Thursday, June 02, 2011

june is here

I made 2 layouts, a card and a sample for our monthly accordion kit. Veronica, our part time maid came. She is cheerful and positive. I'm glad. Gets a bit old when people around you are gloomy. Sometimes I feel gloomy too. But, thankfully, that old cloud gets shaken off. I should have finished doing payments instead of making stuff, oh well, they'll get done tomorrow. I have a pile of photos I've been meaning to scrap of last year's trip. I plan to work my way through like a bulldozer.

June is here. Before long, another quarter, then Christmas.

Sarah attended the graduation ceremony at her school tonight. Next year, it will be her that's graduating. Class of 2012. A year from now. I wonder what life holds for me in the next 12 months. No more disappointments I hope. it can only get better, right? Please...

I used some really nice paper from The Girl's Paperie for the layout above. You can't really see much here, I'm saving the rest of the pics for my new blog. It's almost ready. So is the newsletter for the store. Been working hard on it, just a few days more to launch day. Yay! Happy things in sad times are all the more special. Creating stuff helps too. So glad I discovered scrapbooking!

Friday, May 13, 2011

happy tired

You know how it is when unexpected things happen? And you get so busy trying to put out fires... well, a lot has happened lately, in our world. But sometimes change is good and even though it gets messy and tiring and you walk around without enough sleep or having no time to eat, and you're tired down to your bones and still, even though you think you're sad and there a lot of people around you that are making life complicated, but then you have a moment to think about everything, and you realize all things happen for a reason and this messy change is actually a pretty good thing.

Well, that about sums up today . And I'm looking forward to a very busy and fun weekend, knowing that next week is going to be a real big challenge, but I think it's going to be ok. After the weeding and the pruning, there has got to be a beautiful new garden just waiting to bloom.

Happy weekend people. This card is for all of you who keep me wanting to keep on. =)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Oh May!

How did you sneak up on us? I'm hardly on to my New Year's resolutions and here you are. Come to think of it, I don't remember making any resolutions. 2011 came on quite suddenly too!

But here you are, ready or not, which makes me think, if we don't slow down, the rest of the year will sneak up and disappear too. So maybe, stop. Look around. Look back.
Hmmm, what did the year bring so far? Lots of surprises? Disappointment? Happy things?

Just sit for a while and think of one amazing day in the last 4 months. Stay there. Do you feel a smile? Time flies and yet sometimes things that happened just last month seem like they happened such a long time ago.
I look back and I remember this day. I wasn't sure if I would go at all, quite sure that it would be too sunny. In the end I decided, just go. I have never seen the ocean so blue. The sun was bright but our faces were freezing with the bite of the artic wind. But it was glorious just being there.

I'm thinking it's pretty good being here too. I hope that May brings you great blessings!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

making the best of my everyday

Things change a lot from one day to another. The mundane , though, is something to be cherished. Cucumber sandwiches & tea on an outdoor terrace, being surrounded by 100 year old trees. An easter greeting from faraway. Watching kids grow. Enjoying their visits. Cycling at dusk. Ordinary, everyday kinds of things.
Busyness impairs our ability to translate these everyday things into beauty, treasure.

So one day you may be pouring tea out of a chipped antique pot, and another you may be sitting atop a hospital bed. (not without all the gadgets of busy life tho') heh!
But even grim events may have some little joy wrapped in them. I came in armed with a stack of decorating magazines, some journals, an assortment of pens...all ready to dream, be inspired, plan and create my new study. And maybe later, sort my photos, in this little 'peaceful place' that I've carved out and I am relishing the forced 'free time'.
To be honest, tho' I was mildly kicking and screaming coming here. Don't laugh! The point is, making the best out of my every day. =)

On the creative side, I have been on a vintage spree, topped with teal, yellow and pink, and a whole lot of white paint distressing. This time I've been playing with canvasses and oh, how much fun I've been having. The mini ones above, I'm saving for the debut of our brand new newsletter. *wink* and this bigger guy down here is a labor of love, in celebration of our upcoming anniversary. The idea was to merge two completely different collections/ personalities and see if they could live in harmony on the same canvas. I'm liking the way it's turning out, so far
I'm totally liking the feel of paint and gel mediums under my fingers and I'm looking forward to keeping up the momentum with a few more projects. It really gave me a good warm feeling doing this and I think the feeling has carried itself over here and it's trying to trick me into thinking that this little 'getaway' is actually a renewal retreat. Ha ha! Think it'll work?

So now, vintage decor, here I come...
(I can hear Sarah saying " Ma, you and your vintage!" )

Sunday, April 24, 2011


What happens when a scrapbooker makes cards? Lots of layers. I guess the usual scrapbooking style and fancies carry through to the cards and it's always hard to stop adding more stuff.
The battle against stuff continues , and since I haven't been well I find myself with a little more time to sort, weed and organize. Ming is home and he suggested putting them in grab bags to give away. So if anyone is in need of some scraps and supplies, this is the place.
In between resting and organizing, I made some cards. Except for one, I stamped generic well wishes, so while they would be ideal for Mother's day, they would also work for other occasions. I keep all my chipboard pieces in a storage bin instead of on the sheets they come in. Makes it easier & more fun to find an appropriate piece for a project. Almost like digging into a toy box.

I have another project in mind. Somewhere to keep the cards. Hmmm...

Monday, April 18, 2011

vintage crazy

Funny how things change. Not just things but one's taste. I used to cringe at lacy, pink, flowery anything but now, I seem to be overtaken by shabby vintage madness. Oh, I still love Ikea. And nicely modern organizing things but I am seriously thinking of redecorating my office in this 'old' style. I'll do it in shabby, vintage, eclectic , contemporary style.
Distressed white notice boards, old fashioned cake trays to put my stamps and ink, a sturdy wing backed chair...
I had to clear my scrap room, you know, make some space for, oh, the odd birdcage...=)
Anyway, I made progress and when I was done for the day , sat down to make a card for my Mum for mother's day. I do hope she likes the shabby result.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

of buttons , birdcages and owls

I did not realize how beautiful these buttons are. They're from Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe collection. Swoon!
Slight detour from my desk...

Peeping from the back of the layout you will see 2 of my favourite treasures from Melbourne.
The antique birdcage, which we found on our date to St Kilda's beach. I have pictures of Philip choosing it for me and then carrying it all the way, from tram to tram and trudging along new roads. Makes me smile. The other fella, we'll call him Melvin, I stumbled across at a quaint bookstore by the river. They were closed and I wanted to go back there and get it , even at the ridiculous price it showed in the window. On an art and literary walk, Ming made his way there and got it for me. I was really surprised when I opened the brown bag it was in, wondering what treasure lay within. It's meant to be a bookend and is rather heavy. Funny , the things we consider treasures. =)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

bon voyage

Has it really been a week since we got back? I'm slowly easing back into work mode, held back by the flu but had fun creating this mini book for an upcoming class. Worked late into the nights and paid the price each morning when my desk beckoned. If only the only work I had was to create...I had over a hundred photos printed from our trip to Chiang Mai last year, only a few were used here but I'm hoping to make a full sized album with some of the others. There were a lot of the hotel we stayed in, The Chedi. There was this old house which is where the restaurant is, which I love and I keep saying that I wish it was my house. So pretty and so much detail. Sigh!
Lots of stamping in this mini book. I'm loving all my stamps. =)
I have a feeling my next project might be travel related too.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

this time last week

We flew through the night and sleep escaped us, well, except for Ming. That boy can sleep anywhere. So, we arrived at 7.20am , which would have been 5.20am here and we did not stop to sleep. Good thing everything shuts down by dinner time, save for restaurants and bars, so we did manage to get a good night's sleep, every night. Somewhat reluctant to drag out of bed and leaving the warmth for the crisp cool air outside, each day, we discovered the city, the culture and of course the shops.

We took a lot of pictures and I find myself wanting to learn how to use a real camera. Oh if only I had the time. What I enjoyed the most? The weather. We walked everywhere and didn't feel tired . And the lifestyle there. People worked hard when it was time to work and then they got into their biking gear and cycled home or on Thursdays & Fridays, ended their work day with a stop to one of 100s of bars to say hey to their friends or catch up for a chat. I called my cousin Bernard and asked him to arrange a meet with my Aunty Silvy and he quickly arranged everything for that very day and came to the city to pick us up. I apologized for the last minute plans and he said, "This is Australia, mate, it's 'no worries' here." =)
So in 5 days, we did tram rides, penguins,koalas, Japanese food, sea & rocks & bracing cold, sleep ins, street art, street food (yumm), date time, little towns, big city, boots and coats and cup noodles , tim tam, vegemite...universities, galleries and even a really crowded bar with loads of people in suits.

Managed to cram 2 hours of shopping in Singapore. *big grin* The plan was to go to Kino but , whoops, got carried away at Kate Spade. Also managed to pick up the flu. But nonetheless, it was all good. Wish Mei Mei was there.

As my friend Sooi Ling says, work should always be bracketed by vacations. And to that, as the Aussies say, "Yeaah".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

the whole layout...

In the 5 years that I have been scrapbooking, I have never been able to post a whole layout because all the pictures looked distorted, that's why all my photos are of a certain section of the layout. Thanks to Josie, (and alex) I am able to post these 2 layouts, featuring the oh-so-beautiful Stella & Rose collection from My Mind's Eye. =)

It's been a busy time, as Post CHA usually is, and that's on top of all the other commitments and fires to put out. I'm so glad to be able to do any creating at all . When I first got sick, I would not take more than one appointment a day. And that would leave me exhausted. Now, my days are packed right up to nighttime and while I still 'dislike' last minute postings to my agenda, I'm trying to take it all in my stride without tipping the scale.
Loads to rush before a spring break with the family. I am grateful for the elves in the store who will take care of everything during my trip.
I wonder if I'll have time to create anything before I go, maybe one last play date with Stella & Rose or, maybe just a tiny dip into Crate paper's new Emma's Shoppe and Portrait...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stella & Rose (i'm in love...)

Stella & Rose! Oh how delightful! We haven't had a collection that moved us to creating this much in a long time. maybe since MME's Tres Jolie. Crate Paper's 'Restoration' must have been the closest we got to unlimited inspiration, but now, Stella & Rose is shaking off the cobwebs in our creative chambers, mine anyway... and it's all I can do to resist staying up late or waking up early to get my hands on the lovely stuff! It's addictive , I tell ya! =)

So, this is the third layout I've made with Stella & Rose treasures. I forgot to photograph the other two, but anyway, some early morning scrapping was just the thing to chase the sleepies & the aches away. Please tell my desk, I heard it calling and will be coming to it in a tiny while.

I revisited an old style that I used to love doing. Like a patchwork collage, these papers fit in beautifully into this old stlyle. This time in 2x2 squares. I can't believe I did not use a single Prima flower on this LO. Not one. But i did stick in some swirly bling. (not shown). I'm loving all that chipboard, which makes for a pretty heavy and bulky page, but oh, they're fun.

Squares must be on my mind, I just remembered I made this little card for Mei Mei, who just turned, yup... 27. Had fun with the stamped squares, although (here comes the disclaimer) I'm so not a cardmaker. :) Still, special occasions call for special exceptions. Ok, to the desk, then. And maybe I'll meet up with sweet Stella & Rose a little later. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

of pink & yellow

Maybe I'm going a little crazy with this sweet , unlikely combo... pink & yellow. Who would have thought, especially me. But I love the unlikeliness of the mix, inspired by Pink Paislee's 'sweetness' collection. I scoured the shop and found some other pinks & yellows, and tucked away in my studio, an hour here, 10 minutes there, started some projects.
This layout of my mum's 80th features yellow & cream dots from Cosmo Cricket & pink , slightly oriental geometric floral print from October Afternoon. The doily is misted with glimmer mist and I love the sheen.I tried not to distress at all, but could not leave flowers out .
It's been an unlikely combo of events and emotions this week, pink & yellow,
except maybe a little muted. I finished this layout early today, and as I was working with this happy occasion , I couldn't help but feel sad. My cousin Swithin passed away suddenly. We lived next door from each other when Ming & Mei were growing up, his son Justin would come over and play football with my guys. he made huge tracks in his career, first with the press (serious writing genius) and then in the music & PR field. He headed the act to help local musicians get paid royalties and many other achievements, mostly with the aim to help. Good fella.
My son turned 30. That makes me old. *half sad smile* But more than that, I celebrated the day giving thanks for the things I learned from him. And I needed to dig into the bag when i had some disappointing news. I remember asking him,' Do you get mad at people? When they break their promises, mistreat you, betray you or just any reason?' He thought about it and said that even if they were wrong , he understood where they were and why they did that. Ming, I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.
So Pink & yellow, unlikely & yet looking ok. In fact , pretty good. Scrapbooking makes you appreciate your life. Makes you smile. Makes you happy. even when you're sad. looking at all the bits of your life that are worth remembering. The hard things that continue to mold & shape you. The choices you make, because it's the right thing. Choosing how you're going to feel.
Mama turned 80. So graceful. In her polka dotted dress. Living the last 18 years without Daddy. Surviving the ravages of cancer.Taking care of Misha & Dante. Never quitting. Never even thinking of it. (shame on me for even thinking it)
I sometimes say to Philip that we're an unlikely couple. Different in huge ways. Pink & yellow.
And yet, fitting. Really, really. So the show goes on. Hopefully & thankfully, for the ones of us that remain. Bumps, potholes and clear water. I read a book once, being sick is not your whole life, it said. True. Mama thinks so. I do too, now. And onward, then. Detour here. Rest stop there. Embracing all the colours.

My littlest baby turns 18 this Sunday.

Short sentence, big meaning. Much emotion.

All said & done, I am grateful for my life.
Have a colourful weekend.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Class peeks

While revamping our basic Scrapbooking classes, I thought I'd have some fun with an altered project, since we're having a challenge tight now. I'm so loving the mix of pink & yellow, who would have guessed but Pink Paislee put it together perfectly in their 'Sweetness' collection.
The Maya Road pink rose trim goes really well with this collection , too.

This one's part of a new 'finding your style' class.

It's Monday, another day off, which means, replying mail, and catching up with work at my desk uninterrupted as opposed to hopping from desk to shop to desk to shop on normal work days! I'm seriously thinking of moving my office into the classroom to cut the commute and be more productive. Shuttling my 'office in a bag' is really getting old. My tiny office just isn't big enough to hold everything. Any suggestions?

l o v e

I'm not so sure about St Valentine but since this is a day when everyone celebrates love , I decided to make some cards. I'm not a natural card maker, so it took a ridiculous amount of time to make these. The 'you are loved' cards are for my girls, red for the practical one & vintage for the romantic one. I do now realize that I don't have the address to send the card to, so Mei Mei , you'll have to wait til you come home, or you could give me your address *wink*

I wish I could spend all my time creating, Sarah & Philip were away that day and I may have stayed in my studio all day if it weren't for them coming home in the evening. I imagine that's how an artist or musician must feel. So immersed in their craft that the world outside fades away. What a gift!

Well anyway, to all who love and are loved, (that means you) happy happy Valentine's day! And to those who are waiting for their prince to show up, believe it, he will!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

flesh of my flesh, bone of my bones

We went out with a man, the first night of Chinese New Year. He likes his glass of wine, we don't, not so much but in an attempt to work at our relationship, we thought that we would do this. After trudging up and down, looking for a place to settle we ended up in a German restaurant/ bar. We sat there and talked , the lot of us and we didn't realize we talked until 1.30am. And then we left, everyone to their respective homes.
Something troubled me. This man ,who analyzes everyone, including those who weren't present, did not know what happiness was. He said he was non emotional. Even when he won awards for his achievements , he just expected it.

I wondered if he did not feel just a tiny bit happy when he married his wife, after waiting for 20 years. Or when his son was born. When someone brought him his favourite food ? Maybe? Just a tad? It troubled me and made me sad. I tried to imagine living to 60 and not knowing ...

I'm reading a book. For a long time I've not read a book. Usually my nose is stuck into a trade magazine or Oprah. I start books I never finish and I have to stop myself in a bookstore, so as not to add another unread tome to my already overcrowded bookshelves. But lately I've been feeling somewhat lonely, like I'm surrounded by people who don't share the same goals as I have, that I'm doing what I'm doing all alone. I missed God. And I wanted to commune with someone who knew what I was about, who knew my thoughts and my dreams and I wanted to be reminded of His gentleness and His majesty. So I went and bought a book. Ming recommended it. It's called , "Searching for God knows what" by Donald Miller.

Having been extremely busy to the point where working at our desks until 3am is a necessity , my senses and perception have been dulled, so reading a book is one more task, one more' to do'. One of my favourite verses ever is this: 'You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart'. God, ever true to His character, found me. He heard. And I found both His majesty and his gentleness in the pages of this book. After 3am, after the paperwork, sitting out on the terrace, even for 10 minutes before the workday begins and today, one ordinary Sunday, being moved like I've not been moved in ever so long by the beauty of Donald Miller's words and the gentle instruction , first a soft wind and then a huge gush that lifted me out of the tired depth of my overcrowded, unbalanced existence . Words have power, especially when He bends down to breathe His spirit into those words.

I write this blog for no one. I don't expect an audience and I don't mince my words. I write for me. Because I like to write. So if someone is reading, this is going to be a long one because I'm in the mood.
Some things in the book struck me. Almost like a lightning bolt. One, 'make every effort to keep the bonds of peace...', hey, I know this one. I say it a lot to my kids. make every effort to be at peace with ALL men. and yet... Then, 'love one another...' seems to be a theme here. Stirring to say the least. But today I was transported to the time when God created Adam, when he was lonely and God did not immediately make him a helpmate. Instead God told him to name the animals , which I realize wasn't as simple as all that and might have taken him at least a hundred years, all the while being lonely. I felt the vibration of the mighty river that fed the Cush and the Euphrates, the beauty of the very place that God chose for His much loved creation, man. But still I was not prepared for the way I felt when I 'saw' how He put Adam to sleep , took one of his ribs and made for him the perfect mate.
How Adam must have felt when he first saw her, and he said 'flesh of my flesh, bone of my bones...(Gen 2.23) Wow! That God created for Adam a perfect mate. Would you look at the person that was created for you, after the loneliness and the longing for such a person, would you look at that person with carelessness? After He went and chose the most perfect being exclusively for you, would you not cherish that person to your very last breath?
I stopped reading my book. Some things take a while to process. Some things need to be thought over. I am happy just having these thoughts swirling around for a while.
I've also been thinking about all the floods and the storms and the governments being overthrown. All these things happened when I was a child. I was afraid then. I would worry about my Dad when he traveled. I would have nightmares about him being hurt. Now these things are still happening, only more frequently. I wonder what it means and while I'm not sure, I know that in these times, the things that matter is loving one another, loving your brother and your sister and your neighbour... and fearing God, even though He says that He loves us ,because He is so awesome , so 'other' . I pray His hand of protection will never leave you, or me.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

work in progress

I wish I could create everyday! Working on March classes and I'm loving these word stamps and am having good fun die cutting flowers from fabric with my Sizzix Big Shot. A couple of crafting sessions right around the corner. =)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

class with iris

So happy that Mum's birthday was a day before Iris's class. I love attending class and learning. She made us work hard but i was good fun. MWL has a great classroom & Elvira was so sweet, bouncing around wanting to help us all with our projects.

waiting for tomorrow

Back in the store. Today will be a long day. I teach a class this afternoon and Saturdays are usually hectic. But, tomorrow I will rest. Finally a real day off with no visitors, no travel and no forgotten appointments. When you work everyday, days off are like a gift , to be cherished & savoured. I never really understood that until now. So hats off to all the working ladies out there. =)
I did clear my desk but yesterday I left it in total disarray, until tomorrow. I wonder if there 's anyone else who is decidedly delighted to spend their free day tidying up & organizing. I can't wait!

mini mini

Sometimes you can be tired and refreshed at the same time. My weekend was a rush. Mum's birthday party on Saturday. Class with Iris on Sunday. It was a long one and by 5pm I wanted to sleep. It wasn't boring, but I was exhuasted. I stayed, and too tired to shop, went home right after and was in bed at 8. Monday was doctor day and we flew home in the afternoon. Back to work on Tuesday. And on and on...
And yet I must have been inspired. And refreshed. Not my body, for sure, I am aching like crazy, lifting my arm hurts.
So today, I woke up, sketched an idea and went straight to work. A mini mini. Sort of a cross between a mini book and a card. Very simple. No layering, no serious techniques. Just the words.
An easy , no stress gift in just over an hour.

Sometimes you just don't want to glimmer mist & layer & crumple & emboss & all that stuff.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time flies

I have finally finished the class sample for my 'my wish for you' minibook class. The class is on the 22nd so I've cut it quite close and spent most of yesterday cutting and punching and preparing the kits. It seemed like a lot of work and I was wondering to myself how come I have so much to do and people around me seem to have a lot less. I leave work after 10pm and my IN tray still has stuff in it.
Tomorrow my mum turns 80. She is a brave one. Even with stage 4 cancer, she 's still a trooper.
It's amazing that her pain has left her and she seems to be in good spirits. Which is much more than I can say for me. Ha ha!
I haven't written in my journal since the store opened. Journals are like dogs. They don't give you advice. They just listen. Absorb. They let you pour out and in the end, you feel better.

Musings in general: 'You made your bed, now you have to lie in it'
It should be mandatory for doctors and employees to go through a period of being patients & employers. 'Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest'

I made the book for Sarah. My wish for her on her 18th birthday. Time flies.