Monday, May 25, 2009

We are moving!!

A quick post.

Since I came back from my weekend away at Cairns, I have been so caught up with lots of nitty gritty stuff, I have not got time to take pics of the layouts I did at the retreat! I did an album on Saturday, and managed to churn out 8 layouts on Sunday. Very pleased....

So what are the nitty gritty stuff? Selling furniture, eBaying, organising the move, etc etc. Yes, the move. We are finally moving into our house. We sold most of the furniture we wanted to sell at very good prices (better than expected), so we are pretty happy. Boxes are lying around everywhere in the house in every shape and form - flattened, folded, filled, half-filled ...... My head feels like it is overflowing, I can't process a lot these days. To make matters worse, our washing machine broke down. Of all times. This machine is 12 years old. Never once did it give us any problems. Its sudden death is quite untimely to say the least. We are financially tight at the moment with moving and getting things ready for the new house. Needless to say, we have no time to shop around for a new one. And the demise of a washing machine, a modern day necessity, is just ... plain WRONG!!! We thought of getting one on rental for the time being to tie us over. Then a saviour came to our rescue. My FIL - quite the UNusual suspect - told us he has one sitting in his shed. Why would an old man living on his own buy a spare washing machine, I have no idea, but hey, it worked out for us. So Peter went to his house to pick it up and now we have a borrowed, albeit crappy, but working washing machine. I can't complain.

Anyways.... packing is full steam ahead from now on. So pardon me if I don't blog .... (what's changed?? LOL) but I'll be back online as soon as I can.

Good luck with my move!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cairns retreat & girly chimp

Just a very quick post. I'm in a mad hurry to pack for a retreat I'm going to.... in Cairns! Yes!! My first interstate retreat. I'm going to have a weekend of fun with the girls from Scrap Therapy. I'm stressing out on what to pack. If you think packing to go for a local retreat is tough, try packing for a retreat where you have to fly to get there.

Anyways, a minor zoological technical error I made in my last post - Magoo is not a monkey. It is a chimpanzee. I kind of just noticed... that he doesn't have a tail. :D So there we go.... Magoo the chimpanzee. On that note, we were invited to a Christening last Sunday. And I made a girl version of Magoo, for the baby girl who was christened. I don't have a name for her. I gathered, the baby girl will name her when she's ready. :)

This time round, I did a few things differently. But boy did I struggle with the skirt. As there was no pattern, and I'm not exactly Paton or Burda material, so I had to do it by trial and error. You wouldn't believe how many times this skirt has gone through facelifts in its shortest lifetime. I would have stitched, unstitched, cut, stitched, unstiched again, cut some more, stitched again,.... you get the drift. I spent more time on the skirt than sewing the whole chimp. Anyways... it turned out really gorgeous and I love her. I wanted to add more feminine touches, so I added a Prima flower on her head, and gave her some "mascara lashes" too.

OK... time to go back to packing. I'm still stressed. But I'll have a great weekend. Looking forward to some sunshine and tropical rain. :) :) See you when I'm back!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Moving. Monkey. More fabrics.

We have a date! When we are getting our keys that is. 29th May 2009. So we are moving in 30th May 2009.


I think I have to start organising things into Garage Sale pile and Moving pile. Believe it or not, I've never moved a family before. I've moved from place to place before, but it's all just me - moved out of house, moved into my first marital home, split and moved out, moved from one flat to another, and another, moved my whole life to Australia .... but I've never MOVED with an entire family. This is like ... massive! I don't even know where to begin to pack?! Apparently there is a kind of service - The White Glove Mover, where you most likely pay through your nose for, and a team of professional removalists will come and pack everything for you, move them to your new place, AND UNPACK everything and put everything where they belong. You literally just walk out of your old house, have a day out, and walk straight into your new house and enjoy. I don't think I have enough arms and legs in my next 10 life times to pay for that!

I have recently got into sewing. I've owned a sewing machine since 6 Mother's Days ago. I've only used it for scrapbooking stitching and hemming. For a few months now, Ruey has been doing lots of 'research' on sewing projects. She decided she wants to get a sewing machine and sew her own cushions and a long list of other projects. I caught on to that fever pretty quickly too. We decided to do this little project together, to build our confidence... actually more like my confidence really. So we bought this Melly & Me's Magoo pattern. Magoo is a soft stuffed monkey. We bought our fabrics during the recent Stitches and Craft show, and a whole lot of other tools of the trade. A month later, and after spending 2 bombs, we finally got together the other day and did our Magoos. We didn't quite finish the project on the day cos as newbies, we spent a bit of time deciphering instructions. I finished up the project late that night... and here he is... in his spotty glory and drawstring shorts.

So there you go, my first big sewing project. hehehe.... We've been invited to a christening this weekend... I think I might make another one for the little baby girl. :)

I did some fabric shopping .... this is Spotlight stash...

... this is Kelani stash....

I have plans for more monkeys and a skirt for DD.

Kids are back to school today. Phew... I'm back to normal. I could go to the gym and do grocery shopping by myself. But I think I'll start organising our garage sale like I said I would. hehehe...

That's all for now. Have a good week! Ciao!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bad Blogger. Redeem with pics.

I've been "reminded" by a few people that I haven't updated my blog forever. Guilty as charged.

Let's see.... perhaps show you a few projects to redeem myself? :) :)

Scrapware has a brand new release in April 2009 at the SIA trade event. A whole lot of new products..... so cute, so fun to work with. I picked a few of them and made these....

A door hanger kit - includes STOP and KEEP OUT signs. Monster pack (CH122) is available separately in a pack of 3 . I absolutely love the KaPow journaling spot, it is a sure hit for those who wants to make something SEEN.

I was given a Goodie Holder Kit (KT31) again, but this time, a girly theme. I couldn't go pass those candy colours from Cosmo Cricket's Girl Friday papers. What's new from Scrapware? The Flourish Loni Large (CH167) on both sides of the handle and Funky Birds Small (CH136) on the side. I shall attempt to take a few more dimensions of this cute Goodie Holder when I get it back.
Then I also made a Greeting Card box to use some of the new embellishments. The greeting card box is an idea from Angie Kennedy Juda. Basically it is made by folding 1 sheet of 12x12 patterned paper / cardstock into a handbag-like box, and you can customise any kind of greeting cards to be placed inside. I think it is a brilliant gift idea for people who has no time to go shopping for greeting cards. That way, they can use the handmade greeting cards from the box, and the best part is, they are giving out greeting cards that are handmade! (by YOU!!) Seen on the box is Flourish Lisa Small (CH133).

If you want to get your hands on these products, get your LSS or favourite online shop to order from Scrapware.

OK, now that I'm done with show and tell, a little update on everything.

Kids have been doing very well at school. Phaedon has taken to prep year like water off a duck's back. Ellen is cruising through Grade 1 as well. I have no worries in that department at all.... so far (fingers crossed). Otherwise, they have been well. We are now having Term 1 school holidays. I'm sure many moms out there are with me on this -- why do we always struggle to get them out of bed during school days, yet they have no troubles waking up early during school holidays?!?!?!?!?! They give us more grief while staying at home, fighting, bickering and arguing over everything. I SINCERELY believe that absence makes the heart go fonder, really I do.

And some exciting news.... we are going to get our house back ... soon! Porter Davis has vacated the display home we bought. The furnishing company has offered all the display furniture to us at VERY, VERY attractive prices, so we bought quite a few pieces, and they removed the rest. We know that a builder/contractor will, in the next month, be converting the sales office to a garage for us, as well as fixing up bits and pieces inside the house. We should be able to move in early June! YAY!!!!! We have waited quite a while for this to happen. Since we bought the home, we regularly drive past to drool over it, and sometimes even walk in and visit just to touch and feel everything inside OUR house. It is finally OURS!!!! We've been to Ikea to shop and plan for more furniture to buy and we are mentally sorting out the things we want to sell at the garage sale. We also have big pieces of furniture to sell too - 9-piece Dining Table set (timber with upholstered chairs), a Red Gum / Jarrah entertainment unit, a Red Gum coffee table, 2 tallboys, an Ikea Aneboda chest of drawers, and probably more. If anyone in Melbourne is interested in furnishing their house... email me and I'll take pics to show.

We also manage to take a photo of this billboard at the intersection not far from our home ....

See... that's our home on the billboard!! I just had to take a photo of this.... how often do you get your home featured on a billboard?? hehehe.... I think there might just be a layout of this... LOL.

I have been working out at the gym quite a lot for the past month or so, at least 3-4 times a week. I haven't lost any weight as such cos I know I'm gaining them from muscles. I'm aiming for a gut-free body shape by the time I go to Singapore for my holidays in June. I have another 8 weeks to go!

Scrapping wise, I have been lazy with layouts. I've just been doing little projects to giveaway as gifts. I made another greeting cardbox for a wedding couple .... For the box, I used GCD Studios Canta patterned paper, Heidi Swapp glitter florals, a silver glitter wide ribbon with Creative Imaginations jewel brad and Nestabilities scalloped heart diecuts.

As for the 12 Thank You cards inside .... oh man! Do I LOVE the Fiskars Apron Lace border punch or what?? I have Tracey to thank for this.... Tracey is a really lovely lady and I was sitting next to her at the Scrapbook Scene Bushfire crop. Now Tracey has the latest and greatest scrapbooking stash, because she can't wait till the Aussie traders bring them in (cos we always miss out when the US manufacturers finish catering to US retailers... gee, when are they going to learn??), she bought this punch from the US. Not to mention her latest Stampin' Up In Colour Stash?!?!! I want to sit next to her everytime!! LOL..... I have embossed the front cover of the card with Swiss Dots, Apron-Lace-Border-punched the foldover flap, Round-scallop-punched the sugarcoated cardstock, and stamped a greeting from SU Riveting stamp set with the latest Baja Breeze ink on white cardstock. I almost didn't want to give this set away to the wedding couple!!

For the kids' teachers, I made these little easter egg baskets. Once again, they are projects from Angie Kennedy Juda. Notice the strips of 'straw'? Who would have thought paper crimpers would make their way back into scrapbooking!?! hee hee.... And I LOVE those eggs. Not the chocolate, but the beautiful colour wrappers. Look for them in your supermarket, they are the Cadbury Heritage Chocolate Easter Eggs. They just go so well with the .... you guessed right.... Cosmo Cricket Girl Friday papers! BTW.... can you tell I've used Cosmo Cricket Girl Friday papers to death?

OK.... enough for one big massive catch up post. I'm sorry again. Will really put this blogging business into routine. Until then.... have a great Easter weekend!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Scrapped. Stones. School.

Aahh... it has been over 2 weeks. Where do I begin?

I have scrapped. Layouts. Yes. Quite unbelievable, I thought. I have not scrapped a layout in months. Then in the last 2 weeks, I did 5!!! I am very very happy I did. I felt that I am a-l-m-o-s-t back. hehehe.....  I submitted them to the mags and 2 layouts got picked! Now, I am beside myself, thrilled and getting excited about being published all over again. LOL... I need some "KitchenAid money". :) :) :)  

These are the other 3 layouts I did.

My Barista - a double-page layout about my hubby honing his coffee making skills after he attended a Barista course, and is now a TAFE certified Barista. Perhaps he should leave his job and become one! hehehe... I used Rose Moka papers, KI Memories Sheer Delight and lace cardstock, Luxe rubons, Prima barcode tape, Scenic Route chipboard letters, 7Gypsies metal embellishments, Scrapware chipboard circles and Elle's Studios XL journaling card.

{HUGS} - Hugs department, always open, always free. I like this layout because I challenged myself to use minimal patterned paper and make more white space. Products: Basic Grey papers and chipboard stickers, American Crafts chipboard letters and Carolees Creations letter stickers.

Castle Cake - I haven't used pink cardstock for layouts for as long as I can remember. But somehow, these patterned papers just called for it. It's my daughter's birthday cake when she turned 6 last year. Very amateur in cake-icing as you can tell, but hey, it saved me heaps of money and she liked it. That's all that matters. But you know what, I think with lots of lollies, most people will overlook the flaws of the icing. hahahaha....  Products: October Afternoon papers and diecuts, Bazzill cardstock, American Crafts puffy alphabet stickers, Rose Moka letter stickers, Heidi Swapp flower, Heidi Grace pin and brad and Elle's Studios journaling card. The 2 leaves are made with Making Memories Slice Machine which Felicity kindly let me use. Thanks, Flick!

Anyways, my husband has been suffering from kidney stones for 11 days. Everyone I told seem to give me the same reaction - Ouch... it's very painful. Yeah, don't I know that. Mum in Singapore said it's more painful than child birth, so did Peter's aunt, and many women. Mum kept asking me why it's taking us so long to have it removed. Well, the simple answer is our sickeningly screwed up health care system in Australia. Peter suffered his first kidney stones attack in Singapore while we were on holidays, Jan 2000, we weren't married back then. We first went to a 24-hour clinic because he was in a lot of pain in the middle of the night. The doctor injected him with morphine straight away. So he slept in the surgery for a short while. The next day, we went to a hospital when the pain came back and he was white as a sheet. They admitted him straight away, sent him for a CT scan and diagnosed the sizes of the stones straight away. Because they were tiny, he was advised to let them pass.

This time? We waited for an hour at the emergency to get triaged, another hour to get into an examination room, only to be given some panadeine forte, a blood test and a urine test, and an all-clear-good-to-go-home. For the next 2 days, he was just pumping panadeine forte like lollies but to no avail. I finally dragged him to go back to a doctor and get it checked. This time because it's a normal GP, he had to do blood test, urine test and an Xray - all Medicare SOP (standard operating procedure). Went back next day, to get results - inconclusive! THEN he ordered a CT scan (now compare the days it took for us to get a CT scan here as opposed to Singapore). Carrying on the brand of healthcare sucks, Melbourne was hit by a massive power outage which prevented the Imaging centre to send the results to the GP for a few days. Until today, the GP still hasn't received the scan results. I got fedup and asked Peter to go collect the results himself. That way, clinic and imaging centre can stop playing the blame game! So he brought his scan results into the clinic today to get the GP to explain what next. The biggest damn stone is 8mm big!!! Finally organised for him to go for surgery to have it removed. Mum cannot get her head around the length of time we had to wait to get treated, and all the different places we had to go to get things done (don't forget we had to pick up the scan results ourselves or else we could still be waiting), hence increasing the waiting time and finger-pointing games. Quite frankly, after living here for 10 years, I don't either. Doesn't our healthcare here suck big time?

Today, it's our first day back at school. After staying at home for 6 weeks, I think my kids have had enough, so has their mum. Not to mention, the last 2 weeks, I had one sick, grumpy old man under the roof 24/7 as well. Let's do a bit of math here...
Grumpy sick man + 2 feral kids x last 11 days of school holidays = a very very unhappy mum.
I was telling a friend, and probably using a bad analogy, that it feels like I had been constipated for 2 weeks and today was my first bathroom visit. Get it?


Anyways, Phaedon's first day at Prep was perfect. He bounced out of bed at 7am, dashed to the dining table and asked for cereal for brekky, scoffed it down in minutes, greeted me with a 'GOOD MORNING MUM!" and a big grin, rushed to get washed and cleaned and changed into his uniform, and was ready by 7.30am sitting on the couch. Good huh? Let's see how long this will last..... On the other hand, the big sister was the opposite but I won't delve on her too much cos she was just miserable and difficult.

We got to school and took Ellen to her classroom. All of a sudden she just became clingy and shy and didn't want to say hello to her teacher. I know why, it's because she knows that Phaedon has got the same Prep teacher she had -- Jealousy. She used to be the teacher's pet. Now she has a new teacher, and her favourite teacher has become her brother's. Phaedon on the other hand just cruised into his classroom and sat down playing.... no drama at all. See the difference between girls and boys?

Think this is a long enough post. I'll leave you with a few photos taken today.... pay close attention to the proportion of the size of school bag to the kid.

Good night from me, everyone.

Friday, January 16, 2009


It's my birthday today
I'm older than yesterday
All my friends are coming over to play
And they'll all sing happy birthday

Don't laugh. This is part of a kiddy song, It's My Birthday Today by Justine Clarke, an Australia singer who does a lot of children songs. This one has a very catchy tune, and I like it.

Yes I turned 39 today. Did I get spoilt? Hmmm.... let me see... I got MANY birthday wishes from friends on Facebook, a phone call from my sister in law, a phone call from my girlfriend in Hong Kong, SMSs from my brothers, and a visit from Ruey who came bearing McDonald's breakfast and ingredients for Laksa lunch. I am very blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who care. I don't expect people to remember birthdays in this day and age. People rely on technology too much. Their phones, PDAs, digital diaries, online birthday calendars... etc. So if they call / email / SMS me to wish me happy birthday, I'm grateful that at least I made it onto their birthday reminders! LOL... 

But the most special of all gifts, is an email from my 15 yo, Vickie to wish me Happy Birthday. The email came with a couple of happy birthday JPG and GIF images that she made herself on Photoshop. It was so sweet and I'm very touched. It truly meant a lot to me that we have made this progress. By the way, she was the one who told me I have already failed my new year resolution of blogging at least once a week! Shame on me...

I got myself out of cooking tonight. Peter took us to our favourite local cafe, Ace's Place for dinner. Mind you, I was still full from my Laksa lunch with Ruey, but that didn't stop me from my usual order of garlic bread and seafood risotto. It was yummmm....  No plans for tomorrow yet. But I know what I'm doing on Sunday!  A few scrapbooking girlfriends are gathering at Ruey's place for a day & night crop, with a dinner break at a Chinese restaurant close by. That's my kind of fun! Scrap, chat, eat, chat, scrap, chat.... can't wait!!!

Oh... to spoil myself, I put one of these on layby.

I've been wanting one of these KitchenAid mixers for a looooooooong while now. I'm not a fabulous baker nor a super chef but I aspire to be a domestic goddess and I think that little baby will help me. LOL... nah, I just have a very crappy mixer at the moment that I have to hold with my hands to beat/mix even though it has a rotating base and bowl and is supposed to do that all by itself. So I just wanted one that actually can beat/mix on its own without needing my help, so I can concentrate on talking to the camera like Nigella. 

Anyways, it's almost bedtime for me.... almost. hehehe... Will update again after Sunday's rendezvous with the girls!  Nitey Nite!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Week of Christmas and New Year's

Christmas - A very quiet Christmas Day we had. We practically watched TV all day!!! LITERALLY!! We started the day with kids opening presents, then clearing up all the rubbish from opening presents, and then we started watching... Ellen's High School Musical DVD, Lifestyle Food Channel for a few hours and then, I embarked on my quest - catching up with Brothers & Sisters. I stopped watching the series from Season 2 Ep 5 ... I think being busy and all, so it was a massive catchup - 12 episodes of S2 and 10 episodes of S3! My eyes were popping out of the socket by 2am in the morning.

Oh.... what did I get for Christmas? I guess my Cuttlebug is my Christmas present! I gave Peter a voucher to go for a Barista class. He loves making coffee and takes great pride in it. I think the course which will certify him as a qualified barista will make him happy. Ellen got a VTech TV Learning game, Phaedon got a bike. There are lots of other little presents but I won't go into details. Overall, we are all very lucky.

Boxing Day - we went to Big W wanting to buy a BBQ that was on sale. Tried 5 different stores (by phone) before we found a unit available. It's not that we don't have a BBQ. In fact, we have 2 - a Weber Kettle as well as a Souvlaki grill type of BBQ. But those are charcoal BBQs and we wanted a gas one for 2 reasons. In summer, we often get fire ban days where we can't light a fire, BBQs included. Secondly, very often we just want to quickly grill some meats to get the chargrilled taste (and marks), instead of having to pan fry them inside the house, causing lots of smoke and smell, not to mention the 2 hours needed to set up the fire. Peter and I spent the evening setting up the BBQ while getting bitten alive by mosquitos.

27th - we went for a drive to Geelong with Peter's cousin, Ange and her hubby and kids. There was lots of traffic going up to Geelong, and the beach was actually quite filthy for some reason. But we certainly got a good tan that day, and some gas-baggin' amongst relatives!

28th - got invited to Cath and Jason's for lunch, and of course a swim in their pool. Kids had an absolute ball!

30th - invited Ruey, Joseph over for an impromptu BBQ to test our new toy. Ruey jumped on the opportunity so she didn't have to cook! (I would too, lol.) So we just quickly went out to buy some lamb chops and cutlets and some chicken, came home and marinated them. I made a mango salad and a kumato and bocconcini side dish. All the food got polished!!!! Gotta love people who love to eat. If you haven't seen a kumato, it is a tomato variety that has a purplish black skin and just INCREDIBLY sweet as a tomato. The actual variety is called Russian Black tomato, and Woolworths has patented the name Kumato. The only way to savour this variety, is to eat it raw in salads, and spare the dressing. Just lightly salt it, and drizzle some good quality olive oil. We served ours with a bocconcini and basil leaves, salt and olive oil. YUM-MO....

31st - went to Jenny and Lyndon's for a NYE party cum farewell dinner for Lyndon who is going to Singapore to work for 2 years. I am insanely jealous... wishing Peter had such an opportunity so we can go back to Singapore for a while. Sigh.... 

1st Jan 2009, 0149 hrs - HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! I know, not everyone has celebrated New Year's yet due to time difference, but we have. It's 2009! I'm going to be 39 in about 2 weeks' time! What do I wish for? mmm.... good health to everyone, be thankful and be grateful for what (and whom) you have and happiness will follow you. I wish to speak to Vickie more often and hope to break the ice a little bit more. I also wish for Ellen and Phaedon to have a fantastic year at school, and Peter to have another great year with EMC (hopefully a promotion with a raise!!!). Hope everyone is coping with the economic downturn. And I can't wait for May/June when we move into our new house!

That's all for now. Good Cheers!!!!

Love... mich