Friday, August 31, 2012



I am so honoured to have been included in Peggy's gorgeous kid design and lifestyle blog, Paul & Paula. I would ooh and aah over her lovely picks, so what an awesome surprise to see Bikbik & Roro there! Thank you so much Peggy! Just look at this tiny sampling of goodies on her brilliant site:

Photo from AM. PM.

Photo from Benetton.
(Yes, wolfhound or deerhound, I want you).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ghostlet pillows

shop6c blog

Here are the little Ghostlets blown up a million times bigger so you can cuddle them AND sleep on them! They're a doll and pillow in one. These dear fellows are only too happy to snuggle with you, or cushion your head. They look lovely on the sofa or bed, and also make perfect companions to bring along on car trips, to picnics, the theatre, anywhere really!

shop5 blog

All Ghostlet pillows have hand-embroidered features, are sewn with reinforced stitching, and measure approximately 15" tall. Ghostlet pillows are made to order, and can be custom made in a suit of your choice as well. Email me or convo me via the shop :)

pillow blog
(Outtake, haha...)

Monday, August 27, 2012

go ahead and say it

"Awesome song, Brother Sal AND Jeremy Renner -- what else could you want?"
(Maybe a dog wearing sunglasses. Oh wait -- they've got that too!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

on family, and submission

From my 33-year-old copy of The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

Well, you know how I
love Andy Stanley (in a purely virtuous, wholesome way, of course!); well, he's started this wonderful sermon series entitled Future Family. So far, his very fortunate church has had two weeks of it, and I urge you to just take a little time and have a listen.

We all have families after all, and we all know the challenges that go with that; yet however difficult or painful things may be, most of us do want our families to work, to be held together by love and peace, not compulsion, fear or obligation. For many of us who are parents especially, we want to do well by our children, we want to avoid repeating the mistakes of our pasts. I think this profound, insightful series will give you lots to think about, whether you're a Christian or not.

In Part 1, entitled Ideally Speaking, Pastor Andy explains why aiming for God's ideal is still worth it, even when our reality makes reaching it seem impossible. "Two thousand years ago, Jesus breathed life into culture when He said, 'Women, children, men -- at the foot of the cross -- they're all equal'. And then the apostle Paul took the implication of that teaching and said, 'In light of that, here's how family should work. Here's the summary:

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother' -- which is the first commandment..." (Eph 6:1-2).

"Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them" (Col 3:18- 19).

"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged" (Col 3:21).

"For me as a father, this is probably one of the New Testament teachings that I've violated the most, always unintentionally... to exasperate or embitter your kids means you say things to your kids... and you just frustrate them, you place a weight on them... And you argue, 'But what I said is true', but your words just place a weight on them that just causes them to be discouraged.

"You see, women, Moms, your words weigh about 25 pounds. Dads, your words weigh about 500 pounds... Paul knew that; he says, 'Fathers, I know your tendency... your tendency is to treat your children like a slave, like your animals... Fathers, be careful how you speak to your children.

"I'm telling you, there are so many bad parenting examples where I wish I wish I wish I wish I could go back and re-take the words that I said; in every case the words were true, but they crushed the spirit of one of my children...

"In summary:

  • Husbands, love your wives and be considerate.
  • Wives, submit to your husbands.
  • Children, obey your parents.
  • Fathers, don't irritate your children.

In Part 2, Power Down, Pastor Andy refers to that line "Wives, submit to your husbands", which is so frequently misunderstood, and so often used to denigrate the Bible. "This," Pastor Andy explains, "is actually a specific application to women of a principle that was given to everyone".

"'What does love require of me?' This was the driving ethic, the driving value, in the ministry of Jesus. Paul and Peter come along afterward and they ask, 'How do we take the teaching of Jesus and apply that to family dynamics?'. Paul [takes] the central teaching of Jesus and applies it to the family, and it just so happens this is how he stated it as it relates to wives.

"But, this is verse 22 of Chapter 5. Verse 21 actually gives us the overarching principle to which we are all accountable: 'Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ'.

"In other words, all of you Jesus-followers -- everybody is to submit to everybody in your family. Put it this way -- it's mutual submission, out of reverence to Christ.

"We're not to submit ourselves to each other out of reverence for each other, but out of reverence to Christ. This is life-, family-changing, if this can be central in your family. This is what Christian families are supposed to do. This should be the hallmark, the driving force behind Christian families.

"The principle of mutual submission means 'I'm going to leverage my power, my assets, my time, for your benefit'. I'm going to look for ways to get up under your burden, for your sake, out of reverence for Christ...

"Nobody in the family is more important than anyone else. The thing that blows this up into something powerful and wonderful is a single question: 'What can I do to help?'

"If everybody in your family, to everybody in the family, will ask this question, your family dynamic changes. This is an offer of all I am, for all that you need. I am loaning you -- me.

"Parents, you're always instructing, instructing, instructing... I want to challenge every parent, at least one time a day, to look your kids eyeball to eyeball, and say, "Is there anything I can do to help?" This keeps conversations from always going negative.

"Ladies, wives, fiancees, girlfriends, this is a powerful question to a man -- this says, I'm aware that you carry a burden, I"m aware of the responsibility you carry.

"Men, this is a powerful question because some of our wives are afraid to ask us to help them. Because when they do, they immediately feel the resistance... so what you do when you ask this question, is you open the door...

"Do you know what makes for great family? Really happy family? It's families who have said, 'I'm willing to leverage all of me, for an us'. The only reason you don't is because you're selfish. Which means, you're not willing to loan yourself fully to the equation. Which means you will never be happy with your family, ever.

"Because your whole approach to family will be, 'If I can just get everybody to do what I want them to do, I'll be happy'. No, you won't be happy. You'll be large and in-charge; you will never, ever be happy or satisfied.

"Happiness does not equate to getting everybody to do everything that you want them to do. Happiness, especially in a family, is mutual submission. [The question, 'What can I do to help?'], forces you to lean in, rather than pull away.

"Men, some of your wives can't get you to lean in. They're afraid to ask you anything. And they have no choice but to live their lives orbiting around your big ol' self... because you're more 'important'. And so they lean in and lean in until they fall over... And your kids lean in and lean in... because everybody's got to make Dad happy, and guess what -- everybody does everything they can to make you happy, and I know you -- you're still not happy!

"Because you don't get happy by controlling the people around you... The more power you have, the better servant you should be" (extracted from parts 1 and 2 of Future Family, by Pastor Andy Stanley).

Listen to these excellent messages in their entirety here. Have a loving, blessed weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kreativ Blogger award


I finally have time now to write this long overdue post! Last month, the incredibly sweet and talented Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers gave me this award -- thank you so much Cynthia! Cynthia is a prolific crafter, making beautiful jewelry with semi-precious stones, pearls, shells, and handmade beads, which you can find at her shop here. Cynthia's blog tells the fascinating stories behind her jewelry, and the places and people who inspire it.

When you receive this award, there are a few rules:
1. Post a link to the person who awarded you
2. Share 7 well-thought out random things about yourself
3. Award to 10 other deserving bloggers and let them know

So here goes! Firstly, the 7 random things about me:

I have a curious fascination with ghosts, ships and Medusa (if you could combine all three, that would be perfect!)
2. I love anchovies (to eat, I mean).
3. I do not love muffins, crowds, or souped-up cars.
4. I have to read something, anything, whenever I eat. Ideally, it would be a Victorian novel, but I'm willing to read menus, bank brochures and drugstore pamphlets if need be.
5. Some of my favourite writers are Anne Bronte, Sheridan Le Fanu, and Thomas Hardy.
6. I almost always wear boots, never heels.
7. I love animals, trees, thunderstorms and the sea.

And now, the 10 bloggers to whom I'm passing this award. Trust me, with so much talent and creativity out there, this was not easy (and don't worry if you haven't the time or inclination to do this; I'm just acknowledging your coolness!):

1. Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth -- Inspirational posts on life and neato crafting tutorials
2. Blether -- A treasure trove of recipes, books and gardening and home tips
3. Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl -- Beautiful pictures and musings by a beautiful soul
4. Contemplating Beauty -- Lovely photographs and uplifting posts by a gorgeous full-time Mom
5. Dolce Vita -- The thoughts and loves of a beautiful soon-to-be Mama
6. Introverted Art -- The inspiring art and writing of a self-proclaimed introvert
7. Moncy3 -- Fun posts on creativity and family by a super talented craftster
8. Plowing Through Life -- A smorgasbord of beauty, humour, music and thought-provoking reflections
9. Sexta-feira -- Beautiful photographs that'll make you want to go on holiday right now
10. The Sulky Kitten -- How can you resist a name like that? Sharp humour and deep insights from a sassy domestic kitty

Sunday, August 19, 2012


sail girl

I am SO incredibly honoured to have been interviewed for Moncy3's Featured Artist series. Thank you Claudia!!

Claudia is the brilliant crafter behind Moncy3, her lovely shop of handmade envelopes and other pretty postal accessories. Just take a gander at these beauties!

mon ll

Hope you're having a super lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

go ahead and say it

"Oh yeah".

("In about 1985, I read the teachings of Christ and was instantly struck by the idea that Christ was somehow divine. When I say I love Christ and love the teachings of Christ, I mean that in the most simple and naïve and subjective way. I'm not saying I'm right, and I certainly wouldn't criticize anyone else's beliefs.

"I can't really know anything. Having said that, though, on a very subjective level I love Christ. I perceive Christ to be God, but I predicate that with the knowledge that I'm small and not nearly as old as the universe that I live in. I take my beliefs seriously for myself, but I would be very uncomfortable trying to tell anyone that I was right.

"I read the New Testament, specifically the Gospels, and I was struck at their divinity, feeling that humans could not have figured this out on their own. We're just not bright enough" [Moby in various interviews, sourced from Wikipedia]).

Friday, August 10, 2012


group1 blog

Several Ghostlets from a custom order for a lovely lady in Vancouver. She ordered a whole bunch to be given as party favours -- how clever!

bag1 blog2

These little Ghostlets would love to hang from your bag, or your keys, or your drawer pull... anywhere really! They have the sweetest smiles, measure approximately 3 1/2" tall, and have colourful, handwoven loops. I've a Sailor Ghostlet in the shop right now; convo or email me for custom colours or bulk orders :)

group2 blog

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

go ahead and say it

"So THAT'S what Thor does in his free time".

Saturday, August 4, 2012

rated: wacky

When it comes to movies, I think I'm essentially a classics/period drama kind of person. Some movies I especially enjoy, for example, include The Prestige, Sense And Sensibility, The Wings Of The Dove, Atonement, Room With A View, and Becoming Jane. But since I also enjoy movies like (500) Days of Summer, Stardust, Up, 300, and Batman (the ones with Christian Bale, for goodness' sake), my husband concludes that a fairly deep, cohesive storyline, with in-depth character development, is what really matters to me.

I suppose that's kinda true, since I really can't understand the fascination with movies like Transformers, Total Recall, Twilight and the Bourne series (I call this the "perpetually misunderstood spy" series, though admittedly, the yummy Jeremy Renner makes the latest one vaguely attractive). There is, however, another class of movies I enjoy; nay, take an almost guilty, perverse delight in -- slapstick comedy.

I'm almost sorry to say that I finally sat down and watched You Don't Mess With The Zohan the other day. They've been showing it on the movie channel, and since there wasn't anything else on... In a nutshell, this inane film stars Adam Sandler as Zohan, who, as Wikipedia puts it, is "a superhuman but kind-hearted Israeli counter-terrorist and the finest and most respected soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. However, Zohan has become both disgusted and disenchanted by the constant fighting, secretly dreaming of moving to the USA and becoming a hairdresser". He manages to smuggle himself to New York, assumes the alias "Scrappy Coco", and tries to get a job in a hair salon.

Well, I think you can guess that this film did not win a Golden Globe, or even a nomination, but, well, I'm sorry, I just couldn't help laughing. Just take a gander at this little snippet:

Watching it made me think of all the other fatuous comedies I've ever enjoyed, and these were the handful that came to mind. I know, I know, most of them are asinine, puerile, even plain crude, but hey -- in a world like ours, we need to keep our sense of humour, and just laugh.

The Pink Panther 2

Austin Powers in Goldmember


Tropic Thunder

Gulliver's Travels

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story

What about you; any to add? Have a lovely, giggly weekend :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

on face value, and judgement


My girlfriend was talking to me the other day about taking people at face value. This came up because she had had a run-in with someone at work, someone who hadn't taken her at face value, but whom she always had. "I can't help it," she said. "That's just how I am. I take people as they are; I don't read into their motives or intentions".

Well, I completely sympathised. I am exactly that way too. According to the dictionary, to take someone at face value means "to accept them just as they appear". Well, I talk to people, and generally, I don't look for hidden meanings, or cloaked, ulterior motives. I suppose that's why she and I are such good friends; we are just what we are; we say things, we tease, we sometimes make idiotic cracks, but there's no hidden agenda -- there's nothing to read into, be suspicious of, wonder about. It's just what it is. We could be interacting with a woman or a man -- but it's all the same; you could just as soon replace a man we were speaking to, with a lady who sells fish. It simply makes no difference. We discuss, we throw something out, we respond to whatever it is, but it's all within that moment -- we don't have deeper motives; we just move on.

And yet of course we all know people whom we really can't take at face value, whose apparently straightforward demeanour hides a boatload of toxic thought and emotion. But isn't it often the case -- we somehow perceive others based on how we ourselves are. A person who is habitually dishonest, for instance, would tend to think other people regularly lie as well, and therefore can't be trusted. In my girlfriend's case, her straightforward, guileless attitude expects the same in others -- sadly, as my own mother often tells me, this is naivete.

Perhaps the upshot of it is that it's best to always be suspicious. But that just doesn't come naturally to people like us. Perhaps it's inbuilt, genetic; perhaps it's how we were raised; our trusting, loving relationships with those closest to us. My girlfriend is very pretty; she is buxom and open and lots of fun. And so there are people -- especially those who really don't know her at all -- who judge her negatively, generally based on how they themselves are, or their experiences in their personal lives, quite separate from her. The social writer Eric Hoffer said, "The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person".

How does one live sanely, decently in a world where one ultimately can't judge a book by its cover? For in as much as you will meet suspect, wacky, deceitful people with their deep motives and obscure designs, you will also meet sincere, open, forthright individuals who really aren't after... whatever it is you think they're after. It surely isn't fair to treat those who are straight-shooting the same as those who aren't, but sadly, that often seems to be what happens. Of course, we all are guilty to some extent of forming opinions based on externals, but more and more I am learning to check myself in that area.

I might, for example, once have thought that a certain lady was stuck-up because she never smiled back at me, but I've now learnt to instead think, she must be preoccupied, or she simply didn't see me. When we go into negative presumptions and judgements, then we are on a slippery slope. The fact is, we really can't form any fair opinions about people we don't know inside out, over time and through experience, and that covers a very large percentage of the people we will ever come into contact with. I am in fact an extremely shy, introverted, hermetic person, yet many people seem to think I'm this outgoing, gregarious party animal. Well, I do have manners, and I will be polite and friendly, but having a drink with me means orange juice, and the supermarket is really the high point of my week.

I suppose we're always in danger of negative presumptions and judgements. How true it is that "we judge others by their behaviour, while we judge ourselves by our intentions". But as Jesus Himself said, "Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

"Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?" (Matt 7:1-4).

Well clearly, there's no point wishing that one could take all people at face value, all the time. But I do think that, while we cannot always know or control other people's desires and motives, we can know and control our own. We can be straightforward people who really are as we appear. Some say I'm naive, as if naivete, simplicity and trust are things to be avoided or scorned. But as far as this goes, I still don't believe that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" -- one can't deal positively with other people's devious, crooked, suspicious behaviour by becoming similarly so. Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]" (Matt 18:3, ital mine).

Over a year ago, I actually wrote a somewhat related post, titled, Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes'. "It seems to me that in showing one side to the public, and another in private, deceit and hypocrisy are reinforced and encouraged; it's sad that we often can't tell if a person truly is caring, kind, trustworthy or noble," I'd written. "Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was the same regardless of circumstances, or who they're dealing with? If people were frank, straightforward, and genuine -- weren't phony, superficial, or false? If you could take a person at face value, and at their word?" (the entire post is here)

In trying to deal with her colleague's behaviour, my girlfriend came upon this excellent article by Mona Westman et al. Entitled How to Accept a Person's Word at Face Value, Ms Westman writes, "Think about what makes you wary of a person's word. Prior history might teach you that someone has lied before, or made promises that they have then broken... In this case, you are probably justified in not taking their word as gospel but in seeking more justification for their word. On the other hand, if you experience any of the following reasons, it might be time to stop being so wary:

  • You're always suspicious of other people's motivations and don't think that anybody can be trusted
  • You heard someone else say that this person cannot be trusted
  • You make assumptions about the person based on their looks, race, language, culture, etc.
  • This person is a man/woman and men/women are not trustworthy (generalization from prior experience)
  • My gut instincts are always right
"If you have any of the above negative approaches to trust, it's time to discard your generalizations and replace these with realistic explanations. Trust involves assessing the situation and context as much as the person. Even the much touted trust in one's own gut instincts is often an excuse to let generalizations come to the forefront. Here are some ways to be more trusting, and to be more ready to take a person's word at face value:
  • Avoid making assumptions about people based on their background, race, etc. Everyone is an individual and everyone brings different experiences of life with them, much of which you can learn from
  • Analyze situations in your life where someone has hurt you by being untrustworthy. See those for the situations they were and don't reapply them to every person in your life. It is important to learn the warning signs of untrustworthy behavior but it is equally important not to generalize these experiences to every person you meet in life
  • Be open to trusting people. Trust breeds trust and if you initiate it without expecting anything in return, you're already ahead. People appreciate being trusted
But more importantly, I strive to remember what the apostle Paul wrote of love: "[It] is ever ready to believe the best of every person". And, "Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]" (1 Peter 4:8).


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