Sunday, 30 November 2008

>>> The Weekend! <<<

Ohhh this is the last day of November, before mayhem starts!

Woke up early this morning so that we could get to the town centre early to visit the German Fair and to get a space in the free parking areas! But seriously, I was warned that it would be extremely crowded at the German Fair and therefore, didn't want to be part of the crowd. We arrived there at 10am and the stalls were just beginning to open. We had a good walk around and got myself a packet of sweetened macadenia nuts and a plain pretzel to munch on. Didn't buy anything as I didn't find anything worth buying really.

My favourite store - sweetened nuts

Munching on plain pretzel

The boys

Then we took a walk around the Bull Ring but again, it was more window shopping as I didn't find anything worth buying. Managed to get some free DS stylus as they were having a promotion of the Imagine game.

On our way back to the car, true to what hubs said, the German Fair was packed out with people. So glad we weren't part of it as I hate crowds! The rest of the afternoon was spent crafting while the boys did their homework and watched TV after! TTFN!

Friday, 28 November 2008

>>> Random Thoughts! <<<

Read with sadness about the political situation in Thailand. That country is always plagued with awful politicians and the never ending coup d'etat and the peaceful protest of its citizens. This time it has severely affect the country with the closure of Bangkok airport. It's such a lovely place to visit and I hope they find a solution quickly.

Then there's the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. What on earth is the world coming to? It's disheartening to think in this modern day and age that people cannot live harmoniously with each other and feel the need to inflict harm and death to others! Worst, that one is still judge by the colour of one's skin. That's really bad!

On a brighter note, Oliver and Zac has moved up a rank in their martial arts class. Parents were invited to see them demonstrate their moves and then handed their certificates. So proud of them!

On the craft side, still patiently or rather impatiently waiting for my Fall Survival kit from Homegrown. I'm always the last to receive it. Received my Cuttlebug and have yet to play with it as I've been busy with other stuff. Thank goodness I'm free this weekend (read... no extra curricular activities for the boys) so might devote it to crafting. Now to see how to get the hubs and boys out of the house!

On the homeside, I managed to clear out 2 bagful of the boys' clothes. Their school was asking for it as part of fund raising and I had a dig around their wardrobe and got rid of clothes that were too small for Zac. That boy gets a lot of hand me down clothes from his brother and cousins and therefore has a wide selection of clothes to wear (which his mom would pick and chuck the not so nice ones away). He has so much trousers that they don't all fit into the drawer! Also, he's such a skinny little chap that majority of them literally fall off him. So I have keep them till he's able to wear them. I seriously need to sort out their room. They need a proper wardrobe and loads of storage space for their toys as well as a desk. I'll be planning that during Dec and will get the stuff once the sales start.

Rite, off to create... haven't done anything this week and itching to play with my new toys! TTFN!

Monday, 24 November 2008

>>> Brrrr! <<<

It was so darn cold today. I was literally freezing when I was out and about in the playground, despite being in layers. Sure as hell makes me wanna hibernate till Spring! Just checked my calendar and I got a motherload of activities coming up in December, all the way until school breaks up... violin concerts for the boys, school's Xmas Fayre, Xmas function (for hubs and moi) and DT stuff! I'll be wishing there will be more than 24 hrs in a day soon!

This fell into the shopping basket today. I've been deliberating for a while and decided today I needed it (doesn't help when I know there's cash coming in thanks to the forms that I signed on Sat!) Got as well as few embossing folders too as that is mainly what I want to use it for. Since my Sidekick broke, I had no access to my QK dies and hence, this Cuttlebug will fill the gap nicely! With this tool, I'm gonna invest in some nestabilities dies as well. I think they are great and will get some useful ones to play with!

Homewise, am so annoyed with Oliver. He misbehaved during camp and as a result, I've severely cut off his priviledges for this week. No DS or toys to play with , and loads and loads of homework (found this site where I could print out worksheets for him and have been churning out loads). Told him he will have not Xmas presents to open if he carries on with his bad behaviour! I'm so mad with him that I don't even feel like getting any Xmas pressies for him at all! Doesn't deserve any! Now Zac is different! Exact opposite of him and doesn't get into trouble at all and a model son! How on earth can 2 boys be so different especially coming from the same genes of both parents!!! Urghh! TTFN!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

>>> Christmas Wish Lists! <<<

All I want for Christmas is these:

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S
Nikon just came out with this new lens and it's not even on the market yet and I want it! It will autofocus with my D40 unlike the older versions and it's a marked improvement over the old ones too. Will be keeping an eye out for this lens as soon as it hits the market.

Nikon SB-600 Speedlight
I've decided to go for this model as it suits my need better. I know Nikon has brought out a newer model the SB-900 but after reading the review by Ken Rockwell, I'm sticking to the 600.

Apart from the above two, will be hunting down a nice big handbag to house my camera when I go out. I absolutely dislike the camera bags on the market. They are so awfully ugly! TTFN!

>>> Bonus! <<<

So woke up early albeit reluctantly this morning to drag my petite arse to the Blues ground to attend a Birmingham Council meeting regarding the equal pay structure. They offered us a fix amount depending on the time you have worked and if you were agreeable, you had to sign it and the money would be deposited into the account asap! Seeing that I only worked less than a year and am glad to be getting something, I signed it without any fuss. Frankly what I'm getting doesn't pay the mortgage and it's only an allowance (to spend on more stash) and seriously couldn't be bothered with all the legal wrangling!

So I entered this room to sign and did a double take! Sheesh, I was in this private box overlooking the Blues football ground. Man, it was awesome! After signing my form, whipped out my camera and proceeded to take photos of the Blues ground. I was so dead impressed! It's lovely. I've never been to any football stadium since living here (and I've been here for more than 10 yrs) so this was an eye-opener! Here are some of the shots. Typical scrapper mentality! LOL!

A close-up look on that!

Gosh, the grass is so green and so well kept!

Wondering how Oliver is getting on in camp! Hope he's enjoying himself. Weather was great today although a wee bit cold. I'm sure he was involved in loads of activities. Can't wait to find out from him tomorrow how he got on.

I'm still organising my stamps. Thankfully I'm down to 2 bagfuls, the altered stamps and the words! Yup, I've that many that I've actually categorised them. I'm so enjoying using them now that they are so accessible and easy to look for!

All my stamps were initally categorised into different baggies. This bag represents the word stamps.

The above stamps have been categorised as labels. The images were stamped on a sheet of paper, then laminated and the stamps stored behind the images.

The sorted stamps are then filed in an A5 folder. Why A5 'cos I've got space for them on my shelves. If I had chosen A4, I would have difficulty putting them on my shelves. Have to say that buying A5 clear pockets and folders are wayyy more expensive than A4!!! Ridiculous!

I'm off to enjoy Saturday nite TV programmes and sort my stamps further. I seriously need to sort my word stamps as I use them a lot! TTFN!

Friday, 21 November 2008

>>> Oh Gosh! It's Friday Again! <<<

Can you believe how the days are flying? It's Friday again and another whirlwind weekend for us!

First, here's Zac with his gingerbread man that he made in school. They are currently learning about it and I think it's great that his teachers get them to make and bake them. He sure did enjoy eating it but not before allowing me to capture it on film!

Have to say, it did taste good. I need to get the recipe as Zac wants to give it a go at home.

Tonite Oliver goes to camp! This will be his first time away from home alone. He's going with his Cubs members. His mom has been busy getting his gear ready and even added an extra blanket in case he gets cold (heard it's gonna be a wintery blast this weekend!) I hope he enjoys it as I certainly did enjoy my camping days during my teenage years!

Ollie's sleeping on the bottom bunk. Would have preferred he slept on top!

The boys together. As usual, can never get Zac to pose properly for me!

Popped into Tesco to do grocery shopping for next week. Managed to snag 2 Cath Kidston bags, her latest ones. I'm still after the Ottoman Rose one (the one with green background and red flowers). I'm a bag fanatic so nothing new here! Had a browse through the coats section but as usual, can't find anything my size! Pity as there was a 20% sale too. I'm after a coat but I really hate shopping unless it's online! Oh well, I'm sure I'll find one eventually. TTFN!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

>>> On Display! <<<

Went to crop at a friend's last nite and came up with this! Made use of Scarlet Lime's Oct project kit and Nov main kit. I'm trying to use up the kits as they contains loads of goodies but just lacking the time to play with them! Maybe less time surfing and more time creating would help!

Played with Tim Holtz' mask. When I saw them, I knew I had to get them (all the masks except the alpha ones). Luv the fact that they are transparent too. Easier to use!


Sunday, 16 November 2008

>>> Proud Moment! <<<

So the boys had to perform as a solo violinist today in a concert. Both of them did brillantly. Both said they were frightened and worried in case they made mistakes but I told them to just pretend it was a normal practice session. Well, they showed no fear and played brillantly. So proud of them!

The venue was held at George Cadbury Hall. I guess it's being use as a performing theatre hence the props behind. Anyway, it did serve a good backdrop.

This marks the beginning of one of the many concerts they will have to perform. Both of them will be playing in 3 concerts in December and one that is gonna be held in London in February next year! Cool! More photo opportunities! :) TTFN!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

>>> Party! <<<

Zac was ever so excited today. He couldn't wait to attend his girlfriend's birthday party. He kept asking me if it was time to go. Moi, on the other hand, was worried as I had not gotten any present yet. So after the boys' swimming lessons, we made our way to the Big Woolworth to hunt around. Can't say it was easy to find a present for a girl! I had spoken to her and did ask her what she like but I still couldn't find a suitable one. After walking about, peering around, I finally found something that was suitable, a creative kit that encourages story telling skills. It even found the Toy of the Year award in 2006 so I figured it will be useful. I also made her a little picture frame and added a packet of Go Gos (an addictive figurine that the kids collect in school)!

The party was held at a bowling alley. The kids had 10 games each. Zac enjoyed it and came out tops in his score. Then they had a meal at the cafe. I guess holding kids party at a bowling alley is kinda popular as there was another kid party being held as well.

Anyway, here's the frame that I made.

Had to blur the girl's photo as permission not sought and dun wanna get into trouble with any authorities. This country can be so weird with its child protection policies. Suffice to say, she's pretty!


Friday, 14 November 2008

>>> Friday's News! <<<

I'm so glad the week is over (well almost!). It has been a very hectic week for me and a busy one too, so busy that I can't even find the time to attend the craft fair at the NEC this weekend. It started on Thursday and ends Sunday but I can't even find a free day to go. One needs an entire day there to be honest. A real pity as the NEC is just 10 mins from where I live!!!

The day started with moi attending Zac's performance in his school Assembly. His class acted fairy tale characters and he was one of the 7 dwarfs. He looked so cute in his costumes. I always marvel at how the teacher and assistants manage to get them to perform so brillantly. Took loads of shots with my DSLR and it turned out brillantly. In the past, with a compact camera, the photos were rubbish as the lighting isn't so good during these performance. But I'm so pleased how it turned out.

My little dwarf! Such a cutie!

More photos to come once I've done some photoshopping! Stay tune! TTFN!

Monday, 10 November 2008

>>> On Display! <<<

Here's what I did using BackPorch Memories Nov Solo kit. Can't say those papers really rock my boat but I think I did some justice to them. Papers are from WRMK White Out Nonsense papers.

I'm surprised how I'm doing so many 12x12" LOs these days. Used to work with 8.5x11" size but I guess they became too small for me. LOL!

Ohh, this came in the post today! Been drooling over them when I saw how they were used and tried to buy it on US Ebay but majority wanted to charge a good US $10 more than retail price. Sorry, may be desperate but not stupid enough to pay inflated prices for them. So got US friend to get them for me and it came today. Now wish I had chosen to go to the States for study instead of Europe! I would have been in Scrappers' Paradise! :)

Colleagues at work updated me about the Single Status pay. It's just so complicating but it will switch from weekly pay to monthly now. Also I might get paid a wee bit more as I'm looking after a special needs child. (I'm in charge of feeding a special needs boy through a tube in his tummy and shadowing him on the playground to ensure he doesn't get hurt. He's a cute boy anyway and quite intelligent too). Anyway, as long as there's a wee bit of cash coming in to support my hobby, I'm not bothered which structure they (the Birmingham Council) is adopting.

Cooked a big pot of curry tonite. With the weather getting colder and colder, nothing beats eating spicy food. I used a curry paste that I bought from Singapore (and thankfully found that I can get it at Wing Yip, the chinese supermarket here... hooray!). Added chicken breast and drumsticks, potatoes, boiled eggs and chickpeas and viola, it was done.

Glad to say there's leftovers and curry usually taste better the 2nd day! Might have it with prata (pancake a la Indienne) tomorrow. Again, thank goodness I can get prata here albeit frozen. Gosh, wish there was a prata house here (those who have been to Singapore will know what I'm on about). I'm so missing my midnite snack!

Rite, off to do a bit of crafting... got a couple of projects that need to be done. TTFN!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

>>> Remembrance Sunday! <<<

As Olllie is in Cubs, he was asked to take part in the march to the church for Remembrance Sunday. So together with MIL, we attended the ceremony at the church. Thank the Lord for blessing us with a sunny weather albeit a chilly one. This enabled us to hold the Remembrance ceremony outside the church as they had a tiny corner dedicated for this occasion.

It was an extremely chilly morning.

After the church ceremony, we headed off to a chinese restaurant in the town centre for tim sum. Haven't had it for ages and it was good!

Duck Hor Fun. The boys' fav dish!
This dish isn't exactly on the menu but you can request for it.

With a full and satisfied tummy, we then made our way to Costco for a nosey. Lots of Xmassy stuff on sale and the boys even managed a photo with Pudsey the bear.

All we bought was a box of Oreos biscuits and a box of bottled water. The problem with Costco is the bulk purchase or the extremely huge portions of food. Luv their cakes but it would take us ages to consume it and food generally don't keep that long. Fine if you're hosting a party but daily consumption is just too much for us! Did see some lovely choccies though. Will bear that in mind when I'm doing the teachers' Xmas gifts.

Spend the evening doing laundry i.e folding clothes and ironing. I had accumulated 3 baskets full of clean clothes that needed folding (thankless task!) As for ironing, completed a pile of them too in between watching Ghostbusters II! Might spend the last few hours of the day crafting! TTFN!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

>>> History Has Been Made! <<<

Woke up this morning to find that Barack Obama has been elected as US President! Wow! That is one heck of a news! It will sure as hell bring changes and a new beginning to America. He will have to watch himself and his family very carefully from now onwards.... I'm sure security around him and his family will be more stringent. It will definitely be more interesting to see how he interact with the world as well. Who would have thought, by the words uttered by Martin Luther King , that this is exactly what has happened! Sheesh, the political scene has suddenly become very intriguing!

It's Bonfire Nite tonite and I think the credit crunch has taken its toll. Didn't hear much fireworks going. Then again, it's Wednesday so not many might be celebrating it during the mid-week. Let's see if Sat will be any better. Not sure I'm gonna go to any bonfire celebration. It's getting incredible cold these days! Yuks!

Had a call from Ollie's Headmistress. I saw the school name coming up on my mobile and feared the worst, thinking my boy has misbehaved in school. However, she was trying to urge me to apply for the Parent Governor's post. There is currently 3 vacanies ongoing and a call for them. I did apply the previous time when there was a call for 1 post but didn't get it. I'm surprised she made a personal call to ask me. It does make it very difficult to say no, seeing that one of my boys is studying there and the youngest will join him in 2 yrs time. Oh well, I guess I've to write my intro speech. The Headmistress even wanted to use previous application to save me the trouble. I quickly declined. I much rather write another speech. Makes me wonder if they are worried they won't get any application..... mmm! Being a committee member of the PTA in the Infant school, I know that it's not easy to get parents to participate so at this higher level, they might be seriously short of people. Let's see what happens.

On the crafting front, been busy with BackPorch Memories Nov Solo kit. It came on Monday (slightly delayed) and I'm working on them before the 10th deadline. I would have prefered the Medley kit as the papers really rock my boat but that's the challenge!

Anyway, here are some other work that I've done ...

Card created using Scarlet Lim Oct main kit. Stamps from Label Tulip, Prima and Purple Onion Designs.

Card was created for last year's Xmas. Kept it as a spare.
The above cards were used for a challenge on BackPorch Memories forum whereby one had to use non-traditional images for making Xmas cards.

Been neglecting my A-Z BOM album so here's the letter N which I'm chosen to signify name. I had a hard time coming up with a suitable word and one day, it drawn on me to use my name and find out the meaning of it!

Another page of the above album. The letter 'O' was easy. Being a nite owl, I just had to record that. Played with transfer liquid and tranferred an image of moi on paper. Luv the effect of it.

Rite, off to re-organise my stamps. It's coming along very nicely and I had to get more folders, clear pockets and laminated sheets. I still have another half a dozen bags to go through, despite working as fast as I could. However, I'm liking the aftermath of it... it's so easy to use my stamps now. Why didn't I do it earlier??? TTFN!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

>>> On Cloud Nine! <<<

Happiness is........knowing that you will be seeing a good friend soon! :)

Just heard from my best friend in China that she's coming over to the UK during the Xmas period. I'll be seeing her on Boxing Day. Sheesh, am I so excited.!We had nothing planned for Xmas and I was thinking how dull it was gonna be but no more! OMG, that's only next month! I think the countdown begins! This is for you CB, every cloud has a silver lining! I'm sure you know what I mean! :)

On the political front, I'm keeping a close eye on the American Presidental Elections. It will be so exciting to see who eventually steps into the White House. During my Uni days, I had to learn all the name of the American Presidents and the year they took power as part of my course. That also included the British Prime Ministers as well. You can imagine... my nites were spent memorising these people!!! Yes I do have great interest in politics. Unfortunately not many I know share that interest so chatting about it is hard! I was sent an email earlier today about being able to register as an overseas voter. Need to get that done as in my adult life, I've never voted before!!! I feel so cheated that I've never ever got the chance to put an X against the name of a candidate! Sad isn't it but true. Anyway, my constituency in Singapore is always a walkover! No opposition is strong enough to withstand the group candidatures especially when one of them happens to be the current Prime Minister!!! Now I need to check and see if I can vote in the UK, after having lived here for so long. Not a Brit citizen but by virtue of my country being part of the Commonwealth, I might just be able to! I look forward to the day when I can walk into the voting centre and put an 'X' against someone's name!

School starts today for the boys and so do I. Back to work again. I'm lucky that I only work during term time. I had to attend a meeting yesterday about some re-structuring to the pay system. Gosh it was just so complicating. Just as long as it doesn't result in a pay cut, I'm not bothered how they do it!

Well, my eyes will be glued to the TV today but not before watch CSI Miami! LUV the CSI dramas, all 3 of them. TTFN!

Monday, 3 November 2008

>>> On Display! <<<

I was asked to be guest designer for Scrapping Clearly, an Australian acrylic album manufacturer, a while back. Got my acrylic album while I was in Singapore and upon my return, proceeded to play with it. Well, the newsletter is out and here's what I did:

The front cover of the album. Made use of photos taken during our fishing trip in Tanjong Pinang, Indonesia.

I inked all the acrylic pages with alcohol ink and then embellished them with rubons (loads of them) and other bits. I didn't use a single piece of patterned paper. Made use of Prima transparent tapes too ('hug' those). Quite pleased how it turned out and I must have reduced the amount of rub ons that I possessed (feels good to use them up)!