Learning German after 50

I grew up speaking English in Singapore and I studied Mandarin as a second language in school. When I was 25, I moved to France and managed to parler francais after 6 months. At 35 I started learning Spanish when I met my husband, who is from Madrid. So when we were ready to leave France 4 years ago, I didn’t want to move to a country where I would have to learn yet another language, especially at my age! I already started having mild forms of amenesia…going into a room and forgetting what I went there for…mixing up my childrens’s birth dates…ūüėĪ so I didn’t think I would be able to learn a new language.

But as luck would have it, we landed up in the¬†little town of Ulm in Germany.¬†Unlike France, most people here will gladly speak English with you and I managed to get by the last three years¬†speaking mainly English and some important German phrases like “Ich m√∂chte ein Pinot Grigiot oder Chardonney bitte.”( I would like a Pinot Grigio or Chardonney please…) and other food and alcohol connected phrases!

Unfortunately, as I now feel slightly embarrased when I have to tell people I’ve been here for 3 years and I still don’t speak the language, I decided to enrol myself into intensive German courses, 4h every morning for 2 months! After the 1st week I was already drowning in German grammar, especially since my English grammar wasn’t very good to start with (I had to look up what a verb and a noun was… lol!). After the second week, I started to question if my pride was worth all this effort, especially since I had a minimum of 2 to 3 hours homework everyday! ¬†The actual work would probably only have taken an hour but as I wanted to understand every single word I read and every German grammar rule, I spent alot of time in my (paper) dictionary and the 230 pages of German grammar in English I had downloaded!

So what have I learnt so far? Learning a new language after 50 is exhausting! Is it beacuse most of my brain cells are dying or is it the constant need to understand things like, why articles¬†change genders depending on the context! I know most languages associate a gender to their nouns, but German, in what I have come to understand is their need to be VERY precise, takes it to a whole new level of complexity! Can you believe that whether “you’re going to the chair” or just “sit on the chair” makes a difference to the word “the” in “the chair!!! So before I can even form the sentence “Sit on the chair”, I have to remember if “chair” is feminin, masculine or neutral, then remember if “Sit” is in the dative or accusative form, then¬†assign the appropriate article to it! Arrrah!!

Anyway, all that to explain my lack of any creative endeavours the last 3 weeks.ūüėČ This was especially frustrating as I had just received so many incredible crafting gifts on my birthday. Altenew stamps, Zig clean markers and new Stamplorations dies and stamps… to name afew!

altenew purplenorange.png

I finally managed to make 2 cards and the above card followed the sketch from Viva La Verve and the colours from MFT Color challenge. I first sponged in Pumpin Pie ink from Stampin Up and spritz water on it to create the “blotched” background of the card. I cut it with my new Crazy double running stitch die from Stamplorations and adhered it on my white card. I used my new Altenew Peony bouquet layer stamps to create the flower and leaves, and I added in more colour with my new Zig brushes (love them!). I used the coordinating dies to cut them and pasted them on the white panel. The sentiment die cut comes from Stamplorations too and this was cut from a watercolour panel I had coloured with my brushos. Three little purple gemstones finished my card.


I’m quitehappy with how it turned out as they are not colours I would normally use, but I’m glad there are challenges out there to push me out of my comfort zone!

The sketch from Vive La Verve verve

The colours from MFT mft-color-challenge

I’m also entering this card in:

Altenew Ultimate challenge blog hop altenew

Addicted to Stamps РMake your mark addicted-to-stamps


I made another card with my new Altenew stamps, in a hurry one night, and unfortunately the lighting doesn’t really do it justice. This one was made by first stamping the outline stamp of the peony and heat embossing it with my new Wow embossing powders. I then added brusho powders and spritz water on it to create the watercoloured background. The “thanks” die cut comes from Stamplorations cutplorations series. I added some clear glue dots¬†to resemble water droplets. I adhered this panel onto a purple cardstock I had cut with my Sue Wilson double sided stitched dies before sticking it to my white card.


I’m playing along with:

Cards and More – No designpaper

Stamplorations spotlight project РUsing Brushos stamplorationspotlightproject

Happy Birthday to Me!

Its my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to….except I’ll be crying of joy! They started spoiling me last night with a candle light bath that my son had prepared for me, then my fav dishes for dinner, chilli crab and durian!

This morning I woke up to a great breakfast and this birthday card!



I was so touched. A birthday card made up of some of the cards I had made! They had to go through my whole blog to find the cards and it was also so nice to see my cards together, most of which had already been given away. It really made my day!

Before my hubby whisks me off to a spa, I just wanted to post this card I made last weekend. Its the first time I’ve made a shaker card and it really took me a long time to do it! I had to discard quite afew tries before I managed to get what I wanted!

shaker card amazing.png

As the shaker window is completely transparant, you can see the reflections behind me when I took the pic! Lol! I also went overboard with the shaker “stuffings” too I think! Heres the method I used to do this card. Apart from the challenge of making a shaker card I also wanted to make this a bright and cheerful card to offset the dark coloured card stock I need to use up. To make the colourful sentiment, I used my new Stamplorations cutplorations die on fun foam, with double sided tape on both sides of the foam. So once it was cut, I stuck the sentiment on the card, peeled off the other adhesive on the die cut and sprinkled the colourful little “stones” (i have no idea what they’re called!) on it. This gives it a really candy look i think! The words “you’re” was originally stamped on, but they took so long to dry that it smeared while i was adding the sequins in the shaker pocket. So I hand wrote the words. I heard Stazon ink is better for acetate so I just ordered one! I added the flower, which i had painted with brushos and cut with my Sizzix die.

Heres a close up with a white background i temporarily added so you could see it without part of my face in the reflection!

OK gotta go and thanks for stopping by. Oh btw¬†Heres where we’ll be spending the day!

I entered this card in:

AAA New to you technique challenge aaacards



Since I started making cards 6 months ago, my inspiration and teachers have all been the different artists I come across in Blogland. Seeing all your incredible creations out there really motivate me to use new methods…and obviously products!

sizzix backgound die thanks.png

This card was no exception. I have never made a card with a background die as I thought they made the card too “crowded”, but I decided to give it a try after seeing some fabulous creations out in Blogland. ¬†So I ordered one, and I’m glad I did, as I am loving this die from Sizzix! I have also never made a green card but decided to try after seeing some beautiful cards over at Simon Says Stamp Work It Wednesday, where the challenge is to use the¬†August Birthstone, Peridot. Unfortunately I had it in my mind that it was Emerald so the colour of this card is not really Peridot! Lol!

I first painted a cardstock with Brushos emerald green and leaf green, before randomly stamping it with Versamark and then heat embossing it with clear sparkly embossing powder, as I wanted it to sparkle like the gemstone. I then cut it with the background die and stuck it on another piece of white cardstock. I adhered it behind the front of my card which I had previously cut with a Sizzix rectangle die. The sentiment comes from Stamplorations and I layered it to make it stand out more.

sizzix background die cu

A secret I found to easily layering and sticking thin die cuts is to sandwich a cardstock with double sided adhesive tape and cut your die on this. That way you peel off the bottom of your die cut to stick it to the card and peel off the top to stick it to the upper layer of die cut.

brushos inside card.png

This is the inside left side of the card which has the background die on it. I coloured it with Brushos and stamped it with a Stamplorations sentiment, because I had used a scrap card which already had some colour on it and needed to hide that!

This is the Peridot gemstone from the Work it Wednesday challenge over at Simon Says Stamp

work it wednesday

I’m also entering it in:

Darnells’s NBUS (never been used stuff) challenge which I think I will visit often, as I have LOADS I have never used, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only hoarder and compulsive buyer!

Die cutting Diva’s – Anything Goes

HLS Anything goes with dies

Thanks for stopping by!

Blossom like a butterfly

I love making cards with butterflies. Its amazing and inspirational to me, that they¬†start out as squirmy little slugs, before they one day just metamorphose into gorgeous butterflies. Its my favourite comfort line to my daughter when she’s feeling awkward with her body…but then I guess all teenage girls are in a hurry to become butterflies aren’t they? I know I was. But being a butterfly to me is more than being beautiful. Its to have this ability to flit merrily in life, without a care in the world. Appreciating the good things and accepting the inconveniences. ¬†And I guess I still have a long way to becoming a butterfly, as I still can’t accept the inconvenience of doing housework!ūüėČ

blossom like a butterfly CAS.png

I made 2 cards with this beautiful butterfly stamp and sentiment by Stamplorations. For the sentiment . I first added brusho powder and water on a plastic surface and then wet my stamp with this mixture and stamped my card with it. I tested it a few times on scrap paper to¬†make sure it didn’t stamp too watery. The faux gold ring die cut, from Simon Says Stamp, was cut from white card stock and heat embossed with gold powder. ¬†For the butterfly, I stamped it with Versamark before heat embossing it with gold. I then added brushos again, spritz water and wiped off the access over the embossed areas. I fussy cut it and adhered it in the middle of the smaller ring, which also comes from the same SSS set, which was coloured using the leftover brushos mixture I used for the sentiment.

blossom like a butterfly cu

I entered this card in:
Stamplorations CAS challenge  stamplorations CAS
Cards 4 Gals – Butterflies or dragonflies
Moving along with the Times – Clean and Simple
Stamplorations Always Anything goes  STAMPlorations-anythinggoes

blossom like a butterfly brushos

This card uses the same sentiment but a mask of a another butterfly from a punch. I first added the butterfly mask and the sentiment mask, which I made by fussy cutting the stamped sentiment and added brushos around it in a relatively organised pattern. Spritzed enough water on it to let the powders dissolve but not too much to avoid the ink running. I removed the masks and was so happy the inks did not run under my mask! I finished by stamping the sentiment with my MISTI. I forgot the word BLOSSOM had a “tatty” look so I just kept on stamping! Lol!

I hope you enjoyed both my cards… and continue blossoming!

I entered this card into:
HLS August CAS – Masking. Its my 2nd entry, as Valentyna’s DT card gave me the courage to try this masking again. Thanks!
Addicted to CAS – Silhouette
Just Us Girls РThe flow of the colours inspired me jugs.png


To Have and to Hold

When it was certain that we were moving here from France, three years ago, I started gathering info on Ulm, the little city in the South of Germany where we would be moving to. During my on-line research, I met some wonderful people who spent time giving me information on the city, places to live and the German way of life. Soon, these new friends were waiting to welcome me and¬†really made my integration into Ulm so much easier. I now try to do the same with newcomers to Ulm and I will always be grateful to these really special friends. So when one of them announced she was getting married, I just had to hold the hen party for her…and obviously make her an extra special card!

to have n to hold.png

I was inspired by Vijaylaxmi Siyal’s card at Stamplorations¬†CASe the Designer challenge, but as I had recently made a similar card, I was wondering how to do the same but different. It hit me over dinner while I was staring at my daughter’s t-shirt (she started feeling quite uncomfortable, lol !) and I just left the table and started working on the card! (Luckily I had just finished my meal so I didn’t set a bad example for the kids!)

The Card base : I started by masking the card with washi tapes, brought out a stencil from Ideen Hertz and used my Versamark pen to trace the pattern. I covered it with black embossing powder (with the stencil still on the card), removed the stencil and heat embossed it. I then sponged Momento Tuxedo ink over it, and when it was dry I covered it with glaze to give it some shine. Only then did I remove the masks.

The “Flowers”: The flowers are actually the Seashell cosmo stamp from Stamplorations, which I first stamped in Versamark ink, heat embossed it with pink and blue WOW embossing powders to represent the bride and the groom. I coloured them in with Momento inks with my mini Ranger blender and then fussy cut them. The Sizzix leaf diecuts were cut from paper previously coloured with my Brusho powder paints. I added glaze on the leafs so that it would shine and a drop in the middle of each flower too.

The sentiment comes from JustRite and was stamped with my Misti with Momento Tuxedo ink, before heat embossing it.

to have n to hold cu

You get a better view here of the background stencil. I also wanted to intertwine the vines around the flowers to emphasise the “To Have and To Hold”.

I really love this card, cause as my hubby said, it looks simple but alot of work has gone into it. And thats about friendship too I guess. Thanks Sarah Jane for yours, and I hope you like this card. Thanks to you, my arrival in Ulm was so much more enjoyable!

Thanks for stopping by!

This is Vijaylaxmi Siyal’s¬†card I’m casing:¬†caseplorations.jpg

I also entered this card in:

Happy Little Stampers¬†CAS – Masking. Theres alot of detail but I hope its still “clean” enough!
Stamping Sensations – Anything Goes
Through the craft room door – Always Anything Goes
Tuesday Throwdown – Make it sparkle
Wow Embossing powder – Flowers
Joy Clair РInspiration photo joyclair.jpg
Stamplorations РAlways Anything Goes STAMPlorations-anythinggoes

Shaving Foam Art!

I’m always on the look out for new techniques to create art and I just found the strangest one yet…using SHAVING FOAM! I discovered it over at The Male Room challenge blog and there are some handy videos showing you how to do it too. I do wonder though how it was invented. Probably some man cut himself shaving and a caring wife was beside him wiping off the blood, saw how the foam left a pretty blood splatter on the tissue and thought…hmmm this will make great art…? ¬†The end results also remind me of my “pour and smear” art I make from time to time. Anyway its going to be a long post as I show you the method and some examples of what I did.

All you need is shaving foam, a flat plastic dish, alcohol inks/food colouring/liquid paint…, a flat spatula/ruler/window wiper and lots & lots of tissue! And if you use mint shaving foam, your cards will come out smelling nice and minty too!

  1. First spray shaving foam in your tray, then add your inks. I added both food colouring and alcohol inks. (top left pic)
  2. Use a stick ( I use old wooden chopsticks) to swirl your inks around (top right pic)
  3. Lay a piece of card stock, glossy paper gives a nice shiny finish, on the foam and press gently down
  4. Remove your card by lifting it or pulling it across the foam and place it on scrap paper
  5. Use your ruler/window wiper/spatula to remove the foam. Using tissue to clean off any foam leftover will not disturb the ink on the paper.
  6. Leave to dry before use

shaving foam orangenblue

This is what the end result looks like! Pretty isn’t it? I used it as a panel on an orange card stock and added the Sizzix butterfly which I hand coloured with my Tombow pens and painted on some gel to make it shine. I did the same with the Tim Holt’s “Celebrate” sentiment. As this card is for a boy, I added some paint splatters to make it look messy. They sparkle cause I went over the splatters with my Sakura gelly roll pen!

shaving foam orangenblue cu

I was inspired by these challenges when making this card:

the male room The Male Room РTechnique РShaving Foam. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful technique!
Freshly Made Sketches –¬†freshly made sketch
MFT Color challenge –¬†MFT color challenge

For the next card, I used the same foam, flattened it a little and used a Kraft card to catch the ink. The result gave a nice soft background! I stamped a rose from Stamplorations, painted it in with my water pen and the white ink left on the stamp, and outlined it with my transparent Sakura glitter gelly pen. The sentiment comes from Impressions Obsessions and it is stamped on an oval stitched die cut from Spellbinders. I added 2 drops of gel/glue to look like dew drops.

shaving foam kraft roseshaving foam rose cu

I entered this card in:

CASology – Dream
Addicted to Stamps and more РMake Your Mark
Just Us Girls РColor Week jugs.png

Last card (for this post) is actually the first card I made with this technique using pinks and greens. I used the border die and sentiment from Memory Box, which was cut from the same piece of dyed paper. I mounted it all on a green card.

shaving foam pinkngreen

This card goes into:

Simon Says Wednesday – Make For the Border
Cards and More – Color combo pink and green
Seize the Birthday РAnything Goes seize the birthday.png

Before I go, here are some other cards I “painted”. Apart from the pink background ones, the others were made with the same shaving foam of my 1st two cards above. Trick is to start with light colours and add darker ones after. The brown/blue and raspberry/ green, was made after I had already used the same foam three times, so you don’t have to keep on using new foam for very card.

shaving foam art

I also found a great video here to create some gorgeous art through stencils using shaving foam too! Hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to create with shaving foam too!

Thanks for staying through this long post and have a great week!





Shabby.. chic?

I didn’t plan on making a shabby, maybe chic, card today and its not my normal style either. But I wanted to combine three challenges, using the colours in House of Cards, the sketch in Mojo Monday and using a doily for DiesRUs. So this is what it ended up looking like, and I was surprised that it turned out quite beautiful, unfortunately ¬†I couldn’t get the photo to do it justice!

vintage doily 2.png

I first sprinkled my Brusho powders on a paper doily and spritzed it with water. I then stuck it on the card and brushed glue/gel over it to stiffen it and give it a shine. I added the gel around the doily thinking it might give it some contrast but it just made it look messy! I added a strip of kraft ribbed paper across and cut the scallop circle with my Sizzix scallop die. I stamped the sentiment from artSTAMP (love that song!) on it and coloured in the edges of the circle before sticking it on the carton strip with foam tabs.

This was what inspired me:

mojo monday the sketch from Mojo Monday

house of cards I went with the colours from House of Cards. I now see that what I thought was brown is actually dark purple! Ooops!

DiesRUs and I used a doily for DiesRUs

UnikoChallenge Uniko Challenge РInspired by a song title