Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Stephanie Howell's Virtual Crop

I love Stephanie's blog. I look forward to seeing her latest creations and the amazing pictures she shares of her four gorgeous girls. After a massive move from Georgia to Rhode Island, instead of taking a deep breath after unpacking all her belongings, she has kindly hosted a virtual crop. This lady is amazing!

I have never attended a real crop so I really enjoyed having a look at all the beautiful things created by the other people taking part. I am almost embarrassed to share my efforts but they are what they are!

I have been working hard to finish up all the bits and pieces left in my Elmwood Park kit as I am not allowing myself to play with my Summer of 69 goodies until this one is gone. I am still working through the enormous pile of prints from my New Zealand holiday and this layout is another one to add to the holidays scrapbook.

We have dubbed this trip the playground tour of New Zealand as I do not think a day went past that we did not visit a playground of some sort. This one is a playground from my childhood too. The Botanic Gardens in Christchurch has a great playground and swimming pool. Normally in December the pool would be full of squealing children but it was 7 or 8 degrees that day. Yes in December - summertime in New Zealand. People were giving me funny looks about Scarlett being in a scarf and hat but we only flew in from 30 plus degree Singapore a couple of days before and she was cold!

The second challenge I decided to take up was a tag. I don't usually make tags and this tag needed to have some stamping on it. I pulled out a stamp from my Summer of 69 kit that looked a bit like ribbon. As you can see there is a reason I rarely stamp and make tags.

Even with the stamp press and several false starts (you should see the back!) it was awful! Some people should not stamp and I think I am one of them. I really love these Jenni Bowlin labels so I thought that might be a saving grace. The string bow and a MME brad finish it off. You can stop laughing now!

I wish I had had time to do something else to include but it was not to be! I really enjoyed this crop and hope that I can take part in another one soon.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Layout Challenge

I am finally starting to take part in some of the challenges on the Studio Calico Forum. The lovely members of the forum regularly post new ideas to keep us all inspired and trying new things. This particular challenge involved thinking of your lucky number and scraplifting that layout from your favourites folder. I am often guilty of saving something as a favourite and then forgetting all about it.

I checked my folder and layout six happened to be one of Shimelle's layouts from her recent stint as a guest designer. I had a lovely photo of Tet and his sister that I have been itching to scrap and the rest fell into place from there.

This layout was mainly the SO Cal kit with some papers from the Malibu add on. I also included some embellies from Lilybee Design's Double Dutch collection. I had quite a bit I wanted to say about the events leading up to this photo so the large journalling space was perfect. I also included some of the chevron washi that I recently won on Shanna Noel's blog. It is lovely and I can see it appearing regularly on my layouts.

I had better sign off as we have a long weekend today and the family are itching to head out again. I got a wee bit sunburnt yesterday so I am going to be sticking to the shade today!

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, 17 August 2012


 I have based this list on one compiled by Lisa Dickinson and she has given credit to Tina Azmus.

eating  Vogels Luxury Muesli ( and it really is luxurious with all sorts of delicious fruit and nuts inside)
drinking  my second flat white of the morning - Dad brought delicious Avalanche Coffee with him from New Zealand
watching  Channel News Asia - trying to keep track of what is going on in the world
listening  to my cat purr as she snoozes beside the laptop as I type
loving  that Scarlett is so excited that her Grandad is here
enjoying planning lots of fun activities to do with Grandad while he is here
wanting to get back into regular walking
needing  to give up added sugar in my diet
feeling relaxed and content
preparing  for our trip to Penang next week
thinking  how lucky our family is to be living in Singapore
searching for the motivation to look for a job
the final touches to a layout of my favourite photo of hubby and his sister
anticipating a walk along the Quays with my Dad

I hope you all have something fun planned for the weekend. We have a long one as Ramadan ends on Sunday. Selamat Hari Raya Adilfitri to all those celebrating.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hexagons and I Are Not Good Friends

I don't know what it is about hexagons but I really struggle to make them work on a layout. I see other scrapbookers effortlessly throw hexagons across their layouts and they look organic almost.  They look like they grew on the layout and the designer just worked about them. Whenever I use them they look awkward and a little ungainly.

I had this layout on the couch ( yes currently that is where I do most of my scrapbooking) for a couple of days. I cut three or four hexagons to start with and then kept adding more. I tried to tile them, make a flower type shape. Nothing looked right. In the end I went with a straight line with the visual interest coming from the use of pop dots on alternate shapes. It isn't exciting but the layout is finished and for that I am very grateful.

This page is primarily made up of pieces from MME's Follow Your Heart collection which I really liked. I framed the chipboard journalling box with some of the beehive washi in the new Summer of 69 kit that arrived at my house yesterday.  I bought a couple of add ons this month so I have plenty of paper to keep me happy which is probably just as well. I am away when the next kit is released and, at the risk of being set upon by rabid fans of Studio Calico, I am really not feeling the September kit. I have a few half used and one untouched kit still cluttering my desk so I will not be short of things to play with!

Back to the layout. This photo was taken in Geraldine on our New Zealand holiday. Aunty Anne was a very good sport about joining in with Scarlett. I think this was Scarlett's first try on a swing that didn't have any bars to hold her in and she was more than a little nervous. Although this trip took place in the summer time the summer this past year was rubbish. Scarlett wore jerseys and merino almost every day. It reminded us why we love living in the tropics!

My Dad is winging his way to Singapore as I write. Scarlett is super excited to see him again. They should have a lot of fun together.

I am planning to share some more of my Road Trip mini album tomorrow. I am really happy with how it turned out.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Perspectives on the Past

I have been thinking a great deal about life lately and how it is full of both unexpected pleasures and unexpected pain. There have been a couple of majorly painful moments in my life with my husband and at the time I wondered how we would ever go on living but here we are. We wake up in the morning and we get on with it. Years have passed and things are almost forgotten when something insignificant will cause all the memories and the feelings to come rushing back.

I am increasingly of the opinion that scrapbooking is a form of therapy for me. It enables me to revisit days both great and ordinary and really process the moment with the benefit of hindsight and sleep. There are chunks of my life which I have not scrapped but which I suspect I would benefit from revisiting with a scrapbooker's eye. Finding the beauty in the ordinary and the painful or discovering patterns that will help me to avoid foolish mistakes in the future might all be possible with a little thought and retrospection.

I guess overall it is making me think that while life is probably too short to dwell on the past too much unless you are going to learn something from it. It also reminded me of an ad that ran on New Zealand television a few years ago for the Post Office of all things. It is a really good reminder that petty squabbles shouldn't ruin relationships. The ad is a bit cheesy but it still brings a tear to my eye every time!

I have been revisiting the photos from our New Zealand holiday and worked on a very red layout of my sister Anne with Scarlett at a playground in a very small town called Geraldine. Geraldine plays a key role in our family history as my Nana in yesterday's layout grew up there and we spent many holidays with my Great Nana there as young children. 

This layout is based on sketch 96 from the Sketch Savvy blog. It is a sketch I can see myself using again and again. I love this blog for lots of single picture and simple sketches although they have some great multi picture examples too.

The papers and embellishments are primarily from my SC Elmwood Park kit along with some MME brads, Lilybee index cards and some BG paper from the new Clippings line.

I am getting really excited as Grandad arrives tomorrow for a month! My posts might be a little less frequent while he is here - or more likely activity rather than craft related. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Next TV Star

I am posting quick and early this morning as I am off to take Scarlett to her first television appearance. Her gym is being featured on a local TV channel and they asked Scarlett to be the display child.  She will go through a normal session with her favourite trainer but it is going to be filmed. I have tried to explain to her that she will be on television but she looks at me as if I just told her she was going to turn into a zebra so it could be an interesting experience for her. I might post something on instagram later. I am clairetomonaga for those who want to have a look.

I did a quick half hour layout the other day while Tet and Scarlett napped.

I have a few very blurry photos of Scarlett running around at my Grandparents' house. My Nana is 90 and Grandad only a smidge younger and they still live in their own home. Scarlett adores Nana and Grandad Ron  and I wanted to capture the day even if the photos are far from perfect.

This layout is from the SC So Cal add on, Santa Monica. I have really enjoyed using those little blooms. I didn't think I would ever use them up but they are nearly all gone!

Right I am about to battle with Scarlett's hair and get her into her clothes! Wish me luck!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Like the Marie Celeste

I did not mean to abandon my blog quite so dramatically last week but ill health got the better of me! I have been battling a bad stomach for over a week but Friday it all took a definite downward turn and I was forced to spend the day in bed. I have started to feel a bit better over the weekend and today is the first day I have felt fully human.

All this lack of wellness has meant that I have completed my mini album of our road trip and a few new layouts so it wasn't time totally wasted.

Miss S had her visit to the specialist last week and the new regime of meds and soaps has seen her eczema all but disappear. So I am glad we waited to see the doctor as she knew exactly what to do and we now have a year long plan of attack to keep Scarlett's skin clear of the nasty stuff. Probably the only obstacle is a stubborn two year old but we are working through her impatience with moisturising and lack of bubbles in her bath!

In addition to working on the mini album of our New Zealand road trip, I have been making a few layouts of events and sights seen during our trip home.

This is just a very simple layout using some of about a dozen photos I took of the lake. The weather while we were in Tekapo was decidedly wintry and the lake was not its usual brilliant turquoise but it is still a lovely spot. Much of the lake edge is grass and at this time of the year it is covered in wild lupins. 

Much of the layout came from the SC kit Elmwood Park with a couple of scraps from Twisty Slide. I really wanted to use the Authentique navy patterned paper as the background but I had already taken a chunk from the top corner for another layout so I patched it with washi and the gorgeous red paper from Basic Grey. I inked up one of the wood veneer birds with some Spice Tin JBS ink and sealed it with some glossy accents for a bit of shine. The sticker arrow and heart are both from the original Amy Tangerine collection and I am down to the last couple of stickers from this set which makes me very sad. The round label is from OA.

I hope you all had a marvellous weekend. I am off to sort out some more PL photos and print off a couple of hundred prints from our Japan trip this year. I am not quite sure when I plan to scrap them all as my Dad arrives from New Zealand this week, which I suspect will seriously limit my crafting time!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Road Trip Album Part One

I mentioned a while back that I was working on a minibook of our brief road trip in New Zealand back in December. It is still a work in progress but I thought I would share some of it with you today.

I am totally in love with the Amy Tangerine Daybook that has formed the basis of this album. It has been a joy to work with, although it is a little harder to photograph than I expected!

I used the inside cover as an extra page. I have listed the places we visited on our five day trip above the photo of Scarlett enjoying a picnic lunch on the road. The second page picture made us wonder if we were on a hidden camera show. Could there be anymore of a cliche in New Zealand than being stopped by a flock of sheep on the road. The funniest thing is we were stopped by a herd of cows on the way home!

I loved the fact that there was ample room to write lengthy journalling in this daybook. We squeezed a lot into the trip and it was great to be able to include a great degree of detail in the journalling.

We took quite a number of shots as we drove inland. After living in urban and tiny Singapore, it was bliss to have such long views. I adore the Inspire flair which is from Sasha Farina's Paper Play etsy store.

We had a brief stop in the little town of Twizel. We have spent a number of visits there as good friends of ours have a holiday home there. It is a beautiful spot surrounded by mountains and lakes. We were really excited to take Scarlett to one of our favourite spots.

After a stop in Twizel we drove onto Omarama. We have friends who spend their summers there. Omarara is one of the best places in the world for gliding. Von is a world record holding pilot and she spends her summers taking the gliders up at the aerodrome there. She and Bruce have a caravan at the aerodrome and it is a lovely spot. A river runs nearby full of trout and salmon. It has a lovely warm climate and is a perfect place to while away the days. We had a lovely visit there, catching up on all the gossip and watching the gliders soaring high above.

Bruce introduced Scarlett to the joys of the water pistol on this journey and she was very taken with the new toy! We were sad to bid our friends farewell but we had to get to our furthest destination by the end of the day. The mountain town of Wanaka where Tet's sister and her fiance live.

I have kept the book very simple. The story is what is important this time as I have found I am already forgetting things from this trip. I have tried to keep the embellishments thin so the book does not get too bulky.

I hope to have more to share with you next week.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Doctor Week

We have been waiting for today for absolutely ages. Scarlett has finally got her appointment at the Paediatric Dermatologist so that we can get some answers about her terrible eczema. In true Scarlett fashion, her skin is much better than it has been for weeks this week. Hopefully they will still run the tests and determine what the allergy is that is triggering everything.

We have been advised by a couple of pharmacists that it is likely environmental as it is only on her body and not her face. This makes sense as her canola allergy caused red splotches all over her face. Unfortunately we cannot find anything that fits the time line that has changed. Most of our cleaning products are green. It is all a bit of a mystery. I am just hoping that it is not the cat!

On Monday, Tet and I have our annual physical. I really do not enjoy the poking and prodding but it does give you a little peace of mind when the results are good. If only they had overweight Kiwi sized gowns!

I was hoping to illustrate this post with some photos of Miss S but she was not in the mood for cooperating with Mummy today.

So instead here is my favourite piece from the Singapore Art Museum's Art Garden exhibit. Origami plants in a black lit room. Just stunning!

And the obligatory Scarlett shot. She was grumpy waiting for her lunch on Sunday. Thank goodness for technology!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Nature Baby

I had an absolutely frantic weekend which left no time for crafting. It was fun but a bit of a struggle to be honest, as I have been battling a bad tummy for a few days. Nothing really bad but enough to make me a bit miserable. Spending the day in bed on Friday certainly made the weekend much better!

I am definitely getting towards the end of my Elmwood Park SC kit. The layout I made today used up the last of my cardstock and finished off a couple of pieces of patterned paper too.

I just love those super sized letters but sadly my remaining ones won't spell much! The butterflies and the Muse Wooden Thickers are about the only things that do not come from my kit today. 

The photo was taken alongside Lake Tekapo in the Central South Island of New Zealand. The lupins are so colourful and Scarlett was happy to have lots of photos taken sitting in amongst them. I love this photo as she is so happy. We loved Tekapo. It really was my favourite stop on our trip.

I have decided to take a nap when Scarlett does today so I am looking forward to catching up on some rest. Happy Monday all!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Silly Aunty Punzel

My sister Anne loves being an Aunty and regularly complains about the fact that we live so far away. When she does get the chance to spend time with her niece she certainly makes the most of it. We have a load of photos of her wearing Scarlett's clothes and generally acting like a little girl herself.

Lately, Anne has been growing her hair and has been encouraging Scarlett to call her Aunty Rapunzel. Now she is known as Aunty Punzel, as Rapunzel is a bit of a mouthful when you are two.

This layout is mainly from SC's Elmwood Park with a little of the Twisty Slide add on thrown in. I have also added in some OA tidbits and letter stickers from the Cakewalk collection and some MME brads. Is it wrong that the Doo Dads and Tidbits are the things I am most excited about with the new OA collections? Althoughthe washi and letter stickers are also pretty exciting!

Monkey is down for an early nap today so she can catch up with her best buddies. They are off to Australia for their Aunty's wedding so we won't see them for a few weeks. Expat children have very full passports!

Happy Thursday!