Far, Far Away?

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There has been a lot of nothing happening on Make Bracelets lately – hasn’t there?

Here’s what’s going on.

 I have had to put tons of things on hold as my attention has been drawn to possible alternate universe plans.

Jewelry making has largely been pulled off the table except for a special project, a quick trip to a bead show and very few special orders lately.  I’ve had to be tentative with so many people lately including my own kids – which has been so hard.  Life has been in major limbo.  No booking kid camps, summer vacations, no new purchases for the studio.

We may be making a big move.   Far, far away to SINGAPORE.  It is not for sure yet – but very possible.  The girl from a small rural town in WI, then IN, then San Francisco and now Metro DC (albeit the far edge)  in Northern Virginia may be packing up her home of 10 years, putting it in storage and headed Far East for a few years!


Singpore Skyline.  Photo credit:  Get In Travel


Singapore Art Science Museum.  Photo Credit: San Diego Reader

The possibility of Singapore surfaced several months ago when my husband was asked if he would be interested in a new position overseas. He is not in the military so the thought of a job overseas was not on the radar.   He runs a sales group in the telecom & video conferencing technology industry.  Totally not on the radar.

We are still waiting to see if the numbers make sense. Singapore is crazy expensive.  Lots of corporate red tape and waiting,  back and forth on details on how it could all work.  It’s been a drain.  Tons of research on schools, cost of living, international taxes, housing and life in Singapore for an American Expat family.   This has been taking up my time.  Not to mention the thinning out of 10 years of life’s accumulation with two kids in our current home.

This next week could bring pivotal change in my life.   The details are supposed to come.

That’s why the crickets have been chirping on the blog.

Singapore Word Cloud Art


All these thoughts have been taking a turn in my psyche over the last few months making it a bit hard to concentrate.  Major overwhelm.  I’ve really never felt this way before.


My thoughts turned to:   I hope there are high quality jewelry supply stores in Singapore!  Wow, we would be so close to Thailand and hub of the silver trade!  Oh man – so much closer to the gemstone manufacturing capital of the world.

I found out that one of the biggest  jewelry trade shows in the WORLD happens each year in Singapore in October!  I did this research before I researched the international schools –   Yep, priorities.  : )


The huge question of whether to stay or go will work itself out one way or another.  We’ve done our research and now it is just a waiting game.  The kids still have no clue.  My husband and I have had to talk in code around my 5 year old and avoid the subject all together when my son is around.   I do not want to upset them during end of year test taking at school if this whole thing does not come to pass.

If it does, the great thing is you are all just as close  as ever via the web.  You will get a glimpse of life and beads and the handmade jewelry scene in Singapore.  I’m very thankful for technology.  I’ll keep you posted!


Hope you are having a good start to your summer season!



I’d love to hear from you if you have lived abroad with elementary or middle school aged kids for a few years, especially Singapore or other Asian countries.  I keep hearing from people I talk to in person it was the best decision they ever made!













  1. Well it is understandable that you haven’t been able to create. This is a huge, life changing event. I hope it all works for the best for you and your family. And yes, I am so grateful for the internet. If the move does take place I look forward to many posts of life and beads Singapore style.

  2. Do it! Once in a lifetime chance! The children will adapt and it will be a huge gift to them that they will remember all their lives! I lived in France with my Air Force Dad and loved it!

  3. Never lived abroad. Major decision. The best advice I can give is pray about it. The Lord WILL give you an answer if fe knows you will accept his answer. And will give you a piece about your decision. Good luck in whatever you decide.
    Carolyn Miller

  4. This is really awesome, Tracy. I hope you’ll be able to do it. What a fantastic experience for your kids!! Not to mention you & the hubs. Do you follow Helena Tang-Lim on Facebook. She’s a very talented jewelry designer in Singapore! She’s sweet as can be — a really nice person. She sure seems like someone who’d be great for advice and help if (when) you get there. I’m excited for you and your family! Please keep us posted!

  5. What a wonderful opportunity! If you can’t take your jewelry making supplies take a notebook and do lots of observing. It should be a fantastic source of inspiration! Yes, please do keep up updated-even just a short post.

  6. Where ever you are, where ever you go, I wish you and your family the best always. This would be one amazing journey. Overwhelming, sure, but think of it as a new source of inspiration.

  7. Wow, wow, wow! What a wonderful opportunity for you and your family. If it does work out for you all to move there, then, we all get to see it vicariously through your blog! Win, win.

  8. Wow! I cannot even imagine what is going through your head! I remember when I left Virginia in 1984 – I was 24 years old – and moved outside of Seattle in a small town called Poulsbo, WA. I took a promotion with my job – from the time I applied to the time I moved was 2 weeks! I was petrified! I returned to Virginia in 1987, but those 3 years in Seattle were life-changing for me. While I realize Seattle is not Singapore, and I am childless, I can still understand how you must feel! Best of of luck to you – where-ever you end up!

  9. Such an exciting and frustrating time – not knowing. You’ve been in limbo for so long, and being the super-organize person that you are, I know it must be tough!! I am very excited for you though, with all of the possibilities and excitement ahead!! I lived abroad for at least 9 years of my childhood, so I know that it will bring life-long memories and experiences that just can’t be imagined. On the flip side, if you don’t end up leaving, I’ll be happy to keep a friend in VA! 😉

  10. What a wonderful experience for your whole family!!

  11. Holy Cow Smokes Girl!! 🙂 I wish you and your family the best for whatever is in store for your future. How exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time – right?! Wish I had advice on living over seas. I have a close friend who lived in Asia for a bit as a kid (not sure the exact spot at the moment) and she also lived in Germany too (yep – military) and she tells of great experiences while in both places as well as adjusting to school life, etc. as a child. Right now, her fiance is temporarily living in China while flying for an airline over there – it’s been quite the experience for him! If you do end up in Singapore, especially with all the bead/jewelry goodies it could offer, I’m sure it will be an amazing time for your family and we will all enjoy your interaction and letting us be a part of it, too!! Best wishes that things turn out just as they should for you guys and that everyone is happy with whatever outcome arrives your way!

  12. Tracy, what a surprise for your family. Do it! Your just a few typed instructions from all of us who love your creative ideas. Keep us posted on your decision! Sue

  13. You’ll have to blog about it!

    A dear friend of mine is Vietnamese and she tells me about the crazy jewelry deals in Vietnam, Hong Kong., etc,. Jewelry and supplies will be cheap and abundant and you’ll be able to travel all of the Asia to find them!
    Best of all, your kids will grow up with such tales to tell. My parent’s best friend grew up an only child in Burma, her mother died in childbirth. She was raised and pampered by maids and nannies and is the loveliest woman with endless fascinating stories and amazing artifacts.

    I’ve got my fingers crossed that it all works out!!

    Please write more when you can.

  14. I am so jealous! It’s considered the most modern city in the world!

  15. Hi Tracy, This is such a personal decision, but if it isn’t forever, I too think it would be an unforgettable experience. Now……… on a self absorbed note, you could add to your jewelry business……….. beads to all of us from across the world. You have the eye for beauty, and we would be oh so grateful.

  16. I’ve never been there, but it sounds as if you are accepting it more and more. I hate change also and my husbands job has moved us around, Wisconsin to Texas was the biggest shocker, but it’s been wonderful too. As long as you’re together, that is what counts! And, thanks to todays technology, you will be able to stay close to your loved ones in the US. Prayers it all works out for you and your family! Either way, here or there.

  17. Tracy, Good luck to you and your family. I know this is a major, life changing choice but I’m sure it will all be good. Enjoy your journey. Hey do you need someone to help with carrying your suitcases because I could be at the airport in less than 1/2 hour. Just teasing but sure would love this trip! 🙂

  18. What an incredible opportunity/experience for your whole family. I hope for you it’s a go! And can’t wait to hear all about it in your blog.

  19. Wow, how exciting and yes, such a big decision. My family lived in the US for 18 months when I was a young child — I think I was 3 when we moved there and 5 when we moved back to Australia — and I don’t think my parents regretted it at all! And of course I spent more than 10 years living in the US as a young adult. Living overseas is such a valuable thing for kids (and adults!), opens their eyes to new experiences, new ways of doing things. They are a great age for travelling too, not so young it’s difficult, but young enough that it won’t affect their schooling too much.
    You’ll find there are strong expat communities too, making it easier to adjust to a new way of living. And think of all the nearby places you could visit … Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia 😉
    Good luck with your decision, I know how hard it must feel right now!

  20. Wow, what a huge decision. I can’t imagine. It would be out for us with a house full of pets, but if it weren’t for that, I think I would want to try to live overseas somewhere for a year. Very educational for the kids. Homeschooling is a great option for that. I am a single mom and have homeschooled my 15 and 16-year-old from K on up to 9th. It is amazing for us – lots of time to explore and to discuss things about the world around us and their grades are great! I can choose what works for them. But best of luck! You would certainly have lots of great jewelry to choose from. My girls are adopted from China and I was so mad I was so broke when there – so much to choose from with jade, pearls, cloisonne, mother of pearl, handcrafted beads.

  21. Tracy, what a fabulous oppurtunity for your entire family. As surreal as it seems right now, it will unfold as it is meant to, and you will make the most of whichever way this goes.

  22. Hello! I’m excited for you and your family (when/if) it really happens and know that everything will work out the way it is supposed to 🙂 With love and togetherness you can go anywhere. I had so much fun reading your post and feeling the excitement of possibly a new adventure and journey! Hugs to you,

  23. Do it, it is a great education for you and the family. Singapore is a lovely place, very clean, well run government, almost regimental, chewing gum was banned last i heard, not at all like the many other Asian countries. Great shopping, great food and yes, lots of beads most from China. It has been almost 20 years since I was there, but enjoyed every minute of it. I hope your family loves adventures in food… you are in for a treat! I do not have kids so I cannot comment on that aspect of it! Have a Singapore Sling on me! Go for it!

  24. What a wonderful opportunity! Go for it – life is short. My husband’s job has moved us all over the US. Chicago, Boston, Denver and now Pennsylvania. We moved to where we are now when the kids were in 3rd & 5th grade. They have settled in faster & better than I have!!
    Keep us posted.

  25. i grew up in the Air Force and spent 4th, 5th and 6th grade in Japan and high school in Germany. there is no other education like living in another country!what a rich experience for all of you. i am eager to hear how this plays out!

  26. Hey Tracy! That sounds like fun, along with a lot of uncertainties.
    Contact the lady who writes this blog: http://jorpins.blogspot.com/
    She is an expat in Asia…I bet she will have good pointers for you. I have only read her blog recently (I think Brandi of Brandi Girl might know her) so can’t really introduce you.
    I do have a niece and a nephew living in Singapore. Niece has been there for about 6 yrs, and nephew is there to study.

    All the best!!

  27. wow, can see why things would be on hold. priorities always take precedent over the smaller things. hope everyone is well and if the change happens all the best. would be fun to hear how things are in a different part of the world. good luck. will keep checking out the blog to see what’s happening.

  28. Hello Tracy!!! I hope you and your family get the opportunity to go! We are a military family and have lived in Europe and Asia. Our oldest (19) was practically born in Germany, and our youngest (17) was born in Japan! My husband and I met in Germany, and we’ve traveled (kids in tow) practically around the world! I encourage you all to embrace this change, as it will prove to be one of the best (albeit a little nerve wracking) journeys you’ve EVER embarked upon! Bon chance, friend!

  29. OH, wow! How incredibly exciting! You could be embarking on a fantastic adventure. I am excited for you, but for selfish reasons, I’m sad, too. I don’t want you to go and be even further away. Please keep us (me) updated on your status. And like you said, I take comfort in the fact that we can always stay in contact with each other through the what-would-we-do-without-it internet. Much love to you, my friend.

  30. I know people who have moved to Singapore, and others that have moved to other parts of the world, and I have only one piece of advice…..GO! While Singapore IS expensive, it is a safe country with lots of great private schools (I am only familiar with the private schools). Its an experience of a lifetime, and a couple of years will zoom by. In this day and age with Skype, Facebook, and blogs, its easy to keep in touch with family and friends. Good luck, and be sure to let us know what happens. SO jealous 🙂

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