Thursday, August 21, 2014

~ Sneak Peek of the National Stadium @ Singapore Sports Hub ~

Last Sunday, we headed down to Kallang Wave Mall to collect our goodie bags for "NTUC Walks with U" that will be happening at the Waterfront Promenade @ Marina Bay end of this month. Since it was our first time visiting the Singapore Sports Hub, we decided to take a stroll and have a peek at the new 55,000 capacity National Stadium.

Luck seems to be on our side! Gate 1 was opened and public can enter to have a spectacular view of whats install within the Stadium.

Panorama view of National Stadium from Gate 1.

I love the way how the red and white coloured seatings were randomly placed around the Stadium giving it a full house effect. It gives a majestic aura even without a single spectator. Denver and Gladys are impressed!

Hopefully in the near future, we will be one of the spectators sitting among the crowd, celebrating Singapore's birthday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

~ Singapore Garden Festival 2014 ~

Media Invite: Singapore Garden Festival 2014 is back with more alluring surprises within Gardens by the Bay. Held once every 2 years, this is the 5th time and our 4th consecutive visit we have been bringing our kids to support the festival. Unlike the previous years where it was held at the Suntec Convention Halls, this is the first time Singapore Garden Festival is showcasing the top award-winning garden and floral displays at the award-winning Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore Garden Festival 2014
Date: 16th - 24th August 2014
Show Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm
Conservatories Opening Hours: 9am - 10pm
Location: Gardens by the Bay

Ticketing rates
For more information : Visit

We made our way to The Meadow @ Gardens by the Bay on the first day of the festival and it was not surprising to see a crowd despite the hot afternoon sun. Ticket stubs filling up the boxes fast. :)

This year, instead of moving between halls to halls at different levels via the escalator, enjoy the floral displays set in the beauty of nature. Check out the Festival Map and plan your walking route.

Image source:

There is a lot of posing opportunities so do remember to get your cameras ready. 

Entering from Ticketing Counter B, we were happy to spot the festival's iconic mascots - Gary the Grasshopper, Benny the Bee and Lindy the Ladybug around the gardens. :) Do keep a look out for them for photo shoots. :)

Share-A-Plant Container Garden - The container gardens feature plants distributed as part of the "Share A Plant" campaign that was launched on 8th May 2014.

Community in Bloom's Gardener's Cup 2014 is a friendly garden display competition in Singapore. Five competing teams were given the challenge to setup garden displays on the theme "Fiesta" that evokes one of the five senses. The kids had fun venturing into the gardens to see, touch, smell and sense its surroundings.

Best Theme Award : "Touch Our Heart" - featuring the sense of "touch" 

Biodiversity Award : Sound of the Forest - featuring the sense of "sound"

Innovative Award : Carnival by the Bay - featuring the sense of "sight"

"Frozen" fans will be thrilled to spot Anna, Elsa and Olaf in the Frozen theme garden display! 
Where to find them? Near "Scentalising" (Educational Award) - featuring sense of sense. I caught Gladys in her sensing mode.

Do step into the Learning Garden where free tours are conducted. Visitors especially children get to learn more on how plants have played an important role in our lives as food, medicine, building materials and much more. 

Denver & Gladys love this garden as they can recognize most of the fruits. Golden papayas, pineapples, chilli, rambutan trees, wheat plants are some of the plants featured here. They also activated their sense of smell and spotted pandan leaves. It is very educational and worthwhile to spend some time here.

Hubby and I were very inspired by the Balcony Gardens. It is amazing how you can add greenery to your home and transform it to a soothing retreat. How I wish I can inject this into our home some day.

The fun has yet to begin as more awaits us!15 Fantasy and Landscape Show Gardens featuring creations by top award-winning gardening lumnaries from around the world!  

Sacred Grove, Grand winner at Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 stands out from the rest as the garden uses light, shadow and basic elements (water, light and air) to explore the relationship between artificial and natural environment. An opening at the centre of the raised garden allows sunlight and rainfall to penetrate and the elegant steel poles support the planted canopy.
Vertical  - Love the simplicity and beauty of the vertical lines
Full Circle? - This is a garden of crystalline forms, blackened and ravaged on the outside from the harm that man has caused to the environment, yet inside they cradle and treasure plant life. I love the messages behind and recognizing plants are key to mankind existence.

There are many more Floral and Landscape Gardens to explore and each of them continue to intrigue us.

Just when I thought we have left the "Frozen land", here comes Wizard of Oz! :)

After a good nature walk in the outdoors, we are all set to chill ourselves in the air-condition tent and check out the 14 Floral Windows to the World and 7 Celebrations! Floral Table Series. Here's some of my favourite among them.

Be sure not to miss the 6 Miniature Garden Displays where you can find cute little figurines and furniture decorated with real miniature plants.

Harry Potter's Greenhouse #3 is our favourite. :)
 The Lady of Shalott

To celebrate the Festival's debut at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Garden Festival tickets entitles you to visit the Flower Dome Conservatory as well! Visit to the festival is never complete without orchids! Catch Orchid Extravaganza @ Flower Dome where the main highlight is the 10-metre-tall orchid kaleidoscope. It was most unfortunate that we did not get to go in due to the massive long queue. The children were exhausted after 4 hours of continuous walk.

Nevertheless, we did not miss catching the Tiger Orchids (largest orchid in the world) where its flowers are vividly coloured with markings like the coat of a tiger.

There was also a long queue to see the award-winning orchids but I waited patiently to take snapshots of these beauties. Here are some exquisite ones which I thought looked very unique among the rest.

I adore light shades of orchids and these are some of my favourites. 

Before we made our way home, we spent some time at the Marketplace and made some purchase. :) We may not have green fingers but Denver and Gladys were enthusiastic to take ownership of their very own pot of plant. Unusual it may sound but Denver chose a Venus Flytrap to bring home. Hopefully we can see its growth on the next Singapore Garden Festival in 2 years time.

We spent a total of 5 hours at Singapore Garden Festival 2014! It was a tiring but eventful day and we look forward to SGF2016!

More photos of SGF2014 can be found at BPDGTravels fanpage.

COLOURS Photography Contest

Want to win attractive prizes from Canon? Here's your chance! Bring your camera and take pictures when you visit SGF2014. Submit your photos taken with the theme "Colours" by 7 September and you could win prizes! For more information, click on this link.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

~ Brother Scan N Cut - Revolutionary Home & Hobby Cutting Machine ~

Media Invite: Don't be mistaken. This is not your conventional office/home printer for your documents. Brother International Singapore has launched it's first ScanNCut machine (Brother CM550DX) - a revolutionary new home and hobby cutting machine with built-in scanning capability that will interest scrap book and craft lovers. 

I was extremely excited to attend Brother's Arts&Craft Workshop at Spotlight for some hands-on experience on their new product. Apart from the die cutting machines, craft and border punches that we have seen on the market to make our DIY cards, Brother CM550DX is an innovative machine incorporating scanning feature that allow us to scan photos, printouts or sketches with its built-in 300dpi scanner, select the materials of our choice (paper, fabric, vinyl) and cut it. That saves a lot of time and effort to cut/punch out the designs that you like and best of all you can customize it without restricting to the dies or punches that you have.

Let's check out how this is done.

To eliminate the hassle of hand-cutting designs, Brother's Standard Cut Blade (for paper and fabric) and Deep Cut Blade (for felt, denim) allows consumers to cut materials of different thickness. Simply adjust the depth of the cut by turning to the appropriate number labelled on the blade holders and the machine will do the cutting precisely. It also comes with a Pen holder and Colour pen set for drawing and tracing on paper and fabric.

If you do not have any design in mind, Brother ScanNCut has built-in patterns, fonts, shapes to help you to start off. After selecting the designs of your choice, place your coloured papers on the Standard Mat (which is adhesive to ensure the papers are in place), scan it through to ensure the papers are align to the patterns on the screen. This is to ensure the design falls in place with the coloured papers, and the machine can cut it out accordingly and not on the mat.

After the cutting is done, peel off with the spatula. 

With the cut out papers, customize the design of your card.
Apart from shapes, Brother ScanNCut can also cut out beautiful letters and wordings.

If you have a design that you like, you can place it on the Scanning Mat and save it inside the machine as a template.

To ensure the machine can detect your preferred picture, it is best to darken the outlines and make a photocopy of it. Since I hand-drew this picture, it was not nicely captured and hence I was not able to see the cutting effect for my customized image.

What's interesting is Brother Scan N Cut is not only just targeting on paper crafts but also on fabric!  

You can place iron-on fabric on the mat and create your own customized iron on for your bags, t-shirts and more!

ScanNCut cuts precis fabric shapes with ease. Pairing the erasable draw function with cutting, it offers the unique feature of drawing seam allowance and provides precise sewing guidelines, making sewing, quilting and applique projects easier to create.

Combine the different shapes and you can create beautiful patchwork quilt. 

Video - CM550DX (Scan N Cut)

A few pointers to note while using this machine is to take good care of the mats as the machine will not be able to cut the shapes properly if mat is not able to hold the paper/fabric firmly. In addition, take note of the cutting depth of the blade to avoid cutting directly through the mat. 

It is very interesting to see how much wonder (unique and personal scrapbooks, greeting cards and quilts)you can do with the ScanNCut machine. 

Brother CM550DX is now available for purchase at Brother International Singapore's authorised resellers and superstores. (Spotlight, Courts and Challenger *selected outlets). Current retail selling price is $828. 


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