Monday, September 24, 2007

Vienna Second Day (2)

First layout done with Club Scrap Culinary Kit and some alpha stickers. Second layout uses paper from 7Gypsies and American Crafts. Both from a kit by Scrapologie.

The first layout is of Lily at the Imperial Bakery, helping to make the strudel. The second layout is of Ricky trying out a marionette. I had to journal what he did just after the photographs: He is not fond of puppets. But I really wanted him to see how they worked so I coaxed him into trying it. And just after I had finished taking the photographs, he threw the marionette on the floor and stomped off! Oh, the embarrassment! The lady was so angry! Try explaining to her what his problem was ... He did apologise later but I am only glad that nothing happened to the puppet except some very entangled strings!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Vienna - Second Day (1)

First layout done with Club Scrap Tuscany kit. Second layout done with Club Scrap Autumn Splendour kit. Third layout done with printed paper from 7 Gypsies. Also used rub-ons, various swirly stamps, acrylic paints, Stayz on inks, vellum, QK alphas, MM alpha stamps & MM metal moulded edging. I tried to follow the famous yellow of the Schonbrunn Palace on the layouts as well.

We left very early in the morning to see the Schonbrunn Palace and grounds. The children went off to try on some old fashioned costumes and have some fun while the adults got a guided tour of the Royal Apartments of Empress Maria Teresia. Now these are what I call ‘royal’ apartments. They were so … Regal! The ‘Blue or Porcelain Room’ was my favourite. And the ‘Million’ room with Indian paintings and gold leafing is exceptional. This particular room is now valued at 60 to 70 million dollars. No photography was allowed so I had to buy a guide book. This rule is good for palace business!

From there we went to see the Royal bakery to see how Apple Strudel was made with an age old recipe. Lily got to be an assistant and help out in doing strange things to the dough. We were then served a slice of strudel with coffee ~ a great mid morning snack.

Our next stop was the marionette theatre. This is so beautiful that one has to see it to believe the effects that can be achieved. One really is absorbed into a make believe fantasy world and when the show finished, exiting the theatre is something of a shock. We went back stage to see how it all worked. I was surprised at how small the puppets were. They looked life size when on stage. Some kind of optical illusion the theatre is very proud of.

We then got into a funny little yellow/green train called Der Schonbrunner. It took us all the way to near the Gloriette. We had lunch at a very Tyrolean style restaurant. Authentic Austrian they said but I did not like my Wiener Schintzel too much. After lunch we went to see some animals in the farm below the restaurant and try out some great cheese. The man selling the cheese was a very Authentic Tyrolean crusty old mountain farmer.

Next we walked to the Gloriette, which was 3 minutes from the restaurant. The views of the city from there are great. And if I heard our guide correctly (I just wish she has spoken louder or used a microphone ~ I had to strain to hear every word), the Gloriette sits on Maria Teresia’s huge refrigerator. The mountain under the Gloriette has been bored deep into and it is very cool in the caves there. The Empress used to take pleasure in serving delicacies made in her refrigerator ~ like sorbet in summer. I could just imagine her servants running from the Gloriette to the Palace with the sorbet before it melted completely. It is by no means a short distance!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Vienna - First day (2)

First layout done with CS World Travel kit. Second layout with CS Journeys kit. And third layout done with a Scrapologie kit. I have also used Art Warehouse stickers, some metallic stickers, Fresh Cuts, assorted stickers and that fancy stapler (forget the name).

Dinner was a buffet at a nice restaurant in the hotel itself. There were about forty people in the tour group. We played a fun little ‘getting to know everyone’ game where you had to ask people if they had done things like take a cruise or ridden a horse buggy etc. A well thought out list of everything related to the experiences we were going to have over the next few days. Then we went through the usual introductions and telling everyone why we had chosen this particular tour company and so on. And I wonder why every time I get picked to do the public speaking in our family!

Our two families were a bit rushed with our dinner because earlier in the day, while we were walking around the city, we bought tickets to an Operatic sampler of Viennese music & dance that started at eight. We did not want to miss it! Finding the place where our show was being held turned out to be quite an endeavour. We walked around a few blocks and finally ended up quite close to the hotel.

The place was Beethovenhaus and is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen. It is now a school for the arts. The building has a courtyard on the inside with ivy growing all over. I just had to lean out of the window and snap a few photos of the ivy. This is on the third floor so imagine how long the ivy has been growing to get so thick so high up!
The show was geared to entertain tourists. I am sure true cognoscenti of Viennese opera would look down their noses at these shows. But we loved every minute of it! We were tourists after all. One singer was an amazing look-alike of Robert Redford. I am thinking that is why he got the job because his singing was mediocre at best. And Joe managed to catch the cork they threw into the audience so I got myself a free glass of champagne during intermission.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vienna - Our first day

From today I am starting to scrap our summer holiday photos. I will be working 3 albums simultaneously. So I will be posting 3 layouts every time. The photos in the layouts will be mostly similar, with some differences depending on whose album it is. The journalling will be identical on all 3 layouts. And I am going to try and fit as many photos as I can on each layout! This is what you can expect from me over the next few weeks till I am finished with the holiday photographs.

First layout done with CS World Travel kit. Second layout with CS Journeys kit. And third layout done with a Scrapologie kit. I have also used Art Warehouse stickers, some metallic stickers, BG Rub ons, chipboard accents and iridescent acrylic paints.

2nd August 2007: After a really interesting and fun overnight train ride (sleeper coaches were a first for everyone except me), from Milano to Vienna Sudbanhof, we met up with the Singh family in the lobby of the Vienna Marriott. After unpacking we walked to the Opera House but were 4 minutes too late for the 11 am tour! If only Ricky had listened to Mini and not walked around the Opera House… so we continued towards the Hofburg Complex to try and kill one hour and make the next tour. We stopped on the way for a photo with Goethe's statue. At the Hofburg complex we went in to see the butterfly house. It is small but extremely pretty. If you like nature, it is definitely worth a visit.

We then returned to the Opera House and met up with the Singh’s for the 12 am tour. Some parts of the Opera House are very grand but other parts, destroyed during WWII and rebuilt later, are more modern and linear. I really liked how they took us back stage so we could see it from the perspective of the actors.

We had lunch at the Sacher Hotel with the mandatory Sacher Torte for dessert. Then we walked back to the Hofburg complex to see the Kaiser Apartments & the Sisi Museum. I was expecting more grandeur in the apartments but apparently neither Emperor Franz Josef nor his Empress Elizabeth (or Sisi, as she was affectionately called) had very flamboyant tastes. What was singular was the exercise room and equipment the Empress Sisi had. She was figure conscious and worked out daily to maintain her waistline. Quite unheard of in those days!

After seeing these two venues we were all so tired we could hardly drag our feet! So we left the Singh’s to see the Imperial Treasury and returned to the hotel. After naps and showers, we went down for our ‘Welcome’ dinner and to meet the other families joining us on this tour of the Imperial cities of Vienna, Salzburg & Prague.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

forced absence ....

It has happened ... my PC has crashed. It had been threatening for a while now. Some hardware that I installed a while back did not seem to work well and was making everything go wonky. And finally now it will not start up any more.

So I have to take a forced break from updating this blog.

Ahh ... grrrrr!! >:-(

Update: It seems to have revived itself somehow. The workings of this machine are beyond me ... LOL! Let us see how long it lasts this time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Uncharted Territory

First layout done with a Club Scrap Retreat kit . Also swirly stamps, rub on title, 7 Gypsies gaffer tape, a square brad & a metal rimmed tag. This is Christmas of 1999 but these photographs remind me of a very difficult time we went through with Ricky. We had found out about his Autism and ADHD in mid 1998. 'Early Intervention' was the key word. Yet everywhere I turned, I found no immediate help. Special needs schools were all full. Therapists had waiting lists. It was extremely frustrating. And scary. So we decided that while we waited for an opening somewhere, we would not just sit around. The internet was a starting point. Then came books. We travelled to different parts of the globe to attend courses on how we could help Ricky. But mostly I think that everything we did this year helped us, as parents to adjust to and understand Ricky's special needs and be supportive of all the therapies and classes that would come later.

Layout copied from one in CK magazine. A little bit of stitching, some chipboard accents, Gel.a.tin alpha stamps & alpha stickers complete this simple layout. Ricky at a friends birthday. Curran's dad used to work in the F&B industry. So they were able to rent out a night club, but during lunch hour for the party. Everything was great except for the dark ambience and the bar with its flashing 'cocktail' sign. So I drew a moustache on Ricky and took a photo at the bar ... lol!

How's this for putting everything in perspective?

Friday, September 14, 2007


First layout done with Club Scrap Aromatherapy kit, rub-on alphas and little flower stickers. Design copied from a CK magazine. This is Lily's birthday but the layout is for my album. I worked my backside off organising this little tea party for DD & her friends. And all the little girls looked so sweet ~ just like little dolls. Usually they are always in jeans.

Second layout done with a kit from Scrapologie. Layout is for my BOM. These photos are from my grad school (I think that is the US term? Correct me if I am wrong) I was about 16 or 17 and we called it college. We used to have a lot of fun organising entertainment for the whole college. And invariably I would get picked to participate in the 'Fashion Show' Mind you we did not have any real clothes labels. We would beg & borrow clothes from everywhere and model what we could find ... lol! Which I think should be a good enough excuse for the outfit I am wearing in the lower photos!!! Now I cringe when I see the granny look but it all was so much fun back then!

Perfect pictures in an Imperfect World .....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

That thing you do

I have been taking time off from scrapbooking ... actually I was so caught up in a book that I simply could not put it down. After seeing a video about a lot of fuss about this book, I decided to read it. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I absolutely loved the book! I think it is very relevant too, especially when I see folks trying to ban books. Imagine: Banning a book that tells a story about the total banning of books! I am now reading the White Mughals by William Dalrymple - this will take a while since it is pretty thick. But I am already enjoying it so much! very different genre, of course.

Anyway, today the layout is done with cardstock from Club Scrap Nautical kit. The flower stamp is from another CS kit. The title is a rub on from DCWV. Rhinestone brads & swirly stamps. And vellum from my super old stash.

Lily was a sweet kid ~ most of the time. But she could be stubborn. And this is her 'stubborn' look - chin jutting out, eyes staring, almost glaring, and slightly crossed. When I saw this look I knew that my work would be cut out for me.


Waterbed Prank

Friday, September 07, 2007

Nonno & I

First layout done with Club Scrap Weather kit & a 7Gypsies sticker. Layout design copied from Ali Edwards LO in a CK magazine. This is Lily with her Grandfather ~ the last time she met him. We returned to Hong Kong in January and he passed away a few months later. She was such a favourite with her Nonno ~ he adored her. And she loved him too!

Second layout done with a kit from Scrapologie. And some rub-on doodles, a white pen & MM alpha rub-ons. Also Gelatins alpha stamps. Layout copied from one in a CK magazine. Ricky in an extremely colourful outfit, watching TV.

Nice effect ... slightly spooky.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Freeze Frame

First layout done with Club Scrap Evergreen kit, 7 Gypsies stickers, Art Warehouse stickers, CI Stickers & red heart brads. Second layout doen with Club Scrap Fossils kit, Art Warehouse stickers, CI stickers, a stamp, rub-ons, prisma flowers & French curves.

Both layouts, done for the albums of Lily & Ricky respectively, are about the same family. Good friends for a long time, they moved to the UK in 2000. Sadly we have lost touch with them but the photographs and memories remain.


Another 'Phony Photo Booth' video. These really crack me up!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the Show must go on

First layout done with Club Scrap kit 'To you with Love' from Feb 2004. Some Prisma flowers, a heart rub-on by My Mind's Eye and a sticker by Art Warehouse. This layout is for my BOM. It is the first photograph of us as a couple. I love this photo because we both look happy - me in my way and Joe in his way. I love the look in his eyes, the expression on his face. I would like to think that this photo played an important part in convincing me that Joe was the one for me!

There was a very ugly & distracting painting on the wall behind us so I tried my best to get rid of it. But the touching up is evident.

Second layout done with papers & stickers from a Scrapologie kit.

P.S. I realise after posting here that both layouts look kinda wonky ... LOL! Not so evident IRL so I am not making any changes in the layouts.

And now for something fun! Magical fun!!

Monday, September 03, 2007


First layout done with Club Scrap Poetic kit. Swirly stamps and some printed word art downloaded from the internet. Lily with her cousins and close friends, all engrossed in some TV show. I like this photograph for 2 reasons: the expression on Lily's face and that I was able to get five extremely active children in a single frame!

Second layout uses mostly card stock. Not sure who makes the blue printed strip of paper. The white coaster is by Imagination Project. Stickers are by 7 Gypsies. Heidi Swapp chipboard alphas. Photograph from 1999. We took Ricky to Ocean Park for the day. He got to choose all the rides and games. I do believe that Joe had as much, if not more fun, than Ricky at the games! And I even let him have French fries and a coke. All this because he had been really good his first week in Kindergarten.


I have been contemplating another trip to India. This time I wish to go on a tiger safari - there are so few of these beautiful animals left - I wish to see at least one in the wild before the Chinese eat them all up! Who wants to join me? ROLF!!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Long Ago Friends

Club Scrap Friendship kit used for this layout. Also, Frances Meyer alpha stickers. 'Friends' drawn and cut freehand. A layout about two sisters, good friends of Lily who moved away from Hong Kong in 1998. Our families have lost touch since but it was a sweet friendship while it lasted.

This clip is from an Italian movie. What I liked about it is the way the 'laid back' life style is portrayed. Could not be more accurate!