Thursday, September 02, 2010

Worst fight scene EVER!

Seriously!  I doubt you will ever see anything this bad in any film or TV footage.

Again the number 13 pops up!

The date: August 13th 2010
The time: 13:13
The players: One boy, 13 years old.

At this date, at this time the boy got struck by lightning.  Thankfully he is safe now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

To Kill an American

I have not bothered to verify the authenticity of the story behind this little piece below because it is a wonderful collection of thoughts by itself - it does not make much difference why it was written (and I could not find the original publication to be able to give proper credit).Of course, we are all aware of the hatred that permeates the world today and anything that counteracts it will get my whole hearted support. So this is what I heard but have not checked out:

Sometime in the last week of July or the first week of August 2010 someone published an offer of payment, in a Pakistani newspaper, to anyone who killed an American - any American. In response to this an editorial was published by an Australian dentist on how to identify an American, making it easier to kill them. 

An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.
In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything…the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It’s been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So, you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place, they are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

Friday, August 13, 2010

World Record for speeding fines!!

I have always had a bone to pick with the Swiss authorities about their speeding checks and fines.  I have to watch the speedometer more often than the road to see where I am going.  And they are not forgiving of even the slightest infraction - ever!  Even a few kilometres over the limit and you can be sure to either get flagged down and taken to the nearest police station, or receive a love note in the mail.  Most surely the former if you are in a car from outside the country.

And then there was this Swede, 29 years old, who decided to stick his nose up at the Swiss road police.  He was caught speeding at 290 kph (180 mph) by some new fangled camera (trust the Swiss to have the latest equipment to catch the speed nuts).  And so he was fined - and what a fine!!  A world record of Euro 928.770,45. At today's exchange rate that would a cool US$ 1.2 million.  Niiiiceee!

So if you like to drive, enjoy the rush of speed and do not have a few million to toss in the wind, when in Switzerland use public transportation.  Or keep an eye on every damn speed limit sign!!  Bon Voyage!!


Sunday, June 20, 2010


I do not care much for wrestling - or other contact sports. But this Turkish sport I think I could watch!! LOL! The very well oiled participants try to grab the family jewels of the opponent. If they manage to get a good grip and squeeze hard enough, the poor guy in the difficult position slaps the ground thrice to acknowledge defeat.

Thanks to Aeryn for bringing this to my attention ;)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Titanic Awards

A new website called Titanic Awards put together this video below. The mission of the site is to give us a more accurate view of what travel might be like for most of us. Travel writers usually tend to paint a rosy picture about travelling and destinations becaue either they are paid to do so or they have earned free trips or some such. So ... a dose of reality before you pack your bags and who knows, you just might appreciate your holiday that much more!

Covering an album

My first attempt covering an album - the pink part was done already. I just stitched the green part, applied the label, embroidered the word 'travel' and then glued it all together. Surely my next attempt will be better ;)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Angkor Wat

For my next project I have to perfect my technique of working fast and producing pages that are fuss free and have clean lines, with a contemporary look. And below is the first example of this style. Took me a half day to complete but it is not bad for starters! If only I had a bigger table to work on ... and all my supplies visibly stored.

Cardstock is actually the same colour but some how the shades got altered in the scanning process. The itty bitty pieces of printed paper and round chipboards are by Imagination Project. Rub On alphas are by Gin-X and the round 'Sights' sticker is by Chatter Box. The rub-ons on the two smaller round white chipboards are from 7Gypsies. Stamps on the larger chipboard by Art Warehouse.

Monday, June 07, 2010


This layout, though finished a couple of days back, took a while to post. Because I just upgraded to Adobe CS5!! I am sooooo excited! I tried just a few features and totally LOVE it! Will be spending the next few days on ;) I may not be posting as many layouts till I have mastered at least the basic upgrades.

The printed paper is from Sei but I stippled it with coffee ink to subdue the colours a bit. Cardstock is from Club Scrap. Letters for the title are made using Tim Holtz masks. I found these again so be prepared for lots of masking over the next few layouts ... lol!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Killing Fields

These photographs from the Killing Fields of Cambodia were very difficult to work with. When Lily tried talking about it all she could remember was the pain and depression she felt looking at all the skulls. The photos are of the human remains of Juvenile females, 15-20 years old - just Lily's age group. It is unsettling, looking at these skulls, knowing that these were once young girls just like her who suddenly had their dreams, their lives, snuffed out just because of their race.

I decided to keep the layout as basic and simple as possible. No trinkets, colours or frills. Crate paper had just the colours I was looking for. Love the texture of these papers and the distressed look. Crate seems to do it especially well.

Friday, June 04, 2010


I found some rub-ons in my stash that are still perfect! I wish I could stick to these brands but that might be easier said than done. The large capital letters are from Flair Designs and the small block letters are from American Traditional. The website for Flair Designs is not active and I cannot find much of their products for sale online. This is a real pity because the quality was good! With the American Traditional website I was redirected to another called Momenta but I could not find a good collection of letter rub-ons. Paper is all from the Mosaic Twist kit by Club Scrap. Swirls stamp unknown. Journaling on a 7 Gypsies thingy (what is it called?) that I stippled with some ink called Outdoor Denim. I bought some stippling brushes from Toy Box ages ago and they are still the best stippling brushes I have used.

The girls spent a short while on the St. Kilda beach in Melbourne. A welcome break from all the drama workshops but of course everything they were learning came into play when taking photographs! The photo with the four backsides is quite a favourite with Lily.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Tried that video thingy on Picasa with some of my favourite photos of both the kids

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cambodia title page

Last year Lily and a group of her schoolmates went to Cambodia for a week. They spent some time in working in an orphanage and then the last three days visited Angkor Wat.

This took a while to put together because there was this one layout I wanted to copy from the current CK but I also wanted to use filigree designs. So I had to stamp the leaves, flowers. stems etc. separately then cut them out and place them on the layout. Papers are all actually from Club Scrap Key to my Heart kit but the very light shades are not evident in the scans. Stamps are by Stampa Rosa. Alpha stamps are by Gelatins. Rub-on by Fancy Pants. French curves used to make the stems.

P.S. Second attempt at trying my technique to use dried up rub-ons and it worked this time too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

R and R

Some rest, relaxation and shopping before heading home!

Almost everything used in this kit is from Club Scrap Bugs kit. The flowers & insects outlined with a Zig grey pen. Black outlines were a bit too sharp for my liking. The r&r title is hand written and coloured, then cut out. Art Warehouse journalling stamp. the sentiment stamp is from another Club Scrap kit - something travel related.

All inks used for stamping are Fresco by Stampa Rosa - how I miss this brand! They made the most awesome stamping supplies ever! Filigree EP, Cloisonné, Fresco chalk inks ... just to name a few. And of course their stamps were so exquisite! My ink pads are now drying out a bit and I do not have re-inkers :( Any suggestions? TIA!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's Not Easy

This particular drama workshop was called Physical Theatre. It was hard work! One of the courses, for example, was the Suzuki Actor Training.  By the time the class was finished the students could only think of sitting down and not doing anything else for the rest of the day!
The Suzuki Method of Actor Training develops the actor's inner physical sensibilities, builds the will, stamina and concentration. The workshop activities include a series of exercises centered around the use of the feet in relation to one's center. These exercises are designed to throw the body off center while maintaining a consistent level of energy and not swaying the upper body. The energy necessary to accomplish this task is considerable and constitutes a primary focus of this work. In the course of doing these exercises the body becomes more centered, and thus changes the manner in which the actor views his/herself within their body. This change is also related to how the actor views their work onstage. Issues such as engrained habits become more apparent as do strengths and weaknesses. By developing the body awareness of the corporal center, and a consistent level of energy, primary elements of the actor's awareness are heightened. The best and most consistent evidence of this work is apparent onstage reflected through an increasingly centered and controlled actor. (Source)

Papers and sticker are from Club Scrap Moody Blues kit. Loopy brads by Karen Foster Design. Small alpha letter stamps are by PSX. Large letter stamps used for the title are by Gelatins.

Earth Magic

Australia possesses some delightful nature parks. Here Lily is at the Kondalilla park enjoying a dip in a sparkling fresh water pool. And a very interesting Japanese theatre class was taught around a campfire.

Layout done with Club Scrap kit Down to Earth kit. All other cardstock also from Club Scrap.

Our home for the week

The dorms at Montville, and Lily and Riva just hanging out - how much fun was it just standing on a grill door like that and swinging back and forth? The place was verdant and the students spent a good part of their time outdoors. They also had to cook by themselves and here was the fun part. Lily is quite the gourmand but can just about boil an egg. So she had to eat whatever was dished up by a bunch of sixteen year old enterprising wanna-be chefs - including some terrible pasta. But when one is young, with friends and having fun everything is easier to adjust to.

This page is done with the Club Scrap Tuscany kit (paper, border stickers, letter stickers, lemon rubberstamp). Other elements are Art Warehouse journalling stamps, petal pebbles, rub-on (you are here) by 7 Gypsies and (fleur-de-lis pattern) by Fancy Pants.  The small letter stamps are PSX.  The wavy line on either side of 'our' is a stamp by Art Baker - the calligraphy set.

How to revive a dried up Rub-On

Now here is an update on those dried up rub-ons. Fancy Pants wrote back and though they were very polite and kind, basically they told me that they had never heard of a problem like mine before (so this is happening only to me? I have sheets & sheets of rub-ons from Creative Imaginations just hanging there, mocking my crazy shopping sprees), if I wanted a replacement I had to contact the vendor (ummm ... got this over two yeas ago so who remembers...) and not a hint of a solution (I mean the problem does not exist, right, so why would they have a solution!?!)

Anyhoo, if you find that your rub-on is stuck to the backing paper then this is not for you. Those rub-ons unfortunately will have to be written off. If however your rub on is still intact, just dried out, you can give this technique a try. Do not hold me to perfect results because I have done it just once till now. I have to do this experiment a few times before I can state that it really works. While I am trying it with my dried out rub-ons, perhaps you can give it a try with yours? Better than just throwing them away. I will appreciate any feedback, tips or comments about this.

You will need US Art Quest paper perfect matte glue. Remove the backing paper from the rub on and lie it design side facing down on a hard surface. You should have the once-sticky backside of the design staring you in the face and reminding you of dollars lost. Now, dip a fingertip into the glue and gently dab a very thin layer onto the whole of the rub-on. Leave it face up till almost completely dry. It should feel just very slightly tacky to the touch. Now turn rub-on over and place it on your page (again - be prepared with some back up or cover up options if this does not work!!) and gently rub with an embossing stylus. At this point the design should stick to your page but as you can see mine was not perfect. Some bits of the rub-on just completely flaked away. Yet I was happy that I managed to get most of it on - the look is even more distressed than Fancy Pants intended it to be ... lol! I then used the same glue and my finger tip to put a thin layer on top as a sealant - just to make sure that it does not come off easily.

Bonne chance!!

Friday, May 21, 2010


During the drama workshop in Montville, one technique that the students found interesting was 'Butoh'. It is believed to have originated in Japan after the nuclear bombs wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other incidents of social unrest. The movements of Butoh are usually slow and grotesque. The bodies are painted white and eyes rolled up to show only the whites. All very reminiscent of darkness, decay and death. Quoting Iwana Masaki, present day Butoh involves extricating the pure life which is dormant in our bodies. okaaaay ... whatever! I do not get it. To me the whole thing just looks quite creepy ... lol!

Papers are Club Scrap fruit and Vine kit.  Large red letters are American Crafts Thickers. Photo corners are metallic and made by Daisy D's.  Little fans are cut out from a larger stamp by Magenta.Not sure where I got the sequin stamp - it is unmounted and part of a set.  The yellow strip is stamped with Kanji script and then cut with scalloped edge scissors.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

So Zen Zen Zo

All papers are from the Club Scrap Tie Dye kit. Flowers are rub-ons by Sassafrass Lass - no complaints about this brand either. They went on smooth as butter even though I have had them for a very long time. So the Fancy Pants Design rub ons are not looking good quality-wise. Plus they have yet to respond to my very polite query about the product. It has been a little over a week now. Title letters stamped and embossed - stamps by Wordsworth. Black detail Ep and ink on purple cardstock. I then cut out the letters.

Lily with her drama teachers, Zen Zen Zo instructors and fellow students somewhere in the Australian wilderness. She brought back two ugly tick bites as a reminder of all the communing with nature that the students did on this trip ;)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Finishing off ...

Absolutely the last layout for the Ski trip to Switzerland. Put together the photographs that did not seem to fit elsewhere.

I could not get my rub-ons to rub on. So I cut them out and stuck them to cardstock. Then to emphasise them (because they were sticking out anyway) I used foam bits. Paper is from Club Scrap. Yes, those are two different shades of cardstock. The rub-on that did not, is from Fancy Pants. Good thing I bought just one! Stamps are from ... (later). About those rub-ons: I wrote to Fancy Pants asking if they knew of any way to revive dried out rub-ones. Such pretty designs! I really do not want to throw them out with the garbage. I will post here if I get a reply and if there are any instructions :). Not getting my hopes too high though.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Down Under Drama

And now - a page!! lol!! I had such a hard time finding all my supplies. I could not remember where everything was. And so I ended up using things that I found by chance - I did not even remember having purchased - like Shotz by Danelle Johnson. Or letter stickers by Frances Meyer. OMG! Those sure are dated!! I think I spent the better part of the day getting reacquainted with my supplies.  Paper is all Club Scrap.  And since this is from Lily's travel album I have left the journalling for her.  Just so you do not feel left out ;) - she went with a bunch of other students to Melbourne, Australia in 2008 for a Drama camp with Zen Zen Zo, an Ozzie Theatre group.  So they did not do much sightseeing except this one museum they visited.  Most of the stay was spent in workshops and seeing plays.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mera Bharat Mahaan!

We live in a nation

  • Where a pizza delivery reaches your home faster than an ambulance or the police
  • Where you get a car loan @ 5% and an education loan @ 12%, 
  • Where rice is Rs 40/- per kg but a sim card is free
  • Where a millionaire buys a cricket team but donates nothing to any charity
  • Where the footwear we wear are sold in air conditioned showrooms, but vegetables that we eat are sold on the footpath 
  • Where everybody wants to be rich and famous but nobody wants to make the effort necessary to be rich and famous 
  • Where we make lemon juices with artificial flavours and dish-washing liquids with real lemon. 
  • Where people are standing at tea stalls reading an article about child labour from a newspaper and say,"yaar bachhonse kaam karvane wale ko to phansi par chadha dena chahiye" and then they shout "Oye chhotu, 2 chaii laao....."

Incredible India,
Mera Bharat Mahaan :)

Double Happiness card

My employer is getting married. And so finally, after a break of more than two years, I made a card. Quite enjoyed it too! I used a 'Wild Card' template from Wordsworth Stamps. Troublesome sending these cards by mail so I usually use them when I know I will be hand delivering the card. This card will contain cash - the most appreciated form of gift for any occasion for the Chinese. Any number with 8 is good but best to avoid any 4s.

I made the background using a Club Scrap stamp of two small bamboo leaves and tone on tone. The fish are cut out from a Stampendous stamp. Double Happiness is by Hero Arts. The silver embossed Kanji writing is by Sunday International - one of my most used stamps I believe :) All papers are from Club Scraps Fruit & Vine kit. Fish & Double Happiness are embossed using Chinese Red EP. I wish I had detail gold embossing powder on hand. It (gold and red) would have been more appreciated than silver and red. But after sitting there for a while all my gold ep has gone bad. Not only does it stink to high heavens, when embossed it looks almost black. None of the other embossing powders have deteriorated in this manner. And since the local RS store is quite a distance away, silver it had to be.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Web Directions

John Allsop has data published from his latest survey on current web trends.  I for one am thrilled that Firefox is the browser of choice for most people - it is the best out there.  I am also starting to use Chrome a lot more.  I never, ever use IE!!  Check here for the PDF with all details.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I feel GREAT!

Somehow, this after watching this video I had a very good day! The music is invigorating and the words motivated me a lot. Definitely worth the time spent watching it! Thanks to igetrealtv for some very interesting videos.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Avatar & Disney's Pocahontas

I really, really enjoyed Avatar!! I especially loved the story - particularly the environmental awareness message. And then I saw this and I have to say - it cannot be denied :) - the similarities in the story are striking indeed - including the initials of the hero!! I am still a huge Avatar fan - have seen it 3 times already but henceforth I will watch it with a new awareness ... LOL!

Click on image to see full size.