Sunday, July 31, 2011

MFT Sketch Challenge - Garden Girl

Hi bloggers,

We had the most beautiful weather this weekend.  Summer was at it's finest.  Flowers were blooming everywhere, green everywhere and everyone out and about enjoying the sunshine.  Did you get to do anything fun outside?  I hope so.  We took a day trip to Cape Cod yesterday and enjoyed riding along the rail trail, picnicing along the way, swimming in one of the kettle ponds, lobster roll sandwich at the harbor, an ocean front beach walk and vanilla ice cream soda on the way home.  It was a fun and busy day.  My bum hurts today because I'm not used to riding a bike for 3 hours.  It stinks getting old, I tell you!

Today, after a little housecleaning and a much needed trip to Walmart and Shaws, I got down in the craft room for a bit and got to play in the My Favorite Things Challenge.  I realized that I haven't played along since May and I really missed it.  I hope to play along every week in August.

For this card, I inked up my MFT garden girl and did some paper piecing.  I forgot how time consuming it is to paper piece this girl.  With the watering can it requires at least 3 layers of piecing to get it right.  For my little adornment in the lower left side, I decided to use one of my little embellishments I got last Saturday at the Made with Love store in Singapore.  These are cute little metal circles like the kind you see on pins.  These just don't have pins on the back so they stick right on the card.  I got 10 of them while at the store.  I'm sure I'll find ways to use them throughout the year.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you all enjoy the last few hours of this summer weekend.  August here we come!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Embossing

It was so good to get back in the craft room yesterday.    If you have been following my blog, you know that I've been in Asia for 10 days and got back late Wednesday night.  Fortunately I did not need to go into the office Thursday so I got to catch up on some sleep, do some laundry, get some groceries and make a card!  Having come from Asia, I decided to do a slightly asian themed card and picked my bamboo stamp to do little inchy images for the embossed birthday card.

The paper is from Webster Pages combined with stampin up soft suede.   The ribbon is from papertrey ink and the sentiment is from the anniversary set from PTI inked up with versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder.  Our blogger challenge from Lisa Somerville was to use embossing.  Lisa coordinates this challenge each week.

If you want to play along with Lisa's challenge, just create your card with embossing.  You can link it in below or you can go to Lisa's site and add your link.  No time to create a card, check out what the other bloggers have been doing by hotlinking to the bloggers sites below.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Final comments on Shanghai

Hi all,

Today will be my final post on my thoughts and observations from my trip to China.  Again, no card to share, just a few stories.

So, my comments today are on three areas.  First, transportation in China.  Second, workers in China and Third, food in China.

Transportation.  Who would have known that almost all the taxi cabs in China/Shanghai are Volkswagen's.  Not me.  I heard that VW is working hard to penetrate the chinese market and from what I could tell they were doing a great job.  Riding in a car in China is a real experience.  It was VERY different from Singapore.  In Singapore, no-one broke any of the traffic laws.  No speeding and no running yellow lights even.  Everything was clearly marked and everyone followed the rules.  Not so in China.  Everyone crosses into on-going traffic and ignores solid yellow lines.  Everyone runs yellow and very red lights.  Beware pedestrians.  If you have a cross-walk green, all turning traffic will not even slow down for you.

The bicyclists and moped riders do not wear helmets either.  I am amazed that there were not multiple deaths during our rides.  We decided to take the bullet train to the airport for our trip home.  The cab driver was funny because there was the recent bullet train accident.  When we said we wanted to go there he did hand gestures indicating a crash.  My co-workers and I figured it was about as safe as the cab ride.  The actual accident was in another part of China, not this train.  I tried to do hand gestures to tell the cab driver that God would protect me.  When I indicated prayer he laughed.  Below are the pictures of us on the bullet train.  It got to over 400 km an hour.

Here I am pointing to the speed.  It got going even faster after this photo was taken.

Next topic: Workers.  It seemed as if there was a job for the most mundane things.  In our hotel and the lobby of the office building they had a man whose only job was to hit the elevator button to go up.  In the hotel breakfast area there was a man whose only job was to put toast in the toaster.  At the stores, there were a lot of clerks standing around, even for a store without a lot of traffic.  Maybe because they have so many people they'd rather give them all jobs than have them on a public welfare program.  It was amazing to me though all the people ready to serve.  It felt that for a job that in America would require one worker, in China it almost always had 3.  There were two hostesses for the breakfast.  There were 3 workers at the convenient store.  There were 4 doormen at the hotel lobby to get you a cab......

Lastly:  Food.  The food in Shanghai was very good.   We ate very plentiful meals the whole time.   Many of the meals had several dishes.  It was common for there to be a lazy susan in the middle of the table and many, many different dishes brought out.  It seemed impolite to not try a dish, so over the time I learned to take a small portion since there would be 10 other dishes for me to try.  I was surprised at how rich the food was.  There was lots of pork and chicken.  In general the chicken and pork had a lot of skin on it and bones.  It was not uncommon for them to put a full thing of chicken in their mouth and then spit out a bunch of bones.   There was also not a lot of veggies and many dishes had a lot of oil.  I imagine, like
America, what people eat at home is not the same as what they eat out. 

Lucky for us we were not exposed to many unusual or 'cruel' dishes, but they did tell us about them.  One dish that they described for us is called 'three screams.'  For those with a sensitive stomach, you may want to skip the below description, but this is probably the grossest sounding food I've ever heard of...
The sales manager in the Shanghai office described it.  It is called "san zhi er" (three screams).

The diners would order mice that had just been born and a plate of sauce. The baby mouse would scream first when a diner seized it with a pair of chopsticks. It would scream a second time when it was dipped into the seasonings and its last scream was emitted as it entered the diner's mouth.  I am soooo glad this was not served at our table.

Well, I am sitting in the San Fransisco airport.  My flight to Shanghai arrived safe and sound in the US.  Now I am 2 hours delayed to get to Boston.  I'll be so glad to get home to see my family and sleep in my own bed.  Thanks for following along with me on my Asian adventures.  I probably won't have any other interesting stories for you for a while.  I think I am done with my overseas travel until at least 2012.  Thank God.  It's great fun to go away, but I am very happy that it's not a lifestyle.

My shopping adventures in Shanghai

Hello bloggers,

I have another post today with no cards, just an update from Shanghai.

Today I had a shopping adventure.  I had heard that you can easily get knock-off handbags of top designer names in China.  From what I understand there is a whole racket that goes on where the bags are made in the same factory as the 'real' ones but that they run a hidden shift during the dormant hours.  I don't know if the bags I bought are that situation, but most likely they are made with the same fabrics, leathers and grommits as the real ones or maybe they are cheap imitations with just a phony brand name on them!

So I was on the hunt for a few things.
First on my list was a Kate Spade bag for my sister.  No luck on that one.  Second on my list was a small coach bag for Jessa.  Success.  Third on my list was a Nintendo DS game in chinese.  Success.   Lastly, anything else that caught my eye.  You guessed it, sucess.

One the ladies in the local office wrote down the address of the market for me and described to me what to expect.  Of course it is big time bargaining so I was prepared.

The cab ride was about 30 minutes and they dropped me off in front of a museum.  The shopping was underground the museum so as I started to walk to the stairs area a chinese man came and began to escort me.  He asked 'nice lady, what are you shopping for.'  I said a coach bag and he said 'okay, I'll take you.'  So he walked with for the full 5 minute walk into the store area and took me to a particular shop.  There a lady talked to me and opened up the display case (like something from the Adams family) and escorted me to the 'hidden' room area.  She had channel, gucci.. I don't even know all the brands.  I didn't like any of her bags but she was very insistent.  I left the store and my escort man took me to another shop.  There I did find a bag I liked and after quite a bit of haggling (70% less than original offer) I had a deal.  I am not convinced I got a great deal, but I paid about $43.00 for a small coach bag.  My escort man then kept asking me what else did I want to buy.  I said the pokeman game so he took me to another store.  I wasn't willing to pay a lot for that and paid more than I wanted but got it for a good price.  After that my escort man deserted me.  I think he realized he wasn't going to get much commission from the sales since I wasn't a big spender.

On my own I wandered around.  Each store had similar things and all of them were being friendly but asking 'nice lady come to my store...'  It was hard to browse because as soon as you showed any interest they wanted to get to negotiating.  Here is how it would work.  If I found anything I was interested in I would ask the price.  They would get a big calculator and start saying 'good price for you...' and then punch a number on the calculator.  That was the starting price.  Then I would say, no too much.  They would say 'what is your price, what price do you want to pay.'  I would then put my number in the calculator.  They would shake their hands and act insulted.  'no, no - my cost higher...'  They would offer slightly less and back and forth we'd go.

There was one older couple who was selling iphone covers. I was asking if they had any covers with bling and they had no idea what I was saying.  I tried sparkly, glitter - I even pointed at my wedding diamond but they didn't get it.  I finally settled on a subtle (but classy) silver cover with an apple log on it.   I felt bad for them and paid more than I probably should have.  Usually I only paid 30% of the asking price.  For them I paid almost 50% of their first offer for my cover.  They looked like they might not eat if I didn't buy and it was still a good price for me at less than $10.00.

One lady was mad at me.  She was selling Le sport sac bags and I loved many of them but made her pull out several different styles in several different patterns.  I was there for 20 minutes.  She wanted me to buy all of the bags and I was tempted to buy a bunch.  I didn't have a lot of money left at that point (of course it is all cash) but wound up buying 3 from here for not a lot of money.  She saw me (american) and had hoped for a bigger sale.

I totally felt like fresh meat to a hungry mob.  I'm sure I am exactly the customer they hope come by.  American with cash in hand!  I survived the experience and have a few nice things as a result.

So for about $120.00 here is what I got:
3 LeSac bags (1 large, 1 medium and 1 small)
1 coach small bag (orange leather trim)
Tiffany bracelet
2 pairs of Tiffany earrings
1 small unknown brand purse
1 pokeman DS game
1 iphone cover.

and a story to boot!

So today I head to airport for my long journey home.  It will be 24 hours from when I leave Shanghai till I arrive in Boston.  Since the time change is 12 hours, I will leave in the morning and arrive home that same night.  I am not looking forward to the traveling, but am eager to get home to my family, my dogs and my bed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Update from Shanghai

No card post today.. just some photos and info about my trip to Shanghai.

First, you may be wondering.... what does Linda do for work that causes her to travel to Singapore and Shanghai China?  My business card title is Business System Analyst.  I work for a Semi-conductor company whose headquarters are near Boston MA.  I work in the sales/finance dept and basically I help the sales/finance pricing group develop processes, procedures and systems to ensure that our products are sold for the correct price.   I work very closely with the supervisors of the quote centers to ensure that the people who are involved in the discount process are following our company policies and processes.

Usually I travel to our main sales office headquarters.  So about every 18 months I find myself on an 'around the world trip' to Munich Germany (headquarters for all of Europe), Taipei Taiwan (headquarters for all of Asia) and Tokyo Japan (headquarters for all of Japan.)  Since I'm based out of the Boston area, most users that I work with are in the Boston area.  I am in Singapore and Shanghai introducing a new process to be more effective with specific customers and the users I needed to train and work with are in these Asia offices so they had me come here instead of flying them to Taiwan.

Below is a picture of the lobby of our Shanghai sales office.  The water sculpture is very cool...

 Next, below is a photo of my boss, Rich and I.  We have been working together for about 5 years now.  I've worked for him for about 2 1/2 years and he's a really great boss and treats me with tremendous respect.
 Below is the group photo of the customer service and inside sales ladies I got to work with for the last two days.  They were a joy to work with.  They were all very professional and engaged.  I'm eager to see how they successfully implement the changes we discussed this week.  They are very bright so I'm optimistic that they'll successfully overcome the challenges they've faced recently.
I really love my job.  Especially when I am working with the users.  They usually learn something from me (and I from them) on every visit and I appreciate their contributions to the process discussions.  In some ways I feel like a teacher and get a lot of satisfactions when a 'student' really starts to understand something.

I didn't think about it at the time, but I wonder how it is for these ladies to live in China.  A few of the ladies are married with a child.   I wondered after I left them how they feel about China's one child policy and/or how it impacts their life. One of the ladies is married with no children.  I wonder if she is waiting to have her one child until later in life when she can stay home from work.  I wonder about the other two ladies who have one child.  Do they wish they could have another or do they accept the situation.  Sadly I also think about what would have to happen if one of them had an unplanned pregnancy.  From what I understand they would be forced to abort the child.  Imagine....  Lastly I wonder what it is like to be forbidden to explore a religion like Christianity.  I understand that it is illegal to have a christian church service or have a bible.  I take for granted that I am free to pursue my faith openly.   Imagine not having that freedom.

Well, enough imagining.  I count it a privilege to meet and know these lovely ladies and while I don't love traveling, I will look forward to seeing my new friends again if my business calls for travel to China again in the future.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A stampless card and news from Shanghai

This is my first ever, card without a stamp.  I had every intention of using a stamp but as I started to work with the patterned paper, ribbon, embellishments and flower I thought a stamped image would make it too busy so I left the stamp off.  This is not my usual style but I wanted something girly for a congratulations card and this seemed to fit the bill.  I whipped this up last Saturday before my trip.

So today is Monday in China and I'm getting really tired.  Thankfully, I've been sleeping pretty well but between the work and the travel and the sightseeing day I'm pretty pooped.  I told my boss that we are protecting our brains from Alzheimer.  Studies say that doing something new triggers things in the brain that keep it young.  Trust me, when you are in a foreign city, you are 'on alert' in ways you are not when you are home.  There is no such thing as auto pilot, but at the same time, it does tax on your energy levels when you are on 'alert' all day and evening long.

So, I am here in Shanghai and am absorbing the enormity of the city and the population.  Driving into the city from the airport was like driving through the bronx over and over again.  There are just sky scrapers and then more sky scrapers.  There really are a LOT of people here.  My hotel is in the financial side of town and it is pretty nice.  Tonight we went to 'the bund' which is an area of the city near the river with great views of the city skyline.  It was very pretty and high tech.

The city is nicer than I expected.  It's pretty clean and they have lots of areas of water (rivers and small lakes) within the city.  It is quite scary to ride in the taxi here.  Double lines and red lights don't really deter people and cars just cut in whenever.   We are hoping to finish the business meetings early on Tuesday so I can go out and do a little shopping and sight seeing.  Today we finished up pretty late and only had time for a quick bite and a view of the skyline before heading back to hotel to catch up on e-mails and get some rest.

I am really looking forward to heading home in another day.  Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your day.

Card Making and Scrapbooking in Asia

Well, here I am in Asia and if you know me, you know that this means that I went looking for stamping stores.  I always like to try to find some papercraft store in whatever foreign city I am in.  Singapore didn't disappoint.  I had found one store 'Made with Love' on the internet and had planned to go check it out.  While there (in a GIANT mall) I found 2 other papercraft stores in the mall. 

Made with love was the nicest, but I was impressed that they had so many.  It seems they focused more on scrapbooking, but it did appear to have high demand.  All three stores were packed.  This first photo is of  the mall itself.  It was 8 stories high and LOUD.  Because Singapore is a city on an island they really don't do strip malls, so think of this as the same as your target strip mall plaza.  The grocery store was at the bottom level, the first floor had the more high end stores and then the upper floors had everything in-between, including a strange store that was  $2.00 store from Japan.

The 'made with love' store had two different locations on the 3rd floor of the mall.  The one location had stamps and embellishments and paper. The other location had the die cut machines, dies and the classroom.  Both were adorable and well layed out.  I bought some fun button like things, but nothing else.  The stamps I saw were three times the price of the US.  So if a stamp set by me cost $10.00 at my local stamping store in the US, it was selling for $29.00 there.  The magazine CARDS was listed for $34.00.  I'm sure it's very expensive to ship these items and the mark up is high.  They also do a lot of promotions.  They had a deal that if you had a frequent shopper card, everything was 40% off in your basket.  Looks like our US model of discounting has hit over there as well.
This next photo was of one of the other stores.  I think this was called paper something.... it was very cute too, but had more journals, pens and office things mixed in with the papercraft stuff.
Lastly, I saw some hand stamped Penny Black cards for sale at the botanical gardens.

They had a retail price of $12.00 Singapore dollars (the same as $10.00 US dollars) and they had a full display of them.  So, it certainly seems that card making is alive and well in Asia!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hello Card and update on Singapore

Hi bloggers,

I made this adorable hello card at a stampin up workshop before I left on my trip.  I love Baja Breeze with this new stamp set.  Judi does a great job designing cards with SU images and this is no exception. 

So, do you want to see pictures of a breathtaking garden?  I am only sharing a few here, but I took about a bizillion photos in the Singapore Botanical gardens and Orchid garden.

I have  been to a lot of beautiful places in my life, Hawaii, Bermuda, Bavarian Alps, Deserts in Arizona, but this botanical garden is at the top of my list of beautiful places.  Many of those majestic view places make you feel God's presence as an awe inspiring creator and you see the vastness of the mountains or sky and it makes you feel so small and humbled.  This botanical garden also makes you aware of God's presence but in an intimate and peaceful way.  Really, can make anything more impressive or beautiful than one of these flowers?  And to be surrounded with ACRES of color and beauty took my breath away.

The whole time I was walking through the garden, I kept humming to myself the hymn 'It is well with my soul...'  The song is really about having God's presence with you during times of trouble, but I was so overwhelmed with a feeling of peace that I was drawn to the lyrics of the song because I truly felt that 'it was well with my soul.'  Maybe the botanical gardens will become my 'happy place' when troubles abound.

Many times when I travel for work I am disappointed that I see the sights alone and not with my family or a friend, but this time in the garden was actually great alone.  I felt that if I had someone with me, we would have disturbed the beauty with our conversation.  I was able to savor the beauty of the environment without distraction.

The garden itself was just wonderful.  As I walked, each bend in the road brought me to another huge display of flowers.  I have been to orchid exhibits in different places that are fabulous.  I saw a great exhibit in Atlanta several years ago and Longwood Gardens in DE are great too, but no where have I ever seen so many colorful flowers in the environment in such multitude.  The photo's just do it justice for the abundance....

The actual botanical garden is right in the middle of the city, but when you are in it you can't see any of the sky scrapers or buildings. 

The botanical gardens themselves are free to the public so in the main area there are fountains and a big lawn area.  Just like Boston Common or Central Park NYC, all the locals come out to run, bike, walk the dog, picnic and  play.  Inside the botanical garden is the separate orchid garden.  It was @4.00 to get in and was amazing..  All of these photos above are from within the orchid garden.

If you ever get a chance to go to Asia, make a point to go to Singapore and see these gardens.  They really are breathtaking.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and thanks so much for stopping by.  I just arrived in Shanghai China today so stop by later this week to see photo's of China!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Summertime and Singapore update

Hi bloggers,

It was so fun  to make a summertime theme card for the challenge today.  My nephew's birthday was this past week so I used this theme to make him a fun card to celebrate his 13th birthday.  Doesn't this card just scream summertime?  I think so...

I made this card last week before I left for my trip.  I am really enjoying learning about Singapore.  It is a beautiful city - full of many cultures and people groups.  A few interesting facts.  Did you know that in Singapore if you want to own a car you must bid (in an auction) for a permit? The sales director in Singapore told us he bid $60,000.00 for his permit.  Once you win the bid, you can then go out and buy your car.   And the Toyota Camry he drove cost him $120,000 when he bought it 3 years ago new. Wow, that's a lot of money!!!   The permit is valid for 10 years.  The money they collect for the car permits goes to improving the public transportation.  And gas prices here in Singapore are about $8.00 a gallon.  I think I would be very motivated to skip the car and use public transportation, wouldn't you?

Attached is a photo I took this morning while walking around the city.  Isn't it so pretty with the lush floral and fauna?  I have more photos on yesterday's post if you want to see them and I'll post more after my sightseeing day.

So, do you want to play along with our bloggers challenge? Make a summertime card, post it on your blog and link it in below.  No time for a card, just click on the others below and see what they did.

Enjoy your day.  Stay cool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Update from Singapore

Hi blogger friends,

I have no card to share with you today (although I do have one for you on Friday for BC so check back.)  I do have an update on my trip in Singapore.  I have found some beautiful parts of the city.   My flight landed Wednesday morning at 1:00 am (delayed) and we had our first big meeting also on Wednesday morning at 9:00 (which meant being up at 7:00 am to prep and be to the office on time) so I was a bit off.  Then after a long day working we had our work dinner in the high tech part of town.  Thursday was another long work day, but after we finally finished at 7:00pm I got to head back to the hotel and walk around a bit.  You may be wondering how I wandered around at 7:00 and am posting now.  I am 12 hours ahead of the US so it is now 7:30 am Friday morning.

Between last night and this morning I found some really beautiful parts of the city and am in love.

There are flowers everywhere.  There is color everywhere.  There is every type of culture and nationality here.  I had my choice of restaurants last night.  There was australian, indian, irish, french, chinese, malysian & japanese.  Since we had a big lunch I enjoyed a light dinner of miso soup and sushi.  Of course there was american food, but that was mcdonalds!  Go figure.
These pictures are from my walk this morning.  The Singapore river runs through the city and on each edge of the river (at least in this part of the city) there are no cars, just walking and biking trails on each side.  I had a nice long walk starting at 6:30 and enjoyed this gorgeous scenery.  I was surprised that for a city of 5 million people, noone was up and about at this hour.  I think there are more people awake in my little town of Northbridge at 7:00am on a Friday than this entire city.  I saw about as many cats as humans.

Well, off to shower, eat and head to the office.  Thanks for stopping by.  More photos to come from my sightseeing day on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Impression Obsession Challenge - Any

Hi friends,

Today's post is for the I/O challenge.  This challenge is ANY occasion.  When I was at the Springfield stamp show I picked up a few darling I/O christmas stamps and decided to start playing with them.  This is done with Impression Obsessions, Holly Chickadee E7024.  Want to do the challenge?  Check out the link and join the fun.  The challenge will be posted on Thursday July 21st.

I got some really nice DSP (retired) and thought it matched the elegant nature of this christmas bird.  I made this card before I left for my trip.

I am in Singapore now and it is such an interesting city.  I am not yet sure if I like it.   Maybe I am still jet-lagged, but it is different from any other place I've ever been.

The photos below are from the Singapore Theater area where we had dinner.  The photo is taken at the outdoor entertainment area overlooking the water with a view of the new casino.  Doesn't this remindyou of James Bond?  The second photo is taken in the opposite direction (over the water) of the city proper with some of the skyscrapers.  Very futuristic don't you think?

I feel like I'm in a strange science fiction movie.  Even though I know it is very safe (there is hardly any crime here) I still feel rather unsettled and almost fearful.  Quite the opposite reaction than what I thought.  It is very bizarre but here I am in Asia and it doesn't feel at all Asian.  It feels like a cross between Bermuda (British Colony with Bermuda architecture buildings), NYC's china town and Tokyo (skyscrapers with harbor and river...)  All the signage and many of the brands are english and everyone speaks english so it doesn't feel at all chinese or asian, except for the food.  It is very well manicured (think Epcot center) and tropical but still very strange.  Maybe after a good nights sleep I'll see the city in a new light.  I also think that seeing the historic section of the city (and the botanical gardens) will be more my speed and that is on the agenda for Saturday.  Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your day.  More pic's for you later this week.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Fish Reflexology, Underwater World

A unique and revitalising experience, Fish Reflexology offers a novel twist on the foot spa. With your feet relaxing in a warm pool, you'll witness a school of tiny Turkish spa fish come and exfoliate your feet through gentle nibbling, removing dead skin areas to reveal smoother and healthier skin underneath.
After your "nibbling massage", our qualified foot reflexologists will work their magic, rubbing and kneading your feet back to health. A natural – and surprisingly pleasurable – way to pamper your feet after a long day!
Package A (40-min) – S$38* per session
Spa Fish Pool Dip – 20 mins (preparation time up to 5 mins)
Foot Reflexology – 20 mins

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Look what I got in the mail today!

My sweet friend Karen made me this adorable card for my birthday.  My birthday is the end of the month but I'm thrilled to get my beautiful card early.

Isn't this the cutest thing?  Karen's specialty is flowers.  She makes the most beautiful floral cards.  I'm amazed at how they are so elegant but still seem playful at the same time.  It's all about the details.  Karen is a master at perfecting the details on the card.  So nice.  Check out her blog and leave her a comment!  She is new to blogging this year and would love to know you stopped by for a visit.

So, I have started my packing for my trip.  I have pulled together 5 work outfits and 2 sightseeing outfits for my upcoming trip to Singapore and Shanghai.  This trip I am sticking to a simple color scheme of black, white and coral.  This way I can mix and match and still look pulled together (hopefully) while fitting 10 outfits in a carry-on bag.  I just hope that I don't spill anything on my white shirts, jacket or capris.  If I do, I'll be utilizing the hotel laundry service to make it through the trip.  What's your packing style?  Do you like to bring everything with you but the kitchen sink or do you pack light.  If you pack light what's your technique.  I've heard pull everything you think you need and then take 1/2 out.  I kind of did this with this trip.  I had a lot more originally on the bed, but removed quite a few to pare it down to this ensemble.  I'll also throw in some work out clothes.  Hopefully I can hit the hotel gym a few mornings....

Thanks for stopping by today.  Enjoy your summer Saturday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Sketch Challenge

Good morning bloggers.
This weeks bloggers challenge was a sketch (my favorite type of challenge!)  I picked up this adorable SU image (A tree for all seasons) from Judi's catalog party last week.  Because I ordered from the new catalog, this retired set was free.  We all can't resist free and I've loved this image since I first started stamping. 

I needed a nice get well card so I inked her up and pulled out this October Afternoon paper and pulled it together.  This card will go to a friends mother.   Lois is in my Tuesday night bible study group and her mom fell in Maine and needed surgery.  She thought if a bunch of us sent her cards it would encourage her.  I will pray that it does.  Below is the sketch we used.
Well I have a busy day at the office and then a relaxing weekend ahead.  I leave for my business trip to Singapore and Shanghai Monday so I'll be busy today getting all the training materials ready.   I'll be training at an internal meeting and I know my boss will need to make some adjustments to the materials today.  I also have to pack and make sure everything fits in a carry on.  Since it is warm where we are going it should be easy to do. 

Saturday we will do a late birthday celebration for my 22 year old Sarah.  In Providence RI they do Waterfire.  She's never been.  The bring in large bonfires and put them all over the river along the main street.  There is live music, performances and it's restaurant week.  It's right near the Providence Place mall so we thought we'd let her pick out a Pandora charm for her bracelet, have dinner and enjoy the festivities.  The weather should be perfect.

I also hope to do some challenges this week and do some advance posting.  I will also be posting from my trip with pictures of exotic flowers and scenery from Asia.  I went online to find things to do on my day off Saturday and have lots of ideas now.  The botanical gardens (with the orchard gardens) is tops on my list.  I also read that there is a yoga class at the Raffles hotel (and many others near my hotel) so I may check that out.  My boss wants to go to the nightzoo and I'm hoping to sit out in front of the hotel pool for a while as well.  It will be my 'Ferris Bueller' day where I try to cram everything there is to see and do in the city into one day.  I can rest Sunday on the plane from Singapore to Shanghai.  Unfortunately I don't have any days free in China, but hopefully we can get out in the evening and see some things.

Well, I hope you enjoy this day and this weekend.  If you want to play along with Lisa's challenge this week, you know the drill.  Make a card (using the sketch), post it on your blog and link it in below.   Check out what the others did with the sketch and leave comments if you can.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cards for Soldiers July

Good evening bloggers,
Are you sweltering where you live?  I feel like everyone I talk to all around the North America continent is having a heat wave.  My car said 97 degrees as I drove home at 5 today.  Thankfully it's not as humid as it was yesterday but it's still hot.  But as hot as it is here in New England, I'm sure it's hotter in the Dominican Republic where my son Eric is this week.  Our church took 60 teenagers (and 20 adults) to Santa Domingo to build 2 chapels.  I hope they have a good week.  If you are a facebook person, you may be able to check out these photos by going to the below link.

and speaking of hot weather, I'm getting ready to go to Singapore and China for a business trip next week.  I've heard Singapore is beautiful but also very hot and humid.  I'm trying to pull together a few professional outfits that will hold up well in the heat.  I found a cute little linen short sleeved jacket (unlined) that should go well with my linen pants and/or linen skirt.   Sarah is working at Ann Taylor Loft so she's become quite the style expert.  She is helping me pull a few things together and accessorize.  I'll probably post some 'outfit' photos later this week after I get my laundry done and get ready to pack.  So, have any of you been to Singapore?  Any suggestions on things to do?  I'll have a free sightseeing day on Saturday and I intend to see everything there is to see in that day.  My husband Bob has been there so many times.  He has a few good suggestions, but many of his recommendations involve irish pubs and Guinness on tap.  I'm more interested in Orchid gardens and Singapore Slings.  He has insisted that I go to East Side Seafood and get the pepper crab, so I'll try to convince my fellow work travelers to check that out one evening.  It shouldn't be hard, who wouldn't like fresh seafood! 

So about the cards above.  These were the cards we made for this round of cards for soldiers.  I had a very small group this month (summer is always a challenge) but we had fun.  The first one is a favorite stamp from SU with birthday cupcakes.  The cherries are texturized with pearl accents and the paper is chocolate chip and so saffron.  What a great color combination and much less femanine than the usual pinks I do with this set.

The second card is a retired SU set for fall.  I love doing this stamp set with watercolors.  Very fun with pear pizzaz and some red polka dot paper.

The last card is the PTI anniversary set.  I'm always amazed at how elegant this stamp set comes together and how quick it is.  Very fun.

Enjoy your evening and stay cool!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Denami Lot's of Layers

Hi all,
I signed up to play in Denami's 'Lot's of Layers' blog hop.   Did you visit my blog for the first time because of this hop?  I'm so glad you stopped by.  If you can, leave me a comment.  I love to see who is stopping by.  Plus, if you leave a comment you may be eligible to win a $20.00 Denami gift certificate since Denami is giving three of them away to random participants (who leave comments!)

This blog hop was not much of a challenge for me since, lately, I use a ton of layers on all my cards.  So, I decided to make TWO cards for you for this hop.  The first, a fun card using red and blue and the darling Demani CHERRY image.  This is such a precious stamp.  I just love it.  Doesn't that little cherry look so happy on that budding rose paper?  I think so.

My second card is using Denami's bunny set.  I love this stamp too.  My favorite part is inking these bunnies up in different shades of color (using my copic markers) and adding glitter, flowersoft or flocking to their tails to give the card texture and to make the bunnies seem more life-like.  This set of bunnies have white flocking.  Can you see the little shimmers in the white flocking?  I hope so.

So, you have a few more stops on the Denami blog hop.  I'm number 18 out of 30 so you are more than 1/2 through them all if you started at the beginning  Below is your link to your next site.  Enjoy and thanks again for stopping by today.


Amy Smidebush

If you prefer to start the blog hop from the beginnning, below is the link to Denami.  That will get you back on track or back to the beginning.  Enjoy!