but I certainly am leaning towards two chronological albums to cover our family year. The first will be my Project Life album and the second will be a 12 x 12 layout album exploring some of those events in more depth. I love Project Life and I intend to keep it going as long as possible but I do find that I tend to gloss over some of the stories from a busy week as a result of space constraints. The additional 12 x 12 layout album will allow me to address that challenge and keeping things in chronological order really does make sense with these two albums. 

In addition I am looking at two or possibly three travel albums. The first will be a Japan album. We go to Japan every year and I think it makes sense to keep all those photos together. Obviously there will be aspects recorded in Project Life of these trips but the major recording will take place in a separate album from now on. A second travel album will be a New Zealand album. We get home leave every other year and we tend to have extended visits of up to a month when we are there so again it makes sense to keep our New Zealand experiences separate. The third album will be of our other travel. Short hops to Indonesia and Malaysia and week long trips to Phuket do not require their own album but I do like keeping our travel adventures somewhat separate from our real everyday life.

I am in two minds about a separate Scarlett album beyond a first year album. We do everything together as a family with the exception of what she gets up to at Montessori so I think a separate album might be a little redundant. I might revisit this if we have another child but at this stage I think I am happy to have her life included as part of our family life - she will be the one inheriting the albums after all! I also need to do a wedding album as that is long overdue and my beautiful photos deserve more of a home than my hard drive.

I have been pulling things out of albums and reorganising the contents of my albums a little (so glad I only have two and not thirty to think about!). I like the new feeling of possibility this exercise has given me. It has also given me more focus on what  storiesI want to tell with my layouts. 

How do you organise your albums? Has Project Life changed anything for you? Would this process be overwhelming to you or a welcome fresh start?

I cannot recommend this class enough and no one is asking me to say that. Please check out Shimelle's website here if you think this class might be your thing as I am sure you will really start to examine the way you organise your albums.

I really don't want to have a picture free post so I will add in a layout I whipped up last night. It is a pretty minimalist piece but I am very happy about how it turned out. The model loves it too.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

When is something really finished?

I have a couple of layouts on hand at the moment which are pretty much done but in both cases I have the nagging feeling that they need something else. I have gone through my kits and stash and have not found that something else so this leaves me with a question. Do I pop them in my album and call them done?  Or do I hunt on forever for that perfect elusive embellishment that will take my layout from okay to wow?

The first layout was one I worked on very quickly yesterday while Monkey napped. I pulled out my oldest Studio Calico kit, Glee Club and some photos from 2011 that I had wanted to scrap for ages. The layout came together really quickly but I still feel like it needs something else in the top right hand corner. There is nothing in the kit that will do the job and nothing much in my stash that would work either.

By the way, if you ever get the chance to try one of these cakes from a Lawson Convenience Store in Japan, run do not walk. They are amazing and I have the extra kilo or two to prove it.

The second layout is suffering from a similar issue but I don't know what is missing. Even my husband thinks it needs something else.

I am embracing using my handwriting on layouts much more of late. It is quick and while not as lovely as a beautiful font, I suspect it will be something I look back on with happiness years from now. I am not in love with the bottom left hand corner. I love the two Sketchbook stickers but maybe not together... I am just not sure how to fix it.

Does anyone else have this issue? I have so much scrap booking that I want to do I wonder whether I should just put them in an album and move onto something new or if I should try and fix them. If you have any brilliant ideas on how to fix them I would love to hear from you!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Mish Mash

Welcome to a new week. I hope all the Mum's out there had a lovely Mother's Day. I find it hard now that Mum is no longer around even though she really did not like the whole idea of Mother's Day and we never really celebrated it. It is probably just all those photos on Facebook of family togetherness. We spent a really nice weekend together even though we ended up staying home instead of heading to Malaysia.

The highlight of the four days we spent together for Miss Scarlett was the purchasing of a new scooter. She is in love with the freedom and the speed. I am not so in love with the speed in combination with her total lack of steering ability but we are both working through it. In New Zealand children always wear helmets when on bikes of any kind but it is a pretty rare sight here in Singapore. Fortunately, Scarlett loves her Ladybird helmet and will not get on her scooter without it! Long may that attitude prevail.

Although I think physically Scarlett and I have almost nothing in common, temperament wise we are pretty similar. This is not a good thing as I am stubborn and occasionally a bit moody. I love the next photo of Scarlett telling Daddy off for taking her picture without asking her first. He won't be doing that again in a hurry. It gives a very good indication of Miss Bossy Boots in action!

I have started making the small steps back to being a short haired woman. I always had short hair until I grew it out to get married and Tet liked it long and so it stayed that way. I have been finding my long hair a real pain as I have been walking more and constantly washing hair down to the middle of my back was getting really tedious. I have cut a good few inches off the last three hair cuts and this time it is really noticeably shorter. I can no longer tie it back! One more cut and it will be officially short. I really like it though!

I am loving the Cover to Cover class with Shimelle Laine but am getting a bit overwhelmed with how to sort my albums. I am printing out all six lessons so far as I type and I am going to approach the whole exercise in a much more systematic way. I hope to share a little more of my process with you as the week progresses.

Sorry this is a bit of a mish mash post but it suits my Monday brain - it tends to get a little all over the place! I have not done a single piece of scrapbooking this past week so I am yearning to get back into it. Fingers crossed Monkey is going to have a decent nap this afternoon. I have a load of photos from this past weekend so I want to get some printed and some memories recorded.

Have a great week!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Photo A Day May Part Two

Wow! We are already well into May and I am still going strong with the prompts. I have had to miss one out as I have not managed to get the photo I need but fingers crossed Monday will be the day.

Day 5 Bird
Tet feeding the Lorikeets at Sentosa

Day 6 Me

Sitting on the sofa with the Monkey - grainy but I love this shot.

Day 7 A Person I Admire   (still to come)

Day 8  A Smell I Adore

Jo Malone's Cacao and Blue Agava - like chocolate - amazing!

Day 9 Something I Do Everyday

Yes like Mums everywhere - Laundry fills my days.

Day 10 A Favourite Word

Obviously one I like quite a lot.

Day 11 Kitchen

The hideous dark space that we have to cook in! I would love to gut this room and start again!

So a week's worth of fun photos. Have I said how much I love Instagram? So wonderful!
If you would like to join in the fun the list is here.
Have a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Testing testing

When this post goes live I should be in Malaysia so this is a bit of an experiment. Let's hope it works. If not then I am well ahead of the game for next week.

I have not had quite so much crafty time the last two weeks as Tet has been in Taiwan and then Shanghai for work. We have a week of him at home and then he is off to India for a few days again. Sole parenting means that when I do have a little time to myself there is plenty of domestic duty type activity waiting for my attention. This layout was one that I wanted to make a start on. I just love the stencil paper and I knew that I wanted to use it twice at least but could not decide how best to do that.

In the end I went with a very bold background paper and changed it for a heart shaped piece in Scarlett's first and last initials - S and T (she actually has four but that is another story for another time). The lettering is form an older Echo Park collection called Playground.  Most of the other supplies are from the City of Lights kit from Studio Calico with the exception of the heart paper which is from the new Amy Tangerine Sketchbook line.

Scarlett loves the water - she is a Pisces after all. She has at least two showers or baths every day - in part because of the high humidity climate we live in and in part because she loves them. She has a ritual after each one which involves a nudey run through the house. For the sake of her dignity I have used a photo taken before she discarded her towel on this particular day.

Enjoy your weekend. I am planning to!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Water Play at the Science Centre

Scarlett and I went out to the wilds of Jurong this week to meet up with her best buddy Joshua and have a look around the Science Centre.

I had not been there for ten years or more when I took a class field trip there in my teaching days Some things were familiar but there were a lot of new, fun interactive stations that even captured the attention of two very excited two year olds.

The favourite sections indoors for Scarlett and Joshua were the sound area where there were musical instruments and some incredible interactive displays to try out, and the Natural Disasters where they especially liked watching an eathquake cause a tsumani in a big tank of water!

The thing that I had heard about the Science Centre was that it had a great water play area. We were not disappointed. The children spent over an hour in the sun running around playing with water cannon, using water to shoot balls into hoops and generally having a great time. The joy of the SIngapore climate is that it is always warm enough to get wet. Joshua's helper and I managed to stay pretty dry and the children had their swimming togs on so a great time was had by all. I only took a few instagram pictures and a couple of camera shots but I think you will get the general idea.

Monkey and part of the giant animatronic dinoasaur outside the Science Centre

Scarlett working out how to get the balls into the whirlpool

Running through the fountain
I would whole heartedly recommend the Science Centre for children of all ages. There are lots of interesting things to do and the water play area is great. We were there  later in the afternoon and literally had the whole water play area to ourselves!

We are off on a quick weekend break to Johor Bahru or JB as it is better known. We have not been there since we moved and it is just across the border from Singapore into Malaysia. We are really looking forward to it.

Have a grand weekend!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing

I have noticed that almost every layout I complete at present has Scarlett as the star. I used to try and balance things out and alternate a Scarlett layout with one of Tet or me or a general travel one but that has fallen by the wayside a little. To be honest, the dominance of Scarlett layouts certainly reflects our life quite well. We live away from home so have no family or friends who can baby sit so everything we do is pretty much something suitable for the Monkey. We are at the point of looking at getting a live in helper to enable me to do some relief teaching and to give hubby and me some much needed time out without a two year old! 

This layout was a bit of a scrap buster. I have been cutting up a lot of 6 x 6 pads for 4x6 slots in Project Life. This has left me with a number of strips of patterned paper. Some I am using as bookmarks and some have found a new life on this layout. I adore the Amy Tangerine woodgrain white thickers. I had a pack in my April kit but it is pretty gappy so I bought another set as I know I will use it up! The frame and background paper are also from the April SC kit. The journalling spot is an Amy Tangerine sticker and the two little comment pieces are Lily Bee and MME from my stash. Scarlett loves going downstairs to splash in puddles after a storm and I love taking photos of it!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cover to Cover Has Started

I am super excited that Shimelle Laine's new course Cover to Cover started yesterday. I have been looking forward to it for the last couple of weeks.

I opened my first email this morning and we have homework! The course is designed to help find a way to make your scrapbooks really tell your story. This means looking at the way they are organised, how the flow works within each volume and ways to make them really reflect the author. Exciting stuff!

Our first task is to describe our system. Mine is pretty basic. My day to day scrapping is covered by Project Life. I am about two thirds of the way through my first album. Obviously it is chronological and contains both the boring day to day minutiae and the big events such as trips and birthdays. It is the album I feel is most complete and I am happiest with. I also have one full album of all my 12 x 12 layouts ( I have only been scrapping for about 18 months so I don't have a huge quantity of layouts - maybe 40). The layouts are placed in here in order of completion so they are all over the show in terms of subject, time of event etc. I also have another empty album waiting for me to start transferring some layouts into as I decide how I am going to sort my Layouts in future. At this point I am leaning towards annual chronological albums of layouts I have completed along with a wedding album, baby's first year album for my daughter and a holiday album to keep all our vacation pictures in one place. I have three Amy Tangerine camera albums on order at the moment too to help sort things further. I just use AC 3 ring albums. There is currently no flow or story within my non PL album and this is certainly something I need to work on.

Shimelle's idea of a chronological album for each year with additional major events albums makes a lot of sense to me. I have added the trips album in, as living in Singapore there are very few months that we don't go somewhere in the region and I think it is nice to keep those photos together. I love Shimelle's idea of including one layout from these events in the bigger album and then referencing the larger collection.

The final thing we need to do is include a photo of our current system. I think I will have a serious case of inferiority complex seeing all the large collections of albums but I know that will be me one day and I know that after this class I will be getting there in a much more organised fashion!

Please excuse the less than fantastic photo - with toes intruding at the bottom and odd lighting. Monkey is napping and I am a bit restricted where I can be while she sleeps! I just found two finished layouts sitting loose in the front of my album too tut tut! I have also included a couple of completed mini albums  - my December Daily and my Learn Something Every Day from last year.

Anyhoo, I am thrilled to be making a start and I have some ideas just percolating away at the back of my mind which I am hoping will become more focused as the class moves on.

If you are interested in signing up head to Shimelles's site. I think the class should be a cracker!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Project Life Back in Singapore

After the huge volume of photos taken during our trip to Japan it feels harder to work with the handful of pictures I have been taking each week. A good change of pace though.

I dedicated a full page to our excursion to the iLight displays around Marina Bay. It was a great evening out that we all enjoyed. There is even a photo of me taking a photo courtesy of my husband. This page uses the B sides from the final Japan page...waste not want not I say!

The earlier portion of this week was dominated by Scarlett having a particularly gruesome tummy bug. Before it struck we took a walk down Orchard Road where one of the department stores was having an Alice in Wonderland Promotion. We couldn't resist Scarlett as the Queen of Spades! Scarlett was very pleased to introduce her new Buzz Lightyear toy to all her other Toy Story toys. They all played together nicely. The page is mainly Clementine kit with a few scraps of paper and some Crate Paper stickers.

I am slowly catching up with PL and am midway through April at this point. I intend to get up to date by the end of next week.

I hope everyone had a wonderful NSD. I was out gallivanting for the day and did not end up doing any scrapbooking all weekend. However, I did finally set my Cameo up and have made a start on the class by Kerri Bradford at I am enjoying it greatly and my PL pages will soon have some lovely cut outs from the Silhouette store.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Photo A Day May

Well I have got off to a flying start with this project this month. Four days into May and still on track! Woo hoo! I really have to take my hat off to people who can keep up with Photo 365 and the like although I must admit the iPhone and Instagram are making the whole process a whole lot less painful.

The list of photos for this month is really varied.

May First is a public holiday here so we went for a very early morning walk to make the most of the day. Tet flew out that morning so a little family time was in order. I took quite a few photos but this one summed it up for me.

Day two we had a couple of big storms and the sky gets so incredibly dark and ominous before the rain arrives. I took a few shots out my lounge window hoping to catch some lightning but no joy. I still think the skyline is pretty impressive though.

Day Three and my outfit was fairly uninspired so I went with my comfy trainers. Elegant they are not but I can walk miles in them which is far more important to me.

Day Four and the theme is fun. I meant to take a photo while we were at Ikea but forgot so went with a photo of the newly sorted toys in our new containers in an attempt to stop the lounge looking like a children's playroom! Does anyone else have this problem or just me?

Have a wonderful weekend. Ours starts today as my husband is off to China for work on Sunday. It looks like he could be in India the following week too. Thank goodness for Skype!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

More Shopping Fun!

I was very excited to discover that Sasha Farina, a Singapore based Scrapper who I really admire, had developed a line of embellishments to sell. I hopped straight on the computer and made a little order. Sadly I had it pointed out to me exactly how much I had spent on scrap related goodies in the month of April and I am on a very tight budget for the next little while.

I couldn't believe it when my order arrived the next day! I know we live in the same place but that was amazingly quick! I opened the parcel really eagerly and then kicked myself for not taking photos. Clearly I am not a hard core blogger after all.

The first little baggie contained some beautiful hand stitched tags.

How gorgeous are these? So lovely!

Then I opened another little package of flair.

I love the typewritten text on these and the colours are so lovely.

In each of the bags with the items was a selection of doilies!

There were actually six of them in total but one found its way onto a layout before I took this photo. Another blogging fail!

If these items are of interest to you I would definitely check out Sasha's store here
There are some lovely notebooks too.

Sasha has no idea I am planning to review her wares. I am simply sharing some fun goodies I have bought of late.

Have you found any great little etsy treasures lately?