Saturday, February 5, 2011

First Week of February

On Monday I got a call back from Adore Tea. I didn’t get the job. I prayed a lot about this job. I’ve been asking constantly that God will only grant me a job that He wants for me. I wasn’t expecting that after the interviews and trial, the final answer would be ‘no’. But, at the same time I was secretly relieved. Adore Tea is located 45 minutes away by bus and I had to work 6 days a week to start off with which means that I also have to work on weekends. But I didn’t care about those things when I applied; I just want to get hired.

What Greg said to this situation was, “Come on Fionna. I’m disappointed as well, but do you really think you’d be able to work full time, run your Etsy store and do music at the same time? You’d probably look back at this in a few weeks and just be glad you didn’t get this job.”

With that confrontation, I had one of those twisty embarrassing feelings that goes something like- ‘yes I know what I’m in for, but I was hoping you don’t so that I could overlook all those risks and start working however hard I want! I hate to know that you know this all along!’. But all those thoughts sums up into hiding under a pillow going,“O, shut up! Shut up! Shut up...!!!" Greg’s mum also mentioned that she didn’t think the job would be good for me if I have to work on weekends, because that would mean I have to spend less time with Greg.

Knowing that, I thank God for His wisdom and for laying His hands in my situation, as well as everyone who had prayed for me. That night I also learnt what humble cake tastes like. My parents put me through a private school, I travel a lot, have a degree, and yet I don’t need those things to get a job. But with all those privileges, I still grew up feeling like the world is impossible to live in.

The next morning, my friend Meg Milton sent me a quote of encouragement. It is from the writings of Andrew Murray when he was asked from a friend of how he coped during a time of crisis:

“First: He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest.
Next: He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.
Then: He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last: In His good time, He can bring me out again--how and when, He knows.
Say: I am HERE--By God's appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”

I rest on those words knowing that God had answered me once and He will answer me again. I picked up what’s left of my courage and my pile of resumes and start knocking on florists doors again. I was scared and tired from the heat, but I’m glad I went because at the end of the day, I found 2 things:

A Canberra handmade shop had opened last year in April. I just happen to walk pass it because it was next to a florist I had hand in my resume into. It’s basically handmade things appearing in the commercial world- and stuff like that just doesn’t happen in Canberra. Caberra is full of talented artists, but there’s always a definite line between ‘retail’ and ‘market’ unlike places like Melbourne or Sydney. I saw so many items there that I’ve seen sold on Etsy and kindda felt like I was meeting familiar faces. So I went up to the counter and ask what do I have to do to get my stuff in the store.

Turns out they also have a big market happening 3 times a year at the Convention Centre. This is really huge for me... it seems like the logical next step as a handmade artist to be involved in stuff like this.

Just before I left for home, I went to Prickles florist near the bus stop. Last week my friend Simon told me that they were interviewing people, but I didn’t go because of Adore Tea. Turns out she hadn’t found anyone yet and after she saw some photos of my flower arrangements, she slot me in for a trial. When she said ‘trial’ I thought it was only a couple of hours of work to see if she likes me or not. Turns out it was actually a 3 months trial period... I only realize this on my first day at work.

My first day at Prickles was nerve racking because there’s A LOT to learn and it’s a very different florist that I’ve ever worked in. I felt like I have to move and learn fast all the time, so it makes me really nervous. With that being said, I only work 3 days a week plus some weekends if there’s weddings involved. And the shop is only 10 minutes by bus from home.

When Greg’s mum heard about this place she said, “It looks like your name is written all over that one”. My friend Amanda wrote to me on facebook ,” what wonderful news. The type of job you want. The place you want. The hours you want. What more could you want?”. Oh my goodness, she’s SO right! If that’s what I want then the job at Adore Tea wasn’t even close to what suits me! It’s really funny how sometimes our friends and relatives are more aware of what you are and what you need a lot more than yourself. Those things are a sign from God... a big fat ‘YES’ coming down from the sky. Maybe sometimes my head is just crazy and unreasonable. I’m just SO thankful to know that someone BIGGER than me is taking control of my life.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January in a Nutshell

Oh my goodness... is it REALLY the end of the month already...???!!!

I’m STILL unemployed but for some reason my time had been chewed up like a caterpillar on a basil leaf. How can this be?

On the 5-10th, me and 4 other random comrades hiked for 6 days along the famous great ocean road. And what I mean by random is that we only knew one or two other person on the team but not the rest. Nevertheless we all got along extremely well to the point where we were reluctant to reach the end. It was a pretty cruisy hike though. The track was very well paved, 3 out of 5 campsites were connected to civilization, and there’s a long drop with a view and toilet papers on every campsite! I even hiked with my snickers. We started from Cape Otway through to the Twelve Apostles.

This photo was taken at the end of the hike, Bec, Jake, Liz me and Amanda posing in front of the Twelve Apostles.

When the hike was over, I tried to get back to Canberra as soon as I can and I was lucky that Amanda was planning to do the same. I was missing my husband and also, my parents are coming to stay over for 5 days, on top of that my friend Sienna is scoring gigs out of nowhere and she asked me to join her band. Of course I jumped right in to that opportunity!

The day I reached Canberra, I looked up for jobs online and found one by “Adore Tea”- a tea house that I have submitted my resume almost a month ago. So the next day I wrote to them regarding their ad and the resume that I’ve submitted. It took me half the day to write to them. An hour after I pressed ‘send’ , I got a call back from them pretty much giving me a phone interview. 15 minutes later, I got offered a face to face interview.

My parents were eagerly waiting for me in my tiny home as I caught the bus back from the interview. The interview went well and I have passed the second test,but they wanted me to have a work trial before they decide if they want me or not. Oh geez, it’s a tea shop! Who would’ve thought it would be this hard to get in?

Having the parents around the house were a bit bittersweet too. Initially they refused to stay at my house because it was too small and dirty for their standards. So I let mum do her motherly thing and she started cleaning re-arrange the whole house, gave up my bed for them while Greg and I slept in our sleeping bags in the living room. Though, I’m just glad that we manage to entertain them enough. Lyndell, Colin and Simon were my knight in shining armour in this matter. They gave me ideas of things to do and has time to do those activities with us! We also celebrated my dad's birthday with my friends. I hope spending birthday with 10 kids in their 20's will make my dad feel a little younger? Maybe?

2 days after my parents left, it was time to go camping with Greg, Liz and Caroline. We’ve been planning this trip since December. By then it felt like I’ve slept more inside a sleeping bag than on a bed. We went to a place called Picnic Point, Liz’s childhood Haven.... I remembered I was feeling very frustrated with myself that whole week in Canberra. When I suddenly found myself sitting in Liz’s car, listening to Jack Johnson driving towards the beach, the feeling of extreme frustration was instantly switched into pure joy. It felt rather comical.

We only stayed for one night in picnic point, but we managed to swim in the beach a couple of times, went exploring, collect wood for the fire and cooked yummy things on it. It was soooo relaxing! I really didn’t want to go back to Canberra by the end of it.

But sure enough, the week after that is spent back in Canberra again. During the week I tried to get myself back into playing music again. I also worked very hard in opening up my new Etsy shop this week. But when I opened it up for critiques, I found myself shaken by some of the comments and didn’t feel very satisfied with the things I was proud of. I’m still trying to process the feedback and evaluating the results for my next point of action.

This is the photo of my name card and jewelry boxes I've made for the new shop I've been working on this week. I've sticked to the name of

Australia day on Wednesday was good. Greg was with me at home while I play some tunes on the piano. At night some of our friends and us went for a picnic around the lake, with the rest of Canberra. We saw some live music and enjoyed the fireworks.

So that was January in a nutshell....

Today I’ve done my work trial at Adore Tea and will find out whether I get in or not by tomorrow... can’t wait!!! >.<

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sparkly New Year...!

Me, Greg, and his brother Luke, were desperate to get away to the coast this New Years Eve. I've been told that it used to be a Melmoth tradition to go away to the coast in Narooma after Christmas. The kids are all grown up now and the house in Narooma is sold, so it's time for us to make our own plans! It doesn't help to plan our holiday 2 days before new year... everyone else had probably booked their campsites 6 months in advance, and everything is booked out.

I decided to give Liz a call to see if we could stay at her place in Tathra for New Year. I was embarrased to give her a call 2 days before new year, but she and her parents were open to our spontaneity and let us stayed in their house. And so, we spent the last day of 2010 hanging out with Liz and her fam, swimming and eating fish and chips in beside the beach in the afternoon. it. was.
AWESOME...!!! A really good break from Canberra really.

We head back home for showers and decided to go back out again for NYE. Out of all our choices, we decided to settle in a secluded nudist beach called 'Moon Bay'. We had to drive down into the forest and walk for about 20 minutes to actually get to the beach. We're really curious about what happen if we do run into those people, but I can tell you now that the beach remained completely empty for the night.

We lit a fire and toasted homegrown strawberries and marshmallow with 3 hours and a bit till midnight. Most of the time we tried to collect sticks and wood to keep the fire going. We also have 360 sparklers waiting to be used. Liz was wondering if we could take sparklers photos with the timer, and somehow that idea evolved into us shaping words with the sparklers.

This is our first trial run trying to write 2011:

Eventually we got better and spent an hour or so doing these:

And then we went crazy and did these (you can sort of figure out our crazy dance moves by the the sparklers. The dots on the ground is pretty much Greg or Luke falling flat on the sand)

And this is what we did with the rest of the sparklers:

So just before 2011 commences, the 4 of us managed to discover the art of drawing with sparklers... who knows,it might catch on. Happy 2011 everyoooooone...!!! :D