Sunday, February 27

Scrapbooking Sunday

Big news to report from me... Earlier this week I discovered I made it onto the creative team for Fei Fei's Stuff @ Oscraps!

I have been a *HUGE* fan of Shaui's for the longest time, so seeing her CT call go out last week had me jump at the opportunity... I didn't really rate my chances, because I was pretty sure she had a tonne of applications... but somehow I've managed to land pretty much one of my dream CT gigs! I've joined an awesome team of scrappers and I'm feeling so excited and so lucky!

So this week I've got a LO to share from Fei Fei's Stuff...

This LO features Intertwined which is available at Two Little Pixels where Shaui is a guest designer for the month of Feburary. Grab it quick while it's still there... it's a gorgeous kit... love the patterned papers!

My Strength, My Weakness

Thanks for reading along on this Scrappy Sunday! :)

Thursday, February 24

PAD - February 24 - Midday Bath

PAD - Feb 24 - Midday Bath

We don't get into Adelaide 'til late-ish, so we had a midday bath today... the light in the bathroom is actually gorgeous at this time of day... Also thought I better, take my photo for today, as I probably wouldn't feel like it later! Elizabeth keeps asking us every 5 minutes - "Is it time to go yet?" It's going to be a long day!

Wednesday, February 23

PAD - February 23 - Amidst The Chaos She Slept...

PAD - Feb 23 - Amidst The Chaos She Slept

So we're heading back to Adelaide for Bao's wedding and I'm in the midst of packing... And sometime this afternoon, I checked in on Elizabeth and found her like this. Please don't judge me based on the state of our lounge room!!!

Also, will be MIA in the blog for a week and a bit while we are interstate as I will have no laptop and very limited access to the internet (mostly via iphone probably!)... I will endeavour to continue PAD and post when I return but no promises, 'cos I tend to have a very bad track record of taking photos while I'm in Adelaide as I tend to just enjoy being back home in the company of family and friends!

Okay... enough procrastinating... back to packing for me!

Tuesday, February 22

PAD - February 22 - Papillon

PAD - Feb 22 - Papillon

Taken in our neighbour's garden... they have a much nicer garden than us.

For the photography inclined - I have just discovered a fantastic site with free textures... check out ... (I did have trouble loading the site in IE, but it loads fine in Firefox) there are quite a few different sets and I think they are awesome quality!!!

Monday, February 21

PAD - Feb 21 - Missy 9 Months

PAD - Feb 21 - Missy 9 Months

She already knows how to pull a cute pose.
She learnt to clap this morning at 4:15am.
She loves Mummy.
She thinks Daddy is cool.
She laughs at Elizabeth.
Her favourite food is yoghurt.
She likes midnight boobie snacks.
She moves unconventionally by shuffling around on her bottom.
She wishes she would stand... and walk.
Her favourite toys are her knitted bunny, her glowworm and sophie the giraffe.
She likes anything that rustles.
She is curious... noisy... funny... noisy... cute... noisy.
She says "Dadadadadada" a lot.
She's happy when she gets her way.
She likes to try and swipe at the camera lens.

Let Me Touch Your Camera Lens

Sunday, February 20

PAD - Feb 20 - If Only...

PAD - Feb 20 - If Only...

Today we went shopping at Chermside, and it reminded me of something that happened last weekend.

Elizabeth had some of her li xi (Vietnamese New Year money) to spend and she picked out something to buy (a toy washing machine) that was $7. I let her take the money out of her wallet and pay for it at the counter with a $50 note... and then she got her change back..

She ran back to Daddy and told him -
"I bought a washing machine... and look now I've got lots of money!"

LOL... she felt she was richer with the change because it was made up of so many notes and coins!

If only it really worked that way... wouldn't it be awesome to get more money back when you go shopping!

Scrapbooking Sunday

Howdy hoo... it's already another week gone by!

This week Nina has released another awesome new kit over at Oscraps called Home

and two pages from me -



Also did one more page with Karla's Be You kit from Owl Tree Studio (I really love the word art in this kit and how the whole kit really lends itself to black and white photos!) -


Saturday, February 19

Jazzed Up Alphabet

Awesome singing from Elizabeth and Daddy... :)

PAD - February 19 - 5:44am

PAD - Feb 19 - 5:44am

It's never too early for some iphone action... (I actually spend most of the time trying to stop her from eating the iphone though).

(For those interested - shot at f2.8, 1/250, ISO 25600)

Friday, February 18

PAD - February 18 - Seeing Light

PAD - Feb 18 - Seeing Light

'Cos at the end of the day, photography is all about the light isn't it?

I've never had much luck catching sunflare, but this afternoon I managed to grab these beautiful shots of the light. (Yes, I'm a little obsessed with beautiful light at the moment!)

For those interested, both shots taken with (of all things) my macro 100mm f2.8 L. (I had been trying to take a macro shot of a rose, and then ended up seeing this gorgeous flare and couldn't be bothered changing lenses... but I think the macro actually worked well, esp in that first shot).

First photo taken at f4.5, 1/640, ISO 400. Second photo taken at f18 1/640, ISO 400.

Thursday, February 17

PAD - February 17 - I *heart* my balloon

PAD - Feb 17 - I heart my balloon..

Catherine playing with the love heart balloon that Daddy got her for Valentine's Day.
I like the perspective of this shot... and the fact she's so happy. Also trying out some different processing... not sure I love it, but I only spent a couple of mins on it.

And just a behind the scenes snippet of video, so you can see what I really had to contend with while taking the photo... :)

Wednesday, February 16

PAD - February 16 - Iphone Hijacker [aka the Happy Snapper]

PAD - Feb 16 - Iphone Hijacker

So I took a photo on my iphone yesterday and went to look in my photo gallery and surprisingly, got greeted by a hundred photos of the TV, literally!!!!!! Obviously, the big girl hijacked my phone when I wasn't looking the other night and got a little shutter happy! Oh - and pick the odd photo out... there is one photo that isn't of the TV! (It's of her new toy washing machine that she bought with her li xi money.)

I laughed a lot when I saw all these photos of the TV on my iphone... she cracks me up!

Tuesday, February 15

PAD - February 15 - Morning Light + Rain

PAD - Feb 15 - Morning Light + Rain

As rain fell this morning, the light broke through the clouds and radiated the most amazing diffused ethereal glow...

I'd been awake since 5:10am with Catherine and when we first came out it was dark, gloomy and raining heavily... you would never have guessed the sun was going to come out... but just before 6am, I could see the first signs of light and I could tell we were in for something divine... so I set up both girls with breakfast outside (yes, Elizabeth woke up at 5:30am too), and in between feeding a small child spoonfuls of weetbix and pureed apple, I setup my valentine's day roses to capture the light and managed to snap a few shots... it was so peaceful, beautiful and oh so inspiring...

And after quickly downing her breakfast, the big girl put on her gumboots and grabbed her umbrella and frolicked in the backyard and then she saw her very first rainbow... (She was thrilled and kept telling me how beautiful it was!)

Beautiful Light + Rainbow

It was an awesome way to start the day... and made me thankful that I was awake to see it... Within 20 minutes the glorious morning glow was gone... and 10 minutes after that the rainbow faded away... It was all over by 6:30am.

PAD - Feb 15 -  Flowers + Morning Light + Rain

Monday, February 14

Bathtime [the out-takes]

Bathtime [the Out takes]

Some of the funny and just plain random shots from the other day when the girls were in the bath...

PAD - February 14 - Valentine

PAD - Feb 14 - Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! Elizabeth and I made some chocolate cupcakes for Valentine's dessert today... She loved was a "chocolate, muddy monster" after she licked the bowl. Phan came home with a bunch of roses for me and a 2 little heart balloons on sticks for the girls... *sigh*... he is such a sweetie that it makes my heart melt... xo

Sunday, February 13

Scrapbooking Sunday

Well, it's Scrapbooking Sunday again... and it's been a productive scrapping week!

First up, I got hooked up for everything I needed with Owl Tree Studio, so here are my LOs as a CT member using the kits from the February Hoot Club Release.


Your Smile

Secondly, I also got to use Karla Dudley's Be You kit, which has some gorgeous word art in it.



Thirdly, Nina's having a Valentine's Day Sale which ends tomorrow, so better get in fast -

She's also released a gorgeous new kit in the sweetest colours called sweet & soft which I used to create this -


And that's it from me on this Scrappy Sunday... see you next week!

PAD - February 13 - Battle Scarred

PAD - Feb 13 - Battle Scarred

After a terrible interrupted night's sleep from Catherine... she decided to start the day at about 4:45am... As a result, she was tired early and I had to put her down for a nap at 6:30am... And there was not really much point in going back to bed 'cos Elizabeth was going to be up soon (and she was about 15 mins later)... so I pottered around the house and decided to take a photo of an inanimate object today, which somewhat depicts the state of our sleep in this house...

Saturday, February 12

PAD - February 12 - Cool Kids

PAD - Feb 12 - Cool Kids

Just a happy snap today... and the only shot I got of both girls wearing the sunglasses at the same time... Catherine kept pulling hers off...

Friday, February 11

PAD - February 11 - The Shaggy Bob

PAD - Feb 11 - The Shaggy Bob

Her hair has a mind of it's own and has unintentionally grown into a variation of the shaggy bob... There are are long bits, short bits and everything in between and it curls behind her ear and pokes out everywhere... She has a lot of hair for someone who is only 8.5 months old!

Thursday, February 10

PAD - February 10 - Bathtime Love

PAD - Feb 10 - Bathtime Love

After going through a phase of having baths together, then having baths separately, they are now back to having baths together again... Now that Catherine is sitting quite well in the bath, she doesn't hog the bath like she used to when I had to lie her down in the water... Poor Catherine does have to put up with a lot from her big sister though who likes to shampoo her little sister's hair, pour water over her hair/head (and into her eyes! She doesn't like that a lot!), sing ditties while washing her arms, legs, ears with bubbles... and generally just be in her face the whole time! She is mostly quite tolerant and even laughs and smiles at Elizabeth, but towards the end, she does just crack it and just yell in a tone that just implies "Get me out of here! Elizabeth's being annoying!"

6:30am - Talking Over Breakfast (Video)

Her first word is "Dadadada"... She started saying it a few days ago, but yesterday ramped up the frequency of it a lot (starting at 2:30am!)... She's a funny little chatterbox...

Wednesday, February 9

More SOOCs

These are for Em and Thao :)


I should have done a pullback shot to show my setup, but basically, it was just a chair with a big piece of black fleece (that I bought specifically to use as a backdrop) under the pergola (where the natural light is better than in the house)... It was actually overcast and bucketing down with rain on this day, so I was struggling to get decent light. Shot at f/7.1, 1/320, ISO 640.


I converted this shot to black and white because I found the blue mats way too distracting and overpowering in colour... I think the b&w conveys way more mood than the colour version. Shot without flash (in whatever natural light I could muster coming in through the sliding doors), f/4.0, 1/250, ISO 3200. Note also, I had to take about 30 shots to get this one... the moving, exuberant baby was a bit hard to capture... she alternated between sitting and waving her arms around in the air frantically and bum shuffling across the floor...

PAD - February 9 - The Demise of Lilium Asiatic

PAD - Feb 9 - The Demise of Lilium Asiatic

I got given some lillies as a thank you for taking some photos of a newborn baby boy last week and I thought I would do something a little out of the box with them...

PAD - February 8 - Entwined

PAD - Feb 8 - Entwined

Elizabeth's pink champagne anthurium that she bought on New Years Day to (quote) "brighten up her room" is still alive... :)

PAD - February 7 - Mummy Parasol, Baby Parasol

PAD - Feb 7 - Mummy Parasol, Baby Parasol

We are confirmed for a photoshoot with Sheye Rosemeyer in March... I am soooo excited! So I have started thinking about the styling for our family photoshoot and I came across these lovely lace parasols and decided I wanted to have them as a prop in our photos. They are absolutely gorgeous and Elizabeth thinks they are so pretty. I bought them from Parasols by Duval who had the best customer service, and the best price... Ordered late Thursday night, here Monday morning... awesome!

Sunday, February 6

PAD - February 6 - Bum Shuffler

PAD - Feb 6 - Bum Shuffler

She's on the move... When on her tummy she goes backwards despite all her best efforts to go forward... Then she cries and get frustrated. When she's sitting she's a much happy camper and she shuffles slowly forward and can spin around in a circle... Today she manage to shuffle on her bum from one side of the room to the other (it's about 2 metres)... Took her about half an hour, and she got distracted by random objects and toys along the way... but she got there.

She's quite a contrast to Elizabeth who never went backwards on her tummy (she developed this rolling technique early on to get to stuff and then just commando crawling forward after that) and the thought of bum shuffling never even crossed her mind. Funny how our kids, though from the same mould, can be so different...

Scrapbooking Sunday

I've decided to start a weekly/fortnightly segment on my blog dedicated to digital scrapbooking. I did have a separate blog for all this... but I'm useless at keeping it updated (I think my last update was 2 years ago!), so I thought if I try and keep it to a particular day of the week, I have half a chance of remembering to write about it...

I really love the creative outlet that digital scrapbooking gives me, I feel it really compliments the photography side of things for me... I've not been hugely active in the scrapping world for the last year or so... Being pregnant and having Catherine come along kind of slowed things down, but I've always tried to make the effort to do a couple of layouts a month. Plus being part of Nina's and Donna's creative teams gives me some motivation and their products make it so easy to whip up a page quickly and easily. Lately, I've picked up the pace a bit though... and well, I've had a pretty awesome last couple of weeks...

This layout using Nina's latest Simple Line Template No. 31, got picked up as a Gallery Standout -

You Need A Break

Also this layout using another template from Simple Line Template No. 31 and also Sometimes got picked up as a Gallery Standout at DST and as a Gallery Standout at MeSoScrappy. Me So Scrappy has recently made a change to make their gallery an open one and I've really enjoyed their site and reading their blog... so I highly recommend you head over there and check them out! :)


I also had this LO using Donna's Sweet Soul Music and Templates Vol 2 nominated as a Gallery Standout at Funky Playground Designs


So I've been on somewhat of a roll lately! I don't often get gallery standouts, so to have 4 of them in a few different places in the span of a couple of weeks is pretty cool!

My latest most exciting news is that I've been accepted as a member of the Owl Tree Studio CT! :) I'm so looking forward to being a part this up-and-coming store!!! :)

Saturday, February 5

PAD - February 5 - Natural Confetti

PAD - Feb 5 - Natural Confetti

Elizabeth currently has a bit of a fascination with the leopard tree in the backyard... she loves pulling the leaves off and throwing them around like they are confetti...

Also - my latest sewing creation is the cornflower blue skirt she's wearing in the photos... I'm a bit in love with the colour cornflower blue at the moment.. :) The design of the skirt is my own invention and is loosely based on the market skirt... I'm rather pleased with how it turned out... It's funny, 'cos I bought that top she's wearing from Target about 9 months ago and then decided I wanted to make a skirt, bought some fabric to match it... but I've only just gotten around to making it now! Oh well, she'll still get plenty of wear out of it... it's been soooooo hot and humid here lately!

For the photography inclined - these photos taken with my 85mm... still don't use that lens as often as I could...

Friday, February 4

PAD - Feb 4 - Mister Spotty Beetle

PAD - Feb 4 - Mister Spotty Beetle

This one is SOOC just for you Thao... :)(except for resizing for web and watermarking)

Found this little guy on one of Elizabeth's marigolds this morning as we were hanging out the laundry...

Thursday, February 3

PAD - February 3 - Lucky (And Oh So Very Very Very Thankful)

PAD - Feb 3 - Feeling Lucky (And Oh So Very Very Thankful)

I had one hell of a scare this morning that left me rather rattled and oh so thankful.

We were getting ready for Elizabeth's swimming lesson and I had put both girls in the car was just getting ready to leave when I thought I'd run inside to grab something for Elizabeth to eat after swimming (she is always ravenous). I left the car running and the driver's door open, put the handbrake on and had just stepped into the kitchen (which is only a few steps from the garage) when I heard Elizabeth yelling out in alarm.

I ran back to find the car was slowly rolling out of the garage. It was moving slow enough that I managed to run around behind the car to the driver's side and put the brake on to stop the car, but not before the driver's door got caught on the middle wall bit of our double garage door. (It got bent back at a 90 degree angle).

I am oh so thankful that I had left the car door open because having it get caught on the garage door and bend back, slowed the car down enough for me to get in the car and fully stop the car.

I am oh so thankful that Elizabeth is such a safety conscious nut and knew the minute the car started moving that something was wrong and was able to yell out to me to tell me. She was calling out... "Make it stop moving!!!" She is one smart little cookie.

I am oh so thankful that I stopped the car when I did, because had it gone any further it would have been going a lot faster down the slope of the driveway... and I don't want to know what would have happened then...

I have been berating myself for being so silly and stupid... I realised after I had put the handbrake on and thought I had put the car in neutral, but it was actually in reverse. Seriously, how could I be so dumb?! I will always be double checking the car now to make sure that never happens again!!!

So what a way to start the Lunar New Year... I was lucky today... so hopefully that luck continues this year! Happy Vietnamese New Year ... May the year be full of good fortune, prosperity and happiness to you all.

And I shall finish this with a photo of my two precious little people... Just because I am so thankful nothing happened to them today and I love them so much. xo

My Precious Little People

PAD - Feb 2 - Little Miss Flexi

PAD - Feb 2 - Little Miss Flexi

She decided to pull this manouevre out over breakfast.

Wednesday, February 2

Before and After - SOOC 1

Ever wondered what the photos I take look like before I process them? Well, Thao suggested we might post up some SOOC (straight out of the camera) shots next to our processed shots for the month of February.

I thought I might start off the month sharing the last shot I took for January, because I think it's a great example of the illusion that can take place with a bit of photoshopping.


The first photo shows the pullback shot of my "setup"... it's dodgy and makeshift and consists of a single bed sized flannelette sheet draped over two of our dining room chairs.... but hey it does the job. Notice the massive wrinkles in the backdrop... I didn't have the time to iron it (I had only thought of using it on the spur of the moment and had to capitalise on having a happy Catherine on my hands). What this photo doesn't show, is that I had given Catherine a zip lock bag filled with colourful ribbons to play with (one of my bags of misc stuff from the sewing I've been doing) and she had managed to bust it open and had ribbons all over her lap and was playing with them! I took away most of the ribbons, but she still had a couple in her lap to distract her and I had to keep putting them back in the basket in her lap to hide them when I was taking the photo!

You can see in the finished product, I have cropped the photo and really lightened/blown out the background in an attempt to disguise the wrinkles (I did have give the healing tool a bit of a work out, especially across that horizontal crease close to Catherine's head). I would have liked to have been able to keep more of the pink colour in the background, but it was a choice between having a pink backdrop with wrinkles or white with no wrinkles! As for the actual processing... I can't remember exactly, but generally I use curves and levels to brighten up Catherine's skin tone and run one of my own actions across it to boost the colour a little and that's pretty much it.... oh and I may have used Dandelion from Sheye's Eye Candy Actions to warm it up ... and also the sharpen action from the same set too.

Tuesday, February 1

PAD - Feb 1 - Nom Nom Noodles

PAD - Feb 1 - Nom Nom Noodles

So I've managed to rope a couple of people into continuing photo-a-day for the month of February (Hi Thao and Em!)... with a view to potentially doing Project 365... We're just going to take it a month at a time for the moment though. I feel like I've actually grown and learnt a few things in a photographic sense during January, so while the motivation is high, I thought why not continue in the groove and make the most of it. However, I will now start posting PADs into larger blog entries once or twice a week instead of daily from this point on... As much as I enjoy it... it's rather time consuming blogging every day! However, I thought I would start the month off on a good note and blog the first entry of the month... :)

Here's Miss Catherine eating... or rather playing with some noodles over lunch today. She found them most interesting... I had however forgotten what a pain they are to clean off clothes and little arms and legs... these noodles stick to every thing!!! So it's now unlikely she will be doing this again anytime soon!

For the photography inclined - I thought I would share that I have developed a new level of speedlite love... I have discovered how to use the external flash as a fill flash indoors and to exploit whatever natural light there is to still gain maximum catchlights (which is a particular obsession of mine... I love capturing great catchlights... I think they really give life to a photo)... I actually used the flash a lot in January, which means lower ISO, less noise and great clarity... Feels like I have finally learnt how to use it a bit better after owning it for 3 years! So this photo was taken with the speedlite... :)