Friday, June 29, 2012

Houses cardholder



I made one more item this week. It's a card holder, for credit cards, privilege cards, reward cards and every kind of card the shops give out nowadays. I used my favourite motif - houses. Houses in line drawing are very attractive to me. I discovered other people are into houses line drawings as well! Ha. And I thought I was so special.

This weekend I'm once again emerging from my cave to hawk my wares at VivoCity Craft Market and earn some $$$.

Here are the details:

VivoCity
11am to 10pm
Level 1, near POSB ATM in front of Denizen/Carnivore.

The way VivoCity Craft Market works, you only know where your counter is when you get there on Saturday morning. You get the same counter for both days. Allocation of counters is based on ..... I have no idea what. I really prefer MAAD's system. First come first served. No surprises.

Anyway, if I'm posted near Carnivore, my clothes are going to smell of lamb all day. If I smell lamb all day, I have a very strong desire to become a vegetarian.

Oh, this is going to be my last craft market until September. I'm taking a break.

See you on Monday for my post-mortem.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Confessions of a handmade wanna-be

Dear readers,

I confess. Yes, it's time I come clean.

I've wanted to live this dream of being in the handmade business for a long time. And now I am. But it's not an easy dream. It's an expensive dream. To maintain this illusion that I am "making a living" from my handmade sales, I must confess to the following:

♠ In 2007, "Projects By Jane" was created to indulge the vanities of one woman - moi. I wanted to reach out to a teeny tiny percent of people in Singapore who had heard of "handmade" and not run away screaming.

♠ To start off this "Projects By Jane" project, 2 major captial injections were provided by hubs. The first one made in 2007 was for a Brother sewing machine. It turned out Brother died after a few years. Hubs made another major capital investment for a Janome sewing machine.

♠ In June 2011, "Projects By Jane" entered the bag patterning market which was already very congested. Every Jane and Mary had a pattern to offer. The sales dribbled here and there. Barely enough to pay for the software (another capital injection by hubs) used to create the patterns.

♠ In 2009, to enter the US market, I used a vehicle called Etsy. Time, money and effort was poured into it. It took 3 YEARS to achieve 200 Etsy sales - most of them pdf bag patterns which sell at a very low price. No need for a calculator to find out how little was made.

♠ I never became successful in monetary terms but I always made it sound like I was successful. Every sale was celebrated with a yay! or a tweet or a facebook status update. My 80th sale. Woo hoo! Like that.

♠ The last 5 years alone, I have misappropriated the family funds to finance the fabric supplies I need for this handmade dream. To the tune of $2600. Yes, money that could have gone to buy food and milk for my kids. And the potato chips they always ask for.

♠  I tried to make a music video to promote my handmade bags. Someone suggested "China Wine" but I vetoed it because Singapore is not in China. Also I prefer tea. Anyway we finally tentatively titled it "Singapore Sling" but because I kept dancing like a chicken (flapped my arms constantly), it was never released.

♠ My family gave up the dream of a clean tidy home because I'm always busy sewing.

I only thought of myself and my own stupid handmade dream.
Is it time to wake up?

* * *

Oooh, finished another recessed zipper shoulder bag. Once more using a Munswell Collection fabric. This bag was made using the last remnants and I had to be extra careful when cutting. I have some scraps left which I know I will somehow make into something one fine day. Can't let such lovely fabric go to waste.





Don't you think this bag deserves a polka dot lining as well?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yellow-Green Roses and New Hair

Hello,


Well, first of all, don't get too excited about my latest bag. It's just a simple recessed zipper shoulder bag. But check out the fabric. It's a Munsell Collection fabric. You might remember my fondness for yellow-green. I think the roses are just perfect in this colour. The fabric has slubs all over. It's intentional. The slubs give the fabric a nice texture.



I'm still in my polka dotted lining phase.

This is not a big bag. It's a little small for me. But since I didn't make the bag for myself, I think it might suit some women. It's big enough to fit a regular size umbrella. I have often caught customers trying to stuff their umbrellas into my bags for sizing.

I'll be making another similar bag in a different fabric. But I feel so achy all over now on account of my first jog yesterday. Maybe I'll make it tomorrow. Why am I so tired? My body is failing me.

* * *

Some happenings in Singapore.....

Recently, an aunty was filmed berating a young lady after the young lady had given up her priority seat to her!

Trains in Singapore have reserved or priority seats for the elderly/pregnant/ill/carrying a child. Apparently the aunty was pissed off that the young lady had STARED at her after the aunty had asked for the priority seat.

Yes. In Singapore, staring could get you KILLED.

A heated argument resulted in vulgarities being hurled. Nobody got hurt physically. The aunty did try to take photos of the young lady. I'm guessing she wanted to humiliate the young lady somehow with it. She had no idea she was being filmed and the video would go viral.

I try not to sit on the reserved seat on the trains. You never know. Some self righteous person might decide to take your photo and shame you online.

On 2 occasions I was ROBBED of my train seat. (NOT the reserved/priority seat)

The first time, an older woman boarded the train and PULLED ME OFF MY SEAT. Then she promptly sat down on MY seat. No "excuse me" or whatever. Just yank and pretend like nothing had happened. My god. She HAD the strength to pull me off my seat.

The second time, a middle aged woman sat ON MY THIGH. I had no choice but to get up and give her my seat. Eh, hello. I'm also middle aged.

On both occasions, I just moved away. I did not stare. I did not scold. I kept my mouth shut. I figured these women must really, really want a seat. I didn't even send them any fireballs. Okay, that's a lie. Maybe just a teeny, tiny one.

* * *

Today, shocking news. Okay, maybe not so shocking since investigations started 2 years ago. The founder of City Harvest church, Kong Hee (THE PASTOR) was arrested along with 4 others from the church for Conspiracy to commit Criminal Breach of Trust as an Agent.

$23 million from the charity's funds "were used with the purported intention to finance Ho Yeow Sun's (THE PASTOR'S SINGING WIFE) secular music career".

What I don't get is why the 5 did not just pocket the money. Why use the money to finance Ho Yeow Sun's music career? And I'm not saying we should cheat. But you get what I'm saying? It's interesting the singer was not one of the 5 arrested.


Did the 5 watch Ho Yeow Sun's China Wine video? I cringed a bit. Ok, a lot. A lot lot. How much of the $23 million went into this video I wonder?



* * *

I got new hair! I went with a friend to a new salon. There's something about new hair that gives one a sense of hope, of endless possibilities. Oh wait. I'm confusing it with the day hubs gives me money for the month.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Presents for moi

Folks,

I celebrated my birthday recently (hahaha) and guess what I really, really wanted to eat?



Mango pudding.

Not any mango pudding.

It had to be the mango pudding from Din Dai Fung restaurant. It has real slices of mango on top and inside the pudding, there's more mango cubes. This is the only pudding I like.

Never eaten at Din Dai Fung? Well, if you ever come across an outlet, please give it a try.

These are the 2 must-have for us:


This stupidly delicious golden prawns pancake.


And little dragon dumplings.

If you eat with my kids, you have to be super quick or everything will be gone. Don't answer the phone. Don't make conversation. Take your fair share and place them on your plate.

Oh, want to see my presents?


These baubles are from son.


Hubs gave me a new handphone. The one on the left is my old one. Hubs said the new phone is not a very smart phone. It's a good thing because unlike everyone else, I'm still living in a cave. I've been using a regular handphone for a long time. I'm finding it hard to adjust to the new phone. I believe I use superhuman strength when I touch the screen because it always goes too fast to somewhere else. The ringtones are all different. If I can't wake up tomorrow I'm blaming the new phone.




Look what my girl got me. It's like she looked into my heart and saw my secret desire!


It's good for keeping my costume jewellery.

* * *

School has started. Back to 6am wake up. Back to jogging 3 times a week.

Oh, I've been bad. Throughout the June school holidays, I slept in and refused to jog. (it was too hot) I ate whatever I liked and put on weight.

But today I dragged myself to the jogging park. Yay.



Some time after jogging, I told hubs I was certain I had heat stroke. Ever the sympathetic man, he said:

Jane, if you have heat stroke, you'll be dead.

I guess I don't have heat stroke. Tomorrow I'll drag my sorry arse back and do some muscle toning. Oh, I made a bag today. With zippers and all. Maybe I'll show you tomorrow?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Really Really Free Market

Folks,

Today me and the kids went to this event called Singapore Really Really Free Market. It was held at the open space next to the Central Library. According to the National Library, Singapore Really Really Free Market is a community art project by Post-Museum that explores and puts to test an alternative notion of free commerce."

How it works is anyone who wants to give away free stuff  signs up as a vendor to display their free stuff at the event. No money is exchanged and anyone is free to take anything.

According to wiki,

"It holds as a major goal to build a community based on sharing resources, caring for one another and improving the collective lives of all. Markets often vary in character, but they generally offer both goods and services. Participants bring unneeded items and food, as well as skills and talents such as entertainment or haircuts."

Ready?



I was immediately drawn to the books. You never know. You might just chance on a children's book or a craftbook. (fat hope) This vendor says only one book per person and I can't keep the book after I'm done. I have to pass it on. I looked and I looked and I finally picked one book. It's a book I've already read!


 Yes, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I picked this book because it has John Tenniel's illustrations.


Good god. Did I come late?


No one was manning this space and I sort of wanted the basket. You understand I couldn't just take it and go. The concept of free shopping is quite hard to accept. I felt like I wanted to throw a few coins down.


Later as we were leaving, my son gallantly went and took the basket for me. And of course I immediately regretted it because I realised I had to carry it on the train all the way home. I thought of returning it but by then the vendor had closed shop. Too late!


These were the other stalls I simply couldn't find anything to take.


Seriously?


We stood here for a while trying to figure out what the items were.


I was only eyeing the mat.


There was a guy giving massages. I think there was a queue. Of sorts. I think if he weren't wearing furry wings, I might consider. 


This lady was giving away free poems.


This is my choice.


Alright. I was really after the interesting print on the other side. I think I owe the poet an apology:

Lady, lady on the mat
Sorry I'm such a shat


* * *

I do like the idea of recycling stuff I don't need anymore. Maybe I'll think about ways to give away my scraps at my VivoCity craft market? Will the shoppers react in horror?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

10 Sexy Zippy Wristlets

Helloooooo,

What have you guys been up to? It's Saturday afternoon and hot as crap. I'm sweaty and sticky and badly in need of a shower. My home is a mess as it usually is when I'm in my sewing mode. But none of that matters because I completed 10 sexy zippy wristlets for my VivoCity craft market!!!


A few days ago I peeked into the box which houses my stock and counted the number of sexy zippy wristlet I had and was shocked to discover I had one left.

Yes.
One.
Satu.
一个. 
Een.
Un.
Eine.
Uno.

I almost wept.

What am I saying? I did weep. Profusely.

After consoling myself with a root beer ice-cream  float (3 flavours: strawberry, vanilla and chocolate), I felt I had best get down to biz and make a few for my VivoCity craft market. Since I had one wristlet, I decided I would make 9 more just to get a nice even number. Nothing superstitious just easy to remember. I seriously need not make so many. Five is a good number. But I wanted to not have to make any more for a long time. So 9 it is.

But I ended up making 10. Um, apparently I can't count.

Echino blue peacock


Black and white tulips


Circus Animals


Echino fuchsia birds


Kitty


Kiyohara beige flowers


Kiyohara blue flowers


Pink MoMo


Pseudo Green Patchwork


Ricco-ricco Houses




After making the first 2 wristlets, I got so tired of making them. I guess I did not think through this little project carefully. And why do I always leave the sewing till the last week before the actual craft market? Mainly to amuse myself, I made the rest of the wristlets using only polka dots for the lining. In the past I only restricted myself to using the mini polka dots. This round, I tried out the midi polka dots and I must say they're just delightful. I'm still a little scared of the monster polka dots.

* * *

It's the last week of the June school holidays. All over Singapore, frantic parents are chasing their kids to complete their holiday homework. Isn't it ridiculous that kids have to do homework during the school holidays? My kids have a ton of homework assigned. A ton. It's been so unpleasant coaxing, pleading with them to complete their work. Somehow after completing one, there'll be another one and another one. I don't even have a true picture of how many are still undone. For the past few days my kids have stayed in their room with the air-con turned on and trying to finish their homework. If only they didn't keep giving themselves breaks for games and social media! And my kids don't even attend the top league schools. There's something very wrong with Singapore schools.

That's all my friends. Once I recover from my 10 wristlets fatigue, I shall make a few more bags. Have a great weekend.

Oh, fancy making your own sexy zippy wristlets? Get the pattern HERE. Special price of $5 sale ends tomorrow. Hurry.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Circus Animals Clutch



After I had sold these 2 clutches I made here, I thought I had better make a couple more for my VivoCity craft market which is coming very very soon at the end of this month.

Unfortunately I was scatterbrained and in my recent trip to top up my supplies, I forgot to buy the magnetic snaps. I don't want to go back to the supplies shop again so.... But I did have one pair of snaps left.



Honestly I could use any of my fabric to make this clutch because this clutch doesn't require any specific quality of fabric - just nothing too thin. I decided to pair a cutesy fabric from my stash with a red cotton drill.



This is a generic brand fabric. When I first bought it I thought the animals were in little houses. Yes, I have bad eye-sight. When I examined the illustrations closely I was delighted to see the animals were in little trailers, much like what I imagine circus animals would be housed and transported in. Am I right? That's how circus animals are moved around. In cute little trailers.

This fabric looks a little like linen cotton but the texture tells me it's not. And all those "dirty spots"? By golly. I do believe it's calico!

I had originally planned on making 2 clutches to do an encore of naughty bags. I even picked out a song Unchained Melody à la Ghost the movie. Lucky for you, I ran out of magnetic snaps!

Flying solo. So lonesome ah?




Later my friends.

p.s. my Sale - $5 pdf sewing patterns still going on HERE. Whatcha waiting for?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UFO Resurrection

Hellooooo!

First of all, thanks for your birthday wishes. Yes, what an idiot I was to say "birthday week" and not expect any birthday wishes. I should have made it clear my birthday is this Sunday. I appreciate all your kind thoughts.

* * *

It's only Tuesday and my birthday week has been going great. Yesterday I went out shopping the whole day with my BFF whom I get to see once or twice a year. The Great Singapore Sale is still going on and I wanted to buy so many things. But I resisted. Anyway, my new stuff are safely hidden away. Don't want hubs to get a heart attack. On Sunday we went out for a meal for hub's birthday and Father's Day. The restaurants weren't as crowded as say Mother's Day. We went to Meatworks instead of Outback as Outback is outrageously overpriced. Plus Meatworks had a discount. The restaurant looks quite lovely.


I'm surprised by their choice of print material for the menu. Looked a little grubby too.


We opted to sit in the open area. Check out the ceiling. Er, the ceiling does not belong to the restaurant.


Hubs ate a meat sandwich.


I had norwegian salmon. The mashed potato was fantastic. I'm very picky about mashed potatoes. I won't make my own because mine taste like crap.

My kids had pasta. Surprise!

* * *

I bravely poked into my UFO chest. No, I didn't faint. But I did cringe and shudder.

Cow

hexagon flower

sashiko lines
I picked these 3 pieces mainly because they have been in the UFO chest for far too long. Years! Coincidentally, they are all running lines embroidery in Sashiko style. Based on the aesthetics, I believe they were embroidered between 2008 and 2009.

The cow embroidery was easy because the size of the blue fabric suggests I had planned on making it into a zip pouch.


You can see from the pencil this pouch is bigger than my usual zip pouch size. I no longer use this kind of blue fabric for embroidery mainly because it attracts lint and I don't love lint.

I stared and stared at the hexagon flower and still came up with nothing. So I've thrown it back into the UFO chest. So sad right? After so many years.

The black fabric with golden embroidery lines was a challenge. The size of the fabric is neither here nor there. In the end, I felt it looked best as a drawstring pouch.


Due to the size of the fabric I had available, this drawstring pouch is also slightly different in size from my current drawstring pouches. I'm quite delighted by how it turned out. If it doesn't sell at VivoCity, I would so love to have it. Oh, check out my new prop. It's a thingy I use to hang my clothing.


For the casing, I used a Anthology stripes. I opted for vertical stripes because it looked way better.

And for the lining, I really went out of my way to look for something good. I finally chose a Kinkame European Taupe. Taupe is one of those colours that you either love or don't. Some may find it too grandma-ish. It has its charm.


When I look closely at the embroidery of these pieces, I realise that the embroidery thread I used was perle cotton. I do recall a period when I favoured perle cotton which is unstranded. However, I soon grew out of perle cotton and now I use DMC stranded cotton. I don't remember why I switched but if I were to make a guess, it would be because perle cotton being unstranded is restrictive as I could only use needles with a big enough eye for the thread. Usually such needles would be quite thick.

During the early years of my bag-making, I often sewed embroidery on random pieces of fabric without thinking through what I want to make. I grew out of that habit because I'm much more disciplined nowadays. Although I'm happy to reduce my UFO, I'm also thinking one day I will finally empty that UFO chest and lose all the special quirky little things I used to do.

What am I saying? It's crazy to even think my UFO chest will ever be empty.

Ta ta for now.

p.s. my $5 PDF bag sewing patterns sale is still on until 25th June. HERE.

Linked to these partays:
Skip to my lou
Sew can do
Craft o maniac
Making the world cuter
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