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...