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".