Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the blog stops here

We went for a bicycle ride around the neighbourhood this eve. It looked like rain so we skipped our usual walk in the gardens, preferring to stay close to home. I had my i pod, and lagged behind Philip. We rode along the path, by the sea, "Love me for a reason " playing and I was transported to a time long ago. The same song plays, Donny Osmond's version. (smile) I was then at the age Sarah is now. I often put myself in my 15 year old shoes when I work with her. I try to feel what she might be feeling, see how she may be seeing. It helps.
Recently someone asked me to join Facebook. It is so 'not me'. I have few friends and they're all great. I can't imagine adding just anyone. And I feel mean for ignoring requests, but , hey...
Out of the clear blue I received an invite from Carmen. My teen buddy. We spent every evening cycling together or hanging out at each others homes. Growing up & discovering life, in the old neighbourhood. So funny, after more than 30 years! How did we lose touch? Today, riding my bike, playing the same old song, remembering and smiling to myself, I thought of Sarah. It's her time, 'a younger version of older me', as Brian Mc Knight sings. Not cycling, but on her computer, playing Wii, hanging out... with her teen buddies, her "Carmen". My role now, that of a coach, she playing the game. I'm still there on the sidelines, but she's playing the moves, making the choices, now & then glancing over her shoulder at me, knowing I'm there.
This will be my last post here on this blog. I will post scrapbook related goodies on the smidapaper blog and personal stories in my journal. Perhaps at some point I might start another blogging journey, if you feel inclined to follow, drop me an e mail or text message with your e mail add and I will send you a link.
Until then , stay well & live happy!
A final note to my dearest friends, the really long time ones from way back; Shirin, Jas, Carmen=)... long time friends from grown up days, Mike, Brig, Caroline,Mich... and Es, recent (and I hope you'll be around for a long time). You all rock! =) So dramatic, didn't know I had it in me. Ha ha! See you guys around...
p.s. to my most loyal reader, you rock , too.
Oh, happy new year, all. Well, bring it on, already!

new road for sarah

After 5 years of International school, we made a decision to place Sarah in a local school. We wanted her to grow in an environment that most Malaysians grow up in. She didn't know any 'Bahasa' and all subjects were in the national language. I remember how lost and forlorn she looked that first day in Standard 4. It must have been a huge culture shock for her but she took it in her stride.
Fast forward 6 years. PMR results day. Even with working in the store and studying in the store, she has done so well in all her subjects, even the dreaded "Bahasa' and now takes a new road. 4 years of high school. Papa & I are happy to give her this gift. For never complaining and always trusting and believing that we would give her the best that we could. Go Sarah!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


December days -Take 3 was a whole new experience this year. I started out doing it the same way, day 1, day 2.......after a week of that, it felt old. Did I want to take photos and write about the same things? Putting up the tree, last day at work, things around the house, date night? These same old familiar things didn't need to be recorded yearly, neither did I want it to just be about the 'book'. New techniques, which paper, colour? Page sizes, I'll stick some Hambly here, clever? Instead my pages looked like there was an invisible template, my hands and mind just comfortably doing the things I loved to do. The style that I've settled into.
So what exactly did I scrapbook? Well, mostly about stuff we were going through. Changes. Stuff that mattered, stuff that surprised me, like hosting a Xmas Eve party for 20 youths. Chocolate coloured nailpolish. Straightened hair. Meeting old friends. Old Aunts & new cousins. Forgiveness & humility. Disappointment. New traditions, like not cooking Christmas dinner. Appreciating Philip for cooking on Christmas day. PMR results. Decisions for smidapaper. Looking ahead...
Some days took up many pages. Some just words. No particular order. Many pages too personal to post.
And so December prepares to leave and January beckons, and through the process and the rest , I am almost ready. One more day -Day 31, Day 365. Seize it!
I was at Borders last night. Sarah gave me a voucher for Xmas and I went to choose myself a gift. Two things struck me;
1. Shopping with a gift voucher is such a deliberate delight. You won't end up buying magazines or some self help book. This is a gift and needs to be reconciled with the giver. Good fun. I spent almost two hours choosing one book. =)
2. Bookstores offer hope. A feeling that you can do anything! 'Maybe I can cook more often, oh this will help, I never knew that, ...' thoughts like these accompany you as you reach for another volume Never mind that you won't have time to read it.
So I left with the one book. The gift. The experience. And maybe that feeling of hope will last for a while.

May you be filled with hope this New Year's Eve! =)

day off

Days off were a common thing around our house, way back when... recently though it is a rare occurence and much looked forward to. Today it was my turn. Funny how you can be on leave for a week and only feel really free to do whatever you want, when the day has a title. 'Day Off!' I spent most of the day thinking and planning , and sorting my scrap space. Daily scrapping creates piles of stuff! We received a shipment from Chatterbox, and in it, the most beautiful velvet boxes, so perfect for organizing scrap stuff and so pretty to look at. =)

Now that eveything is nice and neat, I can settle down to some scrapping.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the wedding

The night before we left I made a layout for J & Staphanie in a frame. It was the first time I've actually given away a layout.:)
I remember him & Alvin & my guys playing at Richard & Kiran's house. So little they were & now he's married! Ok he wasn't that little , but that was almost 20 years ago...My favourite part of the wedding was seeing his big grin all the time that his beautiful bride was being walked down the isle to his side. I do hope someone took close ups! I feel so old . (smile) We took lots of pictures and thought I might make a little book about the wedding, the whole trip, the people... and maybe about the hope a wedding brings, of a lifetime ahead, a new beginning, Stop me before I get carried away...

Monday, December 22, 2008

xmas time is here

I think it sneaked up on me! That leaves me very little time to prepare. Yikes!
We closed the shop for the year and I stayed back to finsih off my inventory. I really didn't want to come back to 'last year's work'! I wonder how long it will take for me to get into 'holiday' mode? (grin) So it's Christmas eve, eve and I'm not sure if I will be cooking. Things will be different this year. New traditions.

Our tree had been sitting there with nothing but the lights on for over a week . each day after work I would say we would do it the next day. Finally we came home one day and not only was it decroated, but with 2 more happy little trees. One was called the 'love tree' with hearts and 2 happy reindeer people in the middle. =)

I have not scrapped a thing since I've been on leave. We've been hanging out a lot with Philip's mum since she's been back from the hospital. Sometimes it takes a crisis, right smack in the busiest time to remind us that life still goes on even if we do nothing for a day or two! I've been taking pictures and writing down my thoughts, hoping that I'll be getting some scrap time soon.

We had a chance to catch up with family and friends on our trip to KL. So good to see so many people we love in such a short time. It certainly was hectic running around but I'm glad we went and I even managed to schedule time to have brunch with a really old friend. Really glad!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

so much to say

The day before we went to KL I took a lot of photos. We had a class that afternoon, the Papa thing. I was feeling a little weary, doing everything includig the classes, wondering if there was a point. The ladies who came made sure I knew that there indeed was a point. They loved the class and their projects, left beaming and with extra kits to make some more for other loved ones. (smile) I took photos but I didn't scrap any. Instead I wrote. A whole 8x8 layout of words, save for a little Xmas tree on the side. Writing is a great way to clear your mind and gain perspective. Sometimes my head is so muddled I can't pray. On these occasions, I write. Works for me =)

scrapping & photos

I have so many photos of Sarah scrapping or making cards. =) Sometimes I'm at my desk at home and she'll be behind me, on the scrapping table. Her stuff is everywhere and she's started working on a new project which she calls "being sixteen". She's always asking for ideas and adapted the idea from our "papa quilt frame' for her inside cover. Will post a pic if she doesn't mind.

Philip goes everywhere with his SLR camera, very embarassing when he insists that we look his way! He took this when he dropped me off at the women's biz sense xmas brunch. Once inside, I completely forgot to take pictures! I hadn't seen all the ladies for a whole year and we got carried away catching up...

mid month

So quickly the days fly by! I have been having so much trouble loading my photos to my blog and in the end, I just leave it. I work on my December album late at night. In week 1 , I actually forgot about my red & brown theme and used mostly red and white. I 'm finding it hard to post my thoughts as I work through my pages this year. I want the journaling to reflect real life, as it is and if I were to post, then my writing will be shallow. And what is deeper, my struggles, thoughts, hopes, will not be recorded.
So art for display? Or tell it like it is?
Hmmm! Some of my favourite artists have blogs that are very candid. Very personal. While I try to be honest and true to life, there are some things that are better left unsaid... here anyway, so...
December days on this channel will just be snippets.

I'm having fun with layering and little 'groupings'. I can no longer just stick a sticker down plainly on paper.(ha ha) I'm also not very interested in techniques this time, but concentrate on colours, coordination and mood. In week 2, I've started working with pink. Last year I used mostly Xmas patterns but I didn't feel like it this year working with whatever conveyed the message of the day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

red & brown

My i photo has been acting up! I could not drag any photos to my desktop which makes it hard to post, ha ha. Anyway, it works now. Note to self: backup all my photos.
My December book is coming along. =) For the first week I'm trying to use touches of red & brown. I'm loving K & Co's Amy Butler line and some of Crate paper's stuff, especially die cuts and glitter borders, which I cut up for flower centres. Our Christmas tree has yet to be trimmed. I'm all packed for the weekend trip. Almost ready for tomorrow's class. Eep! Actually, not quite ready, will get on it now...

Yesterday I had a private lesson with a lady who wanted to do our Mum Card Box . in the end we modified and worked on a mini album instead! Her photos would not fit the tiny card album that comes in the box. Sigh! We completed the album in 2 hours! What a feat and she was suitably pleased. (Big sigh of relief) I photo acting up again, will try to post pics later!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

december days- take 3

At midnight , Dec 1st, I decided I would do another December album.My 3rd . I have chosen to work with an 8x8 ring album and I hope to add pages with 4x6 slots. (hope I can find them) I will try to simplify the process and so will not update my blog daily but randomly. =) Last year I tried to use all kinds of paper, but I think this year I will have different themes for each week. I worked on a simple cover page in red & brown ...
December 1st turned out to be a busy day! Good thing we had a hearty breakfast at Spice Gardens. We started on a new project , to re do a home for a client, with the intention to rent or sell the property. It is something that Philip & I are passionate about and that we can work on together. We probably will not agree on some things but have agreed to leave those arguments, if they arrive, at the workplace. There is much to be done! Planning, budgeting, coordinating, designing...this is going to be interesting!

The weather has been awful and i've been missing my walks. The only exercise I got today was changing my sheets, yes, Monday is also cleaning day. I was much inspired by all the lovely new household outlets at Gurney Plaza. My room looks pretty now, new sheets, fresh flowers, lavender & patchouli in the oil burner.

Took loads of pics & printed some, all ready to scrap. I tried to focus on the details of life, like breakfast, pedicured feet, Sarah holding all the DVDs she's hoping to watch this holidays.
We put up our tree and lights, and decided to leave the decorations for tomorrow. We really raced through this year. I hope this December will be a little slower than the rest of the year. Oh I am so looking forward to a simple month!

Friday, November 28, 2008

almost december!

The classes are up! (Big sigh of relief) On Sunday I worked for 13 hours straight, finishing up the samples. It was exhausting! Who would have thought? Working on the "together ' minibook I was a bit worried that the class would take too long, but I think it'll be ok, quite happy with the way things turned out. I had the most fun doing the "Papa" frame project. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the 'subject', ha ha! Very heartwarming and all the little pieces of the quilt, all the colours that symbolize all that he is to us. I wonder if everyone else will have as much fun doing their little projects, too...
And so we come to December, and I'm thinking if I will do another December book. This will be the 3rd one if I do! It is a huge commitment especially in such a busy time but when we look through the albums, throughout the year, I'm so glad I did them.
I'll decide tomorrow...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

we have the power...

According to history , the fall of civilisation was preceded by the breakdown of civility. A year ago I was griping about the breakdown of ethics in local schools, among the young people. Now it seems , this affliction doesn't favour any age group. people are in the habit of taking. Giving? What's that? Civility is what separates humans from animals. You know the common act of regarding fellow human being as , well, just that. Instead, someone hits the close button as you approach the lift with armfuls of stuff, or steals your parking spot as you move for the previous occupant to leave. In schools, the children study 'moral' , 'civics' and 'KH- kemahiran hidup' which translates as 'living skills'. And yet...

When did we become afraid to eat at the stalls in case someone grabs your bag or in Philip's case, lifts your handphone from the table even as we're eating? Does anyone care that every act of selfishness causes huge repercussions, not excludiing the demise of the very earth we live in? That people are turning inwards? And let's not even talk about the real problems in the world. And yet...
There is hope. In the market this morning I looked around, at first detachedly, at all the people . Then again, and this time relised that we are all connected. That we can't change anyone except ourselves. And that we have the power to pass an attitude of civility on to our children. Awesome . Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

sunday scrapping

After spending most of Sunday working on & completing class samples I got some time in to do a few pages for my 'live happy' project. I also started 'revamping' Sarah's baby album. Quite laughable what I came up with then. I can't believe I used mustard cardstock on one of the layouts. Note: a big project like a baby album should be undertaken after trying your hand at a few less daunting endeavors. Pics soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


For the first time in 3 weeks, I'm not at my desk, working, as has been my nightly routine. My folders and stuff weren't sent home to me from the accounts people, so, it appears, I have myself an unexpected reprieve. Should I read? Sleep early?
I've been thinking a lot about the direction the store is taking. Running the store has been a 'point & shoot' experience, like those handy digital cameras...this , that, a little bit of everything. There are so many aspects of this scrapbooking thing. Somehow I feel everything has gotten a little out of control. It's become a 'who dies with the most toys' scenario. And , alas, I have contributed to this greed. I'll admit I love my crop a dile , and Esther, how did I ever scrap without that super paper trimmer but there is a limit to this madness.
Ok, so there's art and creativity. Then there's the element of play. (& here's where the glimmer mists come in!) There's the story; words & pictures. And then there is product. And this is what I'm getting at. It's not just about the product!
Our 'first ever' client came in today. We found her at the bookstore,almost 3 years ago, looking at craft magazines and told her about our little store. It really was little then, all the product we had could fit into the boot of a GTI. Yet she found loads of things she liked. Today she came in for some cardstock and I noticed she chose red, black & white. Just as she did all that time ago. There is another client, who in the past few weeks has bought the same patterned paper at least 5 times.
Scrapbook stores are running out of ideas to market the ever growing, (no kidding), product range! Undercutting has become the norm. Hey , hold the bus! What is it we're doing again? Scrapbooking? Sounds like guerrilla warfare! Everyone has a design team, hmm should we?? Sales, discounts ...What the consumer/ scrapbooker doesn't know is that it takes each purchaser/ scrapbook store owner a good 7 days of work to put that new product in her hand. My husband says, for the time & effort I put into the store , I could be running a very large corporation. For some store owners, the wave has taken their exhausted bodies so far into the ocean that there's no turning back. Don't even ask how often they/ we scrapbook...
But wait, I love to work... but at what? Which brings me back to thinking, about that direction. The goal being to encourage people to preserve their memories, to guide them , help them to tap their creativity. Which will make the whole experience worthwhile. To show them how to find their sense of play, find their style, their groove. Product is necessary, but not the reason why we scrap. Which should be 'people'. Maybe creating a minibook that ROCKS for someone you love. But that's about people too. Or putting together a family album that everyone will cherish for years to come. Wait a minute, that's about people too. Well, you get the picture...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

live happy

It's way past my new bedtime! Now that I'm manning the store, time is even more a priceless element and I have to be careful not to get carried away with things not on my priority list. I just want to sleep right now ! But I haven't 'packed my bag'. =) With all the good intentions to tackle a pile of backlog , I couldn't resist the 2 day break , and, well, got kinda carried away... starting Sunday morning with sweet little Andrew visiting and right up until now, hanging out, spring cleaning (ha ha) , playing in and re arranging my studio (I finally got the tv out of there!) Sarah had lots of questions about life and about God. Like how long He takes to answer prayers. (smile) We had a very interesting conversation... I even took a trek to my very favourite spa, it was the best ever and I was so wound down. Bet my heart rate was way below 60.

I started this little book 2 weeks ago when I was stressing out about my new meds. Sometimes when I get a little frazzled, Ming will say this to me, "Live happy, Mummy". It's a little book to remind me of all the good stuff that abounds even in the hard things. I'm loving the way it's turning out.
So I didn't get very far with the backlog and I really have to pack my stuff, so I'll leave it for another day to downlod pictures of my scrapping space with my new table from ikea and my newly established cutting table. =)
Hope you had great weekend.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Been creating most of today. Most of the ideas are taking shape. I'm almost done with the exterior of a cute project called "december days". next to work on the mini book inside. =) I'm all done with "2008 in pink & blue", will post sneaks tomorrow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

back to focus

What do you do when you lose your perspective?

On New Year's Eve, we gather as a family. We reflect on the past year, sharing highlights, lessons learnt... Then we dedicate our journey in the year to come and ask God to grant us wisdom and safe passage. We each think of a word that will be our 'theme' for the year, each individually. Last year I chose 'Verge' which is a new word my pastor came up with to mean the opposite of stuck. This year I decided that my word would be 'Focus'. As in keeping my eye on the field. As in looking up when all the madness around threatens to overwhelm, consume.

Boy has it been a crazy time. When I said change was coming, I surely had no idea what I would be in for.And yet. Is the loss of a dream more harrowing than a sudden aneurysm which leaves you with less than all your memory. Should I mourn & grieve over wasted time when a man on the street says, "Brother, I waited for you, please help me, I have no one". This guy was a parking attendant at the gardens where we've been walking for 8 years. He 'disappeared' and today he asked for a ride, told us he was HIV positive and that the church was helping him. That he had no one. We knew he was an addict but how could we turn our backs. And yet, as we dropped him off, shoving awkwardly a gift into his hands, we turned quiet. If he had asked to come home with us, what would we have said? This broken, foolish young man, not being able to eat for the ulcers in his mouth. If he had said, "Brother, I'm dying, please give me a bed to sleep in, at your house," what excuse would we have given?

What do you do when you lose your focus?

Maybe you'll look at the vast sea and decide your problems are ,quite frankly , just really tiny. Maybe God will send someone into your life , who will say,"Aiyoh, so troubling!", who will say, " It'll be ok la". And maybe she might even be called Esther. (smile) The same Esther who sat at the bedside of the girl with the aneurysm.

Everyone's got troubles. Even the people who look like they're having a pretty good time. Perspective will tell you that not being able to sleep is not a threat to your life. Neither is disappointment, losing your job (especially one you've had for twenty years), stress or betrayal, unless of course you happen to be Jesus! In His case betrayal did lead to death.

Here's a test . Reflect on the things that have caused you grief, sorrow, pain in recent times. Now ask yourself, how would you like to change places with someone else and not be you. And maybe now you're thinking, "erm, ok, maybe not". Things aren't really , really, that bad! So there. Instant perspective. Which brings me back to focus. The word, you know.

Ruth lost her husband and fled with Naomi, who also lost her husband and her sons, one of which was Ruth's husband. They came across a field and Naomi went to work there. Ruth was told to keep her eye on the field, this field and not the others around.. And as she worked, she did. Believing that something would come out of it. As it happened, she found favour with the landowner and in the end he redeemed her and they had a son, and Ruth became the great grandmother of King David. (Please excuse the loose retelling of this passage, if I've got it mixed up, feel free to give me the NKJV version at anytime!) But there is a point to this rambling. Ruth kept her perspective, no matter the pain she was going through. And, like a butterfly, (I'm really relating to these winged creatures), she emerges from the excruciating pain of change, leaving the darkness and living in the beauty of that transformation. Wow!

I'd love to hear what you do when you lose your perspective. Oh, and please save a prayer for the girl who is recovering and for the young parking attendant. And here's one for you, may you be abundantly blessed and that any troubles you may have had will be no more .

Friday, August 22, 2008

space & time

People always say 'time flies', and I suppose it does, but you know how a year can seem such a long time and at the same time so quick. This whole episode with the leak and having to move out and in, has been a very interesting time. As much as we could we moved things out of my studio. What remained had to be moved aside for the painters and the plaster guys to finish the restoration. One night I sat in the mess, space all around where my stuff used to sit. I sat on my yoga mat and took it all in. I thought how nice it might be to only have a little bit of stuff. And lots of space. Space, a word with so many meanings. Whilst packing I had come across an old planner of mine from 10 years ago. Life before Selatan. And smidapaper. Life with 2 teenagers & a 5 year old. Life before getting sick. 10 years. Wow! The pages in the planner were neat . 2 things were highlighted in most pages. Chores & daily household type tasks and the kids schedules. Some craft classes .(smile) Lots of empty space. My planner today is about the same size. Also a weekly format, not Hallmark Forever Friends but a serious black moleskine. My days are divided into 3 columns, one for each business and the other for everything else. Colour coded and super packed.I write in the margins. There is no space. At all.
This whole episode with the leak has forced me to make space & time. Very symbolic. Like a 'new year resolution'. A space between the 10 years past & looking into the next 10 years ahead. I feel a change coming. Like sitting in the middle of a pregnant pause. With hope, expectancy. A sense of not knowing & yet knowing. Not of the details, but that it will be good.Even as it was. Mountains notwithstanding.
Take a little time to reflect on the last 10 years. What were your triumphs. Defining moments. See how wonderful life is? Think about capturing some of it in a scrapbook. Make space. And time.

I'm working on a class , well it evolved from the pink & blue book I started. So I hope you like pink & blue. I didn't but now I'm open to colour. It highlights the things that I mentioned but just a few from 2008. May turn out to be a 2 part class because I'd love for people to be able to work with the story as well as the design and I'm hoping that everyone will be motivated to create from their hearts so there will be some free expression and choices. I'm expecting that will take more time. Will post details later.
And while we're celebrating life I thought I might do a guy type layout in honour of Philip's birthday. I cut out some patterned paper, looks like flowers but rather abstract and ethnic looking. Philip saw it and said, 'Flowers?' .Ha ha. In the end I caved in and used some prima flowers. Oh well, my interpretation of a guy inspired page.
Ok, coming to the end, you'll be happy to note that the episode with the leak is officially over. Everything has moved back in . I've arranged things in a way that there is still space. For yoga. Or reflecting . And I'm resolving to make space in my moleskine. Here's to the next 10 years!

Thursday, August 07, 2008


After all these years of loving browns and blacks and neutrals, I am finally learning to use colour. Not the muted shades in my home but real, pop in your face turquoise and pink! All the time I choose Hambly in black and white and now I'm gobbling up the brights . So funny. I'm loving colour and have been working on a little book featuring,well, pink. Imagine that!

subduing the inner control freak

My studio sits on top floor of my house. My office on the ground floor. No guest room. Last week I thought i might make use of the space and put a work corner up there , too. Just to try. It started out with good intentions. Books just seem heavier than they used to... Well, I kept at it and finally , voila, new mini office within a studio! (You can tell I love re arranging and decorating)
It worked pretty well until water started coming down from the ceiling. There was some kind of leak and we worked til early morning moving things from the scrap area. My scrap desk looked safe so we left it and went to sleep, ignoring the piles of stuff now collected on our dining table.
In the morning, my desk was soaked , water was coming out of the track lights and some of the projects I was working on and all my glue, zots and a pile of stickers were drenched. SOB! Thus ensued 'back up'. Plumbers, moving people, kids (mine) ...we moved everything we could out and down.
By day's end I created a little scrapping nook next to the kitchen (no more breakfast area) , the leak has been identified and is being addressed. When it all dries out the ceiling will be re plastered, walls repainted and eventually all the stuff will move back up. As if I needed the extra work. Ha ha! Proof that you can't control anything. I did realize that I have way too much stuff and am going to use this oppurtunity to , yes, redecorate and to sort and give away stuff that I don't need, use or love. Philip says I can take my time as long as I don't block the TV. Talk about priorities.
This morning, I was still shocked by the stuff everywhere and had to subdue my inner control freak. instead of trying to sort it out or fix it, I decided to have breakfast at the marble table that got pushed to the window. a little calm before a full day of work.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yesterday, our friend Richard visited. It was totally a surprise, especially since he lives in Canada and we haven't seen him for 3 years. We've known Richard for a long time. Sarah was dedicated at his home when we were doing home church there, before we grew too large and became a real church. We hung out half the day, from Coffee Bean for breakfast, and then he wanted to see the store and we opened it for him. Later at home he had a craving for KFC so we all had an unhealthy bucket lunch. Apparently they don't serve Hot & Spicy in Victoria.
It was a refreshing, delightful way to spend our Monday off. He was up here doing some research and interviewing neurosurgeons for a programme he's working on and it was fun catching up. He shared stories about the kids,all grown up, Kiran and the beautiful house they're building. And he shared with us a bit about the message he spoke about at the little church in KL on Sunday. About waiting. How we're always doing and how much harder it is to wait than to do. Which reminded me about the time I was waiting on the runway, with all those planes. we were 4th in line, all orderly waiting for the word from the control tower. I remember thinking to myself how we had to wait , And if we went on before it was time, before it was our turn, we would surely crash.
At the time I was thinking about this in relation to a decision I had made. And Richard reminded me that we must wait. For the control tower to give us word. Waiting is kinda hard. We are so programmed to fix things, to get it done. 'Just do it'. But the consequence for 'doing' without waiting is "un-doing" And that's even harder, sometimes disastrous and usually not easily un-done. In the past couple of years I have made a few major decisions, which may have been the right ones but without the 'word' , and maybe it wasn't yet the time for me. Although some of it is still really good, I am struggling with the fact that remains, it wasn't time for me to take off.
So Richard left. But the word that he shared will remain in my heart. Like an arrow in the quiver, waiting for it's time.
Have a great week ahead! Be blessed =)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

at the movies?

On date night, we went to watch Batman, The Dark Knight. We were in fact going to go to the movies last week but the flu came around to our place. Going to the movies, not a real big deal, you might think. But for me, it is! I can't really remember what movie I watched last. King Kong comes to mind, and I took my nephews to see Pirates , was that recently, or last year?? So anyway, I like Batman. I was told on the way that this was a part 2. What?!
We had the best seats, I bought the tickets in advance. =) It was a pretty good show, a little bizzare for me but I guess if you watch 2 movies a year, this was not too disappointing. No, not too shabby , You know, I think I need to get out more...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


A few people have been repeating to me, and agreeing with my sentiments about chilling out . I did this layout using Pink Paislee paper & coordinates. Quite fun but I found that it turned out really simple, almost unfinished but I could not put one more thing on it! Not even the word "Chill". So I left it.

We went to our favourite 'fishing village ' place for an early lunch before the store opened on Sunday and I took some pictures which i can't wait to work with. Wish the day was longer.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

home alone

Everyone went to the movies and i am left with my own company. I hadn't realized that this hasn't happened for a while. with 3 hours on a Saturday night to do whatever I want, the possibilities are many and my mental list would have me needing another 72 hours at least. I spent the first hour doing some pricing. I have taken over about a third of the ground floor for smidapaper business. I use the dining table for pricing and photography, and have installed some shelves behind for stock waiting for inventory. The meal area by the kitchen has also been kidnapped and shelves again line two walls, for more stock and files...
this gives new meaning to the phrase 'taking your work home'. and yet I love the flexibility. In a perfect world my office, warehouse, store and home would be under one roof. That would mean living in a mall , so, the next option is to have as much of the stuff that you can do from home, at home. Still, when I go to the weekend store, I look like I'm moving house. But, I'm working on it and hopefully in a while things will flow better and I would be able to gain some extra time daily. Although I do love my office at the weekend store , too. ..
So an hour has passed, 2 hours to go. 15 minutes in the rainshower (which I swear I haven't used more than 5 times), then up to the studio to scrap. Maybe work on a sample for our 'chill out' challenge. How apt, I think I just might do that.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

life | always changing

We ended up working all day Monday, which I regretted greatly. At 5.30 we tried to make it to the Spice Garden for my favourite ginger tea and just to stare at the sea but we were too late. At 1am on Tuesday I was suitably down, not having had a day off and not even stepping into my studio except to turn on the air con so my lovely supplies wouldn't die in protest and neglect. It seems that all the scrapping I do lately is for classes and samples. 1am is defiinitely a good time to sleep, but for me, I needed to scrap! Philip said to do a small page =) as if it would take a lot less time! So we don't need to know what time I actually slept but I did sleep well. I did an 8x8 and my journaling reflected my sentiments and my desire to give myself permission to slow down and set my own pace. After all, no one s holding a gun to my head. Sweet release! Scrapping as therapy? =)

Colour is very important to me in scrapbooking and interior design. Here I went with somewhat dull but still soothing colours and worked that as the theme. Still on my flower trip I was happy to use whatever I wanted without thinking about class budgets or if we had enough in the store for 8 people.

I stuck my layout in a brand new linen WRMK album. I intend to do more layouts like this. With thoughts and journaling about life, where I am, struggles and aha moments. No day off, but still blessed. life is always changing, don't miss one bit of the journey.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

flowers forever

Just back from the Sunday crop, left the ladies to have fun with I-Mei and here I am back in my studio working on a workshop for next month. I will post some peeks soon. I've been working on a series of workshops, re-defining the direction we want to take in the way of classes. Workshops that reveal and prod us into maybe taking a more positive step in our life journey. I worked on the project until 4am, happily. No complains. I asked Philip if he would mind if I worked for a week , just creating, like an artist, sleeping & eating only if I had to. "For how long?", he wanted to know. And I said, "As long as it takes. A week?" 12 hours later and I'm thinking ,"NAP!". And yet, I'm dying to get back to work. Interesting journey.

This project has no flowers in it. Not one. Not yet anyway. Which was hard since I've been on a flowery streak. I got tired of flowers on everything for a while and now the mood is back and I can't get enough. I'm using them on everything and finding new ways to dress them up. I'm having the time of my life, digging up old, less than perfect prints and putting myself in the shoes of the everyday scrapper, without the magazine quality photos, cropping the brooms and mops from the background and just having the best time. Funny how flowers have that effect on people. This layout just makes me smile! Woo hoo, flower power!

Monday, June 16, 2008


In the last week of the holidays I told Sarah that she could go for a movie with Mun Yee. It was Thursday and so she arranged to go the next day. I had forgotten, and so did she, that Philip had gone to buy Premier class tickets for Kung Fu Panda. Which she had been bugging him about for a while. Oops.
Philip was a little sad to be dumped. And Sarah sensed it. She told me ,"Papa's sad". I said, yeah a bit, he told me. She felt so bad. "Mama, what should I do?" I told her she had to do what she thought was right. So she went downstairs, in tears to her Papa's office and stuck the tickets he had given her at him. "Here, Pa", she said," I'm canceling Mun Yee, I'm going with you."

If you ever had a teenage daughter, you'd know just how important a day out means to her. But she chose Papa. Of course, Philip insisted she went with her friend and everyone was happy.

I wonder sometimes, how do I show my child who God is. Who He really is. The way He is to me. God revealed Himself in this. The way Sarah's Papa showed his love and grace is how she will know of God's love and grace. And I pray that her love for her Papa will be the kind of love she has for her God. That she could choose to do what she believed was right and would make her father happy, unselfishly. Wow! (sniff)

I supppose I see God as a father because of my father's legacy of love. I do miss him. And Philip , somehow, is made of the same stuff. The kids all made beautiful cards, expressing their love and admiration for this simple guy with a great big heart. I did too.

ideas, mondays & clappy the cat

I have so many ideas going around in my head at once. At least 5 are business ideas that might work. A few more, spin offs of our current business, yet more ideas for classes, marketing, creative parenting, creating order and decorating and upgrading. Not forgetting ideas for blog posts...I get all excited when a ' great idea hits me' sometimes I'll get together with Ming and we'll 'mind map' it, then wait for it to incubate. Reality sinks in, costs or time involved or prayer puts things in perspective and another idea goes on hold. Sometimes , they come back, and at the right time, take off.

Who would have thought that running a scrapbook store would put me in the busiest time of my life! It has been a crazy time and I find myself gasping for breath. Many a night, I'm kept awake at 3, 4, my mind swirling, after a few hours spent ordering or updating paper. Not the patterned kind. How much further can I go? Should I go? After all, I am middle aged. (smile) What a quaint phrase 'middle aged', and yet I am. Though I don't feel it. In fact , I feel pretty darn good, Good enough to miss my appointment with Dr Leong. Aack!

The short version of how this started? Okay, I've always been enterprising but since moving to Penang...
So I was sitting outside Dr Leong's waiting for my appointment , reading a book. 'Life after God' or something. Quite bizarre, like short stories, linked in a way . There was this story about a guy telling his kid a story about Clappy the cat, who had so many dreams , like wanting to be famous etc, but real life, bills, bla bla took over and after a while all the dreams became just talk. AHA moment, right there in the waiting room!! " Hey wait a minute', I said to myself, 'I'm Clappy the cat!' Thus ensued a search into 'possible careers for middle aged women with health issues'. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, now I'm not Clappy, more like the Duracell bunny, or the monkey with all the instruments. Some of the band left... but wait a minute, I'm working it out , re prioritizing and I have really learnt so much in these past few years. Thank God for the Sabbath. Days off are super precious now. Good time to regroup, unwind. Now if only I could stop those ideas from interrupting. Although they do come in useful when you're working on classes . Here's one I'm working on for next month. How's your Monday going?
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journey book | complete

I've finished my half of our journey book from our mini vacation and Miss Sarah is going to start on her half now. I tried loading all the pages but, well, it took too long and refused to load so, here are some, for now =)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

journey book

We started our book and managed to get some scrapping done on the trip. Can't wait to print the photos! Sarah faithfully jotted down her thoughts each night, we went our separate ways at times, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she saw. Just how much can you do in 5 1/2 days...


Even though we had a great time, we are so happy to be home. When we travel by car, every time we get on Penang bridge , whoever went away will text message the rest at home "I can see the sea!" , to which we will get a message with however smiley faces are left at home , like this :) :)...folowed by "welcome Home!"
as we crawled along the bridge I was filled with gratitude, for the people that surround me and this little island that has become my home. the other island from where I came is now a vacation place, this is my HOME!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

a week | from both sides

It's school holidays and Sarah is very happy ! She had her exams right up until the last day and there was one happy 15 year old waiting to be picked up from school on Friday =) I put together a little book and we will scrap the first week of the holidays from 2 points of view. Each from the opposite cover. What you see is Sarah's book cover. Flip it around and you'll have mine. .Everything is still very raw and bare. Not embellished. Right now, all blank pages, waiting to be filled. What an interesting journey and it begins in 4 hours! Will post again in a week...join in if you like !