Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Is Here/ Worship the King

We look forward to the Christmas holiday and end up spending all day in the kitchen. What's up with that? There are those who love to cook, I have decided that while I am happy feeding my family, I am not one of those people. =) Still, we had 11 people around our table and it looked like everyone was happy. We enjoyed a bit of quiet , sitting in front of the tree before dinner and managed to get some special 'moments' on film.

Christmas day was packed, I could fill a whole album with memories but the one that touched me the most was seeing people gathered together for a single reason- to worship the King.

And with that I have come to the end of my project. I will not document the last few days of December, leaving Christmas as the ending point and the highlight. (Plus my book is full and I decided not to start a second one) This year, doing this was a little harder then last year because i blogged about it as well as created pages and layouts. It was quite a task, one I enjoyed and will cherish although, I must add, not for the faint hearted. December in itself is quite a feat.
The end of the year is always a reflective time for me, time to re group, take stock and look ahead. Who knows what lies ahead, but I do like to have a plan!

Monday, December 24, 2007

dec 24-merry

I cannot believe I used to sew and make stuff, this angel with the messy hair is part of a batch I made 8 yeras ago!going

Enjoy everyone! Have a blessed, blessed Christmas!

dec 23-gifts

It s fun giving presents. At our house, the gifts have been wrapped and are under the tree. (Sigh of relief!) I This bowl from China was an early gift, I love it and it comes in handy for all the Christmas and birthday cards I have been receiving. Now all I have to do is find the rest of them...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

no room at the inn

The first thing that came to my mind when I awoke today were these words, 'no room at the inn'.

Yesterday a friend asked what we would be doing for Christmas. That got me thinking. Apart from the meal our family will prepare on Christmas Eve and visiting a friend's home on Christmas Day, it will probably be quiet.
I heard that Sarah's friends are going to the mall to 'countdown to Christmas. Will Christ be there?

This season makes me, for want of a better word, sad. Last year I walked alone on Orchard Boulevard, tears streaming down my face. Amidst the beautiful lights and decorations, in a crowd of merry makers and shoppers, I felt alone.
There were people replicating the nativity scene, dressed as Joseph & Mary, even an innocent baby, wise men in tow.

Christ was born in a manger, on a bed of hay. There was no room at the inn. The wise men, bearing gifts, followed the star to bow down to the King of Kings.
This is Christmas!

As our family prepares to break bread together, as we offer our humble gifts of love to each other, I'm hoping that there will be room in our hearts to receive the greatest of gifts.

"...for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." (Luke 2 :8-10)


My album is full, packed from cover to cover and still some days to go. I'm thinking of getting another book to space things out, add some photos I missed out and more journaling. Looks like a lot of memories =)

dec 22-holidays

I walked away from my office at 4.30 this afternoon. My desk was still heavy with unfinished work . I wanted to stay,but people were waiting for me in my house. I'm not sure how I got here. I'm not sure how it will change after the holidays.

20 &21

Saturday, December 22, 2007

dec 21-older

words that come to mind

early, blessed, delifrance, 7g, Utee, sushi,journey, wishes, blessings, grateful, older, still ok today, happy, friends,home, family,unload, unpack, laughter, candle, royal icing, surprise, undeserving, gifts, favourite things,
late, reflect, create, give thanks...

music opens your soul

The highlight of my day, stumbling upon a string quartet amongst a collection of frenzied shoppers, who may or may not know what Christmas means. Like water in a parched land. I stood and took in the beauty of their surely God given gift, these four ladies who unknowingly, unwittingly, made my day.

dec 20-getaway

If you have only a day for a vacation you can get a lot done. Especially if you wake up at 5.30am.
One of my favourite phrases which I picked up from 'celebrity' scrapbookers is "Enjoy the journey". I did. Every step, every mile, every minute. Observation: Things look different, sometimes dramatically so, from one minute to another.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

dec 19-long story

Today started badly, at least in my head. I was sure I wouldn't be able to get all my work done, make it to my hair appointment at 5.30 and have dinner with Shirin at 6.30.( Breathe!)

As it turned out, I did manage to get my work done, pushed my appointment to 6.30 , met Shirin at 8.30. Worked on my pages, packed and now I am ready for my mini break/ artist date/ xmas shopping/ birthday getaway. Should be interesting! I'm not sure I have enough space in my book.

The time sitting at the salon would explain the long story. Grateful for the time to write. Dream. Catch up with my thoughts.
I am still deciding whether to leave my page with just the words or to continue with pictures.

dec 18-downtown

During the school holidays I try to incorporate a holiday feel to my days, for Sarah's benefit. My day is usually broken between work, home and trying to do something each day with her. We tried to find a jewelry shop downtown, someone whose work we've seen, who does handmade jewelry with semi precious stones. We searched for the shop but couldn't find it. As we drove we discovered new places we've never seen. Penang is a pretty place. After the rain, her beauty glimmers. We explored the tiny roads, the old buildings, life in the slow lane. A short respite from the escalating pace our life's road has taken.
We'll look for Jonathan's place again on Saturday.
The days are packed, working on my album at night provides a pause. Sometimes I get carried away.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

dec 18-happy birthday brig

My friend Brigitte celebrated her 50th birthday today. She remains one of the most beautiful people I know. Sorry I missed your party , sweetie! Wish you weren't so far away. Probably the hardest thing about moving to Penang, friends & family are far away.

dec 17-on being creative

Musings in general:
-creative people get restless sometimes (oftentimes)
-restlessness may result in a search for change
-moving furniture works for assuaging restlessness , or it may just wear you out. ha ha!
-creative people apply their 'skills' to all areas of life, including child raising, budgets and accounts, business marketing etcFun hanging out with your best friend from school. Funny how friendship transcends time and distance, how you can just get right back into conversation, talk about anything, pick up where you left off. Musings? At my age, old friends are cool, no need to go through the whole 'life story' thing. Shirin was there!

Monday, December 17, 2007

dec 16

I cannot believe I spent 6 hours at the mall on a Sunday!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

dec 15

10 days to Christmas. Only started listening to Christmas music today. Put Josh Groban's 'Noel' on during class this morning and came across a duet with Brian Mc Knight. So cool. Our favourite! Bought the CD last year and don't even remember having a good listen. This will probably be the song we remember 'the year we celebated Christmas in our new home'. I can hear it now, "this song reminds me of ..." Does music make you remember special times, events in your life? Maybe an idea for another scrapbook.

While we're on "celebrate" mode, let's lift our glasses to the one who always goes out in the rain to fetch the umbrella and who usually takes the photos (which is why he's seldom in any), oh, & Esther, go ahead and raise your glass to the one who helped to sell the kits at the store today ;) Cheers!

dec 13 &14-progress

At this point in a project I might ask myself "Why am I doing this again?". When I was done with these pages , I looked through the book , it looks full already, each page a celebration of life. This is progress. It surely feels satisfying, but wait, we're not done yet. For this page , I used a photo with journaling on the back. I like using lined acid free paper when I have a lot to write.

Friday, December 14, 2007

dec 12

I thought that I might share what I've used for this page. I used this felt bird from Jenni Bowlin Designs, I love the feel of birds on my page, and to me they represent being free and happiness. I have also been working a lot with Maya Road chipboard lately, scrolls, snowflakes and their sweet birds as well.I used gems for the eye of the bird and also to dress up the wing. For the date I punched a circle out of Scenic Route paper and stamped a scalloped image with a 7 Gypsies self inking stamp, then I used chipboard thickers for the actual date. I like using white ink on dark paper as well. This time I used a Uniball signo white pen. For a 6x9 page, you must be careful not to overcrowd. A couple of meaningful accents is actually all you need.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

dec 12- at the end of the day

In 12 days it will be Christmas Eve. When do the 12 days of Christmas start? I should start making preparations. But maybe Wednesday night is not the time. We enjoy putting out the weekly new arrivals, still, we go home a little tired. I did leave a little earlier than usual, my desk all cleared, tired and happy as I locked my room, ready to go home.

dec 11

On this ordinary Tuesday, our dogs really cracked me up. They're always blocking my path or stepping on my foot, and I will playfully scold them or push them out of the way. Today they responded by pretending to be good, both in exactly the same position. Their mock innocence, a really funny sight, sent us off on our date grinning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

dec 10

The music room turned study is looking cozier. I actually tried it out and it feels good. Now I'm dreaming of a nice chair to match the elm chinese desk. These desks are made a little higher as they have a carved footrest below, apparently it's very cold in China. Anyway my chair is Burmese teak, nice but a little low. As always, I had company in the sofa in front of me. No complaints.

I had a tough time deciding which photos would go in my book. In the end, I worked with two.
Sarah , looking like a princess after her shower , hanging around in my room,

and the dailyl "walk the dog" ritual, I usually don't go but this evening, after the rain, I did, the two young ones, our old Ridgeback Eva and our cat Aragorn, whom I suspect, thinks he's a dog. I have never seen a cat walk with dogs before, following them all the way and back, close to heel. So funny!

Monday, December 10, 2007

dec 9 - rest

I love staying home on Sundays. Especially when it rains. Spent the whole afternoon working on the music room/ office project. Enlisted the help of a couple of strong men (wink) and managed to find a new home for the piano & the TV that were in there. The room is slowly evolving, even with the old sofa bed still there. I'm not sure we can move it more than a few feet, and if we could, where to?

Too lazy to go out so Pizza came to us.

I know I'm going to ache tomorrow!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

dec 8- change

Here I go again, starting on a new project which will take some time and lots of effort. This time I've got the bright idea to move my study/ studio downstairs. Why? One reason. Stairs! I love not having a maid but now I have to be in the kitchen more and open the door when people come by, if I had a workspace downstairs, that would be a great solution wouldn't it? Except, my present room is 300sq feet! The music room is 64sq feet and the meal area which will be my scrap area is 84 sq ft.
I may turn the old study into a guest room/ yoga retreat , think the guests would mind if I left half my stuff up here? Or maybe a garage sale? One day at a time, that way I won't get overwhelmed and abandon the whole project. Here we go...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

dec 7-be still

It doesn't take me very long to do a page for this album . For me this isn't about working a 3 hour, embellished masterpiece.
My goal is the journey. What takes a long time is the search for what, to me, was the most significant theme of the day. With a hundred things going on each day, when I sit down at my desk, I have to write it all down. Writing slows you down. You cannot write fast enough for your head to get in a whirl.

So , today, I didn't record the Women's Biz Sense Luncheon. Nor the supper we queued up for. The walk from the beach in the drizzle was not the highlight. Instead these words ,"Be still and know that I am God" stuck. Resonated. This word, to me, is life.If you are a mom today, you will know the pain of raising a child in a world that is losing sight of values. Even if you have a good kid, the breakdown in ethics and morals, that threaten to seep into your child's pores, leaves you wondering if love is enough. You may get on your knees to plead your case. Today I was reminded that I am not in control. The battle is not mine. I need to just be. Still. And know.

Friday, December 07, 2007

dec 6-organized

I wasn't sure if I was going to have the time to clear my desk and I am happy that I did. I used this desk organizer from Making Memories, which my very supportive husband bought me .=)
Doing this daily book is great and yet there is the risk of scrapbooking your life and then not living it.
I am sure many of you scrapbookers wrestle with this sometimes. God bless the genius who started this meaningful art.
(The investors must be praising God , too, I heard Martha Stewart bought a stake in EK Success!) But, oh oh, does there have to be a but? I'm afraid so. Just as your mum told you, "Too much of a good thing, bla bla bla..." , you know where I'm getting at?
Just like a photographer who lives behind her camera, seeing through her Carl Zeiss lens, sometimes misses the big picture, so too, a scrapbooker, could just get caught up in the whole "I have to scrap this right now, all kids to bed " habit. (I hear the manufacturers praising God again, what am I saying? I own a scrapbook store!)
Seriously, even though it says so on my t-shirt, "Life isn't really one big scrapbooking moment". Life is life, so go ahead and scrapbook it, but too much of a good thing, bla bla... you get the picture.

So, what have I learned from my own diatribe? Well, I finished my page early and I'm posting early, (only 2am) and I'll sleep early, ok , earlier and I will make the effort not to love my chipboard more than the subject on my pages. In fact, I'll start right now.
Or tomorrow!

p.s. I really love chipboard!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

dec 5-9am

We were setting up for a little Xmas coffee morning and Smidapaper was to provide a make and take for all the IWA ladies, I passed the huge french doors of The Mansion, a beautiful old building restored and now a restaurant, and the view took my breath away. I had to go outside to take a picture on my way out.

Parked a little way from this old coffee shop where we stopped for breakfast. Passed by an old heritage house and had to stop to bask in the morning light, just for a moment, and steal another gem, this time the carved wrought iron gates, with my precious cargo parked in front. So much to see when you're looking!

5 days into the project and my desk is a huge mess! Tomorrow! I will clear it tomorrow.