Thursday, December 31, 2015


Dear internet friends,

It's the last day of 2015 and I can't express how happy I am that 2015, a horrible, horrible year (for me) is finally over. Most times, on the last day of the year, I would think: Wow, the days flew by. Not this time. Not 2015. Days, weeks, months. It took forever to reach today.

I think I literally suffered 3/4 of the year. Tennis elbow, headaches, hearing loss, gastritis and sensitivity to food. It was one thing after another and I found myself often bracing for the next bad thing. I became so stressed that some time in December, I felt myself heading for a mental breakdown. I have spent the last two weeks reflecting on my situation and how to move forward and after much struggle, I think I know what needs to be changed in my life.

In terms of my gastritis, I need to tackle 3 areas. I saw a specialist at a new hospital recently. Because I am paying a subsidized rate, I had to wait 3 months for an appointment. Before I went to see the specialist in gastroenterology, I set very low expectations. Still it was fruitful. The good news is despite all my issues, based on my test results, the doctor says I am a healthy person. Another piece of good news is the doctor doesn't believe I have cancer or anything life threatening. And yes, Sandra, sorry I get to keep my gallbladder. The bad news is my condition may never be cured. However, if I learn to manage the condition, I can live a normal life.

The first area I need to tackle is my low acid diet. The doctor says I haven't been eating right as I avoid too many kinds of food. I could end up malnourished. Remember the list of food to avoid my GP gave me? I've been using that as a guide. So, as it turns out, that's not a very good guide. So I will be seeing a dietician soon to get guidance.The dietician will also help me find food alternatives.

The second area I need to tackle is my tight muscles. The doctor believes they contribute to my headaches. By some "miracle", she was able to access my MRI report from another hospital. The MRI was done years ago. She went through the report and said that the right side of my spine had some issues which could also be related to my tight muscles and thus the headaches which always occur on the right side of my head. I do recall that after I had the MRI done, I went for extensive physiotherapy for my back. So I will get my spine adjusted and the tight muscles massaged. It can hurt like crap so I don't really look forward to the treatment at all.

The third area I need to tackle is stress. The doctor asked me not to dismiss stress as a trigger for my gastritis. So I will try my darnest to relax and not get so worked up or angry easily. The doctor suggested I see a psychologist but I decided I will deal with it on my own. If I really cannot cope, I will ask for a psychologist later on.

Most of my stress comes from my health issues. Taking action to remedy my issues will take away some of the stress. I have to acknowledge that I am by nature a person who gets upset and angry quite easily. Little things piss me off. Hubs says I am full of negativity. Hearing him say that pissed me off too. But I own up. It is all true. What's worse is I hold on to my anger and grudges way too long. I mean, for god's sake, I still bear a grudge against this teacher who wrongly accused me of cheating during a physical exercise test. The situation was resolved when another teacher came forward to vouch that she had witnessed me perform all the tests. If only my accuser had apologised to me, I would have got over it quickly. But she was too proud to admit her mistake and for decades I hated her. But that happened a thousand years ago so why the hell am I still so mad? I wish I can let it go.

I want to start anew in 2016. I will start by forgiving everyone who has hurt me, humiliated me or pissed me off in the past. Yes, that means you too, the crap teacher who wouldn't say she's wrong and sorry.

2015 was not a creative year for me. I barely made anything.

I had a bit of a crochet phase.

The tatting phase too didn't last very long. Sigh. I think I'm over tatting.

Then, I went through a beadweaving phase too. I love the cabochon pendant and the dark blue with flowers odd count flat peyote bracelet most.

I produced a number of applique but most of them I never got round to photographing. I also started on a applique art quilt but soon abandoned it. Ah, what I don't need - another item in the UFO basket.

I spent quite a bit of time working on doll outfits but most of them were unfinished and went into the UFO basket. I thought I would make a few pairs of shorts in different designs for myself but it didn't happen. I stopped at the 2 pairs of trial-and-error shorts.

I almost forgot my therapeutic brooches. Made them recovering from tennis elbow.

Surprisingly, I managed to publish 2 bag patterns. First Jane's Basic Clutch which I think is likely to be the last beginner bag pattern I will publish. This pattern was completed before all my health issues started. In November, I published my Mini Carryall pattern. This was completed with daily headaches. I'm still amazed at myself!

In a week or so, I will publish my next bag pattern, also done with headaches. Don't worry, I won't call it the Headache Wristlet.

I think the best thing that came out of 2015 was I got back my sewing mojo. I notice that whenever I hit a crisis, I envelope myself in sewing as if wrapping myself in its warm embrace. Sewing for me has always been rewarding. I don't fear failure and feel like I can accomplish anything.

I'm going to ride this sewing high for as long as I can. 2016 is going to be devoted to sewing and I wish everyone a happy sewing year ahead. I think I haven't said this for a long time but I'm looking forward to the new year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bag Pattern Testers Needed

Edit: 9th Dec. Thank you all for your response. I have filled up all the slots for testers.

Hey folks,

It's been thunderstorming and humid in Singapore and the last thing I should be doing is trying to produce another bag pattern. But that's exactly what I've been working on. Fighting with the elements, squatting in the balcony waiting for the sun to emerge from behind dark clouds, cursing because I missed the sun, sitting on my bum at the computer till it's all sweaty; well that pretty much summed up my life the past two weeks. I'm now tightening up my instructions and soon I'll need it to be tested.

I do need help with the testing because I can't do it all alone. I'm usually pretty good at catching my own errors but after days of staring at the same project, I need fresh eyes.

Here are two sneak peaks. You will need to install a zipper and be able to catch errors. Also take a couple of good pics of your finished product. If you're interested in being my tester, please email me at projectsbyjane AT gmail DOT com. Please also include the model of handphone/cell phone you own. I should be able to send out the PDF early next week and I'll want it back by 31st Dec 2015.

This is another easy to make pattern and it doesn't require much fabric. See ya.
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