Thursday, 13 December 2012

More Central High Layouts

The pressure is on. All three drawers in my 12 x 12 storage set up have kits in them. I need to finish off Central High so there will be room for my new kit that should be arriving any day. I have completed a couple of new layouts this week and I am hoping to do another couple by the weekend so I can call that kit done and put the remains into my stash and scraps pile. I still have two full pieces of PP and quite a lot of decent sized scraps left at this stage. Those whole pages' days are numbered.

This layout was a total scraplift of a layout by Susan Weinroth that appeared on the Studio Calico blog last week. I loved the way hers looked and took the papers that were available to me in my kit and added some washi , flair and those super versatile Amy Tangerine letters. I also finally cracked open the ribbon that came with the kit. I really loved the PP I have used as the background for this layout. I am so excited to have finally made use of those beautiful Indie Chic chevrons.

I feel a bit cheeky even including this layout as all I really did was cut down the photo, added a couple of pieces of chipboard from the new Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic collection, added an Amy Tangerine lettering title and a spot of journalling. I liked this patterned paper such a lot that I decided not to ruin it by adding too much extra to it. Still, it tells a story I wanted to tell and that is really what it is all about.

Right I am off to buy a fish tank. My daughter came home from school today with almost a dozen baby fish from her field trip! I haven't the heart to let them die so I will have to go and buy the cheapest tank and pump I can find and give them a chance at life. Here's hoping we can keep the cat away from them! The things we mothers do!

Monday, 10 December 2012

A couple of unseen layouts

I will have some more JYC themed posts later this week but I came across a couple of layouts that I had not previously shared over the weekend and I though they deserved to see the light of day.

More Amy Tangerine goodies on this page - I simply cannot get enough of her Ready Set Go line. I even ordered one of the grab bags that recently came available in her store. I just find her papers especially, really usable. They never languish in my paper drawers like so many other designs! These photos were taken in Christchurch over the summer. Scarlett still talks about eating an ice cream sitting in the boot of Grandad's car! It really made an impression.

I was sure I had shared this layout but I cannot find it anywhere online. I must have been dreaming!

This is yet another Christmas holiday layout from 2011 using Studio Calico kits including some Amy Tangerine. This photo was taken after a very large Christmas lunch. We took Scarlett to play at a local park and to walk off some of the food. She loved hanging out with her aunt and soon to be uncle.

We had an amazingly busy weekend including a visit to Father Christmas, watching some ice skating and a Carols by Candlelight evening at the Australian School. I am worn out just thinking about all we got done!

Have a wonderful Monday and week ahead!

Friday, 7 December 2012

December Daily 2012 Progress

I have to admit that my plan to just use my Instax camera has not been that successful as I am so used to just grabbing my phone for that quick shot. I have taken a variety of Instax photos but I have taken a lot more on my phone and even on my point and shoot. After a major shopping expedition yesterday, we have ink for the printer so I am hoping to get some photos printed and to experiment on printing on vellum tonight and will get caught up on my pages.

I have completed my first two days. What you may notice is that I have added some extra pages in. I called into my new LSS and they had a buy 5 Christmas items and get 50% off promotion on. I picked up Crate Paper's Peppermint 6 x 6 pad and a variety of Christmas embellishments. Who could resist at half price?! I have also just sent off an order to Greatest View after being successfully enabled by Rosalie on Instagram. Lots of lovely flair at her the Greatest View Etsy shop and her international shipping rates are very low.

Day One - the construction of our tree and the dancing with happiness daughter

Decorating the tree - well the bottom half mainly

Finally got to use up some of these larger sequins!

I am pretty happy with things so far - I just wish I was a little further along. I will be playing catch up next week while Scarlett is at school.

I took Scarlett shopping for her Daddy's Christmas present today. I picked up a few clothes for her at H & M yesterday and she decided to wear the new dress today. The accessories are all her own choice! Scarlett definitely has her own sense of style. Now if I can just get her to stop showing off her Tinkerbell knickers now she is toilet trained we will be in business!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

JYC Best Present

I am more than a little embarrassed to say that I do not remember many specific presents from my childhood. I have a much greater memory of the feeling of anticipation as Christmas got closer and closer and the excitement of what would be waiting for us in our pillowcases on Christmas morning.

One memory that sticks in my mind was the Christmas I was nine. My sister and I went out to the lounge, unwrapped all the presents and then wrapped them all up again before heading back to bed. My parents never had any idea until years later when we told them.

I have to say Christmas is so much more exciting now we have a child to share it with. S is all about the presents and the food. Her first Christmas she was pretty confused about the whole experience. She was quite happy to rip paper off the presents but was not too sure about the contents.

Poppy can always be relied upon to assist

Opening presents in front of the gift giver on Skype

By last year Scarlett had a much better grasp of the whole process. We even managed to stop her from opening any presents until her aunties arrived at ten thirty.

Seeing what is inside her Santa Sack

Finally opening some presents with Daddy

Opening presents with Aunty Yaeh 2011
Scarlett is so thoroughly spoilt at Christmas by all the extended family. Fortunately, we only head home alternate years! However, Father Christmas has been shopping up a storm this year. I am hoping that Miss S will be suitably appreciative. Through the miracle of the internet, there are some toys coming that are unavailable in Singapore. I am most looking forward to the Little People Nativity set!

I am also taking part in the photo prompts for Journal Your Christmas via Instagram. The tag is #jyc2012 if you are interested in playing along. My Instagram name is clairetomonaga if you would like to see my contributions.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

JYC Planning Happiness

I need to start off by saying I just love the idea of planning happiness. When I actually stopped and thought about it I have been working hard to think of lots of  fun and memorable activities for Scarlett this month so I guess I am planning happiness of a sort.I cannot wait to take her to see the snow at one of the malls, get her photo taken with Father Christmas and enjoy a special hot chocolate date with her parents.

Scarlett's first visit to Father Christmas did not go well - she would not go closer and the screaming was something else!

Our Christmas is a little different up here. It is probably going to be 28 degrees on the day. No snow that is for sure. This year we will have my sister coming to spend the holidays with us which will be great fun. We never cook a big Christmas meal. Like most Singaporean apartments, mine came without an oven. I cannot see me cooking a turkey and roast veges in my convection microwave - maybe a skinny chicken! We have booked into a cafe for Christmas lunch. All the traditional favourites with no cleaning up afterwards.

Scarlett enjoying her first Christmas lunch at The Regent Hotel - she ate her own weight in ham

There has not really been any planning involved for the week with the exception of making a lunch reservation. I have bought all my presents except my husbands. He has given me very clear instructions as to what he would like. I just have to make my way to the correct store.

Our trip to Thailand on Boxing Day has probably required the most planning and hubby has been responsible for most of that. We are staying at an apartment rather than a hotel this time which should work really well with the needs of the adults and the toddler on the trip. I know that Phuket is our Asian happy place as a family and I cannot wait to get my feet on that white sand.

Relaxing on the beach

Dinner time Phuket style

I do miss the more traditional family lunch we would have if we were back in New Zealand but it will be way less drama filled! 

Are you responsible for planning your family get together this year? Is it an all singing all dancing production or a quieter more intimate celebration? I am very interested in the way the holidays are celebrated in different communities.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

JYC The First Sign of Christmas

I have to admit I was surprised at the first things that popped into my head when I read the Day 2 prompt. I feel like the season is here either when my feet hit the beach in Phuket, Thailand or when we go fruit and pea picking in New Zealand! Neither I suspect are the traditional answers to when you feel the festive season has begun.

I think I may need to take a few steps back to help put these two disparate options into some sort of context. I lived in New Zealand until I was 8 and then in Singapore until I was 15. When I lived in New Zealand going fruit (usually berry) picking before Christmas was a fun family activity before Christmas. When we lived in Singapore, if we did not go home for Christmas we spent the ten days before Christmas Eve in Phuket having a relaxing beach holiday. Both of these things totally scream Christmas to me!

I do not have access to my childhood photos as they are in NZ with my Dad but I do have photographic evidence of the way that we have embraced these traditions in our little family of three. 

We spent last Christmas back in New Zealand.

Grandad and Scarlett picking raspberries

It wasn't hard to find plenty of ripe ones

Taking instruction on the finer points of fruit picking

Scarlett picked all these herself

It was wonderful to see three generations picking together and enjoying the sunshine. The man who owns the place where we pick always tells us to eat at least as many as we buy so it is a pretty delicious way to spend an hour or two.

Christmas 2010 and 2012 will involve a few days in Phuket as we are spending Christmas Day in Singapore. This year will be great as my sister is coming from New Zealand to join us and Tet's brother and his girlfriend will meet us in Phuket too. Our trip in 2010 was much more low key as it was just Tet and Scarlett and me. We stayed at one of the quieter beaches and had a wonderful time. I was thrilled to see Scarlett enjoying just the same sort of childhood holiday that I loved so many years earlier.

It was a hard job spending time under these umbrellas and in the warm waters but we managed to survive

Scarlett loved playing in the sand

She was busy making sand castles at 10 months - she started walking a week after we got home from this trip

The beach air meant Scarlett had lots of great naps

Even though we now get to Phuket the day after Christmas it still feels like our holiday season starts with taking off our shoes and feeling the sand between our toes. I am much more excited this year about going to Phuket than I am about Christmas Day itself.

Do you have any rituals that signify the start of the season? Are they the traditional Black Friday shopping adventures or is there something a little more unique in your family. I would love to know what marks the beginning of your festive season.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Memories and the Beginning of Christmas

For once in my life I have actually got a little organised and prepared some page blanks to use for my December Daily. I was so thrilled to have a quiet child free morning and I managed to complete eight pages thinking about the sorts of things we are most likely to do. I am a little reluctant to go to much further ahead as I don't want to be forced to do my activities on set days so things fit in my album.

Here are the eight page bases.

I decided it needed a little introduction and I loved the word stickers from Cosmo Cricket's Tiny Type Christmas set.

I loved the mixture of paper and veneer Christmas trees. I still have not gotten over my love of those veneer stars. They need to make them forever!

I had to use some of my washi collection. The layering  is far from perfect but I love all the Christmas motifs and colours on this page.

I know that I am going to be in the line at the Post Office on Friday sending all our parcels back to NZ so I decided to use this label so I could record it. Yes, I will be taking my instax there!

When I first saw this paper I really did wonder how on earth I could I could use it in Singapore. Then I remembered there is a Snow City which has an indoor snow and skiing set up or we could visit the indoor ice skating rink at the Marina Bay Sands. Either way, we will be doing something cold weather that will help my daughter grasp what a northern hemisphere Christmas is all about.

I have mainly used my Simple Scrapper kit with some additional Studio Calico, October Afternoon and other odds and ends from my stash.

I am so super excited to be starting now. I am starting to realise that I am not going to be able to incorporate my Journal Your Christmas in this book but I am excited to blog about it and perhaps create a photo book or even some 12 x 12 pages to record these memories.

Is everyone else feeling excited about this season? What are you doing to record your Holiday season?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Journal Your Christmas : My Christmas Manifesto

I have signed up for Shimelle Laine's Journal Your Christmas class this year and I intend to blog along with a number of the prompts and scrap them as and when I feel the urge. I will definitely be working a day behind at least as I generally do not receive the prompts until quite late in the day due to the time difference involved.

This December I intend to:

  • Believe in the magic
  • See the season through my daughter's eyes
  • Create special memories
  • Embrace the imperfection of the moment
  • Open my heart to the beauty of the season
  • Celebrate what may be our last Singapore Christmas
  • Give to those less fortunate than our family
  • Focus on the family we will be seeing this month rather than on absent friends and family
  • Enjoy a December to remember

Do you have a plan for this month. Please share it in the comments as I would love to see it!

We have been making some progress getting our tree up and decorated.

Someone is pretty excited about the tree!