Sunday, 11 September 2011
Monday, 05 September 2011
Was on a creative roll but now am stuck. This is a cover for a mini book and when I'm out of ideas, better to give a project some space before getting back to it.
Yesterday I got a call from someone I knew a looooong time ago. We've not spoken to each other in 15 years and it was a surprise hearing from her.
What do you do about people you knew way back, have lost touch with who've now called to resume some kind of contact ? This past year has been interesting in that I've re-connected with classmates and now this former colleague. One thing I do know : while I'm curious about all that's happened in their lives, I'm not sure I want to invest time re-kindling a friendship, especially (back then) we were not close friends to begin with. Perhaps I've never been sentimental, have not yearned for the *good 'ole days* and have consistently cultivated this attitude of letting go, moving on and setting priorities on who has genuine claim to my time. This might sound cold, but really, when one decides to open the emotional space for a new friendship, you want it to be the real thing ?
So many times I've seen people who on the surface are seemingly good friends, break off after some incident.
A friendship should mean the willingness to make adjustments, to communicate and the acceptance of each other's quirks. If two people cannot even do this, why the heck are they even *friends* in the first place ?
At this stage of my life I've had enough of dramas, superficiality and stuff that has no positive value to my everyday. It's exhausting tip-toeing around someone learning about their personal boundaries and sensitivities.
We've all become adept at separating people into compartments : people we work with, people to lunch with, people to joke with, people we consider our inner circle who we confide in.
This is the present day reality.
Sunday, 04 September 2011
Well I tidied up my supplies, got rid of a whole lot of junk, pack away stuff for scrapping friends. In the process, the Crate Paper packs were called out to me and and I managed two layouts *how's that for someone who had completely lots her mojo a few days ago ???*
Remember That time - This was me at 28 years old, living in Hong Kong, with a great set of colleagues, traveling all over the world and owner of our first apartment !!
Always - Have you ever had the guys complaining about the layouts being to girly ? Hopefully the dark blue pattern paper helped *LOL*
Thanks for dropping by !!
Monday, 29 August 2011
You'd think I'd be used to this by now ? About Inspiration taking a long walk away ..... or rather, it running away howling !
Loads of advice on how to get it back but from experience I know there's no forcing it and I just have to take a few days off to dabble, look through my supplies or experiment. This becomes an issue with looming deadlines but thankfully the two new classes for September are done, the one class pending is using a previous project that needs tweaking to fit a budget.
Am I unhappy ? Not unhappy but a teensy bit annoyed like any working-crafter would be. We all know that quality work depends on being inspired to make something that feels *right* in terms of having enough new-ish stuff and a fresh perspective. Right now there's nothing to be done and it leaves me to enjoy the lull which I see as akin to an empty jar that will soon be filled. Oddly, ideas come to me in my sleep, perhaps it's my unconscious mind digging deep to piece together bits of stowed away creative information into a whole.
Hari Raya is tomorrow, a wedding at the Four Season's in the evening, a private class the day after, and then Nura has her Intermediate RAD exams on 1st September.
To all my Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya, may Allah heap blessings aplenty on you and your family !
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Time, how it flies away !
Do you ever think about time and what you do with it ?
I've been working on prioritising my time and it all means deciding what's important and what's not. It means letting go of some things that were tied to my vanity and ego, accepting that being *in* with the crowd meant being less honest, more about being a follower and afraid of being left out or isolated. It was a slow and long process, with some back trekking, adjustments and always trying to convince myself it was going to be ok.
And it is ok, even though mostly it's like watching a party from the outside. Sure, parties can be fun, but inevitably like any party, there are people you can't stand, and the boring conversations you are too polite to walk away from.
I'm liking this current state of being. The biggest plus is having more time to myself, to reflect, to enjoy crafting, actually getting to do what I love, with useful activities rather than those that are popular. I read in a book once that while it's important to have family and friends, it's also essential to know how to enjoy your own company.
Monday, 08 August 2011
When did it come to this ?
I keep thinking how wasteful ...... so much stuff I've barely touched !! I can imagine psychiatrists will have a field day defining this hoarder mentality *hahah !!!*. The only way to tackle this is to be absolutely merciless, decisive, and quick before even a smidgen of regret slinks in.
After 6 hours of sorting what to give away, what to chuck out ...... it feels good.
Now I've got to sort out the papers, keep the ones I truly love, tidy the over-flowing embellishments trays, sort out past workshop notes and samples.
We hope to renovate the home early next year and all this means in the next few months alot of old, unnecessary stuff must be weeded out from their hiding places.
When the girls were younger it was much easier to keep the home tidy, even with their toys and books. Bit by bit the *memory* clutter started when we found it difficult to throw things we associated with the girls when they were younger - the stuffed toys bought on holidays, cute baby clothes, their kindie books, subsequently their primary and secondary school books. I loved looking through their exercise books with written compositions, some quite funny, a few perceptive and touching. The mess accelerated when I started working more and more, and after that it was was mostly due to being overwhelmed with the whole situation. Laziness ? Yep perhaps ...... but tired too because for a couple of years I was chauffeur to the girls and driving up, down between the East and Bukit Timah twice a day, every week-day was exhausting. By evening, after dinner, I just wanted to veg out and not deal with clutter or cleaning up more than was required.
Thankfully I've outgrown much of my own stuff and don't feel the need to keep them.
They say everything sooner or later creeps up on you right ?
Well ....... it's time !
Sunday, 07 August 2011
Hubs : Hey, Giant has a sale for Striploins, you want me to get 'em ?
Me : Sure ...... !!
The result was Spicy Marinated Steak with a crunchy salad, mashed potaotes and Sunflower Seed buns.
Am counting my blessings for a man who does not mind doing the groceries and cleaning the home.
Marinade : Mustard, Honey, Olive Oil, Pepper, Maggi Chilli Sauce, Lea and Perrins, Soya Sauce and Chopped Garlic. Can't give you exact measurements, just almost equal amounts. It's Ramadhan, and we don't break fast till after 7pm, but I decided to cook one steak as the light conditions at 5pm would be better for shooting the photograph. Not tasted the steak yet, but it does LOOK GOOD *yuuuumsss*.
Thanks for dropping by !!
Friday, 05 August 2011
What does Home, Family and Singapore mean to you ?
As we celebrate 46 years of nationhood, we have so much to be thankful for ! In creating the layout, I thought back about what Singapore has provided for my family, and yes while we whine and complain about the *Gah-men ah* (Singapore lingo for government), when we really think deeply enough, we have so much compared to many parts of the world. A strong economy that has seen the Singapore dollar surge, making imports cheaper, we have jobs as long as we are willing to work. In my little world I am truly thankful for good schools and safety for my girls, a fully paid home which translates into more security, less worries for hubs and I.
Made With Love is running a scrapbook competition on the same theme, with great prizes for three scrappers. Details are ** HERE**. Come share your 12 X 12" layout to celebrate National Day, put your feelings about family and home in a memorable visual to treasure. If you have any questions, you are welcome to post them on the message board.
And *yaaaaaay* it's Friday ...... have a fabulous weekend !!!
Thursday, 04 August 2011
Oh my ............ !!!!
My Mind's Eye was on the shelves at Made With Love this morning ..... and I am so totally LOVE all of them !! Squeezed my piggy bank ...... hard ...... and came back with these.
A couple of videos about the essence of scrapbooking got me thinking ? One of them was by Shimelle Laine who guested on Ali Edwards's Blog and the other link was provided by Pooi Pooi and was a video featuring Kelly Corrigan. Both made me really sit up and think about what this all means to me. Work keeps me scrapping, I love the beauty in the paper products and most times the job is about adding value to the projects, about using techniques that are new or attractive to scrappers who come for the workshops. There's no denying that the commercial aspects of scrapbooking is important to me as it provides some means of supporting myself.
Technique gathering is a little overblown in Singapore. Perhaps it's a spill-over from the extreme competitiveness in our fast paced life. Here, the definition of a good scrapper is one who uses a hundred and one techniques on a layout, one who's able to recite the endless role-call of latest brands and products, how they are used, explain the merits of one product over another similar one. If it's always about accumulating technique, being a product knowledge expert, when does a scrapper get to enjoy the hobby ? To be honest, a person like that scares me, and I get an irresistible itch to pin a gold star on them for getting all their scrappy knowledge right !
If I had the choice to scrap freely ....... I would be the most technique-less scrapper ever.
On my own time I just want to scrap pretty layouts detailing our moments as a family and personally, I don't really care for techniques ....... it gets in the way of adding my stories to beautiful paper. Mostly I go with the flow ....... there is no rock solid technique on how the project comes together neither do I analyze where the products go aside from liking it at a particular spot in the layout just *because*. Having a good eye for composition and balance helps ...... but inking, embossing, staining .......... naaaaaahh, too tedious !!
Just give me photos, my memories, pretty paper, lots of brads and stickers, tags to layer and I'm one happy scrapper.
Wednesday, 03 August 2011
An altered Dress From .......
This is one of the two damaged dress forms found at the warehouse. Why throw them away when they can be used for the store decor ? I must admit I didn't quite know how to start, but as I chugged along, it got easier. Surprisingly it required alot of paper !
Papers are from Echo Park's Victoria Gardens, sweet.
Thanks for dropping by !
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Another book !!
Random thoughts ......
These days I seem to be suspended in this feeling of not having enough time. There are deadlines I keep to, the classes are enjoyable simply due to the different personalities that I meet, but am continually dodged by this inability to complete tasks, the home is going to collapse, this constant feel of tottering on edge of being overwhelmed, that soon I might fall into this abyss. Weird huh ?
Ok deeeep breathing here ...........
Time to get out of this rut and think positive !
Saturday, 09 July 2011
Jenni Bowlin's Haven collection has a strong vintage feel and scrappers here in Singapore aren't quite sure how to work with it. I love the muted colours, the dusty tinge of the papers and with the additions of a bright red checked ribbon, some magic from Tim Holtz, layered with Maya Road sheers, mini chipboard frames and Kraft envelope.......this is the small mini I came up with. The red lifts the the whole piece !
Maybe I'll do a class for this ............
Thanks for dropping by !
Friday, 08 July 2011
Thursday, 07 July 2011
Boys Stuff ......
I have two girls and hardly work on any *boys* stuff. This time I've decided to consciously try channeling my *inner boy* to creating something, and it's turned out really good. The 4th of July colours in the products lately, the Americana feel of them has made some of my favourite brands irresistible. Sticker tags, layered with a couple of buttons or brads are the easiest way to add texture and interest to a hand-made book.
Here they are :
Crate Paper, Cosmo Cricket, Studio Calico, Simple Stories and October Afternoon.
Hmmmm ..... this got me thinking about creating a class ?
Happy Thursday all !!
Tuesday, 05 July 2011
Random thoughts .......
The idea of scrapbooking for a living appeals to lots of crafters I know : the wonderful products and doing nothing the whole day but scrap, scrap and scrap some more.
Yes, I am grateful for what I do. It's a passion that has stayed with me the longest with the infinite variety of products that change all the time, it pays decent money and there is certainly nothing boring about what I do. I love meeting the scrappers who come for the classes as well as the upbeat vibe of the scrapping communities in Singapore and the whole world over. Occasionally there are hitches with deadlines, wrongly ordered products or mismatch of personalities or expectations, but these are small challenges when I consider the big picture. What I've learnt is to NOT take everything too seriously, to let go, to understand that while some have agendas, I don't have to let them affect me.
Melaka or Malacca was so interesting !!
It was a very intense Photo Excursion over 2 days. Lots of walking in the afternoon heat ........ angling for shots, the frustration of not getting the picture right, figuring out the light conditions and trying my damnest to get clear shots. We've always loved Malacca, and now, it's so much cleaner and feels safer. The river has been cleaned up, Jonker Street is attractive with nooks that surprise.
After being tired out from the first day, it was tough getting up in the morning, but once we were out, the quest for *GOOD COFFEE* became an obsession !! Jenn and I found Mods Cafe, with it's very friendly owners who are part Chef, part musicians, who live their lives in three countries of Malaysia, Australia and the Philippines. The Cafe is quirky, different ...... serves very good lattes and Bruschetta. We were told the Cheesecake is out of this world, but unfortunately could not make it back later in the day to try it,
Jenn and I LOVED this - coffee from the back of a VW !!!
Mmmmmm ....... so good !
Mods Cafe is on Facebook in case you want to locate them in Malacca.
Ok back to tidying my stash, back to the layout I am working on. See 'ya !
Friday, 01 July 2011
Friday, 24 June 2011
Mix and Match ..... so much fun !!
Stopped by Made With Love yesterday and walked through the papers and embellies to check out what's new. Some have asked me where to begin on creating a kit for any project and about mixing and matching products. Much of it is about knowing what you like in terms of colours and style : I am most happy with slightly shabby styled papers and metal embellishments, and I LOVE word tags and stickers. The assembled *kit* you see above started from the Glitz stickers and the Ideology knobs, then I worked around to the papers which are a mix of Simple Stories, Basic Grey's Out of Print and and Sweet Threads for that orange pop.
Ask yourself : what do you like ? What do you love ? Getting to be product savvy and mixing different brand comes with some experience, you will get better at this bit by bit. If you work with stuff you love, even if the project doesn't turn out exactly as how you imagined it, chances are you will still be happy with most of it.
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Art Box - Wish ........
Loved how this turned out with the red, cream and blue, a bit 4th of July-ish ...... but still nice.
Used lots of brands : October Afternoon, MME's Lime Twist, Pink Paislee tags, stickers are Sass Lass, 7 Gypsies *Wish* and Bella BLVD, Tim Holts Ideology, Robins's Nest. Distress in Broken China.
Thanks for looking !!
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Mmmmmmm ........ Coffee Cupcake !
Have you spent a few hours with a friend and leave feeling happier, more thankful for knowing someone who has lifted your day ?
This got me thinking about people in general, what they mean to us and how we typically partition them off as friends (close, not very close), acquaintances, colleagues and those we loathe. Meeting them sets in motion a reaction to the next few moments we're with them and it struck me how affected we can be after these encounters. Over the past few months I've met new people from my scrappy classes as well as in the photo communities (to which I'm a recent joiner) and most of the encounters have been refreshing, while a few have been interesting in a *weird-not-bad-but-not-great-either* ways. I'd like to think that life has finally taught me not to judge anyone and while I am open to most, I tell 'ya there are just a few that defy explanation.
My conclusion is that people are who they are, with differing levels of self-awareness and there is that unexplainable thing called human chemistry ?
Back to today ...... I really want to keep this happy feeling.
Then I wondered if anyone who ever meets me feels *good/bad/positive/happy to meet* me again ? Heck ..... worrying about every person's reaction to me, what I said, what I did ....... it's a pure waste of time and like being pickled in self-absorption.
Moving on ........ I feel another Box Art coming on, check back with with everyone soon !
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Helen Tilbury Wirda B
Martha Lent Studios
My Little Yellow Bicycle
My Mind's Eye