Monday, October 29, 2007

me today | minibook

I started a minibook in June . It was meant to be be a 'stop and see where I am' kind of idea. It took me a while to pick out the photos and I stuck them all in. I used a KI memories 4 by 4 hearfelt album. Really sweet. I found out that this tiny album packed 20 sheet protectors which meant 40 pages to fill. So much for 'mini' !

Four months have passed and I was determined to get somewhere with this. I 'm full of ideas and love starting things. It would be good to finish some of what I started. It took longer than I would have imagined, even with the very simple theme. real life, was the focus and I only used some ribbon, chipboard alphabets , 3 sheets of patterned paper, 1 sheet of cardstock and journaling tags for the story. Plus the odd flower here and there.

With a break for Sunday dinner, I was done by 2. I am happy with the result. Not so much the 'art' but what the little book represents. My life, today. And a sense of accomplishment at having finished what might have been another abandoned project.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

For this I am grateful

After the 'day off', there were piles of work to plough through before I could go on my 4 day mini vacation.
Destination: My home town, Singapore. =) I managed to get most of the stuff on my "must do today list" done and by 1 am I knew
that I had to call it a day.
Our journey started at 6am and we were at Tuas in 6 hours, and in our hotel and having lunch at 1pm! One of my favourite phrases; Enjoy the journey! This pic made me think of that.

When you travel the same road everyday a mini vacation opens your eyes, shifts your view and renews your goals.Tiring as it was, I came away refreshed and as always, learnt something. People whom you've known for sometime can disappoint. People whom you hardly know, go out of their way with their sincerity and their giving spirit. And this : not something new- the guy who drove all the way and back just to sit with me in the waiting room at my doctor's appointment, Sarah- quite happy being two feet away while I work, even on vacation, and the guys back home , who hold everything together while we're gone, these are my real treasures. And for this I am grateful!

Monday, October 15, 2007

day off | after the fact

At the start of the day I had a list of things I wanted to do.
Not a to do list. More of a might do list. It looked something like this:
1. nothing
2. organize my room
3. exercise
4. eat ice cream
5. scrap
6. read
7. write
8. take pictures
(and on and on..)
I started with 15 items, cancelled 2 of them because it rained, and I still have 5 things on the list but I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze in a tiny ice cream and some reading before the day ends at midnight.

I had a lovely day and I'm very grateful! I finished 2 layouts that I started yesterday, just simple ones about the smidapaper journey. Then I came across one of Ali's old newsletters and took the challenge to make a page highlighting 3 to 5 reasons why I'm beautiful. SO weird.That was really hard! I've never thought of that. Well I tried, and I had fun.
I cleared my scrap space, well part of it anyway. Of course some of the stuff is on my work desk. Ha ha!

At lunch time, I was brought a most magnificent and complete, Japanese lunch, complete with my favourite plates and wasabi.
The rest of the day was restful. Full, yet balanced. Tranquil.
I am refreshed.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

day off!

Tomorrow is my day off =)

In our house we have a few interesting events. One of them is this: "Day Off!"
Now you may be thinking, what's so unique about that? Well, for us, a "Day Off" is really a day "Off". Not just a day off from work but a REAL day OFF!

So on my day off, I am free from all my responsibilities. The spouse whose day off it isn't, will take care of the following:
1.the house
2.the meals
3.any fetching and sending of children, parents or pets
4.keep the children, parents & pets out of the way of the one, (ME! in this case) who is enjoying the Day Off.

Extra bonus. I may use the option of being driven to any location (within reason), such as favourite spa, bookshop, garden to avoid the unnecessary stress of driving and parking.
Added bonus. If I choose to stay in my study and scrap all day, food requests will be discreetly and miraculously brought up at regular intervals. Aah, this is the life !

If you've never had a real Day Off, it's time to negotiate. ;)

Let you know how it goes.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I have been living in our new house for almost two months and have never sat in my little balcony.

I haven't been well so I stayed home this morning. I sent everyone out. My soul had a feast just taking in the little details. It started out sunny, but soon rain clouds moved in.I love the rain. I made ginger spice tea, with leaves, in a beautiful white Wedgwood bone china mug. I stared out at the sea, blocking out the construction going on that would soon replace this awesome sight.

Everyone is crazy busy these days. Life coming at you in all directions. Stuff coming into your house faster than you can put it away. Even the things that are supposed to be fun, like updating your digital photos and i pod, making Christmas cards, visiting people you love, become chores when time is limited. Well, time will always be finite. One of my favourite books,
"Time Management from the inside out" by Julie Morgenstern, suggests that organizing your time is like organizing your closet. You can only put so many things in. Again, we're down to the choices we make.

May I suggest that you don't wait until you're not feeling well to celebrate the details.To do some of the simple things that you've been meaning to do. To walk around your home, linger in your kid's room, take in the smells and be grateful for all the tiny things that make up your beautiful life. Then maybe make a page about the details.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Monday, October 01, 2007

my turn

Today it was my turn to send Sarah to school. I am very grateful for all the times it is not my turn.

Here's my favourite paragraph from "Life of Pi".

"It rained."

rainy weekends & thoughts afire

At work , we observe all public holidays. This Saturday,was a holiday but we decided to open the store. It rained most of the day, but people still came. The rest of the weekend was slow paced. I didn't get much scrapping done, unless you count finishing a sample for an upcoming class. I spent a huge amount of time on this project and I learnt much in the process. Seeing myself half my life ago, through the pages of this minibook set so many thoughts afire, all burning in different directions and finally settling to a glow, a realization of a few things.

I was glad to discover that dreams do not die. And that I am as full of wonder as I was then. I have not lost the ability to pull myself back before spinning out of control. I am one of those people who thinks she can do everything. (I know one young lady with similar tendencies) Maybe I can, but at what price? I wrote in that little minibook until 4am on Saturday, no, Sunday morning. Many things were clear when I put down my pen. Answers to questions. Choices resolved.

I have been working for more than 8 years without more than a week off at any time, and even then no more than once a year!
In the last , almost 2 years since smidapaper started, we have not been away anywhere as a family. This was not the dream. Sometimes we do things because other people want us to. Maybe because we can, because we have the resources, capabilities.
Philip & I used to say, "When we have our own business, we can go grocery shopping when everyone is at work!". That is funny!

October is as good a time for resolutions as any. Or goals at least. It's all in the choices, This one is mine: Find a better balance between the work that I love and the rest of my life.(I choose the word' find' deliberately, for something that is lost) As I stared at the younger version of me, I promise her what she promised all those years ago. Always have the freedom to make choices. I have to say AMEN to that.

I spent the rest of the rainy weekend just hangin'. Taking a nap. Putting songs in my i pod. Eating wasabi nuts. Walking by the sea. Writing.

I will work with all the vigor and zeal as always . Ditto for the rest of my life.