Archive for June, 2010

‘Treasure’ Box

I had attended both Irene’s classes 2 weekends back. I am a great fan of her and definitely won’t miss the great chance to meet up with her in person and attend her classes full of techniques and beautiful ideas.

She’s such a nice and humble lady. And I was touched that she could remember me as the one who has dropped her comments and asked her questions on her blogs when I introduced myself.

I have enjoyed her classes and definitely got the inspiration for more projects to come.

And, I have made 3 great friends from the very first day of workshop. They are Moy Yin, Yenni and Jocyelyn. And it was such a coincident that we realized that we all love stamping and cardmaking. It was nice sharing coloring tips among one another and I would really love to be able to meet up with all of them again.

The first workshop was the Treasure Box. Lots of distressing work and most of us could only finished the box in the 4 hour session and bought home the homework of doing up the mini album to be put inside the box. I have not done the album till date, so could only share with you the Treasure Box.

As for the mixed media album I did in the second class, I hope to be able to share with your soon. Am so busy doing up a mixed media album with a travel theme using Making Memory Pananorama series of papers and embellishments ( for which I am having so much fun dressing up the album).


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My ‘baby’

I didn’t get to craft anything the past weekend. I was busy with my baby as hubby had to work on Saturday and for Sunday, we spent all the time together just before hubby flew off for his business trip today.

But, I did manage to get something done. I have been hesitating for more than half a year and also convincing my hubby my ‘need’ to get this ‘baby’ since few months back. Finally, I bought this ‘baby’ last Saturday. So what is it?

It is my newly bought Canon 550D!

Finally, I could stop looking around for camera promotion and no more checking up and comparing prices. But, I definitely have to control my spending for coming months since I spent quite a lot on this ‘baby’ already.

I taken some test shots and was truly amazed and happy with the quality of the photos. Am now a happy and proud owner of this SLR. J

But I would forsee a steep learning curve for me as I don’t even know how to operate all the functions for my PS lumix till date. I have only been browsing photography books but since I did not have the SLR then, it was not easy to remember what I have read without putting them into practice.  So now, I am diligently reading up the manual and more magazines, in the hope to take better pictures in very near future. Hope can share with you soon.

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I had a wonderful lunch date last Friday with a new found friend, Yenni. I have got to know her from Irene’s class the week before. We just hit off when we met then and we soon arranged for a meet up just days after. We met for lunch followed by shopping for coloring mediums at the craft shops.

I must really thank her for all the advice, kind sharing and help when buying my first set of copics markers. We truly had an enjoyable shopping trip as we chat and shared tips while shopping. And Yenni was so sweet to send me several magnolia images for me to experiment with my copics. She was also so generous to send me some ‘goodies’ together with these stamped images. I love them so much as it consists of my favorite earth tones colored embellishments.

I am currently still experimenting with the newly bought copic. I hope to share my work with these fabulous markers soon.

For last weekend, I only managed to finish up my acrylic album from Irene’s class. I am going to share on this soon; so look out for it. And also, managed to rush out a card for a close friend of mine since secondary school days. This friend of mine just gave birth to a very cute and adorable boy, Jayden about a month ago.

This is the card made specially for Yen and Jayden.

Used the Penny Black stamp, colored with CDA water soluble crayon and cut out the image. Next, used the oval cookie cutter, cut 2 different sizes and emboss. I layered these items and pasted them on the inner page of the card.

Next, cut out the oval shape on front flap of cards and decorated the outline with gold stickles. I also applied silver stickles on the nappy and also some pastel blue pearlescent chalk for the shimmer.

To make the 2 flaps close, I punch small holes on the flaps and secure with ribbon. Next decorate with Prima flowers, dew drops and doily lace punched out using MS punch. PPs are from DCWV.

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Chiang Mai – Day 3

Finally, my last post on my Chiang Mai trip. Pardon for the slow upload as there are more photos uploaded here.

We left hotel in the morning for some shopping again. There were some nice but higher end boutique stores along the road near our hotel. Could not remember the name of the road. Haha, once again, I managed to grab quite a number of nice dresses at cheaper price compared to Singapore. There’s also this café recommended by Lonely Planet and is called ‘Smoothie Blues’. We ate waffles with mango and chocolate ice-cream, egg omelette with rice and sweet and sour chicken. All very yummy and of course, the smoothies are very nice. Highly recommended place.

After lunch at the café, we went back hotel to unload stuff and also to let Zachary have a nap while hubby went for a massage at the spa next to our hotel. In late afternoon, we set off to the Chiang Mai Old City to visit Wat Pra Shring Temple, the 3 Kings and also the HQ Paper Gallery.

We did try walking within the City to get from places to places but weather was extremely humid and hot and we still need to carry Zachary. So ended up, we did take some public transport.

The papers sold at the Paper Gallery were cheaper than those I bought at the paper umbrella outlet. And there’s huge range. I am particularly interested in those with unique prints and wordings. See the papers I bought.

 The store also sells beautiful leaves. See what I got here.

 Also, there’s display of some art pieces made using these papers with different mediums. Sorry for poor photos taken as the lightings were quite dim as the shop was closing by the time we reached there.

For dinner, we went to this higher end restaurant with beautiful settings. It’s just at the fringe of the Old City. Nice ambience and we finally could find a baby chair. Ya, it’s difficult to get baby chair in any restaurants there; even our hotel ones don’t have them. It was tough to dine with Zachary without a baby chair, as he always want to get down to the floor and cannot sit still.

After dinner, we went to the Night Market. Quite a big market but most things sold at the stalls were pretty similar. There weren’t a lot of people surprisingly. Perhaps it was a Thursday and not weekends. But, there were seriously not many tourists we could see during the 3 days. I  believe the tense situation previously had deterred people from visiting. But I would say during our trip there, everything was normal and peaceful. And we had truly enjoyed this whole trip and felt so much recharged now. And for those planning to visit Chiang Mai, please also go for the adventurous water rafting, elephant riding and many other fun places including travelling further up to Chiang Rai. Believe the scenery at these places are much different and beautiful. It’s a pity we cannot visit these places since we have a young toddler. But I am sure we will re-visit Chiang Mai again!

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Sorry that this post was really late (I hope to post about Day 3 which is the last day of the trip soon; please bear with me).

I had signed up a half day Thai cooking course online before the trip. The course was conducted by the Thai Cookery School. It was actually almost a one day course but as Zachary and hubby were coming along, I thought it would be better to go for a shorter one. The staffs were nice and accommodated to the special requirement and also allowed me to bring Zachary along.

The class was conducted at this Thai International Chef’s house located somewhere quite far north of Chiang Mai (took about half hour ride from main city). Very nice and quite a big compound. Photo below shows the cooking compound.

 We first learnt some basic vegetable carving using tomato and carrots. Was pretty easy and fun. See my first attempt on making a rose, a lotus and a leaf.

 The dishes that I learnt were: Minced Pork Ball Clear Soup, Fried Spring Rolls, Red Curry with Duck and Chicken with Ginger. See photos below for the some of the dishes I had whipped up.

Very yummy dishes and the teachers speak clear English. And one of the teachers even helped to baby sit Zachary as and when she’s available. All these including transport to and from hotel and hubby’s portion of food at 1000 baht. So value for money ya. The class ended at 2+pm and we got the driver to drop us off at the Airport Plaza Shopping Centre. This shopping centre is bigger and much better than the other one and is very near to the Airport. I found a handicraft shop there that sells all sewing kits and I bought so many as you can see from the photo below; spent 3000 baht plus.

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‘Boy’ distressed layout

As mentioned in earlier post, I rushed this out only last weekend. Thought I am not going to make it but am lucky could still manage to do this on Saturday late night.

This LO is for MWL Lift Me Challenge 7.  And the criteria set by Sharon:
‘This month challenge is all about distressing. Play with inks and paints, Crumple and Iron, Mists, emboss… The list is endless. Challenge yourself in changing the whole look of the paper. You will need to do a layout for this challenge (12×12 only) and also include a fabric that has been distressed. You will also need to have 2 photos on the Layout.’

Just as the distressed inks stains on my fingers are fading off (from all the distressing works at Irene’s class in the morning), I have started to add on more layers of distressed inks onto them.

I have placed Tim Holtz (TH)’s mask on one of the ‘Lost and Found’ pp and masked it with ‘Tumbled Glass’, ‘Mustard Seed’ and ‘Forest Moss’ distress inks (if I could remember correctly). After the distressing with inks, I misted it with some water and dab on it with kitchen towel (learnt this water distressing technique from Irene). Next, I stamped ‘clock’ stamps on it.

For the fabrics/ canvas mat, I distressed it, stamp flourishes with ‘Walnut Stain’ distress inks and wash it down with water to create some sort of water color effect. The Bingo cardstock cut out are from TH’s Lost and Found stack.

Then I pasted down the clocks, flowers ornaments from TH and also some Prima flowers. The flowers ornaments have been colored with alcohol inks prior to gluing them down. Next step, I used a rope/ thread (from Daiso) to go round these ornaments brads and hold them down with the clocks stickers from TH.

I have also layered on the tape ribbons from TH around the 2 photos. And ya, these photos are taken recently from our Chiang Mai Trip. I took them while hubby was busy navigating his way in the old city of Chiang Mai and Zachary was sitting or rather ‘playing’at the steps of the ‘3 Kings’ monument. These photos were developed just a night before, using the newly bought selphy printer at PC show 2010. I love the printer as it is so user friendly for me and I am so happy with the print result and that I can now print photos anytime to scrap. 

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Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Past weekend had been quite crazy. I had to wake up early like normal weekdays, prepare breakfast for my son and then rush off for Irene’s classes (which I hope to share with u in my blog soon).  And I need to prepare cookies goodie packs for my hubby’s farewell gifts to his colleagues when back. Plus, I need to rush out the ‘distressed’ layout for MWL current challenge (sharing this in the very next blog post). And I have so many things to blog on and 2 other Chiang Mai trip blog posts still in the draft mode in my blog.

Even though it was busy busy weekend, rushing this and that, I had truly enjoyed myself in the crafting classes and baking process. And I have managed to squeeze out some time to bring Zachary out (lucky, I was diligent on Friday night to finish up my part of the weekly household chores and have Sat and Sun to do all the other stuff).

This was the pack of cookies I made for hubby. I made 40 such packs for his colleagues. It was a real simple pack due to lack of time. Just punched out the scallop flowers, stamped sentiment and ta-da….

First time trying out the recipe modified from David Lebovitz’s latest: Ready for Dessert and adapted from whiteonricecouple. The cookies contain lots of yummy chocolate plus macerated cherries and Kirsch added. The crust is crispy while the centre is quite chewy. I hope his colleagues will like them like I do.

The following recipe I have modified here made around 80 cookies (you just half it if making 40).

– 250g macerated cherries (I used the ready macerated cherries bought from Culina and chopped into small pieces)

450g dark chocolate (I used mix of 55% and 70% chocolate)

-90g butter (unsalted)

-44 ml Kirsch Liquor

-4 no of 60g eggs

-130 g granulated sugar (+ extra for coating cookies)

-200 g plain flour

-6 g double action baking powder

-2 g Sea Salt

-Icing Sugar (for coating cookies)

1. Combine the dark chocolate and butter. Place over a pot of simmering water to gently melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat. Pour the liquor.

2. Add chopped cherries into the melted chocolate mix.

3. In a stand mixer, combine eggs and sugar and whisk on high until the mixture forms a well-defined ribbon when the whisk attachment is lifted out (about 4 min for my KitchenAid mixer). Using a spatula, add the chocolate-cherry mix to the whipped egg-sugar mix. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a sifter and sift into the batter. Mix just until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).

4. Position oven racks in the upper and lower third locations. Preheat oven to 160 degree. I have used fan-assisted mode for my oven.

5. Pour granulated sugar in a small bowl and pour icing sugar in a separate small bowl. Form chocolate cookies into 1 (3cm) balls. Toss in granular sugar, then roll in powdered sugar to coat. Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat spaced about 1 apart.

6. Bake for 6 minutes then rotate the cookies sheets and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Cookies should still be slightly firm on the edges and fairly soft in the centers. Don’t overbake them.

7. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan until firm enough to handle then transfer to a cooling rack. Eat them as soon as they are cooled past the chocolate napalm level or if not within the same day.

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