Monday, April 30, 2007

La Scopa

Layout done with the Games kit released in March 2003 by Club Scrap. The epoxy stickers are Rebecca Sower Nostalgique. Small alpha stickers are from Sticko Bookworks. Large letters from lildavisdesigns - I altered them by painting with antique white acrylic paint, then stamping on them and finally covering them with a faux tile finish.

May 1996: Our favorite restaurant then was the Mistral. We were there almost every other day. The food was easily one of the best Italian fare in Hong Kong. And often the restaurant invited chefs from overseas to come and do a 'promotional' period where they presented new menus and it was just another excuse for us to go eat there!

One such promotion was done by Gualtiero Marchesi, a famous chef from Italy. Not only did we eat superb fare for a week, Joe even sat down every evening for a hand of Scopa, a strange Italian card game that I still cannot fathom!

And since it is Monday, here are two office videos to reflect my mood. Can you tell that the week did not start exactly as I wanted it to? ;-) Hope yours is better!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

London in 1998

Layout done with Basic Grey Romani papers, Heidi Swapp alphabets and Making Memories Defined stickers. Not sure who makes either the ribbon or the paper clip. Papers, number stickers and the green label are from a Scrapologie kit.

January 1998: Joe and I found ourselves with some free time and decided to go to London for the weekend. My cousin was there to sit for his MRCP exams. I had not seen him in a while and Joe and I had never been to London together. Even though it was freezing cold we crammed a whole lot of fun into the three days we spent there. From visiting Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Mme Tussaud's to taking a full city tour on a red bus to taking in a play and visiting the hot nightspots - we did it all! Both of us find London a fascinating vibrant city full of history and charm. And every time we visit we fall in love with this city even more!

The layout below is done using Club Scrap Fossils kit from August 2004. I wish I had the real looking tickets - I know we got some in another kit but could not find them. When I do, I shall replace these two very silly 'Admit One' stickers!

I have no idea why both Joe and I love visiting Madame Tussauds wax museum. Maybe standing so close to the celebrities and studying them minutely, looking into their faces and seeing how we measure up, is the attraction. Or perhaps it is a morbid fascination with all the gory aspects of the Terror which actually started Tussaud in her career. Every time I visit I stand over the figure of Marie Antoinette and watch her gently breathing. I always find myself wondering about this spoilt and arrogant yet beautiful woman who was thrown from one extreme of life to the other.

Below is the layout reworked as per the suggestions from some very artistic and helpful ladies. Click here to see the original. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write!!

The school logo and the red '5' are hand drawn and cut with an Xacto knife. All other accessories are from 7 Gypsies.

And what do you think of this kind of traveling?

The Time Traveller - video powered by Metacafe

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Recipe Book

A 6" X 6" recipe book made with Club Scrap Culinary Kit from March 2004. The stamps from this kit, which I have enlarged below, are some of my most used stamps. The book is a gift for a friend and consists only of Italian recipes.

Now all I have to do is print out the recipes on 5½ X 5½ cardstock, laminate them and then insert into rings. Below is a video of a gentleman making an origami phoenix. It has to be the most complicated piece of origami I have ever seen!

This 'phoenix-des' took more than 22 hours to make!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

An Indian Wedding

This post is to share not layouts, but photographs, of a Hindu wedding. This was one of those over the top Indian affairs that one reads about in the papers (I have yet to be invited for one ... LOL!). I am fascinated by all the color and pomp and bling (mind you, having an idea of how rich this family is, I'd bet that most of the bling, on the bodies at least, was the real thing!) and how everyone tries to outdo everyone else.

The grooms family is like royalty in India - movie royalty from Bollywood. The father, Amitabh Bachchan, still commands top fees to star in movies. The son is up and coming. He dances something terrible though (video) ... LOL! In Bollywood you need to have the moves for movie success. But he has Daddy behind him and is doing okay.

The bride, Aishwarya Rai, Miss World in 1994, has done very well in the movies herself, and is still considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. I concur. She is such a pretty face that one can almost forget the bad acting - almost! I found her very stilted in the Mistress of Spices. The movie put me to sleep. Absolutely loved her in Bride & Prejudice though! And she dances pretty darn good (video)!

Below is the formal reception after the religious rites.

Below are photographs from what looks like the religious wedding ceremony (or it could be a visit to bless the couple - no idea really) which was held at a very important temple called the Tirupati in southern India. It attracts thousands of Hindu devotees each day. The Hindu religion is predominant in India and the Tirumala Complex is a very special place for us. Someday I too wish to go see it. The architecture is amazing.

And a video I thought was cool:

History Of Religion - video powered by Metacafe

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Potty Times

Layout inspired by one in a CK magazine from August last year. This is a Scrapologie kit and the papers are Basic Grey ... I think. A Basic Grey rub-on, Art Warehouse stickers and pink alpha stickers.

When Lily was young she had a little problem going potty. She had to stay for quite a while on the potty and did not like sitting all alone for extended periods of time in the toilet. So she devised this system for herself whereby she made herself comfortable in front of the TV with her legs elevated. If I insisted that she stay in the toilet, I would have to keep her company there. So I decided not to object too much to this arrangement. And one day I just happened to have a camera. Will she ever forgive me? But that expression is just too precious and I am willing to risk her wrath!! LOL!

The layout below uses a kit from Club Scrap. This layout is yet unfinished. I would like some suggestions on how I can make it look a bit more complete without adding too much. Maybe a phrase that goes with 'What are you waiting for?' Or some other small embellishment - if I have the appropriate one of course. All suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated!

This is Ricky's school photograph. As the school is in the process of switching uniforms from a white/grey (boring!) to a purple/red (yikes!) combination, you can see a mix of both uniforms in the group photo.

And continuing with the animal theme ... here is another really funny video:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I have an 'Animal' theme today! And the animals are better than you, or me ... LOL! Love this one. Listen carefully till the end.

Layout is done with Club Scrap By the Seashore kit from July 2003. Letters are traced and cut from leftover negatives of Gin-X alpha stickers. And dog tags ....

Very smart dog, our Shadow. Amazingly perceptive. He is of no particular breed. Mum adopted him when she found him, just a puppy, struggling on the streets of Kolkata. We were all slightly upset with her then. We cannot imagine life without him now. He is better than all of us at loving our mother.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shane's Wish

Here is a card I made with Club Scrap Painted Desert Kit. This card is for Shane Bernier. Thanks to Cindy R from SS Reflections for bringing this to my attention. And it would be so nice if some of you could either make him a card or perhaps buy one and send it to him.

Here is his website: Shane's Wish where you can find the mailing address. You can also do a search on Snopes with his name to check out that his request is legitimate. How wonderful if this lovely child got his wish!! Well ... at least got a lot of cards :-)

My page today uses Art Warehouse papers and sepia toned photographs. A saying by Rousseau and a very old stencil for the title letters.

October 1999: Ricky is playing on the grounds of the Duchess of Kent hospital. He loves to play in the sand or dirt. He can spend hours making little mounds of dirt and then brushing them away. To think that till a few months ago he could not stand to dirty his hands! He spent his two years of kindergarten not going near the sandbox.

Ricky has had, and is continuing with, a lot of different therapies. For a few months the following year we were part of a study conducted by Dr. Virginia Wong, one of the foremost neurologists here. She was studying the effects of Tongue Acupuncture on various neurological cases. We were lucky to be included in this research. Thrice a week we went to the hospital to have Dr. Sun Jie Guang from Shanghai administer a couple of pin pricks on Ricky's' tongue. It looked painful but after the first two sessions Ricky did not cry anymore.

I have no idea if this experimental therapy helped or not but Ricky said his first word a few weeks into the sessions. Of course Ricky was getting other forms of therapy like Speech and OT. And he was four years old. So it could have been anything, or most probably a combination of all of the above. And it would be another two full years before he formed a sentence. But what a special day it was when my son called me "Mamma" and a mother's heart, for some reason, made the connection with acupuncture.

Monday, April 23, 2007

One in a Million

The following layout has no journaling so here is a video to keep you entertained, ladies ;-)

I could watch this little clip over and over ... ahem!

And now the layout done with Scrapologie's current kit and some magic mesh from my stash. I used a dark grey Liquid Pearl to draw the stems and the buttons are sown on. The centre knots are secured with Stickles glitter glue. Words & swirly brackets are rub-ons.

Thanks so much for stopping by ... and have a productive week!

Here is the full version: 3 awesome minutes of Hallelujah! It's raining men!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dance like ...

Layout uses Club Scrap Steppin' Out kit from November 2004. I also used the printed numbers paper but am not sure who makes it. I did some stippling with blue and plum dye inks to help the printed paper blend with the rest of the layout. The words 'Dance', "Music' etc. have been printed and layered but then I digitally enhanced them so that they look 3D.

The photographs in this layout date from the Summer of 2000. We are in a very small and quaint little village in the Apennines in Italy. Every year in August this small village has a 'Festa del Paese' or a town festival, organised by the local church. For four evenings there is food, music, games and dancing. People from the town and neighboring places come to eat, drink and be merry.

And every evening there is a band that plays and a great little dance floor in the open air. Before all the serious dancers get down to the business of the Cha-Cha or the Rumba, children have the whole floor to themselves. And with the band playing really fun music, there is no stopping them!

Ricky loved it! There was so much space and no one to tell him to stop, or be careful. He really loves music and dancing ~ which actually is more like jumping and twirling but always to the beat. He has an amazing sense of rhythm. And here he totally let himself go! It was exhilarating watching him. And lovely little Lily would not miss the chance to dance with her brother. Even Mum got on the floor and gave him a twirl!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mob mentality

A Japanese video, which I am sure many of you have already seen but is always entertaining. I like how a prank is used to demonstrate the mob mentality inherent in all of us. Having been in a 'mob' situation similar to the one above, while I do laugh, it scares me slightly too!

Today's very simple layout using Club Scrap Art Deco Kit. Some Hero Arts stamps and foam alpha stickers. And I used my deco scissors!!

This is a dinner party that a close friend held for his 50th birthday. Since I do not have any story to tell today, enjoy the '100 person flashmob randomly chasing after people' prank :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

From my B.O.M

Printed papers are from Imagination Project - Center City designs. All the papers, cardstock & flowers came in a kit from Scrapgoods. 'Dreaming is free' is a sticker from my 'very old & I do not know who makes them' stash.

Summer 1984: This has to be one of the ugliest photographs of me. It was a bad photograph to start with and now it is deteriorating with time. Yet scrap it I must because it holds special memories. I remember so clearly the day this was taken. I had finished that very day the last of the Government Board exams. I had done reasonably well and I was happy with myself. I came home knowing that my school days were done with. Now I had a three month break and then I would head to college.

It was evening and we has fluorescent lights which accounts for the bad lighting. I had finished dinner and was in my pajamas. I remember discussing with my mother about everything that I would now have to do, all the changes that were to happen shortly. I would have to begin commuting by train ~ there being no colleges within walking distance from the house and the better ones were in the city. I showed my mother how I would need to carry a different kind of bag to college ~ not a knapsack anymore ~ I was tired of those from school. She said she hoped I’d do my hair differently. I wished for some nice new clothes. And then she decided to take a photo of me strutting around the house pretending to be a college going girl.

I had everything ahead of me ~ so many expectations; such happy anticipation about all that was yet to come; when I look at this photo I remember so clearly that feeling of unadulterated excitement! This would be the perfect occasion to say that the world then was my oyster. All I had to do was open it up …

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Living with Autism

Here is my layout for Autism Awareness month. Except for the chipboard arrow & photo corner, everything else is from the Club Scrap Extra! Extra! kit from June 2004.

Everyday with Ricky is like an adventure, a voyage of discovery. We delight in finding something new that he has learned or some subtle changes in his behavior. Of late we have noticed he has started telling lies and quite well too - I am told that this is good! LOL!

His new vocabulary is so ‘Cool’! This little 'Dude' has made so much progress over the last year! He is making puns on words. He is cracking jokes and asking us if we ‘Get it?’ And more often than not we do! He is so funny that he has us laughing all the time. I love his sense of humor.

And it is so evident how much he loves all of us. I wait everyday for him to come back from school and give me a great big hug! Ricky is very generous with his hugs and they are something special!

Further reading:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Prank Call

This is so funny I had to share it! I did feel a bit sorry for this poor telemarketer.

And now for the page - Lily at her Activities Camp. I am always amazed at how much more fun school is these days. Nothing like what it was for us - the most we did was go for a class picnic once a year. And I am thrilled that Lily is so adventurous. She loves doing all kinds of outdoor activities. So a whole week spent doing these crazy swingings across the waves and jumping off cliffs was just her thing.

I used a page from the school newsletter in lieu of photos and journaling. Some RS embellishments from my very old stash and some Heidi Swapp rub-ons. This is the first time I used the fuzzy rub ons. I need a little more practice but I think it should not be that difficult to manage to get them placed and rubbed exactly as I want them. Any tips are always appreciated.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

iL Divo

Paper from the Urban Gypsy collection by Urban Lilly. And some BG rub-ons.

A few months back iL Divo were in Hong Kong. For just one concert. And Lily being quite a fan of operatic pop music, we could not possibly miss it. It had to be a mum & daughter evening because after I made Joe sit through a Julio Iglesias concert, he threatens me with dire consequences whenever I mention certain kinds of artists.

The fact that all the four singers are so easy on the eyes does help their popularity. Not just young girls but a lot of middle aged women were screaming in the stands! These guys really know how to work it! We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! Simon Cowell obviously knows his job very well.

A few weeks before the concert I was at Tom Lee, queuing up to collect my internet booked tickets. The rotund lady in front of me was in her early fifties, an almost severe bespectacled countenance, with a pronounced Singaporean accent. She reminded me of a reserved school teacher. Till I made the mistake of asking her if she was waiting to collect tickets for the same concert. I had opened the floodgates of fanatic adulation!

Oh the joy, the passion, the ecstasy even, of witnessing iL Divo sing from such proximity! She had paid for a first row seat. And who was my favorite, she wished to know. That would of course determine which side of the stage I booked my seat, would it not? And how could I possibly not know their names? Everyone knew Carlos and David and Urs and Sebastien!! And did I know where they were singing after Hong Kong? No? Why ever not?!

And so it went on for the half hour I had to wait till I reached the counter. And I came away not only with tickets for iL Divo, but significantly more informed about the group - enough to impress even my 13 year old daughter who previously had a dim view of my knowledge about singers and artists and such.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Summer BBQ

A big barbecue is a must every summer. More than twenty people sitting down to a meal which I did not cook! Woot!! Joe and B are the chefs for the day.

While the food is always great, the one thing I will remember of this barbecue is the 'Case of the Disappearing Wine'! As the morning progressed those of us who were not cooking, chatted with the others and drank glasses of chilled prosecco. And then some of us realised that if we happened to put down our glasses and lend a helping hand at some odd job like laying the table, when we came back to our wine, the glass was empty.

At first I thought that I had made a mistake and had actually finished my wine. When it happened a second time I was thoroughly puzzled because I had just filled up my glass and had only a sip! And there it was again - not a drop left!!

I must have been regarding the glass with a quizzical air because Kaylee came up to me and said "Happening to you too, is it?" Apparently anyone who left their glasses unattended 'lost' their wine. So I set Kaylee to the task. She played Poirot for exactly 3 minutes. That is how long it took her to discover Signora B flitting around the house and blatantly quaffing down the contents of any unattended glass she found. And she did it with such style that I simply could not say anything except hurry up the cooks so that we could all be seated at the table!

Both layouts based on the same design from CK. Very pretty - the newspaper flowers! Perhaps the first set of embellishments that I used up within a week of getting them. I have to figure out a way to make these myself. I think I have a UM newsprint stamp somewhere.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Xmas in HK

This is the first year after my marriage that we did not go to Europe for Christmas. After 18 years of living in this city, it was about time we spent one Christmas in our home!

Plus points: I had to do up just one tree and one set of decorations. I did not have to rush on boxing day to clear up and pack away everything because we had a flight to catch. I did not have to get on a plane! (Can you tell that I am not overly fond of flying?) I always wanted to make an elaborate holiday meal. In Italy the MIL still handles it all. This year I had a great time planning and making Boxing Day lunch. Christmas lunch was a relaxed affair with friends. It was nice to be able to sit outside!

Negatives: I missed the cold! Never did I imagine that the cold had become such an essential part of Christmas for me. Family and friends dropping in to visit. All the wonderful foods that one can get only in Italy during Christmas. I missed packing 300 gifts. Well, not really 300, but this year it just the four of us exchanging gifts. Usually I have to pack at least 30 different packages. And I enjoy all the different packaging ideas the Italian magazines have for Christmas.

Ricky and Lily wrote letters to Santa. Ricky's letter was in earnest, asking for an Xbox360 and a game. Lily's letter was tongue in cheek, asking to go to Italy. Unfortunately neither of them got what they asked for!

All papers from Chloe's Closet. A few rub-ons (BG & some really old border ones) and some chipboard was all that went into these quick layouts. The one for Ricky is a BH layout. Lily's layout is adapted from a CTMH advertisement.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Halloween 06

What is different this Halloween? The costumes! I designed and made them at home for the first time ever!

Lily wanted to be Mother Nature. So we had blues and greens flowing over a white dress, white daisies as accents at the waist and neck. And white daisies in her air. Lily got chosen to be the magician's assistant and she was thrilled!

Ricky had a rich purple wizard's velvet cloak with gold accents. I loved how the wizards hat turned out. The great thing about making it at home? It actually fit Ricky's head and stayed on all evening!
Even though he was very excited about Halloween, Ricky told me that this would be the last year he went trick or treating. He felt like he was too old. Poor baby! He sounded so sad ...

I am finding the Fooflala prints pleasing to work with. Both designs copied from this months CK.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

4ever 2gether

The big precut shapes seem to be all the rage these days and make a great impact on the style of the pages. Not to mention the comeback scalloped egdes are making. I still have my deco-edge scissors. I do have to dust them off though ...

I must admit that I was a bit worried when I saw this big red heart in the Scrapologie kit. I have a difficult time doing romantic pages - not really my thing. But I had to use it on a scrapbook page since it was a bit too big for a card. And then I saw this photo of the two of us all dressed up for the New Year's Eve gala. Even though Joe & I do not look very romantic, it is one of the few photos where I am actually with him and not behind the camera. I turned the photo into sepia and I had something that would work with a big red heart! Of course I must mention the swirly curly rub-ons that are everywhere. I really love them. I love the swirls and the curls ... LOL!

Since this is a photo from my daughters' first photo shoot, I had to scrap it. And also because it scared me just how grown up a 13 year old can look with some make up and a dress instead of jeans. It is not good for a mothers' peace of mind ... LOL! And suddenly I am thinking maybe I should get that tummy tuck after all ;-) If I do not buy scrapbooking supplies for a year, do you think I'll save enough?

The Urban Gypsy papers are bright and funky. And I decided to do something completely out of character for me - use bright colours without trying to tone it down. I still love those Art Warehouse stickers.

I am so pleased with the way this layout turned out. I love the rub-ons, the flower, the printed paper. I like the simplicity of the layout. And I love how DD looks in this photo. I did a good job - with everything! {insert a self satisfied cackle here}

Randy Jackson is one of our more famous clients and here Joe is with him in Las Vegas. We think Randy is even cooler after he told Joe how much he loves Italy and all things Italian. Apparently he used to play with Zucchero during his time in Italy. We are all big Zucchero fans!

Again, a set of beautiful papers and accessories from Scrapologie. I copied the design from a layout in CK.