Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Around Here

We are loving : our terraniums of cacti (so glad we are managing to keep them alive!)
We have been re-watching some of our top favorite Rom-Coms : When Harry met Sally, Sleepless in Seatle, Nottinghill, Love actually, You've got Mail, About Time (lovely evenings!)
We are catching up on adult responsibilities: reviewing our family's insurance coverage, refinancing our housing loan in view of interest rate situations, getting health checks for us and vaccinations for the boys (phew, no fun but so necessary!)
We are planning our nearby getaway in June : Thailand here we come! (looking forward!)
I have been reading: back issues of More magazine (enjoyable!)
I am really feeling the need for : a new pair of spectacles for near work (sigh)
J has developed a new response to our every question: "Don't Worry!" (you're right!) 
I am seriously considering putting good money : towards a lifetime gym membership (3 years worth of double the current rates gains me lifetime access - great if I'm going to continue pilates or yoga or zumba into my seventies don't you think? lol)
I am enjoying : crunching out more London pages (yay!)

London Pages
For these lot of London pages, I chose dark backgrounds to complement and bring out the bright light in the photos. I continue to use the backgrounds I had already created earlier (see this post on artsy and quirky london pages) so the process is super quick! 

St Paul's Cathedral
Our afternoon spent at St Paul's was so fascinating with so many stories! Journaling reads:
We paid the 39 pounds family ticket to see St Paul’s and did not regret it. So beautiful, stately, and full of stories. Of Sir Christopher Wren, who took 36 years to build the Cathedral and who finally saw his son put the cross on top of the dome. His tomb in the crypt is a simple plaque and slab that says, “ if you seek his monument, look around you.” Duke of Wellingtons’ monument on the other hand, was so giant his ‘horse’ had to ‘duck’ to fit in! Nelson has a beautiful Neoclassic tomb in the crypt, same size as Wellington’s. We looked for Churchill’s but was told he is Oxfordshire - there 
was just memorial gates here. So many tombs of people now mostly forgotten too. hhmm... 
(Credits: Paper from Studio Basic_AddictedtoLists, Crowns from ScrappilyMe's RockOn, by Gina Cabrera, from Valorie Weber's ForTheRecord, Captivated Visions'_breakingpoint, Libby Pritchett's beawesome, Michelle Godin's_sketchyscribblies, ReKneipp's Personality, and alpha from Pink Reptile Design's rockingcool)

And then when we climbed up the dome, experienced the whispering gallery and this is the view outside! Journaling reads:
We climbed to the top of the dome, and to the whispering gallery, and as we walked around and took photos of the beautiful dome, we suddenly heard “no photography!” Shocked, we looked around, who was talking to us? And found them on the opposite side of the dome!!! They sounded right NEXT to us! After the climb up to the dome, we emerged outside to this awesome view. we could see so far into London on all directions! Everything looked like the ‘miniature effect’ daddy talked about. It was especially beautiful with the golden tones all around. It is probably as Sir Christopher Wren would have it, so that all can see and worship God. He was an astronomy professor turned architect, and built it in simplicity and grandness as a place of worship. The ornateness was added in victorian times. 
(Credits: Balloon and Plane motifs by Aja Abney, paint from Digital Scrapbook Ingredients' ALittleBitQuirky, Paper from Britt-ish Designs' I am Yours)

I have wished to visit Stonehenge for like forever, so this day was super magical. And look at that fine winter day! Journaling reads:
What can we say? As the bus tour audio kept talking, we suddenly saw it in the distance, looking smaller than I imagined, but standing there, as it had for thousands of romantic, so grand, so mysterious, so unaffected by the generations come and gone since Roman times, who have also wondered at it and its creators. 
(credits: Alpha from Dunia's Saysomething, Paper, word strip and world by Kaye Winiecki (can't seem to find it in her store anymore)) 

Next page journaling reads:
The day was gorgeous. Sunlight coming strong then behind clouds. We had to go round the stones at a distance - they are probably a lot larger than they seemed. Some have fallen, some stand resolutely, being in the presence of something so ancient feels surreal. Wish we could go nearer, but only the birds could, they perch on the stones ignoring all rules and humans. In fact a few large black ones followed us when we were trying to have some lunch, scary! Stonehenge is really a highlight of our trip.Everything we thought it would be, mysterious, majestic, historic, and more. What you can’t see in the pictures are however, other tourists, of which we spotted several Singaporeans, in their twenties, making a lot of noise jumping and posing for jump shots. We were embarassed, but then, they are young, who knows, Stonehenge has seen all generations of young, it may not mind.:)
(credits: paint from Messy by Weeds & Wildflowers, Paper by Britt-ish Designs from AreWeThereYet, Alpha by Dawn by Designs)

These templates are available in the store at 20% off through to this weekend!

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Also one more layout from the day we visited the Historic Dockyards - it's a huge place! Journaling reads:
“For myself, individually, I commit my life to Him who made me and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my Country faithfully. To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen, Amen, Amen.“ This was the prayer of Lord Nelson the morning
of the battle of Trafalgar. His faith, his leadership, his love story, and a lot about this great man was found in the museum. Even that message he sent (below) to ‘amuse’ his men as the battle looms. We also got to see the Mary Rose, or at least the restoration of it, most haunting and amazing, to see this 500 year old warship of Henry VIII assembled before our eyes.A very worthwhile visit to the Historic Dockyards!
(credits: Paper from Jenn Barrette's-perfectfit, anchor and wheel from by the seaside by 
Karen Lewis designs)

This template is now available as Template Pack 9 in the Store. Thanks for your interest!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

A Nation Mourns

A week ago, our nation lost our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, he was 91. 
He was our first Prime Minister, that led our country to independence nearly 50 years ago. Singapore was a tiny nation with not much resources at all, and he, together with his team, gave themselves to the building of this country, and brought us to where we are today. To me personally, amongst all the many accolades, his contributions are most outstanding and long-lasting in that he gave us an incorrupt government, a very safe home to grow and thrive, where many races live in harmony in a modern cosmopolitan society, where nationhood has been forged, and we are proud to be called Singaporeans.

It was a time of profound sadness and grief. It was also amazing how it bonded Singaporeans together. My family were very involved too. So I had to capture it in my PL album. I took the photos of Mr Lee off the internet, and the rest are photos taken by us, when we queued with everyone to pay our last respects. 
The journaling on the yellow card reads:
Saying goodbye to Mr Lee Kuan Yew. This week was amazing in the life of Singaporeans. We all know what he did for our country, but until he passed away, had not experienced such a unity in outpouring of national grief before. It was almost surreal, the more we heard and read, the more we felt we must personally pay respect to this founding father of our nation. So did hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans. Over the week, half a million piled into the Parliament House where he laid in state. The queues were 5 to 10 hours long, snaking everywhere, extending 24 hours overnight. We joined in too, on Thursday evening, and felt such commaraderie and unity, with young and old, from all walks of life, as everyone quietly waited, with little grumbling and a sense of determination. Which prompted Daddy to say "there is hope for Singapore!". The boys could not join us but managed to go to the Bedok tribute centre to sign the condolence book too. 

We all hope for our children to know our history and how much the founding fathers did for us, and that all of us will remember and do not forget.

The journaling on the beige card reads:
Thank you, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
It was the human side of Lee Kuan Yew, revealed this week of mourning, that most touched a lot of us. Besides his hard-core policy, hard-nosed style (that we know and not all can agree with), we glimpsed a man sold-out for his country, given everything for his convictions only to ensure Singapore and Singaporeans thrive. The story of the Red Box, his home that remained unchanged over 60 years while Singapore transformed and advanced, his love story with his wife of 63 years, those made us realise he is human too, but one who forsook personal gain, and self interest, to make a country where we will be safe, prosperous, have equality and peace. He made us all his children and we felt like we were sending off our father or grandfather today...

Thank you for letting me share these words and thoughts as I know many of you who come to my blog are not from my part of the world. I am glad I can share about the founding father of our country with you. 

How have you scrapbooked national events? I am glad I incorporated it into our family album. I also intend to make a page or two of excepts of speeches, photos, news, eulogies that our family discussed and were moved by. Our views and feelings will be captured and that feels very satisfying and meaningful :)

In the weeks before the week of mourning,in March, life went on as usual, we did a lot in fact, especially because there was a one week school break. :)

I'm continuing to use these Monthly starting cards with circles for each day of the month, which can be decorated. I had so many photos of our outings so you will notice that I used a lot of collages in this month's pages. I used templates from Designs by Lili (4x6 photo collages No 1) and Tracy Larsen (Simply white).

I first saw the workshop for making Terraniums on Leena's blog Findingnana. Managed to 'make' the boys go with us for a family outing at this cute local shop Make Your Own. We made a terranium each, of little succulents of our own choice. We could choose our own rocks, soil, stones and decorations, so much fun! Now to keep them alive :) Here is a close up view.

On two consecutive weekends, we visited University Open Houses. R has been receiving these invites because he is due to apply by the end of this year. It was wonderful to visit as a family. J actually found that there is such a thing as a Design and Technology University that is right up his alley. Something to look forward to, maybe! R also has been completing school counselling questionnaires etc that ask him questions about what he is interested in, what kind of career he might be hoping for, and what course of study, we have been having meaningful conversations together. And much praying too. It was also fun for me and dh to visit our alma mater, we wanted to show the boys our old haunts, but things have changed so much! It felt less nostalgic and far more foreign than we anticipated. It's their world now!

My 365 photo - half monthly layouts for March are also completed.

The second half month of March is on a more sombre note, so I used more black tones to complete the layout.

And here are the Monthly starting cards for January to June. If you had donwloaded the earlier Jan and Feb ones, please note that there was a mistake in the February month, where the days was wrongly placed. Sorry!! In this download they have been fixed. 


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