Friday, May 30, 2008


I made a card last night. I picked up the water color pencils and started coloring a swath of shades to use. After ten years, my brushes were christianed, when they touch the first droplets of water and gave life to the penciled color. The soft pastel colors rose before me, and a thrill of joy enveloped my whole being. I haven't felt so in tune with myself for a long time.

As I waited for the paper to dry, I rumaged in the box containing all the paraphernalia of card making, and found a piece of laced ribbon and a small bag of clear beads. Armed with my find, I happily went to check the paper and saw that the edges had curled up, a sign that they had dried and ready for use. I chose a piece of very light grey paper and began my first stitch....

I always start with the border first. As the thread pulls through the paper, I could feel the paper resisting a little, but stretching at the same time, to graciously let the magic of creating begin. The needle is akin to a wand now, and is sprinkling magical dusts all over the paper. The design gradually took form and with a bit of odd lace, beads and silver thread, a card is born, and christianed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A chance encounter

2007 is an eventful year. I quit a job I hated, applause is called for here, clap, clap, hooray. The culture of the work place stifles individuality and creativity. You have to play to the right politics, subject to the whims of the higher ups and hang out with groups to scheme and stab people in the back. It was horrible. But then again, I had no regrets having worked there for six years. I developed my survival skills, and learned to go within for power. This self-reliance turned out to be an important asset, as I spread my wings to embrace the present and the future.

The second Pastel b. card was sent to a dear friend very close to my heart, on her birthday. She resides in Japan now, with an adorable baby girl called Leigh. I met my chere amie, Pascale, in a chance encounter during the early days of the job I had quit. This encounter has blossomed into a beautiful friendship and I am happy to announce that we are working together on several projects.

I have opened my consulting company, Jamie & Co. in January 2008. Along with three like-minded friends and partners, we will be pre-launching a wedding planner service, ai wedding in a few months. Plus, a new brand of high quality, semi-handmade baby clothes, Petit enjel, will be launched in days to come. All these exciting ventures, had an undeniable link to this chance encounter I had bumped into six years ago.

Merci, ma chere amie, for designing my Jamie & Co. logo, our ai wedding logo et finalement a toast to the success of the launch of Petit enjel. To more future collaborations et joie de vivre.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The beginning

I believe that life is a labor of love. Ten years ago, I took up making greeting cards as a hobby. I wanted to make a unique card. One day, I bought some colored water pencils, and began coloring a cardboard paper. I wanted the card to be completely hand-made. Out of the blue, the thought of quilting a card popped up. I found some needle and thread and began experimenting stitching a card.

One stitch at a time, I discovered the potential and limitation of the paper and thread. The paper is more pliable after it dries from the water color. The paper actually stretches a little, like a taut piece of fabric. In order not to tear the paper when stitching, I had to use very fine needles and threads. By trial and error and a lot of patience, I made my first Pastel b. greeting card and sent it to a dear friend in New Jersey for her birthday.

A few weeks ago, while clearing up the clutter at home, I found a box holding these precious cards I had made with so much care. As I spread out each card on the bed, I realized that ten years had passed. I sat on the bed recalling the painstaking steps it took to make each card. Looking at the finished product now, with the pastel colors still so soft and un-faded, the stitches and beads still taut, I realized that some things are made to stay.

As I reflected on the past decade, I saw that creating a life that I wanted is very similar to creating one of my precious cards. I have been in the process of creating an ideal life one step at a time all these years, just as I had made the card stitch by stitch back then.

This blog is about the creation of Pastel b. cards and the metamorphosis of the creator behind Pastel b. I believe the process is as important as the result, if not more so.
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