Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Birthday Card for a Dear Colleague

My friend celebrated her birthday today and I don't know whether she's lucky that her birthday falls less on the 28th instead of the 29th Feb where you should know the latter date is the leap year. If not then she has to wait every four years to celebrate it! 

Okay so I think that she's worth making a card for..and uhm worth staying up super late to make the card. Like in my previous post, I don't really plan but just go with the flow. You know one day, if I make enough moolah from my cardmaking adventures, I can reinvest the money and make better cards using specialized products. Of course, the best designs don't always have to depend on such products. Like Spongebob says..use your 'IMAGINATION'...heh heh.

So to my dear colleague who is also like a mother to me (which my own mum dubbed my Chinese mother), have a blessed birthday. I'm super glad to have you as my colleague..which is good..and bad in the sense that now, I find it harder to get out of this place, haha. Okay just kidding.

Hoping your like our gifts too!

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Weekend Project & A Shot at Happiness

I like my new hobby..okay more like a revamped hobby..though last week, I didn't get down to making a decent card except for a small tiny one. But I discovered another new thing instead, personalised notebooks. I got this idea from a website that sells handmade products such as this and they are beautifully designed and I loved them.

Actually I tried to do a step by step thing..not a tutorial coz it was my first attempt too...and my phone battery died half way. I only managed to get these shots. But through out, I shall write some captions.

Okay I don't have that much of moolah to start off with though I managed to get some knick knacks along the way that don't add up much and yet when done creatively, added some DIY dimensions to my craft project.

Started with a cheap notebook. Placed doubled sided tapes all over it.

Using a pretty recycled gift wrap with a paper base.

I used a patterned paper and cut little scallops with a patterned scissors..or whatever you call it.

Drew out this panel using another patterned paper for the name stickers.

Added some embelishments like a bow,  stickers and cut out designs from a scrapbook paper.

I made this fabric flower myself using scrap fabric.

I bought this cheap letter stickers and noticed the purple rose? I made myself too using recycled ribbon.

The whole project done! Oh, lace details is from Daiso & stickers I bought from years ago.
How awesome is that? =) First project, yo! 

Sometimes you can't write down creativity but you can get the basic layout down and then add on. This is my style anway, ha! I would say..the go with the flow style.

While I love pretty card designs and learn a lot from them in terms of style, I always felt that at some parts, they're kinda boring and generic despite the handmade theme. Okay why is this so? Basically coz I think that many people are just copying other people's designs and to me, the best designs usually come from the heart. They don't always have to be perfect because these little imperfections make them more personal and more special.

Well many of us start of copying the style of someone else so it's no big deal but along the way, you will learn to adapt it to your very own style.

And yes who says you need to get those expensive materials. On a small budget you can think out of the box and get only the essentials to jazz up your designs including using the things that you already have. Money saving.

Later on I will be making a card for the said colleague's birthday. Gonna try to clock it in about half an hour because I need me some beauty sleep, haha. 

Moving on, I've been quite on a down low this month in terms of blogging. I seriously have a writers' block. I hope things will get going for me in terms of my own life. I believe that happiness lies in my own hand. How you want to lead your life depends on you. Sometimes you need a bit of push or motivation in life to get going and despite the many setbacks that you may experience, take it as a learning experience towards your goal.

I still aspire to lose weight and today I have started to eat healthier snacks in replacement of sugary treats. If I don't want to put up with the blubbers on my body, I ought to do something about it. I'm giving myself up to my next age of 31 to see some results. I don't want to be this size anymore in my thirties especially when at this age group, your body's metabolism slows down a bit unlike when you are in your twenties. I would still wanna be hot when I enter my forties, haha. Long way still to go.

So what keeps you motivated?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Life is Hard But Meaningful

Sometimes life can be so hard..yes it's true...but somehow there is no way that we can just let it hurt our pride and make us dreadfully unhappy. We just have to learn to make compromises, even have to sacrifice while actively look for help and solutions to our problems. 

But we must always remember that for every misery that we are in, there are other people who are in  a worse situation than us. Honestly I don't know why do I sometimes end up making bad decisions but it's all part of the learning process. In the spur of the moment where I don't think hard enough and make poor decisions, things can go downhill. I would also be driven by a sense of desperateness that make me do things that I shouldn't do but I had to. 

Still there is no use crying over spilt milk, right?

Sigh. Such is the complications of life. Honestly I'm not seeking fame or fortune or even popularity. I don't care if nobody reads my blogs. I usually sort out my thoughts here because writing takes away the pressure of thinking and wallowing in my problems.

Remember I said that there are people who can be in far worse situations than you are in now? Take for example, this family who sometimes have no money at all, that their children have to walk the far distance to school instead of taking public transport as they could not afford it. So during the long journey, she said they would make small talk so that the children do not feel bored. The important thing is that they go to school, have a good education so that they will not be as poor as they are right now.

You see. Poverty shouldn't stand in the way of a good education. Those that have the luxury of being provided good tuition support, chauffeured to school and back home, given lunch money and be able to take  part in different paid co curricular activities should be grateful. Not every kid has such priviledge. Unfortunately, many kids are sheltered emotionally and physically by their parents which in turn make their children behave unruly and say such colourful  language because they are not able to control their emotions. They  don't treasure what they have. Instead they chose to be defiant.

A pity indeed.

Not only children, there are many adults as well that do not appreciate what life has to offer to them and how life can be good to them compared to others who struggle to make ends meet every single day. Why don't we just take a breather and don't get agitated always and be mindful of what we say or do. For once don't be so self centered.

I grew up in hardship and even though both parents worked when I was young, they toiled a lot so they don't heap luxuries on me. Only on certain occasions such as when my father gets a bonus that I get to have a slightly more expensive toy. But that's about it. I thrived on a simple livelihood and I didn't mind it although my parents felt that they didn't provide me enough like I was missing on something.

 If you are like me struggling to put food on the table with an average income, and having difficulties coping with the rising costs, don't give up. Try to seek for help or seek other avenues where you can get additional income to supplement your current income. At times we have to sacrifice our time or even our sleep but we should reap what we sow. Or else, live a simple livelihood and don't always think that you are missing out when your friends get to spend their moolah on new shiny gadgets or new clothes or shoes. You are not missing out. .When the timing is right, you also can have new shoes or clothes and if you can save a bit more, you can get that dream gadget.

But while you get there, don't forget to be appreciative of what you have such as the love from your family and friends. They don't cost a thing but they are indeed priceless. Some days, people will see the kindness in you and see you as the nice person that you are that sometimes, they will show their appreciation back to you.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Card Making is My New Hobby

Yes people, finally I found something that I enjoy doing! Okay I have always enjoyed making cards but then you know laziness takes over my poor brain and body that I simply hate doing anything except having my face infront of the laptop or lying down. Anyway, I have embarked on this new project after years of putting it off although there were times that I actually did make an effort (when I was too poor to get a decent looking present) to produce DIY cards that comes from the heart.  So it is totally not a lost effort.

However, I have tried different methods of making cards that have enhanced my creativity and also add some dimension to my artwork...more like using embellishments similar to that of scrapbooking. Honestly it is hard for me to find decent embellishments that do not burn a hole in my pocket. My gosh, they're so pricey! But I think it is still possible to make nice looking cards or a scrapbook layout if you can buy selectively on a tight budget and also to make some of the embellishments yourself. Seriously the you tube is like a treasure trove...and I realize that they're not just useful for me to watch soap dramas and make up videos..heh heh.

So these were the materials that I got once I got my pay slightly more than a week ago...

I got them all for less than $20 actually...a mixture of Daiso and one scrapbooking shop in Plaza Singapura.

Made with Love

There are so many things there, I always find it a hassle to look for the things that I want to find but then you can always ask them which I actually did. I'm a very chop chop..let's go kind of person. There was one woman who bought so many scrapbooking papers that after 5 or 6 people had paid and gone away with their purchases, she was still there with one of the cashiers attending to her. Wow.

So! Wanna see my cards? :D

Just a brief story on them. I made them and give away to friends. I think the idea of making cards for Valentine's Day just spurred me to make them. The first card  I made, I spent a little over an hour and it was quite messy as I had to use a stamping method which is a new method for me and I had ink all over my hand :( I was also in a hurry and hence the messiness. Sigh. Oh well, there's always a first time.

Click for a larger view

I have improved on my stamping! I stamped the flower..I can't draw for nuts.

A second attempt. For the first attempt, I spill glitter glue on the card :(

A card that includes sewing embellishments...I could sew buttons and a decent ribbon.

I made these hastily before meeting them..my card adventures started soon after.
This week, I will embark on another card project for an upcoming birthday. I thought I will try my hand at making a living out of it. Ok not really. Just make a couple of moolah. We just see.

Pretty? :D

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finally Seeking Help from CDC

On the 1st of Feb, I have finally sought help. I actually went to see the CDC or the Community Development Council...to get some sort of financial help. I've always felt that I was in no position to get help from them because there are other people who are of even more dire financial conditions than me but I do need help so I just went to approach them one fine day after going to my brother's school to see the teacher regarding his re-admission.

I have problems coping financially so to me it is a move I should have done yonks ago. However I didn't expect to be bombarded with so many questions as the officer was so thorough :s that I got nervous and I left out some important financial facts. But I just hope she gets the gist of my problem and do offer me some help. I have no idea how exactly they are offering me help as I have to wait for a month before I get some reply on whether my application is successful. If it is not, then I may have to make a second trip and this time, bring the necessary important documents that I didn't manage to bring the last time.

Anyway, I heard that while they may offer help, most of the time it is of temporary relief. They want you to be independent so that you don't rely on constant help to get by. But they do still allow you to re-apply again should you need further help. They also help to link you up to other agencies that can  offer you help as well. 

I don't have much to say as of now because I don't know about the outcome of my application yet. I do hope that they will provide me the help that I need, especially in terms of finance. 

I will talk more about this later when I get the letter from them. Let's hope they approve my application.

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Not Gone from Good

Life hasn't been good lately especially in the last two weeks. The latest news is that it seems that almost everyone has an increase in their pay due to changes in the civil servant wage scale and very unfortunately, my group didn't get it. So my boss, whose post is that of a manager and the operations manager, have quite a significant salary rise.  I heard she got a 10% pay rise. 10%!!! look, even the attendants got a pay rise. What we got? nada! zilch! Why? Because apparently our salary is of a competitive range.

Sigh, such is the unfairness of life. I'm already struggling as it is and then apparently now, the rich has become richer. The poor remains nothing but a destitute mess. So I guess the only chance for a pay rise is for me to be promoted and though I do not know how much pay rise will that be, at least it is going to be slightly better. The problem is that I have no clue when I will get promoted. I am not one of those people with many super ideas that will greatly enhance the productivity of work. Basically I am just one of your regular workers. Plus I will be competing for a spot of promotion with many other officers in the same ministry and we are the second largest ministry. You can imagine the significance of that.

Apart from that, I was also devastated that end of January, we found out that my brother didn't manage to get to any polytechnics. We tried to make our way down to the polytechnics but they proved to be fruitless. My poor brother. He refused to go to the ITE so I emailed on his behalf to the school for a second chance for him to repeat his o level studies. The only relief was that he could go back to school again after the release of the appeal results.

It was such a depressing and exhausting moment for us. Although I had reminded him time and time again the importance of the O level, of which he did study but then there was absolute stiff competition. 

I hope when he gets to go back to school, I hope that he will do better even though I may have to spend some money on providing him tuition so that he can do well in his Maths and not get turned away from polytechnics again.

Then remember last year my finances were in such a mess that I predict that it is not going to recover immediately. I guess it will take time but I just hope to clear my debt asap so that I no longer get such unnecessary calls. I may have to spend lesser but my main concentration is on trying to make some money. Even $50 per month is fine by me for now to just clear my debt, or what they call in the business, to 'break even'. I need to re-shift back my focus on what I truly want out of my life instead of just idling it away. There are so many inspirational young women out there who do not start off with a silver spoon in the mouth or have to slog her way to make life better and yet they have made it. I want to be like that.

So I started on this new project that takes up some of my time after work starting from Monday. After years of putting this hobby off, I have restarted it. I have started to make DIY cards and they're so pretty. More on that in the next post. I hope to start making and selling them for some moolah. I believe there is a market for this because it is all about creativity and the personal touch. It's not like your average greeting card. We'll see. 

I want to also ensure that I do not stray from my goal to be more fit and lose more weight as it has been taking far too long for me to see any form of progress. I have lost my motivation and I want to get it back. I can indulge but most times I want to 'think healthy'. Medical costs are rising and they mostly provide healthcare costs to those who are older and I'm definitely too young to have some major illnesses although yes in true life indeed, life can be so unpredictable. Like one time you are fit, and another time you are battling for another shot of life.

So I hope you know what has been going in my life lately. Ain't easy I tell you. The thing about life is that you shouldn't get yourself into unnecessary trouble and I have learnt my lesson hard. Sometimes I think that it will not happen to me but it has due to some unforeseen circumstances. 

Therefore now I am stuck. I hate to write about my woes but this kind of thing has happened and the only way out is for me to start afresh and slowly push my troubles away. I won't run away from them but I want to make them go away.

I hope things will get better.

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Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...