Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I buy a ton of crap. A ton. My home is crammed with stuff. It's horrifying. I'm not the only contributor. Hubs and my two kids as well. But mainly hubs and I. Each time I declutter, I end up getting new stuff. The worse thing? I can't say NO to other people's stuff as well. Do I need a sandwich maker? Not really but I ended up being gifted one. Used it once.

Sometimes I get lucky and buy something I really need.

Like this mechanical pencil. I have mechanical pencils. But they all suck. The mechanical parts usually break down. Sometimes right away. This one is from Muji. It has a nice weight which I like and the grooves are great for grip. It's also 0.3mm. I just hope the mechanical parts stay good for a long time. It says MADE IN JAPAN. I wonder if it is really made in Japan.

I have plenty of needle keepers, some were made by me. But I never really love any of them. Somehow I always felt something was missing. Guess what's missing? This Clover Needle holder has exactly what I was looking for.

MAGNETS! Now it's hard to lose my needles. I love it.

Do you have regular tape measure? The ones which you have to hand wind? I hate, hate those. So much time wasted just winding it over and over again. This tape measure has a button for you to press and the winding is done super fast. I love it. I have 2. It says MADE IN GERMANY. I wonder if it is made in Germany.

This cute container (see pencil for sizing) is a very good example of the kind of crap I would buy. It's around $2 so how to resist? The thing is I have no idea what I could use it for. Still I bought it.

Turned out the container is good for my little doll, Neve. Neve is not very posable being a non-jointed doll. It is made of rubber or vinyl.

This is going to be Neve's new home from now on. Neve, by the way, is also an example of stuff I should stop buying. Like enough already, right? But ain't she cute? She is made in Korea.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Good news and bad news and good news

What shall I tell you first? Let's start with the good news. My new bag pattern is almost ready to be published. I put so much work into it that I am so glad to stop looking at it and move on. I'm just waiting for my tester to be done with it. No pressure, Suzee! I'm also happy to tell you I have started work on my next bag pattern and if I'm lucky and hardworking, it should be out end 2014.

Some not so good news. For me. You all know how I only have one good ear? And my greatest fear is to go completely deaf? Well, last Sunday, I kinda had a big scare. It happened suddenly in the late afternoon and I couldn't hear so good anymore. Just like that. My hearing didn't disappear completely but I couldn't hear like normal. The sounds you hear in your daily life like people talking, footsteps, running water - these all sounded very soft and faraway. On the other hand, sounds which are sharp became amplified. You can imagine how distressed I was. I went insane. I cried for hours.

"Fortunately", I was able to go to sleep and when I woke up on Monday, I found that most of my hearing had returned. Miracle! Some sounds still sounded weird. The sound of running water and water going down the pipe still didn't sound right. Footsteps still sounded faint. On Tuesday, I woke up and found my hearing was even better and crispier. I finally could hear running water and footsteps. Today is Wednesday and the minute I woke up, I walked around my home listening. And guess what? I could hear the sound coming from our lights. I never even noticed the sound before. What a relief! So it looks like, slowly my hearing is returning to almost normal.

One strange thing I discovered is as the lost sounds come back to me, I have to relearn them. I don't mean to say I have to relearn every sound. What I knew I knew. When unfamiliar sounds came, my brain immediately asks WHAT'S THAT? And it's also not like in the movies where my face is all serene and as I discover each sound, my face lights up in delight and wonder. Not like that at all. It's more like, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NOISE? Then I look around until I figure it out. Once I know what it is, I don't feel so panicky. On Monday, the first time my hearing came back, I walked on the pavement and heard this thundering sound. I freaked out immediately. The sound came from a truck. The sound of the trains running by also sounded just as frightening. Once I start associating sounds with the source, I am less agitated. On Monday and Tuesday I went out and about to hear as many sounds as possible. Luckily hubs was with me and could help me identify the source of most sounds. Sounds from electronics seem the most alien to me and also the most annoying. Oh, we went to see a movie, Lucy which if you take away the tiny little plot is just about people shooting people. I discovered movies are LOUD. Super, super loud. It took me 15 minutes to get used to the loudness. How do people with two good ears cope?

I am still having problems with shrill sounds. The first time I heard birds singing, I was so angry as the singing literally hurt my ear. Today I heard a lot of birds singing and it was tolerable. Hubs' voice is also capable of upsetting me with the 'ssss'. The shrillness seems to be subsiding over time but it's never completely gone. I have a feeling this one may never return to normal.

I was really worried that my ear may be damaged and went overboard and saw a private doctor who is a hearing loss specialist. After what happened to my right ear decades ago, I didn't want to be at the mercy of clueless public doctors. So I chose this doctor with 25 years of experience. He's not cheap. It costs $150 to $350 just to see his face. If you add the cost of the tests, your heart will feel a lot of pain. I haven't told hubs the total cost of the bill (I hid it in a secret place) and I don't plan to. Hopefully he won't faint and have a heart attack when the credit card statement arrives.

The good news is the hearing test shows my hearing in my "good ear" is within acceptable human range. The deaf ear is still dead. The doctor also said that even with my dead deaf ear, he can do a cochlear implant and revive my hearing. All I need is around $50/$60k (less if done at a public hospital). Oh well, it's a nice thought. But I think I'll save my money for other medical emergencies. However, it is rather reassuring to know that in the event the most feared and dreaded thing happen (complete deafness), I have an implant option. I decided to read up on cochlear implants and there is a government subsidy if both ears are deaf. Woohoo! Hubs asked me if I have any desire to restore my deaf ear. This is the first time a doctor has given me any hope of restoring my deafness. Previously, the doctors have told me that there was nothing they could do and to adapt to living with single hearing. And I have done that. It's been 28 years of getting cursed at for not always responding to people talking to me. I think I can continue this way for the rest of my life.

The doctor discovered I have a sinus infection. But this infection may or may not be related to my good ear shitting up. Anyway, I'm on antibiotics so time will tell. You know what? I'm blaming the damn haze from Indonesia. It is back and once more the government officials from both countries will fart around and nothing changes. The burning of forests continue year after freaking year.

Rant over.

The shrillness thing may be due to cells in my ear being disturbed or damaged. I'm not going to feel too sad about it if I have to live with it. I am really grateful my hearing is back to almost normal and if my ear hurts from hearing the shrill sounds, so be it. Well, to be honest I was really sad about it for a while but I can still hear and that's the most important thing for me.

The "upside" for my family is I can no longer scold them or raise my voice as high-pitched voices create a feedback in my ear - very jarring. Just yesterday I came out of the bathroom and caught hubs eating in our bedroom. He tried to flee but I already saw the plate of food. Despite catching up with him, all I could do was MOUTH all the scolding at him. It was completely useless of course and he just went along and pretended like he could hear the scolding, faking remorse. I also can't squeal with delight or laugh like a hyena. I realise I do these a lot and I really miss it. Maybe time will heal the "shrillness problem". Either that or I could get used to the jarring feedback in my ear and have a new normal.

Anyway, in a few days or so when my new pattern is out, I hope you guys will come back and buy it. I need the cash! All I need is 7,500 people to buy and I'll have the cash for an implant. No? Too much to ask? Alright, alright. I just need 75 of you to buy and I'll have the cash to pay the good doctor. I promise it's a really cute bag pattern.

Lastly, anyone with a blog and able to sew bags keen on reviewing my new bag pattern? You should have at least 50 readers to your name. Leave your contact in the comments or email me directly (projectsbyjane@gmail.com). Yep, you get the pattern for free in exchange for a blog post (written by you and published on your blog) on my new pattern. You understand you'll need to make the bag, take a few pics and link to my etsy shop and my blog. There is no time expiration on this offer. Please feel free to enquire.

See you soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to stitch a tatted motif to felt

One of my readers, Christel Goh wanted to know how I stitch my tatted motifs to felt. This post shall address that mystery.

First, notice how tatted motifs have little loops which are called picots. I use these to sew my stitches.

From under side of felt, insert needle and come out just inside the top of the picot loop. Insert needle into felt, just outside the same picot loop. Pull thread taut and you will see the little stitch you have made will hold the picot in place securely.

I usually anchor all the outer picots first making sure the motif stays flat. Next I anchor all the picots in the center.

Sometimes you may not have enough picots to anchor the motif securely. Another good place to make a stitch is where the two chains meet (semi-circles).

Lastly, the most important "trick" is to choose a thread colour that will be blend in nicely. I also double knot (sometimes triple knot) my thread in the beginning and end.

This is another tatted brooch I made this week. It's a little larger than my usual ones as I used yarn lace which is thicker. It is 2.75" in diameter compared to my regular 2". So many picots! I had no trouble anchoring this motif down.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Winners of July/August 2014 Giveawy


I've drawn the 2 winners for my July/August 2014 Giveaway.

Only 24 entries. What happened guys?

Without further ado......

The first winning comment is.....

Nueyer Dua gets flower-flower. Her wish is granted.

And Linda gets tatted lace! She was the last entry. I hope she likes the lace brooch. Sorry Linda, I know you prefer the flower-flower.

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the world blog hop

Hi guys,

Today's post is a little different as I'm doing a 'Around the world blog hop'. I was tagged by Bethany of Sweet Bee Buzzings.

So what's this blog hop about? It's sort of like a chain letter. Except nobody gets hurt. Don't like that analogy? How about thinking of blogging in terms of dating? A blog hop is like a match making thingy. Bethany in her own around the world blog hop post will link to my blog and urge her readers to check me out. In my post I have also linked to Bethany and I urge you guys to ogle her blog.

In addition, please go ogle Jane of Always with Yoo and Nueyer of AngelHearts Crafts. (these are the people I tagged)

There are a few questions I have to answer in this 'Around the world blog hop' post so here goes:

1) What am I working on?

I'm putting the finishing touches to my bag pattern. I started work on it LAST YEAR and I'm CONFIDENT I'll publish it this year. Soon I will beg people to test it for me.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmm... this question is extremely difficult to answer and the only way I can answer it is to drink a lot of alcohol. Unfortunately, I do not drink...

3) Why do I write/create what I do?
Up till May this year, nearly everything I made was for sale, for money. Then one day I looked around me and felt very sad that I hardly kept anything for myself. So I decided to take a break and stop making things for sale. I was starting to feel like a factory worker.

My blog is very precious to me. It is my diary of events that took place in my life. I often refer to it when I want to remember something. I am my biggest fan. Hehe.

Lately I have not been around my blog much as well. Using the dating analogy, you could say, I'm the guy who said he'll call but the girl keeps waiting for his call.

4) How does my writing/creating process work?
When it comes to making my bags, I have a simple approach. What will go into the bag - that decides the size and influences the shape. How will it be carried - that decides the handles. What occasion will it be used - that decides the design.

For my writing, I just write what comes into my head. I use the photos as a guide as I usually write around the photos.

Tata for now.
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