Thursday, January 28, 2010

One World One Heart Giveaway

*Edited on 15 Feb"
This giveaway is officially over! Thanks to everyone for your participation.

Whoo hoo! I'm doing a giveaway. Finally.
I wanted to do a giveaway when I did my 100th post. But I forgot. This is my 138th post.
I wanted to do a giveaway when the number of followers hit 50. But I forgot. My followers has since hit 70. Thank you guys.
I wanted to do a giveaway when my son got into the school of his choice. But I forgot.

Finally I wanted to do one but was afraid no one would take part. I'm such a worrywort.

Today I decided to take the plunge and do a giveaway with One World One Heart. It is a global giveaway running annually for the 4th year. This is the Oscar of giveaways. It is created by a woman who can type very fast. Okay I'm just making that up. But I know she has a lot of typing to do. The last I checked, almost 700 blogs had participated. That's 700 links she has to check and type. The owner of the poor fingers is Lisa. And she is a whimsical bohemian. She started this madness to get bloggers to meet, interact and win a freebie or two.

Now, the important part. What's my giveaway? No, I'm not giving cash. It's against the rules. I think.
Remember the passport cover I made for Viv?


The winner of my giveaway will get:
1) A unique handmade passport cover made by moi - I can't show you any photos because I haven't made it yet.
2) A mystery gift - it is something you can use to make something else. Can you guess what it is?

So, if you would like to win the 2 items, please read the rules for entering below:
1) You must have a blog to enter.
2) You must be human. Hurhur. (somebody needs her medication...)
3) You must leave a comment in this post.
4) You must be contactable.
5) You only need to enter once.

Giveaway ends 15th Feb 2010. Please check Singapore time top of sidebar.
*Edited on 28 Jan*
The winner of this giveaway will be determined by either a random number generator or some other equally random method.
:P

*Edited on 14 Feb*
Any comments after 15 Feb 12:01 am Singapore time will not be considered.
Thank you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Etsyblogger's January Blog Carnival - Snowflakes


You are forgiven if you thought this was a giant cookie. It's a snowflake on clay! It's by 2 Etsybloggers whom I'm beginning to discover are very talented people. I believe I featured them before!

January's Featured Etsyblogger is NICO Designs

NICCO Designs sells handbags and home decor. And did I mention dolls? I love her dolls. Btw, they are art dolls.

Gertie is my favourite.

She has a blog where you can find these tutorials:
Upcycled Sweater Hat 

Easy Peasy Legwarmer
Bulletin Board Circle

Do check her out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Denim Gingham

Do you Indigo Denim take Red and White Gingham as your lining? Ok, this sounded a lot better in my head.


This is my latest bag. It is made of denim and for the lining I used red and white gingham. I wonder if anyone has noticed? I like to match red and white gingham with blue. The huge applique is also in the same gingham and I handstitched it using blue embroidery floss. I chose blanket stitch because it's such a fabulous stitch. Anyone notice that I like huge applique?

I'm still sewing too slowly for my liking. I've seriously run out of excuses. I have 12 more sewing days before the next MAAD. Plus I have a custom order which I already made in my head but I haven't actually cut the fabric yet. Wendy, I'm on it!

I'm blaming Chinese New Year this time. As some of you may know, Chinese New Year falls on Valentine's Day this year. It will also be the Year of the Tiger. What does this mean? To some Chinese, it could mean no babies. (I forget why) To me, I'm just thinking of how to applique a tiger onto my bag. So the family has been spending a lot of time shopping for new clothing.

If you're not Chinese or have never eaten Chinese food, let me tell you a little about Chinese New Year. First the color Red is hot. We wear New clothing preferably with Red on it and we give Red packets containing money to children. 2nd, Mandarin oranges are hot. When you visit your relatives, you have to take 4 Mandarin oranges as gifts. (we usually forget) When you leave, your relatives give these oranges back to you. One year, my husband figured that we only need to buy 4 Mandarin oranges as you get them back when you leave, right? Wrong. Some people we visited forgot to return the oranges to us! 3rd, the color black is out.

So the family had been shopping and the shopping centres are filled with redddddddddddddd stuff. The Chinese tend to overdo it. Everything is red. Clothes, ornaments, you name it.  Unfortunately the color Red is not kind to me. The reason being my skin is reddish. Not the cute reddish hue on little kids when they play in the sun. Mine is more on the 'What happened to you?' kind of red.

My skin turns red when I:
- eat something hot
- bend over
- shower
- exercise
- walk
- laugh
- sneeze

Which is why it took me so long to do my shopping for new clothes. Did I mention I look good in black? My husband is the family stylist. He helps us choose the right cut, color, style and fit. He's very particular about fit.

When Uniqlo first opened in S'pore, it sold T-shirts at $5 each. I bought 1 for myself. I chose a larger fit because I was too lazy to look for the right size. Also it was very crowded. Anyhoo, it was for home wear so it didn't matter so much. But my husband was really disturbed that it was too large for me. Everytime, he sees me in it, he would say, it's too large for you.

But I stopped wearing my Uniqlo T-shirt because I couldn't find it anywhere. One day, my husband was getting ready for work. It suddenly occurred to me that he was wearing my Uniqlo T-shirt. Which reminds me. Let me just shout this out to my husband, "Return my pink Uniqlo T-shirt to me please!"

I really should get back to my sewing. Before I do so, here are a couple more pics of my latest bag. My girl modelled for me. I had to buy her an ice-cream.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

LoveBirds and Some Madness

This is my LoveBirds Bag for Valentine's Day which will also fall on the first day of Chinese New Year. Yes, the Chinese are very stubborn people. We cling on to our Chinese calendar. What does this mean for Chinese folks? I think it's going to be a very expensive Valentine's Day meal as most restaurants are closed.

My husband and I do not celebrate Valentine's Day. Throughout the year, he comes home bearing discarded cartons, cardboards, boxes and tins as gifts. I have this thing for containers and I can just picture him rummaging through the trash cans looking for goodies for me. This, my dear folks is true love. Ok, ok, I believe he only went through the trash can just once. Anyway, that's why we don't celebrate Velentine's Day.

The embroidery is done in chain stitch. I like that chain stitches have a raised appearance. I'm liking chain stitches more and more. The green fabric I used for the bag is quite unusual as it has a rather gauze like texture. I used soft batting for support. I'm quite anti iron-on interface.

While making this bag, I was in my withdraw-from-my-medication program. I have a condition called myofascial pain syndrome. I take medication daily in order to lead a normal life. Although I can continue to take the medication for life, I am rather unwilling to shall I say, surrender? My intention was to live with the pain and manage it through other relaxation methods. This is my third try to stop the medication. This time round, I surrendered after 10 days. This is my worst performance. The first 2 times, I lasted 1 month. I am very disappointed in myself. My husband who has been through my pain many times is more disappointed. I forget it's not just me who suffers. But to be honest, when I decided to go back on the medication, I was only thinking of myself.

Myofascial pain is so overwhelming it squeezes the life out of you. I'm not even sure if it's humanly possible to live a normal life without medication. So why do I keep on trying to stop? Still I'm grateful that at least I have a drug that works for my problem and 2 doctors who care for me.

Just look at the back of the bag. I was trying to keep my mind focused on sewing to distract myself from my pain and I think I went a little nutty. The intention was to sew some crosses to represent the stars in the sky, you know, as in there's love, there's stars..Am I right?

Lastly, remember the passport cover I made for Viv? I am accepting orders for customised passport covers. I'm afraid I can't make the same one I did for Viv because that one's for her. If you are adventurous, check it out here at Etsy.

See you soon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The K Shanmugam Smile

For over a month I had been looking forward to Mr K Shanmugam's visit to the little village where I live. For those who have no idea who he is, well, he's Singapore's Minister for Law and methinks a potential future member of parliament of my constituency. (fingers crossed)

So, why all the excitement? Well, it started with the banner of him being hung all over my village and it had a picture of him and if you don't know the guy, let me tell you. He has the most angelic smile. I grew so obsessed with the smile that occasionally, I would ask my girl to give me the "K Shanmugam" smile. Sometimes she obliged, sometimes she told me to get lost. Ok, not in those exact words.

The scheduled visit was on 17th Jan Sunday around 10:30am. Of course I woke up late! (I slept at 4am because I was busy watching TV) In fact the emcee at the event woke me up with his loud voice. I raced down to the event area only to realise all the seats were taken up so I had to perch my bum on a railing to have a good view.

See how packed it is?
Unknown to me, my husband had already taken a photo of Mr K.  (He's the one in white) He knew I was sleeping and wanted to take some photos for me. Good shot!

My husband spotted me on the railing and passed the camera to me. Then he went home. I guess he's not a law minister groupie like me! I waited and waited and it seems the guy kept moving further and further away from me. Suddenly Mr K was right in front of me! I couldn't believe it! I had gunk in my eyes and I look horrible when I wake up. I was dressed in my too-small grey Roots T-shirt and very loud pink short shorts! Not that anyone cared how I looked.

See how he's shaking the girl's hand but looking at me with that big ol' smile? Right after I took this shot, he shook my hands! He shook my hands! I'm truly a law minister groupie. After the earth shattering handshake I decided to join the party and followed the gang wherever they went.


This is at the Wii station. I didn't understand why this was part of the visit. We never saw this in my village before. Must be a special thing for Mr K.
I don't know who the people waving flags were but they were waiting at this station specifically for the photoshoot. As a reward, they got a souvenir.
I forget which station this was, maybe the recycling? I did not understand the purpose of the recycling station. In "real life", the recycling bins reek and I never put anything in them because the scavengers will come and make a mess. However a recycling lorry comes once a fortnight and I leave my newspapers, cardboxes and clothing at my door and it gets collected. Super easy.

This is as far as I went. I got hungry and went home to eat.

I enjoyed Mr K's visit a lot. Apart from the smile, he looks nice and humble and I would vote for him if he stands for election in my village. Ok, ok, I don't live in a village. It's an ordinary HDB estate.

My estate benefitted a lot prior to the visit. I saw the cleaners unwrapping new waste bins! Seriously. The area where the event took place was spruced up. I mean repainting, re-cementing and the folks in charge removed slippery tiles which were death traps on rainy days replacing them with non-slip cement. I wonder what it would take for the folks in charge to remove the rest of the slippery tiles? (it's a lot) Maybe the Prime Minister ought to pay a visit!

Gosh, this blog is not meant to be a place for me to talk on and on about my groupie experience. So I shall end with something relevant.
I finally passed the passport cover to Vivi. She's very shy so I can only show bits of her. And yes, she likes it. Goodnight everyone and sweet dreams.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Matrix Bag 2010

Since school term started I haven't been very productive when it comes to my sewing. I had aimed to make at least 4 bags by today. Unfortunately I couldn't get going. You see, now I have to sew my bags during the day. Morning is the best time as I have the flat to myself. But my brain is still on December 2009 time when I was a night owl. I sew best at night.

Last Friday I found myself unable to sleep at 10:30pm. Yes, this is my new bedtime. Imagine that! Oh, how I miss going to bed at 3am. The next day being Saturday, I need not wake up at 6am. Yes, this is my new wake-up time. I can't wait for school holidays... Anyway, as I was saying, I was awake and I really wanted to make a bag. So I sat down and what do you know? I made a bag.

Something happens to me when I sew late at night. I get very grand ideas. For this bag, the inspiration came from the move The Matrix. This is a movie I enjoy a lot. My husband likes the director's cut version while I prefer the actual movie.
Front

Back - can you see the back is the outline of the front?

How is this a matrix bag? Let me explain if it's not already obvious.
The Grid.
The binary code - 1010101..
In tic-tac-toe, the one who wins has 3 consecutive constants and in my grid, you can see 3 "1"s diagonally as in Neo is the 1?

Yes, I know. It's a huge bag. This is the largest bag I've ever made. Did I mention something funny happens to me when I sew late a night? I remember sewing the applique and outline between 12am and 2am and wondering if the bag was big enough! When I woke up the next morning and saw the size of the bag, I almost screamed.

I like this bag a lot as it is reflective of the kind of bags I enjoy making. My husband says this is a quirky bag. I hope it's not going to be hard to sell.

For this bag, I did something different with the top zipper. I sewed the zipper onto the bag after the bag is completed inside out.

I've sent a cheque for $540 to MAAD committing to sell at red dot design museum for the next 6 months. This means I need to make $540 in sales from Feb to July just to make the rent. Oh, the pressure! Completing my matrix bag means a lot to me as I honestly thought I had lost the ability to make bags. Can that happen? Anyway, I'm back and am working on another bag right now. Time is running out. Feb 6th and 7th is creeping up soon. I need people to nag me!

Today my girl was too tired from volleyball to model my bag. My neighbour, Azizah saw me taking pictures of my bag and offered to help. The photos below are of her girl, Nana. She was so game! Thank you guys! You made my day.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Polka Dotted Pouch For Jamie

I made this pouch for my sister-in-law yesterday. Her brief was simple: a little pouch to put her wallet and a few other stuff.

I used a black and white gingham for the lining for a playfulness effect. You can see it peeking out.

Plenty of room inside.

I wanted the pouch to have an interesting bottom so I made the base rectangular - almost a square. Can you see that when the drawstrings are tightened, you will get 4 pointy angles? If this pouch were a girl, just think of her with a pouty silhouette.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January MAAD 2010 Post-Mortem

Dear Internet Folks

Be careful what you wish for. You never know. It might just come true.

Remember I had been kinda wishing I could sell at MAAD every month this year? Well, today, there was an announcement that the rental fees for selling at red dot design has been restructured. In order words, it's gonna cost more. Currently, the fees are $80 for 2 days. From next month, if I did not hear wrongly, it would be:
ad-hoc basis - $180 for 2 days
3 straight months - $120 for 2 days
6 straight months - $90 for 2 days

Oh, me and my big mouth! Next time, I'm wishing for gold bars.
This increase is in a way forcing me to take stock and make a decision. Do I want to carry on being wishy washy, selling whenever I feel like it? Or do I want to make a commitment, financially and schedule wise to really make this work? Or do I get out of this biz totally?

So many questions and decisions I have to make. I cannot believe it's only the 3rd day of the new year.

Today I started to doubt myself again. First of all, there was a sharp decrease in the number of sellers. Then the traffic was really low. Lastly, I did not sell out all my new items.

And the sales figures...9 bags including 2 small purses. I was hoping to come home feeling like a rock star. Alas, I feel like a washed out hasbeen! Do I have any strategy? What's my strength? What are my goals? I think I need to stop thinking for a while.

Some highlights.......

This is Kimmy with her new Over Pleated Shoulder Bag. I custom made it for her. Such a sweet adorable girl. I wanted to carry her!

Finally sold this baby to Rachel.

Christin bought my new bell-bottomed bag and a little drawstring pouch. That's my girl in the photo.

This is my Leftover Bag. I had a teensy amount of green striped fabric left, most of it vertical stripes with a little horizontal stripes. (I know it doesn't make sense because you are probably thinking the stripes can be either way. It's just that I'm very strict when it comes to following the grain line.) I sold this bag to a waif like model looking girl who liked the rabbit more than the bag.

My Traveller Cross Body Bag went to Melissa. For being so game, here are 4 pics for your photo album, Melissa.

Coming to a theatre near you, "The MothWoman's HairBands"

Me and Mandy.
Goodnight and sweet dreams.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Wish For 2010

This is a bag I showed a sneak peak of earlier. The centre piece is from a Ikea fabric. I sewed little chain stitches on the leaves. Can you tell?

I let New Year pass without a post. It's still not too late.
Happy New Year everyone. I hope you have a great year doing whatever makes you happy.

As for me, I have one big thing I hope to accomplish this year. To sell my bag patterns. I have been thinking about doing this for a while but kept putting it off. I have no idea which software I should purchase to to draw my patterns. This seems to be my main excuse to procastinate. Right now everything I have is on paper. This year I must motivate myself to try out the free software trials available and just do it. If I don't make it happen this year, then I want to give it up. This is the deadline I'm giving myself. So let's see. I hope come 2011, I don't write a post, sheepishly asking for an extension!

I should be sleeping now. So goodnight everyone.
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