Monday, December 27, 2010

This Christmas...

I couldn’t say too much about what we did this Christmas, apart from that everything was so pleasantly simple. Since harvest is still going, we decided to celebrate Christmas in Greg's parents farm as a small family. The rain that’s meant to bless them this year had ruined some of the crops instead. They lost the quality of the grain which means they will worth less money, but the quantity of grain will make up parts of the damage.

The Christmas tree had no tinsels or had been over-decorated, and although the room had been decorated with some Christmas items, it wasn’t overdone which was really nice. The usual 'Melmoth' Christmas is basically to wake up in the morning to go to church, came back home at 11am and sit around in the living room with some snacks while we open up the presents. We had a few people visiting us during the weekend for some snacks, a chat and a laugh. It makes the house is sitting in the middle of nowhere feels unbelievably alive.

I never celebrated Christmas properly in my own family. I love it that I get to experience my first Christmas as a married woman sitting around the living room, and exchanging presents with the people we love- the way most people would celebrate Christmas properly. Hopefully Greg and I will be able to make our own Christmas tradition this way when we have kids.

We got some unexpectedly awesome stuff this year. Greg’s brother Luke gave us some money for us to buy ourselves a pet fish because he couldn’t wrap them to give it to us. I used it to buy some neon tetras and a catfish with it so far. His other brother, Phil gave us the book, “Ministry of Cooking” by Jamie Oliver which I’ve been burying my head into throughout the weekend. Greg’s parents bought us 2 fold up camping chairs, a tent and a set of gorgeous handmade glass coasters.

Here's some photos for a sneakapeak review of what's going on in the Melmoth house:

Greg's mum got a bicycle from her husband which was a big thing. Greg's dad is really into cycling and so he bought her a snazzy bike in hope that she'll ride with him whenever they can. Although she's not sure if that's what she wants for Christmas, but they end up going for a ride in the evening to test it out. The dog, Lizzi went chasing them away as they ride up along the road and back again. You can see her in the photo chasing the bike, she was pretty determined! She was so exhausted after the run that she collapsed straight to her cushion for a nap.

I had the honor to cook the family Christmas dinner for the night. I was making Indonesian fried rice and the Indonesian fruit jelly that I used to have all the time growing up. Both dishes turned out to be disastrous!!! I'm not used to the house’s electric stove and didn’t realize that I didn't cook certain things through properly. The jelly didn’t even set and we just end up having this failed jelly fruit soup. I was so embarrassed, and I can’t believe everyone ate it regardless. They said it was part of their responsibility that they're willing to take when they agreed to accept me as one of the Melmoths. Hehe… how gracious! I love my family. At least I didn’t make them get sick in the morning! :p

I didn’t take a photo of that moment at all. It was all too embarrassing and I made sure everyone quickly ate all the evidence before somebody took a shot with my camera. So in case you feel cheated, you will get to see some photos of the wheat harvest in action instead…

So, how’s YOUR Christmas been? I'm really looking forward to hear everyone else’s stories when all the madness is over. Happy holidays! =)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Amuseme vs Beadsforpeace

So, immediately I need to clarify the reasons behind changing a shop entirely even though I’m still focusing in jewelry for both shops. One reason behind it is because I moved from Indonesia to Australia, so automatically everything changes. I have to change the details on every info in listing I give because of the location difference, the postage, the policies, and the list goes on and on. I could still keep the name beadsforpeace and change all those details, but I think this is a great time to wipe it all out because I’ve learnt A LOT after being 2 years in Etsy and felt that Amuseme is going to be too big of a step up from beadsforpeace for them to be combined together.

When I opened up beadsforpeace, I absolutely had no idea what I was doing. I just needed a creative outlet from my super deadly boring job that I’m totally not passionate about. Beadsforpeace was more like, I’ve got stuff, a computer, a camera and internet, let’s do it! Etsy is so affordable that I thought the shop would just be a mini gallery where I can show people the stuff I made. And so, that one fateful day as I was listing my first few items, I got a sale WHILE I was listing them. The moment I found out I ran hysterically to my mum and we started jumping around her room like nuts and spent the night trying to figure out how to pack the stuff! Hehe, that was fun! So, this is gonna sounds a bit silly but unlike my expectations, the night I opened the shop was the same night that I was actually open to the reality that I AM a seller. Though, I was still a bit shy and I never really promote myself or tell people that I’m doing this. I only have one way to promote: do nothing, let mum do all the talking.

Of course everything didn’t really go all that smooth. Year 2008/2009 was pretty much wasted on my stupid 12 hour job (9 hours in the office, 3 hours in traffic) So boring that I thought I might as well be dead. Think that year was like, 60% being bored to death 15% getting strange diseases, 15% travelling and 0% socializing. Anyway… the point is, I just didn’t create enough to actually run and learn about the shop and to be happy.

Year 2010 however, is looking up, waaay up! I can almost say that besides dealing with loads of silly paperwork to move and be married, I spent this year predominantly getting high on creating stuff, and it has been super awesome!!! It’s probably the side effect on being bored to death, I suddenly have the capacity to just burst like crazy. Unlike beadsforpeace, I’m actually planning what I want to see in Amuseme before I open it. My motto, my goals, how I will market my stuff, super exciting stuff like that….

The product is going to be different between the shops because I have found myself getting so ADDICTED to wire. Maybe it’s one of those “You don’t choose the medium but the medium choose you” sort of situation. I just go through rolls and rolls of them without realizing, and the busier I get, the more of a wreck my house gets… I know I’m a girly girl, but I still wish that I’m better at multi tasking than I am now….’s exactly a week before Christmas… hope you all are getting your preparations sorted and have fun while doing it! :D


Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Beginning

2 weeks ago, I stayed up late sketching round about what my new Etsy shop is going to be like. The what, the branding, the logo, the do’s and don’ts. The next morning I unconsciously made the ultimate decision, that being an artist is going to be my primary concern. If I get a job, it will only be part time or casual. Before this I would be looking for full time job if I could. So I went to go for more job hunting in the rain. I came home to the conclusion that the jobs I'm interested in are not available until after Christmas, and I thought that worked out well if I want the new Etsy shop to open up properly by January/Early Feb.

It wasn’t hard to know why I made this decision and what I’m going to do with it, but I try not to think where this journey is going to take me.

I’ve come up with the shop name ‘Amuseme” one frustrated afternoon, it was one of those days when I know I’ve got lots of stuff to do but don’t know what it is…. And the name sort of struck me like someone shouts at my brain. I’ve taken a poll to some friends about the name and they seem to like it. I’m sure whatever it is, it will eventually grow on me.

Although I try not to think about the importance of the brand name when choosing one, I picked up a valuable point from the acapella group ‘The Idea of North’. When they picked their band name, they intentionally picked a completely random brand name because they don’t want their music to define by the brand. I personally think that’s a really good decision to go for. So instead of calling my shop ”beautifuljewelry” I’d rather call it “Possums n Squirrels” or “blah” even.

As soon as I made the commitement, everything seem to fall into place, and my days are becoming more purposeful. I’m suddenly chased by time and becoming more focused in developing my shop before Christmas is over.

It seemed like it was the right decision to make for now. I’m loving my life everyday to just drink tea, be creative, work at home while listening to movie commentaries in the background. I’m really content to just work from morning until the husband arrived home in time to cook dinner. Some days a friend would call to meet up for lunch and it feels SO good to just go without having anyone sneering at me.

One of my favorite things to do for short breaks from work is watching my plants grow. I only planted the seeds with my friend Liz a couple of weeks back, and they’re already sprouting so beautifully and looked sooooo cute!

They're all the flowers and herb seeds I've received from wedding presents and from the bridal kitchen shower. Think I've planted most of them already. The flowers I've got are Dahlia, Nasturium, Forget me Nots, Swan River Daisy and english daisy. I've also planted herbs and cherry tomatoes.

Oh the simple joys in life… I may not ever be satisfied with my own achievements, but I gotta say that God has been very good to me to let me experience this level of happiness in life. =)