Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Piaceri Proibiti

Another page for the Italian CJ group. This one is about things we like but cannot always indulge in. Of course I thought of food! And high quality champagne, caviar, oysters, sashimi, sake, white truffles and red wine are things I love but have to restrict myself for obvious reasons ... LOL!

I could not find any stamps or photographs for what I wanted to show so I ended up drawing them. And I am not entirely displeased with the results. I actually dug out a punch (those are collecting dust) and punched some designs.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

3 Easter layouts

We did our usual thing for Easter - lunch at the club with friends. We were 11 of us but for some reason this time we did not take a group photo. I love the food at Eau. The spread is awesome, as always. The three layouts are for 3 different albums.

Green Double page layout: Printed papers are from the Paper Salon. I am really enjoying working with this line called Palazzo. The prints are classy and very versatile. This is what I hope the first of many pages that I must complete. The photos have been piling up a lot lately.
Blue Single page layout: Papers & Coasters are from Imagination Project. Sutton Place line.
Pink Single page layout: Tickled Pink by Sassafrass Lass. I still do not like these papers but since I have to use them up and they seemed appropriate for easter for DD's album, I tried my best. Wish I could find a etter font for the title but this was all I had in my stash. Scanning this page was a nightmare because of all the lumpy stuff.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Creative Imaginations paper. Not sure who makes the transparent buttons or the transparent photo holder. Sakura souffle pens for the doodles. And letters are CK Newsprint from QK.

For the journaling, read here.

Two Birthday Boys

All papers and green alpha stickers are from Club Scrap 'Bugs' kit. The large alpha for 'BOYS' are stickers from Doodlebug Design Inc; brown tag stickers from Rebecca Sower Nostalgiques; "2" is Heidi Swapp chipboard. I also used Hero Arts alpha stamps and the Club Scrap bug stamp. S.e.i. rhinestone brads used to affix the smaller tags.

Celebrating the birthday for these two is always difficult. It is on the 6th of January. And everyone is still on holiday then. After a few days school starts and everything is so hectic that there is simply no time to organise a party. By the time February comes around I always feel it is too late! I think it is also Ricky's 'couldn't care less' attitude about parties which made me not worry too much about throwing them. But next year we shall have to host a party come what may because Ricky has finally requested one.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Such a good brother!

And here is a layout from my daughter's birthday party but for my son's album. Papers and round coasters are from Imagination Project. White rub-on letters and buckle from Making Memories. And the 'Remember' sticker is 'Shotz by Danelle Johnson'.

I decided to put this photograph of my DD's birthday in Ricky's album because he really was very well behaved that evening. He stayed out of the way of all the girls and came to join the party only when it was time to cut the birthday cake. To keep the focus on him, I used Picasa to keep Ricky in colour and turned everything else into B&W.

Friday, June 23, 2006

It has been months!

It has been months since I last worked on a page. Life has suddenly gotten a bit too hectic for me to handle - Supermum I am not! I am sorely missing this hobby. And it was a nice break last weekend when I managed to finish two pages for two Italian circle journals. I am pleased with the blue page, not as much with the pink one. Somehow it did not turn out the way I saw it in my head. And I do not think I am liking this line of paper very much. I got the birds paper upside down. The flowers are beginning to irritate me. And I think I do not like pink very much. Not the singer (I love the Stupid Girls song!!), neither the blog (Trent is way cool!) - just this shade of the colour!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Drum Jam!!

One layout done with Club Scrap Fiesta kit, the other with Sassafrass Lass 'Tickled Pink'. Bazzil chipboard flower, Art Warehouse sticker and Making Memories velvet Alpha stickers.

It is three months that Ricky has been learning to play the African Drum. He has picked up so fast! At the performance the children had the cutest little African vests which set the mood for the three Nigerian songs they played. The children have been practicing so hard these last few weeks and they were all so excited about this first ever public performance. It is an amazing boost to their self confidence!

After Ricky's performance we all sat in a huge circle and with Kumi leading us, had an awesome drumming session! There were at least 200 people, each with a percussion instrument of some sort. And none of us were professional musicians. Just regular people who like drumming. It was fun, educational and we made great music.
The waterfront of Tsim Sha Tsui is a beautiful place. We went for a walk down the promenade and had to get some photographs with the Hong Kong skyline as a backdrop. It was a pleasantly different way to spend an afternoon.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Layout for Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month. And here is my layout about Autism. I had been saving this little essay for some time now. When people ask what it is like to have a child with a disability I show them this wonderful passage. I knew I wanted to do a layout with it because it puts into words what I have always felt in my heart but am unable to express.

Journaling: When you are going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation the day finally arrives. You pack your bags, and off you go. Several hours later the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say, “What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” But there has been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland, and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around… and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills…and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes that is where I was supposed to go. That’s what I planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever go away…because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss. But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the special, the very lovely things…about Holland.

Source: Emily Perie Kingsley
From a Reprint in “Family Resource Committee” Newsletter

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Just playing around with my camera!! Don't you just love the expressions on the faces of the girls?! This is the beauty of the digital camera. You get to see the results immediately! The main photo of DD was what started the whole thing. I was trying to take photographs without a flash so I had set the exposure and f stops & all those things. And as I was taking this photo, DD decided that she'd had enough and jumped up and away. And all I was left with was this ghostly image of her on the sofa. Which gave me the idea for a photo shoot:

I asked the other girls to stand very still with scared expressions - like they had seen a ghost. And DD was moving around. I think girls 2 & 4 have a promising future in drama if they do take it up!

Scenic Route papers & monogram sticker. Don't know who makes the letter brads.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The GAP ad

Again Basic Grey 'Color Me Silly' line. Heidi Swapp chipboard flowers, epoxy sticker, CK Newsprint QK font. All layouts from DD's birthday.

Journaling: The GAP ad is now very popular and so the girls had to do their version!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Legally Teen!

Scenic Route papers & stickers and Scrapworks alpha rub-ons. Could not find a nice big orange flower so a small yellow one will have to do!

Journaling: This year’s party was one that all the girls were looking forward to. An Aesthetician and a Make-Up artist came to the house. First there was a hands-on course on how to take care of the skin. Cleansing, toning, and all the other important things young girls need to know to keep their skins clean and healthy was demonstrated and the girls got to work on themselves. They had individual consultations on their skin types and which products to use. Then the Make-Up artist did half the face of each girl and helped them do the other half. Everyone loved the whole session, which lasted a full three hours. The goodie bags that they took home contained a full set of cleansing products, a lip gloss and a cool eyeshadow set. From the 'Thank Yous' I received, I think everyone had a ball!

A Passion for Riding!

This layout is done using Club Scrap paper. I have been saving it for a while till I could get a decent photo of DD riding. These photos are not so good, but I decided to do the layout anyway while I practise some more my skills for taking action photos. I also need to invest in a new lens so I think it will be a while before I get really good shots. She wanted the layout now! Heidi Swapp chipboard letters, which I painted brown & interference copper. Making Memories definitions.

Journaling by the rider: I love horses! I love to ride and jump and just be with them. I feel free. I feel one with the horse. I feel like am flying and the world just stops and I am alone in the world; just me and my horse. I can feel its heart beating with mine. When I am on a horse I think of nothing else but riding - everything else just melts away…

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Whose Angels?

Love the new BG papers - the colours reflect teenage girls perfectly! And this is the first time I decided to hand stitch some thing on the layout - the flower around the yellow chipboard. This will be the last time I hand stitch on any layout. I shall stick to the machine and I have ordered some Hero Arts stitched stamps. They'll have to do! DD & her 13 year old girlfriends acting their age, I guess!!

a Monochromatic Layout challenge

I am so enjoying these challenges! This one is from Scrapologie and I was challenged to do a monochromatic layout in 8½ X 11. Layout design inspired by a layout in the April CK. Papers are from my stash of 3 or 4 years ago. Design Originals, I think.

Journaling: A play about Christopher Columbus, supported by lots of shadow puppetry, was the culmination of a whole month of 'Expressive Arts'. You made a puppet ship, were a great puppeteer, acted very well on stage and said your lines so clearly! Papa and I were thrilled and so proud of your achievement.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Macau - An Architectural Experience

Layout with the very nice new Crate papers. And some pretty alpha rub-ons from K&Co.

Journaling: Chinese New Year 2006 – We found ourselves in Hong Kong, with nothing planned. And the PB family was going to stay in town too. We realized that neither Lily nor Catherine had ever been to Macau. So we decided to visit this Portuguese enclave, which like Hong Kong, has now reverted back to China. Macau used to be very European but in the few years from the handover it has reverted back to its Chinese-ness with amazing speed! We did find a few of the original old buildings when we went walking the back streets. And of course, the main Government building is still there. Everything else has been torn down and replaced with ultra modern structures. The walk up and around the old fort was very nice, as was walking around the streets with strange shops, looking for that bottle of Old Tawny Port, which Joe insisted on buying. Food is always good and we had a nice dinner at the Pousada de Santiago, which is another old fort, built into a mountain. An interesting walk around Stanley Ho’s amusement park which has miniatures of many famous World Heritage sites like the Eiffel Tower, Coliseum and Pyramids of Giza, ended our day trip.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Birthday Layout

Scraplift challenge again. From 2 Peas and I decided to use a layout by Nisa Fiin as my inspiration. Printed paper is from Chatterbox. Stickers are Rebecca Sower. Numbers stamp is from Club Scrap. Sentiment is from Hero Arts.

Joe & Ricky share the same birthday so I always end up doing simlar layouts. This one is for Joe's album, which is why the '42' is more prominent than the '10'

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Another New Year's layout

So now that hand journaling and doodling is all the rage, here is my hand journaled and 'doodled' layout! This layout is for DD's album. She dictated the journaling but refused to write it. I tried telling her how it would be nicer for her to actually write it but it's no use discussing this with a thirteen year old.

Papers are leftovers scraps from BG Skate Shoppe. I doodled on some velvet paper, then cut that out and stuck it onto the layout. The smaller flowers are punchies. I also used punched hearts to make the petals of the larger flower. I cut off the base of the heart. Both the monogram letters are matted.

Journaling reads: Margherita & Filippo joined us again this year for our New Year's Eve party at Centenaro. We had fantastic food. The cooking was all done by Mamma, Kali & Rashi. And we also had petardi and sparklers. I even got to sip a little champagne! I had so much fun!!

Beginnings 2006

This is also a scraplift from the same challenge from the pub. I chose this layout because it has been years since I cropped my photos into circles. I wanted to see what it felt like. So I dusted off my CM circle cutter and got to work! Let us say that it was a nice change but I am not going off on the circle tangent again. Papers are from an Italian paper manufacturer Hobby di Carta.
l Journaling is basically me griping about having to throw these parties for 20 people every year and not wanting to do it again! It remains to be seen who wins out this coming New Year's Eve. If I do I'll be at the Country Club with friends, attending the best New Year's Eve party in this town!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

What is in a name?

I did this layout for a challenge on 2Peas. It was fun because I finally had an idea for the next page to add in 'The Book of Me' album. I always keep putting off working on that one. And I scraplifted Gwyn Calvetti (thread on the Pub) so that was two challenges with one layout. The name is from Hindu mythology and has a very romantic story associated with it. I have always liked my name but doubt if I would go that far for any man ... :)

The journaling:
A~parna: Another name for Parvati, Shiva’s wife and the benevolent manifestation of the mother goddess Devi. A~ Parna or ‘without a leaf’ was the name bestowed on Parvati when she was living the life of a hermit and sought to win Shiva’s heart. She mortified her body through austerities, the final one being when she stopped eating the few leaves that she conceded herself and became ‘A~parna’. This won Shiva's admiration, and he accepted her as his consort.

First Ever Scrapbooking Retreat in Hong Kong!

In March, Scrapping Gals, the first Asian Scrapbooking company, organized a retreat in Hong Kong. Of course, I had to join in! And people flew in from other countries too, which was so cool! After my last retreat in the US (in 2001) I knew I loved these but could not always go so far away for my hobby. I love all the gifts we get. So many freebies ... WOW!!

Here is my page dedicated to the event. The little accordian book has the signatures of all the attendees. I am seated in the first row in the Indian top :) Love this line of papers & stickers from K & Co.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Happy Easter!

This is for a DT: The journaling on this layout says "Sweet little girl makes a very scary little bunny!" And if you saw the smaller photos in colour, you would surely have nightmares!! The paint on her face is just horrendous! I love the fact (Thanks Michi for pointing it out!) that her two front teeth are missing and the bunny seems to have taken it. A happy coincidence. The bunny's tummy is a shaker box, which was a requirement for this Easter layout. I had to search my old photos to find something 'Easterish' to make this layout. Never thought I would scrap the ugly bunny photos from 1999!

And using the leftover papers (Paper Patch easter words) and stamps from PSX & Stampa Rosa (Bunny in can - from Alesa Baker designs ~ now calls Imression Obsession its home) I made some cards for the Italian side of the family. Water colour pencils (I love Caran D'Ache) and a blending pen are my favorite colouring technique right now.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Motorcycle Racing!

Joe really enjoys Formula One and the Motorcycle races. And whenever he gets a chance, he is at the circuit. Here he is in Kuala Lumpur, on two different occasions. And unless you are interested in motorcycle racing, you would not know who all these cute young men are. Anyway, they make a lot of money putting there lives on the line in a testosterone charged sport. Stoner, Rossi, Melandri, Capirossi ... all stars!

Papers are all from Club Scrap 'Varsity' kit. As are the ribbons. The titles are all made with alpha foam stamps. And I simply love those nailhead brads.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Vatican City, Rome

The Vatican, a country within a country, is the centre of power for the Catholic religion. The Vatican has its own post office, stamps and radio broadcasting. We had to take a photo of the colourful uniforms of the Swiss guards, who we read about in Dan Brown’s Angles & Demons! Inside the Basilica we went first to see the ‘Pieta’, the famous statue of Mary & Jesus by Michelangelo. He made this when he was only 25!!

We climbed to the top of the St. Peter’s Basilica. More than 300 narrow, steep and winding steps led us to the top, where we had a view of the colonnade of Piazza San Pietro, designed by Bernini. On our way down we bought some postcards & used the Vatican stamps to post our letters.

By the time we got down, Lily was running a fever from the exertion! However we could not miss out going to the Vatican Museums because we simply could not leave without seeing the Sistine Chapel or Raphaels’ Rooms. I doubt Lily enjoyed anything much, but we did stop to look at the amazing ceilings. We could not photograph the Sistine chapel, but this ceiling will suffice. The amount of art kept in these museums is mind boggling!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tag You're it!

I had to do a 'Tag, You're it!' layout for a DT I am on. I love the paisley prints but simply could not find appropriate photos. So these ones of DD during our Roman holiday will have to do :)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

My Happy Thoughts

This layout goes into someone else's Circle Journal. It is about 'Happy Thoughts'. And even though I am not looking too happy in the photo, I used this one because it is the only sepia toned photo of me! I love sepia - it is very slimming ;)

My happy thoughts are very similar, I think to every one else's (good glass of wine, a meal with friends, children succeding in their lives etc etc.) so I will not put the second page here. Also, after 3 efforts at scanning I could not get the two background page colours to match. They do not look good (digitally I mean) side by side.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Layout for my album with my favorite photo from Christmas of 2005. Papers are from Chloe's Closet (I hope I remembered the name correctly - there are so many these days!). I am enjoying using the Hero Arts stamps that look like stitching. Very nice indeed!

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Capitoline Museums

All papers are from Club Scrap. Layout inspired from a publication.

Here we are at the entrance to the Capitoline museums. Among other interesting things we saw lots of statues with their penises cut off – on orders of some extremely holy Pope in the 15th century. We saw a huge statue of Marcus Aurelius on a horse. The original is inside the museum. The copy is in the courtyard where we are standing. Pity Joe had to cut off the head in the photo.

Also here are the famous Lupa or She-wolf of Rome, Venus emerging from her bath, which is about 2400 years old and the Spinario, an exquisite statue from 1st century BC, of a little boy removing a thorn. We bought a small copy of this statue to remember our Roman holiday.

From the back of the Palazzo dei Conservatori we had a fabulous view of the Roman Forum, which we had already visited a day earlier.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

My Butterfly!

I love the digital turn scrapbooking is taking. And while I am not yet completely converted to the digital scrapbook (I enjoy cutting paper too much!) I love all the digi~embellishments that I can use on the photos themselves. Here, I turned the main photo into B&W and then applied a frame and a little butterfly.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Winter in the Apennines

The poem frame is adapted from Longfellow & Cougar Wisdom:

Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow
Blanketing the earth.
Engulfing silence as it falls
Quietness and stillness everywhere.
Bringing peace
As the sun shines, the snow glistens.
Like a thousand diamonds that sparkle.
Smell the freshness of this winter wonderland
Trees laden with snow ...
Branches straining Bowing to the earth
The world needs Winter ... to rest.

This year we got to experience real winter! A few days after Christmas we decided to drive up to the mountains. It was snowing lightly when we left the town house. And by the time we reached our destination, everything was covered by a white blanket, thicker than anything we had ever seen before. It continued to snow for a few days and we were stuck! No chains on our car and no salt on the road in the mountains got us wondering if we would miss our flight back home. But in the meantime, the house was warm and snug; we started up all the fireplaces, made hot chocolate and really enjoyed the winter beauty of the Apennines.

With the New Year came sunshine and warm breezes. It was lovely watching the snow melting slowly. We stood under the firs and shook them till the snow fell off the branches. We watched the stalactites at the Fontana, dripping slowly, catching the rays of the sun, making exquisite rainbows. We were glad because while this was a winter wonderland, we were also free now to go back home!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What did Santa get you this year?

Ricky wrote a lovely letter to Santa asking for just one thing - a "very hard to find" game for his Play Station 2. Since he has been such a good boy this year, Santa had a surprise for him. Not only did he get his PS2 game, he also got a super cool Game Boy!

Christmas Lunch

The tree on the right hand side of the page was a last minute inspiration. I cut out the tree from a scrap piece of paper. Then using the negative as a stencil, I used a 'Pine Bough' stamp to fill it in. Then I just placed the circle stickers & the star on top.

Christmas lunch was at a very nice hotel in Salice Terme. Nonna was so pleased that we were given a private room - she thought that the hotel was treating her special and that made her day! Seated next to Masha is her brother who is a musician on a cruise ship which happened to be in Genoa during Christmas. Ricky, you were very well behaved and ate almost everything of this very special menu – this made me very happy! You also provided great entertainment for your cousin Lauretta with whoops & whistles. She really enjoys being with you!
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Forum, Roma

The Forum was the centre of Ancient Rome. Today one can see ruins of basilicas, temples, Arches and other important buildings, which the Emperors built to glorify themselves. Excavations still continue at the Forum. As we walked around we could imagine how grand and important the city must have been two thousand years ago. The buildings are huge and the size of the columns makes one wonder how they managed to move these behemoths without any machinery. Lily is standing in front of the Arch of Titus. The day after, we had a great view of the Forum from the back of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which is part of the Capitoline Museums.

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Experience Rome

Journaling is the same as the previous layout about Rome. Paper from Club Scrap.

Our hotel Raphael, all covered in ivy and full of antiques, was just off Piazza Navona. So we spent a lot of time there, especially while we waited for the Singh family to join us. The Piazza Navona is in a Baroque style. The Piazza has Bernini’s famous Fountain of Four Rivers, among other beautiful fountains. I was amazed to see Ganges depicted as a male. There are many cafes around the piazza where is the food is really good. And there were many painters and street performers. Lively and colourful, it is the perfect place to spend a few hours.

The Pantheon was a Roman “Temple to all the Gods”. In the middle ages it became a church. This amazing structure is a symbol of Rome itself! The huge dome has the same height and diameter. It has only one hole on the top through which light comes in. The Pantheon was designed by Emperor Hadrian (AD 118 – 125). The famous artist Raphael is buried there, as are many of the modern kings of Italy.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Visiting Pisa

I really like the way the top layout turned out but I must admit that I am more pleased with the lower layout because I was able to use up the 'Italian' Jolee's that had been in my stash for years!

We left Florence in the morning by train. After a long train ride and a short taxi ride we finally saw the famous leaning tower, where Galileo Galilee conducted his experiments on the velocity of falling objects.
The tower is built on sandy soil which is why is started tilting even before the third floor was built. The tower is the bell tower for the Duomo of Pisa. And both the Duomo and the Baptistery are also inclined, but not as much as the tower.Unfortunately, we did not climb to the top this time, but as I always say, we will be back! In the mean time, thanks to the millions of tourists, like Lily, holding it up, the Tower still stands!
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