Monday, December 20, 2010


You know how in movies there is always a scene, where the music plays, and a lone actor walks through a crowd, maybe in New York dwarfed by the grey stone buildings. Sometimes, there are scenes playing through his mind, and sometimes the soundtrack is enough to say all that he feels. Orchestra, voices, lyrics, volume, now loud, bringing the viewer to the height of the actor's emotion, then soft as he walks on, snow or rain falling, triumph, victory or sadness conveyed in that short space of time...

Does your life have a soundtrack? Do you feel , sometimes, like you're in a movie, right now, where you are? "Christmas time is here, happiness & cheer, ...carols everywhere, ... and ancient rhymes of love & dreams to everywhere... a song starts to play and you're transported to another time, another place ,

another birthday,
another Christmas...

Philip bought a Christmas CD yesterday. Mariah Carey! I went, "What?" and he said , we don't have any new Christmas music. And we don't. So in the early morning at the store, Mariah sings and my heart rests on this song. This is the soundtrack of my life this season. 5 days before Christmas, 3 days before family unites and 1 day before another birthday. This is the track that's playing, as the people come in the store, as I scramble, an hour here, 2 there, to buy gifts for the ones that rock my world, this is playing as I toss in bed, 2am, 3am as sleep eludes me...

Mariah sings,

" O come all ye faithful, joyful & triumphant, oh come ye, o come ye, to bethlehem. O, come & behold him. Born the King of angels, o come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O COME, LET US ADORE HIM, (crescendo)...Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing all ye citizens of heaven above, Glory to God in the highest glory, o come let us adore Him...
and the choir comes in with Handel's Hallelujah chorus, "He shall reign...

I started this post this morning and I've only , now, had a chance to finish it . The music isn't playing. No actors. Only real life. Day & night. Morning and evening. Contrast. I'm tired and I can't think to make sense. If I could have one wish? Two days off a week. Sounds so simple. But maybe it would take a lot of rubbing on that brass lamp and a huge perspective shift for some.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 days to Christmas (okay,11)

I only realized that when my friend Michelle asked if I wanted to order cakes for Christmas. Gasp! So last night we put the decorations on the tree. Just me & Sarah. Then Philip joined in at the end. We talked about the history attached to the different decorations as 'vintage' Brian Mc Knight played. We remembered the year we went driving around town looking for the 'man with no shoes'. And now, a different time. Too busy, way too busy.

Quiet moments are rare and to be cherished. Sitting in the rocking chair, if only for a short reprieve. Watching sleepyheads on the sofa, enjoying the quiet and missing the noise of all the family together. Silliness and horsing around. Big grins. Anticipation.

We've missed the point completely this year. I have. Completely. I've done 1 page of my December log. No presents have been bought. No plans for the season. No trips home. Only long days at the store. Spending most of my waking hours working.

Still, there are moments. You do the best you can with the choices you make. And you find the extraordinary in the everyday. Surely we weren't meant to be like this. Too busy to remember the things that matter. Thankfully there will be prompts. Tugs at your heart. And thankfully there is still time. To prepare. To anticipate. And to celebrate.

Friday, December 10, 2010


It was a quiet Wednesday morning at the store and I enjoyed the stillness, listening to Take 6 singing Xmas, acapella. This , this, is Christ the Lord, la la la la la, la la la la, this , this is Christ the King, do do doo do doo do doo doo... Nice start to the day.

I sat in the filled chapel , that evening, where the high school kids performed their Christmas concert. First the jazz band, then Mr Merusi's band, very impressive, and the vocal ensemble. They sang Mary did you know. 'Mary did you know, that your baby boy, would someday walk on water...that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters..." and that brought tears to my eyes, thinking of walking on water, ... sons & daughters, mine all touched by this very baby boy and blessed abundantly by His hand. Far away and right here, walking in His light and with His hand just below their soaring selves, just to catch them if they fall. And right there before me singing the Hallelujah chorus, a glorious sound of praise for that baby boy. Halleujah indeed!

Friday, December 03, 2010

hello there, december!

you seem to have 'snuck' up on me when I wasn't looking. how could i let it pass, without at least trying to capture some of the joy you have in store. no promises, but I will give it a go. so, welcome!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

what we remember

If I were to page through my journal, I'm sure I would find many entries about the new store, especially about the decision. To do or not to do? Funnily, it's been 9 months since the nonsense started, and it almost feels like I've given birth. We opened on Thursday and I forgot to take any photos, until yesterday. I didn't take a shot of Sarah & her friends horsing around behind the counter. Or I-Mei giving a class, flying home for just one day exams notwithstanding. Or of Sin Yee carrying all those boxes of cardstock. But I remember those moments. (teary smile)
I remember savouring our last normal weekend, for a while at least. Celebrating family by the pool with a mini picnic. Philip and Sarah with their shoes off on the stepping stones, appearing to be walking on water.
I remember feelings. People. Expressions. David poking his head in everyday, bringing people in to the store. Little girls who tell their moms they want to stay here, in the store. How I felt when the 30 foot tree downstairs lit up.
I remember being overwhelmed by the inventory and slowly chipping away at it until it was all done.
I remember driving up and down, sourcing for {fine things} and Philip heaving them home and then to the store. Displaying all the cushions on my sofa to take a photo and wishing I could keep them all. Our house looks empty now.
I remember this look. The whole project was as much his as mine.
I remember the day they took down the hoarding and the new store was twinkling from behind. If a store had feelings, I'm sure this one would feel really loved.

I remember the disappointments in the beginning, the things I've learnt. I remember learning to forgive. Healing. And this truth, I could not have done it without Him!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Monday Before

Oh dear, it seems like the calendar now revolves around the shop opening hours & days. Hopefully, things will quickly settle into a groove & I'll be able to go for my walks again. We made good progress today . Most of the shop area is clear except for stack of boxes holding paper. The classroom, however is another story. (grin) Oh, then there's the display and the decorations, fine things, the art... breathe.
Elswhere in the mall, there seems to be lots of activity as other people hurry to meet the Thursday deadline. Christmas decorations are going up in the building and out on the boardwalk by the sea. So pretty.
We visited Dad last night, and Sarah asked when we were putting up our tree. Ooops! Gotta think about that. Christmas tree? It's almost December! Presents & December days and familly gathering and Xmas supper and , oh, it's going to be another challenge trying to fit it all in.


Oh, and it rained.

Friday, November 19, 2010

this life

Lately my perception , or awareness of life has been sharpened. The last few months have not only been packed with things to do, meeting deadlines, stretching ourselves, learning but also with quite a number of significant & poignant moments. The day I signed the agreement for the new store is the day I found out that my mum's illness had returned. The day was bittersweet and my heart was torn.
The day of the handover was the day I attended the funeral of my sister in law. We talked in the car after, about how we 'get' to be here. What a huge gift it is and how life is at the same time easy & hard, fragile and amazing.
In between I have made many trips to see Mum, and when I'm there , the excitement of the new store wanes as I long for the freedom to be with her , to be close at hand so she can just call out whenever she needs to. I think of the path that leads us to where we are, sometime far away from the ties of family . If I have any regrets that would have to be it. Being far from kin.

Yesterday we moved all our stuff to the new store. Some may think , 'what's the big deal?', to a large company with a huge staff, probably nothing. But this effort was a 'pouring out ' of everything I had and probably didn't know I had in me. A stretching, you know ,like how a weak baby bird stretches it's tiny beak to receive the worm from mama bird. Or how the man with the withered hand, stretched out what may have been a stump of an arm when his Teacher said "stretch out you hand and I will heal you", and him ,the man, thinking, in his head & in his heart
'I am stretching, as far as I can' and at once experiencing a transformation.

I'm planning to take it easy this weekend. On Monday we set up. By some stroke of sheer luck and a little help from the few dozen time management books I read in my younger days, and a lot of help from Philip, Ming, Mei,Sarah, Sin Yee & Teng Hooi, ( and Alma! God bless her) I am almost ready. Woo hoo!! Proof that you can say to a mountain, "Go throw yourself in the ocean..."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

yesterday, today

There was some confusion at the new store yesterday. Some things went wrong, people not taking responsibility for errors, passing the same responsibility from one person, to the next, to the next...
So frustrating. Things got settled in the end, not without compromise. What is compromise? Someone wins, someone loses, someone gets what they want, someone doesn't, someone gives and does so happily. Or as happily as one might be under the circumstances. People. The most important thing the world needs. The hardest thing to deal with. And yet, that's what it's all about. "Love one another as I have loved you". Seriously hard stuff. I know I fail miserably each day. But what really is missing? Integrity. Delivering what you promise. Just like you said you would. More seriously hard stuff. Really. Are you guilty of not doing that? Whoops, there goes my hand shooting up. (sheepish grin) Funny, a new thought flew through my head, wasn't even going there, but here it is, "Judge ye not lest ye be judged". Yikes! Wouldn't the world be a better place if ...
You know how something you've known all along just surfaces as if it's a major revelation? Like if you've been telling your kid , 'drink more water , it's good for you' and it just flies over her head and one day she comes home and tells you all about the benefits of drinking water. And, you're thinking, that's what I've been trying to tell you. But never mind. Whichever way the message gets through.
I started off wanting to say people have less integrity than they should have, which may be true, but in the end it made me look at the one or two times, okay, million times I may have suspended mine, so, I guess it doesn't matter how it gets through as long as it does.

The photo above was taken at the new store at about 9.30 last night. These guys,(and about 6 or 7 others), were still working. On a Saturday night. They probably didn't go to some fancy school but they had a deadline, so they worked late. So simple. So cool.

So yesterday went by, ending with more inventory, more coughing and hardly any sleep. Still we managed to drag ourselves to the car at 7.30 am and drive to KL to pick up last minute stuff, including Xmas decorations for the store and get back home in time for dinner. Whenever anyone in our family is away on a road journey, when we hit the bridge we send a text message to whoever is home saying ,"I can see the sea". As we came onto the bridge, there was that great 'coming home' feeling and we caught a glimpse of the sun just before it dipped behind the hills. That reminded me of art class in school, you know, where you draw two hills, the sea and the sun between them.(smile) Funny, the things you remember.

Hope you had a great weekend & have a fantastic week ahead. I just thought I might leave you with this quote'
"What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists aside...what still pulls at your soul?"
-Terma collective, the box
Also hope you have some time to do that thing.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

reaching the line

11 days to go. There's still much to be done and being sick doesn't help. All of us have been having the flu for the past 2 weeks and it doesn't seem to be getting better. Every night a battle between the evil cough and sleep, leaving us zombies, trudging through the tasks instead of enjoying them. Sigh.Ever the true creative soul, (ha ha),poor health could not deter me from one late night scrap, this one for a December class. We're moving stuff in to the new store on Thursday, if everything goes according to plan , so have to speed things up the next few days. Exciting is an understatement...

Friday, November 05, 2010


How many times do you have to stamp the word 'Joy" for it's meaning to truly seep into your bones?
You know how you've seen someone smile at their cell phone while reading a text message. That's kind of how I felt stamping out tags for the bazaar. We've been at it for a while and Cindy & I have made hundreds of tags & cards. Next year we're starting in June =) Anyway, our eyes and minds were failing but the spirit of JOY prevailed as we busied our hands preparing for the bazaar tomorrow and for the opening of the store. Philip helped make gift boxes and Sarah, still sick from a bad bout of flu, die cut and stamped snowflakes. joy, joy , joy... could the spirit of season be upon us?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I just realized that 3 weeks to go actually means, yikes, maybe 1 1/2 weeks. Why? Because the last 1 1/2 weeks will be spent setting up! So, with the rest of this week greatly devoted to elfing, or bazaar stuff preparation, that leaves me about , YIKES!! , almost no time... so let's get everything into overdrive...but first, I wanted to show you some pieces that make up the whole.

Just as we are rushing, E&O is rushing about the building too. The sign just went up a couple of days ago. =)
Before I get really tied up with the store, we made a trip home to see my Mum, who is doing a lot better than when I last saw her. Yay! This is the guy. You know, the ONE! He drove all the way, helped me source for stuff, shop for the store, carry and fetch and pack and wait . And, still smiling! You know, the day the store opens happens to be thanksgiving. Guess what's on the top of my list? Really inspiring to go away for a bit and see , see, see...

Just the idea makes you want some, this is 'happiness tea', a mix of 4 different things, I can't remember what, but it does taste yummy.
Hall life at NTU. Rows of random doors opening from random hallways, one of which houses your very own child. All grown up now and very much living her own dream. Which is what you always wished for. Hmmm. Ok, back to elfing...

Friday, October 22, 2010


-i am actually finding tiny pockets of time to create
-there is calm in the chaos
-i think planning seriously helps
-people always say sarah looks like me but i think she looks a tad more like PL
-i feel like a character out of the bible
-i am not klappy the cat =)
and this:
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” - Goethe

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

tiny canvas

I played hookey (how DO you spell that?) yesterday afternoon and went to watch "Eat, Pray , Love" . Nice. My brother said he cried, I thought I would too. =) Anyway, I paid the price by working late last night at the shop. Sigh.
Sarah's still not well . I made this little layout on a tiny canvas to cheer her up. I wanted to paint and add tulle... but this is what you get in a bite of time. Better a tiny layout then none at all, no?
Now my scrap table is a mess again... oh, but I love Crate Paper's restoration collection. Classes in 5 weeks, featuring these products. Ok, on to the next thing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

{fine things}

I'm camping out in the living room, surrounded with notebooks and piles of paper and my laptop. Sarah has a fever and I'm keeping her company down here. I have been around the world this morning, sourcing for interesting things to carry in the new store. Scrapbooking treasure will have to share the stage with a little adjacent area which will house an even older dream:
smida {fine things} .
Always in love with beautiful objects, art and the perfect gift, smida {fine things} will be an expression of that love. So everyday, I take a little detour from paper & crafts and wander along , totally mesmerized by the distraction. There are so many creative souls out there, people make the most beautiful art in all forms. Intricate hand sculpted dishes, beaded jewelry, antique hair clips, silk table runners, hand woven heirloom rugs, everything you can imagine. And Art. Oh yes! Art. I have a rubber stamp and it says "Art helps me breathe". Art in all forms. Anything you create, with your hands and from your soul is art to me. So, sometime in the next couple of weeks, we will launch our new website and it will introduce smida {fine things}. =)
It's taking me much longer than I thought to put that together so it will be a slow evolving process but I can see where it's going. Oh, I hope someone , someday buys me one of those pieces of heART. If you can think of anyone whose work is worth featuring, let me know.
Tell you more soon.

Friday, October 15, 2010


For the first time in weeks, I could not sleep til 3am. I did not purpose to stay awake. But my thoughts did. More like doubts and a tiny creeping in of fear, not to mention the 'what ifs?"
Sleep must have come eventually. I sank back into the pillows after Sarah kissed me goodbye on her way to school, for a bit and then the fighter in me resurfaced and I was at the table, eating my cereal and 2 scenarios played in my head.

1 : Peter, sitting in a boat, sees a shadowy figure. Slightly, ok seriously, taken aback, asks, "Master, if it's You , ask me to come". Jesus, walking on water, most lovingly and gently answers, "Come". So Peter steps out of the boat and begins to walk. On water.
presently, the winds howl and the waves start to tumble and Peter realizing the reality (his own reality, not His master's) begins to sink. Jesus stretches out His hand and pulls Him out, with the most loving & gentle rebuke. "Why did you doubt?"
*sheepish smile*
(unauthorised translation, from poor memory)

2: Bits & pieces of 'Life of Pi' and the movie with Tom Hanks , stranded on a desert island. (can't remember the title) Main theme or key word 'ALONE' Underlying theme: Overcome.

I should be on the way out of the house, I'm going right now but I had to release some of the thoughts in my head. (picture a balloon pumped to full) So there, writing is good for the soul. Fears and doubts suitably tucked away. Spirits back up.
The joy of the Lord will surely be my strength.

And yours.

Oh yeah!

(illustration of store front by Ming. artist, son & encourager)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

maybe a sunset

I attended a Steven Covey seminar , ten or 12 years ago, it was called 'What matters most?'
I'm not sure why I suddenly remembered that. Maybe I was thinking about Philip & I-Ming, on a road trip, all the way on the East Coast, driving on the coastal road, father & son on a grand adventure with no plans, no hotel reservations. They might have been driving through a sunset, awed by the vastness of the South China Sea or thinking about where they might stop for dinner , or rest for the night.
In the seminar, they showed a video about time. What could you do in a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute ...a second? In the time we have , we make choices about the things we will do. Sometimes we have grand plans but busyness prevents those plans from ever materializing .The work we do , that was meant to help us live the life we want, takes over until our days become like overstuffed closets , threatening to take over all our space physical , spiritual , intangible.
Surely God intended for us to work. Each of us doing our thing, working at home or at an office, on a field or on a boat. Surely He intended for us to work hard, doing our best, being our best. And yet He rested. And surely He intended that we should too. Rest. Refresh. Recreate. Regroup.
It's been a pretty hard week. I've done so many different things. Some lugging around . Some stock taking. Site checks. Some packing. A whole lot of inventory. More than a little panicking.Early mornings. Trying to fit in some exercise.4 o clock Mummy time. Running back to the store. Late evenings. Remembering that I'm a mum & a wife.
Remembering what matters most. And what it's all about. And then it's the weekend.

Day is done. And the sun glides below the horizon. Here. And there, too. And then rest.
What matters most? In a year, a month, a week, a day...

Always the same things. Work. And rest. Family. People. Home. Giving thanks.
Then a new week. Putting the big rocks in a jar & then pouring in the sand to fit into whatever space is left. The big rocks being what mattes most.

I think I'll give my Mum a call now. Have a meaningful weekend!


Sarah was helping out in the store today, in between getting her homework done. Four years ago, this was what we were doing around this time of year. Look at the old shop!

The store is in a bit of a mess right now, with boxes everywhere and the class table half covered with product & stock balance sheets. Still, some folk came by and happily rummaged about, looking for stuff, as if looking for buried treasure.

And I'm thinking if we should go to the Xmas Bazaar this year . It's early this time . In the beginning of November & I'm not sure if I can pull it off without the chief elf. (smile)
I'll think about it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

next phase

Yesterday we went across to the site to see them start work on the new store. After more than a month of meetings, revisions, budgeting, selecting colours, materials and more revisions, we are done with the designs and have embarked on the next stage; building. I must say I have the best design partners. They are professional with a capital P, sadly , rare in Penang but I am glad that we're working with them. They listen and they accommodate every little one of my many requests, paying precise attention to every detail. And here we are. No tantrums. No conflict. Almost like a dream. Thanks Jamie & Joyce!
What you see here is one of the final drawings, I can't wait to see it in the flesh. =) I enjoyed the whole process so much, as if design was in my bones. ha ha! I would have to live to be at least 192 to do all the things I think I might like doing. Of course, up next is writing that time management book. (just kidding)
So, what have I been up to? Well, loads of inventory! I'm actually getting into a groove with that, but 7 weeks , I'm not sure is enough time. I 'bought' some new Prima Say It In Crystals as I was working. Perks! Apart from that, made some Xmas cards with Sin Yee. I was not the commander in that exercise, but it was good fun and I'm learning all the time.
It's coming together , slowly, but most certainly and if I keep to my schedule, I'll get there. Eeeep, positive thinking had better be the thing because i feel like I'm climbing Mt Everest. Pray with me that i'll find a super Assistant Manager & soon.
k, back to work...

Monday, September 27, 2010

so much to celebrate

Recently I've been on the road alot. 2 weeks ago, I attended Priya's wedding in KL. We took the long route through Singapore, to visit my mum who isn't well. So in all the rushing to get prepared, I forgot to bring the card I made for her. Priya is the eldest daughter of a very dear friend, Kiran. She has inherited the wit & charm Kiran possesses and her caring spirit. It was a beautiful evening, I'll post photos soon. We arrived in KL, 25 minutes before the event & had to clean up quick. Still, I am glad we didn't skip the party. So many friends were there, so many of them have been so special to us that they're like family . Our family was all together, too. Quite rare these days.

With all the coming and going, I've been writing my thoughts and to do lists on bits & pieces of paper , and finally, I sat down and got it all in order. We just passed the '2 months to go before the new store opens' mark, so I'm having to unearth all my time management & organizing skills here. All my tasks now have a time unit attached and now I have to assign dates to them. It actually looks like I'll be able to get it all done. With help. =) I sat to talk to God the other morning, pouring out & telling him about the ridiculous amount of different things I had to accomplish to see the store open. I told Him I couldn't do it and asked if He would help. The thought that was in my heart was "Foolish child, why did you doubt". A gentle rebuke. Tinged with a warmth that filled me . So I'm believing that His hand is an inch beneath my soaring self. I could have chosen to be free from all this extra work, but I am free. Free to choose and I chose this. Now I wait to see His hand sweep across my life as this crazy dream becomes real.
Somehow I've found some time to create. Cards for special people, including Jessy. And some material for upcoming classes. When all this is over I might be able to write a book on time management. Ha ha! And I don't know where the energy is coming from but there seems to be an adequate supply, for which I am grateful .
I'm expecting to learn some lessons in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

random stuff

-my muscles still hurt from training on Sunday
-please let me find a seriously good store supervisor
-designs all done, we start renovation next week
-i have too much stuff
-so good meeting up with old friends last friday
-can I really do it?
-slowly, slowly

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

home & it gets busier

I got home last Saturday night and then I got sick . This immune system of mine can hardly fight anything so I got a bug and I am woozy with the Cipro but still working. Small renovation going on at the studio. Going smaller so that we can get bigger and hours meeting with the designers. I love doing that! I had the best time at the MWL Sizzix retailers event. The people were all warm and super COOL and the food was divine. Plus I got to work with some of my heroes. jasmine, Aida & Mei Mei. We were there for 12 hours that day and only realized I was tired while waiting for dinner at Thai Express with I-Mei at 9.30. Yet the day wasn't over. It was a long drive out to visit Mum. I cannot describe how I felt when I saw her. She was frail and thin. Claressa says the doctors are leaning more heavily to the fact that the cancer is back. I'm asking God why a person who gives her life for others would end up with this as her lot.
So the wonderful day ends on a sad note. In the whole huge happy place that is my life, where I look around and there is nothing I am not grateful for, not even my 'health' there is this desolate place and I'm praying that God will breathe life into it.
So then I 'm back in my room. Home for 2 days. Sometimes I feel when I come to Singapore it's home, I'm coming home. But there's no one there. Oh, but I-Mei was there. Hanging out with me almost 24/7. (smile) We ate a lot of noodles and saw/ bought/ coveted a lot of scrap stuff. I managed to get everything into my bags. Free stuff from the event. Scrap stuff. Goodies for the baby, who is 17, including stationery (of course), a gift for passing her driving test and a fun, very French 'tres chic' satchel (to show off at school) , books, catalogs, more gifts... one would think I was away for a month! So everything fit and on Saturday morning I went out while it was quiet for some, err, quiet time. And by 12 I was ready to go home.
As I passed my old school I took a picture of this old building. What used to be MPH bookstore where I hung out a lot, on the way to the bus stop, at the old National Library. Stopping to eat mee siam at the old hut of a sarabat stall. And then taking a bus home with my best friend Shirin. A lifetime ago, and now Sarah is at 2 years older then I was then, looking a tad like me with all the exuberance and enthusiasm I had then and still have I think, maybe, just a notch down.

Life is always changing. There's a song I love by Anita Baker, from long ago. It goes, 'life is always changing, constant rearranging, nothing changes with you. I go to a million places, see a million faces, but none as fine as you...'
Nice. If you have someone in your life that makes you want to sing that song to(or play the song, heee..) give thanks. If there is someone or some people as fine, who will hold the net beneath you while you take flight and soar to the most dreamed of places, who will watch the kids, go to the market and make tea when you're weary and happy and your heart is bursting with joy...don't forget to say Hallelujah. To say Thank you Lord and to tell them that life is always changing and that you're so very glad they're not!

It sure is nice to be home.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Sarah thinks it's really hard to buy gifts for guys. The things they like are way out of her league & budget. Things like cameras & i pads. Cars. "Girls are easy, you can buy them earrings!" she moaned. In the end, she made her Papa a coupon for another granite slab for his garden. He will, of course have to take her to purchase and transport the slab home.I finished the mini, minibook I started in Mr Papa's honour. I wonder if he even likes it with pages of glimmer misted, citrusy colour. But I poured myself into it, with the little snatches of time I had. Usually late at night. So much is going on in our lives right now. Exciting ,challenging, exhilirating. Things that keep all your brain cells working . Sleep is easy these days, when there is time. (grin)

In all this busyness. In the looking forward, making this little book reminded me of the constant that is family. That the main driving force, the intangible power that keeps us going, is love.
In the days ahead, I will get busier and more immersed in the' building' of the new store and all it entails. I hope that my people will know, if I do forget to tell them, that their love carries me.
That all the little gestures & sacrifices, coming home to help, coming home to celebrate, being there always. In spirit, in words in encouragement. All these I want them to know, inspire me, define me, lift me up. Their love allows me to be the hero in my own story.
Heroes make heroes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dad & the phantom

Not a real phantom but a Rolls Royce. Philip brought one in for sale and Dad got his lifelong dream of sitting in one. He kept asking for the photos and I had purposed to make a layout for him but I had a problem. Dad was wearing green, Mum was wearing purple and the Phantom, was wine red. Yikes!
With Dad not feeling well lately I thought I'd just do it. So I converted the pictures to 'Antique' and worked with a subtler green & purple. We put it in an Ikea frame and Dad & Mum were pleased. Enough to put it up with all their other photos in the dining room.


work of heart

I set a goal for myself. 2 layouts and 2 cards a week. This week I haven't made anything. But last week I think I made my quota =) Well not 2 + 2 but I'm letting myself off the hook because this one took a whole day to put together. Not including all the coordination it took Alka and the other ladies in our Tuesday group. I don't do commissioned work because it takes too long. And, ok mostly because it's really hard to do what other people like.

So anyway, everyone wrote their messages on little squares. I was to use green & yellow, Jo's favourite colours. And butterflies please. And so I began on a Wednesday morning, after a 'meeting' on Monday with the ladies. Christina and Lerks sent their stuff on Tuesday and Nie left her houseguests to give her writing to me on Wednesday afternoon. I worked like an ant , but when I had to print some more photos, found that I was out of photo paper. So off to the mall, no time to dawdle and back to finish off the gift.

We decided to do a quilt style project, because Jo makes beautiful quilts. I had fun making the little spool, thread & all. Nice change to create for a gift instead of a class. Although I'm thinking we might do a similar class.

It was done by dinner time and we still managed to get to Dad's place for our tri weekly 'sleepover'. Puff, pant.

Happily, Jo loved it. She said we made her cry. The guys pretended to be mad they weren't asked to write. Maybe next time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

celebrate in colour

The other day Philip said "you like colorful things". Hmmm. That's an interesting observation .I look at my layouts and cards and I see mostly muted shades. I-Mei & I talked about this and we challenged each other to take it up a notch, with colour. Most of the night we played. Brighter. Bolder. Totally out of our comfort zone. =) She came up with 2 cards for our Fancy Schmancy card class on the 5th of August & I started working on this minibook, possibly for a class but there will have to be some modifications. The idea was inspired by this little stamp with the sentiment, 'YOU make me happy'.

I worked mostly with So Sophie paper by My Mind's Eye. In store now! And loads of glimmer mist. A departure from my usual shabby palette but I think they work pretty well, especially when you're celebrating someone. I guess I'll have to clear up & turn in now. But I'm eager to keep going.
Hope there'll be some scrapping time tomorrow.