Monday, June 16, 2014

Empty Voids

Salam all!

I have left for too long, haven't I? Well a lot has happened in my life as late and since the last post I suppose and now I am ready to set my virtual foot prints again!

I got wed in March last year and I am 35 weeks pregnant now. Yikes! 5 more weeks and counting. I pray that everything will go smoothly, insha Allah. I am keeping my mind positive and my body ready. Do what Jim Carrey does - keep a vision of what you want to happen in your head and it will happen. Giving it a try. A lot of people are saying things like, "Once your contraction starts there's no way you're going to remember what you learnt in antenatal class or what you were taught to do by other moms!" but I digress! I  will make this happen and it will be with Allah's help that things go well. After all, that's what prayers are for innit?

I just can't wait to see baby and hold him in my arms. Smell him, kiss him, cuddle with him. OOoooh I can already imagine all the great moments we are going to share together. Precious little thing of mine. You will be that one beacon that's going to give me my mojo back coz frankly, I have quite lost it!

More posts soon!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resolutes


I have had this on my office wall for over a year now.

Looking back where I started, I can't say thank you enough for the blessing that I have been given. I don't think there's much to say except that hard work really does pay off. I had people doubting me, questioning me and hating on me. I got this position when I was 25 years old. Too young, they say. But I'm 27 now, I've grown wiser, met with a lot of people. 

Some say how courageous I am to have taken this position. How overwhelming the stress must be. I struggle to get up everyday, I struggle to keep my temperament to myself and just ask for the strength to keep going. To tell you the truth, I get scared whenever I make a decision. I'm always scared if my decision will be the wrong one and I might get me kicked off and without a job at the end of the day. But life without risks is not worth enjoying.

What did I do this day a year ago that made me proud? 

All I can say is many. I can't be anymore happy.

This year, my life is going to change yet again. Bismillah :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 Coming to an End.

Dear diary, what a year it's been. So many trials and tribulations, some are quite harsh, some mind-boggling but all in all, everything that has happened this year has lifted me up to another level be it spiritually, mentally or physically. 

It's funny how people take you for granted sometimes right? 

But anyway, STILLCARVINGS has yet again moved forward and we are constantly trying to look for that area where we can improve ourselves. I have made friends with a lot of other jewelry sellers and learning from them. I like it when we are able to provide a variety of choices to our customers. Nothing crinkles my forehead more than seeing those who are only doing it for the extra pocket money. Sure, that's fine too, but wouldn't the market grow bigger if we are able to see what has not been done and do it? 

"Be the change you want to see in this world," and I think that applies to the business world too. This year I met with a lot of business people who told me to exploit the market every time I see the chance to. And I agree with them. 

They are foreigners and this is how they think: look at the market, when there's a chance for them to exploit any opening they will pursue that chance. This is usually done by being the unique provider of someting that has not been done by others.

How Bruneian businesses think: look at the market, "Hey, this seller sells this thing and has a lot of customers. I must follow!" and they sell the same things. Sometimes much cheaper than the person who started first, making it look as if no effort was put in it at all. 

Such a harsh reality. But this is how businesses run in Brunei. I would like to see more people sell and make more things so then we can all be lucrative. Be that unique niche. And make friends with other sellers, not to exploit them or have ulterior motives, but so that we can all work hand in hand to create a healthy competition with one another. That would be sweet. 


Ah yes, this was taken when we participated in the CAS Charity Sale in Kiulap. To this day I am still so proud of this. Not only because we were able to donate, but knowing that people value the things that we make from scratch into something makes it even more worthwhile. If I didn't have another job I'd definitely be able to make more bags. Well soon enough I'll be adding more Bucket Bags to the list ;)






MOOD BEADS! I have loved mood rings and mood charms since forever. So lucky to be able to sell the Tribal Mood Beads and they sell like hot cakes! Oh, I love my customers <3 And I especially like it when I get tagged on the pictures of them wearing my things on their arms. I feel so cherished and honoured.

So what else is there to expect for the rest of 2012?

More Dreamcatchers. In different styles.

And some other random creations that will not be a STILLCARVINGS staple.

AND THEN I'll be on a long hiatus.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The new 'uns

Hi everyone!
Got some announcement to make. We have new bracelets on our stands! They are pretty sweet if you ask me, I've snagged a few for my own wrists. I particularly like the Dystopia Bracelet. It is a mix of traditional elegance with grunge - hence the name. I've made it with elastics and can fit up to 7" wrists. Gems mix may vary so if you are interested you may want to email me so I can send you individual pictures. So sorry, November's kind of a busy month for me but I'm slowly making new Dreamcatcher Bracelets that will be out in December so stay put!

Rainbow Hemp strings weaved in a macrame pattern, with rhinestones and pewter charms. 
WISDOM, FAITH, HOPE and STRENGTH are amongst the charms that are attached to these bracelets. Others are of birds. You may email me at shop.stillcarvings@gmail.com to order and also to have a closer look at the bird charms. These are perfect as presents. 

Dystopia Bracelet made with howlite skulls and mixed gems. This version is limited in quantity and uses imported pewter beads. Email me if you need to know more or would like to get some.

Another version of the Dystopia Bracelet. This one uses plastic gold beads, howlite skulls and mixed gems. Email me if you need to know more or would like to get some.

So there you go, new bracelets by stillcarvings. Hope to hear from you all very soon! xx

P/S Sorry, didn't mean to sound in a rush but I am just that busy hehe. Trying to steal desk time to do this. 

P/P/S 10% from the sale of these bracelets will go to Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al Hajah Maryam, Brunei. Shop for a good cause ;)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Get Close to Inspirational People


Hello!

Whether I like it or not I am simply always ALWAYS prone to getting sick or experiencing pains on my body parts. Today is my third day at the office after being away from my work desk for 5 days (weekend included). FEVER SEASON! Coz all the local fruits are out (as the superstition goes, idk) BUT oh boy, am I glad that I get to be at home all those days ago.

I am prepping for another charity sale and this time it involves the things that I hold dearly close to my heart: ART and CATS. Kitty cats! Meowers!


LA LA LA LOOOVEEE!!

So anyhow, I think I speak for all makers slash sellers out there who struggle to get things done (and to get things done right) for our customers. I know a number of dedicated makers (referring to bracelets, cakes, clothes, bags, crochets, etc.) out there who shed their blood to get orders done. It is never easy especially when, like me, we have to wake up and stop thinking about our passions to get to the office and get another thing over and done with before we can run quickly home and start over again. 

Having to go through this can sometimes become very demotivating. I can't count how many times I've told myself I'm gonna quit making all these lovely things out of fatigue. But the end result is always uplifting, especially when people appreciate what you do. Not everyone value things made by hand as they would associate it with dodgy and low-class but hey, in this modern world, DIY-ed things have upped their ante and more and more people want to get their hands on these things.

So whenever I get tired of looking at strings or when I become frustrated after having broken my sewing machine (as have happened last two weeks), I try to do things that can help me keep myself going again. Besides watching FRIENDS (harhar), trying to catch a tempo, driving and talking to people, I like getting myself acquainted to those who inspire me. I do this mostly by reading. Sometimes random blogs or indie magazines (like the above on my ipad) but mostly of people who had to start from the bottom to be on top. LOVE IT! There are just so many people who can inspire you to keep going and I find that keeping a close read of their lives very inspirational. 

Anyway, I am quite glad that a number of those who have inspired me in my tiny business are going to be at the charity sale! Excuse my shyness if I suddenly become talkative or uneasy or try to get away quickly but that happens when I'm surrounded by people I look up to. OOOhhh very excited to be basking in the aura of lovers of things that are made with love.

Just a little advertising though: The STILLCARVINGS table will be filled with lovely things too! Everything on sale will be handmade, no cheats! So if you are a lover of good value and craft, and of cats mind you, do drop by and show us your love. You don't need to necessarily buy (although that would help cover fuel haha) but just drop by when you can for a quick picture or a hug =)

4 November 2012
Rainforest Gallery, Kiulap (above Vincci shoe store)
10am to 5pm

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Best to Cope with Stress

Assalammualaikum lovelies,

STRESS. It's something that we go through every day. It is no stranger to us, especially at work and school - probably worst when you have to do both at one time. It's something that seems to have no means to an end. But then again in order to be happy we have to be able to cope with stress, as opposed to whine and not doing anything about it. I would like to share with you the things that I do to cope with MY own stress. I think it is already safe to share with everyone that my day job as a General Manager requires me to do thousands of things in a span of 8 hours and as time complies with common sense, I don't usually have the energy though the pressure would still be on even until after I come back form work. 

Let's do the math;

1000 job orders x 8 hours at the office / 24 hours in a day = finishing about 300 job orders at one given hour. 

Whether the math is wrong or right, the common sense is that no matter how many things I try to do at one given hour at a time, I still do not have time to finish doing everything in a day! This, and stress, then come in hand in hand with broad smiles on their non-faces. So how do I cope?

1. My hobbies. I have loads! And the rate at how many I do in a day depends on what I want to do during that day. I usually just read a book, surf on my ipad, watch TV, dance, draw and write.

2. Get involved in my passions. Of making, of creating, of watching and of listening. These would require me to sit and evaluate things. I like it when my brain works intensely. I like the high it gives me.

3. Exercise. It's a great substitute to chocolate (although chocs help too!) and the more intense my intervals are for that day, the better I feel. This includes yoga. Yoga is the best thing man has ever invented before. And the fact that it co-relates to your spirituality makes it even more meaningful whilst you're trying to cope with stress. True story. When you do yoga, blood flows to the areas that need attention and as you breathe out and rise back up, you will feel a lot LOT better. Yoga moves can be similar to when you perform your prayer.

4. Pray. As stated in #3. Read up about the scientific relation of the movements you do during prayer and when you do yoga. You can choose between the two but only one can be done while also gaining deeds and the mercy of Allah.

5. Learning the Quran. BEST stres reliever of all!!! Hands down. The good thing is during this time of technologically advanced days, we can download the Quran and its translation to our phones and tablets so you can still read even when you're menstruating. I like reading the translations and learning about the different surahs. But the thing I like best about this would be reading about the struggles of those before us. When you read the Quran you will definitely realise that the struggles you go through are the same as theirs were but mind you, during the jahiliah times people would treat you worst then how they would treat you now (especially with the abundance of knowledge and education). I always feel a lot better after learning and reading the translations. My favourite Surah at the moment is Surah Maryam. Read it and you'll get to see why :)

Well there are so many things that you can do in order to cope with stress. Your mind, body and soul depends solely on how you bring yourself about. The Creator will not bring you through anything in this world if He knows you wouldn't be able to cope with it. So remember that with every hardship that you are struggling with right now, the worst it feels the stronger a person you actually are. Hope you realise that you are actually much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Push yourself to the limit of insanity if you have to. Worse comes to worst, you'll cry or throw a fit, but always remember that in the remembrance of Allah will you find ease. So connect yourself to the Lord every day. Give #3 and #4 the benefit of day and you'll get hooked!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I am thankful for.... // as inspired by Dee, Rina & Dedek

I have been reading Dee's posts on Instagram where she posts what she's thankful for for that particular day. Then last night I saw Rina's post and also my cousin's, posting the things that they are thankful for.

I reckon I should do the same as I am feeling very blessed as of late.


Things that I am thankful:

1. My Customers












Just look at the array of beautiful colours they have given to my babies. I am always so happy to see customers posting and tagging me pictures of them wearing my products and creations. I am very thankful for this. I am also very thankful for having friends whom I don't mind being generous for and giving them lovely things to wear and use ;) 


2. Football Matches DPMM FC 3 - 2 HOME Utd. Hello! What else can I say? Sitting at the drumline section really does a chapter on your adrenaline. (Funny pic of me at Rano looking like I was wearing the niqab/purdah. My cousins and I are currently laughing our asses off on Whatsapp at the sight!)

3. Family. I love my family! With all my heart and soul, with every single connective tissue, with every laughter and tears. 

4. Joey. 

5. Kinect. Hello, I get to play Just Dance, how can I not be thankful?

So anyhu, hope you all have something to be thankful for everyday. This is especially helpful when you're feeling stressed out either at work or at school. When you feel like you've given up hope, take a moment to sit back and think about the things that you are thankful for and bask in the happiness of that one, insyAllah you will feel a lot better. Don't wallow on your bitterness and self pity coz then you'll feel worst than when you started.

I think I have said this before: Happiness is Contagious. 

The rest is up to you :)