Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Try something new

If you have not seen this video, check it out!

So cool, isn't it? Yes, try something new, even if it is going back to the real thing, the original back to basic could be the new thing now!

This month we are trying some new things. Instead of eating out at Japanese restaurants (it is very possible to eat out everyday in Singapore. Food choices are abundant and fairly cheap and very good), we tried making our own sushi. Makes for a great family time! Besides being yummy

Another new: for the first time in my life, I have signed up for a 10k! I've decided to walk all the way. Instead of training in the gym, DH and I have been doing walks at the beach. We walked and people watched and had great conversations. Who would have guessed how fun this can be. As you can see above, I've worked it up to 6k in an hour or so. Am hoping to do the 10k in an hour and half, thereabouts. But dh only wants me not to get injured, haha!

The Digi Files - a first podcast!
Yin Designs is being featured in The Digi Files this month! I'm super-honored to have been part of the files for the fourth time, I answered the interview questions as currently as I could, so do check it out at The Daily Digi. For my feature, I recorded a podcast with Steph, something totally new! It took me a while to pluck up the courage to listen to it, lol! I remembered being very excited and rambling on and on and giggling quite a bit. But so glad I did it! Not to mention I'm a few notches up the cool factor in my boys' books :)   

Steph and The Daily Digi has really expanded me over the years, given me opportunities, ideas, helped me with quality control, even started me on a newsletter. Thank you! And if you have not already signed up, this month's files includes kits from:
For my part of the contribution, you will get these four 12x12, and two 12x24 templates:
All for only $7.50. I am a member and find that most my layouts each month come from that month's Digi files! Click Here to sign up

And for the podcast, you can play it by clicking the play button right here, or by going to this link : 

In conjunction, there is a sale in the store too, and runs till the end of the month:

Birthday thoughts: Trying new things certainly spices up life, but as I crossed another forty-something (wink) birthday in August, I find myself wondering, amidst much celebrating over meals with family and friends and cakes and all, if I'm too focused on enjoying my own frivolous life, and neglecting good that I could have been doing? 

On Sunday, our pastor said this in his sermon :So whether we eat or drink or do whatever, ask:
Can I do this for the Glory of God? Am I satisfied in Him today? Have I made my God too small?

And brought me back  to my favorite verse that I have always leaned on;  

And so I re-committed myself to this. Not new, but so important that this is my daily prayer and service. I want to go deeper into these words, to be less affected by my surroundings, and impulses and worries, to be more steadfast and faithful, even whilst I am doing all this living, trying new things, eating and drinking that He has graciously given me to enjoy. 

August Project Life Pages

This insert page is all from my birthday, we had an extended date visiting an area with quaint bookstores, shops and cafes, for the first time :). We also visited the Singapore Night Festival, again for the first time since it ran, and were surprised there were so many people who turned up at the street concerts, movie screenings, at the light shows, and more.I squeezed 4 photos and 2 photos into each 4x4 pocket, And the bottom left photo was printed by the Peranakan Museum immediately after we uploaded an instagram pic! I used hashtags for the first time :)

This next page was filled only with one photo, and another screenshot taken off the boys' facebook post, the rest were all stories, funny conversations, even a note from a teacher, I totally love snippets like that. They may not be important moments or sentiments per se, but evoke laughter and 'oh yeah!'s and trigger memories and shared moments when I show them to my family and that's what my PL is for!!

Our family and friends got together on many occasions this month too. It's nice all the photos happen to have have red and black tones in them.

At the back of the insert page are photos of my colleagues and I at our company dress up dinner. The golden hues were beautiful, we were dressing up as greeks :)

Project 365 Photos
As usual, I popped all 31 photos a day for August into two of my Half Monthly templates and sumarised the month in review
I have been using graph or note papers as backgrounds and this simplifies it a lot for me, I also limit myself to a handful of elements, culling them based on the color scheme for that page. In this way I keep it really simple and completes the month in reviews in a couple of hours.

Hawaii Pages (find the double page templates in the store)
A lot more pages have been completed! This month I was working around the idea of photos layered over shaped paper cuttings, then over 'wood' papers. More pics at the beach:
Visiting the For Derussy US Army Museum - filled with stories of patriotism and machines and tanks and copters the boys were so interested in.
Being beach bums on another afternoon spent at yet another beach on our beach hop :)
Hiking at Manua Falls - so much glorious flora and greenery even the muddy ground did not bother us.
And these are pages of which templates are in this months Digi Files:
Visiting the Justice Department building - we had seen it on Hawaii Five-O so much we were excited to visit, but enjoyed even more the rich history of the exhibits and learnt so much.
Doing what we love - visiting art at the Honolulu Museum of Art - always a treat!
These 12x12 pages are of special stories I wanted to scrap recently, I will be printing them to slot into my Project Life album. Here's Jared on his beloved guitar - love watching him play!
And we took the family with us to this fun concert at the Esplanade - it's wonderful we can now enjoy concerts together!
A layout of  Jared dressed up as one of the anime character he so resembles, he looks so cool don't you think?
And for a while we were all into mastermind again, Who do you think is the mastermind?
The template for this layout of us in transit in Korea was shared during my feature on Real Life Scrapped - in case you'd like it but missed it, here it is. We were on transit enroute to Hawaii. Had to bring winter gear just for that 13 hours of transit. But we got to wander the streets of Seoul, first time for us. We will be back one day!
Download here

And I put the rest of the brush script words I did into this second set for you to play with, enjoy!
Download these here

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Things younger me would like about current me

Just for fun, I'm sharing this list I journaled in September 2013
Things younger me would like about current me 
-journaled in September 2013 (italics in brackets written for blog readers)

*Straight hair and simplified dress code
(no more permed hair and mix and match dressing)
*I'm married to this wonderful man I've known all along!
(we met when we were 15 but the younger me might be surprised he is the man of our dreams all along)
*I'm still slim at more or less the same size
(definitely less baby fats than in the pic above which was carried around in dh's wallet for years)
*I'm a mom as I've always wished for 
(so much more challenging than I could ever have imagined, but every bit as fulfilling of course)
*My best friends from then are still my best friends now!
(One of my greatest blessings in life)
*I'm still walking with The Lord and most of my family members are believers now - praise be to God for His blessing 
(we had always hoped on the verse: 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord- Joshua 24:15')
*I have found the best hobby, the joy of scrapbooking and memory keeping, and even have a blog store
(the younger me would be so proud :))
*I have continued to travel with kids and all through the years!
(the younger me had bitten the travel bug in the backpacking, shoe-string, 'doing and going where the locals do and go' way - we've kept it up pretty much in the same spirit!)

Journaling with Lists, Journaling about myself
I wrote this list above in response to one of the 30 Days of Lists challenge I joined in September last year (30 Days of Lists is a semi-annual journaling challenge, by Kam of Campfire Chic and Amy of Lemon and Raspberry) They are about to start the next one in September, just a heads up!

It's so rare that I journal about myself and lists are easy to do so I really enjoyed joining the challenge. In fact the few times I did pages about myself were all from challenges, like these layouts from 2006/2007.

I am so glad I had some of these pages, it's so important to capture some of ourselves into our scrapbooks. How have your journalled about yourself recently? Do you include them into your Project Life or family scrapbooks? Anyone joining the 30 Days of Lists next month?

Project Life Pages
Only two pages for month of July - I never worry about how much I have or not have, as long as the stories I want to tell are captured, then it is perfect. 
More photos of us at CosFest, and funny things that the boys said, I like capturing these things :)

DH has taken to healthy eating - making salads and sandwiches for his workday breakfasts and lunches! We have also been working on golden wreaths as headdresses for my colleagues and I who are planning to dress up as greek goddesses at our company costume party :) And we had a case of bed bugs in our sofa!! That was scary and needed professional help. Hope it's gone for good.

Project 365 - June and July
Due to working on the Bali photobook last month I did not get a chance to complete my June pages, and did both June and July pages in one go. Which was great 'power scrapping' (as Katie the scrapbooklady coins it) as I looked for background papers, alphas, embellishments for all four pages at one go. I usually search for embellishments from the latest kits I have downloaded (mainly those from the monthly Digi Files) and by color scheme, and try not to overdo it :)
First half of June was start of holidays and the highlight was the making of tank cakes!

A week of the second half of July was spend in Bali, and then it is back to school.

In July we attended CostFest, a local cosplay event, stayed up all nights following the World Cup, had a surprise birthday party for dh's eldest sister, and enjoyed a 'Day of Wootopia' event at Youth Ministry at church - so fun!

School is in full swing now but we managed to squeeze in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' which left us speechless at the end (so unlike other movies where the men usually have lots of comments at the end), a date night, and a spate of healthy eating which I hope will last!

Hawaii Photobook
Four more double pages of our trip completed! This round I played with layering paints between the photos and the wood backgrounds. Templates of these are in the store.

Here we were at Haleiwa on the North Shore. We did not have our own transport, so took The Bus on a round the island route, boarding and alighting at various stops, taking the entire day!

Also spend a morning at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet - lots of fun - it's so huge! To this day we are not sure if we went one round or not, the stores tend to repeat themselves after a while, but we found a few wonderful shops, the highlight of which was the one selling handmade life-size swords - the LOTR swords to be specific, took our breath away. It was the first time Ryan would not leave, he was almost in tears to hear that we can't buy them and bring them back into Singapore!

This particular morning was the Honolulu Marathon and we were just ambling about admist the marathons who had already completed their run, amazed at all the older runners we saw - so fit and just amazing. The most meaningful part of the morning was spent at the Father Damien's museum - honoring him and the mission he founded to serve the Lepers' colony at Molokai.

And in the afternoon we visited the Bishop Museum, founded by the husband of Princess Bernice Bishop, to house all the family's heritage, treasures, and to preserve their history and memories. 

Brush Script
Last month quite a few readers asked about the Brush Script Titles on my Bali layouts, like the 'Eat.Love.Eat' below. They were handwritten by me!

Basically I wrote on white paper then scanned them in. I wrote a lot, then chose the best  :)
It was easy! The secret is this Japanese brush tip pen which I found it in a local bookshop. It had the perfect effect of brush painted words with the control of a pen! The name on it as akashi-ya, I googled but can't quite find the same thing online. There are many sets on Jet Pens, but I'm not sure if they are the same.
I used them on my Project Life photos as well, see below.

Here's a look at it close up - cool, isn't it?

As promised, here are the words for sharing with you - they are saved as individual layers in a single photoshop file, just drag them into any of your layouts in photoshop. I've saved them in black for you, if you want to change the color, how I do it is to add a 'solid color' adjustment layer, and then use 'clipping mask' to clip to it. There are many ways to do it, hope you have fun playing. I'll try to scan the rest I have written and share them too if you like :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Thoughts and Snippets from Bali

Our family spent a week in Bali in the last week of June. What a complete change of pace and surroundings and just wonderful days hanging as a family!  With time to do nothing or anything if we so choose, so liberating! Through the week I jotted down these thoughts and feelings and just snippets from Bali:

Sounds of Nature. We stayed in a lovely place in Ubud where we were completely enveloped in the tropical forest. In the evening the symphony of crickets, frogs, countless we-don't-know-what creatures amazed us city folks no end. That day I read this verse which took on a new meaning for me: "For my determined purpose is that I may ... progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly. (Philippians 3:10 AMP) ... Here we saw Him as Awesome Almighty Creator. We soaked in His beautiful creation.

Eat, Pray, Love - Haha not quite for us. (Actually we had not read the book nor seen the movie, but heard all the hype. Lonely Planet actually had directions to find the spiritual guru or similar gurus the author went to! We are not into that though.) For us this would sum it up. Aaahhhh....

Wake Up Call - I was trying to get the kids into another photo. J was grumbling and then R said to him, "The purpose of this trip is to take photos, accept it". Wake-Up-Call!! Sorry guys! My bad! The purpose of this trip is to have a great time together!
After that I took photos at less often intervals, took them discreetly and tried hard to have long pockets of time where I'm not thinking about photo opportunities!! It is hard! I am constantly torn between trying to be in the moment vs thinking of best ways of capturing the moment. The first is of utmost importance so the latter has to be swift, oportunistic and not worried about perfection. How do you deal with this as avid scrapbookers?

We must travel while we can. Our bodies aren't the same as they used to be. After climbing 400 steps down to the river then 300 steps back up the valley for white-water rafting (we loved it), both dh and my legs ached for 5 full days after. Thankfully Bali abounds with very affordable spas (massages are about S$10 for an hour!)

Happy Family. Mid-week, I said to dh, "J is happy and well, R is happy and well, that makes me so happy and thankful". Dh said "and you are happy and well, which makes me happy and thankful." And of course it is the same for me - my heart swelled up, and I count my blessings and praise God. (I used to have all kinds of expectations but now I know really not that much is required for a happy family)

We can create Bali at home! It's amazing how much reading for an hour on a beach chair with the waves crashing nearby can relax me. And how enjoyable a simple card game over drinks is and how much we laughed together. The boys and I were chatting and decided we can easily and will do the 'Bali' experience at home! We just have to plan it in!

Choosing being and experiencing over sightseeing. We have nothing against sightseeing, but on this trip we really wanted a rest and relax holiday. So we decided to skip most sightseeing and simply planted ourselves in Ubud (hill area) and then on one beach (Sanur). That gave us so much down time and instead we got to have new experiences. Like white water rafting n sailing. So good.

Who knew J is such a daredevil? He got on a jet ski for the first time and promptly sped off flying. Good thing we arranged a guide who sat behind him, shouting instructions so he will steer clear of the reef and other jet skiers! According to him though, the guide was also shouting 'faster, faster!'

Who does'nt love a good love story? This was the old home of Le Mayeur, a Belgian artist who came to Bali in his fifties, was fascinated with andstarted painting the Balinese culture and life, then fell in love with his model, married her and lived here and painted her till his death. His wife upon her death bequeathed the home and his art to Bali as a museum. It is right on the beach! We loved the art, which is Impressionist in style, but the subject is Balinese, what a combination and so beautiful!

Travelling expands us. It makes us come alive. Even in Bali, only 2 hours away by flight, and a culture we are not entirely unfamiliar with, had so much that awoken our senses, curiosity, makes us want to get to know the people, observe their daily life, ponder how much their world is entwined in the tourism business, discover alleys, figure out the stages of growth of the padi in each field, discover new canned drinks, roof tiles, myriad of beautiful wood surfaces, and so much more! That's why we choose to save on most other spending so as to travel as much as we can. Besides making awesome family memories of course!

Bali Photobook
As you can see, I have completed a photobook of our trip! Yes somehow this linear 'patchwork' style came to me somewhere on the trip, and I was sketching away. When we came back I had to try it immediately and there you go, it was easy and fun and a change from my usual travel book style. Actually in 2009 I did this linear style for my 365 album, you can find the link to those templates in the right side bar. And this set is in the store here:

Project Life June
For June, two pages are taken up with June stories and happenings, and the rest are filled with Bali (!)
June is school holidays for us and this time we only had one idea for our holiday manifesto - that is to make tank cakes. And we did it! The idea came about when we saw on the Girls Un Panzer anime a Tank cafe where they served 'tank cakes'. It satisfied both the mom in me (when can you get boys to bake with you?) and the tank aficionado in them (anything tank is cool!)

Then there was my brother's birthday, and the 'felt' hairpiece J made for miffy to 'cosplay' as Yui.
I also included two lists I made (with 30 days of lists) but had not scrapbooked on My Family's Quirks (Meal times are just an excuse for a movie, a book or a game) and Weekend Essentials (pancakes). I really love that I'm including a lot of journaling and handwriting into my PL, I do feel it is more 'me'!

Bali PL pages:
As is my usual practice now, I bring PL cards on this trip, and journalled everyday on them. When we got home, I simply selected pictures, printed them, add some filler cards and I'm done! 
I also cut up one of the page protectors in BH's variety pack 6 (I bought it at 40% off from Spotlight!) to make an insert to fit the number of cards I had for the trip. This is the front of the insert
And this is the back of the insert
and the final page. 

I'm linking up to the Project Life Tuesdays at The Mom Creative!

First and Last Pages
And these are the first and last pages for my photobook! I have packed them in a template for your to download and play with - can be joined together to form a 12x24 double page too! Have included both in the download. Have fun!

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