Saturday, June 29, 2013

curiouser and curiouser

Hello everybody, it's me Rebecca -- from My Amazing Days!! This morning Mommy woke up really cranky because she had another achy, disturbed sleep, but she cheered up after her prayers because this was the title of today's devotion: "God's Perfect Timing"!

The Bible quote was "But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:4). "'Due season' is God's season, not ours," the devotion said. "We are in a hurry; God isn't. He takes time to do things right -- He lays a solid foundation before He attempts to build a building... We may not always know, but we can be satisfied to know the One Who knows. God's timing seems to be His own little secret. The Bible promises us that He will never be late, but I have also discovered that He is usually not early. It seems that He takes every available opportunity to develop the fruit of patience in us.

"Vine's dictionary of Greek words begins the definition of patience as "Patience, which grows only in trial"... Patience is vital to the development of our full potential. Actually, our potential is only developed as our patience is developed. It is God's way -- there is no other, so why not settle down and enjoy the journey?" (from New Day New You, by Joyce Meyer).

I was glad Mommy felt better! Then I decided to show her my little movie that I had been working on yesterday! Do you know what the "twilight zone" is? It is the middle layer of the world's oceans, that part of the pelagic zone that goes down from 200 to 1000 metres below the ocean surface (the pelagic zone is any water in a sea or lake that is neither close to the bottom nor near the shore). According to Wiki, some light penetrates this deep, but it is insufficient for photosynthesis. Animals such as swordfish, squid, wolf eels, cuttlefish, and other semi-deep sea creatures live here. They are adapted to life in near darkness, cold water and high pressure. Also, there is enough sunlight for animals, such as the chain catshark, to be fluorescent!

Mommy enjoyed my little movie -- I hope you will too!! Have an awesome weekend and see you again soon!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

wheee it's a

I know it looks like "Tale", but it's actually "Sale"! Mommy says she will be putting the shop into "vacation mode" in a day or two, so she thought she'd have a little sale before that! You can get 10% off anything in the shop that's already made and ready to ship! Just enter code JUNE13 at checkout.

This discount doesn't apply to custom, made-to-order items, but Mommy says there are some things she could try to make if you really want, like the Guppy pins -- just please email or convo her first! The shop will re-open in a month or so, but Mommy says she probably will take on some custom orders after she's popped.

Thank you for visiting!! I hope you are having a super cool day!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Paint with water!

Hello everyone! It's me -- Rebecca, from My Amazing Days! I'm guest blogging again! Today I wanted to share with you something my sister and I have been having fun with during the holidays. Mommy says many of you have young kids too and might like to know about stuff your kids might enjoy! So today I thought I'd share with you our Paint With Water set!

In the picture above you can see four of our paintings. The top two were done by Ro, and the bottom two by me! Ro is a good artist isn't she! I like the way she chooses and mixes up colours!

The pictures are from Melissa & Doug's Paint With Water series. Mommy actually got it for Ro because Ro loves art so much, and this series is really for young kids (ages 3+). The front says "Perfect For The Beginning Painter!" But I really wanted to do a few, and Ro was really nice and said "ok"!

So this is what each page inside looks like. Mommy got us the "Ocean" one, because we both like the sea and sea creatures. As you can see, every page has paints at the top. It's a lot less messy than setting up a real paint palette, and it's more convenient too because there's less clean-up. You just wet the brush -- they give you one! -- and start painting! When you're done, you cut off the palette from the top and display your masterpiece!

Here's a close-up of the jellyfish one I did. Aren't they cute! The paints are watercolours, so they have a nice, soft effect. There isn't a lot of paint in each palette though, so you can't get too carried away. I think you might enjoy doing these even if you are a grown-up!

Melissa & Doug actually have quite a lot of fun things for kids, and Mommy has got us quite a few of them before. One of our favourites is the Make-A-Face Sticker Pad, as well as the Scratch Art Sketch Pad Book! Maybe you might like to try them! Hope you are having a lovely day! We are finally having a bit of rain -- yay!! See you again soon!

Oh, Mommy says Baby is bigger now than we were when we were born. Baby is super happy kicking and punching her like crazy and shows every intention of staying in there as long as possible. We yell "Pop pop pop!!!" at her tummy every night.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Hello everyone, it's me -- Rebecca, from My Amazing Days! How have you been? I hope you are enjoying lots of fresh air and cool breezes! Today the PSI is just under the "unhealthy" level, which I guess is a great improvement from the "hazardous" level (find out more about PSI here!). Some rain would be lovely.

Today I am helping my Mom share some craft stuff. This picture shows a lady named Louise Brooks. She was a great actress and dancer in the 1920s and 30s, and was famous for her cute bobbed hairstyle. My Mom says she was a flapper, and very forward for her time.

"Most beautiful dumb girls think they are smart and get away with it, because other people, on the whole, aren't much smarter," she once said. I think this pin is very cool and dramatic, don't you? It looks kind of mysterious too. Mommy says this lady always makes her think of the word "exotic". I think it's great that it's all recycled stuff and OOAK! I've listed this super neat pin in her shop! Thank you for visiting! See you again soon!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest blogger Rebecca!

Hello everyone! How are you? I am Rebecca from My Amazing Days, and I am guest blogging today! First, I will help my Mom share some craft stuff. This is a picture of Mommy's Cat Head pins! Aren't they cute? You can wear one on your sweater or your coat or your bag -- no one else will have one like it and you will look super cool! The dark blue Chartreux cat at the bottom is already sold, but the other two are available! I will try to help Mommy list them in her shop soon.

Isn't this cat beautiful! His colours are so lovely and he's really adorable!

I did ask Mommy to make me one if she could, so she did! I chose this little kitten because he reminded me of Ming Ming! This cat is a baby Ragdoll, and he's tiny and super cute and lovable.

OK, now let me share with you something I did! This is a little film I made of my tortoise Shelly! Shelly is solar-powered and can walk, shake his head, and wiggle his tail when you put him in the sun! I bought him at my school's science fair. I hope you like my little movie! I have posted some questions about it on my blog to see if you paid attention!

Oh, speaking of the sun, it has been 35 degrees here every day lately. Worse, there has been horrible smog and haze from forest fires in Indonesia which has made the pollution index here reach the "hazardous" level. The air is very smoky and there is a constant smell of burnt wood, even in our house. Kids and old people, and people with heart and respiratory problems, have been told to be extra careful and stay indoors. It even affects flight visibility!

These annual fires -- from about June to September! -- are caused mainly by land clearing and "slash and burn" agricultural practices in Indonesia, which means they are set deliberately. It is done because it is fast and cheap. I think there seems to be something really wrong when this sort of thing can be allowed to happen annually. The most awful part of it is how it affects the wildlife there, such as the orangutans. The blanket of smoke is so bad here, I can't imagine how bad it must be there! You can read more here :(

Now I will share with you some pictures I found. This is a picture of my Mom and me! We were waiting at a bus stop and playing a game. We always have lots of fun together and she's my best friend!

I saw that my Mom posted some baby photos of Ro and me, so now I'm posting one of her haha! Here she is in her little baby suit. Isn't she cute! She is lying on top of a car and my Grandma is holding her legs. The car looks quite shiny and clean so I guess it was ok.

Here is a picture I found of Ro and Sophie! They are sitting at the window waiting for me to come home. Sophie is one of our cats (we have three). Sophie is a Maine Coon. My Mom rescued her when she was a little kitten (Sophie I mean, not my Mom). Now she is pretty huge (I still mean Sophie haha!). You can read more about Sophie here.

And this photo shows our Baby's changing table. We made space for it in our room. I thought it looked so nice so I took a picture. That little girl is a painting by the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. We have had it for a long time. My Mom thinks the girl looks like me and Ro!  

OK, that's all for now! Thank you for visiting Mommy's blog! See you again soon!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

random bits

No no, that is not "instant baby" lol -- that's Rebecca and me almost a decade ago. I'd never imagined then that I'd be sitting here now, expecting again, and blogging. Wonderfully, I still have my faithful old cap -- it's always been so much easier just slapping it on, than trying to give my messy hair some semblance of order. My father gave it to me when I was 17, almost a quarter of a century ago!

Yep, this is the present -- 38 1/2 weeks! My gynae has been away this past week doing his mandatory reservist training; I guess Baby decided to wait for him to come back.

In expectation of the new arrival, I couldn't help looking through the kiddos' baby pictures over the weekend. There's little Becky in a toddler swing, wearing that selfsame Baby Gap dress I made for paper Bikbik. And now she's in grade school, dealing with exams, friendships and being a big sister.

There's Ro, at about 5 months! She was a sweet, easy baby, and now she's still sweet-tempered and accommodating. As I write this, she's outside mastering riding her two-wheeled bicycle.

My babies :)

So I'm thinking this is definitely one of my last posts before July. I've been vaguely crafting in a laboured sort of way and may get Becky's help posting on that, but her blog is probably going to be way more exciting than mine for now haha..

Which reminds me -- she wrote a post on friendship a few weeks ago, and I was especially struck by this line: "The world would be a better place if we all made sure we are good friends, because all the things that make a good friend are also the things that make a good person". Quite true, non? Have a super lovely weekend everyone :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hedy, and Carole

I've been chafing against waiting lately, and sitting quietly and putting together collages has been quite a calming, happily absorbing distraction. Over the past week I've had requests for some quite unexpected names, including Sylvia Sidney, and the exotic Myrna Loy.

Well, when I came upon this vintage picture of the beautiful Hedy Lamarr, I couldn't resist! Did you know, Hedy was both an actress and a mathematician -- together with composer George Antheil, she invented an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, which forms the basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology (such as Bluetooth and the COFDM used in Wi-Fi network connections).

"Hope and curiosity about the future seemed better than guarantees," Ms Lamarr once said. "The unknown was always so attractive to me, and still is". At about the same time, I also found this wonderfully striking image of Carole Lombard. I was fascinated to read her thoughts on God: "I think it's all here -- in the mountains and the desert. I don't think God is a softie, either. In the end, it's better if people are forced back into, well, into being right, before they're too far gone. I think your temple is your everyday living".

This piece measures 3 1/2 by almost 4", while the Hedy piece measures almost 4 by 4. I'll get them both listed in the shop by tonight, God willing :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

on modesty, and the lack thereof

Baby Blues, by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman

Thank you so much everyone for your sweet, thoughtful comments on my last post -- they really made me smile! Please bear with my irregular visits for now -- I'm a sleepy, windy, nasally-congested whale at present lol!

I'm writing this post bit by bit because it's been sufficiently... irritating? bothering? dismaying?... me for awhile now. I guess the final "provocation" was the latest issue of US Vogue which I saw at my gynae's, where the source of this annoyance is "gracing" the cover and being gushingly celebrated within.

Kate Upton is the "American Dream Girl", the cover says, and "The hottest supermodel on Earth". Dream girl? Hottest? Really? This is the planet's epitome of female beauty and charm? Well, I think I'll take these claims with a grain of salt -- despite Vogue being the world's most influential fashion magazine -- or else I'll really start freaking like Darryl MacPherson in the strip above.

"What makes the Kate Upton era so unlikely is that the things we love about her -- those curves! that personality! -- defy what the word model has come to mean, at least on the runway: a seemingly endless procession of lanky, expressionless wraiths", writes the author for the spread within. "[Upton has] come to regard her healthy body as a point of pride... 'I love my body. It's what God gave me! I feel confident with myself, and if that inspires other women to feel confident with their bodies, great'".

Now obviously I'm all in favour of healthy bodies and a balanced love of one's self. Many people struggle with self-loathing and crippling insecurities about their physical appearance, and a good role model in the media is always welcome. However, if Ms Upton's concept of self-confidence means saying things like, "In Miami, boobs are fantastic. I was so proud of them. I was so excited. Are you kidding? I'm in Florida, and I'm constantly in bikinis. I was like, Yes! Killing it! All the girls on the beach are gonna be so jealous!", then I'll have to pass.

Yes, God gave us our bodies, but I don't think He gave them to us to do the Cat Daddy in a skimpy bikini for a Terry Richardson video. Does being confident mean doing that? Terry Richardson of course is not particularly renowned for tastefulness, and anyone dancing the Cat Daddy virtually naked can hardly be expected to look anything other than vulgar. Yet this is what is being celebrated in today's society. This is what is being lauded as female beauty and desirability, and more importantly, this is what our young daughters are being told is appropriate and acceptable.

Have you seen the way the majority of young girls dress when they're out in the mall, or even at church? I wonder how their parents can let them, or bear it. Kate Upton did the Cat Daddy video last year, when she was just 19; how did her parents feel? Her father especially? At 19, I was studying for exams and trying to figure out what to major in -- I don't think my parents would have been at all thrilled to know that a million men were making coarse, impure remarks about my body parts.

But what's wrong with that, many today would ask. Anyone who's said anything at all negative about Ms Upton has been labelled "jealous", and perhaps some of them are, but I'm sure there are some people out there who, like me, really just wonder at the distorted state of our morals, our lack of shame, and our seared sense of purity and continence.

According to IMG's senior VP, Upton is "a twenty-first century model". When the world's top model management company says things like that, people -- young women especially -- take note: Oh, so that's how you get to the top; so that's what beauty is. Are modesty and chastity outdated values of some lost, bygone era?

"For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice, that each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honour,

"Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will... For God has not called us to impurity but to consecration [to dedicate ourselves to the most thorough purity]" (1 Thess 4:3-7).

What's the big deal about doing the Cat Daddy while falling out of a bikini? As one YouTube viewer said in response to a critic, "Why should you care? This doesn't affect you at all". Doesn't it? When it's all over the media, and being avidly celebrated and glorified? How can it not affect the women who see this as a standard; how can it not affect the men who look at this in lust? How can it not affect the way young girls perceive and respect their own bodies, or the way boys regard and treat their female friends or dates? "'I have the right to do anything,' you say -- but not everything is beneficial" wrote the apostle Paul.

In the increasing moral laxity of the world we live in, it's a challenge to raise children who will not "run hand in hand with them in the same excesses of dissipation" (1 Pet 4:4). We are daily inundated with lewd images, stories, lyrics -- how important it is to keep a watchful eye on our daughters and ensure that neither they, nor we ourselves, behave in such a manner as to be a temptation and a snare to others. "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion" (Prov 11:22).

Sexual immorality accounts for much of society's troubles I think -- failed and failing marriages; crimes against young girls and women; unwanted pregnancies; selfish, dishonourable modes of living. In a wonderful article entitled Teaching Your Daughters to Value Modesty, FamilyLife Canada instructor Cathy Reynolds writes, "... even when shopping for basic items like jeans and t-shirts, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find attractive, fashionable clothes for young girls that don’t show off a whole lot of skin. Tube tops, crop tops, clingy fabrics, low-cut dresses and low-rise jeans are all the rage...

"Given the current state of things, does modesty even matter anymore? Our culture tells us no, and we've been so affected by the world around us that sometimes we don't even stop to think about what our appearance says about us, or how it measures up to God's standards.

"God calls us to a life of purity, and modesty is a natural outworking of a pure heart. A speaker I heard recently told of young men in her church youth group who were complaining about what the girls in the group were wearing. These boys were sincerely coming to youth group to worship God, and they really felt that they were being distracted from that and even led astray by the immodest dress of the girls in the group. They didn't know where to look, and it was very hard on them as they tried to obey God and keep from lusting.

"Keep in mind that these were boys who were actively fighting against temptation. Imagine the impact of improper dress on men who have serious lust problems, or who don't even recognize it as a problem. I think that the proliferation of pornography and blatant sexual messages in our society today is linked to widespread immodest dress. What once would have been considered unacceptable and risqué is now not just accepted, but commonplace. No wonder some men have great difficulty in this area!...

"The way in which a girl dresses will also impact the kind of guy she attracts, which will in turn impact their behaviours and attitudes toward sex. As one young lady shared, "I know that the kind of things that I wear draw a certain kind of guy. And ultimately the guy that I want to have as a husband is a guy that’s committed to purity...

"You want to help them to understand why modesty is such an important character issue and teach them to make good decisions on their own. We've found it very helpful to be able to give our daughters reasons as to the suitability or unsuitability of a piece of apparel. It's good to be able to explain to them how a young man regards some of their fashion choices...

"Adult clothing styles are being mini-sized to fit young girls... this has led to the sexualization of pre-teen girls seeking to emulate their media heroes. And it's not just the clothes that are being adopted, but also the attitudes toward life in general and sexuality in particular. Kids are being made to grow up faster than ever before.

"We can diminish the influence of media by helping our daughters make wise choices concerning TV programs, videos, movies, music and reading material. It's important to begin at an early age to instill values and guidelines for making discerning choices. Talk about these choices in entertainment and fashion selection with your tweens and teens before they ever become issues...

"It is important to tell your daughter how beautiful she is, so that she doesn't have to go outside the family to hear this message. Even more vital than praising her appearance, though, is affirming her character. We need to counteract our culture's influence by placing value on what God values – the inner heart and character of an individual. The Bible says, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (Prov 31:30)" (read this article in its entirety here).

These are all things that mean a great deal to me as I endeavour to raise wise, virtuous young women in a world where Ms Upton's gyrations are described by Vogue as "improbably wholesome". While brazen lewdness and immodesty seem to be the order of the day, I certainly do not want to perpetuate, or contribute to it. Hopefully -- as with maxi skirts, vintage-cut swimsuits, and wearing pink -- modesty, refinement and delicacy will soon come back into style.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

random bits

So I'm thinking this will be one of my last posts till... July; I'm just too big and achy to sit at the computer writing and reading things. I've put the shop in vague vacation mode -- meaning only ready-made goodies, and a tiny handful of made-to-order ones, are available and ready-to-ship. Some of the more popular ones -- like Tabby satchel, Sailor Ghost, the Ghostlets and dollhouse rooms -- are quite effortful, so I am requesting that Etsy customers please contact me first before purchasing.

I was mildly peeved to learn that deactivating an item on Etsy does not affect its listing period, which means that you still have to pay for an item that's not visible in your shop. So I'm keeping them visible. On principle.

In the meantime, here are some things that have been happening in my little world. First, and super wonderfully, I received several pictures from one of the loveliest customers ever. She'd given her little girl lilac Guppy and Sailor Animal Girl for her 6th birthday, and had remembered how I'd spoken of goody adoption heartache. So I was super thrilled to receive an email from her telling me that little Em "LOVES them"!

"She wanted to bring them to dinner, but I insisted that they stay in the hotel as we were going to go to an amusement center after dinner, and I didn't want them to get lost or dirty, so she decided to tuck them in and let them sleep since they must be so tired. I took a picture of them because I knew I just had to show you, and then when she saw me take their picture, she wanted to get in one too!... Really, what a great, memorable birthday".

Isn't that awesome?? Em is so precious -- you can see Gup and Sailor Girl absolutely adore her, and are so at home with her. Thank you SOO much K!!!

In other shop-related news, it looks like I have competition now haha... Becky was terribly keen to learn how to make her own collage pins, so I showed her! Well, I helped her with the parts that involved sharp things (and knuckle-breaking effort), but she did the rest herself, and I think her first effort is quite laudable, don't you? Now she's thinking of starting her own shop...

Actually, as you may already know, the kids are a great inspiration to me, like with Ro and her flying fish. This tiger is a character Becky created and has used in numerous instances -- here, for example, he is illustrating her Chinese language animal report.

The illustration in the corner shows a tiger's paw -- it says tigers sweat through their paws just like our domestic cats; a feline's sweat glands are located only in their foot pads. As an aside, I'm always in awe of Becky's prowess with Mandarin -- mine sucked and it was a miracle I got a passing grade in my O-Levels!

This is one of Ro's latest characters -- a cat named Sooty. Also doll-worthy I think.

A 4-year-old's to-do list.

Here she is doing one of our daily activities -- feeding the birds off of our backyard roof. They have come to expect us as soon as they see us at the window. It's the least we can do since their habitat was decimated.

While helping to tidy up the incredible mess they made their room, the kids came across this large cardstock doll I'd made for Rebecca when she was a toddler. It is actually the original Bikbik. She is in her underwear because I'd made her a whole bunch of paper outfits for Rebecca to dress her up in -- outfits that she herself wore.

Like her denim overalls and stripey sweater, which Ro now wears.

And her adorable Baby Gap apple dress and bodysuit.

And her footed sleepsuit, which Ro wore, and which is now going into the baby's layette. 

Speaking of Baby, I'm 37 weeks now, and due, well, any time. That tummy kinda says it all lol!

Gratuitous shot of Ming.

It's the school holidays now, which means our days are busy with activities. Here's wishing all of you lots of cuddles and joyful, love-filled days -- I'll pop into Blogland as often as I can, and catch up with you soon :)


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