Monday, October 27, 2008

How They've Grown

Jan 2008:

Jan 2008:

Oct 2008:

Wanna know

why I never seem to finish unpacking and tidying up?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Transitions and A Tough Weekend

The last of this breathtaking view.

The last bottle.

New milestones:

And a new view:
It was a tough weekend.  I had to work extra during my off day to meet the deadline on Monday.  Well, I could have shrugged everything off and tried to enjoy the weekend, but I couldn't take the chance in case of a hiccup on Monday morning.  So poor Little One had dinner after eight, and ours was close to midnight.  But look at what we feasted on!

Big One came back with her results yesterday, and she was a little upset in missing her target by just a bit.  

I cut her some slack as I can see it is really tough adapting to secondary school life, and she didn't fare too badly.  But I hope she will learn not to merely "get by" but give her best in everything she endeavours.  I took the chance to share about my stressful project at work, reminding her that in school or at work, we need to be responsible and good stewards of our time and resources. 
I hope the rest of the week will pass smoothly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Easing Back into Blog World

I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth - though the backaches and stiff muscles make me feel as though I did. I've been unpacking on the home front, juggling three demanding projects on the work front, prodding Big One during examination week and weaning Little One onto formula. Which left little energy to celebrate our wedding anniversary. In fact, after a gruelling day supervising repair works, submitting a project report and transporting remnants from one flat to another, we finally had our "anniversary dinner" close to midnight.
I'm not fully back in blogging mode yet. The photos are not coming forth. So bear with me for just a few more picture-less write-ups until I get my crafty hands into gear again.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Moving Day ... and a little frustration

We moved!I was anxious and woke before dawn to pack a few more items. The movers were supposed to come at noon. We managed to have lunch and tied up lots of loose ends before they arrived an hour and a half later than scheduled. Once they started, everything was a whirl. Boxes were stacked and bundles were stuffed into every available space to make each trolley load.

In an hour, our worldly goods were out of the flat and being loaded into one of two lorries. I proceeded to the new flat with the girls while hubby stayed with the movers until they were ready to set off. It took longer to load everything and get on the road. I was only too glad to enjoy the empty echoing flat for a little longer. For only a little longer and no more.  Once the flat started filling up, I wondered for a while how all the stuff were once in our old flat and whether our new flat is at all larger to accommodate everything. Well, it's payback time for all the years without springcleaning!

Generally, the movers lived up to their name of being swift. They hardly paused when maneuvering the stairwell and were appreciative of the drinks we bought. Except for an irritating moment, which I will describe later.
Finally the big pieces were in place and we trooped back to the old flat to collect the "tingkat" dinner and pick up some essentials which were left behind.
It seemed like yesterday when we first entered the flat after a miraculously short application and waiting time.  I felt a tinge of nostalgia to vacate the flat.  But I have so much to be thankful for, as getting this new flat is also nothing short of another miracle, a prayer answered. And I can testify that God in has been in all the details. 

So the little irritation is really insignificant in the grand scale of things.  I just wanted to record this so that I can remind myself to be gracious.  One of the team leaders was the first to arrive at the flat, and immediately at the gate, he lodged a complaint that that the flat is at the end of the corridor and has an upper level, and typically this would be an $800-dollar job instead of $680 and we have more things than could fit into the lorries and the workers had to sit in the cab section to make room and he would rather not waste time to contact the office to clarify whether we were correctly quoted and and had supplied the correct information about the new loaction and ... all in all, if we fork out another eighty dollars his workers will be happy and so will we. This is the same person who nearly took our antique bench apart trying to prove that it is in poor condition and may not survive the move.  Little did he know I had already prepared a generous tip for them.  Well, generous because it is more than the extra he has quoted!  At the end of the day, we still gave a tip over and above the extra cost.  I simply cannot begrudge them. It was past midnight when we finally put the girls to bed.  The first night in our new home.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Still Packing ...

I wish someone can bring a huge roll of shrink wrap and wrap up the entire flat, then transport the whole unit to the new location, so I can save all the packing and unpacking.  Sigh ... better get back to the packing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Moving Mania

We're moving this weekend. Signing out till we're somewhat settled in. Well, maybe some pic-less posts here and there ... but no promises ...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Scrapbooking, Then and Now - Fabric Arts Inspiration

I like the excitement of learning new crafts, I've dabbled in knitting, crochet, beading, patchwork and applique, stuffed toys, tole painting, paper tole, clay, ...
The downside: While packing, I found lots of old crafting projects, some incomplete. Those "someday I'll finish this up"s. You have those around?

Scrapbooking allows me to experiment with and integrate techniques from various other art and craft forms. Especially if I can use up those yarn and beads and paints.

Let's see what I did with fabric arts in those oldie layouts.

Embroidery floss or yarn were stitched onto paper to form letters.
Gosh, this layout is from 7 years ago! Big One was Only One with Big Hair -- she better not see this post!

I admire quilting, from afar, but it seems too fiddly to attempt using fabric. Here, matching papers were pieced together to form quilt patterns, mimicking the amazing quilts in each of the bedrooms at this B&B in Arthur, IL we stayed in during our 2003 road trip.
Today, scrapbook manufacturers have included fabric, ribbons, lace and pins (love this review of what's out there) to match their lines of paper-based products.

Not only fabric arts, but beading, clay, wax, metals ... I'll have some of these in future posts.

I wonder which industry will be the next tie-up partner with scrapbooking. Any guesses?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Layouts - U & I

I have some loose layouts which have not found their home in an album.
Here's one with a favourite photo, paper too pretty to be covered up, and flowers and blings.

A touch of torn paper on the right to consolidate the colour palette.  A small brad with polka dots to contrast the stripes and pearls. Black thickers in foam and felt to contrast the flowers in muted colours.
Papers - Scribble Scrabble, Luxe
Cardstock - Club Scrap
Flowers - Prima
Pearls and brad - Kaiser
Thickers - American Craft
Others - 7Gypsy fabric tab, Ranger Stickles in Cinnamon

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Scrapbooking, Then and Now - Photos with Text Overlays

Packing gives me a chance to revisit the old albums, and laugh a little (or a lot).  I found more techniques that I might want to revisit.

In order to cram photos and journalling onto a double page spread, I printed the text onto vellum and placed them over the photos, some partially covering the unimportant parts of the pictures.
Here's the same effect using photo-editing software. You'll need to place the text over a block of contrasting colour for the text to be visible. For the digital or hybrid scrapbooker, brushes can be purchased for use in the same way.

Today you can also achieve the same effect with rub-ons or transparency overlays such as these, these and these, but you cannot customise easily the text or graphic. For a short title, you can cut out the letters or use one of the die-cutting machines. I'm not known for my patience to handcut or even machine cut dozens of letters and pasting them down!  I much prefer the digital way.  

What's your favourite way to get text onto photos?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Layouts - U R GR8

TTYL bb4n ruok cul8r
IDK what these meant, the spelling baffled me.  I had to ask Big One to translate.

It's tough to be a teenager in this day and age, but I'm proud of her.

I had a similar title done with this type of spelling: Cutie Pie.

Then I remembered in my childhood this joke was running around.  And the adults then were baffled too.  LOL!!
Can you read this - it's a complete sentence!!

TTYL  talk to you later
bb4n  bye bye for now
ruok   are you okay?
cul8r  see you later
idk      I don't know
LOL    Laugh Out Loud
            Okay, maybe you heard variations such as these?  
OICURMT!    Oh I see you are empty!

GTG, TTFN.  Lots of packing to be done!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Scrapbooking, Then and Now - Page Sizes

Am I excessive and obsessive about scrapbooking?  The evidence are literally stacked against me.  A frenzy of packing, and the house is a mess because whatever were in the cupboards are now in boxes stacked floor to ceiling, occupying all the floor space.  I can now officially declare I have more scrapbooking supplies than clothes.  

I started scrapping on 8 1/2 x 11 papers.  But when I was in the USA, 12 x 12 supplies was more readily available.  I began mixing the different pages sizes by simply aligning the punched holes on the page protectors.
There was so much real estate on these larger pages that I found it very difficult to make pleasing page arrangements.  Thus, the pages often end up being symmetrical with titles spanning the spread.
Indianopolis Architecture.

My favourite way to mix pages is to enclose each series of pages for an event between 12 x 12 title and closing pages.

When the inner 8 1/2 x 11 pages are turned, the borders of the 12 x 12 title and closing pages appear to frame the pages.

In the following, the titles frame the inner pages.

Springfield, Lincoln's Home.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Layouts - Dotty

To all muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya!
And to the young and young at heart, Happy Children's Day!

I did this layout earlier, but never got round to posting it.  In fact, it was packed away and forgotten until recently.  I cannot remember what these papers were.  But I definitely remember the felt (Queen&Co), flowers (Prima) and pearls (Kaiser).  My first time using these pearls and they add a touch of elegance to every page.  They appeared very often thereafter.