Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are You Someone Who Hits or Punches In The Name Of Friendship?

Another odd week in Singapore in terms of weather. It's really hot all day and then it rains like crazy in the evening. A few days ago, it flooded near my home. My girl and I were walking on the flooded sidewalk and at one point, I heard fear in my girl's voice. Life is so unpredictable. Flood, hurricane, earthquake.

Making needlebooks did me good because it gave me the motivation to make a few wristlets for my next craft market. If you've read my disastrous Feb MAAD, you might be curious to ask if that was my last MAAD. It's not. March MAAD will be my last MAAD. Actually, I'm going a little mad just thinking I've to go thru' another weekend of killing time. Anyhoo, just an update. I've signed up for Iluma Art Market which will be held in mid March. So that means I need to stock up.

These are my fave zip pouches to make for the moment. I used the fabric me bud, Jon's sister got me. This is a linen print. Have you ever noticed how much stronger and heavier linen is when it's wet? Remember never to wear linen when going on a cruise!

I think I rocked this wristlet.

This is another fabric from Jon's sis. It is heavy cotton and the print reminds me of henna embroidery.

I think I rocked this wristlet.

This one's same ole red/white wristlet. Should appeal to the age group of 14 to 28.

I think rocked this wristlet too but the sun died on me so I could not take another pic!

Lately I've discovered changes in me which maybe crept up on me without me noticing. See, all my life I've been wary of women who have the tendency to hit you, slap you or punch you whenever they have a conversation with you. And they do it to be friendly.

I used to work with this woman who hits/slaps/punches/pinches you when:
  • you get her
  • she gets you
  • you say something funny
  • you say something serious
  • she wants your attention
I was terrified of her. And quite bruised.

Recently, much to my horror I discovered that I hit/punch when someone says something funny. Me hubs is often the victim of my hits and punches because he's a funny guy. Jon became a victim in Feb MAAD. How did I become this way? Luckily I don't laugh easily so apart from me hubs, everyone of you is quite safe.

I've noticed that some women are the complete opposite. i.e. they don't hurt you when you're just telling them a joke. Instead, they grope you. Like, ever feel like you're being hit on when all you're doing is making conversation? These women stroke your wrist, your arms and sometimes they place their hands on your knees, thighs i.e. if you haven't cleverly covered your legs with thick armour. Please tell me this has happened to you too because I don't want to think it's just me.

In my last post, I showed you the brilliant feet-mop me hubs bought.

Today, much to my delight, I found a hand-mop in my kitchen. Great minds think alike! It seems a while ago, I must have thought a hand-mop was the greatest invention ever and bought it. It has since become part of my kitchen decor. You know, nothing beats cleaning like a piece of rag.

See you soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let Your Feet Do The Mopping

On Sunday we were on our way somewhere when we came across a baazar selling Japanese household goods. I am someone who loves to buy household goods and cannot resist going thru' every single item for sale. No surprise I bought a frying pan. What surprised me was what me hubs bought.

These slippers are made for mopping.

In my home, I'm the one who mops the floor. Sometimes I am able to talk my kids into helping out. Me hubs has mopped the floor maybe a grand total of 10 times since we moved into our home in 1998. How he does it is he steps on a wet cloth on the floor and shuffles around. So when he got really excited about the slipper-mop, I tried to talk him out of it. In my mind, I was thinking it would be me doing the foot-mopping and I was afraid of falling. But me hubs acted like it was the greatest invention on earth (no surprise) so I caved in. Guess what? He discovered the slippers are too small for him.

This week I decided to have a small fling - with needlebook. Would you believe I've never made one before?

This box which used to contain mooncakes is where I store all my handsewing needles.

I have every kind of handsewing needles invented. But I use embroidery, applique and quilting needles most frequently. I have used up at least 5 packs of embroidery needles.

This is my makeshift needlebook for when I want to sew when I'm out.

Houses Needlebook

This is the needlebook I made. Just some simple hand embroidery on raw linen.

I used acrylic felt for the pages because they are all I have. Has anyone used wool felt? I'm thinking of buying some to try.

Then I made another needle book. This one turned out weirder than expected. It's also rather large. Doesn't the owl look spooky? In real life, I'm really scared of owls. Can't get me to go near one.

For both needlebooks, I used soft cushiony batting. So you could actually pin the needles on the lining as well.

Needlebooks are a lot of work. I could have made a few pouches in the same amount of time taken! But the whole idea is to have a fling. Tomorrow I'll go back to my bags and see if I can make something.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jennifer Connelly's Eyebrows

Hello there!

First of all, I want to say thanks to everyone for leaving me such sweet comments in my last post. If you haven't received a reply from me, it's because you are a "No-reply" commenter. What this means is your email is not sent to me when you comment because you did not set your email to be visible. That's why you never hear from me. I understand that some people want privacy and don't want to receive any mail. But if you wish to fix the situation, you can go to Sew Many Way's tute to fix the situation:
How To Change A No Reply
However, this tute is useful only if you have a blogger account. p.s I don't always reply EVERY commenter. Sometimes I have nothing to say, you know. But reading every comment always makes me happy.

Most people don't know this about me but I watch A LOT of movies and TV shows. Recently, to distract myself from my mid-life crisis with my bags, I watched The Dilemma. I believe I made a good choice because it certainly distracted me. The movie is by no means a great movie or even highly entertaining. Sure, there are bits here and there which might amuse you but as a whole movie, let me just put it this way. If you never saw the movie, you're not deprived in any way. But it's watchable.

It is headed by Vince Vaughn whom I met in The Break-up. His kind of humour is he gives long, rambling speeches which are highly inappropriate. I liked him in The Break-up. It also has Kevin James whom I like better in The King of Queens. There's also Channing Tatum whom I met in Dear John. Channing Tatum kinda reminds me of McSteamy from Grey's Anatomy which I mistook for a medical TV show about doctors healing patients like in House. As it turned out, Grey's Anatomy is about a bunch of horny doctors. Getting back to Channing Tatum and McSteamy, although I think they look a teeny bit alike, my feelings towards both are completely opposite. I find McSteamy rather sleazy whereas Channing Tatum in The Dilemma is like "Oh baby!".

I certainly do carry on. What was I saying? The Dilemma.

It is the female lead, Jennifer Connelly who is impacting my life. Did you see those eyebrows? Those huge charcoal black chalk lines across her brow? That you would see on Chinese street theatre actresses? Don't get me wrong. I think Jennifer Connelly is a beautiful woman. But to have hairy caterpillars on her eyebrows, that's so puzzling don't you think? Everytime I close my eyes to sleep, I see Jennifer Connelly's hairy caterpillars staring at me and they metamorphosise into big black moths which fly towards me.

To distract myself from Jennifer Connelly's eyebrows, I concentrated on trying out a new way of sewing zippers.

I had first tried out this new zipper style on my Alexander Henry Skulls and Roses crossbody bag. Incidentally this bag did not sell at Feb MAAD. So me hubs is right. Darn it!

Here's my new bag. This Crescent Zipped Bag may look simple but it's a breakthrough for me. I think I've finally figured out the mechanics of creating a pseudo gusset through the zipper.

My future bags will certainly benefit from this bag.

I like the simple shape. The fabric is from Fabric Innovations if you're wondering.

As always, no raw seams are visible.

Hope you had a good caterpillar-free weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm Having A Mid-Life Crisis.....

My One-Ring Wonder

I think making this bag this week triggered my mid-life crisis - with bag-making. I really shouldn't make the same bag over and over again. It can really get to you.

8 Signs I'm Having A Mid-life Crisis

1. Making bags is starting to bore me.

2. I'm thinking of having a fling - you know with aprons, scarves, skirts, even shorts.

3. I've been impulsive lately.
  • buying wool
  • buying fabric in every colourway available
  • sewing with non-matching thread

4. I've been overly-nostalgic - constantly going thru' my old blog posts, looking at what I used to make, my first love.

5. I've been drinking too much caffeine - just to get thru' sewing one bag.

6. I'm starting to question my purpose in bag-making.

7. I feel adventurous - ruffles excite me. Beads excite me. Lace excite me.

8. I no longer pose with my bags or spend any time with them once they are made.

I've got some thinking to do, don't I?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love & Other Distractions

So how was your weekend? Mine was pathetic. As you may know, I spent the weekend at red dot design museum. Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, it could.

It feels pointless to talk about how boring it was killing time. Or how the MAAD regulars appeared to have abandoned us. Or how there were 4 empty tables adding to the gloom. Or how I only sold 3 items on Saturday. Or how I sold zero items on Sunday. So pointless. So I won't talk about it.

The look on the dog's face sums up my mood.

Instead I'll tell you what I did to fight off sleep. Because as I discovered, when you got nothing much to do, you fall asleep quite easily.

The first thing I did was drink expensive coffee. Not that I wanted to pay $6.20 for a "tall" cup of coffee but I was too lazy to walk 15 min to get a 80c coffee. It didn't work. In fact, it put me to sleep.

I read Shutter Island. It didn't work. It shuttered my eyes.

What did work was I thought of all the words I couldn't SAY to another human being.
I can't say Awesome. I can write Awesome. Just can't say it. I can say COOL though.

I can't say IT'S ALL GOOD either.
I get goose bumps just hearing it said by someone else.
But I can write It's All Good.
Actually I can say It's All Good in a mocking way, but only to me hubs.

I can't say AT THE END OF THE DAY either.
But I can say At The End Of The Freaking Day.

So that kept me awake. Most of the time.

Remember Funan Weng Restaurant which I discovered served breakfast on weekends near MAAD? On Sunday morning I discovered I couldn't enter the restaurant and was trying very hard to force open the door when the waiter came to inform me the restaurant was not open for breakfast on weekends anymore. I was crushed. But it gave me a giggle thinking how crazed I must have looked trying to break into the restaurant.

Here are some random photos.

I'm kidding. This is Ellen, my blog reader - here to pick up her Houses Bag.

And my musketeer, Jon came to visit.

And he brought fabric from his sister. I want to say AWESOME. hehe

Today is Valentine's Day. No, I did not receive any gifts from me hubs. Yep, he kept to our agreement not to do Valentine's Day. I guess I was swept away by all the commercial hype and this morning when I went to the library to return my overdue books, I saw this hulky looking boy holding a single rose waiting for his date. So sweet. (only if the girl likes him) And when I didn't get any gifts when I came home, I felt a little sad. Okay, I confess. I felt very sad. I know it's silly but I was thinking out of 365 days, there's this ONE day set aside for your loved one to give you something and he chooses not to.... Oh, where's Johnny-boy when I need him most?

Oh, there's a happy ending. When me and the kids went for dinner, I opened the letter box and guess what arrived?

Remember the Sashiko thread I ordered from a US store in Oct LAST YEAR which I never received? In January, I made a final attempt to contact the seller and guess what? My package was returned to the seller as they had written the address wrongly. So the seller sent it back. And how nice of her to send by Priority Mail!

This was the original package. Just look at it. It looked like an engine had swallowed it and spat it out.

Good thing the thread is encased in plastic. Because I see ashes....

Yes, I'm deliriously happy. The Sashiko thread saved the day!

At the end of the day.
It's all good.

Friday, February 11, 2011

This Thing Called Love

As you may already be aware, Valentine's Day is coming. If you're not aware, then you must live on a mountain (with internet access) or in a boat (with internet access). Okay, I don't know what it's like in other countries because I live in a very small world (with internet access) but here in Singapore, Valentine's Day is widely celebrated commercially. A few days ago, I was at a mall and there were all kinds of incredible gifts sold as Valentine's Day gifts. I was totally sold and would have bought myself a bouquet of tiny teddy bears if it weren't so bloody overpriced.

So! I'll be selling my bags at red dot design museum this weekend and seeing how Valentine's Day is Monday which is the day after this weekend, I somehow expected to see some Valentine's Day theme in the MAAD program? Nope, nothing on LOVE. Which brings the topic back to moi. Did I make anything specially for Valentine's Day? Well, yes and no. I didn't want to do a heart applique thingy and all my bags are potential gifts one could buy for a loved one. hehehehe

So, are you one of those people who celebrates Valentine's Day? Well, that is, if you have someone to celebrate with. Do you even care about Valentine's Day? Do you feel horrible on that day if you don't get any LOVE?

Well, I asked me hubs if we're doing Valentine's Day and he said,
But we agreed we wouldn't do it. We agreed.
I guess I must have agreed. So, no. I didn't get any CK underwear for me hubs. Hope I don't get surprised on Monday because I really, really didn't get any CK underwear for me hubs.

All these talk about LOVE might get some of you um...depressed? So here's a little story to cheer you up. A long, long, long time ago, when I was maybe 16? A boy I knew decided to matchmake me with his friend. It was Valentine's Day and I was invited to a community club for something something. Now, you understand that until I was 21, I had very little understanding of the concept of dating or boy-girl thing. I was blur like sotong. If I was invited out for a meal, it meant I got a free meal. If I was invited to a movie, it meant I got a free movie. It never occurred to me it was a date!

So this boy, let's call him Diamond (actually his real name) decided to gift his best friend a date with blur Jane. And Diamond decided the best day to matchmake us was on Valentine's Day on a Saturday night. Except he failed to inform me of his little scheme. So suddenly I found myself the centre of this hulky looking boy's attention. Let's call him Johnny (actually his real name). And we all, I think 6 of us piled into Diamond's dad's car and drove to this community club.

Apparently there was a Valentine's Day thing going on at the club with drinks and food. (free food and drinks)  But the big event was a FREE STYLE DANCE COMPETITION which dear Johnny wanted to participate in.
You dance?
I asked Johnny eyeing his incredibly hulky body. You know the kind where inside is a puny body and he does like a thousand body building exercises every day and it grew to this hulky proportion. Yes, that kind.

Anyhoo, Johnny went to do the registration details and how this competition worked was the DJ would play some random music and call out a number (in sequential order) and the participant would just jump right in the spotlight and dance his butt out.

So it began. Man, it was impressive. The audience stood in a circle and the numbers were called and one by one these really, really incredible dancers dressed up in like in America's Got Talent kind of costume danced these slick moves inside the circle. Me and my surprise Valentine's date Johnny-boy stood side by side to watch. Then came number 9. The DJ called:
Number 9.
Number 9.
This went on for a long, long time. The DJ just kept on calling for number 9 and no one jumped in to dance. Finally I said real loud:
Number 9 chickened out!

Yes, you figured it out. Our Johnny-boy was number 9. He disappeared from the club for a very, very long time. And it didn't occur to me he was number 9 until every number was called and he didn't jump in to dance.

Anyhoo, we all went home later and Johnny-the-brave recovered sufficiently to walk me to my door. Before leaving, he gave me this ginormous Valentine's Day card. Okay, you know how in movies it's often protrayed how when a boy likes a girl the girl is flattered even tho' she's not into him? Well, that's not how it worked with me. If I even get a hint anyone is interested in me and I'm not into that person? I get nauseous. Violently nauseous.

Back to the card. Yes, it was a funny card and at that time, I was crazy about cards and had a huge card collection. So, to me, I got a card.

Days later, I ran into Johnny and Diamond below my flat and of course to me it meant I ran into them. What a coincidence. Then I kept running into them and finally one day Diamond realised I wasn't getting the message about the matchmaking and told me point-blank:
Johnny likes you!
I went completely drama and did this violent vomiting act to demonstrate just how much that repulsed me. Of course I was a complete idiot and did not realise poor Johnny was right behind me awaiting the good news. But at least it put an end to the stalking.

I wish that was the end of the sad story which I'm telling you to help you overcome your depression. A couple of years later, I was going thru' my card collection and I looked at the massive Valentine's Day card and realised that the main card on the front was an insert and had fallen out. That's when I saw the message written at the BACK of the insert.
I love you.

OMG. I seriously felt awful. And violently nauseous.

Now let me introduce you to 3 items I made yesterday.
Something nautical.

Another giant zip organiser.
Lastly, an Earthy Flower-flower One Wooden Ring Shoulder Bag. The fabric is from Kiyohara, now my fave brand.

Have a good weekend. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Back To Routine

It's back to routine life. I like routine. Know why? I know where I have to be at any time of the day. Both my kids are still spending an awful lot of time in school. There's regular school in the morning. Then there's remedial classes or sports in the afternoon. For my girl, she has enrichment classes in the evening twice a week. It's quite exhausting, isn't it? Well, just thinking about it exhausts me!

It's only Wednesday and I've done quite well already. I've made a total of 5 items - 3 of which were made today.
Blue MoMo
Indigo Clover
 I made 2 more lunchtime pouches. Not that I'm lacking any!

Brown Denim Paisley Pear

This shopping bag was made out of a very light-weight brown denim with paisley pear print. People have made fun of my fabric choices in the past. I'm aware I do make some odd choices.


Add caption
I'm most pleased about the 2 zip pouches I made with the fabric left over from the Cosmo Bag. The Cosmo Bag ATE a lot of fabric and I'm so happy I could squeeze 2 pouches out of the leftovers. So what did you make this week?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back To Life

You know what I like best about the Chinese New Year? When it's over. Because that's when shops and businesses start to re-open and it doesn't feel like the country is dead. Some businesses shut for as long as two weeks! My family has been surviving on instant cup noodles, cereal and pumpkin seeds. Yes, this year I forgot to stock up. I forgot something else too. I did not buy Mandarin oranges - you know, to give to the hosts of the homes you visit. I'm not even sure if I ever bought Mandarin oranges. Somehow, year after year, they magically appear in my home. This year - zero. My girl was a little annoyed because she feels uncomfortable not following tradition.

I always feel claustrophobic in the days following Chinese New Year. Like a caged animal. It's probably due to having spent time with people you meet once a year, people you've never met in your life and probably never will again and having to make meaningless small-talk with people you barely know. I remember one year I was trapped into a long, boring one-sided conversation with my husband's relative and the boringness of it still haunts me. This year I made sure I kept my eyes low - no eye contact. Not gonna get trapped again. Chinese New Year is all about renao which means lively, bustling with noise and excitement all of which I run away from. I am a reluctant Chinese. Sometimes I feel so alienated from my own race.

I have a bag to show you. I made it end Jan. It is sold!
I made a Houses One Wooden Ring Shoulder Bag. I modified the template a teeny bit - made the flap larger.
Oh, I included some red inside the bag for good luck! Next weekend, I'll be back at MAAD to sell my bags.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Year Of The Rabbit Is Here

The Year Of The Rabbit begins today. Celebration of the Chinese New Year actually begins on the eve. That's when the reunion dinner takes place. For my family, we go to my MIL for the special dinner.
The special feature of this dinner is lo hei. It consists of a salad dish - my MIL is quite creative with salad. This year she makes it fruity and I think there's abalone as well. If you've never witnessed a lo hei session, it's quite a sight. Everyone uses chopsticks to toss the salad in the air while yelling out their wishes for the year.

It is a tradition to visit your close relatives on the first two days of Chinese New Year. Today alone, we went to three homes.
Oh, did I mention the Cosmo bag would be my Chinese New Year bag? See, it matched my outfit. I think I've mentioned before how important it is to wear some red for auspicious days? This year I went black-and-white! Just to be safe, I telephoned me mom and told her about my colour choice for my outfit. She said, no problem! My mom is so cool.

I thought it would be interesting to show you some handmade or traditional items found in the homes I visited.
This doily-embroidery cover for the piano is from my MIL's home.
It looks like hand crochet and hand embroidery.
At the first home we visited today, I couldn't find any handmade items. I'm serious. But it's a very traditional looking home and in the image above, you are looking at traditional goodies. The strange looking orange cupcake is a steamed cake which is traditionally offered during prayers. It does not taste good. Just very sweet and coarse. See the splitting of the dough at the top? It signifies prosperity bursting forth.
At my mom's home the only handmade items were the bags made by me! Here you see me mom with her great grandson. All week Singapore had been raining persistently, sometimes just a drizzle, sometimes heavily. Me mom actually telephoned me to say it's ol' black turtle pissing down on Singapore from the sky. She's 80ish. I think when you grow as old as 80ish, you earn the right to say things like "ol' black turtle is pissing down from the sky" whenever it rains.
I had more luck in the last home I visited. It's like time stood still here. How long have these Chinese New Year decorations been hanging on the wall? This home belongs to my aunt-in-law. She's into handmade stuff so it's no surprise.
Check out the doily.
These are crochet - like granny squares?
Another crochet creation - this time a cushion cover. And that's all I could unearth.
Lastly, I wish everyone good health and good fortune in the Year Of The Rabbit. See you.
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