Monday, December 10, 2012

DIY Christmas Handstamped Tea Towel

So. I confess. I am not the World's most craftiest person.
I do love craft. I appreciate craft and Pinterest? 
Pinterest is like a godsent for people like me.

But I do love the occasional challenge.
And I would love to thank Tamsyn for inviting me to join in her Handmade Christmas Gift Roundup.

I went to the local shopping centre last night and it was CRAZY.
Everyone was doing their christmas shopping.
The queues at all the shops were massive.
And I had a massive headache.

I love Christmas!
But I don't love the elbow loving and the bag bumping at the shops.
I am not really fond of buying something off the shelves just because I couldn't find anything else.

So. To cut to the point.
I spruced up some plain tea towels I had with the aim of giving it to a friend.

If I can do it, so can you!
And the idea is really to do ANY design you want to.

What You Need:
- A plain tea towel (linen, cotton...anything you fancy.)
- Fabric paint (found at any good art and craft store, in any colour you like!)
- Paintbrush
- Sponges (to cut into your desired stamp shape)
- Used wine bottle cork
- Stamps (I chose a reindeer one!)
- Stamp Ink Pad

 In the end, I didn't use the sponges because my little girls ran off with them and I thought a simple cork and reindeer stamp design might still do the trick.
I recommend using a paintbrush to paint the fabric paint onto the cork to stamp.

Would you have a go at making one too?
Do a colourful polka dot one!
Or do a chevron one!
OR if you've got lovely alphabet stamps or stencils... personalise it with a name or message!

Monday, December 3, 2012

{Christmas Guest Feature} An Amazing Tour of the Creative Space of OSONiA Designs!

So it is the 3rd day of December.
Proud moment for me: I have actually started on my Christmas cards! 
I've gotten the ones to be posted overseas ready... and for once in a long while, I feel pretty darn organised.

I love all things paper. Especially cards. Just simply because when you receive a great card from a friend or loved one, it speaks volumes. It's more than nice to know that that card was picked out specially and thoughtfully.

I have a few select favourite handmade card designers and Sonia from OSONiA Designs is amazing. The first time I laid eyes on her cards, I loved them all. She does all. this. magic. with her tools, her cardstock and creates so many pretty cards, all different from one another.

It takes a special someone to create such prettiness and honestly, I reckon cardmaking/scrapbooking is completely underrated. More than often, you end up with a room full of supplies and they need to be carefully stored! Now, I'm not the neatest person around but I do like being organised and I'm sure lots of you out there are the same!

This morning, Sonia has welcomed us all to have a sneak peek into her own creative space. The room where everything gets made. How she does it all. I'm pretty excited! I love seeing other people's spaces.
She's answered a few questions of mine just to give us a better insight into her space.


Well here I am sharing a little of me & my studio.  
I would like to preface my little chat with you Germaine by thanking you for the opportunity to share a little of me & OSONiA Designs with you and your readers.  I felt truly humbled when you asked me & I thank you.

Can you tell us a little bit about the products you create and how the space is designed for creating your very special products? I design & create an extensive range of handcrafted product, specialising in quality personalised and handmade greeting cards, tags, guestbooks and decorator frames.  When at first designing my home studio, 2 things were critical!  It had to look great & it needed to be functional because I was aware the amount of time I would be working (approximately 30-40 hours per week).

(Look! A special Teeny-Tiny Doll by Cook You Some Noodles to hand you the buttons you need!) 

If you had to be selective, what three things do you love most about the space? The generous size (8 metres x 5 metres), the natural light & the views (from my 2 large windows) are so peaceful & serene.

How has your home studio space evolved since you first designed it?
(Or how was it like when you first started it?)

 It hasn’t really changed much.  I did put a lot of thought into the initial layout & furniture I would need (lots of measuring & sketching down of ideas).  I do however add lots of pretty things all the time – frames, jars & vintage vases and of course new craft supplies.

I’m drawn to all of the various cardmaking tools materials that you have. How do these tools and materials play a role in creating and what goes into the way you choose them?  Like most handmade crafters would agree – I have “too many tools of the trade”!  I do however find (just like with fashion) I like to keep up with new papers, stamps, ribbons and trends.  It really is amazing how often new products are being released, with most of the larger companies it is monthly.

I love your simple ideas for carving out a beautiful and accessible studio space. Can you give us some ideas about how we can organize and store completed projects?
Utilise as much wall space as possible – add shelving & peg boards, it is amazing how many of your supplies you can actually store that way.  If possible put drawers or tubs under your table/desk area as they are also very handy & usually at arm’s reach.

If you were only restricted by your imagination, what would your ideal creative workspace include?
 I would love to have floor to ceiling built in paper racks and an area with a couple of armchairs that I could just sit & “ponder” from time to time…….now, that is really dreaming!

Thank you for being here with us today; I always get so much inspiration from you and the feeling is mutual!

Sonia has a special offer for all friends of Chibi Run this month (I've already taken advantage of this great offer!)

"All orders of 10 cards or more for the month of December will be free postage & include a packet of 5 tags as a thank you from me – please mention this blog post!”

Please do visit Sonia over here or say a lovely hello to her on facebook (where she always shows us what she's up to everyday!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Christmas Guest Feature} 5 DIY Christmas Ornaments by Max and Me

I came to know this special and amazing lady through a mutual friend this year and you know when you can tell when a person has a super duper big heart and a kind, generous nature towards everything and everyone? Yup. She is one of those beautiful souls.

Tamsyn has her own fantastic blog Max and Me and I highly encourage regular trips over there to see what she is up to. She is up to ALOT nowadays. Her creativity is limitless so you'll be able to find lots of clever easy DIY projects... but if you just want to look at delicious newborn baby pictures, you should head over there now too! There has just been a lovely addition to her family and he goes by the name of Lincoln. Cluck cluck. Congrats Tams!!
Also, to finish off the list of her Superwoman abilities, she runs Max and Me Homewares where she sells lots of her handmade home decor creations.

Tamsyn is seriously the QUEEN of DIY so when she offered to do 5 DIY Christmas decorations for her guest blog post for Chibi Run, I felt like a kid on Christmas who had just been offered a generous selection of candy. 

Thanks Tams for this amazing guest post! 
Please do welcome Tamsyn!
It'll be tough to pick a favourite out of these 5! 

I love Christmas! It’s easily my favourite time of the year, the food, family, festivities and the chance to fully embrace my other great love - DIY. There is something about Christmas that turns my crafty tendencies into complete overdrive. This year I’ve been busy making my own Christmas ornaments and I’m so excited to share them with you!

These sweet little wreaths are super easy and cheap to make and are perfect for traditional style Christmas decorating.
1.    You’ll need
    - bakers Twine (from Chibi Run of course!)
    - mini hoop (I got mine from spotlight)
    - clay stars (here’s a great recipe)
    - sequins
    - glue gun
    - scissors
    - string for hanging the ornament
2.    Hot glue the end of your twine to the hoop and start wrapping.
3.    Keep wrapping, stopping to add a dab of hot glue to the back every now and again.
4.    Once your hoop is completely covered secure the twine with more hot glue and then glue on your ceramic stars and sequins.
5.         Add some string for hanging and you’re done!

Hang one of these kissing balls in your house and make sure to use it to your advantage!
1. You’ll need:
- styrofoam ball
- Christmas fabric
- 2 types of ribbon ( I used one thin and one wide ribbon)
- twine
- Christmas greenery (mistletoe if you can find it)
- scissors
- rubber band
2. Cut a square of fabric big enough to cover your ball (with enough extra to give a nice finish at the top), wrap your ball and secure with twine.
3. add rubber band above the twine and thread a long piece of the thin ribbon under the ball, through the rubber band and tie in a knot at the top for hanging. Add another piece of thin ribbon, crossing over at the bottom as shown and tuck into rubber band. Add more twine to secure the ribbon and remove the rubber band.
4. Tie a pretty bow around the twine.
5. Add leaves and trim the fabric done to look pretty.
6. You’re done, now get kissing!!

These are one of my favourite ornaments this year. They’re so simple to make, but a little time consuming. I recommend putting on a few episodes of your favourite show while you make these (Mad Men wins for me).
1.    You’ll need:
    - sheets of paper (I aged mine using this technique)
    - styrofoam ball
    - ribbon
    - string for hanging
    - scissors
    - hot glue
    - paint brush (or something similarly shaped)
2.    Cut your paper up into little squares (mine were 2cm x 2cm).
3.    Tie a piece of string (I used really thin gold ribbon) in a loop and hot glue to the top of the styrofoam ball.
4.    Fold a piece of paper around the end of your paintbrush, add a dab of hot glue to the point and attach to your ball.
5. Keep going until the entire ball is covered.
6. Tie a pretty bow and then hot glue it to the top of the ball, then step back and admire your creativity :).

These little rope mirrors are perfect if you're planning a beachy or nautical themed Christmas (I also think it could look really sweet hanging inside a dollhouse).
1. You’ll need:
    - small mirror
    - chipboard circle
    - jute rope
    - Christmas ribbon
    - scissors
    - hot glue
    - string for hanging
2. Hot glue your mirror to the centre of your chipboard and then hot glue a piece of ribbon to the chipboard (glue it on facing the wrong way as shown).
3. Cut a piece of jute to size and then glue around the outside of the mirror.
4. Repeat until all of the chipboard is covered.
5. Loop the ribbon over the joins in the jute and hot glue to the back of the circle (adding a piece of string for hanging as you go.
6. Reflect on how clever you are (couldn’t help myself, sorry!!).

These little hoop ornaments are incredibly quick to make and add you can make any shape you like. I’m planning on making one for each of my family members with their initial on them. Sweet and simple :).
1. You’ll need:
- small embroidery hoop
- hessian
- pencil
- cardboard shape to trace (I printed out a star shape and cut around it)
- scissors
- pencil
- sequin strand
- fabric glue
- twine for hanging
2. Cut out a small square of hessian, secure in hoop and then trim down the excessive fabric.
3. Trace your shape onto the fabric.
4. Draw over your pencil line with fabric glue.
5. Carefully position your strand of sequins along the glue lines.
6. Add some twine and hang and admire!

So there you have it, 5 easy DIY Christmas decorations to make this year. Let me know if you make any of these for yourself, I would love to see how the turn out.

Thanks so much for having me Germaine, Merry Christmas!

xx Tamsyn

Monday, November 26, 2012

You need to make this Salted Chai Caramel Slice for Christmas.

This week has been a good week.

Simply because it was my birthday on Sunday!!
I really can't keep track of how old I am anymore.
All I know is that my Miss 5 goes "WOW!" when I tell her how old I am.

It was good because I got to meet up with LOTS of friends over separate occasions over this week.
And it was really special celebrating an old uni friend's engagement with the rest of the crazy bunch.
One good way of feeling old is getting together with uni friends and seeing the good, bad and the ugly videos we had of all those roadtrips we had together!!!!

Well. That was my weekend.
How was yours?
I do hope you had a lovely one.
I've spied a few lovely Christmas trees going up!
I do love Christmas.

I baked this last Friday and it was ABSOLUTELY delicious.
Even my hubby who is not a Chai-fan agreed that it was good!
It is the Ultimate Salted Chai Caramel Slice that converts even Chai-haters!
I do like how subtle the chai flavour is, but yet at the same time, it goes so well with the salted caramel.
And I do like sharing the calories!

I found the original recipe off the Taste website a while ago in one of the forums but it was called Salted Caramel Slice. 

Salted Chai Caramel Slice

¾ cup plain flour
½ cup brown sugar
120g unsalted butter, chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon

50g unsalted butter, chopped
¼ cup golden syrup
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 Earl Grey tea bag
395g can condensed milk

220g dark chocolate
30g unsalted butter
1 tsp salt flakes

1 Preheat oven to 160’C. Line base of a 20cm square tin with baking paper
2 Put flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a food processor and process until combined.* Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Smooth surface and bake for 14-16min or until lightly golden. 
3 To make filling, put butter, golden syrup, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and tea bag in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted. Gradually bring to the boil and cook for 1 min. Remove and discard tea bag.
4 Add condensed milk to pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 min or until mixture has thickened and slightly darkened. Remove cinnamon from pan and discard. Pour mixture over base. Bake for 8-10 min or until bubbling and lightly golden. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool until caramel is firm.
5 To make topping, put chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat until almost melted. Remove from heat, then stir until smooth. Spoon topping over filling, smoothing surface with back of spoon.
6 Sprinkle salt flakes** over topping, then refrigerate for at least 4 hrs or until set. Cut slice into thin wedges and serve.

*I'm not a big fan of food processors, so this time, I just made sure my butter was slightly melted and mixed it with the rest of the flour, sugar and cinnamon in my cake mixer. Base turned out fine. 
** I highly recommend sea salt flakes. So much more OOMPH! 

And of course me being me, I forgot to take any decent photos of it so this is it below, next to some also very yummy Chocolate Balls I made.
Enjoy :) xx

Monday, November 19, 2012

{Christmas Guest Feature} Free Christmas Tag Printables by Kuku Couture

Alright. Hands up. Who has their Christmas tree up already? 

I love Christmas. I love how it also means that the end of the year is drawing near. I really can't wait any longer. Whoever thought of the invention of gift giving at Christmas is a very clever clogs indeed!
As most of you probably know, I love all things paper and packaging.

To welcome Christmas this year, I'm SO happy to be sharing with you a few special ladies who possess the same love for paper, creating and just simply good, happy design. 

I'm delighted to call these ladies friends whom I've known since starting Chibi Run and each of them are just wonderful and awesome in their own styles and personalities. 

There'll be a new guest post each week and we'll have lots of free printables, DIY great Christmas decor ideas and even have a sneak peek into someone's creative workspace.
I'm EXCITED just thinking about it!!!  

To start us off, I would love to introduce Julia, the creative force behind Kuku Couture.
Four Words.
Pretty. Special. Custom. Invitations.
Julia creates wonderful designs, something that I could never do and something I truly admire her for.
She also juggles her work with looking after her two gorgeous boys, Leonid and Maksi. 

Today, she has come up with some really fun, sassy and stylish free printable gift tags for us!

I love how she has used completely non-traditional Christmas colours.
Please welcome her! :) xx Germaine

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketJulia: 
Christmas is truly my favourite time of year ( cliché I know)

It’s the Family time I love. Everyone is on holidays and just focused on enjoying each other.

The only problem is I am not the most organised Muma. I have a large family. So the mammoth task of buying presents for everyone requires lots of time and thought, lists need to be made, siblings and cousins need to be consulted and finally decisions need to be made.

This year I decided to do all my shopping online and it is going gangbusters. I have purchased and wrapped more than half the gifts already.

I decided to use non-traditional colours this year to make things a little more fun and informal.

You can download yours here. {Free Printable Download}

If you love these and are looking for some custom Christmas cards you can head over to Kuku CouturePhotobucket
(those boys are my babies aren’t they adorable :) ) Julia xx

Monday, October 22, 2012

Why Anh Do made my lifestyle feel like a complete joke.

I'll cut straight to the point this morning.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw the trailer for Anh Do's new show 'Anh Do Does Vietnam' on the telly.
Looked great.
Just the type of thing I love but just haven't seen around for a while.
Exactly what the title said. Anh Do. Travelling around Vietnam. Doing his thang. Eating local food. Yum!
Just for starters, Anh Do is an Australian comedian who came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam long ago.

And of course, we had to miss the TV airing of both his episodes.
So, we snuggled up in bed and watched it online.

Oh Vietnam.
I haven't been there.
But I think big parts of it will seem like what Singapore was like twenty to thirty years ago.
I like where Anh Do went.
A lot of the times, foreign travellers are 'sheltered' or brought to the touristy places of any country and that is just a joke really if you've said you've been to Vietnam but you didn't go to their local roadside stall or village. It's like how I've been to Melbourne but I stayed in the city and did the Great Ocean Road day trip.

I have a car.
When I've done the grocery run, our car saves me.
When I'm late, our car saves me.
My kids start complaining and whinging when we walk for more than 10-15 minutes to the local shops or their friend's place.
Those village kids in picturesque Sapa?
They walk 6 km daily to school in 0 degree weather with no freakin shoes.
The incentive for the village kids to go to school is so that they get one proper meal a day at school.
I have kids who keep telling me they are hungry no matter how much I feed them.
I have a nice house.
By the term 'nice', I have three decent bedrooms, a nice powerful showerhead which gives me hot water, a sofa to sit on and a 4 burner stove and oven to make cooking easier.
I have a great, materialistic life.
Even if I think that my life is probably less materialistic than lots, it is still materialistic.
You have the same materialistic life as I do.
I went to the finders keeper market on the weekend in Melbourne.
Bought myself the Frankie Spaces magazine, a pink neon table runner, some christmas tags.
We have a dining table and I have the choice to change our current old dining chairs (which mind you, haven't broken) for new Eames replica ones.... like what everyone else seems to have.
Do your kids have lots of toys?
Mine do.

My life is a complete joke really.
The things I worry about in my life are ridiculous as the families in the poorer parts of Vietnam showed me.
A normal house in Sapa.
All wooden. They were all crouching...squatting.
To be honest, I couldn't even see the inside of the house clearly on the telly.
It was all dark. And there really wasn't anything in the house.
Not much furniture.
And the clincher?
The mum lit fire to some hay she was holding and shoved it under a small stove with a pot on it.
I'm thinking that if I ever had to set fire to hay in this life, it sure won't be in my wooden house.

Anh Do was hilarious.
He warmed my heart when he said his Grandma thought the garden hose was the best invention ever when she first came to Australia.
And it's true. I stand around in one spot of my garden aiming my garden hose everywhere.
I don't know if you saw it but he showed that old Viet lady carrying two huge water buckets supported by a wooden beam over her shoulders and that was how she watered her rows of veggies.

Now, I didn't write this post so that you can immediately run over to World Vision and support a child.
You don't have to say 'Awww, they're so pitiful!'
This is what Asia is like for a lot of Asian countries.
I think everyone has a very different level of comfort and lifestyle standards for themselves.
Their lifestyles and habits are different from ours but in some ways, they are amazing and fantastic.
Cycling around delivering noodles? Amazing.
Kids catching fishes with their bare hands in the river? That's quite a feat.
No plastic toys with blinking lights in sight? That is my dream come true.

I wrote this post for myself.
Because when you're in a first world country like I am, first world problems arise.
How much those first world problems affect your life will depend on how important you think they are.
Wondering which school my kid would go to next year.
Wondering if you should pull down and rebuild your house because house-land packages are really attractive nowadays.
Wondering if you should choose Antique white for your next wall colour.
Wondering why on earth Instagram is not working when you need it most.

The majority of Viets that I know... I came to know in Australia.
The people I know are mostly second generation Aussies.
The Viets I know are wonderful, they have an unbelievably crazy sense of humour and they are smart.
I think many of them are street-smart too, which is a valuable asset that lots of kids don't have.
From what I can see, the small Viet communities in Australia are very tight-knit.
Their parents are equally wonderful.
I still remember the time one of my Viet friend's mum invited a bunch of us over to their home and cooked up the most delicious homecooked Viet meal.
Our dentist is my husband's high school Viet friend and his Dad and his sister are his receptionists.

So thank you, Anh Do... for putting some decent tv on this time.
It is so easy to be in Australia, away from it all and get surrounded by the very good life.
I think it is ever easier as a mum because you want the 'best' for your kids and a lot of the time, it is very easy to compare 'what is best' with other mums.
I have no clue what I'm doing as a mum or how my kids will turn out in the future but I do thank God that they have clean, comfortable beds...clean water, shoes to wear and a school to go to.

Hope you have a lovely start to the week :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Snaps

When I was about five, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wanted to be a baker.
I also wanted to be a vet.

That didn't really change but somehow, when it came to push and shove, I chose to a physio instead of a vet. (?!?!) Don't ask me why.
I love being a physio.
But sometimes I wonder where my life might have led me to if I had gone down the other path.

This weekend saw my first baby turn Five.
We still can't believe it.
I think I'll still be in denial when she hits Twenty.
I shudder to think how old I'd be then!!!!
If she still went to the Collingwood Children's Farm with me when she turned twenty, I'd be pretty stoked.

The Children's Farm is amazing. Even hubby was impressed!
It's changed a little since the last time I visited but still really beautiful.
Clari's been gently bugging me for a year to take her on a pony ride.
So as a little surprise, we went to the farm on Family Day (read: free pony rides!)


I love animals.
I could totally see myself working with animals.
There were lots of volunteers at the farm and I think they deserve a shoutout just for sacrificing their time and energy to help keep the farm going.
They loved being there.

Now, looking back at the photos on my camera, there's a few priceless ones of the littles.

Like this one....
Hahahaha.... HORSE!!!!
Clearly, my children do not share the same love for all animals great and small like I do. Yet. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Love it. 
Not really so much for the filters but for the fact that I can take a photo anywhere and anytime of what I'm doing and since I've been on it, there have been SO many moments in my life that wouldn't have been snapped if not for this gorgeous app. 

Today, I went over to statigram for the first time and had a look!
Statigram lets you see which photos of yours receives the most likes as well and it was so interesting!  
Seems like a lot of you on Instagram do share the same love in stationery and pretty colours as I do, which is great! 
It's a great way to see some behind-the-scenes photo of what goes on at the Chibi Run headquarters daily.
But the most liked photo really did warm the cockles of my heart... as some people say. 

Love seeing my two girls sleep next to each other.

Also, Miss 4 will be Miss 5 in two days' time.
We'll be having her party at the park (and the lovely weather forecast promises LOTS of rain and 14 degree warmth all round. Bah!) with her best friend whose birthday happens to be a few days before hers.
She simply can't wait.
She keeps telling us that she can't wait to go to primary school.

Whenever did my baby get so big so quick!?

Alright... signing off now for today as a big morning bake, a great rabbit hutch wash and an Ikea afternoon trip has officially zapped all the energy out of me and I am B-uggered.

I'm still trying hard to keep my end of the promise I have with Julia to be a good blogger and blog regularly for October. ;) 

For those who are on instagram as well, my username is chibirun and I would love to find you there too! xx

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bonus Days.

This week, I've felt a little bit like death has been around me.
I know. Sorry for being morbid.
It's happened in ways I can't really explain.

Death isn't a complete stranger to me.
I've seen it happen before and to me, death is something that everyone just has to deal with, when God wants you, He'll take you. Simple as that.
My faith helps me see another world past this one and I think that helps.

I can't deny that it gives me the shudders too that what happened to Jill Meagher literally happened in the next suburb. We're probably a ten minute drive or so from where she was taken.
We've driven down Sydney Road countless of times.
It's a busy road. It's major. It has trams. Shops. People.
We were probably sleeping in our beds unaware when Jill was there on that road.
But the fact that there are people out there who might not be in their right minds.
Who might need help.
Or who might just need to be kept away from the general public. Living so close to us.
Heck. Even our 'burb isn't known to be a totally safe one. We've got our own crazies.
Wrong place. Wrong time.

And then. I got that phone call.
To say that a beloved uncle suffered a massive heart attack in the car after the gym.
My aunt was in the car driving right next to him.
He was great. I was shocked beyond words.
I love him and his family.
He had those ruddy cheeks and eyes that smiled and twinkled and when you saw him, you knew he was a good man.
He used to be a pilot and told the best, funniest stories to everyone.
We closed our eyes and did the ten hour drive to and from country NSW to be with the family.
I'd never thought the next trip I made up would be for this reason.

So this week, I've felt like every day I've woken up (and stayed) alive has been a bonus day.
I haven't done anything different.
I don't think I've lived today like it was my last!
But I'm thankful that amongst all the flurry and rush rush rush, I've had a bonus day to enjoy in this world. Just living.
Doing everything.
Being with everyone.

Thanks so much for being here with me too :)

p.s.: This awesome chick here has inspired me to get my blogging into shape this October. I'll be blogging (or trying to) everyday in October.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Being timid and having a timid child.

Every now and then, I always remember what I was like as a child.
When I was 4 or 5, which is around the age of my eldest little girl right now.
Children all have different personalities and  mine as a child was a quiet one. Timid. Shy.
Some might say introvert.
I didn't talk much to grown-ups or look them in the eye.
I didn't like trying new things out, I was very comfortable with where I was.
It was a different story altogether when I was alone with my family.

It was a little traumatising when Mum tried to 'get me out of my shell' by sending me to some drama
classes for kids.
I knew Mum meant well but putting a 'timid' soul in an environment where some form of attention is put on you and people expect you to belt out some words from a script is scary.
I don't think I resisted much, I did go to the classes but I didn't particularly enjoy the classes.
They didn't really help me come out of my shell either. Drama class didn't last very long.

I also remember Mum sending me to art class.
I loved that.
Sitting down, having your own space, your own set of crayons, watercolours, being able to be quiet and do your own thing.
Totally loved it.
Art class lasted 6 years.

You might know that I have two little girls. Both of them completely different like day and night.
Sometimes, I watch Miss 4 and immediately see myself mirrored in her eyes, her expressions around other people and how she relates to everything.
I know what she likes and what she wouldn't be too keen on. Mini me much?

The world we live in always shapes us. But it isn't always very welcoming to children who are more timid than others.
Being timid isn't wrong. It shouldn't be discouraged.
I've had to stop myself a number of times from pushing my Miss 4 to being more upfront or confident towards others.
I don't want her to develop the idea that I might think that what she is doing is wrong.
She needs to feel loved and happy!
Not discouraged.
And she's not the only timid one. I see them everywhere.

Timid people can have amazingly strong points too.
She is such a big hearted girl.
She is so very loyal.
She makes friends but her friends are few and close.
I'm so glad she has made some steadfast friends at kinder and she gets so much joy just playing and chatting with them. She has even found a best friend. Another girl who was born 4 days before her and is exactly like her in terms of nature.
She has incredible insight and empathy because she watches.

And because of that, when I look at her, I get a little bit touched.
Because I see a lot of myself in her.
I think it is important to make sure she knows that being timid isn't a fault at all.
Sure. People who are extrovert, 'louder', chattier do get more attention.
That's just how the world is.
But attention doesn't always have to be in the form of big groups of friends or it doesn't have to be loud.
I think it is important for her to know that she has the ability and the position to watch and know when another timid child needs a friend. The ability to love others in her own quiet manner still.
Or to know when someone needs help.
She's brilliant one-on-one.

And that's the same for me. Learning as I live!
It is so easy to try and be sociable in an extrovert, loud and chatty style, just because.
But that isn't me.
And I don't think I should waste all this energy trying to be someone I'm not just to fit into a certain crowd.
Because then, I'll have all these 'friends' that I won't feel very comfortable with.
I like saying hi genuinely.
Sitting down on the steps at kinder with another mum alone, looking at her and saying 'how have you been?' and meaning every word of it. And being sensitive enough to carry on a meaningful, sociable quiet little conversation. Or knowing when someone might like or dislike something.

This is what I love about the internet as well.
It allows me to totally be in my comfort zone but still getting to know or find out about people.
And yes. I haven't met a lot of the people that I know online.
But being timid means knowing when, where and what to say and to whoever needs to hear those comments  of support, friendship or even just a hello. It means knowing what to type so that the other person knows exactly what you're saying. And not just another comment made without thinking.
And because of that, I have really met and made some truly special friends, mostly other mums around Australia and the world! (Thanks instagram)

Here's to the Timid Child. You are very much loved.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Snow. Lots of it!!!

As some of you might know, I grew up in Singapore. Tropical. Hot all year round. Tanned. Shorts. Thongs. You name it. I didn't own a single scarf. You'd be crazy to wear jeans out of the house.

So when I went up to the snow last weekend, it was literally that mind-blowing.
I didn't realise how much of an impact it would be for me. It wasn't the first time I'd seen snow.
But boy... was it GOOD!

Place of awesome snow: Mt. Hotham
People it happened with: Me, Hubs, our 2 girls (Clari, Celeste) and many good old friends
We had about 9 extra babysitter friends. Couldn't have been better.

Chicken parma at Harrietville along the way.
Golden canola fields
Snow chains fitted.
Snowing at night.
We stepped out of the car and walked on the slippery ice.
We walked further up the snow and each step we took landed us knee deep into the snow.
Happy first aiders
Someone once took a photo of a sunrise on Instagram and commented that it was sad really that some people don't actually catch a single sunrise at all in a year. And I thought that was really true.
I love my bed soooo much. I'm not really a morning person. I like hiding under that warm doona too much.

But up there. If I didn't wake up and go for that morning walk or that sunset walk... I knew I'd never get the chance again at least for a while. Or who knows. Maybe the snow next time might be really crap. It might never be that perfect again. That moment. Where you have no one around you. When the whole world is silent and the only thing moving is the sun.

There were so many happy people just enjoying.
Away from work. Away from it all.
Breathing in all that fresh cold air. Freezing away. Getting warm.
Smiling. Laughing.
Oh my. And the exorbitantly priced gravy and chips tasted so darn good.

Dreaming of the next time...
Ah. Holidays.

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