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! 
project life bali
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!


  1. Thank you so much for the templates. I enjoyed looking at your pages from Bali, and as always, the way you give God the glory. As for the picture taking dilemma, stealth is the only way I've gotten pictures of my soon-to-be-21-year old son for a few years now. He doesn't live at home, so opportunities are fairly rare. I think a few good pictures and much good journaling, like you do, are a great way to capture the memories. Taking pictures shouldn't get in the way of memories.

    1. Oh Heather thank you for your insights to this picture taking dilemma, I guess stealth is the only way, lol! But definitely lots of good journaling is an equally wonderful way of capturing the memories.

  2. What a great vacation...thanks for sharing. And thank you for the template!

  3. AnonymousJuly 20, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your memories and the freebie and your pics!

  4. I LOVE Bali! And your pages are awesome as usual! Can I ask which fonts you used for those great handwritten, cursive titles? P.S. We did the rafting too...and the massages. I've never enjoyed a massage more in my life!

    1. I forgot to mention! All the titles (other than 'Play your heart out' which is by CD Muckosky) were handwritten by me!! I bought a japanese script pen, wrote them on paper, and scanned them in. I'll remember to share them in the next post!

    2. Love them! Thanks for the reply.

  5. Love the book! Thanks for the freebie!

  6. I love the "Eat Love Eat" title, that would much more up our alley as well, :). Are you using specific fonts for your titles here or is that your own lettering? The titles look wonderful!
    Thank you for the freebie, too!

    1. Oh yes see reply to Cassandra, those were my handwritten titles, I'll share them in my next post!

  7. Yan LowsonJuly 21, 2014

    Thank you Yin

  8. I LOVE those handwritten titles! I wish there was a way you could turn it into a font. It's so cool. I simply love your work. Whenever I am in a scrapping rut, I come on your site for inspiration. I love everything you've done and really appreciate the templates. Of all of the templates I own, yours are my faves. Thanks Yin!

    1. Thank you for leaving me such lovely feedback! So nice to know :)

  9. I was blog hopping and found yours.. what beautiful pictures. Precious and fun memories to of shared with your family! .. a massage for $10 an hour!?! wow!

  10. Your templates are beautifull! Thank you very much...

  11. I agree with the Anonymous up there, of all the templates I have, yours are my favorites! I love them because you put so many pictures on a 2 page layout. I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to provide freebies. Someone told me about your site before it was a store, congrats by the way! And tonight I downloaded 401K&L and then went and bought the album set. I love them!! Thank you for helping us keep our scrapping mojo going :)


  12. I don't think my comment posted, so here it goes again! Just wanted to say thank you for continuing to share freebies. I was introduced to your site before you had a store, congrats by the way! I downloaded 401K&L tonight and then went and bought the album set. So thank you! And I agree with what the other anonymous poster said, of all the templates I have, yours are my favorites. I love that you put so many pictures on a 2 page layout to keep the focus on the photos and the stories, not just the "product". I didn't care for that when I paper scrapped and I really don't care for that now that I'm a digital scrapper. Many thanks again!!

    1. Thank you Melissa for both your comments! :) So wonderful to hear all you shared! You made my day, thanks!

  13. Love your work



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