Friday, 30 November 2012

Red Riding Hood Yarns

A little bit of something different today. As well as scrapbooking I also like to work the occasional cross stitch and have even been known to knit. Lately, I have come across a couple of women online who dye their own wool and sell it via Facebook. Now I love beautiful wool and I have been kinda cyber stalking these sites watching and waiting for wool.

A couple of months ago I was intrigued by a one off Spring Shawl Club run by Red Riding Hood Yarns so I took a leap of faith and ordered one. There was a choice of a Light or Night option so I went with night and waited to see what arrived.

I was thrilled when I checked the letterbox today to find my parcel. It smelt incredible. I ran upstairs and being a good blogger took photos of the contents.

Inside the bubble bag were two intriguingly shaped parcels and the fragrance was even stronger! I decided to open the soft one first.

The second photo gives a better idea of the colour of the wool. It is a variegated purple and just beautiful in real life. Please excuse a small set of toes in the second picture. Someone was very curious about the red parcels. The vial attached is full of tiny purple beads to adorn the edge of the shawl.

Once I finished oohing and aahing over the first parcel, I opened the second.

It included a sweet treat in the form of some Ferrero Rocher chocolates and a Phoenix Rising Bath Bomb from Lush. What Mum could resist chocolate and a relaxing bath? I think Hannah really knows her market. 

If you like to knit or crochet, Hannah has regular stockings on her Facebook page and her rainbow skeins have to be seen to be believed. I have had a pretty ordinary day and this delivery has really brightened it.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Busy Days

December is nearly upon us and life is getting a little more frantic. There is a lot of change being signalled at hubby's work early next year and with that comes uncertainty about where we will be living by the middle of next year. We would love to remain in Singapore but odds are we will be elsewhere in South East Asia or perhaps we may even have to return to New Zealand. It makes for a challenging time. Thank goodness for blogging and scrapbooking where I can get some of that stress out in the open!

We have a surprise for Scarlett this afternoon. Hubby is taking a half day and we are off to see a Disney Live Performance at the Marina Bay Sands this afternoon. She is a great fan of all things Disney so we hope it will cheer her up. She is still sick but definitely brighter than yesterday. Mean Mummy made her rest most of the day yesterday and it appears to have paid off.

I have another simple layout to share. It used my favourite paper of the last year. I am a big fan of MME but this muted chevron paper really captured my heart. I kept the layout pretty minimal so the paper could sing.

I am still a big fan of the MME enamel dots and maybe went just a little overboard with them! Can you have too much of a good thing? The photo is from Tet's work's family day. I love the way it captures how he holds Scarlett and the lovely location  the event was held at.

Right I had better sort out some lunch and we need to be all ready so we can snatch one of the booster seats at the theatre, otherwise Scarlett will be on our knees all afternoon! Enjoy your Thursday!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Garden City

We really enjoy living in Singapore and now that there is some uncertainty about how much longer we will be here we are trying to make the most of our time here.

One of the things we love is how green it is here. Even though the island is really tiny, huge amounts of space are given over to plants and trees and the city feels exceptionally verdant. We spend a lot of time exploring parks and playgrounds trying to burn off lots of toddler energy. 

By this time of year there is far less outdoor activity as the monsoon has arrived. Some days we barely see any rain but others it buckets down for most of the day. On these sort of days we resort to indoor playgrounds and such in the malls. Scarlett also has weekly gym and ballet classes to keep her active whatever the weather.

One of our favourite malls is on the other end of the island near the airport. Whenever we visit Changi City Point we wonder why we don't go more often. There is a great water play area, an indoor playground and a wonderful amphitheatre which is the subject of today's layout.

The amphitheatre is decorated like a field of sunflowers and Scarlett loves running up and down the stairs and generally burning off steam. The clouds painted above the sunflowers are lovely too.  This is another Roller Rink special with a lot of Amy Tangerine papers and some Echo Park borders and letters. 

We have a sick wee girl here today... another school day missed. Her parent conference went really well last night. Her teachers are really pleased with her and are going to arrange some testing for her as they believe she may need some more structured extension in her learning. It sounds like she is pretty well behaved at school too which was a relief!

I am planning a night of prepping my December Daily album tonight. My kit from Simple Scrappers arrived today and it is lovely. I have some beautiful bits and pieces from Studio Calico's Wonderland and Crate Paper's Sleigh Ride to jazz it up a bit. I have also signed up for Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas for the  first time. I am starting to get really excited about it all!

Have a great rest of your week!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Garden Days

Busy, exciting days here at present. The most exciting thing is that Scarlett got up on Monday and said "I am not wearing nappies anymore Mum. Get me my knickers!" We were not going to argue with her and she has done super well so far. She had a little accident yesterday at home and one outside at school but otherwise used the toilet or potty all day. We braved a trip to the mall today and that went really well too. I always figured we would have to let her lead the way and it has been worth waiting. She is exactly 2 and three quarters so it isn't too late in the piece.

We are off to school later today for Scarlett's first Parent Teacher conference. We are really fortunate in Scarlett's school as they keep us well up to date with how she is progressing but it is nice to go in and talk to her teachers and get a good overview of her progress. 

I am continuing to plug away at my photos from last year's Christmas trip and my SC Roller Rink kit. Both are definitely nearing an end! These photos came from a couple of different outings, showing how much Scarlett enjoyed being in the outdoors when we were back in New Zealand.


I really was not too sure about such a vibrant background pattern but I found putting a white frame around the floral made it a little less striking. All the greenery in the photos works well with the bolder colours too.

I hope your week is going well. I had my first soy coffee today and while it wasn't as nice as with normal milk it wasn't poisonous either so I guess I will get used to the no milk approach.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Cupcakes and Results

I cannot believe how quickly the weekend went! One minute it was Friday night and the next thing here we are on Monday morning. We had a great weekend. My rapidly improving health meant we spent lots of time out and about. We have also had some good uninterrupted nights of sleep. Scarlett is no longer having an afternoon nap which means she is generally out for the count by 7 pm and not appearing in our room until around six. I cannot tell you how happy that is making everyone.

I got an unexpected call from my specialist this morning. It turns out that all the testing I had done last week was worthwhile. I have no markers for coeliac or gluten intolerance but I have developed lactose intolerance as a result of food poisoning. Those who know me in real life will realise this is not good news. My favourite food in the world is cheese. I love cream and ice cream and milky drinks. At least it does mean that I may be able to drastically reduce my symptoms and even reduce or stop taking medication all together. I am still not sure if giving up cheese will be worth it!

A foody layout to finish today's post. My daughter loves cupcakes. We have a number of good bakeries in our neighbourhood. Scarlett's favourites is called Swirls and they only make cupcakes. 

They have a few tables and chairs outside where you can enjoy their beautiful cupcakes and this photo was taken at one. Scarlett enjoys walking along the river and a big part of that enjoyment is stopping at Swirls for a cupcake on the way home. 

I used papers from Roller Rink and the add ons for this layout. I love the MME background paper and just added a little dimension to the pre printed elements on the page. I hand cut some pennants behind the photo to echo the printed ones in the bottom corner. The grid background made it easy to keep my journalling neat and orderly!

Have a wonderful Monday and I fully recommend the cupcake solution if the day is less than perfect. It always improves my mood, if not my waistline.

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Blossoming Relationship

One of the things I have loved about becoming a parent is watching the relationship between my daughter and my Dad develop. He was the first to admit that babies are not really his thing but as Scarlett has grown older and become more capable the two of them love spending time together.

I kept this layout very simple. I wish there were sounds available with this photo as the shrieking from Scarlett as Grandad tickled her was off the scale! This is another photo that I love as it shows the living room at my Dad's house. We spend a lot of time in this room and it is nice to have it recorded, at least in part.

The layout is made almost entirely from the Roller Rink kit and add ons. I am still in love with the little lettering from Basic Grey ad the Studio Calico veneer stars. I don't know what I will do when they run out! 

I have had a really good couple of days on new medication and I am feeling almost like my old self. It is amazing the difference feeling well makes to my state of mind. I certainly have a lot to be thankful for at the moment.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hospitals, Specialists and Sleep

It has been an interesting few weeks. I have gone from having IBS which was mildly disruptive to my life to not being able to leave the house or indeed my bedroom as it was making me so unwell. I have no idea what has caused the escalation and nor does my Gastroenterologist. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of blood tests, allergy testing and new medications in an attempt to bring me something approaching normal quality of life. IBS may not have any link to serious diseases but my goodness it can ruin your life!

This week I have been to the hospital twice. First to see my specialist and the second time to undertake Lactose Intolerance testing. I am the dairy queen. If it is made from milk I love it so I am seriously praying that the results come back negative as I really do not know what I would do if I can no longer eat dairy. I am back at the hospital again this afternoon to meet with a dietician in the hope of finding a way of eating which is going to minimise or eliminate my symptoms. We are also waiting for the results of a blood test to see if I may have a gluten intolerance. We would also be testing for fructose intolerance but the test is not available in Singapore so we just have to wing it on that.

I have become a spectator rather than a participant in family activities. I am not eating very much as my appetite has completely left the building. As a result I have no energy. I tried to go out with my husband and daughter twice on the weekend but only managed to be out for an hour before I needed to go home and rest. On Saturday I slept for five hours to recover from being out watching my daughter at her gym class. My daughter has been crying at school because she is worried about me and she wants my tummy to get better. She does not want to go to school any longer because she needs to look after me (this equates to watching lots of Disney movies while I am in the same room apparently). It breaks my heart.

At least this week I have managed to be up during the day. Last week I spent most days in bed and sleeping when I wasn't spending hours in the bathroom. I am eternally grateful that my husband has no work trips until the new year as I could not manage without him. He has been a total star but even he is starting to wonder if this is ever going to get any better. If it doesn't we will have to get a helper as I cannot be relied upon to be able to get Scarlett to school every day or even be able to cook her dinner. I just want my life back.

I have managed to do a little bit of creating on the couch in the last few days. It has been nice to do something approaching normal. I have been wondering about scrapping what is going on at the moment but I think it is too immediate and, to be honest, too depressing to write about.

 I wanted to focus on something positive and I love this picture of Scarlett and me out for brunch. Amy Tangerine papers also make me happy so I used those all over the layout. Even the border strip on the bottom is a branding strip from one of the 12 x 12 pages. I added a handful of sequins and some diecuts to embellish the layout. I am so in love with the little Basic Grey alphas. They are the perfect size for everything.

The Freckled Fawn washi is featuring on a lot of layouts currently. Those arrows and the colour combination just seems to work with everything.

I have quite a large collection of sequins now after discovering a lady selling them on Etsy. She is based in South Africa and I got thousands of sequins for about $10 and her postage was super reasonable. Her store is Ruby Supply and sells all kinds of haberdashery treasures. Crafting really is a universal language!

I have really missed my blog and my readers. I don't want to be a real Debbie Downer on here but I also cannot paint everything as sunshine and roses during a pretty difficult time for me. Let's hope all these tests give me some answers and that I can join my family on our Christmas holiday. At this point my health won't allow it.

Friday, 9 November 2012

A very special elephant

This layout came together really quickly. I pulled the photo out of my stack of photos to scrap and the elephant jumped out at me. I knew I had an elephant or two floating around from the most recent Amy Tangerine collection and everything fell into place.

This layout is another Roller Rink plus add ons effort with the addition of some Tim and Beck alphas, MME word stickers and the yellow airmail washi. The journalling card is from OA's Sidewalks collection and it just seemed to fit the theme perfectly.

I totally got my Shimelle on with the repeating elements in my embellishment clusters. I am so in love with the MME enamel dots. I hope they remain part of future lines as they are so versatile.

The playground shown in the layout was a real part of my childhood and I am so excited it has become part of Scarlett's. We lived on the other side of town from my grandparents when I was little and it always seemed to take forever to get to their house. We always knew when we saw the elephant slide that we were nearly there. My grandparents have moved a couple of blocks since then and the playground is now just around the corner from them. We always stopped and played with Scarlett there when we visited my grandparents. She talks fondly about the elephant slide... elephants are most definitely one of her things.

We have had a few Internet issues this week and so I am very excited to get back online and blog. Our laptop couldn't see our wireless feed and would not connect to the Internet. So while we could still get online on the Ipad and phones it made accessing photos impossible. Suddenly it started working again late yesterday for no apparent reason. 

We have been having a bad run with appliances this week. The bulb blew in our extractor fan and the bulb shattered and cut the wires causing the whole hood to become live. I got a nasty shock off it and then my husband managed to trip power to the entire apartment trying to discover what was going on. Nothing like some unexpected drama.

We have a public holiday here on Tuesday. Hubby has taken Monday off so I think we are off to try out the new Legoland that opened just over the border in Malaysia on Monday. I am hoping that there will be enough rides for Scarlett to go on that she will enjoy it. Although I think she is tiny, (well she is in the bottom 25% for height in New Zealand) most locals tell me how tall she is! Fingers crossed she will be tall enough to have fun.

Have a super weekend!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Reasons to create

The layout I am sharing today is not one with amazing photos but I suspect it will be one that I look back on fondly in years to come. The pictures are of my daughter playing at my grandparents' home. She is lucky enough to have two living great grandparents and she loves spending time with them. The images do not show Grandad Ron and Nana but they do show their living room which tell me so much about them and their lives. 

This is another Roller Rink kit layout with a few October Afternoon and Amy Tangerine bits and pieces from my stash added in. I wasn't sure that I even liked the layout when I finished it but as it has been lying on the table for a few days waiting for me to file it into an album it has caught my eye over and over. I love the way the floral paper frame echos the wallpaper in the photos and the bright splashes of colour mimic the bright ginger jars my Nana loves.

The photos have really got me thinking about taking more place photos. Not so much places we visit but the spaces in which we spend our time. The supermarket we visit, the malls we like, the parks we play in all need to be recorded as these places are as much a part of us as the people we spend time in them with. I wish I had some photos of my late Nana's home. My grandad built it for her as a wedding present and she lived there until she died aged 94. I may have the odd shot taken in her lounge and her back step but nothing more.

Have you recorded those daily spaces in your layouts? I would love to see some examples of such layouts. I am inspired to scrap some people free layouts so we have a record of the places we inhabit right now. I love this hobby as it really encourages me to look at my life in a whole new way.

I hope all my American friends are making the most of their opportunity to vote today. Whatever the result, women fought long and hard for the right to have their voice heard and I feel very strongly that we should never take it for granted.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Her Mother's Daughter

I have had a bit of almost well time this weekend and have managed to complete four layouts and have a stack of photos that I am very keen to polish off by the end of the week. I am really tired of scrapping my holiday so I culled a lot of photos and have about ten layouts worth of photos left to scrap. I am aiming to get them complete by the weekend so that I can try and catch up my Project Life and scrap some more recent events in our lives!

I am in love with the Roller Rink kit and add ons. They are so much fun to scrap with and the variety of papers and embellishments mean that I have found something that works with all kinds of photos within the supplies.

This photo is from Christmas Day. Scarlett has always been obsessed with the camera and having her photo taken. This picture, taken by her father, captured a familiar scene of Scarlett checking the results of a photo session on the screen.

The layout came together really quickly. All the layout is from Roller Rink with the exception of the flair which is from Greatest View (the chevron) and I am not sure the  source of the Snapshot flair. I was not sure about the double width washi when I first saw it but I love the oomph it gives to this page. 

My health has been very poor over the last ten days. I have been housebound for the last week. Fortunately I visited my specialist today and we have a new plan of attack. I was starting to worry that my new life might be a fairly grim sort of existence but fortunately my doctor is positive that he will be able to improve things. Let's hope he is right!

I am so glad to be back on my blog and back creating again. If nothing else it makes me happy!