Friday, December 04, 2009

...happily along

This is the sight that greeted me this morning, an assortment of tags that I made the day & night before.

I'm getting into a routine with this project now, and today I was done before midnight. =)My process is very much focused on writing this year. I've got a little bag, with many compartments and I'm going everywhere with my eyeglasses, journal & pens and camera. Rather odd looking I would imagine , but it works for me. I write thoughts & observations, prayers and random thoughts as they occur. At the end of the day, I stick my i pod into my little speaker dock thingy, print photos and I'm set. My pages are simple and looking a bit vintage, although not too aged. The hardest part is deciding on what story to tell, with a day's writing , it's often hard to choose. By the end of December, I'll probably have a volume of stories, not to mention hundreds of photos. Today, 2 words that played up were rest & peace.

My eyes are failing! I lost my best glasses while on holiday, but happily, I had new ones made and I will back at the books really soon! Am really grateful for all the simple things.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

And so it goes...

I had a heap of fun working on my first day, although I shan't repeat the 3am bedtime! I'm keeping my pages simple, trying to find and document real, everyday moments. Ordinary days, like today.

december days |take 4

Right up until last night, I wasn't sure if I would do another year of December Days.
It takes a lot, especially during an already busy time of year. I was thinking, if I were to do it, what format would I use? Last night I decided to go for it & that I would break the month into 3 parts & use a 6x6 card or paper based album. The past 3 years, I used various sized post & ring bound albums. So I went to bed, having made that decision & no other preparation .

I wasn't feeling so good this morning, so I skipped my prayer group meeting. Nothing major, in fact I've been having many good days lately =) I prayed a bit & was all eager to get started on my project. Then I realized what I wanted for my December. I wanted Him to be the focus of my December days. I'm not a religious person by any definition of the word, but I felt a desire for my family, my friends & for me, that He would reveal Himself in a new & real way & that people would 'consider & understand that the Lord has done this', (Somewhere in Isaiah...) , and that He is Christmas.

So, today turned out to be a pretty ordinary day. Same old Raisin Bran breakfast. Some writing, some picture taking. A whole load of paperwork. Philip put up the tree (we've yet to locate the decorations), went to market, did his usual runaround... Sarah came home, tea, more work, then date night. Followed by scrappping time, of course...

I downloaded photos, worked on my cover...a perfectly ordinary day. For which I am grateful. Grace, mercy... I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Apart from His unfailing love! =) Happy December!

Friday, November 13, 2009

outside, inside

Things have changed around here. With one person less in the house. The house seems bigger. A glimpse into what empty nest looks like, and yet not quite. Sarah has almost 3 years of high school to go. Which brings me back to choices, and my dream. To proceed would mean missing out on those 3 years, of forfeiting daily 4 o clock chats & tea, growing and learning and sharing.
Philip took a bus the other day. He texted from across the street. "Can you see me?"
I looked out and he waved. So simple, taking a bus.I haven't done that in the longest while. Or read a novel. Or watched TV, in bed. "How to be simple?", he asked."do less, have less, want less, work less, live more", I replied. "and move to the mountains?" he asked , and I could imagine the gleam in his eye.I thought about it , then asked, "Will it have a view of the ocean?" Not so simple...
Outside my house I have this view, blue green sea right up to the horizon. Driving home is the best, even driving out the gate , if you're not preoccupied, you look up and gasp...

I didn't make any more Christmas cards. I lost my rhythm, things came up, work piled...
I was supposed to be at a women's conference at church today. Friday 9am. Check. I closed the shop, started to clear my desk yesterday, then I discovered that it was on Saturday! Well, ok, I now find myself with a free day. Odd. Nice. A whole empty page with no appointments or commitments. =) So I happily worked at my desk, no phone nearby and when I finally went to get my phone Caroline had left a message that she was in town and could we meet on Friday for lunch, tea...
So today is filled up. Desk. Caroline. Pick Sarah. Send for Guitar lesson. Pei Pei. Exercise...bla bla etc.
Tomorrow, shop closed, Women's Conference, Weekend... away for a week...and on and on, inside outside, where am I going?
Two questions play in my head.
1.Could I do the 'no appointments on my moleskine page' thing? Everyday?
2.Who would I be if I didn't work?

The shop is closed today. At 8.30 I was warring with myself. "Should I go there anyway? Maybe some people didn't get my message or go to the website..." I resisted. So here I am, writing random observations, watching my thoughts , like those red ,lit moving messages at the airport... never ending, repeating, then changing,then repeating.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

here comes a break!

I did clear my desk by about 6pm ! Yay!

Today, packed, done budget! Appointments after lunch then finalize my Ikea list. Need storage for the shop.
My head is filled with ideas! For classes. And a new dream. I have a name for it already and I can see it. Making lists. Drawing plans. It may or may not happen but the dream is looking mighty real.
Here's proof that anything can happen and that we never know what's around the corner!A pic of Sarah (oct 2003) standing outside what is now my scrap room at home. Who would have thought?
I'm about ready for my trip. Always refreshing and inspiring to be in a different place for a while. =) Have a great 'rest of the week' and don't ever give up on your dreams.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

to do! must do!

Rainy day! Perfect for lazing, writing, creating...
My agenda for the day: clear my desk of all paperwork before going for our break.
Creating will have to wait, but here's a peek at a minibook I've been working on, an idea for a class. Note the use of more red! =)Let you know if I did manage to clear my desk by 6 this evening. Onward!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Has it been 4 years since this great scrapbooking adventure began?From a dream to reality. An exhilirating ride, dead end, re birth. another garden, new flowers, unfamiliar, yet not without promise. If smidapaper were 'life' and whatever scenery that changed as 'she' moved along was , well, 'scenery' , then 'life' remains and everything else has changed. But alas! it is not and it is life that remains. Yet changing. Always. Leaving the shop and all it represents to be part of the ever changing scenery.
I wonder if most people have a chance to do something that changed them, brought fire to their souls. Something that becomes so embedded in their being that it is hard to separate one from the other.
Yet comes a time when that must take place. Like putting shapes into a childs toy. The opening fitting blocks, instead of circles and squares, 'shop', 'hobby', 'art', ...
putting all that into place, perspective...

I took a break from Sarah's high school book last week to do this page. I used orange, which isn't really my colour but thought it went with the photo and the mood as well as add to the richness of the overall layout. We will start a series called "One Fabulous Layout" in which we will work on pages like these, everything you wanted to put all on one page, but never do 'cos it costs too much. You'll have your chance to make really special pages. Soon! =)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


We sat outside. So engrossed we were, catching up, we hardly noticed Coffee Bean filling up and people spilling out to where we sat, realizing after 2 hours that we had forgotten to order drinks. We became friends , Sooi Ling and I after pastor Mike Koh suggested she lead our home fellowship. We were new in Penang and she was back in her hometown after years of missionary work. Villages in remote Sarawak being her land. Planting churches, sharing , sometimes on a tiny boat on a river, between hills.

We would sit around our big , square coffee table , an unlikely group of near strangers brought together by an immense power. She was 'shy-er' then, unsure if we would accept her , yet trusting what she had to share would be enough. It was.

We talked about rattlesnakes and manic depressive friends, moms & sisters & aunts, i phones, going to church vs 'doing church' over a bowl of vietnamese noodles. I told her that I feel out of place in church, like how I feel when I'm in a bar ... she said she goes to an African church and the only reason she's still there is because she needs to keep in touch for her work. After finally finishing her PhD, she's working on a project that bridges Islam & Christianity through music. This takes her around. She's over 50 and she isn't shy anymore.

I wonder if she knows that her annual visits from Pasadena feed my spirit . She is vulnerable and brilliant and has an interesting effect on me. On the one hand, really comfortable & easy banter and at once, a deep stirring and yearning to know the things she knows. To be more. We talked about being desert dwellers instead of always looking to the promised land, "God will meet you in the desert".

A few hours on a Saturday night 'doing church' enough for a year. Always her quiet wisdom carrying me, encouraging, her words, His words coming back, when the enemy strikes. Me, reaching behind, as if reaching for an arrow in the quiver, the words "You will live to see your dreams come true" or " Deep calls to deep" or "no more will your Teacher hide from you, everywhere you go you will hear a voice within you saying 'This is the way, walk in it' ,flying through and piercing the heart of fear, or darkness or doubt.

She showed me that it's ok to 'do church'in your pajamas, looking for worship songs on U tube with the one whom you most want your God to move, to touch. A river never knows how far it reaches or how many villages it feeds. Indeed!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Alone again, naturally!

I'm alone. I tend to head for pen and paper when I'm alone. To write. Dream on paper. This song , "Alone again, naturally" was one of my favourites when I was younger. (smile) If you didn't hear the words, you might have thought this was a happy song , with it's goofy , toe tapping, tempo. Gilbert O Sullivan, how he got me through heaps of sad days, feel sorry for myself days... the words were so simple,ridiculous even, they always got me out of whatever it was that was threatening to break my heart.

{... in a little while from now, if I'm not feeling any less sour, I promise myself to treat myself and visit a nearby tower, and climbing to the top, will throw myself off, in an effort to, make it clear to who-ever, what it's like when you're shattered.
Leaving me to doubt, talk about God and his mercy, who if he really does exist, why did he desert me.....bla bla, doo doo doo etc}

You've got to get this. It is timeless. Which is not to say that I'm remembering this and feeling melancholy, just that , I remembered, and it made me smile & I thought I might share it with you.

The human spirit is amazing. Resilient. If you're having a bad day or are going through a stretch of bumpy, even hilly road.Raging storms and all. I'm telling you sister, that you will get through this. That you have the power in you to heal yourself , maybe not in a day, but slowly, and most certainly in a little while.
Spend some time alone. Lie down for as long as you need to, by still waters or any comfortable spot of your choice. Write. Do yoga. Regroup. Talk to someone. Ask yourself the same question Sarah asked me. 'Yer want it or not?'. "Want what?" 'Life!'

Oh yes!

Embrace your alone time & have an amazing weekend.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I went to a crop on Friday morning. I only did half a layout, but it was cool because it made me want to scrap! Which I haven't done much of in the last 4 months. I'm not usually too keen on crops, only because I never know what to bring. I had a plan this time, I printed 5 photos and packed my bag a day earlier. Once there, I couldn't finish my page... heh, missed out a few things. Anyway, I did manage to finish the layout at home this evening. Maybe I'll post it later. And the good news,next week's crop is at my place.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Today, take flight , believe in the possibilities. Whoever told you that you couldn't paint, or sing or write or shout out loud , that today is the day your heart takes flight. Your soul soars, into who you want to be. You can be & do anything you want to do. Fill the parts of you that have been whispering, prompting your soul to wake up to the beautiful song playing, singing your name. It is NOT over. It is just beginning, unfolding. Your wings have been unearthed even as you searched, this is what you found. TODAY! Art is life & the music of your very true self. Go ahead, spread your golden wings & soar. Life is beautiful. Really, truly. Say it. Believe it. Live it. Today.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I want to see

Time, they say , heals all wounds. Hmmm, maybe,depends how the wounds were treated. Time! In a week one could move from despair to hope. In 6 months , things can change so dramatically that nothing is recognizable any more save for the few faces that have been around. How many trips to the hospital, how much dust can you sweep under a carpet? How many times can your heart break, or sing? Such a long time ago, or only yesterday?

A few months ago, my restless soul sought answers. The weight of the decisions I had to make wore me down. I came across a passage in my bible, about a blind beggar, making a huge din to get Jesus' attention. Everyone told him to hush up, saying , surely He would not give the beggar even the time of day, let alone hear his cries. But Jesus heard and asked him, "What will you have me do?"
The blind man replied "I want to see". And Jesus let him. It felt like I was being asked "What will you have me do ?" And I could not answer. It felt like I could ask for anything. And yet, I couldn't think of what to ask. In the end I asked, "I want to see!"Oh, that scales would be lifted from the eyes of my heart. oh that I would not lose my vision. And everything became clear.

Decisions made and carried out. I scrap from a little table in the corner of my bedroom. Even in my exhausted state, I can see clearly, and things are looking awesome.