Tuesday 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year to you all

Just a quick post to wish you all have a great Christmas this year and to leave you with my last layout for this year.

Monday 15 December 2008

A few Christmas layouts

Here are a few I made recently for Scrap-n-crop and some from last year using the same paper range. I have to admit to not being very keen on christmas papers in general but absolutely adore these Rhonna Farrer's papers.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Still catching up

First is our favourite ride at Disneyland Paris. We had fast passes that we saved up to use on this ride for both days we were there.
I love how Disney has superimposed the ride photo onto a cute scene. I extended the cutesy theme by using Sassafras and adding my own clouds. The clouds also contain the journalling, "thunder mountain, the ride that we saved our fast pass for". I didn't want to have a block of journalling so I've even utilised the masked area of the title for date and place. I made the title using Tim Holtz's masks and some spray paint.
Next is our visit to Neuschwanstein castle.

This is a bit of a random layout where I experimented with a lot of different "things". I have used vintage music and book page and a lot of non-scrapbook products besides. The vintage pages are not acid and lignin free...in fact I love it more if they are slightly yellow! So, how do you feel about using unsafe products such as these ?

Monday 1 December 2008

Catching up

A couple of LOs from the last school holidays. I am trying to catch up before the christmas holidays arrive.
The first is from our short trip to Northumberland in the summer. On the way back down, we made a brief stop at Housesteads Roman Fort.This next one is from Germany at half term showing my guys bobsleighing. I was right behind them taking this photo. I was very slow that the boy who was behind me caught up with me, my guys thought it was hilarious. Now, my excuse is this. I was going really fast till I see a sign saying "Slow down" so I hit the brake to be greeted with another sign saying "Don't brake" which got me thoroughly confused and by the 10th sign, my vehicle had lost quite a lot of speed. So there.

Monday 17 November 2008

Not much to share but I've been busy

Honest! I was busy creating and writing my article for Scrapbook Magazine, unfortunately you can't see the results until January. Now that they are done, I can relax. Here a couple that I can show you though.

The first features a photo from Disney, remember that cheesy photo at Buffalo Bill's show ? It was taken by one of the usher who must have the steadiest hands, my camera registered a speed of 0.6 seconds as it was set on AV ( that is aperture priority on my camera ). Even I can't handhold at that speed.
Secondly is my ColorCombos LO for this week. The dodge blue, pear and cool mint were perfect for these photos of my boys. As for the 4th colour, floral white, well, I managed to fit that in somehow LOL. Having done this LO, I've noticed that I have put my titles in the same place.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Linderhof Castle

On the last day ( ok, supposedly last day but more of that later! ) we had planned on spending the day in Munich but having been completely mesmerized by King Ludwig's castle, I persuaded A that we should visit Linderhof, King Ludwig's Royal Villa.
Linderhof is just the other side of the mountain from us but the shortest route of 28 miles took us through Austria. We were excited about "going" to Austria as none of us has been before. We only stopped to take a few photos at this lake but we resolved to visit properly next time.

This is Linderhof, with my reluctant troop lined up front. It is tiny but the only completed project of King's Ludwig. The outside statues and urns have all been covered for winter, can you see a little tall hut to the side of the photo ? Unfortunately we missed seeing the cascade and Neptune fountain because of this.
The inside was wow, totally amazing! Totally over the top but it is sad to hear the guide saying that King Ludwig spent most of his time alone in this castle. He even avoided the servants, they were not allowed to be in the same room as him. He had an "elevator type" table that was set out in the kitchen and winched up to the dining table on the first floor where he dined alone.

Glad we made a detour to Linderhof.
After we drove up to Munich, the roads and speed of vehicles is quite scary. Not surprisingly, we were delayed on the motorway because a motorcyclist was in an accident. We had a late lunch at Prinz Myshkin ( thanks Alexa ) and went to the airport. We were early so we braced ourselves for a long wait but an hour before departure we saw that the flight was delayed for an hour, not long after, it was CANCELLED...the plane has a mechanical problem. What a nightmare but luckily it was Saturday night otherwise the boys would have missed school. We were bussed and fed at a hotel about 10km from the airport. Another flight has been scheduled for 10am tomorrow. "No, it is not the same plane", we were assured by an employee.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Happy birthday to me

Another year, eeek. Not that I am feeling older than 25, he, he.
A is away but he entrusted the presents giving to H. Boy, he did well, he remembered! I got a troll bead and the trollbead leather bracelet, a box of metal paperclips from Paperchase ( Yay, have I not trained them well ? ) and a set of travel bottles for my cleanser/toner/ moisturiser...all those stuff a girl needs to keep age at bay. I hate dispensing them into smaller bottles but with the travel restriction looking to stay, I hope these bottles don't leak.

I did this layout this morning for colorcombosgalore.blogspot.com. Love the orange, made me think Autumn immediately.
And hope to go shopping as soon as I finish this post. I am looking for a light cashmere cardigan, preferably one that is not too "twinset" looking. Wish me luck. I might even stop at a car showroom...a new car for me is on offer but I am hesitant to spend, what with the world economy the way it is.

Friday 31 October 2008

Art Journalling with Dina Wakley

We are in week 2 of Dina's class. I've been busy gessoeing and painting the background and collageing these pages. I love how they have turned out but not too keen on getting messy/inky/gluey whilst I made them.

Whilst I am not keen to embrace the inky fingers like Dina, I love her "I don't search for the perfect image, if I've got it, I use it, if I don't got it, I don't worry about it." So these five pages were very quick to collage. When I didn't have the perfect image, I drew it...the treble cleft, the castle and the aeroplane were all drawn quickly ( without worrying if they are perfect! )

I can't wait for next week to start filling up the pages with my story.

Neuschwanstein Castle

On our second day in Fuessen, we went really early to visit Hohenswangau and Neuschwanstein, about 5km from Fuessen. A was quite keen to walk there but I wasn't convinced. I am sure we can walk the 5km there and back but what about the climb to the castles ? I would have expired, I think!
When we arrived, there was quite a lot of fog/mist/low clouds around so I didn't get a good photo of Hohenswangau. In fact, Neuschwanstein wasn't even visible from below at that time. We visited Hohenswangau first on the 9.45am tour. This is definitely the best order to do them as it will be an anti-climax to visit a small castle after Neuschwanstein. Our tour at Neuschwanstein was second at 11.40am.

Here are some photos of Neuschwanstein castle.

The walls of the castle is undergoing restoration, unfortunately during our visit, on this side that you can view from Marienbrucke.

A photo of Hohenschwangau from a picture window in Neuschwanstein castle.

At the end of our visit, Neuschwanstein from below...the castle was obscured by morning mist earlier.

Ok, some background info for this wonderful castle. Neuschwanstein means 'New swan stone castle' after the Swan Knight Lohengrin, of Wagner's opera of the same name. In origin, the palace has been the Schwanstein, the seat of the knights of Schwangau, whose emblem had been the swan.
This castle was built by King Ludwig who visited Ch√Ęteau de Pierrefonds in France for inspiration. If you have watched 'Merlin' on tv, you might know that Camelot in Merlin is actually the chateau.

I know Neuschwanstein from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is also the inspiration for the castles at Disneyland parks.Owned by the state, unfinished, inside decor reminds me of William Morris...wood panelling below and wallpaper above...although I think the "wallpaper" part is painted in Neuschwanstein.

If you want to know more about this amazing fairy tale castle, you can visit http://www.neuschwanstein.de/.

Halloween is here

Are you doing anything tonight ? Are you getting dressed up ? We usually go to the village pub for a party but not tonight. J has a stinking cold, H and I are coming down with something. I haven't even carved a pumpkin!
Fortunately Halloween came early to Disney and I managed to get some excellent photos of pumpkin headed "workers" around Disneyland Paris when we were there in September.
Ok, off to keep warm and try some remedies to ward off the cold.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Happy Deepavali ( for yesterday )

I did this layout using the Deepavali kit from SnC. The photos are from our visit to Angkor last year. Whilst this particular temple was Buddhist, a lot of the carvings and statues have Hindu influence. I especially love the "dancing man".

A is away for work this week and I am missing him. I miss all the help he gives me when he is home so here's a layout to say we really appreciate you. I know it is not Fathers' Day but every day is worth celebrating, isn't it ?

Sunday 26 October 2008

October half term

Well, our two weeks of half term has been and gone. It was earlier this year, I know some schools have only just broken up this week. It was nice to have slightly different holidays to avoid the traffic jams and the crowded airports. Not so nice if you have children in different schools though.

We were in Fuessen, near Munich for a few days last week. I flew in with the boys and met A, who flew in from Dusseldorf at Munich airport. We had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to Thrifty rental car...this is one problem with getting rental car from a company that is not on-site at the airport! We missed the first one by a few minutes, later told we must have missed another whilst we waited at the bus stop ( can't quite believe this part ) and they are dispatching another shuttle bus right now. We got there almost an hour later.

On the drive to Fuessen, we drove pass a massive endless lake and were sooo excited to spot Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles from afar. H loved practising saying these names whilst I am useless at foreign words and probably spelt them wrong. If so, I apologise. This area is beautiful, with endless lakes, the bluest-green rivers and tall mountains; the autumn colours make the forest even more spectacular.
This is a photo of some houses in Fuessen along the river Lech.

Fuessen is bigger than we expected. We enjoyed walking around town and were bemused to see that a lot a lot of architectural features on buildings were painted on.
This is a photo of Fuessen museum. Can you spot the real part of the building and the trompe l'oeil. The coloumns, the ballustrade are painted on, so are the pediments above the windows.

Fuessen castle was spectacularly lit at night. We knew this because we went night-time geocaching in a nearby forest. It was fun following small reflectors to the geocache, I think we will probably set one up ourselves.

Well, that is day 1 of Germany, I'll tell you the rest later.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

My fabric CJ is home

My fabric circle journal has arrived home. This is a circle journal that I've been involved in on UKS with 9 other ladies. I've just been to pick it up from the PO this morning.
I am always excited to see what everyone has done and to be reunited with my "book". I made the cover and my entry back in November 2007 and almost did not recognise my own work. I am hoping to attach the pages and make these little work of fabric art into a book...soon. I have to confess though, even though I've enjoyed working on this circle journal, I don't think fabric is my medium. I prefer paper! BTW, my circle journal is titled "Colours of the Tropics" which is why everything is really bright. Thank you everyone for your beautiful work.
Theresa and MrsMcF
NettyB and Snipper

Fluffybee and Hillary78

Irboo and Lou

My cover and my entry.

Wednesday 15 October 2008


From time to time, H will look through his Dangerous Book for boys for new things to do. This week, he was inspired to try the suggestion for preparing conkers. H collected, baked and painstakingly prepared these conkers as shown in "the book". We managed to persuade him that soaking the conkers in vinegar will not add to the strenght of the conkers. He then tied them up in a bunch and I couldn't resist a photo.
He's had fun sharing these conkers with his friends but no such unorthodox preparation are allowed at the World Conker Championship in Aston, a village down the road from us. At the championship, you are issued with conker to fight with and it is all down to technique, apparently. What fun!

Thursday 9 October 2008

A happy accident

Well, here's the first of the Disney layouts. I had been worried that the boys might be too old for Disney but I needn't have, we all loved it, adults included! But meeting and seeing Mickey was still the highlights of our trip ( besides the sick-inducing roller coasters! ).
Ok, that's the story of the layout. But what was accidental about it ? I started the layout by cutting the scallop matting, stuck it down, stuck the lace paper down followed by the two photos. I then added a circle frame using the sewing machine. I then put it down to do school pickup, homework, dinner etc. H saw it and said, "If you add two small circles at the top you'd have a Mickey". I hadn't seen that at all and promptly cut out some templates to work out scale before adding the said ears on my sewing machine. What do you think ? I love it but more than that I am delighted my little boy took an interest in my work. Do you think this scrapbooking lark is rubbing-off ?

Wednesday 8 October 2008

Inspired by a comic book

This is a layout from Alnwick Castle that we visited in the summer...seems a world away now. You might better know Alnwick Castle as the Harry Potter Castle or Hogwarts from the film...not nearly as impressive in real life though. Where's CGI when you need it ?
The layout shows H in Knights School battling demons and dragons. He was really into it, picking up a (foam) sword to do battle so I decided to make a the layout in comic style to show the fight progressing.
I converted the photos to comic book artwork using Comic Effect Action by A90Six, a Photoshop action that I downloaded from the internet. To make the "Comic Voice", I printed the text using SF Slapstick Shaded font that I downloaded from Dafont.com, drew the spiky outlines and coloured in using watercolour. In true comic book style, I've also added some speech bubbles that I hand drew and wrote.
Most of the supply for this layout came from my Studio Calico kit including that very yellow piece of newspaper ( most probably not acid and lignin free! ). I use scrapbooking products mostly but do let a few "naughties" through. Are you strict about what supply you put on your page ?

Thursday 2 October 2008

Let there be music

I was summoned to go see J's piano teacher back in June. She was not happy with the progress he was making...he has been "sitting" on a single piece of music for a whole term. I was frustrated and coupled with the shame of being told my son was not putting in the effort at school, made this layout.

I think he was disheartened because he felt that the Bach piece he was given was sooo difficult. The piano teacher assured me that he's more than capable and he needed to up his game to make grade 5. Fortunately the long summer holidays arrived and we had plenty of time for music practise. Those paid off and this week, he was given his grade books. I am delighted and I think he is starting to believe.

Tuesday 30 September 2008

A Disney weekend

The boys' had Monday off school last week due to teachers' training. This date usually coincides with H's birthday so we try to go away for a long weekend. The weekends have tended to be a surprise for the boys. One year we loaded up the car with bikes, went to school to pick up and told the boys we were going for a bike ride. One hour later, J said, "This is a bit far for a bike ride" as we drove in to Elveden Forest.
This year we went to Disneyland in Paris. Initially we booked to go on Eurostar but due to the fire in the tunnel, we had to drive and took the ferry instead. (It wasn't a suprise trip though because the boys now have very eagle eyes.)

This is a photo of us at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The show was very corny but fun. We thought Annie Oakley's character was a waste of space though. Disney layouts to follow...

Friday 26 September 2008

Big B little b

I bought a Dr Seuss' ABC from Oxfam last week, I love the cute drawings. The letter B was perfect for this old photo of my boys. The photo has been sitting on my desk for many moons as I found it quite challenging to scrap busy, pre-scrapbooking photos. Pairing a page from the book and white(ish) background created a light overall feel to balance the photo. And I added red, baby blue and grey because those are the colorcombosgallore colors ( I should say colours ) for this week.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

My baby is ten

Can't believe how time has flown but H is ten today. Here's a card I made for him. I'll try get a birthday photo after school...hope he is still in a good mood. This morning he was one happy bunny or should I say, one happy packed mule. I made some cupcakes for him to take to school so with 1/2 size cello, sports bag, school bag, he was fully laden. He cheerfully said, "I'll manage mummy!" Hope the cakes stayed upright.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Some "WET" layouts

I shared some layouts from the summer holidays with you last week. Now, let me share with you some "wet" LOs.
The first (very pink LO ) is me enjoying a water ride at Efteling in Holland. I have always loved the water rides at theme parks and this time was especially fun to experience it with the kids. The boys think I am bonkers the way I shout and scream. You can't do theme park rides without screaming, can you ? I also did this layout for the ColorCombos blog.
The second shows some of our friends sitting down to a village barbeque under umbrellas. This is a annual event and after five years, this is the first year we were rained on.

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Linda's CJ

The title of Linda's CJ is Flower Power. What a perfect opportunity to print off some photos of flowers from my garden. I love photographing the flowers in my garden. After all, where else can you get some uncomplaining subjects that will stay still ( wind permitting!) whilst you practise your photography skill ? Hope you like it Linda.

Thursday 11 September 2008

Basic Grey Offbeat

This is my favourite Basic Grey range at the moment. I love the slightly old fashioned patterns and the bright colours. I am not usually keen on all the patterns in one range, especially with Basic Grey who has a large set of over 10 patterns. But this range has been very versatile for me, as you can see below. I think I am going to endorse the Basic Grey Offbeat range as being, "suitable for a range of applications!".

This first layout I did for Scrap.n.Crop for Hari Raya/Eid Fitri at the end of this month. There are some other gorgeous layouts in SnC gallery to celebrate this occasion so make sure you take a look.

The photo is a precious one of me and my siblings back in the 70s. We used to visit the grounds of the royal palace (Istana Anak Bukit ) on Hari Raya. The photo is precious because I have so few photos from our childhood.

The second layout shows J learning to sailing. My boys spent a week learning to sail and completed RYA Level I & II. They were in different age groups though. J's group sailed in Laser Picos and looked really competent. H enjoyed the capsizing exercises the most and regale us with tales of how many times he capsized!

I did this layout for Color Combos Galore #88. I have enjoyed seeing Suzanne's LOs on UKS and have been promising to try the combos and I finally did it. I love the unusual combination of colours these girls get us to try.

And last is a photo from our trip to Venice. I think the neat freak in me drew me to photograph these neat rows of gondolas in Venice.

I am so happy, all 3 layouts have just made it onto the Basic Grey gallery. This is the first time I've uploaded. So what do you think ? What is your favourite range this release ?

SBM Issue 32 is out

A little bird told me the magazine is out. I haven't had the opportunity to acquire a copy. Here's one of the layout I did for my article in this issue. In this layout, I started using cuttings from Marvel's comic. I've got a bit of a thing for comics at the moment and have gone out and bought some off Ebay. The family is outraged at the blatant ripping up and cutting out of these collector items. What do you think ? Is it sacrilege ?

Have you been to Practical Publishing website recently ? I was delighted to see that you can now get digital edition of the magazine on subscription for a princely sum of £15 for 1 year ( 6 issues ). How cool is that ?