Friday, March 20, 2015

My Photo Wall - And a Half-Yearly Sale!

Pinterest. Ah... The never ending inspiration. So wonderful for so many reasons, yet also so easily distracting and time-consuming. I love to browse for ideas, but try to only pin stuff I might actually use. I don't come away with Pinterest-fatigue that way!

As I was documenting the month of Feb, where I had made a flower display inspired by Pinterest, I decided it would be fun to see how much Pinterest inspiration made it to my real life!

For Chinese New Year, a friend gifted me a bunch of silk flowers, and this was what I created based on this Pin (inset picture)
I made our own 'chicken coop wire' using a roll of old wires to tuck into the base of the tin box. Then taped the opening with criss-crossed washi tape. Then simply snipped the fake stems short and arranged them in. So easy and pretty! Thanks Pinterest!

Now I showed this Pin to the then 13 year old J, and he fashioned these paper clay holders for our little cactus collection. Adorable right?

Here I made these little scrapbook paper ornaments from this Pin, for our little Christmas tree village. 

We try quite a lot of Pinterest recipes, always the easy yet yummy ones like this Pin for cheese stuffed mushrooms!

This was an easy winner we served during Christmas based on this Pin. Instead of whipped cream cheese we replacedi it with vanilla ice cream, since it is still warm weather here during Christmas. :)

And we made this birthday banner for the boys based on this Pin (out of many similar ones). We have used it two years in a row now!

Photo Wall

When we moved into our new place two years ago and was thinking of a picture wall, I pinned so many awesome picture wall ideas (see page here). In the end, this Pin of a layout by Design Editor inspired this whole wall - yeah!! See this post from 2013 when the first two canvas prints were completed. In December 2014 I added the rest and I think the wall is complete (for now!).

Some tips if you want to do a photo wall like this. I designed everything in photoshop. 
1. First I created a file in photoshop that was the actual size of the wall I wanted to cover. Into this I placed squares and rectangles of the planned canvases in the document, resized and arranged them until they were pleasing to the eye. 
2. Then I made separate photoshop files for each of the canvases, in the respective sizes. As I completed each one, I copied the jpeg of that canvas and arranged them back in the first file, which when completed looked like this:
3. When the canvases were ordered and had arrived, I printed out this jpeg (sized to an A4) and calculated the spacings and wrote down all the measurements - then used pencil to outline the corners on the wall before hanging them up. We used 3M Command hooks and they worked great!
4. If you want to have an idea of the dimensions, the largest horizontal canvas measured 34.5 in x 17.25in, the large vertical canvas is 22.2 x 30 inches. the canvases on the left are 13.2 x 13.2 each.
5. I ordered my canvases through a local online shop in Singapore - Print on Canvas - it's about the best price I can get here, not cheap still, but the quality and service is good. 
6. I just realised that this particular canvas can easily be a cool layout, so I've converted it into a 12x12 template :)

What have you made or done that is inspired by Pinterest?

Half-Yearly Sale
Yes, the Yin Templates Store Half-Yearly Sale is happening now! 
If you are a subscriber, use the special code in your newsletter for subscribers only discount :)

February 365 Photo a Day Layouts
This is the first half of Feb, when my father in law was discharged from the hospital, we are so glad and amazed at his recovery. More spring cleaning and buying new gear (once a year affair for my three men) like clothes and shoes. They don't like shopping at all ! Sometimes I have to buy and bring home to let them try, and return for a different size or color... and repeat..., thankful for good store return policies! 

Then it's onto two weeks of Chinese New Year celebrations - festivities and visiting with family, relatives and friends. It's the one time each year when I get to catch up with my aunts and many cousins and their families so it's a precious time for us. Lots of feasting too as you can see!

February Project Life pocket scrapping pages
This month I will not share the completed pages for privacy reasons. Instead let me share just some of the pockets.

My favourite photo this month is this one that captured the boys walking ahead of us, with our shadow in the bottom left corner. So much an image of these days where we find them flying ahead, while we support in the background (my fellow mums with older teenage children will know what I mean) :)

I like to capture various Feb memories like this one recording my early morning routine shared with my boys. Precious. 

Then there is our Valentines photos we just had chocolates and a homemade card (also from links on Pinterest!) that is so us :)

And more pictures from Chinese New Year. My cousins had unearthed some old family photos from the early sixties   We had a grand time trying to identify who is who in there and shared a few stories of our parents which I'm going to document in my Project Life. I always wanted to capture these heritage photos and stories but it is too big a project and too daunting to start. So I might as well get them captured in bite sized bits as and when, like now. 

London Pages and templates
Four more layouts completed - continuing in the artsy quirky style that is so Britain. Happy that they work for all kinds of photos - outdoors, historical sites, museums..

This is at the Historical Dockyards in Portsmouth, where the HMS Victory in which Nelson sailed and fought and won at Trafalgar and died is docked. So historical and so beautiful. Can't say enough.

At Portsmouth we also visited Fort Nelson - the museum of the Royal Armories. I told you our trip to Britain was a 'war' tour, no shopping for this mama here! But honestly the tour was good, the fort is an eye opener for me, we got to see live firing too - very loud!

From the Fort we went onto the D-Day museum, which really touched a chord, I had no idea so much planning and preparation went into it, and that it was still so fraught with risks, but something that had to happen. So many lives were lost that one day, so much bravery and sacrifice. And the Overlord Embroidery just summed it all up in one awesome giant display - so so beautiful.

This layout was from the tour we took inside the HMS Victory. So fascinating, how they fought navy battles in the 18th century! So quaint looking, all wood and all, yet it carried hundreds of canons on 3 decks, unbelievable. The living quarters were so cramped, and their meals was mainly porridge from this giant gallery kitchen giant boiler. This is the kind of tour I like, even if it is of a warship :)

Layout Inspiration
I have more lovely layouts from Hannah Hurey, always love her simplicity and letting the awesome photos take centre stage, thanks Hannah for sharing!

And this sweet layout is from Fenny Koens from Netherlands, these are her grand daughters, and 'working' in the garden, one of the first sunny days in March, Spring! Thanks Fenny for sharing it with us.

I'm sorry this post is one giant mishmash of everything, What with travelling for work and lots of commitments, I blogged every now and then, adding to this post when I can, and now I will hit publish - haha - not very organised, but everything I want to share this month is here! Thanks for coming and reading and sharing my memory keeping world!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Birthday Prayers

art journaling

art journaling

We write Birthday Prayers every year to pray over the boys on their birthdays. It's a 'tradition' we started several years ago. Sometimes hubby writes, sometimes me, this year we each wrote one. They are a meaningful and precious record which I scrapbook every year. Each year's prayers are like our letters to them, and as we look back we can see their growth and changes in prayers, hopes, concerns and dreams. It's wonderful! It is worthwhile to consider doing this for your children! You can see our past year's prayers here, herehere, herehere, and here  

I'm so proud of them, they are becoming adults who are interesting, articulate, funny, so much smarter than me, and kind,... so much that I have not imagined. How to believe that my babies are 18 and 16? It is unbelievable but no denying the fact. . In fact, take a look at my current to-do list and you will see these items:
  1. Start thinking about R's college application 
  2. Visit Universities' Open House with boys
  3. Set up personal bank accounts for boys
  4. Set up investment account
# 1 is prompted by R's school - who sent us a 4 page checklist of things to do starting now(!) even though Uni/College is more than a year away  #2 is to give them an idea of what the Universities offer, maybe excite them with areas which are related to what they like or are leaning towards. # 3 and #4 are part of my plans to start them on their financial education, to manage their own savings and maybe learn a little about investments, prompted by this post - teaching-kids-stocks-investing/  They are quickly becoming adults, and we are busy equipping them. Oh how I miss those days when they simply needed me to wipe their noses, read them stories, rock them to sleep, hold their hands, .... :)

Well at least I have all my scrapbooks and Project life albums capturing these teenage years! That's why I feel terribly motivated to capture moments, daily life, events, everything. You may have read how difficult this can be and how I deal with it in How to scrapbook your life with teens. Any other ideas are welcome!

I really had fun making these Birthday Prayers layouts too! It's a chance to do something art-journal style, This time I used my own doodle frames, paint elements from Mess it up by Little Butterfly wings and only a few other elements (see supply list below). I used the same main paint element duplicated a few times around each layout - it was so quick and simple, but the effect so cohesive and quick! I also spent some time adjusting and coloring the photos and paints to achieve the same tones on each page.You can download the template to try too, links below the image, enjoy!
Supply list credits: 
Ryan's layout: FreeToFly word art by CD Murkovsky, Cool wordart by Sugar Fancy, Paint from Little Butterfly Wings' Mess it Up vol 2
Jared's layout: Word art from Word & Paint {add on} - M3 September2014  by Little Butterfly Wings, and Paint from Little Butterfly Wings' Mess it Up vol 2

London Pages

I also completed four more London pages!

First one is all about our time at the Museum of London - an amazing history of London from the time it was Londinium under Roman rule to present times. Fun and fascinating!! I was most smitten by the dolls and dollhouse of Queen Victoria! And the exhibits of the Suffragettes and the Roman artifacts reqlly made quite an impression on us.
(Credit: bellagypsy_makemistakes_Alpha, EMerritt-msatogether_paper, mommyish_freebie-stamped_Alpha, nrj-sweetlove-doodled border, TangieBaxter_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Here we are at the very awesome British Museum. We were overwhelmed by how huge it was and much there was to see! We did the important bits and touched some interesting exhibits such as the clocks and the enlightenment gallery. 
(Credits: TDD_LOC_KatieScrapbooklady_paper, alb_acrosstheboard_border
justjaime-paintybits, pink reptile designs_rockingcool_alpha, vr_ItsAboutTime_paint)

After the Museum we wandered the roads and area around this Intersection, visited the boys' favorite comic store - Forbidden Planet, as well as quaint and superb second hand book stores where we picked up a few wonderful books on world war and tanks! 
(Credits: AllisonPennington_WAFD_Paint, PP_modern_diamond, Just Jaime-paintybits, kb-FortheLoveOf_arrow, kate hadfield_raspberrysorbet_Alpha, TangieBaxter_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Finally we went to Trafalgar Square which was beautiful. Now understanding what the Square was named for, and that Ad Nelson's statue is facing the direction of Trafalgar in which battle he was killed, made us appreciate it more. We are following in the footsteps of this great man on this trip!
(Credits: AllisonPennington_Capturing Fall_Paper, TDD_MLP_fayette_border, Paulakesselring_artinthebox alpha, Sarah Gleason_coconut_paint, tangie_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A New Beginning

I can't believe it is already February! Memory keeping through Project Life highlights the passing days more than anything for me. Every month as I sit down to look at that month's pictures, planning the pages, thinking what to capture, what are of note, the highlights, the interesting, and how to summarize the days in my PL, I become acutely aware of the days passing. Do you feel the same?

How did we spend an entire month? Did we achieve what we wanted to? Did we love enough, celebrate each other, had some fun, seek the Lord, serve someone, live fully? I am not striving nor expecting perfect answers, but I do love that I get to reflect, recollect and review each month. A mini version of what we do at the beginning of each year.

2015 Title Page
This is my Title Page for 2015. 
We enter the new year on His lovingkindness and compassion which are new every morning.
Great is His Faithfulness!

My word for this year is Turn. It's an unusual word and I only found it in early January. After last year's word - Center - I feel the call to move from my comfort zone, take hold of things that can be better dealt with, take actions of service I have been ignoring, without worry or fear, now that I have practiced having my center in God and His Word. Actually I found the word Turn after reading this beautiful post - Turn My Heart by Janet. You must go read it at her blog Preparing the Soil. Thank you so much Janet, for your faith and words that so inspires!

For my family, we have so warmed up to practicing Warmth last year, we have decided to adopt the same word for 2015. It has been wonderful practicing a listening ear, less unnecessary expectations and nagging, more connecting and playing together, for our family of stressed parents and angsty teenagers :)  

So how did January go for us?
We started the new school year, both kids are in their last year at their schools, we also celebrated both of their birthdays - they turned 16 and 18 (it's truly hard to believe), and then a routine hospital visit for my father in law turned critical when he suffered an acute heart attack. Miraculously he survived and recovered quickly, spending only two critical days in ICU, and is already back home after eleven days. SO amazing! SO thankful! He was well enough that we were able to attend the wedding of a dear friend's daughter and a young man who is youth leader to my son's cell. A very special day.
What a month! 
Great is His Faithfulness!

With all the planner-rage, I too played with making this 'Month title card' PL insert at the beginning of last month, and was able to add labels for the significant dates of January. I really like it and think I will be using it every month. If you do a monthly format too, and want to use this, scroll down for the links to download it. 

January PL Pages:
These are my pages, here are two of the digital versions, I work on each digitally first, then print each out as physical photos, and add journaling and sometimes embellishments. The digital version looks better on the blog! :)
Besides weddings and birthdays, we also had beach outings with our church youth ministry, and loads of fun and beautiful sunsets.
And one more PL page printed and in the pockets, focused on our word of the year and the story of my father-in-law's hostpilization and amazing recovery. 

January 365 Photo a Day Pages
You may have seen my past Year in Review posts. Using the same half monthly templates, the first two pages of the year are completed!
(Credits: WishAlphabet by Rachel Young, Paper by citrus&mint_HF freebie, Erica Zane's paint from sweetonyou, washi tape by justjaimee, paint from currently by kaye winiecki, wordstrips from sayyesto by paislee press, doodle bracket from superstitious by pink reptile designs, heart from this&thats by The Tattered Pear, heart from queen of hearts, and word phrase from happy thoughts, both by valorie webber)

(Credits: Paper from Studio Basic's AddictedtoLists, blackstripe_flower by Snips&Snails designs from TDD's Life of Change, paint art from Jenn Barrette's perfectfit, washi by JustJaime in 'year in review', Banners, wordstrips, camera, heart from Kaye Winiecki's  eclecticmoments, alpha from pink reptile designs's  chunkycrochet, XOXO from helloiloveyou by Shawna Clingerman)

These half monthly templates are available in the store

I love Marilee Stujenske's layouts using Yin templates! Her brilliant photos and great choice of colors and background highlight her brilliant photos and you can tell she had a great time on these trips! Thank you Marilee for sharing these with us!
I love to see your layouts using Yin templates. If you would like to share, leave a link to your blog or gallery in the comments, or email them to me at yindgs (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) sg. Thanks! 

Free Download

Download these HERE.
Because I'm always sharing what I made for myself, there's only Jan and Feb templates in this download. :)  Do check back for future months!

And since it is Valentines' Day, just want to remind that I have this oldie but goldie heart shaped template that is my all-time fav:
Download Here

Friday, January 23, 2015

Two Pages a Month

I really love it when I get to the end of a year of scrapbook. It is not just the reward and satisfaction of completing it that makes me so happy. It's looking through all the pages, finding what the boys call  our 'slice of life' captured, remembering the big events, small moments, new experiences, everyday-ness, fun, laughter, great days, tough days, family, friends, everything that makes up the story of our year. 

It's a scrapbookers' way of taking stock! According to my pages, in twenty fourteen, we celebrated my parents in laws' 60th anniversary, our niece's wedding, dh's sister's surprise 60th birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year, and more; went overseas twice for holidays, once for school trip, once for work and once for 10K in Bali, had friends  relatives from China, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan visit, had a Primary School Reunion (with classmates from when I was twelve!), and sent one son to live in his school hostel for a year.

And because I did a photo a day the whole year, I was able to capture even the titbits and the unique 'slices of life' that is ours last year. Let's see, in twenty fourteen, all of us caught conjunctivitis all in one week (yikes!), J forgot to turn up for a talk he was to give on 3D printing, the boys took turns throwing out my not-yet-eaten take-out dinner by mistake(!),  I dressed up as greek goddess for a dinner, tried green tea everything (mochi, ice-cream, cookies, kitkat, mooncake, latte, you name it), did lots of online shopping, my husband caught onto healthy eating (made his own salads and work lunches everyday!), took over entirely to plan our Taiwan trip, we made 'Tank Cakes', had homemade pancakes every weekend, and the favorite family activities was World of Tanks, card games, movies and anime!

Actually I don't always have a photo a day, sometimes I go a few days before remembering and then I look around and add pictures of a corner of our home, a book we are reading, a newspaper article, or a movie we watched, and these have really added to the interest in the pages and completeness of the year as we lived them! And because I use only photos from my iphone, sometimes taken in a super hurry, blurry, in not so good light, or with one son trying to run away (lol), they are what I get. My pages are imperfect but personal, and totally awesome.

Here are the pages I have not yet posted from 2014:
For this Oct page, I had some badly lit photos and decided to play around with a photoshop action filter - bright & pale by chic chick  what a lovely glow!
(Credits: graph grids by SplendidFiins, paint artfrom Across the board by Amy Martin Designs, and the following are all from The Lilypad's Currently collab: wordstrip and lace by Kaye Winiecki, flair by little butterfly wigns, arrows, flower, traingles, word strip by Sara Gleason, glitter by valorie webbers)

The 2nd half of October featured more vibrant colors- lots of red from my niece's pre-wedding ceremonies, and my good friend was featured in the papers!
(credits:Dymo words by Allison Pennington_Currently, paper from Chelle's Creations'_ladybughug_playdate freebie, doodle from J Barrette's perfect fit, alpha from Raspberry sorbet by Kate Hadfield, doodle hearts by Michelle Godin in My Manly Man, heart, string, and tape from heimili by pink reptile designs)

In November we left for Taiwan holiday in the 4th week, and were back only in mid December. As I did separate pages for the holidays, I only made one layout each for Nov and December. This was the time after exams when the boys were home and relaxed but I had my wisdom tooth extraction (ouch!)
(Credits: Cork_Coaster_Heart and Holiday_Spot_Fave_Cut_Out_GinaCabrera of Digital Designs Essentials, Wish Alph by Rachel Young, Paper from a freebie by citrus&mint, confetti and label from year in review by Mommyish designs, arrow, brush, paint, painted heart, painted 'Cheer', wordstrips all from Fun-tastic by Sugar Fancy designs)

And this is the last page - 2nd half of Dec after we are back from Taiwan, filled with home improvements, Christmas celebrations and New Year get-togethers. I did a suitably golden, glittery, starry page :)
(Credits: glitter from 2am's_bestyearyet, Alpha and talk bubble from We all fall down Kit by Allison Pennington, Glitter_Star by_GinaCabrera of Digital Designs Essentials, flower from WinterWoodland by Maya De Groot, poinsettia from MissMint's_UglyChristmasSweater, flower and wordstrips from Celebrate Life by Studio Basic, stars and stitch by Erica Zane, washitape by JustJaimee, and paper from Mommyish's autumn daze)

And Tada! Here they are, my photo a day for 2014, two pages a month!
2014 Review digis crapbook P365
2014 Year In Review

I really want to challenge you to try this, take a photo whenever you can, and with whatever you captured, just slot them into a layout and you will see your year develop! I have shared my process here and  also here, you can try using my templates or any other templates, just get started, keep it simple and you will find it is totally doable!

2015 will be the fourth year I'm recording a photo a day this way, and I really have no thoughts of changing it up. So I've whipped up 8 more templates to do these Half Monthly pages, this set is on sale at $4 until this Sunday! Get them in the Store.
Monthly Template Year In Review

As is customary :) I have made a ninth template for you to download and try out :)
Download this free digiscrap template here - have fun creating!

Project Life December Pages
Because I already captured a photo a day, I only pick up stories I want to elaborate more or anecdotes or conversations to add to my Project Life pages, usually only a couple spreads a month.

I went for a light and pink palette here, with a touch of blue, taking a cue from the 'Life does not have to be Perfect' quote card. This is one way you can tie things together on a page.
We brought the boys with us to attend a local theatre production - we love that they enjoyed it as much as us (!)

Our Christmas page is full of gold and glitter - you see I usually follow a color theme each page, it is really easy for a page to look puled together and just great!

 And for the last page, taking a cue from Elise Blaha's 2014 by the Numbers review, I did one of our own!
We worked hard, studied hard, made home improvements, are obsessed with building tank models and anime figurines, played lots of games and watched lots of movies and anime and korean drams, some of us read a lot, listened to lots of music, and had ten new experiences in 2014!
It's by no means all that make up our year, but a fun recap that the boys participated and counted along with me. The piece of paper we scribbled the count items on is inserted behind in one of the pockets.My album is done!
P.S. as you can see, this page took on a very colorful turn, taking the cue from that photo of us in various colored Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down jackets :)

Double pages using Yin's Templates
I really love getting to see pages made with my templates, and these are so lovely, glad to share them with everyone!
Hannah Hurey's pages are always so classic and calm, simple and elegant. They are proof that all you need are gorgeous photos and great arrangement! :) Thanks Hannah for taking the time to send them to me!

And Marlyn Ramirez always have such lovely pages focused on the people in her life. Thanks Marlyn for taking the time to make my day!

Need more inspiration? Check out these Pinterest Boards:
I could not find a way to contact these ladies, but since these are public boards I think they wouldn't mind me providing a link to their boards, in case others would like to follow them. Thank you so much to J Austen, Lisa Kelly, and Linda, I'm very very honored!
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