Friday, August 29, 2008

Pastel b. Book Mark

This is a new paper product from Pastel b.
It's a Book Mark with Pastel b.'s petals motif and embroidered "zzz",
with the inscription, "This is when I fell asleep."
The tassels are knotted with silver threads and pale blue threads, to complement the color scheme. There will be more colors to follow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer Colds

I have a major allergy attack this morning, which worsened into a full blown cold. I have used one and a half box of tissue already, taken my cold medicine, and still my nose won't stop running. I am feeling miserable and real pissed about blowing the nose all the time.

I always get colds in the summer, it never fails. It's the alternate hot and cold air that causes the first sneeze, and if I am lucky it'll stop there. If I am unlucky like today, it will go downhill.

Despite the trauma I have inflicted on my nose area going through a whole box of tissue, the skin around my nose hasn't started peeling. Sure I have a Rudolph nose, but thanks to the botanical oil from Fancl, my skin is spared the worst. The botanical oil is 100% olive oil and other vegetable oil and could be used for a variety of skin problems.

It is best for dry and sensitive skin from exposure to the sun, heating in the winter, etc. I was in Korea in May of 2006, and the central heating was literally sucking all the moisture out of my skin. The botanical oil saved my skin and kept it moist and not flaking. This is a great all purpose skin care I vouch for!!

(photo www.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sweet Pea Bouquet

I got this bouquet for US$2.50 in an alley down my block. It used to occupy a whole alley, but the space is used by a Thai restaurant for its overflowing customers now.
The flower stall now occupies a tiny, air-conditioned "shop" towards the back. The shop is so small it has room for only 2 people at one time, but the fragrance of the flowers is all the more stronger because of it.
After paying for the bouquet, a big Rottweiller was sprawled at the entrance/exit. The lady proceeded to say, "Hey Rocky, move over, the lady has to step out." Rocky lifted his massive head and looked at me with the sleepiest of eyes that said, "What's going on?"
Rocky did not budge and the lady said that Rocky belongs to a garage owner next door, but he always ambles over when there are would-be clients at her stall. This is when the sliding door of the shop would stay open and streams of cool, air-conditioned air would stream out. When the customers finished buying or browsing, they would most certainly find a huge, gentle Rottweiller in front of the shop's entrance.
I patted him when I left. Walking down the alley, I could still hear the lady telling Rocky that she's closing the sliding door now, and he should go back to his owner. As for Rocky, he heaved a mighty sigh and lie down again. Guess the cool air hadn't all dissipated. Smart pooch!!

Grace under pressure

While I was studying in Los Angeles, my big cousin became my chaperon. We lived on the same street, and if I needed anything, I would go and buzz his gate at all hours. I was a nuisance.
One day, he called and said he had tickets to the Lakers playoff, and invited me to go. Back then, I didn't know much about basketball, but an outing sure beat surfing TV channels at home.
That game had dominant players like Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Magic Johnson. Yeah, it was that long ago, and I have given away my age. Anyhow, I was hooked to the Lakers.
I have been a Lakers fan for years, and my memorable plays were those paired by Shaquille O' Neal and Kobe Bryant. Although the Chicago Bulls have dominated the NBA scene then, I was still rooting for the Lakers.
With Michael Jordan came the "star" power. A lot of players play to show off their stride and it's a show rather than team playing. The loss at the 2 previous Olympics brought out the arrogance of the players.
Not this time around. Although there are big stars like Kobe, Lebron James, Jason Kidd, Dwyane Wade and other great players, they played as a team. The other teams were rough on Team USA, but they managed to keep their cool, and just smiled, even they were fouled badly by other teams.
There was a shot of Lebron James and Kobe glaring and Carmelo Anthony losing his cool for a second, but Team USA played with grace, professionalism and team spirit. One more game and Team USA will be "golden" again.
I am very impressed with the grace and cool of Team USA's players. And Kobe has emerged a more mature player rather than the green, arrogant, green kid, from eons ago. When the pressure cooker is on, some lose it and begin to unravel and spiral downwards. The ones who come out winning are the ones who keep their cool, and gracefully take the pressure in stride.
Am I glad to be rooting for a graceful team!! USA for Gold!!!
(photo : yahoo picture gallery)

Friday, August 22, 2008


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
however humble;
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

by Max Ehrmann©1927 (renewed) Bell & Son Publishing, LLC Reprinted with permission.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Artist Within

This is the most leafed-through book on my book shelf. It's called "A Year of Living Consciously" by Gay Hendricks. The author has an inspirational quote and musing, for each day of the year. It is a book I live by. Some days, I will find the entry has no relation to what I am going through. Most days though, I would have an "ah-ha "moment with the particular entry and I would carry that thought with me for the whole day.

Today's entry is titled "The Artist Within". I will include an excerpt here.

"Everyone has an artist in their heart. Perhaps the artist shows his or her spirit in a visual art-painting, writing, photography-or maybe in another form, such as cooking, child-rearing, or teaching. The possibilities are endless. What are you doing to indulge your artist within, to give voice to your creative self?"

"If your artist within is starving, then your spirit is starving. You cannot cut off a true part of yourself-and everyone has an artist in his or her heart-without doing damage to the rest of who you are."

People ask me why I have ditched my hated job and chose to "indulge" myself in making greeting cards. Perhaps it's plain laziness on my part to find another job. Usually this is the only reason they have come to.

A good friend, Josephine, whom I have known for 10 years, came over for dinner last night. We started chatting after she greeted my pets, or after they have crowded around to greet her. We proceeded to update each other with the latest news . I told her about my new venture, and after seeing my portfolio of cards, she asked if I could show her how to make a Pastel b. card from scratch.

What she said afterwards was the total sum of my thoughts and feelings. She said that she has never seen me so calm and peaceful in all the years she has known me. The most miraculous thing is that I could now face the ridiculousness of my dysfunctional family with a laugh. This was not imaginable before.

I was so happy to hear her comment. I guess I have really starved myself of my creativity for too long. Aside from making Pastel b. cards, I have also become hermetic in a way. I spend most days reading, bonding with my pets, writing and enjoying the simple pleasures in life, rather than crowd myself with activities.

I have also made a very wise decision in distancing myself from the toxic relationships (friend, colleague and family-wise) around me. It sounds a bit drastic, but after so many years of exposing myself to the "pollution" in my life, I really needed this period of detox. Now, I have the freshness and purity of true friends, to embark on a new journey in life. How refreshing!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Office Renovation

We have just begun the renovation work in the office in TST. The office will be ready in mid-September. The studio will house Elaw's makeup studio, Pastel b. greeting cards and Petit enjel baby couture.

The office's color theme will be mostly white with pastel colors. We are planning to have modern chandeliers for the lighting, except for the makeup section, which there will be stronger lights. It will be a very feminine setting and very cozy as well.

I am experimenting with expanding Pastel b. from greeting cards to other lifestyle items. Initial items will be cushion covers and iron board covers, which will be semi-handmade. Hopefully, we will be in time to house the fall/winter collections from Petit enjel, too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Limited Edition Johnnie Walker

I am so excited to get my hands on the Limited Edition Black Label today. A Johnnie Walker fan for years, I was thrilled when I heard that Diageo will introduce a Black Label Limited Anniversary Edition collector's bottle, to celebrate 100 years of the Striding Man.

The limited edition is delivered in a black bottle and carries a 23 carat gold Striding Man to celebrate its century. Real gold? This is great!! If I am in any financial duress, I could scrape off the gold and sell it.
Seriously though, I am just ecstatic to get this cool bottle. A toast to the 100th anniversary and the ultimate occasion, Team USA's basketball Gold in the Olympics. Now, that's Gold worth cheering to!!

A spokesman from Diageo announced that "The Johnnie Walker Black Label Limited Anniversary Edition bottle will be available in selected retailers from October and will retail from US$65 for a 750ml bottle." Haha, I got it for US$55. A votre sante!!

Eye Cream follow up

After a week's use, I firmly believe the splurge is worth it. The puffiness is less, dark circles are lighter, and the eye area is indeed 'brighter' as the sales lady vouched.

I think the best part is that the cream is not sticky as 'cream' ususally is and a tiny, tiny glob is all you need for the whole eye area. So, in light of the price versus the amount needed for each application, my guess is the jar will last for 4 months.

With the visible results, I think that this cream is worth the price and the hype!

This eye cream is a thumbs up!!
(Photo :

Friday, August 8, 2008


I was reading up on eye creams a lot lately. Those that promise to eradicate fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. I was hoping to find a miracle. After much research and being a nuisance at skin care counters, I finally splurged on the Estee Lauder eye cream.
The texture is light and soft and it has powdered pearls in the ingredients, that promise to 'brighten the eyes'. Well, I was sold by the lady's pitch of making the dark circles go away. Yeah, right...
After I paid, the lady gave me sheets of the fragrance, Pleasures delight. They were individual sheets you'd find in Vogue and Elle, which you peel off and sniff. Well, that was a delight. All in all, the experience was nice, coz I feel really pampered.
Just hope the eye cream works wonder and the splurge is well spent.

(Photo :

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I love fresh bouquets of flowers in the house, mostly because of the fragrance and how it brightens the room.

Ever since Kobe's passing, I have been getting little stems of flowers to put beside his urn as remembrance of my beloved yorkie.

There is a flower stall in an alley down the blcok, where an old man has been there forever, selling flowers and small gold fish. Mostly, I would get small carnations for Kobe, coz the stall carries the nicest pale yellow carnations. The owner is a really nice grandpa and he would remind me every time not to put too much water, as the stems will rot and the flowers won't last that long. I would tell him that I remember his advice very well, and the flowers could last for almost 10 days.

I have been racking my brains for a new floral motif for Pastel b. One night, I looked up the meaning of carnations. I discovered that carnations were known as "Jove's Flower" in ancient Rome as a tribute to beloved god. Carnation has the meaning of 'admiration', 'love', and 'gratitude'.

Today, carnations has become the flowers of choice for Mother's Day. Knowing the meaning now, the carnation is a really perfect tribute to Kobe, whom I admire for his personality, taught me the meaning of unconditional love, and grateful for his companionship.

The challenge now is how to best represent it on Pastel b. cards.
Related Posts with Thumbnails