Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Birthday 2010

This is a long overdue entry. Was supposed to blog this the night after the dinner and I kept putting it off and conveniently forgotten. Dinner with 2 of my favorite gals @ Chilis. It's the 1 restaurant I've been wanting to go since they close down in the 80s.

The initial plan of sharing 2 main courses went kaput coz there were so many things we wanted. Take a look!





Colors of the photos are as such coz of the lighting of the place. I learnt that chili soup isn't all that spicy. Mexican rice is not very nice... dry. Cheese sticks can be very filling.

This is the first time ever, the 3 of us got together for a meal without the boys since June 2009! Can you believe it?!
There were lots of meet-and-dash over the past few months, even once or twice in Shuf's house. But this was the one meal where we were out for a solid 3 hours. Just eating. Taking lots of pix and laughing. Ms Tan learnt how to use my Nikon D40! This is the 2nd year running that I have a chocolate lava cake as birthday cake. Oh happy meal!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Forever Friends

Today was the first time in a looong time where I made 2 spontaneous decisions to meet/hang out with my friends in a matter of seconds. One was meeting an ex-colleague / aisle neighbor / neighborhood neighbor for dinner tonight. And the other to have a very creative friend over for a crop tomorrow afternoon. Yay!

I used to remember the younger days where spontaneous decisions like these were made on a daily if not weekly basis. Go here. OK. Meet there. OK. Those were the carefree days. Most of my friends were also carefree back then. No family to take care of, no boyfriends, just lots of hanging around and possibly, wasting time together. Haha. We didn't have a lot of dough to spend, what we had was time. Lots of time!

These days, plans for dinner / tea / even a mere window shopping trip has to be strategized (can't / don't want to meet when it's too crowded), pre-planned (make sure the maid / husband / boyfriend is occupied) and most importantly, booked in advance (everybody is free? on the same day?). I think I've not had any plans made without at least a week's notice for the longest time ever. I miss saying OK just like this! Or simply the element of surprise, like last week when I met Aida when she suggested dinner after class. Totally spontaneous.

Is this what happens when one gets older and has got more responsibilities? Or there's too much hee-ing an haw-ing when it comes to decision making as time gets too precious and there are priorities?

I felt alive saying "OK!" just like that! No hesitation. No pondering. :) I felt young and carefree today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini...

I received an email from Lori who is the designer for Little Yellow Bicycle's Fresh Print Clothesline range!!! 

"Hi Esther,
I just wanted you to know that I really appreciated seeing your beautiful layout using the clothesline product.
The girls in the layout are gorgeous as well.
I am the designer for Clothesline...and it really blesses me back to see such inspired work!
I peeked through many of your layouts.  You really have a fun eclectic style.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Little Yellow Bicycle-Product Designer. Creative Director."

Gasps, it made my day! Do they do that? They must receive tons of layouts everyday, no? Wow. I still can't believe it! Don't you just love the colors of this range of papers? Read about how an where she got her inspiration here. I still have 2 pieces of patterned paper for each design... too precious to used. I'll save them for a mini album - famous last words. LYB stuff seems to fly off the shelves each time the stock arrives... I was pretty lucky to lay my hands on them.

This bag of RAK is gonna fly to France. :) 
I hope she likes it! I'm hoping to do some serious scrapping this weekend as my mini project is way overdue... 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Look What I Found!

I turn another year older today. To be honest, after the big 3-0, things aren't so exciting anymore. Maybe 35, 40?

This year, seems like greetings from overseas streamed in first! Besides a message from my cousin 2 days earlier,  I got a call from Aunt in the States, a dear friend from Germany was the one who at 12 midnight FB messaged me.  I knew this year was going to be a quiet one. 

Of coz, that didn't happened. A very serious letter came last night, which kinda dampened my spirits. 



4 shelves worth, about 700 albums?! I searched for my present. Artists, album titles... Nothing. David Gilmour, Destination Bali, Benjamin Button Soundtrack, I'm grasping at straws here. I spent 12 minutes going down the rows, opening and closing the jewel cases. NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING. Was about to start from the top and open every single casing when...

Fed up. Checked my message again. 

Then I saw the word "DVD". Smacks head. 


Another 10minutes, maybe another 500 titles? Urgh never had to work so hard for a present before!!! My heart started racing, I could feel the pounding, really. Do I really have to go through EVERYTHING!? Phew. Nothing. WHERE ARE YOU?!? At this point, I actually stamped my feet a few times. 

Then I started getting desperate... Hungry without breakfast. I want my present!!! 8 minutes. Heart still pounding, I changed tact. Maybe it's in one of those films set in London or one of Guy Ritchie's films, Lock Stock, Full Monty, Layer Cake, Inglorious Bastards. NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING. Then, as I randomly pulled out the next one, thinking, can't be in here... and... THERE IT WAS!!! 

In his neat handwriting, there was a small orange envelope. Haha. Never in the world had it cross my mind this movie would be chosen coz it's a girlie film. But when I saw the movie the present was in, I cried and cried. Drama queen, I know. I think most women would, if not, be extremely touched. So here it is! 


In plain sight. 

And the parting shot, shot for a new friend. I know she will enjoy looking at the last picture. 


This is written in detailed coz I wanna remember every second of it. I'm a goldfish when it comes to things like that. Seems like I suffer from lack of short term memory syndrome. Somehow, events don't get converted into long term memories... If we had a CCTV at home, I think my actions this morning will be hilarious. Especially the feet stamping bit... something I haven't done in a long time. Adults don't usually stamp their feet, do they?! Haha.

Am going to meet mum for dinner. Oh Happy Day! Claps. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cake or Scrap

I got to know someone new tonight! What supposed to be a browse-and-check-it-out turned into a 1.5hour conversation with this new friend about the local scrapbooking community, how competitive it was, sustaining a business, funny stories about customers, life, friends, etc. It was a very frank and no-holds-barred session and I really enjoyed her company. All I could think of is on the way back was, WE DIDN'T EXCHANGE NUMBERS!!!" Haha, but I know I'll see her soon. And to think that I was beginning to have the impression that one doesn't make meaningful friendships as one gets older, I'm proven wrong yet again. A wise lady once said, "Have no expectations, you never know what it could lead you to." Very true indeed. 

This was done at the Made With Love Make-and-Take, featuring the new Tim Holtz dies. 



I like his range of dies, especially the film strip but I'm not exactly sure if they fit into "my style" if I do have any... Still having reservations about them. Although I must say, I was very tempted to get the filmstrip sizzlit and the hardware findings dies. 

A little treat for myself. 


Chocolate of a Thousand Leaves from Coffeebean! 

And lastly, color palette of my latest project. I'm pretty excited about this as it's the first time I'm trying out creating something besides my usual 12 x 12 layouts, plaques and tags. 


Saturday, April 10, 2010


A quick post before I head for class and errands. This is the result of the Barking Dogs fiasco this morning. 




This is rather different from my usual style. The main focus wasn't centralized. I tried doodling (although not much). At first, I wanted to stitch a border around the Hambly but it was really tough! The material was too thick. I kept the layering to a minimal and challenged myself to use my scraps. Initially, the first layer without the Hambly looked rather messy. Somehow, something just wasn't gelling. The overlay kinda kept things a little tidier. :) 

Look what the postlady brought this morning! 

Can't wait to use them in the next layouts. 

Have a great weekend!

Witch Hunt


I'm not proud of it, but this is something that has to be done. Since moving to the new home in October, we'll get woken up by dogs barking in the middle on the night. This happens 2 to 3 times a week, usually around 5am. The barking doesn't stop till daylight. Mind you, this is HDB, public housing flats we are talking about, not private. Under the HDB & AVA ruling, "HDB only allows 1 dog of an approved small breed per residential unit. Failure to comply can result in a fine of up to $4000 upon conviction." I wasn't exactly sure if this was the rule until some research done after 2 failed attempts. I mean what do you do at 5am in the morning when you can't get back to sleep right? 

So, after many nights of tossing and turning, pulling the covers over the head, shutting of windows, this morning, I went on another one of my "Witch Hunts" for the irresponsible owner. Previous attempts were unsuccessful as it seems that I've "moved in" too slowly. Barking had ceased by the time I hit my door. Today I was lucky. Not only did I find out which family it was, I confronted the owner.  

After 5 minutes of persistent knocking, and of coz, creating even MORE barking from behind the doors, I knew I've hit jackpot. A disheveled lady opened the door. I presented the case, she gave a nonchalant, "Oh they bark whenever people wake up... " So you can sleep through all this din?! And be so inconsiderate to wake the others?! When asked how many dogs there were, she ran off to hush the dogs. A little boy crept up behind the door, he signaled "3". I was horrified! How can someone who doesn't train her dogs own not 1, but 3 dogs?!? 

With that, all forms of civility went out the window. There's nothing more annoying than irresponsible pet owners. Haven't you heard of dog schools? If you can't train 1, then don't have 3! I gave her a piece of my mind and left. On the way upstairs to my unit, I thought I could have ranted and raved even more, and be touted as the "Raving Lunatic Who Knocked On My Door At 5am" of the block. I was actually pretty surprised by how controlled I was. Although I was harsh, but it could have been worse. Hmmm.... Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? 

Hope your weekend will start off in a more peaceful way. :) 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Scrapping Up A Storm

The 3 layouts I've completed over this long weekend. Whoohoo! What a great sense of achievement.


A closer look.


Materials used:
Papers from My Little Yellow Bicycle, My Mind's Eye, Anna Griffin, Basic Grey & Bazzill. Ephemeras from K & Co, Hambly & Webster's Pages. 
Flowers & Bling from Prima. Rub ons from October Afternoon.
The second layout.
Materials used:
Papers from G.C.D Studio & Bazzill. Title from Making Memories. Other materials include K & Co, Creative Imagination & Tattered Angels. 
Flowers and Bling from Prima. Border punch from Martha Stewart.
Lastly, a gift for a colleague. I wanna kidnap her cat...
Materials used:
Papers from Basic Grey, My Little Yellow Bicycle, My Mind's Eye, Hambly & Bazzill. Alphas from American Craft & Making Memories. Flower & Bling from Prima. Chipboard from Bsaic Grey & Tattered Angels.
I realized I've neglected my stamps and embossing powders lately... And my layouts seem to have taken a certain style of its own and I'm not
evolving. Am I being too critical of myself? What do you do to getideas?
Hope you've had a productive weekend too!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New phone


Something I did over the weekend. 

Using papers from Pebbles Inc, Bazzill & Hambly. Frame from Sizzix. Others include Shabby Chic Crafts, Prima, K & Co, American Craft and KI Memories. 

Photo courtesy of

This is the new kid on my block. My Samsung Soul U990 gave up on me last week, a replacement was needed. I was pretty reluctant to switch phones coz I love each of my gadget very much. No doubt the new ones will always be better, faster, more sophisticated, I still like the old. Sentimental, I know.