Wednesday, 29 September 2010

An extra tweet!

I was featured over at Crate Paper's Feature Tuesday here! It's been encouraging especially when I have been feeling down and exhausted recently from all the drama at home and wondering if I can spend the time on my craft better on the kids or family. But then again, for a full- time, 24/7 stay- at- home mum, there is hardly any outlet, and little things like this feature and being selected for Banner of the Week at Websters really makes me happy and over the moon! ;-)
Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much on this craft, and then where do I store my increasingly layered and bulky layouts especially when I am really a minimalist. I hardly hoard anything. Most stuff are thrown out of the house once they are old, spoilt or if I cannot find a reason to recycle them and I usually make purchases out of needs than impulse. But scrapping just turns me into a shoppaholic! I cannot help swooning over every product out there and I start to have this bad habit of wanting to have the full set of everything I {heart}. Sighs...speaking of which I am already looking forward to thursday's new arrivals at MWL.
Ok...gotta get back to my cleaning and cooking and I think I'll do a small giveaway soon to share my joy and blessings! Check back...

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Banner of the Week

I know its a little early in the week and I have just updated my latest LO and I have no new ones to show yet but I just couldn't resist coming in here to give a little shout!

I have been featured over at Websters Pages Ning forum as Banner of the Week for my 'Lil Diva'layout below! Thank you! Thank you and thank you Websters n Dena! You have just made my day!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Lil Diva

It's definitely not the first time I mention this... Websters Pages is my all time favorite, to-go-to for papers. I find it easy to layer and create shabby, garden scenes and most times, minimal embellishing is needed as the papers are so colorful and detailed already.

This layout is created using Websters Pages' new Hollywood range. When I read about the new arrivals on my LSS blog, my heart was palpitating at double speed. Finally, a chance to go on a shopping spree again! I made my way down really early because everytime Websters Pages hit the store, the popular ranges will be out of stock the same day!

I just had to find time over the weekend to dig through my new stash and start working on them straighaway! This layered scene was created with cut- outs from 3 sheets of paper and I matt the photos on the new vintage inspired netting. For extra dimension, I stuck on Prima's E-line crystals and pearls randomly on the flowers...I think dewdrops will do the trick too, adding some extra 'vivid-ness' to the flowers.

More close-ups on the layered embellishments, using bloomers and pins and some Tim Holtz film ribbon.

I do have a confession to make though...I hardly use Websters for my boy's layouts and Adah does have more layouts than Asher. I think it has to do with my preferred style, going flora and butterflies which in my opinion is too girly for boys, though I have seen some scrappers incorporating them into their boys' layouts. I must try to break out of this soon ;-)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Made with Love Guest DT- This is Me, 1 to 6

Adah is turning 6 in November! It's amazing how time flies by as we plough through our daily routines. I always remember the moment she was born and the long nights of carrying a colicky, cranky, crying and tired baby up and down the corridor. She has indeed grown up a lot as I went through all the pictures of her in the past years.

Aida has prepared a kit for my Guest DT assignment over at Made With Love. Very sweet colors, browns and pinks and papers from American Crafts, Dear Lizzy- Enchanted Line. This was a big challenge for me as most of the papers were plain colored and the drama queen in me always go for patterned papers with lots of shabby layering!

But I wanted to have a layout charting Adah's growth over the years and actually, the papers I was assigned worked perfectly!And I had ideas brimming in my head in the past week but was distracted by the helper's issue. Anyhow, I am so glad that I got back to scrapping again and boy, was it difficult to get my mojo going again with all the drama and tiredness!Lol!

I started with misting my white cardstock with red colored glimmer mist but the photos and the flower cutouts did not show up very well against the misted background although I love the effect of it. That's when I came up with the idea of punching the sides of the papers with my Martha Stewart Doily Lace Punch and layering them so that the papers sort of 'blend' together with those I used for the grids.

I had masked parts of the brown cardstock so as to highlight the embossed dots on it. Also the main focus should be on Adah's latest picture, so it was highlighted with dimensional stickers and flower cut outs from the Enchanted line. Btw, Adah was wearing a T-shirt altered with Prima goodness in that pic! I left two grids without pics to embellish and as I was doing so, I thought how much my layout resembles a printers' tray.

Some close-ups of the embellies to share. I created that flower there with Maya Road's pleated ribbon, looks absolutely gorgeous, especially if its bigger and you flatten it out a little...

I am really really glad for the peace and 'normal-ity' back in our household. It may still be tiring as I have to juggle many hats at home albeit what many believed that stay home mums have the most relaxing job, but it helps to know that the Lord will not put me through any obstacle that He thinks is too tough for me to handle.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Terrible Week

The week past was a terible week, nothing like what I would have expected. It started with us making a decision to get a helper from Indonesia to help us with the chores. Currently, I am managing ok with the kids on my own and the hubster also chips in to help occasionally when he's not too exhausted. I am happy and satisfied with the pace I am scrapping, 1 or 2 layouts a week. I am happy with the me-time I get while shopping and's not a lot but enough to keep me cheery! The kids are good and they often help out with hanging the laundry, simple tasks like putting away their toys and carrying their utensils to the sink for me to wash, bringing worn clothes to the pail or washing machine... I make these activities seem like fun for them and now, they are used to putting away stuff.

But when Adah starts primary school next year, we are uncertain of the new academic challenges she may face and I will like to spend more time with her. Also, she will be in the afternoon session and Asher in the morning. So we thought having a helper to relieve the chores will free up more time for me to spend with the kids, or so we thought...

5 days into bringing the helper home, she ran away while I sent the kids to school. As I picked her up just before the Hari Raya public holiday, I did not really start her on any chores except washing and ironing the laundry. We went out during the weekend and she was with us, so it came as a shock when I returned home on Tuesday morning after sending the kids to school to an empty, messy home and the helper gone.

I went to the police to lodge a report. She found my set of spare keys which I had forgotten about myself. There was a missing knife from the kitchen and she took off with unused bottles of toiletries, shower foam and all. Unlike what many would have thought, I did not scold her at all. I had been extremely patient and gentle with her. I am not a patient person by nature but with this helper, I was soft and willing to teach since I knew I was going to be home most times and she could always clear her doubts whenever she needed. I cooked for her since she said she could not cook and I handled all the meals for the family as well. So when she ran off, I could hardly understand what went wrong...There was a lot of frustration as being nice did not mean you get nice treatment or loyalty back from the helper and I felt betrayed in a way (although I dunno if betrayed is the right word to use since we hardly know each other in 5 days!) but the chaos she created for us and the anxiety was causing unnecessary stress.

She was found at the embassy. She claimed her husband had passed away. She did make a phone call home while she was with me but I do not understand advance Bahasa Indonesia. She will be returning home and we will not be getting another helper. It was too scary and we will just find some other way to cope. We do not need such disruption and stress in our lives and the children were not too comfortable with another helper too. They used to adore our ayi in China but just could not communicate with the Indon one.

The hubster and I had joked that we might try for number 3 if our helper was good but it looks like it may not materialise anymore. I have no layouts to share this week because we were thrown off balance. I spent the week cleaning and sanitising the house when I found ants and creepy crawlies where the helper slept. And the children and I tried to re-organise the house back to its original condition. Thank God she was with us for only 5 days!

What would you have done if you were me? Get another helper? If so, what are the criteria you will look out for? What are the options available?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Blessings From Above Album for Made With Love Guest DT Assignment

Aida has requested a mini album for my Guest DT stint over at Made With Love and she has generously prepared a DCVW 8 x8 Mariposa paper kit for me, along with a Maya Road chipboard album. I had seen many other scrappers' works using the Mariposa range but strangely, I never had a chance to see the whole range of papers. Perhaps I was still in Shanghai back then and hardly had a chance to be so updated about scrapbooking porducts. But as I was looking through the papers, I was totally blown away by this range. It's timeless and classic. Butterflies and flowers are definitely here to stay. So I decided to make an album for a girly- girl galfriend of mine. Someone I had known for 20 years! Time really flies by and the memories of us cheering, 'sloggin' for our extra- curricular activities are still fresh in my mind.Lol...

There are 6 chipboard shapes in this album altogether, comprising of different lengths ending with scalloped and bracket edges. Thankfully, the first page did not pose much problems for me as I could use my Crop-a-dile for punching the little holes at the edge after I covered it with paper. Even as I chose out the album, I knew I wasn't going to cover the scalloped edges with paper and then painstakingly cut out the circles. This was too much work for a lazy and hassled stay home mum scrapper. So I painted Pages 3 and 5 with a turqoise color from Ranger Dabber Paint (Stream).

Almost immediately, I sprinkled my UTEE powder on the chipboard randomly and heated it over my cooker hob. (I was just too impatient to bring out my heat gun, and the length was good enough for me to hold over the small fire). To my delight, the UTEE powder took on a light lime green color as it was melting. After a while, I stopped the heating (Do not let the UTEE bubble over) and allowed it some time to cool. Still unsatisfied with the single color tone taken on by the UTEE, I brought out my distress inks in Broken China, Crushed Olive and Tattered Rose and randomly stamped over the entire embossed area and voila, nice marble-ly look. It doesn't look pretty at this stage withut embellishments but since I was adopting a Butterfly-Bird- Flower Theme, it will form part of the fauna background later on.

The rest of the pages as seen in the collage above are embellished with Prima flowers and butterflies, rub-ons, stamps and stickers, cut-outs from the papers and ribbons. Some of the flowers and embellishments were distressed with stickles for more dimension. I also painted on the chipboard bird, then covered it in clear cackle paint after it has dried and applied on some Tattered Angels glaze to emphasize the cracks. Pretty!

I had lots of fun creating this album and was able to experiment with my paints and distress inks and UTEE...a rare luxury as I rarely had time to scrap since I am a stay-home-mum and I got to do the cleaning on my own, I rarely did anything that might create a mess that I had to clean up after. Also it doesn't help when you have two curious monkeys watching you, preparing to imitate your work later on. But paints, inks and powder do add a different dimension to your projects and the textures are lovely. Do try it out! As for me, I have figured out a way. I kept a tall carton box where I do my painting and misting and embossing all my 'mess' is contained in there now! For sure, there will be more 'mess' in my future projects...

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Happiness having you... I think the happiest day in the hubster's and my lives was the day our little girl was born. Meeting her for the first time, I remember the excitement and how much I was controlling to hold back my tears then as I held her for the first time. Time flies and she is now a rebellious six year old. She is still a mummy's girl, demanding for attention all the time. On many occasions, we had to discipline her and she must have felt very hurt and unloved then, not knowing that it pained us more to see her going in t he wrong ways...So that was why I created this layout, to remind her we love her a lot more than she thinks.

Lots of Crate Paper- Restoration here. This paper just makes me go soft and sigh everytime I hold the papers...And in the back of my head, I was already planning on another layout for Asher using what's left of the papers. I find this line so versatile and vintagy- pretty, and yet not in a sickly sweet way that I can use it on my boy too!

Close-Ups of the layering (P.S One of the basic rule of layouts that I have learnt is that you can use the triangle rule to balance out the embellishments!):