Hey friends,

It's April again and its a month of chaos! 

There's a saying from an Italian proverb: "Aprile non ti scoprire" which literally translates as "Don't remove your coat in the month of April."

April is a month of the seasons changing from winter to spring. During my school days in Milan, I came very close to experiencing what the proverb described, dramatic temperature changes - rising and falling with 10 degrees differences within the hour and hail storms on a sunny day. I have to be extra thoughtful with what I choose to wear just so as to prevent myself from falling sick. Even on sunny April day, it is still risky to remove all of your winter wear.  

When the winter season transforms into spring, chaos emerges.

In Singapore, we celebrate one of the most important events of the year, the Qing Ming Festival, in the month of April. It's an opportunity to pay a visit to our ancestry graves, do routine housekeeping, and prepare food offerings to remember our late loved ones. It is also a time to reflect on who we are, where we are from, and to be grateful for our ancestry roots. The Qing Ming period is usually accompanied by the scorching sun and heavy rainstorms, all within a matter of a few hours. 

What happens here in the month of April seemed to align with what happens in Europe. When the temperatures are fluctuating, chaos is inevitable. Chaos blooms life. Take a look at where the sea and the river meets; there lies the richest nutrients for water creatures and is almost always the busiest path for commercial trading.

"All great changes are preceded by chaos."

- Depak Chopra

My own chaos

The 5 goals which I had set for myself for the year 2021, have become pretty overwhelming for me to stay on track. I have to admit that I was too ambitious on what I could achieve and forgot to set aside time and space for myself. 

Beginning the month of February, I began my keto diet for the second time and intended to maintain this diet for a minimum of 4 months. I am easily anxious and not being able to travel back home has increased my anxiousness like never before. Since mental health is interconnected with our body, my endless worries had caused me an episode of stomach reflux for an intolerable 7 days. It was a signal begging me for more "me" time. 

Since the unpleasant reflux incident,  I've amended my schedule and allocated 6 hours for myself daily to swim and to cook (yes, it takes me at least 3 hours to cook a simple meal for myself) and 3 hours to work on WABISABI. That's the reason why I have fewer postings during the month of February and March (which I sincerely apologize to friends who loyally support WABISABI). I hope to be able to catch up on my goals soon. At the moment, this 3 (eat) x 3 (sport) x 3 (work) seems to work pretty well for me, though my stomach reflux is still kicking a little fuss at times, it just needs time to fully heal :) I am still finding the balance within the chaos which I've created within my inner thoughts (goal setting) and hoping to grow out of my current shell.

Here's my update for the month:

1. Gift Wrapping @wabisabiwrap

2. Natural Dye

Studio Nienke Hoogvilet is an interestingly innovative team that creates beautiful yet practical designs with waste like fish skins, bones, wastewater and etc. Their study is experimental and in-depth on how to embrace waste like an alchemist. Below is one of their research books on herbs dyeing that provides ayurvedic benefit to our skin. To prevent waste, they do sell perfect copies and damaged copies of their books in their shopping list.

I just received this beautiful (damaged) copy today and am so looking forward to reading it! 

3. Needlework & 4. Pattern Drafting

Finally completed the mending of this dress at the end of March. The before and after seem to look similar in the pictures, but don't be fooled! It took me so long to put every piece of this dress back together. I had fully un-picked the whole dress and re-sewn the inner part of this dress. The entire process was intense and energy-sapping,  and I can't remember how many snacks I had needed to munch on in order to motivate myself to continue mending this dress. Details of these blood and sweat (thankfully no tears! haha) will be shared in a dedicated post in May. So stay tuned for the upcoming highlights in the mending process of this dress! 

5. Illustration
I had very little time for illustration last month, so this is the one that I've complete recently to include in future orders :)

My recent found treasures:

This documentary got me questioning the food we consume and the greed of the human race. Ali, the director of Seaspiracy was brave enough to travel to many different places and help us unveil a clear picture of the dark secrets that happen in the sea. If the human race is able to label dolphins as pests and kill them just so they could catch more fish, what about the overpopulated human race that destroys the ecosystem? What an irony indeed!

As much as I appreciate that there are people like Ali who go all out just to find answers, I personally disagree that a plant-based diet is the solution. Ever since I attended a biodynamic course and meeting farmers from all over Malaysia, I've learned that the vegetable and fruit farming industry is equally corrupted. 

"When a plant doesn't grow, you fix the environment it's subjected to, not the plant."

The problem is rooted in us - the human race. And thankfully, we can also be the solution
Like most, I am yet to have the perfect answer to solve this challenge. Maybe there will never be a perfect answer. But the only answer is what costs we are willing to pay, what we are willing to give up, in order to solve this critical environmental challenge that we have on hand. I believe by treasuring every single life and making no waste to their sacrifices (e.g. animal food consumption), will help to prolong the limited resources in a long run. Feel free to share your thoughts with me after watching this mind-blowing documentary. 

All photos were taken from and courtesy of Netflix

(Take a deep breath for 3 mins) 

Chaos is part of growing. How much has your goal changed? Whether you still keep to your original goals or amend them halfway, you are still right on track to get to know yourself just a little better. And that's definitely a good thing. Take your time to progress in chaos. Some things take time. Knowing yourself takes patience. And patience develops calmness in chaos. 

Thank you for reading this far :)

Talk to you again in May,

Waee Waee