A Creative’s Space: OSONIA Designs

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. To take a sneak peek into the creative spaces of some of the most wonderful people I’ve met along the way. Some are creators, crafters, masters of their trades, others just wonderfully inspirational at a whim, lovers of all things pretty and good design. I hope you enjoy their creative spaces as much as I do and hope they inspire you.

Welcome Sonia! You’re the creative soul behind the inspiring OSONIA Designs. Because of your creations and your past pictures of all your different designs, I’ve been inspired to find out more about your creative space at home, how you use it and what goes on in it daily. In short, I’m thrilled that you’re here to talk with me today and am very excited to have this peek into your world of creating.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the products you create and how the space is designed for creating your very special products?

I design & create an extensive range of handcrafted products, specialising in quality personalised and handmade greeting cards, tags, guestbooks and decorator frames.  When at first designing my home studio, 2 things were critical!  It had to look great & it needed to be functional because I was aware the amount of time I would be working(approximately 30-40 hours per week).

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If you had to be selective, what three things do you love most about the space?

The generous size (8 metres x 5 metres), the natural light & the views (from my 2 large windows) are so peaceful & serene.

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How has your home studio space evolved since you first designed it?

It hasn’t really changed much.  I did put a lot of thought into the initial layout & furniture I would need (lots of measuring & sketching down of ideas).  I do however add lots of pretty things all the time – frames, jars & vintage vases and of course new craft supplies.

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I’m drawn to all of the various cardmaking tools materials that you have. How do these tools and materials play a role in creating and what goes into the way you choose them?

Like most handmade crafters would agree – I have “too many tools of the trade”!  I do however find (just like with fashion) I like to keep up with new papers, stamps, ribbons and trends.  It really is amazing how often new products are being released, with most of the larger companies it is monthly.

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I live in a small home. What advice do you have for someone with limited space to work with?

Utilise as much wall space as possible – add shelving & peg boards, it is amazing how many of your supplies you can actually store that way.  If possible put drawers or tubs under your table/desk area as they are also very handy & usually at arm’s reach.

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If you were only restricted by your imagination, what would your ideal creative workspace include?

I would love to have floor to ceiling built in paper racks and an area with a couple of armchairs that I could just sit & “ponder” from time to time…….now, that is really dreaming!

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Thanks so much Sonia, for letting us into your lovely space! x

Alice.

Loving the new Alice in Wonderland greeting cards in store.

Alice in Wonderland has to be one of those books that I can’t help but think about. What it all means. It is just wonderfully weird and completely out of this world… which just draws you in the moment you read the words and meet the different characters.

Just a bit like this life we have in this world now. (:

{At Home} 5 Minutes of Colour

Have you ever felt a little overwhelmed by all the various styles and types of designs?
There are so many rad, lovely products out there nowadays.
Polka dot bedsheets… gorgeous quilts, lights, clothes!
Heck, to even choose your favourite amongst the ocean of dining chair designs is a little bit suffocating at times.
These are probably what I would call first world problems.

This year, we will be building an extension to our new home.
Add another bedroom and a bathroom. Scrap old kitchen, build new one.
I am terrified of screwing up.
I don’t know how my Mum did it way back in the days where there was no internet.
Mum loved interior design and I always loved our old home and the way she built and decorated it. (Now, let’s just hope some snazzy decorating gene of hers has found its way into me).

A darling friend of mine dropped her whole collection of Home Beautiful mags, told me to ‘knock myself out’ with them. I love her!
After poring through about 48 out of the 100 issues bestowed to me, I am still feeling a little dissatisfied.
I think, home mags can only help you that much.

I do feel strongly that a home should serve its owners. And not just be a pretty thing.
Especially when you spend a bomb on it. Which is most of the time nowadays.
Architecture or design that is beautiful but not practical isn’t clever at all.
And how a home serves you, is so much more exemplified when there is a family living in it.
Suddenly… you have all these people. All these feet. Everywhere. All the rooms are being used, some at the same time.

I just wanted three things in a home:
I wanted another bedroom.
I wanted to be able to see my kids in the garden from my kitchen.
I like small. I didn’t want one of those house/land packages with a huge double storey 5 bedroom house. Those houses are a nightmare to me. Cleaning!!!!

But I still wasn’t, and am still not sure of what really is a good home to me.
What does my home need to have to honestly serve this little family of mine well?
Sometimes, walking around and taking 5 minutes to take photos gives you ideas of how you use your home.

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I have succumbed to the fact that my home will always be messy when my kids are young.
We try to pack up most days and do an ok job. But other days, we just leave the mess around. And it is ok.
This is hard for me to accept, just because I used to be a neat, organised person when I was living along and my eyes just zoom in on mess.
But… seriously. You can’t do kids and not have mess!

Looking through the pictures… I realise what is important to us.
I also realise what might be missing and what we should have more of, that for some reason, has not had more of a presence at home.
I love colour. All pops of colour.
A colourful home makes me very very happy and gives me the the brightness I need.
Some friends of mine have really beautiful neutral homes or some others have really earthy, natural homes which I think reflects them and their own personalities so well. I love being at the homes of others and just absorbing the energy that is in there.
Which makes me think.
Does having a messy house make my children more frazzled???
If I had a simpler and more bare home, would my children calm down?!
Would I calm down?!
It probably would have a nice effect on me, which is quite an amusing thought.

Someone wise said that it is best to start with a clean, whitish palette or shell… so that you can slowly add the colours that you like in the forms of furniture and other decor.
And I think it is really important to keep asking myself whether I really really want that in my house before I bring it home.

Do you share the same dilemma as me?
How does your home make you feel?

First.

Isn’t it true?

You have lots of firsts with your eldest child.
The first time she smiled at you.
The first time she ate that mushy baby cereal.
The first time she made a friend at kinder and told you all about it.
They’re usually bossy. Mine is.

I had another first this week with my eldest.
The first time I sent a child off to primary school.
Prep. As they call it here.
I don’t know who was more excited. Or nervous.

I grew up in Singapore.
School, especially primary school, is very different from school here.
I had absolutely no clue what to expect my child to be doing in primary school here.
“What do you do every day in primary school?”
“What do you mean what to you do? You just play!”
“What do you mean play? Don’t you have subjects? Like an hour of Math, English and Science?”
“Well I guess you do when you get older…”
“Do you have exams in Prep?”
“What! No… you don’t have exams in primary school.”
“Do you have a desk of your own??”
“Why do you need to label all these clothes and shoes?!!”

And so there I was.
I felt like the one starting first day of school.
Please forgive my questions, dear husband.
We had exams from the word go back in Singapore.
We had textbooks and workbooks when we started Grade 1.

Learning is so so different here. And I really do appreciate it.
I still feel like I am going to learn so much about school, together with my child…
At least one thing is the same worldwide.
We all contact our books.
Amen.

Her dad took the day off to see her on her first day of school.
I really loved that he did that.
That he always thinks of doing things like that.
He laughed at me when I told him that I felt so excited, happy but also so sad that I could cry… that Clari was at school.
I still tear up and feel a huge lump in my throat just thinking about it.
He said I was crazy. That there were all these mums out there who are crazy.
I guess there is truth to what he said.

We took our Second, Celeste out to the city and had some yummy food, went to the playground and she had an absolutely ball of a time.

And today, as I sat and painted together with Celeste at home, just the two of us, it did feel nice.
To be able to focus ALL my attention on just one child for once. For a whole day.
I’m so sorry, Celeste.
You had to wait 2 years for this moment!!

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So there you go.
Thanks for being here and sharing in this special sweet family moment for me.

Clari did eventually come home.
It was a long 6 and a half hours to wait for school pick up.
I was dying to find out what had happened.
She was SO happy.
I haven’t seen her this excited in a while.

“I LOVE my school!”, she said.

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List making.

So after eating all that gingerbread, chocolate balls and turkey at Christmas, my longing to purge anything in sight to feel lighter ended up in a slight blog mishap.
‘Slight’ might be an understatement.
Deleting an album of blog photos that I found on my phone resulted in all my pictures disappearing on my old blog on blogspot. My old blog is now a pretty picture of grey circles with white lines. Argh!

Nonetheless, I’ve taken this chance to start on a new page. This year seems to hold so many changes for me and my little family again. Number 3 on its way. Moving house in the middle of the year. My biggest girl is starting prep tomorrow and I’ve spent all this time thinking that I will be okay because, afterall, she is so expectantly looking forward to it all.

Reverse-coping method maybe?
Trying to brainwash myself into looking forward to the whole school thing hasn’t worked very well.

Oh yes, I’m looking forward to Clari being at school. But a part of me knows fully how much I will miss her whole being. Miss her ridiculous, nonsensical style of singing and the songs she makes up. Miss her looking after her younger sister. Miss her asking me about food every few minutes. I’ll miss her. It will be so much quieter at home this year and I think Celeste will feel it deep in her heart too.

Lots of lovely people have been making lovely lists.
I make heaps of lists everyday, mainly because if I see it written down, it makes me want to tick it off. The world is probably better off not seeing my lists.

However, some other lovely people made lists a long time ago.

This one below is by F. Scott Fitzgerald to his daughter, Scottie.

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship

Things not to worry about: 

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about: 

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,

Daddy

(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters; Image: F. Scott Fitzgerald with his daughter, Scottie, in 1924.)

Another one:

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Isn’t it true?
Sometimes, it’s nice to read someone else’s list and find that they feel the same way about certain things.
To feel that you’re not the only one with these lists!

I think making lists might become a chronic affliction for me as a mum.
When you’re in charge of a few other small people’s lives, somehow you just hope fervently you don’t forget anything.

If only we could remember everything that we wanted to.
I think I will forget lots of things, even with all the photos and journalling that could happen in the world…