Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Preparing for 2012

Received 2 sets of depressing news one after another and got really very upset today.  I think it's a character flaw that I need to work on, esp when I am thrown setbacks at work.  Somehow, nothing else seems to get to me except my crap job.  But come to think of it, it's just work.  And to get upset over work seems to be worthless and much less unnecessary.

I've just decided on a few things that I want to achieve in 2012:

1.  Spend less money on unnecessary stuff.  I think at times I over indulge myself with too much expensive food and one purchase too many.  One more shoe, one more bag, one more top.. The list goes on.  I dont' really buy expensive stuff a lot but I do buy a lot of stuff.  So when u add it all up, the amount of money that leaves my wallet is quite substantial.  I just promised myself that I will relinquish my beloved bubble tea and limit myself to to one cup per week and slowly to axe it out from my life.  $3.50 per cup snowballs to quite a bit when u consider that I am averaging 3-4 cups per week.  I also promise myself to do less shopping - be it online or at the brick and mortar store.  I really have too many clothes.  Say 3 new pieces a month? That should suffice for now.

2.  Exercise at least once a week.  I will start with slow jogs and brisk walking around the neighbourhood.  Time to get that body back in shape.

3.  Eat better - cut those carbs and fats. More grains and wheat and fibre.  The usual grind.

4.  Spend more time with God each day.  I am usually good with my bible reading and prayer but always always slip after a while.  Let's hope with God's grace I can sustain this in 2012..

5.  Be less stress, esp by work.  Take thing easy and not let it get to be so easily.

You may be wondering why I'm suddenly so into this whole 'living my life well' thing.  Main reason is I want to save money and be in good health for 2012 and beyond.  Let 2012 be a year where I can see how little I can live on without feeling miserable.  And if it works out, I can really quit my job.  Enough of getting bullied and pushed around!

May 2012 be a good year for you too!









Monday, December 19, 2011

Top 10 best scrapbooking purchases!

I guess it's only fair that I do a post on my best purchases after my previous post.  Somehow it was harder wrecking my brains for this post than the previous ones but I'm happy with my top 10 list!


1. Beacon's Craft Glue - This is pure magic in a bottle.  It glues everything from fabric to paper and metal.  I'm so in love with it and have 2 bottles sitting on my table.  Before I discovered this, I used a Helmar's one but this just beats all other glues hands down! Real winner and must have for any scrapper!


2.  Brown twine.  If you've not discovered the goodness of twine, you're really missing out on something.  It adds subtle touches for any project and the neutral colour means you can use it for any project - regardless of what style you're going for.  I love it most for the fact that I can use it for both girly and boyish projects. And if you're wondering - Yes. I do have a 600 yard spool of thin twine (at just the right thickness) at home. :) 

3.  I finally knew what the fuss about this product was when I got my hands on them.  It works so well when you put a BIG GLOB on the spot you want and wait like 5 hours for it to dry. And then you will realise why it's named rock candy.  When it dries - it really looks like hardened sugar.  Totally awesome.  I usually use them for snow houses or anything to do with Christmas or winter. 
 Since we're on the topic of stickles, I thought I'll share 2 more stickles I love.  Star Dust is more silvery while Diamond is more 'gold'.  I bought both for the diff effect. Love them!




4.  I think the scrapping world when totally berserk when Martha Stewart released her first ever punches after tying up with EK Success.  I was one of those wonky ones who would stalk the LSS' blog each week, hoping they'll bring in more of these punches as they get snapped up so quickly!  Among my favourite is:






5.  These came out rather late but when I first saw them, I was blown away.  Maybe cos I'm a tag girl but since I don't own a big shot, there are very few other ways to get my hands on pre cut tags.  I bought 3 packs of these and one go and use them very sparingly!




6. I think HY will agree with me that the is the single one brand we hate to love cos they're always so pretty but I count this line as as the best of the October Afternoon series.  Love it to death!  I still have some of the gingerbread man left in my stash!


 7.  Jennifer McGuire introduced this scissors on her blog and I took the plunge to buy it online.  Not everything she introduces work for me but this one, it's totally fabulous.  It's really everything you want in a scissors.  Only bad thing is it's not that good for cutting small stuff so you'll still need a precision scissors at hand.

8. I took the plunge to buy the crop a dile in 2009 at a National Day sale for this small LSS at International Plaza.  I was deliberating whether I should buy it cos I didn't know if I'd actually need it that frequently (after all, if you are ingenious, you can use a paper piercer or a hole puncher?) but since it was 40% off $59, I went for it.  Initially I thought I'll regret it - as I usually do when I buy on impulse but it turned out to be one of my best buys ever.  It's a little wonky now..the spring's a little stiff but it has been well used.

9.  This is another great trimmer you need to get your hands on.  The cutterpede sucks and this one works so well for me.  It's not possible to cut a crooked line with this trimmer (unless your eyes are screwed).  Only down side is the blades blunt easily.  But they're released a new set of titanium blades which are supposed to last longer. I'll tell u about them when I purchase them after I use up my replacement blades.

10.  A must buy for all scrappers.  This is the classic doily lace punch which I fought tooth and nail to get my hands on when it first came out.  I don't have it anymore with me cos it has been loaned out too many times and got really blunt so I trashed it.  But I think it led a good life while it was still with me.


Thanks for reading so far and have a good week ahead!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Top 10 worse scrapbooking purchases


You know, I think all of us in this journey swear that while we have so much fun crafting, cutting paper and drooling over lovely embellishments, at some point, we have made one wrong purchase too many.  I, for one, have multiple regrets over many items I've bought - either through believing in false reviews or just through sheer bad momentary taste. Only for that moment.  And then I go back, stare at it..and wonder what the hell I was thinking.

So, I thought I'll do a fun post to share my top 10 things I've regretted buying..and let's see if we concur.

1.  This horrible horrible glue pad.  Sigh. It's the most crappy of my purchases.  I bought it together with my heat gun and found it to be totally useless. Versamark is way better.


2.  Never never buy this white ink pad.  It's sticky, it's too viscous to handle.  We all love white ink pads. I know we do so please try Hero arts or Papertrey Ink instead.

3.  This is the pen that Ali Edwards swears by.  I think she was paid to promote it when she says it's the best in the market.  It really does not flow well.  I'm giving up on white pens.  Think I'll never find an awesome one. 

4.  I bought these in faith that I can happily stamp on my transparencies.  But little did i realise that if the ink would be so powerful to adhere to transparency, it would do likewise to your clear stamps.  Great.  And I like my clear stamps as clean as possible.  So I gave up stamping on transparencies.  And have 3 useless staz on ink pads lying around. :(





5. These are another big mistake in my scrapping journey.  I'm so sorry to diss the good people at Maya Road cos I do love their chipboard but they should really do something to improve the quality of their mists.  The nozzles clogs so easily and spraying becomes a real pain and mess.  I've given or thrown most of mine away.  I only go with Tattered Angels now!  And Mr Huey, of course!



6.  Another faux pas from the good people at Maya Road.  Ok, partly my fault for even buying them in the first place.  HOW COULD I EVEN THINK OF BUYING SUCH UGLY TREES???? And I still have 3 to 5 trees left.

7.  I think this is the paper cutter most scrappers start off with.  Big Mistake.  The only saving grace of this cutter is that the blade is sharp and lasts for a long time.  The main reason why I hate it is because it does not align straight.  Major Crime.  We buy paper trimmers so we can cut our papers straight, right?  This one has failed me one too many times. Abandon it if you have one!



 8.  You know how Tim Holtz comes out with these fantastic products once in a while and all the scrap ladies go gaga over them?  Well, when this product came out, everyone went 'WHOOOO' and rushed to snap them up. Why?  So we could see things crackling after we brush on this useless paint.  Sounds good on paper until I realised that the only thing I used them for were the Maya Road tree trunks. And then I gave up on the trees. So now this paint is a white elephant in my stash.

9.  First generation of Prima Flowers
Let me first start by saying I love Prima flowers. But not the first few ones that look like these and came in a milk bottle:



Being a new scrapper way back then, u rush to buy these...sigh sigh sigh....complete waste of money!  If only I'd known that Prima would create more lovely flowers, I would never buy these. How do I get rid of 2 more bottles of these??

10. Thickers

I remember my first scrapbooking class where we get to pick a pack of thickers.  I think that's the beginning of a downhill spiral to a never ending abyss.  The abyss of evil and point of no return.  At my peak, I had 20 packs of thickers, some new, some half used, some disused (whatever this means!).  I have since given up on buying them.  Don't get me wrong - they are good and useful to have but I'm just not a thickers girl.  I don't even have titles for my layouts. Let me rephase that. I don't even do many layouts very often.

In the end, my thickers look like these -



And the only solution i have to finish using them is to give them to Kate so she can go around giving them to people as stickers.  She loves stickers and will heap them on you if you find favour with her. :)

P.S: I apologise if I offend anyone with my choices of Top 10 worse purchases..May I state categorically that these are only my opinion..and no offense to any of the maufacturers out there.

I will be back soon with a top 10 of my favourite purchases.  Till then..happy holidays!

Joanna


Monday, December 5, 2011

Prima love


Glad to finally find some time to pop by here.  The holidays are upon us in full swing and I'm really savouring every moment of my hard earned holiday.  I tell myself every year that I work hard for these 2 months so every minute of it is precious - even if it's doing nothing and chilling.  Been taking the chance to catch up with different friends and it's been really good so far.  Watching heaps of tv on discovery home and living.  Love it heaps!

Checking in with a little Prima love.  It's a old range but I think so appropriate for little boys.  I have this thing about hoarding stuff for boys cos I find over the years that when i need boys stuff, it's so hard to find them at the LSS. So anytime there is suitable stuff, I make it a point to buy some.

I know this range is a cutesy travel line but thought it could also work for a boy's layout.



 


 
The final product - for ZH and WL's son. Mixed in some OA farmhouse love and Crate's film strip. Love that film strip to death.  If only they are sold in huge quantities just by themselves!

 Irrelevant photo of my scrap table. But since H took a photo of it, I thought I'll put it here to show you my new scrap area.  I used to scrap in my study but H needed more space and it was kind of getting crowded for 2 of us to work in one room so I volunteered to move out.  This area is actually a balcony that was hecked to become part of the main living area.  It's a cozy corner by the window and i love it!

I leave for Hong Kong tmrw and will try to pop in when I get back.  Can't wait for my vaca to start!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coming soon to a wedding near you..

As mentioned in my previous post, my colleague Grace asked me to help with her wedding ang pow box.  She bought a little suitcase and wanted me to decorate it with a travel theme.  We met last week at the LSS and she picked out the following stuff, mostly from Simple Stories Year-o-graphy.

I had quite a bit of headache doing up the box mostly cos of the tricky handles and different layers of papers.  Jean suggested I used tissue tape when discussing this with her yesterday and gosh, what a brilliant idea it was!  Love love love the tissue tape which saved the day.  Hides all your flaws and mistakes!

See all the layers of tissue tape? 

 Front right of the box..most embellishments are from simple stories too..Thanks HY for the Eiffel Tower idea!


Another angle..although I think the earlier pic is nicer!

 Left corner of the box..topped with cameras, typewrites and a sewing machine.  So very Grace, I think!


 And here, the full reveal!  Yes, I know it's not very travel with all the sewing machines, etc..but I tried my best, given that the papers I worked with were Year-o-graphy!

 
 Side angle..practicing my pathetic photography skills!

Thanks for dropping by.  I hope to be back soon with more scrapping stuff!

Jo


Monday, November 14, 2011

School's out!

I've waited the whole year for this period and boy, I'm so loving it!  Unexpectedly, we got off earlier and I'm really relishing these moments of waking up later each day.  My body's still tuned to getting up at 6ish and I usually try to sleep in a little more till 7 and that's about it - am forced to wake up!  Strangely, I try to take afternoon naps and I'm still able to sleep at 10pm and wake up at 7am each day.  Guess this is how sleep deprived I've been for 9 years.  I think I'll never make up for it.  Sleeping heaps does wonders for your soul - better complexion, less dark rings..at no cost.  How wonderful.

On the scrapping front, I've taken a hiatus but was just given a new project to do for my colleague Grace.  She has asked me to design her wedding ang pow box and I'm going to get started this afternoon.  Pictures will come soon, I hope!

Attended Elaine's wedding on Saturday..dinner started really late at 9pm..one of the latest I've ever been for and my stomach was really hungry at 6 already.  Fortunately, H and me made some instant prata and I had half a piece before I left.  Couldn't stay to the end cos it was getting late so I left by the 7th course at 1050.


Pictures for the night!

 From L to R: Darrell: Me, Elaine and Christine.  I hate taking pictures with Darrell. He always makes me look short. Darn it! I think he's like 1.86m or something...Not fair!

 Table Photos are the best:  Me, Grace and Christine

 Quick photo before we attack the lovely scallops, mushrooms and broccoli!

This is a much better photo of D and me.No one can see he's like > 1 head taller than me!

 Huayi, me and Choon Mei. *WOLF WHISTLE to Choon Mei*..never seen her dressed so nice before!  Way to go!

HY and me...love her beautiful eyes that she so often hides behind her specs..good change for the night!

Got many compliments for the dress I wore that night..If you're interested, it's from The Perfect Runway.  Saw it on Zoe Raymond's blog and was inspired to get it. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

 H and I decided to go to Wild Honey today to try the much talked about all day breakfast set and we were taken aback at the massive crowd waiting at their doors when we reached at 10am.  The wait was about 20 mins to get a table and the food came shortly after.

Very nice ambience and service but really ain't cheap.  These sets costs us $18 a pop...

Tuscan Breakfast set - stewed tomatoes and sausages with french toast.
 

 That's mine - 3 pancakes with bacon and raspberry compote.  The pancakes were really thick and i only manged 1.5 pieces.  Had the last one packed for my breakfast tomorrow :)


They're really not too bad if you want a new place to visit or to bring overseas friends but on my own, i doubt we will be back there any time soon..really not pocket friendly!

Thereafter, H and we went to watch Real Steel (Super good movie!  Especially if you're one of those who love to see underdogs win a fight..very touching..loved it) and stumbled upon this really nice cafe at Cineleisure.  The cafe marries the love for bubble tea with handburgers and finger food. Perfect for people like me who will give almost any new bubble tea store a try.

I tried a new flavour - Apple Grapefruit at the recommendation of the guy who took my order and boy, I realy LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!  At the first sip, I was completely sold.  The nice soft apple flavour juxtaposed with quaint grapefruit, topped with aloe vera bits is a complete winner. I'm still kicking myself for not getting a large cup as I've just drank the last drop as i wrote the last paragraph. Now, I'm eagerly anticipating my next trip down town so I can get my hands on another dose of this heavenly goodness.  Yummy!  Do give them a try if you're at Cineleisure and I heard they have branches at Tg Pagar and Esplanade.



Tonight, the Lees headout for our favourite long lost teochew porridge at Joo Chiat.  Perfect for a rainy day.  Can't wait.

Happy holiday everyone!  I love Deepavali!

Joanna