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Monday, 16 July 2012

Day 11 - A Nosey in My Craft Room

Today's prompt was too write about and post photos of your craft room! It isnt very long since I  did a post on this very subject! So please feel free to click on the link below and see my recent craft room reorganisation - and lots of pictures of my tiny scrapping space and lovely stash!!!!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Day 10 - What makes me smile?

Well being a third of the way through this blogging challenge is one thing :) :)

Time with my DH and my family make me smile. Meeting up with friends makes me smile too!

I love spending time crafting and enjoy browsing craft blogs and websites, I can loose whole days doing this!

I smiled seeing my blog views increase - especially on the day I did my Bank Holiday post - so thanks to all who stopped by for that - keep coming back, because having lots of visitors here - well naturally that makes me smile too!! Have a great Saturday!

Day 9 A favourite Quote

The prompt for day 9 is to share your favourite quote and say why! I think my favourite quote is 'Whether you believe you can, or you believe you cant - you'll be right' I try and be positive and am convinced that positive affirmation and belief can conquer many an obstacle!

I believe in giving everything I do 100% and accept that sometimes failure is a setback on the way to success or an achievement - do I fail often? - no, do I fail ever? Yes of course I do - if I didnt I wouldnt be setting myself challenging enough goals! Am I positive - yes I am - and I have learnt through experience that nothing works like hard work - when it comes to meeting or exceeding the challenges and opportunities that life throws my way!!!!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Day 8 - What book are you reading?

Thats the question of the day! Well I think at the moment Im the only person I know NOT reading 50 shades of grey! Ive been reading my Mandarin  text book trying to practice and remember my vocabulary - not easy at all and probably doesnt really count!! Its all Chinese to me!!!!

The book Im currently reading - for pleasure is a book about the 60's - the decade I was born in, Ive got this idea to scrap my early years and include some of the major world events that were happening as I was in my formative years! I vaugely recall Kennedy being assassinated, the Beatles, the Summer of Love - although I was very very young at the time, I remember peace protests and really believed that everybody in San Fransisco did wear flowers in their hair! I remember the Torrey Canyon spilling oil around our coastline, a little of the Vietnam War but more than anything I remember sitting in school and watching the live moon landings on TV on 20 July 1969! What a fabulous time it was to be around!!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 7 - Bank Holidays

Todays original prompt was on a UK Bank Holiday - and I wondered about whether or not to use this  - as its not a Bank Holiday in either the UK or Singapore today! When I checked the Earth Calendar which looks at days when cultural events are observed (not necessarily when businesses are closed), this is what I found! Its here if you get the urge to check yourself

Aniversario Puerto Maldonado Peru
Battle of Boyne/Orangemen`s Day United Kingdom
Battle of the Boyne Day Ireland
Independence Day Kiribati
Sao Tome & Principe
Micronesian Day Micronesia
Orangemen's Day Canada
Petrovdan (Orthodox) Bosnia-Herzegovina
Petrovdan Serbia

However when I thought about it it made perfect sense to talk about Bank Holidays when it isnt a Bank Holiday - if you know what I mean! As a child Bank Holidays were days when everybody was off work, the shops were all closed and it rained! If it didnt rain, everybody went to the beach because everywhere else was totally closed.

After sitting in traffic for four times longer than a normal trip would take, you would pay an arm and a leg to park on a farmers field full of fresh cowpats, this gave the farmer a reason to smile, as he watched us townies tiptoeing through the cowpats carrying windbreaks, kettles, deckchairs and a weeks worth of clothes, walking at least four miles to the beach, for the afternoon because you couldnt get parked anywhere closer! If you did happen to stand on a concealed cowpat, you would only be able to find an old tissue the size of a postage stamp between you and everybody who was with you, when what you really needed was something the size of a large bathsheet, to wipe the unmentionable stuff off your new white summer sandals,  your mother would be hurrying you up through your tears and shame saying, you'll be fine, you'll be able to wash it off your feet in the sea - Yuck!

When you got to the beach it was full and you would struggle to get a 'pitch' big enough for the whole family. Usually, the beach was full of people trying to get a Cote d'Azure tan in one afternoon in Bridlington - to do it lots of people stopped millimetres short of laying on tinfoil, basted with a layer of olive oil, cooking oil or if they were really posh 'Ambre Soleil' trying to accelerate the burning process, and catch as many of those golden rays as possible - and they did this even if it was freezing - as long as the sun was actually out, it wasnt raining and the wind wasnt blowing the kettles, deckchairs  and probably even their children out to sea.

Childrens entertainment consisted of building sandcastles, burying siblings and paddling in The North Sea, which is FREEZING ALL YEAR ROUND, even the waters around the English Riviera (Torquay) are only fractionally warmer! Ive paddled in both! If you didnt drown, get stung by a jellyfish or die of hypothermia, you could look forward to a dry down with a sandy towel, before exfoliation was fashionable or necessary. This was followed by sandwiches with real sand in them!

The sign of a good Bank Holiday was the peeling skin that followed, and a night in the loo following that dodgy kebab from the seafront burger van! Oh yes we knew how to have a good time!  I remember beaches looking like this, when the first rays of sunshine broke through the clouds on a bank holiday (photo courtesy of the BBC)

As I got older,  I was living at the seaside myself - Bank Holidays were an opportunity to make some serious money! Working on a market stall, working in a fish shop, or waitressing I earned double money on a Bank Holiday so even then, Bank Holidays were not 'holidays' for me! If it rained people decided if they couldnt get on the beach, they might as well have a nice meal and the posh ones might even have a bottle of Blue Nun or Mateus Rose to go with it!

This was as we were coming to the end of the British Seaside's heyday, the famous 'factory fortnight' when whole organisations shut down and EVERYBODY went to by train to the coast, was becoming a thing of the past! People were travelling on package holidays, often to stay in unfinished hotels in exotic places like Lloret de Mar, Benidorm and Salou on the Spanish Costas - to lay in guaranteed sunshine, and get seriously brown (or burnt), drink cheap Sangria, eat English food, bring back their duty free and a bad dose of diarrhoea! They would blame this on foreign food (English food cooked abroad and served by Miguel the Spanish waiter their 16 year old daughter had fallen in love with)  not on overexposure to the sun and a fortnight trying to consume the European Wine Lake!

After school when I started work proper - I worked in the emergency services - and bank holidays didnt exist there either - the holiday entitlement was added to your leave, and if you worked, you got paid double time, if you worked overtime on a bank holiday - you got double overtime rate! This meant you could afford to go on holiday when it wasnt a Bank Holiday, when you can get the best deals, in the best places when the rest of the country is at work - now that really is my kind of holiday!

These days Bank Holidays are on different days in the two countries I call home which is confusing as we come home for some of the English Bank Holidays, which are not Bank Holidays in Singapore - These are the Singaporean ones

2012 Singapore public holidays calendar
New Year’s Day 2012                     Sunday*, 1 January
Chinese New Year 2012                 Monday, 23 January Tuesday, 24 January
Good Friday 2012                           Friday, 6 April
Labour Day 2012                            Tuesday, 1 May
Buddhist Vesak Day 2012              Saturday*, 5 May
Singapore National Day 2012        Thursday, 9 August
Hari Raya Puasa 2012                    Sunday*, 19 August
Hari Raya Haji 2012                       Friday, 26 October
Deepavali 2012                               Tuesday, 13 November
Christmas Day 2012                        Tuesday, 25 December

and here are the English ones!
England and Wales 2012     
New Year's Day             2 January*
Good Friday            6 April
Easter Monday            9 April
Early May Bank Holiday            7 May
Spring Bank Holiday            4 June*
Queen's Diamond Jubilee            5 June
Summer Bank Holiday            27 August
Christmas Day            25 December
Boxing Day            26 December

So for me I guess today is as good a day as any for it to be a Bank Holiday - except Im in the UK and the sun is shining - so I might just keep quiet about it! Oh and if you fancy a trip somewhere different - you could always try Micronesia - It looks lovely, but it will probably be all closed up today - I guess you could always go to the beach!!!! 

Day 6 Favourite Photos

Today's prompt was to post about your favourite photo. This set of photos are from a fabulous day out with my photographer son, having a photo lesson learning about aperture, ISO, shutter speed and long exposure. It was the first time I used anything other than the 'Auto' settings on my camera! For that reason Im pleased with them because its the first time I had any idea at all about what control those settings give me!

Like just about everybody I know, I bought a fancy DSLR camera, set it on auto, and then took photos I wasnt that happy with! The light wasnt right, or the focus wasnt right, or the subject was too small or in the wrong place and out of focus.....   I still have a long way to go, but I'm starting to feel happier with my camera and my photos! Of course having better photos to scrap, makes me more inclined to scap my photos too! I did this LO for LOAD 512 - the theme was to scrap something from the point of view of an inanimate object - it seemed a perfect prompt to scrapbook Lichfield Cathedral, which at over 1300 years old, is one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Britain! What facinating stories these old walls could tell - if only they could talk! Unfortunately the photo of the LO is nowhere near as good as the images themselves, but Im hoping you get the general idea from it nontheless!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Day 5 Favourite Song!

Gosh had to think about this one - but whilst I was browsing around for a bit of inspiration I stumbled across this blog and if you are looking for beautiful vintage images that you can download and use on your personal scrapbooking projects - well look no further!

After much deliberation, I ended up with the Title Holiday - from the Madonna song - and a tag with It Must Be Love - Madness Song on my LO - so managed to meet the challenge again today!

Im doing a challenge at the crop I go to, and we are doing the 4 x 6 photolove LO's - I wont post the one I did for Liz's LO - in case she happens to pop by here, or the one I did for Donna's for the same reason, but here is the LO I did for the day 5 challenge and Im quite pleased with it. If you fancy having a go at this one - which I got 9 photos on (although it is August and therefore an 8 photo LO)  you can find it here! Its a great one for when you have tons of photos to scrap - I cant believe how much my Vietnam pile has gone down after doing this LO! I shall certainly use this one again!!!

This LO was all about food - Don't go to Vietnam if you are on a diet - the food is amazing - kind of Asian / French fusion food - OMG it is absolutely deeelish!!! The bread is like proper french bread - the best you can imagine, and I have a particular weakness for french bread - and for me - normally Vietnam is a lot closer than France these days!!!! Thanks for stopping by - come back soon!!!!

Ive also been making more cards - Ive been quite prolific just lately!!! Anyway they are just very basic cards as I was running very low of them and there was a real danger that I might have had to buy some as I have a number of family birthdays coming up soon - you all know who you are!!!!

As they say for today - That's all folks!! Back tomorrow! Hope you have a great day!!!!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Day 4 - My Style of Craft

OK I missed a day - I was at my favourite crop with my favourite crafters yesterday - I love my virtual friends - who are 'with' me most of the time, but I do enjoy social scrapping and catching up with friends I see much less often in real life than I would like to! I can look at their work, check out their stash and always feel better for meeting up with them so, to Jo, Jennie, Dawn, Ann, Rachel, Joyce, Amanda, Our Jean, Our Carol, Donna, Maxine, Liz, Wendy Chris and the rest of the girls - thank you for a brilliant day - you really are the very best, and to the absent friends including Alison, Alison (two more of us!), Donna, Mandie and Sonia I hope to see you soonest!

Today Im thinking about my crafting 'style' - I make a few cards but my passion is scrapbooking (and collecting beautiful stash), when I actually get round to creating, I dont like my pages too fussy - I love it when other people do the ecclectic heavily layered look - but when I do it, it just looks like I had a glue spill on my desk and a large amount of stash got trapped in it! I cant do those arty clusters that look random without it looking like a 'gappy smile', and Im really scared by white space - although I love it in other people's work.

I do try to scrap outside my comfort zone - in fact this year I have dragged myself outside my comfort zone kicking and screaming at times to revert to my tried and tested rule of three, love of diagonally placed embellishments and hand written journalling  - often tucked away on a tag because although I have learned to live with it but still dont love it!

Joining the docrafts and Scrap Happy communities,True Scraps 2 and 3, LOAD 512, and a whole host of scrapbooking challenges has tested my nerve and made me make some inroads into my substantial stash mountain, to be honest I have created more than ever and had a lot of fun - although I'll not be running out of stash anytime soon!

Ive discovered my inner scrapgoddess can use, stretch and alter sketches, is my go to place when I need some colour inspiration and the galleries and blogs of some of my favourite crafters cure my sometimes frequent cases of scrappers block!, ,  are blogs I often enjoy browsing along with a gazillion others that are on the favourites bar of my recently replaced laptop - that I now realise I need to find a way to transfer to my 'new and shiny' laptop that I only had last week!

For more inspiration I try, the galleries of docrafts, scrap happy and ukscrappers! For the vintage look I often go for images from or I also find that sometimes Flickr is my friend too! If I need a digital stamp I always visit for SJ's fab creations!

I love my die cutting machines, most of my layouts contain welded words on die cut mats. I do get irritated with letter stickers, because I run out of vowels and when I mix and match them it doesnt look stylish like other people's work does - to me - it looks like I ran out of vowels! Other people pull it off and it looks planned and perfect - I dont know how they do it, but I know that I cant - or at least havent mastered it - YET!

I also do a lot of die cut shapes and swirls - I love 'em! I also have a bit of a thing about crystals and  Chinese Beads - and I always journal and always try to write the story behind the picture more than simply describing what's in the picture - Unlike a lot of people journalling isnt a trial to me now, and I have grown to love the storytelling aspect of scrapbooking.  I used to type all of my journalling and adjust the font size and justify the text to fill the text box perfectlly - but I forced myself to write in my own hand and its less perfect (and that's why its often hidden on a tag or in a pocket)! Now Ive got over my quest for perfection, Im cool with my handwriting - my life isnt perfect either but Im telling my story as it happens - so if I loose my marbles later in life and I forget who I was and what I did I'll be able to read about what  a fab time Ive been having - and know I lived life to the full - If I can remember where all the tags and pockets are hidden!

I'm making friends with my camera and learning to take better photos, though I say it myself, Im enjoying some improvement in this area too - Id like to do fab LO's with fab photos - its a journey Im still on - but enjoying and telling the story of the journey is what my scrapbooking is all about!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Day 3 - Upcycle cards from my scrap box!!!!

For Day 3 of the docrafts 31 days of blogging you had to use a template from the docrafts membership site, to make these cards - I only used scaps from my craft box so these were both made from things I might otherwise have thrown out!!! Upcycling is definiately cool in my book!

If I need inspiration to make cards - looking at the price of bought ones is all I need - the fact that these were made from bits I might have thrown out (if I wasnt so mean and determined to eeek out every last bit of creation out of my stash)!!!! Aint that the truth?

This quick easy Birthday card was made from my Scrapbox - in about 30 mins (quick for me), using the dress Iris Template from the dowload section of the members section of the docrafts site! How fab is that!
Much matting and Layering on this 8 x 8 card! - some glitter strips around the largest square with pearls added to the corners. Two rectangular mats on the red square! PP mounted on silvery cardstock. The dress is the centre of the iris template. I covered this with PP, and added a triangle shaped panel down the front. I used the x cut flower doily punch to make a lacy petticoat, top of the bodice and down the sides of the triangle (from the PP) I added some silver glitter strip too, just to 'bling it up' a bit - I used some foam pads for dimension when putting the dress together! A few pearls at the waist finished it very nicely! I die cut an octagon adding a birthday sentiment, added a ribbon, a Prima flower with a brad in the centre and inked all the edges with Distress Stain Vintage Photo - I am really pleased with it!

A very stylish and easy card that looks a lot more difficult than it is! Created from the back, I mounted it on some dark brown cardstock,and added some rafia string through the button! I used a glittered piece of spare cardstock (also mounted on dark brown cardstock) a bit of ribbon on the front and mounted on a 5 x 7 card blank - how easy was that? I have left room, but havent added a sentiment - as Im not sure what occasion I want to use it for yet, and its always good to have a stock of cards that can quickly be tailored - when time is short and an emergency card is needed!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Day 2 - 5 Do Craft Member Galleries I Love and Why

I could have spent 31 days browsing through the gallery ..... such lovely work!!!! So here they are in no particular order and for those who might not belong docrafts I have listed blogs too so you can see how lovely their work is!!!! Just in case you need a bit of inspiration!!! I am more of a scrapbooker than a card maker really -  but am in a challenge at Scrap Happy to do 20 cards and 20 LO's in July and felt really inspired by the work of these very talented ladies!!! If you need inspiration too - look no further!!!!

1 Twinkletoes - who makes lovely cards - The thing I loved about Shree's blog is that she lists where her supplies have come from - and I now have serious (really really serious) stamp envy - and even more dangerous - I know who makes them and what they are called - ouch could be expensive ........... you can find her lovely work at - but be careful - Im sure that stamp envy is highly contagious - and it could affect you ................. just saying............

2 QueenB also makes lovely cards! I love her work - what stands out about her, is that she makes fabulous cards that are suitable for men - something I always struggle with! So now I've found her Im sure I will be visiting her gallery regularly for inspiration and ideas. She also makes beautiful female cards too - how talented is she? She doesnt appear to have a blog at the moment - but if she did - I guarantee it would be filled with fabulous things!!!!

3 Doralin makes the most amazing dimensional cards - she uses tons of flowers, her images are beautifully coloured and her design skills are amazing! Even better she too tells you what supplies she has used to make her amazing creations on her lovely blog at - make sure you check out her white on white card some way down there! You know I can see my basket filling up with more dies, embossing folders and punches - To ensure they dont charge me excess luggage when I go back home - Im starting to think about what I can leave behind!!!

4 Coventry Ann - who like myself, is also a member of UK Scrappers - Like me again, although she makes cards I think of her more as a scrapbooker - she uses lovely stash - which I found myself coveting- but unlike me uses it to make beautiful LO's - I suspect I tend to buy stash and arrange it and stroke it more than she does - using it hmmmmm new concept for me <s>!  Her work is truly inspiring - and Im planning on popping back to her gallery and blog later probably for a little scraplifting!!!! If you need inspiration to clear a dose of scrappers block - look no further - you can find her at

5 And finally Janlyn who again makes the most beautiful cards too - lots of flowers and dainty pretty designs - definately another one to visit - her cards often feature ribbons, flowers and beautiful stamping - Im hooked! You can see her beautiful work at

What a talented bunch they are - OK now Ive lost half a day looking at beautiful things - I guess I reallly ought to think about my ironing................................................ Ive thought about it - and somehow I cant feel very enthusiastic about it - please tell me Im not alone!!!

Blog Post Challenge Day 1

Actually - this challenge is from the Docrafts Creativity Club - which I have just joined. The live challenge tool place in May, and I wasnt a member then and it ran for 31 days, so Ive decided better late than never!  Im starting today and going to try and post every day for the 31 days! Wish me luck!!!! OK I guess you know me better than that - I'll just keep it real and go a prompt at a time until I have done the 31 - it might take me until Christmas - and maybe not this Christmas - but Im hoping to have 31 more posts at the end of it

OK - lets get to Prompt 1 which is ........... Loud drumroll...........

 5 reasons Why You Should Craft

1         Its fun and is something you can do at any age, in good or poor health with
           friends or alone!

2        You dont need good weather and can do it anytime of the day, and at any
          time of the year (even during an English Summer - or lack thereof) Im in the
          UK at the moment and trust me, even people who live here all the time are
          thinking Summer was the three fine days they had in March this year! More
          rain forecast tomorrow!

3       Most people appreciate the effort that goes into something hand crafted
         especially for them!

4       Its a great way to make friends - Ive never met a crafter who isnt keen to
         share their skills and knowledge and who wasnt a really lovely person - really!

5      These days Im mainly a scrapbooker - I love to record our life as a family for
        future generations and for us!

So thats one done and just 30 left to go!!!!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

A New Laptop

I wonder if its just me, I have been putting off buying a new laptop for a very long time - you know the feeling? I want the new 'go faster' version, but I detest the swapping files over - setting it up, finding the drivers for the printer, the scanner and everything else I put in a safe place and can never find again!

Once I have made the decision to buy one then its the which one, a month or three of reading the reviews (written by people who are much more into computers than me) Gaming - erm no thanks - real life is more fun!

Then its about where I can get the best deal - so another month or two checking that out - and eventually the day comes when the new PC comes home - that was today!

So here it is - all shiny and new - sitting beside the old one - the one I have had for about 8 years - and Im feeling a bit guilty to be honest - now my old faithful computer has been replaced! I promise myself that this computer is going to have the most perfectly organised files and folders - no really it will - I'll be able to find everything easily - first time - every time. The old one is sitting there, looking at me and I can hear it saying - yeah right - just like you did with me!  I feel like I have abandoned an old friend!

My old computer has travelled the world with me - it has more airmiles than most people I know, I organised our wedding on it, I moved house four times with it, and will miss the noise of its failing fan and inconvenience of its exhausted battery. I guess if Im being sentimental (I sometimes am), its more retired than replaced -  meanwhile - Im looking forwards to the adventures Im going to have with 'new and shiny' that 'old faithful' simply didnt have the stamina for!