Dec 30, 2011

Slider card for sister dear



A slider card for my sister, done a couple of years ago.. Stamp from Whipper Snapper Designs "Gift with Rose', balloons from  PSX (Santa Rosa 1999), words from 'Make an Impression' and 'Stampendous'.


Dec 19, 2011

I d rather take the bus driver's place today...

It's raining dinosaurs and dogs...today, I would rather be the bus driver. Sitting in his warm cozy seat, inside a a dry cabin, watching the rest of the world (us mere mortal) scrambling to get on to the bus in the pouring rain as we make our way to the office.

The wind is horrible today and umbrellas just a tad useful, bags wet, shoes soggy, hair with droplets, sleeves and arms catching water from someone else's umbrella or wet self.

We're probably getting the peripheral swipe of the typhoon that hit the northern parts of Asia.


Nov 28, 2011

Christmas is coming...

 




A simply designed, slider card from last year's collection, using Reindeer stamp from Stamp City embossed in gold and a pair of paper Poinsettia flowers from Prima Flowers..


 
Advent has begun... time to prepare cards for Christmas again. 
I've decided to play with the inks this year...mostly Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels here.


My first card made for 2011 Xmas
Two stamps used, one from Hero Arts the Nativity scene for the centre piece which is a Clear stamp and the background with the words is Penny Black "Christmas text'  wood mounted.

Punch out is from EK.  No die cuts here, used a design scissors to cut out the oval shape.

Nov 25, 2011

HUGS

One can never get too many hugs.!


A blessed Sunday and pleasant week to all.

Nov 9, 2011

Busy November occasion card.. a Confirmation and a birthday.




These stamps are from Heartfelt Creations, they're gorgeous and I just discovered them in time for this holy event.....and of course Martha Stewart's edge heart punch.
Get them at Paper Craft Garden at Suntec City or get them online...

Nov 7, 2011

Five birds ... a perching






Five little birds sitting on a branch, preening themselves.  Managed to grab a still and while I was fumbling with the camera trying to figure out how to switch to video,  they decided they had sat long enough for me.

Such a pretty sight.

..... Bulbuls..

Oct 29, 2011

Warm & toasty Greetings.. Nov card


An old Rose with Bow stamp from...Stampa Rosa (Santa Rosa) (1999)

Favourite wish stamps. 'God Sent His Best' from Stampendous, 'Be happy' from Santa Rosa, .....
  " Warm.. toasty" from Sandi Gore Evans (Uptpwn Design Co) on paper backing from Cupcake (Basic Grey), bit of brown cardstock, loosely cut strips  to give it a rough easel look.  

Using a cuttlebug die on my sizzix machine on Yellow cardstock,..(die image on separate paper layered on front of card) 

those tiny butterflies are the by-products of a spellbinders nestabilities((Butterflies circle) die image.

A mix of inks from Distress and .Versa Color and Versa Magic (pink and green and orange shades), ...
All Purpose Ink 72 Frost White lightly brushed on raised embossed areas.

A problem with this cardstock, embossing powder tends to get absorbed into the card and image becomes flat except for the copper powder on Warm & Toasty..

A card for my niece.

Oct 19, 2011

Hallo-ween

We're not big on natural expressions,  Asians are still relatively conservative you could say!  But perhaps behind a horror mask it might be enjoyable and easier to be forward!

We're growing a larger international community and the practice of halloween here is becoming more visible among that crowd and the local younger educated ones are catching on to this in small ways through the pubs and clubs but other than that it's still a foreign festivity.

But it looks like a lot of fun for the kids.

For the Catholics, it's All Souls Day - a time to pray for the dead.. a solemn occasion. Let's not forget All Saints on the 1st - the good souls, not the scary ones... :)...

Strangely though, why does Halloween happen just before Christmas?

Another foreign celebration, I'm glad Valentine's caught on a while back,  I like that concept of a special day for special people (FRIENDS not just of the opposite gender kid) and that's taken on it's own local flavor.

Oct 15, 2011

Strawberry Moments - Card

It's probably one of the oldest stamps in my collection.

The main stamp design is from The Embossing Arts Co.. called Strawberry Border, 
against a Sizzix embossed leaf  background, a Sizzix die-cut dragon fly and my favourite sentiment for always from Hero Arts.

Some pretty embellishments - a bit of crochet ribbon trim from Pinkpaislee and classic lace Prima flowers..a little sprinkling of flower-soft Summer dust ..


Life is made up of sweet bouquets of special moments and sometimes it's up to us to ensure that we get those moments and not just wait upon others to create them for us.

Oct 5, 2011

Rivers and old cemeteries

I've been taking the 107 bus back home after work lately.  It's not too long a journey I discovered about 35min tops as opposed to switching buses and then to the North East Line train, perhaps about 5-10 min difference.
It's quite a smooth ride mainly because of the bus lane hours.
One it gives me a nice comfortable, sometimes freezing, seat all the way.  I get to relax instead of running in and out of transport and doing the balancing act on my 2 inch heels in a crowded train.

Two I get to read or just sit back and think.

then.....
Lately in my effort to be more PRESENT,  I have started to take note of my surroundings. Kallang Way/Kallang Bahru I think, I go past two rivers, Kallang and Whampoa are quite refreshing  sights. It's not all industrial.  I have to admit the City knows how to look after its' waterways and integrate it scenically into the heartlands.

Most of the time the view I get is better cos I 'm sitting in a double-decker bus.

I appreciate it, that we have trees, creepers and shrubs at any possible space that allows it. That much greenery, that much less of a barren-dry stony feel and that much more oxygen, kudos to town planners and dear LKY.

now...
Of course it benefits the fauna too.


The other area that it passes is Upper Serangoon/ Woodleigh what used to be the Malay and Christian cemeteries for a long time.  Of course the buried residents are no longer there, they have all been moved to alternate abodes mostly columbarium niches.

I feel no fear really nor am I 'haunted' in thoughts when I go by that way.  I just think because I am old enough, I have that long ago picture in my mind of how it used to be;  snapshots of visiting my grandparents' graves, while the younger set will only see it though historical photos.
Now that I think on it, somehow burial seems more restful than the current process of cremation, laid to rest in an urn in a tiny piece of real estate called a niche.... hmmmm.
Let's not go there.

As I passed it yesterday again,  I thought how peaceful the empty fields of grass looked and so quiet.  I wonder if any spirits still linger.

Oct 2, 2011

Time Out with the Animals

I never tire of the Zoo. That’s where we went on one of the September school break holidays. Surprisingly we got there in about an hour in all by bus from home. The weather, thank God was kind, it drizzled a little for the very initial part of the walk but then disappeared and remained warm but not hot.
Ticket prices have also gone up and up .. something like $5 more per person since the last time we were here. Unfortunately Alr does not qualify as a child any longer, only Arn so total admission was close to $100 with the boat ride on the lake, which was something new to try.



We headed for the boat dock first, walking past the sleeping Tapirs.
The boat ride was a pleasant 15-20 minutes, quiet, at a leisurely pace and smooth, could almost make believe we were NOT in Singapore for a little while. Of course it was too slow for Arn.






We got off close to the new Kidzworld with the Water park, .but.we walked in the opposite direction to visit the old lions and the giraffes first, one of our favourites.  The lazy lions were asleep but the Giraffes were chomping away at the leaves..all quiet.  The fragile forest afforded the kids some excitement when one of the mousedeers let us close enough to pat it. Strangely the butterflies were missing. The bats were flying around more than usual, the sloth was where they usually were and there were more ducks and crown pigeons wandering the footpath.

Arn enjoyed his first ride on a Carousel, we had lunch at KFC of course and we gave the water park, which was pretty crowded a miss.  Do you know there's a pony-like critter called a falabella ?.  


 There is a fair bit of upgrading taking place at the zoo, so of course some enclosures were closed or missing animals like the white tigers.  We gathered some interesting new bits of information such as gharials and gavials – slimmer looking versions of the alligator/crocodile family.  I don’t recall them at all from last visits. 



At the centre, we grabbed Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – I had a fabulous strawberry cheese flavour, the kids had chocolate cookie dough while Alr decided on dimsum.
Since I was working the next day, I planned not to stay beyond 3pm, we took the tram down to the next stop hoping to see the white tigers before we made our way back. But alas they were missing. We walked on; visited the kangaroos, said goodbye to the pygmy hippos and headed for the exit.

Sep 29, 2011

The Hug card (wih ingredients)


Completed the card, finally.



Stamp set from Crafty Secrets(Clear) - Bouquet of Joy with Words using glitter back powder.

Background stamped using
- Versamark Dazzle ink
- Hero Arts/Basic Grey  - Luscious Bold Flowers
- embossed with

Kaleidoscope powder (transparent) from

Stampendous
- Stencil drawn cut out /circle

- Sizzix Scalloped circle die cut on pattern paper from Basic Grey(Cupcake)

- Letters from Sizzix die cut set (Hugs)

- Edge Lace punch (top of card) from Friskars.

Colouring of design is created with a combination of chalk and Tombow pens


Sep 27, 2011

Almost blue

A MOMENT  in my Life

I took the bus home today from work. Got on the single decker, plenty of seats, sat down to a pleasant unconscious- oblivious-to-all ride while I read my Nora Roberts book.
I got an empty seat, took my place beside the window and relaxed.
Quarter way into the trip, an old man came up and sat down beside me.
Oh man ! He definitely, definitely had not bathe in a month or year maybe. I held my breathe,  tried to breathe through my nose, tried to continue to read, still controlled my breathes and finally began to hope (pray)  that the old man would get off really really soon or I just might have to get out of there before I comatose d!

About 15 tortuous minutes later he got up and left.  Oh thank God (although I doubt God would call that a prayer), I took a huge breathe.
By that time I was already developing a mild headache from the ride and heat and lack of oxygen probably.

Definitely not one of those times to 'live in the moment!

Sep 23, 2011

Are you in a better place now ?

Has Life left it's mark . 
Interestingly another way to look at where one is now  'if you had not been there, you might not be where you are now'. 
So is it a better place to be now ?
For me the 'there' refers to a horrible plac, now. 
it is better. ... but I cannot say good yet.

 


Sep 22, 2011

Wise reflections from a hard journey


The book I just completed.. A Song Flung Up To Heaven – Maya Angelou.
There are many lessons to be reflected upon in Maya’s story, one of them seems to be about ‘balance’ where many of us tend to constantly think about rushing forward.
In more than a couple of times Maya deliberately stops to gather herself, assimilate to the environment/situation, settles herself in order to move forward and because she is able to I believe that is one of the reasons she succeeds in getting where she needs to go.

“In order to join New York’s ebb and flow, I had to spend some time listening to the sounds, watching the streams of people coursing east and west and north and south. When I thought I had my balance, I dared to look for an apartment.”

Another lesson seems to be to live wholly. Maya had moved many times, from one place to another, but when you reflect at the why, when, what necessitated the moves, and whereto  she was somehow always moving forward in her life, whether she was certain or unsure of the destination or worried about her son. 
For my part I think she had a very efficient guardian angel.
.
During her last night in Hawaii, she did her best show in dance. You can feel her whole being poured into her request when she writes  " I asked for the music, then invited it to enter my body and find the broken and sore places and restore them. That it would blow through my mind and dispel the fogs. " and she let the music move her in dance.  It feels pure and powerful, a prayer that Heaven cannot refuse.

Sep 21, 2011

Need time for my feet !

No those aren't my feet. Who does not love a good foot pampering!

The one thing about getting your nails painted is, you gotta keep getting them painted ... and painted otherwise remove them altogether.

My toe nails are looking so pathetic, I haven't had time to do anything about them much less go get a pedi.. so I think I'll just have to make do with a patch up job for the time being .. tonight... cos I just can't stand the way they peek out through my favourite pair of shoes.


Sep 19, 2011

Bookaholic's seconds

Is this... bookaholism !!. I'm completing one book by Maya Angelou and still got two other unfinished books on my night stand.  In many instances I have a few choices tugging at me that I want to read, the books seem to be queuing up and I want to read them all, but just don't have enough time to do it. So that's how I end up with books-in-progress.

One of them is also by Maya Angelou (Wouldn't take nothing for my Journey Now) and the other is more psychological/philosophical by Erich Fromm.

It's like this, this book by Maya is meant to be read chapter by chapter, a selection of topics are treated separately, it's inspiration and wisdom wrapped up in very down-to-earth writing of experiences from her real life. So I take my time, pick it up again, now and  when it calls and even re-read certain chapters. Maya's books are wonderful.

The other book, well this is a little heavier and deeper to read but oh so very interesting on the difference between having and being, exploring human nature's essence. I pick it up read a couple of chapters for a day or two and then put it down to mull over it for a whiiile.

Any free, waiting moment outside the home is time to fill with reading  - on my journey to and from work, in a taxi queue, at the bus stop, standing on the train, at the hair saloon, sometimes at lunchtime if I'm by myself and finally before I sleep at night .... I usually indulge in all the other types of books start to finish, mostly fiction or inspiring biographies.

At home, there is not really much time unless the kids are doing their own thing like gaming and other play. There are books to go through too.. assessment books, school books, notebooks etc etc.. get the picture The Weekends are just too short to be spent on oneself when one has school age kids.
And when there is that serious extra long window to relax which is far and few - that's when the scrapbooking stuff comes out.

If you work hard, you just have to allow a few little indulgences.

Sep 14, 2011

The First Communion Card

This was spur of the moment inspired for my niece. I had not stocked up on religious stamps apart from Christmas ones and well, occasions are ad hoc and so we don't always want to buy something that would hardly be used.  I got my Alx to draw a chalice, cos I figured her free hand drawing would top mine any day. Ran an embossing pen along the borders and lines and used Hero Arts Gold embossing powder to raise the glitz with some glitter glue on the corners. And well I bought a couple of embellishments which popped in front of my face at the strangest place and time - the Bookshop.

The cross and the praying hands are actually hand sewn pieces that are meant to be ironed on to clothes. These were very appropriate for what I needed to add on.

I had created the card originally without these two embellishments and I felt that the essence of the occasion ('holy-ness') was missing and so that is how it all came together.

The big embossing die (background) is from Sizzix  (simple and yet classic I thought), add a dash of white glimmer and a touch of green glimmer chalk and a bit of blue for the swallows. I had originally thought to leave it all white, but then possibly an adult might appreciate that but not a child.
The 'host' is a circle punch out from my old Carla Craft punches and the letters from Quickkutz dies. Add a light green paper background for little border and green inked leaf stamps all around.


The lighting is terrible. my apologies.

 The final touch of course was to add a prayer inside the card.

Sep 3, 2011

Have car will travel


We took the dog to the vet this morning.

Getting there we were lucky, didn't have to wait to long on the call  ah but getting back was the kicker....many cabs, none stopped, we waited , I called, waited,  called... . .. waited for an hour before a cabby came by and agreed to take us with the dog. God Bless him and his Silver Cab

The other grievance with cabs, they don't take 5 persons.


It is frustrating.

If you want life without a car in Singapore, don't have 3 kids, have 2, don't have a pet and getting around will be much easier and smoother.


Sep 2, 2011

'Branded'

Branded stuff, I’ve never been really been into any of it for 'brand' sake, be it shoes or bags.
Call me practical.

I enjoy having new things and it’s probably due to the lack of when growing up, hand me downs and second hand stuff. ‘Newness’ not novelty, there’s a difference, does wear off but it lasts almost as long as the non-branded accessory does, which is good. I didn’t spend a bomb on it, so I can dispose off after a reasonable length of time and good use. I am a long wearer, I buy 1 bag and use it forever continuously and do not change it. As for shoes, I’m stuck on a couple or three (different heights/work or casual), only until they wear off and it’s time to get new ones.

So less access or waste. Hence it would not be cost effective for me to buy branded names nor practical when I myself do not need it to have a long lifespan.
It’s nice to have but eventually they do fill up the cupboard for the lack of use and the lack of wear. I understand it's not only applicable to females!

Fake or original I can’t tell the difference, I have friends who buy into the whole brand thing, it makes them feel good, I feel something bad for them when I don’t recognize it, anyway, they are quite happy to highlight it to me.

Aug 24, 2011

Adding on anxiety with technology

Bus apps on the mobile, great idea ? Maybe, sometimes.
Mine is the for-android version..... am not an IPhone fan.

On the one hand, it helps pick which route to take or which alternative is faster, on the other it can be stressful.

Once upon a time, we were able to take our time,  wait patiently, because we did not have expectations of  the bus arrival. But today with the bus app, before you reach the stop, you can check on the arrival. And so you time yourself and get ready to meet that time or fret you might miss it or curse that you have missed it.

Did we just add a pile of anxiety to our plate ? Seems like everything we do gets put on the clock and we help ourselves to it. Download any more 'helpful' apps lately?

Aug 21, 2011

The Bee card with Hero Arts Floral scallop and Sixxiz dies

I've been experimenting with my new tool, this is my latest card for one of my craft buddies, a close friend who introduced me to this hobby... 'the master poisoner' we affectionately call her.. who 's just an expert at handicrafts. The white background makes use of a sizzix embossing die, a little hard to see, unless you enlarge.



Big Flower in centre made with Sizzix dies, the white pattern is stamped on.

Flower Pot Card /using Prima flowers(miniature to add on to main card)


I'm still muddling through colour blends and mix as  I work. ....More to come while I have the time...

Have a good work week (I'll try) and happy crafting if you do...


Jul 23, 2011

Going for Walks

When I move, this will probably be one of the things I miss the most. Stepping out and walking in any direction, taking in the cool breeze, sitting in the park.. the quick 'hop, skip and a jump' to church..
It will not be the same in a HDB estate, especially when the high blocks seem to close one in. No I'm not taking a snobbish point of view, just speaking as plainly as possible, this is what it is.

Sure there will be greenery and trees, but somehow it will still not be the same. I suppose for the major part of my life, I have lived in a more open space environment. But I will get used to it, adapt like everything else that has passed in my life.
It will be a small price for peace and comfort. We'll carve out our space like we always can and accept it; and eventually to add to pleasant memories. We can still take our walks. Not so much to mourn about, positive changes, the ones who matter are with me. A loving family is all that matters.

I'm sure there will be new experiences to add, I look forward to them.

Jul 18, 2011

Card Making - die cut & embossing

My first card using a die cut / embossing machine.

I resisted for so long, just wanting to stick with my enjoyable rubber stamping card-making endeavors. but I finally succumbed to getting the die cuts....Well it was more the embossing that pulled me and pulled me... and so here we are in the next stage of evolution of card making for me....

Jul 16, 2011

Too many channels to plug!

When you say no TV,  remember to specify Youtube, cos Youtube is not TV.

When you say no games, remember to specify TV and pc, AND mobile phone.

It's the technicalities that the kids will get you on. They are so sharp when it comes to that kind of stuff and yet they can't apply it at school.

There are way too many channels to plug, and if the kids are in need of reminding to be responsible, just wave the wand on the 'parental controls' and block it all.  When the battle cries have calmed down and they then can hear what I am saying,  I release some of the sites, but not before I 've looked them over.

Beware of gambling card games hidden well within innocent looking kids games.

Jul 14, 2011

Balance: not possible

I recall a line that went something like, the best part about going away for a vacation, is the coming back.
Instantly I shook my head and went uh-uh, no way..

Sure it’s about the comfort and not having to worry about hotel rooms. laundry and the suitcase!
But coming back means returning to reality.

So if life is about balance, why is there always more reality than vacation time ?

Jul 11, 2011

Patience - a lost art..


Are you in the age group that can remember the old telephone.

Yesterday in the mall, we passed one of these decorative replicas and my daughter asks me ' I don't understand how do you dial..' . For a moment, my brain sort of stalled, it's not something I would have worked out an explanation for before now, ever I think!. So I explained, if you want the 8,  you put your finger into the slot, go round to the metal stopper and then let it go back and then you pick the next number like a 6 and do the same.
And she gave me this strange wide-eye look.. that said ..making a call would like take FOREVER....
And I started to laugh and then I said 'we grew up doing many things patiently, you can't imagine that can you, everything is instant these days, at the click/tap of a button or key.'  These young people, get flustered when the internet explorer runs too slowly or files take 15 sec longer to download or emails don't get through fast enough.

Imagine waiting for each tel digit to go through!


No rapid train transport then, getting from point A to B by bus took at least 2 hours and up.

Imagine how using an old(manual) typewriter felt like for documents, I don't think fingers have that kind of strength anymore.

The fingers did get a lot more exercise in the old days.

..... I feel old...

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