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Joy and her first Passport Stamp

So this happened yesterday...


Whaaaaaaaaat?! Joy made a Project Life layout. Yup! Before I did it I had to do a whole lot of picture printing and memorabilia organizing and remembering. I had to sort through 1600 pictures to see which ones I wanted to print out and it was painful. It took me a whole week to actually get through it all and print everything out. I ran out of ink and paper in the middle of this task, but I finished it! *pats self on back* Thank God for Amazon Prime ;)

The past 3 months have been amazing. Stressful, but amazing. I traveled. A lot. I never thought in a bajillion years that I would have a job that would pay me to travel. It is such a privilege and I feel so unbelievably lucky. First stop on my work travel adventure was Huntsville, Alabama. Random city not on my travel bucket list, but Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole made it all worth it :). Not even lying. Then I went to Tokyo, Japan and got my very first stamp in my passport. Japan is number fuh-reaking one on my travel bucket list. It doesn't even feel real that I was there. Last stop, home, Hawaii. And it ended with me thinking, "Why did I ever leave?". 

And in between all the travel? Visits from the lil bro and Mom, crazy work events, and awesome mixed media and calligraphy classes by Amy Tan and Molly Suber Thorpe.

There's just so much to cover and so much catch up on, but it feels nice to slow down for a bit. Here's to a happy summer!

Joy and Lessons in Project Life

Exactly one year ago, I discovered this amazing way of scrapbooking called Project Life by Becky Higgins. It was this simple way of scrapbooking using a variety of cards and pocket page protectors. It was made to be easy, and the end result was to have an amazing book of everyday memories. It was made to be less intimidating than regular scrapbooking layouts (you know the ole 12x12), but still fun to do. It sounded way too amazing to be true!

So I made the decision to start my first Project Life Album. It was kind of a weird place to start. I mean, it was the end of February. I was already "behind" 2 months. But you know what? I was okay with that. I was okay with my Project Life album not being "perfect" because c'mon people, life is not perfect ;) So I just started with whatever week I was in and filled in the beginning of the year with anything that I could remember. In fact, I decided that I wasn't going to take the "weekly" approach. Because honestly, life gets to crazy sometimes and this was meant to be a hobby, something that I enjoy doing. It was designed to be SIMPLE!

Thus began my journey into the world of Project Life - a world full of crazy, amazing scrapbookers. "Wood veneers", "tiny attacher", "washi tape" became a part of my daily vocabulary. I started a YouTube channel to share what I made and made some amazing friends along the way.

Now I'm in my 2nd year of Project Life. My love for it is stronger than ever. I think it's mainly because I just love looking through my 2013 album. It's so fun to flip through and remember all the cool things we did last year. It gets me excited for what's in store for us this year. I learned so much from that first album. So here I am sharing with you what I learned and hopefully it will help the newbies and veterans in someway or another :)

Before I start, I just want to warn you that I don't do Project Life the way Becky Higgins intended. She designed it so that all you would need is a core kit, a pen, and pictures. But since I use it as my creative outlet (and I love scrapbooking supplies in general LOL), I like to add a teensy bit more ;)

Lesson 1 - Story is King
One of my favorite companies and one that I still hope to work for someday is Pixar. Pixar's motto is Story is King. Before anything else, they always make sure that the storyline is solid. I'm guessing that's why their movies are so memorable. Looking through my album and watching my old Project Life share videos, I realize that it's not about how you decorate your pages but how you tell your story through Project Life. The embellishments and the cards are supposed to enhance your story. Just like CGI enhances the stories in movies. You didn't love Toy Story because the graphics looked so good, you loved Toy Story because of the characters and their adventures.

Lesson 2 - Photography
One thing that I made a goal to improve is my photography. It just makes all the difference both visually and in storytelling. My favorite layouts from last year was not based off of the cute cards but of the pretty pictures I took. I will not care in 5 years from now that I didn't pick the right card, but I will wish that I had a better picture of a special place, person, or moment.

Lesson 3 - Simpler is better
Some of my layouts last year were so intricate. I used to sew on every single pocket. It was super time consuming. I have stopped doing that and am now saving that for special occassions. I also had so much cards and supplies that each layout would take forever because I would go through my entire stash trying to find the perfect embelllishment or card. I have since cut down my card stash to my favorites and have organized them by color and one of the three categories - patterned, filler, and journaling. It has made it soooo much faster and easier. I have also stopped going through my entire stash and instead pull out certain embellishments and telling myself to only use those. It feels almost like a challenge that way. It helps me to work with what I have and to use them creatively.

Lesson 4 - Don't feel forced
I always have this perfectionist in me telling me that things have to be done a certain way. That I have to include every single picture I take or every single memento that I collect. I had to learn to let go of things last year. It was tough at first, but now it feels freeing. It has pushed me to take better pictures and only collect things that I think would enhance the story. If I didn't get to tell certain stories in my album, I just wrote it in my journal, and was okay with that. At least the memory is documented somewhere.

and lastly, Lesson 5 - Have fun
If you're not having fun with this project then you're doing it wrong! LOL This definitely should not feel like "work" and should not make you stressed. You're supposed to enjoy the process. When I do my layouts, I like to think about "future Joy" and how much she will enjoy looking at the album regardless of anything else.

So if you're looking for a way to get those pictures off the digital world and back to the dark side of analog (LOL), please try out Project Life. It's an awesome way of preserving memories. And if you're like me and like to get more crafty with it, it has that flexibility too :) With that said, I'm ending this post with my Project Life process video. It's my first time doing such a long video with voice overs and boy was it rough LOL. I don't think I could make a video like this every week. Hopefully you will get the gist of what goes on when I'm putting together my layouts. Enjoy!

Joy and 2009, the year of change

Hello out there! If there is anyone out there ;)

I'm in a pretty cool place in my life. I'm in a place that I wanted to be 5 years ago. Does that make any sense? Let me back up...

Five years ago, I was in a dark place. I was 26. I felt unbelievably lost. I was unemployed and was on the verge of giving up the Hollywood dream and  wanted to go back to Hawaii and work for the family biz. I felt so incredibly defeated. I felt like a failure. All I wanted was to do was work at a studio and work on movies and be with someone I truly loved. Well I was with someone. But I wasn't sure I loved him anymore, despite the fact that we were together since we were a couple of 15 year olds.

Then everything changed, very quickly. I got an interview in the summer of 2009 with a well-known post-production company. Nothing came of it though so I applied to more places. I was feeling so hopeless until I got an interview at Target. One fateful day in October 2009, I got 2 calls - one from the post-production company and one from Target, BOTH offering me a job. I had to make a decision. The post company was a temp position that was going to last a mere 2 months with no benefits. Target was a permanent position offering benefits. I was scared because I really really wanted the post position, but I didn't want to be unemployed again in another 2 months.

But guess what? I took the chance and went with the post-production company. Best decision I ever made. From there, my life took a crazy turn. I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend at the time. It just wasn't working anymore. We just didn't want the same things. He never ever brought out the best in me. It took me a long time to figure that out, but I finally did. We were together for so long, I think we were just together because it was comfortable and familiar. And maybe I was just scared to be alone.

So I just worked my butt off at this post house and eventually my two months were up, It was now 2010 and I was worried about being jobless again. But guess what? Because I did such a great job, they just kept me. I made a ton of new post production friends that year. We had a new tradition - "Pay Day Fridays at the Bigfoot". It was amazing. And eventually, I ended up falling for one of those new post production friends. He is the one I fondly refer to as my "Mr. H". He opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking. He helped me realize to slow down and observe and appreciate the world. He helped me learn to love my life. He inspires me to do creative things everyday. He gives me constructive advice and I just learn so much from him. I just feel safe with him, something I've never felt.

So things weren't all good. The company I worked for took a turn for the worst and because of all the amazing friends I made, I ended up landing another job at the competing post house. It's amazing. Before 2009 happened, I went on tons and tons of interviews. I was heartbroken for so much of my 20s it was sad. And now I was being offered jobs on the spot. It was mind blowing. This new job didn't offer that much difference in pay, but it was an amazing team I was working with. It was the best place I worked up to that point. I loved all my co-workers and I loved my job so much I think I made people sick to their stomach when I talked about how awesome my new company was. I eventually even brought over a bunch of my post friends to the new company.

Then, another turn for the worst for my favorite company. It's funny how small this industry is. After working in it for awhile, you get to know A TON of people. We all just rotate in one post house after the next. By that time, it was 2013. I knew the industry pretty well by this point. I could do it with my eyes closed. At this point, I was feeling sad for the old days with my old team. Most of them left and now I wanted to leave to, but I never did anything about it.

Until one fateful day (I love using this phrase LOL), I got a call from an old co-worker that was telling me to send her my resume. So I did thinking nothing of it. Then BAM! My dream... a fuh-reaking studio called and asked me for an interview?! They asked ME for an interview. I was floored and accepted. Before you know it, I was being offered a very nice salary and a start date of NOW! It happened just waaaay too fast for me to even comprehend.

I've been at my new studio job for about 3 months and am enjoying the trillions of benefits we get, but I still miss my old team and the old times. But 3 months, tho. Not that long right? I thought so but I guess I'm doing a good job again, because my boss has decided to send me to Japan in May. WHAAAAAAT! Japan? Oh you mean that country that's #1 on my travel bucket list? Yes please.

So here I am, the exact spot I wanted to be exactly 5 years ago. And yet, I still feel un-fulfilled. I feel a longing of something more. And that my friends, is what I think life is about. It's that longing that keeps you going.

I honestly do not know where I wanted to go with this post. I just wanted to reflect on how far I've come and remind myself that I still have a lot of awesomeness ahead.

I would love to have a Project Life album for every year in my life, but I think I'm going to go back to 2009ish. That's where my "new life" began. And that's what I really want to remember and cherish. My 2013 album was so fulfilling that I want to go back and finish those years. A lot happened to me in these 5 years that makes me exactly who I am today. And for the first time in awhile, I love who I am today.

Joy and Elsewhere

Hi! I noticed that I've been getting a lot of referrals from Studio Calico lately :) Just wanted to let you know dear visitor that you'll be disappointed in my sad, bare blog. I plan to beef it up sometime this year. In the meantime, feel free to visit my YouTube channel. I promise, you'll be entertained for a few hours or so. I hope. Enjoy! Click here to continue to my channel or watch my trailer below if you're still unsure ;)

Joy and the One Little Word℠

One Little Word 2014 - balance

This year, I decided to take part in Ali Edward's One Little Word℠ project. Essentially it's a word you choose (or it chooses you) that you focus on for the whole year.

I thought it would be tough to choose a word because there are just so many good ones out there. Words that I thought of that I didn't use:
  • glow
  • define
  • believe
  • go
  • strong
  • dream
I ended up choosing BALANCE. It was a word that stuck out to me a lot. When I mean a lot, I mean waaaaaaaaaay more than the other ones :)

So why did I choose it? I think because of my experiences in 2013, I realized something huge about myself. I'm a crappy perfectionist. And what I mean by that is I literally "go big or go home". Everything seems like its "all or nothing". No balance whatsoever. Perfect examples - my youtube channel. I went BIG. It was all I ever did for a long time. Everything was focused on creating this channel, making videos, thinking about videos, and watching videos. Then when I got a new job, everything was focused on this new job. And when I mean focus, I mean everything goes to the wayside - household chores, fitness, health, crafting, etc. I need to get rid of this mentality of "Subject A needs to be perfect so I'll let everything just be nothing because everything needs to be perfect". I always tend to go into the extremes. And now looking back at my life, I did that A LOT.

And the craziest thing guys, this word now appears everywhere. It's kinda scary.

In relation to my word, here are my goals this year:
  • MORE crafting and experiments with calligraphy
  • LESS buying of crafty supplies
  • MORE using of the Filofax
  • LESS buying of the Filofax supplies - seriously. I have enough post-it notes to cover the moon.
  • MORE cooking 
  • LESS takeout
  • MORE workouts
  • LESS Netflix watching marathons and Youtube watching
  • MORE taking pictures with the DSLR
  • LESS taking pictures with my phone
  • MORE meaningful everyday moments in Project Life
  • LESS embellishments and bulkiness in Project LIfe - save it for experiments :)
  • MORE veggies
  • LESS chips
  • MORE actual social networking
  • LESS social networking
A giant personal goal that has no relation to OLW is that I want to get physically strong this year. Like seriously strong. I added something to my bucket list that I really really want to accomplish before I turn 33. I want to do a scorpion handstand on a beach in Hawaii and look badass while doing it :) I gave myself a good amount of time to practice and get strong enough to do this. I mean, look at it (see picture below). It's a crazy pose! I barely did 5 push-ups the other day. There's no way I can pull this off anytime soon. Now that I think about it, I guess it does have something to do with my word, because you do need balance to do this.

On that note, I will leave you a quote by E.B. White. I found this whilst looking for inspiration for my OLW --
I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. 
Sounds like my day, everyday :)

P.S. The amazing bracelet featured in this post was made by Michelle at LycheeKiss. I love it so much. I had it custom made so that I can be reminded of my word everyday. As Ali Edwards says - make your word visible.

Joy and her 2nd favorite city.


I love the Bay Area. It's home away from home away from home. If I got a job at Pixar or Lucas Film, I would move up there in a heart beat. Maybe not the city city, because I will probably feel slightly claustrophobic living there, but somewhere close. I try to go there every Thanksgiving. My cousins and I are trying to make this a tradition, since there's no way in hell we have enough money to go home to Hawaii for Thanksgiving or enough vacation days for that matter.

This year was a special one. Our cousin that still lives in Hawaii - meeetcho, she and her boyfriend came to join us this year. This is the first time all 4 of us have been together since my other cousin Megan's graduation from college. And that was almost 3 years ago :O. This is also the first time that all of our boyfriends have been together. And lastly, it's the first time all 4 of us were together for Thanksgiving since I left Hawaii 10 years ago. And it was an awesome time.


We played a lot of Heads Up. Inside joke here - "butter churning". LOL. If you have played this game, and you have gotten this clue for the Act It Out category, then you know why this is funny. If you have not played this game, then you should. Play it during the holidays with your families and friends. I promise you'll have fun :)

Joy and the weekend that wasn't long enough.

This weekend I did stuff. Not exciting stuff. Errand-y stuff.

I got my Christmas tree! I've decided this year that I'm no longer going to get real Christmas trees for as long as I'm living in my current apartment. It is such a hassle to dispose of it after the holidays living from where I live. Don and I went to Target yesterday and we got a 6' Douglas Fir already lit for $50! Yay!! I was going to get one at Michaels because they had their tree sale going on + 25% off coupon, but this deal was much better methinks.

I decorated my filofax this week with one of my favorite sister stamps from my Hawaii friend Jenny :) You can get this particular one here - it's called Otsu Neko Cat :) I love it so much! The quote is by Ron Swanson. And if you don't know who that is, you're dead to me. Kidding! But seriously you need to go watch some Parks and Rec. I'm sad about the rumors I'm hearing about it being canceled. Please don't do it NBC!

I finally had some spare time this weekend to work on Project Life. I've come to a realization. I have too many cards to choose from. I'm not the type of PL'er that does it by collection or kit. For example, I don't just use Dear Lizzy's 5th and Frolic on one layout. I like to mix it up and I also like to pull colors from the actual pictures themselves and balance my layouts out that way. I have it down to a science ;) But because of the amount of cards I've collected over the last several months, it's taking too long for me to decide which ones to use. So I've decided that I need to at least use 1/2 of my collection before I can acquire more. Exception to the rule are the ones I get from my Studio Calico kits. Wish me luck on that!

Joy and the purpley sunset.

In lieu of me not uploading much on my youtube channel, I decided to start posting on my sad, sad blog. At least I cleaned it up a little and changed the template :)

Lately, I've been thinking about my crafty goals. I have a bunch that I want to accomplish in the next month:
  1. Take more pictures with the trusty DSLR
  2. Finish up fall Project Life pages
  3. Keep practicing my calligraphy
  4. Gather supplies for my December Daily
Wish me luck!

Ok so I haven't kept a blog going since college when blogger first came out. That was almost 13ish years maybe? And I used to write on it everyday, religiously. I was much more open back then, when the internet wasn't such a big place. I used to write on it like I was writing in a diary. An entry would go like this:
Dear Diary,
I thought this guy was really cute in my Computer Science class. He has the cutest accent. *swoon* And he talked to me and asked if he could borrow a pencil! EeeEe! I hope he talks to me again tomorrow. Please God!
I'm not kidding. It was embarassing to read some of those LOL. But I'm thinking, how it would be if I could do it that way again. So here I go. I'll tell you about my day.

I've been at my new job now for a month and a half, and I honestly still don't know what I do. I mean, I have an idea, but it's still so different from the last couple jobs I've had. Same industry, different responsibilities. And compared to my other jobs, it's a much more relaxed environment. No sense of crazy urgency. So I feel like I'm on a sugar high waiting for something to happen. I think I have Post Production PTSD.

One thing I do like about my job is the stray cats. Whaaaaat. Yah there's two - a black one and a calico colored one. And they like to rub up on the chairs while begging for a snack. I get to see celebrity puppies too! I wish I could say from which show without giving away where I work.

Oh and one more thing. Today I saw the prettiest sunset from my building. We can see the ocean from my floor and the sky was all sorts of purpley orangey pinks today. Imagine that color reflecting off the water. Beautiful. I regret not taking a picture. Sad.

Hope you all are having a great Thursday :) I'm excited for tomorrow. Going to the mall for lunch so I can use my 20% VIB coupon at Sephora. YAY-yay! I'm thinking maybe getting this intriguing piece of genius.

Joy and her first post.

Hello everyone and welcome to my brand new blog :).

I've been in a weird place in my life lately. I'm stuck in a career that is going nowhere. I'm stuck in a city that I'm starting to fall out of love with. I want to move on to a more lucrative career and move back home to be closer to my family, but I'm kinda stuck... Not in a bad way. Just in a waiting period. In limbo if you will.

So to counteract this yuck feeling, I decided to immerse myself in some new and old hobbies. New - Copic coloring and cardmaking. Old - photography and drawing. I'm sure I'll add more to these lists soon ;)

I wanted to document my journey here in my new home on the web -

I guess I should tell you some stuffs about myself. I'm 30 years old *gulp*. I've been living in Los Angeles for 10 years. I was born and raised in Hawaii. I still visit at least once a year. I haven't been home since July 2012 and I'm already itching to go back. *sigh*. But I moved because I just wanted to see something new. And I did. And now I'm ready to go home.

I work in post production. Very "LA" of me 'eh? Trust me, it's not as glamorous as it sounds. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my job. It has it perks. I just feel very bored and restless.

Hmm what else... I have a cat! He's a weird cat. He's dark grey and his name is Mochi (you know, like the Japanese rice cakes). He hops around like rabbit and tries to clean his own litter box.

I have a big thing for Captain America... Maybe because my boyfriend is an army vet and I just have a thing for millitary guys. Or maybe it's just Chris Evans I have a thing for. I don't know. heehee.

I strongly dislike jalapenos.  

I really, really want to ride in a hot air balloon. Preferably a red one.

Well I think that's all you get for now. Until next time.

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